Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christmas Lights

We came home on Tuesday night to find a massive amount of Christmas lights decorating a tree in our yard.

We didn't put them there.  The neighbor did. 

Gary said the wife asked (after she saw what the husband did) if it would be okay or if they should take the light-strands down.  So it appears she has some understanding of our yard as differentiated from their yard.

But there's still something uncomfortable about seeing that display.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

A Terminal Illness

(At risk of offending Jenny and sending her running away, with her fingers in her ears, singing "La la la la la la la....  I can't hear yooooooouu....")

There is a certain amount of mourning to go through upon receiving the diagnosis of a terminal illness.  It shocks.  It saddens.  It often forces one into involuntary fasting.  It drives us to prayer.

But then life goes on.  For a while.  Maybe longer than the doctor expected.  Maybe shorter.  But the life that goes on, goes on with a changed perspective.  (Remember that country song, "I hope you get a chance to live like you were dying"?)

There are certain economic realities.  Believing that these economic principles are just somebody's "beliefs" or somebody's opinion Does Not Change the fact that these economic principles are incontrovertible truths.  When these economic laws are transgressed, there will be consequences.  (It's no different from my believing that I can fly will result in my smashing onto the ground when I "fly" off the roof of the house.)

Tuesday's vote totals were not due to voter fraud.  Tuesday's decision was a revelation of the will of the American people. Tuesday was a turning point in American history.  (Or maybe election day of 2008 was, but this Tuesday showed that November 2008 wasn't a fluke.)

So now we mourn the diagnosis.  No, we don't know when the end will come.  But we live with two realities: the days are numbered, and God still blesses.  We pray "Give us this day our daily bread" with a greater understanding of the "dailiness" and less reliance on our own strength to provide for ourselves.  We live with uncertainty about the future of our temporal existence, with nothing to rely on but the Lord's gracious promises.  We cannot count on a future of prosperity and a retirement laced with world travel, so we will be content to take each day as it comes, thankful for whatever joys of life and family and creature-comforts we happen to have at the moment.

And that's not necessarily a bad place to be.
We don't like having our idols taken away.  But when we do, there is only One who remains true and faithful and inflinchingly for us.  

"This is the victory that overcomes the world -- even our Faith."

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

To the Polls

One 5-quart crockpot full of African peanut soup.  Bowls, spoons, ladle.
Hummus, sliced cucumbers, and pita chips.
Fresh salsa, guacamole, and tortilla chips.
Hot pot, tea bags, stevia, and mugs.
Water bottles full of good water from home (in hopes of avoiding the city water for at least part of the day).
Teriyaki beef jerkey, cashews, and trail mix.
Apples, pineapple chunks, cherry tomatoes, and tangerines.

It's going to be a LONG day at the polls.  The township provides donuts for breakfast, and sends along some white-bread buns & bagels to help with the pollworkers' lunch.  I do not need to start a long and stressful day on a sugar-&-white-bread fix.  So I'm taking along MY version of yummy comfort foods.

The prospect of out-of-state poll watchers scares me.  I guess part of the point is that they want to be intimidating, huh?

So how exhausted will I be, come evening?  Fall-into-bed tired?  Or so curious as to need to watch some election results?

Monday, November 05, 2012

Gary's Back

Three weeks ago Gary hurt his back by committing the wild and crazy act of [gasp!] setting a coffee cup on his desk.  After several doctor visits, four days of working from home, lots of drugs, and six days of being [self-]banned from driving, he began to improve. 
God answered our prayers and decreased Gary's pain, increased his mobility, and provided the above torture device equipment via Craigslist.  (Torture device:  look how red his face is!)  The doctor suggested borrowing an inversion table from somebody to see if it might help.  Finding nothing to borrow, we were thankful to find one on Craigslist the very next day for a great price and only a half-hour away.

The inversion table has helped tremendously.  Gary even mowed the lawn today!

We stumbled over the inversion table which sat smack-dab in the middle of the living room for over a week.  But now Gary needs it only once or twice a day (instead of 4+ times daily) and Gary's capable of walking up and down the stairs easily [woo hoo!]. So it was time to relegate the torture device to the dungeon basement.

This involved a massive rearrangement of the basement.  Bookshelves were moved.  (Argh!  That is always SO much work!!)  We dusted and vacuumed.  Hardest of all, I sorted through some stuff to pitch.  Ow, ow, owie!  It hurts to throw away perfectly good homeschooling software just because the programs are too obsolete to run on any computer we've got around here.  It hurts to throw out vcr tapes of movies I love; but who wants videotapes these days?  The garbage stack will be big this week.  The finished part of the basement is opened, neatened, put in order, and cleaned. 

And we can walk through the living room again.

October Confirmations at Church

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Alia's Theology

My 3-yr-old-at-the-time granddaughter drew this picture recently.  It was one of many, including making some letters, drawing a chicken, and some plain old scribbling.  But her mother wanted to get a picture of this one before it was erased for whatever-came-next.

The Aftermath of the Election

I just realized today that I haven't been praying too much about the outcome of the election.  Over the last couple of weeks, I've been praying more for how the people respond to the election results. 

Four years ago I remember people talked about how great it is that, in America, unlike some other nations, there was a peaceful transfer of power.  [Assuming the incumbent is not re-elected] will we be saying the same thing next year about this transfer of power?

Today in the prayer of the Church, we asked for "faithful citizens."  That's about Tuesday.  But it's also about the days and weeks following Tuesday.  Lord, have mercy.