Friday, April 30, 2010

The Phone Call

Tuesday I got a phone call that a political candidate was going to be in our neighborhood. I didn't know anything about this person. As I vacuumed and cleaned, I thought all kinds of thoughts. Did I want to talk to this person or not? If I didn't care for what he was about, I could dismiss him politely. But if I liked him, what should I do? Would he ask me to get involved? Did I want to get into all that politics again?

You may be surprised that I ran for elective office at one point in my life and won. Well, it wasn't such a big deal. I won precinct delegate. That meant that I could go to my party's meetings and conventions. It was a lot of fun. I got credentials and helped pass out liferature. I truly had a passion for my cause at that time. Then, after a year or so, I found out that within the party, there were divisions and fights. This wasn't what I'd signed up for. Couldn't at least one group of people get along and agree on some things? Well, my term was over and I didn't run again.

Since that time, I haven't been so involved. Now I had to decide, did I want to start in again?

The knock came at the door. I was almost done cleaning and I had decided he probably wouldn't make it to my door on this day. But there he was. I opened up to a pleasant fellow. He started by asking questions. I liked that. Also, he wasn't the person. He was just a helper. After I was allowed my input, he told me about what the candidate would like to do and a little about him. I asked more questions. He answered and even said he didn't know. Very good. I took the very professional flyer (nice laminated cardboard) he gave me and said good by. I put it on my table with my computer.

Later that evening, after thinking it over, I put the flyer in the window of my bedroom where passers-by could see it. They can see that I support this person. It makes me feel good that I took a stand, even a little one.

How about you? Have you ever had a passion for an activity, and then it turned sour or you just outgrew it? Would you ever get into it again? Just wondering.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Arts Belong To The Lord!

Imagine walking through a small door and entering a vaulted church sanctuary that looks like it could have come out of medieval times. My breath was taken away by its initial beauty. All along the sides were stonework and arches leading to the main area. It was extremely high domed and the radiant stained glass windows were so elevated you had to crane your neck to see them. In front was a lovely chandelier and in back a little architectural device that matched all of the interior.

My family threaded our way to the back and found seats. The choral group walked in. Then the soloists which were appreciated with applause. Then it began, Bach's Mass in B Minor, a work that it so pieced together, so intricate that it is rarely performed in its entirety. I sat enthralled as the chorus started. It was a delight to try to follow along with the words in English. This is harder than you would think because the music repeats phrases and you have to pay attention. Once I followed the words for a section, I just listened and enjoyed. The soloists were great as usual. I always like the tenor, though the lady alto was fantastic that night. My joy, my heart is the chorus. This is where my daughter-in-law always performs. She is so alive and full of the music. I love to locate her and watch her do what she loves.

Near the intermission, the chorus is getting warmed up for something big. They are singing something called: Cum Sancto Spiritu about the glory of God. It builds and builds and by the end, I am about to burst with praise myself. Oh, it is so wonderful to be in such a holy place and hear such things and know that the general public has filled it to overflowing. For this performance, there was standing room only.

The rest of the program was just as good, with the mass ending on a note of Dona Nobis Pacem: Grant us peace.

This is about my fourth or fifth opportunity to hear the Oakland Choral Society sing. I am proud to support the arts and my daughter-in-law. I am blessed that we can hear such glories sung about our Lord in this wonderful country. And I am blessed by the godly musicians like Bach who loved the Lord and let that love pour out in every note they wrote. Glory, Glory, Glory, Amen.

Friday, April 23, 2010

One Year and Counting

It's hard to believe that six months have gone by so quickly. That's the last time I announced a blog anniversary for you. April 24 was the date in 2009 when my friend Teresa took the step and put me online. It took a few days to figure out what I had launched, to get my profile in place, and figure out how to do the titles, dates, etc. So my first blog was on April 27, but I do remember that wonderful day when this all began.

I had several desires when I started. I know I wanted to share some of my older works since I had file folders full of material that was virtually unread. I have had several writer's groups in my home and my friends did hear some of my work. I faithfully sent materials out to Sunday School markets. I sent to Children's magazines. When I wrote books, I researched and sent the books out. There were several close calls where I almost got published. Those were heartbreaking. One was simply because I wasn't Canadian. So I wanted readers. With that in mind, one desire for my blog was to eventually put one of my books on the blog. I finally got it all together in August and began to post my story Scribblers. That turned out to be a drag on my regular blog, so in March, I put the story on its own blog. I felt in my heart that this story had elements that could be important to someone out there looking for encouragement. I determined to finish it, even though there are few comments. Right now I am doing it for the Lord, for those few people who may be reading it, and for myself. I still want at least one of my stories to be read, and perhaps this can happen.

My regular blog has become more and more important to me. Just yesterday, I told a friend how special all of my blog friends have become to me. My favorite blogs come from those days when I have nothing to say and I cry, "help Lord." When He gives me a topic and helps me write it, I am amazed that ideas are just out there on trees and the Lord just picks one for me.

For anyone who has ever read my blog or left a comment, thank you from the bottom of my heart. When I changed my background papers the last time, I lost my counter and my countries. Numbers aren't so important, but I loved to see where my readers were from. Perhaps I can get it back some day. For all of my regular readers who so faithfully come back here and share ideas with me, I love you. I pray for you. You are so important to me as friends. Your blogs are open worlds for me. I praise God who thought of all of this marvelous interaction. I hope I can go on for a long time to come. Love, Nancy

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Let's Play Jeopardy

Here is a Jeopardy answer: a toothpick, a match, a business card, a mint. What is the question? What are things that are free?

Besides these very handy things mentioned above, I would like to point out some more interesting varieties of free stuff. When you buy things at some stores, you get a flat bottomed bag with little handles. I think these are cute. I save them for reuse and just because I love the graphics on them. Sometimes, at very nice stores, you get a shopping bag. You usually get shoe boxes.

These are hard economic times. When there wasn't enough money in the budget for magazines, I used to look at the Sunday supplements in the papers. Then I could see what shoes went with what pants and skirts, what colors were in and use those in my wardrobe. This works for furniture store adds, too. You can get a feel for what is new and say, put out your pewter, or all of your white dishes. You get cute ideas like wrapping a cloth napkin around a mug for a bit of pizazz.

Looking in my closet, I realize how much I love colors. Colors are a great marketing tool. Don't they just entice you to pick your favorite? But my clothes would cost just as much in black or white. The color is free to enjoy.

My favorite sort of free things are intangible. I went for a walk with my grandson recently and Michigan trees are all a' bloom a month early this year. Such richness. I saw one pink tree that was so perfectly symmetrical that it almost looked artificial. We passed pristine white blossoms and the beautiful purple crab tree. The park is free. My grandson can swing and laugh and enjoy himself without cost. When I left my babysitting job, I got an unexpected hug from my baby. That was free.

Consider good health. Consider the sun and the moon and the stars. We are all so rich.

I know technically, some of these things do cost money. But I didn't pay anything to see or experience them. "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy." 1 Timothy 6:17 NKJ.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Getting Up and Getting Going

Did you ever get behind schedule with your blogging? I'm afraid that's what has happened to me. I'm just a day or two off, but I just feel my momentum slipping. I made it through all the trials and messes of not having a good computer or in Internet. I made it through the busy days of Christmas and even the funeral. Then all of a sudden, I feel like my balloon has busted. It takes so much energy to get up and get going. I'm sure many of you feel this way when you are working on your novels and books. You are so dedicated and then out of nowhere, the wall runs up and hits you.

I think I know the problem. I'm exhausted. It isn't so much physical since I'm getting more exercise than usual. It's all the mental things in my head that I have to remember. I do write things down, but I just have a "million and one" little things to do and all that makes for mental sluggishness.

One thing I have learned. You just have to start in and then half of the work is done (at least for me it works that way.)

So now I feel much better. I haven't written anything profound, but I am back on track. When I read all of your blogs, your great ideas will get me so excited, I'll be in the swim.

Do you like all these silly metaphors? I a sorry. I'm hoping this won't happen again for a very long time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Memories of Church

Before I leave this topic, I would like to visit once more last weekend. The funeral was at my old Lutheran church where I attended through high school and summers of college. It gave me a "firm foundation." We were in the little chapel portion of the church. There are two gorgeous stained glass windows, The Good Shepherd, and I Stand at The Door and Knock. We also went to the big sanctuary where I used to go for church every Sunday. It looked beautiful, empty, and serene on this day. The windows there are Jesus On The Water With Peter, and Easter Sunday. All around the room are lovely hardwood pews, railings and fixtures. Even the decorations above the alter are carved wood. I now go to a church where which is basically a lovingly fixed up warehouse. It is reverent and serves our purposes. I do miss some of the traditions at times. The funeral hymns we sang were wonderful: "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" and "May Angels Lead with Gentle Hand." This one was new to me. I liked it because I was hoping my Mom might be led on by angels. The first line says, "May angels lead, with gentle hand, your soul into the promised land..." Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I was thinking of the church and how the Lord has allowed me to be a part of several denominations. I love the church. I know that someday, the humanistic element will be strong and be the church talked about in Revelation, but God says "...the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matt.16:18 KJV His church will stand. I am just so thankful for every saint, leader, and pastor who has helped me in my walk. And in spite of the sorrow of the funeral, last weekend was a lovely trip down my spiritual memory lane.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

To The Sweetest Little Mommy In The World

This is a picture of my mother in the early 1940s. She is holding my older sister. We just returned Thursday from her funeral. She died at 97 years of age.

One thing I remember most about her was her faith. She loved to pray and when we went on vacation, she always made sure we found a suitable church to go to. I didn't appreciate it then, but I do now. Also when I went off to college, she sent a subscription to Guideposts magazine to help keep my faith alive. She will never know how much that little magazine changed my life. It put such desire in me for more of the Lord.

My mother used to make us little doll dresses on her Singer Sewing machine. The arm holes were so tiny it was difficult to see how she did it. She added trim and lace. I love to receive them.

We often went to flower gardens in my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio. There we viewed rows and rows of gorgeous flowers, one after another. Little girls get thirsty. Not moms, I guess. She did this at the Rose Garden in Columbus, Ohio, too. She must have gotten so caught up in her favorite thing that she had no physical needs. I know years later, I felt that way about worship.

My dad was the master gardener at our house, winning every award in the books. But my mom was great with violets. She could make a new plant with just a leaf and some roots. She would pinch off old buds and cause new ones to grow. I did not inherit a green thumb from either one.

My son Joseph agrees with me that Mom made one of the best homemade macaroni and cheese dishes of all time. Her Cole slaw and frozen farm corn were tops, too.

My mother had problems with dementia. She did seem to remember me the last time I visited in January. Things were hard for her. I will miss her. I know she is free now and looking on the One she loves. This is my tribute to someone wonderful, my mother.

(In the upper right Christmas picture, Mom has her hand on my little pony tailed head. Notice her cute little half-apron and corsage.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Such A Good Day.

We had a sunny, wonderful Easter around here. My daughter and her fiance were here. My sons and wives and my grandson couldn't make it. We missed them and I hope they had a good time. Small turned out to be very nice. My husband cooked as usual and I helped Dawn and David work on their marriage plans. It was so cute the way they work together so well.

After awhile, Dawn, David and I played a new game. It was fun and easy. I love games and don't get a lot of chance to play them.

There was a time when I used to pack up all my babies and take them to my mother's house for the holiday. By the time our families were finished, my mom had a table full. She even had to add a card table to get us all eating at once. We never had the "kids' table," but whomever wanted sat at the end. We often drove over to a place called Kingwood Center where we were required to walk around and look at nearly all of the flowers. They were always gorgeous.

I would love all of my kids back next year. That would be nice. I love to set up a big table. We need the extra table now, too. Whatever happens, we will be happy for Resurrection Sunday is truly a wonderful day. And the pretty flowers in the picture with me, they were from my sweetheart, the chef.

Friday, April 2, 2010

So Good - Friday

This is a hard day for me. It always has been. My heart breaks when I look at the cross, at what they did to someone I love, at what I did to someone I love. All I can do is say, "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, thank you. Your love is more than I can fathom.

On a gorgeous spring day, I go to church to mourn, to remember, to express my love and gratitude. Oh, the beautiful, wonderful, terrible day. (I think there's a song like that. If not, there should be.)

Another thought, not far away in the back of my mind, wanting to flutter its way out is a wonderful truth. The singer Carmen put it this way, "Sunday's On the Way."

May I extend to all of you my wishes for a happy Easter season. May we all shed the grave clothes and come out to a glorious New Day in the Lord.

(Please check out my new blog: Tell Me A Story at