you are not a machine

you are not a machine























you, like me, are probably tired.

i see your darkened eyes, your brittling bones, your wry smile that
spreads thinner and thinner.

i see your hungry heart, your hollowed ribcage, and the deep puddle that
you're about to collapse into.

i know your skipping heartbeat, the pain that jolts up your arm as you pound it
against the wooden desk to try again and again and again

i know your adrenaline going to waste because you're sitting through lectures,
taking those exams, working behind the counter, to no avail

i recognize your soul bursting because you're locked inside and you are
overworking yourself

but you will deny it because you, like me, still feel the desire to get things done
because you, like me, will not be contented with enough
because you, like me, would rather go down because you're tired than rest and rise again

but you aren't a machine, and that is the problem.

you are here and you are with me
we are flesh and blood and bone and belief and we still have life
we still have it inside us, curled up like a ball, and it won't let go

we are not rust and steel and cement and rot and death
we are not programmed to work day and night
we are not built of never ending grit

we are more than clockwork, more than rigorous timetables and schedules
we are breathing and sad and happy and mad at all the wrong and right times but that's fine

you, like me, probably need a break

so go for it.

then get back up again.

Safe

Safe























Darling, you are safe.


You are not lost. You are not alone. You are not abandoned. And you are not drowning.

Darling, you are safe.

You are safe because no one can take you from you. You can never leave you, and you have the freedom to love, comfort, and cherish yourself. You have the ability to be your best friend instead of your arch nemesis. Use that ability; it will give you life you never thought you'd experience.

Darling, you are safe.

You are in the arms of a Papa Who sacrificed everything for you to know what true love looks like. No one can take you from Him.

Darling, you are safe.

Your beauty is unchangeable. No one can alter it with their words, actions, or thoughts. It can only grow and mature. You are a part of Beauty itself.

Darling, you are safe.

Love is the essence of who you are as God designed you. That love cannot be broken, bruised, cut, or killed, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. That love in you is a shining shield, a light protecting you from the illusion of darkness.

Darling, you are safe.

Even if your life up to this point has been dark and empty, there is never a point at which that life cannot be changed, reshaped, and filled with light. Emily Dickinson once said, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” But that bird never flies away.

Darling, you are safe.

Hannah W.


you are beautiful

you are beautiful


























You know that moment, when they tell you you're beautiful and... they actually mean it?
Maybe it's your dad, or mom. Maybe it's your sister or brother or your boyfriend.
I know, cliche as heck, but really. You feel like you can't quite believe them because how could it be true? You've seen yourself. How could that be beautiful? 
Part of you wants to believe them, the other wants to run and douse your face with water till it steams you're blushing so hard.
Part of you wants to cry, another wants to smile. Part of you wants to hide, the other thinks you should say 'thank you’.
And somewhere deep inside, a younger version of you sobs. Thinking about all the lies you were told about how you are plain, or fat, or ugly. 
That you are nobody special.
A little baby girl inside you cries and you feel your heart cracking because of that one person who didn't return your smile, or didn't repeat your 'good mornings’.
A little princess’ fist clenches, trying to keep the sobs in, trying to keep her stomach in.
Trying to fit into jeans two sizes small, and a society that's way smaller than the one she should care about. 
The only one that matters.
It may take a guy to tell you “you're beautiful” in order for you to believe it. It may take that person in the library or the store who smiled at you, and complimented you.
It may take an ounce of love or eight-thousand pounds.
But guess what? You don't have to look far for it. 
It's always there, waiting right behind you.
As you look around and try to find love, look there over your shoulder. See that man? He is bloody. He is bruised. His face doesn't even look human anymore because he's been beaten so badly.
See that cross that is weighing him almost to the ground? 
That's every mean word you've said and was said to you. That's every time you were put down by people and every insult and every lie.
Don't turn away, look at him. Watch him teeter closer and look into his eyes as they find yours.
Listen to him telling you why he is bearing your insults.

because he knows you can't hold them yourself. so he's holding them for you. and he's here to tell you

y o u ‘ r e    b e a u t i f u l

he should know. when he was making you he wanted you to look just like that. 
perfect and beautiful for him.




- Esther 

He remains

He remains



























It's an all too familiar feeling

That soul-sucking, draining, never ebbing hole that rests between who you are and what you strive to be

Who you know you should be, but just..aren't
Your feet are close to the edge, it crumbles, you might fall, and it's too much, too much, too much.

Because you try, try, try

But you're never quite enough, enough, enough

And there's nothing you've ever been so aware of as you are your own inadequacy

The war you're waging has you losing more ground than you're gaining

Your own brokenness is staring you in the face, commanding all of your attention

When you fall into the same temptation again and again and start to wonder how there could ever be enough grace in the world to redeem you

When the rug is pulled out from beneath your feet, suddenly you find yourself not being able to hide anymore

Dirty hands, downcast eyes, the overwhelming knowledge that you've got nothing much to offer

Except for a broken heart and wounds so deep they threaten to swallow you alive

But, friend, what is your patch of darkness when it's held up against an infinite source of light?

Because the truth is, there isn't anything so broken or messed up that grace can't step in to make whole

Lay down your arms, it's safe to trust, He's safe to trust

You don't have to be in the trenches alone

There is One who sits with you

Holding your hand, cradling your heart, and whispering

That He knows exactly what you're going through because He's been in the trenches, too

When it's all said and done, maybe it isn't your job to be enough

Maybe fighting against inadequacy is a false choice

Maybe perfection is a less worthy pursuit than progress

Maybe the mess isn't meant to be fixed, but shaped into a message about grace and hope and light

That is less about who you are or who you are not

And more about who He is in you, through you, and around you

About how when you are faithless

He is forever faithful

When you are weak

He is strong

When all other things fade away

He remains

-ashlyn 

remember, remember [or beating, beating]

remember, remember [or beating, beating]
























it's easy to say you will keep your
beautiful chin up 
when the sun shines, 
when the sky is clear, 
when the fire within you 
glows

it's when it rains, 
when the clouds come, 
when the fire dwindles that it becomes 
hard

but that is when you need
to take your own advice
when you feel like you're a cavern with giving-way walls
that,
oh that is when you need to remember

remember
remember: 

though you be but small,
your skin holds back a 
lion heart;

beating,
beating.






you've got this.
kate



i forgive you

i forgive you





















i remember the play dates we had when we were nine

the dolls, climbing trees, and keeping secrets

'forever?' i asked

'forever.' you said

i thought it was true

they never tell you when you grow older about all the people you would lose

the ones who you know so well

become the ones who tell you that you're no longer worth

anything

i reached out my hand

i called out 'where did you go?'

i guess the stories are true


you're on your own now

and we don't talk

but i've let go of the bitterness

i pushed out the hurt

all i wanted to show you

that i'm not mad at you

and there's forgiveness waiting for you

from God and i

if you decide to ever come around

but if you don't, just know:

i forgive you

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

in past months i've dealt with bitterness and hurt after a very long friendship that ended quite sadly. dear friends do know that holding on to bitterness and hurt is worse than forgiving them. it ultimately harms you more than the person you harbor the feelings for.


"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" - Ephesians 4:32



- JacyRayn

In Defense of Humility

In Defense of Humility


     "Humility. Thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools." ~C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

     If you've ever been caught in the trap of "I shouldn't think I am pretty. I shouldn't be recognized for my talents. It's wrong to love myself," then you know what destructive and false humility looks and feels like.

     "True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it's thinking of yourself less." ~C.S. Lewis

     Even though we all know this in our deepest being, sometimes we forget.

     So, darling, I'm here to remind you of three things:

     I. We all have unique gifts and talents to use for God's glorybe it beauty, intellect, strength and prowess in sports, creativity, or a myriad of other gifts.

     II. However, we are not to boast in anything but Christ.

     III. And lastly, humility means setting aside any pride we might begin to have in ourselves or our own accomplishments and instead pour our energy into loving others as equals.

     As The Screwtape Letters goes on to say, "[God] wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognize all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things."

     Darling, you are a glorious thing! It's time to recognize both yourself and others as beautiful masterpieces. God wants you to have a gratitude for yourself. He wants you to be able to recognize and celebrate the beautiful people you live alongside.

     When you love others as yourself, you will be able to fully love yourself in good and proper ways. You won't have to worry about having pride in the wrong places because you will have already placed that pride in the right places.

     To see that others are glorious and excellent creatures made by God is a lovely thing.

     It's the essence of humility.

     So don't beat yourself down. Humility isn't about hate. It's about love.

     "Pride goes before destruction," but "humility comes before honor" (Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 15:33b)

     Humility is the way of gracious and wise people; their spirits sit in awe of an incredible God. Those are the spirits which pour out love for others unreservedly.

~Madeline

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