In the Midst of Darkness

There is beauty
that thrives in darkness

luminescent green wings
glowing with ethereal glimpses

white and glossy petals
swirled deep with nectar

these two, or these many
they know
darkness is not to be feared

there is light
it just might take

an adjustment of sight

By Janel Andrews written: July 15/14


Inspired by
the Luna Moth and the Moon Flower (Night-blooming cereus)
both live creatures that thrive in the darkness.

moon flower in daytimeMoon Flower in the daytime (all curled up)
moonflower at nightMoon flower in the nighttime -in all its beauty
LunaMoth-DonSimonsStunning Luna Moth (love the iridescent green)





Dig down deep
crystallized bliss
warming my soles

wiggle my toes
free pedicure
sand caresses polish

warm absorbed
in many tiny beads
shivers of pleasure

the water glisten
waves crash
more sparkles on shore

wave side
my steps etch deep
molten in the cool

farther back
in sun-steeped granules
footprints disappear

I’ve left no steps
to trace me by
here in the moving particles

but my hearts been traced
from sole to soul
breathe deep of tumults gift –

the shimmering.

By janel andrews     written: July 14/14

It was never supposed to be like this

it was never supposed to be like this

chemo hardening her veins with the burn
life sapping moments to try to make her well

Her eyes are closed and her hair fans the pillow
I’ve never seen her so fragile and still

Her mouth moves quiet in the dreaming
and I’m glad that she’s found some respite

it was never supposed to be like this

She held me near in my early golden days
whispering strength into my wayward locks

Her arms held me up, flying through the sky
showing me the strength I possessed was limitless

Her laughter filled all the spaces of my heart
my memories are incomplete without it

Her thrown back head, the smile splitting wide in joy
a million little pieces of glee sent into my lifeblood

it was never supposed to be like this

and now, I watch in agony, hands tied
I wish to give my life blood to see her rise

the dichotomy of new life, and life ebbing
runs my heart ragged, and i’m’ gasping in the shadows

they both sleep in tandem, hands clasped tight
one burgeoning with new life, the other fighting for her life

his tiny mouth gurgles as he sleep content,
her face smoothed of pain when his hand is in hers

and I open my eyes to see her there,
she’s got him in her sights and she’s smitten

it was never supposed to be like this

and how can I have joy in his life
when I know that life can come to this

How can I speak joy and let the laughter bubble
when my heart is constricted in fear and unknown

How can I breathe that same life into him
that she had given her life breathes to speak to my heart

How am I supposed to keep my heart beating
when it lays outside of me in these two pieces

it was never supposed to be like this

Her eyes seek mine in the room that is our sanctuary
I see her breathing deep, her eyes radiate warm

she doesn’t speak for it takes too much from her
but I know the words she’s saying, they beat in my heart

and at night, I hold him close
feel my life blood filling him to overflowing

and know that redemption comes in many forms
in life-giving and in new life receiving

sometimes the sunsets on this earthly body
and sometimes the squalls of a wee babe re-wake life anew


but…it was never meant to be this way.




by Janel Andrews written July 11/2014


#FMF – Belong

Joining up with those who write unfettered by constraint and pure vulnerability over at FMF’s link up. Thank you Lisa-Jo for sharing this beauty of a community and also Crystal for hosting this week.

prompt: BELONG


Before I saw the prompt tonight, I saw some people reacting to it. One of them was something like, ‘phew, that was tough’ and I wondered at the prompt. Some of them have taken me to hard place (and others to those places as well) but I always find its such a journey of learning and tiny steps to healing.

Belong. Oh wow…did that word go deep. Deep to some very big wounds, wounds barely covered over. Longings that have been just barely beating heartbeats as of late…or even lets be honest for years.

There are few places that I feel that I really and truly belong…and not to over spiritualize it, perhaps that’s because our souls long for the beauty of our Heavenly Father and relationship we can have with him.

I’m not so much an outsider at the moment (or perhaps I’ve grown up and seen what being in ‘groups’ is all about’) but there is definitely something that has me checking my words, my actions, my look…in certain groups.

there are some sweet sweet ladies that I met over a year ago at Jumping Tandem. I went there thinking “I’m not good enough. Some of these people are superstars of the blogging world’ and I felt like I didn’t have a lot to offer. God had a reason for me to be there and there are so many reasons…but one of the reasons was to see these beautiful people as PEOPLE…not more holier then though (they certainly were not) but also to see that each one of us is gifted in a unique way. Those people who I originally thought I might not be able to share the same air with, have become some of my fastest friends. I am so thankful.

I am thankful for the communities God is placing me in, one moment at a time. I am thankful that at moments I hear him whisper, I have created you for this, not only do you belong here…loving me, showing my love to others…but you are helping them to find belonging as well.


Dead Wood


The wind

creaks my bones
and the depths

my roots run deep
but water

have disappeared



I used to
offer shade from element
lifeblood share
gasp beauty

but gasping

is all I have

as the limbs
stand bare
sun bleached
raw from wounding

and the ache

of deadwood

cuts me raw


my heart beating
my soul seeking

my heart bleeding
my soul screaming


limbs have been lost
crashing down
leaving wound marks
just another notch
of days gone by

without life
without dew drop
without sap

without fruit


the branches
continue to raise up
even in their brokenness
they seek life
which comes from above

the leaves have not sprung
in aged time

a remnant remains
casting a shadow
but casting the eye


hope glimmers
in a mysterious ray
peripheral vision

and I feel a heartbeat.



written by Janel Andrews

July 8/2014

in response to this post by Elora Ramirez

Atlas Girl – Voice

Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look


Emily Wierenga’s new memoir Atlas Girl” has many beautiful threads throughout it, especially those of redemption and growth. One of the threads that most spoke to me however was the one about finding her voice…both literally and figuratively.

When she was young, her family moved to the Congo and she recounts:

I wasn’t able to say anything…I’d stopped talking completely at 13 months when we first arrived in the Congo…words were confusing. They would tiptoe to the edge of my head but couldn’t find the door.”

Throughout her memoir she recounts moments in life that have shaped her as the woman she is today. Her experiences on mission trips, time in Bible College, taking care of her mom during brain cancer, working through her relationship with her dad, fighting the battle of anorexia and figuring out her relationship with Trent (her now husband). With each telling her voice grows stronger as you see God’s hand at work in her journey thus far.

The idea of being without a voice resonated with me. There are two things that I know I long for: to be seen and to be heard.  And while I have never physically been mute in my life, there have been numerous times that words have been stopped up inside of me; unable to pass my lips or make their way through ink onto the page. Often these words were stopped up because of fear. It has taken the encouragement of others and the peace given by the Holy Spirit that I have begun to tentatively begin to try to release my voice out into the open. There are times when the fear tries to silence me again, but I always come back to the page.

Just like Emily started speaking again at some point, I have begun to step up and seek the voice that is uniquely mine to share.

Write from your own heart, in your own voice…    – Louise Brown


#FMF – Exhale

Joining with Lisa-Jo and the lovely writers over at Five Minute Friday for our writing prompt : Exhale. Write was streams out through your fingers, what your heart wants to say on a subject for five minutes. And then link up and see what was inspired in others as well.



Sometimes its in the letting go, that you can really begin to step forward into life again.

You realize that you’ve been breathing in wounded-ness, bitterness, anger…and the only thing filling your lungs is pulling you down. Into the darkness, into the depths.

But there is hope. Because in the exhale their is also a chance to let those things go. To breathe them released. To fling them far and wide and seek out the truth, hope, joy…those things that fill you will life again and set your heart beating fresh.

Sometimes I find it to be the same discussion that I often have with myself. I know this place, and while I know its not good for me…I’m afraid of what lays outside of the unknown. But when I stop to think that things that I’m breathing in, the things that I’m choosing to stay all muck and mired in….are the very things that are shortening my life, they are taking the moments that are mine to fight for.

And so in the exhaling, I release. Fear keeps my lungs short breathed….but its happening, and time and time again as I draw deeper from the well of this offering, the breathing in grows sweeter, lighter…and fills me up with a joyous light that I have previously only been able to long for.

Sometimes I think that the inhale is where the breathing rhythm starts…but maybe its in the exhale that we truly begin to live.