Family and Home

The floor boards groan under the weight of time,
and the walls whisper tales of days now past.
Porch-bells are heard, winds carrying their chime.
Wallpaper fades, but memory paint lasts.

Under this roof a family once slept.
Children once played in the grasses that grew,
at night, in their beds, they peacefully dreamt
of the love, the joy, they blissfully knew.

Now this house stands in a state of decay.
Its windows are cracked, its roof has a leak.
Parents aren’t sleeping, no children at play.
But if you listen you’ll hear the walls speak,

of the people who walked all through its halls,
and what changed when all of the kids grew tall.

PC: Clark Young via Unsplash

The Devil’s Bird

Hello Friends,

I would like to tell you all an important fact of life: chickens are the Devil’s bird.  Little known fact: when you read in the book of Job about Satan, “going to a fro about the earth,” if you read between the lines, you’ll see that it actually says he goes in the form of a chicken.

flock on chicken on road

Allow me to offer you some proof of the evil nature of chickens from my own personal background.  There was a time, a dark time, in my life, when my own family owned chickens.  We had one rooster and probably about 8 – 12 hens.

Now nobody else in the family had any trouble gathering eggs, but when I went to gather eggs, the chickens sensed my weak and gentle nature and they took advantage.  They would attack! And 9 times out of 10 my dad would have to come, pick me up, and carry me out of the chicken coup, because they were being very aggressive.

As the years passed, we sold all of our chickens.  And over time the scars they left faded.  As I looked back on those days, I thought, perhaps, I had judged too quickly.  Perhaps my fear of chickens was a mere dramatization from the mind of a child.  So when I went to college I decided to give chickens a second chance.

During homecoming week of my freshman year there was a mini-petting zoo on campus.  They had a small pen with baby ducks and baby chickens in it, and the person I was with reached her hand in to pet the baby duck

“It’s so soft,” she said, “you have to pet it.”

There was a baby chicken sitting on the other side of the pen, not even looking in my direction, but as I reached my hand in the pen to pet the duck, it turned.  It charged at me, beak drawn, but I pulled my hand away before it reached me.

“What was that for?” I said to the chicken, “I wasn’t even trying to pet you.”

Again the person I was with reached her hand in and petted the baby duck, with no qualms from the chicken.  So I thought the chicken was going to be reasonable.  I reached my hand in the pen and again the chicken charged me.

And it was then that I learned, never trust a chicken.  Take this with you as you go forth in the world and do good.

Thanks for Reading! Until Next Time, Stay Out of Trouble!

PC: Jason Leung via Unsplash

In the Kitchen

I remember the crowded space,

the clanging of trays and plates.

The people bustling by,

A case of serve or die.

I remember how the supply

Of soup containers dwindled,

And the box, sitting up high,

Holding the needed utensils.

I remember how I could not reach,

And tried to ask for help.

I remember I had to climb

High up on the self.

I remember stretching far,

And reaching to the sky.

I slowly slide the box toward me,

When suddenly,

I remember below my waist

I felt a tightening grip.

I remember my pounding heart,

As from my hands the box began to slip

I remember my sweating palms,

And my balance almost lost.

I remember the spinning room,

As I tried climbing down,

I remember turning swift,

To take a look around.

I remember the ally full,

With no one standing near.

But most of all what I remember,

Is the ever gnawing fear.

And now when I reach for boxes high,

Or climb up on a shelf,

I remember to watch for hands,

That grope about with stealth.

PC: Kenny Luo via unsplash

Does God Love the Human Body?

Hi friends,

So, we’re going to do something a little different this week. I have worked in customer service fore about 3 years now, and I thought it might be fun to share some of those stories with you from time to time.  This week is the tale of the Elderly man.

I’ve had a few awkward experiences with grandpa-aged men.  Now, you might think that when these men reach grandpa-age, life would have taught them something about wisdom and discretion, but that is not always the case.  Sometimes senility starts to set in and they forget everything they’ve ever learned about talking to people, particularly young ladies. person wearing floral shirt painting

I work as a hostess, so you might think that not much can happen in the short walk from the lobby to the table.  Again, I’m here to say, that’s not always the case.  I have had several old men pinch my cheeks, like I’m their granddaughter, or take hold of my arm as I walk them to the table, and other such things that cause mild discomfort, especially since I am someone that does not like to be touched.  But sometimes the things that these men say, are so much worse than them touching me.  There is one particular instance I will never forget.

There was a party of four, two couples, all grandparent-aged people. And as I walked them back to the table one of the men kept making uncomfortable comments about how small my waist was.  I merely ignored it, and tried to get them to their table as quickly as possible (which was difficult since they walked rather slowly).  Nonetheless, I finally got them to their table, when, as I am setting the menus down, this man turns to a woman, who I assume was his wife, and says to her, “Remember when you were as small as that?”  Regardless of whether or not this woman was his wife, what a terrible thing to say to her?!

People are so much more than the shape of their bodies.  Everyone is made differently, and everybody is made to look different (men and women a like).  God designed each human form uniquely, so that every person on this planet can reflect Him in a special way.  His desire is not to to have a world of tiny women, and buff men.  His desire is to have a world of healthy people, of all shapes and sizes, who steward their bodies well.  I believe we ought to encourage one another to care for our bodies well: to sleep enough and to eat our fruits and vegetables.

So I have a proposition: together, let’s practice viewing ourselves and all the people around as as beautiful parts of God’s creation, and in that let’s remember the call to be good stewards.

Thanks for Reading! Until Next Time, Stay Out of Trouble.

 

Photo by Jean-Pierre Brungs on Unsplash

 

Providence and Purple Pens

Hello Friends,

So I have a secret to share with you: I have a pretty serious obsession with office supplies.  This is something I got from my mother, who is an enabler.  Last year for Christmas she got me the greatest set of pens, the no-bleed sharpie pens.  This year for Christmas she got me a post-it note dispenser and 2 6-packs of post-it notes.  The list could go on, but the point is I LOVE office-supplies.

On my desk I have a bin for regular post-it notes and a post-it note dispenser, 3 buckets of multi-colored pens, mechanical pencils, paper clips, et cetera.  Now, you might think this is a problem and that I should get professional help, and that is where you would be wrong.  This week I was furthered enabled in my obsession, and I think it is a sign from God.silver iPhone 5s near Field Notes book

I never, ever go anywhere without my tool-kit: at least two writing utensils and a notepad.  But this week, somehow I left my pencil-case at home.  I found myself in class, with no writing utensil.  Thankfully a friend of mine loaned me a pen, but I realized later, there was a purple pen sitting on the table next to me the whole time.

At first I thought this belonged to my friend, so I told her not to forget it.  But the pen wasn’t hers, it had been abandoned.  So, I decided to rescue it, and now, it is my new favorite pen.  I truly do believe that this whole instance was providential.  Purple is my favorite color, I needed a writing utensil, and God so happened to leave a purple pen, on my desk, in my time of need.

The point of this little tale is, if you have a deep and abiding love of office-supplies, feed it.  And if you are the person from whom I stole this pen, you have great taste in office supplies.

Thanks for Reading! Until Next Time, Stay Out of Trouble.

Photo By: Kari Shea on Unsplash

An Introvert’s Winter

Hello Friends,

With this week being the coldest Pennsylvania has seen so far this winter I, gratefully, chose to stay inside.  Unfortunately, that means there was not much for me to see except the dirty white walls of my toasty dorm room.  And the lovely face of my green-haired roommate.  I did however see a few indistinguishable turtles walking around campus, bundled up in their winter shells to keep from freezing on their walks to the library or dining hall.

It was rather unnerving to pass these faceless eyes as the strode past, raising a gloved hand in friendly greeting. Personally I was afraid to wave back, and I am certain I said, “hi,” to several people I don’t actually know.  Hopefully my fellow introverts can relate, but I think there is something to be said for the social anxiety of waving in general.  Now, add the pressure of waving when you don’t know who your waving to.

We’ve all been there.  You see someone you only vaguely know, and there is a glancing eye contact.  Their hand goes up, and a smile spreads across their face.  Then as you raise your hand, surprised by the eagerness of this greeting, you realize, they weren’t waving at you.  And in that moment a small piece of you dies.  You stop believing in love and you start questioning the fidelity of all of your relationships.  But when the faces of passersby are covered with scarves, the stakes are even higher.

And so friends, unable to handle the intense pressure of simple social norms I chose the safety of my room this week.  I hope you found safety and comfort to, wherever you were and whatever the temperature.  Hopefully next well be more exciting.

Until next time, stay out of trouble.

Hello Again, Friends

I sat down to write my first blog post in several months and didn’t quite know where to start.  First of all, hello! This blog is not dead after all, and I hope to fully restore it to life over the next few months.  As you can see, there has been a little remodel to the look of this site, and there is more of that to come.  There is also going to be some new content added as these next few weeks unfold, which brings me to the point of this post.

I would like to introduce a new segment, which I think will be a lot of fun for all of us.  For now, I am titling this segment: My World.  Though the title is subject to change, the point of this segment is simple: I would like to invite all of you to see the world as I see it.  In my life I often see people, places, and things and imagine them into new stories.  So, each week I will write a short little blurb about my imaginings of the world around me that week.  I expect we will meet a lot of new characters along the way, as people-watching is one of my favorite things to do.

What exactly this will this look like? I don’t know.  But don’t worry, we’ll figure it out together.

Until next time, stay out of trouble!

 

In Too Deep

There is peace found with the river,
There is treachery too.
The water rushes and you shiver,
Then it stills into a pool.

And you watch the up and down.
And you fear the push and pull,
‘cause you think that you may drown,
‘cause you know you are a fool.

You’re a fool to stillness, fool to peace.
Looking at the surface, standing on the edge,
blind to its secrets, buried too deep.
So through the muck you try to trudge,

But it bubbles up in anger, and
crashes against the shore, and
you run from the danger, and
you fear it’s raging roar, and

when you’ve gone a distance
the water stills and calms.
You may wade without resistance,
In the shallows of the pond.

Movie Tuesday: Christopher Robin

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 10.47.30 PMRecommendation: This movie was not only funny, entertaining, and thought-provoking, but it was also very well-made and a wonderful trip down memory.

Writing/Screenplay: This movie was written to send a message, and it did so in a very artistic and successful way.  This was a script intended to remind its audience of the joys of childhood and the importance of using leisure well.  I would say the script succeeded in these things, by using some of the most classic Winnie-the-Pooh lines, consistently throughout the movie (keep scrolling to see specific lines in the quotes section).  There was a lot of wit and humor in the language of this film, but it was used meaningfully to both entertain and engage the audience as only Pooh can.

Score: 10/10

Acting: There are two aspects of the acting in this film, the voice-acting and the live-action acting.  For the characters of Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore the acting was very good, they stayed true to the iconic voices of the characters that I remember from my childhood.   The other voices of the hundred acres’ woods did undergo some changes and as a result they felt unfamiliar to me.

The live-action acting was excellent, especially that of Bronte Carmichael. Ewan McGregor also did a great job as an older Christopher Robin.  If I had one criticism it would be that unfortunately Ewan McGregor’s Scottish accent sometimes popped up, but all in all, the actors did a phenomenal job, maybe not Oscar-worthy, but certainly worth watching.

Score: 9/10

Cinematography: The use of color in this film to remind the audience of leisure and childhood was absolutely phenomenal and may have been one of my favorite parts of the film.  The mise-en-scene of this film was incredibly intentional and consistent, it was excellently done.  Though I did not notice any super fancy camera work, I really think so much effort was put into the set that fancy camera angles were unnecessary and probably would have been too much.

On a different note the animation was actually quite realistic and meticulous.  The lines between reality and imagination were intentionally blurred in the way the the 100 Acre Woods was animated, again done very consistently with the theme of the movie.  At first I thought having such life like characters in Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and so on would be strange, but it fit so well with the theme of the movie that after the first 5 minutes I didn’t even notice it anymore.

Score 10/10

Soundtrack: To be honest, I did not notice too much about the soundtrack of the movie.  This, to me says that music was used well to evoke the appropriate emotion from the audience at the appropriate time.  Beyond that I have no real comments about the soundtrack.

Score: 8/10

Overall Score: 37/40

 Favorite Quotes:

“Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.” –Winnie the Pooh

“Yesterday, when it was tomorrow, that was too much day for me.” –Winnie the Pooh

Christopher Robin: “The tree I remember was in the countryside, not here in London!   There’s no opening!”
Winnie the Pooh: “I suppose it’s where it needs to be.”
Christopher Robin: “That’s a silly explanation.”
Winnie the Pooh: “Why, thank you.”

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” –Winnie the Pooh

Friends to the End

Do you ever wish you had the power to fix everyone’s problems and just make their lives better?  I’ve been feeling this a lot lately as people tell me about their heartbreaking struggles.  I listen dumbstruck as they tell me of loved ones they have lost, hostile in environments they have lived in, and battles they have fought.  At a loss for words my only thought, my only wish is to go back in time and make those horrible things not happen to them.  What words of affirmation and comfort do you offer to people fighting battles that seem impossible?  What can you do to fill their lives with joy and happiness when all they have known is grief?  I think the most heartbreaking thing to see is someone who is resigned to their grief.  The people my heart bleeds for, the ones I want to help the most, are the completely closed-off-open-books.

The closed-off-open-books are the friendly people that make you feel like you know them so well right from the start, but then slowly you begin to see that you know nothing about them.  These are people who have been broken. They accept the fact that life has and will continue to beat them down.  Is it enough to tell a broken person that Jesus loves them?  Is it helpful to tell someone who’s fighting that God is still in control?  The truth is, I don’t know the answer.

Often times you read blogposts from people who come prepared with answers to the questions they are asking.  Most bloggers are that one kid in school that ALWAYS does the homework and is always prepared for class.  I’m not going to lie; usually, I am that kid.  But today, I don’t know.  Today I have more questions than answers.  I do know that I believe God is in control of every situation.  He is using His power to work good in the lives of all those who love Him, no matter the circumstance.  But when someone is watching a loved one die from cancer, is that knowledge comforting?  I know that I believe that God uses hard circumstance to make people stronger and draw them closer to Him.  But when you can’t find a job to pay the bills, does that knowledge help?  Today I’m the student who didn’t do her homework and is asking a plethora of questions in an attempt to try and mask my unpreparedness in the school of life.  All I know is that I long to help those in need.  To offer comfort and to give them some happy thought.  To help them find joy in times of peace and strength in time of trouble, because that is what good friend does.  And I would have no idea what it means to be a good friend, if Jesus didn’t show me.  For there is no greater friend than the one who would die a painful death to right your wrongs and save your soul.  So, who knows perhaps just being a good friend is comfort enough?