Almost Tulip Time…

As we edge closer to Spring, I wanted to share my favorite part of the season, tulips.  The flowers just make me happy and while their season is short, I know that as the flowers fade, the spring season is here to stay.

I have shared a couple of my favorite tulip pictures, some red, orange, pink and purple ones from the Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in Rhode Island, where you can pick your own and bring them home. I have already purchased my tickets for this coming year, as they usually sell out.  But that will not be my only tulips this spring….

There are three major tulip festivals in this country, Skagit Valley, WA, Woodburn, OR, and Holland, MI.  I will be a tulip tourist this year, as I am headed to Skagit Valley in Washington in April, as I need to be in Washington for an event and can be an accidental tulip tourist.

Here are some background facts:

  • there are over 3,000 different varieties of tulips
  • the colors are magnificent and range the entire rainbow and even can be striped
  • The Netherlands made them famous, but they originated in Persia

Some tulips represent true love, purple ones for loyalty, and white tulips can say “I’m sorry.”   And the Alzheimers Association uses a purple tulip to ask us to pray and support those who are suffering and caregivers who take care of them.  So much to pray for… #gopurple

We are edging ever closer to spring and while I still see some snow flakes on the weather map this week, I say bring on the tulips, I am ready for Spring!

Shared by Marcie Doll

Tea with Nana

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I am sure you have one of those pictures that you wished was better.  My Mom has her eyes closed, the photographer left her thumb in the picture, my sister would have rather been in pants, it is a bit blurry, and I wished I weighed a bit less.  And Nana might not be happy up in heaven about the wheelchair shot….

I cannot seem to find another picture of this event, so here it is…

Sometimes we need to settle, as it is one of those days that I do not want to forget, a special birthday celebration with my Nana.  She is no longer with us.

I am not sure what birthday it was, but it was a 90 and something birthday.  We went to a teahouse and enjoyed savory and sweet treats and laughed a lot.  We were a small group and Nana was surrounded by the women in her life who looked up to her, were raised by her, learned to bake with her, took care of her, and just loved her.

Four generations of women from our family at that tea and three in this picture.

My name is Marcelle Elizabeth, I am the sister of Meredith Lynne, I am the daughter of Marcelle Evelyn, the granddaughter of Marcella, the great-granddaughter of Katrina, and so on….

While her life spanned almost 100 years, the legacy of Nana lives on in all she loved from her baking skills, to her love of the theater and opera, her music (I think she loved ABBA best and would have loved to hear her great granddaughters sing along to Fernando), her faith, her fashion sense and her love of travel….

Love you always Nana!

Shared by Marcie Doll

 

 

My Lent Starts out a bit Blurry….

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My camera just would not focus and I was really frustrated.  A viscious storm had just passed and I stepped outside of the restaurant that I had taken shelter in to take a few pictures.  Sometimes the most beautiful sunsets appear after the most violent of storms.  Right?

This picture is of a blurry sunset in the French Quarter of New Orleans in February, 2017.  Mardi Gras was a week away and the city was bustling with energy, revelry and a bit of mischief.

The magnificent sunset of pinks and fuchsia are in the background and an old style gas lampost is in the front left.  And for some reason, the branch is in focus.  You can see the outlines of the old buildings, but you just cannot make them out.

This picture really represents me at the beginning of Lent, well most years.  My life is a bit blurry and I need to spend more time focusing on what is important.  And because Lent is a set period towards the cross, I am taken on a journey of self-discovery.

My prayer today is to use this Lenten Season to focus on what is important, those I love and care about, finding my way through the wilderness, be more mindful, and to walk towards the light.  It is my opportunty for spirtual renewal.  

Share by Marcie Doll, the Curator of the Marble Women’s Ministry Blogs and Elder at Marble Collegiate Church

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me via email, doll.marcie@gmail.com 

 

Lent Begins Tomorrow…

x2camswhquqspsdjhsxcda.jpgHappy Mardi Gras Day!  Happy Fat Tuesday!

Here is the King Cake that I brought to a party last week.  A round brioche-like marvel with cream cheese frosting and sprinkling sugar in yellow, purple and green.  Pure decadence….

Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday.  We will be praying with our cameras this Lent.  Forty days of pictures that mean something and we hope that you take your cell phones out and go back and look at the pictures you have taken.

  1.  Why did we take this picture?
  2.  Who or what brings meaning to our lives?
  3.  Our spiritual journey is oftentimes a bit curvy, can we use this Lent to straighten our paths?

All people have a unique way to see and experience the world, but collectively, we have so much in common.  It is time for us to share our inward and outward journeys simultaneously.

Here is our call to action.  This blog has been a special place for so many, but will you share this with people in your life that need a lift this Lent?  Here is how to share:

  • You can forward this message by clicking the share button and your friends can follow.
  • You can share this on Facebook or Twitter too.  Just click the buttons.
  • Make comments on the blog posts to enhance the experience for all.
  • Like pages.

It is time for all of us to share more light with our friends and families this Lent and our blog is meant to inspire.

The Marble Women’s Ministry Team and the curator, Marcie Doll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You and Upcoming Events!

Thank you for joining us this Advent Season on the Marble Women’s Ministry Advent Blog.  We were blessed this season to have so many contributors and participants.  As the holiday season winds down, we are actively preparing for several events in January and our annual Marble Women’s Ministry Retreat in March.

If you are local, please join us for an Open House on Sunday, January 13th directly following our 11:00 a.m. Sunday Worship.

And we are pleased to share our 2019 Spa Day for the Soul.  This year’s theme:  Grit, Grace and God:  Stepping out into Faith. Together.  Save the date:  Saturday, January 26th.

You must register by going to:  Marble Women’s Ministry Page

We have a playlist to share to get you started:
Grit, Grace and God Playlist on Spotify

Please join us!

Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow

On this Christmas Eve, I wanted to share with you a favorite hymn of mine, an African American Spiritual called “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow (the star of Bethlehem).”  Do you know it?

Like the more known, “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” the song was passed down orally by slaves and sung at services on a plantation before emancipation. It is a Christmas Hymn that focuses more on devotion and discipleship. Most Christmas Hymns are about awe and wonder.

In the typical African American Spiritual style, known as the call and response format in which the leader sings and the choir responds.   

What did it mean for the slaves who wrote this spiritual to follow the star in Bethlehem?

According to Luke 2:8-20, the Shepherds dropped everything and left their flocks at night to go to Bethlehem.

What does it mean for us today to rise up and follow the star? I do not have a flock to leave behind, but I oftentimes think about the work I do and how I can pass along this song of hope to others.  In a way, this blog is part of my commitment to help people focus on their faith journey and give hope during the busiest times of the year.

What does this song mean to you?

Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow

There’s a star in the East on Christmas morn,
Rise up, shepherd and follow!
It’ll take you to the place where the Savior’s born,
Rise up, shepherd and follow!
If you’ve taken good notice to the angels’ words,
You’ll leave your flocks and leave your herds,
And rise up, shepherd, and follow!
Leave your sheep,
And leave your lamb,
Leave your ewe,
And leave your ram,
And rise up, shepherd, and follow!

Refrain:

Follow, follow, follow, follow,
Rise, O sinner, rise and follow,
Follow the Savior of Bethlehem.

The King’s Singers version of “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow”

“I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to give you this Christmas.  I’d really like to give you something that just fits your own wishes and needs the way these shoes just fit me.  I suppose the thing I’d like most to be able to give you is hope.  Hope that through your own doing and your own living with others, you’ll be able to find what fits for you in this life.”

Mr. Rogers, 1977

Shared by Marcie Doll

The Winter Solstice 2018

Good Evening Friends!

On this the shortest day of the year:

We all have winters in our lives;
Darkness fills our world,
Fear is present,
We have a longing for companionship,
Our struggles seem insurmountable,
We feel a sadness that abounds,
Some will forsake us,
Geography can make us feel isolated,
Apart from those we love,
And we will be separated on our journeys.

While you may not in the midst of winter value the “winter” moments, but they help us to look for something to endure and hope again. And appreciate the good times more. For me, I always turn to music with harmonies that defy.

Winter will end, hope will return and you will find a way…as Christ was born for us on a new day.

The King’s Singers version of “Born on a New Day”

Shared by Marcie Doll

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Winter Songs…

While I absolutely adore the traditional Christmas Music, I am always looking for a few more to add to the playlist and updated traditional carols with some new singers.

The Good Shepherd Band’s Gabriel’s Message

Winter Song from The Hound and the Fox

The Angel City Choir’s, Do You Hear What I Hear?

Someday at Christmas from Stevie Wonder and Andra Day

From the Motown Gospel Album, This Christmas

 

 

 

 

A Message….

CHRISTMAS is celebration; and celebration is instinct in the heart. With gift and feast, with scarlet ribbon and fresh green bough, with merriment and the sound of music, we commend the day—oasis in the long, long landscape of the commonplace. Through how many centuries, through how many threatening circumstances, has Christmas been celebrated, since that cry came ringing down the ages, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11 KJV)

Christmas is celebration, but the traditions that cluster sweetly around the day have significance only if they translate the heart’s intention—the yearning of the human spirit to compass and express faith and hope and love. Without this intention, the gift is bare, and the celebration a touch of tinsel, and the time without meaning. As these attributes, exemplifying the divine spark in mankind, informed the first Christmas and have survived the onslaughts of relentless time, so do they shine untarnished in this present year of our Lord.

Faith and hope and love, which cannot be bought or sold or bartered, but only given away are the wellsprings, firm and deep of Christmas celebration. These are the gifts without price, the ornaments incapable of imitation, discovered only within oneself and therefore unique. They are not always easy to come by, but they are in unlimited supply ever in the province of all.

THIS CHRISTMAS, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind; be gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Go to church. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again.

These are but inklings of a vast category; a mere scratching of the surface. They are simple things; you have heard them all before; but their influence has never been measured.

Christmas is celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning—with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself toward the core of life. Then, only then, is it possible to grasp the significance of the first Christmas—to savor in the inward ear the wild, sweet music of the angel choir; to envision the star-struck sky, and glimpse, behind the eyelids the ray of light that fell athwart a darkened path and changed the world.

McCall’s Magazine, 1959

I thought I should share this message, while written in 1959, seems to resonate to me today.  Christmas is not just a day, it should be a movement.  I used an excerpt of this in my Christmas card this year to friends and family and I also share this with you.

Marcie Doll

A Little Evening Advent Humor….

“Why are Dasher and Dancer always taking Coffee Breaks?  Because they are  Star Bucks.”

“Your work holiday party gives you the chance to meet all of the people you’ve been emailing from four feet away.”  from sweatlife_nyc

It’s December 18th, but I already ate all of the chocolate from my Advent Calendar.

I found a meme that had a child fist pumping:  “Day after Christmas and I still have chocolate left in the Advent Calendar, I must have lost weight this Advent.”

Advent Calendars:  A tradition bringing families together so kids have one more thing to fight over.

 

Please feel free to add any other Advent funnies into the comments, I know you have them….