men that love –

men that love have calloused fingers from long hours of trying to memorize your heart.

men that love like seeing your face when they buy you flowers,

and they are easy to talk to,

and they are not afraid of hearing you speak.

men that love anticipate your voice, and they hold onto your words.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle.

men that love – are gentle

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a journey to honor

About two years ago around this time I was invited to join the honors society at the community college I was attending. I accepted and joined – and then a few weeks later I was invited to the induction ceremony.

I did not tell anyone about the ceremony. I purposely missed the RSVP date, and avoided going to the event. I remember the night the ceremony was taking place – it was raining and I got off of work and drove straight home. The entire drive home my heart was beating the same thing over and over

“you know you should have gone.”

I did not go because I was overwhelmed with fear. Fear that I did not belong – that I was unworthy of such an accolade – that if I went I would be figured out. They would realize that they were wrong – that I was not the right person to be there. I am sad that I thought so little of myself. That I thought I was not allowed to take up space until I hit the unimagined unattainable goals and lists I had for myself in my head.

I should have gone – because I knew I was running away from going. I was running away from being afraid.

Tonight – I did not run away from being afraid. I ran straight into the arms of fear and anxiety.

I was inducted into the National Honors Society of Psychology at the college I have transferred to – I went to the ceremony.

I walked in late from work and a friend thought to save me a seat next to her. I sat in the anxiety the entire time I was there – and I felt brave doing it. I felt honored to be me.

I did not feel that way two years ago, and I still do not feel that way everyday. Leading up to going to this ceremony I was trying to find a way out of it. I talked to multiple people about going – hoping that each one would have some elaborate plan on how I could get out of it – but I know that was fear strangling my brain. It does that a lot – and I have to consistently untangle these string of thoughts and beliefs that hold no value to my being.

It is a constant battle between punching fear in the face, slyly walking past it even though I would like to wave, and holding its hand.

A constant battle that I want to be willing to fight.

for my papa –

Over a month ago my Papa – the man who stepped in to be a dad to me so many times – went to heaven. I wrote this for my gram and I read it at his celebration of life service. I wanted to put it here.

Im not going to say “forgive me if i cry” im going to say “bare with me when i cry”

February 9 2019 was a hard hard hard day. A part of our family is gone. Our family will not be the same without our honey, our dad, our papa, our brother, our uncle, our cousin, our son, our friend – but in our weakness we are made strong because we have each other and jesus. Jesus is weeping with us – he is in our pain – but he is also rejoicing that my pops is finally with him for forever.

On facebook someone said

“Isn’t it a wonderful assurance to know that he is not only in our memories but in our futures”

i am in awe of how many situations we face in life that are walking dichotomies: my heart is grieving for a piece of itself that has been lost, yet my soul is leaping for all of papa that has been found in heaven. I am reassured that all of his memories are even better in heaven – and he gets to remember all of us with his smile on his face.

i am sad, and i am hurting. but if i was not either of these things – it would mean that i have not loved. I am honored that i was granted the privilege of loving my papa, and am proud to have been loved by him, because he loved so good. He loved so so so good. He was such a gentle man. God used my papa to protect so many hearts.

He loved his family so much, and he would talk and talk and talk about us. the way he talked about his family was in a different way then he talked about other things; he always seemed so well pleased with us.

I will remember my papa as a man that mowed and had me mow the grass every week in the summer.

– as a man that taught me how to drive a boat and fish, but stayed away from teaching me how to drive a car.

– as a man that could make your whole day with his smile.

– as a man that wore long socks and always listened to his honeys stories over and over without questioning.

– as a man that listened to me talk and talk and talk and always said the right thing even if it was nothing at all.

I will remember my papa as a man that brought me out of myself, and continually reminded me who i am.

– as a man that loved his wife, and let her tell him all of her good deals after shopping.

I will remember my papa as a preacher man that played games on his ipad for fun.

I will remember my papa as a man that told story after story with enthusiasm – like he’s never said the story before (which we all know, was not the case).

– as a man that stood tall in the face of adversities, and did not let his weakness define him.

– as a man that used his bible as a sword, a man that looked straight into his Father God’s face, and said “I am about Your business. Lead me.”

I will remember my papa in the stories that i have been told about him – how he moved his family of 4 children across the country in a van – all because God told him and my gram to do so.

I will remember my papa as a man that saw good in all the people he met. A man who looked for common ground in all he encountered.  

I will remember my papa as a brave, kind, gentle, mighty man.

I will remember my papa forever.

I keep asking “how do you just keep going? how do you just keep going?” and the best i have heard to this question is “you just do.” and we have, 5 days later and we have just kept going. 5 weeks will pass, 5 months, 5 years, will have passed, and then we will look back in 50 years and realize that all of these moments have passed too – and we have just kept going.

I am sad that all the days to come will be spent without him here with us – and i am thankful for all the days that have passed that he was here with us.

Pain is here – and pain will come again, i promise. But we were not promised a life free of pain – that my papa knew well. But we were promised a life full of peace, joy, and love – which my papa also knew very well. 50 years from now i hope that we are still telling stories of my papas great, or rather Good, legacy. I will tell my children about his smile, and his luscious hair. I will tell them about his heart, and i will teach them about the jesus he taught me about.

I will tell them that he was a mighty man of god that loved his family and friends and stood with them through it all.  

I am hopeful for the future  – because i know he is waiting for us, and i know that until we see each other again he will be championing us on from heaven.

I love you papa.

We will never be able to fill your shoes or make the same footprints quite the same way you did – but we will live our lives walking right behind them, knowing you are proud of us.

mountains?

I started making myself write for 20 minutes each morning. straight through, no editing, no trying to make sense. I’d like to be more consistent with writing and this is how I am attempting to go about it. I am quite aware that these words i have here are probably only read over and over by me, but I am ok with that. I think.

Here is a small bit from the 20 minutes I spent writing this morning. I remember feeling really content with these words after I had written them, so I wanted to have them here. Instinctively – I would like to apologize for them and classify them as only rambling, but I am not going to do that, because I’d like to appreciate rather then criticize and I do believe they do justice to my current experiences. cheers,

 

I know i am enough, but i do not feel it. My brain knows it, my heart is weary of such information. My heart rebels against the words that my brain has engraved. The head to the heart journey is the longest journey there is. It is trepidous. Google is telling me that trepidous is not a real word but i know what it means. Trepidation? How do you use trepidation in a sentence? I do not know. I will try – She felt great trepidation as she climbed down from her head into her heart. Her heart had great tall mountains that were more intimidating then the ones in her head. Her head had calm waters, sometimes they flowed quickly over rocks, but they had a path next to them and you could lightly stick your feet in and splash around. The waters in her heart were different. There was no end, you were just there, right in the middle of the ocean. Twirling around as the waves lifted and fell beneath and over you. You had to always kick in those waters. Moments came when your feet would touch the ground, but moments later they would be quickly swept back up into the air. This journey is scary. But it is worth it, because one day those heart waters will become your favorite. You will learn to splash in them the way you learned to splash in the head waters. The heart mountains will scream your name the same way the head mountains do. It is a glorious thing – to be alive. I have not really ever quite felt this way about living before, even as a child i was deeply fearful of the unknown. Today i am better at embracing it. The head is easier to embrace, but it also gets in the way of connecting itself to its life source – the heart. I guess its a symbiotic relationship – because without the brain there is no heart and without the heart there is no brain. They need each other. They only thrive when both are pumping and sending signals correctly. 

some

someday’s (today) i feel the heaviness of a life that is not yet mine.

i do not know what my life will be ten years from now,

and on some nights the enormity of my Youth crushes me, because it reminds me of my smallness.

and most days my feelings feel too big, and most nights my feelings feel too small.

i am on a quest for bravery,  and some 

most times i question if i am capable of being a person that feels like a walking dichotomy most nights, but

most mornings I wake and feel like the nights have erased my bruises – the day ready to let me try again.

how can i be so –                                                                                                                                       day and night, at the same time?

i talk and i wonder about my feelings too much.                                                                             is that ok? is that cute? is it ok if it is not cute?

for most of my days i have tried to be dainty and have attempted to fit myself into a perfectly wrapped box, but i can no longer fit –

the paper is crinkly and the sticky on the bow is no longer – sticky.

i write what my brain spews and i do not find coherency in my words but when i am done letting ink sink into paper, i find it in my heart.

is what makes me a writer – being good at writing?                                                                      is what makes me a writer – that i write?

i am here, and i am asking for an inkling of guidance. this is not an existential crisis, this is an existential acceptance.

how do i progress? will it always be such a swing between some days and some nights and some moments?

will it slow down? will this get better? will i?

how?

why?

when?

where?

with who?

how come?

but why?

i feel like a two year old that has just discovered that he has words.

i wrote this in the night

i continually rewrite the same feelings over and over

The feelings, though, now

Are different and the same,

Simultaneously.

Because i feel so deeply, and i have always

I remember being small and feeling so big

But now these feelings,

Are so much more

Manageable?

Understandable?

Comprehensible?

It is like i have felt for so long –

But now i know.

I know why.

I have been infused with glory

From heaven above

Heaven above

Has come and made home in the concaves of my beating blood

And heaven has given me permission to be too much

Heaven has come

And given me permission to be, to be here.

To be here, seen

To be here, known.

I know that heaven hears my heartbeats

heartbeats beating with hope

A hope that does not cry out of desperation

But a hope that cries out of satisfaction

A hope that knows who she is

A hope that knows.

A hope that says

; wait.

Wait here, i am here,

too.

I’ll be there,

as well.

A hope that says

“i am here – inside of the deepest place of your heart, and i know, and i hear, and i am here. please keep hoping

please keep dancing

please keep waking.”

being me, now

I’ve decided that being me, now

, is a very strange thing to be.

Strange, awkward, slippery, messy.

Pieces of me lost, pieces of me found.  

I was in the backseat of my best friends jeep and the music was as loud as it could get, and I was thinking about how, up until now, I have spent a lot of time thinking.

Thinking about what I like, who I like, how I like things, but

I have not actually decided.

I want to decide,

I want to decide and be sure of my deciding.  

Here are some of the things I have decided:

  1. I am sure that Ben Rector makes the hopeless romantic in me seep out into the palms of my hands
  2. I am sure that I will probably rotate through the same four pairs of shoes for the rest of my life and still not get rid of the other 16
  3. I am sure that I do not like pants that are not tight around the ankles
  4. I am sure that I will continue to add to my “Want To Read” bookshelf on Goodreads and never read all of the books that i Want To Read
  5. I am sure that my heart is beating to write, and to sing, and to remind people to remember who they actually Are
  6. I am sure that this is hard
  7. and I am sure that this is worth it
  8. I am sure that I am afraid of responding to formal messages, ie. people asking me to complete something that requires them paying me, and responding to an email asking about how a company could improve. and I am sure that my heart will never stop beating too fast when I press send. 
  9. I am sure that I like to dance
  10. and I am also sure that I will never do more than a cheeky little side-step number when in the presence of anyone else but myself
  11. I am sure that when I am by myself and god has decided to tap dance on my heart I am more me than i ever am and my legs move the right way and my heart beats the perfect number of beats
  12. I am sure that in a day to come being me will feel less strange,

I think that being me, now,

feels a lot more strange then it actually is, because who i am has been twisted with who i am not for most of my life and i am finally untwisting a very twisty — twist. I am beginning to see through the knots into the depths of who i, elizabeth, actually am, and it is quite scary.

It is scary shaking hands with yourself and deciding to be ok with the grip.

It is scary being me, now, sometimes.

  1. I am sure that i am ok with being scared because it means that i am growing.

It has to mean that i am growing.

  1. I am sure that i do not like odd numbers, so I had to add one last one to this list.