Home

Sated

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

***********

Reenie pushed  back from the table, sated but not stuffed to the point of discomfort. It had been a superb meal, with every dish cooked to perfection and served beautifully. While the  kids helped clear the table and leftovers were put away to be enjoyed another day, Reenie sat lost in thought.

So many holiday meals. So much delectable food over the course of her long life. She’d never had trouble keeping her weight under control. She’d been active, busy, fulfilled. So a meal like the one she had just enjoyed left no guilty aftertaste.

As she reached for her cane, one of her sons came to her chair. “Are you ready to get up, Mom?  Let me walk you into the family room. Your comfortable chair is waiting for you. Do you feel a nap coming on?”

“You know, that does sound good.   I feel I should help clean up, but I was told in no uncertain terms that I just need to rest.”  She laughed, enjoying her status as the privileged elder who was no longer welcomed into the  clearing up process.

As she settled into the recliner that fit her so well,  her son pulled an afghan up over her legs. “Do you need anything else, Mom? Ready for a nap?”

“Thank you, I’m fine.  I’ll just rest a few minutes, and then I’ll be ready when it’s time to play a game.”

As her eyes closed, she smiled with pleasure when she felt the little dog that belonged to her family jump up into her lap.  The dog curled up, enjoying having his ears scratched, and soon they were  both asleep.

At least, Reenie thought she was sleeping. To her amazement,  people she had known and loved began to appear in her mind’s eye.  Her grandparents, her mother and dad!  What on earth were they doing here?  They smiled at her and seemed to beckon her to join them. They looked so real, she felt sure she could have reached out and touched them.

The baby she had lost, the one she had never seen.  It had been so early in the pregnancy that there was no little face to remember, but she knew this was her child. Knew it as sure as she knew the ones who had lived and thrived and given her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

And now here was Frank; dear, beloved Frank. Married for nearly 60 years, it had broken her heart when he’d left her with no warning, his heart just giving in to the pressure of time and age.  Yet here he was, holding out his arms to her, and she wanted desperately to go.

It was time, after all. She was 98 years old, and she was tired. Her body was no longer the strong, healthy body she had taken such good care of. Her heart, she was sure, was even more tired than Frank’s had been.

Yes, she was ready. It was sad to leave all her loved ones here, but she knew they would reunite in heaven someday. She found herself rising weightlessly from her chair, growing excited as everything around her receded into the past. She stretched out her hand and felt it taken by a hand she didn’t recognize until she looked up into the face of  her beloved Savior.  “Jesus!  Oh, Jesus!”

She didn’t feel the hand that gently shook her shoulder.  She didn’t hear the  urgency of the voice that called “Mom?  Mom!”  She didn’t see the family gather as they realized she had left them.

She was Home.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sated/

Creativity

Express Yourself!

Do you love to dance, sing, write, sculpt, paint, or debate? What’s your favorite way to express yourself, creatively?

***************

Depends on where I am and who I’m with.

When I’m at home, I love to play my piano or organ; I love to knit, crochet, quilt, embroider—any needlecraft.  I read voraciously, and I’m taking a stab at writing.

With friends?  Conversation.  If debate can be done without rancor, I love a good discussion.  I love to laugh.

Publicly?  I love speaking to women’s groups.  Conferences, seminars, small groups–it doesn’t matter.  I will always love teaching, and I look forward to opportunities to share my love of God’s Word with other women.

Creativity is what you make it.  Sewing, baking, cooking, decorating, even cleaning, can all be creative tasks.  Not that there’s much creativity to scrubbing a toilet or throwing a load of clothes in the washer, but homemaking certainly offers a huge arena for creativity.  I love flowers, but I don’t have a green thumb.  I’d love to be more creative in the garden.  Just not my gift.

 There are many other things that I can do well, though, and all of life is creative, from the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg and a new person is conceived.

God is creative, and we are made in His likeness.  Creativity is in our souls.

The Rain on the Soil back Home

Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say . . .. . . home.. . . soil.. . . rain.Use those words in the title of your post.

**************

Ellie stood in her ramshackle kitchen, staring out the dusty window at the dusty yard that met the dusty field. There was nothing green in sight. Not one blade of grass, not a leafed-out tree or bush. The yard had been a showplace just a couple of short years ago, before the rain had stopped. Now, there was nothing but brittle brown stubble and tired old trees that didn’t have the strength to raise their branches to the sky.

Her prized roses? Huh.  Not much of a prize these days. What the dust didn’t kill, the locusts did.  Or the wind. The wind sucked the life out of everything, leaving desolation in its path.

Drought. Dust. Dry. Drained. Depression.  The Great Depression, they called it. That sure was fitting.

Ellie rubbed her eyes with her index fingers, trying to relieve herself of the itchy feeling the dust always left. Sighing, she picked up her rag and set about the useless business of trying to wipe the dust from the kitchen counters. When she finished that, she’d try to clean the dishes.  Thank goodness the well hadn’t gone dry yet. They rationed water as if it were gold, knowing that eventually, if it didn’t rain, the well would go to dry dust just like everything else had.

Years later, one of Ellie’s granddaughters would ask her, “Grandma, why do you always rinse out the glass before you fill it up with water?  It’s clean when you take it out of the cupboard, isn’t it?”

And she would reply, “Yes, Sweetpea, it’s clean.  It’s just an old habit of mine from the Dustbowl Days when no matter how clean the glass was when you put it away, the dust would get into it anyway and you had to rinse it out before you could use it.”

But this day, Ellie didn’t know she would survive this hell. She didn’t know she would live to see grandchildren running through the lush green yard and coming racing into the house seeking a drink. All she knew was that she was slowly losing her grip on reality, and if something didn’t happen soon, she may slip into a world where no one could follow her.

Sighing, she worked her way through the darkened house. John had boarded up most of the windows against the dust and the grasshoppers and the wind.  They did everything they could think of to protect themselves, but when a dust storm blew up, it seemed that the gritty stuff seeped through the walls themselves.  She’d taken down the curtains and stored them away, hoping for a better day.

Pushing the front door open, Ellie stepped out onto the porch.  The boards creaked under her light step. She took her worn out broom and swept the unrelenting sand and dirt from her wide front porch, down the steps, into the yard.  Futile as it was, knowing she’d be doing the exact same thing tomorrow, she stayed busy with the chore until it was as clean as she was ever going to be able to get it.

She looked out across the stubble in the field, squinting against the sun as she watched her husband pouring buckets of precious well water on a few remaining cornstalks. Her heart ached for him. He’d worked so hard, and all he had to show for it was a handful of still-growing plants.

Sighing, she turned to go back inside when she felt a little tug at the hem of her dress.  She glanced down, expecting to see the tired old dog asking for his water bowl to be filled.  Nothing there. Huh.

Then she felt it again, only this time her dress flattened against her body and her hair lifted off her forehead in wispy feathers.

A breeze?  Oh, no.  Another dust storm coming?  She really didn’t think she could stand it one more time as the black clouds of hatred rolled across the prairie, darkening the sky and covering the ground with filth. 

She turned to the west, expecting to see the tell-tale line in the distance, but there was nothing. Raising her eyes, she stiffened in shock to see a few greyish, puffy clouds rising from the horizon. Holding her breath in hope, she watched those clouds come racing toward the farm, beginning to fill the sky and creating a different kind of wind from the dust storms.

Her heart began to thump, then to race. Could it really be?  Those sure did look like rain clouds! Oh, John!  Would he see?  He was so intent on his task, his head was still bent so he couldn’t see up.

“John!”  she screamed as loudly as she could. “JOHN!  Look up!  Look at the sky!  Look!  LOOK!”

John’s head came up, turned in her direction. She pointed up toward the clouds, and he swiveled his head in the direction she pointed. He stood stock still for several seconds, then turned and began to race toward her, waving his hat and yelling for sheer joy.

They met in the center of the yard, hanging on to each other as the drops of mercy from the clouds began to spatter against the  hard, parched soil.  Then it drizzled, and then it poured!  Rain! Glorious, life-giving, thirst-quenching, well-filling, soil-healing, soul-healing, merciful rain!

They stood with their arms raised, letting the rain sluice down their tired bodies. Thoroughly wet, they turned into each other’s arms and hugged, then without saying a word, they waltzed to the rhythm of the falling rain until their feet were muddy and their clothes stuck to them.  They laughed.  They cried.

They thanked God.The rain would save the soil, and it would save their home.

It was a good day.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/free-association/

Matters of Faith

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.

********************

I have heard many people say, “I grew up in a Christian home,” and then go on to describe some aspect of their childhood that influenced their lives later on.  It is true for me.  I did grow up in a Christian home, but I need to define that statement.

My dad came home from World War II having decided that God and faith and church were all useless.  He’d learned to be a weekend beer-drunk, and he’d tossed his own upbringing into the deep blue sea when it came to matters of faith. My mom, on the other hand, had been introduced to Jesus Christ after Dad left for his war service, and she was thrilled and excited to share that experience with him.  He wanted none of it.

Skipping over the intervening years, when he was maybe 27 or 28 my dad’s own heart was softened by my mom’s faithfulness, the kindness of caring believers, and a persistent pastor who became a lifelong friend.  Dad renewed his faltering relationship with God and felt the call of God on his life to go into the ministry.

I was five when Dad moved us to Minneapolis so he could attend Bible college and earn a degree that would start him on a journey that makes a great story.  Of course, it started the rest of us on that same journey, all in our different ways.

Those caring believers that helped get my dad back on track with the Lord became lifelong family friends, more like relatives. We visited them as often as limited funds and time would allow.  When I was still about five years old, we were there one Sunday. I don’t remember why.  There may have been some special event going on.  It doesn’t really matter.

I remember that the weather was warm enough for me to wear a pretty sleeveless dress my mom had made, and that I loved.  It wasn’t a hand-me-down; I was the first and only wearer of that dress.  We went off to Sunday school, and I loved it.  I loved the singing, the stories, and the little papers we got to take home. 

On this particular Sunday, one of the family members that had taken us into their hearts was my teacher.  I loved her.  I thought she was pretty, and she was kind and gentle.  As she told us the story of Jesus, her words sank into my heart. All these years later, I still remember her telling us how Jesus came from heaven just to take the penalty of our sin on Himself so that we could go to heaven to be with Him.

I had good parents.  I already knew I did wrong things. I understood very clearly that I wasn’t perfect in any way, but that God loved me and sent His own Son to die for me.  When my teacher asked us if any of us would like to stay after class and to ask Jesus to forgive our sin and come into our hearts to live, I immediately raised my hand.  I remember very clearly kneeling on that basement floor and praying with my teacher.  I remember feeling such a sense of gladness, knowing that I was on my way to heaven because Jesus loved me so much.

I’m 67 now, and I’m still filled with gratitude, wonder, joy, and peace at the knowledge that I have a Savior Who was willing to give His life for mine. That one moment, when I was only five, has influenced and affected my entire life.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/in-good-faith/