Friday, December 28, 2012

Alone Surrounded


 
 
Alone Surrounded 12/24/12

Do you see me?
I feel as if to you I am invisible,
Even though we stand in the same room.
For a moment would you look at me?
If only for an instant could you come close
And show interest?

You can be there,
Right beside me talking now
And yet, I feel so alone.
I'm surrounded on all sides.
You are in the room with me,
But somehow you are not
With me -
Not in the way I wish you were.

Just because you are near to me
Doesn't mean you haven't left me feeling alone.
For a moment could you take the time
And talk with me?
Not talk at me about inconsequential things,
But talk to me -
Talk to me about how life is going for both of us
Or what ways we have grown in Christ this year.
I wish you would.
You have left me feeling this strange kind of lonely
The kind of lonely that comes from feeling ignored
And at times blown off.
I don't begrudge you for it
I only wish the word “together”
Meant more than standing in the same room.


~ZA

Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Key (My First Short Story)


This is my little sister. :)
She doesn't match the description of the
girl in the story but - Oh well. ;)
 
    While I was cleaning I had the thought of a man trying to buy something and a young woman refusing because she said it was her heart. This short story is a result of that random thought.
 

(I'd like to say thank you to Elizabeth and Jonathan for giving me helpful advice while I was editing.)
 

 
The Key



 
 

   CLOSED.



   Nathan leaned back and ran a hand through his hair. Now what was he supposed to do?

 
   The lights were still on so he peered through the glass. Maybe someone was still there. He pulled the door handle and to his relief it swung open easily. A small bell tinkled above him and he shut the door behind him. The shop seemed empty though an old record player in the corner rattled out Christmas carols and the whole place smelled like cookies.
 
 
   How quaint.
 
 
   As he stomped the snow from his boots, his gaze wandered over the odd assortment of antiques that filled the room in an organized chaos. Surely he'd be able to find the perfect gift here.



   Sarah liked antiques and said they all had a story - him, he just saw the price tag on someone's old junk. Still, he knew she'd give him that look if he presented her with some fancy necklace or new dress.
 
 
   'Christmas is time to share gifts from the heart, Nathan.' He could almost hear her saying that. This was their first Christmas together; he had to get it right.

 
   “Hello?”

 
   He stepped from the doorway and began to look around. A vase caught his eye and he strode over to it. Its smooth surface was a pale blue with flecks of darker blue scattered over it. A small brown bird was on one side with its beak wide open as if singing. This was perfect!

 
   He sighed with relief. This wouldn't be as hard as he had thought. Lifting it carefully with one hand, he examined it closer. Oh great, it had a chip on the lip. With an irritated sigh he put it back down and started looking around for something else. If he was going to get her some odd piece it shouldn't be broken; he had to draw the line somewhere.

 
   Nathan made his way around an old bookcase, stopping briefly to pick up anything that caught his attention. Still nothing looked right.
 

   Then he saw it.

 
   Sitting on a small table on a large piece of white flannel was a glass manger scene. He touched a fragile lamb with one finger and smiled. They didn't have a manger scene at home; Sarah would be delighted. He picked up the tiny baby Jesus, no longer than the first digit of his thumb, and laid it in his palm.

 
   His eyes strayed to Joseph who stood almost protectively by Mary's side. Just like him with Sarah. Nathan smiled. Their son was going to be born in a few months; he would make a good father.
 

   A sudden movement by his feet made him jump backwards. He looked down and saw a small girl peeking up at him from under the table with a doll under her arm.
 

   He stopped, his eyes drawn to the key hanging around her neck on a delicate chain. He'd seen that key before. It looked just like his mother's key. When he was younger she always wore it around her neck; he had almost forgotten about it. It was so simple. So pretty. That would be a gift from his heart.
 

   He put the baby Jesus back and crouched down to look into the girl's dark eyes. She sat up on her knees and held out a plate that held two cookies, one of which had a bite out of it. “Do you want one? My mommy made them!” She grinned, revealing one of her front teeth missing.
 

   He gave her an awkward smile and shook his head. “No thank you.”

 
   She settled back and took a large bite of the previously whole cookie. Crumbs tumbled down her striped sweater and she said around the mouthful, “My name is Jessa, I'm six. What's your name?”

 
   “Umm, I'm Nathan.”

 
   “Hello Mr. Nathan.” She swiped a curly blond strand of hair from her eyes.

 
   He shifted, already getting uncomfortable in this position. How did one go about buying from a child?
 

   “Jessa, uh, may I see your necklace?”
 

   “Okay.” Her small hands reached up behind her neck and she fumbled with the clasp. A moment later she handed it to him.
 

   There it was. His mother's key. He felt a wave of nostalgia and he blinked back the wet film that suddenly threatened his eyes. No need to scare the child.
 

   “I would like to buy this from you.” He held up the key, letting it dangle and turn. “Maybe you could get a nice little present for your mommy.”

 
   “Oh no, Mr. Nathan, it's not for sale.” She crawled out from under the table and stood. With a slight wince he did too. Pointing out a display case that held some jewelry, she continued. “Those ones are nice. Gran'ma says I can't play with them.”

 
   She reached out and pulled on the chain. He let go reluctantly, leery of making her upset. She fastened it back on.

 
   “But I'd like this necklace. How about forty dollars?” More than it was probably worth, but now that he had found the perfect gift he didn't want to lose it.

 
   She shook her head. “It's not mine. It belongs to my father.”

 
   Ah, so this had been a gift. No wonder she didn't want to sell it.

 
   A sudden thought came to him.“What if I get one of those necklaces in the case and trade with you?”
 

  Her eyes lit up. Yes, he had figured it out! She was too young to appreciate money, but a trade she could understand.
 

   To his disappointment she pursed her lips and shook her head. “You can't buy this key. Nobody can.”

 
   He rubbed a hand on the back of his neck. What now?

 
   “So the key belongs to your father?”

 
   “Yes.”
 

   Nathan looked around, wondering again where the shopkeeper was. “Where is he?”

 
   She raised a hand and pointed an index finger upward, then turned back to crawl under the table to retrieve her doll.

 
   Nathan soon found the stairs and climbed them. He would speak to the man. Surely they could come up with a reasonable price.
 

   The hallway at the top of the stairs was dark but light shone out from under the first door.
 

   He knocked and stepped back, preparing what to say.


   A petite elderly woman opened the door. She blinked at him but didn't seem startled to see a stranger standing there. “Yes?”

 
   “I, uh, is Jessa's father here?”
 

   The woman turned and waved him into the room. “He isn't back from work yet. If you'd like, you may sit here and wait.”


   The cozy room was pretty bare. A warm fire glowed in a fireplace and two chairs were drawn up beside it. Near the window was a table covered with crayons and sheets of paper and three straight backed chairs surrounded it.

 
   Nathan frowned. The girl had said her father was up here. She must have just been mistaken, but he didn't have time to wait around.

 
   Sitting down in the chair she offered him, he decided to go straight to the point. “I'd like to buy that key your granddaughter wears.”

 
   She lowered herself into the rocking chair opposite him. “I'm sorry. It's not for sale.”
 

   “I'm willing to pay forty dollars for it.” He said quickly.
 

   “Young man, that key belongs to Jessa and it won't be sold for any price.”

 
   He sighed. Maybe it was a family heirloom? Maybe he should give up and buy the manger scene instead. Sarah would still like it and it would make a nice gift. But before he did he had a question.


   “What makes the key so special?” he asked.
 

   She smiled at him and began to rock. “Why don't you ask her?
 

   He turned his head and saw Jessa standing in the doorway. It wouldn't hurt to ask one more time. “Why won't you sell me that key?”
 

   “Because it's the key to my heart.” The little girl, half a cookie in hand, walked over and crawled into her grandmother's lap.”
 

   “The key to your heart?” He furrowed his eyebrows. What was that supposed to mean?

 
   Jessa nodded, then said in a sing-song voice,
 

   “This is the key to my heart,
   My Father holds it for me.
   Someday when the right man comes
   He'll ask to marry me.

 
   This is the key to my heart.
   It can not be stolen or bought.
   For my heart is held up in Heaven,
   And I'll keep it safe as I ought.”
 

   She finished the rhyme and grinned as if pleased with herself. “ Gran'ma says my key sym- symb -” She furrowed her brow and looked at her grandmother.

 
   “What was that word again?”
 

   “Symbolizes.” The lady began to rock the chair again.
 

   Jessa grinned. “Yeah, my key simblizes that Father God can help me keep my heart safe until I get married.” She cocked her head at him. “Are you married Mr. Nathan?”
 

   He swallowed. “Umm, no.”

 
   “Then who did you want my necklace for?”
 

   Nathan winced. The na├»ve child, a stray strand of blond hair falling over her eyes, caught him in her curious gaze. How was he supposed to answer that? “For- for Sarah.”
 

   “Who's Sarah?”
 

   The lady gently lifted Jessa from her lap, saving him from answering. “Run downstairs and get Mr. Nathan a cookie would you?”
 

   “But he said he didn't want one.”

 
   The lady laughed. “Then I'll eat it for him. Now run along, and bring up the tea kettle too, would you?”
 

   As the child disappeared out the door, Nathan stiffened, expecting the woman to start asking questions but she only picked up needles and a skein of yarn sitting beside her chair and started knitting.
 

   His thoughts began to wander. Sarah had given him her heart. He'd never loved someone as much as he did her. He'd only known her a year but it seemed forever.
 

   A line from child's rhyme flitted through his memory.

 
   'Someday when the right man comes
   He'll ask to marry me.'
 

   He meant to marry Sarah, he really did – soon. After they settled in a bit more. Her parents didn't approve and his, well his were both gone. What mattered was that they were happy, right?
 

   He leaned back in the chair and let out a low sigh. God wouldn't approve. He'd always said he would be different from his dad. He didn't curse except on occasion, he went to church, he provided for Sarah. Their child was due in the spring and he knew he would not leave like his father had. But there was one thing he had done just like his father.
 

   He stood and paced to the small window and looked out over the snow covered buildings. Colored lights blinked and it had begun to snow harder. His stomach clenched and he leaned his forehead against the pane.

 
   God? I'm sorry for all this. . . I didn't mean- I shouldn't have. He closed his eyes. Please help me make this right.

 
   Ask her.

 
   The voice made a shiver run down his spine. A gentle peace made him relax.


   Yes, Lord.
 

   He turned back to the the old woman and found her watching him with a slight smile on her face, almost as if she knew.
 

   He took a deep breath and let it out. He knew the perfect gift to give to Sarah. It would be from his heart.
 

   “I've changed my mind. . . I'd like to buy a ring. Two of them.”
 

 
~ZA
 
 
Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers
 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Clay Animals For Airi

 

These are a set of thirty-two animals I made for (and sold to) Kaitlyn/Airianna
Don't they make such a pretty rainbow? *Grins*


Squirrel Family

Otter Family
Mole Family


Badger Family
 
Hedgehog Family

Mouse Family
Wolf Family

Hare Family
All The Little Ones

 

 


If I had to pick a favorite, I think this one would be it.
He turned out very well in my opinon. *Happy*

 
 
 
~ZA

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Poem Based On Psalm 13

Because this poem is based on Psalm 13, I decided to post the Psalm first:
 

Psalm 13

 
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.



The first part of verse two really hit me.
 
"How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?"
 
          I've pretty much asked that exact question of God often recently. Some days life hurts and I can't help but ask God, "How long?!". But I am trusting in His unfailing love and His promises to me. God isn't going to leave me alone to fight. He will always hold me.


How Long, Oh LORD? 11/18/12

How long must I wrestle with tear filled eyes?
How long will You hide Your face from my cries?
How long, from a distance, will you watch my tears?
How long shall I be waiting? Moments seem like years.
 
How long, Oh LORD, will You let me weep?
How long, Oh LORD, will Your justice sleep?
How long, how long, will the enemies laugh?
How long, how long, will You withhold Your wrath?
 
On unfailing love my hope is held.
With unfailing love my fears are quelled.
Before mercy's throne my plea is heard.
My comfort is this- Your promised Word.

~ZA


This song was in my head when I was writing that poem. :)
 
 
Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am blessed. :)


   This doesn't have anything to do with writing, but I think it's obvious by now that sometimes I just post things randomly that aren't poetry or excerpts. *Shrugs*  It's my blog. ;)

   Anyway, this is something I wanted to say and I decided to say it here.


   When I was younger I knew the world had hurts but they never really effected me. I was in my safe bubble of Christian family, homeschooling and church. I interacted with people, but I didn't really see.

    As I got older I more and more understood the hurts. My bubble got smaller and smaller. But even when I saw the hurts, they didn't really impact me. I prayed and meant it- but I don't think I understood. It didn't as often break my heart into pieces.

    Now my heart breaks. Why? I got to know people. I started listening to the pains and hurts of others- the confusion they were dealing with and the uncertainties of their families. Prayer became a lot more to me – a way to pour out my heart for people when I felt at a total loss for words. And as I more and more see the hurts of the world, I finally understand something, if only just a little:

    I have it really good. I have Christian parents who have raised me to love and fear God, to be a hard worker, and to have respect for others. I have a dad who is a pastor and a mom who home schooled me all my years of school. I'm the (admittedly bossy) older sister to three younger siblings who (though we have our squabbles) I'm blessed to have. Most importantly, I'm loved by God and I know for certain that I am His. He has blessed me in so many ways and I don't deserve any of it.

    I've been shaken a lot this year, cried for a lot of people, questioned God about His reasons for things, and done a lot of pondering. No matter what happens in my life or the lives of the ones I love, I can say with confidence that God is good. I don't always understand what He is doing and many times I cry out to Him in questioning but He always comes through. He's not constrained to my time limits and He doesn't need my permission to work in my life. He's God. He's in charge. And oh, He is so good.
 
~ZA

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Still Will He Hold

 
Still Will He Hold 11/4/12

All alone within the corner
Too ashamed to even pray.
The tears fall warm and heavy-
I long to simply run away.
 
How could I have done that?
Will He love me even still?
I turn, now harmed and broken.
Oh I've fallen from His will.
 
The pain within my anguish
Curls inside me as I cry.
Now truly I have failed Him,
Mocking words. I long to die.
 
The figure of my Master,
I know His presence very well.
We have walked through paths of laughter.
I'm ashamed how far I fell.
 
I try to hide within my corner.
Steadily He's drawing near.
In the midst of tears so many,
I can't even see Him clear.
 
Then a hand falls to my shoulder.
I wait for words of angry scorn.
But instead I hear the words,
Child draw nearer and get warm.
 
He leads me to the fire.
I shy away from the light.
Now He can fully see it.
I want to hide within the night.
 
I linger for His judgment,
Believing now He'll cast me down.
How can He forgive me
When I've muddied my white gown?
 
His eyes meet mine gently;
Kind hands wipes tears away.
Oh little one, I love you.
Let me take the burden away.”
 
“But why would You take it?
Can't You see what I have done?
You used to call me friend,
But I've spit upon Your Son.”
 
There's pain within His look now.
Oh child, do you still not know?
He pulls me to His chest.
For you I've bled and been made low.
 
“How then do You love me?
If I'm the cause of Your pain?”
I do not understand this.
My look falls to my new stain.
 
Child once You've been forgiven,
I will never let you go.
Turn to me within your sorrow,
Or your burden will yet grow.
 
I give to Him the darkness,
His touch turns it white.
The burden I had carried
Is now blessedly light.
 
I know that you stumble,
I've seen the things you do.
But no matter how you've fallen,
My blood has made you new.”
 
He's seen me as I've faltered,
He knows the doubts so bold,
But He reminds that I am growing-
Though I sin, still will He hold.
 
~ZA
 
Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seeing Now


Three of my best friends as we played on the sand dunes.

 
            I've been thinking about growing up lately. . .
 
 
 Seeing Now 10/1/12
 
I never did appreciate what I had fully
Until it began to change.
I'd spend so much time thinking about coming events,
That I'd sometimes forget the good things I had
In that moment.
 
Those moments are slipping away
And I'm beginning to see how many I've wasted.
Just because I had them in my hands
Didn't mean they were less valuable
Than the ones just beyond my finger tips.
Oh, but it seemed that way at the time. . .
It's only now I see it.
 
At times all I want to do is wrestle time into submission
And never leave this point.
I know there's so much more to see-
That there's so much for God to use me for-
But in all truthfulness,
It hurts so much.
 
It hurts to leave now behind
Because I'm leaving parts of childhood-me lying there.
Now and then pieces come,
And I try to pretend that it can be as it was
But there is no going back.
Only forward into an unknown.
 
I can't change what is coming,
Or stop the time that slips away in dancing tendrils,
But I can treasure the moments I have left,
Such as they are.
It's not as if my story has ended;
I'm just walking up a different mountain,
Fording an unknown river,
Walking into a different chapter-
It's all part of growing up.
 
~ZA
 
Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers
The quote on the picture is not my own.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Song: Life Feels Long

 
This is what I was thinking about this afternoon, and I wrote it as a song. :)

Do you have any critique or suggestions music or writing wise?
 
 
Life Feels Long 10/9/12
 
 
Thinkin' about the days I have ahead,
Wonderin' about the days of joy and dread.
Thinkin' about what it's like to leave this place,
To live forever in, the wonder of His face.

Life feels long,
When I think about the joys that I'll have there.
Life feels long,
When I think about worries and life's cares.
Life feels long,
I see the pain and sufferin',
Oh life feels long,
Because my heart is wonderin'.


 
Thinkin' about the days I've yet to live,
Wonderin' about the days to love and give.
Thinkin' about what glory I can bring,
So much yet to do, for the glory of my King.

Life feels short,
When I think about all I've yet to do.
Life feels short,
When I think about the way that I love you.
Life feels short,
When I see those who need Him much.
Oh life feels short,
Because of those I long to touch.


So I live to bring glory
Waiting for that day, I long to see.
Trusting that He's still using me-
Someday, someday,
I'll be free!

 
Life feels long,
But I'm here to sing His praise.
Life feels short,
But He's guiding every day.
Life feels long,
But I'm not afraid to go.
Oh I am God's,
And He's got a plan, I know.
Oh I am God's,
And He's got a plan, I know.
 
 
 
~ZA
 
Copyright © 2012 Ophelia M. Flowers

Thursday, October 4, 2012

More Little Clay Animals (And a Ninja Turtle)



 
The last post of my clay creatures got the most comments any post of mine has. Since ya'll seemed to like them, I thought I'd share some more. ;) 
 


 This squirrel and table set were a gift to my friend Grace Pennington when I went to visit her.






The badger and bunny were made for the Garner brothers, Jonathan and Joel who I know from Holy Worlds forum .





 


 Here are a few random pictures I took of them from different angles:















These two pictures are from a set I'm working on for Kaitlyn, another person I know from Holy Worlds . They aren't painted yet, and I've got a few more to make (umm, eight down, twenty-four to go to be exact. ;) o.O ) .

 
The coloring is off in this picture- these are white too, just the lighting was making the colors funny.
(Oh, and BTW I'm very pleased with the look of the little otter! She turned out cute!)
 
 
 
 
 'What is this?' you ask. Isn't it obvious? ;)
 
 
This is my seven year old sister, Virginia, and Michelangelo, the teenage mutant ninja turtle.


She made most of it, I just helped with little details like the shell texture and the mouth. She was playing with clay while I was waiting for mine to bake so we made stuff with hers. She was very proud! *Grins*
 
Let me take the time to randomly mention that we're fans of the Ninja Turtles in my house. ;)


That's all for now!
 
 
~ZA