Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Beautiful Earth...

"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."

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

 For a glimpse of that beauty, here is:

Sending my love to you and to all God's creatures,
O Happy Day!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Meditation: 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 was actually 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, 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. So while I weed out the extraneous, let me give you some snippets from my week.

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.

It's been snowing. 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.

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. Celebration time, my dear friends. 

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 site: write your first draft as quickly as possible. The whole thing. The author shared a insider tip on how to 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

5. She 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. Now I take a moment to wish those of you who are commemorating and celebrating 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

To Add Some Beauty

Image by Sonja Kalee from Pixabay

"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,

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Introducing My Dust Bunnies

"Please don't feed the dust bunnies."

Dust bunnies are quite shy, did you know that? They tend not to come out into the wide open spaces but prefer nice quiet, undisturbed corners of one's house. Under beds and behind book cases seem to be particular favourites. That's why I was quite surprised to find a pair of them right out in the open yesterday. Perhaps they thought they could get away with not being seen, what with all manner of Easter bunnies showing up this time of year. But we spotted them right away. Cute though, aren't they, with those big brown eyes. Amiable too.

Judy mentioned the other day that she enjoys the way I share my dust bunnies stories. I smiled. Oh my, I didn't realize just how often they do figure into the conversation around here. As we all know in blogland, just about anything works for blogging material, doesn't it!

Neither hubby or I put dusting near the top of any to-do list. We seem quite able to live happily ever after with our little dusty friends. It's only when the sunlight makes their presence too well known along the piano top or bookshelf that we take feather dusters and skitter them all away....for the time being at least. It isn't long before one sees evidence of their quiet return.

If dust bunny conversations really stir up your sense of fun and imagination, then you might enjoy some of my past posts on the subject.

The dusting is done. The carpets are cleaned. And today we're gathering up the silver for polishing (believe me I don't do that very often, but I'm in the mood). On that note, I'm away.

Wishing you a beautiful, bunny-free day,

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

We Got Mail!

Oh, the delight of lovely surprises coming from out of the blue. Not to mention the unexpected pleasure of a letter -- real mail -- arriving in one's mailbox. Yesterday such a treat arrived with my name on it.

Tucked inside a hand addressed envelope from Lorrie was this exquisite tiny watercolor 'wafting with spring cheer'. Artistic in so many ways, Lorrie tells me that she's been enjoying her attempts at watercolor -- it's fun and something she does with pleasure and with no pressure. That's the key isn't it? To find the pleasure with no pressure. 

I'm just tickled to be the recipient of one of this little treasures. It will have a special place in my study. And yes, Lorrie, its waft of spring turned our Alberta day into something that really was spring!

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,


Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday Musings...

Kiss it hello.
Let joy flow through your arteries today,
mindful that the essence of life is Love and Joy.

What shall I tell you on this bright new Monday morning? Let's see...birds are singing. Sun is shining. Skies have wispy clouds.  Grass is not getting green just yet, but there's hope as the mounds of snow are fast disappearing. Oh, and we're getting ready for company this coming weekend, so we're stepping up on the Spring Cleaning event. I mentioned a few posts back that I was doing my cleaning this year in little bits... a drawer here, a closet there, a shelf, a cupboard, a window...

I was sitting with Hubby after we got home from a very busy morning cleaning at the local performing arts centre.  We usually relax for a few minutes as we have a wee snack -- he usually has a hot milk, today I had a small tub of coconut flavored Greek style yogurt. I was mulling what I should do first today. And Dear One pipes up why don't I work on my writing  first thing. Put it first. Ohhhh.... thank you. Yes, I will.

I'm sorry to say that in my mind, writing still always seems to come 'after' the chores of the manor.  But he's helping me to recognize that my writing should get a seat of honour further up the to-do list. And, I do agree mentally, but my training as a young girl (my mom was a good housekeeper) says that housework comes first. And even after all these years, it's hard to rearrange that easily.

By the way, I love notebooks of all sizes and colours, and I am especially drawn to small ones (about 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches), like the one in the above photo. These treasures are put out by Peter Pauper Press, and I'm happy to report that they have a great website that showcases lots of their beautiful product. Be sure and check it out.

It's been fun having a wee chat with you. I see by the clock I best be off. I've got dust bunnies to attend to.

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Saturday Survey Sez...

This morning Vee at A Haven for Vee poses a list of questions---her sister is in dire want of feedback to a particularly pressing question. Adding my own answers to her comment box, I thought it would be fun to share them here too. That way I don't have to think up a brand new post on this overcast, relaxed Saturday morning. Do visit Vee... join the survey and 'help' a friend out.

1. In a pinch for supper (and unable to have take-out) would it be cereal or scrambled eggs? I like both, but maybe I'd have scrambled eggs.

2. Would you prefer to swim or hike? Hike, I don't swim well.

3. Do you prefer coffee or tea? The preference depends on the time of day and what I might be eating with it.

4. Do you ever remove labels from clothing, towels, mattresses, pillows? Well, now...years ago I used to think that that little warning tag ' do not remove' on items like pillows meant I couldn't take them off. And then one day my lightening quick mind realized they weren't talking to me!!! So YES, I now bravely remove labels when they get in the way.

5. Would you like to live somewhere else? Yes, in a more temperate climate with milder winters and Springs that come at the right time, like Victoria BC. In my dreams, I'd live in England.

6. Have you ever vacationed out of the country you live in? Yes, to USA (I'm from Canada), Trinidad, Hawaii (oh yes, that's USA too), England and mainland Europe.

7. If you had to watch a movie this afternoon would it be Saving Private Ryan or Saving Mr. Banks? Saving Mr. Banks, since we love Emma Thompson and Mary Poppins.

8. Egg salad sandwiches or chicken salad sandwiches? It's too hard to choose, I love 'em both.

9. Cats or dogs? Kitty cats absolutely, although we like dogs -- I like to visit them at someone else's house.

10. Do you enjoy a thunderstorm? Couldn't say 'enjoy' but some are amazing to listen to and watch. Especially when the thunder doesn't directly shake my own house or the lightening isn't threatening my own roof top.

* * *

Here's wishing you a lovely Saturday. In keeping with Susan Branch's rule of thumb, I shall be starting slowly and then tapering off. Sure hope you can do the same.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Lesson of the Lipstick. Part 2


Buying a new tube of my current favourite lipstick was not on my shopping list that day.

I was out doing errands, not being in any great rush, just minding my own business one sunny afternoon. 

And then I felt a gentle urging on the inside to go into Shoppers Drug Mart and buy myself a new lipstick. It came like a little feather thought, not urgent, not commanding. Just flitted in and out. I didn't pay attention. But then it came a day or two later when I was out again.

This time I stopped. It's you, Lord, talking to me. All right. I don't need it right now, but since you're urging me to go, I will pop in right now and get it.

I made my selection, went to the checkout and, to my surprise and delight, it was on SALE! There were no signs indicating that L'Oreal was having a sale that day.

You can imagine I was tickled pink! What fun!

The best part for me was that my heart had caught His voice on the breeze, and as a result I now had a new lipstick in my favourite shade of pink and it was even on sale (which at the time was also special as I didn't have a lot for extras right then).
I've often thought about this little lipstick story. And, I'm sharing it with you this particular week because, you see, I heard that same small voice telling me to write about it now.  I pray it blesses you in the tender places of your heart.....

Because He Cares For Us!

God pays attention to what matters to us. He notices the details of our lives. That's what Love does. It looks for ways to delight the heart of the Beloved. Sometimes it's for no special reason...it's one of those 'just because' moments.

Because He Wants Us To Hear His Voice!

If we are in relationship with someone, we need to be able to communicate. To hear and listen to one another. It's the same with our relationship with God.
The Lord and I have this little 'game' we play. We're not playing games, if you know what I mean. But in my desire to have a heart that is tuned to hear His Voice always, I've asked Him to give me practice runs on things that don't really matter, that is to say, they are not life or death. But so that I learn to recognize when it's Him speaking.  Sometimes we hear clearly, other times we're not sure.
Because, you see, there will probably come a time in my life...in each of our lives...when something will come up that will be more urgent, more life defining. And I'd like to be prepared so that I can KNOW it's Him speaking and not just my own thoughts. I believe it will be imperative that each of us learns to recognize His voice in these perilous times.

To learn to be in the right place at the right time.  To jump when He says jump, or don't go down that little alley right now. That sort of thing.
And of course, for simple joys such as buying a new lipstick and finding it on sale.

So that's the lesson of the lipstick.

And now...with a gentle kiss atop thy head,

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Lesson of the Lipstick. Part 1

L'Oreal Intense No. 285
<Part 2

I am a girl. And although I'm not a high glamour girl, I do like wearing my lipstick.

On days when I'm in a hurry (or I don't feel like dressin' up) the lipstick is still a required accessory for all outfits and every occasion, even when I'm just pulling on comfort clothes at three o'clock in the morning for work at the local performing arts centre.

I find it interesting that one of my close neighbors has commented on more than one occasion that whenever she sees me out and about, I always look so 'put together'. Although I'm pleased for the compliment, I have wondered what exactly causes her to see me that way...especially when we often meet while I'm out gardening, putting compost into the bins or getting the mail. I mean, some days I am not 'put together' at all.

Then one day, I twigged onto it... it's because I always wear lipstick. It's that one little simple thing that I have found rounds out any outfit and adds a touch of glamour... even to my old gardenin' clothes.

And here's a little tip I've learned: if you learn to use a lip-liner (as close to your natural lip colour as possible) to outline the lip line before applying lipstick, this seems to truly give it a more finished look.

So... lipstick has its important place in my life and because it's one of those little things that helps make my life feel more beautiful, I thought it deserved its very own blog posting.

Tomorrow I want to share Part 2 to this topic. Because there is another neat story connected to my lipstick that is of a more heavenly nature.

On that note,

I'm blowing you kisses
and wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.....