The Artist and the Art.

I am a perfectionist and I have hated myself for far too long.

 

You let your tears fall into your tea.

You hold your breath in a moment of anxiety,

unknowingly you clench your fists to bear down emotionally and get through the pain.

The pain from making mistakes, from losing a friend, or shaming an enemy, from hating yourself, your situation, or your past. The pain comes from love lost, or hurting somebody who you couldn’t bring yourself to long for; you start to believe the thought you’ve been fighting to change your whole life.

 

You are unworthy. 

Unworthy of happiness, love, and success. Unworthiness sinks in when you elevate everybody and everything else above you, and beat yourself down for the monster you really are within. You have hurt others (maybe) and so you don’t deserve to move on, to grow, to form scar tissue and become stronger. Right?

Worth.

The thing is… love and growth was never about our worth.

When you love your friend, your partner, parent, or sibling, you love them because you love them! Not because you have climbed to a place in existence where you have now achieved the credentials to love.

Loving the people around me has always seemed to be something basic and elemental. It’s when God showed me that this constant battle I’ve had in my heart since I was a very little girl to find worth in the affection of those around me, means that I’ve missed the mark.

1 John 4:9-11

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

Love is just simply not about the lover. Nothing I can ever do will ever earn me love. Just like how my little sister could never do anything to force me to love her any more than I already do, so it goes for God, and for the way other people love us.

I often whip myself emotionally with my mistakes, and the things I’ve done that have hurt others that aren’t mistakes. I flounder around in life trying to please everybody, and often insanely obsess over being perfect before God so as not to lose His love. I share this, because I don’t think I’m the only one who tiptoes around their friends and family trying to smile in just the right way so they’ll be endeared to me.

I have some not-so-new news that may just blow your mind. It definitely did mine.

Romans 5:6-10

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

The crazy thing is that I (individual human with a name, face, history, and life) am so loved that while I was still so broken, in my darkest moments when I intentionally hurt myself and others, locked eyes with my Creator. I was so ashamed that He could look into my eyes and know the unworthiness, but his look was not one of disgust. It was one of Love. He saw me, and decided to purchase me from slavery with everything He had, so that I could be free. He welcomed me into His family without me even remotely trying to earn it.

How could something that still makes so many screw ups be considered beautiful? Sure God loves me, but I don’t love myself. It doesn’t make sense.

I struggled with this for so long.

I am an artist. I’m an actor, poet/writer, painter, and musician. I do it because I love it. It’s excruciating being a perfectionist and an artist, because one of the beautiful things about art is that it will never be perfect. Each piece becomes and extension of myself, and making it come across the way I see it in my head is nearly impossible.

There is always something that could be better, especially in a live performance. Acting has taught me that sometimes when we make mistakes they are what makes magic on stage. It’s the mistakes that make or break us, and imperfection that makes art raw and relatable.

When I realized that God (my Abba) is the ultimate artist and that I am His art, I could then look at myself (both literally and figuratively) and believe that I am beautiful.

Art is beautiful sometimes just for the fact that the artist made it and poured a part of themselves into it. Some people just won’t find it appealing. Some people will adore it. Some will cry over it, some will laugh, some will be reminded of horrifying memories, and some will see the artist. 

The tears, mess-ups, let-downs, and frustrations are not for nothing.

You are art,

I am art.

We are the created, and that makes our imperfection beautiful.

Welcome to the Concussion Corner

Broken.

Damaged, Damaged, Damaged.

A failure.

Incapable of functioning as a human, let alone in society.

I’m sure everybody has experienced these thoughts at some point in their life. For myself, I have never experienced all of them at once, or in such deafening magnitude as I did since receiving my first and second brain injury.

For the record, by brain injury I mean concussion. I will not use the term concussion throughout this post too regularly, as I have discovered that it is an extremely common term and, for myself especially, it loses the severity of what a concussion truly means. During my healing process I have learned that my words are powerful, and the simple switch from “concussion” to “brain injury” meant that I actually do have very serious limits, and need to take heed when my brain starts to hurt.

Yes, I seriously can’t watch T.V. for very long, if at all.

Yes, I seriously can’t go for a run without taking myself off my feet for three days.

Yes, I seriously can’t read right now.

Yes, I seriously did just miss what you were saying because there are two other people talking around me and I can’t focus on more than one thing at a time anymore.

Yes, I seriously can’t stay up late.

No, this isn’t just a headache.

Yes, I seriously did just run into that wall because I didn’t realize how close it was.

Yes, I seriously did just fall on my face going up stairs because my depth-perception is off.

Yes, I seriously do have to wear sunglasses in florescent lighting.

Yes, I seriously did get a second brain injury from a volleyball to the head.

Yes, I seriously did need to drop those classes in order to continue staying in my program.

Yes, I seriously do need to sit out of this class today.

No, this isn’t just a headache.

Yes, this overwhelming mood swing is normal for my healing body.

Yes, I did just forget my thought three times.

Yes, I seriously did just have to think about my last name.

Yes, I seriously did forget my age.

Yes, seriously.

Seriously.

These are things I have to tell myself, and sometimes others, on a very consistent basis. I think if there’s one thing that I had to learn very quickly, and took too long to learn, it’s that people can’t read my mind and that I need to take my needs …well… seriously.

There are so many things that I could talk about in regards to my brain injury. Today I ran into an old high school teacher (and very dear friend), who recently had an accident of their own and is in the early stages of recovery. We talked for a long time, and I was so excited to talk to somebody who is going through the same things that I go through. It was in this conversation that I realized how alone I can feel in this struggle. Not that I don’t have a good support system! I am so grateful for the mass amount of people in my life who treat me gently and talk down my people-pleasing ways to look after myself. Who spur me on and tell me when I’m going too hard, too fast. Who remember that I’m still fragile and gently and persistently try to learn what that means.

What I mean is that I can often feel like I’m crazy, or dramatic when confronted with some of these symptoms. Thus, to talk to somebody else who is going through the same thing right now is very comforting. This has led me to this post, and what may become a series of posts regarding my Injourney. (Get it? Like injury, and journey combined. Yeah, that probably won’t stick.) There are some aspects of this process that have been unbearably challenging. If it wasn’t for the support and love of my family/friends and of God, then I’m honestly not sure where I would be.

There’s already been a lot introduced in this, so I’m going to end it here shortly. The main thing I want you to get away from this, dear reader, is that concussions are seriously very scary and very life-altering. For some they heal quickly, or push past smaller scale symptoms and carry on in life, while others are taken off the scene permanently. I’m somewhere in the middle right now. I’m not quite sure how much I’ll heal from here, but I pray that it will be a lot more.

Secondly, if you’re somebody who is healing from a concussion and are feeling worthless and broken forever, or you’re so overwhelmed with inexplicable emotion as you sit in your dark room for months on end and braved your way to the computer to seek some comfort, then know that you are not alone in this. Concussions are starting to be talked about more, and more these days. So please hang in there, and be gracious, merciful, and forgiving with yourself. You CAN do this. You ARE important to this society, whether you will function the same way again or not. Your voice is very significant to this world.

With that, I leave this post to separate myself from technology for another few hours so as to not push the headache too far.

Thanks for making it to the end of another crazy thought explosion on my part.

Huzzah.

My Little Girl

My little girl is my life.

I bring her with me everywhere, or nearly everywhere. There are some circumstances in which she must remain at home, but it is in these times that my day seems dull and grey. There are some times when I bring her with me, but I feel compelled to keep her silenced. She will often comply and fall asleep while I go about my business. Piece of heaven that she is, like any child she can get very frustrated with her forced obedience and will get into a temperament that is particularly sour. As much as I get equally frustrated, I’m learning that her silence is my sorrow. She brings a love into my heart for the things around me that I often overlook. She looks at the grey, raining skies and squeals in delight. Should I be on my own or ignore her sentiments, I would trudge bitterly in my soggy shoes and think angry thoughts at the clouds. My little girl makes me laugh with her, and run down the sidewalk for no particular reason aside from taking joy in the rain. Something that I would consider an inconvenience is suddenly a blessing.

Together we sing, we laugh at simple things, like birds singing, and the peculiar expressions of dogs. She can find play in something as simple as laying on the floor and making silly sounds with abandon. She teaches me to play. Something as mundane as walking down the street or strolling through the park becomes an adventure of imagination with her presence. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from her, it’s that living is only existing unless you find the joy in the things around you. To play is to live.

Her ability to love is inspiring. It is so easy to allow the hurt I’ve experienced to dictate how she’ll respond to the world. Where she will talk to strangers and chatter away and make them smile, I will pull her away and subtly and protectively place myself between her and the stranger. She will make friends instantly and love and forgive without hesitation. She runs to her Father with absolute joy in all circumstances, eager to rest in his embrace. She has yet to have the society we live in seep into her heart, and when she gets hurt, she cries. She doesn’t apologize for it, she just screams and turns red and blotchy, her tears and snot flying. When she’s cried it out, she’s healed, and she bounces back to continue on with her life.

To be true, I don’t respect her enough. I care more about what those around me think of her tears and appearance than I do about her healing. I’ll apologize for her, I’ll wipe her tears away when she doesn’t. I wish with all my heart that every time I did I could say it was out of love for her. Truthfully, that isn’t true. More frequently than I would like it is because I want to remain a contributing and functioning member of society. I want to avoid unwanted opinions thrown at me on the street, both verbally and with pointed stares while my little girl heaves out sobs at whatever injustice was just done to her. I wish that I didn’t silence her, or hold her back from freely experiencing the beauty of this life.

I’m learning to let her speak.

It’s time you knew that the little girl is me.

It is S’well with My Soul

Hey Internet People!

It’s been a long time!  I just finished my second year of university, and I haven’t had a lot of time to think about blogging in the chaos of the past year and a half. I have been thinking about what I wanted my next post to be about, since so many crazy and amazing things have happened in my life since the summer before university started. I’ve decided to talk about one of the biggest things I’ve learned, but first a bit of an update.

If you’re wondering about the title of this, I mean that I’m spiritually well. It’s a thing. S’well. It will catch on, trust me.

Update:

In my first year of university I decided to take an acting class as an elective. To make a very long story short I have since auditioned and fought through the first year of the acting program at Dalhousie university. It was a whirlwind, and 100% God leading me on a surprise path that I never saw coming, but am truly loving so much. By His divine planning, another disciple and friend also joined the program when I did. I am beyond grateful for that support, as well as the huge gathering of people both in my program, in God’s family, and in my physical family that have supported me on this ride. Acting has opened up many doors in my heart that I didn’t really want to open at times, but I can only praise God for the cleaning out of my soul that is underway.

I have had two concussions in the past year, which have been the most challenging experience for me physically, and in the top five things that have challenged and refined my character to look to God for dependence. I know it’s crazy to say, but I am grateful for them. Through this healing time I have been forced to realize that my strength is feeble, and that God’s voice is truly heard in the moments of stillness. It took a time (approximately five months) of physical stillness for me to find spiritual stillness before my Healer. I’m still recovering, and probably won’t ever really be the same again, so it’s a constant fight to find my security and dependence on God, not on the opinions of others, or even really myself. Scriptures on being still: Exod. 14:14, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 46:10

london tribeI have moved into a household of six Christian women, (yes.. you heard right). It has been one incredible experience, and I am beyond grateful for each one of them and the lessons that God has taught me in these friendships. See the image to the left to see the beautiful faces of my housemates at Chocolate lake! I thought that was very fitting.

I have also done a small bit of travelling this year and have seen so many disciples from near and far, and have built some life-changing, and spiritually strengthening relationships. I have experienced in this year how vast, and beautifully eclectic God’s kingdom is!

campus

With that, I just want to say that there is some serious work happening in the church/ campus ministry here in Halifax. It’s seriously the place to be, and I am very fired up to be living my life with my family here; striving to get closer to Yaweh everyday.

 

 

Now to the Main Point.

God’s grace is so good.

So stinking good that it’s better than that excitement over a new video game or a huge win by your favourite sports team. It’s more beautiful that the most brilliant sunset, or the most breathtaking painting. It’s immeasurable more.

More. I don’t know what else to say besides that.

I didn’t want my last post to be the last thing hanging on my blog, because I didn’t want it to be believed that baptism is where the battle ends, but rather where the courtship with God really begins. When I hit the year and a half mark of my baptism in February I reflected on who I was when I made that decision. Honestly, I am not the same woman that I was when 18 year old Zoë made the decision to make Jesus Lord of her life. I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I have learned a lot for sure, most of it through mistakes and falling flat on my face at times. I have struggled with my faith, I have faced dark times both outside and within myself, and I have hurt people.

It has been through these things that I have built the strongest faith and convictions, and learn about what it means to serve and worship Yaweh.

Romans 3:23-28 (ESV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

It is 100% through these times that have made me see in increasing ways how much God loves me. As somebody that I would call a guilty soul and (as I’m currently realizing) a perfectionist, it has been very challenging to learn the lesson that God will always love me, fight for me, and pursue my heart. Even when I fall short of the glory of God.

ISN’T THAT AMAZING? We have the favour of the King of kings, the Holiest of holy.

He makes me holy. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Friends, I wanted to talk about this because I wanted to share how amazing God’s love is. My journey of freedom has certainly not ended at that shore at Chocolate Lake one fateful August evening. It goes on everyday, with my love and adoration for my Father deepening constantly.

Thanks for reading, and I’m praying for you, dear reader. I hope you learned something about God from this brief little glimpse into my life. This is hardly even skimming the surface on Yaweh, so I encourage you to pursue a deeper understanding of grace and God’s favour for his children!

To God be the glory,

Huzzah!

 

Cleansed at Long Last- My Story

It’s been a long while since my last post. This time my whole life has been flipped around, and I want to share with you what I have been a witness to.

As you may or may not know, I have professed to be a Christian my whole life. When I was thirteen I realized that to be a Christian you needed to be baptized! I knew that I needed Jesus as everybody needs Jesus, and that there was no way for me to be  with God without it. (No one enters the father except through the son, John 14:6.) I knew that it was something that all had to do to get to heaven. As a girl who grew up attending Sunday school in the Church of Christ from before birth, I knew well who Jesus was and what he did for mankind! I knew that he sacrificed his perfect self for all, and that he rose again on the third day and then ascended into heaven. So when I was immersed in water on that hot Sunday afternoon in July in 2009 I truly did believe that Jesus did all these things. I believed that He is God, and that through Him I would be washed clean.

All was well in my world for a while. I was continuing on with my sin without a care, and proclaimed to be saved for a long time. About a year and a half after the plunge I made some friends in the International Church of Christ and began attending the meeting of the body here in Halifax. I still thought myself a Christian, and began to eagerly see the life of the teen Christians around me, and learned how to live. I desperately wanted an intimate relationship with the Lord, and through the valleys and mountaintops in my walk I committed myself to staying on the Path of Life.

There was a doubt. This doubt came from my understanding that repentance came with baptism. That when I confessed that Jesus was Lord I didn’t make him Lord, and I didn’t repent. I didn’t really look at my own sin, I just knew that I  had responsibility for my actions and wanted to make sure I was headed for the home-plate. (I think I used that baseball reference right…)

Early on in my meeting with the ICOC I began to see a difference in the new Christians and in the way that my heart was at my baptism. I saw a fire in their eyes, a fresh life and joyful spirit. I saw conviction and such a deep appreciation for what God had done for them. I didn’t have those things! I definitely grew to have moments of great happiness when surrounded by Christians and God’s word, like at teen camp or church camping trips, but there was just a closeness with God that I struggled to achieve. I battled with accepting God’s grace and continuously felt the guilt and filth of my sins resurface from my past and present moments. A voice in my heart kept asking in whispers: “Was it valid?”

I sought advice as this voice came, and each time I was assured that Satan was just messing with me! I would agree and fight it off, a peace would follow. It was fleeting and the whisper returned over and over. For four years I battled with the fears that grew from whispers into pleas and recently shouts and screams.

I took the challenge made by our minister last month to have consistently powerful times in God’s word daily. This was nothing new to me, but I had fallen short repeatedly, and so took the challenge happily. I prayed that God would reveal to me His voice, and show me His words of truth. I did this not thinking of my fears for my salvation at all! A couple of weeks into studying the love of God in my morning quiet times, I was stricken with a frantic thought: What if you aren’t saved??

I wept. I prayed constantly, and then I frantically went to the scriptures, and Google, for answers. I first searched to see if repentance was actually necessary at baptism, or if it could come later. Surely enough, it wasn’t enough to squeak by without it. I decided to live out Philippians 2:12-13.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

These are some of the scriptures that lead me to this.

Acts 3:19 “Repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out. That times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Times of refreshing come from the intimacy with God that one can only achieve through repentance!

Acts 2:36-38 “’Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus both Lord and Messiah.’ When the people heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’

Peter replied, ‘REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the holy spirit.’” * Note that one must repent and THEN be baptized.

Acts 20:21 “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”

 

This knowledge was an absolutely terrifying thing to face. A part of me wished I could live on in ignorance, but 99% of my heart was in agony at the thought of doing that, dying, and coming face to face with God and Him saying, “I do not know you.” Matt (7:21-23)

I then went to a woman in the church who I trusted.  She came from a similar background that I had, so I hoped to gain some insight from her. I went to a couple other close women I trusted as well, and for the first time in this battle everybody told me what I needed to hear. I wasn’t told to chill, or trust that I was saved, but to pursue answers- whether that meant being re-baptized or finding confidence in my salvation. So I began studying the bible with a woman in the church, and after a lot of struggle with my emotions, confessing, and constantly being humbled by God, I really grew in my convictions on needing Jesus. As I looked at my heart closely, God opened my eyes and revealed a deep bottomless chasm in my heart. I used the flashlight that is the Truth of God to look into that big black pit, and saw a slimy, dirty place where all my sin resided. I saw the places where I made the hole bigger from years of trying to redeem myself, and I saw at the bottom the person I truly am. I saw a sad, weeping child full of filth and oozing with sores and scrapes, caused by the attempts to claw her way out on her own. I would say I closely resembled Voldemort In the last Harry Potter movie.  The scene where harry and Voldemort are killed and Harry finds the once powerful man shriveled up under a train bench; small and weak, broken and without purpose. I saw the magnitude of my sin, and I wept some more.

I carried around this deep mourning for days that felt like ages, and I pleaded that God would help me to understand what it meant to drink from living waters. I remember crying and praying that God would bring me to the waters of baptism so that the hole in my spirit could be filled, and so that I could truly be one with Him. It became a longing that consumed every moment of my days.

Now I know a deep need for Christ, and a DEEP river of thanksgiving for God’s plan of salvation, and I repented of my sin. God finally broke through my walls of reason and his voice came through when I finally learned to be still! I heard the echo from the top of the chasm and God drew me up out of it.

On August 14th, 2014 I made Jesus my Lord, and I was baptized – for real this time. After begging that God would bring me to the waters of life, not really knowing how he would do that, He opened my eyes and helped me to see just exactly what he meant when he spoke to the woman at the well, (John 4.) When I died to sin, was buried in the waters of baptism and rose up out of the grave as a new being, the Waters of Life flooded into my chasm. Jesus filled me with refreshing, and gave me a joy and a peace I have never known and struggled to have. When those waves of water rolled off of me, I felt every weight of sin just run away with it. I had been given the most precious gift of emotional freedom! The bonds of sin were cut off!

I would also like to say that having the Spirit is like nothing I ever imagined! I had always read that I’m never alone, but I often did feel alone! Even with moving out, and experiencing new/ scary things in the city, I really feel the presence of God inside me! I FEEL THE SPIRIT MOVE IN MY HEART. A physical feeling like I had never ever known- the assurance and love I feel radiating from another presence within me is mind boggling.

Praise be to the Lord who works to break through my false confidence! May His name always be exalted for His great Love! He is truly the perfect planner- His timing is absolute.

zoe baptism

Me (Left) Ellie (Right) Right after I came out of the water!

I have become a witness to the power and perfect timing of God. He has brought me through so much, and has fabricated the exact timing that was necessary for me to find the absolute truth of God’s plan for me. I am a witness to God’s deep love for each person, and the perseverance He has to win the hearts of the children He loves- you.

I wanted to share this with you, dear reader, because I want anybody who is struggling with the voice in their heart, or the fears they are terrified to acknowledge regarding their salvation to know that they aren’t alone in that. I felt the same way, and in seeking God’s voice, and God’s Love, His power, and Grace and TRUTH I found peace and hope and thanksgiving! Please know that God is seeking you, He’s marching around your Jericho walls that are “protecting” your heart, and will knock them down someday. I just want you to know that He is the ULTIMATE guard for your heart, he is the only one to meet your needs. I pray that these scriptures and words of experience will help you to seek out God with humility and hot pursuit in the days to come.

Here are some scriptures that really helped me to come to terms with the battle in my heart. These are the scriptures I wrote down as I searched the Bible before seeking the advice of others. Maybe it will help you to look at your heart with a clearer sight! I advise you to really look to God as you head out on this quest. He is the only one who will be able to bring you to salvation. Pray that God will put the right people in your life to help you on this journey, and really pray that He will make known to you the truth.

Matt 26, 27, 28

Acts 2:25-28

2 Peter 1:3-4

What does the path to repentance look like? 2 Corinthians 7:8-11

Psalm 51

Google the definition of repentance

Matt 23:26 Being clean inside and out.

 

Here is the biggest and most joyous one of all:

HUZZAH!

Big Steps Towards Adulthood

I have officially rolled over into adulthood, folks. I’m now eighteen, and in Canada that means that I am legally able to sign legal documents, go to jail for any crimes, and eventually grow up and take on all responsibility for my life. Is that scary, or is that scary? Well I now have a great job for the summer, and next year I will be moving to the city to attend university. All adult things, but that’s not what this post is about. Nor is it going to talk about the overwhelming work load at school that continues to suck away my free time for writing and reading. No, none of that. In this post, I am going to be brave. You see, I am an extremely cowardly person. And when I speak, or write blog posts, what I may be thinking is not what I let pass from my walls. I’m not talking about the trusty old Bambi reference.

(It is true, though!)

What I mean is that a lot of the time I’m trying to live as Jesus did, and I’m trying to stay pure, and at times feel the spirit moving in me to say something of result, to speak my heart and speak truth. But I am so afraid. What are you fearing? We live in a world where everybody should be able to be themselves, right?  True, but mostly I’m just afraid of what people may say to me because they disagree. Or maybe they’ll hate me and not want to talk to me anymore because of my faith, and my hardcore dedication. Well, I have prayed about this, and craved to be doing incredible things, as the first century Christians did, and this is the scripture that came up.

The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. – John 15:19 NLT

Reading and meditating on this scripture has really cut my heart, and I’m not saying that ‘m going to try to make people hate me, but I’m just going to try my hardest to be true to myself, and true to God. If people get angry, or say hurtful things, or persecute me in any other forms, I will just have to go to God that much more, and be thankful that I have been called to do God’s work.   Cool, Zoë, so why the post?  Well, italics Zoë, as I am now an adult, I want to work towards growth, maturity, and strength. Since I am supposed to be responsible for my things now, I thought that the first place I should be real is my blog. If I am going to be authentic, I want all of my followers to realize that I am a follower of Christ. I believe that our deeds are bigger than our words, and that even when I am the worst at obeying God, the worst at loving others, and the worst at remaining authentic, God still loves me. He still saves me, and Jesus is still true to me.

It is a trustworthy statement:
         For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;

If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

-2 Timothy 2:11-13 NLT

What 2 Timothy 2:11-13 does to me.

I realize that I’ve talked about God before, but I just want to make it clear. Crystal clear. God is my rock, He is my life, He is LIFE in general, He is love, my security, and the only thing that keeps me from breaking down and dying from an overload of emotions. Nothing else! Not writing, not reading, or my family or friends, though all these things help, God is the one and only balm for my wounds.

So that’s what I wanted to say for my first post as an adult. God is so good, and I want every aspect of my life to excrete my joy for that. So thank you in advance for the followers who want to stick it out here at Something Bigger Out There. And Thank you to all the followers that may chose to leave, for being a part of my life in some little way.

I LOVE YOU GUYS. That’s why I made this post. I want you to know about who I am, and what I hope and pray I will become.

Here is one big one for all the amazing things I have because of God’s grace:

HUZZAH!!!!!!!

The Foaming at the Mouth, Clawing skin, Teeth Grinding Sort of Fight.

The Image

Imagine an enclosed space. Let’s say a car on a very long trip and you are the driver. It’s peaceful and pleasant: you can play your music, sing, say funny things nobody else can hear, cry, scream. Whatever you want to do!

Now add a demanding child. It’s bearable. Despite how whinny and demanding the child may be you can still focus on the road, maybe even have some fun. The child may scream or cry at times, but there are those moments when the kid laughs at you, sings one of your favorite songs with you, maybe even make you laugh!

On the way you pick up another child. You didn’t ask to carry this child as well, but now you have no choice. The two children must now share the back seat. Even though they aren’t touching in any way they still build to a deafening, screaming battle over the space they have. Perhaps it’s because one of them won’t stop looking at the other. Or they cheated in I Spy. But most of the time they’re both asking usually screaming and crying for your attention.

You try to stay focused on the road, but now you have a headache. You silence both of them, which is nice, but now you’re bored and feel alone. You don’t play your music or talk or laugh because you fear that they’ll start up again. You don’t play games or joke with either one. It’s quiet.

Guilt sets in on you, but what can you do?

You realize that you must divide your attention. Now the second child has fallen asleep, but because they haven’t been able to have a pleasant ride you feel obligated to make them laugh. But there is your toddler- the first one. She laughs and smiles now, hoping you’ll love her back. You realize that you have no choice but to carry on with that child. You love them so deeply after all!

You’re happy again, and focused now on the goal. On the road.

Reality

What I have just described to you is not a true event. It’s what’s been happening to my brain since the first chapter of As Old As The Hills. You see, Ilona is my beloved child who has grown and developed in her world for a few years now. And Maudie has just bombed in and thrown the equilibrium off. It’s gotten to the point where I crave to write Ilona’s story, but I feel guilty for not caring for Maudie. So I have not written.

In the past when I hit a dry spell for writing I would imagine and brainstorm constantly. Dialog would unfold, setting would grow up and push through the mud of my brain. But not this time. It’s been painfully empty in the creative area for the sole reason that I haven’t known who to focus on.

I now announce that until further notice I will not be posting Maudie’s story. She has potential, don’t get me wrong. When she wakes up now and then I’ll write a chapter here and there, but I won’t necessarily post them anytime soon. Ilona is now my focus, and that makes me incandescently happy.

I’m sorry if I’ve let anybody down, but just keep an eye open for the future.

Here’s one for Ilona, and for a balanced car ride in the future:

HUZZAH

As Old As The Hills: update

Hello my dear readers!

I’m shrouded in sadness as I tell you that I won’t be posting a new chapter this week. There’s been a lot happening in my life since the last post. Mainly adjusting to my sleep patterns as second semester started. But I just haven’t had time to write/edit. So look for a post next Wednesday!  If you’re lucky I might be able to finish one for the weekend! 

I hope all is well!

Here’s one for going to sleep early:

HUZZAH! 

As Old As The Hills: Part One

Image

 It had been a cold, damp August day when we first moved into the new house. The rain was steady and a pain. Muddy footprints tracked themselves all through our new-old house. I had never been to the farmhouse before but my parents had been working on it almost every day for months.

It had always been my dad’s dream to create a house where old dying people could live in a place like home, a place where geese and chickens would tear by the windows, where they could work in the gardens and groom cows and milk goats.

His dream had been his goal when he went to medical school. He didn’t plan on falling in love with a beautiful agricultural student. But he married right out of school anyway, gaining experience in a hospital before he started The Home. Before he knew it: a baby was on the way. And then another, and another. I figure that somewhere along the way he lost sight of that dream and his seven children became his knew one. I had listened to his old dream many times from my mother when he would come home worn out and crushed. When a patient would pass away, cuts at the hospital were made and “they let the best go and keep the new kids with no experience”, or when his coworkers were especially difficult to work with.

“George,” she would say soothingly. Her long fingers would always find their way to rest on his arm, her thumb moving over his hairs thoughtlessly. “Why not start up that home now? You’ve been at the hospital for so many years.”

Dad would always shake his head gently. “We can not fill the house with dying people when it is already full of new people, Sarah.” He made sense, but I couldn’t help but notice the guilt in my mother’s eyes. The same depressing sense of burden weighed on each one of us Kingsly kids on the days she brought up The Home.

The sons started graduating and all of a sudden Dad started talking about that rusty old vision again. First it was in passing when Henry moved out and went to school to be a lawyer. Then again as if it was a joke when Clarence got married and moved to Toronto. It was as if each of the sons stirred up the mud at the bottom of Dad’s mind every time they packed up their things. Jacob and Joseph, the twins, left next. Jake went to school for business and Joe went straight into the workforce like Clarence had. So when Arthur graduated, but stayed home, it was no surprise that Dad started talking to mom about it again. But it didn’t stop there this time. Soon they were looking for houses in the country. It’s not like we didn’t already live on the edge of a very small community. We had to drive for twenty minutes to get to school, and ten minutes to the nearest convenience store. But now they were driving an hour and a half away to some remote bumpkin town. Our house went up for sale in June and mom started moving her greenhouse business to a place nearer to our “new home”. It was all so fast.

An old house with character and potential, the real-estate flier had read. This old farm estate holds the prospective to be restored back into a working farm, a cottage resort, with waterfront access and many hiking and beach locations at the touch of your fingertips- or even a stunning new, modern home. This lot is accompanied by 10 square acres of land and three additional buildings, nestled in the outskirts of Red Bay. For a viewing please contact Stacy Oaks- Realtor of Red Bay Housing.

In other words: A piece of work that needs loving before the nails in the wood crumble apart.

Stacy Oaks. World’s best sales woman. Only she could have sold this dusty piece of work. Mom and Dad had renovated the first floor to have two bedrooms, Dad’s office, bathroom, a living room and kitchen, and all the medical equipment three dying people could possibly need. The second and third floors had a total of five bedrooms, one bathroom, and a living room that was definitely supposed to be a bedroom. Downstairs had new paint and new walls, new windows, new tiled bathroom, all new kitchen, and new, modern living room. Our family’s living area was not so lucky. The wallpaper- not paint- in the hallways and some bedrooms was pealing, thin and worn out in some places, and in others completely off. There were pieces of it all over the floors. The old wood flooring was worn with puckered spots from water damage caused by the crying roof. My room’s walls were a deep brown. But the aged cracking wallpaper was also falling off, onto the floor. In the hallway it looked forgotten and gross, but in my new room it looked rustic and creative. Maybe Mom saw the same thing everywhere else.

Maybe they ran out of money.

 

I didn’t want to leave, but I only had one year left, and how could I fight Dad’s dream? He put his whole life on hold for us for decades. I couldn’t. So I found myself trudging up the wet gravel, dragging my single suitcase of clothing behind me with one hand, shouldering my backpack with writing supplies on the same arm, and tucking my box of possessions under the other arm.

“Maudie!” Arthur met me on his way back to the moving truck. “Did you get the instruments yet?”, he asked as he ducked his glistening, wavy blonde head under his raincoat. The man didn’t even have a hood. We could pass as twins, honestly, same light, thick hair, same dark blue eyes, same towering height. He was muscular and bulky, I had the same solid structure. A wispy breeze could not knock either of us over, unlike our younger sister, Ethel. Artistic blood coursed through both of our bodies and we were only eleven months apart.

There’s a solid four years between Arty and the twins. I figure that Mom and Dad were done, and then they either decided “Why not?” or accidents lead them to continue, or all of the above. Either way, we -the final three- always felt a little excluded from the Older Brother Club.

“Not yet,” I called over the wind. His guitar, my ukie, and our harmonizing. We were a mighty team. We would conquer every hipster’s ipods someday. And when that happened. Ethel could just not bring her stuck up, scientific nose to our beanie-hat-wearing, tea-mug-raising, artsy-fartsy celebration. Bon Iver would be there with Ed Sheeran and Ingrid Michaelson. They would all want to meet the Blonde Kingsly Duo. Ethel would not be invited.

 

For the first time in my life I had a room to myself. There was a desk, where my laptop and Gnome already inhabited, a bed that had enough room for both me and my dog, a closet, and a bookshelf that was still empty. All of my books still packed had stayed stacked up in boxes on my floor for the night. I finally had a place to call my own, and I finally had time to rest after moving day. I had laid on my big bed in the dark, listening to the dripping roof and the creaking of the new house. The rain splattered against my window in inconsistent waves. Merlin was sprawled out, snoring, beside me. Sick emotions swelled up into my throat and I choked on it. I entangled my cold fingers in Merlin’s long fur and let the silent tears stream down my face. He was the only thing that reminded me of home just then. Everything was all different, and the old people moved in next week. My life was about to change significantly, and I wanted to rewind and be back in my lawn with the large fields and endless forest. I wanted my carpet floor and cozy, cramped spaces. I even wanted my tall bunk-bed.

In that moment, alone in the dark, I let the inner places of my mind whisper a secret that wasn’t really that true.

I really hate old people.

As Old as the Hills: Update

WOW. TWO POSTS IN ONE WEEK. 

This must be a new high score for me. 

I have been working extremely hard on my new Work In Progress since my last post. There’s lots of ideas, plot, and actual writing happening on the new installment! I just wanted to announce that it should be released by mid next week. She danced with screams of excitement. 

Even though I’m kind of absorbed in this right now, I’m also expected to pass two exams at the beginning of next week, so This has to wait. 

NEWS: I’m here to announce the name of the W.I.P. If you didn’t get it from the title of the post; As Old as the Hills is what I have branded it. 

Here’s a great big HUZZAH!