I Hope You Know

I hope

By: Jana Greene

I hope you know it wasn’t you,
When all of it is said and through,
When damage from the floods recede,
I hope that you can still believe.

I hope you know I really tried
To reconcile the pain inside
And find a way to overcome
Before my pieces came un-done.

I was walking wounded then,
I didn’t have the tools to mend….
I tried to stick close to your side.
I failed, but Jesus knows I tried.

My instinct is to protect you, love.
I lost the strength to rise above
So I did the only thing I knew,
To protect my spirit, too.
And in time, I withdrew.

I hope you know it wasn’t you.

Afraid to open doors to ghosts
And raise the specters I fear most,
I faded off into the clear.
(I can only survive from over here.)

I’m still un-done in places, you see,
Where life has gotten the best of me,
But I love you all the same.
I hope you bear no fault or shame.

You mean the world to me still now.
I don’t know when or where or how
To make things better, so I pray
God smile upon your life today.

God show mercy on this soul
Whom I love and lost in whole,
When the pieces threaten to unbind,
Give peace to this anguished mind.

When memories keep on pushing through…
I hope you know it wasn’t you.

 

More than a Survivor

I interrupt this blog series about the 12 Steps to post this message that God gave me during church last Sunday. He kind of won’t get off my back writing it, like maybe someone else out there needs to hear the message. So, here we go.

Step Eight seems like a good place to take a rest anyway.

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“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness

of slavery on you.” – Galations 5:1 (The Message)

MORE THAN A SURVIVOR

I don’t want to be a survivor anymore,

Staggering through future’s door

Waiting for there to be more

Than just getting through.

A survivor’s a great thing to be,

It’s just not enough for me

To have made it through the dark melee

And be on the other side

Of the abuse I suffered as a child,

The alcoholism that reviled

Against me as I reconciled

The present with the past.

I waved the white flag banner high

And shook my fists at a broken sky

It is finished, and yet nigh

I’m still shaking wounded fists.

It is for freedom we’ve been set free

Not just scraping by you see,

Or living in fragility,

No slavery harness holds.

No more do I accept as fact

That giving up is giving back,

That white is white and black is black,

Redemption is complete in me.

I’m empowered by the force

That set the earth upon it’s course,

I’ll live no more with bleak remorse

But as one favored by the Lord.

A survivor’s a great thing to be,

It’s for freedom I’ve been set free

Abundant and exceedingly

No more a slave to past.

I’m picking my mat up off the floor

And walking with surety through future’s door,

Head held high and in bondage no more!

More than a survivor.

– Jana Greene

Christmas: God pursuing us

Antonio Allegri, Correggio 1528
Antonio Allegri “Correggio” 1528

By: Jana Greene

We lose the meaning of it all, in the quest to get it right.
This Christmas thing is hard to fathom, under our own might.

We know that Jesus was born in a manger,
We know that animals lowed nearby,
We know the wise men brought him presents,
We’ve all heard of the star that guided them nigh.

But stop the Christmas rush for a moment,
Silence the bells and jingling sleighs,
Look beyond trees and feasts and caroling,
And elaborate displays.

Remember for a moment what we most often forget,
Let it rest in your heart (where it’s a perfect fit!)
Christmas is about a God crazy for you …

Listen …. Can you hear him pursue?

A God who became human for a time,
just to be closer to you?

The Creator of the universe craving relationship,
Wanting to be where you are?
That small, still voice following you
Like the bright Bethlehem star?

So far across the universe, yet as close as drawing breath,
What could make God’s people see
This love that conquers death?

God sent his son – a part of Himself –
A promise he’d made long before.
And so to Mary, a son was born,
On a humble stable floor.

God himself poured over bones, and under fragile skin,
To draw you close and know your pain, and forever conquer sin.

God made manifest in a baby boy,
Who would grow to save the world.
And bring them the gospel of truth and joy,
His prophesy unfurled.

Hark the herald angels sing!
Peace on earth, good will toward men!
Do not fear,
Your God is near,
Even to the end.

Emmanuel – God With Us –
Yeshua,
God most high!
The hope for everlasting life
Heard in an infant’s cry.

That’s the meaning of Christmas.

Rejoice in your heart of hearts,
Where God has made his home …
Your heart – the manger  for the savior,
Filled with peace –
Shalom.

 

“Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
An Event for Everyone

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Luke 2:1-20The Message (The Message)

Pathway to a Richer Life

By: Jana Greene

God,

Your plans are perfect, holy, good.

Mine lead me in the wrong direction.

My plans don’t work out as they should,

Flawed and full of imperfection.

Your mercy, it endures forever.

Mine toward others? Not always so.

Depending on my mood and temper,

My mercy will often come and go.

Yours is the path to righteousness,

Of light and honor, love and grace.

Mine is the path of least resistance

My flesh seeks a faster pace.

Show me where to venture next

(My sense of direction? It’s off by a mile!)

And I will follow your inflection

Instead of the pulling of my own guile.

Not because I’m so deserving –

A member of this human race,

But because your love does no deserting,

You run towards those who seek your face.

God,

Your plans are perfect, holy, good.

Mine are often cause for strife.

Teach me to follow your will and way,

And mine will be a richer life.

 

13

I wrote this poem for my youngest daughter when she was going through a rough time, and I’m posting it with her permission.  (She has grown up to be all the good things that her mama predicted, by the way….she was all along – she just had to figure it out).

By:  Jana Greene

“13”

She sees herself in dimmest light,

All shadows that she doesn’t like

And awkward features

In her mind all,

Predicting every trip and fall.

She feels alone in mass of crowd

And tries to hide within her shroud

Of shortcomings,

All in her mind

Afraid of what the light may find.

She only knows that it’s not fair,

That “perfect girls” with flaxen hair

And flawless looks

And stellar grades

Really sometimes feel just the same.

She sees herself as in the dark

Inadequacies in contrast stark

To the proud and bright and secure around.

So, feeling small… she makes no sound.

If only she could stand outside

Those limits that she sets and hides

Behind as if they were in stone….

She isn’t falling.

She’s not alone.

She’s beautiful

This much is true,

But her brown eyes should see it too.

Proud and bright, secure and true?

One day, her eyes will see it, too.

Five

I’m kicking around the idea of making Saturday Blog entries a showcase for poetry.  The poem below, entitled “Five” is one I wrote about several years ago for my step-daughter.  It addresses the blending of our families, in simple prose.

Please let me know what you think about “Saturday Evening Poet” blog posts in the “Comments” section, and thank you!

Five

Once upon an August day

I happened on a family,

A father and his lovely girl.

Familiar, at once, they were to me.

Two daughters I’d had all along

Bright and loving, brave and strong,

And somehow yet,

Somehow still…

Our hearts and lives had space to fill.

As time went by, soft  memories stacked

Like building blocks placed back-to-back,

Like traveling to places far away

And salty, swimming beachy days,

Talking together and movie nights

Laughter abundant (occasional fights),

All knowing each other deeper each day

And loving each other

Anyway.

Could it be that the whole five

Would find a way to survive

As not just two

And not just three

But as a God-shaped family?

So

Once upon an October day

We became that family,

A Dad, a Mom, three lovely girls

As it was always meant to be.

I gained a husband that day tis’ true,

And I’m blessed to be his wife,

But I gained a daughter, too –

Bright, loving, brave and strong

In my life.

 

– Jana Greene