Spoken Word Poetry: Glowsticks (The Full Effect)

Hello and Happy New Year! Finally, I feel like I have the promised poem to share and might as well give a little background so y’all have some context for the metaphor here. At the beginning of December, I missed church since I was at home recovering from a stomach bug and I was bummed that I couldn’t be there in person. I did, however, watch the service online and checked Facebook afterwards. As I browsed Facebook, I saw a post by a friend from my church that got me thinking.

Well, never mind that, as “got me thinking” isn’t exactly strong enough phrasing to describe how I felt. Frankly, I teared up reading the powerful post.

As follows:

I was in Dollar Tree last night and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG line. One was a big kid, one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glowsticks and the baby was screaming for them so the Mom opened the pack and gave him one, which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling, but them the bigger boy took it and the baby started screaming again. Just as the Mom was about to fuss at the older child, he bent the glowstick and handed it back to the baby. As we walked outside at the same time, the baby noticed that the stick was now glowing and his brother said “I had to break it so you could get the full effect from it.” I almost ran because l could hear God saying to me, “I had to break you too show you why I created you. You had to go through it so you could fulfill your purpose.” That little baby was happy just swinging that “unbroken” glowstick around in the air because he didn’t understand what it was created to do which was “glow”. There are some people who will be content just “being” but some of us that God has chosen, we have to be “broken”. We have to get sick. We go through divorce. We have to bury our spouse, parents, bestfriend, or our child because, in those moments of desperation, God is breaking us but when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created.
Shared from a friend…..Copy & Paste

WOW. I am reading this post for the third time since God ordained that I read remembered the story. I am still emotionally affected, as I hope I am always affected, by reading testimonies like this. That, in turn, inspired the piece I am publishing here, and I pray you will find everything posted here encouraging and effective in bringing you closer to God!

Glowsticks (The Full Effect)

Being sick certainly isn’t the best way to spend a worshipful Sunday,

But I see now God primed me for a transformation of my heart that day.

I admit I was complaining as I worshipped, worshipping though I was;

Still, I missed the physical presences of many fellow believers I have come to love.

Looking back, though, had I known what God had planned in His infinite love,

Perhaps I’d have been resting without question, choosing instead to trust.

Thanks to be to God that He gives endless second chances, even in the midst of questions!

Thanks be to God He loves us even when we reject the best gift we’ve been given!

Perhaps having a restless mind that day and being exposed as stubborn

Was the catalyst for a closer look at Christ and my worth as His, forgiven.

Perhaps I needed to be broken of myself once again- and to repent, as often.

I realize now I needed to see that, God is a master of bringing beauty from brokeness!

I confess I realize now I am as a toddler angry at his brother in a dollar store

For breaking a sought-after glowstick, unaware the break makes it something more.

Only when He tells me that He “had to break it to get the full effect”

Do I realize that the pain was worth enduring for the outcome in the end.

 

God, may I, then, be a glowstick You break so you can use my life to full effect

And make the life of this child You made of me one of reverence and worship.

Now and forever, in Your Name I pray, dear Jesus, Amen.

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year!/Bonne Année!

 

free-happy-new-year-clipart

(Credit: http://www.happynewyearwishes2018.org/2017/10/happy-new-year-2018-images.html)

 

Hiya folks!

I hope y’all had a Merry Christmas and/or still are having a Merry Christmas! I fall into the latter camp of those who choose to celebrate until Epiphany myself, so Merry Christmas either way!

Additionally, it took a while to finalize “Glowsticks (The Full Effect of Brokeness),” so I will be posting that tomorrow- next year where I am, presently!

Finally, what are your top three New Year’s resolutions if you make any? Mine, personally, are to get closer to God and loved ones, get healthier, and write more. May 2017 have ended well for you and 2018 be off to a truly fresh start!

God Bless/Dieu vous bénisse ,

Michelle

Excuse the Duplicate Post!

Hi folks!

Sorry about the duplicate post. I will delete that and leave the intended post up unless, of course, y’all prefer the more recent post. Eh, well, maybe God decided to double down on making that point through me to my readers and to me alike? Hopefully all is well with you folks and I plan to have another post up soon!

Thanks and God Bless,

Michelle

Spoken Word Poetry: Small Beginnings/Genesis

Finally, after two weeks’ worth of unusual busyness at work and the stomach bug going through there on top of that, I’m back. Thankfully, my most meaningful writing, from what I have observed, seems to come to me in those moments when I wonder what God could possibly have planned for all I’m enduring. At least, the pit I referred to in earlier writings isn’t bottomless after all! That, Psalm 33, and a book which some of you may have read, Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson, had a bit of something to do with that.

That is, that during that time, God used much to inspire me and the first source of inspiration for this poem came from an often-rich source of inspiration for writers: someone else’s writing! For those of you who know nothing about Mark Batterson or his work, he is the lead pastor at National Community Church in Washington, D.C., which you can check out via http://www.theaterchurch.com.

What is more, among the more popular books he has written include In A Pit with A Lion on A Snowy Day (2006) and its sequel, Chase the Lion (2016). My church is currently studying the sequel and, while we’ve studied the book, something he said about feeling stuck and not where one wants to be as a God-honoring dreamer resonated with me. Yup, I’ve felt stuck, but I didn’t expect to have to take his response into account as much as, well, the work shows I did. “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings!,” he said, and that struck a chord with me.

That was the start, anyway. Then, I pondered what he said about “genesis moments” earlier in the book: those moments in which one act of kindness, word of encouragement to oneself or another, repentance, baptism, reading a book- anything!- could lead to a life beyond one’s wildest dreams while honoring God. One must simply have the courage to take the steps of faith to honor God with his or her dream and life to make it a reality as God wills. That, too, struck me as something to consider, which further cemented my committment to being patient in the personal frustrations I have experienced recently.

The third piece of the puzzle that became the work was in a conversation with a friend about those frustrations. She encouraged me to keep pursuing my dreams and helped me to renew some older ones I had shelved years ago. Thank you, Nena; that means more to me than I feel I can express on this blog concisely! You’re amazing, my friend, and I thank God for you.

Finally, just when all of the frustration was starting to reach its peak and I felt that I must be crazy for feeling discouraged and doubting, God brought me to Psalm 33:18-19. I’m using the NLT version here since that’s my personal favorite, but I also recommend the NIV, NASB, ESV, NKJV, and MSG translations of the Word. That psalm says, in part,

But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
    those who rely on his unfailing love.
19 He rescues them from death
    and keeps them alive in times of famine.” (Psalm 33:18-19, NLT 2015)

That was the final piece of the puzzle that showed me I needed to write and, perhaps, publish this piece, partly as a reminder to myself and partly as an encouragement to future generations, Therefore, here is the work in question, and I promise to keep writing as God calls me to do. 🙂

Small Beginnings/Genesis

Finally, the pieces of my puzzle are falling into place

And I’m seeing my cave of Adullam for the strengthening of my faith/

And a much-needed training ground that God had made for His glory!

Perhaps the pain I had to bear was for my good

Perhaps, by my mistakes and sins that I’d undo if I could/

There was something I needed to learn- and I pray that all of us would.

 

Spoken Word Poetry: Small Beginnings/Genesis

*All Scripture references found on BibleGateway.com and taken from the NLT (2015) translation unless otherwise noted.

Hi everyone!

Finally, the creative juices have come back after a busy couple of weeks and a bout with the norovirus (which you may know as the “stomach virus,” “stomach flu” or “winter vomiting bug”). Very well, I did manage to do some writing in that time and do see a light at the end of my current tunnel. If any of you are going through some difficult circumstances right now, read Psalm 33 and focus on verses 18 and 19 especially:

“18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
    those who rely on his unfailing love.
19 He rescues them from death
    and keeps them alive in times of famine.” (Psalms 33:18-19, NLT)

Indeed He does. I wouldn’t be writing this right now if He didn’t because I would probably be places I don’t want to consider. Praise the Lord, He takes care of His loved ones no matter what we think of how we’ve lived, what the future holds for us, et cetera, and it’s never to late to live for Him and chase lions for Him while we’re at it!

In that vein, the inspiration for this poem also came from a book that started all of this. Some  of you may know of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., of which Mark Batterson is the lead pastor. He is also a published author of many books, iincluding In A Pit with a Lion on A Snowy Day (2006) and its sequel, Chase the Lion (2016). My church is doing a study on the sequel presently and something he said about feeling stuck in life and how to respond to feeling stuck resonated with me.

That is, “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings!” Initially, when I read that sentence, I  laughed from an even mix of cynicism and skepticism, but was convicted simultaneously. While I realized I needed to praise God for where He has me now and that He is working wonders I don’t yet see, I felt stuck. I also admit to thinking, “Yeah, well, I’d sure like to be where I want to be like He promised me He’d take me!” Since then, I realize the waiting is hard, but worth doing.

What is more, earlier in the book, Pastor Batterson refers to life-changing moments as “genesis moments:” reading a book, talking with a friend, writing a school essay, deciding where to go to college or to take a job, writing a blog post, et cetera. Yup. Even the seemingly mundane moments of our lives can have far-reaching impacts on the rest of our lives- and many others, whether in the present or the future. That stuck with me and formed another crucial theme of the work. That is, the small beginnings of your life are often the genesis moments that make fulfilling your dream possible. If you honor God with the dream He gave you, indeed, the small beginnnings will have been the genesis moments of making that possible. (See Romans 8 on how God uses pain for a purpose.)

Finally, a recent conversation with one of my dearest friends and sisters in Christ, Nena, gave me cause to realize that I am where I’ve been meant to be all along. I just had to submit myself to God and be willing to let Him break me of my stubborness, fears, insecurity, frustration, and even anger concerning my personal struggles. Nena’s encouragement to pursue my dreams and let God win out over my fears rekindled the motivation I had to write as well as pursuing my other current dreams, so that helped. Thank you, Nena. Your encouragement and willingness to remind me of the value I have in Christ and the impact I can make on others for Him came when I needed it more than I realized. (By the way, Nena, too, has a neat blog, which y’all can- and I think, should!- check out here:

http://stitchfixunfold.com/index.php/blog/.

Without further ado, then, here is the promised poem that came out of all of this. Let me know what you think and I pray, above all, that God encouraged you when you read this piece as much as He encouraged me when I wrote it.

Small Beginnings/Genesis
Finally, the pieces of my puzzle are falling into place

And I’m seeing my cave of Adullam for the strengthening of my faith/

And a much-needed training ground that God had made for His glory!

Perhaps the pain I had to bear was for my good in ways I didn’t see/

And that God’s doing something with the hurt, even when I have unbelief.

 

In any case, I find despising the need for me to be here is foolish

And while my feelings are valid, instead, I should give them to God and trust Him./

Help me remember, my Creator and King- Jesus- You and You alone know all things.

So to give up and give in would bring You dishonor, and what would that accomplish?

 

Help me instead to make the most of this situation, this genesis moment

That will lead to Your glory and promises You made to me accomplished./

After all, You declared that Your Word would go out and not return void

So help me to recall that and make each day lived by hearing Your voice.

Thank You, God, for the small beginnings that made possible this genesis

And now I look forward to seeing what, now and forever, is to come next.

In Your Name, Amen.

 

Spoken Word Poetry: “Delay (Worth the Wait)”

Hi everyone!

I admit I have not been as consistent as I thought and I believed that I was over the writer’s block for sure! I apologize, ask pardon, and promise to write more regularly in the future. I admit I haven’t been able to make as much time as I like and that was draining, but it produced something, thanks be to God!

Delay (Worth the Wait)

Lord, what is this place? Where am I today?/

I thought my life would be much different than it is by this age!

Lord, I have some questions.

To start: Where are we going?

What am I doing right and where do I need to hit my knees?/

What else might I be missing that You, in your love, have had have in store for me?/

After all, you say, “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived/

What God has prepared for those who love Him,” and I know you chose me. . .

Still, though I know Your “delay” is instead “Worth the wait,”

I’m starting to wonder how much longer I’ll stay here battling my pain./

Suffice it to say, I feel stuck in a rut-

Something like a cave, like David’s Adullam.

 

I know this can’t be all there is to feel this way

And that there is some purpose to staying a while in this place./

I know I have to learn something and will use it in the future,

And I have to admit I know I have often struggled to put You- not me- first.

 

So help me to remember You’re not done with me yet,

Instead that You’ve delivered me before and You’ll do it again./

That there is nothing that can make You love me any more or less

And that nothing can separate me from You, for I have been forgiven.

 

May it be, Lord, that Your will be done in my life every day

And that with each “delay” or loss, I’ll count them gains/

For Your glory and remember that You are with me now and to stay

So that I never fail to live for You and all I hope for is worth the wait.

 

Writer’s Block is Gone for Now! Spoken Word Poetry: “In A Writing Season”

Hi everyone!

I’m back for good now and am sorry to have delayed the publishing I promised to do. I admit I struggle with the hassle of perfectionism in work, but have since learned to enjoy writing for the sake of writing. Oddly enough, the delay inspired another work I’ll publish tomorrow, but here’s the one I said I’d publish first. I hope you enjoy it and any feedback, provided it’s civil, is welcome, as I have readers of all ages and all backgrounds here. Thanks!

In A Writing Season (“I’m Just The Pen”)

In a writing season

When the words don’t come easily

About the much there is to say

When life affords much to write about/

Yet the struggle stays the same . . .

It’s finding the time to get out, to put down on paper-

Or something- what comes to mind and to try leads to

Second-guessing yourself or asking “Am I?”/

“Will what comes of my hands result in God being glorified?”

Am I pleasing Him with the way that I’m using my time?”

“What happens if I’m wrong and people find darkness looking for light?”

“Well, it’s a worth a shot, I realize.”

After all, what’s the point of wasted talent?

What’s behind having dreams if not to give God the worship

Through the work meant to result from dreams He’s given?

Very well, I see: I can’t be perfect, for only God is perfect indeed

But can lead others to the Lord through the words I’ve written/

So I will write through His inspiration

Since my life is His to do with as He wishes.

/Therefore, in all to be written, may “God be the Author and I be the pen.”

 

P.S.: If anyone is interested in the source of the quote, the 1930’s-1950’s era country music singer-songwriter Hank Williams, Senior, once said of the songs he wrote about his life and Christian faith, or something like that, “God’s the Author. I’m just the pen,” as I recall hearing on a Country Music Television (CMT) program when I was a kid and a huge fan of country music. To this day, that love remains and has inspired my writing to a degree.