Spring Sunday

The passing winter mourned,
as busyness begins.
Remember friend,
dispute the sun
over rushing never wins.

Still, need for peace.
Yet thirst for rest.
Take the day God gifted you.
He knows what man needs best.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

I find myself pressing in to the simple things of life. Constantly reminded that my spirit has been calling for quiet for years, and now that I have it, it shouldn’t be abandoned. I never imagined God would use a pandemic to gift me rest. Despite the pain of isolation, he has helped me flourish in the last twelve months. I write this as my reminder to not forget.

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Six Word Stories (17)

Tunnels, arches, trails, these things hold a fascination for me.

They beckon.

“Come explore, come and learn, come experience our adventure.”

But in adventure, there is always change.

Change of self, change of place, change of perspective.

Is it worth it, this stepping into the known?

Dare we?

If we don’t dare, we will never know what we have missed. But the question of what if will always hang there.

I don’t always dare. But sometimes I am lent a bravery not of myself and jump in feet first.

Sometimes I am swept away to places I never dreamed of. Places I never wanted to go. Places of pain.

Sometimes I land in the middle of tumultuous beauty and breath-taking experiences. I am still learning to be thankful for both.

When those experiences look arching waves, may God help me find the blessing beneath life’s crush.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com

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Tresses

Tips bright with borrowed light.
Soaked every strand,
took command.

Roots show through in ashen huge
whisper of years demands,
open hands.

Wisps array
as standing troops,
gently falling into loops.

Crowning character.
Grounding finger,
through tresses linger.

Catching thoughts
in webs
of morning knots.

Pulled and furled,
twist or braid,
spreading gray is unafraid.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Are You Scared of Creativity?

All humans have the spark of creativity. Some of us revel in it, and some of us hold it at arms’ length. Some of us even try to squelch it in our fists as if it was a bug we could squash, or a flame we could douse.

Have you ever done that?

I have.

Why do we do it?

Because creativity is not safe, and it scares us.

Why does creativity sometimes scare us? A few reasons may be fear of rejection, fear of inferiority, or fear of breaking rules.

When you share your creativity, there is always a risk that whoever you share it with, won’t get it or be able to appreciate it. It’s for each individual to decide if that risk is worth it.

We have a choice weather we hide our creativity from others. But that’s like placing a lit candle under a bucket. We should share creativity, at least with those who love us.

It is also a sacred thing. Creativity demands our energy. Inevitably, the creator will endow the project with a part of his or her self. It’s painful seeing our work rejected, as it’s painful being overlooked, or rejected as people. But I believe the risk is worth it.

Do you?

It’s also possible we are just not as gifted in our chosen art form as we wish to be. Other’s might outshine us. We may fail in front of the world.

I urge each of us not to let this fear stop us from practicing our creativity. Every great creative was once a beginner. Everyone will find someone more talented.

You know what? That’s okay.

Whether you gain great acclaim in your art, or not, your creativity has merit. Often, it’s the doing that blesses and not always the end product. We can bless others as they watch our progress, no matter how slow that progress may be. It can light the spark under their own creativity. Don’t stop doing what gives you wing just because you’re not the best at it.

Sometimes our creative takes us to places that push boundaries. We may have heard, “no you can’t do that, it’s not allowed.” Or been told that something makes us incapable of practicing this creativity. Be it cultural rules, religious rules, or something else, this can and is devastating. Dare we break those rules? Will we risk throwing the definition of norms out the window?

This is a personal choice. Are there moral reasons rules are there? Are these moral rules just? Honestly, human beings aren’t always fair with the rules we place on ourselves and others. It’s necessary to question rules and why they are in place, especially when they limit human creativity.

As we question these rules, and weigh the need to uphold, or brake them, I hope bravery, truth, and beauty prevail.

What will you do this week to practice creativity? Tell me about it!

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (16)

In the age of information, I have been given the chance to write. The chance to tell my story in my own words. The chance to dream my dreams and share them. What a gift.

I always knew that I would be at least a closet writer. But I never dreamed my form of expression would touch poetry. It has only been three years since I have discovered this gift, within a gift.

Empty auditoriums, silent church buildings, and closed temples. Despite the shutdown, writing has never stopped. We still need the writer. The storyteller is ever vital.

We have again been shown the power of written words.

Be it fiction, poetry, memoir, or essay, written words have sustained many of us this past year. Did we take them for granted?

Today I thank God for this gift in all its forms.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Spring Thaw Collection

  • Once perfect white hills,
    trap particles in spring thaw.
    Speckled remnants glare.

  • Sweat from sun’s new glare.
    Chilled in shade’s guard dome.
    Canada’s spring sings.

  • Muddied crystals strewn,
    rippled ground tormented mix.
    Soon the soak will drain.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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He Keeps Me, Art Highlight

This week I released a new design at my Redbubble Shop.

He Keeps Me Brave Products

He Keeps Me is a blending of my art and poetry, and shares the same name as the painting. You can read the full original poem here.

This design is available on sixty-six different products. From t-shirts to mugs, stickers and greeting cards to full size posters, there is something for everyone. All profits from my artwork go to funding publications and website upkeep.

Thank you!

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Our Need for Your Story

Did you know you have a story to tell?

It doesn’t matter how average you think you might be, you have a unique story all your own. No one has lived the same life or felt the same emotions. No one sees the world in quite the same way as YOU.

It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, nor your level of education. There is a story inside of you, and it’s important.

What’s your story?

It could be as simple as that casserole recipe your grandmother taught you how to make, and the things you both talked about while she taught you.

It could be your story is more of a question, something you long to know the answer to, and your quest to find it. Did you find it? Will you find it? Maybe, maybe not. That is a story.

Sure, not everyone may want to know your story. But for every story, there is an audience. Be it ever so small, it’s there.

Telling your story takes courage. It means being vulnerable. Are we brave enough to tell our stories? Not all stories are dark and painful, dramatic, or awe-inspiring. Some are quite ordinary.

Have you ever watched the movie, It’s a Wonderful life? I know many people who make it a tradition to watch this classic in the bright glow of a Christmas tree. It truly is a powerful story. But what makes it so powerful? Simple truth.

An ordinary life has reach and meaning beyond itself. We all touch others in ways we do not realize. We leave holes when we are gone, that we will never know about. There are stories behind our ordinary selves. Beautiful stories, stories worth hearing, reading, and seeing. Stories we can and should learn from.

What’s your story?

Don’t discount it and it’s power.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (15)

The workings of nature are intricate and beautiful.

Fierce and unforgiving.

Gently yet unrelenting.

Stalwart, but still fragile.

Every element working together in a mind-boggling harmony.

All following rules human are still only beginning to grasp.

Yet, we are privileged to watch their mighty witness.

Witness to what?

To that which holds all things together.

Binding and molding and moving and fusing.

Using gentleness to brake, and the breaking to create.

He makes the beaten and bruised things of this world what they are,

art.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.

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Inhale Prayer

Fragile breath
a prayer tonight.

Shallow fighting for life.

Colorless gas,
absent of mass.

Until compressed inside vessels of glass.

Fragile vessels that never last.

Breathing in prayer.
Forcing out air.

Living worship,
existing praise,
humbled awe in gasps are raised.

All fragile breath,
never owned.

Revitalizing flesh and bone.
A gift,
on loan.

Incense sweet before the Throne.
Breaths are prayers,
all on their own.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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