Monday, December 12, 2011

Sense of Memory

Rose petal fallen to ground
Dead as you are
Not even the flowers given
In your memory last

Leaf from stem to coffee cup
Sip to lips
Taste of residue hits palate
Death tastes fuzzy

Hum hum buzzing refrigerator
Hymnals sung
Echos summoned from memory
Voice distracting mind from studies

Garbage rot in doorway
Stale fish smell
Summers in your garden
Dumpster dives and burning bushes

Senses shape thought of you
Missing you completely

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Thursday, November 17, 2011


I cried for the first time today since [coming home from] California. This season of loss has squeezed any and all fruit I've ever produced, showing the kind of stuff I'm really made of. The squeezing's a real b-word, but it's the only way to know whether or not everything - the blood, sweat, tears, money, creativity, love, was worth it (whatever "it" may be for you). I sat at my desk, face in hands, snot running down, and the words "I'm not going anywhere" on repeat in my mind from a voice only vaguely familiar.

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Friday, August 05, 2011


There have been too many people to count, who have hand a hand or a finger in the development of who I am becoming. Darlene Buttram was the catalyst in my introduction to a life transcendent, believing in my ability to hear Holy Spirit even when I didn't think I'd ever met Him. I think of Jeff and Mel, who modeled for me what loving well looks like, in spirit and in truth. Danny and Stephanie come to mind, and the countless hours on their couch, wrestling through the growing pains I was experiencing in both my soul and my spirit. And there is Sean and Barb, who believed in me and, even without knowing, commissioned me into ministry by laying hands on me and blessing me and calling the Spirit down to dwell and overtake. Not to mention that the first time I'd ever heard Sean speak (I still remembered the message was "It Takes A River") was the first time I remember making a conscious decision to serve the Lord.

I have been listening to the teachings of Bill Johnson, and he has a lot to say about honoring those who have come before us. In knowing how to honor correctly, we recognize the God-given destinies on those we honor. Whether someone ended poorly or not, it is not my place to judge them, but to rightly see that Holy Spirit has used these ones to establish His kingdom in my heart. Being someone who has a great desire to mentor, parent, and disciple those who I go before, I know that there is no gauge for me to see fruit coming from my life unless there is a culture of honor in those who I pour into. Not to say that there is a need for me to see fruit develop. God only knows just how many great leaders died before their influence was ever publicly recognized. Yet if it is in my power to do so, I want to live my life in such a way that those who have done the hard work of investing in me feel encouraged and strengthened to continue as they observe my life. I know that I need encouragement this way at times, especially when the ones I have once poured myself out for are no longer within proximity.

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." Proverbs 3:27 (ESV)

There are a number of people who come to mind who, up until now, I have never recognized as being among these I've already mentioned. Whether my relationship with these individuals ended poorly or my ability to recognize their influence weak, I want to, at least in my heart, honor those who deserve it. I want to be thankful! My life has been so poured into by so many people. How little do we say "thank you" in our culture today? I mean, REALLY say "thank you" and mean it. I often feel like such a little ingrate. To bless and not curse, to give as I have already received, to speak life and truth, to love well - this is the way of the Kingdom, and I want to live in a culture that brings the Kingdom to the small patch of earth that I inhabit.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

I want a king.

I lay in bed last night, waiting – for my missing roommate, for tiredness to overtake my mind and body, for some divine Being to somehow fill my hollow chest. “If only you could see the thoughts that I think toward you. If only you knew just how great the plans I’m writing for your life,” I heard the Lord say nonchalantly. “Thanks, but I think I would settle for a pair of arms to hold me as I lay here,” I said, half-jokingly. He did not laugh.

My memory pulled out of its bank the story of Samuel, the prophet, and the children of Israel’s request for a king (I Samuel 8). “We want a king! We want to be like the other nations of the earth,” they cried to Samuel. Rightfully so, the appointed judges at the time were corrupt and unjust in their rule. Yet the justification of requesting a king does not outweigh the consequences of the decision. Samuel knew this very clearly, as we see he was greatly displeased at the children of Israel. If you look at I Samuel 8 v 7-9, the Lord responds:
“And the LORD said to Samuel, "Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them."

Samuel goes on to warn the people of a king and his desire for war, power, and wealth. He even warned them of a king’s right to access any resources found in his kingdom: the fields, their daughters, their sons. Even still, the people wanted their king. And I want a husband. Without any clue as to how much work and sacrifice that this entails, I have this idea in my mind of a day when I have someone in my life for life. Not just in word, but on paper; someone whose role is to protect and to affirm, to provide and to challenge, to know and love me deeply and fully.

All of my ideals aside, I know that the reality of one person fulfilling the deepest longings of my heart is unlikely. It would take a lifetime to fully discover a person’s intricacies, though I know some couples who have come pretty damn close. I don’t even know whether or not I’m “ready” to be married (as if anyone ever really is). I just wish that I didn’t feel so wrong for asking, as if I am the one of the children of Israel asking for a king.

It must’ve caused some sadness in God’s heart to hear His people reject Him in this way. At the same time, I wonder if He gave in to their request, knowing full well that, though it would be gut-wrenchingly difficult to watch, in the end, His people do come back, His kingdom does become established, and He does rule and reign over them and over us, through covenant and consummation. If only the thought of this would give me the peace enough to fall asleep and feel not so far away from it all.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011


we were sitting around the passover table and under florescent lights. the middle table located in the middle of the room - i always seem to fall in the middle of things. the loudest and the smallest person the room must stand in the middle in order to be seen whilst being heard. those among me laughed and shared memories of past moments, from childhood to present. somehow two of my favorite stories were inserted into the mix: the "that makes me horny" story and the one about my 4 foot 3 inch grandmother humming. (if you are familiar with neither of these, then we have yet to spend much time together) we were so loud that others around the room came to join out of curiosity or maybe annoyance of the unconstraint in our volume. my friend, malik, says in his cool london accent, "miriam is such a storyteller, hey?" i grin. but in my mind, i know how God-aweful this truth can be sometimes.

there have been stories in my life that i have told that were completely false. yet i told them in confidence - to get a rise out of a crowd, to receive sympathy in my sporadic depression (the kind in which the details are too painful to go into, so you do what you can to get people's attention. or maybe this is just me, eh?), to simply prove that i could. whatever the reason, i told the stories and people believed me. some have been complete truth (as absurd as some of the true ones are), some are exaggerated, and sometimes i'm just a lying asshole.

disclaimer: before you go on and disregard me (or any story that i have every told you), know that this doesn't happen often anymore, save the few times i've fed a professor a sob story to get off the hook.

the thought came to me this morning, after going through my morning ritual of stretching, meditation, email, twitter, facebook: "be true to yourself." sure, for some, this thought may not be worthy of iconoclasm or my own show on CBN, but think about it for a moment. through the lens of heaven, through the eyes of the One who formed me and shaped me and loves me most, be true to yourself. i don't know about you, but this thought could very well be weighty to me because i have yet to be true to myself fully. maybe you've got it all together and i'm just effed up.

in any case, i've paused. i've scanned over the top of my life, and i've found that there is hardly life there most of the time. there is an imbalance, a disconnect. and the only way that i have been function has been the pulling and pushing of those around me. i have some good friends that light me on fire every now and then, and inspiration comes - to create, to ponder, to be present, to be spiritual. and still, there is not steady pace, like a new driver in the seat of a manual car.

i feel deflated. and often times, i feel far away. from what? i dunno. to use professional terms, i fear that i am suffering from an unhealthy work/life balance. the problem with me is that i have tried to make those things that bring me life also the things that bring me work (aka make that paper). there are those who have done this and thrived, and i'm sure it's all going to come together for me. but for now i'm in limbo.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

my first summer revisited

I have been scanning my blog and old journal entries this morning, simply to be reminded of the things that I may have forgotten. The following blog entry is one that I wrote my first summer in NYC. During the time I wrote this entry, I was living in Bushwick, Brooklyn with Jax and Patrick, I was working at the Starbucks on 35th & 5th with my beloved Frenchie, Sandra Doussin, and I was just starting to get my feet wet at in the community of Trinity Grace Church (formally known as Origins Church). My heart felt so much wonder and awe every time I laid eyes on the skyline as I rode the JMZ over the Williamsburg Bridge. Life back then seemed a lot less complicated then it does now - New York was so novel, just an adventure I could write about and tell my kids about one day. Now, I feel responsible for what goes on in the streets and in the government, as if this is has become my home.


subway station chronicles : essex/delancey
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the man who talked to himself sat in between me and the woman whose legs were frightfully unshaven. he was intently eating the last bit of meat off of the fried chicken bones i had thrown in the trash can only moments ago. each gnawed on bone he flicked into the air, leaving each piece to fall wherever it may. her sideways glance filled with disgust, she got up swiftly to move as far away from him as she could. the conviction in her movement was obvious! but when it seemed that she was undetected and clear from his reach, when all hope looked conquered and within her grasp, he spit the remnants of bone and chicken fat from his mouth and covered her from shoulder to waist with his saliva. oh the realities of a fallen world!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Liquid Poison

a diary entry from thanksgiving:

Nov. 28, 2010 9:08PM

What is this mess I feel trickling down from my mind, through my heart, to my fingertips. It leaves thinly painted trail marks on my arm; my hands shake. It is the weight, the sticky fluid dripping down each strand of hair into my eyes. The liquid poison is every lie binding sight and emotion and thought.

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