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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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ICSPOTS (NPM ’16-Day 28)

One of the most fun parts of this April has been following the projects of various Poetry Friday friends. Donna, at Mainely Write, for example, has been posting vanity license plates she has photographed, a day for each letter of the alphabet, and using one of the day’s plates as a poem prompt.

When Adele Kenny’s blog (one of the places I check daily for poem-writing ideas) linked the poem “Which Way is Up?”—the thoughts of poet Tony Gruenewald on seeing a vanity plate flash by him on the road—I thought immediately of Donna’s project.

I surfed over to her website and on browsing through the variety of plates, a semblance of order began to suggest itself to me and, voila—a found poem!  Donna has generously allowed me to use plate photos from her blog for ICSPOTS. (Thanks Donna!)

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© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly, Photos by Donna Smith (All rights reserved)

In case you didn’t get the message via the plate lingo, here it is, in translation (with my additions in parentheses):

Icy Spots(?)

Whatever
Look up,
Love Jesu
North Star.

Oh my—
Are you salt?
Misfit?
(It’s) OK.

Kiddos,
Anchor D(own).
Rejoice.
You are loved.

We (are) grateful
You be brave,
Überkül (Extra cool)
Smoov (Smooth)

VN.

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in Found, Personal, Poetry Friday, Religious

 

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Believe

Many of us have chosen one-word themes for the year.

Holly Mueller our Spiritual Journey Thursday hostess has invited us Thursday pilgrims to share the thoughts and spiritual  aspects of each others 2016 one-word choices each week until we’ve covered them all—a process that will take us into mid-February.

Our word this week is BELIEVE, the word chosen by Carol.

I’ve decided to put my thoughts into poetry. I was surprised at how the word BELIEVE had me digging deep and asking myself, what things do I believe in, and why?

Image by skeeze / pixabay.com

Image by skeeze / pixabay.com

Believe

Belief is the string between hand and balloon,
rush of wind between platform and diver,
arc of fork from plate to mouth,
that extra effort because you know you can,
ordering your life by the words of a Man.

To believe is to have confidence in
consider honest, regard as true
trustworthy and acceptable.
When you believe you suppose and assume
surmise and conclude
set store by, reckon
deduce, approve of, cling to.

Whether you are a wise or foolish believer
depends on your belief’s object…
the buoyancy of helium and the strength of the string.
the law-pull of gravity, the water’s depth
and its way of cork-popping you to the surface.
the accuracy of your aim and absence of arsenic in your food.
confidence in yourself because you know you have more in you.
faith in a Creator, a promise, a Son
a broken relationship and a buy-back plan.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

 

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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted each week by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 
 

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Converting to Childhood

“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven…'” Matthew 18:2,3.

When Holly, host of Spiritual Journey Thursday, mentioned that she was intending to write about CHILDLIKENESS in her SJT post today, I immediately thought of what Jesus said in Matthew 18. I also remembered a poem I wrote a few years ago. “Converting to Childhood” has some of my ideas of what Jesus may have meant when he talked to his disciples about being converted and becoming as little children. What do you think He meant?

P1020203

“… Daddy is nearby.”

Converting to Childhood

Jesus: “… unless you are converted and become as little children
you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3

You lose sophistication and veneer
and become clear
sing, skip and play
easily laugh and cry
then fall asleep without a care
for Daddy is nearby.

No longer do you worry
about whether there will be
food to eat, clothes to wear
how to get from here to there.

You’re malleable clay again
learning your family’s ways and graces.
And once again you fit
into small places.

© 2007 by V. Nesdoly
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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week for Spiritual Journey Thursday

This poem is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

 

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