Heaven’s Hug

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve From Paradise
The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise (1813) by John Martin  
Running, looking back over shoulders. Sweat beads, fear.
Fleeing the garden, 
peace and safety.
Purity exchanged for lies,
delusions of freedom and power.
The knowledge of all brings chains.
Shame awaits in open fields,
hopelessness in hidden corners.
Death lurks everywhere, 
seeking to fulfill the curse’s promise.
Untruth reigns.
Yet,
Love stakes a claim.
One Name.
A Promise remains…
in Him.
I followed Eve’s folly into a world of madness and discontent
for I thought too little
of a love that dies 
to bring peace and joy…that won’t.
Endless corridors offer enlightenment,
leading away from 
the Light that lifts souls from darkness
and 
fools from apathy and death.
A garden.
A plan.
A claim.
He came.
An unwilling disciple.
An unwilling candidate.
Odd one to choose I suppose.
Why would love stoop down to the lowest of lows?
Passionate, yes.
Zeal, indeed.
Unwilling to accept such a lofty creed.
I’ll never get it, no.
A Righteousness, not my own.
Freely given.
Rejected.
Not embraced.
Traded for a taste of lack
and 
dissatisfaction, 
offered by a world which rejects truth.
Love. 
Grace.
But, that one face looking down from that  one place,
with eyes that did embrace
all humanity…
in one earth splitting, death defying, 
life eternal 
hug.
Love tore the curtain, reversed the serpent’s plan, set apart forever
The One and Only God that became Man.
Jesus.
Name above all Names.
Painting by C. Michal Dudash

Special thanks to my daughter Katherine who helped me choose the name for this poem.
She said Heaven’s Hug sounded “cozier” and more inviting than Eternity’s Embrace.
Jesus is about inviting, each one of us to His place of coziness.
He loved us enough to appeal by laying down His own life 
to offer us an eternal hug in the everlasting place
called Heaven. He waits for us to accept this truth.
To be embraced with His everlasting love, immersed in His peace and joy forever.
Starting where we are now.
Now that’s a hug I want to embrace!
How about you?

“True peace comes from embracing what is, 
not from ceaseless striving to change everything around me 
to make my life more safe, secure, comfortable.”
~Dan Meadows in The Mosaic Bible

Linking Up with Writing Canvas and
Tami at The Next Step
for the first time!


I’m Just A Monday Girl

You Talkin’ To Me?


 I’m Just a Snow Girl: I was ecstatic with last weekend’s snow. Although it melted fast, I made good use of my time with that wonderful, white stuff. I decided to make my girl a snowman to welcome her home when she got off the bus. Sadly the number 2 picture is what welcomed her! Oh well. 

I’m Just a Rock Girl: As some of you already know I have been a Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Instructor for many years. Too many to admit although it is on enough of my professional profiles…sigh. I spent many hours in gyms. Many. The fact is I now try to catch creative workouts outside of that atmosphere. My latest workouts have been traversing, leaping and scaling the wonderful rocks along the coast of our beautiful state! Please don’t worry, I am careful. This is truly functional training at it’s best incorporating natural body movements in a way that is real. Balance, strength, coordination, dynamic flexibility and best of all ALL of your senses are wildly alive. Every God given sense is challenged, refreshed, bettered through this type of endeavor! Personally, you can’t make me go to the gym. I have found something better! Fresh air, and God’s Creation make for a wonderful workout, invigorating the senses, inviting the soul, spirit, body and mind to come alive. That’s my kind of workout!



I’m a Just Lucky Girl: I have been having a bit of luck lately. I have recently won a book, a magazine and now this. Either it’s luck or God just thought I needed a night out with the family. I won a 4 pack ticket package to the live production of Mary Poppins at The Providence Performance Arts Center! Check out The Mommyhood Chronicles as she is working some amazing Blog magic over there and really has a lot of great giveaways. I entered to win a night of Monster Trucks and Mary Poppins. I am rather relieved I won the Mary Poppins tickets, I am not so into Monster Trucks. I just felt compelled to enter, anyway. Phew. God does know what He is doing, after all.
Thank you, Melissa! On a side note Melissa is from Rhode Island as well and although we have never met she is trying to coordinate a few Rhode Island Bloggers to get together for a Bloggy Girls Night Out! How cool is that?

I’m Just a Reading Girl:
I really can’t seem to put down Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”, which is a rarity for me with Fiction!
I am onto Catching Fire. A good friend has also decided to read the Trilogy along with me- both our daughters have read the series already. She will surely pass me by as she is a much faster reader than I!

Catching fire.JPG

I’m a Just a Controversial Girl: When I took the photo below Saturday and shared it on Facebook, leaving my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop Meeting, I had no idea of the controversy that would follow   because of it. Actually it was only one person who seemed to be offended. I dealt with it as graciously as I could (in my opinion), and sent her an e-mail expressing my thoughts (which she did not respond to), but was reminded of how often Christians can get so far off in their behaviors, attitudes and words they lose their effectiveness to shine for Christ. I was reminded of the Pharisees, simultaneously passionate about the things of God, YET blind to God WITH them. Rants and tangents in the wrong forums do nothing to further the cause of Christ. May we all remain sensitive to His Spirit. This verse came to mind:

 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Philippians 4:5


and 

This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. 
Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. 
It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (Phillips)

Officially the worst Christian ever due to my daughter’s
involvement with Girl Scouts.
I just can’t do anything right in this Christian life apparently.
Trust me I am sure this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Rest assured, it’s much worse. If I haven’t offended you yet, I will.
It comes so naturally.

I’m a Just a Funny Girl: Which all caused me to ponder the wisdom of Thumper’s Mom and Dad in Bambi!
Wisdom for all Social Media Users from Thumper
If I haven’t offended you yet, stay tuned. I am sure I will eventually. I am not made to be on a pedestal.
I am not perfect. But I follow the One who is. In all my imperfection. Imperfectly.
And He accepts me just as I am. 
Isn’t that the most offensive thing of all. 
Excuse me while I hide behind His robe. 


This week for those joining in the Psalm 119 Challenge we are on the second Stanza (8 verses):

ב Beth
Here is my “makeover” Calendar’s second page. 

Well, now glad you stopped by to visit-
Have a wonderful week!



Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Waiting.On.God.

Photo Credit: Mary Lynch
Still.
Waiting.
Wondering why the sun is hid.
By clouds.
Why the clouds, stand between 
Thee and me.
Yet, You are present in this moment.
As if the sun itself shone bright.
Dispersing,
darkness, fog…
fear and doubt.
Light.
Still present in the darkest hour.
Never.
Forget.
Him.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12


*This poem is dedicated to my friend and Sister in Christ, Mary who takes the most amazing pictures ever. Every day! Thank you for sharing the beauty you see through the lens of your camera and life!

The Lessons of Less: Take Me To The River

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 
streams of living water will flow from within him.
John 7:38
Well here we are approaching the last few days of the first month of the new year. 
The path I have been travelling on has become narrow. Squeezed. Where it leads I’m not sure, but my faithful God has been revealing a few lessons on my journey. It’s early on this road trip, but I’m brave and foolish enough to share what He’s shown me so far. 
The Voice
Early morning. I feed the pets and prepare myself for my “quiet time”. The thought comes and is somewhat startling in it’s interruption into the space of my own mind. 
I hear, “Come away with me, alone”
I gather my things. I hear it with more clarity. Directly addressing my immediate plans.
Come away from the busyness of your quiet time. 
Oh, boy. I sense a gentle parental tone in this quietness.
Come away from all of your big ideas for yourself, Me and others.
Come away from your agenda, 
away from your thoughts, perceptions expectations, frustrations.
I confess I am stubborn.
Thickheaded. Coincidentally, Italian. Not that it matters. Just sayin’.
On this morning, I heard Him.
He wanted me alone. 
You’d think the reality of this would bring me to my knees, the impression was so strong.
So not of me.
I confess here the truth. I didn’t want to make the trip.
I felt God calling me away with Him and truth be told, I had more important things to do.
Hold your stones!
Hear me out, first.



The Argument

You see, there are obstacles…
after all the dog stared at me through pleading eyes with happy anticipation as I got dressed.
It’s not like I don’t have a “quiet time”. Planned.
How can I go for a walk, or even get out of the door with only the purpose to be with you, Lord?
Lord, look at this dog. Surely it’s selfish for me to walk without Him.
No camera?
You know I love to capture the beauty of your Creation.
No camera. Just to walk alone.
I’ll miss something, for sure.
(missing it already…still, keep your stones, Pharisees -Wait for it!)
But, I reasoned, at least I should walk briskly to get some exercise.
 That would be OK, right?
No itinerary,
No motive, or agenda…
away with Me.
So I went.
My Crowded Mind
As I ‘m walking on the beach feeling unsure, He speaks to me.
He tells me my head is crowded.
Then He reminds me of how I used to walk alone with Him along the shore.
Many years ago. Early in my Christian walk.
Early in my journey of seeking Him.
With only the purpose being to be with Him.
I forgot…
no dogs, camera, agenda.
No mission oriented search for stones.
Empty hands.
Open heart.
Expectant.
Soul Distraction

He told me my mind is busy and too crowded. 
He told me my soul is distracted.
Really?
I walked the full length of the beach.
The hissing, roaring waves chasing the shoreline and my head 
crowded with resistance to this very moment.
Finally, as I approach the place where the ocean and the river 
meet in a glorious union of strength and gentle perseverance, 
I am ready…
 to listen.

Peace Like A River

When you stand in this place, one ear hears the roar of the waves in the distance. As you get closer to the river, the trickling of the current, teases the other ear, like a sweet invitation to peace, tranquility, calm. Gentleness.

Finally, 
I realize my mistake.
As I walk alongside the river, my mind begins 
to quiet.

You can drop your stones now, if you haven’t already.

The ocean reminds me of the demands, distractions and presence of my earthly life.
Roaring, hissing, commanding my attention.

Yet the river ushers me into a peaceful, stillness, quietness. 
The promise of His Presence. 
Now.
Forever.


The Lord desires this intimacy with each of us.
 So often we complicate the beauty, simplicity and magnificence of this truth.

We let the roar of the ocean drown out the trickle of the river.

Lord, I thank you for the lessons of less that you want to teach me. That you being God, would want to walk with me, talk with me, spend time with me.That you desire to touch each of us in the deepest places of our mind, heart and soul. You long to free us from the hold of earthly distractions that we may enjoy the precious promise of your presence. Let us never take this for granted. But when we do, return to you again, comforted by your Faithfulness and Everlasting Love.
In Jesus name, Amen.

This is how the LORD responds:
   If you return to me, I will restore you 
      so you can continue to serve me. 
   If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, 
      you will be my spokesman. 
   You must influence them; 
      do not let them influence you!

Jeremiah 15:19


Getting Creative With Psalm 119

I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
Psalm 119:7

Hello Friends,
Well you are in for a big treat as you meet the crafty side of me today!
Aren’t you amazed with the many facets of my being?
I love to find ways to write out God’s Word. I also love to scrapbook and be creative.
I think I also have a hard time throwing things away.
Apparently.
Welcome to my creative corner for today!
You could make this with a variety of themes: favorite quotes, fun pictures, or writing prompts (for my blogger/writing friends!) even fave recipes!
I think it would make a nice handmade gift, don’t you?
You can keep it simple. Or for my creative friends, deck it out!
I enjoy being creative with what is on hand.
So last years desk calendar becomes
today’s makeover project for my Psalm 119 Challenge!
Side View
First I chose and cut a piece of paper
to cover the calendar page.
So the plan is to write out each of the 22 stanzas of Psalm 119 each week. 
I will need to use both sides of the paper since this is a 12 month calendar.

I wrote the stanza out in pencil first, then went over it with marker.
This time I used Vellum paper so I could see through it.
I had a lined sheet beneath.
I had to erase and adjust a few times to make it all fit.

After I finished writing in pen. I had to let the ink dry
before I could erase the pencil lines. Of course I discovered this the
hard way. Oopsie, smudges! I never sweat the small stuff.

All finished and here are all the products I used.
Aren’t you proud of me?
Pretty simple and now look, you are impressed.
Your turn.

Go create something!

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