Winter Joy Come

AppleTreeBlossom

Just outside my window the sky is a delicate winter blue. The sun is shining on the bark of my dogwood tree, clean like a memory of Springtime. The wind is tapping in gentle gusts.

All of this is reminding me, of joy.

People talk about the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is connected to our experiences, they say. Happiness is given to those with healthy minds and bodies and bank accounts. Happiness is fleeting.

But joy, they say, that runs deeper and apart from circumstance. Christians are supposed to grow in joy.  Jesus is the light of the world. He is the God of all comfort and He loves us.

So many sorrows everywhere, and such large unfixable problems. A lot of mistakes and letting go of dreams. Work and work avoidance. I could focus on these things and lose sight.

But looking out my window today, I remembered Springtime.

‘Thou must joy’, we are told. ‘Joy in the midst of sorrow…’ This is spiritual maturity. This is the job of joy.

And yet, today, I feel it stealing in, like a fragrance of flower petals tinged with a glint of sunshine. I understand something I never realized before.

Joy isn’t old, it’s young. It isn’t in the winter of our lives that we finally figure out how to earn it. We, like little children, pass off our problems to God and dance and sing and find peace. Because God is so nifty and circular and all-inclusive. Old, young and everywhere in between. Winter and Springtime and right now.

I love Jesus, my dearest friend, and God the Father, who takes care of me.

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The Dancing Grandmothers

So here’s where my thoughts go in the middle of the night. I’m thinking I need something unusual for my current Work In Progress. It’s the fantasy about the ninth son of the ninth son and the so on.

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So where will their quest lead them? Up in the hills of course. To an old abandoned village near the cliffs. White stone crumbling buildings are all that remain, and the dry fountain in the village square. It’s here, once a year, that the dancing grandmothers come.

The Dancing Grandmothers

Dance with joy, for all that I’ve seen;

Bend with loss, for what might’ve been;

Reach for the sky, and let longing prayers fly,

For the children, Dear God, and I.

 

Now reach for friends, our fingers interlace;

Circle wide and come near, winding fears we all face;

Rise up to our toes, graceful girls still within;

We’re the old ones, who’ve earned all our dreams.

 

Pretty Spot Reminder

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I struggled to read this old postcard. Scribbled on in August of 1906, the words are the most basic of news. ‘Your letter came today’ and ‘This morning was clear but very warm;’ followed by ‘It was fine driving through the woods.’ They met ‘Uncle E.’ there at Mohonk and had a ‘very pleasant time’.

This postcard of a ‘pretty spot on Lake Mohonk’ was sent with the hope that it would ‘remind you of some of the good times we had’. Wow. Facebook, in a nutshell, or the social networking of the time.

But I find it fascinating. Someone went to the nearby market or small store and shopped for this postcard and someone on the other end, no doubt, found the intimate details of their time gripping. The morning was clear, and the drive through the woods, although at other times possibly a concern, was ‘fine’. And there, in all his glory, ‘Uncle E.’ was standing about, waiting to be met at Mohonk.

Somehow it sends me. This photo of a clear and pretty spot coalesces with the words. One hundred and eleven years ago, someone wrote on a postcard depicting a day from their life. It was a restful day, and one to be shared. The simple details described implies that the receiver of this card was someone close, and familiar. They’d been to Mohonk too. They knew Uncle E. and what the E. stood for. They understood about driving through those woods.

This, my friend, is all I need to know. Are your skies clear and is the weather warm? Are you safe when you drive through the woods? And remember those places we shared.

Now here is a picture of Lake Mohonk, today.

MohonkModernDay

It seems to me that I still can see a little triangle hut roof or two there off the left side.

MohonkModernDay

I don’t know if that’s the same pretty spot at all, or the same little rooftop. But it’s fun to think about.

Superhero Me!

BalletRomp

Woo Hoo! I finished it! Santiago’s In Trouble has 65,000 words! It started out as a Christian romance, but it got a bit confused. Now it’s part mystery, and part of a quest to find himself too. Meanwhile there are superheroes roaming around downtown Seattle and then going back and having a prayer meeting. They try to say they don’t fight crime, but they end up coming to the rescue because they can’t help themselves! I’m pleased with myself that I finished it, a whole week before NaNoWriMo, and get this! The NaNoWriMo theme this year is… SUPERHEROES! Isn’t that perfect?

The Mystery of Tatooine

CairoDesert

There’s just one thing you want to do when you’re on Tatooine

That’s leave it, behind, as soon as possible.

There’s nothing much to see, and no one you care to know.

The dusty-scape burns the eyelids and the metal homes bake.

‘Get me a ship’ you cry, you ache; ‘I’ll even let a punky 12 year old,

Abandon his mother like a slave and Ben Hur a pointless race,

So I can get away from here!’

The only question is: why do we have to keep returning in all the movies?

There was truly, nothing more that could top the last thing worthy of sight.

Rey, in the new movies, show-boated her Fem-dominance.

On Tatooine she was the coolest, and that just grew. She was the best pilot, too.

She had the force, of course, stronger than, well… anyone ever.

In fact, she didn’t need anyone else to get the job done. A few weak men could

Tag-along, if they liked, because she’s giving that way.

But back to Tatooine and the last thing to see there.

If you have a chance, and you’re stopping by the worst destination in space.

Take a look at Princess Leia, the true depiction of powerful womanhood.

Her brother is slashing the bad guys to bits outside, and the wookie is roaring.

Lando Calrissian pulls off the mask and Han got is eyesight back.

Bye bye, Boba Fett.

Meanwhile, inside, tiny five foot Leia, having nothing better to do,

Looks around.

She doesn’t have a blaster. She hasn’t connected to the force.

There’s no weapon in sight except for the chain-link leash around her neck.

So quietly, and on her own, she takes down Jabba the Hutt.

Then, having good sense, she grabs up the droids, the wookie, all the hot guys,

And leaves Tatooine behind.

Messed-Up Place

lacedesigns

Old fashioned world of antique lace;

For you we’re punished today.

Behind the veil and the pearly-white face;

people were being oppressed.

 

Society marched in and rules were laws;

Overlords gained and workers lost.

God was used to support wealthy man’s cause;

Church-goers knew the cost.

 

Now the filmy lace is torn away;

Oppressors hoarding-all  revealed.

Victor’s write history they say;

But God instituted a certain rule.

 

Consequences come and secrets unfold;

Darkness doesn’t get to overtake.

Masks are crushed and guillotines scold;

The world purges Hitler and Hussein.

 

The wrong part was certainly wrong;

The bad overwhelmingly bad.

But must we lose the heavenly song;

As we fight the cause of the sad?

 

Through it all, I’m telling you true;

God did never forget.

Love is the way, kindness undue;

Mercy and patience at the end of the day.

 

Put your swords down for a while and see;

The hand of Jesus reaching out.

He loves us all, no colors or leanings debris;

Sinner and innocent mixed in one soul.

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner With 8 is Great

TableFullAtDinner

Here we are out to dinner at the Ladies Weekend Writer’s Retreat.

Our dear friend Sue (in the red sweater) hosted us at her house.

Sue,Maureen,CathyatDinner

We’ve had large amounts of cocoa, coffee and of course, tea.

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Here I am, in makeup, (On the left) since I was FORCED to have a makeover!

Vicky,Sheri,CaszatDinner

Lot’s of laughter, surrounded by beauty under the full moon, it’s been a very special weekend! And I got a lot of writing done too!

 

HighBillows

Isaiah 40:

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

I’m holding onto hope, my friends. I’m waiting to see His mercy at work on my prayers. I’ll never stop. I’ve followed Jesus since I was a teenager. I was an avid churchgoer for over 25 years. I’ve asked the Lord many questions that were answered. I’ve been on the mountaintop with His beauty raging all around me, and I’ve traveled through the desert. I’ve climbed Mundania wearing iron boots. My own lack of faith and zeal have humbled me. His incredible sweetness towards me has made me weep. I’ve had wonderful gifts from Him, my loves. Through it all He has truly been the strength of my life.

 

Santiago’s Snippet- Hospital Aftermath

luxemborgGendarme

Here’s a snippet from the chapter I just finished writing. Jacoby, my main character, was attacked the day before and his big brother, a cop, has just taken him home from the hospital.

‘His brother stepped away from where he’d been checking out all the windows and doors in the condo. He frowned at Jacoby’s light tone to his voice. “Quit acting like nothing’s wrong, Jack,” he grunted.

“There’s nothing wrong right now. I know you’re frustrated, but I’d just as soon put all this out of my mind. You want me to rest, right? So quit acting so serious. You look like Meaty-Fist McChimp, on his way to a goon convention.”

Colt glanced once more out the window, before at last he made an effort. He relaxed his shoulders and the crease between his eyebrows cleared. He chuckled. “I look like Meaty-Fist McChimp, huh? But this is nothing. You should see how I come across when I’m up against someone really obnoxious. We learn how to solid-up like this in cop school.”

“I’m terrified. No, go away, so I can hit the sheets.”

“I’ll be back later. Don’t forget to take your pain reliever before you go to sleep. Here, I’m taking two out the bottle and setting them by this glass of water. Don’t take four by accident.”

“Yes, mom.”

“Your concussion hasn’t made you that confused, I hope.”

“I guess you don’t look much like my Puerto Rican mother, now that I think of it.”

“Too tall?”

“Too hairy in all the wrong places.”

Once a Ponce, a Time

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Museo_de_Arte,_Ponce,_Puerto_Rico-Exterior

So here a few images of the beautiful city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, which is where my main character in the novel I’m writing is about to go visit. It is a coastal city and it’s nearby beaches, pearl white light, and powder blue skies are breathtaking.

I think, after seeing these photos that I MUST do closer study, so that I can describe the atmosphere of Ponce with more accurate detail. Husband, can we hop on a plane and visit Puerto Rico? You wouldn’t want to get in the way of RESEARCH!

Here is a video vlog I found of a young woman’s recent trip to Ponce. It’s cute, it shows where she and her family stop to get treats.