August 11, 2017

Old Books . . . Old Friends

For lots of reasons, I find myself reading most books these days by ereader, yet still I adore old books and stores which feature them!  I love the sight, smell and feel of them, but there is something more!  I hear the voices of each soul who held, read, and loved the book before me.  Old books, old friends!

Digital Camera

The tattered pages

Speak of those who’ve gone before

Can you hear the whispers?

By Martha L Shaw ©2015

Perfect Quote For A Sunday!

October 7, 2012

He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.

– Lao Tzu –

I Love Rumi – A Quote For Tuesday

October 2, 2012

Oh, this one just makes my jaw drop, lifts weight from my shoulders, and makes my soul dance ALL AT ONCE.  What must the neighbors be thinking?  lol  I hope it catches your soul as well!

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”  – Rumi

Wordlessness . . . A Quote For Sunday

September 30, 2012

Perhaps, this being my Sunday post, my thoughts on this quote have been slanted some but I suspect the title of “wordlessness” is not one you’d expect a writer to jump to.  Oh, but one can be inspired at any given time and love, peace, inspiration, and other delights do not always require words, do they?  My thoughts might not be what the original quote relates to, but sometimes messages go from one being to another in the way we clasp hands, enjoy a sunset, a walk on the beach, or paging through a book of memories . . . simply heart to heart and soul to soul . . .


Much of what was said did not matter, and much of what mattered could not be said.

– Katherine Boo –

Wednesday’s Quote On Truth

September 26, 2012

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth . . .  ” and I ask you, have you ever met a bored Christian?  This quote will get you thinking (with a cup of tea perhaps)

Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful, or to discover something that is true.

– William Inge –

Quote For Saturday – Kindness

September 22, 2012

We do not often know how our actions impact the lives of others . . . even a simple smile can change the world.  Here is a quote for today:

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. – Amelia Earhart –

Urgent! If You Love A Child, Read This!

September 21, 2012


My hands are still shaking as I write this to you.  I just ran an errand to the nearby grocery store for milk and shampoo.  Something we all do a couple times a week . . .  grab milk, bread . . . as I drove down the two-way main parkway in my subdivision, which has no sidewalks and is a family neighborhood, a two-year old girl wearing only a diaper and a pair of men’s flip-flops walked up to my moving car saying “Daddy?”

I could only think of the cars driving on the road that very moment and how hard it was to see a tiny baby in bright sunshine and during rush hour.  She couldn’t tell me her name, age, or point to her house.  I left my car in the middle of the road literally and tried to appear calm as I took her hand.   I resisted the urge to pick her up fearing she’d be scared or her (surely nearby) family would think I was taking the child.  As I knocked on door after door, either nobody answered or the folks didn’t know her. 

One neighbor grabbed his phone and called the authorities as we kept the child safe in his front yard.  Before the police came the family finally found us.  They lived around the corner and everyone thought everyone else was with the baby, but one went to toss the laundry into the dryer, one was doing homework, one was preparing to head to work, and the child was far from the house very quickly.  Two year olds slip away so easily.  They showed no signs of being neglectful parents and siblings, they simply turned away for just a moment.  The instant I led her out of the street a car came zooming down the street just where she stood. 

The timing of my being in that spot at that time was all the Lord’s doing.  This was not the way I planned my day.  Again, her family were known to others in the neighborhood who came out wondering what was going on.  They are just like you and me.  They are good people.  A tragedy could have happened if the Lord had not intervened. 

None of us want to be overprotective or nagging with the ones we care for, but PLEASE I beg of you, take this to heart.  I would never have thought it could happen near my house, my neighborhood . . .  it can happen anywhere.  Thanks be to God for His giving me His eyes and for His protection for this baby.  I am still stunned. 


Sushi’s NOT Disgusting – The Truth About Habits

September 21, 2012

I was driving home from lunch with Mom a few minutes ago.  As we pulled up to the traffic light and intersection the light turned red.  I stopped.  Mom grew quickly angry and complained about the light (assume language used) and followed that with “I hate this place.”  I can’t think of anywhere in my adult life which hasn’t found her “hating” it, but when she moved to the next place, suddenly the last was a dream come true.  It annoys me partly because she lives in my home and I love it here.  As to traffic lights I have come to love the “extra” time to sip my water, say a quick prayer, adjust the radio, check email . . . if I’m running late, it’s my own fault, right?  Can’t blame the light.  So, Mom’s bad reaction added to the “why does she always complain.”  Now, the rest of the story . . . .

It is true, MOm does complain a lot.  It is a habit that she’s had long as I can remember.  She is so quick to say “I hate this rotten place” that if the sun shines too bright or the sky is too blue, it’ll prompt that phrase to be spoken.  Habits.  The bad news?  Habits are hard to break.  But, there is good news!  Habits are hard to break!!!  Does this surprise you?  Both statements are true.  I promise.

You see, those habits become instinctive and reflex/response to any stimuli whether remotely appropriate or not.  BUT they can be broken if we are stubborn and willing.  Stubborn minds got us into the bad habit, why can’t it make us break the old bad habits and instill new ones?  Okay, confession time.

I used to hate red lights.  I’d waste gas driving the long way to avoid them.  At some point I had little money (like now) and so gambled that I’d hit a few green lights and thus maybe the short way could work?  I am by nature an early bird, so the timing wasn’t critical.  I trained myself to use my quiet time in the car for prayer, breathing exercises, listening to MY MUSIC and the like.  It made me like red lights and like driving (which I’d hated) and during times of concern praying while driving is HUGELY comforting.  During times of elation, praying while driving is ALSO hugely comforting.  Win win, win!

The rest of the story.  Mom’s quick “I hate this place” about everywhere is a habit and this one comes so quickly I’m not sure she even knows where she is when she declares it.  But, as I sat at the light, I was thinking of lunch.  I had gone to a buffet place which she likes.  I’m gotten away from a diet of nothing but fried, salty, fat filled, and starchie foods which I used to load up on even though I felt sick later and gained weight . . . I “loved” them.  I’ve come to eat a diet filled with fruit, veggies, sushi, water . . . don’t care for meat much . . . I’m healthier, lost weight, and it looks and tastes really good.  Oh, but the rest of the story?  Most of that stuff . . . my new diet?  It is all stuff I always turned up my nose on.  Yuck, I don’t like veggies.  I hate fruit.  Suchi?  Icky . . . raw fish?  Just thinking about it made me . . . you know.  At some point, my God Daughter, whom I can deny nothing, stuck a piece of sushi on my plate and in a comando voice told me to eat it.  She sternly glared and said “all sushi is NOT raw fish.  Hardly any is raw fish.”  I ate it.  I then stole another off her plate.  I then began to gingerly taste fruit and veggies.  Do you know how amazing they are?  Yum.  How is it that I didn’t know this?  Oh, and when did Alice become the adult and me the foolish child?  (She was born AMAZING) LOL

Know what?  When I eat hamburgers, deep-fried food, etc., now?  I don’t like it much.  Sometimes not at all.  Spinach?  Yum!  I eat a lot and I look better all the time.  Good habits are as hard to break as bad ones.  Try it!


Can That Which Is Finite Have Reverence?

September 19, 2012


Read the following quote:Abundance is a fact of nature. It is a fundamental law of nature, that there is enough and it is finite. Its finiteness is no threat; it creates a more accurate relationship that commands respect, reverence, and managing those resources with the knowledge that they are precious and in ways that do the most good for the most people.” – Lynne Twist –

I appreciate the intent expressed in the words of Ms Twist, but I believe she has actually expressed the very reason why we see a growing lack of abundance in our natural world rather than a respect for it with an inbred tendency to value it and work toward the increase of our finite worldly resources.  We do, I believe, crave abundance but most of us in our secret hearts feel a sense of entitlement.  Our worldly or natural resources are finite and as such do run out.  The sun does continue to rise and set yet our trees, ocean life, wildlife of various sorts and more do become extinct.  Their finiteness was and is real, was not reverenced, thus extinction becomes a reality in the nature of this world every single day.  What is reverence?  Can the finite be protected from extinction?  Is there, in fact, any possibly link between the two?

Reverence has been defined as an outward manifestation of a feeling of awe.  For me, the feeling of awe I experience in nature is one of feeling the grace and love of the hand which created all that naturally surrounds me and not quite a sense of reverence in the flora and fauna itself.  That being said, the abundance suggested in the quote is overstated and instills in us a need to possess.  Nature in its own sphere has an innate ability to regenerate itself, but once removed from that place, becomes threatened by extinction caused by the very reverence the quote suggests.  True reverence, I believe, gives life rather than taking it away.   I believe the fundamental law of nature which most directly impacts us is our own free will and the decisions we make determine what is enough or what we cause to “run out.”

That being said, I believe the finite in this world is a gift to us by an infinite divine and loving God.  I believe true reverence in Him and in His gifts to us and the nature of His giving is the only truly effective means of living the life we were born for, having the resources we need to do so, and doing the most good for the most people. In the many world religions I’ve studied, the common thread among them whether eastern or western religions and whether the focus is on one divine being or many . . . all of these which I’ve read and studied DID believe in the divine.  When we love the giver, we truly do appreciate the gift and the spirit in which it was given and in doing so we have a true abundance!  In looking to the heart and not the gifts . . . or the resources, it is that relationship which truly effects the change needed in our own lives and the lives of others.  When we take on the heart of the Giver, there is no distinction between finite and infinite . . . for our focus changing from acquisition to the common good. 

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

August 23, 2012

What do you think?  Do good fences make good neighbors?  What does that cliché really mean?  Like many of you, I can recall “different times” from childhood which compared to “these days” . . . and am thinking of unlocked front doors, neighborhood parties, knowing each and every neighbor by name . . .

Our neighbors were our friends and we were, as they say, there for one-another.  I didn’t know many of my neighbors where I last lived, and actually got to know some of them when they saw the “for sale” sign go up and got curious. 

I’m a friendly person.  It seems to me, though, that we or I anyway, get so busy these days with all that we “do” and many of the people I know from church, from work, from this meeting or that have said something about not really knowing their neighbors . . . I can recall there always being someone to chat with, to play with, to lend a hand to.  If my dad was doing yard work, home repair, adding an addition to the house, there was usually one or two neighbors who’d come over and help. 

Mom never had to worry about where we children got our Halloween candy from.  She knew all the neighbors.  Several of the neighbors, my Mom included, would make homemade treats.  I can recall one or two neighbors who had cans of beer on the ready for the Dads taking us kids out while Mom was home giving out treats.  I don’t get many kids to my house anymore . . .

I can recall Mom sending me to school with food for my teacher . . . something from the garden or something she baked.  I wonder if teachers still receive such gifts and if they fear eating them?   We have a lot of those kinds of fears these days.

So, the question remaining to be answered is “do good fences make good neighbors?”  I don’t know the answer, but in looking at my neighbor’s yard from my deck which was my vantage point in snapping the photo this piece began with, I’d have to say I’m glad that he left an opening in the fence to invite folks in.  Life is different today in lots of ways.  Some changes are good, but . . .

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
                                                                                                    Romans 15:1-3

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