Monday, June 13, 2022
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Mother's Day is bittersweet for me. How is it for you?
I'm missing my own precious mother, who departed this life eleven years ago. I'm missing my sweet mother-in-law, who was like a mother to me. She left us on Mother's Day weekend six years ago. I'm rejoicing in my two daughters and their families who bring me such joy (and call me "Nana"). I'm feeling thankful for all the good and godly women who have "mothered" me in ways too numerous to mention.
As I searched the Internet for a poem to share with you, I came across several that impacted me, including the two below. Then I remembered one I'd written about my mother in 2006 but hadn't shared with you.
As you read the poems below, I encourage you to find a way to express the thoughts in YOUR heart. Write them out. And, if you feel comfortable, share them with someone else as a gift from your heart to theirs. But even if no one sees your words except you, expressing your feelings will be cathartic--better than a session with a therapist! Even better: always do as Psalm 62:8 says, "Pour out your heart before God." He loves you. He hears you. He will help you.
The following is an excerpt from a poem written by a mother's son as he imagined what she would say and feel as she coped with his death. The link below the excerpt contains the entire poem, a letter he wrote to his mother, etc. But even if you have time to read only this portion of the poem, I'm sure you can feel the bittersweet emotion it expresses.
But I will speak their names to my own heart
In the long nights;
The little names that were familiar once
Round my dead hearth.
Lord, thou art hard on mothers:
We suffer in their coming and their going;
And tho' I grudge them not, I weary, weary
Of the long sorrow - And yet I have my joy:
My sons were faithful, and they fought.
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Because I’m being so blessed by a series of messages I’m listening to, I want to share the source with you. I pray that you, too, will be enlightened and inspired by the truths Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth shares about the names of Jesus, names we’ve heard so often but may have limited understanding of their meanings and their importance to us.
Click here: https://www.reviveourhearts.com/
- When the page opens, click on the three short, horizontal lines in the upper right area of your screen.
- When a pop up menu appears, click Audio.
- Click Revive our Hearts.
- Scroll down.
- Click the graphic that contains the title of the series, that looks like this:
- Click the individual message you’d like to listen to. They are listed in order, from first to last.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
For several years, my daughter Jena donated blood regularly. Then she started donating platelets instead. One day, someone from the donation center called to ask if she'd come in and donate platelets again since Jena's blood matched that of a patient who needed surgery but could not have it until there was an adequate supply of blood products on hand.
Jena gladly donated. Afterward, she posted these words on Facebook:
The last few times I have donated platelets it has been for a specific person in need. I am an HLA match for them. In short, that means there is something rare about their blood, and they can’t receive help from most donors; but I am a match for them. Whenever I donate, I always think about it helping someone and pray it will be a blessing, but this has been different. [I'm] more acutely aware there is another person on the other end. Someone counting on me. A connection. A person going through a major trial and having a need they are relying on a complete stranger to meet. A family desperately wanting their loved one to be ok.
I am giving platelets every time I am eligible… but I can do more than that to help! I believe in the healing power of my God and in the power of prayer. I believe God hears his children and that we can take everything to the feet of Jesus. I do not know this person. I do not know the situation or all of their needs, but God does. GOD DOES! Please add this person and their family to your daily prayers. Pray for healing, comfort, peace, and that God would make HIS presence undeniable. Let’s lift them up!
If you have questions about how to give blood products and eligibility of donors please visit: www.lifesouth.org
There is always a need, but the need is currently emergent.
After I read her post, I gave thanks (yet again!) for having a daughter with a heart like hers! A heart that loves, not only in words but also in deeds [actions]. A heart that loves God and people. A heart that knows the power of prayer--and, thus, prays!
May we, like Jena, welcome every opportunity to share God’s love with others. Even though we can't solve every problem for everybody, we can each do what we can to love and support one another. Even if we can’t donate blood or platelets, we can do something else. Even if we can’t do anything physical, we can pray for those who are struggling to make it through another day.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
One afternoon in late February, I lingered in the yard, enjoying the springlike weather and the sight and sound of many birds. When I saw the daffodils blooming profusely by the sidewalk, I decided to take a photo of them to text to my friend who loves flowers and grows pretty ones in her yard, as well as inside her house. But since it’s been snowing in recent days where she lives, and morning temperatures have been well below freezing, I knew it’d be a while before she’d have flowers in her yard.
After taking several photos, I sat down on a nearby bench to look at them. I chose my favorite one and considered cropping it in order to draw more attention to the blooms. But I hesitated, sensing there were lessons to be learned from the flowers.
For example, one daffodil, once standing tall like the others, was now bent way over. By the wind? By an animal? Yet, it was still lovely, still very much a daffodil despite its droopy appearance.
Close by the clump of yellow and white daffodils, a cluster of tender shoots stood about six inches above the pine straw. Soon they'd be in full bloom and adding bright splashes of color to the landscape.
Although some of the daffodils were more eye-catching than others, all were lovely in their various stages of growth. All were very much alive. All were a vital part of the environment.
Might that be true of people as well?
Thursday, February 24, 2022
- To obey God’s call to be a writer.
- To minister to others.
Those are the two main reasons I write, but as I pondered the “why?” question, I listed several other reasons, ones I hadn’t considered prior to having to articulate them.
- Why do I feel so passionate about photography?
- Why do I choose to stay busy?
- Why do I procrastinate?
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Saturday, January 29, 2022
That card triggered “yellow” memories. For instance, during the four years Linda and I attended the same college, the yellow rose was our class flower. Consequently, we and our fellow classmates sent and/or received yellow roses on special occasions.
Although I seldom wear yellow clothing, I do love having that color nearby. Yellow leaves in the fall. Yellow corn on my plate. Yellow lemons on the trees in our yard. Yellow bananas in the fruit bowl. Yellow bell peppers in the garden. Yellow finches at the bird feeders.…
Why? According to Internet sources, most people associate yellow with happiness and spontaneity and gentleness. Some, however, associate yellow with jealousy and cowardice and greed. As for me, yellow helps me feel cheerful (and sentimental). So, I’ll continue to delight in splashes of yellow everywhere God graciously allows me to see them.
Monday, January 24, 2022
Her words triggered a memory of a painting that was on the wall of my Aunt Delia and Uncle Howard's bedroom when I was a child. Enthralled, I'd gaze at that lovely picture of a beautifully-robed angel hovering over two young children as they crossed a narrow, rickety footbridge that spanned turbulent water. I hadn't thought about that painting in years, but I'm glad I remembered it.
I felt prompted to read Scriptures that speak about God's presence with us in times of trouble. Psalm 23:4 was especially comforting.
After reading that verse and several others, I prayed:
Oh, Lord God, thank You for the love that motivates You to walk with us along life's journey.
I lift up all those who need extra watching over while they're traveling through dark and scary places. Do give them the strength to carry on. Guide their steps. Comfort them with Your presence. Help them to realize they do not walk alone.
Friday, January 7, 2022
Each year, I choose one word to focus on. My word for 2021 was action. Previous words have been love, finish, and focus.
This year, I’m feeling drawn to the word simplify. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Each day I receive multiple emails on that topic. The bottom line of most of the messages is “Less is more,” an idea I first encountered in Greg McKeown’s excellent book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.
Although I tend to love my stuff and like having an abundance of the things I enjoy, I’m beginning to realize that when I have less stuff to deal with, I have more time to rest, more time to do the things that are truly a priority, and more calmness in my mind, as well as my environment.
When I say “stuff,” I’m not just talking about things like books, clothes, digital devices, etc. Stuff also includes activities, commitments, hobbies, and so forth. If I wish to simplify my life--and I do--I need to let go of whatever is no longer adding to the quality of my life.
I’ll keep the essentials (and a moderate number of non-essentials that bring me joy, like notes from dear friends, a meaningful magnet on the fridge, etc.) Although I'll want to keep boxes of perfectly good Christmas ornaments and decorations that I haven’t used in many years, as well as articles and newsletters I’ve saved for years, intending to read them “when I have time,” I'll need to let them go.
Do you want to simplify your life? If so, what will you let go?