Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday: Walking Is Enough

A dear friend posted this on her blog back in January. Her pastor preached a sermon whose message really speaks to me.

Isaiah 40:31 [states]: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

He asked us to recall times when we felt as though we could fly on the wings of eagles, which for many of us would be our wedding day, the day we brought our child home from the hospital, and other major events.

He asked us to recall times when we felt as though we could run a marathon and not grow tired. These times could be running your child around the block as he learned to ride a bike or dancing for hours with your daughter in the living room or enjoying … those milestones in our children's lives.

Then he stated that everyday life is what is the greatest challenge to us. Many of us feel as though we cannot take one more step, that we cannot go any further.

Psalm 46 [states:] "God is our refuge and our strength." How true this statement is when we are reminded that sometimes walking is enough. It is all we can do to put one foot in front of the other and keep breathing in and out. This is where most of us spend most of our time. Getting through the day. Surviving those times when our world changes over night. Yes, I can remember those times when my world changed overnight. God never let me go.

God walks with me every step in the same way He runs along with me and soars with me over the mountains.

My friend's explanation of Pastor Cliff's words reminds me of lyrics from a Sandi Patty song: "Tomorrow is such a 'daily' day."

Sometimes the "dailyness" feels overwhelming. Those are the days when walking has to be enough. It IS enough. Because He is all sufficient.

And one step forward with Him is all the better than running or jumping or dancing -- or any other "exciting" movement/activity -- without Him.

Lord, make me walk with You, remembering that You always walk with me.

Friday, May 08, 2009

F Is for Friday: Fingernail Polish

I am a sucker for a good nail polish color. OPI is my favorite brand. If you click on the link, you can "try on" the color on a fake hand! w00t! (Warning: Not the most modest photos are used on the site. Proceed at your own risk.)

I often wonder how the companies choose their nail color names. One of my most recent purchases of OPI included one that's called "Aphrodite's Pink Nightie." Hmm... Well, yes, it is a lovely light shade of pink...with a bit of shimmer. (Not too much for a woman getting awfully close to her mid 30s.)

Wonder if OPI got together with Jelly Belly jelly beans and mixed up some fruity-candy-inspired colors. (Or worse -- the nasty flavors included in Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans... eek! Boogers!!) Can you imagine Juicy Pear? A light version of that bright lime green that is so popular right now, with spots of darker green.....maybe.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thankful Thursday: A Tribute to GPH, My Grandfather

In 1920 my grandfather was born on a farm in Michigan to Scandinavian parents, their only child. He grew up to be a strong Christian, a hard worker, a lover of nature (and golf!), and a caring person.

Grandpa G was the one who taught me how to pluck a blade of grass, place it between the thumbs of my two-fisted-hand "sandwich," and blow... nature's interesting kazoo!

He pointed out various types of trees and birds. I think it was partly because of him that we always had bird- and tree-identifying books when I was growing up.

He was a quiet man, especially when he was hunting lightning bugs. He taught me and my sister to watch the bugs in the gloaming, to be able to see where they were flying when they weren't winking their soft yellow tail-lights. And then to sneak up on the bug, cup your hands, and lift them underneath the bug slowly and gently. The bug would alight on your hand or finger and pulsate the glow that bespoke of summertime. It was the closest I could get to actually touching the fairyland I read about in children's storybooks.

Every year Ashpenaz and I visited our H grandparents in Michigan, where they lived mere yards away from a small lake (which seemed large to us kids), we would help Gpa G with his morning rounds of filling the bird feeders and the suet feeder.

Somewhere we have this adorable photo of Ashes sitting at the foot of a tall, tall tree, pointing her face and cute nose upward as she looks into the sunshine. She's singing to herself. I believe Gpa G helped inspire in her an appreciation for the natural world God created.

When Gpa G told stories, he took his time, sifting through memories and choosing the right words to capture what he wanted to say. He passed on this passion for precision to my father. And I think in me the garrulousness of my mother combines with the love and care for details that Dad and Grandpa G always emulated. (Sometimes to my frustration!!)

Gpa G's delight in things didn't communicate so much via words but in his smile, the twinkle in his eye, the chuckle he'd give. My dad has some of that twinkle, I think, when he smiles.

I remember Gpa's hands... strong, slightly gnarled, a bit rough, long fingers... reaching out to turn a leaf over and show you its veins; separating a part of a pine cone to reveal the little seed concealed there; pulling gently on a hemlock branch to point out the new springtime growth of bright lime-green, soft needles.

I don't remember him ever responding with an angry word. He was a patient guy. He took his time. He was an observer and liked to take in things around him. Perhaps he didn't say all that he ever wanted to say in life. Perhaps he missed some things because he did take his time. But he loved us. He loved his wife. He loved his sons. He loved his daughters-in-law. He loved his grandchildren. He loved his friends, church family, co-laborers in volunteer efforts. And he loved his Lord... still does! Now he gets to be with Him face to face, always!!

Grandpa G died on February 28, 2008, around 10:30 p.m. Eastern, two days after turning 88 years old.

We miss him very much but know that someday we'll be reunited with him, to praise and worship our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, forever and ever! Amen! Maranatha!!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Another belated birthday greeting... to my blog!

Happy 5th Birthday, Polka-dotted Sky!!

Obviously, this poor little blog is so sorely neglected that I have missed its birthdays for a few years in a row now. Sadness!

But, hey, my Facebook isn't quite so neglected, so there's some improvement. ???

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Friends and Food

Today I'm thankful for good friends and for healthy food choices offered when my department at work gathers for celebrations. =) Whoever supplied the fruit at today's reception did a great job choosing red grapes. They were fabulously sweet and had the perfect crunch. Yay!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weekly Words (Don't you love alliteration??!!)

Good morning, readers! (All four of you... *chuckle*)

I've decided to jump on the blogospheric bandwagon and create some weekly (or occasional) series:

Movie Mondays
-- theater or TV movies and my thoughts
Terrific Tuesdays -- delightful people, happenings, objects, thoughts
Wisdom Wednesdays -- words of wisdom I stumble upon, be they from another blogger, the Bible, a famous author, whomever!
Thankful Thursdays -- stuff I'm thankful for, writings on gratitude and thankfulness, and more
F Is for Friday -- Friday is for fun, photos, freebies, and anything beginning with the letter F

If I so happen to get online on a Saturday or Sunday, then we might have...
* Sandwich Saturdays
* Souper Sundays
which mean posts in which I share recipes or wacky sandwich/soup related stories... whatever! =)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Etymology of a new term: Mandex

After coining (or merely using) the term wintastic (as in "It's so fantastically full of 'win' that it's wintastic!"), I was inspired to search my e-mail archive to find a story I sent to some friends last summer. Here's the scoop:

Yesterday (7/27/08) after I get home from lunch, I check the snail mail. Out of the corner of my left eye, I see some lump nestled on the porch near the door to the building.

I look again. The lump is grey. The lump is grey fur.

Then I really look. The lump of grey fur has ... an eye. Two eyes? Wait, no. Wait, actually... yes, that is an eye, slightly obscured by a swollen eyelid... and oozing with... yep, that's green stuff.


The cat, stretched out near the door like a drunken Sphynx, tilts up its smushed face and looks at me as if to say, "No, I'm not going to eat you. I'm just hot and tired and thirsty. And look at how someone has tried to shave me."

Indeed, the cat appears to have been to some craziness of a groomer... who was inspired by Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" and decided that the cat would be his/her homage to the wonder of leg warmers. Hence the lighter grey body fur, which seems shorter than the rest, and the darker and longer grey fur around the forelegs, head, and tail.

Although its pleading face wrenches my heart, I am also grossed out by the green goo, so I hurry into the building and resolve to find some water for the poor creature.

I prepare to leave again (sans water for kitteh; oh well), and upon exiting the building, I discover the cat missing.

In its place is one of my neighbors wielding a spray bottle filled with blue liquid. A large triangular puddle to my left spreads outward. To my right is another puddle, smaller.

The air's aroma evokes images of a really cute guy: clean and manly cologned. (Hmm... Windex that smells like a man??)

"Deed joo see dah caht?" the neighbor inquires, wincing.

"Yes, I did. I think it was sick or something."

"Well, it smelled really bad. So I sprayed."

"Yeah, I think maybe it pottied on the porch."

Hours later the porch still smells of Mandex.