The Masks

So Dr. Acton of Ohio tells us we should expect to wear a mask here for at least a year. Wow. I understand the cloth mask does not keep me from getting Coronavirus or Covid-19 or whatever you choose to call it. It does keep others from getting ill if I am shedding the virus. It does keep me from touching my face, especially eyes, nose and mouth where contamination is most likely to enter my body. In Ohio Dr. Acton has taught us to call that the T-Zone. The first ones I made were flannel. Oh my! Too hot for me. Grandgirl #2 pointed out they would be good in winter when your nose gets cold on a walk!

I ordered some cotton fabric for curbside pick up as most of my fabric scraps were ideal for women, but not so much for guys! So now I own stars and stripes, solid red and solid brown. I make them with a piece of wire (pipe cleaner) sewn into the seam above the nose. There is also a pocket to put a coffee filter cut to size or a piece of paper towel to help filter things out. Now I’ve learned putting some light interfacing into the mask also makes it less permeable.

Elastic in 1/8″ size is hard to come all by. They are all sold out of the elastic at the local fabric stores. A theater supply place did fill an order for me for 30 yards. I ordered that much thinking I would have plenty left over. I use about 16″ per mask. Now I am thinking, maybe not enough! Now to just keep cutting, sewing, pressing and distributing!

Once people find out I make masks, it is sort of like the nylon scrubbers I used to make for my mother-in-law … they ask for some. “Oh, and so-and-so needs one, too.” So I am making masks. I think when I get the ones on my sewing table finished I will take a break and get back to some of my other projects for a week or two.

Until then, I am learning the pluses and minuses of Roku TV while I sew in the basement. MINUS – cannot record and fast forward through commercials! Cannot put sound through the speakers we have down there. Speakers were nice to project sound over hot water heater, washing machine and dryer. Pluses, can tune in online accounts like Pandora, Amazon music, and some movie channels with my older TV!

Bob needed to get something out of the safety deposit box at the bank. He left home wondering if they would let him in with a mask on! The bank door has had a sign about not wearing sunglasses, hoodies or hats. The manager met him at the door for his appointment and said yes, only under these circumstances was his mask allowed. Whew!!

And so, wash your hands and wear your mask! Throw away the liner after one use. Change the mask daily. Launder in the washing machine and if you want throw it into the dryer. Repeat. The masks I am making now are cotton and come out of dryer all wrinkly. I just reposition the folds and hit them with a hot iron. Presto! Good as new! A nurse friend told me to keep a stack by the door. Okay. Got it. After this batch I will eventually be back at it. Dare I say, let me know if you need one?? and please be patient while I fill the requests! Blessings!

Neighborhood

For me serendipity is just like snatching rubies out of thin air. Serendipity: “the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.”

I was out walking and overheard two little girls playing in a yard.

“Where are you, Susie?”

“I’m over here at my favorite tree,” she replied, standing at the base of a pink magnolia in bloom. “I am sad. This is my favorite tree. I come here when I am sad.” There was a pause with no response from the other child. Then in a lilting voice Susie answered, “Do you want to see me climb my favorite tree?”

Can we become childlike during this pandemic? Recognize our sad feelings, but then go on to delight in the life we own at this moment? It has long been said that the waiting is the hardest part. Give me something definitive and I will find a way to cope. Leave me without a decision and I flounder and flop around. Perspective of that child? I am sad, but there is a tree right in front of me waiting to be climbed.

“Do you want to see me climb my favorite tree?”

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Matthew 18:1-5 NRSV

Come, Lord, help me climb this tree! Help me to humble myself and change. Help me become like a child.

Help me to be less fearful of the measure of time, and more fully alive in the time that simply is. Help me to live time, not just to simply use it; to breathe it in, and return it in acts of love and presence.

Avis Crowe

We were advised that in this worldwide crisis we would experience the famous stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Allow yourself to feel those emotions as they arise, then release them and let them go. They may overlap. You will go in and out of those various feelings.

Always look for your favorite tree. Climb it and be restored.

You Will Benefit From This!

If you have not heard John Eldredge speak or read his teaching you will be glad to have heard this. I pray for his ministry often and came upon this talk. It lifted my spirit for days and I have listened to it more than that one time. He understands spiritual warfare in a way that not many other preachers bring forth. I pray this ministers to you in many,many ways.

He has posted other talks at Ransomed Heart Ministries on line, on Facebook, and You Tube. Even if you do not agree with all of his theology, I think you can agree that the prayer in this episode is powerful on many levels.

Ebb and Flow and Stillness

Recently I read the quote below and was blessed. We all know the many ways life can surge and churn about us. And then there is Christ, our Rock.

Trust God’s Word and His power more than you trust your own feelings and experiences. Remember, your Rock is Christ, and it is the sea that ebbs and flows with the tides, not Him.

Samuel Rutherford
The sea ebbs and flows with the tides.

“Rock of my salvation” includes the Hebrew word tsur. Tsur is the most common Hebrew word used in the names of God that describe Him as a rock. Tsur speaks of a rock that is massive, very safe, and virtually impenetrable”, says https://namesforgod.net/rock-of-my-salvation

In the quote there is that word, TRUST, again. I need to practice it and understand it more each time it comes up!

Jesus is my steady, unwavering, unchangeable rock. God’s Word and power are higher than anything I can know or understand. I choose to trust. I will be still in His Presence. If I understand correctly, the pronunciation for Tsur is like Sir. That will help me. As a soldier refers to it’s commander as “sir”, so I will refer to my Lord as “Sir, Tsur.”

 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock, my Savior.’

Psalm 89:26 NIV

Words and Blog and Death

I am planning to close one of my blog sites and thinking about getting the blog printed so I do not lose the hard work and thought I have put into that. Perhaps one day my grandchildren would want to read it to learn more about me? Discovering entire worlds of on-line services to pay for to get ready to publish and then to actually print. Yikes. Decisions, decisions.

Then I am face-to-face with the reminder that no one will get out of this world alive unless the Lord comes soon. From my journal:

“Judy has died from cancer. Homer dead of cancer. Betty dead of old age and cancer form. Sonia’s mom dead from cancer. Surrounded by death of folks older and younger than me. Disposing of trapped chipmunks, killed on purpose by us.

1 Corinthians Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

1 Corinthians 15:51-55 (NRSV)

“Death and life, intertwined. There are just sometimes that the death is more clear than other times when we try to forget it, put it out of our minds, pretend it is not always near. No wonder the men in the NT Bible story did not want to help the man beaten, robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. It brought home the fact it could happen to any one of us and death is always near.

Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

Luke 10:30-32 (NRSV)

“I fertilized new shoots I should not have fertilized. I too kill things. And I will die someday, the day the Lord has appointed for me. “

So perhaps it is important to preserve the blog writings for the next generation to read after my death? Or is it all words? Would I have liked a record of where my parents went in Michigan when they went fishing there years before I was born? Heck yes! All I have is a postcard they sent my uncle which I did not see until his daughters sent it to me after his death.

Is this the best way to spend my saved money? Perhaps it will be valued by my offspring in the future? Maybe not saving it is like killing those new shoots in the garden. The killing was accidental, yet still they are dead. Do I let those words and thoughts that have come out of me go – just perish in the dust of on-line words? Perhaps that is not a good use of my funds or talent.

Oh my, conundrum after conundrum. Would Judy’s boys cherish a memoir from their mother now that she is gone? Perhaps my adult children might cherish one?

I wrote this several years after my mother died suddenly.

Oh the ache
The wrenching tear at your heart
When you want to share joy
With one who has passed over.

Oh the void
When those too familiar arms
Are no longer there
To embrace you.

Tonight I shared an experience
With my daughter
That I once shared
With my mother
“Ice Capades,” with this wondrous four year old!

If my granddaughter ever delights
In the swirling spangles
And enchanted wonderland on ice,
I pray both she and my daughter be spared
The anguish I feel tonight.

Perhaps the future generations of our family might know the joys and challenges of my life by reading what a wrote about this past year. Guess I will pursue publishing. Scary.

A Prompt in Plain Sight

Found this a year or so ago on the sidewalk. I have kept it ever since. It is a writing prompt and in some ways a prod. How so? you ask.

If you have a broken pencil you cannot write much unless you sharpen it and determine to use it. And that is the prod part. Was I willing to use it and sharpen it? This was before I started writing the blog. For years I had been putting off actually writing with regularity and purpose. Once again, I was being given the choice of just keeping a broken pencil, throwing it away, or putting it to work.

And the prompt? Even the stub of a pencil can be used to write. What is to stop the finder from using it? Yes, some kid is missing a green pencil from their colored pencil set, but what about the senior citizen who found and kept it. Will she make use of it, even in old age and gray hair? Will she step out in faith and just do it?

You can scroll through my posts and see if you agree. I think I am onto the discipline of using it and helping the last years of the pencil produce a harvest! Not to mention, the older woman holding said pencil.

Steve Green summed it up nicely with the song “You Want To, Now Will You”


You’ve heard the words
And know they’re true
And now they ring inside of you
They’re calling you to come away
Now will you come or stay.

You want to, now will you
You want to, now will you
The truth that burns within you
Like a bed of fiery coals
Contains that power to liberate
A thousand captive souls
But if the truth will ever set you free
Depends on you
You want to, now will you
You want to…now will you