Thursday, 16 May 2013
My husband and I are separating today. I'm headed "up the branch" to celebrate dear Anna's wedding to Robert. Curt leaves tomorrow for Washington to celebrate dear Lori's wedding to Gunnar on the same day. These brides are treasures to us: radiant, glorious jewels. I love to witness a wedding with my hand firmly gripped by Curt's, but I am up to the rim with joy that we can each take part in these concurrent weddings.
When I need only a few minutes of reading material, I often go to Alphabet Juice for a quick fix. On this double celebration week, I was astonished to discover what "good" means.
from root ghedh- to unite, join, fit. Other derivatives: together, from the Old English togaedere, from the Germanic gaduri, in a body; gather, from the Old English gad(e)rian, from the Germanic gaduron, to come or bring together.
When we hear the words, "We are gathered here today to witness the joining of two lives," it will all be good.
Monday, 13 May 2013
There are bleak moments in our life when it feels as if the world has pitted itself against us. We grow unthankful and our hearts lose hope. It's usually at these times our mothers give us breakfast and tell us to snap out of it, and we are forced to rejoice at how good we have it.
Father, we can't thank You enough for the impact and example our mothers have had on us over the years. Their industry, faithfulness, love, discipline, and unworldly care should give us pause to consider there's more to the story than meets the eye. You have a majestic plan, and in this plan is redemption, and at the forefront of this battle are our mothers.
We can't pray enough, Father, for protection of our mothers in their role as helpmate and guide. Give them patience and grace in what sometimes may feel like combat in raising their young ones.
Bless the work of their hands in their homes and bring prosperity upon their many endeavors. We as sons, daughters and fathers are forever indebted for Your design of the family and how it beautifully reflects Your kingdom and character.
Bless our mothers who give of themselves completely and selflessly. May we honor them with our love and respect. "Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates."
In Christ's name,
* In our church we regularly pray for our families and for the nations of the earth. Yesterday Brian, a young dad himself, prayed this prayer for mothers. He gave me permission to share it with you.
Tuesday, 07 May 2013
Nellie Harper 3/23/20 - 5/7/1968
My mom's death from an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder was sudden. There were no good-byes other than a casual "bye, Mom!" tossed over the shoulder as I left the house.
As I re-read some of her letters, I notice how she said good-bye to my dad, a college professor teaching in another state. And, these many years later, she continues to instruct me.
I miss you here - really seems lonesome without you - just a few weeks like we had in Sept. spoils me. But since I love you so much I know that it will always be that way - I don't get used to you being away, I just wait for you to come home.
Je t'aime beaucoup, beaucoup...
Now I must close - surely do miss you. Guess I didn't write partly because I was just too lonesome and didn't want to sound too sad. Those spells come when I feel as though I just have to see you, and anticipating a week end without you seems too much. I just must not think ahead to weekends but take each day as it comes. And the thought of you using so much time and energy and losing out on your studies just to come home doesn't cheer me any either. All in all it is not the most satisfactory situation, but it is the best one for us now or else the Lord would change it, of that I'm sure.
Must close for now. I do love you and, like Danny, I often would like to give up because "I want you". But because of you I take heart and strive to do a good job here.
But we'll keep on in our feeble way.
I love you and I just can't get used to having you gone so much — howbeit the Lord has given joy and peace just to know that you are busy for Him.
Time to close — wish you were here to talk to instead of writing. Take care of yourself these busy days. We love you and your name is mentioned ump-teen times a day. I'm learning that when you really love a person you never get used to having him gone — it gets worse instead of easier. Hurry up, summer!
I love you and miss you so much. I would like to have a week or so together with no other responsibility but to catch up on all we've missed this winter. But we can only dream of such a time with all the cares of this world upon us.
Like Jimmy says "Daddy can fix anything." But it is not primarily a handy man that I need here, but to have your love and fellowship in person.
Oh, Mom. I remember you. Forty-five years it has been and I continue to note your absence. I wish that your daughters-in-law, your sons-in-law, your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren—every one of them—could know you the way my brothers and sisters and I know you. I wish I could call you on the phone and exclaim today's good news: the next baby is a GIRL!! I can hear your chuckle at my exuberant joy.
Your letters inspire me. I can take heart and strive to imitate you, to become a Nellie Harper to my people. Thank you for pouring yourself out for us, for giving us yourself, day after day after day. Thank you for being the best mom ever.
Monday, 29 April 2013
Before we drift to sleep, I read aloud (sometimes just a paragraph, other times a page or two) from Mark and Grace Driscoll's Real Marriage; we wake up to The Last Battle (snicker about that combination).
When I drive the car, I listen to Kathleen Norris' Acedia & Me. Acedia means lack of caring...sort of like depression, but different.
If I have an afternoon with my eight year old grandson, our real aloud is Where the Red Fern Grows. We are at the happy parts of a compelling story; Gavin begs for one more chapter.
I'm plowing through Colin Thubron's book Shadow of the Silk Road, a travel memoir. I believe this is the loveliest book cover...ever! So much terrain is unfamiliar; it takes longer to assimilate this reading. I had read the first two chapters a while back and put it down. When I retunred to it a few months later I had to start at the beginning. With forty pages to finish, I've read Thubron through China, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and we're entering Turkey.
Donna at Quiet Life started a book club reading Bonhoeffer. I listened to it in 2012, and immediately bought the print copy because I wanted to read it with my eyes. What a remarkable family! What a rare jewel of a man!
So you could say I'm filling my mind with art, Asia, apes, apathy, Achtung!, amicability, and adventure.
Thursday, 25 April 2013
I need it. We need it.
Feedback from faithful friends.
How am I doing?
Where could I improve?
Eager to protect, afraid of exposure,
unwilling to change: a miserable route.
Humility is the path to growth.