When Enough Is Enough

Second and Third bouquets of the year

Hellebores and Daffodils

I do not normally ever think there are enough daffodils in my house. Ever.

However, when I think of all the daffodils my beloved has brought me over the years, I get a soft, satisfied feeling I cannot explain.

Fulfilled? Maybe. Or maybe just content?

Anyway, I promised to show you the very first bouquet from this year on the 21st, but I guessed wrong at the date and today is the day!

So, go here, where I am guest posting for a friend,  and see the lovely and very first bouquet of daffs from my beloved, and one of my off-the-cuff stories to go with it. Enjoy!

Where Is Your Favorite Vacation?

Alpine Vistas

Alpine Vistas

I live about an hour from the loveliest little spot for a vacation. Seriously, it has EVERYTHING!

Let me count the ways:

  • Antiquing. Lots of antique stores for your viewing/shopping pleasure. One huge mall and many small near-museums with absolutely everything. Seriously, I almost hate to share this part of it. I want it all for myself…
  • Horse racing. If you’re into that. I’m not.
  • Art. Galleries galore, including such well-knowns as Kinkade and Chihuly, and several with geological finds that have been made into art, such as geodes. It’s been judged the fourth art-friendliest city in the nation.
  • Riverboat ride with dinner and live music.
  • Al fresco dining in a below ground restaurant–always cool by dinnertime.
  • Real museums, including a Tussaud wax museum.
  • Amazing architecture. Totally astonishing architecture, at every turn.
  • Breath-taking vistas
  • Impeccable groundskeeping
  • History, history, history–built with government moneys, yes, by your great-grandfather’s hands to keep your great-grandmother alive, before we paid people to do nothing.
  • Food. Oh my. And prices that make you want to live there. One whole restaurant devoted to the breakfast of your dreams. On fun place decorated all over with pennies glued to the walls. Another, gourmet and pristine, a sanctuary for its guests and for its workers, who are legal immigrants, escaped from Romania, who wait on you perfectly and cheerily, with charming accents.
  • Hotels. We’re talking, here, of totally expensive, but enchantingly historic, insanely beautiful, antique hotels…
  • And–tada–fountains. Fountains full of water so hot, you can use it to make your tea; so pure, it’s piped to the public straight from the ground, to drink. Famously healing hot waters…

And now you know where it is: Hot Springs, Arkansas.

So impressive, the first time I went there, I was five, and even then, I knew I had to go there someday when I could see the whole thing.

Been there so many times, and haven’t seen it all, yet. Talking about it (to my history-loving heart) is never overdone.

Our Grandfathers' Handwork

Our Grandfathers’ Handwork

For more photos, view here.

For more about Hot Springs, view here, and here.

So…Where is YOUR favorite staycation?

STORMS for Friday!

Meteor Storm, That Is!

The prediction of a possible 15-20 meteors every minute for late Friday night, May 23, and early Saturday morning, May 24, excites everyone who’s ever stayed up to watch the night sky. DO let it inspire you to stay up, for the first time, if you never have before.

To find the storm in the night sky, just look at Polaris, the North Star, which you may find by tracing a line straight “up” from the front two stars of the Big Dipper–the two stars that form the front of the dipper.  Or just face north and look up. You won’t be able to miss it.

Scientists predict the best time to be at the hour that is midnight in California or 4 a.m. in New York. Do your own math, there.

The fact that most excites me is the prediction of many fireballs and bolides. Check out this Website for cool graphics and information about those.

Won’t you join us!

For ideas on how best to make this happen, try this routine:

  1. Select, in advance, an unlit place to view this glorious sight. An open field away from civilization would be good. Your own house, with a couple of street lights blaring, not so good.
  2. Explain the plan to your children before you put them to bed. Go over a few pieces of child-appropriate science on the topic and answer questions. A globe might help. Don’t let them be scared; let your excitement sparkle as you explain the beauty and awesomeness of the event.
  3. Put them to bed in outdoor-friendly clothing, just this once.
  4. SET YOUR ALARM for 1/2 hour early. It takes awhile to get everything all around. Why miss a single event?
  5. Rise on time, fix plenty of hot cocoa, or whatever warm drink you’d like them to have. Gather flashlights, sweaters, blankets, lawn chairs, bug spray, etc. and load into car if you have to drive to an unlit place.
  6. Wake the children and bumble them outdoors or into the car. Set up your night-sky-watching station and begin the fun. It should be every bit as much fun as watching a fireworks display on July 4, but not as convenient an hour.
  7. Be sure to explain to your children that most of the world will not get to view this because it will be daylight everywhere else when it arrives.

Have a wonderful time! I cannot wait!

 

Why You Would Kill a Christian

Killing Christians is a practice as old as Christianity. Those who practice it do nothing more than imitate their predecessors. Predecessors who attempted but failed to snuff out the life of our faith in its infancy.

The practice of persecution is hard for some to understand but it’s actually an understandable act. In fact, I can think of at least ten reasons to kill a Christian.

You’ll probably enjoy reading more here.

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer

The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Look Up.

Large, violent tornadoes can cause catastrophi...

Large, violent tornadoes can cause catastrophic damage when striking populated areas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With all the tornados floating around lately, come many more words about tornados. It’s a real storm out there and I’d like to add to the din.

I wrote a couple of years ago about my close call with a really big, destructive tornado. People like to read about these events. Not just y’all; I read these stories too.

As I was re-reading some of these writings today, I noticed something. I think the events that shape our lives prepare us for living a successful life in the end. I think we can look back on our childhoods and see how God was preparing us to face our future.

If we pay attention . . .

One thing in particular that stood out for me, as I read these old stories today was this: It was no time for hurt feelings.

Not then; not now.

I wrote about my six-year-old self:

I knew it was a tornado up there, whatever a tornado was. I looked up, too, and stumbled.

Mom scolded me sharply. “Don’t look up! Don’t look up! Don’t look up!” She seldom scolded sharply. It hurt my feelings but I knew it was no time for hurt feelings. Her words were like a mantra, a warbled charm against bad omens . . . don’t look up, don’t look up . . .

As I notice the world today, I realize how  much I knew back then, and how much my mom knew, and what good I could make of it if I only paid attention and applied it to my current life.

  1. When we look at the troubles, we stumble. It IS  huge storm all around us, but the storm should not be our focus, at all.
  2. If someone is trying to save our lives, we should not get hurt feelings. Those who know the way to safety are life-savers. Some of us probably should be slipping into that role, but we enjoy ignoring the storm, more.
  3. We are in a huge storm, like it or not, and it is NO TIME FOR HURT FEELINGS! Regardless of what happens, hurt feelings are a distraction and not deserving of our time or attention.
  4. DON’T LOOK AT THE STORM! DON’T LOOK AT THE STORM! DON’T LOOK AT THE STORM!

One caveat:

We should look up.

Jesus told us it would get worse, and when it does, to look up. To stand up. To lift up our heads.

Why? Because our salvation will be very near.

 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke21:28 KJV

Update

A bold and brave testimony from one of the Tittle daughters. May we all raise children like her:

A day of extreme emotions here at FamilyLife. April 28, 2014

He died as he lived … protecting his family.

Rob Tittle, a FamilyLife staff member and kindred spirit warrior for the family, died last night in the tornado that crushed parts of central Arkansas. Two of his daughters—Tori, age 20, and Rebekah, 14—were among the 14 killed in the storm.

Rob, 48, and his wife Kerry, had heard the tornado warnings and were shepherding their nine children under a stairwell when the tornado disintegrated their home. Rob was doing what a man does—putting his family first—when the twister hit. All that is left is a grim grey slab of concrete.

Their 19 year old daughter posted this on Facebook: “This is… from a friend’s house, my mom, and my six brothers/sisters are alright. We have lost three of our family …

Please continue reading this lovely young woman’s testimony, and the rest of this tender report, here.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Behold, now is the day of salvation.