March 12, 2019

Mom, dressed for her first date with Dad!

Ma's first date with dad

When someone so close to us and whom we love so much is near the end, we feel their pain as they age and we would do whatever we could to see the Mom (or other loved one) as we remember them . . . even one more time.  This week marks another anniversary  of her passing.  She felt no pain in passing while asleep and just didn’t awaken this side of heaven.  She died holding hands with Jesus with a big smile on her face, just like my Grampy did.  If your morning quiet place seems to have a larger angel choir, that’s Mom.  No matter how many things she could no longer do toward the end, she was always singing and I am sure she still is!  Likely, the angels in your life are singing with her!

The last thing she and I said to each other was to smile and say “I love you!” it was a sunny spring afternoon and the birds were singing!






What I Learned From A Bird Outside My Window

February 7, 2017

I Wonder . . .

Does the bird

on the branch of the tree in my yard


“Do I sing out of tune?”

By Martha L Shaw © 2015


Pretty, Pretty, Pretty!

August 6, 2013

birdySo, I have a lot going on in my life now . . . how about you?  Do you sometimes feel elated by God’s grace and love and other times sunk from the weight of it all?  Like me, does that bring on feelings of guilt?  Worse yet, do you sometimes feel alone and beat yourself up for not knowing how to “fix everything” that you “should” be able to fix?  You don’t have to admit it to us.  It’s okay.  We are human and flawed.


Yesterday was one of those days when my worries drowned out His voice of assurance so as I made my coffee in a somewhat robotic way and looked out the window at my weed filled and overgrown yard, neglected due to physical limitations, I thought “mindless work.  I should see what I can do.”

99158x-067 (1)

It’s pretty hot here, but yesterday was humid yet under 90.  It didn’t matter.  I needed to be distracted from my own thoughts.  So, I covered up, grabbed some paper yard waste bags and got to it.  Oh, boy.  I learned how out of shape and broken this body is.  I learned covered up meant more so than I’d realized (oh the scraped and bruises from thorns and such) and yes upper 80s, sunny and humid is HOT.  I hoped someone would come over and help.  Didn’t happen.  My heart pounded, my bad foot and  bad hand challenged me, my allergies pounded my chest .  . . I kept working.


I discovered that I didn’t own any yard tools which could help me, couldn’t buy what I needed, and knew I’d have to wear gloves and do it by hand.  I also knew I’d need to take a lot of breaks.  That being said, I didn’t give up.  Friends called with other ideas of what I needed to do with my life.  I knew I was doing, at that moment, what I needed to do.


As the day progressed, still all alone, I saw what mess the yard still was.  I knew how worn out I was.  I pushed on.  I realized many more days like this would have to happen before my yard was ready for a true “re-do” and knew as well I couldn’t afford to do much to improve it.  I pushed on.


I knew we were likely to get more rain, we’ve had tons, and that all my work could go bust as weeds and vines grow quickly and take over so quickly.  I pushed on.  I filled bags and bags with brush  by hand, back, and tired legs.  I looked around me and only the bags told my tired mind what had been accomplished as I heard a voice inside say “you’re a mess.  You can’t do this.  You’re hopeless.”  I pushed on.


I came inside the house to re-hydrate only to hear more opinions from others on what I “should” do . . . all of which served their agenda, but not the one I felt I was being led to do.  I sat, I drank cool water.  I pushed on.


Wow, it was hot.  The sun was moving as it does at the late afternoon and as I realized I had errands to do and probably needed to step away from my work in the yard, I stood still.  I was aching and dripping and was torn between doing those other things and pressing on some more.  I knew one day was not enough to transform things completely.  Change takes time.  Trash collection next morning . . . time to drag all the bags to the curb.  I pushed on.

tree resized

When the day’s task was brought to a stop until another day, I stood beneath the tree and realized all day I’d been hearing birds singing loudly and so beautifully.  As I leaned against the tree knowing I’d go inside and be laughed at for how awful I looked, and would have messages for the other things some would think I should have done . . . and dreaded what the mirror would reveal . . . I heard something else.  “Pretty!  Pretty! Pretty!”  Yes, those very words being sung loudly and clearly and meant for me!  The birds in the tree above me . . . tiny and hidden from my tired eyes, but still there even if I couldn’t see them.  When I stopped and listened I heard their sweet sounds, though.  Their song reminded me of what I knew all along.  The Lord Himself was with me and singing to me through their voices.  He was holding out His hands to me filled with hope and promise!  He didn’t see bleeding legs, scraped up arms, sweat, and dirt streaked all over me.  He saw me as “pretty” and as His own.


Which To Choose?

October 25, 2012

Like most of you, my life is full of challenges.  Perhaps you also live with family members who choose to see everything as dark and angry?  Take heart, you do not have to follow suit.  There is another option and it will bless you!

Those who wish to sing, always find a song.   -Swedish proverb –

Sing To Jesus – What The Children Taught Me!

September 10, 2012

Yesterday was a special Sunday for many reasons and it is likely that the blessings and grace which filled my heart and soul from that day will be mentioned many times . . . there were too many to count.  Just now I am here after spending some quiet time with Jesus.  The topic of discussion before I stopped to listen to Him was “but what if” and “Oh, but if I can’t” and of course “how will I manage if I can no longer” and the other famous “but what if I’m not good enough at” and in the quiet I expected an answer.  I was very quiet.  So was He.  Then something came to mind . . . it is my answer and it is a story of something which happened at church yesterday.

Our much-loved and totally Spirit filled bishop was at our church yesterday.  The brand new junior choir consisting of 6 tiny girls, some likely don’t know how to read yet, dressed up extra special and sang a song they’ve been working hard on for weeks.  As they stood there smiling and singing their hearts out for Jesus, they sounded like angels!  Clearly, not a thought popped into their heads that they might not be “good enough” or that they might get a note “wrong” or might need Miss Kim to prompt them with a forgotten word here and there . . . and any or all of these things may have taken place, but all I saw and heard was 6 little angels singing and reflecting their love for Jesus!  It brought tears to my eyes and as I looked down to find a tissue in my purse, I noticed Miss Kim’s little two-year old grandson sitting in a nearby church pew dancing and smiling for Jesus in time to the music.  Jesus doesn’t expect us to be perfect – only He is perfect.  He just wants our hearts!  The children knew that.  I’m learning it too!

His Voice Change!

March 28, 2012

I called a friend not long ago and a man’s voice answered the phone.  I realized at that moment that I had no idea if it was her husband or her teenaged son.  His voice had changed! 

I am thinking of this now as I am in my studio working on a quilt project.  The part of the project I am doing is simple yet time-consuming and was not my favorite and thus much avoided, however I learned something a while back.  During  this mindless but long step in the process, I can do the work and let my thoughts and my heart drift from my fabric to my Lord. 

Suddenly, the dreaded part of the work, still something I don’t care for, passes much more pleasantly for me.  This morning as I work I have the doors to the deck open and my room is “noisy” with sound . . . and this is the reason I am reminded of my friend’s  son and his voice change.  You see, the Lord’s voice changes also.  Sometimes I can hear His voice like a man standing in the room with me.  Sometimes my spirit hears what my human ears cannot, sometimes I hear His voice in a delicate coo from a baby, and today His voice is the sweetest music to my ears for the loud noise I mentioned?  It is the many birds outside my room in the trees in and surrounding my yard.  They are feeling His love and sharing it with me and His voice has touched my heart through them!


March 6, 2012

I woke up singing this and can’t stop!


Let the words fill your heart!

The Songbird

February 4, 2012

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come.

– Chinese proverb –


Be Thankful and Believe!

July 12, 2011

A girl who dreamed of a music career wrote songs and sang and dreamed . . . she posted videos of herself singing them on social networking sites. She is now on tour promoting her new CD. She had tried to get on American  Idol not once but twice and never made it through round one – never got inside the building – sent home from the sidewalk where she had slept all night. Now, she’s on TV, radio, online, and on tour nationwide. They didn’t believe in her, wouldn’t give her a chance, yet she followed her dream and kept working at improving her skills . . . who is she? Her name doesn’t matter as that is not my point. She is you . . . she is me . . . you have something special that is yours alone – a gift from God. Nobody can take it from you. Be thankful and believe!

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