Depression is no joke. It is suffocating, overwhelming, and debilitating. BUT depression is not without a solution, a balm. Truth fights depression and tells us, “we don’t fight alone, we have a God greater than our grief and depression, we will be okay, we can take one step at a time, we are loved wholeheartedly, we do not have to succumb to the feelings of depression.” Instead, we can savor the truth and strengthen our hope that God always wins, and we are on God’s side. Wanting to step out of the night and return to the day is a hurdle though. We can with God’s help. Step into truth and see the light. Just a step is a good start.
What is best to be done when we are tired of trying without success, tired of fighting with nothing to show for it, tired of working without any progress? What is best to be done when we struggle to see purpose in the trials?
Our next choice should always be to do the next right thing: try again, keep fighting, work to work it out. Sometimes our greatest success is found not in an achievement but in the determination to never quit.
Quitting is losing every time. Resolve to never quit, for perseverance is success. Often the process is more valuable than the achievement it may produce.
More than ever, I am of the opinion that reading is one of those bare necessities in life. If someone can read, he can learn. Granted, learning can be done by example; but reading catapults a person to greater heights and imaginations. Reading opens doors, expands imagination, develops dreams, and highlights action. God spoke to us in a written language intending for us to learn to read. It is useful. It is necessary. It is little but everything. Learn to read, then read to learn. Reading will then become one of your best friends.
I remember very vividly where I was on 9/11. I remember the unbelief at the scenes unfolding in my news feed, the gut-wrenching feeling that war was close at hand, and the effort to fully encapsulate the sacrifice first responders and later our military would make to save lives and preserve freedom. This poem is meant to honor those men and women who wake up every day with the opportunity and joy to serve their country and her people. I am amazed at them. I honor them today. We owe them our courage to do the same from the homeland: make choices that honor life and preserve freedom.
When a mom gives birth, she invites pain in multiple ways for a multitude of reasons. We welcome our children to this world only to let them go to start new families and pursue their futures. We spend so much energy being present that when it comes time to feel their absence, the change can be crushing. The solution is to grab God’s hand, sit at His feet, discover His joys for our lives, see Him clearly, and be near to Him. Be still. Look and know. And the heart will follow.
I am a forgetful person, and I need reminders. If only I could remember that being busy does not make me a VIP or MVP. I forget that little things become big things and attitude matters. I forget that my pride is my own worst enemy, and Jesus tells me if I want to lead I start and end that leading by serving. Busy doesn’t get me to the top. Accomplishing big things won’t get me to the top. Humbly but merrily and deliberately doing the little things one step at a time will be and is rewarding. Remember! Don’t forget.
Teaching is an art not for the faint of heart.
The classroom is a battleground for the minds of our next generation.
The good teacher fights the conflict. A great teacher motivates the student to fight the conflict.
If you are called to teach, you are a warrior fighting for the next generation.
The hardest part of the battle is choosing to love a child’s future enough to pick up the sword today.
Every delivery room has an orchestra of noises: groans, cries, screams, yells, songs, whispers, and cheers.
The cry of a heart, no matter the occasion, is universal. Recognized. Known. Understood. It runs deep and lands raw.
Joy or sorrow. Love or hate.
Mercy or bitterness. Fight or fright.
The mother in the backdrop story lost her child, and her heart cried. The mother in the blackout poem gained a child, and her heart cried. It’s the music of living.
The concerts of life flow from the rhythm of our hearts. It is a beautiful and gut-wrenching sound that brings depth and meaning to our life. Live and love hard. Moments make music.
The circles of life come with inescapable pain and hurt. Safety comes when we box ourselves in with truth. Remember truth. Move to truth. Rest in truth. Gaze upon truth. Relax in the truth. Be controlled by truth. Yes, it’s a box, but it’s a safe box. Safety isn’t absent of pain and hurt. Safety is being present in His presence no matter the pain.
I added a new page to the site: https://vapormarks.com/gallery-of-blackout-poetry/.
It’s a bit more creative than my posts. As you kids know, I love old books. They can be found in almost every room of my home and every wall of my office. Old books inspire me in some strange way. (You should be proud of me though — I did some purging a year ago and got rid of a few shelves worth.) But, in the purging, I set aside a 1902 set of books that include compilations of old stories and biographies. I decided to randomly take pages from these books and try my hand at some blackout poetry.
Poetry is like floating vapors. You never really know where the words are going to land on the paper; but as they land, they form meaning and become a life of their own. I simply took someone else’s “marks” and made them do a bit of “floating” on the page to form new marks.
The result has been a fun activity. Being creative is healthy and challenging. As I do more, I’ll publish them on this page. Each post includes the poem against the original wording, the words in new poetic format, and some commentary about the poem at the bottom. Although not all of the poetry relate or are meant just for you kids, much of their message is put together with you in mind. I’ll post them in “My Marks” with a bit of commentary, and I will also place them in the gallery.
I love how you all exhibit creativity. Keep it up in your various ways. It makes me smile to see it.