receive grace, dear girl

you’re being too
hard on yourself—
i could hear this
faint within my heart,
tears asking pardon.
she was right—i can’t
read a book in a decent
time to compile a list of
favorite quotes/notes. he
laughs in my mind when
the next email comes,
guess you missed
the first task, huh?
& now you have TWO
MORE! i sit with these
second guesses until
morning comes: let it
go. you’re not missing
out—go at your pace.
My hand is on you, as
well as time—look in
My eyes, no condemning
to behold.

So last night, i find an update email from the launch team manager in my Spam folder, after emailing a friend about if I’m still supposed to be collecting quotes/notes In the email, I’m immediately drawn to the fact they’re releasing new images for the book, next week. and the devil is all: looks like you missed on that one. can’t even do task one! this follows by telling my mom, “i’ve failed.” Which she asks, why? I tell her something about I can’t read a book fast enough. My soul takes a long time to process a lll of this. I mean, I’m talking about the soul. It’s delicate and fragile. God knows how much time we need to grasp something. Apparently, I need months, years.

Just yesterday I learned love is only two things: patient & kind. I’ve read this before, but because of Emily’s lovely breakdown of 1 Corinthians 13, it’s made my soul go, God, is this true?? Whoa. Then, that means that’s all You are…

This made realize two other lovely things. 1. I’ve been taking myself SUPER SERIOUS with this book launch. When I haven’t been having serious headaches/sneezing/feeling sick, I’ve been at this or thinking: God, if I can show you I can do this, it’ll lead to a job. Right? Because that’s what’s most important. Money, so I can live and take care of myself. And His response: Just enjoy this! Don’t worry about that, delight yourself in Me! (and I kinda stare hard at Him..)

2. My soul needs to breathe. And yours does, too. You know you want to learn to pray with a bowl that receives nothing but grace.. 😉

still i cry, where are you?

i don’t want to come
here again—shaking
my fist at how i can
not do this alone. oh,
God, when will relief
come? when will my
body not repulse at food,
or sleep through the night
safe & sound? darkness
knows my name & every
day, i feel veiled from some
evil i don’t want to know.

FMF prompt: relief. It’s raining, dark & I may have a tiny bit of anger toward God for feeling forgotten by him. As if he doesn’t know how I desperately I need him. How I can’t do anything without him. How I wish I wasn’t so needy. But I am. I in no way want to curse God (though I’m pretty sure if I went outside and shook my fist at the sky, it would be disrespectful.), but this is hard.

To constantly see my weakness. How I’m not as patient as I think I am. But when I’m weak, he is strong. And I should rejoice all the more for being disabled, because he is at my right hand, leading me in his compassion.

God, give me patience to wait on you. To not be so upset at myself for my humanness. You know my weakness & i’m sorry i’m a tad complainy today. Let a smile be brought to my face, though the thunder rolls and i don’t know what you are doing.

Faith not sight, I know. Help me believe your love is true. In Jesus’ name, amen..

my head throbs without remark

today, i let
something
go, become

ash. yesterday,
i could’ve over
indulged whims—

half pound box
peppermint bark,
facebook until I

blotched red
over my face.
sadness/anger

/embarrassment.
instead, i thought
pączki he brought

her what i imagine
every year. lemon,
cherry, raspberry

filling a richness
we all must desire
before the sacrifice.

i didn’t, huffed
discomfort before
mother’s eardrum.

what now? she said.
my heart is heavy, i
don’t know why. i

exasperated, watching
stripped onion fall beside
waiting mushroom, inside

heated pan. you see, what
i would like to give up—
my innate looking down

upon my own worth.
i have to tell myself
truth, mind, heart &

soul argue believe

grey skies cast

shadow over blue—

Against His Bosom, I Turn

Ask me not, astronaut,

why gravity scares my heart,

not the words I speak swiftly.

On your collarbone, there

lies a covering of what I dream

a piece of moon underneath.

You whisper, there is more

below my skin & bone.

I tell you, I hear every night

while I am alone in the darkeess.

I am afraid I’ve missed it.

Whispers don’t catch my eardrums

as audible demand for work to be done..

You’re ending such talk, darling.

When you go to me rather than humanity,

failure won’t come boulder heavy.

I wish to fly amongst twinkles

said to be your eyes, their burn

said to scorch me; but my flesh

begs me go. Go out, find immediate

break of your will. Crawl back.

hands & knees. Beg try until

shame dismisses you completely.

Your eyes ask me believe I am worthy

flight within spaces between our fingers.

It’s difficult to be still.

Keep breaking your heart

way of shudder against touch

I know I need.

I step back, away,

your eyes shining:

you are forgiven.

I whisper, will you hold me

past pluto my eyes can’t dissipate?

Fall on my breast, dear darling,

weep if you must,

but look into my face—

I do not hate you.

For when I look into your blue,

I see the depth of my Son.

Dear Devil, I Hate You

Here, I sit rocking

worried whispers making a way

down my silenced heart. You should

call and check. Do what you’re

asked, before I bury you with much

guilt. Enough to taste dirt when you

swallow. Oh what, you going to cry

again? Baby. That’s what you are.

Such a child. Daddy says, wait and

be still. You don’t get anything

accomplished by watching leaves

fall. You need to be productive,

even forceful if you want to be

successful. Don’t you want that?

You’ve made, what, maybe five

dollars from a book that will most

likely never be a best seller. Not with

seven pieces of your insane cries for

Jesus to come hold you. Show His

face to you. Look in your eyes and

tell you: Darling, you don’t have to

try so hard to make me love you.

I already do. Always have. Always

will. You are living in a fantasy world,

if you think for one second you can

get through this life waiting on

someone you can’t see. You know

how well that worked out with your

first real “love.” Didn’t he say you

could put anything into words? Buy

all your books because money was

not an issue? Love you forever &

always, as you sung along with

Taylor Swift? Or that night

he pointed to your heart, saying:

I love you and only you. And you

cried? No wonder he left. How do

you know He first loved you is true?

Sure, He died on a cross, bleeding

so you wouldn’t have to believe

these condemning stones I am

bruising you with. Black & blue

is better looking on you anyway.

He denied my gift to give Him

all of this broken earth, my request

to turn stones to bread, or be lifted

high by angel embrace.

He told me to get away, to love Him only.

Man cannot live on bread alone.

Do not test Me.

What kind of love is this, if you can’t

offer gifts or ask questions?

Shouldn’t you see His glory?

You can’t see good, so how will you

know these plans are prospering

if He never shows His face?

Not Once A Year, Every Day

Messiah.

I think about this name.

Given to You, my Father,

My Friend, Healer.

I’m a mess today, no,

everyday I’ve been on this Earth.

I’m trying to breathe, but my breath

leaves my heart with ache.

An ache of deplorable worry.

This is not working out.

Time is running away, away

my mind spinning lying webs

all with one thread line:

You will be stuck here forever

and three days.

Three days.

The same number You stayed

beneath, Your body compositing,

decomposing the ground I can easily

let steal my peace.

I think too much at times, of the dark

that will meet my gaze when You

wish for me back by Your side.

I am terrified of the end.

Though I know You’ll be there,

swooping me up into Your lap,

reproach less smile upon pure beauty.

I’m still scared,

preconceived with the notion

You are Santa Claus.

For every open armed gesture.

Open ear accepting my silence.

Awe at how You laugh loud enough

my nerves edge.

Agape smile never hid out

from my frightened view.

Declaring the age I truly am.

Little girl.

Helplessly wanting her daddy,

with only tears as her speech.

I’ve approached You blurry

more than my fingers amount.

I fret, knowing I forgot to tell him

about the garbage needing emptied,

or the cans pulled back.

The yes or no answer for a move

ahead, or another try again.

I want to hurry everything.

My mouth scrambling together

words to phrases to sentences.

I’ll miss the blessing that comes in

the present package: patience

under circumstantial not knowing

when Your presence will surprise me.

Where Love Found Me

This is a story I had written at the beginning of summer. It is about two dear friends, both flawed, and desperately searching for a taste of love not of this world. It’s a story of God changing lives, one love-fed spoonful at a time.
—–
Encouragement. It comes in many forms. Some find it in between the pages of fairytales. Mysteries. Movies with happy endings. Food shared with a friend. A smile and a hug. Music. Laughter. Jobs where hard work pays off in a chance for bigger amounts of money. Quotes of wisdom from one of the “greats”. The greatest encouragement, I’ve come to see, doesn’t come from anything of this world, but from a prayer that ends with true love’s real name: Jesus.
When I was little, I used to lay my head down to sleep and pray for everyone I knew. It sounded something like this: I pray for (insert all names of family and friends as well as anything I had heard that made me sad). In the beginning, I used to love giving my words to something bigger than I. I never had any concept of whom the being that I was praying to actually was, or the power He had. I knew that He died and maybe a little bit about why. As I grew up though, I began to have this nagging thought: Do You even hear me?
​I couldn’t understand how anyone could die for me. What made me so worthy? Couldn’t He see I was crippled? Why should He have any desire to listen to my feeble need? Through some of the challenging moments of my life, my first break-up, my parents’ divorce, and going off to college, I continued to wrestle with these doubts about my purpose. It wasn’t until I was sitting with a Mexican omelet in front of me while Veggietales played in the background, that I began to see how much He truly loved me.
​ It was during one of our Friday discipleships. We were sitting in the Student Union, and I was showing Gwen a new song I had found. After she finished belting out a final, “It is well with my soul,” silence fell over us for a moment, and then she looked me in the eyes with the sincerity of an honest friend, and simply asked if I wanted to come over her house for dinner. I always had trouble accepting whether people that came into my life were genuine, or for some unknown reason were taking pity. Most of the friendships from my past somehow turned one-sided, or ended unexpectedly, and I couldn’t handle watching this crumble when so much in my life had come to a screeching halt. Despite the conflict between my head and heart, I pushed away the hesitancy, and agreed on a day that upcoming week.
​When the day finally arrived, we drove with the sun streaming through the windows, carrying on a conversation about how I’ve always wanted to live in the country, or at least where there were lots of fields, so I could have a pony. Once we finally reached her house, I remember being greeted by the meow of an orange kitty, to which Gwen said, “Oh hush,” half annoyed, as I continuously meowed back.
​ As she sat me down and set up my walker so I could get around, I knew in spite of the tidal wave nerves and general awkwardness, Jesus had begun to touch my heart. Just like most of our previous times together, Gwen pulled out her laptop so I could share yet another song artist that had brought joy to my ears recently. Between sips of cranberry juice and Pepsi, it was decided we would have Mexican omelets and Veggietales would play loudly, and obnoxiously.
​ Normally, I am ashamed to show this side of myself to anyone. From the second I turned on “The Water Buffalo Song,” I couldn’t help, but begin to laugh. Gwen began to dance around like a child on Christmas morning as she threw the rest of the ingredients into the pan. After they were finally finished, Gwen plated the omelets and took everything to the table.
​We sat down and just as I was about to dig into the Mexican goodness, I heard the request I had been dreading: Would you like to pray?
​I’m pretty sure I looked like a deer frozen in the headlights. My thought-process the entire two minutes or so she waited was something like: Jesus, do you remember the last time she asked me to pray? Sitting there with clasped hands, waiting patiently as I tried to push the immediate lump in my throat away? The sadness in her eyes when I couldn’t even say anything other than, “I can’t.”? No, I can’t fail You again. I don’t even know what to say.
​I had seen Gwen pray during precious times when we had discipleship. The format always seemed to be centered on thankfulness. I generally sat there with my eyes closed, marveling at the words pouring out of her mouth. It intimidated me. She could sit there and speak so openly about what was in her heart. I, on the hand, always felt at a loss for words because to me, she just has this depth when she speaks, heartfelt honesty, and I always felt my prayers to Jesus would be inadequate, even if it was how I truly felt.
​ Maybe it was the fact that Veggietales had been playing in the background, or the hours I had already been there, I instantly felt at home and thankfulness had invaded my heart. So with a shaky, “okay,” I thanked Jesus for the delicious omelet placed before me, and a dear friend who showed me how true friendship is found in patience, love, and a little sacrifice.
​ On that Thursday night so many months ago, I started seeing love differently. Love goes deeper than any word we hide behind our silence. Love remains persistent through trials when we expect it let go of our hand. It hears your need, suffers alongside you, and fills you with uncontainable joy. Love forgives. Love stays faithful in distance, nearest when fear stills our heart. Love is truth you had been blind to before. Love is the constant encouragement and belief that you are worth more than any past mistake
​Love is thankfulness for Jesus Christ.