Thursday, July 27, 2023

Gone But Not Forgotten

 


Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. ~Exodus 20:12


My mom and dad pictured here with me as a baby.  So young and handsome!  We lost dad to Alzheimer's in 2014, and I miss him to this day.  Mom passed away in July of 2021, ten days before her 93rd birthday.  Today, if she were still with us, she would be 95.  Of course, we still miss her and always will.

Here are just a few photos of her and the family to commemorate her birthday.


With cousins, Ann and Kay, and Kay's husband, Bill, on the porch in Oxford.


Proud to be a great-grandmother!


Dad loving on Virginia before Alzheimer's extinguished his light.


Mom with granddaughter, Sarah, on her 90th birthday.


Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mom.  You are sorely missed.

Amen!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Calling Card

 


Blind Pharisee!  First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. ~Matthew 23:26


Danny and I are pretty good at keeping our house up on the inside, even though neither of us enjoys cleaning, especially bathrooms, and for my part, ever since I have that bout with pneumonia, I still find it difficult to get down on my knees, mainly because getting back up is always a challenge.  Months back, we did have a young lady who cleaned for us, but when she repeatedly didn't show up on the day and time promised, we finally gave up on her due to her unreliability.  So disappointing to wake up expecting to have a sparkling clean home at day's end, and to find ourselves right back at square one.

Happily, Danny is referred to a local cleaning service, so we decide to take the plunge.  And this time around?  We are richly rewarded!

Natalia is a legal immigrant from Brazil; she speaks limited English, but through the aid of a translator app on our phones, we are able to communicate with her perfectly well.  (Sometimes, I am so thankful for current technology!)  From the moment she enters the house, she is hard at work, leaving no speck of dust unconquered.  Natalia doesn't know what it means to cut corners when it comes to cleaning.  By the time she leaves, the whole house is spic and span, and smells fresh to boot.  When a home is treated to that type of deep cleaning, it takes a long time before it's in need of another such round of housekeeping.

We only engage Natalia once a month, but in the meantime, it's easy for Danny and I to maintain the daily routines of sweeping, wiping counters down, and generally tackling the day-to-day necessities of house cleaning.  And, thank goodness for me, there's no bending down or getting on my knees!

The cherry on top, so to speak, is Natalia's "calling card."  She never fails to make a rosette at the end of a toilet paper roll and the top tissue in our Kleenex boxes.





How sweet and thoughtful is that?  Honestly, I hate to be the first one to use the bathroom after she leaves!

I can't help but reflect on how Jesus describes what spiritual cleanliness truly looks like.  If we don't dig deep within, scrubbing away all the stains of sin we carry, then nothing else we do or say can come from a pure heart.  May we let Him help us to be clean from the inside out, that we might shine His love for us to others every day.

Lord, leave Your calling card for all to see in me!

Amen!

Monday, July 17, 2023

A Poem and a Winner!

 


He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. ~Psalm 104:19


The Season's Sign

Cicadas fill the night

With cacophony

Of endless rhythm

Persistent call evokes

Summer's presence

Here and now

Cannot be denied

By those who hear

Those who heed

The season's sign and

Then take part in

The angels' chorus

Amen!


Congratulations, Diana Derringer!  You have won the book contest!  Please contact me at my email address -marthaorlando@gmail.com with your home address so I can mail it right out to you.  Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Love and Grace

 


Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90:12


It's hard to believe that in August, my high school class will be celebrating our 50th reunion.  How is that possible???  Where in the world has the time gone???  Am I really that old???  There are moments when it seems like only yesterday that I strolled the halls of our school as a teenager, eager to graduate and discover what new adventures life had in store for me.

Looking back to those years swamps me with memories both great and not so great.  We were all so young, yet we had no doubt that we already had the answers to all life's questions, and no one could convince us otherwise.  How naive!  How foolish!

How true . . .

My heart looks forward to seeing so many beloved friends from the Class of '73, but my mind warns me to be accepting of however the intervening years have shaped us all.  We have undoubtedly come a long, long way on our singular journeys that are unique and priceless to each of us individually.  It could be, at this point in time, that all we share in common is the school and the grade we attended.  However, there is always the chance of reconnection, for discovering new bonds we never realized were bubbling beneath the surface of our high school personas.

I always like to look on the bright side, and hope for the best.

Just one evening isn't enough to truly catch up with old friends and acquaintances, so I plan to take some Glade-related business cards (shown above) along with me to pass out liberally.  I do hope others do the same!  Since I haven't been on Facebook for ages now, I don't have any current information on anyone except a handful of people.

Speaking of the Glade series, there have been a few who have expressed interest in getting my books while there, but I've decided that it will be too time consuming and distracting for me when I'm there when I'm trying my best to meet and greet everyone I can.  My "fix" will be for folks to bring any of the novels they already own to be autographed, or order select titles from Amazon and bring them along.  I'm hopeful that this solution will work for all involved.

I am already praying for safe travels for all my classmates as they head to our reunion, and for all to have a joyful and memorable time together.

May we all be determined to show one another the love and grace each one deserves, especially on this momentous occasion.  After all, isn't that what life's truly about?


Amen!

Monday, July 3, 2023

Happy Independence Day!

 


It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ~Galatians 5:1


Racer, and the whole gang at The Glade, want to wish you all a Happy and Blessed Independence Day!

May we all give thanks for our God-given rights and for all who risk their lives to protect them.


Sing a New Song

  Danny and I in his new music studio Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. ~Psalm 96:1 A new song shall I sing unto...