Category Archives: Poetry/Writing

What They See

This rainy day got me thinking of… Umbrellas!!!

One of my son’s first words was umbrella. Yup, umbrella! It was his third word.

I remember thinking, or hoping “Mama” would come next after “Dad.” However, Elmo came second and then… umbrella 🧐

I was stumped. I barely used that word. In fact, I barely used umbrellas! Had my son even seen a real umbrella? At that time, I was unknowingly battling with PTSD after my son’s anaphylactic reaction and learning of his MANY food allergies. So if I’m being honest, I avoided going anywhere really at that time.

Therefore, it was was sooooo bizarre to me that he would learn, and say such a word so early on. Umbrella!?!?

Recently, almost six years later, I was sharing this with my son and we were laughing at the randomness and silliness of it. We thought maybe it was because we love the beach and he learned it from beach umbrellas.

Then, I thought about it more…

What we see is what we learn. What we turn our eyes to and fill our days with becomes what our minds learn, whether we like it or not, where it’s true or not. It is why it is so important for us to spend time filling our minds with the hope and truth of God‘s word. It is why reading the Bible transforms and renews us. It is why we must fill and teach our children this too.

Now, how does this relate to umbrellas and TJ learning it as his 3rd word?

Well, in our old house, we had cave crickets, what we called jumpy bugs. Once a week one would get into his toy box in the basement. At the time not being a fan of insects, I would take an umbrella from the closet and trap them that way. That way I didn’t need to touch it or risk touching it.

As I laughed at the process back then, I had no idea that my son, barely only 1, was watching too. He was watching enough to even learn the word!

Kids learn what we show them. They learn what we feed their minds with. They learn what they see. However, we learn that way too.

We must feed our minds with God’s truth…and the rest will follow.

“The Art of a Messy House” series is one way to do this, starting with book 1, “How to Be Kind.”

Amazon Book Link

Other Book Links

Leaving Me Behind

My hope once jumped at the chance
to find such purpose
a way out of the old dance.
So you said wait here
Don’t grumble
For what I hold is more than just one glance.
For all the delays
And all the missed boats that sailed away
I trust you Lord
I trust my purpose in You
I pray, I pray, I pray.
For my hope is in you
I praise, I hope, I pray.

I recently read a powerful story in another devotional that a beautiful friend sent. It was about someone who had been disappointed that as they were leaving Slovakia to come to the United States, they were stopped in France. Her great great grandmother had been coughing and they were afraid of her possibly having tuberculosis. So because of their delay, they missed their ship, the ship that held their hope. They had to have so disappointed in the delay and deflating hope of that boat changing their lives. That was until they learned of that boat’s sad fate.

That boat was the Titanic.

Often we put our hope in things that are not God. In doing that, our trust goes into material things or boats that we really know nothing about. Our promise is in the Lord. Therefore our hope is in the Lord. God is using delays like the story above to save our lives, to protect us, to guide us to the paths he wants us on. God is our hope. Therefore if we put our hope in him, we can trust the delays and even the missed “ships” as blessings.

Why am I reaching for the things that are not my meant to be? Why am I reaching and trying to jump onto boats I have no business being on? God knows where he wants me to be. Therefore, I know and trust that he also knows the best and safest way to get there even if it includes some delays and road bumps along the way.

““But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭39:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection:
Am I still holding my hope on any missed ships today? If so, I pray to put my full hope and trust in the Lord.

Prayer:
Dear God,
You are my hope. Forgive me when I try to jump on boats that I have no business on. Forgive me when I put my hope on material things. Empower me. Use me. I pray that my gifts are used for your purpose and for your glory. Show me the way. Despite the delays, open up my eyes with the Holy Spirit and guide me on the path you want me on. Help me make the connections you want me to make and bring your good news and promises to the world. And may I never be quiet of how glorious you are through it all. In Jesus’ name. Amen

#theartofamessyhouse

Book 1 of the children’s series is out now all over including on Amazon:How to Be Kind

BROKEN TO LIFE

The rays blind my eyes
and still I see your face
trying to slow me down
and restore my pace.

The heat of the days
as the sun reveals each thing
needing to be repaired
in order for love, to truly sing.

And even through the darkness
or the sun of my broken parts
the moon beats the light
into such broken hearts.

So wherever I am
whatever part of day
or even of the night
though I am broken
God wants to fix
He wants to restore
through defensive walls and ways
He wants us not to fight.
He wants us to invest in His word
and also His love
He wants to shine His light.

For what is now broken
can always be
broken into life.

REFLECTION:

When something in our house like a washer or refrigerator is broken, we look to fix it. And when it is thought to be unfixable or unrepairable, we invest in a new one. The same goes with ideas. Sometimes, our ways become broken because we are broken. We are imperfect people with imperfect ways. But that doesn’t mean, we should allow guilt, shame or fear to keep us there. Instead, God loves us each so dearly and deeply no matter what. He wants to grow and teach us to become more and more like him. He wants to do that through these broken areas and ways. And he makes it all possible through him. Therefore, let us reflect on what is broken today and turn to Him, the only one with all the true answers, to guide us how to fix it. And if he says it is not fixable in this way, just maybe he is calling us to turn to Him to invest in a new way. Not everything that is broken needs to be fixed. Instead, sometimes, it is leading us to invest in new ways, new options, new ideas that help to truly break us free.

Whatever is it God is doing, it often cannot be figured out. We cannot put our God and His plans into a box. It’s too big and beyond our understanding to do that. Instead, we must press in and pray for Him to reveal what in our lives is broken and needs to be invested in.

No money in the world can compare to what happens when we invest in love.

Nothing in the world compare to what beauty is grown and even restored when we invest in love like Jesus.

SCRIPTURE:

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Instruct and teach the people all that I’ve taught you. And don’t be intimidated by those who are older than you; simply be the example they need to see by being faithful and true in all that you do. Speak the truth and live a life of purity and authentic love as you remain strong in your faith. So until I come, be diligent in devouring the Word of God, be faithful in prayer, and in teaching the believers.”
‭‭ – 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:11-13‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
‭‭- 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:11-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Dear God,

You do not fit in a box. We cannot put your love or any of your will in a box either. Forgive us when we do that. Help us to see within though. Reveal how we can grow our broken parts to be more like you. And reveal to us also when we need to invest in new ways that are more aligned with You. God you are so good and whatever you are in the midst of, is so good too. So I pray today you refresh us and make us afresh and anew. So that whatever we do, you shine through and that we become vessels of integrity, truth and love. I pray that despite whatever you show us and are changing within us we find peace in you and in the everlasting love you have for us despite our flaws, sins and broken ways. Thank you for loving each of us the same and help us to humble ourselves enough to grow and learn and see what you are showing us. Help us to go where you are taking us, invested in love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT…

We all are broken and need repair. God is the only one who can truly bring that. Let us pray that He reveals what needs to be repaired or even replaced within our lives today. And when He does, let’s pray that we continue to invest His word and love into these new ways and restored parts.

© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Love Speaks

No perfect words 

no perfect day 

to stand for what is right 

to hide behind silence 

when the heart has so much to say.

 

No perfect past 

no perfect way to teach 

but there is color 

we cannot be blind 

for in each shade

beauty is what you find. 

 

No perfect draft 

no perfect time 

united we must stand 

hand in hand. 

For in His glorious name 

-Jesus Christ-

all hearts beat the same. 

 

So don’t overthink 

don’t leave it up to the mind 

follow the heart 

united in Christ 

and that is where 

words you will find

united together under God

there is love 

and there is no better kind. 

 

For silence is blind

but love speaks –

and above all God’s gifts – 

love

is

the

best

kind. 

The Justice of Love

I do not understand what you walk through
but I understand pain
I do not understand your story
but I too have a name
and though the world is crooked
and our paths may never meet
I know there is love
waiting to save the world
in glorious defeat.

I do not understand your scars
but I see mine
I do not understand your distance
but I too stay away
and though the world is broken
and these roads all draw different lines
I know justice is for all
no matter the color of these creases
it is the heart that defines.

I do not understand what your days bring
but I hear the birds sing
I do not understand their hate
but I too know what love can bring
and though the world flashes heartache
and reactions act in rage, evil and fear
I know love exists
and colors, shades and scars do not matter
when God is near.

I do not understand what you go through
but I hear your story
I stand by your side against the rain
I pray for a world
where love sees no divides
and loves holds the burden of the pain.
For together we stand
when all else comes against
to have one’s back
is to see the beauty of the colors
of the shade from white to black
for together we stand
against the injustice
using love for all
as the truest, and strongest attack.

Reflection:

We cannot simply stand and watch or even just shake our heads at injustice in this world. We must stand together and unite against it. The divides of skin color and even within the churches all make us weaker. There is strength in number. There is power when voices come together. Ignorance just feeds the hate. But unity and courage stands up against it, and brings love. And love conquers all. Don’t turn a blind eye on injustice today or any day. Don’t believe the excuses the ignorant will throw out to justify hate. That is the kind of ignorance that falls under sin too.

Instead, pray for the courage to step up and to unite together with people who are not the same as you. The labels destroy us. They build walls with no strong foundation so when they crash, and they more than likely will, they take so much around them down too.

So start within today. What is your foundation based on? What are the morals and your belief system that ground you and form that foundation? Make sure they are aligned with the fact that God loves everyone. He created everyone to be different and for incredible purposes. Therefore, each person is beautiful. Pray to see that beauty too. Pray to have eyes like Jesus and not that of the world. Pray for the world to transform to that vision too. Pray for justice and speak up when you can today and everyone just that justice.

Justice is love.

Love is for all.

We ALL can have a voice against injustice. Don’t let that devil’s lie tell you otherwise. You do not need to understand or even know someone else’s story to do what is right. Don’t fear what the world will throw back at you. Instead, fear God’s judgment. God-fearing faith and love are what change the world. But, change starts within when we face our foundation and rebuild and restructure where we need to. Strong foundations can best stand their ground against the

We must unite.

We must stand up for justice.
It’s a sin to stay silent.
It’s a sin to not do what we are equipped to do.

We must use our gifts to stand up for that justice. We must use our gifts to stand for love,

love for all.

Justice for all!

Check Out:

Psalms‬ ‭33:5‬ ‭NKJV
Psalms‬ ‭106:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
Proverbs‬ ‭28:5‬ ‭NIV

Hebrews 13:1 NIV

“He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.”
‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭33:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

“Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times!”
‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭106:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

“Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all.”
‭‭(Proverbs‬ ‭28:5‬ ‭NIV)

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews‬ ‭13:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Source:
https://www.bible.com

The Lion and The Mouse

A mouse and a lion are very different

from the outside

their lines trace them out to be that way

in fact they define opposite

-the world would like to say.

They would say

they are too different

from their creases to the way they walk

to how loudly they shout

or how quietly they talk.

From even how dull their pasts reflect

or how bright their scars shine.

Our world likes to do it that way

they divide and build borders –

for this is yours,

and this is mine.

They tell me that a thousand likes

or a dozen comments and words

are the way to succeed and dream,

but through the eyes of each heart

even a lion and a mouse

are more alike than they seem.

For when we strip away each layer,

when we peel back each scar,

revealed becomes each heart

and we see how similar

we really are.

When we forget how they live or look

when we let go of what we have been told

when the crowds cannot gather

and the events are put on hold,

when we forget what they say

though so much has changed,

we start to see people

in this new and beautiful way.

Change is happening.

Differences do exist,

but when it becomes about each heart

love doesn’t just conquer, it really can persist.

And that is where we realize

that like the mouse and the lion

we need each other

not the competition or fame

not the “he said, she said” game

because despite our beautiful differences

we

are all

very much the same.

No Fingers Left to Point

I started this poem during a time when I was still using excuses as my crutch.  I was still relying on the good ole’ “I am this way because…” phrase.   The truth is that it is often easier to blame others than to accept and take on the challenge of change. It is easier to point fingers when you fail than to accept it a pathway to change.  In life, we must be careful though because soon we can be left with no more fingers to point.

 

No Fingers Left to Point

Finger points, gun ready aim,
fire
the broken glass is first,
because even shattered windshields require
blame.

First finger points
to their childish quarrels
as words expel more
an eye for an eye,
can they even remember
what that stands for?

Second finger points
he makes me do it
the choice is never my own
a squirrel cannot survive the streets
on such an indecisive throne.

Third finger points and cries
the ability to shoot back
depends on what her lonely heart lends
to her cheating hand
anything for a friend.

Fourth finger points
their words make her starve
to hunger differently
it is not her own
nor that of the skeleton they not see.

Fifth finger points
they fill her cup
like everyone does to fit in
as she still keeps track,
what even matters?
what even counts?
in drunkenness, she thirsts
a new way to silence, the crying within.

Sixth finger points
plaid skirts to her knees
try it the right way,
until rolls it to the waist
her morals to the curb
caves for someone to love
no one to save me
as if, no one watches above.

Seventh finger points
to her white dress
how can she still cry
how can she still yearn for more,
as he promises to stay
and plays the violin
over her broken seams
no longer knows herself
no longer the recipient
of her own dreams.

Eighth finger points
they judge her before
a mother they can see
babies she wraps in love
nurturing this new version

Of me.

Ninth finger points
these shoes teach me to be, just that
as they tiptoe into the dance
my feeble legs fake that seductive strength
of who they cannot understand
still broken in form,
but somehow, I still stand.

Tenth finger fires
and no more remain
leaves me as a fingerless pawn,
in this fruitless game.
For all these fingers, they point back too,
aimless, blameless, responsible,
and for the first time,
I face imperfection’s true attack:
no one to blame,
no where to point,
no where to run,
to face the truth, fingerless,
exposed accusations leaves me alone,
to do just that –
finally sells me back the truth
that accepts and forgives them all,
as I hold myself
in the unclenching of a fist,
for ten fingers I now lack.

Finally I accept it all to breathe free
responsible solely for me
with no fingers left to point,
I finally face
that I wish I had all ten of them back.


© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Freedom comes when we stop pointing fingers. It is then we can unfold our fists and soften our hearts to the life we deserve. Excuses are just that, excuses. They will never bring us to the more our lives are made for. Those excuses are crutches that steal so much more from us than they do from those we direct our anger, our sadness, our fingers to.

Freedom comes with patience and prayer.

Freedom comes from time used wisely instead of being wasted in the distractions, in the excuses.

Freedom comes from forgiveness.

It comes from letting go of the clenched fist and allowing the heart to beat freely again. Freedom comes from leaving all the excuses on the beach and getting into the living, healing waters, instead of waiting for someone else to save us.

That was a difficult message for me to hear because I didn’t want to hear it. It was easier to blame others for my battles and hardships than take the matters into my own hands. For the longest time I thought that it meant I needed to take on and carry all of that weight myself.

But that is never the case.

We are never meant to carry the burdens ourselves.

The resentment and excuses will never allow us to truly be free of anxiety, depression and pain.

But learning to let it go will.

So, please forgive me now for the mess. I’d rather walk proudly with the scars and with my fingers and arms ready to hug my loves, even if it means I may have to skip, jump or even limp over the clutter at times. But at least I have no more crutches laying around to trip me up too.


“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.””

‭‭John‬ ‭5:6-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/111/jhn.5.6-8.niv


Get your mat and walk! Lay down the excuses no matter how long they have been stirring there, no matter how long you have been waiting. It’s your time to let go and live.

 

One Curled Eyelash

Days escape to the young rants,

of words, of requests, of needs,

beats for these moments,

pushes aside own innate greed.

Dries hair, upon my lap she sits,

collects hair ties to borrow,

bruised knees cry for ice as he shouts,

hungry bellies demand, it is time to eat,

still my face finds make-up has no time to greet.

The washed up circles, crookedly sewn lines,

I’ll moisturize you again, dear face, when I find the time.

Showers of just a minute to disguise the sweat,

if only the razor and hands could embrace, like when they first met.

Hairy tops blanket one of my limbs, the other one bare,

the dress I’m wearing forgets to check I swear.

The morning race to actually match pants to shirt,

unbuttoned, does not even check, when I run to see who is hurt.

Those same pants decide to shrink, revealing is not my intention, despite what watching minds may think.

Lipstick kisses away to chubby cheeks, and those that need a change,

loving,

wrinkles dance near my tired eyes,

perfect imperfections outline a decade,

where tweezers are now so strange,

on stained piles of laundry, atop countless toys that do not clean themselves,

in their boxes drown away beneath, yawns and vows, tomorrow to try.

But still days escape, both she and he,

the days slowly coax years to fly.

So I must smile, battling the urge to wish away, these same minutes,

where the imprint of handprints and those of their feet leave beauty marks to be celebrated and worn

those that time flies by, in a flash, captures the beautifully torn edges

upon a heart that learns to enjoy that very flash.

So when you look at me, you’ll see it too,

Wrinkled lines of joy, under that

one,

still,

curled eyelash.


© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Perspective

All day. Every day. It’s all about perspective. I saw my life change in incredible ways when I shifted this exact thing: perspective.

Invite happiness in even though life is not perfect.

Accept that life will never be perfect.

See the world through a different lens.

We all have the ability to do this.

The mind needs to be retrained, retaught, renewed every day. Remind yourself to find the good and turn your focus away from the mess, and see the beauty. I promise it changes everything.

Besides, who doesn’t like a little mess here and there anyways?

Perspective

Hope in the Lord

strength will renew

like eagles soar on each wing

the run will not grow weary

the walk will not be faint

a perspective that frees

a love to sing.

Perspective is funny

as often as it fails

it is even more of a reason

why it must prevail

so grab hold to the truth

a quiet secure place

in such a noisy world

where God holds heads

and shoulders above

all that tries to pull us down

it’s all about perspective

it’s all about such a love.

A thousand may fall at your side

ten thousand at your right hand

but it will not come near you

that perspective you control

when in His love you stand.

Perspective is funny

as often as it fails

it is even more of a reason

why it must prevail

so grab hold to the truth

a quiet secure place

in such a noisy world

where God holds heads

and shoulders above

all that tries to pull us down

it’s all about perspective

it’s all about such a love.

Do not be afraid

for who is with us

is more than who is with them

so renew your mind

take hold of those thoughts

with eyes on God

truth and blessings collide

and true living, they finally find.

Perspective is funny

as often as it fails

it is even more of a reason

why it must prevail

so grab hold to the truth

a quiet secure place

in such a noisy world

where God holds heads

and shoulders above

all that tries to pull us down

it’s all about perspective

it’s all about such a love.

-JK

For more on this, check out:

Psalm 27:5–6

Isaiah 40:31

Psalm 91:7

2 Kings 6:16

The Snow Day Reset

Snow Day Reset

Fast forward plays on repeat

the days trick the nights to fly by fast

the race to nowhere where stamina cannot last

what is rest in a world

that allows cups to be refilled,

… and refilled …

… and refilled …

where dreams sit waiting for time to get out

shivering in the back seat

inhaling the aroma of doomed defeat

frozen limbs of even the strong-willed.

But the blizzard and its fiery companion meet

as the sky tries to hold back the winter playground

until each flake decides one by one to release

like confetti thrown from the sky

they dance into white dunes to magnify the light

mountains of possibilities form

from raw remnants of those powdery clouds

there is nothing more tangible

than snow angels with motherly curves

and Frosties rolled into existence by tiny fingers

where innocence actually gets what it deserves

where chapped lips and layers upon layers of clothes

suffocate the speed of deadlines and to-do lists

and for just a day – time seems to forget

all but, old man winter’s plea

for the earth to pause

and for that,

I am thankful for a day to reset.

– Jennifer Kosuda


So grateful for a day to reset… the world needs more days like that. Today, I allowed myself to be lazy and carefree (well, a lot more than usual).

What do you do to reset? 


© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.