Words for Wednesday: morning has broken

blogIMG_1336That tune, that old tune from back in the day, always comes to my mind when I see a sunrise.

I don’t always get to view the sun rise in the east. The way our home is situated on our plot of ground, sunrise is hidden from us by a hill.

So, even if I’m awake and up, I don’t necessarily see those beautiful hues of color painted across the morning sky as this side of the world awakens because by the time the sun crests that hill, some of the colors and beauty have dissipated.

Sunsets are a different story. We are privy to some pretty spectacular ones right off our backyard deck, but that’s another story. This one is about the rising of the sun when Morning Has Broken comes to my mind.

When my eyes do partake of a sunrise, I am always enthralled by its beauty. By the way the sun’s rays shine down through the clouds onto earth. By the palette of color presented before us.

And my mind starts to sing, “Morning has broken, like the first morning…” The version I know so well and remember playing on the piano as a teenager was made well-known by recording artist Cat Stevens in the early 1970’s.

But long before his rendition became popular, Morning Has Broken was published in 1931 as a Christian hymn. The words were written by an English author named Eleanor Farjeon and set to Scottish Gaelic music titled Bunessan, facts I never knew until recently.

Several mornings while walking with one of my best friends, we are treated to a sunrise. And those words, “morning has broken” arise in my memory as the sun shows its glory in the eastern sky.

But sunrises give way to even more words in my mind than simply morning has broken. Words I want to share with you on this Words for Wednesday here at Mama’s Empty Nest.

“Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leave you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing, and listen as Heaven whispers, do you like it? I did it just for you.” ~ Max Lucado

Each time I experience a sunrise, no matter where I am, my thoughts turn to God, the Creator of those magnificent occurrences. The following quotes portray my thoughts in words more aptly that I possibly can:

“If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord, just watch the sunrise.” ~ Jeannette Walls in Half Broke Horses

 After a long, dark night, perhaps one of those sleepless nights that seem to be endless as you toss and turn or worry over a situation or problem, sunrise serves as a balm to your soul – a reason for hope as you embrace a new day.

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” ~ Bernard Williams

And sunrises are perfect inspiration for those who have a creative bent – photographers, writers, painters, and poets.

“After God perfected the sunrise, he created photographers, artists, and poets to ensure his feat remained immortal.” ~ Terri Guillemets

Sunrises are spectacular. They are worth awakening early in the morning just to watch the sun rise on those days when it’s visible. I can’t think of a better way to embrace a new year before us than by witnessing a beautiful sunrise.

“Sunrise looks spectacular in nature; sunrise looks spectacular in the photos; sunrise looks spectacular in our dreams; sunrise looks spectacular in the paintings, because it really is spectacular!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com



Words for Wednesday: sunrise gift


Watching the sunrise 

It occurs each and every day of the life we are given.

We crawl into our cozy beds weary from a long day of whatever we must accomplish, eager to acquire some rest, and if our minds will just slow down and allow us, we fall into slumber.

Night draws its dark curtain around us as we succumb to relaxation and our bodies and minds absorb the much-needed respite they need. 

And then without warning or fanfare, something miraculous occurs in the eastern sky.

The sun slowly makes its appearance on the horizon, chasing away the shadows of the night, adorning the sky with magnificent colors and rays of light shining through the clouds.

It’s sunrise.

Another day granted by the Creator of the universe. The Master Painter of our skies. The great and omnipotent Lord of all. The One who gives us life and determines when it will be no more.

Life. Another day. A gift we take so much for granted. A gift we often fail to be thankful for.

A gift I lift my words of gratitude and my heart and soul up with thanks to the Almighty Father on this seventh day of my 30 Days of Thanks Giving.

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you’?” ~ William A. Ward

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com


Even in silence

blogIMG_2546Silence isn’t always the norm here in Mama’s Empty Nest, not with an almost-three-year-old in the house most of the time. But occasionally, silence occurs, which was this past week’s photo challenge theme.

And it’s golden when I experience silence.  Or maybe even blue.

One morning, our house was completely silent when I awakened. Papa had already left for his very early morning schedule at his part-time job, so I lingered for a few minutes more in my toasty, comfy bed.

Shortly after 7 a.m., I decided to throw off the covers and coerce my body into starting the day.  After making the bed, – yes, I’m one of those people who always does so – I threw open the window blinds to survey the usual stark white landscape that is our yard in the winter time. 

The sun was just beginning to rise over the hill and cast its shiny rays where it would soon cause the snow to glisten. 

Darkness still enveloped a good portion of the sky though so our snowy landscape had a bluish hue to it causing me to slide my feet into my warm slippers, grab my camera, and step outside to capture the early morning view.

All was silent. Not even a car passed by in those few moments I stood outside. No noise. Not even a bird singing. Just my quiet footsteps on the porch and then the sound of my camera clicking. The scene before me was silence.

Sunshine hasn’t been very prevalent this winter, but I know it still exists. My yard isn’t vibrantly colored with green grass, but I know it will once again be so. Silence doesn’t always permeate my home, but I enjoy it when it happens.

Mother Teresa was once quoted as saying, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls.” 

I thought of how many times I do encounter God when there is silence and viewing the sun as it arose on my horizon that frosty early morning made me thankful for yet another day of living. Even in silence.

“I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when I feel it not. I believe in God even when He’s silent.” ~ unknown    

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com


A new day dawns


Dawn breaks in the east

A day in the life.  What does it look like?

A day in life might be one where you’re consumed by the hustle of accomplishing all the items overloading your ever-growing to-do list.  Or a day in life may be one of quiet solitude with nothing pressing you forward. 

A day in life may prove so over flowing with joy and happiness that you think you might burst from the elation of it all.  Or a day may drown you in the depths of sorrow and pain and you feel like you’ll never break the surface of the sadness ocean that threatens to overwhelm you.

We are each given a new day every morning upon awakening.  A day that can be thrilling or trying.  Full of zest and zeal or full of trial and tribulation.  And as each day is lived and evening descends to envelop us with night hour darkness, we trudge wearily to our places of rest, shed the concerns or high points of the day, and close our eyes for a time of restoration.  If we’re lucky, we spend several hours resting our bodies and minds.  If not, the night looms lengthy ahead of us.

But one thing is certain.  We expect the dawn.

And we take it for granted.  At least I know that I do. If truth be known, I take far too many aspects of my life for granted and I’m ashamed of being ungrateful.  

I’ve recorded my insights, thoughts, and occasions, my ups and downs, my joys and sorrows here in this blog for four and a half years.  And forgive me for this, but I’ve even taken my blog and you, my readers, for granted. 

I’ve expected that each dawn when a new day rises, I’ll have words to commit to a blog post or a photograph to display.  And I’ve expected that you will view my posts, maybe even press that ‘like’ button or better yet, leave a comment.

I feed off of your kindness and your gracious comments and also from the statistics that show how many folks have clicked on my blog post for the day or who liked my status on Facebook.  And you know what? I’m just feeding my already over-inflated ego.  Yep, it’s all about me and I feel like I’m too busy promoting…myself.  

And it’s time for that to stop. Because it truly isn’t about me and the days of my life.  It’s about who I believe in, trust in, and turn to when I think I’ve lost my way. The very One who gave me this life that I live and take so very much for granted.

The One who reveals Himself everywhere I look and for whom this verse (vs 8) in Psalm 65 was written:  “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.”

I truly am grateful for you, my faithful readers, and with hope and sincerity I invite you to join me on a journey during the month of November.  Something will be different.   Nothing drastic, just a change and hopefully, a change in me as I reveal things that have been on my heart the last few weeks.

Beginning November 1, as each new day dawns, I still will share either my words or pictures with you but some posts may be shorter than normal, just photographs may appear on days other than Wordless Wednesdays, and my usual posting schedule (T, W, TH) will be altered so even on weekends you may find something to ponder from Mama’s Empty Nest.    

 “There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.”  ~Jean-Paul Sartre

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

I’ll be a sunbeam

blog441If happiness were measured by how much the sun was shining, in my world today it would be blindingly bright.

The last several months have been a bit of a trial for us here at Mama’s Empty Nest, not unbearable just a time of uncertainty.  We’ve considered much, reflected more, and have diligently sought God’s guidance as we faced a period of insecurity.   Through it all, hubby and I have tried to seek God’s will, petitioned Him in prayer and waited….and waited.

We’ve praised and thanked God the Father for the provisions He provided for us and how He continued to supply our needs during our bit of a trial.   We’ve held tightly to our faith and scripture from 1 Peter 5:7 has been especially comforting to me:   “Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.”

And just like that first beaming ray of sunshine thrust downward from the sky piercing its way through the dark and ominous clouds of a rainstorm, our long-awaited answers to prayer arrived this week, not just one answer but two!

American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, “Just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a love-beam of God’s care for every separate need.”

Today, on this 10th page of my book of Opportunity in Chapter 7, there’s not just a warm sunbeam shining in our country home cottage window.  Instead I feel like my entire home is ablaze with sunshine – a beacon of light – as God, maker of heaven and earth, has poured blessings upon our heads.

For most of this year, my husband has been unemployed.   There have been ups and downs, highs and lows, encouragements and disappointments as he sought another position.   In a period of time that can be devastating and demoralizing, I can honestly say – in our 33 years of marriage –  I have never seen my husband stronger.

Instead of embracing defeat, he embraced our Savior Jesus Christ more than ever through reading the Word and devout prayer, through servanthood to others, and his willingness to help those in more dire need than ourselves.

I believe God has blessed my husband for his steadfastness and faith, for his total reliance on Him, and for his thorough self-examination identifying attitudes and thoughts he needed to change.  Just this week, my husband was offered a job.  Not just any job, but a job that he is excited about,  an emotion he hasn’t experienced when it comes to work for a very long time.

On the heels of that sunbeam of joy that radiated down over us, our oldest daughter flew in for a job interview in our nearby city.   She truly loves her current job and employer in the Deep South, but after four years of living in that area, her heart tells her she doesn’t want to stay there any longer.  She recently expressed her desire to live closer to our family, a prayer desire Mama and Papa have lifted to the Father for quite some time.

After a promising phone interview, a prospective employer asked her to fly in for a face-to-face.  Again joy permeated through me like the warmth of a sunbeam when our daughter was offered a new job right here in our city!  Celebration reigned at our house this weekend!

This morning at o’dark thirty, Papa and I drove our beloved eldest to the airport for her early morning flight back south, where she won’t reside much longer.  This time, the farewells at the terminal weren’t melancholy, they were jubilant as we look forward to the future.

The sun started rising as we headed home afterward.  As dawn began to break, the old Sunday School song, “I’ll Be a Sunbeam,” came to my mind.

“Jesus wants me for a sunbeam to shine for Him each day,

In every way try to please Him, at home, at school, at play.

A sunbeam, a sunbeam, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.

A sunbeam, a sunbeam, I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.

I will ask Jesus to help me to keep my heart from sin,

Ever reflecting His goodness, and always shine for Him.

I’ll be a sunbeam for Jesus; I can if I but try;

Serving Him moment by moment, then live with Him on high.”

blogDSCN7185That song echoed through my mind while I tried to stay awake as we entered a tunnel on our way from the airport into the city.  As you exit this particular passageway, you are treated to a full view of our beautiful city.  The sight of it never ceases to inspire awe in me.

This morning, upon exiting the tunnel, another awe-inspiring sight revealed itself – the gorgeous morning sun, rising up like a gargantuan round orb of luminous orange-red.  Its light blinded me as it perched perfectly between two sentinel skyscrapers, slowly ascending into the morning sky, and I chastised myself again for not grabbing my camera before I left the house.  It truly was a breath-taking, beautiful sight and I gasped, then said to hubby, “Wow!  Look at that!”

A scripture in Judges 5:31 came to my mind:  “So may all your enemies perish, Lord!   But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”

As I squinted into the sun’s radiance, I thought, “How could we ever appreciate the sun if we never had night?”

Likewise, how could we ever appreciate the blessings if we never endured trials?  How could we appreciate life’s happiness if we never experienced life’s storms?

Jane Porter, a Scottish novelist in the 1800’s, once wrote:  “Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray.  When it strikes a kindred heart, like the converged light upon a mirror, it reflects itself with the redoubled brightness.  It is not perfected until it is shared.”

Happiness, like sunbeams, are not perfected unless they are shared, and I think that’s true about faith as well.  That’s why I must share my faith in Jesus Christ with you in hopes that you too might want to be a sunbeam for Him.

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

One season following another

sunsetSunrise, sunset.  Sunrise, sunset.  They happen each and every day, yet I think most of us take those events for granted.

My middle daughter is a wonderfully devoted and caring nurse at a fairly large hospital in the city and she’s been working the night shift steadily for a few weeks now.  She posted a photo of a recent sunrise from a hospital window on her Facebook and added this comment: “God is smiling down on us today.”

I commented back that God smiles down on us every day, we just don’t always pay attention, and that set my contemplation wheels spinning.

I have to admit I’m not much of a sunrise person, not because I don’t appreciate sunrises, on the contrary I think they are magnificent and simply amazing.  Viewing one is an inspiring way to start your day.  My problem is wanting to get up early to greet the sun as it makes its way into the eastern horizon.

Sunsets are equally as exquisite and awe-inspiring and I enjoy them regularly from our backyard deck.  I’ve even managed to capture a few of them with my digital camera.  The colors spreading across the western sky vary as the seasons change and a sunset never disappoints me.

I’ve been fortunate enough to witness the sun rise on the Atlantic Ocean and set on the Pacific Ocean (of course not on the same day!).   Having lived in the Pacific Northwest, we made many trips to the coast and I have sensational photos of the sunsets on the Pacific to prove it.

Since we moved back to the homeland, my family has taken several vacations to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean.  One time we all specifically arose early enough to see the sun edge its way up from the ocean’s horizon.  Spectacular!

And to think that this technicolor scenic event happens every single day, whether we witness it or not.   I think we miss so many stunning sights daily because we don’t take the time to look for them or wait for them either, for that matter.

I was pondering this on my drive home from work today.  In typical November fashion, the day proved dreary, chilly, and rainy and dark clouds laced their wispy fingers over the gray skies every way I turned.  But coming home, suddenly, and only for a few moments, the sun emanated beaming rays of light down through the clouds.  Sunbeams! What a picture!  I wished I had my camera along so I could share this sight with you.  (Note to self: carry camera in purse at all times.)

You know, I could have missed this brief but beautiful sight had I been preoccupied with thoughts of dinner preparation or why the driver in front of me was not going the speed limit on the highway or how I couldn’t wait to get home and unwind from my busy day.

Since Thanksgiving is coming, I’ve been attempting to take notice of those things I usually don’t take time to think about and express my gratitude for them.   Sunrises, sunsets, and rays of sunshine are just some of my favorite things.

May I invite you to join me in an attitude of gratitude?  Let’s block off a little time in our day, wait for a sight to behold, and reflect on a blessing we usually miss because of our busy-ness.  Perhaps you will notice something for which you hadn’t thought to be thankful.  I sure have.

“In certain moments our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.” ~ Unknown

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com