Wednesday, January 20, 2016

For such a time as this . . .

“For such a time as this . . .” – famous words from Mordecai to Esther in the Bible. I’ve recalled those words when I’ve been in unique situations, whether jobs or encounters with friends, wondering if God placed me in those circumstances for a particular reason and impact.

A couple of weeks ago I found a new appreciation for those words. I was attending a conference for work and found myself bemoaning particular aspects during the first couple of days: “These bags are heavy!”, “The wait for the shuttle is so long!”, “My hotel room is so small!”, “The food is expensive!” (Lots of exclamation points to indicate my mental state)

Then I had a conversation with a colleague on the shuttle ride from the conference center to my hotel one evening. She asked if I enjoyed my job. I replied, “I LOVE my job! I’ve had a chance to experience so many things that otherwise would not have been possible. I’ve traveled around the county and around my state. I’m on an editorial board with “rock stars” in my field working on new standards and guidelines. I’m doing work that is important and impacts the future of our profession.”

Later that evening I thought about my earlier grumblings. Did I truly believe what I proclaimed to my colleague? Suddenly, I had a different attitude about my recent complaints. Those bags were heavy because of the free books from the exhibit hall. The wait for the free shuttle meant I didn’t have to hail a cab and pay for a ride. The small hotel room didn’t matter since I was rarely in my room due to meetings, and it’s one of the cleanest hotels I’ve stayed in recently. The food is amazing, and I have the funds to pay for the meals.

Maybe “for such a time as this” is not about a handful of unique situations throughout my life. Maybe it’s about every day situations. For such a time as this I can experience joy in my surroundings and in my conversations. For such a time as this I can be a positive participant in the work before me. If every day and every moment is “for such a time as this,” then I will certainly be ready for those unique opportunities that will come when I can be used by God in a special way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trump-et Sounds

Trump is playing folks
Like a hoedown fiddle player –
“Look at me, not at them,
Now dance around the square!”

His distracting repartee
Divides the GOP,
And like lemmings in a flock,
We all follow his decrees.

With insults flying fast
And issues overlooked,
Trump simply takes advantage
Of folks who can be hooked.

So, ignore the “Trump”et sounds
And focus on the race,
Let Donald be the one
With egg upon his face.

By Kathy Mansfield, 2015

Friday, May 08, 2015


When folks my age had kids
Was Milestone Number One,
Yet doctors said for us
There simply would be none.

Instead we got a dog,
Her name was Bessie Mae,
She helped us both get through
Those baby-crazy days.

When kids of all our friends
Grew up and went to school,
In my mind I witnessed
Milestone Number Two.

I focused on our dog
And smiled at wags and barks,
Sent graduation gifts,
Watched other’s kids embark.

That’s Milestone Number Three,
At a decade and a half,
But for us it was the end
Of our dog-focused path.

As I viewed Facebook pics
Of teens dressed for prom,
I said goodbye to Bessie,
The one who made me “Mom.”

Those milestones with my Bessie,
Though they've come now to an end,
Might set the stage for more
So my broken heart can mend.

What will be those milestones?
Only God can ever know,
But I trust in God with faith
That through them I will grow.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Floppy Ears

(Written several years ago, but posted today in honor of Bessie Mae, 17 years old; 1998-2015)

A floppy-eared basset hound
Turned my life upside down.
Her mournful glance and howling bay
Thrills my heart every day.

Big fat paws and stubbly legs,
A cold wet nose and eyes that beg,
Ears that drag across the floor –
I never loved a creature more!

At night she snuggles in my bed
And makes a pillow for my head,
But when the night turns into dawn
She’s up and stretching with a yawn.

Her wagging tail says, “Let’s go!
Got squirrels to chase . . .you’re moving slow!”
Then off she waddles, nose to ground,
Every bit the hunter hound.

Now you might wonder why on earth
I’d let a dog have so much worth.
But love for my dear basset hound
Seems to have no earthly bound.

I can’t have children of my own,
The doctors say, “Cause: unknown.”
But that floppy-eared, cold-nosed pup
Fills that heart void right on up.

One day she’ll cross that Rainbow Bridge
Where bassets go beyond the ridge,
But as for now my love abounds
For this floppy-eared basset hound.

Countdown to Elianna!