Monday, October 9, 2017

Broken Expectations - and Serendipities!

Have you ever cracked open an egg to smell that horrible aroma of a rotten egg?   Not at all what you expect, is it?  But just as unexpected is the joy of cracking open an egg to find that it's a double yolk!  Again, not expected, but BETTER than your expectations.  
Throughout my life, I've found that my biggest disappointments come from my own expectations.  Mostly from expectations of how others should respond - something which when I think about it, I really don't have any control over.  It might be my expectations of how I think my spouse should act, or it could be my expectations that a book I'm about to read will be spell binding.  
It's disappointing, even disgusting, when a person opens a carton of fruit, expecting plump, juicy berries, only to find that a good portion of it is already moldy.  After all, I'd paid for this to be good quality fruit, correct?  In this matter, I do have the choice to either salvage what is still edible, or take it back to the store for a refund or exchange.  Or perhaps you have hired a teenager to cut your lawn, expecting relief from not having to do it yourself. However, the job leaves much to be desired.  The shortcomings are pointed out, the job is finished, and the teen is paid.  In some instances, expectations are reasonable, a matter of good faith.
Even reasonable expectations are sometimes not going to materialize, and that's where the brokenness comes in.  It is reasonable, I believe, to marry with the clear expectation that this relationship will last until death, and that partners will be faithful, loving spouses.  Then BAM!  One day your world comes crashing down as that relationship dissolves into a million pieces, accompanied by a pain that you never expected to experience.
Every parent has dreams, high expectations for a happy life for their children.  We do our best in raising our family, make mistakes, sure, but overall do our best to provide a loving home.  Then BAM!  A child is deep into the hell of drug dependency, or perhaps a serious illness develops, and no matter how old your child is, it is every parents' nightmare when they learn that their child has died.  So much for dreams, the promise of a future, the expectations that you had as a parent.
Is there anything in this world that you can expect to play out in a way that is not heartbreaking?  The answer is yes.  Of course much in our life happens as we might expect it to.  What I've come to learn, however, is there there truly is only one thing that I can expect to be present in my life.  God, and His eternal care and love for me.  No matter what.  As humans, we are imperfect.  I can't rely on others to fulfill me by doing what I expect them to.  My fulfillment comes from my relationship with God.  The more I let go of my expectations of others, of how I see situations, the more I am surprised at the great gifts I've been given in my life.  
Remember the double-yolked egg?  This is the cool part.  As I let go of my expectations many times in my life BAM!  I am blessed with situations that are totally unexpected, way beyond any expectations I might have conjured up!  The serendipities pop up all over the place!  
My challenge to you, as well as to myself - let go of your expectations.  Be prepared instead for SERENDIPITIES!  Be thankful for those blessings which are unexpected!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bread, Blessed and Broken

Last weekend while at a workshop, we were asked to share with the person beside us a time when we felt the presence of Christ in our life.  What came to mind wasn't one specific occurrence, but rather one that happens frequently.  I shared that every time I receive the Eucharist, I am confident that Jesus is indeed present, and am overwhelmed with His love for me.

Bread...blessed, broken, offered.  

The song "Bread, Blessed and Broken" is often sung during the liturgies.  It was written by Michael Lynch, a pastoral musician and composer.  You can read more about him here.  I've always loved singing and playing this song.  It's very reflective for me as I take in all that the Eucharist really means.  God's real presence - in body and blood, soul and divinity.  
Enjoy and reflect as you listen.

Verse 1
Jesus, you’re the one I love,
You’re the one I know.
You’re the one who makes me strong,
Spirit in my soul.
From the clouds of yesterday,
Through the night of pain,
Teach me, Lord, to know your way
Know it once again.
Refrain
Bread, blessed and broken for us all;
Symbol of Your love from the grain so tall.
Bread, blessed and broken for us all;
Bread of life you give to us, bread of life for all.
Verse 2
May the bread we break today,
May the cup we share,
Lift the burdens of our hearts,
Lift them ev’rywhere.
Passing on to each of us,
A measure of your love
Love to make us whole again,
As we share your Word.
Refrain
© Raven Music 1978,1979.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Broken Branch




How do you suppose this branch was broken?  Wind, weight of a winter snow, disease?  One thing for sure,  it looks dead.  Trees have traditionally represented life, so a broken tree would represent death, or perhaps disease.  
Image result for i am the vine you are the branches sermonMore specifically, a broken branch might represent a life cut short.  It is a common tradition to signify someone who died an untimely or premature death by putting a broken branch, flower bud, or rose stem on a gravestone.
John, Chapter 15, is probably familiar to many, the story of the vine and the branches.
15 ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
How strong is my branch?  My relationship with Jesus Christ - is it fortified with prayer, study, stewardship?  Where are my weak spots, those areas that if ignored, could easily develop in disease that weakens, causing  that branch to break away if not entirely, perhaps enough to be precarious and dangerous.  Jealousy, gossip, disrespect for others, anger, resentment, not caring for the environment, envy, greed.
Like a storm, that can destroy even the strongest branch, so can each of these things weaken my relationship with Jesus.
As I think on this, inspiration comes from John Michael Talbot as he sings, "I Am The Vine."  Come to Me, let the Spirit bring you Life.








Friday, October 6, 2017

A visit with Ernie

What does this look like to you?  At first glance, a car, right?  But look closer...it's not necessarily what it might appear to be! 
The parts that make up this creation were most likely "broken."  No longer useful, no longer wanted, junk!
Yet.....look what has become of this broken "junk"!  It has become a new creation!  It was amazing to see what was made out of things that others had discarded!  The artist saw beauty in what others might see as unsightly or nasty!
2 Corinthians 5:17 states:  "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!"  
There are parts of myself that I would rather forget and throw away.  What use is it anyway?  I don't want to broadcast my failings, my sins.  I've been forgiven, right?  
Even though I'm forgiven, and I have been made a new creation in Christ, my past still is part of who I am today.  I know that I have learned from those times in my life that I was lost.  I've learned to make better choices, I've learned where my strength lies.  
And, notice, we are a creation!  Any artist will tell you that creating takes time.  Many times a project is started over and in the end takes on a form that others would not have even imagined.  So it is with us, as we day by day, become better versions of ourselves, as our junk transforms into a beautiful creation.
This photo came from Ernie's Antiques and Collectibles on Mount Desert Island, Maine.  We found his little place full of steampunk creations while exploring the island this past summer.  I LOVED looking at everything he had created.  So much, overwhelming.  I would have loved to have bought something from his store, but alas, the things I loved were WAY beyond our budget.  If you are on Mount Desert Island, be sure to stop by! I've posted a link below of some of the photos that I took while visiting there, for you to enjoy.  
Next time something is "broken", don't be so quick to throw it away.  Perhaps you could turn it into a creative piece of art! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

!!A Broken Link!!

We are going to get techie today.  How often have you been cruising the Internet to learn about a topic only to come across a graphic or message similar to the ones above?  Happens to me all the time!  Often, I might be on Pinterest and see something really cool, only to find out that the link is no longer working!  Bummer!  
Why does this happen?  There are several reasons, some of which can be fixed, while others cannot.

  • 1.  The URL address is incorrect.  Often times we are copying the address to our address bar from another source and accidentally leave out or add something. This is always the first thing that I check.
  • 2.  The page you are looking for has been removed by the owner (a 404 error).  Nothing we can do about this one!
  • 3.  The entire website has moved to another address or been entirely removed.  Bummer!
  • 4.  The firewall where you are using Internet may have blocked your access to the page. What is a firewall?  It is part of the computer network that is designed to block unauthorized access.  For example, many types of pages (social media, pornography, gaming etc. are often blocked when using Internet at school, libraries, or other public pages.  In this case, you might try again at home or another location where there is no firewall.
  • 5.  Finally, the link could be BEHIND a firewall that does not allow outside access.

Have you heard of "link rot"?  That's when a site has not been updated for a long time, and has many many broken links.  Very frustrating!  There is one way you might be able to read the content that was once on a page.  That is by going to Internet Archive.  This is a non-profit library of free books, music, websites, movies and more.  It's worth trying!
If you are a blogger, http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/ is a free site that will check your blog for broken/non-working links.  There are other sites that do this as well, easily found in a google search.  You might be surprised what past links are no longer working!
As I write this today, I wonder, why do we sometimes feel that our link to God is also broken?  Loneliness, stress, pain seem to dominate rather than that peace, joy, fulfillment? 

One thing I am sure of, God did not break that link.  I did.  My own imperfection, my own sin.  I am responsible.  How do I repair this link?  For me, the way is found in truly confessing my sin, my own turning away from the way God wants me to live - from the best version of myself.  Will I have to do this over and over.  Yes, for sure.  After all, I am not perfect, only human.  But also I am greatly loved by a God who will always be there, waiting for my return.  I think often about the Parable of the Prodigal Son, found in Luke 15:11-24.  I think of the great love I have for my own children, and knowing how much more our Father in heaven loves us each individually!  He will always be there, waiting for us to return.  Don't let your relationship with God fall into "link rot"!
**Click here for the rest of the blogs in this series, "Broken".

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Broken Dreams

Dreams.  We all have them.  Maybe it's the dream of going camping next weekend with your family that gets you through the week.  Perhaps it's the dream a high school student has of a medical career after college.  Newly married couples dream of the home they will one day have.  Parents dream of what their children might achieve in adulthood.  Older people might be dreaming of the day they can retire and have the time to travel or just do whatever comes your way. 
Many times our dreams do materialize into action.  The weather stays nice for the weekend, we get that career, marriage is more fulfilling than ever imagined, children grow into talented, loving adults you are so proud of, and yes, the day finally comes when retirement is at hand.
So, what happens when dreams don't materialize?  When the weather is miserable, when there isn't enough money for college, when a marriage fails, your children struggle, or long-awaited retirement greets you with finding that you have cancer when you go in for a check up. 
It doesn't take long as we journey through this life to see that we are obviously not in charge.  Sure, our dreams may be noble, we are earnest in seeking God's will in our lives.  Yet, just when we think that we are on the path meant for us, life happens.  I can definitely identify with this graphic, perhaps you can also.
My own life has taken many turns I wouldn't have predicted.  Some dreams have been fulfilled, but not in the way that I once dreamed.  When I was young, I dreamed of being a professional pianist.  Today I don't play professionally, but I DO play often, and I love my role as a music educator as well.  The dream didn't go away, it just changed direction.  When I was first married, we dreamed of having 10 children.  (We were young!)  That dream of 10 children did materialize, but not in the way I had dreamed.  God had a whole other path for me to follow to fulfill that particular dream than I could EVER imagine.
Something that I've noticed about dreaming....pain is often involved.  An athlete who dreams of winning a race doesn't get there without lots of pain from days of pushing their body to the limit.  A student doesn't get a degree without hours of study and dedication.  The pain of childbirth pales in comparison to pain that we as parents feel when we see that our children are struggling or have lost their way.
How does a person find hope when life's dreams seem to have gone askew? For me, I find my strength in the assurance that God is in charge, and that there is a plan!  God's plan.  He will never forsake us.  His love for each one of us is so great that he gave His only Son for our salvation.  That is where we find our security.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

♫♩♫♩Broken Chords♫♩♫♩

In case you're not a musician, let's first take a look at what a Broken Chord is.  First, what is a chord?  A chord is defined as 3 or more notes played together as an element of harmony.  A broken chord contains the same notes as a "stacked" chord, but they are notated differently.  Notes of a broken chord are written as separate notes on the staff, and played as such.  In the illustration above, it's easy to see the notation of the broken chords as well as some "stacked chords" in the first line of music.  
My purpose in this blog, however, is not to give you a music lesson.  This particular piece of music has special meaning for myself as well as my lifelong friend Galen.  When we were in college, this was one of several duets that we played together. 
Just the other day, another friend of mine, Marj, posted this on my Face Book timeline, not even knowing that I already had this blog post in mind!  You see, Marj and I also enjoy playing duets together.  
Music is meant to be shared, and as a musician, it's so very fulfilling to share your talent as part of an ensemble with other musicians.  It seems that the joy in music making is multiplied several times over when it is shared with others.
One of my life's purposes!
Back to the piece of music you see above, the theme from "Exodus".  In our travels this summer, we stopped to visit my friend Galen and while we were there, Galen dug out his copy of the music and we sat down and played together!  It was SO MUCH fun!  Of course, we were a bit rusty on this particular piece of music, but that did not diminish the level of joy we experienced playing together.  I value the time I spend with friends, and often Jerry and I will take the time to stop when traveling to visit friends and family.  
Friends have many things in common, life experiences shared, learning that is shared, wisdom shared.  For me, one of the most valuable gifts is when I share music in some way or another with a good friend.  Nothing can compare.  Whether it's singing in praise during worship, singing nursery rhymes with a grandchild, or even (as I did the other day) attempting to play an accordion that I am learning to play with a grandchild who is just learning to play the soprano saxophone!  It was quite a combination, and yet, so much fun to be sharing music together!
I like the way The Message translates these verses:
Not everyone is a musician, of course, but we all have gifts that are meant to be shared.  What is your special gift?  


**Break Time!**

The dark white lines are pins in my legs, the vertical one on the right is a plate.

Just over 2 months ago, my life slowed down a bit.  I was in an accident as we were driving our side-by-side in the pastures, and well, broke both of my legs!  Not the plan I had for the rest of my summer (and all of the fall as well!).  The good news is that our granddaughters who were also with me were unscathed.  SO very thankful for that.  Grandma, however, was another story.  The girls were awesome in their bravery and wisdom in getting help from Grandpa and keeping their cool.  
So, here I am, in a wheelchair, not able to even stand up yet.  Hopefully, that will be soon.  I'm home from work until January, and letting my body rest and heal.  What I do have these days is lots of TIME.  Time to read, reflect, think, rest.  Definitely more than I would be doing if I were teaching full time right now.  It's a "break time" season of my life.  I've got to say I am really enjoying this time too!
You might think I would be bored, being at home, dependent upon others for many of my daily needs, not enjoying the independence that I normally experience.  But, no, I am not bored!  I am finding that this space I've been given is full of blessings that I would have never experienced otherwise.
One day, a few weeks after the accident, I decided to start writing down things that were blessings in my life BECAUSE of this accident.  I have filled many many pages already, and pretty much every day have something to add.  It's amazing what God can do in the midst of what might be viewed as a setback or even a tragedy.  
With eyes of faith, we can see blessings all around us.  Some small, some truly amazing.  My own list contains simple things, such as meals from friends, phone calls from many I haven't heard from for awhile, as well as a few things that I simply am in awe of the way things work together for God's purposes!
My goals during this "break time" of mine are to slow down (that's easy), listen to what God is saying to me, grow in my own call to discipleship, stewardship and evangelization.  I am truly living in expectation of more serendipities that will occur as a direct result of my accident.  Is anything REALLY an "accident" in God's timing.  It's very obvious to me that it is not!
When my children were small, Romans 8:28 is the first bible verse I'd teach them.  Over and over it has proven to be true for me, and I hope for you too!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Broken

Broken.  The word is often accompanied with a feeling of disappointment, anxiety, sadness or despair.  What if we could take those "broken" things in our life, and turn them into blessings instead?  What if we could see the beauty that exists even in that which the world would call ugly?  What if we could adopt an attitude of thanksgiving and peace instead of anger and despair?  I will be exploring these questions in the coming month as I dig deeper into those things that are "broken" in my own circumstances.  What lessons am I to learn?  How might I help others because I've lived through this?  How can I grow closer to God in a spirit of love and gratitude when all is falling apart around me?
I'll be posting a blog each day during October, adding links as I go just below this post.  If you would like to give this a try yourself, go to this page and check it out!  It's not hard! 

Links to blogs in this series:

**Break Time**

♫♩♫♩Broken Chords♫♩♫♩

Broken Dreams

!!A Broken Link!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Learning and Creating

Music Classes.....exploring the orchestra
Second and Third Grade music class is enjoying an iPad app called Piano Carnival as I project it on to the SmartBoard.  Piano Carnival is a narrative that accompanies Saint-Saen's Carnival of the Animals. Attached to each page of this story is a video of the appropriate piece of music as well as additional drawings AND a movie of those drawings being created in Photoshop!  SOOOO cool!
What really impressed me was the website for educators ) that is linked in the "grown ups" area. This site has lesson plans and activities to accompany the book AND Common Core Standards are listed that apply to each lesson! 
There are many ways to use this app with your classroom. Project on a SmartBoard, just use your iPad to present the story, or put on a classroom set of iPads for individual use. Another great thing about this app is that it is FREE!  Check it out music educators!
We are talking about the Instruments of the Orchestra in Kindergarten and First Grade.  Students have listened to and watched the classic story of Peter and the Wolf ( Петя и волк, Petya i volk in Russian)by Sergei Prokofiev
Peter and he Wolf was written in 1936, capturing the personality of each character with their own special instrumental sound.
Prokofiev actually visited the Disney studio when Disney was creating his animated version, released in 1946.
We enjoyed the Disney version very much!  The Russian film by Susie Templeton provides a great contrast to the animated version.  
Another great resource is the video of Peter and the Wolf with characters created by Chuck Jones, starring Kirstie Alley and Lloyd Bridges.  It's a unique approach to the story.  The added bonus to this DVD is an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra as well as a game.  There are 25 different combinations in the game to match instrument sounds with animals.
We have also watched the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra perform the piece, which gives great visuals of the musicians playing the instruments.  Of course, the Jim Gamble puppet version is a favorite as well.  Each version is a little different from the other in style, setting, and even characters.  Students compare and contrast those differences in our discussions.
Technology Classes....blending skill with creativity!
Younger students got creative while practicing our navigation and mouse skills this month with Easter egg decorating from the ABCya site. Each student had their own style, it was amazing to see!  
We have been creating Interactive Google Drawings in technology for Grades 4-5-6 these past few weeks.  The students were given a topic to research, depending upon their last name.  Countries of Asia, Symbols of South Dakota, Horse Breeds and Towns in South Dakota were the topics.  We learned how to use the tools of Google Draw, and how to link a photo or graphic to more content to tell more about it.  The content could be a video, a website, or the students' own Google document with information that was gathered.  Click on the photo below to see Olivia Lyon's Interactive Google Drawing.  She created her own slide show for South Korea.  When you get to the actual page, click on each country's photo to see the link to explore!
 Countries of Asia
Second and Third graders have been using their skills to create word clouds.  Since we are studying the instruments of orchestra in music, we created designs using the various families of instruments, printed them out, and they are now on display in the music room.  
This project was not only fun, but integrated many different subject areas:  technology, music, spelling, art and design, and math (did you wonder why some words are bigger than others??).
All students continue to work on their typing skills regularly with TTL4 and online typing games.  One of the students' favorite games is "Words Per Minute."  A cool feature of the game is the tally of best scores for the day.  The competitive side of typists comes out when we play!
 

Friday, March 3, 2017

.....According to His Purpose

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—PURPOSE.  We simply write for 5 minutes on a prompt and see what is created!  I've enjoyed doing these quick writings.  If you would like to give it a try, check out the Facebook page or this blog:  Kate Motaung’s site

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Purpose.  Romans 8:38 tells us that ALL THINGS work together for GOOD for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.  ALL THINGS.  Not just the happy, sweet moments of life, but the painful, gut-wrenching moments as well.  I've seen this over and over in my own life.
A small change of schedule resulting in a chance meeting to minister to another person, an opportunity denied, only to be presented with another that is more worthwhile.  Little things like this happen every day.  If I am looking, if I am aware, if I am TRUSTING that God has my back, then these "coincidences" of life are obviously God at work.
But it's not just in the little things that I've seen the hand of God....the purpose revealed.....
It's also in those things that are so life-changing that we will always know the day, the hour, where we were, who was with us, when it all went wrong. Not always easy to see the purpose there...but it is.
A job interview lost might give way to another opportunity yet to be revealed, a painful divorce transforming into a new life, the death of a son a path to reconciliation with my parents.
Yes, there IS a purpose.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Time is Flying in the Music Classroom!

WOW!  It's March already!  Spring is almost here!  It's a busy time of the year for music educators.....concerts, vocal and instrumental contests, preparing for graduation! 
We took time out from our concert preparations to help our community celebrate Music In Our Schools Month.
Martin Grade School has a tradition of decorating grocery sacks so watch for some artwork with your purchases in March!  Some classes have started decorating their sacks!  Of course, they all hope that their parents will be given THEIR sack when they check out of the grocery store!  As you can see below, there are some pretty crafty bags that will be filled with groceries in the coming weeks!




This month is full of celebrations!  March 3 is a special day for our nation.  March 3 is National Anthem Day.  On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed into law “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the United States’ national anthem.  As we know, Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics for the Star-Spangled Banner on September 14, 1914, during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. It was originally called “Defence of Fort McHenry”.   This was one of many patriotic songs, but grew on the American people.  America did not have an official national anthem a the time.  It was over 100 years before the Star-Spangled Banner was our official anthem.
We have several musical performances coming up.  Hope to see you there to help our students celebrate Music In Our Schools Month! 
Students and educators appreciate the support they receive from their families year-round!  Thank you for supporting the arts in your child’s school by attending concerts, encouraging him/her to practice an instrument and sing in the choir!


Friday, February 24, 2017

SLOW DOWN!

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—SLOW.  We simply write for 5 minutes on a prompt and see what is created!  I've enjoyed doing these quick writings.  If you would like to give it a try, check out the Facebook page or this blog:  Kate Motaung’s site

Slow is not me.  I am quick.  I multi-task.  I make lists.  I complete my lists, before the due date.  I walk fast.  I pass people in the hallway.  My husband says I drive fast, but really, I just go the speed limit.  Most of the time.
So perhaps I need to SLOW DOWN.  
The upcoming season of Lent is a perfect time for me to SLOW my thinking, my pace, my soul.  

I will take time to slow down and walk WITH someone I approach in the hallway.  Not pass them up to quickly get to my all-so-important (not) destination.
I will take time to stop by church and pray awhile before I head home after school or after being in town.
I will slow down when I drive to take better notice of the beauty around me.
I've noticed that when I take the TIME to BE, that things DO get done in spite of it!  So I will probably still make those lists, but instead of letting the list control me, I will be the one in control of that list.  
I'll take the TIME to SLOW myself.  I will be aware of the path that perhaps God is calling me to....instead of zoom by it, not even noticing the option.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

For when I am WEAK, then I am STRONG

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—WEAK.  We simply write for 5 minutes on a prompt and see what is created!  I've enjoyed doing these quick writings.  If you would like to give it a try, check out the Facebook page or this blog:  Kate Motaung’s site

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Weak.  It seems that no one likes to admit that they are "weak" in any area of life.  I am weak in my resistance to sweets.  I am weak in my resolve to pray the rosary every day.  I am weak in many areas of life.  Now, I'm not weak 24-7 in these areas.  There are days/hours that I am STRONG!  I resist that candy, I put prayer first in my agenda.  
Where does this strength come from?  Am I born with an inner reserve of strength for those times I need it?  Did my upbringing train me for resolve and strength in my endeavors?  Do the people around me encourage and therefore strengthen me as I journey through life?  
Yes, all of these are true....but.....
I know that my real inner strength comes from God.  When my children were very small, the very first bible verse I taught them was Philippians 4:13:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I firmly believe this....whether it's resisting a sweet, keeping my mouth shut and not gossiping, or making it through the sorrow of a death, my REAL strength lies in Jesus Christ.  For when I am weak, then I AM STRONG!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Just Breathe...

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—BREATHE.  We simply write for 5 minutes on a prompt and see what is created!  I've enjoyed doing these quick writings.  If you would like to give it a try, check out the Facebook page or this blog:  Kate Motaung’s site

When I think of breathing, what comes to mind this morning is the sense of smell.  Our sense of smell is a precious gift!  Today I'm thankful for all of those smells in my life that manifest themselves in the many blessings I experience.

One of the most precious smells to me is the smell of a baby.  That precious life.  The sweet smell of a baby after a bath.  But also, the smell of a dirty diaper (all's working well with the digestion), or the smell of dried on food on clothing (solid food here we come!).  I treasure these smells...from my own children, from my grandchildren, and from any baby I see!

The smell of my husband.  Sometimes he asks me if he "smells"!  AKA, "Do I need to take a shower?? " Regardless of if he needs a shower, though, he has a smell unique to him.  That wonderful smell the stirs up my love for him when we are close.  The smell of love.

The smells of nature....totally worth stopping and breathing in....freshly mown grass....the air after a rain...flowers in bloom....the ocean (how I miss that smell!)....fish that have been caught...wet fur on a pet....even the manure of horses and cows.  One of my most treasured memories is of one of our granddaughters, Martha, commenting while we were on a road trip of the smell of manure as we drove by a feedlot of something (can't remember what it was)...she said, "AH, the smell of home!"  She obviously treasured that smell, and it meant more to her than messy, smelly cow poop!

What are your favorite smells?