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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

in the middle forever

Playing the untuned strings of my heart
Using the music masterfully to enchant
The words within each perfect song
Say all I could want to hear in this moment
With wishful hearing I keep listening
Yet I fear it is all imagination and just nice words
 Even still, friendship now has a blurry line

When romantic hearts like ours meet
Drawing ourselves together
Then quickly apart
With inner fear keeping us
From reaching the other deeply
Like a maddening bondage
That might never be broken

The eroding canyon of our disconnect
Should not be given breathing space
It has more than its fair share
In the middle forever, darling
Build an unbreakable bridge that reaches
From each side coming together
Peeling off layers of guardedness in the process

Where does the time go?

As I reflect on this month, I can hardly believe it is nearly over. Where did October go? I must admit that I'm thankful for the time passing by so quickly. I'm not sure how well I'd be able to cope with all the stress if it lingered as if the days were more like weeks, instead of vice versa. 

The beauty of autumn time has not been lost with the passing days. I have made sure to stop amidst the crazy to snap (more than) a few photos. The crunch of leaves and the crispness of the air cannot be captured, but all the changing colors and lingering sunshine can. I'd like to share a few of my favorite snapshots from Instagram. 

Out of these three, I'm probably going to create a logo for a weekly gratitude blog challenge for November. If you care to, leave a comment with which one you like best. And then, you can come back and see which one I chose once November rolls around. 

Happy October!

Seeking to Become - October 2013

Something was said during church on Sunday about singing more, and it caused me to reflect on how often I sing casually around the house with my children. I couldn't remember the last time I sang a song just for because.

This hasn't always been the case. I used to sing all the time to my little ones--well, the first two--then, my mom died. I can pin-point when I stopped singing on a daily basis to that event. Losing her so unexpectedly knocked the wind out of me, and I guess, I never recovered in this area.

I've reflected a lot on how everything that happens in life changes us. Yet, I haven't really spent time repairing things that broke down which are worth fixing, like remembering to sing every day.

When I talk about singing, I'm not talking about the sing along with the radio sort of singing--I do that. I'm talking about singing songs that bring the spirit into your heart and home, songs that remind you of where you come from and where you're going.  Growing up in a home where music was continually either being played on a piano, blasted from a stereo, or sung from someone's mouth, it saddens me that I've let a decade slip through my fingers where this spiritual music isn't saturating every nook and cranny of the home I try to keep. So, I decided to seek out some scriptures to help remind me why it's so important to keep singing as part of my everyday life.

Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.   
Ephesians 5: 14, 19 

Over the next while, I hope you might join me in singing praises that we might seek Christ in meaningful ways.

light now dimmed

Youth cannot guarantee one more breath 
Neither can beauty of heart, mind, and body
Precious spirit, dear and lovely
Warmth taken from this bitter cold world
Life feels more empty now
The light that once shone through
Has been dimmed by loss

My heart breaks
Not for me
But for family
For the heartache 
They must taste
This grief brings
Back memories
Of the heartache
From the loss
Of beloved parents
Who left unexpectedly, too

Perhaps they are all together
Providing watch care over us
Wishing for our hearts
To know that our hope
And faith are not in vain
But the truth to which
They would have us cling

For sweet Kenslee,
You always showed me a wealth of loving kindness. 
You are missed by many. 

a slice of smiles

When my children smile, it makes me so happy inside and out. I really can't even describe it. My oldest just had a birthday, and her smiles were infectious and beautiful. We all gathered around her to celebrate her sweet and loving way by making sure she had a great time for her birthday. Watching the three younger children helping her to choose the fun gifts and playing on the playground with her gave me joy in my mother's heart to the point of overflowing.

They fight so much--not my girl with autism but the others--which makes it even more welcome of a sight to see them rallying around her together, becoming friends, and learning how it feels to get along.

I had a rough day, but my evening was better than wonderful. 

more than just a song

Whenever I ponder on my decision to begin dance classes as part of my university experience, I think of the song sung by Lee Ann Womack "I Hope You Dance". It's interesting to look at the influence a song can have over where our thoughts may lead, and I never cease to wonder at the impact music can make on our souls.  

The first time I was introduced to this song, I was at a funeral for the young wife of one of my cousins. As the words floated through the stifling hot summer air to my ears, my heart was overflowing with tearful prayers for my cousin to be able to keep going after such a tragic loss. My specific hope for him to find a way to dance began in that moment and lasts to this day as he lives out life with his lovely new wife and their children. 

The impact of the words on my own life has never left me either. Because of the loss of Danae, so many years ago now, I believe I have worked more diligently to take chances, love the life I have, and cling to my family and faith.  

I was reminded of this song, and Danae, because I was asked yesterday to dance at a competition in November that I did not want to miss. The problem with ballroom dancing is that you must have a partner to dance. My hopes had been all but dashed concerning finding a partner until this guy stepped up and asked me before class started. 

My newly found dance partner could not have known all he was doing for me by signing up to dance with me, but because of him I will not be sitting it out but really dancing. And Quickstep no less. 


messy rooms
dirty dishes
dinner time
dirty dishes
run around
drive to school
pick up the bus misser
more homework
lame legal stuff
load dishwasher
more laundry
textbooks stacked a mile high
driving here and there
not working
over stimulated
to be a writer

out of nowhere

arms reaching out to touch you
and you aren't there anymore
there was always this feeling
that you might run
away toward the clouds
never to be found again

words and wishes
forced your flight
yet they needed to exist
even more than that
but to be said aloud
breaking all silence

ripples of sweetness
unravel every particle
of stillness hanging in the air
stale and pale
which suffocates the love
clear out of our hearts

where could you be safer
than in my cherishing
revering and delighting
damaged and fragmented hands
if not there
there is nowhere

searching this tear-stained world
with eyes perfectly open
bloodshot and weeping
knowing the dream might not exist
but pushing forward
past the pain of losing

eyes now pooled like glass
await a glimpse of the stars
with endlessly bated breath
wishing with a will passionate
for a love who won't leave
but reach out and seek me

Not Quite Rotten Eggs

The other day, I put a Facebook status that said "My life sucks rotten eggs." Today, my thoughts on the subject have changed very little; however, I must acknowledge how much my life also does not suck rotten eggs because we all know there are parallel realities all around us.

How My Life Does NOT Suck Rotten Eggs Top Ten List:

1.   My children are all relatively healthy and happy.
2.   I have loving friends and family who give all the support they can, in various ways.
3.   While university attendance is a challenge right now, I attend my dream school.
4.   Scholarships have made my attendance at my dream school not only possible but a blessing.
5.   I have clean water to drink and with which to keep my family clean and healthy.
6.  We always have nice food to eat.
7.   My car continues to work despite it's brokenness and 212,000 miles--and counting. 
8.   Writing of poetry comes naturally to me.
9.   I am free to write my thoughts and beliefs and philosophies as I choose on this blog.
10. I have an audience for this blog.

So, in essence, my life might suck rotten eggs right now, but somehow they turn out looking like Easter eggs.

Or something like that.

elusive and beautiful


I admire humility. There is something elusive and beautiful about the trait. I don't seem to know how to do humility very well without being forced into it by severe trials and challenges in life, but hey, whatever it takes, right? I can see how it is becoming part of me more and more each passing day; however, I promise you it doesn't come naturally to me some days still. My loud-mouth ways are enough to keep humility at bay forever. 

I'd like to hear from any of you about a personality trait that you admire. Leave a comment or tweet me. 

dirt clods and board games


Just the other day, I was telling a friend about some of the best times I can remember with my brothers. We used to have these merciless dirt clod fights out in the way back yard, but we were also big on board games with our mom. We'd play Monopoly for hours on end like it was to the death, and we'd always try but could never beat mom at Scrabble. It was a given that whoever got second place was the winner of the kids. My dad was pretty much AWOL during these times. I think he needed some alone time away from the hyperactive electricity that would take over his children when we'd put on our competitive hats. 

My friend asked how I was able to make it through those dirt clod fights. Well, I'm not quite sure exactly, probably by the grace of God really (my future children needed their mother), but I think I made it through relatively unscathed because I was fighting for my life up against a ton of boys and trying to look tough while usually being the only girl at the fight all at the same time. Somehow I never could win since I was always outnumbered; it didn’t matter which team I was on. If I was on the team, that team was somehow the loser. I think there was some sexism going on there, but we won't get into that. It must have been quite the sight to see me up in that tree house, the only girl, hurling dirt clods as fast and hard as I could. I used to try to find ones with rocks in them especially for getting any older boys who might be there. My mean streak was most likely fostered during this time out of pure necessity. And at the end of them, I’d come out of those fights completely covered in a fine layer of dirt. My hair was by far the worst, but nasty dirty patent leather mary janes are not as girly all of a sudden, too. 

Now, I've given up at throwing dirt clods with rocks for fun, but I love playing Monopoly and Scrabble even though I don't have the chance as often as I'd like. All this talk about games is telling me I need to find some friends to have a game night with soon! 

view from a train wreck

From the outside looking in lies a train wreck
Smoldering on the wayside with little to no hope
For an extinguisher to put things right
It takes time, so much time for it to burn itself out
That it appears limitless in scope for all the smoke
With no respite from the licking flames
No refreshment from the choking charred air
From which new breaths, freedom's song, must be stolen

Cherished friendships bound to safe limits
Are all that can and should be afforded
The flames still burning too high
Raw emotionality which will not soon subside
Makes a poor and insufficient offering
To those sweet ones on the pathway bright
Happily treading their way along the road
Taking time for the luxury of repose
Granting generous portions of their precious gifts
But cannot, must not risk any of their priceless hearts

To a train wreck still smoldering
On the inside looking out, there is a lone heart
Dying secretly yet grasping, hanging on to hope
For there must be light enough to set things right
But it takes time, so much time to find your way out
That it seems you never can or will
With no rest for the burnt and weary warrior
Do no enter this blackened scenery, mon nouveau coeur
From whom this broken one might have borrowed
A breath of fresh air

on autumn and sweaters

With the weather turning chilly, I get out my sweaters and blankets and the longing for someone to hold me. The sun sets early and takes with it its warming embrace, forcing me to acknowledge the lack of loving touch in my life. There is nothing quite so lonely as the mid night hours when snuggled underneath the covers, and no one else is there to hold onto. 

I've always said that sweater weather is my favorite time of year. It matters not if it is chilly autumn evenings in the hills and mountains, winter any time with snow laying on the ground, spring mornings as the sun begins to dare to shine, or the summer nights along the central coasts' beaches I grew to love as a teenager. Sweater weather comes and goes no matter the season and that is what I like best about it. 

Sweaters are a shirt that hugs you. Maybe that's why I like them, too. You can be all by yourself and still have warming pressure wrapped snugly around your arms and back. You can embrace warmth.

Hug, anyone?