Maybe, Just Maybe

Four years. 

At first I thought that my actions insured the consequence of my having to rely solely on myself to survive. I believed that getting a divorce meant God could (or would) not bless me, support me, or assist me, but then he caused things to fall into place (behind the scenes) when I would run into obstacles, enabling me to overcome and move forward.
Because of these occurrences, I adjusted my thinking to accept that God allowed the rain to fall on the just and the unjust – But there was something else. 

He was carrying me. 
I was blinded by pain and I knew it. 

I couldn’t see where I was going. I was stumbling on the path, yet He was there for those blind years, leading, guiding, showing me which way to turn when I came up against a wall. 
Little by little, God has continued to draw me closer, and I have learned that He still wants relationship with this broken woman, which blows me away. I’m still smudged with soot on the inside of me, like a fireplace chimney.

When I first found the Lord, my life changed dramatically. I wanted to do great things for Him, big big things, but I didn’t do great things at all, in fact, my life was something I was often ashamed of.

What if…

What if I, like Sarah, tried to make things happen in my own strength due to my own natural reasoning, instead of simply living and obeying God while allowing Him to do what He has always done,

Bring it to pass –
In His way

In His Time

By His Spirit.

Do I understand God’s grace spilling onto my life?

No, nor do I advise going through a divorce to learn about His unconditional love, and faithfulness,

But I marvel as He continues to call me even still.

It causes flickers of hope to ignite within my depths that maybe, just maybe, God’s original plan for my life will be realized just yet.

– leah

Stormy Weather

When I was young, maybe 18, I stood on top of a hill in Manchester, MI, and watched a summer storm come in.

I stood in the rain and wind until my aunt made me come into the house for threat of lightning.

It was thrilling and scary.
I felt so small
And so ALIVE.

After a more recent rainstorm,
I was thinking about how affected the earth was.

The atmosphere was soft with a warm rosy glow.
The leaves on every tree, saturated.
The calm was thick,
And the surface of the world felt clean.

Rinsed,
Helpless to do anything but yield the power of the force that swept over its form.

It reminded me of lovemaking.

The slow beginning,
the softness of the rain’s caress,
Followed by increased intensity,
Thunder, lightning, passionate winds.

The earth, like a woman’s form yielding,
Gladly,
Gratefully,
Receiving,
Much needed attention.
Her body’s thirst, quenched
Every rose bush, lilac, tree.

Then, things grow quiet,
Thunder is distant,
Hushed.

There is peace,
Calm,
And evidence of something having left its mark on the world.
Like a woman’s world.
Now altered,
By her lover.

I wrote this poem of a woman standing in the rain.

The poem does not convey my experience on the day that I stood in the rain as well as I’d like.
Nor does it convey the depth of beauty in being loved by a thoughtful and a giving man.

But it came from the soul.

So I share it here,
Even though it isn’t Poetry Tuesday.
ūüėČ

STORM

I can see it coming,
Smell it in the air,
Feel the breeze on my face
Change to wind in my hair.

Soft rain
kisses my arms
Causing goose bumps.
Tenderness.

Wind moving over and around me,
Powerfully,
I welcome
Each caress.

Now thunder,
Darkness,
Lightning,
I endure it all,
Yielding,
The recipient
Of torrential rainfall.

Unafraid.

Storm reaches crescendo
And begins to quiet down.
I linger,
Listening hard,
For the sound
Of Thunder
Rumbling,
Softly now,
Filling corners of the sky.

I shiver.
I am drenched.
Sated,
*sigh…

Exhilarating thing,
The way a storm moves in
Captivating one
With power, light, and noise,
Possessing late night hour
With its presence, touch,
And voice.

Leaving the impressions
Of its moments on my form,
Raindrops on my lips, hair, skin.
Establishing its memory
Next to yours
Deep within.

Feet on pavement
turn toward home.
My mind, toward you.
The way you love me –

Exquisitely,
Thoughtfully.
Powerfully,
Thoroughly.

Darling,
You are storm,
too.

ajp
1/2016

As You Think

“As you think, you travel.
As you love,  you attract.
You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
You cannot escape the result of your thoughts;
But you can endure and learn, accept and be glad.

You will realize the vision of your heart, not the idle wish.
You will gravitate toward that which you secretly most love.
Into your hands will be placed the exact result of your thoughts; you will reveive that which you earn; no more no less.

Whatever your present environment may be,
You will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your vision – your ideal.”

– Source unknown

Flaws…

It does not happen all the time, but sometimes a person can love someone else so much, that the natural tendency to notice and be annoyed by flaws is outweighed by the strong affection residing deep inside.

We all notice flaws in people that we care about.

But when people love one another,
With the love that says, “Not My Will”
They discover an ingredient.
Rare, priceless, this ingredient facilitates their ability to tolerate what others would not.

And that is why some say love is blind.
But I say that true love is not blind.
I say true love sees, all too clearly.

And accepts their beloved as they are –
At face value –
Knowing
That just like rivers,
And even the face of a mountain,
The human heart can change
over time.

If I did not believe that,
I would simply despair of life.
I would even despair over my self.

– leah

Be Steady

Being true to yourself.
That phrase used to confuse me.
Who isn’t honest with themselves?¬†
How can you hide from yourself?

Don’t answer the questions.
I’ve discovered the answers.

You have morals and you have standards.
They will be tested.
Will you betray your own heart?

Last night a friend I care for so deeply wrote to me and told me to “Be Steady.”
They would have no way of knowing that those two words are isolated quotes from my favorite Spiderman movie.

image

They are words I actually live by.
Or try to…

-“Spiderman? Are you kooky?”
I am not.
(Okay, I am. But not right now.)

That movie is deep!
It addresses many challenges, struggles, and temptations we face in life, including being true to ourselves.

Peter’s Aunt May says this:¬†
“I believe there’s a hero in all of us,¬†
that keeps us honest, 
gives us strength, 
makes us noble, 
and finally allows us to die with pride, 
even though sometimes –> we have to be steady,
and give up the thing we want the most. 
Even our dreams.”

That scene in the movie is powerful.
Those words are powerful.

I have dreams.
A lot of them.
I am already a mother, my first and favourite calling.
But,
I’d love to be a lawyer for children,
and advocate for them.
A child psychologist. 
A social worker.
A teacher.
An artist.
A singer. 
A dancer.
A poet laureate. 
The author of the next _Color Purple_.
A best friend. Loyal to the end.
A true servant of God, when no one is looking,
And the best life partner a man hoped existed even while he didn’t believe she was out there.

(Yes, I mean wife. But people have different perceptions of the word, and a wife is an equal partner in the longest three-legged race two people ever signed up for. They’re supposed to help each other to the finish line, not bicker and stumble all the way there. I could write pages on that concept, alone.)

But we have to be steady.

What is the ultimate goal before you?
Plot. Your. Course.
Do not allow temptations to divert your attention from the ultimate goal.
Do not allow seductive offers to entice you to betray your own morals.

The happiness of many depends on you.
Let the words of Aunt May, and my beloved friend, and now my own mouth settle into your soul. 

“Be steady.”

– leah

https://youtu.be/TVX-cUJGdxs

The Day I Made A Difference

I was called in to work late this afternoon to the children’s facility where I had been interpreting for a young deaf teenager.
It took a little bit for me to find a replacement for my typical evening job on Wednesdays, but I was able to find someone, so I went in to the facility.

When I got there I mentioned to the nurses that I had heard earlier this week that my client would be flying out to another deaf school soon and I asked if they knew which day.

It turns out he was scheduled to fly out this evening.

So my work evening consisted of dinner time, a visit to the swimming pool, (where the new kid saturated me) and then packing.

As I was organizing his school work, I came across pictures I had drawn for him, a notebook I had created for him to associate pictures with written words, with signs, so that he could learn to read.

Many images that triggered memories.

There were times when he did not want to learn and he would cover his face with his hands, because if he didn’t see me signing, he didn’t have to “listen”.

There were times when his medication would interfere with his ability to focus and absorb knowledge, and those were the most frustrating times for me as an interpreter in a classroom, because I could see him trying but struggling to understand me through the fog, then just putting his head down and falling asleep.

But we had a breakthrough last week that made months of work and struggle dissolve into nonexistence.

Only the breakthrough exists now. 
A shining golden moment in time when the earth stopped turning and all that existed were me, this boy, and the sound of his voice as he, a deaf teen, not only read the word, but said the word, “Mom” for the first time, then signed it to me to show that he understood.

I laughed, and cried, and had him repeat the action for other staff members, only to discover that he was shy, and would only display his new found talent for a select few.

We had been learning letter sounds for a couple of days, as he expressed interest in voicing them.

And then, the breakthrough. 

And now he is gone.

It stops me in my tracks to consider that if I had not been able to find a suitable replacement for my other job, I wouldn’t have been able to say goodbye.¬†

But I did.
And so, I did.
Say goodbye.
After spending one last dinner hour, swim hour, card game, (Go Fish) and then helping him pack and lay his clothes out for tomorrow. 

I hugged him.
Told him I was proud of him.
Told him he was a good boy and a beautiful boy.
Admonished him to be good.
And then walked down the hall feeling numb.

The facility was a stepping stone for him.
And for me.

I wasn’t allowed to take pictures.
But I won’t ever forget his smile, or his heart that was willing to please, or the way he looked when he learned that letters make noise and the noises had meaning.

The boy changed my life.
I thought it had meaning, but he gave it more.
And I know he learned from me too.

I am home from work now, at ten pm.
Tired from a long day, but fulfilled.
Wherever you are, as you read this tiny excerpt about two lives that connected for a blip on a very long timeline,
I hope for the same for you.
The sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, and contentment. 

And the knowing. 
That you gave a piece of yourself to someone, and it made a difference.

‚ô° leah

Brought to Birth

For the second time now –

I have experienced a very strong desire to sketch the human form.

"Male Nude Seen From Behind With A Flag Staff" - Michelangelo Buonarroti
“Male Nude Seen From Behind With A Flag Staff”
– Michelangelo Buonarroti

The first time I experienced this,

I was given the opportunity to view the masculine body in repose – at rest.

"Samuel Under a Tree" - Henry Scott Tuke
“Samuel Under a Tree”
– Henry Scott Tuke

Beautiful in size, shape, form.

Lines sculpted by the hand of God flowed from one sloping angle to the next creating smooth curves and shapes that – together – formed his image.
“Let us make man in our image.”

Art, a perfect display – the ingenuity and creativity of Our God – The Living God – lie before me.

I was overwhelmed with the beauty of this man’s body – I had never seen anything like it in color, nor dimension.
I experienced an emotion I have not yet named.

It was something like appreciation, mixed with awe,

drenched with the sense of experiencing a great privilege.

The second time I witnessed the miracle of God’s creation was in a woman.

"Woman Bathing" - Edgar Degas
“Woman Bathing”
– Edgar Degas

I was present to observe her feminine form while she sat in a shower, her head facing forward, hair cascading down her back with tiny streams of water that caused it to lie in vertical perfection as rivulets flowed lower, causing the effect to have impact.
Fluidity in motion saturated my vision.
Eve beneath waterfall.

Her shoulders, which had water droplets on them, curved downward into rounded arms, arms that framed the lines – the narrowing lines of rib cage to waist.
From waist there was the gentle outward flaring of hips – femininity in its purest display – God’s handiwork made visible to me in a sacred moment.
It was wrapped in spiritual ribbon – a gift – the gift of sight.

And I think that something is being brought to birth from within me.

I want to sketch – with charcoals.
Like Degas.

Title Pending - Degas
Title Pending
– Degas

There is an image that was born in my mind one day Рan image that my friend Jeffrey unknowingly gave me when he told me what sailors do to stay clean while exploring the wide open seas.  I asked him if they jumped into the ocean to bathe.  He said sometimes they take advantage of a good rain.

Instantly the image of a man on the deck of a sailboat wearing cut-off shorts invaded my mind.
In the vision, the time of day was dusk – he was standing in the rain, his face turned upward.
Gentle rain was falling over man, over boat, and spilling into the ocean.
He had soap suds on wide shoulders – soap suds were dripping down his muscled calves, pooling onto the deck and puddling around his feet near a yellow bucket.

I wanted to paint the image.

I think I am going to take a class.
The desire wells up within me.
It is a sign.

Something is trying to be born.

I am going to bring the baby to birth.

-Leah