26 Jul 2016

Wednesday Words - [2]


there's something up ahead
that looks like a fresh start
as clean as the dawn of a new day
and tell me, can I help it when this 
stubborn heart of mine
tells me it's ready to give way

and I stop

because
there's this look on your face that
reminds me of when I was young
it takes me back to a place where
hope once grew with roots strong

and I think

there's a green shoot
growing in the soil of my soul
that makes my spirits lift
and this time I reckon
I'm going to water it.

20 Jul 2016

He Is Trustworthy

Trust is powerful. It's putting something in someone's hands knowing they could drop it, but taking the chance anyway, because you believe they care about it enough to hold it tight. All of us learn that we have to be careful who we give it to, you have to know that they will do everything to keep it safe. Naive people give it more easily, but the thing is, we all start out naive. The jaggedness and crookedness of this life and the cruel beings in it teach us to be more discerning. To look a little closer. To watch our steps in case we fall over something.


For most, innocence is stolen from a young age. Often too young. You start realizing things, even small things, around six, or seven, like how a watermelon won't grow in your stomach if you swallow that pip, how your face won't actually stay stuck on the same expression if you scowl for too long. You no longer trust everything adults or even other kids say. As you get older, you realize other things too. Much worse things. You find out about human trafficking and serial killers and pornography and grotesque words.

Maybe those aren't perfect examples, but the point is that as you grow older, the world gets uglier. It was always ugly, but in our own little world of soft toys and knock knock jokes and pancakes for breakfast, we missed it. Until it became more clear with each birthday.

Four years old. Hold my hand when we walk across the street.
Eight years old. Stay close to me.
Ten years old. Don't talk to strangers.
Twelve years old. Careful who you're friends with.
Sixteen years old. Watch out for yourself.
Twenty years old and you've known that it's not a safe place for awhile now. You don't trust easily because that isn't smart. It's dangerous.

You learn. You become aware, you see things for what they are. It's the same for everyone, and it's rare to find someone that is still a kid at heart. (Though I'd like to add here that I love those kind of people)

When trust is given, it's kind of a big deal. If someone has handed it to you, don't think it's a small thing. It's precious, and you are fully responsible for what you do with it, how you respond to it. Perhaps the person who trusts you has been let down many times before, or perhaps they don't know betrayal yet. It will be up to you to live up to whatever you've let them believe you are.

And wait. Can I say something? Can I share hope with those that have remorseful, jaded and doubtful souls? There IS Someone you will never have to second guess. There IS Someone who is strong enough, mighty enough, yet kind and gentle enough to carry your precious trust. To carry you, you precious soul. He never lets go, He never stumbles or slumbers. His name is Jesus, and no matter who has hurt you or cracked open the chambers of your heart so that you had to rebuild them, you will be safe with Him.
He is not hateful like that person who looked at you like that. He is not cruel like that person who said those things to you. He is not malignant like that person who hurt you and the ones you love and never looked back.

He is pure, He is holy and He is loving.
He is trustworthy.
Put your hand in His, He will never let go.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit." / Jeremiah 17:7-8

Always He remains, our courage in the fight.

18 Jul 2016

Monday Musings [1] - Meant For The Skies




hey, can you please
leave, and get out of my head?
I know you won't ease
any of this pain, heavy as led.

oh I know you're perfect, flawless
but I really don't want your face to be
what I imagine when I close my eyes,
because
the things I'd do for you scares me,
and you see
I'm pretty sure, yeah I'm sure
it isn't healthy
and I know, yeah I know for sure
that you aren't the answer.

I don't like how if I only had one choice I'd choose you,
or how I randomly think about the little things you do.
this power you got who knows how over me
has tied me up like a rope so tightly,
it's strong and I thought I knew how but now
I cannot seem to break free.

who knew
it was possible to feel like I can finally breathe
and find that I've run out of oxygen
at the same time.

so hey you, won't you be my hero
walk away, but do it fast, not slow
I'm meant to be a free bird
and I don't know if you know
that you've caged me so
I'm letting you know.

let me take off and use my own wings to soar again,
somehow I've become dependent on you
and it seems I like it when you say my name.
I know you don't mean it to but it's happening,
I'm falling, I'm falling,
but please don't catch me,
it will only make me want you to stay
and right now my mind is full of alarms
screaming out no, not today.
let me loose, set me free, let me fly,
I was meant for the skies.

I don't trust easily
and I have a hole in my heart, that's why
I thought it would be
me, myself and I
yet now
I can tell I want to give us a try,
but the problem is,
I was meant for the skies.

---

Call it what you want, I know it's sappy...but if you're honest, really honest, haven't you ever felt this way?
Emotions are tricky things, hard to control. Sometimes it takes another person to help you reign them in.

16 Jul 2016

10 Things I Love (And Hate) About Winter

Here in Africa, we're smack dab in the middle of winter. I live near the very bottom of Africa, where it's supposed to be rainy during winter and dry during the summer. Not dry all of the time.
Actually, I shouldn't complain, because last year we had a season of much worse drought. There has been more rain (down in Africa...who knows that song?) of late.
I know that a lot of, or most of my blogger friends are currently enjoying summer. Stop rubbing it in my face, okay?
I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I love hearing about your summer adventures and foods and fun, I really do. But I thought I'd chat a bit about what I think the pros and cons of winter are. Maybe it will have you feeling nostalgic for the colder season. Or, if you are living in the colder season currently, perhaps you'll be nodding throughout this post in agreement. Either way, I hope you find it worth your while.
Although I've noted down some pretty great pros alongside the cons...I've gotta be honest, I'm looking forward to summer.

CON 1: Desert lips. It's awful the way my lips dry up and crack and bleed. Sometimes when I wake up I can taste that awful metallic taste of blood, and I know my lips have cracked open again. Ugh. I've been using a lot of lip balm.


PRO 1: Wrapping myself up in a soft blanket. I seriously love soft blankets so much. Recently, my older sister, Perrin, who is living and working in Ireland as a chef (I know, so cool, right? Unless you happen to be Irish. If that's the case, perhaps the idea is not quite so exotic to you as it is to me), mailed a big cardboard box of presents to us. It was like Christmas in July, and each present was so thoughtful and kind. I miss her loads. I miss her more than summer.
Anyway, one of the gifts she sent to me was a beautiful, soft, fluffy blanket all the way from Ireland. I love it.

It's really very very soft. You'd have to touch it to believe me.

CON 2: Not being warm enough. You're probably thinking, put more clothes on. Use more blankets. But I-I-I d-don't th-think you understand.
It's not that cold today, actually, but in June it was bitterly cold. B i t t e r l y. And, as a person who gets cold easily, I wasn't that impressed. I would lie in bed, curled up in a ball with three layers of clothing, a blanket and a duvet covering me and still shiver. I would go to church at nine in the morning and everyone would tell me I hadn't worn enough because underneath all of the layers I was still shaking. Yeah. That bad.

PRO 2: Warm, roaring fires. I love love love to sit in front of a big fire and read, or play cards, or chat with my siblings. Or drink hot chocolate, but that's another pro altogether, don't you think? Especially if it's topped with mini marshmallows. Mmm.

 


CON 3: Comfort food. Why is this a con, you ask? Well, because, when it's so freezing and one of your family members have cooked something hot and so so so good, you kind of forget it's also full full full of calories and you eat it.

PRO 3: Comfort food. Yep, calories, whatever. Forget about that. I mean, come on. Mac n cheese. Brownies. Apple crumble. Shepard's pie. Burgers. I never really stood a chance.

My brother came home with a surprise burger for me the other day. How sweet is he? Or, well, he could be trying to make me fat...

CON 4: Showering. In the summertime I'm keen on doing that. However, when it's four degrees celsius, I don't find myself thinking, I'd love to strip off all my clothes and get wet and almost shiver to death while I'm getting out of the shower and drying off. (We don't have central heating here in Africa. It's just not a thing. I don't know anyone who has central heating) But I do it, because I'm brave. Yeah, you're welcome to laugh at that.

PRO 4: Hoodies. I love putting on a cozy, over sized hoodie with sleeves that are too long for me and just reveling in the comfort that it brings. I also love the actual hoods themselves. I like putting them on when I have no need or reason too. It makes it cozier and gets me feeling a little more Eskimo-ey.

CON 5: Darkness. Because, in the winter, obviously, the sun sets earlier and rises later. I wouldn't say I'm afraid of the dark (although some of my siblings would argue otherwise...perhaps it's my pride denying it) but I love light.

PRO 5: Sleep. I sleep much longer and more peacefully in the winter. Apparently it's proven that you sleep better in the cold, which is interesting. In the summertime, I rise early, I can't help it, it's like my body is programmed to. But in the wintertime, I manage to sleep in late. My record is 9:30am, which, I've heard, is not a very high record. Never mind. It's my record.
What's your record?

Let me know if you can relate to my thoughts on winter, and if you're enjoying the season is hanging out your place, whether it's cold or hot. Do you prefer winter or summer?
Hopefully I didn't come across as too much of a complainer, but again, I'm just hanging in here till summer.

13 Jul 2016

Wednesday Words [1] - Fading


FADING // written: 11.JUL.2016

something in the words that you say to me
make me feel stained and unwashed, dirty.

I know that I don’t hate you but oh I wish you knew how
the sharp and poisoned arrows that fly from your mouth
have been hitting me square in the chest for a while now
and I feel so small in the quiet corner where I crouch.

I would tell you but I have been taught to keep the silence
and the thoughts in my head scare me with their violence.

I am terribly afraid to let them out and yet
I am afraid to keep them inside my head
because they are making me bitter bit by bit
turning my once soft heart to lead.

here I hang from the tight rope I had been walking
I am holding on but I can feel that my grip is slipping
I don’t want it to but what little faith that I had left in you
is ever slowly fading, fading away into nothing.

-T.H.

---


Hey all, how are you doing?
I think I ought to explain this post, just a little. So. I have a scheduled monthly post (eg: January Days, February Days - an update on what's going on in my life) that I (apparently) struggle to stick to, but I'm not going to stop trying. And me being me, I had this great idea to add to the load. Because I really like this idea. 
The idea is to have a scheduled, weekly, poetry post every Monday or Wednesday. You see, I have poems playing out in my head like all. The. Time. And sometimes (only sometimes) I want to share them, which has led to me deciding that I'll try and post poetry weekly, perhaps even twice a week. Either in a Monday Musings post or in a Wednesday Writings post (hence the title of this post). Writing poetry often helps me relieve or relive feelings I wouldn't been able to in any other way.
Some people pay for therapy. I write.

BUT. I have had people worry about me because of the 'depth' or 'pain' in the words that I write. All of my poetry is influenced by the things, relationships and people in my life, yes. But often I mix fiction in with all of it, and if you find something I've written a little dramatic, there's no need to worry or wonder if I 'need help' or actually need therapy after all. :) I do have a lot of happy, lighthearted musings and words ready to be penned down along with the darker thoughts. That's how life is, after all, the good mixed in with the bad. The shadows falling in the places where the sun isn't shining. It's a reflection.

I will probably also include a random photo or two of mine each time that will most likely not be related to what I write. You have been warned.

I hope you have a most lovely day. Remember that sometimes having a good day is a choice. Also, please forgive all of the (really annoying, aren't they?) brackets in this post. Till next time.

10 Jul 2016

Lean On Me

People. Lovely human beings. Unique persons. Did you know that we are supposed to be encourage-ers? That we are meant to be uplift-ers? We are meant to be there for the people that need us when they need us. We're called to live like our God, the only God, the God who wipes away tears. That means we wipe away tears. We strengthen, we don't tear down. We know how it feels to be torn down, and because we do, we use our hands to build, not destroy.

"Therefore, comfort and edify one other." [1 Thessalonians 5:11]

If you see something good in someone, don't hesitate to tell them. Ask Jesus to see them through His eyes. He's got x-ray vision when it comes to seeing the heart and knowing the person.

If someone is struggling, help them out. Give them a hand. Give them advice that is backed up by the bible. Tell them that they can lean on you so that they don't fall over.
If someone you aren't that fond of (to put it nicely) is also struggling, treat them the same. Be their friend. Be their someone when they've got no one. So many people are tired and in pain from having no one for too long.

When you next see someone hurting, don't bring them down further. Give them a hug, a smile, make them a cup of tea, make them laugh, cheer them up. Ask them what's going on and if they don't want to say, don't worry about it, just show them you care. Show them that somebody cares. Sometimes all one needs is to know somebody cares.
If they do want to talk about it, talk about it with them. Converse with them, give them words they can take to heart. Listen to them pour themselves out to you.

And when you get tired of being the person that everyone leans on, rest yourself in Christ. Hear Him tell you that you can lean on Him, because you always can. Don't forget that He never forgets you.

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." [Galatians 6:9]

Before I end this post, I wanna shout out to all those that have been a shoulder to lean on in the bad and ugly times of my life. If you're reading this, you know who you are and I just want to say, I'm grateful. Thank you for being my someone.

4 Jul 2016

In The World...



...but so far from of the world.

This is what our heavenly Father desires from us. He doesn't want a little bit of you. He doesn't want half of you. He wants ALL of you, every part of you, every dark corner of your soul, every inch of your body, as a living sacrifice to Him. He wants to lighten those dark corners and sanctify your body, to set you apart.
He, Creator of the universe, desires you. All of you. Isn't that amazing?
I am excited to tell you this, even if you've heard it before. Because it is something I only just properly woke up to recently. I'd like to tell you how beautifully and gently God revealed it to me.

"I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one." [John 17: 14-15]

We live in a world that is full of sin. Some sins are plain and blatant. Other sins are carefully concealed and hidden, in small doses within seemingly harmless concoctions we inject into ourselves. The sin slips in, attaches itself, silent and unnoticeable. And there it grows, it puts down roots. We don't realize it at first. But our Father, who searches the heart, does.

"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." [Jeremiah 17:10]

"All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits." [Proverbs 16:2]

I have a testimony to share with you. Because He loves me, He showed me where I was being disloyal to Him. Where I was holding back from Him. And He saved me from myself.

It started with music. I love music, as I'm sure you might. You know, the kind of music that sends tingles down your back and gets you dancing and singing along. Yeah, and all that mainstream music that's everywhere, in the stores, on the radio, on YouTube. Long story short, music is enjoyable. Music is fun.
Awhile back, I was listening to all kinds of music. I didn't care if there was some swearing here and there, I didn't like the blasphemy but I accepted it. Those songs would go round and round my head all of the time. I absorbed them, like a sponge soaking up dirty water. Then one day came the knocking on one of the doors in my heart. I heard Him ask, why won't you let Me in?
It was a door to a room I had been locking every time I felt that knock. He was telling me: I want to fill all of the room in your heart. Let Me in so that I can fill you.
I'm pretty stubborn. I didn't want to give up my music. I thought, well, I read the bible. I know I love Jesus. Why can't I have this one thing? So I locked the door once more. I ignored the still, small voice. I ignored His will for me.

"But your yourselves are to put off all of these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth." [Colossians 3:8]

Then what did He do? Well, I can tell you what He didn't do. He didn't stop knocking, or calling my name. This is the part that awes me. He never gives up. He will never turn away from you. Not from me, the mulish, obstinate girl, not from you, wherever you've been or whatever you've done, not from anyone.
He is persistent and His persistence won that area of my life. I gave up all music with any swearing or blasphemy in. I turned instead to other, clean songs including lots of worship songs, and sang praise to Him. And in place of the rap and 'sick' beats that used to fill that room in my heart, was my God, so much more fulfilling and rewarding. I don't regret it. 

"Jesus said to Him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind.'" [Matthew 22:37]

We're called to surrender ALL to Him. We can only do that with His help, and His prompting.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." [Philippians 4:13]

"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will most gladly boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." [2 Corinthians 12:9]

Because He loves me, He didn't just stop at music. Although I didn't know it just yet, movies were next.
How nice is it to just sit back, relax after a long day, and watch a movie? I barely watch movies now days, as it turns out, but once in a while it's a treat. I went through an obsession of watching movies earlier this year, though, and none of them were godly. I mean, none of them. I gave in to the trap that is laid for all of us. Movies that do not glorify God, that in fact so often do the opposite, are snares.
The knocking came again, and this time I answered more readily. I gave up those movies.

But He wasn't done yet.

One of the last things He spoke to me about in the months of May and June, last but definitely not least was: BOOKS. Man, ladies and gents, oh man do I love a good book. I love all kind of genres. Novels, historic books, poetry books.
Last Saturday, on the 25th of June, He asked me to make another sacrifice.
I threw a tantrum at first. I'm confessing now. It's not so easy to tell you all how rebellious I really was. It's shameful. But I feel no more shame, because He forgives.
I said, fine, if I can't read the books I want to read, I won't read anything. For a few days, I read only my bible, and not much at that. I refused to read a book (Do What Jesus Did: A Real-Life Field Guide to Healing the Sick, Routing Demons and Changing Lives Forever by Robby Dawkins) that I knew He wanted me to read. I put it off. Once again, though, He was persistent, urging me until I picked it up. And read and read and read. I loved it. I was inspired.
You see, He knows me by name. He knew my heart. He knew how much I loved to settle down in the evening and read. His question was, do you love Me more? 
And as He filled me, my heart sang, yes. I do. I do. Yes, Lord, You know what is good for me.
I am now only reading the bible, Christian books and devotionals until He tells me otherwise. Now, instead of dragging my feet, I'm excited to see which books He recommends for me, so that I can learn more about Him. Think of it! Book recommendations from the Author of salvation. 
The best part is the bible. I'm eager for all the things He still wants to show me.

"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." [John 17:17]

I'm not saying that what I had to give up was very much. Others have made so many more sacrifices, and much bigger ones too. But the little sacrifices can be hard too, and they are apart of the journey all the same. I am just so glad that He is sanctifying me. That He is drawing near to me as I draw near to Him. It's one big adventure, and I get to live it.
The good news? He wants all of us to live that. Give yourself to Jesus, surrender to His awesome love and you will never look back.

Sincerely,
from someone changed by and for His glory.

Postscript: I've wanted to write something like this for some time now, but a lovely friend of mine posted something that helped convince me that I should share this testimony. You can read it here, it's a really good read.