The Reality of Inaccurate “feel good quotes” …

crop person hand in broken mirror

Photo by Bruno Pires 

Sometimes as I scroll my Facebook and Instagram I see what seems to be a fabulous and profound quote…but then…but wait…I saw one that said, “rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” Another one I saw said, “Nothing is worth it if you aren’t happy.”  Well, while this might sound like accurate loquaciousness in the emotional sense, it is not accurate in the journey of life, at least not in my experience of 64 years on the planet. A storm is defined in the dictionary this way, “a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow OR a tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy.”

And happiness has nothing to do with some situation or someone’s worth…there are limitless relationships, and situations that are totally worth it and totally hard!

The Truth is that you are born into a storm, into a world of tumultuous reaction, uproar, and controversy. It is called a “Fallen World of Sin and therefore broken.” I see no way that a human being can “rise” above any storm on their own.    See Romans 6:23.

Some might see my outlook as discouraging which is not my goal. However, if you believe God’s Word and you read and understand what occurred in Genesis chapter 3 then you will also understand that if you read the whole Bible there is good news and a solution to “THE STORM”…and He, Jesus, is the provider of Joy.

That is because happiness is an emotion in which we “experience feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure,” whereas joy “is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness.”  (Dr, Hud McWilliams). We experience joy when we achieve selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice.”

In the storm of an abusive childhood, or a miscarriage, a broken marriage, a health battle, an addiction, a mental illness, financial destitution, a death of your most beloved, and on the list goes…there is not a way around this storm! This storm touches everything and everyone from sunrise to sunset…There is no place in scripture where it says that we, in and of ourselves, will rise above anything. “Jesus said, without me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Many places in scripture we are promised, by God, that he will go with us through the storm, the suffering, and His Spirit will not leave nor forsake us. It does not tell us that we will be relieved from the lonely unlit path of the storm or that we will not get hurt by the storm. Again, the promise is that God will be with us through the pain.

In a time when Bible illiteracy in and outside of the Church is evident, I believe words of encouragement need to be accurate more than ever.

2 Corinthians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

There you go

woman in car with road reflection on window at night

Photo by Masha Raymers on

There you go down that road that leads to the same old pain.

Now you can only travel solo but there’s nothing you will gain.

This life you lead is yours to seize and no one can do it for you.

There you go behind your wall hiding all your clues

You shout because you cannot be brave and now you lose.

There you go again and I feel nothing now your gone.

Even the dried saltwater on the stones…

green grass during sunset

Photo by Nathan Cowley

 

Every part is beautiful.

Every wave is different.

Every seashell my passioned treasure.

Every color of blue and green soothes my soul.

There is music in the rolling of water to shore.

The seagulls sing harmony in a minor key.

The eastern morning sun rises like Heaven’s coda.

The sunset in the West a goodnight lullaby from God.

I kiss the sea oats whispering secrets to the dunes.

I love even the dried saltwater upon the pathway stones.

I am a Texas girl through and through,

but my Florida beach is the place I have to return to.

A tether, a life line in it’s order to refuel and renewal.

Just me, God, and the salty sea, my triage

It is all a gift of dreams to me that I gratefully adore

City Girl Angel

woman wearing wings

Photo by Keenan Constance 

 

He said he could never forget his city girl angel

under the silver moon of the Lone Star state

A fast moving Angel with lightening in her eyes

she could never abide anyone being fake

 

She loves the deep blue sea and the endless Texas sky

She is not a big crier but doesn’t like goodbyes

Sunday morning Allelujahs  clear through Saturday night

She is his city girl angel with honey in her smile

 

He said no one can forget his city girl angel

She is kind and funny and wild

So the night she died on that Texas highway

She simply smiled at him and took her flight

Night So Long

grayscale photography of train station

Photo by Wallace Chuck 

I think I missed my cue

in the seismic gap between us.

The drama is widening it all the while.

There is a rawness in your eyes

burning ashes fill the sky.

The midnight train is passing by

is this my cue to cry?

A night so long and you move on

and I never say goodbye.

 

The Song

woman holding a moon

Photo by Ruvim 

The sea grass sways like a waltz that makes a pathway  to the dunes.

Her body casts a shadow beneath a snow white moon.

The warm breeze smells like a salty seaweed lullaby.

The tall sea oats whisper in  tempo with their peaceful sighs.

She follows the resounding song that leads her to the shore

and wonders how the ocean seems to know that she has been here before.

She is welcomed to the water and the sand soothes her aching feet

and she marvels at the miracle where sky and ocean meet.

She kneels in the warmth of this waltz and says a grateful prayer

then she is dancing once more to the Song of The Holy Ones’s love and care.

It Is A Civil War

crashing waves

Photo by Ray Bilcliff 

As I sit by the ocean and hear it’s deeply powerful roar.

The waves seem so angry and crash on the shore.

Brother against brother like I have not seen before.

My heart cries at the hatred, it is a Civil War.

Everyone is talking but it is just a screaming noise.

Oh God show us mercy for all we’ve destroyed.

 

 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1John4:8

John 3:16.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

 

 

Exposed and Authentic

brown sand

Photo by Miri on Pexels.com

 

The salty air lay thick upon my skin.

Laughter in the village sings so sweetly.

Never does a hard day meet me here,

when I walk by the sea in God’s keeping.

 

This beach helps me see outside of my self,

and find The One who is the Hope of all things.

Exposed and authentic the waves hit my feet,

with no fear of the dance tomorrow will surely bring.

 

I will sing in this His cathedral

of sky and sand and sea.

I praise The Holy One who cannot be undone

and give thanks as He walks here with me.

The Shell Seeker

 

 

brown sand

Photo by Miri

Standing on the highest sand dune people moved back and forth on the ground below.  She no longer has their youthfulness of an unlined face but she knew she finally possessed the joy of ageless Grace. The pilgrimage called her to this beautiful place. The wind and the sun an old friend on her face.

Now she is the shell seeker in the wide brimmed hat, as a child playing in the sun she’d laughed at people like that. She remembers younger  days when she grew weary but now the days of peace are what linger here.  Emotions don’t obey the rules they are the heartbeat in being human.  Like waves reaching the shore emotions can be kept for a moment but are better when given away.

The shell seeker’ s eye remains clear and adept while watching the children play. She knows that life is not going back but more of giving it away. The Truth is, life consists in learning and loving well with Grace underneath God’s sun.  To remain whole in the midst of life’s ups and downs, to surrender all secrets and lies is anointing oil to the soul. To shed insincerity and live in the present, the waves echo behind her now compelling her to go on.

Emmet

green grass during sunset

Photo by Nathan Cowley

 

The daybreak drizzle has moved out to sea.

The dawning clouds are steel gray.

The wind is about 10 knots up from the Gulf Stream.

Nations have risen and fallen, two world wars, more political unrest, man has gone to the moon and the World Wide Web has come along, but nothing much has changed on this little wedge of the island.

The tide goes in and out.

The gulls and cranes still swoop and dive and the dolphin still dance. The beautiful gold sea oats continue to hold the sand dunes together…
But now you… have been born!

Your little smile, your hands and feet have changed everything.

I cannot smile without you.

There are very few words of wisdom I will give you as you grow up and let me into your world of sticks, and bugs, and rocks.

You will sleep the sleep of the blessed each night and when I get the chance I will tuck you in.

What I will do my grandson is love you. Love you unconditionally with all of my being and spirit.

Long after I am gone I will still watch over you and love you with a love that has no end.

The daybreak is clearer now, the sea breeze cleansing. The wars and internet have no meaning to me now.

The tide is a beautiful dance and all of God’s creatures perform just for you.

The sand dunes are for you to climb and my whole world is golden.