The Dark Road

I have been down this dark road before and I surely do not like to admit it, especially to those who expect me to be happy and upbeat. Perhaps it is depression, sneaking up on me, seeing if I am aware of what is happening, as I slowly descend. This is the time that I cling to the Sweet Promises, that I am not alone in this world and that there are people who care about what happens to me and to you and to everyone, even those who we rather think are not deserving of love, since they cannot love.

The world is complicated. It does not have to be, but as people, incapable of living together harmoniously, we revert to old ways of being, slumping into a stupor, oblivious to what is going on around us, because we simply cannot change the world as we wish we could. I believe in absolutes. There is a way to follow that can bring true happiness, even amidst the chaos of the world, the complicated world. That road is narrow and many fail to keep on the path, either by choosing to take a turn or stumbling or falling into a pit so deep that even friendship alludes.

Yes, I am holding on for dear life because I know the alternate scenario. There is still a glimmer that catches my eye and moves me onward. Freedom is not free. It is paid for by sacrifice and whether it is by our own blood or the blood of another, freedom comes with a cost and the price is high. Love covers a multitude of sins. Demanding respect is not easily eaten when the bitter fruit of someone’s labor is acid in our eye. People  brow-beating others into submission, without understanding why they are being forced, in a so-called freedom loving country, is hypocritical. It is all too familiar.  There is no dialogue able to penetrate deaf ears and hard hearts.

Perhaps this is a wilderness or a desert road that we are ambling soberly on. Certainly these roads should be walked on with precautions. Everyone should be as clever as a serpent but as innocent as a dove.

Galatians 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Always,

jeannelizabeth©

Poets as society’s conscious.

Poets as society’s conscious. This is what I was thinking while driving my son to pick up his prescription. I kept the words to myself, eager to get home, and do a quote search to see if anyone has ever thought a similar sentiment. Here is what I found:

Sigmund Freud said, from The Interpretation of Dreams (1899),

“The poets and philosophers before me discovered the unconscious; what I discovered was the scientific method by which the unconscious can be studied.”

To a point I understand Freud’s idea that poets and philosophers can sound the alert to what we experience, that is repressed and buried, to keep the status quo from erupting. I also see that at the same exact time, once society’s unconscious is uncovered, it is no longer hidden but a part of our conscious and from that there is no where to hide.

Theodor Adorno  said “Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” 

Is it grace that pardons us from society or is it society that strips us of our grace? Collectively, we each should examine our motives and individually we should push forward with a smile. Tears inevitably are shed. Smiles must be consciously given.

Always,

jeannelizabeth©

Just a reminder

In light of the recent tragedy in Prescott, AZ, I am reminded how easily someone can get carried away by pleasant memories in remembering good times, but be easily grounded by the fleeting moments in life that show how feeble man remains. In honor of those who put their lives in danger, daily, so we may enjoy moments with family and friends and strangers, I dedicate this post to all of you, and you know who you are, to the sacrifices made daily.

America the Beautiful

On the last leg of our trip, as we headed to see an aunt who lives in Tucson, AZ, we heard of a fire in Prescott, AZ. The day before, while on a Pink Jeep tour of the Sedona desert rocks, our tour guide expressed a concern at how dry it was and it was quite apparent by the looks of a lot of the trees. John, our tour guide, had told us about several small fires that had been sparked earlier and with great luck and vigilance, they were put out before they became an inferno.

In the privacy of our vehicle, I expressed that we should be praying for relief of some sort for the state of Arizona, and all the other fires consuming US’s Southwest. Much to my chagrin, hearing the news of the first Prescott fire, left me feeling mournful. The age old question of WHY surfaced. Why? Does anyone really know why?

I could become bitter and angry. I could let circumstances become a source of defeat. I could but I refuse to surrender. Why? I believe love can find a way to pave a new road. There will be plenty of sacrifice and suffering along the way but the reward at the end far exceeds the loss. Many of us would do anything to make this a perfect world and many do that everyday. Never give up. Never give in. Never lose sight. The darkness surrounding your heart is a fleeting moment. There is a source of hope that overflows continually and it is within every soul that embraces the question why, but is not drowned by the inability to answer. Hold onto the hope that overcomes tragedy to find beauty.

Shalom,

Jeanne Elizabeth©

 

Living in the shadowlands

When one door closes, we hope another door opens. Is it faith? Is it faith in action? Who is actually behind the scenes directing the patterns of our life?  How do I account for those who wish me harm for their benefit? Certainly I have some control over my destination, do I not? Perhaps, but how do I justify miracles and coincidences and other unexplainable phenomena?

If I reside in the shadow of God’s wings, there I am protected from all possible harm. Yet I suffer. Life is full of paradoxes.

So when I hear the Lord instructing me to guard my heart, what is He basically telling me? How do I guard my heart? Do I withhold love from those who want to harm me? Jesus tells us to love our enemy, unconditionally. Perhaps we learn to love, give grace and embrace those who are hurting, while never following in their footsteps, lest we fall over the cliff alongside their treachery. In that way, I have guarded my life, my heart, while still obeying the commands of a Savior, who took the wrath of carnal man for the price of my soul.

I Corinthians 3:18 Stop deceiving yourselves.
If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. NLT2007

 

 

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

A gardener is always elated to find a toad in the garden.

What fun it would be to have a toad cam. Sitting around the dining room table, the family discussed the possibilities of doing such a thing. We probably will not be able to, since I wanted to put the camera on the toad, and not just set up a camera to watch the toad. Googling such an adventure, there were a few sites that had recorded toads, but found nothing like what I had proposed. It sure would be fun and interesting.

I have witnessed a toad eat a worm. The worm was fairly large and the toad sucked it in like spaghetti. Swwwwwipppppp! and the worm was no more! I am not too happy about toads eating the worms in my yard, although I have plenty of them. I just would rather I saw Mr. Toad eating the mosquitos, ants or japanese beetles.

Which brings me to the horror of watching a spider eat a butterfly. This happened just yesterday, shortly after taking this fellow’s picture. I saw the dangling Painted Lady, caught in a Wolf Spider’s web, and tried to rescue it before the spider found dinner. Wh@t!  I was too late. Dinner was served!

“Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.”
Marianne Moore  (American Poet, 1887-1972)

Set Us Free

Today, I am being reminded that I am bought at a cost. I am broken but not crushed, healed and held close to my Heavenly Father’s heart. In the palm of His Hands He holds me, giving reassurance that I am never forsaken or forgotten. I may travel this world, alone and lonely, but I am just a prayer away from being heard and understood. Jesus, in the garden, fell on His knees, lifting the creation to the Creator. God heard. Jesus obeyed. I trust.

By His wounds we are healed. Are your wounds still gaping, in need of the loving touch of Our Savior? I will lift you in prayer today, dear friend.

Peace, not as the world gives, but as Jesus can only give your heart and mind. In all things acknowledge Him, and He will set you free.

Jeannelizabeth©

The year was 1974

Eva was poor. Her family did not have much and the Christmas party at school was approaching. My classmates and I had drawn names after Thanksgiving break and Eva had picked me. Everyone teased that I would end up with nothing. My heart grew anxious and I feared they would start to edge me out of the “hip” group.

“Everyone pass your presents out to whomever you picked.” Miss Wiggles was never very friendly, even for a teacher. We nicknamed her that for Miss Wiegel, but we all secretly thought her a witch.

Eva handed me the hand-crocheted, dish-detergent based basket. It was yellow and cheery, but I could hear the girls snickering in the corner. As I undid the crocheted ribbon, a little doll with a yellow knit dress lay at the bottom. I liked it. I did not speak or look at the girls in the corner of the room. Even as a child, I knew it had taken Eva’s grandmother some time to make that gift and I cherished it. Still in my head, the giggles pierced my heart and it broke in two for Eva, who was obviously embarrassed by the gift. It was not store bought like everyone else’s present.

To this day I find myself thinking back to this third grade moment. It really was just a moment. Much has taken place since then. I remember Eva in high school. She had a boyfriend, Shane, and I do believe they ended up marrying. I often wonder how their life turned out, if she knows Jesus, and if I were to see her ever again, would I tell her how much that gift meant to me. It was clearly a gift of love. I think most of all, I would give her a hug.

This was the closest thing I could find on the web that resembled my purse… http://crochetit.blogspot.com/2010/01/free-baby-youre-star-cradle-purse.html

Now imagine it is all yellow, with the bottom of a dish detergent bottle as a base, and the rest crocheted.

Acts 20:35 (NKJV) 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” What of the women who gave all she had? Was she not more blessed than all the rest? In some ways she was. Sometimes people say it is the thought that counts, but I like to think it is the sacrifice you make to bless someone else which honors God. Have a Merry Christmas!