Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Summer has made itself at home here in the Midwest.  This is the time of year I like to take the scenic route home from town... no longer do I have concerns about snow and ice making that drive ummm... interesting.

Instead I can turn the radio up a notch, roll the windows down to let the breeze flow through the car, and enjoy the sights of farm land and horses and wildflowers (the same of which are weeds in my yard) and forest and fauna.

Once in awhile I find myself behind a slow moving John Deere tractor but most of the time I don't mind.  I know it is on its' way to work the soil... perhaps on one of the farms with old red barns which frequent the rural roads.

A few days ago while driving that county road, I listened to a favorite radio personality interviewing an equally respected author.  It suddenly hit me that it had been a year or so since I had stopped to listen to this radio station at this particular hour.  I wrote on my mental To Do list to make tuning in a priority.

If this was to happen, it meant some changes to my same old-same old schedule... which would be a good thing.  Another determined effort to bring new life to.... Life.  A little thinking and planning as the Buick obeyed the stop sign by the tiny country church and I knew all that was necessary to make this small change was to move the extra radio alarm clock to the kitchen.

I continue in my quest to shake off grumbling and complaining and pouting for that of... doing and creating.  Making those little changes in my everyday living which... when combined into days and weeks... provide fairly significant improvements in my overall quality of life.  For instance, making a place for the wheat grinder in the kitchen so the grinding of white wheat into healthy flour will be quite easy.

I love this quote by Eugene Peterson from his book, Run with the Horses:

"Something very different takes place in the life of faith: each person discovers all the elements of a unique and original adventure.  We are prevented from following in another's footsteps and are called to an imcomparable association with Christ.  The Bible makes it clear that every time that there is a story of faith, it is completely original.  

God's creative genius is endless.  He never, fatigued and unable to maintain the rigors of creativity, resorts to mass-producing copies.  Each life is a fresh canvas on which he uses lines and colors, shades and lights, textures and proportions that he has never used before."

Is that a wonderful description of God's work in our life?  No wonder in my quest to know Him better and become the person He wants me to be at this stage of my life... I am drawn to create.

The sandpaper days of life can easily rub away joy when one is not careful.  I have found when I live my life reacting to what each day brings and not taking the time for the reading of the Word and having a chat throughout the day with the Creator, then the world by default becomes more real than Him and my very soul can be overwhelmed with the affects of the Fall from Grace... Eden lost.

But once I make a determined effort to do the opposite of that which the enemy of my soul wants me to do... to stop looking back as if the best is behind... to get over the fear of the unknown future... once I thought through what I can do and what is good in life...  He opened my eyes to the Beauty all around and the opportunities right within my grasp to bring joy after mourning and light in the darkness.

Peterson was right for God... who is Love and is Creativity and is the source of all Joy... is well able to mold and shape each one of us in a unique and wonderful way... the finished picture only He has painted in His perfect will for us.

But we have to take that first step of change, little steps in my case... moving a small radio in the kitchen, planting seeds, trying new veggies and flowers this year, grinding wheat and kneading bread, bringing home new cookbooks from the library, studying a new devotional book or dusting off an old favorite, staying away from TV shows which do not edify, learning something new and not being afraid of starting out badly, having something to show for my time at the summary of hours or months or even years to come... giving life to our days.

I want to let the summer teach me, to let it provide the environment of warmth and long days to energize new and renewed interests... whether working in the heat as I garden or trying a new recipe in the air conditioned kitchen... creating instead of pouting... catching a glimpse of that picture He has painted that is a road well traveled and a life well lived.  :)


Mrs.Rabe said...

Beautiful Brenda!

I love the paragraph that starts "The sandpaper days of life..." so so true.

I am going to link to you today, I trust that is okay.

I am thankful for your wise words.

Vee said...

Your prose is thoughtful and beautiful... Sweet reading this day with lots to ponder...

matty said...

Lovely post, Brenda! Enjoy your summer days and the lessons they bring!

Monica said...

This is a great reminder to all of us. Thanks for making me aware of my own grumblings and what I can do to change that! Have a blessed day!

Anonymous said...

Heh...sandpaper of life...yes indeed.

I have many small changes to make in our house that could hopefully make life a bit easier and better...nice ideas here!

Elizabeth in NC

Karen said...

I came over from Mrs. Rabe's blog.

You have given me things to contemplate...creating instead of pouting will be a great one to think on-and I love your paragraph about the sandpaper days of life rubbing away the joy. That is profound wisdom, really.

Thanks for your words today.

becka said...

Lovely post, Brenda. I'm retiring in a month and am looking forward to all sorts of creative opportunities! It's wonderful how such a small change such as moving a radio in from another room can be such a blessing and encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! You always give us something good to think about.
What was the name of the radio program that you liked?

villarosa said...

Your post post today meant a lot to me! Thank you for each time you share your heart in your writing! Blessings to you and yours!

Suze said...

I could not have said it better:
"The sandpaper days of life can easily rub away joy when one is not careful. I have found when I live my life reacting to what each day brings and not taking the time for the reading of the Word and having a chat throughout the day with the Creator, then the world by default becomes more real than Him and my very soul can be overwhelmed with the affects of the Fall from Grace... Eden lost"...
That is what happens to me quite often as I work full time and then come home to do more work. I'm always playing catch-up, but concentrating on only the negative can make me really depressed.

I am a child of the 70's and so I learned "if you feel it, it's real", and I never learned to forcibly stop negativity and replace it with Godly thinking. You sure hit the nail on the head -the result will always be negative if I don't make time for the Lord in the morning and keep my focus on Him, while consciously making choices that make life better.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Superior thinking and superior writing! Bess

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I too love the "sandpaper days of life."

These are wise words for our road map of life.

Sending fond wishes,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island