The Collar, #SoCS

Control or Not Control, That is the Question

The Collar

A ring of control around our neck,

This one lay empty upon the deck

Some are made of metal, some of leather

Some are heavy or light as a feather

The ones worn by dogs are not for pretend

The ones by humans may be a fashion trend

The better way of control may be a harness

Where it holds your body from a major mess

But we as humans must truly confess

It is not our body that we need to control

but a small component that drops us in a hole

It is our tongue that spews gentle or mean

A component that is hard for us to keep clean

A component that we must learn to control

For this should forever be our life long goal.

Linda G. Hill Stream of Consciousness Saturday has given us a fun prompt of “collar”.

Come join in on the fun and see how we all tackle this challenge. And as hinted to in the poem above remember the value of being kind. This should be a goal for all of us.

Always Be Kind

Release

Tonight I release a little bit more. A little more pain, a little more hurt, and gain a little more courage and a little more self worth. Its been a long journey and I pour out a little more of my soul with the help of my computer to continue my journey in healing. Tonight I watched again, the movie “I Can Only Imagine”. Fabulous movie and the song is probably my favorite all time song. If you haven’t seen it, or heard the song, you need to.

This true story of pain and courage from an abusive home and the hope from its story’s journey has been a huge inspiration to me to remind me there is life after abuse. There is hope after abuse. And there are dreams after abuse.

While I did not come from a physically abusive home towards me when growing up, there were the occasional drunken brawls of abuse between my parents. And what so many do not understand is that there are many forms of abuse other than physical and all of them are detrimental to children of the home.

Colossians 3 reminds us of correct rules for Christian homes reminding parents that they are to love each other as Christ loves them and to not discourage and embitter the children. When children become discouraged from abuse in the home, it sets a standard for their understanding and let me just tell you – No one…No one…and I say it again…No one should be allowed to harm another person with physical action or with words, whether they are family, friend or a total stranger.

Because a lot of times it creates a cycle and it takes a lot of courage and effort to break that cycle. I was not strong enough to do that. Off and on for twenty years I stayed in an abusive marriage. It took two divorces from the same man for me to finally break free of this pattern. And it took another ten for me to gain strength and courage to survive on my own, with three children. Then it took another ten for me to find a new life of courage and self worth with new dreams. Life is hard and I don’t know how anyone can survive this life without Jesus Christ, its hard enough for those of us who do follow him.

My revisited dream of being a writer is actually coming to the front. Will I be a best seller, no, but my second book is in process of being printed and I am hoping it will be out in October. It is a sequel of my first book…about dogs. God instills in us survival techniques that sometimes can come out in various art forms. Some people turn to music, some to painting but I turned to writing. Dogs were a big part of my survival so I turned them into people and wrote about them. It was fun and encouraging for me as I still fight with self worth. When you are told for many years how worthless you are, it takes a while to flush that all down the toilet. I am enclosing one of the first poems I ever place of WordPress. I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s photo and it shows how even now I struggle with self worth in Christ knowing full well to him I am precious. Never forget how much God loves you and that he always has a plan for you. Grab hold of his hand and hang on.

Bailly Cemetery, Courtesy Irene Tron

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 its relief, why did I stop?

How can a symbol of such astounding grief,

Be given to us to bring us this 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 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’m smothered by His grace,

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

Anita Neal

Probably the reason I push kindness like I do is because I fully understand its benefits, it value and how easily it can spread. besides it is one of the fruits of the spirit. So I remind you as always the utmost value of kindness. Please be kind.

George, The Hornworm

This is George. He is a hornworn caterpillar or rather a sphinx moth caterpillar. See that little pointy thing on his rear end? Or maybe its his head, not sure, all I know is he and his friends are eating up my tomato plant. If it was early summer I would be upset but my one plant is about gone so I picked all tomatoes of any size and brought them inside. They can ripen in the window.

According to what I read, once they mature into moths, they are great pollinators and encouraged by some farming communities. Since the plant is on its way out, I will let it be the food for the two worms I see. George is quite large, about the size of my finger but pictures I saw on the internet show them to get even larger. So I will study him to see how he does.

As long as he stays where he is and does not get on any other plants, I will leave him but but…don’t mess it up George or you will be a gonner.

All life and creation has a purpose, you just have to weigh what wildlife you have around you to see if you allow it to stay…if it had 8 legs….no, no, no. Don’t care if any spider is beneficial, stay out of my yard and if you come in the house…

While we try to be kind to all kinds…there is a limit to which crawly things I will tolerate. But try as much as you can to be kind when you can…

From Frustration to Kindness

God reminded me today to “Sit – Breathe – Relax – Love – Be Kind”. We all have those days when someone just pushes all the wrong buttons. I don’t have those days often but they usually come about when someone…rather when I feel someone is being …no  I am not going to say that word… so I will say when someone does not use the intelligence you know they have. And when that someone is someone in your family…well family is different and can be more frustrating because you know exactly how they operate. But then I think about how I frustrate God and He definitely knows exactly how I operate. I am sure He does a lot of Sit – Breathe…well, you get the idea.

He teaches us how to treat others in any capacity that we encounter them, then He reminds us through the lessons of the Fruit of the Spirit how people need to be treated. If we are given a choice of being intellectually right versus allowing our heart to show kindness in how we behave…then being kind should always win out over being right.  And like my Pastor said in the bible study on Wednesday, it’s the trials and situations that we face that strengthens us so we can survive and hopefully bring others along with us who are watching us and how we behave and then they want to survive as well because with all the frustration we were still kind.

It is through His grace that we are saved and while we ourselves can not save anyone…we can show the benefits of God’s love and salvation by being kind, loving and supportive. As we are currently going through odd and difficult times, allow His strength to cover any weakness you feel as you breathe in His love. Then you can breathe out His grace for you and others around you. And together, you and God, will have all the strength you need for any situation.

I leave you with a little humor…that says a lot. Have a great evening and new day tomorrow.

The Old Oak Tree

image000000 (58)

The Cycle of Life

I sit and I wonder at the beauty I see

The flicker of the light through the old oak tree

Shimmering green against the pale blue sky

Watching the birds zoom through as they fly

The grass beneath is beginning to turn brown

Still you hold every leaf so it doesn’t fall down

As the air turns cooler for this time of year

I look for the colors changes we hold so dear

For many the oak is a symbol of great life

With its strength and resilience bypassing its strife 

She holds on to her leaves and sheds them last

A reminder to us all, this life goes too fast

We forget the truths of the stories we are told

That life is a cycle much purer than gold.

Anita Neal

With the understanding of life as we live through it paces, lets us never forget the stories of old that teach us the values that come from life, nature and God’s wonderful story of you. We are each His greatest creation because we reflect His love and His being. Like the old oak tree understanding the value of each leaf, God understand the value of each of us. Remember how precious you are to God and reflect His kindness wherever you go.

 

Kindness 18

Through the Eyes of Daisy

Daisy Mae

My name is Daisy, looking at you, or Daisy Mae to be fully true.

You see my color of black is true, but tonight I feel the color of blue.

image000001 (36)

Odd people were here, may one, no two, painting the walls, it’s smells phew

I bumped her leg, for something to do, she said no, what’s a dog to do?

image000003 (19)

I pick up my bone and begin to chew, I found a great holder, her old yard shoe

image000004 (16)

This was not fun, so left it askew, I stretch out long, yeah, I am looking at you.

image000000 (56)

I am bored, just wanting something to do, she said no, what’s a dog to do.

image000000 (57)

My name is Daisy, since I’ve nothing to do, I send out a hello especially for you.

Anita Neal

 

And as always remember to be kind to all kinds.

animalkind 12

An Encouraging Word, Joy

Good evening friends. I am hoping to spread a little “JOY” in your direction this evening and maybe bring a smile to your face.  I love the acronym below for “joy” as it helps put into perspective of how Jesus thought about joy. We as humans get it confused with happiness, as in emotion, and in reality it has nothing to do with happiness…to me, maybe love, as an action verb, is a better comparison. What can you see as a better comparison?

JOY
We are starting a new bible study at my church this week, a zoom bible study as its how the times are now. The study is based on the book of James and boy, James starts right out the box with his thoughts on Joy.
 
James 1 2-3
 
There is no fun in suffering and hard times. We are having a lot of those right now but if we get quiet for a moment and allow Jesus to overflow our thoughts, we can feel the joy rise up in us. Jesus reminded us in Mark that the things the world thinks we should care about can actually erode our joy as it pulls us away from the Word.
mark 4 19
 
But 1 Peter 1:8 reminds us that because we “believe in Him, we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”. It shows how on some mornings beyond all odds, we are able to keep going.
 
Nehemiah 8 10
 
Hebrews 12:2 puts a perspective on Joy that we sometimes forget but it is the main crux of HIS true JOY…His joy for us…
 
hebrews 12 2
 
Such a heartbreaking act of love He went through for us but such a joyous act according to Him. But we try not to dwell on the horrors of this gift and instead we dwell on the love of this non repayable gift and let the joy of it fill our hearts.
 
John 15 11
 
I leave you with these lasting words from Paul as he encouraged the Romans so you too can hang on to the Hope from the Holy Spirit and find your joy and peace.
 
romans 15 13
 
When allowing the joy and peace to overflow you, remember the kindness that can come from the heart because of the joy you may feel. Always be kind.
kind joy

Friends on the Couch

How many of you love to sit around and enjoy each other’s company? Envision a group of family or friends sitting around and laughing as they tell stories of old. Sometimes they are scary, sometimes they make us laugh and sometimes they make us cry. But being together with friends and loved ones is what makes the stories worthwhile.

friends

This morning as I read through the Jesus Calling devotional, I remembered many times of the full pleasure this brings us. I recently wrote a book showing how much fun this could be with wonderful groups of friends or family just sitting around telling stories from the past. But we need to remember, there is a very important friend we need to invite that desperately wants to be a part of our group, he wants to join in with our fun, laughter and tears and that would be Jesus. He wants to be a part of every moment of your life.

Jesus laughing

He can enrich our fun and turn our dull grayness to wonderful brightness. When we get stuck in the dullness of everyday tasks, we have a tendency to to forget life’s joy and we descend into the unfocused grayness of discouragement. But if we realize this is happening and refocus our minds and hearts back on Him,  He will lift us back where we need to be, guiding us back to Him on a wonderful bright path of joy.

Psalm 16 11

Yes, this sounds a little far fetched and an unreal way of thinking, but I promise it is very real and well worth the try. We were each created for a purpose that only He knows and guides and we are never meant to do it without Him.

Acts 17 28

His presence goes with us, wherever we may go. You may not feel His presence, you may even deny He is there, but I promise you He is always there. There is a saying that zips through facebook and other social mediums stating that while we prove to Him many times that we am not worthy of His love, He ignores it and loves us anyway. How can you not want that sitting with you on the sofa.

Hebrews 13 5

So my theory is this, if He is going to be there anyway, then offer Him a seat on the sofa and watch the room begin to glow with His love and presence. And when he reaches over to take your hand, grab it firmly in yours and hold on tightly, it will be a fantastic ride.

Psalm 63 8

I leave you with this prayer of encouragement.  Ask Him to remain close to you and guide your way…He has already said yes.

Thank-God-for-Endless-Love-Lamentations-3-22

And as always remember to be kind. It is the most under rated quality of mankind.

Elephant kindness