Living the Wet Life

One of my favorite pastimes is swimming laps at our nearby community pool.  Early morning is my favorite and when possible bringing an inspirational book and a cup of coffee or water.

woman swimming

After swimming a few laps and treading water, as well as greeting other swimmers, relaxing in a comfortable lounge chair and reading is delightful.  Usually it is easy for me to shut out the activities and conversations of those around me. But not always.

Kids playing “Marco Polo” and other water games often get a bit rowdy until told by parents to “calm down”.  Conversations between youngsters and their siblings can be interesting, as are interactions between children and parents.  Most children especially enjoy playing in the water with their mom and dad.  Some children wistfully watch as parents of other kids join in the fun, while theirs do not.

After finding a set of 5 squirt guns on sale, I offered them to my granddaughters.  Three brothers arrived at the pool and noticed the squirt guns.  “Wow, first time I ever saw girls with so many squirt guns,” the oldest loudly said.  Soon all had one to use and they played well for a long time at the end of the pool.

kids at pool

One warm evening last summer, a large family including a mom, dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins played energetic games of volleyball.  All the other swimmers at the pool were invited to join in. It was very inter-generational, as well as inclusive. Surprisingly, not even the oldest people at the pool complained.  It was refreshing to see such fun among several ages. It doesn’t happen often enough.

pool volleyball
I live two blocks from the beach and one block from our pool, and have found being near the water soothes my soul.  It is a good place to pray and think.

Jesus often walked along the Sea of Galilee as he taught his disciples. He even prepared a breakfast of fish and bread for them.

Once when His disciples thought they were lost in a sudden, strong storm, Jesus walked across the sea to help them.

Jesus taught us how to live ‘the wet life.

woman by ocean

Whats Your Bottom Line?

One thing leads to another.  After I posted about hearing Maria Von Trapp speak, then I remembered hearing Corrie ten Boom speak.  Finally, I remembered briefly meeting Joni Eareckson Tada, so I decided to write about her on the 50th anniversary of her diving accident.

What came to my mind is how distinctly each of these wise women communicated a strong Biblical principle they chose as their personal bottom line.

Also amazing is how clearly I remember their bottom lines,  a lesson to me in my own communicating.  But, what is my bottom line, my take home message?  Several Biblical principles quickly come to mind, yet if I had to choose the most important, what would it be?

Then I remembered a poignant book I read as a young girl.  It was The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.  In fact, I read it several times.  Anne’s short but intense life was memorable because she wrote down her feelings as she described her difficult situation.   She had been given an autograph book with a small lock on her 15th birthday, shortly before her family went into hiding.  She used it as a diary which was discovered in the attic of the home where they had been hiding.  It was given to her father, Otto Frank.  His wife and two daughters died in Aushwitz concentration camp.

When Otto Frank read the diary his younger daughter kept and realized she wanted to be a journalist, he decided to get it published. Her writings have educated and inspired countless readers.  From Anne we learn it is good to put our thoughts and ideas in writing.  Anne kept her faith in God and believed most people were “good at heart.”

As I put in writing my strongest beliefs, I am centering on the love of God and the inner peace of trusting in His Son, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior.  To clearly define my own bottom line, since the name of my blog is “Heresyourhope,” it is essential to begin with “hope.”

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone.  My hope comes from Him.”  Psalm 62:5

 

 

Getting Back to Today … Again!

Well, back to making the most of the remaining “Days of My Life.”

A sense of urgency continues to motivate me as I resume crossing items off my “Do before I Die,” list.  Yet, the list is getting longer instead of shorter.  How can that be?

Compiling an up-to-date list of my lifelong and newer friends (along with current mailing and email addresses) has risen to the top of my list.  And for a good reason – it is time for me to thank each one for their love and loyalty.  Long overdue and not a minute too soon.  W are all getting older!

Friends are a blessing from God.  My dear friend, Sandy, signed her cards “Your Eternal Friend,” and since she lost her courageous battle with brain cancer, those words are now especially comforting.  Her faith in our Lord Jesus was also comforting.

Also on my list is being a better friend to mine and keeping them in my prayers.  How easy it is to promise to pray for someone but allow it to slip our mind. Oh, someone just crossed my mind who really could use a prayer or two.  Gotta go. . .

DM

 

Off the Beaten Path. . . my Turtle Trilogy

One way or another, turtles have had a way of becoming a part of my family.

First, in order of time sequence,  consider the tiny turtle my daughter, Pamela, gently lifted out of Lauderdale Lake, in Wisconsin,  one spring morning.  Yes, for a time, we took it home with us.  It seemed content to walk across our large front floor room and we all spent a lot of time just watching it go back and forth from one wall to another.  Then we began to wonder if it missed being in the lake.  The next time we returned to Lutherdale Bible Camp, we all headed down to the beach and sadly but gladly put the turtle in the sand. At first, of course, it hid its head in the shell, then  poked it out  and headed to the lake.  Slowly at first, but quicker by the minute, it hit the water and began swimming. For years, Pammy was sure she recognized it somewhere in the lake.

Then came the summer several years later when we were on a small boat near shore in the Mississippi River.  Timmy asked if we could catch a turtle and bring it home. “I doubt you can catch one,”  the owner of the fishing boat said.  At that moment, Timmy  reached out on a branch floating in the water, and pulled No.2 into the boat.  Again, we brought it home,  enjoyed it and then felt it time to return it.  Same scenario…it seemed happy to be back in the rushing river.

Again, years later,  my children were older and Danny, my youngest son, was in his senior year of college at University of FL in Gainesville.  As he was driving back to his apartment after attending church one Sunday, he slowed down to avoid hitting a large turtle slowly crossing the road. He passed it and kept going for a while.  Suddenly he slowed down and turned around.  The turtle was still crossing the road with cars speeding by. Danny found a large box in his trunk and gently lifted the turtle into  it.

“What to do with it now?” Danny wondered.  Then an idea came to his mind.  He decided to take it to the local community college, as it offered courses in zoology.  It was the right choice.  When he brought out an employee from the college to look at it, she got very excited and hugged Danny.  Turns out it was a very significant type of almost-extinct turtle.  By now,  others were coming to view the turtle, who seemed curious about so much excitement.  When Danny returned to his apartment and called me,  we laughed at the fact turtle no.3 was now part of our turtle tales.

But that is not the end of our turtle tales.  For the last two years, Jacob and Rebecca have shared my screened porch living in a large glass fish tank.  They enjoy sitting on their pet rocks basking in the sun.  There is enough water for them to swim along with some dry area.  My granddaughter, Emily, selected them; she and her younger sister, Shelbi, named them.

I live a short walk to the Atlantic Ocean, and certain times of the year turtles lay eggs and become a major attraction.  Watching them is fun.  Turtles are in my blood, I believe.

dm.

The Lasting Impression Of Prayer..

The Power Of A Praying Person

When my oldest son was a baby, he was awake and hungry very early each morning.  {Some things never change It was then I began to keep a prayer journal and read the One Year Bible, once he fell back to sleep.  Many years later, I still keep my prayer journal and read the One Year Bible in the morning, but not quite as early nowadays.

Many answers to prayer have been reported in my journal and reading the Bible every year has been extremely amazing.  Somehow,  one can learn all kinds of new stuff about God and His Word.

But the real surprise I got not too long ago was a wonderful comment  from my son. . .yes, the early bird mentioned above.  I was asking him if he could recall anything I had done right when he and his younger brother and older sister were growing up.

“I remember how you were sitting reading the Bible every morning when I came downstairs,” he said.  “It was a reminder of how important it is to have strong faith.”      His words were quite a surprise and very encouraging.

Then I, too, remembered seeing my grandfather kneel by his bed, a Bible open as he prayed in German.  I didn’t understand what he was saying, but did recognize he mentioned my name in his prayers.  That picture of him remains clear in my mind.  He had the door partly cracked -just enough for me  to see and hear him-which really increased my own faith..

These days I look at the power of prayer in a whole different light..

DM

 

 

Taking my own advice!

 

Staying optimistic can be a full-time job.   Deliberately focusing on the positive

doesn’t come naturally.  Sometimes we don’t even realize we are taking

two steps forward and then slipping back  a step or two.  Guess we actually need to

stop and pay attention to what is going on in the back of our mind and what we are thinking.’

What you say is what you get.”  There is some truth in that premise even

though it isn’t always so. Every word begins with a thought.

When one says, ”I  just know this is gonna be a terrible day.” probably it will be.

Of course,  there may be times similar to “Alexander and the Terrible. Horrible. No Good, Very

Bad Day.”   I delayed reading that children’s book by Judith Viorst,  because of its negative title.

But eventually found it a slice of a kid’s real life.  Most kids laugh  and glad to know that others

have difficult days. too.

Maintaining one’s optimistic attitude is worth the effort and is time well spent.

Especially when we get the ‘hang of it’.  But it takes bit of intentional discipline.

Go ahead, give it your best shot . . . it will be well worth the effort.

D.M.

Are you happy. . . or contented? Or still seeking?

What makes you happy?  Is it a momentary feeling or a state of mind?

Some experts describe happiness as a decision, while others say  it is well-worth

a determined search, no matter how long it takes.

“I have decided to be content in every situation”.  This takes concentration

and deliberation.   And it wasn’t my idea, it originated with someone who

suffered a lot, including surviving a shipwreck and enduring unfair

beatings.  But it works!

Yes, it takes a lot of practice and beginning again and again.  In time, it even

gets a little easier.

The best part is, happiness frequently drops in and real joy overcomes us.

DM