WELCOME! In the midst of each life's chaos exists a place of calm and sunshine. I call mine Contentment Cottage. It is the place where I write my stories and find the peace of God. I've posted my "Ice Pick" reviews and will continue to add some of what I call my "Ice Crystals": poems, articles, essays, fillers, and recipes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I'm using Nora Holm's The Runner's Bible this month, and today's Statement of Truth is "The Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17)

I know from my research that "Shadow of turning" calls up an image of a sundial. It refers to time and the passage of time."Variableness" calls up images of the clouds forming, changing, and passing. We see the sun, the moon, the stars, and then we don't. Light comes and goes. But not with God. He doesn't come and go.

He never changes.

And yet He created a physical world full of change.

"God is Spirit" (Jn.4:24) existing in a spiritual milieu, but He created a physical, material world and physical beings who can't put their hands through it, who enjoy hot tea and lemon with sugar and who love to watch the sun "rise." Even on a gray day.

He loves variety, motion, change, beauty, randomness. This God, who created all things, and who never changes, created a universe that never stands still, where every snowflake, every leaf, every person is different, unique in some way.

Even snowflakes that appear identical formed in different places in a cloud, fell in slightly different spots. One will get the sun, the other be in shade moments longer before it melts.One leaf catches sun or rain, is on a plant or a tree that receives more water or less. One gets eaten by an insect or a deer, another is the resting place of a butterfly, or ends up pressed in a child's scrapbook to be gazed upon many years later.

No two creatures--created by God--ever experience life or existence in the same exact way. Ever.

Think about it.

Is any "random" event truly random?

A bug flits randomly from my lamp. Not "randomly" to the bug. It has some "idea" in its pea-brain--to get away from the heat or light or enemy, to seek food or a mate elsewhere. It has eyes. It sees a place that might be good to rest in or on or under.

Samuel Johnson said, "Nothing in reality is governed by chance, but that the universe is under the perpetual superintendence of Him who created it; that our being is in the hands of omnipotent Goodness, by whom what appears casual to us is directed for ends ultimately kind and merciful; and that nothing can finally hurt him who debars not himself from the divine favour."

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Saturday, October 01, 2011

This has been both the longest and the shortest summer of my life! Lyme disease and unbearably hot weather simply (simply??) wiped out the month of July and most of August. I still don't have my strength back. But I'm working on it.

It's even hard for me to remember what happened in July beyond losing two of my kitties (Tipsy and Colleen), being in so much pain I didn't want to live anymore, and so sick and unable to eat or keep food down that I lost more than ten pounds in one week, which is not a preferred way to diet! I think I've gained it all back and then some. Eating is one of the few things I still enjoy in life.

Tipsy was gray and white with the most perfect china doll face and a long white tip on her tail. That and the way she'd race in front of you and then "tip over" to have her tummy rubbed gave her her name. She was more of a loner, although she and Pippin played together a lot. He was a year older and sometimes too rough with her. I'd hear her cry and run to separate them. She was bigger than the other kittens in the litter and I was able to get her spayed a full two weeks before the others. She loved the snow and, while the other cats stayed in where it was warm, she'd be out batting bits of snow around, making her own snowballs, or failing that if the snow refused to cooperate, she'd find broken icicles and send them skittering across the ground or the frozen snow.

Colleen was also gray and white, but she had red ears and a teeny white "firefly" tip on her tail. I called her Colleen for the red ears--my little Irish colleen. She loved to sit up in a chair at the dining room table, and I still see her there in my mind's eye. She was friendly and played with the other kitties, but she never learned "to keep her claws inside her paws, " and in trying to get my attention and some petting, she would hook me mercilessly until I sometimes called her "Cactus Kate." I lost her July 4th weekend just a week after Tipsy.

I buried them next to each other between the lilac and the cardinal shrub in the side yard. I still miss them both very much.

Tipsy used to cross the road all the time, and I'd see her chasing the wild bunnies over there. Like we don't have enough bunnies to chase over here. Eventually, someone hit her. They, or someone else who knew she was ours, got her out of the road and laid her behind our hedge where she wouldn't get run over again. I thank them for that.

I did the same with the black and white kitty I saw get hit on Route 52 at New Prospect. The dark SUV ahead of me never slowed or tried to avoid the cat. I still see him tumbling under their vehicle. I stopped and picked his little body up and put him on the lawn by the nearest mailbox. And cried for a kitty I never knew.

I never saw Colleen go across the road. Ever. But it only takes once. And early in the morning or at night, it's hard to see. I'm happier when my kitties stay indoors.

And now I'm pretty sure I've lost Pinocchio. He was two years old, Pippin's brother, but was an outdoor-only cat. He was a special kitty. Gray with a small white spot on his nose. He may have inherited FIV from his mother. Pippin has it too. And then he got leukemia, possibly from a fight with an infected cat. I never saw him fight--he was shy and always ran from other cats, but I noticed that his ears looked a bit chewed around the edges. His favorite place was upstairs in the garage, which I've fixed with boxes of hay for kitties. He always followed me around in the yard and was never far away if I was gardening or hanging the wash--underpaid and underfoot, but I loved him dearly. I never took the litter boxes out to be emptied or carried garbage to the garage without Pinocchio tagging along. If he wasn't in sight and I called "Pinocchio!" he'd come running. But I haven't seen him since Tuesday morning. The antibiotic and the special food the vet gave me seemed to be helping, but he was so very thin. I just hope and pray he's not somewhere suffering, but that God has taken him quickly, and that he is with all my other kitties who are running free in the long grass of heaven.

Maybe Tipsy and Colleen were the lucky ones. They were only a year old, but they died quickly.

The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away. Even so, blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Anyone who has animals for pets--hey, anyone who has kids--will know heartache and heartbreak.

But when you get to heaven, you'll know my place. It's the one on the hill with all the kitties. There'll be a few dogs, too, but definitely a whole pile of kitties.

You don't think there'll be cats in heaven? Jesus said "not one is forgotten before my Father" and He was only talking about sparrows. You think cats aren't mentioned in the Bible? There are plenty of lions in there. And lions are just big kitties after all.

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