Road To Tomorrow (poem)

Consumed by fear

The world, so dark

A voice that echoes, alone

in a future so stark

Reach out for help

but nobody is there

Drowning, suffocating

Fighting for a breath of air

Twisting, spinning, turning

A frantic, racing heart

Closed eyes that can only see

that everything is falling apart

No hope for tomorrow

Barely able to see today

Living in days gone passed

Nothing to lead the way

Lost, scared, desperate

Ready to give tomorrow away

No road out of the dark

One way to stop the pain

But then . . .

A glimmer that can barely be seen

In the distance a flickering light

Drawing hope slowly forward

Tentative steps out of the night

The path becomes less rocky

The steps are more sure

As fear is left behind

and hope in tomorrow is secured

Don’t turn around

Don’t look behind

The dark path once traveled

has no power in the light

Let yesterday go

The gifts of today, enjoy, rejoice

Tomorrow is another new chance

Tomorrow is filled with hope

By:  Carrie Leigh

12.22-23.14

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What Christmas is really about

Tonight was once of the most fun nights I have had in a very long time.  Tonight I got to spend the evening with a group of friends from church.  These people are more than my friends though.  They are my family.

During this festive time of year we are drowning in must-do holiday activities.  There are company Christmas parties, Christmas programs at our children’s schools, caroling, decorating, gift shopping and wrapping, holiday dinner cooking, cards to be written and mailed.  With all the things that we feel we HAVE to do it is easy to lose sight of why we are doing it.

Christmas is not about gifts or pretty wrapping paper.  Christmas is not about the dinner your boss buys for the company once a year as he gives the obligatory you-guys-did-great-this-year-and-i’m-lucky-to-have-such-a-great-team-and-i’m-looking-forward-to-another-great-year-next-year speech.  Christmas is not about how juicy your ham or turkey is.  Christmas isn’t about how twinkly your tree is, or that awful elf on the shelf.  Christmas isn’t even about all of the cards that work their way through the mail this time each year.  If every single thing disappeared right now that we feel makes this time of year Christmasy then guess what . . . December 25th would still be Christmas.

Don’t believe me?  Go watch “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and then we’ll talk.

dr-seuss-quote-and-the-grinch-with-his-grinch-feet-ice-cold-in-the

The residents of Whoville . . . Or more appropriately, Dr. Seuss . . . was trying to remind us with that story that Christmas is not about all of the outward things we do.  Christmas will show up no matter how many lights are on your house.  Christmas will show up whether or not you go caroling, or prepare the prettiest and best-tasting roast beast.

Too many people have it stuck in their head that they can only sing Christmas carols in December.  If singing “let it snow” in the middle of an august heat wave makes a person happy then what’s to steop them?  Why can’t Christmas lights be strung in trees year-round?  The world could certainly use the extra color and twinkle.  Why do we spend hours and hours preparing a meal once a year and the other 364 days do good to boil water for Ramen noodles?  Why do we fight crowds of people in stores to buy gifts in only in December?  If Christmas were moved to July would that make it less merry and festive?

No, I am not knocking Christmas.  I love Christmas.  I love twinkly lights, Christmas carols, and seeing the look on my sons face when he opens his gifts.  But . . .

If I had my way I’d leave my lights up all the time, all year.  I sing Christmas carols all year long.  I surprise my family and friends with gifts whenever I see something that they’d like.  I’ve even been known to cook that entire holiday meal, including the roast beast, in the middle of summer.

Christmas is not one day of the year.  Christmas is a state-of-mind.  December 25th is the day we set aside to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is supposed to be the day we rejoice Him, praise Him, lift His name up.  It is His birthday.  The day is supposed to be about Him.

Nativity

When your birthday rolls around each year don’t you want the focus of the day to be on you?  So when Christ’s birthday comes each December 25th shouldn’t the focus be on Him?  Instead we focus on whether or not the turkey is too dry and if you really should have gotten your aunt that calligraphy kit instead of the oh-so-cute kitten sweater.

Christ is love.  God loves us so much that he gave us His son through Mary.  Jesus was God’s Christmas gift to us.  Christmas is about love . . . sharing our love of our friends and family with them as God showed it to us through the birth of Christ.  Shouldn’t that love be shared every day of the year and not just on one day in December?  Shouldn’t that love be shown through small acts when they are least expected rather than through a haze of torn wrapping paper and lumpy gravy one day a year?

December 25th is a day for Jesus, but too many people forget it’s meaning in the commercialized push for year-end sales.

Tonight I got to spend the evening with my Lifegroup.  Lifegroups at my church are small groups that meet once a week to grow in our relationships with Christ and each other.  We share a meal.  We fellowship.  We get to know each other.  We study God’s word.  We are friends, and we are family.  Tonight my Lifegroup got together to celebrate Christ and the relationships that he had formed within our church and in our group.  We shared a potluck meal of everybody’s favorite-to-make-at-home dishes.  We laughed.  We talked.  We played games.  We enjoyed each others company.  It was the best Christmas memory I’ve made in a very long time.  Tonights memory would have been no less meaningful had it occurred in March, July, or October because tonight wasn’t about gifts or any of the other commercial trapping associated with this time of year.  Tonight is was about my church family spending time together the way Jesus intended his people to do . . . in praise of His name and thankful for all the blessing in our lives.  The relationships we have in my Lifegroup are one of the biggest blessings in my life.

Most of us had never met before walking into that church.  A year ago I didn’t know a single one of them.  But tonight I can sit here and say that if I were to need anything I could call anyone of those people and they would be there for me without hesitation.  That is the meaning of Christmas . . . showing the love of Christ not just in December, but every single day.

So why do we stress over one day of the year when the Lord wants us to celebrate Him each day?

This December 25th as you are carving the ham and making sure you have enough eggnog make sure you take a moment to remember why you are celebrating.  Take a moment to wish a happy birthday to Christ, especially after all that He ultimately gave for you.

jesus-on-the-cross

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Until next time . . .

Unwelcome (poem)

Just when I think you’re gone

you haunt me in a dream

The one place I can’t escape you

The last place you find me

I turn my head and there you are

A reminder of what is gone

Tempting me to go back to that place

The battle still wages on

I’ve come too far to turn back to you

I’ve fought so hard to escape

You come to me in the night

Because you’re unwelcome in my days

Try all you want to pull me back

Slip your way into my dreams

But you have no power in my life

You no longer mean anything to me.

By:  Carrie Leigh

12.20.14

New (poem)

Who am I now

I’m not who I was

Getting to know

the new woman I’ll be

I’ve said goodbye

to the things of my past

as I look to tomorrow

with new hopes and dreams

I was incomplete as I was

I was walking blind

My eyes closed to everything

I’ve popped the bubble and am free

Reaching for tomorrow

whatever it may hold

Eyes opened and bright

Getting to know the new me

By:  Carrie Leigh

12.20.14

Looking Back (poem)

You mean more to me
Than you will ever know
In my heart lies a love for you
That I’ll never be able to show
How is beauty defined
How do you put words to laughter and tears
Can anything describe a hug
How do you paraphrase the years
A simple shared memory
Speaks a thousand silent words
That encompasses our little friendship
In this great big world
I look back over the years
And see how far we’ve come
All of our ups and downs, laughter and fights
And I pray we’re far from done
Two people brought together
While so many others have walked away
We found a friendship
That endures day after day

By:  Carrie Leigh
12.16.14

But Now I See (poem)

How is it possible to see through closed eyes
To live always in the dark
Then to open your eyes, be filled with light
And have the truth flood your heart
Was the truth always in front of my eyes
Or was it hiding away unseen
Was it ignored because it would hurt
To destroy an image so clean
To finally see a person
For what is really inside
To see the truth beneath their masquerade
And to learn they’re actually a lie
All the words that once had meaning
Are now quicksand beneath their feet
As I question everything about their life
And what it says about me
Opened eyes blinded by truth
Are closed once again
As I can finally see what hides inside
Someone I called a friend
Manipulative words and a deceiving heart
With loyalty that lies nowhere
My eyes have been opened and see you clear
For the chameleon hiding in thin air

By:  Carrie Leigh
12.15.14

Freehand (poem)

Another night, another day
Another ink pen writing the way
No ideas or feelings that need to come out
Just a writers hand that needs to move about
Words with no meaning spill onto the page
Words that hide no love, hate, joy or rage
To carefully form the letters into simple words
And create a piece where there was none in the world
No words to share, no thought to impress
To just decorate the page in ink like a silk dress
To find the rhythm and the rhyme
To make a mark in wordless time
To wander and move in the ink pens dance
And to wipe the writers slate clean with lucid chance
Bits and pieces, fragments and shards
Leftover from other writings that struggled so hard
An ink pen emptied as a page is filled
Creating blurred lines of what is real
To just let my pen go, let my itchy hand write
To put my thoughts to sleep for one more wordless night

By:  Carrie Leigh
12.15.14

Cigarette Light (poem)

Sitting in the dark, alone, awake
A cigarette casts the only light
Swirling thoughts in a racing mind
Keep me company in the night
Words and pictures fill my mind
Of what has passed and is yet to be
All the things that I have done
All the things that still are dreams
What are the words yet to be written
In the dark nights still to come
Words written by sleepless cigarette light
When everyone else’s day is done

By:  Carrie Leigh
12.14.14

Healing heart (poem)

One day the memories won't hurt
when they rush forward so fast
One day those memories will mean nothing
And will stay forever in the past
One day it won't take my breath away
or feel like a brick wall caving in
One day my heart won't stop
when the memories start to spin
My heart will never let you go
You'll always be somewhere in my mind
But one day I'll be able to look forward without you
Instead of waiting for your memory to sneak up from behind.

By:  Carrie Leigh
12.08.14