Thanksgiving Prayer

“A Thanksgiving Prayer”

By: Michelle Hailey

Lord, Bless this family gathered around the table united hand in hand

Bless these hearts that mourn for those who have gone on to your Heavenly land

Be with each one as they send you their individual prayer

May you continue to remind and reassure us that you are always there

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Thank you for the blessings you have brought to our life

Thank you for your comfort in our times of anguish and strife

Bless those who today are lonely and without a home

Thank you for this family who gathers so that no member is alone

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Bless this food and this time together

I ask that you keep us strong so that there is no storm we can not weather

Bless our future and thank you for our past

Let us hold on to those happy memories so that they will always last

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Give us the strength to continue to face this life day by day

Thank you for your love and your promise to never go away

Bless this Thanksgiving meal and this family today and in the days to come

I ask this in the holy name of Jesus Christ your son….Amen

*Thanksgiving is upon us…Time for some great food and some great “family” time. Growing up and even to this day when my family gathers around the table each member takes a moment to highlight what they are most ‘thankful’ for this year.  For me this will mark another Thanksgiving away from my family, but I am blessed to have friends, a second family here in NC, to share the meal and day with.

I actually wrote this several years back in memory of my departed cousin because it struck a chord with me that families of all shapes and sizes gather to start the ‘Holidays’ but for some their family is incomplete…I felt this was a universal prayer/plea for those missing someone rather by death/distance/illness/circumstance. I think that covers all.

Please feel free to share this prayer in your homes this week. I send it to my family, friends, and anyone who I think may glean something from it even if minute in scale.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you!!!

A Colorful Drive…

Parkway

The Parkway of Color

By: Michelle Hailey

 The highway is alive with color the higher we go

An apple orchard promised but a dead-end says ‘no’

Further up the orchard finally comes into view

Picking apples off the tree, to this southerner is new

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Baskets and wagons children running all over the place

Even adults poised in an apple picking race

The mountainside the setting for this activity and fun

Our journey to see fall color has just begun

Onward and upward the travelers drive

Colors in yellow and orange vibrant and alive

Taking a break to hike to Triple Falls

Photographing the spray and scaling waterfall walls

Still higher we climb watching colors fade

Then we find ourselves in the mountain bridge shade

The journey is not through there is more in store

Resting in a nearby town it’s time to explore

The following morning we are on our way

To enjoy lunch at a local bakery & café

Then we head to the Parkway the most scenic sight

We plotted our journey carefully the previous night

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If we thought the drive was scenic up to this point

The Parkway elated us it did not disappoint

So much beauty it’s hard to take it all in

Vistas of color seemingly without end

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Photos don’t do it justice though we took many that day

God’s perfect nature painting directed our way

Another town a delicious meal and a tantalizing treat

Weary but joyful we made the trip home…we were beat

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What a wonderful experience this trip in this season

We are small in natures vastness, but are all here for a reason

*Being from South Texas fall colors still delight and excite me…One of my favorite drives is the Blue Ridge Parkway and along with a very dear friend I combined the two and made many memories.

The Mountains are truly where my soul rests and to see these in vibrant colors was an amazing experience. Add in a new experience of an apple orchard and even a Bald Eagle sighting and this was an incredible fall weekend.

Grateful for the journey and the reminder of God’s beauty…

Shades of the Season

fall

“Seasonal Shades”

By: Michelle Hailey

 

I love to crunch the fallen leaves

As I stroll amongst nearly bare trees

To sit by the fire roaring bright

Roasting marshmallows’ and talking into the night

Pictures are full of more color so many shades

Amazing how quickly summer fades

Sweaters replace bathing suits and tank tops

Boots replace bare feet & flip-flops

Chili is on the stove and hot cocoa is the drink we sip

Pumpkin seems to be on every ones’ tongue tip

Holidays are on the horizon and travels plans are being made

Presents hastily purchased and family games once again played

Soon we will decorate for Christmas but for now scarecrows adorn the lawn

Pumpkins, gourds, the Thanksgiving Turkey will all be long gone

Coats will cover sweaters and for some snow will blanket the ground

Lending to its’ own unique seasonal sound

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So enjoy this season of cooler temps before it turns cold

Around the fire with a Smore while ghost stories are being told

*Fall brings with it things we all look forward to…Perhaps it’s the cooler temps or the sounds of leaves crunching beneath your feet. Maybe it’s the fall foods…I can’t go anywhere without a recipe involving ‘pumpkin’ appearing (I don’t even like pumpkin).

Maybe fall is just a springboard into the Holiday season where we anticipate time with loved ones. Perhaps the change in attire is what you most anticipate or maybe the visual change in the landscape…

Whatever it is fall has found us once more…Get out and enjoy the season 🙂

What are some of you favorite things about this season? (Share your thoughts)

Plea to Hate

“A Plea to Hate”

By: Michelle Hailey

They’re his words, his cry

A plea to us to let him die

I hear it now, it’s his voice

Announcing to all his future choice

He begged us in his own way

To let him go not make him stay

Those words, ‘hate me’

Were a way for him to feel free

He wanted to escape the love

Escape forgiveness from above

In truth the words were his own

He hated himself and felt alone

Hurtful words meant to anger

To show he was now a stranger

Already lost to us though physically there

Struggling to make us cease to care

Running, fighting trying to get away

Finally succeeding on his dying day

But there was never hate only love

From his family and his father above

No more hate, safe from harm

He rests in the comfort of God’s arm

*There is no photograph to accompany these words for they are a plea from a family member that was lost to us and I have yet to find the photographic representation fitting these words. My heart still hurts knowing my younger cousin never saw his 21st birthday…Never became the man he could have been. I won’t make excuses or play what if’s as I have done that for years and must train myself to stop.

I will always miss the boy I grew up playing with and watching over, but his life is no longer and it is those of us left behind who will forever mourn and miss him. This poem is for those left behind for it is those who suffer; a loved one may struggle and that is sad for all to see but when there struggle ends it is tragic for those left behind for they are the ones that must pick-up the broken pieces and move forward.

In loving memory of my ‘brother’ ZLV

Which way???

paths

“Paths”
By: Michelle Hailey

Standing still beneath a tree
Looking at the many paths and wondering which is the path for me
Should I go left or maybe right
Which one will give me less fright?

Maybe I should walk straight ahead or perhaps turn around
So many choices and no clear path to be found
A day is coming soon when I must choose
I have everything to gain and little to lose

Yet I remain debating which way to go
In the back of my mind perhaps I already know
A starting point a place to move on
The path that will lead me to where I truly belong

What if I screw up, what if I fail
What if my endless debating is to no avail?
So much uncertainty and fear
While waiting for a path that may never be clear

When you choose a direction to take
There will be many obstacles and decisions to make
Sometimes you jump and sometimes you soar
That’s what the path that leads home is for

Behind it all in the back of your mind
Is the path we all must find
Our path; our way to move on without forgetting where we start
The path that leads us back to our family and to our heart

So choose a path, make the call
Then remember the path home is there if you fall
Succeed, try, fail and then look around
There are many paths left for you to travel down

*”Two paths diverged in a wood and I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference”~ Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken)  This is perhaps the most well-know paths quote and it is so fitting for so many circumstances, but not all.

Sometimes in life there are proverbial paths maybe a path to the past and present or the past and future or paths forged by choices. I recently have found myself at such a crossroads. Though when this picture was taken I was literally on a trail a walk with my friends and the biggest choice was do I take the longer route and extend this time with them or cut it short and get to ‘dessert’ faster. I found that the true ‘dessert’ was conversation with my friends. I mean the ice-cream was a bonus and strangely fraught with even more conversation but sometimes it is the paths that lead to discovery, but those that take us on self-discovery are the ones I like least.

What paths do you struggle to overcome? Are there familiar paths of comfort?

I remember the pasture had a path well trodden by me and my four-legged companions I knew every nook and cranny it was a haven, a jungle, a playground, an escape; it was anything my imagination wanted it to be. That path was one of comfort/familiarity.

Hiking paths are paths of adventure as our roadways, they are paths to what’s next hence my passion for road trips and travel…Paths come in so many forms. Think of the Wizard of Oz…another famous path, ‘the yellow-brick road’.

Bridge Crossing (TT)

garden

*Thumbnail Thursday on a Thursday wow…I feel so accomplished 🙂  This picture is actually from the West coast a beautiful garden that I had the opportunity to visit with my best friend. Taken in of all places a Japanese garden, in the center you can see the ‘friendship’ bridge. Very fitting with the quote…I was thinking as I do often how we don’t walk this life with only GOD, or our family, but also the wonderful blessing of friends who become ‘family’ at least if you are blessed as I know I have been.

As I have come into my adult years and moved away from family my friends have become a ‘pseudo’ family built out of choice and steeped in love. I have that select few that would literally walk with me through fire, across the bridges of life and for those people I am grateful.

I hope that each of you reading this has those people as well…Maybe it is a friend, spouse, family, whomever. We don’t have to cross the “bridges” of this life alone. That’s the real message.

God Bless!!!

Come swing with me…

To_and_Fropic

“To and Fro”

By: Michelle Hailey

 Part of me would like to remain a child, forever swinging with my feet pointing towards the sky

With never a care or a worry as I watch the butterflies fly by

Suspended between time and space, marking the days by the number of times I swing to and fro

No phones, no computers, no schedules to keep just me choosing how high I want to go

What a time of innocence, bliss and glee

When you are forever swinging dreaming about what you’ll do and be

A child grows and the swing rusts as time goes by

The forever swinger though continues to reach for the sky

So pump your legs and stretch your mind as you swing through life in your own way

Never stop the to and fro motion that keeps you young as you recall it each and every day

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*As a kid I loved to swing I would stretch my toes to the sky and pretend that I could soar that I would be able to fly away and see the world. Right there right from the Sesame Street backyard playground set…

As I grew up I would seek out amusement park rides that took me up in swings high above the pavement there is something freeing about not having the ground touching your feet.  I remember the poem “Birches” by Robert Frost. I used to love that piece of literature I always envisioned myself on a swing set.

Anyway the pic is actually a shot I took the other day on a walk around my apartment and then turned into a sketch courtesy of a new phone app I’m exploring PicsArt Photo Studio.

Swings are pretty much synonymous for me with childhood…What is something that reminds you of childhood?