Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sons & Daughters

Did you birth that child
thinking he would break hearts
that he would twist them and pluck them
like fruit on a tree?
Did you warn her to zip up her jacket
to the top her neck
so that false lovers could not peck?
What did you say when he was young
and was holding her hand?
And of course it was too late
when he led her to his bed.
And you weren't there when
the thread of her words came out.
Forsaken and treasured words
meant for only one.
They can't be wound up again.
He can't undo the dirty linens.
She can't unkiss his kiss.
And you can't undo what you never said.


Sunday, August 3, 2014


I cycle through these incessant longings for roots. I look over my life and mourn the things I will never know. My history, my roots--they were stolen from me. And it crushes some lonely part of me.

I want to run my fingers over my baby pictures. I want tangible evidence that my father's smile is as I remember it. I want to sit around laughing and telling stories of all the goofy things I did as a child. But no one exists who can give these things back to me.

These longings create a barrenness in me. An emptiness I cannot fill. And I fool myself, repeatedly, into believing that a family of my own will heal this brokenness in me. That maybe if I could make my own roots I will no longer feel so...robbed?

Is it true, though? Can I do anything to fix this? Would my own roots be enough to bury these longings for good?

As much as I fight against it, I know what the truth is. I know that I must rely on Jesus for my roots. On days when I long for history, I must believe that while I have been severed from my earthly roots, I have been grafted into a life giving tree; an eternal history. My childhood is etched on my Father's arms, not a moment lost, not a second overlooked. He remembers what I wish I did.

My history is not lost. I am not rootless.

I read these words on a blog by Fab Shafford months and months ago- it resonates so deeply tonight:

"In the conscious places, Jesus, I proclaim the truth: You are more than enough for me. May the unconscious places hear and believe."


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Where it doesn't belong

The tears were coming
Out of my eyes
I sucked them back
Into a waterfall in my throat

I kept my mouth closed
So the salty guilt wouldn't come
Out of my mouth

I am guilty
Of caring too much
(Can you care too much?)
I'm clinging to your shirt
Your chest
Your face
Your heart

I want your heart
To be my heart
And I too easily throw away my heart
To woo your heart
To place it in a cavity
Where it doesn't belong

Where it doesn't belong.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where are You?

Since March 2006 I have been in the business of doing hard things. Things my heart doesn't want to but my head says, "You MUST. If you want to live, you must. If you want to love, you must."
I am in a fight with God, who graciously convicts me with the Spirit he so willingly placed in me. I am in a fight because I'm doing things that don't feel good but I know are good. I am in a fight because my heart hurts and he says he is my Comforter. "You're not comforting me!!" If you were, then you would be here, physically. Letting me sob into your shoulder.
You said it was best that you left so the Helper could come. So the Second Advocate could dwell here. But that's not what I want right now. Honest. I want you. Physically you. I don't care if it's you with blood dripping down your face and nail marks in your hands and feet. I just need you. Right here. Right now. Your hugs. Your comfort. 
I am a friend of Physical Touch and I can't stand that you're not here right now with me during my second heart ache in a year. I don't want a band-aid. I don't want words or hymns. Or encouragement. I want you. Physically you. 

"My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?"


Tuesday, May 27, 2014


These poems are a doozy, y'all. Hard and ugly. Real. It's just the muck that is in my heart and my head as I learn about mercy. And grace. Lots of hard questions, with even harder answers. It's messier than I thought it would be-- intimacy with Jesus. He wants all of me. That's scary and painful and beautiful and necessary.

 I realize you may not know my story. I hope that's okay. I hope these poems speak for themselves.


We said farewell with a whisper
My heart ardently appealing to your heart
As I chronicled before watching eyes
All the ways your hands had marred me.
How your delicate fingers
Had twisted in my flesh
The way your manicured nails punctured
My face
Wood splintered across my back
Your feet against my ribs
My shaking hands pulling glass from my scalp
My blood dripping on the floor

A mess I'd soon pay for.

"Why can't you love me?" my whisper ricocheted off the concrete walls-
You replied only with a gaze
Of hardened indifference.
And your eyes reflected the truth
That I was nothing to you
But a troublesome mistake
That your love outgrew

We said goodbye on that whisper
You exhaled and freed yourself of me
I held my breath
Breathed in your hatred
And neglect
And swallowed you down deep inside me
And on the outside I was strong
My walls neatly built
Yet on the inside
Blackness seized my sight
And I was blind
Barely breathing
Frantically swimming
Through the flood conceived
By my unshed tears.

And my soul floated in the darkness
Condemned to the shadows
Of the words your lips had sown--

I was who you said I was.
A blemish
Without worth



I’m coming undone.
My meticulously placed sutures are rupturing.
I’m afraid to expose what I’ve taken years learning to shut away.
I smell of you beneath this well formed armor.
You’re still breathing in there.
You’re eating me dry
And I want to kill you with my uncaged-
I want to reach in there and choke you the way you have choked me
I want to rip you apart
I want to hear you whimper
Beg me
Like I begged you to--
My ears are roaring
Alive with malice
All the lessons of submission
Fall away
I’m justifying myself with this hatred
Till I’m spent
And you have gorged yourself on my sin
I've mangled myself with my bitterness and deceit
Bloodied by my blindness
I know I will never kill you this way
But the rage is electrifying


Mother, you’re the orphan now.
Shut up in your three bedroom apartment-
Abandoned permanently by the offspring of your womb.
I shamefully think you deserve this.
You did this to us, to our family-- to me.
You marred the love that should have bound us together.
You marred me,
I hate you. For all the tears. And all the bothersome layers
Of hurt and filth that coat the insides of me.
I hate you--
Because there is no hurt big enough
No hole deep enough inside of me
To swallow up and bury deep
The love my heart feels,
For you.
I hate me.
I hate the softness of me-
For feeling pity
For your orphan spirit.
I hate that I long for you to know the love
That you so viciously denied me.
Mother. Mother.
It does not seem fair that I should sit here contemplating how
To share a greater love with you
You don’t deserve it--
Truthfully, neither did I.
But I was better than you, wasn’t I?
Was I?


I’m ambling toward You
Defiled and infected—repulsive
I have nothing to offer but my list of sins against your love
Your Light
I drag my hefty load of chains behind me
My sins are writhing inside me
Around me
Fighting to hold me back away from you
My body is branded with
I wasn’t better.
Downcast- I draw near
Involuntarily, I shudder at your searching gaze
You strip me bare with your loving stare
Your eyes bear witness to the self-inflicted lashes I wear
Your hands work persistently
Touching all the despicable parts of me
Stripping, scraping, pulling, breaking
Wooing every part of me back into submission
I’m weary but I must make a choice
Your love or my justice

I fall into you
I am not too much
My dirt, my shame, my fears
I am not too much for you
My scars, my confusion, my tears
Never too much
Understanding dawns
As you swaddle me gently
In your cloak of grace.


The parts of me that won't let go

This last year's pain came flooding back when I did to you what was done to me. But this time, although it hurts to be the one to let go, I hope clarity rang forth. 
He holds my hand at this time but his soft grip is not comforting to me. The parts of me that won't let you go are trying to overcome the parts of me that know our distance is best. If I saw you now I'd cry. I'd hug you and smell you. Worse--I'd take everything I said to you yesterday back. 
"I'm sorry,"I cried. But did you believe me?
I desperately want you to know this God who breaks me in the places I  don't want to be broken. That's why I did what I did. Because he broke me. Because he wants all of me. And he wants you. 
My name means favor, grace, gracious. My name means "God provided this." I want you to know those are sovereign stamps on me. Because grace is mine. Because God craftily placed you in my life for something bigger. It's humbling. No pride there. He wants you. 
That should make me laugh but what I did may feel like rejection. I want to cry because I know I've hurt you. 
I believe God heals all wounds. Not time. Time does nothing if you don't do anything with it. I believe he's taking care of you. 
He's answering my prayers. 
He wants me. Oh, but he has me and he cannot let go because he loves me so. 
He wants you too. 
Your name means warrior. Fight with him not against him. You'll never want to leave his side. 
He wants you. His voice is echoing through you even now.


Friday, May 23, 2014

In Repair

I’ve been busy. Under construction, you could say. A kind of self mandated rehabilitation. I’m recovering from all the things that have left me feeling like a skeptic, and a fool. I’ve been hiding within myself, being vulnerable within the stillness I’ve found in me. Learning about myself, and my scars. My fears, too. There are plenty of those etched along the creases of my naked heart. Self inflicted, some of them. Others burned into my flesh from years of neglect and moments of stupidity. I’ve been learning to let go of my foolish belief that I am the architect of me. I don’t know a thing about what the best version of myself would be. I idolize strength and condemn myself because I don’t have any of it. I’ve been battling denial and learning to admit that I’m weak. And soft. I’ve been facing the reality that I hate those parts of me. I’ve been getting acquainted with my longings. Realizing that I still crave the dead tree that I was once rooted so deeply in. I’ve been fighting to understand the beauty and magnitude of what it means to be uprooted from rotten, festering, suffocating, Death, and grafted into satisfying Life. I’m coming to terms with the fact that my prayers for belonging have been answered. Eternally. I’m finally realizing that trust is a concept that eludes me.

I’ve been busy.

Learning not to keep people at arms length out of the fear of getting hurt. I’m learning to share myself and my gifts, to laugh genuinely, to let people close, to love without moderation, to weather disappointment well, to endure joyfully, and to trust. Yes, I’m learning to trust. My Father. Myself. And yes, you, as well.

But the bruises are still quite tender. And I’m not quite ready to come out of hiding. Yet. Forgive my absence. I must let all this come to fruition.

Only a little while longer now. I promise. 


Sunday, May 11, 2014


am i a half-blood?
or full-blood?
envy presently is heads or tails.
blood shot eyes.
blood on my hands.
full-blood on my hands
     in my hands
on my arms
  my chest, my face
full-body blood
inside me--how does
       it identify me?
Am I stamped with
      unrest or rest?
Can I win by killing my
   Shared Blood?
I decided I can.
And Shared Blood cries
   out and my blood
with unrest
I want to beat my knuckles
into the ground
until my blood seeps
and my flesh is hushed
or was it quiet then?
my blood--half or whole --
did it wimper?
I don't know.
I am firstborn
but I am last.
I acted to win
what I could not
have, what I could
   not gain.
Who is this voice
   that crushes me,
that turns my
  blood to dust?
If I could hide I would.
Build back my flesh into
  a new pride-brick foundation.
Am I a half-blood
or full-blood?
Or is the answer Pure Blood?


Monday, February 24, 2014

No such thing as dueling crosses

We do not have dueling crosses
And it is not flame against fire
We both fall before the Lord
And are branded for eternity above
We fight for what's already ours
Because we cannot fathom such a prize
I hurt because I hoard the prize
Denying that the portion is also yours
I don't know how to believe humility 
When "humility" slapped me in the face
I don't know how to piece a puzzle
With two different shapes
The cut in my heart
Is not a scratch
It requires healing from an everlasting Love
Let me be
To grieve my last grief
To shed my last tear
To wail of my last sorrow
To express my final anger
To fell my finite shame
To blot out my fear
Let me be.
Then we can walk the frontier together

We do not have dueling crosses
Because we share the same
And they fell at the same time
Because we also share the same
We shout,
You are the Christ. 
And he came to us both.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Graceless Days

It's been one of those largely reflective days where you sit in bed with a strange bitterness lodged in your throat. Bitterness birthed from haunting questions, and injustice, and fear, and doubt, and loneliness.

I have come to call these days my graceless days.

These are the days when I'm just sick of feeling stuck while watching the lives around me take shape into something stable. It's the days that an endless loop of all the ways I have felt wronged runs on repeat in my head. It's my moments of entitlement, of self loathing, of defeat. My selfish beliefs that I deserve better than I have been given. When the growing pains seem too much to bear.

I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit on these days. To painfully remind me of the rubbish I am believing and to challenge me to step out of my apathy and feed myself something hearty.

Truth. And the truth is that I deserve what is fair for the sinful way I live my life. I deserve death and abandonment. I have been given life and adoption. And this life is rich. It is hard, yes, but oh, so richly seasoned with abundant blessings, joys, and sorrows.

So on days like these I'm thankful that I can cry out and be heard by my God.

Because there is abundant grace-- even on my graceless days.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monsters and Men

I covered me with you.
I hid in your bright places
            your funny spaces
            your anxiety cubicles
            your opinion pools.
I ran with you
   yet I was paused inside.
I didn’t churn
   nor speak, nor shift
      nor keep my insides fully in.
They seeped, they crept,
            they pushed themselves in
a corner in the hollow of my heart.
I trashed the treasure inside
  for pauper parts.
And though I was poor
   I sprinkled what food I had on the floor.
And the me that was me
            was now a monster, so it seemed.
I am not a monster,
            I whispered, but your fears and mine
   slipped like ghostly fingers into
                        our ears
and shouted otherwise.
And I was left
knees boring into the hard cold floor of truth.
At least truth was what it seemed.
And the monster dragged me
  like the dead and showed me off
as dark victory would have it.

I am not covered.

But you are.

And I was naked.

And you were clothed.

And I was hungry.

And you were satisfied.

And my eyes stung with
    sadness, with hatred
  with the smell of rotten flesh
  where my heels had burned
from my monster dragging me.
I had not love.
And I stared into the Son
            and I could not see love.
I said, Leave me. Leave me here to die. For
            my insides to cease, for my soul to
I pushed the seeds into the ground
            believing that they could not grow.
  Yet someone came and watered them
And the sprout spurt pain across the dirt
         to make its stand in the world
   that could swallow it whole.
  But it did not swallow
  but the world wallowed at
        a plant that dared face the vastness
     of earth.
  And the seeds were me, truly.
And I could not water except with
       salted drips from my weeping eyes.
But the purest of pure water
flowed over me like, crisp, clean breath
And said, Live.
     And I Lived. Sometimes I
scratch at the dirt.
Sometimes I stay low for fear
    that anxious men and crippling monsters
will rip me out.

But He said, See me here.
   And this time I looked into
          the Son and I saw
I reached for the nail.
It looked painful.
   And he curled his fingers over
      mine and He said, No.
    That nail, that monster, is mine.
   And he said, Look down at your
            And I looked.
It was the cross engraven on my palms.
   He said, Put your hands before you,
And I did.
  And Love stood before me.
     And the fearful men,
     The monster, driven into me,


like rain out of the clouds. 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Wreckless Wild

I grabbed the cup and tipped it over in my mouth. Hoping for a last droplet of water at the bottom. As if the mere molecules would restore me. 
I watched that town disappear yesterday and I'd give anything to have the power to have stopped it from sinking. 
I sat at the edge of the cliff with the dirt crumbling under me, with a swirl of tears and dirt on my face, with a twisted look of pain on my face, watching that town sink. In other parts of the world they just call it "another town" gone. But each one I watch, hurts more than the last. It's not just people who are lost, but memories, communities, smiles and trials that have been dug deep into the crust of the Earth. You can never get those back. You can't pack them away and hide them from a dying Earth. 
No one knows but me which place will sink next. It's a gift of a curse to know the end. And I tell no one (not even myself). I bury the prompting deep into the chambers of my heart only for them to be pumped out, for the blood to rush into my head and scream to me the location until I accept it. 
I can't tell anyone. I can't save them. Before it happens I grow mute and weak, like the energy of the Earth and I are connected. When it starts to drain, I drain and I can only watch with tears. 

We are at the beginning of the Wreckless Wild and I am scared to know what becomes of us, what becomes of this world. When the Earth is watered with the planted dead, what will sprout from the ground? I know the Earth will mourn, will growl at the stench of death at its core. Who will tame the Earth? Who will tame us who grow delirious with worry, who fear our inevitable ends? 

What will happen when I have the prompting and I have nowhere to go but in the angry bowels of the Belly? 


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Better Things

I'm heavy with the weight of myself

Dusty with my own sin and unbelief.

I'm steadfast in my pursuit of lonely things

An enemy

Of the light that You so tenderly harvested in me.

I shrug You off--

And put on me.

I let the pain grow strong,

And nurse the tears till they grow bitter.

There in the bleakness of my sorrow,

I wail and weep—
Lamenting over the silent heartbeats

Of my stillborn dreams.

"Why?" I scream in anguish.

Waiting. Impatiently.

With palms marked

By your steadfast pursuit of broken things

You allure me-
Keep me close until the tremblings cease,

And let your Life overflow 
Into me.

"Because, Beloved, I am teaching you to long for better things."

And there-beside my muted dreams




Saturday, February 1, 2014

Looking back 1 year ago

I'm sharing this post from one of my other blogs that I wrote about a year ago. It was a very difficult time in my life but even when my heart hurt so much, it's neat to see how God resonates through my soul and tells me the truth. Something that was so hard to believe back then is a refreshing glass of water to me now. I hope you find your worth in Jesus through these words. 

We'll call this a little update from the last post. There have been some ups and downs since last time. One thing God graciously reminded me of was that although my despair and my pain came from within myself and the idols within my heart, he sees that pain and still called his Son to die for me. The Son didn't die because sin was his fault. Even though it was my own bringing, he still calls me my child. What greater love is that? For God in the flesh to take the pain of those who caused the pain? I couldn't ask for a better Savior.

I realized I was selfish. Yes, I already knew that but he hit me over the head with it this past Sunday. The depth of my sinfulness was obscured by the pain I felt and the pain I felt was just a mask for my selfishness and pride. I realize that beauty, approval, desirability, man--cannot bring me happiness and so I ask for something more, something more cosmically satisfying than that. God says, Look, here's my sacrifice, here's my Son. And I say, That's not enough! Heal me, now. Give me something more than you. It's not enough for my longing and lonely soul. And God says I approve of you because of my Son. And I say, that's not enough! Can't you approve of me because of me? Can't you desire me because of me? Heck, can you make someone on this earth to see my worth? It's not enough that you're in heaven. I need something tangible to believe. It hurts to much and I'm weary of telling myself that you see me and love me.

But here's the deal. God made a covenant, a promise, and he cannot break it. My name is graven on his hands and he will pursue me and he always wins. When I decide I want to give up, he doesn't. He calls me by name to his side. And he graciously reminds me that yes, He, the God who made everything, is enough. He reminds me in silly ways like in the movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Lucy, doubts her worth. She wants to be beautiful and desirable like her older sister and she is close to choosing what is evil in the world to try to fill that hole. Yet, Aslan comes to her and says to her that she "doubts her worth". And God told me the same thing at that moment. Who better to tell me than God himself that I'm worthy?
And yes, I was the one who scoffed at the cross. Yet,  Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." And if he didn't come to me first, I would have never sought him out. I can't cry "Abba, Father" without him saying, "God, forgive them". And right now and I cry "Abba, Father!" Thank God for that!
He reminds me that he is that thing that I need to fill me up. That there is no one greater than him who can see the depths of my soul and love me this completely.

This is the Truth that resonates in my heart today:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:6-11


Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Holy Heart

I am starry eyed
(in spite of romanticism).
through the heart by a Coming Love.
with worth because of
the Father of Light.
I am confident
(in spite of self indulgence).
by worth with a satisfying sting.
with warmth by a forest of strength.
I am tested by fire
And held together by a Holy Heart.
I am
Sleeping soundly in the layers of his will.


We are...

We're all broken. 

It's true, whether we prefer to admit it or not. 
Our inexplicable tendency toward evil inevitably results in the same outcome. 

We're all beggars. 
We've squandered what we have believed would give us purpose and worth,
and at the end of it we quickly realize that the inheritance we have manufactured for ourselves leaves us hopeless. And empty.
We are all wandering. 
Sojourners traveling this destitute and barren land. 
We carry our scraps on our backs and in our best efforts attempt to press on. 
Yet, alone, the journey seems far too long and our souls are much too

We are all weary. 
With ourselves, with the world, 
with the scars that sting beneath the weight of this desert heat.

But God.

Like rain gushing out of the robust clouds we somehow missed comes a gentle voice saying,

"I will not forget you. 
Beloved--I will never leave you.
Let me be your rest."

We are still broken. 
Still beggars. Weary wanderers.

But we are free.