Threshold of Promise

surferI feel hands on my back pushing me into expectation
Like when a group of friends pushes you into that boy you’ve been crushing on and whispering about
but never talk to
The fear of rejection and disillusionment anchors my feet to the floor
I’m leaning my body weight against the forward movement
Better to not know
Better to live the dream only in my mind
Than face the possibility of hope deferred
My heart has been broken and bleeding too many times this past season
My eyes are dried of tears
To bleed again for the cause of faith and hope sounds valiant
But my zeal is very low
A life among the ordinary appeals to my desire for rest and safety
but I’ve burned all those bridges

And so here I stand
On an island
The only way forward is through the ocean
The waves are frightful
But I have no where else to go
My ship back to safety and comfort has already sailed
I’m looking into your vastness
I’m afraid to be consumed

But I feel a hazy sense of resurrection
It’s tingling underneath my skin
New life?
Maybe just maybe I do have the energy to rise again
To take my board and surf the waves of promise no matter how many times I’m wiped out by the waves of misplaced trust

These hands on my back feel comforting
I sense love in these hands
But what about when they stop pushing me
And there I stand
In Your presence
What will I say to You?
What will be Your response?
I’m told You’ve been whispering about me as well
But I haven’t heard many of those whispers for myself

I’m nervous
Could this be it?
I’m taking a deep breath
I’m looking up into Your eyes
And smiling

January 3, 2016


Soul Sisters


The pain of loneliness comes not from being physically alone, it comes from being unknown. It’s much more painful to be surrounded by the people who “love you the most” and feel internally unknown, than to be physically distant from people who know your soul.

Some of the people I cherish most, who understand my inner working often better than I do, live thousands of miles away and across oceans.

They are family

forged through resurrection power

Soul sisters birthed in different time zones

but our internal navigation keeps pointing us to our true place of origin


the joy of journeying is in our blood

There’s always more to see

more to experience

But we don’t journey in vain

Our destination is always before us

it’s what motivates our movement

Zion our mother

the true land of the free

and home of our spirits

We set our course towards you

There is mystery on our maps

Our narrow paths intertwining and diverting

as we traverse mountains and valleys

But even when our paths separate

we are sure they will again unite

Times of refreshing

renewed vision

and running hand in hand


We often find ourselves running into unmarked territory

Wearied and bruised by branches of false accusation

and deferred hope

Eyes blurred by tears

yet onward we sprint

Love compels us!

Being known is our source of strength

as we run faster and faster

towards him who calls us by a new name

Do you remember young virgins when you first caught a glimpse of his face?

It is He who awaits us

and it is He who is among us

Let us find him in the fields

and kiss him with shocking abandonment!

Our pilgrimage carries purpose

Many will follow the paths we’ve foraged

They will go further faster

maybe even passing us

as they race with youthful passion

Ah but our prize remains in front of us!

We will never stop our sojourning

O beautiful sisters

our Beloved awaits us!

weak, small & mercifully humbled


It seems like a weak stance to believe in God

to pursue a life devoted to him

      and it is

If we believe this reality we become so very small

we are but a flicker of light

a single reed blown to oblivion by the wind

      we are a pebble

Compared to a divine being

who created and inhabits all materiality and spirituality

      we are seemingly insignificant

Let us stare this belief in the face

Take a snapshot of the supremacy of God

Let your heart quiver

Let your soul break

Let us arise broken


Never to regain the strength of our pride

Humbled under this weight of glory

These days…

Poetic words have not been my natural flow these days.
My mind space overrun with expectation
Daily tasks are crowding out my artistic expression
Creativity a luxury
Take me deeper
I don’t want to live on the surface
My soul deep within
Covered by organs, muscles and useless information
Awake my soul
Awake from your slumbering
I need you
Practical living, you stifle me
You slowly suffocate my complexity
My life is too narrow and easy to describe
I want to dive into inspiration
Newly grown revelation
Rise up within
Let a new day begin
I water you today with these fragile words of dulled down expression
My confession is I didn’t know where to begin
I had to search within
My mind has been rehearsed
So formal and flat
Lacking substance and spark
I need meaning to make art
And my source is within
A deep well of life
Burst forth again
Wine of romance
Come dance me into the love we had at first
Give me purity of speech
Purity of purpose

Let the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be pleasing to You. Now and Forever!

Thoughts and Emotions


It’s interesting how thoughts and emotions collide and combat.

Thoughts knows she has all the right answers. She holds in her hands the sword of absolute truth. She believes she is invincible. She holds her head high, full of assurance. She need not even bed down to look at her opponent. For who can take her throne?

But though she looks strong in exterior, can she actually stand against the tidal wave of emotions?

For emotion comes by the sea. She comes with strength in her waves and she pounds against all walls meant to keep her at bay.

Again and again she attacks thoughts’ defenses.

A crack is found.

And with one final blow she pours into and out of the city.

Thoughts doesn’t relinquish all power, but with broken down defenses, she has no choice but to let emotions finish her damage before she begins to rebuild.

The strength of both forces lies within reality.

Both are real.

They carry weight.

If one were to deny the strength of the other, she would surely be brought to destruction.

The truth is they need each other.

They may seem like enemies, but actually they can be the best of friends. They can enhance and multiply the work of the other or they can destroy it with a few quick blows.

Neither is perfect.

Both need training.

Both need renewing by the Spirit.

He is their tutor, their coach. At times He focuses His training on the individual, but ultimately His work is to unite them in one powerful force. That together they would be like Himself. Bringing life where there was only violence and death.

Emotions, you are powerful. You come at surprising times bringing waters of life and healing.

Thoughts, your leadership is needed. Your structures are built with intelligence and skills that are necessary for growth and maturing.



Written for my dear friend Elisa, a women with a heart for authentic relationship and people telling their stories. She was the key person in helping me “come out” as a writer, about a year ago. I see now that poetry and free writing has always been inside of me, but it was a hidden treasure, mostly just used for internal communication between myself and God. It’s been a fun journey over the past year getting to share my poetry with friends and in larger settings, because relating to people in deep ways and exposing truth is so much of who I am.

This poem really is meant to be spoken, not read. So hopefully one day that will happen. In the meantime, here’s a small piece of my story with art and poetry writing.

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I used to think art was for everyone…
You know the guys who drink tea
The girls who like brie
The kids who watch Glee
The adults who live “free”
The people who actually like “The Old Man and The Sea”
But art, it wasn’t for me

Art was the kid who colored inside the lines when I was 4
She was the girl I sang a duet with when I was 8 and got all the compliments after the show
Art was the only class I didn’t do my homework in when I was 10
When I was 12 she was my best friend who wrote angry poems after class
At 14, Art was the boy who got out of class to practice choir
Art was the garage band my friends played in when I was 16
At 18 Art was my escapist dream amidst nursing school reality
At 20 she was the skinny jean, skinny me, hipster look I could never fully conquer

Then at 22 Art walked into my life as woman I could relate to at a point of loneliness and confusion
Her listening ears and open heart built trust and safety
And slowly she began to extend her hand, beckoning me into her world
The love in her voice couldn’t be resisted
So I followed her leading
Entering into to this world that had never been “me”

But something inside began to agree
And connect
Emotion came that I didn’t expect
And I began to reflect on both the intersect and disconnect
Realizing there had been both neglect and reject
So instead of fleeing I began being
Allowing the emotions I’d blocked off to begin breathing
It felting like seeing, for the first time
As I began to climb both into and outside my heart and mind
And the words just began to flow out in rhyme
And I began to find this captivating truth inside
Art was for me, more than that He was in me
He wasn’t for the elite and talented
I found out He’s unendingly multifaceted

See art is the external expression of all internal questions and confessions
She’s a thread in humanity that is meant to weave us together into a masterpiece of truth and beauty from ashes
Helping us to see through different glasses
With a theme of unity that surpasses our clashes
You don’t have to take classes
Just begin to open those boxes inside that you’ve kept closed
Those experiences you’ve said it’s better if nobody knows
Then I won’t be exposed and none can oppose

But let me propose a new idea through this prose
That little girl that dances inside needs to feel the sun
That young man with internal rhythm and rap needs to begin to run
Your art doesn’t need to be words and doesn’t need to be spoken
It’s just those inward realities that need to be awoken
And I’m hear to say you have been chosen
Arise and shine and take my hand
Let’s cross over into that new land
I can see the inner artist across all your faces
He’s trying to squeeze through even of the smallest open spaces
Embrace him
And let Art be the key to letting your inner man and women be what she’s always yearned to be

Cafe Moment

Cafes are one of my favorite places in the world. Take me to any city or small town and I will be happy to spend most of the day in the local cafe. Cafes both calm and inspire me. Maybe I’ll write about my love for cafes in more detail one day, but for now I’m just going to share a short free write/poem I wrote while visiting Tomato Pie Cafe in Lititz one afternoon.


My eyes glance up for a moment of reprieve from my internal discourse

Sitting, surrounded by the familiar, in what’s come to be know as “The Coolest Small Town in America”

My attention is called to the center of the cafe

I’m watching the interaction of father and daughter

He is standing, cradling his daughter, focused

Communicating with his eyes that his affection is solely for her in this moment

Mother is chatting with the waitress at the register

Connections being made, smiles come easily

Kisses abound as he sits back down, his eyes never moving from her face

Mother finishes paying and comes back into the safety of her home

Her arms embrace both daughter and lover

Her heart spilling over as she looks at her most precious ones

The beauty of her face as she looks deeply at the man that she loves is overwhelming

The love he is expressing multiplies the love she feels for him

There is purity here

Nothing to corrupt this love

No ideals of perfection to mar this present

As they embrace each other

Truth is looked at in the eye

Communication is deep, without words, because words are weak

The love portrayed is refreshing as if it was newly grown

But the richness of the picture shows me this love was fought for, it was formed in dark places

A cloud surrounds this picture as they walk out the door

All are aware

But no ones knows

Assumptions can be made

But who really knows


Last year my friend told me to write a poem about the city. I never finished it. I don’t think it will ever have a true ending, because the city is full of lessons to be learned and more importantly people with stories to be told. “The city” is really any city, though it was written with Lancaster City in mind.


There’s something about you that causes me to think that I can be somebody

Somebody going somewhere

Much like that man over there

He’s dressed in his black, made-to-measure suit

Walking the last block of his daily commute

Looking astute, with no question of his pursuit

His fitted look draws my eyes to each angle of his frame

I wonder from where he came and what is his name

A girlish story rapidly circles my brain

No thought is complete

Just sweet and meek, with nothing concrete

But it’s now obsolete


As I walk through the doors I breathe in the aroma of your being

The warm fragrance of espresso is calming and freeing

The freedom you provide gives me a break from life’s demands

Somehow I’m empowered with latte in hand

Sitting down for a moment to sip in the liquid solace

My eye is caught by a figure almost flawless

Her tattooed arm has caught my attention

Now caught in the tension, looking deep into her complexion

Wanting to stare and compare

But I know that isn’t fair

I just want to declare

“I like you. I like your tattoos. I’m not judging you. I just like you.”

But that’s not completely true

As she picks up her brew I begin to consider her world view

I try to fight the typical questions from first impressions

Are you truly an artist or musician?

What’s caused your break with tradition?

Was this your ambition?

Have your dreams come to fruition?


My inner questions interrupted as he side steps through the door and my view is blocked

His beard a bit mangled and his head a bit cocked

He’s known

Known but alone, surrounded by everything he owns

The barista calls out a hello followed by a first name

He looks around quickly then does the same

His presence makes me feel the ignorance of my youth

With no tools to relate how can I bring truth

This part of you scares me in my smallness

Here I can’t impress and excess only bring regress


Back on your uneven pavement I’m headed in a particular direction

You still have my affection made better by imperfection

Your faded streets signs and aged architecture are somehow refreshing

History’s seasoned maturity is confessing and expressing

While young artist flavoring is progressing and coalescing

Rushed smiles and nods are the dialect of the day

I find a familiar face and follow my nod with a “hey”


As I round the corner your landscape makes a quick shift

It’s then I begin to wonder how your two parts coexist

My eyes find the frame of a boy about six

He’s playing with his firetruck while eating some chips

Your sidewalk is his playground, he knows nothing different

His imagination soaring what you offer is sufficient

His name is called and he pretends to ignore

But that doesn’t last long when she swings open the door

A woman of strength, with streaks of grey hairs stands waiting for compliance

The boy’s pace hasten at her presence, there’s no room for defiance


A loud boom of latino music vibrates through my body’s members

But the sound fades into the distance like smoldering embers

Your diversity reminds me to widen the eyes of my mind

To make this world one color you’d have to be blind

Your design is complex and I’ve just scratched the surface

Maybe that’s your intent

Maybe that’s your main purpose

Easy answers are short lived and quickly outgrown

You provide an open space for my thoughts and questions to roam


There’s something about you that makes me think I can be somebody

That I am somebody

Somebody going somewhere

With a story in session

Deeper than first impression

Likely beyond my own comprehension

Freedom Calls


Freedom calls
Her voice echoes through the nations
Awakening a generation from slumber and sedation
We have been asleep for far too long
Our silence allowing wickedness to grow strong
Blinded by blended lines of right and wrong
Freedom calls
Rippling like sound waves through time and space
History can’t be erased and it’s daily being retraced
Slavery isn’t over
She’s merely gotten a makeover
Meant to keep her hidden with minimal exposure
Freedom calls
Leaving messages on awareness t-shirts and missing child posters at bus stops
Though these actions are needed, isn’t it time we think outside the box?
Maybe we can’t turn back this blackened clock
But we can ALL be a part of making it STOP
Freedom calls
She’s asking for you
Maybe you don’t know what to do
But your voice is needed and your actions too
It’s time to take your stand and proclaim what is truth
The days are over for duplicity and passivity
You need to pursue truth and justice actively
Freedom calls
I have dream
“That one day a woman won’t be judged by the curves of her hips, and the color of her hair, but the content of her heart”
Freedom calls
She’s not quitting
Though defeat looks presumable and the task insurmountable
Evil will not reign, he must be held accountable
Justice commissioners must do more than mere trading of prisoners
We need truth, righteousness, and love distributors
Freedom calls
This war isn’t happening on battlefields in distant nations
It’s invasions, locations, and implications are without limitation
And it’s time to open up that box of reality and depravity
This war’s casualties begin in our families
Freedom calls
She sounds like your sister, friend, mother and daughters
She needs more than popular trends, ideas, and smooth talkers
She needs intervention, and intention through prevention
She needs abuse detection
She needs literal protection and real affection
But most of all
What she needs is sacrificial love and eternal redemption


The Secret of Being Content

Come close
Draw near
Stretch out your ear
And pull these words into that sincere resting place
That space beyond the frontal veneer
Where spiritual truths are all made clear
Where deep calls unto deep
His Spirit dwelling, who never sleeps
Into this sacred space I speak
Because words alone are futile and weak
We must lift up eyes to seek
The things that are above
Realities only experienced in love
See I have learned the secret of being content
Leaving the striving of discontent
The torment of trying to prevent or circumvent the realities of the present
So much of our current lives are spent in lament
Always looking for a person to house our vent
We dream of futures where daily struggle has ceased
With endless happiness unleashed
Fear and agony deceased
But I have learned the secret to being content
And it lies in the extent I relent from creating my own life
Strife is a promised reality
As common as gravity
Meant to reveal life’s vanity and humanity’s depravity
But I have learned the secret of being content
The peaceful assurance I’m called to represent
And it dwells within the space I’m speaking into
Where you begin to be renewed through all that is true
It’s hope
Assurance of things yet unseen
Causing me to lean into my new identity
Heavily pursuing this new reality
Which is Christ in me the hope of glory
He is the secret to being content
For him, to him, because of him my life is spent
For if I am brought low or abound in all good things
If my name is made great among all the world’s kings
If my family turns against me and my stomach found empty
If all my plans succeed and I live in plenty
If the mediocrity of life begins to gnaw at my dreams
Or I find myself living in all the extremes
Still my hope in him remains the same
His lovingkindness not due to change
His redemptive blood coursing through my veins
For by this blood, alive I became
So in all things, I have learned the secret to being content
He is my strength, much stronger than any cement
He knows all my weakness
He knows all my need
He will sustain this life he now leads
My treasure and pleasure is no longer attached to natural and material
For that life is brief and will soon makes its burial
But who I really am is eternal
I am more than merely mortal
Thus, my desire for words beyond verbal and external
Contentment is found in his rest given to us
Our inheritance received through the man Christ Jesus
For all abundance and lack found here on this earth
Can never be compared to his glory and his worth
In him is our life, our strength, our treasure, our trust
He is the secret
He is Jesus

Philippians 4:11-13