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This is war

May 14, 2015

I know said I wasn’t going to try to raise any more tomato plants.  After all, it’s been an expensive disaster every year, and I’m tired of sinking time, money, energy, and hope into what has come to be a first class lost cause.

But when I was in Walmart a month ago and I saw some pre-potted tomato plants with a little cage attached, I reasoned that maybe this was a way to have one last shot at having a few tasty homegrown tomatoes.  I’d only be investing $12.98 in this venture, and I didn’t even need to buy more potting soil.

So I bought one Better Boy pre-planted tomato.

Every day I’ve checked on the thing, watering and fussing and suckering it and dusting it with Dipel to keep any chewing bugs away.  My reward was watching a pretty little tomato develop low on the plant.

I was admiring that little tomato this morning as I gave Better Boy a drink and a dusting.  It was all cute and green, and getting pretty sizable.  Exciting!

But this evening when Mr. Sparky went out onto deck to grill us some chicken for dinner, he found my pretty little tomato no longer attached to the plant, but loose on the deck floor.  And it looked like this:

To whomever or whatever did this:  die, you gravy-sucking pig.

To whomever or whatever did this: die, you gravy-sucking pig.

It’s got little gnaw marks.  It’s almost certainly the work of the frizzy-tailed rats.  I don’t know of anything else that would do such a cold-hearted dastardly deed.

And the Sparkette wonders why I don’t even slow down when the squirrels play chicken in the road with my van.

She should be happy I don’t gun it.

 

Blanketed by glory

May 14, 2015

My eyes closed and sleep threatened to overtake me.  I wanted to fight it but the day had been long and my body, tucked into the corner of a soft sofa, was tired, and the music was peaceful.

It wasn’t difficult to be still.

I listened to the music and let myself rest quietly, hoping I wouldn’t regret permitting myself to become so relaxed.  The song ended and a new one began, one equally peaceful.

Suddenly I was very awake.  The presence of God was thick and heavy in the room, and even though I was instantly alert, I couldn’t really open my eyes without a huge struggle.  For that matter, I couldn’t move.

And I didn’t want to.

I waited as the music played.  I didn’t know what I was waiting for, but since I could neither move nor open my eyes, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

I began to see pictures.  I listened, but any words bypassed my ears and simply landed in my heart. I asked for wisdom to understand what I saw.  And then my body began to tremble and tingle, as if low-level electricity was coursing through it.

The others in the room occasionally spoke, and although I listened to them, I was still lightly pinned down by that glorious weighty presence.  I occasionally attempted to open my eyes, but they quickly fell shut again.  My eyelids were too heavy to hold open.

That beautiful Presence stayed for quite a while, gracing us with His peace.  But gradually the weight lifted, although the peace remained.

In the hours afterward I found myself still awed by what I experienced in that room.  We’d all experienced something during that time, even though we experienced it differently one from another.

I never cease to be amazed at how personal and intimate He is when He interacts with His kids.  He knows exactly what we need and what will bless us and grow us, but He doesn’t bother with making all our experiences “equal” or “fair”.

No, He seems to be in the custom-encounter business.  And I like that about Him.

Choose your yes carefully

May 13, 2015

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Some days I’m completely baffled by the arbitrary standards of acceptance and admiration that surround me.

Be willowy-thin…but consider plastic surgery to get a bigger booty.

Have a career you’re passionate about…but put your family first.

Paint your home a soothing palette of neutrals…but dare to make a statement with bold color.

Speak up…but mind your own business.

Be your unique self…but follow all the trends.

Who you are, what you do, what you think, what you feel.  There’s always another opinion, and that other opinion can leave a person feeling, well…less than, as if those who think or do differently are inferior.  Because maybe that other opinion is better, we think. It’s at least louder, with an army of bobble heads in agreement.

Surely the bobble heads couldn’t be wrong?

The Eleanor Roosevelt quote is great.  I would argue, however, that feeling inferior in and of itself isn’t a show-stopper.  We all sometimes feel things that we know aren’t reflective of reality.  That doesn’t make them true.  Just because we feel them doesn’t mean we have to park there and coddle that feeling and give it agreement.

Feeling inferior only gets to stick around if you entertain it and agree with it.

I’d like to encourage you to not entertain it and agree with it.  Inferiority is terrible company.  It has perfectly awful manners and is a world-class troublemaker.  It often tries to pull itself off as humility, which is a big fat lie because that kind of “humility” is really just Inferiority partnering with Fear.  And nothing good comes from those two being in cahoots.

If you’re going to consent to feeling something, why not feel joy?  Why not feel peace?  Why not feel loved?  Why not feel infused with outrageous hope?  These things are permissible and beneficial.

You have permission to give permission.  May you give your yes to life.

Fifteen reasons…

May 11, 2015

…why I love this MacBook.

1.  Thus far it wakes up every time I tell it to wake up.

2. It does not give me the spinning rainbow wheel every time I ask it to do something.

3. It doesn’t flash me the blue wheel of death if I ask it to do two things in too quick of succession.

4. It does not whine, wheeze, or run its fan at a volume that may or may not compete with the vacuum cleaner in decibel levels.

5. It does not sound like a Geiger counter.

6. I feel the need…the need for SPEED!

7. With a track pad this cool, I may just be able to give up my mouse.

8. Oh, Retina Display, thou art lovely!

9. When I wake it up it doesn’t take five to ten minutes to actually be ready to do anything.

10. It’s a cool customer—it couldn’t double as a heating pad if I actually sat with it on my lap.

11. SHINY!

12. It’s wafer-thin and feather-light.

13. It has a fancy backlit keyboard.

14. I don’t have to wait for a video to be 100% buffered before I can begin watching it.

15. Mr. Sparky surprised me with it!  Thanks, Mr. Sparky!

The veil

May 10, 2015

For two hours

I held the doors

of heaven open

and watched the golden rays

kiss the tops of

her shoulders and

glint off her hair.

Her eyes,

once half closed,

were now half opened

and as light began to fill them

I finally saw her breathe.

Stay still,

I said,

and breathe some more,

wait until you can

feel your legs.

But in the intoxicating excitement

of expanding lungs

and illuminated eyes

she stood quickly and said

she would be right back.

I watched her disappear

into the restroom,

the dark heavy door

closing behind her,

and I knew that

when she lifted her eyes

from the sink

the face in the glass

would whisper cruel lies

and insist that her hands

were clean enough without soap,

and pull down the shades

so she wouldn’t have to

squint in the brilliance

anymore.

 

Re-vision

May 9, 2015

I did some laundry today.

I didn’t carry the clothes through miles of dangerous territory to a river to wash them in unclean water.  I didn’t have to carry water for the job.  I didn’t have to scrub garments on a rock.  I was in no danger from crocodiles, hippos, or renegade militias.  I didn’t have to go naked because my only clothes were being washed.  I didn’t have to find places to hang the clothes while I waited several hours for them to dry.

No, I just walked out into my garage and turned a dial on a machine.  Water poured into a large tub.  I added detergent from a jug and dirty clothes and closed the lid, and about thirty-five minutes later I came back to clothes that were not only clean, but all the excess water had been spun out of them.  Then I opened the lid on the machine next to the machine that washed the clothes, and I put the wet clothes inside and closed the lid. I turned another dial and about forty minutes later all the clothes were dry.

My biggest inconvenience was that my garage doesn’t have air-conditioning, and so it got a little bit warm out there.  Oh, and I had to fold and hang the clothes myself.  Which I was healthy and strong enough to do.

I am not entitled to do laundry with such safety and convenience.  The fact that I can isn’t even proof that I’m blessed, because many deeply blessed people have to work much harder to have clean clothes, or food on their tables, or safe dwellings.

It is a gift to live in this time and age.  For every terrible thing happening in the world today, there are a hundred beautiful things that the news networks deem too mundane and un-sensational to report.

If you don’t believe me, turn off the news and go look.  You’ll find them.

I promise.

Flip a coin

May 8, 2015

I like to read at night before I go to sleep.  Except…my book light is kinda broken.  It still lights up but it has a loose hinge so the light just flops forward onto the book page, which is rather unhelpful.  I’m shopping Amazon for another one, but I don’t know which one to get.

In the meanwhile, I thought maybe I’d just purchase another Kindle book, because I don’t need a book light for that.  But I can’t seem to figure out what I want to read.

I’m also hungry, but I don’t know what to eat.

Occasionally decisiveness totally eludes me.

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