"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!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trust in the Silencing

Trust in the Silencing 
Head bowed,
eyes closed,
breath hushed,
ears reach
desperately in the darkness.
They grasp to touch a tone of Hope,
a still Voice among the starkness.
Can’t Wait!
The Silence resonates within,
revealing things we’d rather hide;
our faults, our fears, our secret sins.
he haunts,
and taunts,
even flaunts
The trickster obscures the treasure                                         
found in searching depths of the soul
taking glee in our displeasure.
he knows.
Faith grows.
Silence shows
the way.
Simply linger in the stillness,
learning to trust expectantly,
the Fullness found in emptiness.
which weaknesses need strengthening.
We learn, as does HE, true nature.
For such, we trust in the silencing.
“God is always found at the depths, even the depths of our sin and brokenness. And in the depths, it is silent.” ~ Richard Rohr
It is always an act of faith to trust in times of silence. It is never easy, or if it is, I haven’t reached that realm yet. When we pray and plead for the Lord to guide us, and yet we sense no reply, we tend to start panicking and doubts sneak in. The devil loves to whisper worries in that darkness: “God has abandoned you. You have failed Him so many times; no wonder He won’t answer your prayers anymore. He probably isn’t even listening! The heavens are brass to sinners such as you….”  
I have learned to ask God to shut Satan up when he starts mouthing doubts and fears into my mind. When all other prayers seem to go unanswered, that request is never denied. When Mom was in the hospital recently, she told me that during the dark, quiet of the night was when Satan would try to slip in and discourage her. She would pray, “God, the devil is knocking on the door again. Would you please get it and take care of him?” and He always did. The thought of Mom asking God to get the door just makes me smile; her simple, quiet, still waters-run-deep faith.  :-)
Remember always that God never abandons us. He promised to never leave us and unlike mankind, He does not break His promises. Now, he may step to the side and silently watch as we are tested, but He never, ever leaves us! How do I know? Because, so many times He has reached down and rescued me when I needed Him most; even when I rebelled and walked into a world I knew was wrong. All the times He has been there for me in the past have taught me that He always will be there for me in the future. I have faith and with faith comes trust during times of testing within the silencing.
So why does our loving Father sometimes choose to remain silent? Well, let’s think about what happens when the Lord doesn’t answer:
1.      I have a tendency to reach out in prayer more often
2.      My prayers become more intense; no nonchalant, “Please help me/guide me, Lord. Amen.” I lay out my whole heart and soul in my petition
3.      I slow down and take time to listen more intently, instead of praying and rushing away
4.      I search the Bible more, praying for God to guide me through His Word.
5.      I take a closer look at my own life and any stumbling blocks that may be in my path to Him
6.      I recall times past when He rescued me and praise Him for the past - and the yet to be
7.      I humble myself before a sovereign Lord
8.      In the end, when the silence passes, my faith is strengthened, my hope shown not to be in vain
All good things after all, wouldn’t you say? His silence returns our focus on what matters most…our relationship with the One who created us and loves us most of all. Trust in the silencing. Stay the course undaunted. Learn to welcome it as a gift that draws you closer to our amazing, omniscient God and be blessed!
Most wise and knowing Lord, I praise You even during the times of silence. I thank You for the lessons taught in the soul-searching quiet. As my focus returns to You instead of the world, may my trust increase and my faith soar beyond measure. Time and again my hope is renewed in You. ~ Amen

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Works and Words
We are not a who but what.  
Are you a name or are you
what million little things you do?
We forget that our life speaks
repeatedly by works and words. So
do right and let love speak loudly.

Be a better being; that
better self that sees beyond I.
Today, let love perceive what hate cannot,
than conceit is too deaf to hear.
You choose - kindness or spite? What
were, upon rising, your grand plans for you?

Yesterday is lost. Today, what will your actions say?

Lately, I have been missing doing the things that I truly enjoy doing. I work so much, who has time for recreation? But, that is no way to live life, so I am once again playing with words. . . .and with genealogy, but that is another story. 

When at times you are too tired to think, it is hard to feel inspired though. So, I decided to play around with the golden shovel poetic form once again. Then, I decided to make it a double shovel, maybe even triple. LOL. Isn't it like me to get carried away with things? 

Regardless, I hope you enjoy my poetic pastime! Remember there is meaning to the poem as well. Be sure to be aware of how your words and actions affect others - and what they say about you as an overall person. May we always strive to "be a better being."
Heavenly Father, may my words and my actions be ones that bring You joy. Where there is discord, may I find a way to weave in words and actions that lead to peace. I have failed in this feat many times, but with You guiding me, I can become a person that speaks kindness, love and compassion. In Christ's name I pray. ~ Amen

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.
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. 
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.
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?
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)
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,”
from parched lips.

The blameless
pierced his side
buried him.

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

to Savior.
Rebel to
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?
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
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. :-)
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.