Breezes, Sunshine, Waves and Sand: Poetry from the Beach

Earlier this month my husband and I had a short but lovely vacation in Florida with some of his siblings. The sun, the waves, the sand, the breezes that were both mild and strong, the blue sky and white clouds – all worked together to bring refreshment and reduce stress.

 

 

Weekly Haiku Challenge

The prompt words chosen for Ronovan Writes #weeklyhaikuchallenge are Breeze & Blow. How fitting for some haiku about the beach!

 

Sand beneath my feet

Water rushing to and fro

Constant breezes blow
                                                                                                                                         gayl wright                                                         

 

We took walks on the beach, the soft sand making a cushion beneath our feet. Wading along the edge we let the water come over our feet, then felt the sand pulling away as the water receded.

 

Breezes

 

A beautiful day
Clouds blow by and waves roll in
Soft breeze cools my face

                                                                                                      ~ gayl wright                                                         

 

On the beach I sit
Breezes blow in from the sea
Sand gets in my hair

                                                                                                ~ gayl wright                                                         

On our last day, even though the winds were strong we braved them anyway and walked along the beach. Click To Tweet

Inspiration and Refreshment

My sister-in-law and her husband decided to sit down for awhile. She was the inspiration for the last haiku, as she found sand in her hair upon returning to the condo.

I hope you were able to relax and find a bit of refreshment here through the poems and photos. The beach can be a nice place to relax or exercise. Maybe I like it so much because it is different from what I see every day.Sometimes a change of scenery can work wonders to lift our spirits. Click To Tweet If you could travel anywhere you wanted to go, where would you choose?

If you’d like to add your own haiku or read what others have written check out Ronovan Writes.

I’m linking up with: #CoffeeforYourHeart, #TellHisStory, #LMMLinkup, #HeartEncouragement, #TuneInThursday

Friends Are People Who Love You No Matter What Happens

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
(John 15:13 NIV)

 

friends

 

Friend is the Five Minute Friday word for this week. True friends are gifts and sometimes rare in this day and age. Jesus is the perfect example of a true friend. Click To TweetHe made the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life for you and me. That kind of love is immeasurable.

Most of us will not be asked to give our lives for our friends, but often we may make sacrifices to help them. We might bring a meal to a family who has been sick. Maybe we offer to babysit to give parents a needed date night.

There are many ways to show friendship. Click To Tweet One of the most important ways is just to be there for someone else. Sometimes we don’t even have to talk. Just the presence of another person who loves and cares can do wonders to lift the spirits of another.

Showing love and listening are also things that good friends do. A friend is someone we can count on no matter what happens.

 

Long time friends – photo taken a year ago

 

(John15:9-15)

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 

 

I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday, #InspireMeMonday, #Glimpses, #TeaAndWord, #TuneInThursday

 

Secret Dreams, Longings and Freedom from Shame

While away on vacation I worked on writing haiku based on the prompt words Secret & Burn given at #ronovanwrites. I did not finish in time to share them last week but now that I’m home my computer is ready and waiting.

 

 

Gazing at the clouds

I walk on beach and ponder

Secrets burning deep

 

We all have secrets. Some are desires we are too timid to share. Click To Tweet

 

Other secrets are exciting and we can’t wait to reveal them. Still others hold us back because of things that happened in the past. They haunt us and make us feel shame. The shame becomes a heavy burden stealing our joy and stifling forward movement.

Freedom from Shame

Stuck in a pattern of lies making us feel unworthy, we may find it hard to forgive ourselves. But God loves us more than we know. His forgiveness is real. Jesus paid the penalty long ago and we are free.

We don't have to keep stumbling under a burden of shame. Click To Tweet

 

Burn away the shame

Secret sins have been confessed

All is forgiven

 

 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
(Psalm 103:8-12 NIV)

There is also shame that comes through no fault of our own. Click To TweetOthers may have hurt us or made us feel less than or forced us into situations we should never have to face. But God knows about these, too, and welcomes us with open arms. His love and mercy are abundant. He can take away the shame and replace it with joy and peace.

Secret Dreams

Often we are afraid to reveal some of our secret longings partly because we lack confidence in our abilities. Maybe we don’t want to risk failure or we think no one will understand or support us. We can hold ourselves back because of fear or try new things, learning from mistakes. Click To Tweet 

Like a flame of fire

Secret longing burns inside

Yearning to be free

 

I say let’s go for our dreams, looking to God for strength and supporting each other as we go through life.  What do you say?

 

I’m linking up with: #HeartEncouragement, #ThoughtProvokingThursday, #TeaAndWord, #CoffeeforYourHeart, #TuneInThursday

 

Slow Down for a Time of Reflection this Lenten Season

Slow and steady wins the race is the moral of the story about the Tortoise and the Hare. I’m not sure it always holds true, but there is definitely wisdom in taking things slowly rather than always rushing ahead. SLOW is the #FiveMinuteFriday word prompt for this week.

Lent: A Time to Slow Down

We are coming up to the season of Lent as observed in both Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches. The first thing many of us think us when Lent is mentioned is that something has to be given up for the 40 day period. I’ve also heard that you could add something meaningful instead.

In thinking of Lent I believe it is also a time of slowing down, of contemplation, a remembrance of the last days Jesus spent on earth before His sacrificial death.

I did not grow up practicing Lent, but am now learning to see it as a meaningful time of reflection. Click To Tweet My observance of Lent has been sporadic and some years I haven’t done much at all. This year we will be on vacation when it begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1. Since we’ll be relaxing at the beach there will be ample time to take things more slowly.

We are planning to read through a couple of books written especially for the Lenten season. Click To Tweet Both are written by friends of mine, one of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person several times. The other I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years in a small online writer’s group.

Books to Read for Lent

The first I want to share is The Living Cross – Exploring God’s gift of forgiveness and new life by Amy Boucher Pye. She is an author and speaker and contributes devotions for Our Daily Bread. Amy is passionate about the Scriptures and sharing God’s love with others. She write a weekly devotional on her blog.

In Amy’s words from the Introduction:

“Lent is traditionally a time of self-examination and thus an opportune moment to delve into God’s stories of forgiveness. As we move from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day we will engage with biblical characters from both the Old Testament and the New, as well as modern-day accounts of sin and forgiveness.”

Amy’s book is divided into weekly sections with a devotion and prayer for each day. At the end of every section as per the Table of Contents are “spiritual exercises and questions for individual reflection and group discussion.”
The focus is on the forgiveness we have in Christ. Click To Tweet
The Living Cross can be found at Amazon.

The other book I want to share is:

40 Days of Lent – the people, places and events of the Passion by Susan Shipe. Susan is an author who writes from her heart the words she has to share. She blogs at Hope, Heart Home.

These words from her Introduction tell a bit about the book:

“We will cover events, people and places. For 40 days, minus Sunday’s we will meet on the pages of this devotional; remembering Jesus’ final days on earth and celebrating His victory over life and death!

Each short chapter ends with a challenge for us to consider. Also included are a couple of maps showing the area of the ministry of Jesus. At the end  of the book she shares a recipe and a project. Susan’s book is also available at Amazon.

I'm looking forward to reading both of these books. Click To Tweet The plan is to read one in the morning and one in the evening. I hope you will take a look at these wonderful books that point us to Jesus. His sacrifice was great, but it made a way for us to be forgiven. What great mercy and love He continually shows to us!

 

I’m linking up with #FiveMinuteFriday.