Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog! Of course if we were visiting in person, I'd have the teapot out and we could sit and chat.
I'm honored you stopped by to listen to my thoughts and ponderings - and if you have a minute sometime, let me know you dropped by!

You can also find me on Facebook at Grace Notes, Thoughts and Prayers.

I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Time to Plant

It's time to plant the garden.

I want to think I'm a gardener, but if the truth be told, I'm not very good at it.  A few things propel me... my love for green, and God's miracles, and wholesome food that is in my back yard.

And then there is the memory of my mother, who year in and year out, not matter where she lived, or how she felt, the time for the garden came.  She went to great lengths to have it rototilled, and would search for the best manure, usually chicken in her estimation.  And once the soil was prepared, in went the seeds.

She used to tell me that she saved a few dollars of her grocery money every month and with that she budgeted for plants and seeds.

And then miracles happened.  And somehow there was a whole garden of produce, and oh, the flowers.  Always enough for a big bouquet on Sunday mornings.

So the garden calls, and the call is early this year.  It has been so unseasonably warm.  The seeds I planted inside in March have NOT done well.  I need to invest more time and love with them, I think.  So today I bought tomato plants.

There is a time for everything.  This is the time to eat local asparagus!!  This is the time to dance under the blossoms and savor the beauty of the balsam root daisies on our hillsides, colouring them yellow. It is the time of year to celebrate dandelions (or not) and be thankful there is food for the honey bees.

It is the time of year to revel in tulips and all spring flowers which make me smile.

For us, it is the time to anticipate the birth of our eighth grandchild, and to celebrate two other little birthdays in May.

It is time to plant seeds and water and wait with hope.  I do love the spring.

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
My yellow tulips are lovely this year!

The Swiss Chard came up on it's own, and the garlic is looking lovely.  I planted it last fall, with my friend Violet.   And the rhubarb is looking particularly happy as well.  :-)

The plant in the back, a black lace elderberry bush was planted in memory of my mom.
She and dad loved admiring it during her stay in hospice, in their daily walks in the lovely garden there.
The green leaves in the front... I have no idea.  Is this a weed?  A happy transplant?  If you know, please tell me!!  And happy gardening!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Persistence, Perseverance and Praise

We woke up to the robin singing again on Thursday morning.

In fact, lately we have woken to his morning call almost every morning, and we have a clear view of this wonderful song bird, perched on the very highest branch of a tree we can see from our bedroom window.

And he greets the morning with his song.

On Wednesday there was no song.

We wondered... and I thought later... was he sick?  Some family crisis?  What had happened to our robin?

Years ago, in the depths of grief, God taught me a lesson about persistence in praise.  Sometimes when things go wrong, when we are filled with sorrow or dread, or deep sadness, there is a choice to be made.

And sometimes we choose to offer a "sacrifice of praise".

It is a gift we offer to the Giver of life.  The One who created us and knows fully the larger picture.  And so we choose to be thankful, we choose to praise, even in the midst of life's deepest pain.

And sometimes this takes perseverance, persistence and a whole lot of courage.

And I wondered, in this week of grief for many I know... the robin, part of God's creation, is a persistent bird.  Whatever happened Wednesday... he came back Thursday... to sing.

To herald in the morning, to remind me that all things are made new, and truly after sorrow, there is joy in the morning.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning".  - Psalm 30:5b

"...creating praise on their lips.  Peace, peace, to those far and near," says the Lord.  "And I will heal them.""  Isaiah 57:19

Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Severe Spelling

This past week I was embarrassed to find out that I had made a serious spelling error in a doodle I posted.

It's funny sometimes... you look at a word, and there is some uncertainty... is that spelled right, or not?  And there are numerous words in our complicated English language that can be spelled more than one way.

Spell-check can be a friend... or foe.

So when I spelled perseverance wrong... and honestly I had checked it out... and still missed it, I was somewhat miffed at myself!

But I had to laugh, when I looked at the word with the right spelling... it was rather severe.
Persevere.  Do you perceive this?

The way I had spelled it... perserverance... had an extra r, as you can see, but I rather liked the word within... "serve"...perserverance.....so much better. :-)

The dictionary defines the word - the correctly spelled one -  this way: "a steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc. especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement."  (Dictionary.com)

There are always lessons in everything, to my way of thinking.  And I have learned some lessons, from sitting with this word this week, a word I dubbed word of the week.  It is a message I share often with those who are discouraged, in pain, in despair.  Don't give up, today is a gift, life is precious.  Even when it is hard.

It is a message I preach to myself.

And perhaps there is a severity to perseverance at times; a determination in the tough times to slog through, to wake up and get moving, to choose life instead of despair.  For some, this is hard work indeed.

I also had to think of those who "serve" the discouraged.  They are the Barnabas people in my life.  He was known as an encourager in New Testament times.  They are the people we want to be around, those who show up with gifts of care, and practical gifts of help, and endless encouragement.

So to persevere.  With a servant heart.  With determination.  Still a good word, misspelled, or not!

(and I persevered... and drew another one, right spelling this time!)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Poems for the Grieving Heart

I've been doing some writing recently for the bereaved.

I thought I'd share them here and I welcome your feedback.  Grief is not fresh for me, but I know it well, with the loss of my first husband, and I often think of my mom, gone almost three years.  A year ago my brother-in-law died.

And I visit with many who are grieving.  Sometimes we don't know what to say.

So I started to write this week, in search of meaningful resources to share with those who grieve.

A Broken Heart

It is the heart that breaks
  deep love
Overwhelmed by sadness

It takes time to heal
  fueled by hope and faith

that the love once shared
will never leave us.

-Grace Wulff  2016

A Fine Line

There is a fine line

  between heartfelt sympathy
     and understanding

  between wishes well-meant
    and pain that is shared

Those who've know the
      of grief
who have learned to live
   with scars

Offer hope.
Not of an easy path.
but the gift
  of companionship.

-Grace Wulff  2016

Hang on to Hope

There are some things
  which cannot be fixed.

  sometimes the present reality
   seems too much to bear.

Hang on
   to Hope.
It is the key
to a new

It takes time to get there
with gifts of
kindness and compassion
  you give
    to yourself.

-Grace Wulff  2016