Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decking The Halls

I can't believe the calendar says December 1, 2010!   It seems like I just put the 2009 Christmas decorations away a few weeks ago and here I am already pulling them out again.   Where does the time go?

I have been sewing tons lately.  

Here is a photo of an apron I made recently.  I totally adore the style and colors.   The material reminds me of the cathedral window quilt pattern {a quilt that I love but would NEVER have the patience to make}.

There is a certain homey feel to this apron yet it has a modern flair.  I call it Cosmopolitan which has absolutely nothing to do with cranberry juice and vodka...Nothing!

Although, there would be nothing wrong with drinking a Cosmo while wearing this Cosmopolitan.   But I wouldn't know anything about that.  Really.

So, December 1, 2010, finds me gearing up for Christmas and I will probably be "decking my halls" this weekend.   I'm just giddy with excitement.  Can you tell?  Fa la la la la...

Thanks for reading, Rosie.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Days of Thanks Living ~ A New Modem

November 1, officially kicks off the Holiday Season in my world.   My thoughts tend to lean toward thankfulness in November.   Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday because, for the most part, it still remains non commercialized and lends itself toward personal reflection.   From time to time we all need to reflect on those things for which we are most thankful and live our daily lives accordingly.   To that end, I have decided to create a meme for November called "30 Days of Thanks Living."   Everyday in November, I will post about something for which I am thankful under my "Thanks Living" tab.  It may be in different forms such as a photo, music, art, poems, etc., but it will always be from my heart.

You can participate with me by either leaving a comment or writing a post on your own blog and linking it below.  The Linky Tool will be open the entire month of November and you can add your daily Thanks Living link as you please.   Feel free to use the above photo on your blog and be sure to link back to me on your post so that others can find "30 Days of Thanks Living" and join.  Please be considerate and do not link to anything inappropriate.  It will be deleted.

If you have any questions about how to link, please e-mail me at   I'll be in touch right away.

I look forward to reading and being blessed by Thanks Living hearts this month.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Disinfecting or Discipling?

Have you ever felt the urgency that you MUST share something or pop?

Finally!   Finally!  A book has been written that states what I consider to be a clear portrait of the church today!  What I couldn't define in my own mind with my own words has been beautifully defined by a young man named David Platt.

This book makes me want to dance a jig and yell, "See, I'm NOT crazy! Some one else sees dead churches."  {Don't judge me}  LOL!

We are disinfecting instead of discipling.   Please do not grow weary with my book quotes.  It is just that I read so much.   Words and ideas that touch my soul need to be shared or I'll burst.  That statement is no less true for the explanation this young author writes in his book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream

Disinfecting Christians from the world involves isolating followers of Christ in a spiritual safe-deposit box called the church building and teaching them to be good.  Success in the church is defined by how big a building you have to house all the Christians, and the goal is to gather as many people as possible for a couple of hours each week in that place where we are isolated and insulated from the realities of the world around us.  When we gather at the building, we learn to be good.  Being good is defined by what we avoid in the world.  We are holy because of what we don't participate in (and we may be the only organization in the world defining success by what we don't do).  We live decent lives in decent homes with decent jobs and decent families as decent citizens.  We are decent church members with little impact on the world.

Discipling is much different.  It involves propelling Christians into the world to risk their lives for the sake of others.  The world becomes the focus and success is gauged by not how many we can get into our buildings but on how many are leaving our buildings to take on the world...all of a sudden, holiness is defined by what we do instead of what we do not.

How many Christians do you know who live like this?   I suspect not nearly enough.

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stained Glass Masquerade

God has a way of connecting people at the right time and place {He's GREAT that way}!   Thank you friends (you know who you are and I hope you are reading this)  for suggesting this song by Casting Crowns.  It is perfect.   Speak BOLDLY dear ones for you are not alone.

"Would it set me free if I dared to let you see the truth behind the person that you imagine me to be?

Would your arms be open or would you walk away?

Would the love of Jesus be enough to make you stay?"  

Casting Crowns


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Answer To The Question

Last week I wrote a post called The Gospel Of Ideas. I shared an excerpt from the book "Searching For God Knows What" by Donald Miller wherein he posed a question to the students of the Bible class he was teaching.  I want to follow-up on that post and share Mr. Miller's excerpt from the same book to answer the question.

"The story bears repeating: I presented a gospel to Christian Bible college students and left out Jesus. Nobody noticed, even when I asked them to think very hard about what it was I had left out. To a culture that believes they go to heaven based on whether they are morally pure, or that they understand some theological ideas or that they are very spiritual, Jesus is completely unnecessary. At best, He is an afterthought, a technicality by which we become morally pure, or a subject of which we know, or a founding father of our woo-woo spirituality. These students loved Jesus very much, and they were terrific kids whom I loved being with, it is just that when they thought of the gospel, they thought of the message in terms of a series of thoughts or principles, not in mysterious relational dynamics. The least important of the ideas, to this class, was knowing Jesus; the least important of the ideas was the one that is RELATIONAL. The gospel of Jesus, then, mistakenly assumed by this class, is something different from Jesus himself."

Sometimes I think churches have reduced this relationship to a formulistic equation. A+B+C = Salvation. Admit, Believe, Confess and you are Heaven bound!   I know a lot of Christians who adhere to this formula, yet do not seem to know Jesus himself.   I also know many morally good people who see Christ as unnecessary.   I encounter these two scenarios almost every day of my life.   Both make me sad.   Both spark anger.   Both cause me to speak with holy boldness (thanks CM).   And I believe both are what caused me to step away from church and concentrate on knowing Jesus better.  I believe that Jesus is the only way to God.  The book of Romans is clear on this subject; faith in Christ is necessary for salvation.  I also believe salvation does not end with a formula.   We are not called to stay in our holy huddles, pat ourselves on the back, and be comfortable in our chosen pew.  Actually, Jesus us told us to do the exact opposite and quiet honestly, I am weary of living a safe, comfortable, lukewarm type of life.  

The last few months I have taken an honest look at my life and what I see in myself is exactly what Francis Chan outlines in his book "Crazy Love"...

"Lukewarm people:

...attend church fairly regularly.  It is what is expected of them, what they believe good Christians do, so they go.

...give money to charity and to the long as it doesn't impinge on their standard of living.

...tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict.  They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions than what God thinks of their hearts and lives.

...don't want to be saved from their sins, they want to be saved from the penalty of their sins.

...are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act.

...rarely share their faith with neighbors, coworkers or friends.

...gauge their morality or goodness by comparing themselves to the secular world.

...say they love Jesus and He is a part of their lives.  But only a part. God, but not with all their heart, soul and strength. others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves and mostly focus their love on those who with who they connect.  Their love is highly conditional, selective and generally comes with strings attached.

...think about life on earth much more often than eternity.

...are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor.  Untold numbers feel called to minister to the rich; very few feel called to minister to the poor. whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty.  They do the bare minimum to be "good enough" without it requiring too much of them.

...are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control.

...feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican or live in America. not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to.  They have their savings account, their retirement plan, their life is figured and mapped out, their refrigerators are full and for the most part are in good health.  Their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.

...probably drink less and swear less than average, but besides that, they really are not very different from your typical unbeliever.  They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they couldn't be more wrong."

2 Corinthians 13:5 tells me to "examine myself, to see whether I am in the faith; test myself."   And so I did.   I am far lacking.     Not a pretty picture at all!   

Jesus also says in Luke 14:34-35, "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out."   Not a pretty analogy is it?  Lukewarm and uncommitted faith is completely useless...not even a benefit for a manure pile.   Ouch!

As I have studied and read over the passed few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that the culture and the church has manipulated the gospel to fit its preferences.

Now what?

To be continued......

(This post is dedicated to a dear friend whose granddaughter is pregnant and unmarried.   Her family wanted to give her a baby shower at the church where her granddaughter attends, but the pastor felt it would be "inappropriate under the circumstances".   She was also advised to no longer sing in the choir as it wasn't proper to stand in front of the congregation.   I'm pretty sure the members carry large bags of rocks with them.  My heart breaks for her.   Isn't it a good thing Mary wasn't living in our culture?)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Gospel Of Ideas

The following is an excerpt from a book I recently read “Searching for God Knows What” by author Donald Miller. I enjoy Miller’s conversational style writing and this particular passage reminded me of many conversations that I’ve had with fellow Christ-followers. Read the passage and see if you know the answer to the question he asked the group of students in class. I would love to know your thoughts regarding this; feel free to leave a comment. My comments are moderated, so if your response is of a personal nature, I won’t publish it. Some things need to remain private.

“So removed is our understanding of the gospel as a relational invitation that recently, while teaching a class of Bible college students, I presented a form of the gospel but left out a key element, to see if they would notice. I told them in advance that I was going to leave out a critical element of the gospel, and I asked them to listen carefully to figure out the missing piece.

I told them man was sinful, and this was obvious when we looked at the culture we lived in. I pointed out specific examples of depravity including homosexuality, abortion, drug use, song lyrics on the radio, newspaper headlines, and so on. Then I told the class that man must repent, and showed them Scriptures that spoke firmly of this idea. I used the true-life example I heard from a preacher about a man in Missouri who, warning people of a bridge that had collapsed, shot a flare gun directly at oncoming cars so they would stop before they drove over the bridge to their deaths. I said I was like that man, shooting flares at cars, and they could be mad at me and frustrated, but I was saving their lives, because the wages of sin is death, and they had to repent in order to see heaven. I then pointed to Scripture about the wages of sin being death, and talked at length about how sin separates us from God.

Then I spoke of the beauty of morality, and told a story of a friend who chose not to cheat on his wife and so now enjoy the fruits of his marriage, committed in love to his wife, grateful that he never betrayed the purity and beauty of their relationship. I talked about heaven and how great it will be to walk on streets of gold and how there will probably be millions of miles of mountains and rivers and how great it will be to fish those rivers and sit with our friends around a fire beneath a mountain peak that reaches up into stars so thick we could barely imagine the beauty of the expanse. I gave the class statistics regarding teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, going into detail about what it is they would be saved from if they would only repent, and how their lives could be God-honoring and God-centered and this would give them a sense of purity and a feeling of fulfillment on earth, and that God would provide for them in relationships and in finances and in comfort.

When I was done, I rested my case and asked the class if they could tell me, “What did I leave out of the gospel presentation?” I waited as a class of Bible college students - who that year, had read several textbooks about Christian theology, who had read the majority of the Bible, all of whom had taken an evangelism class only weeks before in which they went door-to-door to hundreds of homes and shared their faith using pamphlets that explained the gospel, who had grown up in Christian homes attending strong evangelical churches, who had taken both New Testament Introduction and Old Testament Introduction - sat there for several minutes in uncomfortable silence. None of the forty-five students in the class knew the answer.”

Do you? What did Mr. Miller leave out? I’ll conclude this in a few days, but I would love to hear your response.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How To Be Alone

Chances are, you've seen this video....but just in case you missed it, I wanted to share it with you.  I spotted this on a good friends blog and asked if I could copy her.  She sweetly said yes! 

Technically, I am not alone, but I think this message isn't singularly geared to those looking for a life partner.  

I am completely comfortable being alone and Tanya Davis' poem resonates to the deepest part of my soul.

I simply LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this video.  I hope you enjoy it also.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Holy Discontent

I think it is safe to say that I am burned out and disillusioned by the church as I know it.   I could tell you many personal experiences that led me to this point, but I won't.   What I will say, and this is strictly my personal opinion, politics prevail within the church walls.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ has become man's agenda for glorification rather than God's agenda to make His Son famous among the nations.  We are building altars to ourselves, rather than altars to the Father.   We are ministering to the Baby Boomers with money who want to be comfortable with the status quo rather than seeking ways to minister to the X, Y, Z  generations that will someday lead the church.  I've heard leaders say that we are only two generations from losing the church.  My response to this...if you  are not seeking new ways to minister to the younger generations (youth, young adults/professionals, young married with/out families), you will lose the church.   It is that simple.    I'm not saying change the message.   Never change or compromise the message.....but do change the method..    Sorry folks, the X, Y, Z generations were not raised in the perfect 1950's (the rose colored glasses years) where their future looks bright and social security was secure.   They are living in uncertain economic times being bombarded by propaganda from evolution to socialism.  It is not the same world!

Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, has written a book called Holy Discontent.  What is Holy Discontent? 

"What is the one aspect of this broken world that, when you see it, touch it, get near it, you just can't stand? Very likely, that firestorm of frustration reflects your holy discontent, a reality so troubling that you are thrust off the couch and into the game. It's during these defining times when your eyes open to the needs surrounding you and your heart hungers to respond that you hear God say, I feel the same way about this problem. Now, let's go solve it together!   There are a lot of Christ-followers who haven't taken the time to figure out what their holy discontent is, and so they're doing a gradual slide into apathy and complacency and that is unconscionable in a broken and lost world."

To find more information about Holy Discontent here is a great web-site:  Holy Discontent.  For those who are not prone to search web-sites, here is a quick video.

What is your Holy Discontent?

To be continued...

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Yoke Is Easy, My Burden Is Light

Isn't it odd that in order to strengthen my relationship with Christ, I had to step away from the church? 

When I found that I could no longer worship in spirit and truth, that my anxiety level would increase every time I walked through the church doors, I realized I was not free in Christ because my personal convictions of worship and service did not align with the majority.   That is not to say I felt my own convictions were superior, on the contrary, I felt they were inferior.  I was expected, even required, to participate in service opportunities that I in no way felt led by the Holy Spirit.  I was participating out of obligation and guilt and it was like a cinder block setting on my chest; a weight too heavy for me to bear.   The verse "My yoke is easy, My burden is light" would often invade my thoughts and I would say, "No, Lord, they are not."   And this begin to effect my mental and emotional state.  When I finally stopped "doing" long enough and started "being", I  understood that the weight I was carrying was not of God, but of man.  That is why it was so heavy!   In all my busyness,  I could not get a vision of what God wanted for me personally.  I think this is true for the church as a whole.  We have become so busy doing church work, that we are neglecting our vision for the work of the Church.

The meaning of religion, in the dictionary, has to do with a belief in and a commitment to something or someone. It also means that a person is bound to the something or someone.  Commitment to God and being bound to Him is not a bad thing; the problem is that most people are bound to a set of rules and regulations, most of which were instituted by man, not God!   I desperately needed a sabbatical from "religion" and I boldly took it.  Even though it cut across the grain of societal expectations, even though it meant neglecting church duties, I decided that listening to Jesus and learning his ways were more important than anything else I could choose. No one can rip this precious spiritual truth away from me.     When I began to view my relationship with Christ in the light of how God saw me, rather than how others saw me, my perspective begin to change.

To Be Continued.....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Am A Member Of The NCCC

Continued from "Touch Down Jesus" post.

Good stewardship of the church's money is a reflection of the hearts in the church members.   If money is carelessly wasted, extravagantly spent, or squirreled away, there is a good chance that those in authority over the money live similar lifestyles.   The truth is, those that have the authority usually have their own agenda; albeit, in the name of the Lord's work.   We proudly spout about seeking the Lord's will, but secretly, in the depths of our hearts desire our own way more.   This is the nature of man.   I know this to be true because I have experienced it myself and so have many others with who I have spoken regarding this topic.  The difference?   I am willing to say it aloud.   It is safe to say I am Not a Cookie-Cutter Christian and my writing this will not make me popular, but I've decided I need to be real.  If a church decides to borrow, say $2,000,000, to add on to their already beautiful facility that has not reached full capacity, under the pretense of  "the space is needed in order to grow the church" (or, if we build it, they will come syndrome), in my humble opinion, it is a safe bet the decision was man made and not God ordained.  

I grow weary of the number game churches play.   The church will not admit to this being true, but it is.   If it were not true, why would we be promoting High Attendance Day or Bring A Guest To Church Day?  The church will say it is to reach more people for Christ and that may well be the case in the hearts of some.  My experience; however, has taught me "let's get the numbers on the role so that our reports will be up for the quarter" is the more likely reason.   What church doesn't like to boast about it being so crowded "we had to bring in extra chairs?"     Just because a church is growing in numbers, doesn't mean it is a healthy church.  It is very easy to grow in numbers and not grow spiritually.  Unfortunately, I see this happening more and more.   So much time is required to accomplish the myriad activities of the church, that very little time is left to cultivate families and strengthen a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

And so, I stepped away from church attendance for a while.   To be continued....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Touch Down Jesus

I am not a regular church attender.   My husband and sons are faithful in their participation in church activities but their rebel mother is not.  Some think "rebel"  is a defining word for who I am and to some degree it may apply.  Being a rebel in the small town where I have lived my entire life apparently means, "she is not a regular church attender; therefore, she must be rebelling against the Lord."   The truth is, my relationship with Jesus Christ is solid.   It is the relationship against the politics of the church from which I am rebelling.   Not only that, I have decided to no longer stay silent which makes me even more rebellious. 

I am not out to harm the church; I love what the church stands for and I honestly think without the local church the world would be a more desolate place.  The church's job is to minister to the community and world and I have to say that the church I do not attend does this generously with their offering.   The church facility is beautiful, modern and immaculately clean.  Everyone dresses in their finest and speaks perfect Christianise.  It's a lovely place, where love is practiced, as well as preached.   As long as you agree with and vote yes at all the business meetings, you are considered a fine, fair, faith filled follower of the Lord.   Also, please don't question the decisions of those in authority.   After all, they have prayed and sought the Lord's will concerning the decisions and God has revealed to them what needs to happen in order to take church growth to the next level. 

Have you heard the story of Touch Down Jesus? 

In 2004, on the grounds of Solid Rock Church outside Monroe, Ohio, a six story high "Jesus" was built with his arms outstretched as a beacon of hope and salvation.   The statue was named "King of Kings" but colloquially became called "Touch Down Jesus" because the arms approximate the signal a referee makes for a touchdown in football.

On June 14, 2010, lightening struck the statue's right hand and burned it to the ground.   Touch Down Jesus became Torch Down Jesus.  Estimated damage:  $700,000.   The church says "Touch Down Jesus" will be resurrected because it was such a "ministry" to the community.   Really?   Ministry?   Sounds like an ego trip to me but I could be wrong.

I picture the Jesus I know, shaking his head sadly and saying "they just don't get it."

What if that church did something radical instead?  What if the church took the $700,000 or more that it will take to rebuild the styrofoam, wood and steel structure and feed the hungry, help widows and orphans, or pay the bills for the unemployed of that community?  Wouldn't that be considered ministry?   And wouldn't that be better stewardship of money?

To be continued.....

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Think It's Going To Rain Today

The autumn rain's gentle pitter-patter

Comforts my weary soul

And pauses my busyness

Long enough for me to stop

And give thanks to the Maker

Who sends both sunshine and rain

On the just and unjust equally.

His Love has no boundaries.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Beverly, Are You Sure?

I attended the Type-A-Mom Conference held at the Asheville Renaissance Hotel, in North Carolina, last weekend.   I use the word "attended" loosely.  I chose to visit one-on-one with some fantastic bloggers and enjoy downtown Asheville, instead of sitting in stuffy workshops.  Who knew that hidden in the lush mountains of North Carolina exists an eclectic artsy culture? 

I tend to learn more from personal conversation and  observation rather than listening to someone exult about their personal success.   Success is a relative term.  For example, I heard a woman boast about how many times her site shut down the server due to the myriad of  hits she received.  She was bold and brassy!   On the other hand, an unpretentious lady shared about how protective she is of her family time and how she strives for balance in her home.   Both women felt successful with their blogging efforts; their perspectives are equally interesting and I learned something from both.  Sweet!

Our room before the influx of women.....Reading Rosie, Megan from Sweet Sadie Marie, Kym from String Bean 17, and Jen from Great Little Stories shared the room.

Thomas Wolfe, considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th Century American Literature immortalized his childhood home in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Wolfe's colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, and the Old Kentucky Home boarding house earned the historic Victorian home a place as one of American Literature's most famous landmarks and set right across the street from the hotel. 

I had to take a photo....

Mellow Mushroom, one of downtown Asheville's many quirky restaurants was within easy walking distance and open for a late-night pizza run.  Yum!


Antiquing in Asheville is premium (if you have the dough).

Reading Rosie, Mary Poppins...or Beverly?  Only a few know "for sure."

Thanks for reading, Rosie.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn Reflections

My attitude is a littler lighter since my last post.   While writing You Can't Always Get What You Need, I was in the middle of two very busy weeks.   My sweet sister-in-love underwent back surgery and spent seven days in the hospital, Isaac returned to traditional school after five years of homeschooling (an adjustment curve was needed), my work schedule was full and on top of that, early one morning I discovered a deceased man in my front yard from a motorcycle accident.  It wasn't pretty and without saying more, slightly disconcerting.  Isn't life bizarre sometimes?  Anyway, after the two hour crying jag I threw in my closet floor, I am feeling much better and want to dispel some concerns my friends have voiced.  I am fine.  You can barely see the scars! 

Currently, I am sitting in my favorite spot.  My front porch swing in the cool morning breeze has always been my favorite place to reflect, meditate, clarify and sort my jumbled thoughts.  My neighbors own horses and I love watching the frisky colts in the morning.  They are so sweet and full of energy....aah, I remember those days. 

Life feels a little less stressful and I think cooler weather, blue skies and the season change plays an enormous role.  Autumn is my favorite season.  I enjoy watching the Master Painter create His magnum opus.   Autumn reminds me I control nothing; a nice prod for a control freak.   This realization takes the pressure off me and suggests that life is a continual cycle of change.  I can either flow with the change or fight the change, but ultimately things change. 

If all goes as planned, I will be spending the weekend in downtown Ashville, North Carolina, with some inspiring women bloggers.  A nice respite away from the testosterone filled man-cave I lovingly call home is needed from time to time.  I am agog with excitement!  Hopefully, I will have some great photos to share.

Thanks for reading, Rosie.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

You Know It's A Bad Day When...

An odd, intimate relationship is ending. My gynecologist is retiring, a fact about which I am not at all happy! The man I have seen once a year for the last twenty-plus years regarding my gynecological health is abandoning me just as I am entering perimenopause. The nerve of this man! I trusted him with my vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. He has seen me through infertility, pregnancy, birth, depression, surgery, and holds confidential sexual details about me in a thick folder. He was my bosom-buddy. In minuscule yearly visits, he kept abreast of my life. His response to my dismay? “Dana, I’m 67 years old, I am old enough and deserve to retire.” My response: “Yes, but I am not old enough for you to retire.” I don’t want a young new GYN; I want my old used one. How do you find a new GYN? The interview process could get….awkward.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Need

The church wants my time and money.
My mother wants my time and undying devotion.
My brother wants my time and help.
My husband wants my time and my body.
My children want my twenty-four hour maid services.
My dog wants me to rub his tummy all the time.
The school wants my daily schedule to match theirs.
Work wants me available any time.            
Friends want to know what time I can get together.
Acquaintances want to know if I can spare the time to type a "little" something.

I need to worship in peace.
I need my mother to give me some space.
I need my brother to understand.
I need my husband to romance me.
I need my children to take responsibility.
I need my dog to stop barking.
I need the school to get over it already.
I need my friends to be patient with me.
I need to tell acquaintances "NO."
I need to feel free.

What do you need?   I NEED to know!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Climb Every Mountain

     After a summer hiatus, I am returning to my blog.   Summer has been oppressive in both nature and soul. 

     I am continually reminded that I do not fit in any particular box regarding my perspective on society in general.  The more my peers expect me to conform, the more my rebellious spirit strains from the expectations.   When my spirit strains,  I find no peace. 

     Who I was last year bears no resemblance to the person I am today.   Circumstances change and so do people.  Life does not remain steady despite ones greatest effort.   I am learning to live peacefully with the information and myself.   "Things Change" is a platitude to which I never paid significant attention but one that now flashes like a neon sign on the mason brick walls of my life.

     It is becoming more difficult for me to express my thoughts freely in a public forum; yet, I am willing to live under the scrutiny of my village and remain true to myself.   Freedom for me lies in expression of words and music.

     I was recently reminded of a scene in "The Sound of Music."   In this scene, Marie is counseling with Mother Abbess regarding a problem in her life.   Mother Abbess responds, "Maria, these walls were not meant to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live."    Then, with traditional Rogers and Hammerstein splendor, Mother Abbess breaks out in song "Climb Every Mountain." I have a few damn mountains of my own I need to climb!  

     And did you know, the wool from a black sheep is just as warm?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dear Daddy, Happy Father's Day

So here we are coming upon Father's Day weekend, my first without my Dad.   I am far enough away from his death in September 2009, to say I really miss him and wish I could tell him one more time how very much I love him.

Dear Daddy, 

Your grandsons are doing fine.  I say that, because I do not remember a day since they were born that you didn't ask me that question.  You will never know how much you influenced them in their music and you would be proud to know that Carter is once again playing the piano, beautifully I might add.  After ten years of not touching a keyboard, he picked it back up without a skipping a beat and get this, he is singing too!!!!  Your quiet, reflective grandson singing and playing the piano...obviously a God thing going on there, so tell Him I said thanks :)  Isaac is rockin' that guitar you got him for his birthday in 2008!  He is sounding great and although his style is not Merle Haggard, he is a natural born performer!  Friggin' great.  Gotta be the Stapleton in him.   Carter and Isaac have joined talents and are working day and night on a song they plan to perform together.   They are both perfectionists (wonder where they get that?), so every note and tone has to meet their standards before they perform in public.   I've never seen brothers who love each other more.  They are best friends...also an answered prayer.  High-five the Big Guy for that one also.  By the way, Isaac is about three inches taller than Carter, got braces in April, has hair down to his ears and is as sweet as ever.   Carter is working again this summer and is planning a major life change coming soon.  I'll tell you more about that later, but honestly, I think you already know.  Like the rest of us, they miss you terribly.

Your Rosie

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Audio Books

Recently I have been listening to audio books rather than reading. In my head, sitting down with a book feels like time wasted (I absolutely know it is not) but because there is always something needing to be accomplished in my home, reading feels like a luxury I cannot afford at the present. Audio books have solved this problem for me. I listened to Francis Chan's "Crazy Love" while doing household task. An amazing speaker and author, he draws great analogies from every day life to teach God's truth.   This has been beneficial to me since my "Mad Church Disease" has recently prevented me from attending.   Here is a video clip to give you an example.....

Wow!  What a great mind visual to help me see myself in a clear light!

Another audio book that came across the circulation desk at the library is "The Poets' Corner" compiled and read by John Lithgow.  His uniquely animated and lyrical voice brings poetry to life.  Poetry is meant to be heard.  Inflections in a voice can significantly change the tone of a poem and bring clarity to what the writer is trying to say.  This audio has been very enjoyable and relaxing to me and has introduced me to poets with whom I was not familiar, such as Elizabeth Bishop, the Poet's Poet.   Her poem "Filling Station" is an exquisitely precise painting of a miniature world.
Oh, but it is dirty
--this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it's a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.

Some comic books provide
the only note of color--
of certain color. They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsute begonia.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)

Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:

to high-strung automobiles.

Somebody Loves us all.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sunset Over Folly Beach

Although we did not lodge on Folly Beach this year, we did a quick visit the last night of vacation.  Folly Beach is hopping little hippie beach reminiscent of the 1960-1970 era.  Small, friendly open air restaurants line the main drag, music fills the air, laughter and friendly chatter are catching, casual attire rules and dogs are welcome everywhere.   It totally ROCKS!

We walked out on to the fishing pier to watch the sun set.  Here is what I captured.

Me and my "babies."

What compels someone
to write their name in the sand?

Thanks for reading, Rosie.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chewing Gum Flavors

Tell me.....

Does the chewing gum lose it's flavor
on the street light post over night
even if the post is on the corner of
North Market Street and
East Bay Street in Charleston, SC?????

Just wonderin....

Thanks for reading, Rosie.

Doorways and Iron Gates of Charleston

“When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.”   Joseph Campbell

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door
you didn't know you left open." John Barrymore

“Everyone is an explorer.
How could you possibly live your life
looking at a door and not open it?”

“Kind words will unlock an iron door.”

“Money, you have lots of friends
hanging round the door.
When it's gone and the spending ends
They don't come no more.”  Billie Holiday

"A door is what a dog is perpetually
on the wrong side of." Ogden Nash

“Ten men waiting for me at the door?
Send one of them home, I'm tired.”  Mae West

I climbed up the door, and opened the stairs;
I said my pajamas and put on my pray'rs,
I turned off the bed and crawled into the light
And all because you kissed me goodnight.

"When God closes a door,
somewhere He opens a window."

My door is always open!  Love, Rosie.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Family Vacation at Seabrook Island 2010

I am on Seabook Island in South Carolina this week.   Seabrook is a small barrier island twenty miles south of Charleston, SC.  Seabrook boasts wide, uncrowded beaches and pristine dunes and it is true.   I walked the three and one-half miles of beach yesterday and encountered less than fifty people.  Of course, the area is still in the "off" season and I am sure crowds will increase after the Memorial Day Holiday, but for now, the area feels private and secluded.   Exactly what I love!!!!  My family rented a small three-bedroom beach cottage for the week through Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO).  If you've never used VRBO, this is a great way to find rental property for vacations all over the world.   We've had good experiences renting this way, and this experience was no exception.  In fact, this has been one of the most professional renters I have ever encountered.   Jim and Terri Edmiston from Charlotte, NC, own this little home and have been a joy to work with through the rental process.   Check out their site here and I highly recommend doing business with them.  Honestly, the site doesn't do this charming home or the area justice!

I am a bit under the weather.  I left home Saturday with a sore throat and it is still troubling me.  It is an overcast day and since I was on the beach most of the day yesterday, I opted to stay in to lounge and rest while the guys rode bikes to the pool this afternoon.  I am hoping to feel better quickly so that I can explore the island and get into Charleston this week.  Either way, it is beautiful here and I am enjoying the scenery, the call of the gull, the lapping of the waves and the enthusiasm of my boys.   I want to take some photos of the sun setting over the Low Country marshland and the horses at the Equestrian Center.  Plus, I want to try my hand at crabbing from a nearby dock.   And did I mention stuffing myself full of shrimp and crab legs????
I always find this area to be the epitome of Southern hospitality and graceful beauty.  I really think I could see myself owning a small shabby chic beach cottage in the future.   For now, I'll just gaze out my window and dream.

Thanks for reading, Rosie.