Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And another….

Dear Little Green Eyes,

I still remember the first time I saw my little Nina Marie so tiny and small. I wasn’t expecting Christmas so early that year. How we rushed out to find bottles and blankets and other little girl things pretty and pink…things to fill our empty room. And as the days lengthened, I remember holding you long into the night.

Do you remember that “big beautiful white swan” that sweep through your window just as the sun was setting, just as my story was ending? And as your big green eyes were blinking, remember how that soft white bird carried you into “pink cotton candy clouds” that graced the evening. And do you remember that little duck you and your sister named “Peepers” that the snow white bird must have sent your way that day.

You haven’t forgotten that summer tea party in your little playhouse with your friends and favorite “maid”? Or the mountains of autumn leaves and the acorns that fall in the night? Or how I pulled you faster than the wind through the new fallen snow? Or when I taught you how to fly?

When you were small, remember how I threw you high into the air and never let you fall, but you are a woman now so wise and straight and tall. A woman who honors me by honoring Him in all she thinks and says and does.

I am happy, but yet so sad. The lord gives, but ever so slowly is taking away. My little “Sweet Sixteen” is going away today.


An Old Letter….

Cleaning up my study today, I found some old letters. Letters, the essence of remembrance:

Dear Little Blue Eyes,

I remember the first time I saw you, your passion hasn’t changed. How the nurses tried and tried to get you to take your bottle, and how I finally taught you to suckle.

Night after night I would get up at three and take you to your mother, I even learned to do that “dastardly diaper” thing. As you grew, your determination seemed so out of place in such a little girl body, with big blue eyes and cascading tendrils of curly hair.

It seems like yesterday when the three of us walked on misty summer mornings, through the graveyard and across that ancient bridge that spanned our lazy river. Remember how we would always stop by the pastry shop in that little polish village before the farmers market?

Please tell me that you loved your not so little playhouse. The one with desk and closets and table and chairs and loft and balcony and stain glass windows… and how a thousand pieces of glass cast their dispersions in the afternoon sun as the two of you were dressing up and pretending, or just having fun.

I am sure you remember that special summer with you, your sister, the neighbor kids, and Peepers. How you all ran round and round the house and just wouldn’t wait for that little short-legged fellow.

Remember that wonderful midnight on grandpa’s farm as we glided across fragrant fields of new mown hay? Do you remember the phosphorescent glow of that multitude of fireflies so bright they eclipsed the stars that moon lit summer night?

I can’t help but reminisce about your first day of school, and about oak trees that changed to every conceivable hue. About towering heaps of fragrant autumn leaves and how you would hide and romp and roll among them and how they would dangle, adorning your auburn hair.

But one melancholy day we walked from room to “empty echoing” room. You took one final backward glance to where the “big beautiful white swan” once alighted upon you bed. And as we all loaded into the van, right in front of us the all so familiar but solitary swing remained. And as we drove away, we each realized that some things would just have to stay.

It’s been four years now and you have made me so proud. You are taller and more beautiful than before, but in a different way. And you always seem to know just what to say. But something else is different; it’s so hard to explain.

When you were little, there was for a time a nest just outside our window. At first, two robin-blue eggs, then two naked and helpless bobbing heads. Mother and father continually flew back and forth bearing food. So quickly they grew. And then one day the first feathered fledgling ventured to nest edge. On the next, to the furthest branch, and on the third day she flew. But just under her, father gently nudging her away from the cat-patrolled ground, and just a wing span ahead, mother leading the way to the safest branch of a familiar tree. The second fledgling in similar fashion soon followed. Then day after day we would watch as they lingered and learned and became indistinguishable from their parents... and then they were gone.

Your daddy for just a little bit longer

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Israel’s Messiah

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Sacred Ground of Smithfield

London, “amazing”? Yes, but did you see the sacred ground of Smithfield where our brothers and sisters in Him did suffer?

“Shortly after, an order from the court came to the sheriff or bailiff of London, that he should execute the oldest two, according to their sentence. One of them named Jan Pieterss, was a poor man, more than fifty years of age, with nine children. His first wife had previously likewise been burnt for her religion, here in Ghent in Flanders. And he was now married to a woman whose husband had also previously been burnt at Ghent for his religion. Hence both, on account of persecution, had fled to England, thinking that they should be able to live there without peril in the liberty of their conscience. All this he stated to the bishop, and asked for mercy to leave the country with his wife and children; but it was not granted him. The other, named Hendrick Terwoort, was a handsome, wealthy man of thirty-five or six years, a goldsmith by trade, and had only been married eight or ten weeks previous to his apprehension. These two, as no disputing of the Dutch and French preachers could move them to subscribe the articles, but were much rather confirmed in their views through the cruelty and unchristian proceeding of those who boast themselves of the Gospel and the true faith, notwithstanding that many Englishmen as well as Dutchmen solicited pardon for them, were, nevertheless, the 22d of July, at six o'clock in the morning; in Smithfield (where they formerly used to burn persons belonging to our religion) most miserably burnt alive at a stake, till consumed to ashes….” (Martyrs Mirror, T. J. van Braght, 1660).

“The places of the world, though very large, are nevertheless very small and narrow for the pious. The holy confessors of Jesus, who seek to live according to the Gospel, find no rest anywhere. It seems that the earth, which ought properly to be a dwelling place for the good, is possessed only by the rocked. Is it not a matter of astonishment, and not less to be lamented: England,* which of old has been supposed to have derived her name from the good angels of heaven, is now found to be a pool of infernal and wicked spirits; for the saints of God are cruelly put to death there; to which Smithfield, at London, the murderous prison at Saltwoden, and the place of execution at Norwich, can bear testimony” (Martyrs Mirror, T. J. van Braght, 1660).