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. :)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Returning (4/22/17)



I close my eyes and I can hear the same voices, saying what they said - it feels like years ago and yet they're still there, waiting for me as they will ever wait for me. I can still see the ghosts of the people I was with in this room, talking to me and watching me, and laughing and crying with me. I place my hands on the cold metal of the door's push-lever behind me and keep my eyes closed... I can still hear my brothers standing on each side of me, joking around while we waited for our turn. I can hear a voice I grew to know well in those days, coaching me and helping me to learn, helping me to teach myself. I can feel my hands being taken by two friends who my heart grew to love so much better afterward. I feel my head being raised, and a hand under my chin. I take the draping fabric through my fingers, pulling it off of my head softly and forgetting that it's not truly there anymore because I can still hear the ghostly rustle as it glides down from my shoulders.
There is laughter, so much laughter - but I can't forget the tears: they're still dampening my cheeks, sliding and dripping off my nose. I can't forget the way I squeezed those two hands in mine as if they were my only hope, my life lines, or the way I saw it all unfolding before my eyes... it was happening... I could see it, even if all anyone else ever saw was a blank, meaningless wall on the other side. I can't forget the terrified determination, or the resigned grief.

This room is full of ghosts, these ghosts of mine.

And these ghosts - such beautiful, cherished, tortured ghosts! - are fraught with memories.

 :
via Pinterest

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Don't Wait For It (4/5/17)

I'm turning 17 next month; one more year and one year closer to adulthood. I used to long to be older so I could do things on my own, and now I wish to stay young because I'll have to do things on my own. There's so much confusion, so much uncertainty that I never knew about when I was little, looking up - and there's so much more fear that I might misstep or tumble down the wrong path than I ever dreamed. What if my decisions aren't right? What if I choose something I shouldn't? 

And so I wait. In the stillness. In the silence.

I wait. For something long-expected, but not yet tangible or even describable.  

I wait. For something... but what, I cannot say.

For certainty? Possibly. For assurance? Maybe.

I've searched my heart and realized the truth of the matter (after laying around the house, moping a little, and reading some more Dickens to get me back in a good mood). Truth is, my mindset right now is TOTALLY warped out of shape. Truth is, I'm scared to make a wrong decision as I consider the options before me... so I push them all aside and tell myself later. But I don't intend to look at them later, either. Not really. Truth is... my girlish little heart is striving to push it all aside until the day every girl dreams of arrives and, "I don't have to worry about it anymore."

I can't even say how wrong that thinking is. Like, SO wrong.

I was reminded by a wise friend of mine (who said this, totally unconscious that it related to what I was thinking through), who said, "We should always be trying to become more refined, to learn more, to keep trying to become better as people." He said we should always be striving, that there should never be a time when we are not being refined - that we ourselves are not refining

I can't just wait, sitting here at home and getting by doing only the bare minimum. I can't just put my life on hold while I wait for a day that will not come within the next 3-4 years at least, if ever
In becoming mediocre at many things, I've become great at none. In spreading my interests and ambitions and flinging them to the East and Western winds, I have nothing to hold in my own two hands to show for any of it. There are many things I want to do, but few that I am able. But do I even try, for the most part? If I'm honest, the answer would have to be no.

I've decided I'm not waiting anymore. I'm not going to sit and watch as life passes by so I can meet Prince Charming (or Laurie Lawrence, Gilbert Blythe, Ham Peggoty, Nicholas Nickleby, or Raoul de Chagny, if we're going to be particular) someday in the distant future and life will be perfect. Because it won't. Life is never perfect and I should never expect it to be. But I can try to make my life the best that it can be. I can try to make life better for other people.

Sure, it will never be perfect.

But it can get pretty close sometimes. 

Proverbs 31:25:  
(Taken from Pinterest; all credit to the original artist)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

MMC (3/25/17)

I sighed, rising to take another novel from my shelf. Today had been quiet... too quiet. Now my only option was reading; maybe it would take my mind off of the disconcerting near-silence that had been my day.

I got about one paragraph into the chapter when my mind began to wander. It started slowly, like a child who was still undecided whether to stay and listen to the story or run off and play by themselves. Then I blinked and couldn't remember what I'd just read. 

Lone-ly. Lone-ly. Lone-ly.
https://shahnilpa.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/attic.jpg 
My heartbeat rang in my ears, but I shook it off impatiently. Why should I be lonely? I have so many friends that love and care about me, so many acquaintances that seem to want to know me better. What's to be lonely about?

I started the page over again; this time, I only got a sentence or two in before it happened again. My mind started running over the words...

Lone-ly. Lone-ly. Lone-ly.

This time I slammed the book against my knees in frustration and hissed at my brain to shut up. I needed a distraction... I didn't want to think about the only conversation that I'd had...

Lone-ly. Lone-ly.

My eyes couldn't even see the words anymore. With a angry grunt, I threw the book across the room and took up another one. This endeavor was even more futile. With fingers shaking so badly I couldn't even open the book, it ended up on the floor as well. I crumbled to the floor, my hurt turning to poisoning bitterness instead of aching sadness.

I've been a fool. This whole time, I've been a fool...

And my mind taunted me, one last time:

And to think, you thought they cared.

 

Recent Projects (3/24/17)

 I started thinking lately: I haven't embroidered anything in years. That would probably be fun (as long as I don't quit on it and have another unfinished project for my stack). ;)



 So here is the result of that thinking! I started it 4 days ago and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I used one of the designs I made a few months ago and found a verse I wanted to go with it. One thing I'll have to remember for next time though, is to only use two strands of embroidery floss instead of three. Three just makes the stitches too thick. It probably would have been easier, too, if I had picked a different font to stitch it in; the one I chose looked alright when printed, but when stitched, it looks a little childish - not that I mind. Just something I'll have to remember for next time. :)
 Instead of hemming it, I'll probably ask my grandma to serge it for me (since she has a serging machine) the next time I see her.

 I've also started up my work again on some yellow squares I started crocheting awhile back. After I make enough, I'll turn them into a sunny, cheerful blanket - what I'll do with the blanket, I'm not sure yet. 

  
And although I've had a metal stamping kit for a long time, I haven't used it much at all, so I went outside to catch some fresh air and I tried it out again. The only thing about making these is I have a hard time getting the stamps not to slide when I hit them with the hammer (which is why the 4 at the end of the "Est." circle is more of a blurry cacophony), but maybe the more I do it, the easier it will become.

 Any suggestions on what sort of projects I should attempt to tackle next are completely welcome. I'm trying to grow more as a person, as I've mentioned before - become more well-rounded in my skills set - and although I love doing crafty things, I'm already half-decent at them and am looking forward to trying other kinds of projects as well. I'd love to know what some of your favourite hobbies are. :)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Butterfly Crosswalk

My little blog has suffered sadly lately, but I've felt like I had nothing to write (or was very reluctant to write about the few subjects I considered) - so today I just opened up a new draft and started something new. When I wrote this tonight, I was unconsciously writing it with the Iron Curtain in mind - of Christians in what was then the country of Czechoslovakia, but is now divided into two countries (Czech Republic and Slovakia). They took hands in a line, in defiance of what could be called socialistic slavery - and suffered for their nonviolent stand for what they believed.
This is kind of a new stage for me in my life, and my future posts might reflect that a bit. I'm thinking more... asking more questions, wondering about more in my life. I'm growing up. And I've finally, truly realized that and am trying to act like it.

The Butterfly Crosswalk
Hands clasped in united purpose,
Heads bent together in prayer,
Many gathered, even more in thoughts
Here stand we at the Butterfly Crosswalk.

Believe ye not that we are an illusion,
In delusion, believing wrongly in confusion:
All we say is true - this Love is our revolution
And we'll speak His name despite your retribution.

Bound together through our faith,
We care not for probable disgrace
Our misplacement in this world is simply fraught
With enemies here at this Butterfly Crosswalk.

Enraged by words, they rush at us
Furious at kindness, they come at us
They are armed - we are innocent -
Hand-in-hand, trusting He who is our defense.

And so we are left here, desolate
And yet not without our Hope, our King
Although they have beaten us into naught
This is only our Butterfly Crosswalk.

Simply a road, not our home -
Only a passing-through, not our stay
We've been called to go on ahead
Death is just the beginning of a glorious end. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Are Mistakes a Good Thing? (2/12/17)

The Academy of Arts seminar is over... I still can't get over what an amazing and blessed week last week was! I already miss all of my good friends so much, and am aching to talk to them all in person again - and I saw them only yesterday! I can barely remember the performance, it all happened so quickly... I can only remember a handful of the scenes I was in, and even fewer of the lines that I only assume I spoke. Friends and friendly acquaintances continue to congratulate me on what they called a fantastic job, when I really don't know whether to believe them or not because my mind has completely blanked out and I have no idea what all happened when I was on stage.

But I do remember the mistakes... good grief, so many mistakes! And yet, no one in the audience really seemed to notice; they didn't know that I was supposed to begin a certain scene on my throne instead of gracefully gliding onto the stage and stepping up to it in the middle. They didn't know I was supposed to be wearing a headdress in a specific scene, which I was unable to put on in time. There were so many itty-bitty things that could have been done better...

...But I don't regret a single moment. Not a single mistake. Not a single thing.

The night before the performance, I prayed as I was crying alone downstairs from both pain and nervousness. As a lot of people know, I slammed into a horizontal pole at a pretty high speed that evening and found it a little difficult to breathe. Every time someone made me laugh, I would start tearing up because my lungs hurt. As I laid there, sobbing on some chairs that were lined up beside a table, I started speaking my heart aloud to God. At first my prayers were the instinctive, "Please take this pain away," and "God, this hurts so much,", but after another moment or two, I started to think a little more about what I was asking. The whole week of Academy, the team had encouraged us to make every part of this performance about glorifying God... so I changed my prayer to something more like this.

"God, if it be Your will, take away this pain so that I might be able to better say my lines tomorrow... but if I can glorify you more when I am hurting - if You will receive more honour and glory and credit if I work through this difficulty - if Your strength will be shown much more in my weakness... give me more pain, God. Make me hurt worse, if that will give you more honour and glory."

And I think part of that sort of mindset is also asking God to somehow use whatever mistakes we might make - even if we can't see how. Thinking, "If making these mistakes will give Him more glory, then I don't want our performance to be perfect." I'm not saying we should try to make mistakes, but if we do have an occasional mess-up, we shouldn't worry about it, but rather leave it in God's hands. The Bible says, "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" (Luke 12:25)

I'm grateful that I did find it easier to breathe the day of the performance and that I was able to say my lines the way I was supposed to (and if I didn't, it wasn't for pain's sake). I'm not saying all this to boast or brag about anything I might have done right (if any such thing did happen at all), but to state something I learned last week that I never truly thought about before. If I wanted to brag, I wouldn't have been honest about bawling downstairs by myself; I hate it when people see me cry (which really happens more often than I like to admit). I'll confess that I hated walking back upstairs when I knew my eyes were still really red and people would ask questions, but I felt God was calling me to go back and help, despite the pain. He placed something on my heart that day to share with the elementary students, who had their performance that day - so I went back up and shared it. I don't know how many of them were listening or took it to heart, but I did what God called me to do in that moment.

And I'm so glad I did.