font-family: 'Dawning of a New Day', cursive; Letters To Jayna

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

big eyes


Slamming out of the empty dressing room, late for tap because chemistry went late agian, I crashed into our executive directer.

"Elissa, you are such a celebrity," she said with a smile.
                                       "Oh?"
"All the little girls are so star struck by you. Ruby (her seven-year-old) is all 'I know her. She babysits for me.' You are so popular."

 I replied and rushed into tap, but her words ran over and over in my head.
when are they watching me
those little girls think you hung the moon
"...you're a celebrity..."
"...i know her.."

I remember being those girls so clearly. 
Watching and thinking about how big and cool the 'big girls' were.
Scared to death of them, but in absolute awe. 
And someday, I would be a big girl. 

i am the top level
i am dorothy, traveling to Oz
i carry the show
My whole dance life I've felt a certain degree of invisibility. 
Never quite good enough to leave the corpe. 
Not the most flexible, nor the owner of beautiful arches. 
I've worked and worked and worked, but never front and center. 
Always the corpe. 

A few trios and duets. 
Many times an understudy. 
But never the star.
Never the 'celebrity.' 


I'm a big girl. 
Am I someone they can see Jesus in?
Am I kind? 
Do I work hard?
Am I inclusive?
Do I treat all equally?
Have they heard me talk crap?
Have they watched me roll my eyes behind a classmates back?


Those little ones have big eyes. 
Big, big eyes. 
What are they seeing? 




Thanks for visiting Letters to Jayna! Please take a moment to leave a comment to let me know you dropped by. Have a wonderful day! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

we fight to love

Jon Foreman, the lead vocalist of Switchfoot, once said that to be a lover, you have to be a fighter.

That in order to love, we have to battle against the things that rip us apart. 
The things that feed our guilt, and keep us up at night. 
The pressing force pushing us away from what is true and noble. 
We have to fight. 

For me, sometimes I have to fight for that tinny little wisper in my heart.
The voice that tells me to know how loved and valuable I am.
     The voice of joy.
Of peace. 
   Of hope.
I have to fight.

I have to fight to love my body.
I fight to love my nose and thighs and arms everyday.

 It's a fight to love the people who raise my blood pressure. 
Fighting for compassion and a still tongue is draining. 

I fight to love me, in all my inadequacy and failures. 

I have to fight to love my friends and family, 
 knowing that I am not the perfect child and friend. 

Everything lovey and noble, everything true and pure, has to be chased after. 
We have to fight against insecurity. 
Stand up against rage and annoyance. 
Push against the lies that around us.

And know

you are loved 
you are valuable
and you are not alone
  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

on feelings


on grief 
Let yourself cry today.
Allow yourself to be sad and worried. 
But remember what is true: He is still good. 

on joy
Let yourself enjoy these moments.
Feel the music and 
let your soul breathe deep into the cracks. 
Remember what is true: He is still good.

on anger
Be angry. 
Be mad. 
Yell and scream and cry until you have no water left.
Rip up paper.
Remember truth: He is still good. 

on confusion
It's okay to not know. 
To question.
To wait and wonder and not understand.
Yet in your confusion, know: He is still good. 

on worry
Go ahead and freak out.
Bite your nails. 
Do a nervous room-cleaning, or cook something. 
Hope for the best.
Know truth: that no matter what, He is still good


  on truth
Know what is true.
What is pure, helpful, and uplifting.
Know that you are loved and precious,
and your future is brighter then you could ever imagine



{Thanks for visiting Letters to Jayna- I'm so glad you stoped by! Please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know you dropped by. And if you like what you see, find me on social media to join the conversation.}

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Retreat in the Midst of Chaos




I sit listening to the gentle waves. 

Sunlight beating into my heart. 
I think about the light of Jesus I prayed about this morning.

Inhale. 
Exhale.
Peace. 
Rest. 
Typical 'retreat sentiments'
             {excerpt from my journal, February 12, 2016} 

I skimmed over these words as I flipped to a blank page last night.
Remembering those quiet moments, while I was free to be still.
Asking.
Listening.
Thinking.

I think about the ocean I drive by everyday.
The tides going in and out, compatible with the moon.
How complex those simple moments are.


I have four weeks left of school. A research paper to write. Math to complete. Two science exams, along with my history papers.
My sister is graduating.
She has to decide where she will spend the next four years of her life tonight.

I am Dorthy in our dance school's production of The Wizard of Oz. 
We are going host family and throw a graduation party.
I am going to drink coffee and write papers late into the night.
Enough sweat to fill a lake is about to seep from my pours.

Rest? Calm?

During finals?
While my one of best friend packs to leave?
When I wait in the wings, preparing to dance a full length ballet?

I asked God about peace last night.
I poured out my thoughts, my questions, my heartache.
And although my eyelids were drooping and my mattress encompassed my exhausted body, I read my words from that day.

My 'retreat alone time' journal entry.
My thoughts during that weekend.
And although it was a bubble, it wasn't the only time I experience this peace.

I experienced it this morning as I globed on mascara.
I experienced it as I drove to class.
I was at peace during my test.
My soul is at peace, because of Him.

Today, I pray you will find calm in the storm.
I hope you will find joy in the ordinary.
I pray you will anchor yourself on the peace of Jesus.

And may you know how loved and valuable you are in the chaos of this crazy life.




Friday, April 22, 2016

fashion friday: cool spring dress






It's been so sunny and warm here in Washington this past week! I've been enjoying wearing tank tops and flip flops. Also, I have decided I just might wear dresses all summer. They are cool, can be dressed up or down. Plus, it is way easier then picking out a top and bottom and making sure they 'go' perfectly. 

So what about you- dresses or shorts? 

Thanks for visiting my piece of the internet! Please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know you dropped by. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Always

Three years ago I waved goodbye as my best friend rolled down the driveway.
Two days before, I had driven home from my aunts funeral and gone directly to the goodbye party. A month before my 25 year old youth leader died of cancer the same week a friend's dad committed suicide. 


I'm a organized person. I love order. Structure. 
Schedules.
I have a note book dedicated purely to lists. (See above image)

But no one plans for sudden death. No one makes friends to lose them. It's impossible to explain to know what to say to someone who's dad killed himself last week.
What do you do?

I froze. I hadn't scheduled these crises. 
I hadn't accounted for the deep pain I would feel. 
I was emotionless, because I couldn't allow myself to lose it. There was no option in my mind to be 'not okay'. I didn't allow myself to feel these things because who knew what kind of feelings would be felt. What would I do? 

Three years ago today, I said goodbye. It wasn't a permeant goodbye, but a 'see you later.'

I look and see Jesus holding my fragile heart.
I heard his whisper of hope in my ear.
I tasted little bites of his goodness and love. 
I felt what it meant to be loved unconditionally. 
I saw him standing with me, knowing he had experienced more pain then I will ever know.

He didn't move.
He has always been perfect.
Always faithful.
He is my rock, my place of refuge. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

we are the travelers


We're all travelers, wondering these roads.
We all are driving through the traffic jams,
the corn fields,
the mountains. 
We're bound to end up on the floor of a rest-station bathroom at some point. 

We're all travelers, making our way through these roads. 
Sometimes slowly.
Other times zipping past reality.  

We all want to make a mark. 
Leave a legacy. 
Change the world.

I inhale the pollution, allowing despair and sadness to fill my lungs.
Cars flying by me with direction.

Yet I feel like I'm in a corn-maze.
Running around, having no idea where I'm going.
Lost. Tired. Knowing clouds are coming.

I'm I traveler, wondering the roads placed before me.
Sometimes I run. Other times I jog.
But not now.

Today I walk.
Inhaling what's before me.
Exhaling pollution.

We all travel these roads.
Will we walk together? 
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