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Posts Tagged ‘love’

I love being held.

When one hears this, they probably assume being held in the arms of another person. Don’t get me wrong, that is one of the best kinds of being held, but that’s not all I’m talking about.

Being held is being wrapped in a blanket. Wearing a comfy sweatshirt. Walking with the wind. Sitting in the sun or by the warmth of a fireplace. Snuggling into the corner of a couch, a beanbag chair, a recliner, a lawn chair. Curling up under the covers before going to bed. The bars that pull over you before a roller coaster takes off. It’s the hammock in the backyard that you fall asleep in while reading a book. I can be wrapped up in the story of a book and feel held as much as if I were in a blanket.

Being held by a person doesn’t mean just a boyfriend or husband either. It’s the linked arm of your best friend as you walk to class. It’s a hug from your sister, mother, grandpa, cousin. It’s being picked up off the ground when you least expect it, or maybe when you do expect it. It’s a kiss from a dog as it jumps to give you a hug.

To be held. To be wrapped up in something that makes you feel safe, warm, secure, loved.

Today I wrap myself in scripture. Promises still mean something to me, even though people these days don’t hold true to them like they used to. Now documentation and signatures are involved. Trust is fading because we don’t give people a reason to trust us. But above anything or anyone else, I feel safe and loved in scripture. Things will be taken from me, things will break. People will leave me, and people will let me down.

It is finally getting through to my head that I need help. We live in a world that tells us to strive for self-sufficiency, but it will always end in exhaustion. God purposefully left a space inside us that only belongs to Him, but He is only allowed access to that space when we give Him permission. I think it’s interesting that the Creator wants permission. Do you make a doll, and then ask the doll if you can play with it? No, you just play with it.

There is nothing stopping God from doing whatever He wants with us, except that He does not desire to control us. If I had a daughter, I could tell her to do whatever I want, and she would do it. She may not be happy about it, but she would have to do it. But real love does not come from being controlled. You would be making robots that are taught to say, “I love you” instead of raising someone who tells you s/he loves you just because s/he means it and s/he wants you to know.

God can say “I love you,” and I can choose not to respond. But I do because I can’t help but wrap myself in everything I know about Him. He is the only one that truly makes me feel safe.

Natalie Grant sings: “The promise was when everything fell, we’d be held.” I hope it’ll one day bring as much comfort to you as it does to me.

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I’m terrible with goodbyes. And they are everywhere. Each day has an end. Each book. Each adventure. Each person.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my trip to Ireland and my 3 months spent in Italy. It is a deep sorrow that needs to be learned to live with and accept. But before the goodbyes, there’s life. There’s love. There’s hope.

Desires can be traps. To crave something you can’t have is a sorrow deeper than a grave. Part of me craves to go back to Italy. The other part of me craves to go back to Italy with the people I had been there with, but that would mean going back in time. I can now only relive those memories in my mind. I can hit replay on the laughs, but I won’t hear them there again. I can imagine laying out on a soccer field, but we won’t again. I can see the vineyards, the buildings, the mountains in my mind, but it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to see them again except in pictures. I can tell stories, but they will only be stories. The others will never really know, no matter how good of a story teller I am.

To experience is to live. But to live is to lose. For everything we’ve experienced will eventually come to an end.

Living in the past is like being dead in the present. I look back on my study abroad in Italy, my spring break in Ireland, and can smile at the amazing chance that I was given. But then the other half of me misses it to the point of tears.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. It has been almost 5 months since I’ve been back, but I have yet to find the strength to accept the goodbye. 

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“Often we cleave to things because they possess heavy negative charges. Pain has strong arms.” –Patricia Hampl

Painful memories can be as aggressive as the wind.

I was best friends with a girl from Kindergarten till sixth grade. She was slowly pulling away like silly putty in the fifth grade, but I didn’t realize it till years later. One day after school on the bus, she handed me a note. A few words still stick clearly in my mind like gum on the bottom of a desk: “I don’t think we should be friends anymore.”

Though I have watched my sister lose many friends over big fights, I had never lost a friend straight out of the toaster like that, and haven’t since. 

Through Jr. High she built up a reputation as one of the cool kids, and by High School she was one of the most popular girls in the class, listed in the yearbook as “Most likely to become a gold digger” along with others of the sort. As I had watched her de-pants others in the hall and become a Witch with a capital “B,” I decided I didn’t need a friend who’s wardrobe took on a whole new meaning of  the word “easy.” Still, that note bothers me to this day.

I believe that our hardest critic is ourselves. Maybe that’s why we cling to pain. We usually settle for what we think we deserve, when in reality we probably deserve higher than we give ourselves credit for. But then we are hurt by those we glued to ourselves—maybe they get up and leave or die—and we cling to the pain because it is the only reminder we have left of them. Friends and family help us spew out excuses of “new beginnings” like a rip in a water hose, but once we are alone we admit the truth to ourselves. We wonder what we did wrong.

So if we can’t have love, we settle for pain. Feeling something is better than feeling nothing, because at least if we are in pain, we can punch a wall, we can soak our pillows, we can buckle over and wait for the cat claws in our stomachs to subside. Even if it is a little thing, we feel something.

Eventually everyone we care about and love will be gone. However, we know that we have to eventually expect that kind of loss. But the kind of pain that we don’t see coming, that can sometimes be the pain with the strongest arms. 

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This time of year, everywhere inside is an ice box that I’d feel more comfortable in if I were wearing a sweatshirt. I walk outside and I wish it was morally acceptable to walk around campus in a swimsuit. 

Why is everything either all the way to one side, or all the way to the other? 

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I was flipping through facebook pictures of a classmate we lost 2 and a half years ago and couldn’t help thinking back to the last time I had seen her before she died, her funeral.

I remember the line of people at her wake that stretched out the church doors and down the gravel road. The sobs that grew like a coming car as new people stepped in front of her casket, needing to look away, yet not wanting to. 

Fresh notes tack onto her Facebook wall every now and then when a memory is sparked in the mind of a friend. Words of fun and laughter, always ending with an “I miss you.”

I didn’t know her well, and even I am trying to hold back tears. She was so loved by everyone. And that was because she loved everyone. She was only 20, but she affected more people around her than many ever do in a lifetime.

It made me think—when I die, what message am I leaving? Who would I be remembered as? Am I pointing people in the direction of love as much as I am in the direction of God? Will I be remembered as the optimistic one who was there for others, or the pessimistic one who complained?

As this world gets worse, I want to strive to be someone who gives people hope, makes people laugh, reminds them how much I care. I want to leave a legacy. Strive in your own life to leave behind the memory of someone who cared. 

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This has been the busiest summer of my life. I wish the days had been longer, and that winter ended before April, but I have also been extra happy at times this summer.

I think it’s basically because of the people I am blessed to spend my days with.

If you can make me laugh, I basically already consider you a friend even if it would be our first time meeting. I love being with and around people that have a good sense of humor, and can make me laugh because laughter can brighten your mood, someone else’s mood, or even your whole day if it was being fed to the pigs. When you surround yourself with people that make you feel good or can make you smile just by being the dorks they are and saying the obnoxious, stupid, or wise things they say, you find less and less bad days.

Now don’t hear me wrong, there will always be bad moments, but then when you talk to or hang out with the right person, s/he can turn it around maybe without even knowing it. And soon, the things that seem to keep going wrong, or the problems that crush like and ever-rolling rock don’t seem as big of a deal, because you know who you can go to.

I’m a waitress, and some of my customers make me want to sharpen the steak knives, but then I get to go into the kitchen and work with some pretty amazing people who can make me forget almost instantly. I am also blessed to be so close with my family that I consider my cousins to be some of my best friends. If it weren’t for them, I would have gone to college in Tennessee.

All of them have their dramatic moments, but we’re only human. Doesn’t mean we all don’t also need space from each other every once and a while.

I guess what it all buckles down to is this: surround yourself with people that make you grin, make you laugh till your eyes sprinkle, make you look to the sky and think, “You know, life is pretty good.” Trust me, your good days will outnumber the bad. And wouldn’t it be nice to have a little break from stress? 

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21 sounds young, but to me I feel like I’m getting old, especially since I’m a senior in college this year. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me  that there’s plenty of fish in the sea, that it will happen when I least expect it. Sure, maybe it will. Still, that never seemed to help me.

But I think I was going about it all wrong.

God put it in our hearts to want love, to want marriage. Marriage will be a beautiful thing, a day to celebrate the joining of two families into one. I find myself skimming through Pinterest engagement pictures, thinking about that moment when he pops out a ring, how he’ll get down on one knee.

I’ve looked at wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses, where we would want the reception, types of flowers and decorations. I’ve thought about those steps down the aisle, not being able to see anyone but him waiting for me.

I look at guys in my life, guys I like, and begin trying on their last names. I imagine honeymoon locations, and buying our first house. I imagine the private things that happen on honeymoons. I imagine tailgate parties, motorcycle rides, and picnics in the park as husband and wife. Sometimes I rub my stomach and think about experiencing that first kick, the excitement of seeing a baby we made even after the pain.

If I have a daughter, I hope to name her Natalie; if a son, I hope to name him Ethan. I’ve thought about what I’d decorate the baby room into, about having a summer cabin by a lake where we could take family vacations. I’ve thought about teaching my kids patience through fishing and hard work by feeding the calves and pulling weeds in the garden. I’d hope my daughter to be a volleyball player like I was. I would love to have a son on the football team.

I’ve thought it all, I’ve read it all. Most experience something of the sort, some don’t.

But then I have to remember something: my priority has never been marriage. My priority has always been God. I have even told myself that in my relationship God will always come first, so why do I have it in my head that I need to find someone before I spend the rest of my life alone? 

A part of me loves being alone. Lately I haven’t had enough time to myself, and I’m someone who needs “me time” if I’m going to survive being with people all the time. I love seeing my friends and family and just people in general, but, for me, there really is such a thing as too much people-time.

For me, to read, write, do summer school homework, play guitar, listen to music without having to participate in conversation; these things I need to do alone. When I was in Italy, I was with people every single day and never really just went for a walk by myself or sat in my bed reading what I wanted to read. I wanted to be in the lounge hanging out with people because I knew my time was limited and I wanted to see them all as much as I could.

But what I seem to keep forgetting, what I think we all forget, is that all of us need time alone. Some need it more than others, but you can’t really reflect unless you give yourself some space from the things that distract you. Since I’m single, I’ll get more “me time” than I will once I get a real full-time job, a boyfriend/husband, and kids. Once my life starts with someone else, my life will be devoted to them. However, right now, I get to devote myself to simple things that I love. This may be the most time I’ll ever get to work on writing my books, and that doesn’t even feel like much time at all.

At the end of the day, yes, I’m single. But I’m also using that time to work towards the things that God has me here to do. Right now, I don’t have a boy to distract me from my writing. I know with every part of my being that God has stories He wants me to share with the world, and He chose me to write them for Him. God is all I’ve ever needed, and I will always seek His Kingdom first. A relationship with a man will always come in second to my relationship with God.

God really is enough, and I hope if you don’t know that already, that you will come to realize it as well 🙂

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