SOCIAL MEDIA

Thursday, November 8, 2018

dear self...don't forget.


dear self...don't forget. 

dear self...
battles have been fought.
darkness has tried to take out our light.
fear has shaken our ground.
arrows of lies have been aimed to our heart.
wounds have been a part of us
and broken pieces are all that we have left.

but, dear self...don't forget.
I plead, don't forget
that there is one who loves our broken pieces.
who is with us in the battle
who fights and conquerors every battle
who is the Light that can't be snuffed out
who shields us from the flaming arrows
who heals our wounds
who completes us.

don't forget...
that this One has gone through
everything we have faced+are facing+will face
100X more
in payment of our life.
He was shredded, pierced, mocked
and died and rose from the grave for us.

don't forget...that only He defines who we are.
don't forget...who He says we are.
don't forget, please, that He says 
“you are my beloved child; you are beloved.”
do not forget... He loves the broken you.
(Jer. 31:3)
~Ellie J

Friday, September 28, 2018

In Progress


     We are in progress. We aren't done yet.

     We are fighters - fighters against the darkness, fighters for our own minds, and fighters for truth. But we are still building our muscles.

     We are hard workers - learning how to do things effectively and study better than ever before.

     We are adventurers - giving ourselves space to explore and getting up early to get our lives on the road.

     We are peacemakers - still figuring out how to love people well and how to stay calm ourselves when it all piles on top of us.

     We are in progress, but we're going to make it. Why?

  • Because we've identified our people - the ones we can count on
  • And we are putting our best feet forward in unison
  • And we aren't worried about what others think
  • And we've given the rest over to God.

     You are still growing. Still learning. Still being made into the image of your Creator.

     And He is still God.

     So be still.

~Madeline
{sometimes I write the posts my heart needs \\ this is one of those posts \\ let me know if it resonates with you too}
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

internally battling

















internal battles are the hardest to fight
they pull at my heart and play with my emotions
the fight makes me weak in the knees and dizzy in the head
the feelings moving through my body are stubborn
they whisper to stay in bed all day
and i can't shake that off

those feelings
amplify bitter songs
are mute to freckles of sunshine
pick at my nail polish

i don't feel capable to put one foot in front of the other
but somewhere deep within me i know i can

once i start moving i won't stop
i'll put it all aside
and i'll tell those feelings to get out of my way

and so i move forward fighting the urge
to stay in bed

the initial first few steps are the battle
but once that's won

the rest falls into place.


- vanessa 
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

something beautiful



Did you mean it when you said you want to
see all the thoughts that I bury so deep?
Did you want to hear the screams? They’re bouncing
off the walls of every crevasse in this
place. What is this place? I’m not sure. But it’s
dark and cold and all I want is something
beautiful to come in and stay a while.

I hear you sometimes. You’re walking outside
the halls of this place, whatever this place is,
and I’m banging on the doors, begging for
light and air, but I don’t think anyone
can hear me. Maybe it’s silent, maybe
there’s no noise at all; but then why are my
eardrums bleeding from all the screaming?

It’s not as bad as you’d think, in the dark.
I keep a flashlight in my pocket; if
I search the walls for long enough I can
find a poor crack to let in the warmth. Warmth.
It comes when I see that flicker behind
your eyes that means you understand, that
you found something extraordinary

In this dark place. And now, look at you, I
wasn’t expecting that. You’re pulling up
the floorboards, revealing beams of light
underneath. We’ll make this place our own; we’ll
put in glass so the light gets through, put in
windows. And now I can see that the screams
weren’t screams; they were birds singing.

Something beautiful was already here;
I only lacked the light to see it. I
let the darkness change songs into screams. Your
screams were a song all along, you tell me.
You heard my song, opened the door to this
place, showed me how to let the light in. We
dance on glass floors and revel in its grace.



- MaryShelley


Sunday, July 1, 2018

i know what you're thinking



I know what you're thinking
beautiful thing
as you lie awake in the dark with your shining eyes
rivers of gold stardust tears running down your cheeks
dripping onto the floor and making it glow
like your heart did
before the world broke your trust

I know what you're thinking
glorious thing
as you wonder what the point is
why we wake each day
and go to work
or go to school
or go to parties
or watch videos on the internet
a n y t h i n g
to numb the pain
to take away the feeling
the sharp edges
of the broken things

but you,
beautiful, glorious thing
you are better off getting hurt
you are better off crying
you are better off when the broken things make you bleed
because it means you can feel
it means you haven't lost that wondrous gift you were born with

it means you haven't lost your soul

I know what you're thinking
beautiful thing
as you lie awake in the dark with your shining eyes
I know that you want to give up

d o n ' t.

the world needs you
because you are
our only
h o p e


- abbiee
Thursday, June 28, 2018

verbs



this is for you
whether you're the
adventurer
dreamer
romantic

//

pray
pray for yourself, all the mess you're wrestling with
pray for them, all the broken hearts and bravest souls in your life
pray for our nation, because God can do a work in any situation
& when you're done,
learn to pray for God's will above all else.

be
be thankful for what you have
be full of hope in the silence around you
be full of passion when the noise is crushing you
& ultimately, be faithful, available, and teachable.

grow
grow in your strengths and foster creativity
grow in the Lord - learn His Word and His very nature
grow in your relationships with other humans
& grow enough to get outside of your comfort zone.

give
give of your time and talents - they're not to be hoarded
give from what you have
give without expecting anything back
& give beyond what you could give in your own strength.

love
love the other
love the broken
love the family around you until they see Him in you
love the friends and acquaintances surrounding you
& love until your heart grows three sizes.

go
go to school, work, or your own home
go to the places God has called you
go to the vulnerable places in relationships that stretch you
go into the wild unknown
& go be a light in a dark world.

trust
& trust God to grow what you have planted in faith; it won't go to waste.

~Madeline
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Make Art




Make art.

There come times in our lives when we hit a dry spell in creativity.

We may not write more than a few lines at a time.
We may not paint, or draw, or take photos.
We may not create music or write songs.
We may not dance.

The older we get, the more our focus can shift away from making the art that awakens our spirits, instead scattering toward the dozens of responsibilities and tasks required of us as societal beings.

From high school, in which we often feel pulled in five different directions (school, family, friends, activities, work), to college, in which the number of directions increases (add internships, rushing, a new environment, facing the world by yourself), to early adulthood, in which we wonder how the adults in our lives ever made it past twenty-five, we feel ourselves slipping into patterns of mundanity and routine. We make the sacrifices of our time that we feel are necessary. Education, paying bills and providing for a family or sustaining yourself, taking care of others—these are our priorities. Creating beautiful, moving, or joy-inspiring things are nice, yes, but unnecessary to life. Or so we think.
But we forget that art is not just about creating a tangible piece of work—a creation of colors, a world made of words, a melody of our own madness. These things are beautiful, and needed, but they are only the product of the essence that is art.

Art is love.

It is helping a little girl feel safe.

It is teaching a boy the difference between bravery and bravado.

It is treating people with less wealth and social standing with respect and honor. It is treating people with more wealth and social standing with respect and honor.

It is the honoring of all races.

It is the honoring of your mother and father.

It is the honoring of yourself.

It is the honoring of God.

It is calling beauty forth where it was dormant and hiding.

You want to know the meaning of life? This is your highest calling: You called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos. This breath is your canvas and your brush. These are the raw materials for your art, for the life you are making. Nothing is off limits. Your backyard, your piano, your paintbrush, your conversation, Rwanda, New Orleans, Iraq, your marriage, your soul. You’re making a living with every step you take.

Jon Foreman

                                                                                                                                            ~Hannah W.
Sunday, May 20, 2018

boys.

















there's been something on my heart for a while now. boys. they've been on my heart and in my mind but not in the way one would assume. i am friends with them, they know they have my trust. with trust comes vulnerability and heaviness. they know i will hold them at their weakest but who will hold me when i can't bare all their secrets anymore?

let me share something with you that they share with me.

boys are insecure.

like girls they worry about the way they look. it's the little things they do that i've picked up on that have triggered me to point the gun at them and ask if they are insecure. the way they look in the rear-view mirror and adjust their hair as they say, "my hair looks bad." or the way they tilt their face when we're taking a picture together to get the perfect angle. "take it again, i look bad in that one."

are you happy with who you are? the way you look? are you confident in who you are?

their answers are long. always. but more often than not the answer is no.

i've been going to the gym, i want better arms and thicker legs. my body needs to look amazing because my personality isn't that great. society makes me feel like i have to have a six-pack. i wish it was okay and i didn't have to worry about these things. there's a huge demand for girls ages 21-28 and that's a small amount of the population which means I need to step up my game. i know i'm good looking but i'm just okay. nope, im not handsome. my personality sucks. i could always look better and be better. i need to work on who i am as a person.

i've heard it all. it's all sad. before i starting paying attention to this matter i thought boys were confident. i didn't think that they cared as much as we do about self-image.

boys. 

who can they tell these things to but themselves and the girls they trust? living in fear that their buddies will be boys about these kinds of things, so they don't bring it up. that's why my heart has sunk. boys have all these insecurities they hold within themselves and no one to talk about it with. girls have other girls to talk about these things with but boys don't have boys.

if boys talked about their insecurities they fear they would sound like girls. "stop being such a girl." don't blame boys for being emotionally unavailable and guarded. they have their reasons. but if one of them ever comes up to you and starts talking. listen and support them. that is the most vulnerable thing they could do.

everyone deals with self-image and self-love issues. it's hard to love yourself in a world that points out your flaws and tells you that you can't, and won't, couldn't and shouldn't. but that's what the world does. it points out your flaws, you must yell to the world that you are beautiful, no one else is going to do that for you.

it'll mean more when you yell, "I'M  BEAUTIFUL!" from the mountains than if the world were to say it.



- vanessa 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

suffering, doubt, and the peace that surpasses it all














It is the first week of October.

I am crying in the parking lot of Whole Foods. My best friend has just lost her infant nephew.

He had made his entrance into the world far too early, but he came out fighting. He was so little, barely a pound, but there were so many people praying, nothing bad was going to happen to this baby. He was going to make it and time would fly and he would be a chubby-cheeked toddler, an absolute miracle, and a testament to the healing power of God. No one thought otherwise.

We were so sure.

He was here ten days, but then he went home.

Beautiful things tend to do that, you know.

My forehead is pressed into the dashboard, body over knees, my whole being a tangle of hot tears and sobbing because this wasn't supposed to happen. The world around me has taken on a daydream feel, but one with nightmare edges that curl and twist with the weight of a broken reality.

My heart is aching. I long to do something, be of some comfort to my friend, but she is hundreds of miles away, but not even the distance can contain the devastation of an outcome that makes you feel like hope slipped right through your fingers and left tremblings whys in its place.

It's been a few months and my friend still hurts because that kind of wound just doesn't heal and I want to hunt down the answers for her questions, but I've walked that road of wondering and wandering and I know it's like fighting the current. Exhausting.

She asks how my sister-in-law and her unborn baby are doing. And I flinch because “They're doing great. Oh, what are they having? A boy. Yeah. I'm going to have a nephew.” We both rejoice in the good news, but my words taste like salt and sting my lips because I remember how excited we were that we both would be aunts at the same time.

My mother takes pictures of twins and their happy parents. I remember when these toddlers came too soon, barely born and yet on death's doorstep. I remember how myself and everyone I knew hit their knees to intercede for these little ones and they made it.

They made it and I'm so happy, but the balloon of joy bumps the edges of a ceiling full of questions.

And my friend still hurts.

There was a time a few years ago when my mind was full of relentless questions. These whys and how comes were all I could see and they threatened to consume me. Through the fog of confusion, I lost sight of the heart of God, started to doubt he was for me, not against me, started to kind of wonder if He was really for and not against anyone. Never stopped believing, totally dedicated to Jesus, but constantly, constantly, spinning the question over in my mind; is God really good?

I searched and read through every apologetic text and blog I could get my hands on, but the brush-away answers never seemed to satisfy, only aggravated me because yeah, they might explain away some scenarios, but they weren't telling me who God even is.

The world's aching and brokenness just left me baffled. Was God an angry tyrant, unconcerned with our wretchedness, distant and far above it all because, after all, we do it to ourselves. Or was He the One so many called Abba Father, somehow both sovereign and intimately involved in the life of even the person considered the least of least? 

When I looked around at the state of the world, I found myself altogether, not sure, not sure, not sure.

From somewhere within my tangled heart, the same refrain:

Show me Your heart.
God, please, please.
Just show me Your heart.

The journey of this was far longer than a blog post could possibly speak of. I can't say that I ever got all of my answers. A few, yes, but there were mysteries that haven't been solved for me. But I found myself quietly seeking, even if it meant accepting that I wouldn't get an answer at that point in time.

I dug my way through Isaiah, discovered this powerful God who never gave up on a faithless and wandering nation, found the heartbeat of the story of the world, one of redemption and love, one that starts and ends at the foot of the Cross. I worked my way through the New Testament, read the gospels, again and again, fell so in love with Jesus, this Son of Man, this Son of God who loved so gently and so fiercely that He let Himself die so that we might live.

And it rang so true that those who earnestly seek God, find Him.

Because a God who has all of Heaven and leaves it just so He can have you is not a God who leaves us to our own devices, is not a God who ignores our pain.

In the gospel of John, we find the story of Lazarus. Most of us are familiar with the story, one of Jesus' more famous miracles. There are a few verses that stand out to me in this passage.

“When Jesus saw her[Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.”
John 11:33-35(ESV)


Jesus wept.

Jesus wept.

He wept.

Jesus knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, but He took a moment to step into the pain of those around Him, to empathize, and acknowledge the grief they were suffering. Jesus dignified and embraced that human experience, even though He knew Lazarus would be alive a few moments later. He didn't tell them to stop weeping, He didn't tell them to get over it, He didn't shudder away from their mourning, from their questions. He embraced it. Just like He embraced the suffering and brokenness of the entire world later on the Cross.

I don't know why my friend's nephew died. I don't know why babies die at all. Or why anyone, especially the most innocent, would suffer. I don't know a lot of things.

But I know Him.

I am convinced that a God who bankrupts Heaven, leaves all of His glory behind, to become flesh, walk among us in this bleeding and broken world, and suffer and die on our behalf...that God? He is good. And even when our prayers don't get answered the way that we want, I believe He is kind.

Echoing the words of Bill Johnson, I refuse to sacrifice the goodness of God on the altar of human reasoning in response to seemingly unanswered prayers.

So, even when our question remains unanswered this side of heaven and the doubt is pressing in on all sides, I believe we serve a God who cups our tear-stained faces and weeps with us. That not a single heartbreak goes unnoticed, not one wrong won't someday be made right.

Maybe you're in a dark night of the soul and battling things you can't bring yourself to speak of. Maybe every day is an endless circle of why and the answers just aren't enough. I can't promise that those answers will ever come. There are just some things that human logic can't justify or explain. 

But I can promise you that God sees and moreover, He cares.

Maybe the point of our doubts isn't to receive an answer to the question.

Maybe the point is to receive an understanding of the One who is so much greater than all of our questions.

Jehovah Shalom.

-ashlyn






Sunday, April 1, 2018

on top of the mountain



I am sitting on top of the mountain
looking down at the crowd below
my voice is as raw as the wind as it snatches my words away
my desperate, hopeful, welcoming words:
"please come with me"

But they stay in the valley and wait for my return
they can't even see me from where they stand
they look up and find the fog there instead
the fog of their minds and their thoughts and the words of others
the words which scratched my arms and legs on my way up the mountain
and now I stand on the summit, bleeding
but I'm alive
and they are not.

If only they could see
if only they could come
if only they could understand my words and follow
if only.

But they wait for me
and I might return
but not for long.
Because the mountain is my refuge
the place where I belong
and I don't care that I'm alone up here
at least that's what I tell myself.

"I don't care that I'm alone!" I cry into the wind.
But I do care.
Because I want them to see this view.

I have tears in my eyes
on the top of the mountain
because they insist on staying in the valley
where they can't see.

But I won't stop calling to them.
I won't stop screaming into the wind:
"please come with me"



this one is for all the outcasts like me. 
sometimes it's lonely on top of the mountain.
I just want you to know that I'm up here, too.
- abbie
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

your lowest


I hope you know that your low can't be compared to anyone else's low.

What you know as your deepest pain is valuable no matter the situation. No matter what the story was.

I wish I could hold you.

Tell you that you'll be okay.

Weave my hands through your hair as you let tears form.

Its okay to be sad. There's nothing wrong with embracing that lowest low. But darling, don't stay there. Don't cling to that low. Cry it out but don't hold it close.

Move on darling.

Keep moving forward.

The forest is waiting to hear your cries. It wants to hold your ground while you lean against its trees and dip your head up in defeat. It's okay. It'll be okay. The forest will say.

Feel the dirt on your hands. There's hope. There is hope, Hope is out there.

Move on to your highest high. It may not be compared to someone else's highest but if it makes you grin and laugh to remember then, darling, be happy.

Dance within the forest. Dance like you've been on the top of the mountains but like you have also seen the bottom of the ocean. Let the world hear you laugh and cry. It's okay.

Be a flood of emotions. Embrace them.

But don't compare them.

Only you will understand your wave.



- Vanessa 
Friday, March 23, 2018

i hope you know
































there are so many things that i hope you know.

i hope you know
that you are
radiant.

that you should never doubt your beauty
or settle for being called "pretty"
because when you smile, you, my dear
are as radiant as the sun.

i hope you know
that you are
capable

that no matter how overwhelmed you are right now
or how inadequate you feel
you are so capable
you've got this, love.

i hope you know
that you are
talented

and that you've got to stop comparing everything that you do
to all of the other people that you see
because you are so uniquely created
and you have talents like nobody else

i hope you know
that you are
loved.

on the good days and the bad.
you are so so loved.
and that is the thing
that i will forever
hope you know.

- grace anne
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

center of the universe



From a young age we are taught

That the sun is not worth our time

I know so because we placed him the corner of our drawings as kids

When we get up everyday

We put him in the far corner away from our minds

We don't think about if he's going to rise

Or if he'll fail to set

He is the same

Day in

Day out

Yet we forget

That the sun

That was put there by the Son

Is the very center of our universe

Everything we do revolves around Him

Yet we still draw Him in the corner, as if He's only half there

And not what our whole life should be about

So I ask you

What are you putting at the center of your universe

Instead of the Son?


- jacy rayn
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

the warrior within [it's not easy]


sometimes i wish change were easy. i wish that my desire to be a better individual, a more mature adult, and a more competent and disciplined person - i wish that developed in the ways that my gut instinct often wishes it could.

what do i mean by that?

i mean that sometimes i feel discontentment. that's a broad term - i get it. define it however it fits into your life. for me, it usually feels like "i wish i was doing more, producing more, or more disciplined" (negative thoughts, first of all. thoughts that should sound like: i am doing more than i was yesterday: awesome. i am learning each and every day how to be healthier in every way: awesome. ) 

then i think: if i just had more of a handle on my work tasks and finances - i'd be happy with myself. or if i traveled more, i would feel more knowledgeable. i would feel more accomplished. ugh, you know what...? I feel bored. I don't know how to explain it, i just feel bored with myself, i feel like i need a change, i feel like i'm in a rut. i should cut all my hair off. yeah. or color it. i need to do something drastic and different with myself; maybe i'll get a tattoo. maybe i'll start a different project. maybe... maybe... maybe.

everything above? thoughts. thoughts that have ALL passed through my head at one time or another, many of which are reoccurring. each have nuance differences, but all have commonalities: they are easy. they are so easy.

if your work situation was different - easy. has nothing to do with the internal stuff going on inside you. all external. easy.

oh, if only i traveled more. i used to actually think this... and now, standing on the other side of a trip to Europe, I can tell you - easy. all external. does not change you. is it fun and adventurous and in ways educational? sure. very. but easy. does not evoke change. 

i'm going to chop off my hair, or get a tattoo or get another piercing of some kind - that will make me feel more unique as an individual. that will change how i look at myself: nope. been there, done it. nope. it doesn't. you're the same person, and three days later you feel just as discontent with yourself as you did before. it is all external. it is all easy.

sometimes i wish it were easy and external. i mean, wouldn't that be great? if we could all feel better about ourselves if we just had _____________, or just did________. fill in the blanks. whatever. 

am i picking on you? no. no, i'm picking on myself in a loving way - because I have thought every single of of these things, and i have come to understand, now, at the age of 23, that these are lies. i want to reach back through time and whisper to my younger self: that's the easy road. wrong road to be on, girl. wrong road.


i've come to see, through a lot of sweat and tears, that it has never, and will never have anything to do with the easy and the external. are external things bad? some, yes. no, not all. setting high goals, getting after something, chasing your dream, doing the work, working out, maintaining your health - all good things. huge supporter of those things. but do not look to these things to change you. 

the fact is, it's not even that you need to "change" per se. it's that you need to find out who you really are. a character in my book uses this line that's become one of my favorites: there's a warrior within you. i love this line, and i don't take credit for it. God gave me that line, so if you quote it, don't credit me, credit Him, please. but it's so true... and it's something that i struggled with hardcore as a teenager, and still struggle with to this date. every single day, actually. because i always wish it was easy. i wish it was just that i need to workout more, or work more, or not lose my temper ever, or cut my hair, or travel, or get a tattoo. i wish that were the case. because then my ego could at last sit back and say "ahhh, yes. okay, kate. we're good. we're done. we're perfect. no more to do."

haha. nope

the right road is never easy. the righteous path is never smooth and without resistance. none of the people i look up to had easy paths: my parents, Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther, many Navy SEALS and service members who i greatly respect - i look up to these people because of who they are and what they represent - and they did not become those individuals by taking the easy road. they did not become who they are by making easy choices. they are who they are because they looked inward and took the narrow path, day-by-day.

and you know what, i love myself. i love who i am  and who i continue to become and i love my friends, which include you guys reading this, and i love seeing you all grow and grasp and climb and struggle along with me. but if there's one thing i could say that would stick in your mind and stay with you - if there's one thing i could sear into my own head it would be this:

it's not easy. it's not external. it's not any of the things you see OUTSIDE. it's inside you. there's a warrior inside you, and what you need to be doing is getting quiet with yourself and your maker and figuring out more and more every single day, who that warrior is. because that's who you really are. and that's the only place you're ever going to find any sense of contentment and fulfillment. 


that's what i need to be doing. and if this post is nothing else, let it be a reminder to myself to stop wishing it was easy and external. to look inside myself, not outside. because Papa put a lot inside me, and you, and every single one of us, and i've only begun to scratch the surface of that potential. 

there's a deep reservoir of God-given potential inside each and every single one of us - and that, THAT is what makes us unique. that is what makes us continually become better, more beautiful, confident, competent, disciplined, focused, creative, fun individuals. that's what brings out the warrior within. 

nothing easy and external will ever help us to drink of those deep, sweet waters inside of us. you don't need different clothes or hair, or a different job, or a trip to find contentment. find contentment WITHIN you. within that day-by-day, moment-by-moment discovery of who you really are. because all those good things you aspire to? the potential for their fulfillment is already inside of you. trust that it's in there - not out there.




cheers to a good week,
kate
Monday, February 19, 2018

you have no idea

originally posted on abbiee.com

Sometimes it's discouraging to live in today's world. There seems to be a shortage of love, kindness, hope, and good people to demonstrate these things. But today, I'm going to debunk that myth — and remind you what love is… because now, more than ever, this needs to be the topic on everyone's lips. The main course of everyone's life.

First, I need to be vulnerable and admit something: I'M NOT ALWAYS SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS. Although I always show up on my blog with a smile and a dose of happiness for you, that's not how I live every moment of my life. I WISH I DID…but this world has a way of knocking you down by mere association. I hear, read, and see things via the news and the internet that breaks my heart and leaves me thinking, "man, what is it all for?" And I think it's important to notice these kinds of thoughts and feelings — not just sweep them under the rug. It's important because of the way we decide to respond to things that knock us down.
I FEEL LIKE THIS NEEDS TO BE SAID. So today that's what I'm going to talk about: love (in honor of Valentine's Day because why not) and how we respond to what isn't love. IT'S A DEEP DIVE, BUT I KNOW YOU'RE WITH ME. I know you feel this too. And I hope this post will give you some solace. Let's go.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

basic [a slam poem]







TRANSCRIPT ]

dear girls with blonde hair and fair skin and lines like wings crowning your night sky eyes, 
girls with dark skin and brand name boots and hair in a messy bun,
girls with olivey skin, and skin with pink undertones, and yellow undertones, 
and dear girls with skin that's too scarred for people to notice or care what
color
it
is

dear girls with makeup covering their skin because society has told them that they should be
ashamed
of having acne
like no one else has blemishes 
but them

dear girls who buy coffee, who wear earrings, who use instagram,

dear girls,
with
beautiful, beautiful
skin tones of various
beautiful beautiful
hues

despite what he, they, society or buzzfeed tells you,
there is nothing
'basic'
about you.

dear blonde girl, drinking her coffee, and maybe listening to one direction on her iphone,
i am sorry that they categorized you as basic,
because of what they see
and hear
on the outside,
when all they can perceive is your sweater and ripples of hair and eyeliner
and not the scars underneath the fabric,
the markings that manifest themselves at night when you look in the mirror and hate what you see
because you don't know
how perfect,
how precious,
how unbelievable that five foot two stretch of skin
blood
bone,
ligaments
tendons,
rib-cage
heart beat
is.

you don't know that you are not a 
statistic that will one day be in a 
history book that another fifth grader will dread reading,
you don't know that you are not just a name,
a megan,
a sarah, 
a Yikeria,
you are not just a number in a cooperate marketing strategy,
you are not merely your face,
or your skin,

and you don't know that that fabric,
that music,
that time you spend in a particular coffee shop
does
not
define you

because we tell you that it
does
and we tell you that you are 
basic

PLEASE
don't listen to us,

for we are merely riders of the bow of another type of rms titanic,
and we can only see a glisten atop the waves,
a glimmer
of what might be a tiny ice berg,
we don't see the mountain, underneath,
the warzone,
that will rip you down the middle
and sink you like a stone.

we don't know you

so don't you dare let us reduce you
to a hashtag
on a photo 
on an app 
that will be obsolete in fifteen years,
laughed at
by your grandchildren.

don't let us tell you who you are
because we have

no
idea

dear girl with dark skin, and warm brown eyes and beautiful braids 
who takes selfies and wears her lips bright red or burgundy,
who likes chai tea lattes and long, silky leggings,
i am sorry that we have drawn a scarlet B
on your sacred skin
to let the world know that you are just another puzzle piece 
in a stereotype
that you are but another product from the same machine
that produces "basic" females

who wear the same clothes
and use the same phones,

when we have no idea that underneath the blush and the burgundy and the perfection of your outfit
your stomach is empty
because nourishment no longer fits within the parameters of the 
pressure
you get
from the girls in your class,
your friends who are "skinnier" than you,
the women on the covers of the magazines in the check out lines, 
the "fitspiration" photos you obsess over

I am sorry that we didn't notice
how your jawline is protruding too far through the skin on your cheeks,
I am sorry,
that we didn't notice that you're drinking a diet soda while everyone else is eating lunch,
i'm sorry, 
that we didn't ask you what it was like,
to grow up without dad,
or maybe without a mom,
or maybe without someone sober,
who you can talk to 
about what it feels like
to sob into your pillow at night, and war with the voices inside your head,

we were too busy noticing what brand of shoes you were wearing,
what roast of coffee
you were drinking

i'm sorry that we took out the red pen and wrote
basic
on your face
i am sorry
that we laughed at the things
that might be helping to keep you in one piece right now, when everything else in your life is like a post-iceberg titanic.

dear girl in starbucks on a laptop with gauges and tattoos and headphones,
dear girl who is trying to make her hair look as "good" as "pinterest"
dear girl who calls herself awkward,
clumsy,
klutzy,
lame,
dear, young, emotional one, who feels like she is bursting at the seams and she doesn't even know why,

I am so sorry we thought there was so little to you.
I am so sorry that we dared to categorize you,
like an object,
like a product,
like a satistic,
by what you wear,
by the color of your skin,
by the songs your lips snyc themselves to,
i am sorry we tried to sell you
and market you
and make fun of you.

i am so sorry we wrote you off as a reproduction when you are
an original
masterpiece

when you are
detailed,
messy,
taped-up,
complex,
intricate,
hurting,
healing,
tender,
crying,
screaming,
reaching
warring,

dear warrhead girl,

there is absolutely nothing
that is basic
about you.

can you ever
forgive us?



- k.a.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Beloved Child



Child.

You are more.

More than enough.

You are the one He gave His life for.

You are the one whose very existence means He is breathing love into you.

Everything you're going through is for a purpose. God's not through with you.

He loves you. You are His, and He is yours. You're a beloved daughter, beautiful in every way.

No matter what comes, He will be faithful. And you can hold on. He will give you the grace, the love, and the peace you need so desperately right now.

When you're broken on the ground, you will be found by the One who never leaves the one behind. He leaves the ninety-nine to chase after you, darling one.

So, whatever is true...

Whatever is noble...

Whatever is right...

Whatever is pure...

Whatever is lovely...

Whatever is admirable...

If anything is excellent or praiseworthy in your life today (and He always is!)...

Think about such things. Think about them and then praise Him for them, daughter.

You're a child of the Most High God, and He holds your every moment, every breath, in His everloving, ever-faithful arms.

If you need a starting place to think about truth today, let these words wash over you.

~Madeline
Monday, January 22, 2018

unrelatable



if the world goes one way, i will go the other. 

i will be the nail that sticks up while the others are pounded down, 

the lighthouse as the angry waves crash against it. 

i will swim against the current, 

i will rail against the ebb and flow, 
i will riot, 
i will scream. 

i will do nothing like the rest.
i relate to no one. i am unrelatable.

i lie awake writhing in this world,
i am lonely in this foreign land,
who are these faces, these voices, 
what is this degradation we call normal?

all this darkness,
darkness,
darkness
disguising itself as light.

if this is normal, you can have it
i'd rather be a freak.

i'd rather be the one to stand,
and call the darkness out,
call it out for what it is.

i am nothing like the rest. 
i will climb the highest mountain, and swim the vastest sea
to do everything they won't do.
and i will be the martyr before i do
one single thing
they do. 

bricks,
bricks
another brick in the wall.

told told
what to think

told told
what to feel

told told
who they are

i will not be
told told

i am the wreaking ball smashing through.
i am the wreaking ball who refuses to be a brick

i will burn the white flag 
before i will ever raise it

because the day i give in is the day i shall sink
but i cannot sink

for i am the ocean; raging, raging:

"wake up, wake up..."





Thursday, January 18, 2018

Let My Heart Speak






Exhausted.
Exhausted by the weight of the world that I’ve chosen to shoulder.
Everything I do must be good enough for someone, must be pleasing or right or noble or sensible.

Look at me, Mama! Look at me, Daddy! Ain’t I doing good?

Even when there is no one around, I feel the eyes of invisible faces watching my every move, analyzing and criticizing.
I just want to do it right for once.
My heart beats fast in the fear that clutches me when I ponder the ways I’ve been missing the mark.
The cycle is endless, this story of performance. Performing even when the blinding lights shut off, the lilting music fades, and the scrutiny is over.

I stare at the cursor on the broad white screen.
Blink. Blink. Blink.
It daunts me and dares me to type out something that will wow the crowd, chaining me to the keyboard with the motivation of making a sensation, not emptying my heart.

Or is my heart already empty?

No. My heart is churning with story. It is churning with magic and wonder and love.
My heart has something to say.
And it will say it, even if only within itself. Even if it is only to be stored in a folder within a folder within another folder and is never revealed to another soul.


Finally, I will let my heart speak.