Tag Archives: repost

Notably Resounding

Aside from my physical addresses much has changed in my life since I first developed What Next. Other things remain the same.

This goes with some of my friends too. For instance, not only Christi at Feeding on Folly but also K. at The Blackwall Blog both recently blogged about their updates and changes.

Now they have me considering the inordinate amounts of stuff I’ve been hauling around for years. Things like my boxes of notebooks and journals.

With that I revisited my post from September 15, 2014. Again*:

Zoe couldn’t talk yesterday, but this morning we caught up. Unlike many of my friends and family these days, Zoe and I occupy the same time zone, so we don’t miss discussing much.

Fast forward 150 minutes; epic – even for us. We touched all bases; our work, families, mutual friends, political and social concerns. Then, for fun, we skimmed back over my notes from our past year’s conversations.

Yes, I keep notes, chronologically sequential, cross-referenced and color coded – on everything. This not only helps me keep my mind in the present reality and off the stories in my head, but has occasionally proven I heard someone right, long after the fact. I’m amazed at how much more important this becomes the longer I practice aging. Who knew aging well takes considerable practice?

Mostly my notebooks reveal I’m in better shape than I thought.

So… you may be thinking.

So, my thoughts today address perception and how my amazing, adult sons more frequently than ever suggest I’m either confused about statements from previous talks or I wasn’t listening to them. Always me.

How I imagine my boys and me chatting.

In all fairness, from my trusty notebooks, our typical conversations appear compressed into time restraints and are profoundly multi-directional. Still, though the subjects get jumbled a bit, I pen the statements accurately. Days or weeks may lapse between contacts, but when I need to be certain (even if only for my peace of mind), most often I am rectified.

As I am now cresting the peak of mid-life this is a kind of a big deal. More than ever before God draws my attention to details. Perhaps that’s because modern medicine has forced us to monitor ourselves and each other. The especially savvy peri-senior is watchful for symptoms of dementia, senility, disease and unnecessary stress.

Today God hath revealed unto me (okay, according to my notes), both Zoe and I are in good shape; at least between our ears!

Today.

“Blessed are those who keep [God’s] statutes and seek Him with all their heart – they do no wrong but follow His ways.”

Psalm 119: 2&3 (NIV)

 

*I’d already edited and liked today’s repost that includes friends, etc. Then I noticed “(3)” in the Permalink. I think everyone appears better in this version, so I tweaked the title and then ran with it. You be the judge.

Images courtesy Pixabay

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A Revised Beaten Path

Updated from 2015:

walk

Despite my rebellious nature, I’ve become a slave to routine. Where my young, healthy body once took life as it happened, I now must deliberately prepare myself for each day. This takes me considerably longer now than ever before, even longer than when I had my four young boys in tow.

With the aging process grinding away on my physical self, my routine somehow became unforgiving and unappreciative of my mental self. One little skip can result in an almost immediate blunder, frustration and sometimes bruises.

The new routine is grudgingly predictable:

1. Wake up – This can take a while.
1.1. Take a thorough inventory of every joint and vertebra, then gently move them.
1.2. Be sure my brain is also awake enough to rise without injuring myself or others while getting to the bathroom and then the kitchen. Prayer typically comes into play here.

Note: I’ve come to accept (not like) the sometimes intimidating, frightening, occasionally surprising, (and embarrassing when involving witnesses,) waking process. I often inadvertently successfully integrate other tasks – mostly for fun. I.e. Prayer while in bathroom. Shame or pride? Omniscient. Omnipresent. Look them up.

2. Clean soot from floor and counters. Wood stove heat. Enough said?
3. Water and coffee (slamming sixteen ounces of water before coffee seems cruel, but empirically it’s a good practice).
3.1. I like Krups (yeah, when affordable).
3.1.1. Who are we kidding? Refillable K cups require forethought and more motion. Default to Mr. Coffee pot and microwave to reheat.

4. Bathroom time. Again, this could take a while.
4.1. Contemplate actual need for visible eyebrows.

5. Fuel – The most forgiving point, interchangeable with items 4 – 4.1. Rather than burn muscle on my power walk, I must force down food and supplements.
5.1. Disregard notion about forgiving. Do not forget fuel. (Um, I’m Out of Gas – Again story (c) 1995).

6. Stretching – With bursitis, tendinitis and joint pain I’ve learned to not minimize the importance of stretching or give into temptations to “stretch as I go”.
6.1. There are better ways to meet the neighbors than screaming, “Call 9-1-1,” from the ground.

7. Sun block. Should have learned about skin cancer attending grade school in central Arizona.
7.1. By this point the searing sun will be above the tree line. Surgical excisions are costly. Do not trifle with this.

8. Lace up, walk toward door.
8.1. Yes, you turned off the lights. If you left the coffee pot on, you need another one anyway.
8.2. Everything else can wait an hour, continue walking through the door.
8.3. Just walk away.

9. Incorporate socializing and checking on family while warming up (before heavy breathing begins).
9.1. Offspring and siblings sufficiently annoyed. Now punch it, Chewie.

10. Shower, deodorant, lotion, dress, then get to work.
10.1. I work at home, clothes are optional.
10.1.2. Gravity is rude. Forget 10.1.

All of this reaffirms my philosophy: Relax and enjoy the ride, no one gets out alive.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”

2 Corinthians 4:16 (NKJV)

Go Readers. Redefine life along the way.

 

Featured image courtesy Pixabay

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Finale Redux

As my holiday winds to an end I thank God more than ever for the beauty He’s consistently shown me.  (I hope you too feel a deep, contented sigh where you are too.)

Summer’s Finale, back in September 2016 from Colorado’s Western Slopes:

Today’s walk demanded special attention. I recognized the first signs of autumn – summer’s finale:

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fall1 fall2 fall3 fall4 fall5 fall6 fall8 fall10fall7

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

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Woo – Whee!

Many days I wonder if I’ll ever slow down and settle in – mostly when I’ve been writing about the three years before I arrived here at the ranch.

As I prepare to fly to Austin, Texas I say goodbye to the garden. Even though I’ll be away only a week, the end of the season is quickly approaching. Here days are shortening, nights and early mornings are cooling. The gelding and the steer are fluffing up with extra hair and the flowers seem desperate to soak in the sunshine while it lasts.

In Texas we’ll have almost three years to catch up on, so I expect to be road weary upon return. And then there’s that emotional roller coaster after another series of “see ya later” (we avoid saying “goodbye”). Perhaps after returning I’ll have a new perspective I’d missed before. And maybe by then I’ll have an even better grasp of why I must be so far from the rest of my heart again.

Though I can hardly wait to get there, thinking about the journey that brought me here seems appropriate.

From October 13, 2016:

Whew!

After a 28 hour turn-around for Cole, fifteen hours for me, I’m home. In my own cottage on my brother-from-another-mother‘s ranch.

No internet in my cottage yet, no TV or even radio and I have a whopping 2G cell service – from the middle of the north pasture when I visit the cattle and the mare. It’s really not all that bad…

 

Today.

While I’m still buried in boxes.

Once I unpack and set up I’ll shop for better options. For now I’ll take my time and catch up with me – it’s been a long, hard three years.

  

Try to not miss me too much. ❤

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23, 24 (NIV)

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Another Sword

I’m too far from town to walk to shopping now, but panhandlers occupying busy corners all over town remind me of a few summers back and

Sword from July 24, 2016

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On part of my walk to the local strip mall I go beneath an on-ramp underpass rather than cross the busy highway above it. Somebody lives there – possibly a few people. I always look carefully, but never saw anyone. Still, each time I approach I pray; for safety, strength, wisdom but mostly for insight.

I step cautiously along that rocky, eerie path littered with bedding, clothes and rubbish; mostly empty alcoholic beverage bottles, cans and fast food refuse. I once crossed to the other side but it is dangerously narrow along the blind curve. So – no.

For most of my life I’ve carried a small Swiss Army knife, complete with handy tools – way before anyone heard of L.J. Gibbs or NCIS. I taught my sons to practice the same. Days after describing one of my mostly lovely walks to son Quinn, I found a package at my door – a note insisted I carry the content on my walks.

flipknife

My son didn’t send a tool – it’s a conspicuous, lightweight, gruesome-looking weapon, with a lever to quickly release the serrated blade. I grew up with overprotective brothers and I’ve been through police training. Even with my training I felt uncomfortable about the ominous looking thing – not about carrying it, but having to use it in self-defense.

A few days later as I approached the underpass I realized I typically palm my little knife inside my pocket as I approach. Feeling the new bulge on my belt I distinctly heard from somewhere deep inside,

“…Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.*.”

I kept walking, but thought about the scenario Jesus addressed in that passage. He reminded his apostles His Father was in control and the coming events would actually fulfill prophesies in the coming hours.

underpass 3My walks are hardly prophetic, but I understood the meaning. Shoulders squared, back straight, my empty hands casually at my sides, I began whistling, announcing my presence to whoever might have been hiding in the shadows. The smells were oppressive, the noise from traffic overhead deafening, so I was glad to return to the sunlight uneventfully.

Delighted to find some of my favorite produce and nuts on sale, I filled my canvas bag. But I kept thinking about the people sleeping on the rocks of the underpass.

By the time I finished shopping and set across the asphalt lot toward home heat already rose in waves.

Gazing up the path before me I ran the rules I’d learned over the years through my mind; maintain a safe distance, know where the shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries are in my area and never give strangers, panhandlers, money – “it ultimately prolongs their problems.”

But I also remember being homeless. Stuck by circumstances, I didn’t trade or abuse substances. Still, I doubt I’ll ever forget being sick with worry about my kids, the judgmental looks of people as I sought employment, the desperation, the longing for someone to give a care. More so, there was the reality that I too could be a paycheck away from homelessness again.

Feeling the weight of the bag on my back, perspiration beginning to form, I stopped beneath a shade tree in the middle of the parking lot. I put apples, carrots and some nuts into a separate produce bag and knotted it so it was airtight. Gazing ahead, once more I asked God to go before me and then started walking.

Approaching the underpass, I called out (in the most rugged voice I could muster), “I’m just passing through. I don’t want anything and mean no harm.” As I stepped around the dirty bedding I set the bag of fresh food on it without stopping.

Cars whizzed by yards away, oblivious to my presence as I stepped back into the sunlight.

Sleeping Butte

When I arrived home I was glad Ellie was there visiting with Erin. As I put the groceries away I described the scenario leading up to the first crossing beneath the underpass. Then I asked for feedback. Ellie thought for a while and then said, “This may sound cliche, but I would ask what Jesus would do.”

She confirmed what I felt. Peace returned and I went on about my work.

The state of our society continues to disturb me, but my primary purpose is to pray, pay attention and obey the Master.

I’m not entirely ludicrous. I asked God about a stun gun. No answer yet. So, I carry the knife. But once in a while I tie up a separate bag of fresh food, take the short-cut beneath the underpass. As I walk along the highway side I place the bag on the wall and announce, “I’m just walking here. I mean no harm…”

 

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” Matthew 25:40 (NLT)

 

*Matthew 26:52 (NKJV)

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Still Like

Upgrades and technological advancements, hmmm.

While I do my best to rest and regroup, I reflected on August 2016:

Like

bookshelf-in-library-3000x2000_25575 working-hard-with-books-2890x2064_91665

I’m braining my way around a technical challenge, from beneath a pile of work (deadlines I can’t ignore); I should call my IT guy. But I really wanted to figure it out myself!

tasty-cookies-closed-up-4608x3456_88070My challenge today:

Cookies.

 

 

cookie matrix

Don’t get me wrong, I love some chewy yummieness. Still, cookies are not my friends – especially not in cyber world. It’s not that they’re villainous, I’m simply that picky about my privacy. I also like WordPress, but WordPress doesn’t appreciate my settings.

Temptation to change my settings (just so I can simply click “like” on a blog post) almost snared me – until I recalled the last time IT Guy had to “fix” my laptop. In that adorable, overly-controlled voice Quinn said, Mom, do you remember me asking that you not change your security settings without first talking with me!”

securityOne accidental drag across my touch pad cost Quinn a few hours of sleep. It cost me far more hours of compromised work time, two dozen homemade cookies, packaging, next day shipping and several more trips around the park (to burn what I had to sample).

Still, I’m grateful he found the malware and “fixed” my Pandora issue too. I was glad to pay up.

He also explained how, because my settings do not allow all cookies, I can’t simply “like” many posts from my laptop. Don’t get me started on blogs insisting I’m not logged in.

I get around it all on my trusty, old GS3 cell, despite the frustratingly tiny keypad. Tells when I post from the cell are obvious. Some of the typos have been entertaining. I.e., speech-to-text translated “Roo, I felt…” to “Roosevelt.” I like that, Roo Sevelt. But most errors are simply embarrassing.

I appreciate peer approval, and I sow where I like to reap. A well-timed “like,” notification or comment can refresh my perspective. So what if WordPress disallowing my pretty gold star trips me out sometimes.

Though great friendships have developed, that’s not why I write and I don’t blog solely for stats. Still, I appreciate friendly confirmation that my work’s worth reading. Disallowing cookies may cost me some effort and keystrokes, but the blogging community and my security is worth it. I hope my fellow bloggers also graciously understand my using WordPress with old technology.

I’m a somewhat obscure blogger, but God sees me. I can trust Him with my needs. Not that I couldn’t be content with a Surface Pro 4*! ‘Just watching for that Random House deposit to post… What? Oh, I must’ve dozed off. I was having that lovely dream – again.

*Update 2018 (in case anyone needs a charitable tax credit), my wish list includes:

  • A Dell XPS 13,
  • A Huawei MateBook X Pro, or
  • An ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX370

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Philippians 4:11 (NLT)

Images courtesy of Pixabay

 

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Late March Moon – Walk #12

They can appreciate some cooler thoughts in the Tri Cities this week, so

Reblog from March 23, 2017 via Late March Moon – Walk #12:

 

Dawn broke despite my slumber.

I rose and bolted, then watched the moon lumber.

I ran to catch up with the day.

Then I stopped; some clouds had swept the moon away!


Apologies, verse and images by E.V.A. Lambert (c) 2017 Rapture Practice! Publications

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

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2018-08-10 · 06:00

Everyday Heroes

“The more things change, the more they are the same.” Alphonse Karr

In my present locale I don’t meet many humans on my walks.  But I’m glad to report that wherever I go I encounter the same kind of people:

Everyday Heroes

I set out to walk and shoot some of the unique homes in the neighborhood. Instead…

City Water Work- Copy

As I walked I noticed people doing what they do every day, helping to keep the neighborhood.

A block away I noticed a man I see frequently. He was riding off on his bicycle as one of the Tire Store employees watched. Tire Guy was checking the bike tires were right. I asked, and sure enough, Tire Guy saw the man trying to fix his flat himself – unsuccessfully, and helped him. Free. Of. Charge. Another unsung hero.

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From there I found members of our local fire house meeting neighbors at the library, informing us about what they do – until an ambulance call took the paramedics away:

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Inside the library, more unsung heroes wait to make anyone’s day better, (the shot of my other buddy at the automated checkout/information desk didn’t take) 😦

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I learned our Library’s Security Officer is a retired Highway Patrolman – and then learned he has some great stories to tell.

Then there are the great people at the local super market that make our shopping experiences so much nicer and often more fun:

IMG_1431 IMG_1432

Lastly I met local artist Nancy Lewis, who’s on a mission stirring up awareness of Endangered Places in Colorado by painting them for art shows:

Nancy lewis

Had I been driving I would have missed so many of the people and the experiences that help to make our neighborhood great – every day.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

(Originally Posted September 6, 2016 on What Next)

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The Sacred Garbage Man

One of the most moving posts (and there are many) from DawnLizJones. Oh, that it moves us all.

If a picture paints a thousand words, then this one is a whole tome in itself~~

W. Eugene Smith, WWII The Pacific Campaign,1944

This photo from World War 2 is iconic and, in my mind, is one of the most important comments on war in general.  The picture, by W. Eugene Smith, is of an American Marine finding a desperate infant still astonishingly breathing among the dead in Saipan. They passed the baby from soldier to soldier until the child arrived at the top of the hill.  I wish I could find out whatever happened to the child, but have not been able to do so as yet.  Perhaps the child’s history is now lost to us.

It reminds me of how God graphically records His “finding” of the Hebrew nation:

“But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’ And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field. You grew up and became a beautiful jewel…”

Unhappily, the very people chosen by God took their treasured affluence in a different direction that what was intended:

“You looked like a queen, and so you were! Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty. I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign LORD.  But you thought your fame and beauty were your own…you defiled your beauty…”

Idolatry of various kinds had been welcomed into the otherwise pristine picture.  The very Hand that drew them out of the mud was now being slapped away:

“They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.”

And in response to the people’s freewill choices, God reveals His own:

“I let them pollute themselves with the very gifts I had given them,…”

OUCH! 

As if that’s not enough, using the gifts, qualities, and abilities God gives us for our unredeemed purposes not only equals spiritual prostitution, but also corrupts other precious ones whom God intends for His own.  What are newly birthed Christians seeing when they view my lifestyle?  Even in the Christian culture, we buy into mindsets and push our kids into activities for “their” benefit, but really…?

“Must you also slaughter my children by sacrificing them to idols?” 

I need to remember where I came from, and fix my eyes clearly on where I’m going, as well as who might be following behind without me even knowing it.  Thus, as the song goes, I am still in need of a Savior. 

“He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.  He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people!”

Thankfully, my history is still being written.

Ezekiel 16:6,7; Ezekiel 15:13-15, 25; Psalm 106:20; Ezekiel 20: 26; Ezekiel 16:21; Psalm 113:7  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Original Post: Inspiration With an Attitude, DawnLizJones

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My God, That Guy: Part V

“What’s going on?” the man said loudly before either of us knew what woke us – or even that we’d fallen asleep. He talked late into the night, captivating me with his stories. My mind raced between amazement that he was serious, and confusion – I mean, things he described simply don’t happen. But it all aligned with what I’d been hearing all day. I barely spoke the entire night but listened intently.

But now, something in me also sprang to life as the excited woman ran past us calling something about the tomb being empty. The man immediately bolted after her.

I had intended to leave early for the journey home, but I wound up dozing on the street next to this man. And yet heartbeats after my ears and eyes awoke, I was running after these people – I wanted to call to the man when I realized I never asked his name. I could hear their winded, excited, voices ahead of me, their feet pounded the ground and I did my best to catch up.

Soon I could see a huge stone sitting aside a carved opening in the rock,  and the woman looking in from outside. When I arrived the man walked out of the tomb and silently hurried toward the town. The woman called to him, sobbing, “I tell you, the shroud, the napkin we covered his head with were sitting to the side, neatly folded. He was already gone.”

The man called back something about guards… and not enough people to move that stone. He couldn’t have seen me. He kept walking only faster.

A myriad of emotions overtook me – entirely exhausted, every hair on my body stood on end as though the air I breathed was charged with energy. I don’t know why I walked around while there could have been guards lingering about. Still, I studied the ground until I found a level place and sat to lean against the rock wall.

002-jesus-alive

I don’t know how long I sat there until the light disturbed me. Overwhelmed with all my mind had to process in such a short time, I stood and staggered around a few steps to see the woman still standing at the opening of the tomb, weeping openly.

But the light – brilliant light I’ve never seen or even imagined, and I heard a voice, barely audible from where I leaned against the rocks, yet I clearly, distinctively heard the words from the source of the light, someone, some being seated on the stone,

“Don’t be afraid!” he said to her, “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said… And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead…”*

Frozen in place, I watched the woman turn and run where the man had gone earlier. Then the light was gone as fast as she was and a dust cloud wafted over the scene.

Drawing every bit of strength I could muster up, shelving logic as best I could for the moment, I stumbled to the opening next to the stone where the being sat moments before.

As I peered into the darkness, suddenly the same light inside the tomb almost blinded me and yet I could make out the forms of two men. They said in perfect unison, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?”**

I’m not sure what happened, I might have fainted. And yet I was more rested and energized than I had ever felt before. I recognized the sounds of footsteps swiftly approaching. Uncertain about anything anymore, I tried to not think. I climbed around the rocks again and hid. Though they all talked at once, some of the voices sounded upset, like the people that had been here earlier.

I slipped a few more feet away as quietly as I could. And yet I no longer cared why. I felt so… so relieved. I began walking, barely feeling my weight on my feet. Once past the tombs and on the road, I turned toward home. I couldn’t care about anything I left behind. Lost in my thoughts about my new friend and all he told me, all I heard from people, I could hardly wait to tell the friend I’d missed all week all I’d learned about this Jesus that was crucified.

Sure, he’ll probably think I’ve lost my senses. I don’t care. This Jesus lives!

“Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:28, 29 (NIV)

*Matthew 28:5-7 (NLT)
** Luke 24:5 (NLT) Paraphrased with creative license

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