Thursday, October 19, 2017

Absolutely So (10/19/17)

Is it crazy that my best friend in the world lives over 2,000 miles away? Is it crazy that we've only met in person once, and that for a three-day sleepover? Is it crazy the way we count down the days to the next time we'll see each other, excitedly planning out every detail of the trip? Absolutely so.

Is it crazy that, of the good friends in my life, I met most of them during week-long drama seminars that happen once a year? Is it crazy how much they all mean to me still? When I think about all the inside jokes and funny stories and things that went hilariously wrong, I can't help but laugh. It's crazy, isn't it? It's crazy that I played a lead role, something that I dreamed of doing my whole life (even if it wasn't Cosette in Les Miserables - it's a good thing it wasn't. Those high notes, though...). At least, I think it is. 

What about running a business and making professional phone calls at the age of 14? Is that crazy? What about website-building, blogging, giving presentations, being a leader in the extra-curricular activity I'm involved with (which includes yelling at people in a gym - something I never thought I'd get used to doing without succeeding each outburst with an apology), writing stories borne of the rich imagination God has given me, and my dream of being a mommy someday? Is it crazy that one of my biggest aspirations is to be a mommy? By the world's standards, it's crazy. It's downright insane, and my coworkers let me know, believe me! 

What about the dream I had for two months of being the sickest Christian female rapper ever?

OK, that one is actually legitimately crazy. I had - and still have - issues. 

My point is, of all the highlights in my life, the best times - the best parts - are crazy. They're strange. The best things God had placed in my life are the unusual ones, the ones that aren't normal. For the longest time, I wanted to be normal without thinking what normal would mean. 

If I was normal, I wouldn't be homeschooled and be surrounded by all the good, godly friends I have. Normal would mean I wouldn't have read The Hobbit at 6 years old, or called Pride and Prejudice my favourite book at 10. Yes, normal might take away the things in my life that were wrong - but it would also take away the things that make me - me. It would take away every part of the things I excel at as it took my failings and shortcomings. As time goes on, I recognize more and more that every life is special on purpose - we're all different and crazy somehow. 

I forget as I go about life now that just months ago, I never would have dreamed of doing the things I do now. Only a few years ago, I was struggling through severe depression, anxiety, and loneliness and I consider myself blessed to have gone through that now. All of it. Why? Because I can understand people that go through those things so much better now and I can help them. Because I can share the story of how God brought me hope through complete and total hopelessness and despair. Back then, I couldn't imagine telling someone how much I was hurting. Now I'm giving presentations on my story.

Is life crazy? Of course.

Am I finally okay with that? 

Absolutely so.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Test All Things... (9/16/17)

Lately, I've been doing something that I'm not used to doing, something I haven't really done much before. 

I'm asking questions and I'm challenging what I'm being taught by others.


Not in a bad way, it's just I want proof that what is being taught is correct. I want citations and sources; if you say the Bible says that you can't become a Christian without being baptized (which, for the record, I don't believe), I want to know where you get that idea from. If you tell me that as Christians, we're not supposed to mingle with non-believers, I want the passages of Scripture that you pulled that concept from. 


1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, "Test all things; hold fast what is good." The next verse goes on to say, "Abstain from every form of evil."


As Christians, I don't believe we're supposed to blindly accept whatever doctrine is tossed our way. Everything should be proven and put to the ultimate test: Is this Scriptural? Is there a biblical basis for this concept? If put in the cultural context of biblical times, does the meaning they are presenting remain the same?


"That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ" - Ephesians 4:14-15 


I'm not challenging your ability as a teacher or your ability to understand the Bible when I ask questions or disagree with you on some points; I'm just clarifying and also seeking assurance that what you are saying completely lines up with Scripture (and if I disagree, it's likely because I can think of a few Bible stories or passages that seem to directly contradict what you are saying). I don't want to be a spiritual baby, still being taught the basics of real doctrine and theology. I want to keep growing, to keep becoming stronger in the Word - and I can't do that if I don't question what I'm hearing.



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Leaving A World Behind (8/20/17)

Footprints following me down these silent halls,
The result of my own paths and those I've trod;
Once I encountered often these neutral walls,
And heard the many voices that made up our squad.


Familiar laughs, familiar faces:
The constant calling from front to back.
Different jobs, different places,
Always trying to stay on track.

All these encounters are only memories,

Only a world I've now left behind
Sadness left, and dismal worries
Of what I may never again find.

I miss my friends already,

The people who I've grown to love.
I miss the calm and patient, steady,
People who assure me I'm enough.

But I know that since I love beginnings,

Endings must also come in view
And the gorgeous sunrise my heart winning
Is worth the farewell to the evening crew.
I know I'm not alone in this world,
And all my pain will be repaid
I trust that a higher plan will be unfurled
And for that, there's nothing I would trade.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Lessons/Creating My Blog (8/15/17)

These letters on the keyboard seem almost meaningless and I'm confused as to how to use them, it's been so long. What did I use to write about? What was the original purpose of these posts of mine?

I read back through, post after post. Some of them I admit I'm proud of, some of them I wish I could delete from the eyes of the world forever... but I can't. See, if I remove even the broken pieces that are scattered on my little worldwide nook, even if I only remove the horribly crooked or depressing notes, it's still removing a piece of something I've worked on since I was 14 years old.


An argument can be made that I shouldn't have began something like this at that age; that I was too young and didn't know what was acceptable to be posted for all eyes with access to the Internet to see. I don't know. I know God protected me from so much in this venture (I've never had to deal with cyber-bullies, for one thing) and I know that my reply to anyone who might ask about the wisdom of such a project would be be uncertain. All I know is that, even through all the cringe-worthy insecurities that paved my way for 41 followers and over 26,500 pageviews, I've learned so much. 


All I know is that God keeps teaching me 4 simple lessons:



  1. I am broken
  2. Everyone else is broken, too
  3. God is the only one who isn't broken
  4. There is a grace that I can't even comprehend that somehow reaches down to us broken people and pulls us up on a level where we have free access to the throne of God
Every circumstance, every opportunity, every day, God is teaching me these truths.

And somehow... no matter how many times I'm taught them, I forget. My own insecurities get in my way a lot more than they should, as do my mistakes. I forget that even the people I look up to and wish to be like are still just as human as I am. Somehow, I forget that God's grace is far more powerful and far greater than my sins (or anyone else's) can ever be.

So I'll keep trying to learn - I'll keep trying to grow. I'll try to be humble and content with the life I've been given, instead of wishing for things I can't have yet. I'll try to excel in the field I've been placed in and to bloom where I'm planted, instead of gazing with longing eyes at the neighboring farmer's garden.

Because I believe God knows better than I do that a little clover like me wouldn't do as well in a flat, golden cornfield. :)


(also, Jo turned 6 on the 11th. How awesome is that?!?)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Little Update (7/18/17)

Hello, everyone! I hope your summer is going splendidly. We got back from our week-long vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina last Friday and we're still trying to get back into a normal routine. Summers are pretty relaxed for us, in that we don't really have a schedule or anything like that, so it's not hard to do. I started working at an amusement park in late April (don't get worried! I don't run the rides, so they're perfectly safe), and I work around 3 days a week; I'm also trying to start up a business selling t-shirts with designs that I've made, so that's fun. I'm pretty excited to see where this new venture will lead. :)

I've also had a newly awakened desire to memorize Bible passages and read and learn more. I don't know that I've ever been this excited about the Word of God, and I really, really like it. I don't want this new fervor to go away. I want it be bubbling and overflowing out of me, all the time and everywhere! I want everyone to have this gift that God's given me!


That's not to say I don't have to bite my tongue at work sometimes to keep from complaining, or that I talk about Jesus every chance I get (although I wish I did!). I still cringe and want to cover my ears with all the foul language I hear and inappropriate references and trashy music that they play on the bus on the way to work. Sometimes I have weird health problems and I get sick and I don't trust God the way I should.


But I'm learning.  I really, really am learning. I feel like I'm growing so much as a person, and although I know I'm not ready quite yet to become a full-fledged adult yet, I'm getting there. I'm having dreams for my future and I'm drawn a certain direction for the coming years, and I'm so unbelievably excited because I've found a passion, something I love - and why shouldn't I pursue it?


So look out world, 'cause I'm going make some pretty crazy mistakes along the way!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Maybe Sometimes (7/4/17)

Sometimes I feel like maybe people forget about me and I try too hard to help them remember.
Sometimes I care too much what people think.
Sometimes I get excited or nervous and I talk too fast and slur my words together. Sometimes I complain more than I should.
Sometimes I have weird physical problems and I don't know the cause or how to explain them to people. Sometimes I can't even form words to explain what's wrong or how they can help me because it feels like someone disconnected the cords carrying messages from my brain to my mouth.

I've been living in the constant fear of having another "episode", like maybe I'll just start feeling drowsy and my heart rate will drop and I'll simply fall over again. Maybe something like this will happen again and no one will be around to see me fall. Maybe no one will find me and I'll lay out there for who knows how long until I wake up again... if I wake up again.

But maybe, just maybe... I shouldn't be so worried. Sure, I should have a backup plan in case of emergencies, and maybe I should let the people I work with know just in case, but I shouldn't worry about it all the time because that might trigger the very thing that I'm anxious about.

Maybe I ought to stop counting the things in my life that have caused me pain in the last two-and-a-half months and focus on the little things that should keep me contented and joyful, if not happy all the time. Maybe I should stop creating lists to have on hand in case someone asks for prayer requests and instead list the blessings that God has put in my life that I have taken for granted, or at the very least, haven't been as grateful for as I should have been.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with a peace the surpasses all understanding.
Sometimes God gives me more grace than I know how to accept easily.
Sometimes my family and friends love me more than I deserve.
Sometimes a person comes along at the exact moment when I need a hug or a hand to hold.
Sometimes I love my job and the people I work with, and I love that I'll have the opportunity to share Christ with them at some point.
Sometimes I forget what trust in God really means...

And maybe... just maybe...

I ought to remember that more. :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

These Things Take Time - Song Post (6/13/17)



I want to know why pain makes me stronger

I want to know why good men die
Why am I so afraid of the dark, but I stray from the light?
I want to know why You gave me eyes when faith is how I see
And tell me, is it easier to doubt or harder to believe?
Oh, there's so many questions stirring in me

And I'm wondering why
Sometimes the truth ain't easy to find
I want to know all the answers
But I'm learning that these things take time
Yeah, these things take time

How can success make us feel like failures?
And the harder we fall, the harder we try
The more I have the more I need just to feel like I'm getting by
Oh, there's so many questions in one short life

And I'm wondering why
Sometimes the truth ain't easy to find
I want to know all the answers
But I'm learning that these things take time
Yeah, these things take time

And we spend so much time chasing our tails
Hoping to find every last answer to everything in life
So many questions, not enough time

But I'm still wondering why
Sometimes the truth ain't easy to find
I want to know all the answers
but I'm learning that these things take time
Yeah, these things take time

Hey, we all want to understand why evil lives, and good men die
On the way to Heaven, the truth unwinds
These things take time
These things take time
Yeah, these things take time

Friday, May 19, 2017

Irreparable, Irreplacable (5/6/17)

Show me the way I should walk. ~ Psalm 143:8 <3:
People are chipped, cracked, broken; even the ones we think seem perfect are messed up, somehow. We don't get to be perfect - we don't even get to come close! - but we try. God knows, we try. We strive so hard to become like the ones we see, the ones we want to be friends with - but it usually ends sadly, with each desperate effort, each last hopeful fling leaving us more downhearted and despairing than before.

Why do we unconsciously think others are so close to that lofty perch when we ourselves struggle every day? Why do we expect others to do better than we would? Why do we automatically assume that we are below the level of our peers?


We are all human. We may not have the same struggles, we may not fight the same battles, but we are similar in that we all have them. We have habits we wish we could break, traits we wish we could change, things we wish were different.


We're not just chipped, cracked, stained, or dented. We are broken. We are smashed. Like a glass that has been shattered against the ground, we are beyond repair. By rights, we should be irreparable. And we are.

Our repair, that is. We can't fix things (you'd think we'd have figured this out by now); we just make a bigger mess when we try! 

But God can.


This is an excerpt from a letter I never sent, but I can't seem to put it into better words:
"God touched my heart...and handled it so gently and calmed it so beautifully that I couldn’t help but give it into His keeping forever."

He picks up all the delicate, fragile little pieces and when He's done with them, you can't even tell it was the same glass, it's so changed. It's cleansed, and it's made new.

The older I get, the more I realize no one is perfect. There is none righteous, no, not one - but God can make us so. I am as broken as every single one of you - but He has made me whole again, and I pray it is the same with you. :)