A Morning on the Lake

Hello, Thursday Morning Readers! I love when friends stop in to visit. Will you join me in a cup of coffee? Hot tea?

It’s not quite summer (technically) but there is nothing so inspiring as a morning at the lake. Writing this, I’m sitting on a balcony overlooking Lake Cumberland in Eastern Kentucky. It’s early morning, so the only sounds I hear are birdcalls and the chatter of squirrels.

The view from our balcony at Lake Cumberland.

The big trees that line the cliff in front of me are alive with wildlife. I see constant movement among their branches. Early morning and evening, a single deer passes by, dropping from sight on a hidden trail down the face of the cliff. A sign warns, “Caution! 200 FT cliff. Supervise children at all times. No pets allowed in this area.” I guess that doesn’t apply to deer and raccoons. I saw both go over the side.

There’s another sign at the entrance to this State Park that says, “Watch for Resident Wildlife.” I have to ask you, are there non-resident wildlife? Should I watch for them, too?

Rainy morning at Lake Cumberland

We’ve enjoyed a couple of beautiful, relaxing days here. Turns out, relaxation is good for you. 🙂 The patter of rain on the metal roof early this morning eased my soul. It also cleared the air. It wasn’t enough to deter serious fishermen, though. They were out there, gliding close to the rocks, casting their lines and hopefully leaving with a great catch.

This lake is full of trout. We visited the fishery yesterday at Wolf Creek Dam. It was interesting to see the fish in various stages of life, preparing for release in the lake.

Sunrise on the water.

Well, the sun’s back out to lend sparkle to the ripples on the water. This deep, green lake beckons to me. I’m going to pack up my laptop and move on to the next destination. I hope your summer includes a respite, vacation, lazy weekend, or maybe even a full summer of fun.

All too soon, we’ll be back on a schedule. Bob & I made a lasting friendship with this lake, though. We will definitely return (God willing). Besides being less than three hours from home, it’s grand and glorious as lakes go. There’s so much to see and do, or not to do, if that’s what you desire.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. Let them inspire you to take some time to breathe and relax this summer. But watch out for resident wildlife and steep cliffs. 🙂Note: Lure Lodge at Lake Cumberland is clean and well staffed. There’s plenty of room for families to gather, games and a large, indoor pool. The restaurant affords a wonderful view of the lake. Their wait-staff is friendly, brimming with southern hospitality. They offer a buffet or a menu.

The State Dock below the lodge offers boats you can rent for the day or half a day. There’s a store where you can buy supplies, souvenirs, etc., and a restaurant and bar.

CLICK-TO-TWEET: Lake Cumberland in Kentucky is grand and glorious as lakes go. There’s so much to see and do or not to do, if that’s what you desire. #travel #Kentucky #ThursdayThoughts

Hello Thursday Morning Refresh

Introducing a new feature for Hello, Thursday Morning: Devotions. Every third Thursday, I’ll post a devotional from one of my devo-writing friends. Today’s post is written by my good friend and fellow Kentucky writer, Harriet E. Michael.

I hope you enjoy these posts and will be uplifted by the messages.


Pestering God

Read: Luke 18:1-7 

“You who call on the Lord give yourself no rest and give Him no rest…”

Isaiah 62:6b (NIV) 

“Oh please, Mommy! Oh please, oh please!”

I have said these words to my mother many times when I was a child. I used to pester my mother terribly if I wanted her to say yes to something. My mother would tell me to stop begging–she had heard me already and was considering my request. But it was hard for me to be quiet. Pleading for something I wanted was in my nature.

Some years ago, a child of mine was struggling greatly and I was extremely concerned. I prayed about it constantly because like when I was a child–it was just my nature to do so. I couldn’t let it go, my concern was so great. I found myself thinking, “I must be driving God crazy the way I used to drive my mom crazy when I pestered her about things.”

Then to my amazement and relief, I found this verse of scripture. God is not bothered by our constant prayers. How reassuring to know that not only is God not bothered by our pestering, he wants us to bring our concerns to Him over and over.

Today the situation I was so concerned about is resolved and my child is recovered. But of course, I’m still pestering God about other concerns. Now I smile when I do it and thank Him for letting me talk about it yet again.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how patient you are. Thank you. Ease our burdens as we bring them to you in prayer and show us your answers even as we call on you again and again. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Thought for the Day: It’s ok to pester God with your needs.

Click to Tweet: Pray without ceasing. “You who call on the Lord give yourself no rest and give Him no rest…” It’s ok to pester God with your needs. #ThursdayThought #ThursdayInspiration

Born in Nigeria, West Africa, as the daughter of missionaries, Harriet E. Michael is a writer, wife of nearly 40 years, mother of four, and grandmother of two.

She holds a BS in nursing from West Virginia University but has discovered her passion for writing. Since her first published article in 2010, she has now had hundreds of articles and devotions published.

Harriet is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Louisville Christian Writers. She is the author of several books, Prayer: It’s Not About You, a finalist in the 2011 Women of Faith book contest, published by PixNPens Publishing Company, The Whisper of the Palms published by Olivia Kimbrell Press, Glimpses of PrayerPrayer Warrior Confessions also published by PixNPens. She has more books slated to be released in the next few years.

She has authored over 200 stories, articles, and devotions which have appeared in publications by Focus on the Family, Lifeway, Standard Publishing, David C. Cook Co., Bethany House, American Life League, Crosswalk.com, Christian Communicator, The Salvation Army, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Judson Press, The Upper Room, Pentecostal Publishing House, Smyth and Helwys, and more.

She is also a Christian speaker who loves to talk to women’s groups about prayer or other topics. She also speaks at writers’ conferences on free-lance writing, or devotional writing.

The Truth Mothers Know

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone, once again reminding me of how quickly time passes.

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed Mother’s Day weekend.

There is a truth that mothers know—one among many, of course. We learn wisdom over the years as we rear our children and help tend our grandchildren.

While going through the early years, time seems to move at a snail’s pace. These were the years when I felt as though the long days would never end. Mothers often get up early and stay up late, up all hours, trying to be the best possible mother.

In the natural passage of time, we graduate into moms of school-age children. While the nights settle a little, with the exception of nocturnal illnesses, we’ve now become shuttle-drivers. If we work full-time, we have to keep to a tight schedule to incorporate after-school activities, church activities, and sports. This level of mothering can be almost as rigorous as the early years.

Then one day, it ends.

We’re standing in a large room watching that child we raised graduate from high school. We’ve spent long hours agonizing over finances, helping our college-bound child decide on the best venue. Others of us will send that child off to boot camp for the next level of training. Either way, we say goodbye.

The truth is, those years that seemed so long as we were passing through them…aren’t. They’re very short in the long view. When we’re on the other side looking back, we can see that. I’m reminded of a poignant scene in one of my favorite stories, the British mini-series, “North and South.”

The scene is desolate. Everything is gray, and snow is falling. John Thornton is watching as the woman he desperately loves prepares to leave him. As she climbs into the coach, he mutters, “Look back. Look back at me.” But she doesn’t look. Her eyes are on the road ahead.

This is a difficult time for some of us, as parents of children who are joyfully moving on to the next level. They’re excited about what the future holds. We see empty rooms and quiet houses. Which can be a wondrous thing, depending on your perspective.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/labsafeharbor-5668409/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2418176">labsafeharbor</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2418176">Pixabay</a>Whether it’s a road well traveled or not, is entirely up to us. Until it’s not. When we’ve reached our child’s late teen years, or maybe their early twenties, we realize just how much it’s not. At a point unrealized by me, the child I birthed and loved and raised, has taken over the reins.

I suppose that’s one of the deepest truths I’ve learned along the way. No matter how much I might want to help them avoid the potholes, they really want to do their own thing, even if it means making their own mistakes.

I’m standing on the stoop, watching as they pull away. “Look back,” I whisper, “look back at me.”

And they do, with waves and smiles. Then they turn toward their destination while I return to a quiet house. I’ve come to love and cherish the silence, but oh, how I’ve loved the chaos.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. —Proverbs 22: ESV

Click to Tweet: There is a truth that mothers know—one among many, of course. In the aftermath of Mother’s Day. #ThursdayThoughts via @batowens

Thursday Thoughts

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! Here I go, thinking again!

Sometimes those moments come out of nowhere—blank ones with actual time to think. Oh, our brains are in constant motion, even when we sleep. But actual thinking is a process that takes time.

In my mind, I see this cute photo of Pooh Bear thumping his head with a stuffed paw and saying, “Think, think, think.” Yeah, my brain works that well, too.

I’m forever amazed at the capacity we have for thought and engagement. I am constantly bombarded by…well, stuff for lack of a better word. Yesterday, I completely forgot what week it is and set out on a shopping adventure. Big mistake!

Why? Well, it’s Derby Week in Louisville, Kentucky. There are a gazillion cars on the road and the sky is filled with private jets arriving hourly. Noise.

So, the actual shopping was a pleasure because it was still early enough that the stores were empty, but getting there and back again. Super stressful!

On another note, it’s May and the locust trees are blooming in my backyard. The air is filled with their sweet aroma. Locust trees are common in Kentucky. They’re actually invasive, tend to be quite tall and skinny. Not really all that attractive, except when they’re covered in Wisteria-like blooms.

And then the white rain begins as the bloom petals fall. It’s really enchanting.

Last night, I was privileged to sit in a Bible study being taught this week by a missionary from Spain. I’ve known Tom Cook and his wife, Beth, for many years. His words last night were simple, but profound as he taught us how to pray the will of God. When you pray, and you have total confidence that what you’re asking is God’s will, you can expect an answer.

I am blessed to have such a fine couple as dear friends. Thank you, Tom and Beth, for your continued service.

So, that’s what I’m thinking about this morning. Very low-key and keeping it simple. May your day be blessed with joy and peace!

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15 ESV

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

Hello, and happy Valentine’s Day, Thursday Morning friends!

Valentine’s Day began as a Christian holiday – the feast of St. Valentine (an early Roman martyr). Unfortunately, it’s not a “lovely” history, since it involves martyrdom.

It’s association with romantic love is said to have begun with Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century poet). Some of you may remember him as a character in the movie A Knight’s Tale—my first experience with steam punk—but that’s another subject.

My first experience with Valentine’s Day began in first grade, when I garnered an amazing number of cards. It didn’t matter that everyone in class received the same amount.

Do you have a favorite Valentine memory?

These days, I usually only receive one card but it’s worth more than a bushel-basket full. Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy day to visit with me. And have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s my valentine for you, from me:

Happy Valentine’s  Day!