Reflections

Poetry in (E)motion

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Hello my lovely readers & happy Saturday to you!

Today isn’t my typical day to post but I’ve been in a canning flurry lately. The garden and produce stands are booming! Gotta take advantage of it 😉

You guys seem to love the poems I share so I thought I’d share a recent one. It’s hot off the press haha just scribbled it down last night.

This poem expresses a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately as a mother and just as a woman in general. In this I’ve folded in several topics. Work ethic, time, serving others and confidence are the themes here.

In spite of the business of life, I am content and I am happy just being me.

 

Sugar and Bliss

 

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Spin

Spin dear spider

Spin sure

And tell me how

You spin

And never tire

Never cross

Your eyes.

 

Be aware of the lies.

 

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Run, run

Run

Little mouse.

Chase your tail.

Hurry, scurry.

How can you

Run

Without the hum

The tick and the tock

Of a runaway

Clock

 

Run, telling clock. Away.

 

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Sing

Oh do

Sing

Sweet little

Bird

Warble and tweet

Hop on those

Feet

Fill the air

With your sweetness.

Give back

And take less.

Such a song you sing

 

A song of love.

 

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Dream big

Little butterfly.

Delicate

In beauty

Flutter

Flutter

Soar.

Life is worth living

It’s worth living now.

Trust your wings

To take you

Where you need

To go.

Don’t answer to

No.

 

Trust your wings.

 

This poem is my own. All photos are from pixabay. 

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Motherhood, Reflections

When Grace Doesn’t Seem Like Enough {5 things to remember}

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What is it about motherhood that keeps me coming back to the issue of grace? 

What is it about this stage of life that has us holding on to it? Whispering about it? Pleading for it?

I think the reason is…

Because motherhood is a time of great vulnerability. It can be a time of great struggle. Of growth, yes. But also a time of many, many demands that can leave us breathless.

And we (or at least I do) get into this place where we think, “I should be doing everything. And I should be doing everything right.”

Sounds silly when it’s written down, eh? But it’s there. That grapple for grace.

To understand it. 

To open your arms to it.

To breathe it in and let God’s grace settle around you.

And I’ve found that I need it most when I want it least.

The definition of grace, according to dictionary.com is…

  • the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.

  • the influence, or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.

Something will happen, an instance, be it great or small. And you’ll think, “I can’t receive any grace. I’m not deserving!”

And that, my friend is when you need to dig deeply into The Word, and see what God says about it and who He is. And realize just what this grace means for you.

Follow me on this journey through scripture as I’ve learned about this marvel that is God’s sweet grace. 


 

5 Things to Remember When God’s Grace Doesn’t Seem Like Enough

 

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1. I am unique.

 

1 Peter 4:10

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in it’s various forms.” (NIV)

 

You, my friend, are a uniquely created woman of God. He loves you. He’s given you talents, abilities and gifts that make you, you.

It’s like the veggie tales slogan, “God made you special, and He loves you very much!” It’s so so true!

By God’s grace, we are entrusted with spiritual gifts. And I would argue that since He made us, He has given us gifts, talents and interests that make us so wonderfully unique.

 

2. I am free to give as I have been given.

 

Matthew 10:8b

“Freely you have received, freely give.” (NIV)

 

But it’s not always easy to freely give, is it? Not always. Sometimes I’d rather just freely not give. Freely do what I want on my own terms. But oh…that minset will not bring freedom or peace.

As freely as God has given to me, I should give back, serving others and thus serving Him. Glory to God!

 

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3. I am a new person, alive and breathing in Christ.

 

Ephesians 2:4

God is merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that He made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. (CEV)

 

There is so much power in this verse. God, through his perfect and beautiful kindness, has made us whole. He made us His own. We are His special treasure. (Deuteronomy 7:6).

 

4. I can trust Him.

 

Galatians 2:20

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (NLT)

 

My old self is no more. Some days I struggle to remember! Christ has made His home within my heart. I must trust Him. Trust that He knows what He’s doing. He knows the way and He is a faithful guide.

And when it’s hard to trust? Ask Him to help you learn to trust Him more. 😊

 

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5. I can rest in His deep love.

 

Hosea 3:19-20

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.” (NIV)

 

Something about this verse strikes my heart deeply. I’m currently in a study on Hosea and I have learned way more about God’s deep and tender love reading this book of the Bible than I ever thought possible.

Just like Isreal in the book of Hosea, I mess up. I stray. I glory in my security and forget God.

Sometimes I get lazy. And I neglect to do things. Like mop my kitchen floor. Which, believe it or not, is what inspired this post. Simple as it was, I could not accept that God had given me grace…for neglecting my housekeeping of all things. Why couldn’t I just accept His grace?

I realised I needed to dig deeply into who God is. (For my Hosea friends…I realized I needed to yada God. 😉 For others who may not know, yada=to intimately know.)

He is righteous, just, loving, compassionate.

Never ever ever will he forget us or abandon us.

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His love for us is a strength we can never fathom. A love we can never outgrow. A love that will not run out based on the things we do.

He is faithful.

He is gracious.

And He will restore.

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All photos are from pixabay.

Books, Celebrated Authors

25 Reasons Why Jane Austen Is Awesome

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“Know your own happiness.

You want nothing but patience-

or give it a more fascinating name,

call it hope.”

-from Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 19, by Jane Austen

Oh I have been looking forward to this post for quite some time. This day, today, was the day Jane Austen was born 242 years ago in Steventon, Hampshire, England.

She is one of the most famous, most beloved, and most intelligent writers in all of history.

Most people have heard of her, but maybe don’t really know exactly why she was such a sensation. Why her works are so important.

To be honest, I couldn’t formulate such reasons myself. So I endeavored to read up on her life and write up a few reasons why I think Jane Austen is awesome.

Enjoy, fellow Jane Austen fans!


 

25 Reasons Why Jane Austen Is Awesome

 

 

A. Her Life

 

1. She was a woman disappointed in love.

But she was also a woman who said no to at least one proposal of marriage. Because of lack of love, maybe. But also because it gave her the freedom to write.

 

2. But thwarted love didn’t derail her.

She could have let her disappointed romantic hope lead her into a life of bitterness and depression. Instead, I believe it motivated and inspired her work.

 

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3. She possesed the loyalty of a most beloved sister.

She was best friend to her older sister Cassandra all her life. Her sister lost her fiance to yellow fever and, same as Jane, never married. They had an unshakable bond and I imagine we owe Jane Austen’s novels in part to the encouragement of her sister.

 

4. I suspect her relationships weren’t perfect.

I’m sure her mother must have scolded her at some point. A “Mrs. Bennet style” scolding. Had she married, could she have saved her mother and sister from (supposed) destitution? And yet, she still wrote.

 

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5. Her life wasn’t always easy.

She was human. During the time she lived in Bath (1801-1806), she could write nothing.

 

6. She preferred walking.

She was fond of walking, especially throughout the countryside. I think that this was admirable in an age when physical fitness was not particularly encouraged.

 

“I walk: I prefer walking.”

-from Persuasion, Chapter 19, by Jane Austen

 

B. Her Writing Style

 

1. Her witty descriptions of people make me laugh.

They are so on point. And so ridiculous. But true. 200 years later and we still know silly people, meddling people, etc. Which is what makes them so funny.

 

2. The Palmers, of Sense and Sensibility.

Still hilarious, every time I read. Check out Hugh Laurie and Imelda Staunton in the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility. Guarantee it will make you laugh.

 

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3. A woman ahead of her time.

As most great artists/writers are. Her characters were not appreciated by her critics. I find that hard to believe…what’s not to like about Elizabeth Bennet?

 

4. Her heroines.

She produced strong, intelligent female characters. Elinor Dashwood. Elizabeth Bennet. Fanny Price (strong in her own way). Emma Woodhouse. Catherine Morland. Anne Elliot.

 

5. She urged love over comfort in a time when comfort, money, was highly prized.

 

6. Jane Austen wrote of true love over social duty.

Which we applaud today (mostly). Yet in her time people did not appreciate or understand this way of thinking.

 

7. She wrote what she knew.

She wrote about women. Their thoughts, desires, struggles, conversations, joys and amusements. From this, we get a brilliant picture of the life of a woman in the 18th and early 19th century.

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8. Austen fine-tuned her craft.

Like all great writers, she grew and developed. She took what talent she had and built upon it.

 

9. Her books are relatable.

She infused real-life family issues into her books. This is another big reason why her books are so loved. Ever been ignored and underappreciated like Anne Elliot? Trampled on, like Fanny Price? Been a rock for your family and hid your own struggles like Elinor Dashwood?

 

10. A unique style.

What set her apart as a writer was not what she wrote about but how she wrote it. It was her style that made her unique. So many people wrote about the same things she did. Yet she stood out. Why? One reason is that she was more concerned with the psychology of her characters, how they thought, than in describing how they looked.

 

C. Her Works

 

1. She had 4 books published in 4 years.

It took her 13+ years to reach this level, but once she started, she never stopped until illness forced her to.

 

2. Sense and Sensibility. (1811)

Two sisters. One ruled by her heart, the other ruled by her mind. Their lack of fortune becomes an element closely tied to the futures with the men they love.

3. Pride and Prejudice. (1813)

Four sisters. Headstrong Lizzy (Elizabeth, the main character) and sweet Jane (the eldest) find love where it is unexpected. Their sisters have their shares of adventures as well. A very happy and balanced story.

4. Mansfield Park. (1814)

This is the story of Fanny, a shy and poor girl who in a sense is adopted by wealthy relatives. She is timid, but in other ways brave. In my eyes, this is Austen’s most complex novel.

5. Emma. (1815)

Emma is the one novel I have not read through completely. I couldn’t like the main character, which is something Jane herself expected from her readers. Emma is somewhat strong-willed and delights in matchmaking…even though she makes a mess of it.

6. Northanger Abbey. (1817)

A satire on the Gothic novel. A story about a girl named Catherine, as she is grows up and finds her true purpose in life.

7. Persuasion. (1817)

Anne’s story of how others can persuade a person which path to take in life and of second chances with past love.

8. Her books have been translated into 35 languages

 

9. She was proud of her novels.

Particularly Pride and Prejudice, which she referred to as “my own darling Child”.

 

Thanks for tuning in to my long Austen-themed post! 😃😃😃

What do you love most about Jane Austen? Which of her works are your favorite, or least favorite?

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Sources:

www.stylist.co.uk

Jane Austen: An Influental Woman

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www.bbc.com

Why Is Jane Austen Trending 200 Years After Her Death?

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www.famousauthors.org

Jane Austen

Caturday, Reflections

Hold On To Love

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Stella is not a cuddler by nature. One of these days I’ll get a cute pic of her showing her loving side. But it is not this day.

Today Caturday is taking a more serious turn as I reflect about the atrocities committed against humanity in Las Vegas. I heard about it from the day it happened of course but it wasn’t until recently till I saw this picture and story that the reality of it all really sunk in.

http://tribunist.com/news/man-who-covered-woman-in-iconic-las-vegas-shooting-image-is-an-active-duty-u-s-army-soldier/?utm_source=GStyle

This is my country. This happened here. These are real people that lost their lives. I can’t point a finger. I can’t blame. I won’t give attention to the whims of a madman who deserves no mention. Yes, I had anger. But there was something else..

As I read that article, saw the picture of the army soldier tenderly sheltering that woman…I thought of Him.

Of how this must break God’s heart. Of the gentle love that He has for those who suffer. Who have been through fear and pain. He holds those people with tenderness. That is what I see when I looked at that picture.

And I thought of this verse.

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He holds us in His hands. He carries us in His heart. He has great love for humanity. Not only for His church, His bride but for us all. Every person who has ever walked this earth.

And I can’t get over the picture. Because not only do I see God’s tender love, I see His Son Jesus. So willing and ready to give up his life to save mine and yours. He took my place on that cross. He loves with an everlasting love.

This post has went much deeper than I originally planned but these words have been heavy on my heart. I know that talk of God and deep spiritual things is not what everyone desires. It’s ok. I understand. But my Lord is so much a part of my life that the light has got to have somewhere to shine. I thank-you for reading 🙂

So what can I do? You do? We do? We love. We go on. Hold those close whom you love. Even those whom to love is difficult. Trust me, I know. Be kind. Kinder than necessary.

Each one of us has a gift and a purpose on this earth. And I believe our highest calling as human beings is to love.

Love each other. Even when it’s hard. Even when that person drives you crazy. In some cases discernment and common sense is needed. We are not doormats. But love all the same.

And if all else fails, cuddle your kitty. Or puppy or (insert all other animals). Because pets just seem to understand.

Hold on to love.

~Rachel