Friday, May 24, 2019

Ode to May 2019

Ode to May 2019
There may be rain,
There may be snow,
There may be ice,
We just don't know.

Turn on the air?
Turn on the heat?
Flip flops or snowshoes for our feet? 

May bees lighting in the flowers
May be rebuffed by sneak snow showers.

Twisters, tempests, floods all plague us.
Lord, we pray for you to save us.
Will a reprieve be coming soon?
Maybe we'll find out in June.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

What Goes Up

What's sillier than a grandmother stuck in a tree? Her sharing the story in the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul release

“Grandma, watch this!”

Our ten-year-old grandson scrambled up our backyard maple tree like King Kong scaling the Empire State building. He stood on a limb, grabbed the one above him, and bounced. Hapless young leaves dropped under his onslaught as the branch bobbed up and down.

My breath caught in my throat, a regular occurrence for a grandparent of an active boy. “Asher, be careful. You haven’t broken any bones yet. Let’s keep it that way.”

He stopped bouncing and plopped onto the limb. My lungs resumed their normal rhythm. “Grandma,” he called in a cajoling tone, “Climb up with me. Please.”

I eyed the old tree. Asher and I considered it our private fortress, but the branch I normally used to boost myself up had broken off in a recent storm. Getting into that tree would take more upper arm strength than I possessed. “Honey, I don’t think I can climb up there anymore.”

Asher’s eyes widened as if I’d uttered a blasphemy. “But Grandma, it’s our special place. You have to try.” His stricken look prompted me to grab a branch. An oversized gorilla hoisting me up would have been more helpful than Asher’s verbal assistance. “Pull harder, Grandma. Boy, you should really start working out. You’re getting pretty weak.”

After multiple tries I hefted myself onto the lowest limb and lay panting against the rough bark. Slow maneuvering brought me to a sitting position.
“See Grandma, I knew you could get up here.” Asher grinned and scooted next to me. We sat together on the branch, our feet dangling. A cool May breeze held the insects at bay as Asher told me about his school day.

I silently thanked God for the opportunity to spend time with this beloved grandson. My husband Jake and I relished our time with him. We’d forged a special bond over the years with this child, so dear to our hearts.
As sunset streaked the sky the breeze died down and mosquitoes began foraging for victims. “OK Sweetie, let’s go in. Your grandpa will be home soon.”

Asher shimmied down the trunk like a competitor in a lumberjack competition. I swung my leg lower, feeling for the limb I always used to descend. “Be careful Grandma. Your climb-down branch is gone, remember?”
I surveyed the hard surface below. The new river rock and brick landscape edging mocked me. Several dismount attempts brought one conclusion. I couldn’t get myself down safely.

“Hurry up, Grandma.” Asher bounced on the patio.

“Sweetie, I’m having trouble getting down.”

Asher stopped jumping and peered up at me. “Grandma, are you stuck in the tree?”

The knobby bark bit into my protesting backside. I cautiously shifted my weight on the branch. “I don’t want you to worry, but . . .”

“Are you REALLY stuck?”

“Yes Asher, I’m really stuck.”
His eyes gleamed with excitement. “Can I call 911?” he asked hopefully.

“No, not 911. Call your grandpa.”

Asher ran inside for the phone. A tiny gnat, the size of a pin head, landed on my arm. I jerked at its needle-jab sting, then fought to keep my balance. A red, dime-sized welt appeared where the gnat stung me. I swatted away another Mutant Robo-Gnat that was dive-bombing my face.

Asher ran back, waving the phone like a prize. “Are you sure I can’t call 911?” he asked again, anticipation written in his countenance. I could see his mental wheels turning. A firetruck or two, perhaps a rescue squad on stand-by would perk up a weekday. And make a great story at school.

“Dial your grandpa and put him on speaker,” I commanded.

Jake answered on the second ring. “Grandma’s stuck in a tree,” Asher announced cheerfully.

I rolled my eyes and swatted another gnat.

“Grandma told me to call because she’s stuck in a tree.”

I heard a long pause before my husband asked, “Is Grandma really stuck in a tree?”

“Yeah, and she wants you to come home and help her down,” Asher enthused.

Jake’s hysterical laughter flowed through the phone line. “You’re on speaker. I can hear you,” I shouted from my perch. ”Now stop cackling, come home, and get me down.”

Between bouts of laughter Jake said, “Tell Grandma to hang on. I’ll be there soon.”

“Ok, bye Gramps. I’ll take care of things until you get home.” Asher laid the house phone on the patio table and ran back inside. I smashed a Robo-Gnat attacking my leg as Asher burst through the patio door, his new cell phone in hand. “My grandmother is stuck in a tree,” he said in his best news announcer voice.

“Who are you talking to?” I asked.

“Nobody, Grandma.”

Asher resumed his spiel, “My grandmother is stuck in the tree. She can’t get down. Grandma, would like to say a few words?”

The splintery wood dug into my palms. I tamped down exasperation. “Say a few words to who? Who are you talking to?”

“I’m not talking to anyone. I’m recording you. See?”

He flipped the phone around and held it up for me to view. Sure enough, a video played on-screen. A middle-aged woman wearing silver loafers, dark washed jeans, and an exasperated glare hunched in a maple.

“Give me that!” I make a feeble swipe at the upheld phone. Asher pulled it back and tapped buttons furiously. I wobbled on the branch before regaining my balance. Asher peered up at me through the deepening twilight. “Be careful! You almost fell. Grandma, are you really, truly stuck?”

My heart softened at his evident concern. “Yes Sweetie, but I’ll be all right. Don’t worry.”

“Oh, I’m not worried,” he said, “I just posted this online. The video already has two ‘likes.’ You’ve gone worldwide.”

Friday, February 1, 2019

Reckless Love

I'm a sucker for romantic scenes where the hero sweeps in and rescues the heroine. The song, Reckless Love, describes the most awesome rescuer ever.

The hero refuses to allow anything to come between him and his beloved. He leaves everything and everyone behind, and embarks on a search and rescue mission.

And he does it without any guarantee his devotion will ever be returned.

The song says, "When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me.
You have been so, so good to me.
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me.
You have been so, so kind to me."
"And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine.
And I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away.
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God."

"There's no wall You won't kick down,
Lie You won't tear down,
Coming after me.

There's no shadow You won't light up,
Mountain You won't climb up,
Coming after me."

Romantic books and movies take a backseat to the reality of true love. God's love. 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Because of that incredible love, Jesus left heaven and embarked on a search and rescue mission for us. He did it for the young, the old, the rich, the poor. For every person in the world.

God is reaching out to you right now. Do you desire His unconditional, never-ending love?

Pray this simple prayer:

"Jesus, I welcome you into my life. Please forgive my sins. Be my Lord, savior, and friend."

And get ready to experience the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God!

Photos courtesy Wicci Commons