labyrinth

labyrinth











I have walked a labyrinth of joy and of pain;
days of slogging down pre-made paths in the rain.
I have walked a thousand miles in circles made of clay,
though I had better things to do, better ways.

The labyrinth is made of things terrifyingly tall,
more than once I hit a dead-end wall.
so many times so many ways so many hidden halls
All waiting with baited laughter for me to fall.

The darkness approaches down upon this maze;
I travel faster, eyes opened wider, a drinking gaze.
but all I see is more maze in my gaze these days
and no water heaven nor hell has raised

the labyrinth drags on without end or bend
if it were small enough to fit in my hand I would rend
it though I must finish it with the time time is lend-
ing me and all I can think of is the way my feet distend.

swollen and puffy and my face is the same
from the tears from my eyes, self-made rain
trying to stop is in vain
and darkness calls my name

the twists and turns won't stop here
not now, tomorrow or next year
I plod on, in circles, in boredom, in fear.
my shoes tear.

Labyrinth of suffering and hurt
ground is still made of dirt
to dig my grave in, leave a mound for others to lurch
over when they slog through the mist-made murk.

But don't you see? That's how the labyrinth works
It drags you around in the mud, it hurts
it makes you stronger; see how far you've come from the lurch
you were in when you considered the dirge

Look how far you've come from that terrible time
See the walls are lower, you've left the darkness behind
You found the walkers that were kind
And looked for resting places to alight

Rest, that's the key, turning the helping you off
I know. that you try and you give and you rub yourself raw
with the sharp edge of smiles; on scraped knee you crawl
so that others can walk and you think no one sees the way life mauls

you and your soul, how it rips and tears
how it shares pieces of you that shouldn't be shared,
pieces that are critical, that need care
but don't other's need care? so your pain you bear

And you are in pain, and I see it
or maybe I don't
maybe you're good at hiding it
but does it matter? You're hurt and you
don't see that

you're worth
dying for.
living for.
don't try leaving,
just to see if you stay.

we like you here.
stay. please.

see the way the labyrinth curves and turns and
yes it is hard knowing that you're nowhere near the end
but trust me.
Keep walking.
Keep thinking.
Keep staying.
don't give up.

The end will get here, the walls will lower,
the sun will shine again,
and you will be glad you didn't
lose yourself
bury yourself
leave yourself
in the labyrinth.

the lover & the lost

the lover & the lost



he told me once
in the car
as headlights rose, fell, swept by
that I could always talk to God.
I wonder
why it didn't work for him.

did you ever believe that
Jesus loves you
or were you repeating lines from a sermon
stacking empty words to build a
false little tower
painting me a picture in black and white
and marvelling over
the colours?
how can someone so wise
who spun the wheel in his hands
as he spun me the answers
how can someone with
Jesus in his voice
march straight off the path without looking back?

do you ever pray?

on the way to work
or when you're
alone
at home
do you recognize yourself?
I look back and try to find the one place when you snapped
but maybe your life fell apart
in a series of small
cracks.

when you were eight
and dad was still at work
thirteen, and she didn't
like you back
high school, and you couldn't
find the grades so you
went looking for love
in other places
that smell sweet
but hide in the shadows.
and smoke.

eight years

later and I wonder
could you find your way back if you tried?
I look for you sometimes
but you aren't here
stuck in a story I never wanted to read.
I never thought I would understand
that loving lost people is hard
and when you hug the broken,
sometimes they cut you
but that doesn't mean you let go.

so if you're reading this, I hope you know
I never stopped loving you
and He didn't, either.


a little truth for your morning - whether you're the lover or the lost, or a little bit of both - it's okay. He still loves you, and so do I.

xx,
Olivia (s)

darkness will not win

darkness will not win
















You say you are not strong enough to keep living
And yet too afraid to die
When really the bravery was always in you
To give hope another try

I cannot pretend to know
What it's like inside of your head
My ears are deaf to all the things
And all the words your demons said

But I want you to know that
With every battered breath you take
Every time you remind yourself
That you're going to make

it

You remind the rest of us
We're going to make it

too

You are not the things
That echo in your head
You are not the dreams
That you think are dead

You are not the graveyard
Of the thoughts that have turned to rust
Or the hopes of tomorrow
That you laid down in the dust

You are not the fear
The pain
The heartache or the things
You think are done in vain

Don't you dare say
You aren't brave
or strong
Or that you're too far gone to save
Because believe me, you're wrong

And don't you dare say
That you aren't worth

it

Because every morning
When you decide to get out of bed
Whether you want to or

not

You show us all what a warrior looks like

So, no, I don't know your demons
And God knows if I could slay them for you I would
Because I believe that light drives out darkness
And we overcome evil with good

And I want to destroy the things that hurt you
And all that makes you cry
I promise you that though I might fail
I will always, always try

My promises are brittle
Feeble and weak
But still with every breath
It's them I'll strive to keep

And even if I fail
There are still these to hold

Perfect love casts out all fear

No weapon formed against you shall prosper

Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden
And I will give you rest

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son
That whosoever believes in Him will not perish
But have everlasting life

I will make a pathway through the wilderness
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland

My power is made perfect in weakness

I know that hearing this doesn't mean
You don't have monsters left to fight
But when the devils are lurking in your mind
And you're not sure you'll make it through the night

Please promise that you'll remember

Darkness is always driven out by Light


-ashlyn

less >

less >














I want to be
more than I am right now,

I want to be
more.

Sitting here at my kitchen table
thinking about how
I really should get some sleep
so I can wake up early
and
run
and
try to eat good
so I can
smile,
and
do it all over again.

I have dreams of

being more
doing more
letting go

But then all I seem to do is
stare at a screen
and

unwind

(whatever that means)

feeling like maybe there's meaning somewhere
and I'm just not grasping it.

I
come home
I
fall asleep
I
wake up
I
go to work

I keep going because that's what we do.

I, I, I

I'm tired.

Tired of me
tired of trying
tired of not dancing with my God.

A month ago
maybe more
I
made a list

A manifesto
Notes and plans and goals to live by
"The best me now"

It was a solid plan, I would
write more
run more
eat less.

Wouldn't I be perfect?

But I'm bruised.

Every dirty word
Every hollow thought
Every second I don't spend with You scratches
at the tender, inside lining of my skull

reminding me

I'm not perfect
and I never will be.

There's a verse in John that talks about

L I F E
to the
F U L L.

But I seemed only to want that life if it was
F U L L
of myself.

Yes, I could do it
I was sure
I
would just pack
more into my days
(but not my frame)
and finally

"reach my full potential."

I would have the life
I'd always wanted
and more;
I'd have
control.

There would be no mistakes,
only victories
and I would be better.
I'd have kept my list.

I like lists, yes
but
lists are cold
and lists are cruel
and lists don't offer you a warm hug of grace when you're scraping a spoon at the bottom of a bowl of frozen yogurt,
failing yourself
again.

No
Now

I need to be held
I need to be spoken to softly
I need to remember that there is more to life than the girl I am

and the girl I am not.

To feel the weight of this truth thundering in my heartbeat:

I am known
and I am loved
not because I know,
and not because I love.

To hide myself in the Spirit
so much stronger,
the very life itself.

I want to be
less than I am right now,

I want to be
less.

~ erin

the light inside you

the light inside you

stop looking in the mirror
blurry eyed and blank faced
blank eyed and blurry faced
you don't see your beauty there

you don't see the sunshine reflecting off your hair
you don't see the stars mirrored in your eyes
you don't see the laughter in the moments when you forget to keep up your guard
you don't see the way you look through the eyes of the stranger across the room
if you could only see for a moment the way you look through the eyes of those who love you
if you could only see yourself through the eyes of the One created and loved and formed every part of you that you have learned to hate

you are blind to the glow behind your skin
the fire in your eyes
the light in your wildly gorgeous being

you don't see the way you look through the haze of a thousand memories
of the hair in your face
of the bleary eyes framed by your lashes
of the hands dirty from hard work
of the eyes creased from too much laughter

you are more beautiful than you ever could've imagined
in a thousand ways you've never begun to understand
promise me you won't ever forget that
the light inside you > the shadow inside your mirror

                                           

let go

let go


Yesterday I got out my watercolors and painted this. Because I've been thinking about all those little things that steal your peace. All those little things that make it harder to fall asleep at night. All those little things that you wish you'd said, but didn't. Because your ego was like "hold up what do you think you're doing?" That little nudge somewhere deep inside that says, "hang on to this because it's all you've got." But really? It's not all you've got. You've got something better in that golden lion heart of yours. Let go.

honest honest honest

honest honest honest

i want to be honest with you, for a moment here. honest (it's a word my tongue and heart alike still fumble with).

these days have been hard, lately. they've been a war between truth and this anxiety - what is real? what is not? constant.

people keep asking me how things are going and i struggle with 1. putting words together, and 2. how real the words should be.

but 1. if i could put the words together, and 2. if the words were really real, they might sound something like

my name is Not Okay today, the battle between me and my brain is located on the corner of Scraped Up and Why, and it's all feeling a little pointless, and i don't know what i'm doing with my life right now, and i don't know where i'm going - i don't even remember how i got here - and i'm not very good with words, and i'm not very good with relationships, and there are a lot of can'ts in my life at the moment, and it's all very draining, and not very fun, and not something i like doing on my own but isolation is marketed as "More Forgiving! Easy Peasy! Perfect!" by My Brain and so i allow the distance even though i don't like it and i don't know how to stop it, and,

it's hard fighting yourself, day in and day out, without running out of breath,
or energy,
or hope.
ya know?

and maybe, you do know. maybe your days have been heavy and hard lately, too.
maybe you've been having to fight your brain a lot lately, too.
spoiler alert: you're going to win this battle. it might take a little bit of time. but you will. you will, because 1. you are not alone, and 2. you are strong, and 3. you have a story to tell. these days aren't going to get the better of you, we won't allow that.

and i don't know if any of this makes any sense at all, my brain is messy: it makes transposing thoughts and words difficult.
but, you will make it out of today alive and well, and we'll tackle tomorrow when it gets here. we'll take this slow and steady. we'll be okay.

hope will try to slip out the kitchen window today, so follow it. trace it back to community and open air.
isolation and dark thoughts suffocate in sunshine and honesty and hands held high.
that's where we must take this battleground.

stay alive, friends. it's worth it. i promise.

grace eva


[ now, listen to this ]

when the feelings show up

when the feelings show up


the earth was whirling past me
taking people and things
hopes and dreams.

my heart kept breaking before it had time to feel.
Feel the hurt
grief
sadness;

It was survival mode.
I would wake up and ask God what was next-
what crappy thing was going to happy today.

and then it would happen
something else would shake my stable, loving, 13 year old life.
and it was added to the pile.

The pile of sucky feelings that I didn't let myself process.

until one day, God let me feel.
He opened up those things right when everyone else had started mending.

and
I.
Freaked.
Out.

it was confusing and painful.
serious and sad.

           It was real, grown-up grief.

and through my tears,
I convinced myself that this pain was my own.
my fault.
my problem.
Between me and God.

I didn't keep talking.
I just let my sadness cloud grow.
Constantly hanging over me.

it's been three and a half years of separation from that deep darkness.
I know that I am a feeler, but I now know how to feel in a healthy way.
I know that depression is something I may always struggle with.
you know what?
It doesn't control me.
It doesn't define me.
   Because even though I will walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
    I have hope.
         Hope that this is not my home.
              Hope that I am most certainly not alone.

Today, may you know that you are a loved child of the King.
Know that it may hurt, but that you are not alone in your pain.
Know that no matter what
nothing
nothing
nothing
is bigger then our God.

xoxoxo,
-elissa


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