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THE VEIL OF GRIEF

This poem is dedicated to anyone who has had the veil of grief overshadow their life. Maybe it was the death of a loved one, a divorce, separation or mental illness.  Jesus is there to lift the veil of grief with His gift of grace.

In times of sorrow God grows our character in ways never imagined. He teaches us  to trust and lean on the promises of the cross. If grief is putting you through the refining fire, know there is hope in Jesus. The veil of grief has draped my life more times than I care to remember. My life bears proof that hope, God’s grace and prayer can lift the veil. The light of day will again emerge.
Click below to hear an audio reading of this poem.

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grief

We know your pain; we’ve been there, when there are no words to say
And overwhelming sadness fills each and every day.
When the soul cannot find comfort and there is no way to share
The loneliness and silent sorrow we are left alone to bear.

When our cry is, “God where are you? Have you abandoned me?”
When the spirit is so broken and hope cannot be seen.
When grief has cast its shadow on the mercies of God’s grace;
And prayers are merely heartfelt moans as we fall before God’s face.

Hush, hush I say, whose voice is that, who speaks so quietly?
The words are but a whisper but resonate with me.
“I heal the broken hearted and bandage all their wounds;
A promise made to mankind when Jesus left the tomb.”

“I am closer than you know, my child, and angels are ever near.
As silent anguish pours from your soul, I say to you, I hear.
My Word has shaped and formed you; your life is in my hands,
From the moment of conception, it was a life divinely planned.”

“Don’t think you are forgotten, for all heaven knows your name.
Every broken dream is noted; and I am with you in your pain.
Each night I gather all your tears and store them in my heart
To infuse them with My blessed hope, to give you a new start.”

And then the voice grew silent, and peace rained down on me.
The veil of grief was lifted and I knew with certainty
That joy replaces sorrow and in Him all Hope restored
When I enter the Throne Room of Heaven and bow before my Lord.

I will seek to find safe shelter in the fortress of my King.
And let Jesus be my refuge as I hide beneath His wings.
With outstretched arms He reaches out each time I call His name.
He is the Rock on which I stand, my Redeemer, who forever reigns.

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© 2013 Nouveau Designs LLC. No portion of this poem may be used without the written consent of the owner.

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EDITING THE TRUTH

Quotation marks make us accountable. Those little double quotes force us to claim ownership to the words we speak and write. Quotation-Marks2[1]

We live in a generation where it is acceptable to edit the truth. Words are rearranged and manipulated to feed our ego; quotation marks are in places they should not be. Little thought, if any, is given to the consequences of living outside the quotation marks of God’s Word.

On a daily basis we witness sworn testimonies from government officials filled with lies and deceit. Even our presidents are not above living outside the quotation marks of truth. Media sources no longer concern themselves with the integrity and acceptable behavior of our leaders.

It has become acceptable to source lies within quotation marks for selfish gain. Consider this comment from American Journalist, E.Z. Gunderson,

“Every president is going to lie to you. Every politician is going to lie to you. The question is which lies can you live with?”

There are many times I conveniently appoint my own ego to be the editor of my life story that sets in motion an ego feeding frenzy of edits, rewrites and revisions. It isn’t long before I am living outside the quotation marks defined by God; my motives, thoughts and words are no longer directed by Him. I have lost sight of truth.

We need a spiritual editor.

An editor helps us define the boundaries of truth. They keep our ego from compromising the integrity of a story, fix our punctuation screw-ups and ensure the story line moves in the right direction. As a writer, I know the value of an editor and as a Christian; I know the value of a spiritual editor.

My spiritual editor is God. His superior editing skills ensure my spoken words are filled with truth, integrity and purpose. His editorial services are provided free of charge and a bonus study guide The Bible is included. It’s filled with editorial evaluations, suggested revisions and tips on how to live life between the quotation marks.

God is our editor-in-chief with knowledge of the accepted grammatical protocol critical to publishing our life story. He knows where to place periods for closure, insert commas to slow us down, semicolons to keep us connected and quotation marks to define truth.

Let God edit your life story and make it a best seller.  

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MY WORST DAY EVER!

MY WORST DAY EVER!

My Worst Day Ever

It was the end of the school day for the grandkids. I slowly edged my Jeep to the front of the parent pick-up line that wrapped around the parking lot. When the doors to my vehicle finally opened, back packs and lunch bags were tossed on the seats while rambunctious grandkids scrambled to buckle seat belts. On the drive home, I ask everyone about their day. My oldest grandson, age ten, was quick to reply,

 “It was the worst day of my life, NeeNee!” “Do you want to tell me about it?” I asked.   “Well, NeeNee, I was asked to do the school announcements over the P.A. system in the main office and I messed up really bad. Then, I accidentally knocked over a snow globe on the secretary’s desk; it broke open and the liquid stuff spilled on her papers. And that’s not all.”

He went on to explain, in great detail, the playground and classroom incidents that caused problems and ended with, “It wasn’t my fault, NeeNee. The whole day was just awful!”  I groped to find words of comfort, but “I’m sorry, buddy”, were the only words that came to mind.

We tend to over-dramatize our ‘worst day’ moments.

As I pulled the Jeep into the driveway the kids bounded into the house as I shouted, “Play nicely and find something to do until your mommy gets here.” My words were wasted. Within five minutes it was a ‘somebody did something to somebody’ scenario followed by accusations, tears and a total melt-down by my oldest grandson. I sent him to another room for a brief time-out.

When I went to check on him, he was sitting on the top bunk. He said nothing but his glare spoke louder than any words. I stood silent for a few moments before asking, “Why are looking at me with such anger?”

“You ALWAYS side with Olivia (his younger sister),” he said, and then gushed out an outpouring of all the things he has suffered during his ten years of life.

Sometimes we need to put on our listening ears.

How many times have you removed your listening ears when a friend, family member or Almighty God is trying to help you work through those ‘worst day ever’ moments? I readily admit to shoving wax in my ears, burying my head under the covers and casting eyeball looks that silently scream “leave me alone”. Maybe it is a defense mechanism when we aren’t sure how to deal with situations we don’t understand.

As I walked into the time-out room and I locked eyes with my grandson, I knew it was a WWJD moment (What Would Jesus Do) moment.  He had tears streaming down his face and there was anger in his heart; he was in need of comfort.

How do you encourage someone ensnared in a ‘worst day of my life’ moment? I sure wish I had an absolute answer. I spoke only the following words to my grandson,

“Buddy, God knows all about our ‘worst days’. His Son, Jesus, was wrongly accused and blamed for many things; but God was always there to help. When you call out to God in prayer, He is more than willing to turn your anger and “worst days’ into joy.”

Shortly after our conversation my grandson emerged from his time-out session smiling and ready to play. I never questioned him about the obvious change of heart; I can only assume he decided to let God manage his “worst day ever”.

“I will turn your mourning into dancing and surround you with joy.”  Psalm 30:11

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ATTIC DREAMS

Climbing the narrow steps to my attic has never been an easy task. It becomes more difficult with age, but to decorate for Christmas a trip to the attic is essential. I will admit having my body bent in a hunchback position while shuffling around boxes (and muttering a few choice curse words every time my head hits the overhead trusses) is not my idea of fun.

It is amazing what you find in the attic.

When I visit the attic, questions come to mind. Questions like, “Did I really save an entire box of my daughter’s grade school memorabilia, and why? Or, “where should I display all the baby teeth collected by the tooth fairy?” Yes, of course, it’s a rhetorical question but it does make one wonder about those things we shove into the attic.
I don’t know about you, but at age eighty, I don’t foresee myself climbing the attic ladder to sift through pasted first grade crafts; or finding any value in pictures colored outside the lines or report cards bearing satisfactory check marks.

Forgotten dreams are buried in the attic.

This year my trip to the attic revealed a few forgotten dreams. There was the box filled with my troll dolls from the early 60s and the felt clothes I crafted with a pair of blunt end scissors. It was my dream of being a fashion designer. The shoebox of doll furniture was my dream to decorate the homes of famous people.

As my hand brushed the dust from the cover of a binder, my heart skipped a beat. It was a collection of children’s poetry, songs and writings from the early 80s. The contents of that binder held my ultimate dream; to one day author a book.

In our youth, we dream big and nothing seems impossible. At age eight, I dreamed of marrying Chuck Connors from the TV show ‘Rifleman’. At age twelve it was the dream of walking the runway at the Miss America pageant.

Life is full of dreams.

An occasional trip to the attic to revisit our buried dreams might not be such a bad idea. Some of our dreams may never be realized.  The dream of being a pro-football player may never happen, but coaching a little league team is within reach.

Maybe you never fulfilled your dream of teaching; then volunteer at your child’s school. Didn’t finished that law degree? Consider mentoring someone who has fallen through the cracks of our justice system. So, you aren’t the rock star you hoped to be; maybe you didn’t make the grades to reach that medical school dream. It doesn’t matter. Everyone has an attic dream waiting to be uncovered even if we need to make revisions.

What is your attic dream?