06/07/2014 § Leave a comment
And i’m left thinking of you – as the sun sinks my heart is coated in the heavy moon light. Lost with you, wherever you may be. There are days I feel absolutely invincible. That being alone is the only way I know how to thrive, but I crash and I toss and I turn looking for you at every corner. You had me before you even knew me and though the path needed to be cleared, we made it ours. The dreams of late nights that patched our hearts together for years before give me understanding. Wearing this once hard heart to the ground where light could be given. You did this, you shaped me without even knowing. It’s like when God gives you a glimpse at even just one of the millions of things he’s doing to cultivate your story. It finally forms a chapter that ties the loose ends of the past together. Sometimes it’s the words of good reads and a glass of wine t to feel again. To resurrect the hope that you are there and you do understand. But do you even care? I want to be the light you found, that you can never turn off for fear of being misguided in the dark forever. Who am I to you as I stand knee deep muddling through what could be us. But who are we now? If you could shine just a glimpse of your light my way, I wouldn’t be blindly following with my heart alone.
And two rather large cups of coffee later, it hit me – the true meaning of our weakness, hidden in all of its shiny glory. The words spoken that lead my imaginative heart into a thousand possibilities of tomorrow. You say and I believe, never exposing myself to the truth of actions outside of how I feel and what I want. But I didn’t play this game alone, if I were to be perfectly honest, responsibility was kept by you, but I couldn’t stop rolling the dice. Tricky to play your life in such a way as there is no pattern to calculate outside of losing. So what does it take to win? To step outside of what you feel is best for you, when you aren’t even sure moving away is the right answer?
There’s a loss of intensity in Your love that occurs. How diluted one’s strength of story can become when littered with little secrets. The consequences of every word, every pursuit, every step you take for yourself that you hide from the world in hopes that the end result will reveal a majestic outcome, a brilliant testimony that inspires the worlds to come. Sometimes these delusional secrets fizzle without any visible repercussions. Other times, everything you know changes causing you to leave your destiny unfulfilled. Regardless, it’s inevitable that you will hurt those that love you and more importantly, weaken your Faith. It’s in the secrets that we become hypocritical, to ourselves, the other people involved and those we don’t even know are looking. When we don’t take into consideration an instragrammed Jesus hashtag as we lie in the bed of another. Hypocrite. When we wear last night’s makeup to church because we were too drunk to take it off. Hypocrite. When we pray for and tell everyone we’re worthy of God’s choice in marriage, yet find ourselves completely lost in the instant gratification of passion and romance rather than the reality of honest, pure communication. Total hypocrite.
I am so beyond guilty of those things, past and present tense. Yet, until today I never thought about how my secrets were visible outside of me. It’s realizing that life is not my own, my choices heavily affect my destiny, choices that impact whether or not my life will be completed in God’s will. How can I proclaim boldly that I belong to God while secretly drowning in my hypocrisy, bringing others along for the ride? It’s wrecking all of the good things we are entitled to as His sons & daughters. His grace is found as we continually pursue living in His favor, fully. It’s not just about giving up your secrets, but making peace with them. Just because you’ve caught yourself in a relationship or doing that’s damaging to your story doesn’t mean grace and mercy are lost. Especially as it involves others, learning to extend favor to those who are just as entangled as you in this mess is the best act of God’s love toward us we can display. Learn to let your secrets breath, give them the chance to heal, truly experience the hurt so that afterward you can expose even the worst of your secrets and enemies to love, mercy and grace.
05/06/2014 § Leave a comment
Hey little love,
I know the beauty in words aren’t flowing quite as they used to. And what you’re discovering in this new chapter has cost the brilliance of constant inspiration of the unknown only found in city life. A very grown up daily routine is teaching you to be consistent and stable, which I know translates to mundane, leaving little room for the unimaginable… but you’ve been granted a do over. A place to comfortably set yourself on a path of success surrounded by your biggest fans, even if that consists of 3 people. The rarity of this opportunity should be proof of how dearly you are held by God. Though you are still just a bit shy of 25, at some point you had to have a period of settling to grow. You had to rest in hopes of building strength to guide your true passions and creative endeavors of a beautiful life.
Frustration begins as you see pages of blotted ink spilling into the abyss of forgotten partially finished works, but you must trust that what you love hasn’t left forever. When the timing is perfect the initiatives and words will confidently find their way back to your heart more lavishly than before they left. Please don’t give in, as you know exactly what you were meant for. Keep striving, stare blank pages in the face and curse them in bold black letters if it ignites a fire in your bones, remember how to make yourself feel, work to perceive your life as a beautiful romance once again.
You’ll teach yourself to love more deeply than before because you know just how lonely the distance in life can feel. You’ll trust your intuition toward people because you’ll see the results of others trusting you. And while hesitation never stood in your way, it is soon to be accompanied by assured confidence as you firmly plant your efforts into the choices you make because above all else, you are still heading in the direction of God. Even when it feels like He’s terribly far away, when it feels like He has lost you in this suburbia purgatory along with the rest of the world, you’re still here and you’re still His child, His Beloved. You’re going to make it, by renewing your love for this life, I swear you will make it yours. Fight until exhaustion, fight every second of the day, fight until you break, then let the tears wash away as you once again feel and experience everything this world has to offer. Sometimes one must spend a moment behind the scenes to recognize just how bright the future is to come. Only then will your eyes refocus on this beautiful life we coalesce to create. But it can’t be done without you, darling.
xx- your very own self help ;)
28/05/2014 § Leave a comment
Live for the moment. Plan for the future, but live in today. Phrases I always considered to the extreme because that’s just how my mind works. That on any given day, you would be presented with the opportunity to dive into an exotic waterfall or meet someone who you would never spend another moment without, and if you neglected either of these rare chances, your one chance moment would pass by along with the life you only imagined. Still fully believing in seizing such moments, i’m learning to not always look for them, but rather to embrace the everyday moments that are so often overlooked.
It’s the moments that create our life that we barely allow a 30 second glance. Yet, they are the stories, the images, the interactions that unknowingly begin to shape our growing process as we venture through life. Taking care of ourselves, both present and future begins when we take the time needed to invest appreciation in our surroundings. The process doesn’t look the same as each of us have different daily responsibilities and needs when feeding our creativity, but the goal is the same: to begin a daily practice of cultivating our senses with the intention of internal growth. Expanding our minds & souls for something greater than our own personal energy.
It begins with each of us taking responsibility for our daily course as a selfless act, meant to encourage change in our communities and thus begin to impact the world. By laying our every thought, reluctance and initiative at the cross, recognizing how our self-worth plays a role in creating the environment around us and treating it as a precious gift; a gift that we, as humans, are privileged to be in charge of, a gift that nothing else in creation can acknowledge, life would become a carefully curated event of cherished moments of growth by way of a shared love.
As we began to think more simply, and we begin to treat ourselves with kindness, we would begin to listen to the core of our existence. What exactly do we need to thrive as individuals in a world in which everything is available to us via express mail? What foods fuel our highest productivity, where in the world can we take our office to grow our professional calling, when can we be certain that we’ve outgrown the community we’re in- ready to expand our lifestyle with new vibrancy, and how can we become so comfortable in our own soul that we can rest assured in the direction our mind and heart leads us?
The momentary joy of putting answers to such questions isn’t the end all. Even though life will, more often than not, feel like an awkward in between stage before a new heaven & a new earth, we can allow ourselves to connect with the Spirit inside of us to teach us what our needs are and how they can be most fully satisfied and enjoyed, that we may then bring that joy and satisfaction to the one’s we long to embrace.
Laugh in confidence as you speak from the deepest parts of your being,
Always embrace life experiences over book smarts,
Praise this luminous God of ours who craves your pure intentions rather than your self-made goals.
And whether the sun fades on your success or failures, it is always the grace of this beautiful journey that pull you toward an existence of hope.
… I promise i’m learning to get back into the swing of writing often ;)
26/04/2014 § Leave a comment
Relationships with other people are messy. They take root in your heart, they grow flowers with thorns that need to be tended to, they have seasons of blooming, cessation, and death. They delight in your eyes and you have the capacity to let them grow wild and free or to cut them from their life support only to sit pretty on the kitchen table.
As I watched someone’s eyes light in fury as their face twisted and angry words spewed toward an object that in their mind mistreated them, things were very much put into perspective. How did the emotions of our relationship compare? Could it be that the objects in their life had taken precedence as they come with guarantees and warranties? Did this person find comfort knowing if it were to break they can simply return or trade in for new?
Relationships amongst souls don’t really stick to such guidelines. If you break it, you buy it. Though perhaps you will choose to trade in, there is no refund or eraser after sharing time with someone. That relationship will always be carried with you in bits and pieces, coming out at the worst or best of times depending on its severity. Everyone has a measure of pain, a measure of how much they can withstand before their heart will stop feeling compassion and love toward another. They’ll still find something and call it love, best case scenario they pour their heart into a hobby or collection. Most of the time though, they’ll find another heart who is equal parts in damage. And what appears to be freedom and compatibility is only a facade to a low risk, of the moment investment.
The worth of what you are looking for against the worth of what you accept may take years to clearly define itself and is not to be found without an ungodly number of pitfalls via backward strides. In continuously collecting scrapes and scars, the personal hurt leads to personal growth and transformation. Clear sight of what you deserve builds itself from a place of compassion and love leading to this crazy phenomena that goes against all modern day relationship one-liners…
You are only as strong as you are hurt.
The most foolish, long term partnership to indulge in is the one to whom you have never been a source of hurt. Inevitably, hearts are hurt by what they care most about. As we venture to discover ourselves, we need to experience hurt in order to grow. So how much more beautiful when you have the willingness to experience and strengthen together through hurt? Allowing yourself to be so deeply affected by another being takes an enormous amount of courage, patience and understanding. Confronting the hurt and mending the pieces together is a practice that will solidify and confirm the level of care between two people far more than your ability to enjoy each other’s company for an evening.
Guard your heart is the Christian slogan for careful dating, but often we become so disgustingly self-absorbed in our interpretation we begin to guard from what will bring true light because we are terrified that feeling hurt damages us or is a cause of sin. Have faith in Him, darling, that His will is best learnt in dark times that you can’t quite snuggle up against. Guard your heart from the false comforts of safe dating that leave you sitting pretty, beautiful to look at for a season, but so easily thrown to the weeds as the lacklustre of the everyday ensues.
The kindness of two hearts can only be discovered within the raw affections of learning to live as flawed individuals striving together for a life of love.
19/04/2014 § Leave a comment
I always described you as my stepping stone. The place in which I was free to explore with the luxury of making mistakes, to think and act without the constant, yet kind love and support of my family and to become my own reason for life each morning. It might have taken two lengthy stays in this darling city, but I found it. And in finding my own, I found an even closer version of You. The One who strengthens my soul and brings life to my heart.
When I threw myself into Chicago last June, I thought a different location was what I needed. That the feeling of alive was only found in the independent, yet constantly connected feeling of life in a big city. I will forever miss stepping out my door and having the world at my fingertips, the night runs with the city splashed so boldly in front of me and always having someone to brunch with- but don’t worry, Florida, you soon will discover the power of brunch. As I ventured deeper into my quest, troubles were never far away. Things that I thought I had wanted became the enemies. People came and went so effortlessly, jobs that held such a shiny exterior began to eat away at my life and the turmoil inside caused for many long hours of sleep.
The stubborn attempts to create a new life for myself began to unravel mid-winter. It was so incredibly brutal that I couldn’t understand why anyone in their sane being would live like this. I think the best moment of packing this past week was giving my winter coats to my roommate. Here and now I vow never again to extend a stay where I need coats the equivalent of sleeping bags. But the warm weather began to tease us and reconnecting with You as the sun reflected off the lake reenergized the hope in my heart that I was home.
True to my nature, I spent my winter days throwing fits and empty words into finding Our purpose. What was my life work to be? If I were to be in Chicago, shouldn’t I be making a name, getting myself out there and living my best self for You? I made a few truly lovely friends that indirectly guided me to my purpose and spiritual gift during this time. Growing in confidence and knowing that if I didn’t devote every ounce of energy to this pursuit, I would wake up a year from now and know my life was over, I began to plot leaving my job. For someone with an immense amount of passion running through them, it’s extremely difficult to find joy in the burden of meaningless paychecks even if survival is in jeopardy. When our minds and hearts have moved on, we are done. A two weeks notice even seems too much to bear.
After several no-brainer interviews with former connections amounted to nothing, I could only reason that I was simply supposed to quit the circle of retail and bloom in faith. It was also at this time I was in the works of signing a lease to the most quaint studio by the lake that I plunged into the abyss of unemployment. However, I work best under high stress and after much praying and searching, I knew that I needed to afford my life with as much money and as little time spent as possible. Simple, I would use connections to work in a restaurant at night, leaving the day time for Us and a few days a week to pursue other ventures. Summer was also a factor as it was soon approaching and if I were to be building a life, i’d need to really up my social standings. For someone who needs enormous amounts of alone time, I couldn’t do this and hold a full time job.
A few days later, an unsettling meeting with a restaurant left me in tears. Shutting the door behind me I was faced with a cold, yet shining breeze and tears began to flood. Thankfully, my sunnies are the size of goggles and became the perfect tear trap as I walked home. I didn’t quite know how to tell my mother as just a few days ago I had told her I was going to be okay, I felt at ease and my life was to be here right now. Never once has she asked me to give up, she was constantly reminding me through the hard times that I was supposed to be in Chicago though she didn’t know why. That afternoon as I lie in bed, mascara all over my clothes and sheets, I receive a cluster of texts beginning with , “We love you, come home”. I couldn’t respond for at least an hour. I was so incredibly torn, thoughts of failure were the first to come, followed by what have I been doing for the past 10 months and finally I began to think of every little thing I could be attached to here.
Could be, is the key phrase that shook me awake. In reality, i’m not attached to anything that I cannot give up except You. One day, I know that even my family will not be attached physically to my surroundings. I called my most logical friend who I always enlist the opinion of when my feelings won’t allow me to make proper decisions, and as we said our goodbyes, I knew it was time. Peace and confidence began to take over. You see, in trusting my life to God, I don’t have the pressure of making big decisions. Quite honestly, He knows I will never choose the right door unless He removes every other possibility. I told you, i’m perpetually stubborn! I don’t find it a coincidence that in this past month, many doors have opened, yet each one has also closed for some reason outside of my control. It is His way of reminding me I haven’t failed, that people do see my strengths and want to build life with me. But it was also His way of pointing me in a new direction, His direction.
How lucky I am to embrace my passion and gift before i’m 25. Some people spend their entire lives uncertain of their life’s work, but I have a Savior who shows me when it’s my time to perform. My time is now and in this, I can look forward to create a home base and utilize the strength and support of my family. We had a very good run, Chicago. I promise there will be a day when you receive credit on a larger scale, but until then I am ever grateful for your harsh winters shedding light on life dreams, your solace in solitude allowing the world to be observed through fresh eyes and your placement of people who have lead my heart closer to my soul. I love you, I love you, I love you.
Until I can give back everything you’ve given me, goodbye love x
18/04/2014 § Leave a comment
So many pages of my journals are littered with the poor calligraphy of my fingers trying to portray the beauty of that 4 word phrase: Mercy triumphs over judgement. Love love love. It’s not our duty to uphold justice of the law, we are freed from coming down hard on those who have wronged us or others. We are free from the responsibility of saving others from doing more harm and destruction to themselves and those around them. And in a life saturated with the concept of isolating yourself from those who “do bad things” in order to put your wellness first, there is a huge sense of relief and ease to be found in James 2:12-13 as we are called to open our glaring eye and simply love, healing ourselves and others.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Love rooted in compassion and forgiveness is the very foundation of mercy. The perfect love demonstrated in our relationship with Jesus. It’s jaw dropping to recognize how quickly we can strike the gavel on others if we even momentarily begin to drift apart from His heart. We need to be in constant connection with Our shared heart of love, a heart that is willing to break open in its attempt to love the unlovable. Haven’t you ever noticed some of your strongest relationships are with those who at first glance you found to be unlovable to you? Were they unworthy of your love? Did you not even give them a chance because of their current or past actions, or worse, because of gossip involving that person? Yet He kept pushing, He kept putting you and the other in the same arena until finally you broke open and learned to love. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
I bet that if you looked closely between who you are when you’re loving and the version of you with a closed heart, you’d notice a difference in how you also love yourself. Loving others allows us to better love ourselves. We discover, grow, affirm, appreciate and push each other toward glory when we love with His heart. To love yourself is one of the grandest journeys you will ever embark upon, but it can’t be done alone. Every person in your life, sometimes even the ones who you think should be banished from your life forever, plays a part in how you love you. As we begin to love others or mend relationships where love has been broken, perhaps, we need only to remember that practicing love toward others give us freedom. When we fully love another’s triumphs and failures, it opens our hearts to give the same level of love to ourselves. Extending loving mercy always triumphs over judgement.