5-Minute Friday: Real

Today’s prompt for 5-Minute Friday is REAL. Write for five minutes straight — no editing — from this prompt and join us at The Gypsy Mama!

Poets and artists know what’s real. My husband writes heartfelt poems about spirit and beauty and nature — the things that are the most “real” to us. Worry about our car is not as real as lyrical verses that come from the heart. These electrodes stuck on my chest for the next 24 hours? Not real compared with my God and His creation.

We poets are sometimes accused of having our heads in the clouds. But that is the only real place to be, as far as I’m concerned. Other things change and are not permanent, but our dreams, our inspiration, our faith…these things are beyond our physical grasp and therefore go on forever. That’s real.

So I’m being real today. I’m tired but full of inspiration and excitement for the days ahead. Really.


Letter to 16-Year-Old Me — Day 10 of HAWMC

You can join us at the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge here http://blog.wegohealth.com/2012/04/10/hawmc-day-10-2/

Day 10

Dear 16-year-old-me. Write a letter to yourself at age 16. What would you tell yourself? What would you make your younger self aware of?

Dear me,

You already know everything, but it doesn’t hurt to have a glimpse into your future self, does it? There are many wonderful days ahead of you — and some not so wonderful. But look, you’re still here at age — gulp — fifty, and going strong!You know what, you’re married! Yes, you who never had a date in high school — you are married to a fellow writer and artist who is also your best friend. That should keep you going!

Those allergies will get better. In fact, you’ll be free of the wheezing in another year or two. College will be a happier experience than high school, but don’t let the difficult years after that discourage you. No matter what happens, take time to do the things that give you joy — sing, draw, plant your garden, and write, write, write. You’ll need the practice, because after you’ve lived through the challenging years, you’re going to be a professional writer. Just like you always wanted! But please, honor your commitments to yourself…for your heart’s sake.

Can I tell you something? Promise you’ll stay positive, because everything will turn out beautifully.

Here goes. Your worst fear, I remember, is that you will become homeless, right? Wait, come back! Listen to me: it will be a blessing beyond your wildest imagination. While recovering from your homeless adventure, you will travel, find the deepest friendships you’ve ever had, and you will be led into the arms of the man you are going to marry.

You will have joys and heartaches in the years to come, but you will discover a deep faith that will sustain you and nourish you. You will have to discover that for yourself, but let me tell you, yo will come to know a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Now tuck this letter into your memory, and take it out and read it whenever you need to. You’re gonna be alright, trust me!




No Need to Lose Heart

Psalm 27:6 “And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.”

A simple angle of sunlight...recognize the beauty right in front of you!

Celebrations can take place in the most unexpected circumstances. The day I signed the lease to live in an apartment with my new husband, a time of extreme hardship ended for me. I had been homeless off and on for a couple of years, and had lived–and later worked–in a faith-based shelter for women and children. Later, my mother, who had been homeless right along with me, joined my husband and I in our home. Of course, we celebrated our new status as a tenant in our apartment, but I realized that there had been reasons to celebrate all along.

How can anyone survive the cold nights and contemptuous stares–and worst of all, the invisibility–with a mind and heart still intact? How did I return to life after a suicidal day in the emergency room?  The best answer lies in Psalm 27:13-14 — “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.”

God is present right now, no matter where I am, no matter where you are. We are never abandoned. As I lived and worked at the women’s shelter, of course we cried. We felt betrayed, frightened, and bitter at times. But there was also much laughter, and even singing. Deep friendships developed–the closest friendships of my life. In His timing, God strengthened me and led me to a new life of ministry.  I had never expected my life to take this turn, but I celebrate the blessings which grew out of this trial.

Join us at  “Talk Back” at Women of Faith.com.