Tuesday, November 29, 2011

12. Managing Miles

It’s a tragedy, these fissures and voids that lie between.

I hate that it isn’t simple, that my arms can’t reach, can’t cover the gap, can’t wrap around in times of need.

We’re left to maneuver the open lines of communication.

But alas, letters and phone calls don’t satisfy my imagination.

I’d rather it be that we are settled comfortably in sections of our fictional fort built with blankets and chairs.

In my favorite version of managing the miles, the giggles and secrets and everything else vibrate across the expanse of string attached to the empty can against my ear. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

11. A Novel Idea

The little bell that jingles when I walk through the door always makes me feel invited, and even though I don’t like cats I tolerate Emerson’s affectionate nuzzle against my leg.

“Maybe I’ll revisit Emerson today, Ralph Waldo that is, or maybe Thoreau, or Steinbeck, or some other classic literature giant,” I thought as I ran my fingers over the stacks of cracked spines.

No matter how often I read them, I will not tire of the eloquence in East of Eden, Walden Pond, Self-Reliance.

You see, they make me feel more my age; these persuasive men, these yellowed pages. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

10. In A Cappella

There are few things that make me more insecure than hearing the noise of my own voice unaccompanied by a melodious symphony of sounds.

So, when the band ceased the playing of their instruments on Sunday and continued with an A cappella chorus, I paused momentarily, unsure with my voice no longer camouflaged by the thick reverberation from the speakers.

That was, until I heard the most beautiful cacophony of sounds. Voices high and low, on key and off; my brothers and sisters singing in perfect union; so, I unabashedly joined in…

.. Nothing compares to this love, love, love

Thursday, November 10, 2011

9. Textured Language

Try as I might to decipher the languages placed before me on a daily basis, I’m constantly getting lost in the heady, dense jargon of my fellow scientists and thick, sugar-coated mess of the overtly Christian conversations in which I often partake. I attempt but even falter in the disciplines of icy slander and abrasive sarcasm. 

However, I never lose my way in the simple fluidity of a warm embrace; there isn't confusion in unblemished, selfless service. As imperfect as it may or may not be, my heart always beats in sync with the soft spoken sentiment, I love you. 

‎"Language, imperfect as it may be, is the realizer of our world. It is the texture of our thoughts."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


A slightly labored breath escaped the tiny mouth of the newborn baby boy I cradled gently in the crevasse of my arms. “You’ll figure it out little buddy,” I thought as I realized how strange it must be to learn something like breathing. Weird and wonderful to think that 48 hours prior breathing wasn’t even on his radar. When his tiny wrinkled hand slipped around my finger and gripped it tightly, the progression of my thoughts went somewhere I wasn’t expecting. Time warped into a different hospital room with an equally wrinkled hand wrapped tightly around mine, all fingers inter woven.

His breaths were labored also but not because it was a new phenomenon.  No, as he reached his final cap, his allotted number so to speak each one became more exerted, deliberate, and full of intention. “You’ll figure it out grandpa,” I thought, as I realized how strange it must be for him to begin to fully know that time is short, finite here.

The juxtaposition is eerily similar for me. I remember tracing the lines of their faces with my eyes, taking in each feature, trying desperately to etch the gravity of the situation in my mind forever because moments like these don’t just happen every day. Feeling my heart swollen with emotion; immense adoration hidden in the warmest chamber of my heart.

Remembering now, I can’t help but wonder if their thoughts spun in the same direction. I can’t help but wonder that in the birth and death of the day, if we all desire little more than to grip on to the tangible love in front of us, to hold tightly to that which brings comfort and peace, to be cradled with affection, to breathe in and out. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

8. Insider

They aren’t MY friends. I’m an outsider to this unique group of four who call Michigan home. I didn’t forge a relationship with them at their camp, in their beloved upper peninsula.  I met them sipping cocktails in a corner booth, supporting our friend, their fifth and my only connection, the beautiful bride to be.

I’d heard plenty about them from Linda’s stories both written and spoken, and the pictures she painted of love, affection and edification couldn’t have been more accurate.

Then somehow when I wasn’t paying attention, somewhere between the cocktails and the vows, they welcomed me in.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

7. Personal Tragedy

If I saw it in a movie, I’d look away, or cover my eyes.  I certainly wouldn’t fixate on the details, taking in the sights and sounds and smells.

I wouldn’t know the trajectory of her thoughts, or notice the desperation grow as the minutes accumulate more and more rapidly.

No, I wouldn’t relate to this story. I’d be as naïve as the religious folk we all love to hate. I’d be safe and sound and whole within.

But in this nightmare of a dream I get no such luxury. I’m a front row spectator to my own personal tragedy. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

6. Crash

It sounded like a cracking whip amplified by one hundred. Ten fingers and ten toes, no broken bones; Shattered glass strewn about the car and all over my lap.

I ached all over but not enough to want attention, not enough to want your pity. Gotta be strong; be calm, cool, collected.

I made the statement to the police officer and tried not to be angry, tried not to blame her for being careless, young and scared.

A stiff neck brace and seventeen x-rays later I still tried to be tough, but today, I’m not and I refuse to pretend. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5. Your Hand in Mine

I don’t know that I’ve ever sensed the subduing effect I felt as you ever so intentionally slipped your fingers in between each of mine, piecing me back together.

It wasn’t like the first time as we surveyed the sunset and watched the tide ebb and flow, your fingers accidentally brushing mine, then more and more daringly, no longer unintended. I was so painfully aware of each gentle graze that I swore I could feel each grain of sand fall between the cracks of my fingers back to the earth where they belonged; where we belong, your hand in mine. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

4. Memorial

I’ve wondered lately about the way we memorialize the things we lose, in light of the tenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centers and the opening of the massive memorial at ground zero.

It got me thinking about how I cope with the things I’ve lost. The mementos I’ve kept to remind me forever of all the things that have been ripped out of my life sooner than I was ready. Should they be laden in bronze for the world to see, or should I be resting in the knowledge that His mercies are new each morning?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#3 - 100 words (Restless)

I sat for what seemed like hours, swinging gently in the bright orange hammock on the front porch.  So many thoughts swam through my mind and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t focus on a single one.  I attempted, as I normally do to pick apart the source of all the noise, to no avail.

Oh well, I sighed, and let myself sink into the hammock as it started swinging a little faster than before and the crickets sang me a sweet melody. I’ll let my body rest but my heart, for all intensive purposes, we’ll call it restless. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

#2 - 100 words (Reasons)

He heard there are several reasons that people begin using drugs, loads of extraneous circumstances that cause people to spiral into the depths of substance abuse.

People make it apparent that there are far too many reasons for him to choose from; her and them and all the pressures to perform closing in on him, threatening to throw off his delicate balance.

Just as the reality of his motives begin to sink in so does the plunger of the syringe in his arm, sending him swiftly into his own personal oblivion.

And, he thinks, at this point who needs reasons. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#1 - 100 words

Nicole has never been one for small talk, which suits her quite nicely as she sits in a small corner booth of the local coffee shop.

At first glance she appears to be working on her MacBook, occasionally sipping the brew of the day, sans cream or sugar.

However, if you looked a little closer you would notice tired eyes behind the bangs she sweeps carelessly to the side as she works to meet her deadlines.

You don’t have to be a genius to see what she’s feeling, the designs and doodles she conjures up tell her story well enough.

Initially inspired by http://www.1hundred-words.com/

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On Vulnerability

Can I tell you how it feels to be vulnerable?
Utterly and completely.
To be split down the middle,
With all my love and fears,
Slipping simultaneously, uncontrollably out of my insides.

Do you see all of me,
Feel what I’m feeling, see where I’m coming from?

Do you notice the quickening pace,
Of my heartbeats cadence,
Underneath the rise and fall of my chest,
As my breaths become shorter, more shallow.

Will it ever feel safe,
Will I ever experience freedom in this state?
Or will this glass house crack and crumble under your persuasion?

Will we succumb to joy or pain,
Or are both inevitable outcomes?
To be sure, we will have to continue,
Sojourning through this life together.

I’ll try to fight the urges to reinforce my fortress, if you’ll be gentle.
I’ll sit with my skin as flushed as the flowers on the table,
Again and again, for you, my Achilles heel. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Anniversaire Toi

I was learning French when we started this, three years ago, the summer before my senior year of college.  I was stringing together most likely incorrect phrases like “Tu et le garçon qui je (You are the man whom I)…. Want, love, value, desire, hoped for.

I ardently believed all those things as I walked up to the alter to recite the vows like so many have done.  I vowed to love, honor and cherish in sickness and health, plenty and want, the traditional, time-honored words that centuries before have spoken.  The things, which at the time seemed most important.

However if I got to re-write them with the sage-ness acquired in a short three years, I would be certain to add a few.

I Katie, take you Nathaniel, to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, in plenty, and in want, in sickness or in health, in sin and shame, in hurt feelings and botched apologies, in trust and in doubt, in triumph and in utter and complete failure, in beauty and in tears, in moments of great passion and times of apathy, with grace instead of judgment, to love, to cherish and to respect, with the smiles, breath, tears of all my life, 'till death do us part and the clock itself wears thin its time.

Those are the things I’ve gleaned in three years of learning to fight well and love even better. I’m immeasurably thankful for the gift that is being your wife.  Happy Anniversary my husband, Mon amour.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Unwielded Words

If I used my words well, like my dear friend urges;
Then our conversation would have looked different.
If I had been obedient,
To the gentle tugging
On my twisted insides,
Maybe we both could have grown in understanding.

But instead,
I spoke swiftly with a stammer,
Figited too much,
Rushed through my answers,
Avoiding your eye contact.

The consequences are real.
Sitting here, wishing I’d been bolder;
That my normally brazen nature;
Filled with unfiltered ideas hadn’t fallen short.

Surely I’ll make excuses
Because I can’t stand the guilt,
Or swallow the truth for that matter.

For now the pendulum swings
Between disappointment and hope
Knowing it doesn’t rely on my ability to perform
Wishing it was easier to tell the truth;
The truth about You.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Artist's Theology - Let them talk.

My pastor posted this excerpt from one of Vincent Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo in October of 1884. I found it so illuminating that I could not resist re-posting it for whomever may stumble upon this blog.

“I tell you, if one wants to be active, one must not be afraid of going wrong, one must not be afraid of making mistakes now and then. Many people think that they will become good just by doing no harm - but that’s a lie, and you yourself used to call it that. That way lies stagnation, mediocrity.
Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don’t know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to the painter, You can’t do a thing. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerises some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can’t’ once and for all.
Life itself, too, is forever turning an infinitely vacant, dispiriting blank side towards man on which nothing appears, any more than it does on a blank canvas. But no matter how vacant and vain, how dead life may appear to be, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, who knows something, will not be put off so easily. He wades in and does something and stays with it, in short, he violates, “defiles” - they say. Let them talk, those cold theologians.”  - Vincent Van Gogh
Action to avoid passivity and assimilation.
Love to overcome hollow theology.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Promises in Pencil

I’ve never been a fan of using pencil. In fact, I pride myself as a fancy pen person. I love the feel of my Pilot G2 05 as the smooth gel ink glides effortlessly across the paper. In college I arrogantly took my Calculus and Physics exams in pen. I couldn’t stand the idea of the faint ghosting of frantic erasing all over my exams.  Sometimes now, I even bust out my quill pen and ink well to write in calligraphy. That act, dipping the iron tip and placing each stroke feels incredibly intentional; almost concrete, each word full of meaning. No room for error and no eraser for mistakes.

However, when I write in pencil it feels hesitant, uncommitted. Like when people I loved used to promise me things and I knew they didn’t mean it. I grew weary of their empty words; tired of their lies. I became adamantly opposed to saying I promise; calloused and bitter towards people who carelessly threw them around like a cheap imitation of sincerity.

Yet, I’ve been drawing promises in pencil for quite some time now. I pencil in my best guess and promptly smear it with the hopes that when I miss the mark, it is nearly illegible. I leave it in the sunlight knowing that the rays will bleach the graphite. I bargain and barter and make false claims signing my allegiance in pencil hoping that when it’s revisited, He will have forgotten and my faded signature will be unrecognizable.

I imagine that the One who sees infinitely more that I can grows just as weary of my penciled promises and hollow words as I once did. He knows when I beg and barter to do better if He would only______ that I’m just searching for a means to an end, trying to gain the upper hand. I can only claim ignorance for so long. Imitation will no longer do, for You, I cannot deceive. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If I could say one thing at your wedding....

This last weekend I was in a wedding of a dear, dear friend.  The bride and groom asked their attendants and a few others to assemble a bouquet of love and support for them. They asked each of us to speak for approximately 30 seconds during the ceremony.  More specifically they asked that we would share a word of encouragement, a thought on Scripture as it pertains to marriage, bits of wisdom from personal experience, or affirmation of what we know or have observed of them or our hope for their life together (and then add a flower, which they gave us, into a vase).

I agonized over this for DAYS. I mean, how can you really illustrate a picture of someone or sum up anything profound in 30 seconds? You can’t, unless you’re Maya Angelou or someone as poetically inclined. However I tried my darndest to add depth and wisdom and sincerity in my 30 second sermon. I said something along the lines of:

“Romans 12:10 reads “Love one another with genuine affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” We talk a lot about love but we don’t talk nearly as much about honor. To honor means to respect, esteem, dignify, to speak highly of each other when the other person isn’t around. Please remember to outdo one another in showing honor, to respect each other as much as you love each other.”

Or something to that effect. I had it written on a note card which got lost in the hustle and bustle of the never ending picture session.

I meant it, every word, and I chose that particular thing to talk about because frankly it isn’t something that my husband and I do well and I see the effects of a lack of honor. However there are a few things that I’d like to add in my 30 seconds +. Without further adieu:

1.    Don’t take yourself too seriously. You aren’t always right and your spouse won’t always get it right, and that is life.

2.    Do your best to see things in perspective, to see baby steps of progress when it feels like you have gotten nowhere.

3.    Remember how much time you spent planning your wedding down to the littlest detail? Remember how much time you spent the day before your wedding trying to make sure you had the best laid plans? Spend just as much time and effort working on your marriage daily.

4.    Serve one another in the little things. People say little things don’t matter but if something little matters to your spouse, then do your best to serve them in the little things.

5.    Make sure that your spouse’s name is always safe in your mouth. Never slander them or degrade them to other people.

6.    Make each other laugh.

7.    Learn about the ways your spouse likes to be loved and put them into practice, and in the same breath, see how they love well and do your best to accept it even if it isn’t your thing.

And there you have them… a few things that if given the chance I’d say at your wedding. There are more and trust me I’ve failed miserably at everything on this list, but we try and really that is all that we can ask of each other.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Truth in Fiction

I’ve always wondered how she copes.

I see her every week day at work, tired and emotionally strained. It is almost as if she feels everything. She’s only thirty years old but going on eighty.  

I knew a girl like her once in high school. Always fighting some sort of battle. Her inward struggles always managed an outward manifestation. She was angry, tired, sad, sometimes happy, joyful, and even occasionally relaxed. Whichever emotion possessed her at the time she never did a good job of hiding it. I found it annoying and exhausting, her ping-pong of emotions, but also in a strange way I admired it. It was unfamiliar to someone as unemotional as myself, or maybe I should say calloused.  

The high school girl had a coping mechanism. I noticed one day in the locker room before gym class. Thin precise cuts in rows of three down her legs, stopping shortly before the hem of her shorts. They were all in various stages of healing, some fresh and some already scarred. I stared a little too long and she noticed my lingering. She shot me a “mind your own business” sort of glare and so I did. I was too scared and thought I was too cool to care about someone like her.

Today I wish I would have said something, at least tried to make a difference.

I admit that I’ve often recalled this girl to mind when interacting with my coworker. It’s empowering knowing that there are no should’ve, would’ve , could haves yet. I’ve done my best to build a semi-functional relationship in our 9-5 lives. I’ve asked loads of questions trying to uncover her coping. I know she isn’t a cutter like the girl I knew before. Once she told me she liked to get drunk and hook up with random guys but I could tell it was a lie.

Then one day I started talking about this. The silly blog that I use to write about random little stories. I could tell right away that it resonated with her on a new level that I hadn’t experienced before.  Soon we were talking about her manuscript, the book she has started writing just for fun. I immediately offered to read it. She hesitated but eventually agreed.

I “proofread” it for her cover to cover last night. It was brilliant and enthralling. I couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t the content that knocked me off my feet but the characters. She wrote herself into fiction, and for the first time I had a real glimpse into what she FEELS. She copes by lacing all her insecurities and shortcomings and feelings into a beautiful plot line. The story is far from finished and I can hardly wait for the finale. Sure, it is just fiction, but from my vantage point there isn’t much that I have seen that is truer than fiction. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Unnecessary Campaigns

A strategy brought into play in our tangled tango of words;
a calculated counter measure to your step forward.
Even your backwards movements require protection.

Repetitive use has caused problems.
An inability to sense.
A distorted image of self.

A heart that has learned to brace for the worst,
knowing that the truth is always costly.

Side-stepped compliments and ill-timed humor,
Even omitted wisdom,
They’re all just defense mechanisms. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

In My Annotated Life

I was recently asked to map out a timeline of my last year, detailing all the highs and lows that occurred. At first I thought it was a good idea; that was until I started thinking of the last year. After agonizing for at least five minutes, I had only thought of five or so major things to put on my timeline and none of them felt like they were worth much with the exception of helping get Mosaic off the ground. So like any mature and rational person would, I ignored the “project” until the next week when everyone was supposed to share. At our weekly gathering we started talking and a couple of people read their timelines. One person’s timeline was filled with pregnancy and the birth of their first child. The next person’s detailed a year of physical and mental struggles due to a major injury. As I listened to both of these stories I thought to myself, “How in the world do these people remember this stuff?”

When it got to be my turn I freely admitted that I hadn’t done the exercise and resolved to have it done for the next week. My intentions were good, I swear, but as I sat down again I could not do it. I thought maybe it was because I’m not a feeler. Relatively speaking I never get too high or too low and the so called even keel-ness isn’t good for timelines. Or maybe it is because the life I lead is just really boring. The reality is probably a combination of the two but I came out of the questions with a different outlook.

You see, my annotated life just looks a little different. Instead of milestones there are little moments that make my life rich and eventful. My improvised timeline looks something like this:

May ’10: Beat Nathan at tennis and felt totally BA.

June ’10: Enjoyed countless barbeques with my family and laughed uncontrollably at inappropriate dinner table talk.

July ’10: Spent 4th of July scaring the living daylights out of my friends and laughing until the point of nausea.

August ’10: Made a lot of jokes about “pulling the goalie.” Slow clapped for teenage girl too scared to cliff jump into the lake (Got scowled at by said girl).

September ’10: Had beers and smores with a great couple while throwing flour into the fire and saying Harry Potter spells. (Highly flammable and highly entertaining)

October ’10: Started actually enjoying hanging out with women and had some of the best coffee dates of my life.

November ’10: Had a really great unexpected phone conversation with an old friend that reminded me how much I love them. Developed a new friendship over gmail chat and twitter.

December ’10: Planned stellar NYE surprise with the best co-conspirator and had more quality conversations that I could count.

January ’11: Read Little Women for the umpteenth time and loved every word.

February ’11: Got a couple letters that made me feel like one of the most special people in the world. Cried for the first time in forever. 

March ’11: Had a blast in Chicago surrounded by a lot of love. Shared an amazing week at sea with my husband and our friends. Read a Nora Roberts book against my will and didn’t hate it.

April ’11: Hugged a new friend for the first time, one of the greatest hugs ever.  Shared tons of witty banter via email. Reignited my passion for sunflower seeds.

Nothing special, no major milestones, but from the looks of it, I had a really great year. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Delicate Reassurance

I rocked a baby to sleep on Sunday evening.  I held her little body in my arms and quietly hummed a mishmash of lullabies as she balanced delicately between asleep and awake. When I was sure of her slumber, I called in my husband and we prayed for her. We spoke quiet intercessions over the little girl we have grown to love. We asked our Father to give her peaceful sleep and happy dreams. We asked for little things that on the large scale don’t mean much. We prayed for her parent’s guidance and then we ended as we always have with a request that she would grow healthy and strong, to serve and love Him.

She didn’t move a muscle the entire time. Normally she fights the sleep and fusses when I transition from the rocking chair to the crib but not this time. The only noise she made was a gentle sigh when I laid her down, a small surrender from her tired little body. It was beautiful, and I left the room feeling refreshed and thankful. I was thankful that she went down easy because to be honest, I was tired too. Thankful that we had the rest of the evening to relax and that her parents also could relax on their night out, knowing that she was fast asleep.

I didn’t realize until later that for the first time in five months of watching her and putting her to sleep once or twice a month, I left the room not feeling wanting. Prior to this evening I had always fought a hint of jealousy and dissatisfaction. As hard as I tried and wrestled, I always felt frustrated and sad that I didn’t have my own child to rock and hum to, to pray over and protect, to shepherd and love. That night however, I left the room with peace and joy and thankfulness and I realized that the gentle sigh, the small surrender that she gave as I laid her down was not the only one that took place. I had made a small or maybe not so small surrender of my own.

As I mulled it over I remembered something that the little girl’s mom told me recently. That God would give me the children that I’m supposed to love, a truth that she had clung to when she was in the exact same position as myself. At the time I had brushed it off, thinking to myself that it was easier said than done. However, as I sat there in my small surrender I thought and believed that if this was it that I would be okay with that. If this is the way I’m supposed to love Your children then so be it. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Quiet Steps

I recently stumbled upon a song I’ve loved for a long time, one that never really gets old. However, for whatever reason, it felt particularly poignant this time and every time after as I listened to it on repeat. More than once in my life I’ve awoken to find myself in a serious state of disarray, as if someone turned on a light and illuminated just how far I’ve wandered. I know I should be more surprised when the realizations hit. I know I should feel worse but in reality succumbing to guilt isn’t something that I do well.  But it’s different now. I’m in a new stage of life, one that details very little control and extreme vulnerability and it has certainly illuminated my current state of disarray.

I know how I got here, living life one calculated risk at a time mixed in with a compromise or two. The lines of the aforementioned song say it perfectly.

“I don't remember one jump or one leap;
Just quiet steps away from your lead.”

I’ve taken quiet albeit deliberate steps in the wrong direction because frankly it is just easier. It is easier to go with what feels “right” than to be diligent to deciphering the “right” direction. It is easier to shut down the more sensitive sides of myself than to feel disappointment and heartache. So here I stand cold calculated steps away from reality, far from where I want to be and even farther from where I should be.

Call this an admission of guilt of sorts, maybe even a step back in the other direction. The only question I’m left asking myself is, “Is it worth it?” Is the journey back towards reality worth the time of naivety and false assurance? Or would it have been easier to stay put?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I’ve never been one to go along easy or take the path of least resistance. I like to fight and grapple with real or self-made obstacles. I’ve spent my whole life building fortresses and sharpening my weapons of mass destruction. If you are one of my friends, you know that I don’t take kindly to criticism of any kind even though I say I welcome “constructive criticism”.  Truth is even when I solicit advice, I narrow the responses I’d like to hear and if you respond outside of what I want then I brush your advice aside like garbage.  I choose from my arsenal of excuses to divert myself from the truth no matter how beneficial it might be. I tell myself things like “they just don’t understand” and “if they were really hearing me they wouldn’t be so judgmental.” Its tiring, all this fighting, and all my defensiveness wears thin on my relationships.

However, recently I’ve engaged in some of the best, open conversation that I’ve experienced in a long time. It comes by way of a gal I’ve only known for a short amount of time but she already feels like a close friend. The best part about her is the way she totally disarms me. Without lacking any honesty she strips me of any reason to be hostile and through the course of conversation I find myself laying down my weapons of defensiveness. I don’t need to make jokes because I feel insecure and I don’t have to hold back the truth for fear of rejection or shame. Sometimes I feel a little naked knowing how much she knows but more often than not the freedom that comes with feeling known outweighs any amount of awkwardness or discomfort. She is teaching me how to love well in relationships and my hope is to love her well in return. 

Monday, February 28, 2011


I read once that all my tears are collected and recorded, counted and kept safe. If that’s the case my jar is probably close to empty, a thin salty layer evaporating into nothing. I haven’t added to it in what seems like forever and to me that feels normal but to others not so much. I tell people that it’s not the way I function; that my sorrows are expressed differently and that’s true for the most part. It’s also true that on the occasions when my chin begins to quiver and the lump rises in my throat, I fight to hold it in. I’m afraid to let a few loose, knowing that if I do it would take a small army to pull me back together and I hate that feeling of not being in control, weakness. And, to be quite honest, I’ve never felt like my tears were important enough. The majority of the ones I’ve cried have been over held back anger and my bruised ego, certainly not something to be cherished.

However, the ones that fell swiftly from my eyes last night were different. Instead of being accompanied by short breaths and sniffles their only companion was silence. They made hot streams along my cheeks and eventually pooled on the red Egyptian cotton of my pillowcase as I tried to find my sleep. Normally I would have mulled it over, dissecting all the reasons causing me to feel this way but I didn’t need to.  I knew these were tears of deep sorrow and repentance; born out of a tired heart.  I didn’t fight it and the minutes accumulated quickly, however, I knew that they were serving as a lullaby of sorts. I don’t know which came first the ceasing of my tears or my dreamless slumber but as I awoke this morning a single tear escaped each eye and then they were gone with as little fanfare as when they arrived.

Those tears, the hot silent variety, are the ones worth cherishing. 

Monday, February 21, 2011


Prompt 13

I’m a sucker for one-liners. I like to hear people zing witty banter back and forth and I love hearing short, profound sentiments. I think that’s why I love music so much. Every day I listen to music, all day. I’d like to think I have a healthy appreciation for most genres, and consider myself a music aficionado. However, the reality is I just latch onto musicians that other people like and based on their lyrics and sound, love them or leave them.  That has been the case for my most recent musical obsessions. For example I found my love for Mumford and Sons and The Civil Wars based on (cower in shame) episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and my love for Sara Bareilles based on this blog post.

I find so much satisfaction in listening to these artists sing sweet melodies and spill out poetic verses, hooks and bridges that seem to explain where I’m at so perfectly. It’s as if they stepped right into my mind and plucked out how I feel about Jesus, my relationships, and the direction of my life. Often the actual subject matter of the song has nothing to do with what I’m experiencing but somehow these artists use a few lines to sum up the pages and pages of my Moleskine that I’ve filled trying to decipher what I feel.

I know that she is singing about a man and pleading to get over him. She calls herself a basket case and gives examples of why she loves him. That couldn’t be farther from MY situation except for maybe the basket case part. I have a loving and faithful husband, but those lines are closer to home than I’d like to admit. I NEED to be moved out of the state I’m in; I’m pleading in a similar way to be pushed, pulled or dragged into a better state of mind. Truth is for months I’ve been struggling to mutter a prayer for myself other than, Please, Father be patient with me.

I’m balancing between a desire to dive deeper and thinly veiled apathy. I want to be robbed of fear and insecurity. I want shameful and painful memories to be stolen.

I’d rather stop worrying and move forward in freedom. I want what I should believe to be what I really believe instead of cluttered with questions and doubt. I realize it’s all a bit dramatic but I’m okay with that. For now, I’ll sing along to popular songs and plead their melodic prayers until I feel closer to where I need to be. I'll rely on poetic verses and concise lyrics to say it better than I can because something is better than nothing.