A poem and an announcement

by Elizabeth

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I’ve decided to take the month of October off from writing. This might sound strange, coming at a time when many people try to write or blog every day. But I desperately need this break. It’s not that I’m out of ideas or inspiration; I have lots of both tucked away for later. I’m just tired of my internal expectation of trying to keep up in the blogging world, and I want to spend more time with my children and with my husband.

So with this blog post, I’m signing off, and you won’t be seeing me around the blog till the end of October. Not that it matters too much to anyone else; there are so many voices on the internet clamoring to be heard. However, it matters deeply to me to take this blogging break. (I’ll still be in contact through Facebook and email.)

For what it’s worth, here’s a poem — it’s a prayer, really — that I wrote in my journal before deciding to take this break. And I have to say, the decision itself has brought me a lot of peace, freedom, and excitement. I’ll see you on the other side!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unhook me
disconnect me
from amorphous
winter lands.

My soul gets lost
cannot get out
suspended in
the air above
the wires below,

My body buried
in a mountain
of forget
and regret.

I cannot cry
I cannot laugh
I only know
I’m overwhelmed

You are:
before, behind,
beneath, beyond
but not within
not now,
not yet.

The joy of love is
elsewhere to be found:
peace and longsuffering too.

Reconnect my life
my soul
my body
to Your people,
to Your earth,
and to You.

A Letter for the One Who’s Waiting {Velvet Ashes}

by Elizabeth

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You in the waiting,
Yes, you
And yes, me too —
For we are all waiting for something —
Dear sister,
Beloved one,
You in the waiting,
This much I know:
There are no shortcuts to healing.
There are no shortcuts to wholeness.
For we can’t know God as Healer without first being wounded.
And we can’t know God as guide without first being lost.
We can’t know Him as counselor without first being confused.
And we can’t know Him as comforter without first sustaining pain.
We can’t know Him as intimate companion without first feeling abandoned.
And we can’t find our identity in Christ alone without first losing it elsewhere.

You in the waiting,
Dear One,
This much I know:
There is no way around the ache of the human soul.
There is no detour through the pain.
When we walk through the valley —
And we will all walk through the valley —
None of us gets to skirt around the edges.
We are completely baptized in sorrow,
Fully immersed in its grief.
For there are no shortcuts to healing,
No shortcuts to joy.
There is only Jesus.
If anything, He is the short cut:
He is, after all, our Way home
Even if that way be long and broken.

So you in the waiting,
Keep waiting.
Keep seeking,
And keep asking,
Even in the silence —
For there may be silence —
And even in the darkness —
For there may be darkness —
But don’t you give up Hope.
Hold on to Hope.
Hold on to the name of our Jesus.
This waiting, it takes time.
It takes space.
And, I wish I didn’t have to say this, but —
It takes hard work too:
The hard work of shedding the lies we believe about God,
The hard work of shedding the lies we believe about ourselves,
The hard work of being honest with Him about the injuries,
And the hard, Spirit-assisted work of letting go of our entangling sins.

So you in the waiting,
Yes you —
And yes, me too —
For we are all waiting for something —
Dearest sister,
Beloved One,
You in the waiting,
This much I know:
There are no shortcuts to healing,
But in Jesus there is healing.
And there are no shortcuts to wholeness,
But in Jesus there is wholeness.
So we hold on to Him,
We hold on to Hope,
And together, we wait.

Originally published here, reprinted with permission.

One Leaf {a poem}

by Jonathan

One leaf,
Silently, without pretention,
Opens up, exposed.

Catching ancient photons. Absorbing. Converting. Transporting.

Along canals of chlorophyll.
Spine and artery.
Silently.

One leaf,
Provides shade for a picnic,
Or a weary traveler.
But not alone.

The fruit gets all the glory, filled up with sunlight and sugar.

One leaf,
Jealous, perhaps?
Or content to be,
Angling for the sun.

One leaf,
Most beautiful in death.

In a final gasp of color,
Sends its lifeblood
To a safer place.

And dies.

And one leaf,
Having done its task,
Falls.

To the ground, where it is
Absorbed. Converted. Transported.

Silently.

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