Six Word Story (55)

Ordinary. It’s a word we dismiss, and a state of being we overlook. We search for the special spark of the EXTRAordinary. In doing so, we miss so much.

The gift of an ordinary love.
The strength of an ordinary family.
The hope of an ordinary marriage.
The protection of an ordinary house.
The wealth of an ordinary life.
The seeds of an ordinary faith.

For when ordinary built and maintained, storms reveal how it has grown the extraordinary. Don’t cast aside your ordinary.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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Six Word Story (54)

For healthy development, both emotionally and physically, an infant needs touch. Though many of us hide our longing for intimacy that doesn’t involve sexual contact, adults need touch as well.

A hand to hold. A shoulder to hug. Playful jostling while laughing with friends. These things are important. Give them generously. Receive them gratefully.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com.


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Six Word Story (53)

Do you ever dig for those hiding morsels? Bits and pieces packed full of flavor and sugar like the chocolate in trail mix, or the chips in a chocolate chip muffin.

I have three kids and one is a gobbler, one is a nibble and one is a picker. It’s fascinating how a simple thing like, “how you eat your muffin,” can show so much of your personality.

Do you savor those small things? Do you gulp them down with ecstasy? Or do you pick at them, unsure if you are ready to partake or afraid to enjoy?

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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Reflections (1)

Thoughts on this statement?

I know keenly that things I once assumed proved wrong. My opinions have changed. So the way I write and interpret poetry will do the same.

Does that make my earlier work obsolete? No. They give glimpses into the journey my heart has been on since birth.

Read poetry, any literature really, with a grain of salt. Thoughtfully. Joyfully.

Words will change you, words will challenge you. Give yourself some grace and space to grow past them.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Story (52)

Hiding in plain sight. Overlooked common things. Treasures of life, streaks of colour, unexpected smiles.

Simply ridiculous fun. Giggles that bubble in the middle of meetings. Brightly painted tea pots. Flowers planted in cups.

Look for them, they are there.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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Six Word Stories (51)

The thing about truth is, it just is.

It’s many faceted and affects different people in different ways. But truth is truth.

We can disguise it, ignore it, or bury it, but still it is what it is at its core. It can not cease to be.

From the beginning of time, the human tongue has had a problem with truth. It’s the only thing in creation I know of that regularly spews out lies and truth at the same time.

It’s a tragedy of our human existence that we so often muddy those waters…

But our ability to do so speaks volumes. We are able to choose. We are able to change. We are able to learn better.

My prayer is that we would no longer be afraid of truth, and avidly seek it in everything. From who really put the empty milk carton back in to the fridge, to the truths about what is happening in the world at large. May truth always teach and become clear. Amen.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com


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The Dreaded Red Mark

I love the adventure of writing. I love exploring and experiencing the world or emotions I write about. But when I finish that first draft, editing must always happen.

I hate seeing those nasty confidence crippling red marks. Let me tell you, for someone who is mildly dyslexic, it’s never just one red mark. More than likely, it is a sea of them I feel I could drown in. This has been my number one challenge in completing my work.

“I have learned that taking one bite at a time and chewing it well is important.”

So how do I face those red marks?

Slowly, methodically, and with help.

I have learned that taking one bite at a time and chewing it well is important. One word, one-line, one paragraph, one page. If I get ahead of myself, I give up.

I also pace myself. Sometimes we are unaware of the energy spent while creating something, and the drain it can have on our being. I fix one word, then remind myself to blink and breathe. After tackling the next sentence, I do the breathing over again, and maybe step away from the screen to get a drink.

I am a much slower writer than most people, but that’s okay. We all create in our own way and honestly, I’m not trying to be anyone else’s competition. (Unless I am writing for a contest, that is.) I dread those red marks, but there is also nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing them disappear from my work.

Trying is also something I do slowly. I often make mistakes while trying to fix things. Rarely is a second draft enough. More likely, a third, fourth, or even fifth draft happens before the piece is ready. The longer the project, the more drafts needed.

“So those red marks keep me humble and social.”

I rely heavily on grammar software as it’s difficult for me to see mistakes like the use if the wrong ‘to’ in a sentence. I don’t know if I could even attempt writing if it wasn’t for programs like Grammarly and ProWritingAid. But even after I reread things myself, and let the computer to its thing, I always need at least one other person to help. Software just can’t pickup all my mistakes.

So those red marks keep me humble and social. If my husband isn’t available to read through my work, I have to reach out and ask someone else. This is always awkward for me. Will they roles there eyes at my mistakes? Will they be able to see past the red to the heart of things? Can I trust them?

Oh, those little red marks teach so many things…

How do you handle the dreaded red mark?

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Six Word Stories (50)

Have you ever stood in the middle of a snowfall, and just listened?

Our world is so busy there aren’t many places quiet enough to hear snow. But I have been blessed to have lived in one of those places.

It can be hidden by the blowing of wind, but if you just stand and listen to the tinkle of it landing on a waterproof coat. You will hear joy.

The flakes never stay long. You can watch them melt almost instantly as body heat reaches out to their lace like structures.

It’s almost as if they never touched you. But the sound will live in your soul.

This winter, if you can, find a place to listen to the snow. It also sings for you as you walk though its drifts.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Leftover Pizza

Like pizza fresh from the oven
A melding of flavors, a comforting texture
In the moment
Satisfying

Like chilled leftovers,
Tasting every vegetable separately
The kick of cold sauce
Heat of chilled pepperoni
Chewy crust that requires a rip while taking a bite.

Happy memory
An expirience enjoyed
Bits and pieces saved for later
Disected
Understood.

Thank God for leftover pizza.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Another one just for fun.


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The Give and Take of Creativity

Most things in life are a give and a take relationship. We breathe in oxygen, and give out carbon-monoxide. That feeds the plant life around us that turns it back into the oxygen we breathe again.

Give and take is the foundation of life, and it’s no different for creativity and writing.

As a writer, I take things in from life around me. The people, the places, the nature, the communion of prayer. These things feed my spirit and enable me to spend energy on writing. I pour what I receive across the page as I try to give order to thoughts and paint pictures with words.

Next comes a really amazing part. Other people take in the things that I write. Maybe not many, but a few. Even one is enough to continue this relationship.

Is their reaction negative or positive? Either way, there is an exchange.

They read my words, they take them in. Is their reaction negative or positive? Either way, there is an exchange. Do they leave a ‘like’ or a comment? Do they simple ghost through the pages of my website? Even if they do not engage with me, they give a tinny bit, a marker that says, someone was there and read my work. It’s a spark of energy shared with a computer keyboard or phone screen.

This give from a reader can go even further if they use their finances to bless me and buy my book or artwork. That is a HUGE give. It tells me not only have they read my work, but they found it worthy enough to spend money.

The financial blessing enables me to give more of my writing to the world, and maybe even bless my family with a little extra for household necessities.

So the branches of give and take grow even wider.

There is a step further a reader can go, they can share my work. By leaving a review, they bless my heart with words of encouragement, or maybe correction. Either way, there is give there. They give not only to me the writer but also to others who might read their review and decide if my work is worth the time to read it. So the branches of give and take grow even wider.

It becomes a circle when the writer takes in enough again to create something new. A cycle, and that cycle is a beautiful thing.

My personal place is that cycle changes. Sometimes I am the writer, but I also experience being the reader. I take in what other people create and give back to them. Another connection, a community of creativity.

When was the last time you gave?

What did you create? When was the last time you engaged? Did a writer’s words stir your emotions so much you had to share them? When was the last time you bought a book or artwork? Did you even know you are a part of a web of creative energy?

You are.

We all are.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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