Monthly Archives: April 2012

Life Verse #1

I’ve never exactly understood the idea of claiming a life verse.  Choose one verse from the entire Bible? One verse out of over 31,000 is supposed to represent every facet of my character, personality, tastes, and weaknesses? So difficult to choose.

Maybe I’m looking at the idea incorrectly. Maybe I should choose a verse based on God’s character and personality. That perspective helps perhaps, but still. God’s character is so vast that I can’t imagine choosing one verse that covers everything.

Instead of choosing one, I’ve chosen several that speak to me on different level than other verses in the Bible. Today I’ll share the first one.

Psalm 73:26

During high school, I barely dated. I can count on one hand the boys who asked me out. My mother, who married her high school sweetheart, expressed concern over my non-dating status with words and facial expressions. I endured my cousins bringing their dates from the time they were fourteen or fifteen while I sat and watched from the children’s table.

College didn’t change my lack of beaus. On my twenty-first birthday, I relinquished to God my fear of not marrying, my disappointment of not having a male hand to hold, my jealousy of friends who‘d coupled up and married straight after college graduation. I was sick of worrying about it. I figured if I got married, fine. If I didn’t, God had other good plans for me.

A few months after my heart-to-heart with God, my mother related to me a comment  by a family member:  “Hope’s the kind of girl who’ll probably never get married.”

That statement infuriated me.

At bedtime, I tried to pray away my anger, hurt, humiliation—that people were talking about my love life, and my guilt—I wasn’t supposed to worry about this topic anymore. I’d given it to God, remember?

Peace, however, didn’t come after my prayer. In desperation, I grabbed my Bible. It fell open to Psalms, and I scanned the pages. When my eyes found Psalm 73:26, my world shifted.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength and my portion forever.”

As I read those words, God’s presence filled my room. My body felt like it glowed from my head to my toes.  It was as if God were speaking them to me as clearly as He spoke to Moses at the burning bush. It was as if He were saying,” Don’t worry, Hope. I’ve got this. You don’t have to be strong. I am.”

That verse is powerful and important to me.

I used it in my wedding. It’s painted on my kitchen wall. And it’s usually the first verse I send to people through my note card ministry.

God is gracious and good to give us His Word to comfort, guide, teach, and encourage us.  Psalm 73:26 is one of His verses I’ve been clinging to for more than twenty-five years. I suppose it can count as one of my life verses.

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Time for Haiku

It’s fun to try different kinds of writing styles. Today I’ll share two examples of my attempts at writing Haiku. Remember that Haiku is a Japanese free verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Traditionally, the topic evokes an aspect of nature.

My first example follows the form but not the traditional subject. I wrote this Haiku several years ago in answer to a prompt suggested by a Pittsburgh radio program, the Saturday Light Brigade, a show geared toward families featuring word games and live music. I was excited when Larry Berger read it over the radio waves

fried pork tenderloin

Mommas’s hot, homemade biscuits

eating till I’m stuffed

 The next one is more traditional in that it describes what I saw outside my front window during last summer’s drought.

shrinking pond in heat

dark scavengers hoovering

upside down fish float

Haiku is a not-so-easy way to stretch writing muscles. Try one and see for yourself.