3 Day 3 Quotes Challenge Day Six

I don’t know who said this one. Google says that Alexander Hamilton said it, but there are other sources that suggest others said it. Whoever said it, I like it. 🙂 And I don’t know about you, but I stand up for not for “something” but for Someone – Christ!


Today’s Nominee:

Faye

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A Walk Down Memory Lane & A Short Story Excerpt

 

On April 1st, this blog turned two years old. (And that is no April Fool’s Day joke!) WAHOO! 😀 It’s hard for me to believe. 😄 It’s equally hard for me to believe that yesterday, I had my 700th follower.  🙂 I don’t know what to say, except, thank you guys for your support – it means the world to me. ❤

This post will be a small collection of my favorite posts from the past two years – a walk down memory lane – and something new at the end that I’m excited about. 😉


What is Our Purpose” was my first blog post. It was published on April 9th, 2016. I remember being so nervous and then convincing myself that only my friends would be reading it anyway, so I had no reason to be nervous about strangers. And then ten people total liked it and I was like, “WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE.” It was a shock, but a good shock. But no one commented (which was probably a good thing at the time because I was still so shy then 😅), so I soon went on to post a book review and other posts.

For that post, I had a purple wildflower as my header image.  I was also just starting to experiment with close-up photography at the time. I didn’t post the images in the post itself then, and with my dial-up connection, I had to compress the images a lot to get them to upload, so sometimes they would appear grainy. With that said, here is the original uncompressed photo:

And a bonus photo – the same flower at a slightly different angle:

Soon after that post, I started getting comments and followers. And I started getting minor panic attacks from posting – though I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time – so I stopped. It wasn’t until June that I started posting again.


When I returned, I went back to posting short articles and book reviews, alternating between the two. That is, until July of 2016, when a friend asked me if I ever planned to share any of the poems that I had been writing. Many of them were personal, and I was unsure if that was something I wanted to do, or if anyone would be interested in them. After a bit of prayer, the Daily Prompt aligned with one of my poems, so I decided that was a sign to post one and see what happened.

Show Me Your Light! received so many encouraging comments. My heart felt like it might burst with happiness. I posted two more shortly after; Stained Glass, and He Saves. Then I went back to my articles and book reviews but felt a nudge to post more of my poems. Soon, poems seemed to be overtaking everything else.

And then I was surprised to find that it felt like I found my niche. It wasn’t only articles and book reviews – poetry is where my heart belonged. So then I started posting more… a lot more.


Also during this time, I was experimenting even more with photography (and photo editing software), and realize that this was also where my heart was. Here are a few examples from September 2016, when I started posting more photography:


I believe that Fall Magic was the first time I used my own photos within the same post as a poem, which was the start of posting two of my favorite things together. 🙂


Jericho Heart is one of my favorite poems that I’ve written and I have fond memories of writing it. After posting it, I started writing a short story, which reflected the poem a bit, so I named it Jericho Falls. It’s a western – and my first attempt in this genre. And with that… here is a sneak-peek at a chapter I call “Humility Hurts.” I hope that you enjoy. 🙂

(Context – Don had been shot in the arm, and Lissa had run barefoot for a mile or two to find him help and had sliced the soles of her feet something awful. Now she is supposed to be recovering, but in her pride, she doesn’t want to and thinks she can still do everything for herself.)

She stood and immediately wished she had not done so. The pain was almost too much for her to bear. With a cry, she fell into Don, who was standing beside her and caught her with his good arm.

“You’re fallin’ for me already, I see,” he quipped.

“Do you always make terrible jokes and use those awful one liners?” she snapped.

“I do,” he admitted, “and you are one of the few who didn’t laugh.”

“I guess I’m one of the few with sense,” she told him as he dropped her into the chair.

The doctor came back in with a second pail of water and took out a rag, which to the doc’s surprise, Don took ownership of.

“You’re recovering,” the doc said, pointing to Don’s arm.

“I don’t mind. Just get the salve.”

“You a doctor?”

“No, but…” his voice trailed off for a moment before continuing, “I knew of someone with a similar condition.”

“What are you–” Lissa’s question ended with an exclamation of pain as Don began to gently wash her right foot. “Don’t do that, it’s—ooohhh.” She bit her tongue to keep from crying out.

“Painful?”

“And humiliating.”

“Jesus washed His disciple’s feet, so surely I can wash yours.”

She did not expect that answer and it hushed her. She had no comeback. All she could do was watch quietly as he scrubbed the dirt from the soles of her damaged feet. As he dipped the dirty rag into the bucket, the water turned cloudy and brown.

Tears ran down her face, not from the pain, but from her icy heart as the cold that had taken residence there began to melt from the warmth of love. The waterworks was mistaken for pain and Don stopped.

“You’re fine,” she told him. “It’s okay, the pain isn’t that bad.”

And with that, Lissa had her first lesson in humility, and Jericho’s hardened cold walls began to crumble.


And speaking of stories and writing – you may notice that I haven’t been posting as frequently lately. April is Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’ve been preparing my project! I will probably be doing more novel writing than blogging in April, but I won’t disappear completely. 😉 I can’t wait to see what this next year of blogging has in store! 🙂

Amphibians, Reptiles, And Opossums… Oh Dear!

I love wildlife. 😀 Here is a sampling of what I’ve seen:

Box turtle bathing in the mud hole.

Ribbon snake in the leaves.

Salamander in a dustpan – I found this little guy under my cat’s water dish, hiding from my cats. So naturally, I rescued him and took photos.

Lizard lounging on logs.

Frog just hanging out.

Phillip the opossum. He visited enough that I gave him a name. 😂

Oh dear…

Literally. When my mom went outside to get the newspaper, she was greeted by a herd of deer. There were four, but I only got close-ups of three before they ran into the woods.

I wonder if they were saying, “Oh, humans!” 😂

The Origin Of Valentine’s Day

A lot of people celebrate Valentine’s Day. (Or if you are like me and you are single, this holiday is most likely S.A.D –  Singles Awareness Day.) But have you ever wondered why we celebrate it, and who this Valentine guy was? Well, wonder no more! (Click the links at the end of the quotes if you want to view the whole article where I found the information. 😉)

Image Credit: Pixabay

The history behind it is actually quite dark. Two people with the name of Valentine were martyred in different years in Ancient Rome on that day. The Catholic church recognized them as saints. And at this time, Lupercalia was already established by the ancient Romans to be celebrated from February 13th through the 15th. So, what is that celebrating?

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral annual festival, observed in the city of Rome on February 15, to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia was also called “dies Februatus”, purified (literally “februated day”) after the instruments of purification called “februa”, which give the month of February (Februarius) its name. – Wikipedia on Lupercalia

Killing two birds with one stone: Now we know where February got its name from too…

Image Credit: Pixabay

Anyway…

The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.

The Roman romantics “were drunk. They were naked,” says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile.

The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right. – NPR

So… that’s awful. Those poor women. I don’t even want to think about it.

Later, Pope Gelasius I muddled things in the 5th century by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. But the festival was more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Lenski adds, “It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it. That didn’t stop it from being a day of fertility and love.”

Around the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day. Galatin meant “lover of women.” That was likely confused with St. Valentine’s Day at some point, in part because they sound alike. – NPR

This sort of sounds like what happened with Christmas. Take a pagan holiday and combine it with a Christian holiday in an attempt to convert people. Or in this case, try to twist the pagan holiday to make it “Christian”.

Then I was curious about how the Valentine Cards were started:

Another embellishment suggests that Saint Valentine performed clandestine Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. The Roman Emperor Claudius II supposedly forbade this in order to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers.  However, George Monger writes that this marriage ban was never issued and that Claudius II told his soldiers to take two or three women for themselves after his victory over the Goths.

According to legend, in order “to remind these men of their vows and God’s love, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment”, giving them to these soldiers and persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine’s Day. – Wikipedia on Valentine’s Day

So that’s how Valentine’s Day got its start
And how people started sending Valentine’s Day hearts.
I do hope that you enjoyed and learned something new
Happy Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day) to you!

💘

Jesus will be with me – Collaboration with Following Him beside still waters

Hayley from Red Letters asked if she could write a melody to Jesus Will Be With Me and of course, I said YES… and here it is in song form! She did an AMAZING job. Click the link below – or above – to visit her blog and listen to it. 😀

Red Letters

I’m so excited to share this very special song with you all. My lovely friend, Grace, from Following Him beside still waters wrote a beautiful poem and shared it on her blogpost ‘Jesus will be with me’ on Sunday. I asked if I could put a melody to these inspiring words and turn it into a song and Grace said yes! Here are the words from Grace’s poem.

Verse 1:

When I go through water’s deep,
Jesus will be with me

When billowing waves overtake,
With me, He will still be

Chorus:

For without Him I would drown
In brutal waters deep

If He were not with me, I know
Water would overtake

For without Him, when I lay me down
Fears would keep me from sleep

If He were not with me, from sleep’s hold I would never wake

Verse 2:

When at night I fall fast asleep,
Jesus…

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Blog Party!

Bernadine at The Little Flour Bed is hosting a blogging party today that goes until Wednesday! Click the link below to join in! 😀

https://thelittleflourbed.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/blog-party/

The Little Flour Bed

Hello everyone! I havent hosted a blog party in a while and they are always so much fun! I decided to host one starting today until Wednesday, which gives you plenty of time! A blog party us where you leave a link to your blog in the comment section, visit and meet new blogs/people and have lots of fun!

Here are the rules:

1. Choose any one of your favorite blog posts from your own blog, all kinds of posts are welcome. (Anything inappropriate will be removed). You can share up to three links each day, but it’s best to wait some time between each one.

2. Paste your link in the comment section of this post and tell a little bit about yourself and/or your blog.

3. REBLOG this post to let everyone know!!

4. Now grab a fuzzy blanket and get ready to read more blogs and meet…

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Broken Heart’s Embrace (Poem) & An Update On Life (January 17, 2018)

Tiger and Rabbit

Hello all! 🙂 It looks like I’m going to make up for not posting for the past few days by filling up your readers and inboxes today, haha.

If you have been following me long, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t talk about my life much in terms of personal life. And I still don’t plan to share a whole lot, but at the same time, I want to be a little more open. (The “An Update On Life” title was inspired by Maggie’s Life Updates – if you haven’t been to her blog, I encourage you to drop by – her blog is amazing. I linked to it there. 😉)

My dad is very ill. He caught my cold and he has asthma, but he has been ill for six years now, so this is hitting him extra hard. He has requested privacy so I won’t be saying anything else about him. Prayers would be appreciated though.

I’m still battling with fear a bit, but it wasn’t as bad as that one instance a couple of weeks ago. The unknown is scary.  Dwelling on what the future may hold can easily make the here and now more miserable than it needs to be. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB) Why is it so hard sometimes to give things to God? I hold onto things for dear life that I shouldn’t be holding onto. Always thinking of the worst case scenario and then believing that will happen when that’s not necessarily true. I’m not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. I don’t know the future. It’s not as if worrying will actually help anything anyway, even if I knew the future. It wouldn’t change it.  It would probably do the opposite, for “…who of you by being worried can add a single  hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27 NASB) Really. Worrying would most likely take hours away from life, not just in the long run, but all the wasted hours worrying that could have been spent elsewhere are lost forever because once the time is gone, there is no way to get it back. But I do know one thing – as I go through life, Jesus will be with me, so I needn’t fear.  Now to convince my brain so it will stop worrying… (Haha, wow, this paragraph was massive. 😅 Moving along to the last part of the update…)

And as if that’s not enough… if you read my post titled New Year, New Things, you probably saw the photos of my cats that I shared. Last week, Rabbit died suddenly; you’ll probably recognize at least one of the photos below. It was a huge shock; I didn’t realize she was sick, she seemed fine the evening before, and I found her gone the next morning. She would have been 10 years old this Spring. In her memory, I’m going to post a collage of a few photos of her (and her siblings that happen to be in the photos with her) that I’ve taken over the years.

I’ve been an emotional mess for the past week for these reasons, as you can imagine. Also, because of all of this, I don’t know how often I will be posting on WordPress for a while. (I do, however, plan to catch up on responding to comments today if possible – I’m days behind! 😱)

I wrote a poem last year for Rosie and other pets that I have lost over the years. In Rabbit’s honor, I’m sharing it below.

Broken Heart’s Embrace

Today it hurts too much
To ruminate on images of your face
Or your loving touch
On my broken heart’s embrace…

Pain dulls the delight
Of memories we shared way back when
Like a shade over the light
Until I wonder if it will come back again.

Remembering reflections
Moments of sweet and bitter sorrow
Mingle with recollections
That will be more cheerful tomorrow.

Someday it won’t hurt so;
The pain will be dulled by the bliss,
Tears of sadness won’t flow,
And will be replaced by joy’s kiss.