Out My Office Window

Bachelor Buttons reseeded themselves again and have been gigantic this year of mild weather. In the yard recently I captured a shot of this guy.

As I type this I can hear his honeybee cousin out the open window on the same group of flowers!

I think the heat and rain have about finished the poppies. And then, they keep blooming! I may try to thin them and move them about when they go dormant. Then again, I hesitate for fear I will damage or kill one!

Planted this cheery yellow perennial a couple years ago. It is flourishing this spring. Would have to go out to the garden and get the tag to know it’s name. I keep forgetting it. I can use it in cut flower arrangements as long as it keeps access to the sun.

Purple Salvia and Lemondrop Oenothera – no wonder I can’t remember it!

PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS: Bob has hidden some sunflower plants just next to the poppies. Perhaps we will have groups of birds at the window in those sunflowers if the deer do not eat off the flower heads before they bloom!

Find the Focus

Some days as a writer and one who journals it is difficult to get my footing and direction as evidenced in Find the Focus© 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

Cannot find the clipboard
poems in process of revising.
Cannot find the journal
life in process of being noted.
Where is my concordance
trying to find that verse
never finished notes in my Bible
negligence has made this worse.
Too often cover important
With mundane and lowly
Help me find the focus
to tell forth the eternal and holy.
Fighting back the darkness
bearing forth the Light
partake in eternal struggle
get any pen, any paper
note on computer
the calling compels you to
herald the glad tidings:
God wins.

Retreat 2011

The theme was icons and how to use them for deeper communion and prayer. This is what I heard as result of that experience. Retreat ©2011 Molly Lin Dutina

“Yes, my dear, I AM the teacher
and so much I have yet to teach you.
You want to, now will you
incline your ear to Me?
“Will you turn your heart from
lesser things to feast upon Me?
Will you take My discipline and correction
that your soul may live in fatness?
“Christ, the Teacher, is the icon I AM
chose for you. I AM your Teacher.”
Yes, my Lord,
come and teach me.
Show me the discipline I need to embrace.
Help me to feast upon Your correction.

The Anchor

Hebrews 6:18-20 (NIV2011)  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,  where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Our hope is an anchor for our soul. The following image is created through filet crochet. This method is very similar to cross stitch embroidery. You create an open or filled box following a charted design.

My hope, an anchor for my soul. Streams in The Desert entry for May 11 reads:

“Psalm 66:12 We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out into a wealthy place.

“Paradoxical though it be, only that man is at rest who attains it through conflict. This peace, born of conflict, is not like the deadly hush preceding the tempest, but the serene and pure-aired quiet that follows it.

“It is not generally the prosperous one, who has never sorrowed,who is strong and at rest. His quality has never been tried, and he knows not how he can stand even a gentle shock. He is not the safest sailor who never saw a tempest; he will do for fair-weather service, but when the storm is rising, place at the important post the man who has fought out a gale, who has tested the ship, who knows her hulk sound, her rigging strong, and her anchor-flukes able to grasp and hold by the ribs of the world.”

Though I had sewn an anchor with filet crochet method, I had no idea the pointed ends were called flukes. Now I need to Lord to help me realize the anchor-flukes of my faith are able to grasp and hold by whatever life may bring me.

Even so, Lord, I trust You to be my salvation.

Fallen But Still Growing

There is a trail we often walk at Harsha Lake, which we have always called East Fork Lake. It is truly our favorite trail though there are few wildflowers there. Recently we noticed a tree had fallen across the stream. We commented how sad it was that this tree would mess up the photos we take trying to capture the changes in the water.

We returned to our trail a few weeks later and wow was I surprised! This pandemic struggle has been very difficult for me emotionally. I guess I am what is referred to as a melancholic depressive. I want to be an optimist, but I am more like Eeyore!

So there is the fallen tree. Sprouting leaves now in the sun and sudden heat of 80 degrees, constantly watered by the stream.

This tree is not upright as we are accustomed to seeing them grow. It must still be rooted though! Obviously, I have no idea how long the tree can survive. But I am going to take this image as a reminder to hope. Hope that a new day will come. Hope that until then, we are sustained by our loving Father.

Happy are those whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. “ Psalm 1: 2-3

1983 and 2020

Reading Facebook the other day I came across this quote.

How, then, shall we live the life of prayer without ceasing? By quiet, persistent practice in turning all of our being, day and night, in prayer and inward worship and surrender, toward him who calls in the deeps of our souls.

Thomas Kelly

Inward surrender. Yes. I need me more of that. So frustrated. Tried to buy a car. Since it is likely the last new car I will ever purchase we decided to go for the interior I wanted. They told us, “No problem. We can get that brought in from another dealer.” Well, big problem. No one else had one. So, “No problem! We can order that from the factory.” So whenever the factory reopens and is able to make that on the line, we will eventually have a new car. Thought for certain I could use up at least a week or two learning the electronics of a new car. Grateful we have the means, but no distraction from a new car any time soon.

Oh yes! Bob agreed that I could get a dog if I wanted. We had to put our aged beagle down a few years ago. I miss her to this day. So I began looking on line for a dog. The tiny one I was most interested in is oh, 2-3,000 dollars. Nope. Can’t see that happening and there were none available now. Could send a deposit and wait on a litter. Have never spent that much money on an animal companion. Surely there are some dogs in shelters waiting for our home.

Guess again! Shelters closed because of pandemic. The one I am most drawn to came from a hoarding situation and they have no idea when she might be ready to adopt out. There are plenty of big (40 lbs. plus) pit bull mixes. No thanks. Bob doesn’t want a tiny dog that yaps all the time. A new dog to nurture, to cuddle with, to train.

So our daughter met a dog that seemed perfect. He was being fostered at the same home where her new adopted dog came from. The foster mom thought we would be a great match. We applied. Very excited. Within a few hours we were denied the dog. Never saw that coming!! We do not have a fenced yard. It is VERY hilly and would be next to impossible to fence. His bio said he would need another dog to live with. No other dog here.

Inward surrender. Yes. I need me more of that. Surrender to WHAT IS, rather than hanging my hopes on what could be. Once I was directed to a powerful book entitled Radical Acceptance. Yes, I need to go to that place again. That motivated me to try to remember a quote I used for many years to remind myself to surrender to the Lord.

William Law wrote a book entitled A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. I first read it in 1983. I found the title from a journal entry I wrote when our daughter was 7 and our son was 4. ANCIENT history!

Stand turned to a patient, meek, humble, resignation to God when your own impatience, wrath, pride and irresignation attacks yourself. This is a higher and more beneficial performance of duty than when you stand turned when attacked by the passions of other people. Wholly give yourself to be helped by the mercy of God. Patience to expect it all from God.
Nothing brings you so near to divine relief as the extremity of distress.

Give myself to be helped by the mercy of God. Especially when my own impatience, wrath, pride and irresignation attacks ME. I did not remember the quote in that context. Still earning, thirty-seven years later.

Radical acceptance.

Patient, meek, humble resignation to God. Higher and more beneficial performance of my duty.

“Nothing brings you so near to divine relief as the extremity of distress.”

Okay. I am at that extremity. Come, Lord.

Have You Hit the Blah-blah Stage?

Okay, we went out to one store with masks and our list. Then another day another store with our masks. Early hours reserved for seniors. Then one other day, another store with our masks. In fact, we are not going any place without our masks. It seems as if only 50% of the people out there are wearing masks. Shopping was missed for two months, but it is not all it was cracked up to be.

Boring is an understatement. I miss our church life. I miss my friends at Senior Center crochet and knit group. I miss my friends from the Convent. Heard yesterday via Facebook that one person there tested positive. That is terrible news as most of the sisters are older than me and I feel old as dirt at 69.

Are you fed up with Zoom meetings? That is all we have had here for Bible study group and weekly prayer group. I am grateful we have that, rather than nothing. Compared to real life meetings, it just doesn’t make a very palatable substitute.

I, personally, found last weekend very disturbing. Videos on every channel of people crowding each other at resorts and beaches and boardwalks. It made we wonder “What are they thinking? Do they not believe that over 90,000 people have died of Covid-19?”

So I am going to stick with Dr. Fauci. Let’s wait 10 days and see where infection rates stand. Betting there is a rise in many, many places after this que será, será attitude.

So what did I buy? Probably the best find was iron on interfacing. I used up most of what I had purchased for a project using old t-shirts to make a quilt. The interfacing went into masks to provide another layer of filtration. If we decide to isolate totally again, I will need that interfacing to work on that project. Read, keep from losing my mind!

So this afternoon America topped over 100,000 dead from Corona virus. We are due to watch a space launch in a couple hours. This is a weird time we are living in.

Please wear a mask and stay well. And yes, the bulk of our shopping is still done with curbside pick up.