Category Archives: Poetry

Two Different Men

largeWhen I was but a youthful girl
Of four and seventeen,
I chanced upon two different men,
Whose natures were unseen.

One was handsome, tall, and dark,
With gallantry to spare,
He swept me off my feeble feet,
And made me twice as fair.

I came to know him by a word,
As we dined and danced,
For while he brought the stars to life,
I called him sweet Romance.

The other man was odd to me,
For he never left my side,
Though often I was known to gripe,
And roll my eyes and chide.

He did not lure with mystery,
Pour gifts upon my greed,
In fact at times he grew so dull
I scarcely paid him heed.

But as the days gave birth to years,
My skin came loose and gray,
And when I searched for my Romance,
He’d wandered far away.

I trembled in my lonely bed
With sickness and with fear.
“Do not cry,” a soft voice said,
“I am ever near.”

The other man stroked my face
And dried my weathered nose,
He brushed my hair with shaky hands,
He gently held me close.

“Where is the one who stole my heart,
Fierce and young and brave?
Why would he arise and leave
An old man in his place?”

With wrinkled lips he smiled and said,
“We’ve always been the same,
Both he and I were but one man
Resolved, your heart to claim.

He was grand and I was small,
When first we caught your whim,
And though I grew from day to day,
You always preferred him.

But now, my dear, as dusk draws near,
I have grown so vast,
That though he was the first to win,
It’s me who’ll be the last.”

I held his face between my hands,
I cried into his tears,
Until his old familiar touch,
Had swept away the years.

At last I knew there was one thing
That I could be sure of:
And so I whispered in his ear,
“Then I shall call thee Love.”

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The Master’s {Violent} Mercy

Island-in-a-storm[1]

I had a dream that long I sat
Upon a distant shore,
And trembled lonely in the storm,
And knew myself no more.

There was a Voice to steady me,
But I lost it in the wind.
And so I knew not who I was,
Nor who I’d ever been.

I listened to the roaring waves,
And to the sand and sea,
I let them tell me how to think,
And who I was to be.

Until I feared the sea would rise
And crush me with its spite,
And drown my hope upon the rocks,
And snuff the day to night.

I called to the Master of the Sea;
I knew that He could save.
For once upon a distant time,
He spoke to the wind and waves.

But He would not calm the raging storm,
He only held my hand,
And let it beat us bruised and bloody,
Over the calloused sand.

I fought and groaned and cursed aloud,
I wept into His face.
I judged Him for His cruelty,
I blamed His failing grace.

Then He lifted me into His arms,
And whispered, “Do not mourn.
This is not where mercy dies,
But the place that it is born.

I have not come to spare the storm
That threatens peace and health,
But to use the very storm you fear,
To save you from yourself.”

It was then I knew His endless grace,
Had come to change within,
And at the very end of me,
At last we could begin.

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Prison-Life-1

Come along,
Won’t you come with me,
Down an innocent trail.
Feast your eyes
On another man’s life,
‘Til all in your world grows pale.
Measure his days,
Number his gifts,
Weigh them against your own.
And if you should find
A life more sublime,
Then bitterly curse and moan.
But if by a chance,
Your innocent glance,
Does prove you better than he,
Then lift up your hands!
Triumphantly dance,
For the god you surely must be.

Come along,
Won’t you come with me,
You’re hungry and thirsty for more.
What about him?
Can you possibly win,
And lengthen your pitiful score?
You cannot, you mourn,
His life is adorned
With blessing and beauty galore!
You know who’s to blame?
I’ll whisper his name–
The God who’s failed you once more.
Wave your fist high!
Bellow and cry,
For my words, I promise, are true:
The God who unjustly
Blessed him so richly,
Certainly cares not for you.

Come along,
Won’t you come with me,
I can make it all right.
You need just another,
Unlucky brother,
To restore your superior height.
Look all around,
Fume now and frown,
Measure and weigh and judge,
The rules of the game
Are always the same,
And the chains, they never do budge.
Come along,
Won’t you come with me,
The view is practically free–
Just for a start,
Lend me your heart,
And all that you hope to be.

“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:14-16

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Two Different Dances

Scan_Pic0001[1]You were a different
Dance than me,
When I smiled
And took your hand.
Closed my eyes
And opened my heart
To the wonders
And mysteries of man.
The dance has been long,
It’s only begun,
It’s been agonizing,
Jubilant fun.
It’s been a muddy haze,
Crystal clear,
Distant and far,
Desperately near.
Two different dances,
Twirling in time,
One lovely waltz,
Sweetly divine.
So, take my hands, darling,
Turn me again,
Promise me always,
Has yet to begin.
For this I know surely,
Wholly and true–
I could dance forever,
If only with you.

To my faithful readers–may this Valentine’s Day find you blessed with the love of Christ and the many special people He’s placed in your life!

And to my faithful husband–I love you more now than I did when this picture was taken.

The Slave and the Son

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If Ishmael was a child of flesh,
His birth an ode to bondage,
O may I be of Isaac’s seed,
Saved by the Son of promise!

For Ishmael stands daily to mock,
My weary war within.
His laugh is ready ever I fall,
To judge me a slave to sin.

But I will cling to Isaac’s God,
Whose covenant to me,
Declares that though a sinful wretch,
My soul is forever free!

O cast out the slave and her boy!
There’s not a single one,
Who stands to inherit the riches of life,
Eternally held for the son.

Galatians 4:21-31

(Painting by George Soper)

Mama’s Jingle Bells

Christmas BellsDashing through the days,
In a Civic with two kids,
O’er the shopping craze,
Cramming in what fits!
Cranky children moan,
Piling stress on me,
Oh how much I wish we owned,
A Honda Odyssey!
Oh, Christmas time, Christmas time,
Every single year,
Traffic jams and mile-long lines,
Spreading Christmas cheer, hey!
Christmas time, Christmas time,
Crafts and laughs and love,
Sticky smiles and saved Gentiles,
When Hope came from above.

A day or two ago,
I thought we’d bake some treats,
And in two hours lo,
I wished I’d skipped this feat!
And then I saw my girl,
Eight cookies in her grin,
I laughed and tossed her in the air,
For a jolly Christmas spin!
Oh, Christmas time, Christmas time,
Every single year,
Flour-y cheeks and pajama feet,
And all that I hold dear, hey!
Christmas time, Christmas time,
Three mistletoe lips to kiss,
Oh how much I’ll always love,
The moments just like this!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my faithful followers–thanks for stopping by!

(Photo not original)

The Sojourner

Lonely-Ship-Wallpaper[1]

When I from distant lands do think abroad,
Of all that lies unknown and hid from me,
I feel a chill of darkness blot the laud,
That else would rise in joyous praise to Thee.
For how can one as tiny as the sand,
Behold the sea a-brew with storm and wave?
And how can one but hope to understand,
The secrets of a God who holds our days?
And when such thoughts do burrow in my soul,
I feel again the deadened throb awake,
Though naught on earth is found that can console,
Still it beats the old eternal ache.
For though my ship on earth is made to roam,
My heart is ever beating for my home.

(Photo not original.)

When Life Disappoints

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(Photo courtesy of Matteo Mazzoni)

I wanted security, and You gave me chaos,
Wanted esteem, and You let me know shame.
I wanted success, and You handed me failure,
Wanted Your pleasure, and experienced Your pain.

I wanted simplicity, and You gave me troubles,
Wanted grandeur, and was reduced to nothing.
I wanted approval, and You handed me rejection,
Wanted Your blessing, and tasted Your suffering.

So I packed my frustration, and all my complaints
Into two giant burlap sacks,
And one I named “Bitterness” and the other “Disappointment,”
And heaved them upon my back.

Thus I began my journey to You,
Because I needed an answer, You see,
For all of the things You’d promised me once,
And failed to deliver to me.

But the loads, they grew heavy with each passing day,
Til I fumed with fury and hate;
And I moaned and I wept and I stumbled at last
Beneath their unbearable weight.

I looked at these bags, laden with trials,
And deep in my soul I knew,
That I could not carry, nor change, nor fight them;
There was but one thing left to do.

I reached both arms, fierce as I dared,
And I hugged them to my breast,
Then I heaved and hauled and wrenched until,
I’d wrestled them into my chest.

I cried to the heavens, “I embrace these trials!
I welcome them full unto me,
Let them now work Your will in my life
So that I may be more like Thee!”

The trials spilled over, into my lap
Each of them laid before me,
And as I sat and stared anew,
Suddenly I saw them most clearly.

I wanted comfort, and You gave me character,
Wanted completion, and You gave me patience.
I wanted glory, and You gave me humility,
Wanted Your promise, and You gave me Your presence.

I wanted ease, and You gave me strength,
Wanted cheap idols, and You offered me wealth,
I wanted garbage, and You gave me riches,
Wanted your gifts, and You gave me Yourself. 

I laughed and I danced and I started to sing,
For the treasures I held in my lap!
Then I looked back and forth and finally found
My two giant burlap sacks.

And the names on the bags were re-written,
For God had seen fit to destroy
Both “Bitterness” and “Disappointment,”
And to name them “Steadfastness” and “Joy.”

I fell to my knees and worshiped and cried,
“Oh God, all along You knew–
That deep in my heart from the very beginning,
All I really wanted was You.”

On My 28th Birthday

Today I am happy just to be me.
To laugh with my husband and dance in the rain,
To embrace all of life—including the pain,
To see others’ weakness and love them the same,
To belong to a God who knows me by name.

Today I am happy just to be me.
To wonder and dream, to hope and create,
To kiss little cheeks that stay up too late!
To cling to the Cross, to let go of hate,
To relish the journey, to be willing to wait.

Today I am happy just to be me.
To be a little less scared, and a lot more free,
To hold nothing back, to love fervently,
To open both hands to possibility,
To know a little more of what it means to be me.

Today I am happy just to be me.
To be flawed and broken, but holy and new,
To be growing and failing, but tested and true,
To know all my days are hidden in You,
To be loved by Your grace and not what I do!

Today I am happy just to be me.
To live by the gospel, to claim what’s been done,
To be loved by a man, to be his only one,
To give all of myself and not just some,
To believe the best is yet to come!

Guilt-Free Womanhood

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Wake up running, try your best,
No time today to take a rest,
The dishes weren’t done before bed last night,
And now the kitchen’s a miserable sight.

“Sit in your chair, don’t argue with me,
I’ve got lots to do, can’t you see??”
Hurry, rush, clean, clean, clean,
I wonder if my tone was mean?

It’s grocery day, no time to lose,
Button their coats, slip on their shoes.
Gee, these hand-me-downs look rough,
*Sigh!  I never dress them cute enough!

In the store a thousand choices,
In my head a thousand voices:
You shouldn’t be paying so much for that,
You shouldn’t be buying those salty snacks…

On and on, the voices come,
Talking til the day is done.
Wash the dishes, sweep the floor,
Work til there is nothing more.

Then lay in bed, my spirits sagging,
Count the ways I’ve come up lacking:
Forgot to make my husband’s lunch,
Processed snacks for the kids to munch,

Should have served my husband more,
Shouldn’t have skipped that extra chore.
Gave in to the chocolate crave,
Growing a new species in the microwave!

Did my kids see the gospel today?
Did we spend enough time in play?
Oh, how come womanhood seems to be
Synonymous with “guilt” for me?

I wonder what the Lord would say,
If I let Him speak into my day?
Perhaps He’d take me by the hand,
And lead me to His Word again.

To a place where Mary was rewarded
For leaving her tasks in order to worship.
To a well where a guilty woman like me,
Drank of the Water that set her free.
And to a city where a whore’s red rope,
Bought for her a living Hope.

Maybe He’d take me back in time,
To the woman who pushed ahead in line,
Just to touch the tip of His cloak,
Believing it would rid her an awful yoke.
Or to the woman at the foot of a Cross,
Weeping for the Son she’d lost.

All of these women knew in their being
That He is the greatest reason for living.
And so in the midst of their crazy lives,
They didn’t hold up “effort” and expect a prize.

Instead they hurled all pretense aside,
And ran for the Arms spread open wide!
And with their pride tossed to the wind,
They staked all hope on belonging to Him.

Tomorrow, start over and wake up smiling,
Sing for the joy of simply belonging,
Live by His power like the woman of old
Who touched His robe with faith so bold.

Claim the truth, when you feel guilty,
Like the Samaritan—believe you are free!
And if you must, tie a red rope,
Around your window when you’re tempted to mope!
Remember the faith that Rahab had,
Then sing of His mercy, rejoice, and be glad!

Hold to the Cross in smooth winds and rough,
Don’t live like His death wasn’t enough.
And if you should find yourself suddenly flailing,
Be then like Mary, and choose the better thing.

(Luke 10:38-42, John 4:1-30, Joshua 2, Matthew 9:20-22, John 19)

(Photo not original)