Sunday, December 15, 2013




When Fate dies
Is she reborn,
Of her wrinkles and
Gray hair shorn?

Begins she again
With promises new,
Just as good,
Bright and true?

Rises she up
Like Phoenix song?
Is second destiny
Quite as strong?

Or does she limp
And falteringly take
Steps into the future
Her new life a fake?

Is she Fate who
Once was dead,
Or some imposter
In her stead?

Is it possible
To delirious be
When my fate
Has died in me?

I guess that I
Will wait and see.
I guess that I
Will wait and see.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Gift

Today was another one of those times when I have to stop what I am doing and find a keyboard quick, because a poem is about to spill out of my soul.

Now I can go back to my art project!

The Gift

Which of the gifts
The greater be?
Be it to love
Or to loved be?

For passion is
But passing flame,
And loyalty
May turn again,

But love, when true
And freely given,
Is found the greatest
Gift of heaven.

Can love yet come
To one so plain?
Yay, love sees all
Men are the same.

Weak and broken,
Pitiable men be,
When beyond
The skin you see.

Then love reaches
Out her hand,
She lifts them up,
Makes them stand.

But not the touch
Of love converts
And makes a joy
Of all their hurts.

Only in choosing
To bestow
Can fullness of joy
Man ever know.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Poems I Could Not Share, Until Now

Leaking Poetry

my heart was leaking,
and all my words spilled on the floor.

my heart was breaking,
and all my words did rush the door.

my dream went winging,
back to the place it was before.

And left me empty at the core,
with all my words spilled on the floor,
and love for you is borne no more.


my heart is healing,
and day by day is stitched in place.

my heart is filling,
with every tear falls from my face.


my heart is brimming,
when he I meet it starts to race.

and takes up a new frantic pace.
Who would have thought this the case?
A love for me, the gift of grace.

If I'm feeling, I'm writing, but these I couldn't share, these I kept locked away, waiting for a day that will never come. But  now it doesn't matter, so I'm opening the little box of treasures, come see the diamonds I sweated and the rubies I bled.

(This one is actually a song, a very long song)

My friends
say that we have got to speak,
if across this we would reach,
reach and hold,
hold and love,
to love and smile.

But smile,
smile is all that I can do,
do when I am here with you,
be with you,
sing with you,
just you and I.

So if I,
If I was to speak to you,
define all my words for you,
open my mouth and just pray,
these are the words I would say:

When I say, "Hello,"
it means, "I love you."
When I say, "Goodbye,"
it means, "God bring me to you,
because my friend,
there is nothing,
no where,
no one for me,
without you.

Then I,
Then I look into your eyes,
those truest eyes of blue,
no one knows,
knows and loves,
oh loves and trusts.

But you,
You with all your reasons why,
Why we should not even try,
Try to love,
Rise above,
And try to fly.

So if I,
If I was to speak to you,
define all my words for you,
open my mouth and just pray,
these are the words I would say:

When I say, "Hello,"
it means, "I love you."
When I say, "Goodbye,"
it means, "God bring me to you,
because my friend,
there is nothing,
no where,
no one for me,
without you.

Without you, without you,

No, you,
you're kinda like a white knight,
ya always try to do right,
but it's wrong,
so wrong,
to take so long.
Babe you,
Baby you just don't see,
Caught up in soliloquy,
What this does,
Does to me,
It's killing me.

So if I,
If I was to speak to you,
define all my words for you,
open my mouth and just pray,
these are the words I would say:

When I say, "Hello,"
it means, "I love you."
When I say, "Goodbye,"
it means, "God bring me to you,
because my friend,
there is nothing,
no where,
no one for me,
without you.


I find that when I am far from you
I am quiet, and still, still as can be.
As if by my very stillness
I could draw you home to me.

For pace and prowl, so far you go
the wide world you wandering walk
and never stillness do you know
or just to sit, and breath, and talk.

I'll sit and wait, wait and watch
facing east in my desperate repose,
until like the sun you shining come
and bring the warmth only my heart knows.

So wander wild, wander long
spread you sunshine near and far,
but come, my love, and break my stillness,
come and rest, my shooting star.

The Song

I carry a song in my heart
It plays all the time in my mind
It plays be it whole or in part
And never the end shall I find

For you sing to me all the day
and lullaby all through the night
And all of the best things you say
and all of the notes you play right

My darling I sing back to you
and hope that it plays in your heart
that somehow you see it is true
that this, my dear, is my part.

On Days that I Hate You

On days that I hate you
I wear my high heeled shoes,
not because you dislike them
but because I really long
to be tucked under your arm.
On days that I hate you
I flirt with handsome men,
not because I feel disloyal to you
but because I would give anything
to have you claim me.

On days that I hate you
I wear my special earrings,
Not because I seek to torture
myself with a reminder of you
but because I will always
want you to be with me.

For the days that I hate you
are the days that I love you
and hate that you keep me
away from your side.


What goes into a miracle?
Of what are miracles made?
It is hope? Is it love? Dedication?
It is faith that refuses to fade?

Oh what dost thou need for a miracle?
What blood sacrifice can I give
that the impossible will be possible
and the dream will finally live?

For thou hast my heart and my time
Thou hast my strength and my might
I gave all my dreams up to follow
Just point to the foe, I will fight!

But all of this stillness and patience
That now thou seemest to ask
I just don't know if my soul
Is up to this kind of task.

Oh God I beg let me bleed,
Please, let me die, let me end,
Oh let my breath still in me,
Or come, save thou thy friend.


Ask me not to answer, my love
if I think myself worthy
to hold thy strong and nimble hand
and walk along with thee
ask not if I feel, that thine equal,
such a one, I could ever be.

Ask not if I think I e-en deserve
to mouth  thy sweetest name
or more if I e'er thought
to be called the very same
nay to this and all rights
I ne'r pretended I had claim.

For I know that those women
who worthily loved thee and
proudly beside thine glory
did boldly live and stand
were so much more than I
In truth, I understand.

Nay, I swear, thought not I,
my meager self, ever to aspire,
to hold thy great heart or
kindle inside of thee love's fire
Nay, instead sought I God's help
in quenching my foolish desire.

N'er thought I this very course
would long and hard before me lay
when but to banish thoughts of thee
of my heavenly Father I did pray.
Know not I, my dearest love
what defense there is to say.

So, thou finest of all mortal men,
I beg of thee, please, to hate me,
Laugh me to scorn, chide, deride,
wrench my bleeding heart, berate me,
then perhaps this the bond of God
will somehow end, abate, for me.

Till then, my love, I weep, and yearn,
I wait. I watch. I hope. I trust. I love,
while away from thee my pleading
arms thou dost so roughly shove.
Remain I, until I am freed from thee
by word from my master up above.

He Cricket
Outside my window the cricket chirps,
twice per second he counts my life away,
and older I become with each chirp,
never saying what I have to say.

Then pauses he, as if to catch breath,
but know I the silence in his song,
he stops not to fill miniature lungs,
but halts only when he moves along.

And sharp the pain enters my breast,
and jealousy into my heart doth race,
for sings he all of the night long,
in search of her he does call and pace.

And sit I here, and watch, and wait,
tied secure, but seemingly free.
He searches all the night for her,
When will you ever search for me?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Good, Better, Best

(or, in other words, why some people have expressed in plain terms that I am way too picky when it comes to men.)

I don't trust my own judgment.

Really I don't. I make pretty good choices, I stay out of trouble (for the most part), but I don't trust my own judgment, especially when it comes to men.

Men, well honestly I don't know how much I get them as a species. I get individual men, adore individual men, the way I adore women. I just tend to adore all women, with few exceptions, and men... not so much. I have to have a pretty good feel for a man before I will adore him.

Like my friend Miguel (name used by permission... well actually he was like "Why didn't you use my full name?!). I love Miguel. I adore Miguel. He is the sweetest guy. There is absolutely no guile in him. His heart is open, he gives until he bleeds, he works really hard at being a good person. He's cute too, even... okay especially... when he forgets to shave, it sets off that sparkling smile, the laughter in his eyes. I love to watch him laugh. Miguel has a light in him that warms everyone he touches, and he gives the best hugs. I wish I could just put him in my backpack and carry him around with me all day.

So if I like him so much, why don't we date? Well first off because he's like my little bro and that would just be weird. Really though, it's because he's not My Best. He's one of my best friends, but he's not My Best.

What is "My Best"? How do I know who is "My Best" if I don't trust my own judgment?

Well those are excellent questions, my dear reader.

I believe that in life there are many courses we can take. For instance, if we have to teach a lesson next month in church. We can start the lesson a month prior and work on it day by day. We can read through the lesson a month before and then just throw the thoughts on the back burner until the night before. We could start preparing the week before. We could not crack the book until the night before. We could even get up early the day of, open the book, and then just let the lesson happen as it may.

All of these are good choices. After all, at the end we have read the material and given the lesson, right? We learned, our students learned, and most importantly we felt the Spirit.

Some of those choices are better choices. These choices prepare us better, inform us better, sink into our soul better. They change us through the lesson before it is given, so that our testimony of the power of the principle can touch our students.

Somewhere, in the infinite list of choices we can make about how to prepare a lesson is the Best choice for us to make. This is the choice we should be making all the time. This is the choice that does the MOST good. This is the choice that tips the balance between the lesson teaching us and the lesson changing the rest of our lives.

Which choice we end up making is determined by our own style of teaching, commitment, and need for preparation. Not everyone has the same Best choice. One of my best friends and I debated this topic a bit this week, and while we both had excellent points we didn't really bother with a consensus. Why didn't we hammer it out to the end? Well because we are different people, and we quickly saw that we have different Bests and it wasn't worth pursuing some mythical mutually-agreeable answer.

So My Best, when it comes to men, will be the man who doesn't just help me be better, who doesn't just influence me for good, he'll be the man who changes my Eternity.

That's kind of a hard thing to judge, right? I mean I could go with any number of measures for this. I could go with twitterpation, stability, creativity, spontaneity, physical prowess, career choice, number of Temple visits in a month, dating track record, sense of humor, or any combination of those things.

Of course, for most women it's a list, right? "He must have this, this, this and this or there is no way I will ever date him." You know what? I really don't blame them. It must be nice knowing exactly what you want. They know what to look for.

Me, I don't trust lists like that. "Long walks on the beach," could be fun or torture depending on who you are with. "Strong testimony," can often equal "enormous big-head who thinks he knows everything about the gospel." "Elder's Quorum President," can just as quickly mean "popular with the guys and needs a lesson in love and service" as it can "put together, spiritual, and only single because he's been waiting for you."

No, I don't have a list.

Well, okay, I have a short list. Want to hear what's on it? Oh good, I'm so glad, because I was going to type it out anyway.

Thora's list of MUSTS in a man:

Honors his Priesthood

Loves his family

Honors his mother

Has "The nod from God"

That's it.

There's a lot implied in that little list. The real deal clincher is the last one, and it has stopped me from going on several first dates. I know, what on earth am I thinking? Why am I talking to God about a guy before the first date? Isn't that a little... early?

Well not really, not in my mind. Like I said, I don't trust my own judgment.

What I do trust is my ability to listen to The Spirit. I uprooted myself from one of the best support networks I had ever known, sold pretty much everything I owned, crossed the country three times in one summer, and completely re-wrote my life story based on answers to prayer, and that's just a tiny portion of the recent list. A long time ago, long before I got divorced, long before the separation, long before I moved hours away from my family, I figured out that God was the only thing in the world I could trust.

That trust has been put to the test, time and time again. I follow each "Yes" and "No" as faithfully as I can. It's the "you decide" answer that I hate. Just give it to me straight, I don't have the energy for this.

Of course, I kind of have to laugh, because the more I get those "you decide" answers the more I look back and see why it wasn't a "Yes" or a "No. Like today. I prayed earlier this week about what I should do with my time today. I asked about stopping by each of the singles wards and felt no urge to go to any of them, which was a little confusing because previously I've gotten pretty clear answers. Well, what I didn't ask was, am I going to be laying sick in bed most of the day? I'd have gotten a "Yes" on that for sure.

I didn't ask that though. I didn't think to ask. There are a lot of things I don't think to ask. I don't think to ask them because I have such limited vision. I don't see. I can't see. I'm pretty smart, but not smart enough to know which set of joys and trials is going to make the Best out of me.

That's why I pray all the time. That's why I stay faithful to those answers even when they don't make sense, because I know that God is infinitely more wise that I am and I'm tired of screwing up.

So if you are a good guy that has hit on me and didn't get anywhere, please don't take it personally. I'm not judging you. I'm not really even trying to judge you. I didn't look at you and think, "Oh no, he doesn't go to the temple enough" or "his abs aren't up to snuff."

No, chances are I thought about it and didn't feel a "Yes." I'm not into wasting men's time, money, and emotional investment. I'm not into making the women out there that are their Bests wait a minute longer just so I can get the same answer next week, next month, next year, that I could have gotten right away.

I'm not here looking for a Good man. There are thousands of Good men out there, and my marrying them would just end up hurting people.

I'm not here looking for a Better man. There are hundreds of Better men out there, and my marrying any of them would just end up hurting people.

I'm here looking for My Best, or I just won't get married at all. I can handle that.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Body

My Body

I look in the mirror.
I see my face.
My skin is slack,
from years in this place.

My eyes are lined
from smiles and tears,
my shoulders stooped
from weight of years.

My spine is curled
from stretch and lean
and the creaks and pops
you know what they mean.

My belly is slack
and lays in a fold
where once a child
my skin did hold.

My legs are dimpled
and dry and pale,
and don’t ask me what
is going on with my nails.

Yes it seems that this life
with its ups and downs
has left me a body
on which the world frowns.

I think with great fondness
of laying it by
and on to my perfect
form I will fly.

Then think I of
the risen Lord.
To abandon His flaws
could He afford?

For now and ever
my Savior stands
with evidence of His work
embossed in His hands.

I look at my body
perhaps wrinkled and old
and think of the life
that through it is told.

It tells of my works,
of my long and hard days
of service and kindness
of a woman that prays.

It tells of the yoke
that I carried with pride
for I walked with Jesus
on the other side.

Now a different kind
of body image I see,
I am His great work
the body of me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Endure It Well, and Observations on Being on Vocal Rest

Three more weeks of silence. Then I'll go to the specialist with the cool toys to look at my vocal chords and see what's up.
I'll be fine I'm sure, things just tend to take time in my life. It's all part of God's plan to boost my endurance.
Almost a month ago God and I were having a chat during Sacrament Meeting. I said, "Okay, so I've learned to take leaps of faith, have hope when reason says there isn't hope, and I'm getting this patience thing down okay, so am I still missing something here? What do I need to do now to make Thy Will happen in my life?"
He said, "Endure, endure it well."
Stupid me thought he was talking about the trials I was already going through. Well apparently not, because let me tell you the silence is nothing compared with the other big thing that blindsided me and then the collection of other problems that have cropped up since then.
And yet, while there are unexpected moments of stabbing emotional pain, boy have I learned. I've learned that sometimes we have to go through things, and it's not even about if we get to the destination we think we are headed for. It's about God showing us a path and saying, "Walk this, it leads to valley I told you about, and the journey will teach you to be like me." So we start down the path, and walk it faithfully. We deal with all the stuff that tries to knock us off track. We slog through the mire. There are times when we wonder if we will survive.
And then one day it hits us... it's not about the valley, it's about obeying and learning to be like God. It's not about getting to some earthly goal, it's not about earning a mansion on high, it's about being so committed to living by eternal truths and revelation that we become more like God in every step.
That's the difference between enduring and enduring it well.

So yes, yes it is super annoying to have to parent 3 kids, alone, with no voice. It is hard on me to be unable to be heard, or to try other's patience with my slow responses. BUT it really isn't much to endure, and in the end, my other trials won't be either, because I'm focusing on wringing every drop of growth out of this that I can.

So there's the spiritual stuff.

Now for the funny things I have observed thus far:

1) When you gesture at your throat to people that you can't speak, a lot of them get flustered and think you can't hear either. They raise their voices, or they want to write back to you on your paper. Naturally they are embarrassed when they figure out that they are doing this, but I find it endearing, because they are usually the kindest people who are so wrapped up in making things easier for others that they go overboard. Such angels.

2) If you know any people who kind of give you the heebie-jeebies already, don't let them know that you can't speak. They may decide this is their opportunity to massage and stroke your lily-white throat as they murmur "comforting" things to you. Oh what's that? That's not funny? Don't tell me that. Please. Please tell me I will laugh about it someday, because I'm still a little disturbed. Heebie-jeebie city.

So maybe they aren't funny, but I find them interesting at least...

3) As much as I'm not heard, a lot of people make a big effort to listen to me, and I find it a wonderful reflection on mankind. I hold up my little sign and suddenly they extend patience and courtesy that they probably wouldn't have before. I get the most genuine smiles.

4) People can't read lips. I mean some people can, and to tell you the truth I'd like to carry around a person who can read lips in my back pocket (but let's face it my butt is just not that big!) I've taken to gesturing, pantomiming, and using writing as a last resort because it takes foreeeeever. I am really lucky though because some people are completely uber lovely and when I walk in they will inform everyone else for me that I can't speak and fill in all the details that take forever for people to read.

5) And that's another thing. People are slow readers. I mean, I know there are factors involved like a)Thora's deplorable handwriting, b) lighting c) nerves of having to read something thrust in your face and d) eyesight factors. I just find it amusing because I'm one of the slower readers among my siblings, but apparently I'm not a slow reader at all.

6) Songs mean more when you can't sing them and just listen to the words and carry them in your heart. At least, to me they do.

7) I've never listened so much to the way a congregation sounds during Hymns like I have recently. There are some lovely singers in my ward. I love to listen to them. There are some people who really can't sing at all. I listen to them too. No,  no, I'm not wishing they would be quiet, quite the opposite. I am touched that they take their devotion to God to such a level that they would leave their comfort zone and skill set like that, just to praise Him. Bravo, Bravo, BRAVO and WOW!

8) There's a little boy who sits in front of us at church. For months he has turned around during songs to listen to me sing. Last Sunday he turned around and kind of glared at me in confusion because I wasn't singing. I mean, I rather expected it when the first Sunday I didn't sing Bro. Pierce leans in his seat on the stand to see around the pulpit and sends me a quizzical look, it's just... it's something about a KID missing my voice. This kid has never spoken to me, he's probably headed into kindergarten this year, and somehow... somehow that makes his opinion matter so much more.

9) There is someone I really miss talking to. You see, he can't read, he can't even sit straight in his wheelchair. He drools constantly and has no words to communicate with at all. The most sound you get out of him is a coughing fit. However, he understands. I love to get down on the floor in front of him and chatter away. I'll ask questions, and he'll respond with his expressions. He can say so much with his face. He has a terrific sense of humor. He thinks I'm funny, and a bit full of myself. I think I'd say just about any crazy thing just to get him to laugh his silent laugh. His eyes are almost blindingly bright when he's laughing. He loves his brother (who takes care of him nearly 24/7). He loves the gospel. He has opinions too, if you take the time to talk to him about things. However, if he's got one of those soft yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies he won't pay an ounce of attention to me. Just as it should be. Yeah... I really miss talking to him.

10) I've been blind all this time to what it is like to have a physical limitation. I won't say I know what it is like even now, because I have a possible end-date on my calendar, and I've had all these years with my voice anyway, and I mean... it's just a voice.
I wrote to someone the other day that it is at rock bottom that we find our deep well of compassion, and I really believe that. I'm not really at rock bottom this time around, not even close, but I have gained so much. I  have learned such respect and awe of people who face life with bodies that don't work like everyone else's. I thought I had respect and understanding before, but I didn't, and I'm ashamed of what I once called my wisdom.

Well, okay, that got all spiritual too. Looks like I can't write anything without turning it back to God, but hey, when someone is the center of your life you're kind of going to mention them a lot, right?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Mortar

Otherwise entitled: What I learned in church today.

Today in church the lesson was talking about all of our roles in God's kingdom. The book mentioned hod carriers, which... I know a hod tender, so I kind of laughed when it was said. I was disabused a long time ago about the seeming unimportance of a hod man. I am no longer among those who are unfamiliar with the crucial importance of the right timing of deliveries to the masons, the proper preparation of the mortar, and the importance of preparing the work site.
The teacher went on with her lesson, but my mind stayed on construction (yes, I only half listen to the teachers in church, I try to listen to the dialogue of The Spirit with my spirit instead). I have a lot of respect for construction work. It is a beautiful, noble thing to build something. It is even more beautiful and more noble to build it well. My mind was full of images of hard working men, dirty, sweaty, skilled, swift, reliable. They worked with real things, tangible things, they created. Construction, in my mind, is a great art.
Of course the Mater Builder agrees with me on that. How many construction related passages are there in scripture? Well I don't know either, but it's a lot.
My mind then circled, not on the workers, but on the materials. What if the bricks weren't there?
About that time the teacher said something about people who think their job in the church is so unimportant that they don't bother to do it at all.
Not doing their job at all, yes... what IF the bricks weren't there? What if, as God, The Master Builder, was building heaven and ran out on bricks? Or what if, horror of horrors the bricks that he had put in place ran out on him? What would the structure of heaven be then? Surely not sound, if it was missing bricks here and there, everywhere, punching holes in God's work so it looks like Swiss cheese.
I wondered if any of those missing bricks knew how they had weakened the wall. Obviously they hadn't felt that being where God had placed them was very important, but what did it do to the bricks around them?
In my minds eye I could see the cracks forming, the wall bowing, the chasm opening as the wall crumbled.
All from a missing brick.
Was I that missing brick? Sometimes, perhaps I am. Sometimes I don't even feel like a brick, I feel like half baked mud, no... sometimes I feel like sloppy, messy, formless, ugly, mortar.
I wondered how many others felt like mortar. I looked around. I could see a few. I knew they felt unimportant. We all focus so much on the pillars, the foundation stones, the big big blocks of so much weight and importance.
Yet, were would it all be without the mortar?

I think all of us feel like mortar sometimes, like we haven't become anything yet that could be of real use in the Kingdom of Heaven. How very wrong we are.

You! You with all your pliability, you without the rigid structure, you who go un-noticed, seeping into seems, smashed between the big beautiful blocks, mixed up, scraped, slopped, oozing, you are the thing that holds it all together. Without you, the wall is nothing but a teetering pile. Without you it will never be strong. Without you all the bricks in the world could not build heaven right.

Brothers and sisters, God needs you. You may not understand  how you are making a difference, but being present IS making a difference. Being willing is making a difference. Being YOU is making a difference.

Friday, July 26, 2013


(for my fluffy friend Donner)

You stare,
with every ounce of your determination,
at the object, heart of your fixation.

It sits,
The center of your very life and joy,
your whole world wrapped up in that little toy.

You think,
In your naivety that if you sit there, and will it,
that somehow God will move and fulfill it.

The world,
it laughs at you, dog, it thinks you senseless,
for the lack of logic, for being so ridiculous.

Don't you know?
Can't you see that it's pointless to dream?
What a simpleton you always seem.

But hope,
hang on with your last ounce of tenacity,
then God will grant in His felicity.

I know,
why you pant in your anticipation,
frozen in your assigned station.

For I
know why you sit, watch, and wait,
for God to reach, and roll your fate.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Life is Homework

My whole life I've heard it, "Life is a test."

Well no, I don't really think it is. I don't think it is because right now I'm a full time student. I take tests, and because it is summer term I often take more than one test in a day. What fills my life is not tests though, it is homework, hours and hours and hours of homework.

I was sitting there the other day, math book open to a page filled with problems. Yes, problems. They call them problems. They are things we have to solve, or maybe just simplify, which while it takes less work is kind of annoying because there is no resolution. They start at the beginning of the page with easy problems, and then as the hours wear on and the pencil wears down things get a little more complicated.

As I tackled problem after problem that day I realized that I was indeed learning through this process, because I looked at a new problem and didn't have the panic attack I'd had on the last one. I knew what to do now, because I'd worked through that last one. I had learned from my experience. I applied the process I had learned, and with my understanding of the principles of mathematics I zipped right through that quadratic equation.

I find that my life is much the same. I come up against the same problems over and over. I'm impatient, passionate about all the wrong things, somewhat snarly, too emotional at times and at other times far too apathetic.

If life was a test, I'd flat out fail. That's why I'm so glad it is homework instead. Yes it's annoying and takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r-r-r-r-r-r-r. Yes I get tired of facing the same issue with a little twist, time and time again. But I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am that I got a second chance on something I blew it on yesterday, because I can do this, I can learn. I can learn and grow and mature and someday, someday I'm going to be like my math teacher and think it's all great fun.

So my friends, do your homework For God is wise and wants nothing more than to see you graduate with honors.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013



What is it in rain that hushes the soul?
When the skies they do cry, as out of control,
Perhaps through their tears I am washed clean
Is this what this quiet within me means?

Do the rivers and streams on my windowsill
Reflect hopes and dreams carried in me still?
Does the plip-plop of rain drops upon the ground
Echo the skipping of my heart’s sound?

Be it thus? Am I air? Are thus we all light?
Born are we for atmospheric flight?
And then when heavy fall we to the ground?
In this is the cycle of all life found?

Oh fall heavy rain, fall morning mist,
Essence of heaven that all of us miss.
Fall all around me, wash my mind clean,
That home to my heaven go I in my dreams.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Bring her flowers

The other day my friends came to pick me up, this is a regular thing as my arm heals to the point where I can brave the highway. As usual John got out of the car to open my door for me. He does this, not because I am the one-armed-wonder-woman, but because opening doors for women is part of who he is.

Before he let me pass him he requested, in that gentle voice of his, that I close my eyes and hold out my hand. I willingly obliged not knowing what to expect and surprised at bit at myself for trusting him. I don't really trust men in general. I'm working on it, but let's be honest, I don't.

Into my hand was placed something long and somewhat smooth, and there was a fluttering feeling in the instant before I opened my eyes. For half of that instant I thought it was a lizard, which, if you know anything about me, would have been quite welcome. However, it wasn't a lizard. It was a flower, a beautiful, open, yellow rose. It was fragrant, in the way only garden grown flowers can be. I quickly heeded his suggestion that I put it in water before we left, and it's this bright happy spot on the counter in my kitchen.

Now, lest some of you *cough, my dearly protective brothers, cough* get ideas, John is just a friend. He's the guy lucky enough to take Jessica out several times a week. He's one of my secret-keepers. He's a wonderful, dear, soul. I love that he brought me a yellow rose, instead of the ones he brings Jessi all the time, because the yellow rose is the rose of friendship. I doubt he knows that... or maybe he does, but all the same I am touched that he did it.

It's funny, really, because over the years I'd rather come to hate flowers, and yellow is my least favorite color, and yet this yellow rose brings me great joy.

"Why did you hate flowers?" You may ask of me, and I will answer you now. I can, because I started contemplating on this a few weeks ago. I hated flowers because they were the symbol of a man seeing something beautiful, and thinking of me.

I remember one time I was out with friends, once again accompanied not by a man who I was involved with, but by the man dating my best friend. We were riding in his newly completed go-cart, and he took a turn that ended with the wheel snapped off the cart, and under the cage, while we sat in the clearing dust. We had to walk back.

As we walked he reached out and snapped a wild flower off its mother plant and presented it to me. It was a spontaneous gift, and I found it a very sweet gesture. He probably thought nothing of it, but it has stayed with me.

I've gotten flowers at other times, cut flowers on dates or for special occasions. First into a vase they would go, and then upside-down on the wall to dry. I also often get flowers from my children, and they have always been beautiful.

I got flowers from my then-husband, on occasion, but ONLY under some external pressure from friends, family, or society. One time he even went out the day after Valentines, bought a bunch of roses, scattered the petals in a bath, up the hall, and all over the bed.

Then I found out that the woman he had insisted we host for Valentines dinner the night before, was his lover.

So, over time I had grown to hate flowers, because the thing that had once to me been the symbol of gentility, was now the thing men throw at you to get in your good graces, whether they deserve to be in your good graces or not. I didn't want to be bitter like that, but I was. I was bitter because every vase of flowers I saw, every ad for a holiday where one might expect flowers cut me like a knife. I didn't expect them, I didn't want them, because it was all a lie. Men did not love me enough to see something beautiful and think of me.

I cry as I write this, and I laugh at myself too. I'm not crying because I'm mad or sad that my life was this way. I'm crying because I'm loving that I was WRONG. Men, good men, kind men, do love me. They do think of me when they see something beautiful. Right now it's not men I'm dating, because I'm not dating. (Notice the period.) I have been very blessed however to have met a number of men over the last few months, no... that's wrong, I've met many men over the years who have cared about me enough to think of me. Granted, they couldn't bring me flowers, that was the office of one who... well didn't even want the office, but they still cared.

Slowly, one guy-friend at a time I am learning to love flowers and gifts again (and you would not believe some of the thoughtful gifts I've been given lately.) I'm learning to close my eyes and put my hand out and trust again. I'm learning that while I seek to do good in the world, simply because I despair to think of doing harm, there are those who echo that sentiment. I'm learning that there truly are good men in the world who can care about, think about, and give to a woman, even if they require nothing but her smile in return.

So gentlemen, bring her flowers, and if it be not flowers, bring her something that somehow says, "You are in my thoughts." Call her at lunch. Do the dishes with her. Hold her hand. Write her a poem. Make something for her. Spend time with her. Listen to her, and ask her questions about her life. Watch a chick-flick. Open the door for her. Pay attention to  her hobbies and get her something hobby-related, she will be touched that you paid attention.

In little ways, every day, tell her you love her, and under your husbandry she will bloom all the brighter.

Friday, April 19, 2013

On Turning 34

It's become a bit of a tradition now to pause on my birthday and try to look both ways down the path of life. I don't know how long I'll be able to make this, my arm cramps up pretty quick typing as my bicep recovers from surgery, but we shall see.

I could never have predicted how much my life would change this year. I look back and on my birthday last year, I was steps away from a massive leap of faith. I didn't know then how soon I would be allowed to take it, but take it I did with whole heart.

I landed here, in St. George, having met previously a handful of locals. They reached out and gave me a roof, a job, and instant friends. I have never met people more generous, guile-less, and anxious to serve.

Not that life here didn't have it's problems. I had trials of health, legal trials, financial trials, and for some reason they all crowded in at once. I was better armed than my adversary though. No matter how hard the devil tried to get me down my angels lifted me up.

It's funny because it was really, really hard at moments, but I would get through those moments and look back thinking, "Well, that wasn't so bad." It wasn't long before I realised that my feet weren't even touching the ground anymore. I was being carried.

To be honest, that's a disconcerting state, to know that, no matter how long you have been a hard-working-do-it-yourself-er, that God is INSISTING on carrying you. I decided long ago to stop fighting God, so I watched as He took the last vestiges of control of my life out of my hands. Then He showed me what He offered instead.

My dear friend told me the other day that this time is the happiest she has ever known, and I couldn't agree more. I don't know if heaven itself could hold more joy than I feel these days. Each day I am staggered by the blessings of God, each day I shake my head in wonder.

My friends tell me I deserve it, as if any person could earn bliss like this, as if any person's heart was made to accommodate this much love and joy. No, I don't deserve it. I have so many flaws. I am so impatient, so quick to indignation, so selfish, so carnal, and land can I be lazy. So I must credit my joy to God's generosity alone.

I still have problems, like the cramp that is getting worse in my arm with every word, and the money issues that I will likely have forever, but those problems aren't in my hands anymore. I will do all I can, rest assured, but there is only so much I can do. God will do the rest. I know because he already has, again and again.

33 was honestly the best year of my life, but I think 34 is going to be better. I'll start school, get on the road to that psychology degree I've been putting off all these years. I'll work. I'll teach my kids through love. Maybe, just maybe, I'll find love too, in a man with a heart like mine, with a devotion to God like mine, for that is all I require. This is my path, the one I float down, the one that cannot hurt me only heal me, teach me, and make me better.

So today, on my birthday I make a wish. I wish everyone could have this kind of relationship with God, so we could all be this happy, for I love you all and wish you all true joy.

God Bless,


Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Labels We Wear

(This has taken me days to type because I'm recovering from surgery and get a cramp in my newly repaired bicep after a few paragraphs. I needed to get it out though, so here it is.)

My 12 year old daughter came to me a few weeks ago. She said she wanted to get gauges.

Yup, gauges, as in stretch your ear lobe to massive proportions to fit around a piercing big enough to dunk a basketball through. Those gauges.

I managed not to panic.

I then pulled out "The Talk." No, not the one about sex, because we've had that and will continue to have it as she ages. No, I pulled out the other "Talk" that I've been formulating in my mind for years. It's the talk I wish someone had given me when I was her age, you know, when I lived in Reno and thought the "fancy women" on street corners and the even LESS clad women on casino billboards were the kind of women all men wanted.

Apparently not everyone has this talk in their arsenal though, so today I am going to give it to you.

Imagine you and I are in a car driving around. We see a building. On the front of the building there is a sign that says "Elementary School." What do you suppose happens inside that building? What do you suppose people go there for? What would you expect when you walked through that door?
I won't answer for you. Let's continue our drive.

Look, there is a building with a sign that says "Bank." What do you suppose happens inside that building? What do you suppose people go there for? What would you expect when you walked through that door? What is that building?

Now, here's one with no sign that we can read. It has big boxes of fruit out front. It has dried peppers hanging on a string from the red tile roof. It has a sombrero hanging on the wall next to the aqua-marine painted door. What is that building? What do you suppose people go there for? What would you expect when you walked through that door? What kind of people do you think go there the most?

There's another building, it has a steeple and great big front doors.

What about that one? The tiny one right by the football field. What happens in there?

How do you know?

Well, dear, people are like buildings. What people see on the outside, written or presented without words tells them something about that person.

It's obvious when it's a word, like "Budweiser," "Aeroposatle," or "YMCA" that the person wearing that label wants you to identify them with a particular brand, group, lifestyle, orientation, or organization. Most labeling is more subtle though, and unless you know something about that group/brand/lifestyle you may miss the labels.

Now picture this, you see a woman. She is in Wranglers, boots, a ruffled blouse, long ringlets going down her back. Her boots are scuffed and dusty, her hands are chapped. What kind of music do you suppose she listens to? What kind of house do you think she would like to live in?

Using basic human logic, we would say, country and she'd love a nice rambling ranch or better yet a log cabin with a fireplace and a view. Why? Because we read her labels, the labels she chose to wear.

Picture a man all in black, pale skin, pierced everywhere, eyeliner, black lipstick, chunky shoes. (I pause for some of you to silence your inner kitty.) He carries a big thick book and looks at no one, at least when they are looking he doesn't.

I'm not asking you to judge him, I'm just asking you to read him. What does his appearance tell you? Do you think he's at home on the range? Do you see him Latin dancing with one girl after another Friday night? What is he telling you with his self-applied labels?

Personally I love pretty much everyone. Who I select to be my nearest and dearest has little to do with their labels. I still read them, I still understand what they are consciously or unconsciously trying to say about themselves, but I look past them and look at the soul.

Most people don't have time for that, or won't take time for that unless the initial labels match their own. We all SHOULD. That's what God WANTS us to do, but let's face it, most people don't. Judging is wrong, and we should never avoid people based on their looks, but don't make the error of thinking that others don't make snap decisions based on how YOU present YOURSELF.

You need to identify, understand, and make a choice about how you are advertising yourself. What does your haircut, your favorite shirt, your car, your jewelry, say about you?

I told my daughter that if she really wanted gauges that given time and thought if she still really wanted them, then I wouldn't stand in her way. She needed to understand the culture with which people would lump her first. It is a culture that doesn't like rules. It is a culture that includes a lot of really "cool" or "sick" (as they call it now) stuff. It is also a culture through which drugs runs rampant. I told her that if that is where her friends are, that's okay, because I know very well how accepting people in that culture can be of people who are different, or at least who feel different. I don't blame her a bit for liking them.

My concern was the drugs. We had the drug talk long ago. So when I pointed out that drugs would be all around her if that was the culture she identified herself with, her eyes got big.

I still went out the next day and got her fake gauges, just like I've made her Vampire jewelry, buy her goth style dresses, and got her a fedora. I know she's just trying on all these things, I know she's just trying to pick her labels. I'm pretty cool with whatever ones she picks too, because I know who she is, even if she's still figuring that out. I'll see past whatever labels she wears because I love her. I just hope her labels give others that chance, because she is one of the most beautiful souls in the world and everyone should get the chance to know and love her.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words...

but when has a thousand words ever been enough for ME to say anything?
I'm wasn't sure if I should put this on thethoughtsofthora or thethingsofthora as it could have been both. I settled on here.

I'm not a great photographer, in fact I'm more of a camera dabbler (see my post The Dabbler). I like to go through the pictures I have taken, mess with them in Picassa, and then throw words on them. Mostly the words are mine, but sometimes I will pick a quote. So, if it doesn't say who said it, I wrote it, and that's why this is on "Thoughts."

Anyway, enjoy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wrote this today, and yup, that's me in the picture too.

The Sea

The Sea

My heart is as the very sea,
Ripped with storm and tempest tossed,
Subject to the winds am I
As down they wail and calm is lost.

Shriek and moan they call
And I fear, I tremble, I quail.
All around me they howl
And within my breast my heart doth fail,

Until a voice speaks
Still and small, but a voice that fills,
To calmness now it beckons me
I hear His voice, and peace, I am still.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Would

I would that I could take your pain
and see you smiling once again
I would that I could dry your tears,
banish your demons erase your fears

I would that I could bleed for you
instead of watch what you’re going through
I wish that I could pave the way
remove the bumps from every day

I would that I could shelter you
and take all darkness from your view,
but God loves you better than me
the way to make you best He sees

So down thorny paths He lets you go
and life’s pains he lets you know
Then provides a way to take all pain,
and then full joy we all shall gain.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Dabbler


I’m a dabbler; I’ll admit it, readily. There isn’t a single one of my talents that I am exceptional at (by any standard besides in the rose colored glasses of those that love me.)

In the past 20 years or so I have dabbled with:
OOAK Dolls
Miniature Armor and Weaponry design
Cake decorating
Italian Cuisine, from scratch
Asian Cuisine
Book/ short story Writing
Belly dance
Ballroom Dance
Latin Dance
Jewelry making
Paper Mache
Cutting hair
Stage make-up
Tile laying
Pergo laying
Interior Design
Set Design
Learning Languages
Song Writing
Public Speaking

There are probably more, but you get the drift.

Now some people would look at that list and think it’s pretty impressive, but remember, I’m not proficient at all of those things, in fact some of them I was really bad at. Some of them I will never go back to, some of them I did today, and some of them I will pick back up in the future. The fact is, though, I will never be among the truly great at ANY of those things.

I’m okay with that, because I’m a dabbler. Dabblers know that it isn’t about being great, or doing better than anyone else. It’s about experiencing something, putting your heart in it for a while, enjoying it, and then letting those obsessed with it carry on with the insane competitiveness while you go on your merry way.

Of course there is nothing wrong with being great at something, lots of people are, and when I am exposed to true greatness at a talent I stand in awe of the time and devotion that greatness requires, as well as the raw God-given talent that inspired said devotion. I applaud the truly great for having what I do not, the desire to achieve a lofty and difficult goal.
But me, I’ll keep dabbling. Maybe my arm will heal up well enough that I can finally take up archery. If not there is always welding (I’ve wanted to try that for over a decade), or pottery, or stained glass window making, or maybe I’ll even learn an instrument (I’d prefer the Guzheng , for reasons only a select few will understand, but the guitar would be fun… left handed, hmmm… maybe not). I’ll keep dabbling, because dabbling brings me joy, and really… what else is there?

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Often when we have in our lives people who hurt us time and again it becomes difficult for us to forgive them. We struggle and achieve some peace over their past offences, but with every new offence it feels like they are TRYING to re-open the old wounds we worked so hard to heal.
I was praying this morning about such a situation in my life, talking to the Lord about how hard it was for me to deal with the fresh stuff, the current stuff, the veiled threats, the manipulation, the insults and legal strong-arming.
I know, because the specific promises the Lord has made to me are sure, that not only will the Lord fight my battles for me and deliver me when I am beset, but that this process will work towards the good of myself and those I love. It was just that momentary venom I was worried about, that red-head flash of anger and indignation. How was I ever to overcome that?
Then the Spirit spoke to me in my prayer, “Forgiveness removes the power of evil over the righteous soul, do not give evil power over even those tiny moments in your life. Forgive instantly that evil will have NO power over you.”
Then the Spirit told me to get up and post this.
So I don’t know which of you needed this as well as I today, but here it is, and my love and God’s love come with it. Peace be unto you.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Working Parent's Sabbath Prayer

Dear Father,
I know that You invited me to Your house today, and it is the fondest desire of my heart to go. Yet, You and I both know that there is food to be put on the table, and a roof to be put over the heads of my children, and so today to work I will go. On the day of rest I will wear myself out, when all I desire is to sit in thy chair, renew my soul, and partake of the emblems of thy sacrifice.
Still, I know that of anyone You understand. You know what it is like to be separated from your children for their good. You know the price we pay to have the privilege of loving them, for You pay it for us.
So if I cannot come to Your house today, please make my heart Your home. Let my Sabbath worship be a heart filled with love, eyes filled with light, a tongue that speaks love and kindness, and hands that work willingly for good.
Stay with me, for I long to stay with You.
Your Child, in the Name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Apparent Beauty

Apparent Beauty

Smooth, hot, gorgeous,
flip of the hair,
a face to share.

Beauty, written all over,
catching the eye,
making them sigh.

A sight for the breathless,
like a California evening,
or a Shanghai morning.

The throws of ardor,
a taste, a flavor,
a feast of color.

But peel it, reveal aught,
what do you find?
What you had in mind?

Seeing now underneath,
in the heart,
the truest part,

Not what you thought,
not what life taught,
you find no sign of evil’s rot.

In silk did God ensheathe,
a sword of brilliance,
that strikes in silence,

To pierce all hearts with truest love.