{ Don’t Fret about Flabby Arms. Or Taxes. }

It’s national Haiku Poetry Day and Tax Day and the Word Prompt is FRET and it’s my nephew Anthony’s birthday.

Can I combine everything into one worthy blog post?

No.

I will talk about something else.

Late last night (after looking at my arms in the mirror and thinking about summer), I searched online for easy arm exercises.

I don’t want to use weights.

And, I don’t want to get down on the floor.

I don’t want to join a gym

Or buy stretchy plastic straps

Or a medicine ball.

So I searched for

“exercises you can do while seated”

I found yoga poses (nope, on the floor)

Then I searched for

“wheelchair exercises”

And I found what I was looking for: simple arm circles.

It doesn’t look like spring out there, but it’s time to think about wearing short sleeves.  (Thus, the arm exercises.)

Because everything is covered with a thick blanket of Minnesota April snow, My daughter has been feeding the birds and even making bird muffins to set out on the snow-filled bird bath.

Dark-eyed juncos, chickadees and an occasional woodpecker scrambled around, up and down getting seeds and playing king of the bird feeder.

Birds can be cranky about their food.

Even I, a casual human observer, could tell which ones were prone to selfish hoarding.

birds

God cares for the birds.

They manage to find food all winter long — even when we forget to fill the feeder or get lax making bird muffins.

Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t worry! You are more valuable to him than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31, Living Bible

God notices us and cares for us despite all our fussing around. Despite our selfishness. Even when we are acting proud or when we are sad.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8

Don’t fret.

God cares for you, his valuable, treasured creation.

(Flabby arms and all.)

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

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{ Spring-Soul-Cleaning }

 

aaron-burden-230674-unsplash
“When you forgive…it’s like spring cleaning for your heart.” –Marci Shimoff

My husband is waiting for the day when my preferred hobby will be a

creative,

voracious,

unquenchable

desire to….

clean. 

 

I relate well to Kobayashi Issa’s Haiku:

 

Don’t worry, spiders, 
I keep house 
casually. 

 

Cobwebs, dust and grime are never-ending in a home.

But a soul should be cleaned out regularly, too.

I dislike the clutter that comes from misunderstandings.

I’d love to sweep up all my unresolved problems.

And, sometimes I have to mop up messes when I make them with my tongue, attitude or actions.

Spring house cleaning is important in its own way, but a good inner-self cleaning is even more important.

I think it’s important to refresh my brain and soul.

Maybe springtime is a great time to do it.

So, I refresh my brain….

I read the Bible.  The Bible has a lot to say about interpersonal relationships, giving, loving others and self talk.  The heroes and villains inside its pages were REAL PEOPLE.  They were moody, proud, and discouraged sometimes.  I read and learn how they overcame dysfunctional families and personal struggles, and accomplished great things.

I read other helpful books.

It helps a person move from inchoate status to someone-who-is-starting-to-get-it.

I launder my soul, and I…

…forgive people who have offended me.  They may not have earned the gift of my forgiveness, but I am giving the gift to myself.

Sometimes, I walk around oblivious to the fact that I have offended people.

Perhaps I am offending you now, without knowing it.

Or, perhaps I didn’t smile at someone yesterday and they are holding it against me.

But, there are times when I have hurt someone and I know it. 

I don’t naturally want to ask for forgiveness, because…after all…they were wrong, too. 

But, I WIN by being the first one to make it right–even if my part was  only 1.3 % or 49.99%.

I must ask forgiveness for the mistakes I own.

Spring cleaning isn’t always fun.

It can be messy.

But you feel amazing when it’s all over.

Haiku poem taken from: The Essential Haiku. ed. Robert Hass. New York: HarperCollins, 1944.

Photo Credit:Aaron Burden