Saturday, February 20, 2010

Like a Cedar of Lebanon

Psalm 92:12-13

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
 planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.

In biblical times cedar trees were plentiful in the Holy Land.
The cedar is mentioned in the Bible over 70 times. In ancient history it was used for building ships and temples. The Egyptians used the resin for mummification (from Wikipedia). Cedar wood was also used in purification rituals in treating infectious diseases (Leviticus 14). 

In modern times cedar wood is desirable over other types of wood.
It's fragrance is well-known and it is a strong and solid hardwood, resistant to rot and decay.
 It is small wonder that we like to store our woolens in cedar chests and closets.
The trees may reach a majestic height of 100 feet or more.

The cedar has many characteristics that we, as Christians, can strive for.
Are we resistant to rot and decay (sin)?
Will our faith endure and withstand the storms of life?
Will others recognize our fragrance?
Are we like a 'cedar of Lebanon, planted in the house of the Lord?'

Friday, February 19, 2010

Things that Make Me Smile....

My daughter and her husband made last minute plans to go to a Jason Aldean concert last night and needed a baby-sitter. Maw-maw here agreed to come over after work and watch the girls. My daughter had made Chicken Pot Pie, my recipe, for supper and it was delicious! Before long, the girls brought out their games and taught me how to play "Hungry Hippos." I felt like a loser, two little girls beating their Grandma. That's okay. Wait until they get older and I'll pull out the old Scrabble game:)

 My three year old grand-daughter likes to play doctor and made me lie down on the floor. She proceeded to poke and prod me with every fake medical tool in her doctor's bag. She slipped the plastic band-aid, like a bracelet, on her wrist, checked my heartbeat with the stethoscope and shoved the thermometer in my mouth. She definitely needs to learn some bedside manners, I decided, because she was kinda rough.

At bedtime, my five-year old grand-daughter wanted me to read "Green Eggs and Ham", a book I haven't read in 25 years. I let her read the "Sam, I am" part and soon she was reading whole paragraphs. Do I like "Green Eggs and Ham?" I will read it from time to time; I will read it in my prime; but I cannot, I will not, eat green eggs and ham, not on a dime.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Mother's Prayers

Dear God, please let the baby sleep through the night. I am so tired.

God, my little one is running a fever and not feeling well.
Please bring her back to good health.

Dear Lord, now that she's walking I can't keep this house clean. She's into everything!
Please give me patience.

Lord, I can't wait until school starts! I pray that she likes her teacher and makes friends.

Dear God, I'm feeling stressed.
Ball practice, dance lessons, homework, children's choir.
Besides being a mother I am also a
room mother, PTA Mom, and Girl Scout leader.
Please keep me from pulling out all my hair!

Heavenly Father, I don't know where the time has gone.
 My baby girl just got her driver's permit.
 I can't help it! I don't want her to grow up.

God, this is a tough time for me. Tomorrow is the big day.
And in a few months she'll be off to college.
What am I going to do, Lord?

Dear Lord, it's so quiet around here.
 I miss her already. When is Thanksgiving? 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Last Valentine

(Something I wrote a few years ago)

It is Valentine’s Day and it had been almost a year since my husband passed away. I spent the day remembering what we had done on Valentine's Day the year before. My husband, Don, had cancer and was undergoing Chemo treatments. It had been four months since his diagnosis. Our neighbors had invited us to attend a Valentine’s Day Banquet at their church. I tentatively accepted the invitation, knowing that our attendance depended on how Don was feeling that day. He was a sociable person and missed getting out and seeing friends. His spirits rose when he had visitors and phone calls and he always had a kind word or a funny line for the nurses who treated him. The afternoon of the banquet he woke up from his nap and decided he wanted to go. I was worried that it would tire him out, but he insisted, saying that it would be okay. When we arrived at the church, there was a long line of couples waiting to get their picture made against the backdrop of a painted red barn, to go along with the western theme. It turned out to be the last photo we had made together. 

Two days later was Valentine’s Day. I woke up to the smell of fresh coffee and a bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table, along with a card, inscribed, “Love, Don.” My husband had not driven for several months, but he had gotten up early that day to go to the store and buy me flowers. It was the last Valentine I received from him. Or so I thought.

Now, it was almost a year later and I am sorting through pictures, trying to organize photos for a scrapbook for my daughters. I find an old photo I had taken of my husband right after we started dating, 28 years before. It had been trimmed into a wallet-sized photo. It was the late 70's and he is wearing a wide tie, and grinning. We had been to church that morning. Funny, I didn’t remember the trimmed-down version of the photograph. I turned it over. Funny, I didn’t recall ever seeing anything written on the back of this particular photo. But there, in his handwriting, he had written a loving message to me and signed his name, "Love, Don."

He had sent me a Valentine message, one last time.