Archives For a moment of bravery

girls on fire.

February 8, 2013 — 7 Comments

morning words

She’s just a girl and she’s on fire - Alicia Keys

Let me tell you what burns inside.

The flame began earlier this summer, when voices on either side began throwing up their hands in anger and disappointment. The whole time, I saw the middle – the forgotten – the story untold.

The story of women hurt by silence.

But now, we’re not going away are we? Terry Tempest Williams asks what is the sound of a woman covering her mouth with her eyes wide open but we’re done with that – we’re done with letting the hands cover our mouths because more often than not, it’s not even our hand keeping us silenced. All around me, women are standing up. They are finding their words, opening their mouths and singing their freedom song.

Sister, what are the words burning in your soul? You do realize the heart of the Lion is within you as well, right? You do understand He can speak to you and through you just as easily as anyone else?

Listen closely. The embers crack deep with heat but you can hear them.

The world brushes up against the Truth of our power, you know. They brush up against it but never embrace it. It’s why their way breeds fear. But imagine with me what would happen if those of us with words to speak would join the conversation. Imagine if we forgot about those who didn’t want to hear us – hollering at stones is a waste of energy anyway.

We spoke the words first – and somewhere along the way, we came to believe we were second best.

But this is not His way, and cutting off your words and your heart is cutting off part of Him who lives and breathes inside.

So breathe deep. Our power doesn’t come from some ancient goddess or from a performer on stage. It comes from Him who lowered Himself so we could be lifted up.

In Him, through Him, with Him – it’s how we speak and it’s who breathes these words in our heart we’re so often afraid to share.

Sister, you’re on fire with His Spirit. Don’t let those words turn to ash.

the lost love.

January 23, 2013 — 4 Comments


She rested her back against the tub, watching the steam from the water carry its way past the flames of the candles. Here, she liked her body. Her legs almost seemed sultry with the water foaming into small beads against her skin.

She grabbed her phone and made her way to the website. She felt her chest tighten when she saw the face of one who hurt her so long ago. She hadn’t visited the profile in awhile but now, in the midst of therapy, she felt an urgency in moving forward. As if she were looking for some sort of hint – an explanation tied to memory.

She almost missed the note. Tucked between an update and some pictures, it wasn’t obvious. Something about it caught her eye and she scrolled back up, noticing the To my Lost Love subject line.

“huh.” she thought, intrigued.

She read through it, her heart quickening as she realized the subject of the note wasn’t some long lost lover. It was her. She was the lost love.

Immediately she went through the list of family who probably saw the note – saw the plea for added strength in order to make things right – saw the title of lost love and thought nothing of the implications.

“How nice!” They probably thought – frowning at the lack of grace she exhibited and clucking tongues at the continued silence.

Closing her eyes, she fought for a breath.


Memories came rushing back – of hands in shirts and unwanted kisses. Of special trips and uneasy questions. Of avoidance and horrible feelings that have no words.

How does one find words for what happened when vocabulary was a blur?

The body holds tight to the nameless, she knew that now. She knew it in the sudden fear, the way she startled awake, the way the anger crept up unbidden or the way tears came suddenly and without warning.

How does one deal with that monster? The nameless thing creeping up for no other reason than how our skin holds touch for ages.

She drew in a shaky breath and took a screen shot of the note. Months later, as she finally began processing, she’d thank herself for this simple act of retribution. The note would be deleted from the profile and she’d question whether she even saw it.

But she had the evidence. The twisted view of a love gone terribly wrong. The note meant as a final means of manipulation when the hurried emails and voicemails were left unanswered.

Sinking deeper into the water, she placed her phone on the side of the tub and let the warmth take over.

Washing, not drowning, someone had told her once of those moments where things felt overwhelming. Bringing her hand above the water line, she watched as the flames danced across the glistening shadows.

The note mentioned that she was prayed for – that there was a hope for strength and peace – even strength to open up the lines of communication again. And while it still twisted her stomach to think about being in the same room as this person, she knew the prayers were being answered in their own way.

She had the strength to stand up for herself. She possessed a peace of knowing – of nothing shaking the memories she kept tight in her heart – memories that everyone else seemed to casually forget.

She heard the bathroom door open and turned her head, meeting the gaze of the one who knows her best – the one who’s touch brought a scathing sort of healing. He smiled at her and whispered a hello. Reaching out her hand, she knew the most important piece of strength was falling into place :: the peace of embracing love fully and without fear.

bartering art for fame.

December 20, 2012 — 19 Comments


On a good day, about 100 people will visit this site.

And regardless of how much of my insides I spill forth onto these pages, I understand the likelihood of me reaching a larger audience are slim. Why?

I refuse to barter my art for fame.

This past summer, I stood in my best friend’s bathroom and composed a poet-line with magnet words :: girl, we writers howl and heal porcelain bone. I pieced these words together because if anything, this is what I want from my writing. I want you to hear me howl. I want you to experience the healing of broken words. I want you to come away feeling a little more whole – not because of what I said, but because of what you felt. I pray you feel a little of the holy in my words – that I’ve stepped aside long enough to let Him in to those spaces between reality and magic.

So here’s the thing :: this here blog? I howl here. And well, if you take a look at some of the more popular blogs focused on writing and getting your voice heard, there’s not much howling going on – there’s a lot of repeats. A lot of mimicking.

A lot of bartering art for fame.

I won’t do it.

I’ve been studying trends lately. Watching the bestseller lists, quietly observing what it is people want to read. And I see it - they want escape.

And I get this. I do. But I can’t offer it – not in the way they’re wanting me to give it. I realize this with a bit of trepidation because I know what this means.

So, I’ll take you 100 readers. I’ll continue to howl and weep and claw at this debris around me in order to find some beauty. I’ll hold the mirror up so you can look in it and see the purpose built inside your bones. I’ll dance and celebrate and point to life’s rhythm pulsing in the rustling of trees and the gentle steps of babies.

But I will not barter. I won’t.

I’d rather peel back the veil on what it means to write dangerously and with intention – holding close this purpose of beauty within pain – even if it means I won’t ever see fame.

I was reading through my journal the other day and realized I never wrote about our placement falling apart.

I went from wondering about what we still needed to finish before the birth to numerous pages about “disappointments” and “stress” – and I wondered, if I can’t be honest here – where no one will read - where can I be honest?

There’s still a lot I don’t share here in this space. I’ve never come out and given you specifics on much of my story, and still there are those who read in between the lines and assume. There are others who know – who read between the lines and guess correctly – but I imagine it’s because they were there. They know because somewhere inside deep calls to deep and they realize I’m speaking truth – even if it’s hard to swallow.

I was told a few months ago by someone I love and crave approval from more than anyone else that I needed to be careful about what I write here – that some people may assume I lived a life of turmoil. And for the most part, my memories are tinted with happiness. But there’s an undercurrent in every memory I have – this blackness that seeps into everything – and I wonder if most of it just comes from the hidden spaces. The moments in secret.

Ian Cron said that while writing his memoir Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me, his mother would say “you can’t put that in your book – you can’t write about that – it makes us look bad!”

In which he would respond, “you have no intellectual property on my pain.”

This is what I’m learning. Can I be honest? It’s hard. There are so many - so many - voices telling me I need to change how I write. They tell me I need to change what I write.

I’m done with the fear of being a broken thing. My writing is dark because darkness is what I know – and it’s in the darkness where I see the Light more clearly. 

And my prayer would be that in my broken words, I spill out hope and truth and love – pushing back and letting Him redeem those dark spaces and secret moments one sentence at a time.


so there’s this community emily started that can get me to write when everything else seems a bit hazy. we link up our imperfect words and celebrate the beauty in our messes. will you join us?

the ice pick.

August 20, 2012 — 14 Comments

I lean forward in my seat, watching the rain fall in waves toward our windshield. I’m not sure if it’s the direction of the rain or the fact that my husband has his brights on, but for a brief moment it looks as if we’re driving through stars.

I reach out and grab his hand and relax against the back of my seat. It’s been a good weekend. Refreshing – even healing in a way. I can’t think about what waits for us back home – not yet – and so for now, I close my eyes and listen to the music.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night…take these broken wings and learn to fly….

I haven’t told anyone, but this song is one I hold close for my future daughter. I see us :: me rocking her, her tiny fingers gripping my shirt, me softly singing in her ear these words.

You were always waiting for this moment to arise.

A loose tear escapes and makes it way down my cheek. I take a deep breath and let it out slow. I know what I need to do, know what my therapist and I spoke about earlier in the week. The anger isn’t as potent now, but he’s always there, lurking under the surface. I turn toward Russ.

“I think I need you to help me find a spot where I can scream. No one around – just us.” There’s no hesitation with his response.

“How about here?”

I look around, the fear lapping at the waves of emotion in my belly. He continues, trying to convince me.

“There’s no one here. Historical markers are all up and down this road…”

I interrupt, “but, I don’t want to worry anyone.”

“Oh you won’t. Not here.”

Later, I’ll laugh at my response. Later, I’ll categorize it as the Good Girl protesting – she’s not one to ruffle feathers or be seen and so when I rebel and demand attention, she usually finds a way to stuff it deep.

At that moment, I agree. I think I already knew it needed to be tonight.

It doesn’t take long for us to pull over. The rain has stopped, if only for a moment. Lightning dances across the sky and I drink in the dark. It’s hypnotic in a way. I’m barefoot on the ground, feeling myself center with the earth. Russ is with me, reading the sign of limestone and governmental feuds that marked this spot in history. I turn around and face the sky. There’s no wind. No sound. Only the distant rumble of thunder. I hesitate.

And then, without any thought, I feel myself breathing in the air and letting out a scream. My hands clenched by my sides, my eyes closed, I imagine I look a little like a two-year old throwing a tantrum. My scream echoes across the valley and when it dies, there’s silence. Indignation rises up within me. Just a small spark – but enough for me to grab it and think of everything I’ve ever kept inside.

Don’t you hear me?! I think. Don’t you want to respond?! I’m here – screaming! 

I breathe in again – this time louder. More intense. When I’m done, my breath is heavy and I feel my nails digging into my palms.

Out of nowhere, a gust of wind circles around us. It sounds almost like someone running up to meet us and rustling the leaves of the trees behind me in the process. I jerk around to face the noise, noticing out of the corner of my eye my husband has done the same. We stand there for a few seconds – staring. The wind is gone. There’s silence again – except for the crickets and a distant howl of a dog.

I hear the Voice deep in my bones. “I’m here. I hear. I’m not scared or disappointed. I see your anger and join with you.”

I start crying then – my hands flying up to my face to hide the emotion. It’s all a little unnerving. I feel vulnerable – seen. Russ is there to pick up the pieces, holding me close and kissing the crown of my head. I lean against his chest, letting the tears fall. I pull away after a few moments, knowing I need to scream once more. He walks away, giving me my space, and I look back toward the sky.

This time, my thoughts are elsewhere. This time, my screams are directed toward humans. This time, it takes awhile for the scream to die, and when it does, I’m left with a scratchy throat and raw emotions. I think of my anger inside as a large glacier. Turning toward the car, leaning in for a brief hug and kiss, I know this moment has served as an ice pick. I feel shattered.