My Favorite

Do you know what it’s like
That feeling inside
Your body, soul, mind
Electrified

From that one glance
You’re in a trance
His eyes, his stance
You feel that romance

It can’t be ignored
Open the doors
Out your heart pours
He must be yours

And to be his
To bring him bliss
To take that risk
In that moment you kiss

Letting walls down
Sharing life now
Just being around
Relationship know-how

Things start to get tough
The ride is rough
The roller coasters of love
Have you had enough?

But you melt in his smile
Stay in his arms a while
His voice carried across miles
Reminds you it’s all worthwhile

Do you know how it feels
To know this is real
Every kiss that he steals
It’s all so surreal

Forever and always
Till my dying day
There are no words to say
How long your love will stay

Faithful and constant
To him, there’s no way it can’t
Be true and
Excuse me for this rant

But how can I not tell you
That he’s the only one who
Knows me better than anyone’s knew
My whole self through and through

He’s handsome and smart
He makes humor fine art
He cares for my heart
This love’s set apart

Our qualities aligned
Compliment and contrast their kind
We’re challenged and refined
The way relationships are designed

I’m blessed and overjoyed
Beyond in love with this boy
Our love’s been employed
I have my whole life to enjoy

No one else could make me feel like this
So complete. Nothing amiss
There’s not a moment I want to miss
My days are now and forever his

Words will never be enough
To thank him for his love
To express how proud I am of
This person who has become

My everything. I will commit
My life to making his perfect
He is my love. I must admit.
My Joe, my man, he’s my favorite.

Somehow The Words Flow Freely Now

God, how am I supposed to act?
What am I supposed to be?
Do I force myself to change?
Or should I do what comes naturally?

You teach me about morals and love
What about my personality?
Am I supposed to adapt and adjust?
Or revel in my idiosyncrasies?

Should I be vulnerable?
Or should I guard my heart?
Show me the line between showing love
And needlessly tearing myself apart.

How am I supposed to learn from my past
If I’m being told otherwise.
What if these lessons I thought I had learned
Are making me foolish instead of wise?

I’m all worried about implications and results
But not thinking about what I’m doing now
I’m worried about doing the wrong thing
I’m worried I’ll break my internal vows.

Everything in my life has taught me one thing
But now I need another way?
Can I make the choice to do what’s not safe?
Will I just be thrown away?

I can endure and fight through what is thrown at me
But do I dare start the fight myself?
God, I have no idea how to handle this all
Don’t keep the answer to yourself.

I’m scared.  I’m scared out of my mind.
I’d do anything to not go back to that place
And yet the only way for this to work out
Is taking the same steps I tried to erase?

My methods of coping and prevention
Are causing nothing but pain.
Show me God.  Just show me the way.
But don’t let me go there again.

You’re the one who guides my heart.
You’re the one who will will never forsake me.
Let me be open and obedient to you.
God, let me be free.

A Great Romance

There is a man who loves me.
Cherishes me.  Pursues me.
I haven’t always appreciated him.
And still he fights for me.
I was disgraced.  Justice burned in his heart.
I was rebellious.  Sadness welled in his eyes.
I was broken.  Determination set on his face.
He rose up.  Left everything behind.
Disregarding expectations.
He gave up all life had for him.
And he chose to stand by my side.
He romanced me.  Spoke of the life we could have together.
He promised all he had for me.
He told me stories of his home and his dad.
Said he couldn’t wait to take me there.
He was beautiful. He loved without bound.
But there was something wrong.
He knew I wasn’t ready.  He knew I needed help.
I could not just give my heart over in the state it was in.
I was not ready to go home with him.
I was not prepared for his intimate love.
I was not prepared for his father to see me.
He knew what stood in my way.
My enemies.  My past.
And he said “I can handle it.”
I was ready to just give up,
But he knew he could take it on.
He pursued me beyond what any love had done before.
My heart sealed away in chains,
He entered the great romance.
And every assailant attacking me took it out on him.
He beared the pain, the weight, the grief.
His father turned away.
He said, “Give it all to me.” And took it to his death.
And with his blood, my heart flew free.
He stands against every attack on me, his bride to be.
He is the greatest lover who cherishes and delights in me.
He makes me beautiful in my disgrace.
He pursues me to any end.
He is the love of my life.
He wrote our ultimate love story.
He is my comfort, my life, my groom.
He is the King of kings.

Lockdown

I saw a blog the other day that was just pictures and small captions of how the picture represented how the blogger was feeling.  So I thought to myself, what would I be if I was a picture?  But that’s about as far as I got with that thought.

However, with a lot of  new things in my life lately, I’ve been analyzing how I feel and trying to figure out why I feel that way.   I’ve been confusing myself A LOT lately, I can feel great about something one minute… but then apprehensive about it the next and with no reason to feel that way.  I’ve been finding myself worried about things that make me happy.

That’s when my picture popped in my head… only I couldn’t actually take a picture of it… so I drew it.


That’s me.  Steel plated, chained, and locked.   And I like it that way.   Why?  Because it’s safer.   I’ve got Jesus in here with me.  My family has a natural ability to loosen the chains and melt the steel.  I have a friend or two that I unlock it for on occasion.  But someone new?  I don’t think I can let in anyone new.

If there’s anything life has shown me in the past two years, it’s that appearances can be deceiving.  I have too many people in my life who seem to have good intentions that end up being fickle or manipulative.  People I think I can trust, prove themselves otherwise.

I trust people that I’ve known for years, but letting someone new in is just too risky.  I mean yes there are people I feel like I can learn to trust, but they are rare, few and far between, and it will be a long time before that can happen.  I just get this feeling about them.. this feeling that I can trust them.  Like the feeling I got about my friend in my last post.  The problem is, I barely ever meet people I feel like I can trust.

I have made the mistake of trusting people that I haven’t had that feeling about and it hasn’t turned out well.  So until I have a better grasp of how to determine who I can let in, I’m on lock down. God’s got a lot of work to do here…. these are things I should talk about at oasis….

The point being, this hurts me and it hurts those around me.  Because there are people in my life that feel promising, but I just haven’t gotten that “ya, they’re good.”  Connect with them yet.  No confirmation.  I can act like we’ve got that connect, but I can’t actually let the openess and vulnerability happen.  I’m afraid of hurting people, because the longer I’m on this fence of “can I trust them or not?” the closer I get to shut down mode.  I become hypersensitive to their every action, and if they do one little thing to worry me, my mind blows it up out of proportion and I hide from them.

I’ve been in this “I can’t let myself get hurt” mindset for a while now, and was actually getting better at bringing my walls down.  But wouldn’t you know just when I think I can let loose, things just blow up in my face again.  The walls are back up people.

So ya, I may be transparent on here, but I’m not telling you guys everything.  And yes, I can be good friends with people, but there’s a level of comfort and openness missing from a lot of relationships for me on the inside.

People can’t be trusted.  That is a fact.   I’m not naive to think there are people that are ALWAYS trustworthy.  But frankly, I’m only interested in risking that trust on people that I know are important enough in my life to get past the times they let me down.  And I specifically use the phrase “let me down.”  I know my family will let me down, but they will never betray me.  I know my best friends will let me down, but they will never carelessly hurt me.  I trust those who I know want to treat me in love, even in their mistakes.  And if I don’t know whether or not you will betray me or carelessly hurt me, chances are you’re not going to be trusted with very much.

At this point, I’m rambling.  So ya… I’m trying to remember that loving someone does not mean you trust them.  I’m trying to learn who I can let in.  I’m trying to figure out why I’m so apprehensive about things that make me happy and only seem to be good.  I’m trying to be careful while at the same time not hurting people.  And I’m trying to protect myself.   “Above all else guard your heart” (what exactly does that mean????)  I know Satan does a good job of snaring me in anger and holding grudges.  So I’m protecting myself even more than normal, because, yes I don’t want to be hurt, but even more so… I don’t want to get caught up in anymore anger than I have been already.

Ugh… where am I going with this?

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you… the world’s worst ending to a blog post….. pineapples.

Sex: It’s Harder Than It Looks.


I have recently become very annoyed with Christians talking about sex.  Why?  Because in the Christian world apparently only men care about sex.

 

How many times have you been in youth group, church, chapel, Bible study, etc. and heard someone say something specifically addressed to men about sex, lust, physicality, and struggles and then add something about women and vanity, gossip, or self-image as almost an “oh yeah, gotta add in a female problem”?  I hear this ALL THE TIME.  And it drives me nuts.

 

Too often women are discounted from having sexual desires.  A pastor will say something about how he knows what it’s like struggling with lust because he’s a guy too.   “Because I’m a guy”  Why does that give him credentials? Would you believe that person if they were a woman saying that?  What if the person said “I know what it’s like struggling with lust because I’m a woman.”?  How many men in the room would think, “Ha! She has no idea!”?   You know… maybe.. maybe we don’t.  I’d be more inclined to say “maybe some women have no idea” but have you ever thought to yourself… maybe women do have some sort of idea, but because our Christian culture with its patriarchal roots has told us it’s not possible for us to want sex as much as men, we shut our mouths.

 

Someone please find for me a verse that talks about men being more sexually wired than women. (that’s not a challenge.. that’s a request)

 

In the same vein, what do you think the difference is between the number of guys vs girls who clicked on my post just for the title? or maybe avoided my post because of the title? (yes, it was 100% intentionally worded that way)  Do you think there is much of a tangible difference?

 

Let’s talk about the implications.  People grow up in the church hearing “Men you need to stop lusting after women” “Women, be careful of  those guys, because I’m a man and I know how sick a guy’s mind can be.” Men. Sex. Men. Porn. Men. Lust. Men. Masturbation. MENMENMENMEN!  What does that tell you?  That says, obviously the struggle to be pure is harder for men than it is for women, which is pretty much saying men want sex more than women do.  (WE DONT WANT SEX?!)  Therefor a lot of Christian guys come to this unconscious belief that since it must be easier for women to say no that WE should be the ones to stop them.  (….say what?) Don’t wait for us to tell you “when.”  We have to stop ourselves AND you on top of that?  So. Messed. Up.  Ever think about how men are (Biblically) supposed to be the leaders in the relationship.  Lead us towards purity.  Don’t wait for us to stop the physical progression.  If you want us to be trying to stop it, think about ways that YOU can stop it too.

 

Men, do you think it would be as much of a struggle if you weren’t the gender that the preaching was focused on?  -Yes?  Still?  Well, it’s still a struggle for women too.  Even though we’re not the ones being preached at.  -No?  You sure?  I know a lot of guys who say they struggle with self-image, and yet all the “You’re beautiful because you’re created in the image of God” talks are aimed at women.  I don’t think self-image is less of a struggle for guys.  Just the same, sex is not less of a struggle for women.

 

Saying that women don’t struggle as much, means they don’t think about it as much.  If they don’t think about it as much, therefor they don’t care about it as much.  Excuse me?  We don’t care about sex?  Do you think the way we were biologically created was not intended to care about sex?  Do you realize that women, (yes women.. not men) have the only body part created for humans with the sole purpose of sexual pleasure (aka the clitoris).  Every other body part that gives sexual pleasure has another purpose.  God made extra sure to point out that sex is for pleasure too… and gave WOMEN the painfully obvious evidence of that, not men.  And women were given the body that carry the implications of sex 9 months past sex itself.

 

PLUS!  You’re the ones always saying we’re complicated.  You think our complicated minds can’t come up with “sick” “twisted” thoughts like yours can?  Think again.

 

Then you add in emotions.  Now, if I want men to stop saying that women’s physical desires aren’t as strong, I will not deny that men probably have just as strong of emotions as well.  Here’s the thing though, men’s brains run parallel.  They know how to separate emotion from logic.  Women… not so much.  Then factor in that women produce more oxytocin (the bonding hormone).  Like a lot more.  We can even make it while we’re talking.   So on top of having our bodies and minds screaming for sex, our emotions are all “love me!” “appreciate me!” “bond with me!”  Oofta…

 

And also, the language surround sex in the Christian world gets gender assigned.   Women are encouraged/instructed to remain pure.  Everything is about “purity” with women.  But with men? “struggle” “avoiding temptation” “lust”  Why aren’t men talked to about purity?  Why aren’t women scolded about lusting?

 

I really have no idea how to end this post.  I guess I just want to say… Stop thinking sex isn’t a problem for women or that it isn’t a significant problem.  Stop disregarding the fact that we struggle physically and mentally.  Recognize that we carry those physical and mental struggles on top of the emotional need for acceptance and reassurance.  Stop thinking that our minds aren’t wrapped around sex as much as yours.  Give us credit.  We like sex.  We want sex.  Sex is not an afterthought for women.

 

Yes, there are exceptions.  There could be women who will read this and say “what the heck are you talking about?” just like I’m sure that there are men who sit in church and wonder why they keep getting lectured on sex because it’s not as big of a struggle for them.

 

I just want people to stop thinking that abstaining from sex, lust, etc. is easier for women.  If I didn’t think it was as big of a struggle, would I be writing this post?  Probably not.  So please don’t count me out and don’t put all the pressure to have it under control on me.

 

Thoughts? Questions?  Comment away.

Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?

WARNING:  FEMALE BODIES AHEAD

Can I be honest with you?  Like really really honest?

I have hated my body for years.

(This is the point where all 3 people reading this will sigh because the ‘honest’ statement was kind of a give in.)

I mean really, what female these days doesn’t have something she doesn’t like about her body?

I’ve been noticing a lot of self-image stuff lately… And not in a good way.

Like on Pinterest, every day there’s posts like this:

A picture like this shows up entitled “PERFECT BODY!” and  “Inspiration!”

I don’t know about you guys… but I’m concerned about that woman’s nutrition.  I can see her ribs on both her sides and up at her collar bones.  Her abdomen is so thin I wonder if she is able to menstruate in a healthy pattern.  And she has so little muscle I can only imagine how weak she is…

Part of me feels terrible for ripping apart her body, and at the same time – we need a wake up call!

Media’s image of “perfect” is unhealthy!

A photo has recently been circulating the internet, trying to get people to realize how crazy our demands on the female body are.


This is today’s “plus sized” model.  With surgical lines drawn to depict how much her body would have to be altered to achieve the Barbie body.

uhmm… THAT’S NUTS PEOPLE!  Like really, really nuts!  (not to mention the fact that she’s considered PLUS SIZED)

Now let’s get personal…

WARNING: MY FEMALE BODY AHEAD

In 4th grade, my sister and my neighbor told me I stood like a banana and that I looked like a duck.

In 6th grade, my teacher separated the class pulling all but me and one girl aside saying that the other girls were skinny and us two leftovers… not so much.

In 7th grade, a fellow classmate called me a beached whale.

In 8th grade, a boy told me he was “OK” with me being somewhat chubbier than the other girls he knew.

In 9th grade, someone asked me if I had ever considered breast reduction surgery.

In 10th grade, a man asked if my sister and I were twins.  When we told him that Haley was older, he looked confused and said to me “But you are fatter!”

I could go on and on.

Word sting.  And they all have added to the lens of how I have looked at myself for the past who knows how many years.

One of the most difficult things for me is that I have been the SAME height and weight since 7th grade.  I am 5’5.5” and I weigh 145lbs.   As a sophomore in college, it’s not a really big deal anymore… but as a 7th grader.  That was a big deal (no pun intended).

Until 10th grade, I was always taller than the boys around me.   I was always bigger than my gal pals.  People were always commenting on my wide hips, which have lovingly been entitled “the harding hips” since they seem to run in my family.

-My friends always had the flat-hey-if-I-flex-you-can-see-my-six-pack bellies.
-They had the small, cute, perky boobs.
-They had the thighs that didn’t touch each other when they stood straight.
-They had the arms that didn’t wiggle when they brushed their teeth.

Add onto that, that I come from a family of very thin women.
-My mom decided to join my dad on his diet and her friends told her to stop before she got too skinny.
-My oldest sister played soccer for her college on scholarship and understandably had that great athletic body.
-My other older sister could wear any new trend without having cleavage spill out everywhere or her body look like a pregnant potato.
-My youngest sister is a straight bean pole.  She’s got runway body.

Then there’s me.
-In a family of thin girls, I got the curves.
-In a family of athletic girls, I got the asthma and the side stitches.
-In a family of smaller-chested girls, I got enough boobage for all 4 of us daughters.


I have never thought I was overweight or too fat.  But ever since 4th grade, I always saw myself as that “Could lose some poundage” kind of person.

That’s changed.  Dramatically.

How?


In 12th grade, I had someone tell me that my body is the exact type that psychologically communicates “fertile” to men…and therefor makes it attractive.  Being someone who wants to be mother, that struck me in a positive way despite the fact that they had just likened me to a psychological sign of a breeding ground.

In my first semester of college, I did some research and discovered that I have the exact same measurements as Marilyn Monroe – she owned sexiness like none other.

and in the past year, God has shown me value of being made in His image.

I am a representation of HIM.   I reflect His glory, His creativity, and His beauty.   There is nothing more peaceful than looking into the mirror and seeing “loved” and “made in His image” instead of “chubby” and “awkward.”


Honestly, I think the cherry on top was dying my hair red (pun intended… hopefully you got it).   I like to tell people that my hair color is like my personality… too crazy to be normal… but too normal to be crazy.  It’s what made me see myself as… well, me.

I recently looked in the mirror at myself.  Red hair.  Big nose.  Wide hips.  Scars.  Stretch marks.  Cellulite.  and all.  And I loved it.

I took a picture of myself, and wrote in black what I used to see and in red what I remind myself of every time I start to hate on my body.

I didn’t see a lack of “beauty.” – I saw “unique” which made it beautiful.

I didn’t see “fat.” – I saw “full and soft” which reminded me I was healthy and feminine.

I didn’t see an “awkward girl.” – I saw a woman, confident and comfortable with who she was.

The best part was walking away from the mirror, and realizing that I was also PMSy and bloated.


I am beautiful.

I will tell myself that every time I look down at the rolls on my belly, or the stretch marks on my legs, or my jiggling arms, or my bumpy, curved nose.

I have a healthy youthful body.  And I will continue to remind myself that I am made in God’s image even when I’m saggy and wrinkled.   If I marry someone, he will be the kind of guy who wants to work out with me because he wants me to be healthy, not because he wants me to look different – and he will see me as beautiful and tell me that despite the world’s definitions of my imperfections.

This clay is learning to be comfortable with the way the potter made her.

So embrace who you are and how you look.

Remind yourself that you are made in God’s image
which makes you beautiful in it of itself.

Remember that unique is beautiful, not uniformity –
and confidence is attractive, not worry.

Find the positive.  Cherish the “negative.”

And never forget to…

Kiss Me Tonight

I want you
To kiss me tonight
From across the starry sky
One and two
Wish me goodnight
And with that my heart will fly

And hold me
In your arms so warm
Safe in the moonbeam’s light
Refreshed and free
I find these things borne
In your grasp that makes all feel right

Talk me to sleep
With your songless lullaby
Let your words drown out the night
Allow me to keep
The sound of your voice
Clasped in my heart with all my might

Calm me while I doze
With your thoughts and love
Though you’re miles away this night
I’ll keep you close
And return all the above
Then end with a sweet kiss goodnight

Be Patient With Me

Be patient with me
I just need some time
Sometimes I’m just stubborn
And I don’t really know why

You know you light up my life
Don’t think for a second it’s not true
But sometimes I just get funky
And it somehow comes out on you

Be patient with me
I’ve got a battle inside
I’m trying to figure out what’s best
And it’s kind of hard for me to decide

You can make me smile in an instant
But today I don’t feel like myself
Don’t let it get to you
Don’t let me inconvenience yourself

So be patient with me
Cause I probably won’t tell you when you ask
It’s just little things I let get to me
Please don’t push me to unmask

Don’t be afraid or think I’m going
It’s nothing like that of the sort
I’m just trying to let these things go
So I can be here for you, full support

I love you, you know this
And I want what’s best for you
That’s why it’s hard to figure out
Just give me time and I’ll get through

A Beginning

 

Hold me close
Just hold on tight
Live in the moment
This feels so right

Don’t let go
Don’t go away
Here in your arms
Everything’s okay

Just please trust me
And I’ll trust you
Together we’ll live
A life that’s brand new

So many questions
But don’t worry.  That’s fine.
I know that we will
Figure them out in time

So let’s enjoy this
And take it day by day
Just take my hand
And with you I’ll stay

I’m Seeing Red

An ode to the color red…

I really do not like you
You make me kinda mad
Whenever I’m around you
It’s like my head just needs a bag

You’re so unforgiving on my skin
You make me pale or lobster like
You don’t work for me, but to my chagrin
You like everyone else just fine

You are the epitome of anger
Hatred at it’s finest
You define outrage and rancor
And this isn’t just my bias.

You are the sign of guilt
You sweep across faces in shame
You arise when embarrassment is built
And cover the hands of those to blame

You are the mark of a burn
The signature of flame
Consuming all.  To ash they turn
In wounds you leave them maimed

You are the trace of life
The fluid coursing through our veins
Revealed from under the knife
The end of our days in stain

Then again, you are somewhat good
You’re the look of a passionate fight
Having fury that a spirit should
Through you desire ignites

I’ll give it to you, I suppose
You are a meaning of love
Without you where is depth to a rose?
What other look would we think of?

So, fine.  I do not hate you
But I’d rather you’d leave me alone
Give me life, passion, love then shoo
Just please, go off on your own