dual personalities

Category: Spirituality

“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”*

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 8.24.43 PM.png

I know this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 
~ Philippians 1:19

Paul knew he could trust God to deliver him just as I know it. I take each day as it comes and am grateful for feeling pretty good and for being able go to work. I wish my eyebrows and eyelashes would come back in (not to mention the rest of my hair) but I am learning to be patient.

Sometimes, though, the seriousness of what I am going through hits me. When I went to see the radiologist this week and found out about the regimen I will be put through starting next week, I felt a little panicky. But I just keep breathing and believing that everything will be okay. Many years ago I learned a little trick that helps me a lot. I clasp my hands and imagine that one of them belongs to Jesus and that he is holding my hand. It has gotten me through many a dentist appointment in the past and now it is really helpful. Maybe this is childish, but it works for me.

And you know, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

So rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice.

*Charles Spurgeon

The illustration is by Edward Bawden: Untitled landscape with sunset, 1927.

“Teach me some melodious sonnet”*

Unknown.jpeg

Lottie is sure styling in her fall ensemble complete with jean jacket…

Another lovely fall weekend has flown by. There are a lot of leaves on the ground now, but even more are still on the trees. We will be raking/vacuuming leaves ’til Christmas around here.

Over the weekend the OM and I hung my latest eBay purchase, about which I am very pleased. I like to peruse eBay, but I have found that most things are overpriced compared to what you can find at estate sales and at auction houses. Nevertheless, I continue to search, because I enjoy it and because sometimes something worthwhile turns up.

Recently I found a mirror with églomisé reverse painted panel, purported to be a Bucks County “Federal mirror with historic history. Originally owned by Ulysses S. Grant’s Great Aunt & Uncle, Benjamin Hough and Hannah (Simpson) Hough.” The seller had all the genealogical info. 

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 3.37.43 PM.png

The mirror even has a brass plate dated August 24, 1791, the day Benjamin and Hannah married.

Well, hold the phone, Hannah is our great-great-great-great grandmother!

The price was too high so I put the mirror on my watch list and waited. Soon the seller made me an offer which I thought was reasonable and I bought it! We had a nice email exchange; she was happy to see it return to its family. She packed it well and it came to me unscathed.

IMG_4088.JPG

Well, I am pretty excited to have this piece of Hough family decorative art back in my family!

The boy and the wee babes came over for spaghetti Sunday night (daughter #3 had work to do on her side-hustle/Etsy shop).  The wee laddie was in a bad mood when he arrived (he had not been allowed to bring his steam shovel) and he proceeded to act badly, which finally landed him for the first time in Mamu’s Time Out. He got over it.

IMG_4185.jpeg

This was not his time out chair! He was just keeping those micro cars from Lottie…

The babes are getting to be such little people with distinct personalities now that they are approaching three years of age! They really are nutballs.

IMG_4177 3.jpegWell, here’s a great old hymn for Tuesday. We sing it in the Episcopal Church but with an organ accompaniment. However, I do like this rendition.

“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is a hymn written by the 18th century pastor and hymnnodist Robert Robinson in 1757, but some things never get old.

Have a great week!

 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

We thank thee, O God, for the saints of all ages; for those who in times of darkness kept the lamp of faith burning; for the great souls who saw visions of larger truths and dared to declare them; for the multitude of quiet and gracious souls whose presence has purified and sanctified the world; and for those known and loved by us, who have passed from this earthly fellowship into the fuller life with thee. Accept this our thanksgiving through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer, to whom be praise and dominion for ever.

–Kendall Harmon, A prayer for All Saints Day

So Halloween and All Saints Day have come and gone and we are on the downward slide to the end of the year! Zut alors, the year has sped by.

We had a lovely weekend visit from daughter #2 all the way from Maryland. She went with me to my weekly chemo session…

Screen Shot 2019-11-04 at 4.30.56 PM.png…and we managed to do some of our favorite things as well. Daughter #1 joined us from mid-MO and we went to estate sales…

IMG_4080.JPG

…and went out to lunch. We frolicked with the wee babes…

IMG_3774.jpegIMG_3769.jpegWe watched Spy (2015), which we still think is hilarious,

Screen Shot 2019-11-04 at 4.16.20 PM

and a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie starring Jodie Sweetin which was part of the Countdown to Christmas. (Yikes.)

Screen Shot 2019-11-04 at 4.39.23 PM.pngAnd daughter #2 made her famous macaroni and cheese. In addition, we gave each other foot spa treatments and sat around and talked and talked. And went to bed early.

Nothing better, am I right?

It was a good start to November which is a month when we like to consider how much we have to be thankful for, including these guys.

Enjoy your week!

“Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.”*

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 8.23.11 PM.png

We had a very quiet Halloween, as we usually do, but it was even more so since it was freezing cold here in flyover country. Literally freezing! There were snow flurries in the morning!

Luckily this had no impact on daughter #2 arriving on time from Maryland. 🙌🙌🙌 She arrived and then the wee babes dropped by after school to show us their Halloween costumes.

IMG_4077.JPG

They got to wear their costumes at school.

IMG_3690.jpegIMG_3692.jpeg

They were the cutest little Triceratops ever. (Daughter #3 made the costumes. She has mad skills.)

Lest we forget, yesterday was also Reformation Day, when we celebrate Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, which provoked a debate that culminated finally in the Protestant Reformation.Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 9.03.08 PM.png

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

And now I will concentrate on the simple joy of having all my children home for the weekend. Everyone will be over on Saturday night for a little party and what is better than that? (Okay, we wish DN were here, but we will toast absent friends.)

*Psalm 150:6

 

 

Our hearts are restless

Today is the feast day of Augustine of Hippo (354–430) on the Episcopal calendar.

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 9.07.41 PM.png

Lord God, the light of the minds that know thee, the life of the souls that love thee, and the strength of the hearts that serve thee: Help us, following the example of thy servant, Augustine of Hippo, so to know thee that we may truly love thee, and so to love thee that we may fully serve thee, whose service is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Time to take down the Confessions from the shelf  for some mid-week inspiration I guess.

Late have I loved Thee, O Lord; and behold,
Thou wast within and I without, and there I sought Thee.
Thou was with me when I was not with Thee.
Thou didst call, and cry, and burst my deafness.
Thou didst gleam, and glow, and dispell my blindness.
Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.
For Thyself Thou hast made us,
and restless our hearts until in Thee they find their ease.
Late have I loved Thee, Thou Beauty ever old and ever new.
Thou hast burst my bonds asunder;
unto Thee will I offer up an offering of praise.

Catching up

IMG_3994.JPG

This article came as no surprise to me– Okay, “brown furniture” may be dead in our culture, which apparently has lost interest in its history. C’mon, I have been saying for years that real antiques go for a song at auction and that it is a sure bet you can find a nice dining room table and chairs for a $100 at an estate sale. But there are still plenty of people out there who care about their pasts and their family histories, who save “stuff” and refuse to purge everything, who don’t give a hoot about trends. Take heart and hold on. And take advantage of a buyer’s market, I say.

David Powlinson, with whom I had very recently become acquainted through his writing, died peacefully at his home in Pennsylvania on Friday, June 7, 2019, after suffering from pancreatic cancer. He was 69. Of course, there was no mention in the NYTimes–evangelicals (even Harvard-educated ones) are beneath notice–but I recommend you follow up with him and find out more. 

You would think that being home with a lot of spare time on my hands, I might have watched some good new movies and/or television shows. Alas, I cannot report that that is the case. Even with Amazon Prime etc, it is kind of a wasteland out there. I am sticking to the tried and true “comfort” variety of entertainment and that is working for me.

Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 5.46.26 PM.png

I am trying to read more, but am reverting to some old favorites.

“Go and be as the butterfly!”
Dooley grinned. “You’ve said that as long as I can remember. I’m not pulling up what it means.”
It was what God had said to him, a small-town clergyman, another lifetime a go, and what he had tried and was still trying to do.
“I think it means to go unfettered by cares, by the infernal bondage of the mortal. Go with a light heart, trusting God and giving thanks. Go and gather unto yourselves so you can pour out to others.”
He took a deep breath. “Go without looking back.”
― Jan Karon, To Be Where You Are 

The boy is heading out to a bachelor party on the west coast today. I hope he has fun. I have enjoyed spending more time with him than usual over the past few weeks, as he frequently stops by to see me on his way to work and “coach” me a little.

Hopefully the wee babes will come over for a visit this weekend. They have been making the most of their summer…

65217316_10104578568788584_6702098806718070784_o.jpgIMG_1983.jpeghanging with their buds…IMG_1977.jpeg

…and keeping cool. Hard to believe we are halfway through the year!

Enjoy your Friday and bon weekend!

Troubles and trials

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 5.33.09 AM.png

John Charles Ryle (May 10, 1816 – June 10, 1900) was an English evangelical Anglican bishop. Ryle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of Ritualism.  Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century(1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 volumes, 1856–69), Principles for Churchmen (1884). Ryle was described as having a commanding presence and vigorous in advocating his principles albeit with a warm disposition.

(And a little inspiration from Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs and Dolly Parton, “Green Pastures”)

“And you, good yeoman, Whose limbs were made in England”*

Today is the feast day of Saint George, a Roman officer of Greek descent from Cappadocia, who was martyred in one of the pre-Constantinian persecutions. George is a very popular saint, honored all over the world, but especially in England where he is the patron saint. (“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our English dead. … cry God for Harry, England, and St George!”)

Here is Donatello’s famous statue in Florence…

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.37.07 PM.png…but something’s missing! Where’s the dragon?Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.24.04 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-22 at 12.00.35 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.16.19 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.27.30 PM.pngThe slaying of the dragon is definitely an integral and important part of this saint’s universal appeal.

Here is Dragon Hill, a small hillock immediately below the Uffington White Horse in the county of Oxfordshire in England. It is a natural chalk hill with an artificially flattened top. According to legend, Saint George slew the dragon here.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 12.49.37 PM.png

A bare patch of chalk upon which no grass will grow is purported to be where the dragon’s blood spilled.

A traditional custom on St George’s day is to fly or adorn one’s home or business with the St George’s Cross flag. Pubs in particular can be seen festooned with garlands of St George’s crosses on April 23. It is also customary for the hymn “Jerusalem” to be sung in cathedrals, churches and chapels on St George’s Day. All of the above sound like good ideas to me.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 1.46.46 PM.png

Lord Jesus Christ, whose cross didst seal thy servant George: Grant that we, strengthened by his example and prayers, may triumph to the end over all evils, to the glory of thy Name; for with the Father and Holy Spirit thou livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

*Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 3, scene one

(The artwork is, from top to bottom: Donatello, Albrecht Durer, an English WWI recruitment poster, a Russian icon, N.C. Wyeth)

“Go back to your oar, Forty-One.”*

On Sunday as I was leaving church, the rector asked how I was doing.

I said, “I’m busy and unfocused.”

He said, “Well, try to pull it together this week.”

Okay then. That is my plan.

But even the best-laid plans go oft awry. We went to see Ben Hur (1959) at the movie theater last  night. It was in one of those small theaters where all the seats are big recliners, and I thought, “Oh no, I will fall asleep for sure! And the OM will fall asleep in 5 minutes!” But when the lights went down and the Miklós Rózsa music came on, we were all riveted.

I had virtually forgotten what seeing a movie at the movie theater was like! Movies–especially a spectacle like Ben Hur made in the Golden Age–were meant to be seen on a big screen! You can see everything–from the smallest detail of the incredible costumes…

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 6.04.09 AM.png

Those leopard-skin boots!

…to the facial expressions in the more intimate scenes…

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 6.11.12 AM.png

Everything packs a greater punch.

Unfortunately, the digital feed (?) was messed up and the movie was unwatchable after the intermission. Such a bummer! We were given ticket vouchers for another movie, but it was very disappointing, because it really was so great. The OM, the boy and daughter #1 all agreed that they would go again to see another classic movie on the big screen. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you do too.

And now it is  back to the salt mines. Have a good week and try to focus!

*Quintus Arrius (Jack Hawkins)

 

Hallowed be thy name

Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 3.41.24 PM.png

We are almost to Holy Week! I have been terribly remiss and unfocused in my Lenten endeavors (or lack thereof.)

Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 3.44.46 PM.png

Palm Sunday is this Sunday! I am not the narrator this year in our reading of the Passion Narrative. 😭 No, I am back in the bit player ranks–a “priest”. 😭 C’est la vie.

But on the bright side, Sunday night we have tickets to see Ben Hur (1959) on the Big Screen, which should be awesome.

Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 3.45.48 PM.png

Let’s toast that and a return to focusing on what’s important.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

(Robert Robinson 1757)