The Day Before

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The day before

My precious mother

Went to be with Jesus

I didn’t know

She was that close

To Eternity

The day before

My precious mother

Breathed her last

This side of Glory

I was looking ahead

To a brand new decade

My 50s

The day before

My precious mother

Was released

To go in peace

I didn’t know

My sister and I would celebrate

My birthday dinner

After a long day making

Final preparations

For our mother

Our very dear friend

The day before

My precious mother

Made her exit

I didn’t know

Just how much

I would miss her

Not the woman

Who had drifted from reality

But the woman

I’d adventured with

As a child

As a teen

The woman

Who taught me what

A selfless giver

Looks like

The woman

I still want to call

When something wonderful

Or terrible

Happens

The day before

My mother

Took her final journey

I just didn’t know

How much things would change

“Her children rise up and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Love Like Jesus

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Over 30 years ago

This man

This amazing man

Promised to love me

Like Christ loved the church

Selflessly

Completely

Eternally

It was a beautiful sentiment

But how could he make such a promise

After all

Who knew what our tomorrows would bring

Well

Because of the strength and love

That God provides

Year after year

Decade after decade

Dave loved me

Faithfully

Diligently

Undeservedly

It took me far too long

To begin to love my beloved

As he deserves

But still

He did not withdraw his love from me

Not even a little

So what stage of love am I in

That wondrous, glorious, amazing stage

That only gets better

With each passing day

May he and I share many, many more of them

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Are You Hungry and Thirsty?

Water Glass

Funny . . . I read the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman this morning in John 4 and today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is hunger. While John 4 deals with thirst, the two are closely linked. Therefore, that will be the inspiration for today’s poem.

Am I truly hungry

Am I truly thirsty

Not for food and drink

But for the Bread of Life

and

The Living Water

I presume

Water will flow

When I turn on the tap

I presume

There will be food

When I open my fridge

It has been so in the past

So why not now

Do I expect the same

From the Life-Giver

Presume

The kitchen isn’t my favourite place

If I can grab and go

I will

Too often

I approach

Real hunger

Real thirst

In the way

I must take the time

To prepare myself

To sit down and feast

To invite others

To do the same

To linger around the table

To enjoy the total experience

And not just on special occasions

For the Bread of Life

And the Living Water

Are available

To be savoured

Each and every day

May I do so

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Poems 24-27

Pen and Ink

Below are the titles and the prompts from the past three days of OctPoWriMo … and my responses to each.

Poem 24 – “Reality” Check and Guilty Pleasures

Let’s pull our inspiration from one (or more) of the genres in these shows (So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, Face Off, Ink Master).

since I was a little girl

i’ve wanted to dance

was i

am i

good at it

nope

at this point

will i learn to dance

beautifully

gracefully

expressively

probably not

but my life can be

beautiful

graceful

expressive

will i wow

vast audiences

highly unlikely

will i brighten 

my little corner of the world

now there’s a possibility

if i let my heart dance

if beauty and grace

flow from my life

if my words and deeds

touch others

and set their hearts to dancing

maybe even their feet

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11 ESV).

Poem 25 – Magic and Possibilities

I choose to believe in magic, I think it makes life more interesting. Whether it is the magic of life, synchronicities, or another magical event, write for ten minutes about magic, possibilities and mystery and see where it takes you.

Do you believe in magic? Have you ever followed synchronicities to see where they would lead?

my life is full of synchronicities

do i see them as magic

no

how about random everyday occurrences

not that either

i am certain

they are more than

the result

of probability and statistics

a synchronicity is

“a meaningful coincidence”

these coincidences

these occurrences

these synchronicities

are the result of

divine intervention

they are meaningful

they remind me that

God is at work in my life

and through my life

there is 

nothing more meaningful than that

magic

no

miraculous

absolutely

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 ESV).

Poem 26 – Face Your Fears

What is something that scares you? It doesn’t have to be a major or life changing event. It could be that moment when you’re turning a corner in a dark hallway. A sound that reminds you of walking home in the dark when you were young and easily startled. Get creative!

my one real fear

r-e-g-r-e-t

it can consume me

it can rob

yesterday of its lessons

today of its joy

tomorrow of its wonder

can i change what has happened

i cannot

can i learn from it

absolutely

has it made me the person i am

it has

would i change some things

there’s no doubt

but i can’t

so i’ll do my best to learn the lessons

yesterday can teach me

no making excuses

taking responsibility 

for my thoughts, words, and deeds

but i will not succumb

to energy-sapping regret

i’ll live today as best i can

and i’ll plan for tomorrow

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV).

Poem 27 – Sleep and Dreams

Let’s write about sleep. What does it feel like as you’re drifting off or as you’re returning to wakefulness? Do you dream vividly in color? Explore the physical sensations of sleep and dreaming in a freewrite and see what surfaces as the story to be told in your poem.

 as my son falls asleep

he keeps pen and paper handy

he feels he is at his most creative

in those moments 

just before sleep takes him

what a wondrous perspective

in those moments

before i slip into unconsciousness

my thoughts usually go

something like this

will my mind ever stop racing

will sleep ever come

perhaps i should get up and do something

maybe i’ll count my blessings

and count down from 99 while i’m at it

99 – my hubby

98 – my kids

97 – our home

ninety …

goodnight all

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure” (Psalm 16:8-9 ESV).

 

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

October 26 ROW80 Check-In

ROW Logo

Since I only check in once per week, this will be my last October check-in. (Two more months until 2015 . . . seriously?)

Writing Goals

Morning Pages . . . Monday-Friday

I got started again but didn’t hit 15 pages last week.

As a participant in in OctPoWriMo, I will be writing 31 poems this month. I missed the kick-off, so I best get at it. (What a great way to get back into the habit of posting here!)

I’ve got some catching up to do . . . again.

Next month I will be participating in PiBoIdMo. I plan to come up with 30 new ideas for picture books and write at least four new stories.

Registration opened this weekend. It’s now official. 

I have begun compiling a file of my writing prompts and hope to make it available as an ebook.

hope to plan to crack down and make serious headway this week.

I am also working on a book of devotionals based on the gospel of John. It’s going to take quite awhile to get it together, but I hope to make significant headway before the end of the year.

Time to revise this goal. Instead of five devotionals per week, I will write three. (That should be more attainable.)

I also have my ongoing projects of writing four seniors’ living articles per month and at least six guest blog posts.

I’ve written one article and need to come up with three more this week.

I write weekly guest posts for Christian Editing Services and Kimberley Payne’s site. - on track

I write monthly posts for Under the Cover of Prayer.

The lady who compiles the UTCOP posts will no longer be adding new ones, but you can read past posts on her site, He Cares for You.

I write a guest post for InScribe’s pro blog about once every six weeks and a monthly post for their second blog, InScribe Writers Online. - on track

*NEW

- compilation of fitness tips (ebook)

I will give myself this week and next to compile a significant number of writing prompts and tips, and then I will buckle down and make serious headway on this project.

- compilation of my photos and inspirational thoughts/scripture verses

I will do some research and get a good idea about how to proceed with this project by the end of November.

Editing Goals

There are a number of prospects on the horizon. Let’s hope one or two of them pan out.

Submission/Publication Goals

I plan to submit 6-12 picture book manuscripts by the end of Round 4.

will submit two manuscripts this week.

I would love to have my ebook of writing prompts available by the end of the year. Since this will be my first foray into ebook publication, we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve got lots to learn before the end of the year.

*NEW

Enter writing contests and submit piece(s) for publication in an anthology.

Reading Goals

So, here are the novels I have on the go right now . . .

Laura Jackson’s Worth the Wait  - done; time to write the review

Rachel Phifer’s The Language of Sparrows - on hold, but I’m really enjoying it

Janet Sketchley’s Secrets and Lies (pre-published) - reading a chapter per day (M-F)

Rachel Starr Thomson’s Exile - I’m in the middle of a chapter, so I want to complete it before putting it on hold.

Cathy West’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow (revised) - reading a chapter per day (M-F)

. . . and the nonfiction books . . .

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way

Kathy Ide’s Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

James Scott Bell’s Self-Publishing Attack! - reading and highlighting regularly (part of that learning curve I mentioned)

Derek Murphy’s How to Write, Format, Publish, Promote Your Book Without Spending Any Money - also part of the learning curve (I’ll dive into this one after completing JSB’s book.)

Erin MacPherson’s The Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby - I have to crack down and read this and Redeeming Birth. I must do so plus read 10 articles published in professional journals to maintain my doula certification. 

Larry and Kathy Miller’s Never Ever Be the Same - This is a great book. I really want to get back to reading it.

And yes, I would like to complete them all before the end of the year.

Fitness Goals

30 minutes of cardio Monday-Friday - My virus seems to be almost gone. Hopefully, I’ll get back at this tomorrow.

Upper body workout – 2x/wk - see above

Lower body workout – 2x/wk - ditto

Continue drinking more water and eating better (It’s coming!) - Salad is on the menu again for supper tonight. (Asian salad . . . yum!)

Miscellaneous Goals

I wrote this heading before filling in the above categories. I’m thinking, except for a little organization around the house, I won’t add miscellaneous goals this time.

will make some serious headway on the main level this week. (My hubby did an amazing job reorganizing his office/the guest room while he was on holidays.)

I need to update my website.

I am one of the vendor’s at a local fundraiser in November, so I want to get the site tweaked before the end of the month.

Categories: ROW80 | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Healing Words

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sometimes the words flow freely

sometimes they back up behind a dam

sometimes

(though thankfully far less often than in the past)

they overflow the barrier

and batter anything in their path

at other times

the flow of words heads down an insignificant tributary

soon to disappear into nothingness

as a river can change the landscape

so can our words

a broken heart mended

a troubled mind calmed

a desperate soul pointed toward home

would that the flow of words

that proceeds from my mouth

bring refreshing

bring healing

bring life

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits(Proverbs 18:21 ESV).

Thanks to my fellow OctPoWriMo participant for the inspiration for today’s poem – http://welltemperedbards.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/an-ode-to-the-ones-that-wont/

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

The Only Safe Place

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The world is a scary place

A self-evident statement for far too many people

From the battlefields of war

To the horrors of domestic abuse

From “other places”

Where we expect violence

To “here at home”

Where we don’t

Today

In Canada

We were reminded

Ours is not a country

Where bad things

Where scary things

Where unheard of things

Don’t happen

We are members

Of the global community

Where darkness seeks to extinguish the light

Where hatred blinds far too many

Where there are more questions than answers

So

I will dare to ask God to remove the blinders

To show me my role

To remind me

He is the Light

He is Love

He is the Answer

In His presence

Is the only safe place

For my heart

For my mind

For my soul

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies” (Psalm 18:1-3 ESV).

In honour of Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo, whose was killed October 22, 2014, while standing guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I add my prayers for his friends and family to the many others being raised tonight.

 

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

God’s Fingerprints

I see them all over my life

God’s fingerprints

He gave me

A believing mother

He led me to

Bible College

There I met

My husband of over 30 years

God tapped us on the shoulder

And let us know

It was time to move

So we prepared to do so

Then

We received a call

Asking if we were settled

We had no doubt

This was where He wanted us

(Still is)

With the first of three children in tow

We moved to a small city

I hadn’t even known existed

There He provided

A brand new townhouse

A church family

A readily-available shopping mall

(I didn’t drive)

Jobs for my hubby

The years went by

And still His fingerprints were evident

Income-earning opportunities

While I stayed home

With the kids

Fellow homeschoolers

After years of going it on our own

Eventually

We purchased

A home of our own

But more importantly

Than the outward

Faith

Hope

And love

During the good times

During the hard times

During the heart-in-a-vice times

When I couldn’t breathe

He was the Breath of Life

When my cathedral of faith crumbled

I found myself

Safely on the Firm Foundation

When tomorrow is uncertain

He reminds me

You have Today

And I am with you

I promised

Never to leave you nor forsake you

And I won’t

Your are secure in

My grasp

My fingerprints

Are all over your life

Always have been

Always will be

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

It’s Not Too Late

Stopwatch

Heartbeat

Check

Pulse

Check

Mental faculties

Check

Determination

Check

Support network

Check

Though I have missed

Many opportunities

Though I live with

The consequences

Though there is no

Going back

Today

I am alive

Today

I am blessed

Today

It’s not too late

To do the right thing

To apologize when needed

To pursue new adventures

It’s not too late for you either

“I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13 ESV).

Categories: OctPoWriMo 2014 | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

ROW Check-In

ROW Logo

Round 4 is well underway . . .

Writing Goals

Morning Pages . . . Monday-Friday (three pages of unblocking my creativity as close to first thing in the morning as possible)

I plan to start again tomorrow.

As a participant in in OctPoWriMo, I will be writing 31 poems this month. I missed the kick-off, so I best get at it. (What a great way to get back into the habit of posting here!)

This is the first year I’ve used the prompts . . . at least for the most part. Although I’ve written multiple poems on at least three days, I’m on track to get 31 written this month.

Next month I will be participating in PiBoIdMo. I plan to come up with 30 new ideas for picture books and write at least four new stories.

I’ve already come up with a couple of ideas.

I have begun compiling a file of my writing prompts and hope to make it available as an ebook.

I’ve started the process of copying and pasting. Then comes editing and organizing.

I am also working on a book of devotionals based on the gospel of John. It’s going to take quite awhile to get it together, but I hope to make significant headway before the end of the year.

The plan is to get five devotionals written this week.

I also have my ongoing projects of writing four seniors’ living articles per month and at least six guest blog posts.

I plan to write two articles this week and two articles next.

I write weekly guest posts for Christian Editing Services and Kimberley Payne’s site. - on track

I write monthly posts for Under the Cover of Prayer and InScribe. - on track

I write a guest post for InScribe’s pro blog about once every six weeks. - on track

*NEW

- compilation of fitness tips (ebook)

- compilation of my photos and inspirational thoughts/scripture verses

Editing Goals

I am copyediting one project (and making suggestions on another) and hope to get several more in the near future.

I’ve completed the second read-through/edit of the first project and have made some headway with the other.

Submission/Publication Goals

I plan to submit 6-12 picture book manuscripts by the end of Round 4.

The plan is to submit at least two before PiBoIdMo begins and the rest during November.

I would love to have my ebook of writing prompts available by the end of the year. Since this will be my first foray into ebook publication, we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve got lots to learn before the end of the year. :)

*NEW

Enter writing contests and submit piece(s) for publication in one or two anthologies.

I entered four pieces in InScribe’s annual contest and won first place in one category.

I’ve entered two of “Write to Done’s” Flash Fiction Competitions. I didn’t win the first time round, but we’ll see what happens with my second entry.

I’ve entered a Kindergarten story writing contest. (Telling a story in 150 words, now that’s challenging.) Win or not, it was a good exercise.

Reading Goals

So, here are the novels I have on the go right now . . .

Laura Jackson’s Worth the Wait

Rachel Phifer’s The Language of Sparrows

Janet Sketchley’s Secrets and Lies (pre-published) - reading a chapter per day

Rachel Starr Thomson’s Exile

Cathy West’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow (revised) - reading a chapter per day

. . . and the nonfiction books . . .

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way

Kathy Ide’s Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

James Scott Bell’s Self-Publishing Attack! - reading and highlighting regularly (part of that learning curve I mentioned)

Derek Murphy’s How to Write, Format, Publish, Promote Your Book Without Spending Any Money - also part of the learning curve (I’ll dive into this one after completing JSB’s book.)

Erin MacPherson’s The Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby

Larry and Kathy Miller’s Never Ever Be the Same

And yes, I would like to complete them all before the end of the year.

Fitness Goals

30 minutes of cardio Monday-Friday - glad tomorrow starts a new week (hoping this virus takes a hike very soon)

Upper body workout – 2x/wk - time to 1) break out my exercise DVDs and/or put together a routine of my favourite exercises

Lower body workout – 2x/wk - same as above

Continue drinking more water and eating better (It’s coming!) - in the form of caffeine-free herbal teas at this point (It’s getting chilly in the Great White North.)

Miscellaneous Goals

I wrote this heading before filling in the above categories. I’m thinking, except for a little organization around the house, I won’t add miscellaneous goals this time.

My hubby’s on holidays this week. He’s completely reorganized his office/the guest room. It looks great. I s’pose I should help with some of the many other things that need to get done around here.

Well, except for taking advantage of Zenfolio’s free 14-day trial photographer’s website. Sigh!

While this was a bust, Christian Editing Services is starting a stock photography service and I’ve uploaded about 100 photos. Karen really likes them, so I’m excited to see what happens there. Some may even appear on book covers. That would be so cool.

I need to update my website.

I am one of the vendor’s at a local fundraiser in November, so I want to get the site tweaked before the end of the month.

Categories: ROW80 | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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