Sunday Photo Fiction: Poem – Italian Sonnet “The Holiday Spirit” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

—–

Credit: A Mixed Bag

——

(Written Christmas Day)

Though times they change and we move on in life, 

We cannot say at Christmas, we’re not blessed

Food to eat, fine company, we confess —

To much chocolate, many sweets, little strife; 

Compared to the state of many a place ripe, 

With destruction, death, such hate which festers

To much is wrong, but be at peace nonetheless. 

His time draws near, have cheer; lasting hurt wiped. 

Peace on earth, goodwill to all mankind, let’s —

Be kind to our neighbours and remember to share, 

Life is tough, let no one be in despair

Let us share the good news, for He is born set —

Healing broken hearts and pains of the past bled, 

Great physician who taught, love each other, care

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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Photo Challenge: Poem – Alouette – “A Scare” #amwriting #poetry 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s photo prompt:

——

Credit: Natalie Deprina

—–

She’s only twelve, bright —

The only girl separate from,

Her brothers four.

Parents her adore,

Their last child, girl comes, 

For Mom she’s a sight.

—-

A surprise one spring;

Thought there’d be no more kids born.

They so much wanted,

Girl so undaunted;

By elder brothers‘ scorn.

Bird fluttering wings.

—–

She laughs so cheery,

Going about her day, she’s teased

By family with love. 

Animals adore, 

She’s the darling who pleases,

Makes life less dreary.

—-

Out feeding horses, 

Then, rides with such glee calling,

Her dogs following. 

Danger in shallows, 

Ocean so near, tumbles, falls;

Swims smart, resourceful!

—–

Into warm arms pulled,

Mom near lost her dear, her pearl.

Dad is so wrathful, 

She wasn’t thoughtful

And where were her brothers? She —

Was grounded some. 

—–

Didn’t think enough;

She’s safe, all is well, she’s hugged,

Held close by her Mom,

Told, “Be careful hon!”

You’d be missed, you’re much loved.

Mom again gives hug.

—–

She’s happy again. 

Learned she’s human, as others. 

Preteens can die too.

Better to ride through —

Ocean waves, with friends, brothers. 

So life it remains

—-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Interview With Jackelyn Santana


Welcome back to another December issue of my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing the gracious and beautiful Jackelyn Santana who was recently married. She has a faith based blog here: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1. She describes her blog using the Hebrews 1:11 Bible Verse: “Now Faith Is The Assurance of Things Hoped For, The Conviction of things Not Seen.”


jackelyninterview
Jackelyn Santana

1. Jackelyn, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

My name is Jackelyn Santana, I am from Miami, FL, and my family is of Cuban descent.I am a child of God and passionate about my faith. I LOVE reading, blogging, and spending time with my family.  I was married on November 11, 2016 and  I am a mother to an amazing six-year-old and a stepmother to two beautiful young ladies.

This year has been full of blessings. To emotionally prepare myself for our marriage, I spent the year analyzing myself and I’m finally at a place where I can embrace my authenticity. I spent a good portion of my life internalizing my pain, wearing masks to cope, and believing something was wrong because I didn’t have everything as it seemed everyone around me had.

Having this frame of mind enslaved me. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I was facing, but because there’s a stigma associated with imperfection and emotional struggle, I thought it was a ‘ME’ problem. I didn’t realize the truth, my problems were natural and universal.

As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.

The most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed is a group of hopeless lost souls coming together and loving each other back to life. We found a reason to smile again. This world is in such need of healing. I would love nothing more than to help spread love and healing wherever I go in my life.


” As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more  people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.” – Jackelyn Santana


2. When Did You Begin Blogging? What Does Blogging and Writing Mean To You?

I started blogging about four months ago July 20, 2016 to be exact. Blogging means everything to me! It’s liberated me. I’m free!! The more I write about things, the less ashamed I am of what I’ve faced. With each post I’ve removed the chains of emotions and experiences I kept a secret. These emotions and experiences have lost power over me.

This has allowed me to acknowledge and celebrate my spiritual growth. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers. Blogging also gives me an inside view of my soul. Sometimes I’m shocked when I read older posts because when I wrote, I let the words flow from my soul and they expressed things I wouldn’t voice out loud.


3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?

I am inspired by my faith and other bloggers. I began blogging about one-year ago, but I didn’t think I could write posts people would want to read. I’m better at public speaking than I am at writing. A co-worker of mine kept pushing me to write. I would share advice with her and she would nudge me to put it on paper. I finally decided to test the waters by submitting a guest post on Proverbs 31 Women.

They approved my guest post one-month later and I was shocked and honored.  I started writing away on my blog often. My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs. It’s become a way of life for me and I want to help others learn about Jesus in practical terms.

Many times when we think of the Bible we think of a standard which is too high for most of us to reach. The Bible comes across as something only ‘Holy’ people read. Or, we become intimidated by it because we find it unrelatable since The Bible was written many moons ago and times have changed.

These ideas of Christianity couldn’t be further from the truth. We need to find the right tools to break down barriers from reading God’s Word, The Bible, and help others understand faith in simpler terms. Believing in Jesus can guide us towards love and happiness. Once we understand the basics, our soul will keep searching for more – our hearts will be “homing our Heavenly home,” if you will, and we will grow spiritually.

By identifying with examples from the stories in The Bible, we can understand our obstacles are not too much, our lives can be molded in a way which allows us to serve both God, our families, and friends because they’re all related.

God acknowledges our need for connection and sent his son Jesus not only so that we could be saved, but so we could identify with Jesus and strive to imitate His way of life. As a woman, fiancee, and mother, I have been able to love more purely and unconditionally through The Bible’s teachings, making them a way of life.

Reflecting on the dark moments I’ve faced, I see how fine the line between good and evil can be — being saved or being lost; I want to help others be saved as I am saved through Jesus’s death and resurrection. 


“My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs.’ – Jackelyn Santana


jackelyninterview2
Jackelyn Santana

4. When Do You Like to Write and Do You Have Any Current Special Writing Projects?

There isn’t a time of day that inspires me the most. I write whenever my heart moves me to write. As of today I’m only blogging. My passion and dream is to help others. Perhaps join /create a traveling retreat group, or participate in spiritual workshops. This is a concept similar to a ‘Women of Faith’ tour, but on a smaller more personal level.

There would be one to one interaction, healing exercises, and honest group talk. I would love to help others come out of their shells and be saved through faith in Jesus and God as I was. My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.


5. Are You Planning on Publishing Any Written Work in The Future?

I have not published anything. Perhaps later in life I will be presented the opportunity to do so, or I will submit writing drafts. With only four-months of blogging under my belt I’m focusing on identifying my writing voice, interacting with others through my writing, and improving my writing skills which are at a novice level. I would also like to study theology and I think it would further advance my writing.


“My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.”


6. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

I sit in front of my laptop or a notepad and I pray, relax, and set my soul free to express itself. When an idea pops into my mind I write it down either on my phone’s notepad, or sticky notes. I may begin draft posts that I revisit at a later time when I can give my writing undivided attention. I have about fourteen draft posts which I’ve begun and I’m saving for the future blog posts.

When I first started blogging I would write and post instantly. I’ve learned to slow down and process topics, allowing my mind to continue digging for information. I will officially post my writing after I have looked at every angle.


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers Starting Out?

Write about topics you are passionate about. It feels great to do what you love. I love what I write about and it’s how I live my life. If you’re on the fence about writing I would suggest you take a leap of faith and see what comes from this desire.

WordPress has a wonderful community of bloggers and this community helps you grow as a writer. Don’t write posts for the sake of increasing traffic and followers, write on topics you enjoy writing about.  


8. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Your Writing?

I am God’s creation, I am human, I am imperfect, and I am meant to depend on God. Read this post to learn more about me.


9. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Favorite Blog Posts:

Slogging Through The Tears

By Jackelyn Santana

*****

“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature.  They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of  highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings.  They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs  the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.” –Shannon L. Alder

 *****

I am on an emotional roller coaster ride.

rollercoaster

I will not try to deny it, this is who I am, sensitivity and all. I wear my sensitivity as a badge of honor, although throughout life I have been ridiculed or further wounded because of it. I cannot control the sensitive nature of my heart. I may pretend something has not stabbed or wounded me, but more likely than not this is not the case.

For many years I have tried to harden myself, hoping that I would become immune to the blows of life, and the harsh words received from those I hold with high esteem. Despite my efforts, my sensitive nature is unchanged.

My sensitive nature is misunderstood.

sad.jpg

Those closest to me believe they understand me and my motives. They believe they can read between the lines. Many dare to correct me when I express my intentions and motives, determined their interpretation of my position is correct. My hard and serious exterior denies me the right to ever be recognized as a victim, although, my heart tells me otherwise. Many times I find myself confused, doubting my heart, thinking that there is something severely wrong because I’m always wrong and never right about my own feelings. Maybe I am bad at the core?

One Of My Favorite Bible Verses:

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”  Romans 7:15

broken-heartIn my case, I do not understand why I continue to love and care the way I do. I know better, yet I cannot help it. I continue to express my vulnerabilities to those I care about in hopes that I will be understood. The more I explain myself, the further away I get from MY truth, and the closer I get to shedding unfavorable light on myself. I allow the fighter in me to get the best of me when I feel taken advantage of. This without a doubt, is used against me as I fail to be consistent, giving in to my human frailty. I can only be silent for so long without jumping into protective mode. I can only shed so many tears without lashing out. The cruelty I spew is the cruelty I have learned through life, it is not the natural nature of my heart. I would never purposely provoke tears from anyone, not even those who have hurt me profoundly. Yet sometimes acting in this manner is the only way I can get someone to listen to my voice and believe my truth. I am neither too proud to extend an apology when deserved and make amends with those I’ve offended. My truest desire is to maintain peace.

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I am not taken seriously in my tender moments; my tenderness is taken for granted. The world demands yet resents my tenderness. Should a loved one offend me, my tenderness is an inconvenience because my tears take away from focusing on the “root” of the problem, and I am forced to slog against the tears. Should I act sternly with others, not allowing my emotions to flinch, I’m accused of being cold and harsh. The combination of my emotions is never seen as right.

It seems my sensitivity is to be used at the convenience of others. I can never be me. I’m never entitled to the beauty of my emotions. My view of my emotions is brushed off because I am overly sensitive. Yet, I cannot label the world as overly cruel, overly angry, or overly unforgiving.

I read once that instead of numbing our pain we need to identify the source of our pain and work on the problem instead of the symptom. For example, we may have a headache because we are dehydrated, hungry, or stressed. We should work on fixing those issues rather than silencing the headache calling out for attention.

sad

The same goes for my tears. My tears, the ‘water works’ as they’ve been called, are not crocodile tears. It’s not an act or an attempt to manipulate; these statements couldn’t be further from the truth. My tears are indicators that my soul is experiencing pain, something is hurting me. To stop my pain at it’s root I need to either freeze my heart (which I have failed to accomplish) or excuse myself from the undesirable situation until I’m emotionally ready. This I can rarely accomplish without ridicule that I cannot work through a topic, without being accused of being overly dramatic.

I am always apologizing, but rarely entitled to an apology when hurt because my over-sensitivity is what causes the pain, not the actions or words of others.

When is my sensitive nature ever right for me!?

People say my tears and sensitive nature take away from the moment. I have slogged away for a good portion of my life to hide these parts of myself. I keep my tears a secret and am ashamed of my weakness.

As an adult, I find that my sensitive nature and heart are not the problem. The problem is the lack of sensitivity in the world. It’s not the compassionate who are the problem; a lack of empathy is the problem!  I will continue to embrace my sensitivity, tears and all. I do not lose hope there are more sensitive people out there. I won’t (and truthfully can’t) harden myself and lose hope because I find the world to be cruel and unloving. I am who I am. I am transparent.My anger is pain masked with anger. It’s sadness for being the recipient of a pain I would never wish to inflict on others. It’s a betrayal I never foresaw. It’s the second opportunity no one else would’ve extended, yet I’ve already extended a third to my offender while knowing how the situation will likely end. It’s fighting the urge to assume the worst in others. It’s the unconditional love I am willing to give which is rarely cashed in.

It’s the product of a broken heart living in a broken world that is trying to break the best in me.

  “Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a “hot mess” or having “too many issues” are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” – Anthon St. Maarten

Slog

*****


Here Are More of Jackelyn’s Posts:


Thank you so much Jackelyn for agreeing to be interviewed. I am thrilled to find out so much about you and hope your struggles in life have become easier to handle through your faith. I hope you have more peaceful moments, than times which stress you out. Here is one more link to Jackelyn’s BlogFaith Walking Hebrews 11:1


Thanks for reading! If you would like to answer some interview questions about writing/blogging/poetry and your unique perspective and process on writing, I would encourage you to reach-out to me on my Contact Page. I would love to have you featured as a biweekly interviewee. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silken Pink Toque by Amanda Eifert (ME, IN A HAT Poetry and Prose Series) #poetry #amwriting #published


A new piece of poetry graciously published by Silver Bitch Press. I’ve never published this on my personal blog. Merry Christmas!

Silver Birch Press

toqueSilken Pink Toque
by Amanda Eifert

Wearing warm hat, soft silk wool, deny twirls
Of snow’s sharp whirls; blizzard of snowflakes fat.
Cruel wind it slaps me, forceful bitter swirls.
Winter proffers ice kiss; my toque I clasp.
And my prospering mind alters.
Wind gives me welts; I sigh, offer
More of myself, facets which smelt.
Toque softness felt; cold melts.
Though morning dealt rough day, I belt
Tune that I felt inside; toque dwells,
On blond hair well, it’s suits pastel —
Silken pink hat, with bells.
You’ll hear me jingle, my soft smile compels.
I’m hear enough, with tired thoughts —mingling;
Crowded shop, singing their need for coffee,
Here too in hat, a silent voice ringing.
Outside it swirls snow, in pink toque feel “all

View original post 186 more words

Poem: Inverted Refrain – “Light His Words” #poetry #amwriting #christmas 


Credit: Christmas Moment

——

For more information on the Inverted Refrain Type of Poetry see HERE

——

You told me to seek out glowing light, 

Shining through the shadow’s eerie prowl. 

You told me to search, put up a fight. 

But darkness creeping made me scowl,

            In a shuttered room, such a sight, 

            Light entered in my heart soft white.

——

You told me to seek beyond all glimmer, 

In rough housing, a dank stable. 

Prayers answered found in the dim. 

Move through sadness as I’m able. 

           Sunlight came in through a window.

            Broken pieces fit, once more cabled

——

You told me to seek out a source of hope, 

It’s difficult when you’re fragmented. 

When life makes no sense, and you choke, 

Forgetting life is heaven sent. 

          Words, many vital unspoken, 

          Fading dream; to him not present. 

——

You told me keep reaching for light, 

Guidence from your blessed kind words.

I’m still dealing, an unglued fright, 

But I found my resting place, heard —

         Such honour, glorious of sights, 

          A babe at Christmas, light His words. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Tale Weaver: Poem – Octain Refrain – “Charity Heals” #amwriting #poetry #charlesdickinson #christmas #taleweavers


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Tale Weaver theme, a “Dickinsian Christmas.” 

——

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

——

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” 

― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

——

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal, 

Life we’ve been taught, is malicious and cruel, 

We suffer and it’s under mankind’s harsh rule. 

Capitalism, more money, less feeling. 

Factories still, workers paid little or none. 

Have we past Dickinson’s time? Progress runs, 

Children suffer, no home or love that’s real. 

We’re not past an era of being fools. 

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

—-

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

We need homes, our family’s love this Yule. 

We need to remember those broken cruel, 

By the hand life dealt them, by their hurts stung. 

We need to let them be with us here, among; 

To acknowledge the poor, the weak, and feel —

Their pain, let them know Christ’s here, life’s renewal. 

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

——

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

Vital to understand, life has no rules, 

It’s the reason there’s pain, badness accruals

But seek to do better, show the world meaning, 

Demonstrate, don’t forget others —

Those close and those far, all are our brothers, 

Our sisters on earth; so this Yule reveals, 

Though life’s experiences have us all schooled, 

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Finish-Off Friday Flash Fiction: A Sign From God #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction #christmas 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Finish-Off Friday’s. 

——

Credit: Tim Mossholder via UpSplash

——–

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

———

“When the comet hit, the town lit up like a Christmas tree. The holidays were usually uneventful so sister Bernadette was surprised when it destroyed the Abbey. It made her think, “. . .her last dash to the mall [with her two friends had] had unforeseen consequences.” 

The sisters near this town were an austere group of nuns. Their Christmas celebration consisted of countless hours stuck in mass. Dinner was no different from any other time of year, except each nun got a piece of disgustingly hard fruit cake. Bernadette was blessed to have two friends who made it possible for her to last through each lacklustre day at the Abbey. 

Sister Sara and sister Pauline, had driven with Bernadette to the shopping center in town, deciding to buy each other Christmas presents this year — though it was frowned uponat the Abbey. Then, Pauline had said the fated words outloud:

 “You know, I’m thinking of leaving the Abbey. I don’t think Our Saviour would’ve liked such an hateful and bitter place. I wish the process of leaving was somehow easier. ” 

Bernadette and Sara had nodded in agreement and that’s when the comet hit the Abbey. All three sisters had grimaced and crossed themselves. 

“I didn’t want all those nuns to die, but I guess when God answers prayers, he really answers them,” Pauline said shocked.

 Despite their genuine sorrow at the deaths of their other sisters (most of them) a small smile touched the lips of all three friends. 

 They threw off their habits and never looked back. Clearly, this was a sign from God. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Three Line Tales: A Million Times Better #3LineTales #nonfiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Sony of Only 100 Words, our gracious host of #3LineTales:

——

Credit: Jennifer Pallian via UpSplash

——-

Everyone either loves or hates fruit bread and more often than not, this stiff and solid rock like cake which sits in your stomach as if you’ve ingested a stone, is detested by many people. No matter the tradition or reason we bake/eat fruit bread at Christmas, it is a custom many of us wonder about; I can honestly say, however, there is only one fruit bread in the world I love because it tastes wonderful and is nothing like any fruit bread I’ve ever tasted before, or will ever taste again. 

Grandma’s fruit bread wasn’t like traditional loaves of fruit bread because it was soft and tempting as I believe, any kind of bread should be; inside her bread was sugared and candied fruits much like traditional fruit bread, except my Grandma’s fruit bread was melt in your mouth and we used to toast a small slice or two for breakfast during the holidays and have it with becel; the buttery, sweet, soft bread was delicious and makes me hungry thinking about it; Grandma’s fruit bread was not traditional fruit bread — it was a million times better.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Tale Weaver: Poem – Octain Refrain – “Charity Heals” #amwriting #poetry #charlesdickinson #christmas #taleweavers


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Tale Weaver theme, a “Dickinsian Christmas.” 

——

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

——

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” 

― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

——

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal, 

Life we’ve been taught, is malicious and cruel, 

We suffer and it’s under mankind’s harsh rule. 

Capitalism, more money, less feeling. 

Factories still, workers paid little or none. 

Have we past Dickinson’s time? Progress runs, 

Children suffer, no home or love that’s real. 

We’re not past an era of being fools. 

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

—-

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

We need homes, our family’s love this Yule. 

We need to remember those broken cruel, 

By the hand life dealt them, by their hurts stung. 

We need to let them be with us here, among; 

To acknowledge the poor, the weak, and feel —

Their pain, let them know Christ’s here, life’s renewal. 

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

——

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

Vitally understand, life has no rules, 

It’s the reason there’s pain, badness accruals. 

But seek to do better, show the world healing, 

Demonstrate, don’t forget others. 

Those close and those far, all are our brothers, 

Our sisters on earth; so this Yule reveal, 

Though life’s experiences have us all schooled, 

A heart that’s been broken, needs charity to heal. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.