Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Picture in the Birches

We are praising the Lord for safety that He has given through recent floods and high winds. In the recent hurricane, only the end of our road was lost for a short period of time, rendering travel to the hilltop impassable, but it was fixed before noon the following day. We lost power for less than 24 hours and are very thankful for high ground!

As we looked over the property on the hill after the storm we saw no damage from the winds. Even the graceful and tender birches survived the blasts, though we saw two that seem to be having a rough go of it. The most recent winter ice storms have bent them low and now we see their leaves, small and withered. Upon closer inspection, the bark shows cracking up the entire length of the trunk. Birches are resilient in so many ways, able to bend to the ground, often without breaking, and then return to their upright position again. In studying them I see a wonderful lesson.

On the way to the Hill, we pass by a stand of birches on a nearby neighbors' property that was cleared of many pines and a few hardwoods which had stood between the lithe and graceful, white beauties.  These particular birches had grown extremely tall and had most of their leaf-growth at their tops.   Through the years since the thinning, these poor birches have lost many of their branches; appearing as though someone had taken clippers and performed a very poor pruning job.  Some have toppled over and others have been  snapped off by high winds.  They had been sheltered by other trees for so many years and had grown extremely tall in their attempt to reach for the sun.  Once their support system was taken away, they yielded to the beatings of wind and weather.

The birch stand on Darling Hill had started out in a clear field.  Their thick trunks are solid and roots are well grounded.  These did not grow nearly as tall because they have had ample sun throughout their entire lives.  The branches begin only eight or ten feet up from the ground and are sturdy enough to hold the weight of the heavy snows that are oft put upon them.  Only the thick coatings of ice that adhere to them one or two times a winter will lay certain long branches and an occasional leaning tree right down to the ground.  These thirty weathered pioneers have had little support from others around them.  They've been through the winds and storms with only the help of the sun and rain to feed and nurture them along.

What a picture of resilience!   It reminds me of a passage from Galatians chapter 6.  Verse 2 says, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  Verse 4 goes on to say, "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For every man must bear his own burden."  This is not a contradiction at all.  We must each bear our own burden; depending upon the Son and His Word for our nurture and strength.  There are times when we do need the support of others; or times when we ourselves need to lend our support to others.  Neither we nor they should depend solely upon the support of other people though.   We are put through trials for a reason.  When we stand alone, with only the Lord, these trials serve to "prove" us and ready us for others that may still be to come.   Romans 5: 3-5 says, "tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience hope; and hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

Lord, may I stand alone for you; depending upon you, the Son, to shed your light upon me.  When you bring the support of another along, use it to point my eyes back up to you.  Thank you for the help of loved ones and for the opportunities you give to let me lend a shoulder to another also.

I'm  thankful for the picture drawn from the beautiful birches.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We're Baaaacckkk!

How I've missed writing a post on the blog.  I am still alive but working many hours and just can not concentrate on too many things at once - sad, I know.  If it involves anything I really have to THINK about and be creative with, I must have silence! I'm laughing.

Actually, too many days away from my house does truly throw me all off.  I am a home body and like to shoot for at least three days a week at home.  This has not happened for some time.  It was so nice to have yesterday - yet, did you see a post on the blog? NO!

We used Labor Day to labor.  Though it was raining, it didn't matter.  Syd set up an Easy-up tarp outside the front door and backed his truck partially under it.  There he set up his table saw and put his chop saw on the tailgate, and away we went!

The construction treads were still on our stairs and everything was still open.  When Coco comes to visit I always feared losing her down through a hole and having to fish her trembling little body out from under the stairway.  Today Syd remedied the situation.

As you can see...such an improvement!

My project was in the kitchen.  We had bought used cupboards, so did not really mind what they looked like, just that they were actual wood.  I had always intended to paint them but, like so many things, had not gotten to it yet!  I had used this same linen paint on the couch Syd built and also the "center island" which is partly in this kitchen picture.  I cannot believe how much it has lightened up the whole space!  

and now....

So, as you can see, this post today was not at all my normal "reflective writing" - I guess I have to ease back into it gradually.

I am sorry for those of you who kept checking.  I heard from some of you.  I felt bad that I just had nothing to share, or not enough time to put it down on paper (or computer).  Lord willing, I will be setting aside quiet time in the next two weeks.  I hope you haven't given up on us on The Hill.  Autumn is starting to peep through; so many leaves are already changing.  It is my favorite time of the year.

I hope you have a wonderful day and we'll be talking soon!