An Easter memory: When I was growing up I always remember Easter more for the holiness of the day than of the egg hunts and baskets full of candy. My Dad, a Methodist minister, would join with the other pastors of the church to help create memorable and meaningful worship services full of flowers and music. Some years we would attend all three services in a row, starting with the sunrise service outside in the park. Later in the sanctuary the pipe organ would join in with trumpets and other brass instruments announcing the good news: Christ is Risen. After the churchy stuff our family would gather with the other pastors and their families for a mid-day dinner and a relaxed celebration of games and egg hunts. There were four kids in my family, four kids in the W. family, and two in the H. family, probably ranging from 15 down to 9 years old. The ten of us had so much fun celebrating this day together. To this day whenever I think of Easter, I remember those happy, carefree days as a young teenager and the love we shared for a risen Lord and for each other.
Making memories: On that score I have always tried to help create happy memories for my children and now grandchildren on Easter--making it more about the being together and less about the candy. I'm not sure how successful I am but I try. This year we will gather, now that all of us have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine, for a dinner and afterwards we will hide eggs for Ian to find. We may even put some candy in the eggs, who knows? After all, it is the hunt that is fun, not the candy.
Weather: ? I am posting on Saturday. Who knows what the weather will be like tomorrow. Hopefully sunny enough for an egg hunt.
Outdoor art: I took my grandson for a walk around the neighborhood this week and look at all the fun pieces of yard art we found--- an egg tree; a firefly spinner, a rustic bird house, a frog bird bath, metal painted lilies, a frog sculpture, two reading children, a fairy, and glass flowers.
Book Review: Fury and Grace: 40 Days of Paintings and Poetry from Prison by Rev. Riley Pickett and Revs. Layne and Crawford Brubaker.
Fortunately the church has hired another pastor. Rev. Riley Pickett works with the women who are released. She also has collected the poems and paintings from the incarcerated church members and compiled them into a book of Lenten devotions. Each daily devotion is only a few pages long but each one has spoken directly to my heart. I picture these women separated from society by barbed wire yet worshiping the same Lord as I. In the pages I read about their pain, struggles, and fears. Never before have a read a Lenten guide which has spoken to my heart like Fury and Grace. Every devotion with scriptures selections based on the Daily Common Lectionary and thoughts or art from the women themselves have helped prepare my heart for Holy Week and for Easter 2021. Every devotion ends with a prayer like this one from Good Friday, "Executed God, Crucified Christ, Open our eyes to You in this world. Point us to the ones who are suffering today like you suffered. Fill us with compassion so that we might come along-side them, that we might get close and really see them. Make us uncomfortable so that we can more clearly see your Spirit at work and be moved to participate in Your work here on Earth. Amen." My brain immediately thinks of these women who are locked up and alone. They are despairing of their future. They need to know that we see them and do not judge them for the worst thing they ever did.
I recommend this devotional guide to anyone who wants a lift in their spiritual development and I think it would work any time of the year not just during Lent.
- Finished this week:
- Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. I wanted to read the book which was the inspiration for a new-to-me series on BBC. I like the TV series better than the book. E-Book from library.
- Swan: Poems and Prose Poems by Mary Oliver. I have a sneaking feeling that I've read this little gem before but it did not diminish my delight in it. Print from library.
- Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine. Essays on race relations in the US. Her last book, Citizen: An American Lyric, is a favorite on this topic. This one was difficult to read literally and figuratively. Look for my review once I have it written. Print version of my own.
- Currently reading/listening:
- Audiobooks. I made good progress on all three of the audiobooks I'm listening to this week.
- A Promised Land by Barack Obama. 90% complete. Don and I had quite a bit of time alone in the car this week. I think we have about 75 pages to go. Must push to the end.
- A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green. 52% complete. Carly and I had to drive around in her car after we charged the battery. See note below.
- Dune by Frank Herbert. I made it to book 2 within the first book. It is confusing, but I think there are three books within one. 43% complete.
- The Atlas of Happiness by Helen Russell. This book about happiness in other countries is both cute and funny. 51% print.
- Long Life: Essays and Other Writings by Mary Oliver. It is poetry month, after all. One must read works by favorite poets this month. Print book from library. 49% print book from the library.
Double vaccinated: Yesterday Don and I received our second Pfizer vaccinations. Woot. Woot. Feeling safer already!
I'm happy to report: The eczema rash on Jamie's face has almost disappeared thanks to modern medicine. And Jamie seems like a new boy, too.
|Cheeks are pink but not rashy anymore. Praise the Lord!|
Staying at home has its benefits and its demerits:
- Between the three of us living here right now we have five cars/vehicles. (I know, it is a lot.) This week, by chance, we discovered that four of them had dead batteries. We drive so little these days and apparently when we do we must always drive the same vehicle. At my insistence, we have now charged up the battery on the pickup and on Carly's car. Two remain with dead batteries.
- I've discovered the joy of baking with yeast. This week I baked two foods with yeast: hamburger buns and pizza crust. Pretty cool, huh?
- I haven't sorted and thrown out unused items as much as I should have but this week I did sort through the old technology and cords basket. Look at the tangle of cords and stuff I ended up throwing away.
This time it is Fred posing as Puzzle Cat. As you see by his size and position he is making it impossible to get much progress done on the puzzle.