{ Nancy Drew Wisdom }

Nancy Drew will forever be 18, titian-haired and wholesomely attached to her boyfriend, Ned.

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Except for a brief falling out in The Twisted Candles, Bess and George will always be her best friends and loyal assistants.

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In the world of Nancy Drew, men with shifty or piercing eyes will always be the villains.

And Nancy will always be the heroine (even the police and the FBI consistently admire her intellect and fortitude.)

Yes, the iconic Nancy Drew was created and promoted by a writing syndicate, but I think she still has something to teach us…

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  • Helping People is Rewarding

Whether it’s a child that she rescues from near death, orphans depending on a missing inheritance, or a poor immigrant, Nancy’s always there to help. Her efforts are almost always rewarded with new mysteries to solve.

  • A Good Reputation Opens Doors

Usually by accident—Nancy never tells people herself –folks learn that she is the daughter of Carson Drew, prominent River Heights lawyer. This connection usually amazes and awes strangers. It also lets her in to places closed to other people.

  • Ask Dad

As smart, capable, and independent as Nancy is, she often asks her Dad for advice.  I love that.

  • Stop and eat real food.

Even if you are in the middle of a grand mystery or an intriguing endeavor, make time to stop and eat real food.

  • Show gratitude

The people Nancy helps usually give her a token of the solved mystery.  It’s something small, or simple…but meaningful.  Nancy also surprised people with practical gifts or the gift of time or help. Gifts say what words can’t always say.

  • Manners matter

Good manners are for everyone. Being kind, gracious and forgiving are always welcome and appropriate.

  • Old Lives Matter

Elderly people have wisdom to share.  Nancy asks for help and insight of many old folks in her mysteries. I should too.

  • Be a Feminine Renaissance Girl

Nancy can fly a plane, play the bagpipes, decode messages, and scuba dive.

She wears dresses for most of it.

(Not the scuba.)

Girls can be versatile, capable, strong and smart without giving up their femininity.

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Lastly,

  • Make sure you have a will.

Not having a legally approved will may cause lots of problems.  If it’s hidden in a clock, or your treasures are secreted in the walls, your heirs may not receive the benefits they deserve–unless Nancy Drew comes along to help.

 

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊

Dedicated to Eileen!

 

Mystery

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mystery/

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{ 3 Things About 3 Things }

shumilov-ludmila-59388One.

I am writing weekly, short spotlights on amazing missionaries, composers and church leaders. Here’s what I *taught myself* as I wrote this week:

  1. Be brave and fearless like Mary Slessor. Care more about loving people than what people think of you.
  2. Have faith like John G. Paton. Press on in your work, even though people around you doubt that God can answer prayer and do miracles. Faith, combined with sweat, dirt and hard work, will be worth it.
  3. What you have been doesn’t mean that’s what you will be.  With God’s touch, people can move from being purposeless jokers to daring, adventurous life-changers, like Brother Andrew. 

Two.

If I had to choose a keyword for 2017, it would be “Listen.” Reading a few books about better listening skills has improved me and ruined me at the same time.  I now have goals when I sit down at a gathering to talk to someone.  The talker doesn’t even have to be interesting.  They will become interesting when I give them the gift of my time and attention; when I immerse myself in what they are saying and see the soul behind it.

But, reading these listening books has opened my eyes. It bothers me now when I make the “listening mistakes”, or…when I feel people aren’t listening to me.

I’ve learned that most people don’t really listen. They often just wait as they get ready to talk at you. It takes self-control and self-denial to listen to someone.

Here are three things I want to remember about being a good listener:

  1. Don’t disengage while someone is talking to you.  Don’t ask someone a question, then drift off or look around. That hurts.
  2. Ask thoughtful questions. It lets people know you are listening, keeps you engaged, and actually makes their spiel more interesting.
  3. When you listen, you learn — about everything. “Everyone is an expert on something.” And, when you actively listen to people, you learn something you never knew before.

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Three.

This is the most difficult. After years of calling myself a Christian, I realized I don’t have enough of the one thing that is supposed to mark a Jesus-follower. Yes, I have the quiet time, the doctrine and the lingo. But I want to love people like Jesus showed me from the Bible. Hating sin is the easy part (when it’s someone else’s sin.) And Christians are good at hating the sin, but sometimes not-so-good at loving the sinner…

  1. Look at people (all made in God’s image) with a Godlike, eternal, loving perspective.
  2. Love God and love people. Show I love God by loving people. Show people I love God by loving them.
  3. Expect God to show up every day in my life.

So…thanks for listening.

Lisa 🙂

Three books that have prompted me to write parts of this post:

  1. The Lost Art of Listening 
  2. We Need to Talk
  3. Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore: How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Faith Magnetic.

Photo credits:

Pears — Shumilov Ludmila

Hearts —Jessica Ruscello

{ Bravo! }

ron-manke-20667Bravo, God, Bravo!

gods and all angels shout, "Encore!"

In awe before the glory,

In awe before God's visible power.

Stand at attention!

Dress your best to honor Him!

Psalm 29, the Message Bible (paraphrase)

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I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,

That spread the flowing seas abroad,

and built the lofty skies.

I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;

The moon shines full at his command, and all the stars obey.ganapathy-kumar-306285

From the hymn: I Sing the Mighty Power of God

lyrics by Isaac Watts, published 1715

based on the scripture Jeremiah 10:12-13

Word prompt of the day:  Gratitude

Photo credits:

Moon– Ganapathy Kumar, unsplash.com

Sky–Jason Wong, unsplash.com

Mountains–Ron Manke, unsplash.com

 

{ Experiments & Eternal Eyes }

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Note in code to my son.

Little boys and their dreams.

His face lights up, telling me about drones, magic tricks, or how he wants to begin a new business fixing things.

This won’t go on forever; someday he will be doing instead of dreaming. So instead of zoning out, tonight I prefer to embrace his experiments and enthusiastic chatter.

My little boy said, “Can I borrow some liquid soap?”

“What for?”

“I want to isolate some DNA.”

Pretty impressive, and found on page 62 of Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything. One Step at a Time.

It’s the perfect book for little boys to “amaze, investigate, create, explore, cook, and move.”

Now, they need a mama with plenty of patience and applause as they try, discover, build and do…

Oh Lord, please give me eternal eyes, patient eyes, to remember that my little guy will be little for a very short time.  Help me to nurture his dreams and encourage the gifts You have given him.

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{ Orange You Glad? }

boris-smokrovic-146294I looked up the word of the day, as I always do

(even though the word was ORANGE.)

I looked up its synonyms and its antonyms

(there were no opposites.)

While browsing, I noticed an opportunity to click on something

(which I hardly ever do.)

There were six words to avoid in writing

(and, I guess, in speaking.)

For my own reminder, I will list them here:

OBVIOUSLY

ACTUALLY

LIKE

HONESTLY

BASICALLY

LITERALLY

 

And, just so I don’t neglect the word of the day,

here is a poem about the word

ORANGE.

It’s inspired by one of my favorite poetry books: Hailstones and Halibut Bones, by Mary O’Neill.

Orange 

Child of red and yellow,

This unrhymable and eccentric

Showoff

Shines in the spotlight of

Autumn leaves

Neon

Sports team colors

And blaze orange

Hunting gear

A juicy-fragranced color

Like no other.

Orange.

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊 2017

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Photo credits:

Boris Smokrovic: Butterfly

:Clarisse Meyer: Pumpkins

{ Rainy Day Poem }

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This poetry challenge:  write a poem made up entirely of song titles.  It’s a rainy day today… that was my inspiration.
I hear thunder

Umbrella

Rain, rain, go away

Who'll stop the rain?  

Wouldn't it be nice? 

Impossible...

Hallelujah!

Here comes the sun

(You are MY sunshine)

Rainbow Song

The green grass grows all around

Tiptoe through the tulips

Oh--

Here comes the rain again.

Photo Credit:  Danielle Dolson

{ Release }

Those Maples.

Teaching me how to release

My grip on what is temporary

Or dying,

And accept life’s changes

With style–

And in a blaze of glory.

(C) Lisa M. Luciano 😉

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.~ 2Corinthians 4:16

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Today’s word prompt: Release

{ School, Senior Citizens & Substitutions }

It’s MEA week.  It’s the week that Minnesota public schools get time off for teachers to attend meetings.

Ava, age 12, asks if we have to do homeschool today.

“Yes.”

“Grandma gets to go to an apple orchard today,” Ava says.

“Senior citizens have all the fun, don’t they?” 

Instead of a trip to the apple orchard, we got a spelling test and the rest of the French and Indian War. And math.

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Practicing spelling words. At least a little more fun when you use neon scratch paper and markers.

Instead of the apples,  Ava (a budding pie-maker) might make a mock apple pie with the green tomatoes we rescued from the garden.

It won’t be such a bad day.

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Pie photo credit.

Express“>

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/express/

{ Humble & Brave }

David was a brave shepherd, an accomplished stone-slinger, and a victorious underdog champion.

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He was a beloved king and a stumbling sinner.
David was winsome, bold and good-looking.
He would have had his face pasted all over the internet if he had lived in this millennium.
But the most attracting and intriguing thing of all?

David was called “a man after God’s own heart.”

(I Samuel 13:14)

What does that even look like—when someone lives to do the things that God cares about?

When someone’s heart is patterned after the heart of a loving, holy God?

 

Besides all this, you would think that a brave, manly king and warrior would be too macho for poetry and a humble attitude toward God.

 

Not David.

 

Here is part of a song he wrote (and sang) after being pursued and saved from his enemies, including the extremely jealous King Saul.

(This is taken from the Bible, and re-written in casual everyday language—like a person’s unplanned, but heartfelt prayer) :

I love you, God—You make me strong.

God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.

My God—the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout.

 

I call to God, I cry to God to help me.

From His palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence—a private audience!

They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me.

He stood me up on a wide-open field;

I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

From Psalm 18, the Message Bible

Brave

Word of the Day: Brave