Thursday, December 29, 2016

happenings of late


Heyo!

I'm really sorry for my lack of content lately. December has been filled with non-stop dance, and school, and dance and school and dance and school and school and dance. and school. 
The collage search and SATs are beginning to breathe down my neck and so be honest, it's so overwhelming. I've been asked approximately fifty thousand times about my "after high school plans" during this holiday season and I really have nothing to say. I have so many ideas and interests, but I'm struggling to balance reality and dreams.

To be honest, this semester has been nothing I hoped it would be. I'm taking hard classes, but I micromanaged my schedule in September so that it would be manageable. I'm on a good track and I was trying to hard to be ahead of the game, to be prepared and responsible. But then all of the sudden I'm poking at food, staring at text books without seeing a word, and laying awake at three in the morning. Everyone is done with their shallow, public sobs. And we are left missing.

There have been two adult suicides in our little town within the past two weeks. Two. I fight fear of another phone call. Things bring me back to those horrible moments. But I'm looking for beautiful. I'm searching
searching
searching
for hope and the light of Jesus in this time.

The simple things remind me that I cannot do any of this on my own strength- that I need help constantly. My actions need grace. My studies needs perseverance. My relationships need Jesus. And in all reality, this isn't a bad place to be. Because it's in my complete and utter broken and emptiness that I realize my need for a savior.

So this is where I'm at. Thanks for sticking around with me- I really appreciate you guys:)
Also, check out my updated other good stuff page and my latest post on BURNING YOUTH.

much love//elissa

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

letter to the hurting


Hey you-
you who are brave and strong,
yet also hurting and wondering.

you who is crumbling while the world smiles at you emptily,
acting like you are broken in this season of joy.

hey you-
I know it feels like you're alone and everything is falling apart.
I know it your heart is being stabbed over and over and over.
But I also know that it gets better.

I know you want a magic answer to make it okay in a second;
it sucks, because there isn't.
But all this?
It does get better.

These dark clouds will pass.
The sun will shine.
This is a season, not a life sentence.

So please please please
know you are loved
realize that you have so many plans to accomplish
look for people fighting for you.
Because it does it get better.
It totally gets better.



Monday, December 5, 2016

finding warmth in the darkness


I've built walls.
I've hidden skeletons and covered scars.
my walls are tall and strong;
they're ready to be torn down.

He wispers to me,
elissa, let me tear down your walls

but I am naked.
I am ashamed.

He says,
I have loved you at your darkest

I struggle to hear these words.
for I don't understand this amazing grace.

He calls me perfect,
beautiful child

yet I grip to guilt
and lies

He validates my pain,
and holds me tight.

my heart beats.
walls begin to melt.
a gift was given
 and darkness has no home.

I sit with this wonderful counselor.
the giver of all peace.

and I am held.
I am clothed in grace.
I am safe.
I am warm.
for today, I am held.

so I challenge you;
approach the king,
scared and broken.
for he knows your name,
and is ready to release you from all guilt and shame.
you are loved,
you perfect,
beautiful child.

please sit.
rest.
be covered.

for you are precious and held,
and today,
you will find warmth in your God.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

still good


when the sun starts to rise and I open my eyes
You are good, 
so good

in the heat of the day with each stone that I lay
You are good

with every breath I take in-
I'll tell You I am grateful again

for when the moon climbs high before each kiss goodnight
You are good

when the road starts to turn around each bend I've learned
You are good, 
so good

and when somebody's hand holds me up, helps me stand
You are so good

with every breath I take in
I'll tell You I'm grateful again
'cause it's more than enough just to know I am loved
for I know You are good

so, how can I thank You?
what can I bring?
what can these poor hands lay at the feet of my King?

I'll sing You a love song, 
it's all that I have.
I'll tell you I'm grateful 
for you are holding my life in Your hands

but when it's dark and it's cold,
 and I can't feel my soul
You are so good,
still good.

when the world is gone gray and the rain is here to stay
You are still good

And the storm may swell 
yet even then
It is well and 
You are, 
so good

{paraphrase from the song You Are Good, by Nichole Nordman}

Monday, October 24, 2016

I want a band-aid


My mind is a mess
turning
turning
turning

Swiched on at 3:00am,
yet of at 11:00am.

I want someone to put a band-aid on me.
Fix this mess.
Tape it back together.

But the second someone talks about how
God has a reason for everything
or
Just be thankful for the things you do have
or
Something good is going to happen

I freeze.

Not because I don't know these words to be true,
or because they aren't said sincerely enough.

I know those things are true.

I'm just not ready for them.
I'm not ready for the world to move on,
and act like nothing happened.

I'm trying to function like a normal human being,
but I'm struggling.

I'm struggling because I want tape and glue.
I want someone to say something that fixes me.
I want God to make my world perfect and happy and unicorns and rainbows.
I want the band-aid.

But you know what?
I don't get the tape and glue.
I don't get an easy out.

We get feelings that demand to be felt.
We get people that love us, and are willing to listen.
We get support groups.
We get the dirty and the messy.
The ugly and the broken.

I'm humbled in my need for Jesus.
Because oh, how I need him.
I need him to hold me and protect my fragile heart.
I need him to give me words.
I need his grace and forgiveness.
I need him to be a rock that is higher than I.


Because someday, he will make all things new.

We aren't going to be broken fragments, glued back together.
There will be no more pain and sadness.

For the God of all heaven and earth will wipe away every tear from every eye.
And all things will be made new.

So today, I get the broken.
But I know that someday I will get the beautiful.

Monday, October 17, 2016

blur


A very close friend committed suicide two weeks ago.
Two weeks that contained years, yet I still have to remind myself of the horror that took place.

You guys, I am completely shattered.
My heart is broken, and I'm semi-numb to reality.

This is a mess.
A tragic, dark mess.

I'm struggling to form words, much less coherent thoughts.
I have a pile of school work glaring at me.
I keep waking up throughout the night.
I keep glancing and thinking I see her.

Her dutch braids.
Plaid shirt.
Kaiki pants.
Eyelashes that make you rethink your life.
Smile that lets up the room.

But then I remember her perfect body laying in the casket.

And the reality punches all over again.

You guys, we are shadows here on earth.
Your life contains infinite value.
So.
Much.
Value.

You are precious.
Important.

And there are far
far
far
better things ahead.

xoxoxo

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

big thoughts


why am I scared of what God will take away if I daily lay myself down?
what's it that I'm gripping, 
hording for myself? 
what do I want control over? 
selfishly planning according to my ideas and agendas. 



honestly, these questions go deep. 
so deep that I want to push away, 
fearful and un-trusting, 
avoiding eye-contact. 

they humble me from pride. 
 strip me of my exterior. 

and yet I still push. 

I still think God might rob me of joy and goodness. 

I think he will convict me of sin I'm comfortable with. 

I think I just might have a better idea for my life then him.

^^that?

it's all stupid. 

our Daddy isn't a thief of joy.
he hates what separates us from him. 
and with him, we can completely fulfill the life we were designed to live. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

back into the blender

I have officially been thrown back into the blender. 
Zap, zap, zap. 

And I am weary and caffeinated, yet it's just the first few weeks. 

I know it's partly because I am sick (going on three weeks!) 
Maybe because I'm overwhelmed with the pure volume of school I have,
trying to manage and schedule every waking moment.
My body is adjusting to six days of dance classes. 
I'm trying to learn my Nutcracker choreography.
It's hell week for Music Man, which opens on Thursday. 
My older sister moves out Wednesday.  

So I sit here with my coffee.
Sip, sip, sip. 

I read your beautiful and thoughtful blog posts, 
all inspired and perfect. 

I really should text that lady back. 
I need to take that French quiz asap.  
My math yells at me.

But I'm sitting here with my coffee, waiting to have our last "pancake day" (yes, this is a thing) as a family before Christmas. 
My naked face and XXL t-shirt, before I go pull myself together for church. 

This is where I'm at. 
I'm sorry this isn't poetic or inspirational.
But that's not how my life is at the moment, and I just thought you should know. 

This blender is exhausting.  
Our lives are exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.
And we, dear sisters, walk these roads together. 



Friday, September 9, 2016

BIG EXCITING NEWS



Heyo!!!

I am so excited to let you know that I'm now a contributor to a new blog called BURNING YOUTH!!

Sisters Kate and Abbie who blog at the goodness revolt and Abbiee are some of my favorite bloggers. Their blogs are GOALS. Like, go check them out and leave them comments and chocolate.
You won't be sorry.

So when Kate contacted me about collaborating on a project/website/blog/something totally awesome  I was slightly starstruck and super excited.
So excited.

What is BURNING YOUTH about?

Exactly what it sounds like it’s about: youth on fire. Living inspired lives, and inspiring others. It’s about our lives as warheads, overcoming, fighting the demons, making the world a better place, art, travel music—things that make our hearts hum. That’s what BURNING YOUTH is an outlet for. Most importantly, helping other young adults realize that they aren’t fighting their battles alone… that we’re in this together. We are all taking down the shadows and searching for identity. We can do that together. We can take hands in the darkness and fight this stuff in unison, not solitude.

^^I may have stolen the about words from Kate...

here is the link: http://www.burningyouth.com/

IF THAT DOESN'T"T MAKE YOU WANNA GO CHECK OUT THE BLOG, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL.

There ya go. My big exciting news. ;-)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

i am a gossip


it started out as a harmless, giggly conversation.
A silly moment. 
And then all of the sudden my friend looked at me and said,
"Elissa, you do gossip a lot." 

I choked.
I was the only Christian in that room
The only one with the responsibllity to be a bright light in a darkened world.

"It's not nessicarly a bad thing..." She went on.
But the words cut down through all the layers and hit my core.

I am a gossip.

These words taste like vinegar comming out of my mouth.
They rock around in my brain,
Tumbling into every thought.

They cut through my crap and cockiness in which I stood before God last night.

For I am a gossip.

And I hate it.
I hate this ugliness inside of me,
This sword I have deeply misused.

I hate that I'm seen as a gossip to some non-Christian friends.
I hate that I bring shame to the name of Jesus on this earth.
I hate it.

For I am ashamed of this sin.
I am naked in my inadequacies.
And aware of my failure.

And Jesus knows.
He knows me as I sit with my two little gossip buddies,
Yet he loves me fully.
He knows me as I keep record of wrong,
Yet he loves me endlessly.
He hears me tarnish his gift,
Yet he still loves me.
Perfecly.
Completely.
More then I could ever ask or imagine.

For our God loves us so greatly that he will never change the depth of his love.
In any moment.
In any action.
In any situation.

For we, my brothers and sisters, are loved by a very big God.
Bigger then any shame.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

i serve one master


When I wake-up tomorrow morning, I will remember I serve one master.

I do not serve my image
make-up 
clothes
trends
brands

I do not serve the expectations of others
teachers
parents
friends 
siblings
peers

I do not serve my feelings
fear 
loneliness
stress
doubt


For I choose to serve one God.

I will strive to align myself with the person and character of Jesus. 
I will fight to know my true image found in grace
I will work diligently in what I have been called to
I will cling to truth and fight darkness.

Because I serve one master. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

worship playlist 8.16


Ever feel like you're stuck in a music rut? Yeah, me too. So today I'm sharing my worship playlist with you in hopes that you find some new material!

I listen to this playlist all. the. time. Most consistently, I listen to it while I put on my make-up/brush teeth/do hair/wash face/ect. in the morning. It helps wake me up and have some Jesus time first thing. You may also notice I have quite a few live versions. Live versions drive me crazy at times, but these I all love. There're often longer, yet it seams easier for me to worship along with some of the live versions for whatever reason.
Enjoy!

This is Amazing Grace
Phil Wickham, The Ascension

At Your Name (Yahweh, Yaweh)
Phil Wickham, Response

Holy Spirit
Bryan & Katie Torwalt, Here On Earth

I'm A Lover Of Your Presence
Bryan & Katie Torwalt, Kingdom Come

Cornerstone- Live
Hillsong Worship, Cornerstone (Live)

Set A Fire- Live
Jesus Culture, Live from New York

Your Love Never Fails- Live
Jesus Culture, Your Love Never Fails (Live)

All the Poor and Powerless
All Sons and Daughters, Brokenness Aside

Shadows- feat. Lecrae
David Crowder Band, Passion: Here For You

The Old Rugged Cross (I am Free)
BridgeCity, Christ Be Glorified

It is Well (Live
Bethel Music & Kristene Dimarco, You Make Me Brave Live

One Thing- Live
Hillsong Worshop, OPEN HEAVEN

Salt & Light
Lauren Daigle, How Can It Be

Oh, Love That Will Not Let Me Go
Robbie Seay Band, Miracle

Restless
Audrey Assad, The House You're Building

Jesus, We Love You (Live)
Paul McClure, We Will Not Be Shacken (Live)

Set a Fire
Will Reagan, Endless Years

O Praise The Name (Asastasis)- Live
Hillsong Worship, O Praise The Name (Asastasis)- (Live)

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
Passion, Passion: White Flag (Live)

Jesus Loves Me
Chris Tomlin, Love Ran Red

Your Heart (DAVID)
Chris Tomlin, Music Inspired By the Story

Isaiah 43 (feat. Jordan Perry)
Landon Ditto, Through Deep Waters

How Great Thou Art
Citisens & Saints, How Great Thou Art

Arise- Bonus Track
Hillsong United, Zion (Deluxe Edition)

How Can It Be
Lauren Daigle, Trust In You

Trust In You
Lauren Daigle, Trust In You

What's on your worship playlist?


Thanks for dropping by! Please take a moment to let me know you where here by leaving a comment. Also, if you like what you see, find Letters to Jayna on Bloglovin, Google+, Pinterest and Blogger!


Saturday, August 6, 2016

the girl in the screen


I walk up to my room, empty of laughter and whispers, yet so full of things that call out their last use.

The paint brushes we used until 3:30am making water-color hand-lettering.
The chocolate cookies we ate compulsively.
Her cup of water.
A beautiful card that I still haven't actually read because I could only get two sentences in.
Two black flip-flops, one with a redneck contraption resulting from: first night of mission trip/long walk/broken shoe/hairband/a future engineer.
A pink notebook.

It's all petty and little and stupid.
She's moved before.
I've visited before.
We've done this.

In fact, we're almost pros at long distance friendship.
Our fb messaging game is beyond stellar.
Facetime is a regular occurrence and rarely lasts under an hour.
She knows what's happening.
I know what's happening.
We talk, and cry, and laugh together across a giant ocean.

Yes, it's hard not zipping to her house that's no longer 7 minutes away.
It's sad to miss each others races, concerts, recitals, shows, time after time after time. 
I hate not having sleepovers.
I hate not being able to have her meet the people I talk about.
It sucks.

Yet at the same time, I know how to sit with the sucky-ness when it comes.
Throughout my journal, you'll see me talking to God about whatever, and see a totally random, "I miss Jayna" thrown in.
Because there are days when I feel whats missing.
But not everyday.

There was something about this last visit that made it harder to swallow.
Maybe it's because she used to live here. 
We have memories in my house.
My town.
She got to see some of my friends.
Meet up with some of her friends.

And then we hugged and said goodbye.
Goodbye with the knowledge that Korea is a lot farther the Hawaii.
Knowing that we might not see each other for a long time. 
Knowing that this-
these giggles
hugging during the tears
sharing make-up
sleeping in the same bed when we had two
singing
painting
feeling completely and perfectly at home
no need to entertain
nothing to hide or pretend
true and authentically being

is what I'm missing.
Now I go back to being friends to the girl in the screen, knowing she's so much more.

This is a kinda sad post.
And it's okay, because I'm kinda sad.

But you wanna know something?
Being sad really is okay.

And in this little grey cloud, I'm confident in my need for Jesus.
I need his love to continually pour over me.
I'm reminded of my infinite value because of his infinite grace.

This emptiness?
It's a side effect of our world.
These skin and bones are not my own.
This place?
It's not where I belong.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

sitting in this weird thing called silence

Silence breathes on my tired face.
My head hurts from the previous days of sleep deprivation due to early mornings and little quiet.

The mission trip was amazing and powerful, yet I'm not ready to form words. 
Jayna's visit was a total blast, but far to short. 
It's scary that I might not see her until we're both in collage. 
I'm not ready for our friendship to go back into a screen. 

I lay in the quiet, not sure where to begin.
So I ask God to gently unpack me. 
Unpack my emotion,
My memories,
My guilt. 
To sort through this with Him, that it may bring Him glory. 

I don't know what to think or feel or do or say. 
Yet in this quiet, I know to listen.
Listen to His whisper saying, "Rest in me. Feel with me. And do not fear; for you can do all things through me, who strengthens you."


Thursday, July 14, 2016

the QUOTE TAG


The chair massages my back,
while the skin on my feet is saturated with lotion.
I ask the pedicurist to stop right before she removes my callouses, as they prevent many painful blisters from my pointe shoes.

She replies, "You no boyfriend?"

"No, no boyfriend."

i tag

_________________________________________________________________________

thanks for the tag Vanessa! (go check her out!)

Monday, July 11, 2016

miles


Change is blowing all around me.
Twisting and turning,


taking people and things I never thought it would. 

Some days the miles feel short.
Numbers on a screen, spliced by moving lips.

Not today.
Today the miles are long. 
They taunt me with their size, their altitude, their area. 
You feel very far.

And although I know where you are,
and what your doing,
the texts don't cut the distance today.
My heart is not numb.

The inches feel very long today.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

summer bucket list


see a movie
have a picnic
make ice cream
hike once a week
journal at the ocean
have a book reading day
kayak 
scrapbook
have a bonfire
have a game night
meet friends for lunch
get a pedicure (finally!!!) 
visit grandma for a weekend
make a pinterest dinner
babysit 
go to the lake
take a bike ride
have a photo shoot
have morning quiet time
take a day trip to the islands



Monday, June 27, 2016

dressing room deductions


I stand in the small dressing room, my eyes surveying the clingy cotton
subconsciously analyzing every millimeter of my torso.

Third dressing room of the day, and the walls begin to choke me.
I'd been happy with nothing.

It all looked bad.
on me.
But not on the hanger.

It took a full 5.789 seconds to deduct 437 negative things about
the shirt
my 'bingo wings'
abs
hair
my life.

So I hung those two cotton shirts up on their plastic hangers
with full knowledge that feelings lie.
thoughts lie.
the mirror lies.

And I grabbed my purse and got out of there.

Today wasn't a great day to be adventurous.
And I'm okay with that.

I'm okay as long as I know that
feelings can be liars.
thoughts can be liars.
And the mirror can be a liar.


Thanks for dropping by! Please take a moment to leave a comment to let me know you were here. And if you like what you see, find me on Bloglovin', Google+, and Pinterest. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

'Oz' Recap


















Sweekkkcreekthuddthudthud 
Floor crackles and squeaks under my toes. 

Popping hips.
Clunking water.
Tossing pointe shoes.
Rolling neck. 
Grabbing out barres.

Plies
The very first combination of every class. 
'To bend' is the translation; and we have all bent to be here.
Concerts, sleepovers, dinners, and parties are being skipped. 
Homework is waiting for us.
Our phones are abandoned and our mouths are silent. 
We bend our knees together.

As the class continues, we work through each aspect of our bodies simincreaseing in speed.

"Allign your hips and rib cage!"
"Let go of the barre [in a balence] sometime today!"
"Elongate your spine"

We move from bare to center
The bares are moved back to the wall
Water is quickly chugged
And we continue. 

We continue to sweat and stretch.
Extending limbs,
We extend ourselves emotionally
Giving grace to the girl who, time-after-time, keeps crashing into someone else. 
Pouring our spare time into choreography, rehearsal videos, and making notes
Sewing pointe shoes
Costume fittings
Rehearsal after rehearsal after rehearsal. 
We extend.

________________________________________________

This show was a wonderful experience to be apart of. I learned more about dance and myself then I thought possible. Sweat poured out of my body, yet my heart was hydrated with joy of movement. 
The show was a blast. 
We made it through. (somehow)

I wrote my thank you cards and bought my gifts.
We said goodbye to beloved teachers- women who have grown me and challenged me in countless ways. I have been influenced and inspired, and I sit here all choked up thinking about them. 

And I stood at the barre after the show, feeling my sorreee muscles, I inhaled. 
I cracked my neck.
Clunked my pointe shoes. 
Ploped my water bottle down. 
And I realized that is, all of it, is home.

Thanks so much for dropping by! Please take a moment to leave a comment to let me know you were here. Also, if you like what you see find me on Bloglovin', Google+, and Pinterest! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

inside my planner


I love looking at how other people stay sane. Mainly, I love admiring organization.
I loveeeee lists.
I lovvveee organization.
And I loveeee my planner,
Well, the feeling I get from using my planner. The planner itself is kinda meh, although I've grown to love it.

 This is the outside. It's a flexible plastic, which is great because it's very durable and easy to wipe stuff of off. Not that I ever spill anything or anything...
I drew on it with a gold paint pen, to jazz up the black cover. I sorta wish I drew something more interesting, but I also like the simplicity of it.


The inside is the neat version of my life. It looks full and clean and organized. And my life is full and crazy and complicated. Yet this planner is so helpful.
It's the other half of my brain most days.


I write quotes on the top of each week, and use them like a weekly moto. I also keep a little tab on my current week so I can flip to it easily.
I write my classes and anything else going on, but I don't use it for assignments. (I keep those on separate assignment sheets in the subject notebook/folder)
The planner has a month-at-a-glance feature that I try to use for blogging, but I'm not always full of inspiration at the beginning of the month soooooooo.

And that's about it! Let me know how/if you use a planner in the comments below!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

summer reading list

Welp, lets get down to business.
Reading business.

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
     I'm excited to dig into this highly recommend novel. I tried to start it a few months ago, but I had trouble getting into it with all the other things on my mind. Vacation is the perfect time though! 

Encountering God Through Dance
by Saara Taina 
      This book was just given to me, and it's one of the first of its kind. Books written from a Christian perspective are nearly impossible to find so I'm interested to hear what it contains.

Salt to Sea
by Ruta Sepetys
      I adored Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, and I'm so excited to get my hands on Salt to Sea. She does a brilliant job of bringing light to horrific events and topics without being too graphic. Her characters are rounded and the writing is beautiful. 

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
       Personally, I feel it is imperative to reed teen-y-booper books in the summer. I've already read this book, but I rushed through it at 3:30am....

I am the Messenger 
by Markus Zusak
       This was recommended to me by a librarian, and I don't really know much about it other then the author is amazing and the summary invites me in. So I'll keep ya updated.

Thanks for dropping by! So now I'm curious- what are you reading this summer? Let me know in the comments below!  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

well hello




I originally wrote out a big apology for the beginning of this post, making excuses and saying how busy these past months have been, blah, blah, blahh.  But then I saw the date of my last post and realized it has just been three weeks. 
Three weeks containing an eternity. 

finals week// was nuts. Countless hours of studying, homework, studying, portfolios, tears, more tears, research, writing, Hamilton soundtrack, 2:30am facetime calls, naked face, sweat pants, endless bottles of water.  

cleaning// was not something I had a ton of time to do, but it happened anyway. Dusting, mowing, weeding, clipping, vacuuming, sweeping, throwing things out, trips to the thrift store, finding fifty-thousand bobby pins, wiping down endless counters, smelling like cleaner. 

grandparents// and aunt came. And we did fun, hippie, Washington things which was great. Delicious food was also involved. 

awards night// at the place we take classes. Crunchy certificates, teachers talking way too long, beautiful music, kind words, thank you cards, seeing sister in cap and gown for the first time, ugly uniforms, misty rain.

show run-through// was exhausting and good all at the same time. It was so great to see everything come together, but it was hot. And I had to leave early for...

sisters graduation// sweaty, bun hair, cute shoes, all grown up, sunshine, lump in throat, awards, pride, thoughts of age and growth, pictures, yummy dinner, beach photos, late night. 

graduation party// was full of friends. Pictures of us growing up, good hair day, family, cute babies, clean house, food, so many cars, (and cards!), laughter, heat, flowers, scrapbooks, pintrest-y-ness, chairs, gifts, and bare feet. 

tech week// I actually sort of vlogged, thinking I would be a awesome blogger and share the week with you. But I realized I am a bad vlogger, and you guys wouldn't even want to hear my rambles. So let me know. It was filled with KIND bars, pointe shoes, leotards, tights, bobby pins, drama, facebook group messages, trash bag pants, and lighting issues. 

oz// was great, and deserves its own post.  Post is comming. ;)


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



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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? 

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