Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What I learned from my cat...

I've been up all night again tonight.  After tossing and turning I finally got up to see how the new baby was doing  Even she is trying to doze - her mom comes over and kissed her forehead every once in awhile, it's so cute to see them.  I never thought giraffes were that cute before - wow, was I wrong!

Last night was a horror.  The nausea and vomiting have come back with a vengeance - i spent the night close to the toilet, nauseated to the point of salivation but it wouldn't come up.

At one point I tried to lie down for a bit.

Now, if you've seen this blog before you know about Katrina (her pic at top)  She is a Wegie (pronounced Wee-gee) A Norwegian Forest Cat of large proportions - they run 20 to 25 lbs.  She is around 20,  I've had her since she was a kitten and she has never gotten past the idea that I wanted to kill her.  Her flight from Virginia was delayed and she stayed in Atlanta for almost 6 hrs before flying on to me in Nevada.  From the first, she avoided me.  Came out of the carrier and crawled under the bed - and stayed there for 3 months.  I knew she was eating because the food disappeared and the litter box had been used.

After she came out into the world, you could talk to her if you were sitting and she was  an inch beyond your farthest reach.  If you stood up, she was back under the bed.  I still can't catch her which makes vet visits a nightmare, and she despises grooming, so she gets mats and the groomer thinks I neglect her.  Of course, she sits perfectly still for the groomer, purrs  and cooperates so they don't believe me when I tell them that just trimming her nails is an ordeal because she hates to have her paws touched!

I would complain about her to God, and one day out of the blue He said to me, "She's just like you."


He said" You too hold me at arms length, and are leery of sitting with me in the silence for even a little while.  When you have something I know is bad for you in your mouth you run away instead of listening to my prompting to come to me and deal with it.  She's just like you."

Well, that made me sit up and take notice.

The one thing that comforted me was that at least she follows me around from one room to another, and has to be in my presence throughout the day.  I surely hope that that is how my walk with Him goes.

Now back to Barf, the sequel:

I laid down on the bed on my left side, my left arm stretched out a little, palm up , fingers slightly cupped.  I was exhausted and nauseated and on top of everything else I had one of my nuclear strength headaches. I closed my eyes.

All of a sudden I felt the bed move.

Katrina had come up on the bed - and she curled up next to me, leaning against my cupped fingers.

And then, I felt her place her huge, soft  furry paw-that-she-hates-to-have-touched gently in the palm of my hand - and leave it there.

Then the tears came.

 Partly because that was exceptional behavior from my standoffish cat - but every once in awhile she will do something that will just melt my heart.

And also because I knew God was saying to me, "I love you.  I am right here, by your side - and I am using Katrina to show you some tenderness tonight."

And it was enough.

Under neath are the Everlasting Arms.


Friday, October 12, 2012

The power of God in microcosim

It is late, I have been lying here thinking deep thoughts as the storm rages around me.  How I love living in the desert - I had never seen storms the way they occur here. Tonite the quiet evening suddenly became a potpourri of crashing thunder, flashing magnificent forks of lightning through the night sky.

Oh!  How I love thunderstorms.

The desert storms are unlike anything I'd experienced anywhere else. My brother just phoned to tell me his lawn was completely buried under pea sized hail.  Ours was smaller, not as much.  But the lightning forked and stretched and flashed like electric fingers reaching sideways, not touching the ground.  The winds roar, the thunder rattles the house, and the rain beats against the windows like the wings of a gigantic bird. Awesome!

Every thunderstorm displays the tiniest bit of His power - dramatic, dangerous, as if God is flexing His muscles.  I love how every aspect is finely controlled, how He releases just so much power and not an iota more.  This is how the judgement day will look - roaring thunder, flashes of His mighty arm's power - a display calculated to drop me face down before Him.  And it does.

And then, after all the dramatics, comes the pouring rain which slowly softens into a steady rain for a bit.  Then all is quiet....until, far off in the distance, a small grumble is heard.  Then another, louder this time.  Then the flash of light and the thunder happen almost @ the same time, the house shakes rattles and rolls and the sound seems to pass through ever cell in my body.


I read of a woman who, trying to calm her kiddies fears, told them the thunder was only "the angels making their beds."  A small voice said, "I don't mind them making the beds - but they keep turning the lights on and off."  I like that.  To this day, I like to think perhaps the angels are involved in thunderstorms, perhaps even making their beds or, as another mom told me, "the angels are bowling"  Both thoughts make me smile. But  I'd rather tell a child that God was showing His power so we would never have to doubt that something was too hard for Him - and to watch the displays with awe and wonder.

Like I do. <3 p="p">
So I thought I would share a little of the joy I find in thunder and lightning - of course, a necessary part of that is being safe and warm and have a place to watch, yet be removed from it.

It's how I feel about my CI sometimes - I watch God release His power when I need it, providing helpful parking places by the door or the endurance to last throughout the whole series of art classes and not have to leave early.

For me this most often takes place around the Christmas holidays - our church has an elegant tea for the ladies - and I'm talking a real tea, not a fake box of cookies on a tray.. Each table receives a tray filled with lovely finger sandwiches, the next tier up contains light, lovingly made scones, and last on the tippy top, are fancy schmancy deserts made by a premier chocolatier from one of our fancy hotel/casinos in Las Vegas.  All the hubbys and ushers put on black slacks and black bow ties with a white shirt and serve - while the ladies get to sit back and enjoy the keynote speaker while munching.  Oh - did I mention there are always several varieties of teas, and the most decadent topping for the scones (creme fresh, lemon curd, and strawberry jam.  The gents spend the evening running to and fro getting thermoses of hot water and refill the trays of sandwiches and extra deserts.
The fluorescent lights are dimmed, the candles are lit, and a string quartet of students from UNLV provide background music until the singer begins the worship carols, and later after the keynote speaker, a pianist "tickles the ivories" as we feast on the goodies.

Can anyone explain to me how a deviled egg sandwich you could make at home (but never do) tastes like a Top "Chef delight when it is nestled upon thin white bread with their crusts cut off and are served as a triangle?  To me that is a miracle right up there with the water-to-wine of the wedding at Cana!

During this hectic time, I sit in the church office in case some one's name is spelled wrong and calligraph a new one. I also host a table with my sil on one of the 3 nights of the tea.  But I must be there every night to fix name tags, and some nights there are many.

Because it is so important to me to be there (to myself, not to the church) and because it touches people to see "actual " calligraphy being done before their eyes - I can count on getting sicker or being in much more pain than usual. Last year I had sciatic nerve damage that lasted down to the wire - I couldn't sit without severe pain that my regular dose of pain medication didn't even touch!  It looked impossible.  But like the unleashed precision of the lightning, my King had it allllllllll under control.A few hours before I had to leave for church, the pain went away.  Poof!  Gone! And I could get to the church , get up and down from my chair to receive and return the corrected name tags, then scurry into the room when the carols began, and sit through the whole evening with nary a twinge.  And that happened 3 nights in a row!. To me, this is akin to the parting of the Red Sea.  I was so full of wonder and joy at His graciousness in allowing me to serve Him, doing something that I dearly love : calligraphy.

And experiencing the storm tonight brought it all back. When things look impossible to me, I now remember seeing His power released in my behalf in (to me) a mighty way - and carry a picture in my heart of lightning striking that obstacle and - POOF! - it is gone.  Of course, His timing is a bit different than ours.  I want it NOW! Instant gratification is my favorite mode of being answered.  But God deals from eternity, where there is no time - and tho He might not be as early as I would like, after 40 years of walking with Him I can tell you truthfully, He is never late.

So the next time you are privileged to view thunder and lightning, imagine each bolt of lightning striking that big obstacle in your way - and remind yourself that His arm is not shortened that He cannot save.

That's why we call Him the Savior!