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

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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.