Monday, November 7, 2011


This has gotten way out of hand. I know I am overdramatic 99% of the time I open my mouth, but this time I am so serious and I hope, readers, that you understand that.
            Our generation is on two ends of the spectrum, generally. One side is the “generation of help”. The ones who see the problems in the society and know we are the change, and are going to DO SOMETHING about it.
            The other side is this: Apathetic. Plain and simple. They care about no one, and nothing. Most people would say they care only about themselves, but I look closer and realize that they don’t even have a backbone to stand up for something.
            This morning I heard that LibertyProblems (Twitter account) used their publicity to break people down. Words hurt. I don’t know where we all got the impression that they don’t, but they do. Our words mean something to someone, and everyone. We are more important and more impactful than we realize. When I heard that this social network coward broke someone down, I got physically sick. It hurt from my heart into my stomach. I literally thought I was going to throw up.
            We need to realize that our words are meant and intended to encourage others. We need to know that we are more IMPACTFUL than we realize and to use that power for bad instead of good is just starting a battle that will never win. Good wins in the end.  I don’t know if anyone else saw any of the superhero movies when they were younger, but GOOD DEFEATS EVIL. Every time. Be the movement in hearts that builds them back stronger, not breaks our most valuable treasure into tiny pieces struggling to recover. You mean something. Your words affect people. Words go from your mouth into the heart of another human being.
            I hope you read this, and take it into your heart. Whether your heart be guarded, locked up so that a monumental force can only affect it. Or if its too broken to think about it’s defenses. Or if your heart is swollen with love, and empathizes with the pain others endure each day. Wherever your heart is, I know these words can affect it. Your words affect my heart, bad and good.
            If you don’t believe me, notice how what others say affect you and your state. Even if it doesn’t affect you, others might be. Even if you are affected by something, others might not be. We are different and that is why we are beautiful and built for compassion.
            This is my message for you today and every day.
Appreciate where your words can go, don’t underestimate yourself and your worth, and encourage others to do the same.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In Honor of Tomorrow...part one

I am humbled almost daily by the amount of stuff my mom went through. I am beyond grateful for the amount she went through only to keep me. There is a past that I have shared with only one person. Don’t worry, I’m not about to confess it here and now. All you need to know about it is that because of who I was my mom was the one who suffered. But while she suffered, she kept a journal. It was a journal of my road to true mental stability. If you saw me then and saw me now you would think I had a twin. That is the amount of change I have been through. There are a few people who have seen the full transformation that I’ve been through. And even if they have, I don’t think they really understand where my heart is now, or what was happening then. One day I plan to share that story. First, I have to be able to share it with more than one person. 
All of this to say, my mom put up with a lot of crap when dealing with me. I mean, every day was a constant battle for us. Even when I was having a good day, my mom knew that it might not last until tomorrow. Throughout these years, (yes, years) it was a true testimony for her unconditional love. I’ve never appreciated it until now. She allowed me freedom when I didn’t deserve it. She still took care of me, no matter that I was spitting hate in her face. She never held anything against me after our fights. And through every doctor visit, hospital stay, and new medicine she was there. She held my hand, patted my back and told me one day everything would be fine. I always hoped that one day she would be there to witness this. To hear the words “your mom would proud of you,” never fails to swell my heart. My mom was honestly the best friend that I hoped to share with the world. Spending time with my aunts and uncles always brings joy to me. I mean pure joy. I see her in every one of them and they tell me that we look and act identical. That sort of compliment is never taken lightly, and for those of you who read this, know that every word you say to me is taken to heart. Every moment we spend together is precious to me, and I wouldn't want to trade it for anything.
                For those of you who were there while we were going through our rough times, I know this seems like I am making this up. We did have bad times together, but when someone isn’t here anymore, you don’t remember those anymore. They don’t matter anymore. Her overwhelming love is what my mind remembers.
                I also want those of you who are around me now, to know that my mom and I hugged almost every time we saw each other. I was SO affectionate with her that she would get annoyed by it. Seriously, sometimes she would get up from her chair and go to the kitchen and I’d jump over the couch just to hug her and talk to her while not interrupting her shows. And if I woke up later than her, I’d kiss her cheek while walking by her chair. In the car, I would hold her hand. Even in stores I’d walk with my arm around her. The last time I saw her we did those last two. I am not ashamed of admitting any of this. I am SO happy I did it. I feel like there is no other way for her to have known my deep love for her any other way. I lost a lot of my touch-love after her. I feel like I’m starting to get it back, but it might not ever be what it used to be.
We also laughed A LOT together. Over really dumb things. Whenever we went to the store I would put super weird things in the cart and hope she wouldn't notice until the checkout. It was a game we would play. Usually it'd be things like a full turkey, or every type of toothpaste they had. Then I would put a lot of beer at the bottom of the cart, walk away, point and yell "ALCOHOLIC!". I am surprised she never left me at the store. Although she would walk really close to other people and when I followed her and start talking she'd look at me and say "Go find your mother!". It was real love.
                I know this is a long post again, but there is so much about my mom I have to say and it’s difficult for me to talk about in person. Except for the fun stories. There will be a second post for tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
Love you a lot.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


It is Homecoming weekend, and I feel like I should share with you my thoughts, knowledge, and epiphany about the Kingdom. Before you stop reading this, even if you don’t believe, you might want to continue. But y’all know my feelings about being told what to do, so I’m not about to tell you what to do. It’s just a really, really strong suggestion.
Most of you know that I was on the Homecoming Court this year, a magnificently good thing. I have truly felt like royalty. And all the love from the friends I have and even people I don’t know supporting me through this has made my heart swell with joy. It is beyond my comprehension to realize how much love was shown to me. I’m not bragging here, and I hope that is not how you are taking this. My intentions are to show that I receive the love that is given to me, and I am both grateful and reciprocal of it. People here are more incredible than what I ever thought they were. For that, I apologize for undervaluing you.
I didn’t win, but I sure felt like a queen. This morning I got the urge to submerge myself into scripture and to figure out questions I had on my own. As I did this, I broke out my notes from the His Voice Global Weekend. At first I didn’t run into words about “The Kingdom” but as I wandered through on my own I kept coming across it, then someone texted me about the Homecoming Court. This then sparked a chain of thoughts. Now, my brain sort of works faster than my words can process, and it forgets faster than I would like it to. But as I retrace my steps I find I can go through my thoughts slower and explain them more.
When people think about dying, they often want to go to Heaven. They want to be in a safe place where things are always great. Many Christians are the ones who talk about how great Heaven will be because that’s where God’s Kingdom is. But to be completely accurate, we are called to bring the Kingdom down. This life is hard, there’s no denying that, and you need not convince me of that. So if this rings true for everyone, why would we make life any harder than it has to be? Why would we break down people when all we want for ourselves is to be built up?
In Luke 17:20-21 Jesus says “…The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
There are no signs of the Kingdom because it is RIGHT HERE. We are the ones who determine how far it reaches in this world. There are people who travel all the way across the world to make sure of that. I am not just saying people from America go to India to spread the news. But people from Europe come to AMERICA to make sure WE know what’s up. And that’s an incredible testimony to our own appearance to the world. Although America is known as the powerhouse of the world, we appear broken.
Now ‘kingdom’ can mean different things to many people. The Kingdom intended for us is one where people are full of love, and generosity. Peace reigns our hearts, and self-control is the forefront of our minds. Our intentions are never to glorify ourselves, but to humble ourselves and allow others to be honored. When this happens, we are the ones who end up lonely. When we push our own ambitions at the cost of someone else, we isolate ourselves from the ones who we care about.
The most overlooked evidence of the Kingdom coming to earth is in the Lord’s Prayer. I have said this countless times, even when I was young during Mass. But it was never emphasized until last week.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN.”
I mean, c’mon.  Jesus commanded us to LOVE people, love ourselves, and love God. His will for us is to not be tied and committed to empty possessions. So you have the biggest house, nicest car, and coolest clothes, and then what? What does that mean? And when you die, what does that say about you? What else did you do with your life besides work and shop? I’m not saying work is bad, because in its purest form, business is good. But to further the Kingdom and truly bring it down to earth is to bring all things good and to live our lives to Love not only ourselves, but other people.
This is me challenging you to not be selfish. This is me pleading with you to become humble, in order to become the greatest. This is me asking you to share what you have with others who never will. If you don’t know how to start that, talk to me. I’m certain I could encourage you to do any of these things, and to show you opportunities to enhance the Kingdom.
Thank you if you read all of this, I know it was long.
Love you!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last Night.

Last night I hung out with one of my good friends after I worked. Let me tell you that hanging out with her is always a struggle. She has a grandma bedtime, and I never sleep. My time is always occupied at times she is free, and vice versa. So we finally decided that even though I didn’t get off of work until after her bedtime yesterday, we were going to hang out. This is one point I want to make: never be too busy for your friends. Always, always, always make time for them. As tired as we both were, we needed to catch up.
Now, my friend and I are opposite on a lot of things. One thing we do have in common though is our love for people, and our desire to help. I told her how I wasn’t planning on going to college, and it may have thrown her into a fit. And when I say fit, I mean if anyone was listening to us, it sounded like I had just told her that I was planning to kill someone. She thinks I need to go to make my life easier. I told her that my life has already been through its hardest moments (I hope). I seriously don’t mind if I have a “hard” life compared to living my life in a cubicle which would make me lose my already unstable mind. So after a good twenty minutes of her freaking out, and blaming me for her losing ten years on her life from the stress I cause, she concluded to just change the subject. I may or may not have said “hallelujah” out loud.
Then to change the subject we got on the topic of depression. I told her about my past, and what I’ve done. When I told her she asked why. I’ve been asked this question once. It was by my mom. I suppose the doctors asked me also, but I’m pretty sure my answer was “because the grass is always greener.” I was still being affected by all the medicines. When she asked me, I told her. I told her everything I never said to anyone at the time, or to anyone since. Opening up is always hard for me, but it came easy to me this time. It felt good.
So this is my message for right now: that making time for your friends is important. That sacrificing something may bring you greater joy than what you intended would happen. And having someone to open up to is important. The dark thoughts surrounding your mind can be made light by the radiance of a beautiful friend.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Let everything you read here go to your head, and beyond.

I posted once that I have had self-image issues. I didn’t ever really like myself. And I mean ever. I don’t know if this was anyone’s fault, or if this is a mixture of things growing up that just accumulated over time. I remember talking with Sarah Beard once in her house about God before I ever knew anything about Him or Christianity, and I remember her telling me that He loves me, and He is proud of me. I teared up right then and there because of how great it was to hear those words-about me. I had heard them said to others around me but never really to me before. It was a beautiful moment in my heart to know that someone was thinking of me and watching my development. And believed in me.
Last week at Bigstuf, there was a speaker there who talked about how we view others, and how we should love everyone. It’s not like we are any better than anyone around us. I mean, who told us that we rule the world and are above everyone else in it? Nobody. And we should love because all of us are made in a perfect image. Each person we encounter has been made wonderfully.
Now, just for a moment think of the most beautiful scene you’ve ever laid eyes on. The white sandy beaches of the gulf? The jagged mountain ranges in Colorado? The lush green of Ireland? Or maybe it’s the vast area of space that you will never be able to comprehend. Whatever it is, I believe that God created it all. I believe that in 6 days the earth was created and on the 7th he rested. While he was resting, he thought of a new creation-us. He made us in his image to end up becoming like him through our own free will. And you know, I think this is exactly what happened:
God created the Heavens, the earth, and the entire universe. He stopped to rest and thought to himself, this could use something. And then bam! Man was created. God took a look at the oceans, the canyons, the forests, animals, and the stars, and said “Well, that’s alright. I mean I did pretty good.” And he is content with his work. But then he looks down at you and he says “DUDE! That is perfect! Seriously, I have done no greater work than them right there.” And he says to us, “You are most perfect creation, and nothing is more beautiful in this universe than you right there, staring at the screen.”
And that my dear, beautiful, wonderful friend, is how it all came together. And that, is also why we need to appreciate ourselves, and others. The ones around you were made in an image that is deemed perfect and great. And while we are praising those around us, we must also remember to take a look in the mirror once in awhile…or all the time…and tell ourselves “Hey, you are beautiful.” And know it in our hearts that there is nothing on this earth greater than the human race. We offer something that is truly, divine. And that, my friends, is love. That’s what everything must come down to. Love ourselves. And love others. No conditions. We cannot limit who to love, and who not to love. There is just too much out there that everyone needs to experience. Every heart needs to know what it is to love.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I believe that most people who claim to have a certain personality trait actually don’t. They want to be that way, yet they don’t actually possess these qualities. However, I have to be one to admit a trait I know I have, but never flaunt. I am a rebel. I don’t like being told what to do. Whenever someone tells me what to do, I want to do the complete opposite just to spite them. I guess I just like to do things my own way. Obviously because I am smarter than everyone else. But seriously, I have arrogance (more to come on that trait later) that drowns out my wisdom. It grabs a hold of my judgment and takes complete control even while my real brain is whispering to me to not do what I’m about to do. I think this is why ignorant people, or even very straightedge people annoy me. I can’t handle the mundane of the ordinary or the predictability of the expected.  My heart has certain beliefs that will stand true for the rest of my life. Life and Love have taught me more things than I have even discovered about myself yet. Many times I will get in trouble for breaking the rules. Every year that I have been in high school I have gotten ISS. Seriously, the past two years it’s been every semester I had it. And it’s never for anything big, I didn’t flat out break the rule, I just bent it a little too far. Every time I go in the office the people there know me, and laugh when I tell them why I am down there. Even my principle started laughing at me after the first time. I break the rules, but I am not a bad kid. It’s been said that change is the only consistent in this world. This can be proven all over the place. People, places, and ideas will never prosper without change. Of course, change takes practice. You can’t just wake up in the morning and say “I’m gonna be a lawyer,” and it happens that day, (unless you’re Elle Woods). Really every little thing that we go through builds us up into the person we are meant to be, and in a position where we can handle the circumstances. If we ignorantly woke up one day and said “I’m going to be a Christian,” then read the 200+ rules in the Old Testament and follow them, we’d be in bad shape. You also wouldn’t technically be a Christian. There’s also a good chance of you being jailed.  People were not made to be conventional. We put ourselves in situations that require exceptions.  This is because every rule made will eventually breakdown and be powerless against transformation. I truly believe we are all in need of a revolution of love. Love is the most powerful weapon we have working in us and for us. Imagine people who love one another simply out of the grace extended from our hearts. Love to expect nothing in return, just to build others up and encourage each one of us to continue living in this dark world. We are a beautiful people separated by fear and pride. Once we learn of our beauty, our hearts will be set on fire and this world will once again be made light out of the ashes. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Many Things.

There are lots of things I want to talk about.
First, last Friday was my 17th birthday. Let me tell you it had to have been the best birthday I've ever had. I have so many people that love me and that I love and I am blessed to say the least. I got to spend the day with some of the greatest people who walk this earth. To start my beautiful day I got to get breakfast with the wonderful Sarah Beard!!! Yes, she was in town on my birthday. Such a great coincidence. I love her a lot. I also got to spend the afternoon with Allyson Lean, Jenna Wiles, and Lora Wiles, and Krista Koch at the movies and for ice cream. Allyson, Krista and I also had lunch with Kenzie Spencer. And after all of this, I had a family dinner.
It was a beautiful day. I am honored to have the people in my life that I do. Words couldn't express how much I love all of you. And how many other people influenced the day as well. Like Hayley White calling me and singing happy birthday over the phone. It was so wonderful. 
I also realized a change in me that hasn't been pointed out, because I don't think anyone else really would know. But I noticed that as I was reading the posts on my Facebook wall, and the texts I was receiving, all of them were personal. And I mean all of them. I know, talk to, and will continue talking to, each person who talked to me on that day. My relationships have deepened. I know things and am entrusted by most of the people who wished me a happy birthday. How awesome is that?! Over the past year, along with changing my attitude, it must have also improved my ability to communicate with people. I have genuine friendships now. God has worked in so many ways in me. My only hope is that this spreads. That each person I come into contact with sees what a real friend is, or does.
My other hope is that those people who are good friends, don't shy away from being just that. They don't consider themselves horrible friends just because sometimes they are in a bad mood, or sometimes they mess up. We all mess up, and we all have terrible moods. I have no answer for this. It just happens. Sometimes the best answer is that there isn't one, and we have to have faith that things do get better.

Another thing I wanted to talk about was Couch to 5K.
I hate running. And to say I hate running is like saying the polar ice caps melting is sort of a problem. I really don't like running.
However, I was talking with Sarah at breakfast and we started talking about how health is something that is important so that she is able to do her job. And how mental, and physical health is something we should maintain so that we are able to go out and help other people. So she talked about this app called Couch to 5K. It is super awesome, and if you want to know more about it check out her blog. I started running with it, and about a quarter of the way in I wanted to quit. It wasn't that I was totally wiped out, or out of breath, I simply wasn't enjoying it. And then a realization came over me. Christ went through so much more than we have to. He carried what we couldn't.
I know. Running doesn't seem like it's a spiritual action. But it is for many reasons. If I am able to run a 5k, I get raise so much money for causes, such as His Voice Global. I also would be in great shape to do labor for other people anywhere. Which I am totally willing and wanting to do. Today was my second day running and I truly enjoyed it. I spent much of the time rapping with Lecrae, and jammin to Owl City. And for my finishing song, How He Loves. IT WAS AWESOME. I just feel so much better, physically, and spiritually.

There's a lot more I want to say but I will leave it for another time. Maybe later today because it's been on my heart for awhile. Love you, Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Of Hope and Honesty.

I have this secret. In light of recent events I think I should share it.

Many of you who read this blog know I lost my brother almost 5 years ago by his own hand. No, we didn't expect it, to answer your next question. Last Wednesday I got the news of my wonderfully beautiful friend Becca taking her own life. To say my heart broke would be an understatement. We had talked the day before. It wasn't a heart to heart talk, or anything of that matter, but we did talk. Becca was a naturally beautiful young woman with a personality that was just as beautiful. My heart physically hurts knowing that she was so lost that she thought that was the only answer. It hurts knowing that she is gone. The only way to describe it is to just say "this sucks", and mean it in a way that is far beyond the casual way it's used now. I don't like goodbyes. I hate what death means. I hate knowing there are people who have to heal a hole in their heart that will never fully close. It just sucks.

Here's my secret.
Like I said many of you know about my brother. What few of you know about is me. And before say this, know that this is not a cry for help. This is a statement of my heart.
In eighth grade I tried to commit suicide. Unsuccessfully, obviously. The help I received was only because of my mom. She took me in and comforted me after I was out of the hospital. I owe a lot of my recovery to her. I was gone for almost two weeks without any contact with my friends. For me that was a lot, considering I had relied on them for so much before that time. During the time I was in the hospital and the years after I realized that being in that state of depression truly is a sickness. Some people need medicine for it. Some people just need a way to let it out that they were never taught. My conclusion was that we need love. The months following my hospital stay I was put on tons of medicines. At one point I was taking around 15 pills a day to keep my sanity. That's not me exaggerating, that really is true. During those times my emotions were out of control. I was horrible. Yet my mom still loved me, still cared for me, and never let me get too far out of her reach. At the time I hated her, but now I appreciate it. I realized that she was loving me in her scared nature. She wasn't about to another kid to this disease.
Her actions saved me in another time also. After she passed away I was set on leaving this world. I really didn't have any where else to turn. It was after my friend asked me to go to bible study where I got to know amazing people. I had it set in my mind that I wasn't strong enough for this life and what it was bringing me. That I was always going to be facing obstacles. I made my note, had it planned, everything. I know this is more than what you might've expected, but it's been on my heart to share it-so please stay with me here.
The same night I forgot I told my friend I would go to bible study with her. That Monday I stayed later and talked to Sarah who told me there was a God who believed in me, who loved me unconditionally. Words that seemed so simple, but changed my mind in a way that I've never expressed before. The words saved my life. I was reminded of a time almost a year ago to that date that I was loved by my mother and the many kids that are family to me. A reminder that I had people who relied on me, like I needed someone to rely on. I didn't know to the extent of which God loved me or believed in me then, and I never will, but it was more than what I had known in the past and more than what I had ever experienced.
It changed my life. It saved my life. And there was more healing in that night than in any years I spent going to doctors.
I love the people in my life more than words can express. I love knowing that there is a God who is relying on me to do His work down here in a way that only He knows. I love being here to help people.
There are nights that I spend contemplating this still. There are days where I believe my birth was a burden placed on my family and friends.
Then I stop and think of the ways people have loved me when it was so hard. The time that people have invested in me to become well again. They never knew the thoughts the consumed my mind, they never said those things to prevent a death. They said it because it is truth.

My message here is to tell you there is Hope. There is hope for love that is so unbelievably huge and overwhelming we will never be able to comprehend it. My message is also to tell you that you aren't alone if you feel like this. There are many times I am told I am strong and I ask why? What makes me strong like people tell me? Truthfully, I struggle. I don't always hold my head high. But I get through those moments knowing it's a temporary feeling.

If ever you feel this way I want to talk to you. I want to love you. I want to make known to you that you are loved, and even if it's not by many, it can be. If it's not by many that doesn't matter because just one person can save a life. I want to tell you that you are gifted in a way that may be unknown to you. I want to be a friend. It may seem ordinary, and simple, but I know that having just one friend can radically change a heart. I need to do this. If you don't want to talk because you don't feel like it will help, then help me. Help me by talking to me and allowing me to see your point of view. And to be there when you think no one else is.

I keep this above my bed to remind me every day of how there is always a light when there's darkness.

Photo of the drummer is from To Write Love On Her Arms-check it out

This is my message of Hope. This is my speaking with honesty.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for being there.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Alligator Sky

Over the past month I have wanted to think about the future-Stay with me here.
Last night at bible study we talked about ways we could have audacious faith, not by doing missions, but by taking a different approach to our everyday lives. And instead of using the excuse of not having the opportunity, we should open up our eyes more and we would see more ‘burning bushes’ than we think we’d see. The burning bush story comes from the story where Moses saw a bush on fire, but it was not burning up-the impossible happened.
All of that to say:
I never plan anything out. I hated thinking about the future because I was unsure of where it was to lead me. I didn’t want to voice where I was headed because to be frank, I really don’t know. This is uncommon in this world and in our culture. Most people have a plan; they know where they are headed and have an idea of what reality will be.
For me, I don’t want to live in this reality. I don’t want to wake up and have a 9-5 job like a lot of people do. I don’t want to be the logistical person who plans things out but passes up the opportunity to make it happen. I don’t want to “wait for another day”; I want to make today happen now. I want to make an opportunity for someone else to see a change made. I want the opportunity to pass on what helped change and save my life.
I was talking with a friend earlier about the future and every time she asked a question-I had an answer. A legitimate answer that could happen in real life. I discovered that I want to travel around and be a missionary for whatever organization will take me. After I said this, another friend came up and said that someone else wanted to do that exact same thing. As soon as they said that, I got goosebumps. Let me tell you, the only time I’ve ever had them is when I eat too much ice. It was a crazy feeling. It was my ‘burning bush’ or something impossible that I could see be made possible.
I don’t usually think about things that aren’t realistic simply because too many real things have brought my imagination down. My family calls me an “old soul” and my stepmom explains it because she says I’ve been around this life once or twice and I have some knowledge in me that couldn’t come from anywhere else. I hope you are picking up what I’m putting down. I’m not boasting about how mature I am, I am telling you things that come straight from the mouths of other people. Being told this stifles my inner child from coming out. Both forensics and this past year have been able to help me loosen up a bit. This helps me dream things I’ve never dreamed. Which leads me to the title…
My new favorite song is by a band that I absolutely love and desire the creativity that flows from the music. Alligator Sky by Owl City has to be one of the best songs ever recorded. Part of the song goes like this:
My imagination's taking me away 
Now I'mma dance like I never dance 
Sing like I never sing, dream like I've never dreamed 
Or try to, 'cause we've been lied to 
That the sun is somethin' that we can't fly to.
I think that many of us are brought down by reality. That this world and their expectations turn us into something we aren’t. And lie to us, making us think that the impossible isn’t possible. When in fact the impossible is the exact thing we can make possible. It’s what we are supposed to be doing. Using words like “almost” in front of words like “anything” make us think that there are things we aren’t able to do. They limit us.
The future is still unknown for me, and I love it that way. I love knowing that I am willing to be flexible and I am willing to be used for anything. I don’t know what will happen in my future. And to end this post I will leave you with this:
Even though I'll never know what's up ahead, 
I'm never lettin' go, I'm never lettin' go

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Where I'm From

This was a poem I wrote for my Creative Writing class. I started out being unsure of the assignment but looking back at it now, I am really happy I did it. This is just a glimpse of where I'm from...I hope you enjoy! (yes, the cursing was necessary-they are direct sayings my family repeats.)

I am from last minute ideas,
Spring breaks spent by the ocean, and summers on the lake,
I am from getting all dressed up on Christmas Eve,
Just to go miniature golfing in the freezing,
I am from Ryan, Rachael, Caite, and Mackenna,

I am from a string of ghosts; those taken from me far too soon,
I am from a dark past of fists and belts,
The screams of a woman being drown out by my brother’s voice,
The two ghosts most prominent in my history, but never again in my future.

I am from memories being captured,
From my elders being covered in sewer “mud”,
To my brother in diapers sipping on a cold Busch light,
I am from “you’re crazier than an shit-house rat!”
And "We're in Texas now, Shit!"

I am from being on my own,
Taking care of myself, and looking out for others,
Trusting on the notion that no one can be trusted,
I am from being abandoned and lost in the midst of chaos,

I am from the stubbornness of a mule,
To the unconditional love from a mother,
I am from a family that extends far beyond blood,
Friends who’ve been there in my weakest times,

I am from a youth pastor who saw something in a cynical, walled off teenager,
Transformed into a kinder, trusting spirit,
I am from big dreams and small expectations,
I am from a world that likes to be rocked constantly.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thoughts surrounding life.

1. I have come to the conclusion that being happy, and not worrying about yourself, brings out the best in you.

2. There are few things I know I can fall back on. One of them being God, the others are the people who are closest to me. The group that builds me up, not breaks me down. Which leads me to my next point...

3. This is a tough one for me to swallow. I know I love people, and this includes everyone. I know that in any given situation I would put my life on the line if it meant keeping someone else safe. My problem is knowing when it is okay for me to give up the fight, put my armor down, and walk away. I find that a lot of times with my family, I am easily dismissed, and that I can be irrational with them. I was talking with a friend of mine earlier and she told me to voice my opinion. We have had this discussion before, and we both have different views on the matter-which is totally cool. She tells me to voice my opinion more on matters that concern others, and I tell her to hush hers. I have found that certain people aren't going to change, no matter how, or in what language you speak up. Their beliefs are concrete most of the time, and telling them the opposite just stirs the pot and causes drama. The reason I call this drama is because you know going in that your voice will not be heard, yet you still try over and over again. Let me remind everyone of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. I love the people, but I hate what talking to them brings me to.

4. If someone is praying for you to fail, or pray for bad things to happen to you- THEY AREN'T REALLY PRAYING! Prayer is a time to ask for the strength, wisdom, or whatever you need to build others up in a situation. 1 Thessalonian 5:11 says "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." If our intent is to harm someone else, we get nothing out of that. And praying that sort of prayer only tells God that you have no idea what he is, or what he wants from us. God is good, He is Love.

5. I literally lost the ability to feel hunger. I don't know why, or how. I don't want to think my body is failing me.

6. I need to find a way to be 18, or get a fake I.D. classifying me as a legal adult. It is super hard to do anything in life being underage. Like pay for a phone. This goes back to me hating how young I am.

7. Sometimes I think about my life, and I think about the situation my life was brought into. It would've been so much easier for my parents to never have had me. I am not being depressing. I'm being real. 
My mom and my dad did NOT love each other when they had me. They were at a point where they were both unhappy with each other. 
I was what kept them miserably together. 
They felt bad for divorcing because I was so young. 
I am the most difficult child for them. I don't do what they expect out of their kids, making parenting very challenging. 
My mom would not have had to wait for her back surgery-the one that they had to reschedule with a different doctor who ended up messing up. 
She also would not have gotten Chronic Pancreatitis because the doctors would not have preformed the fourth C-section. Putting more years in her life.
My brother and older sister would not have felt the need to take care of me. Putting an extra burden on them and taking precious time away from their childhood.

These are not things I am saying for attention- they are real life problems that could've been prevented had I not been around. I did not think these up, they have been told to me countless times by people.
I'm sorry if this seemed depressing. I did not intend for it to become that. These are the thoughts the consume my mind daily.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

There's More...

While I love the memories I have with my mom I never really got over the fact that we will never make new ones. And I love the pictures we have now, but we will never take more recent ones. This is a sad realization for me, yet I am comforted by this burden too. You see, without my mom’s death, I don’t think I would be where I am today, and I certainly wouldn't know the people I know today. This post is not simply in response to, it is a message that has been in my heart and today I think is the best day to express how I feel.

Sarah Beard is someone I care about so much. And if anyone has ever heard me talk, chances are, you’ve heard her name mentioned in a few of the memories I share. Her recent blog was such a blessing for me. It was an honor to read what she said about me, and to read what she did in memory of my mom, Maureen Patricia Rowe.

Sarah stepped into my life right around the time my mom passed away. Sarah entered my life in a way that was new to me. Having someone be my leader voluntarily, and willingly. She has taught me many things in the past year and a half that shaped who I am, and who I am growing into. I continue my walk with her even while she is miles away and I find that she will continue to be in my life with this distance. However, in this past year and a half it has been a blessing to have her take me in – as one of her own. I am truly honored to be a part of her life and to have grown with her by my side. There are many reasons why I can be sad about what happened with my mom, and there are many times where I let that sadness out. But I think a lot about how that event has led me to where I am, and to know who Sarah is.

Today is a day where I celebrate my own mom

And a day when I rejoice with the people who share an unconditional love, similar to that of a mother.

Sarah- I love you so much, and I am very grateful for your presence in my life and in my heart. The words you shared with me yesterday mean more than what I know how to say. You are truly one of the greatest people I know. I am honored to continue on this Walk with you. I hope that today you see how Mother's Day can be a blessing in disguise. I am who I am today because of you, and I am extremely humbled knowing how much you believe in me. You are changing the world, and have already changed the it with your presence. I pray that you see how much you affect all of us, and especially me.

There are so many other moms out there that I owe a shout out to as well. So many do wonderful things for their children, and for me. I am extremely grateful when it comes to people who are here for me and who are looking out for me. Happy Mother's Day to every mother, and leader in my life. Thank you for being wonderful. I love you so much!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

140 characters just doesn't do it justice

So…I have decided to share with you reasons why I love and appreciate what my mother did for me in the short time I had with her. I say short, but really 15 years is a long time, just not as long as most have. This is very similar to Sarah Beard’s post, and for that I am sorry for not being original, but it is very helpful.

1.   1. My mom dressed up, and got all pretty just to sit in the house all day. There would be no reason to go out, no one to impress coming over, and it certainly wasn’t a holiday every day. But she dressed up. Looked absolutely gorgeous just for herself. And that makes me very happy to know that she didn’t need anyone else to make her feel beautiful or any reason besides herself to get all dolled up.

2.   2. She took care of everyone. My friends soon became like her children. She would talk to them about things their parents couldn’t or wouldn’t talk to them about and she made it easy. There were countless times I came home to find my friends in my house watching tv with my mom. In the same respect, she made dinner for all of my friends. There would always be enough for everyone to have more than their fair share of dinner.

3.   3. She was the only disabled person who still could take me down. Seriously she has superhuman strength.

4.   4.  My mom told me how to not get caught and how to get out of certain situations. Like for her typing class, she got out of doing any work because she always had long fake nails that prevented her from being able to type correctly without hitting other keys. She always used to catch me in it though and told me “you can’t con a con”.

5.   5. My mom was extremely outgoing. She did random voices all of the time. Mostly to annoy me, but also to be really awesome.

6.  6. She loved to be ornery which is where I get it. She would purposely do things (like call me Zoey) to annoy me. She would also do really inappropriate things in public and then BLAME ME and scolded me in front of everyone for something SHE did! It was both humiliating and really funny.

7.   7. She broke every electronic device she touched, beyond repair. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I don’t even know what she touched but it always ended up breaking and we always had to get something new. When we bought the laptop I am currently using, we made a rule that she could not touch it when she was not in her lesson. Yes, I gave her lessons on how to use the computer.

8.  8. She saved everything that could, at one point, be considered valuable. I don’t mean like jewelry (which she had too much of) but of papers, notes, cards, anything like that. She also saved all of us kids’ school papers and stuff. In her safety deposit box was all of the writings and songs that I had written while being there. She also kept copies in the house as well. It was great to find those, and it was even greater knowing she put them in there.

I love my mom. I know I have blogged about her before but she made a huge impact on my life. She has always been one of my leaders and one my very best friends, even through our worst times. There is not a day that goes by without me thinking about her. Every time I look in the mirror I see her smile reflecting back at me. There is so much of me, and so much of my heart that I owe to my mom and to the way she raised me. A lot of my beliefs are what they are because that’s what she preached and practiced. Not many people do that, but she did, and I admire her for that. Looking through her pictures I realize how beautiful she really was. I am proud to be her daughter and never will I be ashamed of that.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"A love so bold to see a revolution, somehow"

We have grown up, or grown into, a world that chooses themselves over anyone else. We choose to buy more things for ourselves than giving to those who need the basics. We choose to put down those who we feel are outcasts, only to make ourselves seem more superior. We proclaim that we are “broke” when we are richer than the majority who lives on $2 a day or less.  We rejoice in the death of someone who rejoiced in bringing death to someone’s brothers and sisters, making us no better. We spread the hate against our brothers and sisters by taking pride in our own country.

I get it. We all want to be the best. We are America after all, and we have to be the trendsetters of the world.

Do we really not see the ignorance in this?

People have existed before us and have done greater things than many of us will ever achieve by living this way. By condemning those around us for their mistakes while not realizing we are committing a vicious crime against our neighbors by placing guilt in their hearts. Instead of fixing ourselves, I think we have made the main focus of our lives trying to change those around us. We justify our actions by proclaiming that they “deserve it”.

So many of us are known for what they stand against, instead of what we need to stand for. People do a lot of criticizing and condemning when what we need to be doing is build something to spark a revolution. This movement will express the power of this love that has rescued us from ourselves and brought a light into our hearts and set them on fire.

I have big dreams. That is obvious if you read this blog. One of them includes becoming a sea turtle when I am older. The main one though is changing the world for the better. I know that there is a reason I am here, a purpose to fulfill.

My fear is that I will miss it.
My comfort is knowing I have a radically transformed heart.

These are my thoughts for now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Not my proudest moment.

I have been feeling very bitter the past weeks. I don't know why, I just have. I have been craving my old life, my old heart returned, and the thoughts I had escaped found me once again.
Doubts keep my thoughts running wild, and stifling my faith. Yesterday I found myself mad. Truly furious. For no apparent reason. It scared me enough to realize my thoughts behind the anger. The person whom I was arguing with pointed me in the right direction with her words, even though I didn't show it at the time. She told me that the people who care for me that are distanced or going to be distanced from me care for me with the same passion that the Lord has for me. They view me as He does.
It hit me really hard. I've never viewed it like that before. As much trust I have in God, I should have in them. It's just hard. It will be very hard. But I am going to try, little by little. I just don't know that I need to stay in communication with them.which may sound bad, but its just going to make me miss them more.
I need to figure out where my heart is now.
I just have more to say than what people can hear.
I'm sorry for the sad posts recently. I hope they will start improving.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My heart is a little more sad than usual.

I know kids complain about being young a lot, but I really hate it. I also know that most adults say to enjoy it now while it’s good, and I can see why they say that. They say it because they aren’t doing what they are supposed to be. They are not allowing God to truly work in their life and move them where they are called. Granted, this is a really broad statement, but I think it’s true. I never want to end up sitting down all day behind a desk, not living up to my potential. Or better yet, not living out the life I was intended to live. I want to spread Truth to those who don’t know it. Or to those who have heard the watered down version. I have no idea how this will happen, but I am not worried about that.
Also, I said my “see you later” to Sarah and Andrew yesterday morning/Monday night. It was interesting. I wasn’t sad but I wasn’t happy either. I have mixed emotions now because I am reflecting back on this past year and a half with them. I have learned so much and I have come a very long way from who I used to be. I continue to grow in different ways, and I thank them so much for being my leaders through this. They are the best example anyone could see, and they are able to teach by simply living their life with love. I really am so blessed and grateful to have shared the talks that I did with Sarah. She loved me even when I made it the most difficult task, and believed in me when no one ever had.
Sometimes I have a really hard time showing how I really feel. When talking with Sarah Monday night, I found myself at a loss for words (which yes, I realize this seldom happens). Maybe I was just lacking the right words to say. Sarah…you have influenced my life in more ways than you know. I am truly honored to have you in my life. Thank you for having patience with me, even when it was really tough. I could not be who I am today without you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I work with a man by the name of Andre. He is a cook with a beautiful smile. He speaks mainly in Spanish so I only pick up a little of what he says, but he is patient with me.
He gives everyone sincere and genuine compliments, and jokes around with everyone. He is so giving. At the Rob he offers me free food and has helped me cook using their machines.
Today he offered me green tea from Panera on the house. I love talking with him. He is such a fun spirit. He will never know I am writing this. But I love knowing he sees no difference in anyone. He has such a giving nature and a patient heart. I feel honored to know him.
Sometimes its the least expected people who open your eyes to great things.
That is what I felt the need to share today.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Look Good, Do Good.

Hey guys,
My youth pastor, Sarah Beard, is starting this job for an organization called His Voice Global. They have done and are continuing to do so many great things in the world.

Currently they teamed up with this company

And are selling really awesome shirts that look like:

They are helping to fund the 4th orphanage that His Voice is building.
If you are interested in purchasing one click ReVIVE
Spread the word!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Very Humbling.

All throughout my childhood I was taught to always stand up for what I believe in. God tells us to never hide our faith and to never reject Him. I find myself arguing with friends over small things that are the foundations for my faith. Things like loving people, or being kind to everyone. I had this argument again today at lunch and I said that I genuinely do love people. Not just my friends, everyone. My friend said "Well, I don't know people enough to love them." and I countered with "So you hold a standard to your love?" and to that he said yes. I can't do that. What makes me so good as to judge others on who deserves love and who doesn't? That's no ones job. Jesus hung out with people considered lowly and shady people and loved them just as He loves you and me. That's because Jesus didn't see a prostitute, he saw a lost woman. He didn't see a hideous man with an incurable disease, He saw a man who needed to be healed by a touch. That's exactly what I want to be like. It's hard not to judge people when you've done it you're whole life, but I believe that God will work wonders in those who truly want it.
Anyway, as we were debating this, I was finding it hard to say that my love comes from God. That through Him we are able to love and that I love because that's exactly what we are called to do. I have a deep caring for people. I didn't think that it was that big of deal, but apparently it is. I think this is what it means when God says "If you were of the world, the world would embrace you as one of it's own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.". I am not exactly sure, but I am fairly certain these friends don't hate me. I just don't think they will understand why I think and act the way I do without knowing about the strength of my faith. Which leads me to the point of this: I could not for the life of me tell them why I love people. I was scared. I know I shouldn't have been but I was. I am praying that the Lord will know my heart and know that if put in the same situation again, I will state my faith. This was an incredible lesson today.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hello Friends,
Today I took what my mom would call a "mental health day". Basically, I just didn't want to do anything but lay around all day. As it turns out our school called an early release anyway, so it doesn't exactly matter. When I lived with my mom we would take these days and have some of the greatest times of my life. We wouldn't ever really do much but our conversations were filled with so many different viewpoints and just weird thoughts. Sometimes we even talked in different voices and continued that conversation in that same voice. Our activities included watching Real Housewives, Kathy Griffin, and eating twice baked potatoes. We may or may not have eaten a twice bake the size of my face for every meal. This does include breakfast and Fourthmeal.
During the winter break of my freshman year there were at least 5 people living in my house consistently each night. Sometimes a few more would join. Even after school started we would have sleepovers and my mom would be in her room all day and we thought she was asleep, so when 3 o'clock rolled around we would rush outside and make footprints in the snow making it appear like we went to school. However, when we got inside she was awake and said "Ha ha nice try, I could hear you girls all day." So our plans never exactly worked out the way we intended. But she always gave us a B for effort. Seriously, that's what she said.
My mom was also obsessed with Christmas. And I don't just mean she really liked it, I mean we had Santa figures up all year long. One day we accidently broke a wooden reindeer. There were four of us trying to fix it and one of us standing guard at my mom's bedroom. When she came out of the room three of them flew down the stairs and tossed the reindeer into my backyard. They through the broken antler with it, and it was never recovered. Eventually we put the reindeer back but my mom NEVER NOTICED. It was so great. It was also the only thing I think I ever got away with.
That is all for now. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Uncertain Safety.

It's been awhile so I thought I should update. I also just have the urge to write.
I recently just finished Crazy Love by Francis Chan, which is totally heart changing. That's the only way I can describe it. As I was reading it I had to pause and think on what he was saying and meaning, then I would apply it to my every day thought process. Eventually I just had to finish it so I sped-read through the last half and was in complete awe.
One of the points that he makes is that following Christ can mean different things to different people. Some people feel called to sell everything and move to a third world country, ministering and aiding the poor and suffering, while others should stay right where they are and be the example of a true Christian to the unbelievers surrounding them. And no matter what it is, we shouldn't fear anything because no matter what, God is going to bless us in the end. He promised to never leave us or forsake us, so why would we be afraid?
While I may be young, I am also very passionate for what I know to be true. And Truth is something that should be known to everyone. I am in the stage of my life where I should be preparing for what I want to be doing with my life, and making decisions and back-up plans all of this just to be safe. When people say this it takes almost everything in me not to laugh in their face. I don't want to be safe, I want to be doing what I am called to do. I want to be someone who is living out their full potential in ways beyond academics, and money. Using my life to minister to those who don't know Truth, and to help those who don't have access to things we take for granted. I don't think many people know this about me, but it's been weighing on my heart for awhile now.
Now, don't get me wrong. I still have no idea where my life is headed to after high school. I know what I am wanting to do and what I am willing to do. There are many sacrifices that I am willing to make when/if the time comes for me to make them. I was talking to my sister about it and I told her how I knew the danger my life would be in. But then I realized the kind of danger these people faced every day without the hope of The Lord, and without guidance from the Holy Spirit that many church-goers take for granted and even ignore. That is the kind of stuff that I think about while I should be paying attention during algebra II.
I realize that my dreams might be a little ambitious and could seem out of the realm of possibility but I could make it happen one day. Who knows, I might even change a life.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Family, Andy Samberg, and Cartman.

I haven't posted in a while and I thought that maybe I should. This week has been fairly interesting. I've realized that I have a big issue with people not liking me or having a problem with me. And when I try to fix it, I end up making it worse. So I figure that I should just pray about it. And that'll be that.

I also came to the conclusion that I really miss my mom and my brother. Of course I had people who told me that they would be there to do mom things just like my mom would, but they haven't. So I think that's just something people say. I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer here, it's just the truth. So many people take what's theirs for granted and I wish more than anything that they will be able to appreciate it soon enough. Even just an older brother to play Grand Theft Auto with, or laugh with about how our sisters somehow coordinate every outfit they wear together on accident. These are the things that run through my mind when I watch movies, or see siblings out together.

On a happier note, with the snow days we've been having I've been able to use my time wisely and check out some SNL skits like this one. Oh and you can't forget about lazy Sundays. I really love these too: Part 1 and Part 2. Yep, I watched about a hundred of those these past couple days.

Courtwarming is this Saturday and guess where I'll be? Working. Yep, I was neither asked or invited so I'm chillin at the Rob for the night. I'm not a big fan of getting dressed up. I think our school should have casual dances. Or have the game and then right after that have the dance. That's what my friend's school does and they really like it. Just my thoughts on the situation. Anyway if you have no plans for the night, you should come hang out with me! Lord knows I'll need someone there that night.

Which brings me to work. I work with my older sister and I've been accused of favoring her over other servers. I mean yeah, every once in a while I'll give her an extra table but that's when we're super busy and it's not like anyone would notice. Oh, but servers count other server's tables and if anyone is ahead of them they flip. They don't even confront me about it, just the managers. So I had to have a one on one talk with my manager (who really likes me) and he basically made a joke about the whole thing. It's really frustrating when I get yelled at for not knowing how to do my job by people who have not worked as long as I have. But because they are older they think that they have more authority over me. Screw authority is what I say. This is what I see every time someone tries to tell me what to do:

I again blame my upbringing for this. When the school lost power and nobody was allowed to leave, my dad texted me say "Damn the man! Scale the walls if you have to". These are the times I feel closest to my family.

These are my thoughts. Thanks for reading. Much love.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

If you only eat virtual food, you'll starve.

I've had a pretty awesome weekend so far. I hung out with my youth group which is full of amazing, wonderful, inspiring people down in Springfield where we spent the weekend at a youth convention. There were some really awesome people there including Shane Claiborne, Scott Erickson, and Family Force 5. Shane is an awesome guy who dedicated his whole life to loving people and caring for them and writing some books in the process. You should check him out if you don't know who he is. Scott is an amazing worship artist with a fantastic sense of humor.
There are many things I learned on this trip including:
1. You can't be in our youth group if you don't dance. (I'll address this later.)
2. Some people really truly touch my heart in ways that they will never know.
3. I just really love the people in my life.

As many teenagers and even adults are, I am sort of freaking out about the direction my life is headed. I feel as if every question someone asks me has to do with my very uncertain future. I got to talk to Shane Claiborne one on one this weekend and he gave me some great advice: whatever you do, do it full out. If I were to go to school I should go 100% into it, but if it turns out that I need some time off, I could do that too. Whatever was to happen, I just needed to have my full heart in it. He even said that he didn't know what his occupation was, or what he was going to do when he "grew up". Of course he was just being funny, but I think there was some truth in it as well. We should be so open to whatever is happening now or next that we are not for sure about anything. A radical way to live, however it seems like the right way.

Also, you shouldn't be afraid in whatever you do. As I mentioned, Family Force 5 (freakin' awesome band for those who aren't in the know) was at this convention. We were four rows from the stage and as soon as they started playing all 18 of us broke out in dance. An entire row of people ranging from ages 14-30 dancing surrounded by the other thousand people there who were just standing. Not even nodding their heads. The first song they played was "Dance or Die". Just knowing the name of the song, how could you not dance? I am not one with any rhythm but I sure do love to dance. By the end of the show we got a few of the people around us to partake in our little party. As we were leaving we noticed that our row of chairs was a mess but everyone else's rows were completely straight. Crazy. I wish they had my youth pastors in their life to teach them it's okay to be completely outrageous all the time. In fact it's encouraged.

I am really enjoying this whole no social networking thing. I feel a little out of the crowd when every single person around me is on their phone, but at the same time all I need to know is what's happening around me at the given time. This guy was talking about how the more friends you have online the less you have in real life. People are losing the genuine communication between each other. A real relationship that can only be formed through face to face contact. If you have an online group of friends you'll still get awfully lonely. Which brings me to the title of this post: if you only eat virtual food, you'll starve. Having the most popular posts on Facebook won't bring you any true value, and having the most followers won't make you feel any less alone. Surrounding yourself with people who make doing the right thing easy is the best way to live your life. It allows you to have a solid community of people building you up and pushing you to go out into the world and help it. That is what life is all about, folks.