Week Thirty-Five

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 35: Your neighborhood

The tiles lie side-by-side
in neat little rows reaching
only as far as the nearest corner
where the caulk comes loose
after an aggressive and therapeutic
dish-washing session.

I’m listening to your hushed
breath as the evening breeze
wafts through my open door
and soothes my premature
brow squeezed tight in honest
worry and selfish ambition.

I think I must let myself go
to find myself in your embrace,
so tight, so strong, so unexpected,
between curry and aged tea
kettles, colorful qi paos and saris,
and your many vegetable gardens.

No matter how far I wander,
I’ll never forget your reflection
of a greater kingdom yet unseen
but mentioned by mere mortals
wondering what it means
to love the neighbor as the self.

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flicker

flicker

to the girl crying in the bathroom,
hunched over her muffled sobs and choking
them back to the prison that normally holds them captive;

to the girl burying her saltwater tears
in the sandy depths of a rough pillow case
at one in the morning when her roommates are sleeping;

to the girl with one fist clenched
and another palm held flat in confused surrender
to a god she fervently believes yet cannot see;

to the girl whose body longs to recall the light
as realization rolls over her quaking darkness
and turns her heart upon a torturous, fiery spit:

hello

i’m here with you

and i don’t have all the answers
but i can see the Light is still there
burning in you

you belong to the Light
the Light belongs to you

and you’ll never be alone

Week Thirty-Four

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 34: Things you like about fall

when the balmy summer nights become chill with shivers
and trembling leaves surrender to winter’s preparation,
that’s when you know fall is in the air and autumn is in the wind

when its devoted fans don sweaters in sweltering ninety-degree heat
and the mist returns to dress the trees in marital white,
that’s when you know fall has left its secrets in a basket on the porch

when there exists a prolong stillness before a steaming mug of chocolate
and mints take a moment longer to stick against their wrapper’s embrace
that’s when you know autumn’s colors have bled into the trees

Week Thirty-Three

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 33: Something you’re looking forward to

rain, in summer showers and torrential teardrops,
trickles through the leaves before my window,
filtering the sunlight that’s never been very warm
in this flatland that spends most of its time bitten by wind;

and it’s a little lonely, lazing the afternoon away
only to spend evenings alone again and wistful,
stuck in a dream from moments ago and not really knowing
how to adjust safely to reality’s stark outlines;

it’s quiet, which is nice, and it’s temporary,
another blessing that I must not take for granted
because soon the bustle and noise will begin again
and I will long for these heather grey silences;

so in each passing movement, allegro to adagio
and back again, I learn to see God’s handiwork
intricately etched into the chaos of unknowns
as He perfectly provides and fills my empty heart;

because soon, very soon, I will know the joy of reunion,
and for the in-between we will dance with the stars
in celebration of His faithfulness and constant peace
which will only become sweeter as the days pass us by…

Week Thirty-Two

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 32: A city you’ve visited

à paris

from the very first sighting of the beloved Tour d’Eiffel,
to the hair-raising taxi ride through crooked streets and cobbled roads,
and the slow, deep breaths of sleep deprived hearts,
the magic only before seen on television pattered up to the window
of their eyes and sighed with longings fulfilled

from the first glorious twenty-four hours without sleep,
to taking a nap along the River Seine in Mother’s arms,
and the arching, regal necks of the stunningly plumed swans,
the moon finally rose and said goodnight to the sun
which made its way back the way they had come

from the gasp of adrenaline upon entering the underground,
to nearly being separated from Father’s anxious hand,
and the aesthetic in partaking of delightful strawberries and croissants,
the vagabond travelers moved with little working language proficiency
yet found nonetheless a city of smoke and romance and dreams

God Answered My Grumpy Prayer

I woke up on Friday morning simply not “in the mood” for the day. I hit snooze for at least an hour – burning precious time I could have spent eating breakfast – before dragging my lazy bones off the mushy mattress and pushing my hair out of my face. I had twenty minutes to get ready for work, and mumbled a hasty, half-focused and reluctant prayer that God would use me to bless someone there in some way, whether they were a coworker or a customer. Upon (quietly) stomping down the stairs I headed to work in the pouring rain, altogether feeling as dreary as the crying clouds.

The first couple of hours were slow. Nobody wanted to venture out in the rain. But soon business picked up pace, and my coworkers and I at least had something to keep us occupied so the time passed much faster. Just before I went on break, an elderly lady (I later found out she was almost 90 years old!) came to my register. I spent the next twenty minutes or so helping her with her order, feeling God smiling at her through me. Admittedly, I was a little miffed at first that my break would be postponed, but as God moved me to step out of my tiredness and into His strength for this lady I found my annoyance dissipate to be replaced by pure joy and love in being a helping hand and friendly face. She told me stories from her college days, and I was able to share little pieces of my faith with her. When the transaction was complete, I closed my register and walked her to her car as she repeated over and over how much of a blessing our interaction had been to her. I remembered my grumpy prayer from earlier in the morning and laughed a little to myself as I thanked God for such a beautiful “interruption” to my routine.

I smile now to realize anew how much God teaches us through seemingly little things. We must keep our eyes open and focused on Him, so that when He calls us to move, even in little ways, we are able to abide in His love and respond with obedience and grace. He provides so much beauty to us and those around us, and it’s such an honor to be a part of that work through Jesus.

Blog Update

Hello, friends! Real quick, and then you can get back to whatever else the Internet was throwing at you. Over the past several months, I’ve somehow managed to accumulate a modest following of fellow bloggers, poets, Christians, and others who’ve decided that they like what I write and want to see more. It’s not much by “fame’s” standards, but it’s so cool to see how God is working through even small growth!

As a result, I’ve been praying for new ways to expand my blog to even further glorify the Lord. And after months of wafting back and forth, I’ve finally created a blog Instagram and it’s here to stay – I made one last year but deleted it after a week because I didn’t know what I was doing haha. Rather than posting “link in bio” kinds of posts, it’ll simply be a little extension of this here WordPress blog: shorter reflections, my dabbles in calligraphy/lettering, favorite verses, and whatever else I feel like sharing that isn’t enough for a full post on here.

Also, if you have content ideas you’d like to see that I haven’t tried before, please do leave a comment or use the “Contact Me” page (or now you can DM me!). I’m always on the lookout for new inspiration and would love to hear your thoughts.

Blessings to you and yours!

~ Eliana

Week Thirty-One

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 31: A core value

grace unmeasured

Genuine honesty and timely heartbeats
entwine together in a romantic gesture
as simple as reaching for her hand
and reminding her it’ll be okay

Racing against herself for headspace
compromises a daily and nightly routine
with tightly shut, rose gold eyelids
closing the door to finite dreams

Allowed into the room like a faraway whisper
come forgiveness and second chances
to rebuild what was so abruptly torn down
to make room for baby’s breath and wisteria

Coasters to catch the leftover tears
from a cold brew coffee consumed to chase away
residual patterns and startle awake at 3am
in the arms of a winking thunderstorm

Elaborately designed beyond human
comprehension to bring about peace
and abundant joy in steadfast revelation
that keeps her stumbling towards the cross

Week Thirty

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 30: Your current age

season after season

with each mountain the battle’s only just begun
to dig up the idols I’ve buried in my tiny garden
and sow new seeds of love and humility
which I lack so desperately

and as the flowers push their way towards the sun
my heart cracks in places it’s never before broken
to convince me that while growth isn’t easy
it’s unspeakably worth it to wait and see

the things that God has laid out and started
for the people whom He calls beloved
and an inheritance of goodness in all things
to which melody my heart slowly learns to sing

so I’ll cling to the Savior who died for my life
and surrender my will for God’s holy desire
for me to burn with a light and hope so genuine
that I can’t help but praise Him again and again

Week Twenty-Nine

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 29: Your favorite memory

I never really knew

birdsong
piercing quivering glass
and deaf ears
to awaken hearts
and souls in golden prisms
of light and life

waltzing wind
with nothing in its way
puts out the fire
and opens rivulets
blue, cool, and fresh
of blessed relief

heartache
gently pushed aside
in furrows
for new blooms
and enchanted seconds
of new memories