Where to Begin – a fragmented poem

I am borrowing from the Twitter site Purloined Letter for this post.
The posts that are written there are fragments of thought. They will be indicated by italics.
I will try to wrap them together with my words to make something legible and mind engaging.
Definitely an experiment of types.

Where to Begin

Speak of your journey,
the places you’ve come from
the places you are going
The magic words.
And when the memories get to much,
Can I write it all away?

Can I see them
as what they are meant to be,
rather than what they were?
from the lessons learned,
the moments captured
instead of the wounds received,
and scars running deep?
Is it possible to truly forget?

when it all echoes around in my head
the good and the bad
the moments of triumph
also failure tasted, often
The hold of the incomplete.

The steps we await others to take
are often those
we fear stepping forward in ourselves
not toe dipping,
no jumping in whole-hearted

we want to see their experience
before we’re ready to commit
but that is life only half-lived
with only half-breath, and half-experience
perhaps not even lived at all.

Let me back into myself.
Let me feel the blood pumping,
my heart racing
memories pulsing
let my skin burn pink
my eyes glow green
and let whispered breathe escape my lips
Here, I live again…and yet still on edge.

Let me hear myself think.
Words written in thought bubbles
expressing inner desires
quickly relinquished to despair
as one by one reality pops them
clean through with possibility and remembrance.

Tell me what’s different between now and then.
Your arms used to spread wide open
you weren’t afraid to hug
you weren’t afraid to jump
You weren’t afraid to soar.
and now your feet remain planted,
your arms hug yourself closed
and your wings are clipped short.

Life lived out in the open
its scary, its raw
but its living
so share with me something of you
something that`s bottomless
that resonates deep in soul echoes
that your mouth doesn`t word form
but your eyes scream  wordless

or even those haunting moments
where flight was realized
where for one moment
your shuttered eyes, blinked long and hard
at life and let it in
fearful and yet yearning
desperate for a taste of life breathe

The words of longing
stopped up in your mouth
you roar
let me write and breathe again
and the pen begins to dance
ink whips itself into a frenzy
paper primes its surface
as the heart bleed begins

your lips are loosed,
your heart released
your wings are unfurling
the song bubbling up
refuses to be silenced.

when I break, I get to know my peices better
you say
and as you pick them up
examining them under the light
surrendering them to the Healer
You see moments of pure brillence
and some where shadows linger deep

but you know that in the reassembling
in the re-molding, the life breathing
you will be restored, redeemed
and your new self, with the soul cracks filling
and heart beat returning
will no longer resemble before
but who you are now
who you are becoming
and the light shines deep
from within
from the candle recently lit
fire recently stoke
soul kindling beginning a raging burn

its the cracks
that light the in

it also lets the light out…

and you`re kaleidoscope offering
speaks of redemption.

by Janel Andrews written Jan 23 and 25th 2014

FMF – Visit

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five-Minute Friday…writing for five minutes on a topic with no self-editing, just pouring pieces of heart moments on the page. Don’t forget to link up on the page and comment on some of the beautiful moments that others share.


I am heading North today to visit a friend from Bible College days. Back in November when I planned this trip, it wasn’t all snowy out and we certainly hadn’t had the freezing spells that the past couple of weeks have afforded us. So this week has made me think ‘what was I thinking?’

But honestly, the weather and the cold…they pale in comparison to the beauty of the visiting with heart friends, for hard life moments and conviction and shared stories all pile out on the floor in conversation and we revel over a cup of hot tea, and lingering in the moments together.

A warm bed awaits, the quiet of the property and the lakeside view all wait for me. And I knew that i’d need this soul rest and at that time in November I didn’t know what would be on my mind and heart. I just knew that time to get away, to hunker down, to just BE in the quiet was so necessary for soul refreshment.

And so today I head out…this journey looks a little different then I imagined and yet, it will be just what is necessary for where I find myself. Things to be prayed about this weekend, words to be sought, the WORD to be read, the Lord to be conversed with in a place of way less stimulation and distraction….and over all hopefully both soul and body rest.

Sometimes there are people who after spending time in their presence you have a sense of soul rest, and ideas and things being heavy on your heart being laid out before the throne, prayed about by fellow warriors, and come along-siders and you just know that this is where He would have you at this time, as you seek Him and his face. So thankful that I live in a place that I can travel like this, that I can spend time with dear friends, that I am able to take time off from work. It is truly a blessed time.


Mentoring Blessing

Last year was my first foray into attempting to participate in Lent. I ‘gave up’ Facebook (which if you know me, is something I need a break from anyway…I spend lots of lots of time there). I moved to Twitter, and though I was still involved with social media, it was a different platform of interaction all together. The conversations I was able to have, the people I was able to begin to attempt to know, it was a glorious time set apart.

I was intrigued by anything that would lead to a better understanding of Lent, and a link was shared to Kris Camealy’s book ‘ Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement’. I downloaded it and began to read about a season of the liturgical calendar that I really had no previous knowledge of. I have to be honest and say, I didn’t finish the book. It wasn’t because it wasn’t good…it was amazing. It was just that I became preoccupied with other things and forgot it was downloaded. This connection with Kris’ writing led me to her blog, to commenting on her blog, to interactions with her on other people’s blogs…and to the beginning of a blossoming friendship as I re-entered Facebook at the end of Lent.

In the final months of 2013, we were engaged in a conversation on Facebook. She is involved in planning a retreat for this year called ‘Refine’ and it totally spoke to my heart. I was blessed to be given the opportunity to attend both a retreat (Jumping Tandem) and a conference (CCEF’s yearly gathering, this past year in Dallas) this past year, both of which I had prayed about, and which were in line with what I felt God was calling me to last year : Brave(ry). Many opportunities presented themselves, which I would have loved to be a part of, but I knew that I couldn’t afford to attend everything I wanted to, and I didn’t think I could leave work for that long of a time period!

I knew however that God had provided this calling in Kris’ life, that there were those out there whose hearts would be touched and changed by this ministry and that I was behind her all the way in this dream. I contacted her several times to see how I could  best pray for her. Through our conversation, we discovered we had a mutual dear friend in Shelly Miller and got onto the topic of how God had provided a mentor in Shelly for Kris. I could think of no two people better suited to lift one another up in life together. What a beautiful blessing.

When I first started attended Harvest Bible Chapel London, the first weekend women’s conference that my church sponsored was a speaker named Donna Otto. A women with a passion for the Lord and for the heart’s of women. She spoke on mentoring and it was something really touched deep into my heart. I knew that I had longed for older women who had gone before in life and in love with God to speak into my life…and there have been provisions of these as I’ve gone through life, but not one person who I had asked to become specifically involved. I had asked one dear friend, but with every thing that was on her plate in the past year, she felt that God was telling her to take a step back. We are great friends and I continue to learn and grow from the interactions and heart talks we have together. But my heart still longed for someone to speak truth and to challenge my heart to seek more of him.

Through a God-ordained conversation, Kris spoke such beauty into my life by saying that she would pray that God provides someone for my life. Moments later she suggested that we pray about whether that might be something he had called us too. We committed to pray about it and seek Him about whether this friendship could be called of him into a mentoring relationship.

My first reaction when she suggested it was utter disbelief. Not that she was genuine (I knew she way), but that she would even consider connecting with ME in this way. Something I struggled with when I went to Jumping Tandem, was the feeling of being ‘not enough’. No one told me this was the case, but the enemy did a good job of whispering into my ear that I had nothing to offer at this gathering, that there were people who were far more prominent in blogging circles who were present and who was I to think I had anything to offer. My friend Amber spoke truth into my life about that…and I strove to move forward into the truth that I knew he was calling me to this, and that He would speak to me, if nothing else.

So I have to admit that while I know that the  bloggers that I enjoy reading and who have large followings and books’s published are just normal people like me, it is hard for me not to have a complex about not being enough or even being of importance for them to interact with. I know, the lies are speaking louder than the truth in this situation, but its the truth of how I am and have felt.

The fact that Kris would even consider a mentoring relationship blew me away. I wanted to tell her to not bother praying about it, because she didn’t know what she was getting into. All the while I tried to remember what I had learned when I admitted I felt less then at Jumping Tandem; that He’s called us ALL for a reason, and just because some are published writers who people know, doesn’t make anyone else less of a person. So I prayed about it, still incredibly beside myself that she’d even consider it.

We chatted again after Christmas, and she shared that she was willing to step forward into this leading, if I was. And so it began, our mentoring relationship courtesy of this online world and Skype. I am so thankful for the truth that Kris has brought into my life, even in the short time we’ve been engaging in this way. I am so thankful that God saw fit to bless me in this way, something that I could never have imagined for myself in a million years. His ways are definitely not my ways…He seeks to build, grow and stretch me to be more like Him, and some times I’m so content listening to the lies and sitting on the fence in the middle of decisions, not realizing that following my ways is just an exhausting pursuit.

So here’s to a year ahead of new things. Of learning from a dear sister in Christ who I have been blessed to connect with. and for listening less to the lies, and seeing the truth of who He has made me, and How I can better shine and reflect His glory.

#concrete words – Fire

fire by pozak

The fire danced before our eyes, and we were mesmerized.

Our hands held cups of cocoa; milk warmed over the stove, chocolate bits melted deep, and marshmallows covering the top softly with their pillow warmth. As we sipped, our hearts warmed sweet with chocolate and time spent with each other.

gathering together to just BE. In the midst of the daily chaos, the dreams the ebb and flow, the moments we know are growing us, but seem to push and pull us all out of shape…these are the moments, that we need a rest from. That in some sense, perhaps we’re running to the wilderness to escape.

The cabin has beckoned me often. It sits barren most of the winter. In the summer, families fill is heart beat full of sun warmed smiles, and laughter that echoes off hearty wood and water washed windows. And so we have gathered…in the midst of this darkness of season, with the snow crunching hard beneath our boots and our souls seeking moments of rest.

Our last night together is marked with this soul gathering. We have wrapped ourselves warm around the fire pit, and sit shoulder to shoulder along the benches that follow its periphery. Not only does the fire dance before us, but there is a reflection of it as I search and seek the eyes of my fellow travelers gathered round.

There is something of the dance of reflection in a fellow wanderers eyes, that speaks of lights sending messages from the soul; morse code of those things that lips don’t dare speak; hearts ban from being acknowledged.

And it is for those moments that we have gathered.