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A Summer Declaration

This Summer I am going to sit on the couch with my grandmother and aunts, and watch telenovelas, swooning over the pretty-faced male lead, and let my rationality be lost in the cheesy, tacky, (usually nauseating) romantic plot.

This Summer I am going to laugh at every mishap, mistake, slip-up, trip-up, face-plant, and fall (and I will fall).

This Summer I am going to lay for hours in the soft, sweet, green grass and let the freshness of the dew pervade my nostrils.  I will look up at the clear northern sky and watch every single cloud drift by.

This Summer I will yell and scream and shout and be obnoxiously loud – just because.

This Summer I am going to run as fast as I can, while dribbling a soccer ball.  I will show my younger brother’s mad skillz who’s boss.

This Summer I will invite the person who needs a friend to come hang out with us.

This Summer, as the sun sets and moon rises, I will stay awake and wait for the next day’s sun to rise, resisting the urge I’ll have to close my eyes.

This Summer I will play until my fingers bleed.  I will dance until my lungs can’t breathe (but not really ‘cause then I will have died).  I will write until my imagination screeches to a dramatic halt. … and then after each precious wound has healed, I’ll do it all again.

This Summer I will wake up and start every day with a smile.

This Summer, when the bonfire burns bright, I will ask the difficult questions- and answer them honestly.

This Summer I will jump on the bed with my siblings.  All of us monkeys will laugh and grin and see who can touch the ceiling.  We will see how long we can last until Mom says “no more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

This Summer I will run into the water.  The chilling waves will cover me so sweetly.  A greeting that has been long awaited.

This Summer I will take a picture every day.  I will capture the weird things that nobody else notices or cares about.

This Summer I will take the risk and be unordinary.  I will become one with my convictions and step into the role that I know I must assume.

This Summer I will eat something weird.   Maybe cow intestine???

This Summer I will be extraordinarily kind and joyful, regardless of the curmudgeons who cross my path.

This Summer I will be the first on the dance floor and not stop dancing until I pull everyone out of their chairs to cast out inhibitions and let loose!

This Summer I will rock out.   (my neck should be especially sore after headbanging so enthusiastically.  my chiropractor will not be pleased).

This Summer I am going to stand on a hill, gaze over the highest treetops and let my eyes see the world.

This Summer I will cry… I’m not sure why, but it will happen.

This Summer I will not fear to love wholeheartedly and endlessly.  I will act with compassion in every situation, toward every person.  I will push myself aside so that True Love, no matter how radical and unearthly, may flourish and present itself anew to a hurting soul.

This Summer I will live.

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Chai Latte, Homework, Skinny = Pretty ???

A couple of weeks ago I needed to escape my campus bubble.  I was becoming unhealthily familiar with the 1st floor library computers.  A change of scenery was overdue.

So I biked about eight blocks away to a nice coffee shop.  I ordered my almost favorite drink, a chai latte — since summer weather had swept in, I decided to go with ‘iced’ rather than ‘hot’.  Plopping my backpack onto a spacious table, I proceeded to open by books and notebooks.

Ahhhhh… finally a different atmosphere.  One that could prove fruitful for preparing tomorrow’s Christian Ethics presentation.  Yummm… chilled, sweet, creamy chai… sip after sip put me in just the right mood — a perfect balance of relaxation and motivation.

About 15 minutes later I look up and notice a couple of young high school girls (around 14 years old) prance into the coffee shop.  After about five minutes, they still cannot decide what to order so they step off to the side.  A couple of minutes later two other girls, around the same age, enter.  It is obvious that they are classmates as enthusiastic greetings are exchanged.

*******
(The names below are made up and are not the actual names of these girls)

“Oh my gosh Jenny!  I didn’t know you were gonna be here!”

“Hey Christine!  Yeah I know.”

“Wow, you look really pretty.  You look SO skinny right now!”
*******

Wow.  I was startled by the conversation I had just heard.
You look so skinny right now ???

The fact that girls at such a critical age are so heavily affected by the messages of beauty our society gives was made very real to me at that moment.  Realizing that those girls equated beauty with slenderness was extremely disheartening.

I want so badly for everyone to realize that true beauty is the character of someone’s heart.  I understand that it is difficult to realize one’s true beauty if one does not have an adequate understanding of what true beauty is.  God created beautiful things and He created each of us.

Please don’t let the false media messages penetrate your psyche.  Let, instead, the Love of Christ penetrate your innermost being.  Be loved by God and know that you are beautiful… just as you are.  And you can, with His help, be formed into the even more beautiful creation you were intended to be.

 

Here are some scripture passages that can be used as a launching point as you seek to discover true beauty in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 139

1 Samuel 16:7

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Matthew 5:8

Ephesians 2:10

Genesis 1:26

Goldie Locks’ Love

Two seats over and one row ahead sat a darling, modern-day Goldie Locks, probably about four years old.  She had been weaving her way through the pews during the first part of the mass.  Her little sister was getting baptized.  After a few minutes she decided to remain stationary (at least for a little while). 

While the priest was giving his homily, Goldie began kissing her palm and blowing the kisses in various directions.  I watched as she picked out specific people in the congregation to blow kisses toward.  My heart leapt in joyous amazement.  Such an innocent form of love contained in the wonder and sensitivity of a little child.  Eventually Goldie blew kisses to practically everyone within her horizon as she spun around herself. 

Then the slightly older little girl sitting next to her, presumably her sister, lowered Goldie’s hand and told her to stop.  She motioned for Goldie to sit quietly, face the front, and listen to the priest.

Wide-eyed, as if her dreams were shattered, Goldie did as she was told.  Just a few seconds later, however, Goldie reached out and held her older sister’s hand.  Her sister reciprocated the affection with a squeeze of the hand and a gentle smile.

This little girl so unashamedly shared her love with everyone she could.  In the form of a blown kiss from a miniature hand, love flew across the chapel, crashing into all different types of people.
Sadly, her loving actions were discouraged by someone she loved. 

I think a lot of times we don’t realize how special a simple gesture of affection is.  This particular scene really spoke to me.  I know I’ve been guilty of snuffing out someone’s light.  Actually, in a very similar situation. 

I don’t remember it very clearly, but I know that my younger sister was trying to give me something out of the goodness of her heart.  She was clearly trying to show me her kindness and love.  Thinking that I was doing the right thing, I refused to take it.  I told her to keep it for herself.  I, of course, wanted her to have it and not me.  But the message I was actually communicating in this simple interaction was that it is good to keep for yourself, don’t give out to others what you already have. 

I was convicted and still today remember that instance and keep learning from it.  It infuriates me when people don’t let kids behave as the individuals God created them to be: loving, joyous, compassionate, kind, and free. 

We adults have so much to learn from the innocence and purity of a young child.  They’re hearts are not yet tainted or discouraged by this world.  Preserving their innocence for as long as possible is something we adults need to strive for.  We must be encouraging, taking into account every word spoken, every gesture and thought communicated. 

We have been placed in these children’s lives to edify and praise the love and goodness they show.  Let us consciously provide the most loving atmosphere possible for children. in our lives.  Let us show them that there is hope and love in this world through Christ.  Let’s show them they are valued and worth it and have been created for a unique purpose.

 

Related Scriptures
~
Matthew 10:8
~Luke 18:15-17

Look Ahead When You Bike

On Sunday I biked back home from church.  St. Charles Avenue was under construction and I did my best to steer away from the debris.
A little further along, I decided to see if I could bike in a straight path on the white line adjacent the parking lane. I looked just in front of my front wheel to follow the line… not so successful.  I swerved.  Then I looked ahead into the distance, about half as far as I could see, and followed the white line.  That was successful.  Straight lined path.

From this example came a deeper understanding of a concept I already knew:  look at the big picture.  When I was focused on my immediate situation—both the passing through the debris and trying to stay on the white line by looking straight down at it—I was not able to control or handle the bike very well. 
 Oppositely, when I was looking ahead and aware of the whole situation, taking the time to observe and consider other perspectives, I was better equipped to handle the current situation.

It’s like an orchestra.  When the individual musicians play their instruments and are focused only on his/her parts, the sound is not as synchronized or harmonious as it could be.  If, however, each musician keeps his/her ears open to the other instruments and eyes on the conductor, the sound turns into music. 

Much like an orchestra, if you are only focused on your immediate situation in life, then you miss out on opportunities to create consonance and harmony with others around you.  If you cannot imagine beyond whatever adversity you face, or try to see it from a broader perspective, you will not be able to effectively overcome it.  

When you’re so focused on playing the right notes or having the right dynamics, you may not hear the opportunity for great musical collaboration. 

When you’re biking on a bumpy New Orleans road, it is important to look down for the pot holes, but don’t forget to glance up.  You might miss a newly paved path that you could take instead.

The Girl and Her Muse

The sound of your footsteps fills her with anticipation until the moment you’re at the door and she nearly bursts at the thought of actually getting to see you.  Every time you walk into her presence she scrambles to pick up one thing after another, so excited to present it to you. She wants to show you the finger painting she made just a few hours ago.  She wants to give you her five stuffed animals.  She’s eager to see your reaction to all of her projects and toys.  Excitedly, she gestures for you to come and join her in a game of make-believe.  And, of course, everything turns out perfectly because you are there; you are in control of the outcome.

There’s this sense of freedom she feels when you’re around.  Without a thought, she is allowed to break free of all that binds her.  She is no longer a hostage to herself.  And she wont even realize she isn’t always this way until you’re distant… then she’ll gradually retreat.  But for now, it’s the most pure form of joy anyone could imagine.

Her innocent eyes radiate with all of the fondness she has for you.  No one but you could understand the full extent of her admiration because you look right back to her, the same radiant expression.  Your eyes, a more mature, understanding reflection of her own.  The air becomes saturated with an overwhelming sense of love… but even that does not completely describe it.

She’ll stay in this euphoric state, not able to think past the moment.  You’re there, so everything is how it needs to be; was intended to be.

After a short game of make-believe, you’ll tease that you’re trying to catch her.  She runs around, screaming her high-pitched scream, pretending to get away from you.  When in reality, she wants you to catch her.  Snatch her up and hold her forever.

Ten minutes of this catch and release, then she’s tired.  Acting out of complete trust and comfort, she waddles up to you and leans her head against you.  Clearly, she wants to rest.  You are overcome with compassion and want to give her rest.  So you take her up in your arms and gently rock her back and forth.

Her eyes are heavy; closing slowly.  The last thing she sees before she drifts into dream is you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When she wakes you are gone.
Though, not completely gone.  Your memory is still with her.  Your scent, lingering.
Now is the time for her to use what you’ve taught her.
You’ve prepared her well.
She must learn to have confidence in You.  Confidence in the fact that you are still with her.  You’re thinking about her every moment; giving her strength, compassion, patience… Love.

She comes to the realization that in order to be truly joyous as once she was, she must show others the love you graciously showed her.  Your example is all she needs to love them.

She’s waiting now.  Waiting for you.  For the next time you come and surprise her.
Until then, she’ll just keep on refracting your light, despite the dark that tries to seep in.
But you are stronger.  You give her strength.  She is stronger with You.  And for her– and so many others– you will come through.

To post or not to post?

Hello blog world,

Frankly, I have been in a dry spell as far as writing is concerned.  I haven’t had that surge of inspiration I would so often get to write. (Two minute pause).  Even now I am having difficulty thinking of words to type on to this page.  Perhaps it’s because… welllll I don’t really know. 

For now I’m just resting my head back, closing my eyes and letting my hands find their way around the keyboard on their own. 

I’m listening to the Fray’s album How To Save A Life.  It gets me in a calm mood.  Not that I wasnm’t calm before, but it just sort of tranquilizes me.  I hopr I’m not making  ay errors… my eyes are closed and I don’t want to open them… typing qhilst not looking is fun.  My eyes can take a break while I get my thoughts out, clear my head.

Taking final exams after not getting enough slepp is not the best idea to act on.  I should have, could have gotten more sleep… but what’s done is done.

I took a break from this post.  But now I have returned, and am no longer typing with my eyes closed (although that was surprisingly therapeutic).

And now it is two months later that I am finally finishing this post.  I decided that rather than wait for a perfect idea for a  post, I would  just post something.  I need to be more consistent, not only with updating this blog, but with life.

I hope, by updating this blog and my others (Exhilarate Radio Show and LEAD) regularly, I will harness that consistency and put it to use in other areas of my life. 

Whew.  It feels good to actually get something typed out.  Even though this post is probably not my proudest work, it is something.  And something is better than nothing.

Good day to you all,

*Izabela Marie*

Paint Your Day

Each day is a new canvas to paint upon. Make sure
your picture is full of life and happiness, and at
the end of the day you don’t look at it and wish you
had painted something different.
            — Author Unknown

Is there something that you have to do; someone who you have to talk to; something that you have to say?

Then do it.

Be wise about it, but go ahead and add a splash of color to your canvas, one moment at a time. 

 

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