Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 293 - Everything is Beautiful

I always wanted to read the bible front cover to back cover.  Who has time?  Now with me reading so many textbooks for class and being on the computer I don't have time no either.  When I was working I DEFINITELY didn't have the time.  I have a saying that I just didn't MAKE the time to do something.  It is my free will choice.  So fifteen days ago I decided that I would read the book of Psalms.  I would divide the 150 chapters into 15 days, and start off my day reading 10 chapters a day.  It is my time with God.  I'm sure we could all read the bible that way.  A little at a time.  I learned a lot.  The biggest impact I think for me were from two chapters.  One Chapter 25:21 Assign me Godliness and Integrity as my bodyguards, for I expect you to protect me.   Pretty powerful words but few in number.  The other is Psalms Chapter 119.  I'll let you read it at your leisure.

I feel closer with God when I pray to him during the day and especially the morning.  The mornings are peaceful and my focus is sharp.  So imagine my surprise today when I was rewarded with such a blessing as the return of the juvenile male rose-breasted Grosbeak to our yard after two years.  As I've blogged about in the past, I researched her meaning as an Animal Totem from the Native American Culture in my life today:

 Grosbeak teaches it is a time to heal wounds for mental and emotional harmony. Forgiveness and caring should be exercised as relationships are evaluated. She shows the fine balance of situations and connection to family. She aids in recognizing the spiritual and physical aspects of all things. Grosbeak teaches to awaken to surroundings in increase activity in life. Watch for movement in new experiences. She helps in recognizing your own voice and internal power. Grosbeak shows how to increase psychic perceptions while remaining balanced within the new awakening you are experiencing. 
It was so perfect.  I had finished my book of Psalms.   I have been accepted to do an internship at a corporate Headquarters located nearby with a new awakening.  I met the team yesterday and one of the things that the DBA (Data Base Administrator) stated was that there is no problem too big.  You can break any big problem into little chunks and analyze and fix them one by one to solve the entire problem.  I agree with this wholeheartedly.  This is the right thing to do.

From Stock photo

 I now have decided to get caught up on my Daily Breads and came across this today.  I have to share with you originally dated for today April 25....EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL...The beauty of the black lacy design against the pastel purple and orange background grabbed my attention.  The intricacy of the fragile pattern led me to assume that it had been created by a skilled artist.  As I looked more closely at the photo, however, I saw the artist admiring his work from a corner of the photo.  The "artist" was a worm, and its work of art was a partially eaten leaf.  

What made the image beautiful was not the destruction of the leaf but the light glowing through the holes.  As I gazed at the photo, I began thinking about lives that have been eaten by the "worms" of sin.  The effects are ravaging.  Sin eats away at us as we suffer the consequences of our own bad choices or those of others.  We are all its victims.   

But the photo also reminded me of the hope we have in God.  Through the prophet Joel, God said to Israel, "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eat"  (Joel 2:25).  And from Isaiah we learn that the Lord appointed him to "console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes"  (Isa. 61:3).

Satan does everything he can to make us ugly, but the Light of the World can make us beautiful --despite Satan's best efforts. ~Julie Ackerman Link

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 292 - Repurposing

I've blogged about this before in the form of finding another person's trash and calling it your treasure.  Remember the terrarium that I rescued as a broken globe from the trash?  Or the hope chest that needed a new fabric seating cover? Or the cabinet that fits over the toilet?  You can do the same thing with items that can be used for the yard.  Nested in wildflowers, birds seem to love them. As school is coming to an end and my stress level keeps rising due to the inability to convince anyone that REALLY I'm worthy of a new chance at putting my years of work ethic and new computer skills to the test, I think about repurposing.  Am I going to be put to the side of the road as trash or will someone see the goodness in me and recreate me with a new coat of paint of a new cloth?

Here a few photos of what we've rescued so far for the yard, particularly with a new home being built across the street, there is a lot of wood in the dumpster.  So Steve made edging for the flower garden section and a new chopped wood stand out of a pallet to hold the free wood that someone dumped at the end of a cul-de-sac in the neighborhood.  A chair was left out and was rotted, but Steve fixed the seat and now it holds my rosemary bush nicely.  The Carolina Wrens love it. Our umbrella stand broke so we painted the bottom and now it is an ornament on the house. The Birdcage was in our neighbors trash too.  The cardinals love this one.

I found another wicker arched top stand last night and we brought it home. I'm waiting for the inspiration to fix it up.  I know it has potential but I never do anything halfway so I'm still thinking about how to go about it.  So maybe that's the lesson, God doesn't either.  He waits for the right person to fix us up.  We have to wait and be patient.  I pray that my God continues to be an awesome God and move mountains to find the right person at the right time at the right place to fix me up.  I'm a little weathered and worn but with a good coat of paint and a new cloth, I'll be as good as new in a better home than one I could have found by myself.  He has never forsaken me...I wait.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 291 - The Masters

One year ago, we were blessed with being able to go to the Masters, an event that isn't bought or won in a lottery.  It just doesn't happen for people like me.  But through the kindness of a man that was once part of General Patton's beloved men, an opportunity of a lifetime was mine to be thankful for.  And boy am I thankful. John Clements was in his nineties last year and was one of our last living WWII vets.  He didn't know me, but he knew my friend.  My friend was also blessed with knowing John and was able to "feel like he won the lottery" when he was invited to attend The Masters due to John's generosity (as well as the generosity of his wife Carol who housed and fed us all). John took great pride in knowing he had allowed the less fortunate in  life to share in his love of golf and his long tradition of purchasing the tickets in the 60's when it was possible to purchase the tickets.  If you are not a golf lover, you don't know, you can't BUY them, you can't WIN them, you have to know somebody who LOVES you enough to share them with you.

John didn't know me, but with God's permission, I'll say that he loved me enough to share a lifetime experience that nobody else will ever give me.  He welcomed us, he let us stay in his home, he gave us the use of his house to shower and eat, and he drove us to the Augusta National Golf Course and picked us up.  Twice my age and twice my energy, he took pride and smiled upon my return to hear about my experience.

I'm amazed that a human can love another person without obligation or purpose that much without knowing them.  Our families don't receive this kind of love on occasions.  Nor do we give this kind of love to our own blood family relatives on occasion.  I read a poem by Rumi and it made me think of John as I watch the Masters on the television....

THROUGH LOVE all that is bitter will sweet
Through Love all that is copper will be gold.
Through Love all dregs will turn to purest wine
Through Love all pain will turn to medicine.
Through Love the dead will all become alive.
Through Love the king will turn into a slave!

The line that reads: Through Love all pain will turn to medicine, is the one that sticks out for me now.  You see John was in a car accident a few months ago and although he lived through the war and lived through ninety plus years of life, his injuries wouldn't allow him to outlive the car crash that he was in recently.  So the pain that comes from missing a man that gave me more kindness than my own father gave me is not quite medicinal yet.  But in time, the love will cure the pain like chemotherapy cures cancer....killing the pain directly and allowing the cells to regain their strength.  I imagine the only way to do that is to show that kind of kindness to others we don't know.  And when I do, I'll do it in memory of John Clements.

As we hear the bluejays and cardinals chirping on the twelfth  hole, we see the pink azaleas blooming on the thirteenth hole, and we feel the breeze that is making the yellow flags atop the poles flap, we will hear, see and feel John's presence in our hearts...changed forever because a man cared enough to open up his home, his life and his heart to those of us who would otherwise never know him.

Entered into rest Thursday, October 13, 2011, MAJ John P. Clements (US Army Retired), 92, loving husband of Carol Harley Clements. MAJ Clements was a native of Macon, GA and resided in Augusta since 1963. He was a member of Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church for over 40 years and the Dr. Robert Taylor Bible Class. MAJ Clements retired from the U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division and retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 25 years of service. He was a founding member of the Clembake Golf Group, a member of the GA Sr. Golfers Association and Forest Hills Golf Club. MAJ Clements was a member of the Retired Officers Association (MOAA), 2nd Armored Division Life Member, and 82nd RCN BN Association member. He was also a member of the John S. Davidson Masonic Lodge no. 677, and the Sojourners. Family members in addition to his wife include son: Charles Finch (Patricia) of Clinton, MS; grandchildren: David Finch, Jeff Finch (Sharon); great grandchildren: Laura, Austin, Trey, Amy, Sarah, and Patrick Finch. He was predeceased by his great granddaughter, Elizabeth Finch. Funeral services will be held Today, October 15, 2011 at 2:00 P.M. at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church with Rev. Dan Brown and Pastor Charles Finch officiating. Interment will follow at Westover Memorial Park. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Dr. Robert Taylor Bible Class and Clembake Golf Group. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be made to the Nehemiah Project at Trinity on the Hill UMC, 1330 Monte Sano Ave., Augusta, GA 30904