Mini musing or poem of the month

On this page, you will see a new work, a timely poem, or a comment (mini musing) 

posted once or more each month for the previous six months. The category page from which 

each work is taken is listed in parentheses ( ).


JULY 28, 2021

Summer brings the fullness of green leaves on the trees. That fullness signals to my heart that I 

am in my favorite season of the year! It is a season of warm temperatures, walks in the park or 

down the street, ice cream, going to the pool or the beach, vacations, long days, and going 

places in the evening without need of a coat. On one summer walk in my neighborhood, I picked 

up a sample of each crazy leaf shape I found and came up with the poem below. In a few days or 

weeks, you will also see this poem on my updated website, on the "Beautiful and Difficult" page. 

In my new website design and format, all poems posted will be placed onto one of three pages, 

according to the three categories in my theme statement on the home page: (1) "Life is beautiful 

and difficult. (2) Be authentic, practice empathy, (3) have faith, and stay grateful." So, I'm going 

from twenty categories of poems to three general categories. I apologize to those of you who are 

into categories! The new format will be more general, a bit fluid, and hopefully, not as 

overwhelming. Also, it will be a long while before the new website contains a large number of my 

poems, so keep checking! Look for the Whooping Crane on my Home page :)


(From: Nature)



Some Leaves

 


Some leaves only appear in groups


Like tiny soldiers or a Brownie troop.


 

Some, multicolored on a single branch


Maroon, red, and green, dressed for a dance.

 


Some are shaped as perfect hearts


Hoping for a romance to start.


 

Some, almost silly, sport whimsical style


So curvy or bumpy they make me smile.


 

On this one, three shapes, because it can! 


Basic, mitten, or open hand.


 

Now here’s a star, pointing straight and strong


Asserting proudly, all others are wrong.

 


A few are enormous! They seem out of place.


Able to fan a giant’s face.

 


Tiny or large, in groups or alone,


With rounded edges, or jagged shown,


They are all works of art, outside my home.


 

 


gratefulsue


6.27.18


© 2018 gratefulsue



JULY 3, 2021


This past week, when turning down a new aisle in the grocery store, I saw someone I recognized 


from my neighborhood, a man in his late 70’s. “Should I say hello? He hasn’t seen me yet. 


Maybe I could just go down a different aisle instead. I don’t really like this person,” I thought to 


myself. He gave me a hard time when I requested to have work done on my house and needed 


permission from the neighborhood board, of which he was a member. I shook off that memory 


and decided to be friendly. “Hi. How are you doing?” asked, then added, “...now that we are 


nearly through with this pandemic?”



Turning and recognizing me, he said, “Oh, hi. Well, it’s not really over. I lost my wife.” Shocked by 


his blunt answer, I expressed my surprise and condolences, naturally. He went on to explain that 


this had happened earlier in the year, and that he and his wife had been divorced for a long time, 


“But, she was my best friend.” He shared the details of how she caught Covid-19 from their son, 


who had been taking care of her in a different state. Then, he shared about someone else he 


knew whose whole family had caught the virus and recovered, except for the father, in his 50’s, 


who died "after taking care of everyone else." My neighbor was obviously upset about this as 


well, talking about what a "great guy" he was. 


After we ended our conversation and went our separate ways, I was both glad that I had ignored 

my feelings and ashamed that I almost didn't even say hello. We never know what other people 

are going through, and when we will have a chance to show compassion. 


JULY 1, 2021


Actually, as I type, today is June 30th, not July 1st, just yet. Having spent the last 4 hours, and 

countless more hours in the last week on planning and design for the new gratefulsue.com, and 

feeling as though I have made no progress at all (probably not true), I decided I had better go 

ahead and post something today. I am just a few hours away from running out of the month of 

June, and being catapulted into July, ready or not! 


This poem came to mind. It is what I need more of while in the middle of challenging task and 

facing setbacks. I'm not going to quit! We all need courage when we don't know what's 

ahead, and even more so when we do know, and it's going to be hard.


(From: Courage for the Battle)


Courage

 

One thing in common, have these things below.

Yet all are different, it seems, I know.

 

To fight a battle.  To accept change.

To receive help, or a future re-arrange. 

 

To forgive wrongs.  To face a new day.

To ask for help.  To love—come what may.

 

To be honest or brave despite personal cost.

To pursue past connection in relationships lost.

 

To live with pain, or to die with hope. 1.

To help the helpless.  Tackle too large a scope.

 

To take big risks, and embrace sacrifice.

To admit a mistake.  Say, “I’m sorry,” twice.

 

To be kind to others when it’s hard to smile.

Repay evil with good, or go the “extra mile.”  2.,  3.

 

To walk by faith when you can’t see what’s ahead, 4.

Or to go anyway, when you DO see where you’re led.

 

All take COURAGE—a quiet resolve,

to do what is right, though escape loudly calls.

 


1.  John 11:25

2.  Romans 12:17, 21

3.  Matthew 5:41

4.  2 Corinthians 5:7

 

  

gratefulsue

7/28/14

(C) 2015 gratefulsue


JUNE 1, 2021

Well, my "public service announcement" from last month is still true. My website will be updated 

soon. Hopefully in June. However, it hasn't happened yet! (See May 1st entry, below, for details.) 

Change is one of those hard things... at least for me. I dread it and worry about it beforehand. 

What if it's hard? What if it's a mistake? What if I go about it in the wrong way? I always 

procrastinate if possible, get anxious when it's happening, and then wonder what I was so 

worried about once it's over! Are you ever that way?


(From: Contentment Musings)


Worn out Welcome

 

The Why-dids and What-ifs

            are my long-time guests.

They stay at my house;

            they ne’er seem to rest.

 

I invited them over

            a long time ago.

I feed them like kings;

            I hear all they know.

 

If ever one pauses,

            another still chatters.

Whether I seem disinterested

            seems not to matter.

 

Would someone please tell them

            their welcome has ended?

I regret the day I

            those whiners befriended.

 

If Why-dids or What ifs

            should visit your home

Don’t welcome or feed them…

            not even a bone!

 

 

gratefulsue

7/13/05

© gratefulsue 2015



MAY 1, 2021

Here is a little public service announcement for the folks who regularly visit gratefulsue.com. I 

have needed to update my website for quite some time. I hope to get to that in May. So don't be 

surprised if things suddenly look different. It's still me, gratefulsue. Look for the Whooping Crane 

image. (I love that bird!)


The past month has flown by. I have had some worries and some joys, but mostly just "business 

as usual" concerning my daily activities and responsibilities. Although an outsider looking in 

would say my life is great, my inner dialogue is often negative. Do you ever have that problem? I 

even know the answer to my problem. I need to stay focused on the present and doing what God 

has for me to do this day in particular. Don't worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:24). It's just 

applying it that's difficult. As you might notice in the poem below, based on its date, I've had this 

struggle for quite some time. Haha.


(From: Contentment Musings)


Here Is Where I Live

 

Why do I sometimes wish

            for lives I do not have?

Dreams which cannot happen, and

            more choices, good or bad?

 

Because I know my body

            won’t outlast all my ambitions.

The temporal clock is ticking and

            will quit—despite planned missions.

 

“Eternity in my heart” is the 1.

            way God has explained it…

A will to live forever,

            “do it all” and then contain it.

 

But here is where I live, and

            what I have is His provision.

So, how I live and love reveals

            my single, or double-vision. 2.

 

 

1.   Ecclesiastes 3:11

2.   James 1:8


 

gratefulsue

2/14/02

(C) 2015 gratefulsue


APRIL 4, 2021

I know that many of us long for a world where there is no more brokenness, sin, disease, or

sorrow, a world where people just do the right thing. Well, I do anyway. That's what 

heaven promises to be, "no more death or mourning or crying or pain." (Revelation 21:4) I used 

to fear death, but now I don't need to because I have believed in the Bible's words: "For God so 

loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish 

but have eternal life." (John 3:16) 


Now, I look forward to being my best self, being with the Lord Jesus, being with loved ones who 

have gone on before me. What a wonderful Savior we have! No more fear of death! He has paid 

the penalty which our brokenness demands, by dying in our place. We may become His children, 

saved from eternal death, simply through our faith in Jesus as the Son of God. His death  

and resurrection (which we celebrate today) prove that He is Lord over death and He is able to 

keep His promises!  He is risen, never to die again! If you are not sure that you have eternal life, 

read the poem below and then take the time to look up the Bible references and read 

them in the surrounding context. Jesus IS who he claims to be. You can trust Him.


(From: Doctrines)

Water of Life

(a song)

 

What ere was written long ago

            has stood the test of time.

Past praises penned for Christ our King 1.

            will endure longer than mine.

 

I only bring one song of praise,

            one voice among the throng.

Yet still, I’ll write of “the water of life” 2.  

            freely given, all the day long!

 

Where else can I go? From whom may I learn

            “the way the truth and the life”? 3.

The way of repentance? Forgiveness? Acceptance?

             Rescue from eternal strife?

 

He died in my place, my curse to take, 4.

            His life in exchange for mine!

Then rose from the dead to prove He is God 5.

            and fulfill prophetic signs. 6.

 

This Lion of Judah,7. Messiah, and Lord,

            this Son of God divine—

Came to give me eternal life!

            “I am His, and He is mine!” 8.

 

All you who are searching, all you who are lost,

             believe in the Savior today! 9.

Worth every sacrifice, more than enough,

            He is worthy! Come, I pray! 10.                      

 

 

1. 1 Chronicles 17:7-15, Matthew 2:1-2, John 18:33-37

2. John 4:13-14, Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:1, 16-17

3. John 14:4-6

4. Deuteronomy 21:22-23, Isaiah 53:1-12, Galatians 3:7-14

5. Psalm 16:9-10, Acts 2:22-32, Isaiah 9:6, John 20:24-31

6. Jonah 1:17, Matthew 12:38-40, Psalm 2:7-12, Acts 13:26-39

7. Genesis 49:8-10, Luke 3:23, 33, Revelation 5:4-10

8. From, “I am His, and He Is Mine” by George W. Robinson, 1876, Public Domain

9. Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 19:10, John 1:12-13

10. John 3:14-17, Numbers 21:4-8, Revelation 5:9-14

 

 

gratefulsue

4/12/20 Easter day

© 2020 gratefulsue


MARCH 31, 2021

The lyrics to the chorus of the song, Grown-Up Christmas List, on Amy Grant’s album, “Home 


For Christmas,” are outstanding. (Music and lyrics are written by David Foster and Linda


Thompson Jenner.) You should listen to them. I so relate to their sentiment, which is basically for


all to be right in the world and everyone to be happy. Wouldn’t that be nice! Obviously, this very  


unrealistic wish doesn’t just apply at Christmas time, but all year-round. Now, after a rough 


summer in 2020, a Capitol riot in January, and two mass murders in March, the longing for peace 


and goodwill is all the more poignant. Shall I suggest another verse to the chorus?

 


“No more violence to be found; no more bodies on the ground, but healing all around,

No more guns for hurting minds; help for mentally ill and blind; more helpers wise and kind…”


Our broken world... the reason why Jesus came to earth... to rescue us from ourselves. Check 

back for a more hopeful reminder in a few days... Easter's coming!


MARCH 1, 2021

If you have ever seen light shining through a prism, you know how amazing it is to see the seven

colors of light displayed that were formerly hidden! When that light source is the sun, the colors 

move slowly, just as the sun does, and get less or more intense, depending on the angle of the 

sun, making light seem like it has a living "soul." This "celebration" of light always exists even 

when we can't see it... just like people, who are always much more than what meets the eye.


(From: Nature)


Prism

 

Warm white beams stream through the glass unnoticed,

Filling the room with light and past shadows missed.

 

Concealing their splendor, they follow strict instructions.

But glory uncovered, in an instant, gives introduction.

 

Invisible, yet present, like a spirit you know is there.

Colors shy and reserved are now bold in prism’s snare.

 

Seven friends appear—who amaze, dance, boast, and play.

Holding hands, they move and promenade for their brief stay.

 

Light’s soul infrequently graces the world with its rays.

Just like people, who conceal their rainbows in jars of clay.  1.

 

 

1.  2 Corinthians 4:7

 

 

gratefulsue

4/25/18

© 2018 gratefulsue



FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Two memorial services in one week


Last week, I attended two zoom memorial services. The first was for a young man of 25, who died


tragically, from a drug overdose. He was an only child. Friends and relatives kept the tone 


upbeat, remembering the young man as someone who lived life to the fullest, took risks, was 


himself, loved people, and loved life. I did not doubt that was true. It was not the time to focus on 


his battle with drugs or the number of times his loving parents had prayed for his deliverance, 


which, with an odd twist, was ultimately answered. Their son was finally free. The service 


was difficult to attend. So much potential in a young life, lost. Everything that was said was true, 


and so was everything that was not said. 

 


The second memorial service was for Tom, a 66-year-old man who had Downs syndrome. He 


died of old age. (66 is really old for people with Downs syndrome.) At this service, everyone 


talked about Tom’s long and satisfying life and especially about how much they had learned from 


him. He lived one day at a time. He smiled a lot, big over-sized, ear-to-ear smiles. He was very 


honest--except when playing his favorite board game, where he sometimes cheated to try and 


win! He loved his job: a daily workshop where he was employed along with other special needs 


workers. He liked to dance to records in his younger years. He was a Yankees and a Cowboys 


fan. Many agreed he was also known to be stubborn! The service was beautiful and authentic. 


So much irony. The younger man should have had a long and fulfilling life. The Downs 

syndrome man very well could have had a short and sad life. (At the time of his birth, the 

average life expectancy for Downs children was only 12 years old!) But just the opposite 

of what was expected happened, for both men. Life is beautiful and difficult. Be authentic, 

practice empathy, have faith, and hug your children while you can.  


FEBRUARY 1, 2021

(From: Suffering)


Sharing In His Sufferings

 

Does Jesus want my happiness

Above all else on earth?

Does His love for me insure

A life of peace and mirth?

 

“Not so.” His Word speaks to my heart—

No promises of ease.

Yes, His love is strong and thick—

But not, “just as you please.”

 

I oft forget that suffering is

A promise in the Holy Book—

Passed down from Jesus and the Apostles

When the path of “disciple” I  took.

 

Persecutions, difficulties,

Make my faith more pure.

Death to self, to life and all,

His mandate—to be sure.

 

Are feelings hurt or spirits crushed?

Or loved ones sore abused?

My Lord does see and feel my pain.

I know He’s not amused.

 

But, He will let me bear that cross,

Yet, offering His grace.

While in this world I have the chance

To taste the tears on his face. 

 


gratefulsue

12/4/95

(C) 2015 gratefulsue