Monday, February 28, 2011

Nothing or is it?

Sometimes I lay in bed at night and think I hear the wind.
My ear strains to hear the rustle.
I get out of bed and look outside.

Sometimes I lay in bed at night and think I hear the rain.
Drip, drip, drip.
I go to the front window and look for water in the street.

Sometimes I lay in bed at night and think I see lightning.
Was that a flash?
I go to the window and peek through the blinds.

Sometimes I lay in bed at night and think I hear thunder.
Is my sewing machine unplugged?
I go to my sewing room and check my machine.

Is it my imagination or is God trying to send me a message?
Wind to blow away my insecurities.
Rain to cleanse my soul.
Lightning to give me a flash of insight.
Thunder to remind me God is all powerful.

Afternoon Calm

Close the blinds.
Turn on the table fan.
Turn on the ceiling fan.
Get my bed pillows from the armoire.
Arrange the pillows on my bed.
Grab my well-worn quilt from the back of the chair.
Lay down on my bed.
Snuggle under my old familiar quilt.
Stretch my toes.
Say a little prayer.
Close my eyes.
Fans blow and hum filling the empty space.
Drift off to sleep...

Just a side note: this is about me, not the cat,
but I did not have a picture of me napping!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Sitting in the chapel.
Breathing in the spring air.
Praying for forgiveness.
Wait, I hear something.
Tchip, tchip, tchip.
A redbird is looking in the open window at me.
A feeling of love envelopes me.
You are forgiven. 

Walking in the labyrinth.
Praying for my fear to go away.
Sitting on a large rock.
Praying for guidance.
Tchip, tchip, tchip.
A redbird is gazing at me from the underbrush.
A feeling of peace surrounds me. 
Start a quilt group.

Taking my daughter to lunch.
Eating Mexican food in the car.
Wait, is that a redbird in the bush near the car?
Tap, tap, tap on the window trying to scare the redbird away.
Flying, striking, attacking the car window.
Redbird are you trying to tell us something?
You can make good grades.
I believe in you. 

Walking through the neighborhood.
Spending time with God on this glorious morning.
Praying for peace.
Sensing God's presence.  
Tchip, tchip. tchip.
A redbird flying from tree to tree accompanying me on my walk. 
A feeling of warmth covers me.
You are loved.

Poetry - Who Knew??

I have decided to make an adjustment to my writing direction. It is such a daunting task to get my ideas on paper. I have ideas for books, but they never seem to add up to enough for a whole book. Besides that I cannot seem to get the ideas from my head to paper in any sort of logical manner!!

My writing group sends emails everyday about publishers who are looking for items to print. It is unbelievable how many of the publishers are looking for poetry. So, I am going to write some poetry, even though I am not very poetic!!!

I am going to try to take a single idea and write about it in some form of poetry.  This will get the idea on paper and willl allow me to write something that could maybe be used some day. I love words and playing with them to get a certain meaning. So, maybe this has been what I am supposed to do in order to get started. Maybe I am just slow to figure out God's nudgings!! Poetry is so far from what I ever envisioned writing. 

So wish me luck and stay tuned to see what develops. 
Beth -+--

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why Can't Parenting be all Flowers and Lights

It is Friday! Yeah! The washing machine is running with a load of towels. The embroidery machine is cleaned and sewing a label for a hospital quilt. The dishwasher is waiting to be loaded. Shower taken - not yet. Things are humming along and I am thankful. It even looks like the weather may be getting better.

Though, somehow I feel a little down. I checked out a book at the library yesterday about young girls and their self-esteem, body image issues. It is very unsettling. I see some of the issues in my own daughters. How could this be? Did I project my own issues onto my daughters? Did I somehow discourage them from feeling proud and happy with the way they look? So many questions, and not so many answers. 

I have had struggles in my life, but I try to let them go and move forward with a positive outlook and attitude. The truth is I do not like to dig deep into the issues to try to sort them out. Is God trying to tell me that I must look at the issues and sort them out? I mean, they are my kids, how can I just let it go? On the other hand, how do I really help?

The book suggests listening, encouraging, talking. I try to do these things already. I know I nag too much sometimes. I know I push too much somethimes. I know I let them eat what they want too often. It is such a fine line between being the parent and letting them grow up. I struggle so much with this.  

I think it is time for me to grow up and face the music. I Corinthians 13:11 says "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways."

I just spoke to one of my friends on the phone. I asked her to pray for my daughters and for me. She reminded me that I must believe. I must pray and I must believe that God will answer those prayers. I have to grow as a parent, but with God in the middle of it, I can become what he wants and do the work that needs to be done for my children.

No flowers and lights here. Prayer, faithfulness, belief. Acting when I am uncertain and afraid. Following God's lead. Being the adult.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Peaceful Harbor

Two weeks ago, I went to Carmel California for an impromptu girl trip with one of my sisters. Donna lives in Ohio. She called and said she needed a "girl trip." I got on the internet and started searching for places to go this time of year that would not be miserably cold. There are not too many places in the 48 states that have not been impacted by the extreme cold weather we have had lately. Our other sister, Katie, would not be able to go due to her college classes.

Well, long story short is that I found a cottage in Carmel CA.  It was perfect. It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room, deck outside. Inside was cozy with a fireplace and lots of windows. We booked the cottage, arranged cheap airline reservations and set off. 

We flew into San Jose, rented a car and headed south. The San Jose valley was covered in fog. Finally we emerged from the valley into the sunshine. We stopped in Monterrey. We ate at Bubba Gumps Shrimp house. We shopped on Cannery Row. We headed south again to "Dove Cottage." Upon arrival, we drove right by the carport and had to circle back around the block. The cottage was just as charming in person as it was on the internet.

In the evenings, we would start the gas fire (with the convenient remote) and settle into the deep sofa and chair and read our books. We would chat and read. I took the book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert with me. My sister is a speed reader and read two whole books while we were there.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with "Peaceful Harbor"? In Carmel, the houses do not have house numbers, instead they have names. Our cottage was called "Dove Cottage." I started thinking what would I name our house in Fredericksburg?

In Eat, Pray, Love she has a discussion on peaceful harbor, and now that I am looking for it in the book I cannot find it!!!! Basically she says that peaceful harbor is the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility (I had written this down!!) By the way, I do not agree with her portrayal of God but that is another story.

The thoughts merged for me. If I could name our house, Peaceful Harbor would be a good name.
Peaceful is an adjective that means:
1. characterized by peace; free from strife or disorder
2. peaceable; not argumenatitive or quarrelsome

Harbor is a noun that means: 
1. a portion of a body of water along the shore deep enough to anchor a ship and situated with respect to coastal features, whether natural or artificial, to provide protection from wind, waves, and currents
2. any place of shelter or refuge

I looked up peaceful and harbor in the Bible Concordance.
Peaceful yielded these two verses which speak to a calm house.
Isaiah 32:18 - My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
1 Timothy 2:2 - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
It was interesting all of the references to harbor referred to harboring evil or deceitful thoughts. A hiding place for sin.
Of course, my husband said Casa Smith should be the name of our house, but I want it to mean something, not just someone. I want our house to be strong but calm, orderly but fun, a refuge from the challenges of everyday life, a retreat where the flowers bloom and the water flows. Peaceful Harbor - it evokes a feeling of calm as I say it. I think I should paint a sign to hang over the front door.