Tag Archives: death

How The Light Gets In

10 Oct

Dear One,

I know you’re tired.

I can see it in the dark half-moons under your eyes, and they way they’ve lost their shine.

I see you when you lie awake at night, wondering how you got to this place.

I know you’ve tried so hard.

To keep your family intact.

To keep your head above the rising waters.

To hold yourself together.

I know a part of you just wants to give up, to slip into the cold waters, letting the chill embrace you and consume you.

Letting the darkness swallow you up.

I know, it feels sometimes like the only option,

Like you can’t keep treading anymore.

You are sick of the forced smile plastered on your face.

You can’t even bear to look at your reflection.

The voices, constantly barrage your senses, void of reason or meaning,

“If only I had….”

“I will never be loved.”

“It’s all my fault.”

Let me tell you something:

Something so true it resonated before the earth was born….

It’s NOT your fault. 

You were meant to be loved.

You deserve it.

You were created for someone to know you fully and love you so completely and totally.

(And I do.)

You deserve to live like you did when you were a child,

With joy as your reality,

Wonder and amazement your friends.

I want you to feel like the world is bright and in front of you

Like anything is possible

To be free and feel like you are beautiful

And to know you can do anything.

This may feel like a distant memory from someone else’s dream,

But let me tell you,

I want to take you back to that place.

Back to the garden of possibility.

Back to the shoreline, to feel the warmth of the sun on your face

To know, everything will be alright.

To know your brokenness isn’t a curse,

But how the light gets in.


So please, I beg you.

Don’t ever stop fighting.

Not in the sense where it feel like the weight of others are on your shoulders,

But in the sense where you know you’ve just got to take one more step,

For you.

For your children.

For the bright future.

For love, again.

One day it will be better.

One day you will see Me

and know I redeemed all of this.

And it will be your story,

The pages you’ll recite to your children’s children,

On how you walked through hell and came out the other side.

It’s my miracle,

Let me write the ending.

Life, Death & Easter Baskets

5 Apr

I made an Easter basket for the first time today. I wandered the aisles in the store and let my daughter choose between a bunny and a duck. I never did Easter baskets growing up, or egg hunts. It wasn’t the “Christian” thing. While I was throwing together an awkward last-minute basket for my baby, my husband spent the day mourning with friends, and celebrating the life of a young woman who died in a tragic accident. I only met her a couple of times, but the legacy of her life echos far and loud, and I can’t help but feel the void she left behind.

“She never ran away from what she was afraid of. She always ran towards it.”

A friend who knew her well,  spoke those words. I felt them deep down in my gut, the place where my passion for life lives, something I’ve been feeling void of lately.

I place the stuffed duck in the pink wicker basket. He looks goofy there. I wonder what I’ll tell my daughter about Easter.

“Jesus died for your sins, because he loved you. Then He came back to life. Let’s celebrate with candy.”

Lately, I don’t have words. The simple things feel so complex. But I know they are not. Writing feels like a chore and a waste of time. I don’t know how to balance taking care of my daughter and making room to create. I don’t know how to do a lot of things.  I love my baby so much it makes my heart throb. I used to love writing almost like that. I don’t know how to love both. I want to live with passion like I used to.

I don’t want to be afraid to dream.

I don’t want to be afraid to risk.

I don’t want to run away from what I am afraid of.

I am desperately afraid of forgetting what matters and simply existing.

I am afraid of my heart growing cold.

“Jesus died for our sins.”

That line I know. I’ve repeated it since I was 3 or 4 years old. I said the prayer.

I believe, I do.

I know it means so much, but how do I convey it in a way that really matters when someone so loved dies too soon?

How does Easter really change broken hearts?

I took my daughter to some fountains today. The water bubbled up out of the holes in the pavement. She shrieked with laughter as the stream of water got taller and taller, spraying her sweet, round face. I smiled.

She’s never experienced this before. Everything is so new.

And I think about how Easter was the start of God making everything new. How the human race was dying in their numbness and lack of compassion and passion, in their fear and hate, and suddenly now everyone can become like babies again.


Brand new.

Experiencing life like it is the first time.

Full of joy.

Because Love won. Passion kicked apathy’s ass. God made death absolute.

There is newness again.

Even in brokenness, there is beauty.

Even in the worst tragedies, there is redemption.

I know now what I am going to tell my daughter about Easter.


Life began that day.

God died so he could live again, in us.

Now you don’t have to be afraid.

Now you don’t have to be alone.

Now you can feel everything,

Even the most tragic of heartbreaks. 

Now you can start living.

Because LIFE lives inside of you.

And I know I’ve got to do more than tell it. I’ve got to live it.

I’ve got to stop making excuses and overcomplicating things and waiting for someone else to fix my life or be my muse or bring my passion back. I have so much life and love all around me. I have today, and it’s an exquisite gift.

Now I can run towards what I fear.

I Saw The Ugliest Sight (And It Was Me)

27 Oct

last night I saw the ugliest sight
she emerged out of this deep place
of not believing good things
that place where anger feels better than sadness
where selfishness encompasses like a too-warm blanket
growing tighter until you have no circulation

last night I saw the ugliest sight
(and it was me)

I should be used to that, but I am not
as the new creation becomes the reality
the old is so grotesque
I can’t even look at her

she speaks out of an overflow of negative emotion

I don’t need you, I am fine on my own.

What about me?

she pleads for the world
not realizing everything is already lost to her

when I saw her
I did my best to control her
to keep her under wraps
to try to reduce the amount of damage she did

she appeared in a dream again this afternoon
as I tried to nap off this affliction

in dreams, you see
she’s always trying to go somewhere else
always searching and always coming up short
always seeking pleasure to mask her misery
always alone and unsatisfied

she’s more tame then, at least
in nightmares I can wake up
start all over again

so today I walked
I walked off my storm
walked off my angst
walked until I knew
she wasn’t real anymore

but for a moment I was glad
she still shows her ugly face at times

glad to be reminded of my frailty
how else could I remember the need for Love outside myself?

I knew in that moment
she is a part of me
the dead part
and you don’t just love me
you love me

the thought almost pushed me off balance
that she would be the recipient of such a Great Love
such a non-deserving Grace

Isn’t that the point?

I saw the ugliest sight
and it was me

(Not anymore)

I looked around the neighborhood at the houses decorated for Halloween.
It used to annoy me, people celebrating death. Hanging cobwebs and skeletons, ghost and witches, why all that when there is so much life?

And then I knew, as I watched a plastic ghost tied to a tree flutter in the wind, its body moving in a moment,

That the small difference between death and life is in the Wind.

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”- The Legacy of Steve Jobs

6 Oct

One of the greatest innovators of our time passed away last night.

Steve Jobs was more then just a business man or computer nerd, he has changed the way we do life through the creative technology that has in many ways defined our culture.

When I heard the news last night, I thought of the excitement of my family getting a Aqua IMac when I was fifteen. I thought of my first laptop, an Ibook which I’d bought on ebay with the money I saved working at a convenient store when I was seventeen, and how I felt so professional carrying around that sleek white machine to write my thoughts on. It didn’t even connect to the internet.

Beyond the legacy of his products, here are some words of wisdom this influential man left behind.

(All quotes taken from a Huffington Post Article)

Don’t Focus on Numbers

“We’ve never worried about numbers. In the market place, Apple is trying to focus the spotlight on products, because products really make a difference. […] Ad campaigns are necessary for competition; IBM’s ads are everywhere. But good PR educates people; that’s all it is. You can’t con people in this business. The products speak for themselves.”

Keep it Simple

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

 Creating Can Bring Unity
“I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”

Live Like You Are Dying

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Think Different


Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

(The last two quotes were taken from a commencement address to Stanford University in 2005, right after Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. The whole thing is worth reading.)

The Grand Finale

5 Jul

Every year we gather under a sweaty darkening sky. The July heat surrounds us, pressing down on us, reminding us why air conditioning  was invented. We round up little ones, hold hands with lovers, hold our breaths and wait for the show to begin.

Boom! Crash! Sounds like thunder, bright as lightening, but the sky is void of clouds and the earth is dry despite the humidity, skin moist with spilled sno-cone and sweat. We “Oooooh,” and “Awwww,” still holding on to the feelings of being in rapture after all those years, still remembering what is good in life: family, friends, freedom.

We fill with hope every time a new colorful explosion cascades light across the night.

Across the nation, people stop and stare, looking up, for maybe the first time in months. Despite the barking dogs and crying babies, there is a peace in the booms and crashes that could be mistaken for gunfire, but on this day are something safe, something meaningful, something brilliant.

We enjoy the moment, the colors, the flashes, but really, we wait in anticipation for…

The grand finale.

Every child whispers in excitement to his parent, “Is this it?”

We all want it to come, because we want to experience the most spectacular part of the evening, even though we know it is the prerequisite to the end.

Inherently we know beyond the cynicism spoken that all good things come to an end, the deeper truth that all  good things come at the end.

The dessert. The movie or book where you end with a tear in your eye and an enormous sense of satisfaction.

We think we want the end of things to go smoothly, to be steady, to be a nice and easy ending with resolve,

Yet maybe what we really want is a grand finale.

Maybe what we all hope for, underneath our addiction to comfort,  to slowly backing down and easing our way out of this season, or this life,

is to go out with a bang.

We fear growing old, being dependent, being immobile. We are so conditioned to be safe and secure, to avoid risk, to have a great retirement plan where our biggest goal is to stay out of a nursing home.

We are told it is inevitable this life-sucking something that happens as we grow up: to lose passion, to lose fire. We think we want to sit down and blend in. We can hardly hold on to our wonder and awe that once held our gaze, captivated to the sky every Independence day.

But we don’t have to lose it.

We can hold onto the spark.

We can see each day as an extraordinary adventure.

We can hold fast to the idea that the older we get, the more exciting life becomes. The more you mature, the more less you care about what people think. The more you see what matters. The more you are able to follow your passion.

There is no reason to fear death, if anything, fear fading away and fizzling out. Whether it be the death of a relationship, a dream, a idea or belief we once held fast too, or the ultimate death when we breath our last breathe and are taken into the light, make it a grand finale.

Does it have to start with a broken heart
Broken dreams and bleeding parts
We were young and the world was clear
But young ambition disappears
I swore it would never come to this
The average, the obvious

I’m still discontented down here
I’m still discontented

If we’ve only got one try
If we’ve only got one life
If time was never on our side
Then before I die
I want to burn out bright

Switchfoot- Burn Out Bright

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