Exhaustion

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exhaustion
hits
us all-
usually
when we
least expect it
or want it…

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you know the bone weary feeling-
you don’t want to move
eat, shower or talk….
but you pick yourself up
because life calls you.
inside you though,
you hear the hum
of stillness
you feel your heart beating
your blood flowing
your lungs breathing
you close your eyes
for just a moment
soaking in the peace
knowing this comes
from acceptance
of the routine of life
the demands of parenting
the long hours of work
knowing
inside
there is
a shift
in the ability to manage it all…

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now,
when the baby cries
you smile
count to ten
and hum a lullaby
while gently rocking
back and forth
along with the
movement of each breath…
when work takes longer
and you arrive home
needing to cook dinner
for hungry mouths
you stroll in smiling
kiss the tops of everyones head
pop in a favorite family movie
announce “it’s pizza night”
and are surrounded by shouts of
glee and hugs of adoration
as your feel your heartbeat
expanding the love
you feel for this blessing…

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you peel off your clothes
wash your hands and face
you grin into the mirror at your reflection
and as you slip into your comfy clothes
you curl up your toes
letting the stress of the day go
when from around the corner
your handsome husband bounces in the door
wraps you in a warm embrace
kisses you softly and whispers,
“honey, you are genius-
pizza and a movie on a Wednesday…”
you giggle
knowing he gets you
he understands
sometimes you are just overwhelmed with life
and that’s perfectly ok with him
your blood races
and you feel flushed
with the gift of grace…

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exhaustion now lies upon your lap for a nap
as your hunker down
laughing and nourishing with your family
and as they one at a time
nod off to sleep
you too close your eyes
and silently pray
“thank you God for all my blessings
forgive me for not cooking tonight
or throwing in the laundry
or checking homework
tonight i place our lives
within the palm of your hand
knowing
each day
you
have
our
back.”

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Read More Exhaustion

The Gift of Faith

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and so these tired
old, barnacled feet
begin a new day
the air is crisp,
and possibilities
whisper to me in the wind…
i gaze toward
the mighty ocean
which is full of power
all churned up
crashing down
hard upon the soft sand
as if it is
spanking it…

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the sky begins to lighten up-
glorious pinks
contrast against the
harsh, cool blue of water
i am caught up in the
simplicity of the reflection
of light
the soft beauty
and grace
of each new day
i get to begin
here
on my little stretch of beach…

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i hear the calling
of the sea
as my eyes open
early morning
and greet God…
for me
God is the ocean
i am the moon shell
no matter where I am
HIS
grace
light
love
energy
surround me
HE
washes me of my sins
and
unconditionally
forgives
the fact
that i am human
there are no expectations,
only acceptance

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that i am flawed
just like the barnacled shells
i find washed up on the shore…
the pinks
turn to yellow and orange-
the sun is waking up
birds take flight
as i gaze at their
wingspan
wishing i too
was mid air
gliding over
the vast
ocean
and
power
of
GOD…

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as i return home
my feet
place upon the weathered wood
instead of soft sand
i carry with me
the gift of this
day
and
every
day
which
is
my
FAITH….

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Read More The Gift of Faith

break yourself open

let go
let go

As I reread my words
I am thrown back to guilt.
Shame and filth.
I never felT wanted.
I felt like a burden
I also feel warmth.
The love
and closeness of my mother
who I loved
so so much.
I feel empty.
Like a part of me
was never fully developed.

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I also feel
grace and light from God.
The memory of HIM
cradling me so very often.
Of HIS
sending whimsical images
full of brilliant color
to surround and encompass me
filling me with a deep faith, grace
and the assurance
that I was not evil.
A knowing
that I was here
to color this world.
My mother was the only person
who accepted this about me
or encouraged it openly.
to others
I was a disappointment-
I was not a boy ,
I was not driven,
I was not to be
a student of math or sciences or even logic.
“UNACCEPTABLE!
You will not go to art school,
you cannot make a living with art.
You will go
to the school I pick
and major in business ,,,”
How these words
echo across my soul
and reverberate
throughout my entire being
they were my core-
my belief –
the knowledge
that this is who I was,
worthless ,
untalented ,
lazy,
and not accepted or loved.
That I must NOT
be THE someone
my soul screamed I was.

My heart + His heart=love
My heart + His heart=love

My veins bled color.
My writing
the words of my truths.
I was to deny it all.
I was to succumb
to the orders given,
the demands-
I was already rejected
by most
and to embrace individuality and originality
meant cutting the ties
that bound me to my parents.
IMPOSSIBLE
for I loved my broken,
tired,
beautiful,
giving,
loving
mother.
I would not deny her
or turn against her.
Thus I walked a path
unknown to my entirety
landing repeatedly
within the sweating,
slimy,
grasping,
suffocating,
demanding hands
of demonic torture
to who Sheri was.
I bobbed and sank,
tossed and tipped
side to side
amongst the yearnings
to live true
and the demand,
the expectation
to be someone
I did not want to be.
for most of my life
i followed
the rules
always finding spaces
to create
to bring color to…
art never left my soul
God always kept me safe
and when i hit 41
and broke free
i started down
God’s chosen path
and landed where I am today
secure
safe
loved
happy
accepted
and
very
very
very
strong
for now
with God only as my Nautilus
my center
I am free to
give back
and help others
find their balance too.

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Read More break yourself open

“I AM…”

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a warm soft melodic hum
glazed across the top
of her soul
echoing love
throughout her body…
eyes adjusting to blinding light
of truth
her ears hear
HIS whisper,
“I AM…”
As if one
with the ebb and flow
of the tide
she can feel
HIS grace
well up inside her
as the steady current
of faith
energizes her
bringing her to an
eye-opening
acceptance of her
life’s chosen passages…
“I AM…”
grows louder
as her ears begin to ring
pounding out the march
of a million tiny choices
she has made
steering her into the wind
instead of against it
always choosing
the easy way out
never fighting
until,

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“I AM…”
churned within her blood
until she cracked
wide open
and allowed her faith
to flow
from the center of her being…
no excuses
plain truths lie scattered
like broken shells
at her feet…
head bowed
she tosses her hair back and forth
shaking out the knots
of poor decisions, loss,
harsh words and failure
until
HIS silky robe
wraps around her
HIS hands lift her
HIS words
caress her
as she falls
backward
letting go of all resistance
as HIS words,

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“I AM
WHO I AM…”
become the air she breathes
knowing
when the voices
of friends, family, strangers
ask her
“who does she think she is?”
“why should i believe in God?”
“Who are you to tell me what to do?”
she will stand tall
in her faith
and utter the words
Moses said to the Israelites:
“I AM has sent me to you…”
Join me
2015
on
the
NAUTILUS
awakenings
for your soul

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Read More “I AM…”

The Mad Rush to Stillness

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majesty

she is there
in
HIS
light
on bended knee
hands clasped
eyes closed
face turned upward
she stills
feeling the power
this moment
brings
knowing
there are lists waiting
messages beeping
emails unopened
bills to pay
food to cook
she unlocks
the door
of
HIS grace
breathes in
HIS
love
acceptance
energy
forgiveness
light
and
falls
gently
into
the palm
of
her
faith…
Emmanuel,
God
is
with her…
the music begins
the tears flow
and her body
is swallowed up
within
these words…

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“She lit a candle in a downtown cathedral
Quietly confessing, counting on a blessing
She looked as if she had nowhere to go
I could see her weeping
Hands together hoping you would hear…

This is the time of year
We hold our families near
But God let us be a friend to the hurting

Oh Emmanuel, God with us
Spirit revealed in us
That we may be your hope to the world
Oh Emmanuel, God with us
With a light to break the darkness
That we may show your hope to the world
Emmanuel, God with us
Be God in us

I moved in closer just so I could see her face
Maybe she was a mother
Someone’s only daughter
Her silver hair shimmered like the snow
Christmas bells were ringing
Now beside her kneeling I asked her name

(And she said)
This was the time of year
I had my family near
But they’ve all gone and I have been so lonely

So with my family that Christmas day
A girl of sixty years would laugh and play
And as we watched her dance our eyes were full of tears…”

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hands

memories
overwhelm her
she is in a small chapel
her mother
holding her hand
candles are lit
and tonight
is Christmas Eve
1986
her son
Nicholas
safely tucked
within the nursery
as
silent night begins-
together they sing
weep
and
drink
in the beauty
of Christ’s birth
neither one
knowing
that
this would be
their last
as mother and daughter..

this
is
that
time
of
year

to hold my loved ones near
cherishing them
and opening my heart
to
all
who
need
me
by
silencing
the technology
and welcoming
in
wholly
the
gift
of
God’s
son
Jesus…

Merry Christmas to you all

Read More The Mad Rush to Stillness

The weeping, walking woman

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the woman begins
warm feet
sinking into cool sand
the sun still sleeps
her soul is stirring
a hurricane
building up inside
she feels the funnel cloud
forming
swirling
picking up debris
from the long day before
when the stitches
she had been
so meticulously placing
across her soul
had been yanked out
in one tiny sentence,
“way to step up, mom…”
her pace quickens
the ache inside growing
her steps are heavy
she burns inside
onward she pushes
each word thrown at her
a new upwelling of failure
which bounces
off her bones
like an echo
reverberating across
the trampled sea grasses
of her life
there in front of her
is the storm
pieces caught up in the funnel
voices screaming
diminishing
punishing
securely
knotting
around her heart
as it swells up
trying to beat in rhythm
to keep pace with the madness
and then,

the
LOG
appears
and she falls to her knees
and begins laying her
sorrows
at the feet
of the mighty ocean

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tears fall.
soon
she is sobbing
for the weakness
in her which allows
the ripping
of the healing cord
forgiveness
has given her
she is choking on
encumbrance
when
she feels
the hand
of
GOD
as he
whispers
“chin up, buttercup…”
her body fills with
warmth
forgiveness
grace
light
love
energy
acceptance
faith
in that one small
moment of unfurling
her burdens
She stands
shakes out her beach towel
and feels
the lightness
of release
a smile
now lightly painted
across her
face

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she notices the birds
playing at waters edge
her eyes catch
a barnacled shell
she wraps her fingers
around it,
shakes it clean from sand
and places it in her pocket
to carry home
just as GOD
has dusted her off
and cradled her in the palm
of HIS hand…
the walking, weeping woman
averts eye contact
with fellow travelers
her silent gaze fixed upon the
current of water
to the east
she is not looking
for a good morning
or hello
she
is
not
there…

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her spirit is gliding across
the water
with the pelican
and soaring
up to the sky
with the seagull
she
is
not
ready
for
this
day
one glance to the west
and she grins
at the sight of her truck
her calling
her colors
her life
knowing
silly, goofy
Stewie
will be waiting for
her
striking his pose
saying to her,
“What? you want a piece of this?”
now laughing
she thanks
GOD
for this
healing love
he has placed
within her life
turns towards the steps
head held high
and begins
to paint her day
in color…

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Read More The weeping, walking woman

never leave to find

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As a seeker
i tend to rush
causing moments
of Grace
to go unnoticed.
life’s daily list
of “to do’s”
seems insurmountable…
walking on the beach
turns into
faced paced steps
a jog
and my whirling
soul
questioning
“how do i get it all done today?”
and then i see it
the Chapel
the white point
defining Cocoa Beaches
skyline
and i stop
walk to a nearby log
and place myself
gently down upon
the cool, damp wood…
closing my eyes
i begin…
“Lord, thank you for this day,
this moment
my life…”
i can feel HIS grace now
my heart slows
my mind clears
and i see HIS hands…
upon HIS palm is
a warm blanket
i curl myself into it
and begin once more…
“Lord come into my heart
my soul
my words
my hands
help me to live, breathe, eat, write, paint
through you
sharing the knowledge
and grace
my faith
brings into my life
filling me with
peace…”
this is my daily mantra
asking
thanking
believing
trusting
all
in
God
and
HIS
plan
for
my
life…

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My husband is a surfer…
he always says,
“never leave waves to find waves…”
I have never left my faith,
even when life was
storming around me
i fell to my knees
and asked for grace
knowing there
was nothing more lovely
or comforting
than my faith…

Never leave Faith behind…

This week
my tiny book
NAUTILUS
will be for sale.

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i have no expectation
what i have is
gratitude
for the journey
the words
the images
God has given me
to share with you…
always trusting
HIS guidance in my life
never leaving behind
those words
HE echoes across my soul
Sheri,
you
are
home…
i turn to walk North
emptied of lists
to do’s
expectation
assumption
worry
carrying with me
my faith
God is in my pocket
I never leave HIM behind…

may you feel HIS
“GLLEAFF”-

Grace
Light
Love
Acceptance
Energy
Faith
Forgiveness
as you walk
your own path
toward home…

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Read More never leave to find

lunch with Jesus

lunch with Jesus
lunch with Jesus

LUNCH WITH JESUS

I
decide
I
want
to
have
lunch
with
JESUS!

i pack
a light lunch
and head out.
As i walk
looking down
at the shells
on the beach
i notice
they are all
beautiful
new shells.
No barnacles
or tiny pieces
just
gorgeous
shiny gifts.
this bothers me
because
i don’t feel shiny
and i
am
imperfect…
where are all
the broken shells
i love so much
i wonder-

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i keep walking
and begin singing-
“going to the chapel
and i’m
going to meet Jeeeesus…
gee He really loves me
and I’m going
to meet Jeeeesus
going to the chapel
of my faith…”

I place my blanket
upon the hard sand.
my view to the east
is the churned up
at low tide
Atlantic Ocean.
to the west,
is the white steeple of
Club Zion Community Church.
as i enjoy my lunch my eyes
begin to water…
logically
i know it is
from the NE wind
whipping at my face,
but my soul knows different.
soon
i am weeping
in praise
of HIS grace.
i am being washed
of my sins
and feel
an unfurling of weight
being lifted.
and then i hear it…

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HIS VOICE

so soft
i still even more
to hear HIM…

“come into my chapel, Sheri
I am here waiting for you
come and sit beside me
i am
nowww embraaacing
allll of
your worries
lifting
all of your sooooorows
Sheri,
Come sit
in the chapel with me…”

i lie down and begin to remember
the many sanctuaries
placed upon the path of my life.
closing my eyes
the center of my Nautilus appears.
i breathe in and out
the essence of Jesus
and the strength of my faith,
knowing with God
as my center
i
am
balanced.
I pack up my lunch
knowing life is calling
and begin my journey toward home.
My feet,
at a much slower pace
as i walk north
my eyes searching
for barnacles…
I fiind pieces of
Sand dollars
scattered everywhere
i look
they remind me of the
legend of the
sand dollar
of the birth
and death of Jesus
found in this
lowly
shell.

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my vision
is much clearer now
with the sun upon my back
i pause
and allow
the cool waters
to brush across my feet…
as if i have crossed a border
the sand dollar pieces disappear
and
broken ones begin to emerge.
this tells me
i am walking the right path,
which is strong
steady
and chosen
by God.
HIS love
and
forgiveness
bless my life
giving me knowledge
that my faith
will see me
through any storm.
Lunch with Jesus today
stripped away
my lost sadness
and renewed
my soul.

Read More lunch with Jesus

stillness

beginning
beginning

I awaken to stillness,
roll over and greet God
with thanks and praise.
as i rise i feel HIS soft veil
of grace encompass me
and for a brief moment
i am a child again
wrapped up
in the silky softness
of Jesus’ flowing robe.
i feel HIS strong arms
embrace me
as my tiny hand
falls into HIS palm…
Knowing together
we will walk this day
moment to moment
breath to breath
guide to innocence…

I carry this image with me always.
feeling this tenderness
brings a smile to my lips
and a smoothness to my step
as i walk along the shore
in the warm afternoon sunlight.
the beach is scattered with
many pieces of shell.
Broken and barnacled
they still have their center..

this reminds me of myself
i am scattered pieces of memory
held together with stitches
in different hues of blue paint
knowing i am happiest
when covered head to toe
in the coolness of blue
always needing yellow
for air to breathe.

i imagine
my paint splattered self
enfolded within the
soft silky
oneness
of Jesus’
flowing robe
knowing
HE would still hold me
still love me unconditionally
even if i were to leave
pieces of me
upon hIS cloth
for
this is what
walking with Jesus is about
HE loves us
in our broken and barnacled shape
with sandy feet
tear streaked eyes
flaws and all
HE holds us
within HIS secure
and forgiving essence
assuring us
WE
ARE
LOVED.

barnacled me
barnacled me

holding this knowledge close
i slow my pace
anticipating
greeting
the waters edge
one baby step at a time
knowing i don’t
need to rush in
all at once
and submerge my being
in the cool waters
for what i am searching
for is already
inside of me
HIS
voice
echoes
calling me
rocking me
to
my
center
my Nautilus
GOD

Read More stillness