Category Archives: Family

My Sweet Pea

I named her Bette, after Bette Davis, as a complement to Bogart. She was the best Christmas present I’ve ever received. Sometimes I called her Sweet Pea or Peeper. You’ve never met a more adorable, sweet, and perfect blond Cocker Spaniel puppy in all your life, I guarantee it.

Until the moment at Bo’s food bowl when a quick growl and nip left her eye hanging from the socket. The vet couldn’t save the eye. He suggested perhaps we should put her to sleep and get another puppy who wasn’t imperfect. Eighteen years later, when the time to put her to sleep finally came, I reminisced about her life and didn’t regret a single moment of having a one-eye dog. And it kind of made me chuckle to think she was named after an actress known for her “Bette Davis eyes.”

Seeing winter days
Bring us fun filled holidays
Pain oft’ in the mix

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It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub today and Victoria is asking us to consider the compelling world-view of Wabi-Sabi in our Haibuns. “Wabi-Sabi is the art of imperfection. It is the recognition that everything real is transient and imperfect. It recognizes the circle of life—that things die, break, disintegrate—and to find therein beauty.” I almost wrote about my current one-eyed dog Roman, but I’ve written about him quite a bit. So I decided to relate a true story from over 30 years ago wherein I learned that there is nothing wrong with a little imperfection.

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An Ode to Moss Landing

I wrote this poem in the guest book at Moss Landing, Ocean Shores, Washington. I took a picture of it to keep a copy and decided to share it today for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.

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An Ode to Moss Landing, June 23–25, 2017

I wrote this poem for the royal “we”
Gail, Sharon, and Linda (me)
We enjoyed our stay at Moss Landing
Our schedule quite undemanding

The weekend began with long drives
I prepared dinner as the others arrived
Feasting occurred, shrimp, scallops, and more
Seven-layer bars that we adore

Lazing in the warm summer sun
Girls’ weekend is so much fun
The lovely weather such a treat
Time together can’t be beat

Cozy hot tub an added touch
We really don’t ask for much
Warm and soothing relaxation
Preamble to subsequent tasty libations

Hard cider, wine, and caramel liqueur
For morning coffee, strong we prefer
It’s not important what’s in the cup
We’re here to share stories and catch up

We’ve been friends for 33 years
We’ve laughed, loved, and shed many tears
Here’s to at least 33 more
Looking forward to adventures galore

Thanks for the memories added to the rest
In this cute cabin we were blessed
We don’t know what next year will bring
Friendship that lasts is our favorite thing

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Traeger Season

Traeger season. My favorite time of year. An entire meal cooked out on the deck either directly on the grill or in aluminum packets makes for quick easy clean-up. The scent of mesquite pellets wafts about the deck. I peel russet potatoes and cube them, spray Pam on a huge piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, spread out the cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and seal ‘er up. To make sure they’re crispy on the bottom, they go on the grill first. My favorite part is sitting in the sun snapping the fresh green beans. I add a little lemon juice, salt, and summer savory to this packet and put it on the grill after the potatoes have cooked about twenty minutes. Then last, but certainly not least, the rib eyes, bright red and perfectly marbled with delicious fat. Mmmm. I sprinkle both sides with Traeger Prime Rib Rub, the perfect steak seasoning (in my opinion). Then on the grill they go. I set the timer on the stove so I don’t get sidetracked and over cook them. Time has a way of getting away from me when I’m basking in the sun in my deck chair waiting for dinner.

Savory summer
Season of delightful foods
Sweet tranquility

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For Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub today, Bjorn is hungry and looking for recipes. He wanted us to write about time in the kitchen, but my thoughts immediately went to cooking outside on my Traeger pellet stove. I’ve had a Traeger for years and could never go back to grilling over charcoal or gas. There is just something about that mesquite or hickory smoke that makes the food taste so delicious!

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Quadrille Cheating

Drizzling icing on a cake
seems a bit like cheating
but saves the frustration
of frosting pulling up bits of cake top
as the spatula slides along
layer to layer

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I cheated. For this to be a Quadrille, you must count these words, too.

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Wind

Gusting wind

Branches whipping

Banging on the roof

Pulling down power lines

Leaving us in the dark

It’s chilly without heat

Whatever shall we eat?

Great power in God’s wind

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I’m Not a Pirate

A pirate’s eye patch
I won’t wear
Strap a peg toe on me
You shan’t dare

You think it’s funny
I don’t
Laugh all you will
Said Roman, I won’t

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At dVerse Poets Pub today, Lillian is calling for a little anthropomorphism. I had to make mine 30 words in keeping with my self-imposed National Poetry Month challenge. This poem is what I imagine my dog Roman’s reaction is to my son’s suggestion that we dress him as a pirate for Halloween. The poor dog only has one eye and recently had to have a toe removed due to a tumor.

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Pondering 1984

I’m a big fan of dystopian literature, like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell. I don’t know what draws me to this kind of story of a society gone wrong while attempting to make everything perfect (at least for some).

I recently started rereading 1984 in an attempt to avoid writing. The parallels between the Party platform in Oceania and the platform of the pro-choice feminist movement of today are uncanny. The Party in Oceania stands on the three-pronged slogan: War Is Peace; Freedom Is Slavery; Ignorance Is Strength. Pro-choice feminists of today stand on the slogans: My Body, My Choice; Abortion Is Women’s Health.

The biggest problem for the pro-choice position is that they don’t have an engine like the Ministry of Truth to eliminate all the history and scientific facts that prove their slogans false.

Scientific facts prove an unborn child is not part of its mother’s body. It is a distinct human being with different DNA and sometimes different blood type of its mother.

History and her own writings prove that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, didn’t advocate for choice. She was a eugenicist whose goal was to eliminate potentially undesirable babies from the population through abortion and forced sterilization.

Pro-choice feminists can try to reframe the argument to be one of choice, but absent more than one option and information about all options, there is no real choice. When abortion is the only option, it’s not choice to choose it.

Mounting evidence reveals that abortion harms the women who have one, leading to depression, PTSD, suicide, infertility, and increased risk of breast cancer. Mounting evidence also reveals that sex traffickers and abusers often force their victims to have abortions against their will so that the abuser can continue their abuse.

I am thankful that there is no Ministry of Truth to erase the facts about abortion and its negative impact on women, men, and society as a whole. I am also thankful that we have the Truth, Jesus Christ, to help us fight the lies this world passes off as truth.

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Ms. Kruschke’s Kids

This is a Kyrielle I wrote for my niece’s second grade class. I think they liked it!

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Bailey boasts curious classes
One has nine lads and eight lasses
Would-be writers and strong readers
Ms. Kruschke’s second grade Tigers

They learn about magnets and maps
While waiting for recess perhaps
Soccer and playing four corners
Ms. Kruschke’s second grade Tigers

Morning meeting starts each new day
Math, art, and music lead the way
Teaching these promising scholars
Ms. Kruschke’s second grade Tigers

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Pondering the Why of Suffering

When Jesus and his disciples encountered the man born blind as recorded in John 9, the disciples wanted to know why he’d been born blind. Was it the man’s sin or his parents’ sin that had caused this tragedy?

Why me? Why her? It’s a question we all ask in the face of tragedy and suffering. I know I do. Why did my mom have cancer not once, but three times? Why did her dad die of cancer when she was only 14? Why did my sister die of cancer at only 61?

Why was I raped by someone I thought I could trust when I was only 14? Why was I faced with the impossible situation of a teen pregnancy because of being raped again when I was only 17? Was all this tragedy ordained by God to make me the person I am today? Would I have been less compassionate and more judgmental if I’d never experienced all the suffering I have?

I have a friend who is a Christian and yet she lacks empathy and compassion. Her words reveal the pride and judgment of others that flow from her heart. She hasn’t experienced the trauma I have or anything close to it as far as I can tell. I wonder if I would have been just like her—legalistic and critical—if I’d been spared the fertile soil of suffering that mercy needs to grow.

Or perhaps my suffering and my mother’s suffering are God’s punishment for the sins of her parents, my grandparents, or even earlier generations. There is certainly scripture to support the conclusion that God punishes the children for the sins of the parents even to multiple generations.

Then again, my own suffering may have been the result of my own sin. The first time I was raped happened in large part because I disobeyed my parents and hung out with the guy who did it. And after that it was one sin after another that led to more suffering.

I’ll probably never know why this side of Heaven. I can speculate until I’m blue in the face and never know for sure. So perhaps it’s most profitable to stop asking why and focus on the next part of the story of the man born blind.

Jesus answers His disciples, saying that the man was born blind that God might be glorified. Then He heals the man. He gives the man who had never seen so much as a blade of grass full sight. He took the man’s utter darkness and gave him light.

He did the same for me and that’s what matters. He healed my brokenness that He might be glorified. I’ll admit that there are days when even that answer can cause tears of anger to well up in my eyes. Couldn’t there have been an easier way for God to be glorified than for me to struggle under the weight of multiple traumas?

Then I remember the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers, thrown into jail by Pharaoh for a betrayal he didn’t commit, and then ultimately raised to a position of power in Egypt. When his brothers came to him for food in time of famine, fearing he would punish them for the wrong they had committed against him, Joseph responded: “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:19-20 (NIV).

I ponder that perhaps God intended the harm that has befallen me for good, to accomplish great things for Him. This helps me let go of the “why” questions and focus on where I can encourage others who have been through similar circumstances and haven’t yet found His healing light. Perhaps I can even be used by God to save many lives.

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Growing Peace in Forgiveness

Each time I see a Facebook post or Internet meme stating that abortion is murder, calling on us to save the babies, I feel a pang of anger. It’s not that I disagree with this truth. I do not. I know the medical facts that show that a baby has a heartbeat as early as 4 weeks after conception and can feel pain as early as 20 weeks after conception. It is even possible for a baby born only 23 weeks after conception to survive outside the womb.

I know all too well this truth. My anger comes from two places.

First, I am angry that the doctors and nurses at the clinic where my abortion was performed didn’t share that information with me. I’m angry that they didn’t provide me with choices or give me the opportunity to make an informed choice. I’m angry that they didn’t ask how I got pregnant. I was raped, but that didn’t concern them. I am angry that the supposed pro-choice movement in this country continues to lie to and withhold facts from women facing crisis pregnancies.

Second, I am angry that the pro-life movement spends so much time focusing on the babies that they often forget the women (or quite often young girls) who have been traumatized by the abortion industry, having believed the lie that an abortion was the only answer to their crisis pregnancy.

But then I feel God’s Spirit remind me that anger and vengeance are not mine. What is mine is forgiveness. And when I focus on God’s forgiveness, knowing He understands my regret and desires to heal my broken heart, peace begins to grow in my heart.

This is when I realize that God doesn’t call me to try to change the hearts and minds of those who are pro-choice or to condemn the methods of those who are pro-life. What God calls me to do is to bring His message of mercy and forgiveness to women, like me, who have endured the trauma of abortion and sometimes feel like there will never be peace.

There is peace. It is found in Jesus, who died to pay for all our sins, including the murder of our children. He will forgive all. His forgiveness will grow peace in our hearts when we let Him.

Are you among the millions of women who have had an abortion because you believed you had no other choice? Were you pressured by your boyfriend or husband, or perhaps even by an abuser? Were you single, with insufficient income to care for a child, and felt there was no other choice? Did you see your whole life’s plan ahead of you, a plan that didn’t have room for a child, and were told you had no other choice?

Do you live now with regret and heartache over the child you aborted? Do you struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts but don’t know why because you’ve buried the guilt over your abortion so deep you aren’t even consciously aware of it? Do you long to be closer to God but somehow feel that you will never be good enough for Him?

Dear one, you are not alone and you are loved. You are not the mistakes you have made and the wrongs you have done. You are loved by God and He desires to heal your deepest pain and hurt, to bring you forgiveness and peace. You only need to lay this burden—a burden that is much too heavy for you to bear alone—at the feet of Jesus. His truth and love will set you free to live in His peace.

Here are some resources to help you:

Silent No More Awareness

Eternal Perspective Ministries

The Radiance Foundation

Walk for Life

Lifecall – Directory of pregnancy resource centers

CareNet – Pregnancy resource centers

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