Saturday, December 4, 2010
Long story and victim-sounding/irritating post short: when an arrow hits your heart in place that is not yet fully healed, it hurts a lot worse than when an arrow hits a concrete section of your flesh. Hurts unhealed or scabbed over are attached to your psyche. Not the greatest feeling in the world
It's taking every last ounce of mental capacity I have to live only in the present tense.
(P.S. This blog was written on an iPhone. I believe I get intense blogger points? Haha.)
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Many of you know I have an intense fascination with three things: Yellow lilies (my favorite flower), pretty dresses, and coffee. I'm not sure when these fascinations started, but I do remember they all held deeper meanings in my high school songs and poems.
I have wanted a pretty and flowy yellow dress (the kind that spins when I twirl) for quite some time now. I have wanted that dress so I could dance upon shamrocks in Ireland. I think this desire started sometime around 10 years old. There is a very large part of me that will always be a very little girl, and I' determined to never let that part of myself die because this part of my heart is so filled with imaginative dreams. This figurative yellow dress became a sign of happiness for me in my childhood days.
When I was younger, there were a few things that always took my bad day and turned it around. One of which was dancing in my living room to the newest Point of Grace album, another of which was playing outside imagining I was in a distant land with my future husband who was enamored with how beautiful I was. I would dream my husband and I were traveling and playing music to the masses, and I knew he always liked to dance with me in our living room while I was wearing the new dress he had bought for me. The yellow one that made me look like Belle from 'Beauty and the Beast.'
I don't know why the yellow lily has always been my favorite flower, but I can't remember a time when it wasn't. When I was 14 I took a trip to New York, and one of my favorite memories from the trip was walking through the park in springtime among the radiant cherry blossoms watching the salesmen hand out yellow lilies to the lovely ladies who strolled along. It was like a movie, really. All the colors were wonderful, but the yellow lilies added a certain brightness none other could. The lily is bright and echos of something beyond itself; it is not just a flower. It is an entity which brings a smile and a warmed heart to all who behold it. It is truly one of God's most beautiful creations.
I have come a long way since 10 years old, and I have experienced much in the nine years that have passed. I no longer play imagination games on the swings by my gazebo, nor do I venture into the park to see the lovely ladies gaze upon flowers. I spend less time trying to fulfill my "list" of 'before I die,' and focus on the rudimentary day to day. But last night spoke something different.
Last night I had a chance to experience my imagination again, but this time it was with my Jesus. My Love. There are very real and very deep hurts in my heart that sometimes feel like bottomless chasms (no doubt, a product of a fallen world. Stupid Eve just HAD to eat the fruit...) Those parts that have been damaged and shot cause the imagination to sometimes be a painful place to enter. What once was a haven of future dreams and outlandish hopes becomes a battlefield of disappointments, and the enemy has had his chance on the higher ground for far too long.
Hearts were not created to be broken, and love was not meant to be painful. Perfect love that the Father gives to us was created to heal and restore and bring feelings of insurmountable joy. When a heart is broken because of fallen circumstance and a broken world, a disconnect inevitably happens in the heart. Hopes and dreams have the tenancy to become calloused parts of the mind. This is tragic, because God created us with such an ability to dream in a reality beyond human expression and experience. It's the beauty of how creatively artistic He made each and every one of us.
Last night, I came face to face once again with the healing power and mercy of Jesus Christ... if you have never laid your chest on His heart and allowed yourself to be held by Him, you are missing out. The throne of Jesus (or in my perfect world, a couch in the middle of a green pasture) is encompassed in love. He is my protector, my deliverer, my friend, and most dear to me, the love of my life. He will never leave or forsake me. He is enamored with who I am, and He loves to dance with me. I don't know why His compassion always takes me off guard, but I love that it does. I love that I am never ceasing to feel amazed and in awe of how great He is to me. I've come to the epic realization that no matter how far I run, or how broken I am, He will never turn His eyes away from me. He will always pursue me with a passion beyond comprehension.
So I'm making a fresh pot of coffee (the drink I believe is Jesus' favorite), and I'm going to start fulfilling my 'before I die' list with My Love-my Savior. I know He has amazing plans for my life. Plans that never leave me alone or out to fend for myself. His perfect love casts out all traces of fear locked inside this brick-wall of a heart. His love is like a flash-flood of redemptive cleansing, washing away any pain I ever knew. Washing away abandonment and replacing it with a veil of His covering.
Jesus is the best coffee-mate a girl could ever dream of. Cheers, friends.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
As I sit, pondering the multiple things I'm thankful for whilst eating a homemade pumpkin muffin, I can't help put reminisce on the memory of last Thanksgiving.
It was cold in Nevada, and the house wasn't decorated for Christmas yet. There were feelings of sadness carved in the Turkey, and the stuffing was packed with nostalgia. I'm a vegetarian, so I don't remember what the Turkey tasted like, but I do remember the kitchen was busy, and the peach-raspberry cobbler was to die for. I remember a lot of things about last year: One of which being it was the first and last Thanksgiving my family had spent in Nevada. Ever since I can remember, my family drove down to Southern California for Thanksgiving to celebrate with my extended family (18 cousins) in a food and estrogen packed house. Why did we skip last year's chaotic festivities? My parents had made the decision to move to Granite Bay, CA in the summer. They wanted to spend their last holidays in the house the kids grew up in. We had some of my mom's family over and another guest I'd rather not remember.
Last Thanksgiving was full of confusion for me; it was such a time of transition. I had been attending William Jessup University for almost an entire semester, and had not remembered the first two. Summer and fall of 09' were not my favorite times. I felt the separation from my old church and old friends begin, but I still hadn't fully connected to my family in Granite Bay and Rocklin. I was lost, scared, and terribly lonely. I just didn't know where to go, or who to turn to. I was wondering in the wilderness between past and present. So naturally, I chose to live in-between both. I was with who I knew I once loved and who I wished would love me. And like a thief in the night, my world was turned upside down once again. Before I could even blink I was back where I started, but moving forward faster than before. The next couple moths were definitely packed with both great and terrible things, but I finally started to come alive again.
Though I wish to glaze over many events of last year, I cannot say I would like to omit it completely. The Lord is mighty to save. He is the restorer of the broken; And I was so broken for so long. He rescued me from myself and from a life of devastation. All there is to say about that is Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found; Was blind, but now I see. The Lord has shown His Providence in such a tangible way, and I feel like I am walking in a Marvelous Light that I never knew. There really is no turning back when you see God's own hand pull you away from a pit of mire. Walking through that dark period really did strengthen my faith and give me a passion for the name of Christ I never before knew.
Now, I've encountered this year. The house I'm in is full of food and people. It is louder than rush hour traffic, and I couldn't be more satisfied. I couldn't be more thankful. I am in an environment of people who are honestly for me. I am surrounded by support. I am enclosed in the most wonderful protection. I have an insane family who loves and cares for me. I have friends who make me laugh and will hold me when I cry.
I have recently been reflecting on how thankful I am for my family at Bayside Church. I have never been in such an uplifting Godly environment. I have never felt so blessed to call leaders my own, nor have I ever felt so welcome and embraced. God's blessings have been so abundant over the past year. For the first time in my life I am amply aware I am in the right place at the right time, with exactly the right people. I am loved, appreciated, protected, cared for, and challenged daily. Every single tear of anger and sadness I cried has been answered, and I have been blessed with more than I ever asked for.
My God is my King, and I am so in love with Him. Hallelujah, what a Savior.
My eyes have seen the Glory of the Lord.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The rates of autism in America’s children has spiked dramatically in the past twenty years, to where Autism is actively affecting 1 out of every 500 children. If your child is born autistic, there is no doubt your family doctor is giving you multiple treatment options such as medication, treatment, and perhaps multiple family therapists to assist in your coping. Though all those things are hypothetically good treatments for an autistic child, you are covering up the problem rather than solving it. Since there is no known cure for autism, you are intoxicating your child with multiple medicine products inevitably ample with side affects such as ‘drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea’ and so on. However, more serious side affects may include liver damage, depression and possibly death.
Dependant on how serious the child’s case of autism is, he is subjected to either major neuroleptic medication(Thioridazine, chlorpromazine, thorazine, haloperidol and risperidol), or minor neuroleptic medication(Valium and Librium); both medications serve as a type of tranquilizer to the brain. The main function of the medicine is to reduce the activity of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that acts as a messenger between nerve cells. If the medication is administered throughout a long period of time, the recipient of the medication runs a high risk of ceasing to develop his/her own dopamine all together, due to their desensitization to the chemical.
In the world of fast food, TV dinners, Gerber’s baby food (which is PACKED with process sugar), and medication at easy hand, the world of proper and balanced diet is neglected more often than not. Most women while pregnant enjoy late night binging on potato chips, ice cream, and French fries, and with that are filling their child with a lack of nutrition before they are even born. Unhealthy eating habits surround America from the Mcdonalds down the street to the aspartame-laced lollypop handed to us in the doctor’s office. It is no huge surprise America is obese on Atkins, packed with behavioral problems in the cafeteria lunch line, and infected with alarming rates of child autism. From before we are even born, we lack the nutrients for a balanced life. If diet is even a partial cause of America’s unhealth (which it irrefutably is), then wouldn’t the logical conclusion be to assume diet could act as a partial control for the symptoms of diseases such as autism? Dr. Daniel Lufer from the Harvard medical association highly suggests it can be. He says over 90% of diet can be directly correlated to any health issue present. Whether that be neurological health, intestinal health or otherwise: Health is a key factor in fighting disease and bodily dysfunction. (Harvard Health Letter, 2009)
In personal research regarding alternative treatments for autism, I quickly found most FDA, or government sites were fairly anti diet control for the treatment of autism, and most other sites, which included anything from medical to personal testimonies, were pro diet and environment control. The national institute of neurological disorders and strokes (NINDS) was the first website that came up while searching the FDA’s ASD treatment options. The author states there are a number of controversial therapies or interventions available for people with ASD, such as environment change, diet control etc. But few, if any, are supported by scientific studies. He then cautions parents against any treatment other than medication in a controlled setting. (ninds.gov)
Since the medical practice (not all, but most) appears to distribute hard medication so liberally, it is not entirely shocking to see most autistic children never receive a blood or allergy test (Perhaps they’re allergic to a ‘brain-food?’), nor are they given a strict diet to adhere to other than ‘eat one hour prior to taking medication.’ Thus, the possibility of diet-control to alter the affects of one's autism are never even tested.
The fast food industry has EXPLODED in the past ten years; there is one on almost ever corner. Fast food is full of pesticides, trans fats, mercury and inorganic meats full of prosthetic hormones that have been genetically altered. The meat products used in fast food restaurants (and most restaurants in general), are taken from animals either mistreated or disease-laden. They are usually not grain-fed animals, but rather survive on injections which make them fat faster, and an ample supply of corn products. Since even the meat we eat is inadequate, “healthy” American’s are bound to be malnourished and full of unhealthy hormones, ecoli, overdoses of estrogen or testosterone, and pesticides. Since an Autistic child is already lacking in proper nutrition to fuel and heal the neurological inconsistencies, is it completely foolhardy to assume taking in large amounts of unhealthy and unnatural products that are difficult to break down might assist in possible spikes in a child’s autistic behavior? If a healthy individual is malnourished for long enough, their body will eventually revolt and develop a disease, whether it happens at childhood, or past sixty years of age. The body is not built to process unnatural and processed foods.
Dear FDA: Please stop allowing so many chemicals, unnatural products, dangerous hard medication, and Mcdonalds to infect our children from the womb to adulthood.
It is amazing how many health dysfunctions can be controlled (at least partially) by a healthy lifestyle. Take large amounts of leafy greens, not valium.
That's my conclusion =). Haha.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Haunt me until I direct my gaze
Any direction other than up above-
I'm known for the worst parts of me
From five to eighteen.
Oh, tender heart and calloused campassion,
Did you ever think you'd fall head over feet
For a plan that echoed violently with calamity?
Cause I couldn't have imagined I'd be forced to be born an adult
With my childhood as a poltergeist.
I didn't think things would change
From New York to Candy Dance Lane.
It's not about who's to blame, or who's at fault.
Mundane and bitter thoughts only cause wrinkles to the eye-line,
And we all know that's the marker of the mile
Of e-harmony driven cat lady.
The plan to move in darkness was always shady
But fifteen year olds haven't exactly developed critical thinking.
The faces of those in the now comfort me.
The places I've come to know echo of the best nineteen.
So, I stand, certified adult
Because there was a murder in the city
Of a five year comedic tragedy
With my name on the billboard.
Bright lights still shine on that drafty small town
But I'm different and live in the now.
Maybe some day, five years from now,
I can revisit the history of a 13 year reign in a worn-down town
Of cop-outs and happy shops that sell green under the radar
Maybe I'll revisit that t-boned totaled black car.
Maybe I won't feel like I have to run so far
To escape something that has my name written in the Candy Dance ruin.
Dear History, redemption of your John Hancock is coming soon.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
All that aside, I'm already a pescitarian, meat makes me moody, and being a vegan will force me to be healthy 100% of the time. It's also a great opportunity to do research on proper, balanced veganism (not substituting soy for everything and it's mother). I love a challenge, I love cooking, I love veggies, and I love vegans. Hence, next semester I am becoming one. It's on my list, and crossing things off gives me satisfaction.
Along with this new health/spontaneous hippy extravaganza, I've decided to group other healthy habits in with it. I already lead a fairly food/exercise healthy lifestyle, so that's not something I'm particularly nervous about faltering on. However, I have SEVERAL other unhealthy habits I'm not a huge fan of. I hear stress is the biggest killer, so I've decided I need to fix my stress life. I am not at the place in life where I can have a day off... and that's okay. I understand being in school and working full-time isn't exactly a tea-party. However, it would be false to say I can't give myself at least five hours a week to spend doing something that relaxes me, something that's a me-thing. I'm committing to be a balanced individual. I'm committing to not going crazy (in the bad, 'I need PMS pills' way.) I'm going to actually be in the place I'm at as much as possible. I.e. When I'm at school, I'll be at school. When I'm at work, I'll be at work. When I'm with family, I'll be with family. Something tells me that will be much healthier than having my mind be all those places at once. I'm not a super-hero... I don't even own a cape, and my thighs are not pillars of steel. I'm just a fashion-loving woman on the quest to become a healthy and balanced individual, one legume at a time.
That's my story.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
There was a moment today where I felt a rewind back to months ago...and it was certainly a wretched feeling. Someone of my 5'9" stature should not feel as if she is a midget amongst terrible giants. Nor should someone who's performed amazing feats of strength feel like she's about to be crushed by a spatula. It's simply not logical, and I am definitely not a fan.
On to more important and positive subjects.
I love the feeling of being completely protected, and strangely enough, it scares me sometimes. I've had several moments of 'Dear Rachel. Run. Run away before anything goes wrong.' Clearly, my psyche has the intelligence to know my heart's an idiot-hence, I have stayed very stationary.
There was a moment today where all I could hear was the rain pounding against my parents roof and my imaginative dialogue of Jane Eyre and her woman power (I really love Charlotte Bronte.) I like hearing the sound of inner British dialogue. Does that make me crazy? Meh, probably. But who cares. I love Literature. I like the moments that are encompassed by me sitting and simply being. There are not enough of those, so when they happen, I tend to treasure them.
I guess I didn't write a poem, or even share any brilliant thoughts this time, but that's okay. I can't echo with brilliance all the time. I'm not in the Bronte or Austin tree.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Wherever this ends up, I like the present a whole heck of a lot. I don't want to live in the fear of the future when the present is so great, I don't want to over analyze what doesn't even exist. What the crap is the point of that? I'll answer myself: There's no point. Breathe, Rachel. Everything is going to be okay, new things are not old things. Past is past, and present is present, and future is whatever the present is.
On the same note, welcome to fall friends! I love new seasons, and this one happens to my favorite. It's high time I make an apple pie and re-read Jane Eyre(like I've done every fall for the past three years.)
I carved my first pumpkin with some of my favorite people on the planet. My pumpkin definitely looked 'special,' but that's okay... I'm no pumpkin Picasso, it was my first time, and I have a feeling their are many more to come. As minuscule as it was, it meant the world to me that my friends would put together a night just to carve a pumpkin with me. I've never really had anyone do something so spontaneously wonderful and important for me. There was no one else I'd rather spend my Friday night with.
I am in an environment that fosters love, protection, and pumpkin carvings. There's no better environment than that.
15 minutes is up. Those are my thoughts. Happy Autumn.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I have been blessed with the most remarkable family on the face of the planet. My parents continual love and grace towards me and my four siblings astounds me; they are saints. God knows if I had to deal with a 16 year old like I was for even a few months I would commit a murder...or something. My parents have modeled what it means to live a life devoted to Christ and family both in and out of the harvest. I have watched them walk through fire holding the hand of Jesus, all the while shaping the lives of their children. When I have children, I hope I can model even a portion of the love and leadership they have modeled to me.
All that aside, I can admit that the past couple of years have been rough. In my personal life, much of the struggle developed out repercussion of earlier choices. However, the other part of living in the desert was just every day circumstance. It's merely been a tough siege, and through that I believe our family has grown together and developed a sense of endurance.
Last year around this same time, I came face to face with my personal need for a rescuer. I reached the place where I could lay my pride aside and just bow lower than the ground to finally kiss the feet of my God. What a life-changing experience it has been to KNOW the Father's love for me and learn to heal in the covering of the scars imprinted by His wounds. I finally feel like I'm coming out of the desert-- it's been a long and dirty process, and saying I feel muddy and gross would be an egregious understatement. Luckily, the thing about Living Rain is it washes away grime so thoroughly you can't even see the stains left by it all. I'm finally experiencing the start of the harvest... I hope I produce at least a pumpkin or two, because I've never carved a pumpkin and I've always wanted to. (That was way off topic, but it's late, and I thought you might enjoy knowing slightly less serious nuggets of information. Anyway.) Suffering in the desert really does make your relationship with the Savior better. I wouldn't trade my breaking-point for the world, because it made me finally 'get' it. I can't count the amount of times I journaled the words, 'How long, oh Lord?' and finally I receive the answer 'We're almost there, my child.'
To refer to an earlier blog entry (#nerd), the difficult part of the pruning process is coming to end, and I'm finally ready to grow some new branches fertilized by the Word of God and watered by the heart of the Trinity,bursting at the seems with yellow lilies (because that's my favorite flower.)
Don't you know what's next? No, no you don't, and neither do I, but that's okay because He knows, and He's got something brilliant up His sleeve. He always does. Hey, hey Jesus... this is all looking pretty good. Thanks for cutting off all my dead branches.
You make all things new; I am a new creation.
Sing, O Daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O Daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
"Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Whenever this is in question--
It's always in question
Because the escape is far-fetched at sea
And I'm in a boat without a paddle.
Living underneath the star-struck skyline
Poses the glimpse of reality in purples
And shades are a complex entity when
All you can see is black and white.
But I'm in a wheelbarrow
And its on the other side of nowhere
And I can't quite tell if these thoughts will cease
When I can lay myself down to sleep
The rhyme and reason is lost at sea
But the color palate and canvas is on my lap
And I'm without a paddle and painting blindly
With my fingers.
Pounding away at every brain-wave that passes
With an absent brushstroke
That poses as something beautiful and entirely modern--
But it's just overcompensating.
This is the melancholy nonsense that plague
Bed-rest and satin sheets,
And 2 am never felt so clear--
But I wake up in a haze of confusion and daunting analyzations of what 2 am meant.
Let me know if there's a remedy for the over-thinking female mind.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
With that said, I've decided honesty is the best policy. I threw away that list and started a new one a little over six months ago, and I've decided I'm going to keep adding to it. I have some really dumb things I desire to do or experience before I die, and I have no reason to be ashamed about it. Here's a few of my lighthearted favorites. (Warning: If you are an over-analyzer like me, you need to understand the numerical order is not in order of importance whatsoever. And scene.)
1. Spend a fourth of July in Disneyland or Disneyworld to see the fireworks in the happiest place on earth.
2. Stay overnight at a beach.
3. Go camping with a real tent and real campfood.
4. Cook a foreign food in the most authentic way possible.
5. Write out a recipe.
6. Write and publish a book.
7. Go to a date at a drive-in movie.
8. Buy ten used books with inscriptions from loved ones that mean something to me personally.
9. Speak on something I'm passionate about. (This is a big one, because public speaking scares the life out of me.)
10. Go to Ireland.
11. Play Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast.'
12. Go on a spontaneous date to somewhere I've never been.
13. See more of the US.
14. Work at a soup kitchen for Christmas morning.
15. Play a show of completely original songs and say nothing negative about myself afterward.
16. Punch a political protester.
17. Run over orange road cones...on purpose.
18. Buy a stranger flowers.
19. Spend a summer as a Vegan.
20. Live in the city.
Those are a few =). Hope you enjoyed.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thing thing about pruning is, if you're the bystander, the effects of the pruning are fantastic; The tree looks beautiful after the work is finished, and there is not much to complain about. However, if you are the tree being pruned... you experience a whole lot of stuff before the result is achieved. You experience a strange man with an Indiana Jones hat coming towards your branches with very sharp scissors. Shortly after the shock of the VISUAL of the man and his scissors, you experience the sting of the shears on your skin (or tree-bark...whatever analogy we decide to stick with.)But still, the hardest part is to come. It isn't the fear of the scissors, or even the pruning itself that hurts the most; it is watching your branches fall to the ground and lay before eyes. It is seeing your ugly and tattered branches scattered in the dirt. It is realizing how long those branches have been attached to your skin, and wondering why on earth you were so blind to the ugliness that covered up many of your green leaves. And still, it is knowing there is more to be pruned; the work is never finished because the pruner is about achieving the fullness of your growth and beauty.
I am the Lord's tree, and I am the Lord's poem. He placed me on His canvas and painted me perfectly, but my battle with my human nature never ceases to blot awful shades on my roots. I struggle not against my own branches and life-source, but against the bugs that eat away at my core... my shortcomings, flaws, and (oh hey, Biblical term!), the rulers and principalities of this world. God has been shaping and pruning me softly, but it still hurts. There is so much about my life that God has been growing and changing, and I couldn't be more grateful for all the newness that's been brought into my life because of it. There is honestly nothing in my life that isn't at a place of surrender right now, but that doesn't mean the pruning is finished... it only means there's less of a fight. I have so many unhealthy habits and patterns that have formed a sequence of beliefs and actions in my day to day life. My inability to grasp (fully) my identity in Christ has left me to my own human understanding, and has allowed my mind to take control of the heart that is destined to beat for Him alone. Clearly this will not do... hence the pruning that is taking place. God is not just my teacher, cramming truth down my throat. God is my lover, and my painter, and I am His canvas. His gentle brush-strokes show me the love and heart that is behind all the Truth He speaks. The truth about life, and the truth about who I am.
Green is my favorite color because it represents new life. The pruning is painful, but I'm coming to the understanding that the pruning makes things green, and green is the now because He is making me a new creation.
Go green. It's worth it.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
This made me laugh, and I'm a big fan of laughing. In fact, I laugh at most things. The idea of myself flipping a table when I don't have anything nice to say would result in a lot of tables being flipped. Sure, I'm aware that Jesus flipped a table in His time, but I'm not arrogant enough to state I would be flipping a table at righteous anger... I just tend to generally lean towards thoughts that are not the nicest on the block (even if they are the funniest).
However (prepare to be shocked..) I am a relatively introspective individual; which translates into the fact that after my thoughts traveled past the hilarity of the statement made in the picture above, I began delving into deeper thoughts about myself. I have always struggled with negativity, and have covered any unkind comment with a sarcastic and funny twist... making sure I leave a conversation with people laughing. Unfortunately, a good portion of the things I have said about others at one point or another have certainly not been edifying. I don't want to be that person, because Christ wasn't that person. I want to be someone who only speaks what is helpful for building others up. I want to love fully.
Something I've been pondering is this: If we truly know even a minuscule amount about a person, how can we not love them? If everyone is made in the image of Christ, will there not be SEVERAL redeeming qualities etched in their genetic make-up? Am I so wondrous of a person to believe I ONLY have phenomenal qualities? As if. So why do I believe my own shortcomings should be accepted by others when I am unable to accept the others I'm begging to accept me? It's folly to expect acceptance when I myself cannot accept many. (That's a tongue twister.)
Now here's the kicker: As much as I will and have tried, I have no idea how to fix my issues on my own. So I'm going to ask a horribly complicated and frightening thing: I need to be held accountable. Capish? Great. I leave you with this. Enjoy, kiddos. I know I did.
Monday, September 27, 2010
And we chase after what we become.
We push and we strive
Until a goal is acheived.
And there we are--
And there it is--
It is the pulse of the rhythym of the heart
That tends to speed up at the thoughts and intentions
Of we want what we want
And we chase after what we become.
Running is a past-time,
And I'm in trouble because
My feet are weary
And my mind is sore.
But staying is a pastime
And I'm in trouble
Because the rhythym of the meter of the heart
Is chasing after who I want to become.
The wind is in my hair
And we all know my hair is long enough to tangle
At the ends
And I'm chasing after solidarity
So tangles are a pastime
But the rhythym of the meter of the sound
Of the trumpets are blairing.
And the rain is on my face,
And the drops of water
Are chasing after my throat--
And living water is what I will become.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
This morning I woke up to a text from my good friend Irene that said, "want to have breakfast and coffee with me?" My first thought (naturally) was, "I have so much to do today." However, my second, third, and fourth thoughts were along the lines of 'Relax.' Luckily, I listened to my groggy psyche and went to her house to enjoy a Saturday morning over food and coffee. Irene and I ended up making a beautiful french breakfast for ourselves consisting of fruit crepes, brie cheese, home-made whipped cream, eggs, and french-pressed coffee. We ate it on China plates while staring at a beautiful rose-garden; it was the best Saturday morning I have had in a long time.
Irene talked about deciding to enjoy the small things in life... like fruit crepes and coffee, and I couldn't help but listening intently to her new resolution. She talked about how being a student and working full-time had put a damper on her ability to enjoy the times she was merely relaxing. I have decided to make her resolution my own. I need to take time away from my school and work (which I really do love), and experience things just for me. I need to take time to enjoy my own small delicacies in life.
My personal delicacies include writing, cooking, dressing up, entertaining,reading Jane Austin in the park, taking long walks, and having long conversations with the people I love. I refuse to let those things take a back burner until 'my life settles down.' You and I both know life settles down when we make time for the things that count. Those things matter to me... People matter to me. I like people =), and I'm finally accepting that it's okay. I don't need to be introverted to be a perfect someone for somebody...because the somebody I'm with should enjoy exactly who I am without wanting to change the core of me. I can take time to laugh either one-on-one or with a whole group. The beauty of knowing who I am is finally being translated into understanding what I feel and what I want at any given moment.
I am really enjoying being myself, and knowing exactly who that is-- yet discovering more about my passions and desires with each passing day. Life just keeps getting better, and everyday there's a new delicacy I had previously forgotten to enjoy. Today it was a completely fattening breakfast:No carb left behind.'
Good thing eating is a Spiritual experience. God comes in all forms; today He was in my crepe teaching me a little more about my journey of self and about all the quirks locked inside the woman He made me to be.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I like to make lists... they help me understand things. So here is my current list of self-confessions and quirks.
1. I have eaten an entire box of strawberry milkshake oreos by myself. In one sitting.
2. I am a health-nut, but if you give me a box of cheeze-its, chances are I will ALSO consume the entire box.
3. I refuse to admit I'm addicted to coffee...I like to look at it as more of a 'comitted' relationship.
4. I can't stand dirty dishes and sponges.
5. I can't go a few hours without brushing my teeth.
6. I carry pepper spray because I seem to attract really awkward situations.
7. I may or may not be one of the most insecure people on the face of the planet.
8. I never thought I would lead worship because I was told more than once it was not my gifting.
9. If I laugh too hard I drool.
10. I like to make up nick-names that rhyme.
11. I envy people who can paint.
12. I like sitting on the floor because it makes me feel closer to the earth (yeah...)
13. I wish I was intense enough to be a vegan.
14. I have always wanted to be cool.
15. I don't think before I speak...unfortunately for me and everyone else. (I'm working on it)
16. I get anxiety if I don't floss my teeth enough.
17. I feel really validated if people read my blog.... or RT me.
18. I want to write a book.
19. I can't control my laughter more often than not.
20. When people give me 'space' I feel like they're shutting me out. Haha.
21. I stutter when I'm nervous.
22. I still have a lisp.
23. I like to leave encouraging notes on stranger's cars.
24. I am actually not passive aggressive at all.
25. I overanylyze everything.
26. I am captain bad timing.
27. I can't end my lists on an odd number...
28. I pick out my outfits the night before because I am blind in the morning and lose all sense of fashion judgement.
29. I love to serve other people. I thrive on being a 'motherly' type. I know..it's creepy.
30. I forgive others but forget to forgive myself.
That's all for now. =).
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
There are not very many great memories I have from where I used to live, in fact, I try to avoid thinking about it at all cost because I'm not a huge fan of dwelling on the things that make your heart hurt. However, I had this spot in Genoa where I used to go to think about everything I was feeling. It's where I wrote my first poem and where I hashed it out with God about not wanting to be in ministry (funny how He always changes the desires of your heart when you're madly in love with and following Him). The place became so familiar to me that my mind would thrive on the ability to let itself breathe. My new mission is to find another spot like that in this place I can finally call home... hopefully I'm not too picky when it comes to 'thinking' locations--we'll see.
I think that's enough verbal spewing for one night =). Back to sleep, it's an early morning for me tomorrow. Who wants to bring me coffee?! Bueller? No? This lack of sleep is killin' me, smalls. ....haha.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I am an incredibly bad decision maker, and I think that's because I feel a strong emotional bond with any decision I make. Whether it's picking out the kind of mascara I want or choosing my career path, I take forever to make a decision. I'm a very committed person, and hopefully not in a creepy way. I like to do things right the first time, and I like to be all-in on whatever I'm doing. Example: Last night I went shopping for groceries with one of my favorite people(the Jessup cafeteria freaks me out, so sometimes I like to eat my own food..don't judge me, I'm an nonorganicaphobe.) I also had to pick out new mascara. Is this a life or death decision? Certainly not, however, as I'm standing in front of the endless options all I can think about it 'if I buy this and it sucks, then I'm stuck looking like a 14 year old did my makeup.' or 'if I buy this, and I really like it I won't want to try new things... and I'm not quite ready to be tied down to a brand. What happens if they sell out? Then what?!' then the other part of me says 'Rachel. Calm yourself... it's just mascara.' These problems are especially irritation when I'm grocery shopping WITH someone because I do not want to show the full measure of my awful quirks.
Which brings me to my next non-related subject:
When you don't wring out the sponge after using it to clean your dairy and carb infested plate it angers me severely. Why, you ask? Because when you do not wring out your sponge and leave it sitting in the sink with all the other nasty dishes, it collects mildew... so when you actually take the initiative to CLEAN your dirty dishes, you're not really cleaning them at all.. you're just putting mildew on your moldy food-plate. It's gross and it makes me want to punch you. During midterms last year, in a fit of passive aggressiveness I took everyone's dirty dishes out of the sink, put them in separate bags, and placed them with a bow outside people's doors with a lovely note. I'm hoping I don't get to that place again.
Back to decision making:
What if this doesn't work? What if I'm just supposed to enjoy the moment? What if I'm actually doing things all wrong? What if I'm just over analyzing the crap out of every little thing because I'm scared? I know....just breathe, right? But then comes the OTHER decision! Do I inhale first, or exhale? Long breaths or short ones?
I'll just start with that one...inhale...exhale. Everything is going to be alright. Sometimes I need to remind myself I'm really not that old, and I'm especially not very wise, so I should give myself the credit for at least knowing I do not know..right?
....I need another cup of coffee.
Monday, September 6, 2010
A friend is a friend…
Until you define the term:
Someone who sticks around
When things aren’t sugar and peaches;
And someone who says the same things to your face
As they whisper to the sky
When your back meets their eyes.
Some people never change
Even though the years fly by,
And sometimes people repeat and repeat and repeat
The chatter of their high school dreams;
And silently, so silently you try to keep quiet as you scream,
“Homecoming was 62 years ago at my most and at your least.
And just like high school, you are stuck in a swamp of those who don’t and want to be,
You’re covered with the absent compliments spoken by those
Who absently proclaim without ever thinking.
Oh if I could only fill the room,
Fill the room to the brim
With all the nauseating compliments
That lack a heart but make perfect sense.
Community is based upon the tone in your voice and the clothes on your chest;
But these clothes cover the heart
Because we dare ridicule the passion unveiled when the mask comes off
And the brand names are removed.
If I could only fill an ocean
Oh I could fill an ocean with all the times someone thought I was something I was not
Merely based upon an absent, unending, unfeeling, and passionless judgment.
I’ve confused you enough for you to label me unclean,
Because I lack the material to be accepted into your world
Of cosmopolitan and empty beauty.
But I still try and please you.
So I fill my vocabulary with meaningless words
That drive me up the wall,
Because I just want to fit in with your crowd,
I desire to reach the place of uninhibited acceptance,
Like I do when you are talking only to my face.
When you know me one on one, you know me to the full,
But when it comes to standing in a room with her and her and him and him,
Suddenly, I need more.
And you are who I am here for,
So I disappear into the cycle of conformity
Until I decide I don’t need you to like me.
A knife is a knife
Until it’s in your back.
It’s not the first time I’ve been stabbed.
But it’s the first time I’ve decided to let someone else be your walking ground,
I’ve tired of laying my body down.
A friend is a friend.
Until you define the term.
The term is the antithesis of you.
Friday, August 27, 2010
The next emotional shape was a redvine--let me tell you something; that is the most legit candy ever invented. You can eat it with almost anything AND use it as a straw. Is it gross? Somewhat, but at least it can be done. Next part of my night consisted of me, once again, running the back of my head into a Jessup light pole. Why, oh why, is my head attracted to so many objects? I'm bound to live a concussed life.
Last non-serious subject: Dear Michael Johns.
I hope you enjoy your pineapple juice. I do not hope the fruit-acid burns the roof of your mouth such as you have burned my emotional state with your 'lets make Rachel jealous' tweets. So ends my irritation/shout-out. =)
So begins the serious processing section of this blog:
My name is Rachel Elizabeth Jackson, and I have grown up believing the lie that reality should be somewhat of a painful experience. I have believed that romantic love should be a series of dramatic events resulting in irritation from one or both parties. I have believed I am responsible for the emotions of another person. (This is where everyone says, 'Hi Rachel.'). Unlike many sob stories of the modern 19 year old,I will not insinuate my parents, Disney movies, or horrendous friends led me to these heinous conclusions, I will simply state it was a matter of living and learning from a one-dimensional lens. My heart missed the memo that I wasn't destined to be Hosea. I also missed the memo that 'heavy emotions' and 'fifteen year old girl' never mesh will. By the grace of God,I now have lived and learned from multiple dimensions; I have altered the pattern and hopefully walked away with only a few cuts and bruises.
I serve an amazing, all-powerful God who's desire is to make me whole in Him. Who's desire is to shape me, ever so gently, in accordance to His will. I serve a God who's grace is more than sufficient--His grace is my hope and my peace in these times of grieving. He holds every last tear in a bottle and He hurts with me. He rejoices over me with singing, but mostly, He just holds me when I can't pick myself up. I live to be the woman He envisioned when He formed me in the womb. I desire to live abandoned to a sacred identity.
Last subject of the night:
I really like this =). I like positive feelings. That's all.
Sleep well, kids. Listen to some Copeland and read Zephaniah. It will blow your mind.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I don’t know where exactly
I crossed the line
Before the reason and the rhyme
Ceased their synchronization
With two at the time—
All I know is
I lost myself in the cost
Of letting go
And finally being found
Standing up from the ground.
I was always your couch
To relax with when the day was done
And loneliness called your name--
But your routine never changed
Regardless of how worn I became.
Couches aren’t always new,
And I had lost my zest
Just like all your rest.
Just like all the other blondes, red heads and brunettes.
Like all the other 7’s in your chest.
I was a thrifty couch of insecurity—
Covered by a blanket of your mediocrity;
.I was never really the problem, plan or solution.
Just a temporary fix for all that your curtains envisioned.
But I’m not your decorative item,
Worthy of gaze and speculation,
And I'm not your best seven.
I'm not your vision of beauty, darling--
I’m a real-life human being.
Walking off your ‘collectibles’ shelf was the best choice I have ever made.
I can’t wait to never go back.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I know why: I've lived a large portion of my life navigating through various filters that end in the letter Y. Well, I'm over that now. You can call me a grownup or something if you want, because that is what I'm trying to be--A genuine, self-respecting woman of the Lord, called for and to a purpose, living solely for her Creator. Now that the avoidance issue is has been addressed, I'll move on.
I'm finally at school, and there is something incredibly comforting about it. Perhaps it is that tiny William Jessup University was the place I experienced true community. It is the place I was embraced. It is the place I learned to find myself lost in Him instead of him. Or maybe it is something as simple as I really enjoy books and Mel's french fries (which just so happen to be right down the street from me.) Whatever it is, I am so thrilled to be back in my quaint dorm, brewing coffee and hearing the beautiful voice of the girl who lives in the room next to me; I hope she never stops singing.
I am so excited with what God is doing in my life. I'm am so thrilled for this adventure. I am so glad to die to self and live in complete abandoned obedience because I am learning there is nothing quite as freeing as letting go with both hands. More than anything, I'm excited to see what plans God has up His sleeve. I have a feeling He has some good ones in store =).
I don't want to be angry anymore, I've been angry for years. I don't want to live my life feeling like a victim, because I'm not. I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.
The pattern has stopped here. And I couldn't be more thrilled.
Hey, Hey 2010. You're looking pretty good to me.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
It's like a symphony when it plays on strings
Strings of an organ that beats.
Mutiny is the name of the game
If there's any other name
By which a game can be played.
Tap Tap Tap.
Its like a constant wrap
At a door I can't find
If there are any doors with knuckle marks
And if I'm not two measures behind.
Tick Tick Tock.
It's like the guest who's timing is always off
If time is more than space
And if I seem to ever be in the right place.
Just like confusion when you don't even think.
Pulse Burn Repeat.
It's like a moment lost at sea
If the water is clearer than blue.
It's like what happens when disillusioning becomes you.
If a magician has lost all flare in the center of an act.
Try Try Again.
Friday, August 6, 2010
And now I'm on to bigger and better things, like explaining why these days have turned into weeks. Something I've figured out in all my 19 years (I know, I'm old and full of wisdom) has been the fact that time doesn't stop for anything or anyone. There is not a magical button you can push for the universe to slow down so you can savor a moment or figure out what the crap you're doing. Unfortunately, time goes on, and so must you. There have been several times in the course of my past two weeks where I have wanted time to stop simply so I could think about things beyond their face value. There have also been times, like last night during worship, where I just wanted to pause and look at all the faces so I could know more than facial structures. I yearn to know the stories--pains and joys, of the people God has given me to lead for those sacred twenty minutes.
Everyone is a person. Trivial thought, I know, but sometimes I forget how intertwined the human race is. Being a selfish person, I tend to think their is not an incredible amount going on the lives of others. Of course, when I pause for more than one second, it becomes brutally obvious to me how wrong and ignorant I am. But I don't seem to make myself pause very often.
These days have turned into weeks, and these weeks have turned into months. I can't stop time for several reasons.... one of which includes not having a wand, cape, or pop tarts. However, I know I have the capacity to calm myself and stop what I'm doing so I figure out how the crap the world is working. So I can figure out what the crap my mind is thinking. And most importantly, so I can figure out how the crap to better love people.
It seems appropriate I should end this blog after writing a paragraph that mentions pop tarts and uses the word 'crap' more than twice. I'm not sure anybody reads this, and I may or may not be okay with that. Well, those are some snippets of my life in its present state. Also, I have a headache that feels like it's eating my brain.
On that note, stay in school, kids.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I stare into her face
As the lungs are collapsing
And suffocating with the breaths she takes.
Death is who she's becoming
And it's closer than the daylight
But further than the somethings
That seem to plague the mundane
With echos of how short life can be.
And life is all around me
In the trees and in the laughs
But death is the surrounding
Living in a claustrophobic space
And growing day by day
While she never sleeps at night.
And death is whiter than snow
Yet darker than crimson.
Eternal promise is life yet to be lived
While in the physical rest
But in Spiritual vibrancy.
Death is all around me
In the eyes of her family.
Too tired to mourn
Too confused to speak
Too lonely to comfort
And too anxious to sleep.
And life is all around me
As she's on the journey to Home
Life is all around the pearls, gold, and angels' songs.
And she's on her way to His open arms,
But the earth is dying,
And death is all around me as we wait to join the ones who are alive
Not in this life.
How sweet the promise
And yet how long is the wait
Causing the pale-faced wheezing and emaciated figures
To run without strength to gates of Home.
He's waiting for you,
You can rest now...
Life is all around you at the end of yours.
I wish Jesus didn't want you Home with Him so much..
I'm really going to miss you...
I'll be seeing you soon then.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
1. Bobby and I bought a cat and named him Rudo. We really love him.
2. There are still five hundred people at my house.
3. I'm exaggerating.
4. 500 people is a hard thing for an introvert to cope with; however, I've enjoyed the process of stretching myself to new levels.
5. Stretching myself means Is have been tired for two weeks.
How is it that an entire week can fly by without your mind being in it whatsoever, and yet, a single day can feel like a lifetime.
I cannot wait to go back to school; I've been yearning for community. I've been desiring academic challenge. I have been missing in-room accountability. And I have really missed 2 am Mel's fries. (Fries are my weakness.) I just want to go get pie and fries with a group again. I miss walking to the end of the hall and asking Maria's opinion on my bright yellow outfit. I miss the professors.
But above the fries, pie, outfits, academia, and community, I miss the prayer chapel till midnight. I miss reading the journal entries of classmates. I miss walking by the chapel and hearing people singing at the top of their lungs. I miss seeing the beautiful prophetic drawings. I miss Alice Mills and her imaginative prayer nights.
Jessup is like camp for me. I'm living with 200 of my closest friends and everybody knows and cares for everybody. Are their the clicks? Absolutely. Are their times where I just want to be left alone? Certainly. But, I love my school and my classmates. I am so excited for these upcoming years. I want to go deeper with people. I want to have more dates with Alyssa =). I want to decorate my room with my roomate (ASHLEE!...we hope. haha). I want to become a Spiritual leader. I want to grow exponentially in my walk with Christ, in my mind, and in my giftings. I want to develop meaningful relationships that last for always.
I want to become a stronger woman for my boyfriend. I desire to be the kind of girlfriend that is only a help, and never a hindrance. I want to pray with and for him. Is this about me becoming better? Ha. Absolutely not. It's about me growing in such a way that causes our love to become more like 1 Corinthians 13. I want to be molded into someone who loves patiently. Someone who loves with no record of wrongs. Someone who loves with kindness and goodness.
I'm so glad I was created by a God who adores me, and I'm so blessed to be surrounded by people who are patient with me.
This blog has absolutely no rhyme or reason, and I think that's okay. It's never really about comprehension anyways. It's about getting something out so you can release your thoughts to think on their own without the cement walls of processing the mundane.
Perhaps now I'll write something somewhat organized. But probably not. I like the mysterious.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Anyways. I was laying in bed last night around 10 pm wondering why I was so exhausted. I'm usually a pretty big night owl, and I hadn't had too much going on in the day so my exhausted was beyond my comprehension. Then it hit me: I forget how big of an introvert I am. I have family staying in town, and though that has been great, I have not had more than a few moments of time to myself. When I forget to spend time alone, I get worn out. Shocker? It usually is to people who don't know me very well. I'm perceived as somewhat of a social butterfly: I enjoy making jokes, I can be relatively loud and obnoxious, and I don't get sweaty and uncomfortable in large groups (I should say, I don't show that I'm sweaty and uncomfortable.) I'm actually a relatively awkward human being, and luckily I think that works for me most of the time.
I've been thinking lately... how often do we take time for ourselves? Let's all pause and think, "Well how selfish is that?!" But why do we even think that? We all get burnt out every once and a while; especially those of us who work in any sort of ministry. Serving others is the most rewarding, and yet exhausting thing there is. Is it completely selfish and crazy to take a few moments for yourself? To just sit down and enjoy things rather than pacing back and forth? I'm inclined to think not. When I get really involved in ministry, I often struggle when I find myself pouring over the Jesus-time I'm teaching others rather than spending time with Jesus myself. I get wrapped up in the teaching rather than the experience, in the learning rather than the act itself. Lately I've found myself in that spot a lot. I'm spending time and energy perfecting a servant's heart that's not serving itself. In other words, sometimes I'm running on empty and doing nothing to fill up; I'm not spending time ministering to myself. I'm not spending time reflecting, writing, experiencing. But I'm doing a heck of a job telling others to do what I say and not as I do.
For an issue such as this, it's usually not a heart problem, rather, it is a mind problem. Human beings perceive any act of service we commit should only be to serve others. The act of serving self is utterly and completely frowned upon. It is a task meant for the self-serving and lazy. But did not the Lord, Himself take a day of rest? How many of us are observing the Sabbath and keeping it holy?
Certainly not I, and that needs to change.
That's all I got for now. Back to people!...ha.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I also discovered that Daniel Tosh was right: It is impossible to frown on a wave runner. I have always wanted to fly, no, not sky dive (I never have desired to pee my pants), but fly like a bird. If you close your eyes on a wave runner (though incredibly dumb/dangerous), I'm fairly certain the sensation it gives you is an awful lot like flying. I love the freedom of not knowing what's in front of you and embarking towards it anyways.
Serious note switch: (insert high G with awkward soprano voice here)
Today I re-discovered the fragility of character. Have you ever noticed how one decision can alter a person's entire life? How desensitization happens so quickly? A person's character is shaped by day to day decisions and ongoing relationships; how fragile is the human spirit. It all comes down to choices.
How fragile is the human heart? How hungry are people for love, acceptance, joy, and peace?
How wary are the hearts that have not experienced Saving Grace. Everybody needs a Savior.
And that's what I've discovered today.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
1. This is my third attempt at having a blog I like/keep up
2. I had a blog I religiously posted to in high school, but when I recently looked back to reminisce, I was reminded of why I stopped posting: my poor blog began to suffer serious verbal abuse from a very disgruntled and confused teen (...me.) In short, what was meant to be an artistic outlet for my somewhat disorganized and developing mind quickly began to resemble chapters found in The Babysitter's Club. The young heart is a very fragile entity. I had almost forgotten.
3. I like to do things in sections of three's. It keeps me on track.
With all that said, I suppose it is time to deem this my official new blog. Now, it has occurred to me that one's first entry is intended to spark unbelievable emotion/thoughts from it's preview audience so the blog may begin to build up a fan-base and such. Being as it is that I've never been very good at making first impressions, I don't know why I have decided my writings would be any different. No matter. I hope you will enjoy catching a few glimpses into my life or passing thoughts.
On a completely unrelated note, I'm into creating life to-do lists that aren't entirely serious-- it gives me goals that don't continually gnaw at me. What's on that list you may ask? Why, that's certainly not for my first entry! But here's a snapshot: I want to dance on shamrocks in Ireland while reciting an Irish proverb. Don't mock, wear a frock and join me! (sometimes I say things that don't make sense. Just laugh--it burns 10 calories.)
While I'm blogging I am hearing Disney music and watching their fireworks. I'm going to spend a fourth of July in Disneyland because everything is magical in the kingdom of princesses, family chaos, flute-driven music, blistering heat, and castles.
(Adding it to my list...now.)
There you have it; first blog entry completed. Over and out, readers. Don't operate fireworks under the influence... or something like that.