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message 1: by Martha (last edited Feb 23, 2016 06:11PM) (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments Early Signs of Spring

I love the early signs of spring. Why? Because the warmth begins a path to the resurrection of a pleasant season.

In Chicago, the signs of spring begin at different times of the year. Sometimes, a little warmth starts in the middle of February...like this year. No, the warm temperature doesn't stay for long. The temperature goes from warm one day to freezing the next. But every day that's warm reminds me that we're nearing the end of a dead season. We're beginning to find life again.

On warm and sunny days, there's the energy of children and adults walking, running, and playing sports. When I feel the energy radiating from the warmth, I find it nearly impossible to sit down for more than 10 minutes. Walking outside feels like a luxury. Replacing my winter coat with a hoodie makes me feel lighter and more comfortable. The consequences of warmth are blessings.

Ah, the early signs of spring. Although they're unpredictable and sporadic, they spark anticipation for the resurrection of spring.

message 2: by Martha (last edited Feb 23, 2016 06:03PM) (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments A Calm State of Mind
By Martha L.

Chamomile tea is easing my mind. The clean and light taste, the flowery scent. All of my senses quiet and become tame.

With each sip and inhale, negative feelings fade. There's no sting, no burning sensation, no disturbing vibrations anywhere inside of me.

I once read about the benefits of tea, imagined some existence of peace.

This is a positive moment in time, a moment of peace in a long line of highs and lows.

Weeks ago, when I was trapped in pain from caffeine and sugar binges, I didn't think anything would make me feel different. My mind was like a downpour of negative thoughts and feelings.

But after several sips of tea, the downpour eased, eventually turning into slow and steady drips.

My mind will drip with calming thoughts tonight. Although there is no guarantee for a long period of calm, this is what I feel right now. A rare feeling, but never dead. Not always present to my senses, but still existing beyond my mind.

message 3: by Martha (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments Incompatible

Secret silence before words.
Painful denial before honesty.
Tears of truth slowly flow into a puddle of acceptance.
Verbal connection, mutual voices, announce the end.

If two hearts cannot lock together,
neither should two's fingers lock.
If no one refuses a vital yes,
an urgent positive drifts below a deep negative.
If repeated fake compliments ring louder than truths of lies,
the conflicting views of honesty lead to incompatibility,
incompatibility that fools tend to deny.

message 4: by Martha (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments Swimming in Loneliness

Loneliness. Sometimes, it feels like we're all just swimming in it. A big pool made up of lanes, bobbies separating each swimmer. The pool starts shallow and as the floor tilts downward, the water level rises.

Even with the gradually-changing depth, the thrill of the swimmers making it through the deep end, the position and direction of the lanes remain constant. The lanes remain parallel to each other, never given the chance to cross.

message 5: by Martha (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments Hold onto Hope

Just sit where you are.
Press the palms of your hands together.
Lock your fingers tight,
so tight that they turn red.

The grasp feels so painful...
until you slightly loosen your hold,
still keeping your fingers locked.
Now, you're holding hope.

Feel the warmth from your fingers and your palms,
a warmth so soothing, so relieving.

Rest your head on your hands.
Press your forehead against locked fingers.
Feel your fingers transfer hope to your head,
to every other aching part of your body.

Let that hope stay with you
through the silence,
through sudden noise,
through unexpected chaos.

It's that one thing worth saving,
even if it means enduring pain
for as long as it takes to find healing.

message 6: by Martha (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments "Storage almost full."

Isn't that the most annoying alert on a tablet or phone?

If you have a tablet or phone, you know how it is. You go to the App Store, type a topic of interest, scroll down to view the apps, and read the reviews. You see an app that sounds really good. So you press "Get" and wait for the app to download, forever watching the blue circle appear before you see the "Open" tab.

But before the full circle appears, an alert pops up, telling you "Cannot download" because there's no more space.

You could go back and delete apps. But which ones do you delete? Which ones aren't important anymore? How do you decide?!

Like that tablet or phone, our sanity has that "Storage almost full" alert. Friendships can't always be established for reasons that we don't always understand. People don't call us back, and it hurts. But we know that we have to let it go. And sometimes, when friendships or relationships become too dramatic for us (constant fights, fading interests), we know that they have to be deleted.

But it's hard.

Which friendships do we keep? Which ones do we end? With whom can we form a friendship? How many friendships can start? How do we choose which ones to pursue?

Unlike the space in our lives for people, the questions are endless. The questions we dwell on just lead to insanity.

How do we survive if we make the wrong choice, keep the wrong thing, delete the wrong thing?

But there's one question that we rarely remember to ask: What if we could survive no matter what we delete, even if just one thing seems like a lot?

There are SO MANY apps on phones and tablets. I've had to delete so many of them, so many from topics that are of great interest to me: Television, music, writing, books, religion, mind games. It was (and still is) SO hard.

But apps from ALL topics of interest still exist. Friends who can support our dreams and who share our passions still exist. And sure. It can be scary and even frustrating to try to form new friendships and start new relationships. But what if some of them are actually really good, better than the ones we've had before? What if they bring us peace?

Maybe, just maybe, that annoying "Storage almost full" alert really isn't so bad. Maybe it's just a sign that some things need to be deleted so that our lives can be filled with good things we just have yet to pursue.

message 7: by Martha (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments Chaos and beauty.

How can these things coexist?

Chaos is...traffic jams, bad grades, rejection, tragedies. Chaos is...unwanted.

Beauty is...sunshine on summer days, new relationships, weddings, newborns. Beauty is...desirable.

How can chaos and beauty coexist?

Chaos and beauty...and life. Life is the whole that links chaos and beauty together. Chaos and beauty are part of life, neither one permanent.

Chaos and beauty arise by surprise. The unknown. The unknown is dark and light; chaotic and beautiful.

Chaos and beauty make up the temporary, fragile, and unpredictable timespan that is life.

Chaos and beauty coexist on Earth for life.

message 8: by Martha (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments Lingering

Maybe it's you; maybe it's me.
First, I think it's you.
But then I wonder, is it me?
All these thoughts never-ending,
And my anxiety's lingering.

Racing thoughts keep me up at night.
Can't stop thinking, feeling uptight.
Want to talk to you, express how I feel.
I just want to be totally real.
Maybe it's the guilt of not telling you.
But I fear it will destroy us if I do.

Told you about my anxiety.
Now, it's creeping right behind me.
But I wonder, will it pass?
Can these thoughts go to the past?

Right now, my mind feels like a hurricane.
My thoughts keep changing their ways.

If we start, can we last?
Or will our hearts break like glass?
Maybe these feelings will pass.
I don't want these words to be our last.

message 9: by Martha (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments As I walked under the hot summer sun this morning, I smelled the fruity fragrance of the sunscreen that I put on my face.

Being fair-skinned, I burn really easily and quickly without it. I turn, like, fire hydrant red after about 5 minutes.

SPF 30 is not going to be effective, I thought to myself. I should have at least put on SPF 50.

I started obsessing over this, hoping I wouldn't get sunburned.

About 10 minutes into my walk, I was almost at the top of the hill, closer to the sun--7 minutes walking distance from Dollar Tree. I remembered seeing SPF 50 sunscreen there.

Should I walk to Dollar Tree? I wondered.

After 5 minutes of pondering the question, I looked at the time on my phone. 11:15. No time. Mom will be home in 15 minutes to take me out for lunch.

So I walked down the hill, farther away from the sun.

On the way home, I listened to music from my phone. It was a good distraction from thinking about sunscreen and sunburns.

When I got home, I looked at my face in the bathroom mirror. There it was. The sunburn covering my cheeks and forehead.

I should have bought SPF 50 sunscreen.

message 10: by Martha (new)

Martha Lueck | 69 comments In This Life (And in Heaven)

In this life...
We're sometimes saddened by loneliness;
We're sometimes seeking the wrong things;
We're sometimes fooled by liars and hypocrites;
We're sometimes too confused and angry to think.

But in heaven...
God will take this all away.
He'll get us out of disarray.
He'll show us the light.
We'll celebrate every day and night.

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