Dehydration

Most people who know me know I really don’t like to be dehydrated, and so I carry a water bottle around all the time. When I realized the spiritual parallels, I decided to write this poem.

Dehydration

I notice quickly when I get dehydrated.
My mouth gets dry, I feel a headache grow,
My mind pushes me to go and drink,
And my body yearns to just be filled.

Because of this, I carry a water bottle
Just about everywhere I go.
I drink from it often, I refill it a lot,
Staying hydrated is important to me.

I notice, too, when I get spiritually dehydrated.
I feel sad, I lose perspective,
My life feels empty, blank, and unfulfilling,
And my spirit yearns to just be filled.

And yet, I don’t carry a spiritual water bottle,
A prayer or a scripture in my heart.
But Christ is more important than dead water,
And He will fill my cup to overflowing.

Charity is

Charity is
Smiling as a child reads slowly,
Slower than you could yourself,
Charity suffereth long.

Charity is
Not snapping back when someone snaps at you,
Being patient when people have had a hard day,
Charity is kind.

Charity is
Being happy when someone does better than you,
Because you see how happy they are,
Charity envieth not.

Charity is
Shoveling driveways early, before anyone would see,
Letting the service be an anonymous surprise.
Charity vaunteth not itself.

Charity is
Admitting you are wrong,
When your pride wants to put up a fight.
Charity is not puffed up.

Charity is
Mowing a neighbor’s lawn when they can’t pay,
Serving then when that service can’t help you,
Charity seeketh not her own.

Charity is
Seeing the child of God inside the addict,
The saint inside the sinner,
Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.

Charity is
Mary’s Son in the garden,
Bleeding and praying to do his Father’s will.
Charity beareth all things, believeth all things.

Charity is
The Man dying on the cross
Forgiving those who tortured and killed,
Charity beareth all things, hopeth all things.

Charity is
The Christ, living to bring you and I
Back home to live with Him.
Charity never faileth.

My Measuring Stick

During church today, the high councilor made the observation that “When I’m looking at others, I don’t see the average person, and think, ‘I’m doing pretty well compared to that.’ No, I look at the very best person around me, and I see how far I fall short of them.” After some reflection on that, I wrote this.

My Measuring Stick

Jealous of him for how smart that he is,
Ignoring the talents I’ve got,
Distainful of those who just can’t understand,
Ignoring how I lack a lot.

Jealous of her for how social she is,
Ignoring the friends that I have.
Distainful of him for his social mistakes,
Ignoring my faux pas and gaffs.

Jealous of all of the good in the world,
Ignoring the good in my life.
Distainful of those who are worse off than me,
Ignoring my personal strife.

Jealous of early saints, who personally knew Joseph
Ignoring the modern Prophet’s calls.
Distainful of those who won’t follow Christ,
Ignoring the times my faith falls.

Jealous of Peter for walking on water,
Ignoring the miracles I’ve felt.
Distainful of Thomas for his lack of faith,
Ignoring all the doubts in myself.

The Difference

At the sacrament meeting I went to this week, a missionary spoke about ministering, and he said “the difference between a lost soul and a found one could be a text or a call. You never know.” I decided to expand that idea into this poem.

The Difference

The difference between a lost soul
And a found one
Could be a text hello, prompted by the spirit
To a man lonelier than anybody knows.

The difference between a wandering soul
And a purposeful one
Could be a call out of the blue
To a woman struggling not to cry.

The difference between a lonely soul
And a belonging one
Could be an invitation to catch up
With an old friend.

The difference between an aimless soul
And a devoted one
Could be a sincere “hello”
To someone who doesn’t know they’re noticed.

The difference between a stranger
And a friend you never knew you missed
Could be a simple smile
To someone without enough smiles in their life.

Make Me

I wrote this poem after listening to General Conference on my mission, and I decided to share this poem this week.

As a missionary, I think a lot about being an instrument in the hands of God, and I thought about what different tools would symbolize and represent in terms of our earthly duties and responsibilities and ability to do God’s will.

Originally written Nov 12, 2018

Make Me

Make me a tool to change the world,
And shape me to Thy will.
Make me the instrument to move
Thy great work forward, still.

I’ll be a sword, if Thou dost wish,
To fight for right and truth.
Or be a plow, to break the ground,
And bring forth life and fruit.

I’ll be the hammer, building up
The people I’m around,
Or be the nail and hold them fast
And firmly to the ground.

I’ll be the sail, and drive along
My fellow travelers,
Or be the rudder, guiding true
Would-be wanderers.

I’ll be the hand, stretched out to lift,
To heal a life for good
I’ll be the one to follow Him
And do as He would do.

Refine me in Thy fire, Lord
Forge me strong, so I
Can go forth in Thy strength and might
Each moment till I die.

And come to Thee, that day to know
That I’ve done all I can.
And done the work Thou sendest me
Among the sons of man.

How Grateful I Am

How Grateful I Am

How grateful I am for the friends that I know,
Friends who I see and make my smile grow,
Friends who I cherish and help when I can,
Friends who help me a better man.

How grateful I am for my family, blessed,
Family that accepts me when I’m a mess,
Family to laugh with, to play with, to love,
Family forever with God up above.

How grateful I am for the earth where I live,
The earth that selflessly, generously gives,
The earth full of beauty, of life and of joy,
The earth that we all are blessed to enjoy.

How grateful I am for the words of the Lord,
The words of the prophets who testified bold,
The words of disciples who struggled like me,
The words of the scriptures, so inspiring.

How grateful I am for the Savior, dear,
My Savior who, when I’m troubled, always is near,
My Savior who loves me when I stumble and fall,
My Savior who helps me to grow to my all.

The Night my Savior Died for Me

I apologize for not posting a poem last week, I forgot until it was too late. This is the poem I meant to post last week, and I hope I will be able to schedule my posts a week in advance from here on out, now that I have a bit of a buffer of poems.

This poem was written as I tried to think up words that would go to the tune of There is a Green Hill Far Away that would carry a similar meaning.

The Night my Savior Died for Me

The night my savior died for me
I wonder if I cried
To know the infinite sacrifice
Paid to make me divine.

The day my Savior rose again
Did I shed tears of joy
That I, engraved upon His palms
Could live with Him someday?

Whene’er my Savior answers me
And my beseeching prayer
I feel again His love for me
And His belonging care.

The times my Savior lives in me
I love with all my soul.
I yearn to give my all to Him
And through Him, be made whole.

When Trying isn’t Enough

I wrote this a few months ago and found it on my computer today. It is meant to be a song, and some day I hope it will be.

When Trying isn’t Enough

I stumbled one more time,
and fell, the bitter dust to eat
I push with arms too weary
to bring me to my feet.

I tried and tried to stand
and I’ve failed so many times
Everyone has some last chance
and I think this was mine.

CHORUS: What do I do
when trying isn’t enough?
When my tired arms can’t lift me
and my voice is hoarse and rough
from calling for help
that doesn’t seem to come.
What do I do when I try
and it isn’t enough to get me home.

Shaking hands reach out
for another mirage of hope.
but the water disappears
and I gasp with my parched throat

“I’ve traveled many miles
in this desert, in this heat,
Is this to be forever?
Is there no crust for me to eat?”

CHORUS

As I give up hope,
I rest, despair now overwhelming
then a shadow falls on me
and I see an arm extending.

“I’m here to help, I’m here.
Let me care for you.
Your Brother will not leave
and will always be true.”

CHORUS’: I turn to you
When trying isn’t enough
When my tired arms can’t lift me
and my voice is hoarse and rough
I’m calling for help
and my Friend has come
I’ll lean on you when I try,
You are enough to get me home.

Nothing More and Nothing Less

Nothing More and Nothing Less

I was talking with a friend today who told me that their biggest fear was failure. Not being smart enough or good enough or capable enough to live up to what people expect of them. This poem is a response to them and to anyone else who fears failure.

Be you – that’s all I ask of you,
Nothing more and nothing less.
To be all you can be, my friend,
Is all that I request.

You won’t disappoint the world
In falling far short of perfectness
Those who love you don’t just love
The parts you show off to impress.

And God, who loves you most of all,
Has perfect knowledge that you possess
So much good, and kindness, and care, and love,
When sins and errors you confess.

I don’t expect a perfect friend,
It’s fun together to progress,
We’ll push each other to work and grow,
To each do better than yesterday’s best.

And as we work to be our best selves,
We’ll take time to breathe and rest.
Take time to pause and think and laugh,
And in our mental health invest

So walk some more with me, my friend,
Life is good, and we are blessed.
Be you – that’s all I ask of you.
Nothing more and nothing less.

My Mountain, Your Mountain

In my Elder’s Quorum lesson today, we were discussing the General Conference talk Becoming Like Him, but Scott D. Whiting. One of the Elders mentioned an interesting idea in the discussion about how we shouldn’t compare our speed in life with that of someone else’s. Someone walking on a trail and someone climbing a cliff will go very different speeds. That idea eventually turned into this poem.

My Mountain, Your Mountain

I went out to climb a mountain
And saw you do the same.
Nature to see and wonder at,
A mountainside to tame.

We each had different paths,
but soon, you seemed higher up.
I struggled to push my self harder –
I must not be climbing fast enough.

I redoubled my efforts,
Looked again, and though we were near,
My path looked rocky and cluttered,
While yours seemed wide and clear.

I began to scale a cliff,
And saw you climb one, too.
But you went up more rapidly,
It seemed easier for you.

I neared the top, watching you,
jealous of your speed,
We reached the top together,
And you smiled, and said to me:

“You’ve climbed so well, I’ve noticed you,
I wish I was half so skilled.
I tried so hard to keep up with you,
Meting you makes me so thrilled!”

“But,” I said, “I envied you,”
“You seemed to be the best.”
We laughed at ourselves and sat down together,
Enjoying the view and the rest.