Simplicity

buttercup-by Manfred Richter_Pixabay

Schools of learning
Great and small

Places of business
In buildings tall

Scrambling madly
Push and shove

Grant me now simplicity

Detailed instructions
Now what was that?

No time to ponder
Pushed away like a gnat

Pontificating loudly …
My brain needs a rest!

I do so yearn for simplicity

Learning is good
Don’t misunderstand

Standing straight and excited
Accomplishment in hand

Savor life slowly
Delight in “ah-hah’s”

That is the gift of simplicity

Oink Oink, Moo, Vrrmm … Oh God!

pigs two piglets-by skeeze_Pixabay

“Oink-oink, moo, woof-woof, meow!” As the toy animals bound about the room, I smile and watch the interaction with the parents. “Vrrmm” they exclaim as another toy bounces off the couch or across the floor. Are you smiling too as you see this in your own mind’s eye?! Perhaps you too see the pig, the cow, the dog, or the cat. Here comes the toy car or favorite truck! The joyful play of a young child is a thing of wonder.

In my work with preschoolers, as a speech-language pathologist, I have seen that great communication is possible even without words. The process of learning to use words to communicate can be a challenge for them and their families. Sometimes a single simple word – a name, a “wow,” or an “uh-oh” – says it all! Having options other than their voice is important too. A gesture, a picture, or an electronic voice can also give assistance and success.

There have been times in my own life when I simply had no words to express my deepest feelings. Whether faced with unexpected joy or with great sorrow or hurt, I could only feel. When I see a magnificent display of God’s world, perhaps a sunrise, a rainbow, or a grand vista, my whole being lights up… “How beautiful!” In times of tragedy when the hurt and grief is too great, my mind and body are torn.

Some moments I treasure for myself. Some moments I am not ready or able to share… Some moments I want to and need to share, but I just have no words.

How, in our need, can we communicate what we are thinking or feeling when our insides are so scrambled up, especially when we are hurting or angry? Just as a young child expresses themselves, a simple “wow” and “uh-oh” can convey a lot. The parent or caregiver, who knows and understands their child, can supply the needed words. Silence speaks as well.

We too have a Helper, someone who speaks for us to God, who knows and understands us. I am reminded of a verse from the book of Romans. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (NIV) *

Isn’t that encouraging?! We have a voice and an Advocate*. We do not have to stress over expressing ourselves to God. A simple “Oh, God” or just resting in silence as He hears our heart is sufficient.

I am so thankful to God who understands us all. We are His children, sometimes joyously bounding about the room with our “oink-oinks” or “vrrmms” or other times curled upon ourselves in voiceless pain. Whether our words pour out to Him in great torrents, with simple utterance, or are voiceless… He gets it!

My prayer for us today is that we may be encouraged that He hears us and knows us, and that we can come before Him as a little child.

*Romans 8:26, John 14:16-17

Reflections on Telephones

phone wood background_Jessica Lewis_pexels

• Communication is a circle not a one-way line
• The gift of language is a foundation upon which all is built
• Fruitful communication requires more than one sender 
• Take care not to spend all your time in self-absorption
• Touch another life in positive support and compassion
• Affirm worth and heed subtle calls for help
• Words once spewed from our mouth cannot be recovered
• Flashy ads and gadgets can distract us from what matters
• Seek knowledge with careful thought
• Value learning for a fuller and richer life
• When dark clouds gather we need each other
• Giving someone your full attention is priceless
• The sound of a caring voice can bring sunshine to a life
• Listen to God who hears our calls

from “Reflections from the Everyday”  by caallen

Storm’s Call

storm rain distance_IMG_4619

Rustle of leaves
on a scorching day
The sun blinks its eyes
as shadows slip in

Chirping birds
Now grow silent
As earth holds its breath
And heated air stirs

The rumble of a passing truck
Grows and speaks to
Dark clouds advancing building
Carried on silent streams

A dog’s sharp bark
Shatters the sudden stillness
And the cat races to shelter
As searing light pierces the sky

Storm’s call sounds
Make way Make way
Wind’s breath blows cool
As full drops descend

Pounding now upon thirsty ground
Washing cleansing making new
Wafting lifting petrichor’s rich smell
… Rain’s offering to lifted noses

Streams of water flowing
Warm toes cooling
Hot faces relieving
Churning clouds slowly recede

Storm’s call beckons
Lifts its arm in final salute
And rolls slowly on
As mist begins to rise

Just Justice

stream stacked stones_body-of-water-across-forest_by Manuela Adler from Pexels

Right ways and true
Equitable even-handed
Accurate incorruptible
Faithfulness goes before
Founded on love

What will guide you
Truth and clear vision
Words spoken without deceit
Ears hearing
Eyes seeing
Hearts receptive

Principle and integrity
Must be included
Doing no wrong
Upright and honest
Exactly …That’s it!
Just justice!

Responsible Freedom

Sunrise 2_IMG_1787

I’ll be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want.” What budding young adult upon first striking out on their own, or dreaming of doing so, has not had that thought or something very similar? Children too, fret at times under the authority of their parents or others.

I can remember similar thoughts of my own and I see in my mind’s eye that eighteen-year-old me as she headed off to college. Admittedly, there was a little anxiety as well. Though I was “on my own” I did not leave all behind nor dump what had been instilled in me for the previous eighteen years. I brought with me my faith, my values, life’s teachings, and lessons learned from my parents and others. I realized that with this newfound freedom, there was also great responsibility.

As unfinished and developing human beings, we allow our thoughts, emotions, and actions to drive how we react to others. The familiar, “He (or she) hit me first” of children is echoed in many forms for we adults. We justify ourselves by placing blame and by not recognizing our own responsibilities within our freedom to choose.

Paul said this well in his first letter to the church in Corinth. I like that my Bible titles this section as “The Believer’s Freedom.” He said, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. *

Wow! That was pretty radical and certainly not something usually promoted, including today. Two words that stood out for me in Paul’s statement are “beneficial” and “constructive.” Not everything that we have the freedom to do results in good. Not everything we have the freedom to do serves a useful purpose or builds up others. While this freedom may be related to written laws or practices it is much more than that. This freedom has to do with personal character and integrity. It has everything to do with personal faith and commitment. Tied into all of this is compassion, love and care for others, and mutual respect.

That doesn’t make it right” is a common response to the child’s declaration of “He (or she) hit me first!” What are our thoughts, our reactions, or our words to everyday situations? Do they reflect responsible freedom? Do they shine Christ’s light? This is a challenge for us all, I think.

I pray that I will better walk the path of responsible freedom. May we all seek and follow that path, ever striving for that which is beneficial and that which is constructive. All praise and thanks to God who draws His children closer to Him.

*1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Reflections on Bridges

wooden bridge in woods_pexels_cropped

• Sometimes the way seems impossible
• By persevering we make a way for others
• We cross from one season of life to the next
• Some roads lead us over roaring torrents
• Other paths cross and meander over quiet ways
• Ways that meet can change the world
• Making bridges together forms strong bonds
• Reach and stretch to pursue positive goals
• Build what is good and strong and enduring
• Move forward with open eyes and positive perspective
• As you travel notice beauty around you and give thanks
• The Son is our greatest Bridge-maker

from “Reflections from the Everyday” by caallen

Rainbow’s Gems

Rainbow from Amanda's_blog banner size

Shining splendor for all to see
Rainbow’s gems sparkle brightly

Breath of wonder and delight
Glorious proclamation upon the sky

Radiance gleaming now
Stretches over the earth

Jaspers rubies emeralds
Precious awe-inspiring sight

Sun rays amidst the clouds
Refracted upon life’s droplets

Drawn from storms passing
Breaking forth to speak of light


*Image by Amanda Allen Wyatt

Weave

woven basket

A gleam a thought
Watch as ideas awaken
Designers and dreamers
Envision wholeness

Each thread each vine
Every reed and fiber
Interlacing forming linking
Drawn by a master’s hand

The weaver’s fingers
Move with purpose
Crossing wrapping
Pulling together

Patterns and designs
Take shape and reveal
That which was weak
Coming together

Story of redemption
Woven treasure
From brokenness
beauty emerges