Sunday Morning Coffee: More Clutter

If you read yesterday’s post, you know I spent Friday cleaning and organizing my closet. I was going to work on my dresser on Saturday, but when I sat down hereto write a blog post this morning  I was appalled–again–at the clutter on my computer desk.

So I started working through it.

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(This is not mine, but you get the idea)

There was a small pile right in front of the monitor.  That’s usually where the “urgent, take care of this NOW” stuff lands. Trouble is, other urgent stuff gets put on top, and then we go away for a couple of weeks, and then I get caught up in going back to work and cleaning my closet, and—

Well, long story short, the most important thing at the very bottom of the pile was my driver’s license renewal application form.

Oy.  My birthday is July 4.  I’d better get this done.  So I went online and got it under way. Now I wait for the photo ID card, buzz down to Dublin to get that taken care of. I should be able to finish in plenty of time, but it could be a squeaker.

Why do I let this happen?  I’ve been trying so hard to deal with everything as it comes in, but even so, here I am at the last three weeks before my license expires. The notice came three MONTHS ago!  Maybe because it wasn’t urgent then, I allowed the pile to accumulate. Sure is urgent now, though.

I have always struggled with procrastination. Biggest thing I’m putting off right now is getting serious about my book–you know, the one I’ve been talking about most of my life? In my own defense, I DO have a good start on it.  It’s just that other things–work, laundry, cleaning, playing Angry Birds–get in the way.  WHY????

Simple.  If I don’t finish, I won’t get any rejection slips.

Well.  Time to stop making excuses.  As soon as I finish cleaning up my desk, dresser drawers, basement fabric stash,  bookshelves. . . . .

Yeah. Maybe I should see a therapist.

 

 

 

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Sunday Morning Coffee: Home

There’s no place like home.  After 1 1/2 delightful weeks with my family in South Dakota and a rather grueling flight back here, it was just pure pleasure to crawl into my own bed. Use my own kitchen, bathroom, laundry, easy chair. Not that I was uncomfortable in any way–it’s just that home is still the best.

Today, I’ll be back in my own church after missing two Sundays.  I’m looking forward to being  back home there, too.  Familiar faces make church a home place, a place for the heart.

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I even enjoyed going back into work for just one day this week, on Thursday.  My office.  My desk. My comfy little nest where I work 18 hours most weeks.  And Shirley, our secretary, brought me a welcome-home doughnut that was so good I may have to treat her to one next week 🙂

While I’ve been thinking about being home, I’ve remembered all the many places I’ve called home over my almost 71 years of living. Some are vague, back to when I was 3. But from the time we moved to Minneapolis just before I started kindergarten, I remember them all.  There were many.  Even after I married Terry, we moved a good bit until we came back out here to PA in 1994.  Now, we’re going on 24 years in the same house.  A record for me!

I’ve never been one to suffer from homesickness.  I’m usually too interested in seeing what’s just over the next ridge to feel sad about not being at home.  Now, however, at this end of my life spectrum, I’m finding that I do really prefer to be home.  I will still travel when I can, but it’s always so sweet to just come home.

Do you know the home I’m looking forward to most of all?  Sure you do, and you probably wondered when I would get to this part of my post.

I’m homesick for heaven.  Not morbid or anything, just looking forward to the day I see Jesus, and know that the journey is over down here, just beginning up there.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Wise or Foolish?

Proverbs 20:3. “It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.”

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Marital counseling is tough. Often, by the time a couple finally comes in for help, the marriage is already DOA.  Not always, but too often.

Some folks just can’t seem to keep from fussing, arguing, nitpicking. There is constant interrupting, contradicting, correcting; worst of all, saying, “That’s not true!” or “That’s a lie!”

One of the tools I offer couples is called Active Listening. When the couple is willing to follow the guidelines, they will learn to talk WITH, not AT each other.  They become better listeners. They learn to quit listening in order to respond, and start listening to really hear. Active listening provides a safe and respectful  way to settle the difficult issues.

Breaking old patterns is very hard. One thing people do is called escalation. This happens when you have a conversation that starts with whether to have ham or turkey for Christmas, and suddenly  words like always and never start getting thrown around. The next thing you know, the battle has been joined. If this type of thing continues, there’s not much hope.  Each battle creates new wounds and opens old ones, and nothing good is accomplished. The couple forgets how the argument started, and both walk away feeling hurt, angry, and hopeless.

Wise men and women will learn to refuse to engage in pointless arguments.  Foolish ones will insist on being right, no matter what. When one person always has to be right, then the other always has to be wrong. That’s a very ugly imbalance.

Wise people avoid fighting.  Fools quarrel all the time.

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee: Shearing Sheep

On Friday, we spent some time watching a professional sheep shearer at work.  It was impressive.

Getting one sheep out of the holding pen into the shearing pen took two strong men on each side of the sheep.  They each grabbed a front leg and  a handful of wool and walked the reluctant victim on his back legs from one pen to the next.

Now comes the hard part. Before the shearing can begin, the sheep has to be  taken down.  That is, he has to be taken off his feet and onto his back in order for him to be unable to move, and then the shearer could get to work.  It took him about five minutes to do one sheep, unless the sheep managed to regain his footing and try to escape.

Getting the sheep onto its back was so interesting.  The shearer simply grabbed the animal’s jaw and turn its head around toward its back until I thought for sure it was going to go all the way around, a complete 360º and its neck would crack.  Instead, the sheep simply collapsed onto its back. Plop!

I didn’t realize the shearing took the wool off right down to the skin.  What started out as a fat, wooly  sheep left the pen a pink and much-reduced but probably slightly chilly  sheep. Must have been a little embarrassing 🙂

And of course my mind was on all the times Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd, and those who believe in Him are his sheep.   He is indeed a tender Shepherd, caring for His flock, making sure they find green pasture and still waters.  He protects us from danger, and makes sure we are safely brought home.

There were a couple of sheep that managed to escape from being brought to the holding pen.  Of course, being sheep,  some followed where the first one led.  The rest were blocked from following, and the strays were rounded up. Silly sheep didn’t know enough to stay where they were safe and would lose those hot, heavy coats of wool so they could enjoy the warmth of the spring sun.

John 10:27-30.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Gadgets

I’m surrounded by gadgets, and I never thought I would be.  It started with  a clunky computer that was rescued from the the computer cemetery. I needed a computer when I started working on my master’s degree 21 years ago.  There were going to be so many papers, so much research. The research would mean hours at the school library, miles and miles on the car, unless I got connected to the internet.

Now,  years later, I have a MacBookAir that I use at work, usually bringing it home  each evening to make sure no one gets into it when I’m not in the office. I have an Android cell.  My first cell phone was a flip phone. We got it so I could call Terry if I got into trouble on the road, especially late at night.  That’s back when I was working in Montgomeryville until 9 p.m, a good half hour from home, as well as in Coopersburg until 9 on Tuesday.  Terry really didn’t like my being on the road late like that.

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And I have a nice, new desktop that so much fun compared to my old one.  Terry, surprisingly, spends a lot of time using it to research all sorts of equipment for his various projects.

We have a smart TV.  We never had TV when our own kids were home, a decision we made to eliminate at least one area of potential problems.  They all have TV now, but they tell me they rarely watch.  That’s good.

I have an electric toothbrush and flosser; a cool little electric shaver to take care of my moustache and whiskers–stop laughing, it’s not funny!  I have an electric doodad that I use to flush out my sinuses every day so I don’t have to use so much nasal medication. I have an Alexa, over which I play lots of music, set timers, ask about the weather, and a bunch of other things.

I am SO connected!  I didn’t even mention our CD player, which doesn’t get as much use these days as it used to. There are other items around the house that work on electricity–my coffee grinder, the microwave,  all the other appliances.  Plugged in, turned off or on as needed, dependable, labor-saving; things that connect me  all around the world.

I even have a Kindle, which I could use to read the Bible.  But I don’t.  I just don’t like to read the Bible that way.  I love my print Bible, which I can write in, underline–I know, you can do that on Kindle, too, but I just don’t want to.  There’s something solid and reassuring about my Bible.  I want it in my hands, not on an electronic gadget.

And it keeps me connected, too.  It keeps me connected to my Lord. There is nothing more important than that.  Thanks to many, many years of reading and memorizing God’s Word, I have it in my head and my heart even when the electricity goes off and the electronics die.   It will always stand, no matter who decides to try to ban it.

God’s Word is truth; its truth is eternal.