Thursday, June 30, 2011

Attributes of God--H

Yesterday we had no internet connection all day. It was a blessing, for the most part.

Today I am back at it, and we will continue our series of looking at attributes of God, alphabetically. Yesterday I had a headache in the afternoon. It wasn't the wisest thing I've ever done, but I brewed a pot of strong coffee and made myself a mocha latte with half and half, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate syrup. It cured the headache, but revved me up more than I care to be revved.

At bedtime, my mind was still active. But I lay down in my bed and started going over the attributes of God, musing over what we have looked at thus far. God smiled on me, and before I finished thinking, I had fallen into a peaceful sleep. I woke up conscious of how great God is, too. I pray that if anyone reads these posts during this series, you will be blessed as I have been.

God is HOLY--He is pure, sacred and set apart from common, earthly things. Holiness is related to perfect purity and the absence of the influence of sin. It is a hard concept to grasp, and one of the attributes of God that is most godly, most divine. Yet, amazingly, God calls us to share in this attribute as we grow in him through the indwelling power of his Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives.

Exodus 3:5
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

Leviticus 19:2
“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.'"

1 Samuel 2:2
“There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God."

Psalm 47:8
God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.

Psalm 77:13
Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?

Psalm 99:5
Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.

Isaiah 6:1-4
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

Isaiah 48:17
This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go."

Isaiah 54:5
For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.

1 Peter 1:15-16
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Revelation 4:8
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.

Next up, I.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Attributes of God--G

God is GOOD--I touched on this in a previous post. The upshot, in the vernacular, is that God is perfect and always makes the right decision (not only the right, but the best decision) for each of us in every situation, whether or not we understand what he is doing. God is good, but some days we need to exercise a fair amount of humility and trust in order to accept this truth. And when I say "fair amount," I may be making a bit of an understatement.

Mark 10:18
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone."

Psalm 16:2
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Psalm 23:6
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 145:9
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

1 Peter 2:2-4
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

God is GRACIOUS--God favors us with good gifts that we do not deserve and could never hope to earn.

Psalm 86:15
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalm 116:5
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

Isaiah 30:18
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

Romans 8:32
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Next up, H.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Attributes of God--F

God is FAITHFUL--God always keeps his promises.

Psalm 33:4
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Psalm 36:5
Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Psalm 86:15
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalm 91:4
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Psalm 145:13
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.

Lamentations 3:22-24
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

God is FORGIVING-- Forgiveness is a difficult concept. Often in our culture, we understand it to mean tolerance, the act of suffering someone's misdeed and saying, "It's OK; it doesn't matter." This is not Biblical forgiveness; indeed, it cannot be, because God is just and fair and always true. To say that an injustice is "OK" is not just, it is not fair, and it is not a true statement. There was only one way God could forgive us for our sins against him. He paid the price for our sins with the blood of his only begotten Son. Without the shed blood of Jesus, there could be no forgiveness for our sins. Our sins did matter, and God forgave us by paying the required ransom for our souls, not by saying, "It doesn't matter; it's OK." Forgiveness is very costly, and that is why it is so hard for us to do. However, Ephesians 4:32 tells us to go around "...forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Those who are in Christ receive forgiveness from sins. Those who are not in Christ will be punished justly on the last day.

Numbers 14:18
‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’

Psalm 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Psalm 99:8
LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.

Daniel 9:9
The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;

Micah 7:18
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Psalm 103:3 & 12
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases... as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Acts 13:38
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Next up, G.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Attributes of God--E

God is EVERLASTING--He will last forever, there is no end to the duration of God.

Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 40:28
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

God is ETERNAL--Yes, I admit, this is virtually the same as everlasting. But somehow it sounds a little different, and it is comforting to me to think of the concept with both words. God has no beginning, and he has no end. He has always existed and will always exist.

Isaiah 26:4
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.

Jeremiah 10:10
But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

1 Timothy 1:17
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Next up, F.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Attributes of God--D

God is our DELIGHT--God brings us great pleasure, joy and rapture. He satisfies us in wonderful ways.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Isaiah 61:10
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

God is our DELIVERER--To deliver is to bring something (or someone!) to a special, intended place. I think the best definition of God's deliverance comes from Colossians 1:13-14, "For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 32:7
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 33:18-20
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 34:17
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Psalm 56:13
For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

2 Corinthians 1:10
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,

Next up, E

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Attributes of God--C

God is CARING--God pays attention to his children and has concern for them.

Psalm 55:22
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Nahum 1:7
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

God is COMPASSIONATE--God sees his children's trouble and suffering, and he feels deep sympathy for us. He purposes to alleviate our strife by the exercise of his almighty power at the right time and in the perfect way.

Psalm 86:15
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalm 103:3-5
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases; he redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion. He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalm 103:8
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Psalm 145:8-9
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Next up, D.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Attributes of God--B

God is BEAUTIFUL-- He possesses qualities that bring intense pleasure and deep satisfaction to those who behold him.

Isaiah 4:2
In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel.

Psalm 27:4
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 50:2
From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.

God is BOUNTIFUL-- He is easily able to provide an abundance for his people, to dispense more than enough. He does not skimp or stretch to make ends meet, but generously showers us with gracious blessings.

Psalm 36:7-9
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

Psalm 65:11
You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.

Jeremiah 31:12
They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.

Ephesians 3:19-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Next up, C.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Attributes of God--A

For the next 25-26 posts or so, I will be researching the attributes of God and listing them in alphabetical order, with Bible verses to back them up.

A dear friend of mine told me once that at night when she lays her head down on her pillow, she goes through the attributes of God alphabetically. I tried doing this and found that it is a blessed way to fall asleep.

Obviously, these posts will not cover all the attributes of God. However, I will try to find an attribute (or more than one) for each letter of the alphabet, except perhaps "x" because I am not trying to be ridiculous.

I'm going to try to post every day, except for sometimes on the weekends. This will be a new thing.

Here we go...

God is ABLE--God is capable of doing whatever he pleases. God can.

Daniel 3:17
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Hebrews 7:25
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

God is ALMIGHTY--God has the power and the might to fulfill his purposes and his will. Nothing is impossible for him (Luke 1:37).

Isaiah 47:4
Our Redeemer—the LORD Almighty is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 80:19
Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Genesis 17:1
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty ; walk before me faithfully and be blameless."

God is AWESOME--Awe is a type of fear. It's not a fear of something evil or violent, but a fear of something huge and overwhelming. For me, a sense of awe comes to mind when I imagine the feeling of weakness I would get in my stomach and my limbs if I were about to skydive out of an airplane, the feeling I would get when they opened the hatch and pushed me forward to look down at the earth so far below. It's the paralyzing faintness I would have, knowing that I was going to have to jump out and pull the cord on my parachute to deploy it. God is awesome and will someday produce those kinds of feelings in all humanity. I felt I needed to explain this, because the word "awesome" has been watered down by vernacular usage over the last couple of decades.

Deuteronomy 7:21
Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God.

Psalm 47:2
For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.

Psalm 89:7
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.

Next up, B.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good does not equal nice

God is good.

That's part of a prayer that many of us learned to say when we were children: "God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him for our food."

More importantly, it is scriptural.

"The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made." (Psalm 145:9)

"For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." (Psalm 100:5)

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13)

And in Mark 10:18, Jesus said that nobody is good except God alone.

In Great Britain, when someone eats something tasty, he says, "That is very nice!" In the USA when someone eats something tasty, he says, "That's really good!" There is a discrepancy in our vocabularies, and I think the English are closer to proper usage than the Americans (why am I not surprised?).

A double fudge cafe mocha with chocolate syrup and whipped cream is undeniably tasty. It tastes nice. But it is not the least bit good for you, with whopping levels of sugar and caffeine... and no protein, vitamins or fiber. I think you are probably pretty accurate in saying that it is nice, and pretty far wrong if you say it is good.

A person can be nice to your face, smiling and flattering you and buttering you up. You might call that person a good friend, because she never causes you any pain when you are together. She always agrees with whatever you say and always tells you that your outfit is cute. But is she a good friend? What about the friend who will tell you when you have broccoli between your teeth or when there is a stain on your pants? What about the friend who asks you the tough questions about where your heart is with the Lord, and whether you are using your time wisely or treating the people in your life with grace? Who is the true good friend?

We say that God is good, but then we craft the meaning behind that phrase to match our fancy. We define good as: that which makes me happy and comfortable and bestows on me exactly what I want. If I want a hot tub or a trip to Aruba, God ought to give it to me. If I want a good job or an A on a paper or a new car, God ought to give those things to me. If I want to be healthy and strong and talented, God ought to give me those things, and He ought to give them to my family members as well.

But God, perfectly good though He is, does not grant us perfect health and prosperity and blessings all the time. There are actually quite a few people who get sick, lose their jobs and die. To many of us, this makes no sense, because in our minds we have crafted a god who pleases us, who acts and functions according to our definition of good (see above) and our ideas of what we have decided is good for us.

This god we have crafted in our minds bears little resemblance to the God of the Bible. We didn't read the Bible, or at least not much of it, because there were parts that we didn't like. We thought it would be handier to skip over the "tricky" parts of the Bible and just pay attention to the nice, comfortable words, and base our ideas of God on the things that we liked best. The problem with this is: the thing we end up worshiping is not the true God, Creator of the Universe and Ultimate Judge of our hearts and souls, the One who has revealed Himself to us through His Holy Word. No, the thing we end up worshiping is some other god of our own making. The Bible has a word for this type of god. The Bible calls it an idol.

I was listening to Colin Smith today, and he spoke of these things much more eloquently than I can write about them.

But ultimately we need to recognize: God is good. He really, truly is. In fact, He is much better than we can imagine. He knows everything, perfectly, including the future. He knows what is good for us, what is best for us even. We have limited wisdom and limited understanding. God is omniscient.

"How could God give their son leukemia and take him home at age 12?" you might ask. Or, "How could God allow her to be in such a terrible car accident and lose her unborn baby?" Or, "How could a loving God allow the devastating earthquakes and subsequent disasters in Japan?"

I am not saying I understand.

I'm saying God does.

Sometimes things that are good for us are not nice. Think about chemotherapy, open heart surgery, diet and exercise programs, studying for a particularly difficult exam. These things are not nice, but they are good and they can bring great reward.

So is God. God is good. He is not always nice (in our view), but He is always good.

When you become a Christian, you are not signing up for a cakewalk. You are signing up for "the toughest job you'll ever love." And it makes motherhood and the Army look like cakewalks in comparison.

Hold on to the faith. It will be so overwhelmingly worth it in the end.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dogs, sleep and songs

This is Piper. He is 11 years old. He loves puppy treats, his mother, and being held like a baby (by his mother). By the way, I am his mother. He is afraid of stairs and cats, his metal water dish (because his rabies tag sometimes clangs on it), and Shawn, Jonathan and Shannon. Until we got Schubert, Piper would not go for a walk. He would walk about 40 yards, and then he would lie down and refuse to move. I carried him home a number of times before I gave up walking him. He is a very, very good dog for me, and not so good for certain other members of our family. He approaches new people with hope and trust, but he has a memory like an elephant towards people who have teased him.

This is Schubert. Schubert is messy and lives with optimistic abandon towards life. Schubert and Piper can go out to play in the very same back yard, and Piper will return fastidiously clean, while Schubert will return wet, bedraggled, muddy and in the very highest of spirits. Schubert wags his tail all the time and is always sure that there are happy adventures around every corner. Sometimes he wags his tail so hard, I fear that he will throw his hips out, but nothing seems to stop him...

Except having Shannon gone. Shannon is his Very Favorite Person in the Whole World, and that is really saying something, because he basically adores everybody. However, since Shannon failed to come home with us after our trip out to move her into her apartment, Schubert has been not quite his usual happy self.

Can I just interrupt the flow here to say that I am Stupid? Yes, I am stupid. I am so stupid that I got almost no sleep on Monday night.

I felt sorry for Schubert. He was so droopy, so morose, so not himself. And Shawn went away on a trip to Baltimore. So I had this bright (stupid) idea: while Shawn is gone, I will sleep on Shannon's bed with Schubert, the way Shannon always used to. It will cheer him up.

Of course, Piper could not be left out of this equation. So he came to sleep on the bed, too.

It was a hot night, and the windows were open. This was unfortunate, because every time a twig snapped or a leaf fluttered in the night breeze, the dogs would leap up, hurtle across my poor prone body, and yelp with vigor.

I do not make particularly good decisions in the middle of the night. I can't process information very clearly at all. But eventually I realized that if I put the fan in the window, (1) I would be cooler and more comfortable and (2) the fan noise would drown out the sounds of twigs and wind in the leaves. So I implemented this plan (amazing!), and it actually did help (even more amazing!!). However, I still did not sleep well, probably partly due to the dogs' dislike for one another (OK, it is really Piper who doesn't like Schubert, but Schubert has learned to be wary of Piper's bad attitudes).

I had two pillows, and I did not want dog germs on them. This did not pose a problem with the Schu, who is used to sleeping nicely at the foot end of the bed. But Piper, who did not want to be anywhere near the Schu, slept on the opposite side of me, up near my head. There I was, trying to keep him off my pillows without being obvious and hurting his feelings, which is admittedly a dumb way to approach dealing with a dog, but I am a Big Fail in the dog-training department, and I am not afraid to own it.

Also, Piper, being 11 years old, stinks pretty badly when he is up close, especially his teeth, which are in need of "doggie-dental" which requires anesthesia and costs over $350 and is not going to happen for an 11 year old dog who does not get along well with his master (just saying). So I lay there trying to keep him off my pillows and away from my face, but I still smelled him all night long, which was decidedly unpleasant.

As the sun rose, the dogs became agitated again and began barking at every small sign of morning. Each bout of barking was, of course, accompanied by many small paws painfully leaping around on my prone body.

When I got up to feed them their breakfast, I sang the song I always sing, but I made up some new words.

This song is sung to the tune of "Oh My Darling Clementine."

Original version:

Oh the doggies,
Oh the doggies,
Oh the doggie-doggie-boys.

Oh the doggies,
Oh the doggies,
Oh the doggie-doggie-boys.

Oh they like to
eat their breakfast
and they like to
play with toys...

But their fav'rite
is their breakfast,
Oh the doggie-doggie-boys.

New verse:

They are small and
they are hairy,
and they make a
lot of noise...

Oh the doggies,
Oh the doggies,
Oh the doggie-doggie-boys.

So last night I slept in my own bed, and Piper slept underneath in his dog bed, and the Schu slept in the chair next to the bed, and we all slept much more quietly.

And I know one thing I will never do again.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I've been really run down lately.

Moving Shannon into her apartment wore me out... the drive, the night in a hotel (I can never sleep in hotels), the late start moving because the previous tenant had not vacated, the intense cleaning that had to be done. I will have you know, I got that kitchen and that bathroom spic and span.

I was so tired on the way home, it hurt to breathe. So I writhed around in my seat in the van, and Shawn and Lulu both took turns driving. Lulu had gone along to help with the cleaning and to mastermind the decorating. She did a good job and stayed upbeat the whole time. This is one of the many reasons why we are so thankful that we have her.

We arrived home at midnight on Monday (Memorial Day), and got to bed by about 1 a.m.

The remainder of the week was a blur of exhaustion. I don't even remember what all was going on, but each day had busy events that kept me from being able to sleep in and rest up. Each day I meant to take a nap, but each day I failed to complete that particular goal. By Saturday night, I went to bed before the rest of the family, regardless of the fact that they were making noise and might quite possibly leave food out on the counter all night. Lulu is home now, so there is at least one other person who would put the milk into the refrigerator if she walked through the kitchen and saw it out. And I was so tired, I fell into bed and sank into a comatose state from which I was slightly roused once by loud voices, but at that point I was so tired that even loud voices jolting me awake could not keep me awake. My adrenals were blessedly dead.

On Sunday I took it easy. We did, of course, get up and go to church. But other than that, the only thing I really did was take a walk. Jonathan grilled hamburgers (delicious hamburgers) for a late lunch after church, and Shawn took us for an early evening drive out to the country to watch the sun set over our land. Then he bought us ice-cream for dinner on the way home. That was not good for me, I'm sure, but I haven't done it for a long time. I tried to reset my body by having a grapefruit and a glass of water before bed.

This morning Shawn needed to leave for a trip to Baltimore. I intended to get up with him, but after I got up with Jonathan, I went back to bed and had a terrible time trying to relax. I wasn't sure what Shawn needed me for, as he had packed the night before, and DJ was going to drop him off at the office to meet a colleague who was driving, because DJ had to get to his lab this morning. I did not have an overwhelming sense that Shawn really needed me. So when I was finally able to relax again, I allowed myself to drift into a nice, deep, morning nap.

I dreamed that we were at Sunset Beach and I was delightedly exploring our beach house, which had an interesting bathroom with two bathtubs, a big one and a little one with a flexible, adjustable shower apparatus. I was in the bathroom washing the sand off my feet (which is something you have to do quite often at the beach, but usually you do it with a hose underneath the house before you go in). I was washing my feet in warm water, and I heard Shawn come into the beach house to get his stuff ready to leave for Baltimore. I went out of the bathroom to see him, and I tried to talk to him, but he was not responding to me in any way.

It was then that I noticed he was wearing a red jacquard satin cape and a plush, stuffed gorilla-head mask. The pillowy mask obstructed both his vision and his hearing as he placed final items into his suitcase for Baltimore. I said to him, "So! You thought you were going to play a joke on me! Well, I think the joke is on you!"

And then I woke up.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I am really tired.

Poor Jonathan still has about another month of school. Here is where my bad attitude kicks in towards the state of education in the state of New York. Although I can't believe it is June already, I have never conquered my anger at the system that keeps kids in school until the end of June. Shannon has graduated from college and moved away for graduate school, and Jon still hasn't even had his finals yet.

No graduation party this year. After doing a big grad party two years in a row, this year I am sort of in a lethargic funk about the yard. My perennial garden is about to experience a year of sabbath rest (that is to say, it is on its own this year; I wonder if it is a sin to couple "sabbath" with neglect?).

I have no heart to be in the yard. We had one of the most bitter, harsh winters on record. The rabbits decimated my shrubs (which I am not presently replacing). It has been cold and rainy forever. Then we had a spell of hot, sunny days over 90 degrees. I have trouble getting out to garden when it is 50 and raining, but I am not much more motivated when it is 97 and humid. It seems insane and unfair that these weather patterns alternate days around here. Whatever happened to 74 degrees or 82?

Most springs I have enjoyed taking my camera out and capturing the first unfolding blossoms. Yesterday I had to do some work on the pool, and while I was out I noticed that my columbine was blooming. I'd had no idea. It is really beautiful, but I didn't photograph it.

My rhododendron by the back hose spigot is also blooming, for the first time in about five years. So that is a gift from God, and nothing else.

My neighbor (behind and to the right) brought over some little vegetable plants she had bought that didn't fit into her garden, so that was a blessing. I stuck them into my vegetable bed yesterday, even though I'm not even sure what they all are. I recognized tomatoes, peppers and lettuce. I also had some volunteer lettuce from last year. And there is something growing out there that looks like a raspberry plant, so I left it to see what happens. As I was sticking these poor wilted nursery plants into the dirt and dumping water on them, I thought to myself, "And in June I will put out some green beans," because I did not realize that it was, in fact, June 1. I guess I will not do beans this year.

The doctor says I have Hashimoto's Disease, otherwise known as Auto-Immune Thyroid Disease. One of the symptoms is decreased mental functioning and another is forgetfulness, so that explains why I am stupid now. It also explains why I am always tired, why my eyes are so dry, and why my hair is falling out. You can't detect it with the usual tests for your thyroid, because it is your auto-immune system, not your thyroid, that is malfunctioning. Over the course of the disease, the auto-immune system will cause the thyroid sometimes to over-produce, sometimes to under-produce, and sometimes to be fairly normal. Ultimately it will destroy my thyroid and then I will test positive on the thyroid tests. The doctor said at that point my auto-immune system might very possibly choose to attack some other gland or organ in my body.

I see a thyroid specialist in two weeks. There is always money to be spent; or rather, there is always something requiring that money be spent, whether or not there is money. We also need a new van, because the one we have is not going to pass its NYS inspection tomorrow. And we are really missing Shannon's car since she left, and DJ needs a car to get to work and to his lab (we promised him one for his 20th birthday, which was a couple of weeks ago, but we have been so busy...).

I'm a little depressed. Depression and anxiety are also a part of Hashimoto's disease.

Maybe I will go back to bed.