Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rejoice And Be Glad

When awake in the night; dark doubts trouble the bed;
  Rejoice and be glad;
Pillow your head
  on God's promise,
  "He giveth His beloved sleep."
Rejoice and be glad, though thou weep.

Joy comes in the morning; the sun rises, fair;
  Rejoice and be glad
  that God's Spirit is there
  to open the eyes to His living Word;
"Rejoice and be glad", still is heard.

This is the day which the Lord has made;
  Rejoice and be glad
  that Jesus has bade
  us to "come unto" Him, His rest He will give;
Rejoice and be glad, while you live.

Around may be trials; though temptations abound;
  Rejoice and be glad!
'Casting all your care', hear it resound
  in your ears; in the heart
  of the child of God still;
Rejoice and be glad; do His will.                             ~Cyndy

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Garden, All Around Us

"Behold, I have given you every herb," on the ear of the child in His garden, fell.
His herb and fruit, our meat, indeed!

I gathered the last of the spruce tips- all that my patience cared to endure. It was easier to pick a bouquet of mint at the top of the driveway, which I also did. Mint tea has long been my favorite but Spruce has now taken its place. Perhaps it is because it is "only for a season", though I did just put a cookie sheet full in the freezer, to zip into a baggie for Winter! MUCH easier than picking berries, I will admit. There are not prickers to grab hold of you, but you also don't get the pleasure of a mouthful of sweet berries every so often...hmm! One thing I do like better about picking spruce tips; you do it in Spring, rather than late summer AND there are no bears picking on the other side of the tree. I wonder, do bears eat these vitamin C packed beauties when they come out of hibernation, hungry? I will have to look it up.

I considered titling this post, A Bear in Our Garden, but it didn't quite capture the essence of that I was trying to say.

Syd said that there was a bear passing through on Saturday night. He (the bear, not Syd) was hooting in the yard below the house, perhaps calling to "Buck buck", our rooster. Sturm was too scared to bark, but Ruger did a lot of growling and got quite upset. Mr. Bear moved along to the other side of the house and then they didn't hear him again. I was talking to a neighbor, though, who had been nurturing her little rosemary plant along all Winter, using fish water. While she was on the phone, in the middle of the day, here comes a bear sauntering across her porch. He grabbed the plant and headed for the woods while she stood in the window watching him. They're hungry right now, for sure. Keep your eyes open.

Last night Syd and I took a walk up to the asparagus patch which we share with Mom. There were several spears and even a few that had already gone to seed. We will enjoy some for our dinner tonight and will take some up to Mom for her lunch tomorrow also.

The bounty of Tuesday night; asparagus and also a handful or two of spruce, for some evening tea
I am thankful that the Lord has put us in the country where there is a garden all around us. My Grammy Vannah was a wildcrafter in the mountains of Virginia. As a child and young adult she dug and gathered roots and herbs to be sold to the man with the truck, who came round periodically. He would weigh the bounty and pay them the going rate. I inherited a book called, Grannie's Remedies, that is full of natural cures. Grammy and Grandpa had a floor to ceiling bookshelf. When I would visit, this was my book of choice. I was so glad when Grammy said that I could have it when she moved to a small apartment. She is with the Lord now, but I am thankful for the times that we sat together and talked about her experiences of younger days. I only wish we had done it more.

Okay, I just took quite a parentheses, and now I KNOW I have bears on the brain!! Over a half hour ago, while typing, I heard a "hoo- hoo" -ing outside which got Sturm to barking and running to the window from the couch. Ruger barked once and growled, outside. I ran to the window of the door, to see Mom standing up on the road with her hands cupped to her mouth. When I opened the door she said, "Did you hear me 'whooo-hooo' ?" It left me laughing so hard as my heart slowed down it's heavy beating! I decided we would walk her back up to the top of the hill. While there, Sturm managed to find a small spot of mud, in the middle of nowhere, which he got down and rolled in. His back, shoulder, head and ear were covered in stinky mud! Needless to say, he got a bath on the stone step outside the door, then had to get his ear flushed out with Oti-wash, and dried. It took me back to the days when Mom would stand me in a pail and wash me off before letting me back into the house after a long, dirty afternoon. I probably do not actually remember these toddler days, except that she had someone take a picture, probably Dad.

The coffee is now made and dinner is planned and I'm back to finish off this rambling post. I hear Syd backing into the driveway, so will finish up quickly.

Last night Syd put our cuckoo clock back together, which we had had in storage for a few years. It was given to us by a dear couple, the Kahlaus, as a housewarming gift. We miss the Kahlaus very much and thank them for this lovely German cuckoo clock. It was a joy to again hear the little bird pop out on the hour and the half hour, even through the entire night.

We hope you have a peaceful night. I guess putting that clock together wore him out (not to mention a hard day at work). This was the scene after supper last evening. Tonight is prayer meeting - a blessed time to get together with some of the church family to read the Bible together and pray for one another.
Now it is time to get supper together and prepare to leave by 6:00. Thanks for stopping by the Hill.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pour You Out a Blessing

When the nation of Israel obeyed God, He always rained down His blessings upon them. This verse was written to them, but praise God, He has grafted believing Gentiles into the "root and fatness of the olive tree" and allowed us to become His children by believing on Jesus Christ, the Jew's Messiah - trusting His once-and-for-all sacrifice to take away sin! So, though it was written for a different dispensation than ours, this verse is a special one to us also...

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10

We have been so very blessed by the Lord this week! A dear couple, the Cs, are in the process of selling us a true gem! It is covered here, due to the rain that is coming down. Syd's desire for oh-so-many years has been to own a small tractor - and HERE IT IS! It came with both a snowblower and a roto-tiller! On Monday afternoon Syd was able to go and till up the Pastor's garden then he spent some time up alongside our road, getting the weeds (which would have taken me hours and hours to dig) tilled out. Though the rains threatened today, I wanted to get out there and rake out some of the dandelions before they take root again. Yes, they are an edible and good-for-you food, Aunt Jan, but they had invaded my roadside and threaten to all go to seed and spread even further!

Though the skies above were quite gray, it was a cool time to rake through the loosened dirt and get at those weeds. Once the rains did begin, the dogs really wanted to retreat to the house. I do love working in the rain, but decided to go in and enjoy a cup of spruce tip tea while the spruce tips have not gotten too far along. I sweetened it with my violet syrup this time.

Syd made a dark chocolate/raspberry cake for the weekend and it's going to be great with tea! I can't tell whether Sturm wants a piece of cake or wishes to go curl up for a nap. He looks quite sleepy  here.

Whether God sends physical blessings our way or not, we can rejoice in His salvation and in the spiritual blessings He send to us daily. We are just so very thankful for this special tractor and pray that we use it to glorify God. Thanks Mrs C and to your dear hubby who has gone on to be with our Lord. What a blessing it will be to be together with all of our loved ones in our Heavenly Home someday!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Etched In Our Hearts

What is green and glistening in early morning, but golden and dry by midday?  - - - a field of dandelions.

As I drove down the Center Road this morning, I thought, "someone mowed that field." but then of course I realized that the dandelions had just closed up in the darkness and dew, awaiting the sun to open and light them up again. When I returned home at noon, there was the entire field alight with yellow gold. I could just imagine skimming over it and letting the dandelions tickle my arms and feet! I can still remember the soft, feathery feel as it touches the skin, though I have not tickled myself with one since I was a child. It is amazing, these sensations that are etched into our memories.

Etched in my heart and mind...
When Syd and I moved "up home" (as Grandpa's house was always referred to), one of the first things I noticed was the pungent, sweet, spicy smell of the brook. It is only here that I have ever experienced this scent and I had always known it, since a young child. If it could be bottled, the perfume would be a great seller!

The memory of leisurely preschool days spent with Mom has followed me through the years. When I was in grade school I used to wish for those days again; just me and Mom, taking long walks and exploring the woods. This instilled in me the love of being at home. I would watch other children get off the school bus at the end of a day and wonder what kind of homes and parents they had, always thankful that I had a place like mine to go home to. And still, there is nothing like returning "home" after a long day or, better yet, of being able to be there all day long.

They say that you can "never go home again", but in a sense God has given me the privilege of doing so, with Mom now living close by and spending many afternoons with her - where we can still go walking and exploring the woods together.

"Home" describes a place where we "belong" and where our family is. There is no better place that  pictures this than Heaven, for a Christian. The most wonderful thing to have etched in our hearts is the Lord Jesus Christ who shed his blood on the cross, taking the death that we should have died for sin, then rising from the grave as conqueror! As a child of God's family, I am just pilgriming through this life and have the wonderful promise of eternity at Home with God.

until we get there...
Ours is a small cabin at the edge of the woods. Late this past winter I recall taking the dogs out on a crisp night and turning to look at the house while it sat like a huge luminary, the light of a single candle within, pushing its way through the designs that were clipped from its surface. I could think of nothing else to compare it to but this. The light that poured out the doorway resembled an illuminated pathway, welcoming me back in again.

These words come to mind as I think back on it...
Through the darkness a distant place is seen;
Golden rays of welcoming fingers stream
  out through its portals. Like moonbeams gleam
  on a still, small body of mirrored lake; or sheen
  of sun on glass; as night, serene.         ~ Cyndy

A painting by Thomas Kinkade, 'painter of light'

We all have sweet memories etched into the being of our souls. I hope that you can reflect on some today and that they will bring you pleasure.

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name." Revelation 3:12