It Takes Time & 700 Words ⏱

It Takes Time & 700 Words ⏱

drim3

Well, hello there, I can’t believe it has been so long since I last wrote to you amazing people. Huge apologies, but sometimes you just need to give yourself the gift of time, and so that is what I did. A whole year of it in fact. But I am back, and my eager heart and fingers are ready to share some good stuff with you, and hopefully connect on an even deeper level.

“The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.”
― Arnold Bennett

How are you? Maybe like me, you have been on a journey of discovery and decisions? If so, I am sure that our paths will lead us to even deeper knowledge, new ideas, unexpected surprises and wonderful victories.  It is true, that our life experiences can add such value to how we impact the world and those around us. What we experience and survive allows a deeper awareness to grow in us, and we move from a place of shallow living to a depth we never before imagined. This also impacts our writing, and we suddenly feel even more sure that we have something bursting inside us that is worth writing. I am sure you have felt the same at times.

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.”
― Sarah Dessen, (Just Listen)

Every season has its time frame, and it is vital that we enjoy the season we are in, even with its lessons. But an even more important aspect to seasons, is that we know when it is time to start something new or end something old. If we are not careful we can end up remaining in a season much longer than we are meant to, and so we miss what is coming next. Don’t linger longer than you need to, and don’t allow past disappointments to hinder the ‘next thing’ for you. It is always good to ask yourself, “what next?”, but sometimes you must simply as the question, “what now?”

So what is your “what now?”, maybe you need some time to make some choices and get ready for a change. What next must first start with a what now! What you do now, will magnificently impact your tomorrow. Only you know what it is that needs to change in your life, and only you can make these changes happen.  It’s not always easy, but the good news is that there are lots of people around you who want to support you and see you win.  So reach out to someone who cares, and let the others help you achieve new things. I’ve learned so deeply that God is my greatest source of strength. He holds my world together, especially when I let everything go and trust Him completely.  He is all we truly need. His always perfect strength!

“Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.”― Roy T. Bennett

Before I go, you may be wondering why I have mentioned 700 words in my title. Well, it’s simply a quirky challenge I have set myself, that all my future blog entries, from today, will never exceed 700 words. I am absolutely 100% sure that there will be many days when I will want to write way more than 700 words, but I will restrain myself and meet this new challenge head-on.  So, dear reader, is there a small little challenge you can set yourself, that adds fun or humour to something you do every day? If so, do it! ⏱

Sometimes you must simply allow your life to change, and there’s no better time. So I will see you soon dear friends, and remember it is time for what is now…so let us begin!

Love,

Denise 🦌

Be A Goose ツ

Be A Goose…ツ
The Truth About Geese
By Denise Kennedy
img_20160918_161616

 

Geese are elegant, intelligent, loyal, majestic and creative. They soar through the sky with a sense of destiny and beauty. I recently captured this photo of them as I walked along the port area of Dublin city. I stood there as the sun rose, watching them fly together in a unity so incredible I held my breath.

So allow me to share some of the stunning things I have discovered about geese, that quite frankly distinguish them from lots of animals or birds we have; and to be honest, I found myself wanting to be a lot more like our feathered friend than I had ever imagined before…

  • Geese mate for life and will live a loyal life of faithfulness to one partner, even after their mate passes away.

  • A group of geese is called a gaggle – if they are flying they are known as a skein or wedge.

  • They choose to fly in a”V” shape so as to increase their flying power and range by at least 70%. By sharing the air space they make the flight easier for those flying with them. They look out for each other.

  • When the goose in front tires or grows weary another goose takes its place and then the tired goose moves back to rest, and into position to complete the formation.

  • While they are flying in formation they honk at each other to send encouagement to each other on the journey.

  • Geese care for each other; they look out for the other geese in their gaggle, to see if they are okay. If one gets sick, is attacked or hurt and drifts or falls from the formation, others will also leave the “V” shape and go to protect the injured goose. They stay with the sick goose until it recovers or dies. They will not leave it alone.

  • A young goose will find a mate for itself when it is only 3 years of age. If one of the pair dies the remaining goose will live many years without finding another mate. Most times the widowed goose lives the remainder of its life without a partner.

  • Male geese prefer to show very protective and kind behaviour towards the females in the group. They have been known to stand or fly between danger and the female in the situation; so beautiful and so courageous.

  • Geese choose to vocalize their messages to each other in a variety of ten different ways; it depends on the situation but they can stretch their necks or make loud honks in order to send a signal to others.

  • Geese live together and hatch a new gosling yearly, then both parents are involved in minding and taking care of the newborn.

The list goes on…

So…which characteristic was your favourite? Possibly, like me, you chose a few. One thing I found myself thinking as I read this list, is that I want to be more like geese. I want to love deeper, care for loved ones in a more devoted way. I want to be known as one who is faithful to the mate I choose for life. I want to go to rescue the hurting and stay with them until they can fly and join the group again. I want to be known as one who looks out for the dangers that are lurking and preying on my counterparts. I want to be so much more like a goose than I had ever thought of before…

If you feel the same then let’s honk and make the choice to stick together…

If my little thoughts today have inspired you then please give me a share and a like…every ‘honk’ lets me know that you are with me…and we are looking out for each other…

‘Honk! Honk!”

Denise

Bend Without Breaking ✯

Bend Without Breaking ✯

By Denise Kennedy

bdb1

“What doesn’t bend…breaks.”

– Ani Difranco

It is so important that we do not let our failures break us, but that we choose to bend with the storms life sends us, and find a greater strength than before. Yes, these are easy words to write, but I can safely say I am doing this very thing myself.

I feel motivated by the deep emotion shown by the 2016 Olympians. Their enthusiasm and dedication has awakened a new desire in me to overcome obstacles and hindrances in my own life. How we handle defeat reveals more about our character than how we handle success. I am so moved by some of the Olympians who gave their very best, but were unsuccessful in winning a medal. Today they make their journeys home and try to pick up the pieces that disappointment and loss have dealt them. I want to tell them that they are champions too, whether they wear a medal around their courageous necks or not.

One such Olympian quoted the following:

The only thing I ever wanted was to compete in the Olympics.”

(Syria’s Yusra Mardini, representing the Games’ first ever refugee team, after winning her 100m butterfly heat.)

 ✯

I want to say to these amazing Olympians that you can bend without breaking; that what you’re waiting for could be just around the bend…if you can choose not to let the challenges drive you around the bend or lose your mind in the process.

For so many Olympians like the horse jumping champion Nick Skelton, taking part in the 2016 Olympics was a matter of great courage. The veteran British Olympian, aged 58, who quit the sport in 2000 after breaking his neck in two places, vowed: “I am not going to stop now.” Nick Skelton, riding Big Star, won a dramatic six-rider jump-off to claim GB’s first show jumping gold to become the oldest winner of an equestrian event.

Imagine what Skelton would have missed had he given up in 2000, or allowed the fear of ever recovering from a broken neck govern his future. His horse, perfectly named Big Star, had almost been put into retirement too, but Nick Skelton believed that they could come to Rio and win. To even have the opportunity to be an Olympian was a huge achievement for both rider and horse alike. If he had allowed a broken neck to literally break him, his future would not hold the amazing gold medal achievement he enjoys today.

But Nick is a winner, even if he had not won gold. Each Olympian is a winner simply because they overcome so many tough and challenging circumstances in order to compete. There are so many motivational stories being shared every day about the obstacles and personal health setbacks that many overcome in order to finally be in Rio. I am sure a book could be written with all their moving and exhilarating accomplishments. To me, it is one of the reasons I found myself glued to the televised overage each night.

“When life’s strong winds come blowing, bend with them and let go. By bending, you will become stronger in new places. By letting go, you will be making room for the new and the better.”

 ✯

You are all amazing individuals; you have chosen to bend, but not to break. How you choose to handle your defeats speaks volumes to the world waiting to see strength overcome weakness. Well done! I applaud you because you move me to keep persevering and bend with the storms of life.

The 2016 Olympics have ended, and as I watch the energy of the closing ceremony, I want to awaken a desire in us to overcome the obstacles that try to break us. Make a decision now, that by the time the 2020 Olympics start, you will be able to look back and see how very much stronger you have grown!

Start now…I am.

Denise  ✯

Your PB ✪

b2ap3_medium_b2ap3_thumbnail_PHEPLS

Welcome to my latest blog piece for the Irish Academy of Public Relations…

What is your PB? (And no, I don’t mean peanut butter…) =) If you have been gripped by the exciting moments of triumph and devastation that the Olympics bring, then you will know that PB means ‘Personal Best’, and it is usually the absolute desire of every athlete to beat their previous PB record, and win an Olympic gold medal on the way.

Every time I have watched these amazingly well trained Olympians champion their course I am reminded of my own PB, in various areas of my life. When I wake up in the morning I am learning to remind myself that today is a new day to challenge my personal best. I can always try to improve on the choices I made yesterday and give my absolute best in all I endeavour to do.

Michael Phelps has astonished all who have been watching his journey. He has come back from great challenges and a retirement, to win more medals than he even believed he could himself.

Michael’s 200m butterfly gold medal made him the oldest swimmer to win an individual Olympic title at 31 years of age. He has earned the title, ‘GOAT’ – ‘the greatest of all time’, and quite frankly he is a medal machine! As I watched him shed a tear as he held his new three month old son, my eyes filled with tears with him. It felt exhilarating to watch him kick his doubts, fears and physical challenges to the curb and go for gold. My blood raced with motivation and excitement as I watched the faces of the crowds who applauded him; I thought to myself how many of them have overcome their own PB challenges too, and are living testimonies to the same courage we see in Michael Phelps?

Your PB may only matter to you…there may never be a gold medal placed around your neck, but that does not diminish the innate value in giving your best. You can award yourself every day; every time you overcome a challenge or advance towards something you dearly want.

It starts now…read more here

Time To Trade Up ⇅

Time To Trade Up ⇅

by Denise Kennedy

dreams

“Be careful that you do not create what you fear.”  – These are pretty powerful words aren’t they? They stopped me in my tracks today. They arrested my attention and commanded my analysis and response.

What are we afraid of? What keeps you awake at night, feeling afraid or overwhelmed? Write it down right now…clearly, boldly and honestly. Okay…now on the same piece of paper I want you to write down any behaviour that you are currently endorsing in your life that in anyway contributes to these fears coming to pass in your life. Is there something you are doing, or not doing, that will help these feared circumstances actually becoming your very real reality?

It is time to trade up…it is time to trade in your fears, change your behaviours and dramatically change the course your life is on. In order to have the life you dream of you must be all in, there is no halfway commitment to what is required.

You are amazing. You have capabilities beyond what you can even believe. You have strengths and competencies that make you the valuable and precious person you are. If there is a chance that this short little blog stirs you, then please act on it. Let August 1st, 2016, be the day the game changes. What is it you are losing to? What is taking you off track? What is more important to you right now than achieving the lifelong dreams you carry around in your heart every day? Begin to believe in the person you are, and in the potential you have.

I wrote these words for you today, as much as I need them myself too. Even the most successful people you know, need a gentle push in the right direction sometimes. So here it is, a gentle push from me. Make the changes, even if you are white-knuckle riding for a while. Decide on the destination you are dreaming of and make it happen. Your life will pass you by, so make it the kind of movie you want it to be.

I believe in you. It is time to trade-up. Trade in your fears and change the route you are on. You can do it. Let today be the game-changer, the day it all begins. Be careful that you do not create what you fear…don’t let self-sabotage ruin all the great possibility that you possess.

Let’s connect on Facebook

=) Denise

 

Gentle Strength 🌸

Gentle Strength 🌸

IMG_20160706_122343

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.”

Saint Francis De Sales

🌸

Gentle Strength – both words could be seen as complete opposites, but when blended together they produce one of the most beautiful character traits a person can display. I love strong people; they are trustworthy, reliable and confident. I also love gentle people; they are safe, approachable and usually deep. Both traits have their good points, but also have their weak spots too. Have you ever worked or shared office space with a strong person, who is controlling and manipulative? Strength is beautiful, but not when wielded and used to control others in hurtful ways. Gentleness is attractive, but not when the person becomes  overly apologetic, timid or passive, especially about important things.

🌸

I think there is a beautiful balance in the marrying of these two character traits; a grand display of gentleness and strength working together. We become stronger when we know where we are weak, and there is a lot to be learned in being brave enough to search our hearts in order to face our fears. How we handle our career and personal lives in these areas will determine the kind of aroma we leave when people interact with us.

🌸

How we handle defeat or victory also speaks volumes about the type of people we are; when we are victorious and pronounced the winner are we proud or gloating? It is a strength to really know ourselves, and it is an even grander accomplishment to then deal with the things we see in our hearts that we are not proud of. Sometimes not winning all the time makes us even more attractive, if our response is humble and gentle.

🌸

When I saw this image of this magnificently strong elephant with gentle butterfly wings, I was moved by the thought ‘Gentle Strength’, and the perfect balance those two traits are; but I was also reminded that it is a precious thing to listen (butterfly ears) with a gentle response. A gentle response turns away anger…  “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15)

🌸

Be a strong person, but use your strength in a gentle way. Look at the areas in your life where you need to be stronger, or develop a backbone of steel. But it is also  beneficial to examine the areas in your behaviour where you need to allow gentleness to govern your responses and choices.

🌸

Be brave enough to look inside, and really know yourself. What a wonderful world it would be to work, live and do life with people who choose ‘gentle strength’!

🌸

Nisey K

Let’s connect on Facebook

Your Uniqueness Has Value

I’m delighted to be writing for The Irish Academy of Public Relations

Here is a reminder of just how valuable your uniqueness is! Have a look at this week’s blog…Your Uniqueness Has Value

zakkia-chalkboard-wallpaper_web3-640x574

In this age of digital and personal development, many have thrown around the term USP, or otherwise known as your Unique Selling Point. Some folks find it easy to identify these incredible strengths in others, but struggle to evaluate these attributes in themselves, their talents or their business offering.

As entrepreneurs, communicators or anyone with a dream, it is vital that you know what your unique strengths are, and utilise them in all of your business endeavours.

Let’s break it down into smaller parts and evaluate the significance of this term.  When you are asked about your business, your skills, your capabilities or accomplishments, do you struggle to see what makes you unique? If you do, don’t worry, you are not alone in this dilemma. But if you do not challenge this weakness it will hold you back in every area where you seek to be successful. It is like carrying out a SWOT analysis on yourself, while determining where you are most likely to achieve your business goals.

So take a pen and paper, and jot down the words that come to mind as you answer these questions: There is no wrong answer, just be as honest as you can.

  1. What differentiates you from what your competitors are doing or offering?

  2. How do you add value in the industry or market you are currently in?

  3. If you were not doing what you are doing, what would your consumers or customers miss out on?

  4. When you wake up in the morning, are you motivated by the thought that you can make a difference in your work day, and if so, how?

Okay – how do you feel in the pit of your stomach right now? Are you chasing a goal that actually has no real value to your heart? Is there a possibility that you are stuck in your comfort zone and are no longer excited about what you are doing? If this is the case, then make the decision today to ‘unglue’ yourself from this place of underachieving.

When we forget our value or what we bring to the table, it helps to encounter new opportunities and meet new people. It is time to follow your dream, so let the journey start today. At the Irish Academy of Public Relations, you will find new career ideas, training courses and opportunities to up-skill in many areas such as, Event Management, Journalism, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Journalism. There is something there for everyone.

“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.”Jim Rohn

Your skill set may be perfectly matched to the industry you are working in, so it just may be the case that you need to sharpen your focus in a more dynamic way. Either way, unless we challenge these thoughts, we can find ourselves drifting along with no real motivation and certainly having no lasting impression on those we desperately want to impact in business and life.

It’s up to you! Check out the Irish Academy of Public Relations today, and start to sharpen those amazing skills you already have. It’s time to make the move!

Guest Blogger – Denise Kennedy

Rock Flowers ❀ ✿

By Denise Kennedy (February 19th 2016)

❀ ✿

“TOUGH TIMES DON’T LAST – TOUGH PEOPLE DO!”

pansy in the rock.jpg

I took this photo here in Ireland. It’s a beautiful little pansy growing from solid rock. Beautiful things can grow in hard places… so chin up buttercup!

❀ ✿

We all go through tough times, where life is literally as hard as rock, and everyday feels like we are walking through quick dry cement. Look at this pansy: it is fragile, delicate and easily broken, yet it has somehow overcome the obstacles presented to it by the surroundings it is trying to grow in. Feel familiar?

❀ ✿

Are you trying to overcome the tests of life? Are you determined to rebuild what circumstances have demolished? Has your courage been ravished by disappointment  or heartache?  Are there just too many whys and not enough answers? You are not alone in this tough place. But there is always a lesson to learn, and the things that happen on the outside, can bring about a tremendously precious lesson on the inside of us. Changes around us can become the perfect soil for growth on the inside, where nobody sees, but God. Right in this moment of pain, there are gems awaiting your embrace. It’s hard, and absolutely overwhelming, but God will not leave you alone. You may be trying not to be lonely while you are alone, and that could be exactly where God will meet you and change everything about you.

❀ ✿

“God gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.” C.H. Spurgeon

❀ ✿

You are not alone, you are not alone, you are not alone! You must choose to embrace this painful season, and keep believing that this too shall pass, and one day you will smile again. Not a fake, pretend smile, but a real smile that comes from a truly happy place.

❀ ✿

God knows how to get you there. He knows how to get your tender, delicate roots through the hard cement of life, just like the little pansy. The amazing thing is, that although this pansy was in fact tiny, I still saw it. Even in what seems like a season of ‘smallness’ in your life, God will cause the right people to see you, (really see you) and He will show you the why of it all.

❀ ✿

Hang in there…even in this hard place, you are still beautiful, inside and out. God sees you and He is guiding you with His eye.

Keep growing,

Denise ❀ ✿

The Language of Flowers Part 2 ✤✤

LOF

✤✤✤✤

Some of you will remember my original story about that wonderful little book called, The Language of Flowers…a small quaint book, detailed in the most simple yet decorated hand painting. I first discovered this book while staying with a dear family in Atlanta, and when I first picked it up I knew it was not like any other book I had ever  seen. It looked like one of a kind, a once off created manuscript, printed for one reader, for one love, for the eyes of one beholder. I felt privileged to even hold it.

I flicked though the front pages, and soon discovered that I was not far from the truth in my observations. It was indeed a very special little book. Before my eyes, were lots of hand drawings of flowers, names inserted in a calligraphy pen, and then lists and lists of flowers, and the reason one may give them to another. It grabbed my heart. How happy I was that it had been so nicely arranged where it was, so that some guest or family member may be warmed by its presence. Looking back now, it couldn’t have found a more loving or deserving home, than the one in which I discovered it.

Well this is my exciting sequel to that beautiful romantic story.  Since I originally wrote about this book on Valentine’s Day, I thought another Valentine’s Day would be the perfect time to reveal some beautiful details about the author and this book.

After my previous story about this book, I received an incredible letter from Laurie (who’s mother was the object of love, for whom this precious book was written) Laurie is now custodian of the book, and wished me to know some more details about it…so please read on to learn of the gorgeous gems I was sent to share with you.

✤✤✤✤

Hi Denise,

Thanks for your prompt reply. I will try to give you as much information as I have regarding the book, The Language of Flowers, and its history. The author was F.W.L (Frederik Lucas) a Jew who was my mother’s (Margaret Florence Jean Pickston) grandfather.  I know little about his life although he was an artist of some standing and my mother says his work was in the Royal Academy of Art, but I cannot confirm that yet as it needs more research.

Now this book was never meant to be published and was written for his wife as a token of love, for I believe an anniversary (in 1913) or birthday from, ” Father to Mother”.  How long it took him is not known but would assume some time as he secretly undertook his work every evening after his wife retired to bed. For years it lay in pieces in my Grandfather’s clothes drawer, gathering dust, until 1967/1968.  My parents were at a party, when polite conversation turned to the little book, and by chance a gentleman overheard who worked for Micheal Joseph, the book publishers.  

He explained he was most interested in seeing the book as Michael Joseph had not published a book like this before. So the book was sent to London and rebound/restored to its former glory, including its original handmade leather dust jacket. Then the first copy went to print on 10/10/1968, which also happened to be when I was born.

You will see numerous mistakes in the book such as paint brush marks on pages and written mistakes. A little known fact is that this book was entirely illustrated by paint brush, including all the meanings of the plants, with the exception being the forwarding poem to mother. I am not sure if the book is still in print as Penguin books have taken over and produced a run a few years back to send to every library in the U.S.A. I hope this long letter builds a picture in your mind about what I call “the little book” AKA The Language of Flowers.

Kind regards,

L. Pickston.

✤✤✤✤

I am sure when this loving gentleman worked secretly on this labour of love for his wife, that he had no idea just how very loved it would be, by his wife and so many others. Today, may you find a labour of love to embrace, and make it your absolute passion to share it with the world. Someday I hope to make it to London and hold the original in my hands, so watch out for part three to The language of Flowers saga.

Feeling the love…

Denise

February 14th 2016

Valentine’s Day

✤✤✤✤

NOW ⏰

~♡~

now 11

At the start of a new year many of us decide to make some big changes in how we do things…

This is my new ‘now’ reminder, to seize the day and make tomorrow better, by doing my best today, now.

On days when I want to change everything about the past or the future, it is refreshing to simply remind my heart of the tremendous power the choices I make today carry. The seeds I sow today will reap a harvest in the future, so the opportunities of today deserve my full attention, now.

These cool watches are made by @stealtimeback who donate to charities that help children in need! ~♡~ Having dealt with them personally, I must say they simply have a fabulous customer service manner and set the standard high in customer care. Kudos!

When I look at my ‘now’ watch, I find myself motivated to crush procrastination to the ground, and get things done that are essential and necessary. Maybe you find it easy to do the more challenging chores of today? Maybe you fumble through your day with low energy or fear of failure? Whichever circumstance you find yourself in, start to make some small, significant changes now. Each little successful step will soon recharge and motivate you to make bigger changes. I am doing it, and already I am finding that I spend less time in the procrastination valley, and I see ‘now’ as a place full of immense potential and endless possibilities.

The person you will be tomorrow, depends on the person you choose to be today… ⏰ Denise

Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing. – Wayne Dyer

©niseyk

❣ You Know You Want To ❣

by ♡ 𝕯enise Kennedy ♡

tumblr_nnxy1bs4UA1u17qymo1_540

    Have you ever found yourself in an unexpected place, where everything seems unpredictable? A place where virtually anything could happen next?

It could best be described as the most spontaneous, amazing, fearful, wonderful and challenging place your feet and your heart could ever find themselves; well I am there, right smack bang in the middle of it. Just the other day I penned the following words; “Sometimes too many choices are just too many!”     (A Nisey’original)

I eagerly reach ahead to grasp the future, yet my heart holds on tightly to the memories the years have made, but hope pulls me closer and commands me to lift up my head with earnest expectation and anticipation.  I can sincerely say that I am finding these days the strangest and scariest I have yet to walk through.  I rarely live life with no map before me, or at least an idea of what may unfold but lately the temptation to lock my heart away is overwhelming at times ~ to live from a place where it is safe, pain-free, careful and predictable (and boring, well at least to me) is as real as the chair I am sitting on right now…. but I cannot ignore the deep desire in me to do something crazy and unpredictable.

I always thought I would have my life’s direction figured out by now, a road map to potential happiness with all the boxes checked along the way.  But life has not worked out like that and I am learning lessons in hard places, yet finding unexpected joy in the crazy unforeseeable changes life brings.   I guess we all go through seasons where it seems fearful and yet wonderfully adventurous.  One of my favourite things to do is head off on a road trip, to wherever the road goes.  Having been on some amazing road trips in Ireland, America, New Zealand, Australia, and various places from Belgium to the Ukraine, I know the thrill of these shared adventures.  The sense of spontaneous decisions and the thrill of seeing where we end up tickles me pink!    I love living life like that.  And yet bravely and courageously my heart is saying, “Seize the adventure again Denise!”…. and so I must listen to my heart and let my passion and creativity lead me to where I really want to be.  And to the ‘me’ I really want to be.  Scary isn’t it?

During these past months (plus some), I have been tempted to abort the mission my heart longs for, to turn around and settle for less than I know is genuine, thrilling and passionate.   I have toyed with the idea of giving up on the picture I had of the future, and settling for a less challenging route.  At first I felt peace, calmness and collected repose.   It is easy to feel peace when you are no longer challenging your fears or advancing into new territory in your life.  Yes you feel peace at first, when all resistance fades away into living a life more ordinary, but not for long for soon that unsettled feeling of boredom will raise itself to the forefront of your heart and you know you cannot turn your back on what you need to do and really want.

So, what are you sacrificing? What dream are you abandoning and trying to live without?  Maybe it is time to pick it up again? I am choosing to do it differently now.  To take hold of the strength that I know God gives me daily, to speak to my dreams and my hopes, my talents and my skills to come alive again!  Do you need to do the same?  You may think that it is easier to ignore the longings of your heart, to run away from the deepest places of your soul, but it isn’t.  May I gently and lovingly tell you that you will turn into a person who is bored silly with life.  Joy will drain from you and all you dreamed of will be sacrificed for a false sense of security that you will grow to resent.  Trust me, I know.

So…..right now…..think quietly ~  What is it you really long to do with your life?  What is on your bucket list?  What wakes you up and puts a smile on your face no matter what the weather is like?  What is it that you do that makes you sigh deeply with the realisation that this is what you were born to accomplish?  You know it and you feel it, you live, breathe and think about it every waking or ‘should-be’ sleeping moment.  You have tried to banish it away like a vapour, thinking it is easier to live without it, but you are not living abundantly by hiding it away and ignoring it.  Take some time to write it down, remember it again, realise it is possibly the thing that will rescue you from a place of unfulfilled living.  Inside each of us there’s a Superman T-shirt or brave hero longing to be revealed.

Can you hear it? A whispering excitement beginning like a soft drum in your chest…. a beat that wants to sound loudly to you that there are new things to call forth from you.  It is time, the clock ticks, and it waits for no one.   I want to see you, the real you, shining forth in all your great yet humble talent for the world to see.

Come on…come alive!  It may feel like you are stepping out onto nothing, not knowing really where you are going, but you will find it easier after you take the first step.  I am beside you, cheering you on (and myself).  Take my hand if you need to.  Look for others in your life who have stopped living from their heart, encourage them to speak tenderly again to their dreams and listen to the deepest longing within them.

You know you want to…

♡ 𝕯enise ❣ ~~ ♥ ~~ ♥ ~~

Peace In A Broken Place ☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

By Denise Kennedy

Rosie Afolabi

In recent days, I have had the privilege of sharing deep, honest, and raw conversations with people who are struggling through tough situations. I must say that your heartfelt transparency reveals a beautiful mystery.

☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

The concept of finding peace in a broken place carries with it a contrast as striking as a solitary dove sitting in a broken window; sometimes there is peace in simply choosing to be still.

.¸¸.•*`*•♥

At times, life calls us to navigate through uncharted waters and unfamiliar paths. We may not have chosen this direction but must employ the greatest courage and strength in order to endure it. If you are a strong person, then strength is your default setting, but even strong people may still prefer to take an easier route. Unfortunately, in a broken place, there can be moments where you would rather break down than break through!

.¸¸.•*`*•♥

They, (whoever they are), say, “what does not kill you, serves to make you stronger“, and it is not until you find yourself in a broken place that you can honestly put these words to the test. What is a broken place? It can be a place where a promise has been broken, or a dream has been shattered. You, yourself, may feel broken, or overwhelmed by the road that lies before you, or indeed memories of days gone by. Circumstances have possibly left you tired or drained by this broken road of unwanted outcomes.

☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

You may remember a recent post I wrote titled: Broken Crayons Still Colour, where I reminded our dear hearts that even in our broken seasons, we still possess the same incredible qualities and strengths that make us who we are. We can still find peace in a broken place, because the One who gives us peace still reigns and orders our steps. We may not have all the answers to our questions, nor the strength to wait patiently for those answers, but nevertheless, God is still who He said He is and He will never abandon those He is committed to. He sees what our weak human eyes cannot. He hears the unspoken prayers of our tired hearts. He listens when you sigh in the dark and pray for a way through the circumstances you find yourself in.

.¸¸.•*`*•♥

He knows. He hears, He cares, and He will make a way. It is in these hard circumstances that He will reveal new things to you. He is able to create something amazing where there seemed to be nothing visible or possible. He will reveal new things in His relationship with you, that will help you to trust Him, even when you are weary from wondering.  There is a place of peace in this moment for you, even when all seems lost. You can walk through this situation with absolute assurance that God is walking with you and carrying you through every weary step, unforeseen challenge, and daunting decision.

☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

Stop right now, and quietly surrender every aspect of your life to Him. Quieten your heart and allow His peace to come into your confusion and mayhem, and carry you. It is a daily choice where surrender and gratitude walk hand in hand. You don’t have to deny how you feel, but in bringing it to Him you allow the divine exchange to take place; where He takes your burdens and gives you His peace. I don’t write these words flippantly or easily; as I too am walking a road where I must decide to trust God even in the unknown. I write these words to let you know that you do not walk alone, for there are many of us walking this path with  you. Others may never see the hidden disappointments and fears that we are encountering and overcoming on a daily basis, but God sees.

Even in this broken place, His peace can be your constant strength and companion.

I may not know you, but He does, and today I am praying for you.

Denise  ☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

________________________________________________________________

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction,  ends up being the biggest step of your life!” → Unknown 📷 👣 ⛵

Peace In A Broken Place ☕.¸¸.•*`*•♥

September 2015

Your Inner Swing ⛳

Your Inner Swing  ⛳💖⛳ Augusta National

by Denise Kennedy

So everyone is excited and counting down the moments to Masters 2015. The suspense, the thrill, the predictions of leaderboard winners, round winners and the new kids on the green.

I visited Augusta National some years ago, and I can still remember the sublime stillness of the perfectly manicured entrance. It will stay with me forever. It is a brilliant place.

Golf: Maybe you are not a golf fan? Maybe you really do not care for it at all? But let me just hold your attention momentarily, thanks!

Think about what you are good at? Do you find it a challenge to define the talents that reside within you? In golf, the term ‘your inner swing’ is much more than just about the outer swing you may carry on the field, it is about the inner strengths you  have. The way you play the game of golf, but also the way you play the ‘game’ of life.

In golf, it is all about your pre-swing thoughts, how you relax, and how you handle your frustrations. It is a lot like life: How you handle the pressures of life, determines the way you ‘swing’, the way you approach the challenges life brings.

We all have those moments where we swing wrong, miss the putt, hit the trees, or land in the water. As a caddy, I am learning from the play I see on the fairways of the golf club, that the next shot has absolutely nothing to do with the last shot. The most important transition you can make is to let the last shot go and give the next one everything you have. It is easier said than done, in life, and in golf.

So in life, when you fail, miss the target, fall at the first fence, or experience the greatest disappointment of your life: how do you respond? Do you throw your driver in the lake, kick the divot with frustration, or decide to conquer the losing streak you feel you are in?

In those moments of failure, disheartened confusion and missed shots, it is imperative that you learn and move on. You must! You have to gather yourself together and focus on what comes next. There is a time for evaluation but then comes the moment where you just simply move on!

Life is a lot like a game of golf, whether you play it or not. You must focus on your goals, walk your fairway and discipline the inner swing with which you choose to live your life.

So today, calculate the areas of your life where weakness is dominating, decide where you need to focus your energies most and do it.

Let go of the past failures and aim for a better round ahead.

Come on, your inner swing is yours, you still have it. Eye on the ball, eye on the hole, you can do it!

More caddy tips to come…

From the pen of a grateful caddy, and Irish girl.

Denise

© Copyright Denise Kennedy 2015

I’ll Be Back ♱

by Denise KennedyI will be back

My richest gain I count but loss…these words swirl around my heart today…all the vain things that charm me most… I sacrifice!

WOW! Today, the day when darkness gripped the world at the exact moment a man on a Cross exasperated his seemingly last breath. He gave His all, His very life, for a world that scarcely appreciated His great gift. As darkness fell, so the tears of a mother who watched her son die, fell to the ground. Those that loved Him stood in silent grief and dismay. Little did they know that while darkness engulfed their grief-stricken hearts, behind the scenes God was working His amazing brilliance and preparing the greatest story ever told. Jesus, in His last moments on the Cross, uttered words of pain and anguish. He questioned why His Father had abandoned Him. He felt separation from God for the very first time. He did this so that we need never experience that separation ever again,

They thought it was the end of everything, every hope, every promise, and every word He spoke to them. They bowed their heads in sorrow, but God was about to roll up His sleeves and astronomically reveal the grandeur of His great love for us. Time stood still, but not Jesus. He was busy disarming the powers of darkness and getting ready to reveal who He said He was.

Then He came back… He demonstrated His awesome love for us on the Cross. He stayed there because of love… If you don’t know His great love for you, I hope that this Easter, you will open your heart to really say yes to His invitation to know Him…and to experience His incredible new life in you.

When Jesus died He screamed though nail-pierced hands “I Will Be Back!”, to a lost and confused world. We can barely comprehend this amazing love, for we have no other love to compare it to. He did come back, and all He said is true.

Do you know Him?

Right now He waits for you to just believe…and everything will change.

He whispers softly yet triumphantly to you: ‘I love you with an everlasting love…simply believe. I came back for you!”

Do it now, it’s the perfect time.

From the pen of a grateful Irish girl…

Denise ♰

Broken Crayons Still Colour

Broken Crayons Still Colour

Broken Crayons Still Colour

by Denise Kennedy

✎ ✍ ✎

For the past few days this phrase has rolled in and out of my thoughts…a lot. And every time it hushes me into contemplation. So today, surrounded by lemons and cough bottle, the morning sun beaming through my window, and a softly flickering fire in my hearth, I write to you…to speak softly yet directly to your heart.

I could write lots on this four-worded title, quite easily and elaborately, indeed until the cows come home…but that is not entirely what my intentions are; instead I want to share something of a gem with you that will shine hope and inspiration, and determination into that backbone of yours. When I ponder over the word broken it brings to mind many images. A person can feel broken from disappointment, unemployment, divorce, loss, disillusionment, sadness or grief.  A season of brokenness can overcome a person who finds themselves in unplanned circumstances. Brokenness can come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing it conveys is that the person feels useless, undervalued or discarded.  Here is where I want to jump in with a sunbeam and shed some light on this somewhat negative idea.

Think for a moment, about a crayon.

✎ ✍ ✎

(Yes, deep I know!)

When a crayon is broken, is it no longer a crayon? No. It still has all the colour and substance inside it prior to being broken, it has just experienced a change to its outer appearance. You may be walking through what feels like a tough battle, and though you feel like throwing your hands up in despair, don’t. Instead throw them up in victory because you are choosing to walk through this and seize your ever-welcome breakthrough. You are still that same person before life sent some things to challenge you. You still possess those amazing qualities that so many admire.

All of the essence of who you are is still within you. You are still that capable, intelligent, impressive individual now. You just need to keep being your amazing self and sit the storm out. Don’t let it weaken the dreams you have, or the value you assign to your potential. You can still colour, and you can still bring your marvelous colour into the lives of those around you.

Resist the temptation to give up. I love using broken crayons, they have an edge, sharpness and accuracy about them that an unbroken crayon just does not have. I can use it to get into tight corners and even leave a greater depth of colour than a blunt, unbroken crayon allows me.

So hang in there, whatever colour you are, you still have it. You still carry all of the great brightness and beauty that make you who you are. One day you will look back on this and see how it shaped and fashioned you into a  stronger and more resilient person. Your true colours will keep shining through. You will walk out of this season with the durability and determination that only this season could have given you. Only those who have been lost in the storm are then able to help others find their way out of theirs. People need what you have, in fact they need it much more than you realise.

Find your ‘umph‘ again, turn your ‘try‘ into ‘triumph‘. Don’t worry, you are not on your own, there’s a lot of us right there with you.

Forrest Gump said that ‘Life is like a box of chocolates‘, and sometimes I think it’s also a lot like a ‘box of crayons‘. So today, remember that  ‘Broken Crayons Still Colour!’ 

✎ ✍ ✎

From the pen of a grateful Irish girl ☕ Denise

 

The Inside Story: Citizen Journalists

 

we-are-citizen-journalism

An inside look at Citizen Journalism, by Denise Kennedy

It’s been around for years, and you have possibly been doing it but never thought of it in this context. It keeps you awake at night when you should be asleep, but when the writing bug hits you, the pen (or the keyboard) is in control. For all the writers reading this, it comes as no surprise that writing has been a passion of many since time began, but for some of you the title for a specific type of writing is new news for you: I speak of the trendy, hipster, dedicated blogger, known as ‘the citizen journalist’.

The following definition given by Rosen sums it up quite simply:

“When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism’. (Jay Rosen, 2008)

Citizen journalism is based upon the occupation of citizen writers, processing, collating and producing content for public readership, news and information.

According to Bowman and Willis, (We Media, 2003), written back in 2003:

“We are at the beginning of a Golden Age of journalism — but it is not journalism as we have known it. Media futurists have predicted that by 2021, “citizens will produce 50 percent of the news peer-to-peer.” However, mainstream news media have yet to meaningfully adopt or experiment with these new forms. Historically, journalists have been charged with informing the democracy. But their future will depend not on only how well they inform but how well they encourage and enable conversations with citizens. That is the challenge.”

It is important to note that we cannot make the mistake of confusing what is known as Community Journalism and Civic Journalism, which are both related to the actual writing and reporting of professional journalists. The huge increase of media access, online platforms, digital marketing and new technology, have all led to growth in volume of citizen produced articles, and as this trend is set to rise, it can be expected that citizen journalists will most definitely be seen on a larger scale moving forward.

Denise Kennedy

March 2015

The Sound of Life… ☕ 🎧 🍝

by Denise Kennedy10898985_512509205553570_566739418_n

As I sit here writing to you, I hear the soft flickering of my open coal fire, as heat radiates and the smell of warmth fills the room. I am grateful. Over in my kitchen, a freshly prepared, by yours truly, pot of Irish stew gurgles and bubbles as it cooks on my brand new stove. My nearby window, slightly ajar, lets me hear the birds singing to each other from their branches, and the funny screams of sea gulls as they soar in the sky.  The sound of life!

Some of you know I have moved, and many of you have asked me to tell the story of how it all happened. First, let me take a sip from my freshly brewed cup of brilliance, and I will begin to pen the tale.

The story is long, so I will keep it brief and pertinent to what really matters. I needed to move, and time was running out on my lease. Days, weeks and months were flying past, with no real success in finding my new abode. I remained resilient and positive, but meanwhile back at the ranch, my heart was growing wearisome and tiresome. You know the feeling.

So, on a seemingly ordinary Tuesday morning, way back in November, I awoke with a sense of destiny, urgency, optimism and a certain, “Je ne sais quoi.

I went through my usual morning routine, breakfast, reading, quiet time, etc etc, but all the while I knew today was the day I would find it. I decreed it in my heart, that today God and I would find it, as if God needed my help, and the day commenced.

Soon I was out walking on the street, in the south city suburbs of Dublin, with no real place to go, just watching people and looking for opportunity. This particular day, opportunity came wearing overalls and holding a paintbrush. He was a stranger to me, but I soon found myself interrupting his work to inquire if he may possibly be the landlord of said property. He wasn’t. But quite resolutely he took me into the house to meet the landlord of this lovely Georgian house. To cut a long eventful story short, I spent about half an hour chatting with a landlord, who had nothing to offer me, but took the time to offer me friendly advice and hear my story. He had just come out of a three hour meeting, yet gave me much more than the time of day. It was inspiring, but even more so, when he simply said, that he wanted to give me some timely and encouraging advice…”Don’t lose hope!..”

He said it calmly and resolutely. So much so that the tired heart in me was lifted up. I blinked the tears from my eyes and thanked him for this kindness and time. And ventured out onto the street again.

Moments later I saw another gentleman in overalls. So, yes, you guessed it. I did. I gingerly approached him on the front steps of another Georgian building, and inquired if he were possibly the landlord. And, guess what? No, he wasn’t. We chatted a bit about why I was out stopping strangers and the like. He then decided to call the landlord of this property to inquire on my behalf. And low and behold, he had just driven in around the rear of the building at that moment. So, had I arrived at this second property thirty minutes earlier, things may not have lined up so perfectly for me. I mused to myself, thank God the other landlord took thirty minutes out of his day to be kind to a stranger.

Soon I rushed round the corner to meet another stranger, who now is my current landlord.

It all did not go as smoothly as planned, and there were a few delays and hiccups to test my faith, but soon after, the keys to my brightly new refurbished from floor to ceiling, Georgian studio were in my hands. I moved in well before Christmas, with the help of family and friends. I have all I need, plus one extra, a real open log fire! That part was a pleasant surprise. Blessed with brand new fixtures and fittings, a new cooker, fridge and utilities. And this is where I write to you from, sitting in my own antique nursing chair, by my heat-yielding flickering fire.

And although there are challenges afoot, and things that greatly challenge my heart today, I can look around me and be grateful that I have more than some, and less than a lot, but I have what I need. I am ready to move on to the next adventure, wherever and whenever that is. Today the sound of life is beautiful, and I am grateful for the journey, and for the strength that tears can bring.

IMG_20141207_172415

Anyway, I better go, the sound and aroma of my homemade stew bubbling signals to me that it is ready, and so am I. Oh, there is one more important thing I must tell you; remember when I met the second landlord? Well, he was not planning on advertising this property, so the only way I would have found him is if I met him on the street. So, there you have it. Get out there and meet people. Take risks, go out on a limb and see what happens. I did, and it changed everything.

Denise

 

The Giving Thanks Season ღ¸.•*´¨Thanksgiving!

by Denise Kennedy

ღ´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`ღ

927366_773921752668446_376568462_n

As I sit here at my office table writing to you, I am surrounded by half-packed boxes and disordered belongings…all of which are screaming for my attention.

My freshly brewed coffee steams beside me, swirling amidst the scent of my favourite pumpkin spice candle, and the birds chirp and dance outside as the frost melts in the November sun…

So I choose to be still. I choose to be thankful. It is easy to be thankful when all about you is splendidly perfect and testing times have come and gone, but when you are in the midst of true battles it can be a difficult thing to choose. I understand my friend, as I too am in that place. Between the now and the not-yet can be the scariest place to find yourself, or the grandest adventure ever. We can either see it as an opportunity or a threat.

I am moving, well getting ready to move, to a place unknown to me. As I prepare, I have been reminded over and over to be grateful for the things I have, while waiting for the things not yet seen. We have a choice to make…we can wallow in fear or we can flap our wings and use the winds of adversity to take us only higher. I want to choose the greater thing, the activity of winners, of fighters, of eagles. Today my friend Katie Taylor won her fifth world boxing championship title. What a legend! And as I watched her interview after the fight, I was overwhelmed by the expression of pure joy and relief on her face.

I couldn’t help but think of all the times she must have felt like giving up, or quitting. There must have been days when the sacrifice seemed too hard or too costly, but it all paid off today.  And what a day of thanksgiving it is for her and all of us who know her and love her.

So, my friend, today we must decide to be brave, to be thankfully courageous, and respond with strength, boldness and faith. We can let the fear of the unknown overcome us or we can choose to respond with determination and perseverance. In this season of Thanksgiving it can be hard to be thankful when things are not as we would love them to be, but when we start to focus on the many beautiful things in our lives, joy will come and fill our tired hearts.

As we embrace the winds of adversity and change, thankfulness and bravery can be our companions.  Choosing to be thankful creates a strong foundation in our lives that becomes our default response, even when circumstances are completely challenging. It is not easy but it is possible. I am sure there were days when Katie Taylor had to fight to believe that she could achieve her dreams, and today she celebrates where discipline and training have brought her. We can too my friend!

¸.•*¨)

I invite you today, to be thankful, to be bravely thankful! And now back to my boxes…the adventure awaits! ¸.•*¨) Nisey K

A Random Act Of Kindness ~ ✈

A Random Act Of Kindness ~ ✈

Written By Denise Kennedy

9 March 2014 at 20:35

So I finally got there…to the LifeWay Store in the Bluebonnet Boulevard Building, just beside the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I was beyond excited, as we don’t have that store here in Ireland. I stood just feet inside the entrance, stunned…much like the way I did when I found myself inside a Wall-Mart the previous day; stunned by excitement and hardly able to decide which aisle to start at.

I needed some new worship CD’s, (yes $5 each will do thank you very much!) I picked up a few study aids as you do, rummaged through the gift section, card section, devotions section and chatted with the lovely staff as I made my way up and down each aisle.  Most of what I really wanted to buy I had to leave on the shelf, my wallet and my suitcase could not have endured my excited shopping!

I had my heart set on one specific item in particular: a new Bible. So finally I found the Bible section, all of five rows long. WOW where to start? Camouflage covers, pink blingy covers, ladies editions, women’s study editions, and a gazillion of choices of versions, print, colour and focus. Finally after quite some time I found my gorgeous bright red new Bible. Yes it was perfect and it was Valentine’s week, so why not get a Book about the love of God in the brightest red I could find.  It was the very last of the red edition and was soon firmly under my arm as I left to head up to the cashier to pay. I left a few items back on my way, deciding I really did not need so many new CD’s.

On arriving at the cashier area, I stood in line and chatted with some lovely staff, who just wanted to ask me questions to hear my accent…it was nice! I got to the cashier, loaded my few items on the counter and awaited my credit card to be accepted. The total came to $51.00. And I waited, and I waited. There was a problem. By now several people were waiting behind me. I was as red-faced as my red Bible.  Gently a customer patted me on the shoulder, and chatted for a bit about my credit card issues. The cashier clerk had a second cashier open up to relieve the queue and my embarrassment. Knowing my credit card is only used in emergencies, I explained that it is not a financial issue. The clerk assured me that the message on the screen insinuated that the problem was that the bank in Ireland had blocked my card due to a breach in security. Yes you got it, I forgot to tell them I was leaving the country. Sigh! What to do now? I had left my cash in a safe place and was just using my credit card for that visit to the Mall. Maybe I could sing for it??

I was so sad….I looked at my carefully chosen items, especially the beaming red Bible, that was exactly my heart’s desire. I began to gather the items up to put them back on the shelf, utterly disappointed!

Just then, that same gentle pat on my shoulder caught my attention. That same kind customer was standing beside me, looking down at my sad Irish eyes.  I really was not sure what he was doing. I told him I needed to put it all back as my card is under inspection due to security issues.  Just then he handed his own bank card to the cashier and smiled at me saying “These items obviously matter to you, and what matters to you matters to God. So I am buying them for you as a gift.”  My lip began to quiver as I tried to say thank you but it was okay, and that he did not know me so please don’t worry. He turned and said to me, “God knows you!”

I was stunned. I stood there and watched this complete stranger buy all of my items, the full total of $51.00. I had goosebumps on my goosebumps! Tears of surprise literally felt like they were running up and down my face. He just smiled, handed me the shiny bag with all my items and went to leave. I ran after him, hugged him and asked him for his business card to send a thank you gift when I returned to Ireland. He was delighted to.

bbggg

I have tried to contact him since I returned but no success yet. Maybe angels carry business cards? I don’t know. But, even now as I recount this story, I am reminded of the powerful love we shower on someone when we randomly show kindness. I need to do it more than I do, and every time I open my new red shiny Bible, the love of God reminds me that what matters to me, matters to God: even the seemingly little things! =)

Mistletoe and Fern ✿~ ✿~ ✿~

Written by Denise Kennedy ✿~ ✿~ ✿~

On a recent short stay in America the beautiful, I learned of two astounding growth phenomena. Mistletoe and Resurrection Fern. Yes a strange combination, but linger with me a few minutes and I will unveil this incredible mystery.

We were driving along the swampy marshes of Alexandria, Louisiana, en route from Baton Rouge to Dry Prong.  While we were cruising along the motorway I commented to my dear cousin about the unusual vibrant green circular plants growing on most of the trees that filled the watery bayous.  I found what she told me truly fascinating. She explained that this is mistletoe…and it grows in abundance there, but what is so impressive is that it can thrive on even the deadest of trees. I stared at it for the hours, days and weeks that I spent in Louisiana.

All the while it spoke to me of a deeper lesson. Let me explain…

Mistletoe is one of the most luxurious green plants you will ever see. It is shiny, vibrant and altogether lush. Every bunch I have seen looks so impressive I almost thought it were fake. So, this incredible green leafy plant can grow on the most lifeless host you have ever seen. And God spoke to me.  Are you in a season where you feel or sense that absolutely no fruit or good thing can come from your heart or life?  You look at your dry branches and make the evaluation that this is just a lifeless season where you have nothing to give.  My dear friend, even if you despise these days of struggle, unanswered questions, difficult dilemmas, or heartfelt loss, hang in there, fruit can grow in these times. You are able to bless others in this time of transition, so do not write yourself off and bow out gracefully from life. You are bearing fruit that may seem unseen or impossible to you, but you are. Sometimes, the toughest seasons we walk through actually yield the most precious harvest. In due time you will see it and be amazed at how God uses your selfless surrender as a means to encourage and motivate those around watching your life. As mistletoe grows in the lavish way it does, so you are growing as you wait on God and trust His perfect timing and providence.

A week later, I walked down St Charles, a beautiful street in New Orleans, with a dear friend and her son as our tour guide. As we walked they told me about the incredible stately oak trees that stood like tall soldiers down each side of the bustling trolly-train street. On these monstrous trees, with roots almost longer than the trees themselves, grew another phenomena: Resurrection Fern. Incredible.

mistl mossResurrection Fern is found growing on the trunks and branches of oak trees. It gets its name ‘resurrection’ from the way the fern acts during certain weather seasons.  During a dry period, the fern will be brown and completely lifeless.

It will appear to be dead and you would be forgiven for never expecting it to yield any appearance of life ever again. But as soon as the season of rain comes, that same moss will explode with green life again.  As I stood there gazing up at these magnificent oak trees and the fascinating resurrection life of this beautiful fern, I was struck by the cycle of life it goes through.

These two contrasting plants spoke volumes to me of the seasons we all walk though in this journey called life. There will be times when we appear to be lifeless and sense we shall never radiate with abundance or blessing again, but when the rain of heaven comes, life appears and our thirsty soul transforms into an oasis of growth and abundance.

Dear one, which ever season you find yourself to be in, know that the Master has a plan for this transition time and by remaining close to Him you will yield a beautiful harvest in abundance. You are producing a precious fragrance that will touch and inspire many. Lift up your weary head and thank Him for the new thing He is doing, soon it will spring forth, soon you will see life appear. Whether you feel like mistletoe or fern, to Him and those around you, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Xx Denise

Near Life Experience ♥ ♥ ♥▬▬▬♥

NEAR LIFE EXPERIENCE ♥ ♥ ♥▬▬▬♥

by Denise Kennedy

Sunday night, and I am too tired to study but it is too early to sleep. So here I am.

Today was wonderful.  There are many reasons why. It is ‘Thanksgiving Sunday’ and that is always good news. Time to say thanks to a good God, for all the good times, good family and friends, and oh yeah, the good home-cooked food I just devoured…(homemade by me)

But I heard a sentence today that stopped me in my tracks. An hour later, well actually, several hours later, I am still thinking about it.

“Some people survive near-death experiences, but many spend their lives having near-life experiences…” (Well it went something like that I think, but you get the gist?!)

We all know what a near death experience is.

A near-death experience (NDE) refers to a broad range of personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body; feelings of levitation; total serenity, security, or warmth; the experience of absolute dissolution; and the presence of a light.  These phenomena are usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or otherwise very close to death, hence the term near-death experience. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-death_experience)

May I repeat the line? “Some people survive near-death experiences, but many spend their lives having near-life experiences…”  After I heard the phrase, I erupted in laughter, nervous laughter.  You know, that kind of laughter you find yourself in when you are facing an awkward moment or you want to squirm your way out of the present challenge.  The thought instantly caused me to think about the many moments where life invites us to live, or we are faced with a choice to avoid a great adventure and sit that dance out.  When I think of a near-life experience I imagine it is that point in life where we must make a critical decision, where we either live the life we want or we don’t.

So what do the majority of us do when the near-life experience presents itself?  Do we run into the nearest telephone box, do our Clark Kent turnaround and spin out of there in our Superman outfit, ready to take on the world? I wish it were so.  I think most of us see life sizing us up and we run away from meeting the challenge.  So many do not survive these near-life experiences, we avoid those challenging steps that would take us on a new journey to the life we really wish we were living.  Why? It takes more courage to believe in nothing than in something, and it takes raw guts to be someone who lives a fearless life.  I don’t know about you, but I want to live UNAFRAID!!

I don’t want to reach the end of my life, only remembering the moments I almost lived. I almost dreamed. I almost loved. I almost conquered my fears. I almost fulfilled that incredible adventure. I almost made a difference. I almost became the person I was created by God to be.  I don’t want to look back and live with that regret! How about you?  I don’t want to see something inside of me die every time I walk away from the ‘almost’ things of a near-life experience.  I want to really live. Fully alive and seizing every day like it were my last, for one day it will be.

The difference between school and life is, in school you are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you are given a test that teaches you a lesson.’ (Tom Bodett)

In summary, can I say, grab life by the reigns, ride it for all you are worth. Be ready for those near- life experiences, the white-knuckle rides that scare you to pieces, but take you to heights you never dreamed possible! I am with you – I am doing this.  Why, just today I took a leap of faith into the unknown to me, but known to God.  And tomorrow I will do my best to look for another opportunity to not miss, to not sit out on, to have the best life experiences I can. I don’t want to miss a thing!

♥ ♥ ♥▬▬▬♥ Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired. Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision. Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is terrible. Trust, even when your heart begs you not to. Sleep, even when you;re afraid of what dreams might bring. Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more. And, always, remember, even when memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience – you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through life and hold your head up high. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all this happened, than you ever were back before it started. (BY Alysha Speer) ♥ ♥ ♥▬▬▬♥

Don’t almost live, instead, live intentionally!

☺♥☺ You Know Me ☺♥☺

☺♥☺  YOU KNOW ME ☺♥☺

Written by Denise Kennedy

One of my trademark sayings (so I have been told), is my regular use of the brilliant phrase “God Knows!” – Yes, I admit that it rolls off my tongue quite a lot and usually when I have unanswered questions on my mind. ☺♥☺

Who knows you? . . .  I mean really knows you?  Has that question provoked a slight awkward nervousness in your heart just now?  Maybe it brings a calming sense of well-being and peace because you know you are loved unconditionally and completely?  Possibly it challenges you to the core of who you are or aspire greatly to be?   Well today God sent a lightning bolt (as real as the one about to flash again outside my window), a gunshot, a bow’s arrow straight into this heart of mine .. .. .. I was asked the same question.

God challenged me to look at the things my heart hungers and thirsts for.  Some moments later, I answered Him.  It came through a song.  It came through painful realization.  It came through the acknowledgement that ONLY one person can truly ‘know’ every single facet of me.  Though I choose to share different parts of myself, my life, my thoughts, my desires, my dreams, my jokes, my writing, my cooking, my achievements, my longings, my laughter, my creativity, my love, my affections and my passions with people in varying degrees of intimacy, truly there is only ONE who really knows the real me.  He knows the “me” with no barriers, no pretending, no masks, no hidden motives, no insecurities, no fears, no vulnerabilities or barriers.  He loves me despite my weaknesses, sins, frailties, failures and vulnerable ways.

He jumps right into each day with me, longing to make me even better than the version of me I was yesterday.  He proudly comes alongside me to help me in my attempts to improve on yesterday’s performances and choices, because He knows my heart truly longs to be the best me I can be for Him and those I do life with.  He giggles at my childish jokes, and loves the unique traits He has given me –  He calls into being every dream and desire that resides in my heart;  He gently holds me when the storm rages and I have no solution for the circumstances my little boat sails through; His name is God.  He whispers goodnight as the moon hangs in the midnight sky, with His promise to never leave my side; staying with me through every twist and turn the road may take.  Nothing surprises Him, and nothing about me is hidden from His eyes.  When I have days where I would rather run from Him and life seems to dare me to give up, He will still be there, here, beside me.  He is ever present, He never slumbers or sleeps.

Hunger (whether physical or psychological) is not a game; it can lead people to do crazy and dangerously soul-destroying things.  You may be quite familiar with your own “hunger games” and the cravings of your own heart.  Maybe you don’t believe in God? .. .. .. but truth be told He believes in you.  He created you with a void that only He can fill.  He sees the amazing dormant potential in you, that awaits for His breath of life to create a new and amazing detour to the road you currently walk on – is there a hunger in your heart, even now, to be ‘known’ – truly known?

He sees you weep when you feel the floundering winds of change sweep you to a place where life is scary or hard to understand.  He holds your arms up when you are tired or weary from the fight.  He cheers you on when life is victorious and hugely rewarding.  He is God and He does not miss one solitary moment of your life.  Even in a crowded room, where you are surrounded my many, He does not miss one thing about you.  He knows you, but He also loves you!  Sure many others can touch your heart, occupy space there, impact you deeply and love you there.. .. .. but there is  truly only ONE who can know every facet of your life, your mind, your thoughts and your soul – GOD!  Wisdom tells us to choose carefully the ones we allow into our hearts, to select these special ones wisely and cautiously, but we are always better off the closer we walk with God.

Today this truth hit me like a bolt of lightning .. .. .. like a dart aimed for the bulls-eye, like a perfect 180 shot straight into the dart board of my heart.   I’ve experienced a lightning bolt to my heart before,  but this is not the time to share those stories –  all I can say is that upon reading a challenging piece of text today, I realized that God was speaking loudly, directly, clearly and seriously into my heart, asking me “Denise, do you know that I know you?  You are not one of the ‘unknown’, you are not forgotten or undiscovered by me – I see you” ~

Can I be honest here?  Well, I will be anyway and hope that you too will be honest with your own heart.  I really forgot that God knew me .. .. .. that He both wants to and desires to, and is delighted to know me!  The God I sing to and speak daily to, this amazing God that I daily surrender my life to, knows me. WOW .. .. .. think about that: The God who flung stars into space, knows you. The One who has seen and will see everything about this Universe; the One who sees when you win or  lose – knows you.  He knows exactly how many hairs are on your head, how many tears you have cried, how many years you have lived, the breaths your life will amount to, the past, present and future for you – He knows your name!

Maybe the land of being “known” is already a land you frequent a lot, sharing glorious moments, hours and occasions of great joy and strength in His beautiful presence? but for some it is a land where they feel like an alien; hungering to be accepted unconditionally.  Well, today I remind you, invite you, beseech you, to find a quiet place (like I have), to take a realistic look at the activities of your life – who do you do them for?  Are these activities a reflection of the desperate hunger in your life for acceptance and love?  God does not want your life to be one series of relationships, endeavours and “hunger games” after another, where you seek to fill your life with anything rather than emptiness.  He wants to fill you with the greatest acceptance, love, favour and romance you could ever know.

Close your eyes, listen, He is already here.  No more hunger games, no more running, no more pretending; It is time to experience the liberation of being known by Him, and in that place you will experience God loving what He knows about you; and making you the best you possible! =)

Then go and feed others – show them how being unconditionally loved by God satisfies beyond any other source!

Xx Denise

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ▬▬✿ Pleasant Places✿▬▬Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ▬▬✿ PLEASANT PLACES ✿▬▬Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Written by Denise Kennedy

“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;” (Psalm 16)

…Indeed this is a beautiful thought, a precious declaration of gratefulness and peace at one’s surroundings and lot in life.  To be honest it is not always the way reality seems to be for us at all, and life can sometimes be the complete opposite.  Trust me, I know!  Maybe when you think of the ‘lines’ of your life you imagine the perimeter of your homestead or dwelling place, and you wish it were larger, or smaller, or cleaner, or quieter, or richer, or safer?  Some of you may think about the place where your lines fall and wish it were in a different location, or a far more appealing place?  There may even be people dwelling within your boundary lines that are absolutely driving you crazy, or letting you down daily?  Per chance even some of you are thinking of someone right now who you wish was able to dwell within your boundary lines but instead they are either far away geographically or even distant emotionally?  Whatever your situation, wherever you find your lines to be or not to be, there is still a place for you where beauty can touch your heart and somehow kiss your life with peace; hang in there with me!

First, let’s look at the word “pleasant” ~ Pleasing, agreeable, or enjoyable; giving pleasure: receiving pleasant news. (dictionary.com)

Some synonyms of ‘pleasant’ are ~ Blessed, agreeable, darling, delicious, delightful, delightsome, dreamy, dulcet, enjoyable, good, grateful, gratifying, jolly, fair, comfortable, nice, sweet, pretty, satisfying, welcome, tasty, palatable, overflowing, or abundant.   A person is ascribed the compliment of being ‘pleasant’ when seen to have qualities that tend to give pleasure, or when they act agreeably.  You may also be characterised as being ‘pleasant’ if you have pleasing manners, behaviour, and a pleasant appearance, being easy on the eye!

David, the writer of Psalm 16, where the first line of my story is taken from, lived much of his life as a fugitive.  At times he was on the run like a wild animal trying to save himself from an enemy who was viciously trying to kill him.  He often found himself in some very difficult places during those years.  Sometimes life was so hard that he quite literally sank into a horrible pit, unable to be rescued or even try to rescue himself.   Many of us have been there or are living there now.  Other times he lived enclosed in complete darkness in lonely caves.  But believe it or not, it was out of these experiences that David wrote some of the most meaningful words of his writing career; with God as his motivator, editor and publisher!

So…as we read this line where David declares ~

“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

I will bless the Lord who has counselled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night…”  (You would be forgiven for thinking that suddenly life must have taken a magnificent turn for our friend David, but guess what, it hadn’t!)

From all I have gleaned about his life at this point David is still not yet in a place of safety and life is not nearly as comfortable as his heart would have desired.  He is walking through difficult days with no real sign of easier nights ahead.   Yet in the midst of what seems to be hardship, back ache and disappointment, David is able to declare that the boundary lines of his life are secure and safe, sweet and pleasant…how can he do this you ask?  Stay with me…

Right now where are your boundary lines?  Do you know what it represents in the days of old?   When Joshua was led by God to take the children of Israel into their promised land, God told him to divide up the newly entered land according to the tribes and give each one a section to call their home.   So it was that
each individual family was given a special place.  The lines were drawn and the boundaries were made.  Boundary stones were used as markers to show where the lines had fallen for each family, and every person knew the exact piece of land God had given them.   So they lived in security and safety, provided for by God.

So how can David declare this, when we can see his life is a mess by comparison?   Could it be true that David wrote these words against the backdrop of the knowledge of those great promises that had been given to him by God?  Many have studied this passage and believe it to be so.   He said it by faith.  David knew the God he trusted, he reminded himself of all the promises that had been spoken to him over the years, and one day he would see all that God had whispered to his heart in the darkness of night.  Although David lived on the run and in fear for his life, in his heart he had moved his residence to a land called “Pleasant Places”.  He moved in and unpacked his troubles and cares there, in the place of protection.  He came to find out that his new abode “Pleasant Places” was the place of provision.  All that had changed about his circumstances happened in his heart, in his mind and in his relationship with God.   He began to believe in what God said and he declared it over his life.   Soon even his difficult circumstances could no longer rob him of the peace that he found in “Pleasant Places”.

I too am learning this…I have many desires and dreams waiting for the touch of God upon them, but one thing I have found is that there is a land in my heart that is mine, where God and I talk.   And although I do not understand His timing or his workings in my life, I do know that I must trust Him in this place.  By making a decision to declare that the boundaries of my life have fallen in “Pleasant Places”, I will lie down in peace, I will rise up in protection, and I will come and go in His provision and providence.   There is a land I can live in where faith rules over my fears, where joy overcomes my sorrows, where tears are wiped away with the gentle touch of His hand.   My dear friend, whatever season we may be walking through, it is an opportunity for us to learn something about God and to have an experience with Him that can literally bring a song out of our tired hearts.   Even in the waiting time we can cultivate the hope that as we surrender and trust Him, we will come to realise that the “Pleasant Places” He has promised us resides within us!

I have decided that wherever I find myself, wherever I lay my head, (or my hat), whether rich or poor, whether happy or sad, I will declare it a “Pleasant Place” because He is with me and He makes it PLEASANT!

Speak these words softly to your heart . . .every day if you need to . . .

“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;  Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;  Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

I have set the LORD continually before me;  Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;  My flesh also will dwell securely.” (Psalm 16)

Look, there’s a sign above your head, written on it are the words….”Pleasant Places!”

. . . come on, it’s time to unpack!

Xx Nisey K

The View From Here ❤ღೋ ೋღ❤

Hi everyone ~ I just found out that the following  short story I wrote has won a prize in the open category of this year’s  Creative Writing & Cultural Studies SCC short story competition in Inchicore College.  I have been invited to a formal prize giving ceremony in the Teacher’s Club, Parnell Square on Thursday 3rd May.  How exciting!  I just thought I would share my story now that it has been announced.=) Denise

THE VIEW FROM HERE

Written by Denise Kennedy ❤ღೋ ೋღ❤

It was a beautiful sunny Irish day…and I witnessed a very touching scene. They say that it is the journey that matters more than the destination. They also remind us that we should squeeze all the value, meaning and adventure out of the ordinary, and mundane activities of life that we can. I am inclined most surely to agree, for having come across some of the most beautiful surprises on very ordinary days, I could have certainly missed them had I not been willing to recognise them. This was one of those seemingly ordinary days, where I was allowed one of those lovely treasures.

Let me explain; I had decided to take a trip to the country.

I craved some clean air in my nostrils and a fresh green field to walk in, where all I could hear were horses neighing nearby and the bleating of the farmer’s sheep as he herded them in for feeding time, and the  beautiful sound of the wild deer as they called to each other in the evening light. I needed to get out of Dublin city for some rest and relaxation.

So I packed my bag and jumped on a bus destined for green fields, deer trodden rural lane ways and fresh babbling brooks. Yes the beautiful county of Kildare.

I had only been a few minutes on the bus, and soon I found myself finally unwinding and starting to relax.  I was ready to enjoy a long bus trip through the countryside and away from the busy traffic of Dublin city. I leaned my head against the window frame, on the very back seat of a double-decker bus, enveloped in lovely warm sunshine and drifted away in relaxation and escape.

Just then a commotion startled me from my peacefulness; an elderly couple made their way on to the bus and approached where I was sitting. I didn’t really feel like being surrounded by others at that particular moment, I was craving isolation and silence, but they both sat carefully on the two seats directly across from me. There was something playful or mischievous about them.

Although I had my sunglasses on, they still somehow managed to make eye contact with me and we exchanged pleasantries and smiles. Pretty soon after they had made themselves comfortable, a nearby passenger stood up to leave his seat at the far end of the back row, to get off at the next stop. Suddenly the elderly lady opposite me, hopped up from her seat and sat nearer to me but now she was also sitting on the back row. There was plenty of room either side of her, which she seemed grateful for, as she gave a deep relaxing sigh and stretched a little.

She smiled over at her husband and then lifted her grey tight-clad short little legs up to rest on the material covered vacant seat opposite her. 

She glanced again at her husband, who smiled warmly at her as he kindly said, “Your legs are too short honey.”…To which she replied, “Oh I know love, but I still like to do this, it helps my circulation.”  He chuckled at her with fond amusement.

I then found my gaze again out the window, and thought of the many elderly folk I have heard ‘tut tut’ at the younger teenagers for doing exactly the same as this adorable elderly lady had…somehow the not so polite behaviour was more easily accepted as it was a sweet older lady who just seemed to want to relax her tired legs. Her years gave her a well deserved right it seemed. I am being honest when I say I may have frowned a little on the position of her shoes on the seat had she been much younger. Instead I lost myself in the thought of her looking to her husband for his accepting smile across the empty seats that divided them, but only in measure, for although I had only been in their presence a few short minutes, I could already tell that there was a bond between them that I doubt anything could weaken.
Shortly after her excited move to the back seat, which positioned her facing the opposite way to that of her husband, she giggled towards him and said ”Oh anyway I like facing this direction because then I can see what’s ahead, I like to see where I’m going. I would much rather look that way rather than where I have been.” and she smiled at him.

He then adjusted his gaze towards the rear window which stretched along the back of the seats his wife and I both sat on – Then glancing back towards his wife he said ”Oh you know my dear, I like to look at where I have already been…I like to look at the past.”  At that point she chuckled at him and then she looked at me. Maybe she wondered if I knew what he meant or was I even listening. I hid a smile as I looked again out the window beside me, as trees and sheep covered fields rushed past me in the glorious sunshine. Little did they know that my thoughts remained firmly on what this dear pensioner had just said to his darling wife.

What an interesting response he gave her. This couple, who had interrupted my quietness just moments earlier, had now also gracefully interrupted my thoughts, with remarkable ideas of their own. They intrigued me slightly, with their interesting ‘doors’ of life. I was grateful already for their presence.

When I looked at them, I was reminded of the fact that some people do actually love each other forever. I wanted to know their story. I wondered what circumstances had led them to this very moment in time, that they should hold such interesting and different opinions on life. They both were comfortable in their unique viewpoint of the past and the present. He liked looking through the door that showed him the years gone by, and she wanted to stare ahead, through the door that revealed the future. The other interesting fact to me is; that they were quite at ease to discuss it even in the presence of a fellow traveler whom they did not know. That revealed to me how very secure they both were.

Just then I noticed that she seemed to be making gestures to him to come and sit beside her. The romantic girl in me imagined she wanted him to hold her hand and chat for the rest of their journey. He motioned a gentle no with his head, he was quite content where he was, it would seem. His declaration that he likes to look at where he has been was a surprise to me. I tried to understand what it said about these two pensioners, and their different focus points. She was happy to look ahead at what was to come, and welcome it with her feet comfortably perched on the bus seat in front of her. Maybe she feared nothing, or loved the thrill of the adventure ahead. Possibly she had grown up with a skip in her step and a hunger to jump spontaneously into what ever dream life gave her next. While on the other hand, or other seat it would appear, her partner for life preferred to look through the rear view window and what he left behind.

Part of me felt sad for him, just a little. I wanted to tell him not to fear the future, but quite honestly he looked so happy and peaceful, that I think his love for the past was sincerely built upon the wonderful memories he had left there. Quite possibly, his reason for not looking ahead was because he loved the element of surprise that unexpected things would bring into his life. Anyway, his wife had him covered. She was looking out for both of them. Some people firmly close the door to their past, feeling quite relieved to leave all it holds safely behind, making the future their primary focus; but not this quietly assured gentleman. 

I decided, that she must be the one who plans ahead, while he possibly holds on tightly to the experiences of the years gone past. She may be the one who longs for new ground and new shoes, and new places to see, throwing all caution to the wind and not worrying about the time that is already spent.
At this point I could no longer delay my own reflection,

“Which one am I?”

Unknown to them, they had really turned a quiet bus journey into a thoughtful evaluation process of my own life. I decided that I resemble both of them…I cherish the memories that are behind me, that have made me the person I am today. I truly value the amazing people that I have been able to share my past and my present with. Suddenly tears started to fill my eyes. As I blinked them back to where they came from, I was grateful to be hidden behind my sunglasses.

I also thought about the strengths in my heart, that have motivated me to push forward into the future, to always be ready to plan new adventures and see new places. I tend to be spontaneous but also quite a cautious dreamer. 

I had a mental image of one of my hands reaching lovingly back into the past and desperately wanting to take all the people I cherish and memories I have made, with me into my future…while at the same time my other hand grabs the next moment the future gives me, deciding to jump to the next page or pursue a new dream with all of my heart. I guess these days I am somewhere between the past, the present and the promised.  

The delightful thought comes and wraps itself around me, to remind me that heaven knows the seasons I am in and that there is a God who travels with me through yesterday and into the days that await my footsteps. There are so many open doors yet to be walked through, some will be amazing and some will be difficult. But that is the beauty of the unexpected, it makes us who we are.

Could it be, that the reason this adorable couple, could take a bus journey together, yet comfortably sit a few seat cushions apart, was probably because they knew where they had been, and also where they were going.  He had her back covered while she was looking ahead. He was delightfully safe knowing she was already thinking about tomorrow, and the future and what it would bring them. This may not seem like the usual male/female role, but like any relationship and marriage, we all bring our unique perspectives and strengths with us to compliment the other person. He sat there looking behind, cherishing every detail, while she sat there smiling, looking ahead. 

And again, I found myself a million miles away, lost in my thoughts, gazing out the window, remembering all that had touched my heart until now, and all that the unknown future had yet to reveal.


Moments later, it was my stop and time for me to leave the back row of the bus. I was reluctant to go. I wanted to stay there and spend more time just in the presence of this remarkably interesting couple, but leave I must. I smiled again towards them as I moved past, and they graciously did the same. I felt like I knew them. Even now as I write this, I wonder where they are.

As I walked away from the edge of the road, and the bus drove out of sight, I wondered did they move seats? The romantic heart in me imagined them now sitting closely next to each other, holding hands and on the same side. Probably they now sat where I had been sitting, with their silver hair shining in the sunlight, and both of them looking in the same direction. Or maybe he stayed where he was, but she moved to sit where I had been. I imagined them gazing lovingly into each others’ eyes, yet comfortably facing the direction they felt the safest in. They allowed each other the freedom of vision and focus, yet they shared a strong bond of companionship and trust.

There are many doors in life, some lead us to amazing white knuckle adventures, where our adrenaline is flowing and life is exciting. For others, the doors are slower to open, and it seems a struggle to see the path ahead. There are some doors I wish I had never opened, while ahead I see unopened doors that invite me to take a chance. Maybe the best viewpoint is to open the doors that are the right ones for you, based on what you believe to be true at that moment in time.  That decision is really up to you.

So back to my travel companions – Which direction do you think they sat facing? I guess it really doesn’t matter which seat they now sat on, for one thing is certain, their hearts were most assuredly united, and already on the same side.

By Denise Kennedy

February 2012

 

Don’t Say “Some Day.•*”♣

DON’T SAY “SOME DAY”¸.•*”♣
written by Denise Kennedy
A cloudy day can sometimes provide the perfect atmosphere for thinking……hmmmm don’t you think?
Well today it did just that for me. Sometimes it is not so easy to put your fingers on those humble laptop keys, to try to communicate what it is that you want to share with the blogging world….and does anybody care?
I believe it is still worth the risk….of opening up your heart, letting the lessons you have learned reach out to the lives of others and choose even to share your vulnerability and also strengths. As you pour out those words, it is like placing soft footprints in the sand….for others to see, not only where you have been but where you are going. Don’t underestimate the words you write, for they can be the bright shining star in a darkened sky that a fellow traveler desperately needs to follow. God uses your words, He uses your hard days as well as your best days, to show others that we all walk this path in weakness and in strength,  but together.
The following words motivated me to write today…
” I will get around to it some day….”, I heard her say as she passed me by on her cell phone. A total stranger to me, yet our hearts were linked simply by the phrase she used.       A phrase we often read, or say. We plan to do it, we plan to achieve so much but rarely make it a reality. Today I decided, enough of the putting things off until another day…or the famous “some day” of my future!
“It is time to arise.” I told my head and my heart…It is time to awaken the dreams, the promises you made over the years, to your very own heart. Time to arouse the gifts, the talents, the exciting future that you believed you would see. It is not too late! Either you do it or it won’t happen, and it certainly will not happen if you do not try.
So I took time to really look at what is in my heart….What am I waiting for? What are the things I really want to see happen either in my life, or through my life to impact others?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I took a nose dive and plunged deep inside my own passions and took a good look at what was there. I blew the dust off and tore down the cobwebs of my own making.  To be honest, I battled against what I saw. I came face to face with the closed up boxes of my heart. The undiscovered oceans of my course. I stared at all of the unfulfilled plans before my eyes. Immediately I wanted to run away. I was afraid to feel anything.  To dare to dream again. It is easier to live with no expectations I mused to myself.  It is safer to close the door to my heart and decide to not live from that place.  But curiosity drew me back to look inside.
This is what I saw…I saw the unpublished books, the unseen adventures and the many undeveloped photographs…the unsung songs, the people in my life that love and need the “real me”…I heard the unanswered calls to take a risk. I saw it…all there in my heart. It displayed itself there before me….and my dreams extended an invitation to me…to the adventure of a life time. Of my life time.
And my future waited. It waited for me. It asked me to reply to the invitation to live the adventure. But it wouldn’t always. I realized that the ‘some days” of my life are running out….I think I have all the time in the world, but really “some day” is in fact TODAY. So after this long stare at my heart, I took a deep breath, I inhaled courage again, and determination.  Everyone wants a hero, a prince on a white horse, right? It is the age old wish of every princess. I still believe in romance. But today I urge you, to be a valiant hero in your own story. Lean over and kiss the lips of your own sleeping beauty, the sleeping desires within you. Reach out and awaken the noble steed inside you. Get ready to gallop. Gird up your loins for battle, the battle to see your dreams come true. You are not alone, the host of heaven cheers you on. The God of your heart goes ahead of you to make the way possible to achieve the dreams He has placed in you. Your companions are COURAGE and BRAVERY….They stand mighty beside you to protect you from DOUBT and FEAR!
I know them only too well, those days that you hear yourself say “some day”.
Well  those words rob you of your future, and steal your reward. They chase away the very joy of life from your heart. You must banish those words from your mind,   and decide that it is a new season. Open up your heart and say YES to the adventure that calls to you. Be a hero in your own story, in your own life. Be a hero in the lives of those around you who also need to chase those words away.
Time is too precious. You are a treasure.
Sleeping Beauty has been asleep too long! =)
Come on,  I have the horses ready!
xX niseyk ¸.•*”♣

“You’re Cooler Than Ice!” ღ♣ღ

ღ~♣~ღ  “YOU”RE COOLER THAN ICE!”
an Idiom by NiseyK ©
ღ~♣~ღ
“YOU’RE COOLER THAN ICE! ~ Who me? Yes you! Well I think so anyway! And I believe I am not the only one who thinks it! So you may as well go ahead and believe it =)
It is a strange little phrase I came up with myself yesterday, a ‘nisey~original’ you might say! Well an original to me and those I have mentioned it to. Which got me thinking about the other ‘idioms’ that mean the same if not similar thing….
Firstly, what is an idiom? An idiom is a group of words in current usage having a meaning that is not deducible from those of the individual words. For example, “to rain cats and dogs” – which means “to rain very heavily” – is an idiom; and “over the moon” – which means “extremely happy” – is another idiom. In both cases, you would have a hard time understanding the real meaning if you did not already know these idioms! I know all about these difficult phrases, as I am currently training to teach English as a foreign language.
So here are the results of the Nisey jury. I decided to only add the nice, complimentary ones I found. Also you will notice a common theme…can you find it? Make a comment at the end if you figure it out!!
CREAM OF THE CROP ~ Hmmm obviously, ‘crops’ don’t bring forth ‘cream’, milk does…..and yet when we hear this phrase we know to assume that what ever it refers to is the best of the pick, and a perfect choice in any setting. Despite the confusion in crops and cream we know it to mean the best and brightest! A nice compliment! If something or someone is in the cream of the crop, they are among the best of a class of things or people.
ICING ON THE CAKE~ When you get more than you bargained for! An added bonus in a relationship or agreement. It refers to an individual as well as an object or situation. If something or someone is the icing on the cake, or the frosting on the cake, it makes a good situation or a good result even better.
MY CUP OF TEA ~ Meaning something one enjoys or does well. When you say “You’re my cup of tea” you mean they are your favorite choice!
(Side note;  We here in Ireland love our tea, so if we call you that, you better believe it is special. nisey)
APPLE OF MY EYE ~  Someone or something that one likes a lot. Often a father says this to his little girl. We know this to be true even in the Bible, where God speaks of us as being the apple of His eye! If someone is the apple of your eye, it means you like them very much!
APPLE OF HIS EYE ~  “… for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.”  Zechariah 2:8 NJKV
THE UPPER CRUST ~ If you are one of the upper crust, you are a member of society’s highest class and one many will want to walk through life with.
CREME DE LA CREME ~ You are again the cream of the crop, and the best of the best by far.
A SHARP COOKIE ~ Someone who is not easily deceived or tricked is a sharp cookie, and someone you can trust.
A GOOD EGG ~ Means you can trust them with anything and rely on their integrity.
YOU ARE THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS ~ Someone who has, or is full of the milk of human kindness is naturally kind and compassionate to others.
HE/SHE IS AS KEEN AS MUSTARD ~ If someone is as keen as mustard, they are very eager, enthusiastic or motivated.
THEY ARE LIKE TWO PEAS IN A POD ~ To say that two people are like two peas in a pod, means that they are very similar in possibly appearance or interests. It can also mean they belong together in an intimate way.
YOU ARE WORTH YOUR SALT ~This expression is used to say that a person who does their job well would not be managed without, That they are invaluable and priceless.
LIKE FIRST WATER ~ Something that is of the first water, is an object or person of the finest or exceptional quality. Being compared to a diamond of a person, rare and precious if found.
AS SWEET AS HONEY ~ Means that everybody likes you & you appeal to everyone who knows you.
IN ONE’S SALAD DAYS ~ in one’s youth (This is one I had not heard of before.)
YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH ~ good/basic/honest/ordinary people
EYE CANDY ~ When a person is very attractive, they can be described as eye candy – sweet to look at! A compliment.
NICE AS PIE ~ If a person is nice as pie, they are surprisingly very kind and friendly.
SWEET AS A GUMDROP ~ This means that someone is very nice or pretty.
A TOUGH COOKIE ~ A tough cookie is a person who will do everything necessary to achieve what they want, a strong person who is determined to be the best they can be.
So did you find the theme? Did you pick out your favorite one or possibly the one you plan to use to remind someone special what they mean to you?  Sometimes we forget to compliment our own dear hearts, to see value in our own person. So maybe you can use these to add a little value to your opinion of yourself.  Personally I like my own created idiom, “YOU”RE COOLER THAN ICE!”, mainly because you cannot get much cooler than ice, and it has a quirky ring to it.
But there is one that has struck me today, and indeed brought back pleasant memories of years ago, when I first heard it…
YOU ARE THE APPLE OF HIS EYE…
What does this saying “apple of His eye” mean?  Many have heard it in the phrase spoken by a father to his daughter or “daddy’s little girl was the apple of his eye”.  It’s a phrase that reveals how much someone is loved by another person.  It speaks of intimacy, safety, love, warmth and care. It is nice to have a relationship with your father that cultivates this kind of love. Whether you did or you didn’t here on earth, you have a Father in Heaven who thinks you are the “Bees Knees!” and the “Wasps Ankles!” (another one I heard)…actually He thinks you are even more special than these. If He cares about sparrows and knows if even one of them falls to the ground, than how much more does He care about you! The following passage speaks volumes…
“For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.  He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deut 32;11)
Are you in a wasteland today? A desert place? A dry and weary land where there is no water let alone ice? Do you need to be protected from malicious tongues or words of slander? Do you need someone stronger than you to encircle you and keep you as the precious one you are?
Earlier when I mentioned this verse,  “…he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” (Zechariah 2:8) We are reminded that whoever messes with you or treats you without regard, will have God to deal with. You are the apple of His eye, the one He loves and cherishes. He encircles you, wraps His love around you (whether you feel it or not)…He is the One who never slumbers or sleeps, but keeps watch over you.  So today, remind your dear heart that you are PRICELESS, precious and the apple of the eye of God!  And when you lay your head on your pillow tonight, “REST WELL…FOR GOD IS AWAKE!”
Love Nisey
ღ~♣~ღ

God in Dirty Water By ❦ Dawn Hood

❀ ~ Hey Friends, please lend me your eyes and attention, while I introduce you to the wonderful, insightful and brilliant writings of the talented Dawn Chambers Hood. This is Dawn’s debut appearance on my WordPress blog and I hope you will give her a hearty warm welcome, and drop her a comment or two. I love this piece Dawn, beautiful! ~ ❀
♥Peace, Denise
❀ ~ God in Dirty Water
by
Dawn Hood

Standing on the Jordan-side banks of the Jordan River I could hardly contain my excitement.  I felt shaky with adrenalin and a joy that was manifesting itself in an open-mouth, squinty-eyed smile on my face. How could a simple body of water invoke such strong emotion?  It was a small river, what this Southern girl would even call a creek.  And directly across from where my feet were planted I could clearly see an Israeli guard station, flag flying proudly and soldiers watching carefully.  No white-capped rush of rapids here, not even a significant current to focus on.  But standing here, watching the bull rushes sway gently in the breeze, ‘listening’ to the quiet, I was consumed with the reality of the Word of God.  Jesus stood here.  In the flesh.  Bare feet and soaking wet hair, Jesus was baptized in this same water!  Looking around, it occurred to me that the voice of His Father from Heaven breaking this calm stillness must have sounded like thunder.
Leaving my hotel room earlier that morning, I had grabbed an empty water bottle for the express purpose of retrieving 16 ounces of the Jordan River.  And now I held in my hands my very own, very personal bottle of history.  Jesus said throughout the book of John that He was in fact “Living Water” and those words had never seemed more alive than in that moment.  Thrilled with my accomplishment, I carried my bottle up the path and set it down on a section of deck railing to wipe off the excess water.  Sealing the cap with masking tape, I placed the bottle in my handbag for safekeeping until I could nestle it safely in my luggage for my trip back to the States.  Struck by the sight of my bottle sitting on that simple plank of wood, surrounded by beautiful shade trees, I quickly snapped a picture to send home to my children by email.  They had enjoyed being able to see where I visited each day during my trip to the Middle East.
Not until I was back on the tour bus editing pictures on my digital camera did I realize what had been captured in that photograph.  There to my surprise was the bottle’s label, clear as a bell, proclaiming Truth in a way only God could orchestrate.  Pure Life, the label read, plain white words on a simple blue label.  And there, in those 16 ounces of water encased in clear plastic, was a profoundly personal moment for God and me.
Pure Life – the kind of Life that only Jesus can offer.  He IS pure life, reaching out to those in need – those who hurt physically, emotionally, and spiritually – offering the pure life of a personal relationship with Him.  Alive and real.  Not a life that looks pure on the outside, but a life that is pure on the inside because of His sacrifice, His obedience, His heart.
A few days later, my bottle and I made it safely home.  It now sits on a shelf in my office where I am reminded that God delights in surprising us with His presence.  We need only slow down long enough to look for Him to realize that He is everywhere.  I am awed by the realization that the God of the Universe so passionately desires to make Himself known to us.  Pure Love.  Pure Life.
Written by Dawn Hood

A Little BIG Love ~ ♡ ♡ by Denise

~Written by Denise Kennedy

~ ♡ ♡

It was a Sunday morning….

I was sitting beside my brother, on the front row in Church ready to enjoy the service and hear a wonderful message. A few minutes later there was a sudden rush of activity at the end of the row we were on. I saw my two darling nephews and my pink little niece arrive with their lovely mum! None of them had noticed me as I was hidden beside my taller~than~me brother!

~ ♡ ♡
I then turned and arched my head around all obstacles to catch their eye…the first one to see my loving look was my sweety pie nephew. He is a few months away from being 4 years old and I am honored to have him as my godson! What a sweetheart he is! What happened next still remains a source of absolute bliss to me…Conor lept from his chair, and instantly transformed into a battery operated toy…Well what I mean is, that he shook his arms, began to jump up and down on the spot….then with face lit up and a smile from ear to ear, with eyes as big as a baseball, he ran to me and began to literally climb up my legs to get into my arms…I of course opened my arms for him and lifted him up to me. He scrambled up and wrapped his arms and himself around me.

He tucked his head into my neck and said over and over ‘Nisey Nisey Nisey!’…..I was overwhelmed with surprise, not that he was happy to see me, as he always is…but the outward display of affection took me by surprise. He was animated with excitement and wanted to be nowhere else. It had only been a few days since I had last seen him.
Now if I had promised him earlier in the week that I had a small gift or a treat for him, then his eagerness would have been expected ~ But I had only me to offer, no gifts, no promises of his favorite treats, nothing but me, my love and my open arms ~ And I was enough!!!
I was the focus of his efforts and his energy! And I loved receiving his animated love!
As he squeezed his little self around my neck and hugged me affectionately, another thought began to rise in my mind and my heart. Another Love began to speak to me. The love of God. God has chased us with His love. He longs for me to run to Him, not for what He can give me, not for what He has promised me, not for what I need, but simply because He loves me and I want to be near Him. Simply because with Him I am lifted up and I am safe. Simply because He loves me and longs for me to want Him with no strings attached. My eyes welled up as I sang a song of thanks to God for this little excited affectionate nephew in my arms, and for the God who holds me in His….It felt like a massive group hug….

~ ♡ ♡

I was wrapping my love around this little warm bundle and God was wrapping His big love around me. Love is amazing, but WOW unconditional love is quite breath takingly beautiful! Don’t miss it today ~ both in giving and receiving!

♡♡ ♡♡

It just could make your day! xx NiseyK

~ ♡ ♡

Time & My Last Rolo…❤¸.•*”❤ by Denise

by Denise Kennedy
Yum…is there anything better than finding some chocolate that you forgot you had?…I did just that today. Even better it was a Rolo, and better still, it was the last one. I looked at it and mused, surely I should be giving this to someone else? But there was just me here, and just me who really wanted some unexpected chocolate. I deserved a treat after all.
There are times in life when you really want to give something away, when you have such a desire to touch someone’s life with hope, peace, joy, affection, words of support and strength. But there are days when you have to be that word of support to your very own soul too.  So I popped that lovely sweet last Rolo into my own mouth and just savoured it.
I let it melt in my mouth.
Knowing that it was the last one made it even more special, but also caused me to take time to really get the most out of it that I could. If there had been another two in the tube maybe I would not have appreciated that last one as much.
But for me it would have been more special to give it to someone I love, because I love romantic gestures. Life is about reaching out to those around us and making a hard day somewhat easier for them to bear.
I have been blessed with some real treasures in my life, who brilliantly shine their love and warmth into my life on a daily basis. I am grateful for them.
But today I just needed the last Rolo. I needed to give something to my own heart.
“It is just a chocolate Rolo Denise!”,  I hear you say.  Ah yes I agree, but it was the value on it, which changed it for me. I could have quite easily wrapped it up and decorated it in a nice gold wrapper and posted it off as a surprise to someone dear.
Today I needed to let myself receive. Sometimes we forget to give to ourselves.
For the past few weeks, a line from a famous U2 song has floated through my mind at random times of the day…”And you give yourself away, and you give, and you give…”. Yes what a gift it is to give to others. What a precious thing to have those in our lives who unconditionally give to us. They call you up just to simply say they were thinking of you. Or they drop you an email to let you know you are loved. Precious! But when was the last time you gave something to yourself? Did you feel guilty being kind to yourself?  Sometimes we forget to wrap love around our own selves, to listen to the cry of our very own heart for quietness and stillness, for understanding and focus. Well as I lay on my bed and savoured that last Rolo, I allowed a very small piece of chocolate remind me in a big way, that it is OK to take time out for the simple small round chocolate things of life, as well as the grander more important events too.
I would have happily given that last chocolate away, but it was nice to give it to myself.
So time and chocolate are my lesson today. Take the time to enjoy something that you give to yourself. Take the time to give to others because everyone is battling something more than likely and chocolate shared is always more fun!
If there is something you need to change in your life, than do it! It may mean that you are quiet or it may mean that you become more vocal than you have been in recent days.
You know what needs to happen in order for you to be more YOU these days than you have allowed yourself to be.
I recently sat down and watched the movie My Fair Lady, with my Mum. I loved it. The innocence and the beauty of a life that realized her worth, her potential and her creativity.  But when the intermission came, I paused, because it just made the second half all the more worth waiting for. The intermission told me that what was coming next was worth pausing for, worth pausing for effect, worth taking a few quiet moments to either put the kettle on or think about what had taken place up until that moment. Maybe you need an intermission in your life. Maybe you need to hit the pause button, and think about your position. It is so true that life has no remote control, you have to get up and change it yourself.. I know this full well having broken my TV remote several months ago. So when I do watch TV, which is only now and them, when I really want to change the station I must get up to change it myself! So must you, in your life….take the time to pause, savour that last Rolo, then get up and change the station. Time ticks by so fast.
There are some things in our lives that we simply cannot change and these things we surrender to the hands of God, who is all knowing. There are people we wish we could change but we cannot, and we must simply give them time. Time is a gift, that is for sure. So today, give yourself time, savour that special moment, learn in all your giving to give also to yourself.
Be a friend to your own dear heart too, for it will make you an even better friend to those around you.
So go and buy a packet of Rolo. Open the bottom end of the wrapper first, and give yourself the last one, then go and share the rest with those you love!
There comes a time, and this is yours….There is no remote for life, get up and change it yourself, but remember dear one, you’re not on your own!
X
Denise


A Lesson From Alice In Wonderland * ♥`•.¸¸.•♥ by Denise

Written by Denise Kennedy ♣¸.•*”♣¸.•*”♣
You are never too old to dream……
(SIDE NOTE ~ Even though I wrote this a while ago (in 2009 actually) I somehow felt it may touch someone today who needs to read it!)
It was early one February morning. I was on my way to work. I took a detour through the Westbury Mall
(off Grafton Street)…Dublin city centre..=)
As I sipped my vanilla latte & searched my bag for the keys I needed…my eyes were distracted by a huge poster hanging on the lower half of a children’s clothing store in the Westbury Mall…Giving it only a quick glance I kept on walking, not giving the details of the big white poster with heavy bold writing on it much attention. But….As I kept walking I “felt” I should go back and read it, that there was something in it I needed to see – But I still kept walking to work…Eventually I stopped in my tracks, I could not ignore it, for some reason I had to walk all the way back to the shop to see why I was supposed to read this poster.
….BUT…….before I tell you what was written there…I must tell you of the thoughts that filled my head on my stroll from where I live to the city centre that morning….
I was thinking over & over about the future, about where God wants me? What shall I do next in my life?…and about many people in my life…Well to be honest I had myself all tied up in knots by the time I got to the Mall – thoughts were looming over me, fears of the future, the economy (although there is no recession in Heaven) and how will I provide for myself etc etc…I am sure you all get my drift.
All my questions seemed IMPOSSIBLE to answer for my heavy heart and tired mind! Then…..I walked back to read the poster that seemed to stop me in my tracks…this is what it said….(Keep in mind it was hanging on the door of a designer Children’s clothing boutique…)
~~~~~~~”There is no use trying,” said Alice.”One can’t believe for impossible things .”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” replied the Queen ,”when I was your age I always did it for half an hour a day. Why ,sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast !!”
(from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.) ~~~~~~~
WELL as you can imagine tears welled up in my eyes…I felt so reminded by a seemingly insignificant shop poster that the GOD of the Universe sees me – knows me and more than that HE wants me to believe for IMPOSSIBLE things – no matter how hard things ever seem with my limited vision – HE SEES ALL THINGS and with HIM all things are POSSIBLE – Suffice to say that before I even took another step from that door, I began to believe for impossible things…and all before breakfast!!!
If we would only take a few minutes to notice the seemingly insignificant things around us, God may actually be trying to use them to remind us of His truth!
“All things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9 v23
(“,) with childlike faith…believe for the impossible! DREAM A BIG DREAM!!
It is never too late to start!
✟ღ◄♥*´¨`*♥*´¨`*♥♫ ♫ ♪
Denise
 

THIS IS A COPYRIGHTED ARTICLE & NOT TO BE COPIED OR SHARED….
Thanks! If it is used it will violate my future publishing rights to use it. Denise

Ouch! ╰☆ by Denise

╰☆╮╰☆╮..
Sunday, October 9, 2011

…Ouch!

written by Denise Kennedy ©

Well…These recent days have been filled with a sense of loss and a deeper surrender than I have ever walked through before. It is easy to trust God when all your heart’s desires are just a heartbeat away…but when He is calling you to an ‘Abraham’ moment, or day, or life, it is not so easy to rise to the challenge and let go!

But that is where I am. And where He is standing beside me! With all this in mind, I surrender my Isaac on the altar of letting go! I found myself saying “OUCH! Lord!”…and the word OUCH says it all…My heart is hurting and I looked up and said “Lord, do you not care? Do you not see me, hear me, or feel the loss I do? Why do I seem to have to walk a path of learning to always let go?”…
For some (silly?) reason I went to look up the word OUCH in my dictionary application on my phone…
Read on…Here is the exact definition of OUCH…
~ A setting for a precious (of high price or great value; very valuable or costly: precious expensive or rare) stone ~
~ “Ouch!” is used in writing to represent the noise that people make when they suddenly feel pain. ~
~ The place for holding something excessively delicate, refined, or a precious gem ~
If you are not WOWED by now than read this…
~ (Ouch) An Old English word denoting cavities or empty places in which gems were set (Exodus 28:11).
~ “With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.” Exodus 28 v 11 (KJV)
…See what I mean? Ouches are a place for gems to be set… They resemble an empty place…A place that waits to be filled with something better…
They provide the perfect setting for a gold finish!! That even when we are “Ouching!”…we are still becoming a gem to be set in a place of gold! It will not be wasted. Pain and ouching will lead us to a place where the King smiles down, and declares that it is alright to weep, because we will shine like gold, as we come to Him and allow Him to reveal something precious from the ouch places in our lives.
So when I found myself asking the Lord if He cared at all? I soon was shown in a sensitive and loving way by my Master Craftsman that all will be revealed. That you and I are on His work table, where He is refining, and making the ouch places a sweet altar of surrender, where He will perfect His will in us and make us perfect gems set in gold. I want to be as gold to Him. I want to run the race set out before me, even when it hurts and I would rather retreat away from the heat of the refiners tools….
But then where would the precious gem or beautiful stone be set? We would never know what may have been created by the hand of the Master, unless we surrender to His loving care and the knowledge that He knows exactly what He is doing.
Dear God,
May I sit still enough for You to work. May I not choose to run away to happier days. May I surrender to You on painful days of loss or disappointment. May Your face be seen in me, as You craft me to be what You desire!
“Jesus Wept…”…. He is acquainted with grief…He is not afraid of our pain because He holds the balm that will heal us. He knows exactly the setting that is needed to make us beautiful, stunning and precious gems in a golden ouch! May our OUCHES be golden, simply because we choose to worship Him through every ouch that yesterday, today or tomorrow may bring!! For His glory and in the careful gentle grip of the best Jewelery maker the world has ever known or my heart could ever trust.

With love,
for the display of His choice!
XxX
NiseyK
╰☆╮╰☆╮..


%d bloggers like this: