Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘dreams’

Shedding Our Bark — Roth Poetry – Reblog


Shedding Our Bark

57m ago

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The Willow trees in our back yard were only saplings when we moved here nine years ago. They are extremely fast-growing trees which are now at least thirty feet tall. As I sat in their shade, I observed the wide splits in the bark. The old years growth sheds away as the tree expands. Eventually it falls away back into the soil. We are like trees. Those who grow the most continue to shed things they no longer need; negative attitudes, hurts, ideas, stereotypes, resentment, and bitterness, etc. Some are trapped in their own bark unwilling to let go and change for the better. How are you at shedding your bark?

Growth brings expansion
Stretching us //sometimes to our limit
Breaking us out of our comfort zone.
Growth causes cracks in our perception
Finding, perhaps there are other ways
Of thinking or feeling that may be different.
Growth brings change
Change is often painful
Forcing us to cast off old ways of thinking;
To have growth, we will have to change.
With change comes new strength;
New strength moves us beyond the present;
Fulfills our dreams for today…
Knowing tomorrow, we will again
Expand, stretch, and shed our bark.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Fun with My Writers’ Group


Every first and third Friday our Madison County Writers’ Group meets in Ennis, Montana. We may have just two participants, or we could have eight or ten. Last February during our third Friday meeting, there were just two of us. I recently came across my notes from that meeting.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

We begin our meeting each time with a prompt we draw from a bag. Anyone can add prompts to the bag at any time. On this particular Friday, Steve drew the prompt, “Writer’s Block.” We had ten or fifteen minutes to write on that prompt and then share with one another what we had written.

I decided to write a Haiku. It ended up as a 5 stanza poem… each stanza a syllabic count of 5-7-5 syllables. What would you have written with the prompt “Writer’s Block”?

Let me share mine with you.

Writer’s Block can trap
You and me in wordless haze
Floating in nothing

Nothingness can hold
You and me in dilemma
Pen in hand stands still

Stillness can reveal
Treasures in the quietness
You just can’t force it

Forcefulness is great
If you adamantly feel
Thoughts begin to swirl

Swirling thoughts spin out
With contemplation and ease
The Block disappears

We had so much fun sharing our ideas on Writer’s Block that we decided to draw another prompt. This one was “Words.” We gave ourselves another ten minutes.

This time since I was on a roll with the Haiku rhythm, I wrote a 3 stanza poem. Sharing it later with my husband, Bob, he asked, “What determines if your Haiku is going to be one stanza or 3 or 5?”

“You write what you have to say,” I told him. “When you have said it, you stop. The thoughts dictate the length.”

Here’s what I wrote to the prompt, WORDS:

When words just fail me,
I sit back and dream awhile.
Dreams don’t have to speak.

When dreams are wordless,
My imagination spins –
Motivating scenes.

Let pictures emerge.
Print them on your mind and soul.
Eventually: WORDS!

These kinds of dreams come to us as writers, but they come to painters and potters and musicians as well. It’s a capacity of the human brain that needs to be cultivated.

A productive life is one that can get beyond writers block, can use words to express inner feelings, and can listen with heart to the unspoken words of those around them.

I hope you are a proponent of the kind of arts education that promotes such critical thinking. Let your curious mind fly free.

Be a wise consumer of words and thoughts and dreams! Do you have a Writers’ Group? If so, tell me about it. If not, think about forming one. It’s such fun to share your creative thoughts with others face to face, not just on WordPress.

See ya tomorrow. Cheers!

I See God


I see God

In the morning sunrise

backlit clouds dawn dusk

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the rainbow after rain

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In the blossoms of springtime

white flowers in bloom

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

In the smiles of children (and other friends, too, of course)

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In the gorgeous sunset here in Ennis, MT last night

Ah yes, I see God in the sunsets …

Sunset from Gerrons
In the water and in reflections,

And … at work in me and my loved ones

Us w Chris

Ernesto Cardenal, a Nicaraguan poet and priest wrote,
“Everything in nature has a trademark, God’s trademark:
the stripes on a shell
and the stripes on a zebra;
the grain of the wood
and the veins of the dry leaf;
the markings on the dragonfly’s wings
and the pattern of stars on a photographic plate;
the panther’s coat
and the epidermal cells of the lily petal;
the structure of atoms and galaxies.
All bear God’s fingerprints.”

Where do you see God’s fingerprints?
Where do you FEEL God?
.

 

I feel God

In the winds that blow

sky clouds wind windmill

Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

In a baby’s touch

grayscale photo of baby feet with father and mother hands in heart signs

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

In every genuine heart-felt hug

smiling woman hugging another person

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

In the unconditional love of our four-legged furry friends

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I feel God in captured dreams

backlit blur close up dawn

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Practice seeing and feeling God.

The more you do,

The more you will.

Where do you see and feel God?

2 Corinthians 4:18
“We do not look at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are unseen.”

In reflecting on that scripture,
Erika Bentsen wrote in today’s Daily Guideposts,
“Dear Lord, please forgive us when we are tempted to doubt.
Just as leaves are stirred by unseen winds,
stir our hearts with the breath of Your real presence.”
Amen

God Bless You!

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See you tomorrow

Receptivity is Key


In my introduction to this
A-Z series,
I wrote the following:

I want a greater understanding of:

  • who I am,
  • how to decode the world around me,
  • what my purpose is here on earth,
  • and how I can live more intentionally to fulfill that purpose.

You are here because, hopefully, you have embraced the journey, the exploration of ways to add more meaning to life. Thank you for joining me!!

Today’s letter is “R”
I have chosen the word “Receptivity”

The picture below is Logan Crowley, my darling neighbor,
with me. She received a scholarship
award of $1000 to assist her venture into college at
Montana State University next school year.
EAA stands for Ennis Arts Association,
of which I am an active member.

Seeking, applying, striving for what we need,
and being receptive when gifts come our way
are important qualities for
adding more meaning
and finding greater purpose
in life.

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Everyday Receptivity

It is easy to be receptive every day when someone is giving you a thousand bucks, right?

But what about other areas of everyday receptivity? How do we remain open to all that’s out there for us?

Tune in to Inspiration

Today I listened to a podcast on Bob Goff’s “Love Does” website:
https://dreambigframework.com/podcast-1/amygrant

Bob is a wonderful, whimsical lawyer/author/inspirational speaker who has written three best-selling books, Love Does, and Love Does For Kids, as well as Everybody Always. His Facebook website, https://www.facebook.com/bobgoffis/ , will introduce you to his “Dream Big” workshops and lead you to the podcasts that are so heart-warming.

In a recent podcast, Bob was interviewing very talented and lovely Amy Grant. Amy is a Grammy Award-winning Gospel singer who was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has written a book, Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far.

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The podcast, “What If We…?” was so full of wisdom that I listened to it several times and wrote to Bob Goff asking permission to quote some of the most poignant statements. I received an affirmative response. I posted on Amy’s Facebook page telling her of this blog and hoping it’s okay with her, too, that I quote some of her delightful comments.

One of the messages that rang clear was:

Be Open to Vulnerability Every Day!

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Everyday receptivity involves the concept
Bob referred to in this podcast
when he said,
“Be where your feet are!”

Bob Goff and Amy Grant were talking about the subjects of vulnerability and community.

You need to be wiling to be receptive,” Amy suggested. “It takes the hard things in life to pull you into the community that then gives you connections to pursue something beautiful.”

Bob affirmed,
“Vulnerability to say ‘I have a need’ leads you into community…
Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten has been a hug!”

Be Receptive to Dreams

backlit blur close up dawn

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“If you have a dream or an ambition,” Bob Goff said,
“let everyone know about it …
Imagine everyone in heaven leaning over the railing,
watching and wondering what’s next!”

I love that image! I have several dreams for my future and the future of my children,  grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I want to capture them in my dream catcher, and then imagine that heaven’s angels are leaning over the railings cheering us on!

Goals/dreams are an important part of living a full and meaningful life. They provide the seeds for our journey toward meeting our life’s purpose.

Amy Grant said, “Make room for the seeds that matter most to [you] to be watered and grown.”

 

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Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

Add Clarity to your Receptivity

“As soon as you have clarity
on why you’re doing what you’re doing,”
Bob Goff said,
“you’ll find the opportunity to actually go for it!”

Go for it! But what is IT?

“It” is the activity that gives you joy!

“It” is the thing you do that moves you in the direction of your ultimate goal.

“It” is finding out what that goal is!!

Bob suggested if we wish to find fulfillment in receptivity to opportunities, we must first:

  • Find the right kind of mischief (he’s all about having fun while we search for meaning and purpose)
  • Find what brings you joy
  • Be receptive to whimsy (Read his book, Love Does, and learn all about whimsy!)
  • Look for opportunities (You’ll find what you’re looking for)
  • Be purposeful, and
  • Celebrate!

Celebrate!

In their conversation, Bob shared that he gave Amy a bell some time ago. She told him that she has it on a post in her back yard (at least I think that’s where she said she posted it).

Amy said, “I think of you each time I see that bell. I ring it every time I move in the direction of a goal.”

Bob asked her about her ultimate goal, and she responded, “I want to die being a fire hose of generosity.”

I love that … not just a garden hose, but a fire hose, spraying out to others the gifts we’ve been given. Celebrate your gifts by giving them generously and freely to others. Yes!

Be Receptive to God’s Guidance and the Wisdom of His Followers

Amy noted that her first mother-in-law was a woman of great wisdom who lived her faith. Once, when Amy was feeling overwhelmed with trying to balance life as a mother of young children with the life of a recording artist who was traveling the world, her mother-in-law told her, “You only need one prayer a day.”

“One prayer?” Amy asked. “What would it be?”

“God, lead me today to those I need –
and to those who need me –
and let something I do today
have eternal significance.”

Bob reacted saying,
“Yes, it’s not just ‘What do I want?’
It’s ‘Who needs something I’ve got?’ “

Ask God to guide you to those who need you.
Ask God to guide you to those you need.
And ask God to help you find meaningful tasks
that might have eternal significance.
Listen to the wisdom of others, and
Be receptive to God’s guidance!

Receptivity and Understanding are the Keys

antique crumpled crumpled paper dirty

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Be receptive to the voice of reason within you.

“You need to understand what you want,”
Bob Goff said in this podcast,
“and not just be limited by what you want,
but look at what other people want.
Look for the opportunity to do something
about it in your life and in their lives –
in a hundred creative ways –
then stand back and let God do His thing!”

Stand back, my friends,
be receptive,
and watch God do His thing!

See you tomorrow!

 

 

Naomi’s Nurturing News


Welcome to Day #14
of my A-Z series:
Adding Meaning
and
Finding Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter is “N”

The title, “Naomi’s Nurturing News” is inspired by the Biblical account of Naomi, a destitute widow. The story is told in the book of Ruth.

We all have a lot to learn from Naomi and God’s steadfastness in her life.

When a famine occurred in her home area of Bethlehem, the widow migrated with her two boys to Moab, where she intended to ride out the famine – and then eventually return with them –  where she imagined her sons would marry hometown girls. She dreamed of living a productive and happy life near them, filled with grandchildren.

However, her dreams were shattered when her sons married Moabite women, produced no grandchildren, and then both sons died. She did eventually return to Bethlehem, but she was a beaten-down woman who told her old friends who greeted her by name to call her “Bitter” instead.

With God working behind the scenes, a few chapters later, we see a transformed Naomi, filled with joy and a new zest for life. Yes, our God is an awesome God. The Good News from Naomi’s story is the power of nurturing love to bring life’s true meaning and purpose to fruition.

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Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

Naomi’s Nurturing News

Naomi is a woman whose story
Inspires me to want to know
How to develop her nurturing spirit
And watch my family’s greatness grow.

Naomi moved from Jerusalem
To Moab with her two sons.
She dreamed that they would marry
Israelite women – but they were not the ones

The boys selected for their wives –
Instead Moabites were chosen
And when her sons both died,
Naomi’s life seemed hopelessly frozen.

She told her daughters-in-law that
Jerusalem was calling her home.
“Stay here and remarry,” she encouraged.
“Don’t come with me to roam.”

But one of those lovely ladies,
(Ruth was her name, we read),
Told Naomi she would go with her
And take care of her every need.

In spite of Naomi’s objections,
Ruth did exactly that – she went –
And stayed with Naomi faithfully;
Loving her back with every second spent.

Naomi’s nurturing spirit
Helped Ruth find Boaz, her new love,
And eventually came the baby, Obed,
A gift from God above.

Instead of dying bitter and alone,
Naomi’s life was full, not hollow.
Her nurturing spirit invited love –
Her faith is an example we can follow.

Don’t let life’s troubles stop your heart
From reaching out to others in love.
The more you give, the more you’ll get,
In blessings galore from our God above.

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Luke 17:6 teaches us, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Naomi’s story reminds me that life is not always fair. Our dreams do not always come true. We will have days (maybe even months or years) of questions, wrestling, and searching for answers. But, God has room for our questions and our searching. God is with us during our periods of bitterness, our uncertainty, and our doubting. God does not give up on us.

To find more meaning and to ultimately fulfill our purpose in life, we need Naomi’s mustard seed faith. We must trust God and cling to Him. Develop consistent prayer time … regular, open, heart-felt conversation with God. He will give us what He gave to Naomi: a new zest for life.

Trust – and work with our nurturing God as He writes a new chapter in your life.

He has promised to protect and provide for you all your life. Pick up your mustard seed faith – and watch Him fulfill His promises in you!

See you tomorrow.

English Sonnet – Cord of Love


I tried my hand at
An English (Shakespearean) Sonnet

An English sonnet is:
14 line poem
3 quatrains (4 line stanzas) followed by 1 couplet (2 line stanza)
Rhyming scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

HeartStrings

Cord of Love

I’m gonna live so
God can use me
Everyday glow
So you see
.
The Holy Spirit
In my soul knows
How to clear it
So He shows.
.
I can feel it
In my heart, Lord,
How you seal it
With Your cord.
.
It’s the cord of Love
From my God above.
.

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Photo by Ba Phi on Pexels.com

 

And here is an English Sonnet from poet Tynea Lewis:
.

All We Will Be

He sits, paying no attention to me.

I wonder what is going through his head.

It hurts knowing friends is all we will be.

His unexpected glace turns my face red.

.
His mud brown eyes are so piercing and deep.

Then a smile fills his flawless, tanned face.

If only into his heart I could creep.

The slow motion moment makes my heart race.

.
Our time together is a dream come true

But I fear he can see into my heart.

When I am with him, I don’t feel so blue,

But something new won’t be able to start.

.
Since nothing will be, onward I must go.

These feelings I have to hide and not show.

.

 

Now it’s time for you to try your hand at an English Sonnet.

Learn more here:

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/article-poetic-forms

Inspirational Monday


Inspirational Monday.

My blog’s subtitle is “Love One Another.” I have not seen a story that exemplifies this concept quite like Tim Harris’ story written by Andrea Kelly and videotaped on http://www.thehandwrittenlife.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/inspirational-monday-2/

Check it out and be prepared to give a high-five and a hug to the next person you see. Oh ya!!!!!

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