Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Riddance. (I didn't have the time of my life.)

So this is the week when bloggers post their end of year recap posts. What they loved and hated about the year, what they're looking forward to in the coming year.

I don't even know where to start.

2011 was...interesting.

Let's examine the pros and cons, shall we? Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

You want the good news first, don't you? Yep.

Pros of 2011
  • I discovered Spotify. Seriously, if you aren't using Spotify yet, I feel sad for you.
  • We all discovered that I can be really judgmental, via my short-lived blog series "Why Wednesday." It has it's own tab up top. Wait...maybe this should be on the "cons" list...
  • We also discovered that occasionally I can write good fiction. I posted some here, which you can find on the tab up there labeled "Stuff I Made Up."
  • I learned that I will never be able to understand just how deep and endless God's love for me is. 
  • Sometimes God leads us into the desert, to teach us things, to get us to rely on him. (This feels like a bad thing to me, but I know that it really is good, in the end.)
  • I attempted NaNoWriMo. I failed, but I still tried!
  • I got hired at Starbucks! That green apron is an instant "cool" stamp. 
  • I became an aunt again, and a great-aunt for the first time! That makes a grand total of 7 nieces, 1 nephew and 1 great-nephew!
Cons of 2011
  • I decided I don't want to be living in Branson anymore.
  • Next month means I've been living here for two years.
  • My grandfather died last May, of cancer. I still miss him so much.
  •  I have NO IDEA what I'm supposed to do next. I feel pretty lost right now.
  • This cons list is short. 

It doesn't feel like 2011 had more pros than cons. I'm just done with it. I'm nervous about what the future will hold, but I want it to get here. Pronto. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This is my token Christmas post.

If you know me, you know that when it comes to Christmas, I'm somewhat of a. . . Grinch, a humbug, an Ebenezer Scrooge. I'm one of those people that hates how commercialized Christmas has become, that could probably do without a Christmas tree, that really  only likes traditional Christian Christmas carols, that cringes when too many Christmas songs in a row play at work.

The truth is, I like to hold Christmas inside me. I like to ponder it silently, sitting in my comfy chair at home, with a cup of hot cocoa and my bible, marveling over the fact that God came to us in the form of a tiny, helpless baby.

 But there is one traditional secular Christmas song that gets me every time. It tugs on my heart, and most of the time I have to fight back tears. (It's not "Let it Snow." Just listen to it.)

If you skipped the song, go back and listen. I'll wait.

Now, everyone on the same page? Great.

Yep. "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Not necessarily by Michael Bublé, but by pretty much anyone.

I get a pain in my chest, like something's grabbed hold of my heart and won't let go. My eyes begin to tear up, and feel this insatiable longing in me. 

I want to be home. 

Logically it doesn't make sense, I know. My parents no longer live in the house I grew up in. I've been living in Branson for almost two years. It should be home. But it isn't. It's merely the place I live, the place I work during the day, and sleep at night. 

It's kind of like the concept of missing someone you haven't met yet. It might seem silly, but there are those of us who have this longing inside of us. We long to meet those we haven't encountered yet. We long for a home we haven't found yet. 

We long to experience the great things that God has in store for us. 

I listen to this song, and I long for all those things. I long for that feeling of home, I long for God's plan for me. 

But then I get afraid.

I begin to fear that those things will never come. That my entire life will be stuck in this in-between time I'm in. 

But I just have to trust in God. Trust that He'll lead me.  

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
-Jeremiah 29:11-13

Someday, I'll be home. Someday I'll do all those great things that God has planned for me. Someday.

But until then, 

I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Spring Always Comes After

I went hiking on Sunday morning. No, I didn't go to church. Yes, I'm a bad little Christian. Whatever.

This is what it looked like:

That's what winter in Branson looks like so far.

Cold, empty, barren.

And I still thought it was beautiful. Sure, it wasn't green and beautiful like it was this summer, or even red and gold like in the fall, or the pure whiteness of fresh snow.

 And do you know why it was so beautiful?

Because the beauty of winter is that spring always comes after. God always restores new life, new green trees and plants.

The same proves true with life. Your life may seem cold, empty, and barren. But spring always comes after.

Trust in God. It may seem like He's leading you into the forest in winter, but He always has your back. He's got great things in store for you.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

For my friends who are hurting...

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; your God will undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul; though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in this vale of tears;
Then you will better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.
Be still, my soul; your Jesus can repay
From his own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

-Be Still, My Soul, LSB 752

I know this seems like I'm saying that everything is okay as long as we have Jesus, that it's just that easy. I know that it's not just that easy. It's not fair, what happened, and it sucks. I know that. There aren't enough words to describe the wrongness of this, how against the natural order this all seems. But Jesus can bring comfort. I pray that you know God's peace and love in this difficult time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Disney Ruined My Life

As a preface,
I'm sorry, internet friends.
I'm a terrible blogger.
I just haven't had much to say lately.
I've been caught up in work,
NaNoWriMo, (Which I'm losing, by the way!)
reading lots of books,
and some other stuff.
But I'll try and be a better blog friend. I promise.

The other night, I couldn't sleep. What else is new, right? But this time, it was Disney's fault. 

Yep. I just blamed Disney for my insomnia. (But by the time this post is done, that's not the only thing I'll blame Disney for.) The topic my brain was musing on was the title of this post. How Disney ruined my life. 

Don't get me wrong. Disney is awesome and they put out some great, entertaining movies. I was raised on Disney movies, as were so many other girls.

But Disney had a way of twisting fairy tales (which were originally slightly frightening stories, most of whose goal was to scare small children into behaving.) into a story where the discouraged, down-and-out, misfit heroine meets a handsome prince and lives happily ever after. 

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Snow White: (1937) A certain friend of mine, whose favorite fairy tale is Snow White, is probably saying "Now hold on just a minute!" But hang in with me, friends. 
Now, I get that Snow White is just a victim here. Her evil stepmother is pissed because Snow White is prettier, so she wants her dead. It's not Snow White's fault she has to hide in the forest. It's not her fault she bites a poisoned apple. It's not her fault.

Moral of the Story: If you have a wicked stepmother who has it out for you, and you end up in a coma with a bunch of dwarves keeping watch over you, don't worry. A prince will come along and kiss your corpse-like lips and you'll live happily ever after.  

What we learned from Disney: If you end up in a coma, all you need is a prince to kiss you.

Cinderella: (1950) Now, with this one, I'm starting to think Disney is trying to tell us something about stepmothers.

Again, I get that Cinderella is a victim. It's not her fault her mom is dead. It's not her fault her father married a huge b****, who has two evil little children. 

Moral of the Story: If you have a stepmother and stepsisters, they'll mistreat you, and make you do all the cleaning. But don't worry, just be submissive and sweet and invisible, and you'll get by just fine.

What we learned from Disney: If your life sucks, your fairy godmother will fix it so that you'll marry a prince.

Sleeping Beauty: (1959) Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Sleeping Beauty. Prince Phillip is my FAVORITE Disney prince. There's nothing like slaying a dragon that proves a man loves you.

Again, Aurora is a victim. It's not her fault her stupid parents forgot to invite Maleficent to the party. (Hell, I'd be pissed, too if I didn't get an invite to the party of the century.) It's not her fault nobody told her if she touched a spinning wheel she'd go into a coma. (Again, with the comas!) 

Moral of the Story: If touching a spinning wheel sends you into a coma, don't worry. If you fall in love with a boy you just meet and then have to leave him because you're a princess, don't worry. Don't worry, because he's the prince you're already engaged to.

What we learned from Disney: A man you just met will always be there to risk life and limb and slay a dragon for you.

The Little Mermaid: (1989) Imagine my delight as a little red-headed child, to have a Disney movie come out with a heroine WHO HAS RED HAIR. During bathtime, and when we went swimming, I used to lay back, swish my hair back and forth and pretend I was Ariel. And that picture to the right? I totally did that pose on the edge of the bathtub.

But when you get right down to it, this is one of the most messed up movies of all. 

Ariel, I get it. You're 16 and no one understands you. Your controlling, overbearing father won't let you above the ocean and explore. You're the victim here. It's not like humans won't capture you and exploit you for being a freak or anything. They're completely trustworthy, and your father is wrong. 

Yeah, right.

This version of the story by Hans Christian Andersen is kind of a piece of crap. Did you know that instead of being rewarded for rebellion, in the original story our lovely heroine kills herself? Yep. That's right. She kills herself because Eric falls in love with someone else.

Moral of the Story: If you're 16 and fall in love with a guy a different species than you, don't worry. Don't worry because the sea witch will steal your voice (the one thing you have going for you) and turn you into a human. If you run away from home and disobey your parents, don't worry.

What we learned from Disney: If you disobey every order your parents give you because they love you, it's okay, because in the end, you'll get rewarded for it. You'll marry a handsome prince who is a different species than you are, and your dad will look on with happiness thinking, "I'm so glad she disobeyed me."

I could go on, but I won't. These are, in my opinion, the worst offenders Disney has to offer. The basic thing Disney is teaching us? "Someday my prince will come." Thanks to Disney, girls and women everywhere are waiting for Prince Charming to wake us from our coma, for Prince Phillip to slay a dragon for us, for Prince Eric to love us even though we're freaks.

We're waiting for Happily Ever After. But the truth is, Happily Ever After just doesn't exist. 

People aren't perfect. Relationships aren't perfect. 

A fact that Disney continually and conveniently overlooks.

So thanks, Disney. Thanks for my unreasonable expectations for romance and relationships. Way to go.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Am

I am nothing more than a small child throwing a tantrum because they can't have their way.

I always want to be able to do it myself.

I am on a constant quest for independence. 

I am a sinner.

I desire a life apart from God.

Hear my confession.

I confess that I am lost without Christ. I confess that anything I attempt on my own, without Him, I fail. I confess that I want nothing more than complete and utter independence. I confess that I constantly stray from God. I confess that I try to live on my own terms, and fail. I confess that while I desire a life apart from God, I recognize that this isn't possible.

I don't deserve God's grace. I don't deserve for Him to constantly come and find me when I lose my way. But He does. He always does. His grace is endless, His love relentless. I am constantly caught between my own sin, and His grace, a seemingly endless struggle between my will and His.

I am like Israel, constantly running away from God, then returning, seemingly full of repentance.

I am nothing more than a sheep, and
I would be lost without my Shepherd.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


And it's true that we never really knew each other.
I told you my secret and what do I have to show for it?
You don't know me because you won't let me tell you.
You won't let me be honest with you.
And I don't know you because, what?
You're "afraid of hurting me"?
As long as I live, I'll never understand you.
I. . .
I never should have told you a single damn thing.
I regret it.
I regret all of it.

 But I'll always miss you, my darling.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The time the Earth stood still

Lost in a sea of right and wrong,
Should and shouldn't,
Do and do not,
Yours is the only face I see.

None of that seemed to matter,
My head swimming with wine,
The sunlight on our skin,
Your arms around me.

That moment was all I could make sense of,
The sheer bliss of being held by someone,
When the whole world melts away.

And even now,
Even after,
I long to be back there.

In that instant,
That instant of abandon,
It was all I wanted for you to kiss me,
The time the Earth stood still.

-LCM, 10/25/11

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Think I Watch Too Much Law & Order

Everyone has fears. Some are logical, and make sense. Some are silly and irrational and serve no good purpose. I have some of those.

  1. Being Killed In My Sleep. 
  2. Open Doors While I Sleep. I cannot sleep if the door to the room, or the closet door is open while I sleep. This is directly related to #1. I'm afraid someone will creep in the open door and kill me before I ever hear them come in.
  3. Being Alone At Night. My roommate and I keep a metal softball bat in our front hall closet. When she's away, I have to keep it on the floor next to my bed while I sleep. This is also related to #1.
  4. Looking Into Mirrors In The Dark. It's the whole "Bloody Mary" thing that grade school kids do. They scarred me for life.
  5. Showering At Night. I never saw Psycho, but I know the pretty girl gets killed in the shower. I'm always terrified that someone is going to pull back the curtain and attack me with a knife. Again, related to #1.
So basically, the moral of the story, is that I have an irrational fear of being killed in my apartment. I think I watch too much Law & Order.

(I must confess I didn't come up with this post on my own. I read a list of irrational fears on another blog. I think it was here. Or here. I can't quite remember. Oops.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things I Learned When I Was 24

(My birthday was last Tuesday. I turned 25.)
  • Protect your heart. But not too much. If you're too protective, you'll shut out the ones who really care about you.
  • It's okay to be lonely.
  • It's okay to make mistakes. They're not the end of the world. Try your best. Apologize sincerely if you hurt someone. Most of the time people will be able to forgive your mistakes.
  • Sometimes, life hurts. 
  • You can do more than you think you can.
  • You will lose people you love. And it will hurt. Badly. And the most random things will remind you of them and send tears down your face. It's okay to cry.
  • God wants you to enjoy His creation. Get off your phone or computer and GO OUTSIDE.
25 is going to be AWESOME. I just know it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Will Allure Her, And Bring Her Into The Wilderness

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, 
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.

I've been reading the first part of the book of Hosea a lot lately. A LOT. Almost every day. God is really trying to reach me, using this specific book. 

To fill you in, if you aren't familiar with the book of Hosea, it's a story. It's the story of the prophet Hosea. God told Hosea to go marry a prostitute named Gomer. Yep. A prostitute. Someone who was destined to be unfaithful to him. 

Hosea was a living illustration of Israel's relationship with God. Israel's history was a constant running away from and going back to God. Over and over Israel would turn away from God and then repent. 

This is the story of Hosea and Gomer. Gomer would leave Hosea, then he would bring her back, then she would leave again. Over and over.

I feel as though I've been like Gomer. I've been unfaithful to God. I haven't made a relationship with him a priority. I've been going to church, but it's mostly been going through the motions for me. I forget him for work, friends, etc. 

I build walls around my heart to protect myself from the hurt I'm feeling, and I shut out God in the process. I recognize that in order for God to heal me, I'll have to hurt more. And it scares me. So I run away.

Last week or so, I picked up my Bible and read the book of Hosea for the first time in a long time. And one passage really resonated with me.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, 
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
Hosea 2:14

The past year or more, I've been unhappy. I'm unhappy living in Branson. I'm lonely. But at the same time, God is trying desperately to reach me, to change me, to win me. 

Is this making any sense? I suppose I'm still looking for an explanation as to why I'm in Branson. I'm trying to find something I can learn from all this. I feel like I've been operating without a purpose for so long. I've been operating without God for too long.

I think this is my wilderness, this stage of life I'm in. God has led me out into the wilderness to teach me. And I'm trying desperately to listen.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goodbye, Television

I couldn't sleep last night. So what did I do? I turned on the TV.

I channel-flipped until I realized something.

The commercials.

For skin products.


Hair products.

Workout DVDs.

Diet programs.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of it all.

I'm sick of turning on the TV and being bombarded with messages telling me that I'm not good enough.

I have too much acne. I'm too fat. My hair is too frizzy. I don't wear the right clothes. I'm not good enough.

And I believe it. Every time. Every time, I buy into the lies they're feeding me. Lies the devil wants me to believe. Lies that say God's love isn't enough, that say He didn't make me beautiful.

And I'm so damn sick of it.

Because I need to believe I'm beautiful just the way I am.

I need to believe that God's love is enough for me, that I don't need anyone else's approval.

I need to believe that I don't need to wear the right clothes, have the right hair, be skinny enough. 

I'm done. I'm so done with television. It's nothing but lies and manipulation and commercialism, and I'm done.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


If you know me, you know I'm not really. . . athletic, or outdoorsy. But for some reason, that's changing this week.

On Saturday I agreed to go hiking with a coworker and her son, on a whim.

And I loved it.

So I went back a couple days later, by myself, and got these beautiful sights:

I realized how much I've been missing. I've been missing God's beautiful creation. It's for us. He wants us to get out and enjoy it. The flowers, the green trees in summer, golden leaves in fall, white snow in winter, sunrises and sunsets. It's all for us.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Day Was a Venti Mocha Frappucino

This was a conversation I overheard at work today, an encounter through the drive-thru between a coworker of mine, "M," and a customer he was taking an order from. (Okay so it's mostly paraphrased. I have a poor memory for conversations.)

M: How is your day so far?

Customer: Venti Mocha Frappuccino with two shots of espresso.

M: So, your day is a Venti Mocha Frappuccino with two shots of espresso?

Customer: Yes.

M: Okay, so you said your day was a Venti Mocha Frappucino with two shot?

Customer: Yes.

Yes. You read that right. The customer agreed to the statement that her day was a drink, that the descriptor of how her day was going was her drink order.

You can probably tell from my post this past Wednesday that I am infuriated by people who don't listen or acknowledge each other in any way.

It infuriates me that people are more concerned with talking or texting on their cell phones than looking each other in the eye.

To me that's ultimate disrespect.

When someone you're interacting with won't even look you in the eye.

It doesn't matter that I'm only selling you your $6 cup of coffee. Is it really that hard to get off your phone and talk to me like I'm a human being, instead of a coffee robot?

Okay, yes, I confess I went through the checkout at Walmart the other day while on my cell phone. No one is perfect. But for serious, I do actually feel guilty about it.

The point is, this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I'd rather someone talk to me and be verbally abusive toward me than ignore my existence completely.

It never ceases to baffle me just how often people don't listen to each other. When did this happen? How long has this been going on? The sad part is that I don't see an end to it. As long as people are obsessed with their fancy phones and texting and the internet, people won't even care about each other.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Has Happened To Us?

When did we become so selfish?
When did we stop listening?
When did we become so wrapped up in ourselves and our own lives that we stopped paying attention to other people?
When did we start ignoring people who say hello, or ask us how our day is going?
When did we stop talking and start texting?
When did we forget how to speak properly?
When did we forget manners?
When did we stop really seeing each other?
What has happened to us?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Judge You Based On Your Appearance

Lately, I've started watching Mad Men on Netflix. Through all of the racism, sexism, and alcoholism, there are fabulous clothes.

This week's Why Wednesday post was inspired partly by Mad Men, and partly by the blog of a man I knew briefly in college, Todd. Todd has become a very snappy dresser of late, and shares his style on his Tumblr.

The combination of these two leave me wondering, why don't people dress well anymore? At my job, I see people all day long. Lots of people.

And I wonder, how did we get from this:
To this:
I'm tired of men looking like douchbags, or wearing clothes they should only exercise in, or wearing their pants down by their knees. And I'm tired of the women looking like sluts or hobos or frumpy.

I long to see women wearing dresses with sparkling jewelry, fabulous shoes and amazing handbags. And I long to see men wearing well-tailored suits, ties, watches and cuff links. I long to see men dressing, well frankly, more like these fine gentlemen:

I'm not really that into fashion, and I'll confess that much of my wardrobe still looks like I'm a college student. But I'm trying to remedy that. And maybe if I saw better dressed men, I'd actually think some of them were worth my time. Like it or not, appearances matter. And I judge you based on your clothing. Sorry.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My New Obsession:

Lately, I am OBSESSED with clouds.

I constantly find myself looking up at the sky.
I bought a new digital camera a few weeks ago,
and practically every single picture is of the sky.

To me the sky just seems like one huge painting,
like God is using a huge paintbrush and constantly
changing and creating new beauty just for us.

The sky just always looks too perfect. I love it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trust Me, You'll Thank Me Later

As you could probably tell,
I've gradually been increasing my online presence.
I can't believe I just used that term.
"Online presence."
I sound like such a tool.
Whatever. You know what I mean.
Lately I've gradually been blogging/facebooking/tweeting more.
I just couldn't stay away.
I missed you too much, internet friends.

Anyhow, the real point of this post is the Grand Return of. . . .


In my head, that was all deep-voiced and echo-y.

I am REALLY sick of seeing bad parenting everywhere.
Granted, I am not a parent. I have no plans of becoming one anytime soon.
But I know what bad parenting looks like.

I suppose the more specific things I'm speaking of are parents who let their children treat them like crap.

At my job, I have the privilege of observing all manner people. I have the benefit of seeing lots of people interact with each other. This includes parents and children.

The real point is, it never ceases to amaze me the number of parents who let their children backtalk to them. I mean, the things children are allowed to say to their parents! If I said some of those things to my parents when I was young, (or perhaps even now) I would have gotten in SERIOUS trouble.

So my real question is to parents. Why? Why do you tolerate such disrespect from your own offspring, from the life you brought forth into this world? You gave birth to them, you provide for them, the least they can do is learn to not talk back to you.

I mean, think about it. If they learn it's okay to speak to you that way, they'll start speaking to EVERYONE that way. And then as adults, they'll be those bitches no one wants to be around because they're stupid and selfish and snotty.

Do you want adult children who are stupid
and selfish
and snotty?
I didn't think so.

So do your children, and the rest of society a favor, and discipline your children. Believe me, they'll thank you for it later when they become healthy, friendly, likeable, productive members of society.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Practically Perfect In Every Way

Just like Mary Poppins.

No, not me.
Something that happened at work tonight.

It was just like out of the movies.
Here, let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I was doing dishes.
We were closed, and it was only myself
and my shift supervisor, Megan left.

I was attempting to disassemble
the pump we use for the mocha sauce.
But my hands were wet, and I was having difficulties.

So I took it to Megan, and asked for help.

Now, the next part is really important.
When she disassembled the mocha pump,
the mocha inside of it splattered.

Now, with a little help from Paint,
I tried to recreate the magic for you.

Doesn't really do it justice.
But I for serious made that face.

It was the type of thing that only happens in movies,
and it happened to me.

It was perfect.
There was the brilliant clumsy physical comedy,
the pause to register what just happened,
and then then Megan's laughter
followed by my very deadpan
"I would like a towel, please."

I was actually a little disappointed that
no one else was there to see it.

If I could film a reenactment for all of you,
I would.
But it's the type of thing that
I'm fairly certain I couldn't make happen again.

Even my story is lacking.
But I had to try and tell it.
It was so magical,
I just had to share it with all of you.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Who Knows Where

She had never worried about tomorrow. She spent money like it grew on trees, and somehow she never ran out of it. She smoked like a chimney, tanned excessively, never bothering to consider things like cancer. She drove a little too fast, partied a little too hard.

And he loved that about her. She had stayed with him longer, perhaps than she had stayed with anyone, ever. She'd even stayed put for him, given up her lifelong nomadic existence which had begun with her insecure, flake of a mother.

He took her to the place they went on their first date. A picnic in the park, it had been her idea, blanket spread underneath the flowering dogwood. He took her there with a longing to make her his forever, he never wanted to be without her.

He asked her, his voice trembling, offering up his gift, a subtle, yet beautiful ring he knew she'd love. But as soon as he said it, he knew by her face what her answer would be. The color drained from her cheeks, her mouth dropped open, eyes wide with fear.

All she could do was shake her head and whisper, “I'm so sorry.”

But he never heard a word. All he could hear was the blood rushing in his ears, the sound of his own heartbeat. He looked up, and she was gone. He knew her things would be gone when he went home, the whole place feeling like the aftermath of a bomb.

He knew she would get in her car and leave. Who knows where this time, but what did it matter? She would stop long enough to make a little money, then move on, leaving more broken hearts in her wake.

But he also realized suddenly how easy it was. Her way, you didn't get hurt, didn't get attached. Little to no risk for the heart. Maybe it would be better that way.

He got in his car, leaving behind the blanket, their picnic, even the ring. He put the gas pedal to the floor, heading to who knows where, but what did it matter anyway?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I'm not sure why I do this anymore. Facebook statuses, twitter updates, weekly blogs.

Is it because I think I have something genuinely interesting to contribute to the blogosphere?

I'm not sure. I don't think so.

I think I really just want people to like me. I have a tendency to care entirely too much about what people think of me, to desire others' good opinions too much.

I think my motive in all this is that I want people to like me.

I'm starting to realize how pointless this all is.

I'm taking a break from all this for a while. I'm staying off the internet for a while, and that includes this blog. If you're disappointed, I'm sorry. I'm just out of things to say. I'll still check my email, so you can reach me there, if you care.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hidden Away

Days later, she could still feel traces he'd left behind. His hands on her hips, his arms around her waist, the way he cradled her head when he embraced her goodbye. She could still remember what it felt like, and she longed to be back there, back to those late nighttime hours before she left, before they both had to go back to real life. With his arms around her, it had taken everything she had to keep from kissing him. She knew, even then, once she kissed him, that was it; the last line of defense around her heart would be broken, and then she would be left to his mercy.

Later, they'd said it was because they were both lonely and broken that they'd let it happen; they were starving for a little bit of comfort. And that was probably true. They really were both lonely and broken, and starving for comfort. The thought had even occurred to her, that everything that night had been a mistake, even believed it for a while. She had to tell herself something to keep from falling apart. She had to tell herself she didn't want him, that it was all wrong, the words they said, her kiss on his forehead. She knew she was getting in too deep, and that this time it could wreck her for good. Especially after the complicated history they shared.

He'd said it would never work, it would only end badly. It would be good for a while, but then it wouldn't. He'd been too afraid of hurting her, certain he would break her heart. But the truth hit her like a freight train one night. She didn't believe any of it, not a word. It wasn't a mistake. She didn't regret it at all. She longed for him, his hands on her waist, her hands running through his hair. The thing she really regretted was not kissing him when she had the chance. It struck her full in the chest, knocking the wind out of her. She loved him, and perhaps always would.

This wasn't something she wanted to realize. This was something she'd rather had stayed buried deep down in a corner of her heart. Because in the end, the knowledge served no good purpose. It only emphasized just how far away from her he was, just how fully unattainable. So she did what she always did to cope. She tucked it away again, forgot she ever realized something so momentous, pretended it was just another pointless piece of trivia to file away in the back of her mind. She pretended her heart didn't fill with longing every time her phone showed a missed call from him, every time she saw a picture of him, every time he crept back into her mind. She'd spent a lifetime trying to perfect the art of controlling her emotions, of keeping them hidden away. How hard could it be to forget that she loved him?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Today's Why Wednesday post, believe it or not, is not a bad "Why?" It is not a "Why?" filled with contempt, disdain, and overall fury at the horrid state of affairs in our society today.

"What? Leah's being positive?" you may ask yourself. "Did I wake up in an alternate universe?"

I assure you my friend, you did not.

In addition to a positive "Why?" today's topic is also a "How?" of sorts.

But enough preamble. On to the post.

Every time I listen to a brilliant piece of music that speaks to my soul, I am left in awe.

Music's ability to give voice to those deep-rooted feelings in our soul, the ones we have no description for, is at once glorious and inexplicable.

Brilliant music has the ability to open old, closed over wounds of the heart and at the same time, heal them, sometimes without even using words.

I am always left baffled, amazed, and thankful by wonderful music. It is truly a sign that God loves us.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite pieces, Cantique de Jean Racine, composed by Gabriel Faure, and performed by the Cambridge Singers.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Last Friday Night

I have a confession to make.

I like Katy Perry.

There, I said it.

Yes, despite my judgmental
tirade about the state of contemporary music,
I like Katy Perry.
I'm really just a big hypocrite.

It's not something I'm proud of.

But I can't help it.

Her songs are just so damn catchy.

Plus, the video for her latest single,
"Last Friday Night"
boasts a REALLY impressive celebrity cast.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Think Before You Speak

In the past four months or so I've worked at Starbucks, I've experienced no end of people who interact with me like I'm expendable, simply because I make their $4 cup of coffee. And if you've ever worked a job which requires you to serve something to another person, you've experienced it as well. No matter how many times I'm treated like a non-person, it always leaves me asking "Why?"

Why must you order from me and never once look me in the eye?

Why must you take on a snotty tone in your voice when I ask if you want your drink hot or iced, as if I should have read your mind for the answer?

Why must you blame me for not taking you $100 bill, when it's not my fault I don't have the equivalent of a bank vault in my cash drawer?

Why must you repeat your order to me like I'm a four-year-old, when I simply didn't hear you the first time?

Why must you treat me like you're better than me, simply because I'm the one who makes your coffee at Starbucks, or your Big Mac at McDonald's, or checks out your groceries at Walmart?

Just because I serve you something, doesn't mean it's okay for you to treat me like crap.

Just take a minute and think before you speak? Ask yourself this question:

Would you like it if someone spoke to you the way you're about to speak to me?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Unalienable Rights

Many of you know I'm not much for holidays. I tend not to enjoy a lot of the commercialism that goes along with many holidays. July 4th included.

This July 4th I won't go to any parties or cookouts, or see any fireworks.

I'll be working. (Getting time and a half!)

But I'll also be counting my blessings.

I'll be thankful that I have the right to say that the people running our country are a bunch of selfish liars.

I'll be thankful that I have the right to believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose from the dead.

I'll be thankful that I have the ability to have this blog.

To close, I'll leave you with an excerpt from The Declaration of Independence, signed July 4th, 1776:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Don't Feel Like Complaining

Yep. You read that right. I don't feel like complaining today. I can't think of anything to complain about to turn into a witty commentary on society. It just doesn't seem useful or productive today.

So instead of complaining, here's a list of things I enjoy:

Tasty frappuccinos from Starbucks
Best friends (Even if they live far away)
The sound of cicadas
My job
Pandora Radio
Having two days off in a row
Being positive for a change (believe it or not!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Somebody Give Me Something

I was listening to the radio this morning,
and I realized something:
All songs are exactly the same.
I'm speaking in generalities, of course,
so there will be some variation.
But think about it.


For the past couple of decades,
songs have lacked creativity.
They follow this song structure,
and feature the same four chords
and over
and over again.

But when did it start being like this?
When did music stop being about
producing something new and different,
something that speaks truth,
something beautiful,
and start being about money?

Somebody give me something to listen to
that's worth my time,
that's worth the four and a half years
I spent studying music,
something that makes me think,
something beautiful,
something real and true.
Something that doesn't fit in a box,
something whose goal ISN'T just to make money.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do It For The Children

For this week's Why Wednesday, I will address a very serious offense committed by countless numbers of parents against scores of innocent children.

The crime?

That's right.


Image of this atrocity courtesy of

Okay I get it. I get that it's difficult to control your gaggle of unruly children and keep them from running around all over creation like little demons out to corrupt God's beautiful creation. I GET IT.

But that's what it means to be a parent. It means holding onto your child's hand to prevent them from stealing things in the grocery store or running into old people or out into traffic.

Don't try and say
"Well it's a cute doggie or kitty or monkey or unicorn!"


Kids understand a lot more than you think they do.
They're smart.

Don't you think it'll only be a matter of time
until they discover that
the contraption you use to walk the dog
and the contraption you use on them
when you're out in public
are basically the same??

Just think about it like this. When they're adults and in therapy because they engage in unhealthy relationships, and their therapist says, "Well tell me about your childhood. What were family outings like?"

And they'll say, "All I remember is being put on one of those leashes for children."

And then the therapist's eyes will go all wide and they'll nod and scribble on their notepad like the secret of the universe has just been revealed to them.

So, parents. Stop being lazy. Because that's all it really boils down to. Did our parents get to put us on leashes? No, because they hadn't been invented yet, thank goodness. They had to do it old school. No leashes. No iPods to distract your children, no XBox or Playstation or whatever. They had to occupy us with card games and coloring books and stories, and they had to HOLD OUR HAND when we were in public.

So please, parents. Do it for the children. For the sake of the innocent little children.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Life is Good.

Right now,
I'm sitting in my parents living room,
enjoying a cup of Gold Coast coffee
(Which can be found at Starbucks. #shameless plug)
with my Mom and Stepdad,
with our wonderful dog curled up on the floor.

Today, I get to go into St. Louis
and visit with my very good friend Matt,
and maybe go to the
St. Louis Shakespeare Festival,
if the weather holds.

Life is good.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Measure Twice, Cut Once

This week for "Why Wednesday," I'm back to everyone's favorite thing: bashing famous people. Not so much because I'm jealous that they're famous and I'm not, but because a great amount of famous people seem to be stupid. And it's easy to make fun of stupid people.

In this the information age, sex scandals abound. Mostly because the free flow of information makes it so much easier to get caught.

What, you thought nobody messed around before? Yeah, right. In fact, I'm certain that celebrities messed around WAY more often than nowadays, simply because they didn't have the technology to catch them in the act. They didn't have computers. They didn't have cell phones that saved every text message they ever sent/received. They could carry out an affair without anyone knowing about it.

So here's a tip for anyone famous. Or at least with a job important enough to get them noticed if they screw up badly enough. (*cough cough* Rep. Anthony Weiner *cough cough*)

Now, I'm not saying famous people have to be perfect. I don't expect that of anyone. But here's the deal. If you're famous, don't do anything you don't want people knowing about. You know how the paparazzi are. They'll follow you around. Every second. Of every day. Until you fade into obscurity. Unless you're Lindsay Lohan. In that case, they'll keep following you around forever waiting for you to get arrested again.

In this age of the internet, smart phones, text messaging, and a celebrity-obsessed nation, if you're famous and you do something you wouldn't want your mother knowing about, odds are, EVERYONE will know eventually.

So just. . . don't. If you're about to do something shameful which could potentially destroy your life if anyone found out. . .don't. Think twice. Look before you leap. Count to ten. Measure twice, cut once. Just. . . don't.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


My directionlessness is killing me.
My life is a basketball game with no basket,
A soccer game with no goal,
A race with no ending in sight.
I've lost my path through the woods.

Don't say to me,
"You could pack up and go anywhere.
Do anything.
Move to Europe.
Visit Africa or India.
On a whim."
Don't say that to me.
Because who really does that?
Who runs away from life for permanent vacation?

No one does that.
Because we all have bills to pay.
We all have to work.

My directionlessness is killing me,
sinking me into depression.

Directionlessness+friends who are far away=depression.

I need a radical change in my life.
I'm feeling so restless.
I hate the feeling you get when you know
your life is in transition.

What do I do?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I'm re-reading Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
If you haven't read it, I seriously suggest it to you.
Or at least see the movie,
starring the late, fabulous Elizabeth Taylor.

It's a play about the games
people play when they're in relationships,
about the power struggle,
about the ways people hurt each other.

And it's making me wonder if it's worth it.
Being in a relationship,
risking your heart like that.
Going through the games, the power struggle.

Something deep inside tells me that
no love will ever be good enough.
No love other than God's love.
All will fall short and disappoint.
And I don't know if I can live with disappointment.

But at the same time,
I don't want to be alone.

I am such a walking contradiction.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DO NOT, pt. 2

In keeping with last week's Why Wednesday post, a "Don't" list for guys, I will now present to you a "Don't" list for girls.

So, girls, if you want the rest of us ladies to not shoot judging eyes your way, as well as attract a man actually worth your time and attention, please refrain from doing any of the following:

  • Wearing a pound of makeup. It doesn't make you look pretty. It just makes you look trashy.
  • Wearing shirts that expose your belly-button ring, even if you have the abs for it. This trend was only okay in some vague point of the 90's, and even then its validity was a bit questionable.
  • Modeling yourself after Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, or any other famous woman with no life skills or morals. They are not good role models. Choose a better one.
  • FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, (I honestly don't know who Pete is.) learn to dress for your body shape. You don't have to be obsessed with fashion or spend a million dollars, but PLEASE learn what clothes work with your body. Not everyone can wear every trend. Also, when you find clothes that really work for you and your body type, it makes you feel pretty, which brings me to my next point:
  • STOP SAYING HOW FAT YOU ARE. If you think you could lose a few pounds, start eating right and working out. Or better yet, start loving yourself first. Everything else will fall into place afterward.
  • Don't try to be what you think guys want you to be. Odds are, your aim is a little off. The guy who's really worth your time will love you for who you are, not for who you are trying to be.

Monday, June 6, 2011

More Time

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about my part-time job, my other job. You can read it here.

On Saturday, I got a call from my supervisor there, who is a really nice lady who I've actually gotten quite close to. She informed me that because of financial reasons, they had to make cutbacks. I'm one of those cutbacks.

So, friends, I officially have one job again.

But the thing is, I'm not too broken up about it. I slept until 10 am this morning. And it was a beautiful thing. Now I have time to do lots of things that I had no time to do before.

Of course, I'll get another part-time job eventually. But for now, I'm going to enjoy sleeping in, maybe going to the pool before work. It'll be great.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Okay, so I know it's technically Thursday. But I was hanging out with Roommate all day. That kind of took priority. So this week's Why Wednesday post will be in the form of a "Don't" list, for guys.

Guys, if you want genuine approval from women, do not do any of the following:

  • Wear sagging pants. Undergarments are just that. They are not meant to be seen in public, and are meant to be hidden by your pants. We do not want to see them.
  • Wear pants or shirts with sparkles or embroidery on them. You look like a tool. Or Criss Angel. But it's the same thing.
  • FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS DECENT, do not wear "wife-beaters" as a shirt. There's a reason they're sold as undershirts.
  • Spend more time on your appearance than we do. Short hair=less time in the bathroom. It's a certifiable fact.
  • Unless you are doing manual labor such as yard work, exercising, or a profession which requires physical exertion, you should not be wearing a bandanna. It makes us think you're a tool. Or that you're bald.
  • Be a poser. Don't try to be something you're not. Be yourself. We like it when guys are honest and genuine. So if you're a little awkward, embrace your awkwardness. Odds are, we'll think it's a little adorable.

I kind of liked being a little constructive instead of berating the decline and fall of our civilization. It's much more productive to give constructive criticism, I think. Maybe I should try it more often. Except being harsh is so much fun.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ok, this isn't fun anymore.

This "being an adult" thing.

I'm tired of getting up early after not enough sleep
going to work
going to another work
getting home at 11 at night
going to sleep later than I should
and doing it again
after day
after day.

I'm tired of bills
and money
and bills
and groceries
and money
and bills.

I'm tired of having coworkers
instead of friends.
I'm tired of working and sleeping
instead of having a social life.

I'm tired of being responsible.
I want to be reckless,
do something impulsive
and stupid
and bad for me.

I know that no one said
life is fun all the time,

But life has been pretty un-fun lately.
Stop the ride. I want to get off.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


That's right, friends. It's the grand return of
"Why Wednesday!"

I finally got my computer repaired last week.
And it's glorious.
A very nice man named Levi fixed it
in practically no time flat.
And I'm extremely grateful.

Back to the point.

The point IS...


This week's topic:

People who are famous
Who shouldn't
really be famous.

People such as:

These people are all famous by some freak accident of fate,
and have no marketable skills.
They have become famous for being famous.
(Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

This really makes me angry.
People who have no talent at anything make
of money
for doing nothing,

while plenty of people all around the world
to get even a fraction of what these people make.

So I'll ask the question:


Monday, May 23, 2011

things that make me fall in love with God

spectacular lightning storms
the way the grass looks greener after it rains
best friends
the miracle of new life
stars on a clear night
sunrises & sunsets
fresh snow

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Sorry for the absence, friends. My computer died a couple weeks ago. Sad, I know. I feel completely cut off from the world. But sometimes, that's not such a bad thing.

But here's what's been weighing on my mind and heart the most lately.

Weekend before last, I was blessed to make a trip to Texas with my dad, to see my Papa for his big 80th Birthday Bash. It was a real blessing.

This past Wednesday, at about 6:30pm, my Papa finished his battle with cancer, and went home to Jesus.

So we all trekked back to Texas for the funeral, which was Saturday. It was nice, a real celebration of his life.

But it's still difficult. I was Papa's girl. I've never had anyone in my life die who I've been this close to.

He was one of those people who seems invincible. A person who, even when you're older and you realize that death in an inevitabiliy, you'd swear they'll live forever. Untouchable.

So it's been really hard to watch his decline the past two years. It was also difficult to pray so hard for God to restore my grandfather (because I knew He could), that tears were streaming down my face, only to see the cancer steal more of him away.

Yesterday was hard. Yesterday me, my Dad, and my Stepmom stopped in Springfield to see my sister, and her new baby girl. My nephew, who's 5, calls my dad "Papa."

And it hit me that now my Dad is now Papa. He is to Matthew and Lily what my Papa was to me. And he's going to be great. He's going to seem larger than life, invincible, untouchable. Just like my Papa was.

I know that I'll always know how this hurt feels. And I know it'll creep up on me at unexpected moments. And I know that eventually, with time the details will fade.

I won't remember which gray skirt and cardigan I was wearing every time I put them on.
I won't remember precisely which pearl earrings and necklace I had on.
I won't remember that the people in the car with me on the way there were my Aunt, Uncle, cousin, and our good friend Ren.
I won't remember what the flower arrangements looked like.

I know I'm suppsed to cry, supposed to feel something, anything. Sadness at his absence. Joy at him going home to heaven. Anything. But just don't want to. I just want to crawl into bed and sleep.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Point of No Return

I found her outside a coffeeshop, our coffeeshop, the one where we met, feet propped up on a chair, dark circles looming under her eyes, big like quarters, cigarette in hand.

I pulled the chair out from under her feet, taking back what should have been mine. “I thought you didn’t smoke, Serena.”

As I spoke her name, I realized how fitting it was, she had no idea. Serena. Like siren. Men heard their call, went mad with desire, dashed their ships on the rocks. All they brought was destruction.

“I don’t,” she said, her gaze like the cigarette smoke she blew out, going all around me, but never right at me.

“Obviously,” I replied, shaking my head at her contradiction. It was at her very core, she was contrary by nature. Saying she doesn’t smoke while smoking. Yelling at drivers who cut her off, then merging without looking. Saying she loved me, then disappearing for days at a time. “Where have you been?”

She glared at me, eyes full of fire, the only part of her face betraying her emotion. “Who are you, my mother?”

“No, I’m your boyfriend, in case you’ve forgotten.” Her voice had been like poison, but so was mine. She should know how it felt.

“Boyfriend,” she muttered, low and cruel before taking a drag on her cigarette. “Aren’t we a little old for labels like ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend?’”

It hurt me, right to the core, but I didn’t let her see. I remembered a time when her eyes lit up when she introduced me. “This is my boyfriend.” There was a time we belonged to each other, once. Now she belonged to no one, not even herself. But I. . . I was still hers.

I wondered what kept me there, why I stayed. I should have left ages ago, I knew that. I was fed up; her coldness, her absence, the way she could destroy me with a single look. But then I remembered her eyes full of light and warmth, the way she cried at sad movies, her hand on my shoulder when my father died.

She had been gone longer this time. Five days, but I hadn’t worried as much as I should have. I stared openly, trying to figure out where she’d been, waiting to see if she’d own up to anything. But she was a wall, impenetrable.

Then I saw it, the red, blotchy bruise on her neck, and I knew where she’d been. My heart turned to stone, cold, dead, just like hers was. I reached across the table and pulled out one of her cigarettes. I saw her face as I lit it, took a puff, and I smiled inside.

“I thought you didn’t smoke, Jude,” she told me.

“I don’t,” I said, my gaze like the cigarette smoke I blew out.