Tag Archives: Courage

Fear, My Foe

My adversary
fueled by lies
half-truths
in disguise

You shan’t win
oh dreaded fear
if I hold truth
ever near

My devilish foe
all deceit
my Advocate
I’d have you meet

He is Truth
and the Way
You shan’t win
but perish this day

___________________________

I haven’t had much time for poetry lately because I’ve been working on my memoir and a book proposal to pitch the memoir to agents at a conference I’m attending in two weeks. But I was compelled today to make time for a Quadrille. It’s only 44 words, after all. And then to find that the word for today at dVerse Poets Pub‘s Quadrille Monday is fear. Can’t wait to see what others wrote on this topic that is dear to my heart.

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Courageous

The prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today is to write using antithesis. Bjorn asks us to use contrasting terms to encompass the real truth of the matter as we live in a world both black and white at the same time. As the topic of fear and courage have been much on my mind lately, I immediately thought of the antithesis of feeling fear while having faith. This is how we can be courageous.

Courageous

The giants tower above me
menacing and cruel
I tremble in faith
Stand resolutely with fear

The waves crash down upon me
mighty and powerful
I  shudder in faith
Rise unflinchingly with fear

The enemy surrounds me
threatening and heartless
I cringe in faith
Prevail triumphantly with fear

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Prologue to Fearlessness

Today I’m working on the book proposal for a book I’m planning to write. I thought I’d share with you all the first draft of the Prologue. I’d love to hear what you think.

Prologue

Some people are born fearless. You can see it when they are just a kid. They are almost like adrenaline junkies with no thought of the consequences.

There was a kid that lived in our neighborhood when my son was young. He was the epitome of fearlessness—or perhaps more accurately recklessness. One day I saw this kid on his scooter heading down the hill we live on. (I never could get my own cautious son to try his scooter down that hill until he had learned to ride it on much safer roadways.) Now riding a scooter may not sound fearless—or reckless—but when you do it with roller blades on it’s what I would call foolhardy.

If you are one of the fearless ones, then this book isn’t for you. You can put it down right now, or better yet, give it to one of your scaredy-cat friends. You know the one—you’re thinking of her right now.

But if you aren’t fearless—if friends call you cautious, reserved, timid—if you feel like life is passing you by because you are too afraid to take a risk—then this book is for you.

I’m 50 years old and since I was a teenager I’ve dreamed of writing a book. I have numerous book ideas scribbled in journals, but I was always too afraid of failure to do anything with them. I’ve even seen some of my book ideas in the bookstore—written by someone else.

Nine years ago I had an idea for a book about telling our stories. It was inspired by a women’s retreat that I helped plan and spoke at. I spoke to the women about how important it is to tell our stories because it is our stories that bring us together, help us feel not so alone in this big, scary world. I talked about why we don’t tell our stories, which is essentially because we are afraid that people will judge us, that they don’t really want to hear what we have to say, and that it will make people not like us. All of those reasons are a lie, and I toyed with the idea of writing a book debunking those lies and telling my stories.

In 2014, Nish Weiseth wrote a book about telling our stories titled Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World, published by Zondervan. It’s not exactly the book I had in mind, but it’s close. And it’s been quite successful.

All that fear got me was a missed blessing. The book I didn’t write wasn’t a failure because I never took the risk to write it. I kept it in my head—and as a little journal note—where it was safe. It was also unusable by God in that place.

Since that time I have written and published my first book—it’s a book of poetry about my struggles with depression called Light in My Darkness: Poems of Hope for the Brokenhearted. It’s not the book I ever thought I would write, but it has been such a blessing. (More about that in chapter 9).

My hope is that this book will help you take a few calculated risks in this scary life. My prayer is that in doing so you will understand that God has your back and will bless you with greater knowledge of His love and grace than you could ever imagine.

To be clear, I’m not advocating recklessly riding your scooter down a hill with roller blades on. That’s just dumb. I’m advocating listening to God, trusting His Word, and living like you are fearless. It can be done. I’m living proof.

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Giving up Fear

Over at dVerse Poets Pub today, Abhra has challenged us to write letter poems. I had someone specific in mind when I wrote this, but there are so many people I know who live with unnecessary fear and anxiety that it could easily be an open letter to them all. The final stanza is a reference to Philippians 4:6-7.

Giving up Fear

I learned of your anxiety
This news I’m sad to hear
I long ago was in your shoes
Crippled by my fear

You daren’t go out on the town
Lest the fear cause you to take cover
Even to celebrate with friends
Is a challenge, you discover

Yet “Do not fear” the Lord has said
He longs to keep you near
Trust in Him to care for you
Give to Him every fear

With petition and thanksgiving
Each care and worry release
As I have experienced so can you
He’ll grant you abundant peace

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Words Lurk

Another dVerse challenge I couldn’t resist. Victoria has called us to action, to use verbs to improve our poetry. She suggested taking an older poem and rewriting it to replace any tired “to be” verbs with action verbs. I took an extremely old one of mine, from before I posted a single blog post, and spruced it up a bit.

Words Lurk

Words hole up in my pen
only ink

Words lurk in dark recesses
of my mind

I wrestle with sleep
as words swirl and dance
playing word games

The sun arises, beams into my room
I struggle to recall and record the dance
The words hide, again
in the dark recesses
like the hole-in-the-wall gang

They desire freedom
to live in the light
yet fear entraps them

What will others think
if they reveal their dance?
In lines and curves of black
shining on the glaring white?
Lingering but in darkness
remains safer

And here is the original for comparison:

Words That Hide

Words are hiding in the ink
deep within my pen

Words are hiding in the dark
deep within my mind

I know they are there
because I see them when I try to sleep
They run around in circles
Playing their word games
And keeping me awake

But when the sun comes up
and I try to write them down
They hide again within my pen
and deep within my mind
In the dark within my mind

I know they want to come out and play
But they are afraid
At night in bed they feel safe
Playing in my mind

What will others think of them
If they play upon a page?
In lines and curves of black
Shining on the glaring white
It seems much safer just to hide
Within my pen
Within my mind
In the dark within my mind

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My Heart, Your Home – A Poem

My heart is a mansion

where Christ dwells

The parlor filled with

His mercy

The kitchen overflows with

His love

 

But in a back room

locked up tight

dwell fear, doubt,

and guilt

Sometimes late at night

they make their escape

Squatters wreaking havoc

throughout the house

 

My Savior has promised

to evict these intruders

by His Spirit—

not a spirit of timidity

but of power and of grace

 

“Be strong and courageous”

“Do not fear for I will not leave you

or forsake you”

“There is no condemnation in Me”

These are the promises

that restore harmony and hope

to the mansion that is my heart

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