Friday, December 9, 2011

Different Sides of the Hill

This large maple tree still stands in the back yard of Grammy and Grandpa's house. The house is now inhabited by new owners, but I pass this tree alongside the road every day on my way from and to home.  I love this contemplative picture of my mother as a teenager. It would be two years yet before she married my father. I wonder what she was dreaming about on this day.

At the same time there was a young man growing up just over the hill, in the neighboring town of Strafford. As soon as he finished high school he followed the call to serve his country.  Here he is pictured in Paris, France. It would be only two years before he meets this young lady from Vershire.  My own history began because they married in 1947.

As I look at these two pictures I like to imagine that they were thinking about one another, though they had not yet met.  Or perhaps they were contemplating that special "someone" whom they would meet in the not-so-distant-future.  The one with which they would spend the rest of their life on earth together.

As I was viewing these two photos this morning these are the things I was thinking about and just wanted to share it and would love to perhaps know your opinion on it too.

On your way up to Darling Hill you passed the spot where Mom was standing, just across the road from the barn.  When I first moved to Vershire I often cried as I passed "through the farmyard", remembering the many happy years spent there, when the road was still dirt and most of the traffic was a hay truck or tractor. During the winter, Grandpa would take me way up by the West field where we would get on the "travis" (a long runner-sled) and slide down the road, past the barn and (hopefully) stop at the main road. That was so much fun! 

Having spent over 12 years here now, only an occasional tear comes to my eye. I do wonder, however, the amount of memories my mother sorts through as she travels between her childhood house and the barn several times a week.

Grandpa, Grammy and Dad are gone on to heaven now and we are left alone to go through the old memories and these snapshots in our mind. That is what I am doing today and I'm thankful for the precious childhood God has given me and for these two people who made a most wonderful impact on  my life.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Silence and Stillness

Have you ever walked out into a very black night; no stars, no moon to light the way? There are those few nights in a summer that we leave the campfire a little too late, to find ourselves out on the very dark path home. Actually I love it and am certainly never afraid. The only thing that unnerves me is the thought of stumbling upon a skunk in the way. The other pitfall in our case is that we have a very black dog who has the habit of cutting in front of his walking partner. 

One very moonless night we decided to head out for a walk. Syd carried a flashlight but did not plan to use it unless needed. As we groped our way up what we believed to be the road we spied a bright green spot glowing on the ground ahead.  We needed to dig down into the sand to locate this very tiny object. Once I had gotten it into my palm Syd shone the flashlight on it. This piece of phosphorous was barely bigger than the end of a pencil lead yet it had shone through the sand so brightly. It reminded me of my light as a chrstian. No matter what gets piled upon my life, I am still to let my light shine, a reflection of Christ's life that lives in me. Mine may be a 'small' life, but it should be bright and shiny for Him! "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  Jesus said in Matt. 5:16.

There is such a great stillness and silence in the dark.  As we walk, we talk little, just listen to the quiet. There is an occasional night bird and always the babbling brook or wind rustling through the tops of trees along the ridge.

Yesterday I was reading from the gospel of John about the account of Lazarus' sickness and death. Verse 6 says, "When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days in the same place where He was."
Even Mary made the statement to Jesus, after Lazarus' death, that if He had been there, Lazarus would not have died. I know that Mary and Martha wondered why Jesus stayed away during their time of distress, but He had already stated to the disciples, "Our friend, Lazarus, sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep."  Jesus meant to bring God glory in letting Lazarus die. God was glorified greatly when Lazarus was told to "come forth!" from the place of his burial.

I read about this in a small devotional by Oswald Chambers where he states, "God's silences are His answers. Think of those days of absolute silence in the home of Bethany...Time is nothing to God...If Jesus is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, He will give you the first sign of His intimacy - silence.

I have experienced the silence of God at times in my own life. These are periods of waiting on Him in prayer and great growth as long as we focus on the Lord and not upon ourselves.  Chambers goes on to say, "A wonderful thing about God's silence is that the contagion of His stillness gets into you and you become perfectly confident -'I know God has heard me'. His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into a marvelous understanding of Himself." 

Whether or not God gives you the exact thing that you asked for in prayer is of no consequence. In our home our prayer has been, "Make all my heartstrings in tune with your own", or "thy will, not mine be done". There is a spiritual song that says, "thank you for the things you withhold."  Not everything that we ask for is necessarily good for us. In the lack of these particular things comes the glory of God!  Remember, God sent Israel "their heart's desire, but sent leanness into their soul."  The last thing that I want is leanness in my soul.

I read in Mark 3 that as Jesus lay asleep in the hinder part of the ship "the waves beat into the ship, and it was now full". When the disciples woke Him and He rebuked the winds, He asked, 'why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? During Jesus time of silence the disciples could have drawn on the greatness and protection that God had and would continue to give them. It is recorded there for us and is a good reminder that our great God is over all and greater than any situation we can ever find ourselves in.

In the quietness of the morning is a good time to reflect upon these spiritual things. A special "calm" may seem more evident due to the darkness outside and the stillness that encloses while the rest of the house sleeps. I am so thankful for these physical silent times, but even more thankful for God's occasional 'silence' and the stillness that it brings into my soul.  The more that God brings me through, spiritually, the closer we draw together - my Lord and I.

Don't be afraid to be in the darkness with Him. He guides us through it and brings us into the brightness again - a stronger, shining light for His glory!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our Saturday

Many of you, our friends, have asked how Saturday went. We did have a wonderful time at the sale. The most fun was meeting people, seeing their beautiful wares and we met several people who shared our faith in the Lord Jesus also, which is always a joy.
The cards/artwork table with one of the "cat placemats" on it...seemed to catch people's eye. I sold two and got 3 additional orders for dog/cat mats.
Here's Syd tying some earrings. He always sets up to do tying at the shows. People seem to enjoy watching, as do I. Each "fly" is a little work of art in itself.  One particular earring sold most, the "Gray Pheasant Peacock" feather. He tied some pairs as people went to lunch, then returned to purchase them.
Then the mats hung on our backdrop divider.
The following are the latest styles of pen and ink notecards. We have 20 designs now. This is the 'wildlife series'...oops, I left out the moose, sorry. 

I sold a Spotted owl print. My favorite is the SawWhet Owl, below.

We thank the Lord for his wonderful blessings and for hands that can work and produce "fruit" (as in , 'the fruit of her hands' of Proverbs 31).  I hope that this day is blessed and that, by God's grace, you'll be a blessing to someone else along the way. Thanks for stopping on "the hill" to see what's going on.