Adrift

Relaxed

Relaxed

I can hear the water as it tickles the bottom of the boat; a comforting sound.  The sky is a bright blue with snippets of white puffy clouds and the sun is hovering around its 4 pm eastern position on this lovely day.

My book is splayed open in my right hand for ease in reading and the beach towel rolled up at the end of the boat seat provides an agreeable resting place for my head.  The late hour of the day allows me to lounge on the metal seat without burning my legs.

Floating aimlessly behind my house, I can hear faint sounds of my younger brother and sister playing with our German Shepard, Yahtzee.

I am 13 and I am in my favorite place, doing my favorite thing in peace and relative quiet.  Adrift and loving it.

Adrift

Later

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LATER

I will tell him I love him later,
I will whisper it in his ear
Not now, but I’ll do it later
He knows, but he still likes to hear

I will call and apologize later
Right now I’ll just sit and stew
It’s not my fault that she took it that way
We just have different points of view

We will play catch outside a little later
After the dishes are done
When your bedroom is back in order
Then I promise we’ll go have some fun

The frustrating thing about later
Is that later sometimes doesn’t come
So let’s do it right now and not later
Please don’t wait til’ the sinking sun

Uncharted territory

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Life is like an expedition of uncharted territory.

We start out wide eyed, confident and seeking adventure, anxious to see the spectacular sights along the way. We want to see, smell, taste, touch and hear it all to our hearts content. We don our traveling apparel and forge ahead.  We are explorers, making our way across the great unknown. We are blessed to have direction and signs along the way but we don’t always pay attention. Sometimes we choose to go our own way and end up in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

At times the terrain is flat and easy going, filled with fragrant green grass and flowers. At other times it can be cavernous, cold or treacherous. There may be perils ahead, hiding in the darkness. The mountains loom, the seas rage and the valleys can be daunting. We often travel on with scars, hungry and afraid. At times it doesn’t seem as if we will ever make it, but when we think all hope is gone, mercy shows up and alas, we continue.

Our companions come and go and we meet new friends along the way. Even in this, we must use discernment as everything isn’t what it appears to be. Some are sent by the one who would kill, steal and destroy to make us lose our way.

As the seasons change, we learn new lessons if we are wise and teachable. We are given the tools for a successful journey if we but utilize them properly.
The scenery is beautiful and changes frequently, but time begins to become more precious as it seems to pass by ever so quickly. We live and laugh and love and experience so many new things along the way. We also hurt, cry and mourn the loss of hopes, dreams, and others.

We alone can choose how we will participate in this expedition and where our journey will ultimately take us. The trip will be much more pleasant if we choose love, hope and joy; if we choose a positive outlook and have faith. If we on the flip side, approach it with negativity, dreariness and dread, we will certainly find more of that ahead.

When our final destination is looming, we become more thoughtful and realize more than ever what was really important. If we are granted more time on this earth, we attempt to impart that to others.

Time withers away like grapes on a vine and finally, our journey must come to an end. After all, we were only pilgrims passing through! Let us pray we have left someone better than we found them and shared the way to heaven with many.

Optic Flow

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At lunch today, I enjoyed warm sun, a nice breeze and fresh air; an elixir guaranteed to induce tranquility and on occasion deeper than normal thought.

The chair I was lounging in was positioned so that I could look across the creek to a more densely wooded area.  Although there is a small clearing, the foliage is pretty dense, so I have never seen much except a few birds and a lone raccoon foraging for food.  Birdsong is plentiful from that direction though and today with me having just scared all the black birds away from my cardinal feeder and scattering over there, it was exceptionally loud.

There are always multiple bird species around, but today I noticed something I had never paid attention to before.  I was watching a particular bird fly from somewhere behind me into the wooded area and I noticed that he flew into the foliage and managed to dodge branches without even slowing down.  Having just watched the raccoon pick its way along the branches and move along carefully, the difference was made all the more obvious.

So, once again, I sat amazed at the wonders of our Creator.  I googled it later and found out that birds do this by a trick of the eye called optic flow.  Optic flow is the way our eyes perceive motion as we travel thru a landscape.  It is the illusion that trees and buildings are passing us by; the greater the optic flow the more quickly things seem to be moving.  Below is a short pbs.org video, in case you are interested in knowing more.

Optic Flow Video

As I sat and thought about this, it reminded me how the bird fully trusts his Creator; he forges on ahead using the talent God gave him.  And as God cares for this little bird, He cares for me.  He sees every obstacle ahead and prepares me to meet them head on.  I just have to do my part and trust Him every step of the way.

Matthew 6:25-27 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

The Anything But Ordinary Day

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Today started out like most ordinary Fridays, with me peering through half closed eyes at the clock to check the time, then realizing its almost seven and feeling like I’m wasting the day away.  I stumbled to the bathroom and on to the kitchen for coffee.  Thursday is my Friday, so today I allowed myself to sleep late (for me) and take my time getting the day started.

Most Friday’s I do errands and this day would be no exception.  As I journeyed to town, I took the time to thank God for the beauty all around me and to ask for His mercy throughout the day.  I thanked Him for loving me and loved on Him as I enjoyed the view and the drive.  I felt such peace and such a spirit of gratitude enveloped me.  I determined in my heart that nothing would take that perfect peace away today.

I thought of a quote I had read this morning that said something about how we could be standing right next to someone who is completely broken and never even know it.  I would approach others with this thought in mind and show love.

As I drove on, I didn’t sense any agitation over other drivers or traffic.  I had a busy day ahead and many things to do, but I turned up “The Message”, sung along and resolved to do each errand without rushing and with patience and kindness.

Part of my list today included picking up some of my granddaughter’s medications.  This can be a test in and of itself because often they aren’t ready, doctor hasn’t approved yet, they require a specialty pharmacy or a compound pharmacy (all things I would have never known about until Cali).   I called the farthest pharmacy away (the compound pharmacy) and although that one wasn’t ready yet, they said they would text me when it was.  My first actual stop was another pharmacy.  The prescriptions weren’t quite ready here either, but they told me to come in and by the time I got to the counter, they would have them.  They weren’t all covered by insurance, but the cashier offered to find a coupon that saved me $20.

One of these meds needed to be refrigerated, so I bought an inexpensive cooler and ice and was on my way to grab lunch.  My hubby’s business needs required my next two stops and I found what I needed without delay and readied myself to kill time waiting on the other prescription.  But, I got a text hours earlier than anticipated and proceeded to the other place, where everything was ready.

I went on about my day and every single conversation and experience was a pleasure.  Traffic seemed to be waiting to give me the best spot in line; everyone was kind and helpful and returned my smiles.  At my last stop, I talked to lady who was busily stocking shelves and she gave me a much appreciated compliment and then at the checkout I got to hear a story about a man who is helping build homes in earthquake devastated countries.

I left there with a grin on my face and the realization that today had been an extraordinarily good day; a day filled with peace and laughter.    Many days are filled with impatience and agitation.  Some “errand Fridays” I complain about traffic, rude people, long lines and anything else I can think of.  Today, I didn’t!

Yes, I know that all days aren’t amazing and bad things happen, and we are faced with trials and troubles.   However, I also know that how you approach your day makes a big difference in the outcome.  Oh, the problems are going to show up.    It’s how we deal with them that matters.

If I mediate on and implement the scriptures that say “love is patient and kind and long suffering” and the ones that say “think on good things” and “say things that edify others and build them up”, I know without a shadow of a doubt my day is going to go better than if I gripe, grumble and complain and look for the bad.  If I meet others with a long face or a scowl, guess what I will probably get in return?  If I greet the day with a grateful heart, thankful that I am saved by grace and given this precious gift that comes with such amazing peace I am much more likely to stay on the positive side of things.

As I sit here, errands done and the day winding down to a close I am thanking God again for His many blessings and for this anything but ordinary day.

Facing Fears

 

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I just wanted to have a little fun today so I tried a little different style than normal.

She began to shake from her insides out, or so it felt.  She clasped her now sweaty palms together under her desk and felt as if she could squeeze the very blood out of them if she tried.  Her feet seemed glued to the floor and her socks were damp with moisture.  It was difficult to get a deep breath so she began to feel lightheaded.

The moment had come, the day of reckoning.  Could she do this?  Would her trembling legs support her thin frame?  If she opened her mouth to speak, would words come?  As she stood on shaky limbs a sudden feeling of nausea overwhelmed her.  She picked up the lone piece of paper from the desk and gripped it a little too tightly, her damp hands smudging the print.

Eyes wide with fright and all of her senses on edge, she heard a voice that sounded like it was far, far away.  “Lilly, did you hear me?”  She managed a tremulous nod and began moving forward at a snail’s pace.  She felt the eyes upon her as she walked the short distance to the place to which she was being beckoned.  The walk seemed to take forever and that was okay with her.

Every part of her longed to run but she had to face this fear.  Lilly Underwood was no coward.

When she reached her destination, she stopped, turned and planted her sneaker clad feet, facing the class.  It was finally her turn.

She began.  My book report is on Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White…….

 

 

Daily Prompt:  Tremble

Daily Post: Hyperbole

The Daily Prompt was Hyperbole.

Hyperbole (pronounced ‘high-purr-bo-lee’) is a figure of speech in which an author or speaker purposely and obviously exaggerates to an extreme.  I love language and I love this word, but I had never attempted to use it purposely.  So, I decided to try to use it in the short little story below and it was surprisingly fun!

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puffy clouds

As I sit outside in the sunshine on this beautiful albeit windy day, munching on my caramel apple and trying to keep my hair out of the stickiness, I see an alien.  Yes, an alien, then a pizza and finally a rooster all are blowing by in the puffy white clouds.

One minute, I’m thinking that I’ll be as big as a barn if I don’t stop eating all of these delightful candy coated, caramel concoctions and the next minute I’m thinking of my granny, skinny as a toothpick lying on a blanket finding pictures in the clouds.

Granny would have had a story for every picture; the alien would have been larger than life and travelled faster than the speed of light.  She would have said thinking about that pizza made her so hungry she could eat a horse and she probably would have had a story about how she tried to catch a rooster once and it ran like lightning.

After the stories were told and the clouds began to diminish and the skies became bluer than blue, we would pick up our blanket and shake the leaves off because after all, we had a million things to do.

Back then, I never would have considered Granny as old as the hills because she had as much spunk as most half her age.  Today, when I think about her and remember clasping her wrinkled little hand, I miss her.  She loved unconditionally and I’m beyond grateful for her prayers.  Knowing I will see her again someday allows me to smile at her memory.

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Daily Post: Tree

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Tree

Branches gently swaying in the breeze

Rustling leaves like whispers in the wind

Basking in your shade puts me at ease

A quiet place of respite you will lend

Hello October!

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My granddaughter last fall as we explored along Natchez Trace Parkway

Today is October 1, 2016 and I actually woke up a little excited about that.   Anyone who has read my past blogs or who knows me very well will recall that we have entered my favorite month.  The only thing casting a shadow on this otherwise lovely day is the horrible storm churning about in the Caribbean Sea, its sight seemingly set on Jamaica.  I pray earnestly for those in the path of this hurricane.

Somewhat selfishly, I am also vexed with the thought that the storm will interfere with my carefully laid plans to spend next weekend in North Carolina with my daughter and granddaughter.  I have been looking forward to spending a few days alone with them, taking in some Blue Ridge sights as we enjoy some of the changes of the season together.

I long to don a sweater, have my nose tickled by a blustery breeze and watch my granddaughter gracefully navigate a pumpkin patch somewhere along the way.  I am dreaming of slurping warm seasonal soups and sharing a slice of apple pie with my daughter as we catch up.  I envision us dancing along trails as we forage for adventure.

I know the trees will have already begun their dress in more vibrant hues of gold and scarlet.  They remind me of debutantes aspiring to be the belle of the ball as they slip into their fanciful attire.

The ground may not be carpeted with the crunchy relics of summer yet, but in a few short weeks, the riot of color will cover the mountains.   If I could stay for the entire month of October, I would.  Better yet, I would stay until the last leaf floated down from the place of its origin and the skeletal trees shivered in the bitter winter wind, heralding winter.

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My granddaughter last fall as we explored along Natchez Trace Parkway

Daily Post: Graceful

What lies beneath?

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Today’s prompt hit a nerve as soon as I read the word….surface.  My mind immediately began to form poems about layers and things hidden deep within.  It affected me because it reminds me of a topic that I’ve been contemplating for days.

A few nights ago, I taught on Motives; those deeply private and often impure reasons we do the things we do.  As I studied in preparation, I thought a lot about my own motives.  I asked myself questions like, “What is hidden in this heart?” and “Are my motives usually pure?”  I know better than to ask “always” because I think we all know that our hearts deceive us sometimes and there are other times when we have just allowed the wrong things in and our actions correspond.

I knew I had written on this very topic before so I did a quick search on “motives” and lo and behold, I find Check My Motives.  This post was from 2014!  So two years ago, God was dealing with me on the same topic.  I’m thankful for God’s long-suffering towards me as obviously He is re-addressing this with me once again.  I am either a very slow learner or my human heart just needs a reminder from time to time.

We do find ourselves with messy motives though, don’t we?   Have you ever done something for someone else with the hope that someone else will notice and praise you?  Would you do some of the good things you do if there was to be no visible payoff?  Do you hide behind social media and post something with a motive to hurt someone or embarrass them, but tell yourself you are innocent of such?

In all seriousness and honesty, I really do want to have pure motives all the time.  In order for that to happen my heart has to be pure, because out of the abundance of it, the mouth speaks (or writes, or posts).

Sometimes things done with insincere motives unwittingly benefit others and often we don’t even realize where our motives are coming from when we act.  It is a topic definitely worth reflecting on in your quiet time.

Proverbs 16:2 says, “People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.”  We know God looks upon the heart, but we may forget what that means.  He examines our motives.  If that isn’t reason enough for me to examine my own, I don’t know what is.

 

 

 

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