Poetry

When They Call You Pretty

It may sound a little crazy but it feels like there’s this idea floating around that beauty = ugly, or beauty = bad, or even, beauty = a vain woman.

But I disagree.

Beauty may be vain in that it doesn’t last and isn’t the end-all/be-all, but a beautiful woman is not automatically vain (or mean!) because she is beautiful. We are far too busy running away from beauty, feeling insecure about it, or feeling without it.

Enough is enough!

So, what if we weren’t afraid of beauty? In ourselves and in others?!

What if we weren’t afraid of however it shows up in our lives?

What happens when we don’t back down from what is lovely and what God made beautiful?

Of course, beauty isn’t the only thing, but it is a good thing, and a good thing we don’t have to be afraid of noticing, acknowledging, and even having. May we not impose a fear of beauty in our daughters. May we raise daughters and be daughters who can hear YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and not feel threatened by the words or fearful of being defined by it.

God made beauty beauty.

And that is good!

What If Pretty Isn’t

you can be bright, bold,

and all beautiful too.

unashamed of your house

built tall, built strong,

a presence against the wind.

don’t hide the lilt of your eyes,

or the warmth of your smile

like morning light at dawn,

or fireflies at dusk

don’t shrink when they call you pretty,

or shake when they see your beauty,

or be afraid of all that isn’t

ugly, self-conscious, or plain.

just lift your face

to the One who made you.

steady your house toward the Sun,

outstretch your arms and your heart

to the heavens

in praise to the God of your life.

He who made beauty beauty

and us to marvel

in the beautiful work

of His hands

however it shows up

in our lives. . .

as flowers, or oceans,

or stunning blue eyes.

as crow’s feet rivers,

freckles, or dimples.

as youth, or old age,

in lovely faces that shine.

. . .all of us dotted with stars

like the evening sky,

or swathed in the brilliance

of sunrise.

and what if, what if, what if?

pretty isn’t a bad thing.

. . .this said zinnia softly

to very beautiful girl crying

in the garden.

-S.V.F.

Poetry

I Learned to Love the Wind

Like her I was tired. Time bent me slowly. But it was lack of joy, of the story I wasn’t living that cracked me open, hollow.

I’d lived a life before her, or at least the one they gave me, but she moved in, care-free. And I thought,

Now, maybe.

baby swing hanging from tree, framed by roses

And I don’t blame her for the years that passed. Her shoulders bent like mine, curled around her aching heart. I knew that pain too well!

So, I resolved to wait, learned to love the wind right through me, learned to house the life that chose me. And soon I saw,

She did too.

And it was marvelous!

The garden crept in closer, and hope felt like spring, but life fell like leaves. And though the breeze was lovely, and I smiled as she scattered seeds, I longed for the garden story.

Instead, I felt the pain, knife sharp, lightening in my skin. Is this the end for me? Where they decide I am done. . .they don’t need this tree.

The wind I loved felt bitter. The life in me cracked open. . .I creaked and groaned and wondered,

Can gardeners hear trees?

But pain lifted its fingers and in its wake, her laughter. And the wind rushed through like life. And I realized the garden had reached me!

And I danced alongside flowers, and whistled, “It’s nice to meet you!” And every now and then, I see her gazing up at me, happy, all admiration. And all her joy is mine.

We are here!

Both in the garden.

But the thing I love the most is swaying to the rhythm I finally hold in my arms. Not made by breeze or wind, but by a woman who became a mother pushing her child in the swing hanging down

from me.

Garden Lullaby

I’m Going to Be Here Too

Garden Lullaby, April 15, 2020

SO VERY WOW!!

I love that flowers have taught me how to anticipate life. It’s exciting to see the buds and watch them slowly expand. And it’s thrilling to look and suddenly see a flower in all its glory! I would go so far as to say it’s the 8th wonder of the world.

Flowers help me look forward, but they also teach me to sit still. This daisy won’t be here forever, but while it’s here, I’m going to be here too. I’m going to savor this beautiful thing, and I’m going to be excited for all the beautiful things coming next.

Plant your feet.


Two years later and that little daisy bush (originally purchased as a plastic pot of flowers from the grocery store) is going strong! It spreads and billows and multiplies. While this is the end our Garden Lullaby series, the garden journey, this billowing-out life of mine is far from over.

Pictured below is an ultrasound of our second child due any day this spring. I began gardening when my husband and I were in the deep end of infertility, and now as the garden grows, so does our family. God did the miracle of life in more ways than only giving us children (and you can read that journey in Hope Gives a Eulogy), but He has given us children as part of this life saga, and I savor the gift!

I am surrounded by miracles. I love that the garden is a picture of my soul, of what God has healed, made well, made beautiful in me and around me.

And so maybe it’s true. . .

Perhaps the best and most spectacular stories really do begin in the most unlikely of places.

Like a grocery cart.

Garden Lullaby

Picture of Life in a Broken, Grieving Woman

Garden Lullaby, April 3, 2020

WE FINALLY HAVE A GARDEN!

photo of our garden late summer 2020 // we brought our firstborn home to zinnias, sunflowers, rose bushes, and more! what life!

The tiny porch garden spread to the side of the house then spilled farther over into a rose bed which gave way to a vegetable raised bed which needed a flower bed for company and a fairy garden to boot and a patched together gate to get in and, of course, MORE PLANTS TO COME SOON! Small baby steps. . .that’s the way!

This has been 2 years in the making, a picture of healing, and a display of God doing life with a very broken, grieving woman!

WOW.

Gardening will always be one of my biggest & best life surprises and one of the most obvious places I can see the history of God’s very intimate care + love for me.


tomorrow holds our last post in the Garden Lullaby series! I am so glad to have transferred this journey of my garden beginnings from Instagram to my blog and a Google Docs. It’s important to me I keep it somewhere more settled and safe than the loud clanking of social media. The garden truly has been a place of healing, joy, and brightness. Yes, brightness! I have been held, seen, and known by God, and He has used flowers to show me that great love. Going forward, I’ll continue to post about the garden, share poetry, and invite you on this beautiful, surprising journey of my life amongst life.