Fully Alive, Fully You

Fully Alive, Fully You

     "You do you" is my common whisper to myself. Be you bravely. Be the best, truest version of yourself. Be who God is creating in you.

     You may not have "friends" to hang out with. You may not be "cool" like your sibling. You may be a "work-in-progress." But you are you, and none of those quotation marks matter. You are loved deeply by the Creator of the World, and you are in a good place, even if it feels like a lonely place.

     Your soul health is dependent on quiet & crazy, balanced to perfection. You know you need both, but one always seems preferable to the other.

     You are beautiful. You are seen, known, and loved. You are mature & maturing. You are unlocking more and more of the beautiful deep places that have always been there within you.

     The temporal is passing away in all its glitter. The eternal is steady in all its glory. You go deep fast, but you know that not everyone can be trusted.

     Tears are not your way, nor the cold, hard facts. You bring balance and harmony to the world by delivering the truth gently. If one of those is missing - truth or gentleness - you'll notice. Truth can be brutal. Gentleness can be fake. The combination is a delicate, beautiful heart place.

     Stay in your heart place, dear one. Keep your brain in your head and your heart in your chest. Your perspective on the world is perfectly you and perfectly valued.

~Madeline {an excerpt from journal no. 3}

how rare and beautiful

how rare and beautiful

this is for the ones with light in their veins
all that's gold don't glitter

sometimes you are a 
and i'm here too

but look at the stars

some of them shine across millions of light years
and fit in a teaspoon

but that breath in your lungs can do 
so much

it's ready

sometimes you feel tired and small
b u t 
my friend

you are courage

you just took another breath
and another
you allowed that war in your mind to become
a memory
and not a revised definition of
y o u

in your lungs

do you feel it?

right there

is courage

how rare
and beautiful
it is


p.s. read the whole thing. then read the left. then read the right. then read the center. or in whatever order you like. remember how rare and beautiful you are.

gold underneath

gold underneath

you are the quiet after the rain

you are the sea,
the still fragments reflecting the moonlight,

but sometimes you are the storm.
the wild, howling wind

we don't know where you come from,
or where you are going.

you are the sleep that comes with the dawn,
but other times you are the aches,
the anxiety that comes with the starless dark

sometimes you are the prodigal returning,
but other times you are the prodigal making a run for it.

sometimes the earth is full and bursting
and other times we are full and bursting with the fear
that whirls down from the ceiling fan above our beds.

but there's life life
in those bones bones

they are made of gold

they are not

your eyes are dripping with all the light
that wants to break out from underneath your skin

you are made of

of a life that wouldn't be held back
by a gravestone

if even death couldn't hold you back,
if all the darkness of the tomb couldn't keep you down,

how much less can your own mind keep you locked away?
it only will if you give it the keys, child.

there's more than that darkness,
there's more than that tomb.

there's life rattling that rib cage,
and there's glory scratching at that holy skin

these more than bones underneath.
there's gold.
a comeback
a resurrection


take off your grave clothes

take off your grave clothes

Everywhere you look are dead men walking. The grave nips at the heels of every person you pass by. You'd see it if you gave them a second glance. Why else would the human race look so much like a rat race?
People pace, eyes downcast, pushing, shoving. Hands out, clawing their way up the system, standing on, crushing others just to get a scrap of love.
Of success.
Of acceptance.
Of peace.
Anything for a breath of life.
There are corpses on these streets, friend. Walking, talking, smiling on the outside, but there's a mummified spirit underneath.
The question of,
“How are you?”
Is quickly put to rest with,
“I'm fine,”
Because to admit to being anything less than fine is to admit that we are less than.
Less than perfect.
Less than okay.
Less than...
You laugh at the foolishness of hope. Scowl at it, curl your lip, shove it away. There is no room for life in the land of the dead. You're knee deep in the mire of failure and forgotten dreams. You hold tight to those grave clothes, you don't want to think about what might lie underneath.
Did it ever occur to you that those dead dreams, that broken spirit...might only be asleep?
See, I know a couple who prayed fervently for a child. Ten years passed and still...nothing seemed to be happening. Meanwhile, they took in every foster kid that came their way. Nurtured them with all the love in their hearts, whether it was for six months or just one day. But they never stopped hoping for a miracle of their own. She's four now, always clinging to her mother's side. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
See, I know a woman who spent eighteen years locked up in a cell for the things she had done. But those last seven years of time served, her heart had never been freer. All because she met Jesus in the back of a patrol car. It didn't matter that she was in handcuffs because every chain had just been busted off her soul. After her release, working in a little coffee shop, the daughter she had been cut off from twenty years prior sent her a message on Facebook. Broken relationships don't last when you belong to the One who will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.
See, I know a man from Nazareth. A place from where “nothing good could come”. He walked dusty roads, healing the sick and doing good to all people. The religious establishment saw Him as a threat. Ridiculed Him, tortured Him, hung Him on a cross. When He gave His final breath, the hearts of His followers were broken. All hope was lost. Three days later, He rose from the grave, bringing with Him all power and authority in heaven and on earth.
He is alive and He is in the business of resurrection, my friend. He has the final say over all things, even that which you have long since buried. Take off your grave clothes. Leave them right where you stand. Walk out of the tomb. The Resurrection and the Life is calling your name.


scriptures: luke 1:45, joel 2:25, matthew 28:18

The Lady With My Blue Pen

The Lady With My Blue Pen

I gave my blue pen to a lady in a wheelchair.
Her lips retreated back into her face.
Her legs didn't work.
She couldn't quite talk.
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair.
She had a pink box full of poems,
Of dreams and wedding invitations.
It was full of her life,
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair
As she whispered to me,
"It all falls in place, doesn't it?"
I don't know what "it" was.
But she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair
Because she wanted to write a poem.
I could see the words
Bubbling beneath her skin.
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair.
She possessed poetry in her veins,
A power of words in her soul
As she showed me her work.
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair.
She held it with an idea,
A purpose was forming
As she wrote in the air.
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair
She pointed it to her grandchildrens' picture
"I just want them to..."
She couldn't finish.
But I knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair.
She wrote a poem in the air,
And it landed in my heart.
This is that poem.
And she knows it.

The Lady With My Blue Pen showed me, without many words, that dreams never die, even if we face death. The Lady With My Blue Pen reminds me that God uses our gifts even when the world tell us that we are done. The Lady With My Blue Pen showed me what true poetry is, and she knows it.

Princess Hannah

The Gift of Life

The Gift of Life

     Sometimes it feels like we have nothing left to give.

     Our hearts are checked out for the day, and our minds are wandering down the lane.

     When there is nothing left in us, simple words come. Simple, beautiful truths that we can pass along to others. We didn't think there was any gift left within us, and yet, the words come.

     "You have such a kind heart," we tell the friend who stops in.

     And to the mom wrangling four kids at the store: "You're doing an amazing job. Hang in there!"

     If you think about the last encouraging words someone said to you, it's easy to see why words are so vital to our well-being. When we receive words, we store them up and ponder them in our hearts.

     We say these things to others because the words stick. They stay with us and hold onto us.

     So we say "Thank you so much!" to the elderly cashier.

     And bid the mail carrier "good day!"

     A text to a friend reminds them that they are held by Someone greater than their problems.

     These little gifts of words, sprinkled around, don't seem like much, yet the impact they leave could be lasting. 

     Though we have no money and our energy is spent, words of the "you-can-do-it-I-believe-in-you" variety to a friend can go a long way.

     Because although we may not realize it in the moment, the gift of words is the gift of life.




on the three am
it can be hard to pull the dark out of its kiss with the light
it can all be a tempest; swirling 
making it hard to see through those bleary eyes
what's what.

which is real. which is the illusion.

you share your room with you sister 
so you've learned to cry quietly.

the moonlight asks you questions,
or is that just the clash of swords
behind your forehead:

who are you?
who are you?
who are you?

and your heart is a canary
in your chest's collapsing 
coal mine

hurricane head, child. 
oh, you're such a mess. 

on the four thirty am
it can be hard to answer that echoing voice that wants to know
what happened to the you 
you used to know.

sometimes its hard to know who you are,
when everything is so loud upstairs.
when the moonlight becomes venom. 

sometimes you just need to know
who you aren't

you pretty, messy, bleary eyed child. let me tell you.

you are not
those voices

you are not
the fear

you are not
the darkness dripping down from your bedroom ceiling

you are not
the sick feeling in your stomach

you are not 

you are not 

you are not

you are not

you are not 
unspoken for

it hurts on the five am. when the shy sun flushes the hills pink. 
when you're the only one awake, tangled up in those sweaty sheets

when you hear your momma get up to make the coffee
and you think about your parents 
and you wish you were better,
and you wish you were better for them,
or that things were how they used to be.

oh, love. they love you. they love you. they love you.

and i love you.

and someone far brighter than the sun is reaching through that window 
to fill up those cracks in your heart with kisses. with life.

you are not

you are
essential, child.