Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Tag: Poems by Me (page 1 of 2)

Where do I run to?

3/23/08   Favorite picture of Joel and I.

Living in different states from my family has motivated me to take family photos, scrapbook and eventually led to starting this blog for my sisters and Mom in December 2007.The very first time we moved out-of-state was to Thailand.  Josh was 8 months old.. we didn’t have e-mail, blogs, cell phones or even a computer; by the time we got a letter the news was at least 3 weeks old. Long distance calls were a rare treat.

Pictures, Facebook, blogs.. etc. are such a blessing. Each helps take away some of the sting of living apart.

Favorite picture of all four.  September 30, 2007

I shared one of my poems in my very first blog post. I looked back through my poems today and found an older one that I hadn’t posted before. I wrote it on April 19, 2006.

Where do I run to?
Where do I run to?
Where do I hide?
Where do I go
When all that I am is tried?

I run to my, Father,
Creator of all things.
There I dwell safely
Under the shadow of His wings.

By my God I can run on a troop.
I can jump over a wall.
In His strength
I can do it all.

Alone I am weak,
Afraid I will fall.
But He will never leave me
Abandoned in the call.

His sweet Spirit
Trains my hands for war.
A war of compassion that
Leaves me hungry for more;

More of His presence,
More of His love,
More of His promise
Come down from above.

I will rest secure
In the work He has done.
It’s by the power of His Spirit
That the battle is won.


I am still running into Jesus’ arms for strength and respite; praying daily for more of His grace and anointing; for wisdom in how to walk until the battle is over and I run one last time into His everlasting arms.

Happy Mothers Day!





Tuesday April 9, 2013

My old friend, the Morning, now stings with
Reality that I so long to see erased.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Tuesday, only Tuesday, how the days drag on.
When will I see your face?

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Tears and more tears; sorrow clouds Joy.
But is not It’s undoing; only hate.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Lord, Jesus, you alone are my hope, my joy, my song,
The Morning, that I so long to see dawn.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Only Your loving kindness can make my heart,
my soul, my mind new.  Come.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Come with Your peace. 
Come flood me with Your joy.

Come let Love begin It’s healing work
On the ache from deep with in.  Come.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Instructions in the Night Seasons

I’ve had a difficult time expressing how I am doing lately.  Words won’t come.. only tears.. To keep my head from exploding, I journal.. sometimes hours a day.  Here is my most recent entry:

Sunday March 17th.. 

Last week, three months since Joel went home, I was struggling with the fact that murder had entered my “world;” that the evil of this world had been allowed to take my son away from me and I am still here.

Me with my new car.  So blessed.  We (our family) bought 6 cars in 2011.  Long story.

I am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around living in such luxury and comfort as our daily American lives allow; living in such a dichotomy of good and evil.  How do the two co-exist?  Pain and comfort.  Sorrow and joy.  Good and evil. 

Sometimes, I forget how to breathe.

In the midst of my anguish over losing Joel, I’ve been able to see God’s mercy.  I am thankful that He protected us from loosing three of our children that night.  Thankful that he allowed Josh to be a witness (he’s glad he was there).. while protecting the rest of our eyes from such horror… especially Judi’s.

This week I’ve struggled with the truth of God’s Word.  I know His Word is true and His promises are “Yes, and Amen in Jesus” just like I know that His salvation is eternal.. not just until the next time I sin.  He died for all my sins: past, present and future.  They were all future when He died for me.  This knowledge frees me from the bondage of condemnation; frees me to live free from the power of sin.  I’ve lived by it most of my life.

I am fully trusting in His forgiveness and salvation.. But promises?  I want to stand.. but I don’t know where or how anymore.  Promises of healing?  Many never receive until Heaven.  Promises of a hope and a future?  Are those for in Heaven too? 

Romans 11:33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

I am afraid even to write/think these words.. they are so selfish.. so many suffer so much all over the world.  Please, Lord, forgive me.  I say this with fear and humility.  Where is Joel’s protection from harm?  His hope and future.. but in Heaven? 

Do I dare to hope again that Your promises will be true.. here.. for anyone else?  Thank You, Lord, for the promise of Heaven… where You will wipe away all our tears and death will die.  I look forward to the day when You will put Jesus’ last enemy under His feet.  

Joel so proud of his first car.  Proud to be learning how to drive stick.

All the boys cars in the drive way.  Mom’s and Dad’s in the garage.

I understood that one day a car accident might take one of my children.. 16 months before Joel went home, He walked away from an accent where a large truck t-boned the car he’d owned only 10 days.  The shock almost killed me.  For weeks, I couldn’t speak of it.  But murder.. a gun?  I’ve lost all sense of security.

Joel the day after his wreck.  I was so glad he was alive.  No one could believe he walked away.  He said he was sore; felt like he’d been playing football. 

A thought I couldn’t allow myself to think last week was of the possibility that a trial could make Joel’s murder appear as just another tragedy; only bring attention to the evil in this world; actually glorify the devil.  Isn’t that what most murders do?  I so want God to be glorified in his death as He was in his life.  What can I do but trust God?  I obviously can not control what does or doesn’t happen in this world.

Joel was captivated by storms; displays of God’s awesome power.
He took these photos.  Spring of 2011.

The sad thought that did run from the bitterness of my soul over and over through my heart and mind all last week was, “I don’t want to live here.  I don’t want to live in such an evil world.”  It was my way of praying, “Father, if there is any other way.. let this cup pass from me.”

Toward the end of the week, I began praying that God would help me to submit and humbly accept and live where He has placed me.  

I am coming out of the shock and disbelief.
Moving into a wilderness of temptation.
Temptation to give up the good fight. 

Praying for humility and grace. 
Committing my heart..
To trust in God.

Standing firm in the belief of His goodness; 
Of His good heart towards me..
Towards Joel.

Dwelling in the land.. 
This wilderness of pain and suffering.
This evil world.

Feeding on His faithfulness.. 
While afraid.. confused.. 
Desperately lost.

Not knowing which of His promises are for me.
Are for here.. 
For now.

Which are left.. 
Safe to stand on 
When so many seem to have crumbled beneath my feet.  

My hope is found in Christ alone.

Psalm 37:3  Trust in the LORD and do good. Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.

Up until July of last year, I had been faithfully fighting/believing for my complete healing from my surgeries and other ailments.  I grew weary of holding out for healing.. of praying.. 18 months of asking/believing intensely and specifically about the breast cancer.. years for other stuff.

I finally came to the point of “God heal me if and when you want to.  I have asked enough.  I have to move onto other things.” Praying that prayer freed me to receive the emotional healing I didn’t realize I needed.  The emotional healing I so very much needed in preparation for Joel’s death.  Now I need so much more.  

My heart is broken.. crushed.  
Numbness wearing off.. 

Coming to the end of one survival mode 
Moving into another..  
I am just beginning to feel the pain and loss.  

Resting in “It’s God’s plan.. not mine.” 
His timing.. there is no rushing through the trial.  
I have to let it do it’s work in me.  

It’s His strength that will carry me through.  
He will complete the good work in me.  

I will do the good works He’s laid out for me 
As He enables me to do them.  

Right now my work is to trust and believe.. 
To seek His face..  
To worship.. 

To allow Him to work in me.. 
To obey as He leads.. 
To do what I see the Father doing.

The Lord spoke to me from Philippians 2:14 early this morning:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” 

With instructions to, “Try to learn to be content.”  

I was so glad to hear His voice that I didn’t mind at all that He was asking me to be content.. content to live in a world where my dearly beloved son, Joel, was allowed to be murdered; in this world of terrible evil and great blessing.

James 1:2-6  Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.   Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. 

It’s something I believe I can learn.. mostly because He asked.. and I know He enables us to do the things He asks of us.  I am so thankful for His instructions.  I am counting on Him for them.. for a way out of this vast, dark wilderness… for something to stand on.

Psalm 16:7  I will bless the LORD, who has given me counsel. Yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.

I have a long journey ahead.  I am taking my journey one step at a time as the Lord gives me strength; feeding on and trusting in His faithfulness to love and carry me through.

 I am sharing it so honestly here partly for selfish reasons: for in the
past, it has freed me to keep moving forward in my journey… to
receive much needed healing, but I hope that it some how ministers to you, also.

Thank you for your prayers; especially for strength and God’s glory.

We Have Lights

It’s after 8 and not too late; we have lights.
Flip a switch, and Wa-La, we have lights.
Kitchen lights, front porch lights, bathroom lights; we have lights.
Night lights and clock lights are so bright. 
Screen lights light up the night with images not so bright.
Our neighbors just up the road have no lights;
Have no kitchen, no front porch, no bathroom to light;
No bed, no roof, no screen, no…  -nothing left.
Some have lost more than things.
More than can be expressed.
So happy to be alive.
So happy to have my family and friends.
So fortunate to have lights,
And things to light.
May God restore to my neighbors near and far..
Much, much more.

My Heart is Full Christmas Poem

I didn’t have much news for the Christmas card.. so I wrote a poem..

My First Song

I can’t believe I just did this, but …
I put my first song on YouTube to share with you.
I did a version where I was singing the words.. you won’t see it, ever.
You’ll have to use your imagination:
I’ll play You a song,
I’ll play You a song,
I’ll play You a song of praise.
Oh, Most High
Oh, Most High
A song of praise to You.
Very excited to be able to play anything,

The Secret

I wrote a new poem for Mother’s Day. I’d really like to write more than one a year. Recently I’ve had so much stirred up inside that I’ve had a hard time choosing what to write about. Maybe I should write one about that. 🙂 Hope you had a great Mother’s Day.
The Secret
by Jennifer Coleman
The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have
they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them
His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning. Psalm 25:14
Oh, how I love to hear God’s voice;
He whispers affectionately that I am His choice.
We are the joy for which He sacrificed;
The prize He counts worth more than life.
The world glares, yet cannot see
The beautiful bride He’s fashioning us to be.
To the glorious Gospel they are made blind;
To go their own way they are resigned.
To the Good Shepherd we will tightly cling
Until the day we hear those wedding bells ring.
Then we will see Him face to face,
And He will enfold us in His impassioned embrace.
Love, peace and joy will abide,
And forevermore we will be His glorious bride.

Lord Let Your Wind Blow

This is a poem I wrote for my friend, Tammy, whose aunt died today.  Please, keep her family in your prayers.  Thank you.

Lord, let Your Wind blow.
Let Your Peace Flow.
Let Your Spirit move
Over the waters of my soul.
Wash away the pain,
Every earthly thing,
Hauntings of yesterday,
Injustices that war in vain.
Let all that‘s left of me
Be carried to Calvary.
Flesh crucified.
Breath of Life, renew me.
Brought up from the grave
It’s You alone I crave.
Help me find release,
Receive the Life You gave.
As I seek Your Face,
Pour out Your Wondrous Grace,
Wrap me in the Warmth
Of Your Sweet Embrace.

Beauty for Ashes

I have a rose bush!  I need lessons in caring for it. 🙂

For Mother’s Day this week God took my ashes and gave me a new poem.  He inspires me, puts words and a melody in my heart.  I love all the ways that He expresses His love toward me but I especially enjoy the poems because with them I can shout out His praises.  Here is this weeks poem..

Beauty for Ashes
Our God is good,
So loving and kind;
I can’t believe 
I am His and He is mine.
Precious Shepherd
Ahh, Benevolent King
He feeds my soul with wonders.
Let His praises ring.
He is a spring of life
To those who believe.
Burdens lifted 
We’re set free to receive.
When the pressures 
Come crashing in,
Keep a steady pace;
Eyes quietly focused on His face.
He gives rest to the weary,
Forgiveness for sin,
Strength to the weak and
Beauty for the ashes within.

The Storms of LIfe

I love this painting by Rembrandt. I think sometimes we don’t take the Bible stories literally or seriously enough. We look at the disciples with scorn and think “Silly disciples. Why didn’t they trust Jesus?” When in their reality the waves were about to swallow them up. They were fishermen. They knew the sea. They weren’t afraid of a little storm. They were afraid for their lives for a good reason… I have no idea how Jesus slept during that storm. I think He must have been playing possum so that He could bring the disciples up to a higher level of faith for the storms of life that were on the horizon.

We have been keenly aware that we are in Tornado Alley since moving to AL. There have been several tornado warnings this year, a school closing and the tornado sirens are becoming a familiar sound.

Sunday there were several places in our area hit including a neighboring town where several of Mike’s co-workers live. Please, keep them in your prayers.

The storms were still a ways off when we left for church. Princess J had several questions about the safety of the church building in which we attend. I explained to her that it depended on the strength of the storm. She consoled herself that there were no windows in the main auditorium. I looked up and said that roof might get torn off and asked her if she knew what to do if it did.

I know. I wasn’t very reassuring. But I wanted her to put her trust in God no matter what happened and not be shocked and appalled if something did happen. We have to keep a cool head in times of crisis and not forget Who is in control and brings all things together for our good. Princess J has shown herself to be very calm and collected in storms of the past. At times much more so than I.

Once she was trying to climb down from a tree in our front yard and ripped her knee open. We rushed her to the ER. I thought a chunk of her leg was messing and was turning shades of white and green. All I could say to the ER attendant was “Help my baby.” She stayed perfectly calm and still through 25 stitches. She was only seven. She is really amazing. I could tell you more.

While in FL we weathered 4 hurricanes and several tropical storms. When there is a hurricane on the horizon you know sometimes weeks in advance and it’s all the news reporters talk about. The anticipation grew so bad that I had to stop watching TV. I was loosing my joy to fears of how I would handle it if I lost my home or how I would comfort a neighbor or friend who lost theirs.

Here is a poem I wrote early one morning during an approaching storm. I found my focus once again and was..

Overtaken by Joy

Hurricane Wilma on the horizon
My thoughts run this way and that.
How to prepare? Stand or escape?
What will she leave behind?

Not willing to cave into Fear
I look up to my Heavenly Father
And declare, You’re My Rock, My Fortress
My Invincibly Strong Tower!

Basking for a moment
In His unfailing love
Undeniably displayed in His Son
I sit myself down with an old friend, Peace.

Then suddenly,
I am overtaken by Joy
Poured forth as a warm anointing.

As I’m absorbing, it immediately begins transforming.
My lips are forced up by a smile from within.
My heart so full that tears must escape.
My mind is lost in wonder.

How did this happen?
After searching endlessly,
I am caught unaware?
Joy, you were hidden in such a curious place.

Peace beyond understanding.
Love casting out Fear.
Joy comes when trusting in
The One Who holds me so dear.

by Jenny Coleman
October 19, 2005

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song. Psalm 28:7

The truth is that when and if something happens God will be with me as always and lead me, guide me and provide everything I need. In the mean time I need to be focused on what He is leading and guiding me to do now.

God bless and keep you!


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