Friday, September 16, 2011

On Insecure Days I Write in Pencil

It logically follows then, that on secure days, I write in ink. Some things are always in ink: my gorcery lists, notes to myself, editing of my own manuscripts. I'm trying to learn to edit other peoples' manuscripts in ink primarily so they can see what I write. Actually, I always critique my students' manuscripts in ink, usually colored, usually red. My adult writer's critique group is another matter (see above)
I mark my calendar in both ink and pencil. Pencil shows tentative plans. Ink means firm plans, and red ink shows doctor appointments and students' schedules.
I write formal notes or letters to people in pencil on scratch paper and then copy them in ink on the cards, but I write short Christmas notes in ink.
I'm writing this in pencil before putting it on my blog. Am I normal? I think so, but should I declare it in pencil or ink?
Insightfully yours,

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I've been studying Isaiah this year. Here are a few of my latest thoughts:

My nature, mind and heart are all idol factories.

My views of God are within my realm of existence, that is, my needs, the needs of my family and friends, sometimes disaster victims and charitible causes, or even Christian causes like human trafficing or martyrs.

But God has called me to ponder His greatness, His creativity, His justice, His grace and compassion so I can fall on my face before Him saying, "Woe is me!" Then I rise up only in His strength and say, "Here am I. Send me."

Insightfully yours,

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Please Forgive Me

He walked into my house happily as he always does, but when my little second grade student realized he had left his homework at school, he was distraught. His mother would be mad, he couldn't get his work done, he would be in great trouble at home.
His packet of homework wasn't due until Thursday, and this was only Monday, I reasoned. He had time to complete his work if he brought it home tomorrow.
But nothing I said consoled him. He couldn't concentrate on anything I had for him to do. He had forgotten his homework and his mother would be mad at him.
Finally I said, "Would you like to write your mother a letter and tell her you are sorry you forgot your homework and you will bring it home tomorrow?"
He brightened up. "Yes," he said and we began the letter. He wrote and I spelled what he couldn't.
"Dear Mom,
"I'm sorry I didn't bring my homework home. I will bring it tomorrow. Please forgive me. I love you."
When he signed his name, he relaxed. For the rest of our lesson, he didn't mention the forgotten homework.

Deep down inside we sense that sin requires payment, and we are right. We need forgiveness - the kind God offers.
Isaiah 53:6 , speaking of Jesus, says," We all like sheep, have gone astray...and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Insightfully yours,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An Advocate for Alice

I haven't blogged this year (2011), but the time is right now. I got a new knee January 12th. It is now my good knee and the other one is on its last leg. (pun intended)
My roommate in the rehab place was Alice. I decided at once that God had put me with her so I could be Jesus to her for a week.
Alice did not wake up happy and ready to go in the mornings. Indeed she was a most unhappy camper. She said, "Bring me a pain pill," or "Bring me an anxiety pill." Repeatedly she said, "I'm so nervous!" Finally I said, "What are you nervous about, Alice? You are in a perfectly safe place and being taken care of."
Long story short: Alice was angry because she had not been part of the decision making in regards to the rest of her life. She is 91 years old. She has lived on her own for over 25 years, but she had fallen at home and broken her right shoulder (her dominant side). Her son, a 65 year-old widower decided she couldn't live alone any more, so he signed her into an assisted living retirement place. He said she could try it for three months and if she didn't like it, she could go ...where? home? Is there a home anymore?
Alice wants to go home. She does not want to go somewhere to play Bingo. She has taken care of her businesses and finances etc. by herself for a long time. She no longer drives and has to depend on rides, but she says she has lots of friends. Until a year or so ago when she only had nine names left on the list, she was in charge of her high school reunions.
Alice complains constantly of feeling she has to urinate. She has pain in her lower abdomin. She asks for a bed pan and then the bed pan hurts her skin. She gets dizzy when she tries to sit up so they can't risk a fall. Finally she graduates to a wheelchair ride to the bathroom about 10 feet away. Sometimes a nurse's aide treats her roughly because she has to go potty at their busiest times. Fortunately one aide said, "Hey that is part of our job. If someone doesn't like it, they shouldn't be in this profession." Amen!
Alice needs a calendar. She has kept track of her life for 91 years. Now each day is the same.
Today my roommate is off to see her Doctor. The uniformed driver lady came in and told her she was taking her to the doctor. Alice was specific. "You mean to Gould?" (the name of the foundation where her doctor is located)
At Memorial?"
"Yes, right next door to Briggsmore."
That was satisfactory.
"Do I go dressed like this?"
"Yes, you look fine."
"I can't see what I look like."
This 91 year old is used to getting herself dressed and ready to go on her own.
"Can you sign your name?"
"Why do I need to sign my name?"
"To sign out to see the doctor."
"Well I can scribble a little."
Here I interjected. "She's not incompetant. Her right shoulder is broken and she is right handed."
"OK, OK."
Why did I write this? The rehab place did a good job with a high maintainence patient. But everyone need an advocate when they are in the hospital or rehab or convalencent hospital. I finally wrote some of these things down and gave it to her therapist. I began to see more help for Alice, more different kinds of services that came to talk to her.
Jesus would want this kind of compassion.
Insightfully yours,