after a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security,
and you begin to understand that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head held high and your eyes open, with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
you learn to build your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans, and futures have a way of falling down in midflight
after a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
and you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth and you learn and learn… and you learn
God’s love is so big, so fast, and yet unbelievably specific and focused. I think I’m just starting to grasp how intimate his love for me as just confused, searching, “millenial” twentysomething “Marilyn” is. Just as I am. I’m not always super spiritually vulnerable here, but can’t help but share what happened in my quiet/study/prayer time yesterday.
After my reading and studying, I was feeling discouraged. I grabbed my journal and prayed:
Give me a childlike faith, trust, and obsession with you. I’m at the point where I fear I’m missing part of a relationship with you. Help me make the time to be intimate and close with you, seeking in all that I do that you are made more known to the world.
I want to feel you intimate, close like a friend. I doubt my path and your hand of guidance on it. Strengthen my resolve, faith, and confidence in you, and your work through me. Help me find comfort in the truth that you have gone before me. I love you, God. I live to know, serve, and bring glory and honor to you. Reveal yourself more and more to me, draw near to me like you’ve promised. I desire your closeness, rest, and peace. I trust that you are faithful to give it. You are my God.
On most days, I read Sarah Young’s incredible devotional, Jesus Calling (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, you can find it here ). I almost skipped it because I was running behind on my schedule after taking extra time in my study, but decided to open it up anyway. Here is what it said for yesterday’s date:
"STAY EVER SO CLOSE TO ME, and you will not deviate from the path I have prepared for you. This is the most efficient way to stay on track; it is also the most enjoyable way. Men tend to multiply duties in their observance of religion. This practice enables them to give Me money, time, and work without yielding up to Me what I desire the most - their hearts. Rules can be observed mechanically. Once they become habitual, they can be followed with minimal effort and almost no thought. These habit-forming rules provide a false sense of security, lulling the soul into a comatose condition.
What I search for in My children is an awakened soul that thrills to the Joy of My Presence! I created mankind to glorify Me and enjoy Me forever. I provide the Joy; your part is to glorify Me by living close to Me.
being a girl in the weight room is hard/i'm a really awkward human
me:*doing squats with a squat bar*
[bulky columbian guy with thick accent comes up next to me]
ishmael:can I give you some tips on your squat?
ishmael:well, you're trying to work your glutes and your hamstrings so what you want to do is...
[proceeds to give me a detailed example of how to do a squat, and has me follow. then critiques EVERY OTHER LIFTING EXERCISE he saw me doing. 20 minutes LATER (I did not ask for any of this information) I know his name, apartment complex, where he was born, where he spent the past 10 years, how long he has been in school, his major, his daily eating regimine, where he spent thanksgiving, that there is construction on the 215 goin through LA, and the names of all of his muscles that he displayed and flexed for me]
TWENTY MINUTES LATER...
ishmael:...so I'm graduating in the spring!
me:oh cool me too...*looks at nonexistant watch*...oh I've actually got to get going to...yeah....
ishmael:oh yeah no prob! can I give you my number incase you need more workout tips?
me:oh...um...I don't have anything to write it down and...I...uh...gotta go...
ismael:oh yeah, well, maybe I'll see you when we walk for graduation in the spring!
me:yeah, thanks for all the tips...hopefully I'll have better...*thinks of first muscle that comes to the top of my head* ...glutes...by then...
LATER AT THE APARTMENT
me:*tells story to Hannah*
Hannah:you realize your glutes are your BUTT, right?
me:WHAT!? I thought I was talking about the back of my leg! I was just trying to wrap the conversation back around to why he originally came up to me!
Hannah:those are your HAMSTRINGS. A guy hit on you at the gym, and you LITERALLY told him that hopefully your butt would be better the next time you saw him.
I remember when you tried to fit
forever in a sentence, I remember how
you stumbled and looked like you didn’t
know what you were saying—
I found out too little too late that
you actually didn’t know
And we used “I love you” like an apology
for the things we couldn’t give each other,
we thought those words could always be
enough if we believed it enough
I had to scrub those words out with
a pickax, I had to cut up my own heart
to make sure you were gone forever—
I had to wash myself out twenty times,
and even then it wasn’t enough to
forget the kinds of dirt you left on me
in places I didn’t know hurt could be
It took me years to forget you,
or at least it felt like it
I still feel sorry for people who use words that
they’ve never defined for themselves, spit them out
like they’re a bad taste to get out of your mouth,
words are my only refuge, you abused them—
You told me you could never let me go
but I watched you leave as I realized
you obviously confused me with the thing
that you’re still holding onto,
your pride was the only thing you
really couldn’t let go of
I wish “I love you” were more than a
statement to some people:
I love you is a promise, I am here,
I am holding you, I care—
I cannot think of anything more heavy
than these words but I cannot think
of anything that people use more lightly.
Rebecca, age 8:When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.
Terri, age 4:Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.
Danny, age 7:Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.
Nikka, age 6:If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.
Elaine, age 5:Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.
Chris, age 7:Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.
Mary Ann, age 4:Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.