Category Archives: Notes from the Apex

The longer we live, the more we realize our entire lives are like hiking through a series of peaks and valleys. Going downhill is easier. Getting to our peaks requires more energy. But once we reach the apex we can relax, catch our breath and take in the view.

New Vision

Farther back than I want to admit, I gradually began taking life on a need-to-see basis.

Remarkably, unlike my siblings who needed eyeglasses in grade school, I had exceptionally good vision well into my 30’s.

I remember one First Day of School in our newest neighborhood at the time. I wanted to look cool. I seriously was not, so I borrowed my sister’s new glasses from her. I can’t imagine what I was thinking, but after one morning looking through her glasses, imagining her worldview without them gave me a whole new understanding about Sister.

From then on I was proud of my amazing eyesight.

By twenty-five I had survived a parent’s suicide, became an abandoned spouse and a single, working mom. Blind, raging ambition driving me, I became a force to be reckoned with, and a Tiger Woman in the business world.

As a teen I’d turned my back on the God I’d heard about but didn’t see much of growing up in church. Decades later around the same time my eyes began changing, transformation also started in my stony, little heart.

As my vision began fading, the whole world seemed different.

After surviving a car collision that actually should have killed me, God had my full attention. I suddenly got over being angry at Him. Days later I longed to meet the Jesus I’d heard about years before.

Forget a nonchalant shrug, that day Atlas actually gasped. Sure, I didn’t suddenly decide to change. God had pursued me for years as He gently guided me along, but that’s a different story.

I began to realize all I had given up on as a child – thinking I’d imagined what I had once believed. I was thirty-something and already survived more anguish than most people can imagine.

Once I actually met Jesus I fell completely in love with Him. Weeks later I walked away from my high-paying, misery-generating job and law school. Hours afterward a heart attack pinned me to the floor, but I wasn’t afraid, worried or nearly done yet.

I was saved.

Everything in my life changed dramatically. Everything included needing glasses to read. And then for driving. Soon I needed trifocals.

Certain of God’s love for me and having good spiritual vision was genuinely life changing. I no longer needed to watch my back – for the first time since I was a kid, I knew God did. Like everyone, I continued to experienced more losses. Still, I stopped dreading what each new day might bring. And I no longer need my amazing eyesight to survive.

With God watching me closely, life on a need to see basis actually works for me.

How do you get through hard times?

“He (Father God, my Shepherd) renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.” Psalm 23: 3, 4 (NLT)

 

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

Wrapping

One of my first thoughts this morning was how quickly my old habit of wrapping Jesus around my stories recently developed.

Some three-plus decades ago, after reading and hearing about Jesus, I asked to meet Him for myself. Bam! Game changer. He was everything I’d been missing.

My thoughts, my understanding, my direction dramatically changed. I began wrapping my life, my thoughts, my being around Jesus.

As great as that is, I’m astounded and a little embarrassed to admit I often revert to many of my former ways. And yet, Jesus understands and waits for me to come back around to Him again.

“…But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,” Romans 5:20 (NIV)

Though there have been some dark, lonely valleys along the way, the breathtaking peaks I’ve seen serve to inspire and encourage me onward. What amazes me the most is how often I think,

“It just doesn’t get better than this,”

as well as

“It can’t get worse than this”.

*

It can.

And it does.

But the worst usually sets up for the best.

Throughout my life the most influential people have often said, “just wait till you’re my age. You’ll see”. Now I AM that age! And I’m mostly amazed to see so much of my life, my thoughts, my being remains to wrap around Jesus.

Does your life seem to have unraveled? Whether you are on a peak, in a valley, or somewhere in between, wrapping your life around Jesus can take you farther and higher.

Wait till you’re my age. You’ll see!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Header Image and *image used by permission J.M. Weatherby (c) 2018

6 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

Last Day

With hours left before my best boyfriend, TheOldMan heads for his winter home I was a sad mess.

As I brushed him he was skittish about the exceptionally noisy dogs. Then he didn’t like the loose, new gravel or the sound of power tools from what used to be his old stable next door. He reared up coming up the drive, and as I calmed him he told me he isn’t happy with all these changes. As we walked I reminded him that he’s the most wonderful boy. Soon the most delightful peace settled upon us and God’s Spirit calmed us both,

“See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” Isaiah 42:9 (NIV)

Hero wanted some love too.

SchauzerOne hoping for a wayward carrot.

Muddy Roo heads in for the day job.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons;” *

*From Daniel 2:20, 21 (NIV)

4 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

Intermittent

With exceptional ISP challenges continuing to frustrate folks almost as much as the Presidential Alert trickle down this week, I’m spending extra time helping with seasonal chores.

This week among other tasks that come around in autumn but are best done before the first freeze or snowfall, we addressed the woodpile. While this can be physically exhausting work (less so this year with the new log splitter), I’m glad for the way it helps me realign my priorities. The wood stove, my heat source not only keeps me warm all winter, lends a pleasant ambiance but, like it or not, it forces me into a whole-body workout daily.

The fact is I actually like the work. As many of my peers are slowing down substantially I’m delighted I can still keep up with the youngsters and run the cottage on my own.

“Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Despite the most recent disruptions, I’m assured that I’m exactly where God wants me today. When beauty grips me in the most remarkable places I often believe I can feel God’s presence surrounding me.

At the woodpile, for example:

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 – 13 (NLT)

 

All images (c) 2018 What Next: Behind Roo’s Ruse, div. Rapture Practice! Publications, Invaluable Beauty 1/18/2018

15 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex, photography

Wide Net Down

I was all geared up for a good rant to our ISP. Fortunately I checked the news first and learned service is down all over the Tri-Cities area.

Thanks to my trusty phone I can check my email when there’s any signal at all. But today’s blog post shall remain pending for a while.

It’s a good day for a long walk!

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ” Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

8 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

Horse Sense

To live with horses has been my heart’s desire most of my life. I like to think learning more slowly these days has nothing to do with aging (thank you for letting me run with that). In His infinite wisdom God has been teaching me about horses, slowly, gradually by arranging for me to care for friends horses. I suspect that’s so I don’t obsess lose pace with anything else in my life.

When I returned from vacation I noticed the big bay gelding, TheOldMan looking a bit plump. With cooler weather coming I wasn’t terribly concerned about it, but a few days later I noticed he didn’t run to me as he had been doing and there was something different about his gait. Not necessarily bad, simply unusual. Still, my gut told me something was wrong.

I contacted TheOldMan’s people immediately and we arranged for the farrier to visit a.s.a.p. – which was two days later. Meanwhile the dissimilar gait haunted me.

The obvious problem was a thrown shoe, but my gut told me there was more and to not walk him. I felt some relief when Cole moved him to the north pasture where the sweet grass wasn’t as plentiful.

I’ve always been able to “trust my gut”. Thinking about it, I can’t remember a time when harm or at least hurt didn’t result from ignoring my instincts. Soon after I asked Jesus to take the reins of my life I began to learn another way to live – being Spirit led.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:10 (NIV)

From that first day I have prayed and studied the Bible every day. I can’t learn enough about Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Over thirty years later there is still more to learn, but God consistently teaches me I can trust Him first and foremost. Essentially He has reconditioned my instincts.

Hanging out with our excellent farrier while he worked I realized I still have so much to learn about horses. Even so, I was right about that gait. The short story is while I was away, TheOldMan gained weight so fast he strained his hooves. He’s fixed up now so we can both walk into a full recovery.

God uses TheOldMan to remind me that as long as I seek and trust Him, He will never lead us astray.

While God uses all of me, I can trust my “gut.”

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)

11 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

Support

Have I mentioned the frustratingly unstable internet connection here in my cottage? I often miss the good old days, hard-wiring Ethernet cables into the backs of desktop computers. They were buggers to move about, but the connection was usually dependable.

*

Annoying as the unreliable cable/WiFi repeater service here often is, I get by. I utilize my laptop, my smart phone and my tablet. By tablet I mean my old Galaxy S (ahem) 3.

When nobody else is home and the cable service isn’t down – yet again, I can also carry my laptop up to the main house and log in there. And when all else fails I can drive into town and connect at the local library, book store or coffee shops. Above and beyond security risks the latter comes with a myriad of distractions and diversions. One of the perks to being me is having nothing anyone else wants. Still, public WiFi is an absolute last-resort.

I consider myself blessed to have options.

This all brings me to another reason why I especially appreciate the blogging community. It’s another aspect of how marvelously God draws like-minded people together.

  • Like me, most of my blogger friends strive to post only seasoned, final drafts. Even so, sometimes mine have little errors. On the rare occasions I don’t catch an “oops” between scheduling and an actual posting, at least one of my fellow blogger friends (knowing I’d agonize over such a thing) will shoot a heads up my way right away. Typically mockery and witticisms ensue at both ends.
  • The same friends also realize I often comment from the aforementioned GS3 device – with not-so-nimble fingers. They kindly correct obvious keying errors before approving them (yeah, typos).
  • Then there are the ever-so-fun Speech-to-Text translations that can hijack an intended point, confusing the cleverest comment – often hilariously so. These same friends intercede as necessary.

*

So finally, my point (you’re welcome):

We all experience times when life and technology seem to get the better of us. Life itself is a learning process. In the grand scheme of things, however silly I may feel, I’m delighted to find that often I’m not the only silly soul around. I believe God orchestrates us to bring out the best in one another. This helps us get over ourselves in the kindest ways possible.

 

“Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults.” 1 Peter 4:8 (The Voice*)

 

*The Voice Bible (VOICE) Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

*Image and Feature Image courtesy Pixabay

8 Comments

Filed under A Door Ajar, Notes from the Apex

Handiwork

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 New International Version (NIV)

Background derived from Pixabay image.

Leave a comment

Filed under Notes from the Apex

No Better Said

I can’t resist sharing another stroke of genius from the marvelous mind of Mitch Teemley:

Fallmost

september

We’re slipping into fallmost, almost fall, the not-quite season. Perhaps you think of it as notumn, not autumn. Whatever you call it…

Fallmost has a certain wistfulness, a sweet, fleeting uncertainty. It’s warm rather than hot, soft rather than sultry. Early quitter leaves flutter to the ground, and fallmost doesn’t know what to do with them. Indian summer rides through, and fallmost is afraid to ask it to stay.

Unlike the big seasons, it isn’t sure what to feel. It knows it can’t remain the same. It longs for change, but is afraid to welcome change, knowing it will bring an end to that which is familiar, if imperfect.

The imperfectly familiar. That’s where fallmost lives. And where we live.

But it’s not where we were meant to live.

4 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

Another Trip

Just when I thought my vacation time was over for the year, this morning I went on another trip.

trip

… noun

1. an act of going to a place and returning; a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure.
“Sally’s gone on a school trip”
synonyms: excursion, outing, jaunt;

Or

Suburban Dictionary (For those of us that grew up in the late 60’s – early 70’s):

1. Emotional fall-out that temporarily disrupts logical thought processes

2. The process of remembering a significant person, place or event

 

In the garden and all around us plants are beginning to change and the annuals we planted in spring have begun slowly dying.

My boyfriends and I are all tripped out. With these 80-something degree days we’re not ready for summer to be over. It’s too soon for cooler nights and shorter days. Stupid plants…

Not tasting new grass here!

 

Hey! where’s the sunshine?

 

‘Hmmm… The humans don’t put out food till autumn. Mmmm…

Here’s the thing: plan as we may, life often surprises us. The trick is to not be so stuck in our plans that we miss the wonder.

 

 

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

 

6 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex