Joy

My eyes view beauty through tears.

Yet my heart is joyful.

Golden leaves peek through.

D. Elaine Wood-Lane 9/11/16

My past week has been full of everything you can imagine. In the midst of it, I attended the memorial service for a very young poet friend who was so talented it blew me away. At the service, the same words were repeated so often about this young man: “Blake was so calm, quiet, and wise.” The memorial service itself was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever attended. Family and friends spoke about him and most of them read one of his poems after they spoke. It was a gathering of love, sorrow and even joy for having known such a remarkable young man. As I walked out of Shove Chapel at Colorado College, my eyes full of tears and my heart aching with loss, I looked up at this view and it took my breath away. It’s a perfect visual representation of what lay in my heart. Yes, there is darkness, sometimes seemingly overwhelming in our lives, yet if we have God with us, we also have glimpses of golden joy. Underneath the photo below is a daily devotional from a daily meditation book I read. It so perfectly expresses my underlying joy that I had to share it. The book in question is called, “Be Still And Know,” and was compiled and edited by Michelle Winger.

 

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Do no grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

Joy is not necessarily happiness. Happiness is dependent on circumstances; joy is not. Happiness is fleeting; joy is constant. Happiness disappears when trials come; joy grows through troubles. Good times bring happiness and laughter; difficulties bring sorrow and grief, but joy resides beneath.

Joy is not an emotion that can be fabricated or faked. It is a deep-seated sense that all things are well because God is in charge. Joy is expressed in praise, song, laughter, a peaceful countenance, a light in the eyes, or a serenity that belies any adversity. It is the substance of the soul that holds us together as we trust in God, who does all things well. Jesus wants our joy to be full!

Thank you, Jesus, for the joy that gives me strength. I choose today to fill my mind with truth, to think about those things that are praiseworthy, and to trust you fully. With a thankful heart, I choose joy!

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Hot Air

Sun shines down so hot,
Cotton field dirt burns bare feet,
The hot air shimmers.

Summer days of old,
Cousins playing on the farm,
Hot dirt, hot air…joy!

Huddled inside now,
Cool air, carpet, dimness here,
Where is hot air joy?

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
7-31-16


I recall a time in my childhood, when Mother’s family would gather at Aunt Mary and Uncle Dolf’s farm. We cousins would go outside to play in the 106 degree heat and we loved it! We played outside, walking through fields in our bare feet, finding magical objects in the dirt like arrow heads and pretty rocks and we were in our glory. Those are some of my favorite childhood memories.

Finding Joy

Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Where does your mind wander? Does your mind focus on the positive and good, on light and hope? Or does your mind focus on the negative, the dark and the despair of life? I tend to believe that where our mind wanders, whether it be on truth, honor, love, light and hope or whether it be on deception, selfishness, hate, darkness and hopelessness, that’s the way our day proceeds and our life unfolds.

I know the world right now seems crazy and hate-full, violent and rushing toward destruction, but this is nothing new. People through the history of the world have thought the exact same thing. Yet, we are still here, the sun comes up new every morning, and despite what is happening in our lives, today presents a new opportunity to think differently, to believe differently, and to act differently. Are you focusing on the destruction, worrying every moment? Or, are you focusing on the positive and then working to make the positive a reality?

Where does your mind wander? Wherever you mind goes today, it will determine the outlook and outcome of your day… Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, pure, right and lovely. Fill your heart with love. Look for the good in others.

God loves you! I love you! Be happy!

D. Elaine Wood-Lane
7/25/16

This is Buddy Lane. He’s nearly 11 years old, weighs 12 pounds, and is a Chihuahua mix mutt who adopted me at a truck stop in Texline, Texas when I stopped there to buy gas and get something to eat. He rescued me on a cold, wintry day for purposes of stress management and love. Today, however, he was a hero to our cat, Missy.

I was sitting in my chair after a shift of caregiving this morning. I was catching up on news, both personal and otherwise and getting very sleepy. From the backyard I suddenly heard the howls and growls of at least two cats starting a fight. I could tell immediately that one of the cats was our Missy, who is at least 10 years old herself. (Isn’t it funny how we can always identify the cries and sounds of our babies and pets, even when there are others crying or howling too?) Buddy went berserk! He ran to the back door and started barking. He ran so fast he ran into the glass of the back door, which is a French patio door. I went to let him out, thinking, erroneously, that the cat fight was over because I couldn’t hear the cats any longer. Buddy shot across the yard to a lilac bush in the southeast corner of our yard and jumped right into the middle of it. He was like the Tasmanian Devil in high gear! He’s growling, barking and chasing another creature, but I wasn’t sure whether it was a cat or a mountain lion. It was that impressive of a fight! Suddenly one of the next door neighbor’s bully cats springs out of the bush with Buddy right behind her, barking all the way. He chased her over the fence and then patrolled the fence for an additional 10 minutes to ensure she wasn’t returning. He then went back to the lilac bush at that point and out comes Missy. She looked embarrassed and shaken up. Buddy immediately goes over to make sure she’s ok, sniffing her all over (his favorite thing!) and then comes towards me with his little chest puffed out and a smile on his face. Yes, dogs smile!  He was swaggering like a teenage boy who just got a date to the prom. I was so proud of him!

If a 12 pound, 11 year old little dog can be a hero to others, guess what? You can be too! Don’t just watch others be bullied, cowed, and abused, whether they are next door, two counties over, or even out of the country. Do something! Jump into the middle of that lilac bush and get involved defending and protecting those you love, those you like and even those you don’t know yet! You don’t have to physically fight, but don’t be afraid to jump into the fray and help others. Loving others and being loved back is what being human is all about. Well, that and having babies so the human race can continue, but that’s another issue for another day.

Be a hero to someone today and tomorrow and every day for the rest of your life! Wear a cape and keep it a secret if it makes you feel more empowered, but just don’t stand on the sidelines because you’re afraid to get involved. Pray for others. Encourage them. Find a need and fill it. I promise you there are more than enough needs in this world for everyone to have something to do!

Love to all,

Elaine

P.S. Missy is fine! She’s currently taking a nap under her favorite lilac bush.  😉

Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

 

Everything changes: people, places, seasons, addresses, and sometimes even names, phone numbers, and hair color!

I like change. I like to keep things new, fresh, and exciting. I like to learn, be inspired, grow, and share what I’ve learned and been inspired by so others can maybe learn, be inspired, and grow too. So, I’ve made some changes on my blog to reflect the changes I’ve made over the last year. I changed the design and I imported another blog of mine into this one, too, for simplicity. Finally, today I changed the name of the blog from Pocket Full of Words to Pocket Full of Sun because I use more than words to try and inspire others.

I use art, photos, and crafts to inspire and encourage others. I have a fully voluntary life coaching ministry where I listen to, encourage, and pray for others.

I know that many times people assume that the older we get, the less we like change. Not every “older” person hates change or resists it. Some of us embrace it! I hope that the many changes I’ve made don’t scare you, the reader, away. Keep coming back! My favorite part of having a blog is all of the people I’ve “met” from all over the world. I hope I don’t lose touch with any of you!

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503

Morning Warmth

Waking up early,
warmth and softness
surround me as only
can be felt
after a good night’s sleep
in my own bed at home.

The sun is not up,
yet I feel its
warm joy throughout
my slowly waking body.

I get up slowly,
trying not to lose
the fuzzy warmth
and haze of
dreams just left.

It’s going to be a good day.
I feel a smile spreading
through me
as I watch coffee
dripping into my favorite
orange cup.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
3/1/16