What I loved about my first open mic night

I recently submitted a poem to a local community blog, which was curated by a spoken word artist. I personally am NOT a spoken word artist – at all.

I’m a very shy and private person, who likes writing poems to express my faith and encourage others. Since I’m writing more consistently now, I’m at a point of realizing I should probably put myself out there more and market my work, but I’m dragging my heels because it will be such an uncomfortable step for me, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for it.

Writing is the fruit of my prayer life, which is private between me and God. I feel that it’s fruitful in and of itself because I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer to effect change in the world. But I also feel that God is preparing me to share my work with others. As a baby step in that direction and a major stretch of my comfort zone, I decided to attend the open mic night with the intention of hopefully being brave enough to read my poem.

I thought it was so cool! When I got there, people were already performing spoken word poetry. It was a safe environment to share and some topics were pretty intense including suicidal depression, sexual assault and abuse, but there was also humor and encouragement. It was a wide range of authentic expressions of human experiences – I loved the poetry and the supportive atmosphere, especially the snaps people used to show approval of each other.

I am a huge advocate of expressing feelings.  I think it’s an important part of our faith journey to authentically process and work through the emotional side of our human experience. Even in studying the mind-body-spirit connection, I’ve learned how lodging emotions inside our bodies can negatively impact our physical not to mention spiritual health. In recent years, I’ve come to understand the poetry of the psalms as being God’s gift to us as role modelling how to express every human emotion in right relationship to faith-that’s a powerful thing and I believe the antidote to legalistic religion, which can be so harmful.

Though the topic of the community blog was faith, everyone who submitted to the blog approached that topic from a different angle with varying degrees of relationship to God – since I’m usually in a church environment where we’re all on the same page for the most part, it was refreshing to hear varying thought processes.

I was nervous, but I was so touched by the supportive atmosphere that got up and read my own short poem and was received with plenty of encouragement from the little coffee shop crowd – I’m giving myself snaps just thinking about it. Go me for being brave!

I have no idea where this writing journey will lead me, and I can’t really control it. But I can choose to be courageous and put myself out there one step at a time! One thing’s for sure: I have a LONG way to go!

How about you? Where are you at in your faith journey? Do you need prayers for courage to step outside your comfort zone into a new opportunity or experience? Comment below, and I’ll lift you up in prayer! 

God bless anyone reading this with the courage to step out on faith in the direction of God’s plan for your life! 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers like paper lanterns

Don’t let the horrors of the world fool you.

No matter how powerless you feel,

there is always something you can do to help.

Just light up your best intentions from deep within your heart,

and send prayers into the sky like paper lanterns.

Your faith will rise up like a guiding star for others;

Your hope will float like a beacon of strength;

And your love will by transported by Divine winds

into the hands of whoever most desperately needs it.

Even when your soulful pleas drift out so far into the horizon

that you can’t perceive their ethereal answer,

I want you to know

your prayers were, are and always will be -the light-

in the dark sky of this world…

God needs every one of them to do His work.

prayerslikepaperlanternspoem

Meditation on Christ’s presence

Can you feel His royal presence standing next to you right now?

Strong and tall,

beaming with transcendent power.

He’s holding a crystal pitcher filled with the most pristine graces-

golden unconditional love is bubbling over and blended with

creamy peace and sparkling radiant joy …

He wants to pour every ounce of this delectable goodness into your soul,

until you completely overflow.

Can’t you take a moment to ask for more?

All it takes is a prayer and willingness to allow.

Are you really too busy to let Your Heavenly Father soothe your spirit?

Is that even possible?

Don’t forget you have free will.

www.uniteinprayer.org (38)

Job description

Writing poetry feels exactly like taking care of children.

Ideas keep running up to me

“Mom Mom, write me first”

I have to take a deep breath and tell everybody to

wait their turn …

it’s exhausting and wonderful,

my heart is full.

www.uniteinprayer.org (49)

 

 

 

 

Experiencing God’s Grandeur

Gazing over the vast canyon

of Your unconditional love,

I begin to sense the depths You would go

to carve a place for each of us in Your ethereal home.

Everything gorgeous points to Your majesty.

The grandeur of nature exists, so we can marvel

at Your presence in it.

You call to us from beyond this world,

boldly proclaiming Your love.

Sometimes an unlikely wildflower

finds a way to grow in the cracks between ancient stones,

miraculously bathing in rich enough soil …

and I am nourished by hope.

stayopentopossibilities

 

Flood of graces

The more time I spend contemplating Divinity,

the more I notice enormous waves of Love welling up in me.

Like typhoons of gorgeous light,

a Power Beyond Me rises up and asks to be unleashed in the world-

I say yes, and galeforce angel winds

blow seeds of grace to God only knows where.

I don’t need to know exactly what’s going on –

it’s my job to surrender to this Luminous Being,

who has earned my trust in every way.

It’s only natural for God to work wonders through prayer.

I’m just a woman with an open heart,

allowing a heavenly storm to surge through me into the world.

 

 

Silence and Spirituality

spirituality and silence

Before you enter into silence,

I think you should know how shook up you probably are

from living in this world.

The moment you get still,

you’ll notice debris of doubt and fear floating inside you.

You may panic and want to run back into your busy life,

but I pray you have the courage to be still and know

that all really is well.

And if you stick with the silence long enough,

you’ll get to watch every dark thought sink to the bottom

and transform into solid ground for Pure Light

to shine into your life

and illuminate every fiber of your being.

It’s the best thing that could ever happen to you.

But beware: the more you experience the Truth for yourself,

the more responsible you’ll be for shining it into this dark world.

Related quotes and scripture

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Saint Teresa of Calcutta

“The fruit of Silence is prayer. The fruit of Prayer is faith. The fruit of Faith is love. The fruit of Love is service. The fruit of Service is peace.” -Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Psalm 46: 10 “Cease striving and know that I am God.”

Reflection
When’s the last time you quieted your mind in prayer and meditation to sense the presence of God in your life? Do you struggle to take time for silence in your life? Do you value it or are you too caught up in busyness to even know what you’re missing?

Prayer
God, please send an outpouring of Your Holy Spirit to bless everyone reading this to get a sense of Your spacious, loving, peaceful presence in their lives. Help them carve out time to connect with Your Still Small Voice in prayer and meditation, so they can truly learn to discern Your guidance for their lives.

Action Step
Before the rush of the day, try to wake up a little early to intentionally spend time with the Lord in silence. With a quick prayer, offer God your day and invite His loving presence into Your life. Whether using scripture or a favorite prayer, continue returning Your thoughts to Your desire to connect with Him. Don’t quit if you struggle with negative thoughts, stick with it and your spiritual connection will grow stronger all the time.