Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Finding Time To Be Alone

The Importance of Being Alone

            When I awaken early in the morning before sunrise, I am groggy and sluggish.  I make my coffee and begin writing thoughts in my journal.  I make out a daily prayer list and what I hope for each of these loved ones.  I search the Psalms for praises and meditate on those songs of ascents and love.  I reflect upon yesterday’s activities, lessons, and understandings of other people.  I am alone with the I Am.  This is the beginning of a wonderful day.
            How do I know?  Because I have carved out time to be on my own little island.  This refreshing paints my day.  The Creator stirs in me what I should write, paint, or draw. He directs my steps. Sometimes my creativity is brought forth in a meal to share with others.  Mostly, I bask in the presence of the Creator knowing He will lead me.
            Even drawing requires great meditation, quietness, and focus.  I must close out worries of the day and open my mind to see in a new way.  I don’t draw what my mind sees, but I seek to see through my eyes a new dimension or wonder.  If I am drawing the simplicity of a seashell, I find the memory of the sunset in its color.  I discover the complicated entry to the inner shell.  It is winding and deep, and  I observe I cannot see to the inner most part of the shell.  I relate with the shell closely.  Others cannot see my most intimate thoughts, but I know God can because He created the seashell and me.  Drawing is a very spiritual activity that takes time and aloneness.
            Today I realize how we are so busy in our contemporary lives that we stress or feel guilt about stopping, meditating, taking time to just be with ourselves.  I think this is why I love coming to the island each winter.  I am on an island with others who respect my island boundary.  They too have come for a respite in the sun, a time of meditation opened by the view of the vast seascape.  Folks are friendly but honor each other’s time alone when walking the beach or in the mangrove forest.  It is a time of rejuvenation and an awareness of all that is within. I watch as others stare into the endless sea for hours at a time.  I see the openness of the waves and understand I am a part of those great teal waters.  I hear the patterns of the waves and watch the sandpipers weave back and forth dodging each new curl of the ocean.  I become the sandpiper dodging business, responsibilities, and hardships.  I  weave with nature like a giant tapestry. I am at peace and know that God’s love endures forever.
            Each of us need an island experience of refreshing.  Perhaps it is meditating on beautiful photos of nature, reading a stirring poem, singing a song in our heart, creating a painting or scrapbook page,or writing a song or message.  I learn each winter how important it is to seek alone time to renew my mind and spirit. 
            Would you share your “island” experience and help others find quietness in this over processed world of technology, demands, and expectations?  I would love to hear how others find their time alone each day.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

In Memory of Jeff Boze

In memory of Jeff Boze
Photo by Rick Stieve

Early this morning, Jeff Boze was released from his earthly body and gained his new heavenly body.  For those of us who have known Jeff through the years, we have seen a Mr. Indiana body builder turn to an emaciated helpless form.  The disease is called Huntington’s Cholera; the result was heartache to all who watched this strong body degenerate.  Jeff was the first man to teach our sons to use weights and build their bodies.  They loved to go to the gym with him and follow his suggestions and programs.  They looked up to him and thought he was the strongest man in the world at that time.

Jeff was our neighbor for forty years.  I would sit on our back porch and hear melodic tunes floating through the air.  He was an accomplished pianist and songwriter.  These were times of blessing to hear his fingers dance on the keyboard and his creative mind produce beautiful song lyrics.  He loved to write songs and was so successful that he went to Hollywood many times to work on songs for movies such as “Somewhere in Time”.  Other great pianist like Roger Williams, who was his friend, appreciated his gift.

Jeff loved the Lord loudly.  He was like a lighthouse.  He stood strong and offered the gospel to anyone who would listen.  He walked out his faith by helping those in need as well as traveling with Lester Sumrall to help the” Feed the Hungry” program.  Huntington’s could not destroy Jeff’s spirit or his faith.  Until the end, he loved God and wanted to pray with people.

His sense of humor and timing of saying a phrase kept us all laughing.  My favorite phrase was he would tell Pixie, his wife, and I that we were “tralalaling our way to failure.”  He could remember every star, movie, and director.  He could recite these details and lines from the scripts until a few short years ago.  He loved the movie theater world and had close friends in the industry.

Jeff worked with Lester Maddox and George Wallace in their political movements.  He loved supporting the Independent Party and embraced their platforms with the same vigor he lived his life.

Jeff’s two little girls were his joy.  Emily and Anna loved looking for “prizes” in his pockets when he would return from the Silhouette Health Spa, which he owned and operated.  Pixie was his greatest supporter and cheerleader.  She too embraced God and worked to spread God’s word and love to others.  Jeff was a unique individual that will be missed by all who knew and loved him.  However, we rejoice that he is at last free from the disease that imprisoned his body.  He can now write songs of rejoicing with his Lord and Savior.
Photo from Miami , Florida newspaper