Content and Cool Air

•August 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Nature provides some of the greatest pleasures of life. A cool rain falling from the sky, a breeze gently teasing on the air, the smell of wet earth, or berries fresh from the bush, there really is no limit to what pleasures nature can bring. Yesterday I got to experience most of these pleasures while in Sedona. The season is ripe for blackberries which grow wild along the creek beds all around Sedona’s glorious red rocks. The water ran cool along its path, with fish large and small swimming about in the waters, leaping up into the air occasionally, a peaceful contentment in the air after a small rain. 

Having come from the painful heat of Phoenix, the 20* difference in the temperature was the first blessing. The rain came down cold, and remained chilled in the air, another blessing quite contrary to a Phoenix rain, which comes down slightly colder than the air and immediately humidifies the air into a gross stickiness that lingers. The rain came down when we went to lunch, and rather than run for cover, I decided to walk along in it, enjoying the coolness it brought, the feeling of relief from the pressure in the sky. During lunch we sat outside under cover of patio to enjoy the weather, so unlike Phoenix though a mere hour away.

The rain held another unexpected pleasure: it drove away the people from the area we wanted to go. A little burst of water, for it couldn’t have lasted more than 20 minutes, drove people away from the little park we went. The air smelled fresh from the rain, a sweet tang of natural spice in the breeze.

Along the trail we began, skirting along toward the bushes for the sweet fruit that called to us. We took a bit of a tougher path down to the creek bed to find an old watering hole we used to go swimming in when we were younger. Though it was still there, the desert showed its bane: the lack of water in the area, the lack of snow just north in Flagstaff, all shows its face in the low water in the bed. Though it wasn’t as low as some areas I’ve seen in Arizona, such as Lake Mary, where the water has receded and the source is running dry. But the water was sadly low, though it didn’t detract from the beauty of the area.

We didn’t have to look far for the blackberries. They grew in abundance everywhere. We had arrived before they were all picked over, and the bunches exploded in every bush. The only picked over ones were those directly along the path. But as we moved along West Fork Trail, not far from the ruins of the homesteads, just off the beaten path, we found where the creek flowed from another source, and found many more clutches, completely untouched by man. Our container was filled with sweet tangy blackberries already and there were so many surrounding us that we allowed ourselves a few of the treats straight off the plant.

After taking our fill and surveying the area, we decided to relax upon the rocks in the cool shade of the mountain, and looked about the area with a contentment and coziness. Despite the stickiness of the juice across my hands, I felt more relaxed than I have ever felt in a long time.

Another storm threatened the sky but we were content. We didn’t care about the threat of rain. But the hour was later than we had anticipated and we were forced to leave the coolness to a more unmanageable heat. But that coolness is still there, that content-filled area is waiting still for another person to come along and enjoy its peace. And maybe it’s waiting for me to come back, someday, in the future. 

How to say Goodbye

•July 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

[When I had to say goodbye to students and staff at a school I loved, I wrote this piece]

Goodbyes are never easy, and are filled with many emotions. There are different ways to say goodbye, and different reasons, too. Words are one. A simple “goodbye” and two souls walk away from one another, perhaps for the last time. 

Some goodbyes are done with spite, with malice, or contempt. One might even say it’s easy to say goodbye to someone you don’t like, or one you don’t agree with. But some goodbyes hurt more. Sometimes it’s a death, or a move, or a parting of ways. Goodbyes are never easy, no matter the circumstances, because a soul is left troubled either way, and things will never be the same. 

So if goodbyes are never easy, how are w supposed to say it? Two words, simple when said separate, but when put together mean so much. How do you say goodbye when you put so much of your soul into something, when you pour so much of yourself, your time, effort, heart and mind into it?

I don’t have the answers, so this is where I leave you: thank you all for a wonderful year, for the opportunity to be part of your lives, for allowing me into your hearts and, some of you, into your homes. 

Thank you for being bright souls that God can use. I love you all and pray blessings for your future. 
[At the time of this speech I gave, I was devastated. I had lost my teaching job, or rather, it wouldn’t be renewed, I had to move back to Phoenix, a place I loathe despite growing up, and I was heartbroken because though I just taught first grade, I came to know students in all grades. And most of them at the time of the speech didn’t know I wasn’t coming back. Some of the staff knew, and my seven wonderful students. But the rest didn’t. And I was told after I made the speech that the principal was nervous about what I might say. At the time it made me feel great that she was worried. She had caused me such pain, I relished in giving her some discomfort. Now I just feel sad. What happened at that school was wrong, and it still boils anger in me thinking back on some of the things that went on. But then again, I was able to write something like this. Granted this isn’t the most amazing thing out there, or anything like that, but for me it felt like such an accurate piece to what I was going through, and the fact that I was able to get in front of a crowd of people to say it is even more amazing. Things change in our lives, and that chapter is now at a close. But I am so grateful for the opportunity to be there and to share that time with the people there.]

Once upon a time I forgot

•October 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Once upon a time, I refound myself in God. In fact, it was just under a year ago, about last April. But the thing is, I forgot everything I learned on that day, except for the fact that God is real, and always at my side.

You see, lately I’ve been in such a strange place. I’ve been searching for answers, and couldn’t find them. God was not telling me what it was that was missing. Initially I thought it was that I was holding something back, that I was resisting giving myself entirely to God. And that is part of it.I mean, I did learn that I was being held back in order to be shown things on the level I am on with God. I wanted so badly to go to the next level in my relationship with Him that I didn’t realize I may have been missing things on this current level. God knew, and so He held me back.

The other part is that I forgot everything I learned the day I was saved once again by God. I forgot that I was supposed to be pursuing Him, and ignoring relationships with men. That, I needed to find myself within God, and where my place was with Him before He would place the right man in my life. And today I remembered. I reread my notes from the Women’s Conference in which I refound God, and I noticed everything I’d been getting hints about, but couldn’t quite recall. I forgot, and I was remembering.

I remembered that I needed to pursue God alone, and everything else would fall into place. I remembered that I am supposed to live how I think my future husband would want, but not be different than who I am. I remembered that I needed to find my identity within God, and that once I knew who I was, and where my place was, God would bring the right man to me. I would not have to pursue him, because God would put him there for me.

I forgot everything from that day, until I recalled it today. And it was really what I needed to hear. And it’s something I really needed, and will be, passing along to my friends, to my freshman, to my peers. I will show them everything I learned from that conference, that it is how I am going to be living my life, and that I will have them hold me accountable to my decision to keep pursuing God, and not man.

God has been doing so much in my life lately, blowing my mind at each and every moment that I realize it. I wish I noticed more often, because it’s really so amazing some of the changes He has been placing in my life. He has brought people to my life that have just rocked my world, that have changed me and helped me to become this new, happier, more positive person. I thought I had lost this self. This is how I used to be, before I fell into darkness, before I met Haley. I can even say her name now with only a little anger. I am not the same bitter, angry, emotionally wrecked individual I used to be. I am new, and old at the same time. I am who I was, who I am meant to be, and I still continue to grow in maturity each day. I can feel the changes in my life, I can feel the positivity flowing through my entire being, and I never ever want to go back to that dark place I was in ever again.

I am happy, and I deserve to be happy. I desire to be happy, and I am. I am happy with where my life has been going, and happy where it is headed. I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for me, because no matter what it is, I know it will be His will, for His glory, for His name.

At this point

•October 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I can’t stop shaking. I can’t stop crying. I can’t stop typing, because now it’s out there. Now someone knows my dirty little secret. And it scares the hell out of me to think what they must be thinking. I don’t like who I’ve been, I don’t like what I’ve done, but now it’s in God’s hands, and He will send the right people to assist me.

 

I am not proud of my past transgressions; I hate that I was stupid enough to get into those situations. Where I go from here now is up to God.

 

Now if only I could stop shaking.

A moment in time

•October 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Moments have past us by without even realization that they happened until they are no more. As time passes we see things more clearly, while at intervals we cannot seem to grasp what it is that is happening.

Lately I’ve been meeting people that have been making my life worth living. That isn’t to say I was ever suicidal, but that my life wasn’t worth much of anything. The person I was is not the person I’ve been. I’ve changed, and it’s all for the better. Now I have friends, I have people I can rely on. I am capable of trusting people again. And I’ve found God again. So much has changed. My life is much more positive, much more worth something.

These days I seek God for guidance, and He answers me every time. He may not answer directly, though in some cases He has, and He may not have the answers I want, but He always answers. Lately I’ve heard a name thrown around me, and I was curious about the individual. One night my church group was playing games for the night, and we decided to play Mafia. Interestingly enough, this guy whom I’ve been hearing about was there, and he sat beside me. At first I was just paying attention to the others around me until he introduced himself. His posture and body frame did not give me a good impression of what his voice would sound like.  His voice was very quiet, but in a pleasant, calming sort of way.

Of course, being a ridiculous girl that I am, I started crushing on him hardcore. It doesn’t help that he has gorgeous blue eyes. But lately God’s been showing me that I need to put my trust in Him, and not in my own decisions right now. I think that has been the hardest, especially since I want a relationship so badly, but God has my life in His hands, so I need to learn to trust Him more.

It doesn’t help that I finally got the courage to add him as a friend on Facebook, nor that we had a nice day today of playing Ultimate Frisbee (on the same team, no less!). It was certainly a great day. I was a little disappointed this guy didn’t join the small group of us headed to play Halo: Reach. Still, I was glad for the time I got to spend with him.

With my sister gone in the military, I’ve found myself a lot more homesick this semester. I miss her like no one’s business. I am really happy that her battalion has a Facebook page. I finally managed to find a photo of her! So exciting, especially after not really actually seeing her for so long. Only  a few weeks left until she graduates. I’m so happy!

My life has been turning around, going for what feels like the first time, in a good way. I really can’t wait to see where God takes my life next. Each moment is an absolute blessing.

Sometimes it feels like

•September 28, 2011 • 1 Comment

I am being left behind while everyone else is moving forward, that, no matter how hard I strive to push myself onward, I am still behind.

The world has changed lately, especially for me. Some things have become more clear, while others became more clouded. I search for answers, but hear only silence. God, please answer me as You have in the past. You made things so clear for me that this sudden silence is terrifying.

Today I read the greatest thing ever

•August 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“Never regret something that once made you smile.”

You know, I guess I never realized how much I regret things. With my failed friendships, to failed relationships, and situations I wish I could change.  I do have a lot of regrets, and I know I probably shouldn’t, but when I stop and think about things I would’ve done differently, there is so much I would change.

I would’ve changed not listening to my instincts before I lost a friend for the first time. I would’ve never bothered being in that relationship, or listened to this person’s advice.

But isn’t that part of human nature, regret? We are trapped so far in our minds that all we can do sometimes is think of what we would’ve done differently.