We Don’t Want Perfect Fathers

We do not want,

should not expect,

and will never have

perfect fathers.

All we want is for them

to make their God-given responsibilities a priority:

to teach, guide,

protect, provide for,

and love in His ways

the children He has given to them.

I do not think that is too much for a child to ask.

I do think that is too much for a father to carry

on his own.

God’s plan is a wife; she, his treasured helper.

But the great submission of man

is to yield to and depend on

the Heavenly Father.

A father will never be perfect,

but he can look to the One who is.

Too often, a father will finally bend

when the sweat of death lies on his brow.

I saw my father’s release at that divine exchange:

too late for a child

but a gift tearfully received

by a long-suffering me.

We don’t want perfect fathers.

We only want them.


Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,

but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

(Father’s Day is celebrated in the United States every year on the third Sunday of June.)

These Three Women Create Amazing Things

As a writer, I experience all kinds of joy when I hear that one of my stories brought up emotions or caused a reader to take action. All creators have that opportunity; sharing stories is only one way to touch the human heart.

Sanj, Cassie, and Amber experience that same joy when others appreciate their work.

I know these women personally, and they inspire me to continue with my own creativity. Here are links so that you can take a look at what they create and sell online. Note that these are not affiliate links. I get nothing from your click except for the satisfaction of knowing my readers are seeing the work of these talented women.

SanjBDesigns: Crafted Handbags

Amber O’Neil: Fine Art

Cassandra Dias: Fiber Artist

Enjoy!

All The Same, All That Matters

I am working to turn this poem I wrote into a song:

Inside

there is

no offending color

All the same

All that matters

It’s the beating of the heart

the working of the brain

the moving of the blood

All the same, all the same

It’s the Spirit of God

it’s the soul that remains

tell your brother that you love him

give your sister her place

Good night

And a very good Day

when the Lord comes down

and He carries it away

He’ll bring His color

and nothing else will remain

All the same

All that matters

Ephesians 2:14-16


A Seed in the Hand of God

Throughout Spring 2020, I was too concerned about COVID and my health to walk into the local gardening center. I ached for the day when I could roam the crowded and too narrow aisles once more. Never again would I complain about the long lines. And when I finally did go in for my Spring shopping spree a few months ago, I didn’t have a single thought of discontent. Though no one could tell, I was smiling behind my mask as I swiped my card through the machine because I purchased more items than were on my list, as usual.

Gardening is my special pleasure.

There could be no food in the refrigerator, a toilet that needs scrubbing, six loads of dirty laundry, taxes to be filed, 115 emails, and 216 text messages, and I’ll be thinking, “Just a few more minutes of gardening.” Then, six hours later, I go into the house, exhausted, and tell myself that I’ll get to those chores later. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t.

What matters is that I feel good after my recreation. Energized. Relaxed. Tired but happy. Filthy dirty. Spatters of soil on my t-shirt and jeans, burrs in my hair and mud in my shoes, and wounds on fingers from misguided shears.

And I bring in the thoughts I had about God and his creative wonders that will never be outdone or undone.

I place a seed under a half-inch of soil, add water, and let the sunshine in. The seed splits and lets out its green growth after days of forced patience. What is my thought? “God allowed me to participate in a miracle.”

That’s what gardening is for me.

And, oh, the wonder of it all as I begin to compare my life to a seed in the hand of God. There I am, covered in dirt for a while as the Master Gardener sets the right time, the best conditions, the perfect growth plan for me.

Earlier this week, I pulled a cosmos plant from its spot in a flower bed. A gopher had found itself in a nearby trap, and I had to remove the cosmos to retrieve the critter. I whispered “I’m sorry” to the cosmos as I left it in a plastic tray until the dirty work was done. Its roots were out of the soil, packed into a cell that could no longer contain it, exposed to an environment that could not sustain it — full of discomfort and probably asking, “Why?”

So it goes for a time when God has a hard work to do in my life. I don’t like it, I feel removed, and I have questions. In the end, though, God’s work always turns out for his glory and my good.

Today, the cosmos plant is back in its spot and thriving.

In the garden, I learn a lesson or see an example of God’s love, care, or greatness. I look down at the innumerable insects and bugs living in the dirt. I look up to see soaring hawks and cooing doves. I look around: Roses protected by thorns. Wildflowers that simply show up each year. Bees, lizards, weeds, and stones. All of it points to an awesome, powerful, and creative God who saw fit to make a garden the first living space for man and woman.

In the garden, I see my Lord Jesus. “He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:2).” I think about what gardens will look like in heaven, a place I will live one day because of my faith in him.

In the garden, I imagine God watching me. I wonder if he is pleased with the plant arrangements and the colors. I wonder if he is pleased with me.

Then, I see the tiny leaves of something I’ve planted breaking through the soil, and I am reminded of when I was a seed in his hand. I recall the words, the people, the good times, the terrible times, and the Savior that he used to take me from being covered in dirt to becoming his child.

The garden is a gift.