FUN: Now I Understand Baby Bear’s Porridge Predicament

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Long live the purple pen I’ve had for 5 years. Soon it will be out of the box and IN MY HAND! It was given to me by a group of parents at the end of my first year of teaching.

For five years, it remained silent and secure in a beautiful display box. Self-hinged with a silky lining that said Levenger,  its shimmering purple body and silver accents remained regal and shiny, begging to be held, twisted and put to work. Each time I did the “give away, throw away, put away” routine at home, I gently placed it in a spot so I would see it. Eventually I would break down and tell myself it was fine to use because, well, it had been given to me. I had had a Cross pen before but never a treat as sweet as this. So I kept it to use – one day.

I remembered my messy previous experiences with ink cartridges and my frustrating attempts at calligraphy with various pen nib widths. I was determined that today was the “one day” I’d always put “on hold.”

Armed with the internet, I visited the Levenger website for my instrument of words. I poked around until I found the colored inks – not cartridges, but those in a real well. No more would I be limited to Flair pens [which were my first love in the 70s while making posters as an elementary schooler] or brand name colored markers or my dive into the land of gel pens during my scrapbooking heyday. In my world, more colors meant more happiness. Then I began teaching middle school and the drag but necessity of permanent and dry erase markers invaded my life. Come to think of it, so did rollerball-type pens that mysteriously migrated from the desk of my teaching colleague to mine.  Besides, everyone knew blue and black were so – so limiting. And red? Forget grading with it. It might damage my students’ little psyches [a belief I did not adhere to.]

If only I’d had three beds to choose from like Baby Bear – one too hard, one too soft and one just right. But no, my task was even more challenging.

I clicked the bottled ink tab only to find 14 color choices! Egads. This was going to take a while. Really, I wanted to order them all and decide later but I thought my husband would probably appreciate a little financial restraint.

And so I pondered and considered.

Blue Bahama. My mind drifted to the transparent, tranquil Bahamian waters to which our recent family vacation took us. With 13 folks ranging in age from 13 to 76 the color evoked the freshly made top-notch memories. We even had matching shirts that proudly displayed a ship’s wheel above the breast pocket and “Bailey Family Vacation 2012.” Emblazoned on the back? “Meet me at the buffet!” with a fork, spoon and fork underneath. Blue Bahama was a possibility but I still needed to investigate the other options as well.

True Teal, a close color relative, was a darker rendition but it was too similar to its Blue Bahama counterpart.

Cardinal Red, Calret and Shiraz. Somewhat related, these presented three shades of red. Cardinal, true to its tint, reminded me of the occasional happy hopping birds I see from my parents’ deck on the back of their house. Calret? Too reddish brown.  Shiraz contained a rich cranberry-like hue, but wasn’t “just right.”

Now Cocoa? It had possibilities – if only it had been scented! But visually, too dark and sad.

Blues were next. Cobalt Blue? Too primary colorish. It reminded me of elementary school. Since I had attended three different ones the color made me think of early transitions – too many. I’d pass and keep going. Skies of Blue. Self-explanatory. Empyrean? A nice, solid blue but in the “I’m only creative with the ink color name and not creative the ink color” category.

Then came Raven Black.  A definite negatory on that one. Way, too serious. Way….

Soothing greens followed – Forest and Emerald. Seriously beautifully and different from one another they had a “strike” against them. Both reminded me of money. Mostly, that’s a good thing but it also made me think about budgets. Let’s just say my approach to finances is more creative than practical. Just ask my husband. On second thought, let’s not!

I was starting to fidgit a little knowing that only two more colors remained. Geez. I hope that one would work. The next contestant was Regal – the opulence of glittering purplish jewels. Hey, I thought, I might be closing on “just right.” I slowed my thinking to keep my thoughts clear. It had possibilities. It was definitely in my favorite color category range. Hope started to surface and then – choirs of angels, flashes of lightning and all manner of other defining moment sounds sounded.

There it was – Amethyst. Light hearted, happy and semi-transprent but seemingly unpredictable as well.

Yes, Amethyst would work. I could picture myself exuberantly missing hours in my day because I had been happily handwriting – verse, poetry, blog posts. You name it. Let’s face it, we all know key tapping is efficient but my writing soul would release the trapped topics within me – those that can only be freed by hand.

Yes, Amethyst.  You are the one!

Now, if I can just make it until my prize is delivered in 5 to 7 business days. I guess I could find something meaningful to do like make a menu for the week. The only problem? It won’t be fun to write – until I get my Amethyst ink.

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FAITH: Dare to Dance

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William W. Purkey“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”  ―    William W. Purkey

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about dancing. Not any particular type specifically but just what dance can do. Dance can tell stories. Dance can provide exercise. It can be silly – or vulgar – or a community effort like the Macarena or line dancing. I’ve seen videos of servicemen doing the Cha-Cha slide. I am old enough to have seen the world premiere of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video –  and most of the time I think I don’t have time to dance.

To be honest, for the last 20 months – since my sister graduated to glory –  I haven’t felt like dancing about anything. But today, the sun is pointing me in a new direction and two scriptures I’ve read for years are now grabbing my hands and pulling me out into the open to dance in celebration of life.

You might even be familiar with the “A Time for Everything” writing in the book of Ecclesiastes 3 from the Old Testament (or first section) in the Bible.

It begins like this:

Verse 1: There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven:

Verse 2: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

Verse 3:  a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

Verse 4: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a TIME TO DANCE….

I’m stopping here but the next four verses finish the poetic passage. It’s last line is a time for war and a time for peace. Has your spirit been at war for a while? Maybe it’s time for peace – or do I dare say it – dancing?

In Psalms Chapter 30, verse 11, the Bible says:

You [God] turned my mourning into dancing; you removed my sackcloth [clothing to show mourning] and clothed me with joy;

Verse 12: that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks forever.

I’m thinking it’s time for peace and dance to reign supreme – and for me to thank God forever for who He is! That’s one reason I chose to include this video link. It made me think, “Hey. That guy should be ME dancing through ALL the seasons of life.” Life has provided my lessons for dancing. Join me!

So. Are you in?

I found the video link below this week while researching. Aside from the amazing photography and the matching music, I marveled at the four-minute-long visual vacation. It made me want to dance on top of my weed covered garden, to run down my street pumping my fists in the air like Rocky and well, maybe even mow my grass AGAIN this week!

The type of dance I’m discussing is celebratory in nature. It creates a desire to have others join in to express their joyfulness. It’s not immodest. It’s freeing and it seems to speak a language that no words can adequately describe.

http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/06/dance-like-no-one-is-watching-next.html

Guest Post: Letting Go and Leaving Behind

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A Note from Cheryl: Last summer, I went directly from teaching middle schoolers fulltime to being in a 7 week long, 7 class summer intensive program to propel me to the next stage of earning my professional teaching certification in Florida. This summer, I’m re-discovering what it means to HAVE a summer. Thank you for your support and interest in my blog.

Today I’m providing you with a summer treat – a refreshing guest post by a dear friend of mine named Darlene Curtiss. What she wrote during her personal Bible study time will probably encourage you to consider if there’s any “dust shaking” that needs to occur in your life.  I believe that you, too, will know your time has been well spent by reading what Darlene has to say. 

After reading, please consider leaving a comment to let me know you know stopped by. If you’d like to be notified by email as I update (usually on Thursdays), please click the follow button on the right side of your screen beneath my archives.

And now, please welcome a morning musing from my friend.

If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. Matthew 10:14

But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate. Mark 6:11

Source: littlemicy.wordpress.com

I have always thought of these verses as an act of anger or disgust.

In fact, they teach that it is OK to “shake the dust” from yourself and walk away when relationships or situations are ungodly and/or toxic. “Shaking” is the intentional act of letting go of these relationships or situations where we are unable to promote God’s will. They include times where we feel bound or pulled down. The dust is symbolic of leaving those relationships or situations behind because they bog us down and pull us away from God.

When we are not welcomed as followers of Jesus Christ, the situation or relationship may be such that we need to intentionally shake it off , leave it behind or set it aside – for now. The circumstances may be ones  in which you can do no good for anyone, including yourself. You may be trying so hard to please someone else and make your own heart feel better, you forget what really matters most – God’s will.

This is not a letting go of loving and praying for those involved; it is an intentional stepping aside to let God do HIS work if those involved will open their hearts to consider Him. In the meantime, we can refocus ourselves on the tasks God lays before us. When these people are very close to us – emotionally and perhaps even physically, it can be very difficult to realize we cannot, at this time, make a difference no matter what we say or do.

It’s a lesson from God in time management.

If the person is not following Christ and refuses to hear God’s truth, set the situation aside while you see and work on God’s next for you. He may return you to the relationship or situation and if so, the time will be right.

Discernment is crucial. It involves listening to God and knowing what steps He wants you to take. In your heart, you will know when change has occurred.

God wants us to be joyful in the work we do for Him. Sometimes it means “shaking the dust” off ourselves and choosing to go forward. If God gives you the go-ahead to go back, you’ll be rested and even more resolved to do His will.

About the Author: Darlene Curtiss is a follower of Jesus Christ, an administrative assistant professional, wife, mom, grandmother and great-grandmother who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. She shares home with her husband of 40+ years and 2 much loved (and spoiled) cats.