Day by day

Golden Lily

The doing of a thing
shapes who we become
making each life ring and sing.

Do a thing today
that makes you smile
or helps another along life’s way.

Make your story chime
rich and vibrant,
splashed with colors sublime.

Sometimes the thing
is a softly spoken word
like the gentle brush of an angel’s wing.

Sometimes it is creating
art, or music, or a tale
so beautiful it’s breath-taking.

Sometimes it’s praying,
knowing God is listening
to what you are saying.

The things we do and say
define our stories
and shape our lives day-by-day.


Redesign

Sharon VI am so psyched! For the past several months I’ve been dragging my fanny, and it isn’t funny! I’m so not the sit-on-my-bum kind of person. As a writer, I have options most people don’t have:

  • I can work where I want.
  • I can work when I want.
  • Inspiration is a window, not a door.
  • I can take on clients to write for, or I can get creative with my own writing.
  • I’ve been working from home before it was a thing.

I could easily attribute my lack of productivity to life events that sort of stopped me in my tracks, not the least of which is the mad virus that has brought the world to a stuttering halt. That’s BS, a big BULL and big load of SPIT!

My method of handling life is to write about it, in my journal (which no one will ever see), and through poetry, fiction and essays. Some get publish; most do not.

Why am I psyched? I did a website redesign, or more truthfully, erased a lot of color giving it a cleaner and crisper look. Why does that get me going? This sort of comes under the heading of what COVID-19 has taught me.

  1. Like my website, I live with unnecessary clutter, yet fill my days with procrastination and guilt. The wouda-coulda-shoulda syndrome. I’m over it. One day at a time.
  2. I tend to equate busyness with productivity. So not true! In future, I hope to have the good sense to ‘finish’ one thing rather than half-assing five.
  3. I’m a more social person than I realized. I miss seeing friends and – really, folks – ZOOM is a crappy substitute.
  4. Hugging is healing. Virtual hugs are wonderful, but there is no substitute for a hug from a friend.
  5. When it comes to the virus and the future, nobody has ‘the’ answer. There are too many variables.

My daily prayer is that my friends in small businesses can survive and thrive and that the virus dies out, never to return.

So, why am I psyched? Because there is no alternative. Living in limbo waiting for the next alarming news report is a sad waste of time. I choose to count today as the best opportunity to be… well, me. And, yes, I am ever the optimist.

What COVID-19 has taught me more than anything is to live each day as best you can. We’ve lost so many to this breath-stealing monster. Don’t let fear rob you of the best life you can live, now.


Follow Sharon at:
www.vandermeerbooks.com
https://www.facebook.com/vandermeerbooks
Amazon Author Central


 

Fear Not

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Day by day

In Genesis 37, we read the story of family treachery. The coat of many colors was tainted with blood. Jacob was convinced it was the blood of his beloved son, Joseph.

Though much loved by his father, Joseph was resented by his brothers. Relationships sink or swim on as little as this. None of them could predict what God could and would do with this act of betrayal. It is a reminder of how important it is to be absolutely certain that God’s plan is greater – and more intricately connected to end results – than anything we can do. Trust in the Lord. Be strong under fire. Make the most of who you are. God has promised to be with you, even when those around you sell you out, life hands you bitter gall instead of ambrosia, health fails, and trouble bubbles. You are stronger than you think, not because of who you are, but because of who God is.


Follow Sharon at:
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https://www.facebook.com/vandermeerbooks
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I am a writer and I have a writing business. Contact me for free consultation about your writing needs. Write Stuff Writing Services


 

I believe

PrayerNow faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

I believe. I believe despite anything that tries to erode my belief. Life happens, not always in the way I want it to. Humans build elaborate castles of expectation and dream impossible dreams, but in the end we do not know what will happen or how we will react. As a woman of faith, I build upon the foundation of God’s love so when things go sour – and in the world they will and do – I am grounded on the sure promise of God’s presence. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV Joshua 1:9) God knows the road ahead; I do not. Whether I ride on a wave of success, or am in the throes of distress, I have the certainty of this: God is with me through everything.


Follow Sharon at:
www.vandermeerbooks.com
https://www.facebook.com/vandermeerbooks
Amazon Author Central


I am a writer and I have a writing business. Contact me for free consultation about your writing needs. Write Stuff Writing Services

 

5 Reasons you are important

Volunteers Wanted

When I go to meetings, I often see the same faces. These are dedicated folks who believe in making a difference, and who believe there is a difference to be made. They Will Rogerssometimes suffer criticism instead of praise for their efforts, but this does not deter them. They show up, give their opinions, lend their support, stand up for the promise of a better tomorrow, and forge ahead. They volunteer for business groups, animal welfare activities, social justice causes, civic improvement organizations, and anything else you can think of that will make your life and mine a little better. They don’t get paid, and most go unrecognized. These engines for change are the lifeblood of a vibrant community. If you aren’t currently working for the betterment of the community as a volunteer, here are a five reasons you might want to come to the next meeting of interest to you, and sit down at the table.

Ideas

Ideas are the seeds of change. Without ideas, there would be no iPad, iPhone, or iMac. There would be no interactive notebook that responds to a touch. There would be no music, no art, no books, no invention of any kind. It all begins with an idea. If you think your ideas aren’t important, think again. You can and will make a difference, but only if you are at the table.

Perspective

I’ve been at the table many times, perhaps too many times, some might say. My perspective comes from my frame of reference. I still believe my perspective has value, but so does yours. When decisions are being made your thoughts count. If you aren’t present, those thoughts won’t be heard, not because your perspective is being ignored, but because you aren’t there to present it.

Kick the lid off the box

It is an unfortunate fact of organizations that sometimes leaders become mired in procedure and process and forget their primary purpose, whatever that may be. The board and membership ages. Individual members become complacent or overburdened. In either case the lid must be kicked off the box so new energy, new leaders, new members can come pouring in. Leadership development is as critical as new ideas. Your presence and participation as a new volunteer can make that happen. You can learn from and be mentored by seasoned volunteers.

Your Experience

Nobody brings to the table what you bring. Your experience at every level will help inform and define the organization you become involved in. You will get out of it exactly what you put into it. Your experience will make the organization better and stronger for your participation.

Self-development

Getting acquainted with people you don’t ordinarily encounter is an excellent way to expand your horizons. Their energy, their ideas, their dedication will energize you, inspire you, and broaden your creativity. Studies have shown that people who are more involved and engaged in life are happier. Volunteering is good for you. So, come to the table. Be a part of making your community great. Just as seeds need water and sun to grow, organizations need your fresh ideas, perspective, and experience. They need you to kick the lid off the box and pour in your creativity and energy. And isn’t it encouraging to know you will benefit from the experience?


Thank you for being a reader/subscriber. It is my goal to present informative, interesting and creative content on this site. Your likes, shares and comments are welcomed and hugely appreciated.


Follow Sharon at:
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Autumn’s Favor

Chili Ristra

Come autumn, Mom couldn’t pass up
a roadside farm stand.
She had to stop, shop, buy.
The bright array of produce
– juicy apples
– plump pumpkins
– piquant chile peppers
– green and yellow squash
and more,
much better than any store.

Vibrant color,
mixed aromas of melons,
dirt from the field,
sawn wood of newly built
display stands, wobbly
yet able to bear the weight
of succulent bounty.
It made Mom grin,
and drew her in.

Chilly shopping in the open air.
Backdrop of plowed fields,
trees turning golden,
dropping leaves like confetti,
ristras glistening in the sun,
peppery red and lush,
green chilies turning in barrels
drenching the air
with the bouquet of fall,
a seasonal signal of winter’s call.

Good food
from the good earth,
to make into enchiladas,
tacos, rellanos,
beans with chicos,
cornbread sprinkled with green chile
and kernels of fresh corn.
The kitchen a place of comfort
where love settled in every nook
and came in waves from the cook.

Autumn’s favor comes
in memories
of home, warmed by
the heat of an oven
baking a surprise
fresh from the field.
Memories interwoven with time,
a yearning to go back
and see my mother’s smile,
if only for a little while.

 

________________
Image: clipart.com

A Better Day

Hang in there

Romans 5:3-4 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

One Drop at a TimePerseverance is an important tool in the toolbox of hope. When ingrained doubts assail you, when little rejections batter your confidence, when failure erodes your determination, whittles away at resolve, and undermines creativity, hang in there. Perseverance is the drop of water in the pool of life that allows the most unlikely of things to happen. And don’t you want to be a part of that? One local church wanted to distribute backpacks to students at the beginning of the school year. It didn’t take long to realize the church couldn’t do it alone. It reached out to other churches and individuals, and before long they had enough funding put together to distribute more than two hundred back packs. Imagine if that first church had given up?

 

Be happy, it’s a place to start

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30 (NIV)

Sunflowers in Northern New MexicoHappy people are healthier, which in turn helps them heal faster when they are ill. That’s a scientific fact, according to Greater Good at UC Berkley. An independent study published in Canada in 2010, revealed improved health in happy people over a ten-year period. It has also been my observation over time. I’ve seen morose people’s health wane rather quickly when they are ill, which can often be tied to their poor outlook and fear of the worst. People who are innately happy seem to weather health storms stoically, or with humor. Faith plays a role in that because faith affects attitude. Look on the bright side. It really does help.
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These short reading will be included in a book I’m working on entitled 365 Ways to Make the World a Better Place (working title). I value your thoughts and comments. I also welcome short personal essays about what you believe will make the world a better place. Experiences that have made a difference in your life and the lives of others are welcome. The experiences can be yours or the story of someone you know. With permission, I will use the item in my book. If you would like to send an item for consideration, e-mail item to fsharon@msn.com. In the subject line enter 365 Ways.

 

Get Ready

In Bloom

 

Life is not about big moments;
it is comprised of many small events.
Some leave you cold and confused,
others plant tiny seeds of love.

Big moments come and go,
we’re never entirely ready for them.
Small acts of kindness take root
and re-form who we are.

Get ready to be surprised by
joy that blossoms
when these tiny seeds
burst forth in laughter.

Get ready to weep
when the seed becomes compassion,
deeply felt and shared,
expressed in mercy and love.

Get ready to be there
in the moments you are needed.

To listen…
to laugh…
to cry–

Get ready.

_________________________
In memory of our good friend Jack Van Horn, a poet at heart
(Photo: clipart.com)

Give Me Understanding

Psalm 119:34: Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

Understanding

In our desire to be self-sufficient, we forget that on our own we are alive but lifeless. We have no purpose except to please ourselves. When we seek to understand others, we find ways to help those God puts into our paths. We reach out, and grow inside. We look up, and our horizons expand. We bow our heads in prayer and know we have made a connection, the most important connection of all. When we look to our neighbor and try to understand them we see God’s plan at work in all people everywhere. In Matthew 22:38-40, Jesus said: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” Who is your neighbor? Who is my neighbor? It may be the person next door or it can be someone a world away. The only way you know how you can help is to ask, and to understand.