Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Year...Another Anniversary

When 2010 arrived, it seemed like a nice even number to roll over your tongue. A new decade had arrived with new perspectives, new ideas, and for me, a new book, Sword of the wild Rose, coming out in April. Twenty-ten – it was fun to say the number. However, the year was not even a month old before an unexpected heartbreak stunned our lives. We went to our knees in prayer, wondering what had happened, what had gone wrong, and if we could have prevented the trial that left us reeling with doubt and confusion. During such dark moments, the age-old questions begin nibbling at our faith, seeking for answers that never come. Some circumstances that appear on the stage of our life clambering for a part, even demanding a starring role, must be left with God. Resolution to difficult situations is not always in our hands, not in our ability or our feeble efforts to resolve. At such times, I find comfort and solace in simple things, in simple pleasures; my home, my family, the five senses of nature, of touch and feel, of taste and smell, of music and words. Perhaps I seek simplicity because the uncomplicated appears less demanding, less threatening, and needs no clarification. I understand simple things. I am a simple person and I find enjoyment in the unsophisticated, the unpretentious. A crackling fire burning on the hearth is soothing and requires no mental effort to enjoy. I can hold my husband’s hand and feel his love, his devotion. I need no words to explain this. Love exists and simply is. When I cannot understand the complexities in my world, I know that God is able to handle the complicated issues; those thorny problems that only prick us and make new wounds when we try to untangle what is beyond our grasp, when we try to go beyond our reach.

Recently, during a particularly difficult day, my husband hung a wee sign from the chandelier above our dining room table. It read: “Meet me under the mistletoe.” How simple is that? How comforting is that? And…I know where I hung the mistletoe.

Lord, I am like to mistletoe,
Which has no root, and cannot grow
Or prosper but by that same tree
It clings about; so I by Thee.
What need I then to fear at all,
So long as I about Thee crawl?
But if that tree should fall and die,
Tumble shall heaven, and down will I.

Robert Herrick

Sunday, December 12, 2010


“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” KJV 2Co 5:1


The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.

~Ivy Baker Priest

Another year is drawing to a close and I feel sad. Just why this is, I don’t understand. But there is something poignant and emotional about endings…like coming to the end of a good book and reading those unwelcome words—The End, or waving goodbye as the family leaves after some special event, or even watching the sun sink slowly into the Gulf waters at the close of day. Something is over, something is lost, something has ended, never to be relived again.

I was thinking about “endings” last evening as I sat on the patio and watched the moon rise in the east, shedding streams of moonbeams over my garden while stars spanned the heavens in a glorious display of God’s handiwork. It was an unusually magnificent presentation. In that mystical way that God reveals Himself to us, I suddenly understood why God hesitates…why He waits…why He delays the Lord’s coming. He, too, must feel that same sadness, to bring about an end to the gospel day, a conclusion of those things familiar, those things we know and love, to bring the curtain down on His own creation, the work of His own hands. Something will be lost.

But then I remember…new beginnings spring from old endings, from the dust and the ash of wreck and ruin, of failure and hopelessness, a new year always begins, bringing hope for our distresses and dreams for the future. We find new courage to face tomorrow and another chance to get it right. We are challenged to try again, to believe again and to live again.

I understand more clearly now and know that when this present life is over and my earthly tabernacle crumbles into the dust, I will rise to a new day, a glorious day, a day filled with hellos and never a goodbye. By faith, I can see it afar, that wonderful day with only a beginning; a day with no ending.

©Ruth Carmichael Ellinger 12/10/10