Friday, January 20, 2017

Refine

I hope to refine music, study it, try to find some area that I can unlock. I don't quite know how to explain it but it's there. These can't be the only notes in the world, there's got to be other notes some place, in some dimension, between the cracks on the piano keys. 

Marvin Gaye



    It is still early here. Daylight is forming but I sit in the dark in front of my computer. I'm grappling with the word refine. To take something "fine" and try to make it finer, is daunting. It really is like looking for something new between the cracks on the piano keys. 
   If I didn't have some artistic endeavors I would settle for "fine" in my life. But, no matter my ability, I know I must search for a more refined outcome. It is frightening to me to look for that nuance that takes a piece to a higher level. All I seem to have towards that goal is grit. Start over, white out the canvas, go back to the beginning, these are not pleasant tasks. Yet, sometimes they birth something outside of myself, something better than I imagined. Surely there is heaven involved in this process. 







 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for more than two years and I really enjoy the talented writers 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Whimsical Wednesday Writings- How To Survive Illness




   My writing today is not really whimsical at all. I'm sick with the flu. Between chills there are flashes of sweating. I have a screeching cough and I just feel sorry for myself. Poor me! Here is a list of things to survive illness:
  • Don't watch depressing television where everyone's lives fall apart
  • Don't read books with complicated plots that expect you to remember who did what
  • Do open the windows and doors for a few minutes to change the air
  • If you drink 6-8 cups of herbal tea re-use the bags
  • Change your sheets
  • Think back on how efficient and amazing you are when you are well
  • Thank your friend when they offer to bring you more Tylenol and soup
  • Remember that nothing ever stays the same 


I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?




Monday, January 16, 2017

Nurture In The Lord- What have I Learned?

Enos 1:1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man--for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord--and blessed be the name of my God for it.




Enos is very grateful for a father who taught him in the nurture of the Lord. I believe it is that nurturing that brought him to pray in the wilderness. He comes to prayer in the spirit of intensity. His answer did not come right away. He wrestled with his doubts, his inadequacies, and with his level of commitment. But his father's teachings sprouted faith. Jacob, his father, was well versed in struggle. Here are some of his words.


   Jacob 3:1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. 2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.

    I believe Enos wanted to feast upon the love of God. A testimony by someone you love, who invites you to feast and who feasts himself on the abiding love is stirring to the very soul. 

   So, what did I learn from my mother who taught me in the nurture of the Lord? No one can do spiritual work for you. Sometimes it feels like you approach God without backup. His nurturing is stronger than you can imagine. When others fail you He is there. He gives you strength to do hard things. The relationship with Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven goes on beyond death. 
   Next Monday I tackle the question of how I can teach others in the nurture of the Lord. And, I am not ignoring the word admonition which accompanies the word nurture in both Ephesians and The Book of Enos, but I want to unpack that word nurture fully. 




To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.

      

Friday, January 13, 2017

Middle

You are, at this moment, standing, right in the middle of your own 'acres of diamonds.' 
Earl Nightingale

The playwright often uses the form of the three-act play. Act One is the introduction of the plot. Characters are introduced, the scene is set, and a conflict demands engagement by the cast.



   In Act Two the plot gets messy and absolutes get challenged. There is often anxiety in this section because everyone is forced to grow. Act Three brings resolution and in that act the protagonist triumphs over his trials and joy is often the outcome. 
   I am still in the middle of my three act play. Overcoming my weakness requires crying unto the Lord everyday. It is my greatest solace to know my Savior is present in my second act. His promises are sure and he has promised a fullness of joy. Still, the outcome is tenuous. 










 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for more than two years and I really enjoy the talented writers 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Whimsical Wednesday Writing- The Table



“There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament or the halls of academia but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table.”
E.A. Bucchianeri 

Some tables are round, oblong, or rectangular, and I have had one of each. Our rectangle table was purchased by my daughter when she was still home. She felt we needed a nice table and I agreed enough to buy the chairs. This was not the table that had five little children around it but it does have grandchildren,  often enough to feel the sticky, tacky, hand prints of littles. 



     In the winter the eating area is the farthest away from the heat source. The living room can be 75 degrees but the kitchen table is barely reaching 65. So, we don't always eat at the table. I see that as a problem. The graciousness of having a meal together is often non-existent. I tried to solve the issue by placing beautiful placemats and dinnerware on the table early in the day. I wanted that to draw me to it. It worked at first, but the novelty died away. I eat less mindfully in a comfy chair in the living room. I put things in my mouth without tasting them. Then, I eat a little more because I am so comfortable and don't want to get up. It strikes me that traditions that require connection are often inconvenient. Choosing convenience casts a dimmer light on family closeness. I feel interested in choosing more wisely.


I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?




Monday, January 9, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Taught In The Nurture Of The Lord


Ephesians 4:4 ​And, ye ​​​fathers​, ​​​provoke​ not your ​​​children​ to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


Today is Monday and a day to explore nurture as my word of the year. In the New Testament nurture appears only once and the context was a directive to bring up children in "the nurture of the Lord" I am curious about how Paul might have been nurtured by the Lord. 

2 Corinthians 1:3 "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."


      Comfort is mentioned five times. I can't think of two more nurturing words than comfort and console. Those words describe perfectly a nurturing parent. I asked these questions of myself last Monday. Was I taught in the nurture of the Lord? What have I learned from that nurture? How can I teach others in that nurture?


    Thinking back to my mother, who has been dead for 14 years, I remember her scriptures on the living room end table. They were well read. She brought them with her from Germany when we emigrated. She was a believer and received comfort and consolation from the Lord all through her life. She taught me to pray and often told me stories of how faith and prayer protected our family from the calamities of war. So, yes, she taught me in the nurture of the Lord. My father was not a believer. He relied on his own strength to get through major obstacles. He was strong and willing to sacrifice. I saw a good contrast in my parents. Respecting them both, I did see quiet peace which my mother received from her nurturing relationship with God. I learned from her that God supports and sustains his children. Her testimony is a foundational support to my testimony. 

I was nurtured by her side.





To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.

   

Friday, January 6, 2017

Connect

"I'm already including "connect" in daily thoughts as I go about the regular stuff of my life - asking myself how I'm connecting with this and that and especially focusing on what I can disconnect from (love the angle of including the opposite of my word)."
Ali Edwards




What can I disconnect from? I would like to disconnect my enjoyment of eating from guilt. So many of us struggle with food and the consequences of eating in an unhealthy way. I have this brain loop that thinks, I'm not feeling great,-------I should eat something. What if I re-connect to my thoughts like this; I feel good, I should eat something. That seems so weird. Food should make me feel better, right. But, it so often doesn't. If I ate with the prompt, I FEEL good, what would my experience feel like? I know what my mind would do. It would look for reasons why I do feel good, so that I could eat something. Hmm.....how bad can that be? So I am rambling because I cannot solve this issue right now, but thanks for connecting with me on this blog. I will try to shift my connection.







 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their work. Would you like to join us?