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Poem. “Just Like You.”

To be completely honest, I probably haven’t written since my last blog post. But I love this poem- it’s a variation of the story of how my parents met. I was thinking about how much like my mom I am and how I’d totally do something like this, but also just thinking about them as my Dad’s birthday approaches and how close it is to the anniverary of my mom’s death. Anyway, here is my favorite love story ever:

 

I deeply inhale the last puff of my cigarette

And toss it into the street

I long for another one to calm the racing in my heart

And the turning of my stomach

I see you in the corner of my eye smiling as you call out names for hotdogs

Soft brown curls bouncing as you laugh heartily

I pull up the pants on my bright pink pantsuit

Double check my face in my compact

To be completely honest, if I have to eat another grilled hotdog from this cart I might die

But at least you’ll remember me

I add another coat of lipstick, take a deep breath and make my way towards you

Slowly but wanting to run

James Brown comes on and you dance back and forth, swaying your hips and snapping your fingers

The line is short and my mind has little time to prepare itself

Because it’s too busy alternating between if I look okay and how impossibly fucking cute you are.

And I can feel my heart crawling into my throat as I breathe uncontrollably

As my cheeks match my fire truck red lips.

My mind wanders,

And in the longest and shortest moment of my life I realize it’s my turn to order.

I stumble over every word I’ve ever learned searching for hello in the back of my mind.

“Hey Judy- the usual?”

I give my best flirty smile as my face flushed, embarrassed you finally realized I’ve eaten the same thing for lunch over the past 3 weeks.

I wonder if you realized that you are the common denominator.

“Sounds good,” I say handing you my dollar bill.

You turn around to throw the dog on the grill as I fight with myself for only pulling two words from the pit of my stomach.

I’m the last person left and as you call my name to hand me my lunch, you tease me,

“Don’t you ever get sick of hot dogs?”

And for some reason I had clearly left my brain in my desk at the office or maybe I never had one to begin with because the only words I can find are-

“I hate them but I like seeing you.”

My heart slips back down my esophagus in a slimy liquid form and nearly out of my body as I stand paralyzed.

And then our lives suddenly flash before my eyes,

And I said our because from that point forward they are forever intertwined.

Our first date where we laugh for too long over cheap burgers and cheaper beers

Our small wedding in my parents’ home on 4th street in a pink floral dress on my 24th birthday,

My brother in law as your best man.

Our smaller home by the fairgrounds filled with plants and our Doberman puppy, Lightening.

Where we’ll make a billion mistakes a day until we’ve both made the unforgivable one a million times and you leave me.

And the day you come back, choosing to forgive me.

And you love my two kids as if they were your own, until we both almost forget that they aren’t.

How you loved them- spoiled them with gifts and affection and took care of them as I got sicker.

When you let them skip school to see the Quarter Horse Congress

How you were there for everything- watching them play sports, perform poetry, and graduate.

And when we finally lose you, as you crash into the overpass on 1-71 on your way home from your shitty second shift job you only took to provide for them once you retired.

Three years later I when the cocktail of diseases finally take me.

And on your 71st birthday, when our daughter writes this poem at the bus stop, missing the both of us.

Laughing at how much like me she really is

And hoping that one day she’ll find someone just like you.

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Ride for you.

So, I would like to start off simply by saying that things simply haven’t been going so well. It seems that everyday there is something new that is changing in new ways. This has honestly been quite a period of suffering for me, and I have felt is incredibly distant from God and from others for weeks. Emotionally drained, incredibly empty, and if not empty then so anxious I can’t breathe. It has been a time of sorrow and feer and anxiety. One Monday morning I was heading off to the high school where I help with a bible study, feeling completely empty and unable to serve the 30 or so students who would be drawn in by the pizza we were offering. I had been praying God would still speak through me and had handful of people praying so as well.

But God didn’t just speak powerfully through me, he spoke powerfully to me.

Our guest speaker for that morning brought up an old Master P song about how you should treat your friends and how your friends should treat you, and explained that this is how Jesus is to us.

  1. Jesus Christ will ride for you. The bible is loaded with passages about how God will never leave us or foresake us. How we won’t be abaadnoned. That nothing can seperate us from the love of God- not sin, not death, not angels nor demons. Nothing can take us from the Fathers hand. We are sealed for an eternal destiny. God is completely committed to us even when we aren’t committed to him.
  2. Jesus Christ will cry for you. God is the God of all comfort. He sees our pain and it hurts him too. In our sorrow and in our despair Jesus is beside you. He loves you so much he doesn’t want to see you hurting. Just like Jesus wept when Lazaruz died, he weeps with you.
  3. Jesus Christ died for you. He knows how sinful you are, he knew that you would foresake Him, He knew that you would deny Him, He knew that you would abandon Him, and He knew that you would fall short of the God’s standard. But because He loved you, He got up on that cross anyway and gave His life so that you could have an eternal one, so that you could be in heaven with Him for all of time. And all you have to do is confess that He died is God, and that He died to pay your sins and you will be saved.

Jesus is the true ride or die. You cannot flee from the Spirit of God, and what a beautiful thing that is. And my perfect God, who knows me so well reminded me of this when I felt the most abandoned, the most isolated and the most disgusting before Him. Because He looks at me, and He sees nothing less than His perfect masterpiece.

 

Grace and Peace be with you.

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Happy Bloggiversary to me! Have a poem- “Stone.”

I wrote this piece about a year ago, sometime last easter. Anyway, I have had this blog for over a year now, so it seemed fitting to post a poem.

 

Once more we turn right on to the narrow concrete drive

Nothing but rows of dirt and flagstones

Trees and us.

Right in row 58b lays our special patch of grass

We park by the old green water well and garbage can

Feet away is where you lie in wait

Every year we come bearing gifts,

One to mark each special occasion.

Easter Sunday brings you, as always,

Two pink peeps, hardened and a marshmallow bunny

Accompanied by your two favorite flowers

We plant them for you- Easter lilies and hyacinths.

And the hooligans stole Grampas Korean war flag holder, once again

So we replace it

But it’s an odd ritual- this far off place

You never came here, you never walked through the grass

Or saw these trees.

Other than the stone with your name on it

And these things we surround it with

They have nothing to do with you

Can I not remember you from the dining room table you left me?

While I eat a poor rendition of your famous spaghetti

Can I not love you while watching the Wizard of Oz

Every year on your birthday

And laugh about how you’d wack us with your yardstick

From your worn out blue rocking chair

That’s missing two buttons and the handle gets stuck

And how I’d nap on your lap after school until you’d get up and fix dinner

But we insist on loving you here,

In a field of forgotten names and old stone

On this concrete drive in eerie silence

Where I feel nothing

Because you are not a stone, you are my grandmother

And you are not to be considered three days a year

In a place you’d never remember or like

While staring at one of thousands of rocks

And just because this one has your name on it and a few treats

It doesn’t make me think of you

I think of you when I see old ladies with wigs

Or watch browns games

Or here a good old country song

I remember you like I remember avocado green carpet (gag)

And blue granny nightgowns with big red roses

Or eat from the plates my mother sent me off to college with.

I see you when I pass your house and see the fence is no longer red

And when I see my mother’s face

And all of your children

And since when could Rosamae be held down by a stone,

Not the same woman who defended herself from muggers with a two liter of Pepsi

Or make my father crumble in fear when they met

And I think of you all the time but hardly ever do I think of you here.

 

 

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Poem. “Horizon”

Here’s a poem I wrote at like 2 a.m. based on a “wintventure” (winter adventure, a term used by my roomie Bethany). It was so beautiful and I was awestruck.

“I am standing in the center of woods

Charcoal night skies surrounding.

I see the way the world bends

Curving softly at its end with the faint hope that,

Perhaps it never does.

I stand proudly under Orion’s belt,

Standing tall in the iron fortress

Twirling softly under the north star as it guides me.

Leading this slow dance with just myself to carry

I spin under vines with mitten hands

And let the winter winds blow through me.

Traversing mostly frozen ground

As dead roses poke at insufficiently covered ankles.

While hopping fences and dreaming madly

On tree root stairs

To the edge of the frozen stream.

I let the sound of it fill my eardrums

And wish I could see stones to skip them.

Breathing in the cold air until it hurts,

But only ever just a little,

The way it always does at 2 a.m. in Ohio.

And yet it holds you here-

Hanging on liking swinging from tree branches

And crossing logs

And tripping in woods at night.

Let’s dance all until the sunrises,

And call this place our home.

Forever staring at the night sky

And watching the horizon bend.”

Also, have a picture of me and my adorable friends, also courtesy of Bethany. 12485815_10207496283752811_5524680274929328390_o

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Where our power comes from.

I very clearly remember one morning in the begining of December where a coworker made a comment on how I had poor completed a task, this having been the second time that I had been doing something wrong. I’d had the same job for well over a year, and had recently been promoted to a higher position. Suddenly, as I was standing there completing my next task I suddenly broke down- I am in no way capable of managing here. In fact, I felt like I was a no good candidate for leadership in anyway- including among spiritual matters. At this time I was also considering another position of leadership in a high school bible study. My thoughts were running crazy about this as well. I can’t lead, I am completely uncapable of doing any work- my job or the spiritual works that God had laid out for me. Ultimately, I felt like a failure and someone who was completely unable and incoimpotent.

But, a few days later I was sitting around the table on the Starbucks patio with my six roomies (who are also my six BFF’s), and as we were sharing our prayers I brought up that I was going into my work feeling so inadequate and so incapable of doing what I was trying to do. I had no idea what I was doing and was just so afraid of messing up seriously. But after I shared my fears of being inadequate, my roommate turns to me and says, “you’re not. That’s the thing, you’re not adequate, but that’s the best spot to be. It’s in times when I feel like I can’t that I turn to God the most and ask him to work through me.”

Honestly, it’s a nice shot to the pride to admit, but I am not capable or adequate in anyway. I haven’t ever been. But the thing that I had forgotten in this moment is that God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies those that he calls. I think often of Moses, he brings up his list of things he can’t do (Exodus 4)- they won’t listen to me, I’m not eloquent enough, and whatever else- and God’s response is the same, the Lord provides the power or the words or whatever he needs. The mark of a good leader is not that they have all these good qualities but that they have one key quality- a willingness to humble themselves and take what they need from God.

A few days following my break down and revelation, I sat under a teaching on Luke 9 when Jesus makes the disciples give a go at his work and feeding the five thousand. Jesus chose his disciples, when he could have done it by himself. But he called the disciples, he had them bring the gifts they had and he worked in incredible ways to serve the people. The point is that I am not the one doing this work, I am a tool for the Lord. God made sure when I first heard this by including a second time, a third, and a fourth (don’t you love it when he does that).

We can’t do God’s work on our own, we need to work out of the power of God and his inexhaustible resources. He wants our availability, not our ability.

If you’ve seen my “motto” on my blog or instagram- By HIS power|For HIS glory, it comes from this verse:

Colossians 1:9-12

For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects—bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light”

So where do we get our power from? Him. And why? For his glory.

Grace and peace (and the power of the Lord) be with you.

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The thing behind everything

This is from another writing night!!!

“Sometimes, my heart flutters 

Or just skips a beat  

In these same small moments where I forget to breathe 

Or forget everything altogether 

Sometimes it skips then speeds up  

I take it in feet planted firmly 

I become the deep sighs  

I wonder what it is like to carry the weight of everything 

To stand firm in the posture of Atlas  

Breathing with my mismatched heartbeat  

And be  

To be the thing behind everything 

The heart it seems to be  

The bearer of all burdens, 

Fluttering in to hold the world together “

 

 

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What I’m Truly Thankful for

I woke up on this fine Thanksgiving morning and deeply considered this past year and wondered what of all the blessings I have recieved, what I am most thankful for over the past year. When I reflected, I realized it was more of a who and less of a what. What I feel so undeservingly blessed by are the wonderful people God has put into my life. He has granted me so many kind, supportive, serving, generous and hilarious friends and family members and such an excellent small group of Christians. I have had friends who stood beside me through the trajedy of loosing my parents, countless hardships and ultimately, come by my side when I need it most. They have consoled me whenI found the depth of sickness of my mother, and in loosing her, they let me cry for them even when I can’t take words. They pick me up at 1 am when I just can’t stay, they bring me clothes and food when I’d stay at the hospital for days and let me come over at 9 am to watch parades, they make me laugh, they make me food. They ask me sincerly about my life and my struggles and my challenges and they built me up when they could break me down. I can not thank God enough for the beautiful people he has surrounded me with. I never saw the point of friendships but now more than ever I see that I need them and that friendships above all, are worth fighting for. And by the grace of the Lord, I will do everything in my power to keep fighting for them, because for so many of my friendships, I don’t know where I’d be without them.