Showing posts with label what I am learning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what I am learning. Show all posts

Monday, May 15, 2017

lately


lately
I've been trying to avoid sugar and it's pretty hard.
like, not very fun.
errrrr.
whyyy I'm I doing thiss...

ohh, also I'm really craving cheese pizza.


lately
I took the SAT and felt so, adult.
I'm sure I failed one of math sections because my brain fell out of my head.
Also, I didn't have any coffee that morning.


lately
I've been obsessed with the book of Habakkuk.
Like, I'm just a little bit in and I'm so blown away with the depth.
The parallels of my life are staggering,
so I'm trying to drink in it's wisdom.


lately
I've been rehearsing for my dance school's production of ALICE.
I have no idea what's happening.
No idea.


lately
I've been thinking about the future and how all my friends are graduating and leaving me.
*sniffffffffff*
wow.
There're all so beautiful, old, and talented and all these graduation announcements are making me sappy.


so what has your 'lately' been looking like?


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

his supercalifragilisticexpialidocious vision

what do you think the vision is for your life?

sure, make it through high school.
collage, jobs, kids, marriages.

but beyond that...
what do you think God's vision for your life is?


I know what my vision for my life is.
I graduate high school with perfect grades, before heading off to a conservatory to study dance performance.
I'll live in a perfectly, Pinterest-y dorm room and have lots of friends.
While I'm there, some visiting important-person will say I'm amazingly talented and ask me to come dance on Broadway.
I'll move and dance in lots of Broadway shows, while getting married to my incredibly hot husband.
We'll have a few Jesus-loving kids and live happily ever after.

but God's vision?
err, not really sure on that one.

right now I'm struggling with some hard people that love malice and gossip.
they deliberately hurt in order to deal with their own hurt.
they seek conflict instead of peace and humility, simply because it's easier.
and.
it's.
so.
painfully hard.

because where is God in this?
where is justice?
what's the next right thing?

the prophet Habakkuk asked God the same thing.
in chapter one, Habakkuk is complaining to God about the evilness of the world. 
he asks, "How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?" [Habakkuk 1:2]

and God answers him saying, 

"Look at the nations and watch-
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe
    even if you were told."

Habakkuk responds with a second complaint;

"Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?"


and agian, God answers saying;

“Write down the vision I am giving you.
    Write it clearly on the tablets you use.
Then a messenger can read it
    and run to announce it.
The vision I give you
    waits for the time I have appointed.
It speaks about what is going to happen.
    And all of it will come true.
It might take a while.
    But wait for it.
You can be sure it will come.
    It will happen when I want it to. 

whhhhaaaaaaaaaatttttttttt?!?!?!?

friends, His vision for your life is more amazing than you could ever imagine!
it's bigger than high school and Broadway and hot husbands.
it's SO SO SO SO AMAZING!

and all he asks of us is to wait.
to listen.
to write and read about his goodness.

today, I challenge you to stop.
to look through your journals,
read your old blog posts
think through your life.
see God's faithfulness.
see the beginning of his vision.

and know.
know that it's just that;
the beginning of an utterly amazing vision.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

remember to feel the sun

There is something healing about the sunshine.
It peaks out, chasing away the clouds.
It shines bright and warm, illuminating through the grey blanket that has blurred reality for so long.

The sun comes and reminds me that bones do thaw.
It paints to sky blue and lures people outside,
our lungs craving to be filled with oxygen.



I've been sad lately.
The sad that seemingly comes from nowhere, yet looms and cripples me.
I miss my dear friend who died six months ago.
My heart aches from the pain and loss and trauma that is all so very fresh.

It's seemed impossible to leave my house, much less plan the next five years of my life.

But the sun pokes out,
and shines high and bright.
It evaporates rain,
burns out darkness,
reminding me that
flowers can still bloom.
the sun still rises
and God doesn't keep us in the rain forever. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

being raw in a pulled-together world




In all reality, the past few weeks have contained long, hard days.
Teary, emotional, gut wrenching, make you want to hide-in-a-hole-for-no-apparent-reason kinda days.
I sat in my car and screamed between sobs.
I vocalized questions that I will never know the answers to.



And then suddenly the earth is covered in a sparkling white blanket.
Everything was canceled.
People were stuck.
And all I could do was stare out of the snow globe,
sip coco and Facebook stalk.

Sit in the quiet.
Breathe a little.
Put on my smartwool.
And remember that it's necessary to stop and breathe.

Because at some point,
I've got to postpone putting my big-girl pants on.
Stop pulling it together.
Open the bottled emotion. 



I had a meltdown over the phone a few days ago.
And as I hung up, I told myself that the meltdown was over.
get it together Elissa
everything's fine and I'm just being hormonal.

But I think I was wrong.
I'm learning that I have to stop constantly pulling-it-together,
and allow myself to be a little raw.

Friends, this is me being raw.
I usually like to write posts a safe distance away from the uncomfortable, so I can wrap it in a pretty bow for you.
I try to give resolution and show God's hand.

But life doesn't always have immediate resolution.
And I think it's so so so important to remember that God's hand is in both the pretty and the dirty, whether we see it or not.

So I'm gonna try be a little raw for a while.
I'm going to talk about it.
I'm going to remember that
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; 
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, (1 corth. 1:27-28)
I challenge you to do the same.




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

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

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.



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.

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.




Thursday, March 10, 2016

When All Time Stands Still



It was a grey car ride. Melancholy filled my lungs as I sat in my pink pants and tunic shirt, staring out the window. It was mostly quiet, for no one really wanted to say anything. As we approached the Seattle, my mom began putting words together. Filling us in on what to expect. “...this is probably it…I think Abbie, Ralph and Cathy might be there...think about anything you want to say…” As we walked briskly up into that little house, my legs brushed the lavender bushes I had spend hours trimming with kitchen scissors. Making sachets. Dread hung in the should-be-cheerful, yellow living room. The kitchen chairs were pulled out in order that we could squeeze. I ate a lot of teriyaki food in those chairs. My Grandma came out from the bedroom wiping a tear. Her daughter, whom she had spent 43 years caring for, was dying. Years spent in doctors offices, conferences for parents with children with special needs, staying up at night. The official diagnosis was Rett Syndrome. My aunt was the longest survivor, the first in America to be diagnosed. Us Weisz women like attention. But not that day. The second I walked in a felt like I needed to leave. My body felt like it was being crushed by a encompassing weight. I sat stiffly, with my ever present ballerina posture, staring blankly at the petite brown recliner. I made her throw pillows to match that chair. I came home from the drugstore armed with nail polish and gave her the best pedicure. As everyone made small talk about who-knows-what, I simply sat. Clenching every muscle subconsciously. Us girls left to grab some lunch. The oxygen felt good. And we returned armed with smoothies. I still remember what I ordered at Jamba Juice. Shuffling into the should-be-cheerful, yellow living room, I sat again. And then, I went in. We went in. 
Into that tiny little bedroom, I stood. I didn’t know what to do or say, or even if I should say anything. I remember running my hands through her hair. Rachel taking a picture or two. My daddy standing against the wall, talking about his sister. I don’t know how long it was. I don’t remember if I said anything. I don’t remember if I kissed her forehead, or said, “I love you.” I don’t remember. Finding myself out in the living room, my brain in complete standstill and all emotion frigid. Then they asked if I wanted to go in again, one last time. Say goodbye. And in that moment, all of the heaviness and sorrow collapsing in around my heart, I lost the battle. I said no. I found myself sitting in the hard, wooden pews at Westside Presbyterian Church just over a week later. Thinking about what I had to say about my aunt and the impact she had on me. In the moment a choose not to tell her those things, whether I needed to say one last goodbye to the woman who told me so much without ever opening her mouth. That day I choose to keep quiet about the impact of a beautiful soul. 
And today, will I lose that opportunity again? 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

our daily bread


Every day of their journey, God kept on showing his people how well he would look after them, if they would trust him, and obey him. When they were hungry, God made the sky rain food--bread coming down from heaven! "What is it?" they asked each other.
 -Taken from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Text copyright 2007 by Sally Lloyd-     Jones

After the Israelites had been brought out of Egypt, they were walking.
 Stomp, stomp, stomp.
Day after day, night after night.
And they got grumpy and whinny. They were tired of walking, of setting up and taking down camp. They were tired of traveling, of extreme weather, of blisters on their sore feet.
      They were like a 4 year olds who haven't had a nap, food, or their blankies.

They finally made their camp; and they were hungry.
  So God sent down manna from heaven every night, and instructed them to take only what they would need for each day. Their were told to take no more, to take no less, than what they would need for that day.

I would have been the whiniest manna hoarder in the camp.

After God had rescued the Israelites from slavery, from cruelty, from abuse.
God brought them to a huge ocean where he made a way.
He lead them through a ocean on firm ground.
God saved them hunger, from thirst, from more then they could handle.
He made a way, when there was no way.  

God, give us today our daily bread. Give us no more, no less than what we need. Teach us to look back on our running from you, and your rescuing of us.
Show me the oceans you have parted,
the paths you are paving for me.
Remind to ask and receive.
Show me how you make a way, when there are no ways.

 
Thank you so much for visiting Letters to Jayna! I am so glad you dropped by! Please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Also, if you like what you see, feel free to follow me through Blogger, Google+, and Bloglovin'. I look forward to hearing from you!  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

All the Time


You know what?

 God is good, all the time.
All the time.

  Even when it's crazy overwhelming. Even when things aren't going the way you hoped, or thought. Even when it's hard. Or even when things are good.

God is good. All the time.

  I like to forget that. I forget that God's grace covers me when I am anxious.

I don't feel like everything is going my way, or is perfectly fair.
   
  I forget that I don't do the right things for the approval or rewards of others.

Sometimes I use lies to motivate me.

 I don't cover myself in God's love- instead I tell myself that God does love me, I just need to keep trying to be a good person.

I let myself run on my own steam.

I allow lies to control my actions.

 But you guys, God is good all the time.

He is good when I freak out over a casting list.
He is good when things aren't fair, and don't go the way I want.
He is good when I am overwhelmed.
He is good when I think more of others opinions, then of his.
He is good when life isn't.
He is good when I try to depend on my own strength.

He is good.

Slow yourself down this week. Remind yourself constantly that

God is good, when..................


Thank you so much for visiting Letters to Jayna. Please take a moment to check me out on Bloglovin' and Google+. Also, feel free to make my day and leave a comment!

Question: Do you ever struggle to know that God is good when..........?

Monday, May 25, 2015

What I'm Up Too....


This quote perfectly sums my current emotional state. I am completely overwhelmed with the sheer mass of things I need to do. 7 page science paper. Research paper. Final biology exam. Algebra. Let's not forget the never ending Algebra. Yay.

Oh yeah, and my six hour rehearsal tomorrow.

I am slightly panicked. A little irritable. And totally ready for summer break.

  Cancer is once again touching a dear family friend. Big sis is looking at collages. We got rid of our car seats yesterday.

 And in the midst of this panic, this feeling of overwhelm, I keep coming back to these verses:


"But I trust in you, Lord;    I say, “You are my God.”  My times are in your hands;
    deliver me from the hands of my enemies,    from those who pursue me.  Let your face shine on your servant;
    save me in your unfailing love. "-Psalm 31: 14-16

Q: Do you find it easier to trust God when you are feeling in control, or totally overwhelmed? 

Thank you so much for stopping by Letters to Jayna. Please take a moment to leave a comment, and let me know what you think! Also, feel free to follow me on Bloglovin, Google+, and Blogger for the latest updates!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Five things I've Learned about Friendship

 

   I love my friends. I have some of the sweetest, caring, thoughtful people in my life. Every time I get of the phone with Jayna I can't stop smiling, because she is amazing. I have the friends I have, because something drew us together. Same with you. Your friends saw a sparkle in you that they were attracted to. You have inside stories and a lot of dirt on each other. It is a wonderful feeling. 

    There are times in life that we are overflowing with friends, and there are other times that it's lonely. It can be hard to not have good friends- it can be very lonely, isolating, and makes you wonder about you. Are you not good enough? Is there something wrong with you? Why don't you have any friends?

     I understand those feelings because I have experienced some of that. There was a time in middle school were a friend of mine took a very mean direction. She filled my head with lies, and it hurt. My heart felt betrayed because of our history. We has sleepovers, and attended each others birthday parties. So what did I do? Her bulling was disguised in the form of "joking", and I took the "joking" personally. It was a time where I felt it was my fault, and something was wrong with me.

    Now that we are older, and time has passed, we get along. I still don't agree with all her choices and her personality can rub me the wrong way. But, I now understand that she was insecure, and putting her insecurity on me. The reason I share that with you, is because I want you to know that nothing is wrong with you. Weather you are in a time of your life that your are surrounded by friends or not, you are there for a reason.

 You guys, by no means do I consider myself a perfect friend. I struggle to just be quiet and listen to my friends hearts. I forget to send birthday cards. Sometimes I ignore a phone call and continue to surf Pintrest. But as I continue to learn about love, and see the kindness others have poured out on me, I begin to realize this huge, beautiful, responsibility I have. I want to serve my friends, to love them, and to share life with them.

   Here are a few things I have been learning about friendship:

1. Send a darn card.
2. Make a phone call. Just to chat
3. The only person you can change is yourself.
4. They don't know what's bothering you, unless you tell them
5. Remind them that you love them


 -Elissa

 Q: Do you feel more like a loner or surrounded? What would you add to the list?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stupid

   When we were little, we weren't allowed to use the word stupid. Or dumb. Or idiot.


But Jayna, some idiots are making some stupid decisions, that make me feel dumb, and it really sucks.
 Oh yeah, lets not forget 'sucks'.


I don't write that to rebel, but sometimes strong language is the only thing is describe strong emotion. I am mad.
Mad because people are making decisions for the wrong reasons.
Mad because it just isn't fair.
Mad because I have so much to do, and not feeling motivated enough to do it.
Mad because people don't see integrity. I'm not saying that I have loads of it; I'm just saying it feels unappreciated.
I am mad because sometimes, life can feel stupid. And dumb. And it just isn't very fun. (okay, I made a rhyme, because I'm just that cool)


But yeah. It's frustrating.


             

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One Year

 
 


Tuesday, April 15, 2013 was the day.
The day written all calendars, with dread mixed up with anticipation.
   The day the car pulled into the driveway, and "Jayna and Skyler, your dad is here," was yelled up the stair case.
   So we walked all over the house, making sure you wouldn't leave anything.
Stalling, really.
  And out into the driveway we walked.
Loaded stuff into the car.
Said goodbye to Lilly and Wyatt.
     And then.....it couldn't be stalled any longer.
We had to say goodbye.
 
It was hard, but is wasn't really a goodbye. It was more of a 'see you later'.
    Because even though it's been a year, it wasn't the end. It's was a beginning of a bigger story; one that hasn't been finished.
   I don't know what will happen, but our friendship has still continued to grow and change. I would be lying if I didn't say I miss how it used to be, but I am excited to find out what happens next.
 
   kisses your way
 
     -Elissa