Today I will remember
Those who have fallen so young
Because of the bad decisions
Of Adolf Hitler
Normandy and Omaha
On those beaches lay the dead
Of young men who were heroes
Who died for freedom
Each person has a story
That is known by very few
Each would say “ordinary”
If they only knew
Each life is special
A sacred gift to cherish
Remembering the sacrifice

love yourself

September 20, 2009


I have learned to love myself

The importance of my story

To have insight you must know

All about yourself


That will take understanding

Of your personality

In seeking wisdom I found

A surprising joy


Good information 

From trustworthy resources

Makes a difference


I looked for models

For those who celebrate life

Who don’t live in fear


In searching I found

Good people who love themselves

They’re the best givers


When you love yourself

You can “get over yourself”

See through new glasses


A seed in the ground

When it’s properly cared for 

Bears beautiful fruit

A life that’s cared for 

When it is buried in love

Bears beautiful fruit



© Terry S. Smith

written September 19, 2009



September 18, 2009


When I do my best

Sometimes it is not enough

My humanity fails me

It is the place I learn the most

I have learned to forgive me


Looking back I see

My ignorance saddens me

Remembering those I hurt

With good intentions

I did not know their story

I’ve learned to say, “I’m sorry.”


When I learned a person’s story

My heart overflows

With compassion and respect

For their journey in this life


I have laid down my judgment

And picked up compassion

I learned when I judge myself

I’m judgmental of others 


Seek understanding

A secret few comprehend

Listen first, talk last


© Terry S. Smith

written September, 18, 2009


Everyone has a story

September 14, 2009


It’s hard to change your thinking

When you are so sure you know

Look at your life with wisdom

Ask, “Is it working?”


Answer honestly

Be aware that death is real

It’s universal


Death deserves a good answer

One we must not be afraid

To consider all options

We only die once


Looking at my death

I found a window of hope

I have been surprised by life

I’m willing to share

With those who might just wonder

What information I have


Don’t assume you know

This is about life within

Be still and listen


Everyone has a story

I’ve learned something from each one

Thousands I have heard


You need someone to hear

How you travel in this life

Find someone who will listen

Who’s honest and cares


© Terry S. Smith

written June 20, 2009


Remembering a friend

September 7, 2009

His brother gave him the flask
Water to throw on the fire
Bob was only two years old
It changed his whole life
It was kerosene instead
Bob was burned very severely
Immeasurable pain was his
Both then and ahead
How did he survive?
Pain, grief, guilt, unspeakable
New journey for his family
I met him at twenty-one
He was angry and bitter
He had no friends to speak of
He let me be one
Bob became my great teacher
He let me walk beside him
He opened his heart and his thoughts
He became my friend
His last nine years:
My friend Bob Nelson
Died at the age of thirty
At the end he joked
He taught me to live
He numbered his days by one
Love led him to joy
What was his secret?
There was peace in his presence
Because love found him
This is a love for all
A treasure found in stillness
A voice I have heard
Where can this love be found?
Love is looking to find you
Raise your awareness
In Memory of Bob Nelson
© Terry S. Smith
written August 2008
My Dad
I grew up hearing his stories
but not this story
of being forgotten
his mother left him many times
before the final leaving
she took her children to the movie theatre
(age seven, five, and four)
leaving them there alone
choosing wine and party
they waited hours after the movie
for her to remember and return
a kind man had compassion
and waited with them
my heart travels to the past
and breaks
for the loneliness,
the pain,
the future abandonment
waiting around the corner
looking at them
I can see their future
I know the amazing things
they will accomplish
because they will be captured
by One who rescues hearts
written August 11-12, 2009

Undying passion

July 27, 2009

God defines His love
It came through His beloved
His compassion lives
I know His story
I know my story of pain
His story gives life
He walks with kindness
He is filled with tenderness 
His name is Jesus                  
Jesus speaks of love
He modeled it for us all
Where else can I go?
He suffered for me
He also suffered for you
I can’t comprehend
He is in pursuit
Love always wins when you see
Undying passion
written Fall 2008

The Story

July 21, 2009


I look with wonder

At the story I live in

Looking back I see the pain

That I grew up in

I found a “larger story”

Of flawed and broken people


I found hope in their stories

I saw them living in grief

I saw their flawed lives arise

And find a deep peace


Is there hope for me

I said in my deep despair

I found in me a longing

To know what is true

So I studied a story

The one much larger than me


Focus and discipline worked

As I narrowed where I’d look

To find someone to address

Real issues of life


The story I discovered

Is hidden in sacred books

I found sixty-six of them

Books of the Bible


I just had one big question

If there is a God, “Who is he?”

I will let the writers speak

Each one their own way

They were consistent

One theme always held the sway

A persistent joy


One problem that I’m seeing

So many are distracted

Not looking for what is true

But trying to please


And when life stopped me

I decided I would look

At a story much larger

Big enough to learn

There is hope in our failure 


The Bible when used

By many as a “rule book”

Will wreck a man’s soul


I want to know the story

Told by the ones who lived it

I found a larger story 

That connects with mine


The connection a surprise

With integrity I searched

Looking for some good answers

I felt I could trust


written June 27, 2009

Inspired by article about Barbara Brown Taylor (in The Tennessean on June 27, 2009). 

What I treasure the most is
A relationship of love
The kind a mother has for
A child of her womb
Sometimes mothers are broken
They can’t give their deepest love
They had children much too soon
My mother was one
My parents did not know how
To withstand their failing love
Their children suffered great loss
Everyone has a story
Each person needs to be heard
What matters is love
The message is forgiveness
The work we have is: believe
We are breaking from within
Love gently pursues
I look for answers
To comfort my internal
Brokenness and pain
The trouble in my journey
Did not start with my choices
My parents handed my theirs
Now I make my choice
I have four children
Who know what my choice has been
One thing they know for sure
Is that I love them
That will never be changed
They have memories that help
I’ve found a deep joy
That is larger than I am
Love’s healing power changed me
Love I wish for all
At one time I hoped for it
Now I celebrate and thank
It is a hidden love
That wants to be found by all
Love searching for you
written October 7, 2008