The hilltop is coming alive like the spring flowers, fawns, and with fresh air. And that is how I am feeling today, too! The sun is brighter, the ground almost free of snow, and somehow I feel as though I’m awakening from an hibernation that really wasn’t long enough.
My January sabbatical did not happen this year but I am reminded of the proverb, “man makes his plans, but God directs his steps.” Maybe, just maybe, God sees I can make it through this year without time off.
man makes his plans, but God directs his steps
We are now into February and the calendar is filling with everyday activities and blessings. I had been asked to make my chicken and biscuits special for the local Methodist Church fundraiser and the date has been changed to Wednesday the 17th. I am preparing the ingredients and planning for a successful night. I am honored they asked me to help.
The writers’ group begins meeting again, the retired ladies luncheon is here this month, we are beginning a Bible study with several friends, having a pot luck and hymn sing scheduled, singing at the nursing home, and working on press releases for the bed and breakfast. We have some reservations already and are excited about getting started. If you didn’t receive a postcard telling of our new venture with its special just for you, please let me know your address.
One of the things on my list for January was to pull out the beginning piano books and just practice and enjoy the piano. Sunday I started book one! It brought back pleasant memories of my childhood home in West Dummerston. These books belonged to my mom and I tried learning to play the piano with her help and guidance. Though I didn’t have formal or regular lessons and realize I am not proficient, I learned enough for my families and my enjoyment. Thank you, Mom.
While downstate last week, Kate handed us several books to keep safe for family heritage. She has been collecting children’s books illustrated by my Great Aunt Gertrude during the forties and fifties. If you’ve ever come across one you’ll recognize its lovely and endearing drawings that delight one’s senses. I think she was a superb illustrator and her works are found in the Golden Books, Children’s Dictionaries, and Books of Fairy Tales. She went by Miss Elliott, Gertrude Elliott, or Gertrude Espenscheid. I’d love to see any you might have on your bookshelves.
To speak or not to speak
I’ve been thinking…….. about finding my voice to speak when there seems to be a shut down of communication. In other words, when someone says something in such a way that whether intended or not, I feel mocked, ridiculed, and violated in some way that causes me to shut down or withdraw. I came across a quote from Robert Frost the other day and though I still may not speak up, I will remember this. “Never be bullied into silence, never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” I define myself and my life to walk in the grace of God’s presence and allow “Him to give the answer of the tongue.” Like the old country song, “you’ve got to know when to hold them (the tongue), know when to fold them (done with this conversation), know when to walk away (is this worth the exchange) and know when to run (this friendship is over). I don’t like to give up and run. I desire for my words to minister grace to my hearer, but I would like to be able to express an opinion, an idea, or an oppostion, too. Still working on this. Hey, “What’ve they got that I ain’t got? Courage.”
Anyway, enjoy this spring-like week and don’t be afraid to find your voice and make room for others. I’m working on finding mine and think if we are secure in our beliefs and convictions than differing opinions are not a threat and could even be insightful. What are your thoughts? Love, Sharon