Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

So, yesterday I was going to write about the two lessons I learned from my internship.

God had other plans.

I was sitting there on the floor (much like I am right now), with maybe a sentence, when my vibrated, letting me know I had a new email. Normally, this would just distract me to the point I’d generally give up on writing a post, but this was important.

This post from The River Walk caught my eye. It takes my breath away with how on time God is.

It was about when God confirms our calling.

Since I was about 15 or so, I’ve absolutely loved writing poetry. The way it tells a story about a person, place, emotion, etc. I’ve always that out of reading or music, that is where I’m most vulnerable. Where I expose every scar, heartache, joy (I’m working on more of those..) to myself and more importantly, God.

It wasn’t until I met a now dear friend (who is studying abroad in France!), nudged me in her very scatterbrained, yet quietly persistent way, that I did in fact have a God-given talent for poetry, and helped me to embrace it fully.

I’ll never forget the time she told me I should perform a piece at a talent show Chi Alpha (ministry, not fraternity.) was having one night.

She never pushed me when I told her I was afraid. Good thing too because I know I would have done it for her and not God. And if I’m being completely honest, I probably would have hyperventilated and started crying.

But, that is one of the things I love most about my dear friend. She is patient with me. Not all the time. But in walking this road to one day meet our Savior, she has shown me how we are to love like Jesus.

I know I just got off topic a bit, but there’s a reason for it. Through my friend, I first came to see how Jesus accepts us: as is. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Yesterday, after reading The River Walk’s blog post, I prayed to Him that I would be able to finish that post I mentioned earlier.

As soon as I went to type some more, I felt a small knock on my heart: Julia, stop typing. Your dearest friend would like to hear from you.

I stopped and began recording a piece I had posted here. Other than my dear friend (who taught me prayer), The River Walk’s post really helped me see poetry is my calling.

I’m really nervous about putting this on here. I’m not fond of my voice. It’s really quiet, almost like a hush. I feel God is asking me to take this leap and I’m going to trust Him.

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No I in Help

But there is in STRIVE.

But there is in PERFECTION.

But there is in CRIPPLE.

I have a confession I need to make:

I can’t stop striving for perfection.

This past Friday, I was terminated from an internship I had since the beginning of August. It was for marketing leggings. I was supposed to write case studies based on customers who participated in a challenge beforehand. I knew nothing about selling things. (though as much as I talk about music or certain books, I feel I’m helping sell them..) I also had no idea how to write case studies.

I will admit that from the beginning, it didn’t feel right. You know that feeling when your stomach drops the moment you say. “Yes.” but you ignore the breathlessness, and keep on walking? That was me. I wanted a challenge and my writing would be challenged. So, what better than write about people’s experience with a pair of leggings!

Two things I learned very quickly. One: It is VERY (almost near impossible) to write about something you don’t believe in. Two: Never feel you are burdening anyone by asking for help.

When I first started the internship, I was overly excited. Part of that may have been because during the interview, I was asked to read one of my poems. I had never done that before. I was so nervous that I found a short piece and read it quickly. I also said that all my poems were for, or about Jesus. And laughed.

To which I was asked: Why do you laugh when you say that? My words: I feel people are going to think it’s weird. That was true, but more than that, it’s hard for me to profess my faith. Especially out loud. Needless to say, I’ve felt serious guilt after that because I shouldn’t feel bad about exclaiming my love for the only man who will ever love me in just the right ways. Will delight in singing over me morning, noon, and night. What is going to overflow my cup, and what will immediately deplete it. Knows what makes me laugh and what makes me cry.

Speaking of crying, when I think, sing, or write about this Man who died on a cross, carrying all of my sins with Him into death, I want to sob. I don’t know how else to explain it other than that. Honestly, even saying His aloud makes my heart ache at the thought of how much He loves me. And I can so easily turn away.

I don’t know where exactly I was going with this post. I was going to talk about my constant desire for perfection through those two lessons I learned. Maybe I will tomorrow. I haven’t forgotten about the 265 days of praise, but I think I just became extremely honest here. It is scaring me quite a bit.

Dearest Friend

Dearest Friend,

how many years I have
roamed this land
with your name the last
on my mind.

Maybe tomorrow, I’d say,
watching life dictate meaning
in kisses turned slavery.
I was too young to brush
against poison ivy,
but old enough to know the sickness
within its leaves.

I wonder if during long nights,
you itch to give me answers
we know I’ll misuse.
You come close in images
slowly unfolding before
quaking eyelids revealing
fear.

Reverence is not staring
at a closed door and turning
the other cheek, hoping the
constant rapping will fade–
it is facing You, who knows
the blood collecting in these
wintered cheeks
warmed by shame,

taken in
with scratches,
& loved as the first day
knitted in my Mother’s frame.

Praise for Mother

I know I skipped a day, but God just gave me more to be thankful for.

Day 2-My Mom

There’s a lot I could say about my mom. When it comes right down to it though, God knew what He was doing  when He made me her daughter. We have this joke between us, where we call each other, “somping”. (Don’t ask, we have no idea where it came from either.) It’s a take on the word “something”. We’ll be walking around the house, or anywhere else saying, “My somping!? Somping, somping, somping. I don’t know my somping! It’s my somping!..” It never fails to make one of us laugh. Mostly me. She’ll be the first to tell you I crack up at nothing at all. I’m not kidding. A room can be so quiet, and I’ll just bust out in a silent laughter until tears start falling.

She just sits there and says, “Child..” I’m so thankful that I can put a smile on her face. Even if it’s just a second long.

We’ve been through some serious changes together. Times where a smile wasn’t enough. Where my need for hugs was abundant. (I love hugs. Drive my mom crazy asking repeatedly for ’em sometimes.) Gilmore girls marathons. Making up words to songs. I’m guessing a lot of people do this, but my mom will talk out the song while making up words. I lose my breath by the end of the song from laughing so hard.

Important lessons my mom has taught me:

-Don’t take everything so seriously, even yourself.

-Laugh

-Give your best, always.

-Love ceaselessly

-Put others before you

-Dreams are NEVER unattainable.

The most important thing she has ever taught me is how to love God. When my mom gives her time to someone or something, she gives every little last bit of herself. Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry. She may have up to 5 things she needs to do, but she always gets it done. With love in her heart.

Sometimes I think, she doesn’t feel she’s doing enough. Just like my dad, she has given me her time, patience, guidance, and neverending love. That will always be enough. (Wow, that was cliche.)

Thank you, my somping.

 

Father, Incline Your Ear

Dear God,
where are you now?

Their eyes burn with reveries
old-bitterness claims specks of light, downturning faith, once gleaming founding.

My words fall silent on ears expecting want filled, need of truth seemingly lost to sheep without shepherding.

Father, forgive me for opening doors locked, in belief healing could come–
please, pardon the flooding darkness
& softly guide ignorance back where
Your kingdom comes.

365 Days of Praise

Before I start this, I want to say thank you to all of my followers. When I initially started this blog, it was a desperate cry to God. I was so bogged down with life and confusion, that one night when I was supposed to be doing homework, I made this blog. I missed writing. I missed collecting my thoughts in ink and giving them to Him to make sense of. Funny thing is, He knew I was going to crack if I didn’t write something other than philosophy papers.

Poetry is how I make sense of every moment of my life. To be able to share my life with you, and you take something away, is a humbling feeling. To be honest, I sometimes let it go to my head. I have to remind myself this is God’s gift to me, and all I write comes from Him alone.

Recently, I’ve been somewhat pulling away from poetry and trying different things, and I’m beyond thankful to all who continue to read.

With the next 365 days, I am going to praise Him. For things He has given/will give. I’m praying that with what I’m going through right now, it will help me focus on His goodness rather than my circumstance.

Day 1-My Dad

One of the first things, I need to thank my Dad for is adopting me. It was difficult to learn a few years ago, that at 2 years old, my biological father didn’t want to raise me. I was shocked. Confused. Hurt. Even now, I look at like I had done nothing wrong to be given up for freedom. Then, comes a man who sees worth in loving me. Cerebral Palsy and all. He never has seen me as a burden. When I I was younger, he would spend hours at night strengthening my legs, I’ll never forget the one night he decided to have me stand up against the bathroom wall to stretch.

I remember watching as he took my feet, which were pointing outward like a duck, and made them face straight ahead. When they were straight, he let go, and said, “Stand up straight.” I panicked, grasping for his shoulder. He tried again.

“Ready?” “No.” “Yes you are.”

Because I wasn’t used to standing that long, or that tall, I started to cry. I really just wanted the pain to stop. Didn’t bother him.

“”I can’t do this.” I said

He placed them straight, held them together, let go, and said four words that have always stuck,

Never say you can’t.

I tend to look at myself crippled in mind and body. I mean this in the way that I continuously see myself as a burden.to people. Crazy? Yes. Especially since God adopted me into His family. And gave me a father who has done the same.

From exercising me. Making me food (his maple brown sugar oatmeal is the best). Taking me to therapy for my legs. Embracing my need for books. (I went through a serious Nicholas Sparks phase..) Veggietales! Bars so I could get in the shower. A game face. (all bowler’s need an aggressive look you know.) NPR. NASCAR. The list goes on..

Through of all this, he has shown me Christ. Through his sacrifice to get me what I need. His time when he could of easily been distracted by something else. His discipline so I would stand up straight. For introducing me to books, fueling my desire to write. Most of all, calling me his own. I will never be able to pay him back. But, I cannot thank God enough for showing me the depth of a father’s love.

Thank you, Dad, for everything you’ve done for me. I love you.