October 30, 2014

Winter is coming. Here's "Sand"!

From what I hear about the forecast, winter is coming quickly!

So, before snowflakes start hitting the ground, how about a little taste of summer? I wrote this poem a few years ago. By the way, I hope you're enjoying reading my poetry and other writings. This blog has sort of morphed into a space for me to share some of my reflections on life, personal writings like poetry and short stories, life updates, and a generous smattering of other things.  :)  Anyway, thanks for reading!


Sand

Silent tears
drip from the sky
Dropping

wet holes in the sand

The young girl runs
with her towel
flapping from both upheld fists

A thousand shimmering diamonds
splash the shore before her in steady rhythm

Bare toes lightly touch the
cool,
damp carpet
with each step

And the music of the beach dances in her ear.

October 27, 2014

Good Things this Weekend

This past weekend was filled with good things! Here are a few highlights:

Corn mazing (I may have just made up that phrase!). I had a blast wandering around a gigantic corn maze at the same place Dave and I went when we were dating two years ago. Fun to relive those memories and make new ones!

Molly. She’s getting more comfortable! There’s a lot less hiding under couches from Dave (she was a little scared of him at first). In fact, now he’s one of her favorite playmates! They played a good game of tug-of-war last night. And he introduced her to a pig’s ear treat, which she LOVES to chew on. Our little doggie really enjoys going for walks, as you saw in the video I posted last week … but what she loves even better is running! Dave has become her running buddy. Oh, and Molly really likes playing fetch. It’s fun for us to see Molly having fun!

Singing. In choir on Sunday, we sang a great song called, “Be Ye Glad.” The lyrics are very powerful, so I thought I'd share them with you today.

In these days of confused situations.
In these nights of a restless remorse,
When the heart and the soul of the nation,
lay wounded and cold as a corpse.
From the grave of the innocent Adam,
comes a song bringing joy to the sad.
Oh your cry has been heard and the ransom,
has been paid up in full, Be Ye Glad.

Oh, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad,
Every debt that you ever had
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord,
Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad.

From the dungeon a rumor is stirring.
You have heard it again and again.
But this time the cell keys are turning,
and outside there are faces of friends.
And though your body lay weary from wasting,
and your eyes show the sorrow they've had.
Oh the love that your heart is now tasting
has opened the gate, Be Ye Glad.

Oh, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad,
Every debt that you ever had
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord,
Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad.

So be like lights on the rim of the water,
giving hope in a storm sea of night.
Be a refuge amidst the slaughter,
for these fugitives in their flight.
For you are timeless and part of a puzzle.
You are winsome and young as a lad.
And there is no disease or no struggle,
that can pull you from God, Be Ye Glad.

Oh, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad,
Every debt that you ever had
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord,
Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad.


Words and Music by M. K. Blanchard

October 19, 2014

Meet Molly!

The newest member of our family came home yesterday!

Meet Molly.  :)



One of the first things we learned about Molly is that she LOVES to go outdoors to run and walk! Here's a little video from this morning:



October 14, 2014

Happy "birthweek" to me!

My birthday is this week, and the celebration is already going strong!

I kicked things off this past weekend with delicious food shared with my parents, siblings, and in-laws. I have an awesome family. Love creating new memories with them!  :)

The BIG excitement that I've been looking forward to all week is that (if all goes as planned) I'll have a fuzzy new friend on Saturday! Dave and I are driving out to pick up our first dog. It's an adorable black/gray Shih Tzu.

We're still trying to decide on a name for her, and we've narrowed it down to two: Missy or Molly. Which one do you like?

The name reveal and photos will hopefully be posted this weekend!

October 10, 2014

A Favorite Choir Song

My choir has started up their season again, and I've transitioned to singing alto! (With 14 sopranos and only 5 altos, they really needed me over there!)

And I LOVE the music we are singing this fall.

There is something about music that has always touched my soul in a special way. Sometimes, I forget just how MUCH God loves me ... and through song, I am often powerfully reminded of his great love.

If you're like me, sometimes you can get caught up in your own little world. Your day. Your to-do list. Your worries. And I forget that I need to turn my worries over to God ... which is silly, because they're all in his hands anyway. I was never meant to shoulder that burden alone.

Singing worship songs (like the one I've posted below) helps reorient me to what is important. What is true. What is eternal.

Now, I don't have my choir's music recorded, but I've posted a demo of one of my favorite songs of this season to give you a taste of it. So, listen away and join me in praise to God!  :)




October 6, 2014

Legless Ants and Recess

Have you had enough of my short stories/novel snippets yet? Well, I've got one more to share with you today. It's a cute story I made up about a couple of elementary school kids.  - Laurel

Legless Ants and Recess

The best thing about Chad was that he ate my raisins.

I hated raisins. They looked like ants. I used to watch black ants crawl in and out of their little anthills—formed in the sidewalk cracks outside school. Every time I chewed a raisin, I felt like I was eating a dead little ant without legs.

Chad’s small wooden desk—which he could barely squeeze into—was nestled behind mine in our tiny second grade classroom.

Our teacher had long red hair. Her last name was too long for us to say, so we just called her Mrs. Z. I always wondered why she had a chair behind her desk; she never sat in it. She constantly strode along the aisles, straightening the extra-large pencils on our desks. Mrs. Z was strict about us kids finishing our lunches before we could go outside for recess.

And it was lunchtime now.

I unwrapped my crumpled brown lunch bag and poured out the contents my mom had packed. Peanut butter sandwich. Juice box. Raisins. I grimaced, then felt the eyes of Mrs. Z piercing my skull. I froze. Finally, one of the other kids sneezed. Mrs. Z’s eyes whipped in that direction and snapped up a Kleenex from the large box on her desk, walking in the direction of the sneeze offender.

I gripped the edge of the plastic bag and raised the lid of my desk slowly to minimize the unearthly screech it usually let forth. As I sneaked the bag towards the edge, intending to slip it inside my desk, the plastic made a crinkling sound. I froze, glancing up in time to see Mrs. Z stiffen and turn around to look in my direction.

She glared at me and slowly shook her head. I set down my desk lid and stared at the bag of legless ants. How had she heard me over the noise of the other kids in the room munching and laughing?

I briefly considered concealing the taste of the ants in my thick peanut butter sandwich, but quivered with disgust at the thought. I ate my plain peanut butter sandwich and drained my juice box dry. I watched as the kids, one by one, finished their lunches and headed out to recess.

Finally, Chad and I were the only ones left in the room with Mrs. Z. I could hear the other kids shouting and laughing outside.

Pretending to stretch, I glanced behind me. Chad had a fistful of sandwich in his mouth, and his large cheeks were smeared with some sort of purple—maybe grape jelly. Ew. I caught his eye, then motioned to my raisins. “Want some?” I said in a barely audible whisper. He nodded cheerfully, saying, “Um-hum!” loudly through his half-chewed sandwich.

I turned quickly—and Mrs. Z was glaring at me again from her desk. Suddenly, she stood, commanding us, “Finish your lunches. Now!” With Mrs. Z staring, there was no way I could slip my baggie to Chad.

The formidable mound of dead ants stared blankly at me from inside the plastic baggie. I shuddered. I unzipped a corner of the bag. Slowly, I sneaked my forefinger and thumb inside, picking up a the smallest shriveled raisin. I tucked it into the side of my mouth and exaggerated a pretended chew, offering a half-smile to my teacher.

Her mouth turned down in disgust, then the screech of kids playing tag close to the window snagged her attention. Mrs. Z  stalked across the room to my right, stopping to stare out the window.

Seizing the moment, I slapped my hand around the plastic baggie and flung it to the trashcan by the front door. I watched its flying arch, willing it to go into the mouth of the can. But it ricocheted off the side and landed next to it. My heart thudded to a stop. Then, it started again, fast and loud in my ears. Thankfully, a bag of dead ants doesn’t make much of a sound. At least, I hoped not. Mrs. Z was looking at me again. No … she was looking over the top of my head.

Chad was up, having dutifully finished every crumb of his lunch. He proudly held up his empty Lion King lunch box, which sported a grinning Simba on the front.

No matter how many sandwiches and Twinkies his mother packed, Chad always polished off each one. I might, too, if I had Twinkies instead of shriveled, legless ants. With a grim smile, the teacher nodded, dismissing Chad to recess. Squaaaaalch! Chad lifted up his desk cover and scooped up his little stuffed animal—a wide-winged bat—which he’d affectionately named, “Walter.”

As Chad ambled towards the door, Mrs. Z’s attention was back on me. I suddenly remembered the legless ant pressing against the side of my mouth. It was getting pretty soggy. Swallowing hard, I forced it down in one gulp.

In the corner to my left, I watched Chad walk up to the door, then pause. He scooped up my raisin bag with his free hand and walked out, a fistful of the nasty dead creatures already on its way to his mouth. My breath came out in a whoosh. Chad had saved me from the legless creatures today.

Now, it was time to escape … to recess! I held up my empty little brown bag aloft, just as Chad had done with his lunchbox. But the teacher shook her head and, with one spindly finger, motioned me to come to her.

Panic gripped my stomach. Had she seen? I hurriedly walked up to the front of the classroom, clutching my little brown bag. She peered inside it, and, appearing disappointed to find it empty, she motioned me away.

I sped out the door, down the wide hallway, and out the door into the bright sunlight. I sighed. Freedom.

October 4, 2014

My "Penny" Poem

Those of you who know me in real life know that I am passionate about helping free women who are victims of sex trafficking. It’s an issue that has been close to my heart for years.

I was thinking about how these ladies are treated sometimes very much like how we might treat a penny—as nearly worthless. And the tragedy is that many girls believe the lie that they are worthless. These special girls don’t know how loved, valuable, and cherished they are in the eyes of God.

"Penny" is a poem I wrote back in 2009 as I reflected on these thoughts ...

Penny

Called “ugly”
Thrown down, scraped up,
rubbed raw
from too many hands.

Called “dirty”
Stepped on, spit on.
left in the streets.

Called “cheap”
Passed from owner to owner,
they tell me
I am of little worth.

And I believe them.