Child of Light

listen you weary
busy and numb and frustrated
the tinsel and inflatable Santas tire your soul
the flickering lights are cold like LED
and the emptiness of your heart is weighing heavy
searching for wonderful
this time of the year
I know
oh, I know
in this long winter
this dark, dark night
at the moment when despair begins to choke us
a beam of light
constellations are singing
as a woman cries out
and in a muck of blood and fluids
a Baby
with hardly any hair, no teeth, uncoordinated limbs
skin and flesh and bone human
yet - miracle of miracles - the light of Divinity
I wonder how Mary dared to touch Him
and the Light in that stable
shines down through the ages
to you
He can take your life of dark moment followed by dark moment
and spill His blood into your dead and decaying soul
to bring life and hope and light
to transform your everyday.



It is sad to come home just when everyone is leaving for their various activities, and to eat a reheated dinner in a silent house that is all spruced up for Christmas. This season makes me feel like we should be together. So to anyone who is alone or even just lonely this Christmas, I feel ya. And this is not even a terribly frequent occurrence in my life, so if it is in yours, I feel ya even more.

Psalm 68(:6)


awaken me softly

"I charge you, O daughters... do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases." -Song of Songs

I am young and I sleep
resting in my Father's arms
a garden enclosed
a lily among thorns
the secrets of my heart
and the song I sing
are still unshared,
still only for my King

Awaken me slow
oh, waken me softly
be gentle in persuading
if you're winning my heart

if I call you beloved,
will you call me sister first
if I let you in,
I know that it will hurt
I'm scared and I am stubborn
but I'm drawn to your gaze
this could be a holy fire
I want to know, can you be wise?

Awaken me slow
oh, waken me softly
be gentle in persuading
if you're winning my heart



the harvest-remains
are tilled under
and I find myself wondering,
when did the summer night-noises hush their conversation?
The soil feels barren in my fingers
the warmth of life isn't there anymore
and the chill in my lungs
rests there in my palm, too
yet the moonlit furrows stretch far
beyond my view
and I know this time of waiting
is beautiful too.
The stars above, masked by transparent cloud
they are the same
and so is the Sower, the Potter.
There is weeping in my heart
when the Master plows deep
when He clears the fields
but as I sit here, hands and knees feel the earth
and I know springtime, harvest and daylight
will come
in His good time.

Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness on you. -Hosea 10:12

He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
-Psalm 126:6



Melany, I watched the ABC 20/20 documentary. Here are my thoughts. If I mixed up details about the story it's because I watched it all once and then couldn't find it back again =) Yay for living in Canada where American broadcasts disappear because of copyright issues!

What does ABC News know of the ache in your eyes
cameras roll as tears slip down
you tell the world that your Indian name, Stands Against The Wind,
means that you are forever strong
that you will never hang yourself in the closet again because your brother found you
you say you are strong but I know
I know in my heart it means hard
I watch through the television lens
as feathers and beads spin, dancing with a little girl's giggle
and my heart, well, I can feel physical pain even writing this
oh, my little ones... It's hard and it hurts to remember their giggles
it still hurts
the boy who tells us
he wants to be the first Native American President
and his cousin displays burn scars from a parent who was high
my own tears in sync with the sound
of the ambitious one sobbing
up on the hill trying to escape the wounds of a drunken mother's words
ABC, they want to fix the problem with money, education
do they see that hard, tired ache in his eyes
oh I recognize it
I've seen it in the mirror
seen it in the mirror
But I can't stay there
I don't want to live that way
If I want to live with my eyes wide open, and I do!
I know my heart will break, again and again
but the colors are so vivid in this vale of tears
when my eyes are on the Artist
and I want to live joy and thanks
to feel thanksgiving slow the moments
to taste and see and savor
that God is good
and He is!
and I have.
through separations and unanswered prayers
as I struggle desperately to love again,
to surrender fear
scared that it I open myself up to love these new little ones unreservedly
they too will be snatched away
angry that they have hope and my little ones do not
wishing more than anything that I could make healing happen
scared of being here always
scared of being alone
scared of letting anyone in
oh what weakness, what need
but grace is given and in this glorious somehow
I let go
surrender is to cease resistance
and to trust the Potter's hand
and there are flashes of understanding
but mostly I just feel the joy-song of these moments
in stained glass sunlight, soul-bread, dark baby eyes, arguments, piano keys, tea and teardrop rainfall
I feel Your love
oh You are hope for the nations
healing for me
I see Your hands
and though I cannot see my future, I know it's in them
so there's a smile in my heart
and a song in my soul

Top three photos from ABC News, courtesy of Google =)


The wisdom of a child

I am always a little caught off guard by the way kids think.

Where and why does a kindergartener authoritatively tell me that brown makes blue? What does that even mean?

And how does a kindergartener's mind take "Mrs. Ghelani" and turn it into "Mrs. Goliath"?

It makes me happy to hear the same little boy always call any type of food "'licious" (e.g., while piling a toy train high with plastic food, "Miss Luimes, see all the 'licious in there!")

And when another little boy painstakingly ('pain' is no exaggeration!) finishes coloring a picture of Jesus walking on water, then asks me how to spell 'Jesus', and I am expecting him to expound on the story of Jesus walking on the water, why am I so surprised to hear him announce "because Jesus built the ark"?

Because, well kids will be kids. Delightfully confused and wonderful.



like a prairie hawk in a fowler's net
my restless heart struggles
angry at times
other times, holy and content
once in a while, both
and the whole drama beautiful somehow.
How strange
how incomprehensible this work of Yours
but this wild and dirty little gypsy girl
You love her somehow
I am convinced of it
how else this grace, all this Grace?
love more than imagination can wrap itself around
intimately, deeply, oh so painfully
heavy euphoria


A Patchwork of Thanks

In honor of Thanksgiving Day yesterday, here are some of my gift listings since the last post.

#358 A sound sleep

#360 Unexpected joy

#368 Warm campfire sleepiness

#370 A baby climbing into my lap uninvited, uncoaxed

#374 Curiousity

#375 A boy with a big voice to proclaim scripture to passersby

#380 Tiny frogs

#385 The chance to tell someone, "Jesus Christ is the difference!"

#387 A mechanic for a father!

#397 A friend who will always be one

#399 Being told I am missed

#400 The way prairie grasses ripple in green waves, an ocean of wild freedom

#406 That they are going even though I can't

#411 A mockingbird rejoicing on the TV antenna

#417 An unasked for downpour

#421 Midnight crickets

#429 Joyful black baby faces

#432 Djembes at the campfire

#438 The evening sun shining back from the windows of a farmhouse

#442 Sharing french press

#440 Dishtowels that make me laugh

#459 The story of the white horse

#463 New songs to learn!

#470 Watching the sun go down past the graveyard fence

#474 The smell of warm peaches

#477 Anticipation, like an almost inaudible hum through the day

#479 Picking out roses for Oma

#485 Little girls in knee socks

#488 Testimonies of physical healing

#495 Cheese and spicy pickles on crackers at midnight

#497 An absolute certainty that the stars are there and they are shining, whether screened by clouds or not

#501 Messy beginnings that hold grace-potential

#505 Campfire sparkles

#507 The dance of flight, the view from over a waterfall, glimpses of home

#514 A kind query from someone who wants to listen

#517 Heart unloadings on the dock

#520 Tamarack - church, concentrated

#527 An uncle and aunt I am so proud of; so honored to be their niece

#528 Constellations spinning over dew-wet grass

#535 A job to wake up to

#538 Wild September apples

#541 Students hyper-excited to learn =)

#542 Some idea of what I'm doing!

#543 Getting a latte coffee-priced for my evening drive with a Spurgeon soundtrack!

#546 Getting serenaded on my birthday by 10+ men from my church in the driveway =)

#548 Fork discussions

#549 Soul-hungry friends

#559 Old-timey preachers

#562 Wilberforce Christianity

#565 Tiny black-eyed boys with long lashes and un-ending "why?"s

#573 The moment of being engulfed in my huge cousin's embrace

#575 Bridal shower prayers

#578 Oma always with her grandkids' arms around her

#587 Four-part female harmony

#593 The weight of a sleeping baby

#595 Jeans after a busy week of dressing up

#599 A little "cow" tagging along after me... 'moo, moo, moo'

#605 Sky blue puddles

#606 Pay stubs

#608 Sun in the raindrops

#614 Bloopers that turn into embarrassing jokes

#620 Christian at the cross, his burden rolling into the empty tomb

#624 Little girls who tie their tights into knots during naptime and get stuck

#629 Sister hugs

#633 Moonlight on the ripples of Lake Ontario

#648 A dad who loves enough to get worried

#649 Time to mow the lawn

#650 A father's love that won't let go (Courageous, opening scene)

#658 The green and purple of berry ink

#665 Dimples

#671 The mysterious glow of a young pregnant mother

#674 Men behind the piano at church

#680 The joyful hope of Cassie's smile, tucked deep in my heart

#681 Goosebumps

#684 The way my pastor's voice turns soft when he talks of the hurting

#685 Guys who hold open doors

#688 Ships and reflections at the pier

#693 "That you are allowed to set your eyes on God"


communion: such a black and white word for Love

"He was forsaken
that we might be accepted
He was bound
that we might be loosed"
and as the sun glints in the rich red of the wine
I feel the bread in my belly
and peace in my soul
overflowing in my heart
He is my nourishment
He is my righteousness
I am a cold corpse, except for these
and beside me, a whisper
"it's bread Mommy, why is it so special?
What's so special about it?"
a little half-smile plays on my lips
Just you wait, little one, soon you'll see
as little people watch, eyes wide following
hand to mouth
there is awe, and a pew up I see anticipation
and gladness wells up in my eyes
"by His stripes we are healed"
it's beautiful, this cycle of discipleship and renewal
in this beautiful Bride
I feel the burning of the wine in my throat
the blood-fountain of sacrifice and birthing
washed clean

you shouldn't write poetry when you're driving unless your pen is reliable (black ink is best)

silky cotton clouds chase
after the elusive pink orange blush
of the set sun
as it slips down across the country
this magnetic vortex
unmarred except for a dust speck
I mean passenger plan crowded with people
merrily putting, cutting it's inharmonious way
across this mystery
I wonder, if I were the pilot
would I be able to resist that mystical pull?
Maybe I would fly along clueless
too preoccupied with instruments and timetables
to look up and see
How is it anyway, we humans so often go
putt-putting on our way
ignoring the fingers of creation, all pointing upward
ears too full of cacophony to hear
the song of salvation
too busy to stop and ask
what really is all this longing for?
What should I be chasing after?


Learn To Let Go

A request was made for some of my song lyrics, so I am posting them here:

verse 1
I remember your hugs
your little boy swagger
your quizzical expressions
your quick temper
you stole my love
my heart, my attention
I felt like a mother
leaving her son

can I let you go
after loving you so deep?
teach me to surrender
all these things I want to keep
you'll take a little of my heart
'cause I've held you there
but you're still held by the One
who taught me how to care

He only held her once
knowing she would leave him
he protected and loved
just for a season
she wanted him to be her prince
but she followed her king away
he loved her so he let her go
and he stayed


She was their precious baby
from another woman's womb
they prayed for adoption
for papers coming soon
but they came and took her
and they wept alone in pain
a new baby cries
can they learn to love again?


how can I surrender?
how can I let go?
only to His deeper love and sorrow
to His perfect control


I come
all the answers
are held by the Shepherd
I don't need them all,
He's told me that
but I need to be held
wrapped in promises


are you thirsty?
Come to the Waters
are you hungry?
Come eat Living Bread
are you broken?
Come to the Healer
are you chained, imprisoned?
Come taste freedom
are you grieving, in mourning?
Come dance to the Song of Salvation
are you dead,
dead and buried?
Rise and live!


The other day...

...there were
water droplets from the sky,
in my heart,
and in my eyes too
and it struck me
this is what light looks like in a dry sky:Strange, the dramatic effect
water droplets
have on a beam of light.

Coincidence? I think not.


if I never

If we never teetered to the edge of the nest
if we never flew past our comfortable circle
If we never did the uncomfortable
the too hard
the impossible
I wouldn't be bleeding this way
If I never knew, I'd never care
It wouldn't hurt like heartstrings snapping
My soul wouldn't be broken and bruised
If I never knew the sorrow of separation
If I never hurt for another broken heart
If I never felt the wild frustration
of not being able to solve the problem
I wouldn't know the wonder
the elation, awe and joy
The being overwhelmed to know
There is a Savior
There is a Solution
There is a Healer
I would rather love
and bear the anguish
By His stripes we are healed.



I wrote this a little while ago but I need to be reminded again and again!

Tearing through walls of doubt
melting away walls I built to protect my pain
The agony of loneliness
the guilt of knowing there's no reason for it
knowing I am not alone
The sorrow over my numbness
my rebellion and envy
oh, I want to be thirsty!
Others have betrayed you
but I was betrayed so that you will never be forsaken
I am your hope
drink, though it may choke you at first
no place, no heart is impervious to the gospel
whether you believe it or not
My grip never slackens
in the blackest night or the foggiest day
if you ask
I will give you



New post below the last one. I started writing it before this one below and then saved as a draft so it posted underneath.


no longer a slave

"I was a slave to self", he said
"to my body
my twisted mind
my rotting soul
chains of deceit snaked in and out
of my every moment
I wanted women, drugs, booze
to bow and serve me
and I was so lonely.
I didn't see, didn't know,
I was a slave to death and sin
hell and Lucifer.
And so empty.
Then the Word reached in
Truth pierced through the chains
Blood rained from the clouds and washed my sins away
til I stopped kicking and screaming
I was blind, but He touched my eyes and now I see
No longer a slave,"
- And his dark eyes glowed with joy -
"A prisoner of hope you see."

I suppose I am putting words into Lecrae's mouth by writing this as coming from him, but when I wrote it I was thinking about the transformation of the gospel from the lowest of places to righteousness and growth and Lecrae has been a huge mentor for me. I have definitely seen these things in his life so I don't think this is too much of a stretch =)


counting gifts

I recently started a notebook of "1000 Gifts", inspired by the writer of http://www.aholyexperience.com/. It's kind of an exercise in "counting the ways He loves you", as Ann Voskamp puts it. I am up to #367 right now and I thought I would share a few, and some photos I've taken over the last few months...

#1 Redemption - Jesus holding all hell on His shoulders, "I love you"

#3 The unrestrained joy of spring's frenzied birdsong

#8 Curlicues in a wisp of sunlit steam

#13 The untaught dance of baby femininity

#14 Coffeeshop air

#28 Striped morning sunlight

#31 The return of a long-absent friend

#33 Colored pencil shavings

#35 Gifts waiting to be given, like a secret only you know

#50 Iridescent bubbles floating to the sunshine

#51 Three generations around the table for a cup of tea

#58 Something to do, to give

#62 "He will praise the Lord through the night, until the sun arises"

#69 Hard things for little people, to teach trust

#75 Green shoots in the swamp by the lane

#77 Road trips and sendoffs

#88 Lonely but not alone - never alone

#92 Heartfelt, unrestrained chorus of praise - and the beautiful wonder that God is so pleased

#96 Waking up without an alarm

#97 The minor key energy of Jewish music

#99 The artless sincerity of elderly friends

#104 A coworker who shares Bible passages with me

#111 Unexpected beauty - a little Bible truth in a Disney fairytale

#116 The echo of sound in the stillness after the last note

#117 Righteous goofiness

#124 My own car!

#131 Overflowing wells

#141 A father and son washing dishes quietly, while mom sleeps on the couch

#142 A frog chorus shared on the internet

#147 The painful relief of truth finally told

#149 The fragrance of bruised petals

#161 The way the morning sunlight turns even a dandelion into a luminous glowing mystery

#175 Candlelit devotions

#183 That sometimes we can set things to rights

#185 The beautiful mystery that He wants our thirst

#188 Being reminded of lessons that turned my world upside down

#200 Amazing Grace - yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever

#212 Little girl stories

#228 Black umbrellas and puddle-y showers

#350The cleft in the rock behind the waterfall

#352 Spontaneous applause for victory over darkness

#364 the Power of the Cross

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Sometimes I am melodramatic... Bear with me. My favorite thing is finding hope in hard places. If you enjoyed something (or not) I would love to hear from you! You can make me very happy by leaving a comment :)


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