12/19/17

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Day 33

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God.

To my left 

is the dog.

To the right

is the cat.

One is curled in 

& the other stretched,

breathing in, out. In, out. 

Your grace abounds even 

now. In this place of unknown,

wait, You give me this space 

to rest. I am surround by You, 

Your love. Grief may blind me,

Lord, but You do not let me go. 

You hold me steady, hold me still. 

Remind me of Your favor 

surrounding me as a shield,

dismantling doubt as they fly, 

fiery arrows from the enemy

after my soul. 

love,

your tender haired girl  

Previous letter found here. 

Whispers of Rest

Rest. It is so much more than a nap or a good night’s sleep. 
In Bonnie Gray’s new 40 day devotional, I’m learning about the ways God calls us to be still and relax in his love. Whispers of Rest has come into my life when I’ve been recovering from a hysterectomy. For the last few weeks, I’ve felt no where near worthy to be God’s beloved. From the way my emotions have flip flopped every other day to wanting to nothing at all, or completely running away, I’ve watched God gently meet me in this journey of being his Beloved. Hearing him say, over and over, “It’s okay. Embrace my grace.” through friends and family.

This journey takes through 6 parts of being God’s beloved, with a word or phrase to center the day on. There is personal stories from Bonnie, Scripture, God’s words to you, questions to help you through your own story, prayer, Beloved Challenges, and trail notes of research found about the challenges, and more.


One of the things I’ve been loving most is the different ways to pray. On Day 4 we are invited to come write a letter to Jesus. This helped me so much in letting go of a lot of anger and sadness I’ve been feeling lately, laying it out before in something different than a poem. A challenge that follows the prayer is to write a letter to someone we love about how much we appreciate them. As I wrote this letter to a friend, part of me struggled to get the focus off of me, what I should say, how long it needed to be, but as I sat there with my thoughts in the quiet, I noticed a shift inside. A shift from what I feel I lack to the gift this friend has been to me in a time when I’ve experienced a lot of grief. It was good to focus on how God has provided me laughter through when I’ve struggled to believe I could anymore.


Other prayers such as making song lyrics as prayer and kneeling to pray have been helpful in getting me away from rambling on. It’s helped me be still for a few minutes (hard for my brain), and listen in the silence with God. Some of my other favorite challenges so far have been drinking chai tea and listening to favorite worship music for 10 minutes (hello, Ellie Holcomb!). I get excited everyday to see what the next prayer practice and challenge will be.

Trail notes I’ve found really interesting:

  • flowers are a natural mood booster
  • coffee helps fight depression while tea lowers anxiety. 
  • vitamin c helps us come back from stressful situations faster. 

I don’t think I’m going to be able to look au flowers, chai tea, or tangelos the same.  Learning all these facts has been fun.
I’m only a little more than half way through this book, but I have loved watching God show up for me through this book. I can’t wait to see what happens when I finish. I pray he meets you in this book, too.


Let’s rest and be still for a spell.

teach me now not to rage

Do not let me forget the way you lift up 

my head, though my

body shivers, sweats-

you will find a way today

to make me smile–an undercurrent of joy you 

use to fix me up. Abba;

your embrace asks nothing

but rest. So 
***

I’m writing this poem and started feeling maybe I didn’t set the timer because 5 mins is taking wayy too long. But then I have 20 seconds left and write the word, so.

Waiting is hard. I honestly thought I was a patient person, but even though I can’t run or rush as quick as another, my insides are all: come on, God!! Please please please! This is burning me up. These dreams that keep swirling around inside and making me smile/freak out with fear.

And then I get sick. And try pushing open more doors he clearly wants me to wait on.

 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been us. 

He whispered this to me in the night. And then I read the rest of the chapter and caught how grace is used 3 times, Jesus reaching out to be near me, bless me. His presence.

I don’t understand his plan. I don’t like feeling crazy, like I can’t sleep because the longing is deep and wide and long and the expectation is making me feel like it’s Christmas.

I think he’s making me die to hurry. To trying to figure all out and push him to give me answers right this very minute.

Rest, he says. In my love. 

And this is why. (Too much happiness for my soul. Or just enough. ☺️🙋)

agape with bah in world’s pasture

gather me—
i’ve read the
truth: there is
no flaw in me,
turning a green cap
until my finger shows
red. a sign of struggle,
no. not blood, but a
pressure from your little
lamb, a

FMF Prompt: gather. Today’s post comes from my struggle to open a water bottle. This is my thought pattern while turning the cap: “I got this. It’s moving. Almost there. The water is really high. Now it’s stuck. Maybe if I turn this way. Moving. Stuck, ( have to give everything the death grip.. my hand looks like it’s giving the sign for “I love you.” Please open..” Then, I sigh and make some distance between me and this bottle, before asking for help.

If I’ve learned anything lately, it is I can’t stay in moments. My brain feels ADD. I’ll watch a show and be escaping full screen to look something up, check email, Pinterest, text. Yesterday, I told a friend I need help staying with something, instead of looking/thinking ahead. A tiny voice in my head keeps telling me this is wrong. To rest. With Jesus. So my brain goes all crazy. Convinces me I should try looking for more magazines to submit my work.

Like yesterday, I found a poetry contest I thought about entering awhile ago. I did a workshop with one of the people running the contest, so I emailed to see if I’m eligible.. And then, every buzz on my phone made me check to see if there was a response. It’s always a nudge from God I’m looking in the wrong place. Again. I know I’m looking for someone to tell me I’m good enough to be paid for my poetry. Again. So. I’m not checking email here or on my phone for as long as I can today.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. Zech. 4:10. From the ending of last month to beginning of this one, God has given a small beginning back into something I forgot I love. I spent hours with this drawing yesterday. Every time I starting thinking it looked ridiculous, he would make me laugh. I could hear his whisper: I don’t, keep going.

He knows the small stuff makes me happiest, when I’m doing something out of love. Not to be seen or praised by millions. I’d actually prefer for him, and let whatever springs up, flow to whoever he places in my path. It’s hard to keep away thoughts of grandeur–getting in big name mags, but whenever Jesus meets me in a poem or in these drawings, a joyous peace floods my soul & I’d rather stay, then leave him who is slowing bringing me back to life.

Shh, Wearied One

I spend all my day

curled in your arms,

your mouth tenderly before my ear.

Come, look at me, you say, watching

me sway side to side, defenseless gaze

your betrothal. I will not hurt you, I

love you magno(Ju)lia.

I thumb scarred wrists,

laid down to rest on the Word robed

flesh, you don’t even flinch.

I don’t want this emptiness,

even my smile fades fake.

I can erupt tears a moments notice.

Right now, for instance.

If I look at you, I know shame will turn

my bottom lip down, I’m sorry, I’m

sorry, I’m sorry, I can’t do this.

Alone at night, when mother sleeps

beside me, house hushed, I lie

awake. I tell you, please don’t take

me. Blood curses through me, quiet.

I don’t want to exhale one last time.

I fear someone laughs at me,

covering their mouth with palm.

How foolish can she be? We have

numbered days. Today. Tomorrow.

Any day could bring us back how

we came. I know what you say,

peace, I leave with you. My peace

I give to you. I do not give to you as

the world gives you. Do not let your

hearts be troubled, nor afraid.

I tremble, closing my eyes.

Am I still here? I breathe.

You will fight for me, I need only be

still.

I jump.

I don’t need to be terrified of them,

the voices condemning me inside.

You go before, you never leave, nor

forsake me.

You know when I rise, sit, discern

fear I can’t articulate, swirling

my head around until I well. I want

your blood & body not on a plate,

but between my void–fingers

clasped with your healing, arms

cradling my wearisome head,

a kiss against my fore,

lullaby without word.

Quiet my mouth with first and last

finger who presses selah where soul

stays child.

On Tippy Toes, I Await Your Turnaround

In the cleft of the rock,

I’m sitting with a bannered love

over my face. It is dark, fear’s

heavy rope has tied my hands

prayer position Truthfully,

they are wringing with realization.

I can’t let go, do this without a Saviour-

not all my long distance friends, who

have watched my mouth drop low

as a fence knocked low by unsuspecting storm.

Through all these trembling words, starting.

“I don’t-“ abruptly finished by my mother’s promise:

All this will work out. I don’t want this workout

the way everyone wishes. A degree. I want

music soothing my ears, mt feet under blankets,

& my words pouring a child’s plea for Your peace sign

in spite disarray inside my head, outside. I know,

I can’t keep playing pretend, thinking I can become

a writer sitting still, the lucky ones daydream.

Declaring with the author I read as a child,

Nicholas Sparks, this is how we do it.

NYT Bestselling author, world wide acclaim.

There I go, setting myself to fall back down

society’s wormhole. I’m a cactus in this valley,

needled in belief the flow of work will produce

water I desperately crave.

It’s in flux, I find sweetest oil

though I’ve done no mechanical work

for my brow to be wiped. From all sides,

the voices come loud, disguised.

I should be checking, calling.

trying trying trying, taking

this command, rest.

& give myself permission,

Up we go!

But, as everybody else,

I’ll break a glass.

My beating heart will freeze,

along with my breath being held in suspension.

I’ll hang my head. “Daddy, don’t look at me.”

You’ll whisper. Don’t fret. I still love you, child.

Face up, let Me see those blues.

I’ll meet never condemning gaze,

“I belong in Siberia for what I’ve done. Send me now.”

Too cold for you. I’d rather keep you warm. Please stay?”

“A lion’s mouth would scare away the shame.”

Stop talking silly. Love doesn’t work that way.

I’d rather stay in company of long-suffering,

with sorrow holding my right. Your right hand,

my strengthening love when I am stuck, and

counting the seconds.

Minutes.

Hours.

Days.

Passing me by with ending

vowel to my name-

first letter of those

You give concern

over my wandering.

Even The Winds Shh

IMG_3618

If you think

I do not love you,

look at the crescent moon

hung as a twinkle in My eye.

Pay no mind Oklahoma’s distance,

Love’s sill gonna getcha.

No once upon a time pretense.

No, no, only a welcome spotlight

illuminating garbage in your mind

I seek purifying. Ninety-three percent

of your minds fills with fear:

there is no time.

You should be checkingcheckingchecking,

seeing why everything feels contrary

to my Word. Don’t you think I know

your nerves, your anxiety you are

trying to keep dormant? How apart

you feel from My arms? You are tired,

hearing this: He should wake me, let

my hands continue producing loveless phrase.

Then, I’ll be somewhere with envy no longer a hinder.

But, darling, right here under this comforter, lies My presence.

What you’ve longed to better grasp. My grace is sufficient

Without question, reason. Your weakness is before Me.

Stop letting doubt, fear, time swing away your view.

Let My shoulder pillow your wearied head.

You don’t have to speak.

We can stay under cover,

share breath, silence.

I’ll stroke My fingers through your hair,

boyishly beautiful. Wind will chill

people, places, things outside

the blinded windows.

This is love, My child.

resting under My caring hands

wounds meant for a warrior,

never intended for punishing His beloved.

Author’s Note: The beginning of this poem was inspired by this picture, taken by http://michellemarieantellg.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/i-hope-your-day-is-filled-with-joy/. I love what God shows through her eyes. I love you, Michelle. ❤

Into You I’ve Fell

When I am still, You draw near.

You take both my my tired hands,

interlocking the empty spaces

with Your own. You stare down

my blues I’ve yet to quit crying.

Darling, do you know you’ll be alright?

I sigh, my bottom lip quivers.

I keep trying to think ahead.

What I should be doing.

What I’m not doing.

Checking for another doctor.

The intake. The housing.

It’s killing me not to look.

Try.

Make mom, You proud.

Our lives have flipped

roller coaster car upside down

again. I’m hanging to that metal

bar tighttighttight along with my eyelids.

I am tense. I am holding my breath.

Letting my thoughts, then my voice

begging, please. please, please

don’t let me fall, don’t let me fail.

Your eyes tell me the truth

I’ve heard whispered despite

thoughts screaming death.

Bloody. Broken. Gross.

let go. Fall out with expectation

with yourself, anyone else.

Fall in rest with these arms never forsaking

My promise to take you in.

Jesus, I dont feel real.

I laugh.

I smile.

I joke.

I want to cry.

I can’t

I blink.

I hurt.

My body tells me I haven’t

slept what one considers enough.

Eight hours? Yes. But, my head

kept swirling around with Your pressing

words, as this purple flower pressed down

inside a beanie I’ve yet give back:

You are loved. Cherished.

Let Me show you.

Even Petals Plead: Mercy.

I hear the words come

quick and prickly, a rose

meeting my eyes this morning

in black and white. A full sentence

this time, rather than two words.

All you care

about is her. Salts flashes before

my eyes wanting to drain this out.

Do I look like a golden child.

Yes, I follow rules. Yes, I do what I’m

told. Yes, I don’t like disappointing

those I love. Myself. Anyone, really.

These are my mistakes. What you

would call stupid. Why don’t I do

what I want? I want approval. I want

approval so much, I’m reading a

book to try and figure out what went

wrong with me in middle school.

Staying up until almost midnight

every night, trying to myself I could

handle a heavy workload. No one

needs to cut this down. We don’t

need to write a note to the teacher,

saying I couldn’t accomplish what

was asked. I spent mornings

desperately working to fulfill a

demand. I couldn’t fail her. I couldn’t

myself. The neighbor coming over,

asking happily: You’re still at that

table? My response the same every

time: homework. You know, I carried

this all the way to high school. 3.5

GPA with the President’s Award for

Academic Excellence. This award

everyone said I should be happy

about. The one I showed to Michael,

whom I thought I would marry,

looking at me with a complete

sadness, longing almost to be as

smart as I was. The one I wanted

to be so proud of me. He only

squeezed my hand with this

apologetic look I can’t shake.

Then, I went to college and pulled

off a 3.5 my first quarter. Even

though I ached as you did with the

divorce. I threw myself into this

work, because performance would

give me purpose. A smile. Atta girl,

no more pain. But, the As and Bs

only lasted so long, before I was

taken to church. Told someone I

wanted to walk. No more Cerebral

Palsy. At a stop light, driving back

from the service, this friend who took

me said: Julia, He died for you.

Being the child I am, I wept. I wept

as if Michael was breaking up with

me all over again. Why me? I asked,

gasping, choking, drowning in this

question I’m only starting to erase,

to make a period, instead of

hunchbacked. Jesus is the only way

out of this mess. The mess of this

forlorn, broken family, quick to throw

stones, forgoing ace bandages. We

all love swapping stories of we got

this scar, made it this far on our own,

without any help from anyone. We

don’t dare believe someone loved us

first. Someone sympathizes with us

on every level. The loss we feel can

be shown through Jesus’ closest

friends leaving Him to die at the

cross. Us, His children, denying such

an existence, though whenever we

stare into a mirror, His

lovingkindness gazes back. Maybe

this is why I’m in my own little world

right now, because at this beginning

of this week, I was trigged back into

fears I’d forget if they didn’t make

me panic. Los3 my breath. Make me

cry for my mommy. Make me want

Jesus to coddle me. I want to show

you, He doesn’t make me sad or

lonely.

I only beg Him show me how to let

love come & stay freely, dismissing

the thief in the night.