A New Leaf

Ponderings in Changing Seasons


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My “About”

[You can check out the conclusion to my dilemma by clicking above on Bio and Get to Know Me.  These are soon to be followed with more new permanent sections.]

Been thinking about my “About”.  How do I define myself in a short essay that is both charming and candid?  Do I write in narrative or do I use bullet points?  How can a life long-lived be bullet-pointed?  Bullet proof? Yes!  But bullet-pointed?  How to captivate and not clobber ~ with too much information ~ “TMI” to the Millenials or to this Next-Gen group of reader/writers who scan and scour the blogosphere?

Once upon a time I would have glibly described myself:  brunette, medium build, vivacious, curious, bossy, and oh-so-serious about toeing the line, doing life well and right.  NOW?  With hair turned silver and much living in this heart of mine, it’s not so easy to tersely put out there who my multi-faceted self is.

“Look in the mirror,” I am prompted.

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I look.

Eyes brown.  Laugh lines and lamenting lines dance around them and along my mouth.  Hands wrinkled from too-many-to-count sudsy sinks filled with hot water for dishes from meals served from the heart.  Looking lower, legs and feet that carry me far and wide.

“Look again. See deeper.”  Eyes perceptive.  Mouth speaks both life and death.  These hands, they both lift and push away.  And these feet, they always bring me Home to where my Heart abides.

Our Hearth:  In winter it warms not just the air but the very atmosphere, its fire inviting respite with the warmth.  In summer, it is a resting place for memories, the stones cool to the touch.  The mantel ever changing and ever displaying things that speak connection to family, to life, to Creator-Sustainer God.

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Our Kitchen:  The one place in the Home everyone and anyone passes through.  Nourishment for body and for soul springs forth from here.  Food is a production to be plated with intention and invitation.  “Come.  Sup.  Share a story.  Life is full:  As we fill our bellies, let us fill our hearts.”

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And Garden:  Colors vibrant.  Herbs mingled with flowers abundant.  Veggies for our table.  Fresh and rich with nutrients, the nurture of these plants bestows nurture to the care-giver.  It is a circle.  It completes.

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Capturing the essence of oneself seems a task only our Creator can effectively do.  It is a task simple yet challenging.  He Who knows me best can most truthfully reveal me.  I am thankful that He knows me best because He is the One and Only Who also loves me best.  He loves me ~ AND He loves YOU, no matter what.  He knows, He cares and He loves!  He is our bullet-proof vest in this life. He is the One who keeps, covers us even when life seems to be ripped to shreds.

While studying the Book of Ruth recently, I came to this picture of a juncture in her life … an identity juncture we each must encounter if we are to be truly, authentically genuine.  Her husband has died an untimely death, as has her brother-in-law, his brother.  This leaves her mother-in-law, Naomi, bereft of both her sons, all her children.  Ruth chooses to leave her people and to follow Naomi into her homeland.  Ruth says to Naomi, “Entreat me not to leave you.” Then she proclaims,  “For your people shall be my people and your God, my God.”  In choosing to remain faithful to Naomi, Ruth ultimately meets her Redeemer, a type of Christ.  Her life and her home are established with the One God who knows her and provides for her.

This glimpse we get into Ruth’s earthly life reflects the love and care of a God who is intimately acquainted with all our ways, yet never rejects or abandons.  This relational God I follow calls me to grow ever more like Him, to love and care for others as He does for me.  My “About” is more about Him than it is about me.  My “About” speaks of His Redemptive work in my life even more than it does of my achievements or of the facets of my personality.  He is my “About” from beginning to end because HE IS Alpha and Omega.  As the sun rises and sets each day, so is My God ~ eternal, sustaining, intimate God!

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Part and Par …sley

Finding myself alone in the Garden on a wintry Fall-ish day, I see what’s left to be plucked before true Winter sets herself firmly on its lap.  A few fallen tomatoes I glean for one last Skillet of Summer – Fried Green – tart and tangy to speak of sun and simplicity.

My eye spies the still brazen green in this Season of Reds – Oranges – Yellows – and Browns.  I bend over to cut off the curls, bouquets of curls.  Fragrance wafts with each cut.  Bare stem tops are left to brace against the cold.

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Division – Separation – Death – A Parting:  that’s what Autumn in all her glory forebodes.  Yet these flavor- filled, sweet, piquant leaves foretell another story: Spring.  Life.

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This plant grown from a minuscule seed has two lives.  It will return to life.  Next Spring.  Before the incessant heat of mid-Summer causes it to bolt ~ as if it wants to sprout feet and run for cover.  It is no longer palatable.  Albeit, miraculously, in the Bolt will be the seed of yet another double life.  Chopping these leaves into small memories, my salivary glands doing overtime, I anticipate the enhancement of color and of taste that will adorn many a winter dish from cheese ball to casserole to soup .

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It takes effort.  It takes planning and preparation.  It takes being ever the learner to enjoy the fruit of the Earth.

We are His Fruit in this Earth.

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Orange … and Black … in this week for such.  Orange everywhere we looked. Flowers.  Bright shirts, skirts, ribbons and bands.  She is gone.  Her favorite color: ORANGE!  Honor her, remember her with ORANGE.  Black is for death.  Orange speaks of a life briefly spoken – just 18 years, an Artist – Fruit of God, Child of God.

She, too, has double the Life.  Her heart given years before to the One who offers Joy beyond the grave.  This hope of Eternity beats heavily in many of the hearts gathered.  But not all.  For others, grieving brings mental confusion, futility, groanings to deep for words, with NO hope.

The message of comfort likens our lives to a boomerang.  God sends us out with intention:  the expectation that we will return to Him.  We are not created like a stick.  It would fall and simply lie there.  Rather, His Word speaks Truth, “from dust to dust” – this earthen sod.

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Then He illumines Life – the GREEN – Life-breathed Words of Hope, of Promise:  I AM the Way, the Truth, the Life.  No one comes to the Father but by Me.  And, “I AM come that you might have Life ~ and Life MORE ABUNDANTLY!” **

We, unlike the boomerang, have a mind, a will, and emotions.  We get to choose.  We can choose to pet and pamper ourselves, besetting our weaknesses and vulnerabilities while “doing it /living it/ our way”.  Or, we can choose Him – follow His “Growing Instructions” – and our double life, our eternal life, will be verdant, fragrant, abundant beyond measure.

My Garden teaches me always some snippet of His Truth.  He has a specific plan and purpose for my life, my double life.   A diminutive Self-Portrait this Parsley is:  a parcel of Creator God.
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** John 13:6; John 10:10