Tuesday, February 25, 2014

up for interpretation


I'm sitting down to write and I have so much I want to say and yet it's all jumbled too uncomfortably in my head to be able to get out.  "Be careful who you make memories with.  Those things can last a lifetime" (Ugo Eze).  That's what they say, and I suppose I never realized it was something to be careful of before.

There are people, you know?  Memories, now.  I alternately want to hold them, and weep, and rock back and forth and drown for a bit in tears that will wash away the hurt.  That's half the time, I suppose, and probably the good half.  The other half I want to throw things and say not pleasant words and shut myself in a sound-proof room or maybe not and yell till my throat is sore.  I don't like that half of me, I don't like it at all, yet it's been more prominent and I've been scribbling heatedly in notebooks in an attempt to purge myself of it.

Can I ask you one question: why?

It's maybe silly that I still can't fall asleep at night sometimes.  I have to get up and stretch or do something so I have an excuse for my racing heart.  Never, ever say I love you lightly.  Unless you mean it.  I love you is not three words, it's a promise.  Make sure you can keep your promises.

Every night that I get home late, I scan the sky behind the trees that border the side yard in search of Orion.  Last week I told someone that if I were ever to get a tattoo, it would be of the constellation Orion.  He asked why and I couldn't even explain.  There are too many reasons.  It's this constant sight in the winter sky, he's always there, he doesn't change, and maybe it's a reflection of God's constance, except then he's only around in the winter and strangely that's one of the things about the season I look forward to the most.  He'll be gone soon and it's not like I always sing anymore but it will feel sad without at least one friend to say hello to.

How how how can people live with themselves when they shoot others down for trying?  I have made more enemies in obeying Christ than any other single way, and it's all at once the worst and best decision I've had to make.  That shouldn't be in the past tense, because it's a decision I still have to make, every single day, which is frustrating, and even more frustrating when it seems like I'm the only one.

I remember this happening last summer: somehow songs seem to come full circle in a year and you begin to hear all the ones you fell in love with twelve months ago.  Maybe that's why I haven't listened to much music lately.  The other day it was nice out and I sat on the porch by myself and played ukulele.

How can you say you love Jesus if Jesus doesn't radically change the way you live?  How can you call yourself a Christian and continue living in temporal lies?  How can you say Jesus has saved your life and yet choose to throw away a life that, if you gave it to God, does not even belong to you anymore?  How can you say you know God or live in him and blatantly continue to do what he hates?  How can you claim to be rescued by the merciful grace and love of Christ if it doesn't alter your life at all?

I remember most of 2012 like it was yesterday, and sometimes it catches me by surprise that it's two years ago instead of just one.  I kept saying that 17 was the best year for me and somewhere along the line in January I decided to make 19 the best year instead.  That's easier said than done, and not always up to me unless I really do take up hermitage as I have continuously speculated, but I'm trying.  (I'm trying so hard, please.)

Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that it's unfair and totally unreasonable not to believe in yourself when Jesus does--enough to call you to follow him, enough to want you to be like him.

"There are no ordinary people.  You have never talked to a mere mortal.  Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.  But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendours" (C.S. Lewis).  This is a quote that both haunts and inspires me.  This is why it makes me almost literally sick when people treat other people cheaply, lightly, not realizing the eternal significance of every interaction and relationship.  (This is the real reason jerks make me mad.)  Those are souls.

Let me ask you another question: in ten years, are you going to be proud of what you're doing right now?

It's one of the saddest things in the world to miss someone, but even worse than that is when the someone you would miss is not even the same person anymore.  You can't miss someone you don't know, and oh, I know.  Sometimes I hate to know.

This is not what I had planned!  My mom always told me when growing up: make plans, but don't get attached to them.  My plans aren't God's, but I want to make his mine.

Is it possible to be too forgiving?  I've asked myself that a few times over the past two weeks really, because sometimes it seems like forgiving again and again and again can't be the answer.  Seventy times seven is the answer I always get back.  That's a lot.

Messy, important, true things.  If only it made sense.  Me too, me too.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

friend, hold on to me

Traditions make me happy, you know that? Long-time-hoorah-we-survived-the-awkward-years-and-still-like-each-other kind of friends make me even happier.  Combine those two already happy things and you get Valentine's day, during which my sister and I do something remarkably sappy and pathetic and wonderful with two other sisters who we have known for over a decade.  The four of us--Alexa, Aubrey, Cassie, Jenn--have for the past four years spent February 14th together, and Aubs being a state away at (our rival) school this year wasn't about to stop us.  Up we trekked to Ann Arbor (which is super adorable and a place I want to revisit when it isn't so flippin' cold) to spend a short day in each others' company.

The best story: we went to see a super dumb movie on Friday night (does this sound familiar?), but beforehand we needed to grab food, and being the poor college kids that we are, we went to the ever-so-classy...Wendy's.  The four of us walked in, and right away this kid behind the counter started laughing at us as he sarcastically wished us a happy Valentine's day, and laughed some more.  LISTEN KID I'M WITH THREE GIRLFRIENDS ON VALENTINE'S DAY BUT YOU'RE WORKING AT WENDY'S SO WHO REALLY LOSES HERE.

Saturday was spent eating muffins with tea and seeking out cherry snacks and sunshine.  Time with these girls is always full of good, good conversation--because, you know, at this point, small talk just doesn't interest me.  Talk to me about Jesus.

So here's to long-time friends and good food and sunshine in the middle of winter and silly movies and last-minute plans and spending most of the drive memorizing monologues for an audition the next day (so that happened).  How was your Valentine's weekend, friends?

+post title from "high hopes" by the vespers
+you can also pray for me because I had my wisdom teeth removed yesterday and ouch.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

lil baby micah

i had the chance last month to photograph the cutest little man along with his big brother and mama. it was intended to be a newborn shoot, but time escaped us, so micah was about a month an a half old. cutie patootie. it was my first baby shoot and i was oh so excited (along with the expected nerves), but i couldn't be happier with the way i was able to capture this sweet family.


guys guys guys you have no idea how crazy (good?) my life has been lately. so full. but please do tell me--what's keeping you sane at this point of february where the only two options seem to be hibernation or spring?

xo, jenn