In the Aftermath

Creator of the wind and waves,

Keeper of the sea

though you did not land the blow,

the blow struck hard and deep.

May you descend upon the destruction.

May your hope and peace overwhelm the flood.

May your comfort and endurance strengthen people

who have lost their homes, loved ones, and livelihoods.

Provide food for hungry bellies

and shelter for those with none.

Provide time and space to grieve and mourn

what cannot be undone.

You not only see the brokenhearted,

you sit beside and catch each of their tears.

You do not abandon them amidst the wreckage;

you pull them close to breathe life where there is fear.

Pour out your spirit upon this situation.

Begin rebuilding hearts in the aftermath.

Use this disaster to reveal your loving kindness,

for it is the last thing the brokenhearted have.

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Sea of Galilee

On your stony shores

sit cities

who witnessed and worshiped

the wonders of His ministry.

Holy water

fed by the Jordan –

whose second son,

the Dead Sea,

is polluted with salt

so thick it forces floating.

You, however

welcome people

to dunk themselves

beneath your surface

swimming with life,

baptizing them

in a massive mikveh.

You broke nature

at the command

of your King creator:

you quieted

when he asked,

held him above your waves

as he wished,

and supplied fish

that ripped nets

because he knew

you could – you would

always obey.

You are the disciple

we all aspire to be,

a home, a heart

of mixing cultures

cultivating faith–

never full,

yet continually being

filled.

 

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Goodbye and Good Luck

I’m sorry for chasing when you said no.

I’m sorry for being unable to let go.

It’s in my nature to fight for those

Who stood beside me as I faced foes.

Yet I cannot make or change your choice,

For you are free to express your voice.

 

The link that survived the initial flame

Has weakened in the cold silence of rain,

While cycles of disappointment and pain

Caused relentless heaving and unbearable strain.

Although the cord is not yet severed, I’ll let it fall slack,

For I recognize and accept that you aren’t coming back.

 

Despite the distance between us, I wish only the best,

For you on your journey through life’s endless tests.

I’m sure it’s mutual, this feeling of mine,

That our hopes for each other won’t fade over time.

The only thing I have left to offer isn’t much,

Just a simple saying, goodbye and good luck.

A Chocolate-less World Is A Sad Place To Be

Has anyone ever tried to described something to you that you have never experienced? Something you’d love to try — like a new game or maybe eating some tasty food.

Let’s stick with the food thing.  In fact, let’s get specific.  Let’s say there is some poor gal out there who has never had the experience of falling in love with the taste of chocolate.

She has heard tales of what it supposedly tastes like.  She has read books and seen movies about how it’s made, how it’s formed, and how, if over heated, it can melt and fall apart.  She has been told about how delicious it is, how satisfyingly sweet it tastes as it coats one’s tongue.  She has heard about how it can be bad for you, how consuming too much of it is unhealthy. She has seen first hand the happiness it brings to people, the light it puts in their eyes, right along with the stomach aches it can cause.  She knows the positives and the negatives, the enjoyments and the dangers.  Almost all of her friends have tried at least a little.  Some have had a lot.  Many have even eaten it right in front of her.  She has imagined it to the best of her abilities.  But she has yet to actually taste any, yet to even have a whiff of the heavenly candy.  She would probably think it was just a myth if she wasn’t constantly surrounded by it, and she didn’t have an overwhelming, aching desire to have the tiniest nibblet of the delicacy that many people take for granted.

“Just be patient,” they tell her, “you’ll get some eventually.”

She sighs and gives a pathetic little smile. She tries to ignore the chocolate stained lips of the people around her, the songs sung about it on the radio, the stories and films that portray it in more ways than she could have ever imagined.  She tries to ignore the burning sensation right behind her stomach that is waiting, as patiently as it can, for her very first piece. And then, she does the only thing she can do, carry on about her day.

Life is good because God is in it

I’m thanking God today.

It’s been a long week and a half and I honestly don’t think I could have survived it without His help.  Between the heavy load of papers thrown at me all at the same time, the late nights (due to all the papers), the early mornings, track practices, and an attempt to at least dabble in a tiny social life, each day felt like running a marathon.

Yet, somehow I was stilling enjoying myself.

Granted, I was stressed to the max and tired all the time (so much so that I almost caved and tried drinking coffee to stay awake!)  I was still seeing beauty around me, still laughing and smiling, still making jokes, still being sassy with friends, and reaching out to a few new potential friends.

I wouldn’t have said this yesterday, because yesterday I had just about reached my breaking point — but today, I am able to look back at the past few days and smile.  Life is good, even in the moments when it doesn’t feel like it. When midterm time creeps up and your much needed spring break transforms into a week long trip with the sometimes obnoxious track team, it is still possible to feel rested and praise God.

Prayer is what got me through it.  It’s something I often take part in and yet sometimes forget it’s importance.  I somehow over look just how much of an impact it can have on not only my life, but the life of those around me!

So…

Dear Father, thank You for being with me this week.  I needed You to lean on and You came through.  Thank You for providing me with energy when I was drained, motivation when I was about to give up, strength when I had reached my end, and friends to make me smile.  I pray a blessing over all the people in my life.  May You show up in our day-to-day activities as an overwhelming presence and bring peace and life and wisdom into our lives.  You are so great to Your beloved children.  We will never deserve the love You shower upon us.  May Your name be lifted high till the end of days, when time has withered and the world we know no longer exists, when we all can join in with the angles and saints singing your never ending praises.  Thank You for all that I have and for providing me with all that I will ever need.  May You use me to spread this energy and hope to everyone that I come in contact with. In Your mighty and awesome name, Amen.

A friendship can only go so far, but “boyfriend” sounds so elementary

I’m twenty years old, and I’ve never had a boyfriend, never even really been interested in having one. Although, looking back on it now, that may be due to the fact that I thought I could get everything I needed from friendships alone.

But, friendships can only go so far. I’ve had friends of all different ages, and not a single one of them has been able to dull the ache in my bones that longs for companionship, for any extended period of time. And I suppose that’s okay. I don’t believe that I should take precedence or priority in any of my friends’ lives. 

And yet, (selfish or not) at the same time that I accept the fact that I shouldn’t take the number one priority spot in a friend’s life, I crave to be someone’s number one priority.  This realization brought me to a place I’ve never been before.  It’s made me at least consider the possibility that perhaps it’s time. 

It’s not that, all of the sudden, I want a boyfriend. It’s more like I’m just finally interested in looking. I’m keeping my eye out now, keeping track of what I like in a guy and what I don’t (rather then, basically, ignoring the opposite gender all together).

I just want someone to think that I matter, and am important, and attractive in my own way. I want to feel desirable, instead of just being the little puppy that my friends drag around because they feel guilty for leaving me home alone.

If loneliness isn’t what drives the need for long-term companionship, for relationships that go deeper than surface or even subsurface friendships, then I don’t know what is…

It’s not just that I want someone to keep me company. I want someone who I can share my life with, and someone who whole-heartedly wants to share their life with me.

Boyfriend sounds so elementary, even if I am a novice. But I don’t just want somebody to hold my hand and pay attention to me. I want someone who will grow with me, challenge me, and change me for the better, someone who will need me and become someone that I need too.  

A Dandelion in a Garden of Roses

I sprouted yellow.
meadow_dandelion_wildflowers_232426

They shined like rubies.

Their beautiful petals, painted in rosy reds and delicate pinks,

Glowed and gleamed in the graceful sunlight

Beneath the caring gaze of the Gardner.

I grew tall and lanky.Featured image

They bloomed with strength and elegance.

Their lush green stems, whose thorns attracted curious hands,

Made the little prick that draws blood seem a worthy price

Of admiring their charm up close.

I dwindled, losing the little color I had to time.imgres-1

They danced swift as ballerinas on a stage.

Handsoms came and plucked them up into the air

Where they twirled and swirled and glittered

Twinkling like stars at midnight.

They looked upon me with pity.imgres

I wilted away,

Releasing my white feathery seeds to the wind.

Every last one of them was swept up into the sky

To be crowned with jewels of happiness

And kissed softly by joy.

A world of dreams and nightmares

There is an entire undiscovered world in my head, where magical powers are an everyday thing, pain is both flexible and controllable, time is irrelevant, and hope floats in the very air that I breathe. I’ve found that, like most people, if I desire, crave, long for, dream of, or even dread something hard enough and long enough I begin to imagine what it would be like to experience it, however great or however terrible.  Those are the moments, the situations, the relationships, the conversations, and the events that exist in my little made-up world.  It’s a place of wonder, excitement, what-ifs, miracles, tragedies, losses, and occasionally heroics.  Sometimes I’m able to capture a snapshot of an image or two and dull them down into little black symbols on an empty white page.  Other times there is so much going on that every attempt to pin down a thought ends up blurry, which only ever translates into garble.  Occasionally there are times when all my made-up people flee from my world, my made-up creatures vanish before my eyes, and my made-up situations seem like they were never meant to be.  Those are the days when I loose control, when the chaos falls silent.  When the constant buzz of my wheels which normally spin a hundred miles an hour is replaced with a hollow ache, I’m reminded of the possibility that my undiscovered world isn’t really real. Emotions and feelings that I had control of in this strangle world of mine now take the reigns, making me as helpless as a squirming infant against them.  My made-up super powers fail me and emotions rush in, grasping at me as if I am the last meal they’ll ever consume.  Over time they fade away, as most emotions do, and I welcome home the little world which had abandoned me to the wolves. I don’t know where my undiscovered world disappears too and I don’t know what exactly brings it back.  I’m not sure that there is a switch that breathes it to life or sends a poisonous dagger through its heart. It seems to be a life force all it’s own that comes and goes as it pleases, allowing me access when its inhabitants get a little too restless or perhaps bored.  I’m an explorer, a warrior, a queen, and a servant in this world.  I can do anything I please, be anyone I desire, imagine the best and the worst possibilities of any situation and wake up just fine.  This undiscovered world is both the production and creation of dreams and nightmares. This world of impossibilities is real.  It exists, thriving inside my head.

I’m naïve when it comes to love

While I know I am not alone, it sometimes feels that way. While I know I am dearly loved by my family and of course, love them in return, I can’t help but think that it is a simple love, a natural love. It seems to be a love that is just as deep and just as real as any, yet unable to fill in the hole, the empty cavern in my chest that a different kind of love may be able to fill. Maybe I’m just dreaming, maybe I’ve seen too many Disney movies, heard too many tales of true love and happiness, and yet there is a sliver of me that believes in it whole-heartedly. We are beings of relationships, beings that need one another. How can “true love” not exist – a love that perhaps isn’t expected or required, but a love of choice and sacrifice? Now, I’m not saying that family love can’t fall into these categories, in fact, it often does, but for some reason, I’m not satisfied with it. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for it. I understand how blessed I am to have the family that I have, but I want more. Perhaps I am just being greedy, being selfish, but when I allow myself to start thinking like that, the sliver of me that believes that there is more out there to experience cries out for me not to forget, not to give up hope.   I don’t really know what love is. I am young and inexperienced. I’m naïve when it comes to love. The little that I do know comes from being on the receiving end of the love of a man brought into my family through marriage. He loved me in a way that was deeper than I ever knew. It was a love that made my grandpa’s eyes light up whenever I walked into the room, a love that smiled at the little things, took joy in all the silly things, and cherished the seemingly insignificant moments.  It was a love that he was unable to contain within the walls of his heart. It flooded out of him like a raging river carrying with it life and hope and dreams. I rode that river till his dying day and even now can feel it’s swift current pulling me gently along. That was the truest love I’ve ever known and that is the kind of love that I crave to share with someone some day. May God give me the patience to wait and the faith to keep on believing until that day arrives.