A Rose From My Mother

my mothers rose

Photography by Julie Sheppard

I took this picture after the memorial for my mother in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. She had planted this rose bush in her yard. After the service this beautiful rose stood out against the desert that surrounded it. At that time my heart was broken and my grief was overwhelming. I saw only a rose and knew that she had planted. Today this picture spoke to me. Her life had many harsh times and she survived and even bloomed.

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She was an amazing woman and she made sacrifices that cost her more than I had ever known for most of her life so that I could live and still be here today. Now as I look at this rose I see more than a rose. I am learning a lesson. Life can be harsh and cruel for many of us. Yet no matter where you are or what cruelty may surround you, love and life can still prevail.

I still miss my mom and always will but my thoughts of her bring me joy and she is still in my heart. She was a loving mother and a beautiful and hard working lady.

Taking a little break / April 29, 2017

I am taking a little break from my writing and my art and photography. It has been a good month with a lot of positive changes. This last week was the five year anniversary of my Mother’s passing. I am okay but I still miss her very much. Grief never truly goes away when you have lost someone you love but you continue to live and the pain of the grief becomes less. There is still a hole that no one else can fill but you find joy in the memories and the time you had. God bless you all and I will be back soon.

A Tree Falls And The lessons Continue / Fallen But Not Useless

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The tree that fell in the playground of the apartments I lived in continues to teach us lessons. Today as I looked at the branches cut and in piles and looked at the tree that they came from I received another lesson.

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Fallen does not mean useless it also does not mean that you have changed who you are. Your purpose may have changed, and your location may have changed and you may even feel separated from the source of life with your creator but you still have purpose and you are still His creation.

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He can take the broken pieces of your life and use them for many new purposes.  One thing that you can easily do with a fallen branch is cut it into firewood. This of course would be a one time use. Yet this wood can become so much more than that. I have already gathered branches from this tree and put them to use.

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They now have my grapevine growing upon them. Supporting life that is already growing its fruit.

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Previously I have used a fallen branches and turned them into walking sticks like my other had done when she was alive. Here are a couple I have previously made.

The wood that is used to build homes and and furniture all came from a tree. This chair, shop, barn and home were all built from wood that was once part trees. They all serve a purpose. A place to sit and rest. A place to work. A place to shelter animals and store supplies and equipment. A home to shelter a family or even an individual.

Whether that tree was cut down or fell that was used to build these I do not know. What I know is wood comes from a tree and eternal life comes from Jesus. There is one piece of wood that was used to bring us salvation. It was used to make the cross upon which our Savior was crucified.

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This cross is not that cross but it is a reminder to us of the price He paid for us and how He has forgiven us. Another tree that gave a piece of itself to be used for the greatest purpose in any trees life.So if you have fallen or someone you know has fallen do not write yourself or them off. You are useful and you have a purpose. Let yourself be picked up and make a new start. Become something new.

Proverbs 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again, but the wicked stumble into calamity.

Psalm 37:23-24 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

Psalm 145:14-16 The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Isaiah 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.