Friday, March 28, 2014

soy-free snacks...for the kingdom

tonight, i was in the kitchen making "levi snacks." levi snacks are soy-free and dairy-free because of a newly-pinpointed intolerance, and as most things have either or both (seriously, soy is in EVERYTHING), i learned to make crackers, cereal bars, etc. i've researched and i've become the mom in the store who reads every label. i'm going to try to make a cheese substitute out of cashews. i'm *that* mom. tonight i made an easy but kind of messy one - peanut butter (natural, regular has soy...), honey, and quick oats, stirred together and rolled up into little balls. he loves them.

as i stirred the mixture, i heard sam and levi giggling down the hall like they were getting into trouble (the more enthusiastic the giggling, the more suspicious i become). the baby slept, the news was on, and justin was at work.

i started the easy but tedious process of rolling the mixture into little balls when something i heard on tv reminded me of someone i know. this person is giving, a servant, kind, generous, and clearly loves Jesus. (i won't say who, but you'd agree.) i just pondered this for a minute, and then thought happily of this person's future heavenly reward.

if satan could read minds, he (or more likely one of his minions) would have played the card of comparison. fortunately, he can't, but unfortunately, 30 years in this world has been plenty to get my brain to do this on its own, without me even knowing it was coming.

just a tiny flicker of, "you should be doing so much more!" came into my head. and before i could even begin to process the comparison further, i felt a calm reassurance.

peanut butter, honey, and oats stuck to my fingers, these words came: "this is for your reward. this is for your crown." this - the peanut butter, honey, and oats. this, the cleaning up that mess you know the boys are making right now. this, the label reading. this, the taking care of your kids. this, the day-to-day work that it seems like nobody sees or notices because it's just you and three kids under three years old.

my Heavenly Father did not let me think that my daily doings are insignificant. He reminded me that this, the peanut butter, honey, and oats, is kingdom work.

there are many kinds of kingdom work, and friends, it does not go unnoticed.

Monday, March 3, 2014

my grandpa bob

when i was growing up, my grandpa would sit at the dining room table in their white two-story farm house, eating such delicacies as pickle loaf, oysters, powdered donuts, and chocolate chip cookies. he would wash it all down with instant coffee in a white mug. he would offer me a bite of oysters occasionally, laughing at my disgusted response.

he also enjoyed sitting at hardee's drinking coffee, and eating at hungry's. sometimes we would all go with him and grandma to hungry's to eat. he kept werther's candies on top of the fridge, grandpa candy at its finest.

he had a great interest in astronomy, and together we would look at his astronomy books and marvel about things that couldn't be seen without equipment, made by a God who apparently enjoyed these mostly hidden beauties of star and dust and gas.

he was a korean war veteran. he was drafted by the army and he worked as a tank mechanic. he worked on motors of all sorts until not too very long ago.

he loved his hummingbirds. he had so many feeders out on the clothesline poles, and he and my mom would have a joking competition each year - who had the first hummingbird, who had the most hummingbirds, and who had the last hummingbird.

he loved guns and hated starlings. he would sit outside and shoot starlings as they landed in his yard. (they're awful birds.)

he taught me his love of photography with stories of korea and the voigtlander vitessa camera he bought in the early 1950's. he let me use the camera, a teenager with an antique. he taught me about camera light leaks and bubbles in lens glass.

he told me stories of his puppy that pushed him around in a wagon when he was a little boy, about when the power lines came across the countryside, and about when he had to climb on top of his tractor in the middle of a field to evade a rabid dog!

he was the slowest big red three wheeler driver i have ever seen. he enjoyed putting around on it, around his little woods and down to our house.

he always wore a button-up shirt with a pocket. in the pocket was tobacco and a pipe, always. he would sometimes let us smell his tobacco. it had a sweet and pungent smell. he and grandma gave me my first car, a white chrysler new yorker that was two years older than i was. the paperwork in the glove box was stored in an old, slim tobacco tin.

he let me shoot his muzzle loader, and complimented my aim. from an older, experienced shooter, that was something.

he hunted deer and so did we. he came to see the first deer i shot, nudged the antlers in the leaves with the toe of his boot, and though i can't remember what he said, i remember his pleased expression.

i can't really sum up 30 years of memories in just a few days of thinking and writing, but i can say that grandpa was a good man. he loved to talk and tell stories. he had a great sense of humor and a big grin. i can hear his laugh just thinking about it.

we really lost grandpa a while before he died. he began to forget, his body and mind to fail him. i miss the grandpa that he was even more so now that he is gone from this world.

but now he is whole and new and able in heaven, and for that i am so thankful.