Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Ivy Plant

Sometimes I wonder of I've grown at all. Ever feel that way? I'm not talking about growth revealed by a quick glance in the mirror; I don't wonder about that at all. I'm talking about inside; spiritually, in character - however you want to term it.

It's easy to feel like I struggle with the same old issues, battle the same old questions, fail at the same old temptations. How can I tell of I've grown at all?

Several months ago we stayed at my aunt's place. It is impossible to leave her house with only the things you carry in when you arrive. She is one of those special people who always has something to give you. Always.

She gave us more than one thing as we were leaving but the gift I'm thinking of was the plant. She gave two of them, actually. I got to talking about liking plants and how I had left mine in Arkansas when we moved and before I knew it I was picking two from her assortment.

I hesitated over the ivy plant, remembering my past experience with a beautiful ivy plant that got some kind of mites and died on me. She assured me that I should take it and showed me how she would snap a piece off and fill in the gaps as it grew.

I wouldn't say I have anything close to a green thumb. (You read about my hanging basket!) My usual method with houseplants is to water them faithfully for a couple of weeks when they're new and then water them whenever the thought crosses my mind thereafter. 

Some plants seem to thrive on that method and they make me look good - like the plant a dear lady from church gifted me at Charles' baby shower. I had mentioned to her about leaving my plants behind and she so kindly remembered and gave me one as a gift. That plant sits on my sewing cabinet and apparently likes the spot and the occassional watering method because it grows and flourishes profusely while we bump it and jostle it around and basically ignore it's existence.

But the ivy plant. The other day I was dusting and the ivy plant caught my attention. I knew I had taken a picture of it soon after I got it, so I went looking and was amazed to see the difference that a few months had made!

Sometime after I noticed the ivy plant, one day I felt prompted to give a little gift to a friend. I almost pushed it off because I was pretty sure she wouldn't be the one picking up her school children that day but I took a little time to cut the brown paper and string, tie a bow and write a note. It's not that I don't like to give gifts, don't get me wrong. It's just.... well, it's silly but here it is --

When you get to school you park in this long row of cars and in order to give the gift, very likely you will have to get out of your van and walk down that row and everybody will be looking at you!

All you sanguine souls will not understand this nor will the non-writers who look at my blog and assume the kind of person I must be but it's a very real thing, trust me. It's very closely linked to the thing that restrains me from inviting ladies over for tea and sends me flinching at the idea of company for Sunday lunch and squashes the idea of actually going and visiting the new mother who just had a baby but that's more info than you really need!

So, on my way to school I said a little prayer, something along the lines of, "God, if you want me to give this gift today please work this out for me." As I got there, I saw my friend's husband pull in just ahead of me. He drove to the end of the line and parked his truck behind our usual row of vehicles. I took a deep breath and looked at my son who had just fallen asleep. "Ok God, that's pretty clear," I said. I got out of my van and walked behind the row of eyes and handed over my little brown package.

It wasn't until later that night, when my friend's text came saying how much she loved the gift, that a light dawned in my mind. It was as if a gentle voice said, "See, you are growing. You heard my voice today, I'm working in your life. Like the plant, you may not notice the slow transforming from tiny seedling to flourishing, thriving plant but it's still happening even when you can't see it."

So, to any of you who are like me and wonder if you ever grow? Take heart, you are growing! Like the plant on my windowsill that gets very little attention yet quietly grows and flourishes, you are growing - little by little, day by day. God is so much more interested in what is happening in the quiet recesses of our hearts than in how many attention grabbing things we are accomplishing. Listen to His voice; do the little things. You are growing, you are growing.

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Phil 1:6 NLT

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Twice On Thursdays

I confess to feeling really dry lately; brittle, in places.

I'm not really sure why,
so I won't try to explain it.

Since I have nothing inspirational to say
And since I'm sitting here holding 
my sick child and might as well do something profitable
I'll see what snippets I can come up with in a picture post.

Problem is,
my pictures are even kinda dry.

I've been spending lots of my time on a project for the school auction.

I've had so much fun with it
and I plan to give you the full run down when I'm done but until then...

This is another project for 
the school auction 
but since this is as far as it's gotten yet,
 I can't tell you any more about it 
at the moment either.

(Mentioning it might make me 
feel accountable somehow, see...)

Work keeps happening at the new house, little by little.
My kitchen countertops are in

and that could be a story
worth telling,
perhaps another day.

(I'm really not trying to be mysterious about everything here, I'm mostly just in a mood.)

This book came in the mail last week and I'm digesting it slowly.
I'm a little scared of it,
 to tell you the truth.
Supposing God wants to change me somehow, ya know?

This child amuses me daily with his vivid imagination and constant jabber. Seriously, he never stops talking!
"Mom, the pwuck went bumpy bumpy bumpy and fwashed into the tree!!"
Everything goes 'fwash'
and is a Big One
and I have to hear about it all
And respond.

Sometimes it's not actually amusing, sometimes it's annoying.

But I do love to watch him play and see what he comes up with.
He is constantly giving all the little people names and making them go places and do things.

One day these two were Grandpa Gingerich and Grandma Sara. He even took Grandpa Gingerich outside with him to fix his trike!

In closing I'll leave you with these pictures taken through the van windshield on my morning drive
home from school.

I love this spot in the road.

 I always think I will use these pictures
to write some inspiring post
on sunshine and shadows

But it never writes itself
 so I'll just let you look at them and maybe you can come up with
 your own inspiration.

Sunshine to you all,
And twice on Thursdays.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Every 15 Pictures

Luci, a fellow blogger, challenged her readers to do a blog post using the last picture take on your phone and every 15th picture thereafter for a total of 20 pictures. I thought that might be fun, so here you go...

1) I took a video of the children singing Happy Birthday for grandma Sara and accidentally took a picture first.

2) Charles conked out on grandma's floor where he was busily 
playing with toys.

3, 4, 5, and 6) A Sunday evening spent taking a drive and a walk as a family and then getting all picture happy with my girls.

7) Happy 7th Birthday to Lillian!

8) Being goofy.

9) Corn on the cob late one evening when someone remembered there was still corn in the fridge and thought it would taste good.

10) Peaches. Lots and lots of them.

11) The way we look after a bunch of painting at the new house.

12) On the way home from Grandpa Gingerich's wedding.

13) Lovely flowers on the tables at the wedding.

14) The view from the top of the Ferris Wheel at Tuscora Park.

15) Jars and jars of tomato juice.

16) The dead hanging basket, 

17) Operation legos where you divide the colors and the siblings and see what you can make.

18) Setting up extravagant spreads of toys that are so difficult to pick up and put away later...

19) One of a number of lovely times spent at the lake this summer!

20) Wild raspberries. Remember the story?

So there you are, Every 15 Pictures!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

On Mornings When Mom Has A Headache

On mornings when 
Mom Has A Headache,
I'll tell you a tale that is true --
A lot is at stake,
Commit no mistake,
You'll be wrong whatever you do.

On mornings when 
Mom Has A Headache,
I'll tell you just how it will go --
You won't get a break,
From the time you awake,
The reason, you may never know.

On mornings when
Mom Has A Headache,
I'll tell you just how you will feel --
Your heart it will quake,
Your boots, they will shake,
You'll wonder, what is the big deal?

On mornings when
Mom Has A Headache,
I'll tell you a secret or three --
Small things take the cake,
All grace she'll forsake, 
No patience you're likely to see.

On mornings when
Mom Has A Headache,
I'll tell you, good feelings depart --
Your smile will be fake,
Your outlook opaque,
Your day will not have a good start.

On mornings when
Mom Has A Headache,
I'll tell you when you get to school --
Your teacher will take,
The brunt of the ache,
If something does not overrule.

On mornings when
Mom Has A Headache,
I'll tell you what turns things around --
"I'm sorry" will make,
A 180 retake,
And pick your day up from the ground!


Written by a guilty mother of five.