Victory through the Grace of God

Victory through the Grace of God
The Gift of Family #7

 

Though sometimes your song falters
And your voice grows tired and weak
Though the struggles weigh you down
‘Til too weary just to speak

Your heart is always guided
By a Savior sure and strong
And in His arms you’re carried
When the road is hard and long

So hang on through the heartache
Keep your trust securely placed
In God, who’ll give you Vict’ry
Through the power of His Grace


© Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Struggle Refines Strength

Struggle Refines Strength
The Gift of Family #6

 

Do not fear what lies inside you
What those around you cannot see
All strength, all weakness, pains and joys
Once understood can set you free

Those closest will always love you
As a brother, nephew, and son
Even when you hold them distant
When from their care and help you run

There is hidden deep inside you
Seek out surrender and you’ll find
Great strength and a leader’s spirit
Through your struggle being refined


© Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wrestling with the Kids

Wrestling with the Kids
The Gift of Family #5

When the kids were young, you wrestled
Each night when you came home
Their squeals and laughs resounded
At the heart of family love

Now they’ve grown a little older
The wrestling happens still
Though changed in form and substance
To shape character and will

In the home you have provided
There refuge can be found
And in you, loving father
When your family gathers ‘round


© Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Traveling the Path

Traveling the Path
The Gift of Family #4

 

Sweet spirit, clothed in laughter
An innocent heart shines through
Heaven’s bright, beloved daughter
Seeking the path prepared for you

Praises singing, day and night
Charming children with your song
Heaven’s growing-up child of light
Dancing the path, narrow and long

Gift and follower of Christ
Always faithful where you love
Heaven’s young woman of promise
Trav’ling the path that leads you home


© Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Stillness

The Stillness
The Gift of Family #3

 

In a world of noise and rush
With peace and silence hardly found
When each moment demands of us
All our effort while life crowds ‘round

In those moments we can choose
To heed the unexpected gift
Daughter’s laughter, son’s smile let loose
The Tigers game, or kite adrift

All these glimpses, rare and sweet
Savored and cherished as they come
Become the stillness where may meet
The heart and its exalted One


© Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Story Spun

A Story Spun
The Gift of Family #2

Where is the truth in a story spun
In seeking shall we find
When tale’s telling all is done
Something greater of design

Searching every lettered sheet
And every bar of song
For the hidden heart to speak
Truth whereby we’re swept along

This quest a wise and worthy one
Though often weary toil
To seek the truth of a story spun
And plant it in ready soil


© Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Matthew in Motion

Matthew in Motion
The Gift of Family #1

Little boy, made of motion
Always seeming on the go
You have much to do of growing
Though we hope you’ll take it slow

Your world is full of wonder
Things that fly and drive and chug
Kitties fit for chasing, and dad’s
Electronics to unplug

Through all that exploring
You are learning who you are
A gift of God, a treasure
Loved by family, near and far


© Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Gift of Family

A few years ago, my family decided to have a “handmade” Christmas, instead of store-bought gifts. I was underemployed at the time and finances were very tight. Even handmade gifts can get expensive when you have 13 people on your list. So I had to come up with a very inexpensive idea, but I wanted it to be something special. Whenever I give a gift, I do my best to give something that is symbolic of the connection between me and the recipient. I try to find something we have in common. But like all families, mine is made up of a wide range of personalities and interests. Given time constraints, I needed to make one type of thing, but what one thing could I do that would celebrate my unique connection with each of these individuals?

After a fair amount of agonizing contemplation, I finally settled it. I would write each member of my family a short poem. I’ve been writing poetry on and off since I first learned what it was in elementary school, where a poem was writing a word down the page, using each letter as the first letter of a line. I remember this because I still have them. My verse had matured over the years, and I thought that I could manage a passable poem for each member of the family. No problem, right? Yeah, right.

I was almost immediately gripped by writer’s block. I found a clean notebook and created one page for each member of my family. I filled it up with “research.” I looked up the meanings of their first and middle names and played with them to come up with a phrase that fit. I made notes on what each of them meant to me, and the first words that come to mind when I think of them. I doodled. I wrote their names over and over again.

Slowly, painstakingly, the words finally began to fall into place. I got about halfway through the family and then got hopelessly stuck. I even wrote a (bad) poem about being stuck! I don’t know what finally broke the block, but I managed to get unstuck in time to write the remaining poems, clean them up, and make them into laminated bookmarks done in the subject’s favorite colors. I wrapped them in packages of all shapes and sizes, in an attempt to disguise the fact that everyone was getting the same thing.

Once they were finished, I couldn’t wait until our family Christmas gathering. I was excited for each person to receive their poem, but also beyond nervous at exposing so much of myself. That Christmas now stands as one of my favorites. There were tears and laughter as each person read their poem. I had never put so much time and effort into Christmas presents before, nor have I since. The result was worth every minute!

I know I am blessed with a wonderful family. Though we are spread across the state and country, we love and support one another. We enjoy spending time together whenever we can. I am well aware of just how rare it is for a family our size to continue to get along so well, and I would be lost without each and every one of them.

Over the next weeks/months, I will be sharing the poems I wrote that year. I’m not sure how often I’ll post them. I’ll post the first sometime this weekend, and the rest will depend on if I come up with other blog topics to write about. Enjoy!

Finding the Right Words

“Why are you so quiet?” A coworker asked me this question a few weeks ago as I walked by his desk. As always, I didn’t know what to say.

Despite the note on my kindergarten report card that said I talked too much in class, I have been shy and quiet for as long as I can remember. Maybe I got in trouble for that kindergarten transgression and overcorrected for the rest of my life. Who knows? But talking in general, and especially in front of people I don’t already know, has been and continues to be a challenge.

Sometimes I literally can’t find the right words. Yesterday, while talking with a neighbor I was completely unable to think of the word for the little rodent that burrows around under grass and ruins lawns. I was thoroughly embarrassed when the neighbor supplied the word “mole.” Of course I knew that, but the word just refused to come when I needed it.

Even when the words themselves don’t fail me, I never know just what to say. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I should say, and sorting out in my mind what words I should use. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I can’t find the right word? What if I hurt someone’s feelings? What if I don’t really know what I’m talking about and say something stupid? What if I say something, as I so often do, in not quite the right way or words, and get laughed at? What if I embarrass myself? I spend so much thought on trying to figure out the right words to say that I miss the chance to say them in context. It is a rare day when I can actually relax and be part of a normal conversation without worrying about saying something wrong.

Instead of getting easier over time, this seems to get harder. As I learn and observe more about the world, other people, and myself it gets harder and harder to find the right words. Every so often an article comes across my social media newsfeed with a list of things not to say. I’m sure you’ve seen them: 17 things not to say to someone who (insert condition of humanity here). As well-meaning as these lists are, for me they are counter-productive. As if I wasn’t already struggling with what I should or shouldn’t say, now I’m getting bombarded with lists of more things I shouldn’t say.  I worry so much about unintentionally saying something that might insult or hurt someone, that it seems better to say nothing at all.

It seems I’ve been trying my whole life to deal with this challenge. Once when I was young, my entire family was at together at McDonald’s for dinner. After I was too shy to tell the clerk my order, everyone agreed that I didn’t talk enough, and so decided that for five minutes no one was allowed to talk except me. I could do nothing but giggle for the entire five minutes, because I was embarrassed and didn’t know what to say.

Two months ago, as I perused my file box full of half-started stories in an attempt to determine what I would write for NaNoWriMo, I discovered a recurring theme among my main characters. For as long as I have been writing (which is pretty much as long as I’ve known my letters and what a story was), I have been writing about a girl/woman who can’t speak. Occasionally she was born deaf or some illness took away her voice, but most often, for some mysterious reason, she just can’t. I’m not sure exactly how many of these stories there are, but it is at least in double-digits, and in all but perhaps one or two, this inability to speak did not make her an outcast. In contrast, in most cases she has a small but tight group of friends who love her and, more importantly, understand her, even without speech. There is always some way for her to communicate, sometimes using sign language, or writing in a notebook, or through an interpreter who can hear her inner voice.

While that may work in stories, in real life things are not so easy. So the best I can hope for is to find those rare and wonderful people who will be patient when I’m quiet and be ready when I find the right words.