Great Men and Women

You know how people are sometimes asked the question, “If you could have dinner with anyone– past, present, or future,

C. S. Lewis' house (The Kilns)

C. S. Lewis’ house (The Kilns) (Photo credit: MikeBlyth)

who would it be, and why?”

I already know.

Clive Staples Lewis.

I find his words and his works interesting, thought provoking, and insightful. I can just imagine sitting in his classroom when he was a professor at Oxford. I would have been the student raising her hand saying things like, “Yes sir, and what about this or that?”, while I scribbled furiously as I took notes.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” –C.S Lewis

I’m thankful for those whose words ring true.

Thankful for the great men and women that came before me and for those that are in my life right now.

Thankful for those who aren’t scared to stand, when it would be so much easier to take a seat. Those that have faith, even when others laugh, those that know, it is not the seen, but the unseen that is truly real.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 NIV

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Today I am thankful for:

* winter wind that takes the breath away

* steel gray sky filled with snowflakes

* dogs that walk by my side, I love all my pets

* cozy mittens with thermal lining

* funny stories that make me laugh out loud

* hugs and kisses

* chocolate icing on warm brownies

* a swept floor and a vacuumed rug

* warm blankets and fluffy socks

* strong opinions and good points

* wisdom and insight

* dog-earred books and highlighted passages

* fun catalogs and magazine to read

* a day off work

* people that love me

* people that I love

* the little things that seem like big things






Down Home Blessings

Picking Strawberries Again

Image by CaptPiper via Flickr

Wow. It’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I am just getting around to blogging today. I’ve been busy…Mondays are always crazy.

I have my good days and bad days just like every other human being on the face of the Earth. And yet, I have so much good in my life…I am one of the blessed. Sometimes I forget that. In the grind of the every day, it is easy to overlook the best parts. The timeless, the priceless, the small moments. It occurred to me today that, hey, it’s summertime in the country!!! There is a lot to be thankful for……and you know what? There always is.

*My Country Living magazine came in the mail

*The breezy day blowing the curtains away from the windows

*Purple toenail polish

*Sweet Tea

*A new Daytimer/Organizer

*Favorite Dinner

*Kids that are healthy and happy (most of the time)

*Hearing my husband’s voice on the phone

*Traveling safety

*Family ties

*Community

*Friends

*Small town yard sale days

*For the friendly man in the truck that waved back at me

*Ice cream cones

*My son chatting with me online

*Hearing “I love you”

*The smell of lavender plants

*The air before a storm

*Running bare foot

*Sticky watermelon and juicy berries

*Waving flags

*Parades and fireworks

*Pick up trucks

*Riding with the windows down

*Hair blowing in the wind

*Country roads

*Walks in the evening

*Playing with the dogs

*Sunsets

*Sunrises

*Crisp Sheets

*And sleepy nights.

Yeah. It’s good. Really good.

You Are Being Watched

Diagram of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Image via Wikipedia

The title of my blog today is not to scare anyone. Don’t worry. I am not a stalker….but, I am a people  watcher and a keen observer of human nature. I have been for most of my life. Not professionally mind you, but just because I’m drawn to people and their motives behind the behavior.  I am the one that is always asking, “Why would he do that?” or “What is she thinking?”

Yesterday I had some interesting experiences pertaining to being a people watcher. Many of you know that I have been in a 6 week long term subbing gig at the local middle school. The regular teacher is out on maternity leave and I am filling in while she is gone. Now, I could write an entire book on the motives and actions of middle schoolers. Some of the chapters could get fairly dicey so I will just suffice to say that they are a mess. The middle school years are difficult, with a lot of changes going on, none of which the children themselves understand. Thus, I am left with a confused bunch of 11,12 and 13 year olds.

My first class of the day is an unruly bunch of eighth graders. I will admit that they have tried my patience more than once. Yesterday in class we played a Jeopardy-style game using questions from the story we had just read. The game was being used as a study tool, in preparation for an upcoming test. The class was divided into teams. Many of the students laughed at the first group, calling the members of that team “stupid”. “You’ll  never win.” (the cruelty of this age group is a whole different issue—one that I struggle with. Why they feel the need to hurt their fellow classmates is difficult to comprehend. We have had MANY conversations in the classroom about this subject….) Anyway, the kids loved the game and I was pleased that they knew so much of the material.  Even better was the fact that the group that was called “stupid”, were the ones to win. Not only that, they won by a landslide. That was great, I was cheering for them….but, that is not the human nature side of this story. After class two of the boys on that team asked if they could talk with me. I said, “sure”. After everyone left they told me that they really do listen in class and that they did a good job, right? They are not stupid. “When they called us stupid, it made me want to win! I wanted to show them! We kicked their tail, didn’t we Mrs. G.? ” I told them, “You sure did. You should be proud of yourselves. I’m proud of you. I’m very impressed with how much you knew. Great job!” They left the classroom feeling like they could take on the world.

Wow. I felt a lot of things after talking with those students. My heart broke because I don’t like any child to think that they are stupid, or somehow feel like they are less because things don’t come as easily to them as they do to others.On the other hand, I felt happy for them because they had a renewed confidence in their abilities. They had proven themselves. Sure, it was just a game in an eighth grade classroom…but at that moment it might as well have been the Olympics. The human spirit prevailed against the odds.

The next event occurred later that evening, at McDonalds.  Now, you might not think of this particular restaurant as being a human behavior lab, but you would be wrong. This place is a human petri dish for observing human behavior. I could write an entire thesis on how people interact at Mickey D’s. Last evening my husband, oldest son, and I were enjoying (?) dinner at this establishment. We were half way through our burgers and fries, when an elderly lady (whom I had been casually observing eating alone near a window seat) slowly walked over to our table. She was smiling at us as she moved toward us. My initial thought was that she was needing our assistance for something, and we would have gladly obliged to help her. I was wrong. She wanted to tell us some jokes. No we had never seen her before……and she appeared to be fine mentally. She had seen us sitting there and wanted to share with us. She informed us before telling us that all her jokes are funny and not dirty, because she does not tell THOSE type of jokes. (“What did the plow say to the tractor?” Pull me closer, John Deere (dear).  Cute, huh? ) She told us three jokes and gave my son and I a hug, we thanked her for picking us to share with…..and then she was gone. Just like that. I watched her leave, as she struggled to walk out to her car, and then drove away. I wondered where she was headed? Home? Walmart? Does she talk to strangers often? Maybe her only intent was to spread some cheer to others, in the hope of brightening their day. I don’t know.  I wish I would have gotten her name. I could have kicked myself for not finding out more about her. If I ever see her at McDonald’s again, I’m going to tell her that she made me smile and I appreciated it. It wasn’t a huge event, it only was a few minutes, but she made a difference. What causes a person to want to reach out to others? To touch someones life?

Human behavior is an interesting study….whether one does that as a profession or just as a hobby. I am always amazed at the situations I find myself in while observing. Sometimes I am on the outside looking in and at other times I find myself on the inside looking out. A person’s motivation is not always discernible to me.

Even though I do not always know, or for that matter, always understand human  motivations…….I know someone who does. He knows us each intimately. He knows every hair on your head (or lack thereof), He sees each tear that falls—and never forgets. He celebrates our joys. He knows the second we were born as well as the second we will take our last breath. He knows our heart better than we do. In Hebrews, chapter 4, verses 12-13 tell us, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Our Creator knows us. He has known us from the very beginning. Psalms 139 tells us, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know them full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place …..your eyes saw my unformed body, all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. ………”

Thank you Lord for being the ultimate people watcher. For knowing and understanding your creations. For loving us.