life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

staying in the boat

If my life is surrendered to God, all is well.
Let me not grab it back,
as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!
–Elisabeth Elliot


You who makes all things new

When I was at the end

in the blackest place

You reached down

You placed me in your arc

I let go and would have died

But I was safe with You

Now I will stay here

I will live in your boat

I give to you all I have

A shattered heart

A shadow of a life

A weak voice

A broken spirit

A fragile existence


Not much to offer

But all I have

My life a love song

What can you do with this?

Anything you want

for the rest of my days

I will live the words

unlimited ruthless trust

I’m all yours

No matter what comes

It’s the least I can do

In return for




AL 12/7/12

I have to add the link to Ann Voskamp today:

just keep doing good…even if you think no one sees…it’s important


Psalm 91

You live inside the Holy One.
You are her shadow of light.
Go ahead and tell her you love her:
“My home, my shelter, my skin.”

The Beloved will guide you safely around life’s traps,
shield you from what rots you,
cover you with her wings,
wrap you in muscled, gentle arms,
where you are safe and loved.

Those things you worry about at night:
let them go.
Those days you feel shot like an arrow,
stop. You are enough.
God defends you from what sickens you,
keeps you safe from what destroys.

People around you may get anxious—
the whole world may get frantic—
but don’t buy into their fear.
Look and see: evil eats people
from the inside out.

God’s love is your house.
Your safe shelter is Mercy.
It will save you from all evil:
no disaster can get in where you live.

God’s mercy, hidden in this world,
will guard you and guide you.
Unseen hands will bear you along,
catch you when you fall.

You will face powers and dominions unafraid.
You will confront corporations and armies
and be victorious.

“In our love,” God says,
“you are already safely home.
Because we know each other
I will never lose you.

“Call to me, and I answer.
In your troubles I am with you.
Your heart will survive
and I will honor you.
I give you the gift of life as deep as mine,
and love that keeps you whole forever.”

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


four months as a caregiver

I had fainted,
unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord : be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.
– Psalms 27:13, 14
I’m not sure if I am standing
I feel faint and dizzy
the room spins,
as the world tilts,
as death hangs out in the dining room
shuffling papers on the table,
the word
sits in the air heavy,
smelling like the nightly skunk visits in the yard.
This mother and son hang out in beds
as I witness their daily fading.
The land of the living feels very far away.
I want to run.
I want to seek fun –
people and activities.
I want to walk in sunshine and breathe fresh air.
How can I have courage at a time like this?
How can I wait?
How can I wait for God?
How can I know the strength will come?
How can I know this will turn out for good?
How can I trust, what I cannot do on my own,
I can do through waiting,
getting myself out of the way,
so my mighty God can do it for me?
I have seen many things of God before now.
I have seen countless miracles.
My God has been faithful.
I have never been abandoned.
I am sure of God’s goodness.
I know Love beyond measure.
There have been times I could not wait,
I remember them well,
they turned out badly.
I will wait,
I will see the goodness of my Lord…
again…and again…and again.
Everything is grace.
God goes before me,
and so, having done all I can,
I stand,
I wait,
I serve,
knees knocking
hands shaking,
smiling watery,
way too woozy to walk.
This, my friends, I have realized,
is, truly, the only way to allow God to show up,
this IS faith and courage,
(if I can do anything myself, then I don’t need God –
and I won’t see God).
Yes, this what the battle looks like,
on any given day
for warriors of the light.

AL 9/25/13



Walking in the woods this morning
I was distracted; my mind wandered
out of the woods, far away from them
and from me.  I kept having to return
to the woods, return to this morning,
return to myself. Then I would leave again.

The trees called out to me,
the leaves gently turning fall colors,
the sun reaching its long arms through them
to me, to me walking there,
but I didn’t notice.

But they were still there, weren’t they,
calling to me, reaching out, surrounding me.

Most of the time I don’t notice God
in this world, in the people around me,
in all that is.  But God is still there,
calling, reaching out, surrounding.

If we can’t live in holiness all the time
we can remember now and then.
We can return. God is still there,
waiting for us.  Each moment
is a return.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

in this very moment

This moment
is the house of God
I am
right now
is the present moment
I can only have intimacy
when I stay
right herephoto
be here now
give thanks now
alive to this moment
to see the blazing bush
to take off my shoes
it’s all about now
stay aware
Love will build our home
abide with me
come on home
to my house
come on home
to me

AL 8/27/13


8Once I got asked by a girl on the street for money.
I have experience with drug addicts,
I knew what she was asking for,
behind her earnest request for hotel money.
I always give what I am able to anyone who asks,
I don’t care what they do with it,
they are fellow human beings,
I hope it relieves their suffering.
I gave her a $20 and felt her relief.
Then she said,
‘my boy has been sick today, I think he has a fever’,
and as I looked where she pointed,
He looked up at me
and I fell into his blue eyes,
so wise and sad,
full of hope and despair.
I tumbled, free-falling, into his need and his wicked world
and I wanted to pick him up and run
forever away.
from what he had been born into.
from what he was living through.
from who he would probably grow up to become, based on these circumstances.
and as my heart broke,
and my world spun,
and I tried to breathe,
tried to hold back my tears,
tried not to show my shaking hands,
as I gently smiled into those eyes and touch his cool forehead,
hoping he felt my love,
knowing I could do nothing, but pray for him,
I made myself walk away to get ice cream
my heart burning passion.
I was glad I had been able to give her a few dollars,
I prayed it would help him get some rest that night.

and now I carry him with me
I regularly fall into the pool of his eyes,
and I cry for him,
and all the hurting children.
I send him love, light and protection
In his dreams, I wonder if he knows I’m with him?
In his waking, I wonder if he feels the angels I send to circle him?
Sometimes I wonder if he’s one of the 5 people I’ll meet in heaven.
I know he is loved mightily by his creator, and so I have much hope for his life.

Sometimes I wonder how you can fall in love so deeply,
feel so much
and be haunted forever,
in just a city-second,
walking down a Cincinnati street
with my friend, Margaret,
on the way to Graeter’s

AL 9/22/13

a walk in September

22Creamy dreamy whites
float in bright, delight blue
I walk in a country-scape
Skyline of tree-scrapers
Staggering my vision
in every variation and shade of green
sun blending with shadows
inspiring new creations within
I walk the welcoming leaf path
to the applause of the gaping trees leaning in close
8 crowding to get a glimpse of me
I enter a magnificent cathedral
lush carpets of leaves underfoot
sunlight streaming through the natural stained glass-like leaf ceiling
ground scattered with acorn-glitter strewn for the party
cool breeze blows my hair back as I make my way
past paparazzi squirrels peering out from behind stump and branch
to get my photo for the upcoming
ET (Evening Twilight) show
there are fresh flower bouquets
flaming the colors of fall fabulous
bushes and trees blazing holy
Everything about me shouts,
We are here and we love it!
Because we do.
There really is nothing better
than a walk in nature
4 to refresh the soul
and remind me I’m am one with this universe
made of clay and stardust
a superstar
totally accepted
truly beloved

AL 9/21/13


Just like everyone alive
Your days will be full of threads
Weaving your life into a tapestry
There will be days of great joy
as well as, ones of overwhelming  sorrow
Good days 1
Bad days
Medium days
Average days
Snow days
Hazy days
All your days you will meet circumstances hard to accept and embrace
Some things you will have to let go of in order to overcome
Life is not about being fair –
rain falls on everyone
Life is about winning with the cards you hold
Winning doesn’t mean being rich and famous
Winning means living up to your very best
Winning means living this amazing thing called life
experiencing love, peace and joy along the way

Just remember this –
Only you can take control of your own wild and precious life
there is no life by proxy
You’ll be as happy as you decide to be
You will be as healthy, as possible, based on your genes and how you treat your body –
eating, drinking, exercise
You’ll choose to accept or reject what is offered
You’ll do what you want to do1
Go where you want to go
See things the way you want to see them
Keep holding on to what is most important to you
– even if you destroy it, or it destroys you –
so choose your most important things wisely
You’ll love who you love
Be who you are
You will be worth as much as you decide you are
You will have as much love as you allow inside your heart
You will have as much of God as you seek
You will inhabit your life, or not
All this will have nothing to do with your circumstances
It will all be about your thoughts and your choices
While you are given this gift of life, while you are bestowed with holy breath
you have the power to change your thoughts
You can always make new choices

AL 9/20/13


Mid-September. The sunrise is getting late, creeping around the side of the house a little farther each day. Garden leaves 8are curling. A new set of kids are waiting for the bus now.  This morning they are finally willing to wear coats.  A sheet is draped over the morning glories on the mailbox against the night cold. In the meadow the rising sun lays its yellow fan among the trees, the grass the color of the rising sun. Trees begin to emerge from the solid green of summer into different shades of yellow and ochre, some reds.  Here and there a tree goes ahead, a single branch flames out. Overhead a squiggle of geese pass by, schoolgirls chattering on their way south, only at the moment they’re headed east.  The Panellis have built a ramp up to their front porch. The flowers in the pot that I broke are doing OK in the new pot I stuck them in, though it’s too small.  The old pieces are still lying there, behind the corner of the porch.  I need to call my sister.  In the early morning the ornamental grasses wear little crowns of light.

Surrender looks different for each of us.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Days of wine and focus
8of hanging on
of seeking strong
of keeping faith
of sitting still
of being silent
of standing in my own shoes
of letting go
of allowing the mystery
of hearing the call
of accepting what is
of not crossing borders or boundaries
of opening and opening
of trusting the journey
of seeing the face of God
of surrender into something bigger than I can know
of making the daily commitment
of acknowledging the grace
of thanking for everything
of looking for the miracles
of talking to trees
of taking time to prepare
of expressing my love
of helping in time of need
of following my own path
of obedience rather than sacrifice
of taking my shoes off for the holy
of love and love and love
of all things love

AL 9/17/13

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