A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Journey of Grace
Light In
The Darkness

The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
We Are The Church

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A Mother's Cry for Self
By Laura Anne Harrison

I hunger for an open space . . .
A space
where I can taste the silence . . .
A space
where I can feast upon independent breeze-sounds
playing bouncing games
with half-empty branches in the trees . . .
A space
where I can dine upon boisterous wind-clamor,
shoving crimson leaves
into crunchy death-heaps
upon the unsuspecting ground . . .

I am famished--
starving for the soothing caresses
and soft affection of the wind
as it tiptoes across my tired face
and marks uncharted paths through my hair . . .
I crave the quiet conversation
of the wind hushed and subdued
before the rains come
stepping down from sky-clouds
to wash my mind,
to cleanse my soul . . .
a gentle wind to lift me
beyond the "house-crazies"
with its constant echoes
of others' wants and others' needs . . .
a fragile wind to set me free again . . .

An "inch of time"
--that's all I ask--
to be alone with me
and I'll return with "the appetite of me"
satisfied, fulfilled . . .
I'll come back with all of me
Refreshed, renewed--
a mother-born-again.

LAURA ANNE HARRISON is a former High School English teacher and a retired Assistant Librarian in the NC History/Genealogy Room in the Reference Department of Hickory Public Library. She has been married to the same man for 36 years and is a mother and a grandmother. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, Laura's grandmother reminded her that one's writing talent is a gift from God and that what she writes is her gift to God. Laura is currently working on an archival history of the 251-year-old Old St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Catawba County, NC. If you would like to write to Laura, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.

Forks in the Road
By Brenda LaVelle

There are forks ahead in the road.
I do not know which way to turn,
So I turn to my Lord, my Guide,
For the lesson there to be learned.

My mind has grown overcrowded
With so many choices to make,
And I want to choose the right one,
Only for the Lord's Holy sake.

I must stop at the crossroads and wait,
Until He has made the way clear,
For I don't want to make the mistake
Of abandoning Jesus, so dear.

The waiting seems more than I can bear,
For I want to move steadily on,
But without the say-so from God,
I wait on the path all day long.

My Lord, all I want is Your nod,
For Your will, not mine, to be done,
This pilgrim only to be led,
And then I will joyfully come.

For without You I dare not make
One step out of Your plan Divine,
Because all that You are I want,
Your very best, for You to make mine.

Until then I will sing Your praises,
Your name I will lift to the skies,
For You are my Lord and my Master,
The beauty and tears in my eyes.

BRENDA LAVELLE is a poet who writes for the honor and glory of God. Brenda says she would like to start a ministry with her poems from God, because He literally gives them to her during her morning time with Him. As God blesses her with this poetry, Brenda wants to bless others with it. If you would like to write to Brenda, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.