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Showing posts from 2016

Can We Please Skip to Christmas?

In case it slipped your notice, we just had an election here in the US.

On an unrelated note, the planet is exploding and the world as we know it has ended.

It seems that wherever someone stands on the election, this is their view of the situation. Each side is spewing acid at the other. I got so tired of the endless Facebook posts about the election results I delete the app off my phone. Of course, I'd been sick of the election since March.

Like any reasonable person, I started listening to Christmas music after Halloween. Meanwhile, everyone else was freaking out about that wonderful Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning.

And now everyone is freaking out because everyone else is wrong and how dare you have that reaction to the election? Are you crazy?

Here's a novel idea: no, they're not crazy. They have a different opinion from you.

You know what we can agree on? Christmas. Even if you don't celebrate it, the season surrounding it is straight up wonderful (I mean, the m…

Let This Be Where I Die

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I don't like busy.
There are big things--elections and terrorism and school shootings. But there are also things that seem small--biology tests, writing speeches, keeping the kitchen clean. The noise that was once in the background grows, quietly growing until it's all I can hear.
This is the busiest I've been in my life. It's my senior year of high school, and there's so much to do. I have dual credit classes, speeches, more speeches, work, writing, more writing. Which is why I haven't written a blog post in almost two months.
I don't know how to be busy. I need time to slow down, take a breath. If I don't have time, I get anxious and I'm still learning how to handle anxiety. I barely know how to talk about it.
There's another reason I haven't written here in so long. I haven't been sure about what I wanted to write. I've had writer's block with a lot of things lately.
People think I'm good with words because I'm a writ…

Where Home Really is

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We've all heard it said that "home is where the heart is."

In my loneliest moments, crying on my bathroom floor, the cry of my heart has been I want to go home. It didn't matter where I was. It didn't have much to do with who was with me. I wanted to feel home.

There's more to home than where our heart is. Our heart can be anywhere. I know my heart has been with the wrong people before. It's been focused on the wrong things before. My heart has been wrong before. My heart is wrong a lot.


Our hearts are fickle. They change so often, especially as teenagers. We think we know what we're doing, we think we know what we want. But things change and suddenly what we thought we knew is gone; what we wanted is broken. In the last year I feel like I've watched person after person get exactly what I wanted. It's broken my heart again and again.

If our home is where our heart is, our home is on fragile ground.

When I started writing this, I was coming to t…

When it Hits Home

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I don't usually write responses to these sorts of things, even the biggest ones. Not because I don't care, but because I don't ever know what to say.

But this time it hit 20 minutes from my house.

Twelve police officers, twelve people shot, five killed. In Dallas.

How many times can we stick #BlackLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter on our tweets before we actually realize that's true? The value of life can't be summed up in a million hashtags. Prejudice exists, and it's good that we've brought attention to that. But now all we're doing is bringing attention to it instead of fixing the problem.

The problem didn't start with gunshots and protests. It didn't start with national outrage or Twitter trends.

It started with hearts. It started with people.

It started with people who didn't know the value in others. Maybe because they didn't know the value in themselves. The more we shout "#LIVESMATTER," the less we hear…

What She Really Wants

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If you buy this product, you will be beautiful.

If you wear this outfit, you will be sexy.
If you listen to this music, you will be popular.
If you act like nothing bothers you, you will be accepted.
If you do what he wants, you will be loved
You will be enough.
*~*~*
In the last few weeks, I've learned how hard youth ministry really is. And I haven't seen the half of it.

It shouldn't have surprised me. I've seen today's TV shows, heard the music, read books, watched commercials, listened to my friends. I've seen, heard, experienced the lies. We're constantly being told to want more, be more, do more. The bombardment of demands and standards and expectations is insane.

A few days ago, the internet at my house went out. Yes, the great American tragedy. No Instagram, no Netflix, no Youtube. We don't have cable anymore either. Terrible right? (No. It's not. I highly recommend taking a few days off from the Internet. You'll live, and if you can't you…

When Your Dreams are Bigger than Your Laptop

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I want to make Youtube videos.

Technically, all I need to do that is a webcam and any account connected to Google. However I want a little more quality than that.

I got a wonderful camera for Christmas (I mean it's not a Canon 70D but 1.2k isn't chump change). It's really cute and I love it. But it didn't exactly come with editing software. Or a new laptop. Or magic that makes my laptop even slightly more competent.

You see, my laptop is a potato (aka it's a hand-me-down from my sister and let's just say there's a good reason she got a new laptop). I filmed and edited a video that I am very proud of but MY LAPTOP WON'T SAVE IT PROPERLY.

And I am outraged.

Backstory time:

When I was just a lil 16-year-old, I started watching Youtube videos that weren't just Blimey Cow (still love me some BC tho). Katie Gregoire and Chris Howard and Kirby Minnick had channels I loved and I was like "yo I can do that."

The first time I thought that was about …

Mother's Day

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Hi Mom,

Today's Mother's Day, as you could probably tell by the hoard of men in the greeting card section of the grocery store. While those greeting cards are great and can definitely make me cry, I'd rather use my own words (in addition to the card because I didn't want to seem cheap). Of my many, many talents (like, three talents), writing is one. Buying nice, thoughtful gifts is not. Also, having money to buy nice wood flooring is also out of my skill range. So here's a blog post, for free (Dad would like that so win/win).

There are lot's of things that I could say, but I don't want this to be a discombobulated mess. I guess we'll see how this goes.

You've been making me food for forever. It's a good thing too, because my breakfast cooking skills are limited to frozen sausage and canned biscuits. Seriously, it's a disaster when I try to make cream of wheat (turns out there's a difference between salt and sugar. Go figure). And I panic…

Sixteen Was

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Sixteen was waking up feeling like I could take on the world.

Sixteen was dreaming about the future that I was sure would happen.

Sixteen was loosing that future and finding a better one.

Sixteen was taking one step forward.

Sixteen was watching Youtube videos and thinking "I could do that."

Sixteen was listening to Tori Kelly.

Sixteen was living my dream of seeing Tori Kelly live.

Sixteen was loosing friends.

Sixteen was finding better friends.

Sixteen was falling on my knees because I had nowhere else to go.

Sixteen was crying and hurt. And laughter and mercy.

Sixteen was finding genuine confidence.
Sixteen was skater skirts and flower crowns.
Sixteen was heartbreak.
Sixteen was joy anyway.
Sixteen was a little bit brave.
Seventeen is a mystery.
I can't wait to see what it holds.

Unexpected Mercy

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We laughed until our sides hurt and tears came to our eyes. At this point, we weren't even laughing about the original joke. After ten minutes, it was a miracle we even had breath left. And yet we kept going. And that was just ten minutes out of a six day trip.

I almost didn't go to that tournament. My heart was burning from a deep rejection. I was going through the motions, wishing for winter's months to come to an end. Spring felt decades away. I wished I were graduating this year instead of next. I wished I could start over with an entirely new group of people. I wished for the hurt to go away. But things hardly ever go as I wish them to.

My fragile glass heart was broken, and the shards cut my soul. I held onto hope, but that hope was just a thread that I clutched as I walked in the dark, looking for a way out.

When I deal with things, I deal with things on my own. Much of the time, this is stupid. Closing yourself off to Youtube videos and books isn't actually as c…

To My Friends Who are Graduating

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I denied it at the beginning of this year. I didn't want to believe it. But now that it's April, I can't get away from it. You're graduating. You're done. You're going off to college and leaving behind the ridiculousness of high school.

Remember when we thought this day would never come? The days of saying, "psh, I don't need to worry about college because that is literally forever away," were replaced with days of saying "omigosh college applications essays SAT ACT why didn't I do this when I was a sophomore???" Suddenly you had to worry about senior pictures and graduation parties and senior trips and senior prom and being old and all that other senior stuff. And you didn't even get cheaper pancakes at IHOP.

When I think back four years, to when you were a freshman and I was in 8th grade (the difference didn't matter because we were homeschooled), it's such a different picture from the one I see when I open my eyes. We …

Not the King We Expected

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|| "So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!'" -John 12:13 ||
When I prayed, I just wanted the problem to go away. I wanted God to fix the situation. I wanted things to go back to how they were.
I prayed for months, but things just got gradually worse until things couldn't get any worse. Never had I wanted something so bad. Never had a loss wrecked me so bad. Sometimes I couldn't sleep over it. Any time I thought I would finally be okay, it would come around and hit me again. Why didn't God just take it away?
When Israel prayed for a messiah, they wanted a king. They wanted a leader who would take away their sicknesses and oppression. 
For hundreds of years, Israel begged God for a savior. When He came, they welcomed Him to Jerusalem with praise. The called Him king. Rightfully so. They believed He would take away their struggle. They belie…

this funny world

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Whenever the subject of broken families is brought up at my youth group, I get overwhelmed.

I go to two youth groups, and within both of those I know that there are students there my age whose parents are divorced or split up. I can't imagine the way that feels, the hurt that brings. But I know that too many people are in the same situation.

Whenever I think too long about the hurts the people in my life are experiencing on a daily basis, I get overwhelmed. At church, at youth, at speech and debate. We walk around, acting like we're 'all right.' We carry shields so others don't see the struggle. No matter what's going on. No matter how bad it hurts. It seems safer to hold up the shields than face rejection and judgement.

Sometimes I start researching. I start researching the crappy things in the world that are accepted in the mainstream. Abortion. Pornography. Sometimes I just come across crap. Objectification. Hatred.

There's so much crap in the world. So m…

Coming Home

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There are moments when I realize I've slipped away.

I've stopped reading my bible every day. I've stopped praying intentionally. I haven't been to church in a week or two or three.
I keep telling myself I'll get around to praying, around to reading.
But another distraction, another obligation moves to the front of the line.
I'll read a chapter in the Bible, then forget what I read an hour later. I'll forget to pray until right as I'm going to bed, and then I fall asleep.
Small things, biting away at my relationship with God. I want to wait until I have time to really catch up on my reading, or really pray for everything I need to. Then I spend way too much time on Twitter, or watching TV, or listening to Tori Kelly. I end up frustrated with myself. I crave connection with God, but block it at the same time. 
A week will go by, and then another. And I get more and more frustrated with myself. The more time that goes by, the more time I have to make up fo…

Freedom from Freedom

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|| "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." - John 8:36 ||
"My body, my choice."

"It's my decision. It doesn't affect you."

"It's a free country. I can do what I want."
Our culture loves the idea of freedom. We like the idea of power. Of being whoever we want to be, regardless of what anyone else says we should do. We like being without restraint, without anyone even implying we should act any differently.
freedom; n: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Christians, I think, like to believe that the freedom God offers allows us to do what we want without consequences. Forgiveness is there to catch us, after all. We can live the lifestyle we see fit. Have sex whenever and with whoever we want. Wear clothes that flaunt what we got. Lie. Cheat. Swear.
This kind of freedom is attractive. Sin is attractive. Sin looks good, and, in the moment, feels good. It offers rewards. …

How to be Miserable on Valentine's Day

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I've never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day.

Maybe that's just a side affect of never having a boyfriend ever. Whatever.
So it's the time of year when everyone's Instagram feed with either couple photos or photos of people complain-o-bragging about being single. Because you can't be happy on Valentine's Day if you're single. Or happy anytime. Because life is about relationships.
But seriously. Let's get down to business (to defeat the Huns). You want to be miserable on V-Day? Well, you're in luck because I have for a few very easy steps to accomplish this #goal:
1. Re-name Valentine's Day to "Singles Awareness Day" This gives you full right to complain about how you don't have a significant other. Just like you'd talk about starving puppies on Starving Puppy Awareness Day (also known as Sad Sarah McLachlan Song Day), you must necessarily complain about how single you are on Singles Awareness Day. Because everyone should k…

wonder

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There's something incredible about being able to look out a window and see the ocean stretch on for miles. A thousand shades of blue dancing over and beneath the surface. Life. Beauty. Wonder.

How do we go through each day without stopping and staring at the incredible creation around us? How have we become so complacent, so blind to the beauty around us?

We're sucked in by rush, by busy, by cell phone screens and Instagram filters. We don't want to miss out on Snapchat stories or Twitter feeds.

But we miss out on sunsets and starlight. Breathing in warm sunlight. Moonlight between tree branches. The ocean stretching out for miles, stretching out forever. We snap a photo of autumn leaves, a gorgeous sunset, and share it with all our friends.

Then we move on.

We don't pay attention to the small details of our lives, the little moments of utter beauty. The little miracles that make our lives magical. The small strokes of the paintbrush God has used to fill in the spaces w…

I Am Not a Feminist

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When, on popular TV, they show an abortion, saying "here, try this out, it'll make your life better."

When they say to us that we can be as promiscuous as can be because that will give us freedom

When, in every clothing store, the skirts get higher and the shirts get lower.

When, with magazines and blockbuster movies, they tell me what I'm worth.

When they say it doesn't matter what I wear, because I'm not the one responsible for wandering eyes.

When they tell me dressing modestly means I'm shaming someone else.

When, with catchy slogans and campaign promises, they fight against the 'war on women.'

When those who flaunt their bodies and shout their abortions are lauded across social media...

I am not a feminist.

There's no escaping the propaganda that speaks to women, telling them to defy the limits that have been put on us. Wear whatever you want, demand equal pay, equal rights, equal jobs, have sex whenever you want with whomever you please,…

Enough with Enough

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The room wasn't clean enough. The makeup wasn't blended enough. The skirt wasn't big enough. The speech wasn't persuasive enough. The hair wasn't straight enough, then it wasn't curly enough. The waist wasn't small enough. The voice wasn't clear enough. The words weren't pretty enough.

I wasn't perfect enough.

***

If you've ever felt like you aren't good enough, these words are for you.

Because you're right. You aren't good enough. You aren't good enough because the standards are impossible, and you aren't perfect.

That's the bad news. The good news? You don't have to be.

You don't have to have perfect. No matter what you've heard, no matter what you've told yourself. You can't be perfect, and you don't have to be.

I'm tired of people wishing they had that one thing. If they had that hair, or those clothes, or that grade, that talent, that popularity, they'd be enough. I'm tired of …