To List Or Not To List

Seeing many things in my space that needed to be done (but were not getting done) motivated me to develop a plan. I’m known for lists such as “Birthdays This Month” and “Activities This Week.” Those kinds of lists work very well for keeping me on track. However, my new list, “Things To Do,” had a completely different purpose and a message. The message was, “Just get it done already!”

Twenty-five things comprised my new non-prioritized list. Each day started with choosing things from the list and setting a goal to accomplish these tasks sometime during that day.

The easiest item on my list was “Hang decorator plate over coffee pot.” More difficult and time-consuming things included finishing the grandkids scrapbooks, washing windows, and organizing the storage room.

Within two weeks everything on the list was crossed off. Now, along with many other perks, I appreciate sparkling displays in in the china cupboard and curio cabinet, the polished slats of the blinds, and being able to quickly locate items in the storage room.

I have decided that it is good to list - at least for me.

Maybe my next book will be a self-help guide with the title, List It (Don’t Skip It). I wonder how many pages will be needed to teach list making?

First – Quickest – Easiest
(It really is hanging straight. I had to hold my camera out over the bar to take the picture.)


Yard Art

I often wondered why neighborhood associations made strict rules about yard art . . . 

. . . until I no longer wondered.

Our community does not have yard art rules but we are not allowed to plant flowers. Go figure.



Below is the printed prayer our church has requested that we pray daily. The tile of the prayer is, “Exhale."

            We inhale Your love.
                        We Exhale our selfish desires. (Breath deep/exhale.)

            We inhale Your peace.
                        We Exhale our anxiety. (Breath deep/exhale.)

            We inhale Your love.
                        We Exhale our apathy. (Breath deep/exhale.)

            We inhale Your presence.
            We Exhale our fear of being known and the fear to know.
 (Breath deep/exhale.)
            We inhale Your life-sustaining Spirit.
                        We Exhale our dependence on all things other than you.
 (Breath deep/exhale.)

            For in exhaling, we are able to
                        boldly proclaim, Thy Kingdom Come.

I’m troubled and uncomfortable with praying this prayer and have questions related to some reading I’ve been doing. 

“It [yoga] teaches one to focus on oneself instead of on the one true God. It encourages its participants to seek the answers to life's difficult questions within their own consciousness …”
     ~ gotquestions.org

“If you think, “I breathe,” the “I” is extra. There is no you to say “I.” What we call “I” is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. It just moves; that is all. When your mind is pure and calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing: no “I,” no world, no mind nor body; just a swinging door.”
     ~ Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.

Clipart from: Cliparts.com


Dedicated Teachers

While our younger son was a senior in high school, I composed a verse in honor of a dedicated young teacher who gave of herself to her students through time and encouragement. I sent this verse (penned in calligraphy on parchment and framed) to her on the night of a performance that she had sacrificed many hours of her time to produce. My appreciation was for the example of hard work, patience, and perseverance that she set for the students of our high school.

For the Dedicated Teacher
May God grant to us always
those teachers bestowed with
the virtues
patience, faith, and understanding
and granted the spirit of
love and dedication.
For by them are the tiny sparks
of confidence lit
that, fanned by time,
burst into the eternal flames
of hope
for the future of all mankind. ©
                                                                   ~ Verla Lacy Powers

This teacher was no doubt tired after teaching classes during the daytime and coaching theater students afternoons and evenings. 

Teachers are often spent emotionally and physically, feeling that they have no more to give. This is when they give out of love for their students.

Clipart from Quotesgram.com


Why The Violence?*

The title of the book was For Laughing Out Loud: Poems To Tickle Your Funny Bone. (Jack Preluitsky, Ed., 1991, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.) The place was an elementary school library. The book jacket declared:  “...132 of the funniest poems ever assembled between book covers. If you believe in the old saying, ‘Laugh, and the world laughs with you,’ then give a copy of this big book to every little giggler you know.” I was curious, so I leafed through the pages. Finding a poem with the simple title, “Grandpapa,” I read:

“Grandpapa fell down a drain;
            Couldn’t scramble out again.
            Now he’s floating down the sewer
            There’s one grandpapa the fewer.”
                                                        - by Harry Graham

This is funny? What else might this editor consider to be funny? I read on and came to, “The Parent.”

            “Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore,
            And that’s what parents are created for.”                 
- by Ogden Nash

And then there was, “Willie Built A Guillotine.”

“Willie built a guillotine,
            Tried it out on sister Jean.
            Said mother as she got the mop:
            ‘These messy games have got to stop!’”                              
- by William E. Engel

Not disturbing enough? Here’s another gem with the title, “Each Night Father Fills Me With Dread.”

“Each night father fills me with dread           
When he sits on the foot of my bed,
            I’d not mind that he speaks
            In gibbers and squeaks,
            But for seventeen years he’s been dead.”                                                     
- by a man appropriately named Edward Gorey 

As I put this book back in its place on the shelf, I wondered how much we really care about teaching our children the value of life and family. I also wondered if we should be surprised by the disrespect and violence in our society.  

The Message paraphrases Proverbs 22:6: “Point your kids in the right direction--when they’re old they won’t be lost.”

*Edited “thought for the day” written for MidAmerica Nazarene University class in 1999. - Vee

Heart by Clipartpal