Sunday, January 26, 2014


I watched Ragamuffin last weekend and I'm still thinking about it. Turning it over in my head.

I watched it.

I cried.

And I cried because it was so much like real life.

One of Rich's friends described him as, "like us, but more so." And I think that is true about his life, his life is like mine, but more so.

Most of time "Christian" movies seem to tie every fraying thread of story into a bow; every broken relationship is mended, every ache has a resolution, and it's like "Ta-da! Jesus just fixes everything!"

And a part of me wishes that this were true, actually all of me wishes this were true. I wish I could see everything broken made whole and every question answered, here, right now. I wish I was promised a resolution this side of the grave and a bow on every sad story.

But that's not how life works, sometimes it does and it's wonderful, but sometimes...often even, it doesn't.

Sometimes babies die and a mother hearts always ache.

Sometimes relationships are broken and never restored and sometimes the son never comes home.

Sometimes arms stay empty and sometimes winter is so long we forget what spring feels like.

Sometimes people we love walk away, leaving us broken and bleeding and sometimes they never come back.

Sometimes there are chasms are torn between a father and his child and sometimes death steps between them before it can be crossed.

Sometimes the heavens seem to echo empty as you beat bleeding fists against them and sometimes life ends with screaming brakes, broken glass, and warm blood soaking into asphalt.

We strain to see through a glass darkly and in the ache we all whisper the question, "How can this be good?"

Like everyone I have baggage woven in me. There are stories I don't tell for fear of hurting people and only making chasms deeper. And I cried because I realized that all these broken threads of story that I hold may have no resolution here. Everyone I love and I may breathe our last breath still holding shattered pieces and broken threads.

It's so hard to have faith in those moments. To hold on to hope and not give into despair when all you see is rubble takes courage that there is more to life that what you see.

I read this in a book last night,

"They found something richer than narrative--not just a chain of this, and this, and what happens next. Life was poetry, each scene woven through with innumerable threads. They could find glory in the moments that might seem like defeat to someone of lesser vision. This was one of those moments."

To have eyes that find glory in the moments that seem like defeat.

To have eyes that discern artistry in what appears to be pure chaos.

I want that so badly, it gives me an ache deep down. There is glory hiding, if we but had the eyes to see it.

Hold on. Hope is coming, Good is coming to sweep away all the ache and loss, for He has already begun the great reversal. He will turn backwards all pain and ache into joy, tears into laughter, loss into gain, and death into life.

I also read in the same book,

"She's not fleeing from death and darkness. She's trying to drag the world with her. To the mountain."

May I have eyes that see and love enough to drag the world with me towards the beauty they cannot yet see.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Winter has revealed those twisted and gnarled branches of old trees that are reaching, reaching, reaching, as high into the heavens as their limbs will allow them. Those battered trees give me hope, for they have weathered storms, heard winds howl, felt the bite of ice on their skin, and yet, they are still reaching up.

These old giants have survived long droughts which made them reach deep, deep, deep down into this earth, in the end the lack probably saved them when those raging storms came around.

Shallow roots will never do when thunderheads roll and winds beat and batter against you.

These old dryads, year after year slip in and out of light filmy petticoats, soft deep vermillion green dresses, and brilliant ruby and burning gold gowns, until finally without complaint they shed them all and allow the bitter cold to display their faults for the world to see.

Not a one of them is straight and perfect all over, each has twisting, bent and broken branches.

They like I are crooked, even as they reach up.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I want to travel.

I want to go to wander around England, run my hand over the old stones in Oxford, and I want to slip into that old pub that once held the minds that birthed Narnia and Middle earth. I want to stand on the cliffs Ireland and watch the waves crash hundreds of feet below me, I want to dance on Prince Edward Island and see that red road that might just lead to Avonlea, I want to stand at the shores of Chincoteague and watch the ponies surging through the water for their penning day, I want to run up and hug an ancient red wood and drive along the Pacific highway, I want to travel to China and explore all the little corners that exist in even the biggest places, I want to go to Scotland and Norway, I want to go to Venice before it sinks and I want to go to the Parthenon in Rome.

Then there's Russia and India and Jerusalem and Uganda and Ethiopia and South America and the rest of this big but small beautiful world we live it.

I want to go to places where the wood is so steeped in history that it leaks out of the walls. I want to run my hands over stones that hold stories that no one on earth knows. 

Some days I just want to go.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I'm feeling bad about how much I post on Facebook, but writing and taking pictures of things I think are pretty is not something I am going to be able to stop...soooo here I am. 

And I miss journaling.

So today my mother came with me to violin lessons, and by came with I mean she shopped at the Habitate for Humanity Restore while I had my lesson. 

I looked around as well (I like that store an awful lot, they have a bookstore in it). 

Here is what I found: 

Oh, this painting made me ache, I could almost taste the salt and feel the wind. I wanted to give it a home so badly...however, given the $300 price tag I had to walk away.

Old mirrors and ballet flats.

A couple of my spoils.

And look at this Carolina sky...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

N.D. Wilson

"Whom did Christ fight? The leaders of His own religion, His professed management. The righteous. 

What did Christ do in the temple? He whipped people and flipped tables. Later He even ripped that big, expensive purple curtain. 

With who did He sit and eat? Whores. Thieves. The unclean.

From birth to the end, He never left the trough. Christ walked from insult to insult, from filth to filth.
Lepers. Prostitutes. Tax men. The Dead.

He chose fisherman to stand closest to Him, and from the educated He chose one great man--a murderer who didn't want to come and had to be knocked off his donkey." 

N.D. Wilson
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
-Steven Pressfield

You know when something hits you in the gut?

That feeling when you read something and it reverberates throughout your entire being as it bounces off the deepest corners of your soul sending echoes through your heart.

Yeah, this quote kinda sorta did that.

Every time I write I’m terrified.
I’m terrified that no one else will understand what I’m talking about.
I’m scared that someone out there will think that I do this for attention. That all the black marks I toss out there are for a selfish need for validation…and I’m terrified that they are just exactly that.

I’m scared that I’ll be left alone clutching this cold empty fear to my chest.

Writing exposes who I am, it lets you all get to know me and all my quirks, and that is scary.

Because I’m not very balanced and not a single one of my friends has ever used normal as an adjective to describe me.

I write too much, and apologize too much, and read too much, and think too much, and take too many pictures, and worry too much, and I’m too idealistic. I am both too sure of myself and not at all. I am wracked with insecurity and prideful all at the same time. I somehow marry the very worst of opposites in this five foot ten frame.

At all the wrong times I seem to leap before I look and then take too long looking so I never even leap.

I’m a living paradox, a walking contradiction, a breathing antilogy, an antithesis with a glasses.

What makes me think that anyone would care what I have to say?

But I keep writing anyway…

Because I cling on tightly to this ridiculous idea that I have words that no one else does. That my life and experience and perspective have given me something that no one else ever has or ever will have. I clutch at the idea that I was created to be and do things that will somehow make a difference.

Maybe I’m crazy for believing in just a ridiculous idea, but you know, I’ve never exactly been known for being normal anyways.

And I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense my brain and head is still a little foggy from waging war against the microbials that decided to take up residence in my body this weekend.

Now I'm going to go and listen to the Frozen soundtrack.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Dear I've crawled through despair.
Lungs broken, gasping for air.
And I sit here crying and aching.
Wondering if I am even worth saving.

I've lifted up shattered dreams, 
Broken hands holding torn seams 
For every time I stand tall
I somehow manage to fall. 

This world carves hard lines 
This heavy weight curves my spine.
And the heaviest thing is often my lack and my failure.
For grace doesn't seem big enough to give me a waiver.

For I have always been told I know better.
Everyone is watching so don't you mess up! 
Goes that reel in my head that just won't shut up
Then the pain carves deep scars 
As all the ache hides the stars.

My lips have stung with all the questions I have flung.
Why do I mess up again and again?
How can this turn out for good?
When all I can see is my sin?
I hold out an empty grasping hand 
Asking, begging to understand.

Look at the world, all of her lacks.
Line up all the horrors.
And if you look long enough 
Hope begins to slip between cracks

But despite all of my ache, pain, and fear.
I'm learning that in order to see I must chase for pain and mistakes require a much deeper grace.

If after beauty and grace you hound 
Everything lost will again be found.
All those shattered fragments of your soul once again will be whole.

Though this ache and the pain may make me weep 
But I will laugh in the end because grace, even for me runs so deep.
Love has come and laughter like a river always follows 
Filling in all of these deep and dry empty hollows.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


(I try not to rant often, but sometimes I'm just so flabbergasted that I just have to, so please excuse me.)

I've never run with the "popular" girls. I'm not that kind of gorgeous, I didn't and don't care enough about my clothes, hair and make up. Plus I have never been terrified enough of bugs and snakes to ever make it in those circles. I don't have what it takes, nor do I care to try and obtain it.

I don't have a models figure, I never will, and I'm alright with that. I want to be healthy but sorry, I'm not going to starve myself just to fit into a size two. I want to look nice sure, but I'm not going to lose two hours of sleep to do my make up. I refuse to carry around a purse that's worth more than the money I carry it in, I like shopping in the clearance aisles, and I would rather shop for books than clothes. I am who I am, eat it.

It's like you have the cheerleader group and then you have Ming, with her glasses and stacks of books, sitting in the corner thinking to much, laughing, and eating cinnamon rolls.

Honestly, I forget people like that exist. I am so completely surrounded by the most incredibly kind and thoughtful people, that I forget that such mean, shallow, petty people actually exist in real life.

I was sharply reminded about this tonight. I sat listening to story after story of women my age who apparently never got the memo that there is more to life than what you see in the mirror, who sit and critic the world, and who believe the worst thing you can call someone is "basic" (side note: I didn't even know what that meant and had to ask for an explanation). I kind of sat in shock as I listened, just staring, not being able to comprehend that girls my age could really be that shallow and be such catty b's.

I'm sorry but I'd rather look "basic" and be interesting, fun, opinionated, idealistic and kind, than look like Helen of Troy and be mean spirited, catty, empty-headed, and self-obsessed.

There's more to beauty than good bone structure and the skin on our faces.

Goodness gracious. Alright now I feel better, I'm done.

Oh, it's a new year...

(If it makes you feel any better--I tried really, really hard not to write this. I had determined it was to cliche and I was not going to do it....andddd here I am anyway. Forgive and love me regardless? Still friends?)

Last night I stayed up way too late talking with my mom recounting everything that had happened in the last 365 days. It feels like 2013 flew by, but as I sat remembering everything that had happened it all of a sudden seemed incredible how much life was squeezed into the year.

As I traced lines around all the craziness that had happened, I just started laughing. I laughed because I have such an incredibly short term memory. I often forget how incredibly good God is, but as I sat looking at my life now I began to piece together all the things that led me to where I sit now and I saw this incredible picture emerge.

This year I have grown closer to old friends and family and I have met dozens and dozens of incredible people, who I now count among my dearest friends. I just wish I could convey to them how much I adore them, I haven't figured it out yet, but I'm going to keep trying.

This year I've grown into my own skin a little bit, owning who I am, I've poked holes into fears that I've held for so long, I've chased after beauty with bright zeal, I've erased the lines that I didn't realize I had drawn around grace, I've been hunted and hounded by Love and grace, I've cried bitter and painful tears and I've learned in the middle of pain that joy born out of heartache has a substance that it wouldn't have otherwise. And laughter slips from lips.

There's something about walking through difficult things that forces us to wade ever deeper into this ocean of grace.

So raise this glass of life to your lips and let us all drink deeply of this new year. Happy twenty fourteen my people.

Love much and much love,


Poem or something.

Dear I've crawled through despair,
Lungs bleeding, broken, gasping for air
For this old world carves hard lines 
And this heavy weight, it curves our spines.

I've lifted up shattered dreams, 
Broken hands holding torn seams .
And my lips have stung
With all the questions I have flung.

Look at the world, all her lacks
Hope slips unreachable between the cracks
I hold out empty grasping hands 
Asking, begging to understand.

But despite all of my ache, pain, and fear
Something is becoming clear.
I'm learning that I must chase
For pain requires a deeper grace.

If after beauty and grace you hound 
Everything lost will again be found.
All those shattered fragments of heart and soul
Will once again be beautiful and whole.

I stand outside on the soft loam
Crying loudly, "I am not yet home!"
This ache and pain will make me weep 
But I will smile for grace runs deep.
Love has come and laughter follows 
Filling in all of these empty hollows