Monday, November 30, 2009

Dance Moms' secret wish

Ah, that yearning
leg muscles burning
with the need to dance
if given a chance.

We sit so politely
and talk so contritely
but secretly we wish
to dance up a dish

We could put our tea down
and let go of our fixed frown
for the tap dog tapping chance
of reveling in joyful dance.

All Company, all ages, every Monday night

Three kids hovering around a DS, a mom sewing faux fur on a costume to make it look right for Christmas, three little girls (5ish) chatting about their grandparents in heaven, teenage girls crouched in a hallway stretching, and two pre-teens laughing and looking through a window.

The sounds of loud tapping just on the other side of a wall. A mom sewing sequins on reindeer ears for all of the girls in once dance (she is the best!!!).

More kids from age 5-16 hanging out in the hallway, girls squealing and running in the classroom before class starts, a studio director having a quiet conversation with a mom, and the front desk swamped with moms and questions.
Teeneagers with kindle, and books, fast food and toe socks.

All waiting for "all company" to start, a place where ballerinas, tappers, jazz, lyrical and hip hop dancers all move to the same rythm, all dance to the same choreography and music. To make this feat even more amazing, that age range from 5-16 spans level 1 dancers to dancers who are attend "invitation only" master classes.

They enter the largest dance studio, and the lobby becomes quiet, with low conversations, laptop keys barely clicking, and scissors snipping. Books are read, phones are checked for e-mail, and moms smile quiet smiles. The kids are working together, stretching and warming up. Soon, they will do their dance, some parts together, some separate, all flowing from one part to the next, highlighting each group of dancers, and how well they can dance together.

And here I sit, rear end tired from the chair, and wishing I could dance with them, but moms . . . us foolish moms, merely sit. However, sometimes it is the first time we've sat all day and it comes as a welcome relief for a few moments.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Echoes

Yesterday as my family gathered, we missed one of our group.
An aunt had to be driven to the hospital ER, and she didn't want company.

We feasted, we had wonderful conversations, shared laughter, and played, and yet there with us in our minds and hearts, we thought of her.
Conversations circled around, and we talked of our concern for her.

Phone calls were made, and we learned that she could be released from the ER, if she just could get some prescribed medicine.
More phone calls were made to find a pharmacy open on Thanksgiving . . . one of my cousins took charge of this part, and then afterwards fixed our Aunt a plate of Thanksgiving dinner.

Plans were made to pick her up.
I would have been one too many people - an extra in a large caravan of caregivers and we knew she would be exhausted physically and emotionally from her day. Yet, I wished I could have been there, either supporting her or supporting those who helped her.

I prayed for them. I pray for her, and for my family this morning, hoping that there is some echo of Thanksgiving for all of us today. Not an echo of the hard parts, but an echo of the good parts - the conversations, shared laughter, and play-time.

As I started my day this morning, I came across these verses in Psalm 41.
Psalm 41:1 "Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble." - From this verse, I know how blessed my family is today - they are a blessing to know because of the depth of their care for someone in need, whose weakness made it hard for her to accept any help. But my family stepped in and helped anyway. Thank you Aunt Teresa, Ken, Kelly, Brandon, Darren, Julie, Pete, Dane . . . thank you for taking the extra steps and considering them to be just a part of life. I'm proud of you. And for anyone else in my family who helped, and I just was too clueless to see it, thanks. Thank you for your wonderful caring hearts, and your ability to give joy on Thanksgiving day.

The last Bible verse I read today is one that I have read, sung, and loved in the past, and when I read it, all the times I've read it, especially when singing it, echo through my heart.
Psalm 41:13 "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen. Amen."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

A great green cedar rises
up past the confines of my window
and I am thankful for the multitude
of greens, and the wet puddles of rain
on the wooden deck. I like to get
my feet wet, and drink in the moisture
of the air with every breath.

Our house is cozy warm with a mess
in every room. We have advertisments spread
across the table like a strange appetizer.
My kitchen is clean, ready for the sweet
potatoes and salad. I am thankful
that although I love to roast turkey,
my Aunt is hosting today. She is
a hostest with the mostest, and I am
content to be lazy on this Thanksgiving day.

Thankful for rest, and quiet, and peace.
Thankful for trust and the strength that
comes from placing my trust in God.
Thankful for salvation, for love,
for mercy and faithfulness.
The Lord is faithful, Hallelujah!
Thank you for Thanksgiving, Lord!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Answers: repentance, rest, quietness and strength

The other day, in the post "Chasing after the wind?" I was searching for answers. I needed some comfort that I knew only God could really give me. I am thankful that I am surrounded by loving family and friends, but there are days and moments when my griefs are private . . . sometimes because they are small and petty, and sometimes because they are deep and old. On those days, the only answers I've ever found have been in Biblical scripture, and prayer.

Of course, as I mentioned in that post, I'm not very good at waiting. For a few days, I stewed over things, read fiction books to distract myself, sped my heart rate up with too much caffeine, and at the same time, kept trying to get myself to pray, to focus on the good things - to celebrate Thanksgiving with a thankful heart. But I didn't crack my Bible open more than a moment on Friday and Saturday - don't ask me why I know the recipe for my own comfort and yet I don't follow it.

Sunday and Monday, I actually read my Bible, and felt renewed, but not quite renewed enough.
The Bible Study my small group is doing is aweseome, intriguing, thought-provoking, but not always comforting, even though yesterday's lesson was meant to be. So today, I tried again, and felt answered by these scriptures. Reading through them, I can't say yet what makes them much different than other scriptures I've read recently, but for some reason they hit the spot for me. So, here they are:


Philippians 4:5-8
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, wahtevers is pure, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

Isaiah 30:15 "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:
'In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'"

Isaiah 30:18-21 "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you say, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"

Monday, November 23, 2009

success adds to writing momentum

Getting published adds a new level of excitement and momentum to my writing.

Last night after learning that my poem, "Echoes," had been published online at www.haruah.com, I found myself thinking of a number of writing ideas I wanted to pursue right then and there. However, I was tired out, so I simply went to sleep dreaming of all the writing possibilities ahead of me.

This morning, I woke up with those ideas still streaming through my mind. There's that 12 Days of Christmas Devotional I want to write. And that story that I would like to wordsmith to make more effective, readable (saleable). Then there are those characters I've been missing from my first novel. I would like to visit them again and try to make that project worthwhile . . . old characters are almost like old friends, even if they are living only in my imagination.

There are poems to write, and thoughts to capture on paper . . . or maybe set free? Dance with?

So much to write, and so much confidence gained from one publication.

Or to quote an author whose wisdom I've been leaning into lately,

"I have found that even little successes can keep my spirits up for a long time." - Ralph Fletcher, Live Writing

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Poetry Slam!

Poetry Slam!
Or is that Poetry Slam Dunk!
Or maybe I shouldn't use that analogy since I'm terrible at team sports, and generally know less about them than the average American elementary school kid.

So, what I guess I'm trying to say is: Woohoo! My poem, "Echoes," is online at Haruah:Breath of Heaven!

As of tonight at 8:00 p.m.!!!

And I'm excited!

Happy!

Rejoicing!

Praising God for giving me many blessings, including the blessing of writing something worthwhile now and then.

So, celebrate with me, and visit Haruah: Breath of Heaven at http://www.haruah.com/item.php?sub_id=5733

Come check it out!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chasing after the Wind?

Have you ever had one of those days?
One of those "chasing after the wind" kind of days?

Waking up this morning, I pondered my busy schedule for the day, and I wondered, is there meaning? Is there purpose? And why don't I feel fulfilled? That last part, when I look at it is pure selfishness, but it's there in my head. One of those thoughts that is based on the "what about me?" kind of whininess that can be destructive to self, relationships, faith, and anything good.

We live in a society that seems to constantly state that we should find fulfillment for ourselves first; that to be healthy means to find a purpose within ourselves, to be able to have nearly everything we desire with no boundaries.

This morning I wondered, "am I chasing after the wind?"

Ecclesiastes 1:14 "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind."

The idea of chasing after the wind brings to mind the wonderful fun of childhood, running into the wind, and then letting it blow me with it's fierce gusts. I grew up in a windy town, so I know what it's like to feel the wind at its full strength. At 100mph, my dogs looked like they might fly away, and it was work to walk anywhere other than where the wind pushed me.

But in Ecclesiastes, there is this other feeling for chasing after the wind; the feeling of purposelessness. What do all our efforts mean? Where is our purpose found?

Will home-schooling, going to a field trip to a police station, taking all three animals to the vet at once, caring for one of them with major medical issues, and then taking a meal to a family in need have any meaning after today?
Is any of this busy-ness worthwhile?

Am I simply chasing the wind? Or being pushed by a storm of busy-ness without meaning?

Psalm 37:15 "I wait for you Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God." is one of the verses I read first thing this morning. I can find comfort in that verse, knowing that God will hear me, and answer.

The concluding verse of Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiastes 12:14 states, "For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." So from that, I can know that God will decide the meaning and the purpose of my actions and the actions of others, but yet, I still selfishly ask of God, "can I have a feeling of purpose now?" Is that too much to ask?

And as I search for answers, not being patient, for I am impatient in nature, I find these answers.

Philippians 2:1-2 "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowhsip with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose."

Phillippains 2:5 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus . . ."

Philippians 2:13 "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

and

1 Corinthians 3:7-9 "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who planst and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."

And now, I must wait upon the Lord, as my day starts, and I put my hope, trust, and faith in Him to give me strength for the day ahead, and fulfill me with His purpose. Amen.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2012 - A believer's review

Last weekend, I went to see 2012. I wasn't sure about watching yet another end of the world movie, but it looked like it might be a fun, thrilling, edge of the seat adventure to enjoy. A friend of mine might call it a "popcorn flick."

However, since 2012 was showing in two theatres, I had a revelation about the meaning of the movie from fans exiting the showing previous to the one I saw.

Two young women, with mascara running down their cheeks, were hysterically worried about not being the ones who would survive the end of the world. I didn't have a chance to talk to them, but I wish I had found a way.

Witnessing their fear changed my entire viewing of the movie.

I looked for clues, for hope, and for meaning admist the thrills, and edge of the seat adventures.

From what I could see, the following seemed to be 2012's philosophy: Nature/Evolution decides the fate of all. Only the rich, lucky, the politicians and the criminals survive. The only faith given any credence is Buddhism.

As a believer in Christ, the only Savior, the Son of God, it didn't sit well with me. There didn't seem to be any hope for the survival of the human race if most of the people purchased their seats on the arks, and most of the those "rich" people seemed arrogant, uncaring, and selfish. Would God really allow that? Are these the people He would choose? Not to mention that He did promise never to flood the world again in Genesis 9:11.

Sadly, the movie portrayed several Christian faith gatherings being wiped from the face of the earth by cataclysmic forces. No one who openly professed Christian faith survived.

Even sadder still, there are more people like those two young women I witnessed who are taking this movie seriously. They have no hope. They do not have Christ. They have nothing, other than a fatalistic attitude about the end of the world.

So, the question I'm left with, for myself, and for anyone who believes in Christ is: what can we do? Are we sharing the hope that is within us?

Thanksgiving VS. Bitterness

Psalm 107:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever."

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is one way that I continually grow in my walk with Jesus, to the throne of God's Grace, with His Holy Spirit guiding me.

Last night, in a short sermon about receiving God's gift of grace, the middle school youth director of my church congregation talked about having this attitude of gratitude.

Thanksgiving is more than a holiday; it's a way of life.

For this month, on my facebook account, I've tried to name at least one thing each day that I am thankful for in my life. Some of those things have been silly, like rain-filled mud puddles that are fun to jump in. Today I gave thanks for humor and joy.

Today, I also give thanks to God, for putting His grace, His peace, and His attitude in my heart.

At the age of 12, I struggled with anger that threatened to consume me. Bitterness over hurts longs past, and sorrow over my own sin overwhelmed my ability to handle any minor situation that came my way. I punched a neighbor kid in the back for insulting me. I hurt a boy at my school who sexually harassed me. In the latter case, it would be easy to say it was simple self-defense, but my fury went beyond self-defense, and I had to be pulled away from the fight.

I wasn't just angry with other people and my own self. I was angry with God, for allowing someone I cared for to commit suicide.

I struggled, and struggled. I tried the self-help anger management steps given to me by well-meaning friends. My mom prayed for me, and urged me to pray.

I refused many times, but she kept asking.

Finally, she dared me to try it. Dared me to give it all to God, and see if He could take it.

Angry, always angry at that time, I took her up on her dare. I went to my room, got on my knees and gave it all to God. All the fury, the sorrow, the pain, the bitterness, and hatred. I dared God to show me He was real, and that He was good, and He did.

Modern day Psychologists would say that I had an emotional epiphany, and that my brain produced chemicals that calmed me down.

I know that God showed up that day. He gave me His peace. He washed me clean with His love. And I received it with an open heart.

With God's grace and peace dwelling in me, I found that I could manage my anger. I'm not going to say that I never struggled with it after that, but I began to find an ability to handle that went beyond my own willpower.

God's Spirit, working in me, has shown me many ways to turn my life over to Him, and His peace.

One of those ways is Thanksgiving. I count my blessings now, instead of my grudges.

This simple act, each day, has changed my life. Because of God's grace, love, and peace, I have had better and stronger relationships with others. I have been able to marry, able to have children, and able to grow in friendships. These were all areas I doubted I could enjoy when I was a slave to my own bitterness.

If you've read this, and if you've ever felt enslaved by your own anger, bitterness or sadness, I dare you to give it to God. Try Him. He doesn't disappoint.

And if you already know how amazing God is, take a moment and give thanks. Count your blessings! There are so many that I think you'll find that it would take many days to count them all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aleta the Dolphin

Since my facebook photo, and my blog photo were exactly the same, I commenced on a search through my photo files for something that might fit my blog.

Obviously, I'm not a dolphin.

I mean, I've read fantasy books about intelligent dolphins working side by side with humans, but this blog is mostly about reality.

So, I'm not a dolphin, but I happen to think they are some of the most wonderful creatures created by God that we have a chance to share this world with each day.

Last September, I had the priveledge of having a dolphin encounter with my family, a wonderful dolphin trainer, and Aleta, the dolphin, at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys.

So, because that experience is definitely in the top five experiences I've had this year, and definitely in the top 20 for my lifetime, I decided to use Aleta's picture for my profile pic.

Housekeeping

Being sick and trying to do housework with muscle aches, and even mild nausea, is not something I consider fun.
However, I can . . . sit and feel fine.
So, I can do some housekeeping on my computer.

Time to clean out my blog closets.

Organize the photos.

Write the next chapter on my book.
Although that isn't really housekeeping . . . that's fun and work, but not housekeeping.
Housekeeping for my writing would be . . . organizing that list of characters, working on a rough plotline to keep the story going in the right direction . . . that sort of thing.

So, the dishes are piled in the sink and I will get to them,
but whenever I feel sick, I'm going to sit down and do my laptop housekeeping, which is more fun even when I'm not sick.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mushroom in a boot glass

When a mom visits a sick daughter, she might bring flowers.
Not my mom.
When she visits, she brings a poisonous mushroom, colorful, bright and beautiful orange with white spots, with crenellated edges.
We couldn't find the right vase to put it in, so now it sits in in a plastic boot drinking glass from "Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede" - a souveneir from my parent's RV travels to Branson.
Somewhere there's a story here, but I think I might have to get well to find it.
My mom sees beauty around her, everywhere, on her walks, on travels.
Maybe there is a poem here instead . . . a kind of ode to my mom, who brings me mushrooms, leaves, and sometimes even flowers. She likes to give gifts of all kinds.

What's in a name?

Everything.
Tyrean's Writing Spot is a blog name stemming from three of my favorite things.
Of course, I have many favorites - who can choose a single favorite thing from this world?
But for my blog spot name I chose three.
Tyrean - simple enough, it's my name, and I've always loved it. Narcissus who?
Writing - something I love to do.
Spot - well, you see, it should include "Thoughtful" because the phrase, "Thotful Spot" comes from Winnie-The-Pooh. I love Pooh's hummy sort of thinking that he does, and I like that he has a special spot to think. We all need that.
So, Tyrean's Writing Spot. The name fits.

However, I realize now,
There is one favorite thing, one amazing wonderful thing . . .
God.
He's more of a person, a grand amazing, glorious being who actually loves me,
but I didn't feel like I should use his name for my blog. Because that would seem a bit . . .
well, arrogant. And although I may be self-centered, I try not to be arrogant.

Blog Ads???

Ok, I admit I'm tempted.
Allowing advertising on my blogspot account might be an easy way to earn money.
Then again, it might just take up time and space, get in the way, and make me feel cheap.
Would it really be beneficial in any way?
Would it change anything?
In my head, I think it would.
And I find myself looking at the list of ads that I could block and I wonder if there are any I would allow.
No sex ads, no dating ads, no weight loss ads, no policital ads . . . I have too many definite opinions about all of these things to want any of them advertised by some unknown entity on my blog account.
Sigh. I guess the only way I would get rich quick with advertising on my blog would be if I allowed game ads, or ringtone ads - but then, who's to say what kinds of games or ringtones might be added?
And again, since I have a known readership of zip, I don't think I would be earning much money of this kind of scheme.
So, I could add advertising, feel cheap and worry about content, or I can leave it the way it is.
Plain Jane, with no opinions offered other than my own.
For now, that will have to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

blog poetry - Rain drop

Wet, dripping rain
falls from the rooftops,
plip plop, slop, drop.

Mud puddles grow
and if I could, I would
skip, hop, slip, and slop -

Wet, puddles filling
in my jean cuffs,
so they flip, flop, sop.

A good day for any rain drop.
Ker-plop.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Many Veterans, Many Thanks

Veteran's Day is a good day to say thanks to all of those who have given their lives, or some portion of their lives in service to our country.

My Grandpa Andrew gave twenty years of his life to the U.S. Army as a Sargeant, in the Calvary Unit. During WWII, he was re-trained as a tank mechanic, but I think he missed his horses.

My Dad's younger brother, Raymond Ralph "Buddy" Gillespie served in the Army until he died while in a car accident, while on leave. I never knew him, but heard many of his stories while I was growing up. My dad, being the reserved man he was, always talked about "Buddy" with such closeness and such love that I thought Buddy was his best friend, and didn't realize until I was older that Buddy was his brother. They had many adventures together. As an only child, it was my first glimpse into the possiblity that siblings could be friends.

My cousin Myron serves in the Airforce. His brother, my cousin Duane, served in the Navy for four years.

My father-in-law served in the Marines.

My husband served in the Navy for two years, full-time, and for nine years as a reservist, as an electrician and as part of a reserve E.O.D. unit.

We have two family friends who served in the Coast Guard, Greg Novlan, and Chris Herzberger.

Two of my childhood friends, Bob Hougham and Michael Hougham, served in the Navy and Airforce, respectively.

Many of our church family serve, or have served in the military. Some are in the Middle East today.

My parents may never have served in the military due to disabilities (amputed leg, and partial deafness), but they have always honored the military in their words and actions. I am thankful to them for showing me throughout my childhood and adulthood what it means to be a civilian who honors our country's military.

I know I have been priveledged to know so many that have served our country in war and peace, and I am thankful that our country is free, and that our country has the best volunteer military in the world.
Many thanks to all who have served. May God Bless you in all that you do.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Submission Excitement

Currently, I have four works out in the nether world of editorial slush piles, waiting for a response. I made three of those submissions last week, and one tonight.

I can't describe the excitement, and the hopefulness, mixed with the anxiety of waiting to get a response. Will they accept my work? Reject it? Ask me to make changes and resubmit? Just offer a contract? Reject it with good critique that actually helps me become a better writer?

I won't know until those responses come. And tomorrow, instead of thinking about it, I will write again, and maybe even submit something again. I've found it's better to keep writing, and not lose sleep over possible responses.

But for now, fresh from the submission process, I know it will take some serious distraction to get those thoughts out of my head. I wonder if I can find something adventurous, fun, and maybe even funny on netflix?