“My Poetry is Ministry”

Recently within the past couple of weeks, I’ve struggled with comparing myself to other creatives, specifically other poets. This caused me to experience a lack of expression because I was too caught up in what other people were doing. I found myself forcing words onto my paper rather than truly finding inspiration in my day-to-day, and I longed to please others rather than to write what I feel, and connect with others through that.

Most importantly, I forgot where my ultimate source of creativity comes from; I fixed my eyes on myself rather than on my Creator who blessed me with the gift of creativity.

After talking with Honey (my stepmom, for those who haven’t been reading my blog recently), I was inspired to write this poem. She said some wise things that I’ve incorporated here, one of which is the actual title of the poem – “My Poetry is Ministry.” I’m grateful to have such a godly woman of the Lord in my life to help steer me back on the right path when I feel like I’ve been lost.

So Honey, I dedicate this poem to you. Thank you for your prayers, and for always looking to the Lord so that you may speak His Word to others. 💛

“My Poetry is Ministry”

My poetry is ministry,

And I have treated it lately with such

Carelessness — scribbling down verses and words to try to impress rather than to

Try to connect.

My focus shifted towards selfish ways and it became more about filling a page and

I let comparison run rampant through my brain,

When what I truly needed was

My Father’s grace – the grace that bestowed this

Gift of words to me in the first place that

Birthed such beauty from ashes that I sat in —

Grieving a loss, questioning the purpose of my pen, trying to

Comprehend where I was headed, where my value lied.

My Father’s grace is the only thing that keeps my poetry alive it

Makes me feel like I don’t even have to try because it

Freely flows and

The inspiration is divine and

I know this to be true because

When I look back at what I’ve written when my heart is aligned,

There’s absolutely no way that it came from my own mind.

So, first things first —

My words are more than just sowed together scribbles that simply sound deep and that,

As my stepmother once told me,

“Could contain hell underneath,” no,

The bars I spit originate from the Most High and are

Spoken and written through me —

“A broken reed, a smoldering flame.”

Yes, my poetry is ministry so

Take my name out of the equation and see

Nothing

But my Father’s grace.

#MishyWrites 🦋🌿

GROWTH – Part 2: watered

While I was staying with my grandparents, and then transitioning to the house I would dog sit at for the weekend, it rained for a couple of days straight. If you know me, rainy weather isn’t my soul weather at all; I take well to extremely sunny days where I don’t need a jacket, and I can where shorts and crop tops.

Truly, as I walked through the pouring rain into my workplace, this is where the “GROWTH” blog series began. Because it was the beginning of March, and I was thinking about how much I’d grown in the past couple of years, even in the past couple of months in 2018, and as the rain fell hard against my rain coat, and my rain boots squished through puddles of water, I thought of myself as a plant being watered.

It made me ask myself: what was watering my soul, my mind, my heart? Just as any plant needs water to grow, I needed things to replenish myself. So, I just wanna share this question and a few more that came from this thought to help you evaluate yourself and where you are:

– What people were helping me recover from unexpected circumstances?
– What atmospheres created a safe space for me to sink my roots in and thrive?
– What was I thirsty for, and what was quenching that thirst?
– Were these things/people/places that were watering me causing me to grow or causing me to wilt?

Even this question ran through my mind: Was I being over-watered by anything, anyone, any place? How could I disconnect from that negative source?

Whatever season you are in – a comfortable place, uprooted to a new place, in need of watering, or maybe even flourishing – I hope you take the time to ask yourself these questions from time to time to evaluate exactly where you are and where you’re headed, and what is helping or hurting you from healing or getting where you need to be.

#MishyWrites 🦋🌿

“uprooted” – The Poem

You moved me and I didn’t want to go.
I complained and sighed at the inconvenience of the timing of my misfortune; I was moved from my comfort zone and
Placed in a spot where I didn’t expect to bloom.
Initially I longed for the familiar dirt that I’d grown so well in…
How was I supposed to realign my leaves and branches back
Towards the sun, towards the Light
That I’d hidden from under shades of
Distraction and shifted focus when
I wasn’t in the secure location that allowed me to
Grow and thrive?
A couple of days later I found that I’d
Slowly adjusted –
That I no longer longed for the soil that I’d built a routine in but
My Maker had realigned my focus back towards Him and
Away from my discomfort, and in the ability of me or my surroundings to
Fix my problems.
My roots, although displaced,
Grew deeper and stronger and more dependent in my Maker’s Hands and care.
My uproot from there to here was more necessary and bigger than my mind could comprehend.

#MishyWrites

GROWTH – Part 1: uprooted

Due to some unforeseen toilet issues, I was crashing at my grandparents’ house all last week. Thankfully, the issues were resolved towards the end of the work week; however, I took up a dog/house-sitting gig located in the same area that my grandparents live in, so needless to say, I didn’t get the chance to stay in my house at all last week.

At the beginning of all this, I was really frustrated; I had to move a lot of my belongings from my home to a new location, which always means I’m bound to forget something important. My routine was thrown slightly off, although it was nice to be a little closer to work than usual. Last week just wasn’t what I intended it to be.

But as the week went on, my frustration subsided, and my perspective of the situation shifted. This year, my sister and I decided to see my grandparents who live in the area more often than we had in the past, so we see them two Sundays out of the month, hanging out at the house, catching up with them, sometimes eating dinner with them.

Last week I was given the opportunity to be in their lives for more time than I usually am. I was able to talk to them more about specific things affecting my life and their lives. I heard where they spent their time, and who they spent their time with during the week. And of course, I got a lot of grandparent lovin’, and who doesn’t want that?

It made me more grateful to be with them, despite the uproot of my belongings and my routine. Although uncomfortable and inconvenient at first, I see the benefits of being with my grandparents, and even being away from my own home. I can’t say exactly why God allowed this to happen this week, but the thoughts and ideas of an uproot – of changes, shifts, relocation come to mind…

Maybe last week I needed to be separated from my home because I was getting too comfortable with my normal routine. Sometimes monotony can cause me to forget the bigger picture of who I am/who God has called me to be, where I am, what I’m working towards, etc. It can also bring about lack of motivation, which I honestly have been feeling a little bit of. Maybe it was just time to spice things up a bit.

Maybe I needed to get out of my house to realign my focus. Truthfully, February brought about a lot of changes for me – some good, some bad. I started eating horribly again (after Valentine’s Day hit with all that sugar, I could. Not. Stop.), I began doing more things towards reaching my goals, which is good, but I was also losing so much sleep, and I was filling my days with so many events/meetings/hang outs, I would get to the end of my days and wonder what I even did during the day. And, of course, I barely blogged at all during the month because I was doing more running around. I was moving so much, my focus was off. And maybe I needed to just dive into a new space to shift everything back into place.

And I almost finished this blog post, but as I re-read the above paragraph, I can’t help but get excited. Because I used a word that I’d been praying about all last week and into this week, that God would just work through it – the word realignFor me, the significance stems from the line of a song titled “Born Again” by Cory Asbury, in which he sings, “Realign my heart and help me keep the first things first.” All I’m saying is…if this whole week was part of the answer to my prayer, I am extremely humbled and in awe of my God. Like, wow. His care for His children always blows me away.

Maybe my uproot was necessary to stimulate my creativity. It gets harder to write the more normal my routine is, the more comfortable I am with where I am. It also gets harder to write when I’m just crashing in the bed at night instead of giving myself time to wind down like I did at the beginning of the year. I’m telling you, February rocked my world.

And honestly, all of this has inspired a new theme for the month of March – growth. I had already planned to focus more on nature/greenery/green things this month anyway on my Instagram, and for my poetry, but last week the Lord really revealed Himself to me, tapped me on the shoulder, and whispered, Just watch what I do here as I move you up to your grandparents’ house for the week. Wait for me to reveal to you the positives of this uproot, and the lessons you need to learn. Listen to my voice as you go throughout this week in a different way than you normally would. See what I’m showing you? Now, go; work with what I’ve given you, what I’ve put inside you.

So, here I am doing just that. Yes, I’m still working through this, and I’m HELLA EXCITED that I’m in the midst of it. Yes, I just started a little mini-series of blog posts for the time-being, and I honestly wasn’t even expecting it to be like this, BUT HERE WE ARE!

And YES…there will be a set of poems about this. Stay tuned for the next parts of this series and the poems!

#MishyWrites #GROWTH 

“One Word” Update

Do you remember when I blogged last week about my church going through a series about finding our “one word” that the Lord has placed on our hearts to really focus on throughout the year? Well, I feel like I may know what my word is – “brave.”

There have been so many words that have come to mind through this past week – the ones I’ve blogged about, and a couple of others have also come up. And I just couldn’t feel the Lord pulling me in one direction or another. And this past Sunday, as I sat in church and listened to my pastor preach about sowing and reaping, the word “brave” came to my mind.

If I were to look back on my life, there have been moments in which I was brave, and moments when I wished I was braver than I was. And even as I think about where I am now, and what I strive to accomplish and learn from the Lord this year, the word “brave” really just fits.

For instance, right now I’m dealing with a website that I launched in the middle of last year that is in need of some recovery, revision, and reboot. I was honestly really discouraged about it towards the end of last year, and it’s taken me a lot of motivation and reminders to get back into picking it up off the ground. In other words, I feel like I really need to be brave during this time, and dealing with this situation.

Yes, I do want to do things this year that I’ve never done, and that takes courage/bravery. One of the major things I want to do is delve into who the Lord is, who Jesus is. That may sound so silly to some, but I feel like I’ve heard about God and Jesus all my life, and unfortunately, it’s just become a common topic of my day, not anything earth-shattering, even though it’s the basis of my faith, my life. It takes courage to get out of the mundane, the typical, and admit that I don’t know everything, and need to learn more about Who my Savior is, and how deep His love is.

One reason I didn’t think “brave” was my word in the first place was because I am currently reading a devotional book revolving around being brave, and I’m even going through it during my #MotivationalMishyMondays on Instagram live! I figured it was too simple for me to say that “brave” was my word when I was reading and learning about it every day. But God doesn’t try to trick His children; I think my word’s been under my nose this entire time, and I just haven’t realized it until recently.

I’m still going to pray on it though, make sure that this is the word that the Lord has for me to focus on. But I just feel like bravery is rooted in so many things I need to focus on.

I’ve expressed several times here that I’m a worrier, and I’ve always been a worrier since I was a child. Thankfully, the Lord has helped me through my worry as I’ve gotten older, but recently, I’ve felt the same type of worry that I used to as a kid start creeping back into my life. It’s so weird how you think you’re over something, but then when it’s brought back into your life, you can feel the familiarity of it; you remember what it was like in all the ways – emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically.

As I thought about my worry, I thought about the root of it – why did I worry about certain things, people, situations? And I thought, My worry is rooted in fear – Fear of the possibilities of things going a certain way, or people doing/saying things, etc. And if I am to face my fears and worries…I need to be brave. Brave enough to remember that the Lord knows my heart, knows my fears and worries, and is with me no matter what happens. Brave enough to continue to live without fear, because fear holds me back from doing and saying so much.

Just because my word for the year is possibly “brave,” it doesn’t mean that I will totally learn to conquer fear by the end of the year. But I have faith that the Lord is capable of doing that in me, if I trust in Him to teach me how to be brave, and obey Him when He calls me to be. And even if my “one word” isn’t “brave,” I still feel like it’s something I need to continue to learn as I go throughout my life.

So, this week, I pray that the Lord would continue to conquer my fears and worries, and that He would show me in specific ways how to be brave.

#MishyWrites

Worth the Wait

It’s Tuesday, and I haven’t gone back into work this week yet because of MLK day, and today is a snow day (praying to see some actual snow since nothing’s happened yet, if I’m being honest haha). But it’s been really nice to have some slow mornings – waking up when I’ve had enough sleep, not because I have to get up to go to work. Making my breakfast, and having my quiet time for longer than usual. Working out and showering in my own time.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how nice it is to have days when you can go at your own pace, especially when I used to be someone who felt like I had to go-go-go every minute I had, otherwise I felt like I was wasting time. It’s nice to just sort of be in waiting as you’re going through your day.

Yesterday, I had this thought after I finished doing my Pilates work out and was about to shower:

“Whatever you have for me, Lord, it’s gonna be worth the wait!”

I’m grateful that the Lord gave me this thought as I was going throughout my day at my own pace; that I was simply being faithful with the time I had, and not rushing into anything because so often, I want to rush into other, bigger things in my life. Why? Well, sometimes I’m impatient; I want what I want RIGHT NOW, and most of the time, if I get what I want when I want it, it doesn’t turn out as good as I thought it would be.

Just wanted to write this as a simple reminder that God’s timing is perfect; He knows our hearts, our wants, our needs, and most importantly, He knows what’s best for us. It is better to wait on what the Lord has for us, than to force something, and get just a temporary satisfaction. It is better to go at the pace that He has set out for us than to try to rush things so we can get our way.

So, that significant other you’ve been wondering about? Like, “Where he/she at?” Give that to God, ask Him to give you patience and endurance in this time. Don’t rush into anything just to gain the gratification of now. That french vanilla cream you want to have in your coffee, but shouldn’t because you’re on a cleanse (haha, is it just me? Can you tell the struggle is real?), give it to God! Ask Him to take away the urge, and replace it with something else that will satisfy (like unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and honey, but I’m just being silly lol).

I would rather wait and see what God has for me, than try to create my own joy or happiness from temporary bliss. I pray and hope that this encourages you in whatever season of life you’re in – wait on the Lord! He is faithful to help you be patient, to move past the urges you have so that you can joyfully wait in His presence for what He has for you. It’s not going to be easy all the time, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you’ll get exactly what you want, or that what you get will even be good, but God does know what is best! And His best is worth the wait.

#MishyWrites

No Matter What

This morning, I was reminded of God’s love, which might sound extremely cliche and boring to some Christian readers. But the first words I read out of the current devotion book I’m reading (100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs) were, “God loves to love you.”

And even though we preach, teach, and claim to believe that God truly loves His children, I find myself hard to grasp that sometimes. I find it hard to see His love as unconditional because there is so much in this world that is conditional, and love sometimes seems to be one of those things (search my spoken word poem I posted titled “in Love” to read more of my thoughts/beliefs on the differences between the love of this world, how Christians should love, and God’s love).

The devotion continued on with some powerful sentences like…

“Our God, the One Who is breathing life into your life, is full of love for you – no matter what you have done or where you have been.”

“Consider the fact that in God’s eyes, through Jesus, you are holy, chose, dearly loved – wow.”

I read these sentences and the rest of the devotion, and I thought to myself, Do I ever live as if I’m loved like this? And honestly, most of the time I don’t. I feel like I usually base my love level off of what I’ve done today – did I get my to-do list for the day done? Did I work on these specific things? Did I open my Bible or pray at all today? It’s unfortunate that I think God’s love level changes based off of my actions, when that is completely unbiblical.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (ESV)

His love has nothing to do with what I’ve done, and EVERYTHING to do with what Jesus did – died on the Cross, completely sinless, so that those who believe in Him could have eternal life with the Father. And yet, I struggle daily thinking that He’s still somehow holding His love on a scale of my accomplishments and failures.

More and more this morning, this message was revealed to me, as a song that used to be my favorite when I was growing up played through my speakers as my playlist was on shuffle. “What If” by Jadon Lavik discusses this same topic as he sings and asks God, “What if I climbed that mountain? What if I swam to that shore? What if every battle was victorious, then would You love me more?” and “What if I ignored the hand that fed me? What if I forgot to confess? What if I stumbled down that mountain, then would you love me less?”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we get to do what we want; just because God loves us no matter what we do, it doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want, like disobey Him and His Word. As a Christian, I still have an obligation to express my love and adoration to Him by following Him and His Word.

With all of these thoughts in mind, I am grateful for the reminder that God’s love is unconditional, never changes, no matter what. I want to strive to live my life in such a way, knowing that the God of all things loves someone like me who messes up at times, who forgets that He’s even there sometimes, who bases His love on a totally messed up scale that doesn’t even exist.

Along with all this, I’ve decided to join this social media challenge on Instagram called #deeplyrootedchallenge, in which each person takes paint chips from the store, and writes down a truth, some encouragement, a belief, etc., and shares it on social media. And because of what the Lord has been speaking to me today, this is what I wrote on mine…

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#MishyWrites