Reflections on Feet

• A good foot rub relaxes body and soul
• We often take things we use daily for granted
• Comfort is bare feet on the cool grassy ground
• Bringers of good news are like sunshine after a cloudy day
• Be mindful of where you go and whom you walk with
• Travel brings new discoveries and renewed relationships
• Stand firmly for goodness and justice
• Consider possible consequences to avoid slipping
• Some paths are full of rocks, roots, and washouts
• Wisdom speaks from experience
• Heed words of wisdom to avoid stumbling
• It’s good to put your feet up and breathe after a busy day
• Walk through life seeing interruptions as positive opportunities
• Follow the feet of our Shepherd

from “Reflections from the Everyday”
Charlotte-Anne Allen

Thoughts of Summer

Barefoot days
Shorts and T’s
Cool clear water
Garden fresh veggies

Warmth for body
Sun’s rays heating
Fans blowing, shade cooling
Welcome breezes stirring

Birds calling, dogs barking
Yard mowing, weed pulling
Storms rolling, rain falling
Golden sun rays, moist woods

Early morning and evening’s chill
Dew’s sparkle and quiet hush
Life and faith one day at a time
Summer’s rhythm speaks of contentment

Bring forth!

As a fire in the bones
Crashing waves of the ocean
Roaring wind announcing coming storm

Or bubbles soaring shimmering rising sinking
Rainbow colors that shine their joy
Leaving smiles in their wake

So then do we
Release bring forth
Words poured upon our souls

As wind and wave
With great passion and strength
To uplift encourage challenge share hope

Or as softly soaring spheres
Swinging low and rising up again
Inspiring contemplation communion healing

Guided by our Creator’s touch

Gracious Grace

Crash! “Oh, no! I didn’t know that was there!”
“Goodness gracious! What happened now?!”
Responding with good grace we cleaned up the mess together.

Ever been in a situation like that? … I was thinking about how we use the words grace and gracious in so many ways. Handy for many circumstances! “Grace” is the middle name we gave our daughter and “gracious” is literally “filled with God’s grace”. They are beautiful words rich in meaning.

What thoughts or pictures do these two words bring to your mind? Perhaps you think of love, kindness, goodwill, forgiveness, generosity, and maybe a certain ease or elegance…

Can you think of some positive uses of these words? Maybe you have another saying or proverb. Here in the south, we “say grace” when we offer thanks to God before a meal. We are grateful when we have “gracious plenty”, whether that is something physical, emotional, or spiritual. A person’s “saving grace” is some quality about them that balances or makes up for not-so-great qualities. Responding “with good grace”, with patience and politeness, is a good attribute to pursue! Whom of us have not appreciated a “grace period” for some overdue or forgotten responsibility or chore? “Goodness gracious” fills many a need for expressions of surprise, dismay, or awe… Sometimes there are just no other words.

What about some other phrases that express our needs or mistakes?! “By the grace of God” acknowledges our own need for God, as well as our humility and our compassion for others who are in difficult circumstances. We all “fall from grace” at times, losing favor or the liking of others, whether it is a word misspoken or unsaid, miscommunication, or any number of perceived or real shortcomings.

I can relate to Paul as he talked about grace in his letters to the church in Corinth. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect” *(1 Corinthians 15:10). He reminds us that it’s God’s grace that brings life and that we need to extend that grace to others. Paul called this the “grace of giving”. Isn’t that a wonderful way of putting it?!

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7

My prayers for us all is that even as we receive God’s awesome gift of grace, we will also excel in this grace of giving.

Charlotte-Anne Allen

Share your thoughts!

Washed Out

Warning touch and growing rumble
Feel it building coming coming

Welcome respite or call for shelter?
Jarring one from settled niche

These drops intruders in our day
… A sigh a chuckle as we retreat?

What do they say of grief or toil
As waters surge and tumble by?

Pale countenance sinking down
Or head uplifted to cool embrace?

Built up dirt and grime release
Muddy churning wash away!

Letting it go, now light and free
Cleansing. Revealing… sparkling stones

Charlotte-Anne Allen

Reflections on Pancakes

● The right combination of ingredients brings out our best
● The blending of our experiences shape who we are
● Consider the ways you can improve yourself and then follow through
● Using a fresh perspective opens our eyes and hearts
● Making needed adjustments keeps us out of the rut and enriches life
● Memories are thoughts that bubble up and burst upon us, often at unexpected times
● Be true to your faith and commitment wherever you are
● A calm and even temperament is much to be desired
● Adding some sweetness brings smiles and shares happiness
● Begin all things with a solid base as you look ahead
● Establish positive routines for development and accomplishment
● When we’re feeling the heat, God’s Spirit helps us to rise

Charlotte-Anne Allen

Steps

Upon this earth we leave our mark
Our steps upon its mantle

What do they say about us though?
What stories do they share?

They speak of joy in simple pleasures
Like playful children we jump and twirl

Gentle tiptoes expressing love
Angry stomping voicing pain

Striding forward on our own
Or strolling companionably arm-in-arm

A footprint left now clear and firm
Speaks of wisdom skill or knowledge

Those scuff marks left as we drag our feet
Signs of struggles or despair

As determined toddlers do we rise again
…learning growing trying the new?

What do we see as we view our ways?
Steps and steps upon the trail

Charlotte-Anne Allen

“As…so” Proverbs for Summertime

As cool weather moves to summer heat, so does time flow ever forward

As gatherings bring reunion, so friendship brings renewal

As outdoor activities and fair weather draw us, so encouragement and enjoyment bring us together and build positive relationships

As lightning flashes and thunder roars, so is one who seeks attention or hides pain

As vacations and travel bring welcome breaks, so shared experiences and time bring greater understanding and perspective

As fields are harvested, so completed work satisfies and brings provision

As yards are mowed and gardens tended, so treat your own bodies with care

As the smells of summer cooking waft through the air, so does the telling of stories and revisiting of sights renew and build memories

As the sun’s light and heat engulf us, so may God’s Word fill us

As water cools and refreshes, so does a positive spirit bring calm and hope

– from “As… so Proverbs”
Charlotte-Anne Allen

Love You!

“Love you!”

“Love you, too”

These words between friends, family members, or others are an expression of mutual affection and support. Have you ever considered how powerful they are?

For those on the receiving end, these simple phrases can bring a wealth of meaning, can’t they? I’m happy… We’re enjoying each other’s company… You’re special. They can also express empathy and compassion. I’m so sorry… I regret what happened… I still care.

What about when we speak those words? Sometimes it is so easy to say them, especially when we are happy and are spending enjoyable time in each other’s company. In parting, they are reminders for each other which we take with us, lifting each other up and bringing smiles to faces.

Have you ever struggled to say or to return them? Maybe there has been some strain in your relationship, some hurt or struggle… some unkind or ill-spoken thought. How difficult they can be to say in the face of great loss. Death, poor health prognosis, violence, or our own failures… In those times “love you” and “love you too” can be both painful and healing.

As I was reading in the book of Romans this morning, I came upon a word that expresses these very thoughts!

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” *

I was curious about the word “honor”, so I looked up the meaning for its use in this passage [Yes, a bit nerdy maybe but doing this has really helped me to understand verses in the Bible better!]. It said: “a valuing by which the price is fixed (of the price itself, of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold); honor which belongs or is shown to one (by reason of rank…, deference, reverence)“.

Honor is linked with price and value… and (in that passage) with love! 1Corinthians 6:20 uses the same word, translated as “price”. “For you are bought with a price therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” It struck me of the great price already paid for us through Jesus. Each of us are loved, valued, and honored. Do we love, value, and honor each other to this extent? How do we even wrap our minds around that?!

My prayer for us today, is that we will be more aware of the power of these simple words to and from God and with others. May we use them often, with greater appreciation and understanding. May we be transformed and filled as we both give and receive.

* Romans 12:10
Charlotte-Anne Allen