Sunday, December 15, 2019

What You Cannot Know (through no fault of your own)

'You didn’t know me then', I sometimes say to my now grown children
 when we talk about something I used to do before they were born, 
such as drive to work at 4:00 a.m. on slippery wintery roads.
 All they know me as is mom who looks after a family’s practical needs!

 (my sis texted me this afternoon about these pages above
and more but you'll have to buy or borrow the book for the rest)😀
The Shape of a Year by Jean Hersey
I think because we have the same mother and we both have daughters
we relate to certain parts of this book on a very mutual level! 
One of my top ten favs ever!

My dear, you cannot understand (by no fault of your own)
How much your mother’s heart expands to hold children full-grown
Or how the girl she was is still a part of who she is
(no matter what changes because Time keeps its promises)

The heart you cannot fathom until you are old as she
Will always still be learning how to hold while setting free
Twixt yester’s child and today’s woman, man her love is torn
Where thankfulness and longing spar in whispers heaven-borne

Yes, she’s been disappointed at love’s disappointments, oh
At how the future is nothing like she dreamed long ago
As God so rich in mercy grants breath-stealing more or less
And teaches her to look closer at ‘what is happiness’

I did not understand back then (through no fault of my own)
How oft my mother’s heart landed before her Father’s throne
Or how once upon long ago my mother used to be
A barefoot maiden filled with dreams foot-loose and fancy-free

Before the call and cares of life joined love and motherhood
And still through all the joy and strife she knew that it is good
How all we did not understand is what waited to be
Sweet thrills of surprise at age-old, newfound discovery

…she waits for passion to become astonished at time’s way
No one can seize the pendulum that dictates night and day
But as the heart expands to hold what soon is left behind
The girl she was will remind her to be patient and kind

© Janet Martin

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Vapour Wrapping-Paper

Already today's wrapping has begun to fall away...
in wet, white flakes!

Psalm 36:7
How precious is Your loving devotion, O God, 
that the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

Today, wrapped in fresh mercy metes its Unknown breath by breath
The wisp of yester-hopes-and-dreams is wrapped in Bygone’s breadth
The wonders of the world, soft-wrapped in morning’s misted gauze
In seasoned measure is unfurled before our rapt applause
Where whether we are wrapped in faith or fear as on we go
We all are wrapped in tender grace by He who loves us so

Longing, wrapped in the ache and pain of wanting what is not
Is wrapped up in the present loss and gain of what we’ve got
The hour, wrapped in moments sheds imminent mystery
The bloom wrapped in green casing waits until God sets its free
Where we are often wrapped up in what scope of sight unveils
Desire, wrapped in feeling often leaps then weeps and wails

Pity the one wrapped in Self-pity and its darkened gaze
Ah, we are all wrapped in the tender tangle of Time’s ways
Its breath-by-breath unfolding what is wrapped in common cares
Of dawn to dusk firm-molding what was wrapped in morning prayers
…or stares wrapped in the empty ache of Unbelief’s cold boast
Resisting to be wrapped in arms of He who loves us most

© Janet Martin

Friday, December 13, 2019

Preparing For Christmas Prayer

I wrote this before the morning began unfolding
And tidiness was filled with the happy sound of children playing.

Bottom right: It's not everyone that gets a lion-audience while cutting carrot-sticks! lol;-)

 Lord, fill us with Perfect Reason
Not to suffer worry's stress
Let the wonder of the Season
Thrill our hearts with happiness

Lord, turn our gaze this Christmas
From wish-lists that drive us wild
Make our mission one of gladness
Celebrating the Christ Child

Dear Lord, let the hope of Jesus
Crush the demons of despair
Let the joy of that First Christmas
Wake in us love’s living prayer

Lord, make our heart a stable
Welcoming Jesus again
Make our worship fit for angels
Peace on earth, goodwill to men 

© Janet Martin

 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
 "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened,
which the Lord has told us about."
Luke 2:15

  I love Charlie Pride's Christmas songs!

Ode to The Table or I Like Tables...

Last week my brother-in-law who is a table-maker offered me a sweet deal.
A pick-up load of wood-pieces (left after tables are cut out) 
 for an I Like Tables Poem for his Staff Christmas Banquet last night...
And since there is no What's for-supper post to share because I was not home last night
I took a few pics of tables around our house
because tables hold a lot more than just supper...

Kitchen Table...
often heaped with projects in progress

Front entrance table holds 'warm welcome' arrangements

Dining Room table hosts hobbies as well as dinners
 End table...

Ode to the Table or I like Tables

I like tables, they make my heart sing
A table can be used for almost anything
So I’d say an ode to The Table is due
A tip o’ the hat to tables, black, brown and blue
White tables, green tables, espresso or pink
Tables are great in any colour, I think
Ebony, ivory, distressed wood or gold
Stable tables brand new, tables wobbly and old
I like tables

End tables, coffee tables, console tables, oh
Accent tables, night tables, table for the patio
Side table, foyer tables, and drum tables are nice
And a good kitchen table, worth every penny of the price
Drink-tables, work-tables, nesting-tables and such
Dining room tables please me ever so much
Conference-card-ping-pong tables all thrill me lots
Office tables, picnic tables, and tables for tots
I like tables

Industrial tables, farmhouse tables, tables shabby-chic
Scandinavian, Mid-century, modern or antique
Wood veneer, laminate, marble, metal, glass
And my personal favourite, solid wood of course
Sofa tables, times tables (oops, wrong category)
I like tables that hold many an olden story
I like small tables, tall tables to set by a door
And tables that always have room for one more
I like tables

Whether they are dressed in fine runners of silk
Or blessed with the mess of cookie crumbs and spilled milk
Whether set neatly; plate, cup, fork, spoon and knife
Or covered with clutter of everyday life
Whether they are smudged by little fingers or nose
Or polished so shiny every speck of dust shows
Whether they are freshly finished or weathered
Tables gather families and friends together
Oh, I like tables

Round tables, square tables, oval, hexagon
Rectangle tables that can stretch on and on
Tables for serious talks or celebration
There is a table for every (kind of) occasion
Tables for simple fare like bread, jam and tea
Or laden with food prepared for company
Tables where doctors say ‘you can hop up here’
Tables to pull closer to one aged and dear
I like table

(if it gets too long this verse is optional)

Tables are a little like (some) people we meet
Some sound and solid, some flimsy and weak
Tables also come in sundry shapes and sizes
They hold the predictable and grand surprises
They hold homework that births both groan and hurrah
And babies that bring out our best ooh and a-ah
They hold many memories of moments so dear
Oh, tables are so much more than they first appear
I like tables

I like tables where chatter and glad laughter bubbles
Where we gather to ponder challenges and troubles
Tables for fellowship, courtship, playing games
Or counsel when someone slips (let’s not mention names)
Tables for banquets, family altars, flower-bouquets
Tables are handy in all manner of ways
A place to pour bushels of freshly-picked beans
A place to share God’s Word, prayer, hopes and dreams
And no matter what makes other furniture ‘staples’
None of them equals the versatility of tables
Therefore, I like tables, they make my heart sing
And make most meals feel like a prize fit for a king
I like tables, oh, yes I do
And I hope, after hearing this poem
You like them too

© Janet Martin

...and the best part of this the morning while splitting wood for kindling
and eyeing a quickly dwindling wood-pile I had prayed
'Oh Lord, help me find a way to get more wood'
and lo, a few hours later this 'bargain'
Thank-you God!
I can breathe easy as I attack the wood-pile!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

This Mortality

My, my, but mortal is master of disaster,
when lured by lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and pride of life!
 (For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, 
the lust of the eyes, 
and the pride of life--
comes not from the Father 
but from the world.)
1 John 2:16 

It heaves upon the crest of earth in birth and death-wrought spree
It laughs and grieves abreast the breadth of immortality
As Time set in four-season spans twirls like a carousel
And man embarks and exits ‘neath the tolling of its bell
Where we prove, as we learn to love, the nature of the beast
Where deathless soul instills the glove upon which moments feast
And none of us can circumvent the Hour that must be
When we are called to shed the tent of This Mortality

It boasts; oh God forgive us when we forget Mercy’s girt
As we dare to puff out our chests and strut our stuff of dirt
As we forget to smote our breasts and cry out, ‘what is man’
As we ignore the Author and Finisher of our ‘can
As we make wealth an idol rather than worship’s employ
As we take without uttering one phrase of praise or joy
Where grace is always greater than This Mortality’s mess
And God is always faithful to forgive if we confess

Each travels through this world but once toward a binding goal
When This Mortality becomes the chariot of the soul
Where for now we must all partake of trust’s manifold tiers
As waves of hope and heartache surge and merge with days and years
While dreams are dashed and born anew and lashed by winds of change
And all of us are headed to what Last Gasp will estrange
As we enter that which remains life’s Greatest Mystery
When Mortal sheds its rags and puts on Immortality

© Janet Martin

 For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable
 and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: 
 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”…
1 Cor.15:52-54