Saturday, November 19, 2011


"A wistful yearning for something past"  says the dictionary.  I have been a little nostalgic this week of Brandon's birthday and my 49th wedding anniversary.

I drove out to our old house in Potosi to see how the red maple we planted in front of the house is doing--it is beautiful.  It turns red from the inside out--green leaves around the trunk and gorgeous flaming red leaves in front.  Wish I had one here.

Sam would have been amazed at the change on Potosi Road--so many housing additions.  He used to say that he bet a mall would one day be near our house. So far it is only a convenience store and a fire station, but he may be right with all the people around.

I, however, am so glad to be living in town a little closer to things.  And I do have other trees in my backyard to look at--an old gnarled mesquite, some fruit trees, including a fig tree and others I can's identify.  When God created, he went all out to do trees of all varieties.  One that I am missing here is the magnolia tree (one I call the Christmas leaf tree since all Southerners use them for mantel and mail box decorations).  I know they must grow in Abilene; I just have not seen one yet.

Christmas is stealthly entering my house and brain.  I am playing Christmas music in the car and living room and making lists because the time seems so short between Thanksgiving and Christmas!

My favorite time of the year!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Big Day

He wasn't the billionith (sp?) child born--but he was the most important in my life--my one and only.  Today is the 42nd birthday of Brandon Scott Thomas.  Looking back on that cold November day when we brought him home to Potosi, I can't help but think of the blue blanket (made by Pat Phillips) in which he was wrapped,  and the Manhattan Supper Soup she brought by--yum.  We have eaten it every winter since.

We put him in the bed borrowed from Wanda and Fred Hughes, wound the little nursery rhyme mobile (still have it somewhere!) and hoped he would sleep a little while.  Sam and I both just stood, looked and sighed over this treasure from heaven.

After listening to him cry for what seemed like hours, this little treasure lost some of its luster.  Fortunately, my mother was visiting, and she knew just the right technique to soothe him.    Sam and I wearily shook our heads about what we did not know about babies.  We were bound to learn a lot in the next few years, and we enjoyed every minute around our red-haired, blue-eyed explosion.  He made our lives exciting, energetic, (sometimes frenetic) and full of laughter and joy.

While Sam is gone, Brandon still does those things for me.  I thank God every day for this sweet baby and fine man he has put in my life.  I can't imagine my life without him, without all the memories, and without each day's joy.  What a treasure!

Happy birthday, Babe.  I love you.  Mom

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Age-Old Question

With the death of  an ACU student, killed last weekend in an auto accident, comes the eternal question, "Why?". 

Here was a girl fresh and new in her young adulthood going on a mission trip--killed quickly in a wrecked bus. 

Why? Why did she die, while evil terrorists  still live in  Afganistan?  Why was the death necessary?  Why didn't God lean down and change the circumstances?  Why?

No human can answer these questions.  God is God and we are not.

The spiraling circumstances continue in this world of pain and sorrow; but, God is in this place and He weeps with is as He did at the tomb of Lazarus.  And so, we trust in Him and go forward in His grace

Thursday, November 03, 2011

An attitude of gratitude

We have been reading Ann Voscamp's book 1000 Gifts in ladies' class this semester.  Listing the gifts of each day helps bring to one an attitude of gratitude for all that God has done.  That is the premise of the book.
I like the premise; however, the writing is verbose and repetitive.  She really needed a good editor.  But every now and then, she comes up with some beautiful description.  I would recommend this book for the premise and her occasional good words.

I am on 275 on my list and I thought I would add today's weather to it.  The wind that blew in today has the bite of winter in it.  And I am a fall-winter person who likes to huddle round the fireplace with an afghan around my lap and a book in my hand.  So # 275 is the bite of winter in the air today.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The heritage of the table

The communion speaker spoke Sunday of the table's heritage in our lives, and its power to draw us into community if we let it.

I had to think back to the various scenes in my history with the communion table.  In my spiritual memoir, I write about the weekly Sunday morning ritual in my sleepy home town Hamlin, Tx.  The table was always covered with a sparkling white ironed cloth which the table director ceremoniously folded as the ritual began.  The servers (all men and always only men)dressed in suits and ties marched  down the aisles and lined up in front of the table with their hands crossed over their stomachs.  The grape juice and crackers were prayed over, generally with a doleful prayer emphasizing the death, blood, bones and burial of Jesus (but rarely the resurrection).  There was never a song during the ceremony--but maybe one before it started.  The whole ritual took about 10 minutes.  Each evening, the same thing was repeated for "those who were providentally hindered" from attending the morning service.

Then there were the communions at youth meetings, sometimes outside near a rough cross or around a campfire.  These were usually preceded by a homily noting that we should "search our minds to see if we were worthy to partake"--I don't think that was in the Christ-instituted one.

At Otter Creek, communion was often served on Wednesday night during vespers.  The setting was candle-lit and often served by a woman or a woman and a man, with the communicants coming forward to the table which featured wine and unleavened bread.  The screens were often filled with beautiful Renaissance art.

At Highland, we sometimes ask the whole congregation to come forward on a Sunday morning.  Songs are included before, during and after the ritual.  It is truly a time of bonding, because we get to see more of our community than the back of their heads.
On other Sundays, men, woman and children often serve the church down the aisles.  Again in other Sundays, members gather in small groups in the corners of the sanctuary to partake very personally in
scenes which look very much like a family meal.

All this to say, I have experienced many kinds of communions.  I believe they all have their place and are blessed by God. 

I am thankful that I have a Maker who not only desires that I have communion with Him, but who also desires that his children come together as a family for the remembering.