About Gineke van Keulen

Christian Poet & Writer.

Stargazing

Stargazing

Unsuspected,
You pray with me,
and a bird flies off,
to the horizon.

The world is so small,
when seen from above.
The distance indistinctly,
displays what really matters –
the volcano erupts,
at the correct time.

The lines in Your hands,
like roads on a map,
allows the future,
to sketch its course.
But Your hands,
like erasers,
decide the journey.

Stargazing,
is like falling asleep,
in a distant dreamland,
where you forget the world,
to find a new one.

Reality is only as real,
as you make it yourself,
and a prayer,
can only reach Heaven,
when you want it to.

Adoption

On the Dutch television is a program about adoption. In this program a team searches for the biological family of someone who is adopted. It has been on the TV for many years. I remember watching it as a teenager with my mom and my brother and it is still airing today. It has always been a fascinating show to me. The reunions are often so emotional and it happens so often that the story about why someone has been adopted is slightly different from what the adopted child has been told.

One morning, about two years ago, I sat down to write a poem. As I sat down, images from this television program flashed in front of my eyes like a vision. The poem God gave me that day gave me a completely different view on the adoption process itself. God allowed me to understand adoption from the biological mother’s point of view. Keeping in mind that not all biological mothers feel this, I do believe that the majority does.

So often adoption is only seen from the point of view from the parents who are adopting a child or the adopted child itself, but never from the point of view of that woman who had to give up her child for whatever reason she had. As a child grows in a mother’s womb, the bond between mother and child is already developed. When the child is born the bond is already established. So giving up a child that you are already connected to so deeply is extremely difficult.

One thing, that is very important to mention, is that I have never had children myself, I am not adopted and I have never had any experience with this whatsoever. So there is no way I can know all this. I only know it because God showed me. All the glory is for God alone because this is His work, not mine!

Adoption

The blue ocean slips through my hands,
after it has pierced my soul with love.
Vigorous brown trees give strength,
but they take my tears back to the clouds,
preventing the rain to fall down,
on my fragile empty hands.

For a while we shared a home,
in the hands of Him who gave us life.
The synchronic beatings of the drums,
changed my heart into a vortex,
where negative surroundings are washed away,
changing into positivity and hope,
until reality sets in and our home is destroyed.

Homeless my heart dwells in a valley,
longing for the rain to fall down,
until it washes away the waves of my last breath.
It has slipped through my hands,
smothered by life I am forced to move on,
and my empty hands show my empty heart.

All I wanted to hear was your smile,
but silence is my daily companion.
All I wanted was to see you walk,
but the road only carries me.
All I wanted was to hear, “I love you”,
but the deafening silence chokes me.
All I wanted was for you to grow up,
so I handed you over to be adopted.

 

 

 

Prepare without timeframes!

The year is almost over. One more day and a new year starts with new chances and new possibilities. Interesting thought though, we don’t need a new year for new chances and new possibilities. For some reason we need that ourselves. We need a timeframe that gives us hardship and a new timeframe that brings us blessings, however long that timeframe may be.

For years I would decide, on December 31st, that the new year would be a better year. Every year had some form of hardship in it, so I would decide that the new year would be better. After a couple of years, we, my mother and I, would make a ritual of this. On December 31st we would tell each other, “Next year will be better.” But years came and went and nothing improved. About two years ago I stopped this ritual because it didn’t work anyway. I simply couldn’t timeframe my life. I couldn’t decide for myself that things would get better.

Through the years I have always had the feeling that God directed my life more than I did. For as long as I can remember I have felt that I have zero control over my own life. I made plans and I dreamed dreams but things always turned out so much different.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9

It felt as if, whatever I decided, God had His own plan for me and His plan would come to completion regardless of what I said or did. I couldn’t predict the future in any way. Exactly a year ago I had no idea that 2018 would turn out the way it did. If I would have known, I would have gone into hibernation, that much is certain. 2018 was a year that shook the foundations of my life and tore everything apart that I was certain of. It was a year where I wrestled with God just like Jacob did,

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Genesis 32:28

The two big differences between me and Jacob are that I wrestled with God in prayer, and not face-to-face, and second, I don’t have the feeling like I have overcome anything. I have felt angry, hurt, defeated, empty, sad and confused, and not necessarily in that order. I tried to change and negotiate the plan God had but without success.

Was the year only bad? Is my life one huge failure? No! In the last year only, God also answered me. He said, “Honey if  I would explain it to you now, you wouldn’t understand it. But one day I will explain it to you, I promise.” God also taught me to be open and honest with Him about how I feel inside. And there were blessings like meeting Lynn Austin, who told me not to quit writing (something I was highly thinking about). God brought blessings and people in my life when I needed it most.

That’s the thing about life. Blessings and hardships go hand in hand. God is near to the broken-hearted but still feels so far away in times of grieve. God cries with us, gets angry with us and laughs with us but still we so often feel as if He doesn’t care. God is too great for our minds to comprehend and still we try every single day to grasp an inch of Him.
It is not a lack of faith or trust, it is a simple desire to be as close to Him as we possibly can because we know, that He, Jesus Christ, is the only place where we can truly heal and find peace. Someone once said, “You get the angriest at the one you love most”. And in my own case, there is a big truth to that.

We cannot timeframe life. We cannot timeframe a year. We cannot predict the future or change the past. We can only live today. We can only prepare for the future. Just like the ten virgins in Jesus’ parable (Matthew 25), we can only make sure that we have enough oil for our lamps. Read your bible, pray, worship God, use the gifts and talents God gave you and treat everyone with love. That is the only thing we can control. That is the only way we can prepare. We cannot control the year to come, we can only prepare for it. Without any timeframes!

May the Lord bless you and keep you in the new year to come! Have a blessed 2019!

Clarity

Clarity

 Millions of Multi-colored ribbons,
I gently hang them in the acorn tree,
where they blow joyfully in the wind,
celebrating life, birth and growth.

 As the peaceful green compliments the truthful white,
the trustworthy pink rejoices with the friendly yellow,
red passionately loves through the mindful blue,
but the spiritual purple holds them all together.
One cannot exist without the other,
their harmonious display creates a unity,
only the heavens are aware of.

 Through all the seasons of life,
the million multi-colored ribbons fight,
but only cooperation brings victory.

 The night sets in and I enkindle My lantern,
hoping that the illumination brings clarity.
As I watch the ribbons fight in the wind,
My children take me by the hand to encourage me.
Therefore giving each of them a lantern,
I help them put the lanterns in the tree,
so My light expels the darkness,
togetherness will bring unity,
and cooperation establishes peace.

 All I hope that they will see…is Me!

Trust

Trust

Trust is letting go,
when all you want to do,
is to hold tight.

Like sinking sand,
trust tells you to stand still,
when life swallows you up.

When fear is driving you mad,
trust forces you to remain calm.

In the tornado of emotions,
the eye of the storm is at the center.
It is the only place of silence,
where love clears the mind  from tensions.

When questions exasperate you,
answer will not satisfy your soul.

Like a bird,
jumping from one branch to another,
your mind,
skips from thought to thought,
longing for answers.

Trust is letting go,
when all you want to do,
is to hold tight!

Trust

 

 

 

 

Unwanted

Unwanted

Cubes,
like pyramids,
form an obstacle,
I cannot avoid.
Invisible,
like spotless glass,
only the mind,
can observe them.

Is it a trick?
a leftover mirage,
from a distant past?

Unknown,
is an untold story.
Unaware,
is the forgotten fragment,
of its life.
But who can find,
the unwanted?

Climbed,
are the steep hills,
of all my options.
Walked,
is the road,
that laid ahead.
Unseen,
are the solutions,
still in sight.

If the unwanted,
becomes wanted.
How do I find,
the final possibility?

 

With Gentle Force

Finding my purpose in life seemed so easy. Jesus simply told me what to do when I was five years old (see previous blogs) and all I had to do was to execute the plan. But it was not that simple! 

Let’s be honest, I am not a bible teacher – nor any other kind of teacher – and I am not a fictional writer either. My speaking abilities leave to wishes – I couldn’t hold my first speech at age 7 and I unfortunately never progressed either – but I am great with one on one conversations though. I never went to a bible school nor a theological school or study of any kind. In fact I didn’t even want to be a poet, I wanted to be a nurse. Yes I received dreams and visions, my abilities to communicate with God were highly developed but I didn’t see myself as a disciple of any sort. So when it was time to chose my future after middle/high school, I chose Health Care. Helping people and taking care of them had a more charming appeal on me than writing poetry ever did. I finished my study and got a job very quickly but then it happened. I got diagnosed with fybromyagia and was advised to stop working in that field. 

After trying another study, a job at a local supermarket and two jobs in administration, I got very discouraged. What in the world was I supposed to do except for writing? You see, writing was not an option. I wanted to be a “normal” girl. I had no intentions of standing out or being viscible. None whatsoever. I just wanted to live my life in peace and quiet with my family and some friends and that’s it. But God still had a plan with me. Regardless of whether I wanted it or not, God had His mind set on His plan for my life. He directed every step in such a gentle way that one could easily call it; coincedence. At the age of 25 I finally, reluctantly, agreed to pick up on writing again. As soon as I did, a fire of passion entered my heart as I never felt it before. This really was what I was supposed to do. 

Even when I finally agreed to do God’s will, my battle wasn’t over yet. I still wasn’t convinced that I was up for the job. I cannot tell you how many times, I begged God to pick someone else. Someone better than me with more skills. And still God gently nudged me in the direction of writing. 

In fact He still does. I am still not 100% convinced of my calling but writing makes me so happy. I still doubt because I still don’t get anything back for it. I know that I am a good writer but it doesn’t put food on the table so I doubt. I doubt and look for other ways. But that little fire in my heart still burns too bright. God’s will is still stronger than my own. So I still continue this journey. The poem “Gentle Force” is about these struggles. The fight of finding your purpose and holding on during that journey. It is so easy to give up. Giving up is the broad road, the easy way out. But to keep going and not giving up is the small path. And it is that small path that will bring you much further in life. 

Gentle force.

Love shows directions,
but my feet weakly stumble.
The bird shows the way,
if only I would follow him.
Light shows the path,
but my eyes are searching for another.
At the crossroad of life,
I wonder when I lost my way,
and ignoring the signals,
my soul loses its destination.

Love shows directions,
in the lost signals.
The bird waits for its time.
The light waits for its cue.

When I least expect it,
wings of light touch me,
pushing me in the right direction.
When I least expect it,
Your light opens my eyes,
to see the signs in front of me.
When I least expect it,
You plant a seed deep in my heart,
growing me in Your light.  

Directions are found,
in the signs of love,
where it guides you,
with gentle force. 


Music of the flute

Music of the flute

 The clear silver frame,
holds an unexpected beauty,
of a multidimensional sound.
A sound of multiple emotions.
Where tears and laughter,
walk hand in hand.

My fingers swiftly move across the keys,
fusing my heart with each unique melody.

 The baby sleeps on the soft, gentle sounds,
where joy dances on the cheerful tunes,
and tears are shed in moving ballads.
Every fiber of my heart feels the chords,
and the music makes me fall in love.

 Is life without music a possibility?
Even in the silence the heart plays,
uncountable melodies of the soul.
Nature also breaths the fresh air of music,
in the birds, trees, wind and mammals.
If music is the air we breathe,
how can we breathe without music?

 The butterflies fiddle the violin,
the birds whistle the melodic flute,
the elephants beat the strong drums,
the bees buzz the elegant cello,
while the kitten walks the piano keys.

Music is the air I breathe.
In the songs that I sing,
In the sounds I play on the flute,
and the melody the piano gives me.
Where music is made,
knowledge fades,
and the heart speaks.

In my hand is the silver frame,
and my heart sings,
uncountable different melodies.
My hands swiftly move across the keys,
embracing the ever-changing sound.

My heart is a flute,
and I play it vividly.

DSC_2612 

Inside the box

In my life I have always felt that I was different. I felt as if things were never the same for me as they were for others. As a child I tried to blend in and as a teenager even more so. I never had the courage to stand out because I was afraid. Afraid that people would get angry at me. Especially as a teenager I was often excluded, laughed at and at times intimidated. Not just by my peers by also by adults. Trust me when I say, there are certain things that you will never forget.

So out of fear of being excluded, laughed at or hated, I would simply try to blend in. Even when this was not in line with what God would ask from me. God asked me to be a writer – a poet –  but for a long time, I would refuse. Even today I still have moments where I want to give up. These moments are often when people talk behind my back in a negative way and I hear all about it, or when people question me face-to-face. People can be quite convincing. And often I understand their point of view. But then there is God asking something different from me and I get confused about what to do. I remember this one time, when I told my mom: “Life is a battle where it is me and God against the world”. Luckily my mother often listened to me and she would support me in every way that she could. I could really tell her everything because I knew she loved me and I trusted her.

Yet many people are not like my mom. Many people talk behind my back and it is not positive. The prejudices and opinions they have about me are based upon their own insecurity. But still it hurts. Life for me is like living between two fires. The fire of God and the fire of evil. And it is a tough battle.

Still the fire of God is greater. My passion to do God’s will still exceeds everything else. For as long as I can remember I had only one ambition in life; to bring a smile to my Fathers face. And with my Father, I mean God the Father. If I could just put a smile on His face, I would have done the best job that I could possible do. In one of my dreams God said: “the only way that leads to eternity is the small way”. So even if it is difficult to do what God asks you to do, don’t give up. With God everything is possible and God will never leave what He once started. It is better to have faith in God than in people!

Today I wrote a poem about this. It is a poem about my story. I have a huge passion for God the Father, for Jesus and for the Holy Spirit. My love for God makes my heart burst, but so many have tried to stop me through the years. I may be a woman, I may have never been to a prominent bible school or theological study, I may not life up to people’s expectations but I know – with a 100% certainty – that God is greater than my circumstances. God loves me and He will make a way where there is no way. And if you are in the same situation as me? If you feel the same way? Than please know that God is almighty! He loves you! He can and will do amazing things in your life, that may seem impossible. Do not give up! Never! Think outside the box!

Inside the box

Inside the box,
the noose around my neck tightens.
Trying to settle in,
the small nook is too cramped,
and all I want to do,
is to leave this small space.

All eyes tell a different story,
but when they look at me,
all their stories are the same.
Stuck in prejudices and opinions,
war is either neglect,
or fight back.
Who will love me as I am?

Traditions are for keeping,
but not if they suffocate the soul.
When everything is the same,
we are in desperate need of change.
Evolving is teaching yourself to be better,
learning is allowing yourself to grow,
for growth is a never-ending story.

Inside the box,
where I am unable to grow,
I look out into infinity,
where God asks me to live,
in His divine library,
where His great wisdom,
will lead me to eternity.

Between my fingertips

I honestly do not know why I haven’t told this story yet. Is it the fear that nobody will believe me? Maybe the idea that my story doesn’t matter? Or maybe I really just forgot? I don’t know but a sweet friend from Australia inspired me to write the story.

The story is about something that happened to me about three years ago. It was a night like any other. Nothing in particular happened that day, that could have inspired this. It was a dream that I will never forget. It was the dream where I met Jesus, face to face.

In my dream I didn’t see anything other than Jesus. There were no views or surroundings, it was me and Him. He was standing at a distance looking at me and I wondered by myself, “Why are you always standing at a distance from me?
Suddenly He was gone and for a second, I slightly panicked. But then I felt His presence behind me and He came from behind and stepped next to me. I was sitting down and He was standing. All I could do was to stare at Him. My eyes looked into His and didn’t look anywhere else. My heart almost exploded with love for Him. In His eyes I saw both love and peace, but also worry. A worry I didn’t understand then but I do now. With His hand He softly stroke my head and He let His hand rest on my head. Such love! 

I always have these awkward moments where I do something that I don’t quite understand. Here another classic! As we were staring into each others eyes, I couldn’t say a word. So what did I do? I thought about how uncomfortable His robe looked and wondered if it felt as uncomfortable as it looked! So I reached and held His robe between my fingertips and rubbed the fabric gently. It was surprisingly soft though. Then I looked back into His eyes. Out of all the things I could have done, I never expected myself to do that, but He didn’t Judge me. Not once. He still had the same loving, peaceful, worried but gentle look in His eyes. And His hand was still resting on my head. Then He walked away and I so badly wanted to say something, call after Him, but I couldn’t think of anything. I went silent and woke up.

Meeting Jesus, feeling His touch, His love and being so close to Him was an experience I will never forget and never get used to. Even though  it didn’t go exactly according to plan, my plan that is, it did bring me a lot of peace. I always believed in Jesus but somehow it felt as if I needed this. As if I needed it so see Him and touch Him. Just to feel Him close to me. Ever since that day, or should I say night, I am longing to see Him again. Longing for a moment where I can speak. Where my mouth will for words. I am still longing to feel His love as vivid as I did then. Meeting Jesus makes that you just cannot let go anymore. That is the power He has over people. Once you see Him, you can’t let go!  (For all who are wondering what Jesus looked like. He looked exactly like the paintings ‘Prince of Peace’ and ‘Jesus’ by Akiane Kramarik.)

About this experience I wrote a poem called ‘Between my fingertips’ that I would love to share with you now. Enjoy!

Between my fingertips

 I still feel the soft fabric,
gently between my fingertips.
Your eyes are imprinted in my soul,
how can I ever forget Your gentleness?
Not a word has to be spoken,
our minds are one.
And as the Spirit draws us closer together,
our bond is still the same,
Between You and me,
nothing has changed.

 Your brother love exceeds,
it is a heart without boundaries.
Never will Your anger rain down on me,
or felt in any chamber of Your heart.
Your teachings are my guidelines,
wisdom is planted in my mind,
where it grows out of love for You.
I walk the roads of this world alone,
but in heaven I look out for You.
More are You to me than a Savior,
more than all the Kings of the earth,
more than all my brothers combined.

 I still feel the soft fabric,
gently between my fingertips.
Your brotherly worries unspoken,
Your love speaks louder than any word could.
Not a soul knows our connection,
or the bloodline that keeps us attached.
The memories hold my heart,
when the distance becomes an obstacle.
All I need to know,
when my soul returns home,
that the fabric of Your robe,
is still between my fingertips.