The Coming

February 17, 2017

Sitting here,

I know today is a dark and cold wintry day

But yesterday

It looked and felt like spring!

Only the bare branches betrayed

What the calendar on my wall tells me.

A knowledge of all that is to come

Heals my soul.

By Martha L Shaw   –  © 2014

Copyright 1995-2013 by Martha L Shaw all rights reserved

Copyright 1995-2017 by Martha L Shaw all rights reserved



January 3, 2017



A leaf grows on my tree.

Seasons change

It falls,

It crumbles,

It’s gone!

But is it?

Every fiber of what was once living

Lives on in the lives

Which surrounded it.


By Martha L Shaw – © 2017




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Emily Dickinson and Eternal Life

September 1, 2012

Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. – Emily Dickinson

I have always dearly loved poetry and Dickinson is one of my favorites.  This quote is a delightful reminder to me that through Jesus Christ we are blessed with eternal life!  Death no longer has the sting it did before He won for us the victory through His great love for us.  As His followers we know that love truly is immortal!  Those we miss in our daily lives truly are not gone from us anymore than Christ Himself.  They live on in our hearts through the love we share.  On our darkest day, we still have light, hope, love, and companionship through our beloved Lord Jesus Christ!  Let yourself feel the love!


How Children Meet God

July 24, 2012

I read this quote earlier and it was really one that touched me deeply:


The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.

– Peggy O’ Mara –


Taking Peggy’s words here a step further than she appears to say, I firmly believe and know that not only do we affect the way the children in our lives view themselves in later life, but also the way in which they know God Himself depends largely upon the way in which we talk to them and make them feel.  When we grow impatient or reactionary . . . when we speak without considering our tone, our word choice, and the power of life and death contained in words, we can do lasting damage to another OR we can lead them toward the absolute knowledge that they are beloved sons and daughters of the King of Kings.  Which image are you projecting?  Is it the one you truly desire to?  PLEASE resolve to be a positive influence moving forward!  God bless you in your journey!

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!

Does Anybody Care Anymore?

April 24, 2012

Perhaps the world little notes nor long remembers individual acts of kindness — but people do.

– Herm Albright –


This quote is at once both inspiring and troubling.  Imagine, if you will what life would be like it we truly did focus all we do on it achieving world-wide notice?  We have become a society which largely focuses on the big picture, large profits, fancy cars, the right neighborhoods, the fancy job titles, the fat paychecks, designer labels, and the list goes on and on . . .  when we have these things, LOTS of people notice.  We smile.  We feel proud.  When we do not have these things, we strive for them, we covet them.  We even get angry and blame others for our “bad luck.”  This made me think a bit. 

In the last few days:

  • A friend, hearing my rake handle broke, said “here, I had an extra . . . don’t buy one.” 


  • Knowing I suffer from allergies, another friend came over and spent his entire Saturday morning helping me with yard work.


  • Knowing I am seeking provision, a friend called and said “hey, did you see that . . . are hiring?  It’s not listed in the help wanted so you might not have seen it.”


  • I was tired as I walked into the school where I teach a writing class in an afterschool program a couple of hours a week.  I wasn’t motivated to be there.  As soon as I got there, a small child ran over and hugged me.


  • A friend who is a very busy man realized I’d not emailed or text messaged him much recently and contacted me just to make sure everything was okay with me. 

Know what? That is just a small part of the kindnesses shown me in the last few days.  Not one of them will get someone a job promotion, put them on the front page of the news paper, or make the evening news.  Each one of them, however, brought me joy.  

There are so many simple things we can do not because we have to but simply to be kind.  A smile, a hug, an invitation to have a cup of tea, a pot of soup for a sick friend . . . none of these are difficult.  They will be remembered.  Best part?  When somebody asks “does anybody care anymore?” the answer will be YES!

And God Saw That It Was Good – Even Me?

October 10, 2011


God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

                                                                                                                         -Genesis 1:31


When you read the book of Genesis and you see the twelve simple words in the quote above, do you realize that we – you and I – are part of “all that he had made” in the above quote?  Our gifts, talents, abilities, our very hearts and souls are uniquely our own and He made us in the way we truly are.  I’m not referring to the “self” we mold ourselves into based on society’s expectations or the pressure from friends, family, teachers, coworkers, and the like.  I’m referring to our true selves.  Yet, and this is a HUGE YET, we deny our true nature and step away from our true selves and our God-given authenticity and adapt ourselves to the whims and desires of virtual strangers rather than seeking His direction and following His path for our lives.  Having done this so habitually, having followed the “sensible” approach to life for so long, we or I should say I can reach a point where we are no longer cognitively aware of the desire of our hearts – our true purpose – because we’ve packed it away so deeply beneath a surface covered with layers and layers of false expectations and self-doubt.  Is it really self-doubt?


I say this because I’ve personally been on an incredible journey with the Lord for a while now and I feel I’m near the end of this particular leg of the journey and yet I’m still questioning “what do you really want me to do, Lord?”  We have many journeys in our earthly life.  It often feels like “why am I always battling?” but I don’t think that’s really “it.”  We are presented with challenges and as we live and grow, we meet some of them and are, in the words of public school, “promoted” to the next level.  So, about those false expectations and self-doubt . . .  the Bible is full of advice and admonishment about following our hearts.  I can personally witness to this since the Lord has CONSTANTLY directed me to follow mine.  As I have done so, I’ve let go of a lot of sadness and a lot of stress and in the process riled up a lot of people who wondered where the sensible Martha went off to.  The sensible Martha who met their expectations seemed to have disappeared.  Well, I readily admit, the life I’m living doesn’t fit the expectations of “this world” and thus when I find myself feeling excited, joy filled, and blessed by what I’ve come to know the Lord is directing me toward, the self-doubt comes in.  A small voice inside whispers to me that “this can’t be right – you’re not listening” and so I doubt myself.  I wonder, just now, is it really myself I’m doubting?  Can it be that my trust in Him to lead me is weaker than it should be?  Am I doubting myself or Him?  The burning desire of my heart – a heart He knows better than I do – was planted there by Him.  When I listen to His voice, it is always asking me “what is the desire of your heart” and that voice, His, always urges me to follow my heart.  The “self doubts” quickly return as I start to more fully yield to His voice.


My self doubts used to whisper, but I find that the more I yield in the direction the Lord leads, the louder they speak to me – those voices of this world, those doubts.  This brings me back to the words of Genesis.  You see, the voices of this world always urge me to give up.  They remind me of all the skills others have, and all the skills I do not.  They are filled with all I “can’t” do, and “don’t” have, and all that “won’t” work, and paint a picture of a failure . . . if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that those voices have spoken to you as well.  So what is the answer?  I know that nothing gets me “fired up” the way the Lord’s purpose for my life does.  I know that even when I, in my weakness, question His direction, when I take the shaky steps where He leads, His grace comes quickly and I am amazed by it!  I am not amazing.  I don’t have any hope of being amazing.  He is amazing.  He lives in me.  He is my hope.  When I cast aside the ill-fitting mold the world and I myself have chosen and surrender instead to the desire of my heart – my authentic and real purpose as a child of the King of Kings, I don’t have to have all the answers, I simply need to know where to look for them – into His eyes.  So, again I quote those twelve simple words from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament which said “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”   He wasn’t just talking about trees, birds, and stars of night!  He also meant you and me! 

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