Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Freewriting Day 14: Grace

Grace. Such a word shrouded in mystery, but so necessary. Grace covers. Grace is extended when we feel as if we have nothing left to give. Grace is given when we are weak. Grace is for the broken.

Grace is for those who are tired of running. Grace says, "Let me fill those empty places. Stop searching high and low. I am right here. Can't you see me?"

I am in that extra hug from your child after a hard day at work.
I am the soft response instead of angry words.
I am your strength.

Grace is the ability of God to do in us and through us what we can't do for ourselves. 
Grace helps us to forgive.

Grace is found in the quiet times as chaos screams loudly.
Grace is measured by the innate things. 

It is evident in your open arms.
What does grace look like to you?

What is grace? What does it do? How does it act?

Grace is the ability to just be.
No pretenses, no fluff.

Grace is unashamed.
Grace just simply is.

Grace is the instinctive part of us that keeps reaching out, after we've been hurt
After we've been scarred

Grace presses past feelings and everything you think is right
Won't you try just one more time?

Grace says, "Love more."
Grace says, "Overlook that."

Oh, for grace to abound in each one of us more and more!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Freewriting Day 13: Graduation

Graduation. A time of moving up and moving on. Graduation means you are moving. Graduation is a time of growth. You are finished with one phase and entering a new one. In graduation, you reflect on your accomplishments. You remember the pain, sweat, and tears that it took to get to this new place.

Graduation means you have reached a new height. The sky is the limit. The only barrier to your progression is yourself. You can graduate to a new place, yet be stuck because of mindsets and old patterns of thinking.

Graduation means advancement. It is a stepping stone on the path of greatness. Just because you've accomplished something doesn't mean you stop pursuing growth. 

Lest you forget, you can't graduate without the help of others. All during life, people have planted seeds in you. As time passes, you meet other people who water them. You see yourself differently. Graduation also means improvement. You've adapted and adjusted so much you might feel like a rubber band that is about to break. Guess what? You didn't. You've bent and writhed under the pressure. You've tried to hide from time to time. 

Look around! You made it. You finished something. You are not the same person you were before this time. All of life's experiences have made you stronger, kinder, wiser, smarter. You are more patient. You realize that anything worth having takes time and hard work. And you will take these lessons with you as you graduate to the next phase of life. Teenager. Young adult. Career. Marriage. Mother. Father. Graduating means using these building blocks to propel you further than you ever thought possible.

Graduate to greatness! I dare you.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Freewriting Day 12: Sunburst Explosion

Everything was dark. Then, I spied a tiny yellow flower just beginning to bud. Its small leaves curled gently upward. It was such a stark contrast to the dreariness around it. I stopped and stared, enamored by its beauty. Awestruck by its strength.

This little flower reminded me of the saying, "Life goes on." Even if things are bad, they won't be that way forever. The light will shine again. Growth will continue. Messes will be made and cleaned up. People will be born and people will die. It is the cycle of life.

Stealing a second glance, I realized there were other flowers around the yellow beauty. It didn't take away from anything. I know that everything needs something supporting it to help it reach its fullest potential.

I am thankful for the sunburst explosion. I see myself as that flower. People may count me out. I may not be seen, but in the midst of all the pain, I am coming out. My roots are firmly in the ground. New life is springing forth all around. Poof. Bam. Pow. Things that I thought were taking forever are suddenly working themselves out.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my growth. Whether you've been a front-row supporter or just on the fringe. 

In the explosion of color that I saw, I had a moment of clarity. Everything else paled in comparison. I saw none of the rocks and dirt. No, this is my moment to shine.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Freewriting Day 11: Through the Eyes of Love

If I looked at you through the eyes of love, I would swallow my pride
If I looked at you through the eyes of love, I wouldn't judge
If I looked at you through the eyes of love, I would see all of your broken pieces

Love makes you whole
Love is unrelenting
Love covers

In my quest to really see you, I would see that my love wouldn't be enough
I'd have to mix it with grace and mercy

If I looked at you through the eyes of love, I would release all of the hurt
If I looked at you through the eyes of love, I would see that you did the best you could with what you had

If I looked at you through eyes of love, I wouldn't scrutinize everything
I wouldn't pick apart every word you ever said
If I looked at you through eyes of love, my own shortcomings would be revealed
I wouldn't be high on some pedestal; we'd be equal

I've done things I'm not proud of. I've let anger rule me instead of love.

If I looked at you through eyes of love, I'd tear down all the barriers
Break down every wall
If I looked at you through eyes of love, I would realize love just wants a way in
If I looked at you through eyes of love, I would be whole again

Love searches for the good
Love believes the best

Lord, help me to look at you through eyes of love
Help me to give love even when it hurts

Monday, May 16, 2016

Freewriting Day 10: Throw Away the Sticks

Recently, someone said something to me that wasn't true. They meant well in what they said, but it just wasn't true. I may be in a wheelchair, but I am still capable of doing things. If I can graduate high school with honors while on medicine and go to college (while still on medicine) and graduate with honors, I am physically fine. 

Actually, I am doing great. I am not where I was five years ago. I am not only nearly as much medicine. I am stronger physically and mentally.

Mama told me, "You just have to throw away the sticks." There's an old saying that goes, "Keep the hay and leave the sticks." It basically means to take all of the good things and leave the bad.

I choose to focus on the good things this person said and "throw away the sticks." They didn't even know they said anything wrong. I am not going to get distracted and let that comment derail me. I am on a path. I might not know exactly where I'll end up, but I trust God to help get me there.

If someone has said something to you that didn't sit well, don't dwell on it. Keep focused and keep moving forward!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Freewriting Day 9: Coming Home

To the ones who are dirty. Those who think they are out of reach of grace. They don't even try to hide what they have done. What's the use? It echoes in their mind, over and over. I am wretched. I don't deserve anything but pain.

Beat me. Whip me. Spit in my face. I deserve it. I won't turn away. Nothing you could do to me could be worse than the pain I carry every day.

You might see me in public and flinch. I don't want to be near him. I can't stand the sight of him. Is he human or just a pile of trash?

I am here. I am breathing. But I feel invisible. Scratch that. I wish I was invisible. I no longer feel my heart beating. It is just a faint thud. The pain of this life has consumed me.

I want to be rid of this weight. I am tired of living this way. It's the same routine day in and day out. I put on layers and layers hoping I can live. I am miserable this way.

I want to shed the guilt. I am tired of the shame. I want to let the healing balm touch me, but I am scared.

I have sat at this place long enough. I want to be free. I know it starts with the first step. I've made up my mind. I am going back to Father's House.

Nothing could have prepared me for the joy that flooded my soul. In my filthy rags, I felt unworthy. But from that first glance as I dared to look up, it was evident that I never stopped being His son.

No longer trudging forward in fear, I ran forward at a breakneck speed. I had a date with my destiny!

I was home. I am free. What are you waiting for? I know I am not the only one who has gone astray.

Love washed over me in ways that I never expected. No words were needed, but through the tears, Father whispered, "I've been waiting."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Freewriting Day 8: Slow Down

Slow down. Take a look around you. The sun still comes up tomorrow. 

Let go. Be free. You don't have to be weighed down.

Take time to remember
Take time to feel
Take time to savor the moments
It won't ever be like this again

The good times fade
But the memories last
Hold on to all the good things
Things change fast

Slow down
Laugh a little longer
Walk a little slower

I promise it won't hurt.

Slow down
Life can wait
The world isn't going to come crashing down if you take a little time for yourself

Slow down
Love deeper
Be slow to anger
There's nothing to fear

What are you afraid of?
Why do you rush?
Time goes by fast enough on itss own. Why all the fuss?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Freewriting Day 7: In His Image

Letting go of what you see in the mirror

Looking past what you see
You are not who you're gonna be

You're not broken
You're not a failure
You're not ugly

You are a work in progress
Created in His image
In case you didn't know, He's not finished with you yet!

You are beautiful
He'll make something out of the mess
Rising from the ashes
Tall and proud

You are strong
You haven't quit
You're making things happen
Even if it's baby steps

You don't climb a mountain in a second
It takes time
It takes work

Persistance means seeing something through until the end
Just keep pushing
Just keep believing 

Believing in yourself
You can do it
You already have
You just can't see it

The work is happening on the inside
Little by little, you are learning to love yourself

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Freewriting Day 6: When We Were Young

I didn't really have anything to write about today, so I pulled from inspiration from things that I've seen and read today.

When we were young, things seemed limitless. The world seemed so big. I thought I could do anything. If I fell, I got back up. 

When we were young, our imagination soared. We were princesses, pirates, in charge of castles and forts. Best friends one day and hated each other the next.

When we were young, time seemed to creep by. I couldn't wait to graduate middle school. Then, I couldn't wait to graduate high school.

When we were young, we had no real problems. Everything was peachy. We laughed and played outside when Mama called us in at dusk.

When we were young, we didn't have computers and iPhones. We caught fireflies or also known as lighting bugs. We ran until we were breathless. We planned our weekends around friends' birthdays and riding four-wheelers.

When we were young, we didn't think about money. If we needed food, we had it. If we needed clothes, we didn't have to look any further than our closet.

When we were young, things were good. Popsicles and fort building and watching Kid's Sing A Long movies were the norm. 

When we were young, we were adventurers. Falling down in the red Georgia clay and then watching the bath water turn red as we washed.

When we were young, we experienced love in its purest form. We didn't get every toy we cried for in Wal-Mart, and I am glad. What we did have was people who loved us. They gave of their time. They sacrificed so that our needs were met. 

When Mama tucked us in every night, I felt secure. Not every child knows what that feels like. I wish they did. I am grateful for everything thing I learned when I was younger because I have a solid foundation as an adult. Thank your parents or caregivers today.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Freewriting Day 5: Take Me Back

Take me back to the place before the guilt and shame

Take me me back to the time my heart was tender

Take me back to the place before I was deceived by the lies
Take me back 

Take me back to the time when I was open
Before I was closed off
Before I put up walls

Take me back to the time when things were simple
Wish I could play some days over and over again

Take me back to the time when I was free
Nothing holdin' me
Take me back

Take me back 
Pull me in
Into the deep waters of life again

Take me back to the life of the livin'
Where we gave more than we took

Holding hands and helping each other
Smiling, laughing
Loving tenderly

Take me back to the time I knew myself
Before the mirror got murky
Before the joy dissipated from me

Take me back
I never want to leave
I want to put down roots that can't be shaken

I'm tired of running
Tired of running from myself
Not sure what I've been looking for
But I didn't find it

Not in fame
Not in fortune
Not in fairytales

Take me to the place where hope abides
Take me to the place where love springs forth
I wanna be better
I wanna know myself more

Take me back

Friday, May 06, 2016

Freewriting Day 4: Shift

Shift. Movement. Tilting. 

There is chaos at every turn. Things are uncertain. Why are people harming their own flesh and blood?

There is a shift. You might not see it. You may be blinded by the problems looming in front of you. But it is happening. Little by little things have shifted. A downward spiral. A train that senses danger is near, but there is nowhere to go. Nowhere to land. 

We've got off course. We've forsaken what is right. We have forgotten what is good. Evil lurks on every corner. And it's not hidden anymore. It's out in the light for everyone to see.

Addiction. Pain. Turmoil. A push pull of sorts. Some want to do good, but they are pulled to the other side. It's because of the shift. It's the time and tide. There is a season for everything. This is the season of the shift.

Which way will you go? There is no room for indecision. You must make a choice. When the dust settles, where will you be?

Stop pretending. Find solid ground or you will be sorry in the end. The shift waits for no one. Will you be ready?

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Freewriting Day 3: Stop with the Catch Phrases!

I'm tired of people - especially Christians - using catch phrases. No one cares if your words rhyme. What I care about is power. What have you overcome? Don't tell me something that sounds good. That doesn't mean anything. We have so many preachers who have watered down what Jesus said.

Stop with the palatable preaching! Enough tickling my ears. Tell me about what you've been through. And not just the same story over and over. What has God done for you recently? How are you growing? 

"A ring by spring. God's gonna bless you if you give this amount. Your best life yet." It is all old. I want the fresh revelation from God. I want to hear what He's saying now. I wish that Christians would stop acting like robots. A lot of people are just going through the motions. I think a lot of times the reason people say the same thing over and over is because they have no real relationship with God. They have stopped seeking Him. They think God isn't saying anything new. I've got news for you. God is talking! Maybe you are not listening.

Jesus was in the world, but He wasn't of the world. When He spoke, people listened. Things changed. He didn't have to change what He said or how he said it to please people. He just was who He was. I wish we would live out that boldness. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Freewriting Day 2: What is Success?

What is success? Is it book and TV appearances? Is it having all of the material things? I think success is found when you are content. Success comes when you stop chasing after all of the accolades. 

Success is being happy. Being happy with a little or a lot. People may not know my name, but every day I want to make someone else happy. That's it. Success is when you care about others more than yourself. Success is something much bigger than the number in your bank account.

They say you've "made it" when you are a success. According to society, you are a success when you have accomplished something. Instead of making a name for yourself, how about doing something to care for the needy, the hopeless, the ones who are alone. 

Success is spreading joy. Success is showing mercy. Success is forgiving others. Success is getting up when you've been knocked down. Success is shining despite the rain, rising above limitations.

All of us who haven't quit, WE are a success. We keep going. Those who have never faced any hardships don't know what success really is. Success isn't something that is handed to you, it's earned. Success is measured by the things you do when no one is watching. Success should follow character, but too often character is thrown away FOR success. As some song lyrics say, "I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul." 

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Freewriting - Day 1: Emotions

In an effort to blog more, I am going to freewrite a little bit each day. Freewriting is when you just write for a short period of time, not worrying about punctuation or grammar. I will be mindful of those things, though because I know it helps everyone understand better. In freewriting, you don't have to stay on one topic. This is just what popped into my mind a few minutes ago. I haven't purposefully done this in awhile, so here it goes!!


They twirl around. They bubble up. Sometimes they burst. Sometimes I wish I wouldn't have said something the way I said it. I can't take it back. I can't press rewind. I want to be more mindful of my emotions. Instead of letting them splatter out and fall wherever, I want to be careful with my words. Words are weighty. Words matter. 

Emotions are a good thing, but they can be unpredictable. You can feel fine one minute and mad or frustrated the next. It's like a roller coaster. 

I am in charge of how I react. I can't control situations. I refuse to be held in a prison in my mind anymore. We all have barriers that we must overcome. I won't be silenced. 

I choose to give voice to life. I choose joy. I choose to let go. There is a freedom in letting go. There is a freedom in knowing I don't have to have everything figured out. I can't put a person in a bubble and say, "Stay in here. This is where it's safe." It might seem safe, but that bubble will stifle his/her growth. Life is messy. Life is unpredictable. But learning to navigate the twists and turns is half the fun.