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?!? :D)

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. :)

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)