Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Inheritance

I'd no sooner returned from work & set down my purse when our youngest son, then 19, ambushed me at the door and asked if we could talk.  It was not a strange request, for many were the occasions when one or all of us would gather up around the kitchen table and chat about this or that, or resolve issues.  It was the particularly urgent nature of his request that had my interest piqued.
 
At once he asked:  "Mom, in some families the parents prepare an estate to leave their children.  I'm wondering if you and Dad are planning on leaving us such a legacy?"

What???  So few words, yet somehow I thought I'd misunderstood his query

I questioned him:  "Are you asking if we've set aside a vast sum of money or a trust to bequeath to you and your siblings?"

"Well ... yes.  We've never talked about it, and I was just wondering.", came his immediate reply.  Obviously he'd given this some serious thought (no doubt with some worthy purchase in mind).

I didn't wear the grin that graced the face of my heart, but I did take great delight in announcing quite emphatically:  "No, son; we've done no such thing."

"Oh, I was just wondering.", was his final word; and with that, our coming-of-age discussion ended.

Many times since (it's now been 18 years) I've thought of that day, and the grin is born anew, though now it surfaces from my heart in visible array.  To think the young man thought us to be of enough means to set aside the hoped-for estate tickles me.  To think he had formed, even for a short while, a plan & purpose for HIS portion gives me the giggles.

Inheritance, legacies, estates, trusts and endowments.  What is it I hope to leave my children?   I've given that some much thought over the years.  Some time ago I crafted a personal Mission Statement:  To leave a trail I'd be proud to have my children & grandchildren follow. 

I would hope that trail includes, though not be limited to an unwavering love for the Lord, devotion, a heart for those in need, respect for themselves & others, a great sense of humor, and a valuing of the eternal.

To all that, I would add a bequeathing of what has been bequeathed to me:

...no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the LORD.
 
Isaiah 54:17
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping
your decrees to the very end. 
Psalm 119:111-112

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Enuf is Enuf!

Start.  Stop.  Start again.  Stop again.  Scratch that one.  Start over. 

I simply must write about the inequality of gods...  No, better still, this would be a great place to interject a bit of humor about my recent days with teenagers...  Nahhhhh, better I post something about the onset of summer...  Perhaps sharing my challenges with focus would be more apt?  And so it goes ...

In fits-and-starts I've had great difficulty penning a post today.  It's not that I need to, or even that I feel compelled to do so.  It's just that there's so many competing ruminations within that are clamoring to make their way to the surface and onto these pages.

I relish ruminations, but I take great offense when they seek to impose their will.  So today I've opted to ignore them.  I've sent several to sit in a corner until they're done having tantrums.  Others I've politely asked to be silent until I have time to consider their insistence.  Still others have been given the boot altogether.  I can hear them squealing all the way home :)

Ahhh.  Sweet peace again.


We demolish arguments and every pretension 
that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, 
and we take captive every thought 
to make it obedient to Christ. 
2 Corinthians 10:5

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Makes Dad's Day?

The pictures speak for themselves ...


The Whole Kitnkaboodle

Terry, Kathleen, Brad, Megan, Kaden,
Allie, Kole, Big Kelly, Katrina,
Katie, Rylie, Molly, Tom,
Young Kelly, Erik


Erik, Brad, Megan & Allie
 

Molly, Rylie & Tom (minus Meagan & Ava)


Kaden, Katie, Kelly, Katrina, Kole & Kelly


 Cousins: Allie, Rylie, Eric, Kole, Kaden, Kelly & Katie


Allie & Rylie


Kole & Uncle Brad


Cousin Eric & Kole


Big sister Katie & Kole 

In closing, I simply must say that this was exactly what we had in mind when returning to Washington State from Arizona last year.  But we had no idea how a family could be further bonded around the life of one very charming one-year-old.  

It MADE father's day (and mom's too) ...

Friday, June 17, 2011

When the Earth Is Flat

This, then, is the contemporary map of the known world circa 1300s.  Beyond the known was the dreadful unknown, where men would encounter hideous dragons and, most likely, fall off the edge and into a hideous abyss.  Thus, the map-makers of yesteryear hadn't a clue what lay beyond the known boundaries of man's existence.  Their surmises were born in the soup of ignorance & fear.

Lay this map next to today's topographical designs & global glories, and one wonders if that former map isn't, in many senses, decidedly more correct? 

What constituted the worldview of those days, or the map-making science employed at the time?  We are told, according to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, "The animal called a dragon is a winged crocodile with a serpent's tail; whence the words serpent and dragon are sometimes interchangeable."  Furthermore, says Brewer, the word "dragon" was used "by ecclesiastics of the Middle Ages as the symbol of sin in general and paganism in particular.  The metaphor is derived from Revelation 12:9, where Satan is termed 'the great dragon'." 

Is it any wonder, then, that Christopher Columbus - ahead of setting sail towards the unknown world - filled those rimmed edges with this phrase:  There Be God.  He knew that no matter what he encountered he would find God already there.  Perhaps his confidence was bolstered from reading the book of Isaiah (40:22) wherein it is said:

"He (God) sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers."

Many a map-maker could have spared themself the erroneous flaw, as well as the anxiety producing hopelessness of flat-earth thinking had they known God's word.  I dare say most other erroneous thoughts or worldviews could be dismissed likewise.

At the edge of our unknowns - be they sorrows, or scaries, or worrisomes, or desperations, or just change in general - we can know our world is not flat, and that He truly meets us where ever we are.  We can know There Be God.  

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Monday, June 13, 2011

Soils & Seeds

Have you ever seen the movie, Secondhand Lions?  If not, consider this a personal recommendation. 

The entire story is fabulously funny, with a plot line that moves decidely through the heart.  In one scene we find the bib-overall-clad characters diligently planting & labeling their assorted rows of corn, beans & carrots; and a few scenes later we find them surveying - to their utter amazement - an entire crop of corn!  No beans.  No carrots.  Seems they've been duped by a less than noble Seed Salesman!  They had not even considered that one seed might differ from another seed.

Today I'm taking inventory of the seeds in my cache.  I'm no farmer, but I do know that it takes great wisdom & skill to prepare a place for them; and then equal wisdom & skill in caring for them until they are harvestable. 



Recently I spent time with someone diametrically opposed to the Christian worldview - from the veracity of God's word as found in scripture, to His design for living.  After a noble period of patience on my part (a period far less than seventy x seven, I can assure you), I found myself lobbing seeds at him as though one - if not many - might implant themselves.  I'm not sure what I accomplished, but I can tell you I have no idea what - if anything - will come up, or when. 

I wonder if there's there a spiritual component to the planting-of-kinds methodology?  For instance, if I want to see peace in my life (or theirs), can I expect such a crop to grow if I to plant intolerance?  Or, if I'd hope to see a crop of faith might it spring forth in the soil of doubt?  Does fear, when it germinates, become hope? 

We know what it means to sow one's wild oats ... It isn't a condition linked solely to the unbeliever as it is a condition linked to the unwise.

"Sow the wind
and reap the whirlwind.
The stalk has no head;
it will produce no flour.
Were it to yield grain,
foreigners would swallow it up.
Hosea 8:7


Obviously it matters where seeds are planted, and by Whom.  Thus kinds become vitally relevant.

“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be pulled up by the roots.
Leave them; they are blind guides.
If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
Matthew 15:10-14

Back to inventorying my cache ...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happiness Is ...

... Home 

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, 
I could walk forever in my garden.  
~Claudia Ghandi

This is something of a record, having gone an entire week without so much as a blogosphere fly-by.  How un-Sassy is that?  But that's not to say I haven't thought of YOU; it's just that I've found myself navigating spheres of a different sort.  My focus has been fragmented ... directed mostly towards travel, family doings, and connecting with friends from the un-virtual realms.

I'll be dialing in soon.  I'll also be making the rounds to see what's occupying your minds & hearts.  Until I do, there will remain something unhinged here, like a screen door caught in the wind.


Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious 
as to have friends at a distance; 
they make the latitudes and longitudes.  
~Henry David Thoreau

I keep coming back to you in my head, 
but you couldn't know that, and I have no carbons.  
~Adrienne Rich

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wallops and Other Means


Human flourishing is found only by
living in obedience to God’s revealed plan.
Our rebellion against the Creator is never so insidious
as when we declare that our own plan is superior to his.
~ Albert Mohler

That packs a wallop, doesn't it?



In my heart-of-hearts I consider myself to be a reasonably upbeat, half-full-cup sorta lady.  I lean in the direction of seeing all of life through the prism of God's love.  It's how I derive hope from hopelessness, courage from (or in) trial, peace for the journey (with Elaine), and faith to keep on, keepin' on.  Add a dose of humor, and how could it get any better?

Even so, know that I have my own plans ...

In the context of this post, as well as in Mohler's quote above, plans equal schemes.  Same same.  Then, if we consult with Merriam, he tells us that such a thing in the verb sense means to devise, or to plot.  It does not have an altogether positive connotation.   

Most of the time the alchemy of my planning is quite noble.  But even when it isn't, I can certainly convince myself it is.  Then, in the course of time, along comes a lightbulb (or a club) that reveals what's truly what.

Today I'm searching out the scriptures to see if I can find the word wallop anywhere.  Something tells me I'll find it hitched to the wagon called Obedience.

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. 
Psalm 139:23-24 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Table Tutoring

I'd not heard the term used before, but it sure resonated with me when I did:  "I grew up at the kitchen table."   When I heard the term spoken, it was in contrast to growing up in school, or on the job - as if better credentials come via those, more formal means.



We had such a kitchen table, and let me tell you I did a whole lot of growing up there myself.  It was not only the domain of family meals, but the realm of homework doing, Christmas card addressing & gift wrapping, lecture telling, socializing, discipline meting, or play.  

I can't think of my parents without three vivid images coming into focus:  
  • Their kneeling in prayer beside their bed each night to pray
  • Their snuggling on Saturday nights to watch Lawrence Welk & eat popcorn
  • Their Sunday morning coffee sipping/paper reading at the kitchen table
If mother was the heart of our home, then the kitchen was the heart of her rule.  

Truly then, my sisters and I grew up at that kitchen table; and the credentials we accrued from that growing have served us long & well over the years.  No lesson learned in school, or at play, on through work has ever equaled what was wrought in our home.

What a good day it is to be grateful for that unique classroom; and to thank God for such smart, devoted tutors in my life!