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A shot of Internet on the rocks

Agree so much with the Caleb Hyles bit 😉

Blotbox

With the end of holiday season comes the end of my binge watching, Dota 2 addiction and stuffing my face with greasy food.  The quick page turning of bum days to regular days has drastically changed my awesome routine. Now I have to wear pants to do all that.

Getting out from a holiday comma, you might get disoriented how the society has moved on. You might want to check current events how people fared themselves with the annual hibernation.

While other people check the local paper and the news, I go to a more entertaining medium. You’d be surprise how you can find pressing matters on 9gag.com

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Day 3 Relief Revisited

Well, if Monday and Tuesday were like eating carrots, today was eating a tasty saltine cracker. Can’t say I’m crazy about saltines, but they sure beat out carrots any day.

But let me back pedal a little.

Tuesday honestly ended well, but my attempt at falling asleep was stifled by my body going haywire, because I’m a girl and that happens often, and I was still racked with grief and quite a bit of worry despite all intentions of releasing those doubts to God. I could feel my body wanting to shut down, my eyes were heavy, my posture slumped, but every time I found myself on the verge of dreamland, something inside me jerked everything awake with a violent wave of nausea and a slew of terrible fears. I wouldn’t even be able to stay awake long enough to dwell on any specific thought, my body was so tired, it desperately tried to find its way back to slumber land, but as if something knew I was finding a hint of relief in rest, my head felt yanked back, my stomach would tighten up, and my mind raced with fear.

This was one of those moments it wasn’t just a mental or physical game being played. There was a spiritual battle taking place and the battle field was my body. It was awful to say the least. I felt like I was being continually punched and kicked as I tried to curl up into a tighter ball to protect myself from the blows caused by whatever demons hovered around me. I began to cry in my sleep and I found myself in a cold-shivering sweat. I felt at my absolute physical limits and had no idea how relief would reach me. I wish I could have crawled out of my body and leave the corpse that was being ravaged by some force that I could not control with any pain meds or nausea pills. I couldn’t take it.

I swung the covers off my body and curled up next to my mother and whispered, “I don’t think what’s going on with me is just physical, can you pray for me.” And without hesitation, my mother wrapped her arms around me, laid my head on a pillow in her lap and began to whisper her prayers to God on my behalf. I could feel my body fall in and out of sleep again – I could feel a heaviness on my body that made me want to just become unconscious. She ended, “In your name, Amen.” And I in desperation of Jesus began to mumble my own prayers that I am not sure how much was even comprehensible as I felt like I was in and out of consciousness. I finished my prayer, “In your name, Amen.” My mother rubbed my back and I just laid there with my head on the pillow and tears dribbled down my face, but I wasn’t sad, I began to feel for the first time in hours, relief. The heaviness began to lift from my shoulders, the nausea subsided, the anxious thoughts, fears, and doubts faded out of my mind, and I felt cool and calm at last.

I fell asleep and didn’t wake till morn.

I remember as I was slipping into that deep sleep, I had the image of Jesus standing behind me with his arms around me and all around us was darkness, but it could not touch us. I could see it reach for me, but it couldn’t grab me, I saw it slink further and further away from us and I remember smiling.

It was a wonderful thought to have as I drifted into relief and though I didn’t sleep for 8+ hours (only about 5), it was just enough, it was what I needed, and grace was sufficient. I had never been so grateful for answered prayers.

Until the following morning.

The initial break has mended. My boyfriend did call me and one of the first things he said, “I love you to death.” And it was all I could do not to burst into happy tears – I might as well have, I had been bursting into sad tears for two days already, but my body is tired of bursting anything, so I contained my joy, but I am sure my smile was frighteningly goofy to passer-byers.

Needless to say, the turmoil over my boyfriend’s absence and carrot-flavored days has ended.

My mind is still filled to the brim with thoughts – good and bad – because of my grandfather’s current physical condition (which I know I haven’t really mentioned), if you’re my facebook friend, you know what’s up.

But along with the break of communication with my boyfriend, I was dealing with the emotional strain of having my Papa awaiting treatment for his dying foot. We are now looking at an amputation procedure of his right leg right above the knee. Whoa. Wait, what?

My Papa? Without a leg? The man I watched fly hot-air balloons, fly airplanes? Walk outside everyday to take care of the garden, pick pecans, take me to the zoo, drive us to his favorite catfish restaurant, run errands for Grandma, make model airplanes – my Papa? It can’t be. It really, just can’t.

I can’t even say I am “worried.” It’s just what happens when the body gets old and there is really nothing at all I can do to stop the deterioration of his body. I am pretty darn sad though. And tonight I reside in my grandparents’ home and I recall all the memories of my Grandma and Papa going about their daily routines and my Papa being active and as strong as an ox – and to see him weaker and dependent on others for everything, it hurts.

I can’t imagine how my mother feels.

She’s strong. She doesn’t seem afraid, but she’s admitted worry. And yet, she had the energy to hold my pathetic mess of a body and pray over me last night and hold me in my distresses?

I have an amazing family, don’t be too jealous.

Tomorrow will be a sad day, a relieving day, a day that will change our lives because it’s changing Papa’s life – we won’t be losing a leg, but we will feel his loss. And yet, he will continue his jokes, his laughter, and his mind will wonder how to solve world problems with new inventions. My Papa is amazing with or without his right leg.

There are obviously many emotions I feel that I probably have not explained well enough, but a lot is happening. I will rack my brain tomorrow better for another analogy that will put into better perspective my tangled mind, but for now it’s late and I’m tired.

Relief has come to me in many ways, I want that relief for my Mother, my Grandma, and my Papa.

Taking a Break Day 2 – Carrot Flavored

Taking a break 2

Well, here I am halfway-ish through day 2 and I’ve only had one fall-apart moment first thing this morning. And to be fair, I had already showered, styled, and dressed for the day, but those demons in my head must have found a weak spot because they attacked it hard and sent me face down to the bed in a pile of tears. But I refused to let them keep me there! I quickly recovered and stood on my two feet, looked to the day ahead and said, “Today will be better.” Thus far, I like to think that’s been successful. Still feeling uncertain, my body is still sore as if I’d entered the “Rowing Champs of the World” competition, but my head is clearer, my eyes not-so blurry (though burn) and have been able to actually be productive (i.e. actually do my job)!

As far as updating about yesterday – well, let’s say it was the first day of the break and was definitely a struggle to muscle through. Kind of reminded me of when I sat at my pre-school’s lunch table with five baby carrots I HAD to finish before I could go play. Being three years old, I am not sure of how accurate my estimation is, but it was FOREVER until I could force down those nasty little orange veggies (and I maintain my opinion about carrots to this day). I remember my teacher See-Wing-See (Singapore descent) was very strict about us finishing our snack and that day it was crackers and carrots. The crackers were a snap, and if I had been wise and planned ahead (as most three year olds do?), I would have sandwiched between bites of carrot-cracker-carrot-cracker. But no. Instead, I was left sitting at the table long after my peers had frolicked off to the playroom with no concern that I had to sit, stare, wait, and pray that my carrots would magically disappear. I cried, I pleaded, I tried to even squirm out of my seat, but those carrots HAD to be chewed, swallowed, and absorbed. Like yesterday, like this whole “break” thing.

I remember taking the first bite of the first carrot and I began to cry as I chewed. I hated it. The bitter-sweet flavor that was tinged with a “dirt” flavor (were they washed properly?); the stringy and crunchy texture that was reduced to mush as I chewed and the flavor permeated. I gagged as I swallowed it and tears flowed. I wasn’t sure if I was more upset at the fact I was being forced to eat the carrot, or from the genuine fact it tasted disgusting! My stomach tightened up and my desire to vomit was nigh. And – that was just bite one. And each carrot was at least three or four bites (I had a small mouth, and was taking small bites). With each bite, this cycle repeated, it honestly never got better. I got to carrot number three and my teacher encouraged me, “You’re almost done!” But I’m not! I’m sure I thought.

As I’m on day two, not day three, my analogy doesn’t exactly line up to my current experience. But, I make a valid connection. Going through the first day was horribly-carrot flavored. I can’t say day two taste much better, but unlike my pre-school experience where carrot two was as bad as carrot one (if not worse), day two is feeling a bit better. It’s not as bitter. While I still find myself forcing down bites of another carrot-flavored day, I have encouragement from Jesus as I read this passage:

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34

It’s one I have heard over and over, but it never feels old because I am natural bonafide worrier. So, I feel like God beats me over the head with this passage to remind me every moment I start to cringe at the bitterness of my day that I have nothing to fear or worry. This moment in my life is momentary and it will be done.

Whether I chose to eat those carrots or not, time would pass, that moment would end (my teacher would HAVE to let me go sometime). I chose to eat the carrots because I knew I would find freedom faster that way, and it was gross, but necessary.

Whether I choose to pass the next few days on my bed face down in a pile of tears, or go about my day doing my work thing, gym thing, friend thing, and Jesus-time thing- this moment will pass (my boyfriend will call me and we will be just fine). I choose to do all the “things,” tell those demons to take a hike, and keep remembering what I often forget (see passage from Matthew above). I know I will find personal freedom faster this way, and it is gross – very gross – but necessary.

Taking a Break – The Detox

Taking a Break Day 1

 

I don’t write often enough, I know, and so days like today are some of the best opportunities to actually follow through as a writer and actually, you know, write.

What the heck is she on about? – You ask as you re-read that last sentence to see if you missed something.

Simply, everyone has things to express when their heart is broken and their feelings are wounded. As a hyper-sensitive personality, it doesn’t necessarily take much to make me cry, so when my boyfriend (aware of my HSP), said, “Can I say something that will hurt you?” My body froze. My eyes automatically swelled with tears on cue and I squeaked out, “I guess.”

“I think we need a break for about a week.”

I can’t tell you how quickly the color left my face since I wasn’t looking in a mirror, but it was definitely one of those times that someone may very well have said, “She looked like she had seen a ghost.” I think I audibly heard my heart shatter on the ground, but then realized it was just my blue Auburn cup I had accidentally knocked over in that moment and to my dismay it did shatter. As if it had been my actual heart, I burst into a flood of tears apologizing that I had broken “his” Auburn cup and I was so sorry and as I scrambled to pick up the pieces hoping the damage wasn’t too severe, he said, “Kara, it’s ok, it’s replaceable.” Well, he should have been more clear with his antecedent, since I felt as though he was saying it was inconsequential that my heart just broke, as well.

Thankfully, I’m not completely stupid and realized rather quickly he meant the “it” was the cup, which was true enough, but that was like my favorite cup and now I can’t show off my War Eagle Pride at the gym and work. I will replace it though.

I can’t exactly remember all said between tears and pleas, but I do remember he was as calm, cool, compassionate, and loving as ever before. I do not think he has ever been more reassuring, yet I, ever more scared.

“I still love you. I still want to be with you. I am still coming down for the wedding, and you’ll be in Alabama this fall.”

“But, a break?!”

“It’s alright, Kara. It’ll all be alright. It’s ok. I love you. Sweet dreams.”

Ok, the skype call was more like 3 hours, but this was the gist of it all.

I was a pathetic mess, pleading with him to just call me once a day right before bed, cried so hard my nose bled – that was fun too. Tears just kept coming, kind of like vomiting, you think you’re done. You have to be! Your eyes feel like they have not a single drop left to spill, but then a wave of pain crashes into your chest forcing out another flood to cascade down your face along with other bodily fluids from your other facial orifices – pleasant picture, I know.

I had to let him go to bed: he had school, I had work, though nothing about work appealed to me, though it normally energizes me. As I felt him slip away into dreamland, any pieces of my heart I had salvaged in my hands fell to the floor once more. I muted myself over the microphone so my sobs wouldn’t disturb his slumber. My body ravaged with grief struggled to get comfortable enough to rest which finally did happen around 5 am, though it would not allow for more than about 2.5 hours of sleep. Needless to say, I look forward to an early bedtime with a deep sleep (hopefully).

Some of you are already rolling your eyes, “Oh Kara, he’s not breaking up with you, chill out!”

Thank you for the sentiment, I am aware of the extremity I underwent with my emotions. Whether warranted or not, the fact remains my physical and emotional insides feel as though they were ground through a meat grinder – slowly.

It was so strange this morning, I woke up thinking the situation was a dream and forgetting what had transpired hours earlier, but it only took me about 5 minutes to remember – oh yeah, no morning call today, or tomorrow, or however long he decides. My body ached, I don’t think I’ve cried so hard that my body aches, I didn’t know that could happen. I pushed through the morning, though decided mascara would be wasted on my face today – and I would be proven right as I barely made it out the door and into my car before tears started to roll down my cheeks. I hope my sunglasses didn’t look totally conspicuous on an overcast day, but trust me, better than the ugly cry face- you know the face.

This all may sound overly self-indulgent, but more or less, it feels therapeutic. And through the morning, I’ve found moments of peace and comfort. The real message I’ve found is “Pray.” Finding alone time in a quiet place, be obedient and listen to God’s nudges – and the nudge is loud and clear – more like a shove – but it is to pray. So, that is exactly what I am going to go do today. Pray. I have more questions than answers at the moment, but I have promises of God and I will hold fast my faith in those promises despite how tired I feel, despite how weak I am, despite how circumstances tell me this is a bad thing. I will pray and let peace seep into my tired body and revive me.

I hope to share my thoughts once the day is up and we’ll see what God has revealed.

 

60 Little Tips That Can Change a Girl’s Life

60 Little Tips That Can Change a Girl’s Life.

Frozen “Let it Go” Male Cover

Caleb Hyles

I love his voice – why hasn’t someone discovered him!

A Prologue to Grief

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I apologize for not being consistent with my posts. It’s a true shame and without a real excuse since it’s not for lack of thoughts and ideas. So, enough of lamenting the time lost and not writing, onto what you’re more interested in – Grief.

Recently, my pastor did a sermon on the topic of grief and I found it incredibly compelling. I don’t even know exactly why. I don’t necessarily have many griefs at this time. In fact, I am in a rather fruitful and happy place in life. But what I believe his sermon did was open up the box of memories in my heart, and I was allowed a time of reflection on griefs I’ve grieved and griefs that may not completely be spent. If you’re a woman, you’ll understand a bit better – everything connects to another – and memories are no exception. It’s hard to sometimes isolate the source of a thought or a feeling and it can be down right maddening when you can’t identify the source of a pain.

As Pastor R. preached, I sat thinking of all the grief periods in my life and the disappointments I’ve endured. Don’t get me wrong, Pastor R. never encouraged self-pity or wallowing in tears. But he made an argument for the necessity of grief in life and it relieved me in a lot of ways. He criticized that America is a society that teaches to stuff the negativity and the sadness in our lives. We shove it aside, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and we suck it up. “Of course, I do,” I silently thought to myself. But I realized this was probably not a good thing as I listened to his tone and intonation. For the first time I think in my life, I truly felt like not only was grieving a healing process, but a necessary one and a Biblical blessing. As I sat and listened, I found myself letting down a guard I have had for years, and to my surprise it was a guard I had even put up between me and God. I found myself apologizing to Him for not allowing Him to come into those times of grief and do his job as The Comforter. For too many years had I believed that Grief and I were one-on-one combatants that I would have to put up a tough fight and find myself exhausted emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I had never realized this was never a battle I was meant to either flee from or fight alone.

A Letter to Love Japan 2013

Kyoto Japan

 

If I could be there I would. I miss Japan dearly and am eager for when God allows me to return. To the team I do not know, but I know they will do great work because God has sent them with his purpose.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My name is Kara and I know you don’t know me and I don’t know you. But what I do know is that you’re sitting where I sat for the past two years with Don in Kyoto, Japan awaiting for this exciting week to begin! Whether you’re familiar with the Love Japan trip or Japan in general, this mission trip is an absolutely unique experience every time.

I know you don’t know me, but just know that I have a heart for the Japanese people and if I could, I would be with y’all this year. But God has great plans for your group this year and I cannot wait to hear of the stories that come from this trip.

I absolutely love Japan and I hope you find chances to explore on your own and take opportunities to share the Gospel. I could probably write for days about Japan, but I will try to be brief and just give some encouragement to you.

I know that Japan can be a bit of a culture shock-country with only Kanji characters to guide you. But don’t be intimidated! I was nervous and a bit worried too my first year in Japan. But I discovered that the Japanese are mostly helpful, kind, courteous and patient. They do not like to make visitors uncomfortable or to feel embarrassed, so trust me when I say, they will do their best to listen and understand your situation and offer their assistance if they can.

Take as many opportunities to share the story of Jesus with the people you meet. My first year I met girls who had never heard that Christmas had anything to do with Jesus and were excited to learn about the Christmas story since they had never heard it before. They were so excited that they said they would share the story with friends later that night. How amazing is that? It felt a bit like how the Bible describes people becoming so enthralled with the Good News, they just had to tell someone!

I hope my words encourage you and serve as a testimony to the work God has already done and will continue to do in Japan. I pray that God strengthens your spirits daily and that you will not fall into discouragement or disappointment. I found that being in a state of constant prayer while on campuses gave me a great amount of peace. And praying aloud with my team member as we walked around was encouraging as well.

Enjoy every day and don’t be afraid of trying the food! It’s an adventure God has allowed you to be a part of so go out and explore, discover, and serve!

I know these may just be words from a stranger to you, but I know in Christ, we are family, and so I lift my prayers to God for you as you venture out during this very special season to share the Gospel.

Many Blessings and Prayers,

Kara

When You Celebrate One Year Dating Someone

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I guess my boyfriend and I are pretty simple. And maybe some might call homebodies and boring, but to me, we’re pretty spectacular and perfect for each other (even if we are homebodies). I am not sure I could ask for a better match for me in this time of my life. Too many things lined up for me to believe that our relationship was a happy coincidence, instead, I’ve been grateful for the divine sovereignty that brought us together. Sound to “spiritual-y”? If you say so. But for me, I’ve been praying for God to send a friend like Main Man into my life, and He did. You catch that I said, “friend” not boyfriend? Because after my breakup of 4 years, I knew I just needed good friends, and having just one that would just be there was what I knew I needed. And after a random audition for a radio project I tried out for and a skype call with the cast, I met Main Man. 292718_630397806136_5182544_n

There’s not much more to the grand story of our friendship other than we clicked pretty quickly and haven’t stopped talking since. And while I had a crush on him from the start, it took Main Man two years to figure out that I was pretty awesome and asked me out.

And whether or not my Main Man and I will walk down the aisle together, I am forever humbled and thankful for our lives connecting.

Ultimately, while I am excited to have said we’ve made it one year, I am all the more excited to celebrate three years of friendship. From skype calls with groups of friends, to online co-op Halo time, we’ve built a unique sort of friendship that helped me through some harder years after my breakup with “Dylan“. Main Man and I had many discussions about my past and for the first time in my life, I found someone who I felt genuinely listened with an non-judgmental ear. There was never an ounce of pretension or pride when he gently coaxed me into bringing into the light a lot of the dark memories of my past. Especially after my breakup, I felt insecure and hid a lot of feelings and thoughts, and locked them away, determined to leave them buried in a deep dark hole forever. But Main Man came along and proved (and continues to do so) that truth really does set you free. I was able to be honest with him and he helped me dig up that lock box of broken pieces of my heart. It was painful and difficult (and sometimes still is) to relive parts of my past I thought were gone. But with each moment of honesty with myself and him, I feel the weight of each piece be lifted from me. I have gained new perspective that God revealed to me, but I believe Main Man was there to support and encourage me as I have allowed the truth to come out and Light to blast away the Darkness.

Two years of initial friendship built the foundation for this past year being a crux of my life that has helped me be even more honest with myself and with others. So, thank you Main Man for sticking by me even when the Darkness was too powerful and then praying me through it. And thank you, Lord for sending the support I needed for such a time as this in my life.

1150941_10202023444693024_609520512_nI guess I did say at the beginning that my boyfriend and I are simple, but we really aren’t. Our friendship was no accident and our relationship now is being strengthened by trials and sweetened by laughter and joy. Too sentimental? It’s not, it’s just true. And reflecting on this past year has allowed me to reflect on the last three, and with hind-sight always being 20/20, I can see how God’s protected me and led me to better understanding of myself and better understanding of His nature.

So, when you celebrate anniversaries, make it a time of reflection, enjoy the 20/20 vision of the last weeks, months, and years. And I hope you’re inclined to thank God for allowing you to see a glimpse of the story he’s weaving and you got to be a part of that.

Other than that, Main Man and I will enjoy the rest of the day as we usually do – laughing at nerdy humor, watching scary movies, probably hit up some Halo, and being grateful for the time we have.

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