Buck Up and Merry Christmas Dearest Ones

Family coming into town…ready yourself for the questions. Those loving, and ever invested questions that just make you want to cry. Because the answer is not what either of you want to hear, because their response is so familiar, almost rehearsed in your mind. You could possibly make money guessing what people are going to say to you. That the future is unpredictable, that something great is going to come along, that life is hard some times. Yeah, no shit. These are things I have heard, lived, and gotten over. I’m bubbly, I’m hopelessly optimistic, and I just want to give the world to everyone that I love in my life, even if I don’t have the money for that. Those facts do not mean that I’m dumb. Please, do not let my demeanor and personality deceive you; life has beaten the shit out of me, multiple times, and I come back swinging. I am not, nor shall I ever be a person that settles, that lays down and admits defeat. I may not be winning in the traditional sense right now, but I have the will and The Spirit; and you better believe I have the support of an overbearing family. So give me those puppy eyes when you hear me describe my situation and future prospects, that’s fine, trust me, I get it; but never for a second think that I am losing. I am the underdog that does not pull the “my life is hard”card, in fact, I’m the under dog that wants to punch anyone that does pull that card. Everyone has woes, do you hear me, everyone in their life will be knocked down, that is the nature of life. That is what makes the victories all the sweeter. So I don’t ask for sympathy, I don’t ask for pouty lips, unless they go with a funny joke; because life is far too short to whine, and far too precious to not acknowledge the blessings that I have in abundance.

So if you are like me, and tired of hearing yourself think those “woulda, shoulda, coulda” thoughts…tell yourself to shut up, put on a smile (and possibly an ugly christmas sweater), and go make other people smile. Because trust me, their smiles will cause your smile to be genuine, and your spirit to lighten up.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah every one!

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Not Worth It

Comparing

for what?

There is no comparison

Where words will not reach.

Bridges exist

solely because of the whispered sketches

of the mind.

Empty and shallow role models

are pictures of ancient statues,

one-dimensional mimics of a

history that so desperately wishes

to have all it’s former glory,

with none of the effort.

The greatest achievement,

the greatest life,

would be one that others strive to emulate.

One full of light, hope and love;

not hatred, bitterness, and frivolousness.

This could very well be

the rambling dream of a

bubble-headed girl,

who needs to learn the imperativeness

of normalcy and logic.

Not worth it.

Undeclared

There was a complication when it came to getting into college. I had the early admission going for me, so by October of my senior year of high school, I was already admitted and picking out my freshman classes, all I had to do was get through the rest of high school. Then came a call in April, the major program I had chosen, in my mind the life path I had chosen, was cancelled; but not to worry, they offered me the chance to go to the wildly expensive university undeclared. There I was, April of my senior year, heartbroken, and seeing as I had turned down all the other schools that had accepted me…futureless. I refused to go undeclared, and my mom spent her days cold calling colleges to see if any would let send my transcripts for a late admission.

I ended up in the perfect place for me, but it took a leap, not without some stumbling, to get there. Now I find myself in a situation where I feel I have compromised myself. I still have my faith, but I’m afraid that fear is leading me to an undeclared life. The blessings do not run short in my life, I am aware, and not nearly as thankful as I should be for that, but…I feel futureless again. When looking for a career, I have an idea of what I want to do, but now I am feeling it is not what I should do, what I’m made to do.

It is strange, being so stubborn, looking at a job search engine, knowing the keywords that I want to type, and knowing that they are not the right words to enter. It is frustrating, not knowing where I am supposed to go, what I am supposed to do. It warms my heart, and breaks it at the same time, knowing all too well that God is going to choose my path, He and He alone will put things in motion, and I have but to wait in patience, ready for action, ready for a leap of faith.

 

I have just a little longer of living an undeclared life, before He shows me the way.

HE is

I ask for no one’s

permission.

I seek no one’s

approval,

save Him who is

my Savior.

Life is not meant

to be tentatively survived.

Life is be lived

through love.

Something, that in all cultures,

has conquered pain,

evil,

despair,

logic,

and most famously…death.

Love is something

that makes weaknesses strengths,

and strengths humbling.

It is

the clarity of insanity,

the gentlest super power,

the most aggravating balm,

the silent music of the heart,

and the loudest

most urgently calling

whisper

that your soul will not ignore.

Love, in its most

pure form

is our entire cause

of being.

It is

my grace-filled burden,

my jubilant battle,

my daily

endless goal.

God’s Warrior

There are a select few that can cut through the bullshit of this world and show everyone around them what is truly important.

Willie was one of those people. I was 11 when they found the tumor in Willie’s brain.

We’ve all lost people to cancer. But I honestly cannot imagine what that must have felt like, how scary it must have been. Instead of using pretty words to describe that which I know nothing about, I will tell you what I do know, because few realize just how much kids pay attention to. Instead of feelings of betrayal, anger, and despair, this diagnosis brought together an already close group of friends into an air-tight community. More than that, Willie and his family’s struggles brought those people to God.

Before Willie got sick, religion was not a common topic of conversation at get-togethers. Afterwards, people started to pray, to read the Bible, and go to church; and not to keep up appearances either. Through this adversity I saw faith spread through our community faster than any cancer would ever dare to. That faith, that courage that Willie, Michelle, Colton, and the whole family have upheld throughout the years has been an inspiration and beacon for countless people.

And though I am prone to exaggeration, countless is accurate. Just me personally, when I was at school, and would be told that Willie was going to have a surgery, I would ask my friends to pray for him; and I went to a university that some classes started with prayer, so then more people are touched by the fight with cancer, it spreads to the prayer groups & bible studies; and then a couple of days later, a person that I’ve never talked to comes up to ask about Willie, tells me they’ve been praying for him. Hundreds of people were praying, were having a conversation with God, because of Willie; and that’s just from my prayer requests, when you start to think about all of Willie’s loved ones (and there are tons) that were like me, asking for prayers, it is mind blowing the number of conversations with The Almighty that Willie instigated.

Willie fought cancer for 13 years. There is something beautiful in the fact that he was allowed to reach his 52nd birthday, which was yesterday. He was a warrior, God’s warrior. I have been told that as children of God, if we bring a single person to know God and the power of prayer, then we will have accomplished great wonders in the eyes of our Creator. God isn’t surprised, He knows all and planned all before we were a reality…but I like to think that Willie’s impact on this world exceeded even God’s expectations.

Take away the countless people that Willie brought to prayer. Take away how big Camas’ Relay for Life got after people started seeing this big group of fun & rowdy people; making everyone want a big team of their own to have fun while fighting cancer. Take away the amount of people that Willie’s cancer was the reason they started going back to church. Take away everything I have been desperately trying to convey through my babbling. And you are left with a man, and his family, who were humble under the will of God, and had unfailing faith, strength, and courage in the midst of something that would have crushed most.

Praise God for Willie and his family. There is no doubt in my mind that they have saved hundreds, if not thousands of souls. I have two wishes as an outcome to this heartbreaking loss, which let’s be honest, I have no right to claim wishes, but I’m going to do it anyway…

I wish that even a fraction of us that have been effected by this wonderful family can find a way to serve them in a respectful way, to let them know the depth and breadth of our love for them. My second wish, is that all of us, no matter our situation, strive to be God’s warriors, as Willie was, beacons of faith and love, and have that fire of the fighting spirit, through the way in which we live, that makes people turn their heads and say, “What is keeping them going with such fight?”

I would never wish death upon anyone, because I know all too well the scar it leaves on the living. But then again, I was struck by the thought of the affect of Willie’s badass musicianship on heaven’s choir and orchestra. So, if you hear angelic music in a moment of profound prayer, and find it a bit more classic-rock-y than you were expecting…well, you know who to thank now. A man who was so spectacular, he is  beyond the patronage of fluffy words, Willie.

Pause Button

I have already written of the human need to control that which we cannot.

Time.

Just one of the many entities that cannot be seen or touched, but has more power and lasting effects than a hydrogen bomb.

It is in those moments when you feel the smallest and most isolated–standing before an ancient monument that defies modern engineering and not being allowed to take a picture; huffing and puffing at the top of a hiking trail while you tether yourself to a tree so you can look down the cliff and see the huge trees growing out of the cracks in the lava stone cliffs; or saying goodbye to someone you care for–that you desperately wish time could really be stopped, like in the movies.

Which of course, no matter how hard I have believed, it cannot be done.

What a downer, right?

Wrong!

Time may not be courteous enough to slow down when we want it to, but then again, isn’t that the point? We wouldn’t want our heart to stop just for a couple of minutes would we?

With each millisecond everything is evolving, rejuvenating, and consuming through the time on which we all feed.

To me, that is so mind-blowingly gorgeous! Change, while terrifying, and sometimes painful, is a step forward, whether it seems like it, or not.

Time is a sneaky little minx. Stalking in and around our cells, our relationships, the gears in our cars, and the molecules of the earth beneath our feet. As many times as I wish I could freeze it, it would be no good, because it is the passing of time that makes every moment, every sight, and every heartbeat a miracle.

So stop trying to push the pause button, and take in life as it comes upon you in a tsunami of uncontrollable, unyeilding, and the completely inspiring passing of time.

Rogue Tear

The particulars are not necessary. All you need to know is that I was in a moment of complete vulnerability in prayer.

Tears were coming down my face, taking the usual path down my cheek, and falling off of my chin. When I felt one single tear jump from my eyelash and land on the knuckle of the middle finger on my right hand. Curious.

It traveled down slowly to my wrist, mirroring the blue vein. I must have sat there, completely at peace, for a minute or two. Just staring. The tear didn’t absorb into my skin, and neither did it’s trail.

How odd.

What was this tear up to? Was it trying to tell me something? Was it too looking for an adventure in a place it had never been before? Or was the fact that it wasn’t sinking into the top layer of my skin telling me that I am exactly in the right place in my life right now?

Or…was it just a drop of salt water, that was having a difficult time getting back into my system due to the cocoa butter lotion I had put on an hour prior?

I am by no means scientifically minded, but I do know that tears don’t have cognitive powers of their own; but no matter, I was captivated.

This cluster of hydrogen and oxygen (and sodium?) molecules, this rogue tear, dried up my other tears. As I stared, I realized that I stopped thinking about what effect these situations would have on me, and started to really pray for those that I promised to pray for.

This rogue tear showed me the folly of my tears.

Do not pray without the belief of God’s love in your heart. Do not speak if your actions will not back up your words. And in the moments when you think you have all the answers, or at least you think you know exactly what to say…

Be quiet and listen.