Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Foot Files, from Sole to Soul: Deep Heeling.

My footfile and pumice stone have been gathering a lot of dust recently. But the dust hasn't come from my feet. It's actually come from inactivity rather than activity. I haven't had to use them in a while now, so they're just sitting in the corner of the bathroom getting dusty.

 I can assure you I still have a foot care routine, but I've had to modify it. Years and years of neglecting to take care of my feet have resulted in some very deep cracks in my heels. Filing was doing absolutely nothing to eliminate this and I soon realised that something else needed to be done.

 I didn't have to go to google, or any other search engine to find out who could help me with my cracked heel problem. I already knew. The world famous podiatrist and foot care specialist...Dr Scholl's. 10 out of 10  to him for an excellent subliminal half century advertising campaign. I'm such a sucker for a brand name!

So off I went to the drug store, and headed straight for the foot care aisle. I was overwhelmed by all the choices. I looked at this product and that product, and was having a hard time making a decision when out of the corner of my eye, I saw this.  Flexitol? Who? I'd never even heard of this company before, but I liked what I saw. I read the blurb on the back of the box. That was it..."soled"  So much for brand loyalty. Why the switch? Well, quite simply, it was because of the two little photographs on the front of the box depicting what my feet could possibly look like, if I used  their product for as little as two weeks. Sorry Dr Scholl's, I may be a sucker for a brand name, but a before and after pic will trump a brand name every time!

Ahhh heel balm. Even the name sounded soothing. I could hardly wait to try it. I rushed home and quickly opened the box. It had a pleasant, but strong medicinal smell. Sort of like Buckley's for feet. I was excited. I just knew it was going to work. The instructions said to apply the balm twice a day, morning and evening, which I did, (with a few additional applications in between.,,,c'mon guys, you have to understand the level of  my neglect here.) And do you know what? Remarkably I did begin to see a difference, after just a few days. Talk about a miracle "heeling."

I have found that my soul has walked a very similar path as my soles.  By that I mean, there have been times, more times than I care to mention, that I have neglected my relationship with God. Completely turned away from Him.  And as a result, there have been some deep cracks, so to speak, in my soul.

But it's not just me is it? Surely not. In fact, the Bible has carefully chronicled all the times that God's people have turned their backs on Him. Begining in Genesis 3, with the fall of man, but unfortunately it didn't stop there.  Things continued in much the same way, until God felt it was necessary to destroy the whole earth with a flood. And even having cleansed the earth, saving only Noah and his family, God's people began to procreate, but they also began (of course) to fall away. Humanity, once again, turned its back on God.

Gilead is a region east of the Jordan river, famous for producing a resinous gum substance from the balsam poplar tree. This "balm of Gilead" was said to have healing qualities and was widely exported and used by physicians for healing.
Yet during the time of Jeremiah, godlessness upon the earth became so rife, that the prophet lamented, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wounds of my people?"  (Jer.8 vs 22) In other words, Jeremiah asked the question "How is it that a people who trade in balm, be so sick?"  This was of course referring to a sickness of soul, not of body. And sadly, at that time, there was no balm that could cure them.
Fast forward 585 years and Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem. Seeing the plight of all humanity, God sent His son from heaven to earth with one purpose. To be our Saviour. It was for our salvation that Jesus came and through Him, all humanity could receive eternal life and healing from the only one who was able to give it to us... God Himself. Jesus was the balm to heal our souls. He was and still is. And if you (like me) need a before and after pic to validate His claim, take a look at the manger and then at the cross. I don't need a multimillion ad campaign to convince me on this one.  I'm "soled" Nuff said.

So now, just as with my heel balm, I have to remember to apply God's balm, Jesus, to my daily life. I can do that by having a relationship with Him. Turning toward Him and not away from Him. Reading His word and by prayer and meditation. I'm sure the "miraculous" results will follow quite quickly if I do this consistently. Daily. Well, as many times as day as is necessary. Only then will I experience inner peace, and joy from deep within my soul.

What great news that is, but what's even better is that this "balm" is available outside of drug store hours and completely free. So go ahead, apply God's love through Jesus lavishly. And let the healing begin!

footnote: I suppose now you expect a before and after pic of my feet...don't be a heel!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Ballad of Beelzebub

(Luke :4)

Come one, come all, come gather 'round,
The truth you'll hear me speak,
How Satan preyed upon the Lord
When He was frail and weak.

It happened in the wilderness
When after forty days
Jesus was hungry, worn and tired
Satan to Him did say...

"Now if you are the Son of God
As I believe You've said,
Then why not take this very stone
And turn it into bread."

Said Jesus "I've no need for food
So you can keep the stone,
For man lives by the Word of God
And not by bread alone."

So Satan scratched his head and said
"Come Jesus, follow me,
I've wonders that will thrill Your eyes,
There's much for You to see."

"Look at this splendor all around
The glories that You see
Are Yours to have and even more
If You will worship me."

"But it is written" Jesus said
"To worship God alone
To love Him with your heart and soul,
And bow before His throne"

Satan perplexed and growing vexed
The cunning, crafty liar,
Made one last stand, took Jesus hand
And led Him even higher.

"Throw Yourself down from here on high
For God Himself will put
His guardian angels all around
You will not strike Your foot"

Then Jesus shook His head and sighed
"Satan will you not rest,
For it is written as you know
Don't put God to the test"

So finally the Devil ceased
"Lord, I bid you adieu
But I'll be back some other day
I'm not yet done with You."

Then angels came to tend the Lord,
And Satan did retreat.
And Jesus stood in victory
The Devil in defeat.

The same is true today as then
For you have seen and heard
How every battle can be won
When you fight with God's Word.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blog Of Note

It happened today...BOOM!!!  My blogging balloon just burst.  A mere two weeks into active blogging and now I'm sitting at my computer completely...deflated. So, you're probably wondering what could have possibly happened to puncture my new found passion. Well I tell you what happened.  Three little words placed squarely on one of the tabs of the dashboard page happened . The offending articles..."Blog of Note"

You see in my naivete, I thought I was just blogging, and that perhaps a faithful few would follow the path of my pen. I had no idea that there were millions of bloggers and even more blogs out there in cyberspace. And that the powers that be, routinely come crashing through the computer screen to tell you that you're noteworhy enough to be given an award.

I mean, let's face it...this is not just any award. Blog of Note is like the Oscars of Blogging. I'd be lying if I said I don't want my blog to be noticed. That would be like all of the academy nominees saying "I'm just happy to be nominated." Nonsense. I want to be noticed. And now that I know there's an award, I want one too. But what are my chances? Slim to not likely if you ask me. Especially since I only have a following of three. One of them being myself.

Of course I'd love for my writing to resonate with someone, anyone...and yes, definately the people in blogsphere who take 'note' of such things. But alas, everything I write here could be written by better writers, blogged by better bloggers and penned by better poets. So for now...I'll just dream,  rehearse my acceptance speech and leave my ballon pump in the garage!

The chances are somewhat remote
They'll come to read what I once wrote
How from my laptop I would gloat
If I'm awarded " Blog Of Note"

                           Becoming                     Better              Everyday (at)
                           Expressing                   Life's                Virtual
                           Stories                         Online              Eventually.
                           Transmitting (the)          Globe (with)      Rewards

Above is a cross acrostic poem. Read it horizontally and then read the hidden message vertically using the first letter of each word.

Naked Eye


Covered. Clothed in christianity, at times religion seeps through.
Redeemed. Robed in righteousness, yet sin surfaces.
Naked. Exposed as in Eden. Wearing a wafer-thin layer of humanity.
Your Omniscient eye seeing only,
My heart.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snakes and Ladders.

As I, this upward journey take
With Jesus, for salvations sake
A scheming, sly and slippery snake
Is hissing at my heels

Along each rung he interweaves
His poisonous venom soon deceives
God's truth and all that I believe
He cleverly conceals

The serpents plan, a deadly ploy
He aims to kill and to destroy
God's love and peace and every joy
From deep within, he steals

'Tis sad enough, but this is sadder
I listened to the lying adder
Then faltered, falling from the ladder
As Satan greased my wheels

Yet I will not remain down there
I'll climb God's ladder stair by stair
With steps of faith and daily prayer
In Jesus I am sealed

I'll rise again, despite my sin
For I'm a conqueror with Him
This game of life I'm going to win
'Til Jesus is revealed!

I have found this board game to be very similar to this journey through life. The snake will take you down...every time. See Genesis 3 for reference.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Raptured: an abecdarian.

Re: the
Yields (in)

Abecedarian: an alphabetical poem that uses the letters A to Z in their proper order to form the first letter of every line.

I loved the challenge of using a set framework to create a poem. I thought that using the 26 letters of the alphabet to form 26 words (actually there are 28 here) would be as easy as ABC. It wasn't. If you think writing an abecedarian is childsplay...try it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The 'Failure' to-do list.

I have a 'to-do' list. It's called '44 before 45' and you can find it under the same title in my previous blog entries. I also have another list. It's almost exactly the same as the first one. Except it has one additional item. Item  #35..."Don't do any of the above." I think I'll call that list, my 'Failure to-do list.' It could also be called my: 'Dont do,' my 'Not gonna do,' my 'Unlikely to-do,' or my 'Never going to-do' list. You get the idea!

I always seem to wait for the best time, or a better time or the right time to do something. Then I seem to run out of time and energy and get nothing done at all. This doesn't help me to achieve anything worthwhile or meaningful in life.


Presently it's 3.15 am, and for purely practical reasons I cannot do some of the items on my list. But there may be one or two things I could try. Okay, so #29 - Sleep in 'til noon? Nice thought, but the insomnia has taken care of that one for me. I could try #34 - Memorize Psalm 45, but that would put me to sleep. I do want to go to  sleep, but not when I'm memorizing scripture. What a dilema!
How about  #31 - 'Become a better blogger' and  #28 -'Take a bath by candlelight'? Well, I'm  blogging right now (am I better at it? I'll let you decide) and the bath by candlelight may make me sleepy. In fact, I might even fall asleep in the bath!

Procrastination...this time you're going to have to wait. I have things to do. Right now. To do? To done. Ta dah!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reflections on Aging

When I looked in the mirror this morning, I was greeted by a familiar stranger. We stared at one another for a while."What is your name?" I asked her. She wouldn't say. But greying hair told me that her name could quite possibly be Wisdom
"Who is this new (older) Elaine? and when will the old (younger) Elaine return?" I inquired. Silence. Without speaking a word, she told me that "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
"Could it be that beauty is somehow reflected inward with age?" I asked. Again she wouldn't say. I do believe her name is Wisdom, and I'm growing to like her. I smiled at Wisdom... and she smiled back.

the book of life is opened
and time will turn the page
the last chapter concluding
its hidden story... age

Monday, January 10, 2011

Left to Write

Sometimes when you're with me, it may appear that I have left. And you'd be quite right. I seem to be present in body, but not in spirit. At those times, I like to say, that I have "left to write."  Left, disappeared, gone to some far away place deep within myself, to write down the thoughts, ideas or poems that are racing around in my head. But don't worry, if I'm left alone for long enough, i'll be right back.

This is a cross acrostic, in which the hidden word is read in a step pattern: the first letter of the first line, the second letter of the second line, and so on down through the poem:

 Perhaps I'm
 pondering or
 dreaming, or
 editing and
 altering my
 poetry? Perhaps.

And you thought I had nothing left to write!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Three Questions to God - The Fall

 Dear God

When the Genesis serpent set out to undo
Did You have some regret at creating these two?
 Did You have to ask questions You already knew?
Did this heartache issue the first teardrop for You?

I just wondered.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

44 before 45

Numerically speaking, we all know that 44 comes before 45. Presently I am 44 years old and will turn 45 on May 27th 2011. Here are 44 things that I am going to do BEFORE I turn 45. This idea came from my new faraway friend Edie Rudder Wadsworth, a most remarkable woman.
If you scroll down you will see that there are only 34 items on the list. That's because 40 is the new 30, so by default I have 10 less to do. (Phew!) Here's to setting goals, making a list (publically) and then putting a big fat check mark through each item when it's done!!!

  1. To clear, clean and organize the basement.
  2. To paint the office. By myself.
  3. Make shortbread.
  4. Ski a Black Diamond run at Dagmar.
  5. Do a grocery shop of at least 10 items, with coupons!
  6. Sleep downstairs in a tent with my children.
  7. Make homemade meatballs.
  8. Take my children out for breakfast, before school.
  9. Complete a Cross Stitch
  10. Make a clock.
  11. Take an icy cold shower.
  12. Have my Goddaughter over for a sleepover (mom may need to stay too!)
  13. Make a pineapple upside down cake.
  14. Let Roger take me up in the Cessna 172, and keep my eyes OPEN
  15. Watch "It's a Wonderful Life" from start to finish and stay awake
  16. Finish the Hunger Games trilogy
  17. Write a Cross-acrostic poem. A good one.
  18. Tell my children " I love you" at least once a day.
  19. Have a chick flick all nighter.
  20. Make fudge.
  21. Go to IKEA and actually enjoy the experience.
  22. Read a Nora Roberts novel.
  23. Write a Keep Forever Love Letter to my nearest and dearest.
  24. Watch Hachi without crying.
  25. Go Rock Climbing at the indoor climb centre.
  26. Sled down "Suicide Slope" (if I die doing this, then I can't complete the list!)
  27. Don't pluck out another grey hair until age 45 (except the eyebrows)
  28. Take a bath by candlelight.
  29. Sleep in until noon.
  30. Cross-cut left in skating.
  31. Become a better blogger.
  32. Run a sub 30 min 5km (okay that's stretching it...maybe 32 min.)
  33. Play a duet on the piano with Elliot.
  34. Memorize Psalm 45 ('cause I'm turning 45.)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Three Questions to God - Creation.

Dear God,

As you opened Your Book, and The Word was delivered...
When You breathed, did the earth's foundations quiver?
When You spoke, did the firmament split in slivers?
When You shone, did even the sunlight shiver?

I just wondered.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011



Up, up,
I want to go up,
To rise from the depths of humanity.
And ascend to the height,
Where my soul finds delight,
As I stand in the presence of Deity.

Up, up,
I want to go up,
To gaze at the face of infinity.
For it's here in this place,
By the riches of grace,
That I witness His glorious Divinity.

Up, up,
I want to go up,
And breathe in the air of His mystery.
Here at this elevation,
Comes sweet revelation,
That God would descend to be 'up' with me.

The Foot Files: from Sole to Soul - Beautiful Feet.

I have ugly feet. And no, I'm not going to provide you with a photograph to substantiate that claim. You'll just have to take my word for it.
They're not the" Ripley's Believe It Or Not" type of ugly.That's a whole other level. I don't have six toes or webbing like a duck. I think medical conditions such as these could be called bizarre, strange, sad and unfortunate. Not ugly.

So what has made me categorize the foundations of my animate being as ugly? Well, there are a few reasons. First, although I am an enviable size 5.5 - 6 US, my feet are almost as wide as they are long. Giving them a rounded look. A lot like elephants feet ( a LOT like elephants feet!) Then, I have genetics to thank for my discoloured toenails. Most of them are a brownish black colour. Add to that ten years of dancing, in which I shoved my poor feet into tap shoes, jazz shoes, character shoes - all of them one size too small to look cuter. And then, I almost crippled them with pointe shoes for ballet. And last, but by no means least, in the last four years I've run a couple of marathons, lost a couple of toenails and logged some 3000kms pounding the pavement. All of this very hard on the feet.  Perhaps now you can understand why I've tagged my tootsies with such an unforgiving label. They're ugly. Period.

But here's the real irony. My feet, these two perfectly created instruments of personal human transportation, which were designed to propel me forward in this journey called life, have held me back. Way back.
 Once, many years ago, my church was doing a series on Servanthood. We all had to remove our socks and shoes and wash one anothers feet, just as Jesus had done for his disciples. No way was I having any part of that. I feigned a sudden illness and left. I've also avoided going to peoples house parties in the summer, in case I have to remove my shoes. If I do go, I spend the evening with my toes curled up underneath my feet. I keep swimming and beach type of activites to a minimum. But perhaps the time when I find myself most "de-feeted" is during those four glorious months of summer. While all my friends are parading pretty pedicures in  the seasons' strappiest sandals, my hideous hooves are not uncovered, but undercover. No opened toed shoes or flappy flip-flops for me. No fashion foot wear at all.  I do the sensible thing and wear sensible shoes. I'm sure my perspiring peds may tell you otherwise. It's depressing and definately "sole-destroying."

This morning I was sitting on the side of the bathtub, doing my weekly foot filing. A habit my sister Tricia has now instilled in me, since she once spent a few hours tenderly trying to correct my neglect."Take care of your feet Elaine"... she said.. "they have to carry you for a long time."
 There I was, filing away the dead skin and callouses, when I found myself singing a chorus that I used to sing in church many years ago."How lovely on the mountains are the feet of them, that bring good news."  I sang it over and over and over, letting the words sink into heart and "sole." Then I stopped in my tracks. I ran (as fast as my wet feet could carry me) and looked up the address of that scripture. Isaiah 52 vs 7  "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news..." Beautiful? Beautiful. I looked down at my feet. And then it hit me. My feet are beautiful. Not beautiful because of how they look, but beautiful because of what they do. I have beautiful feet.  I HAVE BEAUTIFUL FEET!!!

Every time I share my faith, share a poem, encourage a friend or help someone, then my feet have brought "Good News". Even these days, when so  much of what I do is via the computer or over the phone, my feet are bringing good news (because I still have to walk to use the computer and phone.)  Every time I run with a friend and help them along in their journey, physical or spiritual, it's good news. Every time I step out in an act of love and take a stand to promote peace, then it's good news. Good news? No, I think it's better than that... it's GREAT NEWS!!!
Oh the liberty this good news has given me. I could dance. I did dance ...on my two beautiful feet!
Now excuse me, I must go...I have beautiful things to do with my feet. And if I have time, I just might get a pedicure too! doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!

Portrait #2


                                          I saw Your portrait on a wall
                                                And gazed at it awhile
                                          Is there Da Vinci in Your eyes
                                                 A Mona Lisa smile?
                                        Could Monet at his best impress
                                              Or Rembrandt ever render
                                       The contrast that's engraved within
                                            A face both strong and tender?
                                    Could Van Goghs wild and vibrant hues
                                               Or Degas graceful lines
                                        Add shape and form and colour to
                                                The face of 'The Divine?
                                            As I was looking at Your face
                                                   It then occured to me
                                            No painting captures who You are
                                                        In any gallery.

Portrait #1

Portrait #1

How do I paint a portrait of You?

Can I etch Your essence with a line,
Or texture You with brushstrokes fine?
What tools can delicately trace,
The complex contours of Your face?

What ink or paint can illustrate,
Your Holy 'picture perfect traits?'
No canvas can Your depth contain,
Your height too limited by frame.

How do I paint a portrait of You?

How contrast You with light and shade
How can Your glory be displayed?
What colour bold, what subtle hue
What pallate Lord, can tell of You?

How capture You so none forget
The splendor of Your silhouette?
So all who see will stop awhile
To pause and ponder Your profile.

 How do I paint a portrait of You?

(To be continued...)

Posted for imperfect prose