What’s Your Muse?

Wednesday RDP – INSPIRE

Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, from Latin inspirare‘breathe or blow into,’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone.’

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To breathe into.  In Biblical terms, when we say scripture was inspired by God, we mean it was literally God-breathed, the living Word of God. For me, that means my Bible is the ultimate authority on all matters of faith, behavior, belief, human relationships.  It’s my ultimate counseling textbook. It inspires me every day to live by its precepts, and make each day count for God.

I understand, however, that what I find is inspiring may not be so for everyone else.  So, what inspires you?  The beauty of nature?  The immensity of an ocean? the amazing height of a towering mountain?  Or maybe it’s architecture.  Wonderful, solid old buildings that manage to maintain their grandeur even as they decay?  Or modern architecture, where buildings of glass seem to defy all the laws of nature.

Maybe you’re inspired by a simple cup of good coffee.  Or the fragrant aroma of correctly brewed tea. Either one goes well with chocolate, which I find very inspiring 🙂

Or maybe it’s good, hard physical exercise that inspires you and keeps  your heart pumping even after you’re done with your run.

Maybe you’re inspired to come up with a glorious  gastronomic feast as you browse through a grocery store.  Or perhaps you love flowers, have a green thumb, and you’re inspired to create a beautiful arrangement, enjoying the color, texture, shape and aroma of each bloom.

Is it music?  Is there music running in the back of your mind all day long?  Do you play an instrument  that gives you limitless pleasure as you immerse yourself in your favorite music?

Art?  So many kinds of art.  I’m not an artist in the classical sense–can’t draw a straight line 🙂  But I love textiles, and I knit. Or crochet, or do embroidery.  I enjoy quilting, though I haven’t had much time for it lately.  I used to sew almost all my clothes, and my daughter’s too, but it’s not the money-saver it used to be.  Now, I’ve transferred that love of sewing over to a love of finding a fabulous bargain on the  sale racks.

Well, maybe I haven’t found what particularly inspires you.  Maybe it’s nothing more than a 15-minute power nap.  I hope there’s something, whatever it is, that inspires you to activity or to contemplation.  We need both in our lives, because balance is important, too.

RDP: Inspire

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What You Can’t See

Unseen

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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Did you ever stop to consider the importance of so many things that we can’t see?  We know they’re out there, but we’ve never seen them. We’ve only seen the results of these things.

Air, for instance. Can’t see it, yet without it we’d be dead. We can detect differences in the air when it’s very humid, or very cold, or very windy.  We still can’t see air, but we see the results.

I spent my high school years in southern Minnesota, on the plains that provide farmers with wonderful soil and plenty of water. Rich, black earth. During plowing season, you could actually smell the earth.  There’s another unseen reality–smells. Can’t see them, but we know they’re there

Anyway, all farmers have a good weather eye. They learn to watch the sky, smell the  breeze (two things you can’t see–smells, breezes) and hurry up to get the hay in if they smell rain on the wind.

Farmer or not, you learned to watch the sky during tornado season.  There’s nothing quite like a Minnesota prairie sky just before a hailstorm  or a roaring tornado.  The roiling, boiling yellow-green clouds; the forks of lightning; the funnels that dip, recede, dip, recede as they hopscotch across the prairie. Sometimes they never touch the ground. Other times they charge across miles of prairie, crops, copses of trees, tearing up houses and barns and school buildings.  Terrifying and relentless.

You can’t see the things that are happening in the invisible air that result in these powerful storms, but you sure can see the results.

Other unseen things:  Faith. Hope. Love.  Can’t see them, but you can see their results, all around you, all the time. You just have to open your eyes.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unseen/

A Crisis of Faith

Crisis

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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This one could go a lot of different ways.  America is in financial crisis, as well as political and moral crisis. We are threatened as we have never been threatened before.  In case you haven’t been paying attention, our enemies have brought the conflict to our own shores, successfully, for the first time in our history. And we’re not fighting back.

Or we could talk about the crisis of the pandemic of pornography in our country and across the world; the horror of sex traffic, of the drug cartels, and of violence against law and order. We could talk about epidemic unemployment, the devaluation of the dollar, the collapse of cities like Detroit. We could discuss the dangers of losing our First and Second Amendment freedoms in the name of “safety.”

Or we could talk about the incredible ignorance of some of our so-called Millenials, those ranging in age from about 18 to 35.  They’ve never been taught the true history of our country.  They don’t know what war George Washington fought, or who won the Civil War, or why it was fought. They have no idea who some of the founding fathers were, and if you ask them about present-day politics, they’re pretty blank there, too. Yes, yes.  I know that not all of them are so uninformed, but way too many of them are.  They are the future of our nation, and they know very little about our past.

We could talk about the crisis of the moral decline that I deal with every day that I work. Don’t ever try to tell me “It’s just sex, it doesn’t really matter.” That’s lie. It’s not “just sex.”  A girl has to deal with the aftermath in a different way than a guy does, but there are consequences for both.  I know someone who was promiscuous some years ago, falling for the lie that sex is just a normal human behavior, and shouldn’t be thought of as wrong or immoral outside of marriage.  She has HPV now, and her greatest fear is that she may have passed it to any of her sexual partners before she realized she had it.  And that’s just scratching the surface of the deep problems I try to help with that are the result of sexual promiscuity.  When I was a kid, there were two STD’s that we knew about. Today, there are over 145 strains of STD’s.  That should make all of us stop and think.

Some of that promiscuity  is connected with pornography, which is also not “just a thing, not important, a victimless crime.” Please.  Do some research, and you’ll find that  those women who perform in such videos don’t usually live to a ripe old age.  Some of them die of murder because they don’t want to perform any more. A lot of them die of drug overdoses.  It’s not exactly a glam life.

The crisis that underlies all the rest of them is one of godlessness.  God is no longer cool. He doesn’t even really exist, you know?  I mean, He’s like, just a myth, you know, like all those other dudes like Jupiter and those ones in the Greek or whatever.  There’s no such thing as sin, dude, it’s just that sometimes we make poor choices, mistakes, you know? Heaven and hell?  Fairy tales.  Satan?  Cool, man.  There are some great horror movies about him, you know?

We’ve lost our minds in this country. We’ve certainly lost our moral compass, and our sense of the holiness of God.

And that is indeed a crisis.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/crisis/

What is Valuable

Day 24 Twenty-four Carat Gold

June 24, 1509. Henry VIII was crowned King of England. 

Henry the eighth valued a male heir. He wanted one. He wanted a wife who could give him one. He left the Church and created his own church so he could get divorced and marry a new wife.

Twenty-four carat gold is valuable. Some value riches above all else.

Tell us what is valuable to you. What do you treasure? Write about your treasure.

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When I went to London with my oldest son over 20 years ago, one of the places we visited was, of course, the Tower of London.  That’s where the Crown Jewels are kept, in a well-guarded, all locked up tight set of rooms.  One of my favorite displays was the Gold Room.  Cases of pure gold. Crowns, jewelry, plates and goblets and platters and all sorts of things. I’d never seen so much gold all in one place, and it was positively beautiful.

I loved the silver, too. Same kind of displays.  Incredible beauty, and unimaginable value. Moving into the actual jewel rooms, we saw dozens of crowns, lots of fabulous necklaces, bracelets, rings, and more.  Gorgeous. The Beefeater guards, in their cool uniforms, kept us moving at a pretty good pace and wouldn’t let us just stand and admire any one piece for very long.

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I didn’t covet any of it. I’m glad I got to see it, but it had no appeal to me in terms of getting stuff like that for my own. The truth is, I already had all I needed. Things I value more than any amount of gold.

Primary?  My relationship with God.  My Bible.  My upbringing in a pastor’s home that strengthened my faith, my knowledge of God’s Word, and prepared me for the rest of my life.

  My husband, my three sons and my daughter, and their spouses; my nine grandchildren?  Gold, solid gold.  More precious than any number of fabulous golden crowns.

My education is ongoing. It is more precious than gold. The work I’ve been privileged to do as a mom, teacher, and now a therapist?  So valuable, so satisfying. No amount of gold could ever replace the benefits of all that.

I am blessed.  My life has never been problem-free, and it isn’t now. But I have the Lord, I have my husband and family. and let’s not forget about my friends. What a rich life.

You can keep your 24-carat gold.

My Man

One Flesh

Connected

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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It’s a good day to talk about being connected.  It’s our 47th anniversary. We’re connected. It’s indisputable.  We’ve reached and gone way beyond a point where we think of each other in terms of a singular instead of a plural.

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(This picture is at least ten years old, if memory serves. Wish I had one more recent on my computer, but this will do.)

What’s so amazing is that even though we have indeed become, as the Bible calls it, “one flesh,” we still don’t think alike. I mean, we agree on all the most important things. It’s not WHAT we think so much as a matter of HOW we think. Sometimes that difference has created hurt and misunderstanding.  Sometimes, and more often as the years pass, it has  opened a new way to look at a situation.

We were talking the other day about the years when he was doing over-the-road trucking and I was teaching full-time, with four kids at home and way too much on my plate. I hated his being away from us for most of the week.  He hated it too, but financially it seemed the only option we had in that time and place.

He would come home exhausted and needing sleep.  I, of course, needed to talk with him about a variety of things that had occurred in his absence. I had no problem in dealing with whatever came up with our kids, but we were used to making decisions together, and I didn’t like flying solo if I didn’t have to. Sometimes, he would come home and arbitrarily change whatever decision I had made while he was gone.

I began to clearly understand the frustration of women whose husbands were truckers, or in the military, or for some other reason away from home. We had a few heated words and made a new agreement, and all was well.  We just had to figure out how to deal with the differences in how we thought about situations.  Usually we could find a compromise.

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(Forgot about this one, taken this past Christmas 2015)

Through it all, the things we shared completely kept that one-flesh principle alive and well.  There have been some very serious bumps in our road.  Some couples may not have survived, and at one point in particular I’m pretty sure some couples would have given up. But that was never an option for us. We were one.  You don’t lop off your nose when it stops working as well as when you were young.  You find ways to compensate, and that’s what we’ve done.

I refuse to write about this anniversary in fairy-tale terms of hearts and flowers. We’ve had a wonderful marriage, but it has not been perfect because WE are not perfect. We’ve had to learn together, grow together. Our mutual faith has been the glue for all of it.

And I would do it all again, even the hard parts. After all, enduring the hard parts makes the rest of it all the sweeter.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/connected/

Fate or Choice?

Que Sera Sera

Do you believe in fate or do you believe you can control your own destiny?

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While this is a rerun, I don’t remember writing to it before, so here goes.

Do I believe in fate?  Nope. Not if you’re talking about the astrological stuff, or Tarot cards and all that.  I do not believe that the alignment of stars and planets has diddly to do with what happens to me.

Do I believe I can control my own destiny?

That’s a harder question to answer.  I believe that when you choose a behavior, you also choose the consequence, good or bad. In that sense, yes, I choose my own destiny.  If I choose to murder, then I choose to die violently or spend my life in prison. Natural consequences.

On a different level, I believe that what I choose to do with Jesus Christ decides my eternal destiny. I’m a Christian by choice, because I believe that the Bible is true. I was not born a Christian simply because my parents were Christians.  It was a choice I made early in my childhood, and one I’ve never regretted.

I believe that God is the most important thing in my life, and all that I am or do is to honor Him. That belief, that choice, guides my destiny.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/que-sera-sera/

Daily Prompt: Reason to Believe

(In Reason to Believe,, Bruce Springsteen sings, At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe. What’s your reason to believe?)

Believe in what?  This one could go all over the map, it seems to me. People believe in a lot of stuff that’s just nonsense.  We believe today that the earth is round, but people believed that it was flat for a very long time. ImageToday we believe that it’s healthy to take a daily bath, but there was a time when it was considered extremely unhealthy, and I read somewhere that there is still a law on the books in Indiana that it’s illegal to take a bath in  the cold months. One of the most interesting and hilarious searches you can do it “silly laws still on the books.”

Anyway, back to my topic. What do I have reason to believe?

I believe my husband loves me.  He’s still with me after nearly 45 years.  He still seems to enjoy my company, and he takes very good care of me all the time. Sometimes we grump at each other, but that’s no big deal. Just life.

I believe my children love me.  Some live very far away, but we always look forward to being together.

I believe my grandchildren love me. I love them.  I love their hugs.

I believe the work I do is important and necessary.  I believe I’ve been able to help people to a better way of thinking and sometimes to a deeper faith in God.

And that takes me to my main belief. I believe in God. I believe in His Son, Jesus Christ.  I believe that God loves me and knows me; that He is concerned with every detail of my life. I believe that because His Son died and rose again, that I have eternal life in heaven. I trusted Him as my Savior when I was just a little girl, and I know He has walked through my life with me.

What’s my reason to believe?  Faith is a hard thing to define, and I’m not going to try to come up with anything new.  The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1).  I’ve never seen God, but I’ve seen Him working in my life, and in the lives of my family members and friends.

I can tell you only that my reason to believe is with me every morning, every evening, all day long. God is as real to me as my husband is. And that is all I need.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/reason-to-believe/