A Child No More

I’ve always wanted to be brave

To face my demons unafraid

And yet I’ve always waited on

Someone, something, far beyond

But there are wolves outside my door

And I’m a child no more

 

Throw open wide this shuttered heart

Let in the light till shadows part

Gaze straight into the the truth of me

Embrace the facts unflinchingly

Unlock the gate, unbar the door

For I’m a child no more

 

I swell beyond these strict confines

Overflow my precious lines

Past the margins, I am free

Expand to the periphery

Plummet down or rise to soar

Either way, a child no more

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As the Summer Dies

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Life starts anew as the summer dies,

And the moon hangs full over ripened fields.

Rain-damp leaves carpet the ground;

the air is heavy with their passing.

 

You and I walk this far-flung road,

And truths fall from us like leaves.

We tell our secrets before we realize what we’ve said,

And suddenly we stand in the blazing light of honesty.

 

If I could bend my words, pound them flat and solid,

burnish them until they shone mirror-bright,

You could gaze into them and see yourself as I see you:

Stronger than you think,

Wiser than you believe,

Lovelier than you hope.

You yourself are mirror-bright.

 

But like the first leaf falling–

summer’s small death–

I feel the sudden shift of atmosphere,

uncomfortably self-aware in the light of our candor.

Our easy, flowing honesty hitches.

I’ve already said too much.

 

So my words lose their glow,

grow dull and flat and safe,

restrained by the fear of looking foolish,

and you see yourself with your own eyes,

Not mine.

I catch my breath, hold my tongue,

and we walk into the autumn night.

NPM: Nothing Is Wasted

Every day I stumble

On the road to somewhere

My knees are bloodied

My palms scraped raw

But nothing is wasted

Every embarrassment

Every hesitation

Every doubt overcome

Every ounce of pain

And disappointment

It is all transformed

And used for my good

Nothing is wasted

 

Every day I push myself up

On the road to somewhere

A moment of fortitude

An exertion of will

And nothing is wasted

Every unseen victory

Every unspoken hope

Every secret generosity

Every well-done task

And unrecognized potential

They are all accounted for

And acknowledged by God

And nothing is wasted

Little Things

Years ago, I made the conscious decision to feel free to sing out loud in my car without worrying about if people were watching me.  I love singing in my car.  Sure, it is embarrassing to look over at a stoplight and realize that someone is watching you (and probably laughing), but life is way too short to worry about what some random stranger thinks of you.  Sing in your car!  Have fun!  And smile really big at the person who is laughing at you.  They’ll either be amused along with you, or just get confused.

Be Still, My Soul

I also wanted to share with you the lyrics of one of my favorite hymns.  Its words bring comfort to me, especially as I embark on a new and uncertain phase of life.  May the simple beauty of this song comfort you as well.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

 

Mirror, Mirror

So often, I feel like I’m walking a psychological tightrope. My experiences teach me to be one way, but my heart tells me to be another way. My cold practicality wants to protect myself, insulate myself from pain; my longing to love and be loved forces me to make myself vulnerable. It’s infuriating! I feel torn and I’m the one tearing myself up! I want to be strong and independent and free from emotions…free from caring. The wounds in my heart (still unhealed…how long has it been now?) are like gaping mouths yelling at me, “Don’t let yourself be taken in again! You know what always happens!” But I cannot go along on my own. I can’t. The more walled-off I become, the safer I am, true. But the more desperate I become to feel cared for. The maddening need to be needed!

Foolish, stubborn girl. I want to walk away from her sometimes, this girl who stares back at me in the mirror. I see the look of mild disappointment around her eyes, tucked into the corners of her mouth. But there is no separating us. She knows it; I know it. This is a mutual disappointment. I’m none too pleased with her either.