Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Guess I Scare People


Stephanie on Bench © Jamie Hack via freeimages.com
While talking to my mom last night I said, "I must scare people."

I said this because all throughout my life, people will get close to me, and then disappear. One instance happened a few months ago. Someone who knows me would talk to me occasionally and reach out through social media.

This person came and saw me at home. I wasn't having a good day physically, so I was in bed. This person's jaw was slightly open upon seeing me. Yes, this is my reality. Cerebral palsy causes muscle tightness and pain that is worse on some days. I was smiling, but I could tell they were unsure of what to say next. 

I think this person - and most people who know me - are shocked because I don't post about everything I go through on social media. I don't "check in" to my doctor's offices every time I have an appointment. I am a private person. I think if you really want to know how I am doing, you will ask. If you don't, you won't. 

Since that day, this person has been very distant. We have not talked much at all. I think this happens because people don't know how to relate to me. They don't know what to say beyond the small talk. 

I used to think something was wrong with me. I can't help that I ask the big questions about life. I ask hard questions about myself like, "Why did I react to this person or situation that way?" "Why am I grumpy today?" "How would I feel if someone said or did this to me?" 

Sometimes I say things like, "Maybe this person has so much pain that they can't appreciate the small things like I do. They are so blinded by what has happened to them in the past that they can't relate to how I am feeling."

I try to be empathetic. I am always striving to be a better listener. I want to be a better student of life, learning from others mistakes, celebrating the good in people, and not get so caught in up in the details of how something is going to happen.

Maybe this is what scares people. Maybe honesty scares people. Maybe stripping off the facade that they have been hiding behind for years scares people. It is scary and unpredictable when you start getting real with yourself about why you are the way you are. But, it is even scarier if you live your whole life inside of the bubble you created, pretending you are okay when you are not. 

So, if I scare people away, good! Then I will know the ones who are left are true. Those are the ones who won't run when life gets messy. They will love me through my growth spurts and call me out when I mess up! I have only met a handful of people who have been willing to stick by me through all of life's ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. 

This post is for all of the people who AREN'T SCARED!

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Prayer Tonight

As I was praying, these words were flowing out of my heart.

Forgive me, oh God, for the times I have been rude and unmannerly.
Forgive me, oh God, for the times I have insisted on my own right and my own way.
Forgive me for not bearing up under anything and everything that comes.
Forgive me for not walking in love.
I know that you never fail, Lord.
But I have failed you so many times. Help me.
Help me to decrease so that You can increase.
My life is nothing without You in it.
Help us, oh God, to get our eyes off ourselves and to realize we were created for a bigger purpose.
We were created to serve You. We were created to come alongside You.

Amen.

Sometimes, it is so disheartening to live in the Earth today. I see more and more people turning away from God and doing things that please them. We are so arrogant it is sickening. When talking with my mom this week, I told her, "Sometimes, I don't even want to live on the Earth anymore." Don't misunderstand me. I am not suicidal in any way. I am just tired of seeing people act crazy. I'm tired of people being more concerned about their bank statements than the condition of their hearts. I'm tired of the lies. I'm tired of the division.

But then, I realize God is, too. Yet, His mercies are new every morning. Even when I don't deserve it. Even when many others don't deserve it. God is always ready and waiting for humanity to come back to Him. He never stops pursuing His children. So, I can't stop pursuing Him either. In fact, it is in the midst of the darkness that I must run harder after Him. When no one else is searching, I must look a little deeper. 

And, I can't go to Heaven yet. There is much work to be done here. Thousands of people are still lost. Many have no hope. I have to be one who is willing to be a voice in the wilderness. When I am alone, I have to be more determined than ever to run this race. I will not abandon my mission. The mission that God gave in Matthew 5:14-16.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven." The Message (MSG)

Will you be bold enough to pray this prayer with me?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Some Peaches Make It, Some Don't

With spring comes new life,

Old things die off.

The grass is green and the flowers bloom,
But I may not share my peaches with you.

Peaches and me go way back.
Down on a country road,
They were lined up in rows.

Mama pruned and plucked,
Leaving only the best branches.

After waiting, those glorious peaches 
Delighted my soul.

So when we moved,
And had to leave them behind,
I was mad!

No more peach ice cream,
Freshly churned.
We didn't eat the store bought stuff, no sir!

Years passed and our yard was bare.
No fruit trees laden with buds.
No promise of brighter days.

But, one day, Mama planted some new peach trees!
Our summers were filled with the sweet aroma.
My stomach was content once more.

Suddenly, Mama looked outside.
One day, the peach tree didn't thrive.
A hole was in the trunk, so black. So dark.

If you pressed on it, the trunk creaked under the pressure.
The roots were visible from the surface, no longer producing life.

The tree was just standing there.
A reminder of what once was.

Some people are like that peach tree.
At one time you were vibrant, full, and free.
Growing and reaching for greater heights,
Aiming for the light.

Life happens,
Your heart grows cold,
You feel that you are not vital anymore.

In that time, your stability weakens.
The place that once gave you strength you abandon.
Recoiling and shrinking further,
You have lost your passion.

Dust to dust,
Ashes to ashes,
Will you accept the lie that you never mattered?

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Legacy


I came up with the bare bones of this song when I was going through an unexpected, inexplicable medical issue.  This was even before I changed my blog name to Making my Mark.  These were just thoughts in my head, dreams in my heart, and looking for hope in my future that I needed to record. 


Legacy - written on September 10, 2010

I know where I’m going might be uncharted territory
But I also know that’s what makes it exciting
I don’t wanna put myself in a box,
I don’t wanna be ordinary cookie-cutter
I wanna be extraordinary

CHORUS
‘Cause of every moment of my life
I wanna make my mark
On this world leave a legacy
So people remember me

Things get bad; they’ll get better
When things tough, just get tougher
We overcome by the blood of the Lamb

Together we can….
Make our mark on this world
Leave a legacy
So people remember us