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Showing posts from 2014

"Chained Melody" {an original poem}

(written June 26th, 2014)

The music storms within me
Strains I can't express
I am a chained melody
These chords left unpressed

My soul aches with feeble hands
When that one song plays
And my brain mimics the band
The hurt lasts for days
Years
And that's when I know
That's when I decide

It hurts
That's the nature of the thing
Maybe
It hurts me more than most

Me, with my trembling heart
Me, with my pain-filled hands

No one thought I could do this
Or should
Not even me
Especially not me

No one except The One
Plus one.

I tried not to hear her and the Infinite
And found myself immeasurably outnumbered
With a guitar in those hands

Call me crazy?
Get in line.
I'm first.

I strum with bum hands
Until I think I've gone mad
Or maybe I always have been
And for once
I'm doing something sane.

Broken Beauty

I'm clueless as to what to write. Father, inhabit my words. So much has transpired since I last wrote ... which is one of the main reasons I haven't written. I've been busy, & in such a whirlwind season of growth, that I feel like I would have to revise my update every day, as I learn more & more ... experience more.
And I've decided that this reality might just be okay. Even if I never become a professional at keeping things up to date.
There are some parts of this season that have yet to come to completion ... I can't share about them just yet. And, honestly, I'm not sure I'll ever share them from this place. Maybe stop by my house for coffee in a couple months. We'll talk.
Where do I begin? Ah. Five weeks ago. That seems like the logical spot. When everything fell, & I with it.
As I think about this, trying to go back to that week, it dawns on me ... though my keyboard went untouched during that time, my paper did not ...

{November 8th, …

"3 a.m. Refrain" {an original poem}

(written June 7th, 2014)

Oh rambunctious mind
When will you unwind?
You toss & you turn
Like this body of mine

You pound in my head
As if you're filled with dread
From each dream that lurks
Between blanket & bed

We both cry in pain:
3 a.m.'s new refrain
Until God soothes us
& sings His song again



{this is the first of several poems I will be posting here; poems written during some of the hardest parts of my battle with Lyme disease. If you're interested in this story & my journey, I have created a corner of the blog just for writings that stemmed from it. Check out the label: Lyme Disease Journey.}

"Weak" {an original poem}

(written June 8th, 2014)

Bitter tongued
Weak handed
Exhausted
At the thought of waking up

It came down to this

Fragile heart
Weighted mind
Lonely soul
Waiting for an ounce of hope

Can't live in my strength

So He came
Lifted me
Weak made strong
Satisfied in His embrace

Helpless no longer

His power
Made perfect
In weakness
This symphony of mercy

Melody of grace

The Story

I told you once that it would take a miracle for these hands to play the guitar. These hands could never do such a thing on their own, because, in addition to being perpetually weak, they were also burdened with migratory joint pain, from my Lyme disease.

I erected a stone in my mind's path.

A stone marked with weakness & pain.

A stone of memorial.

And, reader, I'm so glad I did.

I love that I wrote during my darkest of days, because now, they are not just a fleeting memory, but they are part of my story; my testimony. I stamped them with ink, like tattooing the internet, my heart, & a half dozen journals. It's marked down in my life as history. The kind that bears repeating.

He met me in the midst of the worst pain week I have ever had.

{If it had hurt less, you would have heard about it, but typing wasn't exactly easy.}

He met me, through His people.

I was surrounded with an army. Prayer warriors lifted me up. Friends comforted me & fought for me. My fami…

Holiness > Happiness {an original poem}

I almost cry
Such foolish tears
I should not cry
I know better

Tears held inside
Blur my vision
Logical thought
Is beyond me

Changes I face
Overwhelm me
Mindful of grace
I can still breathe

Where He leads me
I will follow
Though the pain ebbs
And the tears flow

Thy will be done
Yours and not mine
I count the cost
I choose You still

For holiness
Means more to You
Than happiness
And I'm convinced

That You're faithful
E'en though I fall
You still hold me
And comfort me

I know joy comes
With the morning
Your mercies dawn
And they blind me

And then one day
I will look back
See Your grace, and
Tell the story

Scales

Weighing options, I find myself again thinking about priorities. I need to think about them more often ... maybe then I would keep true to them. This space, for instance has been given little of my attention, though, by my priorities & convictions, it should be higher on the list. Thus, I am found here after the soul-searching, & not beforehand.
My dilemma is that it takes much longer to write a post than to read one. My life grows busier daily, becoming full of new opportunities & commitments. No matter how important something is to me, I cannot always find the time to invest in it, simply because of being otherwise invested.
And so I weigh the importance of things.
Little ones make it high on the list; I love them so dearly ... I often choose them over most other concerns and activities.
My friends. So precious to me. Mamas, sisters, teachers, listeners, talkers ... One glance, text, call, email, etc. from any of these will often take front burner.
Family ties are strong…

Make

It's been over a month.
I haven't walked these halls in over a month. Time to sweep these floors, brush aside the cobwebs. A month, & it seems like years. Years since I last sat here with a divine desire to write. Not the kind of writing that defines days. Not the letters & poems I've managed to stay on top of ... but the writing where my soul somehow becomes paint on this canvas called the Internet. It seems so commonplace; too much so to capitalize ... & yet when I do, I feel I bestow some added worth & honor to it, the Internet, & what I do here. It isn't much, assuredly. Lines & curves on a once-blank space.
It reminds me of music.
That's why I'm here, really.
That's what drew me back to this keyboard today.
I wanted to make music.

Isn't that a silly thing?

I wanted to make music, on this ancient Dell Latitude D430. It doesn't even have a space for a CD.
There are far nobler instruments in this house.
A small guitar missi…

Always//Never

It has been a day of deep thought. The kind that stirs the soul ... almost in a literal way, scraping the sides, bringing down what was stuck up ... making something new. A new thought. A new way of thinking. My mind and heart are overwhelmed. I felt God near and I heard His sweet voice. He reminded me of things I already knew, things I'd forgotten, and things I was just learning, and fit them all together to form something new.
It was like that moment in a crime show when they're about to solve the mystery. A new piece of information comes up, seemingly unimportant, but they look into it. They dig deeper. They remember another obscure fact from earlier on in the case. They weave a story that makes sense, and then they fight to find and prove the truth.
Excuse how my brain works, but I am going to invite you into the full reality of my thought process. It's scary. You've been warned.

A friend told me this past week that our God is the only One who can say "always&…

Living Sacrifice

The words are in me. I am full of them to brimming, and if I do not pour, I will burst.

I pray they are not my own.

We hear of presenting our bodies to God as living sacrifices. It is a pretty vivid picture, right? But we've turned it into a mere cliche. It stirs us, but do we even think about it? A living sacrifice. We have the idea of a dead sacrifice somewhere in the corners of our minds, at least. A bloody lamb on an altar. A naked Savior on a cross. But when we think of a living sacrifice, we become much more tame. This is us, after all. No need to be graphic. We form simple thoughts of handing ourselves to God. Constantly. Because if we're alive, then we're obviously moving, right? So we must keep coming back to God and offering up our desires and opinions.

But where are we returning to, again?
Where do sacrifices go?

Oh, right. An altar.
The image I get is of Aslan tied to the stone table. Of Jesus nailed to the cross.

We weren't supposed to have gone anywhere.

Five-Minute Post

It baffles me how in the most extraordinary moments, God uses the most ordinary things. I sat here, begging for Him to move and speak, and the words, "oh, how He loves us so" played through my headphones. It doesn't get any simpler. Nor does it get any more revolutionary. It is His love that defines all else. Every significant thought or action in my life must first be rooted in His love. This is the love that overwhelms me. That wooed me to repentance, then drew me back to Him when I was most fully aware of my undeserving self. This is the love that died for me, but didn't stay in the grave. The love that moves mountains. Love that calms storms and stirs hearts.
He is love and He is here, and what else matters, really?

Distracted

I am numb and distracted. Inconstant and inattentive. When faced with pain, I have tried to drown it out or become unaffected by it ... and in the process I have lost much more than I bargained for. And I dare confess that I didn't even mind the absence; I hardly noticed.
And then one day, I did.
I heard His voice clearly, and I realized He had been speaking all along ... I had simply drowned Him out. I didn't listen. My prayers were performances and duties, rather than intimate conversation and bloody battle. In the midst of struggles, I ran elsewhere. In the midst of pain, I sought other comfort. In discouragement and drought, I went to those who had been to the Well, rather than to the source Himself. My every act ignored His name and lordship.
And He still speaks.
He still waits for me.
Still, He loves me with a Love unlike any other.

I've counted up the cost, and You are worth it. 

Worth everything He could ever ask me to give up. Worth losing my reputation or my very …

Memorial Stone

This is my stone.

This is the stone I am erecting as a memorial.

Years later, I will return to this place

--maybe you will, too--

And I will remember.

I will remember the feel of my not-yet-calloused fingers pressing keys to form these words.

I will remember my tears of inadequacy and defeat.

I'll remember the pain.

Time will tell what perspective I will have when I come back.

I hope I'll be looking down from the mountain that I now squint up at.

...

So here's the thing.

Here's the truth.

Lyme disease.

It has made my hands trembling, twitching, weak shadows of things.

At least I think so.

I actually cannot promise myself that these hands will work again if and when I get better.

Some days I think they're ruined for good.

Most days.

These hands have caused me to give up even the smallest of dreams.

They stopped me short of conceiving the tiniest of notions of big dreams.

I wouldn't even let myself think about such things.

Such impossible, beautiful things.

But t…

Dark Hour Diaries

4:36 a.m.
I shouldn't be awake.
I don't want to be awake.
I am very much Awake.
Not to say that I am having coherent thought processes. No, ma'am. I stopped having those before I even got to midnight.
I unthinkingly ate something I shouldn't have. That didn't turn out so well for me. I spent the day hanging out with a varying crowd of people I'm not sure really like me. I tend to think that of a lot of people. When you know yourself very well, you wonder why people stick around. I mean, really, is the fact that I cry at literally anything and everything that appealing to you?
To add to my problem, before I gave up on the whole 'sleeping' notion, I took my not-so-happy medication. How it makes me feel is implied in my term of endearment for it. Mucho pain.  Mucho mucho. I take it before bed for a reason: trying to sleep through some of the worst.
Bang goes that theory.
2 a.m. found me sobbing. Thinking sad thoughts. Writing an email, and then only sendin…

Quiet

In this moment, I am keenly aware of my own weakness. Most of my body is pulsating with pain. Sleep hasn't sounded so good in a long time. I join in earth's labor pains for Christ's return; for heaven and restoration. Arms to hold me.
I long to be emptied of something. All of me trembles, and I wonder as to what I could release that would bring relief. It's one of those odd moments when I actually want to throw up; to dispose of whatever's inside me. Or maybe just cry. Long, wailing, freeing sobs. This longing has reached other parts of me also. Spending many a moment in a huddled mass of pain somehow makes you familiar with what's inside you; your true, unfiltered nature. I don't like what I see. I want to expel myself from my body, abandoning pride, self-reliance, selfish ambition, my so-called rights, my plans, my preferences, greed, rebellious nature, judgments, fears ... everything must be surrendered to Him, because I am unable to trust myself. I need…

Fill My Cup

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I've never felt so inclined to write. This kind of writing. The pour-out-my-heart and crikey-people-actually-read-this writing.
My soul has been deeply soaked in the love of my Lord, and I am sopping wet, just waiting to drench someone else. I hadn't expected to feel like this today. I'd planned to be a weepy mess while I have a few hours to myself, and to then function when I have to function. That was my plan. That's usually my plan. Get all the emotions and gunk out while no one's watching, and then suck it up and do your job.
It started last night. I was home alone, and though my heart was hurting, I thought I was doing okay. I just needed to recharge, that was all. And what an opportunity. I baked Paleo sunbutter bars (um, delicious) while watching Annie and belting out the songs at the top of my lungs. And then a text came in. I never finished Annie.
She asked for prayer. I had silently prayed some while Annie sang, "Tomorrow, tomorrow." We moved o…

Maya's Impact -- Words

There are days when I feel like an inspired writer. The image in the mirror actually looks the part. The stars hold hidden meaning. Worship songs hold depth and meaning. I sit like a lady and I write things with actual rhyme and reason to them. My work has structure, points, and sometimes even pictures and poems to go with it.
And then there are these days, or nights, I should say, maybe. Everything makes me want to cry. I'm sitting at the computer, Indian-style, in my grungiest pajamas, past my preferred bedtime, with Pandora playing. Partially because watching The Brady Bunch right now would be considered pathetic by most people. Mostly due to the fact that I was inspired to write today. Not the pretty kind of inspiration, though.
One of my favorite poets died.
Maya Angelou. I knew her story. I had written a paper on her. I'd read her poetry, and I even posted one here. She was not just a name to me. She was one of my heroes. I know she had faults - we all do - but her story…

Preached and Pondered

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I was running on less sleep than I can function with, and praying hard, because oh how I needed to function. And not just your average survival mode functioning, no. I needed to be cheerful, Christ-like, efficient, creative, loving, and focused.
I slow down for a minute because I actually have the chance to. He pours himself a cup of coffee, and I smile at his kindness. We both know that's my job. We ask each other about life. I talk of weeks that just race by, and there's hardly time to even think, let alone make art with my life. He speaks of the busyness too, but there's a difference. In his world, he makes the time. He fixes someone's toilet while preaching truth into their lives. "She told me I should be a preacher. I already am a preacher, I said. I don't need a pulpit or a congregation - I just talk about Jesus one on one."
He's caught onto something and my stressing heart almost can't believe it's that simple. Can we really just live …

Answers

To tell the truth, I felt more drained and spent on this day with no to-do's than I felt all that week past that just refused to end. My friend tells me that sick people need rest; everybody needs rest, and if there's anything I've learned today is that I am sick and I am human.
I cough and sniffle as petals fall from the wildflowers I picked the other day. I relate to them. One day, all fresh and dewy, beautiful and fragrant ... then the next day they're fading. Pieces of them are falling off. Nobody look at me, because I'm not supposed to look like this. Give me a second to put on my makeup. I'll be acceptable, I swear. Because somebody told me that when I wilt, I'm no longer beautiful. I think the name beneath that quotation was my own.  Breathing is a fight today. I had intended to rest and prepare myself for another crazy weekend. Halfway through the mandatory TV show, I get an email that changes everything. Finally, a diagnosis for my condition ... bu…

Beautiful, Beloved

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Have you ever wondered how it is that not a portion of nature is considered to clash, color-wise? Think about it. God used every color imaginable, likely inventing new ones as He went along, and we do not say that those willow trees really would look better in a different field ... one not quite so green, maybe. It's unheard of.
We put two articles of clothing together, and suddenly, it's unthinkable to wear that outside of your bedroom. What a disaster.
But we can't look at an unmarred piece of God's nature and call it an eyesore. Because He made it beautiful.
Society tells us differently.
They lie when they chant that age and beauty are not synonymous. They present them to us as enemies. They scorn wrinkles and grey hair, saying they are no longer signs of wisdom and cues for us to respect. Now we look at them as symptoms of a disease: old age. One step closer to the end of the road. It would be a bad thing if the end of the road was something to fear. It used to be…

An "Artist"

What sort of a thing does one write when the wind is blowing, their head is pounding, and frills and nonsense seem useless?
I'm in a rather practical mood. I am wearing plain, comfortable clothes that take the chill off, and my wild hair is pulled back in a most unbecoming bun.
And yet I should write something worth reading. Shouldn't I?
But who's to judge?

I'm beating around the bush.
I shan't keep you waiting much longer.

Sometimes life doesn't make sense. There comes a time when you realize that all your childhood dreams may not come true.
I found a page in a box under my bed the other day. It's one of those sheets that makes you see just how poor your handwriting and logic once were:
"If I was an Artist" If I was an Artist I would make tons of pictures and hand some out for free at church. I would sell others at an Art Gallery. I would draw cards and send them to people. I would frame some and use them as gift's. I would use the money I earn…

Beauty Time

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The rain drips gently, steadily, and I have time.
Time to just be.
I've found that it's what you do in these spare hours that defines who you are.
When you're longing for a little peace, what do you do?
Some days, I just browse Pinterest. It's mind numbing, yet you feel almost useful, because who knows? That recipe you just pinned could very well change your life.
Most of the time, I crave something more. I often stop that craving with a heavy dose of laziness, but I know it was there.
Today, I use the moment to think on truth; to write it out in black and white, so I won't forget it ... and maybe you won't either. I'm a day ahead of schedule, and that's satisfying.
I stop that word before it rolls off my tongue. Savor it.
Satisfying.
The secret of life, or at least one of the big ones, is that only Christ can truly satisfy.
Only His love will leave your cup running over.
Only His truth will be firm enough to stand on.
Only He will fill that yearning em…

My Heart is Yours {Coffee for Your Heart}

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You won't relent until You have it all.  my heart is Yours.
I set You as a seal, upon my heart as a seal upon my arm for there is love, that is strong as death jealousy demanding as the grave and many waters can not quench this love
come be the fire inside of me come be the flame upon my heart come be the fire inside of me until You and I are one.
//"You Won't Relent" by Jesus Culture//
He wants my heart. All of it. Every beat. Every desire. Every longing. He calls after me, naming me Beloved, asking for this: a sacrifice worthy of Him. How could I hold anything back from such a Love? It's sinking in now, what it means to give everything to Him. It means that if I never travel outside of my country again, I still love Him. I still trust Him. If the tests come back, and I have this disease, I still believe that He is in control; that He knows best. If they give no answers, and I continue to wonder in vain what is wrong with me, I commit it to Him. If joint pain keeps me from…

Confusing Me

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It's been a blare-my-music kind of week.
I have these emotions that I can't justify, and so I listen to songs that deal with feelings, and I listen to them loudly. I find some sort of insight from their lyrics oftentimes. They aren't always the good-girl worship songs, either. I have discovered profound thought beneath the layers of secular music. Even if it only shows me the reality of my life, if I do not have Christ.
Thank God, I do.
But still, I am confused by myself; puzzled at my trembling and tears. If you were to look at the pages of my journal from this week, you would be as perplexed as I. "What a great day ... It was so happy and wonderful ... I laughed until I cried." Can so much good cause such emotional struggle? No, I do not think it is the cause.
I am frustrated with myself for being upset. God is good. My family members are in relatively good health. My needs are provided for. I got my hair trimmed, and those split ends are gone at last. The pai…

Flawed & Loved

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I have flaws.
I have shortcomings.
I've failed over and over again.
I have nasty habits.
I do things I'm far from proud of.
Funny how Someone dares love me anyway. Always. Despite. Because of. Whether I feel it or not. Those who know me know. I can be hard to love.  I'll accept a compliment, then replay its opposite in my head for days. I can say what I mean ... shatter hope with stabbing words. When I treat others like I treat myself, it gets ugly.  Still He persists. "Worth it," He calls me. Beloved. Redeemed. Dead to self. I have wished my-self dead. Dead to the world. Dead to the pain. But I live on. Maybe that's my problem. Lydia, you just haven't died yet. Is that really it? I have become alive to Him But have I died to me yet? Truly? Answer that in the negative. No way, Jose. I keep my-self in my pocket Stroking it gently as I pray nobody sees that I yet live. Seriously, I've prayed prayers like that. He shakes His head at me The same old Eve,…

Keep it Simple

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I crave the simple life.
I want to wake up and watch the sunrise, just in awe of my Lord and His beauty.
I am tempted to belt out hymns as I take my morning shower.
You'll find me sometime with a baby on my hip and a smile on my lips.
I want to be able to quote poetry with the finesse of Anne and Gilbert Blythe.
I long for Scripture to be so ingrained in my mind that every other sentence I speak is unintentionally or purposefully founded in Biblical truth. Give me a mouth like that.
I hope to someday be that friend that sews gifts for your littles, and makes her own clothes. The one that gardens and cans; cooks and bakes; knits and makes a killer cuppa tea.
Give me a life that is a gift to others.
I want that.
Please and thank you.
I want to breathe in grace so deeply that it is all I exhale; so it becomes a new sort of oxygen for those around me.
I don't need a Pinterest-perfect life. We all know I don't come near perfection on a webpage. Let my life be a simple reflecti…

Hopeful

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I have seen daffodils break through the ground after one of the longest winters I have known.

I've seen sunshine after the rainstorm.

I've witnessed forgiveness that followed murder and lies.

I have heard the stories of lives transformed from sin and shadows into light and love. I've seen the change firsthand.

I've watched hard hearts melt at the strains of a song and the smile of a child.

I've wondered at how the sun still rises brilliantly after the hardest of days.

I have seen the brightest smiles come from dark, impoverished places.

I've been loved at my ugliest.

I've looked at lives reconstructed from disaster.

I have cried tears of joy after sobbing those of anguish.

I have heard a poor little boy pray in Spanish, accepting Christ into his life.

The most beautiful face I know has a scar.

The loveliest hands have them too, from where they were pierced by nails ... Those hands have held me; they hold me still.

My sin has been washed away by the blood o…