4/25/08

WITNESSING A MIRACLE

"...A man scatters seed on the ground.
Night and day, whether he sleeps or
gets up, the seed sprouts and grows,
though he does not know how."
(Mark 4: 26b-27)


This year I decided to try growing tomatoes from scratch (seeds instead of adopted seedlings). However, remembering my experience last summer, I did not want to over coddle them. So instead of first planting the seeds in little cups indoors (as per the instructions on the packet), I planted them right in the two big pots sitting on my terrace.

The day of my venture dawned warm and sunny, but as I planted the seeds, I realized my terrace, though bright, does not get any direct sunlight. Furthermore, the pots are somewhat sheltered. And then the next day, the temperatures dropped drastically from the high 70's to the low 50's, and a couple of days after that, we had some thunder storms and heavy rain, which I felt sure must have drowned those poor seeds. What to expect?

For about 10 days I checked the pots but could see no evidence of emerging life. Then today, when I was about to give up hope, and plant some new seeds, two little sprouts put in an appearance. Hmm. Wasn't that a lesson from last summer too? Something about "...at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up?" (Galatians 6:9b)

POOF, IT'S GONE!

"What is your life? You are a mist that
appears for a little while and then vanishes."
(James 4:14b)

Now I know that time doesn't change, but these days it feels like it flies by a whole lot faster than it did when I was a child or in my youth. Waiting for things seemed to take forever then, and I must have wished away years, trying to speed things along.

I remember as a 21, almost 22-year-old, despairing of ever finding a mate, and fearing I would wind up an old maid. Those were the days of young love, and crushes, and a broken heart, as I gravitated towards men who were unavailable, or unable/unwilling to return my affections. But, as you can see, I did not stay an old maid forever. and here I am, a grandma, with a granddaughter about the age I was then, who undoubtedly has entertained similar thoughts--I think.

What I didn't realize is that every season has a blessing to be enjoyed, even though it may not be the one we are looking for. There are little windows of opportunity, easily missed, and no longer available down the road, like the free time I have available to do some of the things I enjoy when work is slow. I am self-employed, and tend to forget that my work is cyclical--feast or famine--and until the aha moment, when I realized the predictable pattern of it all, many wonderful breathing spells were wasted while I worried about how the bills would get paid.

There have been events in my life that I would have preferred not to have lived through, and yet, in retrospect, I see how closed doors led to better ones opening, that would not have opened had the original ones not closed. Which makes me think we are like tapestries being woven by a master weaver. It's hard, if not impossible, to see the emerging masterpiece when you are all caught up in the knots and tangles of the reverse side. It's only in looking back that you can appreciate it. Or at least, that has been my experience.

4/15/08

TRIBUTE TO A GRAND OLD DOG

You were a good dog, Alice. We will miss you.

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4/1/08

WHAT'S NORMAL?

I don't know what that feels like anymore.

Yesterday I started to blog about a perfect day, not because it was marked by some special event, but because for the first time in several months I woke up feeling like myself again. All those blessings I used to take for granted, like energy, and focus, and being able to get through a day without feeling overwhelmed. And then I took for granted that I had turned the corner, and now everything would be okay. And even though I know that in the end it will be, it isn't yet, and I'm having a real hard time being patient, trusting, and not giving in to fear.

I have friends who at this very moment are facing mountains in their lives compared to which my challenge is a mere molehill, and I marvel at the peace, and courage, and admirable faith they exhibit in the face of it all.

The promises of God are in my head, and all around me on index cards, and in a notebook where I have recorded all the many ways the Lord has come through for me over the years--even before I got to know Him. It is full of testimonies of His faithfulness, grace, provision, and awesome ways He has intervened on my behalf. He has never ever let me down. How then could I still be such a wimp? Can anyone understand?