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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...


As of late, my sojourn has been a torturous affair
Until the day you snuck past the armed guard
And privily and perfectly sent me falling in an upward motion
That has been taking me by surprise
Every single day that I awake
And you're still there—here—crowding out
The misery that continues its attempt to plague me
Your words, your way, your heart has set me up
To not only fall for you but to continue to trip
On all the happiness that gets in my way
Until all I crave is to fall into your arms forever

Seeking to Become - May 2014

Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. 
Psalm 33: 22 

Throughout this month, I have had hope on my mind. How does a person learn how to hope? And why do I seem to have an inexhaustible amount of it despite my challenges? It all doesn't make sense until I stop to think about the faith that my parents worked to instill.

Faith breeds hope. Or at least that's how I see it. A few examples of how my faith has brought me to hope come to mind. The abuses that I suffered from a young age could have taught me that nothing is ever as it seems. My poor choices could have taught me that I won't ever amount to anything. The divorce that I have recently survived could convince me that no one will ever care enough about me to stay. But—I have hope. I have hope that life is worthwhile—and it is. I have hope that I will amount to something good—and, so far, I think I'm doing well. I hope that I will find someone who will want to be my eternal companion—and I believe God knows what I need and loves me enough to guide that person to me. My faith in the Savior teaches me that I must have hope. He is there for me in my darkest of nights, showing me that I matter. Mercy is forever before my face and hope is how I can see it.

I want to strive to become more hopeful so that I might recognize God's mercy with greater understanding. I invite you to join me.


Turn the screws tighter
Until there's nowhere left to go
Pushing and pulling from all sides
With no relief from the strain
Wound so tight that anything
Sends everything crashing
Down into a cavernous darkness 
Seemingly inescapable
Crying does not take away the hurt
But nothing else can be done
And crying is something
To do when talking is not enough
When there are no arms to hold you
And that's all you wish for 
When the screws are turned
Past what you can bear

happy with nowhere to hide

I do this funny thing lately where I worry that my happiness is too good to be true. If I have had a great day, I catch myself watching for what might have gone wrong but I was just too content to notice. I'm pretty sure this new negativity cannot be a good thing. It seems to squash a bit of my joy. The overthinking. The wondering. Was I being irritating? Am I being a jerk and I just can't tell? Why do I talk so much? Am I talking too much? How much is too much? Are people just putting up with my weird self? Oh my goodness, why can't/won't I stop thinking?

And so it goes.

I hate it. I need to figure out a way to combat this weakness of mine. There's no doubt this behavior is a by-product from the years of ill treatment, but I know that I have more confidence in me than this demonstrates. Positive self-talk has been helpful, but maybe I need to write the good things down that I try to recall so I can have them right there in my face when I am questioning what reality looks like. Writing things down always helps me, and maybe, just maybe, I will read what I write and remember that I am worthy of all the love and care and friendship others offer me.

I need to stop hiding from happiness.

chocolate makes everything better

The past few weeks have been rough. I've been sick with a terrible cough the entire time, and there have been some pretty serious setbacks in my personal life. Staying downhearted isn't a preferred option for me, but with being forced to rest so much and having rugs taken out from underneath me, I must admit I've struggled with being positive. I've cried a few tears and gone through bouts of "quiet." However, all the while, I have had love and encouragement coming at me from all sides.

Friends, family, neighbors, readers, and kind service workers (of all random people to be grateful to) have been completely wonderful. I've been brought dinner and health supplements, taken on drives, gone for ice cream and a good talk (while ignoring my hacking cough) for a mini Girls Night Out, called "love" twice by the service worker, listened to while I cry and cough, and entertained with texts, movies, and good company. Throughout my most difficult times, surges of lovingkindness always come at me, yet I am always surprised by it all. And sometimes I get really surprised.

I haven't told anyone this, until now, but Mother's Day has become an extra stressful situation for me the past few years. My children always make a lovely effort to show their love and appreciation for me, but without someone other than myself to help them, they get anxious about it all. So, of course, I start fretting about their fretting about two weeks prior to the holiday. This revelation means that I have not only been sick, tired, and dealing with stupid stuff, but I've also been worrying over something that is supposed to bring me joy.

And then—my children were shown that you don't even have to have met someone and they will help you celebrate their mother.

Last week, I received a package on my doorstep from a darling friend. The package contained a beautifully presented box of fine chocolates with a simple message enclosed. The card reads, "'A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.' — Victor Hugo Happy Mother's Day!!" The thoughtfulness of the gesture has me beside myself with gratitude. My friend couldn't have known how my children had been fretting or of my concern for them, and then he goes and does that.

I believe that the special people in our lives have this way of knowing what we need and when we need it—even if they don't understand all the reasons why. Because they care, any motivation is reason enough. For whatever reason my friend chose to send that Mother's Day gift, all I know is how much happiness was felt as a result of that choice.

What a gift and a treasure. And I'm not talking about the chocolates.

permeating vibrance

I've been thinking about what it means to still be missing my mother after 11 years since she passed away. I think of her in my everyday life, and sometimes I still cry because it still hurts. I miss her. Some people might think this is unhealthy. Others might even be disturbed by the sentiments—thinking it ridiculous. But neither of these reactions are the truth about what I feel.

Our lives were not easy. Insecurity was a common theme throughout all the life I can remember with her. Money, family, intentions, loyalties, self worth—so many aspects of life were permeated with insecurity because of rejection, lies, problems, and simple human nature. As I look back on it all, I am astounded by her strength of spirit that made it possible to overcome the difficult times. 

Through everything, my mother had a song in her heart. She knew that somehow everything would all work out. She relied on her faith in God and her love of music. She would play her piano, turn on her highbrow music, or literally sing a song. She pulled us all out of the mire of life with that music she had within and about her. 

Today, I reflect on how she taught me to succeed. She showed me how to love even when it feels impossible. She exemplified what it means to be forgiving. She gave her life to her family and friends. If I had to choose one word to describe her, it would be vibrant.

And now I ask, who wouldn't miss—every single day of their life—someone who brought music and vibrance to a dark world?  

She was and is a beloved part of my life. I realize more each day how much I am like her, and it comforts my broken heart to see how she affects me still, because her loving spirit lives on. Someday we will enjoy another loving embrace. 

Until then, I will go on listening for her in the faith and music that she instilled in me. I will not be ashamed that I still miss someone so dear, nor will I regret even one tear shed. In all her imperfection she was so wonderful.

for the love of rain

Drizzling down the window pane
With a melancholy unexplained
The rain gently pushes its way
Along the track it has made

It dances with the wind
Plays with the sunlight
That escapes the clouds
Kissing the glass one last time

Before it falls to the ground
Wetting spring's seedlings
Granting hope for summer's warmth
To create change in the landscape

Making new life possible
By giving everything

a dream deferred

When I think about this one question,  I wonder what happened to a few of my dreams. I also wonder what will happen to some of the dreams that I've had to put off even longer still.

Life is a series of dreams deferred. What happens if we set aside the dream and let ourselves become discouraged and never reach toward the goal? How often does that happen? Never trying is the real problem. There's nothing wrong with waiting awhile to have an opportunity to turn a dream into reality. 

Sometimes, waiting is the best thing. We just can't or don't want to see it in the moment. I'm still working on a few dreams that have seemed impossible to achieve. And I won't give up, because who wants dried up raisins? No one, that's who.

My dream deferred will be even more sweet once it comes to fruition. I just know it.