Posts Tagged With: joy

Plant These

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(This is the first chapter of a Children’s Story I am working on.)

 

Thelma woke one morning. It was still “dark morning” as she had always called it when one of her parents had awakened her for school or some early morning traveling before sunrise. “Is it dark morning?” she would ask.

 

This time it wasn’t her parents or older sister, but colorful light glowing or rather dancing in her room.  There were no sounds. Usually these days, she would awaken to raised voices in the kitchen, her mother arguing with her sister or father.  They must still be sleeping she thought.  Then she quickly threw off her blankets and hurried to the corner of her room where the dancing lights were bouncing up and down in a basket.  She stubbed her big toe on the comfy chair next to her desk, but not hard enough to slow her down and only a quiet yelp escaped from her mouth.  She peered into the basket. What she saw was extraordinary! The basket was filled with small glowing seeds of every color bouncing up and down.  There was a note folded on the side of the basket. She lifted it out and turned on the small light on her desk to read it.  It was hard to take her eyes off those seeds.  One part of her wanted to hide them like a secret treasure so no one else would see them or take them, but she turned her eyes to the note now and read:

 

“ Plant these: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.  These seeds will die unless you plant them.  Outside in your backyard you will find a bicycle in a tree.  The bicycle will show you where to plant these seeds.”

 

Thelma quickly put on her robe and slippers and headed for the back door.  There was Skiff her beloved mutt curled up sleeping on the mat in front of the door.  He opened his eyes and wagged his tail as she approached.

 

“OK, Skiff you can come with me, but no barking, understand?”  She whispered as she patted him on the head.”  

 

She opened the backdoor and off they went towards the one big tree in her yard.  Sure enough, there was a bicycle hooked up to the trunk of the tree.  She could barely reach it. But with a little hop she was able to unhook the bike and bring it down.  The basket fit perfectly to the handle bars.

 

“Ok, here goes!” She whispered to herself and Skiff as she climbed onto the bicycle and set off.  The bicycle had a mind of it’s own!  She was going to peddle down the street but instead the bicycle went around her house.  She tried again as the driveway came up on the right but again the bicycle went bumping around the house and one more time again.  Then she remembered in her frustration to steer the bike, that the note said the bicycle would show her where to plant the seeds.

 

“Oh! I’m supposed to plant the seeds around our house!” She parked the bike against the house and began digging little holes for the seeds under the kitchen window.  She carefully placed a few of the glowing seeds and covered them back up with dirt. Then all along the sides of the house she repeated her task until she ran out of seeds, which happened to be where she had started. The bicycle was gone.  Then she noticed the early morning light painting the eastern sky.  She glanced over to the tree and caught a glimpse of the bicycle disappearing into the thick foliage of the tree.  

 

As she and Skiff opened the back door she met her parents and older sister coming downstairs.  

 

“Hey, you’re up first this morning!  How did that happen?” Bea, Thelma’s oldest sister asked.

 

Thelma didn’t answer, she just walked over to them and gave them all hugs and said: “I love you.”  Then together they went into the kitchen to make breakfast together.  

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

 

Categories: beauty, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Marriage and Family, Story: Plant These, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter’s Hold

Winter’s hold

Is deep

Suggesting it

Will not let go

This time

The ice will never thaw

Life will always be hard

Hope is out of reach

Yet, I saw

The dew had frozen into

Delicate crystals, clinging

To the branches

Breaking my heart

With beauty as

I walked along

The frozen path

The mystery of

The fire in the stove

Sending out it’s warmth

Encircling me

As I try to make

Sense of this world

Is a comfort to body

And soul

The child’s pure laughter

Over a game of

Peek-a-boo

Beckons me

Don’t give up your search

For hidden treasures

Love, hope, joy, peace

Are in need of finding

© 2017 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Hope, Love, Paths, Poetry, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace Longings

I.

 

If only we could laugh together

With pure joy

If only we could play together

Running free

If only we could trust

and let go

If only kindness

Was at the top of our list

Instead of the unmentionables

Which I will not mention

Because you know,

They are blasted over us

Over and over until

We are numb

If only we were as

The little child stood in our midst

Clapping his hands

In glee

A smile that is wide and open

As the ocean-free

Forgiveness will bring us back

Home again

Given and received

And wipe away every tear

Root out all the bitterness

So the tender root of joy

Can push up it’s head

 

II.

 

Longing for Peace

Reconciliation, forgiveness

Starting fresh again

Prince of Peace – Come

Show us your ways

Teach us your paths

Help us to walk in the way

Of peace

A humble road

Admitting we have

Done wrong

Asking for forgiveness

Giving it

How we bungle these things

With pride, fear

Protecting ourselves

Our interests

Lay down these weapons

Lay them down

 

III.

 

How many tears

Can the oceans hold?

When will this violence

Cease?

What will stop the cycle?

More violence is not the answer!

Have we not learned that, yet?

It only prolongs and increases

The destruction and death.

We must wake up!

All must do the work

Of the farmer

Go back to the basics

Sow the seeds of peace

Tears of repentance

And forgiveness

The courageous ones

Will walk towards their enemies

With hands empty

Save for peace

This earth does not belong

To those who devour it

But to the Meek

The gentle of heart

The tide will turn

Wait for it

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Something New

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(This poem is dedicated to the Arts Team at the Seattle Vineyard)

Learning

something new today

Thank you

for inviting

prodding

just a little

to get me started

to whet my appetite

that perhaps

I could

create something

beautiful

with my hands

with the help of

paint and canvas

paper and scissors

 

You could have

kept your talents hidden

or only allowed

the professionals

to join the fun

instead you threw the doors

open and

invited us all in

to join

the joy

of creating something

beautiful

 

I think

there are many

budding artists, singers

musicians, writers

etc.

out there that only

need the nudge of

encouragement

and invitation

to get started

on opening up

new streams

of joy in

their lives.

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, growth, Hospitality, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little Child Will Lead You

This poem is dedicated to a little girl, (8 years old) my friends’ daughter, who befriended another little girl, a Muslim child in her class and invited her over to play and have dinner.  Another morning her parents found her boiling an egg to take to school. Her friend was embarrassed about her lunch being so different from everyone else’s lunch. My friends’ little girl noticed she had a boiled egg in her lunch. She decided to boil herself an egg, so her friend would not be embarrassed.  She brings me great encouragement. Peacemakers are being raised up quietly right in our midst. She gets my first chocolate bar.

https://backfromtheborderlands.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/lets-trump-evil-with-good-and-win-a-big-chocolate-bar/

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When darkness gathers as winter settles in

with black clouds surrounding

what little light we have left

Hold tight to the hope in your heart

It is buried deep within

 

Faith, Hope and Love

will not be extinguished

…and the greatest of these is love

It is love which is the greatest

and most powerful of all

not fear, nor revenge, anger or hate

 

Let love ruminate and perfect

through the night, through adverse circumstances

because joy will come in the morning

and when it seems utterly impossible

…let a little child lead you.

 

Categories: beauty, Faith, God, Hope, Hospitality, Life, Love, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Chimes

Poplar

 

Along ancient paths

newly surfaced again and again

poplars, descendants of

the Aged Ones,

are whispering

in the warm summer breeze

 

Will i stop and listen?

Autumn will come

soon enough

and lash these chimes,

winter will find them gone

 

Now in this warmth only

is their message heard

for this season,

later the falling leaves

and bleak branches

will have another message

 

Life presses in

with it’s pressures

do this, do that

and hurry up

you are late again,

fill every moment

with a call or a text

until the pulse races

and the poplars

playful message of

peace and joy

cannot be heard

for another year

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Life, Paths, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lenten Post #3

 

My amazing daughter and her wonderful husband came from Omaha for a quick visit this weekend.  They had a wedding to be a part of in Bellingham.  We were delighted!  It was another chance to be with them.  We happily picked them up at the airport and drove them where they needed to go.  We were even invited to the wedding because my daughter has always been a great sharer of her friends.  When they left in the wee hours of Sunday morning, they thanked us for everything.  It was like thanking my lungs for breathing or my hands for feeding me.  Of course!   I love you!  I love being with you!

 

This was over-laid in my mind with our scripture reading and sermon topic for the second Sunday of Lent.  John 13 where Jesus washed His disciples feet.  “What you will never wash my feet!”  Peter impulsively shouts out.  Jesus loved his disciples to the full extent.  God loves the world to the full extent.  Washing his disciples feet was not so hard for Jesus because he loved them.  A greater and much harder sacrifice lay just ahead.  Even though he agonized over it more than we can imagine in the garden, love won and Jesus picked up his cross and headed for the hill.  “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.”  We are his joy.

Categories: Faith, God, Lent, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Pair of Eagles

I could have missed it all,

But as I walked by

I glanced between the boats in the harbor.

There, on the jetty, a pair of bald eagles.

I watched them watching for a while.

Were they planning some mischief?

I walked away.

Moments later,

The sky erupts with the clatter of crows and gulls,

Even a blue heron joins the fray.

All swirling above

With the pair of eagles swooping and soaring

In the midst of it all.

I was lost in joy –

A full-scale extravaganza

Just for me,

And the other walkers

Who happened to glance up.

 

What do I miss when my head is down?

Consumed in thoughts of self or worry

I miss the present.

When regretting the past

Or jumping ahead to the future

Opportunities soar and swoop

Right past my vision.

 

Grounded

Present

Centered

Alive and alert

Words I know

Words I need to keep practicing.

© 2013 Julie Clark

 

 

Categories: Faith, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Farmer’s Life

 

The farmer’s life is one of great patience.

Sowing seeds does not result in instantaneous miracles.

Although, when the first seeds sprout and break through the ground

It certainly feels like one, (which of course it is).

We just do not get to see what has been going on,

Microscopically, beneath the surface of the earth.

 

Sow people!  Beloved ones!

What do you want to see more of in your lives?

Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeals that come your way.

They expose the unwanted seeds of destruction.

Instead, cooperate with the fire and let it burn away

Focus on the good seed at hand:

Love, joy, peace, kindness, wisdom, patience and

All the good things you see and desire.

It’s one act or response at a time.

 

Living is becoming.

Life does not stay stagnant,

We move forward in one direction or the other.

We get to choose by our sowing

Which way we want to grow.

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pure Joy

 

Pure Joy

Being a part of your nine month life

Now I am letting you go

As you go

Back to India with your parents

Just as my arms and back muscles told me early on

Strengthen yourselves –this boy is weighty!

Now the muscle called my heart

Is strengthening through the pain of saying good-bye

I will love you from a distance

No less than if you were still here

And perhaps pray for you more

© 2012 Julie Clark

Categories: Life, Love, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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