Monday, January 20, 2014

Standing in the Shadow-lands

       Yes, it's true, I grew up in a pretty good home. My earliest memories are mornings with my daddy in our little kitchen. He would be sitting at the kitchen table, and I would have my little dish rag drying the breakfast dishes. My mom was the only one who worked during those days as my dad stayed home with me. He was having a hard time finding a job, and I know he felt badly. Yet, I would never trade those days with him because those memories are precious. I remember he was a deep person even as I have become to this day. Me and my father are alike in many ways except for the very fact that I have always cared what others thought of me and what I had to say. It was like I was holding back within the shadows of whatever it was that I had built at a very young age.
       Looking in the mirror, I am very proud of my heritage and I would like very much to rise up and speak to the world and tell them exactly who I am. It's not really for them to know, but a sort of exercise for my own sake, to show myself that it's ok to step into the light and speak out for what I believe. I have no problem telling those closest to me how I am feeling. Sometimes I do go too far with my unsought advice, but those who know me, know that it comes from a heart of love and care. I would never intentionally hurt others as I have been hurt through the years.
       My earliest memories of being told that I was too out-spoken was when I was only 4 years old! I remember standing up to an adult telling them they shouldn't talk that way to a little girl. The adult looked at me like I had 4 heads and told me to live up to the expectations of my father being in a position at church. I then remember throughout the years standing up for those who were underprivileged, and then there came a point where what I had to say didn't really matter anymore. I was told that I had to come from a bad home or experience something horrific to really matter. I remember trying to be heard, and I would do ridiculous things trying to be noticed.
       The adults in my life wouldn't believe that I was behind the ridiculous stunts but would blame others around me. That was a huge disappointment to me because I wanted to heard even if it was in a negative light. I realize that sounds twisted to some degree, but looking back, I just see a girl who wanted her voice to be heard. There came a point where I stopped trying to be seen and heard, and I retreated within myself keeping most of what I thought and felt buried deeply inside my being. I even chose what I wanted to do in my life because I thought it would make all of those around me happy. I fully didn't make a decision based on who I really was, but God knew what was happening as I delved into the world of obtaining a degree in secondary education majoring in English and music. Those were my passions, and to this day, music screams when words aren't enough and words are just my life as I pursue my writing career.
       To some, I am perceived as a quiet, meek girl and to others, I can be seen as sweet and innocent and easily run over....but I would like to tell you who I am inside:
When the tears run down your face
I can feel the pain that dwells inside
Sometimes I hold back
But all I want to do is hold your hand
I want to grab the pain that caused your tears
And throw it out into the universe...
When injustice is served, I want to be your defender
Because you may not have a voice
But I can prove you don't deserve hate...
When you sit in silence
I want to scream, I know what you are feeling
Because it's where I once lived
Stiff and afraid of being who I really am...
When you say I am living a lie
I want to scream, "Then do you really know me?"
I may not walk the road you wish for me
I may not live up to your expectations
But I know love....
Love for mankind, love for creation, love for the universe...
I am an advocate, a servant, a healer of broken hearts
My drive in life is to break the very fears that once threatened
To break my soul
Not only within me but in my children and others who walk
Where I once walked....
I am driven to speak truth where fear is present
And show others that perfect LOVE casts out fear...
Any fear you may possess
Any voice that screams it's not worth it,
I will whisper into the darkness
That it's really ok...
The bondage and chains that have bogged you down
Afraid of showing your heart
Afraid of following your passions
Afraid of falling in love
Afraid of trusting again
Afraid of life....
There is only one way for it all to fall away
To shatter into a thousand pieces.
Speak what you are afraid of the most
But don't say you are afraid
Scream what you are hiding
But don't continue to hide within the shadows.....

       So, I tell you with an open heart that it's ok to tell the world that you care. It's ok to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves. It's ok to care about someone even if they shove you away. It's ok to tell someone what they are saying to you is heard but not accepted. You don't have to take abuse of any kind. You don't have to live in fear of who you really are. You can be who you want to be. You can influence so many by just speaking out. In a day and age where bullying runs rampant in the schools and even in the workplace, it's ok to say something. Don't be afraid of somebody and how they present themselves. Don't be afraid to tell someone that what is being done is wrong; don't be afraid to set boundaries and stick to your guns. Don't be afraid to fall in love. Don't be afraid to trust again even if you have been hurt by a multitude of people. I have been there. I have experienced bullying all through school and in work places. I rarely stood up for myself. I allowed it to happen and retreated deep within myself. I saw my sister stand up for herself and others and she was perceived as a rebel who couldn't shut up. I see her as brave and unafraid to be who she was. Looking back, I should've protected her better. I should never have allowed what happened to her happen. To the people who thought they were fulfilling God's plan, you are wrong! You were bullies! You thought you could bully your way through my family! I am not angry at you, but I am now aware of who you really were. I can now turn away and step out of the shadows and be who I really am, be who I once was at the age of 4 standing up for that little girl.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Heart's Woven Web

Sometimes there are no words to speak

I can see your tear-drops fall

Like rain in the mellow mist

I can feel your heart as it beats

I can see your smile paint the northern sky

I can reach out and touch your trembling hand

 I can see within the shadows on the wall

And know that peace fills your entire being

And the moondrops that dance around your bed

Paint a picture of light and warmth

I can listen to the falling leaves and the whistling wind

And still hear the faintest cry uttered from your lips

To know that you are feeling

To see that you need human touch

To understand when in the quiet of tomorrow

You can rest and find the answers searched

To reconcile within the recesses of your inner soul

And know that there is always a brighter tomorrow

Laughter combined with the faintest tint of wine

Runs over like a river of happiness

And sets your soul free to listen and observe....

 All of this because your soul is knit like a spider's web

With strands of silk so tightly woven

And strengthens with the hands of time.

Hands clasping hands, hearts touching hearts

 Forever in the reality of the unknown

And yet able to withstand the harshest of winter's chilly wind.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Finding My Voice

Somewhere amidst the vastness of your embrace
I lost what was truly mine
For years, I have been a wandering gnome
Lost within the sea of emerald green
But it really felt like smothering, hot sand
Threatening to choke the very life out of me
A clone identical to all of the others
Thinking, dreaming, appearing, walking, talking
Appearances seem to be everything in that world
Not many took the time to find reality
Digging deep under the massive structure
Walls made of iron and stone, unbreakable
Robotic, uncensored, yet programmed all the same
I was too afraid to find my way
Out of the tangled vines and smoldering jungle
Steam rose whenever I stepped forward
Taking my very breath away
Making it hard to breathe
Adrenaline pumping through my veins, heart pounding
The end was very near, or so I was made to think
When all else failed, I was frozen in place
Pressured into this being who wasn't really me...

Now, I stand, alone, and very still
The dust seems to be clearing
And for the first time,
I am beginning to see my way to the mirror
My reflection is like deja vu
It seems familiar, as if to be my very friend
Somehow, I always knew who I was
Deep inside, buried for so long
This person, born a steady girl with outspokenness
Ready to face the world
Able to take what came her way
This girl I see in the glass
Truly who I've always been and am now finding...
My friend, confidant, missing puzzle piece
A voice, strong and clear
No misunderstandings from what came from her mouth
Confident in what she wanted, and ready to take it
A tender heart, yet able to set healthy boundaries
This is me, finding my voice
And hearing it loud and clear, head held high...
I can't hide or be what you want me to be
But I can listen and hear what you are saying.
I won't judge you or twist you to make you into someone else
Because in so doing so, I will have become
What once threatened to choke the life out of me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Looking straight ahead, motionless, blinking slightly
       Not caring which way's up or down, or even if the line is straight
All that matters is the beating of my heart...
To remind me that I'm a living being, warm-blooded
Emotions, some too deep to register,
The pain, stuffed down into a canister...
It's not worth the discussion or anxiety it brings,
For, honestly, not too many take the time to listen
Not too many really are there to wash it away.
The promises, empty words, fall on deaf ears
And make one realize that words are just that...
Words that are hollow and empty and have no meaning
The empty, "I love you's," and the repeats that sting...
Others seeing your selfishness and berating your humanity
Telling you what they see, feel and hear...
You see yourself in a whole new light,
Yet, now the coast is clear to just walk away....frozen.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Day I Met You

       The following is a poem that will be in my novel that I am currently writing. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, and I thought that it would be nice to share it now. My novel is historical fiction written during the Civil War era and speaks highly of both sides of our country, the division, the brokenness, the togetherness and the love that still remained. I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

When I First Saw You
I never dreamed that I would fall asleep
That my sleep would be the sleep of angels
Carrying me away to a place unknown
Where the waters are crystal clear
And the grass is an emerald green
They carried me away
And I felt it was a dream,
The kind of dream where
I never want to wake up
Nor do I ever want it to end….
I felt free and liberated
And for a little while
I knew that I had forgotten all that
Still lived down on Earth
All that was a great part of my life
A giant part of my soul
I lived in this fantasy land where nothing went wrong
And everything flowed perfectly
The flowers bloomed and their fragrance, so sweet
The song of the birds joined the melody of the angelic choir
I fell asleep and I never wanted for it to end….
I felt no pain, and I felt no sadness
No tears came to my eyes
And no sorrow resided within my heart
I only felt the joy that resonated
From what was all around me
The tranquility, the peace
The love and bright light of hope….
The angels took me away
They brought me through a bright light
Into this mysterious land
Everyone was smiling
No one was sad
Sadness never existed here…..
I don’t know how long I was gone….
I don’t know how long I lingered here, in this place
I could’ve stayed here forever
I could’ve never gone back
I would’ve forgotten all those that loved me
Down here on Earth
Their memories would be but a dream
I once shared
A blissful part of a past memory
I know I would only feel a happiness not my own
A tranquility that I can’t describe…..
Then, I woke up to reality
The pain hit me like a ton of bricks
Shooting to every recess of my broken body
And torn heart within my chest
For a few moments,
I couldn’t breathe without the pain being unbearable
My swollen eyes struggled to open
I wiggled my fingers and toes
I remembered everything
And pieces of nothing
Dense fog came and went in waves
I was as if a dying man
Buried in a sea of chained memories
A wagon-full of what reality really was….
Then, I opened my eyes
At first, I thought I was dreaming
For I saw your face
More beautiful than anything I could imagine
An angel dressed in white…
Where was I?
What was happening?
What was real and what was a dream?
I felt pain, far greater than anything I could have dreamed
Yet, you stood there, watching over me
Tenderly caring for my broken body
I think I don’t want to wake up
I think if this is real
 I want it to last forever
This time, I remember everything
This time, I feel pain and sorrow
But I also feel something else
Today, I met you, my angel in disguise
And I don’t ever want to let you go….

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dark Your Path May Appear...

The way you close your eyes and think when you open them
Everything will have been just a long bad dream...
The way you choke back any tears that may surface
Because to cry in front of others is to make yourself a little less,
Or so you think...
The way you feel as if you are all alone in this world
Even if there is always someone there to say, "I love you..."
The way you walk into an empty house and just wish that for once
Just one time, the floor would open and swallow you whole....
The way you listen to those around you and you hear what they have to say
But it just seems to vanish into the night, like fleeting wisps of air...
The way it hurts to smile anymore because you know you are empty
There is something missing
There is something that isn't right
You have everyone
Yet have no one
Any words of comfort burn holes into your skin
Melting you into total nothingness
Making you feel like the monster you have learned to hate....
       The last couple of weeks have been a trying and testing time in my life. I am happy to say that things are starting to look up for me. I had some trying times throughout several parts of my life between learning more about myself and how I respond to certain situations. One thing that remains true is knowing if the same thing happens over and over again in ones' life, it probably stands to note that a certain lesson has not been learned in that given situation. If the lesson had been learned, so much turmoil wouldn't be felt over and over, but instead, we would be able to brush it off and move on with our life.
      For years, I have felt totally misunderstood, and I would become terribly frustrated with that knowledge. It was like whatever I did, someone had to question me as if I was a moron or had never really lived on this planet, Earth. More and more every day, I am beginning to not only understand myself but also am beginning to be okay with who I am. People still scratch their heads at me, but it really doesn't matter, because why I did something cannot always be answered, even by me.
       I refuse to become jaded from experiences and trials that have crossed my path. I refuse to give up on the dreams and goals that I have set for myself. I set my standards ridiculously high, in many people's minds, but the truth of the matter is, what is the definition of  "ridiculously high?" Is it really absurd to dream a dream? Is it also absurd to dare reach beyond the stars? I think not.
       For example: when I was a Senior in high school, I set a goal to become the valedictorian, and I accomplished that goal. Who cares if my Senior class was small...what matters is that it was reached. I also continued to tell everyone that I would go to college and graduate with my Bachelor's in English and music....once again, those goals were met. I also said that I would meet and marry the man of my dreams and be married by August 2003. I remember the laughter and comments and the rolling of eyes...."Oh, Elizabeth! You can't possibly know that or predict the future!" "Oh, Elizabeth, you have a great sense of humor!" I would become miffed because I really believed in my dreams becoming a reality, and they did. I said that I would have the perfect family: one girl and one boy. I have both. I am not a fortune teller. I cannot predict the future.
        The thing is this: all of those things happened and then....NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!! All of that happened and no more goals were set. It was as if my life was over...oh, it wasn't over per say, but what else? I became stagnant....I became depressed. I became lost....I was sinking and there was nobody around to help me back up. I was desperately floating and living each and every day like a lifeless robot. There was not one single person who truly tried to help me out of it. I will say this husband did try and he was at a loss of what to do. We actually both were struggling in our lives. We both were lost. We were alone.
       Then God graciously began to open my eyes little by little, and it was through a really good friend of mine that I began to see life a little differently. I began to stop pointing my fingers at everyone around me and instead, I began to look in the mirror. I didn't see anyone but just ME. You see, my spirit has been broken into a million pieces by different things that have happened throughout my life, but God has been healing me piece by piece. Every day, I choose to forgive. Every single day, I choose to stop and not become angry at the drop of a hat. Every day I am practicing to see others as Christ would see them. I am tested and tried every single minute of every day. I don't have to always be right. I also have nothing to prove to anyone. I am a Christian, and I do not live with condemnation.
       For years, I lived in a world where God was the "BIG MEANY" up there in Heaven, and I must mind my "p's and q's." Now, I live each and every day of my life knowing that He loves me and forgave me the minute I trusted in Him. My path is no longer dark. I have set a few new goals, and my life is moving forward. Life is good, and I give all of the credit to Him.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick of Treat?

       I grew up in a world where trick or treating just wasn't done. I'm not tearing down my upbringing by any means. In fact, I applaud my parents for raising me the best they knew how. As it is, parenting is trial and error. I have memories of my dad handing out king sized candy bars to the kids in our neighborhood, and I also have memories of parents being scared where they took their kids because crazy people were starting to add needles and poison to candy. I remember the uproar even though that was years ago.
       In today's society, I think that parents are more careful, or so it seems. Of course, there are still crazy people in this world, but I also don't think that we have to worry as much. The truth of the matter is simple: Halloween is so controversial in the "Christian" world. There are arguments that go both ways, and I can see both sides of it. But to me, it's simple....Halloween depicts a fun time to spend with your children and family. It's fun for them to dress up in their favorite character and go door to door (or trunk to trunk) and say, "Trick or treat!" and get free candy!
        I think that everyone has a right to their opinion, but here it is: opinions are like arm-pits...they often stink. If no one asked your opinion, why put it out there? I know that I will be ridiculed by what I believe, but here it is again: why do we have to be so mean and tell people our opinions on things that are none of our business? Why is it that we just can't keep our mouths shut and smile? What would Jesus really do? Would he stand up and reprimand us for going trick or treating? Oh, well, you say, "But it's a devil's holiday!!!!" I beg to differ. In fact, during my lunch break today, I researched the origin of Halloween, and in fact, it was thought to be created by the festival of Samhain where people wore costumes and lit bonfires to ward off ghosts of the dead. Later on, a pope designated November 1 to be the day where the church remembered martyrs and saints. Over time, Halloween became a time for children to have harvest parties and dress up in costumes to go trick or treating. Halloween is what you make of it, to tell you the truth. Even adults have parties to be like children again and just relax and have some fun. In the end, does it really even matter?
       I worked 9 hours today, and when I got off work, I thoroughly enjoyed taking my children out to get some candy. Charity was a lady bug and JW was a ninja. They both had changed their minds multiple times before today, and in the end, we decided to let them just wear what they wore last year since it still fit. It was fun going up to houses where people had been creative and created a little Halloween world with lights, smoke and scary images. Towards the end, we went up to a house where a child about Charity's height was dressed like SCREAM. Charity turned as white as a ghost because there was this person standing and shaking his head at her. She screamed and he started following her down the sidewalk. (I was there...don't' worry :) She hollered out, and when he laughed, she stomped her foot and stuck her tongue at him. That was my favorite memory of the evening.
       We came home, ate pizza, and watch THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHARLIE BROWN. A night full of memories for that will forever stick in our children's mind....I'm so happy to be making great memories with them.