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.
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.
My mother’s mother was a real southern jewel. She was a beloved 2nd grade school teacher and even on her meager salary she would find a way to help buy one of her students a pair of shoe or winter coat if needed. As pitiful as we pay our teacher today, back in the 40’s I can only imagine. She retired when I was in early high school when she said she turned 65 but we all knew she was probably older but refused to admit it. The courthouse that had all the birth records of her home town had burned down along with many records of the area. But her retirement was a big shindig where all the school attended along with former students, the local paper and of course family.
Her name was Charlotte but everyone called her Lottie or Miss Lottie, even her grand children. But she was NOT a grandmother. Don’t get me wrong, she loved her grandchildren and called us her grandchildren but she was not a grandmother. “The very idea!” I think that was her favorite saying. She had lots of great sayings but coming from the south, we do come up with some interesting ways of putting things. Sometimes words didn’t even need to be said, you just got “the look”. How many of us remember “the look”. I don’t think I ever mastered it, my kids could see right through me. But Miss Lottie’s was so strong you could feel it from the back, your hackles would rise. You didn’t even have to see it, you just knew you were getting it. Such fond memories.
Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t discount those memories you had with you grandparents as you never know when you may need one of those memories. One that tickled me the most were her clothing sizes. When she was young and thin I am sure she wore a size 12 but not in her grandmotherly state. So when we bought her clothes, we cut the tags out and told her they were size 12. And as we get older our feet spread and we gain a little weight, our shoe size changes. It’s part of aging I guess, at least that is what I have noticed, but I spent 40 years on a concrete manufacturing floor which probably didn’t help.
My grandmother loved this type of house slipper that looked very similar to a Japanese style slipper. I remember they were dark blue in color with darker swirls in the fabric and it was the only kind I saw her were. But she insisted she wore a size 7, yea, no. She was easily in an 8. But she would buy the 7, they would be too tight and bind her feet. So she would take her brand new slippers and cut them to allow room for her foot. I remember asking her one time(and only one time) why she did that. Her answer was that her feet swelled at night and she needed the extra room for the swelling. I returned with the question of why not buy the next larger size. Well, not only did I get “the look” I got “The very idea! Then how are they going to fit when my feet are not swollen?” Indeed, I thought quietly to myself as I nodded approvingly to her statement.
I laugh at myself now as I remember this story because I am using her “technique” until the swelling goes down in my right foot. After my first surgery, I was fitted with orthopedic inserts for my shoes to start using once I started walking to add the extra support I would need for my feet. The inserts do take up room and it is no issue with my left foot as it has minimal swelling left. But the right one is still pretty swollen and my foot would not fit in the shoe. So, Miss Lottie, I am using your method and it seems to be working fine. I removed the laces and the tongue and then slit the top just like she use to.
So the moral of the story is don’t fully discount the stories of your grandparents as they may be beneficial to you one day. Life is always a journey and memories sometimes are the things that help us make it through.
And in closing I remind you of the joys of laughter in helping you heal. Share your joy, laughter, kindness with others this holiday season. This can be a difficult season for some so always be kind. Reach out with a gentle touch to show others you care. It may be the only kind thing that person gets that day.
We have always heard that the measure of beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
There are many forms of beauty from nature, or art, or music, or people, or animals…even in life itself.
Take for example any living thing and the ability of today’s technology to break down anything to a single cell…and the parts of that cell, the amazing beauty of creation. I have had conversations with people who don’t see this or who don’t see the reality of creation as I do. I even had one gentleman tell me he didn’t do the “G” word. I had to bite my tongue to keep my composure with someone who gets offended in saying “God”, really. How very sad. It is my opinion that God is very real and the creator of all things. It is also my opinion that He created all humans in His likeness to also be creators in the many forms we love to express and show the beauty of all creation. And I believe all of this to be a profound truth.
There is great beauty in truth. While this may be dipping into the philosophy realm a bit, truth like beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder as well because the world has muddied the waters of truth so to speak. For me, truth is perceived by each individual’s perception of what truth is to them and that is the basis on how they run their life. For me, I base all truth on God’s word. In the bible, John 37:37, Jesus said “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” And Pilate asked Him “What is truth?” Clearly not on the same page as Jesus but on the side of the muddy waters.
I am not eloquent with words or a great biblical teacher but I do study the word of God and believe it to be the truth. We are now in the Christmas season, whether you believe it or not the season’s purpose is to celebrate Jesus’s birth…and our salvation from death. Because without Him we are forever doomed. He was born for a purpose – us – and he died for a purpose – us. It has always been about us, the people, the believers in God. We are God’s beautiful creation but we are not allowed to see God so he can’t come help us. So God sent us His son who can help us. He stands between us and God as a buffer. I ran across a picture of beautiful piece of art that explains the relationship between man and God so well that I felt lead to share with you here.
Jesus is kneeling in the arms of the cross while hanging onto God’s hand as He reaches down to us who are drowning. That is a truth we all can live by. We can’t get to the father without the son. And they both want us to succeed in reaching for the hand of salvation. I encourage you to celebrate the season of His love as God sent this gift to us and for us.
As you enjoy the love of the season, remember to be kind. Being kind to someone who is also being kind is easy. We need to remember to be kind to those who may not be showing kindness at that moment probably because this is also a season of deep sorrow. Reach out with a word of kindness, a hand of kindness, or maybe a gentle smile. You just may brighten someone world. I enclose my favorite smile. It makes me smile every time.
It’s that time of year where those who are not that fond of the holidays recognize the kindness push factor of the holidays. Even Charles Dickens wrote a story of flaming tongue vs gentle words with Ebeneezer Scrooge, with the moral of the story showing the value of kindness being much more valuable to the heart than the non-value of a flaming tongue.
The bible has only a few sections that warn of the wicked or meanness of the tongue yet the teachings of love and kindness filter all through the scriptures in some form. Galatians 5 is an example as it list the fruits of the spirit – love, joy kindness…etc. We have to be taught how to be kind. What?? Yes we all have a mean streak that has to be tamed.
Cecilia Bacon post today speaks very much on this along line with a “cause/effect” disclaimer of biblical teachings. A lot of us in my generation(baby-boomers) were taught a principle of common decency with scriptural truths called “The Golden Rule”. I remember it being printed on the school rulers we were given. The Golden Rules states – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Do you want people being mean to you? Then cause effect of that tells us we shouldn’t be mean or others will be mean to us!! It’s how it works. Have you watched children play and how some can be selfish and down right mean. If this behavior is not checked, it grows. Seen kids in middle school as they try to learn who they are. Wow.
James chapter 3:1-12 speaks profoundly about the wickedness of the tongue. How it is like a horse unbridled running a muck or the tiny spark of fire from the tongue can burn down an entire forest. 3:10 says – Out of the same mouth come praises and curses. The tongue is a part of the body that must be tamed and we generally don’t understand it’s power or pain until we have been consumed by the fire of someone’s spark.
Words are powerful and the actions that can go along with these words only increase their value – either good or bad.
We must learn to be kind, gentle, good, peaceful…etc. Due to situations in our life those things may not be taught to us and we may have no clue how to use the gentle side of God. But if you will just scratch the surface if the scriptures – that is what they breathe with every word. Love…for God is Love.
The quickness way to diffuse someone who is being unkind to you is to be kind to them. They don’t know what to do with it. But I promise, they will be watching you. They want what you have, they just don’t know it or know what it is.
Jesus was constantly taunted by the teachers of the Law because they didn’t understand Him. Deep down I think they knew who He was but they feared He was going to take away their life style. And that was not acceptable. But people who were hungry for His gentle nature and followed Him, learned from Him and taught others His ways. His ways are love.
So I challenge you who may not really understand kindness, gentleness, basic love and compassion to look for it. Its strong this time of year. Get infected with it. Its a sickness that can spread with the softest touch and can lighten the darkest mood. Let the light of Jesus shine through you and He will lift you from the deepest pit.
Remember that Jesus said “whoever does these small kind things to the least of these are doing it to me.” Let Jesus feel you hear you gentle words this season and feel the kindness only you can share.
What a wonderful month this has been as I have shared on a few of the many many things I am thankful for during the month. It is important that we tie in thankfulness and gratitude for our many blessings like waking up today, being able to read this post, having friends we share with over the internet that are across the world. It is all so fascinating how very close we can be with a simple reach out. This month brought the (hopefully) final surgery on my feet. I have great hopes for being able to go walking in the spring and share the many beautiful things I see. But for now, we are healing and enjoying some down time with my fur baby who currently can not get close enough on the sofa while I try to type this message.
So lets finish up that challenge list but always remember daily the many blessing we are given from family, friends, life and God.
Nov 26 – I am so very thankful for my daughter who has been taking care of me why I recover. With all the snow we got over the weekend, she shoveled the driveway(with snow plow) but still…and she cleared off the sidewalks in the front.
Nov 27 – I am thankful for the ability and understanding of the importance of helping others.
Nov 28 – I am thankful that I can laugh and joke about myself as I age. Laughter is a strong medicine.
Nov 29 – I am thankful for the people in my life that made me realize the most important decision I would ever make in my life – Accepting Jesus as my Savior. I could not have survived some of the things I have been through in my life with out His help.
Nov 30 – I am thankful for someone suggesting this challenge to remind us all of the many things we need to be aware of that are gifts to be thankful for.
As I close off the challenge of my thankful November I remind everyone to be kind. I ran across this quote which I though was very appropriate from Mark Twain. He said –
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
So I close in reminder saying of it’s the tiny things we do in life that can bring the greatest thankfulness and the brightest joy.
Our fur babies really get under our skin and strike our heart strings but sometimes I wonder if they do things just to annoy us. We all know how smart they are and that they think they are the boss…sometimes they are.
I saw this on Face Book and thought it was very true at times. It can be annoying…or am I the only one with this problem. Let’s do today’s example.
Due to training as a puppy and other situations at the time we had a water bowl located in 2 areas – there was three but enough already. One with her food station, by the kitchen and one in the bathroom. I tried to eliminate the one in the bathroom but gave up due to all the back talk I got.
She will sit there “back talking” until she is satisfied that I have done what she wants done. I am really not that much of a pushover, she is that demanding. Yes, she is spoiled and likes the fact that I am retired now and can be at every whim of her desire. Today, her water bowl in the bath was very low – not empty- but lower than she wanted so she brought it to the living room to show me it was low, spilling the remainder of the contents as she placed it in my view.
This is her ice chest to keep her off of the window where the sill needs repainting. Since my current ability to get around is hindered for a few more weeks, I was not fast enough for her. Oh, and she had to walk by her feeding station to get the now empty bowl to the window and that bowl has plenty of water in it.
So we made sure all bowls were full and in their correct places. Mimi. She can be a butt sometimes but I do still love her. Anybody else got a dog that controls the house?
In closing remember to be kind, it still amazes me how animals fully understand inter-specie kindness and love. Kindness is a gift from God to all of creation.