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What Does Your Child Know about Getting Lost?

Another Way for week of July 20, 2018

What Does Your Child Know about Getting Lost?

The little girl was not more than two or three at most. Still wearing diapers, I’m quite sure. She first attracted my attention because there was no adult hovering nearby, and she looked a little lonely or lost. She didn’t seem upset, but was gazing about, and trying to climb up a small slide the wrong way (not the stairway part). Then she gave that up and came back down. And looked around as if looking for someone.

There was no adult or even older sibling hanging around.

What do you do? I told my own youngest daughter who was with me that I couldn’t see a parent or adult connected to the child and my daughter began to look around with me, and agreed that the child seemed lost.

The playground was modern but some of the structures were laid out in such a way it was almost impossible to keep near your child or children. Two of my own grandsons played nearby under the super vigilant eye of their father with whom we were hanging out, since their mother, my oldest daughter, was resting on a park bench. She’s about six months along and it was the end of a hot July day. Enough said.

Still no grown up in the girl’s vicinity. My youngest daughter stated what I felt: that I should approach her as a “grandma with children”—which is a line from a safety song about getting lost, from my daughters’ own childhood. All our girls knew “The Safety Kids” songs from a book and album, teaching the basics of safe behavior for small children. If you find yourself lost, the song said, “Look for a grandma or mother with children. Ask her to help you I’m sure she’ll be willin’.” (Sorry for the reverse chauvinism here, but women helpers still seem a little safer bet in the event of being lost.)

I headed over to the child, her curls framing adorable eyes and face. “Are you looking for your mommy?” I ventured. She nodded and I said “I’m a mommy and grandma,” with my best we-can-help-you look. She looked somewhat comforted. Then I added, “Do you have a mommy or daddy here?” She said “a mommy and a daddy” and then another woman entered the search, seeing/hearing us chatting with the child. “I saw her with a man with a T-shirt that said, ‘Eagles’ (Philadelphia)” she noted helpfully. My daughter swung into action saying “I’ll head around the area and look for that.”

But no luck. Minutes passed. Finally a man appeared who seemed pleased to see the small girl. With an Eagles T-shirt. There was no big rush of “Oh, you were lost!” or “Here you are!” but the look on the child’s face was nevertheless one of real relief as she smiled at her daddy. I kind of mumbled that we were trying to help; he seemed chagrined as he said the park was not designed the best for keeping track of kids.

Happy ending and while most child disappearances that result in Amber Alerts or missing child posters are the result of domestic issues, there is still real stranger danger out there. I realized afresh how easy it is for someone to start a conversation with a small child. That’s when the second song our daughters learned from that album comes in handy:

“Sometimes you just gotta yell and scream; Sometimes it’s the only thing to do! Noisy as a firetruck, you just gotta open up, and get the crowd’s attention turned to you.”

Most kids yelling in public spaces are having a meltdown, but sometimes they should not be politely ignored. Steal a glance and it will likely be obvious whether someone is intending harm with a child.

As you head to the park, playground, or pool this summer, keep this true story in mind and perhaps teach your children these songs (on YouTube) or any other memorable song or rhyme that helps them know what to do if they get lost. Or if, heaven forbid, someone tries to do them harm.

A family (not mine) I photographed earlier for a Valley Living feature story.

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Have you ever helped a lost child? How did it go? Have you lost one of your children? If you have comments or stories to share, comment here on the blog, or send to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Fathers who make things for their kids

Our family in the cabin we built with logs Dad chopped down and put together. From left to right: Pert, Terry, Dad, Nancy, Melodie, and Mom.

Another Way for week of July 13, 2018

About My Dad

Guest column by Nancy Ketcham

Editor’s note: Nancy Ketcham of Wakarusa, Indiana, is the oldest sister of columnist Melodie Davis. She writes about her memories especially of their dad, inspired by Another Way’s “Father’s Day” column. Second of two guest columns by readers while Davis is on vacation.

The first thing I remember when thinking of my earliest memories is that Daddy would lay down on the living room floor after a big farmer’s dinner (noon) to rest a little before heading “back to the field.”

He liked it very much when I would sit on the floor by his head to comb and even braid his hair while he took a short nap.

I also remember the long blocks he retrieved from the chicken boxes which baby chicks used to come in. My next youngest sister and I built tall towers, stacking them like Lincoln Logs.

The playhouse that Nancy’s father, Vernon, made for Michelle (right). She and her father, Stuart, restored it to its original condition before our little grandsons were born several years ago.

I remember all the play stuff Dad made for us outside, oh my! Three big swings on a huge old tree with large swing branches, a monkey bar set with a sturdy teeter totter attached, and also a sandbox with seats on the side. And then of course there was the playhouse! It was just our size with a perfect door, windows that slid up and down, cupboards, and a kitchen sink.

Later in life he made one for my daughter, and one for my sister (Melodie) who also had a daughter (and then two more daughters). When our family visited them one year when my first granddaughter was three, she played in that same playhouse which now has been renovated by my sister’s oldest daughter and her dad. The playhouse now looks lovely again.

When I was young we used to play Indians and Cowboys in our “catalpa woods.” I was the squaw cooking on an earthen floor and pretend campfire, resplendent with an old kettle we found in the woods in which we cooked our beans. We tried to make our pony, Flicka, enter the woods so we could play real Cowboys and Indians, but she did not like to go in the woods; so my sister played the cowboy, and discovered stuff in our so-called caves.

I remember walking or riding bikes a few miles to the neighbors to play with their kids—Eli’s, Rassi’s, the Grove’s and a few more. We also would play “Seven Steps Around the House” in the dark with our cousins at our house, an exciting and scary game!

Dad made a pony cart one year for us four kids for Christmas. It was a surprise he parked outside the dining room window, for us to find on Christmas morning. It was big and Flicka wasn’t very crazy about being hitched up to it. If you are thinking our pony wasn’t very agreeable, you are wrong. She was wonderful: I could stand on her back and feed her popcorn and she had a couple of foals!

What did we play inside? We had no TV until 1963 when Kennedy died. Long winter evenings were spent playing games with Mom like Authors, Scrabble or Gusher. Every Sunday night and Wednesday night were spent at church; Dad was the deacon and expected to be there. We often went to visit “shut-ins” after church on Wednesday night, but if we were lucky, Dad would turn the car towards Dairy Queen and we would each get a five-cent cone! We also played checkers, Chinese checkers, or Dominoes with Dad. Later in life Dad taught us all how to play Greedy and The Farmers Game. I then taught those games to my grandkids and great grand kids. I used to make games as a kid: Clue, and Concentration are two I remember making.

The cabin we built near the woods and a pond, before any cement sealer was between the logs. Nancy took this picture of Pert, Terry and Melodie.

We also played in two creeks: one was close to the log cabin for which we cut down the logs and built. It had a fireplace and cool loft our friends loved. We could swim in the pond, watching out for blood suckers of course. We also fished. The other creek was across the road (on our property) by a second woods, but mostly we steered clear of that creek because it supposedly had sinking sand and Dad also found rattlesnakes back there.

 

Our farm home taken from a window in the barn.

We had what seemed like endless farm work: cultivating, cultivating, cultivating—we made up a song like that. And we gathered thousands upon thousands of eggs—a daily chore. I won’t go into that.

Regardless of the hard work, Mom and Dad would plan a family vacation every summer. Some trips I

Dad reading his Bible in the Rockies, Colorado on a family camping trip out west.

remember were to Hannibal, Missouri, Niagara Falls, Soo Locks (Mich.), Kentucky, church camps, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, California, Montana, Colorado, Oregon. Washington State and Washington D.C., Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, and more. Maybe I should have just named the states we didn’t get to.

On the whole, I had a whole lifetime of experiences while growing up on an Indiana farm with my two sisters, one brother, and a great Dad and Mom.

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I’m so glad my sister shared these memories, because siblings often remember different things! Do you have any memories your siblings don’t seem to recall?

Do you have different takes on the experiences you both recall? I’d love to hear!

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Comment here, or by emailing me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

Working Hard on an Amish Farmette

Winona grew up near where I did–this is the home and farm where I grew up; hers was just several miles away on a different road. Our farm is now owned by an Amish family.

Another Way for week of July 6, 2018

Working Hard on an Amish Farmette

Guest columnist: Winona Miller

Editors note: Winona Miller of Middlebury, Indiana, reads Another Way in The Goshen News and responded to Melodie Davis about her own growing up days. First of two guest columns by readers. (Photos from Melodie Davis’ own files.)

I grew up on a five-acre farmette, the second of eleven children. We lived so close to a busy U.S. highway that when semi’s would pass by fast, the house would kind of shake.

We had two milk cows and two horses. The cows provided us with plenty of milk and cream that Mom would dip off the top. She put the cream into a glass urn that had a paddle inside and a turn-handle outside, and we kids cranked until it turned to butter.

Typical haymow in a barn.

We grew about two acres of field corn for the cows and horses. We kids kept most of the weeds out of the corn. In the fall we husked the corn and brought it to the barn with Dad’s help. It kept us “out of mischief.” Dad promised us a new bike after all the work one summer, but I think we waited two summers, the funds must have been low. But we did get a new red Western Flyer, the Cadillac of bikes back in the day. One bike for all of us. It got lots of use.

We also had a big garden: lots of planting, weeding and harvesting. In the fall Mom would also order six or seven bushels of peaches from somewhere. To can them, we cut the peaches in half, pried out the stone, and peeled them. Then we stacked the halves nicely in clean quart glass jars, face down. Next a hot sugar syrup was poured into the cans. We put on the lids and gave the jars a boiling hot water bath for 20 minutes in a blue granite canner. We’d have yummy peaches all winter long. Mom was always there to help and teach us how. We also had five nice pear trees bearing pears to eat and can.

My dad was a carpenter by trade. Often after work in the summer, he would take the horse and buggy with his trailer and a big homemade wooden fishing boat, and went to a small local lake to fish. One or two of us kids would always go along. Many times, we’d catch a big bowl of fish. My sister, brother, and I would sit in the yard to scale and clean them. What a yucky job, but good eatin’.

We didn’t have running water, so we did the running. Dad built a washhouse a little ways out from the house, with a big iron kettle over an enclosed fire pit. The night before laundry day, my sister Bonnie and I would carry buckets of water from our outside well that had a small gas engine to pump water. It took quite a few trips to get the kettle filled.

The next morning, Mom got up early to start a fire to heat the water. ‘Twas great news if one of those big semi’s had a tire blow—that gave Mom fuel for a hot fire and the water heated quickly. With a large family and a wringer type washer, laundry days were usually an all-day affair.

Sometimes hobos would walk past on the busy highway and ask for food. Mom would graciously fix them an egg sandwich and tin can of chocolate milk. They were ever so thankful.

My own daughter Tanya scrubbing the sink after helping with dishes.

Oh the dinner dishes we had after the evening meal! That was my sister’s and my job. On nice summer evenings it was tempting to run outside and play for a while before dark. We’d play “Andy I Over,” throwing the ball over the washhouse roof to someone on the other side. If they caught it, they’d sneak over and try to hit us with the ball. We also did lots of cartwheels, skated the sidewalk with our one pair of clamp-on skates, played badminton, climbed trees, played Gray Wolf, Kick the Can and Hide and Seek.

In the meantime, the dirty dishes waited. Mom was busy with the little ones or doing mending or sewing.

We did have lots of fun, not always doing work and chores. Mom and Dad played Rook (card game) with us. Every Saturday Mom went to town for groceries and often she brought home a jigsaw puzzle for us. Many good memories!

***

If you would enjoy reading weekly stories like this from an Amish columnist with eight children, check out Lovina’s Amish Kitchen and subscribe to her weekly column which we at MennoMedia syndicate. Plus like the Facebook page we keep for her if you’re on Facebook.

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Nostalgia for your growing up days? Do you remember the work, or the play? Comment by emailing me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

If you sleep with pets, the sheets need to be washed more frequently. This cat, Riley, used to like to sleep beside me (he has gone on to his reward).

Another Way for week of June 22, 2018

Thoughts Upon Changing Sheets

What’s your worst cleaning-related job? Around your own home, what chores do you dislike most? Do you keep as clean of house as your mother—or your father —did, or do? Or maybe it’s the little job or jobs that you just put off from day to day?

I was amused by a recent email newsletter by author Sarah Quezada who wrote a book we published at Herald Press, Love Undocumented: Risking Trust in a Fearful World. She sends out a weekly email of her best finds—things she’s enjoyed reading or viewing or discovering—usually things online. She shared an article by another writer who detailed the various lengths of times adults change their bedsheets, and confessed to going as much as two months between changes, a practice that surely would have made our mothers’ generation “clutch their pearls” in dismay, as the article put it.

I love sleeping on clean sheets, but we now have a big thick foam king size bed (for which I am very grateful). But I’m not so thankful for the job of changing sheets. It’s heavier work changing sheets with a thick mattress than a thinner type, so sometimes I postpone this needed chore for weeks. Maybe as long as a month. (Dare I confess that here?) I was certainly brought up better than that—thanks, Mom. It was our weekly ritual to pull off all the sheets, wash them, and in earlier days, hang them out to dry (best way ever to have wonderfully smelling sheets!).

Really, it doesn’t take that long—I timed myself recently. Nine minutes from start to finish (including changing 3 pillowcases, and figuring out which end of the king size blanket needs to go at the head). I didn’t rush or push myself. A small job with dreamy dividends. The writer of the article said the job usually takes only 5-10 minutes. Making the bed every morning is another one of those things most of our mothers taught us, but many of my kids’ generation don’t worry about that daily trick which makes me feel at least a little organized and energized to start my day.

I’ve had my share of housecleaning jobs especially when I was a teenager and college kid, and I remember the family—rather wealthy and the county judge—who had me change the bed sheets twice a week in the master bedroom. I got the job through my mom’s friend, so I didn’t really know them. I felt like a bed is kind of intimate private space and I always felt a little funny—doing that job in the inner sanctum of their home.

But this is really more about more than clean sheets. I’ll confess I also didn’t like that particular cleaning job because it made me feel like a maid. I confess that reveals some hidden (or not so hidden) indications of class-ism or job discrimination or superiority based on job status. Of course a doctor or lawyer or judge or teacher gets more respect in our society than waitstaff, cleaning personnel, or sanitation workers. The Bible reminds us, “Show no partiality … if someone wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

We may not be guilty of overt discrimination like this but most of us struggle with quick snap judgments about people based on job or appearance. As I age, I hope I can learn the secret to being more generous with my thoughts towards others, showing (and feeling) no partiality.

Love Undocumented

What’s your worst/most dreaded household chore? How do you feel about changing sheets? Who makes the bed at your house? Do you dare share here?? I’ll never tell. 😉

Here’s where to find that original article about changing sheets, if you go online https://www.esquire.com/style/news/a43134/washing-sheets-towels/ . Or use my address below to write me for a copy if you don’t use the Internet. And if you’d like to check out Sarah Quezada’s email updates called Road Map, you can sign up here. Or buy her book, Love Undocumented, here.

You can write me at @anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week (or two!) after newspaper publication.
I’ve been on vacation so things are a little behind here.

 

 

 

 

There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy

Another Way for week of June 29, 2018

Thoughts on Mercy

It’s a song I’ve sung most of my life at church. As so often happens, I often do not really pay that much attention to the words. We enjoy the tunes and the sound but so often are minds are not open or connecting with the message of the hymn.

I’m guessing you know this one too, if you are a churchgoer: “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy.” It’s a verysingable and familiar tune, and my hymnal Glory and Praise says it comes from a sturdy Dutch folk melody.

The line that grabbed me profoundly on a recent Sunday was this: “There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heaven.”

When we are hurt or in pain—particularly emotional pain such as after the death of a loved one, divorce, a child’s illness, the many horrific shootings we’ve become too accustomed to—we need to remember that it isn’t a matter of “God took him or her” or “God knows best” and even “God doesn’t make mistakes.”

But especially in the case of a too-early or tragic death, if we believe the line of the hymn, God grieves right along with us.

To me, that is very comforting. When terrible accidents and tragedies happen, God laments with us. When accidents happen—like an accidental gun shooting—God doesn’t cause or allow the tragedy to happen. They just happen—sometimes because of the evil thoughts and actions of men and women. There may be many reasons for accidents—carelessness, overconfidence in one’s ability, showing off, engaging in a sport one loves, making a mistake in speed or other judgment, or taking one’s eyes off the road. God didn’t “allow it to happen,” it just happened.

Rather than focusing on what is the cause, we can focus on supporting those whose lives have been changed forever by the accident or tragedy.  

The week we sang this hymn, I had struggled with a particular weakness of mine. Another line of the hymn reminds us, “There is no place where earth’s failings have such kindly judgment given.” When we can’t forgive ourselves, God does.

When I think of abundant mercy, I think of women and men I have known who have poured out mercy when they were cheated on by a spouse. My husband is not perfect and neither am I (big surprise) but I am so grateful we have not had that problem in our marriage. Or, I think of Wilma Duerksen and her husband Cliff, a family in Manitoba who forgave the killer of their adolescent daughter. I had the opportunity to interview Wilma as our staff at Mennonite Media worked on a documentary, Journey Toward Forgiveness a number of years ago (2001). Hearing the stories of those who’d forgiven enormous wrongs affected all of us deeply who worked on the film, and the viewers we heard from by phone, email, and website.

When there are accidental tragedies, those too take a special gift to be able to forgive whoever was involved. I was touched and deeply moved by the story of Rachelle Friedman who was paralyzed from her neck down the night of her bachelorette party. She and her friends decided to go for a swim in a pool at one of their homes, and horsing around, one friend pushed Rachelle in. It was very shallow water at that end of the pool and Friedman’s head struck the pool’s bottom. She broke her neck, instantly paralyzing her from the collarbone down. A year of so after rehabilitation, she and her fiancé were able to go ahead with the wedding they’d planned, and have since had a child and love each other devotedly. Her mother lives with them to assist as they raise their little daughter, and Friedman forgave her friend, saying she in the past had pushed friends into pools also. Eventually the friendship was too hard to keep up with such a weight on it, and they are no longer actual friends. Friedman has written a book about her accident and the love she’s been shown by her husband and family in The Promise.

I felt this story was worth sharing not only because of the illustration of forgiveness and mercy shown by Friedman, but a prompt to be extra vigilant around pools, rivers, lakes and oceans as you enjoy nature this summer.

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Here’s the tune and version of “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” that I love: https://youtu.be/k-JDxOHTy5I

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What is a hymn that struck you recently in a new way?

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A helpful book that deals with the problem of suffering, mercy, and understanding God’s role–especially where children are involved–is Lord Willing? Wrestling with God’s Role in My Child’s Death, by Jessica Kelley. You can read more or purchase here.

And the film we made, Journey Toward Forgiveness, is still available for sale or download from Vision Video. 

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If you have comments or stories to share, send to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

In Memory of the Grandfather I Never Knew

My grandfather Ivan C. Stauffer. Note the glint of mischief in this mostly serious face.

Another Way for week of June 15, 2018

In Memory of the Grandfather I Never Knew

The other week I wrote a column responding to my oldest grandson’s query to his mother, “Mommy, what did you do when you were little?”

That column inspired my mother, Bertha, who reads my column in The Goshen News (Ind.) to sit down and write a letter responding to my ending question, “What did you enjoy doing when you were a little girl or boy? Write your own letter for your children or grandchildren.”

I love the letter she wrote in response, mostly about the fun things her father created or brought home for pennies during the depression years of the 1930s. I am happy to share those memories. Her letter is especially poignant for me because her father died in a terrible car crash seven months after I was born. So I never had the chance to know my grandpa Ivan Stauffer.

Ivan C. Stauffer, circa early 1900s.

Most of Mom’s memories of playing revolved around her dad (three children in the family). Usually her mother was too busy with sewing, gardening, or housework to join in, but had more time to play with them in the wintertime.

Here’s Mom’s letter—which I offer as a tribute in her own words. I’ve added my comments in parentheses.

We played croquet, a lot. Dad would get bargains at sales and bring them home (such as the croquet set). He got my first bicycle at a sale for 25 cents.

Dad would “knock out” flies with him at bat, and me catching on Sunday afternoon. I don’t remember if my sister (Florence) played or not, Mom never did. Daddy made us a basket to play basketball, out of an old bucket with the bottom banged out. I could even make baskets standing backwards. You didn’t know that, did you? Ha!

Florence and I, after a rain on the bare ground under the swing in the cherry tree, played our own game. She took a stick and drew pictures in the damp dirt, and I would “buy” what she drew on the ground in pictures. I bet few kids have ever done that. Cheap toys!

My mom, Bertha, far left, sister Florence, and toddler brother Paul.

(Aunt Florence became quite a renowned artist in the northern Indiana area who won ribbons in numerous art shows.)

Dad made all kinds of stuff for us. He made a merry-go-round out of a wagon wheel, quite big, with seats for us. It was lots of fun. We rode down our barn hill with a big cart he made from some more old wagon wheels—very exciting. We played like we were cooking catalpa tree beans and pretended to have lunch.

(Our own children also played with catalpa long bean pods “making dinner” on a pile of rocks under the tree.)

In winter, we played tic tac toe on a real slate blackboard with chalk, or Hangman—which was good spelling exercise, if you remember how to play Hangman. We made our own Authors card game using old cardboard.

None of this cost anything. Last of all I remember Dad making a chair swing from the wringer of an old wringer washer, and putting a round piece of old broom handle on a chain from the tree. I would climb a ladder and swing out over the gravel lane. What fun. That didn’t cost a cent either. I was a depression kid! We played hopscotch a lot when we could find nice cement. Indoors, we often played jacks with neighbor kids.

I do remember my sister playing piano; I used the piano rolls that came with our used piano. I spent hours pumping and listening to great music.

I love this portrait of the grandfather I never knew. It makes me sad though too, that we never knew him. But that’s life. Right now, I’m just grateful to still have my mother, and for her to write these things down, so I have at least these snippets of the creative and fun-loving father my Grandpa Stauffer was. I salute all the dads (my own dad and husband included) who created great toys and fun for their children and took time to play! Ask my grandkids about the wagon with seats and cushions Stuart made to haul them around the yard behind a lawn tractor.

***

A few years ago, I also wrote about Grandpa Ivan Stauffer here.

Do you have memories from your father or grandfather to share? I’d also love to hear! Comment below,

 

Or send to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

 

Psalm in the letter “M” – Creative Writing Exercise

My online friend (who I’ve not yet met) and sometimes colleague, April Yamasaki, blogged recently about her experiments to do creative interpretations of Psalm 23 with every letter of the alphabet. She invited like-minded wordsmiths who enjoy word play into her mirth. I was mesmerized.

Ah, now, I’m getting carried away with “m” which I have chosen for my own Psalm 23 in the letter M. (Somehow this reminds me of mothering my daughters through their Sesame Street days!)

And while this can be a somewhat devotional activity, it is also clearly having fun with words and letters and any spiritual gravitas should be gleaned mainly from King David’s unforgettable and perhaps all time favorite passage of the Bible.

If you need freshening on the exact text, here is David’s Psalm as rendered by the New International Version, and with photos for inspiration:

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.


He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,


I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

And here is my Psalm using M…

Psalm in the Letter M

1 The LORD is my mediator; Melodie shall not miss out.

2 He maketh me merry in marvelous meadows: he monitors me beside mild marine bodies.

3 He makes over my mobile inner self: he moves me in the methods of morality for his name’s memorability.

4 Mwah, though I meander through the murkiness of mortality, I will fear no madness: for thou art with me; thy miraculous wand mentors my members.

5 He manages to set a mouthwatering meal (metaphysically) with mine enemies: he makest my head murky and messed; my metaphors mirror each other.

6 Surely his mysterious mercy shall follow me mindfully all the measure of my marvelous life: and I will mellow in the house of my Maker for millennia.

–Melodie Davis

***

To find M words, I used the computer’s readily supplied thesaurus, and then Googled for a list of “good M words.” Google went right to work and brought me this marvelous list, all grouped together like you see below, and all in some way “good” or positive. I was spellbound and set to work.

Feast your imagination and then if you are similarly intrigued by creating your own Psalm, write yours after first checking out April’s post to see which letters she still has “available.”

April is a Mennonite pastor in British Columbia and is the author of several books and studies including the forthcoming book Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength from Herald Press, where I serve as managing editor. Her marvelous and mesmerizing new book (oh, opps) can be preordered here.

Good M Words – According to Google

MADE , MAESTRO, MAGIC, MAGICAL, MAGICALLY , MAGICIAN , MAGISTRATE , MAGNANIMITY, MAGNANIMOUS, MAGNANIMOUSLY , MAGNETIC, MAGNETIC TO LOVE, MAGNETICALLY , MAGNIFICENCE, MAGNIFICENT, MAGNIFICENTLY , MAGNIFIES IT, MAGNIFY, MAGNITUDE, MAIDEN, MAIN , MAINTAIN, MAJESTIC, MAJESTICALLY , MAJESTY, MAJOR , MAJOR LEAGUE, MAJOR-DOMO , MAJORITY , MAJORLY , MAKE, MAKE A DIFFERENCE, MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE, MAKE MY DAY, MAKE THE PENNY DROP, MAKER, MAKING AN IMPRESSION, MAKING-A-DIFFERENCE, MALLEABLE, MALLEABLY, MAN, MANA , MANAGE, MANAGEABLE, MANAGER, MANAGERIAL, MANAGERIALLY , MANIFEST, MANLY, MANNER, MANNERLY , MANEUVERABLE, MANY, MARKED, MARKEDLY , MARKING DIVINE, MARVEL , MARVELED, MARVELOUS, MARVELOUSLY, MARVELOUS, MARVELOUSLY, MARVELOUSNESS, MARVELS, MASCULINE, MASSAGE, MASTER, MASTERFUL, MASTERFULLY , MASTERLY, MASTERMIND , MASTERPIECE, MASTERPIECES, MASTERS, MASTERY, MATCHLESS, MATE, MATERNAL, MATERNALLY , MATRIARCH, MATTER , MATTER-OF-FACT, MATURE, MATURELY, MATURING, MATURITY, MAXI, MAXIMAL, MAXIMUM PROTECTION, MEANING, MEANINGFUL, MEANINGFUL WORDS, MEANINGFULLY, MEASURABLY , MEDIATE, MEDITATE, MEDITATION, MEDITATIVE, MEDITATIVELY , MEEK, MELIORISM, MELLOW, MELLOWLY , MELODIOUS, MELODIOUSLY , MEMORABLE, MENCH, MENSCH, MENTOR, MERCIFUL, MERCIFULLY , MERCY, MERIT, MERITABLE, MERITORIOUS, MERITORIOUSLY , MERRILY , MERRIMENT, MERRINESS, MERRY, MESMERIZE, MESMERIZED, MESMERIZES, MESMERIZING, MESMERIZINGLY , METAPHYSICAL, METAPHYSICALLY, METEORIC, METEORICALLY, METHOD, METHODICAL, METHODICALLY , METICULOUS, METICULOUSLY , METTLESOME, MHM, MIGHT, MIGHTILY , MIGHTY, MILD, MIND-BLOWING, MINDER, MINDFUL, MINDFULLY , MINDFULNESS, MINDSIGHT, MINIKIN , MINISTERIAL, MINT, MINT CONDITION, MIRACLE, MIRACLE WORKER, MIRACLES, MIRACULOUS, MIRACULOUSLY, MIRACULOUSNESS, MIRTH, MIRTHFUL, MIRTHFULLY , MITIGATE, MITIGATIVE, MITIGATORY, MM-HMM, MMM, MMMM, MODEL , MODERN, MODERNISTIC, MODEST, MODESTLY , MODESTY, MOM , MOMENTOUS, MONEYED, MONITOR , MONUMENTAL, MONUMENTALLY, MOPPET , MORAL, MORALE, MORALITY, MORALLY, MORE , MORPHING, MOST , MOST CERTAINLY, MOST FORTUNATELY , MOTHER , MOTIVATE , MOTIVATED, MOTIVATED WORDS, MOTIVATING, MOTIVATING WORDS, MOTIVATION, MOTIVATIONAL, MOTIVATIONAL WORDS, MOTIVATOR , MOTOR , MOURNING, MOUTHWATERING, MOVED, MOVEMENT, MOVER, MOVER AND SHAKER, MOVING , MUCH, MUCHO, MULTI, MULTIDIMENSIONAL, MULTIDISCIPLINED, MULTIFACETED, MULTI-PURPOSE, MULTITUDE , MUNCHY, MUNIFICENCE, MUNIFICENT, MUNIFICENTLY , MUSCULAR, MUSCULARLY, MUSICAL, MUSICALLY , MUST , MUTUAL, MUTUALITY, MUTUALLY , MWAH, MY, MY MY, MY WORD, MYRIAD

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Do word games or puzzles grab you? Once I got started on this, I couldn’t let it go until I’d put together a Psalm. It was fun to do something I didn’t need to do. Thanks, April for this great exercise!

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What do you do just for fun?

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Has anything you googled recently utterly amazed you?

 

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