Friday, December 3, 2010

My Basil Plant and the Manger

     I posted my first advent blog late Saturday night. It lacked Advent Joy because I felt "down" and wrote about my blahs. Sure enough things would head down hill.

But, during church the next morning I remembered:
The 1st week of Advent reminds us to HOPE.
      Still couldn't shake the "yuk' feeling. I moped around Sunday afternoon, pondering Hope, and searching for my usual Christmas Mode.
     Monday dawned bright and clear--outside. I decorated the porches then Gus and I worked together down at the road adding a few bedraggled colored lights to our entrance gate. Another freeze was on the way, so I deep-watered our new Texas Sage bushes and  Bradford Pear tree.
     Our fresh air day ended with the TV blaring: Allergy Report: MOLD ALERT! Yes, even in drought-stricken Texas, we get seasons of dry mold that keep doctors in practice.
But, I held onto Hope.
     Tuesday, the wind hit. Hard. North. Loud. Blustery. Cold. I could not cancel Melinda's medical appointments, so out we went. In and out. Out and in.
Finally, back home, I made a pot of my famous chicken stew. It has been reported that Liz's Chicken Stew has mighty healing powers. The stew was good but lacked something. Anyway, by bedtime, my throat was sore. But thoughts of Hope lingered.
     Wednesday I was SICK. I cancelled our adopted Lab's first vet visit and crawled back under the covers. Our little 55-pound Ava was grateful for the reprieve and when Gus's repaired 4-wheel scooter was delivered, she ran around the property chasing Dear Heart and being a free, country dog. (I did not yet understand 'being a country dog.')
     The day had been long and coughing into my elbow, I made a double batch of Kathy's Minestrone Soup which is guaranteed to carry strong medicinal properties.While the soup simmered, Gus went to church, Melinda and I huddled on the couch watching a Christmas movie. Ava ate her supper and promptly threw up every morsel. Hope seemed to slip through my fingers.
I took a dose of left-over cough medicine and slept all night.
     Thursday, Ava and I dragged ourselves to the vet. Dr. K laughed, gave her a shot and said, "She'll recover. By the smell of her breath, she was just being a country dog (!!)and ate something stinky. Give her these pills, wrapped in treats, tomorrow."
     Back home, I noticed my prize, Lemon Verbena. Dead. I had taken extra pains to baby my beautiful herb, treated it with vitamins, and wrapped it tightly against nature's blast. Yet, the second freeze took it out.

*sigh* Inside, I found the bunch of pills my people doctor sent for me to take and all of us relaxed a little over steaming bowls of left-over Liz's Stew.

     Then I remembered my Basil Plant. Stew is drab without fresh basil. Winter is harsh without fresh basil.
"And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My HOPE is in Thee." Psalm 39:7

Fresh Basil thrives in our wunny guest room for the long months of winter.

     So, somehow, among sore throats and upset stomachs, killing freezes and harsh winds, a prayer list too long with needs of hurting friends, cancer and pain, worry and doubt, God IS hope and every day--day in and day out--His sweet peace wraps around us and comforts and gives us strength to start over tomorrow.

May you be wrapped in His perfect love and enjoy ALL the blessings of HOPE.

Let us welcome our Lord Jesus Christ with unspeakable joy.