Sticks and Stones . . . and Planks

How it All Began

I have enjoyed writing since my high school days. Aside from art classes, English was always my favorite subject, particularly anything related to creative writing. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a school teacher. By my senior year in high school, although I loved writing, I hoped to become an artist. Nowadays, the only paintbrush I pick up is usually dipped in a gallon of Eggshell White.

So for now, I’m back to writing, or blogging, or whatever you call what I do. Hopefully the words I choose to share will touch someone in a meaningful way. My plan is not to teach a lesson or to preach, but to share my personal perspective from my tiny corner of the world.

My favorite writing space

I try to stay dedicated to my Sunday routine of writing. It can be challenging at times, especially if we are traveling. But I pray each week that the Lord will give me something worthy to say.

Like many writers, there are days when I feel dry and uninspired. Those are the days when I share what is going on in our home or in my personal life. Sometimes those little adventures lead to new ideas for future posts.

Words

This morning I found myself thinking about words. Specifically how we share words, and how they can hurt or heal. They are a powerful means of communication, whether written or spoken. We can choose our words with wisdom and compassion, or with haste and vengeance.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:1-5‬

Jesus’ words are convicting to those of us who are willing to take them to heart. The internet has made it easy to hurl insults from afar. Few would repeat the same words if they were seated face-to-face with the person they insulted.

Here’s a question for you. Does the internet make us brave, or does it make us cowardly? It can do both, depending on how you use your words.

For the past two years I have given up social media during Lent. But this year I feel a need to fill those platforms with the love and kindness our Savior modeled for us.

Be the Salt and Light

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:6‬

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light . . . ” Ephesians‬ ‭5:8

Words are powerful. Use them sparingly. Choose them wisely. And always . . . remember that plank.

The Art of Relaxation

I find myself writing today’s post worlds away from the busy suburbs of northern Virginia. Neil and I are five hours away from home in a picturesque lakeside community, surrounded by mountains and water, and not much else.

Timing is Everything

We were blessed once again with an invitation to relax and unwind on a long weekend — in a place with breathtaking views and no specific agenda. After a busy season of work for both of us, the timing was perfect.

Sunset on the cove

 

The weather has been raw and rainy since our arrival, but that really doesn’t matter. Our time has been well spent, resting and reconnecting with our hosts whom we haven’t seen in decades. We’ve also been able to experience a small taste of retirement. Many of our friends have already reached that enviable stage of life. We are living vicariously through them . . . at least for a few days.

Possibilities

I’ve lingered over my morning coffee while watching the busy bird feeders for the past two days. We’ve enjoyed leisurely breakfasts, long drives through the countryside, and nightly board games beside a cozy wood stove. Tonight we were treated to a steel drum concert in town, with our hosts participating in the performance.

Like many of our friends, they have found exciting new things to do in their retirement. It’s no time to just sit on the front porch swing, unless, of course, that is what you choose to do.

Tomorrow we pack up and head back to work and our busy schedules. This little side trip was soothing balm for our souls. It has given us some new ideas, but also a renewed purpose as we continue planning for our future.

To quote Dr. Suess, “Oh, the places you’ll go . . .”

That season in life is still a few years away, but the possibilities are endless!