Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘reflections’

I See God


I see God

In the morning sunrise

backlit clouds dawn dusk

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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?
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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

Specks of Splendor


Specks of Splendor

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Like a gold miner panning for gold,
I sift through life’s muck and mire
To look for the specks of splendor
That sparkle and dance like fire.

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No matter how awful my day was,
At the end, I put on my Jesus glasses
And find the specks that sparkled,
The nuggets in muddy splashes.

اشتري WINDO Memory Titanium Flexible Round Eyeglasses Frame Spectacles Glasses FF007 في مصر

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The most dismal, dark, and cloudy day
Has shimmers of beauty in the trials.
With God’s help, I sift and find them.
Then tuck into bed with gratitude and smiles.

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See you tomorrow.

Trap Time in a Tale


Welcome back to the A-Z series
devoted to ideas for
Adding Meaning
and
Finding Greater Purpose
in Life

Today’s Letter is “T”

Trap Time in a Tale

 

woman reading a book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Trap Time in a Tale

It’s not a tall tale! It’s not a fish tale or a fairy tale.
It’s YOUR tale!

In These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, today’s devotional said,

“Sometimes in order to thrive,
we need stories more than we need food!”

I thought about calling this blog post “Thrive by Telling Tales,” because I think it’s true: some days we DO need stories more than food!

Some days I thrive on writing (and coffee), do you relate? Writing gives my life meaning and purpose.

I CAN Trap Time in a Tale.

You can, too. You probably do – every time you sit down to write!

Do your tales help add meaning and purpose to your life?

people coffee meeting team

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

I decided against,”Thrive by Telling Tales,”
when I thought of the Jim Croce song,
Time in a Bottle.” Do you know it?

“If I could save time in a bottle,
The first thing that I’d like to do,
Is to save every day
’til eternity passes away
To spend them with you.”

We may not be able to save time in a bottle, but we can Trap Time in a Tale!

The devotional I referred to in These Days is titled, Remembering Your Story. The author, Jan McGilliard wrote, “Stories can greatly expand our understanding of God, others, and ourselves… No matter your age or stage in life, remembering your own story is sacred work.”

Memoir or Autobiographical Tales

Each of us has a story to tell. It is sacred work! When we write our own stories, sometimes they are called autobiographies. They are focused on us, as the writer, the tale teller. Sometimes they are called Memoirs. What’s the difference?

LifeRich Publishing on the web says,

“The fine line between memoir and autobiography is a fuzzy one, especially in this modern literary era where writers are constantly blurring the boundaries between genres to create a new, exciting one. Like an autobiography, a memoir is a narrative that reveals experiences within the author’s lifetime. But there are obvious and practical differences between the two genres.

In essence, an autobiography is a chronological telling of one’s experience, which should include phases such as childhood and adolescence, adulthood, etc., while a memoir provides a much more specific timeline and a much more intimate relationship between the writer’s own memories, feelings, and emotions.”

Among other distinctions, LifeRich Publishing pointed out
Memoirs are:

  • less formal
  • more concerned with emotional truth toward a particular section of one’s life and how it makes one feel now
  • less obsessed with actual events

while Autobiography is essentially:

  • written by the main character (or at least drafted with a collaborative writer)
  • made up of detailed chronology, events, places, movements, reactions, and any other relevant information that inhabited the life of the subject
  • focused on facts – fact, above all, is its foundation

Memoir Writing

Gore Vidal gave his own distiction when he wrote his memoir, Palimpsest.

He said, “…a memoir is how one remembers one’s own life, while an autobiography is a history, requiring research, dates, facts, double-checking.”

I have written a memoir. It’s titled, “All My Marbles.” It is definitely less formal. It is concerned with emotional truth from my emotional perspective. It reflects how I feel now about my life’s people, events, and places – as well as how I feel about myself. It does capture Time in a Tale.

I don’t know if I will publish it in my lifetime or not. I finished it about three years ago. There are chapters about my grandparents and Bob’s. About my parents and his. About our marriage and children. And (to focus on its essential purpose) there is a chapter about and for each of my seven grandchildren. I want them to understand their Grammy better – – – know where I came from – – – and see how I responded/felt about each of them when they were born and as they grew into and through their teen years. They are now 23 to 28 years of age. Two have children of their own. One is about to have a second child, and one is about to get married.

Time in a bottle? No, time rushes on. But I trapped a period of it in my tale! It sings to me.

beach bottle cold daylight

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

“All My Marbles” sits here in my computer.
I have it saved to the cloud
in case my computer crashes.

All My Marbles

Because I love my JanBeek readers, and I respect your opinions and enjoy reading your posts, I want to share the foreword, the introduction to “All My Marbles” with you. Tell me what you think.

I’ll be 80 this July. My prayer is that for another decade (at least) I can keep all my marbles in place, and working. But, if not… I have Trapped Time in this Tale.

Here is the Introduction to “All My Marbles”

I want you to know that I am a rather strong-willed, sometimes too outspoken, retired career woman who intends to live to be ninety-plus with all my marbles in place. Right up to the last, I want to smell good and wear dangling earrings that match my outfit for the day. I hope my children will get the message that there’s no need to get twitter-pated about getting older. As long as you keep your eyes on the NOW, your sense of humor tuned, and allow your style to be uniquely YOU, it’s likely that (unlike my cantankerous mother), you will wear your shirt right-side-out and still “give a shit” at 89!

My mother was a real spitfire! I knew she was not long for this world when she headed out one afternoon to a doctor’s appointment with her blouse inside out. When I brought it to her attention, she barked, “Oh, who gives a shit?” See, that’s where that quote originated, and sure enough, it was one of her last appointments before she departed our company.

Mom wasn’t always so contrary. Back in the early sixties, I got my first job in the states as a result of my hometown superintendent’s interview with my mom. I was in Germany teaching first graders on an army base. He liked what Mom said about me, so he agreed to hire me sight unseen. Before school started, I returned to California and popped in to visit the superintendent.

“Why do you want to work?” he asked. “Why don’t you just stay home and take care of your husband and start your family?”

Even though it was not illegal in 1962 to make that rash assumption and ask such questions, I realized his inquiry was sexist and inappropriate.

“Why should I choose when I am able to do both?” I answered his question with a question of my own.

More than five decades later, I still am averse to making either/or choices. My two children assure me they never felt neglected even though they had a working mother. I loved them, scolded them, laughed with them, played with them, read to them, and spanked them when they needed it. Spare the rod and spoil the child. I believe that! I did the SuperMom/MasterWife stuff while volunteering at Sunday School, teaching primary children, getting my master’s degree, earning an administrative credential, being a principal at a year-round school, and supervising student teachers at the college level.  Why do only one thing when you can do six? I was part of the generation of women who knocked loudly at the glass ceiling.

Now, in my senior years, I know it’s important to keep my mind active. “No day is complete,” my mother-in-law always said, “unless you have learned something new.”

On this bumpy road of life, I am learning something new every day. Certainly it is not a smooth ride on a gravy train. You need to keep a sharp eye on the muck ahead, remember to glimpse lovingly at those around you, and listen for that still small Voice to guide you. Life is a constant learning adventure.  All your marbles must be shined and put in place to survive and thrive. The bottom line is love. If it’s not unconditional, all hell breaks loose.

Let me introduce you to my family members and share some of my favorite life lessons with you.

 

So, my blogging friends, what do you think?
Does the introduction invite you to the memoir
in a way that would cause others to be interested?
Or should I just self-publish ten copies
(one for each of my children,
one for myself,
and one for each grandchild)

… and call it a day?

See you tomorrow.

Meaningful Memories


Welcome to Day #13
of my A-Z series,

How to
Add Greater Meaning
and Find More Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter is “M”
The topic: Meaningful Memories


My Memories Haiku

All have memories
Some more vivid than others
We’d like some to fade

person uses pen on book

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

But, not really…
Even painful memories serve a purpose.
As we reflect on them years later, we uncover truths –
Truths about ourselves we may not have realized at the time.
That’s what makes them meaningful!

As a writer who loves to write poetry, and someone who is exploring the significance of memories for adding meaning to our lives, I was fascinated by this

Interview with Poet kjmunro

by Frank J. Tassone

Question #3 was, “Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?”

Poet Kjmunro responded, “Sometimes I wish that I could be more comfortable in a crowd – but that may have more to do with being an introvert than being a poet. Writing poetry helps me to make sense of my life & my experiences, & because of it I have pushed my boundaries, accepted challenges, & pursued opportunities that have enriched my life… I can’t imagine my life without it.”

(You can click on the interview title above and see more of this meaningful post.)

woman holding blue shakspere book over face

Photo by JJ Jordan on Pexels.com

 

Likewise, I cannot imagine my life without the gift of writing – both poetry and prose. I enjoy writing poetry. I love reading it. I treasure the opportunity to share it.  Writing is a way to keep memories alive. It is a way to make sense of my life and my experiences. It is a way to express gratitude, to plan ahead, and to reflect. It is a way to push boundaries and accept challenges.

Yesterday in our Writers’ Group, the writing prompt was, “Tell Us About Someone You Used to Love.” The prompt brought to mind some very vivid, meaningful memories. Let me share my story with you:

Someone I Used to Love

I need to get up and face the student body on this October Spring Rally Day. But, I don’t want to.

I have made it as far as the front steps of the historic, brick Turlock Union High School before sitting down and letting the tears fall.

The sun is bright. Because it’s school spirit day, I have on one blue and one gold sock. My black and white saddle shoes are tucked beneath my poodle skirt with layers of crinoline fluffing around me. The blue and gold pom-poms lie motionless beside me. I look for the usual friends. No one approaches. They must all be inside already. Loneliness rings as the bell sounds the warning: first period will begin in ten minutes

What is it that has created such reluctance and dread in my soul?

About a week ago, my tall, athletic ex-boyfriend approached me in the hallway. “You know you don’t have any friends. The only reason people say Hi to you is because you say Hi to them first. If you didn’t, no one would talk to you.”

Oh my! Could it be true? Why was Richard telling me this? I used to love him. We used to have great fun together. Mutt and Jeff, they called us. Just because I broke up with him and am now dating soeone my own size, does that mean this 6’4″ basketball star should suddenly start bullying me?

Back in the 50’s I don’t think I knew the term “bullying.” I didn’t realize that’s what Richard was doing. His words cut deeply.

I decided to test out his hypothesis. I stopped cheerfully greeting everyone I saw with a “Hi!” Instead, I looked at them, waiting to hear their greeting first.

Richard was right! Most kids just looked quizically in my direction and walked past – or worse yet – they didn’t look at me at all. I felt like I must have forgotten my deodorant that day!

Now I’m feeling alone and abandoned on the front steps. I have ten minutes to get to class. With a deep sigh, I get up, take a deep breath, pick up my pom-poms, and head inside. My buddy, Phil, voted “Best Dressed Guy” in the senior class, walked up to me when I entered the building. I glance in his direction.

“What’s wrong with you lately?” he asked. “You’re being so stuck up!”

I told him what Richard had said.

“Oh, for cryin’ out loud,” he reprimanded, taking me by the shoulders.

I looked up into his caring blue eyes with tears in mine. “But Richard…” I sobbed, “he said…” I couldn’t go on.

Phil wrapped me tightly in his arms right there in the middle of Turlock High’s crowded hallway. Backing up a bit, he put his hands on my shoulders again. He leaned down and whispered, “He’s just jealous – and hurt. A big basketball star can’t stand it that his girl left him for a 5’3″ Stumper. He’s just trying to hurt you back. You just be the girl you always were. Don’t let anyone take away your perkiness.”

I used to love Richard. Now I just feel sorry for him. I saw him coming toward me as I headed for class.

“Hi!” I perked in his direction and walked on – shoulders squared – head held high.

***

Reliving these vivid memories more than sixty years later, I realize how impactful Richard’s words and Phil’s encouragement were. It was an important growing up experience. I haven’t let anyone take away my perkiness since then.

Meaningful memories stay with us – and change us – forever.
Thank you, Phil, and Richard!

***

Do you have a meaningful memory?
One that helps you make sense of your life and experiences?

31 Daily Take-Aways


Happy 31st of March to you!

How do you start your day?
I read “A Spirit-lifting Devotional” each morning called “Daily Guideposts.”

Each morning as I meditate on the day’s message, I summarize the “Take-Away” for that day in one to seven words- and write it on the blanks provided on two pages at the end of each month.

I also use that page to pray about what God wants me to do that day. I plan the day out at the top of the page. Sometimes it happens just like that. Other days, God intervenes and unexpected things happen. Here is today’s plan:

I write the chosen words on the page provided and review the messages for the month. These are the 31 “Take-Aways” for this month of March:

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Prayer for Today:

Today I am praying to keep a humble spirit.
I ask God to help me see the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.

I remember that Jesus hears and answers us every time we pray.
He may not always say YES, but if we pray with a humble heart,
and ask Him to put a right spirit in us, and we pray in His Will,
we are more likely to get a positive response.

What is your prayer for today?

beads cross prayer rosary

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Have a blessed Sunday, my friends!

Sunday Morning Divisions


Are you in sanctuary or synagogue or temple or church today?
God Bless You!

 

In my quiet time this morning, Carol Mackey reflected on 1 Cor. 1:10 in which Paul wrote to the people of Corinth, “Now I plead with you… that you speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind…”

Carol wrote in Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus, “Sunday morning at eleven o’clock is the most segregated hour of the week.”

 

two people outside yellow and black wooden building

I was prompted in thinking about that statement to create this Haiku x4:

Sunday Mornings

Segregation thrives
most in Sunday morning pews.
Where’s our unity?

white tealight candles lit during nighttime
Race and culture,
Ideology and thoughts
Pull worship apart.

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It must sadden God;
It must grieve Jesus’ heart
To see divisions.

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Instead of focus
On our obvious fractures,
Focus on One God!

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bible blur christ christianity

All Photos here are by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Many people are unaware that the first five books of the Bible are the Jewish Torah.

Everything on earth is created by our One God.
On that we who worship the One God can agree, right?


As we worship God,
how can we use that worship time
as a time of

UNITY
and not
DIVISION?

Dogwood


Day 4 of the A-Z activity of “What Makes Me Happy.”

Little did I realize when I chose Dogwood for my D word what I would learn about this beautiful tree (now a large bush)!

Dogwood and Daddy are in the same pocket of my heart. This picture of my daddy was taken under the dogwood tree in my brother-in-law’s back yard in central California about two and a half decades ago. I treasure it because it captures my father’s sweet disposition and kindness so perfectly. That tree is not gnarled and twisted as the Legend of the Dogwood tree suggests. But the blossoms are as the legend describes in this poem I found on the Internet this morning:

I didn’t know this legend until now. How did I miss it all these years? Did you know it?

What’s the D word that makes YOU happy?

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