books for lent

I always have a difficult time finding good devotional books for Lent (as well as Advent), so I thought I'd provide a few ideas here for those of you who struggle with the same thing, seeing as how Lent is just over a week away!

Last year, I found Meditations for Lent by James G. Kirk at the local library, and it turned out to be a nice devotional. Each day has its own theme, a Bible passage to look up, and a page or so of reflection followed by a short prayer. I was hoping more for something that followed the life--and, most importantly during this season, the death and resurrection--of Jesus, but it covered such a wide range of topics that that was something reserved for Holy Week.

Another library find, Thomas Merton's Seeds of Contemplation isn't actually a Lenten devotional, nor did I read it during Lent. However, I found it to be very inspirational and easy to read. Because it isn't exactly a devotional, it doesn't contain scriptural references, so this book would work better as a companion for meditation.


mourning dove

a twittering of spring flutters
my eyes open
on a February morning
but it is the even more unexpected sound--
the coo of summer--
that causes my heart to warm
a simple five-note melody
brings with it lazy summer afternoons
on the shady back porch
a brief respite from the sun's searing heat
while still bathing in humidity that
teeters between a warm blanket and a suffocating one
a simple reminder of joy and peace
from a bird whose name turns the tune
and yet my soul still soars


just a note

Hello friends, don't forget to let me know what you like about poetree and/or what you would like to see in the future by voting on my handy little poll! I'll leave it up until the end of next week (thank you to those who have already participated!). :)

not lava cake, but still delicious
 To expand on some of the options: if I were to start posting recipes, it would be something that happens, at most, weekly. I like using whole foods and am a huge supporter of farmer's markets, so many of the recipes would follow that theme. However, I also have a great weakness for chocolate and all things sugar (slow cooker lava cake, anyone?).

Another option on the poll is tree trivia/identification. I really enjoy learning tree species, and would love to share that knowledge with you--if you're interested, of course. I would post an image of a leaf, and possibly one of the matching bark or other identifiers, along with the common and scientific name and maybe some fun facts. Again, this would be an occasional thing, perhaps weekly.


open eyes

how can we know the worth of a soul?
what do we know of justice?
the strength of a mind,
the weariness of a heart--
how can we comprehend these
unless we've been pushed too far?

the eyes of God watch many things,
but we see only what we look for.

I watched Amazing Grace Friday night, and even though I've seen it many times, its themes have saturated my thoughts this weekend.


loneliness: a love story

I had no plans for a special Valentine's post, other than perhaps throwing up a few quotes and a pretty picture. While I don't approve of holidays created specifically so Hallmark can rake in more money, I do enjoy holidays, so my plan involved making a nice dinner to celebrate, but nothing more than a mere token on my blog. And then I woke up this morning with itching fingers and a single-flowing thought in my brain (aka, I need to write something).

To all of you single ladies out there who have given up hope: don't. God has a plan for you, and if it's anything like mine, your "Prince Charming" will walk up beside you when you're least expecting it.

Don't go chasing after love in places that it isn't, don't give yourself up to someone who doesn't truly care, don't ever ever ever think you're worthless. Or unloved. Or ugly. You are a beloved creation of God, worth more than you can ever imagine, and that makes you beautiful no matter what society tells you. You don't have to have a boyfriend/fiance/husband for people to respect you.

Let me tell you a story.


wordless... thursday?

Um, yeah. On Tuesday I was convinced that it was Wednesday, and then yesterday I was completely ignorant altogether. I forgot all of the important things that should happen on Wednesday, such as posting a photo to the blog and taking out the trash.

Anywho, last weekend was my family's annual cross-country ski trip in a little place I like to call Narnia (aka WVa with snow):



Two. What about two? It's the number that conjures up visions of Noah's ark (the animals came by twosies, after all) or a pair of shoes. Or maybe it has something to do with February being the second month of the year. There are two hydrogen atoms in a molecule of water... How about a birthday or anniversary? Yes? Oh good, because poetree turns two today!

Before I do anything else, though, I must take a moment to recognize the most important component of this blog: you! That may sound cliche and perhaps a bit sappy, but it's true. What is a blog without someone to read it? Thank you so much, dear readers, for following poetree and blessing me with so many encouraging comments! It's been a wonderful journey, and I look forward to continuing it with you. :)

I won't bore you with all of the statistics, but here are a few tidbits you may find interesting:


book lover giveaway and linkup

Whether you look forward to the lacy pink hearts and boxes of chocolates or despise the 24 hours dedicated to romance, a pile of books is hard to pass up! In honor of Valentine's Day, author Jessica Greyson is hosting a Book Lover Giveaway, so hop on over to her blog by the 14th to enter!

Jessica Greyson

She also has a Book Lover Linkup that I couldn't resist participating in:

What book do you love but everyone else seems to dislike?
None come to mind...
What book does everyone else seem to love, but you just can’t get into?
Well, there's always Twilight, but that hardly counts since I haven't actually read it. The Wheel of Time is very popular among fantasy lovers, but I found book one rather mediocre.
Love in books—love or hate it?
I'm somewhere in the middle. Although I generally avoid romances, I will occasionally pick one up if it seems to have a decent plot. I prefer the romance to be a subplot.


words borrowed from Psalms

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us
 and make his face to shine upon us

that your ways may be known on earth,
 your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, O God;
 may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
 for you rule the peoples justly
 and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
 may all the peoples praise you.
Then the land will yield its harvest,
 and God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us,
 and all the ends of the earth will fear him.