Saturday, June 28, 2008

Who am I?

I love the new look to my blog page! I especially like the music that I added. If I had to describe the four things that really identify who I am, they would be: music, art, writing, and science. I take special joy in having time to play with each of those interests. Music has been close to me my whole life. My sister and I were stood on the altar rail (so we could be seen!)at ages 5 and 4 to sing "Whisper a Prayer" in harmony. We grew up singing together and took many music and choir classes during school years. Both of us were chosen to sing solos in our respective senior music programs and we both participated in Solo and Ensemble contests. We also sang in the show ensemble for our school. When I went to college, I sang whenever I could. I love singing harmony-it comes very naturally to me and I can hear the notes of all the parts as I sing. The songs I selected for "Dee's Favorites" on my blog are a mixture of the many styles I enjoy. I DO love Contemporary Christian rock and since it was birthed during my high school and college years (the '70's Jesus music era), I love the old bands and artists from the early days of contemporary Christian music.

I love art! I especially love graphic art and have made many of my own cards to give to my friends and relatives. I don't have time to do that much anymore, but I still like playing around with art on the computer. I toyed with going to school for more art training since I was often frustrated with my lack of skills in painting and sketch. My favorite medium is watercolor. I love the subtlety of the images. I am enamored of the Impressionist artists-they painted the way I saw the world before I got my glasses in 4th grade-blurry and fuzzy with all the colors running together!

Writing has been in my soul from the time I learned to spell. I was always "making books" when I was a youngster and I love to tell stories with lots of mood and emotion. Stories are in my head all of the time. I sometimes get lost in thought while a new story percolates in my brain! The joy of my life has been finding Faithwriters and entering the Weekly Challenges. I love writing and feel that I have finally found my niche!

As for the sciences, I would give an arm and a leg for a good compound microscope! I love microbiology, and especially water microbiology. The intricacies of this tiny world are mind-boggling. My interest in microbiology lead me to study creation science. I love learning about the world from the viewpoint that an imaginative and orderly Creator designed each process and each little cell and it's function. My dream trip at the end of this summer is to travel to the Creation Science museum outside of Cincinnati. Can't wait!

So the sum total of me is a conglomeration of art, music, science, and writing. All of these interests have made my life fun and challenging and I'm so very glad the Creator "knit me together" using His own unique pattern and plan for my life.
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you..." Jeremiah 1:5 The Holy Bible, NIV

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Friday Fiction: "Christmas in July"

“Try hitting that square thing, Edward.”

“Which square thing? There’s a million square things under here.”

“That one.”

Cars, trucks, and SUVs flashed past while they stood hunched under the raised hood of their car. Edward turned the screwdriver handle-side down and whacked at the silver box his wife pointed to. It wouldn’t help, but it gave him an excuse to vent his frustrations.

He turned and inched his way back to the driver’s door, keeping his body pressed close to the car, away from the thundering traffic. He let out a sigh of relief once he safely got in. He said a prayer and tried the key again. Nothing.

“Now what, Genius?” he questioned the image in his mirror.

The passenger door opened and Margie sat down. She looked at him. Her red hair was wind-blown and sweaty, while her cheeks were red from the sun that relentlessly burned her pale skin.

“Let’s walk, Love,” she finally said.

“Are you sure? It’s hot and you’ve been out there in the sun too long already.”

“Well, I know it isn’t best, but it’s all we can do at this point. Right?”

He shrugged his answer. They trudged for miles, but no one slowed to offer help.

After the sun began to dart behind the pines hugging the roadway, they stopped for a rest. The prickly grass that stubbornly lined the burning pavement poked the bare skin around their ankles as they sat.

“What a day, Edward.”


“But, honestly, can it get much worse?” She squinted up at him with a crooked smile and a wistful expression in her eyes.

He knew the game. Worst-case scenario. They played it often to keep their spirits from sagging. The life they were living was filled with one, huge word: poverty.

“It could’ve been worse,” he started. “We could’ve been in the Sahara when the car quit...”

“…with a wind storm blowing sand up our noses as we …”

“…stumbled blindly, stepping on rattlers and scorpions…”

“…with no hospital or anti-venom serum to be found,” she finished. They smiled at one another. He leaned over and brushed the hair of her bangs away from her eyes.

“There’s a miracle growing in me, Edward,” she spoke softly.

He smiled again, but said nothing. He looked away from her questioning eyes and focused his gaze into the pine forest. He heard a small sigh escape her lips and then she jumped up.

“I’m rested. Let’s go!”

He stood, brushing the debris from his jeans, and pulled her into a hug before he set the
pace on the road again.

Night stars came out from hiding. The moon sat on the edge of the treetops and watched them walk. The traffic had long ago wound its way over the horizon, the red taillights streaming away.

Their shoes slapped the road in rhythm, but they didn’t speak. He knew she was hurt. Since the morning, when she’d showed him that stick with the neon blue line, she’d glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, trying to gauge his thoughts.

He was being selfish, but inside of him, a war was raging. A baby was not what they needed. Not what they could afford. Not what would help their already desperate situation. What would he do? He was not ready. Not ready. Not ready. His doubts kept pace with his footsteps.

They reached their apartment late in the night. She went in to start her bath while he ran water into a glass and drank. He turned on the tiny TV in the living room and sat down on the edge of the couch. An old movie flickered its gray light onto the dark walls. It was a Christmas rerun. That figured!

The film sputtered through the nativity scene. As he gazed at the television, the Spirit in him welled up, and began to work in his heart. Softening. Comforting. A tear trickled down his rough cheek then splashed onto his hand.

A close-up of Mary appeared on the screen. The camera panned to Joseph. Baby Jesus.

“They were not ready,” whispered the Spirit, “but they trusted Him anyway.”

Margie came out from her bath, kissed his cheek, and snuggled close. He returned her kiss and wrapped his arms around her. He smiled into her eyes. He could trust. He would trust. Everything would be all right.
Worry dropped away for the first time. Peace emerged; happiness beckoned, and a Christmas miracle grew.

MORE GREAT FICTION: Pattering's Blog

Friday Fiction

My contribution to Friday Fiction was written in honor of the Heavenly Homegoing of my late husband, Jim Brown. I tried to imagine what his introduction to Heaven would be like and wanted to bring a little part of that happy day to my heart. He was a wonderful husband and father, and though he wanted to stay with us, I knew that when he reached Heaven on September 26, 1995, his real life was only just beginning!To read more fabulous Friday Fiction, click here:Pattering's BlogAnd Again a Little While, You Will See MeToday is the banquet in my honor. I make my way through the crowd of family and friends as they congratulate me, kiss my cheeks, hug me and laugh.Hey, Jim! How’s it going, fella?”Big, burly Peter slaps me on the back. He pats my mid-section.“Looking good! You got your shape back pretty fast, didn’t you?” he teases.“Yep, I’m fit as a fiddle, Peter. The Lord says He’s never seen me looking so well.”Peter chuckles. “Yeah, this place has that effect on everyone.” He leans close, “All this happy living, right?”“You said it!” I reply with a smile.As I turn away, I hear sweet harp music float past my ear. I stroll to the door of the Gold Room and peek in. Yes, just as I thought. David is putting his all into a heavenly Psalm.I can’t help but watch him as he plays. His head is bent close to the strings, eyes shut tight. The corner of his mouth tilts up, as his left foot gently pats out the rhythm his head is hearing. My heart is content; I sigh.I amble down the hall to the Sapphire Room. Just as I enter, a loud guffaw greets me. Nobody laughs as heartily and freely as Paul. He’s telling a story while a few of Heaven’s finest men listen in: C. S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Dietrich Bonhoffer, and Martin Luther. They smile good-naturedly. Lewis, seeing me in the doorway, waves his arm at me, and clears a space between him and Luther. I join them for a few minutes, telling my own version of my arrival in Heaven, and they laugh with me at my scrawny expectations.Eventually, I make my way to the Throne Room. I pause outside as I hear the praise begin to rise inside.When I finally push open the heavy doors, the power of the seraphim’s song comes down on me like a flood. The holiness and awesomeness of God press against my chest; immediately, my knees buckle. I fall to the floor, forehead against the cool marble, and begin to add my own praise to theirs. I lift my head and my hands, palms cupped upward, as my soul swells with gratitude. My voice grows louder and stronger.“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!” we sing.We raise the key a half step.“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!”We raise the key another half step.“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!”Up, up, up the scale, until our singing thunders from deep within our souls. I sing His praise, my spirit soaring and sailing around the Author and Finisher of my Faith.As we sing, our voices fill the far corners of Heaven. People stop what they are doing. They raise their hands and start to praise Him saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb Who takes away the sins of the world!”They run to join us. Though they sweep toward the Throne Room with the force of a mighty wave, they fall to the floor under the power of the Lord as they enter.Time stands still. Together we praise the Creator over and over and over and over. The seraphim brush past us, leaving behind their heady scent; light, airy, mysterious. Their wings flutter over their faces.Suddenly, the Heavenly Host shout out their hallelujahs, and the trumpets swallow up our praise with the brassy bell of their sound. The atmosphere changes as the songs turn to Redemption. We clap our hands, wave them in the air, laugh and dance before the Lord.Finally, our hallelujahs grow soft. We bathe in God’s splendor; warm, loved, and accepted. Holy Light caresses us, softening our flesh, smoothing our faces.The gathering slowly disperses. We make our way out of the room, trembling in the nearness of the Holy One. Laughter swells among His people.My banquet resumes where it left off. I’m floating in a river of peace. Jesus, my brother, approaches, smiling as He nears me.“Well, Jim, what do you think of Heaven?”I shake my head, bemused.“I was sad when I left Earth. Sad for my wife. My son. But nothing can compare, Lord, to the Glory of this place. I’ll never be sad again!” I exclaim.We smile at one another, and turn back to the banquet. I just can’t wait to show my family around when they finally join me!