Writing Wins and Woes: Strolling Down Memory Lane

They say when you get older, your memory fails. But I’m not finding that to be true. I may forget unimportant stuff like where I left my purse or my keys, but the most crucial events of my life are planted forever in my brain, and in fact, are becoming more substantial and poignant as time flies by.

For instance, I remember vividly when each of my children were born. I remember the surprise I felt when I fell head over heels in love with my firstborn. I didn’t expect it. I never liked babies much. But when I held her in my arms, I never wanted to let her go. She was the reason for my existence all of a sudden. Then my son was born. We like to joke and say he was an ugly baby. He was all red and hairy. He even had hair on his back, but he quickly grew into one of the most handsome men I know. His compassion and sense of humor has always brightened every day of my life. And then there was my youngest child. Words fail to describe how much I loved her and still love her. The ache in my heart became a hole when she left to live 1000 miles away.

Why am I so nostalgic all of a sudden? Two reasons. We are celebrating my oldest daughter’s birthday this weekend. I am so blessed to have her in my life. Especially since the birth of my grandson, we have grown closer. Miles has fulfilled his name and took those miles that separated us, not physical miles but maybe some emotional ones, and tied our hearts together so tight, I hope they never unravel.

The other reason is in one week I’m going to be going on a journey. It’s been long overdue. I’m going to finally hold my youngest daughter in my arms. I’m going to see her face to face. I haven’t seen her in a year and a half. That’s a lot for someone I spent practically every waking moment with prior to that time since the day she was born. After not seeing her for so long, seeing her again will be almost surreal. I wouldn’t be able to go on this trip except that an angel volunteered to take me to see her. She says I am doing her a favor so she has company on the trip as she is going to her daughter’s wedding, but I know she is doing this because she is such a caring person, and I am grateful that she has made this extraordinary offer. She will never know what it means to me.

This is where I thank God for his blessings. Being able to see my daughter again. Being blessed with three beautiful children and one handsome grandson. And having friends who are willing to go way beyond what I could possibly hope so my heart’s desire could be fulfilled. The Bible says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” My heart has been ailing for a long time. There were times in my life when I couldn’t see my way out of the darkness. But there is no darkness that God can’t shine His light through.

Writing Wins and Woes: In Honor of Bunnies

Easter, pets and daddy 015 Yes, I know Easter is over but Easter got me to thinking about Easter bunnies. A good friend of mine wondered about why bunnies are associated with Easter, and I told her that as much as I know the concept of Easter bunnies is just a Spring thing like chicks and pretty Spring flowers.

When I was young I often got an Easter bunny for Easter. A real rabbit, that I never seemed to have very long. I also got many colored chicks. Some old folks might remember that chicks were dyed different pastel type colors at Easter and sold for careless children everywhere. They never lasted either. Usually, I ran them to death, I think. Animal rights activists didn’t exist when I was a kid so you could actually visit a zoo or be entertained at a circus, complete with circus elephants, without repercussion.

But today I’m paying tribute to my bunnies. They passed away some time ago, but I still miss them. Rabbits are great pets. They don’t bite. They are very soft and docile for the most part, and if you stick with the dwarf variety, they don’t even get very big. When I was a kid, you almost never kept a bunny in the house. He stayed in an outside cage but all my bunnies have been inside pets, and they actually were very loving and not very annoying, except the males loved to thump their back legs from time to time when they wanted something, like my female bunny in the other cage.

My favorite bunny was Honey Bunny. She was a beautiful little brown bunny, very sweet and loving. At the time we had her, we also had two other bunnies. One belonged to my son, Matthew and was named Raichu, named after a Pokemon. My husband called him Choo, Choo, because it sounded cuter, and the other was named Chester, who became Chessy. Chessy was actually found by my daughter’s dog, May. And so I called him May’s rabbit. May, a little shetland sheepdog, cornered Chessy in her yard, and when Melisa couldn’t find the owner, passed Chessy on to me. Chessy was a bit of an escape artist and was always getting out of his  play yard enclosure and was forever trying to make his way to Honey Bunny, which he once succeeded, resulting in a sad pregnancy. Sad because Honey Bunny was much too small for our bigger lop-eared Chessy, and so she delivered a dead baby bunny. She had a rather hard labor and almost died herself.  Sad as we were that the baby died, we were glad that Honey Bunny lived.  Our beautiful rabbits have long since gone to Bunny Heaven, but we were so thankful to have had them in our lives.

 

Writing Wins and Woes: Who Moved the Stone?

When I was in Bible college, I had to read a book by Frank Morrison titled Who Moved the Stone. It was a book detailing scientific and historical truth on the accuracy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was an interesting read. I never really questioned the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I always believed in the miracles of Christ without question. My doubts always centered around who was lost;  going to Hell, and who was saved; going to Heaven. It was easier to be dogmatic in my younger days, but as I got older, compassion got the best of me and I didn’t want to be so quick in deciding who belongs in Heaven and Hell. Now a days I leave the decision to God, and just try to find it in my heart to care about people. This is a concept that is not entirely easy for me as I’m a bit of a loner, and don’t really like society so much, but one on one I can deal with people in a compassionate way.

But back to Who Moved the Stone. Today is Good Friday. It’s the day we commemorate the death of Christ on the Cross. I struggle with the concept of Good Friday. It is good because Christ sealed my salvation on the day He died and yet it is bad because the world turned against Christ on that day. They subjected him to unimaginable torture, ridicule and murder in one of the most horrible deaths of the day. A person actually dies from suffocation but it is a long and grueling process. To hasten death normally on the cross, a person’s legs are broken, so he can’t heave himself up to breathe. They didn’t have to do that to Christ because he was already dead at this time in the process. He was already dead because he willingly gave up his life. He struggled to the point that He had to and then He let go into the arms of His father. He suffered separation from His father, though, before that because He carried our sins. They did test His state of living or dead by piercing his side with a spear. When blood and water run out, they know the person is dead.

I was offended this week when I heard this day referred to as Spring Black Friday. Wow, I thought, another way to commercialize a religious holiday but really, this day was a true Black Friday for Christ. He suffered so much. I know who moved the stone. God the Father did in someway. Maybe he sent His angels to move it when they proclaimed his resurrection. Jesus didn’t need to move it. He had a new body that could go through walls and fly away to Heaven. Yes, it is a Good Friday. Without this dark day in history, there would be no Easter Sunday, no resurrection day. The stone was moved. Jesus is risen. Hallelujah!

Writing Wins and Woes: Painting Easter Eggs

Have you ever painted Easter eggs? We used to do this every year with our children, and my husband still loves painting Easter eggs. It is a great way to express yourself artistically in a simple way. But the Easter egg is far more than that. Some people think that Easter is a pagan tradition and don’t like to celebrate the many fun activities of the holiday such as painting eggs, Easter egg hunts or visiting the Easter Bunny. But there is little evidence to back up the theory that Easter is pagan.

In fact, Easter has been rooted in Christianity since the fifteenth century. There are even legends dating back to the Bible surrounding Easter eggs. It was told that Mary Magdalene witnessed to the Emperor of Rome telling him that Christ was risen. The Emperor laughed at her, pointed at an egg on the table and said that Christ was no more risen than that egg is red. Immediately the story goes the egg turned red and Mary told the Gospel to the Emperor. Red eggs were often used to tell the Gospel story. Eggs were also used to represent the death and resurrection of Christ by peeling the shell off the egg.

Eggs were forbidden during the Lenten Season and so eggs laid during this time were often hard boiled and then eaten at Easter. Gifts of eggs were given to children. During the Passover a hard boiled egg is dipped in salt water in the Seder to represent new life and the Passover Sacrifice.

There is an interesting tradition every year at the White House called egg rolling where children roll eggs on the White House lawn. Beautifully decorated eggs are made in the Ukraine and are called Pysanka.

In our house eggs are only painted with Hinkle’s egg dye. No other dye will do. Egg painting is a wonderful tradition that can be used to teach the Gospel, and the hard boiled egg is often used to teach the concept of the trinity. Painting Easter eggs are fun for children of all ages.