Anxiety · Faith · Poetry · Recovering Perfectionist

Lesser Things

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I took my eyes off Jesus, once again, yes I did.

Distractions of every kind were fighting for my attention.

Things of lesser need caught my eye.

This thing over here.  That one over there.

You’d have thought they were gold:

glittering, shining, grabbing my sight.

Jobs undone, half-baked ideas or plans.

Household things.  Errands to run.  Meals to plan.

Shopping lists, shopping trips.

Crumbs on the floor, dirt by the door.

Messes everywhere.

And you see, something so benign trips me up every time.

Long to-do list, never becomes a to-done list.

And then fear.

What if it overtakes me?

The stuff, the list, the chaos.

But then,

God’s Spirit reminds me to breathe.

So I breathe.  Deeper, longer.

I remember what those angels said in that dream I had on March 7, 2014.

It was that vivid!

They said, “Just keep looking at His face.”

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So, today on April 10, 2018 I remembered to keep my eyes on Him.

And suddenly

I’m not so scared anymore.

These lesser things that seem so important hold no power over me.

They will always be there.

But their bright flame is snuffed out when I look in His face.

His face!

It holds my gaze,

slows my breath,

captures my mind,

calms my body.

It is luminescent.

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Photo by Pexels

and at long last speaks to my very soul with so much breathtaking

RADIANCE!

Yes, just keep your eyes on Him.

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A snapshot of Hebrews 12:2: Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

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Beauty In Aging. · Recovering Perfectionist

Tulips don’t care

The tulips bloom when the time is right and not before they’re ready.

They have simple lines, so unpretentious, not the least bit heady.

once opened up, their beauty rings forth as from a bell, so steady.

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They are so pretty at once when they open up, no matter their surroundings.

their brilliant colors so glorious and bright, it’s really quite astounding.

And when you think about their humble start, a bulb deep in the ground

in the dark, secret place, from the dust their miracles abound.

The tulips take in the air, light and moisture, too

they grow tall and bloom and become themselves, just like me and you.

So I brought some inside in a crystal vase and arranged them to display.

At the end of a stressful week at home and a chaotic, messy day.

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Now the old me would’ve had to straighten,  clean and make the table just so.

Before I was able to enjoy the view

everything but the vase of flowers would’ve had to go.

Everything just right! That was the mantra on which I based my life

The problem with that? When things aren’t perfect, your days are filled with strife!

Enough of that, I’m done with that! Let’s do what the tulips do.

They bloom wherever they’re planted,

pretty just as they are wherever they are.

In contrast to the dust from which they were born

their beauty comes shining through.

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They reflect the Master Gardener in splendor, as do we.

But once they’ve bloomed and come to be,

what a sight to see!

No matter what’s around them, in dirt, or mud or storm,

or in a vase around a mess

they’ve got living down to a “t.”

They’ve got no excuses or reasons for just not being themselves,

declaring their worth from their Maker and being who He made them to be

and doing their thing and saying their peace for the world His glory to see.

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If I could be a flower, A tulip, of course I would be.

Once lying dormant in the dirt and grime,

with much to say, yet all closed up, and worried all the time.

So scared to speak, afraid to shine, except when conditions seemed just right.

Who’d have thought in middle age the time would come

when this bulb would force its way up with might.

God would tell me, “Now open up and show who you really are.  Your mind and over thinking, your empathetic heart, I love it all, it’s part of you,” He came to me and said. “Now write your story, write it down, the good parts and the bad.  And live your life, don’t wait.  Don’t wait a minute longer.  One child forever, or one more, in your family, we’ll see.  But stop waiting around to live.  Try those new things, dream new dreams, celebrate the life you already have.  Be beautiful, Be you.  If things around you are ugly, still bloom.  Be like the tulips. When they’re surrounded by messy, they’re still lovely.  The tulips never care.”

And so just like that I came alive.  I hope to reflect the Glory of my Maker in all my messy splendor.  A tulip in bloom I’ve become.  This blog, or rather, my beginning to publish all my writings (some of the pieces I will share were written a long time ago) is happening as a result of God speaking to me, some of it in dreams, and some of it as thoughts in my mind.

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Welcome To valeriesvoice!

I have been thinking about this blog for so long.  This was a dream of mine for a good couple of years-yes, years!  For as long as I can remember, I have gotten in my own way.  I have remained quiet when I wanted to speak up, have burned with  deep conviction about certain issues and kept my  unique perspectives to myself. Oh I have written many things, but mostly kept them to myself.   I hesitated for a long time, thinking I would start sharing these essays and poems  when I knew more about blogging, writing, publishing, etc.  The truth is, I was afraid.  Afraid to fail and make a fool of myself.  Afraid of what others might think.  Afraid I was not good enough at writing or navigating the set-up.

Here’s the trouble with perfectionism: It can silence your own voice.  It can lie to you and tell you that you don’t even have a voice.  It  can ruin your life and rob you of so much more you could be enjoying!  I know this, because I let the pursuit of perfection keep me from trying new things for many years.  Since I turned forty (five and a half years ago), I have taken on many new hobbies and found  interests that give me so much joy.    Had I kept on being afraid to fail, I wouldn’t get to enjoy these new things. I may not be perfect at everything I do, but that will not stop me from living my life and having fun along the way.

So this blog is me, letting my voice be heard.  I will share blogs mainly about adoption, grief and loss, aging and spirituality, anxiety/depression,  advocacy for seniors and orphans.   Some of it will be “heavy” and some, more lighthearted.  Some of it will share spiritual truths I learned through my own experiences.  I will share pieces of my story related to all the above, hoping that many of you will be able to relate to some of it.

I am writing for anybody that has ever felt voiceless.  I know I am not the only one.  Even though I have experience with the topics above, I am just now learning about blogging for the first time.  Come along on this journey with me!

I would love to know who you are as well,   and I need your help!  If you like what you see here, follow my blog by leaving your email address to receive notifications on new posts.  Hit “like,” share a comment, ask a question.  Better yet, share this blog or its contents with someone else you think would enjoy it.

Welcome to valeriesvoice.  I am glad you stopped by.