Monday, January 12, 2009

A "Word" To Live By

Tonight during our Bible Study Vanessa mentioned to me something she was going to try. She said she got the idea from someone to pick a word—any word—that you wanted to use as a “symbol” to have some type of impact on your life for the year. Keeping this word in mind, it should start to actively shape or alter your world—or at least that is the goal.

I’ve decided to join her in her “word forming” journey. So when I got home I started mentally running through a list of words. At first I thought my word too simple, but every time my mind leaped to another word this one made an immediate reappearance.

I’m not going to think of this as a “New Year’s Resolution,” because I was never good at keeping those and this seems like a little bit more than that. Instead I’m going to think of it as a little experiment—a small journey of self-discovery—to see if I have the power to change/alter/renew myself.

Below is the dictionary definition followed by the word. Wish me luck. Updates will come.

verb (used with object)
1. to pour forth (water or other liquid), as a fountain.
2. to emit and let fall, as tears.
3. to impart or release; give or send forth (light, sound, fragrance, influence, etc.).
4. to resist being penetrated or affected by
5. to cast off or let fall (leaves, hair, feathers, skin, shell, etc.) by natural process.

verb (used without object)
7. to fall off, as leaves.
8. to drop out, as hair, seed, grain, etc.
9. to cast off hair, feathers, skin, or other covering or parts by natural process.

Part of Speech: verb

Definition: cast off

Synonyms: afford, beam, cashier, cast, diffuse, disburden, discard, doff, drop, emit, exude, exuviate, give, give forth, jettison, junk, let fall, molt, pour forth, radiate, reject, scatter, scrap, send forth, shower, slip, slough, spill, sprinkle, take off, throw, throw away, throw out, yield

Antonyms: put on

Main Entry: SHED

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A choice: light or darkness

I’ve been in the dark for far too long now. I used to be afraid of the shadows that followed me, but now I barely take notice as they hover. The weights that once tore and bruised my shackled body have become an accepted extension of me. Once my heart ached from the brutality of this place, but now it is broken—bare, dry, cracked, and soiled. It lays quietly in my chest—beating just enough to keep us alive. Just enough to endure. These thoughts that plague me all day long, that taunt and mock me by whispering stinging lies in my ear, consume my mind. There is no peace here. There is only a racking, piercing, erosion of the soul. I have tried to escape—tried many times—all without avail. My eyes peer up towards the sun but its rays are lost to me now. The coldness descends. My capture lurks and slithers around me as I sink further and further into hopelessness. He caresses his hands and grins triumphantly as the scent of defeat fills his nostrils. He, this proclaimed liar—“father of lies”—has lured me here through insecurities and fears. Now he waits patiently for his victory.

There was a time when I wasn’t caught here. When the warmth of the sun played across my face. When the water I drank was cool and quenching. When the sounds in my ears were revelations of love and goodness. When my lips opened freely and yearned to emit sounds of praise and honor. A time when I felt wanted and needed—when I felt like a daughter.

A sudden instance—a twist of fate down a crooked road—pushed me onto a path I was not destined to tread. Although it was rocky at first I managed to keep my bearings—stumbling along as the light got dimmer and dimmer. Until suddenly one day I found myself here—in the darkness.

I try to recall if I heard the calls of light shouting after me to turn ‘round. Come back. But how could I hear the calls of a gentle voice when the one shouting in my mind was so strong and coaxing? Every step I took was of my own choosing after that. I leaned in closer to the sound of that anxious voice and held tightly to its hand—until that day its hand became a cuff. A cuff wound tightly ‘round my wrist anchoring me to the dark.

At times I imagine I am hearing faint calls of the light. Feel a small warmth attempt to spread its self across my withering soul, but then he comes and says it’s not here for me. What would the light want with a thing so wrapped in the dark? My soul gives a small flutter. A still small voice calls out in my mind “lies.” Remember what the light feels like, it says. Come back to the light. You are weak now—so very weak—but you must try.

I stir.

Surely I will fail. Like all other attempts before. Surely I will not make it out of this blackness.

Try, it says again.

I stir.

If you fail, it says, keep trying. Try until you see the light again. For its there—just a little further ahead—He is there. He is calling out to you. Can you not hear Him? His voice is strong and patient. It is aching for you to return. He has given you the saving grace you need to return. Accept it. Unhook your fetters and release yourself. He cannot force you. You must be willing and wanting. Do you thirst for release? Do you hunger for the peace? Do you long to stand before Him again—pure and clean? You must choose, it says. You must choose to turn--to deny, to leave--this place of self-pity, defeat, and condemning self-worth. Choose to walk away from it. Take up your weapons—see how the liar cowers before you when you speak the Truth. See how he clamors to create more doubt so you will stay? Fight back. Look ahead. See His eyes—the light—upon you longingly waiting with out stretched hands. Hear His words of promise—“I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”—take them. Embrace them. They are yours.

The darkness will keep you from the promise, it says.

I stir again.

The liar circles me like a lion does his prey. I feel his dark eyes boring into me—willing me to stay and suffer. My eyes blink hopefully for the first sign of light.

I find my knees and I rest upon them, head bowed.

I seek for the silence. For my true heart.

I will fight to see the light again.

To hear Him say my name—in the warmth of the light.

I will choose to not believe and accept the lies being spun inside my mind. I will fight back against the darkness and feed it no longer.

It is time, I hear Him say. It is time you came back to the Light. Pick up your grace and walk freely. Come, stand before Me. I will make you clean.

Stay, the liar commands as the weight of the dark presses down on me.

Come. Choose, He calls from the light.

I take a deep breath and fill my hollow lungs…..

Monday, December 29, 2008

::Melinda sings:: “Billie Jean is not my lover….Its just a song that makes me move faster on the treadmill.”

As far as workouts go, the treadmill can be pretty boring--especially when you’re doing it in your basement. Walking at 3.5 miles an hour while starring straight into a wall of grey brick—all the while never getting any closer to it—doesn’t exactly constitute as mental stimulation. Lucky for me my iPod changes all of that.

Normally I like to listen to Taking Back Sunday while treading the mill (haha) because the songs tend to be upbeat and help me keep a good pace. Lately though I’ve become more and more inclined to shake my little yellow pod and shuffle it up a bit. Occasionally I’ll land on a slow song, which I’m quick to dismiss and move on to the next—slow songs aren’t good cardio motivators.
Tonight I was using the shuffle method and nearing my cool down pace when a sudden familiar beat came pulsing through my ears. (This might be a good time to warn you that the song selection on my iPod is somewhat odd & all over the place. Haha) My body reacted immediately and before I knew it I wasn’t cooling down—I was speeding up.

I’ll be the first to admit that Michael Jackson didn’t turn out to be the greatest guy, but let’s all be honest for just a second—that guy made some pretty rocking music! As soon as “Billie Jean” started playing through my headphones I was ready to move. Without even being told my feet fell into the rhythm of the beat and my hips (well the place on my body where hips should be…haha) started swinging in time too. With my head bopping, I moved my arms up and down in rhythm as well—I was dance-walking! (And I may have been lip-syncing rather loudly as well. I tend to do that on the ‘mill too because I figure people can’t hear me over the sound of it. I may be wrong on that…..haha)

There are few songs I think that when you hear them, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can feel your body react to them and cry out to move! Most of the time we hear these songs when we’re in a place where obeying that impulse would surely lead us to public humiliation—or a mortifying YouTube video that millions will see and mock. But none the less, it’s interesting isn’t it? I mean that most people (I’m just taking a hunch here, but I think I might be right) would have a similar reaction to mine when they hear “Billie Jean.” It’s one of those songs. A song we all know. A song we all like. A song that moves something deep inside of us—causes us to rock our head, snap our fingers, tap our feet, rock our shoulders, and sing along.

Oooo I just had a thought. Most of these songs tend to come out at wedding receptions. You know, where you see your cousin, your grandma, and all your other relatives who crawl out from under rocks for those functions “getting down” to “Baby Got Back.” (Bad mental image!!!)

So let’s hear it. Name me a song that when it comes on you just can’t help yourself and gotta move! A song you think most people tend to have the same reaction to. I’m interested to see if we all really do have some type of commonality when it comes to certain songs.

(Oh, and “Billie Jean” isn’t the only song that evokes this type of reaction from me…..haha)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Manholes: They eat people

While trying to rationalize why I hadn’t heard back from a guy who I thought was really interested in me my cousin mentioned this possibility:

“Maybe he fell down a manhole.”

And then I laughed. I so needed to laugh. “A manhole?” I said.

“Um, yeah. Those things are dangerous. And it helps to think of completely irrational things that could be preventing him from calling you other than the realization that he’s a total jerk.”

“Manhole it is,” I say.

This is the only explanation I can give for the said disappearance of said person. Surely he’s trapped under at least 10 feet of earth & tar, unable to communicate to the above ground world with a cellular device, and desperate to climb out so that his nimble fingers can once again communicate with the world via text. (Either that or he’s been kidnapped by the Daleks—points to me for the Dr. Who reference.) Let’s hope he can manage to claw his way out of the underground to contact me soon—or I’m reverting to her other suggestion that involved a waffleball bat.

**side note: I realize this blog is less than stellar to start off with so forgive me and be rest assured that future blogs will be more insightful, humorous, & thought-provoking. Apologies