Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise

Welcome to Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise,

Yes, you are in the right place.  As a photographer I love taking photos, of course! I also just love to create. Brooke Shaden has been an inspiration to me and I have taken several of her courses on Creative Live.

Let me be clear, as of right now, I receive no monetary exchange for mentioning their names or promoting their businesses. I just simply love Brooke’s art and think that Creative Live is an awesome place to learn from at my own pace whenever I have time.  I just simply love art and love to learn. This is how I got into the visual aspect of Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise.

The writing part is all credited to God for the gifts and to my 7th grade teacher who’s name I can no longer recall. She taught me about poetry in English class. I learn all about rhyming, haiku, freestyle, and proper sentence structuring…which I’m pretty sure if she was reading this there would be a few red circles on the structure part. I have forgotten a lot.

Anyway, its important to me to get this all out into the world. I prayed when I was a child that God would let me see my poems in print. I was thinking a book. I didn’t know anything about websites back then. Back in “ancient history” we didn’t have computers in our hands (smart phones) and only the rich or geekiest of us had a personal computer (Dad was a geek but not rich). See when I was a child, Dot Matrix was in fashion for PC codes.  You couldn’t paint on your computer like you can now. Computers were not affordable. You actually had to learn a hobby or go “play” using your imagination if you didn’t want to be bored. Mom and Dad had say on what we could watch on TV, which was usually Mom’s soap opera’s or Dad’s faves of Spiderman (cartoon), wrestling, or MacGyver  (the 80’s version).  So I took up writing poetry…something that Mom, of course, hated but Dad thought was OK. It was Dad who took me to Muskingum College to read my first poem aloud to an actual audience. While I didn’t win any awards, Dad told me what a good job he thought I had done. That meant all the gold in the world to me that day. So this is a child’s dream coming true.

At this deepest urging in my soul I am merging together my poetry and art. I have tried to do that before.  This time I am doing it a little bit differently. I am going to do readings aloud, spoken word, and actually, to the best of my ability, act some of it out. I guess we will see what I learned off of Mom’s soap operas lol.  It’s going to be quite the adventure. Stayed tuned for info on the progress…Stardate 11267.20 to boldly go where no man/woman has gone before…Yeah, I’m a Trekkie lol (although I probably have the Stardate wrong as I calculated it by century, first year of Heart and Soul Poetry and Praise, it is #267 out of 365 days in a year, and it is now past 2000/8 o’clock at night).

Love and life,



Art by Tonya of Time Made Beautiful.
Walls of the Mind


‘Walls of the Mind’ is a poem about anxiety, childhood trauma, and a narcissistic parent.

Growing up as a child was rough. I had one parent who, when no one was around, would berate me. The other parent tried to instill confidence in me and encourage me. Needless to say, a wrong mindset was instilled that caused me to suffer from anxiety from grade school onward until I moved away.

Later in life I moved back to take care of the one parent I had left. Thankfully mom had mellowed out a lot with age. I even heard the words, “I’m glad I had you two kids after all.” There were five of us kids total but she was talking about the last two of us as we were born during her menopausal years of life. In fact, I was quite the surprise as she thought that she could no longer have children.

I learned how , and with God’s help, was able to forgive her for everything. I made that choice and it set me free. Realizing how the brain learns and sets feedback loops like a computer has again, with God’s help, enabled me to change that bad programming.

I actually wrote this for a friend who was suffering from great anxiety. I never realized at that time how encaged I was in my own mind. It’s nice to be free.

Walls of the Mind (Written 8-17-2007)

Fears and tears and walls so strong
bar the heart and encage the mind.
Feelings of misgivings making life seem wrong
rouse voices from the past that are most unkind.

Afraid to move forward, knowing you cannot stay behind,
in unchartered territory putting your best foot first,
You desire a new tomorrow as your past plays in rewind.
All in the thoughts of your mind, you fear the worst.

With something hidden deep in your heart,
you trudge forward step by step, then stop and weep.
How can you begin anew and gain a new start?
With your life in solitude you bury your heart deep.

Here is my hand outstretched and waiting.
I can help you, if only you will reach out to try.
How long, entombed in your mind, will you keep debating?
Follow, from the darkness, the candlelight into the open air and sky.

You do not have to bar yourself and hold yourself back.
Tomorrow begins with what you choose to do today.
For all of your yearnings, you have placed yourself under attack.
For your heart’s true desire, let the LORD lead you out of the shades of gray.


Video Poem of ‘Walls of the Mind’ on Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise

Check out ‘Walls of the Mind’ in TimeMadeBeautiful on Etsy


TimeMadeBeautiful on Etsy
‘Anxiety’ art by Tonya Brill of Time Made Beautiful.


‘Anxiety’ is a poem penned in response to a girl I heard in the media calling anxiety her twin sister. See poem written below.

‘Anxiety’ is the art based on the poem of the same name. It is about overcoming your boundaries, walls in your mind, and fears. Its about gaining confidence and finding out that your are more than what you ever thought you could be. 1 Peter 5:8-9 Says (KJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. In Psalm 23:4 It speaks of our shepherd the LORD (KJV) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Finally, in Philippians 4:13 (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

My younger sister said she could only see the “demons” when she looked at the completed work. I said, “Really? I see the woman who has been through hell and not only survived but is crushing the serpent’s head. She is empowered by her Savior and is getting ready to walk right out of hell.”

She replied, “Who is the burning skull and the graves suppose to represent?” I replied, ” The ones that the devil was able to devour. They didn’t make it out.”

My hope is that you see and identify with the woman who is walking out of that hell and that you do not identify with the ones who were able to be devoured by someone we are supposed to crush. That someone being the only enemy that we truly have…the devil.

Anxiety (Written 12-18-2017)

Anxiety, Anxiety, you are not my propriety.
In you I do not find my home.
You are not my brother or my sister.
You are merely a stranger on the roam.

Anxiety, Anxiety, you are not my sobriety.
You are not the one who sits on my throne.
Merely a witch you are a strange spinster.
You are a voice but not a voice of my own.

Anxiety, Anxiety, you are not welcome in my society.
In you I do not find my rest.
You are an affliction but not my desire.
You are only a plan to keep me from my best.

Anxiety, Anxiety, in the media you have notoriety.
In you I place no trust or peace.
Offered up to Jesus you are consumed by fire.
In the smoke of incense (prayers) your voices cease.


Video Poem of ‘Anxiety’ on Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise

Check out ‘Anxiety’ in TimeMadeBeautiful on Etsy


‘A Lily for Benjamin’ Art by Tonya Brill of Time Made Beautiful and Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise.

‘A Lily for Benjamin’ was created in a period of grief for me. I was still grieving over the miscarriage of the only child I had at that time. I noticed the Lily I planted had changed colors after a particularly cold winter. That sent my thoughts towards my grief. I wondered what Benjamin would have been like. With my mind still dark from grief, I grabbed my camera and set it to a dark exposure to match my emotions. I knew it would cause grain in the photo when I would later develop it. I didn’t work on it for over a year. Finally on a chilly autumn afternoon I began to work on it. I wanted this Lily to come back from the darkness into the light. I poured my heart and soul into this. I was making this for my son, Benjamin. I cried. I released every ounce of grief and love into it.

Hugs to any of you who have lost a child. May God heal your wounds as He has mine. My mind is no longer dark. Praise God!

Love and Life,


‘A Lily for Benjamin’

(Written 2-28-2014)

Oh my son, I weep for you after all these years.
I lost you when it was your life or mine.
I felt my body had betrayed me.

Years passed.
A lily grew.
I saw its beauty and thought of you.

Oh my son, I set my camera to capture it dark.
How could I capture its beauty with you gone?
My heart was still aching in grief.

Years passed.
The lily died.
Its beauty was gone so I cried.

Oh my son, as of this date you have been my only child.
I never got to hold you or love on you.
My only comfort is that you are with God.

Years passed.
Knowledge I have gained.
I decided it was time to make the lily live again…

Not just live but to reveal all the marvelous colors
I saw with my naked eye that day,
I saw its beauty and thought of you.




Scripture is Isaiah 61:1-3 KJV: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Video Poem associated with ‘A Lily for Benjamin’ on Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise

To Purchase go to: TimeMadeBeautiful on Etsy


Fine Art Giclee Print
‘A Light Shines into the Darkness of my Soul’ Art by Tonya Brill of Time Made Beautiful and Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise.

‘A Light Shines into the Darkness of my Soul’ is a Video Poem dedicated to those who have had to deal with childhood trauma, spousal/relationship abuse, and/or abuse on the job while struggling to make ends meet living paycheck to paycheck.

I have had to deal with all of that at one time or another. Life is not always fair but I am here to tell you that you can overcome what life throws at you or hits you with. This is how I did it…with Jesus. I am encouraging you to be more than an overcomer. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

Love and Life,


‘A Light Shines into the Darkness of my Soul’

(Written 02-28-2014)

Battle scarred, wounded, and hell bent was I
until a light shined into the darkness of my soul.

Angry, tortured, paralyzed with fear was I
until Jesus came in and made me whole.

Negative, in pain, life looked gray
until the Word of God spoke life into these lifeless bones.

Weighted heavily with chains I could not break
until the chains of sin were broken for Jesus’ blood atones.

I could not breathe or lift my hands on high
until Jesus’ love surrounded me as He stood by my side.

Depression, despair, and anxiety I felt
until a light shined into the darkness of my soul ripping the shroud wide.

Jesus is my light.


Video Poem associated with ‘A Light Shines into the Darkness of my Soul’ on Heart & Soul Poetry & Praise

To Purchase go to: TimeMadeBeautiful on Etsy