Nov 26, 2019

Supine || a poem


it’s been so long.

forgotten hideaway I used to roam

but I’m here again –

remembering old memories

or rather, making new ones.

this memory is my favorite,

as I lay here, wince,

remove the branchy thorns,

and try again.

face to the sky

I hear birds and bugs, cows lowing

far away.

but my eyes

they’re blurry.

am I going to cry or have I just forgotten how

to see?

it’s been so long.

me writing, paper in the air

above me, blocking the sky.

I lower it, try to glimpse

twinkles of yellow leaves,

colors of fall with kisses of spring,

and under the gold, colors indescribable:

like green, but yellower

or brown, but richer.

the tree bark –

true black, grey, brown

and snippets of minty moss creeping up.

it’s been so long.

I wonder why.

because now I smell leaves

moist from yesterday’s rain.

I see little bugs dancing

and a piece of white fuzz

fly past without wings –

little miracles as I lay

and smile.

a tree with limbs broken like a ladder;

I could climb to Jesus

if only I could reach the first branch.

I wonder why I forgot

and how I can see again

so I remember

as God gives me this new memory.

I lay, and He

lifts me higher

than I could ever go.

somehow He loves me


Nov 12, 2019

Why You Should Be a Child Again

Little fingers curl around my skirt.  Pull, gentle.  When I look down, I see her face, my baby sister, pointing another finger towards the door.  She makes her familiar "can we go outside" sound.  It actually sounds like, "Ticka, ticka, ticka?"

So we do.  I curl my arms around her and escape into the outside world.

Noise doesn't still.  It's louder here with the geese honking.  But the air is fresh, and we explore.  Together, we pet kitties, zoom down slides, eat kale fresh from the gardens.  And then we sit.

She's on my lap, me sitting cross-legged on the woodchips.  And we just stay there.  Looking across the chicken pasture, we watch birds.  Pecking.  Squawking.  Calling to each other.  They eat bugs and ruffle their feathers and chase each other across the yard.  The chickens act like... well, chickens.  They do what they always do.

But there's a difference.  Because this time, I'm here.  I'm watching.  And somehow, I'm really seeing it.

Minutes pass.  We stay there until I slowly bring my little sister into my arms and we rise.  Walking barefoot through the garden again, we eat a little from every plant.  Then go inside again.

And I remember the moment.  Those small moments I somehow capture forever.  Like that time I sat and wrote a poem.  Or the day when a stranger waved at me.  Or the other man who looked into my eyes and I felt Jesus in him.

Those tiny moments.  They're somehow huge.

I just wonder, wonder why we don't embrace the world like we used to.  Why we're not still loving like babies do, eager to see the world in all its beauty.

Why can I walk through a crowd and not see all those faces?  Why don't I care and love them and want to learn their stories and know their names?

Why can I live a day without laughing or smiling at something beautiful and go to bed without thinking something was off?

How can I call myself a daughter of the King and not rejoice constantly in His goodness and the gifts He pours out upon me?  How could I ever complain or feel nothing when I've been given everything?

I want to be a child again.  I want to run back into the woods, hide from the schedules and expectations I make myself.  I want to live as the woman God made me to be instead of worrying about the eyes who might judge me.

Life is about Love.  It's about this huge Love that wraps around me with every sunrise because I know Jesus is there.  And that same Love should be overflowing from my life as I savor Jesus and share Him with the world.

Love is bigger than the world, wider than our minds can grasp.  Yet those little moments - sitting on the woodchips to watch chickens peck in the dust - there I find it.  I remember.

And right now as I type, I wonder when was the last time I did that.  When did I hear a song and stop to truly listen?  When did I take time to care about what a person told me?  When did I see the beauty in the things I see every day?

Once before we performed a final showcase for a play, the director sat down with us.  Our eyes met.

"Seize the day," she said, and I did.  I lived every scene, treasuring it.  I watched faces and loved them.  I smiled bigger, talked clearer, stood taller.  It was my last moment in the play, so I lived it to the fullest.

Today is a specific day you won't ever have again.  But are we going to seize it?

It's not about stuff or schedules or successes.  All of that could be thrown out the window, and we'd still have a purpose.  In fact, it might be easier to see then.


Loving, rejoicing, praising Him.  Oh, how I wish this was my constant heart, to just praise Him continually!

We need to be children again.  Not whining, impatient children but eyes that see the world anew.  That love people despite their appearances.  That want to touch, taste, hear the beauty around us.  The beauty God gave us to live in.

When was the last time you really saw the world around you and thanked God for the beauty of it?  What if we stopped pretending and really lived, really felt, really loved, and really looked for Jesus right now?

I want to rejoice in the Lord always.

Maybe it starts by the chicken yard.

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
- Psalm 118:24


Nov 5, 2019

Continuing Love || a short story

He shuffles, stumbling, always forward, always up.  The trees mark grey in early twilight.  Bare branches reach forward, grasping like hands yearning for a spring that won't come.  Will they snap, die before life returns?  Or can the new year bring purpose again?

His hands smack against the rock wall that stretches into the sky.  Palms burn.  But he raises trembling fingers.  The stones crumble under them.  He reaches again.  Finds hold.  Climbs.

Mountain turns to sky.  Air is under his heels, but he reaches again.  One hand higher, one slip of his foot into the rock.

And then rock turns to sod.  He shakes, pulling himself onto the mountain ledge and sinking onto his back.  The moist ground stains his shirt.  His face relaxes into the wrinkles that age drew.  But he stares up, up, at the last stars that dance in the night before twinkling out, one by one.

When Israel was a child, I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called My son.
As they called them
So they went from them;
they sacrificed to the Baals,
and burned incense to carved images.


When dawn comes, the sky burns red.

He closes his eyes and tries to forget for a moment.  But it's like fire, seeping close, drawing brighter.  Through his eyelids, the colors creep in.

First crimson.  The wild berries that grew on the edge of the clearing, watching the log house as frost crept over it in winter nights.  Red berries that saw through the lone window.  There, the fire burned with the same color but gentle.  Laughing.  Filling the cabin with warm smells and wintery smiles.

Wisps of violet.   The tea kettle, once grey that somehow faded to purple.  It grew hot and whistled, turning water into laughing apple cider that warmed their hands.  The remnants of dried lavender hung by the door, mixing with the cider to give a crisp, gentle scent.  The smell of life, her life.  Of a summer soon to come.

And then blue.  The way her eyes smiled.  The sapphire sky that shone through the window, even when ice crept across the world.  Reflecting off the snow, the blue grew bright, blinding, so they had to cover their faces and run through the flakes, laughing when the drifts caught them.

But always, those colors drew him inside to where her hands reached, hugs warmed, and smiles grew.

I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.
I stooped and fed them.

His eyes open.  The sky is blue, flecked with stray curls of white, like the hair on his beard.  Wind slowly brushes them.  They slip away, leaving the sky empty.

Like his child did.  The daughter who whispered those lies of "I love you."  Who left the cabin without a goodbye.  The empty jar she stole from.  The fire growing cold, crying, snow settling on the last footprints he tried to follow.

Did he give up too quickly?  Was the love only behind one more set of trees, or did it run away beyond the highest mountains?

So he stands.  Trails the side of the cliffs, climbs higher so that the air surrounds him, icy.  The frost clings to his boots and snakes through the thick sleeves.  They slice, grabbing his skin and piercing it through.

His lips stiffen with cold, but he hikes higher.

My people are bent on backsliding from Me.
Though they call to the Most High,
None at all exalt Him.

The last tree drops its pines behind.  They're on the ground, scattered under his feet.  They crunch, snap.  He lifts his chin and climbs higher.  The white of his hair presses back in the wind.

Sod turns to rock again.  He slows as they shift and try to throw him off the mountain.  The enemies nudge their visitor with their spears, but he keeps walking, presses forward.

The noon sun warms only slightly.  He shifts his jacket on his arms, and they send new shivers of cold up his sleeves.  When he curls his fingers, they have no feeling.

But his jaw tightens.  He faces the last cliff.

How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
... My heart churns within Me;
My sympathy is stirred.
I will not execute the fierceness of My anger
... I will not come with terror. 

Hand over hand.  Foot in every stray gap in the rock.  His tendons grow tight, wrinkles deepen, but he climbs higher.

Every step, his legs tremble.  Every grasping of his fingers, they burn.

He reaches the top.  And there, his breath releases.

The smallest figure lays in the snow.  Skin like ice, those blue eyes flash sharp.  They meet his and then fall away.

The lines of tears are on her frozen cheeks.  And the man bends over, slips his hands under the shivering figure, and lifts.

Turning, the journey begins again, this time down.

They shall walk after the LORD.
He will roar like a lion.
When He roars,
Then His sons shall come trembling from the west.

"I ran."  Only a whisper.

"I know."  The man's lips offer a tight smile.

The figure grows still, eyes never looking up.  They stumble down a forgotten path, slip on ice, fall.  But he rises, straightens, pushes away the ache in his legs.

Ground creeps away.  Slowly, the trees return with berries, red as blood.  The sky brightens, and it reflects off the snow, blinding.

They walk on.  He holds her, helps her through it.

As the sun sets, those stars return.  They peep through the silk blanket of night, dance.

Mountain passes behind them.  The forest swallows them up until it too breaks, and there the cabin waits.  Red shines through the window as a fire waits.

She swallows.  "I'm sorry."

He carries her forward, opens the door.  "I already forgave you."

snippets from Hosea 11