A Blooming Wonder

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is BLOOM

Where we live, this is definitely the season for blooming. Flowering trees and shrubs, including the chokecherries in the woods beside us, are blossoming in preparation for another summer of production. Spring bulbs are blooming; gardeners are setting out bedding plants.

However, my mind went to another kind of blooming. I’m sure you all have stood on a sunny day and watched the cumulus clouds above you expand and change.

Cloud.AlexasFotos
Image by Alexas_Fotos at Pixabay

I have, and I find observing that process of change fascinating. Before my eyes they seem to bloom. Little white lumps spreading up and out — it’s like watching the time-lapse of a cauliflower developing.

Thoughts are like that in a way — at least mine are. I see a writing prompt and ideas start to form. This morning I chanced to hear another blogger and fellow Christian speaking about the importance of sharing facets of godly wisdom by means of storytelling, and brainwaves started to billow. (Click here to listen to his inspiring talk.)

Thinking of sharing our inspirations, and how ideas and wisdom circulate, I wrote this verse two days ago:

She left a thought that echoed;
her friends bounced it around.
It wasn’t meant to shake the world
but still it seemed profound.

It resonated with her friends
and spread from ear to ear;
whenever it seemed fitting
someone was bound to hear.

It spread to their descendants
this bit of wisdom kind;
it lightened many labors,
eased many a troubled mind.

They were not so outstanding,
those words that soothed one fretter,
but her homespun bit of wisdom
made all our lives the better.

Take care everyone, and don’t be afraid to share your bit of life-learned wisdom today. Who knows but what it may bless many other lives.

“Yes I Can!”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was BRAVADO

A word that took my mind back to a comment a smoker once made. I think I’d asked him if he ever tried quitting and he assured me, “I can quit anytime I want. I just don’t want to.”

In this particular case, he may have been truthful; maybe he wasn’t addicted to the nicotine and could quit whenever he chose to do so. But I’ve heard this same thought from different ones and it seems mostly bravado. The “I don’t want to” has a lot of fear of failure embedded in it.

Peacock

Bravado is a bold statement or manner done for show, bragging not backed up by true courage. A pretense of bravery.

Bold ones may say, “I can fight the lion and I’ll easily win,” when the lion isn’t roaring in their face and clawing at them. But if a lion were to actually savage them a bit, they’d disappear ASAP.

Like the boy I overheard bragging about how he could make a fancy dive off the high diving board at the pool. He dared one girl to do it and she executed a beautiful dive, doing a complete flip on the way down. But when it was his turn, he found some reason to avoid showing what he could do.

New Year’s resolutions often have a bit of this bravado in their makeup. People say, “This year I’m going to lose ten pounds, give up —, work out twice a week, or whatever.” But when the time comes — a craving hits, it’s time to go to the gym — the roaring lion isn’t so easily defeated after all.

Real determination, the kind that faces the challenge and wins, doesn’t usually bluster. Determined souls admit that the battle will be hard, sweaty, and laced with pain, and there’s no turning back. They grit their teeth and firmly say “I will do this if it kills me.”

And from the testimonies I’ve heard from ex-substance abusers, I gather it just about does.

The Always-Never Syndrome

The Ragtag Daily Prompt is IMPECCABLE
The Word of the Day Prompt is KNIFE
and the Discovery Prompt is TEACH

When I saw these three prompts, the first few lines of my story fell into place naturally, but then I needed the rest of the story to deal with…

The Dreaded Always-Never Syndrome

Her kitchen counter was impeccable, except for a jammy knife and a scattering of bread crumbs on the counter. The sight made her furious.

When she screeched Nick came running, toast in hand. “Mom. What happened?”

“What’s this doing here?” She pointed to the knife. “Didn’t we teach you to put dishes in the dishwasher and wipe the counter when you’re done making food?” She glared at him.

“Is that all? I thought somebody stepped on Nero’s tail again. You sound just like him when you screech like that.”

“You never clean up after yourself. You always leave a mess that I have to clean up!”

“I’ll get it. You don’t always need make such a huge thing of such a small mess. Anyway, you never squawk like that when Uncle James leaves a mess on your precious pristine counter.”

“It’s not my job to teach Uncle James. He’s a temporary fixture here until he gets work again.”

“He’s been here four months now. He’ll never find work. Especially when the food’s free and you always wait on him hand and foot.”

“I DO NOT wait on him hand and foot! I never…”

“Whoa, people,” Dad said as he walked into the kitchen. “It sounds like the Always-Never Syndrome has attacked again. Break away. Let’s get back to reality.”

“Nick left this grubby knife on the counter.” Mom pointed. “And crumbs. Again.”

Dad nodded at Nick. “Clean it up.”

Under Mom’s scowl Nick grabbed the knife and stuck it in the dishwasher. He wiped the crumbs off the counter, then quickly left the room to avoid further rehearsal of his faults.

Dad put his arm around Mom. “He does clean up most of the time, doesn’t he?”

“Well…I guess…”

“He’s trying. I don’t always remember to do things I should, either. And maybe you don’t, either?”

Mom was still irritated. “He said James will never find a job. That I wait on him hand and foot.”

Dad sighed. “Once always and never start flying, truth hides in a closet somewhere. It’s okay to help James now while he needs it. He’s sill job-hunting, maybe gets a little discouraged, but he’s persistent and will find one. He will move out — I promise — and when he does we’ll all breathe a sigh of relief. Someday we may even talk about ‘the good times we had while Uncle James stayed with us’.”

“I suppose…”

“Nick will remember to clean up most of the time. And someday he’ll get a job, too, and make his own messes in his own place. Then we’ll be on our own and you’ll have only me to pick up after. Who knows? I may have even caught on by then, too.” He gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “And I’ll always love you.”

She threw her arms around him. “Now I remember why I married you.”

Musing on Psalm 46

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is TRUST. A comforting word. Is there any more secure feeling in life than having a friend or spouse we know we can trust?

Here’s my response to the prompt:

Storm + Psalm. Tobias
       Storm photo: Tobias Hämmer  —  Pixabay

Psalm 46: 1-5 — With notes by a modern reader:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
He’s our storm shelter when menacing storms of life want to bash us and whirl us dizzy. He’s the one Who stands beside us, supports us when we are weak, covers us with his hand so we don’t have to take the brunt of enemy bombardment.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
With our Father by our side, we can face whatever life throws at us.
Though the stock market crash, the latest plague spreads, wildfires rage, governments threaten each other with nuclear attacks, health issues and expenses come up, my neighbour’s furious with me, my teens are bullied at school — or rebel against the stupid rules of us “totally out of it” parents, or my so–called friend spreads a life-shattering rumor about me.
Yes, I will quake because I am human, but He is still there, standing by to help me navigate the raging sea.

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
So many things are blown way out of proportion by the media and scare-mongers on Facebook may all be saying we’ll never get through this coming disaster. But even if worst comes to worst and the solid rocks around me are shaking, I can still hold His hand and hear His voice over the storm.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
A river of peace I can stay beside, being refreshed, in a city of refuge where I can live a holy life in the presence of God in spite of the racket going on in the world outside.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
Precious promise! Even though we may wobble at times from the force of the blast and life may be far from perfect, the children of God can stand. Our Father will come to our rescue and hold us up, come what may.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelations 22:1-2