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"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Do You Feel it, Too? (On Why We Write)

A little teary-eyed pouring out these thoughts here today . . .


When he returns my email with unexpected compliments, I think about it:

Why I was afraid to check my inbox for his response.

Why I was afraid to send the message in the first place.

Why I tremble even when someone listens in on me practicing.

Why I love the last verse of this song.


I say often that I write because I need to,

Because I can't help it,

And that's true.

It's very true.

But there's another reason I write, too.

It's because I feel alone.

Because I'm afraid that,

In spite of everything I've heard,

In spite of everything I believe,

No one else feels what I'm feeling.


So I write.

I pour out my heart on hundreds of pages that no one else will ever set eyes on,

But somewhere,

Deep down,

I'm hoping that someone will see,

And that someone will say,

"You're not alone.

I feel it, too."


Every night, I write a song.

Most of them are really bad,

Scribbled down hurriedly because I need to go to bed sometime before 2 AM,

But I put myself into all of them,

All six hundred nine of my attempts

To process life,

This world,

These feelings,

And try to convince myself I'm not alone.


I put so much self into them that,

If people don't like them,

It's hard not to feel like they don't like me,

But,

Even more than that,

It's hard not to feel that I am alone,

That no one else understands any of this mess I'm struggling through,

That I've made myself vulnerable and all it got me was a broken heart.

Do you feel that?

Please say you feel it, too.


I think it's one of the reasons we bloggers love getting comments so much.

It lets us know someone is listening,

That someone appreciates what we have to say,

That someone feels what we're going through,

That someone understands.

So we type words on screens

And lay hearts bare,

Taking the risk that we might be left wounded and bleeding

Because we believe the reward to be worth it.

 
It's even harder with music,

Because it's so much easier to accidentally say something corny or cliché,

So much easier to come up with a bad melody or accompaniment that ruins the whole thing,

So much easier to be criticized because of tiny, insignificant details,

And end up feeling like there's something wrong with more than just the chord transition in measure fifty-five,

There's something wrong with you.


And it's not that artists and writers don't want to be criticized, either -

Really, I believe it's one of the things I need most,

That it will help me to grow,

But I also know that someone could easily take it too far,

Say the wrong words in the wrong order,

Or even the right words in the right order,

And it will tear into the part of me I made vulnerable,

Leave me wounded,

Scarred,

Bleeding.

To write is to risk,

To risk everything we humans hold most dear.

And that's why we write.

Because,

At the end of the day,

All these things I'm afraid of?

They're me holding on to pride,

Me searching for worth in other people's opinions,

Me believing I deserve recognition.

I make myself vulnerable because these parts of me need to die.


But there's another reason, too.

It's why I write these words here,

Pour out my heart where the whole world can see,

And this Christian blogging community,

These bloggers who have become my friends,

They respond to my raw emotions,

And they say,

"You're not alone.

I feel it, too."


Sharing these words I scribbled out last night,

As I pondered all these things.

Rough, but maybe -

Just maybe - 

You feel it, too?

Vulnerable

If I lay out my soul on the page,
Someone might come in hate,
Rip it to shreds,
Leave me half-dead.
I'm vulnerable.

If I lay my heart down here,
Someone might give me reason to fear,
Stab it right through,
Blood gushing from the wound.
I'm vulnerable.

And it's dangerous
To live life like this,
'Cause, if I willingly step into the light,
I'll have no place left to hide,
And someone will come,
Someone will come
When I'm vulnerable.

If I pour myself in the song,
Someone will call it "wrong",
Pierce through the dream
Right into me.
I'm vulnerable.

If I offer it to all,
Someone will come to call,
And what they say of what I sing
Is what they say about me.
I'm vulnerable.

And it's dangerous
To live life like this,
'Cause, if I willingly step into the light,
I'll have no place left to hide,
And someone will come,
Someone will come
When I'm vulnerable.

And I am so afraid,
I am so afraid
Because there's so much more at stake
Than simple words on a page.

The song is who I am,
The song is where I stand,
And, if they rip it to shreds,
I'm sure they'll leave me dead,
I'm sure they'll leave me dead.

And it's dangerous
To live life like this,
'Cause, if I willingly step into the light,
I'll have no place left to hide,
And SomeOne will come,
SomeOne will come
And whisper, "It's alright,
You don't have to hide,
And, if your heart breaks right in two,
I'm here to see you through.
I know that you're afraid,
But, in Me, you are Safe,
Even when you're vulnerable."

Even when I'm vulnerable,
Vulnerable.
©2012 Mary Schieferstein
So, do you feel it, too?

Please tell me . . .

 
Grateful today for:
~ This online community.  Each and every one of you means a lot to me.  Thank you for your friendship and constant support.
~ The chance to pour raw emotion into lines and rhymes and melodies.  So good to let it all out.
~ A different kind of Safe - His Safe, a Safe that involves risk and danger, but leaves me resting in His arms
~ What's coming later this week.  So excited!
~ A new year.  So amazing how He makes things new!
 And, of course, thanking Him for who He is,

Counting these reasons today,

Reasons 2639-2802 today,

Wanting so badly to seek after Him,

And to see Him as He is:


  1. He rescues the poor from those too strong for them (Psalm 35:10)
  2. He rescues the poor and needy from those who rob them (Psalm 35:10)
  3. He delights in the well-being of His servant (Psalm 35:27)
  4. His love reaches to the heavens (Psalm 36:5)
  5. His faithfulness reaches to the skies (Psalm 36:5)
  6. His righteousness is like the highest mountains (Psalm 36:6)
  7. His justice is like the great deep (Psalm 36:6)
  8. His unfailing love is priceless (Psalm 36:7)
  9. People take refuge in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 36:7)
  10. People feast on the abundance of His house (Psalm 36:8)
  11. His house is abundant (Psalm 36:8)
  12. He gives His people drink from His river of delights (Psalm 36:8)
  13. With Him is the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9)
  14. In His light His people see light (Psalm 36:9)
  15. He gives to those who take delight in Him the desires of their hearts (Psalm 37:4)
  16. He makes the righteous reward of those who commit their way to Him shine like the dawn (Psalm 37:5-6)
  17. He makes the vindication of those who commit their way to Him shine like the noonday sun (Psalm 37:5-6)
  18. Those who hope in Him will inherit the land (Psalm 37:9)
  19. He laughs at the wicked (Psalm 37:13)
  20. He laughs at the wicked, for He knows their day is coming (Psalm 37:13)
  21. He upholds the righteous (Psalm 37:17)
  22. The blameless spend their days under His care (Psalm 37:18)
  23. The blameless spend their days under His care, and their inheritance will endure forever (Psalm 37:18)
  24. Though His enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke (Psalm 37:20)
  25. Those whom He blesses will inherit the land (Psalm 37:22)
  26. Those whom He curses will be destroyed (Psalm 37:22)
  27. He makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him (Psalm 37:23)
  28. Though the one who delights in Him may stumble, he will not fall, for He upholds him with His hand (Psalm 37:24)
  29. He loves the just (Psalm 37:28)
  30. He will not forsake His faithful ones (Psalm 37:28)
  31. He will not leave the righteous in the power of the wicked (Psalm 37:32-33)
  32. He will not let the righteous be condemned when brought to trial (Psalm 37:32-33)
  33. He exalts those who hope in Him and keep His way to inherit the land (Psalm 37:34)
  34. Those who hope in Him and keep His way will see the destruction of the wicked (Psalm 37:34)
  35. The salvation of the righteous comes from Him (Psalm 37:39)
  36. He is the stronghold of the righteous in time of trouble (Psalm 37:39)
  37. He helps the righteous (Psalm 37:39-40)
  38. He delivers the righteous (Psalm 37:39-40)
  39. He delivers the righteous from the wicked and saves them (Psalm 37:39-40)
  40. He delivers the righteous from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him (Psalm 37:39-40)
  41. His arrows pierce people (Psalm 38:2)
  42. His hand comes down upon people (Psalm 38:2)
  43. He will answer (Psalm 38:15)
  44. He will answer those who wait for Him (Psalm 38:15)
  45. He makes people's days a mere handbreadth (Psalm 39:5)
  46. The span of people's years is as nothing before Him (Psalm 39:5)
  47. Everyone is but a breath to Him (Psalm 39:5)
  48. Everyone is but a breath to Him, even those who seem secure (Psalm 39:5)
  49. He places His scourge on people (Psalm 39:9-10)
  50. He strikes people (Psalm 39:9-10)
  51. He rebukes people for their sin (Psalm 39:11)
  52. He disciplines people for their sin (Psalm 39:11)
  53. When He rebukes people for their sin, He consumes their wealth like a moth (Psalm 39:11)
  54. When He disciplines people for their sin, He consumes their wealth like a moth (Psalm 39:11)
  55. People dwell with Him as foreigners (Psalm 39:12)
  56. People dwell with Him as strangers (Psalm 39:12)
  57. He turns and hears people's cries (Psalm 40:1)
  58. He turns and hears the cries of those who wait patiently for Him (Psalm 40:1)
  59. He lifts people out of the slimy pit (Psalm 40:2)
  60. He lifts people out of the mud and mire (Psalm 40:2)
  61. He sets people's feet upon rocks (Psalm 40:2)
  62. He gives people a firm place to stand (Psalm 40:2)
  63. He puts a new song in people's mouths (Psalm 40:3)
  64. He puts a hymn of praise to Him in people's mouths (Psalm 40:3)
  65. Many will see and fear Him (Psalm 40:3)
  66. Many will put their trust in Him (Psalm 40:3)
  67. Many will see and fear Him and put their trust in Him (Psalm 40:3)
  68. The one who trusts in Him is blessed (Psalm 40:4)
  69. Many are the wonders He has done (Psalm 40:5)
  70. Many are the things He planned for His people (Psalm 40:5)
  71. None can compare with Him (Psalm 40:5)
  72. Were people to speak and tell of His deeds, they would be too many to declare (Psalm 40:5)
  73. Sacrifice and offering He does not desire (Psalm 40:6)
  74. He opens people's ears (Psalm 40:6)
  75. Burnt offerings and sin offerings He does not require (Psalm 40:6)
  76. His people proclaim His saving acts in the great assembly (Psalm 40:9)
  77. His people do not seal their lips (Psalm 40:9)
  78. His people do not hide His righteousness in their hearts (Psalm 40:10)
  79. His people speak of His faithfulness and His saving help (Psalm 40:10)
  80. His people do not conceal His love and His faithfulness from the great assembly (Psalm 40:10)
  81. He is His people's help (Psalm 40:17)
  82. He delivers those who have regard for the weak in times of trouble (Psalm 41:1)
  83. He protects those who have regard for the weak (Psalm 41:1)
  84. He preserves those who have regard for the weak (Psalm 41:1)
  85. He does not give those who have regard for the weak over to the desire of their foes (Psalm 41:1)
  86. He sustains those who have regard for the weak on their sickbed (Psalm 41:1)
  87. He restores those who have regard for the weak from their bed of illness (Psalm 41:1)
  88. His waves and breakers sweep over people (Psalm 42:7)
  89. By day He directs His love (Psalm 42:8)
  90. At night His song is with His people (Psalm 42:8)
  91. He is His people's joy (Psalm 43:4)
  92. He is His people's delight (Psalm 43:4)
  93. With His hand He drove out the nations (Psalm 44:2)
  94. With His hand He planted His people's ancestors (Psalm 44:2)
  95. He crushed the peoples (Psalm 44:2)
  96. He made His people's ancestors flourish (Psalm 44:2)
  97. It is not by people's swords that they win land, nor do their arms bring them victory, but His hand, His arm, and the light of His face (Psalm 44:3)
  98. It is not by people's swords that they win land, nor do their arms bring them victory, but His hand, His arm, and the light of His face, for He loves them (Psalm 44:3)
  99. He is His people's King (Psalm 44:4)
  100. He declares victories for Jacob (Psalm 44:4)
  101. Through Him His people push back their enemies (Psalm 44:5)
  102. Through His name His people trample their foes (Psalm 44:5)
  103. His people put no trust in their bows, He gives them victory over their enemies (Psalm 44:6-7)
  104. His people's swords do not bring them victory, He gives them victory over their enemies (Psalm 44:6-7)
  105. His people put no trust in their bows, He puts their adversaries to shame (Psalm 44:6-7)
  106. His people's swords do not bring them victory, He puts their adversaries to shame (Psalm 44:6-7)
  107. In Him His people make their boast all day long (Psalm 44:8)
  108. He rejects and humbles His people (Psalm 44:9)
  109. He no longer goes out with His people's armies (Psalm 44:9)
  110. He makes His people retreat before the enemy (Psalm 44:10)
  111. He allows His people's adversaries to plunder them (Psalm 44:10)
  112. He gives up His people to be devoured like sheep (Psalm 44:11)
  113. He scatters His people among the nations (Psalm 44:11)
  114. He sells His people for a pittance (Psalm 44:12)
  115. He gains nothing from the sale of His people (Psalm 44:12)
  116. He makes His people a reproach to their neighbors (Psalm 44:13)
  117. He makes His people the scorn and derision of those around them (Psalm 44:13)
  118. He makes His people a byword among the nations (Psalm 44:13)
  119. He allows things to come upon those who had not forgotten Him (Psalm 44:17)
  120. He allows things to come upon those who had not been false to His covenant (Psalm 44:17)
  121. He allows things to come upon those whose hearts had not turned back (Psalm 44:17-18)
  122. He allows things to come upon those whose feet had not strayed from His path (Psalm 44:17-18)
  123. He crushes His people (Psalm 44:19)
  124. He makes His people a haunt for jackals (Psalm 44:19)
  125. He covers His people over with deep darkness (Psalm 44:19)
  126. He knows the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:21)
  127. For His sake His people face death all day long (Psalm 44:22)
  128. For His sake His people are considered as sheep to be slaughtered (Psalm 44:22)
  129. He blesses people forever (Psalm 45:2)
  130. His throne will last forever and ever (Psalm 45:6)
  131. A scepter of justice will be the scepter of His Kingdom (Psalm 45:6)
  132. He sets those who love righteousness above their companions (Psalm 45:7)
  133. He sets those who hate wickedness above their companions (Psalm 45:7)
  134. He sets those who love righteousness above their companions by anointing them with the oil of joy (Psalm 45:7)
  135. He sets those who hate wickedness above their companions by anointing them with the oil of joy (Psalm 45:7)
  136. He is His people's refuge (Psalm 46:1)
  137. He is an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)
  138. Because of who He is, His people will not fear (Psalm 46:1-2)
  139. Because of who He is, His people will not fear, though the earth give way (Psalm 46:1-2)
  140. Because of who He is, His people will not fear, though the mountains fall into the heart of the sea (Psalm 46:1-2)
  141. Because of who He is, His people will not fear, though the waters of the sea roar and foam (Psalm 46:1-2)
  142. Because of who He is, His people will not fear, though the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:1-2)
  143. He has brought desolations on the earth (Psalm 46:8)
  144. He makes wars cease (Psalm 46:9)
  145. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth (Psalm 46:9)
  146. He breaks the bow (Psalm 46:9)
  147. He shatters the spear (Psalm 46:9)
  148. He burns the shields with fire (Psalm 46:9)
  149. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
  150. He says, “I will be exalted among the nations” (Psalm 46:10)
  151. He says, “I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10)
  152. He is the great King over all the earth (Psalm 47:2)
  153. He subdued nations under His people (Psalm 47:3)
  154. He subdued peoples under His people's feet (Psalm 47:3)
  155. He chose His people's inheritance for them (Psalm 47:4)
  156. He loved Jacob (Psalm 47:4)
  157. He has ascended (Psalm 47:5)
  158. He has ascended amid shouts of joy (Psalm 47:5)
  159. He has ascended amid the sounding of trumpets (Psalm 47:5)
  160. He is King of all the earth (Psalm 47:7)
  161. He reigns over the nations (Psalm 47:8)
  162. He is seated on His Holy throne (Psalm 47:8)
  163. The king of the earth belong to Him (Psalm 47:9)
  164. He is greatly exalted (Psalm 47:9)

(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

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Counting in community:

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4 comments:

CynthiaJSwenson said...

Such richness here with your thorough Scriptures on giving & reasons to worship from the Psalms. I appreciate the time you devote to this especially knowing how busy you are! Yes, I believe we all feel the sting of rejection & yet our Savior was rejected by men. It didn't stop Him from pouring Himself into relationships & giving Himself for others. Love is ALWAYS risky because others will hurt us but that mustn't stop us from loving others. Keep writing & singing Mary! Offer it all to God! Praying you'll come away from Passion 2013 filled with joy! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

Deena said...

Dear Mary, Great post for the end of the year 2012. We bloggers are vulnerable, but HE sustains us, and we are safe in HIS everlasting arms.
Blessing for you in 2013.
~Shalom~ Deena

Mary said...

Thank you, Cynthia! Yes, it has been busy. There are many times that I struggle to make this a priority.

Yes, so important to take the risk!

Love & prayers for you, too, friend!

Mary said...

Thank you, Deena! Yes, we are so vulnerable, but we are truly Safe in Him. Blessings for you, too, friend - always!

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