Throwback Thursday: Star-gazer (Age 15, 2002)

I thought this would go well with this week’s post about the Milky Way (Finding Mystery)! It was written during that time in my life when I was constantly stealing away to my parents’ back yard to lie enraptured under the stars. Enjoy!   Star-gazer Ashley Katherine Denning August 21, 2002 A Psalm Night falls, And my dreams awaken As each star appears And forms the detail of my thoughts. You come And meet me here While the quiet of the earth Surrounds me like harmony. There’s nothing between us but the sky. But what a veil With which You cover Your glory! Is this merely a taste? How can I lie beneath The splendor of the Heavens, And then realize I’ve only reached The threshold of Your majesty? But it’s a good start. I’ll hold my breath and wait for You to breathe. I’ll close my eyes and imagine what can be. I’ll open my heart and let You fill me once more, O Lover of my soul! Can we meet...

Throwback Thursday: Whisper (Age 15, 2003)

One of the coolest things about moving home has been discovering my old journals. Apparently, I’ve been writing since I was a wee little lass of 9 years. It’s likely that I was writing before that, but we had a house fire the year I turned 9, so I guess anything after the fire is sitting around in boxes in my old room or my parents’ garage, waiting to be found and folded open. So, I’ve decided to institute a periodic addition to the blog called Throwback Thursday, in which I type up something that I wrote as a girl or teenager that has some common theme with what I’m writing about currently. The other night, I found a poem I’d written when I was 15. It’s called “Whisper,” and when I read it, I got choked up – mostly because it reminded me of what I had felt when I was up on that mountain watching the fireflies. If you haven’t read “The Story of the Silent, Sparkling, Synchronous Fireflies,” go back and read it after you read this poem. Or maybe just read it again. It’s amazing how 13 years later, I am learning the same lessons. — Whisper Ashley Katherine Denning Feb. 8, 03 My child, I know your lonesome way – I’ve been there once before. But I have overcome the pain That you might trust Me as Lord. I know your heart is beating to A rhythm of defeat. I know you miss the time you’ve spent Thriving at My feet. But I’ve not left you, Little One, To bear your pain alone. Open...

Learning to Lose

Another thorn keeps poking my brain as I embark on this writing project. I believe wholeheartedly in the good practice of finding beauty in everything around me. The littlest things end up bringing me so much joy! One of my favorite places to go is this cozy coffee shop in Plano, TX called 1418 Coffeehouse. Their sugar free vanilla latte tastes like a warm, liquid marshmallow. It’s. Amazing. But if my sense of meaning feeds only on delicious lattes – or even if it arises from capturing all the wonders that arise in the light of the golden hour – I’ve missed the point. My joy wrestles with a current of guilt that keeps surging in to make its presence known: How can I spend $5 on myself – rather frequently – just to enjoy that smooth, sweet sensation while hungry children walk this planet? I think this guilt-current is a healthy one, born from the shift in my value system that started over the last year and a half. I’ve gone from a 5-bedroom house with my dream floor-plan to a one-bedroom apartment with a greenbelt view and an abundance of happy cardinals. I used to buy $100 jeans; at the moment, everything I’m wearing is second-hand, except for some sandals from Target. The possessions of my former life weren’t evil… just more than I really needed. I was spending too much money and time on what didn’t really matter. As Ann Voskamp writes, “Your days never fail to betray your priorities.” Then grace came in a whirlwind, picked me up, and placed me elsewhere. Maybe the wrestling will...

Flung Open

Flung open the little gate to this cage has stood for some time. I’ve sat not sure how to even test my wings aching from the stress of flight or perhaps sore from the trap where I’ve languished long. But then You ride in to release from prison this captive, to bind up this heart broken, proclaiming the good news of how free I’ve been. Desperately hopeful I stagger crawl reach a scarlet wing, a soft, round body, two tiny feet across this threshold. by Ashley Katherine Denning January 9,...