Hurricane Irma – The gift that keeps on giving

Weeks after Hurricane Irma blew through our city and we cleaned up all of the fallen branches and debris, I came home from my walk to find a large branch in my yard. It had been snapped during Irma, but on it’s descent from the tall tree, it’s branches latched on to others and it hung, dying. This morning I broke off the dead branches and hauled them to the curb.

branches

As I was walking back and forth from the large branch to the curb where are yard waste is picked up I began thinking about my previous post about Irma and the storms of life. Because we had just moved into this house, had not yet pruned everything back and prepared for the storm, Hurricane Irma dropped quite a mess in our yard – revealing our failure to plan.

This morning my thoughts quickly pointed to another dead branch in my life that I thought was cleaned up and hauled away, but my recent birthday proved otherwise. I’m a twin and, as explained in my book (Resurrecting the Wrong Life), I spent most of my childhood in her shadow, wanting someone to acknowledge me. Being a twin, you’re oftentimes grouped together in everything – as if you aren’t your own person (at least that is how my mind painted it for me. All. The. Time.)

So, two days ago was our (see what I did there?) birthday and, as usual, my mom posted on Facebook a joint “Happy Birthday” post to her twins. On that post, many of my sister’s friends and some of mine commented with their birthday wishes. My twin also posted a birthday wish on my page, where many of my friends and some of hers commented their birthday wishes. (Roll your pants up, honey, it’s getting petty quickly in here.) Only a handful actually posted a birthday wish on my page – and to me alone, even fewer.

petty

As petty as it was (and yes, I recognize it was petty), it put me in a bad mood on my birthday (on OUR birthday.) Add to that, I had told my husband I didn’t want a gift for my birthday, just for the family to spend time with me (that’s my love language.) So, what did he do?

He didn’t get me anything.

<Increased pettiness and pity party balloons hung>

So back to the branch that fell weeks after the storm.

branch

Here is what I learned this morning – Sometimes in life, the storm will come and drop a mess in your life that you’re forced to clean up. (I did that when I wrote my book.) However, sometimes a couple branches (issues) are held back from falling, only to drop later – revealing they still exist.

I discovered on my birthday – actually the day after when my sister, who is reading my book, pointed out that I was upset because I hadn’t really dealt with feeling like ‘leftovers’ and not being my own person growing up. Another branch just dropped in my yard that I thought was long gone.

Storms are messy. They can leave a mess in our lives that is visible to those around us for days, weeks, months, and even years. (#PrayingForPuertoRico) But they can also lodge a couple branches of our past out of sight, long enough for us to clean up the initial storm, but later drop them onto the scene so we can deal with them.

 

Shake your trees, honey. You may  not be over something from your past that is lodged in your high branches. It just takes one strong wind to bring it crashing to your yard for the world to see. Are you ready?

 

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God did something… what was it?

All too often in our lives we can recount all of the funny episodes of our days but struggle to remember the things God has done on a daily basis. Are we walking through life ungrateful?

 Well, if you want to be truthful with yourself you’d see that you are.

Things we miss out of because we’re too busy complaining, are desensitized by society or have put things before our relationship with God are:

The fact that we woke up this morning

Our health

Our needs being met

Our salvation – so many people are praying for their loved one’s salvation and yet we all seem to forget to thank God for our own. It truly is the greatest miracle and yet we overlook it as something to be grateful for.

Those times God makes a way when there didn’t seem to be a way

There are so many things that God does, gives, says to us that we pass up the opportunity to thank Him for because we don’t consider the blessing it really is to have a God that speaks to us, works on our behalf and has in store for us.

Why not spend a moment today just thinking about the things He’s done for you this week? I bet you could list a dozen or more.

God does something every second. Try and point some out. They’ll make your problems, fears and failures a lot smaller.

I Want to Love

I listened to your unfeigned voice,
the emotion in your falsetto;
I watched your face illuminate
as you sang about your love;
Hearing the words you chose,
such sweet poetry of the heart.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 5
Let me fall
Into love like this
As I count back from 4
Let me live.

You create a brand new zeitgeist,
the candor in your song.
The evident way you love them
paints an enviable bliss.
Your convincing melody is
an anesthetic to my pessimism.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 3
Let me fall
Into love like this
As I count back from 2
Let me live.

You articulate my dreams well;
the ones that carry me to heaven.
You cauterize this hemorrhaging heart
stabbed by a cruelty of selfishness.
Your ability, willingness, to open up
to want for beyond yourself.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 1
Let me fall
Into love like this
Into love like this

Golgotha beats a Full house

Place the hot coals on my lips
As I deny such a disquieting vice
Rip off the fingers that reach
For the pistol prepared for roulette
Sear my eyes closed while I walk
Down aisles offering to satiate
Shove a stick or two and beat my drums
So I no longer hear these demons hum
A ransom has been offered
For the child to come back to Sheol
Back where she can play and laugh
Laugh at
Emptiness
Foolishness
Randomness
Ignorance
Stupidity
Tripping
Slipping
Sinking
Further
Down.
Place the paper on these trembling legs
As I try to pen some of these feelings out
Rid myself of haunting words
For a chance to rest tonight
Sear the portal existing
Down in the nadir of despair
Shove back the devils that tempt
So tonight I do not succumb
A ransom was offered
For this child to overcome
Back on a cross at Golgotha

Strangers so Close

Don’t judge

you really don’t know me

You can tell me what my favorite color is

it doesn’t mean you know the color of my heart.

You know what my favorite song is

but you don’t understand the song of my soul.

You recognize my voice in a crowd

but you’ve never really heard me

You accept all of my idiocycracies

but you really don’t get me

You really don’t know me

Don’t judge

Surrounded and Alone

Seven people live in his house

but he was all alone.

Six people work in the same room as him

but he was all alone.

Five days a week he has lunch with three

but he was all alone.

Four hours on Friday he plays cards

but he was all alone.

Three siblings in his family, all very close

but he was all alone.

Two years now he’s been married

but he was all alone.

One is the only one who could save him

from being all alone.

Your Love Brings me Through

You not only hear

The cry from my soul

But You hear every tear

As it hits the floor

 

You not only love me

When I do right

But you love me with

All my faults and my lies

 

I can’t seem to be

Unloved by You

I can’t seem to run

Out of mercy with You

I can’t seem to fail

At anything with You

Because Your love

Your love always brings

me through.

 

I not only want

With my mind to love you

But with my strength, my might

And my heart too

 

I not only want

To never fail You

But live my life So I

Don’t fail others too

 

I can’t seem to be

Unloved by You

I can’t seem to run

Out of mercy with You

I can’t seem to fail

At anything with You

Because Your love

Your love always brings

me through.

 

Bridge: I live

             I lie

             I learn

             You love

             You lift

             You turn

             Spirit

             Help me now

             Open my eyes

             Show me how

 

I can’t seem to be

Unloved by You

I can’t seem to run

Out of mercy with You

I can’t seem to fail

At anything with You

Because Your love

Your love always brings

me through.