December 26, 2014
My first car,
Though rusty and dented,
Was beautiful to me.
It cost little
And that was what I had.
It set me free!
So I had to sing.
My open window refreshed me
As the aroma of cut grass reached me
Along with the sound
Of kids at play.
I’ve had other cars since then,
But was that one
the worst or best?
By Martha L Shaw – ©12-26-2014
August 24, 2011
Did you know that in the last 2 decades over 100,000 children under the age of 5 were injured or killeed from falling out of windows? This isn’t a big city problem. It is happening in modest homes and most often through screens in first and second floor windows. Please read my recent article on Technorati for details.
August 22, 2011
Just driving down the street to fill my car with gas the other day brought tears to my eyes as memories of my Dad came flooding back to me. The anniversary of his death is coming near. My Dad was my hero but not because he invented something world changing and not because he discovered a cure for the common cold. My Dad was a country boy. In my eyes he could do anything. He found joy in simple things and taught me to do so as well. He always had a smile, a laugh, a hug. As I drove down the street with my car windows open, I saw a bit of smoke in the air and heard the crackling sounds of a brush fire well controlled in the neighbor’s yard and smelled that oh so familiar smell. The smoke didn’t bring tears to my eyes, though. It was the memories from long ago.
One of my favorite memories is really just a small thing and yet I can remember it so well now as decades have passed and I am that 6 year old again. I can hear the sounds from that day long gone, can smell the aromas that marked the day, and feel the textures. Daddy was out in the yard raking leaves. We had lots and lots of them as the yard and neighborhood were filled with trees and it was autumn. The lovely colors were turning to rust as the leaves dried out and fell from the trees and he had a huge pile of them ready to burn. I watched. I can hear the squeak of the rake against the hard earth. I can hear the crunch of the branches and dried brush under my feat. I watched from the stairs as the pile grew higher and higher. Finally Daddy was satisfied with his progress and went into the cellar to get a hose and some matches to burn the leaves and put out the fire. As he disappeared from view, I saw my opportunity
Jumping up from my watchful spot on the stairs, I ran to the pile of leaves and leaped into the pile! As I did, the leaves flew into the air and I landed on the soft pile and then leaped up again and again! Each time I landed back down into the soft, dry leaves, I swung my arms about me and giggled with joy as the leaves flew higher and higher into the air then fell back to land on my nose, in my hair, and scattered about the yard! It seemed to me at the time that Daddy must have been having trouble finding that hose because I had plenty of time to leap for joy in the pile of leaves! Looking back, I am older now than my Daddy was then and I know he must surely have been standing nearbv and watching me. Maybe he was remembering the small boy he used to be and remembering my Grampa doing what he was doing.
Daddy had to do a lot of the raking all over again after my time spent playing with the pile of leaves was over. I remember it all so well. I don’t recall getting scolded, though, nor even frowned at. I only recall the grin on Daddy’s face as he came from around the corrner of the yard carrying the hose and box of matches. I can hear his laughter even now.
I love you, Daddy!
August 20, 2011
If your childhood was anything like mine, you will recall collecting colorful Autumn leaves, jumping in piles of them, and maybe getting gently scolded for having bits of dry brush on your clothing and in your hair. If so, this post on my Open Salon Blog will bring back happy memories for you and I invite you to pop over by clicking the link. Here are some photographs of New England’s colorful Fall leaves.
August 15, 2011
What a great idea! What are you grateful for today? Here’s my list!
1. My personal relationship with Christ
2. My church family
3. Having a roof over my head
4. The Holy Spirit to guard and guide me
5. Prayer that’s always heard
6. The capacity to love
7. Angels watching over me
8. Food to eat
9. Birds singing outside my window
10. Palmetto trees reminding me of Jesus
11. Friends who care about me
12. Rain – cleansing and thirst quenching
13. Peaceful sounds of sleeping family
15. God’s love and forgiveness
via Cloud9 Design
August 14, 2011
My Mom has a picture in her bedroom of jesus laughing. It is a wonderful picture and reminds me that Jesus was indeed fully man yet fully human. It reminds me that He cries with us when we cry. It also reminds me that while the life of a Christian isn’t for “winps” this doesn’t mean we must be serious all the time. The Bible is so full of reference to “joy” and to the Joy of the Lord. A quick click revealed that the NIV Bible has nearly 250 references which include the word joy. I am thinking of this because I can recall so often hearing a chorus of “shhhhhhh!” resounding in church halls when there is joy and laughter happening! This is simply wrong! The Lord doesn’t desire a bunch of gloomy disciples to be at work for Him. Who’d be drawn to such a life in Christ?
He resides in us and He is perfect peace and joy. We are to reflect this to the world and be missors of Him. This came to mind most recently this morning as I stood in the chuch hall before the service. There was one service letting out and another to begin shortly thereafter. There were lots of people both old and young rushing about, smiling, laughing, chatting, and hugging. Occasionally there would be a bit of “shhhhhh!” I am happy that it was ignored. We are much too quick to throw water on the joy of the Lord when we see and hear it. Why is this? What do we fear? Sure there are times when we need to be in quiet time with Him. Yes, when the service is going on we don’t want to create a distraction outside the door and thus prevent folks from participating in it, but this “shhhhhh” can go too far! Jesus called the disciples His friends and I am sure He enjoyed Himself with them. We, too, are His disciples and we too are to be filled with His joy.
Joy and laughter is not the same thing as “noise.” The sounds I heard from my position of observation in the hall? That was music to my ears. I believe that it was music to the His ears as well! “Make a joyful noise until the Lord” folks! Jesus will smile and laugh with you!
August 5, 2011
They say that babies learn to swim very quickly and easily. I’ve read of folks “simply dropping” the baby into the water and finding them taking to it quite naturally. Why is this? Is it nature and not nurture? Is it their memory, still somewhat conscious, of life in the womb? More likely, this natural affinity for swimming is the result of the absence of fear. We aren’t born afraid. We learn that outside the womb. We do a masterful job of it, too. Okay, I can only truly speak for myself on this, but I have come to finally realize that I’m not the only one who feels the things that I feel and faces the things that I face in life. So, what’s up with this water thing? I have never learned to swim. Some would label me as “middle aged” and you can imagine my reaction to that label, but regardless of that I am an adult and have been one for a long time and no, I cannot swim.
Not too long ago, the Bible reading at church was from the gospel of John 5:1-18 where we learn of the man who spent 38 years by the pool and knew that if he could just bring himself to get wet, he would be healed of what ailed him and yet he stayed dry and also whined about being left out. He chose to be left out. He “could have” or “should have” made other choices. What’s the worst that could have happened? Was he not miserable anyway? I’ve always thought he showed himself to be such a lazy and foolish person to have made the choice he did. You can imagine how unsettling it was for me to realize that in some respects I am him! I don’t recall the story revealing his age to us, but I might be the same age as he was. Hmmm . . . and so I have spent life near enough to the pool to see and hear how much fun everyone was having, yet not close enough to the edge to cause anyone to suggest I join in. I never dipped my toes into the water. Still, I felt left out and somehow wished I’d been invited in . . . knowing full well I’d have declined.
So, yes it is true. I have never known how to swim. Why? Was it fear? Was it shyness? Who knows. But now suddenly, and after more than 38 years on dry ground secretly yearning, I find myself jumping in and realizing there are really just three things that can possibly happen as a result. I will learn to swim and fast . . . I will walk on water . . . or I may drown. I’m jumping in anyway. Who am I? Maybe I’m finally finding ME?