Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lesson 104: Blessings

Just so you know, I have no control over which picture Windows Live Movie Maker grabs for the cover shot.  It seems to be a random slide, until now..............look who made the cover today!  This picture hangs on the wall of "The Camp."  It is the coolest painting I've ever seen because no matter where you stand in relation to the picture, Jesus's eyes follow you.  I've heard stories of deer camp, but I really do think this very picture is what has kept the place standing since 1934.  Amen.

Today is a day to give thanks and count ones blessings.  The song Blessings by Laura Story is the perfect song for this year as it seem there has been lots of bad news coming Eloise's way.  Unexpected deaths, illness, and my favorite coach's fall from glory are but to name a few.  Add to all of this the two books I read this fall are The Help and Sarah's Key.  Both tough, emotional reads but ones I feel glad to have spent time with and emerged from the back end of the book a better person.  Even my lesson topic last week, the story of Squanto, shook me up a little bit.  If you are a reader and lover or stories as blog readers should be, a good story can make an impact.

What did Eloise learn from all this gobbledygook this fall?  Was there a common thread?  Was there something that God wanted me to learn from all of these stories that He brought to my attention?  I do believe there was.  In all of my stories, from The Help, Sarah's Key, and Squanto, to the Penn State scandal, someone turned a blind eye to something.  Slovenians, the phrase turning a blind eye does not mean someone just poked you in one, it means that you know something wrong is going on and you pretend that you don't see it.  Not good. 

Were there good people in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962 who thought something was wrong with "separate but equal?"  How about the Parisians?  Didn't someone think sewing a yellow star to the sweater of your neighbor then loading him on a cattle car for a quick trip through the countryside was a bit strange?  And even in the 1600's, wasn't there a Spaniard standing in the market of Magalia that thought walking by the "Buy a Savage from the Americas" section was wrong?  Slovenians, as you can see injustice is worldwide and you have certainly suffered your fair share, too.  But have we learned in time?  Apparently not because there are people at a prestigious institution who looked the other way when a coach showered with ten year olds.

Can it ever stop?  When will it end?  Here are Eloise's answers to the questions you just raised:  Yes it can.  Today.  And it starts with you.  Well, you and the guy on the cover shot, that is.  Invite Him into your life.  Read His book.  It's life changing.  After you spend some time with it, you'll know when to turn the other cheek and when it is time to flip the tables over in the market. 

Don't turn a blind eye to things, Dear Readers.  That would mean that you are only seeing life with one eye and you would miss so much good, so much beauty.  To remind you of all things bright and beautiful this holiday, I put together some of my favorite nature shots from this fall.  You'll see the way the leaves hold colors tight---especially my favorite tree, the Weeping Willow.  She's holds on to her leaves the longest.  All the other trees in my yard are bald, except for her.  We can learn a lot from the Weeping Willow.  She is big and strong, but her branches are flexible.  Instead of her limbs snapping in a strong wind, her branches billow and I enjoy her dance outside of my window during the worst of storms.  Her roots run deep, and where you plant her; she's there to stay.  I am so glad she's the first tree I spy out of the Lamp Post window when I write my blogs.  She reminds me of how I want to be; strong, flexible, and hold on to my color for a long, long time. 

Enjoy the photos.  The ones of my girls are from when they were in preschool and returned home wearing their feast hats.  Natalie was an Indian almost a decade ago now.  Ellen chose to be a pilgrim during her time.  On Monday, Sam came home with a Miles Standish hat, but the way carts that blanket everywhere with him, I've nicknamed him Linus Standish this holiday. 

I hope your turkeys turn out and the pies are baked to perfection.  Doze on the couch while you watch some football, and wake up to play a board game with your family while eating your second slice of pie.  It's OK.  It's allowed today.  But most of all, look around you with BOTH eyes and count your blessings.  There are many to see and you won't want to miss a single one.

Blessings to you,

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