Marilyn Friesen

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Showing posts with label drinking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drinking. Show all posts

Monday, June 27, 2016

Reaching for the Dangerous

But it’s soo tempting. Surely it can’t be that bad. I know lots of people that eat that very same fruit or at least something similar.

Laralee gazed longingly at the tree just a few steps off the woodland trail that she frequently traveled. With a sigh she turned away and marched onward, but a little imp that she couldn’t see but was often her companion hopped on her shoulder.

“I saw Ricky nibbling on that exact fruit just the other day, and he seemed to be enjoying it. Besides Penny-kay indulges in a similar type daily, in fact she has gone on to ‘stronger’ kinds.  Even though Laralee’s face clouded over at the thought of Penny-kay who had seemed pale and wane the last while, her feet lagged.

“You’ve always been stronger than your friend; who knows this might be just the stimulant you need to get you started on a new track, to see new horizons!”

Laralee turned back. Ahh, there was a delectable looking achene just out of her reach. She stood on her tiptoes and leaned forward, Who would have ever guessed there were so many thorns on that attractive looking plant?  She snagged the one of her choice and backed off to enjoy it. It was good, excellent actually, and she found herself craving more and more. Finally feeling drunk with her new pleasure she staggered away and only then noticed the sun was low in the sky.

“Why are your arms so scratched up?” her mother immediately asked when she stumbled drowsily through their own front door an hour later.

“Oh, I don’t know,” she yawned, “I had just gone for a walk, if you don’t mind I just feel like sleeping…”

Mother grabbed her arm and looked at it closely.

“Honey, you have been eating of the forbidden fruit. Ever since Eve tasted it, the Lord God caused thorns to grow on certain types of trees to keep people from sampling them.”

“Ya?” Laralee stifled another yawn. 

“Those thorns are called Conscience Thorns to keep you and the rest of us safe. Please don’t eat of it again.”

Laralee nodded vaguely and tried to inch away, but Mother placed a hand on her shoulder. “The fruit you ate today isn’t immediately life-threatening, but don’t let that fool you. The more innocent seeming kinds have been planted by the Evil One closest to the path but they quickly lose their appeal so that wanderers will be enticed further into the Enchanted Woods. The deeper one goes the more entangled they become until the wicked ruler of those grounds convinces them they are hopelessly lost or that his fruit is actually better than what the Lord God provides.

Laralee’s eyes drifted shut. “Okay, Mom, I’ll be careful.” She didn’t know that it was the enemy that was making her so sleepy and unaware of the dangers she was being tempted with.

Will she be careful? Will you, will I? Will we listen thoughtfully to the Lord God and stay away from those temptations that the Holy Spirit warns us against? Sooner or later the thorns wouldn’t bother as much if we allow ourselves to become used to the forbidden fruit.  But it won’t be worth it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Prayer is the Stitches

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 Jessica emptied the bag of quilting scraps on the table and  slouched down in front of it. Rain was drizzling down the window and she felt like she had to do something to get out of the blue mood she was in. 
She shuffled the pieces recklessly and some fell on the floor. "What's the point of praying," she whined, "I've prayed and prayed that Michael would stop drinking and be a decent husband but nothing ever changes." 
Her mother, who was visiting for the day, pulled up a chair beside her. She picked up some coordinating pieces and laid them aside. 
“What quilt are you planning to make this time?”
Jessica noted that she hadn't responded to her comment, but wasn't really surprized. She knew that her mother took her own good time about answering off-the-cuff remarks, and that certainly didn't mean that she wasn't thinking about them.

“ Oh i don't know, yet. I have various ideas. One is of a picture quilt. I saw one on display in Chicago that really got me inspired. It was of a curved white bridge in the park.”

Jessica got up and brought her mother a scrapbook. It was gradually filling with photographs. Some were of projects she had done, and others of quilts and other creations she had admired. The book was similar to a Pinterest Board but much more hands-on and each page was attractively decorated.
“It will take you a long, long time to get it done,” Diane observed as she took note of all the tiny pieces that made up the Bridge Quilt.

Jessica nodded. “I know. And I might chose something different. But it's not that I have anything better to do. For some weird reason Michael doesn't want me to work outside of the home. (Controlling, that's what he is.) We've been married for seven years already, and there still isn't a baby on the way.”
Jessica looked out of the corner of her eye to see if the older woman was going to preach to her about thankfulness or some other sermon she didn't want to hear, but she didn't.
“Knowing your carefulness for detail, I'm sure it will be lovely.” 
“Will you like a cup of tea?”
“ That would be refreshing. I don't know why we Henderson ladies are so determined to take on projects that take months if not years to finish,” she said with a little laugh.
Jessica nodded. She went to the kitchen to fill the kettle with fresh water and plugged it in, but when she returned, she remained standing in the doorway. Why wasn't her mother addressing her remark about Michael?
“I've quilted for years, also, as you well know.” her mother continued.
Jessica nodded. “That's how I learned to love it. I still remember the first little doll blanket you patiently taught me to make. I probably still have it around here somewhere.”
Diane smiled. “Fraid not, cuz I do.My sewing projects have taught me a lot about God, “ she continued. “You don't see a pile of meaningless cloth scraps on the table. You have this vision in your mind's eye and you will pick and choose until you find exactly the colors you want. Chances are you will sort through your other bags of scraps and buy new, until you have exactly the right colors. Or maybe that exact one comes only with precut fabric.”
“It does, come to think of it. But what does this conversation  have to do with Michael?” 
“God has a plan for his life also. We can't see how He's working with Michael but every prayer is like a stitch helping to put it together.”
“I can't see anything changing.”
Diane looked sad. “Michael's 'quilt' may never get finished the way we want it to be, but God is working on it, and our prayers are the stitches.” Her hands dropped idly to her lap as she looked directly at the younger woman. “It says somewhere in the Bible that we should make straight paths for our feet. Not for someone else's feet. God can make a beautiful quilt out of our lives if we let Him. And we can help Him with other peoples quilts also, but mostly by praying and trusting.”
Jessica went into the kitchen to make the tea, then pushed the pile of material fragments aside to serve it.
While she was doing that, her mother picked up the scrapbook and leafed through it once again. “I like this quilt. What is it called?”
“I'm not sure.”
“I'd call it Travelling to Glory. See how this black strip winds round and round and the pieces are brighter in the middle?”

Jessica nodded.
“Our lives may look like a meaningless pile of scraps but the Master Quilter knows what He is is doing. We need to let Him pick and chose the colors. So that we also can make our way to Glory.”
“But what about Michael?”
“If he sees your life developing beautifully, it will be a drawing to Him. Work on your own quilt, daughter.”

Jessica nodded. “Here's your tea.”