Posted in Poetry

National Poetry Writing Month #29

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A Meditation

A summer day, Mark Twain propped
between my hands, the sunlight
filtering through the oak leaves
fluttering somewhere above me,
the gurgle of the stream where I’ve come
to be still, a soothing balm
for daily worries, like being wrapped
inside my mother’s arms.

Some days, this place could be
outside my doorstep and still
projects and mopping and bill-paying
keep me huddled at a desk,
clinging to tasks as if they own
all the answers.

On this day in deep winter,
I choose Huckleberry and leaves
green as a late August afternoon,
my mind’s eye conjuring the safest
of comforts, the only place
where any believer truly meets God.

Ramona Levacy
April 29, 2013

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Posted in Christian Living, Living

Do You Really Want It?

20120923-185752.jpg Focus is a powerful word. Whatever we bring our minds to, we empower. The greater our ability to focus, the more we will accomplish.

In yoga class, you learn early on that proper focus is inherent to success. A mind busy thinking about to-do lists or wondering what’s for lunch is not a mind that will refresh and strengthen the body.

The key to meditation is being able to bring all the powers of your mind to the feelings in your hands so that eventually your mind and body are one, the only thought filling your mind being the mind-body experience you have just created.

The ability to block out the rest of our hectic life and essentially live in the moment, feeling only what our bodies and breaths tell us, is a powerful cornerstone for truly understanding what it means to “be still and know that He is God.”

How often do we ask God question after question without being silent long enough for Him to answer?

The skill of focus is not an easy one, especially not in a world in which we are bombarded by worldly messages. Billboards, smartphones with emails, internet access on-the-go, televisions constantly blaring–all of these things add up to potential side-trackers on our way to the narrow road.

When we have good focus, we can choose to let in only those messages that will positively affect our relationships with God, fellow Christians, and ourselves. But, when we let down our guard, as so often occurs, we allow negative messages to slip into our subconscious, convincing us that lies are truth–only women in tight clothes look pretty; how you look is who you are; winners only eat cornflakes for breakfast.

How do we increase our abilities to focus? We find the quiet places. Even if your quiet place and time is only five extra minutes lying still in your bed each morning before you arise to a new day, focusing on nothing except each breath you take in and out, you will soon discover that your mind will begin the day calmer.

If God speaks in whispers amidst the thunder of social media, tv media, gossip, work, and play that makes up most of a regular day, are we ever going to hear Him if we don’t first take the time to hone the one skill that we all possess?

To focus is to listen for God’s whisper. Where the mind goes, your heart will follow.

Posted in Christian Living, Living, Self-Help

By the Water

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There’s nothing more soothing than being near a running brook, hearing the burbling sounds of water rushing over silt and rock, the background noises of bluejays and crickets, the smells of wild grass and pure streams surrounding you in a cocoon of protection from the troubles and cares of your everyday world.

But we don’t have to be in the middle of the country to find our gurgling-brook moments. Even if you are stuck in the midst of the concrete jungle, nature finds a way. It may be a favorite park or a patch of grass used as a dog-run at your apartment building. It may be the butterfly you find perched on the windshield of your parked car. But nature is in the very air we breathe, and wherever there is nature, we have the most visible evidence of the existence of God. A deep, full breath of afternoon air can be the kind of break that reminds you what God means by a “peace that transcends understanding.”

Visualization is also a powerful gift that God has given us. Just closing our eyes in a quiet room can allow us to see, feel, hear and smell the perfect brook. We can see ourselves lying in the tall grass, our eyes closed, our breathing even and deep. If we can block out the worries of the world, our job responsibilities, our family’s needs, our perceived failings, we may just reach that inner part of ourselves where we can best hear the most real answer to our life’s questions, which is the answer that truly comes from God. Only if we are still will we truly hear Him.

We travel hundreds of miles and spend all kinds of money to take relaxing vacations, when our own mini-vacation is available every day. Take your moment to envision your brook, meditate on God, and listen to your inner voice today. The closer that voice is to the will of God, the happier you will be.