Friday, May 25, 2012

Three Little Stories

I was feeling down as I do occasionally, and three things happened.  I got a letter from a friend who told me about a video she had seen which showed God's glory in an amazing way.  I believe God heals just as he did in the Bible days.  I have missionary reports that prove this.  So the thought of God's wonderful presence to heal and to wash over hungry hearts just reminded me of what I so ardently adhere to.

I also was reading a devotional and one line stood out helping me to just trust God to fix a tricky situation.  I took it to heart believing that He could do what He said he would do.  Once my faith gets a hold of that kite tail, I just soar in the heavenlies where I belong.

A few days later, I read a very good book which was off my beaten path, genre-wise.  When I finished it, I realized that it is possible to spread God's word in a way that reaches hearts without seeming preachy.

These three little stories help me realize that my life and your life are not insignificant.  If you are feeling that your little weight for God's Kingdom doesn't count for much, think again.  All these three people did was use their gifts for God and share them.  Hey, I can do that.  You can do that.  One little word of encouragement that there is a God who loves them and can help them and they can help too, is all it takes to lift another person heaven-ward. Soon, the whole sky will be full of kites with happy people holding to the tails and singing praise to our great God.   

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Revisiting Alcott

I just finished rereading the March family chronicles, better known as Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott.  I enjoyed them very much, but something disturbed me about myself and society.  Alcott had several themes which she wove into most of her books: "sensible fashion." temperance, morality, phillanthropy, rights for women, and her own ideas in education.  Sometimes, her narrative of the story stops almost completely while she puts out a chapter on one of her topics.  

Here is what bothers me:  I first read most of her books when I was in my teens, even my late teens.  I was a very "square" little person.  I always wanted to do what was right and tried very hard to be good.  These books were such a find.  As an almost non-reader, I found not only great friends in her pages, but ideas that I agreed with and which guided me for a long time.  As I grew older, each time I read them, I would find myself more bored by the "preaching" parts.  Have I gone so wrong?  Has society gotten so dark that her lessons are completely outdated?  I hope that is not the case.  Perhaps it is just the writing style that has changed.  Modern books do have "issues" in them, but they tend to be character driven and so a child reader might not feel as much preached at as in Alcott's books.  I, myself, often feel that someone has been on a soapbox, even with the newer styles.  It seems that writers with a passion just have to put out what they feel.

And so I think that is my answer.  Louisa May Alcott had every right to put her heart into  her books.  Along the way, she created some of my all time favorite characters.  One of the best things about her is that when she does get into naarrative mode, she is the best.  Her romances are full of wit, warmth, surprises, and just the right amount of pulling things together for a happy ending.  Her books are still in print, in spite of the values which have surely changed.  Some of her dreams have been realized.  She would like that. Some have not.
So why do I read old books in the first place when there are so many new ones out there?  I do read newer books and there are many I enjoy.  I think I keep going back because, in spite of the fact that I am no longer such an innocent, and the styles are sometimes difficult, there is just such a peacefulness, a pleasure in being in a more simple time.  It's as much an escape as a fantasy.  And with Alcott's Marches, I feel that I am visiting family.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What would you do if...........?

I would like to propose a dilemma to you:

While at the store today, I was just looking around and I saw a sign for greeting cards which indicated that all cards by a certain company were 25% off.  Cards were the one thing I did have on my list for the day.  I had planned to go to the discount store next door and get them but thought it would save time if I bought everything in one stop and the sale was pretty good.

  Well at the checkout, I asked a very kind and sweet young man if the cards were on sale.  Not a single one was sale priced and I  had selected from several different locations.  "If these aren't on sale, you should take that sign down," I said in a calm voice.  My anger was aroused because I hate it when this happens.  I hate the injustice, but I hate what it does to me more.  He asked if I still wanted them.  I take time to pick out greeting cards.  Don't you? (smile)  "Yes, I need them," I answered.  While he was ringing up my purchases, I had time to calm down and get myself right.  Sales are fun and bargain hunting is in my blood.  It's not about the money, it's about the principle of the thing.  When he was finished, I paid it all and told him I was sorry and not to say anything about it.

I know some of you are bargain hunters.  Do you complain when you think you are getting a sale and you don't?  My daughter never questions the register and she has been overcharged several times.  I am at the other end.  I'm thinking of changing my attitude to: if you don't want to pay the price quoted,  just don't get that item and buy the rest.

So now I want to know.....what would you do?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spring Things

This is just one of those times when things are going crazy. I went to my blog and the phone rang.  I had a long conversation with my sister.  Then I got started again and the phone rang again.  Well, now we are doing fine.

My daughter, Dawn, went back home to Tennessee after being here for two weeks.  We had such fun shopping and playing "Nerd Games."  One day, for something different, I got out my craft box and we both made something.  She created an outfit on a wee hanger so small you could put it on a note card. I made a collage.  It's always fun to work together.  Taking Dawn home, I got to go past my Alma Mater, Bowling Green State University on the way going and coming.  It is always fun to see how much the town has been built up since I left many years ago.

Now I am entering on my big Spring cleaning of '12.  I managed to get the kitchen cleaned in two days.  That was a bit of a  push as I usually need three days for that.  Now it's done and looks sparkly.  I hope to do two to three rooms a week until I'm done at the end of May.  Once I set myself a task like this, I get tunnel vision and don't like to be disturbed.  If I do get an interruption, I'll just have to go into June, but I hope that doesn't happen.

In June, I'd like to do some more creating.  I'm not sure what, but something.  Spring just has that "get going" feel about it.  I may put in a small flower garden the first week, but my attempts at gardening last year left much to be desired.  I don't know if it is the soil or just my lack of ambition to be out there working.

I'm babysitting the two boys (remember my two two-year-olds?)  That has been fun and exciting.  I am only needed once a week or so for the summer, so that's why I have time to think of other persuits.

Hope everything is well with all of you.  Have you any plans to continue Springtime fun?