Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm avoiding writing and thinking about my hometown Eyota right now. It's almost overwhelming how many thoughts and memories and really deep feelings I have about that place. So, I'll wait til tomorrow. Yey procrastination!

I was reading a few of my older blogs and I realized how much hope I really do have now. In the past it's been hard, not going to lie. This time of year is especially hard for me. The darkness of winter begins to set in my mind and on my heart, and I feel particularly weighty, like my shadow weights 50 pounds and I drag it where ever I go.

Jesus has been patiently showing me what it means to put my whole worth in Him. It's something that is going to take my whole life, I'm sure of it, and I don't think I'll ever be perfect at it. But that's ok. He loves me the same anyway.

I'm delving into life like I never thought I could, or would. I don't have to worry about what my major is, or what people think about me. I'm actually beginning to live free, free from the results of putting my worth in something that changes every day, or isn't guaranteed. I'm actually beginning to remember what it feels like to do things because I passionately want to do them, not because I just feel like I should be doing it or that I have to do it.

It's a constant struggle to follow Him. But that struggle is worth every second, every hardship.

I'll leave this post with an amazing song I learned in 5th grade and clung to as my faith has waivered and grown stronger, and back again over the years.

All the chisels I have dulled carving idols of stone
That have crumbled like sand 'neith the waves
I have recklessly built all my dreams in the sand
Just to watch them all wash away.
All the pennies I've wasted in my wishing well
I've thrown like stones to the sea
I've dropped my guard, cast my lost, given everything
For a faith to be faithful to me

Through another day, another trial,
Another chance to reconcile
To the One who sees past all I see
I'm reaching out my weary hand
I pray that You'd understand,
You're the only one who's faithful to me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Nature decided winter wasn't over today. Huge quarter-sized clumps snow flakes decided to fall gracefully around Northwestern tonight, and I couldn't help but stare up in the sky with wonder. I was coming back from the Tea Garden with some friends, and like school children we swirled and skipped and let the snowflakes softly land on our heads and faces and tongues.

Snow makes me feel fresh inside, squeaky clean. It's brisk and cold, yet gentle when it lands on your cheek, like a small child's wet kiss. All these white kisses gather on the ground and pile up in heaps, on the muddy ground, the naked trees, the dead plants, and they cleanse everything they touch, covering the brown of winter.

This reminds me of a song I wrote with a friend two winters ago...

The cold is piled in heaps
I long for warmth and a smile on your face
Winter's long here, I can't stay
but for a smile on your face
Look up for sunshine here, I said look up for sunshine here

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


More than a year ago, I lost a friend who was dear to me. It was a slow process, the worst kind of slow. The fighting slow. I understand now what it feels to watch someone's body deteriorate while their mind continues to remain, tortured.

Cheryl was a fighter. She was one of four valedictorians in my graduating class, an unprecedented event in my small rural school where only two other graduates had kept a 4.0 all through high school. She had big plans. Plans to see the world, plans to succeed. Plans that involving going to college and maybe even changing her major to something her parents wouldn't approve of (I'm sure she would have done something like that.) That was the hardest part for her I think, letting go of all she could have seen, could have done, could have been. She held on so much longer than they expected her to.

She tried so hard to be 'normal,' til the very end, refusing to stay in the hospital unless it was absolutely necessary. She wouldn't even sleep in the hospital bed hospice brought for her. I saw her some of her worst days. Cheryl loved animals of any kind, and my friend had puppies we brought over to her house for her to see. The pain, or the medication, kept her distant most of the time we were there visiting, but her eyes lightened up when we asked if she wanted to hold the puppy. Even the weight of the puppy on her stomach was too much, and she cringed and cried silent tears. It was painful, but I think it was hard for her not to enjoy what she used to, even just seeing a puppy.

I've had my debates with God over Cheryl's death. Before it actually came, I prayed feverishly that whatever her turn out, someone would know about Him because of it. When it actually happened, the funeral and everything was done, it was like He didn't show up. He didn't allow any conversations to open up for me to talk about my faith, no one asked me how I was dealing with it all. I was furious at God. If He took my friend He could at least have a "good" reason for doing it, right?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

one cheek slammed on clammy concrete
stinging cheese-grated skin
blood, brain, and arms open.
offer up those gasping stares
those shining shoes
that tiptoe around never stopping.

any second now
the ground will break
rumbling apart
to swallow me whole.