Friday, February 27, 2009

Beautiful


Beautiful is the woman who loves the Lord
She grows sweeter
With each passing year

In the midst of difficulties
Trying circumstances
She leans on, depends upon the Lord

She has a peace that passes all understanding
When others around her are anxious
She has a quiet trust that the Lord will work it out

Her countenance radiates
Joy and happiness, peace and love
As she grows more like her Savior

Her voice is sweet
She chooses to bless and not curse
Praise God and pray

She befriends all whom she encounters
Confident that the Lord has brought them into her path
Humbly she offers encouragement and wise, godly counsel

She raised her children
In the fear and admonition of the Lord
Trusting God’s faithful promises to those who love the Lord

She does not grow old
No matter what the calendar might say
Instead she’s growing into the woman God designed her to be

She has an inner grace and radiance
A light that shines forth
As she basks in the glory of the Lord

She looks forward
To the day the Lord will bring her home
There she will be reunited with those who have gone before

She does not fear for her future is secure
Her hope can never be shaken
For her foundation is built on Christ alone


By Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 26, 2009


One of my favorite things is to turn on the digital picture and watch the pictures randomly scroll through the hundreds and thousands of pictures that are loaded on that little tiny memory card. Yesterday as glanced over at the picture frame…Jean’s picture came up…and in my mind I could hear her sweet voice from singing the night before at Bible study. Soon the pictures of many other women whom I am so blessed by God to know came up. I found the contrast striking to the last poem I wrote about...“Mean Girls”. What a difference these godly women who continue to grow in the Lord. With each passing year, they grow more beautiful…and radiate the love of Christ.

This poem is dedicated to these beautiful women of God that I know. I thank you for the example you share…and pray that one day…I will grow into the woman God created me to be. Love you so much and thank God for you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mean Girls





When Beth uttered the words
“Mean Girls”
Without elaboration I knew exactly what she meant

Her words brought uncomfortable laughter
From the audience of women
Who discretely examined their own attire

Immediately came to mind
The names and faces of those women
Who display their wares freely for all to see

A mean girl has been blessed
With a beautiful, attractive body
And she believes that’s where her self-worth lies

A mean girl thinks “it’s all about me”
She allows you to be her friend
So long as you both agree

Provocatively dressing
Tempting men to look or even stray
To contemplate what it would be like to be with the “other woman”

Her speech is flirtatious
Prompting a man to think
That it’s him that she truly desires

When in fact
Nothing could be further from the truth
But he has willingly fallen into the snare of the deceiver

What about that teenage mean girl
Where are her parents
When she’s walking out the door

What kind of dad let’s his daughter dress that way
Knowing full well
Boys aren’t just thinking that she looks pretty

Where a mom’s natural desire
To protect her daughter
Teach her modesty and that true beauty is found in the inward spirit

Mean girls can be found anywhere
With cleavage prominently displayed
Short skirts revealing their shapely form

Lest you think
The mean girl is unaware
Of her effect on men

Don’t be na├»ve
Her dress is done with purpose
Her intent is to attract attention

Her power and drive
Her self esteem
Is rooted in her ability to make a man look


By Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 24, 2009


The above poem was inspired by Beth Moore’s study in Esther. In Session 3 Beth talks about how it’s hard to be a women in a mean world. Sometimes that mean world includes “mean girls” who are lurking and tempting our husbands, sons, brothers and friends with their provocative revealing dress. While I’d like to believe that there are no mean girls in church…at times it seems there isn’t a lot of difference between those in the church and those in the world. The other day I heard a quote that rang true. They said “where there is a low view of God…there is a low view of sin”. What was once viewed as sinful is no longer seen in the light of God’s holiness.


Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. – 1 Peter 3:3-4

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Darkest Hour


In my darkest hour
You are my bright and Morning Star

When my head hangs low
You are the lifter of my head

When tears fall I remember
One day you will wipe every tear from my eyes

Even when I feel alone
You are my Friend who will never leave, nor forsake me

When life leaves me burnt, devastated and scarred
You bring forth life, growth and renewal

From the depths of sin
You redeemed my soul

From the edge of destruction
You snatched me from the enemy’s hand

When I feel as if I can’t go on
You lead me through dark ravines and narrow canyons

When my foot slips on the dangerous precipice
You uphold and steady me on the path again

When weakness overtakes me
You strengthen and sustain me

When doubts assail me
You keep my mind stayed on Thee

When my circumstances demand an explanation
Your presence is all that I need

When nothing around me makes sense
I trust that Your eternal plan being worked out

When I am heavy laden
I go to the One who bids me to come for His burdens are light

When decisions demand an answer
I come to You for wisdom

When I am restless with uncertainty
Peace and comfort are found in You

When pain consumes me
I turn to the Great Physician

When the wait seems long
I will wait upon the Lord

When no one seems worthy of my trust
I will trust in the One whom the Father declared worthy

When my trials seem big
I will run to Him who is bigger still

When this lamb is lost and has wandered far away
I cry out to the Shepherd who will seek and find me

When death presses down on me
I look forward with eternal vision


Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 23, 2009


Dedicated to the many people who are bearing heavy burdens, where explanations are few. May you continue to trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…and cling to Him ever so tightly.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Unforgiveness Heavy Price



My heart has turned cold
It’s hardened towards thee
Over a hurt perceived

What if the offense was intentional
What if you don’t care
What if the words “I’m sorry” never come

I know I should open my heart
Find the words to say
Restore fellowship with you once again

Yet my heart is reluctant
Unwilling to risk vulnerability
By giving voice to the pain

My heart has grown cold
It’s visible on my countenance
Effecting my thoughts and deeds

Oh Lord, I know this is wrong
Tender my heart
To Thy perfect will

My conscious is pricked by the words I read
Unforgiveness exacts a price
Heavier than I’m willing to pay

I want harmony and unity
With my fellow Christian
Fellowship restored with God and man


Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 16, 2009

The Path Not Chosen



On a path
She did not choose
Yet it will willed by God

Slowly
Eventually all
Would be taken from her

Even there
Blessings were found
In the midst of Alzheimer’s

Once unable
To openly express love
She unashamedly offers hugs and affection

Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 2009


While unpacking the remaining boxes from our move I discovered a writing tablet that I used to carry with me on my visits to see my mom. I discovered this poem that I had written just before her death. The exact date is unknown…but it was in late April 2008 shortly before her death.

My mother Gayle Lorenat feared Alzheimer’s because her sister had died from it. She saw its effects and the devastation first hand. I hated it because it took a smart, bright, proper woman…and robbed her of dignity. Yet at the end of her life…after six years of Alzheimer’s I had to admit…there were a few blessings from God in the midst. One of those blessings was that my mother who had never been one to be affectionate or say I love you was finally able to freely express love.


The picture above was taken of my mother, Gayle Lorenat shortly after we moved her into Brighton Gardens. She was more with it at that time and tried to give the appearance of normal. She had to wear a bracelet that would set off an alarm because she liked to “escape”. I called it her “LoJack” bracelet. She would walk away and have no idea how to get back. She was unable to communicate coherently.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Broken, Hurting Soul



Here I am
A sitting duck
Vulnerable
For that which so easily entangles me

I have sinned
Against God
And against man
Justifiably reproached by those who love me

I long to flee from sin
Say, “No!”
Turn my this ship around
But how

I haven’t the strength on my own
Where do I begin
How do I start
To turn my life around

I’ve tried…really I have
It seems like every door is closed
Slammed shut in my face
What am I supposed to do now

I don’t even know if I believe in God
But I do believe in the devil
For he has deceived me
I believed his lies…hook, line and sinker

Drugs and alcohol
They were supposed to numb the pain
Help me feel good about who I am
Make me forget about everything I’m not

But before I knew it…sin took hold of me
What kind of son betrays his own mother
The one who loved me
Always freely gave

I went from the occasional
“Little white lie”
Before long
My heart grew cold and calloused

Now I’m
Trapped by my iniquity
With ease I’ve hurt and used
Anyone in my path

Society tells me
I’ve served my time
Paid the price
For the wrong I’ve done

Now I’ve been set free
I want to change…I really do
People tell me they are praying
Not sure what that means…but please don’t stop

Yes…I desperately need God’s help
But I also need
A helping hand
From real live flesh and blood

Someone who understands
Knows what I’m feeling
Encountered those demons within
That I’m fighting with all my might

Someone to hold me accountable
Show me how to get along
What to do…what not to do
How to live in the day to day world

Someone who understands
What seems like baby steps
Is a giant leap
For this broken, hurting soul


Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 10, 2009


When I read the first lines of this poem to my husband Chris he thought, “Oh no…what has Susan done that she needs to confess?” But I assured him it wasn’t my story I was writing about…but instead a compilation of some of those broken, hurting souls we know. It is by the grace of God…I’ve been spared the wayward path of some.

But we all know some of these people…family or friends whose lives have spiraled out of control. Or maybe…just maybe…it’s me that God has delivered from my wayward past. May God help these broken, hurting souls.

Thank you to those who have a heart to help. Those who offer a helping hand, prayer, wise counsel from God's word…and tough love. This poem is dedicated to Gary Peterson who heads the Prison Ministry at Kindred Community Church.

Missing



I tell people that you are missing
The truth of the matter is
I have no idea what’s become of you

Until “that day”
I had always thought highly of you
Believed that you were upstanding and hardworking

Then the truth of your character
Was revealed
The depths of your depravity became clear

After that
I didn’t want to have much to do with you
The occasionally obligatory phone call sufficed

Because of our mom
We had to have some contact
But then you faded away

Has it been five or six years now
I forget
Time and events all seem to run together

Honestly I found myself angry
Resentful
That you had nothing to do with our mother

No cards
No phone calls
No checking in to see how she was doing

Was it guilt that drove you away
Or because the well had dried up
It was no longer profitable for you

Well, your mom has been dead
For almost a year now
I have no way to let you know

Or are you still out there
Anonymously
But somehow still in the know

It’s hard to imagine
That the one who resorted to dishonesty
Would not seek his fair share of what remained

That’s why I fear
Wonder daily
What’s happened to you

Did you cross the wrong person this time
Reap the consequences
Of the depths to which you’ve sunk

Is your body lying in a shallow grave
Hidden…never be discovered
Will your fate ever be known

Are your remains in a morgue
The name John Doe
Tied to your toe

Are you imprisoned
Has the law finally caught up with you
Are you paying society its due

Or are you far away
In some distant land
Hoping to avoid the penalty for your wrong doing

There is not a day
That I don’t think about you
Worry and wonder what’s become of you

I don’t know where to begin
Or what to do
To find you

The search I paid for
Came up fruitless
All traces of you disappeared a few years ago

Only God knows what’s become of you
Dear brother, I pray that the Reveler of mysteries
Will reveal what’s happened to you

Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 11, 2009

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sin's Perfect Sacrifice



In Your word
I learned of the sacrificial system
Instituted by Holy God
Who cannot look upon sin

When sin entered the world
Our sinless nature was changed
Try as I might…no amount of good works
Can save me from my sin

In my sin nature
I miss the mark
Transgress when I intentionally violate Your law
I descend into iniquity when I called evil good

Sacrifices seem so bloody…so brutal
Repulsed at the thought
Of an innocent dying
For the sins of another

The high priest of old
Laid his hands upon the sin offering
Confessed the sins of the nation
The sacrificial animal was killed…its blood sprinkled

What seems so brutal
Was the provision of a holy, loving God
To cover sin
Restore relationship with sinful man

Thankful to be living
When the sacrifice which cleansed me outwardly
Has been replaced by Christ’s perfect sacrifice
He died once, for all…and took my sin away

Perhaps I can imagine
Laying my hands upon Jesus’ head
Confessing my transgressions and iniquity
See my Savior afflicted and nailed to the cross

Would sin lose its grip on me
Would I recognize the high cost of my redemption
Would I realize that the only contribution I made to my salvation
Was the sin which Christ chose to bear

A plan so amazing
Conceived before the foundations of the world
My name was written with everlasting ink
In the Lamb’s Book of Life


By Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 4, 2009

Dedicated to Terri…thank you for so faithfully preaching the full counsel of God’s word!