self pep talk

dear sad girl,

i know you’re tired today. so tired you want to sleep the rest the day away. that hat is on its way to remind you God is in high pursuit of you. waves of goodness. let it overwhelm you. crash over you. open your mouth & let God fill you. let him draw close to you. play with that playdoh, making flowers. or hearts. turn up the music loud and sing in the shower, not caring who hears you.

when you get your haircut this weekend, remind yourself you are beautiful. and when you remember that one time your grandma said you looked a bit Justin Bieber when she took to get your haircut once, laugh.

it’s fall. watch the leaves fall. drink all the apple cider. embrace everything God is giving you right now. himself. family. friends that will listen and pray. that make you feel included and loved from miles away. the encouragement to keep writing.

God is surrounding you.

keep your eyes on the horizon.


ps. If you ever get the chance to thank hollyn for this album you can’t turn off, do it.



Day 82



I don’t know 

what is happening

anymore. I just know 

there is quiet in the 2am

hour & before: I can’t like 

a guy I’ve only met once 

before. Oh, here come all

these feelings again. Ugh. 

There’s the peace again. 

You know we used to laugh 

so much before, joke around. 

What happened to that? Where 

did it go? Did I go too deep too soon? Why 

am I somehow not 

completely panicked about these things 

like is generally typical? One is new, one 

has been around awhile, but

this peace inside feels as if You’ve 

stepped into the room.

I see you. I hear you. I love you. 

You can keep talking, child. I love to 

listen to you. 

& I beg You for healing, Lord,

for my family, for a friend’s back, for 

time with another friend at the movies, 

favor with a sweepstakes for a book the 

movie is based on (and yes, I know 

there’s like 9000 people so far and five

books being given, but it’d be cool to be 

one of five, like willy wonka & a golden 

ticket. My ticket is Your listening ear), for 

a friendship to be restored, and maybe 

a start with that guy even if it turns to 

nothing more. A way to do that psalms 

bible plan with the friend who hurt her 

back —

the patience to wait and see,

to be still before You, Jehovah

Sabaoth- sa-ba-oath (who promises to 

always love me) and sends His angel 

armies to 

help me. Help me be still & know You are 

God. You are peace & You know the fire 

deep in my soul. Loves me

when I fall & surrounds me 

with love & kindness because

even as the winds blow & I don’t know, 

You crown me

with goodness to awaken 

the little girl who knows

she is royal. 

Thank You for 

being loyal, my 

dear Savior. 

The sparkle in 

Your eyes. 


Your tender haired girl.  

to save me?

When I am afraid
I will not heal though

I’ve read Your Word,

are You still holding my hand?

“Do not be afraid, I am here to help you.”

& I watch myself speak 

the words of pain that have 

Soaked my years before; rain

I could never myself dry myself from. 

Were You watching me sob into the couch 

wanting to love without fearing 

punishment was close?

When everything was dark,

were You readying yourself 

fmf: heal

I wrote today’s poem to music. I find it hilarious how Jesus still meets me in the noise because I can’t handle the quiet. Waiting is hard. Like super duper hard. To love where you are while waiting for new things to take place. Watching yellow butterflies fly on by and laughing because hello guidance & hope! and they are so pretty. Answers that still haven’t come and hearing your thoughts: oh, Jesus I hope you’ll come through! I’m afraid you won’t. What if I’m put to shame? I feel crazy. Is anything too hard for you? Show me which, I have to trust you. Send me word of your unfailing love. The butterflies again! What is with them?!

It’s like he’s whispering, healing is here! but my brain is all, look at what you’ve done! taking risks and hoping Jesus comes you see how big of a mountain that is?

Yes, I do but the mustard seed of faith I have is persistent. Jesus is FOR me and He LOVES ME, so I say, LORD break through because that is love and I long to love you as I let you love me.

mess of a heart 

I used to think I had a haven

in books–stories

of a girl who found 

the boy, the one who

completed her. I hung

on every word, my heartbeat 

steady in expectation: maybe

Someone will love me that way.

Until I saw the break, the ache,

the happy ending on pages isn’t

what I see in the eyes of those around me, in the words spoken out, in ink. My chest, heart yearns

for a place I can speak without pretense: Abba, Father, come

into this 

Fmf: haven.

It’s been a week. A week of waiting, fear and honesty and some more fear. When I got into this whole launching book thing, I’d be reading books and learning to stretch my writing. 

I didn’t expect to go into my heart, into my past. I didn’t expect Jesus to keep telling me, you need to go back to go forward. Go back into your memories. I’ll be right here. You can be completely honest, mad and sad and laugh because I know you’re nervous. You can tell these people and your friends because they are still going to love you.

And you’re going to see Me. And know me. My faithfulness. So I tell him about the jealousy, about the anger, the bitterness. How I am terrified to trust and the desperation for love. The broken love of someone else, the way I look in their eyes or texts and see myself. The way I hurt people because I’m so hungry for this love because I know nothing else.

Except when I’m by myself writing, listening to music. I feel this gentleness in the ache, a whisper of it’s okay, you’re safe. And I say things like: I’m evil. You’re going to hate me. I can’t stop acting like this. What if You turn away, too? Hurt me? That’s what I deserve. So, come on let me have it. But wait…don’t.

And he goes:

Here’s a flower.

And a cat:

It’s going to be alright. This is a part of relationship. You’ll find joy again.

And my chest aches because I know He’s right.

In His right hand are pleasures evermore.

And together, we sit & wait.

such love he must have weeped

i think about
the blind man—
the one Jesus
cleansed, or
maybe dirtied
with mud upon
the eyes. over
& over speculators
ask, how can this be?
the man exclaims,
“He put mud on my
eyes. He sent me to
the river, told me to
wash my wash my face.
now i can see.” aren’t
you the one who begged?
“i am he.” we’ll have to call
your parents. they say, is not
your son the one who was born
blind & now can see? how?
yes, he is. they say this
afraid confession of
Messiah could bring
humiliation—you can’t
heal on the Lord’d day,
especially when He’s
standing before you;
you may break a rule.
so these parents
leave their son:
ask him. he’s a
big boy, he can
answer for himself.
so these dumbfounded
persist. how can you see the
blue of the sky? “i told you,
but you do not believe why, ask
again?” they say, go away. we
believe in Moses, you in God.
we shall never agree. Jesus
finds this man, “do you believe
in the Son of Man? “ who is He
so i may, he asks longingly.
He is I, whom you mow see.

looking down without mo(u)rning

with an infomercial
playing on about
weight loss—I
see you. eating
a peanut butter
& raspberry jelly
sandwich, you
are suddenly
awoken & gazing
in my eyes, before
laying back down.
golden girls comes
on the screen & i want
tears falling, but they
don’t—only sting you
are gone.

i love how Jesus holds me when I go back to a memory. when my grandma was here, she used to watch Golden Girls, or read the paper while I ate a chocolate muffin my grandpa and uncle picked out. sometimes it was healthy… most of the time, chocolate was it. so, i’d be sitting in the chair in the family room, while she’d be on the couch reading. i’d watch some of the show, but I was always struck by how she sat and read. really, being in her presence. i loved the morning quiet where we never had to talk. when we did, she typically told me good morning and i jumped.

she asked me a lot why i never said good morning   was i scared? yes. i don’t know why. i think maybe though it was excitement.. i’d get to sit with her. i don’t know why I miss this so much. or why another person can remind me of so much. unknowingly, too.


Meg Lynch

*A sort-of note to almost-nine-year-old Meg

Dear Sweetheart,

You are about to turn nine and enter into a new season of your life.

You are expecting new friends, more learning, and hearing about Jesus every single day. You are so excited.

Just a few months ago, you looked your principal in the face and squealed, “I’m going to a CHRISTIAN school next year!” He saw your excitement and joined in your joy. He said they would be missing you, but they were so happy for you.

The first day of school, you will be introduced to things like cursive, multiplication and division, and phonics…things you’ve never even dreamed existed. You are also asked to recite all the Bible verses you can remember, but you don’t know any.

In that moment, you will feel it: they all know more than you. You can’t read the pretty squiggles and swirls…

View original post 470 more words

century of “i’m okay.”

tomorrow, i will hear
their words: “happy birthday!”
expressed according to relationship:
mother, mother’s friend, sister, brother,
uncles, aunts, grandpa, but i wonder
if i’ll be happy without the false smile
i’ve been wearing, holding me up

FMF prompt: tomorrow. i swear i put “friends” in the poem, but my ability to focus is similar to reaching for my cane in the dark. tomorrow, i turn 25. i still don’t know how to feel about this. in my year of being 24, i think i’ve had more lows than highs. maybe that’s okay. even though i don’t enjoy the lows, especially since last week, i’d like to believe God is using these times of grief and as Sara Groves says in her song, Mystery, “groping in the darkness, hoping in the darkness I will run into you again/” That’s all i’ve been doing for weeks. Groping for a more solid  touch of God. i kind of feel like the woman who bled for 12 years. Except I think “the woman who is brought to tears” would adequately describe me. More than ever, I see how deeply I ache for people, that it makes my pain seem insignificant. sure, i want God to heal all of these people in my life. i also want him to heal me. do i believe he can? heal everyone? yes. me? that depends on the day, but somewhere in my soul, i’m still holding onto the longing he’ll come through. he’ll break through the dark and the weeping won’t be empty, but full of love.  or mayb not a sound will be made..

while half asleep, I had this thought yesterday: you handle everything & let me be amazed. as in, handle the depression, the insomnia, & let me be amazed at how your love heals all things.

not quite sure my thoughts stayed on the track, but God gets the gist.

i well over small intimacies

mother sprinkles chamomile
baby powder over me—
a fallen snow absent
numbing chill. i say,
“just like grandma.”
her name a flickered
remembrance upon
my heart: those aged
hands massaging relief
deep inside the sole.
the years i watched
this practice before
placing her feet
in white socks,
then white shoe—
i wondered then
as i do now—is
your soul alleviated

The beginning of this was written yesterday/finished today. The smallest thing, baby powder, apparently has the power to undo me. I don’t cry, but the welling inside, whoa. i’m thankful God lets me write poems about all these mundane, everyday memories. My grandma would say, “who would want to read that, Julia?” I would say, “I  don’t know, Grandma, but watching  you do this was a touch of God’s presence in the middle of whatever news broadcast or mystery show or thought in my head. It made me still, savor the moment. You’ve impacted my life in simplest ways you’ve never known.”

but she does now. and i miss her so. love you, grandma.

A Father’s Offering

Alone, the memory comes,

The light above a hospital bed

I laid in, dim above my head.

You said, you need to eat.

Or maybe a question why

I wasn’t hungry. The tray held

a Sunny D, Hi-C, or Capri Sun.

I can’t remember now, but

I know the sandwich in the baggie.

Bolgna, mustard, white bread.

I nibbled, ignoring the burn within

my heart. My legs were as hot

as the sun. I ached moving,

standing, walking, laying.

I was truly disabled,

not knowing Jesus

planned revealing

your child wondering

voice calm, a twinkling

crescent pinky promising

we were children, still.


Author’s Note: After reading this and this, I shed some tears. And was instantly brought back to the summer I had Streptococcus in my legs. No one knew. I remember the wait in the emergency room. Getting a room finally at 11 at night. Him telling me to eat. And the small uneasiness in his voice, letting me know I wasn’t alone in the unknown. I wonder sometimes why this moment is so profound, why it doesn’t let go. I think it’s Jesus’ reminder we truly never grow. No matter how tall, muscular, money in our pockets, stately we are.  In the face of something, a God beyond our control, we are small. Asked  to hold on, believe, even when all circumstance point the opposite  I felt more a child in that week, than I ever remember. I went easy into my father’s, mother’s, whoever else’s arms willingly. I wanted to fight this heat, but I was always so delirious from the medicine. I think this was a time I gave God COMPLETE AND UTTER control. I had to wait and trust, I’was in best hands. It’s the same this Advent, too. We may be still and know He is God. Little Jesus weeping a Savior’s cry, not from hospital bed, but a stabile. Our stability. Forever.

(I’m started to ramble outsitde my poetry, lately. Thanks for sticking around and reading what my mind is like when I try to not be  all: LOOK AT ME FORMING SHOWY SENTENCES?!  It’s a struggle with poetry, so I’m thankful for this space I’m finally letting have my insanity.)