Thursday, 6 March 2014

People inspire me . . .

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Do you know what today is?  It's Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 208th Birthday, or should I say the 208th anniversary of her birth.   One of the most beloved and remembered of the Victorian poets.   They say she was a laudenum addict, which is why her poetry is filled with such vived imagery.

“Earth's crammed with heaven... But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.” 
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Whatever, the world would not quite be the same without her having been in it and sharing her talents, which still inspire today.   I could sit and read quotes from her work for hours . . . each one being as inspiring or more as the last.   That is talent . . . true talent.

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That you can still inspire and affect a world one hundred and fourteen years after your death.  That is more than anyone can hope for.   To make a mark and a change for the better which withstands the test of time.

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Speaking of people who make the world a better place by being in it, I want to speak of my good friend Lura, who has surely been given more than her share of health problems these past couple of years, beginning with the car accident she and her husband John survived three years ago.   She had her gall bladder removed around Valentines Day and what should have been a simple recovery had just been an ongoing nightmare and life threatening at times.   Please do continue to keep her in your prayers.   Yesterday they discovered that she had developed a large blood clot from the pic they had inserted in her arm to the middle of her chest, which was critical.   They are treating it now, but once again this is something which has set her healing back and prevented her from being able to go home.

I love Lura so very much.  She has been such a dear friend to me.   We call ourselves Sisters from different mothers.  She is one of those gems that you only meet on rare occasions in this life of ours.   A dear, sweet lady with a genuine heart of gold and a sincere love for all God's children.  Please pray that she will be well soon, and that she will be able to go home, where real recovery can begin.  These past few weeks have been a nightmare for her and her family.

Lura has been an inspiration to me ever since the first time I met her online.   Her cheerful outlook and attitude has lifted me up on many occasions.   I love her with all of my heart. 


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This is Shaya.  It is a name which means God's gift.   Yesterday the doorbell rang and the postman was standing on my doorstep with a package for me.   I had no idea what it was, but when I opened it I found this little dear and a letter from my good friend Sybil.   I immediately broke into tears.   I thought to myself, I do not know what I have done to be so blessed in this life, to have such good and thoughtful friends as I have.  Knowing how much I love teddies and the colour pink. Sybil had seen this pattern and fallen in love with it.   She thought of me, she said . . . as soon as she saw it and wanted to knit it for me.  However, her friend Pam, knowing that dear Sybil is full of good intentions that often are not fulfilled (her words, not mine!) offered to knit it for her.    That someone would go out of their way to do this for me touches my heart in such a beautiful way.   I am so very blessed to have such kind people in my life.  Sybil is a dear, dear friend.  We have known each other since the AOL Journal days, which is quite a long time in the Internet World.   We have not had the luck to meet in person yet, but I live in hope that one day we will.  Thank you Sybil.   Your friendship and love mean the world to me.

Sybil is also a woman of inspiration.   Her writings have inspired me on many occasions.   She doesn't seem to blog any longer, but through her words I have been able to see and enjoy many things.   She is a dear sweet lady and I know with all of my heart that she has made a difference in all whose lives she has touched.  I love her to bits.

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Yesterday my Swedish friend, the other Marie, mentioned in her comment about a young Missionary from our church who had been killed a few days ago after a hit and run incident near her home.   This is a picture of that lovely young man, only 19 . . . Elder Mason Bailey, who died on Sunday.  He was an amazing young man by all counts and one only has to look at his face to see how special he was.   If you would like to read more about him you can find a story about him here.  All of our young people are surely amazing, and the mind boggles when you learn of something like this happening, a young man with so much potential being taken from us far too soon in life.   Elder Bailey would not want us to lose faith however.  He died serving the Lord and his fellow men, sharing a message that our Heavenly Father and the Savior want us all to hear . . .  that we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows each of us individually and loves us, that we have a Saviour who lives and is not dead, and who also loves us and seeks to help to bring us back into our Heavenly Father's presence once more.  The Gospel is true.   I know this with every fibre of my heart and my being, and Elder Mason Bailey did too.  I know there is a special place reserved for him in our Heavenly Father's mansion.

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Speaking of people who inspire, this is a woman named Ashlee.  In her own words, she is a mother, she is a daughter.   She is a sister.  She is a victim of murder and a victim of infidelity, and in my words she is an inspiration to all.  She writes a blog entitled "The Moments We Stand." Several years ago, as the mother of four young children, one a fairly newborn baby, the police knocked on her door and proceeded to tell her her husband was dead, and not just dead, but murdered.  Not by some random act of violence . . .  but by the husband of the woman her own husband had been having an affair with.  In those intervening years this dear sweet young woman has had to learn to forgive and to move on and she has done so with an amazing amount of faith.

My name is Ashlee. I am a victim of murder. Through a series of events and by two shots of a gun I was made a widow at the age of 28, my youngest just 6 weeks old. I am a victim of infidelity. I have felt unloveable. I have felt rejected. I have had days in my life that I wasn’t sure if I would ever take a breath again, let alone be able to raise my 5 children by myself. I have lived in fear. I have felt much heart ache. I have felt truly broken to my core. I have carried some heavy burdens... not only my own, but burdens put upon my shoulders by the death of my husband. I have felt alone. I have felt humiliated. I have been humbled to my knees. I have searched my soul to find my worth in this world and in the life I was left with. My world has been totally shattered. I have faced realities that I never knew were possible and found strength within myself to keep up the fight and live every day as if it was on purpose. I have been carried by Angels…both earthly beings and those unseen. I have found that being a “victim” doesn’t mean that we have an excuse to stop living. Being a victim means finding a reason for seeking a higher road. I have picked up the pieces left and carried on. I am a mother. I am a survivor.  

This is a woman who is making a difference.   Who is taking the shattered pieces of her life and, by her example, using them to help others to stand tall and  to cling to the right.  She is another amazing young person who is making a difference.

Our world is filled with people who inspire.   Who make a difference.   Who stand for the right.   Who make the world a better place just by having been here.  Unsung heroes and heroines.  People may say that the world today is a horrible place filled with horrible and bad people, and they would not be wrong . . . but I say the opposite is also true, and that the world is more than filled with amazing and wonderful people.  People who inspire and uplift and make the things and the people they touch better for having touched them.  Today I honor these special spirits whoever and wherever they may be.

The cowboy with the white hat . . . he always wins, and good will always prevail.  Evil only wins when we let it win.


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A thought to carry with you through today . . .

'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
~Jeremiah 33:3

Jeremiah, they called him the wailing prophet.   Wailing or not, hundreds of years later, he still inspires. 


 

Baking in The English Kitchen today . . .  Cranberry, Pecan and White Chocolate Flapjacks. 

Have a wonderful Thursday! 

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⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small*´¯`.¸¸.☆
⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆
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8 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What an adorable bear you got from your friend. Surprises like that just make your day for sure. I will be praying for your other friend who is having all the set backs too. You are blessed to have some wonderful friends in your life.

kate hazlehurst said...

Oh Marie! what a moving post this is. Having read Masons story and Ashlee's blog I am moved to tears. What wonderful inspiring people. Praying for Lura, I know how much she means to you and that's just from reading your blog. She's obviously a very special person. Lots of love Kate xx

La Table De Nana said...

The bear is so sweet and so you!

That poor girl..
They all look like angels..
What a story.
And Lura.. enough already.. poor her.. it just seems unbelievable..yet I know it is..
Speedy recovery now..

Marie said...

Oh, I didn't know that it was Elizabeth Barrett Browning's birthday. She is a really talented person in a world where that talent was not always appreciated in a woman.

I will keep your friend Lura in our thoughts and prayers. I do hope that this is the end of the complications for her - they seem to be never-ending, don't they? :(

I really, really love the little teddy and the beautiful thought behind it all. I'm not at all surprised that people want to give something to you, who always gives so much to others.

I thought that Mason's death was tragic and such a waste of a young life. I see that the US papers say that he died in Stockholm. In fact the accident happened in Västerås, about 110km west of the capital city. I can't imagine how hard it must be for his family.

And I am amazed by the grace and courage of Ashlee. How does one even begin to move on from that?

Marie Rayner said...

I count you as one of my blessings Pam. You are a dear friend and I am always uplifted when I visit your page.

Katie you are so dear. I hope that one day we will be able to meet! We will have to make it happen. I am sure Lura will appreciate your prayers. Thank you so much!

Monique, sometimes life is like that n'est ce pas? Like if it weren't for bad luck there would be no luck at all. That is when we need our faith to sustain us!

Marie, again, it is our faith that helps us to move on. Good people/bad things. It's all in how we react to them which makes the difference. I am sure Mason's family are very saddened by what happened, and yet at the same time, they know his example is one which will inspire and it won't have been for naught, as hard and difficult as it is to cope. xxoo

Thistle Cove Farm said...

What an amazing testimony Ashlee has; it's only with the mercy and grace of God that any of us move forward.

Marie Rayner said...

So glad you agree Thistle Cove!! Where would any of us be without the mercy and grace of God!! I dread to think about it!

Sybil said...

don't know how i missed this yesterday...came in to read todays fridays news ! and so i find myself a day behind !! never mind i still agree with what you write about our dearest Lura, i have been so very concerned about her. I do hope we get some good news soon, she has been through such an awful lot...thank you also for the kind wordsabout me...i am sure i do not deserve them at all ....thinking about it i think it was through Lura that you and i met up....
have a lovely day. it is Womans World day of Prayer today, so wonderful to think of the unending power of prayer for all women that will go on today...