writing for children

MADNESS POETRY: I MADE IT IN!

I don’t know if y’all remember last year’s competition, but I made it to round three before losing to the FABULOUS Damon Dean. This year, I made it in, again… and round ONE is currently underway. If you have time and feel inclined, voting for this round ends at 8pm tonight. Choose your fave points and make some “authletes” happy! 🙂

You do have to login to vote, but you can use email or facebook to do so. You’ll see buttons on the page after you click the poems you want to vote for. Thanks so much!

https://madnesspoetry.com/match/innards-1519617433088×852359788026660700

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writing for children

Are Online Arguments Fruitful?

I am a person full of opinions. Talk to me privately and I’m sure you’ll hear them. Ask any of my friends…. they will confirm this fact.  You can probably scroll through this blog and see many, many examples, too. 

cropped-whateverwednesday11.jpgAnd up until a year or so ago, I tended to display my political opinions on Facebook regularly. I did not hesitate to engage in online discussions. I vented and shared my very strong thoughts on almost everything. It felt like high noon at the “FB Corral” every week.

 

But I soon realized that my exuberant emotions tended to hinder my ability to have a civil discussion. I could feel my blood pressure rising every time I saw certain posts and engaged in arguments with those I disagreed with. The “discussions” that I’d hoped might change someone’s mind became heated in a such a way that it only ushered in more dissension.

 

The Lord, in His compassion, mercy, and grace, showed me that I was not speaking in love to the folks I disagreed with… quite the opposite. Instead of desiring to bridge a gap, I wanted to thump some folks upside the head.

 

And NO… I don’t remember a single time that Jesus thumped someone upside the head. Granted, he DID turn over the money-changers tables in the temple, but he still loved them and laid down his life for them… and me. His whole ministry was soaked in the leading of the Holy Spirit and the love of the Father toward His children. But my conversations were more about proving someone wrong than loving them.

 

I am called to stand up for those who are being shoved down and unable to stand for themselves. And I will continue to do that as long as the Lord allows me to do so.  The hard part? I am also called to love those who are doing the “shoving”.  It is much easier to show my love to those who are being hurt and at a disadvantage. It is harder to show love to the ones who are doing the harming. The most recent headlines are a perfect example of that. If you don’t know which one I’m talking about, it’s okay. You can pick just about any headline… it will do.

 

So if you don’t see me posting something on FB about the latest news headlines, it’s not because I don’t care. It’s because I have chosen to intentionally refrain from those online discussions and instead discuss them in-person. Those conversations can get heated, too. But having a real live person in front of me makes it harder to spew whatever I want to say. It reminds me that I am called to love others as I have been loved. I am called to show compassion… even if another person is not.

As a follower of Christ, I am called to follow His example. I fail miserably many days. But staying out of (most) online arguments has helped keep me from forging more gaps in relationships. I still struggle with saying the right things while talking to folks “in person”… but at least they can see and hear the inflection in my voice and hopefully know my heart — even when I mess up.

How about you? Do you engage online? Is it fruitful for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  –Colossians 4:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

 

writing for children

FEAR

Yesterday, there was a common theme discussed in almost every conversation I had:

FEAR.

FEAR IS A THIEF. (from MorgueFile.com)

It steals our joy, our hope, and our confidence.
It is a relationship killer and a destroyer of dreams.

Fear invades our life and distorts the truth. Fear does not discriminate. It is an equal opportunity terrorist.

Fear is the enemy’s tool that stops us in our tracks, gluing us, like quicksand, to the same scary spot and taunting us. Fear keeps us from walking in the fullness of God and down the roads HE has already prepared and walked for us.

I asked my 14yo how she would describe fear. She stopped and thought for a moment, then said, “The devil’s playground.”

How often do we allow the enemy’s tactics to “play” with our heads? Our emotions? Our lives?

We see it in other people but don’t recognize it in our own lives.

Is there something you have been called to do but are too afraid of failure? Or maybe you’re too afraid of success? What will happen if you try… and succeed? You will then have the opportunity to sow HOPE into the lives of others who also might be experiencing the “devil’s playground” in their life.

Fear destroys… God creates.
Fear is a thief – but God restores.
Fear kills… But God brings new life to dead places!

Is there fear in your life today? Fear for you? for your family? Fear for things that have not yet occurred or fear of the consequences that can come from other fear-based decisions you’ve made?

I encourage you today to share the fears you’ve been experiencing with someone you trust. Allow yourself the opportunity to admit the fact that fear has been calling the shots… and decide to speak life into those places and change the story!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Tim 1:7)

The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 118:6

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (I John 4:18)

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats ; do not be frightened.” (1 Peter 3:13-14

 

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-5)

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

writing for children

It’s been a long time coming…

and I finally have a real, honest-to-goodness website. I’ve been told for years that I needed to have one – but I didn’t. And now I do. So there. 🙂

If any of you have a chance, I’d love for you to check it out: https://wordwranglernc.wixsite.com/donnawearnhardt

I’ll keep posting here (just as sporadically as always) on faith, family, poetry and all the other things that pop into my head. I’ll be using the above website, though, for most of my writing-related posts. I hope you will give it a once over and let me know if anything needs work, revision, or if the font is just too much for your eyes. Thank you all so much!

writing for children

For Our Daughters

Our middle girl turned 15 on Sunday. I can hardly believe it. Our oldest girl turns 20 in two weeks. In December, our youngest turns 14. This is for each one of them…

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
I know you want to soar
Your wings grow bolder
every day
and stronger than before…

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly–
the world’s not black and white
so let God’s wisdom
lead the way
and fuel your graceful flight

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
soak in God’s love… refill.
Don’t overthink
the simple things,
take time to just be still.

Slow down, slow down,
my Butterfly —
and let me hold your hand
for just a
little longer…
one day you’ll understand.

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
God gave you wings to soar.
Keep growing bolder
every day
and stronger than before…

I know, I know
my Butterfly–
God’s got you in His sight
He’s wrapped you in
his wisdom and
ordained your graceful flight

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
I need to just be still
and know that God is
guiding you,
wrapped in His perfect will.

I know, I know,
my Butterfly —
God holds you in His hand
and loves you even more than me?
One day I’ll understand.

But still, slow down,
my Butterfly,
I know you’re gonna soar.
‘Cause every day
you’re bolder,
braver,
stronger than before…

— Donna Earnhardt, August 2017

writing for children

Dear Mothers, Daughters, Aunts, Grandmas, and Sisters of the World,

For most of us, there are days when we feel like our best “efforts” and best laid plans just aren’t cutting the mustard…

and it feels more like we’re cutting the cheese.

Yeah. I just made a fart joke. #sorrynotsorry

But come on, y’all, be real. Some days just stink. Maybe for you, that stinky, bad day was yesterday? Maybe it’s today? Maybe you aren’t looking forward to tomorrow?

Some days are harder than others. It’s a fact. And pretending that it’s not the truth won’t change a thing.

Too often, though, we try to hide our struggles with our kids, our jobs, our relationships, our “whatevers”. We feel the need to don our worn-out superwoman cape so the world can see how much we’ve “got it together”… but in reality? Those are the days we limp through– bent over like Atlas with the weight of the world on our shoulders.

Why do we do that?

We aren’t meant to walk alone.
We aren’t meant to carry the world on our shoulders.
We aren’t meant to try and walk in our own strength.

In Matthew 11: 28-30, Jesus says: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (THE MESSAGE)

And in Galatians 6:1-3 it says, “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”

Wow. Those verses! I am thankful to be surrounded by women who talk to me and listen to me. We share our joys, our struggles, our sorrows, our triumphs, our “whatevers”! (You know who you are!) We don’t pretend that life is always pinterest-perfect. And if we tried to? I can guarantee there would be an intervention of some sort. It would probably involve chocolate, hugs, and lots of REAL talk.

Being fake takes too much effort. I don’t have the time or energy for that. Seriously, friends… I barely have time to take a shower some days. (But I did take one today. YOU ARE WELCOME.) Trying to do this life on our own is an exercise in futility… and it will wear us down to nub.

So don’t go it alone. Reach out. Take off that worn out cape and take on the “yoke” of Jesus. Make the choice to put it on. “Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.”

One last thing — there is something good to be said about the stinky, hard days in our lives: If we will allow the Lord to use them — they can be great fertilizer for better, more fruitful days to come! (Yes. I really believe that. Mostly because I’ve seen him do it my life again and again!)
Happy Saturday, y’all!!

p.s. Sometimes God gives us inspiration from “weird” places. There is a children’s book out there right now that makes me laugh every time I read it. It’s called, ALMOST EVERYBODY FARTS by Marty Kelley. This book kept coming to mind as I was writing this post. I won’t give away the ending – but if you want to borrow it, I’ll lend it to you.

 

p.s.2. If you’re a teacher, mom, or work any a field that involves other human beings, I bet you’ll relate to these memes!

This.

This. 

And This. 

writing for children

Ironing Things Out

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens a friend’s character.
Proverbs 27:17
I’ve been on a workout kick with my dear friend, Sandra, for the last few weeks. We’ve been drinking our water (lots and lots and lots), eating more protein, eating less sweets, and encouraging one another every day to “keep on going”.
If I didn’t receive her text me every morning, I’m not so sure I’d be nearly as motivated to get my physical therapy homework and additional exercise done.
For me, there is something motivational about being held to a standard. 
I’ve been going to physical therapy for several months now. Last week, Rusty (my physical therapist) told me to jump up on a 4 inch block. *GRRRRR!*
I could NOT make myself jump. I was scared to death. He switched it out for the 2 inch tall box. I stood there, looking at it. It felt like it took me FOREVER to get up the courage to jump 2 little inches off the ground! I was so mad at me for not being able to do it. I thought about it all week.

Today, he immediately brought out the 4-inch box… my nemesis. 

This is how I felt…

arch-nemesis_o_1624417

BUT this time… it did not take forever.

AND… I jumped on that 4-inch box 15 times.

YES. I. DID!

My physical therapist knows just how to push my buttons. And when I don’t feel like I’ve reached my goals in PT, I always go home feeling like I need to do MORE. So I keep stretching and working on the things I need to work, hoping that the next week I will do better.

But what happens when my physical therapy is done? And what happens if Sandra is out of town and can’t text for some reason? Do I stop working toward the goal?

NO.

I have realized that I also have internal motivation. I want to be healthy for me, for my family, for whatever the Lord has planned for me day to day and for the days coming up. I don’t know that I’ve felt this much drive to get healthy in a long, long time.. .maybe ever! Many times I would “try” to lose weight and get healthy – then stop when I didn’t see results. But this time, it’s different. I can’t explain it. I just know.

And these verses speaks to my soul in a big, big way… so I’m claiming it for my life!

God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40: 28-31 (the Message)

I’d love to hear your success stories. Have you been on a physical journey that required internal motivation to get started and/or to keep going? Did you have others on your journey who helped to sharpen your character and hold you to a standard? How have you seen God at work in your circumstances?