Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Monday, April 2, 2018

feeling in a buzzing world

my phone buzzes.

i read the first sentence.

my eyes sting.

i swallow.

i set it down,

and continue doing whatever I was doing.

i swallow again.

"this is so silly elissa"

"you're being a baby, get over it"

"it's not a big deal"


i'm trying to learn that if it brings a lump to my throat or tears to my eyes,
it's worth accepting that whatever happened is hard.

even if it wouldn't be a big deal to someone else.
no matter how stupid it is.

being sensitive is beautiful yet also difficult.
and i guess the second part is just as valid.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

storms don't dictate stories

I was driving all over in the rain today, my gortex pulled tight and seat warmer cranked. 
Mm, love that seat warmer. 


I was thinking a lot  while driving all over kingdom-come in the rain. 
Thinking about stuff. 
Thinking about how today was going pretty well. 
My heart was peaceful. 

But tonight during dance there was thunder and lightning.
The rain didn't let up all day. 
And it felt strange being so peaceful in the midst of a storm.

I look around me and realize I let the storm of life dictate my emotions-
I let them dictate my joy. 

Why have I given all that power away?
And how do I get it back? 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

choosing to dance in the shower

walking through trees.

dancing in the shower.

singing opera in the car.

drinking mcdonalds milkshake.


choosing to remember the God of the Israelite's. 

working to draw near to God even when he feels far. 

trying to purify my heart of sin.

learning to grieve this broken world.

 clinging to these words:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
-james 4:7-10

Saturday, February 10, 2018

anything but (simple)

sometimes I wonder how they can make something complex so simple.
I ask questions in my head over and over
as I hear their black and white words.

I clench my jaw and lower my eyes
and wonder why these people feel so wiser and superior.
I want to stop listening but I can't because,
then how am I going to shout internally?

everyone nods and seemingly agrees
they praise these simplified answers

and I feel angry that I can't just jump on the bandwagon.
because I can't
and they don't understand what there're talking about

but there I was with clenched fists and a pounding heart.
wondering if young people know stuff too.

Monday, January 29, 2018

naked faces being brave

i look ridiculous these days people.
i walk around in sweat pants, a naked face and dark circles.
i'm sore.
so tired.
i'm staring at a never ending to-do list.
and it's crazy.
i feel so crazy.

i stare at math problems and scholarship forms.
and as much as i cherish this time in my life-
it feels crazy.
it is crazy.

but i'm learning how to be brave.
i'm learning to put myself out there even when i'm gonna faint.
and it is terrifying.
it's so scary.

i've gotta keep marching.
i've gotta keep doing supper hard things.
i will keep working, thinking, and facing fear.
even with my dark circles, yoga pants and unwashed hair, I will be brave.

Friday, January 5, 2018

fly bird fly

I watched some birds today.

Clusters of black against the grey-blue sky.

There were two flocks, relatively far apart: one in a line, the others in a messy V.  

Gliding, chasing, flapping they raced and enjoyed the air 

Then I saw three break away from the V, flapping as hard as they could that they might join the others in a line. 

The wind was blowing blowing blowing and they were flapping flapping flapping, stuck in a current. 

I watched these three birds flap their birdie behinds off. 

Yet they were stuck in the in between. 

I kept waiting for them to turn back to their old flock. 

I watched thinking they would slow down to realize their old flock was still closer then the other birds.

But they didn't. 

The three little birds flap flap flapped. 

They didn't look back, losing their aerodynamics. 

They just kept fighting. 

I watched them fly for a long while before they finally made it to the new flock. 

I found a strange connection to the birds flying high. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

blogging stage fright

Welp, this is embarrassing.

Please excuse my horrible posting.

Although  I don't really have a awesome excuse, I will try to muster something.
Here we go:

1. I was five things in Nutcracker. Five. I was onstage alllll theee time and it was amazing and magical. But it also required a lot of rehearsal and energy.

2. The whole senior thing is really kicking my butt. I totally had this idea that senior year was going to be relaxing and fun and I would spend lots of time with my friends and blah blah blah. No. Collage applications require writing all your information down fifty million times, typing beautiful and original essays, sending in videos of flawless talking and dancing, on top of countless emails and phone calls. Like I seriously did not realize how much time researching and applying for collages took. I also didn't realize that my schoolwork would continue to increase in intensity. I would be happy to write (coughcoughcomplain) more in another post if you're interest in hearing my expanded soap opera. Just let me know ;-)

3. I'm scared to be less than perfect.

Blogging has been hard lately. Yes, I've been busy, but seriously, what else is new?
I have stuff to say.
I have half-written thoughts.

But those thoughts get shot down by my desire to get the words just right.
My need for thoughts to be perfectly cohesive.
My ideas 'right' and clear.

So I'm embarrassed.

I'm embarrassed because I've tried to write this post but then I write it and it sucks.

I'm embarrassed because all the sudden I have blogging stage fright.

So here I am hoping I'll hit publish to this grammatically incorrect, confusingly formatted and completely ridiculous post.
Because if I'm really going to be authentic, you'll really know-
I'm not perfect, and neither is this blog.   

Saturday, November 25, 2017

counting stars

count them.
little things.
big things.

number your blessings.
watch them grow.
observe last months struggle,
join the list.

the blessing
of gratitude
out numbers
the stars

Monday, November 6, 2017

stop settling + rise

stop settling.
stop letting the options of others become your own.
stop being content when your heart of hearts is telling you to fly.

so stop it.
take a breath in-
seriously, do it.

Be brave.
Be kind.
 but don't settle for less than the life you were created for.

you were created to amazing things-
things more complex and wonderful than you can imagine!

but dear friend, it's gonna take courage to get there.
it's gonna take every last breath.
you're gonna have to look fear in the face.
and it's going to be hard.

but you will rise.
you will fight.
you overcome.

and it's going to be worth it.
it's going to exceed your wildest dreams.
it's going to be bigger than you think.

so friend, stop settling and rise.

Friday, September 15, 2017

morning is coming [STAY. ft. me]


but why?
why stick around when every second crawls over you with shame and exhaust?
why continue to walk through each day like this? 
why live when dying would be so much easier? 

because oh friend, you are in the night. 
you are fighting and I know it's beyond hard. 
I know it feels like you are too far gone. 
I know you think we would be better off without you. 

because let me tell you a secret: 
this is not the end of your story. 

the people you've convinced yourself are tired of dealing with you,
want more years to love you

the shame that is so heavy to carry, 
doesn't have to be carried alone

the exhaustion of life will heal with change and rest,
and doesn't warrant a very permanent sleep.

the terrifying idea that you are too far gone,
is nothing but a lie.   

the thought that life will never get better,
couldn't be more untrue. 

you, dear friend, are in the night. 
and the night is hard, long, scary, and exhausting. 
the night brings emotion that you are scared to face.
but please, don't hide it forever. 
because holding those emotions in, all alone, is what keeps us in the night. 

and I know it's impossible to see, 
but morning is coming. 
it's way closer than you think.
it's not always going to be fun, but it will get better

you will laugh again. 
you will feel the sun.
you will be free from what's holding you down. 
you will be stronger than the night,
and live to see morning. 

so please, stay. 
morning is coming.

if you are struggling, please reach out to talk with someone. 1-800-273-8255 is a awesome, safe, confidential resource. please please please reach out. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

there is hope [STAY. ft. grace anne]


i don't know you, not really

and you don't know me

not really

but i do know something about you

you were born to run

it's woven into your veins, as innate as breathing

"the fight or flight instinct", science teachers tell us

our reaction to stress or fear

and sometimes, you're just too tired to fight

so you take flight

you run and run and just want to keep running, trying to escape the echoes in your head

and you're gasping, not knowing where to go, just knowing that you've got to run, got to get away


stay, darling, stay

when it all feels like too much

and you can't see two feet in front of you

and everything is closing in


i know i know i know it's hard

and you don't want to fight anymore

because what's the point? it never gets better, so what's the point? what else is there to do?


because let me tell you a secret

you're not going to be stuck here forever. you're not trapped in the dark forever. light breaks through, night turns to day, and that string pulled tight around your lungs breaks and you can finally breathe. 

but how can you feel the warmth of the light on your skin if you don't stay? 


stay, because there is hope. stay, because there is joy. stay, because there is healing. 


stay, because the number of people who love you far surpasses anything you would probably even imagine. stay, because there are sunsets that you still haven't seen and music you still haven't listened to and adventures you still haven't had. stay, because you have so many more things to do. so many people to meet. stay for those dreams still curled up inside you. stories to write, places to go, things to create. stay, because even when everything feels like it's falling apart, you have a heavenly Father who loves you more than you are physically capable of comprehending and wants nothing more than to gather you in His arms, who has so many plans for you. Who has a future for you. Who created all of the stars and constellations and oceans and rivers and skies, and still knows the number of hairs on your head, because you are His, and He calls you His child. 


stay, darling, stay.

hey friends! I am so honored that my dear friend Grace Anne said yes to participate in Suicide Prevention Week! Grace Anne blogs over at Totally Graced and everything she writes is AMAZING!!! So go check her out, and don't forget to give her lots of love in the comments below!

Monday, September 11, 2017

it isn't the only answer [STAY. ft. julia]

who says leaving is the only answer
who says you're not good enough
and what makes them the authority on that
why has giving up become the chosen option
when darling, there are so many more
it's not like pain isn't real
bc it is
what if pain is a blessing
what if staying could mean the difference between ending your story without really living it
the difference between life and death
doing hard things is hard - that's how its supposed to be
some days you will feel beat
sometimes you'll just cry
it's ok
don't say goodbye to second chances
don't cross off all the available options to the most empty of them all
stay. please. k.

[ okay so this is probably one of the toughest things I've written. it's tough bc its a subject a lot of people have chosen to brush past for many reasons. maybe you don't deal with these thoughts or don't want to think about them...well, whatever it is, they are still real. still there. Elissa emailed me + a bunch of other fantastic bloggers awhile ago. this is part of a post series about staying. about realizing that God has given you this life as a gift.  and that, you're loved. completely and utterly loved  LOVE, J]

in case you didn't already notice, Julia is completely and totally amazing! she seriously blows me away, and I'm so humbled to call Julia my friend! please check out her blogs the barefoot gal & twilight to dawn. And don't forget to show her lots of love in the comments! 

Sunday, September 10, 2017


Hey friends.

11 months ago my dear, sweet, kind, and funny friend died of suicide.
it has been long and hard.

It's left us asking questions we will never know answers too.
It's left us with fear.
It's left us dreading October 4th with more might than I ever thought possible.
It's made things seem shallow and silly.

Today, September 10, is National Suicide Prevention day.
I don't really know what that means for you,
and frankly,
I don't fully understand what it means for me either.

However, I do know that my heart aches to fight the horrible effects of mental illness.
I know that I care deeply for those impacted by feelings of doubt and worthlessness.
I get it.
I've been there.

About a month ago, I reached out to some people to see if they would join me in fighting darkness.
This week is World Suicide Prevention week, I feel called to scream from the rooftops:

stay to hope.
stay to care.
stay to experience joy.
and stay because your story isn't over yet.

Each day for the next week, amazing young women have written posts that I can't wait to share with you. I invite you to join us in saying,

Thursday, July 6, 2017

just be

well by golly it's july.

this summer, i'm challenging myself.
i'm challenging myself to not set all these giant goals.
i'm trying to not set big expectations.
i'm working on taking each day at a time, while still being mindful of how today will affect the future.

because in our mad stampede to have perfect Instagram-y, perfect beach-y hair, crossed off everything on the checklist, perfect food filled days, it's hard to just be.
at at some point, we all have to realize it's good (even healthy!) to stop doing and start being.

it's hard to enjoy life when you're so focused on enduring it perfectly.
it's hard to enjoy life when your checklist never shortens, day after day after day.
it's hard to enjoy life when you can't find time for the most important things.

today, take a moment to "be."
feel your lungs inflate and deflate with air.
hear the birds chirp.
let the sky shine on you.
and remember what a precious privilege it is to just be.

p.s. i got to hold puppies this week so yeah. be jealous. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

chasing pink sky

today I am so cranky.
I've been a jerk and fought with my mom.
I've snapped and cracked.
I just feel gross,
you know?

I'm tired.
Physically and mentally.

I've danced for what feels like fifty days in a row.
I've bottled bottled bottled emotion.
I'm bracing myself to say goodbye to dear friends and
I just.
I feel poor and I need to buy: makeup, a planner, sunglasses, and a phone case.
I thought I would be done with school today and I'm not.

It rained all day today,
which felt like a constant reminder of my inside state.
When I was driving home tonight after ballet,
it was still wet.
But it was also lighter than usual for 9pm.
To the left, it was dark and stormy and grey.
The right, however, was pink and yellow and blue.

I would glance through the empty streets of our little town, and see pink sky.
warm, saturated, sky.

You know, we serve a God of reckless grace.
Big, bright, beautiful grace that showers us when we humble ourselves before our God.

today, I'm thankful for grace.
I'm thankful for doughnuts and coffee.
I'm thankful for tears, however embarrassing or inconvenient they may be.
today, I'm choosing to chase the God who paints the sky pink.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

be _______

be brave.
stop hiding in fear of screwing up.
stop protecting every inch of your design.
you can do it.

be bold.
start speaking life into others.
if the word is cold,
warm it with your flame.

be strong.
don't let fear get the best of you.
you contain more power and influence
than you will ever know.

be kind.
choose your words with grace.
little eyes are watching-
be the person you wished you had in your life.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

broken people sit in church pews

every Sunday, church buildings fill up with imperfect people.
we stand in the sanctuary, singing songs led by flawed worship leaders.
we nit-pick words spoken by struggling pastors.

on Sundays, we slap concealer on our blemishes.
we straighten our posture and sweeten our words.
we nod and smile while tuning out.

how sad it is,
that we feel the need to pretend our brokenness doesn't exist.

because in reality,
when the broken pieces stand together
the glory of the fixer is all the more beautiful.

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.
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. 


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.

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.

Monday, May 1, 2017

we don't get pauses

On the rare occasion that my mom and I fight (wink wink), 
there is often one, if not more, pauses.
We're big pausers.

It usually goes like:
blahhhhh blahhhh
*volume increases* 
yell shout yeellllllll

And then I (because it's usually me who needs to pause) storm off and
a) cry
b) think of evil comebacks.

And while I sit there trying to think about why this is such a big deal (clue: 98.99% of the time it's not), my mom comes in peace and we try to figure out where our communication went wrong.
In a calm(ish) manner.
Sometimes we take more pauses, sometimes we don't.

You know what I realized about this?
It's really hard to hit the pause button in real life.

Almost every day someone asks me for a detailed power-point of the next ten years of my life. Usually I respond with one of my three canned answers.
And every time, I'm subtly reminded that I don't know what-the-heck I'm going to do.
Which is fine.
It's fine.  

But I just want to pause this whole stupid growing-up thing!
I don't want to take the SAT on Saturday.
I don't want to make a list of collages to visit.
I don't want to be responsible and grow up schedule my own appointments.
I don't want to face conflict on my own!

But as much as I'd like it, there are no pauses in life.
We can stop, think and take a walk, but the clock keeps ticking.
The music keeps playing.
And there are no pauses.

"You mean to say that you wrote this just to tell me that the world keeps spinning and just to keep freaking out?!?!?!?"

Err, kinda.

But I also want to remind you (and me) that we don't know the plot.
We don't design the timeline.
He does.
And He knows when we need time-outs better than we do.

So before you keep yelling, take a breath.
And remember:
His strength.
His pauses.
Because he's got it.
He's got you.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

one day [thoughts on the now & then]

one day a light will click,
and all this waiting will make sense.
all your prayers and cries that you spoke
will finally have resolution.
you'll come to see that the pleas tangled in worries
were actually wrapped tightly in Gods grace.

one day you will wake up
and the fog will be lifted.
you'll look back and see that the valley was much bigger
and the hills much taller.

one day you'll remember the time when you thought everything was over.
even though you were certain,
you were actually, well...okay.
and although it was awful and confusing and the waitttinngggg,
this place you are
just happens to be right where you are suppose to be.

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