Sunday, September 18, 2011

a woman of strength and softness

a friend of mine shared this poem with me when i was in malawi a few years ago. i scribbled it down in my journal then only to reread it this week. i think it's so beautiful and had to share it.

A Woman of Strength and Softness

Surrendered heart, not surrendered identity
a strength to be reckoned with
She does not demand respect
but you want to give it to her
Her presence invites you to rest
in fact she is like a tree
holding forth nurturing branches
not a spiderweb, trapping you for her soul food
Her vulnerability is so lovely
you cannot keep your soul out of hers
She is marked by genuine kindness
of one who has already forgiven you
for how you will fail her
She exudes the kind of strength
that trusts and waits and suffers
as unto God's purposes, not her own
She lays her own life down
like a lamb, not a dog
Her surrender flows from her love
not fear or desperation
Her surrender is a chosen thing
She lives in the vulnerability of her longing to be treasured
her longing to be known
her longing to be invited in
But she lets her disillusionment
tenderize, not toughen her heart
She does not hold the objects of her love captive
She does not make them pay
or tie them to her with guilt
or keep them in terror of her critical eye
But rather lets them fly free
Enjoying all the more the reunion
They get to choose to be with her
She lives at the mercy of no one
She is captive only to the Father
Thus she is free to love
Even if it means she loses
She chooses doing love over getting love.

Written by Lottie K. Hillard

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Impossible Dream

To dream the impossible dream

To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the un-rightable wrong
To be better far than you are
To try when your arms are too weary
The reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless,
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will be peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world would be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

I was sitting in a coffee shop editing wedding photos and listening to Pandora this morning. Patty Griffin’s sweet and soulful voice was singing “top of the world” and at the song’s end came silence and then she continued on with “to dream the impossible dream”…

I felt my heart tug and I stopped, wondering why those words struck me so. Then I remembered that it was one of the songs that my Grandma would sing, just out of the blue or sometimes she would sing it to me over a voicemail on my birthday. It’s been a song that has woven itself into our relationship all these years. I’ve been hearing her sing those words since I was just a little girl. I don’t think I’ll hear her sing them again in this life. Dementia has taken her captive and she can scarcely remember anyone in our family. As I listened to those words, I’m taken back to a few years ago when I was visiting her in the nursing home and she kept telling me every other sentence how proud she was of me and how she loved me “to the max”. She was her sweet self, so full of joy and kindness. I took a bunch of hold-out pictures of us that day and we laughed and laughed at our own silliness. Then she walked over to the piano and played Impossible Dream and sang for me and it was so beautiful. I didn’t realize what a gift that day was. That was the last visit I had with the Grandma that I knew all these years. She’s different now and the disease has laid claim over her mind and body, but I am so glad I have that sweet day to remember her by.

I am a lyrics girl when it comes to music, so I was surprised that I had never really thought about the words to this song. Now, as I sit here reading the lyrics, I love the song even more. What a great life anthem; I may need to adopt this one as my own.

May we all dream the impossible dream.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


"We are undefinable. We are shades of masculine and feminine looking for someone to bounce life off of, looking for someone to give when we need to receive, to receive when we need to give, and when it's done right both get done at the same time. Being to being, here let me hold that soul for you because you've been... drowning in labels for so long you've grown tired of survival. Here is a moment of bliss, a moment of aliveness. All day long I expend. I hold together, I lift up, I give out, and sometimes... I just take in." ~ Lauren Zuniga