grace | five minute fri(day thirty-one)

My name means grace.

Hannah, from Hebrew, meaning favor or grace.

We talk about grace a lot these days. With good reason – we all need it. Desperately. Grace is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

The ordinary grace between you and me, the forgiveness, the smile, the gentle words. The incredible, perfect, overwhelming grace from Him. The grace that I want to drown in, that I beg for day after day, that I forget far too often.

Grace is something I’m not sure I can do justice with words.

But my name means favor, as well. And I think that grace is an expression of favor. Free and unmerited, the dictionary says.

He has given us grace because He loves us.

We have found favor in His sight.

And this, this is the beauty that brings me to my knees.

That somehow, I have found favor in His sight.

Truthfully, I have stumbled my way into favor. I have blundered my way into His sight with skinned knees and a sinful heart, and He has forgiven.

He found favor. He gave grace.

And this is the truth written on my heart, the truth that claims my soul.

This is my name.

One who has found favor.

I’m ready to live into it.

————–

it’s five minute friday, where we link up with Lisa-Jo to write for five minutes on a word. it’s also the end of 31 days. PRAISEALLUJAH. but really. it’s been a good month, and PTL it’s over. it’s probably going to be quiet around here (#noblogvember) as I take some time to recover from the sprint that was 31 days. if you’ve been reading along, thank you from the bottom of my heart, and never fear: I shall return. perhaps with more bad haikus.

lead | day thirty

i’ve always been

one to keep my head above water

treading limbs, fighting lungs

i’m all in

(but i’d like to keep my hair dry, thanks)

well i sure know how to sing

that if grace is an ocean

we’re all sinking

but i also know how

to not sink.

i’m tired

of dipping toes

and wading up to my ankles.

so let the waves

pull me under

i will let out this breath

i’ve been holding

sink like lead

and let the water

wash over me.

———–

one. more. day. I kinda can’t believe it’s over? and am also…pretty glad it’s over. and amazed I made it this far. today’s word from Amy and if you want to give me a prompt word you got one chance left! tweet it @hannahboning.

frost | day twenty-nine

frost comes

silent in the night

icy fingers wrapping around

every leaf and branch and blade of grass

there’s something so beautiful about

the wintery death that crystallizes on every green thing

throwing spring into such sharp relief

so far away

but just hold on, darling

dig your roots deep and keep believing

frost comes silent

a forewarning of what is to come

ice and snow and windy nights

dig deep and find the beauty in that death

because frost melts with the sun.

———-

two. more. days. hollllllla. today’s word from Sarah and like TWO DAYS GUYS TILL 31 DAYS IS OVER. i’m a little excited. 

whole | day twenty-eight

two halves make a whole

or four quarters

five fifths

six sixths

seven sevenths

eight eighths

(i could keep going

but i think you get the point)

that we are made of a million pieces

a million little shards

that make us whole

coloring our days

name, age, birthday

how many bones you’ve broken

your favorite color

do you sleep on your side?

do you prefer sunshine or rain?

a million little things

make you who you are

a million little secrets

the way your nose wrinkles when you think

your half-asleep smile

a million bits of you

and it might take

my whole life long

but i want to learn

every

single

one.

———————

there are three days left in 31 days. yes. three. count em. get excited. today’s word from my friend Ashelyn. 

 

ache | day twenty-seven

there’s an ache down in my bones

a hollow sitting in my heart

that is roughly the size

of you

 

there’s an empty in my hands

where your fingers fit mine

and there’s a longing in my lungs

to hear the rhythm of your breath

 

my shoulder feels too cold

without yours pressed against it

and my laugh sounds flat

without yours twisted into it

 

see there’s this ache in my bones

because your bones should be walking through this world next to mine

and yet

they’re not.

————-

whoop whoop. one day closer to November. more poetry. suprise. today’s word from Vanessa. 31 days is almost over so if you want to give me a word get on it! @hannahboning

world | day twenty-six

I just want you to know

that this world is a better place with you in it.

yes, you.

I know. I know.

I know it doesn’t feel that way sometimes.

I know you think you messed up.

I know you think you don’t matter.

but oh, darling, you do.

there is a beauty in your eyes

that has nothing to do with their color

and everything to do with your soul

there is a strength in your steps

simply because you are still walking

and you hold your heart in your hands

try and unclench that fist, darling.

just a little.

just a bit.

because everything you are

doesn’t need to be hidden.

and this world can be harsh,

I know. I know.

but I promise you that bruises heal

and there are people pulling for you

and I just want to see you shine.

because I know you can.

and this world

is a better place

with your heart

and your soul

and your dreams

and your smile

in it.

—————

it’s back to poetry-like-things for 31 days. who’s surprised? that’s right, no one. at least it’s not about me not wanting to write. and it’s not a haiku. ba-bam. everybody get excited because there are five days left. today’s word from Erin, who’s kinda awesome.

together | 1000 words for five minute fri(day twenty-five)

day 25

“We could do it, you know.”

I freeze for a second, still looking through up at the tree branches through the empty wrapping paper roll. The overgrown grass tickles the side of my face as I turn towards him. He’s sprawled in the lawn just inches from me, close enough for my arm to bump against his as I drop my cardboard tube to the ground.

He’s still holding onto his cardboard tube, bent and battered from our swordfight with his little brother and sister, turning it over and over in his hands.

“We could get out of here. We graduate next year and then you know, it’s like they say, the world is our pearl.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s not how the saying goes. It’s oyster. The world is our oyster,” I respond.

“Whatever. I like mine better. Oysters are way less valuable than pearls. You’ve got a what, one in a thousand chance of finding a pearl in an oyster? But if the world is your pearl, you know you’ve got something good ahead,” he says, turning to look at me. “And we’ve got something good ahead.”

I sigh, looking back at the sky. We’ve been over this a million times, ever since we were little kids and realized that at some point, we were going to grow up and be able to make our own decisions and maybe, just maybe, get out. We’ve been scheming about road trips and Europe and oceans and endless sky and new faces. Holding onto hopes of escape.

But we can’t.

“Your relentless optimism is really annoying, you know that?” I sit up, wrap my arms around my legs and hug them close, curl myself into a ball. It’s easier if I just don’t let myself dream those dreams anymore.

“Amy, we can do this. We’ve known each other since third grade and we’ve wanted this for as long as I can remember. Come on. We’ll graduate, we’ll go to college, we’ll get out of here. We’ll go somewhere, anywhere! There’s a whole world out there and I am determined to be someplace where people have bigger dreams than becoming night shift manager at the Wal-mart.” He sits up too, turning to face me, crossing his legs underneath each other like he used to in third grade, during storytime, when we first met. When our mutual distaste for the read-aloud book choices (Magic Tree House, really? Those books stopped being cool in second grade) caused us to bond together against a common enemy. We won, and From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was our next read-aloud book, and we’ve been best friends ever since.

Best friends going nowhere. Stuck in this little town.

“You know I can’t leave my grandparents. They’re getting older, really old, and I don’t know what they’ll do without me. They’re barely able to pay rent, and that’s with me working overtime at the diner. And you know you won’t leave your mom and Joey and Sabrina. Not with him.” I grab pull pieces of grass out of the ground as I speak, tying knots in them, pulling the knots tighter and tighter until the grass breaks. It’s an old habit.

“She’s leaving him.”

“What?” I drop my grass and look up, look into his face. He looks excited, really excited. There’s no way. He should know better.

“She’s leaving my stepdad, Amy. She told me last night. She applied for a job at the mall and she had an interview and she’s pretty sure she’s going to get it. And once she does, she’s leaving him.” He’s waving his hands in the air, gesturing like he’s giving a speech. He’s always been quick to jump into action. Overexcited. I’ve always liked that about him. I’m the farthest thing from jumping into action. He’s the one who gets me to jump off the tire swing into the lake, to climb the tree, to laugh and smile and let go a little bit.

“Don’t you see?” He grabs for my hand, squeezes my fingers. “This is our chance! She’s going to be okay. The kids are going to be okay. I can leave. We can leave!”

“But we can’t,” I say. I can’t watch as his smile fades, the confusion creeping into his eyes. “At least, I can’t.”

“Amy, your grandparents will be okay. They have friends here, it’ll be fine. You know it will. This is all you’ve ever wanted – to get out, to travel! This is your dream.” He’s still looking at me, leaning forward, insistent. He knows, he’s the only one who knows about the map on my wall. The map full of pushpins and hopes. But it’s time to pull out the pushpins and untack the dreams from the wall and face reality.

But I can’t leave. I know I can’t. My grandparents are here. They raised me and they’re all I’ve got left. I can’t just up and leave them. I don’t how they would manage, not since my grandad’s stroke.

“I can’t,” I whisper.

I can barely handle the disappointment in his face as he leans back, settling his weight onto his hands. “Well,” he manages, “I guess you’re right. Your grandparents need you. My mom probably needs me, too. I should stay with her. Make sure the kids are okay.”

It’s always been my dream to get out of here. But more importantly, to get out of here with him.

And when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to leave, the only thing that’s kept me going is the thought that he’d be here too. I’d take care of my grandparents, and he’d take care of his mom and his brother and his sister. We’d get through it together, like we always did, sharing inside jokes and candy bars to make the bad days just a little bit better.

We’re get through it together, and maybe one day that together would turn into an us.

But that’s the secret dream, the one he doesn’t know about. I can’t tell him now, not when he can leave. Not when he’s got a possibility, a perhaps.

“I can’t leave,” I tell him, dropping my face so he won’t see me trying to frantically blink back tears. “But you still can.”

He would stay, if I asked him to.

“It’s okay,” I say, meeting his eyes and forcing a smile. “You should leave. We don’t have to do it together.”

——————

and today, we’re smashing 31 days into five minute friday (where we link up Lisa-Jo to write for five minutes) into 1000 words (aka Megan’s 31 days where we get a picture and then fiction about it) because I can. #honeybadgerblogger. also hello long blog title. sometimes I think I’m clever. trying my hand at some longer fiction and not sure how I feel about it but it’s words and it’s not words about not wanting to write so I’m going to consider this a definite improvement over the past few posts.