I AM LOVED

July 28, 2018

Took a shaking step . . .

suddenly my spirit soars . . .

faith overcomes fear . . .

By Martha L Shaw – © 2018

He Leads Me

By Martha L Shaw – © 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 


LIGHTEN UP!

March 26, 2015

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Relief . . . Restore . . . Rejoice

March 12, 2014

Quote of the Day – Devotion

January 10, 2013

“Listening to language, feeling stories unfold and poems arrive, being present to the page — I do not think of it as a career, I think of it as a devotion.”

Naomi Shihab Nye

Natural Beauty

Photography Copyright 1-10-2013 Martha L Shaw


Six Word Saturday – Jesus

December 29, 2012

6wsbutton

 

Fifth

Day

With

My

Newborn

King!

Digital Camera

Digital Camera

Digital Camera

angel made from shoulder pads

Photo0531

Digital Camera

Digital Camera

Digital Camera

Digital Camera


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


On Being An Instrument

August 1, 2012

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.

– Dorothea Lange –

I love the message contained in those words . . . there is such truth in them.  Taken literally, I can recall many times I’ve looked at photographs and been surprised at how different things looked!  I admit, if I’m in the photograph, I tend to think “oh, I wish I’d worn more makeup” or “why did I wear that blouse?” but generally I’ll see my garden in a picture and think “wow, it looks GOOD.”  My livingroom, in a picture, will catch my eye anew as I see things I walk by everyday with fresh eyes.  Vision . . . pictures . . . words . . .

What leaps off the screen to me as I reread the quote is the word “instrument.”  What is an instrument?  My church has many fine musicians.  As they perform their part in leading worship I seldom fail to feel the power of the Holy Spirit lifting me up.  The piano, drums, guitars, organ, violin . . . beautiful and life-giving instruments of praise.  Instruments.  Think about it though.  What is an instrument?  On its own, it’s not much.  It’s simply a thing.  Still and silent, it cannot encourage without a hand to pick it up and enable it or use it for a higher purpose than it can ever have left idle in the room.  As followers of Christ and as a people called upon to a higher purpose for Him, we can learn much from those violins and guitars and such.

We are animate as humans and thus we can perform without a hand holding us, this is true.  I’ve tried it.  Speaking for myself, I know without the Lord’s constant presence in my life, I am nothing.  Without the Holy Spirit leading me, protecting me, filling me, I can do nothing.  I need to surrender and be an instrument through which a divine hand plays music and inspires.  The music that this instrument that is me has any hope of producing comes not from the instrument herself, but through giving over myself to my love of Jesus and allowing Him to work through me. 

He has a purpose for my life.  He has a song for me to sing.  With His love and through Him, I will sing!  Sing with me, won’t you?  He has a song for each one of us to sing in the divine choir that is the Body of Christ in this world.  Choose to be His instrument! 

‘The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.’  Habakkuk 3:18-19


The Lord Touches My Heart

July 14, 2012

 


How To Make a New Crocheted or Knitted Hat in Minutes!

January 11, 2012

I had a knit hat that I was tired of.  It was still as fresh looking as the day it was originally made but I never chose to wear it.  I took just a tiny bit of yarn and a couple of minutes and quickly added a touch of style ot the hat and felt like I had a brand new one.  This technique can work well for new knitters or crocheters, and also can be used to update and personalize a store bought knit hat. 

I picked up a smal skein of fancy sparkly “fur” yarn – the smallest skein they sold was more than enough.  Using a small crochet hook – size F worked for me, I simply added a single row of single crochet stitches around the edge of the hat.  That’s all.  Now the hat has a subtle yet fresh touch of style to it that made an old hat “new” to me. 

Another suggestion?  Search your pin collection.  You may just find, as I did, a costume jewelry piece that when attached to the hat will give it a fun new look! 

Try it!

 

 

 


Why Didn’t My Ancestors Smile More?

September 16, 2011

I love looking at old photographs just as I always loved listening to the stories my late father told me.  Thinking about my parents as I look at the tattered pictures that represent a past I know so little about, I can’t help but wonder how my happy and laughing parents, and thus I as well,  could come from such somber-faced lineage. 

In my Mom’s case there seemed few if any children in the many photographs.  Mom even now so late in life finds reasons to giggle.  I think perhaps she was just what they needed to break free.  In my late father’s family it was quite a different story.

 My Dad was my hero.  To this day if you ask me I’ll insist that he knew everything and could fix anything from a broken doll to my broken heart and it brings tears to my eyes even now when I realize that he’s not in the next town or the next room with his arms out ready to hug me and “fix it.”  He always could. 

 My Dad didn’t learn those things in school, though, because he wasn’t able to go to school but for a very few years.  He was tall for his age and strong.  He was needed to use that streangth and height to help support his family.  You see, the polio epidemic came to the country town he grew up in and nearly took his only brother and his Dad, my Grandfather.  Grampy was so young then and no longer able to work.  My Dad needed to work and help support his family at a time when he should have been grumbling about homework and playing ball or riding his bike.  He didn’t complain.  I wasn’t there but I knew my Dad.  I’m sure I’m right in saying he didn’t complain.

My Dad rarely complained.  He also rarely had any extra money.  There was always another bill to pay with every dollar he could earn.  With just an elementary education, though, he learned more than many with 16 years or more of classroom time.  How?  Because when he was with a person, he was interested in that person.  He focused on the person.  He cared.  Everyone he met was his “pal.”  I so ofteen heard him saying “hi pal!”  He met people down and out and people who were “big” name folks and they all were greeted that way.  They all loved him and called him “hero” just as I still do. 

He often spoke of the things he learned from these people.  He learned “simple” things, in his own opinion.  He could build a house, fix the plumbing, make a lamp, install a telephone when it wasn’t simply a wireless device.  He could fix breakfast or a broken baby doll.  Anyone who needed something fixed and was baffled knew they could call on him.  He’d fix it.  He’d always know just what to do.  He always smiled.  Those old family photographs betrayed how challenging life was “in those days” but not the ones with my Dad in them.   He always had a smile, a laugh, an outstretched hand. 

Funny, he would say he didn’t know much and that he learned from everyone around him.  I think he had it wrong and I know they’d all agree.  I believe they learned far more from Dad than he ever learned from them, and Dad met every challenge with a smile!


%d bloggers like this: