Poems for Special Occasions

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Is It Possible to Mourn and Yet Rejoice?

Is it possible to mourn and yet rejoice?
Can a soul both praise and weep?
Could one give thanksgiving a voice
While tossed in a stormy deep?
If one’s eyes overflow with tears
Can the heart experience peace?
When all around are troubles and fears
Can inner turmoil then cease?
How can one suffer immeasurable loss
While yet speaking of God’s grace?
Can one take and bear their cross
With a smile upon their face?
 
“Impossible, it cannot be done!”
Many a soul would declare.
“Do not expect this from someone
When life has been so unfair?
Does the rabbit give thanks for the fox?
Or the mouse for the owl?
Is the grass thankful to the ox?
Does the worm praise the fowl?”
Yet, what is it that we do read
In the epistle of Saint Paul?
Whatever the trial, affliction or need,
We are to glory in them all!
 
Thus my heart in faith cries out,
“Lord, show me this Thy way.”
In spite of the sorrows and grief felt,
“Instruct my heart,” I pray.
Teach me Lord that Thy way is good
Even when reason fails me.
When providence is not understood
Help me still Thy love to see.
When doubts lay assault to my mind
And the question arises, “Why?”
May I then in Thy Word find
Comfort for my needy heart’s cry.
 
Standing thus upon Thy unfailing Word,
Claiming each precious promise true,
Upon Thyself my cares transferred,
I arise with strength anew.
Assured of all that Thou doest provide
And of Thy tender care,
In my sympathising Saviour I confide –
He does my sorrows share.
Thus I find I can give my Lord praise
And claim a peace surreal.
Although this may the godless amaze,
I can a joyfulness feel!
 
Judith Searle 2013
 

The School of A Godly Mother

Mothers today we honour
The special place you hold;
Your love, commitment and patience
And faithful labours often untold.
We know that God has placed you
In a special role on earth
And that the task of motherhood
Only begins at childbirth!
At that point your heart is knit
In a bond of indescribable love
With the fruit of your womb –
Each one a gift from above.
 
There is no greater treasure
Than the relationship you share
With an eager, innocent child
Who God has placed into your care.
What an influence a mother can have
On each precious little life!
She may direct their paths aright
And shelter them from sin’s strife.
The Lord may use her faithfulness
To reach each infant’s heart
And her constant, guiding love
May prove a crucial part.
 
Consider the mother of Moses -
Jochebed was her name.
What a job she was given -
Israel’s future leader to train.
She was a mother chosen to be a mother
And Pharaoh’s daughter gave her pay
To nurse her own precious son
And to take the child away.
Jochebed did not complain
But accepted this with joy.
She put her heart and her soul
Into training this little boy.
 
When God wants to train a child
To achieve their very best
He sends them to a godly mother
With faith to pass each test.
The best scholars in Egypt
Did not prepare Moses for what was ahead
He was trained for life’s decisions
By his mother Jochebed.
What influence this woman had
Although a simple slave!
It was her faithful mothering
That would her people save.
 
So mothers please take heart
Although the task is hard;
Although the work at time seems vain
And your hands are worn and scarred.
God sees your faithfulness
And desire to fulfil the task.
He watches by to strengthen
And will answer if you ask.
The way you’ve touched your children’s lives
You may not now see
But God will use it for His purposes
In a way that will count for eternity.
 
By Judith Searle 2009
 

A Gift For Father's Day

The time has come again to say,
“What do I get Dad for Father’s Day?”
It can’t be anything too plain –
Like socks or hankies again.
Just right it really has to be
To show him what he means to me.
 
Maybe chocolate should be the token
To thank him for words sweetly spoken.
Words of praise, reassurance and care
And the encouragements and burdens we share.
Or maybe stationary or a fountain pen
For patiently teaching me time and again.
For helping with homework and hearing me read
And proof-reading drafts whenever the need.
Yet maybe pyjamas would be the best way
To thank Dad for teaching me how to pray.
Each night kneeling beside my bed –
Setting a pattern for my life ahead.
Then again a power tool may fit the bill
To thank him for teaching me many a skill.
From changing a tyre to driving a car
And knowing what spark plugs and oil filters are.
Or is a Bible commentary to be preferred
To thank him for teaching me of God and His Word.
For family devotions and singing of praise
And directing me to follow in God’s ways.
Then again some aftershave may be best
To show how his love has fragranced the rest.
His words, leadership and teaching of truth and skill
Came from a heart of love that I see still.
 
Dad, if I could give all this
Delivered personally with a kiss
It still would insufficient be
To express all you are to me.
 
With love,
Judith 2005

A Group of Mothers

A group of mothers met one day their concerns to voice,
About the lack of value placed on their career choice.
“Motherhood,” one said, “is valued less than medicine and law.
In fact it is seen as less worthy than any degree at all!
My friends all said I was foolish when I said I wanted to be
A mother with a few children in a happy family.”
“If motherhood is all I do,” another Mum replied,
“I’m said to lack experience and to be unqualified.”
“I believe there should be a degree,” spoke up another,
“That recognises all the work that goes into being a mother.”
“Hear! Hear!” came the unanimous shout as all rose to their feet;
And the plan was made to approach the university down the street.
 
Unfortunately, the university did not welcome the idea.
“I’m sorry but degrees are not given away around here.
You will have to return with documentation,” smiled the head of the faculty,
“To show the course of study taken to merit such a degree.”
Unperturbed the mothers met to document all they do.
The list extended for many pages by the time they were all through.
They addressed it “For those who know not how a mother day is spent.”
And then, for all who may be wondering, this is how it went:
 
“The day begins when the baby wakes demanding its first feed.
Then comes preparing lunches while meeting any need.
Breakfast is served and each child made to do their chore.
Homework is checked and diaries signed before running out the door.
Trains to catch and trips to school, come next in the day.
Then there are errands to run, mail to post and bills to pay.
Returning home there’s time for a quick snack before the housework calls.
Now comes cleaning up crumbs on the floor and fingermarks off walls,
Removing stains from the carpet and forever picking up toys,
Comforting crying infants while talking on the phone over the noise,
Grocery shopping, buying clothes and ensuring the budget is kept,
Attending to babies, teething toddlers and the sick while others slept,
Changing nappies, washing sheets, folding and ironing clothes,
Reading stories, bathing babies and on and on the list goes.”
 
“Surely with such a list our request can not be denied.
Finally the day has come when we will turn the tide.”
So off they went with this list and expectations high
To meet that same professor, the norm to defy.
Now the outcome of this meeting is plain for all to see,
For who here being a mother holds such a well-earned degree?
 
By Judith Searle 2006

At the Dedication of a Child

The relief of the nine months being through
Was insignificant compared to the thrill
Of holding that baby when just new -
I remember it so clearly still.
A perfect bundle with skin so fair,
And little fingers and little toes;
Big blue eyes and golden hair,
And, of course, a little button nose.
 
Our home has now changed, you know.
There’s much more work but lots of joy.
We have watched our dear baby grow
And change into a loveable little boy.
A giggle at times and many a smile
Are precious rewards for our time and care.
It is nice to just stop awhile
And enjoy each moment that we share.
 
Yet we know this gift is not our own;
His Creator in love gave him to us.
From the beginning this we have known
And we value the privilege of enjoying him thus.
So Lord, as Hannah in Your Word,
We dedicate our son to You.
May Your call in His life be clearly heard,
And whatever You request, may we do.
 
Help us teach him of Your ways
And direct him to the cross.
May we show him how to give You praise
And count all worldly gain as loss.
Our desires and ambitions we surrender now.
To have our son instead walk in Your will.
May You hold us faithful to this vow
And give us grace it to fulfil.
 
By Judith Searle

Fathers Who Have Gone Before

Now as Father’s Day has come once more,
We are reminded of fathers who have gone before.
Those of whose lives we have a record
By the wisdom and foresight of the Lord.
These ones are given us as an example
Against false teaching, of which there is ample.
They show us what a father’s role is to be
And how they are to lead their family.
 
Consider Abraham and the faith he had
That God would one day make him a dad.
And though years passed and the chances looked grim,
Abraham knew the One who had promised him.
Then when he was one-hundred years old
His miracle son he rejoiced to hold.
How proud this father was as his son grew
But God was to prove if his heart remained true.
Would this father sacrifice what he loved best,
And pass God’s obedience test?
In willingness and faith his son he gave
And a ram was provided Isaac to save.
 
Then consider Joshua who commanded a nation.
In faithfulness and courage he fulfilled this station.
Yet as a leader in his home he did excel
And his family followed him extremely well.
So when the choice came of what the people would do
He could speak for himself and his family too.
“As for me and my house,” he boldly said.
“We will serve with the Lord as our head.”
 
What about Noah, this preacher of old.
For one-hundred and twenty years God’s wrath he foretold.
Judgment was coming for the people’s sin
Yet into the ark only his family went in.
“What a failure,” you may say of this man
And yet he was faithful in fulfilling God’s plan.
Despite the hardness of the people around
And the wicked perverseness that did abound,
This father maintained a godly home at all cost
And not one soul of his family was lost!
 
On the other hand, let us now see
Those fathers who failed with their family.
Although these men were spiritual leaders of Israel,
In this essential role they did sadly fail.
The account of Eli cannot be here ignored,
Who ministered daily before the Lord.
Yet, his sons into such wicked men grew
Because Eli would not restrain what they’d do.
 
Then Samuel who grew under this influence
Similarly raised sons whose sins were immense.
They took bribes and perverted the law
So that the people would follow them no more.
Thus this chain of poor fathering
Resulted in the people desiring a king!
 
Furthermore, what about great king David,
The Psalmist who a nation mightily lead.
Yet his divided heart led him into sin
And this royal household was destroyed from within.
 
So fathers who are listening here,
I believe the example is very clear.
Lead your homes well and don’t compromise.
A godly family will be your prize.
Seek God’s wisdom and you’ll be glad
To fulfill your rewarding role as a Dad.

By Judith Searle 2008

Mother

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will notdepart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
 
She gazes down at the little hands and feet,
Of her newborn daughter, so beautiful and sweet.
Her heart fills with joy, and eyes with tears,
As she thanks God for the upcoming years.
 
The child is raised with gentle loving care,
Of a Mother who is always there,
To show her daughter love and help when in need,
By taking her by the hand and through troubles lead.
 
As the girl grows, the Mother is nearby,
To teach her the alphabet and the colour of the sky.
To teach her of God in His heaven above,
And of His salvation and never ceasing love.
 
A beautiful woman the child grows into,
But the Mother is not forgotten, for there is more she will do.
She stands by in times of tribulation and pain,
To give her support and bring peace once again.
 
It is said that a Mother's work is never done,
But all her work is not just for fun,
She shapes her child to God's will,
So God's plans that young life can fulfil.
 
So thank you God for mothers everywhere,
For their patience, endurance, courage and care.
And may all mothers raise their daughters this way,
So that they themselves can be good mothers one day.
 
By Judith Searle

Our Testimony of Our Wedding Day

Expectantly we have awaited this day,
Counting the moments till it come,
Where our love for each other we may display,
And our lives are joined as one.
 
We testify here in this place
Of the goodness the Lord has shown;
Of His kindness, mercy, unfailing grace
And His provision for His own.
 
Despite our failings He has seen fit
To bless us with one another.
We are sure He had a hand in it
As each one complements the other.
 
His leading has been clear
As we both surrendered to His will.
He paved the path that brought us here
And His guidance we seek still.
 
We come this day with a sense of awe
Thinking of the way the Lord has led.
We know not what He now has in store
But we trust Him with all that’s ahead.
 
By Judith Searle

To My Sister on Her Wedding Day

I know that tradition would compel me
To give a speech on this day,
For I am a part of the bride’s family
And you’d expect I’d have something to say.
 
So, Susan, where should I start
In sharing about your life
Now that a man has stolen your heart
And you have become his wife?
 
The day is here and cannot be denied
That my companion for my youth
Has become a young woman and now a bride
Can it really be the truth?
 
Is it wrong for me to wish once more
For times that we’ve shared in the past?
Those days were fun, to be sure,
But childhood was not meant to last.
 
Now the time has come Susan for you
To continue in what God has planned.
Right now it must seem exciting and new
To place yourself in Chris’ hand.
 
I am so relieved that you have wed
A man of character, conviction and love.
One who will lead through whatever’s ahead
Looking to Christ above.
 
Although your life now may not be the same
I pray our friendship will still grow.
I want to be there when your children you name
If the Lord so wishes, you know.
 
Please feel free to come to me
In trials or in mirth.
I pray that through me Christ you will see
And my support will be of worth.
 
So no matter where the Lord may lead,
Remember the words spoken this day.
And with Christ meeting every need
We’ll live out the words we say.
 
By Judith Searle

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