New and Old and What We Leave Behind

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
     who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Another coolish August morning.

Jack and I enjoyed ourselves.

He doing “doggie” things, and I, listening to a pod cast.

The one I listened to this morning ⇾“What Silence Can Teach You About Sound”⇽ was not my normal one.

Not even my usual TYPE of pod cast.

It was spoken by Dallas Taylor, and provided by TED Talks Daily.

If you have been with me for any length of time, you might know that I cherish quietude.

So the title caught my eye, and listening to Dallas speak, I was flooded with new ideas about what I was surrounded with.

Maybe not new ideas, but instead, old ideas that finally found their voice.

27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:27-29 (ESV)

I’ll share some photos from my walk, and some thoughts that came along with them.

I was encouraged to pay attention to ordinary things, in an extra ordinary way.

Here we go.

Learn from the Old

This tree.

I love this tree.

This tree; only God Himself knows how long it’s been there.

I can see it from my office window, there under the hill.

I see it every time Jack and I walk.

I can see it on my road when I’m driving home from town.

I even see it in my dreams.

I love that tree so much.

The only thought I’ve had about it is that it has always been present.

One of our neighbors though, is clearing out the valley so that he can have more land for planting.

The only thing that saves this patch of trees, is that the original owner, though getting up there in years, is still alive and well; and she loves her trees.

One day, she will be no more, and I am sure her trees will follow.

I will mourn the passing of both.

I never thought about the “why” of my love for this tree until this mornings walk.

You see, here in Iowa, this past week we had what is known as a de·re·cho.

It is defined as – a line of intense, widespread, and fast-moving windstorms and sometimes thunderstorms that moves across a great distance and is characterized by damaging winds. Some sustained winds across Iowa were clocked at 115 mph.

Needless to say there is widespread destruction, and thousands without power for cooling, food preservation, and sanitation.

With that as a back drop, I had to wonder just how many storms this old tree has weathered.

As I neared my old friend, I saw that some of his pieces had fallen during the storm.

Bits and pieces of days gone by.

I also noted that there is much left to him, and he is still quite beautiful, in spite his losses.

Watch your step.

Upon my return back up the hill, my eye was drawn to this;

One lone flower.

Be strong. Hold on.

It had weathered the storm.

A message of hope.

Life goes on.

A light, shining after the storm.

There is still hope.

So I ask you.

Have you been in a storm?

Have you been embattled on every side?

Does COVID, quarantine, irrational happenings in our world, and such have you feeling like the last one?

You may even be the last one, but in a different season, life will be restored.

Guess what?

You are still beautiful, whether you have all the pieces you came into this world with or not.

So you get to decide.

What will you leave behind?

Will your parts end up in a stack somewhere where no one will understand all you have endured, or will you you shine out, like hope in a dark time?

I encourage you.

Pick up your pieces.

Share them out.

Tell your story.

Let someone, somewhere know of it’s importance.

When you’re done, be that light that shines out hope –

Hope for a new reason, a new season, a new time.

All because of a four and a half minute silent space inside a TED Talk.

Who knew?

Until next time …

Who Are You Really?

On one of my self-excavating pilgrimages, I asked myself this question.Magnifying Glass

First I will tell you, that on these pilgrimages, of which there have been many, my travelling companions have been God the Father, His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

My strong belief is that through this trinity, the truth and life can be found.

The excavation can be lengthy, and often times raw, but well worth the treasure found in the end. Quitting came to mind many times, but I had to remember to keep my eyes on the prize; Freedom.

That being said, I began my journey with the old soundtrack running in my mind. You may even share the same soundtrack. It is the old song that tells you that you are ordinary, rejected, overlooked and insignificant.

In order for me to be able to show up, to tell my story, to use my voice, I needed to know exactly what God thought of me.

The first thing I did, was locate what my mentor and teacher Graham Cooke called “Inheritance scriptures”. If you are familiar with the Bible, then you should have no problem here. If you are not, let me just say that I believe it is the complete and totally true Word of God, a map and guide to how we should live our lives.

Just so you know, there is no judgement here if you believe it, or even if you don’t, but that is the direction I am coming from.

So. Inheritance verses. Life verses. Verses that come to life every time you read them. At times, even though you may know them, believe them, trust them, the old soundtrack still tries to take over. This is where it is important to keep your verses close at hand.

I enjoy the Psalms, many of my inheritance words were first uttered by the subject David. He was so real. Happy, sad, powerful, weak, joyful, angry, courageous, fearful. Full range of emotions. Many of his words fit me, and most likely you too, here are some, my inheritance words, I claim them for myself, you can claim them too;

Psalms 18:19 (Speaking of God) He brought me into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.

Psalms 57:1b I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

Psalms 119:65 Great peace have they that love your law. Nothing cause them to stumble.

Psalms 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalms 131;1-2 My heart is not proud, Lordmy eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with things great matters or things too difficult for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.

All of these verses give me rest. I call them to memory when times are hard. They buoy my spirit, and keep my heart strong.

But none does that for me like this last one though; I share it with you, to make you strong;

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.


He knows us. He tells us what He thinks of us. He tells us who we are.

We are not ordinary, rejected, overlooked or insignificant.

Join me again here again as I share more of my “Excavation of my soul”.




Where a Poem Belongs

“Where a poem belongs is here, in the warmth of the chest;
out in the world it dies of cold.” by Rumi

This was the introduction to a writing prompt today

The prompt itself was; What poem does your chest/breast/heart long for you to write. Give it voice now.

I am often surprised by the out come. 5 minutes. Who knew it would be enough to open up a heart?

I don’t know if it’s a poem just yet. It’s more a sense of belonging. Of safety. Of being right, even when you’re doing it wrong. YOU are right. The thing you did was not. You are free to express yourself without fear of someone’s critical retort.  As Rumi said, it belongs in your heart. In your breast. To stay warm. Not to feel the stabbing cold of … disappointment? No. Judgement. From ones who don’t understand. My poem will be of this. A safe place, where there is freedom to say what is real.

I am grateful I have found my hiding place. Peace now fills my heart.