Everyday Story: Carol Hasegawa

I started writing haiku a little over a year ago just to see if I could do it. My son Steven and hubby Stan had already written quite a few. I often thought, that’s fine for them, I’m just not into poetry. Never understood it and certainly couldn’t write it. But, one day, I thought, why not try? It was much easier than I thought. I’ve always loved words and writing, just not poetry. It turns out that haiku fits me perfectly, because I can either write/say just a little or a whole lot, sometimes more than most want to hear. Haiku fits the “just say a little” part of me.

Plus I discovered, that God often speaks to me by filling in the last line. During my quiet time with Him, I think of some complaint, some struggle, something I’m working towards or away from. Then I start counting syllables and if I have less than 17, I wonder what or how God thinks of it. He whispers the end. Then it’s just a matter of making the whole thing fit into 17 syllables without destroying what I’m trying to say.

Recently, daughter-in-law Rebecca asked me about what I meant by “all is right” in one of my haiku. It’s my definition of joy—a fruit of the Spirit that I’ve tried desperately for years to get a-hold of. I don’t often experience joy, but one day when I did, I worked to define how it felt. And instead of anything euphoric, amazing or ecstatic, it seemed like everything was right with me and my world. No complaints, nothing amiss, no anxiety, no guilt, no shame, nothing to strive for. Just at that particular moment in time. And then it occurred to me that God is always right—perfect and the embodiment of Truth, even in the midst of the world’s un-rightness.

Thinking that my haiku on joy would demonstrate my journey, I pulled together all the haiku that mentions joy or is related to joy and sent it to Rebecca. Here they all are:

To see Your Light in darkness
Feel joy when all fails
Know You alone are God

a joy killer! Jesus, give
me a grateful heart

I’m sick. Give me joy
to rejoice in You when I
feel really lousy

Snapchat: God, Your day.
Gratitude. Your Plan.
God is good. Rejoice.

Various trials? A call to joy:
Sunshine, not fog
Ice cream, not pickles

When God writes a poem
Rejoice in His goodness
Give Him all the glory

When God writes our life
Rebel and protest that that’s
not what we asked for

Surrender to share
in the suffering of Christ.
Here and there small joys.

Joy can be in my
heart for no good reason other
than it is there

Pray your way to joy
Trusting that God listens and
cares more than you know

Let me pursue You
in prayer and find joy at the
end of the rainbow

Joy, like life, is fleeting
and to pursue it (as a goal)
is to lose it

Wake up feeling not
right. Help me surrender
the not right in my life

True joy is “all is right”,
independent of all
God is always all right

Trying to achieve
joy by living perfectly—
what a joy killer!

Things will get better…
Or maybe they won’t
Either way, all is still right

Aiming for neutral
Seeking joy, trying to survive
Seek God alone

Jesus, corral my
troubled thoughts, replace with Your
promises of joy

Darkness—we have too
much joy to go there.
We are children of The Light.

A teaspoon of joy,
of all-is-right-ness, is such
a gift from above

Tired, discouraged,
guilt-ridden, glum. Trade You for
joy, hope, courage, strength

and dark thoughts begone!
Let joy and hope reign instead

Breathe in hope, breathe in
joy. Deliberately breathe
in what you need most.

k, ready for a
cup of joy. Show me sunshine,
ice cream and lilies

Grateful that even
Though adversity abounds
Joy is in my heart

Don’t have to follow
tiredness to depression.
Can choose joy instead.

Step out into Light
Smell the joy See the perfume
Inhale the beauty

Hello Joy! Keep Darkness
at bay. Be the door to
Praise and Gratitude.

Invitation: As many have said before me, art can be a way to connect with God. I challenge and invite you to look for an art medium that is your unique way to connect to God. The medium may not be unique in itself, but your use of it will be. If nothing comes to mind, try something, anything. You can’t fail, because this isn’t about performance or achievement; this is about you doing something together with God.