{ Mob Mandate }

 

I went to a writing conference last weekend.

Within the microcosm of art and literature, I experienced our culture’s strict new, mob driven mandate.

“Do This and don’t do that.

Say this but don’t say that.

Think this new way — it’s the right way.”

The trend-driven mob has one standard:

The current new wave of thought must be accepted by all. 

rascals-74008_960_720

So, I sat listening to writer-presenters.

I sifted through the emphatic agenda-speak.

In session 4, the presenter handed out a stapled packet; an excerpt from a published memoir.

“We’ll go line-by-line around the room, reading aloud.”

I looked it over:

  • Line one: an innocent memory of making pickles in a farmhouse kitchen.
  • Line two: Uncle Earl wearing a plaid shirt and leaving in his rusty old truck.
  • Line three:  some x-rated fodder about a first-time sexual encounter.
  • Line four: making cookies with Grandma, who smells like roses and garlic. 
  • Line five: twisted sexual scene with graphic details. And so on….

Nope, I’m not going to read that. 

I slunk awkwardly out of my landlocked seat. A Muslim woman and her son exited, too.

We are now at a place where virtue* is made to look odd, and sin** is made to appear normal.

There is a plumb line for a misguided, trend-driven world.

  • It transcends decades and centuries and cultures and rulers and norms.
  • It’s outlived despots and tyrants and empires and dynasties and wars.
  • It contains underdog victories, fulfilled prophecies and surprising heroes.
  • It’s a book of love and loss and brokenness and eternity.

 

The Word of God has all the answers.  It is the timeless standard.

aaron-burden-426280-unsplash

*virtue: behavior showing high moral standards. Synonyms: goodness, righteousness, integrity, dignity, honor, decency, nobility, purity, worthiness.

**sin: a word, deed, or desire in opposition to the eternal law of God.

 

Photo credit: Vitaliy Paykov

{ Dear Me as a New Bride }

IMG_20180622_224238_918
~~ Celebrating our 28th Anniversary~ 06/23/1990 ~~(We don’t look like this anymore.)

 

Dear Me as a New Bride,

You look really happy and content.

Stay that way.

Right now, your new husband seems as kindred as one of your female friends.

But, he’s a man.  Don’t forget that.

On the surface, you two speak the same language.

But your heart language is different.

When you love him in FemaleHeartSpeak,

he won’t understand.

Speak LOVE in his own language:

Respect

Loyalty

And Intimacy

(The physical kind.)

If you ever get discouraged,

Always, always consult your User’s Manual first.

You will have bad days…

…but don’t wallow in self-pity.

A Christian marriage is not about YOU,

any more than The Christian Life is all about YOU.

Marriage is one big school to make you more like Jesus.

Someday, you will look back and see

the big picture

and the footprints of God

who effortlessly carried you through every joy and trial.

Keep that fresh, dewy, idealistic smile on your face.

With God,

You got this.

Love, Me

 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

IMG_20180623_153536
6/23/2018

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/possibility/

 

© Lisa M. Luciano

{ Birthday Jealousy }

envy

It’s hard when you are nine years old, and your brother is having a birthday.

It’s harder when your own birthday is 5 months away.

That’s what’s happening at our house.

Big brother Marco’s birthday is approaching and younger brother Jonny is preparing to be jealous.

We try to encourage the idea of being a good “birthday brother.”  That’s when the non-birthday person tries with all their might to rejoice at the blessings given to the birthday boy.

Sometimes this works. Sometimes this fails miserably.

I took a walk with my younger son Jonny today — my arm around his shoulder, pep talk on my mind.

Me: “Let’s ask God to help you be a really good birthday brother.  I know it’s hard.  It’s nicer when you are the one getting the presents. I’m sure he will share his things with you.”

Jonny: “He never shares.”

Me: “Look at my eyes. That’s not true.  He’s a good sharer. You are a good sharer too.  And you’re good at reading….and running….and speaking Spanish….and drawing…”

Jonny: Silence and trying not to smile.

Me: “So, let’s try, ok? I don’t feel bad when it’s your birthday, or Marco’s birthday.  I’m happy for all the birthdays, even when it’s not my own birthday.”

Jonny: “You don’t have a birthday.  You have Mother’s Day.”

© Lisa M. Luciano ~ a birthday-less being who was brought by a stork with a nametag around her neck marked “Mama.”

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/squabble/

{ National Weed Your Garden Day }

“Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.”  ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

IMG_20180613_093225
My peonies — the only flower blooming right now.

Today is a busy day.

On the National Day calendar, it’s:

  • National Random Acts of Light Day
  • National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day
  • National Sewing Machine Day
  • National Weed Your Garden Day

If I had to choose,  I would pick the last one, because the past few days of rain have caused my jungle garden to almost require mowing, not just weeding.

IMG_20180613_093312
Introducing….my weed-rich garden. I think there are some tomato plants in there.

A life garden needs weeding too.

Reading Proverbs 13 today reminds me what needs to be weeded out of a life:

  • resisting correction
  • a runaway tongue
  • sin that will eventually overthrow
  • neglected discipline

Weeds:

  • Choke.
  • Stunt growth.
  • Block sunlight.
  • Prevent hydration and nourishment.

Note to self: Isn’t it about time to get rid of weeds, making room for what is fruitful and beautiful?

IMG_20180613_093347
Not so many weeds surrounding my hearty little cucumber plants.

The benefits listed in Proverbs 13:

  • a preserved life
  • rich supply
  • light
  • favor
  • knowledge
  • healing
  • honor, good, and wisdom
  • satisfaction
  • wealth (spiritual and / or financial?)

 

“Little deeds are like little seeds, they grow to flowers or to weeds.” ~ Daniel D. Palmer

“Your minds may now be likened to a garden, which will, if neglected, yield only weeds and thistles; but, if cultivated, will produce the most beautiful flowers, and the most delicious fruits.” ~Dorothea Dix

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears,  let him hear.” ~ Matthew 13:1-9

 

 

 

 

 

{ Kindness & Key Lime Mousse }

When a speck starts to irritate you, it becomes a stone, which becomes a boulder, which gets so big you can’t see past it.
So, yesterday, I was having a speck-to-boulder day…

My boulder weighs me down, sinking me into mid-depths of bummed-out-ness.

In my wilted state, I head to a social function with the family.

Smile pasted on, I weave through people traffic.

On the way to the bathroom, one person thinks I am Chris.

On the way back from the bathroom, another stranger thinks I am Chris.

I looked down at what I am wearing and feel slightly better.

It’s a good thing to be mistaken for Chris.

I pluck a 1,000 calorie key lime mousse from the food table.

key-lime-mousse2

Then Peggy approaches me.  I don’t know her well, but she’s a warm and sparkly person.

She treats me like a long lost friend.

She whispers “I’m an introvert and I will be heading back to the kitchen soon” but she seems glad to see me before she hides.

Then she asks me a sincere question, her kind eyes searching.

They stop right where the boulder sits in my soul.

And that powerful kindness, with its innocent question, unleashes healing waters that wash my wounds.

That’s me with the key lime mousse and the tears– being hugged by Peggy in the middle of a busy driveway.

We are an island of feelings in a sea of toddlers, teens, fajitas and a jumping castle.

I feel better now.

 

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” — Mother Teresa

“Lord, help me say the kind thing at the right time to the person who needs it most.” Amen.

© Lisa M. Luciano

 

 

 

{ Elegant Schmelegant }

squared-one-212144-unsplash

Elegant shmelegant

I’m making your dinner

It’s not something fancy

Not a blue-ribbon winner

But it’s healthy

And filling

And uses the stuff

That’s been loitering idly

In the fridge long enough.

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

2 minute poem

Word prompt: ELEGANT 

{ Golden Birthday }

On my golden birthday, I wore a blue gingham dress and a bobbed haircut.

The doorbell rang.

Molly, Monica, and the two neighborhood Leslies arrived at my tenth birthday party.

Penny Brownell came too.  I think my mom invited her because everyone else in the neighborhood was coming. Penny talked loud and called her dad “George.”  She was new in the neighborhood and she was popular.  And, she was one of those girls who “took your friends away.”

(Little girls are often threatened by other little girls who “take their friends away” by being cuter, funnier or having better toys.)

My mom hooked up a modest, homemade piñata to the small maple tree in the backyard for later.

I sat on the red velvet-covered piano bench to open my presents.  Inside, I felt shy and self-conscious and I still don’t like opening gifts while a group is watching.

I don’t remember what anyone gave me, except Penny Brownell. She gave me an exquisitely tiny paint set.  The tubed acrylic paints and smooth brushes were housed in a petite plastic case that snapped shut.

Penny told me, “I gave you paints because that’s what you always give everyone for their birthdays.”

I was still thinking about her comment as we all piled into the van. I heard my mom say something like, “We’re going to a chocolate factory,” which sounded exciting.

We were really heading out to see the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

 

2willy wonka

The film was good, but a vague feeling of disappointment followed me back home where the piñata was waiting, along with Mom’s creative rainbow Willy Wonka cake and the paint set.

I blew out ten candles and ate rainbow cake with my guests.

We gallivanted out to the back yard, where a smiling Penny Brownell hit the piñata so hard it cried candy all over the limp August grass.

Word Prompt:  cake

https://swimmersweek.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/cake/#comments

http://gratefulsinglemoms.com/2018/06/04/gallivant/