Monday, December 24, 2007

Mary's Lullaby

It is Christmas Eve, a time for remembering the birth of Christ. I wonder how Mary felt when she held her first child in her arms and sang Him to sleep under the stars. He was her child, yet He was not hers. He was in her care...yet He Himself would come to save the souls of millions, including hers. But upon that first Christmas, He must have been a small, sweet baby in her bosom, resting in His mother's temporary embrace.

Lullaby, lullaby, my baby Boy,
Rest in my bosom today.
Lullaby, lullaby, my baby Boy,
Tenderly sleep while You may.

Lullaby, lullaby, my baby Boy,
Soon You’ll bring mankind to light.
Lullaby, lullaby, my baby Boy,
Stay with Your mother tonight.

I know that one day You’ll grow tall and fine,
I know that You never truly were mine,
Yet while the angels watch over today,
Rest in my bosom, I pray.

Lullaby, lullaby, my baby Boy,
Born to be Savior of all,
Thank You for lullabies, sweetness, and joy,
Mine in this Bethlehem stall.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Time to Share

The finale song number of "Care for Christmas?"...this song echoes in my mind. Perhaps beyond the rythmic meter and the repeating words, there is a deeper call. During this holiday season, may God truly help each one of us bear each other's burdens and let our deeds reflect the compassion of our Lord.

A time to share, a time to care,
A time each other’s burdens bear;
A time to feed with word and deed
Each hungry soul we see in need.

A time to hold and to behold
The helpless child in bitter cold;
A time to place a tearful face
Within the Savior’s warm embrace.

A time to heal, a time to feel
The love of God so pure and real;
A time to tell the sweet noel
About the Christ we know so well.

Beloved, let us love not merely with our words,
But may our deeds reflect the compassion of our Lord.

A time to share, a time to care,
A time each other’s burdens bear.
A time to love and tell them of

The ageless home we have above.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's a Cold, Cold World

Even though this dramatic song from the climax hospital scene of "Care for Christmas?" has long been a 'scheduled-release' on this blog, the words of the song seem to rebuke me from the screen today. The world is cold and it pulls us with it. Oh may God help every one of us keep that warmth and glow within our hearts. May He help me set aside the envy, discontentment, vanity, and selfishness the world encourages...and let His love radiate from within me.

It’s a cold, cold world
Full of cold, cold things.
Don’t let it touch your heart
With the cold it brings.

It’s a cold, cold world
With a cheerless smile.
But if your heart is warm,
It may glow awhile.

So let the glow, so let the warmth,
Remain forever in your heart.
Despite the wind, despite the cold
That try to tear your soul apart.
The bitter world may bring you low,
Leave you in the dark,
But there’s a hope, and there’s a glow,

That you can keep within your heart.

So let the glow, so let the warmth,
Remain forever in our hearts,
Despite the wind, despite the cold
That try to tear our souls apart.
The bitter world may bring us low,
And leave us in the dark,
But there's a hope, and there's a glow,
That we can keep within our hearts.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Don't Care

Probably the meanest song I've ever written, this is the third excerpt from "Care for Christmas?" and the song for the memorable Pilgrim sisters' quarrel scene. I could almost hear our director's voice pronouncing "A' don't kur" as she re-directs the scene again and again. While I like this work for its near-perfect craftsmanship and uniqueness, its words are the last words I hope I would think and utter during this Christmas season.

I don’t care what you think, what you like, what you say,
I don’t care what you can, what you may,
I don’t care where you are, where you go, where you stay,
I don’t care all about it anyway.

I don’t know why you shout, why you scream, why you cry,
I don’t know why you weep, why you sigh,
I don’t know what you want and why I should comply,
I don’t know why I even have to try.

Why do you have to act like this?
Why should this happen everyday?
Why can’t you stop being you for once
And just do things my way?

I don’t like how you move, how you sit, how you stand,
I don’t like everything you demand,
I don’t like how you make every wish a command,
I don’t think I will ever understand.

I don’t think you are good, you are smart, you are bright,
I don’t think you are nice, you are right,
I don’t think you are worth any more than a mite,

I don’t know why you’re putting up a fight!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Busiest Time of Year

As the Christmas season approaches, the words in this "Care for Christmas?" office scene excerpt are coming true again. Even though these lyrics may be the weakest in the musical, I like them for their realism. With parties, presents, travels, and all the rest piling in during the holiday season, it really is becoming the busiest time of year...besides, this was the first (and perhaps only) rock song my mother ever wrote. It should be worth something just for that, hehe...

Thank you cards to send away,
Christmas bonuses to pay,
Meetings, parties, everything upon one single date.
Five more messages to send,
Three return calls for this friend,
Gotta go within the hour, and goodness grace! I'm late!
Can't believe that Christmas's here...
The busiest time of year!

Master Richard, please sign here,
Goods are late again, I fear.
Not again! I needed all those stocks immediately.
Call them up and see if they
Will come faster if we pay
All the money through a check signed right away by me.
Can't believe that Christmas's here...
The busiest time of year!

One contract done today,
Two will be for later.
Sir, your wife is on the phone,
And she would like to talk.
Kim, please tell her that I--
That I will be home shortly.
Can't believe that Christmas's here...
The busiest time of year!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's Christmas

Perhaps due to my leisure, I have been prematurely pre-occupied with Christmas this year. Well, Christmas is a very happy time of year, so I am going to continue to indulge in my early nativity spirits.

This song is the grand opening number to our in-house, all-original Christmas musical production "Care for Christmas?" in December 2006. Involving almost the entire cast, it is a song that set the stage of "Christmastide" for the play, and I hope it does for reality today as well. It's Christmas, my friends! May glory be to God on high, on earth goodwill to men.

The Christmas lights are twinkling
In colors sharp and bright.
The Christmas trees are glistening
With branches green or white.
And Christmas shops are opening
From morning into night
While Christmas kids are caroling
With all their heart and might.

It’s Christmas, Christmas,
It’s Christmas once again.
May glory be to God on high,
On earth, goodwill to men.

The Christmas cards are sent away
To friends and family
As Christmas children laugh and play
Around the gleaming tree.
The Christmas figures on display
Reflect nativity
For Christmas time is on its way

In joy and gaiety.

It's Christmas, it's Christmas,
It's Christmas once again.
May glory be to God on high,
On earth goodwill to men.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hong Kong, I Come

This is a simple poem I penned around the time of a recent visit to Asia's global city Hong Kong. Describing the impressions of a passenger on an arriving plane, this poem captures the feelings I have every time I approach the family's "favorite city."

A shining sleepless city,
Beneath the summer sky,
I scan the harbor city,
As soaring high I fly.

The sighs of hustling people,
The sounds of screaming trains,
The sight of scraping steeples,
Below the surfing plane.

As I the city sighted,
As engines lowly hum.
I catch my breath excited,
Hong Kong, once more I come.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Never Apart

I wrote these lyrics as an entry to an online contest last year. Written to the tune of Chinese celebrity Vicki Zhao's song "With and Against the Wind," this song has little classic content. Still, it won me the competition, it's sweet, and I'm happy.

Every echo in the wind,
Every whisper from the ocean,
Every hustle in the twilight air,
In love’s lasting song,
Every thunder in the night,
Every question from the nightingale,
Every shower from the waterfall,
In love’s lasting tale…

Tells me even though the universe

may keep us from each other,
There is nothing that can ever truly

separate our hearts…far apart…

Even if the ocean spans the world,
Every wave would repeat the lasting vow,
That we held so dear, clinging near and
Loving, trusting, holding to each other’s hands.
Even if the sun sets upon our love,
Every cloud would repeat all the promises,
That we made that day, on our way to
Recreating dreams made just for me and you.

Even if the matters of this world

may keep us from each other,
There is nothing that can ever truly

separate our hearts…far apart…

Even if the storm should steal the night,
Every lightning bolt would light the flight,
Of our fantasies, over seas and
Mountains, valleys, travelling years to the end.
Even if the waters flood the land,
Every echo of the falls would verify
Every single word, that it heard when
Laughing, dancing, we stood within it again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Amazing Grace

Grace, grace, grace...somehow the majority of my recent compositions have revolved around that word. Yet who could ever experience grace enough? I was not facing any trials or worries when I wrote this poem, but the grace that was sufficient then is still sufficient now. His grace is ever more than enough, amazing grace indeed.

“Amazing grace,” they often say
And quote from day to day;
“Amazing grace,” they so recite
At home, at work, at play.

“Amazing grace!” so they exclaim
When they have reached their aim,
“Amazing grace!” they would delight
When countless blessings came.

Yet which of us within this place
Would shout it on the days
When only wrong comes from the right
And troubles block our ways?

Amazing grace…more than enough
For times both smooth and rough
Will be the comfort of my plight
Through tests and trials tough.

“Amazing grace!” shall be my cry
Though times call for a sigh,
For by His grace I claim that Light
Who brightens every sky.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wasted, Tired, Torn, and Worn

Ever tried to find God's promises in your own name? The feeling is quite amazing.

Wasted, tired, torn, and worn,
Ever faithless to my King,
Now I come with form forlorn,
Shamed with everything I bring.
Lovingly Your eyes You show,
“Yet will I forsake you, child,

Never will I let you go.”

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Bend in the Road

At the end of the book Anne of Green Gables, Anne faces "a bend in the road" as she weighs circumstances and considers major decisions during her late teens. After reading that novel years ago, I wholeheartedly identify with Anne now. Yet just like her, in the midst of conflicting thoughts, plans, and emotions, I trust there is something better in store, around this bend in the road.

Gingerly, carefully, holding my breath,
Taking so sparingly each tiny step
On to the future which blurringly bodes
Round yonder corner, that bend in the road.

“Lord, I can’t see You,” I fearfully cry.
“Lord, I can’t feel You,” I tearfully sigh.
Still I’m led forward as each step unfolds,
T’ward yonder corner, that bend in the road.

Chilly the wind blows, and softly the rain
Pecks on my elbows and over the plain.
“Lord, let me trust You,” I cling to this ode,
Nearing that corner, that bend in the road.

I dare not wonder what’s over the bend,
I know not what will be started or end’d,
“God gives the best,” this the promise bestowed,

He will be with me o’er bend in the road.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

珍惜 (I Will Treasure)

This is my only presentable Chinese composition. I wrote these lyrics as part of a story that I had been formulating in my mind before. Though the story never took form, the song did. I might prepare an English paraphrase, but more than half of the beauty would be lost in translation. But for now, here is the emotional love song 珍惜.

看著天邊 黃昏的太陽,

一起守候 歸來的海浪,

我要珍惜, 珍惜,
我要珍惜, 珍惜,

一起回念 分開的沮喪,

等著實現 真愛的夢想,


我要珍惜, 珍惜,
我要珍惜, 珍惜,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Baptismal Testimony

Reading the baptismal testimony of my friends has reminded me of my own. It has been almost three years since I started my first baptismal class, and the event of my baptism feels both remote and recent. When we see how God's hand works in our individual lives, what else can we do but praise?

I was blessed to be raised in a godly family. As I grew up, my parents taught me how I was a sinner in need of salvation. By the time I was five years old, I knew all about Jesus and consistently called myself a Christian. Deep inside, however, I didn’t understand how I was a sinner. I considered myself perfect except for fighting with my brother or disobeying my parents once in a while. Ultimately, I didn’t hand over my life to Christ.

In May 2001, I attended our church’s junior summer camp. I thought that it would be just like the countless camps I joined before; it would be fun and fleeting. On the last sermon sermon of the last day of camp, however, our speaker said something that sparked the greatest change in my life.

She told us that joining a camp was useless—unless our lives were transformed after going home. That statement made me evaluate my life seriously for the first time. I noticed I hadn’t changed much for many years. Though I had recognized Christ could be my Savior, I hadn’t made Him my Lord. The week after camp, I closed my door and prayed to God. I asked Him to forgive my sins and rule over my life. He did.

Today, I still struggle with handing every single part of my life to Him. When I remember His wondrous love and amazing grace, however, it becomes easier. I know I am still far from perfect. It seems that the more I grow the more imperfections I discover in me. But God does not make empty promises. I believe that “He who began a good work in (me) will be faithful to complete it.”

Soli Deo Gloria! To God be all the glory.

Monday, August 13, 2007

To Him I Cry

A recent worship rehearsal drove me me to tears for several reasons. Since it was fellowship night, my friends and family couldn't comfort me with their company. I was all alone in my sadness. At least, I thought I was...that loneliness, that helplessness led me to turn to Whom I must turn. A friend told me later on upon knowledge of the incident, "I am glad I wasn't around you then." Yes, I had to be alone. I had to remember Who was with me.

I finished these lyrics a few days afterwards. The words are not all mine, for some of them are my friend's. But I know what matters is the lesson, the spirit of the song. More than once since then, I have been laden down in burdens, irritation, or tears...but remembering at least, that I need look no farther than where I was.

Trapped in my own corner,
Abandoned by the world,
I feel just like a loner,
With no one here with me…
I need to cry to someone,
I need to rant this out,
I want to clutch a shoulder,
I need to sport a pout,

But everyone seems far away,
So far away from me…
And I can’t help but want to say,
“Lord, where on earth’s my company,
My friends, my family?
Where can I find a person who
Would listen now to me?”

Then suddenly I hit my head
The truth had just hit me,
I had the world’s best confidant
Right there with me…

“Okay, okay, You got me, Lord,
I don’t need them, and I
I won’t need anyone but You
No matter what goes by.

“I’m sorry, Lord, please have me now,”
I whisper with a sigh,
“I am all-satisfied in You.”
And so to Him I cry.
And so to Him I cry.
And so to Him I cry.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Comfort of Comforts

There was recently a time when I ended a day with conversations with multiple friends who were having troubles great or small in their lives. I carried a heavy heart with me as I prayed for all of them that night. Their worries made me worry...yet as I entrusted their concerns to God, their trust made me to trust as well. I began this poem that evening, completing it the next morning. Great indeed is the comfort that a knowledge of God's sovereignty brings.

Though my confusions,
My worries and cares,
Follow me throughout
Life’s turbulent fares,
I seek my refuge
By trusting alone
On ev’ry promise
To those called His own.

Comfort of comforts,
What wonder to know
Every trial,
Each worry is so
Solely because our
Wise Father bestows
Each as a blessing
In plans just He knows.

I do not know what
His purpose will bring,
I cannot lie that
Each burden and sting
Is a great comfort
To my earthly flesh,
Yet yielding to Him,

I know all is best.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lord, As I Come to You

This is a song that I wrote for use in my personal quiet time. I often sing the simple tune to prepare my heart in personal or corporate worship. It is nothing but simplicity in words and in song, but it indicates a dedication to living for God every single day.

Lord, as I come to You,
In this most holy place,
Please silent down my heart
And consecrate my praise.
Remove my earthly cares
And worries for the day,
Please cleanse my every sin,
And dwell in me today.

Friday, July 13, 2007

When I Am Gone

Over all these years, this has remained my favorite poetic composition. It is the poem that I hope to live by, and it is the poem I wish to have read at my death. This, after all, is what really matters, when I am gone.

Remember not my weaknesses,
Remember not my shame,
Remember not how I had worked
To glorify my name.
Remember not accomplishments
That people called my own;
Remember not the words nor deeds
That blessed me with renown.

Remember now the instances,
Though few and scarce they be,
When you beheld my human form
But saw the Lord in me.
Remember all His promises
Of faith, of hope, of love;
Remember that I have returned
At last to home above.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Your Symphony

I very seldom write with analogies, and this is one of my attempts. As a music lover, I often revel in the wonder of numerous instruments coming together to form thrilling symphonic music. Yet the wonder of the music could not come together by chance. Each instrument had to faithfully and patiently follow the music score, and the Conductor.

Lord, write with me Your symphony,
Beginning to the end,
That I may grow and learn to blend
With heav’nly harmony.

Lord, help me when the single notes
Form chords I cannot play,
And trust that each progression will
Resolve in Your own way.
Lord, help me wait through interludes
Though measures long they be,
And still believe that in Your time,
I’ll hear the symphony.

Lord, help me play when instruments
Of those apart from me,
Don’t join with mine like music done
For godly harmony.
Lord, help me then to play my lot
Within the score You’ve giv’n,
And trust that all of us could form
A symphony for heav’n.

Lord, write with me Your symphony,
Divinest harmony...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tale of Love

I think I've been attending one too many weddings recently. These two months, my mom and I observed how there are very few good Christian wedding songs. The songs we hear are often not Christian, not good, or extremely over-sung. So, being a bookworm, I wrote this wedding song...for indeed, how wonderful the things in store when God writes your love story.

I turned the pages of my book,
The one I called romance,
And prayed that God would bring Prince Charming
Under dreamy circumstances

But as I read the book I held,
I realized that He
Refused to give me what I wanted
But someone more than dreams could be
He wrote the book with loving hands
And He led you to me.

I turned the pages of my book,
The one I called my life,
And prayed that God would make a gorgeous
Girl that I would win to be my wife.

But as I read the book I held,
I realized that He
Refused to give me what I wanted
But someone more than dreams could be
He wrote the book with loving hands
And He led you to me.

And so the Lord wrote down this story,
One new book combined from two,
One new heart formed from two others,
One new song, one spirit true.

And may the Author of this story,
He who joined two books in one
Bless us as He writes each chapter
Till this tale of love is done.
Till this tale of love is done.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

So Frail and Pale I Laid in Bed

This is a poem written soon after my recovery from an illness this past summer. I was never as sick as the poem describes, but call it hyperbole. In spirit of the English-American poets of the 1700s, I tried to take on the relatively less familiar long meter and incorporated a more challenging inter-stanza rhyme scheme. Yes, I'm a literature freak, I know.

So frail and pale I laid in bed,
With pillow ‘neath my aching head;
My arms, so helpless, lay beside
The ailing body in my stead.

I could not sleep, I could not eat,
I could not simple words repeat,
I had no choice but to reside
Upon my bed, while seconds beat.

I was in pain and misery,
With not one soul to be with me,
With not one person by my side
As I laid on so painfully.

There was not either work or play
That I could do, that I could say,
I could not do a thing besides
To silent down and softly pray.

And so I prayed, and prayed some more,
Since I had need to ease my bore,
But as I learned to thus confide,
I saw what prayer had in store.

My illness was no curse nor test,
It came to me just to attest
That God is ever by my side,
Re-molding me as He deems best.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lust Is a Guy Thing.......Is It?

This is an article I wrote for our youth fellowship, but this is the first time for it to be published. As a young girl, I might not have enough insight to write this message powerfully enough as yet. So I hope that my dear readers, no matter who you are, would be kind enough to leave a comment or send me an e-mail if you find any mistakes, see any inaccuracies, or hope to make any suggestions. May we all continue to strive together for excellence--for His ultimate glory.

Many people think that lust is a sin primarily limited to the male mind. Growing teenage boys struggle with changing hormones. Already grown men need to keep their eyes only upon their wives. Girls are warned from dressing scantily so as to prevent creating temptation for fellow Christian brothers. It’s all a guy thing.

Isn’t it?

In actuality, female adolescents undergo the same hormonal increase as their male counterparts. Young women are attracted to the opposite sex as much as men are. But then why isn’t there a modesty requirement for men’s clothing?

Well, because boys don’t like skin-tight clothes and mini-shorts as much as girls do in the first place. Secondly, because girls do not lust in the same way as their guy friends do. For girls, it’s not about physical lust—but emotional.

The Stupidity of the Matter
When a pretty girl complete with make-up and fashion apparel appears in a room with guys in it, heads are turned, eyes are brightened, and wordless whispers mouthed. Ooh, knockout. She has their attention.

When a very handsome fellow enters a room with his gelled hair and suave walk, however, only half of the girls drool over him. The other half smirk. Later, when the guy pulls over to one of the smirking ladies and whispers, “Hi, I noticed a while ago that you were unhappy. Anything I could do to help you? You are after all such a pretty girl,” and smiles tenderly, she wouldn’t change seats with anyone in the world.

Now, don’t tell me you’ve never seen such things happen. I know they happen everyday. So, are girls stupid? Honestly….yes and no.

No first. Most Christian young ladies have enough sense to know that sweet-talking guys aren’t worth their while. These boys, either consciously or subconsiously, try to charm their way through things to avoid the hard way or longcut (Guys, admit it). They flatter the teacher to prevent punishment for a late assignment. They schmooze their parents to allow them an advance in their allowance. And, of course, they charm their female companions to get their approval. Girls know that. They don’t want that kind of guy for a husband. That’s gross. These guys make nice flatterers, but when they're your leaders or partners, you’ll have to do all the work, and no lady in her right mind wants that to happen.

That’s the no part, now the yes. Girls are stupid because as clearly as they may know that sweet-tongued guys are cheap, girls still like them (Girls, don’t give me an outright denial here). When compliments, no matter how general, are showered on a girl, her heart goes to the speaker. Why? Because of the whole point of this article—emotional lust. A miniskirt on a girl suggests to guys that they may have her body. Likewise, sweet compliments made to a girl makes her hope that she may have the guy’s heart.

God made woman to be a helper and companion for man. On the other side of the equation, God made man to be a leader and protector of woman. Girls have the instinctive desire to be protected and loved. They long to be able to fill the hearts of men and vice versa. They enjoy being soothed, comforted, and complimented. They want the esteem and feelings of guys.

The Reason of the Matter
Now, since girls want to be flattered and guys love to flatter. Why not let things take their natural course?

Well, why not just let all womenfolk go naked since guys like to look and girls like to be looked at?

While physical lust is a violator of the purity of the body and mind, emotional lust ruins the purity of the heart. When guys sweet-talk their female friends, they are actually robbing the future husbands of these girls of the emotions and feelings the girls ought to be giving them. The virginity of the heart is not less important than virginity of the body. Let not anyone tamper with the innocence of young Christian hearts.

The Conclusion of the Matter
To the girls: Watch out for your heart. Do not easily dismiss lust as a guy thing with which you have nothing to do. Perhaps your eyes may not be lusting over a person’s body, but maybe your mind has been constantly re-playing and indulging the unwarranted compliments you’ve heard from guys that are not to be your future husbands. Keep not merely your body and mind, but your heart pure as well. Do not entertain boys who play with flowery statements. Do not encourage them, for your good as well as theirs.

To the guys: Guard the hearts of your sisters in Christ. Do not think that compliments will get you anywhere. They do more harm than good. Encourage your female friends, but do not allow your words to be “immodestly dressed,” lest they arouse wrongful lusts in the hearts of young women. Even as you learn to keep your mind pure, help keep your sisters’ hearts pure. Believe me, they’ll grow to thank you for it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Image of Your Heart

This is a set of lyrics that I originally wrote for the theme song of our summer camp "Heartsync." Since the camp did not prefer another original song that year, this song remains in my archive.

So many voices in the world
Say what I ought to be
From people and from things that want
To take control of me.
Yet louder than these voices is
A call from up above—
A call to walk the footsteps
You have planted by Your love.

In the image of Your heart,

Make me, Lord.
By the power of Your love,

Mold me, Lord.
For the pleasure of Your will,

Change me now.
Through the blessing of Your blood,

Make me Yours.

So many times I’ve turned away
To less important things,
And wandered from the principles
Set by the King of kings.
Renew my heart today, O Lord,
That I may grow to be
The person that You had in mind
When You created me.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Learning More of Who You Are

During youth fellowship one day, our advisor led our closing prayer. In the middle of her prayer, she said, "Help us, this I pray; by learning more of who You are, each day unto each day." The meter struck me immediately, and this is the poem that resulted that night.

When I am faced with pressures that
I cannot rightly face,
With expectations adding up
Beyond my fastest pace,
Please help me be like You, O Lord,
In all I do and say—
By learning more of who You are
Each day unto each day.

When I am faced with sorrows that
I cannot lay aside,
With paths of life all dark and bent
And pain with every stride,
Please help me be like You, O Lord,
In all I do and say—
By learning more of who You are
Each day unto each day.

When I am faced with friendships that
Are crumbling all apart,
With tears instead of happiness
Abiding in my heart,
Please help me be like You, O Lord,
In all I do and say—
By learning more of who You are
Each day unto each day.

When I am faced with blessings that
Bring joy and peace to me,
With overflowing gratitude,
Please help me still to see
That I must be like You, O Lord,
In all I do and say—
By learning more of who You are

Each day unto each day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Autumn Leaves

It is two days before Mother's Day, a fitting time for me to post this short story. This 2,000-word composition came to me as I typed non-stop for one evening when I was in Grade 10. Of all the stories I have written or attempted to write so far, this one lies closest to my heart. Its theme is not as light as many of my other compositions, but the soul of the story touches me every time I read it.

Do you remember the wild oak tress that used to surround our houses? The showers of spring? The breeze of autumn? And the white winter snow that never failed to bring along frost and cold?

I remember.

Do you remember our first winter clothes? The scarlet sweaters? The woolen mittens? And the thin boots that let in the snow?

I remember.

It’s all more than thirty years ago, but I remember quite well.

I also remember what Ma wore. I remember the brown shawl draped around her thin shoulders. I remember the ill-fitting blue cap that balanced on her straight, tan-gold hair. Her only sweater was dark blue, but it turned lighter and lighter as I grew up. I also remember the gloves that were patched again and again to fit her ragged hands. Ma was less then twenty-five when I learned to recognize her, but she could easily be mistaken for someone much older.

Our house was made of logs, I remember. The logs were of dark wood, and that made the whole little house darker. There was a little shed attached to our house that I used to play in. We also had a garden, I remember. I even had a corner to myself. The rest of the garden was for “useful things” said Grandma.

Grandma was there all the time. She sat on the squeaking rocking chair near the window. I don’t quite remember her anywhere else. Grandma was the one that gave me my lessons. She taught me reading, writing, and arithmetic. I never liked arithmetic or writing; I only liked the stories Grandma told me.

Grandma told me lots of stories. She told me the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the boat, David and Goliath, and so many more I’ve lost count. Ma never told me stories; she was always doing something else, but she always gave me a smile when I looked at her.

Life never changed for me. During spring, I would pick flowers from the woods and give them to Grandma; Ma was too busy to notice little things like flowers. Summer was the time when I ran about and played with Jake. He lived over the little hill near our house. In autumn, I would eat Ma’s pumpkin pies. Then in winter, I would study while I wore things Ma knitted.

There were only three of us in the house. I thought that would never change.

Then one autumn night, Grandma suddenly began to cough violently. I was twelve years old already, so mom sent me off with a lantern to get the Doctor. I broke into a run. I remember that I ran until my heart wanted to fall out. The woods were dark and cold, but I knew the way to the Doctor’s cabin. The fallen leaves crushed under my thin feet and fluttered off behind me. I ran and I ran and I ran until I stood shuddering at Doctor Willow’s front door.

Doctor Willow was quick to answer my knock, and we sped back to our house on his horse. Once we reached the clearing, Doctor Willow jumped down and ran inside the house. When I followed in, no one was moving. Grandma lay still on the bunk bed with her hands beside her, the Doctor stood along the bed with his hat in his hand, and Ma sat on a stool near him, her eyes looking unblinkingly at Grandma.

That was the first time someone I loved died. From then on, I never tried to love anyone else. After Grandma was buried, Ma continued to wash, iron, sew, knit, mend, cook, plant, weed, clean, fix, and do all the other things she used to do, but she never smiled anymore. As for me, I gave my soul to studying. I poured over every book my Grandma and Pa left behind. I made sure I knew everything written in those pages. I thought of nothing else.

Four autumns after Grandma died, Jake told me he was going to the town academy. My heart thumped so madly when he described all the books he’d read and all the people he’d meet. I wanted so much to go with him.

“Why don’t you come along?” he said, “You’d have to pay a tuition though. I’m going to work while I study so I can afford the tuition. You also have to ask your Ma. You can’t come home regularly if you go to the academy.”

My heart sank when I heard that. I hardly if ever talked to Ma. But for the sake of the academy, I just had to try.

“Ma,” I said as I sat on my bed that night, “Jake is going to the town academy next week, may I go with him?”

I held my breath.

Ma didn’t say a single word. She turned her face away from me for a long time, and she motioned me to go to sleep. I slept very badly that night.

The next morning, I was reading when Ma suddenly approached me with a small package in her hand. I looked at her.

“This will be enough for your first semester’s tuition. Take it,” she handed the package to me. “I’ll send the rest month by month.”

I could hardly contain myself at that time. I wanted to hug Ma like I used to hug Grandma, but Ma looked so serious and grim that I kept my arms to myself. I only nodded slightly and said, “Thank you, Ma.”

Then Ma walked away.

The week after, Jake and I started on our trip to town. We were going to travel on foot, and Jake’s folks all came out to bid us farewell. Ma just stayed inside the house. Breakfast was on the table when I woke up that day, and all my books and things were in the sturdy bag Pa left behind. Ma said she didn’t feel well that morning, and she stayed in bed until I left without saying goodbye.

Jake and I arrived at town the next day. It was late autumn already, and my boarding house’s walls offered little warmth. I took out the jacket Ma made for me. It kept out the cold just fine.

My classes began within two weeks. The academy was bustling with life on the first day of school. There were more people than I had ever known in my life. There were so many teachers, and so many workers, and so many students from both town and the country.

My life changed notably from that day on. In winter, I would attend classes in the mittens, coat, and cap I brought from home. When spring came, I would study outdoors and pick flowers for my room. I had summer classes, and they consumed all the days of the hot season. In autumn, I would wear my sweater and wait for Ma to send a pumpkin pie.

Ma always sent a pie in autumn, warm clothes in winter, a book in spring, a hat in summer, and money every month. The money for my tuition never failed to arrive, not even once. And I always had spare money after the tuition was paid.

Things stayed that way for the two years I spent at the academy. One day, when graduation was just around the corner, Jake suddenly asked me what I would do after the “big day.”

“Well,” I replied, “I’d probably become a teacher like my Pa. I’d stay in town and teach in one of the two schoolhouses. They seem to need English teachers anyways.”

Jake nodded. After a pause, he said with his face to the sky, “I’m going home for a while. Father was sick when I visited last summer, and my folks might need some help with the farming.” He paused again, then he continued, “I know some people say it’s a waste to study in town then become a farmer, but I think that’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Jake left the day after graduation; I stayed in town. The two schools already had enough teachers, so Ma continued to send money as I looked for a job. The next month, money didn’t arrive for me. I supposed that Ma forgot, though I knew in my heart that Ma couldn’t “just forget” about anything. I had already found a job at the bank, anyhow, and didn’t need the money.

Money never came again after that, and I wondered if Ma had realized I had a job even though I handn’t told her. I continued working without giving it much thought. I worked the way I used to study, and a year passed before I knew it.

One autumn night, I was struck with a loneliness I never knew before. I walked about my small library and pulled out a book. It was the book from which Grandma used to read to me. It had all the delightful stories of David, and Joshua, and Esther, and Paul. I loved the book, but it was the one book I never read since Grandma died. It reminded me too much of her.

I still felt teary-eyed when I started to read the heavy book that night. It captivated me somehow from the very beginning, and I read late into the night. I read without stopping until I reached a phrase that said, “Honor thy father and thy mother.” I stopped abruptly. Somehow, I just couldn’t read on.

I don’t know how long I sat motionless on my desk before I was startled by a knock. I walked to my apartment door and opened it to see a tall young man.

“Oh, Jake!” I cried and let him in. “It’s been a year since you went home. I am glad to see you again.”

Jake only smiled slightly at my exclamations.

“Irene,” he said as he caught my arm, “sit down. I brought something for you.”

His tone suggested something serious, and I sat down slowly.

Jake took out a small envelope from his coat pocket and handed it to me. “This letter is for you,” he said. “I delivered it as soon as I could.” Then Jake left, ignoring all my entreaties.

I looked helplessly at the letter in my hand. My hands shook as I opened the envelope. A sheet of paper with smooth handwriting fell into my lap. It read:

Dear Irene,

I know you like the ways of the city, and I know you have found a home there. But please do not forget who it was that made it possible for you to have the life you now have. Please come home before it is too late.

You probably don’t know that ever since you left for town, your mother has acted as housekeeper, gardener, and cook to more than one household in our area. Why? Only because she wants you to have money for the education you desire. Your mother worked with all her might those two years. Then more than half a year ago, she fainted while weeding a neighbor’s garden. She pleaded with me not to tell you, and that is why I waited till now.

Irene, your mother contracted a rare disease last year. And though I tried as hard as I could, I have not found a cure. Your mother is now in critical condition. Do you remember how you dashed to my house the night your grandmother died? I want you to do that again now—not to my house, but to yours. I ask Jake to take you this letter with all speed. Come quickly, Irene, or it will be too late.

Yours truly,
Dr. James Willow

I clasped the letter in my hands. I sat still. Then I cried. I cried the same way I did when Grandma died. I cried like the child that I was. I cried until my tears ran out.

Then I got up. I changed my clothes, donned my town coat, grabbed my bonnet, and sped out. All was quiet when I reached the street. It was already past midnight. But I couldn’t wait, I just couldn’t.

Then I did what I did seven years ago. I ran with all the strength in me. I ran out of the cement streets of town into the leaf-strewn paths of the woods. There were many new houses I never saw before, but I knew the direction of my house, my home. The crisp leaves perished under my heels. The branches poured down leaves as I hit them. I ran and I ran until I reached my house amidst a whirlwind of autumn leaves.

I stopped at our door. The house looked exactly the same as it did before. It was dawn already, and my heavy panting sounded so much heavier in the quiet woods. Then I opened the door and stepped in.

And there was Ma. She was propped up in bed and wearing the same old blue sweater, the same brown shawl, and the same ill-fitting, faded blue cap on her straight, tan-grey hair. She turned as I entered. And she smiled at me with what little strength she had left.

“Ma,” I cried, and I fell into her arms. I sobbed incessantly, forgetting how sore my feet were, or how sleepy I was.

Ma hugged me weakly and whispered my childhood name. She lifted me and said breathlessly, “I’m glad you came back. I thought I would never see you again.”

Then she lay down and fell asleep, almost as if she had been waiting for me to say goodnight.

Ma died four days after I went home. She was beautiful even in death. Everyone said she looked peaceful and happy. To me, she looked like an angel, but she also looked like a triumphant warrior. She had done all she should, and now she may rest.

They buried Ma in the woods, where she had spent her whole life, and I believe there can never be a more suitable place of rest.

The woods are gone now. People have built other things in its place. But I will always remember the way it was. I will always remember the houses, the clearings, the flowers, and, of course, the autumn leaves.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

No Eye Has Seen

These are the lyrics to the song we sang this afternoon for our grandfather's 70th birthday thanksgiving service. Building upon my favorite Bible verse, this song describes how wonderful human deeds and thoughts can be...but still be incomparable to what the Lord has prepared for those who love Him. Amazing, isn't it?

Verse 1:
The architect may draw his scale,
The doctor help his frail,
The navigator hoist his sail,
The author write his tale.
Yet none of them could ever show
The wonders of His hand,
For what the Lord has done for us
No man can understand.

No eye has seen,
No ear has heard,
No mind has e’er conceived
What Jesus Christ
Has long prepared
For those who have believed.

Verse 2:
Musicians write their symphonies,
The lawyer makes his pleas,
While tycoons plant their companies,
Philanthropists their trees.
Yet none of them could ever show
The wonders of His hand,
For what the Lord has done for us
No man can understand.

Who can understand His ways,
So higher than our own?
Who can fathom His intent,
Except Himself alone?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Arise and Sing, Ye Children of God

This is probably the very first hymn I ever wrote. At age 13, I read a novel on hymn appreciation and consequently wrote this simple composition. It's not a perfect work. The thoughts are vague and the meter inconsistent. But even if only for nostalgia's sake, I treasure this hymn in my memory.

Arise and sing, ye children of God,
Bring forth great praises to Him;
He is our Lord, our Savior, our Rock,
Come praise Him from deep within.

His glory expands to all of the earth,
His blessings abundant still;
Return unto Him, whom glory is due,

Great praises with all goodwill.

Almighty god, Creator of all,
Receive now our humble praise;
Thou art the God of spirit and truth,
To Thee our voices we raise.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Sanctuary

The inspiration for this poem came when I was strolling about our church's empty sanctuary. I do not find this poem perfect, but I enjoyed writing the imagery, and I love reading it as well.

A spacious room with wooden walls,
White tiles over the floor;
A carpet where the shadow falls,
Small boxes by the door,
Four-columned pews in mannered lines,
Five steps towards the stage,
A pulpit wires and screens define,
Two vases—flow’rs don’t age,
A piano on the speaker’s right,
An organ to the left,
A drum set tops the choir room’s flight,
A book the pianist left,
Two screens announcing nothingness,
Two tow’ring panes of glass,
Some scattered forms for ev’rythingness,
A stack of Supper’s brass
Upon the table, oh so big,
More wires squirm on the floor,
Some dust the naughty kids will dig,
More wires and more and more,
An echo through the empty space,
No lights to show the way,
Communion’s blanket made of lace,
A beckoning to stay,
How warm the welcome there for me,
When weighed by pain and loss,
I step inside our sanc’tuary
And gaze upon that cross.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hour by Hour

I cannot believe the first three months of 2007 have already gone by. Time is fleeting indeed. "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth," wise Solomon said. May God help me to keep this lesson close to my heart in the midst of all my strivings.

Hour by hour, the days pass by,
Day by day, the weeks move by,
Week by week, the months go by,
Month by month, the years fly by.

Hours, days, weeks, and months, and years,
How fast they come and go!
And when my youth is all but gone,
What will I have to show?
When wrinkles capture youthful smiles,
When brittle bones become,
When painful moments fill my days
Of life beneath the sun,
The blissful mem’ries of the world
Would prove mere vanity;
Take heed, young heart, and serve today
Creation’s Sovereignty.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Solomon's Prayer

I am both surprised and thankful when I realize that it has already been almost a year since we dedicated our new church building to God. When I recall that event, my mind goes back to Solomon at the dedication of the Jerusalem temple, and I long to declare along with Him, "Blessed are You, Lord."

Verse 1:
Almighty, there is none like You

in heaven or on earth,
You’ve shown Your lovingkindness as

the God of endless worth;
You promised countless blessings to

the people who obeyed
And You fulfilled them—every one—

until this very day.

Blessed be the Lord,

who guards the ones He loves,
Blessed be the Lord,

may He abide with us.
May He incline our hearts to Him,

to walk in all His ways,
May our devotion be to Him

until the end of days.

Verse 2:
O Lord, this house cannot contain

the glory of Your face,
Yet we beseech that You descend

among us in this place;
Please listen to our prayers and

forgive our sins today.
Please bless the righteous ones who chose

Your truth to be their way.

Our Father, please empower us

to share Your glorious name
That all the peoples of the earth

may give to You acclaim.

Blessed are You Lord,

You guard the ones You love,
Blessed are You Lord,

may You abide with us,
May You incline our hearts to You,

to walk in all Your ways,
May our devotion be to You

until the end of days.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Filipino-Chinese Engagement

Want a little satire of our Fil-Chi world?

Kevin Ong and Mandy Chua will be getting married, and today is their engagement day. I, the omnipresent and omniscient narrator, sit by the Chua residence’s open front door.

The living room is steaming, and I can only imagine the heat those ladies in gowns must be feeling under their three layers of foundation and piles of parlored hair. The men have already resorted to strolling and smoking in the parking area outside the door, but the women are somehow still trying to fake composure in their perspiration.

Over to my right, three senior ladies are discussing the couple while furiously flapping their handfans. The first is Josefina Chua, the aunt of the bride-to-be, chatting incessantly about how she had been the matchmaker of the couple (which we know she really was not). Next to her is Mrs. Gomez, the godmother of the groom. She seems relatively quiet compared to the other two, probably because of the tight dress that had been measured for her three months ago, back then in early December. Then lastly, there is Mrs. Adelaida Ong, Kevin’s mother. Oh the pride in her eyes as she talks about her first born!

The three women seem unable to agree whether the groom or the bride deserved the other more. Miss Chua obviously praised Mandy as the undeservedly lucky one, but Mrs. Ong would always argue the contrary. As they will probably not reach a conclusion even if we let them argue for the next five years, let’s leave them alone for a while.

Right across the room from where I sit, there lies a long table filled with pairs of everything. From gorgeous watches to stacks of cloth to the latest hello kitty slippers, the table is laden with red packages and the word 囍. Little Nicole and Lawrence Chua skip over to the table, grabbing at the elaborate gifts. They are immediately rebuked by Lilieth, however, their mother and the wife of Mandy’s older brother. So the chiasmus of toppling presents is delayed for the moment.

As the hour draws near, the guests brave the heat and try to fit into the suddenly very cramped living room. There are insufficient monoblock chairs to go around, and the dining chairs, living chairs, and office chairs are put in continuously by Mandy’s male cousins.

At long last, we are ready to begin. Mandy, who had spent the last four hours in the air-conditioned master bedroom, obviously had no idea of the summer heat, and she appears in a tight pink dress with a curtain upon her shoulders. Everyone could see Kevin smiling broadly as he looks upon his bride-to-be. Escorted by her mother and father-side aunts, Mandy is led backwards down the stairs. They say it’s for good luck, but if luck is defying common sense and walking downstairs in a long gown and silver high-heeled sandals, then I don’t know what’s unlucky.

So she descends in the midst of admiring murmurs. Young Lawrence lets out a scream which brings a loud, “Sh!” from his father immediately. Delighted by this encouragement, the toddler screams again, and again, and again until he and his little sister make quite an orchestral accompaniment to their young aunt’s entrance. Then just when Mandy’s walk is near completion, Lilieth successfully leads her two precious ones to a back corner of the adjacent dining room, though not without a farewell scream.

The ceremony begins! The people take turns putting chains, and watches, and bracelets, and rings, and all sorts of shiny objects on either Mandy or Kevin. The photographer, who is actually an elder cousin of Kevin, snaps picture after picture as he nudges closer and closer to the front.

He trips over a pot of flowers. “Oh!” “It’s okay.”

He sits down on the seat of the bride’s father, which he really shouldn’t, but nobody has the heart to tell him.

Then just when the ceremony is about to close in total amateur perfection, a symphony of boxes tumbling and paper ripping echoes through the living room. All eyes turn. Yes, Nicole and Lawrence have done it again. The tableload of packages is now on the floor by means of a pulled tablecloth. In the very center of the chaos, Lawrence smiles proudly while his sister tears the gifts apart.

Now, the displeasure in everyone’s mind is quite clear enough to me, and to everyone else in the room, for that matter. However, these future relatives seem to find it better if everyone pretends that he or she is not at all disturbed and that the catastrophic gift avalanche is a lovely little episode of childhood innocence.

With such a mutual understanding quickly spread throughout the room, the Chua aunts all help to bring the children aside, examining them ever so carefully for any possible injuries. After a full ten minutes, Lawrence and Nicole are declared fine, and everyone exclaims at the kids’ ingenuity of pulling the tablecloth in order to reach the gifts. Kevin and Mandy exchange the final tokens (which they would have done eight minutes ago if the photographer had not demanded his own presence at the exchange), and the people clap.

Now is time for the tea ceremony. Since someone had apparently remembered to prepare the tea set but not the tea, the ladies have to fan their make-up for five more minutes before the couple is ready to serve them.

First, Mandy holds the tray while Kevin serves the barely-flavored tea. Since he had been visiting with her relatives throughout their courtship, Kevin basically knows her family, and the couple pulls off the first round wonderfully.

Now, round two. Kevin holds the tray while Mandy serves the tea. All smiles, the two offer the symbolic cups to the five representatives of Kevin’s family (it would have been six, but someone told Kevin’s poor little bro that he was “odd-numbered” and could not come). After serving one godmother and one uncle, someone whispers that Kevin should be introducing them to the bride.

Kevin is surprised at his own negligence, and he immediately picks up, “Oh, I’m sorry. Here, this is Mandy.”

The tea ceremony being done after double rounds of introductions (compliments of Kevin), it is time for the all essential food. Everyone is passed a bowl of misua, served in mixmatched bowls, and perhaps a chopstick or two. The three elderly ladies we had mentioned, the parents of the couple, the couple themselves, and all other important guests (which theoretically includes everyone) gather to the dining table, where they are served two eggs in a bowl each.

Nobody is hungry, but everyone has to eat. So they do. Everyone eats one egg and splits the remaining one. Well, to be honest, this activity isn’t at all environmental. Why cook double the eggs when people are just going to eat half of their servings? Ask your grandmother.

At long last, the day is done. As the sun sinks nearer to the horizon in its golden glow, the tired guests finally have a reason to call the time “late.” Companies start their cars and leave off one by one, each family carrying a basket or packet of candies and biscuits. Everyone is happy. Well, at least until they realize they don’t have enough baskets to give away.

In a flurry, Lilieth and husband John rummage through the house, searching for those evasive baskets until they find the said baskets underneath the collapsed table cloth. They breathe a sigh of relief as the most important guests take off with the most damaged baskets, and the ceremony is done.

Wonderful engagement, wasn’t it now? Simply unforgettable.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My Little Brown Piano

This is a fun little apostrophe towards our beloved piano. There have been so many moments when I would sit upon the piano bench, yearning to play yet not knowing what to play. Sometimes, as my fingers dance over the keys, the piano moves me to play a certain piece, a certain song, a certain music for the day.

My little brown piano,
What music have you
Prepared for my fingers today?
A butterfly’s shadow,
A bumblebee’s flight,
Or soothing adagios to play?

A Mozart’s sonata,
A Beethoven’s song,
A waltz from some pages of Strauss?
A transcribed cantata
Concertos, chorals,
Or concerts to bring down the house?

Chopin and his nocturnes,
Impressions galore,
Or Bach and his marvelous fugues?
A new piece that still yearns
To practice some more,
A Czerny that’s yet to be used?

My little brown piano,
You’re bursting alive,
Awaiting my fingers to play.
Please echo my sorrow,
My joy, and my life
Through music you give me today.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What Will Our Legacy Be?

This is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem by Stephanie from "The Rebelution." Also included is my reply. Though many have already posted their thoughts at the Rebelution, I wonder what your response is. What will your legacy be?

What will our legacy be?
What will our children see?
Will they proudly cheer
O'er what we've left here?
Or will they hide
The evidence in shame?
What will our legacy be?
What will our children see?
Our daily life is showing
The path that we are going.
Will it point them to the One
Who gave His life away?
What will our children see?
What will our legacy be?

This is my reply:

A legacy of love, a legacy of grace
That makes man look above to God’s most holy face;
A legacy of hope, a legacy of faith
That teaches man to hold on Him through earthly days;
A legacy that leads not to my name alone,
But aids each man to heed the glory of His throne;
A legacy of gain in all eternal things,
A fitting, sweet refrain to songs the angels sing;
A legacy that yields encouragement to youth
To reach the ripened fields awaiting Heaven’s truth;
A legacy that gives not glamour nor acclaim
But through the life I live give honor to His name.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Help Me Trust Thee, Father God

This is my attempt at "Fanny Crosby" poetry. The theme of this hymn is indeed similar to several of my previous posts. And yet, who could ever trust God less than he should? May this poem be an encouraging prayer to all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Help me trust Thee, Father God,
Though troubles may arise,
Seeking e’er They staff and rod,
And seeing through Thine eyes.

Help me ever to rely
Upon Thy providence;
Help me ever to comply
With what Thou blesses hence.

And when things be smoothly run,
Please help me not forget,
That all things beneath the sun
Were by Thy power set.

Keep in me a tender faith
That holds through every pain,
Knowing that whate’er Thou saith
Shall soon be rendered plain.

Monday, January 29, 2007

For Every Step

These are the lyrics to the opening theme of a stage musical on Esther that I will probably never get to complete. Even if the play may never take form, however, I have no reason not to enjoy this song. The meter and rhyme are clearly for lyric form, instead of poetry. Yet no matter what form these words take, the message they convey is universal.

Verse 1:
Life may be hard and weary,
The roads be hard to see;
It might be so much easier
To turn around and flee.
Things we don’t understand
Keep coming on at hand;
And it becomes too difficult
To follow God’s commands.

For every step there’s a direction
For every pathway there’s a goal
From every promise there will flow glories untold
For everything under the sun
Has a reason to be here
Be not afraid, God’s plan will soon be clear

Verse 2:

Life drops into confusion
With no expected reason,
And worries trace the hours
Of ev’ry day and ev’ry season.
The hardships faced today
Don’t seem to go away,
And it becomes too difficult
To silent down and pray.

The storms of life come over us on each and every day
The clouds stretch out as far as they can be;
But soon God’s hand will lovingly take all the rain away
His rainbow will be there for you and me.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Let Me Live

This poem is a product of my dabbling in Latin. May the Lord help me to live with faith, with hope, with joy, with love, with peace, and with gratefulness--no matter what the time and no matter what the language.

When foggy doubts surround Thy will,
When hardened words my prayers fill,
Please help me, Lord, to trust Thee still;

Cum fide
let me live.
When burdens weigh with every stride,
When human strength fails to provide,
Please help me e’er in Thee abide;

Cum spe
please let me live.
Though troubles darken daily skies,
Though worries endlessly arise,
I drink to Thee with joyful eyes;
Cum gaudio I live

When loved ones cease to love me so,
When friends no longer friendship show,
Thy love I’ll still believe and know;

let me live
When hurt, distrust, and pain I bear,
When turbulence rocks every care,
Please let me in Thy promise share;

Cum pace
let me live
Though I know not Thy purposes,
Though I may lose all I possess,
Your faithfulness I’ll e’er confess;

Cum gratia I’ll live

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Treasurehold of Poetry

I wrote this poem on April 20, 2005, after having left writing for more than a year. As I fumbled through my former compositions that day, I realized how much I had changed, and how important those poems were to remembering my path of growth. In the same way, may the new year ahead herald more growth, more inspiration, and more closeness to God.

My treasurehold of poetry,
So close and dear to me,
Now chronicles the way I was
And shows what I will be.
The past was made eternal by
The scriblings of my pen;
I never can depart from it
And not return again.
Long-labored works and easy rhymes
All come together here
To make a true reflection of
My happiness and tears.
The years fly by with fright’ning speed,
But thoughts are made to stay
By virtue of the faithful pen
I pick up day to day.
I do not know how things will be
When “now” becomes the past;
Yet I believe I won’t regret
My thoughts were made to last.
For every time I search my hold,
I see myself again,
The way I was so long ago
When I picked up my pen.
I never will allow my pen
To lay itself aside,
For through my writing I can see
The girl I am inside.