Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

This is the table arrangement for a wedding I helped cater not so very long ago.

Pattern for tranquil joy

Pattern for tranquil joy

The task, here, was to seat 30 for the rehearsal dinner, in a rather smaller dining area, while the bride’s helpers prepared the larger dining area for the reception the following day.

I was totally pleased with how it turned out. The wedding colors were brown and yellow and I love how the walls cooperated with this plan. The centerpieces are simple tissue paper flowers, homemade, but exuberant and joyful. The entire theme of the wedding was whimsical and fun, so these fit in with all the rest of the laughter.

In fact, the entire setting seemed to fit the pattern for this wedding: relaxed, inexpensive, whimsical, inviting,  joyful, and at the same time, calm. The symmetry I think helped to anchor all that explosion of yellow.

We began with little idea of how it would work, although we had measured the room, and figured the dynamics several times.

I think it worked.

Overheard: At the Foot of Mt. Sinai

Recently our church studied the Book of Acts.

We saw early Christians respond with courage to severe persecution.

We saw miracles were normal for the early church.

We might say such strong faith is something we long to see in our church.

But do we really?

We sing, “Revive us again,” and “Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.”

But do we really desire and plead for the presence and power of God to revive us?

I wonder if we are content with the “mercy drops”.

Maybe really we are satisfied to have the Lord simply break through, every now and then, to do a mighty thing or two among us, but we really aren’t serious when it comes to wanting to see the full power and presence of His Holy Spirit.

Now some say we are living in a different dispensation and that the age of miracles is over — that was for a specific time and place to authenticate the message of the apostles, but we no longer need that today.

English: Sunrise on Mt. Sinai in Egypt
English: Sunrise on Mt. Sinai in Egypt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Really!!

The church doesn’t need the power and presence of Holy Spirit today?

Miracles are happening in mission fields where people have never heard of Jesus, why not here?

Is not “Jesus Christ […] the same yesterday and today and forever” as it states in Hebrews 13:8?

I’m afraid we have become comfortable and accustomed to the absence of God’s Presence in our meetings.

In reality, maybe the Presence of God scares us, just as it scared the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, and as a result, we don’t experience the miracles of God.

And our faith is dying.

When God sends forth the Holy Spirit, amazing things happen:

Barriers are broken.

Communities are transformed.

Unity is established.

Diseases are healed.

Addictions are broken.

Marriages are reconciled.

Hope is established.

People are blessed.

Revival comes.

That’s what the preacher said.

And we know there is more he didn’t say.

Much more.

Let’s go for it.

7 Ways to Beat that Stale Day

English: Stale water during a drought at Old M...

English: Stale water during a drought at Old Mill Dam at Cedarock Park near Burlington, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you ever have stale days at home?

I don’t mean the air in the house is stale, although it may be, and that may even be part of the trouble. No, I mean one of those days when you cannot put your finger on it, but something just seems off. Missing. Sinking.

Stale.

It can be a job hazard for the home-based woman, because it can quickly lead to a small bout of self-pity, which could turn into a medium-sized bout of disappointment, which might even develop into a big case of the blahs. Mullygrubs. Discouragement. Fear. Anger.

Don’t ask me how I know.

But DO ask me what I’ve learned about how to fix it!

I have learned how to fix it.

Many ways.

I learned from watching the animals, from watching other people, and from “watching” (keeping my eyes fixed on) Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

  1. Catch a few rays. Open the curtains and blinds and let the sun in. I know you don’t want to. But you know the fastest way to get away from anything is to run in the opposite direction, right? Well, when we’re all darkness inside, it’s best to let in some light. In fact, going outdoors is even better, because sunlight gives us vitamin D, which makes us absorb calcium from our diets, which they say is a catalyst for every chemical reaction that is supposed to happen in the body. Often, when we think shopping, gardening, or taking a walk cheers us, it’s largely exposure to daylight that does the trick. Just sitting on the porch in the sunlight for ten or fifteen minutes may be all you need to get more D. To get more calcium. To get more MO.
  2. Breathe. Open a window. If the north wind is blowing, open a south window, turn down the thermostat, and put on a sweater. Allow some fresh air into the house. Lack of oxygen slows the body and the mind. Not hard to grasp that, but usually during extreme hot or cold weather, we hesitate to let oxygen in. Those are the days we think we have cabin fever, spring fever, or just a blue funk. How little we guess we’re oxygen deprived! I wonder how many of us even acquire Alzheimer’s Syndrome from it!
  3. Get a drink. Not that kind of drink. You don’t have to wag water all day, but if you’ll just chug a glass or so, now and then, you would be surprised. It revs your metabolism, dilutes toxins in the blood, and gives the kidneys something to work with. Even your VISION can become clearer right after a big drink of water. Imagine what it does for your thinking.
  4. Sing. Music has charms. We need it. Be sure you sing a happy song, heh heh. If you cannot sing, whistle. If you cannot whistle either, play a CD. Loud. Let happy music take you where you ought to have been. I am amazed at how much more I like everything about my life when I sing or listen to great, uplifting music. And for ages, I was totally unaware of that about myself, until I found a survey asking if I worked better with or without music. I answered “without” and instantly realized I was WRONG. I constantly whistle while I work, something I learned when I was teensy and viewed the premier of Disney‘s Snow White classic cartoon. Yes, I’m old.
  5. Move it. Get up. Tie on some comfy shoes. Get going. Take a walk. Sweep the front sidewalk. Scrub the tub. Pull weeds. Knead some bread. Clean out a closet. Scrub a smudged door. WHATEVER. Just make yourself a bit breathless. It does wonders for the lymph system if you keep it circulating by moving your major muscles. You just feel better when you move more. I’m not a medical professional, but I’ve heard that major movement even can work like a pain-killer.
  6. Combine all the above. Had you noticed? You can do all the first five ways in one 20-30 minute goal by taking a big glug of water and then taking a walk. Too simple.
  7. Bathe. I don’t mean to say you’re dirty, but don’t we always feel better when our hair is clean and our clothing is fresh? Sometimes, that morning can seem to drag on forever, but after a hot shower or soak, we just have more confidence or something. I think I first noticed this, too, as a child, whenever I would be ill. The first day “back to the land of the living” Mom would make us bathe, although we might still feel weak. She would change our bedding then, and we’d go back to recuperation in clean sheets, clean nightie, and clean skin. I was always surprised that such a big effort on the part of my little sicko self could make me feel so much stronger and rest so much better.
  8. Read your Bible. Get one. If you’re not experienced reading the Bible, get one with red letters, and read the red parts first. You’d be surprised. Sometimes I pray this shorty first: “God, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but just tell me something that will fix it, please.” Then I read until it hits me: Oh, what a great truth I forgot! And it ALWAYS hits me, because He is so much more interested in getting me going, than I am.

Okay, there you are. No more excuses. Kick the stale out of your day!

And share with us, PLEASE, what are your tricks for freshening your day? And THANKS!

I have been asleep…

Taking a nap or...

Taking a nap… (Photo credit: unertlkm)

. . . but I have not dreamed.

Dreaming, except for nightmares, can be great fun. I can get into some real fixes and then get out just by waking up! After that, I try to figure what I must have eaten before bed, to cause such craziness in the head.

Don’t you?

“House” dreams are supposed to be about ourselves. So when I dreamed about a huge house with a flooded basement, I’m not sure I had such a great supper that night.

I much prefer the one where the staircase leads upward, to hundreds of elegantly appointed bedrooms.

My favorite dreams, I believe, are when I dream about sleeping. Mmm . . .

I also have the other type of dreams, when wide-awake, planning wonderful projects I will do next year. These dreams are haunting and therefore remind me of nightmares.

I am supposed to act on them, to perfect everything I need before I can get started. Losing weight, writing a book, finishing the afghan, unpacking the last box from moving several years ago, all fit that category. I should be making these dreams come true, but something keeps waking me up from real life, and it is not clear WHAT.

Once upon a time, I had weeding and weighing in good shape. Same for ironing. Really.

Was I simply setting a good example so my children would grow up with good habits? That’s a good modus. However, now that no one is watching me . . .

Well, the Lord is watching, right?

Once I was motivated by love for others, my little others who surrounded my skirts with neediness. I now must find motivation only in doing what is right.

I have choices. I don’t like who I see living inside this rules-bound exterior.

The last child is gone. Can I afford to do my own thing? Am I really my own puppy? Do I need to rethink?

I have slept.

It’s time to wake up.