My October Mistake

October 1961 calendar

On the first day of October almost every year I remember my big “October Mistake”.

When our third child, Karen, was born, the first one, Kevan, was not quite 4 years old. Yes, that means there was one in-between, Keith. It was a busy time and continued that way for several years. I often say that our children were all born the same year, but that is not quite accurate. But close.

While grocery shopping one day late in 1960 I found this adorable calendar and bought it. I wish I could give credit where it is due, but there is no mention of the publisher or the illustrator on the calendar. I hung it on the wall and talked to the children about it many times. It was a lot of fun.

When Karen was about 2, I made my big mistake. It was October 1 of that year and we four turned the now much used calendar to enjoy the new month. With great excitement I said “Look, Kids, it is Halloween.”

Immediately an enormous celebration erupted, as only a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and a 6 year old can create. Unbridled excitement broke forth!

After their cheers, hopping, laughing, and all around joy died down a bit, they ran to get their costumes. Only then did I realize…….they were ready to Trick or Treat right away….today, tonight, right now…on October 1.

I struggled to explain and correct my mistake.

Therefore….for the next 30 days……every morning……they would come to me begging, “Is it Halloween, yet?”

I’m happy to say that the actual Halloween Trick-or-Treating celebration was a success, even though it took f. o .r. e. v. e. r. to arrive.

I learned a valuable lesson that day.

 

 

I first wrote and published this on October 1, 2015. I’ll always remember that day.

 

My Fear of Facetiming

FOUND: YET ANOTHER FLAW IN MY EGO!
Nothing has motivated me more to hurry up and put on my makeup right out of my morning shower…..as Facetiming. I used to languish about until noon with nothing on my well-scrubbed face but moisturizer……plus I would rarely attempt to fix my hair. You see, if I “comb” my hair like normal people do, I would look like one of those weeds you blow on to watch all the darling little parts fly away. Very frizzy.

But now….scary words…..”but now” there’s Facetiming. Wasn’t having to come up with a decent Profile photo of yourself enough anguish to deal with in our technologically advanced world? Sidebar: I always put a recent photo of myself on my Profile photo, just in case I run into a Facebook friend in real life. I don’t want her to be too startled about how I’ve aged.

Back to Facetiming. To keep this blog somewhat helpful on the spiritual side, I’ll mention the most famous role-model of all time….the Proberbs 31 woman. To be totally transparent, a popular word today…transparent, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with her. Can any woman be that wonderful? That accomplished? That successful? That busy? I have to tell myself the answer must be “Yes, of course. It’s God’s Word.” And seriously, I believe what our Lord says and will do my best, with His help to develop more of her qualities.

However, in defense of myself, she didn’t have to contend with Facetiming, or all the other demanding technological milestones as we 21st century women do. Right?

But here’s the real problem: We are blessed with the most beautiful, wonderful, accomplished, active family of children, grand-children, and now a gorgeous little curly-headed great-granddaughter……and I want to hear their voices, to know everything going on in their lives; I want to see them up close, and want to hear their news. So I’ll continue to Facetime with them……even if I point my phone to Tomboy Cat so he is all they see. He’s much cuter.

I know what a lot of you are thinking: “Adele there are ways to solve this problem.” But they require more time learning complicated  technology and I’m much too busy “…trying to be far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10b) and “..working eagerly with my hands.” (Proverbs 31:13).

Now you know! All this wisdom came to me this morning when I sat down in my office to begin my daily busy-ness, and realized I was in eminent danger of Facetiming and rushed to my make-up place.

Facetiming is not going away….and I’m certainly happy about that.

‘Til He Shouts!

Finish Your Food, Adele!

Probably the most frequent phrase I heard in my childhood was “Finish your food, Adele”. I had next to no appetite, except for tiny amounts of chocolate, peanut butter, waffles….that sort of thing. Nevertheless, I was more active and lively than my brother and sister combined and showed no signs of malnutrition; however, I was very, very skinny. I grew out of that particular problem and am totally grateful for and enjoy the food our Lord provides. He is ever-faithful.

During our early years of marriage, money was scarce. It wasn’t unusual to find a note on the bananas, “Hands off. These are for your lunch bags”, or in the refrigerator a note on little plastic dishes, “Nope! Stay away. This is for supper.” They soon learned to ask first.

Through the years our finances became less strained, but I never lost my appreciation and gratitude for our Lord’s generous supply for all our needs. I rarely fail to thank Him out loud for all the food we carry into the house after a visit to the grocery store. I’m truly grateful and know He is the One and Only provider.

“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.

He did the same with the fish.” ___John 6:11

I remember how touched I was when I first comprehended that verse. The Lord and creator of the universe, (Colossians 1:15-16) was giving thanks to His Father for their food at that amazing picnic. What a rich blessing to know that grace and humility are natural characteristics of our Lord Jesus Christ and He never changes. He is so worthy of our praise, and gratitude. If He feels the need to give thanks for His food, I will thank Him for my food, before I eat, wherever I am….at a picnic for 5000, standing by a food truck, enjoying afternoon tea and a cookie, or waiting in line at McDonalds. I even thank the Lord for providing fast-food restaurants, with inexpensive food. It comforts me to know someone short on money can still buy lunch.

I thank Him more than ever as the years go by. He has blessed us so far above our hopes. I’m grateful and praise Him for who He is, for what He has done, and for all He has in store for us.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”___Ephesians 3:20-21

‘Til He Shouts!

I’m….so….jealous!

“At my drawing board”, art markers on marker paper by Adele Bower

There! I’ve admitted it. I’m jealous of other artists who seem to have a steadfast devotion to just ONE medium. They seem to have selected to stake their art career on one medium only: oils, OR acrylics OR watercolors OR pencil OR charcoal…..and rarely, if ever, switch from one to the other. And of course, they demonstrate their steadfast devotion by producing gorgeous, professional work. I say “Good for them.” They are doing exactly what all the “experts” recommend.

Then there’s me. I get bored easily. I’ll decide to work in oils for the day…..the week…or maybe even sign up for an online workshop lasting 1 or 2 years. I jump into it full of enthusiasm and excitement, working fast and putting out the work.

“Garden Door” oil on panel by Adele Bower

Right while I’m happily painting away with the medium du jour, a small idea begins to creep into my (lack of) concentration. I begin to think about another medium and how wonderful it is, how easy it is (compared to what I’m currently using), and how much I miss it. I begin to question why I would be using the current medium in the first place. At times I’ll stop what I’m doing in order to check my records to see if I remember correctly which medium sells best. I’ve never gotten a straight answer from my records, nothing conclusive, so back to the easel.

“Vintage Beauty”, watercolor on paper by Adele Bower

Of course, if I have paid several hundred dollars to take a workshop I’ll stick with the medium being taught. That seems wise. But by the time I’m half way through the course I’m longing for a change but I press on….end up completing each and every course, and being very proud of my work. So confusing. I have stacks of completed watercolor paintings and a growing collection of watercolor journals.

Emily taking break from the tour. Charcoal pencil sketch on paper by Adele Bower

Then of course, I must not forget my commitment to fill my sketch book….my daily sketchbook. The charcoal pencil is a lot of fun to use and so easy to access and put away when finished. My first art instructor was my Father. He stressed (insisted) that I sketch a lot and only from life. Tough teacher, but I still love doing it. Rummaging through my art closet will disclose several old sketch books I take a look at every so often to see if I’ve learned anything at all.

“Old North Fence” in Colorado, acrylic painting by Adele Bower.

If I was keeping record of how many paintings I’ve done in my art career and which medium was used the most the winner would be acrylics. They require speed but that works for me because I get bored easily and want to hurry up to see the finished painting. Acrylics allow the artist to simply swish the brush in water and it’s clean and ready for the next color. Acrylics dry very fast which makes them easier to store than an oil painting. Oil paintings languish on the shelf for over a month, sometimes longer, before dry to the touch. Even then be careful.

So there you have it….the evidence of my indecisiveness, my confusion, my personality showing themselves in my art choices.

Oh my! It has just occurred to me about the OTHER element of my indecision; what subject should I do now? Portraits, landscapes, flowers, animals, beach scenes. Good grief!

And you thought the life of an artist was easy……all fun and games.

 

 

adelebower.com

 

 

 

On Good Friday

 

O Sacred Head

O sacred head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, your only crown.
O sacred head, what glory
and blessing you have known!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I claim you as my own.

My Lord, what you did suffer
was all for sinner’s gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but yours the deadly pain.
So here I kneel, my Savior,
for I deserve your place;
look on me with thy favor
and save me by your grace.

What language shall I borrow
to thank you, dearest Friend,
for this, your dying sorrow,
your pity without end?
Lord, make me yours forever,
a loyal servant true,
and let me never, never
outlive my love to you.

___________________________________

“Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19:30

‘Til He Shouts!

 

 

The poem “O Sacred Head”, is attributed to Paul Gerhardt, 1656

 

Tears and Triumph

Tears and Triumph

“Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey-riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ”   

Matthew 21:5

Tears

On that day…..the day we call Palm Sunday…..the Lord Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on a small donkey. As the ecstatic crowd welcomed Him thinking He was the one who would free them from  their suffering under a cruel and harsh rule, He wept.

“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day

what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes.’”    Luke 19:41-42

 

The Greek word for weep is  ἔκλαυσεν…meaning to weep aloud, expressing uncontainable, audible grief (“audible weeping”). He was sobbing; those around Him could have heard Him but the crowds were cheering.

Our Lord shed tears of grief and sorrow as He rode the small donkey into Jerusalem that day.

Triumph

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. ” Revelation 19:11

“On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:

King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Revelation 19: 16

 

Yes, Jesus Christ is coming again and in complete victory and triumph. He will not be shedding tears. As the King of Glory, He will be riding a white horse….not a small donkey. He will establish His everlasting kingdom.

Wishing you a blessed Palm Sunday with praise to Him.

‘Til He shouts!

 

 

 

I first wrote and published this blog in 2015. The message is the same; it will never change, and will never grow old.

I Love Christmas.

….and almost everything about Christmas. I’m blessed with a good memory, although my husband may not consider it a blessing all the time. I remember big and little things about my childhood.

For instance,

…….I loved to sit under our tree and laugh at how big my nose got when I looked into a shiny silver ornament.

……I remember my favorite Christmas gift of all time; a maroon and white Aggie Tee shirt and a Sarge pendant on a gold chain. It was a gift from my brother who was a Texas A & M Aggie.

…..I remember participating in our annual Christmas “pageant”, created and directed by our big brother when I was about six years old. Our parents were instructed to sit on the sofa in the living room. When ready, my brother led the procession of three…each of us carrying a lighted candle and singing “Silent Night”. We processed from a back bedroom, down the hall and into the living room and paused in front of our parents. My sister and I, dressed in our little floor length nightgowns stood beside him as our brother gave the evening message. He grew up to become a Pastor serving over 50 years.

…..I remember early one Christmas morning Daddy showing us the “damage” the reindeer had done to our front lawn. I was captivated.

…..I remember learning all four verses (5 sometimes) of every Christmas carol at our church. I can still sing them all from memory.

…..I remember Christmas shopping for a gift for my Mother but don’t remember where I got the money. We did not get allowances. We shopped at Kaplans-Ben Hur, a very popular store in the Houston Heights area at the time.  I remember liking the sound I made walking across the old wooden floors at that store. I even remember what I chose to give Mama; a tiny plastic lapel pin shaped like a telephone. I was so proud.

……I remember getting up very early one Christmas morning and driving to Schulenburg, Texas to visit my Father’s family there. We had to take blankets to cover ourselves for the long, cold trip from Houston. At least, I thought it was long and cold.

…..I remember my paternal Grandfather singing “O Tannenbaum” in German, the only language he ever used. We didn’t chat much.

…I remember the little cardboard village my Father designed, crafted and placed under our tree every year. It had a little cabin, a tiny church, and even an iced over pond (a mirror surrounded by cotton snow) and a ceramic skater enjoying his day.

….I remember the fragrance of the real tree, the aroma of food cooking, and the taste of the cookies on the buffet.

Memories can be blessings beyond measure and I’m grateful. Maybe I’ll write another “I Love Christmas’ blog about Christmas with my husband and three children…..or Christmas with our Grandchildren, and now Christmas with our Great-granddaughter. It’s all so wonderful….and I remember.

I wish for each of you and your families a Christmas filled with memories worth writing about. May it be a Christmas filled with the joy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s His birthday!

Oh come let us adore Him!

‘Til He Shouts!