observe – a poem

observe – a poem

Hello, friends!

Today I’m sharing a poem that I wrote while on the Glory Writers retreat…next Monday, keep your eyes peeled for a recap of that trip.:)

observe, My child,

the ways that I walk,

and tread these paths beside Me.

the world dances to a different tune,

so press your ear close to My song and

obey

these words that I sing to you,

lest you forget in the valley

the songs that we sang on the mountaintop,

for My words still ring true in the storm.

take My hand, little one,

for I long to be near you,

and shield you from fear

and the terror of night.

observe, My child,

the ways that I walk,

and tread these paths beside Me.

How do you keep your eyes on the ways of the Lord? What are some of your favorite Scriptures or quotes to bring to mind when you’re needing to refocus on God?

Photo by Zack Silver on Unsplash

It’s Release Day!!! Here are my thoughts.

It’s Release Day!!! Here are my thoughts.

Guys, the big day is FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!

The day I never thought I’d reach.

Aaagh, I can’t really put it all in words. I’m kind of excited. I think I might have a little celebration.

Here’s the link to purchase it on Amazon! (Or just look at it and be happy that it’s on Amazon for the world to see, like I’ve been doing. Or write a review and rate it once you read it. That would be totally awesome.)

If you have read my writing, encouraged me, given me feedback, helped me along this crazy road to publishing…thank you. Thank you for being here and letting me share my thoughts with you. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be doing this!

I wrote the following piece a few days ago…and decided to share it here.

Honest thoughts here…

As I’m writing this, it’s four days from the day my first book will be released.

My first book. In print.

It’s crazy to think about because I’ve wanted this day so badly for years. I can remember when I would scribble in the notebooks I’d stockpiled from the back-to-school sale at Shopko and dream about when the world would read my words…and as I see orders coming in across the country from people I’ve never even met, it all feels surreal.

I’m the writer I dreamed of being…

And yet I’m not.

I wanted to be a novelist. A nice solid novel was always what I envisioned when I pictured my first book. Probably historical fiction…and definitely published by the time I was eighteen. (Thank you, Jo March and Anne Shirley for warping my view of the publishing process.) Oh, and the world was going to love it. I was going to be famous.

I think that was the most important part to me. Writing so the world would remember my name.

That’s really, really sad.

Even now I keep checking myself against valuing my work in writing against how many people follow me. How many interact in the comment section or in messages. How many order my book.

How many approve of me.

But that was never the point of it, anyway.

“All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”  – Colossians 1:17-18

That in all things Christ may have the preeminence, not me.

All things were created for Him, not me.

And the fact that He’s given me the grace and ability to pull words together and hand them to the world in a way that is relatable and healing…

That’s worth more than all of the book sales, likes, and followers in the world.

Over and over again as I keep writing and He keeps helping me forward, one thought keeps coming to my mind.

Even if only one life is touched by this book/by my writing, it’ll all be worth it.

God’s completely changed my mind about how I want to view my writing. Less than two years ago I was fighting towards the goal of becoming a full-time writer. Now I’ve realized all I want is to keep writing as a side gig…and yet I’ve never felt as much purpose in my writing as I do now.

Because it’s become a ministry for me. A way that I can reach people across the world with words and build a bridge of hope and relatability.

It’s a way that I can show people they’re not alone.

It’s a way that I can point people to God and scream out how great He is.

I love my God, and I want you to love Him, too.

❤ Laurel

Your turn to talk…and it’s a giveaway!!!

Your turn to talk…and it’s a giveaway!!!

Hey, friends!

I was thinking about today’s post and realized that I’d love two things.

1.) To hear from you!! I seem to do most of the talking here on the blog (hmm, I wonder why…), but I love good conversations in the comment section. Seriously…interacting with you all is my favorite part about sharing what I write.

2.) To give a blog friend a copy of This Will Not Last! (It releases in seven days, guys!!!)

So we’re going to combine those two things today.:)

If you’d love to have your very own signed copy of This Will Not Last sent to your door, hop into the comment section and share your answer to one (or some or all!) of the following questions. Each answered question is an entry!

  • What is one of the best things that ever happened to you?
  • When you were a child, what was your dream job?
  • What advice would you give to your fifteen-year-old self?
  • What is one thing on your bucket list?
  • What is your favorite part about this blog?

I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, April 1st and announce the winner then.

I can’t wait to hear your answers…and send one of you a copy of This Will Not Last!

❤ Laurel

First Love – a poem

First Love – a poem

Hello, friends!

I wrote this poem the other morning…aren’t you so grateful for a God who makes all things new?

Sidenote: I cannot wait to smell the white clover again this summer.

when I stop to think about it…

I miss the days when

I first fell in love with You.

when all of life shone because of

the beauty You sparked in my heart…

when everything reminded me of You –

a frosted oak leaf

the scent of white clover

a baby’s giggle –

and nothing seemed

too daunting to face

with You.

You haven’t changed…

my heart has calloused.

oh, may I be

tender again to

Your whisper

Your smile

Your thoughtfulness

in choosing my heart as

Your treasure.

You make all things new…

God bring me back to

the passion of my first love.

P.S. If you’d like to get a signed copy of This Will Not Last, stay tuned for preorders opening up next Monday!!! *bounces off walls*

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

This is not a Valentine’s Day poem.

This is not a Valentine’s Day poem.

(I told you I don’t like writing titles…)

Happy Valentine’s Day!! If you’d like to read something somewhat Valentine-y, go check out this post I shared last February. It’s all about true love… the real stuff that you might be able to find under all of the glitter (the GLITTER… *cringes*) and paper hearts. It’s honestly one of my favorites.

But…

If you happen to be a Valentine’s Day Scrooge and would rather read something bittersweet and smacking of courage… I’ve got ya covered! Read on, my friend.:)

turn the page.

yes, the ink gushed and flowed and

spilled in a way

never to be forgotten

for better or for worse, but

turn the page.

this chapter’s over…

a new one waits with

fears to be faced and

giants to be slayed and

new hurts to heal.

turn the page.

I’d love to hear… do you like to do anything special to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

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

October Memories – 2021

October Memories – 2021

Ah! Finally an October recap!

My blogging schedule has slipped a little bit recently… but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things here again!

Things worth remembering…

  • Delicious and ginormous tomatoes from the garden
  • Walks with my sister
  • Putting together an aesthetic collage for the novel I worked on this summer
  • Making mini watercolor paintings
  • Seeing one of my poems actually PRINTED IN A BOOK for the very first time!!!
  • Deciding to tackle NaNoWriMo for the first (and perhaps only) time in my life (translation for non-writers: deciding to write 50,000 words on a novel in the month of November)
  • Bible studies and banter with friends
  • How gorgeous a sunrise on the farm can be

Notes on life…

Getting the salt and vinegar kettle chips instead of the original ones ensures that you get nearly the entire bag to yourself.

***

One does not *necessarily* die after finishing a stranger’s pint of gelato.

***

Alan Gogoll has some stellar music.

Recent reads…

Papa’s Wife – Thyra Ferré Björn

This is a good read for those moments when you want a good laugh without exhausting your brain.:)

How to Stay Motivated {Energize, Recharge, Relax} – Allison

All the motivational posts and energetic music in the world won’t get your work done. You have to do that.

Oh, man, did this post ever pop up in my feed at the right time!! So, so many good ideas in here.

What Darkness Fears: An Anthology

You are the observer, being observed. The people watcher, being watched. You are a rat that doesn’t know it’s trapped in a maze. – from “People Watchers” by Lara E. Madden

If you’re looking for a smattering of short stories and poetry that portray light contrasted with darkness, here ya go! To be completely honest, I don’t care for all of the content… but there are some stellar pieces in here!

Oh, and yours truly may have a poem in this one…:)

From the journal…

Maybe changing the world isn’t suddenly changing the tide. Maybe it’s doing justice. Loving mercy. Walking humbly with our God.

Lord, give me an insatiable hunger for You. Give me the strength to live my life in a way that nurtures that hunger.

God, give me focus… vision… sense of a mission.

Thank You, Lord… that even in my weakest moments, I still have the strength to make decisions and carry them out for your glory.

Scripture gives us intellectual understanding, which then shows us our failures… then it points out how we can correct them, and then live out a righteous life.

I wasn’t born to change the world. I was born to glorify You.

Words of Wisdom

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis

***

“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” – Stephen Levine

***

“If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa

***

“He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” – 2 Corinthians 5:15

What made your October momentous?

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.