Easter Memories

As this day draws to a close, my mind wanders back through the years…

Easter when I was young meant a new dress, hair curled (with bristly rollers and a hot hair dryer on Saturday), gloves, hat, purse and maybe new shoes. We’d go to church with Aunt Helen.

1-Easter with Aunt Helen
Fancy hats, purses, shoes and gloves.

We’d have an Easter egg hunt in the house. My sister and I each had a woven basket with a nest of green paper grass and filled with eggs we had colored the day before. We usually had some plastic eggs filled with candy, too.

1-19603741719_882d2683c9_o

I also remember having delicate large decorated sugar eggs that were hollow inside with a peep-hole on one end to look at a spring-themed diorama inside.

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2014-02-12 21:22:55Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com
Sugar Easter Egg

Most years, we’d drive the hour or so to Grandma and Grandpa’s house where we’d have a big meal with cousins and Aunts and Uncles and look for Easter eggs out in the yard. I don’t have many specific food memories associated with Easter. Jelly beans, marshmallow peeps and chocolate rabbits were the main treats we had.

In later years, Easter day usually meant a long morning at church. As church organist/pianist, I often played for 3 or even 4 services on Easter morning. When my husband and I had small children of our own, we made special arrangements with the Easter Bunny to visit while we were away at church (since we didn’t have time before church usually).

B hunting Easter Eggs, 1998
Easter egg hunting in the yard, Easter Sunday, 1998

We colored eggs every year often experimenting with new ways to decorate the shells — natural dyes, crayon batiks, rubber bands, ombre effects, etc.

free-easter-eggs-screensaver-i6
Easter Eggs

Holy Week holds very special memories of having our daughter. I wrote about this in another blog post, The Miracle of Grace. I am still in AWE of the miracle of her birth. Hallelujah! She was baptized on Easter Sunday.

Holy Week services have been an important part of my faith journey. I remember being moved to tears singing Ah, Holy Jesus in an 1800’s sanctuary on Good Friday. I remember singing in and directing Easter/Holy Week cantatas. Lent and Tenebrae services made more sense after we became Lutherans. I’ve attended a few Seder meals in the home of a Jewish friend and cherish those memories. There have been healing services and prayer vigils.

One year when our children were very young we visited my mom and dad for Easter weekend. After we came home from church, we found a tree in their yard decorated with plastic Easter eggs. There were other eggs hidden around their yard. It was quite a mystery because none of us had made arrangements for the Easter Bunny to visit us there. (We solved this mystery many years later when a neighbor admitted being the accomplice.)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-muZHDvCw7A8/TbCFK0O2RkI/AAAAAAAAEno/CH_diHrlXAw/s1600/IMG_0454.JPG
Easter Egg Tree

Our children are much older now (18 and 21). This year we didn’t even color eggs at all. We did indulge in some candy, though. I deeply enjoyed attending church together, all four of us since it such a rare event now that our oldest is away at college. The church we attend now has a tradition of singing the Hallelujah Chorus (from Messiah) at the end of the Easter morning services. Anyone in the congregation who would like to sing with the choir is invited to do so. My son and I both went up to sing. It was joyous.

https://www.ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/images/aboutus/Library/archive/2013/april/1Hallelujah.JPG
Hallelujah

Whatever your faith tradition, I hope we can agree that LOVE and CARING for each other are essential for living our lives together now and forever.

 

 

Advertisements

How much FAITH is enough?

The theme of the sermon this morning was “My Statement of FAITH.” The church recently got a new pastor and the installation ceremony takes place today.

During the children’s sermon, a statement was made that struck me as odd:  “You have to have a LOT of faith.” I think she might have even said, “You’d have to have a lot of faith to make that happen” which is a whole other issue but for right now I’m going to focus on the LOT of faith statement. She was speaking about the Israelites having faith that God would provide food (manna) and water for them during their journey in the wilderness after they escaped from slavery in Egypt. (The manna story is told in the Bible in Exodus 16)

The people of Israel called the bread manna.
It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
(Exodus 16:31 NIV)

I wrote a note to myself that said, “Isn’t any amount of Faith enough?” What would constitute a LOT of Faith?

Faith as a Mustard Seed: Image by Juliane Bjerregaard via Flickr CC license.
Faith as a Mustard Seed: Image by Juliane Bjerregaard via Flickr CC license.

What about the parable of the mustard seed?

Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
(Mark 4:31 NIV)

http://www.westafricanplants.senckenberg.de/images/pictures/Salvadora_persica_PBirnb_DSCN1961_105587.JPG
Mustard Tree

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. (Luke 17:5,6 ESV)

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
(Matthew 17:20 NIV)

Image by Steluma of Ain Avdat in Israel, via Flickr CC license.
Image by Steluma of Ain Avdat in Israel, via Flickr CC license.

Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.
(Matthew 21:21 NLT)

Black and White mustard seeds: Image by Mattie Hagedorn via Flickr CC license.
Black and White mustard seeds: Image by Mattie Hagedorn via Flickr CC license.

The image of a mustard seed sized bit of faith has always been a source of fascination and something I ponder. I wore a mustard seed necklace somewhat similar to this one for quite a few years. (I still have it, but the chain is too short for me to wear it now.)

I thought about what I think Faith means. I thought of Hebrews 11:1,3, 6, 11-12

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

And it is impossible to please God without faith.

Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

And then, I mused about the very personal experience I had with the story of Abraham and Sarah’s miraculous child: (for a more complete telling of this FAITH and GRACE-filled story, read this.)

By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man (and one woman), and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

If I ever get a tattoo, the one I would most consider would be an image of the word faith slicing through the word grace, as in “by faith are you saved through grace.” (Faith through grace, get it?) Something like this, but with it cutting through a larger word “GRACE” done in a way so that both words are clearly seen.

http://in1.ccio.co/r1/i/o5/5b04922b333a70d90cb1dfc0bde7cb5c.jpg
Faith tattoo image

But I digress.

The pastor ended with the thought that each person’s statement of FAITH is their life. Your statement of FAITH is YOU.

My faith is personal. I am not one of those people who evangelize every person I meet. I don’t, however, avoid talking about my faith it if is relevant to the conversation. I pray throughout the day. If I tell someone I’m going to pray for them, I do. I have deep convictions about certain beliefs and a very strong sense of liberal theology (which isn’t surprising given the hodge-podge patchwork of churches I’ve attended so far in my life). This quote* says it so well:

In essentials, unity.
In non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, charity (love).

Faith is not a creed, a recitation of a list of beliefs. Faith is not something that can be measured.

Faith, in my opinion, can not be more or less than it is. One either believes or doesn’t.

Yes, there may be reservations or questions — but when it comes right down to it — are you IN or out? You can’t stay on the Titanic and be in the lifeboat at the same time. Well, technically, I guess you could do that but your ultimate choice would be Titanic in the end.

At some point the decision has to be made.

I don’t think there is more or less, to it.
I don’t believe one can have a “LOT” of faith.
Faith just IS. Or it isn’t.
You’ve taken the leap or you haven’t.

One tiny grain of faith, as small as a mustard seed is enough to move a mountain. Given that, does attempting to quantify faith make any sense?
How much more faith than that tiny grain is possible or even needed?

Faith has gotten me through all the major decision in my life. I’ve seen miracles. I’ve lived miracles. I’ve had sorrow, sadness, heartache and pain. There has been joy, laughter, and love. Through it all, like a thread woven into a gorgeous piece of fabric — FAITH is what holds it all together for me. Thanks be to God.

*The attribution of the quote is quite a story. You can read all about it here. Research points to this person as the author: Marc’ Antonio de Dominis (1560-1624), archbishop of Split (Spalato).

Remembering the Victims

Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday, June 20, 2015. Image by jalexartis, via Flickr CC license
Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday, June 20, 2015. Image by jalexartis, via Flickr CC license
Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday, June 20, 2015 image by jalexartis via Flickr CC license
Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday, June 20, 2015 image by jalexartis via Flickr CC license

I honestly don’t ever want to hear the name of the shooter again.  I don’t want to see his photograph either.

I am ashamed and angry about the horrific violence that has invaded our lives yet again.

I’m praying for the families, friends and loved ones of the victims.

The local newspaper in Charleston has published short bios for each of these precious people.

I encourage you to click on the links so you can see a photograph of each person.  They lived amazing lives, each making a difference to many other lives by living their faith.

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150618/PC16/150619387/sharonda-coleman-singleton
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629931/1005/sharonda-singleton

DePayne Middleton Doctor.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629899/

Cynthia Graham Hurd.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629936/
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150618/PC16/150619385/cynthia-hurd-was-sister-of-former-north-carolina-senator

Susie Jackson.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150618/PC16/150619336/susie-jackson
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629872/1005/

Ethel Lance.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150618/PC16/150619365/ethel-lance-remembered-as-strong-woman-mother
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629935/1005/

Tywanza Sanders.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629898/
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150618/PC16/150619364

Daniel L. Simmons Sr.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629897/1005/

Myra Thompson.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629896/myra-thompson

Clementa Pickney.
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150618/PC16/150619400/clementa-pinckney-state-senator-pastor-dead-in-shooting
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150621/PC16/150629932

The Post and Courier

Photo above:  In a moving tribute during today’s services at Mother Emanuel AME Church, a choir member laid#CharlestonShooting victim Susie Jackson’s robe over her regular seat in the church’s sanctuary.http://bit.ly/1IXiozm

(from The Post and Courier’s Facebook page)

Remembering the Victims.  

Thousands Gather for Bridge to Peace Event:  “We Will Rise Above the Hate.”

Emanuel AME Church Reopens with Display of Faith, Hope and Unity.

Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday, June 20, 2015  Image by jalexartis, via Flickr CC license
Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday, June 20, 2015 Image by jalexartis, via Flickr CC license

Creative Commons license 2.0

Solo Dios basta

Milwaukee River image by TTQ cc
Let nothing disturb thee. Nada te turba.

Let nothing disturb thee. (Nada te turbe)
Let nothing frighten thee. (Nada te espante)
All things pass away. (Todo se pasa)
God never changes. (Dios no se muda)
Patience attains all things. (La paciencia todo lo alcanza)
He who has God lacks nothing. (Quien a Dios tiene nada le falta)
God alone suffices. (Solo Dios basta)

–prayer written by St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century
–all images by The Tromp Queen, CC license 

Let nothing frighten thee. Image by The Tromp Queen, via Flickr CC
Let nothing frighten thee. Nada te espante.
All things pass away. Mourning  Angel--Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
All things pass away. Todo se pasa.
God never changes. Magical mist and morning sunbeams at Turkey Run SP on Trail 3; photo by quirkyjazz, aka Jill
God never changes. Dios no se muda.
Patient attains all things. Stone steps in the arena at Ephesus in Turkey.  Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license.
Patience attains all things. La paciencia todo lo alcanza.
Image by The Tromp Queen.  Chora church, Istanbul, Turkey 2013
He who has God lacks nothing. Quien a Dios tiene nada le falta.
God alone suffices. Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license.
God alone suffices. Solo Dios basta.

For Belonging

I have been searching my mind for wise words to share. I keep coming up empty. Fortunately I found these words to share instead. May the New Year be a year of peace, grace and love for each of you.

IMG_2864

Soul Gatherings

For Belonging
by John O’Donohue

May you listen to your longing to be free.

May the frames of your belonging be generous enough for your dreams.

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart.

May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.

May the sanctuary of your soul never become haunted.

May you know the eternal longing that lives at the heart of time.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.

May you never place walls between the light and yourself.

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you,
mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

_______________________________________

View original post

Scratching the Surface

Be the bridge. Be the light. Be there. image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Be the bridge.
Be the light.
Be there.
image by The Tromp Queen, CC license

This time of year seems to be filled with peace, joy and love… but when the surface is scratched there is often sorrow, pain and sadness.

I’m praying for several very sad, troubling, desperate situations for various friends and families.

Take time to really listen and be there just in case YOU are the one who is the bridge,
the safety net,
the strong hand to hold.

Be kind.
Be patient.
Be light and salt.

Most of all — be there.

Back-to-School Soul Food

image by The Tromp Queen, CC license; sunrise over Lake Webster
image by The Tromp Queen, CC license; sunrise over Lake Webster

Matins

I cannot ope mine eyes,
But thou art ready there to catch
My morning-soul and sacrifice:
Then we must needs for that day make a match.

image via Flickr CC by Marc Crumpler "early morning rainbow"
image via Flickr CC by Marc Crumpler “early morning rainbow”

My God, what is a heart?
Silver, or gold, or precious stone,
Or star, or rainbow, or a part
Of all these things, or all of them in one?

My God, what is a heart,
That thou shouldst it so eye, and woo,
Pouring upon it all thy art,
As if that thou hadst nothing else to do?

Lotus flower

Indeed man’s whole estate
Amounts (and richly) to serve thee:
He did not heav’n and earth create,
Yet studies them, not him by whom they be.

Teach me thy love to know;
That this new light, which now I see,
May both the work and workman show:
Then by a sunbeam I will climb to thee.

image by Cindy Cornett Seigle via Flickr CC: Some really pretty sunbeams. Sullivan County, Indiana.
image by Cindy Cornett Seigle via Flickr CC: Some really pretty sunbeams. Sullivan County, Indiana.

poem by George Herbert 1633

 

 

 

The Colorful Clouds of Rho Ophiuchi Credit & Copyright: Jim Misti and Steve Mazlin, (acquisition), Robert Gendler (processing)

Ineffable Creator,
Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,
has established three hierarchies of angels,
has arrayed them in marvelous order
above the fiery heavens,
and has marshaled the regions
of the universe with such artful skill,
You are proclaimed
the true font of light and wisdom,
and the primal origin
raised high beyond all things.

 

M.Giuliana D.M.  ray of light, via Flickr CC license
M.Giuliana D.M.
ray of light, via Flickr CC license

Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
into the darkened places of my mind;
disperse from my soul
the twofold darkness
into which I was born:
sin and ignorance.

image by Brian Wolfe "good teacher" via Flickr CC license
image by Brian Wolfe “good teacher” via Flickr CC license

You make eloquent the tongues of infants.
Refine my speech
and pour forth upon my lips
the goodness of Your blessing.

image by jane Hewitt "good teacher" via Flickr CC
image by jane Hewitt “good teacher” via Flickr CC

Grant to me
keenness of mind,
capacity to remember,
skill in learning,
subtlety to interpret,
and eloquence in speech.

Image by Manuel, via Flickr CC
Image by Manuel, via Flickr CC

May You
Guide the beginning of my work,
direct its progress,
and bring it to completion.
You Who are true God and true Man,
Who live and reign, world without end.
Amen.

image via Flickr CC license 2.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike by Trey Ratcliff "Islamic Peace"
image via Flickr CC license 2.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike by Trey Ratcliff “Islamic Peace”


–St. Thomas Aquinas

These beautiful prayers were posted on a friend’s Facebook wall recently.

The words have stayed with me.

I decided to add a few photos and share them here.

I hope you find a spark of inspiration.

 

ALSO — I recently discovered these great poetry books.  Great stuff for those who ASPIRE to INSPIRE!

Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach, edited by Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner
Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach, edited by Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner
Leading from Within: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Lead, edited by Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner

 

Photo credits:

lotus flower image:  via Flickr CC by Richard IJzermans: A beautiful lotus flower in the forbidden city, Beijing China.

Stained Glass: Columbus, Ohio — Broad St. Presbyterian

Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Broad St. Presbyterian Church, Columbus, OH
Photos by The Tromp Queen, CC license
church in NJ
church in NJ

The SCARED is scared of all the things you like.

I have faced many fears this past year.

I have a few more to face in the very near future.

I found this wonderful video in my inbox this morning.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/58659769″>the Scared is scared</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/biancagiaever”>Bianca Giaever</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Here is some of the takeaway wisdom from the 6-year-old narrator, for when things get scary:

Hold your breath, and close your eyes.

Say “whee!”

Find some fur to hold onto.

There will always be another time together next spring.

If something feels like it’s closing, just say, “that’s fine!” And let it go. Think of something that you really like to do, until the nervous has gone out of you.

And always remember: when the scared feeling comes into you, the scared feeling is scared of all the things you like.

— quote from Feed Your Spirit, daily devotional.

This is my March Inspiration for today, Sunday, March 16.  Enjoy.

Getty Images: March Inspirations 7

Embed from Getty Images

Just a few days ago, Getty Images announced a new embed feature that will allow people to access and share photos from its extensive library of images for non-commercial purposes.

Read the whole WordPress article here.

Access to use all these wonderful Getty images?
Definitely INSPIRING!

I chose this image of the Yosemite Valley because seeing this specific view literally took my breath away. Then, when I could breathe again my eyes got teary.  It is one of THE MOST beautiful natural vistas I have ever seen. I could have stood there for hours.  I felt awed by the spectacular and extravagant beauty of this world.  Yes, I’m a Christian — but I don’t see how anyone could look at this place and not feel the presence of the Divine.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Hold Fast: March Inspirations 4

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescastle/9537465539/sizes/h/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescastle/9537465539/sizes/h/
Image by Jeremy Seto (JamesCastle)
 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
 via Flickr CC license

Weekend Happiness Haiku(s)

I’m not sure if Haiku is the same singular and plural or not.  I’ll have to check that out.  I’m lumping two days together in this post.

Saturday was a lazy day.  Sunday we visited a large contemporary church and then attended a Music of Munchkin’s concert at our local HS.

Our daughter is in the HS orchestra and this event is both outreach and fundraiser for them.  Elementary and younger students come early to the concert and get to try playing all the different types of string instruments, make crafts, and have their face painted.

Then the orchestra plays a 30 minutes concert complete with skits and a car chase!  The theme was The Great Mouse Detectives.  Believe it or not, the plot started with a couple of thieves stealing a Stradivarius!  Several detectives (twists on famous movie and TV characters) worked on the case.

The orchestra played many of the detective’s theme songs — Pink Panther, James Bond, Maxwell Smart, Mission Impossible, Scooby Do and more!  It was great fun, and the young ones were thrilled.  The older students put on a great show. At one point the little guy sitting in the row in front of me was bouncing up and down — turned to his Dad and said, “I LOVE this!”

The “Strad” was found, and the car chase consisted of the actors and children running up and down the aisles of the auditorium with cardboard steering wheels.

Saturday, February 8

Slug mode.  Time slips by.
One of “those” days:  nothing’s done.
Inertia enshrouds.

Sleep, laundry, dishes,
Blogging, cooking, phone calls, read.
Watch the Olympics!

Sunday, February 9

7190209497_6acc33ceb1_bSunlight streams in
Illuminating stained glass.
Strong voices sing Praise!

Music for Munchkins.
Young ones whiskered and mouse-eared —
Jazzed on Orchestra!

Music for Munchkins event. Image by The Tromp Queen CC

On Another’s Sorrow

On Another’s Sorrow

by William Blake

Angel of Grief imagy by Michael Schaffner via Flickr CC
Angel of Grief imagy by Michael Schaffner via Flickr CC

Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Was Crying image by Espen Faugstad via Flickr CC
Was Crying image by Espen Faugstad via Flickr CC
image by Su Heng Pak (peshk78) via Flickr CC
image by Su Heng Pak (peshk78) via Flickr CC

Can I see a falling tear
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
Can a father see his child,
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill’d?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! Never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

Singing Wren image by CaptPiper via Flickr CC
Singing Wren image by CaptPiper via Flickr CC

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird’s grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear —

And not sit beside the next,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant’s tear?

image by Tara Brown via Flickr CC
image by Tara Brown via Flickr CC

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
Oh no! Never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give his joy to all.
He becomes an infant small.
He becomes a man of woe
He doth feel the sorrow, too.

Think not, thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by.
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

image by kenjonbro via Flickr CC
image by kenjonbro via Flickr CC

Oh He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

image by BalancingJane via FlickrCC
image by BalancingJane via FlickrCC

“On Another’s Sorrow” by William Blake, from The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake.

Be a good neighbor.

Milwaukee River image by TTQ cc
Milwaukee River image by TTQ cc

Be a good neighbor — Re-visited one year later.

Today is the one year anniversary of my first regular post on The Tromp Queen blog.  Click on “Be a good neighbor” here or above to read that post.

(The VERY first one was called “Apparently I can be talked into starting a blog but I don’t really count that one since it was mostly just an announcement of my presence and intentions).

It is also the two-year anniversary of my dad’s death.

I wrote a post about my dad last May as I contemplated Father’s Day without Dad.  The post is “Missing Dad.”

A year later — I’ve written 140 blog posts as The Tromp Queen.  I have 200 followers here.  I’ve made new friends and have enjoyed this whole blogosphere more than I ever imagined.  I recently started a recipe blog, called The Heat is ON!  My family endured a year cram packed with changes.  New job, new city, new home, new schools, new neighbors — new practically everything.

Some things never change.  I still miss Dad, and I always will.  The events of that day and the week after feel simultaneously quite recent and a long time ago.

Thank YOU for reading, commenting, following and most of all for caring.  I hope you’ll continue to hang around for rest of the journey.

It means more to me than you know.

Audio Wake – on being Freshly Pressed and going viral

Audio Wake – on being Freshly Pressed and going viral.

Lucas Draeger wrote a follow up post to his “Crappy Obituary” post.  If his first post touched you — you should read this one, too.

It never was about me. It was about God, bringing people together, as he’s so prone to do. If you are looking for “amazing” and “powerful”, don’t look to me. I could never live up to words so big. Look above. Look above, and while you do so, be you, because the world needs you as you are.

 

From my heart, I thank each person who has shared in this story, and I pray for continued grace and mercy upon Sabrina’s family and friends.

This Crappy Obituary – For the Woman I Found Dead in the Starbucks Parking Lot

Please take a few minutes to read this incredibly moving story. Yes, it is a TRUE story. I encourage you to read through the comments, too, if you have time. Some of the young woman’s family and friends respond to this blog post. Keep listening to that still small voice — be aware, listen closely and act accordingly whether you want to or not.

Read his follow up post here.  This post was written 12 days after the first one and is called “on being Freshly Pressed and going viral.”

Legionwriter

I thought you were sleeping. It seems silly now, but you must understand, when one sees a person slumped over inside a parked car, the most reasonable conclusion is rarely that the person slumped over is dead. It was the lights from the dashboard that caught my eye. If it weren’t for the lights, I would have missed you completely, and – who knows? – you may still be lying out there, unknowing of the legions of addicts drawn to the verifiable Mecca of caffeine. You’d remain oblivious to the following day’s massive local windstorm and the city’s collective anxiety, followed by elation, when our beloved Seahawks won the big game. You might still be slumped awkwardly over your console, and I suppose your car would be run dry of gas by then, but folks would not be any more observant.

I say it was the lights on your dashboard…

View original post 873 more words