Hidden Capacity

The Greater our sorrow, the greater our capacity for joy.

You can never see what He sees in you until the very end and then you will know that He knew what He was doing.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt while He’s shaping us, while He’s helping us to bring out the beauty that lies hidden within each of us.

But know that you don’t have to feel that pain alone. You don’t have to walk that path alone.

Walking the Road

Sometimes I go walking
All out by myself
Except with another
To walk the road shelf

Together we walk
All alone in our thoughts
Wind brushing by
Blowing ‘way imagined faults

In this instance we’re tall
Standing high in the sky
Doubts falling away
Smiles gracing this ride

For though I’m alone
I’m really with another
Walking right through
Life’s confusing weather

But at times I look back
And only see one track
And then I start to wonder
Just what I lack

For now I walk alone
Without my friend
Walking all alone
Not even seeing the end

But really He was there
Not walking beside me
Holding me up
To see what I will be

But I’m just so tired
So wanting my rest
That I forget He is there
Helping me be my best

It’s only later
That I realize the truth
That He was there
Even during my youth

As now I grow older
White haired, wrinkled face
I can look back up
And thank Him for His Grace


Re-do of the Dungeon Prompt: Peace – Just a Word? What does it mean to you?

Challenges – Thankful Thursday

Sometimes, God puts you on your back so the only place you can look is up. –Skye Alexander, What happens when the fearful finally listen? Peace.

image: martha0stout's phone
image: martha0stout’s phone

Today I am grateful for the challenges in my life, without them I wouldn’t be who I am.

For my constant headaches which have taught me tolerance and empathy.

For my constant dizziness and vertigo, for letting me dance without moving.

For my early morning waking up to walk Sissy because I can watch the sunrise with a good friend.

For my constant spraining of my ankles as a child because now when my nieces and nephews do so, I know what to do and have wraps and splints saved in good condition.

For my funny reaction to sugar, because it can make my niece laugh even when she’s been bullied horribly at school. (Note: this happened several years ago, she’s doing much better now.)

For my being unable to drive, because it means I appreciate my family all the more when we run errands together.

For the nights spent trying to get baby nieces and nephews to go to sleep because now I appreciate all the better the hours that I get to sleep when they’re older.

For the loss of a my cat after moving because if I had not had recent experience, I would not have payed as much attention to missing pet posters.

For all the years with clothing not fitting properly, because it made me more eager to learn how to sew from my mother to fix them.

For all the sorrows in my life, because they have made more willing to give someone who is late or doesn’t even show up the benefit of the doubt when life happens to them too.

I am grateful for my life trials because without them, I would be a very different person than I am now and I like who I am.

Make sure to check out the original Thankful Thursday.

Faith – Thankful Thursday

Faith is a feeling within your heart. -‘Faith is Like a Little Seed’, Primary Children’s Songbook

I’m thankful for my faith today. For the joy it brings to my heart and for the happiness it has brought into my life.

For the snow to play in when it’s dark
image: martha0stout's phone
image: martha0stout’s phone
 
For the Darkness around us to show us the lighted path
image: martha0stout's phone
image: martha0stout’s phone
 
For the castles that await us
image: martha0stout's phone
image: martha0stout’s phone
 
For the beauty and purifying moments
image: martha0stout's phone
image: martha0stout’s phone

 For the original Thankful Thursday: http://mithriluna.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/thankful-thursday-happy-thursday/

“Dawn” by my mother

My first books of poetry were given to me by my mother. At the time I was studying different styles of poetry in elementary school and found that I loved it, even if it was one of those things that I wasn’t the best at. It wasn’t until several years later, when cleaning out some boxes from the storage room, that I found a slim red-covered notebook with ‘A Collection of Poetry’ written on the front page in my mom’s elegant cursive.

(Seriously, her cursive is so beautiful that it reminds me of calligraphy. I lament the fact that cursive wasn’t as important during my learning years as it obviously was during hers.)

Inside of the notebook held a lovely collection of works that my mom had written throughout her life. Many of them were written for people that I have never met, but my favorite one is the first one inside the notebook. It goes as follows:

Dawn
 
I saw my daughter just today,
All rosy pink and new.
My precious little gift from God
Shone fresh as morning dew.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
Her chubby hands still held
Her favorite doll, a circus clown,
All ragged, smiling still.
 
I saw my daughter just today
With pigtails curling round,
And tied with ribbons, white and pink,
Dressed in my evening gown
 
I saw my daughter just today
With rouge and lipstick on,
High heels and all the latest styles:
My little girl was gone.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A woman now, full grown.
Her beauty took my breath away;
Oh, how the years have flown!
 
I saw my daughter just today,
So still and white with death.
I pled with God with all my heart,
“Please, do not take her yet!”
 
I saw my daughter just today,
She talked of memories sweet,
And of tomorrows we will share
When once again we meet.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A promise in her eyes.
“Someday I’ll be with you again,
We’ll say no more goodbyes.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“Keep close to God,” she said.
“Draw comfort from the things He says
And death won’t be so sad.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“It’s time for me to go.
My love for you is always here
Because you loved me so.”

She wrote this for her cousin when she lost her daughter. I don’t think I was even born at the time. She says she was cooking dinner at the time she received the call from her sister-in-law. Mom had to stop what she was doing, sit down and just write this.

“It just flowed.”

I still can’t read this poem without crying no matter how old I have gotten and how many times I’ve traced her words.

Written for Suzie’s Weekly Challenge: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/06/08/weekly-word-challenge-books-poetry-and-prose/

Forest Revere

photo by jazza on rgbstock.com

A moment alone
In a forest of one
Brings clarity
Clears rebellion.
 
The wind in the trees
Whisper softly to me
Of secrets 
And gentle reminders.
 
They tell me I’m not alone
Though no one I see
Because Someone
Is always walking with me.
 
The birds chirp loudly
And fly over head
Startling me
out of revere.
 
I look to the sky
Notice clouds that drift by
Painted the colors
Of the sun’s slowing death.
image: martha0stout's phone

image: martha0stout’s phone

Yet I am reminded
It is not a permanent one
Because I know
That was changed by Someone.
 
Prove it?
No,
I’m happy
As is.

Written for the Friday challenge from Light and Shade: http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/challenge-friday-13th-june-2014.html

The second picture is one I’ve manipulated a bit because I couldn’t find any of my sunset pictures.

Martin Cobb – A True Brother

True courage is standing up for what you believe in, even if it means laying down your life.

True love is choosing the welfare and well-being of others before you take care for your own life.

One little boy tried his best to stand between his sister and the person who would hurt her. I know that many little boys and little girls do this often for their siblings, for their friends, for the people that they care about. For many it is standing by the side of that person when they are being bullied or made fun of or being left out.

This was not the case for this little boy. He gave his life defending his sister from a fate that I would not wish on any.

I salute you, Martin Cobb. You will be missed by a world that had just discovered you.

And the Kind shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. -(Matthew 25: 40)

…and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. -(Matthew 10:39)

For more info: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/police-charge-teen-death-8-year-old-boy-killed-helping-n96291

Just Breathe

Take a moment to stop and breathe.

Did it work?

Were you able to take a full moment where nothing was happening within you save for the breath entering and leaving through your body and mind?

I didn’t think so.

It is a tall order to try, much less succeed. It is possible, there are countless people throughout time and all over the world who have been able to accomplish it. But is it something that everyone can accomplish the same exact way?

I think not.

Breathing, meditating, taking a moment to really calm down and let yourself just flow within your own mind, is something that is done differently and means something different to each and every person. The countless combinations that are the human mind and soul make it so. There are those that have similar enough personalities and wants and needs and desires that have to accomplish this differently enough and then there are those who couldn’t be more different who find the same comfort and balance from the same exercise or practice.

For myself, I think that the moment where I can ‘go with the flow’ of my own mind, my own heart, is when I am most content with who I am. When I have accepted my life and have decided to work with it and through it rather than needing to ignore something within it. When I am with my family, whether it is all of them or just one or any combination of the above that I am most at peace.

Listening to my eldest nephews play in the backyard, carefree and innocent with the world. Knowing that each has already been touched by something that I would never wish to happen to even my greatest enemy and yet knowing that they are still there, trying to live their lives and find their own joy, even if it is only for the moment.

Watching my eldest niece curl up with a good book, cat in her lap purring in contentment as she slowly turns page after page of whatever had caught her fancy. Or even leaning back against the dying tree in our backyard with a notebook and pencil in hand, drawing out the pictures and scenes in her mind using the knowledge she has gained from the various classes and practices as well as incorporating and using her own style of drawing.

Attending the birthday party of the current youngest of my extended family and watching him enjoy ripping into the wrapping paper of the presents around him while the other children lean forward in anticipation of what their newly turned two-year-old cousin has received. The big smile on his face as I hold him up to blow out the candles of the basketball-shaped gingerbread cake his mother has made from scratch.

Having to run outside to stop the younger nieces and nephews from digging up the stakes holding the fence on the hill in place and pulling on the hibernating branches of the blueberry bush. Finding out that a small amount of hand-sanitizer can make more mud than you’d think possible even on a dry and clear day.

Watching as my mother gathers her granddaughters around for various sewing projects and lessons as each of them and any friends they have brought soak up the attention and the joy on their faces as they present their mothers with the first sampling of their labors. The pride on their faces when they see their mothers using the gifts every day.

There are too many moments where I find myself at peace with my life, being able to ‘move with the flow’ of my own spirit to write down, but knowing that they are there, waiting inside of me to be brought forth, helps to soothe me during times of grief and moments where what little control I have is lost for uncountable minutes.

Taking a moment to just breathe and be.


Written for this week’s DungeonPrompts: http://theseekersdungeon.com/2014/05/01/dungeon-prompts-season-2-week-17-writing-in-the-flow/

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We are always told that everything has a price. And you know what? That’s true. Nothing is free, nothing is without a cost. Christ paid the ultimate price for His love for us. no, i’m not talking about just His death. I’m talking about the anguish, the darkness and the loneliness He felt (must have felt) the night before He was taken. Even with His price that has already been paid, there is something that we must give in order to receive His mercy.

As I said before, nothing is free.

But what He asks in return is only our sins, only those things that hurt us. (shakes head at self) If it were just that simple. Our sins, in a way, have come to define us. We have allowed them to take a central role in our lives. Letting go of them is not easy, nor does it seem to be a one-time thing. It is something that we will need to do many times throughout our lives.

I say need because it is not something that many want to do. We hold onto them, clinging with all our might, keeping them close to our hearts. After all, if you have chosen something to represent who you are, have made it a part of yourself, do you want to let it go?

A Day of Hope

Today is Easter, a day of hope, a day of renewal, a day of peace and joy. There are many different traditions on this day: going to church for a service (whichever church you may attend, if it’s Christian in any way, there’s likely to be an Easter service), family meals with extended family, gifts and (the favorite of many children) Easter egg hunts and baskets of candy.

Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox and so it is one of those few moving holidays. There are other holidays that surround it, are a part of it or are related to it in some way (Lent, Eastertide, Holy Week, Passover, etc.). There are different days where Easter falls that mean different things to some people. One year, my sister’s birthday was on Easter.

This year, something similar has happened. Easter is on the 15th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School. If ever there was a day for hope and the escape from the tomb, it is today.

There is hope for those who both die and survive shootings. There is hope int he resurrection of Christ, but there is also hope to find healing. Survivors of Columbine reach out to help others who have suffered from similar traumas in their lives. For example, two former students at Columbine have reached out to their classmates and started a community group that has extended far beyond just those within their former school or even within their state of Colorado. I would write and try to describe the organization that they have started, the Rebels Project, but I would just be repeating what another has already written. I came across Jon Schuppe’s article on the Rebels Project and it gave me hope.

His article can be found here: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/columbine-15-years-later/lost-class-found-columbine-survivors-discover-new-purpose-n83436

There are five other articles as well and I hope that you, whoever the you reading this is, read them all.

I have never heard gunshots go off in my school halls, but that is because the student who was going to do so was identified and the weapon removed from his care before anything could happen. I never had to fear another bringing a gun into my school because I was near an outdoor store being held at gunpoint across the street because my school had lock-down procedures that were put into effect as soon as possible and the police were able to arrest the individual in question. I never had to feel what it was like to be in a building when a bomb went off because my high school was evacuated before the threatening call was even completed.

Not everyone has been as fortunate as I and my classmates have been. The news may not be filled with only stories of when things went wrong, but there are enough that have made me pause whenever there is any hint of it.

I have received a phone call that my sister’s children’s school was in lock-down because there was a man who’d threatened to bring his weapon to a school nearby. I have received another phone call that the elementary and middle schools near my house were in lock-down as well because an armed robbery had occurred on the same street and they were taking precautions. Nothing happened and none of the students had to be sent home either of these times, but it is because of dangers in the past and people sitting up and listening that these procedures are even in place.

I was in the 5th grade when Columbine happened. My second eldest sister was a senior in her high school, Class of 1999. It is her children who I have received phone calls regarding lock-downs. I shudder to think of a world where she died from a school shooting and her children never came to be.

It is Easter Sunday and it is a day of hope. I am more grateful than I can ever express for the hope that I have received just by knowing how preciously people are guarding their children and working to help those who have needed to survive anything.

God bless you.