Grace that is Greater

Prickly Pear

Writing without anything to say is hard, and if I were to follow my typical path, I would be in full retreat right about now. I have been expecting, watching, waiting for the end.  As a matter of course, I would come up with some polite maxim such as, silence is golden, or perhaps something slightly twisted like, if you haven’t got something useful to say don’t say anything at all, but it would be nothing if not unpleasant to follow that advice again. I do not want remember when I first locked up the words in my head, and I hesitate to repeat it, because it did take those words forty something years to organize and manage a jail break. Therefore, to keep the peace of my mind, they will have to continue to indulge in their late night linguistic carousing.

Fortunately my expectation of their continued freedom is better than average, if only because I don’t have anything to lose this time if I decide to police them and go on a word round up; there is no school to fail or people to disappoint.

I am not proud of this quirk in my make-up, the one that is rebellious and contrary, the one that I have to struggle with daily. It is the thorn in my side, for my fear produces a love for rules, I want rules to show me how to fit in, how to be invisible, but this relentless unwanted quirk of mine balks, bucks and flat out refuses to get in step with the program.

So I frequently have to remind myself that everything has a purpose, even though it may not always appear to be so, that this prickly quirk can also elicit in me an awareness of the greatest of joys, you see, it points me to Grace, and there are not any rules I need to follow to abide in Christ


The Wind



This reminds me of my childhood. The frivolity in chaos captures it perfectly. My mother had a whimsical air about her when I was young. Perhaps it was the Irish, perhaps it was her name, the why of it is of very little consequence, but its presence was a treasure that made for adventure.

I was such a serious child, too afraid, but I believed in her magic. She created for me a world filled with elusive pixies and impossible beings. She inspired visions where everything was alive and waiting to be explored, and thus my trepidation would be overcome by my inquisitiveness and I would let myself be carried by the wind.


facepalm, really

Yesterday I did a petty thing. I told myself I wouldn’t, but I did. Upon awakening I had the desire to spend the day in bed with a bevy of blankets pulled over my head, and then this inkling of a very bad idea wormed its way into my apathy; voila, instant energy.

So I wandered the property perusing potential projects for the day, for I knew I should avoid the place of temptation, and what better to use as diversion than a shovel and some dirt.

Unfortunately the place I was trying to avoid was the place I needed to be, so guess what, and this is really low, I used God as an excuse to let the dark side woo me, and then, wait for it, I used prayer as a reason to do the very thing I promised myself I wouldn’t.


Today I awoke very depressed, I wanted to stay in bed all day with a bevy of blankets pulled over my head. Prone in bed I waited and waited for another very bad idea to give me instant motivation; thankfully, no such luck.

So I wandered the house looking for something to tempt me into becoming behavior. I found my family all bustling about and happy to see me, and what better to use as motivation than love.

The place I wanted to be at that moment was down on my knees in prayer and thanksgiving, unfortunately, it was not the place I needed to be, so guess what, I didn’t use God as an excuse to skip work and let the dark side prevail, and then wait for it, I didn’t use prayer as the reason to be irresponsible.

So, as I watch the dark side get all puffed up and giddy about something that should be common place grown up behavior, I find that I am being nudged by The Lord to get out the Book and recharge on the Word so that I will have a full energy shield armed and ready tomorrow when the alarm clock dings.



The Tree


They cut down the tree.  Perhaps they didn’t know how we mourned its loss when we had to leave it behind. How it came to us as a baby, how it was tended for years in captivity because we feared the transitory nature of our accommodations, how it journeyed with us when our fears proved true and we found ourselves bouncing around from family to foe to family again, all the while searching for what was to be our final nesting place.

Nevertheless, I will not let that stop me from trying again. I know that we cannot stay in this new place permanently and that makes it really difficult to gather the motivation to start over, but still, weather permitting, I go out every day after work and dig out some grass, because by golly I am not going to make the same mistake twice. Nothing in this world is guaranteed, and letting the fear of losing things, prevent you from living in the moment, is a sure fire way to have nothing.

You see, planting that tree when it first came to us, would have meant five years of enjoyment and usefulness, instead it spent years in captivity never getting to spread.  Only when we thought it was safe to do so, did we give it its freedom. It then blossomed and grew beyond imagination, and produced and served us well.

Yes, we would have had to plant a second tree and now a third tree, and with regret also leave them behind as well, but perhaps at least one of their new caretakers would have or will appreciate their value, and cultivate their fruit, rather than only see the work they require in return.

So this time without hesitation I am going to settle in with gusto and plant trees, lots of trees. I will dig and prune and water. I will sit in their shade and enjoy the fruits of my labor, and be thankful for the memories, because this is only a temporary existence anyway.



The Gift


Heavy sigh, I am having one of those difficult days where it hurts to be alive. You know, those days where even your toenails hurt, where your head and your limbs are so heavy you wonder why you are not sinking into the floor, and perhaps the worst part is that if someone even dares to notice somethings amiss, you think you will burst into tears because the effort to hold them in takes everything you’ve got.

But I have to say that it is days like these that make me aware of God’s goodness. How He can use bad situations for good. Because without what seems like an impossible burden, I think I would just fold up the circus that is my life, and give into the pain.

So instead of having only myself to focus on, He has given me seven lovable individuals to financially and emotionally provide for, and therefore, because I am needed and loved where I am, I have to push through the bad days like it or not.

So am I saying my pain and despair are a gift from God, well no, not a gift in the sense that it is wanted, but I would have to say yes in the sense that it’s made me into the person I am today, and I definitely like this person better than the one before.


Crazy Chickens Live Here


Why do we keep chickens? For the raw cookie dough of course. There must be better reasons I suppose, but the first one that pops into my head when asked, is that rich creamy chocolate chip delight.

So, Alpha, Not Alpha, Big Red and Little Red, Thorina, Clementine, Evangeline, Baby and Baby 2: the second one, Crazy Face, and one more Crazy Face, (that’s right two of them have the same name) all have a fairly pampered existence because the dough rules!

Wait, I also really like the look of a basket of brown, green, and white boiled eggs, yep, that’s definitely good reason to have your own supply of eggs.

Wait, wait again, they are fun to watch and easy to take care of, well at least until one gets sick and you have to chop its head off, but of course being the generous mom that I am, I let my young son take care of that job for me.

Wait, wait, wait again, I also like to gross out my family by pointing out that if they don’t finish their dinner it’s not a problem, because they will have a chance to eat it for breakfast after I feed the table scraps to the chickens, unfortunately they keep threatening to ban me from the table for inappropriate mealtime topics.

Oh yes, wait, I can’t forget the best part about keeping chickens, it must be the hauling around of the overly large poop covered chicken coop all three times we have moved in the last several years, that is the winner for sure.

So why do we really keep chickens? You got me, maybe it just seemed like a good idea at the time, or perhaps I just figured, if you are going into urban farming, you might as well go in for a bushel and a peck