Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thanks for Coming!

Welcome to "His Princess"!

Thanks for visiting my blog. This is new to me and lots of what I'll post here will be things I've written in past years. I didn't know how to re-order my entries, so you'll probably want to read from the bottom up in order for these posts from today (10/31/09) to make sense.

Even as I posted these entries today, I have been reminded of God's faithfulness and provision throughout my life. What you'll read here is nothing amazing, it's just my story.

I'll post more in coming days. Again, thanks for visiting! :)

Shepherd of My Heart

This picture she entitled “New Birth” was drawn by my dear friend Vel Sweet at my request in 1999. Mrs Sweet is with her Shepherd now, and all that knew and loved her miss her here on earth.

Shepherd of my heart, Keeper of my soul

Make me walk in Your path, trusting in You alone.

How tenderly You guide me, how gently You lead me on

Through green pastures and troubled waters, to the place You call Your own.

I’m such a wayward lamb, dear Lord—my eyes look far away

Help me cling closely to You, following You today.

In the darkness You’re my solace, in my weakness You’re my peace

I’ll follow You, my Shepherd, hold tight to this foolish sheep.

Though the road be often rocky, the way You go is best.

I see just the present, but You see the final rest.

Though many times I stray from You, Your staff reaches out to rescue me

This stubborn sheep whom You love so much receives such mercy from You, my King.

On my own I fall so quickly—there’s snares on every side

Inside my heart holds bitterness, anger, jealousy and pride;

But when I simply follow You—though I cannot see the way,

You lead me steadily and patiently, so it’s here with You I’ll stay.

I know Your voice, Good Shepherd—I hear You softly call my name

My heart yearns to follow You, but my faith just wanes and fades

May I always trust You, Lord, as I clutch Your nail-scarred hand

For by Your grace You care for me with love I’ll never understand.

Shepherd of my heart, Keeper of my soul

Make me walk in Your path, trusting in You alone

How tenderly You guide me, how gently You lead me on

Through green pastures and troubled waters, to the place You call Your own.

Of all the analogies that convey attributes of God in the Bible, my favorite is the Good Shepherd. Sheep are completely helpless to care for themselves in any and every way, and thus are entirely dependent upon their Shepherd for all of their needs. Our Gentle Shepherd knows the needs of our lives—needs that even we are not aware of. He will tend to us with such skill and loving care, even when we fail to acknowledge His grace amid our sinful stubbornness. But when we humbly place our hearts in His hands, He will gather up our pain, our failures, and our weaknesses and eclipse them with His love. I praise God that He bothers with such a wayward, foolish lamb like me—and I’ll be forever amazed that He gave His very life to save mine.

“He tends His flock like a Shepherd. He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11 NIV

“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…” Ezekiel 34:15-16 NIV

“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep…My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:14, 15, 27 NIV

Gaze Into My Eyes

Gaze into My eyes, my precious one
In them you’ll find my peace
You’ll find no judgment, anger or pain
Only my sweet release.

Gaze into My eyes, my child
I want you to see my grace
It matters not what you’ve done or failed to
Just look into my face.

Gaze into My eyes, my broken one
There you’ll find my rest
It’s in the midst of your problems, cares and worries
That I’ll turn good or bad into my best.

Gaze into My eyes, my weary lamb
In them you’ll perceive my love
Cease your striving, doing and trying
And simply look up here, above.

Gaze into My eyes, my child
I heard you when you cried
Let my mercy erase the stain
It’s for that sin I died.

Gaze into My eyes, oh fragile one
Let your weakness become my strength
I am the God that changes not
No matter the torrent’s waves.

Gaze into My eyes, dear servant
Be still and hear my truth
Don’t get so busy that you fail to see
The One who gives life and breath to you.

Gaze into My eyes, my dear one
Let your anxieties fall apart
Though it seems sometimes they’ll overtake you,
I’ve got you close here to my heart.

Gaze into My eyes, my singer
Rest under the shelter of my wings
In your brokenness I’m making a song
That only you can sing.

Gaze into My eyes, weak and tired one
Look long at their tenderness
I know your heart and see your faith
And I’m here beside you in this wilderness.

Gaze into My eyes, my treasured child
Remember my faithfulness through years gone by
I held you then, I hold you now
Just stay here—it’s all right to cry.

Gaze into My eyes, oh dear one
For only here you’ll find true peace
My love for you knows no limits or boundaries
No matter what, it will never cease.

Gaze into My eyes, my precious one
In them you’ll find my peace
You’ll find no judgment, anger or pain
Only my sweet release.

In the sweet eyes of a baby or the happy face of bright colored flowers we can see the Lord’s face. His eyes are ever on us; they never close in sleep. There is no pain so deep nor joy so boundless that’s not encapsulated in our Jesus’ face. All the answers to all our needs lie there—is there any better place to look? Let’s rest in these incredible truths this day and find strength for tomorrow in His eyes.

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” 2 Chron. 16:9

“But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge…” Ps. 141:8

“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” Ps. 18:1-3

This was the first poem I wrote after a "drought" of many years. It was the beginning of what was a very prolific year for me. A portion of these words were set to music by a dear friend, and without me telling her my thoughts about the style, she fashioned it as a lullaby. Perfect! The Lord is softly calling all of us to gaze into His eyes!

With You I'm Home

This is the view from what was my Grandpa’s backyard (Waverly, NY in 1995)

No matter what my feelings say, no matter where I live or where I stay

No matter how far I roam from you, With you I’m home.

With you I’m home, with you I’m home—I am not ever alone

‘Cuz with you I’m home.

Far from you I’ve wandered so many time before—

Your wayward child comes running—you’ve got an open door.

There’s no other place I truly fit here on this cruel earth

‘Cuz only you love me unconditionally—only you gave me my worth.

Could it be that all my searching was part of your great plan?

I do not know, but I praise you—out of the rocks, you’ve laid a road of sand.

Loved ones may be far away or even right next door—

This feeling of not belonging has come so many times before.

While you’ve lavished dear friends and family down on me,

I sometimes feel all alone, ‘cuz I forget—only you hold my identity.

May I trust you more than my feelings, thoughts and cares

May I find the security of your presence when it seems that you’re not near.

No matter what my feelings say, no matter where I live or where I stay

No matter how far I roam from you, With you I’m home.

With you I’m home, with you I’m home—I am not ever alone

‘Cuz with you I’m home.

Throughout my life, I have lived many places, worn many faces, and been different from most of my peers. Satan loves to discourage me by telling me that I don’t fit in with anyone or anywhere. Yet that is one of His crafty lies that I so often believe; the truth is that my Savior is my secure shelter and my source of being and life. I praise Him that no matter how we feel or what we think or what others say, there are truly no “misfits” with our God, because each of us is at home with our Lord as long as we’re laid at the foot of His cross!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Matt. 18:12-14

Song in the Shadows

Surrounded by your glory in the stillness of the day

My soul is so at rest here, Lord, so it’s here with you I’ll stay.

Though my body is weak and my mind is frail

It’s here in the shadow of your wings that your joy can be availed.

Basking in the sun, I’m reminded of your love

For you sent the final sacrifice in the offering of your Son

I know not how this love you offer could be so free for me

For it cost my Jesus everything when He hung on that cruel tree.

My patient Shepherd Savior, you gave so much for me

Yet so many times I fail you and shame you selfishly.

Your mercy is boundless and your grace runs so free

Hear my heart’s cries of contrition as I plead with bended knee.

These deep, ugly stains of sin cause my heart such grief

It’s in the shadows here, Lord, that I long to have relief

Though I know you long to hold me, so many times I run away

Why can’t I just instead run here, each and every day?

Yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worries simply fade away

Gazing at your beauty here—this is where I long to stay.

Though I am so weak and frail you hold me safe

The shelter of your wings is where I can best look long upon your face.

When I look long into your tender eyes, your love wraps up my soul

Though I feel so broken right now, it’s you who makes me whole.

No matter how long it takes for your pruning, I know that you know best

So I’ll remain here under your precious wings and find such gracious rest.

Keeper of my soul and Shepherd of my heart,

You know how easily the pain of life can tear me all apart.

So it’s your mending touch that I’ve come here first to seek

I praise you that you’re strength is greater no matter if all I feel is weak.

Jesus, my Lord, You are the song this singer sings

For you only are the melody that deep within me rings.

The shadows of your presence are the sweetest place to be

So I’ll rest here in true safety and wait impatiently.

Yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worries simply fade away

Gazing at your beauty here—this is where I long to stay.

Though I am so weak and frail you hold me safe

The shelter of your wings is where I can best look long upon your face.

I praise the Lord that not only can we rest in the shelter of His wings, but He longs to cause us to sing for joy in the shadow of His wings. Shadows might be scary if that’s all we’re looking at. But if we gaze into the Son and realize His light creates the shadows, we’ll find the peaceful rest He longs to give us.

Psalm 63: 6-8: “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

His Words, My Pen: An Introduction

God made me an extremely sensitive, deeply feeling and intensely emotional being. Since my turbulent teenage years, He has provided an outlet for my often overwhelming emotions via playing the oboe. For 18 years, the music of my heart has been expressed through that tiny double reed, and has been the thing I loved most to do. The Lord has also allowed me to vent my frustrations and pain in the form of poetry. I wrote extensively in high school, but while pursuing my music career in college and graduate school, there were few poems. The poems were prayers—often written while sobbing in the middle of the night—and scarcely ever shared with a human soul.

Since January of 2002, I have experienced many health challenges, including repeatedly injuring my neck and then all the symptoms that were eventually diagnosed as Fibromyalgia. The Lord has admonished me to remember that He is God and I need only be still. In His mercy, I was able to take at least one class each semester at DTS as well as work full time from January 2002 through December 2003. Though (to this day, October 2009) I have not participated in all the activities or completed all the tasks that I would have liked, I have spent considerable time just being in His sweet presence and have enjoyed many uninterrupted hours just communing with my Lord. He has replaced the outlet of playing the oboe at this time (which is presently inhibited by my physical symptoms) with a renewed and intensified passion and love for writing. As my humble pen seeks to record all the truths He’s shouting to my heart, I’m again transfixed by His glory and His grace in my life.

God has also made me a very visual person and I am amazed at the beauty of His creation. I love to capture the wonder of His hands in pictures, and much of the time when I take a picture, I have a poem that He’s given in mind. All of the photographs included in this volume were taken by me, with my very amateur abilities!

While my Heavenly Father has provided encouragement and exhortation by my friends at DTS concerning my writing, I have never published my poetry nor shared it with any others than my closest friends. My hesitation resides in the fact that these words are straight from my heart—raw with emotion and completely honest. My insecurities and weaknesses shine through and my true nature is revealed. Yet I am beginning to understand that others are encouraged by these words the Lord has given me, and it is for this reason that I share them here. My desire is to release this gift He’s given for His glory—even if that means being terrified of the transparency that’s involved. He is the Giver of the gift, and the Author of this story in my heart.

In my heart, most of these poems are songs without melodies. I firmly believe these are His words through my pen. By this I certainly do not mean that they are inspired as in a Scriptural sense, but that they are His gift to my soul. My secret dream is that someday the Lord will provide a singer /songwriter husband to put these lyrics to music. But until then, they remain as they were given—poems yearning to be songs.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Ps. 19:14 NIV

It's Time

I don't know that I ever thought I'd have a blog. Let's be honest--I didn't even know what a blog WAS until a few years ago. Since then, I've begin to follow a few, and I have friends that have their own. I have always enjoyed writing and since the Lord doesn't seem to what that to be my vocation right now, then maybe this is a way He's provided to share what's on my heart.

What you read here may not be earth-shattering, life-altering or awe-inspiring, but I promise you it's REAL. Though I am a perfectionist, I AM NOT PERFECT. I have my share of struggles and hang-ups, just like everyone else. I have walked through several hard periods of life, though, on the arms of my Shepherd who's carried me all the way. What I've learned has made a difference in my heart, and I hope it will encourage yours.

So, I've decided it's time. Time to write, time to share, time to begin another journey!