Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Stuff and New Mercies...Great is Thy Faithfulness

Some of the things that we ordered several months ago and have been on back order began arriving this week.  The Fed Ex man has made two trips today and the UPS man should be delivering a box by the end of the day.  This is so much fun!  I had kind of taken a mini break from adding anything to the house.  We still have two critical items to take care of, trundle bed mattress and window coverings for the casita bedroom.  For right now stained glass is helping the situation in the casita windows but when we bought them this was not the glass' intended use. 

With thoughts turning toward spring this first week of February, I've really been missing my mom.  Spring was her favorite time of year and she would have already been planning what she'd be planting in the coming months.  My parent's backyard was beautiful with the full on rush of color backed up by the ubiquitous green of shrubs and trees.  She had various vines trailing up trellises and archways.  Her gardening was one of the last things that Alzheimer's took from her.  It's just so sad to see the backyard now when I go see my dad.  Of course bleak mid-winter doesn't help but still it is not even close to the former glory of the garden.  To help me celebrate my mom today, I fixed a grilled cheese sandwich in her honor, complete with sliced dill pickles and baked chips.  A tradition established as a child and carried long into my adult years.  If I came by before, at or after lunch my mom always volunteered to fix me a grilled cheese with tart pickle chips to complete the gourmet treat.  I ate my sandwich in silence today, since Buddy was currently taking her late noon day nap and I looked out the windows onto the courtyard and thought about container plantings and maybe a trellis or two.  Of course I am going to have to consult with professionals on what plants do well with morning sun and afternoon shade.  I don't even know if Roy will let me actually get the yard landscaped because of sprinkler placement and drainage issues that seem to be slowly resolving themselves.  Roy has been concerned about the shepherd hook at the edge of the courtyard near the fireplace.  I decided instead of drilling a hole in the brick, I would hang the wind chimes on the shepherd hook but Roy is thinking of pipeline safety.  That's his natural inclination since he works for the largest publicly traded pipeline company.  For sure there is no lack of pipelines out here on the prairie.  Don't you know that no one back in the day would have ever believed there would be people and huge subdivisions out here on the land.  Hopefully these pipelines are buried deeply in the ground and a 4 inch spike going into the ground to hold wind chimes would not blow us all to kingdom come.

I read this article this morning and found it quite interesting.  Since I don't have a boat in this race there isn't really too much I can comment on and the reality of what works best for discipline.  I remember a conversation my mom and I had when I was probably 8 or 9.  She was trying to make a point to me that she could only remember receiving one spanking as a child verses me on the other hand, who received a spanking everyday for something or other. What was I going to tell my children she wondered?    Don't get me wrong, I was a strong willed child and pushed the envelope from time to time.  OK, pushed the envelope pretty much all the time.   When my mother was trying to covey to me good behavior thus less spankings, I answered back that I guessed I would have to tell my children I was spanked everyday and their guilty feelings of not measuring up wouldn't beset them each step of the way according to the day.  I think I got another spanking for being a smart alec but really, I wasn't trying to be one, I was just answering her question.  Answering my parents questions honestly got me in hot water almost all the time.  Once my mom in exasperation asked me, "who do you think you are?  The Queen of Sheba?"  Well, I didn't know this Queen of Sheba, so I got out the encyclopedia, which I should have mentioned later to my dad that I had actually used the World Books since he seemed to think no one ever used them and commented at least once a week at dinner about the still brand new look of the books.  Well, I used them a lot but during the day while he was at work.  But, I digress.  I looked her up, O Sheba, and did as much research as I possibly could and went to the Bible and read the passages about Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.  Several hours later I came back and reported to her, why yes, I would love to be the Queen of Sheba.  In good conscience I could put a check mark on my offering envelope for Bible read.  In reading the Bible it revealed her life seemed to be pretty spiffy.  I got a spanking for being a smart alec.  Wasn't my intention to be one but after a while, skin and feelings toughen up and getting a spanking for having a smart mouth didn't even phase me because speaking those smart alec words amused me as I got older.  The interesting point in the article I mentioned long ago at the first of this paragraph is, spanking may work for the short term but had ill effects long term.  There was probably a better way to discipline me but I was raised back in the day when no one thought about this kind of thing.  I think I became more aggressive and had an aggressive attitude because I was being hit everyday and there were several spankings, more than I would like to remember, that went over the line and was nothing more than being hit in anger with an object like a belt, hairbrush, switch or board.  Those kind of spankings were usually administered by my father.  What made the whole thing worse, if it could even ever be made worse was; we had to talk about what I had done and why it had been wrong.  These conversations would last usually an hour and I was being given a chance to plead my case.  I never won my case in any of these conversations.  There wasn't any mercy given or shown.  Sometimes I wonder if anything would have been different if I had ever been extended mercy instead of justice, just one time.  At least with my mom, she administered justice at the time of the infraction and didn't put off the inevitable.  And her spankings didn't really hurt. 

I'm so glad that God's compassions they fail not, new mercies are found every morning.  Oh, yes I love the new mercies and in hindsight find the Lord's discipline a thing to be thankful for.  This heart journey isn't one I would have chosen for myself, yet God has done some much needed work on me during this season.  Because I HAD to, to protect my heart, arguing, bullying with words, instant anger or long stewing anger had to go, along with whining and trying to get my way.   There were physical implications when I crossed over into stress and anger land.  My body couldn't handle it.  Thus the reworking of my heart both physically and emotionally began.  That strong will which has benefited me throughout life now had to come into submission of God.  Big lesson learned and still learning, I ain't in control of very much.  In our study of Revelation on Thursdays, it seems our homework and discussions keep coming back to the certainty of God's timing and He has it all in control.  Yet, while world situations play out and chaos and havoc and violence comes from that old dragon Satan, it is God knowing how it all ends and in that big picture, Revelation shows God's compassion and mercy to those who believe in His Son, Jesus.  It is God who wipes away the tears, it is God giving harps to the 144,000 to play and sing a new song and it is God who listens and knows the prayers of His saints. 

Well, this post didn't even go where I thought it would go when I started.  Good timing to end here because I think UPS is coming to the door with a much anticipated package.  Oh good, more stuff to hang on the walls. 

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