Sunrise, Sunset

Is the little girl I carried? She danced and played with glee…
I don’t remember getting older, when did she?

Our only child graduates high school tomorrow. Wow! That happened fast!! I am not sure that I have really processed it all. Like most things, I probably will not until long after she crosses the stage. The good news is that she will spend at least the next year at home with us as she completes her core classes at the local community college while trying to discern her future plans. She has many talents and is gifted in the the arts. She is quite mature and definitely way more than I was at her age. I told her it is okay if she is not certain at this moment in time exactly what she wants to do. Many people who are “certain” change their minds or paths at least once. I did. I was going to be an English teacher, or so I thought. I even spent two semesters as an accounting major and never imagined I would land in healthcare which is right where I am supposed to be. So I told her, “Don’t sweat it. Our brains are not even fully developed until we are 25. Expecting that everyone has their life’s plan figured out by age 18 is not realistic.” Some may, but it is not requisite. Progress- that is the current goal , just forward movement and contemplative forward movement.

When she was baptized at age 8 she chose the scripture she wanted to share for her baptismal day. Some call this their life verse. I had no idea which scripture she had chosen until it was displayed with her picture on our church monitor. This is what she chose:

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 25:4-5

How appropriate a verse for even now. I pray she clings to this hope, promise and truth. Our God has a plan for her to employ the gifts he has bestowed upon her. I pray he guides and leads her path to where and how she will employ them.

I will enjoy this next year with her home with us as she continues to find her path. I hope to enjoy and seize the moments and keep nourishing her with life giving encouragement and mentorship. Her infancy was such a blur as I was in grad school, so I thank God that he has given me back some time. I aim to use it well. This will mean saying no to some good things so I can focus on some great things for this very brief season that will be gone even faster than these last 13 years. I know I will always be her parent, but this time with her in our own nest preparing her to take flight and soar is a very limited season. So I want to seize each moment.

In recent days leading up to this milestone I have inundated my social media pages with photos, memories, and a lot of nostalgic remembrances. I will show up tomorrow and enjoy the pomp and circumstance. I will cheer loudly when they say her name as she crosses that stage. This sweet girl is such an overcomer and tomorrow she will not only complete her 13 years of school, her 4 years of high school, and 21 hours of dual college credit, but she has overcome many obstacles. While she lived in full in her imaginative adventurous youthful years the transition into the teen years were challenging. She has endured the harsh slap in the face of puberty and some life events that led to esteem issues. She pressed on despite physical issues that at times we did not even understand and that had no name or diagnosis. She persisted despite mental health challenges that she downplayed because she did not want to burden others. She has overcome things I probably don’t even know about. So I celebrate every C just as they were A’s. I am as thrilled with her next step at community college as others would be with theirs going off to an Ivy League university.

What I think she has finally learned and perhaps life’s hardest lesson of all and it took me much longer to learn it that it has her is this- BE YOURSELF. LOVE YOURSELF. GOD MADE YOU FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY. Don’t apologize or feel bad for being different. It’s ok not to look like everyone else or live like everyone else as long as you never forget WHOSE you are- and you my precious child, my light from the Lord, are a daughter of the MOST HIGH and he has great plans for you and the best is yet to come!

Salty Tears

Ocean calls me
Like she’s my home
But I only just met her
And yet I belong

Waves rushing in
To greet the boulders
Waiting on the shore
Welcomes strangers
Same as friends

Sitting on that rock
Solitude and peace

Her icy waters soothe
Burning desires
deep soul wounds
Salty spray meets my tears
Been here a minute
Feels like years

Salt in my lungs
Water in my veins
Sun on my face
Here comes the pain

Quit holding back
Gotta let it out
Cry a sea of tears
Crashing waves of fear

Sand, sun, and sea
What a beautiful place
To make peace
With my grief

©️2023 sillypoeticnurse

Tears for Jerusalem

You wept over Jerusalem

Because they did not see

The grace that stood before them

The chance to be free

And the house of prayers

Became a den of thieves

You must weep for us now

Because we’re too blind to see

The grace offered to us all

The chance to be free

We prefer our cheap substitutes

We’ve murdered the mystery

We cling to earthly treasures

And have turned our back on Thee

Self sufficient but self has limits

Temporary pleasures of desire

Trying to warm ourselves in dying embers

Lost our touch with the Holy fire

So we bicker and fight and blame

We share so much doubt and pain

It’s more contagious than

The one hundred year plague

Despair corners us in and chokes

Out any last breaths of hope

And though I have not yet seen

the holy eastern land

I look on this land before me

And weep for my fellow man

Lord we need you

Wake us up

Too okay with sleeping

Or numbing pain with drugs

Lost our will to take a stand

Pain ain’t the only thing that’s numb

Our desire for justice for all

Our ability to discern the truth

On lies we sleep, slip and fall

We waste away our youth

Our lamp oil is running low

Wake us up from our slumber

Ready us, ignite our souls

Break this spell we’re under

Starting with seeds of doubt

self condemnation and ambitious gain

settling for counterfeit truth

Just to avoid temporary pain

Forgetting that for want of a horse

A kingdom can be lost not gained

Darkness has reared it’s head

And the headlines says evil wins

But Victory is still on the throne

It’s up to me to join in

Which side am I on?

Which side are you joining in?

Cause even the sidelines aren’t safe

And they are preying on our children

We have to stand up and fight

Or else we get sucked in

To the illusions of the night

And the labyrinths of our sins

All is not lost

But there is a cost

But a little pain

Is worth the gain

Of the precious lives at stake

Cause love alone is the final fight

and we have some ground to take

Peace Like a Sweater

This Second Sunday of Advent we light the candle symbolizing peace.
Peace – calmness, stillness, tranquility
May you steal away some quiet moments to sit in stillness and reflect on peace. I,
Shelly struggled with sitting still. I do still, but by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s work of transformation that is ongoing in my life , I have learned how to. But truly, I will tell you I am not sure I learned it really, but I opened myself up to receive it. One morning, it was a Saturday, my daughter was still young and I was still in those early days as a nurse practitioner where the learning curve was high and working in family practice was demanding and exhausting. Keeping up with a toddler was demanding and exhausting. I loved both(obviously the toddler more) but I was spent. In fact, financially for my family the NP part was necessary. So depleted on this Saturday morning I miraculously had a few moments to myself. I remember the echo of the scripture, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). I had heard it. I had read it. I had heard others preach it and advise it. I didn’t know how to do it. I sat at my breakfast table that Saturday morning and cried out to the Lord, “Lord, what is still?? And how do I be it????”. That morning was the first, but not the last when I was embraced with this calmness. This feeling of stillness and serenity, this way my soul felt that was beyond understanding. It descended upon me like a warm mist and seemed to envelop me like the softest, gentlest cashmere. Later that morning I was moved to pen a poem and from that morning much transpired in my spiritual journey. But for the sake of this Sunday, this moment we are just going to pause at that warm embrace of the gentle , calmness that soothed my weary , exhausted body, mind and soul.

That peace I cannot give but He does.
Ask Him for it.
Then open yourself up to receive it!

Carnelian Cluster

Leaves of bronze , cider, and merigold

Greens hide deep with strongest hold

But those painted with autumn’s brush

Soon will let loose and take the plunge

Falling down

To the ground

To be trampled on

Or gathered up

Giving a time of frolic and joy

To any spirited girl or boy

Don’t you just love the sound

crunch of leaves on the ground

Trees so kind to give up her coat

Despite Winter’s customary advent

Yet Winter is the one to gloat

And makes her entry in her own time

She has caught us unaware

Coming unexpectedly in the night

And times she made us beg her here

As if we’d offended and kept her in flight

And there are times our icy friend

She lingers just a bit too long

Though you bid her adieu

She refuses to take a clue

And just continues on and on

I think her to be a tad bit vain

Unlike the timely autumn rain

Yet our trees, rooted deep and strong

Are sustained by Earth’s warm core

Til Winter permits a new guest along

Then hues of green shall spring forth

Who do you trust?

I am awoken early this first of December morn. There is much in my heart and on my mind. Frustrations from injustices heaped upon me and others. A dear family grappling with a diagnosis we prayed against. Everything in my being wants to “fix it” or seek out someone or something that can. And yet this morning, the day after I lament to those close to me that I have not supped enough with the Lord in solitude as I know he has bid me to do, I am stirred from a deep sleep.

I reach for my phone as I often do, but no senseless scrolling this time. No there is a deep peace in this still, dark morning. My soul yearns for the Word and in the digital format at my fingertips, I am led to Isaiah. In Isaiah this message seems to bounce of the screen into my very marrow.

Stop trusting in humans -.

Myself- I promise I am quite aware of my own folly and shortcomings. Despite this I often spring to action to solve any problem placed before me or those I assess from afar seeking to solve them. For it is my nature and profession to assess, diagnose, and treat problems. Yet even that skill gets only so far in my own efforts. All the study and research and experience is empty apart from the Lord’s anointing of my call to serve others in medicine or even in my gift of exhortation.

In supervisors/leaders- The work place persons who seem to have control over my life and my team’s life due to their position are not the final authority. When the conflict began months ago, the Lord told me the battle is His. I am reminded again, ‘Don’t trust humans with even your professional life.’ They have mere breath in their nostrils. The one who placed the stars in the sky, who put in place that vast ocean, who hung that moon in just the right place , yes that same one who knitted me together in my mother’s womb and gave me the breath in my nostrils and my lungs, that One is where to place my trust even with these complex challenges. The battle is His. In my strength I get weary, because I am helpless due to their position. In His strength nothing is impossible.

A diagnosis handed by a series of tests from humans does not get the last word. I have personally been privileged to witness many odds defied. I need to remain in prayer , but trust and believe in healing. I know medical diagnoses are not the final word.

Approval addiction- I struggle with the desire for my friends, family, peers, even church family to approve of me. People pleasing and approval addiction is real and a life long thorn I shall contend with because I want to be liked, approved and thought of as a joy giver and peace bringer. I should still work in the gifts of exhortation granted me to bring peace and joy, but in conjunction with His will. “Who are you trying to please God or man?”

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ

Galatians 1:10

In this early contemplative advent morning I am reminded my faith is not in humans. My faith is not in myself. My faith is not even in my faith. All of these come up short. My faith is in the living God, Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, our Emanuel – God with us. In Christ alone – all other ground is sinking sand.


Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for awakening me to sup with you this morning as you know it is my heart’s desire to do so though my flesh often fails. Thank you for this word of discipline, for I know, Lord, you correct the ones you love (Hebrews 12:6). Lord I pray that those of us who are in you may walk in your light, your path, and your will. Help us not to look to trust man, but to trust you alone. For you are our Maker and Redeemer. Lord bless this advent season so that I and all my brothers and sisters who seek your face may hear from you so that we may sow the seeds that we may reap a bountiful harvest for Your Kingdom. Lord let your Kingdom come in my heart and let your will be done , not mine. Let my life be a living sacrifice for you and your people all for your glory, our loving, Holy, merciful , Great God. It is in the atoning blood of the lamb of God I have access so it is in His precious name, Jesus the Christ I pray.


The Handler

Making assumptions

Placing blame

What do you know

More than her name

Aren’t you just the same?

Why do we tear down

What we can’t understand

What we can’t control

Don’t you see it’s eating at me

But it’s marring your soul

Read the headlines

Took it as truth

Don’t think for yourself

We’ll do it for you

Such a dangerous game

There is no prize

But feeding the monster

Feeding the lies

And it’s insatiable

When will we learn

Yes fire burns

It also purifies

And we’ve got a lot

Of cleaning to do

Help me

Help you

Help us

See through

False truths and manipulation

Think it’s time for a long vacation

Because our minds are breaking down

Gonna make us good soldiers now

March in place

Cogs in the wheel

Feel exactly

How I want you to feel

Come on little puppets dance

Got to feed the monsters

Got to feed the flesh

Don’t you bother thinking

I’ll tell you what’s best

Cup of Life

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13 NIV

Blood of Christ, cup of salvation
Who doth drink from this cup?
Our cup was death
and sin’s poisonous effects.
He took that cup for us…
He drank it in our place

His blood was shed
and we- whose cup was death
now are offered to drink
from the cup of life and salvation

We who were far off are drawn close
Do you hear Him calling?

Puppet Master

Left , right, left

Cogs in a wheel

Don’t think, don’t feel

Unless I need you to feel

To manipulate your emotions

Create foolish notions

Giving me tighter reign

Of those puppet strings

Don’t do a thing

Unless I say so

Be a good soldier

Be a good robot.

March in place

I will tell your place

In this world

In this game

In my scheme

Costs you everything

Don’t cost me a thing