Fahmidan Journal/Issue 6. Autoimmune and Mental Health Worriers.

I was honored to have my poem Splinter accepted for Fahmidan Journal’s 6th Issue. The themes for this issue is so important to share. As someone who deals with PCOS and mental health issues, it’s beautiful to see so many contributors coming together to bring some hope.

Follow the link to read Issue 6. Autoimmune and Mental Health Worriers.

https://www.fahmidan.net/issue-6

The Purpose In Just Being You/Divine Purpose Magazine

My article, ‘The Purpose In Just Being You,’ has appeared in the Spring 2021 Issue of Divine Purpose Magazine.

It’s been exciting to see my first article published, and I thank the Editors are Divine Purpose for including my piece this quarter. You can find the magazine HERE at ISSUE.com. The article appears on page 22.

Also, a huge thank you to my friend Jackie for helping me with editing. I learned so much from our back and forth, and treasure the time you took to invest in me. THANK YOU!

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 (13)

I used to choose a seat closest to the doors, in the single cubbies to either side of the true passenger compartments.

“Why do you sit here all alone? It’s dangerous for a single girl.”

I had never thought of it as dangerous before the question. I enjoyed the nods and light conversation with strangers. Many of them dressed roughly, carrying bikes, or oversized backpacks.

I remember one early morning two backpacking couples joined me in the cramped space. The men sat on the ground closest to the sliding doors. I moved my backpack to make room for the two women, tired and clearly already stressed. They didn’t speak Dutch or French or even German, but their chitchat was earnest and careful.

One man wished me well on my journey in English, nodding at my bag as proof I was a kind of comrade, before departing.

The contrast from those small cubbies to the larger passenger compartments with row after row of benches is striking. Few words are ever spoken. Everyone keeps their heads bowed, their minds busy on themselves, appearing to ignore everyone else on the commute. Even so, with the clatter of the train, the call of the ticket master, and the shuffle of shoes, there is a strange companionship.

I have spent quite a few hours waiting on train platforms. In the early morning, or late in the evening, I have found them to hold a strange peace.

Everyone has somewhere, and nowhere to go. Everyone is expectant, yet bored. Isn’t that just like life can be?

I would finally reach my destination in the shadows of night. Night grows and shrinks things. It hides and reveals. It is a different world than daylight, and many people fear it. But I don’t. I know that is only because I have been kept safe. I am blessed.

Night has always been my refuge. Not a time of hiding, but a time of quiet. A time when others retreat, leaving the streets almost empty. The dirt of the day is pushed to the sides, and lays waiting for the morning to come. It’s hidden in the shadows, but it still whispers to the world all the stories it holds. Every cigarette butt, every discarded coffee cup that missed the trash can. Even the caked on muck, scraped from boots at the end of the day. It will all tell you a story, if you only stop and listen.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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My Journey With God/Believable Books

Early last week Ericka Clay from Believable Books reached out and asked if I would contribute a gest post for her website. I was honoured to be asked, and this morning the post has gone live. If you wish to read it, please visit Believable Books via This Link.

Check out the rest of the Believable book’s website as well, and the submissions page.

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Reservoir of Tears/Kitchen Sink Magazine Issue 2

Kitchen Sink Magazine is a free to download, online literary magazine. They released their second issue at the beginning of this week.

My poem “Reservoir of Tears”, was included in this latest edition. I encourage everyone to follow the link provided to read this free edition. They have included a great variety of pieces by poets and writers of many experience levels and backgrounds.

Thank you Kitchen Sink Magazine for including me. It’s always exciting to see my words alongside those of other writers.

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

I Left Them

I left them all to die
Before the sun was high
I did not say goodbye
As I left them all to die

I left them all to die
No tear came from my eye
I let my joy then fly
As I left them all to die

I left them all to die
Here’s my reason why
Their chains I would defy
So I left them all to die

I left them all to die
My doubt, my pain, my lie
My freedom is now nigh
I’m glad I let them die

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

In The Beginning, Unpublished Writing Award, Runner Up

In The Beginning, Unpublished Writing Award, 2020 Runner Up

Yesterday I received my certificate in the mail. My heart is full. The lessons I have learned over the last 5 years have been difficult. But they enabled me to write The Branch. Now that I am on the other side, I am thankful. I know I am blessed.

Thank you Dorene Meyer for your encouragement, for your editing help, and your belief in me.

Thank you Word Guild for holding competition like this that enables writers to spread their wings. I have enjoyed the experience very much.

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020