Monday thought

Almost always inspired by anything I read from C.S. Lewis. Great words for a Monday:

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
― C.S. LewisMere Christianity

pulling weeds

After the busyness of the past several weeks, I've finally had time to turn my attention to tending little things like my weed garden flowerbed.

I've been doing battle with this tree across the street for months.

In some strange Hawaii autumn-like phase, it's been dropping millions of tiny leaves and big evil pods like mad all over our yard, vehicles, and house. Every day I would sweep, every day it would drop more leaves, and so on. I will give the tree credit for winning. It just wore me down!

Now that the tree seems to be finished raining down its daily mess, I realized it was high time I pulled the few weeds I saw last week and cleaned up the front bed. Yikes.

It was much worse than I thought. I guess the tropical warmth and the extra rain we've had lately have multiplied those few weeds.

This became time-consuming pretty quickly. I'm obviously not a good gardener. I do love the results of gardening, but tend to forget to get around to the upkeep of it, so we don't need to discuss the number of plants that have met an untimely death under my watch. However, once I get working outside, I quickly remember how much I do enjoy it. I love the quiet, the time for thinking, the connection with nature. So I got digging around pretty good with my little rake. In my zeal, I accidentally pulled a good plant up by its roots, and I'm pretty certain I touched cat poo at one point.

The younger me would have been frustrated that I let it get this bad, berated myself over the thought that if I had just worked on it a little bit at a time, it wouldn't have become such a big job...I've been told that the inside of your purse and the state of your yard show the state of your mind, and to that I say: oh well.

Today, I chose to focus on the growth. Those plants were only inches tall when we arrived at this house, and look at them now! It is a bit like my life...quite a few cares and little irritations and yet, growth. Not perfection, a bit messy, but yes indeed, some good growth is going on.

And at the end of it all, I found this perfect little nest blown down from the big tree. We can miss these little things if we fret too much.

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.  ~Author Unknown

After the rain...

We've had some record-breaking heat in this part of the world over the past several weeks. The temps even went over 100 at least one day--and remember, here in Germany, we have no such thing as air conditioning. Tonight, we had a nice little cool-down, and a rainshower. The air feels wonderfully cool, and after the rain stopped, I stepped outside for a moment and spied a big beautiful rainbow. Then a double rainbow appeared. Such a nice little reminder of God's mercies!

'snapshot' mentality

You know, it's interesting, this whole Facebook phenomenon. I have heard from and seen photos of people I haven't heard from or seen in 15-20 years, the past month since I signed up. Sometimes the reunions are a bit shocking ("you're doing WHAT?" "you married WHO?"), and others I am not surprised at all, the course a life took. There are even some people (darn them) who don't look like they've aged a bit.

I must admit a certain amount of chagrin at some of the 'reunions'. A memory of a more immature me, words I'd like to have said or left many things. And I hope they don't only remember me in that way. We've all changed and grown since back then, I like to think.

It reminds me to let other people grow, change, be free of whatever label they had when I last knew them. And also to give grace to my own kids as they struggle through these awkward years of growing, as they learn to find their own identities. It can be a messy, difficult process. And I need to be reminded to not label them as 'the one who always forgets his wallet' (well, he does), or the 'dramatic' one, or...well, you get it.

You probably have some of them too. It's hard not to take a mental 'snapshot' of someone, even our own children, then always think of them that way. I seem to recall Diana Waring mentioning this in her book Reaping the Harvest. Good stuff.

I still maintain after 17 years of parenting, that the most difficult part for me is in the knowing how much and when to let go. After all, their purpose is to become their own people, walking their own walk with God. Grace. It goes a long way.

Funny things

We've spent a lot of time sorting out closets and papers this weekend. (one would think that if one moved every year or two, one wouldn't have to still do this, but one would be wrong)

I came across this great quote in one of my calligraphy books, penned by my Grandma B. It still makes me laugh:

"They've sat on the truth for so long, by now...they've mashed the life out of it."