Peace, Child

she has stories that fill her mind to the brim,
forlorn words that drift about and
overflow from her eyes.

she has whispers that keep her up at night,
memories that replay and regenerate,
but always she sees
people, people, real people, inexistent people,
people who laugh and talk and move in her mind’s eye.

threads and tendrils of life
spiraling about in her brain,
stray connections of colored patterns,
blank patterns that aren’t really patterns at all,
yet somehow her mind plays with even cold darkness.

she has musings she longs to
fit on the paper,
crush between letters and
soak through ink
but sometimes
even paper can’t handle her mind.

she lunges at wisps of brilliance,
or seemingly brilliance,
but they slip between the spaces in her mental fingers,
spaces she thought she had closed.

she wonders of so much
or so little, it seems to her.

sometimes her mind is chaos in a bottle,
swirling and twisting and turning and screaming and
she is the girl between the glass,
trying to cover her ears but it
doesn’t stop the thoughts —
thoughts and words and swirling twisting abstract figures that
somehow speak her language.

oh her mind is complicated,
her thoughts complicated,
her words complicated,
a chaotic rubble where she stands and seeks peace,
or the essence of peace.

her flesh does not know peace, true peace,
peace from a screaming mind fed by a
screaming world;
her soul thirsts for it.

she wanders for awhile,
lost and confused,
afraid of her own doubts,
until she hears a sound unlike all else.

hungry, hungry, she falls to her knees
crying God please,
calm the chaos, remove the madness.

hungry soul.
seeking eyes.
longing heart.

ancient pages of truth stirred by
trembling, searching hands.
another prayer.
a voice.

rest here, child.

in His arms
her raging storm is calm,
her chaotic mind is flooded with tranquility,
her soul is filled to the brim with peace.

suddenly her thoughts,
her words,
her stories,
have truly happy endings.

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2017

hard to stay awake.
bleary eyes and sing-song laughter.
curled up on the couch with the tv playing but
my head is playing even louder
replaying memories,
things,
2016 in a whirlwind
flashing through my mind
as my lips move to mouth
the words to the songs on the radio.

so many resolutions…
i twist my hair about my thumb
along with my thoughts.
i can’t stop thinking.

heart pounding.
watching family laugh and play games and
blossom new memories right now.

fireworks erupting out the window.
the sky alit with showering sparks
showering dreams
showering moments.

i close my eyes against the 2016
whirlwind
and open them to
2017,

the new year.

i don’t know
what’s in store.

i don’t know
what’s behind this door.

but i do know
my God is in control
so i can let go and embrace
the now, not the tomorrow
and the who, not the when.

i can embrace
2017 with
j o y .


God bless you! Happy New Year! 

A Song

I was listening
To the words
Strung along a melody,
Painted upon a canvas of silence,
Where an intricate pattern was woven and
Wrapped about my mind

I was listening
To the words
Which were honest words, raw words,
Words that penetrated deep inside
To place where I could hear them;
Flawed, in a sense, yet flawless

I was listening
To the words
That told of stories—
Trials and tribulation,
A journey well over a thousand steps—
Frozen in each simple sound

I was listening
To the words
That tell of us,
That tell of our lives
And of our God

I was listening
To the words
That reminded me of hope,
That reminded me of the journey,
That diverted my eyes from the distractions,
That reminded me of who I am
And who my God is
And why I am here

I was listening
To the words,
Words that
(Though written by a different hand)
Told parts of my story,
Extracted memories once locked away,
Sang a tune of which I had forgotten the lyrics

Because, as I walked,
I was listening
To the words
Of a song

The Wordcrafter

She was a wordcrafter,
For she gathered letters in her hands.

She liked to weave wreaths of them,
To encircle them about her neck, her head, in her hair.
It delighted her, the way they rolled on her tongue,
The way they fitted together to reveal a picture in her mind,
A picture she could enfold in the crimson pages of her memory and hold close to her soul.

She was the wordcrafter, the carpenter,
Only she worked alone with her hands, her heart, and the letters she gathered,
Fitting pieces together and
Singing along the melody they made.

People didn’t know that beyond every smile, every laugh, every tear,
That there were words in her head;
Wreaths of them, bundles of them, baskets of them,
Hidden nooks and crevices, hidden away inside where her collections abounded.

Sometimes she stayed up late at her desk,
Unwinding them, examining them, listening to the words and pondering over them,
Before she would mold them and open them deeper still, searching for meaning behind them,
Her meaning. Her words.

But once, they weren’t hers.
Once they were his.

She didn’t know him, didn’t know how he had gathered them before her,
Didn’t know how he too had held them, had unwinded them, had listened and pondered
Had thought they were his,
But before they were his they were another’s.

Once they belonged to the girl who didn’t understand,
The girl who cradled late night thoughts, who fought unknown battles,
Who stayed awake at night in the dark with a swirling mind until her words urged to spill out,
Raw words, bare and scraped devoid of lies, and there she began a journey.

Once they belonged to the boy with too much to say,
The boy who wished they would listen to his cries,
The boy who gathered words but left them there to collect dust on the shelves of his mind
Until he armed himself with a pen, a notebook, and there his puzzle unfolded.

Once they belonged to a woman with a powerful imagination,
A woman who locked them up beside her dreams in a cellblock of her mind,
A woman who crafted the bars with cold, sterile lies born to reality, and those words
Scratched at the tender lining of her soul until she finally listened.

Once they belonged to a man who discovered something new,
A man who found within himself a desire to share his joy with a broken world,
A man on a new path, a path to redemption, a man who found words in the darkest corners
Where he shined light upon them and there, he found beauty.

Once they belonged to me, the wordcrafter weaving myself into this great puzzle,
The wordcrafter who’s cracked open these words, examined them,
Breathed into them, listened to them, sewn them along the seams of my life,
And now I am holding them to you,
Wondering if you, too, are a wordcrafter.

November 14

now the breeze is cold when it plays with my hair, as i’m
drawing out my plans for tomorrow and watching orange leaves slip between the branches,
grabbing a frappuccino and wondering when the time will come for hot chocolate;
yesterday it was too chilly for me so I pulled out the fuzzy socks—
it’s sweater weather in the morning but hot by midday,
and suddenly i’m not dying from a heatstroke,
but i’m loving cool evenings on the swing, rocking gently from side to side, gazing through the gaps in the leaves of a great oak,
clinging to the warmth of the bonfire in the backyard, holding hands and laughing to the stars—
early sunsets, early sunrises….
this is a  k i n d e r  month.


NaNoers: “NOOOOOOO IT’S REALLY REALLY NOTTTTT.”
Me:
*quietly hands you 10 hot chocolates* 

Unchecked

i was late today
to check off the list
the same list i’ve had for years
of all the things i need to do
and all the things i need to prove
so that i can check off each bullet point and feel
satisfied with myself because i achieved everything
i’ve been wanting to achieve
but even after all this time
all those chances

i still have
unchecked things
on my list

i still have goals
that were never finished
things i told people i would do
that never happened
things i aspired to do by a certain time,
things i boxed in and told myself
i’d do
today
but what was today is now yesterday and the list is
still there
with unchecked bullet points
of all the things i need to do

sitting at my desk right now and going over that list
and feeling despaired and disappointed in myself
i run through my head all the things i did and all the things i didn’t
and i realize that my priorities are so messed up
sometimes

none of these things i need
none of these things define me
none of these things should bind me
none of these things i should obsess over
and be willing to drop everything else for
except the God who keeps on finding me

there’s things i’m learning to let go
and things i’m learning to de-prioritize,
things i’m learning to prioritize
Someone i’m learning to prioritize

sitting here at my desk
rearranging all the things on my list
by things i
need
and things i
want
and where
to draw
the line

for His priorities are mine

and if bullet points go unchecked
that’s okay
as long as it’s not my God going
unchecked

Alive

You and I, we are so alike,
With similar flaws inside our minds we think many of the same thoughts;
Our actions are influenced by motives like emotions and beliefs
And our messy lives that somehow wiggle into everything.

You and I, we have the same look in our eyes;
I know you have memories spiraling deep inside,
A thousand regrets and a thousand things
You would do over again if you could
And believe me, I would too.

You and I, we have traveled the same road,
A road we were afraid to follow but I guess we really had no choice,
Because we were born with blood in our veins and steady, beating hearts
Which meant we were alive,

Only not just alive but alive as humans,
Born with open, reaching hands
And blinking eyes exploding with color,
Skin so soft and clear,
Mouths with which we make so many sounds
Like laughter
And weeping
And speaking.

See how far you have traveled since then?

I know you have
Hands sporting calluses and sun-kissed arms,
Hair stiff at the tips and circles under your eyes,
Scars and bruises and
Broken fingernails, freckles,
Maybe wrinkles when your face creases into a smile,
Gray strands in the folds of your hair;
Every mark on your skin hides a memory behind it,
And all of these things are signs that

You have lived.

You have lived
And you are living
And so am I, dear,
Because you and I,

We are human.

We are beautiful, beautiful beings
Created in the image of a beautiful Creator
With beautiful eyes and faces and hands,
And though in the midst of it we are so broken,
Though our skin is patterned with cracks that run deep,
Though we are stained with red streaks of all our mistakes,
We are loved by a Savior who renews us each day
At the hour we fall to our knees and lift our broken hearts
–With all those shameful cracks–
To Him.

You and I,
We are alike
In so many ways.

You and I,
We are human.

You and I,
We have lived.

We are not done living yet.

And so we stand together as we paint this beautiful messy canvas called life,
Because our fight is not finished and the war is not over,
But you and I, we will make it through.

We will finish the race.

At the end we will stand with our God and raise our voices in praise,
And you and I, we will be able to say,

“I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the race.
Here is my story,
For I have lived.