Sunday Sentiments

Sometimes the words you need are where you least expect it.

Ah yes, Friday. Its your favorite day of the week too, isn’t it? ūüôā Yes, I like to say that I am best friends with Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I don’t know why. It’s just something I say.

But lately, Friday has just been another day filled with fiascos, faux pas and freak incidents. You may wonder why am I including this in Sundays’ Sentiments – well I now think I may have a Friday phobia – not just Friday the 13th – just end of the week debacles that seem to be repeating themselves. Why? I don’t know. But I wish it would stop. Seriously.

A few months back, I saw the financial need to take on another job. The fall season was setting in and the hours were getting fewer and fewer. That was even a stressful time as well Рthere were many many things happening at that time Рand interviewing for a new job was the last thing I had the energy for. But I did it anyway Рscared at how I was going to do it all (three blogs, kids books, cakes, and three part-time jobs) РI took on even more responsibility. I was hoping that my family and friends would be of support in this time of transition and new experiences.

There were times when I was just so tired that I could do nothing else but just collapse. This schedule took a long time to get used to Рearly mornings, long Рbusy days, short nights. The weekends and FRIDAY were my only respite and release and they turned into insane, task filled, (sometimes fun-filled), stressful, angry, rushed fiascos and faux pas. I was becoming so tightly wound that I could feel it building.

After a few Fridays, filled with wasted time, headaches, groggy mornings, computer crashes, and freak accidents I lost it. Yes, last Friday РI lost it, along with all of my computers hard disk information. I was devastated, emotionally drained, tired, and I lost my composure, control and collective attitude. It was building for a while and I had a meltdown. It was too much and time for a fresh start. Sometimes you just have to start over. Sometime you just have to give up the reins and let someone else handle the situations РLet go and let GOD!

"....soar on wings, like eagles...."

It’s hard to know how to handle these intensely stressful situations with a calm, collective and mature attitude. That only comes from God – yes I need fruit – the fruits of the spirit come to mind here. However, it is still draining. It still takes time to recover from these kinds of situations. But it didn’t kill me, it may have made me stronger – and wiser to remember to back up files ;-)! I will get through it and remember to take that time to just “be”. Be still and know that God is near and¬†hear Him calling. I hope and pray that I can enter Friday’s with fresh eyes, full spirit of joy and faith and trust – at least until the next meltdown – I know it will probably happen again ( I know “oh ye, of little faith” but I know me of little faith sometimes) but I know when the time comes I will hear him saying – just “be still and know that I am God.” Just be. Be what? Be you. Be the you that I created you to be! ” For I know the plans I have for you,‚ÄĚ declares the LORD, ‚Äúplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I know that when I cannot pray I hold onto certain verses for comfort and healing this past few weeks has been rough and all I could do was read this over and over.

Romans 8:28 The Message
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

What is your prayer? What is your plea? What do you do when you lose control? I pray that you look to God and call on His name?

Emmaus, Pennsylvania¬†is a great place to live. Why? It’s small, its quiet, quaint and it has been on¬†CNN’s Money List of ¬†Top 100 Best Places to Live ¬†for three years now. That is just AWESOME. There is tons of culture in Emmaus – to spite what Money Mag has to say. Family and community is getting lost in all of this party hard culture that we live in. I can’t think of a better town to live in where you can walk a block to see a great parade, or a few blocks to the square to hear music, walk your dog, and just walk around town.

Mom and I, Emmaus Halloween Parade 2010

¬†Yes, just a block down from our house – is part of the Annual Halloween Parade route – which winds around to main road Chestnut Street where is makes its end at the Triangle. There is just something about the organizations, schools, clubs and people that¬†make up this Halloween Parade and every other event that happens here. Though, I was born here, but not raised – have to give Scranton, PA (love The Office btw ūüôā )¬†that honor –¬†you do¬†feel at home in this little town.

Seriously, in this little radius of 3 miles you can walk literally anywhere, it is safe, there is a sense of community, welcoming atmosphere, cohesiveness and community support. Check out more happenings on the Borough website and the Emmaus Main Street Program – next up is the Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration.

Yes, it is a tractor club....

...don't laugh....I'm sure it takes skill to drive a tractor plow.... our farms and farmers, with pride...

...Proud to be born and raised in Pennsylvania!!!!

God puts you where you are for a reason and so you CAN make a difference. Love and Blessings!

My flowered card box is full...

For years, I have had this card box. It has fancy stationary in it, birthday cards, sympathy cards, note paper, thank you cards and even a few mass cards.  I have always wanted to challenge myself in the ways of writing. I was blessed with the gift of gab so writing a few lines here and there is still a challenge for me. Often times I fail to find the right words in stressful and sorrowful times.  This is one of those times.  

I hear the words¬†echoing¬†…And who knows but that you have come…for such a time as this? Esther 4:14¬†¬†

I have been called to the challenge of bringing hope and encouragement¬†to those around me? What. In such a¬† time as this? How? How can I? I am still feeling the effects of this past year without my job, the past summer has come and gone, I miss my beloved Steven dearly, fear has me¬†crippled as my father recovers from open heart surgery and today – as this rainy Sunday begins it is National Day of Encouragement¬†– I must begin the journey back to Scranton with my mother for the funeral services for my Uncle Bob, who recently passed. It is in this dark time that I must be the hope and encouragement to those around me…. for such a time as this.¬†¬†

Oh boy, I never expected this to be a challenge. As I received and read through the 2011 Hope and Encouragement Card Pack from (In)Courage, I found myself being prepared and made stronger for these events. I still have butterflies in my stomach, I still fail at the right words at the right times, but I still pray for the Father’s guidance. I need it, those around me need it…they need me to double-check myself because I surely do not own the right words to say.¬† I pray that God will give me the time and the place to share His grace and peace…in such times as this.¬†

... and filled to the brim, with hope, love, sorrow and peace.

I have already¬†begun to share my thanks and my prayers of hope and encouragement with those closest to me. Even in a time when I feel truly tested and stressed, I know that there is hope and peace. The pain comes and goes, the sorrow shows it’s face, I fall to my knees and weep and the Lord hears my cries. He always picks me up and I know that….¬†¬†

“…Jesus is closer than we ever realized and we’re loved more than we ever knew.”

So a few weeks back, on Sunday Sentiments, I brought you an unexpected bloom amongst the household here in Emmaus, PA. ūüôā

Yes, by default/accidently-on purpose I ended up with a small pumpkin patch at the edge of my patio — yes literally the edge :-).

So the past few weeks have gone on and I have watched this little patch turn into an amazing vine. This vine is thick with rough prickly, stalks, plump pumpkin buds and curly vines for just that added touch. We really just thought that we’d see some pumpkins around the end of August or so but we ended up with triplets and now quads,¬†it seems — whatever the case we definately have multiples, pumpkins that is.

Pumpkin bulb or bud. You can see the withered flower on top.

I was so suprised to have seen these ‘squash’ blossom at all . It is so amazing just to see something blossom and grow with little care or help from me or anyone. A refreshing shower is nice too and I think the heat has parched this vine a bit. But these plump little pumpkins are still going strong. And this past week, even more unexpectedly, as I check them each day – I saw an amazing growth spurt as I pulled back the massive leaves protecting these little cuties. ūüôā

The "twins" they like to 'sit' together.

This “so small” and “insignificant” event in my life is amazing to me. As I go on each day I see more and more of God’s hand in those small things that we/I/you can take for granted. It is a big world out there, and it is a “small” world at times too. God is too big to fit into our small, meager lives – but He holds our entire world in His mighty hand. He shows us His grace, love and miracles in the small things. God is never too far from our grasp and we are never out of His. As I leave you with this stage of the ‘pumpkin developments’ never forget the hand that crafted the smallest of natures creations.

Looks like we are ready for "quads" plus...

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;–

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
~Cecil Frances Alexander

I suppose that some, may be wondering what all this fuss is about with this plant/vine growing in my yard.

Okay, so it is growing in this side yard thing, not the back yard and we live on a corner so all the passers-by will see it (them) eventually.¬†I know this will be a scattered post — because it makes me think of two things. The unexpected and God. Which could be one in the same if you think about it. Like the saying, I heard recently, ‘a coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous’.

Unexpected and Forgotten
So I have two real loves cake decorating and children’s literature. Well now doesn’t that just make me super-fun the cake lady, preschool teacher, children’s author hopeful. I guess. Anyway months and month ago. I had these two pumpkins sitting out on the driveway for fall, Halloween – dare I say it yes for Halloween. I came home to find it had been smashed all over the street. So I threw it in the yard. Now I did this because I had read it in a children’s book of mine, Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. I literally forgot about it, until…….

Later on in May, as the heat wafted into the valley. The grass and green weeds started to grow wildly. I noticed something strange in the corner of the yard. Wondering what it was, I zeroed in for a closer look. As I got closer…I looked with wonder. Wondering….hmmm???? Is that the….no way not possible. I could hear my mother’s words from 6 months earlier, “That will never grow, it has to be planted to root properly.” And all I did was cover it with leaves. And here we have what looks like the beginnings of a pumpkin patch.¬† I mean this was literally unexpected and forgotten about. I never expected this to turn into anything at all. I can remember as a kid the dozens of apple cores and seeds I planted in the back yard. No trees yet—that I know of — I mean come on I am an adult following the advice of a kids’ book. Really? Well anyway we’ll have to see where this patch goes. Will we have pumpkins or not? Only God knows….which brings me to my next point.

Now, I did nothing. I repeat nothing (besides throwing some leaves over a smashed pumpkin) to entice this vine to grow. I mean I am no farmer and we aren’t exactly in the country setting. And this is far, far from The Pumpkin Patch Parable. But this is very unexpected and now I am wondering what should I do? I tend to it, water it and monitor it’s progress. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake so we will see what happens here. But the point is that this majestic vine grew on its own – by God’s hand. I mean I just threw it there, in the hopes that it would maybe root and a pumpkin would grow, and I forgot about it until the green shoots made their presence known. Something unexpected and great has graced my path. It may seem like small beans or squash, if you will,¬†but this is one big plant vine. I mean pumpkins are not small. I wanted pumpkins and God provided pumpkins. God is the true vine and we are the branches. John 15: 1-11

So for this summer we get to enjoy this “BLOSSOMING” vine of nature, enjoy its lush green leaves and bright orange-yellow flowers. As this season continues on we will soon see the ‘fruits’ of this vine grow into nourishment for the body and until then I can rest assured that God’s hand is there to nourish my soul. I know I am blessed (I know I don’t often feel that way, sometimes I often feel cheated out of some of life’s better gifts, talents, and things). I know and see and give all the credit to God for the beauty that surrounds me. I would like to hope that I can some how add to it…

Majesty Palm

¬†I have always been intrigued by the palm tree. I truly appreciate the beauty and the “majesty” of the palm tree and tropical plants. There seems to be a sense of untouched and unmarked beauty to the tropics – they are a place like no other.

The palm however, has been a symbol of strength and stability. Growing tall, arms stretched out toward the sun. Yes, they are tropical plants and they do very well in warm, humid, sunny areas. I know I have owned many potted palms the last few years. And it seems that each year as the cold dark winter months lingered my palms slowly weakened and never returned to life. I was sad. I wanted to nourish them and care for them until again they could return to the warm sun and take their place on the patio outside. It seems this year I may be able to do this. I may actually get to see them thrive once again. Even though the outer fronds are getting withered and brown – there are still strong, fresh green shoots growing from the middle (heart) of the plant; Still willing to live and grow.

¬†This seems so fitting to this Sunday – Palm Sunday – the palm has been cited in the Bible as a symbol of triumph and victory, strength and prosperity. As we enter into this week – Easter week – again we are reminded of so much praise, pain, death and new life. Palm Sunday traditionally is filled with praise songs and ‘Hosannas’ and ‘Hallelujiahs’ and the week continues as Thursday turns cold, dark and painful. Saturday seems to linger and we are reminded of the price paid so long ago. We, in a¬†bittersweet mood,¬†dye Easter eggs and fill baskets with candy and lay out our Sunday bonnets. Now that I think of Easters as a child, it all seems¬†so strange. But I also know that along with the cycles of the seasons and the seasons of life – Easter is a time of renewal. And even though today is a day of great rejoicing and victory. Just like my withered palm trees – new life will spring forth. Through the darkness, sadness¬†and pain – there is hope. Just like my palms – I, we can stretch our hands high in praise and thanks. We can shout ‘Hosanna!’ We can sing ‘Hallelujiah’. For we again can remember the promise of new life and forgiveness.

This poem was originally published February 24th,2010 on Associtated Content. A special Saint Patrick’s Day poem to start the month and prepare for Easter.¬†As the slow months of February and March continue on, so does the “days of our lives”. I know it sounds so cliche, but it is true and we long for that warmth of the spring sun and the fresh breeze of the tepid air . It reminds us that faith is not gone and life is still renewed each spring.¬† Spring and Easter¬†are ¬†just around the corner so don’t fret and the Lord is still keeping us safe and hearing our prayers. He is still sending us those symbols to remind us of His ever constant grace. So Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. As March enters like a lion still, remember that the Lamb of God is there to save us from the storms of life.

Faith and Shamrocks

The winter snow has gone away,
It’s warmer in the air today!

 The sun is bright, warm and beautiful,
 Trees are blooming, so very colorful.
The Valentines and hearts have faded past.
Holidays always come and go too fast.

 Tricks and treats, gifts and eats
Snow and ice, hearts and treats.

 The grass is green, the flowers bright.
Amongst the blades there is quite a sight.

 I see a shamrock, with three hearts, not four.
Don‚Äôt scoff and say, ‚ÄúWhat do you want that for?‚ÄĚ

 For in it a message, a gift of luck for you and me.
A faith filled blessing for Saint Patrick’s Day. See?

Three hearts – the trinity, a gift from heaven above,
From the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with love.

With the trinity of faith who needs any thing more?
Than the grace of the Savior, Christ Jesus our Lord!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and blessings to you,
From the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, too!

 © 2010 /set/Shari E. Transue


     My life is in constant disarray,
       But my desk is organized; Is that okay?

I have cobwebs in the corners of my ceiling,
But I can’t shake this happy feeling!

I made a schedule I made a plan,
A decree ‚Äď all household clutter be banned!

A toilet tissue castle sits upon the table,
They’ll get to the closet, when I am able.

I feel at peace, quiet and rested,
A new day ahead ‚Äď even if my patience be tested.

There are so many things on my mind;
   Things I can only tackle one at a time.

I pray, Lord, What should I do?
Shall I leave these tasks and worries to you?

I struggle and I fight, I worry and fret,
And haven’t completed a task yet!

I pray for strength, peace, patience and self control,
For you, O Lord, are the lover and guardian of my soul.

Do not worry, you say my blessed child,
These worries will only harm you and steal your smile.

I agree, and hand this list of cares and worries to you,
Now I guess I will go clean my room.

The fears and doubts upon my heart, with care, you take.
Now I have a birthday cake to make <3.

You my Heavenly Father are the maker of all good things,
I will open my hands and heart in praise and sing!

Hallelujah, to you for the gift of this day!
Amen and in your Son Jesus, I pray!

© 2010 /set/Shari Transue.

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