Let me tell you a story!

Sunflowers and My Dad October 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sisterhurl @ 7:20 pm

I only plan to blog rarely, when I feel inspired to do so.  Last night, however, I was having dinner with some friends who’d seen my latest entry and one of them reminded me about a little devotional I’d written after my father, Mayther Ager Rogers, died about two years ago.  In honor of him, I am adding the piece here below, so that I can preserve it on this site.

The assigned scripture that I was supposed to pair my devotional with was Isaiah 9:2, The people walking in darkness will see a great light.  For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.

The summer of 2009 was a walk in darkness for me.  Newspapers reported that the drought was the worst one this area had experienced in 100  years.  One apparent sign of the absence of rain was the barren land I passed by on my frequent trips to my hometown of Bishop, Texas, to visit my mom and my 90 year old ailing dad. I’d never seen the fields so bare during harvest season and it was a depressing sight.

Soon after my father passed away, I caught view of something wonderful…two fields of 6′ tall bright yellow sunflowers…a sight for my sore eyes! I enjoyed noticing how they faced the sun each morning and evening as I made my way back and forth on that road during the difficult days of new grief, and I remembered how we, too, look toward light for our nourishment…the light of our Lord.

Sadly, however, I eventually noticed that the strong upright stems began to droop under the weight of the heavy flowers, and it reminded me
of the way my father’s posture withered as he lost his health.  The faces of the flowers bowed toward the ground, all pointed where they’d last been able to face the sun.  The sight made me sad, and so I looked forward to the day when they would be harvested.  Still later, I passed by again and they had blackened and withered further, no trace of beauty visible to a passer-by.  This reminded me that we, too, will return to the earth in death, our beauty and vibrancy gone, yet this is when our Father will harvest all that is good within us, and we will find new life with Him.

I hope the farmer who planted those sunflower blessings will harvest the seeds soon.  Should he fail to do so, however, perhaps they will return to the earth and bless me yet again, about a year from now, when I will surely be remembering my dad and pondering the cycle of life.

I still travel that road weekly, keeping an eye on my mother, and we are still experiencing extreme drought conditions .  I haven’t seen any more sunflowers, but that makes the memory of them all the more special, because they were there when I was able to appreciate them the most.  And now that more time has passed, my grief has diminished and I no longer think of  my dad as being stooped and withered like the dying sunflowers, but as the intelligent, strong, and witty man who always strived to do good for others. He kept his face toward the light…always!


A Feast of Friendship October 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sisterhurl @ 5:10 am

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can choose your friends
but you can’t choose your family?”  I
love that quote, not because I don’t love my family but because it says so much
about the importance and the privilege of friendship.  I come from a wonderful family, not a super
close one, but one that gets along all of the time and takes care of the
business of life. I could probably fill a novel with the ways in which my
family falls into the “oddball” category, but we are an awesome bunch of

When I say that I have enjoyed some amazing friendships over
the years, I say that with an overwhelming sense of joy.  I could die tomorrow a happy person just because
my heart is beating a happy rhythm.  My family
puts the blood in my heart but the fun of friendship keeps it pumping!

Do you remember the last time you made a new friend; a
neighbor, someone from church, a coworker? Hopefully it wasn’t very long
ago.  I’ve made some new friends lately,
but I feasted in friendship the other night with three truly unique people who
were strangers to me until a few months ago.
They know what it’s like to sit alone for hours spilling your brain onto
paper.  They understand the frustration
when self-doubt ruptures dreams to form barricades.  These friends know how to turn critique into
creative energy, and they know how to think, truly ponder the imagination, and
then laugh and marvel at what fruit the mind produces.

Less than eight weeks ago these people sat quietly around a
coffee table and offered up their creative works for criticism. Openness allows
for respect, and respect welcomes friendship. The past two weeks we have
feasted around a dining room table filled with good food for our  bodies, while filling our minds, spirits and
souls with the one thing that has the possibility to comfort, heal, grow,
charm, and inspire …and that thing is creativity.  We may not ever achieve greatness by our works,
but we will aspire to put on paper that which our minds create…and there is greatness
in that!

If you haven’t made a new friend lately, I encourage you to
open up.  You can pick some friends that
have different quirks than your family! Dine on the diversity and enjoy the
fullness of life! Thrive on a feast of ideas…a feast of fellowship!