Friday, November 28, 2014


TGIF!  Thank goodness it's Friday!!!  And time to join a great group of bloggers for the Five Minute Friday Challenge...on Thursday evening we receive a word and write for five minutes - without thinking about it or any editing.  Try it sometime, it really is challenging!  Check it out at Five Minute Friday.

So - today's word is "GIVE" - and here goes...

We are told to give thanks in ALL things; no matter if it is something exciting and good that is happening - or if it is something horrible and bad.  We should give thanks to God in all things, no matter what.

It's easy to give thanks to God when we are having an awesome life:  the money is just right to pay our bills and have some fun; the health is great and allows us to do the things we love to do; the house is just right for our needs; the cars are in good repair and take us where we want to go.

BUT...what if the circumstances were different?  What if the money barely paid the bills with nothing extra for the fun?  What if the health was so bad you couldn't get out and do what you want?  What if the house is falling apart and the cars are needing tune-ups or a brake job...what if...

In ALL things give thanks...yes, even in those "what if" times!  Even when we can't hold our head up high because of pride or sickness.  Those are the times we should be leaning on God and giving him thanks for His blessings.  We should even give thanks for those blessings we don't even know about - those that are "already on their way", as this Native American Saying states.

Thanks Giving

Today is Thanksgiving Day 2014 and I am reflecting on many things; but will share Ten Things I am Thankful for!!

  1. I am thankful that God has led me this far in my life - 63 years of living a wonderful and full life with a lot of wonderful people throughout those years!  There have been many ups and downs along the way - that's life!! - but He has brought me this far with many more years ahead.
  2. I am thankful for my loving parents and grandparents who "train(ed) up a child in the way (s)he should go..." and with little straying, I am still on that path, rocky though it may be!  These four loving people have gone to their Heavenly Home and look down upon their Earthly Home to see their families loving and living in God's Word.
  3. I am thankful for my Children - I am proud of my son and two daughters and the lives they have made within their own families.  I am proud of my daughter-in-love and my two sons-in-love for the love and support they give my children and grand children, and the love they bestow on our family members.
  4. I am thankful for my Grandchildren:  Sophie, 17 years old and quickly on the way to womanhood; Shayne, 15 years old and a fun and crazy guy; Sebastian (Bash), 6 years old and the protector of us all (he LOVES super heroes and LOVES karate!); Blaise, almost 4 years old and the sweet little "innocent" guy who loves to tease; Soren, 1 1/2 years old and such a sweet and cuddly little guy; and Bijou, 4 months old, our little Princess Diva Doll Baby!
  5. I am thankful for a whole lotta friends and if I started to name them all, I know I would leave someone, I am thankful for my Church Friends, my Sunday "lunch bunch" Friends; my former Work Friends, my Scrappy Friends, my Blogging (and new) Friends!
  6. I am thankful for my two brothers and two sisters-in-love and their families.  We we may not see each other very often but keep in touch and still maintain a close relationship.
  7. I am thankful for my husband and the ways he sometimes shows his affection, and his helpfulness - like loading and unloading my crafting supplies, and carrying in the groceries (all up a flight of stairs into our second floor apartment!).  He is not a very demonstrative person and is more negative than positive in our relationship; but deep down inside, I know he cares and that a lot of his outbursts are not his fault but that of a disease that controls his emotions so much.
  8. I am thankful for a place to call home; food in the cabinets and the fridge; enough money to pay our bills - mostly - and still have a little "play" money; cars to drive that are not in major need of repairs; the computer and cell phone to connect with others, and the TV to entertain us.
  9. I am thankful for our health; we are somewhat healthy and have the resources to see a doctor when it is necessary and to maintain our health.  So, I am also thankful for the doctors who oversee our health care needs.
  10. And last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for a warm, fuzzy, cuddly, lovable cat named Midnight whom we adopted about a year ago; and to the wonderful family who fostered her before taking her to the Humane Society (their father is highly allergic and they were unable to keep her; but saved her from the outdoors!).  That's another story I hope to share in the future...

So, these are Ten Things I am Thankful for!!  Hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I pray God will be with us all during this time of thanks and giving - for we should give thanks in ALL things; and giving to others blesses them AND also blesses us, the giver.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jesus Will Meet You

“Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus,
To reach out and touch Him,
And say that we love Him;
Open our ears, Lord, and help us to listen;
Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus.”

“Jesus will meet you in the Prayer Room.  
Come and join Him.”  These words were spoken by the worship leader at a women’s retreat, introducing us to Jesus – well, a “stuffed doll” Jesus.  She invited us to stop by the Prayer Room, a small closet-like room set up for prayer and meditation.

While attending this women’s retreat, I had intended to stop by the Prayer Room and lift up my prayers to God.  Instead, I found Him in the quiet afternoon outside of the Craft Shack where I stopped to reflect on my needs and what was on my heart.  Of course this wasn’t my first encounter with Jesus; but finding Him as I sat there that afternoon was the perfect timing; when I needed to find Him – and to find Peace.

We meet Jesus in many places:  a quiet walk in the woods or along the beach; during a worship service; driving alone in our car or riding a public bus or subway; morning prayers and meditations in our quiet place; listening to the words of a favorite hymn or song; or even in the smile of a small child, or the words of a friend.

I found Jesus outside of a Craft Shack in the beautiful outdoors of a retreat center!  Where have you met Jesus?  Share your experience in the Comments!

Friday, November 21, 2014


TGIF!!  Thank Goodness it's Friday!!!  And time to join a great group of bloggers for the Five Minute Friday challenge...on Thursday evening we receive a word and are challenged to write for five minutes without thinking about it or any editing.  Try it sometime, it really is challenging!  Check out Five Minute Friday

So, today's word is "NOTICE " - and here goes my post...

A "pink slip"; a notice that you are no longer needed...a look of "You knew this was coming" but now there is nothing that you can do about it.  A piece of paper that changes your whole life - and the words that couldn't be read for the tears flowing down your face...four years of your life over, finished, DONE...just like that!  I felt as if I were a failure; that I had failed in keeping a job that I loved!

That was about four years ago; and my life did go on!  That notice was not in my plans - yes, I said MY plans!  But, He used that notice - that ending of one phase of my life - to put into place HIS plans!  And, as I look at that life now, I realize that notice was the best thing that could have happened to me!  For now, I am retired (on disability - approved the with the very first application!) and my days are flexible...I have had a few ups and downs getting adjusted to that life-style, and being home with hubby more often; but I do have my hobbies and can help more at church and be available to help my daughters and the grandsons, and to spend time with them!  And that is certainly worth having gone through that notice and the end of my career...

No, that notice may have halted a part of my life; but it didn't halt my LIFE or the plans that He has for the remainder of my days.  I pray I can use those days to glorify Him!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Friends, Fellowship, Food = FUN!

A weekend with our friends is sure to be full of laughter, hugs, maybe some tears as we share our life's stories and what has been happening since we last saw each other.  Sometimes that time period is a day or two; other times it may be weeks or months, maybe even years!  No matter the time period, the friendship picks up where it left off the last time you were together.

That weekend with could be a church women's retreat - I attended one of these recently and found the joy of sharing with friends I had not seen in a very long time; some at least a year since the last women's retreat!  The fellowship was awesome, laughing and sharing with each other, catching up on what had been happening.  The food was delicious - and we didn't have to prepare it OR clean up afterwards - and the fun we had sharing and just being together was one I look forward to each year.

The weekend following the women's retreat, I attended a completely different "women's retreat" - a scrapbooking retreat!  At this retreat there were also friends I had not seen in a few months, while others I had seen within the past few weeks.  We shared fellowship just as with my friends at the church women's retreat!  There was also food - everybody brought something for the snack table - and it was FULL of all kinds of goodies like homemade cakes and cookies; chips and popcorn; candy and candy and more candy!  And a variety of drinks like water, coffee, tea and sodas. We had goodies to snack on all day long while we created our projects and enjoyed being together.  We also took the time to go out to each for eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner - or ALL three.  Everybody had fun throughout the weekend, laughing and sharing with each other.

Each of these two retreats have the same things in common:


As I reflect on this past Sunday spent with my scrapbooking friends, I think of the gifts (or talents) that God gives to each of us.  In the Message Bible, I Corinthians 12:4-11 says:

4  God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit.  5  God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit.  6  God various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God Himself is behind it all.  7  Each person is given something to do that shows who God is:  Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.  All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!  8  The variety is wonderful:  wise counsel, clear understanding,  9  simple trust, healing the sick,  10  miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues.  11  All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God.  He decides who gets what, and when.

At one time I did not believe God had given me any special gifts or talents:  "What can I do?  I am not talented!"  But, then I realized - I have been given many talents, like being a friend and listening to others, empathizing and sympathizing with them whenever they need that support.  I realized I could sing - maybe not a solo, but I could be part of a choir!  I could share my love of photography and scrapbooking by albums to display the pictures for family and friends.  I realized I was a "leader" in some roles I play within the church; and a "follower" in other roles.  I may not be athletic, or artistic or musically "talented"; but I do have some of these qualities that I can share.

And when I look at my friends - those from each of the above retreat groups - I see different gifts in each of them.  Everybody has has been given a gift, or even multiple gifts.  Some can create beautiful paintings or wall hangings; others can write beautiful words of poetry or stories for others to enjoy; others lead in beautiful music while yet others play musical instruments.  And, as scrapbookers - and other crafters! - we have special talents to share in making cards, scrapbook albums to hold our memories, and many other crafts.

My Sunday Reflection may not be one from a church service or worship music or the words from the pastor; but God's Word and His gifts to us are shared in our everyday lives.  While creating special presents for my granddaughter and others for the holidays; while hugging a grieving friend or sharing a memory with another; while laughing with other friends - this is sharing God's Love with the gifts that He has given...thank you, God for loving us and giving us special gifts to share!

Friday, November 14, 2014


TGIF!  Thank goodness it's Friday!!!  And time to join a great group of bloggers for the Five Minute Fridays challenge...on Thursday evening we receive a word and write for five minutes - without thinking about it or any editing.  Try it sometime, it really is challenging! Five Minute Friday

So - today's word is "STILL" - and here goes my post...

"Be still and know that I am God..."  How hard it is to sit and be still; I wiggle and squirm and just can't sit still.  And try being silent when there is so much noise and chaos all around you.  I did find the time to "be still" in a quiet place outside the auditorium where we had our women's retreat.  I could hear the traffic in the distance; I could hear the birds and other creatures in that quiet place.  I could even see one other person walking the labyrinth a short distance from where I waFive Minute Fridays sitting.  My thoughts strayed here and there; but I was sitting in the quietness trying to ask for God's guidance in the decision I wanted to make.  It wasn't really that big of a deal...I just wanted to have God's assurance that it was the RIGHT decision - to be relieved of the stress I was feeling and be at peace with the thoughts I was having.  And in the stillness of that place, I felt peace about what was about to be somewhat of a change in my life from the past 4 seasons - tax seasons, that is!!  My decision was whether or not to continue the classes necessary to work the tax season again this year.  In the stillness of that place - yes, I felt the peace and assurance that we were going to be OK even without that little bit of money coming into the household budget!  I left with the peace that I sat in the stillness wanting to feel.  Thank you God!

One Lovely Blog Award

Recently I received a very special award from Helen who blogs at iwillbloom.  Helen has been following my blog and leaving very special and sweet comments that have encouraged me to continue writing!  I am honored, humbled and just plain tickled to receive an award for my blog (as a "newbie" blogger, it is especially exciting).  Here is what Helen said about me in her nomination…

"Darling Barbara from Barbara's Blog. [Such insightful, inspiring writing and such a very dear soul]." 

Now, so you can get to know me better, I am to post "7 Facts About Me":
  1. My first child, a son, was born in Augsburg, Germany while we were stationed there with my first husband who was serving in the U.S. Army.  My son is in the U. S. Army National Guard and served twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan.  He has also helped with clean-ups from Hurricane Katrina, the oil spill in the Gulf, and many other "natural" disasters.
  2. As an Army Brat - daughter of a U. S. Army Veteran - we lived in France, Germany, Virginia, Georgia and Florida - not quite as well traveled as some; but I still had those opportunities to live in different places.
  3. My favorite subject in school was English.  I LOVED to write and am happy that I have renewed that desire in the past few months.  I don't remember the grammar I learned but am a pretty good speller.  I have written many poems in my teenage years; but not quite up to the "grown woman" that I am I haven't share these poems on my blog although I have shared some more recently written.
  4. My hobby is scrapbooking - and I am completely obsessed with taking photos and creating special pages where I can display these photos in albums.  My favorite thing to do on a Friday or Saturday afternoon is to join other scrapbookers, creating our pages while we talk and share our ideas (and our lives).
  5. I was raised in the church.  I can't remember a time when I wasn't attending some kind of a church, even while we were living overseas.  I have served in my church as an adult in such roles as Worship Leader, Deacon, Elder, Sunday school teacher, Board Secretary, Choir Member, Christian Women's Fellowship (secretary, worship, president, treasurer)...Yet I still find it hard to openly express how I feel about religion and different beliefs.  But those around me DO know that I am a Christian!
  6. My husband and I recently down-sized from a 4-bedroom/2 bathroom house to a 2-bedroom/2 bathroom apartment.  Many reasons brought us to that decision; the most important one was our health; our home was falling apart and had roof leaks and issues we just could not handle...and the mold and mildew kept me sick!
  7. Are these supposed to be HAPPY facts?!  Not sure I followed the rules; but these are what came to my mind.  And, last...
  8. These are supposed to be facts about ME; but I find it weird to always be using "I" or "MY"!  It sounds a bit selfish to me...but that is the way of the photographer, the scrapbooker, the blogger...we take photos, scrapbook them, and write about life and are usually "behind the scenes".
And, now I have to nominate other wonderful ladies for the "One Lovely Blog Award".  This is hard for me!  Does anyone watch competition shows like "The Voice" where the coach or judge has to make a decision - who do keep on their team for the "live show" and who they will send home?!  I feel like one of those coaches in trying to nominate just a few other bloggers for the "One Lovely Blog Award".  I have read so many great blogs and so many others have supported and encourage me by reading and commenting on my blog posts.  I can't name everyone; so here are the ones I have nominated:

Anita has encouraged me to continue writing and sharing the journey of Dementia’s Demands; and has affirmed that not only am I a Writer, but I am a Caregiver!  Thank you, Anita!

Heidi has reminded me how thoughtful it can be to send a real thank you note; not just a Facebook post or a Private Message or even a phone call.  All of these are great - but receiving a personalized not is awesome!

Anastasia shared some beautiful photos that she has taken, and gave me the idea to use photos on my blog as well.

Brave and courageous, The Momma shared her battle with depression in a beautiful, heart-felt way.  Thank you for opening your heart and your life.

Jennifer writes about Theology, Books and great author C. S. Lewis.  She has me compelled to read The Chronicles of Narnia.  I have seen the movie The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, but have never read the books (I am now half way through the first book in the series!).

Both Teresa and Tara have followed my blog since the beginning of the write 31 challenge.  I have been encouraged to continue writing during the whole 31 days because of their uplifting and supportive comments.

Robyn told her beautiful and special story about their adoption journey and kept me on the edge of my chair, waiting from day to day to see what would happen next!

And, the recent tribute to Charlotte's father on Veteran’s Day had me remembering my own father, who is also a veteran of the U.S. Army.  I have loved getting inside her mind through her posts!

I could keep on writing about these lovely ladies and many more!  But, this is ending up being a very long post!  Visit these ladies I have nominated and give them some “blog luv”!! Just click on their name and check out their blog...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Found Poetry

Thank you to Julie at Happy Strong Home - Wholesome Living for the Whole Family blog for the idea of using the titles of children's books to create a form of poetry!  She calls it a "collage of words" and it is fun to create.  Check out her post from October 20, 2014 at: and see what you can come up with!

After joining my daughter and her children for a trip to the local library, and coming out with a bag full of children's books, I decided to give this poetry method a try!  Thanks to "Little Critter" books by Mercer Mayer and Charles M. Schultz and Peanuts, here is what I came up with:

(I'm) Just Big Enough!
Me, too! (says my little brother);
Just Me and My Brother -
Just a Mess!
A Very Special Critter -
Just Me and My Mom!
Good Grief, It's Mother's Day!

In order for the verse to flow better, I added a few words that were not part of the titles; these are in parentheses).

Now that I have done this one with children's books, I thought it might be fun to see what I could come up with using some of my favorite movies!!  Hmmmm!  Might be interesting what I come up with for that one!!

My Fellow Americans -
The American President
(has traveled to) Australia
(to see) Dr. Zhivago
(and a) Pretty Woman
(named) Sabrina.
Mama Mia!
(What) Dirty Dancing
(and) Footloose
Sound(s) of Music!
(It wasn't quite a) Miracle on 34th Street;
(but more like the) Titanic.
Shakespeare (must be) in Love
(with this) West Side Story!

Well, it seems this one sounds more like a bit of a story instead of poetry!  But, it's what I came up with using the movies in my collections.  What would yours look like?  Share if you wish!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

God's Nature and Other Stuff

Sitting in the silence of the spot where I chose to stop, I look around at the beauty of God’s nature…

the trees with the beautiful moss hanging down;

pieces of branches, broken and laying on the ground; 

leaves at my feet where they have fallen; 

even a tiny ant hill and the dirt surrounding the area…

These things I see as I sit and ponder how God’s nature fits into my desire to get away and find peace…

But, wait!  What is that I see, buried beneath the sand, yet shiny enough to catch my eye?  Do you see it...just to the right of the leaf that has fallen up-side down...

Moving my foot back and forth, I uncover – a small bell...

...a bell, dropped to the ground during a warm summer’s day while a young person was working on their craft.  How would I know who dropped that bell?  I don’t know specifically who dropped the bell!  I dream it, or see it in my mind as I sit and imagine a group of young people – teenagers or junior high kids, maybe even younger kids - sitting in the same spot where I sit today.  They are creating and crafting and laughing and enjoying the outside, God’s nature.  I see them in my mind because I know this place is special to these young people; this place is special to a group of women who come to share in worship and singing and inspiring messages; to share hugs and love and prayer.  This place –IS HOLY GROUND…WE ARE STANDING ON HOLY GROUND – and it is God’s nature and other stuff.  

But, what is this “other stuff” that I speak about finding along with God's nature?  That’s the bell...

and a tiny piece of wood from some long-ago piece of furniture that has been tossed aside, left to be uncovered by someone who has stopped to find God in this place of nature and other stuff. 

Where have you found God’s Nature and Other Stuff?

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Like the solemn mask
of a Halloween Eve,
You hide your feelings,
Your thoughts.

Like the precious flower’s bud
beneath a blanket of snow,
You shelter your dreams,
your desires.

Like the huge iceberg
Slowly drifting to sea,
Gradually melting
to blend with the surrounding waters,
You slowly remove the barriers,
the mask,
the blanket of snow,
the icy coverings,
And begin to share
Your feelings,
Your thoughts,
Your dreams,
Your desires;
But most of all,
You share the beauty of You.

(BJL-May 13, 1992)

Friday, November 7, 2014


TGIF!  Thank goodness it's Friday!!!  And time to join a great group of bloggers for the Five Minute Fridays challenge...on Thursday evening we receive a word and write for five minutes - without thinking about it or any editing.  Try it sometime, it really is challenging! Five Minute Friday

So - today's word is "TURN" - and here goes my post...

Once you turn the corner, there will be no going back to where you once were.  Once you turn your life around, there is more ahead of you and it would not be to your advantage to go back.  So, the only way to go is ahead and no looking back. If you look back to what used to be, what your are leaving behind, you may change your mind and turn around and go back to where you started.  Or, was it a mid-way point that you left?  Either way, to continue on to what is in front of you is the most reasonable choice for you to make.  Once you are on your way to what is in front of you - the journey will not be as long as it was.  You will be on the straight road for a while; then you may be turned around again by a detour or a u-turn; you may run into more bumps in the road than you ever had back where you came from.  But, you will have traveled this far from where you were; and you may get even further if there are no other bumps in the road.  Once you turn that just don't know where you will find yourself.  Once you turn that will be a bright and beautiful day and you will be happy that you traveled as far as you did.  You will be happy you made that turn way back there and kept on the straight road.  You WILL see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the curves will take you where you never thought you would ever be.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


In the late night darkness or the early morn,
Silence is yet to be…
Oh, but how it would be
That silence overcome me?
Oh, how I yearn for the silence to be –

Will I hear His voice in the still of the night?
Can it be heard –
Am I open to hear that voice so sweet –
For it is that voice could make it right!
Silence!  Do you hear His voice?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sounds of War

We hear the sounds of war
and the cries for peace;
We hear of destruction done
in the name of peace;
We hear of rallies done
for peace,
and for war.

Let us keep listening
to the messages
from a world at war;
from a world calling for peace.

Let us keep listening
to the still small voice
of a loving God,
a peaceful God;
A God who is with us,
both now and always.

(BJL-January, 1991)

This poem was written six months after my father passed away, and just a few short weeks after my brother was sent to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and what was subsequently called “Desert Storm.”  Our lives are full of war, whether one such as “Desert Storm” or the wars within ourselves.  Yet, God IS always with us – though it is sometimes hard to see Him.  May our God surround His people in whatever war they are in the midst of, and give them strength and courage to handle their wars inside.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

So, What Now?

For many years now, I have been on a journey, one with dementia – specifically, my husband’s Vascular dementia.  During the month of October 2014, I shared my experiences with “Dementia’s Demands” in the "write31days" challenge (for more information on this challenge, click here).  Throughout the years we have been on this journey, it has been difficult for me to learn to deal with this disease.  The challenge of writing about the journey for 31 days – every day – was a bit overwhelming at first, but the information came together and I was able to complete the challenge.  Through this challenge, I have learned much about the disease; how to cope while caring for one who is sick; and my desire to write and share this journey with others.

In 1990 I had the privilege of attending an International Christian Women’s Fellowship event at Purdue University in Indiana.  This is an awesome event that I have been able to attend 5 different times; it is called “Quadrennial Assembly” because it is held every four years.  This is one of many local, district, regional, national and international events held by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of which I am a member.  For additional information, and to see pictures from the recent QA in Atlanta in 2014, click here.

The theme of the 1990 event was “Now We Are God’s People” and included many programs addressing issues such as child abuse, women’s rights, justice, peace, hunger, ecology, and many more.  These issues were presented by speakers, through music, a play, dance and drama.  The stories were eye-opening and heart-breaking, sure to touch even the toughest of hearts.  Each message was followed by the statement, “So, what now?” in which we were challenged to do our part in helping with these issues.

That is where I find myself after completing the 31 days during which I have written about our journey with dementia“So, what now?”  What am I to do now that the writing is done – or is it done?  Actually, I feel the need to continue to write about this journey; perhaps not every day, but I will continue to document our journey – for as I realized just the other day, the journey continues with additional roads we may have to take along the way.

“So, what now?”  Now I continue on this journey I call Dementia’s Demands, with its long and winding roads; its detours, u-turns and road blocks; its mountain highs and valley lows; its horizons so far in the distance; and the many ups and downs sure to come in our future.  But, continue we will, with God as our Pilot!

Monday, November 3, 2014

All Saints Day

Today we celebrated “All Saints Day” at church.  We paused to remember those who have gone before us; those who have influenced us in our Christian walk.  We started the worship service with the following litany:

With all the Saints, we come to worship God, who made us and knows us;
We come to celebrate God’s presence among us!
With all the Saints, we come to follow Jesus, who leads us to new life;
We come with joy, knowing in Christ we have eternal life!
With all The Saints, we enter worship knowing that the Spirit is alive among us!

During the service we remembered our loved ones, as we listened to God's word.  After reading A Litany of Praise for All the Saints we shared the names of those we personally wanted to remember.  I lifted up my grandparents, Paul G. and Eleanor Harris who belonged to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for many years; and for all the years of my life, they attended Central Christian Church in Jacksonville.  Their only son, my father, Paul D. Harris met my mother Betty Moore through the Youth Program of their churches.  She was living with her sister, brother-in-law, and their two girls and attended Riverside Avenue Christian Church, where I now attend.  My parents raised my two brothers and I in the church; while we did not always attend a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we did attend church.  It is thanks to them that I have the faith and Christian background and foundation that helped me to raise my own children.

Another way to honor our loved ones is through music.  Our choir, of which I am a member, shared a beautiful anthem, “The Question”, words and music by Joseph M. Martin.  The first part of the anthem questions God, “Lord, who am I?”

Lord, when I consider,
the wonders of the night,
the music of the stars,
Your dazzling dance of light;

Lord, when I consider
 the wonders of Your hand,
the birds that soar on high,
the oceans vast and wide;
When I survey the miracle of life,
I declare Your majesty.
I behold Your mystery.
Within my heart I cry;
Lord, who am I?
Lord, who am I?

In the words that follow, God answers our question in these beautiful words:

You are My treasure,
My precious one.
You are the reason
I sent my only Son.
You are My chosen,
My new creation,
My own beloved,
the apple of My eye.

You are My temple,
My dwelling place.
You are a vessel
for my amazing grace.
You are my candle,
Light of the world.
You are my silver,
My priceless pearl.

O how I love you.
O how I love you.
I am your Shepherd.
You are My lamb.
Your name is written
in the palm of My hand,
And I have set you as
a seal upon My arm.
Nothing can separate you
from my perfect love.
Nothing can take you
from My heart.

The anthem continues with the same beautiful words sung over and over sharing God’s wondrous love.  The choir members left the Sanctuary with a sigh that we were actually able to sing without tears falling down our faces.

Today I joined with others to celebrate God’s love and grace.  Today I remembered “all the saints” who raised me in this love that God offers.  Have you found this love; the love and grace offered by Him?  I pray you will find what you need in Him...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Road

The road is long and winding ‘round
The detours and the u-turns found;
The bumps and ruts, unfinished yet
The journey there so hard to get –

These are only bumps in the road before us;
Obstacles in our journey’s chorus,
Of birds and sounds that no one sees
As they flit around in the night time breeze.

Oh, the road is long and winding ‘round…
And once we get there know we’ve found
Our place of respite, rest and care,
The place we knew was always there –
Before our eyes and in plain sight,
Yet we couldn’t see it until the light.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Where the Tears

This poem was written for a dear friend after she shared that cancer had been found in her thyroid.  At first, unable to cry, I wrote the beginnings of "Where the Tears?".  But during worship one Sunday when we were both participating in the service, the tears were found and flowed freely.  I told her she messed up my poem; and finished it later that night!  I dedicate this poem to my friend, who...thank God, is still with us!!  And to many others who have lost that fight.

Emotions - deep within my soul -
Sorrow, joy, fear, happiness, hurt.
Sharing, caring; emotions out of control -
But ... where the tears?

My heart aches, cries out
"Why God, why?"
Life is so unfair -
Why has this happened?
Surely the tears will flow -
But - where the tears?

Deep inside tears fill my soul
Yearning to be shed.
Emotions - deep within my soul -
I look you in the eyes with love and concern.
but dry-eyed I wonder
Where the tears?

Then without a word -
With just a look of love from friend to friend -
Words are choked back beneath the flood
As slowly, freely
The tears begin to fall.

Sit With Me

The following poem was written by a patient to her hospice volunteer:

Sit with me,
the day is long -
The rain beats upon the
window strong.
And I'm so alone.

My family - strained -
Their smile a mask,
would bring me anything
I'd ask -          
except the truth.
They won't bring that?
I wish they would.
the wall they raise
impales my heart,
the talk of home
tears me apart.
If only once
they'd let it be -
Just let it be and
SIT with me.

But you - you're different.
YOU know the name.
YOU sit beside me
with quiet brain

YOU hold my hand
your eyes won't lie.
They hold me fast -
they let me cry.

Oh sit with me.
And help me leave -
this wondrous earth,
so dear to me.
I need your hand -
your gentle smile
to free me from these shreds
of Life
This precious ebbing Life!

My family holds me
with loving Lies.
I cannot tell them -
(They've made it so) -
that my soul's at rest
and I want to go.

So sit with me
the day is Long -
the psalm of rain
takes me along.
I cannot fear -
what has to be
O Gentle Friend -
Please Sit with Me!

Day 31a - Resources

There is no way I could have completed all of the information in this “31 Days of Dementia’s Demands” blog challenge!  A lot of the information was found on the Internet, and I also included information from books and articles I read.  These resources needed to be shared for those who may need or want to check them out for themselves.  Since I ended up moving my Day 30 post to the 31st, I will share these resources as Day 31a post!

The main resources I used are listed below:

“The 36-Hour Day” by Nancy L. Mace, MA, and Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH, Fifth Edition

Alzheimer’s Association –

Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center –

Caregiver Action Network – CAN –

Lewy Body Dementia Association –

Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Seventh Edition

National Council on the Aging –

National Family Caregivers Association –

National Institute on Aging –

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke –

National Stroke Association –

Online Dictionary and Reference -

Spark Notes Editors; “SparkNote on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” –

U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs –