Monday, July 10, 2017

the idea

Dust was sifting through the afternoon sunlight, and I was sitting alone in my room when the idea came to me. I think I knew then that I must've been too young to have come up with an idea like that. But my mum had told me I was smart, so it came as no surprise to me. Of course, she's also called the opposite of smart countless times, but I liked to remember the names I liked.
I went to tell mum right away She looked tired in her chair, but it didn't matter, cause I had come up with the perfect form of punishment. This peculiar kind of punishment would be to get to know other people. Mum looked at me funny at this, but I was delighted with myself and hurried to explain to her my idea.
Didn't she see? When you really get to know someone, you see all their ugly, mean parts that other people don't get to see. Sometimes you understand; sometimes you don't. But either way your stubborn heart finds stuff in them to like, love even. You learn to love them even when the dark takes over the light. But that's the good part. Cause every time you learn to love them-
They go away.
This would be the perfect punishment for anyone. I stood up straight and tall and watched my mums eyes do a funny, jittery, watery thing as she sat forward and still in her rocking chair. She suddenly pulled me close to her, onto her lap, and she was crying into my hair, whispering breathily almost as if to herself, "I'm never going to leave you, darling. I'm going to stay with you forever. Forever, do you hear me?"
But I just hid my smile in her tangled, matted hair, knowing our secret, that this must just be part of the game. And I was right, just as I always was. She held me for awhile, and then the moment passed, and, as she put me back down again, her eyes were distant, her face a blank slate. I went to my room and lay awake hungry, thinking about my idea in the dark.
And the next morning she was gone.

It would take a long time for me to figure out why mum wasn't excited about my idea and that the game wasn't really a game at all and even longer to understand that, sometimes, people stay.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

summer reading !!!!!!!

FINALLY, HERE IS MY LIST FOR YOU. I tried to keep the descriptions succinct and to the point. These are all high quality reads, and if you decide to read even one of them I will be endlessly happy. So let me know if you do, or want to, or if you've read one of them, or if you don't like one of them, or if you- whatever! I just wanna hear from you lolz.


- The Storyteller / Jodi Picoult
Themes of justice. Baking. Makes you think a lot. Seamless storytelling and switching of perspectives, time periods, and settings. Romance. Stories within stories. Auschwitz. Plot twists that leave you spinning. Loneliness and friendship and all the connections.

- The Book Thief / Markus Zusak
A Jew. A basement. A boy and a girl. The color of the sky when Death comes around. Smoke and snow and ash raining down. Foreshadowing for the centuries. Hitler Youth. A snowman in a basement. Rubble. Learning to read and write. There's no way for me to describe this book. It was unlike any book I've ever read before, and I love it.

- To Kill a Mockingbird / Harper Lee
The best book, probably. Stays with you forever. Characters that are so themselves you can't imagine them as anything else. Raw ugliness and goodness of the world through the eyes of a child. Integrity. Injustice. Stuff that matters.

- The Screwtape Letters / C. S. Lewis
Straight. Fire. Eleven hundred percent sure after reading this that C. S. Lewis knows me/the human  heart better than I know myself. It's ridiculous. This book shines a light into the dark places I didn't know were there, and it's so, so good. Always pointing back to Jesus. Lewis was such a gift to humanity. 

- The Secret Keeper / Kate Morton
"Sun-browned skin, blond leg hairs, scabbed knees. It was a long time ago. It was yesterday." Mystery. Generations. Nostalgia. World War II. Love, but not what you think. Plot twists that leave you on the floor. Have fun trying to put this one down.

- The Enchanted / Rene Denfeld
I'm in the middle of this one. Death row. Broken families. Persistent love. Told from the POV of a mute inmate. A fallen priest. A lady lawyer. Deadlines. Mountains. What's real and what's not. A fight for the life of a man who wants to die. A piece of sky through the window. Unbroken, poetic flow of words that won't let you go. Absence of light.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

what remains

What is there left to say about their eyes lighting up when they talk about something they love
What remains to be written about their laughter, their smile, their touch
What is left to speak of the cursed finiteness of time in their presence

What remains except to speak about the way your eyes light up green and blue and golden and deep when you talk about what matters to you
What remains except the elusive words to capture your laughter when you try to keep it in and can’t and the way your eyes crinkle up when you smile and the way your rough hand feels in mine
If only there were words left to encapsulate the wretched limits of us

I used to hate love songs and their grating sameness
But now every time I put my pen to paper I find myself writing the same thing in a different arrangement of words
Of you
                        And you
And only you
sorry for all the DRAMA happening on the blog lately.
what can I say?
Iiii actually don't know what I can say,
but here I am posting another one. oops.
hopefully a recommended summer reads post is coming soon though!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

a dream

I remember the wind in my hair and the sun in my eyes and your car radio in my ears
I remember how I could hear your smile over the phone when you tried not to laugh
I remember how your eyes lingered on mine for too long too many times
I remember making pasta together and how you insisted your way was best
I remember how well we laughed together
I remember how you looked at me like it was too good to be true and then had to look away so you wouldn’t stare
I remember watching you walk out the door as the stars faded into the oncoming dawn
I remember a dream
Do you

Friday, June 2, 2017

excerpts of life

everyone keeps doing all these posts about high school and graduation and what they've learned and all this stuff, but I don't know. at the end of graduation day I wasn't thinking of everything I've learned. I was too busy taking in all the love. and it all just hit me that day. and I wrote messy in my journal late at night,
everything is so good and I'm too scared to think about it or I'll cry cause beginnings mean endings and time slips by so fast and I don't know how to love people well enough yet. what if I've lived all this time and they haven't seen Jesus yet? and I just thought, what could I ever give back- to mom and dad, my family, my friends/soulmates, my Savior, the Giver of every good and perfect gift? I mean, I guess, my life. but I guess I could start with a grateful heart, too. so, here's some memories of the week of graduation that fill me up all over again. john 1:16.

too many people crammed in a car music blasting, running to dollar general, hot air sweeping in through the open windows, watching baseball drowsy at dusk, volleyball barefoot in the sand at night.

laying in bed at night, talking about Jesus and the Bible, drinking tea, and realizing how real and alive and personal and powerful He is.

nachos and dip and ice cream and cookies and strawberries dipped in chocolate and laughter and talking with a constant background of guitar playing.

sitting in the dark with the power off, listening to good music, refusing to go to sleep, prank calls and hysterical laughter over nothing.

the way I could hear his smile over the phone at night when the stars were bright and my eyes were bleary.

writing stuff too personal to post on here but it's okay cause this poem.

eating samoas and driving unfamiliar country roads with wet hair and late sun on my bare arms, and how the sky changed to pink and purple fading to dark behind the trees, thunder rumbling complacent in the distance.

hitting up sketchy mexican restaurants pre-graduation rehearsal.

riding in the back of the truck to the baseball field with the cousins before it got too dark to see to hit.

not being able to stop smiling during the recessional because I'M DONE.

that He who promised is faithful.
sorry I've been gone so long. I think I'm back for good now.
I love you all for sticking around. :''')

Thursday, April 27, 2017


how do you get used to the absence of a person
what do you do when they're gone
and even after they're gone for all this time
they're still gone
how do you cope with the fact that they're not coming back

I don't know I don't know I don't know

because no one's looking
no one's praying for him any more
and he's still not back

what do you do when there's no words to pray
and no reason to plead that he'll stay
when he's already gone

I don't know

it's too dark to see

 for in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all.
who hopes for what he can already see?

now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen

for we walk by faith not by sight

so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. 
for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

for I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future

romans 8:24. hebrews 11:1. 2 corinthians 5:7. 2 corinthians 4:18. jeremiah 19:11.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

a list that you'll probably need

of things to do when you don't like yourself very much

- make cinnamon rolls, or cookies, or hot tea.
- listen to music that is actually happy, but muted happy so it doesn't just feel like nails against the chalkboard of your heart
- take a long shower and feel the hot water and shampoo your hair. be thankful that you can.
- go on a walk, seriously. doesn't matter what time of day.
- try making someone else happy.
- clean. organize. start small. it feels good, promise.
- look at the first and/or last sentence in all your books.
- start writing your flow of thought. maybe it'll turn into something.
- or draw your thoughts. get the bad ones out. make the good ones into something pretty, or just something that means something to you.
- go to sleep.
- make art. preferably watercolors. it doesn't have to be impressive. just art, because you are capable of creating.
- pray. write your prayers out. it has salvaged my prayer life.
- flip through your bible. look at the underlined verses. write them out. speak truth to yourself.

and, in case you forgot, Jesus loves you just as much in this moment as he did in the moment that he chose to endure the suffering and humiliation of the cross for your sake. you are so valuable and loved- fact. no matter what you feel.

[ as seen originally on BURNING YOUTH ]

Friday, February 10, 2017


hey, you're the hispanic one
said the white blond kid,
slinging a backpack roughly over his shoulder

nah, he said, with a glance to the floor
but a proud jut of his jaw
and a little sideways smile
I'm american

don't really know how I'm expecting y'all to respond to this. but, I don't know, this is real, and it matters to me, and I like it. moments that people don't notice are where it's at tbh. also people that people don't notice.

Monday, January 30, 2017

truth or dare

- truth or dare?
- truth.
i never chose dare, cause i used to have nothing to hide, so i choose truth without thinking. 
- ok. ummm. [examines my face] what are you thinking right now? [heartbeat in my ears] 
i like the sound of your voice and the way your arm is slung across the top of the car and your tired, pretty eyes, and the way you're looking at me 
- [laughs] that i'm scared of what you're gonna ask me 
you laugh and take a step back and forward and i'm waiting on cliff's edge for the next question
do you love me?
     but it never comes
     and the game goes on

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

boy to war

he looks like a man and a boy at the same time as he stands there in his uniform in the airport with a too big pack on his back
how can it already be time?
so many brothers, sons, lovers, and dads are being stolen away it seems like it should hurt less
but the ache is so personal and deep I wonder how the world can carry so much ache without splitting in two
it's time and I can tell he knows but he's still putting it off, vaguely hanging around
I go to give him a hug and he pauses for a second like he's surprised at how hard I hug him
oh, God, why didn't I hug him more often like I meant it?
I try to squeeze every unspoken word into that hug
I can't trust myself to speak I'm so scared of letting him see me cry, of letting him go
there's a lump in my throat the size of a baseball as he turns to walk away
"I love you" I manage to strangle out
he calls something out but I miss it in the chaos of boarding
but as he walks up the ramp he turns and waves and I catch his eye for a brief second
and my tears immediately blur the image into that of a ten year old going off to war
and I wonder at a world so dark that teenagers are sent to fight battles they don't understand and peace is only won at the cost of innocence

my writing recently has consisted of words I want to keep hidden in my notebooks for just me (anonymous letters with scribbles in between the margins and my heart somewhere in between the lines), so I'm gonna keep it to this- written months ago and completely inapplicable to my life right now. thanks. x

ps y'all's comments mean the world to me !!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


sometimes I dream about the past and climbing trees and running full speed barefoot in the dark summer night feet wet with dew and coloring with crayons in my dad's old shirts and making ridiculous videos with my sister and listening to my dad's calm voice reading narnia books aloud. sometimes I miss how I never thought twice about what other people thought about me or if they even did. I dream about being too tan and having bangs and wearing my favorite tshirt and ugly shorts.

sometimes I dream about the future and being a successful journalist and having my own apartment where I decorate how I like and have my own schedule. I dream about traveling and researching and writing about things I care about in sweatpants in front a sprawling window view. I imagine life with kids and chaos and goodness and bleary eyed nights typing in front of the fire with my husband by my side.

and then sometimes I remember about the present and what I get to live right now- a weekend snowed in spent jumping across rows of hay bales topped with snow and falling backwards into drifts of snow. I remember walking on the snow watching the sun set and my nose red from the cold, the way the light reflected off of and left in shadows the white blanket over the earth. I finished a stellar novel, rewatched Les Mis, saw the new Sherlock (and died but ok), wore sweatpants everyday, started a study on 1+2+3 John and journaled for the first time in years. And I remember that this weekend I'm getting a new haircut and a new swimsuit, flying to Florida, going to the fair, going to the beach all with the friends I've missed for months (will probably get a post on this lol).

and then sometimes I can't believe that I'm living this life and that I could let the devil convince me that this isn't exactly where I'm supposed to be. it's so much more than I could ask or think. and, sometimes- man, sometimes I actually feel like the most blessed human on earth.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

my dad, mostly

I laugh and feel a surge of tears behind dry eyes as he turns the music louder and the trees keep flying by and I can't help but wonder how much time is left, because any moment that is so fiercely beautiful can't last forever.
my dad is singing along to Springsteen so loud that I'm smiling too big out the window and I feel so utterly helpless for words.
but in this moment I see him afire with passion about things that matter and songs that he knows every word to and I hate that I can't just take this moment for what it is without knowing it will end and he'll be gone and I'll listen to this music and I'll remember a thousand memories like this, ingrained in my DNA, branded on my skin, that made me who I am.
I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse to think and feel this way. sometimes I think it deepens my joy and appreciation, knowing that one day it will end. sometimes, I'm so tired of feeling so deeply and I wonder if I'm too dramatic or sentimental or morbid or what. and sometimes I worry he'll never know how much I love him and how he's given me so much more than he could ever know.
what are words when it comes to stuff like this? maybe the tears blurring the lines on the pages will do. I don't know.
maybe my new years resolution will be to appreciate every moment without letting my joy be stolen or letting myself cling too closely to this world. plus, whichever one of us God decides to let go first, we get to spend eternity together, worshiping the One who loved us first, so I can say-


/ I sound really sad in this, but I swear I'm not hahahahahah /