The cliff soared high above the churning lake below, its face rugged. The jutting rocks were perfect for giving fallen explorers a false sense of hope in their dire situation.
Without help, they had all lost their hold.
The young woman clung with her fingers and feet to the most prominent holds she could reach, sweat trickling down her spine in the cool of the evening. She clenched her jaw and adjusted her grip.
Of course, it was her fault that she’d fallen. He’d told her not to go anywhere near the edge of this cliff. But he loved her; she knew that. He loved her like no one else would ever love her.
He would come.
She knew he would.
Fingers aching, she glanced down. The moonlight shattered and glinted on the face of the roiling water, mocking. Boasting. Beckoning.
Don’t look down.
Her father’s voice echoed in her ears, and she tilted her face to the sky. Studded with stars, it brought memories rushing back.
“Can you count the stars, sweetie?”
“No, Daddy. I keep trying, but there are too many. They keep going on forever and ever!”
“They do, don’t they? Just like the way I love you.”
She had giggled and snuggled close to him. His beard had been rough and comforting against her cheek, his arms strong and safe around her. “I love you, too, Daddy.”
“I know, sweetheart.”
Tears glistened with the sweat on her face now. Did he still know she loved him? Even as she clung here, fallen from the precipice he’d marked off-limits? What would he think if they found her body in the lake far below? Did he have the same confidence in her love as she had in his?
“Daddy…” she whimpered, burying her face in her shoulder. Her muscles screamed. Her fingers ached. “I can’t hold on much longer…Daddy, please…”
The lapping of the waves on the shore far below was a taunt, loud in the silent night. The waves had closed over many wayward souls. She had shaken her head with her father as the rebels had neared the cliff’s edge, dancing closer and closer to destruction. She had cried and prayed with him for wisdom for the prodigals…
And now she, too, had fallen.
She tried to close her mind to what had led her to this place, but her memory dragged each image before her eyes, refusing to let her drown the past in obscurity.
There had been dancers on the cliffs. Beautiful, skilled, other-worldly. They had caught her up in their dance and drawn her nearer and nearer until she’d forgotten where she was. Finally, she’d gotten close enough to grasp one of them…
Her fingers passed through him like he was a mist.
Ghosts. She’d been chasing phantoms.
By then, it was too late. Her toes were already clinging to the cliff’s edge, and the horror of her discovery sent her reeling. She fell, screaming, over the edge, and mercifully found a hold on its face.
Or perhaps it wasn’t mercy. Perhaps it was judgement, giving her ample time to reflect upon her misdeeds before falling to her death – like so many other fools – into the lake below.
“Forgive me.” Her words were a gasp. “Daddy…”
The world blackened, and the stars burned like beacons. Streams of sweat ran into her eyes…or perhaps they were tears? She couldn’t tell anymore. She couldn’t hold on anymore.
He would come. She knew he would come. She just had to hold on…hold on just a little longer…
Minutes felt like hours. Hours felt like decades. Her muscles felt like fire.
The night crawled on, agony in its essence. She clung to the rock face, her lips moving in silence.
He loves me. He will save me. He loves me. He will come.
As dawn broke in the east, his voice boomed from the top of the cliff. “I’m coming, love.”
What happened next, she could never remember. All she knew was that she awoke in her father’s arms, in the safety of their castle, with love smiling at her from his eyes.
Right now my computer is slower than a lame tortoise and my brain feels like a mashed potato in a tornado, so I’m grateful I wrote this post as I lived through May so I don’t have to remember everything on my own! I hope you enjoy my glance back on this month with me.:)
Things worth remembering
wandering through some war memorials
sneaking over to my grandma’s house with my siblings in the early morning to fill her yard with pinwheels as a birthday surprise
pizza, ice cream, and good talks with a study group
a long sibling walk that ended in a rainstorm and sprinting…too bad we weren’t headed to Netherfield, huh?
exploring old farm buildings and finding bones
scaling fish for the first time and immensely enjoying it
The way I feel isn’t a good excuse to be unproductive, and neither is a lingering winter. I am completely responsible for myself, and my actions do not hinge on the whether the weather outside is frightful or delightful. What’s inside me is what ought to drive me.
The spiritual parallels of the physical seasons are my favorite, and Makayla has some wonderful thoughts in this post!
I’ve opted for a new and much more effective approach; manipulating them using the unconquerable force of peer-pressure. I can do this because I’m college-age and therefore a god. At least, in their opinion.
Sarah’s posts always leave me laughing and in awe of her ability to use my beloved snark so beautifully, and this one was no exception…except this one wrung my heart a bit at the end. Do yourself a favor and give this one a read.
remember that no matter how tiny the fragments this time, how far apart they are scattered, how long you must search, he will help you find the pieces of the person you once were and the image you once bore.
I’ve been digging into this one again. It’s one of my absolute favorites.
(If you’ve been here for a good amount of time, you’ll know how wonderful this is.XD) I loved it so much!! You can read my brief review on my Goodreads account.:)
From the Journal
Oh, Lord, may I ever remain set apart for Your purpose so that You may do wonders in my tomorrows.
All will be made whole…
Achan took the spoil because it was tempting…but God was going to allow the spoils to be taken lawfully in the next battle. Oh, Lord, help me to trust that You will satisfy my longings in due time.
Oh, Lord, clear my mind and give me the wisdom to discern between roadblocks You have set before me to turn my heart to greater things, and the rugged territory of fallen trees I must naturally clamber over on my way in Your will for me.
Lord, grant repentance. We cannot even come to the realization and regret of our sins if You don’t give us the grace to do so.
I can laugh without fear of the future, not because I am well-prepared and invincible, but because my Father laughs in the face of my greatest fears, and I trust Him completely.
How was your May? What stood out to you in this past month? Have you been reading/watching/listening to anything good lately?
Last week I asked in my Instagram stories for some fun/lovely/unique words to use as poetry prompts. I was given some pretty awesome words! I turned most of them into haikus…and here they are! I hope you enjoy reading through them.:)
please don’t let go your wonder
hold fast to your song
my dear, don’t you know
you aren’t meant to blend in here…
He set you apart
windblown and wild
a soul bent on so much more
fights onward for truth
shoving hard against darkness
the essence of hope
surrender, my love…
bitterness only poisons
the heart holding it
here in Your glory
Lord, let me be nothing more
than a raxeira
sometimes I neglect seeing
the wounds around me
one day – someday soon –
we will live in a land of
spill shalom freely
let it drip down from your words
and your legacy
candle in the wind,
fight for your faltering light…
the world needs your song
see, even teardrops
glimmer in the face of light,
a dolphin rises,
slips through the ocean’s crust,
take me to a place
where city lights don’t battle
Which haiku is your favorite? Have you ever tried writing haikus?
(Don’t you just love how the lights are photobombing the mountains?)
The last week of April I got to attend my first writer’s retreat…goodness sakes, was it ever just what I needed! Here’s a little recap of the trip.:)
Highlights of the trip
The answered prayers.
I can’t tell you enough how much of a God thing this whole experience was. This retreat and my travels were bathed in prayer, and it was evident. I refused to let myself spend much time worrying about any aspect of the trip, but homesickness is a real thing for this homebody! The last time I spent a week away from my family, I was in bed crying and wondering how feasible it would be for my parents to drive twenty-four hours one way to come pick me up. Seriously. But this time? Not a bit of homesickness. I was so grateful!
I also wasn’t mentally exhausted by almost zero time by myself for several days. The more I think about it, the more I realize how much of a miracle that truly was. XD
It was also as if during this trip so many of my fears melted away. Fears of traveling alone. Fears of stepping out and doing new things spontaneously. Fears of living outside of my comfort zone. I can’t praise God enough for what He did on this retreat!
The whole flying thing.
I love airports, but I’d never flown alone before…or had to handle layovers. Layovers in huge airports, no less. Thankfully everything went very smoothly, and the trip was very educational. I learned how much a four-ounce carton of white fish salad costs in Philadelphia (it’s a rip-off), that Minnesota is a lucrative destination for jilted lovers (or, perhaps, the jilters), and that there’s nothing like watching someone being welcomed home to warm the cockles of one’s heart.
While in the airport, I also saw an Albert Einstein lookalike and someone who looked almost exactly like one of the main characters in a book I’m writing! Will wonders never cease?
Goodness sakes, did I ever meet some amazing ladies! It was so, so beautiful to come together with ladies I’d never met in person and have this instant soul connection, simply because of our shared love for Jesus and lifting Him high through our words. It was like discovering long-lost sisters!
Thinking we were witnessing an arrest. Seeing baby bears near our picnic spot. Spontaneous ice cream runs. Wandering through a cemetery after a photoshoot. Scrambling over rocks near a stream. Watching a potter shape a vase. Desperate phone calls to wise fathers when the brakes started smoking in the mountains. Movie nights. Laughter around the pool table. An impromptu dance party on our last night together.
Memories I wouldn’t trade for a million books.
Seriously, guys. The number of times I got goosebumps during conversations at the cabin, realizing the amazing things God is doing with and through these young writers…it was almost surreal. He is using these ladies and their stories – both the ones they’re living and the ones they’re writing – to shake the world and strengthen His kingdom. It’s beautiful.
How has God been working in your life lately? Where has He been stretching you and showing His powerful sovereignty?
In last Monday’s post, I said I would be sharing a recap of the writing retreat I attended last month, but, alas, the week was full of other adventures (such as writing a prologue for my new WIP [!!!] and having my guitar accidentally stolen by a band) and I didn’t cut out enough time to write the post.
So here is a post that I shared in January. I still get goosebumps reading it. If the weight of guilt and desperation is weighing heavy on you, this piece is especially for you. It’s my prayer that it gives you hope and a glimpse of God’s redeeming light. ❤
going on a quest to pick up furniture with my brother
packaging and mailing out preorders of aforementioned poetry book – I so enjoyed getting to think about all of the people who would be receiving a copy of This Will Not Last!
making toast at the first sibling bonfire of the year
Sharing a Christian Seder meal with family and dear friends
Not blowing away in some pretty high winds
Navigating airports and lengthy layovers on my own and realizing it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be
Spending a week talking and adventuring and building relationships with like-minded writers on the Glory Writers retreat! I want to do a full post dedicated to covering this event, so stay tuned!
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle
What I’ve been reading
Love Comes Softly – Janette Oke
I know, I am a fierce critic of the romance genre, but I devoured this book in two days! There was so much solid character development, and of course a bit of heartache. I’m not the biggest fan of Janette Oke’s writing style, but after I got over that I couldn’t put the book down. I definitely recommend it!
White Stallion of Lipizza – Marguerite Henry
I love Marguerite Henry’s books! I hadn’t read one in the longest time, so it’s been fun to pick this one up again.
“There are far, far greater things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis
From the journal
Today is not your day. It’s God’s. Use it accordingly.
And yet I praise You, Father, because You know best, and even in the broken valley You are the restorer of my soul.
What made your April memorable? I’d love to hear in the comments!
I’m really excited to share today’s post with you all…because I really love it, and because my sister Abby wrote it! I think it’s the perfect piece for Holy Week.
I enter the room. I’m a servant, so I’m allowed in here.
The men at the front draw my attention. There is Caiaphas, the high priest, tall and regal, with a stern face, his hands clenched into fists at his side. Near him are the scribes and elders, and the whole council, all talking in excited voices. But the One I am most focused on is the One who is bound. The One at whom the others cast spiteful looks. There is something in His face…a calmness that I cannot place. They are trying to accuse Him, and I know why. They want to put Him to death because He claims to be the Son of God. They are afraid He will turn the people away from obeying their rules. This is why I wonder at His look. He should be upset, fighting for His life. But He’s not.
They start to bring in false witnesses and I watch with wide eyes as they all try to accuse Him. The Man, whom I’ve heard them call Jesus, does not speak. Then they ask Him a question, and He lifts His head. Could that be? A smile on His face? No, it must be the light. He begins to speak, and I strain to hear, but all of a sudden there is scuffling near the door, blocking out His voice. I turn, irritated. A man enters, breathing hard, and he tries his best to silently move to the fire at the far end of the wall where several servants are gathered. His eyes keep flitting to the arguing group in the front, and as he turns his head, something dawns on me. He seems familiar, like I’ve seen him before…but where?
Oh, yes! I’ve seen him with Jesus in the streets. He is the one that would be pushing the crowds away so there would always be a clear path for his teacher. I’m curious about how much he would know about Jesus, and I edge my way closer. He turns when I tap his shoulder. His eyes are wild, but they calm when he sees I’m only a servant.
“You were with Jesus,” I blurt, motioning at the bound Man.
He glares at me. “No, of course not. I have nothing to do with Him.” Other servants crowd around, but he fights them off, insisting he knows nothing about Jesus. He leaves as quickly as possible, and I wonder about that.
If I were a follower of Jesus and were able to follow Him freely through the streets like I’d seen others do, I wouldn’t have denied Him. I glanced at the front again. No, a Man that speaks such wonderful words and performs such amazing miracles I would surely give my life for.
Little did I know that that very day, He would give His life for me.
Question of the day: What would you have done if you were a follower of Jesus on the day He was crucified?
This March was so full of adventure and soul-searching. Here’s my review!
Things worth remembering…
a tramp through the woods with my brother and a couple of sisters
listening to Flight of Valor live. It was written to honor the heroes on United Flight 93…I still can’t listen to it without getting goosebumps.
a weekend trip to Nebraska with my brother and grandparents
a crisp morning walk through a cemetery I was delighted to find lay across the road from the motel on said trip
star-gazing on the side of the road with my grandma while everyone else was in the vehicle skunk-gazing the smelly little family crossing the road in front of us
making Shamrock shakes without a blender
setting up my Etsy shop! Currently I don’t have any listings (Preorders for This Will Not Last have closed), but I am hoping to have some poetry-themed products out soon.:) What would you like to see? Greeting cards? Post cards? Notebooks? Anything else? Let me know in the comments!
trying a new method of curling my hair and accidently making it look like I just stepped out of the eighties
giving dried seaweed a hearty 0/10 rating
reading and discussing Crazy Love (by Francis Chan) with friends
a family shopping trip and supper out
“I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
How you live your life determines how you spend your soul.
Man, has this book been a wake-up call. Or rather, a megaphone for the wake-up call that has been trying to grab my attention for a while now. Time is a precious gift. It is limited, and once we spend it, it’s gone. Forever. Making wise decisions is key to stewarding our time in the best way possible…and I’m preaching to myself here.
This Will Not Last – Laurel Jean
when my shell of defense crashes down all around and the world as I know it is gone // You’re still here… You are mine… I am Yours.
Hehehe, watch me shamelessly plug my writing. XD
Seriously, though…I have so been enjoying reading through this again…and again. I think you might like it, too.:) You can order your very own copy here!
Crazy Love – Francis Chan
Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? …to put it bluntly, when you get your own universe, you can make your own standards.
I’ve been reading and talking through this book with some sweet friends…another megaphone for God’s wake-up call. Wow. It’s been amazing.
“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.”
I’ve been listening to…
Lots of Alan Gogoll’s music! I love to listen to it when I’m working in the kitchen, drawing, or painting. So relaxing!
for KING & COUNTRY’s newest album, What Are We Waiting For? Over. And over. And over again. I think my sisters might like it. XD
Instrumental with Dave and JJ Heller. This podcast is absolutely incredible! I love hearing about how God uses the tiniest twists and turns in a person’s life to direct it in a beautiful and redeeming way.
“Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies too. Or, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. Whenever we cannot love in the old human way, God can give us the perfect way.”
Casper ten Boom
From the journal…
Always, choosing God’s way in a broken world has made His people different from the world. I will stick out. I will walk a road less traveled…and that is beautiful. Oh, steel my heart with courage, Lord!
The way is raw and broken and painful even now…I don’t want it to be this way. But You will make this beautiful. You will heal us. I pray that happens on earth, but even if it doesn’t…Your way is best. I will rest in this even while I ache.
Lord, I want to desire You. Not just the hope of brighter days, but You…for Yourself. For Your justice. For Your mercy. For Your goodness. For Your love. For Your wisdom.
We urge people to “accept Jesus as Savior” (a phrase never found in the Bible), but do we urge them to confess Him as Lord? He is just as much a Lord as He is a Savior, but we’re so attached to our liberty that we don’t want to see Him as anything more than gentle. Oh, Lord, may I treat You as Lord!
Never revert to the safety of the known when God has snatched you from it for the unknown. (Numbers 14)
Yes, I may pray that You show me the way in which I should walk, but I must actively seek…put in the grunt work. Oh, give me courage and determination!
What memories/lessons are you carrying away from this month?