Monday, December 23, 2013

christmas eve-eve

christmas eve-eve is my favorite day. i think i might even like it more than christmas day.
it's exciting and relaxing and full of anticipation and chaos and something about it is always perfect.

that aside, this christmas break has been a weird one. i have felt like more like a spectator than a participant. it's weird to be absent from my own home for a long enough time that it makes it strange to come back for more than a handful of days. i guess that is a part of growing up and such. but it's still weird. the weirdest thing about this christmas has been the lack of focus on Christ as a baby. as i have read and prayed and listened to prepare myself for the season, i have been drawn to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ more than His birth. He became a human child to bring hope to all mankind.
and to die for all mankind.

so i rarely have complete thoughts. today it is worse than usual.
so to distract you from the disjointedness of this post, here is a list of things that i've been taught this christmas season:

my life is not my own
i am loved loved loved
family units are difficult but worth it
love takes work
love is a joy
friends are absolutely priceless
sometimes rest is more important than anything
i have a gentle Father tenderly telling me each day to wait for His Son's return
i am prone to wander
breathing is important
focusing on the root of the problem often soothes tension
we are broken broken broken people
christmas lights are beautiful
christmas music is tacky and perfect
good coffee made by my dad everyday is something i've missed
time is precious
"now" is precious
never ever be afraid to tell someone how much they're worth to you
never ever be afraid to tell someone how much they're worth to Jesus

that's about all.

happy christmas eve-eve.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


she just looked at the wall while she sat in the hallway. nothing mattered. nothing was happening. the walls were white just like the floor except the floor was not really white anymore because it had been walked on by lots of heavy boots all caked with mud and leaves and snow and dust and problems from the outside world. she still sat and looked. wanting nothing. caring for nothing. time ran by her with little feet and didn’t ever stop, not even to say hello or to slap her face and say “snap out of it!” or to change her hair to gray. he had told her yesterday that a golden age was coming. he whispered it deep into her ear so it could enter there and make its way all the way to her heart. he hoped she would believe it. he hoped it would make her blink, speak, move. 
she had heard it. 
she had felt him kiss her lips as she sat, eyes wide open, in the hallway. 
she had, for the first time, felt alive. just for an instant she felt this way. she felt awake and felt her heart beat and her brain tick. but then someone opened the door and a cold wind blew into the hall where she sat and she felt the numbness of winter creep over her.
 if only he knew that life cannot hurt you when you are this way.he would join herhe would come and sit and face the blank wall, not thinking, breathing, feeling. not really living. but still being alive.

Monday, December 2, 2013

all at once i knew, i was not magnificent

i hate feeling weak.
whether it is a physical or a mental or a spiritual or an emotional shortcoming, it doesn't matter. i still hate it. Thanksgiving was a lovely time with my family and friends and rest, but my weakness became more and more apparent. my inability to rightly deal with disappointments and my own sin mounted until the night before i left to come back to Johnson City.
when i could no longer handle it i laid in my dark, warm bedroom and i cried. that frustrated me further and made me feel even weaker. so (of course) i fought the tears valiantly. but even then i lost. instead of sobbing for a few minutes and being done with it, i laid for four hours with my throat tight, my eyes burning, and a small pool of tears accumulating on my pillow.
on the drive back to school, the sun rose. the moon hung silvery and crescent-shaped. there were stars in the dark blue sky along with the rose-colored signs of dawn.
it was breathtaking.
then all at once i knew, i was not magnificent. i am weak.. i am foolish and irrational and it is so good/painful to be reminded of that. but that is how it is supposed to be. if i was strong and wise and perfect i wouldn't be in desperate need of saving.
so i guess what i am saying is this post-thanksgiving season has gotten me thinking about what i am thankful for. presently, i am so grateful for this:

      But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
- 1st Corintians 1:26-31

God chooses the weak. the foolish. even the despised.
and gifts them with strength. with wisdom. with redemption.

and turns them into something glorious.

that's totally worthy of gratitude.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

hocus pocus focus locus

the amount of focused i have been this semester is a little magical to me. i have not just "skipped class", i have not procrastinated (half as much), i have gotten sleep (most of the time), have kept a (somewhat steady) workout routine, and have spent time with Jesus everyday.

if you know me, this is not at all congruous with my typical disheveled self. if i didn't know any better, i would say that a dramatic personality shift has taken place.

but this, in fact, is not at all true.

the biggest contributing factor (to my whole life but also) to this semester's success is the letting go of my (feeble) belief in the idea that my locus of control is internal. a whole-hearted surrendering to Jesus Christ every day has relieved the pressure and left only passion for (most of) the subjects i've been given to study (this statement excludes statistics. i have no passion for it. whatsoever. ew). 

within two weeks i have: cast bronze, written and presented an abstract for a research paper, began my last sculpture of the semester, thrown up outside of michael's, heard a poetry reading, worked with a world class artist, fell more in love with east tennessee, grown more fond of david, signed up for spring classes, and found out a definite graduation date.

that has left me a bit (emotionally and, at certain times, physically) dizzy. but there is still a peaceful gratitude that pervades my relationships, my speech, and even the way i plan. i am fully confident that "today" comes and goes like a wind. that thought just doesn't distress me as it used to. the time for me to know "where i'm going" is approaching so quickly, but i have never been so at peace with not knowing as i am now.

i don't believe in an external locus of control that leaves my life up to chance. that would be a miserable existence. instead, i rest boldly in the knowledge that i have a loving, guiding, ever-present Father. He is there. with me. 


so as i am thinking on graduation and finals and a new year and growing older, i am unconcerned with the possibility that my fragile plans will fall through or that i will get hurt or even that i may fail at something crucial in my life. 

i know that He is with me. and that is enough.

post-script: this post is really scattered and unfocused. and it initially was supposed to be about how focus has become a part of my life. the irony abounds.

Friday, November 15, 2013

because i do not want to do statistics homework on this friday morning

my focus is split:

(my mind is sizzling sizzling simmering simmering
two halves of grey matter always straining separate ways.)

i am here at this table
typing on my expensive equipment and
drinking average coffee from a non-descript mug.
i am in a ravine filled with gravel and railroad ties,
trying to be still enough
to make sense of what is to come.

the trees blowing in the wind clatter and shatter
the silence i long for
as they beat the tall dirt walls that encompass me.
the voices in the coffeeshop,
the dishes chinking, clinking
the little girl jumping into the squares of linoleum,
all remind me of the chaos of solitude.

my textbooks (sitting in front of me) tried to teach me
everything i needed to know
about this
about being caught and tangled in
the swift current of time and space and psychoanalysis and friendships and lovers and religion and clay caught between my fingers and cuts and abstracts and music and laughter and life and death.

but they didn't know.

they didn't know that within one person is two minds.
they didn't know that i would die to live longer and live to die later.
they didn't know that my heart was dark from the beginning and only made light by what they called "spirituality"

they didn't know.
and yet and yet and yet
i trusted them with my dark heart and my fractured mind.
i waited for them to tell me how to write and what to think
and paid them tremendously for it.
i have sacrificed my rest and my peace to them,
o those gods of academia,
and now knowing when this intellectual purgatory will end

i am lost.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

and you don't know why

i lack organization skills and i have a terrible logical flow.
so i'm going to split this post into two stories that come to one conclusion about my generation and society at large.
i hope that's alright.

A. last night, i had the incredible privilege to see five bands play that i know and respect on a college campus. they were all very talented in their own right, and i enjoyed them immensely.
the highlight of the night for me, though, was listening to my long-time favorite, night beds.

winston yellen sauntered onto the stage and my anticipation grew. he was obviously nervous (and slightly intoxicated) but as soon as he began to sing, that didn't matter. there is a vulnerability and a power to yellen's music that is almost prayer-like. his rhythms tend to be deeply rooted .if his music could lean into any genres it would be old-style country or jazz. that said, there is something intensely spiritual and introspective about his work, regardless of his broken worldview.

so he's up there, singing us soft songs about love and darkness and isolation. the words are piercing and relatable. i took a look around me, and the majority of the students there had blank expressions on their faces and looked like could not care less. stuff like that slays me.

B. last week, i was driving home to open for my largest musical inspiration (courtney marie andrews).  i was obviously nervous (but not intoxicated...just didn't want that parallel to yellin to cause any confusion) so i listened to the radio all the way to chattanooga. i generally stick to npr, the classical station, or oldies when i do turn on my radio. but this time, i just put on the "mainstream" music.

it was almost incredible to me that, song after song, what was being expressed (under a disguise of whiny voices and identical musical structures) was always apathy and despair and a longing for sexual satisfaction. those things all go hand-in-hand. those kinds of emptinesses (that's probably not a word) all point to Christ. and no one can see that. stuff like that slays me.

both of these stories are stark pictures of my generation (and society at large). we are a generation that suffers from intense isolation (due to whatever thing you want to blame it on) and a loose understanding of love and friendship. we are afraid to care about anything (like the students i mentioned) because we are afraid of being rejected from our peer group and becoming an unloved outcast. we are afraid to care about soulful things because we know that if we look long enough, we will see our weaknesses. we are afraid to be sober because we know that, in an a state aware of pain, we will be sad. we are afraid to be alone, but also afraid to be committed to loving someone else. we are afraid to do all these things. so we become sketch-like renditions of humans with hearts instead of the real deal.

the saddest thing about all of this, is that none of it is new. we are living in an ecclesiastical world where everything, even my life or your life, is a vapor. and when we live without the empowering love of Christ and the enabling grace of God and the inspiring fire of the Holy Spirit, it is indeed a vapid life.

the most joyous thing about all of this, is that we don't have to be apathetic and despondent. we have the choice (what a beautiful word) to commit to something real. it is a scary choice, so scary that many turn away from it, but it is the best one.

the lyrics to one song by night beds are:

when the sorrow comes,
and you don't know why,

come into my arms.
i'll hold you through the night.
and in the morning light,
we'll be sure to find
a kind of love so strong
it will make us cry faithful heights.

i know you get lost sometimes, man
i know you get lost.
i know you get lost sometimes, man
i know you get lost.
whenever you get lost, man
whenever you get lost, man
whenever you get lost, man
whenever you get lost 

hold my hand.

yellen usually performs this song without music. his voice rises up like a plaintive prayer.
this song is like what Jesus calls out to us. He assures us that when the sorrow comes and we don't know why, He alone is the one to hold us. He leads us to a powerful love. He brings us to our knees.

but until you or i or anyone else acknowledges that He is there and He is love and He is all,

we are lost.

don't choose to live a small, a frightened, and an aimless life, there is so much in this world (and infinitely more in the spiritual world) to actually care about.

Monday, October 21, 2013

monday morning thoughts

it is early enough where the mist and frost is still thick around my door in my apartment. i am drinking coffee and literally minutes from heading down to a statistics exam that i tried desperately to prepare for.
i have been thinking about acceptance a lot. partly because that has always been a struggle of mine (accepting myself more than others) and partly because a couple dear people i know are reading Brennan Manning's Ragamuffin Gospel. this book is a gem that deals with accepting love from Jesus and others. besides love, i feel like it is often hard to accept what you really are.

let me elaborate a little (i have exactly eight minutes until i need to it won't be too long. promise)

i spent most of highschool over-committing myself and kind of drowning myself with friends and fellowship. i thought i loved it, when the reality is, it drove me crazy. i remember so many times coming home from a function or a retreat or a class or a game night feeling so drained. i spent a lot of time honing my people skills to the point where i could make a friend within an hour. the result of all of this was me thinking that i had a large personality and a loud voice and a boisterously fun disposition. in my mind, i was the girl in the group that would initiate the fun and lead it brilliantly. i did not at all see that my chaotic social life and my long list of friends were correlated with feelings of isolation and depression. i rarely spent time with myself. when i did, it was uncomfortable and i would usually find someone to see or be with.
after hard lessons about God's ability to open my eyes to my own dark heart, i realized i am a small woman. yes, i do love people. i am capable of initiating. i am passionate about loving my friends well. but i need to be with just Jesus and just me at least a little bit a day, or i grow terribly blue. it's just fact.
i used to think something was a little bit wrong with me. but i know now that that something is part of what makes me beautiful and pleasing to God.

all this to say,
God glories in creating the small people or the quiet people or the loners or the introverts or whatever you call them. He painstakingly made us so that we would long for solitude and long for Him.
and it's kind of nice.

that's really all. i might be late for that exam. oops.

p.s. God of course delights in extroverts as well. no partiality there.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

may His beauty rest upon me.

i feel like i always have things i want to write about, but i never get the time to really sit down and write. much of my time is spent doing school which is draining and interesting and i never quite feel like i'm done. but that's alright.
this week i have felt so many blessings. blessings in my relationships, blessings in academics, and blessings in things like feeling made beautiful and loved by my Savior.
last weekend, i brought david home to meet the family (talk about a strange experience) and it was all sunshine and meeting people and seeing loved ones. during church we sang a hymn that touched my heart so deeply. it's been my anthem all semester and i haven't even known it. katie barclay wilkinson gave me words to quantify what i've been feeling as of late.

and it's perfect:

May the mind of Christ my Savior
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and pow’r controlling
  All I do and say.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
  Only through His pow’r.

May the peace of Christ my Savior
Rule my life in every thing,
That I may be calm to comfort
  Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me,
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
  This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
  As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
  Seeing only Him.

-Katie Barclay Wilkinson.

Monday, September 16, 2013


i was sitting in my american poetry class on the very first day of all the days of class during the fall of two thousand thirteen.

the professor was asking the people sitting in the room with me (in such an endearing way) what his or her favorite book of the summer was. my fellow classmates began sharing.

within five minutes, i realized how little i have read.

 i have always been all over the place in every area of my life. because of this, though i read tons in high school and early college, i would read one novel or memoir and quickly move to the next one. i wouldn't pay attention to if it was a classic or contemporary or written by a genius. my method, although it covered a lot of ground, left some very huge gaps in some very important areas.

thus, i have begun a quite overwhelming mission to investigate all those words and thoughts and ideas in all those books in the library i have never opened. Ginsberg, Williams (William Carlos and Tennessee), Hart Crane, Capote, Vonnegut, and many others have been (and will be) keeping me company where ever i go.

i once heard that you really have the most time to do superfluous reading in college. as ridiculous as that sounds, i think i'm going to cling to it and make it my motto or something.

all that to say, i have been reading a lot. and i plan to read more. and it's always nice to share thoughts about what i read. so i guess i'm warning you that posts may be lengthy and frequent and completely selfish ways for me to share an exhaustive version of my opinions.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

as i sit here

as i sit here, on my couch, i am perpending the sensations of wonder that have come during the days that most recently passed (for they have been beautiful days). the sounds of the approaching night are wandering in through the screen door and my mouth tastes of honey-sweet coffee and dark purple muscadines that only arrive at the conclusion of summer.
nothing monumental has been done today, but the momentous nature of the day weighs upon me. i remember feeling an intense fear for the first time this day. i was a small child, still unable to grasp many of the dark emotions that seem to dominate this world. i did not know what hate really was, but i knew, while watching that square television screen, what hate looked like. i didn't know what grief really was, but i knew, while watching my mother cry and hearing my dad's distorted voice on the phone, what grief looked like.
it's crazy to think about the freedom i have on this earth because of the multitude of people that have ended their stories and slept forever for this country.
it's even more bizarre to realize that the physical freedom i have right now, on this couch with my friends so near and the lovely trees outside my window and the satisfaction of a day well-spent, is so pale and small and tenuous compared to how free i really am. one man, who was also God, who was also man, died and felt alone and lived a life despised by many (if not all) people, for this soul of mine. for that soul of yours. and for the two thousand, nine hundred, and ninety-six souls that found themselves without bodies on this day, twelve years ago.

i am free.
you are free.

but we aren't quite yet to the true "sweet land of liberty."
so hold fast.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

rest, relationships, routine. a short exploration of themes in my life lately.

(because i haven't had time to reflect on the last two weeks and i have so much going on in my head)

the last couple of weeks have been so full of rest. the spiritual kind of rest came first. hiking with my brother and his brother-in-law in the smokies was the perfect end to the crazy adventure that was this summer. i got to spend time sitting in the quiet, foggy mountains and i reveled in the stillness and the quiet. i listened to the rain while soft praises spilled out of my heart. when i arrived to my apartment, i was still so exhausted. this summer definitely left me feeling drained. it was a good kind of drained, though. the kind of tired that only comes from too much fun and love and singing and laughter. the transition week here was spent watching Gilmore Girls (SO MUCH Gilmore Girls), eating, laughing, and sleeping. jessica and i probably spent 90% of the week in leggings on the couch or in our bunks or complimenting each other. it was a good physical rest.

humans are relational creatures. we need people loving us, challenging us, pushing us. we just need people. God placed that longing for community in us. and it has been a joy to live in that community. having jessica so close all the time is probably too much fun for me to handle. i am living with two stunning individuals who are intelligent and Godly, for sure. i also was able to experience the unique/overwhelming excitement of seeing david again for the first time in years...well months. but still. it was crazy-wonderful. i also have been loving the whole "getting to hang out with david almost all the time" thing. all that to say, it's incredible how good God can be to a girl like me.

i love to try to rebel against routine, but i just can't. it is fact. i am a creature of habit. a schedule looks so appealing right now and it's nice to just kind of find satisfaction in that. the impending doom of projects, jobs, money problems (which are inevitable-i'm a college student, yo), conflicts, and complications can all be written out and organized in my little purple planner. and although there will be variations in those plans (i'm still a pretty spontaneous individual), the waking up and the coffee and the classes will remain steadfast.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

unpacking thoughts while packing up everything else

because i'm moving into an apartment with a few other girls, i had been planning on going through my things pretty thoroughly. then my mom said she wanted to make some changes to the room and asked me if i would pack up all my other stuff. while purging clothes and snippets of fabric and knick-knacks and such, i found tons of my older artwork. it's been kind of weird to look at my work from a few years ago. it's kind of been nice, too.

i started taking art classes at the college level when i was sixteen (at chatt you know). i was so hooked and on fire. my adolescent dreams were definitely of my work being shown in galleries across the world and travel and the busy life that being a (successful) practicing artist would be. my passion was working in the darkroom. today, as i opened a huge box of HUGE prints (oh how wonderfully large those prints are), i realized how much photography consumed me. it kind of sounds ridiculous, but it's true. i wouldn't eat or drink or sleep or hang out with friends or anything because i was in the darkroom. i clearly remember spending 8-12 hours straight in there. just working and working and working. i only came out for air to glance at a test strip or stare at a negative or compare huge (dripping wet) prints. i can still remember always smelling like chemicals and feeling so fulfilled after looking at the filled drying line at the end of the work day.
all that to say, i do miss it. that time (artistically) was my favorite. i miss the passionate, enthusiastic experience of being good at something and being really close to my professor and having lunch in his office and him critiquing me harshly (and truthfully and constructively) and growing so quickly.
i spent all summer thinking about sculpture and how my focus has shifted to that, but i don't think i'm done with the analog photography stage of my life.

just some thoughts.
now i need to put more things in boxes.

(i also looked at my paintings. and laughed a lot. i am an awful painter. someday i might understand how to paint. but as for now, it's a mystery)

Monday, August 5, 2013

summer debriefing project. week eight.

this is the final week of my project. i'm home now. and although life is wonderful and full of nice things to share here, it's strange to blog about being home the same as i do camp/haiti. so i'm stopping after this.

so dramatic.

anyway, the summer at camp ended quietly. nothing too ridiculous happened. so i'm just going to make a list.

this summer was:

the summer of the chant. we chanted everyone's names as much as we could. especially RY-AN, and JAR-RED, and CAT AND KEAGAN.

the summer of power. i was continually surprised at the power of the gospel/Holy Spirit. i know i shouldn't have been, but God was working some crazy things in me that were amazing and encouraging.

the summer of loving others earnestly. i learned SO MUCH about dying to myself and loving others truly and pushing through differences in a healthy way and dealing with conflict and loneliness and isolation and oh my GOSH was it an awesome summer because of that! it didn't matter if it was david or jen or julie or anyone, i just learned how to be a more loving person. and different ways to show that love.

the summer of having astonishing campers. my campers were (for the most part) strong, loving, incredible people that inspired me greatly. i can't stress how many times i underestimated my campers. then i'd have porch talks with them or something and they'd blow me away with their stories of God's work in them.

the summer of music. in haiti and at camp, the worship seemed sweeter and more heartfelt. i was immersed from the beginning of the summer to the end in music.

the summer of praise. praising in my prayers or in my speech or in my life became more of a priority to me this summer. i prayed at church yesterday and jason turned to me and said "that was like, 80% praise." and i just nodded. that's been what i've learning to focus on this year. and it's a cool experience.

the summer hashtagging. as silly as that is, hashtagging RIDICULOUS things with the girls quickly became something that would frequently put a smile on my face.

the summer of snugglebussing. snugglebussing is the best. and i miss it. so much. the end.

the summer of stillness. so much of my summer was full of quiet moments where i got to listen. i listened to the earth singing and God's voice and it was perfect.

basically, this was the best summer of my life to date. and it's not quite over yet. but this year at camp was the sweetest year. not because everything was my "last this" or "last that"...but because i felt so fully present wherever i was and felt so full of Christ. i always come home from camp exhausted (in body and spirit). but this time i came home revived (at least in spirit...) and ready for the fall.

and with that, i conclude my project for this summer. it's been real.

stay sweet.

Monday, July 29, 2013

summer debriefing project. week eight.

this past week was a retreat week, so it would be a bit silly for me to go day-by-day. most of the days were spent in the kitchen.
however, i will do a little overview sort of thing. this week was all about releasing the tension and stress of having campers. lots of trips to cookeville and to various coffee shops happened. lots of time was spent snuggle-bussing and laughing at the most ridiculous things. and lots of time was spent alone with just my thoughts and God's Word and a journal. it was an excellent week. it ended with quite a crazy GNO and dyeing my hair purple again. by the weekend, i felt rested and happy and content. except one thing.

that "one thing" creates a bit of a lengthy tangent that involves the fact i've been long-distance with david for almost 12 weeks now. instead of sharing the long story, i'm going to take the short route and just say that discontentedness has been a huge temptation/distraction for me this summer. that discontentedness kind of hit a climax saturday night and i didn't know what to do.  so i prayed for some wisdom and went to sleep.
yesterday i woke up with the same kind of frustrated sadness, but i wanted to be focused for church, so i prayed again. i often don't feel like prayers actually have power. of course, that is not true. but it's so easy to feel like i am just talking out loud to the air, instead of actually speaking to someone great and wonderful. the sermon at church was all about true repentance and what that looks like. it was such a eureka moment for me. i realized that i had been holding onto my discontent so tightly that it had become a sin that consumed my thoughts and pained my heart. the times i had confessed to God and asked for patience, my motives were all wrong. i often wanted to be forgiven or move on because i didn't want to be distracted from my campers or hurt my friends or affect david or anything like that. my reasons for turning to God were not correct. they were people/self-centered and not at all God-centered. this being said, i realized how much my discontent offends and hurts God and for THAT reason, turned to Him and confessed. the transformation of my weary heart into a joyful one was almost instant. it became so apparent that long-distance has been a blessing and i should rest in the knowledge that God is sovereign and loves me dearly.

anyway, that's basically what i learned all week. it just kind of came to the surface yesterday. and i praise God for that! it's been a marvelous couple days and i cannot wait to finish out my time here at camp strong and happy and content and rejoicing.

i hope your heart is as full of thankfulness and joy as mine is.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


your love's like a cool breeze
i'm staring at the fish swimming above me
mud clings to my knees
i'm painted silver by the moon

you laugh at my nonsense
and kiss me on the mouth
light ripples behind Notius
as she swiftly swims south

i'm growing out my gills
so i can join my friends
i sigh as you look up
we watch them glisten

i hear you breathe as i dream
that i'm swimming with the stars
i'd try to reach that ocean
but i know it's much too far

Boreus soars northward
but you stay close to me
there's a cord that binds them
with Kullat Nunu shimmering

you're growing out your gills
so you can join your friends
you sigh as i look up
we watch them glisten

Sunday, July 21, 2013

summer debriefing project. week seven.

hello all.
it's crazy for me to think that it's really been seven weeks since i've started this whole "weekly blogging" thing. it's been a labor of love for me and i've really benefitted from it. so much so that i might continue a form of it some way or another this fall. we'll see.

anyway, let's start:

sunday: sunday was a bit weird. we had church at camp and jonathan taught on ecclesiastes. it was really beneficial and different from most of the lessons that had been shared in the past. i really enjoyed it. i was really excited about the week because i had youngest girls with jenny. i knew that one of our campers was going to be a handful, but everyone else was kind of new to me. sunday went by really quickly. mostly jenny and i just laughed at the little girls. they decided to call us their momma bird. let me tell you, there is nothing creepier than being in the middle of a field and having a little girl (that you barely know) walk up to you and say "mommyyyy." the day past as sundays usually do. it was weird to think "this is my last sunday as a counselor". my mind moved past that pretty quickly, though. the night game was a little different than usual. from the get-go, ryan (our camp director) was acting kind of loopy. so when he met us in the basement and said "i've been brainstorming", we new something was going to be different about the week.

monday: monday started with an early morning and sun. jenny and i checked cabins and took naps during our free periods. it was nice to just have some time to hang out with her. she's pretty fun to be around and such. the last twenty minutes of rest hour was really fun. we had a stretching circle and wrote a pretty crazy story. monday afternoon we played a game that i can't for the life of me remember. i bet it involved running and being in the sun. but i really can't remember. monday night campfire was a sweet one for me. i sat quietly and wrote while ryan spoke. i feel like this marked the beginning of the de-loading process of week five. as the week went on, i became more and more focused on emptying my mind so i could stay focused. i don't know if that makes sense to you, but it makes so much sense to me. cabin devotions were absolutely crazy. if i learned anything this week, it's that nine-year-old girls are crazy. and they (for the most part) cannot listen that long. hahaha i think we were asked four separate times how old God was this night. jen and i explained it the first few times we were asked...and then we were just like "what did we JUST say" after that.

tuesday: ah this day was so nice. the morning started early (per usual) and  we all found out that we had the most campers this summer than ever before. ryan had said at the beginning of the summer that if we broke the record, he would shave his head into a mohawk. so obviously we got excited for the mohawk to come. this morning, jenny and i checked cabins and took showers and then went to the coffeeshop in livingston with jacob. it was nice to get away from camp for an hour and sit in quiet. i wrote letters and we all talked very little. tuesday afternoon we went on the mountain hike. it was really fun. i love the mountain hike a lot, but this one just sticks out in my mind. me and two of my girls (micah and sarah) sat on the rocks at the top and looked. we looked at things we liked and pointed them out to each other. micah liked the brightness of the sun on the leaves. sarah liked how water sparkled on the rocks. we all liked the color of the moss. it was a beautiful time and inspired me greatly. camp always reminds me at how good it is to live in a constant state of wonder. tuesday night was the forty-yard dash. it was a crazy time that was full of funny stretches and todd wearing my dress and me just laughing a lot.
campfire went well. i absolutely love singing with anna. she has a lovely voice and our voices meld really well together. so worship this week was really fun. the night game was night-octaball. mostly it was spent trying to keep the campers from freaking out. devotions was short and sweet. we all started porch talks this night. it definitely was an eye-opening experience for me. it s so humbling to be a counselor and talk to girls who are vastly more wise and spiritually sound than you are. it's even more humbling to talk to a littler girl who really doesn't have much of a clue about what God's grace and love really is. i had to go back to the basics and it was a really good lesson for me.

wednesday: the summer has been a really long one. and it definitely began wearing on my health this day. i started getting a bad cold/flu. i really loved polar-bearing this morning. i don't exactly know why. i think it was because the girls and jenny got so into it. activities went well. there were some really sweet return-campers in jacob's and i's photography class. it was also fun to just hang out with jacob all morning. he's such a cool cat. wednesday rest hour was pretty much crazy. i threatened bank time and gave out bank time a lot. during snack shack, jenny and i checked cabins. no one knew we were coming then so the cabins were pretty messy. the funnest thing about being cabin inspector is feeling like you get to go behind the scenes and see how the boys cabins are. mostly they're gross and occupied by shirtless boy counselors. our girls did the zip line this afternoon. they had enough people working it, so i worked the climbing tower with a jr. counselor named hunter. hunter's so cool and we became pretty close friends this summer. i kind of treasure the nice talk we had. by this time, i was getting pretty attached to a couple of our girls. isabelle is a cute little freckled girl with read hair and the hugest brown eyes ever. her demeanor is really sweet and obedient. micah was another girl that i just loved to pieces. she has wild blonde hair and was so so spunky. we took hose showers and got ready for banquet. the little girls are really fun with banquet because they like to dress up, but they're not trying to impress any boys or anything. so they don't have to look perfect. i liked this banquet night a lot. it was a little crazy because it was the last one, but it was also nice. campfire was beautiful. i usually am not super emotional, but i was this night. i don't know if it was a combination of being tired and seeing ryan struggle to get the message out or what, but by the time he was done delivering the gospel, i was in tears. some of our campers stayed behind at the campfire afterwards. one of them accepted Christ! it was a little magical to sit with jenny and pray for ryan and listen to him answer the kids' questions. after this sweet evening came chaos. when jen and i got back to the cabin, some of the girls that stayed back at the campfire began trying to baptize each other in the bathroom. it was a mixture of frustrating and hilarious. i had a very rough porch talk this night that ended in hysterical tears from my camper and sympathetic ones from jenny and i. it's so hard to be a child. especially if your home life is less than perfect. my camper didn't know what she could do to change it, but she did know she adored her family and couldn't ever leave them. it was kind of ridiculously heartbreaking.

thursday: it rained a lot this day. i kind loved it. we had extended rest hour because of the rain and planned the BEST skit ever. jenny was the mastermind behind the whole thing. after the nice rest, we checked cabins. isabelle, micah, and i went on a "mud run" with a small group this day. it was super fun and muddy and exhausting. mostly it was fun to just do something so different from the usual afternoon activity. thursday night skit night was one of the best ones yet. jenny and i didn't know where to have unit campfire, so we had it at the burn barrel. it was so fun and super adorable to see all the little girls around the fire. we roasted marshmallows like proper little hobos. although the girls weren't particularly focused, it was really nice to minister to them next to jenny. i feel like this week was really good for me because it showed me a whole new side of jen. we are so different in a lot of things, but we work really well together. porch talks ran pretty short this evening and i got to go to sleep early. it was relieving to know that i didn't have to teach another devotion for a while. that sounds bad, but camp leaves you so exhausted spiritually. you give and give and give and are rarely filled yourself. it's good to know that i have a time ahead of me where i can be on the other end of the whole discipling thing.

friday: this day went by the fastest out of all the days this summer. i felt like i got out of bed, blinked, and then got back into bed. photography ended well. rest hour was hilarious. jen and i had "snugglebus" time. this is where we say "snuggle bussss" and everybody gets on jenny's bed and snuggles. jenny and i were pretty delirious at this point, so everything was funny. water day went well. it was the first water day in a while that it was actually really hot. so the pool felt super nice. i almost had a meltdown friday evening before awards. the girls were crazy and super disobedient (excluding three or so of our campers who actually listened) and they were wearing on my nerves. i also was just SO tired. so i went into the freezer and screamed. the freezer's soundproof so it was super satisfying. i got to talk to erin (a really cool jr. counselor) and that was a sweet time. ryan's mohawk was cut and everybody went crazy! worship this night was probably the most moving because i knew it was the last time that i would be apart of bonfire worship on the island. i watched as the sun set and the moon rose. as we sang "how he loves", a cool breeze stirred the leaves around us. it was truly marvelous. it also got me thinking of how much God's love is like a cool breeze on a hot summer evening. it comforts and refreshes and revives. testimonies went well. i (like usual) wasn't planning on sharing. but then i realized that this was my last night ever. so i did. i used the fact that i had been thinking on how to carry camp with me this fall to my advantage and challenged the campers to do the same. it was so incredible to feel like none of the words i was speaking were my own. i felt  that they were all the Holy Spirit speaking through me. the "friday night party" that usually happens didn't really happen this night. our girls were being so rambunctious that both jenny and i put on our momma voices and scolded them into submission. after that it was fun. we took webcam photos and had one last snugglebus time. then jen and sarah and i stayed up until two making the slideshow. that was kind of a perfect way to end the week. it was quiet and fun and full of lots of laughter.

saturday: was so nice. the campers left and it was sad. some of them i will legitimately miss a LOT. jenny and i cleaned the cabin with our jr. counselor (peyton) and then we popped bubble wrap to celebrate. we slept in the pine forest and took showers and such. last night we had a little banquet for the staff. it was a really sweet time. we laughed and danced to sinatra and had "goobie" awards. the most impacting part of the night was hearing ryan share his thoughts on the summer. he teared up within seconds of starting his testimony. i instantly knew i was going to cry. out of everyone at camp, i will miss ryan the most. he talked about what a blessing we were to him and he encouraged us (with such zeal) that our work was not in vain this summer. ah. it was so wonderful and so influencing and so inspiring. i cried pretty openly. afterwards, we all did dishes and laughed and danced some more. anna, julie, hannah, jenny, and i went to sonic and looked at the lightning. the night ended with anna and i giggling in my bunk and agreeing that this was the best summer of camp yet.

today's been nice. i went to church with a group from camp and said some final goodbyes. i got to spend some time one-on-one with hannah and drive a lot in the rain.
i've had the best summer counseling at camp. but i'm so glad that my time at camp isn't over. i still am working almost two weeks of retreats with some of my most favorite people and that's so exciting to me. i think it will give me a chance to detox and work camp out of my system...instead of quitting it cold turkey.

overview: this week has definitely talk me the importance of being able to deliver the gospel simply. it doesn't always have to be a big, theological presentation. it really just comes down to the fact that God loves us and we can accept that love through Jesus's blood. it's also taught me more about jenny's and i's friendship and how i can better love her.
this summer (counseling wise) has first and foremost taught me that God's power is so much bigger than my own. He is so large and i can simply rest in that. it's taught me that the best times are the hardest. and that He really is the source of every good thing that i can express. whether it be love, or patience, or wisdom, any time i can be those, it's because of the Lord's grace and provision.

it's been a beautiful summer, but it's not over yet!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

summer debriefing project. week six.

i am sipping on a ginger shaker (that's what the artsy corner coffeebar calls flavored iced coffee) and it's so delicious. julie's here reading game of thrones and some bob marley is playing through the speakers. i have purple paint on my fingers and glitter sticking to my arm. that could literally explain the whole week.
this week was a different one. so i guess i'm going to do the whole "day by day" thing to give this post a little structure.

sunday: i actually don't remember much about this day. i was pretty distracted with the fact that i had gotten a letter/sentiment-filled package from david on saturday. it was super sweet and i absolutely loved it, but it made me miss him a lot more than i thought i could. (this matters, i promise. it comes into play later) julie and i co-counseled in cabin one (white fawn) this week with eleven and twelve-year-olds. it was the makings of an awesome week. my favorite age group, a fantastic co, and staying in the old cabins. old cabins meant taking the long walk to the bathhouse and uneven floors and creaky everything and less space. they are my favorite to stay in, though. julie and i decided (as i taped a billion pictures by my bed) that we were going to try for honor cabin this week. we also planned on doing an initiation/cabin unity thing. nikki was our jr. counselor and she was super game for anything. so the kids got here. the first girl that got to our cabin was dropped off by her brother. he didn't speak to anyone and practically through gabby out of his car. she instantly started complaining and had an attitude. julie and i exchanged glances and my confidence in the week's greatness began to fade. sunday went pretty much as usual, the girls were awkward, julie and i were crazy, and we ate spaghetti for dinner. the weirdest thing about our cabin was although we had girls who were relatively the same age group, they were vastly different sizes. we had little tiny girls and girls who looked like they were my age. it was crazy. we went to bed without a cabin devotion this night because all of us were incredibly exhausted.

monday: monday was pretty fun. nikki, julie, and i spent the morning working on feather headdresses for our candlelight vigil/initiation that we had planned. i also started reading kurt vonnegut's "slaughterhouse five". his writing style is delightful and quick. there is nothing i like more than someone who can really write. the cabin of girls continued to be a little disconnected. the biggest problem was that many of the girls came together as friends. so there were little pairs and such instead of one big group of girls who came by themselves. but julie and i had a plan for that. this day was also spent pretty distracted by thoughts of david and school this fall and such. don't hate me for being THAT GIRL. anyway, we let the girls go to sleep a little earlier than usual. at approximately 12:45 a.m., nikki, julie, and i woke up. we donned war paint, grabbed headdresses and candles, and sent jenny and sarah to the pine forest. they were armed with glitter. we snuck into the cabin and one by one woke the girls up. we told them to not panic, grab a candle, and follow us to the pine forest. they were all a little freaked out. we then made our way to the pine forest. some super secret things took place in the pine forest that i can't really talk about. we let the girls go to sleep after those secret things.

tuesday: i skipped counselor meeting and polar bearing this morning. my body was just like "no" and i had to listen/submit. all the girls were pretty torn on if they loved or hated the candlelight vigil this morning...but it gave them something to talk about. i spent most of this day writing letters, being distracted, and struggling to bond with the girls. they were all a lot of fun, but i kept feeling super tired and not able to join into their fun. julie and i looked at eachother halfway through the day and were just like "this is going to be a weird week." this night i stopped communicating with david because i was so distracted. it's crazy how scattered i can get when someone's on my mind. cabin devotions were a struggle and i felt kind of defeated. my porch talk went really well, though. maggie (the girl i took out) is a super sweetheart who really loves Jesus. she encouraged me greatly. this night my alarm went off at 12:45 (from monday) and i couldn't find my phone to turn it off. julie sat up in bed and yelled WHY IS IT SO LOUD!? i almost started laughing because julie is always loud when she first wakes up.

wednesday: this was an interesting day. it started too early. i woke up to make salt dough and eat fruit with jenny. i taught arts&crafts this week and was hoping for it to be the best. nikki woke up the girls, but barely any of them wanted to polar bear. it was clear to all of us that honor cabin was becoming a dream that could not be realized, so focusing during personal devotion time became impossible. the girls were starting to become friends, though. and that was nice to watch. activities went really well. the kiddos made awesome sculptures. the plan was for me to bake them, them to paint them, and then have a mock gallery opening on friday. lunch was yummy. then came rest hour. rest hour was so needed. i was so sleepy and needed to rest. so i tried to sleep. i kept bugging the girls to keep quiet...but something kept making noise. one girl was putting game together in her bunk. another girl kept coughing. when everything was relatively quiet, there still was noise. i quickly realized it was one of the bunks that one of the littlest girls was in. so did julie. she jumped up and tried to move the bed and was like "WHY IS IT CREAKING!? SHE IS NOT EVEN MOVING!!" i lost it. i laid on the floor and just giggled to myself as i watched the girls trying to pass notes in slow-motion (to make sure no noise was made). rest hour was a complete wash. this afternoon was our turn to go on the mountain hike. i love the mountain hike, but not many people (especially campers) do. we loaded up and began hiking. i taught chad how to put his hair in a bun and we all laughed as we walked. then the storm came. the sky turned dark and it was beautiful. the campers began to get nervous. one of my girls (named grace) began freaking out on me. she told me that i was trying to kill her and begged me not to make her do the hike. grace was obviously really tired/homesick so i tried to talk some sense into her. it didn't work. she was almost in hysterics. finally, ryan decided to turn back and get the bus for us to ride in. chad went to wait for ryan, but he didn't have a walkie. so i volunteered to run it down the trail for him. as i sprinted down the trail in the light rain, grace (quite dramatically) yelled after me "TAKE ME WITH YOUUU." chad and i watched the storm and smelled the rain. it was beautiful. we all rode back in the bus and sprinted to our cabins during the downpour. lightning struck and thunder rolled and everything was washed with rain. i ran to the craft cabin to try to save the salt-dough sculptures (i had so foolishly left them on the porch tables to dry). when i got to the cabin (i was kind of feeling like a hero at this point) i took the soggy sculptures (one by one) into safety. then we all played in huge puddles and stared at the flooding gorge. it was pretty and awe-inspiring and incredibly fun. banquet was approaching, so we got ready. we wore cozy clothes and had a dance party in the cabin. it was probably the most laid-back banquet i've ever been apart of. post banquet we passed frisbee and giggled a lot. campfire was nice, even though i learned i was a jerk right before it. cabin devotions went the same as tuesday night. my porch talk time was really enjoyable this night. i took out jessie. she is a 12 year old girl with a beautiful face and a really quiet demeanor. her hair is also really really beautiful. she is a strong christian who is obviously leading a lot of hear friends. i loved getting to learn from her.

thursday: this day was "sleep in" day! this meant i woke up at 6:30 instead of 5. yayyy. haha but seriously, it was a rough morning. i was so tired. i realized i had been at camp for almost five weeks and i have almost three more. wowee. arts&crafts was kind of a wash for the rest of the week. the sculptures were wet and ruined and so i let the kiddos go crazy with glitter and paint and leather cutouts of hearts and crosses. it ended up being pretty fun, even if it wasn't what i had planned. the funnest part of the day was definitely rest hour. thursday night is always skit night, so the girls needed to plan one. in the past, the counselors get more involved, but julie and i did nothing (nikki had left at this point. she is going through some hard stuff at home, so she just needed to not be at camp) to help them prepare. i wrote letters and did my devotion during rest hour and julie slept. when we were done with our respective tasks, we looked up and all the girls were giggling and working on our skit. the skit was (to be completely honest) pretty terrible. it was a poorly organized american idol knock-off. but they had SO MUCH FUN preparing it that i just couldn't interfere. julie and i smiled and agreed our cabin had finally bonded over something. unit campfire was this night. it was pretty fun to roast marshmallows (i ate eight perfectly cooked marshmallows! all of them were made by really willing campers.) and play with fire. when it was time for the lesson, distractions kept arising. i got really frustrated and felt like i couldn't bring it back in. porch talks were a little frustrating this night, too. it's so difficult when i know a camper has a lot of hard stuff going on in their life, but they don't want to talk about it. anna (my girl) was SO closed and did not want to share anything.

friday: julie and i had asked the girls the night before what their least favorite way of being woken up is. they all said yelling and such. SO of course julie and i woke them up by running into the cabin and screaming. it was so fun. i lost my voice within minutes, but it was so worth it. none of my campers polar beared, but julie and i did! the morning was so so so cold. so i wore a long skirt (for the first time since Haiti!) and reveled in the fact that i also was wearing a warm sweater. at lunch, julie and i acted like queens...until i decided to spit water on paige (one of my girls) because she was being her sassy self...but that's really irrelevant. this rest hour was my favorite ever. the sun was shining at this point and the wind was blowing, so we had rest hour outside. julie and i hung our hammocks and the girls took turns in them and sat with us on blankets. we took pictures and laughed a lot. then it was water day! water day is always fun. this one was especially interesting because there was a dunk tank. dunk tanks are TERRIFYING. i got in it and almost started crying. but you know, anything for the campers. the rest of the night was pretty pleasant. bonfire was full of really honest and beautifully articulated testimonies. the kids always surprise me with their depth of understanding of the love and changing grace of Christ. the stars were beautiful and the air was crisp. THEN came the crazy. julie and i had planned to do two things on the last night: 1)chug a huge pixie stick 2) open club GLITTERRAVE in our cabin and have a dance party. both of those things were a wild success. haha, although the girls were super suspicious when we told them to go to the bath-house. i think they were cautious because of our previous late night adventure. we smeared paint on their faces and threw glowsticks everywhere. it was so fun. the evening ended with a great night of sleep. kind of. oh also we found out that chad was the girl's least favorite counselor. in fact, all of them were scared of him.

saturday/today: counselor meeting was sleepy and full of giggles. julie and i asked chad to scream at our girls to wake them up. it was really hilarious and kind of mean. hahaha. but i loved it. also, at breakfast the girls confessed that the candlelight vigil was one of their favorite things. all the campers left and i changed out of my gross staff shirt into a dress and denim. ah. jenny and i are in a cabin together for the first time ever next week! also some of the best campers ever are coming back, which is awesome. it's rainy outside and i'm about to get hot, strong coffee. i'll be home in a few weeks and see david a few after that. life is pretty nice as of now.

okay so overview time: this week taught me a lot of things. it taught me that sometimes it really is okay to step back and just let the campers have fun. i don't always have to be the best friend of every girl with me. also i learned that missing someone is distracting and sometimes it's best to just cut off communication for a couple days to refresh. i learned that God is love, that love is complex, and that it never ends. i also grew to appreciate the staff this year even more than before. i'll miss 'em a lot. the girls in my cabin were sweet and fun and wonderfully different. and julie's great.

i hope you guys are having a smashing summer.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

summer debriefing project, week five.

my mind is pretty much racing right now, so i'm not sure this is the opportune time to blog about my week. my sweet, sweet david and two other friends sent me mail that just blew my mind. so now i'm like "ahh i love these people!"


this week i am just going to kind of overview because it wasn't a normal camp week. we worked a retreat called "all nations" and julie, jenny, and i were in charge of making dinner. it actually ended up being super fun, in spite of being in the kitchen alllll day erryday. all of our meals were  a success, in spite of a few mishaps ("this is a financial disaster!"-julie). mostly the week was spent reading, listening, laughing, watching "monster U" (so adorable), and a lot of thinking. i got to skype david, which of course was great. overall, the week was really about serving. service (like kitchen work) is so satisfying because there are such tangible results after your work is through. with counseling (which is a completely different kind of serving) the results are spiritual and emotional and you can't ever really grasp them. so it was a nice change to see people really enjoying my work. it rained all week too. and I LOVE CAMP WHEN IT RAINS! (i yelled this earlier this week and julie and jenny were kind of at a loss for words). yesterday was spent at ryan and lucy's house (our camp director and his wife) doing laundry. we watched "parent trap" and "gilmore girls" until it was dark and pretty much never moved from the couch. it was a pretty restful week and i'm so glad i got to be a part of it.

that's pretty much it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

summer debriefing project. week four.

i'm laying in my own (super comfy) bed while i write this. this week was so nice, but also very tiring. next week, i am working a retreat, so i don't have to hurry back to camp quite as quickly. so i thought i'd take advantage of this and go home for a day. it's been nice and quiet and sleepy.

sunday: i was pretty excited this day. church was nice and worshipping was nice. my voice was pretty much back, so that was also nice. when the campers started getting here, i got excited. the age group i had was the second-oldest girls and anna (the best jr. counselor ever) was in my cabin with me. the girls were all from very different backgrounds. at night, anna and i talked (a lot) and i think we both were a little apprehensive about the week. at this point, i thought cabin unity was pretty unattainable. however, i already could tell that this week would be entirely different from the last. i was spiritually/mentally/emotionally renewed by spending time with jen and anna.

monday: this day was so nice. i memorized Bible verses with anna on the porch (during my off activity period) and was able to do WTP (white tiger palace) in the morning before counselor meeting. i spent the whole day trying to get to know the girls. three of them were pretty out-going...but the rest were quite quiet. i faced the challenge boldly, and proceeded to ask them ridiculous questions about themselves ALL DAY. oh, i forgot to mention earlier that i was captain this week. our team name was team Ewoks. cool, right? anyway, porch talks started this evening. it was so cool to be able to take out a girl that i had in my camper two years ago. she is such a sweet girl and i really really like her. God definitely confirmed that she was supposed to be in my cabin during our porch talk. it was awesome.

tuesday: this day, i became pretty weary. week three of camp is always a challenging week energy-wise, but the fact i had also left the country this summer increased my misery a little.

(so this is a day later. i fell asleep mid-post because of taking melatonin and also because i was just so exhausted)
anyway, tuesday. it was super fun, in spite of my weariness. i got to hang out with the girls a lot during activity time and still had time to write my prayer partner and read and such. i had adam as my prayer partner this week. that was pretty fun because he's the type of person who seems to really appreciate well thought-out letters. we played spoons a lot in the cabin. the girls became so obsessed that they played "ultimate spoons". i  really don't remember much from this day. we did go on the mountain hike. that was a lot of fun. i got to talk a lot with tim and we kind of bonded by running down part of the trail. he's so great, it's a shame we've lived on the SAME STREET for like, 10 years and not been friends. the day basically ended with me eating a lot, running a 40-yard-dash (quite slowly) and having an incredible porch talk time.

wednesday: i texted david this day and told him that i basically felt Jesus's arms carrying me. every morning of this week i would be like "i'm not going to make it" and every night i would think "this was the best day ever, praise the Lord." it was such a unique/humbling/empowering/lovely/terrifying thing to be so so so reliant on God's power. He's so good, though, so He always supplies the strength we need. this was the first day of teaching photography with jenny. jenny's awesome, guys. and i really love spending time with her. i got letters from the girls from day camp who called me "Chumbo" and that was so awesome! they drew me pictures and such. so sweet. in the afternoon, three of my campers (elise, grace, and sarah) took hose showers in our bathing suits and sat in the sun. it was probably the most relaxed banquet night ever. it was so nice to just sit and talk with those girls. they are super cute and pretty mature for their age, so the conversation came easily. this night was such a challenging evening. if i wasn't sure of spiritual warfare before, i was definitely sure of it after this evening. camp has been growing and Christ has been so so alive here. because of that, the devil has been hard at work. so much so, that he's attacking camp in terrible ways. the staff has been so unified, but individually, we've all been struggling in different ways. that kind of manifested itself on this night. wednesday night is the night the salvation message is presented, so it was something i kind of expected. the night was so spiritually challenging that anna and i couldn't give porch talks. i knew i needed to do cabin devotions, though. so i takled about "how deep the father's love for us" and how that song correlates with scripture and relates to our lives as Christians. it was so crazy, because halfway through the whole thing, i watched the girl's faces and what i saw surprised me. they were all so engaged and really, truly listening. also, i realized i hadn't been really thinking about what i'd been saying and that it was totally the Holy Spirit speaking through me. then i prayed Ephesians 3:14-21 over them and they went to sleep. then anna and i giggled in the bathroom about our sweet, but clueless camper beth. the late evening started with a lot of tears and pain, but it ended with rejoicing and gladness.

thursday: this day was the day i felt the most tired. i woke up early to process film and the hours seemed  to creep by. the whole day i was super reliant on God. i had learned by this time that He was the only thing i had to get me through the day. i also learned that i could ask Him for energy and enthusiasm, and He would totally give it to me. i got two packages from friends, too! that was so encouraging and gave me a lot of joy. this day we did the zip line in the afternoon, which was pretty fun. mostly i just laughed with the campers at the rock wall and put on harnesses and whatnot. taco salad was for dinner. and my cabin did a skit using mostly all puns. unit campfire went really well. it was awesome to see the girls hanging out and really loving spending time with eachother. our cabin unity was so great by this time. one of my campers really opened up during campfire and gave part of her testimony. anna and i took four girls out for porch talks. it was so great, but also pretty draining. both of the talks were with girls from really difficult backgrounds. but they were both encouraging. one of the girls was just so in love with God, even though her life and circumstances would make most people turn against Him. it was pretty awesome/heartbreaking/encouraging/inspiring. anna and i went to the kitchen and ate someone else's reese's while we talked things over. it was our last late-night talk and it was so so so nice.

friday: this was SUCH a great last day. photography went so well. jenny and i wore matching everything (down to our braided ponies!). the kiddos made some awesome photographs. water day went pretty well. but my favorite part was sitting in the sun with those girls again (post hose shower time) and just talking about the week. all of them agreed it was one of their favorite weeks. i was so humbled/flattered to be apart of that. cookout was nice, but i spent most of it throwing a frisbee with riley (the gluten-free hero) and judging photographs with jenny, erin, and miles (one of my favorite campers). bonfire was really great. there were some awesome testimonies. and in the middle of it, rain just POURED down. it was so cool to be apart of a huge crowd of people that was sprinting to the dining hall. we all sat in the pews, happy and cold and wet, and listened to the rest of the testimonies. God is great and has done GREAT works in the lives of His people. our cabin partied and played mafia and went to sleep entirely too late.

saturday: saying goodbye to my girls (and a lot of other campers) was too hard. i am still missing them. i went home and called david yesterday and that was so awesome. i also got to talk to one of the new girl counselors (i was giving her a ride to red bank) and that was so super nice.

sunday (today!): i want to add today to my list of days to write about, because it was like, SO good. it started with waking up from a whopping ELEVEN hours of sleep. i had a nice chat with my dad and went to church. it was so nice to go to actual church and be so filled. at camp you get so empty (because you're always always pouring out) and it's so reviving to be taught. then cara, jason, and i spent the day together. ah, they are lovely people and i have missed them (and the rest of the haiti team). i felt so refreshed as i drove through the rain back to camp.

sorry that was so incredibly long.
i'm gonna go to sleep now!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

summer debriefing project. week three.

good afternoon! i am sitting in an artsy-fartsy "coffee bar" in Cookeville. i have an iced vanilla coffee and jenny by my side, so obviously things couldn't get much better.

this week was draining emotionally and spiritually. it was great, but also crazy.

i think the whole day thing went really well last week, so i'm going to that again.

sunday: i was so excited to have the middle girls. they were coming with a big group from knoxville that has come to camp many years, so i knew they would be enthusiastic. i had a great day of rest on saturday and got to talk to jen and david in the same day (wowee).  julie was my kind of co-counselor (we were in separate cabins that decided to combine) and we both had great jr. counselors, so it looked like a promising week. church that morning was so awesome too. i always forget how nice it is to worship at camp until i'm there and almost in tears because it's just so beautiful. it was so so so crazy when the girls got to camp. their moms were CRAZY (for the most part) and unpacking was so chaotic. we ended up going to dinner as the "braidy bunch" and braided all crazy. we also established three important rules for our cabin: 1) breathe, 2) never back down, 3) always give 100% (this was usually followed with a warrior pose). the girls seemed sweet and all was well.

monday: counselor meetings started this day. these are my favorite and i always enjoy them. i love the quiet, early mornings at camp.  they are such a nice time dedicated to cups of tea/coffee on the porch, watching the sun shine through the mist and on the dew, and spending time with a holy and perfect God who just loves us so much. i ended up teaching riflery class. i want to go outside my comfort zone this summer and teach activities that i wouldn't usually. so i acted like a drill sergeant and yelled at the kids to respect me and whatnot. it was fun for the kids and fun for me. monday went by pretty quickly. it was nice to be able to sit back and let the kiddos have fun with eachother, but it was also chaotic to try to control them. i ended up being bad cop quite a lot this week. but that's okay. monday night, we went to dinner dressed as warriors and it was awesome.  we did a lot of warrior poses and such. my porch talks began this night. i usually take girls out onto the field with a blanket instead of just sitting on the porch. i like that because it allows us to sit under the large, starry sky and observe how large God is.

tuesday: life was so difficult this day. i would rather not talk about it that much, so i kind of will skim tuesday. okay so the huge thing that happened this day was skit night. skit night was probably the best i have seen since i have been working at camp. like they were SO clever and hilarious. our girls were missionaries from the FUTURE (futurefuturefuture...) and went to all the planets (including the dwarf planet, Pluto and a planet named SOLAR). They were adorable and did so well. i was pretty impatient this day and was not able to "roll with the punches" or whatever the saying is. i ended up crying and calling david during the night game. that was both exhausting and humiliating and new. but david was so patient. and instead of giving me empty encouragement, he spoke truth to me. and that was priceless. one of my campers got saved on tuesday night, too. i feel like that was Jesus just confirming that life is good and He is good and He has a plan.

wednesday: this is my favorite day at resident camp. the gospel of salvation is presented and great things usually happen. i was so spent this day. my vocal chords were in pain and i was so tired. but my heart was not as heavy as it had been. the thing that impressed me so much this week, was that my girls were so supportive of eachother. all of them were just very sweet and seemed to really care for eachother! that's such an amazing thing to encounter in a group of 19 girls. campfire wednesday night was great. ryan did an excellent job giving the most beautiful message you could ever give. this night was banquet. banquet night is ALWAYS CRAZY. it's so fun to dress up, but it's also like AHHH CAMPERS! i got to take a picture with one of my favorite campers this week, wheat. his name was wheat. so you know, a picture with me is hilarious. because i'm wheat-intolerant! hahaha
i thought it was funny.

thursday: i really got to know some of the quieter campers this day. that was so invaluable to me. we sat and made bracelets and wrote stories at the pool. thursday night was an emotional night for some of the campers. it was a quiet kind of day for me. i woke up an hour later than usual and felt rested.

friday: this day was full of fun and jenny got to camp! in riflery, i had them complete a challenge to get their award and gave a talk about training in righteousness. it really summed up the whole week really well. i asked wheat what his favorite part about camp was and he quietly answered "the people here." it kind of hit me that that's my favorite part about camp too. water day went so well. i ate TONS of candy to get myself pumped up enough to be excited. after the water slide, we took hose showers in our bathings suits and ran around in the sun to dry our hair. then jenny came. and everybody kind of got crazy excited because she's basically the best. everything about this night was lovely. the bonfire was awesome. a little boy named perry cried softly in my arms for most of it. it was a good time for me to just love on him. i love little boy campers. they're so sweet and innocent still. i got to know a lot of the younger boys this week and that was so so so nice. i ended up giving my testimony at bonfire night, even though i didn't plan to. the party that we had in our cabin was crazy, but (luckily) short-lived. before we knew it, all of us (we were piled on the floor) were asleep.

saturday: (that's today) all of the girls left in a whirlwind. i realized, as i took a super super long shower after they all left, that i was just so drained and needed to be alone. so i have been. and then i got to talk to jen. and that's been good. basically, today has been good.

so yeah, that's my week. it's been crazzzzy and fun.
i have anna (who is so so great) as a junior counselor next week and some campers that i have had in years past. so i'm really excited. but i am a little tired. so hopefully i can get rested.

i hope that you know that Jesus loves you so much and that He always provides, because i was very pointedly reminded of that this week. i was also reminded that i am such a needy person. i just need lots of things. like love, rest, encouragement, and (more than anything) Jesus.

have a great week, yo.

Friday, June 14, 2013

summer debriefing project. week two.

hello all. i hope this finds you happy and healthy.

this week was my first official week of working at camp. it was hectic, crazy, draining, and extremely fun. i had the youngest girls (ages five and six and i also had one seven year old) in day camp.

let me recap the weeks by days:

monday: this day was fun, but i was still getting over being exhausted from haiti. i barely remember any of it, except naptime. the youngest kids get to nap everyday, which is awesome. they don't all sleep, however. and they are rather particular about details in the stories you tell. i tried to make cinderella's dress green and all hell broke loose.  also, i began reading hosea, the psalms, and first corinthians. that was nice.

tuesday: i was so tired this day. also i was missing david pretty vehemently. that distracted me/frustrated me tremendously and i didn't know what to do about it. we all went to the "lava rocks" and built forts this day. that was so fun. my girls and i (the purple indian tribe) waged war on adam and his boys (i think his name was wolf-fang or something). potions and bows and arrows and spy attacks were involved. i really got to bond with my camper macy this day. she is a cute little ginger girl with freckles and the sweetest smile. i slept for a short while during naptime and felt like i got hit by a truck as a result.  this was also the day that a group of girls (macy, liza, ava, and olivia) dubbed me "chumbo" in the pool. apparently that is a really good villain name. i was a little emotional and had an asthma attack this night. so although it wasn't a bad day, it definitely wasn't a good one.

wednesday: wednesday began with a large book with a timeline it it all spread out on the table in the dining hall. some of us gathered around it and read about people and how long their lives were and stuff. it was kind of a nice beginning to the day. i was so tired this day, but not quite as whiny, which was good. my group (group 2) was the youngest boys and the youngest girls. the youngest boys were HILARIOUS. like a lot. i wish i could write down everything that this one camper blake said. because he was a real gem. the girls told me all about my past as chumbo and how i came to cedar lake (who are you and whatchyoudoin'?). lots of giggles were had by all. gs-ing with julie and hannah was super nice this evening. banquet was so fun. i forgot my camera and didn't really have a reason to take pictures, so julie and i ran around and tried to photobomb jonathan. in the past jonathan has ruined countless beautiful photographs of certain groups of people. this plan, however did not work. instead, julie and i grabbed random campers and posed with them. after worship (which was so nice to be apart of) i skyped david. it's a little embarrassing how much my mood changed after that. it was nice to catch up and be able to kind of share our lives with eachother.

thursday: this was the beginning of the end. we were all so tired, but the exhaustion expressed itself through delirium. silly songs were incredibly intense and finger-extenders were flawlessly executed. the rest of the day was a little bit of a blur, because it was just so fun. water day was very fun (even though my baby camper payton slept through it) and i really enjoyed getting to spend time with adam and jr. counselor blake all day. even if they threw gross water on me. the slip-n-slide was (of course) both dangerous and thrilling. the poor little campers got some battle wounds, but it's all apart of the show. thursday night skits were really fun to watch! i feel like the cabins worked pretty hard on them. after that, we (day camp staff +a few) went to sams and sonic. julie, karley, hannah, and i danced (a lot) and got lost on the way there. when we got to sonic, it was super overwhelming, but a good time was had by all. i feel like i really got to bond with our new director, megan, so that was pretty cool. the staff seems so much more of a whole unit than last summer. that's really refreshing and uplifting to me. i slept SO WELL this night.

friday/today: this was such a hard/good/hilarious day. i was basically in a zombie state for most of the morning. EXCEPT during silly songs. silly songs reached epic proportions this morning and "with jesus in the boat" never sounded/looked better. feeling expressed, lives were changed, and the pavilion will never see such a big finish (when we're sailing HOMMMMMEEEEEE). i felt like the whole day i was saying to myself "JUST PUSH THROUGH". none of the kids (except sweet little matthew) slept during naptime. i told two stories and, according to adam, i slurred my words and not many of my sentences connected. i was laying on the couch, so i was most likely telling the stories in my sleep. i got to be "chumbo" one last time. when the girls left, i was pretty sad...actually a lot more sad than i thought i would be. i gave some of them my address, so i hope they'll write me. after a nice gs, i felt refreshed and slightly insane. julie and i were crazy all day today and that was really entertaining/enjoyable.

and that's about it.
sorry this is long.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

summer debriefing project. week one.

so much of my summer has been very fast-paced already, so i thought i'd do a debriefing post every week. so if you grow tired of my life, i'm sorry.

this past week (and a little before that) i was in Bohoc, Haiti with a group from my church. i went to Haiti last year, but but i still did not know what to expect. the area was incredible and mountainous. last year, i fell in love with the coast. this year, i fell in love with the plateau. the way the trip impacted me can be split into three different categories: the way my own thoughts and heart changed, the beauty of the people, and the beauty of my team.

perhaps the largest thing that changed in me this week was my doubt. i have always known i have a hard time dying to myself. the very phrase "dying to yourself" has made me cringe. i have doubted the Holy Spirit's presence in my life and the power that gives. this week definitely taught me that i am actually, through the Holy Spirit, much more capable of dying to myself than i thought. who knew? this week also taught me that God is the Great Provider. i have subconsciously (and consciously) doubted that since i knew what money was and how it worked. through testimonies, stories, and things that happened before my eyes, i saw that there is nothing that i should worry about. 
another important thing that happened in my heart was a growing hunger to serve on the mission field. the intern that was with the organization (HAFF) we were working with was an incredible inspiration and help to me. she took me aside and answered my questions and gave recommendations on things i can be doing now to prepare my heart.
finally, i was reminded of the importance of prayer. especially the listening part of prayer. it is so great to be able to talk to God. but it is even better to know that He listens and that He responds.

the Haitian people are so stunning. they have faith in spite of their numerous afflictions. they have joy-so much joy that they seems to spit in the face of their sufferings saying: "look! i have a light you cannot put out!" they really, truly believe that God is on their side. that is an incredible lesson that i have definitely not learned completely. i wish i could describe every person that i met and cultivated relationships with. but that would honestly be a whole novel.

the people that were on the team with me were just breathtakingly beautiful. God did some great things in their hearts and it was so amazing to watch that happen/be apart of it. my youth pastor went and (as usual) it was great to be able to talk with him all week. my associate pastor and his son were on the trip with us. watching them serve together was moving and humbling. they wept over ailing widows and rejoiced with old friends. my dear friend Cara was on the trip with me. she is a beautiful girl with a sweet heart that has been through a lot. it has been hard to watch the hurt, but some healing came this week that i was able to rejoice in. Sam, Brandon, and Jason, (the three other members on our tiny team) were all such joys to get to know and love. i will not forget how surprisingly well we all meshed together.

i guess i should do some summing up. in short, Haiti was black coffee in the morning. it was rain in the afternoons. it was two little girls walking hand-in-hand down a flooded street. it was a woman smiling in the face of death. it was motivation to live more simply. it was incredible love. it was silent prayers for peace and provision. it was the faithful and the broken. it was grace and freedom.

so yeah. debriefing. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013


i am sitting on my bed in a room with terribly sad bare walls and one lovely large window.
it's weird to think about missing a room, but i am going to miss 331b.

this semester has been such a full one. i am glad that it's over, but not in the way i have been glad to be done with semesters in the past. i am not glad that it's over because i'm empty of every emotion. i am not glad that it's over because school had become so stressful or such a huge burden. i am mostly glad that it's over because i know that it's time for me to rest and adventure all summer.

i wish i could rightfully describe all that i've learned this semester.

academically, it has been an interesting time. i took my first three-dimensional art classes this semester and they completely changed my artistic process and thinking. i had a professor that truly treated her students like peers (she called us "fellow scholars") and that encouraged me greatly. i fell in love with a language and was inspired greatly by the lilting sounds of french.

personally, i have been so incredibly blessed. i had the wonderful chance to make some new friends that i now love dearly. i will never look at studying in the cave or going to panera on tuesdays or sharing candy in classrooms quite the same. the people i had only really been acquaintances with last semester became people i could cherish. i also experienced what truly caring for someone is like and how that effects my life.

emotionally, i have been the most stable i've been in years. i'm not even kidding. i cried the first day of this year. i felt the weight of the previous few years creeping back into my heart and it startled me. when i got to school, i felt clueless and aimless and was craving for something completely new. that new thing was being happy. granted, there were times where i was tired, stressed, and confused. there were even a few times i was rather sad. regardless, the happy in my life has been steady. and that is a beautiful thing.

spiritually, i have been at peace. i could write a whole book about how peaceful my heart has been this semester, in spite of new things in my life that could make it unsettled. i would say Christ has been my rock, but that just seems so small. so i'll say He has been my mountain. He has surrounded me with His presence and taught me how to accept love and has filled me with peace.

artistically, this has been an incredibly inspiring time. i have been challenged so much that my whole artistic self/style is shifting. and i love it.

all of those things have been thought about in this room. on this bed. next to this window.
usually with a candle burning or music playing or the sound of David's voice telling me something new about himself. yes, it has been a lovely time in this little room. and that's that.

Monday, April 22, 2013

forget you

The real test of being in the presence of God is that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.
-c.s. lewis

lately life has been too beautiful for me to spend much time writing about it. i have been overwhelmed with love, joy, and peace. it's a fairly new thing for me to be consistently happy and the experience has been wonderful so far.

i ran across that quote (above) this morning while welcoming a new week and drinking black coffee. i whispered "oh clive, how true." and furiously underlined it with a marker. the context of the quote is a chapter on Pride in Mere Christianity. Lewis speaks of Pride as the chief vice of man and he says that one who is really aware of Christ's love and grace cannot have an all-consuming Pride.

there is something sort of stunning about that statement. the transforming nature of love is so powerful and real. when we begin to accept and believe that we are loved and wanted by a God who knows absolutely everything about us, our sense of self-worth becomes obsolete. we forget about who we think we should be and all we see is love. this isn't easy. and it's so gradual. but when you get a glimpse of yourself through that filter, it's a strong and beautiful thing that is not easily forgotten.

so yeah, through love comes humility.
isn't that nice?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

willow springs park

she thought to herself / "we're tremendously young" / as the sun shown bright upon his face / three small children flew their kites / they ran past the hill / panting and laughing simultaneously.

she thought to herself / "is this what love is like?" / as he wrote a note in his textbook / a family threw a football a few yards away / the mother spoke harshly to her children.

she said audibly / "you make me smile" / as he held her head in his hands / the clouds ran away and exposed a rich blue sky / it towered above all the mountains that they could see.

he proclaimed out loud / "oh I just love you!" / as she kissed him softly on the eyes / they were graceful in the sun / they were joyful under the blue and the kites / with the harsh mother and gentle mountains nearby.

Friday, April 5, 2013

this kind [or how i'm never prepared]

there's not a lot i can tell you now / that you don't already know / no new ideas of faithfulness / all i hope is for us to grow

the sun caressed your face / with a golden grace / and the wind made us shudder / your hands in my hair / assured me that you were there / oh my heart / it wasn't prepared for this kind of weather

the candle-warmed nights in my bedroom / all of my half-completed sculptures / and your lovely laughing lips / oh they are gentle reminders of our youth

the moon caressed your face / with a silver grace / and the wind made us shudder / your hands in my hair / assured me that you were there / oh my heart / it wasn't prepared for this kind of weather

that time we walked together  / hoping to see the stars / i touched your hand twice as i fell / into you so deep and far

the snow caressed your face / with purity and grace / and the wind made us shudder / your hands in my hair / assured me that you were there / oh my heart / it wasn't prepared for this kind of weather

Friday, March 22, 2013

today was spent thinking about micah cox

micah cox died last year. i didn't know him well. i barely knew him really, but the fact that he walked past me one day and was gone the next is still unsettling.
it's unsettling because i knew the moment he was gone what real fear was like.

i distinctly remember hearing the news. i grew cold and hot and could barely process the words i was hearing. i remember looking at jen sitting on my bed and thanking God that she was there. i remember walking outside in the cold, damp march night. i walked up the hill and sat and looked at the stars while i gasped back tears. i remember thinking of each member of micah's family and trying to think about what they were going through. i remember walking back into my room and hanging some flowers i had picked from my light.

there's still one flower left in my room at home. it's almost dust now, but it's there.

there is a tremendous quote by c.s. lewis. he says "no one ever told me that grief felt so like fear".
it wasn't until my grandfather died (a few short weeks later) that i realized that what was washing over me a year ago.

that crippling fear is also enabling. it enabled me to see the triviality of life and how foolishly i lived and how little i loved. it enabled me to change. and it enabled me to be broken enough for God's love to fill in the cracks.

so i guess i'm just trying to say that, in a sense, no one is really ever fully gone, even when they are dead. their life always matters and molds someone else's.

how incredible is that?

Friday, February 22, 2013

twenty. vingt. veinte.

i promised myself i wouldn't write this post.
i literally said out loud "yeah that'd be too sentimental."

but here i am.

i don't really have a lot to say. except that i feel incredibly odd/blessed to now be in the magical decade known as "my twenties".
as my heart and mind grows up, i'm starting to realize the significance of age. how certain years really are important. even though your whole life matters.
nineteen was just what i expected it to be: unexpected. nothing made sense last year. nothing. even in hindsight, most of it is still confusing. my decisions were irrational for most of my nineteenth year and the consequences were mostly more confusion...not direct punishment.

i think if i could categorize my nineteenth year with a word it would be "aimless".  don't get me wrong. last year had a purpose and my God is always always faithful. what i did last year mattered. what i'm saying is, i thought so much about everything last year, that i didn't have time to really think about anything. (okay, i know that sounds seriously mental, but it really makes sense...) my own neurotic tendencies completely shattered the possibility of my experiencing life in a healthy way. i just wandered in and out of different situations and circumstances like a wounded animal without a home.

so twenty is here now. nothing changes overnight, but i really would like to be able to turn my mind off, so to speak. i would like to stop thinking about everything all the time and just come back to the fundamental facts that i'm alive and have a heart that is beating and a God that is sovereign. i would like to stop rationalizing anything and everything into the ground. i would like to be more trusting and less cynical. i'd like to get better at loving people without fear of disappointment/of being disappointing. most of all, i would like to love Jesus so much more and so much fuller than i have. love Him to the point that i can accept things and stop trying to create my own scenarios where everything works out...or where everything fails.

so yeah. i'm twenty. this is a new decade. and it's going to be the best one i've lived yet.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


an expiring flashbulb
in the skies
the bright street lamps
and my blinking eyes
the asphalt shifting below a thousand tires
and the smoke rising from the forest fires
this drought of my heart
now plaintively crying for rain
expected satisfaction
when the thunder came 
your arms held me close
but no showers did pour
instead my heart was left
as parched as before
so fill me with your emptiness
the kind i think i want
while this land becomes drier still
while i tell myself i can't
because in the arms of a near-stranger it suddenly becomes clear

my masochistic tendencies are created by an insatiable fear

a fear of a love that comes
like the rain

a fear of a love that comes
like the rain

Saturday, February 9, 2013

polaris (A/B)

falling asleep
the sounds of lovers above me
and the rain hitting my window

i think of you
your face in the daylight
and the way you would react to things unsaid

oh this holding onto nothing
this grief
this sorrow
i thought i'd be spared because i am young

but you drifted away from me
no longer in proximity
with hopes that i have had
and songs i've sung

two silent stars
burn into my back
marking where i last felt your kiss

can there be anything
between knowing
and not knowing me
a twilight of acquaintance
where we'll meet

those two stars will sing again
and i promise the moon won't look
while we repair
each other's hearts

so i listen to lovers
lovers and the rain
the clouds cover my body
oh my heart
and my guidance is gone

Thursday, February 7, 2013


effloresce  (ˌɛflɔːˈrɛs)
— vb
1. to burst forth into or as if into flower; bloom
[from Latin efflōrēscere  to blossom, from flōrēscere,  from flōs  flower]

today, while looking at someone who i have only recently gotten to know, it struck me.

i have beautiful friends.

the magic of that statement is so much deeper and stronger than i can express. it's magical how people can grow more and more beautiful in your eyes as you become closer and closer to them. their bodies are no longer where their soul is kept. no, their bodies become an extension of that. so when i look at my dearest friends, because i know the stunning nature of their mind and soul, i cannot help but think their bodies match.
i don't know if that makes sense to you, but it makes so much sense to me.
once i am won over by the person's heart, i began to admire every little nuance of that person's body. the way they hold their hands, the subtlety of their expressions, how their muscles tense when they concentrate, the corners of their mouth when they smile, the shape of their eyes, and countless other things like that.
i tried to find a word that could express this process that people go through. the process of becoming more and more gorgeous, regardless of how they really look.
the best thing i could find is the word above.

the beauty of their soul bursts forth. and blooms through their bodies.