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To The Top for The Bottom

One of the most enjoyable things about blogging is the amazing photographers, professional and non-professional that share their photographs for all to enjoy. A lot of the photographs that are shared are due to various challenges as the one I will be sharing with you today,  well technically it’s night (2:30)but I couldn’t sleep so I am writing.

Irene from Heaven’s Sunshine was following the challenge for stairs from Pic And A Word  by Patrick Jennings. Her picture was so inspiring to me, I told her I was going to write about it, so I did. I hope you enjoy it and do stop by Irene’s blog for some wonderful pictures.

Steps to the Cross
Bailly Cemetery – Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

   THE CLIMB

I see and maintain it still is not fair,

I have nothing to lay at the top of the stair.

It’s not my fault, I did nothing wrong,

Well, maybe I did, it’s just been so long.

How long has it been since I climbed to the top,

I remember it’s relief, Why did I stop?

How can a symbol of such astounding grief,

Be given to us to bring so much relief?

With love so amazing, to the cross did He die,

To flood us with gratitude that still makes us cry.

The burdens we carry don’t always seem fair,

Always we can lay them at the top of the stair.

The first step looks brittle, can it carry my weight?

This burden is heavy and may seal my dire fate.

As I touch each step and climb ever higher,

Is this what I should do, is this really my desire?

As I clear the last step, the cross is before me,

I question my worth, did He also die for me?

As my knees get bent, I am smothered by His grace,

And I lay all my burdens at the accepting cross base.

                       – Anita Tillman Neal –

 

Always remember there is a burden carrier and it isn’t you. Scripture tells us repeatedly that He is there to carry our burden for us, we just have to be willing to give them to Him.

And as always I remind everyone the much loaded value of kindness. Carry it with you where ever you go and share as much as possible.

 

 

God’s Night Light

The year 2019 for much of the midwest will go down in T-shirt remembrance mode. In the Quad-cities area alone for the season we have experienced 56 inches of white stuff with forecast for tonight and tomorrow of another 3-5 inches. It’s a running joke of “Has it snowed today yet? Just wait 10 minutes!”

Yesterday, last night and again today we have enjoyed balmy temperatures in the mid twenties which still seems cold but comparatively feels warmer. With cloudy skies during most of the month, the clear skies have been a much welcome joy and relief. The moon was a bright light in the sky that I thought I would share with you. Even though the tree are in the way, I think you can enjoy the pictures as we enjoyed gazing at God’s night light, an ever reminder that he is always there for us.

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Just rising
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Between the trees
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The night light in  the sky

Due to our lovely weather or my internet service, I have been trying to get this published since this morning. It looks to be working properly so, Yippee.

With the second day of blue skies, the bird feeder was especially busy so I am including some of the beauty I had there. We will see if the 3-5 inches manifest tonight or if we get blessed with a small amount – not looking like that will be the result. Enjoy the birds and may spring come on gently to bless us. I guess one blessed thing I read was that due to the horrific polar vortex, we should have low bug turn out this spring and summer, so there is always a silver lining somewhere, you just have to look for it.

The ever playful Blue Jay.

Two different kinds of woodpeckers. There were many sparrows and chick-a-dees but they are very skittish and wont sit long enough to get their beauty struck.

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I leave you with a picture showing the kindness of feeding the birds and a reminder of something Jesus said telling his disciples how very precious they were and then going on to explain how much more precious we were in comparison. So remember to always be kind and let God’s light shine through you to others.

 

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Any one or anything…as HE created it all

Treasures Found Cleaning Out

Winter is usually a time to rest with spring being the time to clean but this cold has just about done me in so I took the time to go through a closet I have not open since we moved in 6 years ago. In it I found a framed picture of a drawing and poem I wrote for my mother. Now I loved my mother but she was…a mess.She was an alcoholic and as an adult I understand why and that is probably why I don’t touch alcohol, other than it taste gross. I guess it is an acquired taste and I have has some of the better and more expensive to taste and I just as soon leave it be.

Sometimes God puts people in our lives to help us heal from issues we have faced and He did so with me with Miss Mary Lou. Miss Mary Lou is well in her senior years but has the most gentle soul I believe I have ever met. The first day I visited the church I am currently worshiping in, she came and sat me as she said she didn’t want me to sit alone. I am one of those weird people who to sit up front, second pew. With ADD, I don’t need any distractions. But the wonderful stories I had heard about Miss Mary Lou and her ever gracious husband never seemed to surprise me as they were always sharing God’s love.

The other thing about Miss Mary Lou that shocked me the most when she first sat by me was how much she looked like my mother, or rather how my mother would have looked had she lived the same age as Miss Mary Lou. They were probably within 10 years of each other in age. I look at Miss Mary Lou and believe this is how my mother could have been if she had been close to the Lord as she also loved people.

So I post this poem I wrote for my mother, probably for Mother’s Day, in May of 1986, along with the tea rose I bought for me. I send it to mom again in heaven in her honor and also with love and honor of Miss Mary Lou for giving me peace from a matronly figure.

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Like A Rose

Like a rose’s sweet fragrance that floats through the air,

So does a mother’s love as it flows through the home.

Like a rose that reflects its rich vibrant color,

So does a mother when she is loving her children.

Like a rose’s thorns that beckon you to beware,

So does a mother who safely guides her children.

Like the velvety softness of the rose’s soft petals,

So soothes a mother’s hand and voice calms a fear.

                                     Anita Neal   5/11/1986

And in closing as I always remind readers to do – Be kind. Share your gentle softness with the fragrance of God’s love.

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Cheer & Laugh to Keep from Crying

OK, it is February 16, 2019 at 8:15 in the evening, Central Time USA. Two days ago we had a fluke system that came in and gave us glorious day temps of 45 degrees. It was fabulous. Tonight, however, we are at 24 degrees and waiting for yet another winter mess to hit us. Saturday night thru Sunday at noon, a possible 3 – 5 inches more snow and then on Tuesday night thru Wednesday at noon ANOTHER 3 – 5 inches. At this point we are laughing and cheering “Come On”. We are close to breaking a new all time record of snowfall in one season – only need 12 more inches and we still have 2 more weeks in February plus March has been known for some significant inches. The picture below was the local weather report showing broken records at that time before we got the last storm which was supposed to be 4-8 inches but ended up being 3 inches of ICE.

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This will be a year where we will need to have t-shirts saying “I survived winter 2019”. The record low for us was -34 with a wind chill of -51. And the polar vortex was harder in other areas. I am originally from south Georgia – ain’t use to this mess. But what I find funny is how I have acclimated and how people who have lived here all their lives are some of the biggest wimps. So I guess we will see what mother nature throws at us. Its like a “Go Team” now because you want that last record broken to prove you deserve the t-shirt.

The snowfall in November was one event of 14″. Glad I was not working and having to worry about getting to work. The crazy polar vortex was in January is what gave us the all time record cold and the thunder ice. I had never heard of thunder ice until moving here. Weird. And then the blizzard conditions were in one of the February storms, and remember its only the 16th of February.

I have always heard about March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb, and Lord helps us if this fable follows suit of this winter. Well I will check in with you tomorrow with pictures of what we get. May you all have sweet dreams of warm suntanning days. And as always, remember to be kind to man and beast alike. Especially if you are enduring crazy weather patterns that can cause extra stress on living creatures, cold or hot.

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Am I Bored, Tired or Watching You, #SoCS

YAWN – To open the mouth wide and take a deep breath.

Why do we yawn? Is it boredom causing us to not breathe properly? Is it because we are not getting good sleep? If either of these are true, then who do we yawn when we see other people yawn? And is it the same thing for animals?

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Medical chart for yawning

Linda G Hill’s SoCS prompt for today is yawn. What a funny mechanism to make us breathe better and research has almost as many answers as we do questions about why we yawn. All I know is when a baby yawns, it is precious.

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When adults do it, it sometimes seems rude but when dogs do it, you love on them and tease them about being tired. How can they be tired when the average sleep amount for our dogs is 12 – 14 hours in a 24 hour period. The rest of the time they are barking at a random plastic bag as the wind blows it across the yard. And I guess guard control of the mailman pulls too much energy from them requiring more naps.

Some animals are funnier looking when they yawn, like a horse for instance. As Debbie Smyth of Travel with Intent traveled around the globe, she got some funny photos of yawning animals that I am reposting as they make me giggle.

I found others on line that really remind you the damage these creatures can do to you if you get too close.

Lions, Tigers & Bears, Oh my!

And it getting back to a more cute side of yawning, I leave you with sad pictures of the canines in our house who went right past the yawn into the sleep mode.

While we enjoy the lighter side of life that we have the ability to enjoy, remember to share a little of that light and maybe brighten someone else’s day.

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Fun with Poetry

As I play with my blog, I enjoy what others say, write and photograph. Today I saw a photograph that so inspired me that I thought again I would write about it. I have done this in the past and it is relaxing to me. After the wonderful day of 48 degrees (before it plummets back to single digits) I was able to get out and enjoy the sun so I think more fun is good thing to do. Irene of Heaven’s Sunshine takes lovely and fun pictures of nature and things around nature and today she posted a Leafy Heart. Do drop by her blog and enjoy her photographs. So below are my words to go with Irene’s Leafy Heart.

Leafy Heart
The Leafy Heart / The Autumn Leaf

The Autumn Leaf

The audible sigh of the leaf in fall as it begins to die

 Drops slowly from trees above like tears when you cry

We wait for them all winter as they quietly rest and sleep

Popping out at spring and stretching to soak up warmth so deep

As summer comes in to brighten their worth, they create abundant shade

For we sit and rest under them and block the heat that is made.

As changing season turns again once more to cooler fall

The leaves display their dying hues that are admired by one and all

The leaf hangs tight to its dear life as long as it possibly can

But winds of fall will toss them down to be crushed by steps of man

As other lives rush over them when preparing their own winter deeds

A spider crawls around them to see if there is anything he needs

But alas he leaves as nothing was found for him of the leaf to give

And he heads towards home and other things in hopes of his life to live.

                  -Anita Neal-

 

And always in closing I remind all of the extraordinary value of kindness and how if we can share that kindness with others, even when we don’t feel like it,  that may be the only kindness shared with that one person on that day.

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A Reprieve

Reprieve – To give relief or deliverance for a time.

That is what we had today – a one day reprieve from this tirade of winter 2019. The temps today got up to 48 degrees here in western Iowa and even thought we know that Nadia is closing fast, we accepted this gift of a reprieve to helps us not lose hope in spring forgetting us as in Horton who heard the Whos – We are here! We are here! We are here!

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Marvelous read

So today I was actually able to get out and run a few errands and of course refill the bird feeders. With all of that ice on top of the snow, I was just too fearful to try. But as we type the temps are already falling and will drop back to single digits. I was ever grateful for this reprieve of shining sun and “balmy” temps.

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Blue skies and shining sun today

As as we brace for another cold and snowy onslaught, we will remember this breath of fresh air in hoping spring to come sooner that later.

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Cometh thou O Spring

And as we wait for milder weather, let us remember to be mild ourselves and show kindness where we can.

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