It no longer fits into my new life.
So, to make room for more, it must leave me:
Beloved bringer of joy, moving on,
Exporting joy into territories
It hadn’t seen before. Adventure calls.
New friends fidget, waiting with open arms,
Glad to take it right on into their hearts,
And this should make me happy. It ought to
Make me happy to know it has a life
Prepared just over the next horizon.
Untold joys—and maybe a few sorrows—
Target my old faithful, stiff, wooden friend.
Alas! I cannot help but mourn its loss
Today. Tomorrow, maybe, I can feel
Elation for its good fortune to be
Desired in a day when electronics rule.
November 27, 2018
After this post, I may not have reliable internet access for an unspecified period of time.
My husband and I are moving on to greener pastures, but also sending our youngest two away for college. We are in a period of transition that is both bursting with hope and joy, and, paradoxically, filled with more overflowing, unexpected sorrows than I would have imagined. So many prayers are being answered all at once, while good changes that we have all anticipated for a couple of years, are harder to swallow than we initially realized. I wouldn’t change anything, but I am definitely experiencing some deep mourning. I won’t rush through it. And I will praise God through my tears, though, truly, both my dogs and I (and maybe even on occasion, my outwardly-stoic husband) will probably be crying into our blueberries for endless minutes at a time in the foreseeable future.
I thank you for your forbearance and any prayers you want to raise on our behalf. May God bless you with a joyful Advent and Christmas season!
It’s my time to relinquish,
And relinquish, Lord, I will:
I’ll trust Your kindly pruning hands,
And bend me to Your will.
And though my leaves are falling fast,
I’ll trust You through my pain,
And know that when the time is right,
You’ll make me grow again.
November 8, 2018
Salvation in a cameo
May not be seen, except the joy
And beauty which refresh the eye,
And these sweet things God might employ.
Not everything screams, “Look to God!”
But scorning such may be a lie:
“Just entertainment!” which is flawed,
And may small hints of God deny.
“Just entertainment!” may be bad
If filled with ugly, hurtful things,
But are not joy and laughter sweet
When these are Heaven’s offerings?
And flowers, though they do not speak,
Or funny jokes, which don’t demean,
Can brighten up a day gone bleak:
Let’s put them where they may be seen!
These things build hope and lighten loads,
For “froth” may turn tired hearts to God.
So let us let them be the goads,
And let us these good gifts applaud!
June 15, 2018
Well, here I am with some old, unhealed scars,
Intent on never having to endure
Things that hurt my heart again, keeping scores
Hidden but active, remaining quite sure
That I should not have to put up with this
Harassing irritant any more. So
Each new time I face it, whatever bliss
Formerly filling my heart turns to go.
Lusting for escape, I’m drinking distress
And wondering if it will ever end
Waging war on my fragile, crumbling peace,
Shot all to pieces, devoid of defense.
Opening painful wounds that make me cry.
Focus fixing firmly on my offense:
Overwhelming offense keeps piling high:
This thing is impossible to dismiss.
How can I change myself from this critic
Engaged zealously in finding those flaws
Resuscitating my angst, sharp cynic
Shouldering endless offense without cause?
June 8, 2018
My friend Lucille, one of the spiritual giants in my life, tells me that what has been happening here is spiritual warfare “pure and simple” and that I must resist it and then the devil will flee from me. With that in mind, I have been praying for God to deliver me from a judgmental spirit, and I will be meditating upon Psalm 119:65 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” and Psalm 35:1 “Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.”
I know that probably none of you struggle with these things. But on the off chance that you do, please pray for me. And tell me how I can pray for you.
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Those ugly memories refuse to fade,
Offending me again with my old sin—
OLD NEWS: Through Jesus’ blood, it’s all been paid.
Kind, loving gift on which my hopes are stayed.
Christ knew ahead of time about my sin
And ugliness that does not want to fade.
Remembering the love that He conveyed
Expels the worries that build up within:
One and all through Jesus’ blood has been paid.
Full payment for my sins my LORD has made.
The awful price need not be paid again.
Harsh memories can shrink and start to fade.
Accepting God’s sweet gift, I am remade.
The old no more defines the new within.
Forgiven fully: through Christ’s blood, all was paid.
Oppressive thoughts that wield Regret’s sharp blade,
Remove yourselves! God’s healing has come in.
My memories that once refused to fade?
Each one through Jesus’ blood was fully paid.
June 25, 2018
And, oh, what a relief it is!
I think about the joys that are waiting,
Not here yet, but calling our names. Calling,
“Hey! Get ready! Something great is coming:
Expect better things than you have yet known!”
And all who have any pain will be healed.
Volumes of God’s good plans will be revealed.
Everyone who accepts God will be blessed.
Nowhere in God’s home will sorrow remain.
Where every joy pours freely from God’s heart
Into those who accept His love, we know
That those whose wounds are still raw will be healed.
Heaven’s purpose for pain will be revealed.
Cherishing all our tears, Jesus welcomes
Home all who are His own: those He loves who
Really do love Him in return, and then,
Incredibly, all who move there will see
Scars and wounds that plagued our lives, fully healed,
Transformed, and through these, future joys revealed.
June 1, 2018
For a slightly more complete picture of Heaven, I would like to refer you to Scot McKnight’s excellent book, The Heaven Promise. I have so enjoyed it, and pray you may as well.
Some of my longer-term readers may be aware that I have coined a phrase for one of my poetry templates that I call a daffodil, basing it loosely on William Wordsworth’s poem “The Daffodils”. In this latest iteration of my daffodils, only EE repeating rhyming lines show up, though the six-line pattern remains. Though we do not begin with the normal ABAB, etc. rhyme schemes, I think this fits the message of this poem well because the greatly uncharted rhyme scheme fits well with what we don’t know about Heaven, if that makes any sense. Anyway, I hope you will have enjoyed dreaming with me of the joys of Heaven and the goodness of God.
Without their close scrutiny chasing us down,
It’s hard to imagine just who we might be.
Though truly their actions are making us frown,
Herein lie hard truths of what outsiders see.
Oh, help us to listen, oh help us to heed
Unwanted opinions on how we now live.
These insights they share may be just what we need.
Outspoken, unfeeling: such hard gifts they give!
Unless we are teachable, these may be lost.
Regarded, they may help us open our eyes.
Defamed though we feel, image comes at a cost,
Entangling those who refuse to be wise.
Then let us embrace these hard gifts as they come.
Redeeming their sorrows, let’s learn to forgive.
As Jesus has said, we can please only some:
Committed to God, it’s for Him we should live.
The ones universally praised live life wrong:
Offending our Savior is our only care.
Remember our God sees our worth. We belong
Standing firm by His side, and He welcomes us there.
May 16, 2018
for Meghan, for Ruth, and in recent minutes, for Haden
“Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words will never hurt me!”
This lie is heard around the world
When wounded hearts are hurting.
We chant it to calm down our souls
When enemies are blurting
Those painful words that pinch and stab:
We want to stop the hurting.
But truly words can wound so deep
The wounded find no healing
From painful words that careless souls
Cast out without kind feeling.
Let’s turn to God to heal our hearts
When painful, mean words find us.
When words deliver worlds of hurt,
I pray these words remind us:
“While sticks and stones are breaking bones,
And unkind words may hurt me,
Jesus has come to heal my heart
When other friends desert me.”
May 24, 2018