First meal…

Yesterday, I made my first meal since coming home. It was hard for me to figure out. I am a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor, and relearning basic skills is hard to do, so I am very proud of managing to make this meat-de-loafa all by myself! 🙂 The reward was seeing my hubs smile and say that is was the best I’ve ever made!

Before cooking...

Before cooking…

after cooking...

after cooking…

Canvas work after 9 yrs without…

It’s been 9 years since I actually had real canvas to work upon. I’ve missed it. Last night, I opened a new canvas and got out my sketch pen and watercolor pencils. Yes, wc pencils! I haven’t decided yet whether to use the wc as a base for acrylics, or to leave it. Anyway, I’ve still got tons of work to do on this, but here’s the first start…

c. BS McQuinn, 2014

c. BS McQuinn, 2014

Conversations with my Creator -1

(Author’s note: this is just something that’s been on my heart to write about for sometime. I’m toying with just how to approach this in a way that doesn’t brow beat readers, but yet let’s them know that there really is a thing called prayer and it is a powerful tool for our life here on this big blue orb. With that in mind, I thought I’d just throw out a page or so.)

My first conversations with my Creator began, like many others, with the rote prayers of childhood. Whether it be a morning prayer, a mealtime blessing, or a bedtime prayer they are all important to our Creator. He wants to hear from us! He wants to know all about our days, like a parent who’s child has experienced some joyous event while away from home and is coming home to tell them all about it. Everyday we live is a joyous event for us, and for our Creator. He wants to hear all about it! The good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly and painful stuff. He want to hear about it. And so, we begin this conversation as children…

My favorite morning prayer is more of a hymn of praise, really. I do actually sing it quite often along with several other hymns, but this one is right out of the psalms. I change the ‘us’ to ‘I’ making it a personal song of praise straight from my soul. If you don’t know the standard tune for it, that’s okay. Our Creator loves it when we sing to Him our own song!

“This is the day that the Lord has made
Let us (I) rejoice in it!”

I often follow this chorus with a favorite hymn, most often “In the Garden” or at times, “This is my Father’s World”. The prayer or song you choose to start your day with is not as important as the actual action of taking a few moments to talk to your Creator upon waking.

Just as important as starting the day with prayer, is ending it with a like note. My Grandmother always said that a day hemmed in prayer was a day blessed of the Creator. To her, that meant an almost constant raising of prayers as she walked through the day. She had an ongoing conversation with her Creator and set a fine example of prayers power. Nothing soothes the spirit more than taking time to converse with our Creator at the end of a really hectic, stress filled, pain filled day.

A prayer at bedtime helps us to rest at ease in knowledge that our Creator is in control of our lives. We can rest in His wisdom and grace to figure it all out. There is one prayer I remember the most; and I might add, that I still pray on occasion. The prayer is a common one, though I’ve seen several other versions of it, this is the one that I learned.

“Lay me Down”

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
If I shouldst die before I wake,
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.
Amen.

These days, when my soul and body are just too weart and hurt to be coherent, this prayer still serves as an anchor to peace and comfort. Rote prayers like this one serve to teach us the value and importance of praying everyday. A simple blessing before meals teaches us the thankfulness for even the smallest of blessings from our Creator. This was a favorite that I used as a child, and went on to teach the children I taught in Sunday School.

“Thank you for the world so sweet
Thank you for the food we eat
Thank you for the birds that sing
Thank you God for everything. Amen.”

These prayers may be rote, and as children we really don’t understand all that they mean. Understanding isn’t the purpose at this stage. The purpose is simply to establish the habit of daily conversation with our Creator. In addition to the prayers above, there is yet one more rote prayer that is very precious to my walk with the Creator. It is a prayer that is readily recognized, even by non-christians. It is a prayer that takes everything we have, we don’t have, we need, and we want and lays it at the Creator’s feet. It is a prayer in which we give way to our human failings and let the power of our Creator come in and manage the unmanagable situations in our lives. It is also the prayer that he shared with his disciples who pleaded with Christ to teach them how they should pray.

“Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on Earth
as it is in Heaven,
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we have forgiven
those who have trespassed against us
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
for thine is the Kingdom
the Power and the Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.”

With these rote prayers, we can wrap our soul’s within our Creator’s arms and rest peacefully, knowing that His power is in control.

As we grow in our bodies, minds, and souls, so do our prayers. We move from the rote, barely understood, prayers of our childhood to true conversations with our Creator. For some, this transition is as quick as the flick of a light switch. For others, it is a slow progression over time. No matter which path you choose, prayer will always be your conversation with your Creator. It will be you intimate and personal link with the very God who created the entire universe. The same God who knit every fiber of your being.

This is the story of my walk with God through our daily conversations. One of the tools I found the most useful for this walk is a prayer journal. I strongly encourage you to invest in a small notebook, journal, etc. in which to record your prayer requests and how they were answered by your Creator. Remember, God always answers prayers! Sometimes, the answer is a resounding YES! Sometimes, it’s a simple need to wait a little while until the time is right. And sometimes, though we hate to admit it, God’s answer is No. He doesn’t refuse our request out of anger, rebuke, or any other of that silly kind of nonsense. Sometimes He says no because He loves you enough not to grant a request that would harm you or others in ways that we as mere humans cannot see. Still, I encourage you to keep a prayer journal. One of the best benefits is seeing how your prayers are answered. You will see all that you truly do have to be thankful for. Why is the prayer journal such an important tool. Well, honestly, there are times when all of us have doubts about whether or not our prayers are ever heard or acted upon. Journaling our prayers has the added benefit of showing us that God is accountable to His promises to us.

So,now, it is time to go and converse with my Creator. You’re welcome to tag along for a while if you want to…

Journaling inspiration: What was your favorite childhood prayer? What made it so special for you? How did it shape the way that you pray today?

Plymouth Rock

Well, it wasn’t exactly an earth-shattering experience, but it’s one item off my list of things to do before I leave this earthly existence. I did a quick sketch just to show that I’d been there.

Sketch from visit to Plymouth Rock.

Sketch from visit to Plymouth Rock.

We stopped up by the Cape to eat. No, I don’t do sea food so it was nearly impossible to find anything that I could actually eat in the restaurants. I ended up getting pb & j out of my car. It was the only way that I could ensure that none of what I ate had anything sea worthy on it. Then, I did a quick sketch of one of the small fishing boats.

A fishing boat off the Cape

A fishing boat off the Cape

Recent sketches… 2014

I’ve been doing a sketch on sunday mornings as a way of taking sermon notes. These are some of the ones from recent services.

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Friday Fictioneers… The Red Cross

This week’s picture really didn’t do it for me, but instead, the quote from Henry David Thoreau hit the nail on the head.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’ Henry David Thoreau

borrowed from Google Images

borrowed from Google Images

The vehicle pulled up to the orphanage, the large red cross emblazoned upon the side. The symbol, standing for the medicos who brought life-giving medicines to those in need. The orphanage had a need, attacked as it had been by the very ones who opposed the murdering of innocents. The vehicle pulled up to the orphanage, the back doors opened. Inside, soldiers who’d exchanged their Khaki and digi-camos for scrubs and white jackets, stood up and began to pile out into the street.

Snipers and soldiers held their fire. They were doctors and nurses of course. They were here to heal the sick, the wounded. It was against the Geneva conventions to fire upon them.

The soldier-docs entered the orphanage at a run, afraid that they would be fired upon despite the emblems that marked them as non-violent participants in the war. Inside, they finished their mission…

The Tinkerer

C. Douglas M. Macilroy

C. Douglas M. Macilroy

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

This is a write for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers. This week it IS Science Fiction. Very busy with Easter preparations so I’ll do my best to read others. Hope you enjoy…

They said I’d never be able to go home again. I wouldn’t be able to breathe the air. Artificial lungs couldn’t handle the impurities of the atmosphere. I intend to prove them wrong, and I have.

Old technology did it. I found the scuba gear being traded in the bottoms of the space station, it was rusted so I got a good deal. I tinkered with it for months.

Today, I used the public transporter, and I sent myself home. I was excited to see my children. I never intended to terrify them…

(99w)

Adeiu sweet dystopia…

Last night, I viewed a program on the Therensdadt Orchestra and Choir.

Last night, my mind was filled with the old dreams again. I walked through the camps as a prisoner, seeing the horrors, hearing the pure hatred from the enemies lips. Therensdadt, an utopia of sorts… designed, manipulated, created as nothing more than propaganda smoke screen to the world. And sadly, all too sadly, the world fell for it for way too long.

in my dreams, I am there…

Today is the First day in the rest of your Life!

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