a contented smile
when all seems
a contented smile
when all seems
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.
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?
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 mimicking 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
What is our current state? Do we find ourselves combative against many issues. In this challenging era we find ourselves, a combative mood is an understandable position. There is Comfort in standing firm in your values. Do not waver, it is 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 basic foundation because most seem negative. 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.
They say she has a big heart. I say, God lives in her heart in a BIG way!
She sees a need and meets it. She hears a plea and responds with compassion. She extends a hand and inspires passionate living. This heart knows no boundaries. Breaking bread with her is a meal in companionship.
Her hug, is God’s generous abandon in His Love.
*Artwork: Bouquet for Mom, watercolor and acrylic by A.F. Reinhart
My heart and mind were caught up in the contradiction. The throbbing in my throat could be counted visually, as well as internally. I didn’t dare try to count it, or my worries about my health would have certainly prevailed. We disagreed, but what happened to the idea of agreeing to disagree? My face flushed red. The heat from my cheeks warmed the fall day, with anger instead of sunshine. I felt myself losing my grip.
I hung up. The conversation had taken a wrong turn, at some point. A point obscure from my vantage point. My emotions were equal parts, anger as well as sadness. My phone vibrated, seemly in harmony with my heart rate. A mile-long text bombarded my patience. Maybe my thought was ahead of the content, it could be an apology.
Contrary to my later thought and in sync with my initial concern, I was blasted yet again. Against my better judgment, I read it. Then, wished I hadn’t. I took a deep breath, with the thought of resolution, when there was more time and patience to figure out exactly what had gone so wrong. I let it be.
“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” echoed beautifully into my mind. My text took on a note beyond myself, “I’m sorry for my part in this conversation.” My return would come, when time would provide some healing first.
I turned off my phone.
To whom my heart belongs. To my spouse, my beloved, to whom my attention and endeavors seek to please.
My Love, and my love.
The Lord dwells in me and I in my Lord. This is a marriage of creation, of peace, of gratitude, simply of Love. Through this precious presence I’ve come to recognize an earthly love, an honored gift from God reflected in marriage.
My husband and I, a marriage deemed and witnessed by God as a holy union. Marriage is a gift given to a man and a woman, reflective of Christ’s Love. A union to further God’s kingdom by procreation, or by means of together bringing others to His kingdom, adding to His children, winning hearts for God.
Here’s to the gift of marriage.
Christ who lives in me is my strength. Through Christ ALL things are possible, this means the world to me as I take in the full meaning of marriage – and its ever evolving nature.
*photograph by artist/author