20 August 2012

encouraged by me?

Today I found myself being encouraged by myself. A little over a year ago I was praying for a situation in someone else's life. This person was battling sickness in their body and facing surgery. I committed to praying for this person at a set time each day. Many others were doing the same as this is a rather beloved person. In any case one day just after my daily time, I found myself having a hard time concentrating on the work before me. The words and numbers seemed to swim before my very eyes instead of lining up as they should. I could not make sense of the simplest task but instead of being worried I was surprisingly calm.

I could feel and seemingly hear my heartbeat which seemed to have a different cadence than normal. My eyes although intently gazing into the monitor no longer were taking in the data before me and my breathing seemed to flow along with the rhythm of my heart. I was sitting at my desk but I was so far away. Then it began. It was as if I were listening to an old song that was a favorite. I could hear a lyric in my ear and the sound waves carried it along until it crashed into my heart and I realized I had never heard this before.

There was a story unfolding from deep within me and I was so caught up in it I almost lost the opportunity to write it down. I had to come up for air to capture the first few lines of what would become a declaration of war against the things coming against my friend's life. Rather quickly I penned (okay typed) the first four stanzas; it was as if the words bled right out of my fingertips. And once the last words were on the page, I was back at my desk in that moment of time. The data came together and worked seemed interminable because the desire of my heart was to complete this sudden almost melodic chain of thought.

When I arrived home I reviewed the words over and over especially the last stanza. It seemed to float in midair, no quite connected to what was before it fully but also not so dissimilar either. "Where do you belong?" I questioned the phrases and almost expected an answer. I wanted to write this. I felt it all the way through my body. Anytime it would come to mind it really seemed as though my heart would beat in time with the poem. I wondered if the great masters felt the same way in their development stages.

Five days later, I realized it was not disassociation of topics but a simple transition into the next part of the story. The cadence was perfect. I finished it. This work simply titled The Fight was complete and prayerfully ready to encourage its intended recipients. I later learned that it did. I began to share it with others too. My goal with these poems and spoken word pieces is to encourage. Many felt this and helped me back on my path to writing regularly. I have been glad to do so. Writing helps me to deal with everyday life.

So today while facing some challenges of my own I stumbled across a copy of this poem. I specifically chose to print in on a red background with white lettering. I wanted this one to stand out. After all it is a declaration of spiritual fighting words. As I sat there reading the words, almost astonished that they came from my pen, I found myself sitting up straighter and being reminded of the Bible verses that inspired some of the lines. I began to remember who and Whose I am. I "encouraged myself" in the Lord. He has me in everything, even these scary parts of the journey and I no longer have to be afraid. He gave me the courage to fight the battles I always thought would defeat me. I will not fall over defeated because He gave me the greatest victory in His love.

14 August 2012

emotional ninja

There are times this "thing" tries to take ahold of me. It's a darkness, a heavy sadness; a voice that longs to separate me and make me feel as though I am all alone. It's familiar to me and as odd as it may sound the familiarity of the sound is a comfort; it is what I've known and what I accepted as truth for so long. But it is not the voice of truth, it is a lie, a hurtful insidious deception. It never shows up overtly announcing its arrival with fanfare; no it is stealthy beginning with a slight nagging of, "I can't believe I..." then growing into "What in the world am I...?""Why can't I ever...?" and before long death is rolling off my tongue, "I'll never... or I'm just {negative comment}"

Well as this "thing" tries to creep in through a shroud of darkness I am shining the light of the Word of God on it, exposing it for what it is - a lie. God tells me that I am precious and honored in His sight and that I am accepted in Him fully. I have no need to strive for acceptance or to think less of myself because of failures in my past. I am repeating these messages of truth to myself, changing what I'm listening to, changing the thing I choose to wear as a cover. This "thing", this emotional ninja, that keeps attempting to sneak in and clothe me with my old thoughts of darkness and remind me of all the ways I've hurt others only wants to distract in order to derail and destroy.

I know I mention this a lot here but that is because this is truly a battle. I have allowed myself for so long to agree with the negative lies and emotions that I must fight with passion and tenacity to believe the truth so that I am thinking and meditating on the truth that I am created in the image of God and that I was restored to that fully by the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. The life of a Christian is one of vibrant life and power with a sound mind not some weakling that can be easily shaken or moved.

This ninja is skilled,  knows my weak points and knows that when I have a moment where I fail that I am likely to replay it until change my view of who I think I am. But I a reminded in those moments that I am still loved and accepted, that nothing will separate me from the love of God and I choose to strike back with truth in this fight. I guard my heart according to the Word and I only say what He says. I will not fall out on a mat so easily in an attempt to avoid being hit again. No I stand ready with the weapons of warfare He's given me and I will use them, uncommon as they are, to see the victory He has already given me.

Picture Credit: Quiet Yell's Kid Ninja (Scott Monaco and partners)

10 August 2012


I love that You know absolutely everything about me, even the darkest secrets at the core of my being and You still choose to accept me with Your loving, open arms. I love that Your passion for justice and righteousness are so in tuned that You knew the only way to bring me back to You was to send Yourself to suffer in my place. You've given me new life and You've given me a place; I belong, no longer running a lost race. I now live within Your perfect grace.

Where would I be and how would I see outside of the darkness that once covered me? But Your compassion said, "I'll be your Light and the Rock on which you stand!" I am not reaping a whirlwind or on a fruitless chase because You've covered me in Your perfect grace.

I will honor You and bless Your Holy Name, I will give You everything because You're the most important gain. I no longer have any time to waste, so many need to know of Your perfect grace. Thank You Jesus of You I will speak. Thank You for redeeming me and showering me with Your perfect grace.

Picture Credit: Stephanie Marrott (available on allposters.com)

dream on

I never asked to be a dreamer but somehow when my spirit and soul were breathed into this body when I was formed in the "secret place" my design was for dreamscapes. As a child and a young person, there is nothing wrong with being a dreamer or at least there should not be. But very early on it became apparent to me that dreaming was not going to get me anywhere near the definition of success (or so I was told.) Hard work, planning, training, tools and thought conformity- you will think about what we tell you is important to think about; all that other is nonsense.

Well I want to dream. I want to believe that a dream paired with hard work, planning, training, tools is then a vision that can create a chain reaction of change. Dreamers can grow to be visionaries and everyone knows visionaries are legendary. I've lived in a small box for far too long and there is much to be done. This place, this learning seemingly everything new is uncomfortable. I am learning patience on another level. I want to go backward to find comfort, some semblance of something familiar. But I do not want to forfeit the growth so I press forward, hopeful, dreaming.

Will the current dreams I have live on only in my mind or will they through patient persistence walk out into real life and have further reaching affects than I may ever know? May it be so.

Picture Credit: Nicole Katano (found on allposters.com)