Knit and Pray

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blessing Two

There are days when I simply have no energy to think of blessings to count. There are days when I cannot find my smile. There are days . . . . well, you probably know what I mean. Sick or exhausted or over whelmed by the to-do list.

That's when I forget to say or think or whisper

Tuesday was one of those days.
      I dragged out of bed at 7 a.m. to help Daughter get ready for her twice a week school for special needs adults. While she dressed, I poured another cup of coffee, looked at the day's schedule, and sighed.  Maybe it was more like a growl. My ole Restless Legs had kept me up, litterally most of the night and a fierce pain pounded in my head. 

      Daughter came in, dressed for her day and a special outing the school had planned. Sunshine filled the kitchen and I could only mumble 'thank you, thank you, oh my thank you'.
My beautiful Gift, dressed for Living Well College class outing
in the school's new tee shirt.

Thank you, Father, that you chose me to be the mother of this remarkable and beautiful and delightful woman who must struggle for the smallest of daily activities but who never gives up. Thank you for the sunshine and joy and abundant love she adds to every single one of my days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Today, my soul is that little hummingbird getting free, life-sustaining nourishment just by drinking from the pen of Gratitude. After all, He provided the nectar; all I have to do is drink. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Thanksgivings Begin Again

Ten months ago I stopped taking time to write down my praises and thanksgivings. I stopped putting them into print.
Why?  I bowed to the dailyness of life. My caregiver role increased and my time and energy decreased. Gradually, I picked up my pen less and less.

Oh well, my thankful spirit is fairly natural and relatively strong so, if I thought about it at all, I’m sure I assumed I could keep my grateful heart without INTENTIONALLY LISTING thanksgivings. You know:  in writing.

My husband's health quickly spiraled downward and my adult daughter with special needs went through a period of additional health challenges.

I was IT.
      Time evaporated.

I don't think I stopped being grateful; there was just too much to do.
Oh ---- and, I am no longer young. Or strong. Or healthy.
The pressure, the stress, the endless to-dos bore down on me. Excuses took hold. Suddenly I got seriously, physically ill.

In addition, I felt, emotionally, just like that old house on our property:

Empty. Dilapidated. Decaying. Weather worn., Forgotten.
The old house surrounded by bare trees and dry weeds and the
old barn that is literally falling down.

It sits alone with nobody to care or repair or visit or water its dead grass.

Yesterday, while sitting in a dark pit, exhausted, I clicked aimlessly through the internet and stumbled (! ? ! ?) onto Shari Dacon's blog on: Writing One Thousand Gifts.
I read. And reread. And remembered.
I found my pen.
     The words flowed like a gushing well. Words of praise and thanksgiving. More. And more.
I wrote each blessing. Intentionally. Many blessings.
    Those many but little repairs and those big projects that God had continued to do.
            All that nourishment for my soul.
                     Those sunsets and gorgeous moons.
                          Those countless loving things our children do to help, to care, to water.
All those mundane life-sustaining blessings our family pours onto us.
            All those thoughtful gestures and prayers offered by friends.

Things that my Holy Father sends to me.
To my family.
To my care receivers.

Today, I smile. 

And I keep going.

And I will continue to write them down.
I will post my blessings. Hopefully others will be encouraged.

“I’m grateful. I am blessed.”

                       Do you write your blessings?

Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will PRAISE you forever; from generation to generation we will PROCLAIM your praise.    (Psalm 79:13)

Love from Liz

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Shrove... What ???

On this Shrove Tuesday, the eve of Ash Wednesday, I share with you my meditations as I prepare for Lent and that sweet time to fully embrace Easter morning.

 It is nice that my grandson is a minister.
        He is young.
                I am old.
                      I taught him about life things and things of the Lord.
                               He teaches me scholarly things and things of the Spirit.

         Last week, said young man posted new [ to me ] information on Face Book about Shrove Tuesday. Intriguing.  Oh yes, I “knew” the word, but not the meaning. I spent considerable time on the website he listed  For a couple of nights, I prayed myself to sleep with things of praise, confession, forgiveness, and celebration buzzing around my mind.

I believe it is good to ponder and remember and practice ancient things.
My interest and confusion grew. Which led me to 

There I learned new [to me] things about old practices. I read:

“Shrove Tuesday is the day of preparation for Lent, that is, the day before Ash Wednesday. The name shrove is derived from the word “shrive.” It is therefore the day when the faithful confess their sins in preparation for the holy fast of Lent. The meaning of this day was explained in the Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes translated from Theodulphus by Abbot Aelfric c.1000 A.D who declared that the week immediately before Lent ‘everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do [in the way of penance].’ So shrovetide is primarily religious, and the same is true of the German Fastnacht (the eve of the fast). “

I find no biblical mandate requiring Christians to observe Shrove Tuesday, but the history of the Christian church is rich with ancient and enduring concepts that are integral parts of today’s worship practices, in both liturgical and no-liturgical churches as believers bow down and/or raise hands in worship before the One Triune God.

Such as: Praise:
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now, and will be forever. Amen. 

Such as: Confession:
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.    James 5:16

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Such as: Celebration
Rejoice with me, I have found my lost sheep. Luke 15:11

This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Such as: Feasting
 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and make merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Luke 15:24

          No, our family does not dine on stacks of pancakes and bacon in order to use up the last of the sugars, eggs, fats, and dairy that were traditionally prohibited during the fasting of lent. And, as I yearn to dwell in the House of my Lord, I wonder if the simple act of serving pancakes with bacon at supper might spark a conversation that will help us enter Lent in a more meaningful way.
          Truth be told, my particular family will not sup on pancakes. We don’t do wheat well. We control our sugar intake—as much as we love that larapin delicious, good ole Maple Syrup. Butter is consumed only in regulated amounts and bacon is almost non-existent in our modern, senior citizen diet.
          However, tonight as we partake of a healthy salad we will celebrate God’s remarkable love; we will remember His Grace, practice cleansing, offer confession, and accept forgiveness.

Tonight, I will end my day contemplating things I can do or change or not do in order to offer thanks and praise to my Lord Jesus Christ during the precious days of Lent.

I pray that your Shrove Tuesday blessed you.
                                That His love surrounded you.
                                               That you found Grace and Mercy at the 
                           Throne of our Living God.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Looking at Dirty Dishes in a New Way

              It’s my mother’s fault. Back about 70 years ago, she began to teach me to ‘do it now’ and to never leave a sink full of dirty dishes. Great teacher. Hard lessons. Because....

·       There are days that try the souls of old ladies.
·       There are times when one more step seems impossible.
·       There are hours when the tears are barely contained behind itchy, tired eyelids.

          Of course, I can only speak for this old lady. So, while the house is settled I sneak off to my little office. It is where I do some serious prayer/thinking/contemplating/pondering. My knurled fingers click as thoughts congeal and I remember.

Jesus has my back.

          I stop to review a few of Paul’s powerful and life-sustaining words.

If you are like me, you probably know the words I'm talking about “by heart.” But I read them again anyway. You know the ones…. Over in the book of Romans, all the way to the 8th chapter, and keep going to the very end verses: 38 and 39.
          The first reading in old faithful King James wasn’t enough so I checked the words out in The Living Bible, in J.B. Phillips New Translation, and in The Message.


 How do I forget such MEGA love & power & absoluteness & might & CERTAINTY ??

Oh! Because I am a normal, run-of-the-mill, weak, sinful, human.

But, OH, JOY!!! Even my forgetting can keep God’s love away.

 Not big things or bad things or those little daily things—that irritating pebble in the shoe things—those knife in the heart things.

With apologies to Paul, there are even more THINGS that absolutely will NEVER keep God from loving or forsaking me.

·                 a sink-full of dirty dishes
·                 over-flowing dirty laundry bins
·                 income tax / number crunching time for this word person
·                 a day filled with doctors’ appointments on a bitterly cold day with drizzling rain
·                 lifting the walker out of the car for the fifth time in one day

Jesus doesn’t go away even when the ragweed and cedar and mold allergens rage and makes my body ache and cough and not sleep.

No, our Master and King did not promise a perfect life without heartache, trials, burdens. I don’t pretend to grasp His authority, the fullness of His being the beginning and the end. I can’t begin to comprehend His sovereignty.

          Step by Step
          Mile by Mile
          Trial by Trial

He makes it abundantly clear that

Y       I am His child &
Y       He cares for me &
Y       He keeps me going &
Y       He listens and He hears &
Y       Provides surprises at every painful turn.

I pray diligently that we will watch for and SEE God’s gifts, especially in the hard stuff.
    Blessings and Hugs