Author Archives: Denise W. Anderson

Clean

Once again on my hands and knees, scrubbing the dirt from the cracks and the seams. I thought that the floor was clean when I mopped, but then I noticed the flecks and I stopped. I grabbed a sponge and got down on all fours, and there it was around all the mop boards as if little tractors had deposited their grime when they marched through the house in double time!

I groaned and I fretted until the mopping was done, and determined that before the day’s setting sun I would take the time to clean it all out and make the floor shine. It would be clean, no doubt! Little did I know what lie in store, and the lesson I would learn from a simple floor. My heart must have been right for the teacher appeared, the message delivered, my conscience cleared.

I started in the easiest spot that I found by the bedroom carpet, there I put my knees down. With my nose as close to the floor as I could, I noticed the tracks across the edge of the wood. Like flecks of tar that came in from the street, they stuck to the floor and I sprayed on a sheet of chemical to loosen them so I could scrub and then took a rag and began to rub.

It didn’t come loose unless I pushed with my hands, my fingertips ached, my muscles like bands, my shoulders hunched forward, hard to the task, my back sinews taught as time marched on past. I moved down the hall to the dining room, under the table, each crack I did groom. The sweat poured like rain from my brow up above so I wiped with my sleeve and wished for a glove.

Then somewhere, somehow, in my simple mind’s eye, the sweat became blood where my Savior did cry. He, too, was down on his hands and his knees, the sweat there did pour, his muscles pain seized. He was determined to stay strong to the end, to finish the work, God’s will not to bend. He prayed and he bled from every pore, when he thought that he could not take any more.

For a moment I watched him, my heart opened wide, wanting to hold him, aching inside. I felt as if I was there in the flesh, his spirit and mine were one, enmeshed. Tears fell down my face as I prayed silently. “Thy will be done,” he said quietly. Only then did my eyes see again the floor and the task that I faced was no longer a bore.

What he did there that day for you and for me, we will never know, we will never see. All that we know is that when he was done, we were no longer ours past the setting sun. We were bought with a price that he paid then and there, no matter what we’ve done, whether or not we do care. He simply says “Come, follow me, I will take you there, then set you free.”

By the time I was finished, I knew in my heart, that a clean floor may be important, if I do my part, but there is something that I cannot do for myself that he did for me, not just a book on a shelf. He gave me a chance to be clean through and through, much past the surface, my heart and soul, too. He paid the price that I might live. His blood washed me clean. His praises I give!

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today, for your emotional health!

Posterity

Once again, I see your face, a gentle reminder of God’s good grace. I take your hand and hold it close, then look in your eyes, I see the most reveling part of my own heart, as if it has been opened wide and for a moment, I see inside. A part of me has become its own, growing and changing, like a seed that was sewn.

For years, I watered and fed it with care, the daily deeds, the work that was there, the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the hurt and the pain, the smiles and frowns. The life that we lived, forever a part, the time that we ran and jumped and played, the late nights where we wept and prayed, the days when we laughed and rejoiced in the sun, the moments we tumbled around and had fun.

Now I see the seed grown so straight and tall, with branches spread wide, holding one and all. The shade provided to all around has come full circle, back to my own ground. Who would have known back when we did start that one day new life would come back to me and give me eyes with which I could see the small hands and feet, a spirit now given, a part of me has been blessed from heaven.

Tears of joy fill my eyes and fall down as I hold my posterity in any size of gown, the weddings, the blessings, the graduations, the race, the moments that are laced with heavenly grace, the daily tasks, the shopping, the cart, the times we were afraid, the night of darkness and fear when we didn’t know how long we would hold them near. For as our posterity grow and move on, our eyes grow dim, and we prepare to sing a new song!

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!

Assertiveness

 

 

 

“No, I cannot help you, I am not available then,” but in my mind I am saying, I will not do that again. You stepped upon me once before and left me injured there. I will not be in that place again, although you say you care.

Assertiveness is a skill that I am learning how to use. It gives my heart protection and keeps me from being abused. It means that I will say how I feel at the time the event takes place rather than waiting and trying to please, or rather than saving face.

“Do you have a minute? We need to talk,” I said to my colleague and friend. “Just a moment, I’ll be right there,” she said as she rounded the bend. We went into a private room and there discussed the scene that had unfolded just moments before leaving me embarrassed, it seemed.

I will stand and hold my ground, I am just as important as you. I need not cower or run and hide, to myself, I will be true. For I am strong, and I am free to choose how I want to live. And God, He will be with me. For me, new life He did give.

“You say I did this thing to you, you may feel rightly so,” but in my mind I am saying, Your choices you made, you know. I cannot take the credit for making you what you are. The things that you have done before are bringing you this far.

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!

Forgive Yourself

 

Forgive yourself. You can, you know. The pain is not worth the scars that grow building walls of hate around your heart that keep you separate, from being a part of the love that God sheds abroad on mankind for all who would see it without being blind.

 

Forgive yourself. It is balm for the soul. It helps you heal so that you can be whole. It gives you a sense of worth to yourself, and keeps you from being left on the shelf to wither and die of loneliness there, a burden no being need ever bear.

Forgive yourself. You deserve a break, for life is not just made out of fate. There are choices we make in and around. We all make mistakes, but we can rebound. There will always be lessons that we can learn, there is always another dollar to earn.

Forgive yourself. Let yourself live! There is plenty of time for you to give. It isn’t necessary to put yourself out to the point that you want to grumble and shout. Let yourself breathe, take some time to relax, you needn’t be burdened and overtaxed!

Forgive yourself for that’s what Christ would do, if He were here and in your shoe. Accept the gift that He gave on the cross, the price that He paid so that none would be lost. Embrace Him now, feel of His love, and let the sun shine, a gift from above!

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!

Moving Mountains

 

 

I cannot move this mountain, Lord; it is way too deep, too wide. I’ve toiled until my bones do ache, ‘til way past eventide. I cannot go around, dear Lord, a chasm’s in the way. There is no bridge for me to cross, no ferry in the bay.

I cannot climb, it’s way too steep, the rock face sheer and bare. There are no trees for me to grasp, no foot holes anywhere. How can I fill this mission, Lord, for I am but a man? My strength is not enough, dear Lord, I need a helping hand.

Oh, my son, you did not hear, when I called for help today. You were too busy toiling to hold a light and show the way. You were more concerned about the matters nigh at hand, the mountain right in front of you, than the needs of your fellow man.

How can I lend a hand to you when you have turned your back on those who need my love through you, who daily needs do lack? Go and serve them, then come back, and you will surely see, that we can move this mountain together, you and me.

I left my shovel at my feet and went away from the mountainside. I found another I could help on my way home that eventide. I saw them rested and refreshed and encouraged them to see the light at the end of the tunnel, for He said, “Come, follow me.”

As I turned to leave the simple words came ringing in my ears, “What can I do to help you, you’ve been so kind all of these years.” “I’m trying to move a mountain,” I said with faltering tone, “But it really is not important, I just can’t do it alone.”

“Let us go together,” he said, “I know there is still hope. I’ll bring a spade, a ladder, and plenty of braided rope.” Once again, the mountain we faced, but this time with the strength of ten. The Lord, me, and my brother, but now, for the salvation of men!

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today, for your emotional health!

Unexpected

unexpected

The knock came unexpectedly. I really didn’t hear. But when it came again, I knew, it sounded much more near. I looked out through the window, not knowing who I’d see and there were four big fear-filled eyes looking back at me.

I quickly opened up the door and asked what I could do. The girls said they were playing ball, and in my yard it flew. “Will you please get it for us, and then we will be gone. We’ll be more careful next time, our grandma’s watching on.”

I told the girls to go on back and get the ball themselves. I gestured to the path to take, they ran like little elves. I looked out through the other side, my feelings in suspense, and noticed grandma standing there, beside the neighbor’s fence.

I went outside to greet her. She apologized and smiled. We shook hands and exchanged our names, our information filed. I assured the girls and her right there that if they needed to, they could come into the yard for ball, or bat or shoe.

As I walked back to the house, I hung my head and sighed. They’d lived there now for quite some time, my neighbors home inside. We had seen each other once or twice but never really known the truth about each other, or seeds of friendship sewn.

How things can change so easily, in a moment all is gone. The unexpected turns us round and we find we’re not alone. There are others all around us who need a helping hand. As we reach our hands out to them, the dove of peace will land.

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today, for your emotional health!

Trust

trust

 

The girl pointed her finger at me, her brows knit together in scorn, then to the “Angry” icon on her assistive technology device. Though she spoke no words, I could feel the distrust emanating from her. I was there in the place of her regular teacher, and she did not know why.

I voiced the words that she could not, saying to the paraprofessional that was helping her, “Her teacher is not here and she does not know me.” The woman’s eyebrows raised, and she said to the girl, “You are sad because your teacher is not here.” The girl stopped pointing at me, found the “Sad” icon, and was able to move on.

Later, as we sat together and watched a video book presentation, the girl reached her hand over to mine and held is softly. I put mine on top of hers, and together we watched in silence. There was no need for words to express the poignant feelings shared. I could tell. She trusted me!

I had prayed that morning that my first day on the job substitute teaching would be a successful one, that I would feel God’s love for the students, and that I could share his love with them. It had happened in a way I never thought possible.

At the end of the class period, the girl gave me a hug, and we walked hand in hand to the door. Still, no words were spoken, but I knew that I was in the right place at the right time. My purpose had been fulfilled in that small moment.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This was my theme song when I left the mental health unit years ago. Now, it has become my lifeline.

When I decided to leave my employment as an office manager, I felt that God was directing me to go and serve his children as a substitute teacher in the public school system. At first I was frightened. So many things had happened in my past that had taken me from that realm of the world.

Now, here I was, stepping back into it, having the very experiences that called me in that direction in the first place. Surely, a way will be provided, and I can go forward with faith, trusting that all will be well!

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!

Stuck

Stuck

I don’t know what to do. Nothing is working out for me right now. No matter which way I turn, things keep getting worse. I feel like I am in a hole and it is getting deeper and deeper. When will it ever end?

Surely, I am suffering because I don’t deserve anything better. If I would have been a different person, then I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be having these problems right now. It is all my fault.

At night I toss and turn, my head filled with images of the things I could have done or should have done. I cannot rest. I hurt all over. I want to go back to bed, but I can’t. I have things to do…places to go…people to see… I am exhausted.

I feel like I am lost in a desert. I cannot get relief for my incessant thirst.  I don’t have any water and there is none around me. I am hot and dry, and there is no shade in which to cool myself. The sun is scorching me and there is no relief.

Something has got to change. I know what I cannot do. I cannot change the past. What has happened has happened. If only I could turn back the hands of time, I could make things different. But, alas, that is not possible.

I cannot change the actions of others. They have made their own choices just as I have. I cannot force them to change, nor can I change their past. I cannot change how they treat me, or what they do as a result of my foolishness.

What can I do? First and foremost, I can accept who and what I am. Ripping myself to pieces will not get me anywhere. Crying just makes my head hurt. Anger is no better, all it does is dredge up the past. Yes, I have weaknesses, but I also have strengths.

I can look to my God for help. He is my rock, my guide, and my stay. He loves me, no matter what I have done, no matter where I end up. He gave his life on the cross for me, little old foolish, insignificant me. He died that I might live.

I will live for Him. I will work for Him. I will praise the new beginning I have each day because of Him. I will look at others needs and help fulfill them because I know that is what He would have me to do. I know that He is with me now, and always will be, forever and forever!

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!

It’s Easy

Easy

 

It’s easy to feel bad when things go wrong and we realize we made a mistake in a song or said something stupid or clicked on that file and the consequences seem to go on for a mile.

It’s easy to think we’re not good enough and that we really do not have the right stuff to become what we were meant to be, to give of ourselves, to go forward, be free.

It’s easy to frown and turn anger within when we realize that we have committed a sin and someone is hurt or defeated in soul because we were not with it, in part or in whole.

It’s easy to cry when our weaknesses scream and everything comes apart at the seams, when little things tower and are huge in form and we know that we have stepped outside of the norm.

It’s easy to feel all alone in the night when there’s no place to turn and we’re frozen with fright, when life seems so hard and there’s no place to hide, and morning is a long way from eventide.

It’s easy to fall on our knees in prayer when our pride has tumbled and is no longer there, to raise our voices and hope for the love that we know only comes from the realms up above.

It’s easy to place at his nail-pierced feet the burden too heavy for our faltering feet, to think that perhaps we can make amends after wondering abroad around life’s many bends.

It’s easy to look up into his face and hope that he’ll give his amazing grace, in spite of our weakness; in spite of our sin, he’ll open his arms and wrap us within.

It’s easy to stand by his side once again, and shoulder the yoke that he shares with all men, to keep us going when the times are tough, helping us climb the hills that are rough.

It’s easy to feel indescribable joy when we know that he loves every girl, every boy, for heaven is where he is today, our Savior, Redeemer, our friend, come what may.

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!

Appreciation

Appreciation

 

Thanks! I appreciate you. I am so glad you are here. It is good to see you. Thank you for thinking of me. That was amazing! You timed it just right. I like how you did that. You seemed to know just what I needed. Hey, you saved me back there. I feel that you understand me.

Words of appreciation are music to our ears. They feed us with feelings of self-worth and help us to know that others acknowledge our efforts. Like rays of sunshine, they give us the warmth of unconditional love and speak peace to our souls.

Sharing appreciation with others validates their sense of being. We are saying, “I care about you. You are important to me. I want you to be happy. I am glad that you are who you are.” The more we share the gift of appreciation with others, the more it comes back to bless our own lives.

I have a good friend that understands this principle. When I am with her, I feel that I am the most important person in her world. Recently, I watched her interact with others, and found that she does this with everyone. No wonder others flock around her.

Appreciation is not the same as flattery. Flattery is lifting others up for the purpose of our own gain. Its motive is to achieve a relationship of power and authority over others by getting them to become dependent upon us for their good feelings. Those who use flattery do so with the intent to destroy rather than build.

Appreciation is genuine. It is Christ-like love at its best. There is no other motive than the pure desire to share love with others, and help them feel that they are loved. When Christ was on the earth, he went about doing good. Although he had all power and all authority, his only aim was the exaltation of mankind.

Our desire to be like him will lead us to build up others with sincere words of appreciation. Only then, will we be a vital part of his kingdom here on this earth. As he said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

Always add appreciation when communicating with others. It is the gift of unconditional love, and just may be the boost they need to choose life for one more day!

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!