Friday, April 29

composer for hire.

i wanted to throw something out there: for all you poets, creatives, and all around imaginative types, if you have poems or writings that you always thought would make a most excellent song, but you just don't know how quite to put a melody to them, send them my way.

i've been working on a bunch of different people's lyrics of late, and i find it comes easily to me to make beautiful music from other people's words. you never know what might be born from a collaborative effort.

much love.

Thursday, April 28

new song lyrics - empty

It never ceases to amaze me, the stack of work-in-progress songs I have just sitting around. Some I feel could be excellent songs, some are meh-okay, and some definitely need a lot of work. But I decided to work on one today, and it's starting to come together. I want to start using this blog as a platform to get your thoughts on songs as part of my creative process. Feel free to comment if you like. I always appreciate the input, especially at this early stage. I hope to have a rough draft of the audio soon. 

much love. 


It’s been a long day.
I look in the mirror, surprised by what I see:
I’m so tired, I’m so empty.
Lord, I’ve got nothing left,
Nothing to give You
But my weakness and my failings.
I’m so tired, I’m so empty.

But I hear You call out my name.
You want me, not what I bring.

Empty I come, empty I stand,
Empty I raise my hands to You.
All that I am, all that I have is Yours.
Please take it all.
I give it to You, humble and small as it may be.
I long to be wholly free, I long to be wholly Yours.

I’m crushed by the pressure
To perform, to excel, to be number one.
I’m so tired, I’m so empty.
The world tells me that this, this is the way
To be happy, to be fulfilled
This can’t be all there is.
I’m so tired, I’m so empty.

But I hear You, tugging my heart
Saying, “Child, you are searching for Me.”

This world demands perfection
How I look, how I act, it demands I conform
To this idea of what is perfect, what is beautiful.
But it leaves me empty inside. I long for something more.

I long to hear You say, “Beautiful, you are beautiful just as you are.”
I long to hear You say, “Beautiful, you are beautiful just as you are.”

So Lord, if you’ll have me,
I will come and be yours,
And You will fill my heart.

Wednesday, April 27

prerequisites for sainthood.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
~St. Teresa of Avila. 

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
    my understanding, and my entire will.
All I have and call my own,
Whatever I have or hold, you have given me.
I return it all to you and surrender it wholly
    to be governed by your will.
Give me only your love and your grace
    and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.
~St.Ignatius, The Spiritual Exercises.

Tuesday, April 26

my heart is restless

The Lord uses all things to teach us. I know this to be true and have seen the evidence of it throughout my life, usually months to years after the fact. We need some distance, some perspective to see exactly how the Lord brought us through a trial, exactly what He was trying to show us.

I am blessed and humbled to say that the Lord has been so merciful to me in regards to healing from my miscarriage. There are so many things that could have gone wrong, that could have been worse. But instead, I emerged from the valley physically unscathed (or at least, so they tell me). I'm tremendously grateful to the Lord that my womb was preserved from further damage.

But my huge cross now is the waiting. Some women have a mountain of healing to climb before they can even fathom getting pregnant again. I have the endless trickle of time to face. I have this tremendous desire to feel life in me. I was so ready, so ecstatic to be with child the first time around, but the Lord in His eternal wisdom chose to bring that life home to Himself. Thanks be to the Lord from who all good things come.

Now that I have mourned, and equally rejoice in having a baby in heaven, I'm just so ready to know I have a little one inside me. I ask our baby in heaven to intercede at the feet of Jesus, to ask that this new pregnancy, whenever the Lord brings it, be healthy and safe. I'm just ready, Lord. Why not now?

And so I wrestle again with the utter lack of control. Just as I was unable to retain the life of my baby in heaven with all my strivings and worryings, I am unable to manufacture life in my womb just because I want it so much. I have to wait for God's time to be now.

But it is so hard to wait. It is so hard to believe that God's timing, His plan is the perfectly best one. I say to Him in prayer, "But Lord, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am healed from my hurt, I am ready to move on and get this next baby's life started."

And still, He asks me to wait. Whether it be this month, or next month, or next year, I have to believe that He will bring the newest member of our family when it truly is the right moment for us. I may think I know what that moment is. But I know that years from now, when I gather my children into my arms and whisper to them how very much I love them, I will look on this moment and realize that yes, God, You DID in fact have it all under control.

Worry accomplishes nothing. Peace achieves all.

Monday, April 25

menopause, empty nest, and midlife crises

No, the title of this blog post (thank Jesus) does not refer to me. It refers to the book I just finished reading: The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonja Sones.

A bit of background: I have a curious method for selecting the occasional new release novel from my library. I peruse the selections available and, contrary to common wisdom, I judge the books by their cover. I look for the cover that leaps off the shelf, provoking my curiosity to delve within the pages. I look for a cover that is unique, provocative, and eye-catching. And that is the book that comes home with me.

On my last visit to the library, Sonja Sones's work came home with me. And it was intriguing, most notably because it chronicles a stage in life that is rather opposite to the one I currently inhabit.

It tells the story of a woman who is a poet, is enduring the full wrath of menopause, is suffering the suspicion of her husband's possible infidelity, and is coming to terms with the concept of an empty nest, as her only daughter prepares to leave home for college.

The thing that grabbed me at first glance, however, is the fact that this novel is written entirely in verse. Now, it's not your average "Roses are red, violets are blue" variety of poetry. It's lovely lyrical rhythm and, let's be honest, who doesn't love the SHORT chapters of a poetry book?

I almost returned Hunchback after noticing that it was in verse. I'm so glad I didn't. It's a thought-provoking read, especially for those of us women who are just getting married and beginning to form our families. It gives us a perspective from the future. The author captures this perfectly in the following image: An older woman recalls being a young mother, playing with her daughter at the park and watching the ducks along the lake, noticing the older grandmas. Now, she herself is the older woman, wistfully longing for her youthful energy and for her daughter to be small again.

As a young mother, I am thankful for the reminder to enjoy my little boy. We sometimes can miss the current stage of life in wistfully wishing either for the future to arrive faster, or for the past to return. The only day we have for certain is the present day. Instead of wishing my boy was a baby again, or longing for the day he is potty-trained, obedient at first command, or eager to eat all types of foods, I need to cherish the level he's at right now. Otherwise, I'll miss it entirely. And these are days, mommies, that we never get back. Your child will never be just like he or she is right now ever again.

Cherish your kiddo. Hold him or her close and love them just as they are.
Love yourself, and be forgiving. You are what you have to work with. Baby steps to perfection, always counting on the Lord's mercy and grace.

And above all, be grateful. You never realize the full extent of the blessings you have until they are gone.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Sunday, April 24

loss and healing - life after my miscarriage

hello world.

I have returned after a sabbatical, and I fear it is to unburden a somewhat broken heart.

But what is this blog for, if not to share my hurt in the hope that someone else's might be eased or made lighter.

For you see, in the last month, I was not pregnant, then pregnant, then not pregnant again. And it hurt like nothing I've experienced. I felt vacant, empty, broken, lost. 

It is a small consolation that our family has a honest-to-goodness little saint in heaven waiting for us. We have the distinct honor of having a little wee one waiting in heaven, frolicking at the feet of Jesus, making Him smile and laugh with her antics. Our beautiful Mama Mary, I know, is keeping her eye on our baby, making sure she feels so loved and cherished, and knows how very much she is missed.

I am comforted too by the realization that our beloved little one will never know pain, never feel hunger or suffering. She is in perfect joy and peace, safe in the arms of her eternal Father.

But that leaves me here on earth, feeling empty.

At my worst moments, I feel angry, frustrated, cheated by the Lord. At my lowest point, I feel as though He gave me exactly what my heart longed for, and then took it away. The timing could not have been more perfect, according to my plan. We were so delighted to hear we had a new baby on the way. And then, almost immediately after sharing our news, tragedy struck our family for the first time.

At my better moments, I feel the love of Jesus enfold me tenderly. I feel His presence, and discover in my heart the gift of strength to say, "Not my will but Yours, Lord." It's not okay, and never will be fully okay until heaven, when I can hold my little one in my arms. In the moments I am able to trust, I can see how the Lord had mercy and spared us further suffering - my miscarriage was peaceful and physically non-traumatic. But the emotional wound is deep. As a mother, the loss of a child is unimaginable. You feel your womb ought be the safest place for your child, not the location of their death.

It is appropriate for me that this tragedy took place during Lent, a time when we walk with our Lord to Calvary, remembering His outpouring of love, His embracing of all our hurt and failure. Even though He did not Himself experience the loss of a baby, I find consolation in knowing that He too experienced the loss of beloved ones. He was present with His mother at the death of His earthly father, St. Joseph. I heard recently at Mass that during His lifetime, our Lord experienced every range of hurt and sorrow and suffering, sharing fully in our human experience.

And so I give Him my aching, empty heart. I give Him the parts that need to heal. I rejoice in the signs of His love surrounding me everyday: I treasure my son, Matthew, without whom I probably would have been more depressed. Every time I felt like sobbing, he would do something silly and as I laughed at him, I felt consoled and my heart ached a little less. I treasure my husband, Jonathan, who was exactly what I needed him to be during this time. We shared in this sorrow together, and I love him all the more for having endured this with me. I treasure all of you, my friends and family, who walked with me every step of the way, sharing my cross by offering words of love, prayer, and support.

Jesus was with me through you all. And He was with me when I was alone with my grief. He did not abandon me in my tears, but brought me through the dark night into a new dawn. Jesus, I trust in You. I trust, even when it hurts, even when I'm angry and feel empty, even when I doubt. I choose to trust and embrace Your will for my life and family. I give you my pain. I give you my will, my desire, my plan for life, my control. I know that You are in control, that You know the why, even if I fail to see it.

I choose to trust. I embrace the new life that Easter brings.

And I have a little angel waiting for me in heaven - darling, I can't wait to meet you, kiss you, hold you, play with you. Know that your Mama loves you, if from afar. Know that I pray for you, and pray for us too, baby. I will see you soon.

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