Poetry & Words

Battling Discouragement

Thoughtful Aveline in lavender

I am overwhelmed. I feel like it’s impossible to meet some of the deadlines looming this week. My mind keeps racing up and down my to-do list.

I panic over the fear of not doing something I should. I beat myself up over what there is left to do. I get discouraged by my weaknesses.  I should have already done this, I should have been stronger, I should have done more, I should have… I focus on the undone, the unfinished, the incomplete.

I am a perfectionist.

This is a terrible way to live; this is not freedom.

I want, instead, to live life with open arms, accepting the endless grace God has for me. I want to receive the peace He is offering me. I want to trade in my turmoil for rest. I want to lay my stubbornness down at His feet and admit that no, I can’t do it all. No, I can’t do it perfectly.

But His grace is sufficient.  His power is perfected in my weakness.

And if I feel like I’ve failed today, it’s okay. His mercies are new every single morning.

Poetry & Words

therefore we will not fear. there’s nothing left to fear.

last night, in the wee smalls of  the dusky hours before morning, i woke up suddenly out of the blue. for once, it wasn’t because aveline was awake. she was silently and peacefully asleep, her gentle breathing a comforting rhythm, her tiny body beautiful against the periwinkle crib sheet. but i was gently awakened in the silent night. awake and alone,  i picked up my phone and it was then i realized why i had been pulled out of sleep. so there i was, in those wee smalls between a sleeping husband and a sleeping baby, texting my dear friend shanley. she was driving all night just to get home. she’d received that call. you know the one. the one where they say, please come home. this is it. Continue reading “therefore we will not fear. there’s nothing left to fear.”

Poetry & Words

ramblin’ girl

it’s late.  the only light in this room is the cool, unblinking light of the sleek iMac screen.  my fingers tap a subtly methodical dance across the plastic keys.  i notice that each each sentence is separated by the dull staccato of the double space.

from the adjoining room, i hear the sound of water trickling over paint brushes, then the soft padding of stocking feet over hardwoord floor. i listen to the couch squeak as my love sits back down in front of his paints, clean brushes in hand.

my cough rattles my chest cage, and then this room.  the cough deepens as the night grows on, the cough that reminds me i’ve missed two of the five very first days at a new job this week.  the cough that reminds me i am not invincible, and i cannot control every circumstance.  i cannot always be perfect.  i cannot ever be perfect.  but that’s another story for another time.

his voice cuts through the silence, comforting and warm.  his voice sounds just like the way it feels to be curled up next to him on the couch, my head on his chest, tracing the pattern of his graphic tee with my painted fingernail.  today, it was white clouds on dark cotton, and the outline of a vw bus.

today it was white clouds on dark cotton. i like that.  i think in life, i tend to focus too much on the dark, and not quite enough on the white, bright clouds.

tonight, though, i’m daydreaming of the shapes in those clouds.  wondering where the wind will blow us next. we’re still walking underneath this sky, together,  pushing forward on this long road.

and Your Love lies our salvation.

listen: orange sky | alexi murdoch

Poetry & Words

hope is written on the walls.

once again, shanley jo inspires me to write.  she keeps writing, even when times aren’t exactly the best.  times weren’t the best this weekend. i worked and cried and cried and worked some more. i felt further away from my dreams than i ever thought possible. i felt my life was so many leagues away from everything i ever thought it would be.  i nursed my disappointments and choked back tears i didn’t even know i had inside of me.  i even started crying myself to sleep, but my dear husband bundled me up in blankets and brought me back out to the living room and encouraged me to watch something funny with him, instead of crying alone in the dark.

also, he holds me and tells me its gonna be okay.  this is so much better than logical persuasion, so much better than a list of facts of why i shouldn’t be sad.

he writes down verses like romans 5:3 and folds them up and puts them in my lunch, and he reminds of these verses even when, like this weekend, i didn’t feel close to the hope in romans 5:3.  i felt like i was still on the perseverance and nowhere near the hope.

“We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

God really wants me to “get” the hope thing.  i’m a slow learner who doesn’t like to be disappointed. and to me, it just seems like expectations and hope can be dangerous. yet the Lord says that hope doesn’t disappoint. reminders of hope were everywhere this weekend, even though I felt like the darkness would not lift.   on Friday night we listened to The Music Room at Bloom Coffee and Tea.  the lyrics touched me. i fought back the tears, because the words were piercing my heart and stirring up too much emotion, and i couldn’t stop seeing HOPE literally written on the walls in between the soft babble of tiny children’s voices and laughter.

The Music Room playing at Bloom Coffee + Tea (Shane Grammer art in background)

“I gotta believe that it’s still worth fighting, I need to be told that it works out fine in the end. Loneliness shakes up the pain inside me, within the span of a midnight drive.” -The Music Room

“The road is narrow and I’ve sure it’s not paved, but don’t give up when it gets tough, no you’ve got to stay, ‘cause I know the Giver and He’ll take you away” -The Music Room

i’ll fight on. i know that i know that i know hope does not disappoint. and i know it’s gonna be okay.  and hope is written on the walls.

Poetry & Words

somewhere beyond all this.

i don’t do this thing called writing, anymore. i wake up more tired than the night before, curl my hair into corporate correctness, and box myself in underneath a sickly white glow of flickering fluorescence. i click and add and think and click and everyone once in a while, my chair creaks. i stare at textured tan cubicle lining and my feet inside pointy-toed heels don’t even have room to stretch.

then, i return home and burst into tears at the laundry and the dusty floor, too tired to even eat properly, and turn around and do it all again.

“If she had wings she would fly away and another day God will give her some,” sings James Blunt.

I sigh.

Then Rich Mullins’ voice soars and I can feel the hope inside me returning, the Hope of my Solid Assurance in my Papa God, and Rich sings, “I know that Your Spirit is leading me somewhere beyond all this.”

And I collapse into the arms of my husband and feel the Heavenly Father’s embrace, and know I can do it all again tomorrow for the JOY that is set before me.