life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

I am God. I don’t make mistakes. – God speaking to/through Katherine Wolf

Sunday I spent most of the day reading a really wonderful blog called thought gently whispers by Kate Robertson. – it was very encouraging. Music speaks to Kate like it does to me and so I was in a very good place reading her words and listening to her music. Good, good stuff.

One of her posts took me to a blog and a short film by Jay and Katherine Wolf, called Hope Heals I hope you will take the time to watch. Such beautiful grace. No, God does not make mistakes. God does not cause our brokenness, but even our most broken places can be redeemed by God. Love always means ALL things for good. 7

some days you just need the country


let us count gifts today

New Newsletter up on the website!

We are given many gifts
over our lifetimes.
Gifts are heaped upon us.
Every day we receive.
The way we acknowledge these gifts,
the way we receive,
the counting of gifts,
awareness in each moment,
is our most important choice.
This one insight brings us life as
grace or prison.
Heaven or hell
is bound up in gratitude.
I have had many strange and wonderful gifts
received over my life,
so far,
this knowledge,
the ability to see,
to choose to see
the good in all I receive,
has been the best gift
of all.
My cup runs over.
My path is lined with diamonds.
My sky is bright with twinkling stars.

AL 7/26/1335b21034a277a5d90d8e23d892524060

the purpose of love is to create trust in good – Mary Baker Eddy

What if this is as good as it gets?
What if THIS very day is the best life will be?
What if this is what you are called to?
What if this moment is your purpose?
What can you do to find the joy in this moment?
How can you be happy and satisfied right now?
What are the miracles that are happening for you as you read this?
What joy-filled moment is hanging in the air above your head,
ready to splash all over you?
What gifts are being offered, if you will just receive them,
allow them to tumble all around you?
Maybe, just maybe, these questions hold the true secrets of life.
Maybe, living life in joy-fullness right now –
not waiting for some dream to come true –
Not holding back till your illusion of happiness materializes.
But, right now, sitting in whatever circumstance you are in,
no matter if it includes
pleasure or pain,
birth or death,
sorrow or joy,
broken hearts or full.
What if, this very given moment,
you look around and begin
finding the avalanche of jewel-blessings
surrounding you NOW.
Maybe this is the best, and only, secret.
Don’t wait for happy.
Don’t postpone your celebration.
Don’t wait to dance.
Laugh hard until your belly hurts today.
Cry hard until the salt heals your hurts.
The goodness of life is available now,
as well as, every minute
of this day,
Then when this day is done,
and you have enjoyed it’s vast array of gifts,
do the same tomorrow.

AL 7/27/13

what about now?

I didn’t write a poem yesterday
The third day I have missed writing at least one poem,
for the past 8 months.
There were many moments I could have captured –
But I didn’t.
moments of grace,7
moments of failed attempts at grace,
moments of beauty,
moments of ordinary life,
in an ordinary day,
disgusting moments of clean up,
moments of peace watching the breeze sway the trees,
moments of aggravation trying to feed an old dog pills,
unexpected treasures of a cool wind at noon in July,
and unexpected hardships walking from the grocery store overloaded with bags.
There were lovely moments of frosting cupcakes with fresh buttercream,
moments of friendship, shared laughter and food,
hard moments of garbled, angry speech,
blissful moments of holding new baby, Eli –
that was definitely a poetic moment!
There were painful moments of looking at a very ill face,
winning moments as the Mets beat the Braves.
all these moments,
and so many more
each a gift I received,
each a story to be shared with humanity.
Such are the moments of our lives,
our stories to scribe on our hearts and on paper.
So many miracles to notice,
to acknowledge,
to record.
So many ways to write a poem –
and I chose none of them

AL 7/26/13

habits of gratitude

Breathe. It’s how life works. It’s the way beauty is always born —

Breathe in: Lord, I receive what you give.
Breathe out: Lord, I give thanks for what you give.

You don’t get to demand your life, like a given. You get to receive your life, like a gift.

You don’t get to make up your story; you get to make peace with it.

This is how you labor through a life, how you make it grace

– Ann Voskamp
A Holy Experience


It seems,
as we age,
we become more of what we practice living.
when dementia or Alzheimer’s begin,
we lose our ability to remember.
important pieces fall out of our knowing,
and we become our habits
I have been told, the skills that last the longest
are those habits we have learned so well
we don’t think about doing them,
they are a part of us instinctively:
folding laundry,
washing dishes,
these are the last things that we forget.
our attitudes reflect who we have been.
I have been caregiving someone with advanced dementia.
it is difficult to watch. 7
it is painful to experience.
I seek to understand my own living better by witnessing this.
I am learning much.
Recently I have been reminded of something extremely important:

We become what we practice.
gratitude is a practice.
a practice I want to develop,
so that if I ever forget other things,
gratitude will be incorporated,
so fully into my living,
that it is part of my dna.
that it is my most ingrained habit.
I want to wrap my living so deeply in gratitude right now,
that if I lose everything else,
if I forget my own name,
I will still not forget my riches.
I will still be aware of my great blessings,
I will still remember to say,
‘thank you’.
if I forget words,
I will still breathe
if I forget how to walk,
my eyes will still
carry the light
of grace.

Nothing is worth more than this day, because
it is the day I have been given to practice,
to acknowledge all the blessings,
this is the gift I have been given,
this one precious life.

AL 7/26/13

4 poems and a reminder

The Day I Die
by Krista Lukas

will be a Saturday or a Tuesday, maybe.
A day with a weather forecast,
a high and a low. There will be news:
a scandal, a disaster, some good
deed. The mail will come. People
will walk their dogs.

 The day I die will be a certain
day, a square on a calendar page
to be flipped up and pinned
at the end of the month. It may be August
or November; school will be out or in;
somebody will have to catch a plane.

 There will be messages, bills to pay,
things left undone. It will be a day
like today, or tomorrow—a date
I might note with a reminder, an appointment,
or nothing at all.


When Death Comes
by Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

 when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

 I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

 and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

In the End
by Tara Mohr

In the end
you won’t be known
for the things you did,
or what you built,
or what you said.

You won’t even be known
for the love given
or the hearts saved,

because in the end you won’t be known.

You won’t be asked, by a vast creator full of light:
What did you do to be known?

You will be asked: Did you know it,
this place, this journey?

 What there is to know can’t be written.
Something between the crispness of air
and the glint in her eye
and the texture of the orange peel.

What you’ll want a thousand years from now is this:
a memory that beats like a heart—
a travel memory, of what it was to walk here,
alive and warm and textured within.

 Sweet brightness, aliveness, take-me-now-ness that is life.

You are here to pay attention. That is enough.
twitter: @tarasophia

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

things to think about…

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future;
it is something you design into the present.

Happy people do a lot of things.  They spend time expressing gratitude, cultivating optimism, practicing kindness, nurturing loving relationships, committing to meaningful goals, savoring life’s little pleasures, and so on and so forth.

But they NEVER…

1.  Mind other people’s business.

Forget about what others are doing.  Stop looking at where they are and what they have.  Nobody is doing better than you because nobody can do better than you.  YOU are walking your own path.  Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel.  We listen to the noise of the world, instead of ourselves.  So stop the comparisons!  Ignore the distractions.  Listen to your own inner voice.  Mind your own business.

Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day.  Don’t be scared to walk alone, and don’t be scared to enjoy it.  Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, drama, or negativity stop you from being the best you can be.  Keep doing what you know in your heart is right, for YOU.  Because when you are focused on meaningful work and at peace within yourself, almost nothing can shake you.

2.  Seek validation of self-worth from others.

When you are content to simply be yourself, without comparing and competing to impress others, everyone worthwhile will respect you.  And even more importantly, you will respect yourself.

How are you letting others define you?  What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Truth be told, no one has the right to judge you.  People may have heard your stories, and they may think they know you, but they can’t feel what you are going through; they aren’t living YOUR life.  So forget what they think and say about you.  Focus on how you feel about yourself, and keep walking the path that feels best under your feet.

Those who accept you are your friends.  Those who don’t are your teachers.  If someone calls you something and it’s true, it’s not your problem because it’s true.  If someone calls you something and it’s not true, it’s not your problem because it’s not true.  Either way, whatever they call you is not your problem.  What other people call you is their problem…

What you call yourself, and who you decide to become, is your problem.

3.  Rely on other people and external events for happiness.

Unhappiness lies in that gap between what we have now and what we think we need.  But the truth is, we don’t need to acquire anything more to be content with what we already have.  We don’t need anyone else’s permission to be happy.  Your life is magnificent not because someone says it is, or because you have acquired something new, but because you choose to see it as such.  Don’t let your happiness be held hostage.  It is always yours to choose, to live and experience.

As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be.  If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault.  Take full responsibility for your own unhappiness, and you will instantly gain the ability to be happier.  Stop seeking in vain to arrange conditions that will make you happy.  Simply choose to appreciate the greatness that is yours in this moment, and the right conditions will start to line up around the contentment you seek.

The greater part of your happiness or unhappiness depends upon your outlook, and not upon our situation.  Even if things aren’t perfect right now, think of all the beauty still left around you.  A good reason to smile is always one thought away; choose to tap into it any time you like.

4.  Hold on to resentment.

Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghosts from your past.  What happened in the past is just one chapter in your story; don’t close the book, just turn the page.

We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others, and while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long.  Feelings of resentment urge us to relive the same pain over and over, and we have a hard time letting go.

Forgiveness is the remedy.  It allows you to focus on the future without combating the past.  To understand the infinite potential of everything going forward is to forgive everything already behind you.  Without forgiveness, wounds can never be healed and personal growth can never be achieved.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

5.  Spend prolonged periods of time in negative environments.

You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.  So protect your spirit and potential from contamination by limiting your time with negative people and the environments they inhabit.

When other people invite you to act like victims, when they whine and moan about the unfairness of life, for example, and ask you to agree, to offer condolences, and to participate in their grievances, WALK AWAY.  When you join in that game of negativity you always lose.

Even when you’re alone, create a positive mental space for yourself.  Make it a point to give up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just a few of them that have been troubling you, and see how doing that changes your life.  You don’t need negative thoughts.  They are all lies.  They solve nothing.  All they have ever given you is a false self that suffers for no reason.

6.  Resist the truth.

It is a certain deathtrap that we spend our lives learning how to lie, because eventually these lies grow so strong in our minds that we become bad at seeing, telling and living our own truth.  Lives come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.  If you resist the truth, you will live a lie every day as the truth haunts your thoughts every night.  You simply can’t get away from your truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next.

So don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to hide the truth with deception; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion of what’s popular.  It is better to offer no explanation or excuse than a false one.  It takes courage and strength to admit the truth, but it is the only way to truly live.  Accept what is, embrace it fully, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead.

Your turn…

What would you add to the list?  What’s something you should NOT do if you want to be happy?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Marc and Angel Hack Life

wishes for this kind of day


If you begin to live life looking for the God that is all around you, every moment becomes a prayer. –Frank Bianco

744523ee1f43174205ad7473da9eb042In a day of goodness

Someone asked me
If they were ready
to forgive
I said yes

Someone asked me
to cheer them up
I said yes

Someone asked me
to help doing errands
I said yes

Someone asked me
to share a meal
I said yes

Someone asked
to be connected with a friend of mine
I said yes

Someone asked me
to return dishes for them
I said yes

Someone asked me
for a hug
I said yes

Someone asked me
to spend time with them
I said yes

All the promises of God
are yes and amen

Today I know how God feels
I asked God
for blessings
God said yes

I am so grateful and so truly blessed
Life is full of miracles for me
when I just say

AL 2/9/13

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