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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...

Poetry Top Ten 2014

When I look at how far I've come with my writing of poetry, I have to sit back and wonder at whence these words came. My darling muse, strife, and everyday life worked their way into the lines creating this lovely magic, and I give thanks for every single bit of it. I also have immense gratitude for my ability to seize the moment when inspiration would come even though I never seemed to have enough time for everything. There is no telling what the new year will bring, but after seeing the goodness that came my way in 2014, I can hardly wait to experience what lies in store.

My sincerest gratitude goes out to each of you who have given my poetry life. Without anyone to read and appreciate them, words fall silent on the page. You are their breath. Thank you.

All Things Purple: Poetry Top Ten 2014

 1. To Survive

 2. Find Me

 3. Ode to the Early Responders

 4. Safe

 5. Take My Heart

 6. Entirely Insufficient

 7. Time to Hide

 8. More Than a Dream

 9. Together

10. It Started With Goodnight

Honorable Mention: A Resounding Yes

Poetry Top Ten 2013

Top Ten Readers' Choice 2014

Another year gone by, another list showing me what you've enjoyed the most.

Now that I've done this list making thing a few times, I realize what a treasure it is to capture this moment in time when one year ends and another begins. I'm not into making New Years' resolutions; however, I very much enjoy reflecting on the past year in order to see how far I've come and take stock in how much further I still need to go with all that I want to do with my life. And this go around has given me a large measure of joy as I went through the several musings, remembering where I have been and comparing it to where I find myself today.

It is always a pleasure to share the very best slice of my year (in your estimation).

All Things Purple: Top Ten Readers' Choice 2014

 1. To Survive 

 2. Find Me 

 3. Be the Change 

 4. Uninvited 

 9. Safe 

10. On Thin Ice 

Honorable Mention: Texan Sunshine

Previous Years' Top Ten Lists:


stand amazed

As I reflect on this Christmas season and those of years past, joy, love, and gratitude are the hallmarks. 

The years have dragged me along while also flying past, and my heart is filled with gratitude for it all. To learn and grow so deeply has been a painful experience nevertheless I give thanks to Heavenly Father for keeping watch over me and my family through every trial. We have been watched over with a most tender hand. 

Love permeates my thoughts as they turn to the people who surround me now and at every point that I stood in need of love and they were there. Whether intentional or not, many people have been the Lord's hands in loving and protecting us. I have been loved even when I could not see how anyone would or could ever care about me. Friends have made time for me when I needed to not be left alone; they have sacrificed family time and happier friend time to help me through my dark days. Every time I stop to ponder what has happened in my life over the past several years, amazement washes over my heart, and I can hardly keep from weeping with joy and gratitude for the miracle that has been my life. It gives me hope for the future, that it will continue being a miraculous journey of love and joy. 

With Christmas upon us, I tie all of it together to honor the Christ Child who was born, shared the gospel with the world, atoned for all that we have done—our mistakes, sins, sufferings of body, heart, and soul—only to be crucified. But he overcame death. And that is how we have Christmas to celebrate. The love and joy that we sometimes take for granted comes to us by the grace of God and through the light of Christ within each of us. 

While it is not a traditional Christmas song, the hymn "I Stand All Amazed" has always been one that resonates with me. I especially think of the second verse at this time: 
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine 
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,

Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
My hope and prayer is that the light of Christ will brighten your Christmas and that you will feel God's love for you no matter where you are, no matter what is happening in your life, whether or not you fully recognize His divinity.

Let's stand amazed and neither forget nor take for granted the gift of Christ's birth. He lived, atoned, and died for us all that we might live again and be with God and our families for eternity.

Happy Christmas to all!


photo: C. T. Duncan

You make me happy 
Are words that stay with me
Even at times when you cannot
Woven into my every thought
Drawn between each day's lines
Laced throughout the moments
Where you weren't supposed to be
And yet—in every part of any day
Sleeping, waking, breathtaking
Somehow you are everywhere
In the sunlight breaking over the hills
Within the wisps of clouds over head
I listen for music floating on the wind
And my senses will not forget
Fluttery dancing, talking, sharing
Then caring more than hope would warrant
Wishing beyond what shooting stars do dare
Even still—all that happiness
You gave and give
Sticks with me in a permanent way
Like superglue for broken hearts
Needing to be pieced back together
Revealing hidden, slivered layers
As we paste our selves into one

A few more words:

Electric Lines

Christmas Break

Where does a week go? I'm telling you, it seems like only a few days should have gone by, but no. It has been an entire week since I had my exit interview and began looking for a contract. 

How does that time slipping by thing happen? It's called life. And if you don't make the most of it, it passes you by without ceremony. 

I'm filling my Christmas break with celebrating Christmas (of course), editing, lesson planning, and clearing my house of nonessentials. That list set forth, it will probably feel like a three-day weekend or so. 

What I wonder about is how everyone else will be spending their Christmas break. If you care to answer, leave a comment, so we can all get some ideas for how to pass the fleeting moments the best we can.  


Phone calls, emails, texts, eating, children, buses, tweets, posts, driving, exercising, thinking, editing, writing, dictionaries, friends, hugs, driving, talking, writing, reading, wishing, hoping, praying, and hopefully sleeping soon. 


I just had a thought
Run clear across my mind
So quickly yet deeply
That I don't know what to feel.

I will never be as perfect looking
As all those you'll ever meet,
And you shall never find me
Ready or ever wanting to compete.

I catch myself wondering
If those roaming eyes of yours
Might open up and want to taste
How precious this love can be.

From afar we feel together
With the blooming pleasure
Of beloved exploration
Transporting us nearer still.

Actions spiked with adoration
Coupled with discordant communication
Show my blinded eyes that I do not know
Where I stand within that enigmatic heart.

Nurturing sweet love
With ink and postage
Sending more than things
To travel by road and skyway.

Warning given though not taken
Without asking, I give affection.
You tell me one thing
Yet elicit another.

And all I remember now
Is how my flaws
Are so many
And distance is great.

I opened up this broken heart
To someone who didn't want it.
And yet the sense that you do,
That you need me, is still present.

You kindly reject, and I ignore
In a tangled dance of sorts
Because this heart
Knows your heart

And never wants to admit
That you might never
Find the courage
To love only imperfect me.

Consequently, you will have to be
The one to choose for me which one:
The exit door or deeper in to the us that I perceive
Because I don't have the courage to love you any less.

the short list

The end is near, and I know I did well. Student teaching looked insurmountable just a few short months ago when considering all the other problems I am facing right now. However, I did make it. It wasn't all on my own though. I did all the work, of course, but I have had phenomenal support from family, neighbors, friends, and my teaching mentor and supervisor.

I could not have faced some of the days that I had without all the texts almost every single day no matter what's going down, last minute dinner deliveries, cleaning crews (need I say more), front porch conversations, late night middle of the sidewalk in the rain while I cry hugs, sanity saving Sonic runs, Chik-fil-A light lemonade, and so much more. I can't even keep track. Maybe when everything simmers down and I can take a moment longer to think, I will write it all down.

Until then, just know that even you reading this and following my journey has given me a bit of wind for these wings of mine. And I thank you all. 

breathtaking view

Terrible black clouds come tumbling in
Yet you, my sentry of sorts,
Stand watch at the door
Keeping them from trespassing

Into this heart your affection has burrowed
Deep beneath the hard-shelled surface
Cracking the safe that used to hold
Every fear and misgiving

Pressing upon the glass
The view, this breathtaking view,
From where I stand
Brightening life into a lustrous shine

Without affectation of any kind
Patience and tenderness
Gently and presently subdue
The hurt, which threatens

That simplicity of kindness beckons
To adore your infinite multiplicity
With all that I have to give
Albeit a seemingly untimely gift

The fondness wells up from below
Layers of being that flourish
Between your fingers, which play
The strings of this burgeoning heart

Reach out into the starry night
Past the endless winter
Welcoming a beaming spring
That will keep until we

Both are at the golden threshold
Ready for what has been in store
From the perfectly imperfect beginning
Watching for the sun from a sure shore

thankful heart

Many good and wonderful things have been coming about over the past week or so, and now I hardly know what to do with myself. The one immediate thing I can think to do is to express gratitude.

I have been encouraged at every turn with positivity and love. When I have doubted myself, a hand has been outstretched to help me see the happier reality. Life has been a downtrodden mess while being the most heavenly experience as well. For every struggle, someone has been there for me right when I needed support, at times in the very moment before tasting despair. That everlasting hopefulness of mine continues to rule my world, and for once I am proud of it.

Today is no different than any other time. Rejoicing in the goodness of life in one moment, only to be rudely interrupted and dragged back into a nightmare in the next. Yet, because of all the rejoicing and gladness, I was finally strong enough to kick against the darkness and reject it. I am still basking in the warmth of happiness despite the attempted hijacking.

This day and always I am thankful for every single person who has helped to strengthen this heart of mine. Your encouragement, your thoughtfulness, and your love in all degrees and portions have made a difference.

purple, lavender, autumn, fall, frost, photography

verbosity—a note to self

I've always been fond of words and writing and speaking until I used them so much that I overused them.

Sometimes we need to know when to cut our words short, and every once in awhile silence is the order of the day. Just knowing when to calm down and let quiet wash over your mind can be what makes everything better. You don't always need to get every single word out onto the page because sometimes no one can handle or should even need to try to handle all the whirring about that goes on up inside that active mind of yours. So figure out how to calm yourself by letting silence do the talking. Let quiet get a word in edgewise.


photography, blue skies, clouds, poetry

I attempted to run, to forget you and all that you entail,
Even all the day long, yet the very effort placed an ache
Within each breath stolen opposite of your direction.

The sun drenched sky, in its ethereal beauty,
Beckoned brightly for more unearthly wishes
To be softly whispered into its high strung clouds.

Faintly, I held to the notion that you might care.
Gingerly, I carried your kindness in my untried hands.
Wistfully, I share this affection that pins me down yet lifts me.

Turning to your precious heart and facing what I need,
Punching out new holes in my unhealed heart from which to bleed,
With a sure and happy hope I say to the sky, I stay out of love not fear.

Blanketed in the certainty and strength of this truthful song,
My heartfelt words melt into you, the atmosphere, and beyond.

too much

This path keeps on with the twists and turns. Maybe I need to break my habit of being a planner type of person. Maybe I should just accept the fact that I'm more like a leaf being blown about by the breeze right now, and be glad in it. Leaves are lovely things, even enchanting in autumn. I just hope I don't have to make it through another winter like this. I just can't. 

faithful heart

Texas, sunsets, photography, poetry

stripping bits and pieces off
of the threads that hold it all 
together within the center of me

unravelling the core of my hopes
and dreams only to find another scrap
of something untouchable and free

trembling in the fierce and forceful wind
of the tempests of daily life
stealing away every part but that one

wishing with something more than 
just a wish on a star in the fading light of day
but with faith embedded forever in our foundation

growing in love I never thought possible
proving my weathered heart ever more grateful 

single rider

Riding roller coasters is something I relish, but it's not for the sake of riding them; it's because of how much fun I am having with the company I am with. The terrifying sections aren't as bad, and the parts when you get a good laugh seem even sweeter. Because I have experienced them with people I love, I never want to forget even the swings that for some reason strike me as a horrible torture. I will add that I certainly would never ride those crazy throwing you out into the wild blue yonder swings again unless I'm with someone I care about.

And the roller coaster is real. Up and down. Twists and turns. Making the best out of a scary stretch by screaming and holding on for dear life. We smile when we can; we laugh when we get that sinking feeling as we drop because we know its going to be alright; we hold our breath and at times grit our teeth when the rails up ahead look terrifying enough to take our breath away. Sometimes, hopefully only a very few times, we cry. Sometimes even the good things turn out to be difficult and nothing seems to be going right.

And then I stop to ponder why I'm not enjoying the ride as much as I ought . . .

Have you ever ridden a roller coaster alone? 

I have, and it just isn't the same being a single rider with no one to laugh with or hold onto their hand for reassurance as you scream all the way down to the bottom together. Reflecting on past experiences, I can see that I've never liked it, and I don't like it now. 

I plan on staying on this ride for its duration, but I sure look forward to having someone next to me.

Related Link:
Roller Coasters

Seeking to Become - October 2014

spirituality, scriptures, photography, purple
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  
Matthew 5:14-16

Reading these scriptures reminds me of how each of us has the light of Christ within us—including me. Sometimes I let myself forget that I have something, a whole lot of something, to offer the world if I but let my light shine.

I have this problem with self doubt. I see that I am intelligent and interesting and friendly, but somehow I allow myself to get beat down. It's as if I'm blind to what I know to be true. I kid myself into thinking that no one really wants to be my friend, that I bother people all the time, and that I won't ever make a real difference in life. I feel incapable of achieving my goals. I hide my light. When I'm struggling in the darkness of self doubt, the light of those who care about me shows me how wrong I am to indulge in negativity.

Negative thoughts can break even the strongest of individuals. Every day includes a mixture of good and bad in nearly equal measure, which means it is up to us to choose what parts we embrace and cultivate within our lives. I want to overcome my tendency to doubt and learn to let my light shine, to shine so brightly that all who know me will want to let their light shine, too. Oftentimes, life is a series of surprisingly wonderful highs and bitterly disheartening lows. Yet, I believe we can be a light unto all within our reach even amidst those bitter lows. We can share our hope in Christ with the world. As we do so, we will help one another through the trials, lifting when we are strong and proving our faith when we embrace the help of others.

I invite you to join me in seeking the light of Christ by sharing our own light continually, that we may eventually be received into God's eternal light.

a resounding yes

I saw the magic before you uttered a word. 

Can there truly be spring midst winter?
I ask myself this recurring question
Whenever thoughts of you insinuate
Loving fervor and perfection
Into the dank, left to be forgotten recesses
Of my threadbare reality.

Weaving my way within the hazy great divide
Between the living and the hurt,
I observe too keenly how I don't belong;
There is yet to be a home for me.
Stuck by choice in this deadening nowhere
As I refuse to ignore what I know—
I know what I felt upon first meeting you,
That magic between us that not everyone can find.
I know that logic and rational thought
Is what makes sense to the mind.
Nonetheless, we are more than logic and rationality.
We are treasured souls with a stunning and divine purpose,
And this adoring soul seeks a permanent home.

Can the sun turn winter to spring?
The transformation makes its way steadfastly without conscious thought.
So can you, my darling sunshine, warm my wintery frost
Into a place for your sure and safe landing?
Can my trying, challenging, and purely everlasting light
Guide you to embrace the road home to my heart?

feeling loved

This past week was so good; however, the weekend ushered me into a week that I should not have to be living, but I am. I thought when a divorce is over, it is over. But I don't have that luxury of finality. I must lurch out of teaching gear and begin thinking about issues that I put away many months ago.

My mind moved on because it had to in order to survive school and raising children without any support, and it has been long past time for letting go. My heart has successfully moved on because there has been sufficient time to reflect and begin healing and living again.

Being dragged back into the fight feels terrible. Without all of the support that encircles me, I could not make it. Each day is counted as a blessing when I have friends and family who love me and make sure I am making it through these unfortunate circumstances.

I just need to remember to keep positivity and my faith that all will be well in the forefront. 

perpetual winter

The heat of the sun radiates upon my shivering skin,
And ever still, the unceasing bite of bitter winter
Tramples across every inch, sticking it to every nerve.

Like a creeping glacier so charming yet harming,
Damages are hidden beneath the sunlit surface.
Slowly carving out every sparkling chance
For sustainable beauty with the indiscernible drag
Of rock hard ice for feelings,
Life moves forward, ever forward.

Ripping away imaginary olive branches,
Tossing aside ficticious white flags,
Comfortless and melting,
The solitary block of ice,
Slipping and sliding and crying,
Has nowhere to go but forward.

Toward the beckoning and blazing sun,
Frozen, frigid, and quivering,
Making my way past winter.

thinking too much

Believe it or not, I didn't realize that I'd forgotten to write a slice of life until 5 days ago. I've been writing slices for about three years now, and I forgot two weeks in a row! 

That tidbit just tells you how challenging this period of time has been for me. Many hobbies and habits that typically cause happiness have had to go into storage for now. I wonder if I'll pick some of the stuff back up once the smoke clears. However, I do know that writing will never go away by choice. 

Thinking about change, my life is changing so rapidly that I wouldn't know one way or the other how things are going to be in a year from now—not even in six months. When I can capture a snippet of quiet, I wonder at how far I've come and how much further I have to go and what my journey will end up looking like. I wonder in the moment sometimes whether I am making the best use of my opportunities. I contemplate why no one wants to commit to me. I wonder why I reject (albeit kindly) so many men. I set my sights on the future and make plans, but I'd really like to know if I'll ever have someone by my side who cares for the real me and wants to share our lives permanently. It's such a mystery. 

I can't think of any of that for another minute. It's too much. 

I intend to get back on the slice of life wagon. The encouragement that I receive during this current adventure is reason enough to remember. I need encouragement like a fish needs water. 

time to hide

Decatur, Texas

There is not time enough
To tell you, to explain how much I care.
No time for all the love I hold and
Long to give, moments to share.
Days bleed in from the one before
And an ache follows to the one afterward.
The burning sun falls almost as quickly as it rose
With weathered life weaved in each band of light.
Arms reached out to embrace the layers of you,
To help you and to love you,
Hang so heavy with a load of care.
Weary with the lonesome road
Of having no one with whom to share
These days of burden and delight.
Days that have no time, yet
The clock keeps on ticking,
Ticking, ticking, ticking the moments by.
The time shackles and frees.
With nowhere to turn, nowhere to rest,
Running tantalizes and entices,
And I catch myself dreaming up a place to hide.

Someone, see me; Reach me; Want me.
Answer this heart's pleading need
For a shared respite from the bleached
Heat of the stripped down day
Where no one ever stays.
Come find me and dare to be mine
And stay.
Stay until the clock runs out
And we abide where time never ends,
Where love lasts forever.
Seek this lost and broken heart.
Our future depends on you.

I need a hug, et cetera.

Not to sound trite, but I've got to find a way to laugh through these days of crushing pressure that seems to always be waiting for me.

The time is slipping through my fingers like a handful of sand on the beach. That's a good thing, but at the same time, I hardly have time to think and let anything settle in. To remedy this problem, I would really love to get going on hot yoga again. The relaxation and exercise benefits are amazing, so maybe I can squeeze it in for a few weeks. We'll have to see if I can just get the time to sign up!

Too much stuff to think about! School, children, solitary confinement, school, et cetera!

Dating pursuits have begun to complicate life. It's fun, and I want to get out and meet people, but it also hurts sometimes, and I don't want to hurt any more. I don't know what to think about how I might hurt someone else's heart. The dancing and meeting new people, trying new things—all of it has been so good. However,  I don't want or need a boyfriend now.

And my friendships are getting all jumbled again. Did I mention that I need a hug?

never and always

A country road out in the heart of Texas

I am enough.
I am just enough to be loved
For my vibrant, wild spirit
And my adventurous, pure heart.
I am enough for undying friendship.
I am enough for being a trusted confidante.
I am more than enough to be appreciated
For my giving and pensive ways.
I am enough to be forgiven for all the
Silly and thoughtless things I do and say.
I am enough to be remembered
When times are tough, when love is sparse.
I have been enough to make a mark
On more than a few men's hearts.
I am enough to be loved to a large degree,
To be loved in no slight measure.

I just don't have enough of whatever it takes
For someone to look at me and say
You are so much that I can't look away.
Apparently, I do not comprise that substance
Persuading anyone to want to stay—forever.
In this moment in time, I reflect
On my life and loves
And I have never been quite precisely
Who anyone is seeking for a sense of completion.
I am endlessly told "you are enough"
And yet, I never have been.
I am everywhere and nowhere.
I have part and parcel of many hearts
But never the entirety of one.
It's never enough.
Who I am and what I bring
Is never quite enough.
I know no home, and I see that I never have.
I can't foresee how I ever will be
In fact
And the grief settles in.

Because my hope won't leave me alone,
I continuously scan the unrelenting world
For love, acceptance, and knowledge.
Ever hoping I will be enough
For someone.
Stabbing myself in the heart
With everlasting hope
That somehow, someday, some way
There will be someone
Who will care enough
And want to do whatever it takes
To hold onto me and never let go.
It takes two. It always and must take two . . .

I stop myself in the midst of my damaging meditation
To acknowledge that, no matter what anyone might choose,
I have always been enough
And forever after I will continue to be.
I simply need to wait for him who can and wants to see
That I am worth every risk.
I am not just enough but worth everything.

affectionate dread

When you become mine, darling,
Then will I allow myself to say the things
That one should only confide in
The singular soul who already knows,
Without being told, some of those things.
Without words, without speaking,
To simply feel and know and need
The intoxicating imperfection
That has connected, even fused, with their own,
As they embrace the totality of it all,
Caressing the fine layers of their other self.
With a purposeful and careful hand,
The infinite beauty of this quest
For perfect truth on an island that we built
Overtakes my delicate senses, and I
Hardly know where to place the starting point
For the marathon began before we could know
That we were on the same threadbare path.
The winding, blinding, blurry, bemused byway
Has become a beloved, traveling home
We are able to carry with us as we
Keep to the daring journey—wherever it may lead.
We take steps and strides and dance a little dance
Until we smile and can hardly breathe—
Gasping for air because the pain of happiness
Takes time getting used to again—
Seizing the time required to know you also care
That you cherish this special realm
Of understanding and want to keep it safe from
The third-party poisons that threaten our
Stunning and unparalleled affections
Proves you are as true as (plus more than) I'd always thought
And I willingly hand over the last inch of trust
I was holding back for safekeeping
Inviting you to do with it as you will
Because I trust you.
I trust this unpaved, undecided,
And terrifically enchanting ascent
That we now share with trembling,
Happy, ravishing dread.

faith and prayers

From last slice to this one, I am seriously gaining confidence in my teaching abilities. There have been some mess ups and uber tough days, but I am no longer feeling like an impostor aka a major poser of a teacher. 

My brain seems to only process what it can handle. I know this because as soon as I began to feel capable as a teacher, the other issues in my life began to make their way through the crowd. Well, actually, the timelines are just aligned perfectly in a sick sort of way and they are all approaching rapidly. The calendar has always been what it is. The mental strain of it all cannot be described properly. And I don't know how I will take care of everything all by myself and everything turn out as it should. 

And that, my friends, is where my faith and prayers come in. I don't believe in sitting on my hands because I prayed, but I will tell you that when the deck is stacked the way it is right now—the only way I can succeed will be because of a faith-promoting miracle occurring. Hard work and determination can take you far, but it cannot accomplish the unaccomplishable. 

And by the way, anyone who wants to lend me some prayers between now and December, especially through October, I will count you an angel. I need all the faith, prayers, and positivity that a person can get. 

teacherly flash nonfiction

The third time's the charm, or so they say. The third week of school is upon me, but I had never felt like quitting more than I did this morning. Reason, a teacher, and a friend worked against the evil plot, and I went where I ought. The day began rough and ragged, but then, hope sprang forth, and I could see that maybe I'm not so much of a failure as I once had thought. There were no flowers strewn along the stage at the end of this trying day, but I saw a few smiles across students' faces, and maybe those were what I needed to stay the course. Each day, one at a time, I will breathe and pray and breathe some more, until I make it to the safe shore. 

road service wanted

The sun shone forever in golden hues. 
The twilight sprung forth resplendent in lavenders and blues.
The dilapidation all around stood representative of this unanswered question: why. 

There are delicious dreams painted in that sky. 
There are wishes wished still hiding amongst those blades of grass. 
They are waiting for the day when all will be displayed out in the open and embraced.

Time continues to plot a course unknown to us. 
Choices curb and pry open the untried road's twists and turns.
Love, though unplanned and unannounced, had nestled into the tepid scenery—ready to burn. 


At times, I can hardly bear being in this skin
This self-assured, self-deceiving, presumptuous skin
Being who I am and how I am and what I am
Distinctly different, dangerously audacious
I sicken even myself and plot a means to flee
But I stay to witness the burning barn, unwilling to leave

With a blazing rush of energy, I take on the day
Either in embers, sparks, or full on fire
My path is lit up by this fever that is my way
Scorching, torching, and smothering
Pick the poison of the passing moment
To partake of this rare form of prime punishment

Loving so hard and forever that it incinerates my very thoughts
Standing afar off in feigned occupation—self-prescribed seclusion
With the informed assumption that no one will come
I do not understand why, despite my full admission
That charred to a crisp fear continually follows in my wake

Never to be gifted the sacrificial endeavor of truly being seen
And yet—I tarry to sweep the darkened, aubergine horizon
Finding the flicker of the far off sun's ever burning rays
I catch my breath, labored and bated, with the sting of ascertained truth
That I began to love you before we ever met, and I will not and wish not to stop
Even if you never assume the part of the match that started all of this—I still burn

it started with good night

The push and pull and drag of it all
Wishing, wanting, waiting — almost patiently
Heart worn on a sleeve for so long it has a farmer's suntan
And somehow it still feels like the best thing since ice cream
Even if the bridge we're building hasn't quite closed the gap
The vibrant sun keeps shining and storm clouds remind me of you
And I think of all that could be
Somehow, someday, some way
It will happen
But until then, I admit that I weep a little—perhaps a lot
When I see sweet intentions that are not meant for me
I wish I weren't so intuitive and knowing
Without trying, I somehow understand too much and too little
Imagination running wild yet set at ease by the taskmaster at once
All I can do is force myself to breathe through it
The wishing wounds and heals me deeply
Confused, still I smile gladly
Because I want you to be happy
More than anything else in the world
Every day. Right now. Through every tomorrow.
I wait for you to believe this truth
For you to want to do anything and everything
To give me the chance to be the she who brings
Smiles to your lips and spins
A golden reality from your untamed wishes
Because if you're by my side, loving me
Every day will be my best dreams realized
To say good night every night looking in your eyes
That's all I see now with this love-stained vision
I will not keep myself from dreaming
Because you mean so much
You are worth the risk of a shattered heart
You are infinitely beautiful to these hazel green
Tear-filled eyes that continue to wish too hard
I shall scale unscalable walls because I want you.
The layers will come off because they must
And we will stand exposed
Like two pearls in a split open shell
Being admired for their rare and precious beauty
Fawned over, coveted, and revered.

a short and chunky ball of anxiety

A week of school has passed by, and I am chock full of anxiety and excitement. The students are wonderful; my cooperating teacher is amazing; my supervising teacher is encouraging; and all the teachers in the English department are welcoming and kind. I couldn't ask for a better foundation on which to begin, and yet, I still have a high level of anxiousness that I can't shake. Today, my cooperating teacher told me that it will go away once I completely take over all of the classes. And when she said that I only felt more stress. However, she has been through it before and appears to be quite trustworthy, so I am going to take her word for it and try to go to sleep tonight without taking anything to knock me out. 

Seeking to Become — August 2014

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.          
Matthew 5:16  

The summer has gone by so quickly, and I have been forgetting to write about my Seeking to Become challenge I've been working on. I decided to ponder on it a little longer than one month and see how I could accomplish it. 

To let your light shine can feel tricky because we don't want to be show-offs or indulge in arrogance. What the Lord is asking of us is to do good things that can and do express our love for his children and that we want to show that God matters in our lives by trying to be like him. 

I have been really stretching my outlook to seek what I could do more in my circumstances to let my light shine. Some days, I don't see that I have much light to share, but every once in awhile, I am able to catch a glimpse of how others see me and realize that I am making a difference just like other people are making a difference in my life. I just don't ever want to be a taker who never gives anything back. I desire to glorify God in every good thing by serving and loving others, which in turn will guide others to glorify God. 

I invite all of you to join me in seeking to become someone who lets their light shine. The world desperately needs more light. 

student teaching begins . . .

I get nervous and stressed out to the point of feeling physically ill.

I vent this stress on a few select individuals.

These individuals take turns assuring me that I will survive and succeed.

They encourage me.

I believe them (partly).

I go to school and survive—and even do better than just survive but love my time there.


(So far). 

building something

I hardly know what I am permitted to say to you
You, who is a luminescent joy in my life
An immeasurable source of positive growth
I'm not sure if you are ready or even want to hear
How your happiness is essential for me
As I continue on but never again as usual
I couldn't have expected to care so much
And now you are invaluable—beyond price. 
What would someone give in exchange
For what we are building together? 
Because that's what we've done—we built something
That continues to grow since the time we spent
Living and breathing within each other's space
Considering the other instead of self
Learning how well we match
Teaching each other what us feels like
And still—have I said too much?
I hardly know, but I will not take back
What cannot and should not be unsaid

happy memories

Summer has come and gone, and I have so much to show for it. I wanted this summer to be one where I go see something new, do something different, and strengthen relationships. And I accomplished everything that I wanted plus more. Not that I got every single wish, but I truly tasted and savored what life had to offer me over the past few months, and it feels amazing. There have been problems, and there have been some bad days and weeks, but overall, I had the loveliest summer I've had in a very long time.

With student teaching beginning, life is going to change once again. I know better than to say it will all get back to normal once it's over, because life has been in continual flux for years now, and this will only add to the likelihood of more change. There will be good days and bad ones. And I will draw upon the happy summer memories to make me smile on the rough days as I make my way through to the next phase. 

send me, thrill me, push me

Shannon, Texas

You do this thing to me
I can hardly explain
That southern sweetheart lilt
And the way that you pause
To let me ramble on
How it sends me, thrills me
Pushes me past the brink
And then I can not think
Because the only thing
Running through me right then
Is how much I miss you
And so want to kiss you
But then I stop myself
In that mad, mad moment
Allowing the beauty
The perfection of you
In the precious time shared
To heat my hidden soul
By the flame of our bright
Fiery adoring
Shared and exchanged by choice
Carried through in friendship
With a splash of something
More than could be foreseen
And still we let it grow
Tending this glad garden
With no way of knowing
Where it all might lead
Daring hope and belief
To prove these senses right
The happy full of fright
Sense that we belong here
In this space that we've made
Where we explore ideas
And each other with care
Careful to not trample
The seedlings of feeling
That sprang upon meeting
And have become so dear