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

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

Temptation

When in the boat and on the way
Do storm clouds strive to lure us away?

Or climbing trails as we then go
Enticing side paths beckon so?

Perhaps in strolling through the mall
Let’s grab the grand and ditch the small?

When at my place reclining at last
Has a chance to serve come… and passed?

Eyes travel to what’s not mine
Make excuses that it’s just fine?

To follow desire when the time’s all wrong
Will there be regrets before too long?

Ears listening to words of spite or strife
What does that do to encourage life?

Fling the door open to invite
Help from God to shine the Light

Temptation scatters as He brings the best
Strength to overcome and then to rest.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Transformation

Oh! Wow! Look! Look! … Here it comes. Here it comes! It’s coming out!

Have you ever watched a caterpillar forming its chrysalis (cocoon) and then waited … and waited … to see it finally emerge? What an amazing transformation from a creeping crawling caterpillar to a graceful soaring butterfly!

Before the caterpillar enters its cocoon, it’s not just lying around or curled up in a ball somewhere, is it? Think of all that goes on during the long wait. It’s busily moving, finding just the right dinner table… and eating, eating, eating. It needs its nourishment to grow and to prepare for the future. I wonder if it is aware of the coming time of transformation.

What if that caterpillar, in its eagerness for that final vision, decided it wanted to skip the period of eating and growth? Or what if there was no time spent in the cocoon? It seems crazy to even consider that!

So many times in my life, like all of us, I set my sight too much on a final desired outcome. Like the caterpillar, we need nourishment to grow and to prepare. Like the developing butterfly, we surround ourselves with the presence of things that help us to become what we are meant to be. We need time to develop both physically, mentally, and spiritually. Learning new skills, gaining in knowledge and wisdom, and developing our faith are all vital pieces. They are the stuff of life, aren’t they?!

It’s easy to grumble about the need to wait, isn’t it? We impatiently shuffle our feet and are eager to be done with whatever we are waiting for… or to finally participate in a long-anticipated event, achieve our goal, or acquire some possession.

How often do we consider the process of waiting as our success and our purpose? Like the caterpillar busily eating and exploring, we take time to taste life. That reminds me of the Psalm that says, “taste and see that the Lord is good!” * We live the best we can and find contentment in Him. Even God waits! He waits for us to respond or to complete our tasks here. He waited for Noah to finish building the ark! *

I don’t often read in the book of Titus but came across a verse that says “to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait…” * Through the goodness of God, we are being transformed as we prepare for our final great transformation.

My prayer for us all is to live life fully and with contentment in our waiting.

* Psalm 34:8, 1 Peter 3:20, Titus 2:12
Charlotte-Anne Allen

Junk Drawer

A treasure trove!
What great delight
To re-discover things long forgotten

To dig and rummage
And sift things about
Some wooden matches and screws and tacks

Where’s the thingamabob?
Oh wow, I forgot I had that!
And this will be handy to hang things up

Yay! Here’s the screwdriver
I’ve found my best scissors!
What in the world! Now what is this?…

I’m just not quite sure
There’s really no clue
Can’t throw that away, until I know!

Indeed, one day soon
Surely, before very long
It will all be sorted as I clear some things out!

… Now, what was I looking for?!

I Will Lie Down

“Sit boy, sit. Now, lie down… Good dog!” How many have enjoyed the company of their dog or other pet? Have you noticed how dogs will turn around and around to find just the right position before settling down in happy contentment for a time of rest? They like to lie down close to their caregiver or climb up on their lap… even those who have overgrown said lap! There is a special bond and sense of peace from such companionship.

Most of us have struggled at some time with being able to lie down and to sleep peacefully. Our bodies and minds, when stressed, excited, or wound-up by the day, have difficultly settling and relaxing. Have you ever gone to bed exhausted but then your brain just won’t shut down enough to relax?! Our thoughts, even sometimes good ones, just keep churning away! Then too, often the chaos of our world weighs us down or we find ourselves constantly bombarded by negative news or surroundings. Health challenges and any number of stressors just contribute to the tossing and turning!

That reminds me of the story of David in the Bible, who found himself pursued by a jealous king who was intent on killing him. I imagine that David often found himself short on sleep. He certainly had occasion to fear and to find rest almost impossible as he ran for his life! But David showed his continued faith and reliance on God in the book of Psalms as he said,

I will both lie down and sleep in peace.
For you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.
*

I lie down and sleep. I wake again, for the Lord sustains me. *

David was far from perfect. He was a man of war and made many mistakes, but he valued that special bond with God. Like the dog turning around and around to find that ‘just right’ spot, he sought God’s closeness and comfort.

I know that when I remain tired and unable to sleep well, I am little good for anyone, including myself. Perhaps we can take a lesson from the dog… Can you just imagine climbing up into God’s lap and heaving a sigh of contentment and peace? Can we trust Him enough with our yesterday, today, and tomorrow to allow our minds and bodies to receive His gift of rest? Restored for another day, another hour, another minute.

My prayer for us is that we too will know God’s companionship and experience that special bond. Let Him draw you closer! Climb up into His lap! Lie down and find rest.
God bless.

* Psalm 4:8, Psalm 3:5

Springing Upwards

Struggling warring twisting whirling
Cold and warmth do tear and battle
Fiercely roaring, toss and break
Snatching breath and striking ear

Yet sun’s bright shining speaks of promise
Fragile warming growing stronger
Coaxing life from bud and root
Drawing rising filling lifting

Oh, what life now lies within
Drawn from yesteryear’s memories
Midst cold reminders and warmth of hearths
Springing upwards, ever upwards once again