Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hope

 

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There are times in all our lives when we stop and reflect.  Looking back over the course of all our days thus far, remembering trials and joys, laughter and pain.

Reflecting.

 

We think of things we said, which we wish could be unsaid.

 

Times we know we could have been more thoughtful, more loving, more selfless toward others in our actions and words. 

 

Memories play back behind the curtain of our eyes, our windows to the world, and we experience a semblance of the emotions we felt so intensely at one time, as we remember.

 

As a young mom, I often reflected on my words to my little ones, when I lay down in the quiet of night.  Regretting this harsh word spoken in a moment of anger, or a choice I made regarding loving and teaching them which I felt wasn’t good enough.

Wishing I could do it over. 

 

But there aren’t do-overs in our lives.

There is only now.

 

And our kind Savior redeems it all, our sins and mistakes – and even the things we view with pride or satisfaction in ourselves, yet which in reality can never measure up to what God accomplishes over and above us. 

In spite of our best efforts.  In spite of our worst mistakes.

 

His redeeming love is the ultimate consolation. The ultimate encouragement.  The ultimate comfort.

The ultimate reward.

 

As you reflect on your life, day by day, week by week, or even sometimes, hour by hour….  remember that there is always hope. 

 

Hope for damaged relationships.

Hope for brighter days ahead.

Hope for forgiveness.

 

And that hope has a name.

Jesus.

 

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.  To prosper and not harm you.  To give you a future and a hope.”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Family

 

We are blessed on both sides of our families!  We love each other, and love to be with each other!

 

This year we hosted Easter at Kenilworth for the Orr Family.  We had a wonderful time, as usual.  Laughing, eating, just enjoying each other and the time we have together.

I thought you might enjoy just a few pictures from the sweet time we had!

 

Here are a couple of my sisters-in-law, minus one!  And two of my wonderful girls!

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We decided to be a little atypical this year and have a potato bar and sides, instead of the usual ham.  Primarily because most of us were going to be having ham the next day with our other families. 

We had all kinds of toppings for the potatoes – bacon, sauteed mushrooms, onions, jalapenos,salsa, cheeses, olives, etc.

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Plus plenty of sides, and our traditional Orr desserts. 

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Of course we all enjoyed the food – we are Orrs!!!  Food is our specialty! 

 

It is the thing we all love to talk about – and like we’ve said before…. 

it means we never argue! Winking smile

 

Although it is a few weeks past now….

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our memories of the day are just as near and dear.

 

I hope the things you are doing on this day, will give you memories near and dear in the days ahead!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

In Pursuit of Beauty

 

All families have talents, the gifts God has given to them to use for His glory, and for us to appreciate.  Some families are athletic, some are musical, some are artistic, and some are a wonderful combination of many different talents and skills.

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In our family, the arts definitely edge out any ability for athleticism.  We do not run fast or throw well.  When we pitch a Frisbee, it usually zings crazily off to the side, spending more time rolling away on its edge rather than spinning gracefully and smoothly through the air.  

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Once when he was two, Luke swung a bat with perfect aim – hitting me squarely in the nose. 

At least it was a little red plastic bat.

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But when it comes to drawing, our girls have sweet gifts.   Which certainly don’t come from me, but instead run strong and true through their daddy.

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They absolutely love drawing, and I honestly can’t remember a day when one, or all of them, haven’t spent some time drawing, whether it was hours, or just minutes. 

They produce beautiful art in vast quantities – far more than I can keep and store. 

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Sometimes we give it away. 

Sometimes we simply admire it for a little while.

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And beauty is found in other artistic talents as well… like music.

In some families, music is a special way of expressing joy, togetherness, love.  Of praising God with their voices or with instruments, like piano or guitar.

We love singing, and harmonizing has long been a tradition, literally for generations, through my side of the family.

We don’t just sing Happy Birthday in unison!  Nope!  We must harmonize it! 

 

There is the beauty and elegance of dance!

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We are particularly fond of ballet.  But there are many, many different types of dancing in which people excel at demonstrating beauty.

 

 

And then there is the beauty of poetry.

Several years ago the children and I began memorizing poems as part of our school day.  I think to date we have memorized 55 poems!  Short ones and long ones.  Funny ones and sad ones.

I love the musicality of them.  The rhythm, the cadence.  I love the way the words are edible!  We wrap our mouths around them and savor their delicate consonants and vowels.

 

And some of them are achingly beautiful..

like this one..

The Destruction of Sennacherib by Lord Byron

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.

 

See what I mean?! 

Beautiful!!

 

What are the talents of beauty, the lovely gifts your family has been given? 

Do you see them?

Are you using them?

 

Use them to worship the One Who has given them to you!