Hello. I was busy in the fall, collecting my poems about our home at White Rose Shire. So I’m happy to announce its release on Amazon.
This is a project especially dear to my heart. My granddaughter, Kara, is an artist. She drew some beautiful pictures to add delight to the little poetry book. Some poems have already been featured on my Medium platform, and I’ve added a link at the bottom if you’d like to read more.
The book is available in print and ebook from Amazon, and you can read it for free if you’re a member of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.
Kara and I will love to hear from you if you read it!
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
What God Wants What if all that God requires of me is the simplest thing as I wake in the morning before I do any other thing before I make any other decision about what to eat or what to wear before I speak or comb my hair before I sit at my desk what if I simply ask “What do You have for me today?” and listen to what He has to say?
Just one simple thing What if it’s that simple? I mean, really that simple? Have we been overcomplicating this trust in God thing? Have we wasted so much time reading the perfect study books and taking the perfect writing courses? Maybe attending the perfect workshops or listening to the ones we think have the perfect biblical answers?
“It’s acceptable. It’s been normalized. It’s expected. But that doesn’t make it right.”
I was busy doing all those things and getting nowhere until I remembered God had the answers to all my questions. He knew me better and more intimately than anyone I thought knew what was best for me. He knew my struggles and how I could overcome the fogginess in my mind and aching in my heart. And who knows social media marketing algorithms better?
I wanted to serve Him, but I’d forgotten to ask what He wanted me to do!
His burden is light
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:29–30 (NIV)
Now I make sure I choose to ask God every morning before I do anything else. I thank Him for the new day and the opportunity to serve Him as His daughter. I wait for Him to speak to me and ask what He also wants me to learn that day. Then I chose one devotional book and followed the writer’s prompts to read further in Scripture.
I usually get a prompt to think about something throughout the day. Sometimes I get an idea for a short memoir or a few lines for a poem! Sometimes I’m led to have a conversation with a friend or maybe pray for someone that suddenly comes to mind out of the blue.
All other things stand firm in their rightful position for the day if that one foundation is laid first. Even if I’m not prompted to do anything in particular, I know I’m still in His will because I did the simplest thing first — I asked.
So, as I go about my day, I occasionally pause and listen, content to wait for His answer.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33–34 (NIV)
‘Til next time–I hope you take time to listen to God as He speaks to you in the quiet moments (or seconds) of your day.
Splintered wood, roughly hewn, awaits unjust death. Nails, crudely hammered, mercilessly driven through hands that healed. On the tree He created, His torn flesh hangs. But, mercy still comforts the sinner between the agony of every breath, ’til it is finished and the Son is glorified by the Father.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23: 39–43. NIV)
The birds flew from the budding cherry tree above the feeder as soon as I threw the seeds inside. Squabbling over the perch, they vied for their position in line. I smiled as I watched the familiar battle of wills and listened to their chirps of disagreement. It wasn’t long before the squirrels and chipmunks heard the sound of the feeder being stocked and joined in the conversation. Another pleasant morning in my garden.
But something caught my attention as I turned to take the seed scoop back inside. Something was there that shouldn’t have been there. There was a pile on the side deck. A pile of evidence that a giant beast had passed that way. Inches from where I stood.
I write fantasy
This happened shortly after I began gathering research for a fantasy story that I hoped to write for the upcoming NaNoWriMo challenge. So, all manner of fanciful ideas flooded my brain. Was it a wolf, a coyote, a rabid dog, or worse–possibly a beast unknown to my area, or a werewolf?!
I took a deep breath and tried to think of more plausible explanations. I finally decided it was highly probable it was a wayward dollop of sludge from emptying a flower pot. Maybe.
I called to my adult son to come give me his opinion. He writes fantasy too–more than I do and more successfully (I can brag). And, after aliens with no personal hygiene manners were discussed at great length, he concluded yes, it was obviously a werewolf. He has my sense of humour.
And then this happened
We were still laughing at the antics our creative minds get up to when we’re in each other’s company when I spotted something that stopped me and literally caught my breath. I clutched my gardening gloves to my chest and called out to my son. (He was crouching on the front deck, probably still thinking of the possibility of an alien invasion being the reason for the mysterious pile). He sauntered over to me, and I pointed to the offending site.
Not far from the previous mystery, there was something else alarming. It was in the corner of the deck directly under my bedroom window. So, not only had something left a pile of something behind to let us know it had been on our deck, it showed us how intelligent it was too–while I slept!
With its beautiful begonias and narcissus, a flower pot was completely turned on its side inside the ceramic planter. I think I remained frozen to the spot, like a crazy-looking garden statue, for several minutes. My son stared at the pot, saying nothing. Then, slowly turned to me and said, “What?”
“What?” I exclaimed back at him. Glaring, I pointed to the pot. “It was a huge beast! See, it turned the pot upside down inside the planter! Only a big beastly thing could have done it. The wind couldn’t turn over a pot like that!”
All common sense left me and I remained at a distance from the disturbing sight. I sheepishly glanced about the garden for signs of a terrifying presence. Then, finally, my son went over to inspect the pot. After fiddling about with it for a few minutes, lifting it out and moving it around, he turned to me and grinned.
He stepped back and proceeded to explain how the weird phenomena had happened.
“It rained heavily last night. The planter probably doesn’t have a large enough hole in the bottom to let all that water drain out at once. The rain collected in the planter and, as the water level rose, it lifted the pot to the surface where a slight imbalance of the planter caused it to tip sideways. The rainwater seeped slowly out of the bottom of the planter, and the water levelled off. The pot sank to rest on the bottom, on its side.”
I straightened myself up and took another deep breath. Although I felt pretty foolish, I took some credit for homeschooling him. I looked at my grinning son.
So, no giant beast or alien invasion?”
“I’m afraid not. Although it would make for a great story.”
’Til next time, I hope you have a lot of laughs in your life and loved ones to share them with and, oh—watch out for the aliens!
This post was first published on Medium.com
Did you miss my first garden mystery? Here it is —
Resounding percussion from a hollow in the wall. Faint rhythmic echoes down the hall. I can’t quite make out the lyrical throng or I would happily sing along.
As we age, our hearing may slowly diminish. This has been a opic of several discussions between the older members of my family. So, when I asked my son what music he’d been playing down the hall and he replied he hadn’t, I wrote this poem.
We poets will find inspiration in the strangest places!
When my grandchildren were small, I would often be asked to care for them while their parents worked. I delighted in the opportunity to watch them grow.
My youngest grandson would usually run around the room making “pew-pew” sounds, aiming his lightsaber at the cat or an intruding alien from a far-off galaxy. But sometimes, he would join his sister and me under a cozy blanket on the couch. We’d spend the evening watching Disney movies (for the umpteenth time). We’d drink spicy tea and eat ice cream until they couldn’t keep their eyes open any longer.
Now in their teens, they still greet me with the same, “Hi Gran,” when I visit.
Disney princesses serenade along a frozen riverbank. A bowl of ice cream liquifies on the table beside us as our hands coil around a cup of steamy Bengal Spice. Childhood wrapped with laughter, curled up together, cocooned in a fluffy pink blanket.
’Til next time — I hope you have some children in your life. Cherish all the moments you get.
’Til next time — life’s short, so don’t sweat the small stuff (until you can’t get into bed).
This poem was originally posted on Medium.
If you’d like to read all my poems and stories you can become a reader of Medium’s thousands of articles each month by thousands of writers for a monthly subscription of only $5 US. You can subscribe using the link below.
When I was small we didn’t own land but we were ‘allotted’ a small garden to grow vegetables and flowers if we didn’t have a backyard. I have many fond memories of times planting and harvesting with my great-aunts and uncles. They grew most of their own vegetables. My job was to shell the peas. I giggled every time one popped!
‘Til next time–I hope you can recall some pleasant childhood memories.
I used to be a life coach and found enormous satisfaction in helping people realize their potential. Although I still coach occasionally, I no longer have an office practice. Now I enjoy writing—especially poetry.
The Client and The Coach
She sits across from me in the straight-backed chair
fidgeting with a string on her jacket
her long orange-streaked hair falling over her face
as she answers my questions.
Young mother of two with questions of her own
she’s here to find answers but I have none.
What she doesn’t understand yet, is that
all the answers are already within her.
I tell her I can help her find them.
Her head slowly rises from the slump,
brow lines deepen.
She asks how she can possibly have the answers already.
I close my notebook and smile.
’Til next time, I hope you’re feeling good about your future and on the path to fulfilling your dreams.
I live in a rural area in Ontario where the autumn weather is much like that of my childhood years in England, damp and often dismal. I have a long driveway leading to the main road where I can see for about half a mile in either direction and sound carries on still mornings.
(100% of profits from Compassion Gallery goes to charities around the world. I’m not an affiliate, just an admirer of beautiful photography)
Morning in the Garden
Air hangs grey and heavy in the early mist
like a cloud of damp smoke
Cold droplets soak my skin and chill my bones
It’s a dismal morning in the garden
Only tap-tap-tapping on the old weathered oak
penetrates the thick air
a vague memory of a poem from long ago
pulling my thoughts down to the soaked earth
Like intertwined ribbons through the trees
bands of gold and orange begin to float effortlessly
chasing the grey over the hill out of sight
heaviness dissipates and warmth melts the cold inside
School children call to each other down the road
Blue Jay and Robin search for a tasty snack
while chipmunks and squirrels echo the chatter of the children
It’s a good morning in the garden after all.
‘Til next time–I hope your walks in nature are always pleasant.