Daily Prompt: Places (Where Shoes Fear to Tread)

Piñones, Puerto Rico

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where Shoes Fear to Tread

If I could be anywhere, it would be the beach.
Where peace, sun and sand are within my reach.

Nothing matters except what is in front of me.
Water and sky stretching beyond what the eye can see.

Sand for a blanket and a tree for shade.
Cooling off with with some icy lemonade.

With a pen and pad I plan my future.
Whispering my requests to the breeze, I await an answer.

© 2013 Jade Jarvis

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2  for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (Psalm 24:1-2)

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Daily Prompt: First Light (Seven Whoopers Short of Major Depression)

Coping With Depression

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi

In my quest to become more physically fit, I decided to try jogging. Hearing the swish of tracksuits and seeing the psychedelic trail of rainbow-tinged sneakers following the trail of my grey concrete block every morning, teased my curiosity to a fever pitch.  I just had to try it!  Plus the perk of no membership dues and the pavement always being readily available, made temptation impossible to resist.

Before hitting the pavement, I did research.  Keywords, like “jogging” and “running” turned up an abundance of informative websites devoted to these popular forms of exercise.  I came across an app that would train me to jog 5K in 8 weeks.  After downloading it into my iPod, I prepared for my jogging debut the next day.

My first jog was 20 minutes alternating 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking.  I completed it with no difficulty.  The next week couldn’t come fast enough.  Watching the sunrise and feeling the crisp dawn air cascade over my body was exhilarating.  It wasn’t until the fourth week I began to experience difficulty.  My knees became a little sore and after ice alongside rest, they recovered.  So I thought.

Something terrible happened after my last run on the program.  While stretching, my knees “clicked” loudly.  My knees immediately became swollen and radiated with pain. I limped to the medicine cabinet took two painkillers, got an ice pack and went straight to bed.  Gradually the pain increased until I couldn’t walk or stand for more than five minutes.

After missing mass for a week, the monsignor of my church called me to inquire about my absence.  He told me he would keep me in prayer and to return once my health improved.  Guilt propelled my week legs to the nearest drugstore to purchase a leg brace.  While searching for a brace I encountered a large box of Whoopers on sale for a dollar. “These would make me feel better!” I thought to myself and placed them in my shopping cart and limped to the checkout line.  While waiting for the bus, I ripped open the top of the Whoopers box and fed my anguish with sweet chocolate deliciousness.

Over the next few days, I would periodically pop the top for a “hit.”  As the box became lighter in my hands, I examined the content to see how many chocolate pieces remained.  To my surprise only seven remained.  Shame pierced my heart, because I allowed my agony to get the best of me.  The Whoopers didn’t relieve my sorrow and only provided a temporary fix to my emotional distress.  I trashed the remaining pieces and vowed to attend mass the next day.

After mass the next day, my monsignor saw my tattered knees and told me he would speak to a chiropractor that was a member of the congregation.  He told me to attend the early mass on Sunday.  Sure enough the chiropractor was there.  I knew this was divine intervention and my request for healing was granted.  The chiropractor checked my knees and told me the meniscuses in both knees are inflamed.  He agreed to treat me free of charge at his office.  He was so generous that he even realigned my ankles at church.  Humility and unworthiness struck my heart because I didn’t deserve such treatment.

Tuesday, I had my first rehab session. My knees feel remarkably better.  For ten minutes I can stand without being overwhelmed with pain.  My recovery process will take about a month.  In gratitude I will follow the doctor’s orders and welcome God’s restorative powers.  After completing my rehab sessions through the grace of God, I will walk again normally.

Why am I so confident about my recovery?  My knees will work again because God revealed me the depths of His Divine Mercy.  God was teaching me a lesson in patience and after repeated hints went ignored, He allowed me become fully aware of the damage I was causing my body.  I don’t know if I will jog again, but from now on, God will be my personal trainer and not my ego.

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. (Psalm 30:2-3)

Daily Prompt: Far From Normal (Uniquely Joyful)

I'm alive

We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”
― Hermann Hesse

Joyful is the most accurate word that can describe my life.  Happiness nudges me every morning and peace kisses me goodnight.  My lips blossom into smiles because I am confident in my skin.  Prayer feeds my spirit and I do not leave home without it.  Fortified with prayer, the light orders my steps.

Six interesting, exciting and possibly odd things about myself are as follows:

  1. I am an experienced Christian, writer and photographer. What a lethal combination!
  2. My faith defines me. Christ gives me identity and purpose.
  3. I have impeccable intuition.  In an instant, I can assess character and intention of a person.
  4. Impatience is one of my worst vices. I want to do everything at one time and right now!
  5. I have a sassy answer for everything. I am an experienced smart-arse.
  6. I love my life!  Every experience, emotion, thought and prayer has brought me to this moment and I’m ever attentive to each step.

My life may not be interesting to outsiders, but its incompleteness gives me infinite motivation.  What makes my life most interesting is because it is mine.  It is the only life God gave me.  I am going to live it with purpose, faith, hope and love.  I crave a life so fully lived, that even the Eternal Father will be impressed. On judgment day I want to be worthy to hear the words, “Good job!”

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love (Peace of Love)

Peace

“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
– I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
– I shall fear only God.
– I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
– I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
– I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Peace of Love

May peace open your eyes.
May peace craddle you during slumber.

May peace give you mirthful thoughts.
May peace give you vitality to enact them in action.

May peace make you smile.
May peace make you giggle.

May peace remind you of happy occasions.
May peace guide you through bad moments.

May peace reveal to you those in need.
May peace give you the pitcher to water another’s cup.

© 2013 Jade Jarvis

11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)

Daily Prompt: Through the Window (Sunshine On My Eyes)

Sunrise over Puerto Rico

“Each new day greets us with no rules except for the rules we place on it. Greet this new day with open arms and endless possibility.”
― Steve Maraboli

Sunshine On My Eyes

Goodmorning! Rise and shine!

Get ready and I’ll meet you outside.

I have illuminated your path so you can see me.

Each step brings new lessons, so walk with caution and without haste.

© 2013 Jade Jarvis

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination (Hail the King)

Merry Christmas

“Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.”
– Lucinda Franks

Hail the King

Amber light of God reflected by the sun.

Mimicked by man under the creamy glow of a waxen moon.

Simulacrum of light bottled into bulbs, illuminated when turned “on.”

Incandescent lights continuing where the sun sunsets leave off.

Earth greets the arrival of the divine King, Jesus Christ.

With decorated trees, colored lights and faith.

© 2013 Jade Jarvis

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful (Faithful to the End)

Prayer

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Faith plays a paramount role in my life.  It is the summary of my life’s work.  Upon waking it is my first thought and the featured film in my dreams.  It is spark that created me and the flame that will burn out once it touches the candelabra. When I am exhausted it is the nudge that tells me to keep going even it means crawling.  Purpose, identity and confidence are three main areas of my life, greatly improved through faith.

According to Hebrews faith is defined as, “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  Faith is the ultimate test in our belief in God, because we are required to look beyond the physical realm. Our eyes cannot see love, but feel it when we embrace someone.  Faith is like an open Wi-Fi connection to divine consciousness.  All of God is accessible through faith.

Faith gives purpose.  In order to truly believe in something, it must be emulated.  “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ(1 Corinthians 11:1).  Our lives must be rearranged to make imitation possible.  In my case I had to consciously remind myself to be content with what I have and not long for what was lost.  Every time I noticed a blessing given to me, I thanked God for it.  After a few tries, it became second nature and taught me to see the glass as half full and not half empty.

Responsibility makes us accountable to purpose.  Our words, thoughts, and deeds should reflect purpose.  Obedience brings loyalty to purpose.  The more obedient you are to God, the more you see things the way God does.  With continued practice, you will become more attentive to God’s will and more aware of the constant graces blossoming in our lives.  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  After all, actions speak louder words.

Purpose gives identity.  As a Christian, I identify myself as a divinely created child of God who became flesh as Jesus Christ. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Christians believe Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, who paid the debts of our sins with his life and precious blood.  The Holy Bible contains segments of the life of Jesus, his family, prophets and precepts.  Prayer is the main way to connect with Jesus. “15 What am I to do?  I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).  Prayer unites the mind, body and spirit to divine consciousness.

Identity brings confidence.  Once you know who you are, you know what is expected of you and know what you will ultimately become.  Having God as your compass gives you confidence to know you will always be victorious in all matters.  You will fall at times, but you will always have someone to pick you up, dry your tears and tell you to keep moving.  You don’t need to know everything, just what you need for right now.  Courage and perseverance will give you the fire to keep going because goodness always overpowers evil.  “6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Free will makes faith possible.  I believe in God because I choose to.  We all have a right to believe or not.  Faith is my spiritual connection to God.  Through faith my life has made a complete transformation for the better.  Throughout the day I find myself smiling.  I sing out of joy and little things are no longer the cause of major frustration.  Moments of sadness strike, but never defeat me.  “27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

© 2012 Jade Jarvis

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate (Living Waters)

Raindrops

“All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.”
― Toni Morrison

Living Waters

Watching raindrops reminds me of the frailty of life.

How change is a constant companion in mortal existence.

One minute you are up, the next you are down.

To continue evolution, we must rise in perseverance.

©2012 Jade Jarvis

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)

Putting Christ In Christmas

Blessed Mother and Jesus Child

“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives.” ― Ezra Taft Benson

Our worries about finding the right gifts, cards and decorations are all just vanity. Give from the heart and if they don’t like it, they can “regift” it. We are supposed to be preparing the arrival of Jesus and that should be at the top of our wish list.

“6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Confidence to Love

Mother Mary

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
― Siddhārtha Gautama

Self-love is accepting the positivity and negativity dwelling within and having the confidence to replace darkness with light.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)