Tag Archives: God’s love

Happy NEW YEAR 2017

img_20160131_150959271

New dreams, opportunities, and possibilities

Every day dawn’s a new beginning

Willing to wait and live by God’s love, mercy, and grace.

Yesterday is gone but lessons and memories remain.

Each bright morning is a treasured gift; each starlit evening a cherished blessing

Already looking forward in solid and steadfast faith

Ready to continue this life journey on the path of hope and grace.

Born

027

Born to die to hopelessness; born to live in God’s amazing grace.

Born to suffer and endure; born to rest in God’s warm embrace.

Born into worldly sin; born to learn of God’s great love.

Born to be forgiven by the Lord who lives far above.

Born to walk on this earth in humility and trials, yet in hope.

Born to be a light by showing the eternal brightness of tomorrow.

Born to feel pain, shed tears and quietly weep

Letting God gently wipe our tear streaked cheeks.

Born to live in renewed joy and peace today

While walking in God’s love throughout the outstretched day.

Born to endure the long nights when sleep does not come easily.

Born to quietly lie still while the Lord keeps us company.

Born not to remain stuck and glued to our hurting present or past

But to thrive in lasting hope while onto Jesus, holding fast.

Born to wait ever so trusting and ever so patiently

Knowing that one day, Jesus’ shining face, we’ll finally see.

Friday Verse Journal Romans 8:28

004

The Dilemma of the Black Eyed Susan

I used to travel along an old field road

Journeying contentedly and all alone.

My sneaker clad or sandaled feet

Followed a sandy lane to the rows of trees.

The grass was olive green as I passed the hay

And acres of corn along the way.

But the favorite sight that caused me to pause and sigh

Were the yellow daisies with deep, black eyes.

There was something special, something unique

About the black-eyed Susan’s slender physique

Other daisies grew there, I had no doubt

As yellow and white, they dotted my route.

But this daisy was different, I thought with a sigh

While contemplating about the flower with a black eye.

It stood tall and alone in the grassy field

Wanting to be noticed, but with timidity remained concealed.

Oh, that lemon tinted bloom with a black eye

Waving in the wind, beneath the summer sunshine.

What hidden tenderness you softly convey

On this hazy and warm summer day

You dare to be different from the rest

You determine to remain alone and not impress

Anyone else who this way may wander

Nor cause them to pause and internally ponder.

But when I wander by; when I pass through,

I silently notice you, standing erect and true.

You do not bend to the grass or weeds

You’re not apt to follow another’s lead.

Instead you remain poised and pointing to the sky

Where the loving Lord lives and watches on high.

You don’t mind remaining forever alone

Until you wilt and your short life here is done.

You know and accept your part, for God has a plan;

A purpose for you and for us all. If I could just understand

If I could just be truly content and be sure

Knowing that in Jesus, my life is indeed safe and secure.

For I have asked Jesus to live forever in my heart

And he has dwelled in me promising to never depart.

But I don’t comprehend everything; I don’t know God’s entire plan

So I wander aimlessly from one day to the next seeking to understand.

But somehow I know just to remain content and steadfastly true

Remembering God’s love endures forever for me and for you.

That is good enough for you to know, the Lord seems to gently say

The answer of the blacked eyed Susan’s dilemma is to just faithfully stay;

Remain still knowing that God’s love is forever, eternally, the same

For today, tomorrow, and for all of your yesterdays which already came.

Romans 8:28 (Holy Bible New International Version):

“And we know that in all things God works for the good for those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

A Black-eyed Susan in Ohio

Prose Poetry: I went on a Walk Today

 

047

I went on a walk today to enjoy the sunshine’s beautiful rays. Although it is only March it seemed like early May. That was the Lord’s good kindness I have no doubt to bless us with his radiant love. So for heartfelt joy I wanted to shout. As the time did allow, I meandered and walked along the road where the grass was too brown I noted with a furrowed frown. But then I remember this is only early March, I need to be patient in letting Spring have its start. Therefore, now no need to be downcast or feel dismay because as surely as the loving Lord lives, the warmer season of Spring is on the way. And so gracious and generous is our Lord God that he chose to let us have a peak at the warm weather that lies ahead.  Why, not so long ago, I sat shrouded in blankets enduring the wintry cold. Now I push the sleeves up my arms allowing the sun to wrap them with its warming glow. Contentedly I plod along the road not really following where the sidewalk goes.  I do that sometimes, just making up my own path and journeying where no one else has.  My life is sometimes like that too; where others might travel along Route One, I might choose to explore Route Two.  I like to be different and not the same as everyone I see. God has given you and me each a gift of life and individuality. Therefore as we wander through life’s pathways and arrive at a journey altering crossroad, you may choose one way while I select another way to go.  And as surely, I can see the lemon tinted orb shine so radiantly, I know that the Lord is always with me, guiding me with love and ever so tenderly.  For he does deeply know me and understands my shyness, you see. For though I smile and seem so sociably, deep inside something is hindering me. He knows when I hurt too much and cannot take too much more. He lets me hide in his quiet love; he is my strong, protecting shield like the locked and secured front door. So as twilight now descends and this blessed day sweetly ends, it is only God through his Son Jesus who gives me courage to endure and try again. Therefore, tomorrow when dawns a brand new day filled with unknown blessings along life’s way, I will venture along a new winding pathway to discover rekindled hope inside of the Lord’s never ending grace.

Guest Writer Kathy B June 21, 2014

118

I am spending a few wonderful weeks visiting my cousin Kathy B.  She is a wonderfully talented writer and poet and I feel privileged that she is my cousin. As I’ve said before, she writes with her heart. She has some very special experiences in life and, as in this piece of personal writing, she has a desire to to share the special things she learns along her unique journey:

Joann

            Recently, I spent six weeks in a nursing home after a major surgery. I was afraid to return there because I spent six months at the same facility five years ago, and it was not always a pleasant experience. It caused bad, hurtful memories. However, in the last few years, I have made it a personal goal to face my fears head on; Joyce Meyers says, “do it afraid.” In other words, the only way to overcome fears is to conquer them by doing them anyway. This was my chosen profession, the age group that I wanted to work with after I finish my degree. I also decided to change my attitude about the experience. After all, it would be a great test to see if I was truly cut out for this type of work.

I was surprised that a number of the staff recalled me quite fondly; this had a way of putting me at ease a bit. As before, there were a number of sensory/social activities to engage both the body and mind such as: balloon ball, exercise group, book club, Bingo etc. After one such activity, I came across Joann while on the way to my back to my room. I immediately was struck by her look of sheer loneliness, abject terror and utter confusion. It touched me to the core of my being. I began to talk to her. I said a silent prayer that my words would bring her love and comfort. I assured her that God was with her and that she could talk to Him whenever she was afraid. God was her friend. I let her know that she was also special to me too – that I loved her and that she would be in my prayers. The last things I said to her is that I would talk to her again.

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to fulfill that promise. The Lord took her home with Him only a few nights later. I felt guilty that I hadn’t gone to her room to visit her again. At the same time, I hoped that my words had brought her some measure of comfort in her last hours. An old lesson from youth group came to mind. Our words and deeds are like ripples in a pond; one never really knows what help or harm that they do. Try never to miss the opportunity to share God’s love when it presents itself.

When Dad Said No

 

Me and My Dad

A Special Tribute to my Dad on his birthday (June 4th):

My father has been on my mind. His birthday is here and soon it will be Father’s Day. He was born in 1942 and passed away at just 58 years old in 2000; his quiet voice has been silent and missing from my life for almost 14 years now. Of my two parents, my dad could be sterner and be more likely to say no when he felt that was best. Dad was also very loving and could erupt into a very hearty and jovial laugh; a laugh so contagious that others around broke into laughter with him. I also miss the sound of his infectious, bubbling laugh.

When I was an infant, Dad said I was so small that I could fit inside of his shoe box. He also said I could fit perfectly on a sofa pillow. I was born prematurely, was very small, difficult to feed, and had a serious visual impairment. I didn’t realize for years, how much this visual impairment greatly bothered my dad. I was born with a cataract in my left eye and was therefore blind in that eye. Mom and Dad took me to various doctors, including specialists at the faraway Marshfield Clinic. Doctors decided to not remove the cataract.

Just as I was beginning school, I also was found to be near-sighted in my right eye and needed glasses. I received my first pair of glasses when I was in kindergarten; I was the first kid in my class to wear glasses and I knew right away that made me different. My kindergarten picture shows the sadness I felt about this; no hint of a smile. I was also quite shy and received plenty of teasing over the years. I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not pretty. I felt certain that my glasses were the cause of this.

As a teenager, I began seeing commercials about contact lens and deep inside my mind, a wonderful idea was born. Oh, contact lens, that a great solution because that means no more glasses! I began asking my parents if I could get contact lens. They said no immediately. My dad was especially stern on this matter and when Dad says no, he means no. But I was so convinced of that wearing contact lens was what I needed that I kept asking. I was very determined and was just not going to give up. My hopes were soaring high as I had visions of going to school looking like a completely different person; a person who was pretty and beautiful. How I held on to that dream! My parents finally made an appointment for me to see the eye doctor and I kept my hopes up for my first pair of contact lens.

On the day of the appointment, I found that it was my dad, not my mom, who would take me to the doctor. This was a much unexpected surprise because my mom went to all of our medical appointments and sometimes dad came too when he wasn’t working and when the appointment was for a serious illness or injury. But this time, it was just my dad and that worried me but I still was holding on to my dream of being a different person who looked beautiful because I was no longer wearing glasses. We went to the doctor where my eyes were examined. My father was quiet and waited patiently. Then much to my surprise and crushing dismay, the doctor would not recommend contact lens for me. I couldn’t believe it; I was so sure that the doctor would agree I could have them. We left the office and climbed back into the truck. I looked at the floor and wouldn’t even lift my head. I felt so defeated as my hopeful dream dissipated to nothing.

Dad took a deep breath and said in a most gentle voice, “I knew the doctor would say that.”

I burst into tears, “I don’t like my glasses, I want to be pretty!”

Dad sighed again and wiped a tear from my cheek, “You are pretty and you have a beautiful smile.” I wasn’t so sure and continued to sob. Dad was especially gentle that day as he let me cry for a while. When my tears started to subside he spoke again, “You need to keep wearing your glasses not just to see but to also protect your good eye.”

He then told me a story about his dad, my grandfather. One day long ago when my dad was young, my grandfather was chopping wood. He did not wear glasses, goggles, or any sort of eye protection. He brought down the ax splitting a chunk of wood. A wood chip flew up and sailed into my grandfather’s eye splitting his lens. My grandfather became blind in that eye.  Dad had never forgotten that and apparently always worried that something could happen to me; an unexpected mishap could cause me to lose vision in my only good eye. He did not like it when I would come home from school, take my glasses off and refuse to wear them again until the next day. He also did not like it when I would sit in the car without my glasses and have the window rolled down. He always worried that something was going to happen to my only good eye.

So after listening to my dad’s story and hearing the worry in his soft voice that day, I reluctantly and dutifully gave up my dream of wearing contact lens and to this day I never have worn them. However I still did not wear my glasses all the time either. I never thought I would meet up with an accident which would endanger my only good eye. Little did I know that over 20 years later my dad’s words would return to haunt me.

I grew up, went to college, found a job, and started living on my own. Mom and dad were only a phone call away and dad still found ways to help me. He helped me to purchase my first car, and came up with a plan for me to be safe on the road. He intensely worried when I did so much traveling alone and didn’t like the idea of me becoming stranded far from any source of help. So he came up with plan for me to be able to summon help on the road if I needed it. I still have that plan in place today and, yes, I have used it when I’ve had  emergencies while traveling.

One summer day while living on my own, a few years after my father had passed away, I was mowing my lawn. I was not wearing my glasses at the time nor was I wearing any other type of eye protection. As I mowed around a tree in the front yard, I gasped as I spotted a wood chip flying in the air towards me. My dad’s words instantly came to my mind as I thought of the wood chip that struck my grandfather. As quickly as I could, I tried to turn my face away from the tiny, flying missile propelled by the swift blade of the lawn mower. No matter how fast I tried to turn, I wasn’t fast enough. At the last possible second my eyes blinked shut. The wood chip barreled and impaled itself in the inner corner of my right eye; my good eye. I was unable to reopen my eyes and fell to the ground with my hands clutching my face in pain. I hovered on the ground in tears and in total darkness. Unbelievably, it seemed that my father’s worst fear for me would come true.

Being single and completely on my own, no one was there to come to my aid.  I sat hunched over in agony not knowing what to do. Those moments in utter and complete darkness were the some of the most frightening moments I’ve ever had as I remained curled on the ground. However I needed to quiet my tears and regain my calmness as I needed to help myself.  Taking several deep breaths, I gently felt my face letting my fingers slowly travel across my skin until I found the invading speck of wood firmly lodged in the inner corner of my right eye socket. I hesitated and then not knowing what else to do, I gripped it firmly and pulled it out. I felt for signs of bleeding but didn’t find any so I slowly opened my eyes. I was so immensely relieved that I could see. Daylight had never looked more precious. But now my eye still hurt and everything around me was blurry.

I went to Urgent Care as soon as I could see clearly enough. The doctor was very alarmed when he realized that I had injured my only good eye. He examined me and conducted deep eye scans to ensure there was no hidden damage from the accident. Although my eye was painfully sore and red, he didn’t find any signs of deep or permanent injury. It seemed that the involuntary blinking of my eyes is what saved me from serious harm. The very concerned doctor reiterated what my dad had said all those years ago; I needed to do whatever I can to protect my eye which meant I needed to wear my glasses! I was incredibly thankful for this good fortune and was sure that God in heaven had kept me safe that day.

Since that time, I have become more cautious in life to protect myself from danger and most certainly, any danger that threatened my eyes. I wear my glasses almost all the time now with the exception of taking some photographs of myself. I have learned to like and appreciate my glasses more than I used to. I now have a good understanding of how enduring years of teasing can affect someone and I have seen bullying, teasing and disparaging, hurtful remarks extend into the adult world; it is not confined to the school halls and playgrounds. I’ve especially witnessed it in various forms in the social media.

Therefore, I try to encourage others because I had been so discouraged in my own life especially through my school years. And God in his own loving way continues to be good to me by blessing me in special ways. He has led to me to a career where I help, instruct, and encourage others.  I also know now that dad was trying in his own quiet way to encourage me even when he had to say no. Furthermore, I also better understand that when my stern father said no to those contact lens so many years ago, it wasn’t just to protect my eye from sudden danger and save me from blindness.  But when dad said no, it was because he loved me so.

Moonlight, Moonlight

003

Moonlight, moonlight shining so bright

And showing God’s love through the deep black night.

Moonlight, moonlight rising high in the darkened sky

To keep watch over all the people far and wide.

When I tearfully lay and cannot sleep

You remain faithfully stationed over me.

Your gentle brightness shimmers on through

Until dawn arrives with the morning dew.

Moonlight, moonlight shining so bright

Thank you for watching me through the darkest night.

And most thanks of all to my loving Lord

Who created the moon and everything by the power of his word.

And thank you Lord Jesus for coming my way

To adopt as your own and to save me by your loving grace.