Dear Aunt Astrid!

April 3, 2017

I had an aunt whom I assumed may have been born an old lady. The little niece recalls a wrinkled nose more  than a smile. I recall giggling after a burp and being told “Not prudent for a young lady.”  Wonder how she knew?  Anyway, I did not know what the word meant, but but but . .  I had heard of prudes and one more thing!

Image result for mirror

Stand in front of a mirror and say PRUDENT and imagine you’re still a 5 year old.  Tell me!  DOESN’T IT MAKE YOUR FACE LOOK FUNNY?

Lessons From My Child Self

February 13, 2017

Depending on your faith or denomination, this might not be completely familiar, but ,I was thinking of Mom at church yesterday and recalled her telling me that as a tiny girl she would march around the house holding an upside down broom and pretend to be the crucifer at church.

So, later in the service, as we sung the Doxology and got to the words “praise Him all creatures here below” I remembered myself as a wee one singing the same words with one tiny mistake. I misunderstood and heard them say “preacher” rather than “creature” AND GOT MAD! I decided they were NOT going to tell me only PREACHERS could praise Him. I WAS GOING TO AS WELL!  lol

It should not surprise anyone that both of us have, in our own ways, felt called to forms of ministry from a very young age.





Garden of Memories

October 28, 2014

A pencil mark on the door frame . . .

A scuff mark on the floor . . .

Memories of what was,

And seeds planted

For all that is to come!

By Martha L Shaw – © 10-12-2013

cross count 6

Quilt by Martha L Shaw

Garden of Memories

October 12, 2013

A pencil mark on the door frame . . .

A scuff mark on the floor . . .

Memories of what was,

And seeds planted

For all that is to come!

By Martha L Shaw – © 10-12-2013

cross count 6

Quilt by Martha L Shaw

A Child’s Trusting Heart

March 21, 2013

The other day, at my part-time job, I was in a great deal of pain.  My job is very physical and I was working hard at smiling and reflecting Him but the pain threatened to bring tears.  I wrestled with this and was washing the floor by the drink station at work.  adjacent to this area is the door to the playground.  I suddenly realized a small boy of perhaps three years of age was outside, but not playing.  Instead, he was watching me mop the floor.  He opened the door and peering at the mop, asked “what are doing?” I responded “washing the floor.”  Keeping it simple, I wondered what he’d say next.  He then asked me why and I explained that someone had an “oops” and spilled something.  He came into the restaurant having lost sight of his mama.  He suddenly looked scared.  I saw her behind me ordering their lunch and pointed to her.  I then warned him to walk carefully as the floor might be a little slippery.  He stood very still then walked in a rather amusing way.  It was like a movie in slow motion.  lol  I saw the look of fear on his face, and said “do you want to hold my hand?”  He looked relieved and took it.  He reached his mom, reassured, he turned back to return to the playground.  This time he walked right up to me and extended his hand, knowing I’d take hold and walk him safely to the door.  He smiled and ran to the colorful slide.

I never did learn the small boy’s name.  I did, though, learn much from him.  Trust replaces fear with joy.  It really is that simple.

And God Loves Ducks

August 8, 2012

Okay, I know I need to explain that one.  My Godchild who’s not a child anymore learned words differently than any other child I know.  I think, in an entirely unbiased opinion, that she was reading novels in the delivery room and speaking in sentences on the way home from the hospital . . . but anyway, among her first “real” words spoken (as opposed to “did she just say that?” words) was duck and quack.  She is my much-loved duckling even if she is not from my own nest. 

I didn’t hatch any of my own, but the Lord blessed me by putting her in my heart in the place my own ducklings would otherwise be.  That being said, I’m thinking of God’s creatures great and small and what blessings they are. 

I wonder if the cows, horses, bunnies, and birds feel a combination of pride, joy, and a little bit of sadness as their “ducklings,” calves, and the like grow up and fly to a distant branch  of a distant tree to establish their own personal nest?  Like me, do they wonder if they’ll be visited? Remembered?  I’m smiling though for my duckling has always made me so proud of her!

I pray that Jesus will watch over all the little ducklings in our lives, and especially those flying off to a distant nest.  I also ask that He will give an extra hug to those of us who watched them grow and love them still and will love them always.

How To Live Forever

July 18, 2012

I just read a great quote: 

To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.

– Thomas Campbell –

I love this quote NOT because I never wish to leave this life, for I do at some point seek to live “up there” with Jesus and to sit at His feet, but there is another reason this quote touched me.  Gosh, in a very short time not too far back in my life it seemed so many people I love were passing on all within a few weeks or months of each other.  It may have been a broader period of time, but my broken heart-felt like “there’s nobody left.” 

When we hear that “they” live in our hearts forever, it sounds cliché and initially comforts us very little, yet eventually the grieving passes or at least becomes less crippling and when it does life continues and “they” truly are still with us.  Each time I pick up a hammer, I feel my Dad’s hand on my own.  Whenever I sit on the left hand side of the church in the first or second pew, Becky’s there with me and I feel her sisterly hugs and see her beautiful smile with Jesus reflected in her eyes just as He always was.  I can’t pass a yard sale without hearing Betty say “Ooo!” and recalling how she could do a three-point turn ANYWHERE when there was a yard sale sign in sight! 

When I see a nurse lovingly treating a patient, I think of Barbara, and when I see a seagull I think of Uncle Bob and his summer hat with plastic seagull poop on it, and I feel his smile charging through my body.  I can’t pass through a yarn store without thinking of Nana and all the vests she made.  Nana was not well and was a “shut in” for years and years, but from her one room apartment, she warmed many a body and many a heart hand crocheting vests and hand writing letters which I mailed for her.  She always had “Rocko” who owned a small corner market and delivered her groceries to her (and put them away for her) bring my favorite flavor of ice cream and several other treats that she couldn’t even eat, just because we enjoyed so many long visits in her tiny and really hot apartment.  The heat never bothered me when I was there.  I remember Rocko and his demeanor of grumpy old man, but he didn’t offer delivery service . . . just had compassion for Nana and for many of us in the neighborhood in one way or another. 

Those who’ve passed through my life and moved away or have gone to be with Jesus . . . they truly are still with me and will forever be a part of me.  Mr. Campbell had it right!

“Let the LIttle Children Come to Me”

February 9, 2012

I teach creative writing and story telling 2 hours a week in an after school program.  If you ever have such an opportunity, I encourage you to take it if you can.  The pay, in money, will not cover much more than the gas to get there and back, but the reward you will receive is far greater than anything you can deposit in a bank account. 

That being said, I have a wide variety of exercises I do with the children to encourage them to freely use their imaginations in their crafting of stories.  Today’s theme was “dreams.”  The children were to close their eyes and think of a happy dream. 

One little girl, when telling her story to the class said she dreamed of being able to hang out with her very very very most favorite person in the whole wide world.  “Guess who it is?”  She asked excitedly.  “Jesus”  she then revealed while excitedly waving her arms. 

While I admit, every one of my students make me smile whether they love snakes or mice or riding bikes, that little five year old girl who shared her heart especially touched mine today.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Luke 18:15-17

Letting Go

January 16, 2012

Letting Go.

It’s so hard to let go of the children as they grow up.  Even if you’re “auntie” and not “Mom” it is still hard.  This is a great post.

Come On – Live a Little!

December 2, 2011

Boy, do I ever hate it when other people decide what I can or cannot do or try to force me into a mold of their own design!  How DARE they?  Who do they think they are, anyway? 

 Seriously, if you want to get me mad, just tell me I “can’t” but then get out of my way and fast!

 On, the other hand, I’ve “done it” to myself lots of times.  It’s true.  Play it safe.  Sure seemed like a good thing many times.  Know what?  We have two choices in life.  We grow or we die.  Just like a house plant, yet we are far more than a house plant.  So why do we set unrealistic limits on ourselves.  Why do we resist risk?  Why do we then whine when our life isn’t what we wanted or expected? 

 We were made to soar!  We are free!  Aren’t we?  Okay, so here’s a great example.  You may laugh.  I was out having dinner with  my friend Jeff.  He was having mussels.  He loves them.  He offered to share, asking me if I liked mussels.  I hesitated just seconds too long before gracefully declining.  He was onto me.  He said “have you ever tried them?”  I replied that I didn’t care for them.  He repeated the question and I had to (or chose to) admit that no, I’d never tried them.  Ah, Jeff who knows he was created to soar.  He tried to set me straight on the concept of “how can you know you don’t like them if you’ve never tried them?”  Well, being “logical” or “foolish” I listed the reasons such as the way they look, smell, the texture . . . on a few occasions after that when he and I dined together, he offered me a taste of his mussels.  I continued to decline. 

It was probably two years later when I found myself out with a couple of friends who were much less likely to take chances then I was (believe me, it’s true) that I tried mussels.  My friends were impressed as I gingerly picked up a mussel and placed it in my mouth trying not to betray my uneasy feeling about this.  I loved them!  Jeff was right.  They are SOOOO GOOD!

 I think about that as I consider all the crazy things that have happened in my life in the last few years.  Many of them have ended up being  huge blessings and the ones which haven’t been obvious blessings led to personal growth and thus, cannot really be denied as good experiences, I suppose, can they? 

So, as I face new challenges in my life in the coming new year, I shall again taste things I’ve never tasted and shall know if they appeal to me or not by having tried.  To all of you reading this, I challenge you.  Taste the mussels!  They are sooooooo good!

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