Romans 12: 9-21

I love this passage in Romans. When I get all out of whack and grumpy, I read this passage and get straightened out right away. I love all the different translations too, but this one from The Message says it all very plainly and I like that. So, I thought I would share this today, both to remind myself and to encourage others too.

I pray your weekend is blessed and that if you’re a mother, your Mother’s Day is full of love and laughter. 💕 Elaine

Romans 12:9-21from The Message

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Sunshine and Rain

Sunshine and rain,
pleasure and pain.
The circle of life,
with such cycles is rife.

Yesterday’s sunshine
was golden and sure,
lilacs all blooming,
with aroma so pure.

The ground has been thirsty,
needing a drink,
when it rained so hard,
on the gutter it plink’d.

Some days our souls
are golden and pure,
but can become very arid,
without rain to mature.

God fills our souls
with pleasure and pain,
He loves to mature us,
with sunshine and rain.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
5/4/15

I was awakened by heavy rainfall in the middle of the night (2:15 AM actually) this morning and it really was plinking onto the gutter and gushing out the end. Anyway, I woke up with a poem started in my head and decided to get up and write it down before I forgot it. After an hour and a half, this poem was done and I went back to bed.

To all of my friends in Lubbock tonight, stay on high ground! Your rain tonight makes ours look rather weak!

Crystal Clear|NaPoWriMo Day 30

There are those special moments
so crystal and so clear,
when we truly understand
what we honestly hold dear.

The moments we can see,
our life as from the sky
and even maybe understand
to the questions we ask, why?

Today I’ve had a moment
when every detail was so clear
when everything made sense
and I had two open ears.

God said: Here’s your mission,
you’ve had it for a while.
I said I’m sorry Lord, as
I hid a teary smile.

I was looking for a mission
somewhere far away,
something with some glamour
and maybe even fame–
and all the time my mission
was so closely gathered near,
I never thought to look and
see if it was here!

God tried to hide His smile,
but I saw it anyway,
and I thanked Him for the
message He let me see today.

My life may be hard at times,
and I wonder if I’m sane,
but God has given me a mission,
so crystal and so clear,
it is to love and care each day
for the ones that
He brings near.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/30/15



And so we come down to the last day of the month of April and the last day of NaPoWriMo for 2015. I have enjoyed doing this so much! It has been a challenge, I will admit, but I am very glad I participated. Besides the joy of writing so many poems, I have met a lot of really neat and great people all over the world! If anyone had ever told me, even a year ago, that I would get to meet so many people and actually do what I love while doing so, I wouldn’t have believed them.

I hope we can stay in touch!

Peace and love, Elaine

Queen of Hearts|NaPoWriMo Day 24

I drew the queen of hearts again,
and won the game of Spades,
it really wasn’t skill,
but pure luck that it was made.

I’ve always loved the queen of hearts,
she’s very dear to me,
because I have a lover’s heart,
with deep love and empathy.

I feel another’s love, elation,
and their pain,
sometimes I wish I didn’t,
but it’s just the way I am.

I’ve tried to turn my heart off,
to be more cool and clear,
and then I find someone,
with their eyes full of tears.

Immediately my heart clenches,
I feel their pain and know,
it’s time for me to love,
and some hopeful seeds to sow.

I start out with a hug,
and then
say “God loves you,
and you know that I do too,”
and somehow they know
I mean it,
and that God’s love is something true.

When someone’s face is wreathed
in smiles and they are grinning
ear to ear,
my heart and face start smiling too,
it’s automatic, I fear.

If a child is playing joyfully,
my heart skips a beat,
and the next thing I know,
I’m right there with them,
dancing right along,
and climbing up the trees.

Somehow I drew
the queen of hearts,
upon the day that I was born,
I smile when people smile,
my heart feels what they feel,
it’s a little hard,
when they’re feeling grief and fear.

But in truth,
I’m very grateful,
I drew the card I drew,
because I love my God
so much,
and all His people too.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/25/15



The prompt for this poem was a challenge to take a chance, literally: Find a deck of cards (regular playing cards, tarot cards, uno cards, cards from your “Cards Against Humanity” deck – whatever), shuffle it, and take a card – any card! Now, begin free-writing based on the card you’ve chosen. Keep going without stopping for five minutes. Then take what you’ve written and make a poem from it.

Lucky I drew my favorite card, wasn’t it? I don’t know what I’d have done with the joker! LOL!

Peace and love, Elaine

The Little Poet|NaPoWriMo Day 22

“See the poem I wrote today?”
She grinned at me and said.
I looked at her in wonder,
and slowly shook my head.

How could she be so naive
and even worse so glad?
She was just too young to see,
how the world was oh so bad.

Then she handed me her little poem,
written in childish scrawl,
and tears fell down my face,
as all at once I saw,
the reason for her joy
and understood her grace,
no wonder she had such a
sweet, sweet smile,
upon her little face.

The poem was very simple,
just four lines, you see,
but every line was beautiful,
to old and grouchy me:

“God loves you,
God loves me,
I love you,
do you love me?”

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/23/15



This little poem was actually inspired by a little girl I had in a third grade bible class I taught. She was a very sweet little girl from a poor family on the “wrong side of town.” The world she lived in was poor, rough and scary, but she had more love in her little pinkie than most people have in their whole lives! I still remember her…

Elaine

Until the Morning’s Dew|NaPoWriMo Day 21

When my eyelids fall so heavy
and my thoughts are all of You,
I know I’ll soon be sleeping
until the morning’s dew.

The moonlight falls so quietly
upon my windowpane
and the stars begin to twinkle
as the angels say Your name.

I try so hard to stay awake,
so I can really pray,
but You calm my restless spirit so
I have no words to say.

Just know that I do love You
and pray within my dreams,
that I’ll see You in the morning
when the morning dewdrops gleam.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/23/15


I got a couple of days behind. I think the prompts stymied me for a few days. I don’t know why. Sometimes, that is just the way it goes. Anyway, I apologize for getting behind and then slamming you with three poems in one day!

Elaine

The ABC Poem or Abecedarian Poetry–NaPoWriMo Day 10

Today’s challenge is to write an abecedarian poem – a poem with a structure derived from the alphabet. There are a couple of ways of doing this. You could write a poem of 26 words, in which each word begins with a successive letter of the alphabet. You could write a poem of 26 lines, where each line begins with a successive letter. Or finally, if you’d prefer to narrow your focus, perhaps you could write a poem which focuses on a few letters, using words that repeat them.

My attempt at this is a bit crude, but hopefully it still expresses some of my deepest held beliefs and hopes for this world.


The ABC Poem

Always
Be kind,
Caring for others.

Dare to be different,
Experience life,
Fearing nothing while young.

Go where you can, see the world,
Here and yon,
Imagine a life of peace,
Joy and love.

Keep all your promises, and
Love without limits, you’re sure to
Make friends as you go if you do.

Never lie or deceive, and
O’er all your days,
Pray and believe in God, hope, and love.

Quiet is good for the heart and the soul.
Remember, be grateful, and
Sing every day.
Take time to be holy, and
Understand one another.

Voice all your cares,
Worship all day, God will meet you right there.

Xpress through prayer, to
Your God up above, your care for each man, let’s
Zap all the hatred from our hearts and this world.

©Elaine Wood-Lane
4/10/15

No Wise Words to Say–NaPoWriMo Day 9

Jackson Pollock, Convergence, 1952

I have no wise words to say
on this most usual Thursday.

So far this morning I’ve read
countless poems
by brilliant poets participating
in NaPoWriMo just as I am this month.

I’ve watched a video of a nun
visiting great art of the 20th century
and heard her describe the significance
of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning,
Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol.

I’ve read new messages about
my sponsored Compassion children
in Peru and Rwanda and in my heart
compared my life of relative wealth
to their lives of hardship and loss.

All these things are what I love.
Walter de la Mare was the first poet
I learned about and loved.
Then came Robert Frost, Mary Oliver,
William Carlos William, and Billy Collins.
Somewhere along the way,
I decided I wanted to write poetry
that would be read and inspire
others like they inspire me.

I’ve seen Jackson Pollock, Rothko,
and Warhol’s art live and in person
at the Chicago Institute of Art.
Pollock’s painting was so large and
had such depth of expression,
that when I saw it, I sat down in stunned
silence, tears sliding down my face as
the full experience and meaning
touched my soul.

My Compassion children,
Dayana and Niyonkuru,
have my heart even though
I’ve never met them, seen them,
or touched their little faces.
They’re so grateful and loving,
and the letters and pictures
we exchange have connected
us across thousands of miles,
different cultures and experiences.

The common theme this morning,
for me,
is the beauty to be found in life,
in poetry, art, people, and God.

I have no wise words to say
about these things.

You have to open your own eyes,
your own mind, heart, and soul,
to see beauty in everything yourself.

God made so much beauty in
the world for us to appreciate.
Try to find some today, enjoy it,
relish it, breathe it into your soul,
and say, “Thank you,” for the beauty.

Peace and love,

©Elaine Wood-Lane
4/9/15

Counting Blessings….

Still in pjs and housecoat,
Sipping coffee,
Listening to iTunes shuffle,
opera to the Cranberries,
Looking at the family budget,
Dog dreaming on my lap,
Minor fibromyalgia pain so far,
Husband in the home office,
Son sleeping downstairs,
Healthy grandson, papa and mama
In Illinois.

Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one.
Life is good and
God is on His throne.

©Elaine Wood-Lane

We really are so blessed and fortunate. Even though life isn’t always easy and we all go through some very hard times, we have to remember the good times that were and that will be once again. Life isn’t static. It doesn’t stay in the valleys forever, but it doesn’t stay on the mountain tops forever either. Without the valleys, we wouldn’t appreciate the mountain tops, and without the mountain tops, we couldn’t bear the time in the valleys. Right now, I think I’m living on a mesa somewhere in the middle and I am very, very grateful for where I am right this moment. Hugs and love, Elaine

Christmas Eve at Walmart, Lubbock, Texas, 2000 Something

It was Christmas Eve, late in the evening, when I realized there were still some things I needed to buy for Christmas dinner the next day so my sons and I drove over to our regular Walmart. The store aisles weren’t nearly as congested as I expected, but did look like someone had thrown a hand grenade in the middle just to see what would happen. Every aisle looked like it had been looted. Shelves were fairly empty, stuff was all over the floor, and it was a mess! I didn’t even head over towards the toy or Christmas sections of the store because I was afraid those might be where everyone was located given that the parking lot was full and the east side of the store, the grocery section, was so quiet.

I hurried through the aisles, trying to get everything as quickly as possible, because I wanted to do a little baking that night before I went to bed. We were living with my dad then, partly to keep him company after my mother passed away, partly to combine household expenses to a more economic level for both of us, and partly to watch after my dad who was getting a little bit forgetful and confused. He would receive the bills and I would write the checks and pay them. He was so afraid he’d forget to pay a bill that on the day he received a bill of any kind, the moment I walked in the door, he’d hand it to me and have the checkbook waiting on the kitchen table for me to write it out and put the payment out on the mailbox for the next day’s mail. Besides being a little forgetful, he had macular degeneration so could only see the periphery of everything, which greatly limited him for many things.

After I picked up all I needed in the grocery section, my sons and I met at the front and found the shortest line, but still had about three people in front of us, some with groceries, but most with toys or gifts of various and sundry types. The register clerk seemed to be moving rather slowly so the person right ahead of me, snapped at her very rudely. I hate seeing this happen ever and usually try to lighten things up when I get to the clerk.

When I moved up in line, I on an upbeat, chirpy note, said, “Hi! How are you doing? Are you ready for Christmas?!” The young woman said “No,” and then started crying! She was trying her best not to cry, but still, there were tears flowing down her cheeks and she had to clear her throat twice before she could answer. “No! I’m not ready for Christmas and I guess I won’t be this year at all!”

I felt badly for obviously reopening a very new wound, but as the silence stretched between us for a minute, I could tell she really needed someone to just listen to her. I gently said, “What’s wrong, hon?” That’s all the encouragement she needed. “I was working this part-time job at Walmart just to make extra Christmas money so my kids could have a good Christmas this year. I’m a nurse at ** Hospital and I just found out this morning, with no prior warning, that I’m being laid off, effective today! What in the world am I going to do now? This part-time job at Walmart isn’t going to support me and my kids!” Then she started crying in earnest. She had finished checking out my items and I had already paid, but felt she needed a few moments more. I had just learned of the layoffs at the hospital on the evening news a couple of hours before. They were letting over 60 people go due to budget cutbacks. No warning had been given, although some of the employees had heard rumors. This young woman had obviously not heard the rumor.

“Well,” I replied, “Are you a registered nurse or an LVN? Either way, you should be able to find some job in nursing soon, don’t you think? I mean, at least you have good credentials, right?”

“I’m an LVN and I do have good credentials and a good reference, but if the main hospital in town is laying people off, I don’t know if there will be any good nursing jobs in town available.”

“Oh, I had not thought of that,” I said. One thing I did know was that healthcare workers were usually in high demand. I couldn’t understand why the hospital had laid off that many people when healthcare workers are in such high demand, especially LVN’s and RN’s. Suddenly struck by inspiration, I asked, “What about jobs in home health agencies? Have you thought of that? We have a nurse from a home health agency who stops in to see my dad a couple of times a week to treat a knee he hurt when he fell out of a tree recently.”

“What?! Your dad fell out of a tree? How old is he anyway?”

“Oh, he’s 90 years old and if I’ve told him once, I’ve told him a hundred times to stay off the roof of the house and to quit trying to trim his trees by himself! But did he listen? Oh no! He decides while I’m at work that he’ll climb up that old maple tree and cut out the deadwood in it. In the process, the ladder slipped, he started falling, and the only thing that stopped him was the fence. He landed on the fence, hung by his knees, totally upside down with his feet on the outside of the fence. He’s a strong old guy, but he didn’t have the strength to pull himself upright on the fence and get down. If his mail lady hadn’t happened to see his feet and know him, I don’t know what would have happened to him! She helped him down, took him inside the house, and found my emergency number. I went home immediately and looked at the damage. The spikes on his fence had dug into the backs of his knees and left bad, deep wounds. So, I took him to the doctor and the doctor prescribed a home health nurse to give him antibiotics by injection and to keep an eye on the wound. She loves her job, by the way. She said she has been much happier in home health than she ever was working at a hospital. I know the name of the agency where she works and could give you a referral there if you like. My husband used to be their accountant.”

At that point, the clerk came right around the counter, grabbed me, and started crying again, but this time with hope and relief. “Do you really think I could get a job at that home health agency? You’re not just saying that?” “Yes, I do think you could get a job there. How long did you work at the hospital?” “15 years.” “Oh, wow, then sure I think they’d hire you! Call Brad at ** Home Health and tell him that Dee Lane suggested you apply there. Tell him everything! It’s worth a shot anyway, right?” The clerk hugged me and I hugged her back. I told her not to ever give up hope because there was always hope and a way to get back on track. Then I said, “I know I just met you, but I really care and God cares even more for you!”

My sons had already gone outside. They were embarrassed, I think, by one more instance of their mother getting caught up in an emotional moment with a total stranger. I gave the clerk one last hug and then followed them outside, tears rolling down my cheeks. “Mom! What are you crying for and what took you so long?” I pulled out a tissue to wipe my face, handed off our shopping basket to one of them and as we headed for the car, I told them about the clerk’s predicament. “You know, boys, I just received my Christmas present for this year. I was honored that she talked to me and that I could be there to offer her encouragement and hope. You know we’ve been in dire straits before and people have popped up out of nowhere to help me all along. It was nice to be able to be the person offering help and hope for a change. Besides, your mom is a crazy lady who loves to talk to people! You should be used to it by now!” We all laughed as we got into the car and drove away.

I learned later that the young lady did call the home health agency, she was hired, and they were really happy with her! So what she thought was a disaster ended up being a blessing for her and her children. Just another example of when God closes one door, He leaves a window open to the next adventure. Never forget to really listen to people and pay attention to them. I spent 15 minutes with that young woman and I’ve never regretted it. I mean, really, are we truly in such a hurry that we can’t pay attention to those around us? I know more times than I can even count, people have taken time and trouble to help me, so it’s my turn to pay it forward…