The Psalms – The Story Of This Blog

I am so happy that this haiku was included in Things with Wings & other poems, edited by Aubrie Cox.  She is offering this lovely poetry collection as a free download from her blog.  It includes many fine poets and Aubrie’s wonderful illustrations.  For more information, please see her Projects page and/or her June 25, 2012 Post.  Thank you, Aubrie.

pages falling out
held in place by tape
. . . the Psalms

I have this Bible by my side as I write this post.  This is The Promise in the Contemporary English Version.  Copyright 1995, Thomas Nelson, Inc.  I see in my Bible that I began reading this version in 1996.

Reading the Psalms aloud in different English translations became my spiritual practice all these years ago.  In 1993, I had the shock of major surgery, after earning tenure at a university in Chicago earlier that year. I was 39 years old then.  It took 20 years to reach that achievement in my field of special education.  But life changes, and it was an early morning to late night work schedule.  I also taught Sunday School year-round for 12 of those years.  Although I could no longer sustain this kind of life, in terms of my physical strength, I am truly grateful for those two decades.

We don’t really know how long we have to make a contribution somewhere.

It took me years to understand that a chronic illness had everything to do with my return to Wisconsin and the privilege of helping with my mother’s care for years.  My energy level was gradually changing and this forced stark choices. But I taught courses in collaboration and I knew how to help put together the best team for Mom.  She would say, “You are so kind,” and towards the end of her life, “You’ve been so loyal.”   If so, I credit illness and Grace.  And reading the Psalms.  I also found haiku, and then in 2009, began blogging–and so all of you.

I can’t possibly understand, but I believe in God’s providence. As my dad said, “Everything will be OK in the end.”  I am simply grateful and blessed every single day.  The mystery is that illness was my best teacher.  And it brought me to this quiet life that is what keeps me well.  God’s grace all these years, and my place to trust Him.

I keep adding more tape to this Bible, and simply seeing it on my shelf gives me new faith.  This Bible was also with me in the hospital and nursing home during my mother’s last illness.  I read aloud from it to Mom, along with her favorite poets.  When I could no longer hold her hand “in person,” I held this Bible.

So much of my own history is now in the Psalms.  God will continue to be faithful to us, comfort us, because that is who He is.

This is the story and reason for a blog called “Poems From Psalms and Nature.”  For some of you this is new information, and for others, old.  Thank you for reading as always.  How I value our community of kindness and friendship!

Grateful every day,


Daisies images courtesy of Karen’s Whimsy.

13 thoughts on “The Psalms – The Story Of This Blog

  1. Ellen, I love hearing more and more of your story. It’s like the unfolding of a flower over time.
    When the Father was drawing me to His Son, He used my reading aloud of Psalm 119. Many of its verses mirrored my bad ways and His goodness. I remember: “Before I was afflicted I went astray.”


  2. I clicked on your gravator at my Unraveling site, only to find that you have four blogs. So do I. Then came here and read your story and realized that we have far more in common. I too, deal with chronic pain, and returned to my birth city to help my Mother in her final years. Then read these comments and found an affirmation within them for something I have been thinking of doing. Thank you for visiting my blog and for unintentionally helping me to see new directions,



    1. Dear Patti, You are welcome and your kind words are so true. They bring to mind the verse in Isaiah where God says His ways and thoughts are beyond ours. A beautiful Mystery…Blessings, Ellen


  3. Thank you for sharing this chapter of your story. I just heard a pastor friend last week say “Don’t need to worry, because we know the end of the story already.” I find that very reassuring.

    We read Psalm 121 in church this morning. It was the last Psalm my grandmother read to me before she died, so is extra special to me.


  4. All will be well, all will be well…all manner of things will be well…. (paraphrase of a Julian of Norwich quote.)


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