Denise Day Spencer

March 26, 2009

Quote of the day

Filed under: Devotional Life — denisedayspencer @ 7:16 pm

Newer than a newborn and older than the universe is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

— Mark Shea

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March 24, 2009

From the mouths of babes

Filed under: Devotional Life,Other people's stories — denisedayspencer @ 7:37 pm

The other day I was shopping and I overheard a great conversation. A grandmother had picked up her six-year-old grandson from school and they had been joined by the child’s mother. The grandmother reported that the boy had gotten a reward sticker that day. The mother had just begun to praise him when Grandma hastened to add, “But he didn’t earn it.” Then she looked at the child. “Tell your mother why you got the sticker,” she said.

The small voice answered with one word: “Grace.”

I’m right there with you, little guy. I don’t deserve any of my stickers, either. But isn’t God grand?

March 19, 2009

Random ramblings

Filed under: Random ramblings — denisedayspencer @ 7:19 pm

I made an amazing discovery recently. If you make Cream of Wheat with chocolate milk, you get “Coco Wheats!” Not  actually. The real Coco Wheats have more iron. But I can fool myself on taste!

Sign on the door of a little diner in our tiny town: “The good ole days are back!” Under that, in slightly smaller letters: “One day only.” I guess the good ole days just aren’t good enough to keep around for long.

Like my boss, I don’t like to waste food. Especially good food. Especially good food bought with my good money. Which is why, instead of the usual bran cereal, I had a mutton sandwich for breakfast this morning — complete with pickles and onion! That’s about as radical as I get at 7:30 a.m.

March 13, 2009

Hospitality Passionist style

Filed under: Devotional Life — denisedayspencer @ 10:09 pm

On our spring break this year I decided to do something different. I made arrangements for a one-day personal retreat at St. Joseph Monastery in Whitesville, Kentucky, home to about 15 cloistered Passionist nuns. That’s just outside of Owensboro, where my parents and my sister live. So it’s very handy to incorporate into a family visit, which is just what I did.

A patient and kindly Sister Mary kept in touch with me via e-mail as I debated on which day to come, whether or not I would spend the night and what all of the plans would be. I opted for a day retreat, and had a wonderful visit. Next time around, though, I need to arrive earlier; the time went by too quickly!

Though the guest facilities had been booked for a group retreat the previous weekend and would be again the following weekend, I had the place to myself on my Thursday adventure. Sister Mary started me out with a tour of the guest facilities, which included very nice rooms (each with a private bathroom), a library, a small prayer room/Eucharistic chapel, a large conference room with adjacent chapel, an indoor sitting area overlooking the lake out front, a rear patio and a lovely dining room. Outdoors there are several paved walking paths, including the Stations of the Cross. (more…)

March 10, 2009

Children’s object lesson: The parable of the growing seed

Filed under: Children's sermons — denisedayspencer @ 8:54 pm

Scripture: Mark 4:26-29

Object: seeds and the fruit of the seeds

Today we’re going to look at one of Jesus’ stories that seems, when we first look at it, to not be much of a story at all. He says the kingdom of God is like what happens when you scatter seeds on the ground and they grow into plants. Whether you stay awake and watch what happens or you forget about it and go to sleep, if those seeds have the right conditions to grow they will grow. (more…)

Random ramblings

Filed under: Random ramblings — denisedayspencer @ 7:35 am

Spring is springing here in southeastern Kentucky. I saw a groundhog by the side of the road Saturday, and it should have been a warning. Last night I had to take some items to our trash compound after dark. I approached the area from the rear, nearest the back of the truck. As I prepared to send an empty milk jug sailing through the air, I noticed in the gloom the black-and-calico neighborhood stray cat digging through a bag right in front of me. I tossed the jug and as it whistled past the cat I took a step closer so I could propel my bag in the same direction. The “cat” shape-shifted and a big, fluffy black-and-white tail arose from the debris. Pepe had his le pew pointed straight at me, no more than three feet away. Gadzooks! I tiptoed backward ever so slowly. He kept eating and never so much as raised his fearsome little head. It was my closest call to date, and I’ve had some close ones. Skunks hibernate, right? Thank goodness this one woke up hungry!   

Speaking of trash, last weekend I put in some volunteer hours at my church’s rummage building. During some down time I decided to sort through some bags that had been dropped off and begin pricing the items. All was going well until I pulled a very small plastic bag from a larger bag. I opened it and inside was…a dirty diaper. I still don’t know if it was an accident or someone’s idea of a practical joke. Either way, I’m glad it didn’t make its way into the stuff we’re saving for our “Big Sale.” Somebody at the Big Sale would have gotten a big surprise!

A week ago Michael purchased two boxes of Girl Scout cookies. He had payed for them with his own spending money and had been waiting with tingling tongue from order date to arrival. Two days ago Noel mentioned buying some Girl Scout cookies when she ran across someone selling them outside Walmart. Michael whirled around to face me. “I’ve been forgetting to eat my Girl Scout cookies!” he cried. “I’ll bet by now they’re all gone!” OK, think about it. Maisie can’t reach the counter. The cats aren’t interested in cookies. That just leaves me. Thanks, Hon, for accusing me of stealing all of your cookies. “I’ve only eaten one ‘Thin Mint’ ” I retorted, “and I’ve not so much as touched your “Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies!” (Didn’t those things used to have a more original name?) So now I have to remind him to eat his favorite cookies? We really are getting to be “the old folks at home…”

March 3, 2009

Slight Evidence of the Fall

Filed under: poetry — denisedayspencer @ 7:38 pm

Here’s a little poem I wrote recently for our annual campus poetry slam–just for fun. It’s based on a real-life event that occurred when I had my first summer job back in high school.

She dials the number of the orchard.

She will have strawberries for supper.

Succulent and squishy,

juicy jewels,

treasure amid the tangle of vines.

Delightful. Delectable.

Sour and sweet, with the tiniest of seeds and —

“Hello? Yes. How much are your strawberries?”

Soon she will spoon them over short, spongy cakes.

Perhaps a pie, oozing cool glaze.

Maybe her mouth will taste them plain,

red, sticky juice coarsing down her fingers, or —

“Ma’am? Strawberry season is over. You missed it.”

I am sorry, daughter of Eve.

In a perfect world

there would always be strawberries.

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