Sunday, August 31, 2008
A friend of mine told me this happened in her own family among her siblings. A battle raged for years and years with two sisters who would not speak to each other. This caused her parents deep sadness and affected the whole family. Imagine family holidays--the walking on eggshells, the carefully chosen words each member must use. What if the family can no longer even get together as a whole? It isn't fair to the rest of us who just want peace and harmony. I dread the next few months--birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
I used to tell people that my four brothers and my younger sister and I always got along so well. Is it because we live in different states? Is that what it takes for families to be at peace? No one teaches you how to parent grown children. What do you do when one child calls you with bitter complaints about another? Little children argue, my girls often do, but those quarrels soon sputter out. I can see this fight with my boys simmering just below the surface, ready to bubble up and boil over at any moment. Unless someone can say, "I'm sorry," and someone can say, "I forgive you," (and mean it). We'll see. It's not something I can do for them.
Monday, August 18, 2008
We've had a lot of rain this summer, plus Fred put down some kind of black sheeting in the garden that kept the moisture in. The result has been beautiful, lush, green plant growth and an abundant harvest of vegetables. Fred was successful in keeping out the deer by adding height to the fence, but the squirrels found the corn. All year Fred feeds them dry corn at a feeder on a tree in the backyard. But the greedy little creatures decided they would steal fresh corn instead. We had to pick it all before the whole crop was ruined.
Gathering the corn every year means Tommy's Soup! My mom passed down the recipe from one of her Cherokee friends and it has become a favorite. The primary ingredients are fresh tomatoes and just-picked sweet corn--lots of each. Every year I make at least one batch to put away in the freezer. It is heated up on a cold winter night and we dream of our summer garden.
So I started peeling the tomatoes and chopping them up in a big pot. I scraped the corn and tossed it in too with lots of onions and peppers. Oops, forgot the carrots. I turned the soup to low and darted out to the garden to dig some up. The sky had suddenly turned black and flashes of lightening zigzagged in the west. Fred yelled at me not to go out but then he helped me free the bright orange carrots from the rich earth. We ran inside as the storm grew closer.
The windows were all open in the kitchen and as the wind picked up, the chimes on the deck sounded their alarm. The electric scent of rain mingled with the rich boiling fragrance of the soup. My girls watched the lightening from the window in mock fear, squealing with each clap of thunder. All the heaviness in my heart from the past few months was pushed out by the crisp breeze blowing through the kitchen and the pounding rain on the deck. The storm ravaged the yard, tearing branches from the trees, but we were safe in our cozy house, protected and feeling abundantly blessed.
God gives a promise in Revelation 21:4 of a coming time. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." It's not a promise for now, we know that. There is plenty of suffering in this world. But a day like today in my kitchen is an exception to the norm. It is a foreshadow of things to come, a glimpse of the new earth where peace and contentment will reign and no one is sad. Today is a gift and a peek into a future time.
"Yet God has not left himself without testimony: he has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." Acts 14:17. The storms will come, but one day it will all pass away. Never forget the promise.
Monday, August 04, 2008
My dad was an amateur rock collector and jeweler. On my tenth birthday he made me a necklace with my birthstone--an opal. It was an extraordinary, beautiful blue opal. I was thinking of that when I decided to give Arielle the topaz necklace that Fred gave me several years ago. Topaz is her birthstone. I told her this was a very special anniversary for her--ten years in America and ten years my daughter.