a breakable heart – a poem + some thoughts

a breakable heart – a poem + some thoughts

a deluded world

applauds

the ghosts unshaken by its filth.

all hail

the strength of the tender heart

that ceases not to

weep at sin.

Lately I’ve been reading A Tale of Two Cities – a novel by Charles Dickens that takes place before and during the French Revolution. I love the book…

But I was horrified as I read one of the mob scenes. The scene was tactfully written, but still… what was going on was horrific. How could human beings do this to one another? This is disgusting.

That experience, paired with this poem I wrote the other day, got me thinking.

I realized that I want to be horrified and broken-hearted because of the world.

If I’m not, there’s a big problem. Because I’m the daughter of a holy God. A God who cannot come near to sin.

As I grow closer and closer to Him, sin should disgust me more and more. I shouldn’t develop a thick skin. I shouldn’t stare at sin unblinking. I shouldn’t sigh and say, “This is just the way the world is.”

I should weep. I should be revolted. I should cry for righteousness.

Because I was never meant to feel at home in a sin-smeared world.

My citizenship is in a sinless kingdom with a holy King. I can’t forget that.

So I will cultivate a breakable heart.

I will shudder at the exaltation of sin.

I will unashamedly yearn for holiness…

And I beg you to do the same.

❤ Laurel

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Of Dreams and Dying (+ a slightly important announcement)

Of Dreams and Dying (+ a slightly important announcement)

Today I’m sending my first poetry manuscript off for edits.

It’s… pretty surreal. I know that in the grand scheme of things it’s just another piece in my life… but it feels huge! And honestly, it’s a bit frightening. A sizeable chunk of my soul’s monologue is on its way to greet the world. *grins nervously*

A little testimony

Anne Shirley and Jo March were my writing heroines when I was younger. I blame them entirely for my twelve-year-old self’s warped view of how publication works… they just sent off their manuscripts and got a check or a book with their name on the cover in exchange.

Easy peasy.

Then I heard wild success stories about writers who wrote and published books in their teens. Popular books.

I decided that I was going to get published in my teens… or live the rest of my life in regret.

For some reason, having the prestige of being a published teen author was really, really important to me. I felt like I needed to prove myself to the world by being yet another one of those homeschool graduates who knocks the intellectual socks off of the general population.😂

As I plugged away at my novel and got a strong, shockingly bitter taste of what being a writer actually looks like, my “get published by the age of twenty” goal shoved me up against a wall and stared me in the eyes, forcing me to come up with one good reason why getting published while I was still in my teens was such a good idea.

The only one I could think of was bragging rights…

And even that wasn’t a good idea.

Somewhere along the way, my goal to glorify God with my writing had surrendered to the goal to glorify myself.

That fact saddened me… so I gave up my dream.

I let go of the vision of being published by twenty to focus instead on letting my writing goals be driven by quality and depth, not deadlines. I hoped that someday I’d be able to come up with something that was worthy of being published because it was actually good and able to impact lives, not because I needed it to boost my ego.

That decision was so freeing. I wasn’t a slave to my writing ego anymore.

Months went by, my poems piled up, and I realized that maybe it was time to start prepping a poetry manuscript. I started compiling my favorite poems, writing more, working on a timeline for publishing…

And realized that – providing all goes as planned – I’ll be published by my twentieth birthday.

I’m blown away by the way God asks us to hand over our dreams. Bury them, burn them, shred them, scrub them from our hearts…

Only to tap us on the shoulder at the most unexpected moment, hand the dreams back with a knowing smile and whisper, “Didn’t I know best all along?”

Yes, Father. Yes, You did.

❤ Laurel

P.S. Look out for a title reveal soon… and expect my first book-baby in the spring of 2022.😉

Cathedral releases TODAY!!!

Cathedral releases TODAY!!!

Guys!!! I am so excited to announce that my writing friend Maya Joelle is releasing her gorgeous collection TODAY!!!

This girl is seriously so talented. I’ll be the first to confess my extreme pickiness in the area of poetry… and Maya has nailed it in this incredible collection. Here’s the review I shared on Goodreads:

This is a collection of poetry I will read and quote and remember over and over and over again.

It makes me feel known. Understood. Like I’m not the only one who hurts and feels and dreams so fiercely. It portrays darkness poignantly, letting the light shine through in such a brilliant and hopeful way.

I can’t recommend it enough!

About the book

Cathedral is a collection of poetry and creative prose about beauty in the midst of grief and joy in the face of great sorrow.

oh brave one,

oh broken, beautifully brave one,

remember.

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.

// to the broken ones

About the author

Maya Joelle is a wordsmith, bookdragon, and avid forest enthusiast from Michigan. In addition to poetry, she writes high fantasy novels and short stories that turn into novels. When she’s not writing or studying, she is often found marveling at the beauty of creation through the wonders of nature, music, and friendship. She writes poems to remind herself and others of God’s goodness amidst pain and sorrow, for the glory of the Author who knows the ending of her story.

Purchase Cathedral on Amazon here

Add Cathedral on Goodreads here

Find Cathedral‘s Pinterest board here

Do you have any favorite poems or poets?

❤ Laurel

I did receive a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.:)

in the waiting – a poem

in the waiting – a poem

Hello, friends!

I recently ran across this poem I wrote nearly a year ago now… it’s definitely a reminder I still need! I hope it can be a blessing to you, as well. ❤

here I am, Lord…

stumbling through the darkness and

obscurity of life

trusting You for every step…

I know You guide the way

but

sparks have flown

blown on my path and

given me

a taste

of what’s to come

perhaps

in roaring fullness and

I can’t forget the sparks.

each one by little one

they’re dancing

swirling in my head.

all put together they are

much too much

to be put out and so they

gleam and

steal my vision.

Help, Lord!

save me from

the longing for what’s mine

but not mine yet.

grant patience for the waiting…

let me wait with busy hands

Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

I’m getting published!!!

I’m getting published!!!

Guys… one of my poems is going to be published in this gorgeous book!!!

Am I bouncing off the walls? Maybe.

What Darkness Fears is releasing on October 13th… but preorders are now live! Preorder your copy here… and get some bonus preorder goodies!

Here’s the blurb:

Light Dawns in Darkness

Even in the darkest night, there is hope. This collection of stories and poems portray light in the darkness. Multiple authors in various genres take you on a journey from dark to light, from despair to hope.

Within these pages, you’ll discover teens locked in a hotel with a mind of its own, a young man on an adventure choosing the worst sort of companion, an author facing her own deadly characters, an arguing couple picking up a hitchhiker in the middle of the desert, a woman fighting an ominous monster on the high seas, a Headless Henwoman carrying souls to their afterlife, the god of mischief visiting the underworld, and other spooky stories.

I’m excited to read it when it comes out next month… and to see my own poem in print!😊

Awake – A Poem

Hello, friends!

I’ve been having fun writing off of these flash fic prompts this July. Today’s prompt was awake – and for me, it inspired more of a freestyle poem than a piece of flash fiction. I decided to fly with that idea… and here’s what happened!:)

stop living your life like it’s endless.

it’s not.

make the most of each

song

conversation

quick talk

goodbye hug

every moment

you have with this life, or else

soon

the tomorrows you planned for and wanted

so badly

may fade into days of regret.

live this life

to the hilt

awake

so that you may see clearly

the mist

of your trembling mortality.

Another Poem

Another Poem

Hello, friends!

Graduation – for me at least – is/was a bittersweet time. Yes, you’re saying goodbye to several things. But you’re also opening the door to SO much!!

Soak it all in, graduates. Thank God for the past. Trust him for the future. This poem is for you.💕

I’m striking out into waters unknown –

Waters I’ve spent hours dreaming of.

In my dreams the ocean called my name –

The wind sang a melody that

gripped me.

I longed to dip my toes into the waters of

adulthood.

But my childhood

and the familiar

have twined about my throat and blossomed

memories.

The smell is sweet –

how can I tear them away?

I look ahead at the ocean stretched before me.

It’s darker than I thought.

Rougher, too.

Tears well in my eyes as Time pushes me to the

water’s edge.

I’m scared.

How can I make my way in such a storm?

I don’t even know where I’m going.

Slowly, light ebbs across the waves,

and I can see the path I’m standing on

continue

through the sea.

I cannot see its twists and turns,

but the path is

still there.

I’m simply traveling on –

doing what I was made to do.

Slowly

tenderly

I pluck the flowers from the vines and

tuck them away

where their fragrance will always

linger near.

I take the tangled vines,

gently loosing their grasp.

I let them fall now to the shore

and I step into the sea.

Remember

Remember

I’m struck by how often the Bible exhorts God’s people to remember what has happened in the past. This poem came from my thoughts on that.:)

remember

when you walked in that

storm

even though I said

no

that the rain clouds were

close to you

close and

dark

remember

when I ran through the

rain

to go get you and you

cried

on my chest, told me

you would

remember

next time

and so here we are at

next time

I don’t think you

remembered

I didn’t ask you to

keep

all that guilt in your

soul

or that feeling of

fear

that is flooding you now

darling, no.

just remember

in the rain and the

wind

I was there in the

night

I was there

for

you

remember.

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash