If I Could Teach the World to Sing…

Wow! Sometimes I love the internet and sharing things with people around the world. I shared some of my Ireland pictures on my jigsaw puzzle app and got best picture 2 weeks in a row. I didn’t even realize it until later. Then today I suddenly realized I had 247 comments on the same puzzle in at least a dozen different languages!! I’m just blown away by that! I knew I loved the picture, but that so many others liked it too is really cool. (I’m so easily impressed, aren’t I?) This is the photo that has garnered so much interest.

  
In other news, I found out yesterday that I’m in the top 15% of read reviewers (8992 people) on Trip Advisor because of the places I reviewed while on our Ireland/Spain/England/France trip two years ago.   

My point is, sometimes we get frustrated by how burdensome the internet can be and by how we seem, in some ways, to be more disconnected from people. For the first 30+ years of my life, though, I would only have connected with people I met personally or maybe a pen pal in another country through school or something. Now, we live in truly a more connected world. More people are traveling abroad. There are international online communities for nearly every subject or interest known to humankind, news is known almost instantly, and we make friends with people we’ve never met in person. Lastly, through something as trivial as a photo for a jigsaw puzzle, we can bring enjoyment to people we’ve never met and who don’t even share a common language with us. 

I’m feeling more connected to the world at large in a positive way tonight than I ever have before.  When I was a little girl, I think in the late 1960’s or 1970’s, there was a Coca-Cola commercial that came out on television where people from all over the world were holding hands and singing, 

“I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills

For peace through out the land
(That’s the song I hear)

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony…”

That’s the way I feel tonight.  Yes, I’m a peace, hope, and love gal all the way to the bone. I feel closer to that ideal than I have in a long, long time. 

D. Elaine Wood-Lane

5/24/17

Dancing Through Life

Life is a dance,
Full of joy, sorrow and grace.

Sometimes we feel like doing a reel,
And sometimes we feel like dancing in place.

We never know what music will come,
As we dance through this thing we call life,
But if we keep dancing and give it our all,
We’ll find in the end a beautiful waltz
That ends all our struggles and strife.


Over the past weekend, my family experienced a huge loss as a dear friend of ours who was actually living in our basement, passed away. He went in his sleep, so his dancing here has ceased, but I know he’s dancing in heaven.

We all have ups and downs and turnarounds in our lives. That is, we do if we live very long at all and get involved in the world and with people around us. The ups keep us encouraged and hopeful. The downs remind us that life on this earth isn’t perfect and is only temporary. However, if we keep on keeping on, never ceasing to improve our dance steps/actions and selves, we know in the end, we’ll find peace.

I, myself, believe I have found salvation and peace through Jesus Christ, God’s son. I believe that He was crucified, died, and then rose again so that all who believe in Him might rise again after we die and live eternally too. For some people, that sounds like too fantastic a story, too unbelievable to accept. Some people call it a fable, a myth, a fairy tale. I call it the most beautiful example of love I’ve ever heard of and so…I take the risk. I accept the story and the gift of Jesus. My prayer is that when I pass away, I will keep on dancing, but my partner will be Jesus. I think Chuck is dancing with Jesus right now, happy, free, and completely devoid of pain. That gives me peace and joy. I pray it will give you peace too, knowing there is someone (God) who loves you so much that He let his son die for you.

God bless you all and may your Christmas be merry and bright!

D. Elaine Wood-Lane
December 14, 2016

Between a Doze and a Daydream

I came out to my studio to write this afternoon. I started off writing a quadrille poem (44 words long) that would include the word spark or sparkle for dVerse Poetry’s weekly quadrille challenge. I wrote as the breeze wafted through my open door and the sun slowly shifted to highlight the artwork on the wall opposite me. The air was not too hot and not too cold, but just exactly perfect. Missy Cat came inside and found a comfy place to snooze and suddenly I realized I had been staring off into space, halfway caught between a doze and a daydream. What a perfect afternoon and a perfect feeling of peace. I realized I was more relaxed than I’ve been in ages. Did I get a lot of writing done? No. Did I get a lot of plotting and planning done for the 50,000 word novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo? I have to say I did. Isn’t it amazing how much one can accomplish when we simply take the time to get halfway caught between a doze and a daydream? Happy Monday everybody!    Elaine

My daydream wall…

Missy Cat’s place to doze…

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

Be At Peace

Though our hearts be sad and gray, let us remember that so far as it depends on us, be at peace with all people. (Romans 12:18). 
I leave you this blessing:

Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

24 “‘“The Lord bless you

and keep you;

25 the Lord make his face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

26 the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.”’
I love you all and am praying that the killing stops, period. It is time.

Elaine

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.”

 

Resting Is Important

image

Looking out the window into utter tranquility.

Resting is important to all of us, especially in our go, go, go society where it sometimes feels like you only are recognized or feel validated if you can say you are SO busy. I remember a time when I was truly busy, but I was also adding things onto my “to-do list” every day that weren’t really essential or even necessary. Was it really necessary that I reorganize my files for the new year with new colored tabs every single year? Was it really necessary to change my bed sheets every seven days like clockwork, especially when I was the only one sleeping on them and I only used about a 3×5 foot space? (This was when I was single, I should point out.) There are many things we do that are important, but there are many things we do that have been handed down to us from either experts or our parents or both. (My mother was the wash your sheets every seven days queen and had a whole other host of household rules that, quite frankly, were unnecessary and exhausting.)

For a while in the 1990’s and early 2000’s I was really caught up in the Stephen Covey organization/calendar/setting goals system. I faithfully wrote every single thing down in my pretty little organizer that I felt I had to do each day. I made goals, I made appointments with myself, I put all of my sons’ activities on my calendar, all of my singles’ group church activities on my calendar, and even times when I would be at my parents’ home, helping them out with some housecleaning and just visiting them. (They were elderly and lived across the street from me at the time.) Once I had every single little thing that I did in my life written down on that calendar and wrote down my “to-do list” every day, I looked at it all and immediately felt completely overwhelmed! I thought to myself that there was no possible way I could do everything that I had put on that calendar or reach the goals I had set for myself. You know what’s funny about all of that? I had been doing all of those things for quite a while and handling them just fine until I saw how much I was doing! Hahaha!

My point is that life is life. There are times when we are busier and have more responsibilities and there isn’t a lot we can do about it at the time. There are other times when we’re not as busy, but don’t wish to look unproductive so we add things to our lives and our calendars to feel more productive, more involved, and more important, quite frankly. Why do we do that? Do we really have to be busy 24/7 to matter, to make a difference, or to earn other people’s admiration or to earn our salvation from God? NO! As a matter of fact, it says in Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” http://bible.com/114/eph.2.8-10.nkjv

Yes, we have responsibilities and things to do, but there are things which God has prepared beforehand for us to do and there are times when we need to rest. We have to rest in order to be able to continue to do the things God has prepared for us to do. He doesn’t want us to be busy just to be busy. He wants our work to be purposeful, in obedience to Him, and for us to rest in between times. How often have you said to yourself over the years, “I’m going to either get up early or stay up late to study God’s word and pray?” Yet most of us never do either of those things on a regular basis. I’m not preaching here, because I’m just as bad as anyone when it comes to this particular topic. As I said above, there was a time when I was busy, it seemed, 24/7. If I had even a moment of slowing down or resting, I felt guilty. Guilty for crying out loud! Even God rested on the seventh day after creating the universe. Jesus regularly went apart from the crowds to meditate and pray. Do you think perhaps we take ourselves a little too seriously and need to give ourselves a rest and respite from time to time? I do. I think most people in the developed world have become so busy and attached to their electronic gizmos that we rarely just stop, sip a beverage, sit down and just be. How will we ever get to spend any time with God if we’re contstantly on the go? Didn’t God Himself say, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NKJV).

We have to have a balance of work time and rest time. If we never take the time to rest, do you know what happens? We wear our bodies out and suddenly we are forced to rest. How do I know this? Because that is exactly what happened to me. I managed to always complete everything on my list back in the day and then one day I was unable to get out of bed. I felt like a ton of bricks had fallen on me. I had no energy, every place, space, and part of my body hurt and I felt so ridiculous. I had things to do, places to go, people to see! God said, “Nope! We’re going to spend some time together, you and I. You’re going to be still for a while.” It turns out that I have fibromyalgia. Now, for the most part, it is controlled by medication, but I still have to be careful and organize outings and workloads carefully with periods of time to rest. If I don’t, well, let’s just say it’s not pretty!

So, all of this is to say, this morning it is cool and overcast here in Colorado Springs. I opened my windows, have my cat sitting on the window sill, have a cup of coffee in a jaunty orange mug by my side and am enjoying the sounds of all the birds. God is good, isn’t he? He gave me the perfect time to rest and enjoy the morning.

Peace and love, Elaine

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