Washed Clean


Washed Clean

By Susie Teramura


Busy evening

With an influx

Of homework

To help with,

And laundry to fold

Dinner dishes stacked high,

Phone rings, another

Unknown caller,

Trying to take a poll,

Or something,

And then of course

A scratch on

The front door.


I put that

Out of my mind

For another minute,

But it comes again

Slow and sure

The dog wants in.

She is hungry

For dinner too.

Hurriedly, I open

The front door,

And she trots in,

All 105  pounds of her,

 Furry golden body,

But as she crosses

The threshold

Into the foyer,

An odor

Similar to that of

Limburger cheese

And old mushrooms

Enters with her.


So pungent is

This smell that

The kids come running

With twisted faces and

Pinched noses,

We quickly turn

That beastly thing around,

And head her

Right back out

The door.


Not in the mood

For a doggy bath,

And in deep denial,

I go back to the dishes

But she paws again,

And an again,

She wants in,

To be near us

To flop her big belly down

On the kitchen floor,

Where she knows

She is loved

And a part of things.

But she is

Too stinky.


So finally,

The urgent overcomes

The necessary,

And with the smell


I know what

Has to be done.


I call for

The rubber gloves

And shampoo.

Holding my breath,

I take her

To the back yard

And hose her down,

Scrubbing until

The odor is gone.


Rubbing her dry

With a fluffy yellow towel,

I finish the spa with

100 squirts of

Doggy perfume,

(This has happened before.)


And finally,

She can come back in

And be with us again.


It is here

When I give up,

And decide I will never

Be done

With all the chores

Of the evening,

And so

I let my mind slow

And think.


And here

is where

I meet You again

And it becomes

Clear to see


That stinky dog

Was sin covered me.

I couldn’t come close,

Or be loved by You.


I was on

The outside

And couldn’t come in

To where I belong

Next to You.


But Your love,

Your extravagant,

Crazy, love

Made a way.


You loved me enough,

To roll up Your sleeves,

And take care

Of what I could not,

What I was

Powerless to fix,

And what separated

Me from You.


You got yourself

Elbow deep

Into my stench,

You cleaned me,

And made me new,

So I could come in
and be

With You.


You knew

This was where

I needed to be,

So that You

Could forever

Love on me.


Your love

Oh Lord is better

Than life,

In Your

Presence is

Fullness of joy,

Better is one day

In Your house,

 Than ten thousand


It is good for

Me to be

Near You.


And my heart lifts

As I begin to fold

That wrinkled up



The dog rests her


On my lap

Tail slapping

The floor,


We are loved

And not alone




Psalm 84:10

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked


Psalm 73:28

But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.


Acts 2:28

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’


Psalm 63:3

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

Finding My Place


Finding My Place

By Susie Teramura


Walking into

The room,

Walls lined

With Barres

And covered in mirrors,

Crowded with women in

Cute leggings

And tank tops.

I put my water bottle

Down by a nearby

Set of weights,


But as I do I am

Quickly rebuked

By a talkative one

Who says,

In a tone as sour

As spoiled milk,

“That was my spot,”

She sideways glances at

Her friend nearby.


I apologize and

Find another empty

Set of weights,

And all of a sudden,

The empty crawls

Right down

My throat

And into

My gut.


Everyone is talking to

Someone but me,

And here I sit

In the middle

Of the room,

Feeling awkward

And like

I don’t belong.


Deciding I can’t

Stand it any more,

I get up to look at

Merchandise in

The front

Of the shop.

Trying to chit chat

With a young, tall,

And slender girl in

Pink leggings

Who is looking too,

I tell her

I need a pair

Of black leggings,

Like these,


She frantically

Reaches over me

Into the pile

And takes the last

Pair that was my size.

Tucking it under her arm,

She heads toward

The register,

Without another

Word to me,


And there I stand

Without a friend,

Or the leggings,

I had hoped to buy.

Swiped right out from

From under me,

As if I wasn’t even there.


Heading back

As the music starts,

I swallow the

Lump in my throat.

The happy chatter

Feels a bit like

A butter knife

In my back,

Or an annoying drone

That won’t
Leave me be.


The teacher counts

On beat and

Going through

The motions,

I begin to

Talk to myself

And to You,


“It’s about the exercise,

Not the friends,

Or fitting in,

Or the black leggings.”


I begin to

Huff and puff

And argue

With myself


My own argument,


“Its not just about

The exercise

It ‘s about


I want to

Be connected

To someone.

Anyone ,

In this moment,

I want a place

To be.


And then

I hear it

Soft and gentle,

Like Your

Voice always comes,


“You are connected

To Me

I am your place

To be.

 You are mine.

 That’s the brand

You wear

The group you

Belong to,

 The tag

On your back says

Bought with a price

And dearly loved.”


Arms bicep curling,

I tell myself truth.

Those feelings,

The ones that said


Unloved, and unseen,

Those were twisted lies

Spun and intended to

Keep my soul

From freedom.


And slowly

The lump starts shrinking

And the empty starts leaving

As I work this out

To the beat of the music.


And the fighter

In me steps up

To the challenge

Of working out

My faith,

 And the believing,


I am loved.

I belong,

To the One

Who matters most,

And I have found

My place


With Him.



Isaiah 43:1

 But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.


 For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession 

Photo Credits- Hannah Teramura

Patterned Bug



This is the beginning of a series of bugs I am working on (so I may post more in the next few weeks. 🙂 ) This was a class Val Webb taught on watercolor painting patterns. I thought these bugs were so fun and I am enjoying the simple drawings and playing with patterns and colors.

Invited Into Beauty


Invited Into Beauty

By Susie Teramura


Taking the keys

Out of the ignition

In the early morning sun,

I head towards

The dentist office

Feeling a bit grumpy

And put out

By the whole ordeal.


Another check up,

Which ends up

For me,

To be another cavity,

Or two.

Ruminating over the fact

That I always get those things

While others

In the family

Have never even

 Had one.

My mood begins to sour,


But before

I enter the

Pink brick building

It catches my eye

Right in front of me,


Surrounded by deep

Purple and yellow flowers,

Is the most beautiful

Two tiered

Stone fountain,

 Gently trickling

 crystal clear water,



I stop and pause and

Watch the water

Bubble up and over

And something

 In my heart calms,

And my spirit rests.

And I think

For a minute or two.


What just

 Happened here?

Where did

My grumpiness go?



It woke me up

To the present moment,

To the things happening now,

To life lived today.

And it stirred in me

A craving for

 More of You

Beautiful Savior

 Of my soul.


What is it

 About beauty,

That  draws me in,

And that I crave,

And want to be apart of?


It’s You.

Simply that.

You are

The Perfect One,

The beautiful, unblemished,

Lovely One.


You leave me

In awe,


And in wonder,


And as You

Take center stage

Other troubles

Seem to fade.


Everyday in

So many ways,

With Butterflies and

Buttered croissants,

Coffee and

Fresh baked cookies,

Tangerine sunsets

And gentle breezes blowing,


You are

Inviting me

Into that


Into You.


Staring one last minute

At that fountain,

Taking a deep breath,

I walk toward to door.

My dental appointment

Doesn’t seem so bad any more.


Psalm 29: 2

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty and majesty of His holiness [as the creator and source of holiness].

 Psalm 96:6

Splendor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

 Psalm 27: 4

One thing I have asked of the Lord, and that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.

(Photo Credits- Hannah Teramura)














Big Bold Blooms (#3)


Hi 🙂 I have truly missed you all and writing each week!  It has been such a crazy summer! Not at all the restful kind I was imagining but special just the same.:) Anyway I wanted to share some of my artwork. This was the only thing I really got to work on all summer besides small things in my sketchbook. This is the third large painting I did for Lynn Whipple’s class Big Bold Blooms. I have one more to go to complete my assignments. The next one is even bigger and will be the largest picture I have ever painted. I am still trying to find just the right bouquet to use. I will be sure to keep you all posted on that project and I hope to have more time to work on my assignments for the Y is for Yellow class too now.