Monday, March 30, 2009

Haiku Again

I was reading that true Haiku is about nature, with this in mind I thought I would write a poem about today. I enjoy Haiku it is easy and a quick way to write out what is happening in my world.

I posted this Haiku on my twitter, but it will not be shown on my blog so...I am posting it. I wrote these poems together after I posted my last post titled, "Spring is Teasing the Prairies."

Arise

Salubrious sun
Arrived on a fine March day
Snow is vanishing

To be five again
Rubber boots on singing free
Splashing in spring water

Surrounding my soul
In sun-kisses from heaven's grace
Forever ecstasy

I found out after posting my haiku on Twitter that there is a program on Twitter called twihaiku. I posted my poetry. I am getting brave posting all over the web!

I pray the salubrious sun is shinning wherever you are! Oh...for the curious, salubrious means to promote health. I am trying to add to my vocabulary...Ha! I even know how to say it! Suh-loo-bree-uhs!

Pax Robin

P.S. When I have time I will add pictures and I really like the definition of ecstasy:

1. rapturous delight.
2. an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling.
3. the frenzy of poetic inspiration.
4. mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things.

Spring is Teasing the Priaires

I know I am sharing numerous stories about Hailey, but children have a way of awakening the spiritual parts of my heart that have been dormant for a long time or at least it feels that way.

When Hailey arrived home from school, she asked if she could go out and splash in the water that is accumulating on the front street. As I am reading I can hear her singing, "Jesus is with me. Jesus is in my heart. Jesus is all around." With a splash, splash, in the water and chop, chop on the ice with her stick.

Oh to be five, splashing in spring water, sun shining down, digging in the snow, and singing about Jesus.

I need to get back to my reading...hope I did not bore anyone with my rambling.

Love to all...Robin who is enjoying the sunshine and melting snow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Can Twitter Help Improve Writing Skills?


Twitter makes you a better writer according to Copyblogger by:

Forcing you to be concise, exercise your vocabulary, and helps improve your editing skills.

I have been using Twitter for several month's and I agree with all of the above.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bubbly

I enjoyed listening to this soft, warm summer song, while it is still blowing winter outside. Spring sure would be nice...

I am not sure why, but YouTube would not let this song post on my blog. I placed it as number one on my play list. This song bought a smile to my face after a full day of life. It is just a plain fun song that brought out the romantic within me.

My husband makes me smile, Haliey makes me smile, and most of all, thoughts of Christ make me smile!

Haliey (5) was cute at kids church tonight. She went up to everyone and shook their hand telling them her name.

"Hi, I am Haliey." As she reaches for their hands, looking them straight in the face with her big blue eyes.

God has Haliey close to His heart. I am blessed to have her and her family in my life. This Grandma of choice bubbles inside as she watches Haliey grow within Christ's family.

I pray she stays awhile, and I can continue to smile as I engage life with her daily.

What makes you smile or gets you all bubbly inside, I would love to know...?

Fasting or Feasting during Lent?

I was visiting a small group Bible study this week, the leader shared this list of attitudes to fast from and appropriate characteristics to feast on. I do not have the authors name or title...it will be anonymous, until I find out the author's name.

As you read each line take time to ponder each one as we prepare ourselves for Easter.

Fast from complaining and feast on appreciation.

Fast from bitterness and feast on forgiveness.

Fast from idle gossip and feast on purposeful silence.

Fast from judging others and feast on the Christ within them.

Fast from emphasis on differences and feast on the unity of life.

Fast from apparent darkness and feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute and feast on phrases that uplift.

Fast from anger and feast on optimism.

Fast from discouragement and feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress and feast on anything that inspires.

Fast from lethargy and feast on enthusiasm.

Fast from suspicion and feast on truth.

Fast from problems that overwhelm and feast on prayer that gives us the strength to get through.

I have noticed that as I share details concerning the current situation in my life, if I share the depressing details/facts truly can bring down the listener. But, if I concentrate on the positive aspects of the situation, people actually become inspired.

Blessings to all...as you ponder these, fast and feast statements.

Love Robin

Monday, March 23, 2009

Scripture Incentive for all Bloggers

To all my blogger friends who write and minister to others, here is a verse to encourage each of you as you continue to follow the Holy Spirit in your writing and life.

Proverbs 11:25

A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

His Garden

Lately my days have not been going as planned. It seems most days are completely out of control. I believe this is the way it is when you have a house full of people living with you. Last week had been exhausting but fulfilling at the same time, and I would not want it any other way. Having family near is one of the most important things in my life.

After having Haliey all to myself yesterday, I was tempted to stay home from church to catch up on my studies. However…my heart convicted me. I needed to attend, community is important. Church is where I can reflect, worship, be with others who are seeking and loving God, and to let the message go deep into my soul. Also, Haliey loves attending kids church.

I am thankful I attended. I had an opportunity to speak with a woman who I have never met. She is on my list,must connect with, but I have not been able to connect for various reasons. By being obedient and attending church today, a contact was made that otherwise would not have happened.

What is incredible about all of this is when I came home and read Brian Hardin’s weekly post he had a similar experience, how cool is that! Than to top it off, while he was writing his thoughts he was listening to Misty Edwards singing "Garden."

If you would like to listen to Misty’s song it is the first one playing on my new play-list. I happened to be listening to her song today also. Amazing.

If you have not checked out the Daily Audio Bible, produced by Brian Hardin I highly recommend checking out the DAB site. I am being rather redundant mentioning the DAB so often, the reason is listening to the bible daily has changed my life. There is something about listening to God's word being read aloud that is not the same as reading yourself.

Brian’s daughter China reads with her dad on the Kids DAB. I rather enjoy listening to the Kids DAB with little Haliey. China and Brian make us laugh and help us to have our own conversation over what has been read. Parents this an amazing way to spend time with your child listening to God’s word being read. It is a great tool for Grandparents too!

I am blessed that my days are filled with unexpected interruptions they make life extremely interesting. I am blessed that I have the Holy Spirit to convict my heart to be obedient to God’s word. I am blessed to have a house full of young people longing to belong, and to be cared for even if means dying to myself. I am blessed to be part of amazing communities: my church family, Daily Audio Bible, Carey Theological College Regina Campus, and High Calling Blogs.

And most of all I am extremely blessed to be God’s garden, Christ within me, hope of His Glory.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Easter

I have watched the video,"The Bridge" on Tangle several times this week...It really hits straight to the point concerning all that God has done for us, it is worth watching.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Strength for the Journey

"At times the strength of spiritual community lies in the love of people who refrain from getting caught in the trap of trying to fix everything for us, who pray for us and allow us the pain of our wilderness, our wants, so that we may be more deeply grounded in God." Quote by Rosemary Dougherty

With having three young adults and two young children living in my home it takes great strength and discipline not to fix all of their problems but to hold back, pray, and give suggestions as they stumble along. I pray each one of my young adults will one day find their way closer to our Fathers heart. I really could try to fix all of their problems but they would not learn the great life lessons along the way that they need to live well.

I pray I will have the strength and discipline I need, to stand and pray without getting in the way of spiritual growth.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

High Calling Blogs

I joined the High Calling Blogs this week, the reason is that over the last few month's I have had a nudge in my heart it was time to connect my blog to other blogs. I believe, God might use this blog to encourage and inspire, and lead others close to His heart.

It is encouraging to belong to a group of writers who have the same calling, and love God with all of their hearts. I pray as I post on my blog what I write will bring glory to my Father in heaven, and each word will be Holy Spirit inspired. My desire is to follow Christ each day obeying and trusting He is leading me step by step, at work, in community, and at home.

Pax Robin

A Small Burst of Sunlight

Thursday afternoons are one of my preferred times during my hectic week to enter into holy ground, while listening to life stories. I truly enjoy volunteering as a spiritual care Chaplin at a local hospital. Each week I come home with a story that touches my heart and makes my Christian journey a fulfilling adventure into God’s world.


Today my son borrowed my car, which meant my husband drove me to the hospital, and would pick me up after we were both finished work. His work kept him over-time, which then meant I needed to take a taxi home. I have not taken a taxi in years and was really having a hard time justifying spending $20.00 on the fare. It was not my preference to phone the cab company, but waiting for another hour was not my desire either.


What I did not realize moments before I entered the cab was that I was about to enter into another life journey through story. I am not sure how our conversation led to the taxi driver sharing his story, but he did. I found out we are the same age, grew up in the same Prairie city, however our life journeys are totally the opposite.


He told me during our conversation of how he finds fulfillment in life by traveling, drinking, gambling, and women. And how on his last trip to the Dominic Republic he thought he was winning lots of money through his gambling, when within a second he had lost it all plus all the money he had taken with him and does not remember a single thing. He was upset because he now had to work hard to make ends meet in his life. I felt like I was in a live Oprah show listening to a sad tale of loss or perhaps it was a twilight saga.


All I could do as I listened was pray and ask God to show me what to say. Here is where I believe a ray of sunlight burst through as Annie put it in her article Rayn’in Sunshine (a great article to read.)


He turned to me and asked if I worked at the hospital. I told him I was with the spiritual care department working as volunteer and how I find fulfillment in life by listening to others stories and showing them the love Christ through caring and listening. As I told him this, he started to apologize for sharing his detailed story. I assured him it was an interesting story, and that God knows all that he has gone through. He sorted gasped as I said this…I wonder what he would have done if I told him I am on staff at a local church!


The rest of the ride home continued to be full of colourful and interesting conversation. I believe this taxi driver saw something different in my words and actions. I believe even though my words were limited God touched this mans heart. I am also thankful for the opportunity to be a small burst of sunlight in a very dark story and to be able to keep this man in my daily prayers. I am now thankful I took the taxi and spent the $20.00 on fare.


Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything. (Proverbs 13:3 MSG)

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Found my Soul


I found my soul trapped
in a colossal glass jar
with her lid securely
glued on. Within this
optical illusion
my souls imagination
effervesced
with prolific words
desperate to escape

Uncomplainingly
through lonely days
my soul waited secretly
for a moment
when the top
would open
to provide freedom

from captivity

Then I saw my soul
standing so alone
within this solid glass wall

nowhere to hide or flee
from confusion and shame
both were present
with an impious plan
to destroy all creativity
from my souls
now
weak
imagination

I tried with all my strength
to turn the lid, but
it would not budge

I cried out for help
with hope
that perhaps someone
would hear my heart cry
to release stress and pain
setting my soul free
from tight conditions
that were slowly
smothering my deprived
and exhausted soul

Within a twinkle of time
a Master Poet heard my cry
His love and grace moved
and covered the lid
it popped open
with immense force

setting my soul free
to soar above confinements
of this optical glass illusion
to be creative and whole

Robin

I took up the poetry challenge L.L. Barkat offered on, Seedlings in Stone, Thursday, March 12, 2009.

Post titled, Grace is a Painted Woman: Unfolding Imagination.

The topic: Finding my soul.

I am done my editing...it will stay this way for now.

Come to Jesus

Today's journey is leading me even closer to the cross...what a beautiful song.

A Great way to Worship

Tonight I was catching up on reading through my reader RRS blogs and several sites recommended to checkout page cxvi hymns for modern ears. John Piper's blog has a few other points about this project worth reading.

I enjoy listening to Misty Edwards who leads through the spirit, but I must say it is nice to have a modern tone that uses the richness of the old hymns. You can preview the music before downloading.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Little Haiku

Hopeful

Warm weather is near
Ice still cracks beneath my feet
Soon spring will blossom

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Postal Poetry

For my poet friends and artist and those who simply like to view interesting blogs check out "Postal Poetry."

I found this site intriguing to my artist eye and creatively fascinating to my poetic heart.

For the creative among us...

You can enter your own post card...

My favorite is titled, "Dead Souls" by Nathan Horowitz.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Embrace Life Simply

Gleaning wisdom from the old and young on how to embrace life simply:

I sat with an older man this week who is dying, his body is shutting down slowly and pain has been minimal. I listened to his stories, and then he asked me to share how my day had been going. I told him it felt like my life had many loose ends or threads that needed to be tied together or cut off. His reply was how he would love to have loose ends to worry about. I realized at that moment, I really have nothing to complain about. The undone threads of life are what keep us fully alive.

Today, as I drove little Haliey to school, she reached over in the car and asked to take my hand so she could pray for me. I was driving the truck, and could not give her my hand. She continue never the less to pray to Jesus that he would keep her mom, Teela, Grandpa, Grandma (me), and herself safe throughout this day. Another, ah ha moment, God is touching this little girls heart with the love of Christ.

Later Robin

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pass on Love


What a week! Learning patience perhaps, but love is what motivated this grandma of choice, to open her home and heart. My journey with Sasha (mom), and her two daughters, Haliey (5) and Teela (18 month's), has been an interesting adventure. I have written about them in past posts.

Sasha came into our life five and a half years ago when Haliey was three months old. Mom was a struggling single eighteen year old who was trying to raise a child on her own. Haliey entered our life and we have never let go. My husband and I intentionally choose to become grandparents of choice. On the ongoing drama-journey with Sasha, Sunday night March 8th, brought forth a new dimension to the plot.

Please know as you read this story of life, it is love (Jesus) that guides my husband and I. All glory belongs to God; he is the one who has given us the resources and compassion to open our life to a widow and two orphans.

I have decided life (God) likes to throw humor my way. On Saturday night coming home on the bus from Regina, a young child did not stop talking for three hours. I was sitting comfortably in the front of the bus contemplating how thankful I was my children are fully grown, no more long hours of endless chatter or crying. On Sunday night Sasha’s roommate (Teela’s dad) kicked them out of their home. Sunday was the start of a cold spell in Saskatchewan; I will never understand how someone could do this to a mom and her children.

Murray and I both know, without a single doubt that we are these little ones angels here on earth. Justice and mercy is what we have been called to walk in. All of the above makes no sense, logic is not our response it is our hearts that are directing our decision to open our home and life to this young mom and her children. I know this is a very brief overview of what is happening in my life, but it leads to being able to share a poem written with Haliey and Teela in mind.

Pass on Love

Sounds of lovebirds
in preparation
for future day
when their squawks and squeals
turn into a beautiful sound
that will inspire hearts
to seek truth

woke me out of a sound sleep.

Little squawks and squeals
filled my home all day
to bring remembrance
of a life once full
with four little lovebirds
of my own
who learned
to sing fragrant songs
of love well.

My prayer for these two
little untrained birds

who have come to stay

who have awaken lessons
once learned
like patience,
kindness, and love

my desire is to serve
you both well
teaching you ways of love

as we walk together
through long days full
of spilled milk and cereal,
snotty noses,
mixed with little squawks and squeals
to treasure and hold near
until a day…

when you both learn
how to sing your own
love song well.

By Robin Sloboda


James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

This is my prayer.

Until later...Robin

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Down Time

Last night when I arrived home from Regina at around 8:30 p.m. my husband was kind and thoughtful, he made a light supper for us. A friend in Regina had made me a snack, but in my hast to catch the bus I forgot the treat. Ugh! After our relaxing meal I went to turn on my computer, it simply would not turn on or connect. I believe, a Trojan virus must have entered unawares to me.

With the arise of this new dilemma it has had me thinking that is a good time to slow down and take time off the computer for the next few days. Working on my husbands laptop is just not the same as my good and faithful PC.

My class was full of information that I need to still process and work into my life. One thing the professor said as we were leaving the class that had me in agreement was: "At this age, I will not be perfect!" I am trying understand this and slowly I am realizing there simply is no way to be perfect...or at least in this world.

The goal is to rest in the fact that I am who God has made me to be, I will obey His word and ways to the best of my ability until the day my journey here is finished. For now I will try to be aware of sin like trojan viruses that enter into my personal life daily. Then when I finally arrive in heaven perfection will come fully.

I will write when it is possible, until then I will be trying to catch up on my reading and find someway to start writing my papers. I really do not like typing on the laptop, however I am grateful I have a way to connect and write.

We are going to purchase a virus scanner today...hopefully this is the cause for no connection to the source. It is amazing how this is just like sin, we need God's grace and mercy to wipe over us through repentance to restore our connection with Christ.

I could keep on writing...later, robin

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Longing for Spring

An old friend dropped by and left a comment on old eyes, she has an amazing blog worth checking out (Prairie Prologue.)

We both live on the Prairies in Canada. Today the wind was blowing up havoc and the temperature dropped to -27c. Prairie Chicks pictures from summer in Saskatchewan are breath-taking and causing me to long even more for the spring sun to melt all the snow away.

Yesterday, the sky was no longer icy blue it was more of a hopeful warm blue that reminded me that spring is near.

Old Eyes


My day was full of listening to life stories, all vastly different from one another, yet in a strange way very similar. I wrote a poem to share the thoughts I had on what I experienced. The eyes are a door way into a very hidden and mysterious place within the soul.

Old Eyes

To look deep
within old eyes
is to see a reflection
of humanity
that contains stories
from a life lived
in past and present.

Some have gone
deep into caverns

hidden by a human shell
only to reveal shadows
from a backdrop
of once a strong soul.

To listen closely
to tales from memory
looking deep into old eyes

is a glimpse back into self.

By Robin Sloboda

Love: Rest in God a Puritan Prayer

Each morning I receive several devotional emails, today one contained the Puritan Prayer, "Love: Rest in God." As I read through the prayer, this thought stood out: May I love Thee, my benefactor, in all my benefits,not forgetting that my greatest danger arises from my advantages.

I enjoy having an easy day/life. I have been given much in this life, however, I have had my share of losses, and disadvantages. As I read this verse I must admit, it is through the struggles of life that I have grown in Christ the most. The deep heart struggles push me right into the heart of God.

My prayer today is that I will be thankful for the opportunities and material comforts that have been given, remembering they are gifts. They are not who I am, and they really do not bring true happiness or joy. Comfort and ease in life, yes!

My desire in this life is to live each moment growing closer to God and becoming more like Jesus. I pray this will be true throughout my whole life and through the advantages I am given I will be always grateful, yet very aware of how the advantages in life can take me away from the heart of Christ. I pray Jesus keep me always resting in the Love of God.

My dear Lord,

I depend wholly upon Thee,
wean me from all other dependences.
Thou art my all, thou dost overrule all and delight in me.
Thou art the foundation of goodness,
how can I distrust Thee?
how be anxious about what happens to me?
In the light of Thy preciousness
the world and all its enjoyments are infinitely poor:
I value the favour of men no more than pebbles.
Amid the blessings I receive from Thee
may I never lose the heart of a stranger [pilgrim].
May I love Thee, my benefactor, in all my benefits,
not forgetting that my greatest danger
arises from my advantages.
Produce in me self-despair that will make Jesus precious to me,
delightful in all His offices,
pleasurable in all His ways,
and may I love His commands as well as His promises.
Help me to discern between true and false love,
the one consisting of supreme love to Thee, the other not,
the former uniting Thy glory and man's happiness
that they may become one common interest,
the latter disjointing and separating them both,
seeking the latter with neglect of the former.
Teach me that genuine love is different in kind
from that wrought by rational arguments or the motive of self-interest,
that such love is a pleasing passion affording joy to the mind where it is.
Grant me grace to distinguish between the genuine and the false,
and to rest in Thee who art all love.
____________________________________________________________
The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, ed. Arthur Bennett, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975. (author undesignated) 183.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Writing a Book Review

My book arrived from Thomas Nelson Publishers! Title: This Is Your Brain On Joy: How The New Science Of Happiness Can Help You Feel Good And Be Happy, by Dr. Earl Henslin. I have flipped through and it looks like a book I will really enjoy reading.

Not a good time for the book to arrive, but that is usually how things go in my world. I have a paper due on Friday, the topic and reading are rather dry. I pray God will shine a light through the dullness. The front page of my new book brings joy with all of the wonderful colours and flowers.

Here is the topic if anyone is interested: The Third Quest. Text: Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. Wright.

Embrace the Journey, even if it is dull, is my mantra!

Warning: My post on my blog might be light for the next month.