Tag Archives: love

Father’s Day Fun

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I love my Dad. I love my grandpa. I love my boyfriend.

These three men are all fathers. They are good fathers, and I enjoyed celebrating them yesterday. I appreciate the men in my life. We did not do anything extremely special. We did not host a huge bbq party or take a trip. We simply went to church, then a Chinese buffet for lunch, passed out cards and watched a movie. It was simple. It was memorable. I think that a lot of folks try to overdo certain “special” days, attempting to make up for the rest of the year. The truth is, in my family, we are pretty alright to each other most every day of the year. We spend a lot of time together. We talk a lot. We share laughter, and consider how blessed we all are to have each other. To be able to include my precious boyfriend in a family affair was wonderful. His son was there too, and it felt like I had brought my own immediate family to the mix. It is these simply things that I like to dwell on during “special” days.

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Life Update: Transitions

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“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” ~ Dr. Seuss

Time

Time is like fragrant nitrogen gas. It is always present in our atmosphere, but we only smell its sweetness after rain. Then it flees, fades but lingers beyond our perception until it rains again. It has been raining frequently at home these past few months, and time feels like it is sweeping my feet from beneath me. The world is spinning it out of control; the second law of thermodynamics is taking its toll; humanity is crumbling while so few stop to smell the nitrogen of time. Before we realize, time will cease to be understood as we understand it. There will be only eternity – a negative and positive. Still so many are unsure on which side they land. Time – a constant force – is both with us and against us, but the world has forgotten its sense of urgency. We have settled into our depravity, praying that a genius somewhere in our generation will create immortality. This way, we nullify God. We nullify, reject the truth that we are already immortal. Souls are eternal. Time is eternal. God is eternal. Hell is eternal. Love is eternal.

These revelations are of God – truth revealed slowly, with each new rain, as the fleeting nature of time is unveiled secretly to me as a smell of nitrogen. Yet, life still continues. It is plummeting to the depths of a chasm, to its finality, and I chase dreams, hopes and assurance like a pro surfer atop roaring waves. We all chase what we desire, forgetting that God loves to bless us with the desires of our hearts if we only draw near.

I remember how ignorant of time I used to be. My senses were dull. I was blind, mute, calloused on my hands and feet, deaf, and allergies of deception had clogged my nose. The rain was not sweet. It did not tell me secrets. It was floods and disaster and annoyance and mud. Time dragged. Sin was acceptable, forgivable, a choice. I did all that I wanted to do because it temporarily felt amazing, but like a serpent that slithers, depression, anger, loneliness, jealousy, greed, lust lurked in the grass at my ankles. Till I finally said, “Enough.” Suddenly like a flood, nitrogen filled my lungs. Elohim opened my eyes. Yahweh opened my mouth. Jesus whispered truth in my ears. These arthritic knuckles began to love others. My nose cleared, and time came rushing at me in full force. Clarity brought purpose. Learning to love God brought fulfillment of hopes, reality of dreams, and assurance of positive eternity.

My life has shifted. It has turned from drug use, foul language, pregnancy scares and hatred of mankind to driven clarity towards learning what God has to tell me about who I am, my soul, the world, to purer speech, to desires for sexual purity, and to love for all of mankind. The transition is overwhelming. My goals in life have changed, and I have never felt more satisfied to let the Lord of the universe direct my path because the path that He is sending me down is beautiful, difficult, aware and glorious. My soul is at peace even as I watch the world slumber in sin – its senses dull to the urgency of time. Plus, having drawn near, I recognize the desires of my heart having been given to me. I have a wonderful boyfriend now who loves the Lord. His son is beautiful and loves me. Jesus is using me to love my best friend to show her how much He loves her even more than I do. I have a summer job where I am not persecuted for my faith. My immediate family is growing stronger and builds me up.

Time is no longer silent or frightening. It is a whirring river. It is a bottomless ocean. It is thunder and echoes of orchestral crickets.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” ~ Hebrews 11:1

New Year, New Hope

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I wanted to start off the new year by saying that if you have never read anything I had written in 2014, don’t worry because all you need to know is that for the year 2015 I will be proclaiming Jesus Christ as redeemer of my life and will be keeping you updated on all the amazing blessings and transformations he has planned for me throughout the next 364 days. This past year definitely had its ups and downs, and I have goals for this year. But, the past is not important and I cannot determine my future despite all the plans I may form and attempt to execute. What matters to me now is the present and the fact that I have this unreal pressing on my heart to proclaim the validity of my Christian faith to the world and especially my friends.

My friends…Oh man, how I love them!

My number one goal for the new year is to see God work in the lives of my friends. My number one goal is to show them how really real God is and how true his love and forgiveness are by living an example. This is the hard part. I have not been the ideal Christian. I have smoked weed. I have had sex outside of marriage. I have cursed like a sailor. I have lied. I have done and written many things that contradict the principles laid out in the Bible – the spiritual foundation of Truth. I am the ultimate hypocrite and my friends are my eye-witnesses. But if I can prove anything, I can prove that I have changed and this change was not something I accomplished on my own. I have changed because God woke me up and saved me. I thought I was a Christian before, but I wasn’t. I thought I knew what I believed and could stand up for it, but I didn’t and couldn’t. I couldn’t even tell my friends the honest truth. How is that love?

I know for certain now that belief in Christ is the only way to truth and understanding and life after death, and he has placed an urgency in my soul to see my friends understand him and accept love even when they don’t feel deserving. I’m not deserving either, but I’m not afraid to show how the truth has changed my life so drastically even in the last 3 months. I proclaimed my faith to my bestfriend and told her that I would stand firm because I know she deserve to hear the truth despite the fear that coursed through me when I did. I broke the heart of someone I cared for intensely because I knew we were sinning and I would not allow myself to continue bringing sin into his life because he deserves to know what true love is. I smashed my pipe and threw my dope in the trash because I knew that it was at the heart of my spiritual issues and was forcing me to cling to my past mistakes.

No matter the political unrest in the world – the violence, the hatred, the anger and war – my friends are more important to me. To know that I have been given the key to life and to see them still in dark…cuts me deep. One of my friends actually reads this blog because he’s just that supportive and awesome, and he would say I have the right to believe what I believe, but he doesn’t believe that I speak truth…only personal opinion. It is the same with my bestfriend. A few nights ago, she and I had a very heated discussion about God and faith and truth. What came to light is the fact that we love each other immensely and have both been hurt immensely. I love her so much, but I can’t heal her wounds. That kills me more than anything, I think. I love all my friends. I would give my life for my friends – for them to see the truth of God’s love. But…it seems that I cannot help them see that my love stems from the all-encompassing love of God. I wish they could see how much more God loves them than even I do. I wish that truth more than opinion to them. I wish that they could experience the knee-buckling peace that comes with understanding God’s grace.

I wish that for you too.

For everyone. And, I am going to do my best in the grand year 2015 to help God reveal himself by physically and verbally expressing the change I have experienced. This change has made me free! God has made me free! Free to love and hope and weep and endure because I know that he “works all things towards good for those who love God”. I can no longer remain silent because to be silent would do more harm than good even if my friends can’t see it yet. I love them more by making them face truth eye-to-eye through me than by hoping someone else comes along who maybe has the balls to speak honestly with them. If I won’t rip the band-aid off, God can’t heal the wound.

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Romans 5: 1-11

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God though our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained accessed by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in the while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

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The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge is entitled: “Twinkle.” I love this idea because it instantly brought to mind a holiday tradition my family does every Christmas season. When my parents bought their first Christmas tree, twenty-seven years ago, they only had a few red ornaments and twinkling yellow lights. Because money was slim, they decided that they would purchase one unique, special ornament to represent their new life together. Every year since that first, as their family grew to include myself and my little brother, they continued to purchase one unique ornament that represented each person in the family.

I am twenty-four now and this practice of buying “our special” ornament is my favorite tradition. It trumps Christmas Eve chicken noodle dinner. It even makes me more excited than our habit of watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas and munching on candy from stockings while we recline in new holiday pajamas. This simple act of choosing a special ornament to put on the tree each year, lets me express myself as an individual while still contributing to my family’s overall holiday joy. Because of this tradition, our family Christmas tree has grown to bursting with color and expression and love and represents perfectly the different personalities of each of us – me, my brother, my mother, my father – as a single unit. Because of this tradition, our Christmas tree represents us as a family who has grown together to fill our house with twinkling light.

Terri Tucker Karp's photo.

My brother and Dad add ornaments that are masculine and represent hobbies typically, and I usually add flair through feathers and vibrant colors or sparkling gems. My Mom, on the other hand, has developed her own tradition. Each year, she buys an angel ornament. Most are gorgeous, but a few are quirky or adorable. When my brother and I marry, we will take our cherished ornaments with us to our new homes to share with our future families. When that time comes, my mother will be left with a tree covered in angels and all the oddities that make my father lovable.

When I decorate my Christmas tree for the first time with my future husband, I am going to remember all the love, happiness and faith provided to me while living with my parents, and I will be excited to share the same with my own children.

A Holiday Tradition

I’m Holding Out My Hand

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More than anything in this life, I hope that my friends – who I love so dearly – will come to understand how much more God loves them than even I do. It may be an unpopular opinion to believe that (1) there is a God and (2) He loves not only me, but everyone I hold dear to my heart and (3) He wants to love us for eternity so he literally sent someone to give us a way to reach Him and believe in His reality. Sure, I can see how it seems like a stretch. And, I know it’s so easy to get caught up in all the confusion that religion and science and popular opinion provide by screaming at us from all directions, pleading for us to figure everything out on our own about our existence and origin and future and how to raise our children, etc. But, I’ve come to understand that God doesn’t need to scream at us or plead. He has provided an answer for all life’s questions and concerns and confusing moments. He has provided a way to save us when we land at rock-bottom physically, mentally, emotionally. When we least expect it, he whispers. And when we finally hear what he has to say, the truth seems so clear. Faith in something greater than myself – a greater purpose, a greater calling, a greater peace, a greater understanding and acceptance – is revealed in the quiet moments when His whisper is the loudest voice in the room. All other voices drown out and this overwhelming sense of “knowing” becomes apparent and faith becomes so easy because I can simply give up all control, all worries, all self-doubt and struggle and just believe that I am loved and protected. I want – seriously, more than anything I could ask for during my lifetime – my friends to know the knee-buckling peace that comes with understanding that God loves them fully and completely with no strings…despite its being an unpopular opinion.

Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”

Redefining Moments

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Jeremiah 33:2-3 “Thus says the Lord who made earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it – the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

I have asked myself ten times over: Who am I? In the past, I would banish any self-doubt by rushing into an ill-prepared answer without over-thinking the truth behind that question. Frankly, I did not want to be honest with myself. I wanted to find a quick definition that would connect me with those I was trying to impress. Have you not ever tried to press yourself into two or three molds in order to reflect back the same visage or personality embodied by the environment of people you wish to impress or be accepted by? Whether you have or not, I have. And, it began to wear me thin. I became obsessed with defining myself as others may see me, and in the process, I forgot that only one set of eyes are worthy of my impression.

Not everyone who reads my blog will believe in God, but I do and I can’t deny that fact anymore. Because…God is the only one I should be worrying about impressing. And to impress God means that I don’t conform to how others would want me to act or look or define myself, but rather conform to the image represented by God – love of others, purity, self-control, slow to anger, etc. These are qualities that keep me focused on developing a gentle spirit that longs to see the world come to understand saving grace and acceptance and eventually joy with the understanding that there is life after death – a triumphant life with God – worth pursuing without fear of what others may think.

All that being said, you are going to see a pretty drastic change in the subject matter represented in my blog. I won’t be deleting any posts because I think it is wise to know from what state my heart, perceptions and words have developed and grown. I am not dissatisfied with the words I have been sharing with you thus far; I am just dissatisfied with their content. I’m not ashamed of anything, but I think God has a bigger purpose for this little blurp of space occupying the internet and so I’m planning on making my words count for a higher purpose.

I’m not planning on everyone agreeing with me, but maybe, together we will see how words can truly affect people’s lives for the better. That is why we write in the first place, isn’t it? To persuade people to view life differently. To highlight alternate perceptions of the reality we all share. I hope that you will join me and we can debate issues and conquer questions that plague our hearts. Hopefully, through sharing with you my faith and unaltered opinions on truth and love, we can discover real truth after scraping away all that seems convoluted by jargon and deception.

November Rain

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My birthday is two weeks away, and I could not have been given a better gift. Cold, winter rain has descended on the university, and the classrooms finally feel warm. My paperwork is lining up, and I have no doubt that the end of the semester is in sight with passing grades within reach. This progress towards a better existence has begun to unfold and the aspects of myself revealing their true nature is a dazzling display of color in my life. Friendship has, also, taken a new form. I suppose I have a sister now. A bosom friend: eighteen years old and so much like me at her age. I grew up the older sister of a baby brother, and communicating with a young man is different than communicating with a young woman. Granted, I am still quite young myself, but I have experienced plenty within my personal footprint. I have decided to pass on my wisdom to her; this is wisdom, I suppose, I gained from the life my choices forced me to live out. My past. I don’t want her to follow my wrong steps; but, sometimes the thought is laughable. I tell myself that this is a ridiculous idea because dealing with eighteen-year old drama is sometimes unbearable. I am sorely out of practice when it comes to being the older sister of a girl. She is wild and headstrong and a dork and beautiful. But, I love her for her quirky nature, melodrama and fears because she listens and she cares and she wants what is right in her life. This quality is my favorite thing about her, and why I love her dearly.

She inspires me.

Me and Jori Magee

She makes me want to be a better person; someone who strives for a great life with a great partner and great friends. And, finally, finally, I see it all within my reach. I see budding friendships. A bright future. A growing faith. Tell me… can something this beautiful really last?

With Love,

R

Back in the Groove

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Back in the Groove

Dreary days have been absent this summer, but today, the skies are a milky blue-grey. This shade of creativity castes the world in shimmering pale. I love the wet. Because the wasps by my window have settled down for an extended nap till a dry shine will wake them. Until then, the rain drips by their heads silently, persistently. On gloomy days, I most appreciate how the world rotates in an ever-constant state while my perceived reality slows – just enough – to feel as if all things are crawling through an invisible field of molasses. And, everything is green against the backdrop of blue-grey. I have been inspired to write. The surge of creative juices has my fingers itching, but insert my dilemma: boop. I have no clue what to write. Oh sure, I’ve ideas. A frightening story has been gurgling in my belly for some time, but am I willing, in ink, to murder? I have considered completing a short horror piece for Halloween, but to what extend will I allow the gore to overtake me, bathe me? Horror is a magic you must be careful to press into ink. Nightmares too easily leap from the page.

Romance has been tickling the back of my brain lately – too – like a subtle seduction. Love frightens me more than gore, and a true love story is hard to find – even harder to capture on paper. I dislike the production of cheesy love. Not to say that true love can’t be cheesy. If you have an adorkable personality…Go with it. What I am trying to say is that my love story should feel like a travesty of emotions. Perhaps love is nothing but a figment of perception coupled with an onslaught of adrenaline, but I refuse to believe. Taking the scientific stance on love is boring and mature. Since when has love ever FELT like a rush of hormones? Never. At least, that’s not how we put it to words. Love is an overflowing spring of torment that tastes of raspberry and honey to the tongue, smells of lilacs and lavender to the nose, feels like goose bumps on the belly beneath silk sheets.

I’m just going to have to get back into the groove of the consistent writing, I guess. I’ve been negligent, but when reality like lightening strikes you down with responsibility, you must do it and put away pleasures till they are reasonable.

Honestly, writing is not the only thing that I will have to “get back in the groove” to accomplish. After a two year break, I am headed back to university to finish my degree. This step in the supposed “right” direction has me nervous and excited. Transferring my mind and social standing to that was a college student is going to be tough. Exhilarating. Never before have I had such a rush of mixed emotions. I am in love with the notion. I am going to miss my friends. Leaving them for months at a time while I get my life figured out is going to be the hardest aspect of this transition. How does one maintain friendships over such a distance? I have had difficulties maintaining friendship when they are merely on the opposite side of town, but now that five hours distance will separate us, I am not sure how to react. I wish to assume that they are going to forget me. I wish we had taken more photos over the course of the summer, but there is always next summer to accomplish that goal. I have promised myself that if I make good grades, I will treat myself to a camping vacation with my friends. But…we will see how the winds blows a year from now. In a year, much can change. People change. Lives change. Dreams change. I’m not sure I am ready for it. By Friday, I have to be ready to sign my name to fate. I must force myself to take a positive outlook on all of this and channel that outlook in a constructive way for my future. I have goals, true, but I don’t want to leave behind my friends in order to get there. But, growing up – this time – is not going to be fair.

Caffiene Induced Mental Labors:

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Caffiene Induced Mental Labors:

The coffee shop is bustling with the typical faces one would see especially in a city such as this. The busy little shop is full of chatty voices minus my own. The absorbent crowd flows like a living creature – a spiritual combination of souls seeking an unanswerable question, but in the meantime, they swell their bellies with lattes and benign conversations. I am unsure why I wandered into this establishment. Perhaps there is a certain familiarity in the sea of ever-changing faces; a comfort in not truly recognizing any of them – a security.

Why do I feel safe among strangers?

The unease of their throbbing presence puts to rest personal anxieties and for a moment, I am capable of becoming anyone. There is the sudden realization that I am now a character in a novel that is unfolding. I am the heroine that breaks the molds and sits in solitary contemplation at a table in an unfamiliar coffee shop in a strange city awaiting a particular creature to approach in order for her story to truly take off. For what is a story if it is lacking an equally unique hero to defy the odds and break the barriers of prescribed behavioral decorum? I realize then that I need someone to enter my life who, like an alien on an adventure, recognizes something unusual in me that must be explained and thusly approaches my table to ask that unanswerable question that would connect our souls in a defining moment considered a spark of love. But love is a silly notion because it lends itself towards acquiring flame too quickly and ardently and so fizzles at the nearest contact of ice. I rather seek a budding friendship into which would bloom an un-ending affection. The word affection assumes the role of care, and in the end, that is all I can hope for in the truest relationship- someone to care. Because love does not always need to care in order to be felt. With caring comes the understanding that feeling is not always quite necessary to endure.

My alien would understand this. His subconscious culture will have birthed him into such knowledge and it is there – in the subconscious – where we will meet and no longer be alien and subject but partners on the most sublime level. There are levels to human interactions and as of yet, I have found not one fellow creature that has dug to the level of subconscious yearning I discover within my own person. Now, are we, as creatures of base nature, capable of exploring and discovering every level that comprises our personal humanity or that of another? If we are not, then I must consign myself to a fate of celibacy. Love will not be in my cards if this proves true. More than everything I crave in this life, it would be this connection with an alien on every level that makes us individuals for in an individual is the empty slot awaiting the portion of another to fulfill and bring a soul toward completion. I fear reaching “wholeness” without someone to share in my accomplishment. Those who claim to have reached completion of self must not need what I need, or they have learned some secret of the universe that I have not. Secretly, I envy them. But I know that their happiness would never leave me content. Is being content even possible? Is wholeness attainable? Is attraction always satisfied to begin on the surface? It is these questions that I would ask my partner, and he would answer me in the best way because it would not be the answers themselves that I would want but just his voice caring enough to attempt to satisfy my childish curiosities of the surrounding world.

I Wish I Had Feathers…

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Floats a Swan

I attend the grandest parties –
Splendid affairs vibrant with colors.
The walls drip with silks of all shades
Swooping to kiss marbled floors.
Shadows caste from myriad melting candles
Dance like faeries along the walls.
The foods- a spectacle –
Overflowing with towering sweets and bubbling delicacies.
Wine is unending.
Sparkling punch spurts from ice fountains
Collected in cups of all shapes and sizes.
I gaze – mesmerized
From my perch on the sidelines
In awe of the creatures I see swirling
And twirling to the tinkling of music.
They are birds
Demonstrating their feathers made of silk and chiffon.
Hair is an art form:
Buildings of curls and pearls and little stuffed creatures.
It is magic –
A wondrous thing to behold.
They eat and they chatter and they dance the whole night
Never growing tired
Never distracted from fantasy
Until
A hush stills the room, and I am most puzzled.
I scan left; I scan right
Till at the edge of the room, I do see
You –
A Queen; her majesty; a spectral phantom.
You are adorned in cascading white.
Your hair has been powdered and dusted; seems frail
And amidst these pompous peacocks and ruffled buffoons
Floats a Swan.
The silks of your dress flow like a river of a stars
Parting the dizzying sea of melted rainbow.
The pearls on your neck clink with movement and you transform
A beautiful Ice Princess who has frozen my heart.
“I love you.”
I whisper
And somehow you hear.
Grace me with a look; with a smile; an invitation to dance.
It’s unspoken but I swear this to you
My ethereal Priestess
You will wear white once again
And twirl in my arms amongst a sea of colors.
My bride
My vision
On the notes of a viola, I will carry you to the stars
And we will dance on the Milky Way,
Preserve your beauty in a constellation,
Spur envy in Aphrodite’s heart.