June Challenge: Haiku

Day Seventeen of Kathleen Duncan’s  June 1-30 challenge.

The prompt: Write a Haiku (Seventeen Syllables)

It was an interesting challenge to distill a message to just 17 syllables.

I have long believed that each life is also a song.

This is mine:

 

sings with song

 

 

I am a song bird.

I sing love, grace, mercy, peace-

I learned the hard way.

 

 

 

 

June Challenge: 12 Promises I’m Thankful For

Day Twelve of Kathleen Duncan’s  June 1-30 challenge.

The prompt: 12 things you are grateful for

Like Kathleen, the 12th of each month marks the anniversary of the accident that took my son’s life.  And like many bereaved parents, the date is etched in memory and re-etched every time it rolls around.

I love the idea of reclaiming the ground which the enemy has stolen by resolving to remind my heart of the promises of God that uphold me in the midst of my sorrow.

I am grateful for promises contained in His Word.  They are manna, bread from heaven as I walk the wilderness of grief.

Here are 12 I savor:

1. One day there will be no more tears because God will restore and redeem every hurtful thing:

rev 21_4

2. A single day in the presence of my Savior is better than a thousand years here on earth:

Better is one day in your courts
    than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
    from those whose walk is blameless.

Lord Almighty,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Psalm 84:10-12 NIV

3. I can trust God to finish what He started-in me AND in Dominic:

began a good work

4. The Lord is good and He is my stronghold, even in this trouble:

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust Him.

Nahum 1:7

5. The Lord will restore the years the locust has eaten-He will give back what the enemy has stolen:

I will restore to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.

Joel 2:25

6. God will carry me, even to my old age-as long as it takes-until I am in His presence and with my son:

carry you old age

7. My Shepherd is with me in the Valley of the Shadow of Death:

 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4 KJV

8. This trial will refine my faith and it will shine as pure gold on the day Jesus is revealed:

Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:7 GNT

9. Death is defeated because Christ is risen:Romans6-8-9

10. I am struck down, but not destroyed or abandoned:

We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

11. Even as I walk through the Valley of Weeping, God turns my tears to springs of life:

valley of baca

12. God will turn my mourning into dancing.  He will fill my mouth with songs of gladness:

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing. You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness. That my soul may sing praise and not be silent. O Lord my God I will give thanks to You forever.

Psalm 30:11-12

 

greener pastures

 

 

June Challenge: Eight Legs and Eternity

Day Eight of Kathleen Duncan’s  June 1-30 challenge.

The prompt:  Write a story with eight legs or turn the eight sideways and use “infinity” (eternity) as your prompt.

Eternity is a long time.

Just try and wrap your mind around it.

But when you bury a child, that’s what you think about-the forever that comes when he left his earthly body and entered the Presence of Jesus.

So many hard days followed, so many tears, so much pain.  I wanted to escape to eternity with Dominic.

I would be there eventually anyway, why not now?

But it’s not up to me to determine when I go. So I remain, and try to find a way to make the days count, be useful and stay hope-filled.

And eight legs have helped me stay rooted in the “now” when my heart longs to be in “forever”.

That first Thanksgiving after losing Dominic in April, we  visited our oldest son and his wife in West Virginia where she was a vet.

Touring Lillie’s office, we were introduced to two fluffy, orange kittens that had been abandoned by the road and brought there in hopes of finding a home.

 

IMG_2425

One look and I was smitten.

IMG_2422

 

It took less than five minutes to decide to take them back with us to Alabama.

Who could resist those faces?

 

At dinner that night, we brainstormed possible names.  I still have the list in my notes on my phone:  Kit Kat, Pumpkin, Scratch and Sniff, Cheetos, Doritos, Tostito.

We decided on names that reflected their roots- Moonshine and White Lightning.

After all, West Virginia is home to as many stills as hills.

Once we got back, their needs became part of my morning routine-a constant and undeniable reminder that I HAD to get out of bed.  And they made me laugh!

IMG_2509

Here is Lightning soaking up the sun in front of the picture window.

 

 

 

IMG_2439

 

 

Moonshine’s personality is more relaxed-why sit when you can lay down?

 

 

I used to be able to pick up both of them with one hand, now it takes two hands to pick up one of them!

DSC_0328

They have grown into good companions, great mousers, soft lap warmers and serious purr machines.

I’m very glad these eight legs live in my house.  

They’ve been excellent therapy for my hurting heart.

Benefits of Pet Therapy:

  • lowers blood pressure
  • improves cardiovascular health
  • releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect
  • diminishes overall physical pain
  • the act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, reducing the amount of medication some folks need
  • lifts spirits and lessens depression
  • decreases feelings of isolation and alienation
  • encourages communcation
  • provides comfort
  • lowers anxiety
  • creates motivation for the client to recover faster
  • reduces loneliness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June Challenge: Five Favorite Foods

Day Five of Kathleen Duncan’s  June 1-30 challenge.

The prompt:  Share your five favorite foods or recipes.

I grew up in the South where Sunday dinner was delicious and church potlucks were prodigious.

If you were blessed to go to a church that had Fifth Sunday spreads, then you know what I mean.

On cement tables back of the church, good cooks pulled out all the stops and brought forth their most prized recipes for public consumption.

If you wanted a taste of Aunt Wilma’s cake or Aunt Mattie Lou’s beans, you had better be in the front of the line, because the best dishes were emptied fast.

So in honor of those warm memories, I share my five favorite church potluck foods:

Dessert First!  {One of the privileges of potlucks}

Banana Pudding-a southern staple, this creamy concoction is both beautiful and delicious. It often arrived to the buffet with a corner scooped out because someone HAD to taste it-just to make sure it was good.  

banana pudding

 

pound cake

Pound Cake-crunchy crust, moist inside and a perfect foil for fresh fruit or ice cream.  If you lived in a rural community it was made all the better wtih farm fresh egss, real butter and NEVER imitation vanilla.

 

Fried Chicken-before it was possible to pick up a box of chicken on almost any corner-good, iron skillet fried chicken was both an art and a treat.  Only the best cooks could manage to get the meat done, yet still moist and produce a crispy crust.

fried chicken

mac and cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese-full of cheesy goodness and oh, so different, than the stuff in the box! I’m sad that some children don’t even know it can be “homemade”.

 

Creamed Corn-fresh corn, picked and silked, then scalded and scraped from the cob.  Grandmama would pull a few bags from the freezer and cook them down in a pot with a little butter and salt.  You could taste summer and love in every bite.

creamed corn

 

I have fond memories of sitting on cement steps, swatting flies and eating delicious food surrounded by people I love.

I felt safe, protected, full and included.

My heart was assured that there would always be enough love, enough food and enough of everything to go around.

 

 

June Challenge From Kathleen Duncan

I have met a number of amazing women on this journey I would never have chosen for myself.

They encourage me, love me and give me a safe place to bare my pain, my questions and my prayer requests.

One of these women is Kathleen Duncan, a fellow homeschool veteran and also a bereaved mother.  She blogs at  Kathleenbduncan  and I highly recommend you check out her site.

This month she’s posting a daily challenge and has invited others to join in.

I’m pretty sure that I won’t manage to do it every day, but today’s prompt was too good to pass up, and I had the time to write something.

The prompt is: ” One  Piece of Advice”

My response:

Make peace with yourself-your body, your hair, your personality and all the things that make you, “you”.

matters how you liv

 

 

Don’t wait until things are “better”, “perfect” or somehow different to jump in and savor the life you have and the people God gives you.

 

Be yourself, no one is better qualified!

be yourself no one is better qualified