Keep My Eyes: A Quote & Encouragement

I can’t seem to ‘see the forest for the trees’, so I will just keep my eyes on You.” ~Candice

There is no other place I would rather be than walking alongside Yeshua Jesus. But sometimes, storms blow in out of nowhere, blocking the Son’s light, and even blocking out much of the faith that seemed so readily available when there was no storm at all.

I find myself, in these moments, having to “remember my training” if you will. It is very easy to panic when a trial hits, and instead of standing your ground, you run for the hills. Lately, I have just been scratching my head.

…having done all else, stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

Confusion doesn’t help either. You feel so tossed and driven that you can’t tell up from down. In these moments it is best to simple stand…and wait on Him, and say, “Amen. Your will, not my will.”

The answer to my recent prayers, in the midst of this particular storm (and its a doozy) is to “Keep my eyes on Him.” Sounds easy enough, but I equate the difficulty of doing so sometimes to trying to keep one’s eye fixed on Jesus while looking through the peep hole of a door in the midst of a hurricane…Not saying it can’t be done, because He doesn’t ask us to do things that He hasn’t enabled us to do, just saying its been a struggle.

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

What makes the struggle even more difficult is not being able to see the beauty on the other side of the storm. I think about Peter when he walked on the water with Jesus. Peter began to sink when he took his eyes off of the Master and looked at the storm. The thing is, walking on water even in the sunshine requires our focus and gaze to be solidly fixed upon Him. (Matthew 14:22-33)

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe storm however, has such a way of calling our attention away from the Giver of our peace and way from trusting His word.

Sometimes I just want to give up and walk the other way. Not walk away from Jesus, but walk away from the battle that has caused the storm, forgetting what has been promised upon completion of enduring.

Sometimes I feel rubbed raw and the peep hole to Jesus seems to shrink.

It is only by His Grace and His under girding that I continue to stay above water and keep my eyes on Him at all. My eyes stay fixed and focused because at this point He has cupped my face and put His forehead to mine.

I meditate on Hebrews 12:1-3. For the JOY that was set before Him He DESPISED THE SHAME and ENDURED THE CROSS…for me…for all of us, even though He knew so many would not receive Him, He did it anyway.

I don’t have to like my trial. Truth is I hate it, a lot. But I have to look to Him and keep looking ahead. I have to remember the Joy that is set before me. He never said it would be easy, but He promised it would be worth it.

I have to remember that my present circumstances and pains are not even worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed when this is all said and done. You have to believe this for yourself as well.

You have probably heard many believers say, “I am going through.” We have to keep going to make it through. As I encourage myself not to faint, I also encourage you. Your trial is a road not the destination. Victory is ours if we just keep our eyes fixed on Him and not let go of the hope and promise, for our hope will not be failed.

Keep your eyes on Him and keep seeking His kingdom first. Everything else will fall into place, just as He said it would. (Matthew 6:33)

Psalm 20:5 May we shout for Joy in your Victory, arrayed by standards in the Name of our God. May the Lord fulfill your every wish.”

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

 

 

 

Just Give Me A Minute: Sorting Through My Creative Mental Soup

Did you know that there are people in this world who just don’t understand what it is to be a writer? I mean they seriously do not understand the struggle…and the struggle is real, folks!

Not only is it a BIG step to take to decide that you are going to live a little lighter in the finances so that you can give your craft a bit more time, but it also means that you run the risk of mental fatigue. Gimme A Minute

Sure, mental fatigue can happen to anyone, but I tend to think it is more troublesome when it strikes a creative writer.

I have been stricken with mental fatigue this week. Yes, I have managed to write a daily post or two, but they were each a struggle to get through. Even typing this, I feel like my brain is throbbing.

Really I just want to go back to sleep. Alas! That is not possible because my imagination has not stopped nor has it taken the hint. Actually, I think it may be confused as well.

If you are suffering from mental fatigue, don’t beat yourself up. Just take a break, take a week off even if you feel like you are going insane because of it. We all need a good sabbatical, even from our craft.

Honestly my manuscripts have been giving me the evil eye all week…I haven’t touched them, not a single one of them. Its rough I tell you!

Hopefully I will find myself refreshed and ready to go next week. I have GOT to get these projects finished already.

Onward and upward, folks.

Cheers!

When The Waters Recede: Short Story Results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt July 27th

His heart seemed to burst with emotion at the sight of the waterline. The flooding had damaged everything in a three mile radius of the river, but the little church, her recent investment, their last chance at hope, stood as a dry beacon of promise, perched on the slopping hillside.  1394205446tbv46

Troyer waded through the almost waist high water, the scent of mud and grass tickled at his nose, but there was something pleasing about the fragrance, something soothing. It reminded him of dew and sunshine and her, in his arms.

His water boots lost their footing as he pushed up the tiny slop towards the church doors. A curse parted his lips with a frustration that seemed to wash away once he dunked his soiled hands in the cool water.

The water. It had damaged so much, left so many in ruin and devastation, but somehow, in that moment with its coolness swirling around the callouses of his hands, right at the foot of the slop to the church he had not wanted to buy, the water felt like a baptism.

It had taken him almost a full year to clime out of the darkness he had fallen into once he said his last goodbye to her, cursing the cancer that had snatched her life away, and shunning God for letting it happen. But now, with the seat of his pants soaking up the mud of the earth and his hands bathing in the waters edge, tadpoles zipping in between his fingers, Troyer felt…new, alive again.

When he saw on the news that the river had flooded its banks and swept through the county like wipers against a windshield, Troyer thought he was dying all over again. He had not dared to come back here, look at her vision, feel the pain anew. But he couldn’t resist, not with uncertainty pressing against his shoulder blades. He needed to know that some part of her, some glimmer of her joy was still standing here on earth.

And it was. The white clapboards looked to have been scrubbed clean and doused with a fresh coat of paint from where he sat. Troyer knew better. They had already talked about how much they would have to invest in order to convert the old chapel into a beautiful home. They planned to have started that spring right after their wedding…

Tears stung his eyes and his fist clenched beneath the clear water sending the tadpoles off in a scurry. Troyer pushed himself up from the ground and carefully up the slop of the hill. His heart had crawled up into his throat, dragging up the raw pain that he had worked so hard to swallow down.

No amount of anything had helped in the beginning. Slowly he allowed God to touch his wounds, help him keep breathing.

The keys he pulled from his pocket jingled like bells for all the shaking in his hands. He blew out a breath and turned them in the lock, the movement so much like he was opening up his heart again to see where he had last buried his hope.

Stale air washed around him as the doors creaked open. Dust particles, danced in the beams of sunlight that cut in from the stain glass windows. Everything looked so untouched, neglected but screaming of promise, the same way it had when she had convinced him to buy it with her.

Tears shook his shoulders and caused his eyes to blur. A mixer of pain and joy swirled on the inside of him. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He could almost smell her here.

“Is everything alright?” Avery, her former assistant called from the porch. Troyer swiped the wetness from his eyes and tried not to scowl. He had asked Avery to stay in the truck, but like always she didn’t listen. He couldn’t be mad at her. They had both lost so much when she had died, both of them were searching for hope to move on in their own way. Avery just tended to piggy back off of Troyer’s choices.

“Everything is,” He glanced around the sanctuary and took a deep breath, a smile growing on his face, hope welling up within him. He turned towards Avery. “Everything is going to be fine. I’ll start building as soon as the waters recede.”

THE END FOR NOW…

I hope you enjoyed this peek into Troyer’s world and life. Grief is hard, I didn’t even know he was grieving until I let my fingers kiss the keyboard. I do have a sneaking suspicion that there just might be more then home building in store for Troyer especially with Avery playing his shadow. Love is always in the air for me…at least in my imagination. 

Cheers!

Why I Write: A Quote & Question

I began writing about power because I had so little.” ~Octavia E. Butler

If you ask most writers, published or not, why they commit themselves and endless hours of their lives to writing, and or the topics they choose to write about, many will take pause before giving you their answer.

13515398292kl2nFor most, the answer is multi-layered, generally revolving around the sun of cathartic warmth.

We write to obtain release from pressure, we write, like the late Octavia E. Butler, because we feel powerless in our real world, but we are in complete control over the worlds we create. (Even that is to a degree…strong willed character’s will fight their creators.)

My reasons for writing, my layers begin with a sense of “have to.” To not write means I am making the commitment to become a tense, grumpy grouch, with very little focus.

I become stagnant in all things as the weight of words that need release, have taken me hostage. The characters in my imagination begin gnawing off my mental ears, blinding my eyes with the veil of their worlds, versus my own true world.

…writing is my diary of boundless thought and emotion that I leave open for the world to see.

I don’t want to say I am a slave to writing, as my “want to” certainly out weighs, and out shines my “have to.” I am no more a slave to this craft than I am slave to breathing…I want to do that too.

I also write because it gives me voice. If you have read my About Author Artist Page, then you are aware that I consider myself an “introverted extrovert.” (There is a new fancy term for this now, but it eludes my thinking at the moment.)

Being such a person, I share much, but the more intimate facets (and sometimes the usual/basic thoughts) of my being are buried very deep within, sometimes even from myself. I write to express many of my untried feelings and emotions.

I am no more a slave to this craft than I am slave to breathing…I want to do that too.

Writing allows me to touch these feeling and thoughts and express them through my characters, either consciously or subconsciously. I lean towards Science Fiction and Fantasy, because there are no limits or boundaries within those genres. My nature is to be limitless.

In short, writing is my diary of boundless thought and emotion that I leave open for the world to see. Octavia E. Butler wrote for a sense of power in the face of powerlessness.

So, why do YOU write? What drives you? And why do you write about what it is that you choose to write about?

I would love to know.

Cheers!
*To find out more about Octavia E. Butler, visit www.octaviabutler.org

Losing It: A Free Flow Poem

When I feel like I am losing it

Let me lose it all in You

Toes pressed against the valley of decision

And I am blinded for the Truth

Let Your Breath be the fire

That burns me down to proof

Until cinders, ash and sand is what You write Your purpose through

As when You did before the woman

They wished to ruin with words and stones

Let my breaking be for Your Glory

Be more than my flesh and bone

Until the tears I cry be more than salt that fills forever’s seas

And all that’s left of my last breath

Is what You’ve made of me

…Have mercy

Lucinda’s Candle: A Story Snippet #Blogbattle Week 20

Blogbattle Tuesday is upon us, and this week's word is "Prophet." I have followed my muse, and deviated from the Sickle this week. I hope you like what is below, and do feel free to leave comments. For more entries created by some amazing writers, follow the link to Rachael Ritchey's blog by clicking HERE.

Lucinda’s Candle

What was she thinking? She felt the fool, standing outside in the rain, her legs tethered to the ground by the invisible rope called ‘indecision.’ She had heard about others coming here, she fancied it foolishness, hence why she was beginning to believe herself the fool.

The garishly loud jingle of the brass bells hanging from the storefront door clanged, pulling her out of her thoughts. A middle aged woman, 1396113137qumq6clutching her purchase to her chest with greedy hands, locked eyes with her before shame snatched them away and she scurried off in to the shadows of the night, the heady fragrance of candle wax dragging in her wake.

Lucinda shook her head. Her kind was so odd when it came to these kinds of things, these kinds of purchases. It was mostly because of their own mental assimilation to being on earth, passing for native Earthlings.

Lucinda’s kind looked no different than the true Earthlings, though they were decedents, but they were different. Who else would open a store with a glaring sign saying “Free Smells?”

The message was misleading in its nature. The scents weren’t free of cost, not by a long shot, and once those “scents” were set free, there was a lot of responsibility to be managed.

Again Lucinda hesitated, her fingers drawing away from the door handle as if it had burned her. She forced herself to take hold of it and step in. She needed help and fast. She needed to free a scent, a particular scent at that.

*  *  *

If it were at all possible, Lucinda felt even more stupid after explaining her need to the Nose. He stared at her curiously, stroking his naked chin as if it were heavily bearded.

Leaning forward, one of his eyes narrowing, he said, “You are not the usual customer. I mean, if we were home your request would not be so unusual.”

The tension in Lucinda’s shoulders fled. The Nose clucked his tongue. “Alas, we are not home and so this is unusual.”

“Does that mean you don’t have such a candle?” Defeat was scrapping its claws down her belly with the worst of cramping.

The Nose held her gaze. “My dear, we are on Earth now, have been for centuries,”

“I understand that,” She pressed her eyes closed as not to lose her patience.

“Then you know the saying, “When in Rome, do like the Romans.” Forget about…that.” He wagged his finger at her with disgust as if the “that” she had confessed to him was the most vile thing he had heard of. Such sad assimilation.

Lucinda wished she had it that easy. But wishing was as useless as believing that some magic could solve her problem. An Earthling might have believed the candles were the works of magic. This, the store, in Lucinda’s mind, was far more reproachable, but she was desperate.

The Senthians had lost, this, the candles was their end. Claiming one was Lucinda’s right, or more  so her rebellion. The Senthians weren’t meant to be freed…but then they were no longer home. The rules did not apply. She chewed her lip, more indecision.

“Maybe I should forget about this,” She said.

“Exactly! None of us can go backward. But the smells are still available. I have some very nice woodsy tones, nodes of pine with touches of sweetness. What woman doesn’t enjoy a sweet scent.”

He winked. “I could even mix you the perfect blend if you’d like. You tell me what you want down to the smallest detail and its done. I can whip you up the perfect companion, tall , handsome, sensitive, dotting, boyfriend or husband. A master in the kitchen!”

Lucinda was feeling sick. She shook her head and made to rise.

He smacked the table top. “Just can’t get that issue off your brain can you?! What you want is a Prophet! No one asks for those!”

“So you don’t have one, or can’t mix one, because clearly that is what I am looking for. I don’t need,” She swallowed her words rather than lie. She would love a nice male companion mixed up just the way she liked, but the thought didn’t sit well with her, playing God that way.

Senthians were once an elegant race. Now they were nothing but candles whipped up at the whims of lonely women and men.

The Nose finally heeled and stood. “I don’t need to mix one. They couldn’t be rendered. Prophets are very specific in their structure.” He disappeared into the back of his shop and returned with a round jar, cocooned in a centuries old skin of dust.

He dropped the jarred Prophet on the table and spit out a hefty price, one that made Lucinda wish to faint. She paid it anyhow and with hands just as greedy as the woman she had met outside the store, she clutched the candle to her chest.

“I hope you like forevers, because that’s what  he will be once you release his scent; a forever responsibility for you and you alone.” The Nose warned. “Prophets are not like their Senthian brothers. They can’t be re-rendered.  There are no returns for obvious reasons.”

Lucinda swallowed down the knot in her throat, the jarred Prophet suddenly feeling warm and heavy in her hands. “I-I understand.” She said, and with haste ran from the store.

THE END FOR NOW.

Last year a friend and I were window shopping. We stopped at a store that had some of the most lovely, heady, masculine scented candles I had ever smelled. They weren’t over powering at all, as some of the candles can be. My friend and I laughed and said, “Wouldn’t that be something if you could just buy a candle that was made of the perfect man, burn it and there he was? Could you imagine women shopping for men like they did candles?” We laughed then and I am laughing now, but that is not Lucinda’s reason for a candle…obviously. I hope you enjoyed the start of her tale.

Cheers!

Song of Strength: Musical Interlude

I realize that we each live in seasons of life; joy or sadness, pain or pleasure, peace or war, soundness or confusion, seasons that differ from the person next to us. Embrace

In the spirit of that knowledge, I share this song for those who are in a season of pain and sorrow, or confusion, whatever it may be, to encourage your heart in the Love of Yeshua Jesus.

God knows, He cares and He is with you. The book of Psalms 126 says, he who sows in tears shall reap in gladness. The Word promises to turn our mourning into dancing. (Psalm 30)

So don’t give up. Don’t give in. Keep trusting God and wrest in His loving embrace.

~Poiema Poetry in Motion


what do you do
when the life you planned is shattered
and what do you say
when the one you love is gone
how do live
seems like no hope for tomorrow
pain doesnt care where you live or who you are[chorus:]
Lord you see my life is broken
and i dont know what to do
my life’s being changed, help me remain
i will count on you
when i cant see
i know you’ll guide
when i cry out
i know you feel
now I’m praying
i know you hear
I’m praying for healing
i know you heal[verse 2:]
who do you call
when no one has the answer
where do you go
when the place you’ve known is no more
when will they stop
all these tears they just keep fallin
pain doesn’t care where you live or who you are

[chorus]

[channel:]
we ask you to forgive
and we will do the same
as we recieve your love
and we’ll take this time to heal

[chorus 2:]
hold on and wait just a little while
he’ll bring a song of strength in the midnight
touch our lives with your lovin’ hands
hold on
hold on

[chorus 2: x5]

*I claim no ownership of these lyrics by sharing them on this blog.