Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Words of the Teacher...A Prompt Post

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: "Meaningless! Meaningless!" He threw the scroll into the fire.  "What's the use of anything I do or say?  Does any of it matter, really?"  His advisor winced.  How much wisdom was being lost to the flames?  And vellum was not cheap.
"But your majesty, surely being the king..."
"Is meaningless.  Tell me, would you be my advisor if it wasn't required of you? Would you care about me if I was a soldier or cook? Be honest."
The advisor didn't respond right away.   It was hard when his king was in these moods.  His question was personal and asked out of frustration.   He got like this when he came back from his harem.  The advisor could understand--being around that many women would be enough to send anyone over the edge.  Perhaps it should remain unanswered.
"Are you going to answer?  Do I have to make it a royal command?" 
"Didn't you yourself say there's more hope for a fool than a man who speaks in haste?"  Maybe that could buy him some time to think. 
The king was silent. The advisor, unsure.  Most days the king didn't want a yes man, but honest discussion.  Most days, though, he wasn't angry and morose.  He would have to trust that God had given him the right response. 
Then the king laughed.  "This is why I like you."  he clasped the advisor's shoulder.  "When I ask a stupid question you don't respond with a stupid answer."  
The advisor let out an inward sigh of relief.  It wasn't exactly how he meant it, but close. 
The advisor knew the truth was yes he would care.  He'd learned so much from his king, like in this situation, to be able to stop and think before giving an answer.  It was his king's character, not his position, that earned him respect and made the advisor bold in in his statement.  It was why the advisor didn't want to give him useless platitudes.
The advisor knew he'd be a fool not to follow him. 


I was visiting other sites and saw many had posted about a new thing from WordPress.  It's called 365 Days of Writing Prompts:  a prompt to fire your imagination each and every day of the year. 
January 5 was "Call me Ishmael:  take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post."
My favorite book?  Ecclesiastes, in the Bible. This is kind of a flash fiction based on it, a sort of day in the life.  I love the whole Bible, too.  The advisor is using Proverbs 29:20.
My second favorite book first line:  A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories.  Brave New World. 
For 365 Days of Prompts go here:  Writing Prompts
I don't know if I'll post all the prompts, but maybe some more...

Friday, January 3, 2014

First Friday of 2014 Celebration

2013's last sunset in SW Louisiana
I'll be honest and say that I really wasn't in the mood to celebrate today.  It's been a weird two days, and not in a good way.  This week marks the one year anniversary of one of my patients being accidentally shot by his cousin.  His mother came to the clinic with another child yesterday and cried.  Yesterday a colleague's sister died while giving birth to her first baby.  Flu and RSV are running wild in Southwest Louisiana.  One patient lost a father to flu.  She's only 2 months old and sick herself.  
Not a very bright beginning to 2014. 
Tonight I was just going to visit blogs that I follow to see what folks around the globe were up to and well, a funny thing happened:  I found things to celebrate.  It reminded me of the cool things in life, even if they seem insignificant.  Life is tragedy yes, but it's also victories and celebrations.  We can choose to wallow in sadness or look for the joy even in pain. 
So I have two things I want to celebrate this week:
1. The privilege of being able to share in both the joys and sorrows of so many peoples' lives. 
2.  Bloggers.  It's so amazing how people who don't know each other personally can be such an encouragement.  Thanks to all who share! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year--2014

Last night I stayed up until the New Year came.   It’s like Halloween crossing to All Saints Day.  You can imagine something magical happened.  And everything feels new and fresh, full of promise.   I know it’s psychological but I love to see one year end and another begin.   
I was disappointed at how many of my friends and family went to bed early this year.  It makes me realize how different things are now.  Used to I might actually be the first to go to sleep…no, I don’t think I’ve been the first to crash. 
I don’t have any resolutions this year.  I guess if I did it would be to continue to enjoy life and not be the first to crash.
Plans for this year…at least for now:
1.    Continue with Celebrate Fridays—it’s good to focus on the little victories.
2.    Blog at least on Fridays.
3.    Continue cleaning out my house—new approach is Live with Less. 
4.    Continue progress on novel—but not stress over it.  It’s my story.  It’ll get written when it gets finished.
(more plans as they come to mind…)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.  Prov. 3:5-6

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 In Review

To Celebrate the Year 2013 I turn to Robert Frost

Into My Own
One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.
I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.
I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.
They would not find me changed from him they knew--
Only more sure of all I thought was true.
I'm Celebrating the End of 2013 knowing I am more sure of all I know to be true. 
It was a year of growth both in medicine and writing.  Spiritually, my faith was, and still is, being tested, and I'm growing closer to God and knowing the Holy Spirit is with me. 
 I feel ready to start 2014 as a continuation of that growth...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Prayer from Louisiana

I wanted to say something profound or share a poignant Christmas memory.  But with the growing hate towards each other in America we need more than fancy words in a sappy story.
We need You, God.
You don't just tolerate us.  You love us so much you sent your Son to die for us.
You aren't swayed by social pressures.  There are no double standards.  All humans have sinned and need salvation.  
You are The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  That doesn't change, no matter what we choose to believe.
You give Peace that goes beyond all understanding and defies world thinking. 
Thank You, God.  
Tomorrow, remind us to stop counting the number of presents and focus instead on the eternal gift of salvation through Jesus.  Until we know You, we won't know true love and compassion for others.
For by grace you are saved through is a gift of God, not of works....Ephesians 2:8-9

Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating Small Things

I'm managing to get this posted on Friday--a Celebration in itself!
Thanks to all the wonderful comments and encouragements. 
A few small accomplishments:
1.  My inbox on my computer is empty--folders created for the emails I need to save.  Who knew you could make a "filing cabinet "
2.  The guys at the recycle place were impressed to see me twice this week.  Old soap buckets make good recycle bins at my back door. 
3.  Hairapy.  I love going to get my hair cut and styled.  Lydia is The Best!
4.  I made a selfie I kind of like.  It must be the hair!  (usually mine is curly, though)

Merry Christmas to all.  Next week may we be celebrating time spent with family and friends. 
Jesus is the Reason we Celebrate this Season. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sensational Saturday

I missed the Celebrate Post on Friday.  Not to be deterred, I'm going to post it a day later. 
I don't like junk mail, nor do I like spam mail.  And yet, it keeps coming and coming.  I often ignore it....more often than not I ignore it. 

Which brings me to this Week's Celebration:

1. I cleaned off the kitchen table.  Mainly it was junk mail I shredded and recycled.

2.  I cleaned out my email box--all 789 of them.  I read the important things, most of the time.  But I'm bad about not deleting the unimportant.

3.  I've committed to daily purging instead of once a quarter or so spending two or three days working on it. We'll see next week how that goes.

Any suggestions for motivating better organization? 
Hope everyone is having a great Christmas Season.