growth

Even in a Pandemic

Even in a pandemic

You can be kind

You can listen

You can learn

You can watch as the sun sets

Changing the colors of the sky

The light changing in the tree tops

Beauty can still take your breath away

Even in a pandemic

You can remember

You can give thanks

You can listen to the bird song

And wonder at the many voices

You can pray

You can vote

You can change

© Julie Clark 2020

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, growth, Poetry, Prayer, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fruit Trees

The fruit trees

Have put on their new attire

Traded in the bare naked look

From buds to shawls of fragile blooms

Now with sturdy green working clothes

These garments will take them through the heat of summer

Their job, with branches stretching far into the sky

Collect all the glorious light coming their way

Transform the energy to feed the world

Fruit their goal, their hope, their song

No fruit, no life ahead

These trees will bear fruit

The leaves will do their job

And begin the cycle again

After the fruit is picked

Ripe and juicy

The old tired leaves will give

Their last hurrah

Decked out in the best of their colors

Gold, reds, oranges and yellows

The grand goodbye after all their labors

Before they fall to the ground

In storms of rain and wind

Will we like leaves

Live our lives

Dressed for the occasions

Of each stage of our being?

What are our goals, our passions?

Will they feed the lives coming after us?

How will we weather our storms and troubles?

Will we leave in a glorious hurrah

Having done all we can

To leave a rich inheritance

Of a life fully lived and a heart full of love

To the next generations?

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Am I Hoarding Jesus?

 

When I was a young person coming back to faith in Jesus in the mid 70’s I was taught I had the answers to the questions of life. My experience as I traversed different parts of the world and met different kinds of people that this was not all together true. Yes, my young life had changed as I made following and learning about Jesus a priority, but I had a lot to learn from the people I met. Yes, I could offer prayers and encouragement from my perspective and I did see people encouraged, and even recovered from sickness. Yet, I learned to be quick to listen, slow to speak. Well, I had to be, because I was learning a new language! One of the many gifts of learning a new language. I also was learning and seeing beautiful things in the culture and people around me that I had not learned in my own culture. I learned to look for what good things God was already doing in a person’s life and in their culture. I learned to affirm those good things. Of course every culture has it’s light side and dark side, including my own. Now as I look back on those early years I think it was arrogant and naive to believe I had all the answers. Is it possible that Christians are hoarding Jesus? Saying and teaching that the way I interpret his life and teaching is the only way seems a bit narrow and exclusive.  As if I know all the mysteries of Christ who died for the sin of the world, the very same who is reconciling all things, all people, all creation to himself. I do believe those points. I just don’t pretend to know what they mean exactly or how it will happen.

Here in the form of a poem are some reflections from Mark 9:38 – 41 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me…”

Here, the path is wide

The door flung open

Us and them dismantled 

Here, we celebrate 

Our commonality – our humanity

See the goodness in each other 

Here, the hoarding of Jesus

Is not allowed

Trust the outcome 

To the one true judge

Of all motives, all character

Here we love and respect

We build up and affirm

The God given love

In one another

© Julie Clark 2020

Categories: borderlands, Faith, God, growth, Love, Paths, Poetry, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Waiting

When you are waiting

For winter to end

When the darkness

Clings closely to the day

Walk in the gardens available

Look for life signs 

Budding on the tulip trees

See Mother Earth wrap her baby blankets

Around pruned rose bushes 

See the robins congregate

In clusters in the leafless oaks

Perhaps planning 

Spring nesting

Encouraging one another

Keep on keeping on

We need our flocks

This time of year

Find our cozy blankets

Snuggle in and make some plans

Visit the green house and get inspired

With bursts of color

Daffodils and crocus 

Even a banana tree

Find warmth to

Free joy in your heart

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Birds, growth, Hope, Life, Photography, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Rhythm

When you need a new rhythm

Old one not working

Wearing you out

Step off, step out and away

Find a quiet place

A lonely place

To think

To listen

Make the changes

To save yourself

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: growth, Hope, Life, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Do the Hard Work

Do the hard work

Take the time to listen

To another

With a different voice

A different belief

A different color of skin

A different culture

A different story

Take the time to learn

Find your new teachers

You won’t be disappointed

You will be enlarged

You will expand

You will grow

You will receive

A true gift

© 2019 Julie Clark

Categories: borderlands, growth, Hospitality, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Watching and Waiting

Sorrow follows close

To shroud me

When my gaze 

On love wavers

The impossibilities

Of hope

Too much to hold onto

At times

When justice and peace

Slip away

In a mudslide


What I cannot see

Calls me 

To look closer


Do you see the courageous ones 

who faced

Down their fear

The generous ones who share

What once they hoarded

Do you see

The peacemakers plowing fields

 with what once

were weapons

The trusting ones letting go 

Of all they thought

They needed to control


Change is happening

In incremental steps

Think of what happens

With seeds

Or yeast

Explosion of life

About to happen 

All around us

Keep doing good

And growing 

Into the person

You are and truly want to be

© Julie Clark 2019

Categories: Faith, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Poetry | 2 Comments

True Self Knows

abstract art awareness branches

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

We all suffer

When one suffers

Like ripples on the water

Tracing it back

To the original stone

Shattering the calm

 

It all makes sense

Our connections

All fractured

All hearts broken

 

Let us go easy

Be gentle

Let the drops bead up

With Holy Oil

And roll

 

Rather then

Added to the burden

Of offences

We all carry

 

True self takes no prisoners

And knows

We will be welcomed home

With love

 

© 2019 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, growth, Life, Love, pain, Poetry | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Paying Attention to Emotions

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I am learning more about emotions these days. Learning to look back over my day or even a few days and identify my feelings and emotions. A much better practice then shoving them down or acting on them without thinking. Here’s an example from what I’ve been reading: Did I feel Anger? Sadness? Fear? Then connecting some dots to what brought on these feelings. This goes along with a contemplative prayer practice called The Prayer of Examen.

 

Here’s what was lurking in my subterranean depths the other day.

 

I was feeling anger at the injustice in our world.

 

I was feeling sadness that all our kids and their families live far away at this time.  

 

I was feeling some fear of becoming insignificant, losing my strength, memory and voice as I grow older. Am I accomplishing anything important these days?  Am I missing something?

 

Now that I have identified these feelings I can talk about them with loved ones and I can pray about them. Naming these emotions helps me work through the difficulties I may have faced that day. It also helps me sleep better!

 

I also see how important it is to help children with identifying their emotions and connecting them with what is going on in their lives.  Not an easy task but so important for a life long practice.

 

Several years ago I began learning  inner healing prayer practices. We learned to connect our current troubling emotions with memory of when we felt these before, until we hit on a spot in our pasts that flared up with these emotions.  With finding these we were then able to invite Jesus into the painful memories and find healing. In this healing of finding him with us in our painful memories we were then able to deal with the present situation that was stirring up old emotions of loss, fear, anger, sadness, or abandonment.

 

Now having worked through the negative emotions, I can move on to look for positive ones.

Did I feel loved today, seen, heard, or appreciated?  Did something make me laugh, or feel happy or peaceful?  Spending a few moments appreciating these emotions leads right into gratitude. Gratitude is a great way to end any day.

 

Categories: Faith, growth, Prayer | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Encircled

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Encircled with Lavender and Rosemary

On this warm day

Breathing in pure fragrant air

Releasing anxiety and pressure

Pressure to be

Something I am not

Receiving peace

Healing and rest

May my fragrance be

Life giving and refreshing

To the ones

Encircled by my love today

 

2018 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, growth, Life, Love, Poetry, Prayer, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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