Tag Archives: Contentment


12 May

here’s what triggers me:

a soft feeling beneath a cynical view

that today matters

that there is worth in unexpected moments

that greener grass is here, now

I want to take a breath and mean it

like when time stopped and every inhale and exhale

meant bringing a child into the world

a labor of pure love

I want to work like that until my heart is filled again

to fix my eyes on letters

and forget all the numbers

filling my head

peace is not a catchphrase

contentment is not a buzzword

I want them to be the structure which holds

this body together

which binds my skin and keeps all my insides, in

that which infinitely embraces my soul

and keeps me well

that whispers inside my spirit

You don’t have to live like this 

on dark days

I am not sure where to go from here

only that every step matters

like every cell and atom

like rest and color

like music and warmth

like today

this is what triggers me:

a cascade of bright memories

a dull black and white fear

an anticipation of hope

swirling in the sky as one


27 Reasons Why 27 is Better Than 17

24 Aug

1. I believe in fairy tales again– not the cliché perfectionist view of love, but the magic of every day life.

2. I have learned to love myself. To brush aside my flaws, to give myself grace.

3.  Things that once stirred nameless inside of me, now have names.

4. I know more than ever, I am a writer. I am not ashamed of this.

5. I am not afraid to screw up and fall. In fact, I am confident that I will.

6. I am no longer waiting for a man to fix my life.

7. I have a man who reminds me that life is beautiful and so am I.

8. The skeletons in my closet have long been thrown into a bottomless ocean.

9. My expectations are lower, so my joy comes quicker.

10. I don’t have to “figure everything out.”

11. It is not the end of the world–this too shall pass.

12. My pain doesn’t define me.

13. People are just … people.

14. I am able to see my own story in a wider context, my eyes are not just focused on the awful and stormy beginning chapters of adolescence.

My 17-year-old artistic attempts.

15. I’ve seen more bad but I’ve also seen more redemption.

16. I am not completely sure of what I believe, and that’s ok.

17. “Gospel” is not a stale, religious word, but life and bread.

18. I know I can’t “fix myself” and it’s a sweet relief.

19. I am no longer attempting to change the world–at least not the way I thought I would.

20. My life plans have been crumpled up and thrown out the window enough times to know that next time I may as well just fold them into a paper airplane and laugh as they fly away.

21. I am no longer counting the second (third, fourth, etc) chances I get, because I am no longer worried they’ll run out and I won’t “deserve” any more.

22. Friendship: fewer, deeper. Those that stick through all the changes are truly life-long.

23. I’ve learned to educate myself.

24. The world is a bit crazier maybe, but there are way more possibilities.

25. I may be 30 pounds heavier, but now I have curves! 😉

26. Connecting with Jesus is not limited to church services, bible reading, and not screwing up.

27. Happiness has nothing to do with geography.

Swimming or Treading Water

17 Jul

Some days I don’t know what to say. I wish I could find words but they seem hidden from me.

I am a blank slate. I hate everything I put on paper. Wait, this isn’t paper…

I decided to detox facebook for a few days. My brain feels like mush. I probably made it that way. All the filling with crap, random stuff that doesn’t do me any good.

I hate feeling like crusty things build up, plaque, gross stuff that I can’t think or breathe around. Sometimes it takes a pick-ax to get through to the other side.

I’ve been writing a lot about opening up my eyes, but sometimes I feel like I go through life with my eyes shut 90% of the time.

Then it hits me, how fast this is all over. Life. You blink and it’s done.

Writing (especially poetry) freezes time, captures moments, slows it all down a bit.


Slowly, now.

I  have to write all these paragraphs to dig beneath to what is really there. I feel the pain in this. In exposing the things I had forgotten. Or never learned.

I close my eyes and picture a moment. Or really a thousand moments. Mostly in foreign lands.

I need to reflect. I need to connect.

I need to capture the moment, I feel the need to post on facebook and get the instant gratification of knowing someone cares about some inane moment of my day.

Because I want to share the moment with people, in order to validate my existence.

I want to feel connected to my imaginary community.

So I go online. Everyone is doing something different with their lives. Everyone else is having an adventure. Everyone else is having babies.

Everyone else.

I can’t live like that. I can’t. I can’t compare. I can’t feel like I am running behind. It’s a sure way to be miserable, to wish my life away.

I write poetry to slow down and to know that I can be content.

That I don’t have to live in anxiety. In discontentment.

Because I can stop and see what’s next to me,

(Close your eyes, think of all you have beside you.- Katie Herzig)

I can be happy.

I am happy.

I have all I need.

(This is what I wanted.)




Slowly, I Open My Eyes

14 May

“Open your eyes wide,” he says intensely, lovingly.

I don’t look at him. My tears are hot, formed by some unknown frustration and anger.

He knows me. Well. We’ve had this conversation more than once. It used to be often. Not lately though, lately I’ve been fine. 

But something made it’s way into my soul, some discontented itch I can never scratch.

That deep seeded longing, that feeling like something needs to change.

It’s a feeling I’ve grown to hate. I don’t know how to shut everything up and just go through life happy.

I start to feel trapped.

“But what about…”

I start blaming him, blaming my time in ministry, blaming my own fear,  blaming the future I was so sure of when I was 19 or 22.


When I was small, I made up stories in my head constantly. While I ate cereal, I would picture whole groups of tiny people living in my bowl, a cheerio as a flotation device like in the terrifying scene from Honey I Shrunk the Kids. But a bite wouldn’t kill them, it would just force them to move, to set up home inside my stomach like Mrs. Frizzle’s class in The Magic School Bus learning about digestion.

Lying in bed at night, I’d stare into the darkness until I saw shapes and colors. I convinced myself I saw things, people, spirits, other worlds. I was sure that that’s what was real.

When I took a bath, I’d put my ears under the warm water close my eyes, leaving my nose in the air to breathe. The world would fade away and the only thing I’d hear was a deep methodic pounding, like ancient drums calling out to me. Sometimes I’d think if I listened hard enough I would be able to decipher it. Those thumps would quicken and I was convinced that it meant in my sleep I’d meet some horrible monster or be stuck in a pit without being able to get my legs or my voice to work.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized it was just my own heartbeat.


I still make up stories in my head.

I project myself into a future where I am blissfully happy, or exceedingly miserable.

I romanticize moments in my past where I think I was more myself, more alive because I was doing this thing in that place, having some adventure.

Of course, I exclude from my memory the times my heart ached, the times I wanted to give up, the times I just couldn’t wait for it to be over.


I turn to him, frantic.

“Life is so short… I just want to have an adventure.”

He smiles.

“You are an adventure.”

He reminds me of the good, shows me the beauty.

Slowly, I open my eyes wide.


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