Friday, May 29, 2015

The Color Blue

Blue is the word for Five Minute Friday this week. So many things come to mind when I think about the word blue.

The first is that of the sky. I love to sit outside watching the sky.

Sometimes it is a very deep blue with no clouds. Other times there are white or grey clouds, but the blue still stands out.

I love this picture with the blue sky and the bright cloud. It's interesting how the sun brightens the cloud even though the cloud is in the east and the sun is setting in the west.

Blue is also the color we think of with the ocean. That blue is also tempered with white when the foamy waves come rolling in to shore.

Blue is also used to describe a person who is sad, though I don't like to think of it that way.

Blue is a calm color, but I also like to think of it as a happy color.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In the Quiet of the Morning

In the quiet of the morning
I will rise to greet the sun.                
The birds will start their singing
joining slowly one by one.

This early hour is magical,
a point 'tween shadow and light.
It feels somewhat mystical
filling my soul with delight.

As it climbs higher in the sky
the sun dispels the darkness.
Flowers waken where they lie
in beds of dewy freshness.

A sense of peace surrounds me here
at the birth of this new day.
From my eye a thankful tear
escapes while I pause to pray.
                                         ~Gayl Wright

This poem really doesn't describe a typical day for me. It is more like an invitation that reminds me how peaceful it is in the early morning before the world is fully awake.

While it might not be an everyday practice I want to make an effort to get up early at least once a week.

I want to face the day with a sense of wonder and anticipation. 

I want to experience the sunrise, to hear the wood thrush and dove as they greet the day.

I just might grab a blanket and some coffee and sit on the porch taking in the sights and sounds as the world begins to come alive. It's a perfect time to give thanks to God and to ask for wisdom, grace, and blessing to go with me through the day.

The invitation is open to all. Won't you join me and see what treasures await?


I'm linking up today with Holley Gerth with Coffee For Your HeartLetetia Mullenix with Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaySusan Mead with #DanceWit.hJesusLisha Epperson with #GiveMeGrace, and Kelly Balarie with #RaRaLinkup.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rise or Remain?

The Five Minute Friday prompt for today is the word RISE. The plan is to free write for five minutes on a topic not worrying about getting it just right. Then share your post with the linkup and comment on the one who was up just before you.

So here is my unedited, unpolished offering for today's prompt.


As I was pondering the five Minute Friday word for today I thought of several different things. The first thing that came to mind was a Christmas carol I’ve heard called “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow.”

Then I began to think of how we are sometimes challenged to “Rise to the occasion.” But what if we can’t always rise?

What if we are meant to stay where we are sometimes?

Maybe we are going through a hard thing and need to continue through it rather than try to rise above it. I was thinking sort of like how when wheat is being threshed, the chaff is what rises and is carried away by the wind. The wheat stays behind.

Sometimes when the Holy Spirit is working in our lives, maybe He is blowing away the chaff, so that what is left is who we were meant to be.

And when the time comes we will one day rise to be with God forever.

Don't forget to visit the Five Minute Friday linkup. I'm also linking up with Lisha Epperson and #GiveMeGrace.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We Need Each Other

I came across this poem early last week when I was scanning through the poetry on my kindle. I felt a connection, because my prayer is that my life will encourage others not only in person but in my writing.

It spoke to me and reminded me that our words and actions matter if only one person is reached, even if that person is our own self.

Maybe you think the writing you do is not important.

Think again.

Even if you write for your eyes only there is value in it.

Sometimes writing out our thoughts helps us to see things more clearly.

Sometimes writing helps us to express our joy or sadness.

When I don’t know what to write I just start writing anyway, whatever comes to mind. By getting my thoughts on paper it clears my mind a little. It might look like just a jumble of words, but eventually I will have ideas to use in composing a poem or blog post, which in turn might encourage someone else.


When I read Emily Dickinson’s poem I had no idea how the events of my week would unfold. It turns out that I also needed friends to help and encourage me.

  • First I got news of the death of a friend. I thought of her family and knew that words would not be adequate to ease their pain.

  • A few days later I found out that someone very close was planning to get a divorce. It is breaking my heart. I have no words to ease the ache or make the situation better.

  • Last night I broke a filling in one of my teeth. Having it fixed today caused an unexpected expense. It also caused a disappointment for my mom, because she and I had planned to spend the day together to shop, get pedicures and for me to cut her hair. All that had to be postponed, but she was very understanding and concerned for me.

Why am I writing about all of this?

Simply to say that we all need each other.

There are many things out of our control.

We can’t always keep a heart from breaking or ease an ache or pain, but we can be there for each other. When I asked for prayer online I was encouraged by all the friends who responded. They didn’t have to say much, just an acknowledgement that they cared.

Even if we don’t know what to say, it still helps someone to let them know we are there for them.

This week I didn’t have time to respond to an email bearing sad news, but I acknowledged it right away and explained I would have time to respond better later. This person really appreciated hearing back from me quickly even if I didn’t have any words. It meant a lot to know I cared.

Friends, we all need each other. 

Let’s not let pride or fear get in the way of responding to someone in need. 

We can pray for wisdom and follow God’s leading and nudging in our lives to make a difference in the lives of those around us.

I'm joining Kelly Balarie and Friends with the #RaRaLinkup,  Motivate and Rejuvenate Monday linkup, Coffee For Your Heart Wednesday linkup, #BelovedBrews,  #DanceWithJesus and Stacey Thureen's #FindStability.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Remembering a Friend

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I’m sitting at the picnic table on the porch this evening. The carpenter bees are still buzzing around. I hear a dove’s mournful song coming from the nearby woods. There are other birds whose songs I don’t recognize. It’s interesting how many birds I hear when I sit still and listen. All of a sudden my two dogs come running up to greet me. They are so full of energy! Now they’re off again, and it’s quiet. A wood thrush graces me with a song. Its music is so beautiful.

This is a sad evening for me. 

It looks as if one of my good friends may be meeting Jesus tonight. She lies in a hospital bed in a coma after cardiac arrest. I think of her husband, her daughter, her two sons, her daughter-in-law, her two precious granddaughters, and the numerous people whose lives she has touched.

As I sit on the porch I see that life goes on all around me normally as if nothing unusual is happening. Of course, how could they know? It’s somehow very soothing to see the sky and clouds, the trees in all their splendor, the birds with their lovely music, and yes, even the carpenter bees and their buzzing. 

It’s comforting to know that God loves my friend. 

I know that He is also saddened by her suffering and that of her family. Some may ask, “If God has all that control and compassion, why doesn’t He just heal her?”  I do not know the reasons why He heals sometimes and not at other times.

I do know that God is good. He is compassionate. 

He never promised that we would be pleased with everything that happens, but He did promise to be with us always. He’s with us during the happy times. He’s with us when we are sad, lonely or grieving. He holds my friend in His loving arms. He will bring her to live with Him where she will be healed, a place where her suffering will end, and she will be at peace.

Those who are left will be sad to lose her and will need to grieve, but God will be with them. He will give comfort and peace even through the tears and pain. They know that one day they will see her again. That doesn’t take away the pain, but it does give them hope.

How she will be missed! She was a praying woman. She cared deeply for others. She was always ready to listen if you needed to talk. Everyone she touched was blessed by her. She loved her family and friends well.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Early yesterday morning my friend passed from this life into life eternal with God. To many of us it still seems unbelievable that she is gone. It was kind of a shock as it happened so fast. One day she was talking to people, and less than 48 hours later she was gone. I didn’t realize how much she meant to me until I knew I was losing her.

I want to remember the lovely, caring woman that she was. 

I can still hear her voice and see her beam as she showed us pictures of her grandbabies. She enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes. She showed her love to many by way of her baking skills. Her beautiful cakes found their way into weddings, birthdays and other gatherings.

She is the first to be taken from our group of six ladies we sometimes call “The Lunch Bunch.” It started several years ago when a few of us surprised one friend on her birthday by taking her out to lunch. We had so much fun that we decided to try to meet together for lunch to celebrate each of our birthdays.

We attended the same church, but later events out of our control changed all that, and we were scattered. In order to keep in touch we tried to meet monthly for either breakfast or lunch. It ended up being pretty sporadic, but we always had a great time together. This particular friend was usually the one who would call me to let me know when a get together was planned.

As I was chatting with another of the group recently, she reminded me that this friend would often refer to us as the “Wild Women.” In a way we were and are. We all have dreams to pursue and we live out loud proclaiming to all who see us our love for each other and for God. 

One of us has been taken away, but the life she lived will continue to inspire each of us for as long as we live.

I'm linking up with Suzie Eller and #livefree Thursday, where you can find others writing along the theme of out of my control. I'm also joining Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus.

Friday, May 8, 2015

An Unexpected Meeting

It’s Five Minute Friday time again and the word prompt for today is MEET.

For about eleven years we lived in a place where three states met so it was called the tri-state area. We lived in New Jersey, but the closest grocery store was in Pt. Jervis, New York. We did other kinds of shopping in Pennsylvania.

While living in northwest New Jersey we met lots of people and made many friends, some from all three states. We lived on a little road called Beach Drive, which seemed odd because there really was no beach around, at least the kinds of beaches we think of. There was a small lake or pond at the beginning of the road. Sometimes our daughters would meet friends there or go alone and ice skate during the winter.

Often we would meet with our neighbors and take walks together, eat lunch together or just hang out and have fun while our kids played. One neighbor was an older lady who just loved the kids and was always giving them treats.

(our house in Montague, NJ)

One day we met some unexpected visitors. It started out as we dropped our girls off at High Point State Park which was five minutes away. They were going to get started setting up a tent while we gathered up the rest of what we needed for camping that night. We wanted to camp near home as we were pretty new at camping.

What a surprise when our girls were setting up the tent to see some bear cubs scamper up a tree! Then the mother bear wandered into the campsite and picked up one of their lunch containers, curious to see what was inside.

Needless to say they were a little bit frightened. They tried to keep the tent between them and the bear as she came closer. They had to keep moving around the tent in order to do that. Slowly they got to their bicycles and then rode to the nearest building which was the bathroom. When we came back later we saw a couple of bears as we were driving in. We began to wonder if this was such a good idea.

The park rangers assured us that things would be fine. If a bear came near we were to make a lot of noise which was supposed to scare them away. The rangers were also on duty all night. 

(not the best picture but it shows our family about that time)

Well, we set things up for supper and were all sitting around the picnic table when we heard a noise. We looked over to the left and a short distance away there was a bear checking out all the trash containers. We quickly gathered things up and got into our conversion van.

Steve and I had planned to sleep in the van along with the youngest children, but the girls were a bit unsettled about sleeping in the tent as you can well imagine.  So my husband stayed in the tent with a couple of them while the others slept with me in the van.

It was quite an experience, one which I’m sure the girls will never forget!

(I must admit that I wrote for about 12 minutes, but I couldn’t just stop in the middle of a story, now could I?)

Don’t forget to visit Kate Motaung and read what others have written on the prompt for today.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Stirring in My Heart

Something is stirring in my heart and I can't put my finger on it, but I know I will need to write it out. I think I need to go outside more and just sit and think and write

That’s what I told my daughter yesterday and that’s exactly what I did, or sort of what I did. Let me explain…

I walked around outside for a bit, checking on the gardens all the while thinking up a tune in my mind starting with the words, “I looked out across the valley.”  I just knew a song was coming even though I have only written one other in my life. That was when I was ten years old.

I sat down on the hillside, turned on my phone’s voice recorder and spontaneously sang these words in a slow and contemplative way as they came to me. Later I came up with a title. One day I’ll get up the courage to sing it for you.

A Beautiful Day
I looked out
across the valley.
I hear the wind
rustling through the trees.
My heart is full
as I look at the beauty,
Blue skies and clouds
and trees of different greens.
I love this day,
so beautiful to me.
I love to lie in the sunshine
listening to
what the breezes
say to me.

There is a stirring in my heart that change is coming. 

I’m not sure what it all means, but I know God is working in my life. We have had varied experiences in the last few years. Most have been good, some were hard, but we have learned from all of them. I am reminded over and over again of the importance of my family and the love we share. We don’t always agree, but our love overrules it all.

God is stirring my heart, and I believe He is changing me.

I have just in the past year and a half found a new love for writing poems, blogging, photography and art journaling. Sometimes I find myself spending too much time online and with various writing or art projects and have neglected some of my home responsibilities.

I’ve been discontented at times and maybe somewhat self centered, complaining about the clutter in our house but not doing much about it. I’m realizing that if I want change it needs to start with me and my attitude.

With every new thing we attempt, there is always a time of breaking in, of finding the balance. I think I am closer to finding the balance now between my writing, my housework, clearing the clutter and loving my family.

God is teaching me that I can do things I never thought possible.

  • I am right now learning karate along with my sons. Almost before every class I wonder what I am doing and maybe I’m too old for this. Then I get there and am inspired. Our class ranges in age from child to teen to young adult to older adult. We are all at varying stages of belt certification, but everyone encourages each other. When one reaches a goal everyone cheers. It’s like a big family, and I am glad to be a part of it. It’s a good way to learn self defense, and I’m finding that I have definitely improved from when I first started.

  • I am also putting together a children’s nature photography haiku book. I have most of the pictures and most of the poems, so my next step is finding the best way to publish.

  • I have other dreams, too, of using my photography to make note cards or as prints with poems or Bible verses on them.

  • I am also thinking of making some of my other poems into children’s books.

It sounds like I have my work cut out for me. In the midst of it all I am trying to find more times during the day to stop for prayer, to acknowledge God and His work in my life, to intercede for others, to praise Him, and to ask for help. I find the more I do that, the more peace and confidence I have to pursue my dreams and goals.

As I daily yield my life to God, I see that He is continuing to transform me into the woman He means me to be. That doesn't mean He can't use me just as I am now. 

I don't need to wait until I have it all together, whatever that means. 

As He changes me, I can share struggles, weaknesses and victories that may help others in their pursuit of life.

Sometimes it's through our weakness that His power is magnified.  

He can use each of us right where we are. 

Something is stirring in my heart...

What about you? Do you feel the stirring in your heart, too?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tick-tock Goes the Clock

This poem is dedicated to my good friend, Marvia Davidson. She inspires and helps us to see the importance of not so much striving, but learning to be, to live authentically, fully trusting in God, who is always with us. Thank you, Marvia!

Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
(Psalm 46:10 NASB)

Friday, May 1, 2015

All Kinds of Doors

It's time for Five Minute Friday again and this week the prompt is the word DOOR.  This is the time to write for five minutes whatever comes to mind about the topic. We don't worry about editing or getting it just right, we just have fun.

Doors come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are decorated lavishly while others are plain and even may look ugly to our eyes.

Doors do have a function to open and close, to keep things out or in. Doors can be a welcome sight especially if you are looking for a place to go in out of the cold or heat or whatever weather there is.

Doors can also be confining. Maybe when you were little you were sent to your room for a punishment. The door was closed and you were not supposed to leave until an appointed time. That might have made you sad, or you might have used it to play quietly.

There are also other kinds of doors, those that are not physical but are in our minds. What about the door of our heart? Do we keep it tightly closed or just barely open? Or do we open it wide to share with others some love and encouragement?

It can be a very vulnerable thing to open our heart’s door to others, but if we have Christ living inside, He gives us wisdom to know when to open and close that door. He also gives us grace to share with others when we need to be a friend.

I love thinking of doors that have odd shapes like this one from my bedroom. Using my imagination all sorts of stories could come forth. It can be almost magical!

Don't forget to check out other posts at Kate Motaung's blog for Five Minute Friday!