Be A Hero!

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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Days and Stitches

Stitch by stitch,
colors coming together
in a mosaic of beautiful tints,
a new row for each day.

This time the days
are tinted as temperatures
and skies.

One year,
each day would
have been all hot
yellows, oranges and reds.

Even the cool days
that year were filled
with the heat and longing
of new infatuation and
the promise of more.

Now the days have turned
to steadiness and true blue love,
with a mixture of heat waves
moving through.

This year’s mosaic
of tints is perfect.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
5/17/16

West Texas Twang/NaPoWriMo Day 18

Doris Elaine Wood!
Where in the world are you?
It’s gettin’ dark out there
and supper’s ready!

I’m comin’, I’m comin’ Mother!
I was down the street at Sonya’s.

When I call you to supper,
I better not have to call you again!
What were y’all doin’ anyway?

We were just watchin’ the sun set.
It’s so pritty tonight.

The same sun sets at your house,
you silly girl!
Go wash your hands
before comin’ to the table.

I can’t see the sunset from inside
our house, Mother.
None of our windas face west!

Oooh, it smells so good in here!
What are we havin’ for supper?

Sammon paddies, mashed taters,
sop, green beans and biscuits.
Oh, and chili sauce if you want
some on your patatoes and sop.

It has been so many years,
since this nightly conversation
took place, but I remember
the accents, the sound of
Mother’s voice, and the lovely
aromas rising from our supper table
like it was yesterday.

I don’t say everything as I did,
but many words apparently
I still pronounce with the same
Texas twang that I did back then.

You can take the girl out of West Texas,
but you can’t take the West Texas out of the girl!

© Doris Elaine Wood-Lane
4/18/16


The challenge today is to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore.

Definitions:
Taters (potatoes)
Patatoes (potatoes)
Sop (gravy)
Sammon (salmon)
Paddies (patties or more correctly, croquettes)
Biscuits (non-yeast rolls)
Chili Sauce (a relish that looks like picante sauce, but is sweeter and has no hot peppers in it)

Elaine

Monday, Monday/NaPoWriMo Day 11

Monday, Monday,
how many of you have
I lived in my lifetime?

You’re not blue
like you used to be,
nor red either!

In my blue Monday days,
thinking of going to work
made me, well, blue!

In my red Monday days,
I started feeling anxious
and angry on Sunday afternoons.

Mondays are now rosy pink,
because they are peaceful,
calm and, I think,
full of love and purpose.

I finally found my favorite color!

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/11/16


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

Hens Laying Eggs

The sun is going down behind the mountain
As we drive home from work.
I’m listening to you talk about your day.

“Did you know that hens eventually stop laying
eggs?” I ask you as you head under Austin Bluffs.
“I guess it makes sense, really, if you think about it.
I guess they go through menopause just like people,
but I had never thought about it before. Had you ever?”

Glancing over at you, I see a look of utter confusion.
I think back on our conversation and realize I’ve
jumped subjects once again.
I’ve hopped from the tax return season to chicken menopause.

I’m abashed. This happens all too frequently.
I find too many wonderful things to notice and
think about while talking about other wonderful things
I’ve noticed and thought about.

You quietly ask, “Were we talking about hens?
Where did that come from anyway?”

I try to explain about seeing the article in
my latest issue of Country Living a few minutes prior,
but in the middle of my explanation I start talking about
another topic that has caught my attention.

I’m truly not an airhead, a ditz, nor a flake.
I don’t think I have Alzheimer’s…yet.
Perhaps I have Attention Deficit Disorder?
Or maybe I’m so smart my mouth…
……can’t keep up with my brain?   (Bah!!)

On the other hand, maybe my brain
can’t keep up with my mouth?
All I know is, I’m happy 90% of
my waking hours and 100% of my
sleeping hours (when I can’t talk).

I read somewhere it’s rare to be
that happy most of the time.
So, maybe, having a mismatched brain
and mouth isn’t so bad if it
creates happiness?

Or maybe I’ll never quit laying eggs…

Chicken and Eggs

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
2/25/16

Empty Nest

When young with two sons,
mornings, upon waking late,
were a scene from a Three
Stooges skit.

Mass chaos reigned.
sleepy kids running around,
eating a hearty breakfast of…
cereal, again, and
much cajoling and yelling heard,
until we were all dressed,
fed, and in the car on our way
to start our equally hectic day.

It was always thus
Until one day…
My nest was empty.

Now when I awake,
My routine is so regimented,
That if I vary it at all,
My Chihuahua puppy son,
Gets confused and frets.

I can’t believe that…
I miss the chaos some mornings,
as I slowly sip my coffee and
Wake up quietly.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
1/18/16

Cocooning

Have you ever woken up
And you feel like your nerves
Want to crawl right out of your skin?

You want to crawl back into your
Cocoon of a bed and sleep until
It’s all over. The pain, not life.

It’s rare for me these days,
But on this snowy, cold day,
Even with my favorite Buddy
On my lap and the beautiful,
Snowy scenery outside,

I’d rather be cocooning.
Wake me up when it’s
Safe to come out and play
Again.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
1/8/16