i'll go where you will lead me, lord

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. -Psalm 27:4

Dear God,

So I’ve been leading a group this summer for girls.  It’s like a Bible study, but we’re also reading a book about building our relationship with God before we think about dating.  So far it’s been great.  I’ve learned just how far God is willing to go in order to show us that He loves us.  I’ve learned that sometimes we are more thankful for the things God has given us than we are for the Giver.  But most of all, I’ve learned that God is the best friend we could ever ask for.

Growing up, I was always taught in Sunday school to see Jesus as my best friend.  Unfortunately, this lesson seemed vague and irrelevant to my life – not necessarily because I didn’t appreciate God, but because I didn’t know the value of friendship quite yet.  I saw God as my Savior, but certainly not as someone I could have a casual conversation with.  It was not until the end of high school that I began to realize the meaning of friendship and intimacy as a whole.  I learned this by looking at my own friendships.

When we are intimate with our friends, we aren’t afraid to ask them things like: “Whatcha doin today?” “Wanna hang out?” or “What’s wrong?”  In fact, those very questions create the closeness we have with them.  I’m never afraid to ask my closest friend Catherine if she wants to hang out because I know she enjoys my company.  I’m never afraid to tell her what is troubling me or ask what is troubling her because I know she cares about me.  So why should it be any different with God?

I’ve learned my whole life that God loves me, cares about the details of my life, and wants to spend time with me.  So this morning, when I first opened my eyes – before I even turned on my phone to check my messages – I prayed, “Good morning God.  What are you up to today?”

 

 

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The Inner Critic – Chapters 1 and 2

Dedicated to my sister, Leeann.  Inspired by Holden Caulfield, the voice inside our heads.

Chapter 1 

To Anyone Curious

Okay, so when I was growing up I kept like a million journals. I don’t think I ever finished them, except for one, because I was really impatient. Whenever I sat down to write, the more interesting my thoughts were, the more impatient I felt to get it all down on paper. I could never write fast enough, and by the time I wrote it all out, it wasn’t interesting anymore. Then I started writing shorthand, in order to keep up with my thoughts. Maybe that’s why I got to become a great notetaker, always abbreviating things and all. So anyway, I can’t tell if it’s a bad thing or a good thing. It might be bad because I never put much thought into my journaling, and I kinda imagine some scholars or whatever a hundred years from now looking back at all my journals, trying to piece together what civilization was like in my time, and maybe getting really disappointed and all because they can’t tell what the heck I’m talking about. But it also might be a good thing because the reason I journal so briefly is that I’m too busy living. There’s no time to write something down unless I really, really have to write it down.

Another problem I have with journaling is that if something exciting happens, I get all nervous and try to write a sophisticated poem about it. People tend to want to write poems when something big happens. My English teacher Mr. Smith told me about that. He said the day his father died, he saw meaning in everything around him and ended up writing a poem about it. The trouble with me is that halfway through writing the poem, no matter how excited I was in the beginning, I end up hating it. You know when you draw something or write a story? You’re real proud of it at first and you feel like showing everybody, but a few days later you feel like trashing it all of a sudden. Well that change of mind happens to me about ten times as fast, so I feel like trashing a poem after I’ve written the first few lines. But like I said before, maybe it’s alright because it just means my life can’t always be put down in words. Maybe it’s alright because things mean more to you when you keep them inside. Heck, I’ll try to get more than a chapter down in here though before I trash it, I promise.

Chapter 2

Leeann

My second oldest sister is Leeann. She’s six years older than me, but we might as well be twins. The best thing about her is that there’s nothing bad to say about her, nothing at all. I’m real lucky I had her teach me lots of things when I was growing up. Something that stuck out to me was that at every family dinner, she always listened to the adults. If I poked her or pulled on her shirt or something, she’d gently motion for me to hush a minute because she wanted to hear what the adults were talking about. As a kid, I thought she was just trying to be the perfect child and all, but then I noticed she actually got their jokes and the adults started asking her what her opinion was about things. I mean if they ever asked me, I’d probably sit there and giggle awkwardly or something, then ask to be excused so I could go play the piano. That was my signature move, the awkward giggle. My cousins tormented me about it for years, but I’m alright, honestly. Anyway, Leeann never made fun of me, not even a little bit. If she said anything critical, it was always for my own good, and I could see that even as a little kid. And if she ever got impatient, I trusted her so much that I just figured she was tired or bothered by something else and didn’t really mean whatever she said. I remember this one time, she yelled at me because I was bothering her while she was doing her work. I looked down really quickly and felt that pain in my chest – that one where it feels like your heart collapses in your lungs a little bit – and I sniffled a bit. Then I went back to my room as quietly as I could, because I didn’t wanna be a spoiled brat and cry in front of her since I really was bothering her. Thank God I didn’t act spoiled in that moment. She came to my room shortly after, tears in her eyes. She stood in the doorway and said, “I’m sorry for yelling at you.” Man, that just about knocked me out. My perfect and completely justified older sister came and apologized to me for being impatient. I’m telling you, there’s not a single bad thing I can say about her, not then, not now. It kinda makes me cry still, thinking about how much I bugged her probably for all the years she lived at home. It kinda makes me hate myself, actually. But if Leeann knew that, she’d probably cry too and say I wasn’t a lousy little sister at all.

One of the hardest things for me to think about is what I would feel like if Leeann were to die in an accident or something. I can’t even really think about it without crying. It’s kind of a morbid thought, but sometimes that’s how you know you really care about someone. You wonder what you’d feel like if they were gone. One time, Leeann was leaving our house and going back to her own place in Anaheim. As she waved goodbye through the window, my mom said a real depressing thing. She said, “I always get this feeling that we’ll lose Leeann first.” Man, I almost broke down right there. But the thing is, I get the exact same feeling now and then. There’s something about the people you love the most that makes you feel like you’re gonna lose them first, especially if the people are angels. I prayed harder than ever as I watched her drive off and turn right out of our cul-de-sac. I think I’d die, honestly, if anything ever happened to her. But I’d die before anyone ever even told me the news, because right when something happened to her, it would probably happen to me too.

To be continued. 🙂

Tough Love

For too long now, I have been afraid to hurt you – to say unwelcome words that would stop you in your place.  I focused on the fact that you might be heartbroken, but failed to realize that heartbreak and conflict are necessary at times in order to improve relationships.  I realize I cannot continue this way, cowering away from speaking the truth, because I want my future son to be well-behaved.  I want my son to respect his mother and father, his peers, and even those who are beneath him.  I want my son to control his temper, to seek humility over pride, and to always, always fight for the weak.  To cower away from hurting you for the greater good would be to allow my son to live without discipline and sympathy and gentleness.  I think it’s about time I started using tough love.

Rust

“Are you my dream?” asks a girl,
Eyes filled with wonder and amazement
At the Greek god standing before her.

“Were you my dream?” asks a woman,
Eyes downcast with doubt
As she spins the ring around her finger.

raw

one night we may lay

side by side in bed

and wonder

how we got here —

tears swimming ’round

our heads.

my back will be

turned to you

yet we’ll find

each other

somehow, in raw

emotions

remembering why I am yours

and you are mine.

 

she writes a love letter

don’t make her put her pen down.

I will fight

they called you a slut

they called you a whore

they kicked you ’til they saw your blood on the floor

you took to the blade

betrayed your own skin

then remembered you’re not of this world they live in

God cleansed all your wounds

He showed you the light

Then He whispered, “You need only be still, I will fight.”

 

The Wall

I tossed countless flowers over the wall

And counted myself brave.

I waited for you, my heart full of hope,

And treasured the few that you gave.

Before the sun rose, I faithfully sat

Counting days with my ear to the stone

Listening for the sound of your feet

To know that I was not alone.

Then one day the silence became too familiar,

The flowers had grown old with time.

Staring up at the wall, I felt so very small

But I decided to climb.

I never looked down as I dug into stone;

My fingers began to bleed.

And when I reached the top, my heart simply dropped

At the sight I’d so dreaded to see:

The roses and lilacs and daisies I’d sent

Lay lifeless in a pile on the ground.

They had never been touched, I could tell this much

And you were nowhere to be found.

Yet all at once, I felt like the fool!

It was not about flowers at all.

For even if you’d sent a thousand more,

You never tried climbing the wall.

A Lesson in Love from Mr. & Mrs. Day

Source: A Lesson in Love from Mr. & Mrs. Day

Solomon

I never understood the words

Of the fair maiden Solomon so adored:

“Do not stir or awaken love

Until it so desires.”

For how can I be sure

If love will ever awake

Without my stirring?

How can I trust

That love will find me

Without my seeking?

So constantly and hastily,

I have assumed the role

Of Solomon and Suitor

And in turn, received nothing

But insecure love

And the question:

“Would he have loved me

Had I not whispered it first into his ear?”