Monday, November 26, 2007

Bustle, Bustle

bustle, bustle
the shopping bags rustle.
the shoppers line up
looping around store corners,
stamping their feet against the cold.

presents for everyone - the rich and
the poor, family and friends. Good will
and profit margins and sales too good
to miss.

and I, I just want to curl up, slip
away from this glittering world of
knick-nacks and gizmos, and things
that I never knew I needed (and things
I didn't need after all). Slip away from
the madness, the Black Fridays and the
Boxing Days, the blowout sales, the buy
buy, buy, now, now now.

(Sorry about the disappearing act, all. It's been a very dry season for my writing. Even now, I'm very rusty )

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Free to stand tall- Reflections on Luke 13 : 10-22

Bent double, crippled inside and out, that had been my life for the past eighteen years. Eighteen years of pain and doubt and fear, fear the crippled me from the inside out ....
I had always been a worrier, as a young child I carried the cares of the world on my shoulders, listening intently in the night to my parents whispers of concern over whether or not they could eke out the provisions until my father received pay for his latest work. My father was a craftsman, a carpenter, strong and steady, a perfectionist, often their whisperings were concerned with the speed of his work, a little more speed a little less perfection my mother would urge, the pay would be the same. but he would have none of it, a perfectionist to the end.
I would lie awake and worry, worry that the burden of a daughter, an extra mouth to feed was to much for them, my two brothers were already learning the trade, becoming useful, but that was not the way for me and so I worried.
I worried as I grew older, no man would look at me twice for I was no stunning beauty, neither did I have a dowry to speak of. I worried that I would continue to be a burden. Slowly but surely the fears and the worrying ate away at my insides.
My mother died first, she was not old, and so I took over keeping house for my father, cooking and cleaning, caring for him. My brothers were married now, living close by, they and their families would gather with us to celebrate the Sabbath meal, a happy time, and yet one where I would sense myself sinking further and further into the background.
Eight years I lived in this way, caring for my father, when he became ill with a fever, I nursed him day and night, it took him a week to go, and suddenly I was alone. Alone, and afraid!.....

more here.
Artist- Njuguna

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Self Deception

I can surround myself
with books,
with music,
with prayers,
written and
yet I remain far from you.
I can read blogs
and web-sites
hoping to find
a crumb of
words of solace and relief,
yet I remain far from you.
It is only when
I look within,
when I discover the barriers
of self-loathing,
that I understand, the obstacle
to your love
is me!
How easily I declare
myself unworthy,
How easily I reject your love
and fail to understand that
in love you long to
include me,
enfold me,
embrace me.
Come gentle Spirit
Help me to tear down
these walls,
these lies,
this blindness,
that keeps me
from you

Corss posted from Eternal Echoes

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An outcast amongst outcasts no more... Musings on Luke 17: 11-19

It is strange how my story is told, for everyone assumes I am a man, but that is not so... and my predicament rendered my thrice excluded.... a woman, a Samaritan, and a leper... for leprosy is no respecter of gender...
I was truly untouchable, an outcast amongst outcasts..
I lived within a mixed group, there were ten of us, we drew together for comfort, we became family, we had to, there was no other way.
For six years we'd lived together, surviving on the generosity of the towns folk who would come so far but no further, leaving gifts of food and clothing... always in a hurry to get away. And who could blame them?
Some of our number recognised family members, coming and leaving food, remembering better times they were caught between thankfulness, anger, and weeping. Not so for me, I had travelled away from my home, a stranger in a strange place, an outcast amongst outcasts, somehow it was less painful that way.
I had not seen my family for six long years, would I recognise my children now, my beautiful daughter... I wonder sometimes in the night if she is married, if I have grandchildren, she is of that age. My son, has he followed in his fathers footsteps, does he have a trade, is he strong ? In my dreams I hold them close, but when daylight breaks my misery returns, and I find myself in a strange place, with these people I call my family, and yet I know deep within I am an outcast amongst outcasts...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Narative musings- a voice from the crowd (Luke 15; 1-32)

His teachings were astonishing, amazing.... but more than that this preacher, Jesus, was happy to come to us, to sit with us, the outcasts, long ago rejected by polite society we would gather together for friendship and for comfort.
We were a motley bunch, shunned by the Pharisees and their followers, we were tax collectors, and prostitutes, lame and blind beggars, and ordinary people who struggled to live up to the Pharisees demands, finding more acceptance from the outcasts than from the religious leaders.
He taught through stories, wonderful stories, and spoke with such compelling warmth that we clamoured for more. He was with us that afternoon when the Pharisees came sweeping into our part of town, looking for him, when they found him sitting amongst us telling stories they started muttering and tutting. I guess they'd hoped to find him chastising us for our wicked ways, not sitting at our tables sharing our bread!
He heard the muttering, and the tongue clicking, as they growled, meaning to be heard; , "He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends." Their grumbling triggered these stories;
More here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

From servant to brother- Onesimus' story

Don't misunderstand me in this- I believe slavery is wrong and pray and seek through any practical means I can to see it come to an end. But I also believe that the letter of Philemon calls us to look beyond the surface, to discover true freedom and accept true reconciliation...
These are my narrative musings...
I ran away it is true, I thought that freedom was what I was looking for- but freedom is not what it seems... for even free I was a slave... a run away slave is not safe anywhere...
I spent weeks hiding, travelling under cover of night, scrapping for food wherever I could... sleeping fitfully during the day, afraid of being found, of being punished... there was no dignity in my so called freedom...
It was early morning when Demas found me, I was sleeping in an Olive grove, he was taking an early morning walk he was seeking space to pray...
I was in a terrible state, hungry and dirty, he knew at once that I was a runaway slave. I was too tired to care about what might happen, at that point death seemed a welcome relief...
..imagine my surprise then when he took me home, helped me to bathe, gave me fresh clothes and spread a meal before me...
...I stumbled over my story, explaining my desire for freedom, all the while he listened carefully, and when I had finished he smiled slowly... perhaps he said I should take you to Paul, he will tell you what true freedom is...
..anything seemed better than capture, and Demas apparently had no inclination to turn me over to the authorities or collect a reward, so I nodded my agreement...
We set off then to visit this Paul, the man who would tell me about true freedom; another surprise awaited me, for when we reached the house where Paul was I noticed immediately that it was under guard... Paul the expert on freedom was a prisoner! I must have looked oddly at Demas, who simply smiled back at me, you'll see he said.
Paul was a small man, yet his voice had a confident authority as he welcomed me, he motioned for me to sit, and it was then that I noticed he was in chains...
Now he smiled, much like Demas had, as if they knew a secret beyond my imagination, he lifted his hands, "these" he said indicating the chains, "do not hold me!"

more here

Friday, August 31, 2007

Freedom poetry

Christine at Abbey of the Arts held a poetry party recently;

This is one of my


True freedom
lights me from within,

and though the cage door

is closed,still I am free!

For these bars do not hold m

eand even in the dark night my

heart will sing.Songs of joy

will burst forth

until the cage

melts away,

and freedom,true freedom,


all that

seeks to hold

me captive….

my other entry is here

Monday, August 13, 2007

Unexpected Poetry

This arrived in my inbox today:

" Blurring the terrain,
The pain of being born into matter. Not daring to oppose
Is the moon to grow Out of the picture of life, as it were, out
And Mère Chose's square of world, even as they Of Boyg of Normandy..."

Can any of you make any sense out of it?

Sarah's Story

It is interesting really, because people remember me because I laughed! I laughed it is true at the preposterous suggestion that I an old woman might bear a child... I did laugh, and my laugh was a mixture of incredulity and delight... I couldn't help myself, I wasn't mocking God, though that is what I am remembered for- my apparent unbelief...
Abraham my husband on the other hand is remembered for his faith, commended for it, and people seem to forget that we both left our home, we both swapped our house for a tent to go who knows where... to follow God into the unknown!
Abraham whose faults are so often glossed over- like the time he passed me off as his sister, fearing that my aged beauty might be a danger to him!
Yes I laughed, for I couldn't see how this was going to happen, Abraham was older than me, and I'd long since come to terms with my barrenness... a child for this womb, for these shrivelled breasts... yes I laughed, but hope was rekindled in me that day.
Read more here

Friday, July 27, 2007

Trust in the Slow Work of God

And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually -
let them grow,
let them shape themselves,
without undue haste.

- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. You can read the rest here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Marthas Story...

I was hot and flustered- and it has to be said not a little angry. I'd been working all day to ensure an appropriate welcome for my guests; Jesus and his disciples- they'd arrived earlier than I'd expected, and as usual a crowd had gathered to hear Jesus, to ask him questions!
To be honest I would have preferred to have just a couple more hours to prepare the meal, and to tidy the room to make sure everything was ready. If I'd been able to do that without constantly tripping over people; fighting for room in my own home, then I too might have had time to sit and to listen like Mary.
Mary, my dear younger sister, sitting serenely at Jesus feet, oblivious to my workload- just sitting and listening, a slight smile on her face, totally absorbed in what Jesus was saying.
"Selfish and thoughtless" I muttered to myself " leaving me to do all of the work alone"..."selfish and thoughtless"...
I tried to make it to the front door again, to collect some herbs from my small garden, they were always better fresh picked, the flavour so much richer- and this was a special meal, for special guests. As I made my way out I tripped over someones foot- I don't even know whose it was, there were so many people crowding into the small space....
It was then that I lost my temper completely, surely someone had noticed my busyness, surely someone would be grateful for the time I had spent cooking and cleaning. I pulled myself up to my full height, placed my hands on my hips and rounded on Jesus.....
read more here...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Like a Thousand Red Birds

"We clutch our tiny bits of faith in tight fists,
shoved firmly into our pockets.
We clutch it suspiciously, so unwilling to let it go -
we don't want to lose it."

Read the rest of Phil Porter's poem here


Check out Sally Coleman's retelling of Luke 7:36-8:3.

It originally appeared on her blog earlier this summer, and I liked it so much that I asked her if The Ooze could reprint it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Thought on Temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB) “No temptation has overtaken you but such as common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able; but with temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”

No temptation is easy to resist – otherwise it wouldn’t be real temptation, would it? If you are troubled by a certain temptation and are having problems avoiding it, here is a simple story that may be of great help to you.

There were two dogs. The dogs were exactly alike, except one was black and the other white. Both dogs were equally strong and fierce.

One day the dogs got into a horrible fight. (and no – Michael Vick wasn’t there)They struggled and fought. They bit and tore. But because they were exactly alike, neither seemed able to finish the other off.

Two men came along. One said, “Which dog will win? It’s impossible to know.”

The other said, “I know which one will win. I can make either dog win if I so choose.”

How could he do it?

The answer is simple. Whichever dog the man chose to feed would eventually win. While that dog would grow strong with nourishment, the other would become weak with hunger.
The same idea applies to your struggle with temptation. If you feed the temptation – by hanging around the wrong people, for example – the temptation will be too strong to resist. You’ll win the battle if you feed the “good” dog.

Practicing the Spiritual disciplines. Pray. Get into God’s Word. Have fellowship with other believers. Those are some of the keys God has given you to help endure temptation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Communion and the Ex Preacher’s Kid

As children we devoured the leftover
Communion bread and grape juice at
The back of the church while the adults
Worked, sweeping the floor, putting away
The folding chairs. Counting the offering
In groups of two or three, so as not to be
Too tempted by the loose bills and change.

We are not children any longer. Indeed, we
Don’t even live in the same city. But just the
Other day I picked up a bottle of grape juice,
And a fresh loaf of bread and, with a whisper
Of gratitude on my lips, devoured it. It’s been
Many years since I’ve known the back rooms
Of a church with the intimacy of childhood. I
Can no longer claim to know every nook and
Cranny of any church building – even the ones
I once knew have, no doubt, shifted with time.

But this much I do know as I tear into the bread,
Dipping it into the juice before I eat: certain things,
Certain tastes or sounds or textures can be firmly
Rooted in the thin places in the world, those placed
In which the spirit world is just that much closer.

I'm not quite satisfied with this poem yet...I may post a revision of it later on.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Faith Why?

You notice the title of this blog is "Writing About Faith" - the problem is sometimes we either take our faith too serious or not serious enough.

With the list of "Jesus Junk" out there - it reduces our faith to an Americanized Commercial venture rather than transforming lives.

I think Faith is something we take for granted and really don't dwell on enough.

I think we have capitalized, marketed and even CEOed the Christian Faith. The problem isn't so much faith but what people have done with it.

We have made things like fundamental, evangelism, seeker, into dirty words. We have tele- Idol - evangelists and well cheesy "Christian huddle" ripp-offs of society.

Has this been what faith has been reduced to - some gimmic or promotion or marketing scheme?

What about discipleship, what about loving God and loving others? what about being a Christ follower?

I guess sometimes writing about faith is harder than one thinks.

Friday, June 29, 2007

My Eyes So Soft

Your loneliness so quickly.
Let it cut more

- Hafiz, click here to read the rest.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Only Remember

"Only Remember"
by Ruth Van Gorder

"I shall not pray to God for you
for what I think you would
like to have, or ought to have,
of gain or grace or good;"

Read the rest here

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Flag Day!

I've never really understood flag day. Perhaps it goes back to what it symbolizes. Kind of like a Bible. I don't worship the Bible but love to read it because of the Grace, history and sacrifice given. Maybe that is it for the Flags. I know my citizenship is ultimately in heaven but today I honor the Flag. My own grandfather had faught in the Great War. And so honor those who given so much up for me!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Faithvine Needs New Writers!

Faithvine is a brand new site that appears to be a fascinating cross between Myspace and The Ooze.

They're currently looking for writers to submit articles that talk about the ways in which real life intersects with our Christianity/spirituality.

I know that I'll be working on a few pieces to submit in the coming weeks, and I thought that some of you might be interested in this opportunity as well.

Email Dave Brown for more information.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Faith in a Dress

Last month I mentioned that The Porpoise Diving Life was going to have a women-only issue come out this month.

Well, it's out. Click here to read Faith in a Dress. I wasn't published in it (as I couldn't think of anything good to submit), but I know some of the people who are in it. :)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Real Reason the Apostle Paul wanted to goto Rome

Story here

Imagine having a youth ministry in Rome; what a trip?!

Crisis of Faith and Salsa*

Amy wrote a beautiful post entitled *"Crisis of Faith and Salsa" that I think typifies many of my generation's experiences with God. Like many, she grew up in a Christian home and no longer identifies with the religion. She had an experience this Sunday that spoke volumes to her. It is insightful and inspiring. Here's an excerpt:
I wondered what happened to my faith and my fervor and my absolute belief in the Bible and the existence of God and heaven. I wondered when everything got so messed up for me, and why I have such ambivalence to the idea of putting on some nice pants and going to church on Sunday.

The church family's little boy spilled some rice, and the young man handed them his extra napkins.

I wonder if he'll ever know how much his actions spoke to me this Sunday.

I am reminded of this verse that I think speaks so clearly to Amy's essay:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

If we have not love, we have nothing. Feel God's love for you. Revel in it. Then you can't help but spill it out on to others, like the man in Amy's post.

I love the way she wrote about her experience. If someone encountered you at a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon, what might their impression be?

x-posted from my personal blog

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Porpoise Diving Life

Recently, my friend Bill Dahl wrote a book called The Porpoise Diving Life. Even more recently he decided to upload it to his website so that everyone has a chance to read it for free.

I'm a fan of Bill's writing, and I think you will enjoy it as well. If you don't, he'll give you a 200% refund on your money. Which is a pretty good deal for a free book. ;)

On another note, I apologize for the lack of posts around here lately. I'm still struggling with writer's block...and it doesn't help that the weather here in Toronto has been really nice lately. It's hard to write when the sun is shining and all you want to do is go to the park and take photographs. Although maybe I'll be able to post some new pictures here soon? :)

x-posted from my personal blog

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Thin Places

The Thin Places is an amazing (mostly) poetry blog that is co-authored by a married couple, Makeesha and David.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Of Many Hearts

In my opinion, Of Many Hearts is an excellent example of how to blend faith with good storytelling. I strongly encourage you to go read it.

The Porpoise Diving Life - Call for Writers

This is pretty short notice, but I've recently received news that Bill Dahl's newsletter The Porpoise Diving Life is looking for submissions from female writers (sorry, guys.)

The submission deadline is May 28. Click on the above link for more information.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Lake at Dusk

This is an older poem about a lake my family used to live near. Once again, I'm posting something that doesn't reference God directly, but the inspiration for it did come from, IMO, one of the "thin places" in this world - i.e. a setting in which God was/is that much more accessible.

The air is saturated with humidity and mosquitos,
The water ripples disturb the reflected world of trees and sky,
Sunlight slowly fades, casting a golden glow on the clouds,
Birds softly voice their contentment,
And I know for that moment that all is right with the world.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Missing Piece

I took these photos at an open house some friends had last summer. It's been almost a year, but I still wonder what the missing piece of this statue might have been.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Why I Gave Her My Subway Seat

This is a more recent poem based on something that actually happened. While it's doesn't talk about God or faith directly I think it does touch on related issues (i.e. how we treat people when in an "anonymous" situation).

she's last week's shopping list
folded over, bent backwards
with damp fingers until the
crease cracks with middle age,
it's belly spreading into an ever-
increasing bulge of soft yield too
worn to uphold the top half of the
list. when the breeze comes, eggs
and milk and bread crash into
the current, letters ping against
each other. and both g's and an
h are lost forever underneath
tomatoes and an apple pie at
the very end of the page.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Christian perspective

"Put your past behind you" - Lion King movie.

"When Satan reminds you of your past, you remind him of his future"- Carmen - Christian singer.

I'm getting older. I forget things. My wallet, keys, Bible. I've had to replace certain items including my Study Bible, Yankee Hater Hat etc. I don't like to forget or misplace things. I don't like to admit the mistakes I make - but I still make them. This month of May there are several milestones in my own life:

A. anniversary
B. Birthday of my Daughter
C. My Mother's Birthday
D. Mother's Day.

And of course getting ready for summer and getting ready to start my 5th year here in NC. (IT will be 4 this summer)

As I celebrate these milestones I look back at the things I've done. I'm reminded of the silly mistakes I've made along the way. I thank God for His grace as I press on toward the prize for which Christ has called me (Philippians 3:12). Are you pressing on?

Even as I partake communion I'm reminded in 1 Corinthians 11 to "Do This in Remembrace of Me" - Prayerfully may all things I do be in Remembrance of the One who Created me!


"One of the best ways to persuade others is by listening to them"- Dean Rusk.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


This isn't a rant so much as it is a question:

What do you do when you're feeling burned out on life?

I've been looking for work for several months now. I've been invited in for interviews, I just haven't been hired anywhere yet. And I'm beginning to feel worn down by it all. I don't think it's a depression thing as I'm still able to sleep, eat, and enjoy life in general.... but it is adversely affecting my level of creativity and interest in writing.

Any words of wisdom? What can I do to push through this?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Nobody's Going Anywhere Just Yet, Meanwhile....

I want to know what others may think of any conclusions we might of come to or drawn in regard to our fellow Christian Koreans trapped in a Stalinist regime such as that-this from a country whose roots are still anchored in faith?What keeps them going? How could they deny themselves, living with a constant nagging hunger (subsisting on corn and salt water rations under the burden of slave labor), that they and their fellow inmates would consider catching a rat for a meal-a good day! They not only endure torture and persecution but also are made to watch unspeakable horror perpetrated against their fellow brothers and sisters around them (biological testing for example).

I’m not going to ask, “why is God allowing this”, cause He certainly is! Instead...You can read the full article here-

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ever get pissed off?

Seems to me the new thing in Faith is to write about those you disagree with and instead of going to them do it on a blog or forum?

Shouldn't we be aware of Gossip and rumours?

Whatever happened to the Matt 18 principle going to another person before airing their laundry all over the place?

I guess, we as Christians, are just as guilty as others as spreading the lies.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

An Abundance of Bathwater

**This is my latest essay. I luckily get to "publish" them to our church's weekly enewsletter from time to time.
I'd love some feedback:
  • How can I make this better?
  • What is the general tone/feel you get from this essay?
  • How does my writing style come across - how would you describe it?
  • Is it trite? passionate? meaningful? where do I veer from one into the other?
You can put your feedback in the comments, or contact me directly at Leah AT mypinktoes DOT com.
I am working hard at developing my voice. I know that practice practice practice is the only way. I'm looking for some help in the journey.
Thanks! ***

John 10:10 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Romans 5:3-5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

An Abundance of Bathwater

By Leah Smith

Do you know what the overflow valve is in your bathtub? It’s a little hole that drains the extra water out of your tub if it rises above a certain level - like when you leave the faucet on too long, or swish around in the tub. The overflow valve is a safety mechanism, built right in. You put the water in, and if it gets too high – no worries! – the extra goes right down the drain and not over the edge of your tub. It’s nice. It creates a sense of balance – you can put so much in, but not too much – so your bets are hedged against a forgetful mind or a wayward knee.

I have found I don’t actually like to take baths – they are just not comfortable for me. I’m very tall, quite overweight, and have serious chronic pain problems. Sitting in a half-full, hard porcelain box is not soothing or relaxing. It is safe, but not rejuvenating in any way. It’s a difficult dance - deciding which body parts will be bare and cold, and which ones will be covered with warm water at any particular moment. It’s too exhausting.

Guess what I found out about bathtubs? For about 5 bucks, you can buy a plastic disc called a ‘drain subverter’ that covers up the overflow valve in your bathtub. As a result, you can fill your bathtub all the way up – enough to cover long limbs and ample bellies. Enough to enable you to have a full-fledged SOAK.

I have spent a lot of time trying to replicate an overflow-valve-type of mechanism for my life – I wanted to be able to exert just the right amount of energy, to not make waves, to not make a mess, so that things would feel safe and consistent. I thought I was searching for balance. I thought it would bring me peace. Instead, I have felt empty and restless in this pursuit.

In my search for this overflow drain-like “balance” in my life, I have discovered that God’s love and God’s Spirit in its true form can’t be contained, either. Living the abundant life, full of Jesus’s love, is like bathing in a tub with one of those plastic drain subverters. His love keeps flowing and flowing and can’t be contained. It spills out of us, leaking from our weakest places, splashing up and over the top of our hearts.

We often try to invent our own “overflow valves”, consciously or unconsciously, to avoid dealing with the dangerous thrill of God’s abundant love. We try to box God into a specific time period (like Sundays, or during our quiet times, or just during a formal prayer), or into a particular personality (wrathful, or judgmental, or benignly detached from the details of our lives).

Sometimes we create these ‘overflow valves’ out of fear. I’ve lived with a mediocre ‘bathtub’ experience for far too long because I’ve been afraid of letting the Spirit overflow in me. What will happen when I can’t contain it? When I can’t have control over what’s happening next?

The answers have been surprising for me: letting God’s love over flow into my life has been so healing. Yes, it’s messy – but it is glorious.

I’m no longer serving out of duty – meting out my ‘bathwater’, as it were, for the various things that I want to do or feel I need to do - seeking that elusive balance. Instead, I am discovering - and believing for the first time - that God created me with specific talents and passions that He WANTS me to discover, develop, and use. These passions I have bubbling up inside are from HIM and are part of this abundant life. They come from being filled to overflowing with the love of Jesus.

With the regular bathtub overflow valve, I can leave the bathroom and forget I left the water on. I can move however I want to in the tub and be sure I won’t make a mess. But I’m missing out on the amazing pleasure of reveling in a full tub of water.

With the drain subverter on, I have to pay attention. I have to be near the flowing water, watching where it is going. If I move in the tub, I AM going to make waves. The water IS going to spill over. There is no way around it. Subverting the overflow on your bathtub is NOT safe. You’re likely to end up with a mess all over the bathroom. But what a glorious, warm, bubbly mess!

What will I choose? To play it safe with the overflow valves? Or to go for it in the full tub – to go for the abundant life?

It’s still a battle to keep that drain subverter on. Some days I feel like I don’t deserve this luxury – that I’m kidding myself that God actually loves me this much and wants to pour himself into me. Some days I have to make a conscious choice to keep that subverter on. Some days I lose the battle and take it off. But I keep coming back to the amazing experience of the abundant life. Now that I have tasted it, I can’t go back to my old life of contained bathwater with safe and artificial balance.

I pray for you that you will find the courage to find God in the glorious mess that is created when you put a ‘drain subverter’ on. Bathe in the wonder of God’s abundant love for you. May you feel awash in the Spirit. May you feel secure in the amazing love of Jesus.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Writing Resources Recommendations?

Are there any other links to writing resources that you would like to see added to this site?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Writing Process

How organized are you when it comes to writing? Do you set aside specific days or times to write?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Out of Sodom

Looking back
I keep looking back

Get out of Sodom
We were told.



Leave now.
My Spirit has gone from there.

But I keep looking back
salt tears,
til I can no longer walk.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Meridian and Washington--I've seen you
Cross when I close my eyes in places
Hundreds of miles away.
Now you sit at the right hand,
With Sam and Dante and Bill
Laughing at the words, the sweat,
Dreams of interviews and tours,
Fame for saying what you know,
What we all knew,
What nobody can know.
So it goes.

If You Need to Write...

I thought this was interesting:

Of the many reasons for anger, one of the least understood and yet most important is this: the denial or blocking of creativity.

If you need to write a poem, better struggle to write it, even if you have to eat simply and live in a garret. If you need to write a book, you had better write it. If you need to create a piece of sculpture, you had better do it...

You can continue reading this article here.

Friday, April 13, 2007


The last retro-Lydia poem, circa 2002. Like the title says, it's based on a dream I had back then. I'll try to have some newer stuff up some time in the next few days.

at first, the water came too much, too
fast. sucking crumbling foundations from
houses and we all tumbled into the sea
as the last sliver of land disappeared
into calm, cool waters. Not knowing what
else to do, we treaded water. Exhausted,
I releasted my strangle-hold on this
world, my head dipping beneath the surface
as I come, not to the end, but the beginning.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I wrote this poem several years ago, while at Matt Redman's "Facedown" song writing conference. (And if you buy his "Facedown" album and listen very closely, you might be able to hear me singing along.) Anyway, it was supposed to be a song about the very big topic of God's grace. But it just wouldn't behave. So we (myself and a good friend) turned it into a song/poem. The verses are spoken word and the chorus (grace calling me...) is sung. Feel free to make up your own tune. :)


I come to You broken
I’ve tried to fix me
but all my hammering only yields
more cracks and splinters
Still, You let me come

I come to You empty
I’ve tried to fill me
but for every bucket of me I pour in
it seems two more spill out
Still, You let me come

Grace calling me
Grace drawing me
Grace enabling me
Grace claiming me
I come to You with my toys and my trinkets
with my bells and my whistles
with my song and my dance
and I try to impress You
Look at me! Look what I’ve brought

Then I look at the bigness of You
and the smallness of me
and I realize that everything I have
is nothing You need
Still, You let me come

Every breath is grace
and every step is grace
upon the ground of grace
into Your courts of grace
and by grace I cry
“My God, what am I
that you give me the grace to come?”
I come, and it’s déjà vu all over again
things I thought I had released long ago
still hanging on
like a balloon tied to my wrist by a string
and I wonder why I can’t seem to let go

Is it my pride?
Or am I afraid that, if I let all of me go
I’ll have nothing left to give You?
Or nothing left of me to keep?
And still, You let me come

Every breath is grace
and every step is grace
upon the ground of grace
into Your courts of grace
and by grace I cry
“My God, what am I
that you give me the grace to come?”

Interesting Article

Pearls Before Breakfast

What was I thinking?

So last nite in my small group - the dreaded question was asked.

(We're studying if You want to walk on water, you gotta get out of the boat)

So what was the question? Here it was - what was one thing you struggled with of God being Big?

Personally, It was when I was pissed off at God. I wrestled with questions of doubt, cussed him out, and wondered why some of my friends had to die. It was the whole idea and problem of pain.

Finally - I heard it in the midst of all that cussing, anger, and getting it off my chest ... God wasn't disciplining me but basically said "Are you done, yet?" "Do you feel better now?" I was kind of like "Yeah!". God's response: "Good! Let's get back to work"

So that was it. Do I have times where I go back and do that again? You bet. Is it healthy? For me it is. I think God understands it. He seen it through such people as David, Job, Jonah ... and asking God ... I don't know about this but you're God.

How about you? Ever get angry at God? Ever feel like a trapped Bird and wanting to let God know you just want to get out of the pain and cage of life?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Creative Commons (CC)

You may have noticed this on the lower right hand of this blog:

Creative Commons License

work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Licence.


A quick explanation of it: is a charitable institution that is dedicated to helping ordinary people like us protect our intellectual property. Their website has a list of licenses that can be used to let other people know where the boundaries are when it comes to using or distributing your work.

I chose the most restrictive license on the site for this blog - it's better to be safe than sorry, and all that. :)

Click here to read more about it.

Sunday Side Up

More vintage Lydia poetry. I think this one dates back to my preacher's kid days when I was becoming rapidly burned out on it all.

I wear a wrap skirt today -
that way, nobody notices
the legs I didn't shave.
It's a quiet way to rebel.

Sunday service, 9 to 11.
Can you feel God here?
Everybody else does -
Their eyes are closed.

There are coffee and donuts
to eat afterwards. No
cream in the coffee, please.
It'll hurt my stomach.

The best part is lunch -
baby back ribs and, for
dessert, fried bananas
while the grown-ups talk.

God owns the evening service.
It's strange seeing how faces
sag with exhaustion at the end
of the day. A few more songs...

And then we're gone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

God is a Hermaphrodite

Today I found a notebook full of poems I wrote in the early 2000's when I was really questioning many of the things I had been taught about God and religion as a child. I thought I'd share a few.

God is a Hermaphrodite

gentle strength.
quiet roar.
the opening statement.
the ending prayer.


Lydia's Introduction

My name is Lydia. I'm 23 years old, married, and I live in Toronto.

I was a preacher's kid for most of my childhood and adolescence- the churches my parents pastored tended to be non-denominational or Charismatic/Pentecostal, although there were a few exceptions to this rule.

Last summer I became the Associate Faith Editor at

I've been writing poetry, short stories and essays since grade school. About six months ago I started working on my first novel, although my progress on it has been nearly nonexistent lately for a few different reasons: the job search has been taking up a great deal of my time, and I've also been having some difficulty communicating with and understanding the motives of the main character in the story.

So, hello. :)

Monday, April 9, 2007


Welcome to the Writing About Faith blog. My name is Lydia, and I have been a writer for nearly as many years as I have been a Christian.

It is my hope that this blog will become a good place for writers who are working on creative, faith-inspired works to meet, share ideas, ask questions, and maybe even give the occasionally bit of advice or encouragement if it is necessary.

I do plan to share some of my own poetry, essays, or other creative works in the near future. Feel free to post your own work as well.