Category Archives: Country Ripples

Reflective, inspirational thoughts.

A Different View of Accomplishments

pen calendar to do checklist

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My idea of a to-do list used to be like the one pictured above. Sometimes it still is. I still write a list, and some days I accomplish quite a few items. Most of the time the items on the to-do list spill over into the next day, or even the next week—or two.

In the past year or so my idea of accomplishments changed. It broadened to include not only things you see on a list, but also things you can’t see, like victories over discouraging  thoughts and worries. Recently I engaged in a fencing match with the thought, “Your life isn’t worth much.”  You can read about that battle here. Last week or so I boxed with the impression, “You’ve fumbled badly in your work, your finances, and every area of your life.” Then a picture flashed through my mind of falling flat on my face. Not something to give a person confidence, is it?
I prayed, and once again, Faith came to my rescue, saying that I haven’t fumbled badly, and even if I have, God can and is willing to help me. I’m not alone.

These interior victories show me the most meaningful accomplishments aren’t ones you can cross off a piece of paper. They are ones achieved inside you.

micaela-parente-YGgKE6aHaUw-unsplash

Photo Credit: Micaela Parente, Unsplash

Resources:

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24, KJV)

“Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:12, KJV)

©P. Booher

 

 

 

 

 

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A Life-long Learner

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Years ago a family member said to me, “You just want to be a professional student!” He didn’t say it in a complimentary way.

While I have an idea why the person said that (getting a formal education costs a lot, and you can never be sure you’ll get a job that makes that education worthwhile) his statement still hurt my feelings. The person was right, though. I enjoy learning facts—can’t help it. When I was eight or nine years old I used to sit and leaf through a book from our big set of encyclopedias, or even get lost in the dictionary. Now I sit in front of a computer and take online courses in writing; I get lost on the internet reading articles on diverse subjects such as Niagara Falls, the story behind the 1997 movie “Titanic”, and service dogs. It’s all good, and it’s all fun for me. It makes the little gray cells in my brain jump up and down for joy.

My family member’s comment aside, writing and other activities in life show me it’s valuable to have the mindset of a “professional student”.  I need to be humble enough to be teachable. I need discipline to keep myself learning. I don’t think it’s possible to improve in writing, or in a lot of other endeavors, without that type of mindset.  I’ve found an unexpected benefit of such a mindset is it adds richness to life. You get to see how the process of learning affects you, you figure out ways to learn things you need to know that you may not be naturally proficient at, and you see how facts are intertwined.  Yes, being a professional student costs, but the rewards are without measure!

©P. Booher

 

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Friday Photos–An Object Lesson in Persistence

Creek at bridge (where we feed the fish)

Author’s Photo

bare-trees-creek-flowing-over-rocks

Author’s Photo

Creek and railroad bridge

Author’s Photo

A problem I have is my lack of persistence. It’s all too easy for me to give up.

One day as I gazed at a little country creek , I realized God provided an object lesson for me. The creek contends with rocks, fallen trees, the remnant of an old railroad bridge, and other obstacles on its way to its destination, a larger creek. Nothing holds the little creek back. It keeps on going–over, under, around or through the obstacle. It never gives up, never gives in, and eventually reaches the merger with the bigger creek.

What a lesson for me, given anew every time I look at the creek. How well am I learning? Slowly, but I am improving.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  James 1:3,4, King James Version

©P. Booher

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God, Calling, and Creativity

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Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Baker, Unsplash.com

 

photo of woman painting in brown wooden easel

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I believe God is the original Creator (see the Book of Genesis, Chapters 1 and 2). Those chapters vividly describe God’s creativity. I also believe God calls people to creative work, whether it be writing, painting, sculpting, gardening, architecture, finding better ways to solve problems, or any other way creativity displays itself. God is the Caller; we are the callees.

The following ideas are from thinking about The Soul Tells A Story:Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life by Vinita Hampton Wright.

  1. You can fulfill your calling from God in a variety of ways, depending on your situation and the time you have available in any one day. There’s flexibility. A calling never ends. You may do one kind of creativity for awhile, then start another, but it still falls under your calling.
  2. No one else can (or should) judge how you go about fulfilling your calling. That’s between you and God. Any person who does judge has no qualification to do so.
  3. Calling isn’t necessarily something you do for money. It might be, but often it is not. Calling goes “deeper” than work. It is in who you are and what you are gifted (in reality, created) to do. Calling makes God and you happy, and you aren’t happy until you are in some way fulfilling that calling.

 

©P. Booher

 

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When I Feel As Though My Life Isn’t Worth Much

Earlier today the impression entered my mind: “Who are you to think you’re anyone special?  Your life isn’t worth much.”

At first glance circumstances agree: I am just one of six or seven billion plus people on this planet; lower sales after Christmas means I am working fewer hours on my retail job, so don’t have a sense of productivity/ worth there; I don’t have a boyfriend or husband who can lift my spirits. Even the weather got in on the act. The sun shone dimly through an overcast sky, so it was gloomy inside, even with lights on.

I prayed about that impression. Immediately Faith kicked in and said, “No! Your life is worth much because God loves you and created you. He sent His Son to die for you. You are valuable.”

God reminded me that the earlier impression of low worth didn’t come from Him; those were not His words.

After this, I called a relative who, like me, wants to put more emphasis on spending time with family. We agreed to meet tomorrow.

Then I spent some time outside (being in the fresh air always raises my spirits) feeding the birds, and raking leaves for mulch. It was cold, but I was helping the birds, doing something productive, and I could always warm up with a cup or two of tea back inside. As I raked leaves, the sun shone a little stronger, and beautiful blue sky appeared on the horizon.

Lastly, I am writing this blog post for anyone else who hears those words, “Your life isn’t worth much”. I am writing to tell you not to believe them. You are valuable.

©P. Booher

 

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Veterans Day–November 11, 2019

group of veterans

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Today is a day in the country I live in to honor veterans who served in the military.  Men and women went overseas (and are still going) to serve, not knowing whether they would ever see their families again.

This day brings memories of my father, who served in the US Army during WWII. Like so many other people, he was just 19 or 20 when he left his small-town home and traveled thousands of miles to Germany and France. He saw and heard sights and sounds no person should ever have to see and hear, as he experienced a part of the inhumanity of man towards man. While he was proud to wear the uniform of a US serviceman, he said that the service took the best years of his life. Beyond that, he said little about that time; I am sure he preferred to put it out of his mind, as much as he could.

I write this post in an attempt to honor my father, and by extension, so many other men and women, who gave up hopes and dreams to serve, often in horrendous conditions. They gave up a lot, more than I (not being a veteran) can ever express. I salute you.

american back view burial cemetery

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©P. Booher

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Reflections for This Writer’s Heart

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“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  Proverbs 4:23, KJV

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”  Psalms 19:14, KJV

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  Philippians 4:6, KJV

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8, KJV

Keep going, don’t give in and don’t give up. Keep moving forward.

Till your own field; keep your attention on your own work; you have enough to do with that!

Don’t be distracted by what someone else has, does, says or whatever. That can lead to envy, jealousy, bitterness, gossip, and resentment–even of friends. Those attitudes will affect your creativity, big time, both in quantity and in quality.

Cultivate faith and be led by that, rather than fear.

©P. Booher

 

 

 

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A Father’s Legacy

My Dad grew up during the Great Depression–hard times with little money. Whatever you needed or wanted, you either grew, as in a garden; tended, as with chickens (for the family table); made (as a boat for being on the river), improvised or did without.

God-given talent plus those hard times plus later training in various construction skills gave my father ability to improvise or make whatever he wanted. If he needed, say, a worktable or a trailer, he could figure it out in his head how he wanted to do it and what kind and size of materials to use. Sometimes he sketched it out, but he didn’t really need to.

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When I Want to Have a Temper Tantrum

Increasingly I’ve heard life described as a journey. Also, more and more I’ve read that it doesn’t matter so much what happens to me as the way I react to it.  If I put those two ideas together, it means my journey can be smoother than it might be otherwise, or rougher than it has to be, depending on the choices I make.

The day’s journey can be rowdy; as when (or if) I make myself loud, obnoxious, insist that I am right, and demand my own way. In other words, I have a temper tantrum. In so doing, I show I don’t care about anyone else. It’s guaranteed I will make the day  difficult  for cashiers, sales clerks and anyone else around. Those people will, with justification, call me loud, obnoxious and concerned only with myself, and they will be exceedingly glad to see me leave. Do I really want to be like that??

Or, the day’s journey can be pleasant, sweeter for myself and others, if I make my point in a calm, reasonable way, without yelling, screaming, stomping my feet, shoving, or calling anyone foul names; if I handle the decision of those whom I appeal to with politeness and grace, remembering that there is Someone to whom I am accountable when my life’s journey here on earth ends.

It’s my choice; which do I choose?

Prayer: Dear Lord, when I would love to throw a fit because I am so sure I’m right (even though there’s a chance I could be wrong), have mercy on me. Let me see Your perspective, and then my brain can work before my ego, emotions, and mouth. Thank You. In Jesus’ name.

©P. Booher

 

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A Joyful New Year

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I’m breaking with tradition: I’m wishing you a Joyful New Year, rather than a Happy New Year. Why?

I read somewhere that happiness is dependent upon circumstances, but joy is not. Joy can be found in less-than-good situations, and joy is deeper and richer than happiness.

I want to make this a year in which I emphasize joy, instead of happiness.

(Yes, I’m aware I’m a day late posting this–actually two days late, for those living on the other side of the Date Line. A cold ambushed me several days ago, and yesterday I was feeling its effects, what with an energy level that went up, and then down. Still, I’m feeling much better than I could be, and for that, I’m grateful.)

Have a Joyful New Year!

©P. Booher

 

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