Oh…You Illusive Sun!

Week after week the sun does not shine and I am like a barrel in which someone is scraping and scraping out the last bit of oats—trying, hoping that as they scrape, more oats will appear.

But…it is no use.

The barrel is empty and all that is at the bottom of me are marks of scratching raw for anything that resembles life. Such is the downward yearly spiral into winter and short days of sunlight.

old-barrel-168441
Google image

 

Holidays come bringing memories up close to tighten the throat and sting the eyes. I swing from baking happy and joyous Grands, to cranky and solemn.

Every year I make a grand effort to try. Eventually I succumb to tears and moodiness and finally all closes in on me. Suddenly it bursts and there’s nothing to be done but beg to God for release—and would You please send some real light my way?

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Google image

 

Yes, every year I give it a grand try—and fail. Since I can’t go to sunny beaches of Florida or sun struck Arizona, I must try every year.

I want to avoid Facebook and those FL-to-winter-vacationers who find it their duty to plaster photos of their feet, (or worse—feet and legs) at the beach and boldly post the temperature with a large round sun.

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Google image

 

They come home all tanned and rest sits on their faces to prove their sun-tank has been filled. (Meanwhile I look albino-ish and feel like molting, if I had feathers).

Am I angry? No—just annoyed. My fair skin would crisp up all too soon on those beaches. But I would go in a minute!

This year I researched for a lamp to offset (S.A.D.) but ended up with something less. The lamp is a gentle-for-your-eyes light for those who spend lots of time at a desk/computer. Let me tell you—it is not the same thing!

 

How I feel:

  • Low energy, tired
  • Sluggish or irritable
  • Hopeless or worthless
  • Hypersensitive to rejection
  • Heavy (leaden) feeling in arms, legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, crave carbohydrates
  • Weight gain.

 

What helps:

  • Daily walks in fresh air
  • Getting out with other people
  • Drinking more coffee
  • A weekly trip to Barnes and Noble (with Starbucks) or your local library
  • Visiting the Grands

 

Sunday was yet another cloudy day after church there was bits and spurts of rain. I lost track of the sunless days, not that I was really counting. You don’t want to start counting…

Suddenly I remembered a small pile of wood by the downstairs fireplace.

The Umpire, bent on watching football upstairs, made me a cozy fire.

fireplaceclose

 

 

I drew the recliner up to the fireplace. Light and warmth…coffee…a book and the Piano Guys—some release. We desire light more than darkness.

The scratched raw barrel of me will not be full, and I must work hard at it—w i n t e r  i s  l o n g.

I was early for an appointment on Monday after I dropped the Umpire off at school and though not dress-ready, I walked in Otsiningo Park for half an hour. It was chilly, and the sun was out.

On that short walk I saw the terrible truth—the sun may have been somewhere else for weeks, but my heart turned inward on itself. I wanted what I wanted—sunshine, and that was all I could think about. Before I had hardly given it much thought, the absence of sun was draining me. But after a time, it became my whole focus.

I began to pray and felt like the persistent woman in Luke 18, pestering the judge until he lost patience and gave her what she wanted.

But that’s not God. He does not lose patience…but he listens and he renews us. When we get to the end of trying hard, He is still patient and gives grace. When I finally give up, and fell into the Father’s arms, he was ready to catch me. Just as he is ready to catch you.

Gently…ever so gently.

Today is cold, and I waited for the sun to come out. It was nearly total blue sky when I walked. I wish photos from my phone could show the sparkle on the new snow, but it’s just a phone.

snow

 

myshadow
To prove there was sun, I took my shadow.

I just finished a historical fiction book about the Bjorklund families who came to North Dakota from their homeland in Norway. Those sturdy Norwegian women lived in a small dark sod house all winter with only one window. They tied a rope from sod house to sod barn so they wouldn’t get lost in the blizzards when they did chores. They had to shovel snow away from the door so they wouldn’t be trapped inside. How did they do it without going mad? They tried, and they wouldn’t give in to the “what if’s.” They put dreams aside and lived in reality, but sometimes the reality was so heartbreaking they snapped.

Life in the crooked world is many times harsh and cruel, but we must never give up on our hope, our light. He came to save us…to be the light in us…

 

“To them God has chosen to make known…the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Col. 1:27 NIV

This is now; this is Christ, the light and hope,  living in you and me.

 

Today I was reading about the River of Life in the last chapter of Revelation:

 

“Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each moth. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service—worshipping, they’ll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age.”         Rev. 22:1-5 MSG

 

This is future:

There we will not need a light nor lamp…we will see the shining of God.

Do we have the Light now? Because it means a whole different thing in eternity.

 

 

 

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

John 1:4

“And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:5

 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a Nativity…or all that Glitters at Roberson

Last week I was downtown for some errands and I knew the Roberson Museum in Binghamton was holding their annual international tree exhibit.

 

My last errand was an appointment just down the street, so I popped in. I can’t remember the last time I saw the exhibit. Just after I paid the fee, and stepped in, I realized there were some grade school groups ahead of me. I thought to myself, this might take a while, so I skirted the company trees and went to the second floor.

 

In between the halls of international trees was a new exhibit—the 1950’s. In the back corner was a 1950’s tree with tinsel and all. I remember my mother always saved the tinsel and when we first got married I bought some—it was only 27 cents. I was amazed.

50stree

The walls were decorated with posters of Elvis, Lone Ranger, Lucille Ball, Dick Clark, Rod Serling and others. Then of course the old movies—The Fly, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and many of the western TV shows of that time.

recordplayer

tvshows

50scars

That ‘50’s room was a pleasant surprise, but I came for the trees. In fact, the mansion itself was decorated to the hilt. And here are some of the trees:

Denmark

France
France

scottish

Slovak tree
Slovak tree

Slovak food

dolls

peacock tree
Peacock tree

brown fireplace

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fireplace

dark room

staircase

dresses

How can we remember our Christmas pasts, without the thought of finding the Christ who came to us as the Lamb? It is our remembrance, our saving point in time.

 

At the manger in Bethlehem, there was no glitter, no large crowd around the stable. The angel announced the message to a few startled shepherds in the countryside with the sheep. They trembled at the sight of the angel and the heavenly hosts. They left the hills immediately in search of the babe. We couldn’t really call that a crowd.

 

The birth didn’t make the newspaper, but Herod eventually found out.

 

The wise men followed a certain bright star that took them on a long journey, and that journey led them to the house where Jesus was a young child.

 

One day some third grade classes came to see the international trees. Out of all the classes, one of my granddaughters was the only child who knew what a Nativity was.

nativity

Sad…how Christmas has slipped into “holiday” and “Santa”, and “reindeer”, shopping, wrapping, eating and eating… and few remember the true meaning of the word.

 

At the temple Simeon waited…

“Simeon took him (Christ) in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

Luke 2:28-32 NIV

 

When we celebrate the Lamb who came, we let our light show the true Christmas spirit.

    

Have a blessed Christmas and my God be with you as you face a new year.

Much grace to you and yours!