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Category Archives: Faith for Hope

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Real. Talk. – Supporting Each Other.


encourage each other daily, Hebrews 3: 13

 

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Food for Thought


Act relationaly, instead of religiously.

 

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Three Things I Learned From My Baptism


baptism

So this past Sunday I got baptized. That’s me in the middle with my bald-headed self coming up from the dunk.

This was a watershed event in my life because it was a public profession of my faith – our baptisms are held at the ocean front in Virginia Beach!

In reflection, here are the three things I’ve realized from my baptism-

1.   Accountability

I’ve been accountable to my Lord since I was born again. On the other hand, this outward profession of my faith seemed a little out of my comfort zone. Probably because I realized that now my actions, words, and thoughts may be judged by my peers – everyone who surrounds me. You know, the Christian who talks the talk but has a harder time walking it?

What I think, do, and say has the possibility of being put under a microscope and analyzed to see whether or not I’m walking my talk. And that is good. I like this idea of being held accountable by my peers because it will help me be a better person.

It will take me to the next level of humility. It will teach my when I don’t act in accordance with a God whom I now believe loves all…no matter their story, hurts, failures, and brokenness. This is the Lord I’ve come to know in the past several years. And I want to be held accountable against His bar of

love

joy

peace

patience

kindness

goodness

faithfulness

gentleness

and self-control.

These can be difficult ideals to live up to at times, but with the help and support of ALL my friends, the process will be a worthwhile journey.

2.   Self analysis

This is the perfect time for me to take a personal inventory. How have I done to this point? What changes do I need to make moving forward? What are my goals in life? Are they in alignment with His will? How have I treated others? Have I held people up, or brought them down? Have I spoken life enhancing words to someone, or have my words been toxic to their ears?

Answering these questions will lead to an honest assessment of my life to this point. The answers will help me understand my performance. The answers may not be things I want to hear, but they will help me to empathize and understand the impact I’ve had on people’s lives – whether helpful and positive, or hurtful and negative.

3.   Desire to grow

I was born with an innate desire for self-improvement. Maybe it’s because I was also born with a harsh superego that thrashes me each day. Either way, this event marks a new stage in my life.

Baptism doesn’t make you a new person, it’s just an outward act for an inward decision.

Baptism doesn’t make you a kinder or happier person.

It doesn’t make you personable with everyone you meet.

It doesn’t give you the patience to weather the DMV lines, or go the extra mile for someone that’s wronged you. That’s what the Lord does in your life.

Me, I have a long ways to go. I am selfish. I say hurtful things. I say things out of anger or defensiveness. I act carelessly.

Not all the time.

But I have my fair share friend, believe you me. It is the Lord’s mercy, grace, and compassion that has turned me into any of the good things I am today. They are for His glory and due to His will.

He has blessed me with things like patience (through many, many, MANY trials), and my own life after I hanged myself last September.

He has also blessed me with the things He has taken away – toxic relationships, a failed marriage, a decreased streak of anger and resentment.

This event was a milestone in my growth as a man, as much as it was an event in my growth within my faith.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the Comments section. Do you have a particular way in which your baptism (or other life event) has positively effected you?

 

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“Save My Life”, Sidewalk Prophets | [VIDEO, LYRICS]


image of two friends hugging on a park bench.

I heard this song today and the words just struck me to the heart.

I’ve been there so many times.

Thought someone else might need to hear them, too.

https://youtu.be/4L28WL-_vjU

“Save My Life”

We’ve met half a dozen times
I know your name I know you don’t know mine
But I won’t hold that against you

You come here every Friday night
I take your order and try to be polite
And hide what I’ve been going through

If you looked me right in the eye
Would see the pain deep inside
Would you take the time to

[Chorus:]
Tell me what I need to hear
Tell me that I’m not forgotten
Show me there’s a God
Who can be more than all I’ve ever wanted
‘Cause right now I need a little hope
I need to know that I’m not alone
Maybe God is calling you tonight
To tell me something
That might save my life

I’m the pastor at your church
For all these years you’ve listened to my words
You think I know all the answers

But I’ve got doubts and questions too
Behind this smile I’m really just like you
Afraid and tired and insecure

If you look me right in the eye
Would you see the real me inside
Would you take the time to

[Chorus]

Save my life

I am just like everyone
Jesus I need You, I need Your Love
To save my life

[Chorus]

 

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Sunday Thoughts. [QUOTE]


I like quips and quotes.

…those little one-liners that speak volumes in my life.

I heard this one on K-Love and it struck me to the core.

I wanted to share it with my friends, in the hopes that someone feels moved in some way, and in their own life.

X Chris

Quote saying, "Satan knows our name and calls us by our sin. Jesus knows our sin and calls us by our name."

 

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3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge | Day 3


Thank you to Dan for nominating me for this challenge and pushing me to become a better blogger. Please check out his site and the challenge at – http://hi-im-dan-and-im-an-addict.rehab/2015/06/29/3-days-3-quotes-challenge-day-1/


Roaring lion with Bible scripture, There is a story behind this quote. And it’s found in the halls of the Virginia Beach Juvenile/Domestic courthouse.

Courage. I was afraid at how the events would unfold.

Strength. I was weak of heart.

Having to stand in front of a judge for false accusations regarding visitation issues with my daughter.

I got up slowly that day. Cautiously. And sat down at my kitchen table to spend my Quiet Time in my devotionals. This time always has a calming effect on me and helps me to reorient my compass no matter the situation.

Today was no exception.

So I prayed and said, “Lord, let your will be done.” That was it. That’s all it took.

The devotional for that day was focused around this verse. For the rest of the day I was calmly assured that things would work out. I didn’t know how. But they did.


Dan asked that I nominate three other bloggers for this challenge. There are several more than that whom I know you will be blessed to hear what they have to say, and I cannot just limit it to three.

♦  Each of you will nominate three others who will do the same to repeat the process.

♦  You will have three days to post three quotes.

♦  Dan told a story behind each of his quotes. And I used visuals for mine with a short blurb behind it. The format is up to you.

Have fun!

Here are my nominations-

sassafrass the feisty

morgueticiaatoms

mistakenldy

caterpillarandthebutterfly

mindslikeours

abbiegrrl

 

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Do You Need Peace Right Now? [JESUS CALLING, DEVOTIONAL]


So to me, these two devotionals are what Jesus is all about.

As a child I grew up to believe that the Lord was some sort of angry God waiting to cast judgment on my every decision. The Jesus Calling app has led me to a different understanding.

He is a Lord who cares and is empathetic. He laughs when I laugh and he hurts when I am sad.

These devotionals have helped bring me through my valleys…my times of worry, anxiety, and pain.

I’ve posted these devotionals from my journal in the hopes that they touch the hearts of my friends who feel like I used to (and sometimes, still) feel-

♦  I grew up, and still struggle with shame and guilt

♦  I still struggle with my self-image

♦  I was angry, especially at God – sometimes my current circumstances

♦  I felt lost 

♦  I hated going to church, and I hated when other Christians judged me and pressured me

♦  I struggle with depression and feelings of worthlessness

If you need peace in your life RIGHT NOW, I encourage you to get the Jesus Calling app and search “Peace”. Thank you for taking the time to read this and passing it along to others.

-Chris

Peace devotional from the Jesus Calling App, 19 March

Peace devotional from the Jesus Calling App, 19 March

Peace devotional from the Jesus Calling App, 19 March

Another devotional on Peace from the Jesus Calling App, 2 April.

 

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My Anchor Point.


I’m not perfect because I’m a believer.

I follow because I am so imperfectly broken.

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As we have opportunity, let us do good to all.


You know someone right now who doesn’t want to live anymore.

You have someone in your phone contacts that is in the darkest place they could be right now.

You have a friend who is so beyond broken that nothing makes sense to them.

You have the power to give them hope.

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[Image of two soldiers hugging each other and crying. Quote says “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all. Galatians 6:10”]

 

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A Little Medicinal Miracle


antidepressant_005a

So I’ve chosen a high deductible health care option this year and have been super stressed about being able to afford my meds – the rusty bars that keep Specter precariously caged and out of sight, locked somewhere in the basement of my soul.

You see the price on the one in the upper left hand corner? That’s for Abilify. Yeah buddy.

SIDENOTE: Abilify has been approved for generic production by the FDA and now costs $0.00. I guess I could have just said it was free.

I had to go without my Adderall (THQUIRELL!) for a couple months. And that was fun.

Like drinking decaf.

So here’s how my meds stack up-

Lexapro          $129.00

Trazodone      $17.99

Abilify              $899.00

Adderall          $102.99

______________________________

$1148.98 (Excuse me while I go rob a small bank. Be back in 10.)

So back to the point…sorry. First day back on the Addy-rall.

I go to pay for my meds and the total is $0.00!!!! (Yeah, I guess I coulda just said they were free.) It looks like I paid my deductible. whootwhoot

Small miracle.

Big lesson. In humility. Doubting that He would provide for me.

Point taken, Lord. It’s just so hard sometimes. Thank you for Your grace.

 

Revisiting My Coping Strategies.


I decided it’s time I revisited and reevaluated my coping strategies. Last year I hanged myself and was tethered to a belt for around 45 minutes before my friends saved me. When I was about to be released from the psychiatric institution I had to provide my input in the coping skills portion of my crisis plan. I would have done better if they had told me to think about this ahead of time so my answers (though they were honest) weren’t well thought out. As you can see, it’s been long due for an overhaul.

coping skills_002

Also, instead of trying to fix the problem once it’s started, I know I need focus on what to do to prevent the problem from happening in the first place. You know, preventive maintenance not damage control – put the oil in the engine so it won’t seize up, not fix it once it does.

So I’ve taken an honest look at what I’ve done in the past to self soothe and cope, and compiled a list of things in no particular order. These are all things that have brought me to a place of peace and have helped me through my depression.

mermaid_fire_0021.   Art.

I like to create nautical and beachy-themed art from upcycled materials. Trash like spent wine bottles and scrap/pallet wood. I started a short-lived business which has recently become a necessary ending. I don’t regret that I stopped and will still continue to make things for birthdays ,etc., but the large scale production for custom orders and art shows has found its way full circle. Art, whether sketching, calligraphy, mixed media, painting, writing poetry, or photography has always found a place in my heart for coping and self expression. Some of my friends have said that it masks my anger and resentment. I guess the magnitude of the pain manifests itself just as powerfully in the more beautiful things of life. If people like my art, I guess I have a lot of pain I’m dealing with.

2.   Collecting Sea Glass.

As a kid I really disliked going to the beach. I grew up in Connecticut and was a semi-city boy. I used to balk all the time when my aunt brought me and preferred to stay poolside if anything. Since I live at the beach, this was a way of thinking was sure to change after some time. Our beach is rather off the publicly beaten path, which is fine by my introverted self. There is something soothing about being able to walk the calm shores of the bay by myself that grounds me. There is something rewarding to be able to bend down and find a piece of foggy/”cooked” sea glass or an intact shell that is perfectly shaped. When you’re depressed you don’t feel like enjoying these simple things and this is one such example of something I am trying to get back to. No excuse. It’s too beautiful out to not enjoy this.

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Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Strength [SCRIPTURE]


I’ve been feeling pretty weary lately. Felt others could use these verses, too.

isaiah 40_29_31_002

 
 

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To The “Motherless” [VIDEO, LYRICS]


I have a friend – no an Angel – who is struggling with an extreme emotional pain today. She is in a fractured, broken relationship with her mother. This song is for her.

She is my Angel because she took the noose off my neck when I had hanged myself.

I know she would want this song to be dedicated to all the hurting mothers and daughters. She’s just that kind of lady.

“Right Beside You”

I’ve seen it and felt it
Hopelessness with no lifeline
The wicked are feeding on
Innocence and our decline

You and I we are the same
Torn apart by different things
All our faith is barely alive
But we’re going to make it through the night
I want you to know

When the world is on your back
And you think that you will never last
When you’re lonely and you are confused
I’ll be right beside you
When the walls are closing in
And you think you’d rather sink than swim
When you think there’s nothing left for you to lose
I’ll be right beside you
I’ll be with you

We are precious
More than priceless is our worth
Loved by the Father
Heaven’s children here on earth
You and I we are the same
Lifted up above the pain
By it’s wounds we have been healed
And by our love it is revealed
I want you to know (I need you to know)

When the world is on your back
And you think that you will never last
When you’re lonely and you are confused
I’ll be right beside you
When the walls are closing in
And you think you’d rather sink than swim
When there’s nothing left for you to lose
I’ll be right beside you

Hold on, don’t you let go of me
I’ll be here through it all
Hold on, when you’re ready to fall
I will carry you
I will never leave you
I will lift you if you fall

When the world is on your back
And you think that you will never last
When you’re lonely and you are confused
I’ll be right beside you
When the walls are closing in
And you think you’d rather sink than swim
When there’s nothing left for you to lose
I’ll be right beside you
I’ll be with you
I’ll be right beside you

 

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Praise the Lord!


A day or two ago I blogged about the struggles I was having with being able to pay for my Abilify, and how the USFDA had just approved a generic version.

Tonight I went to purchase my share for the month and didn’t have to pay anything! I was so excited because I was going to use a coupon from the website that allows you to pay only $5.00. Because I have insurance, I didn’t have to pay anything for the generic version.

This is just a miracle when my account is upside down; the medicine costs about $890; and my doctor gave me a card bringing the monthly charge down to $25.00 per refill.

If this post is choppy it’s because I needed to get as quick a shout out to the Lord as I could. It didn’t have time to be edited.

I am so thankful. Thank you for Your Grace and for providing for me.

-Chris

 
 

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Lord, why the heck are You doing to me? [Devotional]



devotional_our situation in life_001

Why are You causing me to suffer, Lord?

Several years ago the above quotation wouldn’t have made sense to me. In fact, it would have made me angry, disgusted, and resentful. I remember some specific situations…

♦  When I found out my brother broke his neck and was going to be fully paralized

♦  When I decided to end my marriage

♦  When I totaled my truck and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (NOTE: No one was hurt. Yes, I made a stupid choice.)

How the heck could these situations be for my good?

How could they be in my best interest?

How could a God who loves me let these things happen?

Why the heck would He allow it? Especially to one of His own children?

I didn’t get it.

Answers and Understanding – 

Now for the most part, I have a different frame of mind. Bear with me…

♦  Why did He let my brother break his neck? To be honest, I’m still trying to figure this out and it may be something that I never do understand. My brother can probably answer why but let me answer it as it fits in to the above quote.

“The outcome will be for His glory.” My brother is a walking example of the Lord’s power to heal. My brother was not supposed to have any function in any of his limbs. Broken at the C4 vertebrae, he was diagnosed as being a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. He was a devout Christian prior to his accident. Now he is a walking testimony for the Lord’s power to heal. Just like He did when He healed the physically broken and diseased, or raised the dead.

♦  Why did He let my marriage end? The marriage had turned toxic. Maybe we were never supposed to marry in the first place. Whatever the reason, I have changed for the better in some big areas. Self- improvement is a continual process and I have a looooooong way to go. I am far from perfect, but I have made some profound improvements in several areas in my life-

♥  I have become more patient. Still working on this on I-64.

♥  I have become more empathetic towards others.

♥  I am able to be softer and kinder towards others. 

♥  I am growing in a healthy relationship with my daughter, unfettered by the chaos of a struggling relationship.

The marriage was ended for my good. Was it the most harrowing and torturous experience I have been through? Yes. Would I do it again? No. Do I wish this on my worst enemy? No way.

♦  Why did He allow a DUI into my life? Let me just re-emphasize that this situation happened because of an immature decision I made. I honestly don’t believe the Lord planned for me to blow a 2.0 at the scene of the accident after jackknifing a light pole and running into the fence of a military base.

Like the situation in Job, I don’t believe the Lord caused it. I believe Satan did, and when he approached the Lord, begging Him to let Job be attacked the Lord allowed it to happen. Satan wanted to mess with me and wreak havoc on my life. I believe the Lord let it happen because He knew I needed to be corrected.

In closing…

Because of my growing Faith it has been easier to try to search for the greater meaning in my trials and my valleys. Is it so very hard at times? Absolutely. Am I happy through the rough stuff? No. Am I thankful for the lessons I have learned? Certainly.

Ultimately, I have come to see that there are two reasons for why the Lord allows or causes things to happen – to perfect, or to correct.

When I suffer through my trials with Specter and suicide, I just think that I’m being strengthened for something bigger though I have NO idea what the heck it is.

I do know that He’s given me a calmness and peace to put my experiences out there for others to read about. Certainly not for my glory – there is no fame or wealth here. But once in a while a comment will come through with a thanks, or “I really needed to here that right now.”

I thank Him for giving me the strength and courage to write about my mental condition.

The credit is given for His glory.


 

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When you feel like God isn’t listening… [Image]



teacher remains quiet during the test_001


 

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“Best I Can”, Queensryche [Video, Lyrics]



This has a positive message – recovery from being broken.

“Best I Can”
A child alone in daddy’s room

The gun was hidden here
No one home to catch me when I fall
A young man now in a private chair
I’ve seen the world through a bitter stare
But my dream is still alive
I’m going to be the best I can

I want to be a busy man
I want to see a change in the future
I’m gonna make the best of what I have
I want to write for a magazine
I’m gonna be the best they’ve ever seen
I know I’ll win if I give it all I can

I won’t let go, gotta make the grade
No, I won’t let it go
To be the best man, the best man that I can

Back street hoop star you’ve got it good
You were the wonder of the crumbling neighborhood
Now taking bids on the next six digit plan
Showed me that my will survived
The tragedy that came into my life
giving me hope and the new start
that I have

I won’t let go, gotta make the grade
No, I won’t let it go
To be the best man, the best man that I can

Step by step I dream the plan
From my chair to walking man
This constant dream is on my mind
Chase the light I see ahead
Luminate the path I tread
I live to be the best I can

Now I’m moving forward
And I’m never looking back
Straight ahead, focused on the big attack
On a roll and I’m never slowing down
I won’t be torn between
The man in the chair
And the man that’s in my dream
I’m going to melt the two men into one

I won’t let go, gotta make the grade I set
No, I won’t let it go
To be the best man,
the best man that I can


 

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“On My Own”, Ashes Remain [Video, Lyrics]



“On My Own”

There’s gotta be another way out

I’ve been stuck in a cage with my doubt
I’ve tried forever getting out on my own.
But every time I do this my way
I get caught in the lies of the enemy
I lay my troubles down
I’m ready for you now.

[Chorus:]
Bring me out
Come and find me in the dark now
Everyday by myself I’m breaking down
I don’t wanna fight alone anymore
Bring me out
From the prison of my own pride
My God
I need a hope I can’t deny
In the end I’m realizing I was never meant to fight on my own

Every little thing that I’ve known is every thing I need to let go
You’re so much bigger than the world I have made
So I surrender my soul
I’m reaching out for your hope
I lay my weapons down
I’m ready for you now.

[Chorus]

I don’t wanna be incomplete
I remember what you said to me
I don’t have to fight alone

[Chorus]


 

Good Friday. Good Thoughts.


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Jesus Calling App. [Tutorial]

Jesus Calling App. [Tutorial]

What Mobile App has enhanced your Faith and helped with your mental condition?

Hello there, and thank you for stopping by! You may or may not have heard of Sarah Young’s devotional resources from the Jesus Calling series. If you have you know why I’m writing this info-torial. If you haven’t, please give them a try. They are soon be a fav. I’ve been using the Android mobile app on my phone and love it!

jesus_calling_007

In the interest of keeping this short, I’ve included the links for both the Android and iOs apps below, as well as screenshots with brief perks of the app. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Weekend Inspiration [Scripture]

Weekend Inspiration [Scripture]

Hi folks. It’s good to have you. If you haven’t already, I invite you to visit my Faith for Hope section of the site. The verses, stories, posts, and quotes have given me hope through my clinical depression, the weekend, and when Specter claws his way out of the shadows. They also provide hope and strength through recovery from my suicide attempt.

I pray for your peace and courage as you walk through your own dark valleys. He is there and will provide for you according to His will.

-Chris

What verses or quotes help you through YOUR struggles? Please share them with us.

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Weekend Hope

Weekend Hope

Hi folks. Thanks for visiting my Faith for Hope section of the site. It’s good to have you. The verses, stories, posts, and quotes have given me hope through both my clinical depression and the weekend when Specter claws his way out of the shadows. They also provided hope through my recovery from my suicide attempt. I pray for your peace and courage as you walk through your own dark valleys. He is there and will provide for you according to His will.

wpid-20150308_102215_20150308102549723.jpg

 

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Strength Through Your Weekend. [Scripture]

Strength Through Your Weekend. [Scripture]

Found this in my journal today. Sending it to all who need strength through one of the hardest times I used to experience – the weekend.

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Strength through the weekend…

Strength through the weekend…

NOTE: Other faith-based thoughts can be found under the Faith for Hope dropdown tab on the menu bar.

Weekends are my times of weakness and an open portal for Specter’s attack. I attempted suicide on a Sunday night. You are not alone in your struggles. May this give you strength through your valley and weekend. May you have the strength and courage to reach out this weekend. May the person you reach out to have the courage to travel with you.

-Chris

joshua19

 
 

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MISFIT POETICS

Truth Vindicator

Liberating truth and free thought with words of wisdom, wit and wonder

Joys of Joel

The Poetry of My Life through My Writings and Journeys

Someday Tomorrow

On a journey to a happier place

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