Tuesday, April 30, 2024

April Wealth

Spring seemed to arrive early this year. The bluebells bloomed weeks before their expected date. The weather bounced between unseasonably warm to frigid, not good for blossoming strawberries. 

I've so enjoyed the last weeks. My children are almost finished school, but I don't feel pressured to be outside. I've read some amazing books. I've enjoyed delightful times with friends. I've completed some projects and dreamed up a few new ones. Spring makes me feel alive, growing, eager, new. There is always too much to do, but I'm learning to relax more and push things off to another day instead of stressing as much. 

And, of course, there is always sorrows, because joy and sorrow walk together. Spring brings heavy memories from past springs. I watch friends go through hard times and wish I could help carry their burden. I'm more aware of my own failings and realize anew that habits and thought patterns are hard to change.


The newest edition of Motherhood Magazine, which I help edit, is now available! Its theme is Hope, and as I worked with these articles and stories, I was so blessed by the honesty of these writers to share the hope they found in Jesus Christ on their hardest days. 

You can get your own copy at Motherhoodmagazine.org or if you live close to me, stop at my house. You can also ask if your local bookstore carries them.


Last year I wrote about reading poetry with the goal of slowing down. I shared my issues about reading poetry and what I discovered. On a whim for April, Poetry Month, I shared a poem every day on Whatsapp. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to share a poem every day in April again. I think it was even more fun than last year. 

Some of the poems were long-time favorites, and others were new. Some were favorite hymns, and others rather silly. Some made me laugh, and more than one made me cry. Each day I picked a poem at random, and there was no theme, though most connected in some way to spring, parenting, loss, or slowing down.

In case you are curious, here are the thirty poems. If I could find them online, I included a link.

1. Before the Earthquake by Claudia Lehman from Leaf 2023

2. Wind on the Hill by A.A. Milne

3. Unraveled by Lori Hersberger

4. Faith by Luci Shaw

5. Fresh by Marlene Brubacher from Leaf 2023

6. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

7. Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

8. Knowledge Enough by Lydia Hess

9. Only You by Ruth Bell Graham

10. Breakfast Song by Philip Britts

11. Prayer for Our Children by Amy Carmichael

12. A Time to Talk by Robert Frost

13. John 10:28 by Elizabeth Riall from Silver Censers

14. Father, in Thy Mysterious Presence  by Samuel Johnson

15. Because We Hunkered Down by Malcolm Guite

16. The Vacation by Wendell Berry

17. Overlooked by Elaine Gingrich from Silver Censers

18. Love's as Warm as Tears by C.S. Lewis

19. Deluge by Bena Ruth King from Leaf 2023

20. Fame is a bee by Emily Dickinson

21. May the Mind of Christ, My Saviour by Katie B. Wilkinson

22. Isaiah 55 by Daniel Hess

23. The Traveling Onion by Naomi Shihab Nye

24. Island Moment by Sarah J. Martin

25. In Early April by Ted Kooser

26. In Two Arms by Jennifer Perfect

27. Calling Your Name by Janice Etter from Calling Your Name

28. When Spring Breaks Forth by Rebecca Weber

29. Cut Down in Spring by Karen Yoder

30. Ameisenverteilungsmaschine by Laura Theis

The stats are eleven men and 19 women. Seventeen are alive today. Thirteen are Anabaptists, all of which I've communicated at some point in time in some way - some with good old-fashioned letters. 

April is ending. But I feel rich. Rich in words, rich in relationships, rich in wonder of the beauty of God's world and His Word. 

And ready for May.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024


Photos from Unsplash

Grief is like rain.

    I can’t hold it back.

    It changes my plans for the day,

        for the week.

Grief, like thunder, is loud.

    I cringe from the noise,

        the thunderclaps,

        the lightening flash.

        I can’t think,

            can’t plan,

            can’t pray.

Grief turns the soil to mud

    splashing my legs.

    sucking my boots

    If I try to walk faster,

        to run,

        to escape

            it pulls me in deeper.

        I lose my boots,

            fall on my face,

            hope submerged.

        I must walk slowly,



            allowing grief to caress

                and trickle down my face.

Grief is a season

    that returns



        and again.

For as long as there is earth

    there will be rain.

    Where there is life,

        there will be death.

    Where there is love,

        there will be grief.

        Seed time and harvest,

            summer and winter,

            sun and rain.

Grief, like rain,

       is found wherever there is life,

        wherever there is love.

    For the cold do not cry,

    the hard do not break,

    the dead to not mourn.

So I lift my face to the rain

    let the drops roll down my face,

    watch the trees bow their branches,

    hear the roots soak in the strength.

For grief points to a Creator who made life,

    a Savior who gave His life,

    a Healer who gives life.

Grief is a companion,

    a fellow traveler.


    a friend.

Gina Martin – February 2024


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