Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Beautiful Earth...

This morning I stop to give thanks and to say a little prayer for the beautiful blue planet we all call home. I wanted to join with many others who are commemorating Earth Day 2014.

With Spring unfolding with all its promise for new life, we certainly feel the wonder again of how lovely nature really is... all of it, I believe, created in its very beginnings by God Himself.  

But, for all the joy in that, there is a piercing of the heart as I look around right here in my own region of the world to find that there are far too many in our world who do not share this wonder, nor do they seem to have any care for wise development of resources, or conservation or finding how to keep the delicate balance of nature and progress in our cultures.

Instead they seem intent on 'raping and pillaging' our lands, our forests, our wildlife, oceans and lakes, polluting our air, making the land work overtime so that nutrients are depleted, treating our domestic animals with the cruelest of actions.

But I'm reminded even as I type this piece today that if I keep my eyes on these things, I will surely lose hope.  For it is only in keeping my eyes on the Creator that I can find wisdom on how to live and care for the little corner of my world, not to mention how to speak 'heaven on earth' so that healing, restoration and hope can come to our world and we can have a better tomorrow.

There are many people who are doing their part to make the world, our very planet, a better place to live. I am grateful for each one.  Too often these good news pieces don't get as much attention as the bad news stuff -- but yes they are out there too.

In the middle of this, I want to tell you a little story I heard years ago. As I recall, there was a man, a poor rice farmer who lived somewhere in Asia.  This man learned how to pray for and bless his little rice paddy. As the story goes, he began to see results -- his fields began to flourish and he got bumper crops.  He began to pray for his neighbourhood then. Apparently he would stand on a little hill and he would lift his arm and hold it out in front of him as he prayed, turning himself around so that whatever he could see from every direction he would bless.

If that is a true story, and I believe it is, I think it serves as an example that we, too, can use our voices, not to lament and wail that this world is going to 'you-know-where' in a hand basket, but to use our voices to bless that which needs healing, restoration and fruitfulness.

Do you have lakes that are polluted and fish dying in those lakes? Start to bless them and ask the Lord of this earth to give people ideas that can start to shift things to make a difference. 

If my people which are called by my name...will humble themselves and pray...I will hear and heal  their land.

This is how I want to bless my beautiful blue world today.  Will you join me? 

 "The Earth. . . is a sparkling blue and white jewel. . . laced with slowly swirling veils of white. . . like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery." ~ Edgar Mitchell, US Astronaut

 For a glimpse of that beauty, here is:

On that note, I'm sending my love to you and to all God's creatures,
O Happy Day!


Photo source:  Microsoft Images

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Song Breaks In...

I woke early this morning, as is my usual wont. It was still dark out...all was quiet and peaceful.

And then I heard it. The very welcome sleepy twittering of the first robin of the season. Yesterday there was no sign of him, and yet there he was now... singing in the dawn of a new morning.

For me it was my little joy gift from my heavenly father... and the perfect start to what many know as Resurrection Sunday.

The early morning skies were still shrouded in pre-dawn shades of gray, and I began to think about the story in the Gospels of how the women went early in the morning to the tomb to put spices around the body of their beloved Jesus.

Did the robin's song break the solemn silence of that morning?   

Did the song give those sorrowing women a lift in their heavy hearts? Was there a hint of the joy, still hidden, that was waiting just around the corner when they arrived in that garden?

Whether they had an inkling or not, I can well imagine the surprise and later the utter joy at finding out that He wasn't in that tomb anymore, but actually was walking around -- full of life and joy -- giving us the promise that one day we too can rise with Him into everlasting life.

Today I'm singing.... and if you desire to join in, I've shared two pieces that you might enjoy. The first is a modern piece In Christ Alone that I like very much, and the second is a more classical piece This Joyful Eastertide as sung by a choir at King's College Cambridge.

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices…”
~ Charles Kingsley

 On that note, I'm sending you sprigs of joy and peace
with a gentle kiss atop thy head,

Photo source:  Panoramio.com

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Good Friday Wrap

The week flew by, didn't it?

I started two different posts I wanted to share with you. Somehow my writer- and editor- selves got all tangled up trying to create and edit all at the same time. Soon the postings were all tangled up too. And so neither got finished...nor posted, as we have some untangling to do.

Does that ever happen to you?

You start with a simple, but lovely idea that you want to post about and then somehow it turns complicated? You start adding too much, then it gets too heavy and now you've got more ideas creeping in that could wait for another posting. And you wonder how you got off track. Now it's too late in the day to really work on it and so you're feeling stressed.

Of course, maybe that only happens to me. And, to be honest, it has been known to happen in other creative work, even creating order out of chaotic corners in my house or sorting through a project which was supposed to only take a few minutes. Hahahahahaha....

So while I'm weeding out the extraneous on those other two pieces, I'm just popping in to wish you a beautiful Friday. And to say I have been thinking of you. And to give you some snippets from my week..........

It's been snowing.

Truly. I'm not joking. Seriously too. Not just a few flakes. Tell me, somebody please, did I tear off too many calendar pages too soon, and it really is only February? The birds migrating into town this past week seem a little disoriented.  The Canada Geese are sitting atop frozen ponds looking forlorn. The juncos, usually feeders on the ground, couldn't find any seeds as they were all covered with the white stuff. So we tromped out there to throw some seeds around for them to peck through.

It was my birthday yesterday.

Had a lovely day with hubby. Rick took me out for a very nice lunch and we strolled through our local conservatory to take in the spring displays. Plus, we visited our local art gallery for a joyful look at the work of two amazing glasswork artists, Susan Rankin and Manola Borrajo, both from Canada.

Although I'm inching a little too close to that new decade that doesn't seem quite right for my generation, I've decided not to be frettin' on it. So, instead, I'm looking forward to a new year to grow, learn, experience life, love and beauty... with you and with Him. Will you have a slice with me?  

The memoir story is coming along.

We have almost finished Week 2 of the little 30-day challenge to write 750 words per day, every single day, no matter what. I happily report that the momentum has been building, and some days I've not only met the quota but nearly tripled the amount.

This is celebration time, my dear friends. Yes, even while we're in the middle of the challenge. Because it's been a hard haul to stay motivated and to just keep at it... not just this project, but many writing projects along the way (okay, confession time, just about any project that needs stamina and stick-with-it-ability. But I've found my stride now. This is what I found works for She Who Tends To Get Easily Overwhelmed...and Distracted:
1. Her goal is small enough not to feel pressured but big enough to stretch just a little.

2. Because it's small, she can do this every single day...no matter what else is going on.

3. She is focusing on being a writer in this freefall first draft. The self-editor voice who felt it was her place to look over her shoulder as she typed to help 'fix' things... well, God bless her, the writer finally locked the door on her and kindly told her that her turn will come later and to just go relax with a coffee or something. Eat some cake, for pete's sake.

4. She remembers something she read on one  blogger's site... to write your first draft as quickly as possible. The whole thing. He also shared an inside secret on how one can separate the newbies from the veterans.

"The latter race through the first draft while the first timers belabor every word, parse thrice every phrase, and start again and again and again." ~ Gordon Burgett

Ooops... what a helpful tip for this particular newbie to book writing.

5. She finally found a copy of Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art in which the author talks about pushing through the resistance we all face and to start acting like a professional about her writing -- which means showing up every day and getting her goal done, no matter what.

That's a little of what's been going on with me... And now I take a moment to wish those of you who are remembering the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ a truly blessed and meaningful weekend of reflection and celebration.

Sending you sprigs of joy and peace,

Monday, April 14, 2014

I'd Like To Add...

"I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily. "I don't exactly want to make people KNOW more... though I know that IS the noblest ambition... but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me... to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born.”  ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

 Ditto and Amen!

Wishing you little joys and happy thoughts....