Love is—

People have many different ideas about love. I used to think of it as a progression: you like someone, then you love someone. Other people think of “love at first sight”. Still others think love is weak, powerless, to be despised, a wimpy sort of emotion.

Check out this definition of love:

Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered.

It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.

Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.

Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.

Love never fails!

(I Corinthians 13:4-8, Contemporary English Version of the Bible)

©P. Booher

 

 

 

 

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What Money Can’t Do

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COVID-19 brought a lot of change to the world. As I read different headlines from around the world, I thought about the attention given to money and nations’ economies. I thought about the things money can’t do, because contrary to what the world in general thinks, money has its limits.

  1. Money can’t automatically protect a person from getting sick. Many celebrities said they were diagnosed with COVID-19. Yes, money certainly helps pay the bills after a person gets sick, but money conveys no physical immunity to a person.
  2. Money can’t buy security (related to #1). Money can pay security guards, but they can’t do anything to give a person inward security—that possession that lasts despite circumstances.
  3. Money can’t buy patience. Patience is one virtue we all need in these days of waiting in longer lines, waiting on the phone or on a chat line for a technician, waiting to see family or friends, waiting for test results, waiting to get better or for a loved one to get better. Who can buy patience at a store? No one, not even the richest man on earth.
  4. Money can’t buy kindness and caring. I have a friend who lives about 30 minutes away. She was willing to do shopping for my mother and I and leave the items on the porch. We didn’t need her to do that, but I was touched that she was willing to do so. Someone who prefers to remain anonymous sent me a $50 gift card. Money can’t buy kindness; it has to come from the heart.
  5. Money can’t buy simple joys. By simple joys, I mean seeing a sunrise or sunset that takes your breath away, or looking up at the summer night-time sky and marveling at all the stars you can see. Nature’s delights didn’t come by money, so no matter how low your bank account is, or how much in debt you are, you can still enjoy them.
  6. Money can’t buy overall health. It can buy doctors’ time, and supplies, and health insurance. For instance, I’ve been told I have arthritis in different places. I left the  retail job I had because it was difficult to contend with health issues and work too. I was making more money per hour than I’d ever made. Even if I made twice that amount, if my knee, my wrist, or my back started to hurt, trust me—I’d feel it—no matter how much money I made.
  7. Money can’t buy dependability. Dependability is in a person’s character. Money can’t buy the inner qualities of a person. The person either has it or not.

The next time I start thinking money is everything, I’ll read my list and remember money is a tool. It can do a lot, and provide for a lot, but there’s a lot it can’t do.

©P. Booher

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Friday Photos–The Color Green

Green is my favorite color in nature; it is so soothing and restful to me. Enjoy some green with me!

A grouping of young ferns

Author’s Photo

Green! Along the Trail

Author’s Photo

Queen Anne's Lace and trees

Author’s Photo

Among the trees, shapes and shadows

Author’s Photo

Green, Green Grass of Home

Author’s Photo

Formal Rose Garden in Park

Author’s Photo

Wild Phlox, trees along trail

Author’s Photo

©P. Booher

 

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Diving Into a Sea of Books–The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice To Writers

divers-underwater-ocean-swim-68767.jpeg

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”—one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice To Writers by Betsy Lerner, appears on suggested reading lists of different blogs about writing. The author, with years of experience as writer, editor, and now, literary agent, is well-qualified to write this helpful book.

In Part I, “Writing”, the author talks about traits of writers she knew, worked with, or read about. She points out the things writers are known for—introversion, perfectionism, working in solitude—have their downsides. This part of the book dragged for me, I have to admit, but her compassionate tone for writers was evident early on, and my interest in the book shot up when I started reading the second part of the book, “Publishing”.

Part II gives writers a valuable insider’s perspective on editing and traditional publishing. The author addresses questions such as: “Why is it taking so long for my editor to get back to me?” and “What is my publicist doing?” She emphasizes the importance of patience and politeness in the writer’s dealings with the various people involved in bringing the writer’s creation to the outside world. Ms. Lerner describes the many steps involved in a book’s publication, from the time a writer turns in the final draft of the manuscript to the time the book hits the bookshelves or appears online. Among other topics, she writes about dealing with rejection, what an author can do if the publisher doesn’t have much of a publicity effort going, and the reasons a book may not do as well in the marketplace as the writer hoped. Part II sounds like the advice and empathy you might find at a writers’ conference.

Language Alert: for readers who find certain words/phrases offensive (aka “adult language”), a few of those appear.

©P. Booher

 

 

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2020… WHO KNEW? — Becoming HIS Tapestry

Hey friends, how are you today? It is another beautiful day in my neck of the woods. Today’s high temperature is a marvelous 87° under a brilliant, bright, blazing, beautiful sun. I love days like these and thankfully, praise the Lord, lately, we’ve had quite a few days like these. Days that remind me to ‘look up”; days […]

via 2020… WHO KNEW? — Becoming HIS Tapestry

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June 15, 2020 · 5:09 pm

Keeping Spirits Up in Difficult Times

Years ago I saw a pattern in my mood: it nose-dived in winter. At first I believed I was at the mercy of my moods, so I suffered through them.

Finally, after some desperate prayers,  I took steps to mitigate the moodiness. Here are some things I did, along with principles I use to guide me now:

  • Every November or December I start feeding the chickadees, cardinals, titmice, doves, finches and other birds that call this spot home. I derive joy out of helping them, and that boosts my spirits. Principle: help someone else, even if only a bird!
  • I write letters or send cards to people. I’ve practiced this kind of  “social distancing” for awhile. My mother used to write monthly letters to relatives, BPC (Before Personal Computers). Now when people tell me receiving cards or letters lifted their spirits, I smile inwardly. They don’t realize the first spirits lifted were mine! Principle: Keep in touch with the people you care about; it takes your mind off yourself.
  • I plant flowers. In years past I planted crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths bulbs for spring blooming. Knowing the bulbs come up every spring gave me something to look forward to. This year, I bought sunflower seeds, zinnia seeds, and shasta daisy seeds. I’m ready for some color this summer! I’m looking forward to planting the seeds, and even more at seeing the flowers in bloom. Principle: Give yourself something to look forward to.
  • This fourth item is something I don’t do: I don’t look at the news much. It’s important to be informed, but being informed in times of crises can easily cross the line into being obsessed with knowing every new detail. One evening I saw an alarming prediction in the headlines.  As I was about to click on the link, the thought occurred to me: Is this news story going to give you peace and in turn, strength to meet your everyday problems? Or is it going to provoke anxiety and disturbing images in your mind? I chose to turn to a different website. In the current COVID-19 crisis, there is so much conflicting information I don’t know what details to believe anyway, which in itself heightens my anxiety. To keep on doing what I need to do I set limits on the amount of news and other media I take in. Principle: Don’t feel you have to know everything going on; give yourself a break.
  • Take time out every day to do something creative, just for fun. Whether it’s writing, painting, gardening, woodworking, or whatever, do it. Get away from the world and the stress, and lose yourself in the activity. Principle: Relax by doing something creative.

©P. Booher

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Falling Apart

GraceSpeak

The coffee is hot!
It’s ready – I’m not –
to face the day that’s ahead.
Many chores to be done
before setting sun,
but my feet keep turning toward bed.

I cannot go out
with a victory shout
when my body is struggling to rise.
My hair is askew –
these wrinkles are new! –
affirming I’m nobody’s prize.

On day like these
I fall to my knees
and call to my Father’s heart.
I need His great love
and His strength from above
to keep me from falling apart.

Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of  the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Psalm 27:The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength…

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Friday Photos–Rocks and Trees

Image (2)

I call the big boulder on top, “The House Boulder”; I’m sure somebody lives there!

Among the Evergreens above the creek

Trees and Ferns

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This scene, with the pine tree growing out of the rock, has always fascinated me.

Boulder Along the Trail

Layers Upon Layers of Rock

Woods

Among the Trees

Maple tree growing in front of rock

Maple tree growing from underneath rock

 

All photos are by author.

©P. Booher

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Where Does Joy Live?

GraceSpeak

The substance of joy does not rest in this world.

Joy lives in the hope born of the resurrection.  It inhabits the incorruptible inheritance prepared for and kept for me. It is sustained by the power of God.

Trial and temptation may come against me, and circumstances may flip me like a burger on a hot grill, but I am secure in the joy unspeakable that is Jesus the Christ.

The temporary cannot thwart the eternal, nor can the uncertainties of this life overcome the sureness of Heaven.

Settled firmly in the character of our trustworthy God and His work on the cross, I am redeemed. Chosen by His grace, purchased with His blood, kept by His honor, I rejoice in His hope.

I Peter 1:Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a

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What Hasn’t Changed?

Covid-19 brought many changes to everyday life. Some are here to stay. For anyone reading this who has lost a loved one to Covid-19, please accept my sympathy. I know what it feels like to lose a loved one, but not to Covid-19, so your experience is different.

Although the virus brought changes no one expected, some things are still the same.

What hasn’t changed?

1. God is still here. He hasn’t walked off the stage. He wants to hear our prayers and help us in a variety of ways. He cares about us and desires relationship with us.

2. Covid-19 didn’t stop the sun from rising and setting, or the moon from following its pattern. The stars still come out at their appointed times. The virus didn’t stop the seasons from changing. Spring is here, fitfully at times, in the Northern Hemisphere. We can still enjoy the beautiful flowers and the trees coming out in their glory. Fall is in the Southern Hemisphere.

3. The birds are going about their business of building nests for new families. Robins moved in under the side porch of our house and built a nest across from the kitchen window. It’s fascinating to watch the robins’ diligence in providing food and raising their family. Canada geese set up housekeeping at a farm pond a few miles away. Every spring as I drive past the pond I see goslings with their parents. Woe to the dog, cat, fox, raccoon, or person who makes the mistake of getting between parents and young ones!

4. The virus hasn’t affected human ingenuity, creativity, or resilience. In fact, from what I’ve read, those values gained enhancement. Stories and pictures about birthday party drive-throughs, graduation party drive-throughs, church drive-ins and virtual church meetings prove that. People are finding different ways to do what they need and want to do.

5. Covid-19 hasn’t stopped people’s generosity or willingness to help out or spread laughter and joy around. Against the black backdrop of the virus, the stories of people helping other people shine.

6. People still want to communicate. I understand the post offices are busier now; maybe people are rediscovering the joy of letter-writing.

7. Regular household chores, and in this area with the warmer weather, yard work, still need to be done. Grass needs mowed; weeds need pulled; gardens need planted; and dust bunnies and spiders need to be escorted out of the house. The work is there, whether paid or unpaid, that work is there.

8. People still need encouragement, kindness, empathy, hope, joy, faith, and common courtesies, like “please” and “thank you”.

Yes, many things have changed. But some things have not.

©P. Booher

 

 

 

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