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I received another wonderful entry today.  This one is from Mands Swinburne of “Woman of Worth.”  In addition to being a wonderful writer, Mands is also the mother of Jess Swinburne, one of the earliest entrants in this Blogoversary contest.  Without further ado, I share with you Mands’ wonderful essay:


Morning ~ Sunrise
January 2, 2011

Rain… Rain… and more Rain!

 I have never experienced so much continuous rain in my entire life!

I know we live in the Sub Tropics (KwaZulu Natal), and rain is actually the expected norm… however, not to this degree I’m sure. It has rained so much in the last three months, that the usual hot humidity of summer has been replaced by a rather ‘wet & mild’ ambiance.

Whilst I am grateful for the rain and the lush abundance it brings, and on those days that a cloud descends and I find myself in a hazy mist… which allows all sorts of excuses to do things you normally wouldn’t do on a ‘normal’ work day… like curl up on the couch with a great book, or watch a DVD at lunch time… *Grin* I also love the sun… and going more than a week with only rain, overcast cloudy skies… and no sunshine, can sometimes put a damper on my mood… and no matter how much I try to talk myself into believing that the weather being an outside external stimulus, should have no influence on my inside internal well being… it does!

Then one morning this past week, I woke up to blinding light at 4:25am…

The sun was shining and there was not a single cloud in the sky…

I was elated!

So much so that I just couldn’t bring myself to return to bed after watching the sunrise for a few minutes … so I quietly tiptoed downstairs. (Although I’m not sure why as mostly my husband and children are very heavy sleepers!)


The beauty and stillness of the morning inspired me to take a chair and go and sit outside on the back patio… and simply gaze at the cloudless azure blue sky as the sun rose!

Only on very rare occasions like this… is it so quiet that the stillness speaks… *Smile*

I was captivated by the moment and enthralled by the experience.

In the stillness of the morning I heard and felt… more than just the quiet and beauty of the sunrise, most of which is too personal to share, although I will share that I felt love… I felt hope… and I felt the promise of the New Year ~ 2011!

I felt gratitude… I felt happiness and I felt joy fill my heart and bubble inside me… Gratitude for my family and for my life… even with all our challenges.

As the sun rose and graced the sky, it was like the quote…

Morning is God’s way of saying: “One more day. Live life… make a difference… touch a heart… encourage a mind… and inspire a soul.” ~ Author Unknown

For this new day… this new year… without a cloud in the azure blue sky…

It’s enough!

So… I wish you enough light in your heart on all your rainy days to remember… that you need the clouds to bring the rain… and both the rain and the sun to make all the colours of the rainbow appear! 

Love always


I wrote a poem this evening  upon returning home from our church choir rehearsal.  I had learned  of a worship service held each Wednesday at an inner-city church in Asheville.  This church has no barriers, is open to all, and those who come each week represent all walks of life.  Even dogs quietly worship with the humans they love – all are joined together in worship, in communion with God through the lives of one another.  For me, it mirrors an image of heaven, where God shows no partiality, and where we can sing in unison and in parts, yet as one voice, in love with God and one another.  As I meditated on this vision, a poem was born.

This poem was from my heart, and it wrote itself.  I have lost it.  For some reasons I was having trouble formatting my post, and kept having to cut and paste, over and over.  At last, rather than trying to fix the copy I was working on, I decided to trash it and start over.  Unfortunately, when I trashed it, I had forgotten to back up my poem copy – I had Mands’ entry, so it was not lost, but my poem was.

I’ve spent some time thinking about that.  Losing something that seemed of such value when I had it.  I’ve decided that God had me write it for myself alone, to instill within my own heart the essence of true worship and fellowship.  This feeling was conveyed to me through hearing the story of the church in Asheville, and even though I was not at the service, I felt this sense of communion, just hearing about it.  God wanted me to have that, so I did.  I still do.  The words are lost, but the feelings aren’t.  The lyrics are gone, but the song remains.  I’ve decided to let it go.  Efforts to rewrite it would be futile.  What I needed in the writing of it, I received.  So, this poem was not meant for publication, except upon my heart.  Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever lost something irreocably – something that you thought was precious, but in retrospect you realized that you didn’t really need it?  Interesting feeling.  I’m not disappointed, just curious.  I wonder what purpose for this experience does God have in mind?  Why was the gift given, and does losing it serve some purpose?  If I find out, I’ll let you know. 

As always, I pray you all will be richly blessed with enough. . .