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A Portrait of Winter

I look out my window
and stare down at the sloping land below
Silence is awakened
by the mighty winds that blow
Above is the darkened sky
decorated with starlights that glisten through the atmosphere

Winds now softly blow
Listen to the dead leaves that crinkle
as the trees gently sway
Winter has come
and I am left here in the cold

Soon the trees will be completely bare
They will say...
Look at me standing
stripped of my beauty
I will stand here naked and lifeless
until springtime's glory brings to me
the breath of a new beginning
A new hope, gifted to me from God

The trees...they were there
full of glory with all their colors
The portrait of fall
Why did you leave me then?
In our most cherished season?
For now when the leaves begin to change
I will be reminded of your death
along with the memory of the happiest day of my life
...the day we married

I stand here now looking at the ugliness that winter has brought,
robbing me of my tranquil scene
The trees are just like me
A part of them stripped away
and now they must stand alone
They must be strong enough to make it through the cold
Just like me...
they stand there waiting

Some days, I wish I didn't have to be so strong
But I know I must go on
I miss you so much
And some days the pain cuts deeply into my soul
Winter has come, my love
My arms are empty
And unlike the trees
the part of me that has been taken...
is gone forever

The chill from the bitter cold winds
leaves me feeling angry
It reminds me of that day
When evil came
and took the breath from your lungs
And although I know your spirit lives
and walks in peace with Jesus
I just want you back

I pray for the winter to end
I pray for the new life
to feel the warmth of the sun
I will know that I am truly strong
when I have stood so long
and waited for the glorious sun
Winter has never been my friend
And now it is my enemy

Winter, you may bitterly bite my soul
But your days are numbered
And the time will come
when you must leave me alone
Until then, I stand firm
Enduring your harshness
And counting the blessed day
when you are no more

(c) Sharla Chachere' Costelow
November 21, 2000


Against the crooked trunk of this old tree
I rest my weary body
My mind is entangled in a world
that is not pleasing to Thee

Beside the water I rest
You come to me
I can feel your presence
For you always here my pleas

Fast paced, beyond my knowledge
So much unknown
Beside the water...
my thoughts, my questions..
are vast, complex and chilling to the bone

Oh Lord, I see my reflection upon the ripples that stir from your breeze
A creation I am.... a wonder
Beside the water, I lift my face
So much unknown, this earth that is surrounded by space
Created because of an angel who had fallen from your grace

Beside the water
My body rests
But my mind continues
And my soul senses things that are new
A new awareness of everything around me
Everything that has always been there...unnoticed

Have I awaken from my sleep?
That zombied state I journeyed in?
The knowledge, it is too deep
I cannot explain what is happening

Why, my Lord, have you given to me
this brain that thinks too much?
That searches, and seeks for answers?
And then I feel the touch
The touch of your presence that reassures me
that all things need not be understood

Once again I am told
That it is not for me to know
Beside the water
Within the wooded acres
My hands I do fold

Beside the water
so soothing
My Lord, I do pray
Guide me Lord and lead me on my way
Fulfill your purpose for creating me
And when it is all too much for this human soul
Beside the water....again, I will await for thee

Sharla Chachere' Costelow
(c) 1998


now that the story has been told
the desolate heart left lifeless in the cold
does come to Thee
in search of some comfort

in search of some hope
seeking a way to cope
neither gallant, nor honorable
no glory does my soul behold

before you now, I stand in discontent
I dragged myself through the slough
believing you to be too distant
fatigued and broken
before you on my knees
my eyes are opened to the Omnipotent

nocturnal dreams that patronize my existence
become enlightened, insprired
by your presence
master mind of creation
begging for my salvation
now I have reached my overtone

before you now, discontent has become humbled
this broken soul that has stumbled
forever imperfect
daily battling conflict
looking behind where I once stood
living in the falsehood
of my peers

desolate heart, now comforted and not alone
tattered edges imbricated
now smooth and enameled with your grace
I stand here now
a pillar, the honey locust
strong because of your embrace
oh desolate heart, no longer scorching in the heat
no longer fading in the dust

desolate heart, it is no more
forever are you knocking upon my door
my soul to comfort
my soul to keep
no longer enslaved to the creep
that exists to take away my crown
the creep who tries to bring me down

desolate heart, gone forever
lead me now wherever
take me to greater things
oh desolate heart, never was forsaken
only fooled by this mind
that loved to make you believe
shadowed your eyes until they were blind

desolate heart, now behind me
now I break free

Sharla Chachere' Costelow
(c) 1998


by Sharla Chachere' Costelow
June 26, 2000

 Satan is the master of illusion, and Christ is the master of truth. The danger lies in testing the image. Because if it is Satan holding an illusion before our eyes, and we reach out to grasp it, to see if it is real... we can be pulled deeper into the image and closer to Satan’s grasp on us. But, if we stand back. If we wait with prayer, Jesus will never allow us to get that close. No matter how many times we take an unknowing step toward it, He will pull us back until the image is seen for what it really is. Through prayer and seeking truth all illusions will be revealed.

 Live each day with no illusions. Know that in this world there is no freedom. There is no peace. There is no perfect parent, no perfect child, no perfect anything. Satan took care of that a long time ago when he tempted Adam and Eve, and they fell for the first illusion upon mankind.
 Love is not a romance novel. Love is not a  physical lust. Love is not simply enjoying what is pleasing to the eyes.  Love is so much more.  If love is missing, than lust will dwindle, and what was once pleasing to the eyes, no longer is.
 Love is trust. Love is commitment. Love is honor and respect. Love is deep within the soul, not only within the heart. Love is knowing that no matter what someone does or says; no matter how much distance is between you; no matter what life may bring, you will love them even more tomorrow than you did today.
 Joy is not winning the lottery, living in a mansion or driving a Mercedes Benz.
 Joy is being able  to laugh. Joy is feeling the grasp of your tiny newborn’s hand around your finger. Joy can be found in many things around us, but sometimes we can be too busy to ever notice. Joy is good health. Joy is simple things taken for granted..  like having legs to walk, eyes to see, or a body that we can move. Joy is something some never realize they have until crisis takes it away.
 Life is not a witch (to coin a common phrase more politely.)
 Life is never-ending. Life is what we choose it to be. No matter how we have to live our lives in this world, it was not granted to us without cause. Every circumstance can lead to a fulfilling purpose.

 Don’t be fooled by Satan’s trickery. What can seem to be so real, so true... may be nothing more than a lie. No matter what Satan throws at us to break our souls, the soul can never be broken, only the body that carries it. But it’s through the mind that he can reach the soul. Because it is the conscience mind that makes choices. As long as the choices remain, truth can still come to light. However, what brings truth?
A church building will not bring truth no matter how many services you may attend. Truth does not come from man, or even the heart. It certainly doesn’t come from the mind. Truth comes only from knowing Christ. I don’t even know how to explain that. The explanation can only come from understanding after it has been received. I suppose it is best described as a relationship, simply spending each day in conversation; just as we talk with our family and friends. But, without this relationship, no other relationship can be complete.
 Remember that in this world almost nothing is what it seems to be, and even God’s Word can be used by those who are delusional. Live life without illusions. Seek truth in all things. Know Christ as your own personal Savior, and talk with God each day.