Symphony of Love

     The audience files in, some individually, some in groups. There is a certain expectation, but the Conductor has remained secretive about the actual compositions. No one really knows what to expect. The layout of the concert hall is immaculate, aside from some general repairs needed. It has endured the test of time. It is the Conductor’s hope to specifically draw in each attendee. The Conductor has great composers, each with their own beautiful songs. The Conductor is hopeful for a committed, faithful, fan base.

Great Composers

Included among these influential, great composers are such names as: 

St. Hildegard de Bingen, inspiring tenacity and fiery-spirit. St. Teresa of Avila, whose depth of spirit motivates an openness to the Conductor’s will. Mother Teresa, whose heartfelt compassion provides an awesome framework in building one’s own symphonic collection. St. Maximilan Kolbe, another with a steadfastness of faith that carries him ever onward in his journey. St. Louis de Montfort, with an emboldened fire, of which he hones for Christ, truly proving there is no flaw that cannot become a blessing. 

With these composers in mind, the beautiful melody is Love. There is a reciprocal relationship in seeing the value in each person, their individual circumstances, and being sensitive to that is key. True Listening has a place, personal significance, and interpretation.

This is the making of an amazing musical collaboration. I am not the Orchestrator, but simply one of the Conductor’s batons.

Beautiful Songs

By movement, motivated by Divine, low drawn out notes can rumble and the percussion can break in and the heart races. The melody softens and an upbeat rhythm transcends the heavier pace that carries an ominous overtone. There is beauty to it all, especially as the elements blend together. I am, as the baton, a conduit for what takes place. 

Great works such as; Opening to God, provides an increasingly intuitive reliance on holy insights, finding peace and transformation in quiet reflection.  Streams of Living Water, for me, provides the lovely accompaniment of historical traditions and the composers of those eras. 

They influence growth and the evolution of Spiritual Composing. It is enlightening to see the roles played out in various traditions. Many are moved by the Charismatic and the Contemplative Traditions. Throughout the performance, Love’s melodic theme is Grace, represented by repeat crescendos in the Composer’s movements for us. They are grace-filled Compositions. Connection is the music staff that structures the composition, holds it all together. 

It allows for life’s journeys to have continuity and revelation. Connection is strength, for each of us, to release wrongs and be open. Connection is the flow of music. If connection is an expression of who I am with God as the Conductor, I am open to Divine movements. This determines the tone, the impact, God has through me. Each, is their own beautiful arrangement.

Faithful Following

Has each attendee been touched? Will they keep the Composition, as a song in their heart? Are they so drawn to the Conductor that they will return?  Our lives are so hurried and hectic, maybe time for a Performance and true Listening is a missed opportunity. Trust the Conductor’s arrangement to play out as it should, let the Music flow.

GOD, WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?

I realized the other day, in my journaling, that it’s not about what you can’t do, but what you CAN DO. That’s been said, I realize.

We need to stop trying to unravel the can’ts (satan’s two cents) and take full advantage of the cans, about us, each one of us. Who we are and the Good we are created to bring into the world. (…)

Realize what we offer and power into it like a boss. The good-influencer boss we are created to be. Major shift.

One can spend years, if not a lifetime wallowing in the can’ts. What a waste of precious time.

Who is satan that we should give him any time, any foothold, he’s not, he doesn’t, he can’t, and we won’t give into that.

Recognizing its’ subtle deception is half the battle, giving the reigns fully, to God, is the other half.

Major shift. (It bears repeating.)

By God, in a solid effort to make a positive difference, I have the right to, I am able to, I will, I can, I am (you fill in the blank). The possibilities are unlimited.

Vision board creation, what’s yours?

THIS TOO SHALL PASS

Ever feel your life is on a road, in a fog?


You know where you’re going, but getting there isn’t as clear as you’d like. Not being able to clearly see, leaves room for doubts, the yeah buts, and what ifs.


Keep your focus.

Don’t let not being able to see clearly distract you from your journey, your heartfelt path.

Be determined. Persevere.

What lies in the fog can be mystery. The unknown can leave us doubt-filled, anxiety-ridden. When the journey is obscured, dark, or stormy, we need to build our confidence and trust rather than shudder and lose hope.

It is when a sheep is lost, that the Shepherd is even more determined to maintain, guide, and care for His sheep.

Journey on, in Light of His care.

In our darkest moments, that clearing is most difficult to see, but it’s there, be assured. Your blue skies, are God’s blue skies, your pain is His pain, your joy is God’s joy, too. The fog is going to come, and it is then, that leaning into God’s presence makes everything more clear.

Lord, be my Light.

Pruning Needs

IMG_20190629_081724.jpg

I am out early this morning, here on the farm. I felt like a mother chimp, jungle-bound, as I combed over my baby for bugs, as I sat beside my beautiful pansy-plethora basket, deadheaded blooms and pinched off expired leaves.

The comparison gave me delight and fun motivation as I continued. My own, last of six, little chimp is soon to head out into the jungle on his own. We’re never alone though, really, always in the Creator’s company.

We also reside in, and with, the hearts of those we love. I’m not big on the empty-nest theory. I’ve got my service work, God’s will, in place to see me through the lack of kid things to keep me busy.

Although, does the empty nest go beyond not having things to do? I have to admit there is already a deep seated concern that my mother-umbrella has sprung a leak. That gaping hole won’t let me guardian over my littles like I need to.

As immense as the sky, God guardians us in ALL things in life, in death, and most especially when you’re out of your momma’s reach! I’m good with that.

So, we must prune well, remove any unwanted branches, encourage good growth, and do what we can to dodge bad bugs. Our next generation should be good to manage life and it’s challenges from here on out.

When we’re uncertain, or they are, we can trust that we will lean into our Creator.

Spider, Fly, Who am I?

Am I the spider, or the fly? As I write this, there is a fly trapped in a spider web about ten feet diagonal from me. I heard its frantic buzzing first. I thought it was trapped between the curtain and the window. It sounded close enough to be right in my ear. The buzz was constant and loud, unceasing really. It quieted slightly and buzzed loudly again. Till it ceased again for a longer time, then buzzed a bit, ceased longer, buzzed a bit, then ceased longer yet, again. Each time the buzz was quieter, faint, and muffled. One last time a silenced, yet attempted buzz. Wavered. Silent.

All the while, the spider was busy itself. Two legs clinging, wrapping, spinning, clinging, wrapping, buzz, buzz. Again and again, a near miss a couple times, as the frantic vibration must have loosened its wings. Near freedom, and yet not, a near loss, but not quite. Both sensed a fullness of life. One at its end, and one continuing.

So, where am I in all of this? Am I the spider, or the fly?

If I were the spider, my art would be like the fly, ever elusive, within my grasp, but not. Loosened, to nearly slipping away, but not. I cling to it, spinning, wrapping, clinging, spinning, wrapping, buzz, buzz. Trying to make it work. All the while I have the fly, my art, it’s not going anywhere, but it’s also not going away.

“What now?” says the spider to the fly.
“Do what comes natural to you,” says the fly to the spider “I am nothing without you.”

hmmm…

Would the spider be like my art, if I were the fly? I am trapped by this talent web, this obsession, this gift from God. It clings to me. I’m being spun by it, buzz, buzz.
“What is your plan for me?” says the fly to the spider.
“Do what comes natural to you,” says the spider to the fly, “I am nothing without you.”

I take in all that God provides me, digest it, and live out who He is through me. I am purposed through Christ, through my art.

I am nothing without Him.

 

~journal entry, March 2016

Successes 2017

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution.

http://www.juliehedlund.com/12days

This is my success share for 2017.

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No more clouds get in my way. I see each one as a creative avenue to reach further. As my thoughts reel over the 2017 year, I am humbled by the depth of God’s love. In light of navigating many challenges, my heart is perpetually open to Jesus’ presence and realizing the Divine process in each of us. It’s a preparatory path we can’t foresee the outcome, or the full impact.

So, where lie successes in my fledgling writing? In no particular order; I continue to participate (second+ year) in a writers group, committed to daily writing. Consistently writing for over two years, dang, I get choked up just thinking about it.

Through this commitment, I continue to evolve. There are moments when the heaviness and joy eek out. Writing gives me an avenue to respond. Most pieces that result bring healing, celebration, and growth.

I have maintained, but not mastered, the blog. My flailing attempt to gain ground with my art and writing is more clearly God working in me, to gain the right skills, at the right time, with the right message, for the right people. Right? I’m okay with that. I’ve learned we can’t progress without connections. God’s got that covered.

Another bridge was meeting reps from a national publisher during an interview (two more tally marks to success). The meeting resulted in a heartwarming portfolio review, a creative-assist job offer (in the works), and an on-the-spot manuscript synopsis, when she ask about my writing. She followed that with a genuine interest regarding what my plans might be for publication. She kept my portfolio for a time (another tally).

This particular manuscript has come through some storms and is seeing a clearing on the horizon. Several picture book ideas have surfaced and solidified.

I am dancing in the rain.

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HOPE ~ continues

 

______

is

mnipresent

ower

ngaged

_______

_______

  H ope

ur

     P rayer

      E ternal

_______

______

eaven

ver

eople

verywhere

______

also, came up with a couple Shape Writings that I will further develop and post soon

Hope full

 

HOPE ~ writing prompt II

Hope is

a whisper

amid commotion,

that says

“Yes, you can.”

and

leads you

to believe

it’s

true

Tiffy’s Tea Party

There was a sparkle that caught her eye. She squatted down. Her bare knees cupped at the sides of her cheeks, her dusty socks dangled at her ankles. She parted the grass and prodded about with chubby fingers that bobbed for the sparkly that had caught her eye. A tiny, bright, quick flash and she knew she was close. The sun had glinted off it again.

“What is this?” she said as she squinted out the sun.

Both her hands dove with little feelers crawling through the prickly, cool grass. Her eyebrows furrowed as her curiosity grew. A beautiful little spoon.

“What are you doing out here? Tiffy spoke again, to no one really. “You sure are pretty!” she said excitedly as she flicked a little caked dirt off the spoon’s stem revealing a tiny cluster of spiraling rosebuds. She thought, it must surely be her kitten’s spoon, it was perfectly her size.

“What if Darla had a tea party?” Tiffy said grinning as she caught her breath with silliness. She popped up to a bounding stance and a silly giggle wiggled out. She glanced both ways as if to guard some secret thoughts. Her tiny grin played eagerly across her rosy cheeks. Her eyes twinkled with excitement. She leaped with two big skips, then spun to a halt.

“If that was there, maybe there’s something else!” She teetered down to her knees and gently combed back and forth in the grass and weeds. “Nothing,” she shrugged and bounced back up. A cool, fall breeze blew leaves like confetti motivating her party plans. Tiffy lofted to her feet and was off.

“There’s a party to plan! Darla, here kitty, kitty, kitty!” Tiffy hollered out as she came up on the backyard, from the field behind the house.

Her cheeks were round as little plums and nearly as rosy, because the autumn breeze had turned chilly. Tiffy’s mind was all about party ideas. Her doll table was Darla’s napping spot, her tea set was in a shoe box under her bed. And kittens, the lady across the street had one – Mindy, she’s a honey-gold and white patch cat. Grandma’s cat, Snoops, could come, even though he’s a boy cat. He’s a black cat with a broad, white, knobby, button nose. Her skipping pace quickened across the yard. The little spoon rhythmically flashed in the sunlight, matching Tiffy’s every other skip.

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Hmmm…  An precocious little five-year old girl, Tiffany, makes a discovery that leads to so much more. Her ambitions are big, but her plans give her some troubles. How can she figure out a way to make this work, if nothing seems to work the way she wants. She is not going to let little troubles stand in the way of a terrific tea party, or will she?

 

Ninth Consecration

As my ninth consecutive consecration has recently passed, a particular question directs my thoughts.

Who am I?

The thought of our existence is a bit mind-boggling if you dwell on it much at all. Who are we really meant to be? We are creative souls. We soar the highest, are moved most intensely when we are in touch with the realities, creativities of life, of living, and connecting.

The crystal clear depth of a cool, running brook mimick the stone faces beneath. The shimmer atop the water, like tiny dancing angels, that beckon us to play. Their presence also assures us, that life is not to be clung to too tightly or drag us down.

“Weigh it,” they say, “in Light of the JOY of living.”

Should we be burdened by work, by life, by the heaviness that suffers our souls? Or, in light of our suffering, and the suffering of others, should we shine a little brighter, smile a little more, find a sense of humor to lighten our weary way? Certainly.

We are not made to carry unceasing suffering. We are not made to ignore another’s hurts. That, in itself, burdens our very nature. There are those, so hurting they can’t see beyond the need to hurt others. What a travesty.

To those who feel that lighter tug, act. Don’t let another moment pass (see you smiled). It can be that simple, help someone, give to a cause, meet a need, mentor a soul, befriend the brokenhearted.

Careful it’s contagious and only gets better from here.

Artwork: acrylic on cardstock, by author/artist

Lead by the Spirit, too

What is our current state?

Do we find ourselves combative against many issues. In this challenging era, a combative mood is an understandable position. There is Comfort in standing firm in your values. Do not waver, your values are the backbone of moral living. Your family, your country, future generations are dependent on us. We can trust.

Let go of that combative nature and trust. To me, combative is not protective, in this sense it’s simply argumentative, stressful, and weighty. Know your values. The values that strengthen, nurture, inspire, encourage, bring positive growth, stability, security, and more. You’ve likely heard, “Let go and let God.” This statement is not an excuse to be inactive on difficult issues, but to unite, stand firm, and TRUST.

No changes happen immediately. We can foster positive change by being part of a movement, or simply, an individual that stands for good values. Do not be influenced against your own moral foundation, because most may seem to contradict it. You have a choice, a real choice that can make a very real difference. Share your convictions, share why these convictions are so important. It’s not necessarily meant to be argued, it’s a general matter of fact.

When you are moved to encourage others, do. Do not give in to petty arguing, if you’ve spoken your peace, stood your ground, you’ve planted a seed. A combative nature contributes to evil, that’s not ground we can afford to give. Build your foundation, share your positive values, and watch for the change. All too often we become overwhelmed by negative influences.

Take heart, be a motivator for change. Trust.

*The artwork is a watercolor painting on Masonite. It is an archived piece from the artist/author. The  image was seen on the blank board at night. The artist could not avoid the haunting image, and so, painted it as it was seen on the board.