This is Me – Jenni D.

The sky was on fire tonight and the warm breeze reminded me of the beach. There were clouds that were dark yet strikingly gorgeous as the setting sun cast a glow around them. There was a woman in the grocery store that was wearing a perfume that a former coworker wore. Why does that throw me into a swarm?

Why I am so keenly aware of every scent, every color, every sound, every feeling that I come in contact with? My mind whirls in a constant state of cognizance. It is never a simple task, my daily living. Each sense registers a deposit on my memory bank. It is hypervigilance in overdrive. There is never a still, quiet, unaromatic moment. At times, I feel like a prisoner at a county fair, unable to escape the persistent overbearing environment.

Even in loneliness I swim the waters of overdrive. My mind pushes itself unwillingly into an ocean of words, thoughts, what if’s, what should have, what may be…..Conversations I should have, but haven’t – things I need to do, should do, want to do – why am I like this? – why can’t I be normal? – WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!?

It never ends.

When peace surrounds my being, my soul rests – but not my thoughts. They tramp through the serenity like soldiers on a mission. The spears of fear and insecurity slice through the blank pristine space of peace, leaving open wounds that are too numerous for me to cover quickly. Words, words, words ….. memories, sights, sounds, odors……why didn’t I, who didn’t I, what didn’t I …… Tranquillity wanes and the tornado picks me up – once again.

Explain what you are feeling, they say. What is on your mind, they ask. How can we help you, they pry.

You can’t. I can’t. God will ….. eventually.

Or maybe he won’t.

“He made me this way!”, I scream to myself; convincing the dead to live takes power. Power my loud voice – my over dramatic voice – my commanding voice – has not the depths of. “He knit me together! My name is written on His palm! I am an heir to the throne!” Every scripture, every perfect Christian proclamation, every thing my momma and daddy ever spoke over me – can’t muscle through the swamp of timidity.

I cry out “God! Where are you?” Once again, I’m keenly aware of the silence and the way it sounds……

It’s not a voice I hear, it’s not a aroma, it’s not a sweetness on my tongue that pulls me out – or back in ….. it is simply a feeling. Warmth that is intrinsic to my soul. It starts in my feet, and soon my face is flushed. I know you, Holy Spirit. I know you.

I once said the Holy Spirit dances over me, around me, with me. Now, it simply sustains me. It is my constant. Unwavering, as I spin in my own self inflicted – in my own matrix. The Holy Spirit simply is.

There is no peace in my mind. There is no complete and total relaxation. Which means, there will not be stagnancy.

Yes, I talk a lot. Yes, I have a story about anything and everything you could throw at me. Yes, I see shadows, and shapes in the clouds, and the colors of the woods, and the insane way that river water makes even the ugliest pebbles beautiful…….. Yes. That is simply who I am. One day, I will be confident enough to say “love me or leave me. I am who I am because He is the great I AM”, and I will stand unwavering in that proclamation. Until then, this is me. Jenni D.

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Storm Surge

As I sit on my air matress, snuggled in my warm blanket, the rain steadily falls on my tent. This rain is the end of the big storm that is currently blowing through out campsite. It began as a dark, creeping cloud – with the wind pushing it towards us and the distant thunder warning of its inevitable arrival. . . 

Most people would say this rain ruined the trip, or ruined the day, or just put a damper on things. . . Me? I am thankful for it. Sure, we had to come in off of the water. We scrambled as the wind tore through our sites and our tents and tarps were at its mercy. We laughed as we all pulled together to make sure everyone was safe and dry. Then …….. we moved on. Some went to their tents, some hung out with the food, others played in the rain….. but we were all safe. 

So here I am, listening – with my soul …..

Water is my favorite. It calms me – in an unexplainable way. Even as a child, I was fascinated by it. I was mesmerized by the way it curved up around our boat as we cruised through it. I studied the way it careened around rocks while we played in the creek. I watched many storms come through as we sat on our porch – each rain drop bringing life to so many things. . . 

Water transforms and each transformation is a revelation. 

As I get older, and listen with my soul, I see – and hear – the lessons of water. Today’s lesson?

The storm brings rain, and rain brings life. 

I have been in a life storm, as of late. I was hurried in from my relaxed state into a mind set of preparation by the thunderous voice of negativity and the terrifying winds of self doubt. As I reached for strong lines to tie down my protective coverings, I was practically blown away as the storm progressed closer in to my inner being. I yelled for help, which fell as whispers, due to the overwhelming noise of failure swirling around. When I took a moment to evaluate my surroundings, the desire to leave camp and run was overpowering. 


Then, it came……clarity. 

I called for help again, this time the wind carried it. Even as a whisper, it fell on loving ears. Soon I was surrounded by those who were willing to stand the storm with me. We stood, against the raging negativity and the pouring sadness. Together, we waited it out. When I was weak, they were strong. 

Now, as this present day weather storm is tapering off, I feel this nasty “life storm” tapering off as well. I am surrounded in both storms by family and friends who have fought the winds and stinging rain with me – and loved me through it all. 

Now, comes the life. 

This rain that fell today will carry seeds, will water seedlings, will nourish growning crops, and will replenish dry wells. 

And my storm water? My rain?

It will do the very same – 


John 4:‭l3-14

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Dancing in the Woods

I find myself wondering again. When I was little, I loved wondering. Whether it was literal or mental, I loved it. However, being 30 something, wondering isn’t fun anymore. Maybe because my wondering are serious. I feel like I’m lost in the woods. Searching. So much to see and admire in the woods. The leaves, the smell of dirt, the wild flowers, the sounds . . . It’s peaceful. But I am torn. Staying in the woods would be perfect. Except I think I’m supposed to be in the clearing. But the clearing is no where to be seen. Thinking about the clearing at first brings happiness – the sun, the breeze, the grass . . . But it is a vulnerable place. Open for the world to see. To see me. Maybe I’m not lost in the woods. Maybe I’m just hiding. Hiding for ridicule, from prying eyes, from criticism. I’m safe in the woods. The shadows hide me; the trees shelter me. The choice is mine. Should I rest in the woods? Wait and relax, until those with pointing fingers and poisonous words have moved on? I can’t hide in the clear. I can’t be free in the clear. But the sun . . . how warm it will be. Is it worth the risk? I just don’t know anymore. I can dance in the woods, twirl and sing at the top of my lungs the same as in the clearing. But, it’s the privacy, the secrecy of the woods that make it so special. There it’s just me and The King. No onlookers, casting their opinions and demanding it be their way. He is my only critic, the only one to please. I can be childlike, silly, honest, hidden by the shadows and He is my only spotlight.

As wonderful as the sun would feel, as beautiful as the sky would be, it’s His favor I seek the most. It’s His warmth, His smile, His arms I crave.

I think I’ll hide in the forest a little longer.

All this time I thought it was wondering . . . when it was just Him drawing me in, sheltering me, healing me.

Psalms 30:11-12
You did it: you changed wild lament
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can’t thank you enough.

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The Pianist

So it begins. The day has been long, this whole life journey has been long. I find it hard to speak positive words, hard to pray, hard to be joyful. I have read James today, I have whispered earnest prayers, I have read others encouraging words, searching for some kind of direction – some kind of peace.

As I sit with others, listening to requests, sickness, death and discouragement seem to be running rampant. Others who live life day by day, hour by hour, they are struggling as well. Our heads bow, each person different but each heart yearning for the same thing.

So it begins. Slowly, quietly, the fingers seem to barely tap the keys. It is not a familiar tune, no, it is from the heart. Prayer begins, words flowing with the melody. As the words begin to pierce through the darkness of our days, the chords pierce through my heart. As hard as I have found it to pray, to speak these truths, the music alleviates the pressure that holds them down. The pace picks up, the keys are played more fervently. The words seem to just spew out. The freedom begins to rain down.

Yes, it has begun. Often I find myself in these moments. These hard moments where my words seem meaningless, if I can even get them out. Then, the piano begins. I could stand and listen to the anointed melody, I could stand and just let the chords wash away the pain, the confusion, the doubt. Even though there are no words, it is the ebb and flow that draws me in. Her fingers seem to pray as they play, each measure a petition. There are measures of praise, measures of mourning, measures of worship, measures of adoration. Her voice never speaks, but her fingers do. In her playing, the release comes.

My son, Zeb, once suggested that worship was like learning to play football. He had struggled his first year, trying to learn what to do, trying to learn that being aggressive was okay. I asked him one day, quite randomly, what worship was. He said worship was different for everyone. Some people like it fast, some like it slow. Some people like newer stuff, and others like the older songs. But, his next comment was what stopped me in my tracks. “You know mom, it’s like when you’re learning to play football. You can know what you’re supposed to do, but you have to feel it and then you just do it.”

Such wise words. Sometimes it takes feeling it instead of talking it. It’s our actions that speak, that move, that minister. When I stand, surrendered, listening to the pianist pray with her hands, I find myself lost in Him.