Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weird Or Wondrous Things

One day in October, we heard the unmistakable sound of a helicopter going overhead.  I always feel uneasy when there are low-flying helicopters.  Maybe because they're so loud.  Maybe because it feels like they're going to land right on my land.  Maybe, because I can see them so well, I know they can see me.  Not sure.  The human race is so weird and freaky now. 

This time, the noise did not go away.  Hubs looked out the patio door and called for me to come and look.  We couldn't imagine what was going on.  The helicopter was just hovering there.


Many times, it was pointed right at us.  And no, I'm not in the habit of going out in the back yard without clothes on.  Not that anyone would enjoy seeing that.  And certainly it's not a sight that anyone would get in a helicopter and come over to see.


And then, yikes, what's that hanging from the helicopter?  These pictures were taken with my zoom lens and I couldn't get a closer shot.


I suppose we could've hopped in our truck and driven over there but we didn't want to be a pair of those fools that rush in....



I went to the internet and did a search on "helicopter hovering dangling a rope" and couldn't find anything but a couple of forums where the responses to the query were, "BURN YOUR CROP!!"  Heh.

The next day, Hubs bumped into Kylie, our friend who brings us wood chips.  Kylie has a degree in arboriculture, and he has lived around here all his life.  Hubs described what we had seen and, as I understood it, Kylie said the helicopter was sent by the power company, and they were dangling a chain saw, cutting high branches.

Well, this still seems a little weird to me.....

Moving on, though....

Wild geese fly in to the fields around us all the time.  That's nothing new.  But one day in September they had a white goose with them.



It kind of looks like the family is not too pleased.  Is it one of those "Guess who came to dinner" things?


But it's strange and something we'd never seen before.  I wasn't aware that domesticated geese could fly for very long periods of time.  Not sure how this story turned out, because we've looked for the white goose since then and though wild geese often convene in the field behind our house, it has not been with them recently.  Not sure what they're finding to eat out there.



This was the view from the kitchen window one recent morning.  A praying mantis.


I went outside to get a closer shot with my zoom.  I couldn't tell if it was moving or not.  Hubs said he thought it was dead.  I didn't want to bother it, in case it was laying eggs or something. 


I checked on it several times that day.  It seemed to be going downwards on the screen.  That night it rained, and the praying mantis was not visible from the inside of the window the next morning.  I went outside to see if it had fallen on the ground, and it was laying on the window ledge.

I guess it lit there and died? 


The spiders have been very active this fall.  Some people hate spider webs, seems like they are always hanging all over the place in those Dracula movies.  But I think they're beautiful. 




 


 


 



I love to walk around outside right after a rain.  I started doing that because I wanted to see where the water runs.  I'm doing my best to keep what rain falls ON our land from running off to my neighbors.  But the added benefits are several.  The air is so clean and fresh right after a rain.  And somehow, it just makes me feel closer to God and gives me peace and hope.  It also gives me a chance to get some pictures that are just almost ethereal. 







If you remain open minded, you will see many Wondrous Things.  Even Wondrous Things will happen to you.  I'm sure Wondrous Things have been happening to me all my life.  It's just that I never noticed the significance before.  I'll never forget when I first became aware of this.

It happened during a very low period in my life.  Hubs and I were separated, and things were going on in my birth family that let me know they had all chosen sides, and it was not my side they had chosen.  What should I have expected from people who continuously told me how lucky I was to have Hubs, when they had absolutely no knowledge of how things were between us when no one was around?  I think really, what they actually meant was that they thought I was lucky, in fact, to have anyone at all.  What a rude and hateful thing to say to someone you're supposed to love.  But anyway, there were a lot of tales being told in our community and in our family, some things out of context, but mostly totally made-up and untrue, that got back to me, by people who had the need to draw attention away from the things THEY were doing.  Mind you, I'm not saying that I didn't bear some of the fault for the split-up between Hubs and me.  When a marriage goes to hell in a handbasket, there's almost always some responsibility on both sides.  What I am saying is that, what was happening between Hubs and me was not any of their business.  I didn't ask anyone to side with me.  The least they all could've done would have been to distance themselves from both of us till all the dust settled.  I was in shock that it happened the way it did.  I was saddened by the betrayal.  The very family members that I had felt closest to were the ones who shoved the knife in, and twisted it.  I was doing a lot of crying, and it was a really dark time.  So this one day, I turned on the TV to try to find something to take my mind off all my troubles, and I paused on the station where Joyce Meyer was speaking.  I had never heard of her before.  She looked right at me from her place in the middle of my TV screen.  And she said,

"You know, when people do things that hurt you, the fact that what they are doing will hurt you may not even be in their thoughts at all.  They might be just......  .....doing what they do.....  And you just happened to be there, in the way.  A side-effect." 

It was like a light came on.  Thank you, Joyce.  Thank you, God.

Well, this heightened my awareness, and I looked at things differently from that day on.  You might say it was a turning point.  God worked a miracle in my life.  He brought a revelation, not just to me, but to Hubs.  And it wasn't very long after that, that we worked things out.  That was over 20 years ago.  I was even able to understand the hatred that my birth family continued to express towards me, in the community, to my own children, even!  To my cousins, my nieces and nephews, in short, anyone who would listen.  Many people came to me, and told me they loved me, after that.  I needed that.  I am grateful to them and will always be.  And to God.

I forgave them all.  It doesn't mean I have to be friends with any of them.  It doesn't mean I have to have anything to do with them at all.  It doesn't mean the way they slandered me was OK, because it wasn't, and it never will be.  It doesn't mean I ever have to tell them I've forgiven them, and I won't, because they don't understand what forgiveness really is, so they'll go chatter to each other about how I'm "trying to weasel my way back into the family", and I really have no desire for that.  Forgiving means I understand that hatred comes out of empty places.  Insecurity.  Low self-esteem that demands the tearing down of someone else in order to feel better about oneself.  They showed me who they are.  I'm sorry I was in their way.  I'm sorry if they hate me.  But I gave all that to God so that I could move on.  I did not ask God to punish them.  I asked God to forgive me, for whatever part I played in all this.  I do not have to care whether he punishes them or blesses them.  He knows their hearts just like He knows mine.  The thing about God is, He gives you what you need. 

Moving on, now.

You'll enjoy this next one. 

Even years before we adopted them, our grandsons always spent a great deal of time with Hubs and me, and we had them full time almost every summer.  This was fine if I wasn't working, but if I was, I'd have to find daycare arrangements for them.  One summer, when they were pre-schoolers, they were participating in the daycare that was run by the local YMCA, and on this particular Friday, they had gone on a field trip to a place in Tulsa where they played laser tag.  I had paid for their tickets, packed their lunches and dressed them according to written instructions.  But when I went to pick the boys up at the end of the day, JR, the perennial tattle-tale, whispered to me that JC had stolen a whoopee cushion from some other little boy, and had it in his backpack.  I pulled JC away from the others and asked him if this was so, and he admitted that it was.  What I hadn't known earlier was that some of the other parents had given their children extra money because there was a gift shop there, and a lot of the boys had bought whoopee cushions.  I told JC that I was sorry I hadn't given him and JR anything for the gift shop, but added that stealing was never the answer and it wasn't fair to the other little boy.  I asked JC to take the whoopee cushion out of his backpack and go find the rightful owner and give it back, and he did.  He was in tears, and I felt so bad, but I knew this was a lesson I had to try to teach him.  I told him that we were going to go to some garage sales the next day and that he could look for one there, or something else he'd rather have, and if he didn't find one I'd look the next week for one and get it for him.  (We always gave the boys money to spend at garage sales when they went with us, but they had to get my approval of the deal.)  He brightened, I wiped away his tears and we left for home. 

The next morning, at THE VERY FIRST garage sale, I kid you not, JC came running to me excitedly with a red whoopee cushion in his hand.  It was a quarter.  I OK'd the purchase with a hug and a secret smile between me and JC.  And I said, "Thank you, God." 

Since that time, I've felt like God has "gone garagin'" with me on many occasions.  I don't know how many times, in the car, I've told Hubs, "Keep an eye out for (this or that)" and, lo and behold, as the song goes, "WHUP!  They it is!"  Heh.  The weekend before I was to have surgery was the weekend we found medical equipment at more than just one garage sale, which was priced quite reasonably and what I bought was very helpful to me while I was recuperating.  I mean, we hadn't seen stuff like that for sale that whole summer.  Right before the great-grand-daughter's fifth birthday, I wished I could find something appropriate for her, and there appeared before me a pink tricycle with a bicycle horn and handlebar streamers. 

She is a girlie girl and wears pink all the time. 

Most recently, my friend Carole told me she needed a decorative storm-door screen-protector for her sunroom, but found out they don't make them anymore.  So I told her I'd watch for one.  It might not've been the very next Saturday, but it was soon after, when I found not one, but three.  The one that was the right size to fit Carole's door was purchased, and I e-mailed a picture to her.


She said it was exactly what she'd had in mind.

I don't care if you laugh to think that this ol' lady actually thinks God goes garagin' with her.  I'm happy to bring a little joy into your life.  But I do know that God delights in delighting us. 

I remember when I found out that my next-door neighbor, and co-worker, was actually in the habit of praying for a good parking spot.  I thought that was wasting God's time and I admit I felt pretty horrified about it.  Such a little thing.  So easy for God to arrange.  Joyce Meyer says you can ask God for anything, and He wants you to.  It's not that you're ordering Him to do it, mind you, like you think He's your genie or something and is supposed to do your bidding.  You're just askin', like a child asks a parent ......  And, like a parent, if He doesn't want you to have it, He'll just not do it.  If He does do it, He's showing you He loves you.  And He's laughing at your reaction when He puts something down right in front of you, because He has such a great sense of humor.  And of course, the first few times, it's so weird.  Sometimes He'll let you find something around your house that you didn't know was there, that will mean a great deal to you on a day when your heart is heavy and you need a lift.  FL you know what I'm talking about.  More than once I've lamented that I want to find seed for this plant or that, and then I'll forget about it until I find it coming up in the yard the next summer, a gift brought by the birds.  Joyce Meyer said that God had put a blessing on her pantyhose and she could wear the same pair over and over without having a runner.  LOL!  Except that as soon as she told someone about it, the blessing stopped.  So sometimes I think God wants that to just be a little joyful thing you and He alone can share. 

Maybe now that I've told you about the garage sale thing, I won't find anything else I want to find.  Heh.  But if that's God's will, then so be it.  That's how badly I want you all to know how wondrous and wonderful God is.

Many years ago, I was taking part in a dieting forum where I was fast becoming known as a Pollyanna because of my penchant for prayer.  One day I was roasted, quite thoroughly, and publicly, by a woman who said she didn't believe in God and it was annoying to her for me to be "pushing God down her throat".  Many people emailed me privately giving me their support but in the interest of not creating disharmony in the forum, I asked them not to comment on the matter in the forum and I chose, from that point, not to post.  But for awhile I still went there to read the posts of others.  About a week later, this same woman posted that she had been driving down the highway, hit a patch of black ice on an overpass, went sailing into the air inside her car and landed, right-side up, and on all four wheels, in a nearby field underneath the overpass, without so much as a scratch or a bruise received.  She was going on and on about how "lucky" she considered herself to be.  Luck?  Oh, how badly I wanted to post a reply to her post, saying, "I rest my case".  But I figured, if she wasn't smart enough to figure that one out, then there wasn't anything I could say that would make a difference.  I think lots of people on the forum got a blessing out of that, though.

We went to a gospel singing at the church of our friend, June, a few weeks ago.  One of the band members shared her story with us.  She said that, as a teenager, she didn't believe in God, and she was kind of smug about it.  She and her boyfriend, a pastor's son, went to a Revival and in the parking lot, she saw a bumper sticker on a car there that said, "Honk If You Love Jesus".  Just being rebellious, she laughed and pressed down on her horn.  And it stuck.  It blared and blared and even her boyfriend tearing out the wires didn't stop it.  I sat there and laughed with the others in the audience, and I thought how that is just like God to do something like that.

There are many wonders in this world.  What looks like a good thing can be a bad thing, after everything's said and done.  And vice-versa.  Never hesitate to have an open mind.  Always look for the silver lining.  Try to see if there's a lesson there that you're supposed to learn.  Because I guarantee, if you don't learn something by it, God'll ding on you till you do.  And have appreciation for Every.   Little.  Thing.

Ask God for something little today.  It doesn't hurt to ask.  If He doesn't bless you, then He doesn't.  What have you lost?  If, on the other hand, what you have asked for comes to you, if you don't already BELIEVE, then maybe you'll have to wonder.... ?

May God bless you all.  Hugs xoxoxo   PS: this is the second post I've published today.  Go to "Older Posts" (below right) if you missed the first one. 

4 comments:

  1. Ilene, I loved this post. I'm always asking God for something, sometimes to the point I feel like I'm a pest to Him. I'm somewhat agoraphobic and almost panic when I think of going out. So I tell God He's got to help me; gets me through some stressful times. Don't you often wonder how many people never think of eternity and what the Savior did for us?

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    1. Oh, Charlotte, yes. And I wonder also how I managed to live into my early 40's without really knowing and acknowledging.

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  2. Ilene this was wonderful!!!!

    Thank you for bringing a smile to my face and joy to my heart. God cares about every little iota of our lives.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  3. It was my pleasure to bring this message. Might've been Too Much Information, but it's been on my heart for awhile and I felt compelled. Hugs, Love You Dear..

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