"It is never too late to be what you might have been."

~ George Eliot





Comments - and even criticisms - are welcome. It encourages me to know if my words touched a place in your heart; and criticisms show me how to improve. Thanks and have a wonderful day!




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Over and Above All of This

Over and Above All of This

Reaching out to be shoved back,
try to talk and instead catch flak.
Compromise and turn the cheek,
only to be despised as weak.

Sacrificing most wants and dreams,
bent over backwards, so it seems,
to please those who could care less
about my hopes and happiness.

Faith sees the good buried within,
and yet my patience has worn thin.
How long does one wait on others
to open their eyes to discover…

the likely “we” that we could be,
(so much more than they perceive),
over and above all of this,
the “should be” instead of what is?

Having prayed for God’s guidance,
yet receiving only silence,
I choose to walk where feared to tread.
Praying not my will, but His instead.
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I know of no one who is not estranged with someone - whether family, friend or lost lover. Sometimes it is by our choice, sometimes it is by theirs. It is the way it is.

I have a huge, loving heart. All of my life, I have tried to please others. I pour all I have into the relationship, longing for the like (or love) to be reciprocated. But, sometimes that is simply not the case. You can bend over backwards until you break! Trust me, I know. It is what I do. The hardest part is admitting that you cannot change things and finally let go of the relationship. You cannot force that other person to care or to do what is right. You can’t force their eyes to see the hurt they are causing others.

Whether it is a relationship with a brother, sister, friend, whoever….sometimes, for self-preservation’s sake, you have to say, “I’m done!” This doesn't mean that you stop loving them. It doesn't mean that you no longer care. You can still pray for that person and for the situation. I have been guilty of praying for God to harden my heart so I wouldn't care so much. The Lord knows what He is doing with all prayers – answered or not. Maybe in time, God will intervene and a change will come. But until then, sometimes you have to step away to keep from being torn apart by the apathy, the anger, the destructive nature of others.

It is not easy. Some are so embedded in our lives that we can’t escape encounters with them. The hurt boils back up, the anger and bitterness taste like bile to your tongue. It is hard to not be dragged back in. You must pray your way through and not give in. It’s not easy...another thing I know.

Trust God! He will sustain you. Stay strong and pray your way through until you reach the other side of darkness. May God forever be your Light. 
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Jesus, my Savior: I know that You know rejection greater than any of us. Help me follow Your divine example as I try to pray for those who have hurt me. When I cannot find the words to pray because of bitterness or resentment, pray FOR me. Hear my heart. Guide me as how to best pray for the ones who push me away. Strengthen me, for I am weak and let Your will be done in their lives and mine. ~ Amen  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lifting My Soul



Lifting My Soul
(My Psalm 25)
I lift up my soul expectantly.
I trust triumphantly.
None that wait on God are ashamed.

Teach me your ways.
Guide through life’s maze.
Lead me, Lord of my salvation.

I wait faithfully
Every day unfailingly
for your return, my Redeemer.

Your mercies are timeless.
I recall each kindness
loving Father of compassion.

He guides with judgment
those who keep his covenant.
Good and upright is the Lord.

Pardon mine iniquity.
Forget each sin done secretly,
seen openly by the Omniscient. 

My soul shall dwell at ease
for even when on my knees
My eyes are ever toward the Lord.

The Lord is with them that fear him,
with those who in awe revere him.
He is the truest, steadfast Friend.

He will pluck my feet out of the net
rescue me from every threat
for he alone is my Deliverer.

When my aching soul is battered,
my suffering spirit shattered,
look upon me, most Merciful.

Bring me out of my distresses.
my self-inflicted messes;
forgive all my sins, sweet Savior.

For I wait on you my King,
Adonai, my everything.
Jesus, my Messiah.
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A prayer for forgiveness and deliverance. Lifting my soul, my everything, to Almighty God. Enough said this time around. Because, thankfully, He knows even the words of the heart that our limited vocabulary can't express. Thank You, Lord, for knowing...Amen.

Monday, May 5, 2014

This Trail I Tread


Awesome photo from the website findingyourforce.blogspot.com

This Trail I Tread

This trail I tread is strenuous.
The hardships seem continuous.
One slip of the foot and I fall. 
For a firmer hand grip, I claw;
as the path steepens with each step.
So fatigued, at times I've wept.
Still I continue the arduous climb,
though covered with grit and grime.
Despite the dirt and the sweat,
I'm not ready to give up yet.
You ask why I won't simply stop.
Have you never seen the view from the top?
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This time of year always makes me long to be hiking again and to me there is no better place to hike than the mountains. I love them. It is as if they are a part of me. Whenever I visit the mountains, I feel like I am . . . home. Strange, since I have never lived in the mountains - only the hills. 

Still, this poem isn't solely about a rugged hike, it is about the struggles of daily life. I have chosen the path I am own right now and it is not an easy one. I am tired much more often than I am energetic. I am struggling with unanswered prayer requests, but I know everything works to the good of those who trust in the Lord. So, I trust God with the impossible while I do what is possible for me. 

Imagine this, one day not looking down from the mountain top, but from the highest clouds in heaven! What a day that will be. (Smile)
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My Lord in heaven, thank You for being my strength when I am weak, my Peace when my world is chaotic, my Hope when life seems bleak. I love you more than life and trust you with my everything. In Jesus name I pray. ~ Amen 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

True Royalty


 True Royalty

Soldiers’ scourged
forty stripes -
minus one.
Shredded skin
torn from him.

Reed in hand
just able to stand
in purple clad
before a crowd
gone mad. 

A thorny crown
thrust on his brow
to cause him pain
and mock his claim
“Hail! King of the Jews!”

Soldiers’ scow
as they  bow.
cruel parody
too blind to see
True Royalty.

Chin on chest
arms outstretched
“It is finished,”
falls
from parched lips.

The blameless
convicted
crucified
pierced his side
buried him.

And then…
The third day
He rose again!
Death conquered!
Sin overcome!

Sacrifice
to Savior.
Rebel to
Redeemer.
Hail! Christ the King!

While writing this poem, I learned something I have never known and it reminded me that nothing is coincidence with God and that everything in the Word has meaning.

Did you know that when the Roman soldiers wove the crown of thorns and forced it on Jesus’ head that their intent was perhaps a malicious parody of the civic crown worn by the emperor? The civic crown was a garland of oak leaves plaited to form a crown. If you think about it, I am sure you can think of at least one movie where you saw a Roman emperor wearing this leafy coronet. It was a military decoration presented by soldiers to those who had saved lives of Roman citizens. The citizen saved must admit that they were saved by this person. No one else could be a witness. The civic crown was regarded as the second highest military honor and had become an imperial insignia since Augustus, who in his time was hailed as “Savior of the World”. The irony. . .

Do you ever wonder what happened to that crown of thorns? I know what the internet claims happened over Roman history and maybe it is true, I don’t know. What I am asking is in the moments right after the Crucifixion, as they lowered the Savior’s body from the cross, what do you think happened to the thorny crown? The soldiers divided his clothes, casting lots for his seamless coat.  Did one of them keep the crown as well? Maybe the soldier who pierced his side picked it up in awe. Perhaps Pontius Pilate ordered it to be brought to him as a reminder of the Messiah. Or maybe Mary, the mother of Jesus, with tear-stained face, gingerly removed the thorny crown from the Savior’s head and clutched the crown to her breast as her son was carried away, ignoring the barbs biting into her own flesh. Did a disciple remove it and then hurl it away in anger, as far as he could from the scene of sorrow and sacrifice? Or did the beloved disciple, John, carry it with him and eventually leave it in the hands of the church at Mt. Zion? I can’t help but wonder . . . what happened to the crown stained with the blood of the Holy One?
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My Lord, my Redeemer, my King I bow to You in humble adoration and with repentant spirit; Your unworthy servant. The thought that You loved me, even before I was born, even before the earth was born, is unfathomable.  I thank You with all that is within me for Your willing sacrifice and can not wait until the day I see You face to face as I bow before Your throne. Thanks to You, our bridge to heaven, that future day is not a wish or a dream, but a reality.  Thank You Jesus! ~ Amen

Monday, April 14, 2014



Teaching Me To Trust

To the Lord, my God, I give my all;
the hopes and despairs and foolish cares I
cling to, with certain hope of help I have
in a heavenly Father I have never seen
with earthly eyes, and yet faith teaches
true sight through the Holy Spirit within me.

With lowered head, my request I raise to
replace my defiant doubts with childlike trust
and steadfast confidence in the
benevolent, compassionate Creator.

The Lord will surely supply our needs, for
before I ask, the Almighty knows all
the petitions and wishes I would pray as I
lift needs, both mine and those others have,
to a just and loving Father who can not
fail. The blessings are simply yet to be seen.
  

                                                                             04/14/2014 Susan Bunn Tarrant
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Right now, I don't have the time to participate in the National Poetry Writing Month challenge like I did last year. A poem a day is more than I can accomplish at the moment. But, I have been pulling up their website to see what some of their poetry prompts have been. One recently was a new concept to me and obviously, I really liked the idea! It was called a "golden shovel". In this form of poetry the writer takes either a short poem, line of a poem or quote and lines it up vertically on the right side of the page and then creates a new poem with these words creating the end of each line. If you read the last words of each line of the above poem, you will find a quote I love by one of my favorites, Ralph Waldo Emerson. :-)
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Merciful Heavenly Father, One of the things that amazes me most is how You are ever-present in each and every one of our lives. You know the needs and desires of every person that calls on You. Before they call Your name, You are there. Without a doubt, I know that You will meet my needs and the needs of each person I love and care about. For that, I thank You in advance. I know the blessings from Your throne flow daily and will continue to do so for those who love You, Lord. Forgive me for my impatience with unanswered prayer requests. Your timing is perfect, even if we don't see it at the present time. With all my heart, I trust in You, for no one loves me with such an immense love as You. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


    Forgiveness

    For by grace, I have been saved.
    Oh, why then do I feel enslaved?
    Resentment still seethes in my soul.
    God, my feelings I can't control.
    I wish this bitterness, I could shake.
    Vengeance is not mine to take.
    Evil for evil is a mistake!

    As I kneel, I raise my heart.
    Savior, mend the broken parts.

    Heal the weeping wounds within.
    Ease the anger. Cleanse my sin.

    Failure to forgive confines,
    Our Lord's Spirit, it undermines.
by Releasing those who once hurt me,
    God's grace is given to set ME free!
    Advise me how to truly receive
    Victory over sins that grieve,
as Ever to Christ's example, I cleave.
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I have a confession to make. I really, really have a hard time forgiving. Even if it is a “minor” offense, I replay the situation again and again in my head: How could they do/say that? What I said and shouldn't have. What I didn't say that I should have. What I WILL say if the situation presents itself. I wear it out by going over and over it repeatedly, stirring my anger, keeping the wound fresh - which wears me out emotionally and spiritually. Even days later, the mere thoughts of whatever indiscretion will get me riled up again. And if I do this over a minor offense, you can just imagine if the wrongdoing was something major. The hurt, anger and resentment boils inside for a very long, long time. . .
I hold grudges too – forever and eternity! Thing is, I realize that by doing this, I am allowing that person and situation to still have control over me. I am a prisoner and yet, I am the one creating the chains. Most likely, the offender has forgotten and moved on while I am still stewing.  

I know I am supposed to forgive. To not forgive is in direct disobedience to God. And with time, I eventually say I have forgiven someone, but don’t dare expect me to forget. Our culture pushes us to have that attitude. Forgive but don’t forget, that way they can’t hurt you again, right? Learn from our mistakes and the mistakes others have made toward us. So the attitude is, I forgive you and (toward a friend or family member) I still love you; but I won’t trust you…

The Bible states, in more than one place, that if we forgive then the heavenly Father will also forgive us. Did you catch that? His forgiveness is not automatic. It is conditional to our forgiving others. IF we forgive, THEN… Now, the thought occurred to me the other day, what if God forgave me the way I tend to forgive – never forgetting? How truly awful would that be for Him to replay my transgressions in His mind and not trust me?

I thank our merciful Lord that He does not forgive in the same manner that I do. That He does not hold on to my wrongdoings and dwell on them, letting them replay in His mind like a broken record. God’s Word teaches that He throws our sins as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) That is what we are supposed to do. That is how we are supposed to forgive.

I didn't say forgiving would be easy. I know of horrible crimes committed against myself and others that we never dreamed we could forgive, and couldn't have without the Lord’s help. We couldn't let it go on our own. We had to ask God to help us forgive. A person of great inspiration to me is Corrie Ten Boom. What a wonderful Christian example! What horrible things she lived through and witnessed in the Nazi concentration camp she was in. Read the link below to see how one day she came face to face with a former prison guard who asked her forgiveness and how she handled it:

http://www.familylifeeducation.org/gilliland/procgroup/CorrieTenBoom.htm

I cannot imagine how hard that must have been for her, but I love her realization: “Forgiveness is not an emotion... Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”

Corrie prayed for God’s help and immediately He was there. And you know what? Our Father is willing to meet us in our difficult places and to do the same thing – help us to forgive those who have hurt us. It doesn't always happen in an instant or overnight. Sometimes it simply takes time. Instead of repeatedly replaying the event, we must repeatedly pray for the Lord’s help.

For the one true, perfect example of forgiveness, look to the Savior. Jesus Christ forgave not only those who had beaten, mocked and rejected Him the day of His crucifixion; He asked the Father to forgive them as well. On that day, our Redeemer looked ahead to you and me and forgave our sins too. He already knew we would make mistakes and yet He loved us and forgave us then – and now. Look to Him. Cling to His example and pray the Lord teach us to truly learn to forgive as He forgave us – completely.

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 KJV
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Merciful Father, it is my heart's desire to please You, but I am imperfect. I let my emotions get the best of me. Anger, pride, resentment and bitterness over former injustices sometimes chain me to the past. Only with Your help can I truly let go of the hurt and also release the ones who have caused the hurt as well. I know that I can only have Your forgiveness and true peace when I learn to let go and forgive with my whole heart. Teach me, Father, to forgive as Christ forgave. Help me to become the person we both want me to be. In Jesus name I ask. ~ Amen

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Two Birds

Photo by Michael Speelman, website  
http://naldzgraphics.net/inspirations/35-exceptionally-cute-and-cuddly-baby-animal-photos/

 

 













My Two Birds

I lift them up to You, dear Lord,
my two independent birds.
One who has flown from home’s nest,
the other who wants frantically to fly.
One works the currents to glide and rise,
to reach and navigate new heights;
seeming self-confident and sure.
The other flutters close to crashing,
so eager to follow the flock,
such easy prey to predators.
I fear for him.
I fear for them.

I ask you to lift them up, dear Lord,
my two determined little birds,
above Satan’s snares and tests,
as they boldly stretch their wings and try.
Give them courage. Make them wise,
these two fledglings taking flight.
Keep them holy, their hearts pure,
when temptation's hands are grasping.
Be their Redeemer and their Rock,
forever their Protector.
I ask for him.
I ask for them.
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One of the hardest parts of being a parent is letting go. Our children will always be our babies, no matter how old they get and not matter how far away they fly. We still think of them daily and pray for God to bless them, protect them and give them wisdom. We must trust the Lord on a deeper level than ever before - to watch over our hearts, our children, when we can't anymore. Thing is, He loves them even more than we do, so we have no reason to fear. But for some of us, worry is ingrained in our nature.

I have been blessed by God with the amazing gift of one son. From the moment of his birth, I could not imagine being able to love anyone any more than I love him. In later years, the Lord, in all His wisdom, also saw fit to bless my life with another son, who though not biologically mine, is family as well, loved as much by his father as I love my own child and very dear to my heart. Sometimes the journey has been turbulent and downright difficult, but that is a struggle every couple endures that try to intermingle two households.

Never one to claim perfection, I have made mistakes in my parenting with both boys and for those mistakes, I ask forgiveness from God and them. One of the things that I ask most of God is that as they mature, they realize that even though I was not a perfect parent, despite my faults, I did my best and no matter what, I love them both, ALWAYS! I pray the Heavenly Father guides them and draws them near to Him as they venture out to create their own "nests" and someday start their own families. And when they stray from His will (for we all stray at times) may God extend grace to them and do whatever is needed to bring them back to the path that is right.

 May they both fly to the sky and succeed in all their dreams, with the Lord lifting them ever upward.

 “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?”
~ Luke 12:6
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I thank you Heavenly Father, that even though I cannot always be by their side, I can rest in knowing that You never leave them. On the restless nights, I have peace in knowing that You also never leave me. ~ Amen