Letter to My Children (October 22, 2017)

Dear Jonathan, Sarah, Josh, and Christina,
     I have a cold. Just back from a week with dad in Florida, kissed your little nephew John, and caught his cold. So up at 4 am, drinking hot tea (and coffee and donut!).
     I just listened to a song posted on the blog called Tactics from this summer, (https://tacticsofcalvarytemple.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/peace-in-our-violence/). And I cried. Because I see the faces of so many who are silent because of the violence that was leveled against them. Not because they DESERVED it, but evil for EVIL'S SAKE. Did Jesus DESERVE to be crucified? Or Job's children DESERVE to die? Or did Moses DESERVE to be removed from his parents home and raised in an idolatrous palace? How about the disciples, did they all DESERVE to be tortured and die cruel deaths? Evil tries to silence us.
     What is mind-boggling, is when the violence being leveled against the innocent is coming from the Church. Or is it really 'false brethren, crept in unawares,' who bedevil the children of God. 'Preventing' many from coming to God.
     There is a movie, just released, out for free. It was produced two years ago, but the powers the be in Hollywood have tried to stop it from being shown in theatres. So the backer who funded it, a Christian, is taking it to the public for free, to expose wicked deeds in high places, and also to offer hope to the abused and silenced innocents. Those who were preyed upon through no fault of their own, by wicked men and women. Who feasted on the trust and innocence and naïveté of young people. It will make you cry. I hope so anyway. I hope the Christians who read this are not hardened through the deceitful news of sin. Because sin and the effects should make us weep. Jesus wept over Jerusalem and its sins. Jesus wept over our sins which he was about to bare on the cross when he prayed in the garden. And we should weep. And be angry. Yet sin not. For we consider that the captain of our faith, Jesus Christ, took up a whip and entered the temple courts and overturned the tables of thievery.
     Have we allowed our Fathers houses to become dens of thieves? We should be mourning and weeping and fighting for all who have been silenced by rapacious abuse so ungodly they can barely whisper it aloud. Do not ask victims of church abuse (or any) to defend themselves. The strong ought to bear the weak up. Consider the Good Samaritan. He did what no other person of faith did, he picked up the wounded and provided care until the man was well again. No questions asked. No lectures, No fearfulness of being involved. Just calm, brave, sane, strong, tender, time-consuming concern and care. What a novel idea. A man acting like a Christian. Huh, have we seen many of those lately? Nope. Many who've been left for dead, by the side of the road, have been bleeding and dying for a long time.
     Either the Church is filled with fakers, or she has become seduced by thieves, or she is lukewarm, or she is filthy. Because real Christians care about others, all others. (http://youtu.be/IxHITJfD8Wo) I

Love you always,

Letter to Penny, Weston, Jackson, and Madeline (October 5, 2017)

Dear Penny, Weston, Jackson, and Madeline (our grandbabies),

     Ok, here's the back barn wall. We were moving fast, and Gramma (me), forgot to take pictures for awhile. Noah is smiling in the window pane, and Grampa is working on the very last board of the walls. Friends Don and Bandon and Jamie, came over that day and put on the roof with Grampa. Boy was it hot. Over 90 degrees, which is too hot for New York in late September.
     We all drank lots of water and had pizza after it was done, up at the lake. Do you see the boards? They are all different widths. The wood is basswood. A big tree was leaning over the garage up by the cottage. So Grampa cut it down last year. And sawed it up with Mr. Mark, into boards. I helped Grampa stack it in our garage where it dried for a year. Then we used it for your Aunt Gretels cowshed. I think it looks very nice. Do you? Aunt Gretel will paint up the windows and trim. But she wants to leave the wood unpainted.
     Oh, by the way, your cousin Noah climbed up on the roof while the guys were putting up the steel. He was not afraid to climb so high. Did you children read the names on the rungs of the ladder I left at your house last month? I put Madeline's name at the very top rung...I was chuckling as I painted it. Because Madeline's daddy (Uncle Jonathan), loved to climb on the roof of our old yellow home. One time he snuck into the house by climbing into his bedroom window from the roof, so he wouldn't have to be introduced to a passel of ladies who were over at our house! Uncle Jonathan could always make your Gramma laugh, with his fun ways. Thinking of you and wishing you were in these pictures too.

I love you lots,

Letter to Penny, Weston, Jackson, and Madeline (October 4, 2017)

Dear Penny, Weston, Jackson, and Madeline (our grandbabies),

     Here is a picture of Aunt Gretel's cow, Patsy. She is the only one left of a small herd your aunt bought last year. It was quite an adventure. She bought them, sold off a few, one was for meat for the freezer (Big Billy) and kept Patsy. Patsy was taken last week to a neighbor's small farm, to be bred. Aunt Gretel wants a calf and the extra milk to make some homemade cheese and yogurt.
     You can see the cowshed and Grampa up on the ladder in the back corner of the pasture. Gramma was laying on the grass when I took this picture. It's kinda crooked. Patsy is pretty small. Not as large as she looks here.
     I love you all. I hope school is going well for you Penny. Your cousin Noah began first grade. He loves reading, just like Uncle Jonathan did at his age. And he is writing nicely in cursive already. What is your favorite subject? Mine was math. And I liked art projects. Do you? You are all loved and wanted and missed something awful.

XO Love and hugs,

Letter to Penny, Weston, Jackson, and Madeline (October 3, 2017)

Dear Penny, Weston, Jackson, and Madeline (our grandchildren),

     This is the back corner of Aunt Gretel's cow pasture. Here is where all the old building material sat for a year, until now, where it is being used in the new cowshed. Your cousin Noah has strung up a good length of rope. He was contemplating how to hoist some big boards. Noah is almost seven years old. He is quite strong, and tall, and loves fishing, swimming in the lake, taking care of the ducks, chickens, turkeys, and cow. He is learning about hunting and skinning small game.
     A few days ago he trapped a skunk! It was exciting. The corn was growing out back in our field and is very tall this year. Noah and John know that they cannot play in the cornfield. It is easy to get lost. But Grampa did feed the cow (Patsy), a few ears of corn from it. Uh oh. Now Patsy wants more....she follows Grampa and John around hoping for more of the treat. Aunt Gretel wove a hay basket that hangs from the fence. Out of baling twine. Your aunt is really clever at crocheting, knitting, spinning, etc. I will get a picture for you. Praying Pastor Scott will give you all back to us soon.

I love you all so so much,

Letter to Penny, Weston, Jackson, and Madeline (October 2, 2017)

Dear Penny, Weston, Jackson, and Madeline (our grandbabies),

     Here's a photo of your cousin John, perched upon a couple of boards sorting through the screws. Grampa is working up on the ladder. Gramma (me), had just finished framing all six of those old windows up. They are missing panes, but I will replace them when the walls are on. Gramma likes fixing old things. Your mom might call it 'vintage.'
     Grampa and Uncle Kyle and an old friend of your moms, Andrew-took down an old shed below our old yellow farmhouse, at the Carlson's. Grampa suggested it had plenty of good wood, and so they broke it down (last fall), and Noah and Gramma and Aunt Gretel, hammered out all the nails from old boards! That was fun. Little John carefully put them inside a jar, so no nails would end up on the ground or stuck in one of the truck or tractor tires...lol. And for Aunt Gretel's birthday present (just last week), Grampa and Gramma began creating a cowshed/barn.
     The sun was very hot for the end of September. Cousins John and Noah ran around barefoot in the pasture as we plugged along, Gramma on the chop saw, Grampa climbing the ladder and fitting in 2x4s. Noah handing up the materials. John sorting screws, and Aunt Gretel carrying out lots of water and snacks to keep us all perky...lol. Uncle Kyle was at work in the Army.
     John likes to climb high. Noah likes to build things. What do you children like to do I wonder? I cannot wait to learn your personalities. Soon we will be together. Pastor Scott will tell your mom and dad to bring you up to see me and your cousins and aunt and uncle. We love you all very much.

Your Gramma

Letter to Penny & Weston (October 1, 2017)

Dear Penny and Weston (my grandbabies),

     Yesterday when I stopped by your home and heard noise coming from the kitchen since no one came to the door I went around the corner and saw you all through the kitchen window. Your mom was stirring up some breakfast I suspect. Penny, you were in the fridge, and Weston was nearby. Both of you stopped and looked at me. Your momma pointed her finger. At first, I thought she meant for me to come go round to the door! I watched your faces as you looked at me, your gramma you have never met, and then at your mom. She beckoned for you to follow her out of the room. I walked away and cried.
     One day soon, Penny and Weston, you will be in my arms. I will hug and kiss you, laugh with you and listen to all you have to say. We will have adventures together and make memories. Gramma has been busy helping Grampa and Noah (your cousin), build a small cowshed for your Aunt Gretels cow. A friend of your moms and Uncle Jonathan put up the frame while Grampa was on a trip. I was given some old windows by a neighbor and framed them into the walls. Noah was building something interesting with the leftover building materials...lol. Here he is standing on his boards, while Grampa stands on his! I had to get a picture. This is what we will do together when Pastor Scott allows you to come home to us again. Have fun and love each other in person. Not with words that have no substance behind them.
     Love is real. My love for you brings me to Virginia (a 6.5 hr drive), to knock on your door. I will always try to show you my love until you are allowed to hear my words, be hugged and kissed by me, and play and visit with us all. (Did you climb the ladder I left for you? I painted the flowers, and names of all our grandbabies and children on the rungs. I like old wooden ladders!)
     I will try to write more about the barn building. Someone said you children would enjoy seeing the pictures and hearing the adventures. So I will post some here for you to read about. I love you, Penny. I love you, Weston. And I love you, Sarah and Taylor.

Your Gramma, and your Mom