Happy, Alive, Beautiful and Free: A Butterfly Haiku

Today is Haiku Poetry Day. In honor of that I spent some time with the online Magnetic Poetry kit. Using one of my photos as a guide I wrote a haiku about a happy butterfly. Nature is always inspiring to me as I observe the beauty of God's creation. Click To Tweet 

A Happy Butterfly

 

Happy and alive

Butterfly resting in grass

Beautiful and free

 

Happy Butterfly

 

 Faithful Bloggers is a group I belong to on Facebook. To celebrate Haiku Poetry Day the leaders challenged us to submit some haiku with a Christian emphasis to be included in a free e-book. If you read my blog you'll know that I love to write haiku. Click To Tweet I couldn’t pass up the challenge. The book features some of my poems along with twenty-one others.

I hope you will take a look and download this lovely book. Just click on the link below. I think the offerings there will inspire you.

**It is available for free*** 

Just click on this link: Faithful Bloggers website.

 

I’m linking up with: #LMMLinkup, #TeaAndWord, #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TuneInThursday

Hearts Full of Love Will Overflow

The photo for this week’s Twittering Tales is an interesting one. Kat has a knack for picking photos that can have many interpretations. In case you are not familiar, Kat Myrman picks a photo prompt each Tuesday. The challenge is to write a story inspired by the photo using only 140 characters or less. Click To Tweet Hearts with arrows tend to turn thoughts toward love. Consequently, each of my tales involve love in some way.

 

Hearts

photo Kat chose for Twittering Tales

 

The Joy of Love

Each anniversary Joe drew a giant heart in the sand for Liz.
She always acted surprised which made him very happy.
It was the joy of love.
(138 characters)

 

An Unusual Artist

An unusual artist, Sid used the sand as his canvas.
Hearing the waves crash inspired him as he created
the heart, a token of love for Sasha.
(140 characters)

 

For my last one I tried writing it several different ways and finally ended up with these two below. I wasn’t sure which one to use so both are featured. Which do you like better, the first or the second?

 

Hearts of Love

Matt and May met late in life, an unlikely pair to fall in love.
In the sand he drew a heart and nervously proposed.
She nodded with a smile.
(140 characters)

OR

Matt and May met late in life and often walked on the beach.
One day he drew a heart, held her close and proposed.
What would her answer be?
(140 characters)

 

On the Florida Gulf Coast

 

A Beach Vacation

My husband, Steve, and I are planning a trip to a beach in Florida in the near future. We’ll be renting a place for a week with his younger sister and her husband. Right about now, after all the sickness and busyness the beach sounds inviting.

My computer is staying home, and I will take a short break from blogging. Click To TweetMind you, I’ll still be writing, just not with my computer. A few of my art supplies will be coming with me, along with books to read and a couple of journals for recording thoughts. You can be sure I will continue to write poems, take photographs and be on the lookout for blogging material.

I do plan to use my phone for checking email, Facebook and reading a few blogs, but only for a short time each day.

Time to Reconnect with God and Each Other

This vacation is a perfect opportunity to take walks along the beach, to talk about dreams and goals and to celebrate each other. This vacation is a perfect opportunity to take walks along the beach, to talk about dreams and goals… Click To TweetWe used to pray together regularly and also spend time reading the Bible and other books together, but we’ve let other things interfere. Without all the normal distractions of home, a vacation is a perfect time to begin again.

 

Turning Our Hearts To God

In turning our hearts to God, thinking about His great love for us, I am reminded of the following passage from I John 4.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
(I John 4:7-12 NKJV)

I pray that we will let our minds dwell on the truth of God's great love for us. Click To Tweet May our hearts be filled with love for our Lord and others, beginning right in our own homes. Then together we can reach out to others with a true love that will continue to ripple out into the world.

I’m linking up with: #ThreeWordWednesday, #LMMLinkup, #HeartEncouragement, #ThoughtProvokingThursday.

 

Fear Fighting: Stomping Out the Image of Perfect

Today I am happy to welcome Kelly Balarie as a guest. I met Kelly at Allume in 2015, and she is delightful. She has a new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears. It will be available January 3, 2017, and can be pre-ordered. She has a heart for encouraging people, and this book is one of the ways she does just that. I hope you find her words uplifting and full of encouragement.

Fear

I blame it on TV. I grew up watching the princesses. You know them, right?! They were the ones whose complexions looked like porcelain, whose lips were the color of rose and whose lives were a hot mess. Until, the prince came in and swooped them up into his arms and forever changed their lives.

They always looked perfect. Click To Tweet You see, they had dresses that swooshed in the wind and 90% of the time their voice sounded like an angel sent straight from heaven. Usually, I was jealous of them.

I guess I still am. Because, in so many ways, I try to be them.

I try to doll myself up. I try to show the world there is not a fold in my face. I try to pretend I have Pinterest Christmas when really my focus is on having Christ in Christmas. In reality, I’m the centerfold for T-shirts with yoga pants. I live in the model house of toilet paper adorned floors, little droppings of paper my kids rip up and leave behind like trails of their journey.

Ugh. I fall short.

I don’t think I am fooling people either.

My sister came over just the other day. When she got to my porch, she said, “Kelly, you do know that Halloween was over weeks ago?”

The frozen pumpkins on my stoop threw her for a loop, I guess.

Whoops.

I want to fool people though. I want to fool you – real bad. Because then you’ll aspire to like me. This is what I tell myself anyway. If I look all great for you, you’ll approach me like that prince and you’ll want to give me things and bless me with kind words and pour out love on me. I’ll take that. Sometimes, I convince myself I need that.

I need your approval. I need to feel good about myself.

Or, do I?

I am not so sure lately. Because, what I am coming to terms with is the fact that – there ain’t no woman who can do everything. Because, what I am coming to terms with is the fact that - there ain't no woman who can do… Click To TweetYou find her and I’ll buy you whatever material item you’ve convinced yourself you need to have to finally reach the pinnacle of…dun, dun, dun…“perfect woman.”

The lady is imaginary. She’s an illusion. Yet, still, we all chase her as if she worthy of our highest praise. And, this is what I am realizing – if I am praising this image of the woman I want to be, I can’t really be the image of whom Christ has created me to be.

Dang! I could truly spend my whole life chasing carrots, rather than partaking at God’s feast? His bounty. His spiritual riches.

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.. (Eph. 1:18)

I wrote the book, Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears to find God’s truth. In so many ways, God answered. He showed me there is a glorious inheritance awaiting me and it is not found through appearances, airs or goods. He showed me there is a glorious inheritance awaiting me and it is not found through appearances,… Click To Tweet

It is the joy found in the lopsided nature of my nose – a nose God adores.
It is the grace covering the moments I forget things.
It is the peace dug up from a heart that knows God is in charge.
It is the hope God will shape me into the likeness of him.
It is the knowledge God loves me just as He created me.
It is the belief that he chose me.
It is the understanding, in Him, I am secure.

It is in the need, we find our prince, Christ Jesus. Will you let him rescue you?

Interested in fighting fear? Join the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge!

About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:

Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course.

Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. www.fearfightingbook.com

About Kelly Balarie:

Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear here.

Linking up with: #TellHisStory, #TestimonyTuesday, #FreshMarketFriday, #MomentsofHope

Now is a Good Time to Wonder Anew

Now is a good time to stop and think about my life. It would be easy to look back and remember all the things I did wrong or regret. I could dwell on each one a long time and keep wishing I could somehow go back in time and make some changes. But the best thing would be to learn from the past and move on.

Now is also a good time to think about the future. What are my goals and plans? Is there anything I want to accomplish this year? I could spend a lot of time thinking about that and become overwhelmed at all I want or need to do.I want to learn to see the wonder and the holy in every moment of the day. Click To Tweet

Now

photo by gayl

It is good to learn from the past and make plans for the future, but if I... Click To TweetIt is good to learn from the past and make plans for the future, but if I spend too much time on either one I will miss what is going on in the present. My life will speed by and I won’t know what happened. I want to learn to live in the present, to see the wonder and the holy in every moment of the day. Maybe you do, too?

Time for Wonder

Now is a good time to read a new book just out, published by Zondervan, written by Esther Emery. Just look at the cover. Doesn’t it evoke a sense of wonder? It does for me. What Falls From the Sky is the title.

This book may be a memoir, but it is not dry or dull. Recounting her experience going off the internet for a year, Esther takes us on a journey. She leads us through the silence to find peace and a sense of place in this world. 

It doesn't matter if our lives are different, because we all need to regain a sense of wonder. Click To Tweet Maybe we also need a better sense of who we are as human beings created in the image of God. Esther’s book will inspire and challenge you in the best ways. Her words are witty, authentic, personal and full of wisdom. Click To Tweet

In the summer of 2015, I got to meet Esther in person. She and Abby Norman stopped by my house for a short visit while they were in the area. I had gotten to know her online and through her blog and knew she was a woman of wisdom, so meeting her up close was a real treat.

What Falls from the Sky is a long awaited book that is finally here. It is a most important offering for our day and time. I am so excited for Esther and for all the people who will be blessed by her writing.

This week I am linking up with #FiveMinuteFriday where the word prompt is now. My five minutes stopped about halfway through the post. I had to keep going to tell you about Esther’s book.

I’m also linking up with: #Glimpses, #SmallWonder, #LMMLinkup, #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #SittingAmongFriends, #ThoughtProvokingTuesday, #FreshMarketFriday