What is the definition of patience?
Well, patience could be the ability to keep calm, wait, or endure the passing of time. Patience is fortitude, but in most cases, it is more endurable if a person keeps busy doing others things—because perseverance is a part of patience.
Whoa! That takes some thought. Perseverance is connected to patience?
When I think of perseverance, I have this mental image of a tired person trudging through thigh-high snowdrifts, trying to make it to the blurry outline of a log cabin that has a faint lamp shining in a small window. So is that associated with patience?
You could curl up under a tree, out of the blizzard, shut your eyes, and wait out the snowstorm. But the trouble is—you might freeze while you submit to your circumstances. On the other hand, hiking toward the goal keeps your blood pumping, fights back at the conditions you can’t control, keeps your mind active, and gets you closer to the warm, well-lit cabin.
I believe perseverance is an active part of patience when undertaking a specific assignment, project, or mission.
I have to compare this element of patience to writing and becoming a published author. Perseverance has to be part of quiet patience when you keep writing, wait for responses, and long to get your words and stories out to others in the world.
I need to preach to myself about this factor. It’s too easy to throw up my hands and say, “Why am I doing this? I’m being foolish to think I can write a book that others will want to read. I’m tired of waiting for responses to queries. I quit.”
No, I have to persevere. I need to be actively patient. Yep, sounds a little strange to say it that way. But I’m talking to myself today, preaching to myself, and telling myself to ignore the doubts. God gave me the crazy urge—yes, I said crazy—to write, create imaginary people with life-like circumstances, and perhaps, touch someone else’s heart and life.
So, have patience! And to those of you who have the passion to write, I must say, persevere and go forth with pen in hand or fingers tapping out words to be read by others.
How do you plan to reach your goals in life? How do you persevere? Please, scroll down and leave your comments about patience.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.
Have you ever felt so insignificant that you preferred the shadows? Do you feel more secure if no one sees you or asks you a question? Has skirting around a room and hugging the dimness of solitude become a habit?
Every single one of us suffers from some form of insecurity but a lot of us do a grand job of hiding it. We smile to cover what makes us quiver with anxiety. Insecurity can create loneliness or magnify it. Asking God to help us accept who we are, so we can enjoy the company of others, is the number one step. Why would he allow you to be born, only to push you off into the darkest corner? Such actions wouldn’t bring him glory or happiness. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. The Bible states this fact.
We’re made in God’s image and he created you. That’s why there’s something special about you.
We need to strive to be strong and accept who we are—so we can touch another person’s life. This world’s dismissal and lack of compassion for others makes it hard to focus on God’s value of us, as an individual. But remember, God doesn’t want you and I to fear what others think of us.
The healing of insecurity starts when we accept the wondrous fact that God loves us.
So, take the small steps, pray for strength, speak to a stranger, smile at the next person you pass in a store, or just take a walk in the sun. Let God’s creation of warmth soak into your skin and imagine that it’s God’s perfect love touching you. The sun helps lift your mood, but God’s Son paid the ultimate price, in order to lift your soul into everlasting peace.
“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7 KJV Isn’t that a great verse?
What helps you overcome the feeling of insecurity? Please, scroll down and leave your comments so others can benefit from your victories.
© Karen Campbell Prough 2012
Think of a picture that has everything blended and perfect. It can be interesting. People will stand in front of it, cock their heads to the side, and murmur to eachother, “Oh, how pretty. I wish I could paint like that.” But will they remember its actual details a year later? Pictures with contrast catch our eye. It doesn’t have to be an attractive picture. It can be totally ugly. It might be unprofessional, but the main subject shouts at us, and our interest locks on it. We forget about the busy background or a dull setting.
The things that jolt us to an abrupt halt are the moments we remember. Those times cause us to burst out in laughter or catch our breath with a sob.
What about a stranger that stops to help you? You remember them. You may never see them again but their kindness sticks with you. You don’t recall their compassion because they had a handsome face or they dressed like a model, but you will never forget them. Perhaps, it was only the fact that they soothed your upset child when you were at the end of your tolerance. What about the person who helped you gather dropped packages on the sidewalk? Your personal lists of remembrances can go on and on if you reflect back on your own life.
So, do you blend in? Or are you touching people’s lives in such a way that they won’t forget what you said, what you did, or how your immediate reactions helped them with a predicament? Do they know you care about them?
Step out of the shadows and touch someone today. Stand out for your Lord and Savior.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Matthew 25: 34-36 KJV
Do you want to step from the shadows? Please, leave your comments below.
© Karen Campbell Prough 2012
Please ask permission before reposting. No text or images may be reproduced without the written consent of the copyright holder.
TODAY I BANISHED AN OLD FAMILY MEMBER
It took plenty of deep thought and more than a few tears.
Did she disrupt our family? No. She kept silent during arguments, voiced no opinion on disputed subjects. She didn’t speak up when actually abused by those who failed to notice her supportive qualities.
She graciously became a babysitter. She held little children, rambunctious teens, and even the elderly. Within her arms, newborn babies were propped with pillows. When they occasionally burped milk on her, she didn’t gasp and recoil in horror. I know she never complained about popcorn spilled on her or a child’s dirty shoes kicking her. I once saw a sugary drink dumped on her dark green skirt. She failed to recoil in anger. Although, I can say she never helped with homework, I did see that she served as a backup support to teenagers lounging with a math book, wrinkled papers, or the dreaded English report.
Family members could join her in the living room—in front of the fireplace—for a late night movie or a round of cartoons in the afternoon. She never demanded the right to watch a special program. She let our cats curl up alongside her back or rub against her legs without pushing them away or voicing an observation about cat hairs. There was no murmur of disdain when she held the sick and those in pain. She let them recline against her. A spiking fever failed to frighten her. Her firm arms cradled the brokenhearted who sobbed into her softness or sought her comfort.
You’re probably wondering how anyone could turn his or her back on a family member. You ask how we could allow her to go stay with another family? Well … it wasn’t easy, but my family all agreed she had to go. It didn’t matter that she was only twenty-seven, still accommodating with gentle suppleness, and waiting in vibrant color. Yes, she was still beautiful.
I wished her well. I hope the family she settles with will know we took care of her. I am sure she still has some life left in her.
Two men arrived from a charitable organization. I pointed at her and wiped away a silent tear. One of the men raised his eyebrows and said, “This one? You’re giving away this one?” Smiles lit his face.
“Someone is going to appreciate and like this one.”
What do you have that you can give away today? Your smile? Your touch of compassion? Your unique suggestions? Think about it. Please, scroll down and leave a comment.
One morning I took a break from my writing, walked out back, and was surprised to see a show of aggression taking place on my wood fence.
One pathetic, ugly opossum clung to the top of the fence, confused, and pursued by a bigger, uglier bully—with lots of sharp teeth. Marsupial number one was apparently trying to figure out to escape. But when he endeavored to get away, the mean, toothy adversary would resume stalking him and inching ever closer. If he sat still, the antagonist would hiss dreadful threats and mocking intimidations. It was too high to jump from the fence to safety. And on one side of the fence there stood a big, dangerous-looking human—staring at him.
This display of strange behavior went on for quite awhile. The threatened opossum acted hopeless. He wobbled on his perch, turned, gazed at the ground, tried unsuccessfully to retreat, and showed how befuddled he had become.
How like humans.
We sometimes become stuck in a situation that we don’t like—one that makes us freeze in alarm. There seems to be no way out. Life runs aground and tosses us out on a deserted island. There’s no help riding to our rescue and no beautiful sailboat on the horizon.
We can’t run. We dare not turn back and risk attack from the enemy or those who don’t care about us. We cannot abandon our tiny, safe island and jump into unknown depths. Everything looks dismal. Life withers. We are going to fall or fail. There’s seems to be no hope presenting itself.
Satan appears to gloat, inch forward, bare his razor-sharp teeth, and taunt us. He doesn’t want us to find help. He binds us with dread. We turn in circles, uncertain, terrified, upset, and perplexed.
But there are scriptures to remember when caught between circumstances and dilemmas that Satan takes delight in pushing upon us. He wants us to be afraid. He wants to intimidate us, make us think our footing will slip, and that we will fail.
“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” Proverbs 3:25, 26 KJV.
The second one tells we can be far away from the oppression. We can believe in safety, as it comes from God. “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear; and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” Isaiah 54:14 KJV
And one final scripture says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
Have you faced the oppressor? Have you feared that your feet would slip? Please, scroll downward to leave a comment.
SHELTERED UNDER HIS WINGS
The yearning to be a mother kept her sitting on an old egg. The fluffy black bantam was steadfast in resisting the urge to get off the nest. When she did give in and get up, she wasted little time pecking at feed, getting a drink, and settling herself over the tiny brown egg. After a week, I removed the egg for candling. It was plain to see. There would be no hatchling but I gave the egg back to her. I hated to see her disappointed. So, I fixed the situation—at least, I hoped to bring about a happy conclusion.
I headed for a nearby, small town and a feed store I had seen on the main road. When I got there, I was appalled at the condition of the place. The area where they housed the baby chicks, ducks, assorted chickens, and rabbits was deplorable. I did not attempt to find the cage with baby chicks, but beat a hasty retreat from the flies and slimy mess covering the concrete floor under the crowded cages. Throwing caution to the wind, I asked a teenage boy—sporting a wad of tobacco in his cheek—to get me one chick. I was determined I wouldn’t go home empty-handed. My hen had to be rewarded for her diligence.
The teen brought me a box with a reddish brown chick in it. He told it was supposed to be a brown-legged something—I didn’t catch the name.
As soon as I got home, I headed out to the hen’s cage. Ignoring the waves of misgivings crowding my thoughts, I held the chick’s beak shut so it couldn’t chirp, pushed it under the hen’s wing, and slipped out the bad egg.
The hen turned her head, tipped it sideways, and stared at the brown chick poking its head out from under her black plumage. Over a week old, the little chick had the beginnings of wing feathers—she wasn’t a new hatchling, by any means. The chick shut her eyes and her head sank to the pine shavings in the box. She acted exhausted. I feared a sickness would soon present itself and the tiny bird would die. Not sure if the hen would accept it and not sure if I had done a smart thing, I walked away from the cage—not wanting to witness what might immediately happen.
Hours went by and I kept a close check on the biddy and hen. I watched as the hen used her beak to peck at the young chick, making it jerk awake, stagger to its feet, and chirp. I held my breath, trying to judge if the hen was being mean, getting ready to kill the baby, or acting helpful. The hen took her sharp curved beak, which could kill the chick with one jab, and acted like she was cleaning the baby’s fuzzy feathers, and she continued to nudge it when it dozed off.
Many times, I checked and worried needlessly. She never got up off the nest, only ruffled her feathers, and clucked a warning when I came near. The chick clearly understood her new mama and responded by burrowing under the black wing, hiding from view.
Early the next morning I stood beside the cage and watched the hen pecking at food. She scratched and softly clucked to the adopted baby. After running up under the hen’s neck, the brown biddy pecked where the hen persistently tapped with her bill. Lesson number one was in progress—there’s food here, come watch me. Then mama hen spotted me and she sounded a warning cluck. Danger! Mind me, get under my wing. I’ll protect you as one of my own. You’re in my care now. You’ve been adopted and accepted—with no reservations. You’re fluffy and brown, too old to be my hatchling, and my black feathers don’t match yours, but you’re the one I’ll fight for.
I couldn’t help but think how we, as humans, may have our beginnings in mire and nasty surroundings, separated from anyone who would try to love us or rescue us. God plucks us out of places where others fear to even walk and dirty their feet or hands. We aren’t considered worth much—maybe we’re just a brown-legged something—no real title or name.
God cleans us up, not stopping to estimate the danger of the filth covering us. With no reservation, we’re sheltered under his mighty, unmatched wing of grace. We are urged and directed to stand up and overcome our weaknesses. He loves us and wants us come to the realization that we belong to him. We’re one of the adopted but treated as a real son or daughter. If we pay attention, God teaches us with his wisdom and shows us the best way to find spiritual nourishment and living water. But in all things, we must pay attention, accept his gift, and run to do his bidding.
Do you sometimes feel like a brown-legged something? 🙂
Please post a comment below.
“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1 KJV
This scripture can definitely apply to many aspects of our lives. Are you pulling your home down about your head? Are you closing your eyes to the grunge and deterioration eating at the very foundations of your house?
Mildew growing on your bathroom ceiling can present serious health problems to individuals in your family. It is silent, but you can see it spreading along a wall, under wallpaper, and across the paint on the ceiling. You can scrub it, wipe it with a cloth dampened in bleach, and inhibit its growth.
God offers what you need for the life you live. By keeping Jesus in your home, you can maintain a healthy, safe environment. But many women in today’s society, and in the world, are plucking down the very standards that the Bible tells us will help support our families and children.
God can help with home repairs. He is a Custom Home Builder, specializing in unique preservation, and he offers a “house plan” that fits the quality of life he envisioned for your family.
His Word can help you plan the changes and upkeep in your home. You can rest assured when even the smallest detail of your family’s well-being is in God’s hands. Your walk with Him can help you become a home repair specialist.
God’s arrangement is a unique concept. His plans for the home fit the needs of as many people as possible. Did you ever think of it that way? God designed the home as one man, one woman—with their varying personalities—producing offspring that differ from each other. But they can all live together in harmony! His blueprint provides all the solace each family member needs as they grown spiritually and physically. Children are then equipped to go out into the world and build another home centered on God’s plan.
But we are human. We manage to drift out of God’s plan. We sometimes deliberately tear down the walls around our families. We let dirt from the world soil the carpets of our families’ souls, and we track it in every day—if we are not careful to stay close to God.
WHERE DO YOU START?
Start with your own repentance. Ask God to show you the major, structural damages in your life. Seek the heart repairs needed to rebuild. Be willing to let God take out the rotten parts of your life, reframe you, rebuild you, and restore you. After accepting salvation, which is God’s plan for your life, you will be in his hands. He can help you assemble your family life and home.
Putting God’s ideas into the initial layout of the home should be your number one goal.
Tell God your household problems and talk to him. What kind of cleansing and repairs are you willing to let him do? Is the joy of communication broken? Or perhaps, some “walls” need to come down. What do the members of your family require for their quality of life or even the sustaining of their life? The answer is God, his love, and his perfect home plans.
The home that God helps you build will be of good quality. Seek his set of plans and let God guide you during the fabulous, exciting repairs.
Do not be like the foolish woman. Take the first step, get your life straight with God, and then apply the repairs.
How do you build your house? What steps have you taken? Leave a comment/reply in the space below and help a friend turn in the right direction.
SMIDGENS OF TALENT LAID AT HIS FEET
How many of you have sat and listened to a preacher or motivational speaker list the gifts of the Spirit and then add fourteen or more other gifts attributed to humankind. They say some of us have only one gift. Failing to discern your gifts seems unforgivable! You listen attentively as you hear the speaker read the extensive list of gifts.
Maybe, I am different from the rest of you. I could never put a finger on my one, special gift. It made me uncomfortable to listen to the preacher talk about it, because I could not smile and say, that is my gift. I have the gift of ….
And then you sit and think—what am I to do? How do I use something I am not sure I really have? Does that make sense?
I once walked up to an evangelist after he preached a whole sermon on gifts, talents, and how to identify them … so we could appropriately use them. I asked him, “Can the ability to do little bits of lots of things be a gift? You know the saying … jack of all trades, a master of none?” He stared at me as if I was kidding, and my husband ran and hid. Then the evangelist cleared his throat and said in a very deep voice, “Well … yes, I believe so.” I guessed, from his reaction, that no one had ever ventured to ask him that profound question.
But I bet there are many people just like me, even though my husband keeps shaking his head and saying I am one of a kind.
Could your gift or talent be a big bundle of smidgens? A smidgen is a very small amount of something. But squish a bunch of smidgens together, pack them very tight, bundle the whole lot up where you can find them, and you just might have a talent.
Go use your talents or bundle of smidgens for the Lord ! 🙂 Please, scroll down and leave a comment.
Karen Campbell Prough
I want to see Mommy. I don’t like staying here. I can’t have the light on. Aunt Jenna says it cost money. She says Uncle Lem pays the bills … not me. I know that, I’m six. I have money in my piggy bank and it’s at home.
It was fun fishing at the lake today. I wanted a hook but it’s dangerous. Aunt Jenna told me it might hook me … stick in my finger or head. I’d have to go to the doctor and get a big shot. Shots hurt real bad.
I can smell food. But Aunt Jenna says I can’t have any. I broke her umbrella by the lake because it blew in the water. One of the pointy-things broke. It won’t fold and get all small. I didn’t do it. The wind did it. It took the umbrella away. I didn’t mean to let it go.
Aunt Jenna was mad when she got it out of the water. I told her I was sorry but she didn’t care. She said I was bad, like Mommy’s bad. The policeman took Mommy away and I want her! I can’t cry. Aunt Jenna will hear and tell the police. She says they’ll take me to another house, and people might be mean. I have to stay here because Mommy knows I’m here. Aunt Jenna got upset when she got a phone call. She told Uncle Lem that someone is going to give me a guardian, and she’s coming to visit tomorrow. I think that’s like an angel. But Aunt Jenna thinks I don’t need one, and I shouldn’t tell the guardian anything.
Uncle Lem says I look like Mommy. I got green eyes like her and skinny legs. Mommy doesn’t yell like Aunt Jenna. She just sleeps a lot. That’s okay because I like laying down beside her. Her bed is soft and nice … not like this one. It’s bumpy. Mommy has fluffy blankets … a blue one and a yellow one. If I had the blue one, I’d get under it, and I wouldn’t be cold. Mommy lets me snuggle. I don’t know where Mommy is.
I better not cry. I just want to eat. I wonder if Aunt Jenna isn’t mad at me anymore. I want to go ask her for some food. But it’s dark … I can’t see the floor. There might be bugs down there.
I see the light under the door, and I heard Uncle Lem hollering for his drink. He drinks out of cans. He calls it medicine. Mommy says it’s beer.
My tummy hurts. I don’t like the dark. Tomorrow I think I might tell my guardian angel that I don’t like the dark.
I lost my hat at the lake. It was Mommy’s hat, and now, I don’t have it any more.
I want my hat! Mommy might cry about it.
Oh … I just wish I had my blue hat. My tummy … hurts! I can’t go to sleep without my blue hat.
© Karen Campbell Prough 2012
Karen Campbell Prough
Have you ever asked an eight-year-old what he wants or what would make him happy? Most children will spout off a list of toys. They want their own cell phone, new tennis shoes that light up and flash, the latest action figures, and the list grows as they talk.
However, what if that child stands in front of you and says, “There’s just one thing.” His wide-open, blue eyes search yours, as if probing for the response he craves, before he even tells you what will make him happy.
“And what’s that?” You note his ramrod stance, feet apart, arms at his side—braced for the negative answer he expects from you.
In a firm grownup voice, he quickly says, “I don’t want them to get me.” He says the names of his previous caregivers. “I don’t want to even see them.” He is very serious, waiting for your response, but fearing it.
Knowing that you are not the judge or the authority in the court system, your heart aches for him and his apprehension. “Honey, it’s scary to worry about things like this, isn’t it.” Your words are more of a statement than a question. “Let’s think of good things. You are happy with this family. Right? I saw that they bought you a bunk bed and you get to sleep on the top, because you’re the oldest boy in the house. I visited your new school and talked with your teacher. She liked the drawing you did of your special family and said you have awesome talent. That’s something no one can take away from you. I’d like to have one of your pictures to put on my refrigerator door. Do you think you could draw one for me?”
“Yes, I will.” He grins and opens his arms for a hug, the serious grown-up persona disappearing from his face. He knows someone sees and cares about him and the little details of his life.
And then he acts more like a kid, saying he has a new friend in the neighborhood, and that he fell off his bike. He pulls up his sleeve to show you the jagged red scratch on his elbow and basks in your sympathy.
You tell him you need to leave and he grabs your hand. “Can you come tomorrow?”
Gently, you tousle his hair and laugh. “Not tomorrow, but soon.” One more hug and he’s gone, free from anxiety for the moment, and running back to his carefree, child’s world.
That is the way it should be. Childhood should be fun, free from worry, filled with love and comfort, but not all children view their world as fun or untroubled. Physical violence, neglect, molestation, mental abuse, verbal cruelty, hunger, and rejection weigh them down, tearing at their minds and bodies. They face more than you can imagine. In addition, their circumstances and abusers condition them not to tell and not to divulge what hurts them. As they grow older, they may either withdraw or become hostile, repeating on others the offenses done to them.
As a guardian with Guardian ad Litem, you can help bring changes to a child’s life. Not all things work out perfect in the courts of our land. However, the child, who has a Guardian standing in place for them at hearings and court proceedings, has a greater chance of achieving freedom from what binds them to a life of physical pain, neglect, and mental abuse. Alone, they cannot fight the mistreatment coming from the hands of adults, who are supposed to protect them.
Being a Guardian is not glamorous, not easy, and sometimes very frustrating. You will spend time doing research, visitation, reports, court appearances, and sometimes crying. But that one child, who runs to hug you as you get out of your car, makes it worthwhile. When you see their facial expressions change from a mask of fear and looks of withdrawal, to grins and a healthy glow, you know a miracle has taken place. And if you touch and change one life, for a boy or girl, you have accomplished what no one else has been able to fulfill. For that single child, you helped establish hope and the basics for a happy life. And so, a better life cycle will commence. His or her life will be improved and generations to come will be enhanced by the touch of love—your touch of compassion.
Please check with your county’s local Guardian ad Litem Program to learn more about becoming a volunteer. Be an advocate for a child.
© Karen Campbell Prough 2012
From the time I was a little girl, my mother helped feed my imagination. She showed me ways to entertain my younger brothers with stories I made up. Paper dolls became my characters and catalogs became my prized asset. As soon as the catalogs were outdated, I attacked them with scissors. I could create whole families and pair them up as I saw fit. Of course, each couple had to have a baby, no matter how many other brothers and sisters there were in the paper doll family.
Every family needed furniture to sit on and so did my paper dolls. My mother showed me how to cut couches, beds, highchairs, chairs, tables, and rockers out of cardboard. No cardboard box was safe after that. I would grab the cereal boxes and detergent boxes, etc. I could decorate the furniture with crayons, paint, and pictures from the catalogs. I bent the paper dolls at the waist and placed them on the furniture. Babies snuggled down in their baby beds or cradles. Paper doll mommies could rock little children and watch a cardboard television.
If I did not have a catalog to cut up, my mother would draw people for me. My imagination expanded as I cut out the hand drawn figures, colored them, and added them to my collection of make-believe characters. Those times shaped my longing to be a story writer.
My brothers either joined in the fun or sat and watched me play and talk aloud, building stories as I introduced the families of paper dolls. I am sorry to report that dishonorable paper dolls, representing criminals or thieves, met the quick hand of justice. Heads would roll or the cords to the drapes became a hangman’s noose. Sorry … life is harsh in a paper world. The innocent must be protected!
We lived out in the country in Michigan. At that time, we had no television so my imagination became Mom’s babysitter. And even today, I have three, old catalogs stacked on a closet shelf. The tattered catalogs have come in handy when a child is bored with the store bought toys. Cereal boxes are confiscated and made into interesting copies of furniture.
I would rather have children leaving pieces of catalog or magazine pages on the bedroom floor, and using their imagination, instead of sitting in front of the television or sprawled on a couch with an electronic device in their young hands.
Thank you for reading this post. It gives you an idea of where I started with my storytelling and writing. Please, scroll down and leave a comment.
Karen Campbell Prough
© Karen Campbell Prough 2012