Life's Journey, Poems/Songs

The Rose

 

…….February 7, 2015

 

 Some say love, it is a river

That drowns the tender reed.

Some say love, it is a razor

That leaves your soul to bleed.

Some say love, it is a hunger,

An endless aching need.

I say love, it is a flower,

And YOU its only seed.

 

It’s the heart afraid of breaking

That never learns to dance.

It’s the dream afraid of waking

That never takes the chance.

It’s the one who won’t be taken,

Who cannot seem to give,

And the soul afraid of dyin’

That never learns to live.

 

When the night has been too lonely

And the road has been too long,

And you think that love is only

For the lucky and the strong,

Just remember in the winter

Far beneath the bitter snows

Lies the seed that with the sun’s love

IN THE SPRING BECOMES THE ROSE.**

 

Above all the months of the year, February is the month of love.

  • Because of February’s theme some people choose to get engaged or married during this month.
  • Many times the fourteenth becomes their special date.
  • February celebrates our personal valentines with cards and gifts.
  • This time of year has romance, hearts, flowers (especially Roses), candy and lovely songs that speak to us of love.

I would venture to guess that Roses are the number one favorite flower of a large percentage of people in this world.

  • Their beauty, variety and form is unsurpassed.
  • One of the most expensive perfumes in the world “Joy” comes from lavender roses.

Roses are not easy to raise. It takes attention and care to establish a young Rose bush. 

  • You can’t just plop them in the ground anywhere.
  • They need a specific spot, the correct soil, the right amount of light and water.
  • The most surprising thing to me was how deep and big of a hole has to be dug before you can plant a new Rose bush.
  • As the roots become established it is then time to be alert to pests.
  • They like to hide on the underside of the leaves to do their damage.
  • If ignored, the plant can easily die; especially a young one.

The best time to cut Roses is when the bud is fully developed, but not quite yet in full bloom.

  • That’s when all the preparation pays off and for a few days we enjoy the form, color and sweet scent of a Rose.
  • If you choose not to cut the blooms for your pleasure then you must remove the dead blooms.
  • A Rose will produce more if new or old blooms are continually removed.

Finally, when their growing and blooming season is over they need to be pruned. 

  • This can be difficult to do but is a necessary process to ensure a healthy future.
  • You must trim back the older branches; sometimes quite severely.
  • This encourages a stronger plant and even more blooming during it’s next cycle of life.
  • Although it’s beauty is now hidden the Rose will bloom again.

The song “The Rose” is a thoughtful song, not necessarily about romantic love.

  • The message of this song is about life and how we decide to live it.
  • It’s about choices and living our lives from the inside out.
  • It’s about taking a chance and putting yourself out there.
  • It’s about our dreams and disappointments.
  • It’s about being broken, but getting back up and starting again.
  • It’s message is about life, death and rebirth.

As you have read the past few words, I trust you will think about what has been said. Note the parallels of “The Rose” that apply to your life and faith. We can all take comfort in knowing that after winter has spent itself…….“The Rose” will bloom again.

“Remember, anyone can love a rose,

but it takes a great heart to include the thorns.”

(Unknown)

 

**Composed: by Amanda McBroom, 1977 – – Sung by Bette Midler

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Encouragement, Life's Journey

Words

…..October 25 ,2014

 

Most of my life I have been a reader: novels, poetry, self-help books, newspapers, the Bible, etc. I love the beauty of words and the way they flow together. Some well known authors certainly have a talent for expression.

 

WORDS ARE POWERFUL

  • They paint a picture.
  • They take us to distant lands and different times.
  • They entertain us and sometimes they change our behavior.
  • They educate us and at times challenge us.
  • They make us laugh and they can make us sad.
  • They can lift us up or tear us down.

Scripture has much to say about words; especially in Proverbs and in the book of James.

 

There are two things in this world that devastate us: words and rejection.

  • In all honesty I believe that those two words probably form most of who we are.
  • You say, “no way” but a great deal of our lives are based on the outcome of what we have experienced from those two words.
  • Today our attention will be focused on Words only. Rejection will be addressed at a future time.

 

Recently I alluded to the home where I was raised. My parents, as we all are, were a product of the baggage that came from their backgrounds.

Their experiences manifested itself in words that more often than not tore down.

Too much of the time destructive words were hurled at each other.

During those times I was the appointed go-between. “Tell your mother this….tell your Father that.”

I was “little miss goody two shoes” who tried to do what I could to keep these explosions from happening.

When they happened, life was confusing and difficult. My heart was wounded for the first time at an early age.

 

I knew my parents loved me and cared for me. They taught me the necessary things we need in our lives.

  • To know what it is to work, to have good manners, to be helpful to those who are suffering.
  • They were good, honest people.
  • In their defense, it was a different time.
  • They were a product of the great depression.

I came to realize as I became an adult that they didn’t have the resources to help them that are available to us today. Counselors, preaching, books, helps on how to have a productive discussion, support from encouraging peers.

 

My younger sibling became a carbon copy of my parents, so I was outnumbered.

  • I became quiet, shy, undemanding (unlike my sibling), introverted and a book worm.
  • I learned to measure my words carefully.
  • I just wanted a peaceful home.

 

After 30 plus years of marriage, my parents finally divorced. Still when I went home the words were there, especially on my mother’s part.

  • I loved her dearly and still do. So much of what I am is owed to her.
  • In many ways she was an example to follow.
  • My strength and belief in myself came from her.
  • She sacrificed herself for others even when it was difficult for her.
  • She was a get it done type of person.
  • She had earned the respect of other people.
  • Her friends appreciated her.

 

When she died a neighbor commented (he meant it nicely) that she was one tough broad. She had to be, she was the only girl in a family that had seven boys.

I’ve often thought she should have been written about in the Readers Digest under the heading: The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met. That certainIy was my mother.

People didn’t forget her and she made an impression on many lives.  It means so much to me that my last words to her were “I love you Mama.”

 

But she also thought she was clever in the things she said in order to get her personal point across.

  • Anytime I visited home, there were new wounds and at times her words effected my children.
  • I knew she was speaking through her own disappointment, and brokenness, but that didn’t make me feel any better.

 

One time, when I was in my 30’s, myself and our three children went back home for a visit.

  • She still grieved over the divorce and at that specific time my sibling was avoiding her.
  • I tried to encourage her with the enjoyable things she could do with myself and her grandchildren.
  • She said to me: “I don’t have your daddy, I don’t have ?????, and I don’t want you.”

Even then, I knew she didn’t mean it, but those words are to this day embedded in my memory.

 

Previously, you were warned that sometimes this blog would be deeply personal.  

I do this for one reason….YOU.

Behind every face is a story. The things I have just shared with you are a part of my story and have helped to make me who I am.

The real truth of my story is that these things were necessary, in order that my life’s purpose might be fulfilled. It is a tool to be used, not locked away.

Each of you have your story. Many will be different from mine and some will be similar. There are others out there whose story is horrific and they run from it.

 

Whatever your story, you control how it ends. New beginnings are possible at any stage of life.

  • My prayer for you is that somehow through these words you will see that there is always hope, a new day and a different future.
  • Each one of us needs to learn and use our past experiences to help us grow. To obtain the best for ourselves and those whose lives we may effect.

 

All of us should be careful of the words we utter.

  • It’s so easy to let them fly out of our mouths. It takes a lot more courage to keep your mouth shut than it does to open it.
  • Always stop and think before you say anything. Once it’s out there, it cannot be called back.

 

Sometimes the price for words said or possibly not said is too high.

  • Build people up, don’t tear them down.
  • Words are free, but be careful how you spend them on others.

 

As you have determined by now, I believe it’s best to use words that encourage others and to think in a positive manner.

  • You’ll feel better about yourself and others will feel better around you.
  • It’s not hard to say something uplifting to someone you encounter during your day.

 

A couple of weeks ago I went to a deli counter that we use frequently.

  • For quite a while we have had difficulty getting an order sliced to our satisfaction.
  • Very politely, I told   the clerk about our (small) problem.
  • She took time to explain about the problem they were having with their equipment.
  • She then proceeded to do the best she could to accommodate my order in the best way possible.
  • When I picked up my purchase, I kindly said to her “I appreciate your attitude” and wished her a good day.
  • She replied back to me, “you made it better.”

It cost me nothing but a few words, but the results gave both of us satisfaction and a happier spirit.

 

Think about words which have been spoken to you that made your day better, or maybe encouraged you when it was needed. And, as they say, “pay it forward.”

Maybe you can reflect on the words of a song or songs that you love.  A favorite song brings pleasure to our day. They may even make our tasks easier to perform, make us smile or speak of a memory we treasure.

You might remember an author you enjoy whose way with Words lives long after the book is finished. I often think of the last few words used by Herman Wouk in the “Winds of War.”  They are so descriptively beautiful. They still (after many years) remain in my mind.

 

Words live on after those who have uttered them are gone. The quotes that I use in this blog are ones that I meditate on and try to apply to my life. They cause me to continually inspect my outlook on life and how to approach the issues we all have to face.

Remember………WORDS ARE POWERFUL…….use them wisely!!

“The Past is My Heritage,

The Present is My Responsibility,

The Future is My Challenge.”

(unknown)                

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Encouragement, Life's Journey

Hearing

……September 18, 2014

In a recent deep discussion about people, life, goals and his future; our 18 year old grandson made a statement far beyond his years.

His comment was: “people hear what you say, but they don’t listen.”  

  • Boy! out of the mouth of this young man a truth that probably plagues most of us was uttered. He really shocked me at the insight of his comment.
  • Like his Nana he’s a thinker and an observer.

Along with that I read this on a poster: “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” 

Well, if that doesn’t step on our toes I don’t know what will.

These things are true in the relationship areas of our lives; especially in dealing with family issues.

  • We are more interested in getting our point across than in solving a problem. It is especially true between spouses; between parents and children.
  • Too many defense mechanisms come into play because either we don’t want to admit that we need to take a look at our attitude or we just plain don’t want to accept the truth about ourselves.
  • We’re always giving ourselves a pat on the back for who we are and we don’t like it when the picture we have of ourselves is being marred.

When our daughters were young they went to their Daddy for just about everything. At that stage of their lives Mom was kind of the enemy and they could get further if they talked to Dad.

As they became adults, they discovered Mom wasn’t so bad after all and they began to come to me with their life issues.

My husband didn’t understand the change and it bothered him. One day he asked me why they stopped talking to him and began talking to me more?

  • My reply to him was: he was telling them how to fix it and that wasn’t what they needed to hear. They just wanted him to listen to them.

Many times I have said to the man in my life: you didn’t hear what I said, your’e not listening to me. It gets frustrating sometimes.

I’m going to get personal and truthful here: for the most part, men aren’t good listeners.  They react instead of act. Many women because of their insecurities don’t do much better.

Have we been there in our marriage? You better believe it. If I’m going to address the truth in your life, I must first admit to the truths of my life.

If more of us listened, maybe the issues of our lives and the world would be less complicated.

Marriage along with being a successful parent, a good friend, a dependable employee, a Christlike Christian is hard work.

  • To be profitable in these relationships, we must be committed listeners and not just hearers.  
  • We all feel we have important things to say, especially when we are speaking about what really makes us tick, but stop here and listen to someone else.  

You never know, they may be expressing to you a cry of their heart and it needs to be heard.

“It’s not what we do, but who we are.”

Charles Stanley

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