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

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Sunlight is Dim

Nothing is the same
Without you here.

The sunlight is dim.
The flowers smell sweet,
But I can’t breathe them in.
The days are warm now,
But I’m cold, even so.
It’s spring,
And summer waits to embrace,
But nothing is the same
Without you here.

No sparkling eyes laughing at my jokes.
No smile to add happiness to my day.
No sound of your voice.
No view of that expression on your face.

You probably didn’t know how much you mattered.
Or that your presence in a room brought it to life.
How one look from you made my thoughts scatter.
The way bees in search of honey leave the hive.

I wait.
For sun to shine again,
And water beckon.
For scent of rain to give me what I lack.
The sound of laughter during pleasant moments
Appreciation for the little things,
A heart that learns to feel again,
Acceptance of the truthful things,

The fact that you may never find your way back.

The Strongest House

When you want to run away,
But you don’t,
Because you know when you get
Wherever it is you are going,
You will still be there,

That is when you are growing.

When you look around
And evaluate the actions of others
Without allowing emotion,
Need,
Or desperation
To cloud your vision,

That is when the scales are falling from your eyes.

When you realize
That some will always choose themselves first,
And consider your heart last,
And when you allow your disbelieving mind
The permission to accept this sorrowful truth,
To absorb it into your psyche
Until it is as much a part of you
As the cells which carry life’s blood
Into your heart,

That is when you will find true discernment.

And when you choose solitude
Over a companion

who does not value your gifts
Your heart
Your soul,
Or the Midas Touch within your fingers
To turn dull things to gold,

You will have found it.
You will have found the solid rock
Upon which to build your house.

And it won’t matter
How many wolves come
To huff
And to puff
And to blow your house down.

It
will
not
budge. ♡

Because you used the best materials
The thickest mortar
The sturdiest bricks
And no one
Will ever
Be able
To
Hurt you
(Like the others did)
Again.

You discovered
The value
Of
Your self.

– 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 rosebush, 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.
😉

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 distant 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

Win their heart.

When I compare the woman I am today with the woman I was when I was young, I grieve.
Young me was downright mean at times.
I’m sorry for those days.
Life has a way of teaching us what matters.
Who matters.

You sit on the couch, involved in a heated argument, and your mouth is full of words that are just as effective as bullets.
You know they will destroy.
Rip, tear, wound the psyche of your opponent.
Make them bleed.
No, not bleed, hemorrhage.

In the past I would open my mouth.
Today, I swallow the words and respond slowly.

98% of the time. ♡

Young women today…
I caution you.
Choose words carefully,
Use them rarely,
And choose silence frequently,
Rather than blurt out a sharp retort.

You may win a battle,
But the bloody aftermath you find yourself mopping up,
Removes the thrill of victory.

The only victory,
The true triumph,
Is to win, not an argument,
But the very heart of the one with whom you are arguing.

– Leah

River

The sunrise was soft this morning, providing a gentle light that didn’t hurt the eyes as one drove toward the east.

I generally take the road that allows my car to move in curvy swervey patterns since it follows the shoreline of the river.

It’s a peaceful commute that changes visually with every season and it contributes beauty to my life.

I’d been on a stretch of road where the river was temporarily blocked from view.
I usually anticipate the moment when I make the curve and it appears again.

I rounded the bend and there it was, soft and warm with the morning light spreading over its surface.

image
When the sun whispers.

Calm today, no blustery wind to cause ripples on the water,
It was an autumn-colored mirror, allowing the trees to look down and watch themselves change with the passage of time.

image
Take time to reflect.

I pulled over.
I had to capture this moment on the waters of this beloved place which provides this turbulent season of my life with reliable serenity.

image

I didn’t take more than ten steps in any direction, yet the separate views were vastly different.

A lesson in perspective waited for me there, at the river’s edge.

image

How do things look right now?
Do you like the view?
Shift your gaze…
Now, what do you see?

image
Sunlight's warm embrace.

Light adds hope to darkened points of view, lacing the edges of our vision with a near heavenly glow, making ordinary not so ordinary anymore.

The sun rose higher.
The moment was over.
And I was once again nourished by a river which flows through the center of our town, existing to bless us all.

Faithful to touch our lives,
This river,
A picture of God for us,
A visual aid.

“I am here to give light to your shadowy world, and Life, if you want it.
Life abundant.
Come and walk with me.
Know peace.
Deep down, where you need it.
I am living water.
Come and drink,
And be filled.

image
Light and Life and Water.

A soft gentle morning to lend perspective in troubling times.
I needed it.
The reminder.
There is a God, the Creator of all things,
And he is here to give us life
And light for the darker days.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

Feather Your Nest

“FEATHER YOUR NEST”
Words I saw painted on an outside wall of a store in Dundee, MI.

I thought about the words.
A gentle command to turn your house into a cozy place.
Not a showcase.
Not a gigantic window display.
But a home.

So many thoughts filled my mind as I drove down country roads to my own nest.
It isn’t feathered very well.

Sure, there’s furniture inside.
Blankets, pillows, some things that I love,
But it isn’t feathered.

Birds build their nests from sticks and mud, but then they look for soft things to make it warm.

God put that instinct inside of them.

And he put it inside of us, too.

I both love and hate where I live.
It is refuge, the place I landed when I had to go.

I had almost nothing yet everything at the same time,
because I had peace.

Why would I hate it?
Because my children aren’t in it.
Before,
I was baker, I was chef,
I was homeschoolMommy.
Mother.

I guess that’s why it isn’t very feathery.

But it’s been three years now.
And God was gently nudging when I read that painted wall in Dundee.

“Feather your nest, Alma. It’s time.”

And I agree with Him.
It’s Time.

image

– leah

Root Them Out

Today’s thoughts. 

I face painted a twin boy, once, whose twin had died.
He was four or five.
His mother told me in whispers that the brother died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
His father in prison.
He hit the child too hard in anger.

It is difficult to convey the turmoil and struggle for control as I painted the boy whose brother was killed,
trying to smile and be light-hearted while mom whispered a nightmarish story into my ear.

What they asked me to paint was the brother’s name on his arm. 
I did my job,
Compartmentalizing the horror, jamming my reaction into a box and shoving it down to contemplate later while I smiled and talked to the child whose arm was cradled in my hand.
The child condemned to a life without his twin by one angry man who blew it.

Ask Yourself, about the people in your charge…
– What type of person removes the blossom of a flower from its stem to crush the petals?
– What person cultivates a garden only to destroy it in a fit of temper?
Mommies?
Daddies?
When you are angry, how do you behave?
Husbands?
Wives?
How do you cultivate your garden?

God gave Adam a garden and he told him to care for it.
God has given one to you, too.
It is full of roses in bloom, dogwood trees with flowering branches, tulips and snapdragons and hardy mums…
How do you treat your loved ones when you’re angry?

Do you assault them?
With hands?
With words?
With shouting?

Consider the hard things today.
Look at yourself today.
Do not hide from You.

And remove the weeds you uncover.
Ruthlessly pull them out of the soil that is yours to care for. 
The health of your garden depends on it.

Seek the Master Gardener for assistance. 
Then rise up and walk.

Only a fool would turn to the most precious items in their life and destroy them in a fit of temper.

Let’s not be that fool.

The hard things.
The ugly things.
Face them.
Acknowledge them.
And Root. Them. Out.

– Leah

To The Man Who Loved Me To Christ

To the man who spoke to me about Jesus when I was so skeptical.
The man who told me to read the book of John first.
The man who sent me the handwritten letter  witnessing to me.
The man who was standing behind me, whose face I saw when I stood up from the altar and turned…
A changed girl, forever,

Thank you.

Wordgirl is quiet.
She has no words to convey the magnitude of her thankfulness.

I remember lying on a carpeted kitchen floor as a bitter, angry 18-year-old,
Talking on the phone with this remarkable handsome man I met and liked,
And there was something about this man,
Something persuaded me to open up about the very private things I kept to myself regarding God.

His soft voice.
His temperate patient way.
His solid responses.
He was a safe place.

The memory returns powerfully and tears stream down my cheeks.
I was lost, then…
I was in trouble…

Now, I am grateful.
I don’t take this for granted.
I don’t take any of this lightly.

This is no misplaced hero worship.
You are human, a living soul of flaws and perfection mixed together,

But you knew the value of my soul before I did.

It was God who straightened what was twisted inside of me.
But it was you who said,
“There’s someone I want to introduce you to.”.

Nothing will ever change that.
Nothing.

image
It was you who said, "There's someone I want to introduce you to."

Niagra Love

Today is one those days,
Those days when I wake up and my affection is Niagra Falls.

Where are my children and my grandbaby?
I must spend every hour, every minute with them.
I wonder,
Have they seen the sunrise?
Are some of them still in bed,
Snuggled deep in blankets
with tousled hair,
warm and sleepy,
smelling sweetly
like the towels one pulls from the dryer?

The day has claimed my soul.
Every moment, every hour has been reserved.
Each one belongs to others.
It is for me to walk to each checkpoint and do the job required,
Then I will get home around 9:30 pm.
But I am not unhappy.

I am too much in love with a shy ten year old who told me, while at home, that he would not, under any circumstances,  participate in the Spelling Bee he qualified for, but stepped up to the plate when it was time, challenging himself and not faltering, to make it to third place.
The one who likes me to scratch his back at night but makes me promise not to tell this to his playmates when they come over.

I am in love with the 20 year old who works hard and always has for his work ethic is as solid as granite. He needs his mother, even though he is an adult and does not need his mother.

I am in love with the sixteen year old who is the giant of the house, the 6’2″ teddy bear who still lays his head on my shoulder when I’m driving, and calls me “Shakespeare” because of the way I speak, not realizing that his giftings lie in the same area; he speaks as creatively as he writes.
How does he not hear himself?

I am in love with the twenty-two year old who lived out of state for three years and came home when it was time to build a family, and her husband,  now my son, who has joined our beautiful broken mix of fruits and nuts yet has not withheld his heart from us.
She is song embodied.
He is affection in action.

And I am in love with their baby.
The softest dumpling grandbaby with the hazel eyes who always greets me with a smile.

It’s as if he knows that his mother is a piece of me; therefore, he is a piece of me too –
A living testament of the most beautiful things in life.
He is my whisper into tomorrow,
Proof that life goes on living,
Even when we take our place in the yesterdays.

Love like water flows from my heart,
through my veins,
and out from my fingertips
to reach the lonely today.

The girl at school that cried herself to sleep last night,
The boy who doubts himself – as we all did at that age.
The grown up who is weary, whose bills weren’t paid last month.
The woman who looks back at me in the mirror.

Humanity.
Humanity needs acceptance.
Humanity needs us.
Needs me.
Needs you.

Yes.
Today is one of those days.
And I am going to live it.
And give it
away.