Lies cannot sustain.

Lies cannot sustain.

Lethargy is in her veins.

She is slow to feel,

slow to dream,

slow to fight.

She feels unsure in

every space,

unsure if she wants

to be seen

or if she wants

to be in the shadows.

She delays decisions

until they are

made for her.

Blooming is

left to

others

with more beauty

and talent.

Her plainness

disqualifies her.

Her hunger for more

no longer registers.

She just

moves

more

s l o w l y.

The billboards educate,

the lyrics choreograph,

the movies script

the pathways in

her brain

and

she’s too bone-weary

to fight.

She just goes through the motions,

does what is expected of her.

Lies are what sustains her,

but she can’t find a pulse.

#PermissionGranted

…to seek sustenance from truth.

Wear fierce

Wear fierce

I got my gray covered yesterday.

It was showing up, super sparkly and well, gray.

And I’m just not ready for that.

My earrings were sitting on the counter so that they were safe from staining color. I asked my hairdresser to please not let me forget them and she said, “Oh, I will!” I laughed. She likes them, too! It’s safe to say the beaded earrings are one of my favorite pairs.

The earrings make a statement.

They are colorful.

They are bold.

They take up space.

They are fierce.

They are unique.

I wear them often – even now as I write this, in a scarf, sweatshirt, jeans, and duck boots – nestled into hair I have not combed today.

Later in my appointment, my hairdresser said to another woman in the room, whom I had just met, “Look at these earrings!” And she held up my work-of-art earrings for all to see. Everyone oohed and ahhhed over them and I enjoyed their appreciation of my favorite art to wear. My new acquaintance then said, “They suit you.”

And I was speechless for a second because that is one of the best compliments that I’ve been given! I believe she also likely saw the earrings the same way I do –

colorful,

bold,

fierce,

unique.

And she said they suit me.

She doesn’t know me, but she’s saying that’s what I am even on a day when I was feeling low, when everything was gray, not just my hair, and I was feeling about as far from fierce as one can get, and yet she said the earrings suited me.

I said, “Thank you, I appreciate that!”

And I tucked this away in my heart but it kept asking to be shared.

On the days when you question your worth – don the expensive shoes.
When you feel like bold is something you were in a previous chapter of life, go ahead and wear your statement piece.

If you are feeling a bit gray, wear fierce anyway.

When we feel off, when smiles are hard to come by – that’s the day to wear the red shoes or the bold jewelry pieces because these are the days that we need reminded who we are. When we wear what we love, it’s a way of reminding ourselves we are worthy of love.

So the next time you comment on someone’s earrings, shoes, or dress – remember that you might be speaking to her heart and not just her sense of fashion.

#PermissionGranted

Like these earrings?

Support women-owned businesses and get you a pair at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ukaome.

It’s the same moon

It’s the same moon

The full moon was breath-taking last night when I saw it playing hide and seek behind some leafless trees.
It took my breath away because it was

so low,

so gigantic,

so faithful,

so unassuming.

Then, this morning it was low in the sky as I took my daughter to school. We embraced the moments we had with it and we kept looking for it as we made our way through the stoplights.

“There it is, again!”

“It’s like a sticker, it’s so perfect!”

And then it was quiet.

I am sitting at a traffic light.

Looking at the moon, trying not to feel.

I want to be present and not lean into

I am tired. I have questions. I am overwhelmed.

My girl doesn’t know all of these things.

And she doesn’t know how her shared excitement about the moon encouraged me to take a deep breath.

I am brought back to the present when I hear her sweet voice coming from the back of the car.

(She’s a singer, like her mama.)

She’s singing:

Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,

The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;

The stars in the heavens looked down where he lay,

The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing; the poor baby wakes,

But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.

I love thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky

And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay

Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,

And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

And I look at the moon.

And I hear her song…

It’s the same moon.

The moon before me is the same moon that was in the sky at the birth of Jesus.

The same light was in the sky when he came so that we could stay close forever.

The tired, overwhelmed feelings I have are in part, a result of the pain that comes with stretching, with growth, and then partly due to being here on this earth with the wrongs that run rampant.

He’s fitting me for heaven – challenging the parts of me that need to change and he’s also placed within me a longing for his kingdom here on earth – I am reminded that he invites me to be a part of that work.

And again, I feel loved, seen, heard.

It’s the same moon

so low,

so gigantic,

so faithful,

so unassuming.

#PermissionGranted

A thrill of hope

A thrill of hope

A thrill of hope

caught me by surprise. 

I didn’t recognize it at first. 

It was a beautiful sunset, yes, 

but I’ve seen them before. 

But this one was

unrelenting,

full of  

saturated color 

in shades of 

ochre, 

violet, 

gold, 

magenta,

crimson. 

It cycled through colors

in time with breath.

Breath in. 

Breath out. 

A new shade. 

I couldn’t look away. 

And then at one point, 

I wouldn’t look away. 

I took a detour to get

more time with the colors. 

When I arrived home

I told the kids to run upstairs

to see the show in the sky.

It’s then I remember that 

my day started with 

a gorgeous sunrise.

And now the perfect bookend:

a sunset painted 

in the sky,

with liquid color.  

Visually astounding,

but also a cacophony

of 

hope. 

Color ushers in 

wonder.

Wonder

ushers 

in

hope.

You never let me forget. 

#PermissionGranted

 

 

 

The long night ahead.

The long night ahead.

She decides between coffee or 

a small supply of the kids’ favorite cereal. 

It’s one or the other on her budget. 

The cereal wins because it is 

about more than just cereal. 

It’s a reminder of 

normalcy.

It’s a reminder to the kids

that she remembers.

It is a small way to 

introduce a bit of joy 

and she will make whatever

sacrifice is necessary

to do just that.

She doesn’t have the 

time or energy 

to keep count –

but this is a regular thing for her.

Choices.

This or that.

She would love a cup of coffee

right now to get her through 

the long night ahead

as her second job begins.

She pushes back 

the fear,

the worry,

for if she allowed it

room it would run through her

spare energy resources

in 60 minutes flat.

And then,

where would she be?

A thought creeps in but she 

speaks to it and tells it 

to go away. 

She shakes her head to 

get free of it.

There’s no time to address

the gaping wounds in her heart

that bleed so easily. 

So she chases the 

memory away.

It is what it is.

Dreams are a luxury and 

her sleep,

her awake

her sorrow

her joy

her energy 

is for her boys. 

Her every minute is

meet the needs.

Her job is survival.

She sorts through

the bills in the mail

as she logs into the

customer service website.

An envelope that isn’t a bill

sorts itself from the stack.

She rips it open to 

discover a card,

and a gift card 

to her local

grocery store. 

There’s no name.

No one to thank

or feel indebted to. 

Just provision. 

A deep breath –

just what she needs. 

And maybe, just maybe, 

some coffee. 

#PermissionGranted

 

 

Are you in the midst of a long night? Reach out – you don’t have to do it alone. Allow others to help you take up your space – to be all that you can be.

Are you in a place where you can leverage where you are to make someone else’s burden lighter? Step into that. Do it for the right reasons and be an encouragement to others.

Bravery is not a guarantee

Bravery is not a guarantee

Bravery is not a guarantee.

Bravery is not a trade for

the outcome you desire.

Bravery is just the 

next step you take. 

We don’t know what is

around the corner

but the next step

must still be taken.

It is an exercise in trust,

but don’t forget – 

you’re in good hands.

 

Bravery,

in the company of fear,

hope, and trust

is the engine to take you to 

where you are supposed to be.

Some days will be hard and you

will be tempted to believe that bravery 

has been overtaken by fear.

Fear is just the reminder 

that you can’t do life alone. 

Fear is just a warning bell 

that you are relying too much

on yourself. 

It’s time to trust and put fear in its place.

Bravery, 

is a lot of small steps – 

not giant leaps. 

Small steps forward,

are steps in the right direction

and don’t be tempted to 

even think they don’t count. 

We can celebrate the little wins

and use those to build courage. 

The fails?

Those are our guardrails

to help keep us on the 

path we are supposed to be on. 

There are no guarantees…

except that 

bravery equals growth. 

#PermissionGranted