Tuesday, September 07, 2010
By Ron Hall and Devner Moore with Lynn Vincent
It’s often said that truth is stranger than fiction. So it could be said of the unlikely, true story of Denver Moore and Ron Hall. One black. The other white. One the son of a dirt-poor sharecropper, an ex-convict, homeless man. The other a college-educated man, an international art dealer.
What could possibly bring these two complete opposites together? Read this heart-warming, New York Times Bestseller and be amazed at how God works in ordinary lives. Fix a cup of tea, find a comfy chair, and start reading. Don’t let a bit of a slow start stand in the way of finishing the book. You will be glad you did.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thus my seasonal sorting began. Which things were acceptable and which things were too small? What should I keep for another younger sibling and what clothing should I either pass down to another child or box to sell at a garage sell.
It took some serious time to get through all the clothes of three children. Mostly what I discovered was that either they had grown more than I thought, or I had seriously shrunk all their clothing. Pants were too short. Shoes were too small. Dresses were too short. The piles of things we pulled out of the closet were much larger than what we put back. Then I was faced with the reality of what we needed to buy to replace so many outgrown items. I wondered how we could afford it all.
When autumn came, the process began all over again. And so this sorting continued year after year until my children left the nest.
Even though that particular variety of sorting ceased, I’m still forever sorting something: cupboards, closets, files, stacks of papers, books, recipes, and photos. What to keep? What to give away? What to discard? What still has usefulness to me—or maybe someone else? What is just clutter? Oh, and my office! I try, but every time I start working on writing submissions and other projects, things seem to explode. Then I have to sort, organize, and discard all over again.
I wonder if my now grown children will one day feel overwhelmed when they have to sort through all the stuff that I leave behind upon my passing. Then I determine to sift and sort some more things. This is often followed with at least one more box going out the door to a local charity.
But the truth be told, it’s not only tangible possessions that I sort. My mind and heart does an unending sorting as I attempt to un-clutter my thoughts.
I wade through a barrage of information and opinions on hundreds of topics coming at me from every direction. What do I accept and what do I discard?
I weigh priorities and perspective. I decide what is important over and over again.
I consider options and try to make wise decisions.
I examine problems and look for solutions.
I sort out relationships. What’s going on with so and so? Is she under stress or has she pulled away for some reason. Do I let it slide for now or should I address it. What can I do to make the relationship better between me and whomever?
I sift through both old memories and hopes and dreams for the future.
I ponder over my questions. My doubts and confusion.
I look at my worries and fears, releasing them once again to God.
I need solitude for periodic internal sorting. That is what I like about walking time—prayer time—gardening time. Uninterrupted moments where I listen to my heart. I listen for God.
Save and discard. Save and discard. Save and discard. It’s time-consuming, but it is part of life. The tangible, the intangible. The external, the internal. Deciding what to keep and what to toss aside. I pray for wisdom as I sort my way through life.
(c) 2010 Marlene Depler
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
I am finding that I can only focus on just so many things at once. So what have I been distracted with:
- Spring clean-up and gardening. I love to work outside!
- Mother's Day and Father's Day celebrations
- Oldest granddaughter graduated from 8th grade
- Several spring concerts and middle grandson's soccer games
- Trip to the Oregon coast
- Youngest granddaughter's 2nd birthday
- Teaching my second oldest granddaughter to sew
- Garden tour with two blog friends
- Letting grandchildren each come by themselves for some one on one time
- Health program with a naturopath
- Facebook. I started doing facebook so I could stay connected with nieces and nephew, but found it has consumed more time than I had anticipated.
- Organizing my office---AGAIN!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"Lola gets what Lola wants!"
It would be impossible for me to count the times that I was teased with that line as a young child. What no one knew is that in my mind this was not true at all. Who would have believed that this little blonde-haired girl with natural curls framing such an innocent face desperately wanted something that she could not have?
I wanted shoes—girl's shoes. Yes, there were other things that I desired, such as a hula-hoop and a "bride doll," but shoes were the foremost cause of my discontent. It was the mid-1950s, and black and white saddle oxfords with bobby socks were the prescribed fashion of the day for girls. I wore brown, clumsy oxfords—boys' shoes handed down from my boy cousins. In those days, shoes for boys and shoes for girls were quite obviously different.
I was convinced that everyone noticed that I wore boy's shoes. My embarrassment made no difference in my circumstances. My father was a young minister for a tiny church in the southwest corner of Kansas, and his pay was meager. There was no money for what I coveted most.
I went to school each day filled with shame, certain that everyone was staring at my shoes. I made a conscious attempt to keep my feet hidden under my chair. If the teacher asked for the class to sit on the floor, I hid those ugly brown shoes under my skirt. Fortunately for me, the skirts of dresses were very full in those days! My feet were the only ugly ducklings in a world of swans.
I remember being invited to Susie's birthday party. One of her gifts was a pair of plastic, dress-up, high-heeled shoes. Even her gift of play shoes was reason enough to strike a chord of envy. Sadness descended over me. It was such a hopeless plight. Lola did not get what Lola wanted.
After the second grade, our family moved to the coast of Oregon where my father became the minister for another church, slightly bigger than the previous one in Kansas. We left Kansas in our blue and white, 1955 Chevy station wagon, pulling everything we owned in a U-Haul trailer. We were off to see the world, and temporarily, I forgot about the shoes on my feet.
While we were in Oregon, my father started selling shoes out of a catalog to supplement his small income. One day he showed me a picture of black velveteen shoes in his catalog. On the glossy page, they looked simply beautiful—more beautiful than anything I had ever seen before. He then proceeded to measure my feet. The order was placed. I spent days in eager anticipation.
At last the shoes came! As I slipped my feet into their velvety, black softness, my world changed. I was a princess with the most exquisite shoes in the kingdom. My feet danced, and my heart sang. Black velveteen shoes—more wonderful than anything I could have ever imagined! From that day forward, I never wore boy's shoes again.
It's been many decades since then. I no longer go by my first name, Lola. (I am sure that you can guess why!) Instead, I use my middle name, Marlene. Just yesterday I saw some shoes in a Wissota Trader catalog that caught my eye. The advertisement said, "Velvety nubuck leather casuals...." I just may order them. Sometimes Marlene gets what Marlene wants!
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Light from campfires
Light from our hearths
Light from candles burning
Light of the world
Light of truth
Light in our hearts
Light on life’s long pathway home
Let there be LIGHT!
(c) Marlene Depler 2009 Permission needed from author to reprint in any form.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Today I thought I would share a devotional that I wrote. I hope these thoughts and Scriptures bless you.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galations 6:9).
- In what ways are you experiencing weariness or discouragement?
- What needs to be done to help to re-energize you? Rest? The encouragement of a friend? Renewed perspective on the promised reward?
- Think of a past example of when perserverance paid off.
- Within your circle of family and friends, who needs your words of encouragement right now?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
by Marlene Depler
Winter days, long and cold: I hunker down within my walls.
I have little enthusiasm for going out and about.
Today the sunshine coaxes me to overcome my hesitation
to brave the cold. I pull on a second pair of socks,
my coat, and purple gloves, stepping outside under a canvas of clear blue.
Fresh, cold air fills my lungs. I watch my breath---
then fall into a pleasant rhythm: right, left, right left.
I find room for uninterrupted contemplation in this open space.
I think about dormancy in nature as I view leaftless trees and barren rose bushes---
then wonder if I am in my own season of dormancy.
I notice the contrasts around me: the soft, virgin snow and the hard, crusty ice,
turned brown from passing cars. And the never-fading evergreens with the bare-
branched variety. Life is filled with contrasts, I conclude. Joy and sorrow, pleasure
and pain, success and failure. On I walk alone with my thoughts, one thought
cascading into another, until I finally turn to follow my lengthening shadow home.
I haven't seen a singe critter, I muse. Where are the birds and squirrels and fox?
Just then I am startled by a bird huddles in a nearby barberry bush,
soon followed by a honking "V" of geese flying directly overhead.
I smile. I walk on in pleasant reverie. I arrive home invigorated.
I promise to rendezvous with myself for a winter's walk once again---and soon.
(c) Marlene Depler 20010