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Category Archives: Personal

Nourished by music (Spiritual Journey Thursday)

sjt-2017-graphicToday is the first Thursday of September and time for the monthly Spiritual Journey Thursday post. This month we’re hosted by Ramona, who is discussing her one-little-word for 2017 – NOURISH (what a fabulous word!).

One of the first things that comes to mind as soul and spirit nourishment for me is music. Though its delivery has changed over the years (from records, to eight tracks, to  cassette tapes, to CDs to, now, a streaming service), my appetite for and enjoyment of it hasn’t diminished. If anything it has increased.

When I joined Spotify (a music streaming service) a vast array of music was suddenly available to me at a tap of an app. Wow! In browsing around this huge resource, I stumbled on some ready-made playlists of worship music that introduced me to songs and artists I had never heard before. One such was Audrey Assad.

The first song of hers that snagged my attention was “Even Unto Death.” Her beautiful clear voice and the haunting melody begged to be replayed. Then the lyrics of this love song to Jesus captured my heart.

I found the song on YouTube (Audrey’s own channel), sung against the stark but stunning visuals of a snowy landscape. Even more moving, though, is Audrey’s own explanation of her inspiration to write this song—an ISIS video no less!

You can hear the song and Audrey’s explanation of why she wrote it below:

This song, along with others, is now part of my own worship playlist which is growing regularly as I discover more songs that nourish my soul and spirit.

 

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New beginnings (SJfT)

I begin lots of things. It’s the continuations that I’m concerned about! Three new beginnings that have become a part of my daily life are captured in the photo and poem below:

A favourite time of day

A Favorite Time of Day

Laptop tucked away
housework keeps till tomorrow.
Now is time to pray

to process joy and sorrow
line-captured while music plays

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

My three new 2017 beginnings:

1. Bible Art Journaling
Earlier this spring I discovered Bible art journaling. You could say it was love at first sight.

Doodling, drawing, and lettering in my special journaling Bible has become part of my routine. Several times a week, in the evening when the jobs of the day have been put to bed, I get out my Bible, pens, and supplies, tune in to one of my Spotify play lists (favourites are Audrey Assad , Fernando Ortega, and Andrew Peterson) and meditate / create.

They say that when you work in an area of strength, the activity energizes you. That’s what I find happens when I do this. The day’s fatigue falls away and I am often still going at 10:30 – 11:00—pretty good for someone who wakes up without an alarm just after 5:00 a.m. (though I do often take a daytime nap).

Here’s the project I was working on in the photo (prompted by a Rebekah R. Jones Bible Art Challenge video).

2. Taking a photo a day
My camera has been my walking companion since I got my first digital in 2006. Earlier this year I found a website (Capture Your 365 – #CY365) that provides a daily photo prompt. I’ve been snapping photos challenged by those prompts since mid-May. The photo above was prompted by the July 3rd challenge: “A Favorite Time of Day.”

3. Summer Shorts poems
On the first day of summer this year I met with a local poet friend. Among other things, we discussed summer poem-writing. I told her about American Sentences, and she decided to embark on writing “Summer Sentences.” Her decision encouraged me to work on a summer poem project that seemed like it would fit into my life—writing short poems prompted by the daily photos I take. I call my project “Summer Shorts” and the tanka above is one of those.

There you have it—three activities that I’ve not only begun but continued, and that have added much spiritual richness to my 2017!

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sjt-2017-graphicThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday, hosted today by Julieanne Harmatz at her blog To Read, To Write, To Be.

 

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Party Hostess

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Party Hostess

Thinking it through and making lists
to cover all the bases.
Imagining each this or that
and putting myself through the paces.
I know I shouldn’t be uptight
I tend to be a perfecter.
I’d have more fun if I cut loose
this fete to faith and prayer.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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This Sunday my husband and I are hosting a big family party. I love being part of this kind of thing as a helper but being in charge is certainly getting me out of my comfort zone. That is our topic this month and a good one for me to muse on this week.

Even thinking about it for this blog post has been helpful. I’ve been intentional about countering every worrisome “what if?” thought with thoughts and prayers of gratitude that this is happening and joy and anticipation as I look forward to getting together with my large extended family. I am trying to follow my own advice…

sjt-2017-graphicVisit Pat at Writer on a Horse to read more “Getting out of your comfort zone” writings.

 

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Blenheim Days

My mind is on summer, especially with a morning as glorious as this one (at least where I live)! Combing my poem stash for summer poems, I found the one below that puts me back quite a few years to a time during my university days when I lived on a Vancouver street just a short walk from Kits Beach and a bus ride from downtown’s trendy Robson Street. (For a girl from the prairies, this was storybook summer living!)

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Vancouver Beach, 2014 – V. Nesdoly

Blenheim Days

In a brisk ten-minute walk
past rose hedges and patchouli cedars
I can be with lolling freighters on English Bay
strolling the waterfront of Kitsilano Park
mingling with tanned and muscled joggers
passing head-banded, guitar-strumming buskers
surrounded by the lingering coconut scent
of the day’s sunscreen
on evening’s heavy, warm, gold-tinted air.
I dream tomorrow’s outing…
I’ll buy a juicy nectarine or two
at the corner store where I catch the No. 4
to a Robson Street adventure.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday. There are tons more Poetry Friday offerings at Heidi’s blog, my juicy little universe.

 

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2017 in Personal

 

Ghostly visible

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August 6, 2016 Photo (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Ghostly visible
as winter’s “Fresh Blueberries”
summer’s Christmas scene

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly

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I photographed the Christmas scene above last August when we were visiting the kids up north. I wondered how many times I had passed it and not even seen it. It made me think of other things we see and subconsciously ignore because we know they just aren’t relevant. Is there some psychological phenomena behind that? Probably!
PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Carol at Carol’s Corner.

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Objects, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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Teach me

As I contemplate “finding joy” (our Spiritual Journey Thursday topic this month), it occurs to me how little it takes for me to lose mine. A stretch of bad weather, a cold that hangs on, misplacing my things, upcoming obligations that worry and stress me… These and many more easily grab my attention and, if I let them, steal my joy.

On the weekend I visited a friend who, a week ago, had a heart attack. Now mending from bypass surgery, her attitude of noticing all the positive things and being grateful for them is, I think, a template for retaining joy through bad times or good.

She was perfectly peaceful about relinquishing her classroom to a substitute for the rest of the year. Her husband was laid off from work a while ago, but because of that he was free to be with her in this distant city through this time. Her doctor happened to come by her room as her heart was misbehaving, witnessed what was happening, and pushed up her surgery. Her daughter, passing through on holidays visited the night before surgery and calmed her mother’s jitters using her doula skills. My friend has a strong faith and interpreted these things as evidences of the care of a loving heavenly Father.

For all of us—my friend navigating through her life-and-death health challenge to me with my petty annoyances, I believe finding joy comes in seeing and focusing on the good in the situation and being grateful for what is, rather than wishing for something that isn’t.

I leave you with a short prayer that I wrote some years ago but still need to pray:

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Image: Pixabay

teach me

the sweet leisureliness
of being a lily
the implicit trust
of my child-hand
in Yours
the unlikely joy
that sings sparrow-songs
even when I’m on the ground

© 2007 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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sjt-2017-graphicThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday, hosted this week by Margaret Simon at her blog Reflections on the Teche.

 

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Tablet Life

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Kindle collections on my tablet (one of my happy places in tablet life) – Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly

Tablet life

Tablet life is swipable
expandable and squeezable
pushable and snappable
all at your fingertips

Clickable and searchable
tap and type and drawable
a workout for your head and hands
but not the best for hips.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Do you own a tablet (or smartphone—that might be even worse)? Have you fallen under its spell, so that you can’t be without it out let it out of your sight? I must remind myself of the truth of the little ditty above when I’m tempted to linger too long with my very fun, versatile, addictive but sedentary tablet.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Tara at A Teaching Life.

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25 Comments

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Light, Objects, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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