My Pic

My Pic

Welcome to my little Corner

I am Barbara.

An introvert masquerading as an extrovert, a backyard gardener with a farmer's heart, a nurse by day and a dreamer by night. I am passionate about Jesus, spicy food, puppy dogs, words, compost and the aroma of desert rain. Music is chocolate to my soul but solitude feeds the deepest part of me.

And you need to know:

I have been rescued.

Several times actually. Right out of the mud and mire. My writing began as whispers between me and my God and it will always be rooted in that soil. So the plan is simple: I write. Out of the overflow of my heart, the place He has so generously chosen to dwell.

Though I am all grown up, I feel as if the handsome Prince has finally found me and the glass slipper fits. And a living breathing fairy tale has ensued.

So pull up a chair and "sit a spell", as we would say from my West Virginia roots. I hope you find His Footprints here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pot of Gold

In my reverie, I am back in that kitchen again with its black and white checkerboard wall paper and spotless counter-tops.  Mom, clad in her signature faded apron, stands at the stove fussing over the pot - the "magical pot", as we fondly label it.  It is old, dimpled and scarred, crusted with flecks of previous delicacies. Even so, it seems that everything cooked in it is bound for success.  Simmering pot roasts, steaming pork and kraut, and ham spiked navy beans find home in its beloved arms.  But the "piece de resistance" is the homemade vegetable beef soup.

The story goes that once when the pot cradled this divine soup, my Mom felt an urge to share it.  Now you must know that as a child of the Depression, this was not characteristic of her. Often she gave, but only when there were “leftovers”.  This new thought was first fruits giving - giving without assurance that there would be enough for us.  And for one who had known uncertainties as a child, this was new territory. Winter chill frosted the windows as she prepared the nourishment within our insulated fortress.  But give it away, she did.  Amazingly, when we sat down to enjoy the remaining soup, it appeared as if nothing had been taken out of it.  We felt like the widow at Zeraphath whose jar of flour and jug of oil did not run out.

Shauna Niequist, in her book Bread and Wine, says that “Food connects us to good memories, tells us we’re safe and brings us back to sweeter times on hard days."  This pot and its various contents are rooted in all that and more..

My Mom is gone now.  She and I share no more culinary delights.  Today, I press the pot’s cold metal to my pursed lips and close my eyes.  I can feel her, smell her.  And the aroma of vegetable beef soup invades my awareness.  Isn't it crazy how the things you think matter hold little sway when the loss has a chance to burrow in and mature?  This old pot, worth little in material value, is locked in my memories.  And now it is locked in my daughter’s memories as she too anticipates it in her home someday.

A little piece of her Nana and me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

For the Love of Camels

The rich young man had asked the question.  And Jesus had answered.  “Sell it all. Give to the poor”.  And as if that wasn’t enough to fill the ear, the chilling prognosis came later when his disciples questioned him further:

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” 

These words of Jesus trip me up every time.  Because I’m rich.  And so are you.  We are First world people. 

I want to rationalize these words. Really, what camel ever wanted to go through the eye of a needle anyway?  But maybe that‘s the point. Desire is the crack in the doorway to knowing God.  Maybe the glitz and glitter of wealth can eclipse that desire. 

So while these words of Jesus appear hard to us, they are actually about hope.  Because as He spoke, Mark says Jesus loved this rich young man, knowing that this unburdening was vital to the righteousness he craved.  So rather than shame, I see incredible love. Apparently selling possessions and giving to the poor is not only about the poor.  And these words, though specific to the rich young man, actually hold promise for us as well.

Prosperity comes with not only enjoyment, but also upkeep and distraction from our underlying thirst.  It deceives us, seeding independence and self sufficiency.  No wonder the Third World is exploding in Gospel receptivity and growth, while we in the First World, like that famous frog, are dying in the slowly boiling water of prosperity.

I have been following 4 bloggers who traveled to Africa with World Help.  In a strange way, I envy the exceeding joy of the African believers who have nothing in terms of worldly health and wealth.  The treasure I hear them proclaim is Christ.  As Scripture says, hearts and treasures are undeniably linked.

My pregnant daughter and family will soon be moving into a home with additional bedrooms to accommodate baby #3.  Our grandson, upon his first visit to the home, raced the square footage at a full run and played hide and seek with his toddler sister, in a display of unreserved enthusiasm.  There was so much more to explore.  Like my grandson in the larger house, prosperity enlarges the spaces in which we can run and hide.

There is nothing glorious about poverty nor am I implying that we should strive for a state of martyrdom.   But I believe that we, the church in North America, need to stop plugging our ears to the possibility that Jesus is speaking to us.  And on a more personal level, to you and me.  

Not in condemnation, but out of His great love