Monday, May 18, 2015

A Bunch of Boogers and a Few Good Ones

On the Pringle family from the book, Anne of Avonlea:

...they either accept someone, and that someone is automatically integrated into the town's activities, or do not and that person is completely ignored.

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Yes, they are amongst us,  it is very difficult to focus on the precious saints when the Pringle is wishing us to be gone and showing it clearly.  Green is one of my favorite colors, but not envy.

...We think to ourselves as I do at times...  If only they knew what was going on in the theatre of my life now...  Would they behave differently?   Perhaps not, the coldness is chilling.   It is the very gall they gave to Jesus on the cross.  


You see, I've been concerned about my dad, trying so desperately to give it to the Father and leave it there.   My dad has taken another fall in the rehab center...   The entire situation has driven me to tears.  


I read in my Streams in the Desert devotional this morning...

An excerpt:

We were under great pressure, .... so that we despaired even of life ...  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.   2 Cor. 1: 8-9.

Pressed beyond measure; yes, pressed to great length;
Pressed so intensely, beyond my own strength;
Pressed in my body and pressed in my soul,
Pressed in my mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure rom foes, and pressure from dear friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.

Pressed into knowing no helper but God,
Pressed into loving His staff and His rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed int o faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living my life for the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.



It's a good devotional this morning if you read that particular devotional.  You can receive them by email as well.  The emailed ones seem a bit more contemporary then my hardcopy, so I prefer my hardcopy, but some may enjoy the convenience online.    Streams in the Desert.



I hear such a sweet song this morning...  Listen to the words and enjoy, I heard this yesterday after arriving home...It made me smile.


Yeah... It made me smile yesterday, only God knew how I needed to smile!


It seems sometimes when we do visit a church no matter how great the sermon and how kind the pastor is, there are always those boogers.   My daughters arriving from a burb-church, and I were discussing in the kitchen a most unfortunate, immature person in a church.  A Pringle.  

She's a booger!  I said, a bad one!  She looked at me with such anger as if she just wanted me gone!  She was so angry that she was oblivious or didn't even care that I was smiling at her!    But then there are those sweet ones...those good ones... 

Lea thoughtfully says...Yea, it's kind of like human kind in general...A bunch of boogers and a few good ones. 

Marianna:  It's everywhere we go isn't it?  Even in so many churches... A bunch of boogers and a few good ones.  

Pringles.  Forward snobbery, reverse snobbery.  Insecurities that equal hurt to others.  Pringles.  .... And it sure isn't Christ.

So correct.   So correct.

Yesterday hubs and I went to USO-Town after I dried my tears of concern over my dad coupled with a misunderstanding in the car...Coupled with the boogers, coupled with mixed feelings because after all... There are a few good ones there.   I had stood in church as it closed watching my tears plop down...hoping it wouldn't be noticeable, hoping my mascara would behave.  I felt like someone had taken their finger out of the dike and the water works were not going to stop.  It was a culmination of everything.  Just everything!
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After the service as we drive I sense the change of atmosphere in townships as I silently watch out the car window..

We are upon USO-Town.  They even have a charming buff-colored period old 40's brick USO activity building for the WWII servicemen.  A long lost cousin of my mine has a pharmacy there, a friendly man with striking blue eyes.  He knows all the elderly by name as they come into the pharmacy.

Hubs and I adore this town.

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Now you must know...USO-Town is one of the most polite if not *the* most polite towns I have ever seen.    It's very interesting the various spiritual entities over various towns and areas.   This is a *good* one.

We arrive at the restaurant greatness and see an old friend exiting the restaurant and he tells us..."Did you know?

I have cancer.  ...The people at my church are really nice, y'all need to come visit.  They've already made a list of people to take me to M.D. Anderson for treatments.   They'are really nice..."  

So precious.  Les is form the burbs where we are from, it seems both our families landed out this way to live a simple life... We taught the Sunday school class he and his wife attended back in the burbs...

I've always noticed Les's humility, the son of an elderly Assembly of God pastor.  Les and his wife adopted a precious little boy after they raised kids of their own, I remember just as it was yesterday, the sweet chubby fists of that baby-boy who grabbed my pearl necklace, breaking it as beads bounced over the gym flooor, seeing Les's wife's horrified face...I yell!  Don't worry it's dollar store!  (It was funny)  The good thing about cheap jewelry, even if you really like it and in my case had taken good care of that cheap necklace for years... it looked good by George...Hey.  It's (say it with me)  Dollar Store!  *big smile*

This precious baby has grown into Les's running buddy.

Perhaps it is Les who should have taught the Sunday school class?   Yes Les, we just may take you up on your invite dear one.


We see our precious chinese friend, she and her sweet husband own the restaurant.  They are a darling young couple.   We've befriended them and enjoy their friendship of sorts although brief in conversations.   We've taken a liking to each other.  I had noticed she was not herself yesterday...    She tells me through tears of her own, "My mother called from China, she has a tumor in her pancreas, I'll be gone for a month to visit her..."

I tell her Jesus is already there with her.  We will pray, I touch her arm, I think touch is important.  This woman is so precious, she nods through tears.  I'm thinking..

We all have problems dont' we?  Some are much, much more severe then others.  Oh God help us to support one another!   And the support comes in strange places at times doesn't it?   The Church is everywhere.



...And I have to remind myself of what I told Jessie, the precious young chinese woman...  Jesus is already with me too!

That is what Elisabeth Elliot wrote me once when I was expecting our youngest, Rebecca and on bedrest with some complications.   I still have that little postcard she wrote, I have several from her.

I wonder if Elisabeth Elliot's daughter feels as I do sometimes now that her mother is growing older and ill?



This is a photo of of several of our daughters; Rebecca, Lea and Marianna with Elisabeth Elliot and her precious, precious husband, Lars this photo is from a couple of years ago.  I think Michelle must have taken this particular pic.

I will close now, just wanted to share some thoughts and food for more thoughts here this morning.


I do hope you are having a sweet morning Loves,  we must be the *Good Ones*.  We might have to stand alone (kneel alone) in order to do so.  I hope this blog will be a place to come and be encouraged and share.   You are not alone.   Our reward may be in Heaven.  God sees all and knows all. That goes as a double reminder for me.   ~amelia, the last child in the woods...


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Smile Into the Fear

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Sharing a video this morning of a most beautiful song that Jem, (hubs) and I have grown rather fond of lately, we listen to this song in the car on our dates, the words are so exact and encouraging to my heart...    Brave.

You want to run away and you say it can't be so...When you stand up and open your hand...

In the face of what I don't understand...

a reason to be brave..

We love music, I've played in the past, and Jem is a musician besides being a real estate broker in oldtown...  In our home, music is a big deal.


This is such a great season of life.  Life!   But then when I see my dad and how his health is going...his choices...   I must face what I don't understand.  ... A reason to be brave.  Hold on ...Time carries on...

I hope you too are blessed by this fantastic song...it's an old one but just as new to my heart today.


I love the symphony in this video, it gives me such a rush.  ....The female musician with the big blonde curly hair is so great.  I'm wearing my hair big and curly these days.   Putting on my Stevie Nicks. : )   I like it, it's natural and it's me I'm finding... It's a nice feeling I do believe.

The composer in the video..He is composing with such fervor, such preciseness...such care.   He reminds me of our Father, the Director of our Lives.  The musicians watch His every move...  His every quake and expression.  



Heard an interview of Josh Groban the other afternoon, did you know he was bullied in school?  He seemed quite humble actually in this interview, I'm glad I was able to see and hear it, he was not mister perfect at all, just a nice guy attractive in his imperfections and realness.



The other morning I was praying, so worn out from a long wearing drive to visit my father in rehab.  I was sitting on the Father's lap so to speak and He reminded me of the little, sweet books I would read when I was a wee little girl as an only child, my quiet life, listening to the birds outside of my bedroom...the beautiful watercolor paintings in the books...and the Father reminded me...

You are still that Child to me...   I see it all....   I will take care of things.   Don't you worry.  
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Oh those words have helped me immensely!

For...

People will always let us down but the Father won't.


In the meantime, I am enjoying planning this wonderful wedding for our daughter and *adorable* son-in-love.    Wow.  What a blessing this crossing of paths is.

I've always remembered the scripture in Isaiah that says in (my words)   The people will stand back and say:

"Look what God has done!"

And truly when I see these two young lives meeting, I say... Look what God has done!



I read this quote this morning on my kitchen flip calendar:

"Every day we live is a priceless gift of God, loaded with possibilities to learn something new, to gain fresh insights."
   ~Dale Evans Rogers

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So many insights, everyday is loaded with them.  : )

God will whisper if we will listen and *hear*...   Isn't that right?

Have a sweet day Loves,    ~Amelia, the veteran homeschool mom, getting to know myself and God even more so in my 50s.   The Last Child in the Woods...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Confession: I'm a Worry Wart and Sweet Movie, 'One Foot in Heaven' (1941)




Yes, that is my dad above.  Handsome guy he still is at the age of 85, Mother is pretty too at the same age, after all they were born two days apart.  Yeah... Two Seabrook kids that liked each other since elementary school. Now divorced but friends. Life is like that for many of us, it's the fellowship of brokeness. .... Dad would suffer heartache as a little blonde headed boy...  His mother who I am named after passed a way when he was only ten.  Then he was off to a private military school, never a complaint.  I have a shoebox of his letters written back home.  Precious.

He took a fall.  He's in rehab.  I've had the flu and couldn't go visit him.  I'm an only child so it's a lot for me when anything at all happens, it always has been.  He's three hours away.

Lea and Mar took a drive to see Grampy...  took yellow tulips and a darling balloon to him that he adored.  From what I am understanding Lea was a case all the way there driving.  I would have been too..  It's been un-nerving.  He took a fall and because of blood thinners, he was bleeding internally.  When I learned he received blood I suspected it was the blood thinner that was the culprit.

I confess.  Not only am I one of those Highly Sensitive People (read the book if you like, it explains the way we are wired, a gift actually in many circumstances.)  I'm an INFP personality.   So magnify that and multiply that and you have quite an artful worry wart.  Yep, I'm a chief worry wart, I even worry about my mom being a worry wart and making me worry even more...   I worry and think about everything that can go wrong when stuff like this happens. On some things I'm the rock of Gibralter but medical things... I confess.  I fall apart.  I could have done something in the medical profession, medicine is common in the German side of our family, my Italian uncle trained to be a vet  until life through a curve ball at him...but for me, I don't think I could have taken certain aspects in that field.

My husband has tried to help me, he tells me it's sin to worry, he gives me scripture verses (in a nice way of course)... Yeah.. I know.  But you must realize ...   Oh we have all grown up so differently.  My parents were cautious on many things.   My dad's brother, ten years his senior went to Rice, a drama major, the apple of his dad's eye at 6'3".  He died at 23 of cancer.  Cancer caused by something that shouldn't have been.  I have his dress gloves, I have his bank book and fraternity book filled with manners back then... Yes.  Manners.  ....My dad wouldn't even let my mom use silver knobs on an add-on additon bathroom to our home.  Why?  He said it reminded him of a hospital.  His last memory of his was his sweet mother in the hospital that Christmas season shaking him asking him "Who are you?"  She had been poisoned by the treatment typically given back then in the 30s.

Okay.  Maybe this explains the blogging lapse.  The flu.  My dad took a fall.  I'm fighting discouragement.   One other reason I am fighting discouragement because through planning this wedding I see how sickening the materialism of many modern day weddings has become, the debt people incur...  Just the ideas of what people think are norm.  I will not enter into that!

I don't know about you but I blog for many reasons.  The best times I've had blogging is when I am doing just what I am doing now.  Jotting thoughts..   Not worrying about grammar etc.  My court reporter daughter would have a cow.. (I'm still better at spelling though) ; ).

Speaking of.  Mar was interning at a murder trial last week.  Did you know the court reporter is in charge of the weapon and evidence?  Mar had to carry it around with her last week from the office to the court.  I'm sure hearing details of that courtroom story has not helped my heart.  ...Oh the poor young lady.  She was a Christian so we know she is in Heaven now and her mother has since become a Christian through her daughter's Christian life here on this earth.

Enough of that but let's remember, that there is so much going on in this world... just so much.  Oh that we will be a loving, gentle Jesus to people.

...

We have recently been so blessed by once again an old movie!  It is soooo wonderful!  Now I am smiling.   : )   Take heart.

Here it is:

One Foot in Heaven  (1941)



The gardener is so PRECIOUS here...  He says:

"I need no friends, I have my Bible and my flowers..."

The children's choir is so beautiful.  These are the sweet things I long for.  Let's make sure and keep our children and youth used to this beauty... Surrounding them with sweetness and an atmosphere of praise.  If we give them the real deal, they will recognize the cheap counterfeit naturally as they grow older.

The movie is precious, just look what someone commented on the youtube.  Oh how true.  And the old fashioned Methodist church my daughter will marry in?   It resembles this one quite a bit.  So lovely, the same time period.

The movie is poignant and humorous at times as the pastor stands against the religious folks (shown in the clip) in more then several instances.  The pastor is so inspiring as in the beginning of the movie it shows that he leaves the new beginnings of a medical practice to become a preacher. Great movie.

May we all have sweet hearts like our precious gardener friend above.  I hope you enjoy the movie clip and will even consider viewing the entire movie with your family.

Good Evening Loves,   ~amelia

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P.S.  I have been doing a good bit of sewing lately.  I found a cute, easy carefree palazzo pants pattern.  I'm learning my style is carefree in many ways... long flowing skirts, flowing pants when I wear them.  A bit of Stevie Nicks, 40s and Victoriana mixed in.

I've made these long capris slightly taking in the ease middle leg and going back out to the full glorious eccentric width!  Here it is:  Simplicity 1186.

P.S.S.  Why do I not post pics anymore of the Forest Cathedral and our family?   I don't have a camera these days.  I do hope to get one soon.  I've been without since before winter.  I've been depending on hub's camera phone pics.   : )  

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Wedding in the Works!


'So much fun with my guy today :)'
 I hugged Josh goodbye last Sunday and laughed...

Fasten your seatbelt this is going to be a wild ride!  But it will be fun!   Ha ha!

This is our future son in love, Josh and our sweet daughter Michelle... Delle.   They were just engaged and we are just bustling with activity over here at the Forest Cathedral.  This photo was taken in front of the great church the couple will marry in this fall...this was after the service and meeting with the wedding coordinator.  We had just talked with my new friend, Amos...the precious security guard who had shown Delle and I around the previous week.  I tell Jem, "I made a new friend!"

We just love this place...right in the heart of downtown...down the street from where my husband and I were born, where my parents were married once upon a time...My husband and I have both teared in the balcony of this place and I have a feeling water works will be coming once again.  The stained glass windows of Jesus and His little Lambs shine over the city as a beacon from this place.

So far the people and leaders of this church have been very kind and we are so grateful.

The message we heard this past Sunday was *seeing*, seeing through Jesus' eyes...various things.   I do believe we Children of God receive the same memos from the Lord!  

We are so excited for Josh and Michelle and look forward to the coming year!   God has been so good to have this church open for the date, this fall.   Even the pastor at this church we love to listen to will be marrying them.  Not only the sanctuary of this church beautiful, full of history, can you imagine during the wars?  The families that wept and prayed in this place.  The hall at the church is a neat one, it has an old fashioned feel to it and I'm thinking...  There are going to be some things done a bit differently.  Classic simplicity and sweetness.  A sweet First Kiss at the altar. : )  We pray God will be glorified.

I'll be back soon, just wanted to update that little did I know when I wrote about this neat church... the homeless who sleep upon the steps and I have since learned one precious man who sleeps there is a member of this church...he watches for the other homeless there.  The church feeds the homeless people four times a week...that's the spirit of the church that my daughter and new son in love will be marrying here soon.   God sure moves in mysterious ways!

What a different way of life we have!  We have the beauty of the country and the simple life, the smalltown but yet can travel in our space capsules of sorts to downtown...both have their special characteristics.   I love both in different ways... Beautiful people in both.  ...   if we *see*.

I'll close with this cute video of Petula Clark singing "Downtown"...I used to sing this as a little girl in my cotton bathing suit with the water sprinkler above my slide with my little friends, Tina and Dina when they would come to visit their grandma across the street.   We would pretend we were in a show together!  : )           


   
Goodnight Loves,    ~amelia

               

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It is the Scarred Ones Who Make the Body of Christ Sensitive

I saw this Ann Voskamp blog this morning and the title grabbed my heart...

When You Feel Wounded by Your Own

Here are some excerpts that grabbed my heart this morning....

Because when we ignore suffering - we ignore the Suffering Savior.


It is the scarred ones who make the Body of Christ sensitive.  
You are so brave to keep facing the light.  To keep walking toward Home.

The Scarred Savior will know you're His - by your own scars.

Can I just whisper?  I know you must feel like people, the Church, have wanted you to go away.  Sweep your scars under the proverbial rug.  Erase you, avoid you, silence you.


Once, yeah, we found a trapped and wounded bird.  
And when we simply cupped it close and listened to it's heart - it turned toward the light and flew.




May I just say, from a sensitive artist's heart?  Please don't blame Christ for what any institution has done to you or the way they have made you to feel...It grieves the Father too what has happened, trust me.

They did it to Jesus too.

I am just telling my husband that I do believe that there are so many who have turned their backs on the Father thinking some churches (little 'c') are what represented Christ

He said just now... Yep, that's exactly right.

Me:  There are a lot of folks out there who have visited churches and they are just not seeing Him there for the most part...

Jem:  He's out there on the highways and the byways, the prison, the nursing home.  When you see a Church that has Love, His presence is there.  There is one thing you can't manufacture and that's Love.


There is a world out there that needs our bloodied, warm touch...There will always be those who turn a cold ear, blind eyes to our hearts and others.  Let us not worry too much about them.  Let's turn to the Light (Jesus) and fly to Him...He loves us and those we see.
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Friday, February 27, 2015

I LOVE THIS CLIP...Always Try to see Life Around You...


Always try to see life around you like you've just come from a tunnel...

Jimmy Stewart as Mr. Smith to Jean Arthur as Saunders, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)...Mr. Smith is so speaking my language here...I think it's beautiful.  I think of this exchange often as I enjoy the nature and the handiwork of God here at the Forest Cathedral...I remember hearing this exchange when we watched this movie in the suburbs...Jem, my hubs reminded me that the country would provide that beauty...Wouldn't you like to be in the country?  Here I am...and yes, I am sooo blessed to be here.  I love looking out and seeing the trees, the animals, today we saw a coyote on the way to the grocery store...He turned and looked at us and leaped across a field into a forest...


Here is another clip for your enjoyment:


I love the exchange here and so relate with Jefferson Smith...and just look at Jean Arthur's beautiful, beautiful profile, so lovely, just so very lovely.  


I am thanking God for a nice uneventful day.  Eggplant Parmesan the way my Grandma Oddo made it...a sweet secret peek at my husband gently scoooping up and sweetly holding our almost blind little dog, loving that sweet fur angel in such mercy.  


Projects done lately:  A black cotton zinnia skirt...soooo retro.  I made mine in the high waisted, pleated, belted below knee version but I don't belt mine.  I've already worn this skirt several times and it feels so 40s-50s.. Very flattering.  I wore it last Sunday with a fitted vneck sage green quarter sleeve sweater tucked in the skirt with strapped black velvet ballet flats, black capri length leggings.  Hubs and I were at a beautiful park in USO-town, we were sitting in the green grass surrounded by huge twisting oaks...upon a lake with beautiful ducks and geese swimming...Very nice indeed.  A precious maintenance man with beautiful blue eyes named Benito carried on a sweet conversation as we saw him off and on through our little visit.

What are you thanking God for today?  Have you done any neat projects lately?  'Do you enjoy Mr. Smith Goes to Washington'?  It was made in 1939 directed by Frank Capra, do you like that time period as I do? : )  Things have changed but yet maybe not?  



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Always try to see life around you like you've just come from a tunnel..

Goodnight Loves,  from The Forest Cathedral...God be with you all.    ~amelia


Monday, February 23, 2015

I've Been Thinking...

Hello everyone, just posting some thoughts this wintery Monday eve.

Lately I've been thinking, that's what I do.  That is what my personality does, it thinks and it thinks a lot. : )  I create a lot and I perceive much...I'm an artist of sorts.  I like the quiet, pretty music and really don't care for a herd mentality, I've always been this way, I never liked rowdy birthday parties even as a little girl.  How about you?

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Sometimes we visit churches.  We love homechurch, we are the Church after all if we are children of God, but sometimes we like to venture out and meet other brothers and sisters in Christ.

One of my favorite churches is the downtown Methodist church.  Oh what a glorious place!  My mom and dad were married there ....I can just imagine people weeping and praying there during WWII...It's a special place.  I know the Methodist church as an organization has a bad reputation, sure it does.  The people at the top have some bad thinking on some things (John Wesley would be grieved) but not every Methodist church goes with that.  More than one person has been ministered to by the lit stained glass windows at night, traveling on the railway next to this old church...Those same folks will go there for help and receive that help.  At night if you look below the stained glass windows you will see dozens of homeless sleeping upon the steps.  This church is known as a safe place.  Are our churches known like that?   The pastor of this huge church will take the time to speak with you after service and you feel like he cares... you just do and you know it.  Salvation is freely spoken of in that place.  We personally know a Chinese couple who attends there whose father was in prison for his faith in China when our friend was a little boy.

I wonder what the Father, what Jesus must think of all of the different stuff going on in some churches.  Lately I've been exposed to how adamant some may be about the King James Only thing.  Wow.  I know there are concerns with the different translations of the Bible and I can surely understand...but what did they do before King James? : )   ...and sometimes it concerns me because I hear the same not-so-good zeal I hear from others with pet doctrines.  Some try to make pet doctrines a salvation issue.

I go to the nursing home and visit my friends there, and let me share...  I really don't think they care what version of the Bible I may be using.  I don't think most of them care what Christian religion I am. They care about my touch, my care, my love.  My time.  They want Christ with skin on to them...

One of the last times I was there, there was a lady and she was so very upset, she was weeping because something had happened with her room.  I never could get the story.  I just knelt next to her wheelchair and I hugged her and even cried a little with her.  I put my hand around her grey long hair and her beautiful dark brown eyes looked at me.. and she said through tears...

That is all I needed, that is all I needed, someone to just sit with me.  

Isn't that the way we all feel sometimes?

The month before this the same elderly lady had told me...

Jesus has me sitting here, so I sit. 

Her sweet compliant heart had been so touching to me and I think that is what especially broke my heart was to see her compliant heart so very broken the next visit.


The Story of Lucille:

More then several years ago there was a precious saint in the nursing home named Lucille, our little girls had made her a red plastic pony bead bracelet the year before.  Poor Lucille was dying, she lay there with her red pony bead bracelet on made by my precious little girls' hands,  red blouse and white pants...she didn't even have a nightgown on, no family was there with her.

My girls, and my friend Margie gathered in her room and I ask her...

Lucille?   Do you know Jesus?   

Lucille smiled radiantly...

Oh yes.  I know Jesus.  I see Him right here in my room, His face is in your faces.

Lucille passed away that very afternoon...wearing the red plastic ponybead bracelet made by sweet little girl hands. That little plastic pony bead bracelet meant that much to precious Lucille.

Do we think Lucille or the brown eyed lady care about pet doctrines and stuff?  No.  They want what is Eternal.  

Where am I going with this?

I think we need to focus on Jesus, the main thing and live it out whether it be with our precious children or out a bit...perhaps bringing our children to the nursing home, it's a great place to share mercy.   Christ's Mercy.  Our daughters are 21 to 32 and  I assure you the nursing home taught and still teaches so many beautiful Life lessons.

Can we love each other and be kind?

And...If I am feeling this way in circles, can you imagine what the world is feeling about things?   For me?  I like to talk to Jesus and He just scoops me up in His love.

I thought this was pretty good, I've always remembered this clip by Sara Groves:


May we live the Life.  Goodnight Loves,   ~amelia

Black and White Photo by Robert Stock