Monthly Archives: January 2011

little me

i stare up at the black sky with dots of light

i see the trees reaching out to touch the flatness

are those really balls of fire so many miles away

am i really as small as i feel right now


the greatness of it all makes me want to create

something beautiful

i long for the immortality of doing



i close my eyes and open them again

hoping that i can see deeper into the night

the distance i travel into my mind

is like the blackness up above me


the greatness of it all makes me want to create

something beautiful

i long for the immortality of doing



quiet presses in and blends with the noise of my thoughts

silence and screaming dreams compete for my attention

i grasp reality briefly but it’s lost again

closing the distance

between me and out there


the greatness of it all makes me want to create

something beautiful

i long for the immortality of doing







write it down

Write it down

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

I recently finished reading a book about rituals.  It didn’t address them in the traditional context of “spiritual rituals.” Rather, it was talking about the decisions we make about how we spend our time that eventually become habits in our lives.

It’s an interesting premise: we all expend energy to complete the tasks before us.  Actions like good hygiene don’t require a lot of energy, while responsibilities like self-control can consume a lot.  But when something becomes a habit in our lives, it takes much less energy to complete it.

For example, as an adult, it doesn’t require any energy output on my part to remember to brush my teeth.  It happens almost automatically when I get up in the morning and before I go to bed.  But as a parent, I find myself reminding my boys to brush theirs almost every day.  I don’t really remember it, but I suspect that my parents had to remind me, too, until it became a habit.

Anyone who’s ever started a diet, or an exercise program, or a daily time with God can attest to the amount of energy it takes to establish a discipline.  Finding the daily motivation within ourselves is often not enough.  We find ourselves quitting almost as quickly as we began.

Rituals are different.  If we can be ritualistic about something in the short run, it can more quickly lead to a habit that requires very little energy to maintain it as an ongoing part of our lives.  Often, creating a ritual is as easy as putting it on our calendars.  The simple act of writing it down, committing to a specific time and place to complete the task, is enough to begin the ritual.

If we truly examine ourselves, I know there are areas in our lives that we’d like to improve.  We might want to lose some weight, or exercise more, or have that daily quiet time that we’ve been promising God, but our efforts at self-discipline have failed.  Why not try a ritual?  Commit to a time and place by writing it down, then do it.

My friend once said that you can tell a lot about people by their calendars and their checkbooks.  I think I’ll check mine today to see what’s really important to me. I hope I like what I see.

Grace and peace,


the road

suff’ring is not the road i’d choose

i’d much rather find an easier way

but i forget about winning until i lose


these toils of life are like stones in my shoes

the blisters are painful and cause me to sway

suff’ring is not the road i’d choose


discouragement ignites a very short fuse

not sure it’s worth the cloud of dismay

but i forget about winning until i lose


the treacherous journey leaves me amused

i stumble and fall but proceed anyway

suff’ring is not the road i’d choose


this trek we call life leaves me confused

just wonder if i can survive the day

but i forget about winning until i lose


some refer to strife as paying your dues

but if that’s the cost i’d rather not pay

suff’ring is not the road i’d choose

but i forget about winning until i lose


This is called a “villanelle,” which you can read about here, and this is my submission for One Shot Wednesday for OneStopPoetry (though my form is a week late…). Go here to read other submissions for week 30.

My Utmost – Am I Looking To God?


the cloak of darkness is a deeper black

squint or strain, my soul’s eyes can’t penetrate

recesses fill with regrets of my past

so distracting that I can’t concentrate

worry and dread act as partners tonight

working as one to cloud my tomorrow

removing my joy and my zest for life

turning up, down, and smiles to sorrow

i seek peace through intellect and effort

exploring my thoughts for any way out

searching for answers but finding no comfort

confidence and faith yield humbly to doubt

down on my knees, cry in anguish to Him

light overtakes me, His peace rushes in


“Look to Me, and be saved . . .”  —Isaiah 45:22


Our difficulties, our trials, and our worries about tomorrow all vanish when we look to God. Build your hope on Him. No matter how many things seem to be pressing in on you, be determined to push them aside and look to Him. “Look to Me . . . .” Salvation is yours the moment you look.


12 baskets

two fish and five loaves

fed five thousand men and more

no one left hungry


twelve baskets of scraps

food to feed a small army

what do we do now


baskets are heavy

this may spoil before it’s gone

more than we bargained


guess we’ll throw it out

it won’t keep till tomorrow

seems like such a waste


waves and crashing wind

have courage for it is I

we don’t understand


–From Matthew 14



Jackson Hole


the seasons we experience define how we live

our senses take in what the world has to give

the spring and the fall have some redeeming traits

fresh and new, cool and old, eager to compensate

the summer is long and our activity is high

strong heat of the day, subtle coolness at night

but the winter is when i feel most alive

while others hibernate, i just seem to thrive

there’s something about the bite in the wind

that tingles and singes and brittles my skin

an invigorating discomfort that resembles pain

still seems somehow pleasant to my misinformed brain

it brings an alertness that is otherwise pale

a zest for the elements of which to avail

for during the summers my arms i forget

and in the springtime showers i’m boringly wet

the autumn has its beauty, at least one sense is appeased

but for me the cool weather is but only a tease

for the harshness of winter that chills to the bone

the beauty of snowfall is like cream in a cone

the silence that follows when the rustle is gone

brings a peace and delight where once there was none

yes i love my dear winter, with its cold blue embrace

the wind-drawn tears from my eyes are its kiss to my face

spring to summer, then to autumn, the finale is here

i’m grateful for seasons, especially that one most severe


I feel winter.  Do you have a favorite season?  What sets it apart for you?

eye disease

Great post today on the Cycleguy’s Spin about “eye” disease. I hope you’ll read it.  My reaction is below.


where are your eyes

and how do you see

do you have God’s perspective

or are you blind like me


my vision is blurry

and my view is obscured

when i see through my own eyes

instead of His word


i often lose focus

my eyes off the goal

looking backward regretfully

not seeing the whole


see past our surroundings

take a good look around

we serve a big God

and His blessings abound


when i’m feeling myopic

and my spiritual eyes are blind

i set my sights again on my Savior

and on what lies ahead, not behind


Where are your eyes?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, too.  And don’t forget to read the comments on Cycleguy’s post.  His readers have some great insights…