Several of her books are a part of my library, and I can not recall a time when her books have failed to enrich parts of my life by drawing me to the Lord. Her practical and wise understanding of how to apply God's Word to the everyday always met me right where I was at any given moment. She was an excellent equipper of women in their ministry of home, church and community.
We got up early to drive a little ways to attend a funeral this morning, my husband's uncle had a stroke earlier this week.
We arrived home in time for the ninth hour Good Friday tea. On the way home we stopped by Whole Foods Market to purchase a bread since I was unable to be home for the allowance of time needed for the yeast to rise in the hot cross buns. Powdered sugar crosses were added to the purchased Easter bread.
And Charlotte, dressed as Mary, read in Luke chapter 2
"Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own heart too."
The rain drips, drips incessantly. Venturing out to Sunday worship today, we pulled up the hoods on our raincoats, opened up bright umbrellas, and carefully stepped around the multitudinous assortment of rain puddles scattered in our pathway.
The mood is dismal and lugubrious this Sunday afternoon, reminding me of the sleepy disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane that evening, eyes that were droopy, nodding off...at an extremely crucial time in history.
Today the skies are grey. For three hours on the day Jesus died, the skies became ominously dark...I envision a midnight sky without benefit of moon glow.
The crowds made up of citizens from Jerusalem, along with the visitors from the outstretching countryside, jostled each other to be a part of what was going on that day in their midst. They tossed their garments on the ground for the man entering Jerusalem on a donkey. Palm branches were waving, swishing in the faces of children and adults alike with voices lifted up as they sang joyful songs of praise and shouted out loud blessings.
I live on this side of the cruxifixion and the resurrection of my LORD and Savior. But I desire to see things in my days on this special week. Little things even that will cause me to stop, remember, reflect on His final week. Surely I will not miss it?
"Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as rebuilder of walls
and restorer of homes."
I read the familiar words in Isaiah 58 once again. Once again I prayed for the Holy Spirit to enlighten me more fully in its truths.
This is the kind of fast He desires:
to free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
to lighten the burden;
to remove chains that bind;
to feed the hungry;
to give clothes to those who need them;
to not hide from relatives that need help;
to remove the heavy yoke of oppression;
to help those in trouble;
to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Pinstitching bands of light creamy yellow to a lavender dress.
After I had chosen this summer dress pattern by Wendy Schoen for Charlotte, I began the process of sewing it. Then I realized that it possessed a bodice band and a scalloped bottom hem band that needed to be appliqued onto the dress. Now allow me just a few moments of rambling to give you a little bit of sewing history about myself. About ten years ago I attended a class in machine appliqueing. From this class I came home with several badly stitched or half stitched items along with the realization that I did not possess a propensity for machine appliqueing.
But hand sewing, now that is another matter altogether! What joy leaped up when I discovered I would be pin stitching these bands onto the dress. Yes, it takes quite a bit of stitching, but how fun is that...
I know I am slow at times. But after reading, here, that one could read the entire New Testament in one month by simply reading ten chapters a day, it was like a gigantic light bulb was illuminated in my head! I love the Holy Scriptures and enjoy reading the Bible every day. I am tempted to say I have the habit of reading it daily, but it truly is so much more than a habit; I think of it as my daily bread. I need His Word! I have been reading the Scripture Union Encounter reading schedule for quite a number of years, which takes me through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in five years. It is a slower reading schedule, allowing me to chew on and meditate on the passages I read. I have had a tendency in the past to think of reading the Bible in one year as being a sort of marathon, just grazing without enough regurgitating, (sorry we are "sheep"after all.)
But now I definitely am able to see the benefit of reading a greater number of chapters at one sitting, read within a shorter time lapse. As I am now reading the chapter's passages, my eyes read the words and the Holy Spirit reminds me of those specific readings as I go throughout my day; whatever I might be doing.
But it will take me two months to read the entire New Testament, because I sense a more realistic and successful undertaking in knowing that five chapters daily is doable in my life, especially regarding all the other readings I do in a day's time. I began this on March first and already I am reaping the sweetness and comfort of it.
"The whole Bible was given for this end, that you should both believe this doctrine and live in the comfort and sweetness of it."
I have several friends who have the wonderful significance of being the mothers of three sons. It seems like I heard a saying back when their sons were young that made me smile, "There is a special place in heaven for the mother of three boys." Since I only had two sons, I felt somewhat left out.
Last Saturday I hosted a baby shower for the mother of five sons.
Her newest male offspring arrived about six weeks ago. Oohing and ahhing to beat the band reverberated from corner to corner of my house as this sweet soul was admired and passed around from willing arm to willing arm. There was food aplenty and a superfluous amount of boy presents, as well as a time set aside for prayer blessings and words of encouragement for the mother and her son.
It was an age-old ritual of ladies of all ages coming together for the express purpose of celebrating a baby.