• BOOKENDS

    BOOKENDS
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Situated on either side of an extremely transitionary week (closure to caregiving), God placed two benevolent "bookends" in my life.
    One "bookend" was named Owen and the other "bookend" was named Willow.
    Owen is two and Willow is one ...
    And both of these little people, were and are, beautiful empowerments in my life.
    -Both played host to the tangible virtues of God's goodness and kindness on either side of internal and felt heartache this past week.
    -Both succeeded to dislodge the grown up tendencies of worry, wonder, and anxiety and replace them with adventure, curiousity, and vibrancy.
    -Both drew out and emphasized with naturalness, the unquestionable qualities pervasive in children:
    Unconditional love. Curiosity. Kindness. Benevolence. Adventure. Vibrancy. Hope.
    Hmmm ...
    ------
    How tenderly and emphatically Christ employs gracious bookends on either side of our difficulties, trials, and heartaches, dear Reader.
    How gently He supports, upholds, and strengthens the "in-between" chapters of our lives composed of uncertainty, fear, waverings, and wonderings.
    How lovingly and tangibly He reminds us of His stationary love in our unstationary lives.
    God is just so very good in His provision of "bookends."
    -----
    Sitting on my desk, holding together a composite of my favorite books and commentaries, are two beatiful antique "bookends" resembling Owen and Willow.
    A little boy and girl, both colored in soft pastels, seated on a grassy plain, absorbed wholly in open books placed upon their little laps.
    Together and apart these little "children" hold the in-between.
    Together and apart,
    God's tender empowerments.
    -----
    For bookends and for all that's in-between,
    I give God thanks.
     


  • I WALKED

     I WALKED
    -Robert Browning Hamilton

    I walked a mile with Pleasure;
    She chatted all the way;
    But left me none the wiser
    For all she had to say.

    I walked a mile with Sorrow,
    And ne’er a word said she;
    But, oh! The things I learned from her,
    When Sorrow walked with me.
    ------
    “Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.”
    Ecclesiastes 7:3

  • SOMEWHERE BEAUTIFUL

    SOMEWHERE BEAUTIFUL
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    The word of God, the Spirit of God, the blood of Christ, and prayer.
    These are the believer’s power sources made available every moment of every day. Choose to utilize them and you will develop an indomitable spiritual stature and an unshakable faith.
    Choose to negate them and you will live a life that is weak, insufficient, and unfulfilling.
    It’s your choice … you get to decide.
    Prioritize your life and determine what it is you really want out of it and who it is you want to become.
    Plan your time accordingly and move your life around the necessary components that will get you there.
    Own your life,
    Know your God.
    Arrive somewhere beautiful ...
     With Him.
    ------

  • BOOKED

    BOOKED
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    The wonderful empowerment of words has been granted and gifted to each of us.
    Daily we get to determine what we choose to read,
    Who we choose to read,
    And what great or shallow minds we choose to identify ourselves with.
    The most brilliant of minds and the wisest of souls is within arm's reach ... and a mere "thought" away.
    Can we get our minds around this and take advantage of this?
    Can we appreciate and enjoy the brilliant literary resources at our disposal 24/7?
    Can we seriously be tempted by an employment of significant timeframe in the "shallows" of Facebook?
    Oh, dear Reader, we must be done with these ridiculous "mind feedings" and absorb ourselves in that which conveys substance and causes us to become peoples of substance.
    We will become, afterall, whatever we put our minds into.
    Open up a book and inhale it.
    Smell it,
    Touch it,
    Breathe it ...
    And allow your whole being to be captivated by it.
    Learn, dear Reader, and make it your mission to help others learn.
    Pass along books and employ the gift of empowerment.
    Reading is an extraordinary gift;
    Take advantage of it.
    -----
    The best book of all, dear Reader, is God's word, and of this "book" there shall be no end.
    When all the words and works of men have changed and come and gone;
    Only one book shall remain and it shall be God's.
    His timeless word ... the Holy Bible.
    Invest in it.
    Saturate yourself in the Author's mind and you will become like Him.
    You will begin to think like Him,
    Speak like Him,
    And love others better because of Him.
    Read because you must, dear Reader.
    Because Christ is your life ...
    Your steady "Read."
    -----
    "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever."
    Isaiah 40:8
  • CIRCLES OF EIGHT

    CIRCLES OF EIGHT
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Fingers fumble at the keyboard.
    Eyes stare vacant at the screen.
    A flux and flush of emotion for which there are no words.
    The mind recovers a memory,
    Salty tears touch the tongue,
    And the soul feels hollowed out ...
    In silent pain.
    -----
    Life and its cycles,
    Its unending circuitous pattern.
    Figure-eights performed on sight but not within.
    Repetitive silent motions,
    Mechanically moving,
     Creating illusions ...
    Again and again.
    ------
    I must stop and catch my breath ...
    These circles of eight.
    I close my eyes,
    And bite the blade,
    In icy strait.
    I feel the number seven ...
    In my skate.
    -----


  • TRANSITIONS AND CONDITIONS

    TRANSITIONS AND CONDITIONS

    By: Darrelyn L .Tutt

    Transitions are conditioned by conditions:
    The more of yourself you've invested;
    The more of yourself you must let go.
    The more of yourself you've involved,
    The more of yourself you must break free of.
    If you need to move on,
    You need to let go.
    And it's no easy thing ... we all know.
    ------
    News of my upcoming departure was taken poorly, and as expected, by my elderly client of whom I have been a caregiver the past 18 months.
    Her words to me upon my entrance and early morning hug on Monday sounded like an early take-off from a Dr.Seus book:
    "There's not another 'you' and I don't know what I'm going to do, Darrelyn.
    I don't want anybody else.
    I want 'you.'
    Why can't you stay with me?
    Why is God taking 'you' from me?"
    The red, puffy signature eyes of one who had been crying for some time looked painfully and dejectedly into mine.
    A thousand emotions were felt ...
    But I held them in check.
    A position can be replaced.
    A person cannot.

    This I know.
    It hurts to love and then be torn from that love.
    The sound of velcro strips being pulled apart inside the soul;
    So invisibly real.
    -----
    Transitions require gentleness with self and mastery of emotion.
    They require the discipline of a constant look forward,
    And the relinquishing of a desire to turn back.
    Transitions require the feet to move progressively forward.
    Transitions are hard and they hurt.
    -----
    The goal of this week is to finish strong and love hard.
    To make the moments matter that remain,
    And persist in enthusiastic strain.
    Life is hard but God is good,
    When seasons change.
    -----


  • SEA OF GRACE

    SEA OF GRACE
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

     At the end of all regrets is a sea of grace ready to swallow us up with a hope we cannot understand.
    God’s mysterious ways …
    Submerging us simultaneously in truth and grace.
    Soaking,
    Saturating,
    Securing,
    Sealing the soul with the supernatural.
    We are not made new through our own efforts …
    But through empty souls extended.
    This is the place we receive.
    This "Sea of Grace."
    ------

  • NONE OF US KNOW

    NONE OF US KNOW
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    None of us know what this day will hold but God alone.
    In a few short hours I will have interaction with my beloved "client" who has only just learned, this weekend, of my approaching departure, which is to be this Friday.
    The Reader will perhaps wonder why my client wasn't informed earlier of this monumental decision, and so I put forth some reasoning for review:
     The family and not the caregiver discerns and makes notable news "forecasts" to the individual receiving care.
    Since my departure is expected to profoundly impact my client's "state," the decision to hold-off on the news was determined to be one week in advance and not before.
    Whether I agree or disagree on the handling of this particular matter,
    The decisions aren't mine to make.
    I don't call the shots.
    I abide by them.
    -----
    None of us know what this day will hold but God alone:
    He calls the shots,
    We simply abide by them and choose our responses accordingly.
    We may not understand all of His word or even agree with all of His word,
    But that's irrelevant.
    We are given God's word in order that we might obey it.
     What follows isn't up to us.
    Our comfort lies in the knowledge that "all" of our unknowns are fully known to God.
    God is good.
    God is faithful.
    God is loving.
    And this is what we must know and remember in our unknowns.
    -----
    "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me."
    -John 15:4

     
       

  • THE SECRET PLACE

    THE SECRET PLACE
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Inside my heart there is a place,
    Reserved for only You;
    Where man cannot molest or take,
    What You are holding to.

    Inside my heart there is a peace,
    Surpassing what I know;
    That’s planted deep and tucked away,
    Where no one else can go.

    Inside my heart there is a joy,
    Restoring me within;
    A secret place where I can hide,
    And no one else has been.

    Inside my heart there is a love,
    A passion deep and true;
    Beneath the shadow of Your wing,
    Where I abide with You.
    ------
    “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
    Psalm 91:1


  • BARNUM AND BAILEY

    BARNUM AND BAILEY

    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Put a wagon handle in my hand and an adventure is sure to begin;
    It'll beat out "Barnum and Bailey" and keep you spellbound for hours.
    Owen, our beautiful two year old grandson brings me my shoes and we gather the quick needful supplies of animal crackers, nuts, and water, and we're off.
    Gosh but it's hot ... but not a preventative.
    We make a trek to Spellerberg Park which plays host to the Midco Aquatic Center and countless recreational activities and we head for the triple blue slides.
    Movement and motion ceases at the slide's top entrance as Owen surveys two little boys headed our way.
    These are not ordinary boys;
    These boys are "riding in style with a smile" on wheels.
    I zip down the slide and call the boys over to us.
    Owen remains still as a stone safely watching, observing, and cautiously showing excitement at the top of the slide.
    -----
    Circus Act One:
    Jimmy and Timmy are delightful little boys:
    Jimmy is eight and riding a mini red bright motorcyle,
    Timmy is six and riding a streak of blue Crazy Cart.
    Gosh, but for crazy fun they make things!
    Jimmy and Timmy clue me in on the "zooming conveyors" which can travel at speeds of up to 25 mph. I have no idea if this is an exaggeration but I'm willing to believe it.
    I kindly ask the boys if they might do some "performing" for us and they willingly and cheerfully comply.
    The Reader will imagine with me, and smile humorously, at attempts procurred to show off eight and six year old "best" stuff.
    They put on a very grand and stimulating show.
    Owen slides down the slide to get a closer look and holds my hand as we watch a mini "Shriners" circus play out before us. The boys attempt crazy eights, papa wheelies, and enough circles and dips around the playground to make us dizzy.
    It's magic.
    We clap and I herald the little daredevils named Jimmy and Timmy.
    They leave with saturated egos.
    -----
    Circus Act Two:
    While pausing for a long drink of water at the fountains, my eyes drift to where voices are loudly exclaiming and a new "act" meets us.
    I grab Owen's hand and we volunteer in viewer participation:
    Four young teens have dug a small grave in the volleyball sandcourt and covered their lifeless friend but for her face in a sea of sand.
    Owen is absolutely spellbound and mystified by the "sand mummy."
    I ask the gal to wiggle her toes so Owen might understand and connect his thoughts, and the dots, to the entirety of her body.
    He watches her wiggle her toes and he goes directly over to them and studies them.
    Back and forth his eyes wander, from head to toes, with a furrowing of brow.
    I tickle the young gal's toes slightly and her tummy begins to shake from giggling, thereby removing more sand and displaying a youthful little jelly belly.
    She stands up and shakes herself off like a dog spraying sand everywhere. Owen is mesmerized to say the least.
    He probably won't work this "act" out in his mind for a few more years yet.
    -----
    Circus Act Three:
    It's time for a nap so we're headed home.
     Owen is munching on animal crackers and enjoying the wagon ride.
    What should we see as our final act but a police car heralding bright red and blue flashing lights encouraging us to draw near right in the very parking lot we're passing through.
    Mr. Policeman has completed a small service act and Owen meets, on the best of terms, his first uniformed policeman.
    Owen is given a kind and considerable acknowledgment and we leave Mr. Policeman without a ticket in tow and on good terms.
    With one block to go and a street to cross to get home,
    We're topped off with a friendly and unusual semi honk, which rarely sounds off in city limits, and we make it home.
    -----
    For love of this child that can't be expressed, I give thanks to God.
    For a day composed of playful exertion, I give thanks to God.
    For wagon rides, a "Barnum and Bailey" circus, and simple playfulness,
    My heart is satisfied,
    Love is clarified,
    And God is good.
    ----- 

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