Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Tea

My ponderings this week have been all about following our "bent" or that which we were created to do in this journey we find ourselves on as the planet spends around the sun.  I am not sure why my memories went back to a morning Stephanie and I (and a five year old Christopher) were shopping for art and drafting supplies at one of the university's bookstores before Stephanie entered her Freshman year at the University.

Somehow the conversation with the cashier went to the subject of Stephanie entering as a Dean Scholar and when she was asked what she was majoring in, the clerk spouted off, "What a terrible waste of a mind like yours!".  Sigh... although taken back that a total stranger would say such a thing, we were used to it from friends and family for my daughter was known for being quite brilliant and here she was... studying Interior Design (albeit a very difficult curriculum at the University since it was their pre-architecture course of study, too).

I wasn't surprised that she didn't want to be a brain surgeon or a constitutional lawyer or a nuclear engineer or an anthropologist or anything requiring advanced math and science studies.  For since she was a child she manifested those traits which would draw one to a love of design and creativity... and nothing is wasted when one daily must use their brain and all other God given gifts to be a wife and mother to five.  :)

I am convinced that God loves giving us talent and delights as we start in infancy and continue through all our years to discover and unwrap those gifts which are to be discovered, perhaps early and for others (such as Grandma Moses)... quite late in life.  I am learning more about my late blooming gifts these days.

There are some gifts which I came upon early such as the ability to "think in writing" or should it be "writing what I think"?  Regardless... putting my thoughts to pen and paper (or mouse as the case may be these days) came easily from the day I learned to write my ABC's. 

I have few childhood memories but one is serving my father and mother childish snacks I had prepared (perhaps age six or seven) and the other is planting zinnias with my father.  Now a grandmother, I still love writing and cooking and baking and flowers.  :)

But what about those deep seated, well planted, hidden gifts?  Those which hint at us once in awhile, wink at us as we walk by, and whisper in our ear as we drift off to sleep... in that place Tinker Bell told Peter she would meet him... not quite dreaming but definitely not wide awake.

These are the gifts I've been pondering the most recently, thoughts sparked by numerous goings-on here at home.  This August when Christopher moves out, he does not plan to live at home full time again.  So his room will be transformed into guest room cum creative space for Moi' (those plans still in their infancy).  Ponderings have been taking place all year having to do with my Word of the Year... Create!

But they have also been brought up out of a few days of darkness... those which can come upon me suddenly... sparked by who knows what or why.  Sometimes I can put a finger on the plunge into dark emotions, such as a memory of a hurt or disappointment, or the true "Dark Side" whispering accusations enough to send me over the woe is me cliff.

When dark emotions start to overtake me (for whatever reasons but recently by letting myself ponder too much on what I don't have instead of the much larger truth of what good things I have been given)... I know that true spiritual warfare comes from doing the exact opposite the enemy of my soul is attempting to get me to do.

This week I knew it was time to bring Life instead of Death and Light instead of Darkness into my days... and I must tell you it was a wrestling match in my spirit and soul which equaled anything physically.  There were moments my only prayer was going around the house saying "God Help Me", I felt myself at the edge of that cliff, ready to fall into the pit of self pity.

It was not the will of self which brought me back and planted my feet on firm rock... it was the work done by The Rock of Ages.  For all the self help and positive thinking cannot transform the battle for the mind as the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and the transforming Light of the Word... and doing instead of fretting.

So... I dusted off my much neglected Scrapbook Journal and started pages of a garden diary, tried new recipes, wrote down recipes to try soon, made my first pot of tea for the season from my herb garden's apple mint, made a list of ideas for tweaking the blog, read new-ish garden books and old Victoria magazines, and thinking about sewing projects for when the new space becomes available.

Life returns to a parched soul... doing instead of fretting... embracing the new... not allowing the dead brush of past events or hurts or disappointments or pain to blur into the Hope of Today... enjoying the Treasure Hunt for the hidden and forgotten gifts.


Rebecca said...

"For all the self help and positive thinking cannot transform the battle for the mind as the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and the transforming Light of the Word... and doing instead of fretting."

These words - plus the last paragraph - are so instructive (and needful) for me this morning! Self-pity IS "the pits"!

Scrappy quilter said...

What an awesome post Brenda. Your words always touch me. Hugs

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. I, too, can have those dark thoughts hit me like a ton of bricks out of (seemingly) nowhere. I try to pray and "do the next thing." I am also planning on using a grown son's room as a sewing room. Just bought some paint and need to get started.
Wish we could sit down for a cup of coffee. You have helped me more than you know, Dee
p.s. do you have a source for apple mint? I can not find it in my area and have wanted some since watching "Homestead Blessings" dvd's!!

Vee said...

If it is anything that we do, why would we need Him? Wonderful post today, Brenda. These Sunday Afternoon Teas always are.

I am so excited about your having a "create" space. Not that Christopher's being on his own is not a cause for deep sorrow, even misery (being cheeky here just in case you think I'm serious), but a room of your own for such a purpose. I love my room of my own though now I want a bigger one. ☺

You are right. God builds desires into the very fiber of our being. That's why I'm enjoying Max Lucado's "Cure for the Common Life" so much.

A happy day and a wonderful holiday to you!

Mrs.Rabe said...

You do have a gift with what you shared...

How easy it is for us to focus on what we don't have, instead of all the blessings we do have, undeserved though they may be!


Ann said...

So true ... it's a real battle we are in ... a battle of survival and it's difficult and sometimes costly. I've become a firm believer in speaking out loud my affirmation that I know God has a good plan for my life, that He is in control and I'm going to enjoy this life He has given me while He goes about His business of working it out. After many years of worry and worry and worry, this process is really bringing me the peace I so have longed for.

Anonymous said...

I do have apple mint but don't know what to do with it. Can you tell how you make your tea with it?

Thanks for your posts. You don't know how many people you are helping who are having to walk down some of the roads you have already been travelling. Keep choosing the opposite of what the enemy tells you. I will try to follow this advice too.

Angela in TX

Clare said...

Bless you Brenda. You make the world a better place with your words and your honesty about yourself. These words have made a difference in my life this morning :)

Lisa Richards said...

Thanks for your helpful words! It's amazing that you should mention Grandma Moses. I've just been thinking about my desire to learn to paint at the advanced age of 54 (!) and the enemy has been whispering to me for years that creative pursuits are a waste of time. There's always something else that needs to be done. But my soul really has a yearning to create. I was so glad to hear your thoughts on this! I too have dark days and I think this is partly because I don't allow myself to use the creative gifts God has given me. I need to let these gifts flow out of me to be the blessing that God intended for them to be. :)

Anonymous said...

While some dark times are indeed brought on us by the adversary...for myself, sometimes it is memories brought to mind of past words or actions and I feel GOD is telling me how what I said or did, contributed to current troubles...and the need to repent. Examining oneself is a good thing to do, regularly...we cannot undo the past nor the effects on our present or future, except by repenting and sometimes that involves saying or doing something where others are concerned. My goal is to reach living life with no regrets...and for the present time that is easier...but I suppose I will always have some regrets about the past...and not choosing better choices...or from things I have learned in recent years...maybe there was no perfect choice from my perspective...but GOD has a purpose in all HE allows to happen in our lives and IN THE END of things, it is to bless us. So that can give me a way to be a kind of thankful even so...we are here to learn whatever we need to learn for the life to come after this one I think. Seeing we see thru a glass darkly at this time, etc...SOME day all will be totally clear to us. And too, Brenda, sometimes when dealing with some kinds of issues (like bipolar or other such things) it is not easy to keep hopeful. BUT we can have hope in HIM, always...our only constant.

I am approaching my daughter moving out thoughts are with you. Helps to begin making some of our own plans, doesn't it?

I enjoy reading your thoughts!! Thank you!
Elizabeth in NC

matty said...

Yes, yes yes.... Never give up or settle. It is okay to have a mope, but then, get up and change your attitude to change your circumstances! Amen!

Monica said...

Very nice Brenda! I enjoyed my time here this morning with my coffee.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

What a good post....I have a feeling that when God is whispering create in our ears, it's not only about the things we are supposed to create but also because, in His mysterious ways, he will be creating more in us from these activities.

The woman who writes one of my favorite quilting blogs, The Sentimental Quilter, has just been writing about her "quilter's block", like writer's block, and her readers have been sending in all manner of encouraging comments. (A sweet side effect of the world of cyber space.) Kathleen is just recovering from surgery. There are seasons where we need to rest and recover, and seasons where we need to CREATE! Life is good! How could it help but be so, considering the Giver.

Deborah said...

Your blog, your writing is so inspiring. I gained so much from this post while eating a lunch of frozen pizza and sipping iced green tea :-) So thankful for the gifts God has given you and that you are sharing them with the world. Thank you.

Heather L. said...

I love so many things you said in this post! How exciting to plan for a room of your own soon!! I too find it interesting to look back into my childhood and see how some of the very same things I was interested in back then I still am now: I used to "sell cards" on the sidewalk for 1 cent and I gave the money to my Dad for his missions trip. Today I still make all the cards I send, and I still have little things I try to make money at, and I'm still passionate about missions. I have a picture of myself sitting at my card stand and it just cracks me up. I wonder what things my kids are doing will carry on through to adulthood.....