Friday, August 26, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The Puke Demon gripped me a lot. I'd wake up in the dark, sit up in bed, and fully believe that if I went outside I wouldn't throw up. I thought I could trick the Puke Demon into thinking that I was healthy if I crossed my front door, went down the porch steps and wandered around my yard in the middle of the night. On more than a dozen occasions my mom would find me walking in circles on the driveway in my bare feet mumbling to Jesus. Then again I was too afraid to fully open my mouth, so she probably got the shock of her life at the sight of her ghostly daughter in a white nightgown circling the driveway and uttering what sounded like strange monotone pleas for God to "make me not throw up." It's humorous to me now that I was more afraid of throwing up than being attacked by a coyote, a "bad man," or the many shadows rustling in the dark woods.
I had forgotten all about this. It's so strange the things that disappear as we are whisked into adulthood. Those fears were such a profound part of my life that now I almost feel sacrilegious, as if I am disrespecting my child-self by laughing about it. Sometimes I believe that she still lives inside of me, and so I take great pains not to mock her, or dub her peculiar because of the irrational terror that gripped her small body so often. I understand now that there wasn’t one flaw in her, in fact fearing throwing up was perfectly rational, although not every single night, and not enough to wander through the trees in search of Jesus. Or maybe it was.
Recently, a friend dubbed me FEARLESS. She says I’m not afraid of anything. And when I heard this I almost laughed at her mistake. But I caught myself, and the child inside of me held up her hands and grinned. It would be easy to guess that I will always be what I’ve always been, but it would also be a tragedy, because I was born to wake up in the middle of the night and walk outside in my nightgown as if this were perfectly acceptable behavior. Truth is, I’ve been fearless all along, and not one soul could make me know it for sure. Not one soul, except for me.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sometimes it is as important to remember the reasons for leaving a place
As it is to recall why you came in the first place.
And I haven't changed my mind.
It is very possible that falling head over heels in love with life is easy for me. But I am not prone to the gradual leak of happiness that some applaud as recognizing the "simple joys" of a present situation. I am in fact, more prone to the utter gushing, the wave roaring, exhaustive torrent of happiness that has, can, and will cause me to be swept up in a gale forced hurricane of squeeze-your-eyes-closed-tightly-remember-to-breathe AWASH with the sap of one hundred golden pre-dawn silences as the music builds into one great rush of a storm in my midst kind of happiness. You would think this kind of joy would be rare as the brink in all the wonder of a lunar eclipse.
But mostly I came for the hills.
Now my list of facts rings with such a discordance of past and present that I am like the wind chimes I hung on my porch yesterday...only in a storm, partially shrill and joyous, yet ringing with the pell-mell sound of beautiful uncertainty. Home and Here are clanging together now. They are resonating, building not on the discord of a thousand aches and pains, but on the harmony of highs and lows that are, in fact, what makes music grip us in the first place.
1. I love dancing
2. Sometimes I get lost in daydreams that last entire days
3. From the time I was 8 until I was 13, I was afraid of flushing the toilet. I would flush and then RUN.
4. I drink peppermint tea every night before bed.
5. Sometimes I write down what I'm going to say before I make an important phone call. I write, "Hi, this is Brittany" in case I forget my name.
6. I am obsessed with trees.
7. The North Shore of Lake Superior is engraved on my heart. It is also part of my existance.
8. I take my coffee very strong and very black, about 4 times per day.
9. My spine is shaped like an S.
10. Way too much of my time is spent thinking on, writing about, and drawing fences.
11. I could go pro in jump roping. Seriously.
12. The song Clocks by Coldplay brings me to tears. Every time.
13. I drive with my knees. A LOT.
14. I never, ever turn down a dare.
15. Fake nails make me nauseaous.
16. I worked in sales once, selling slabs of marble engraved with pictures at the mall. That was the last time.
17. I once built a nine-foot tall arch out of vines and branches. It was incredible.
18. I took swimming lessons and almost promptly forgot how to swim.
19. When it storms, I'm in heaven.
20. My appendix nearly ruptured when I was 20. I drove myself to the hospital in a 92' Astro van that wasn't mine.
21. I've been hiking since before I could walk.
22. I was raised to wear socks at all times. I now hate socks.
23. I caught Giardia in Gordyville, Illinois when I was 14.
24. I was homeschooled for 10th grade and finished high school alternatively.
25. I love light. Filtered light. Hazy light. Morning light. Evening light. Moon light. And Christmas lights.
I remember now.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
There's a catch. There always seems to be a catch, especially when something is too good to be true. The catch is about half an inch longer than all the others, and it links me to the undeniable fact that, with his blood, I will always hide this brewing storm that I never chose in the first place. It is a disastrous hurricane of stubborn blame, and, coupled with slight selfishness, it brews quietly in the clenched jaw of silent mealtimes and uncontrolled outbursts of rage.
Except maybe there has been a cosmic alteration to my entire existence. Things keep flashing all through me. Bright moments in a downward spiral of a hundred cluttered memories rolling down the stairs. There are voices, but they are far away, and they are only sirens from an accident I chanced to live. Unless I am strong enough for this, maybe just so, maybe a little more. In which case, THIS WAS DESTINY.
and the moment I burst
into the world destined
to be another link in the
chain of moments I never
I think I am can be know I must have the will to be what I should can are AM.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The wind howls through a crack in my window. The truth woke me up today.
Love. Endures long and is patient and kind; Love is never envious, nor does it boil over with jealousy. It isn’t haughty or boastful or vain. It isn’t conceited or rude. It doesn’t insist on its own rights or its own way because it is not self seeking: and because of this, it isn’t fretful or resentful. It never holds a grudge in fact, it doesn’t even pay attention to a suffered wrong. It doesn’t rejoice at injustice but rejoices when RIGHT and TRUTH prevail.
The truth woke me up today. The truth that Love is everything. Without Love, anything I say and do and believe in the name of God is obnoxious. It’s a clanging cymbal.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes. I brace myself on Love, and I lean in and on this Love, no matter what comes. Because Love never fails or passes away.
As for prophecy- the gift of being able to interpret the divine will and purpose of things- It will be fulfilled and pass away.
As for tongues- they will be destroyed and cease.
As for knowledge- It will lose its value and be superseded by truth.
Our knowledge is filled with holes. It’s fragmented and incomplete. Our prophecies and our teachings are also imperfect.
Love remains. Love is the greatest of these. Without Love I am nothing.
For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim reflection of reality. What I know now is only IN PART of what I will know later. What I know now is imperfect.
-1 Corinthians 13: 4-13
Thank God for his word. I don’t have to live frantically grasping for truth. I don’t have to be stuck in the void of the unknown, without the voice of God to tell me what to believe or what the truth is. His word is the only path to take. He speaks through His word.
LOVE is the greatest of all gifts. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
This is what I know God says. “Pursue and seek to acquire this Love. Make it your great quest and your total aim.”
What a perfect Easter gift. What a glorious hope to stand on. Love was made for me. And it's no wonder...
Perfect Love casts out fear.
Friday, April 22, 2011
I get up at dawn, go to the window, and search my heart. In windows of light I search myself. Slowly, slowly, I've learned the Grace it takes to know, respect, accept, and love the status of my soul.
God's sheer Grace over my head is a veil to help me hear the whisper from a mouth pressed against my ear: "Behold! Behold! The old has passed away, and the new has come."
"See now, I am doing a new thing! See how it now springs forth? For I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert."
I will be.
I am in.
(Andrew Edwards and Elly Kaiser)
I know that those who sow in tears will reap, and reap, and keep on reaping joy. I am thankful, I am grateful that I have sown in devastation and confusion, because now my heart is awash in what I would have never known for sure.
Who works and shows Himself active
On behalf of those who earnestly wait for Him.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Do Not. Can Not. Will Not.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
1 How long, oh LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
There is only One Unfailing Love in all the earth.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
"Go to the Phillipines."
“What if I had been a dove?"
"I have my father's dry hands."
“I love men. So much.”
“Mom could sell an ape the stick out of a corndog.”
“To serve God is to be liberated.”
“It’s no wonder I’ve been crazy.”
“I love Nathan Douglas McCarty.”
“Why did you just eat that frosting?”
I used to believe that I was really special for the following reasons:
a.) I hated men. For a very long time. And I told everyone I wouldn’t marry a two-timin' masculine son of a gun if he chased me down with a sack of cash and a ticket to Fiji.
b.) I wrote God really long letters, most of which sounded like late 18th century romance novels.
c.) I threw a pack of my friend’s cigarettes into a ditch on my way home alone one night.... And then smiled smugly at God who, without a doubt, rolled His great big ocean eyes.
d.) Everything. Everything. Everything. Was a secret. And nobody heard a word of it.
e.) Boys liked me.
f.) My favorite TV show was the travel channel.
g.) I drank large quantities of green tea and did perpetual leg lifts in front of the travel channel.
For the entire duration of the ride to Nashville, TN to go to college, I kept my eyes out of the window on the passing hills and imagined that I was going to SUCCEED because of…well…see the above list.
It took me 2 lovely days to realize that I was just your run of the mill transfer student who had a nightly leg lift habit and enjoyed the Travel Channel.
It took me 2 more years to realize that God’s got bigger fish to fry than cigarettes, my love letters are high on His priority list, hatred will eat me alive, secrets will be a cancer in my soul, and leg lifts are a waste of my time since I have very little time to work with in the first place.
Sometimes I get lost thinking about how we all have wells that never end, probably because they lead upwards into the unfathomable distance to heaven- to God’s soul. And in-between He and I, in that path, that deep, dark well, are lies and secrets and truths to expose. As I expose, as I train my heart to see Him more clearly, I can drink His water. I want to lift my hands in torrents of the stuff.
So I will.
The entire journey isn’t over yet, (I’m exhausted, I wish it were) but I am normal. I am unimpressive. And I am capable of re-learning all of the lies I made myself believe.
a.) Men are good.
b.) To serve God is to be liberated.
c.) I love Nathan Douglas McCarty.
d.) Eat. The. Frosting.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Yes, it’s true. I am an INFP.
Which means…for all of you who are psychologically impaired, I share my personality with one percent of the American population.
This is precisely why I have never seemed to fit in with 99 percent of society. This is why I still get teased sometimes. Frankly people, when it all comes down, I am just a little bit weird.
(At this point, it’s perfectly ethical to agree with me.)
Even though it's been a good thirteen years since the brunt of teasing, sometimes this longing to be a Spice Girl wakes up in the pit of my stomach and I morph into my prepubescent self. I transform into the epitome of awkwardness. I am almost positive nobody notices this makeover but me. I can be standing in the Bluecoast Burrito line and suddenly, without warning, grow a pair of chicken legs with Ked sneakered feet turned in, and wide-eyes surveying the floor tile. I appear beaten. Like a dog...Maybe a poodle or a small child. But it's my 1997 self, having just come from a taunting in the 7th grade locker room. I don't know who in the world purchased me hunter-green sweatpants, but I'm wearing them with a gaping hole in one knee. I have a white sweatshirt on, with a purple cat posing seductively among some flowers, and I don't know who would by me a piece of work like that either. Nonetheless, I'm wearing them, with jacked up teeth, and a bob haircut that actually resembles a legit fro. There are girls in my grade whom I want to be, and I watch them sometimes from where I sit alone in the cafeteria. They wear blue eye shadow and own Giga-Pets. I write in my diary that if I were as pretty as them I would probably have hair that dried straight, and braces, and my period, not to mention magazine photographs of Jonathan Taylor Thomas hanging in my locker. If I were like them, I would even think that Jonathan Taylor Thomas was hot. (I never did. Even when I realized that boys existed in tenth grade.)
Also, if I were cool as those girls (who by the way all started having babies at 16 and never made it to college) I wouldn't get made fun of by "the populars" who looked like they came from a JC Penney catalog every single day, and hated my guts for some reason. Does anybody know why it's fun to slam a 12 year-old girl into a locker? Probably because I didn't ever seem to own the right shoes. Probably because I felt like my limbs didn't fit, and had this way of walking down the hall with my shoulders hunched and my little back curved. It could've been the scoliosis. Or it could've been that I was just 100 percent awkward, down to my fingernails, and everybody knew it.
Sometimes I stand in the Student Center and something reminds me of blue eye shadow and sweatpants with holes. It's always something as fleeting as a word, or a tone of voice, or the kind of shallow envy that rises like nausea. It's her. I see her in my hands when I bite my nails. I see her when I walk quickly through a crowded room to escape the hoards of people. She comes out in my shyness, with the aversion of eyes, and the inability to introduce myself. She's hiding. She thinks everyone is making fun of her. And when she hears Hanson on the radio, she still thinks about the back of the bus, and going unnoticed, and Wal-Mart tennis shoes with multi-colored laces.
In case you haven’t gathered it by now, her is me.
I feel like casting her out, like a devil. Saying: "Go from me twelve year-old!" But you can't ever cast you out of you. I've tried it a thousand different ways. With food and words and clothes and mutilation and hair dye and comedy and tears and shoes and boys and pain. You can't. So I have to be friends with the twelve year-old that nobody wanted to be friends with. I have to hold her hand and calm her down and say, "Shhhhh. Shhhh, you're twenty-five years old so please calm down at least until I purchase my lunch and get you back to your room."
I still hear what my mom told me in high school. "Honey, they're just jealous!" It was something like a padded answer that infuriated me at the time. If only I would have understood! If only. IF ONLY.
If only it wouldn’t have taken me this long to realize the truth of the matter. Hear this, twelve year-old, hear this and be quiet.