Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Contentment

Breath of God Unseen – revisited


I  posted this in January 2017. It’s as true today as was then, especially given world and national events of the past few years. It’s difficult to keep my eyes on what matters most these days, rather than what parades as ‘reality.’ 

Breath of God
Artist of my heart
And life
Breathe on me 

The wind is cold
To my vain cries
For mercy
Breathe on me 

Evening shadows
In fading light
and foreboding 

Deep blue sky
Trees bend and sway
Breath of God
Breathe on me 

It’s late afternoon. This morning I woke to this photo on my weather page. I thought immediately about my life and the way God’s Spirit has blown through and around it, unseen and unbidden.  

Looking back, I’d say the outcomes today are beyond my wildest dreams. Not that I’m perfect or successful or even ‘special.’ Rather, this is about contentment. 

I’m at peace with myself, though not always with situations in which I find myself.  Or even with my behavior. Nonetheless, things have changed in my spirit over the last several years. 

Today I have compassion for myself as a child, as a young teenager, as a wife, mother and grandmother, and as a retired professional. I rarely struggle with feeling like a fraud, or with harsh self-talk that belittles me or accuses me of being The Problem with Everything. 

I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m saying I’m at rest with who I am and who I am not. Especially from the inside out. The part that really matters. 

I like what I see when I think of myself as a huge pile of snow, sculpted by God’s Spirit through winds of change. I know, things aren’t exactly spectacular in the world right now. It’s just that today I’m at peace with myself.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 January 2017, reposted 1 November 2019
Photo taken by Brian Bender at Martin, North Dakota, USA, 13 Jan 2017
Found at Weather Underground App

Monday morning trilogy

calm of new morning
just born and alive with hope
seeps into my pores

curled into a ball
white fur with pink ears sleeps

down to earth robins
pull juicy worms from soaked ground
business as usual

Happy Monday!

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 29 July 2019
Photo found at

Taming my bad beast

Two beasts roam around in me. A good beast and a bad beast. They want to direct my life. Sort of like Aslan, and sort of like the White Queen in The Chronicles of Narnia.

So here’s the trap I face regularly–to do or not to do something, plus my deep wish to say yes, and be part of the show. Normal! Not sitting somewhere on the sidelines, feeling left out, unappreciated or unacknowledged.

Sometimes the good beast in me roars, ‘No, I will not go with you on that wild goose chase! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!’ And though I often agree reluctantly, it’s most often the best thing for me not to do. Even though it’s costly.

The bad beast, unfortunately, knows how to look like a good beast, especially when it’s about whatever seems true, healthy, and of good report. It doesn’t always roar. It’s more likely to whisper in my ear reminding me that I can do just about anything if I put my mind to it.

And there’s the rub. It takes a lot more than my mind to do most things. Which gets me into self-defeating cycles of madness. Nothing you’d call 9-1-1 about. Unless I collapse on the race-track—not entirely impossible.

So, charging right ahead, about 6 or 8 weeks ago I noticed my Fitbit was urging me on to new heights of fitness. Nothing wrong with that, I thought, as I pondered my last year of slow-walk, slow-go, plenty of time outs for rest pace.

Fitbit is not a monster. Or a beast. It just knows how to get the attention of my beast—the one that wants to be right up there with everyone else. You know, that community of friends and sometimes family who are equally mad about Fitbit and determined to make their all goals each day and earn those lime-green flashy lights at the end of the day! Maybe even make it to the top of the Leader Board!

Heavy duty adrenalin rushes through my veins even as I write the words. Bad sign….

So I went for it. For nearly two months. At first it was wonderful. The weather cooperated. My body cooperated. I slept great and woke up without a whimper.

And then it wasn’t so wonderful. Little things began nagging at me. Feet hurting more than usual, aches here and there, falling asleep before I got to bed. Nothing huge, but a cloud of little gnats constantly getting in my way.

I was trying to walk a marathon and burn a gazillion calories each day, when all I needed to do was walk 2 miles a day or not, and burn just enough calories or not.

Yesterday I took an extra day of rest. Total delight and relief. I’m still wearing my Fitbit, but as a check—not as a dare-you-to-top-yesterday red flag waving in front of me all day.

Hoping your day is filled with serenity, sanity and gratitude for the one-of-a-kind person you are.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 October 2017
Image of The White Queen found at pinterest

Daily Prompt: Tame

a grownup’s prayer

I want to be in tune with You –
Listening to my heart sing
Surrounded by music

Maybe You could arrange for me to live in nonstop song
At home in my skin, content, grateful and unafraid
Connected with those I love or haven’t yet learned to love

Would You kindly spare a few moments
to sing me back together?
I’d rather not have another operation.


A few evenings ago I was listening to choral music, singing along from time to time. A bit weepy though happy. Grateful for small gifts during the day.

It dawned on me that I’m most content, most at peace when I’m surrounded by music. Especially, but not only, grand hymns old and new.

So I dreamed a bit. What would it be like to live in nonstop song? And might my Creator be willing to oblige me? Without ungodly pain?

Coming from a grownup, the ungodly pain part seemed a fair request. After all, I don’t have as much time for fancy procedures as I used to have. Besides, who wouldn’t love to be sung back together?

Hoping your day/evening is filled with music that softens your heart and sings you back together.


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 19 July 2017

I had been hungry, all the Years —


How hungry are you? What does it mean to be hungry? Emily Dickinson’s reflections give me pause. My comments follow.

I had been hungry, all the Years –
My Noon had Come – to dine –
I trembling drew the Table near –
And touched the Curious Wine –

‘Twas this on Tables I had seen –
When turning, hungry, Home
I looked in Windows, for the Wealth
I could not hope – for Mine –

I did not know the ample Bread –
‘Twas so unlike the Crumb
The Birds and I, had often shared
In Nature’s – Dining Room –

The Plenty hurt me – ‘twas so new –
Myself felt ill – and odd –
As Berry – of a Mountain Bush –
Transplanted – to the Road –

Nor was I hungry – so I found
That Hunger – was a way
Of Persons outside Windows –
The Entering – takes away –

c. 1862

Emily Dickinson Poems, Edited by Brenda Hillman
Shambhala Pocket Classics, Shambhala 1995

In the 1950s, we drove the same route every day on our way to grade school in Savannah, Georgia. Over the years, two large housing developments began going up just outside the city limits. Young couples with growing families Read the rest of this entry »

One more ring

Longwood Gardens Woods - November 2014

20 November 2015

 One more ring around
The core of who I am
And will become

At a loss
I stand mute
Inhale this world Read the rest of this entry »

Giving Up My Pride | A Meditation

Here’s a meditation on one of my favorite Psalms, only 3 verses long, and one of my everyday challenges as a blogger.

Psalm 131, Today’s English Version
Lord, I have given up my pride
And turned away from my arrogance.
I am not concerned with great matters
Or with subjects too difficult for me.
Instead, I am content and at peace.
As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms,
So my heart is quiet within me.
Israel, trust in the Lord
Now and forever!
* * *
Read the rest of this entry »

The Ladies’ Paradise

The Ladies' Paradise.IMG

Last year I began reading Émile Zola’s novel, The Ladies’ Paradise, because of the back cover, not the front cover (above).  These quotes caught my eye.

‘Mouret’s sole passion was the conquest of Woman.  He wanted her to be queen in his shop, he had built this temple for her in order to hold her at his mercy.’ (from the novel)

Octave Mouret, the store’s owner-manager, masterfully exploits the desires of his female customers.  In his private life too he is the great seducer.  But when he falls in love with the innocent Denise Baudu, he discovers she is the only one of the salesgirls who refuses to be commodified.  (from the back cover summary)

New translation published by Oxford University Press 1995; first published as a novel in 1883

Commodified women. Read the rest of this entry »

“I am a little weary of my life…”

‘Tis the season to be jolly, right?  It all depends.  George MacDonald’s opening line for his December sonnets describes a state in which I find myself these days:

I am a little weary of my life….

He inquires about his weariness.  Perhaps it’s from something that’s meant to be.

Shall fruit be blamed if it hang wearily
A day before it perfected drop plumb
To the sad earth from off its nursing tree? Read the rest of this entry »

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