Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wow, it's hard to believe April 's right around the corner ... another April Fool's Day!  

OK, I think it's healthy to have an excuse to laugh..... but sometimes, don't folks get a little carried away?  I think Life plays enough jokes on us; we don't have to play jokes on one another.

Perhaps we need to ask ourselves, are we feeling foolish in a happy, playful way -- or foolish in a sense that we want to change the direction of our lives?

They say it's human nature to make fun of people who don't fit into our way of thinking.  Long ago, in the King's country they did, in fact, have someone who fit that role:  the Court Jester, or Fool.   
I love this old poem, and hope you'll enjoy it also.

by: Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)

The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

"No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin: but Lord, Be merciful to me, a fool!

"'T is not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
'T is by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

"These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

"The ill-timed truth we might have kept--
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say--
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

"Our faults no tenderness should ask.
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders -- oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,

"Be merciful to me, a fool!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another day older!

Here I go again .... quoting, that is. (Leaving some to wonder when/if I'll ever share an original thought - LOL!)

So, today's my birthday ... yikes, is this middle-age!?!
I usually keep these occasions on the QT, but remembering what Sarah Ban Breathnach has to say about birthdays, I feel really compelled to share a few of her lines -- those which resonate on a personal level:

.....Many people who love you will try, but no-one can celebrate your birthday exactly the way you need for it to be observed. That’s because no-one knows the year you’ve just completed; no one else has lived it. What’s more, each year is different. Your 32nd and 48th birthdays won’t begin to resemble each other.

.....Birthdays are new beginnings, but they’re also moments of personal closure.

.....Every age brings with it 365 Real Life lessons

Since my work week doesn't include time for personal reflection, I'll be tickled to hear the "Unicorn" song (and weep) ... perhaps color my eggs a happy kelly green. We've postponed "supper out" 'til the weekend. (Yes Virginia, a pilgrimage to the Perfect Cheeseburger still exists!)

So, seatbelt fastened, I'm thinking this may be my most enJOY-able decade yet.... hopefully sprinkled with more compassion. It's all in the attitude, right?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Burnt Biscuits

Have you seen this story? I don't know who authored it, but was sure happy when a friend thought to share in a recent e-mail.


When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!"

Life is full of imperfect things... and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults - and choosing to celebrate each others differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sixteen Candles!

Happy Birthday, Sarah Nicole! I hope your "Sweet 16" brings you much happiness. Thank you for all the joy you bring to our lives!

(1st birthday at Great-Grandma's in Florida)
(At left, just hanging out!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Time after Time

I'd like to share story today about a grandfather clock ... a little parable, if you will.

The grandfather clock was fashioned with patience and great skill by a master craftsman. He took months and months to finish the cabinet, to make sure that the works of the clock were diamond perfect. Then all things being complete, he spoke to the clock: "You will begin your journey. You must tick one tick every second, 60 seconds for every minute, 60 minutes for every hour, 24 hours for every day, 365 days a year ... for always.

He started the pendulum .....and the clock froze. The heart of the clock responded, "It's too much! I can't do it! I'll never make it!"

So the master craftsman said, "Well, let me put it this way. All you have to do is tick once a second, that's all. Let the rest take care of itself." And then the clock began and continued unceasingly.

This is a great task we've taken on. We're on a journey of unfolding our Christ-like nature, yes ... but if you've driven on I-10 lately or read the newspapers, then you know we've a way to go! Nevertheless, we can't just sit down; we're committed! So, the best thing is to learn to embrace with patience - even joy - every single moment.

I've heard it before, from the poems of Whitman: "This world isn't offering us the old smooth prizes, but new rough prizes. These are the days that must happen to you."

So I can wait. After all, our souls are eternal!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dear Abby

.... and Blog-ville: May I solicit your advice?

My precious granddaughter, Sarah, is about to turn Sweet 16. While we're not able to join her in Alabama, I'd sure like to commemorate the date with Something Special ...
some "thing" she might gaze upon 40 years from now and remark, "My
grandma gave this to me on my 16th birthday."

So, I'm thinking a double-link bracelet with one or two beginner charms ...
plenty of room for more, to symbolize her own journey.

Does this sound hopelessly old-fashioned?

It's been a loooong time since I was 16, so your thoughts and ideas are really welcome!