Sunday, November 21, 2010


There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Life is complicated.

There are so many things that play into every day life, even those things that we primarily take for granted.

...even when we don't notice, things are complex.

It takes more than just the passing of time -- the turning of moments into years -- for someone to mature.

It takes the rain. The heat. The storms. The pressure. The pruning. The pain.

These things are not always realities that are easy for us to grasp. We want things to fall into place without any work or discomfort. We just want everything to be perfect right away.

And so we push away the pain. We shy away from anything that could possibly be the slightest bit uncomfortable...that might be hard.

We shut down the growth.

We settle into a pool of stagnant water...unmoving and unchanging. It may seem still and serene for the moment, but it eventually grows foul and rank, filled with impurities that cannot be swept away.

The foulness is trapped...we are imprisoned by our own good intentions.

...except Him.

...we hit rock bottom.

Sometimes, even the little things like breathing are almost too much to handle.

So many times, it feels like the entire ground is just shaking...nothing is standing still...

Sometimes, all you can do is reach up and take His hand, trusting Him to not let go.

I promise you -- He never lets go.

The world is unsteady sometimes.

He never moves.

When my world is shaking, Heaven stands. When my heart is breaking, I never leave Your hands. ~Your Hands, JJ Heller

Monday, November 15, 2010


"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller

There are so many things about life that confuse me.

The cruelty of separation is one of them.

It's a hard thing for me to wrap my mind around. Why is it that those people who mean the most to us are generally so very far away?

I am surrounded by friends who are involved in long-distance relationships, or are simply kept from seeing the one they love for one reason or another. Having dealt first-hand with the struggles of being in a relationship with someone living in another state, I know exactly the ache that creeps in from time to time.

It's not even those with whom we share a romantic connection that feel so very far away at times. I live with my husband and see him on a fairly regular basis; however, the rest of the people I care about are spread far and wide. Some are much closer to me geographically -- as close as a ten to fifty minute drive -- while others live in different states or even in other countries. Some are even as far away as Heaven.

So why do we do it? Why do we endure the separation from those people that mean the most to us, and still fight it out, even in the most complicated and crucial of moments?

Because it's worth it.

We do have the blessings of modern technology through cell phones, email, and social networks to keep us connected to those we care about. But even those things fail us sometimes... many nights do we go to bed with a heart twinging with the familiar ache of distance?

...the wish that we would hear the lilt of that familiar voice or catch a whisper of a too-long silent laugh?

Separation is hard. The fingers of loneliness and the chill of missing are very real.

...but then, does that not make the reunions all the more sweet?

"All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee to me."
~William Shakespeare, "Sonnet XLIII"

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we? ~Terri Guillemets

There are so many things I love about being a writer.

People ask me all the time why I'm drawn to the idea of being a professional authoress.

It's hard to pick just one reason.

...I have so many.

There is something so profound about writing. Among the pages of your own hand-written worlds, you can seek and destroy life's most excruciating hurts.

The written word can be wielded like a sword in the hand of a mighty warrior, or whispered in one's ear like a lover's private secret. It has such incredible power -- to lift up and to cast down, to bring healing or to rip into shreds.

A writer is one who has been entrusted with the care of one of the world's most beautiful and deadly gifts. It takes great discernment and a holy kind of wisdom to know exactly what to do with this gift.

The written word wove a spell over my soul in the 3rd grade; it's not something I've been able to break free from since. And honestly, I'm glad.

Writing is more than just allowing a pen to dance over a page, or fingers to fly over an eagerly waiting computer keyboard.

Hours are spent, pouring over lines of inky scribblings on scraps of paper. Ideas flit in one's head like a seemingly endless flock of butterflies, only resting in one place for a moment before spreading their wings and moving on to a new idea.

It can bring on so many emotions, so many wide-spread frustrations that those who are not writers do not fully understand. In fact, it can make you a bit crazy.

But then there comes that moment, when all is finally silent. The voices have slipped away, the ramblings have ceased. It's then that the conductor lifts his baton and the writer lifts her pen...and the dream begins anew.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beautiful Scars

"Hate leaves ugly scars; love leaves beautiful ones." ~Mignon McLaughlin

This morning, I took the black, inky tip of Sharpie to my arms.

It goes against everything we were taught as children -- how many times were we scolded for writing on our skin with pens or markers of various sorts?

However, today, I simply cannot think of a better reason to go against the grain.

So, Sharpie in hand, I carefully wrote four simple letters on each arm.
L. O. V. E.


Because I love you. And I've been there.

To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA, is an incredible organization made up of hundreds of people all around the world, standing against the lie that is so commonly whispered in the ears of today's youth.

"Nobody loves you. You're not worth anything. You might as well simply die. All you can do to numb the pain is to draw that razor blade across your wrist. You're nothing."

And so, several times a year, people all around the world take out their Sharpies and write these four simple letters across the skin on their arms for no other reason that to raise awareness regarding depression, hate, self-mutilation, and suicide.

So many people make their way through this world hiding behind a smile, or simply trying to blend into the woodwork. They don't want anyone to know that their hearts are screaming, that their hearts are bleeding for lack of love.

I used to be like that. I tried to keep up a brave face and keep smiling. In fact, very few people even knew that my heart was dying and all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner and simply vanish. I wanted out in the worst way.

My own scars serve as a daily testament to where I was...where I used to be...the musical score to the most agonizing symphony I have ever found myself conducting.

This is why this day means so much to me. I want to the world to know that I've been there. I want those broken, wounded souls to know that they are NOT alone. They ARE loved...and not just by me.

You see, there was once a Man who wrote LOVE in the most ultimate, self-sacrificial way.

He wrote LOVE on His body in the blood-stained splinters of a cross.

And He did it for me.

The reality of this is so powerful to me, as a former broken angel, that it brings tears to my eyes as I sit here thinking about the extreme LOVE that was showered upon me.

I was undeserving. I was broken. Cut down. Covered in scars.

And His blood took my agony, my shame, and my fear.

He LOVED me. He wrote His LOVE on my heart.

He made my scars beautiful.

To Write Love On Her Arms Day -- November 12, 2010

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39