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Isaiah 61:1-7

It's easy to feel incredibly mundane.

Do you ever have those days where it just feels like your life is just one painful black streak on the massive canvas of humanity?

[I admit, my analogies are odd.]

I can't sleep tonight. My head hurts, my tummy hurts, & the thought of my alarm clock hurts, but my eyes are wide & bright, as if my mental exhaustion from the day means Nothing to them.

I move my laptop & myself to my bed, in futile hopes that I'll wake up to find I was lulled to sleep by words.

Fun Fact: this has Never happened.

Mundane restlessness.

Mundane solutions.

I remember when I used to be the girl that turned her bed into a canvas when she couldn't rest. I would artfully spread notebooks, sketchbooks, brushes, pencils, pens, tea mugs, & odd bits of information across my bed, taking a picture of the beautiful mess after diving in.

I listened to a song tonight about a girl losing a version of herself. "She used to be mine." In a way, th…

Mark 5:21-45

{a first-person narrative from the perspective of the woman with the discharge of blood}

They call me "the woman". They know my name. I held their babies. I rejoiced at their weddings. My wedding, even. My babies. They know my name.

They know me.

But now? They demean me by simply calling me "the woman." Disconnecting themselves from any former tie to me. Distancing themselves from my fate.

As if it were my fault. As though I am no longer worth it.

Twelve years. An eternity.

And the blood still doesn't stop. I am forever unclean. Hopelessly marred. There is no hiding this. You can even smell me coming. I have no money for perfumes or oils, so the stench of my hemorrhaging clings to me. To say they avoid me like the plague is no overstatement.

Twelve years.

My babies have grown. I hear tell of grandbabies that will never be allowed to know me. I wonder, will they tell them I have died, to spare them the shame of knowing?

I repulse them.

Forced to live in a hovel …

Hey you.

So for once, I was involuntarily quiet on here. It took an unbelievably long time to get wifi at our new house. And even longer for me to get a place to plug in my laptop. Old Bessie (the laptop) had trouble waking up after such a long sleep. I can relate. She's back to her quirky self, though. And I'm back to mine (did I ever stop?).

I just got a glimpse of the kind of adult I'm most likely going to end up being: the kind that goes to bed after dinner and lovvvvves it. I kid you not, I was in bed before 7pm. And awake before 5am. I feel so rested & so ready. A perfect day to write, am I right? (half-hearted pun intended. I get worse, the more awake I am. My apologies to those who could hardly handle exhausted me.)

So, yes. I've moved. To my Haven in the middle of a bustling city. My room is bright, & my corner windows are surrounded by very green leaves from the trees that feed my soul.

I live close to people that are dear to me. Close enough for true spontane…

"Unspun" {an original poem}

(written August 19th, 2014)

Speak to me
I cannot breathe
Without Your Truth
Or Your mercy

I am undone
Unworthy
Unspun

I'm breathless
Stammering
In the face
Of my King

God, increase
Make less of me
Spend this frail life
For Your glory

It's worth it
Worth all the pain
Worth every tear
And each heartbreak

Grace mingled
With faith and love
Pours over me
And into me

By Your blood
Your sacrifice
You spent Your life
To save my soul

Mind is blown
Heart rent in two
My every breath
Sheer gift from You

Undeserved
I pull away
Cannot accept
Yet You pursue

Your kindness
And Your great Love
They bring me back
And fill my cup

No longer
Am I empty
My self traded
For Your glory

Sickbed Soul

I confess I still hold within me the spirit of a girl who had secretly not supposed she would live very long. 
Nor supposed herself as one deserving of much happiness. 
Ah, if you could see it ... 
A healed body, with a soul that dares not rise from the sickbed, but for a brief stroll in the gardens. 
I had known this would be the hardest part, but not how hard the hardest truly could be. 
This love goes against my very nature. 
I struggle to wake up. 
I will spend days in full-on battle for the Kingdom, then find myself weeping in bed the following night. 
How can this ever be changed? 
It seems to be my endless battle, this fight for my state of mind. 
I live half in unabashed hope, half in uncontrollable anxiety. 
I am an unending series of inconsistencies. & I startle those who know depths of me to confusion. 
Someone reading my journals might easily think me bipolar. 
There are days where a switch just flips, & I am found once more in the depths of depression. There are times when thi…

Polaroid Boy {an original poem}

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In an Instagram world You’re a Polaroid; A fresh classic at heart, Full of life and color Undeterred by the norm, You brim with good vibes; Spreading tailor-made rays Of sunlight through the trees Your laugh is outrageous - I strain just to hear The tear-bringing joy sound That bursts forth from your frame Yes, that is the image In you, Polaroid, That the focus is on, To best capture the light Mirth, it forms in your eyes, And now in my mind, As I take mental shots Of you rolling with glee Oh, my Polaroid friend, With your flashing smile, And those belly laugh jokes, You spread love instantly One snapshot of you, child, I share with the world That you expose to me In your own awesome way {this poem is also an entry to a contest. if you'd like to help me out, find me here & share from that page. you're a beautiful human being, & I'm grateful.}

"Blind In Darkness" {an original poem}

[maybe the labels cued you in, or maybe you're an old hat at this, & remembered when I told you  of my intent to post these poems. These are pre-healing poems, typed by a post-healing poet, & the perspective is profound & overwhelming to me. This poem, specifically, was so vital at that time. It was a battle. I wept over it. I sketched it. I breathed these words for weeks, & now here they are, & the hope is so much more real to me.]

(written August 14th, 2014)

Can't get to sleep
Cannot wake up
Confused, I weep
With empty cup

Endless cycles
Lost trains of thought
Shame recitals
Battles un-fought

Strength all but gone
Can't move my lips
Hold sketch I've drawn
In fingertips

I know the words to pray
Can't bring myself to say them
How can I feel this way,
Knowing all I'm saved from?

Do You feel rejected
As I do?
Confused and dejected,
I doubt Truth

Why do these things feel real
When they're false?
Were I dead, could I feel
My wrist's puls…

What's in a Name?

It's almost strange to me, how prominent naming has become in my life.

I never gave it much thought before.

Now, I find myself thinking about someday babies, & rather than trying to come up with the most lovely & unique name (e.g., Mykelti), I ponder names that have significance to me. I used to think that naming babies after people was so out of date ... but, now? It's not so much a thing of heritage (although I definitely want to pass down my middle name), but of deeper meaning. I want my babies to be named after a prayer warrior with a gentle spirit, or a person that always knew how to comfort those around them, & lift them up. I want to name them after artists - give them the name of some human who overcame pain & made Beauty out of their life. I want to pray those things over my children; to bless those qualities in them even before they are born, & every day after. I give them a name that, when spoken, is essentially a prayer. I could call a child Rut…

"Marred Hands (to the devil)" {an original poem}

(written July 23rd, 2014 - almost exactly a year ago)

Ink-smudged hands betray me
Proof that I'm still fighting
My thoughts can be rambunctious
I don't quite know where I am

I'm a finger puppet
Keep forgetting my lines
I can't seem to stop it
Mimicking roles not my own

I want out of the gray
To stark lines of paper
Where I have found a way
To stitch together my thoughts

With a black pen as thread
Here I can find my voice
Preaching inside my head
Odd, how now they all listen

So observe my stained hands
Tremble at what you know
Who you know that I am
"What has her pen done this time?"

I underline the Scriptures
Claiming promises as mine
I pray to the Creator
Writing His words next to my own

I make art through the pain
Writing poems, sketching
Proof that I still remain
You have not defeated me

My God sees the darkness
As I view blank paper
He readies His brushes
And paints with His light and grace

His hands are twice as marred
My name carved on His palm
Near the b…

l'artiste

I wanted to be an artist.

I thought the definition of Artist was "one who paints pretty pictures."

& somewhere in that definition, I was sure was the stipulation that the art had to be quick & effortless.

It wasn't supposed to be something you learned, but something you created ... You were full of art, & therefore, you simply made art.

As I grew older, I saw that there was more to art than paintbrushes.

I even admitted that there was art within me.

But I failed to notice what had happened to me ... I became art-oriented.

This is something I'm only now discovering, & I don't fully understand it, nor its connotations. (by the way, I looked "connotations" up, to make sure the full definition was what I wanted to express here {I love looking up words I thought I knew & discovering new depths to them}, & I was thoroughly satisfied with the result. A definitively pleasing definition to read. Add looking it up to today's to-do list…

What if We Were the Voices?

Consider that.

What if we were the voices?

I think back on my life, even just the past few years, & oh, those voices. Those significant voices that may not have had any idea the weight of what they were saying. Or maybe they did, & they were brave & loving & willing to be the hands, feet & voice of Jesus in another's life. Unafraid of the transformation that might occur.

A speaker I heard once said about guys ... that they will become whatever you call them. That if you choose to speak blessing over them, they will rise up to the challenge. They will want to be the man you say you see them as.

I don't think it's just true for men.

I know it isn't.

It may not always be accurate, but, oh, what if it is?

Do we realize the possible impact our words could have on any given person? What if your condescending voice was the one that stood out in the crowd & turned into a landmark of shame in a person's life? Do we comprehend the responsibility that …

Small One

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I'd be understating if I didn't say ... I'm a little bit undone right now.

Maybe it's still an understatement.

Forgive me, but I must speak. How could one contain such a thing?

As you might have read in my last post, I've been doing a lot of self-exploration.

I realized recently that if I don't know who I am, I probably won't be able to grow very much. I need to be self-aware, but even more so aware of who I am in Christ.

I oscillate between extremes, & I have to admit, the idea of following these trains of thought scared me. They made me freeze with fear & eventually turn passive. I guess you could say that, knowing what I knew of myself & my nature, I didn't want to know more. I feared either being crushed by the weight of my sin & shame, or choosing pride instead. The former tends to be my response. Shame. Shame everywhere. I paint my walls with shame, & I would probably tattoo shame all over myself if that was my thing. I drink …

The Way I Am

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Warning: dear Reader, the post you are about to read is incredibly Lydia. If you are the least bit weirded out by Lydia (as she herself is), you may not like it. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I'm forever grateful to those who know my name. Those who have reminded me of it when I have forgotten or denied it. Those who stood in firm opposition when I called myself hopeless & unwanted. On days like those, it must have been difficult even to choke out the name my parents gave me, but these warriors did. They whispered out "Lydia," in such a tone that it made me feel like the very meaning of my name was "beloved." & then they went so far as to call me that, too. Laugh if you like, but when given such names, I tend to weep.

I weep a lot.

A friend once told me (after I'd admitted I had cried over something), "Oh honey ... You're you. I would have been worried if you Hadn't cried."

Alas, such am I. A crier. Another dear soul gifted …

Onward

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I am learning to love things I once despised. To embrace things I once rejected.

It's funny the things you can discover when you just let go of the belief that you have always been, & will always be, right.

Today, I am so glad I've been proved wrong.

There's a sting in that discovery, but the sweetness far outweighs it.

I never expected the death of something to be so beautiful.

The things you can find yourself holding when you finally let go of the worthlessness of your old opinions.

I never wanted to move.

I never, ever, ever, ever, EVER, no, not in a million years ever wanted to move.

It terrified me.

You could witness the greatest of my panic attacks just by mentioning the idea. Some found that game funny, but it was horrific.

You mentioned such a change & I found it hard to breathe.

It wasn't a logical fear, but that didn't make it any less real. It wasn't that I was particularly attached to my house, but it was all I had ever known. & the fea…

Safe in Surrender

My future is secure.

This truth has been resounding through the halls of my mind lately.

A reminder to release my clenched fists ... this was never in my hands anyway. When I try to make it such, that is when things begin to go awry.

My tendency has often been to react to situations with a white-knuckled grip on my illusion of total control.

This striving got me nowhere, fast.

Circumstances always change. If I base my every emotion & action upon them, I will be shaken. I will be swayed.

I am in the ocean. I can choose to look down at the waves & panic; securing my quick & fatal submergence into fear & anxiety. Or I can choose to admit that the only thing keeping me up is Not Myself. I am not my own savior. I am not able to swim on my own. I can choose to respond to the One who is holding me. Sustaining my breath. Controlling the waves. Fear has no place in such arms.

This ocean seems so vast. The coordinates of my various destinations are as yet unknown to me.

I decide…

peace, like a river

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I'm feeling incredibly quiet right now. & it's not in the "absence of noise" sort of way. It would be best described as peace, I would think.

Peace so beautiful, I could cry.

I might cry.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry.

I have a head cold, but I was able to get an amazing chunk of sleep last night, so I'm feeling more like myself.

I'm thinking about things, studying things, & preparing for things that would stress nigh anyone out. They would especially stress out the Lydia I know.

But I don't feel anxious, worried, or stressed.

This feeling of calmness as I recognize that everything has been placed in Jesus' hands, & I am completely satisfied in knowing that. I am safe.

I have soft music playing ... oh, how I love my soft music.

The words brim & spill through my fingertips, & it isn't a panicked rush ... it feels more like the rhythm of a symphony.

The makeup & facades are off, & I find myself unconcerned wit…

The Unexpected

I wasn't planning on writing today.

Writing takes effort, & to make something beautiful, you must find something beautiful. & it takes effort to find something beautiful in the midst of a heap of mud.

Maybe not my best choice of words.

I am not in a mud pile.

It would be better described as a valley.

A low, dark place between mountains.

These aren't the places one likes to write about. I stubbornly don't want to admit that there is good in this. I'm too lazy. I feel too defeated to discuss that thing called hope.

My prayer journal pages are filled with question marks.

A valley between mountains.

I've already come so far.

I remember the pain & the sweat of every step of the last mountain. The sweat wasn't from succeeding in & of myself, no. It was from striving to. Fighting the gentle leading of my Lord. The pain was found in the suffering & refining that transformed me.

I stubbornly want to be done transforming. To not have to deal with this…

lamenting, revealed to.

I feel frozen at times. 
Torn between revelation & lamentation. The darkness of one becomes so much more painful in contrast to the brightness of the other.
& yet, the light is revealed as all the more glorious through the perspective of the black that surrounds it. 
Surrounded, but not overcome.

Spring Song

This time of the year is one of my favorites. I love the feeling of a fresh start ... the damp ground, the hazy skies. Autumn is the season I love best, but there is something about spring that just embraces me like an old friend (despite the choke-hold of seasonal allergies). I slip on my running shoes & step out the door, feeling a kinship to the birds singing, the earth gently giving beneath my feet, the sky that almost un-magnificent shade of grey-white. I appreciate that color more than most, with my sensitive eyes. It's one of the few daytime skies I can openly gaze at unscathed. It reminds me of blank canvasses, & rainstorms that bring life to dirt.

I'm reminded of Someone who makes life out of dust.

How I am dust.

I am the dry ground in need of refreshing streams of water to pour down from heaven.

I need the lush green in my life to break forth.

I ponder on how the birds do not wait for a prettier day to break into song. Spring is here, & they must welcome …

small thoughts of larger relevance

I love how in the Kingdom, things can become redefined.

I listen to a song about fear.

I realize it is an anthem.

Where else can we find such a hope? Such life?

One of the darkest vises this world can threaten us with ... one of my greatest battles ... now transformed into a joyful cry:

We are no longer slaves to it.

Fear doesn't have to control us anymore.

What we see is not the only reality.

The darkness has tried to trick us into believing it is unquenchable, but we know better.

We have seen the light.

We have felt His love.

& the darkness has not overcome it.

He is more powerful than the dark.

His love closer than our fear.


{1 John 4:18. John 1:5, Closer by Tenth Avenue North}