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Archive for November, 2010

Advent 2010

 

Waiting for the coming of Christ

In some of our churches, today is the first day of the new Church year.  So shouldn’t today be the real day for New Year’s resolutions . . .?

Thus, I asked myself, “Why not make a resolution today to prepare for the coming of Christ?”

He IS coming, ready or not, though He came before (at Bethlehem), and He comes every day (in my heart).

Three ideas to help reflect instead of distract:

1) Put aside some distractions on a weekly or even daily basis.   (Facebook, Texting, constant barrage of radio).

2)  Cultivate silence.   (Many different ways, only you know.)

3)  Pray.   (Bible, Liturgy of the Hours, My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Chambers’ stand-alone classic, “In Conversation with God” ~ Francis Fernandez – awesome series for any serious Christian).

If you are a “plugged-in” person and don’t want to stop, try an online daily meditation such as the Word Among Us

Happy and fruitful Advent, y’all!

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We bought our house in 2000 with the thought that this room could be for household.  It is a great day that we can live the covenant community life more fully now.  Our housemate’s furniture was indeed moved in on Monday, a few short hours after the completion of the room.  (See photo of the wonderfully transformed household room below.)

Forbes Home Improvement- another fine finished product

The room looks very different now; it seems that a great deal of furniture can fit in a finite space.  But Sharon is happy, having what she needs.  There is plenty of unpacking to be done, but the essential part of our household is in place – we all live here now!

Keep us in mind during the unfolding time of adjustment and settling in.  We are grateful for all the kind wishes and help during the lead-up to the move!

All the believers were together and had everything in common. . . . They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  ~ Acts 2: 44f

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Despite looking in the most likely places, I have been missing my favorite, ancient, metal nail file for the past 6 weeks.

About 6:00 a.m., this morning (Saturday), I decided to completely empty my purse to see if maybe it was in there, though previously searched.  I found many things that should NOT be in my purse  – receipts, empty gum wrappers and packages, various sized bits of paper with addresses or grocery lists, an old tissue, and a ticket stub, as well as paper clips, pins, and pennies.  Finally, completely nestled in the cloth niche of the front pocket, the FILE was recovered!  Yay!

Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a dark blob flashing across the baseboard of the counter.  A mouse!  I am not overly frightened by them as some are – thank the Lord!  But hey, I don’t want them in my house  – upstairs and downstairs and in my lady’s chamber – No, no!

Have you ever experienced that areas of your life were getting cluttered so that the crucial things would go missing?  Or have elements of your life suddenly been found overrun by unwanted pests (of various sorts)?  Then you may appreciate the necessity of transformation, of not resting on your laurels.  It’s a concept well worth pursuing!

Speaking of transformation, the former guest room – sorry no photo – has steadily been transformed this week by Forbes Home Improvement – Steve Forbes, CEO.   Today, the place is being “mudded” (plastered, or whatever) which takes 24 hours to dry.  It then needs sanding and painting – more time!   Sharon is supposed to move in Monday evening.  Will we be ready?  Say a little prayer . . .

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Drip, drip, drip

AMAZING GRACE (2006) – John Newton says:

“God sometimes does His work with gentle drizzle, not storms. Drip. Drip. Drip.” (a quote from a great movie we recently enjoyed)

Lately, we have had the usual array of challenges in the Elliott household.  Some are from within: selfishness, illness, sloth (or laziness), or pride leading to impatience and irritability and others from outside: unfortunate choices of others, unrest and catastrophes throughout the nations, and perpetual construction on the beltway.  Then there are the effects of evil in the form of hatred and bigotry and temptations.

Yep, you could become pretty low if you keep facing downward and inward.  But recently, John, the boys, and I attended an Action evening of food and praise.  The leader said, “You need to raise up your eyes to look for [God].”  And sure enough, there is an adventure about to begin at 8331 Toll House Road.

In the People of Praise, one of the ways we express our life in common is to form Christian households.  In our family of seven, we have had many visitors, borders, even a temporary joint household [Harris-Elliott], and house-sitters.  Now, we are about to start our own household with Miss Sharon Southard, a single lady from the Northern Virginia branch.   She and we are in the process of preparing for a move-in during the week of Thanksgiving!  In many ways, Sharon has been like part of the family for 20 years.

Childcare queen - Miss Sharon "Boing Boing"

Sharon giving the boys Mr. Whippy t-shirts

We are looking for many new ways to live well.  Having Sharon move in to the household makes a real BRIGHT SPOT in the sometimes humdrum (or worse, when you aren’t choosing to be positive) collective life!   She brings a sense of humor, love for playing games and watching sports (wow!) and love for humanity with her.  It will be nice to have a lady around the house again while the girls are off at the university.  With the holidays approaching, it’s a blessing to recall how many we have shared over the years.

 

Sharon & Grandpa join in singing, “O Come Let Us Adore Him” 2009

 

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.  ~Frederick Keonig

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This is an update on my thyroid issues.   [December 15 is the date set for the surgery.]

Much to my chagrin and disappointment, the powers-that-be seem to believe that all my good tests do not erase the alleged need for a total thyroidectomy to prevent the merest possibility that Medullary cancer could take hold and spread.  They explain cool-ly and rationally that the first biopsy, which showed cells that looked suspiciously like Medullary cancer, cannot be ignored.  Further, they say, my favorable blood tests, low Calcetonin level, ultrasound that showed the nodules as smaller, and second biopsy could be “false negatives”.

The plurality of votes for thyroidectomy consists of the doctors, my husband, and my daughter in the nursing program.   This, plus the fact that my thyroid is barely functioning now anyway, is causing me to concede the point and agree to go forward with the surgery.  It is a blessing to be in a position where they have to convince me; in other words, it isn’t 100 % certain that I have cancer!  Truth be told, I do not think I do.  Hopefully, the thyroid will be removed, and it will be discovered that I am indeed cancer-free.  If the other possibility becomes evident, it will have been most fortunate to have caught it so early.  I am thankful for all this careful medical attention from intelligent, caring, and skillful people.

Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, and God it was who established his profession.  From God the doctor has his wisdom …   ~Sirach 38: 1-2

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This is one of those unasked-for, email “goodies” that I received recently.  I started to read it since it came from Mom.  I continued reading it because I found it to be so true-to-life!  For you “snopes.com” folks, I’m reprinting this without giving Regina’s age.  She wrote the 45 lessons, but she isn’t 90 years old as the email-circulated version states.  That isn’t her fault, though, she just hasn’t lived long enough.  But apparently, someone who liked her words, thought the more venerable age would improve the validity?   Anyway, enjoy!  (*My favs*)

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Written by Regina Brett, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .
“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family and parents will.  Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

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