Friday, October 14, 2016

I heard what you said....

Your words are beautiful ashes falling down out of your joy.
Singing out of the dark corners of your heart.
Away from old and weeping wounds; out of closets where frightened children hide they come.
Life buried a wounded thing but God ordained a warrior
They said die but He said live!
And you  live fiercefully, joyfully.

You fill the world with beautiful words….

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Just Gotta Say.....

I just read a rant about adult coloring books written by an art therapist and I just gotta say WOW. Among other things she lambasts them as, “not creative, and not mindful (whatever mindful means).” I used to be a snob too. I used to look down on people who made things from kits and then claimed to have “made” something. I realize now that I was just ignorant. Not everyone is going to become Rembrandt but everyone has the divine spark the God given need to create.  Some people paint, some people make science, and some people color in books.
When I was in my late teens I found an adult coloring book in a bookstore. I still have it somewhere. It was full of beautiful owls and it sparked my creativity. I learned so much as I chose the colors to fill in the lines. At first I made owls, brown, grey and beige. I wondered if they existed for real. (This was before Google kids.) Then I made pretty bits of imagination. As I began to see how the lines formed the image on the page I began to use the fields of color the change the design. Yes someone else drew the picture but I created within the confines of their vision. Then I began to add flowers to the pictures. Was it “art?” Maybe not, but it was creative learning.
What I failed to appreciate in my snob days was that kits, coloring books, and paint by numbers give people a chance to experience creative outlets they might never have the confidence to try cold turkey. These projects allow for creative learning without a major outlay of cash on equipment and materials. I also failed to see that creativity is unlimited in application and only constrained the judgement of the mind.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Random Thoughts from the RV

So I got up Saturday morning and prepared to read my Bible. Prepared meaning I grabbed my tablet and opened the reading for the day. The reading for the day had yet another list. I had been reading lists for about a week: genealogies, lists of tribes, lists of Levities, their divisions, and roles of service. Aside from running across Jabez, and realizing that the role of the Levite priests was far more complex than I had previously, it was deadly dull work. And here were lists of David’s mighty men and so on. I struggled through the reading. Not even Paul shipwrecked on Malta could hold my interest. Then I switched to Facebook to relieve my overtaxed brain.

One of the first things I saw was a video posted by my Uncle, Jason Carlisle. It was in Spanish; it was about a shipment of Bibles being delivered to Cuba. I watched and was ashamed of myself. I was captured by the expression on the face of an elderly man, hope and worry warred, he stood patiently in the front of the crowd as Bibles were passed over his shoulder to those in the back of the room. I could almost hear him thinking, “Will there be enough? Will they pick me?” Within a boat ride of my door people are hungry to hold what I had just disregarded in my heart and pastors are without Bibles of their own. What I experienced was Godly shame. (Most of us like to call it conviction. It just sounds nicer.) Godly shame prompted me to ask for His forgiveness and to seek to change my bad attitude. Godly shame set me free to change; earthly shame chains me to a past act or situation so that there is no forgiveness and no change. Earthly shame is without hope. Only the redeeming work of Christ makes shame a good thing. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Gift

Those of you who know me know I have been unemployed for several years. God continues to provide for me and meet my needs but most of the provision comes in the form of the things I need and not much in the way of hard cash. I am not complaining but putting the story in context. Last week I became aware of a financial need; money was being collected to meet it. I wanted to help. The desire to be a part of what was happening became a seed in my heart, a seed I prayed over and hoped for. As I prayed I felt that God would provide a way to give and I pledged an amount to him. It seemed so small but I was at peace about it and prayed and asked God to provide it. I began to scheme about how I could raise the money and then God provided it in a way I wasn’t expecting. He didn’t need my help at all.
I had the money. I was so glad. God was indeed faithful to meet the desire of my heart He is so amazing. Then something began to happen to me. I started adding up the things I needed for the week; I began to feel conflicted about the money. It was the money that God had provided, giving it was going to leave a hole in my pocket. It was unexpected money and God had provided enough, just enough. I went to my Mother I explained my feelings. I did not want to renege on the pledge I made to God, but I felt I needed to say it out loud. I needed to tell someone else my attitude was wrong and I needed help to be right in my heart. I began to pray that God would give me peace. I prayed if I could  not be joyful that I could at least give unstintingly. As I prayed I felt peace begin to settle over me, but my attitude was still wrong.

I went to church and one of the first things I heard was how wonderfully the need had been met and I thought to myself, “What if they don’t need THE GIFT God provided!” I began to feel cheated! What if God’s blessing was in vain? So I tracked someone down who would know and found out I could still give The Gift. And then I had to laugh at myself. God’s mind is so amazing! In a finger snap I had gone from a begrudging giver of the “money” to a desperate carrier of God’s blessing. My God, He is so wonderful! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Evolution of a Gardener

Yesterday I spent some time with Carol Carlisle talking about her Daylilies. My Mother has a long history of interest in plants that began when she was a teenager while in 4H she joined a shrub identification group. She and her team learned to identify plants by their foliage, flowers and shape. They participated in contests around the state of Texas and went to the state championships twice. Carol began to grow vegetables in 1964 to help provide fresh produce for her growing family. Through the years she has had flower beds but she did not discover her passion for wild flower gardening until the mid-80’s.  Well I remember pulling the car over to capture a wild plant that my Mother did not have in her garden. Carol and her husband Bob relocated to Mississippi. In 1998 my Grandmother, Ruth Carlisle, moved to Ocean Springs, MS. Carol helped her to transplant her flowers at her new home. Ruth had several heirloom yellow and orange daylilies; Coral thought that they were really pretty. Not long after she saw an advertisement for a Daylily Club meeting at her local library. She soon learned that daylilies come in all different colors! The first daylily she bought was, “Best of Friends.” When asked, Carol was unable to pick a favorite variety. “There is always something new blooming,” she said. 
Carol and her Daylily Club are getting ready for their 11th annual show at Edgewater mall this Saturday. If you would like to learn more why not stop by? The show will be inside the mall in front of Dillard’s department store. The flower judging and the plant sale will be in the morning beginning at 10:00 am. The show is from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

New Dog Mom

So this week I became a first-time dog mom. I have always been a cat mom before so this is somewhat new territory. Your average cat comes home with you; you show it the litter box, the cat food dish, and the water dish. The cat proceeds to howl or ignore you. Or to howl and ignore you until the cat has punished you for being kind enough to take it in. Then it sets about making you it’s servant for life. Dogs are different. They are like toddlers cute, independent, needy, and lost in their new home. Little changes throw off their routine and like small children routine equals security. This week as I was walking Baxter I received my first unsolicited dog mom advice it was an interesting experience on two levels. First it gave me a faint glimmer of what it is like to receive unsolicited parenting advice from comparative strangers and second it wound up being a little funny.

It started out innocently enough; I was walking Baxter and encountered one of our neighbors at the corner of her yard. She came out to greet my new dog and introduce her tiny bit of nothing dog.  I asked her an honest question, she answered. Then the tiny bit of nothing came over and my puppy tried to get a closer look at it. She scooped her dog up and informed me I was walking my dog wrong. I responded that Baxter was new to a leash and he was doing better every day.  Baxter began to be bored and fidgety so I gave him an animal cracker from my pocket. You would have thought I’d given him chocolate the way she carried on! How much was I feeding him? I should stick to his diet! I wondered to myself, “What diet?” How many times a day was I feeding him? In the meanwhile her husband had sauntered over and like the good ole Texas boy he is he slid in with, “Like you stick to their diets?” I have a system she declared, like a gambler who doesn't have a problem, “When I make a sandwich for me I make a half a one for them and cut it into pieces.” Then she changed the subject….   

Friday, May 1, 2015

Missing Blue Bell in Vancleave

Today I went to Greer’s grocery store in Vancleave for a loaf of bread. After I priced and compared all the loaves of bread and settled on the cheapest one. I wondered over to the ice cream cases out of curiosity. I wanted to see if there was any Blue Bell ice cream. While I was standing there listening to my inner demented person. (You know that person? She was wondering what would happen if I stood in front of the Blue Bell case and howled. She has a strange sense of humor. One day I am going to need bail money…) I heard three different forlorn voices asking employees when they were going to get any Blue Bell in. I mentioned this to the cashier and she gave me a slightly desperate look and said, “I Know!” Then I mentioned the howling. I wish I had a picture of that expression….