February, 2018

Last year in February, I looked back and wrote about the five previous February’s and milestones from those years. I also wrote about my word for the year 2017. You can find those links here:



This year, for February, I pause to look forward and write about a word for this current year, 2018.


Dream – the loaded word I have for this year, just showed up in my thoughts one day in January and stuck there. I never thought of myself as a dreamer. I don’t think I ever allowed myself to dream because I didn’t see much value in it. I was always very goal-oriented and would work very hard to accomplish those goals.


And then something happened: I didn’t accomplish some of my goals. In a strange way, that opened me up to possibilities beyond just my previous goals. If I couldn’t attain them all, why stay stuck in the rut of pursuing them? Why not allow myself to dream dreams that possibly wouldn’t happen but just allow myself to dream them anyway?


This year, the word dream means many things for me. It means being creative, trying new things, and working on new projects. It means meeting new people, going to new events, and checking out new environments. It means being a safe place for people that I never thought I’d be a safe place for. It means being confident that my desires, hopes, and callings are good when they are from God and blessed by Him.


To me, dream means letting myself out of my comfort zone sometimes. It means stretching myself and exploring new things that I’ve been scared of before. It means even trying things I think I’ll be bad at and yet trying them anyway. It means enjoying the life I have created because it is what I enjoy. It means finding myself.


Dream in 2018 means allowing myself to hope. It means being vulnerable and transparent even though it may be terrifying. It means looking back at how far I’ve come and expecting great things to come in the future. It means looking forward to making and having even better relationships, ones that are reciprocal, healthy, and beneficial. It means praying for things to happen, and when they don’t, realizing that I can’t control everything.


What does dream mean to you? What’s your word for the year, if you have one? If not, what’s your new year’s resolution(s)? Or what do you hope for in 2018?


Encompass, Envelope

Written on 2/14/18


Look at yourself and see all this beauty

You are perfect

Fill up your place

Take up your moment

In all of who you are

You belong here

Your presence is deserving

You are worthy of home

Your life, being, existence

Are so pure in life

Light it up

Let your heart beat loudly

For all to hear

You should never be silenced

I want to hear every word

I want to tell you how valuable you are

How you are a treasure needing to be seen

Don’t let them miss you

Show them your blazing eyes

Bare your bruises and bear your scars with pride

Hard-won battles of victory

I need you to be only you

I want you to know your preciousness

Don’t be ashamed of your glorious self

The very image of God divine finds rest in you


I would hold you

I wish I could watch myself back then

See where I was when it was bad

I wish I could be there for me

Feel what I felt and hold me tightly


I wish I could see what I looked like

Think my thoughts with me

I wish I could cry for me

And breathe my breath together


I wish I could adequately document

The miracle you made

The change I gradually lived

All I’ve done and become


Eventually you allowed the rain to fall

Crushing down burdens of shame

Dispelling fear and anguish

And finally creating days of healing


I wish I could see how far I’ve come

Count the moments and hours of time

I wish I could have been with me

In the pit where I was trapped so long


I was stuck there so far away and lonely

I had no idea why or how I got there

But now I can tell myself it was not your fault

You hardly did anything at all to get there


I wish I could see my body then

To mourn and weep with myself

I wish I could hear my lungs and heartbeat

Experience my every silent gasp


I wish I could remember my existence

The daily reality of being stifled

I wish I could be in the same room

To keep myself company


I wish I could tell myself it was ok

Even though it hurt so much

I wish I could just sit with me

On what would be such a long road


I wish I could tell myself

One day it would be over

All the excruciating suffering

Would end after a very long time


I wish I could say

Someday it will be better for you

Maybe no one will notice

But I will


Someday you would feel better

Different, alive, whole

Maybe no one will even realize

But I would


I would tell me that I saw every second

Every time you sat alone in pain

All the overwhelmingness we fought

I knew and felt and lived it with you


What you lived was never wasted

That time was not wasted

You are not a waste

You never were

Look at who you’ve become


Seems so evasive

Feels illusive

Suspect of disappointment

Sounds just too good to be true


But what if hope is better than doubt

What if hope is survival

Not hoping is not protecting oneself

It’s missing out, it’s avoiding fullness


Hope is like the blue sky

Sometimes it’s cloudy with fog

Sometimes it’s dark and starlit

Sometimes it’s full of smoke


Hope is like the sound of a stream

Maybe you can’t see it, but know it’s near

It’s like a roaring lion, charging one moment

And then sleeping and purring the next


Hope is full of conflicting emotions

Hope can feel slippery, tricky, pointless

But hope can be empowering, strengthening

Hope is fighting, wanting, wishing, and knowing


Is hope a paradox

An imaginary idealistic dream

Is hope a fairy tale

Or a childish fantasy


Is hope grounding

Is it believing, inspiring

Is hope foundational

Motivational, enabling


Hope is human but it’s more

It brings us up out of dust

It’s more than menial

It’s conquering, sustaining


Hope is keeping on, breathing still

It’s pushing through

Keep hope alive

And it sustains more than you know


Hope brings us higher than we are

Hold onto hope, cling to it mightily

Let it fade but not disappear

Make hope your companion


Don’t let the critic stifle hope

Don’t let the cynic suffocate it

Hope is God-given and freeing

Hope is life-giving and life-changing


Hope may wax and wane like the moon

But it’s still a treasure

Hope is what we thrive on and surrounds us like the warm light we crave

Thanksgivings past

I used to feel guilty for not being thankful

I used to feel obligated to have grateful lists

I used to try to pray, thanking God for all I should

But all those things are not because I was not grateful

I was simply too tired, exhausted, torn up to thank more

Maybe it’s okay to not be proactively thankful sometimes

When you’re genuinely feeling too many other things

If your heart is overflowing with so many other emotions

You are only human and cannot force the emotion out of you

Sometimes thanksgiving is just showing up

Sometimes gratefulness is being present

Sometimes being thankful is carrying yourself forward

Sometimes being grateful is pressing on


Do we love or do we tie up burdens

Do we cherish or do we push down

Do we fight for or do we run away from

Do we embrace or do we judge

Do we humble ourselves or do we condemn

Do we adore or do we abhor

Do we accept or do we squabble

Do we affirm or do we cast stones

Do we bind up wounds or do we tear apart

Do we pursue people or do we weaponize Scripture

Do we forgive or do we criticize

Do we extend grace or do we hate

Do we enliven, embolden, and empower, or do we kill

Where is God in the midst of our religion?

When the world gets a little bit too dark

When it gets darker, the church’s light is supposed to be brighter

But all children of God and God-children-to-be are imperfect beings of time

In this world broken of shattering we are not perfect

We beat each other up and we we’re not busy doing that

We beat up up our very selves


Since when was religion supposed to be perfectionism?

Since when was the church supposed to be a straight jacket?

Since when did Christianity become the business of only caring what other people think?


When people hurt from within and without

That’s when You shine in slivers of hope and shafts of light around and through us all

Reminding us that You are never far away, never gone away from us


You never cease to exhibit Yourself among the gray

In between the black and white where creativity and color exude

Glory of Your grandness among us like a spectrum of belonging home