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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The 5th Wave – A book review.

I read _The Fifth Wave_ this week;
A book I wanted to complete before seeing the movie.
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It was prose and science fiction in one book.
I’ve never read a book quite like it.

The characters are developed well and I bonded with a couple of them even while waiting to get a good grasp on a couple of others.

Because it was science-fiction, I struggled to comprehend some facets of the plot,
Necessary facets for space travel and an alien invasion.
So I’d read those spots over again until I caught on.

My mind has always had a hard time comprehending science.
It’s a gift I lament not possessing.

To continue –
Wrapped up in this battle for survival, involving very real gunfire sequences, and wars fought in the mind as one attempts to ascertain who is enemy and who is not,
Is this magical, lyrical, poetic style of writing that soothes your soul,
Even as you allow yourself to think about the unthinkable.

And Rick Yancey is genius;
Mixing terrible with beautiful in one prosey sentence,
slipping past barriers we naturally construct in our minds.

He enters our hearts with this story and life-lessons, and he touches those hearts with love in between necessarily gruesome incidents.

A love story hides within the pages.

It is quiet and soft and surprising, and you accept it,
even as you accept the reality of shrapnel being dug out of bodies with military issued knives,
and heads being blown off by artillery,
And killing in cold blood to live one more day,
Or to preserve the human race against insurmountable odds,
To preserve your own life,
Or what is left of it.

You accept this quiet love story woven in the bloody tapestry because you need to find beauty in the willingness to kill in order to survive,
Or to protect
Someone you love.

Do I recommend the book?
Yes.
Yes.
And Yes, again.
I will read it once more, highlighting the quotes that rung true in my spirit.

Do I recommend it for children?
No.

For teens, and adults,
Yes.

It is beautifully written;
Intelligent and harsh,
ghastly, and magical and wonderful,
All at once.

An adventure
And some lessons
Inhabit its pages
For those who are willing
To find them.

– 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

I am no bird. No net ensnares me.

This may be one of my favorite quotes in the world.
And it’s so hard to choose just one.

Being in a very authoritarian marriage, where our church preached something called “Spiritual Authority”, a concept backed up by many biblical scriptures,
A woman was to submit to her husband whenever there was an impasse in decision making.

Example, (a benign one)
Man wants to spend 100$ on item A.
Woman wants to spend 100$ on item B.
Conflict.
Man pulls submission card.
The end.

Maybe the woman’s choice was for the family instead of herself.
Maybe it was the wiser choice.

If a man is not humble enough to consider the intelligence of his wife…

If a man is selfish and has lost sight of his mission to be a servant to his family, to follow the example of Christ, who washed the feet of all twelve of his disciples,
Who died for them and for us,

If a man is short-tempered, and full of himself, loving himself before his wife and children,
He could snap at his wife right away, pulling the “I’m the boss around here.” reminder card out of his pocket, and silencing her.

I didn’t do many things I wanted to do because I obeyed.
I didn’t work,
Attend college,
Or Pursue a career.

Grow as a human.
As an intellectual.

I educated myself with Readers Digest Classics and other books I’d check out or purchase.

Mi mente tenia hambre.
My mind was hungry.

What a revelation, to read _Jane Eyre_.
To read of a girl, lost and rejected, mistreated,
Then placed in an orphanage to be mistreated further, but to find a friend who taught her about God.

There, Jane and Helen learned what true godliness was, even as religion in its unyielding granite-like hardness oppressed them.

They created a warm nucleus of friendship and learning of Christ and they existed that way until Helen died.

Jane is plain.
And poor.
But her spirit found expression in her resolve to survive and in her sketches.

And a very strong and stern man fell in love with her.

image

He was married, though, to a mentally-infirmed woman watched over night and day by nurses he hired.
He fell in love with Jane and asked her to run away with him as man and wife where no one would know them.

During this moment of decision, she finds strength to rise up from within, to remain true to her values despite her desperate desire to say yes, and she protects her individuality, preserving her freedom.

Charlotte Brontê, alias Currer Bell,
In the 1800s,
Was setting women free in their hearts through her writing.

She sets people free today.
She lies in a grave but her words remain full of life,
Full of deliverance.

Exhortation to stand.
To not deny one’s self.
To allow the soul to branch out into greatness.
Despite what others, even those loved most, say.

I look back at the history of intermittent  violence in my marriage with a bit of shame.

My cousin (who survived cancer) asked me one night,
She and I were lying in bed together last August, for she’d come up from the Carolinas for a family reunion after her strength returned,
and we slept in the same room…
She asked me, “Why did you stay?”

How do I explain to my cousin, a fighter of, and victor over the invisible clutches of cancer, why I would stay in such a union, when I could have simply got into a car and driven away from it?

I had many answers and zero answers.

There ::is:: a helpless remorse that accompanies regret, and if I allowed it to, it would destroy me.
Like a thick gray cloud of smoke invades the lungs, remorse would invade any man’s senses until they ceased to try anymore.
It’s an ugly emotion and must be taken by the horns and forced to do good in a mind.

Become fuel that drives a body to rise up from ashes and live better.
Stronger.

No net of guilt.
No net of anguish.

Instead,
A Strong-Hearted human being who is NOT a trembling bird,
But a human with…
An independent will
That won’t be bent or twisted into a warped thing ever again.

The only chains I will ever have,
will be the chains that bind my heart to the heart of God,
who loved me ,
who designed me ,
who gave himself for me,
and who saw each tear when they fell.

Golden bonds of love we have,
Holding us together.

And it is He who works in me still,
Both to desire,
And do,
His will.
Even as he’s given me my own,
And the freedom that goes with it.

God Bless Currer Bell.
And Jane.
And Helen Burns who died prematurely,
But not before she shone the light of true Christianity in the freezing corridors where religion cast its shadow.

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-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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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– leah

Seed time and Harvest, and Patience

When I feel impatient,
I picture a person in the middle of a corn field with the stalks half-grown,
Only waist high,
And the person is
Powerless, pouty, and selfish.
They are petulantly commanding stalks to grow,
To give ears of corn.
Because they want corn-on-the-cob,
and they want it now.

Corn Field Ashley K. Photography
Corn Field
Ashley K. Photography

The scenario is ugly.
It challenges me with a valuable silent message.

Life demands that we develop patience,
and much can be learned by nature’s example of seed time and harvest.

Everything has a season...
Everything has a season…

When it comes to what I want,
The moments when I want,
And cannot have, just yet.
I accept the process of growth,
And relax.

There are legitimate wants and needs in all of us.
But everything takes time.

The dream job,
The child,
The new car,
The cabin in the woods,
The vacation in Italy,
The love of an uncommon man,
and his kiss…

If a person is wise,
They will accept the rule of nature,
And hold the lesson of the corn field in their heart.

"September Morn on the Corn" By: jackalope22
“September Morn on the Corn”
By: jackalope22

I lived in a home for one year that had a very large window in its family room,
And if you looked through the window, you could see a huge field of corn that went back as far as you could see at the edge of the property.
I was privileged to observe this field in every season –
And each one had its own claim to beauty;
The season of winter, when snow sugarcoated the world with a sparkling crystal powder,
The season of springtime, when the furrows of earth were cocoa-colored mounds in perfect rows of narrow,

Cocoa in the spring.
Cocoa in the spring.

The season of late summer when the corn grew green and tall and was the perfect place for games,
Or hide-aways for lovers to embrace, surrounded by green sweet-smelling life.

corn field 2

It was a good year.
I never tired of the view through the window.

If a person allows themselves to stop fixating on a desire,
And starts paying attention to the miracle that is happening right in front of them,
Albeit, in slow motion,
They will learn one of the keys to happiness.
To be content in whichever state they find themselves.

My favorite field of corn is imagined.
I am walking through its rows.

Just enjoy the process.
Just enjoy the process.

Enveloped in sunshine, I hear a rustling whisper
My jeans, with the help of a lazy summer breeze, wakens leaves from their quiet sleepy state.

They brush against my legs
Tickling my hands,
And my heart rests inside,
taking pleasure in the fact
that something I planted is growing.

One day it will bear fruit.
But where it is today is enough,
Because it is part of the process.

Can you see me walking there,
in vibrant rows of green?
That is where I go
In my mind,
To remind myself
That something is growing,
That I cannot rush the process,
That Love is long-suffering,
And always always hopes.

And while love hopes it watches
The slow-motion miracle
Knowing
Fruit will come.

I will one day hold it in my hands
Like the perfect ear of corn.
It will be amazingly sweet,
Wholesome,
And Delicious.
I will savor it on my tongue,
And it will be
worth
every moment of the wait.

– leah

Love

Love,
How is it that you live in me?
When did you take up residence?
And what is it about this broken house that keeps you inside?

The roof leaks.
The stairs,
They creak.
There is a mournful howling of wind at times,
Outside my windows…
It can make it hard to sleep.

It must be the fire.

The fire that always glows
In my soul
For him.

He is made of water, Love.
Can you see him through my eyes?
There. Over there. Yes, Him.
The tranquil man whose hands are gentle.
Do you see his smile?
His dark lashes?

When his eyes are closed,
They create the image of a crescent moon
Upon his skin.
Adorning cheek,
A whispy fringe,
Lovely.

And when he is amused…
When he is amused by something I’ve said,
He laughs,
And,
His eyes, Love,
They flash like twinkling stars, I tell you.

You know…
I had not realized…

My lover’s face reflects
The evening sky.
Fringe of lash,
Laughing eyes,
He is moon and stars to me.

That must have been when you moved in.
You must have caught the fragrance,
Of my cinnamon sigh upon the wind.

You must have heard the humming
Of the melody
that tickles my lips
As I walk through life,
Focused and Distracted.

You followed the soft silk trail
Of discarded daisy petals
On the green of earth,
Didn’t you.

“He loves me…
He loves me not…
He loves me…
He loves me not…
He loves…”

You followed the white
And saw my smile,
And took a peek
Inside of me
To find…

A little hook
To hang your coat,
A simple shelf
To place your hat,
And there,
Near the sofa,
Near the heirloom rug purchased in an antique store,
You saw the fire.
The fire burning brightly
In my breast for him,
And said,
“I am home.”

image

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

Nest

You are the tree.
The tree of life.

Whose roots push downward,
Down
Down
Down
Into the soil.
Of Love.

You are rooted in love.
Your roots absorb
Its nature,
Each facet.
And your branches grow upward
And outward,
Embracing the sky
With a smile
Accepting all life
Seeking refuge

In broad shoulders
Your branches
Leafy boughs
Unbreaking
Solid
Reliable
Sure.

I am the little bird.
Little and Brown.
Plain
And Round.
In the soft green grass
Looking up at you.
Seeing you
For what you are.
Every lovely thing
You are.

Fruit-laden limbs
So long, so comely
In form.
Shelter in storm.
Leafiest place
Of comfy embrace

I am the bird
That wants to fly
Into that tree
Embodied by grace

And build
Her little
Nest.

ajp
4/8/15