Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ready to Stand

These hands have held babies in three different countries, they have been thrust into the snow and the mud, these hands have guided pens and pencils and gave food to the hungry, they have been scraped and cracked but still continue on.

These eyes have seen rain, sun, fog, snow and sleet, they have seen huge cities and tiny villages, these eyes have seen people and seen into them, they have seen a lust for life and a struggle to go on, they have seen pure joy and devastating sorrow.

With these hands and eyes I take a stand. I stand for what I believe is right, those that can't and equality for all. I stand for hope in the future, for loving your neighbor and change.

I stand with my brothers and sisters, all over the world, with those who speak truth, fight for freedom and pray for peace. I stand with those who stand beside me, in front of me, and behind, with men and women who recognize they have a purpose, use their voice, respect those around them and embrace who they are.

I stand on the shoulders of the courageous, the bold and the strong. The shoulders of leaders and followers, teachers and learners, speakers and listeners. I stand on the inspiration of those before me; the perseverance of MLK, the teachings of Gandhi, the compassion of Nelson Mandela, the loyalty of Peter, the sacrifice of Mother Teresa, the drive of Micheal Gallagher.

With these hands and these eyes, in this moment and the next, I will stand and say “ I seek not a long life, but a full one.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The show must go on

Push through. Tough it out. The show must go on. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I feel like these phrases, and phrases like them are tossed around often, I know I've used them in the past, but recently they found a new meaning with me.
I was so lucky and excited to be cast as the female lead in my school's winter production. Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath, but about a week before we opened I started to get sick. It felt worse than any cold or virus I had ever had. My throat was in so much pain whenever I would swallow anything, even my own saliva that at times I would drop to the floor, and barley ate. My throat was the real issue, but my voice came and went, and I occasionally had a cough or runny nose.  I missed school but couldn't miss rehearsal. The weekend before we opened I found myself crying on my bed, worried I wouldn't be able to perform.

Opening day came, and I was feeling better, but not healthy. I cheated as much as I could. I hid cough drops in my apron, bottles of hot water on both sides on the stage and a handkerchief to make any coughing on stage look in-character. Each day of the show I felt a little better, but didn't fully recover until after the show was over. I was worried being sick would ruin the experience for me, but I feel that it taught me something.

It didn't matter that I wasn't feeling up to snuff, I couldn't let my director, cast members or audience down. I had to rally whatever energy I had, and give the best possible show I could. And to be honest, we put on one heck of a show.

I'm almost glad that happened to me. I've always wondered what would happen if I got sick before a show, and questioned if I'd be tough enough to push through. This experience allowed me to realize I'm stronger than I realize, and that no matter what... The show must go on.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quick Thought

I know I have not written in awhile, and I don't plan to say a lot at this moment. I just wanted to share the fantastic fact that if you ask God to show up, If you ask him to move or to speak to you, he will. And I think that's pretty cool.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Letter to a friend

There is something that connects us, That I can't describe
something that lasts, though the distance between us is wide
I don't know what you do now, or how you spend your days
the only memories I have are jumbled in a haze

This thing that connects us, will let us meet again
in the meantime I wait, happy to call you friend
when my day is ending yours has just began
its crazy what can happen when you let go of your plan

A year ago I didn't know you exist
instead of faces and names I saw only an empty pit
the chance to come and meet was what I long dreamed
time spent with you was more valuable then it seemed

so long I had to spend, being pushed to go on
but what i wouldn't give to get back whats gone
each laugh, each cry, each and every night
was a blessing, a miracle,, a shinning light

A place I didn't believe as I planned to start
would be able to capture a piece of my heart
and yet here I am with one piece gone
it was left in that shack, in that kid, in that song

Africa, I don't know when I'll return
but my love for you will continue to burn
Africa, I'll come back to your land
but its all in his timing, its all in his plan

Saturday, February 16, 2013

How will I make my mark?

However small it might have been, I have made a mark on the hearts of children in Deipsloot, a squatter camp in South Africa. It was a smile, a funny dance, and a hug to tell them they are worth loving. I’ve made a mark, on Rita, 12-year-old AIDs orphan from Zambia. It was holding her in my lap, and crying with her as she shared her story with me. I’ve made a mark on the Esther school in Chongwe by cutting trees and moving cinder blocks for days in the African heat. It is by looking at where I have been, and the impact that I have made that I know I was put here for a reason. I was put here to change the world. 

Often when I say that people are taken back, it’s not exactly something the average 16 year old expects to do. I can read the doubt on the faces of strangers who hear my claim, but those who know me are excited about my plans. Plans. That implies I have an outline, a roadmap to a destination, but I have nothing of the sort. I have no idea how I will be used to change the world or even what that change will look like. So how do I know I’ll change the world? Let me explain.

I have a passion for people, especially the people often forgotten or looked down on by society. The homeless, orphans, widows, abused and those trapped in poverty have all captured a piece of my heart. It is this passion that has led me to promoting hunger awareness in my own community by not eating for 30 hours, and has led me to the villages and streets of Africa. It is this passion that has forced me to question my society’s views of success. Why would I be happy with millions of dollars if I know other people don’t even have access to clean drinking water? It is this passion that will not allow me to settle with a “good life” but strive for a meaningful one.

          My life will mean something by focusing on individual people rather then statistics or numbers. One child dies every 12 seconds from poverty related causes. That’s not just a number! That is a child that was carried for 9 months in it’s mother, breathed, cried and felt the pain of death. Alone I can’t end hunger, end poverty, disease or human trafficking, but I can help individuals who are trapped in these circumstances. I’m called to use my gifts and resources to help PEOPLE, not organizations or myself. 

The beauty of not having a plan is that I get to dream. I still have a year until I graduate high school. That means I still have a year to dream and plan. I still might not have a plan when I graduate and that is okay. I might leave behind everything that is comfortable and that I know. I might end up in a rural village to open a school or a community center to teach English and sexual education. I might stay here and open a business in which all the money is donated to a humanitarian organization. I might simply join a non-profit focusing on homeless youth in America. These are things I think about and consider doing, but whatever I do, wherever I go, I will make a difference. I will leave my mark.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I give you all my life

Always look toward the future and always move forward, that's what we are supposed to do right? Time is precious and can't be wasted, not when there is so much to do be done both in the moment and for the future. I believe That God will use me to change the world (however big or small) but I don't know how and that has been a struggle. Not knowing the path you are being led down is scary, but is it the same as being lost?

I just got back from a weekend retreat up on mount Baker. I was expecting fun with friends, good food and to maybe meet a new person or two. I was expecting God to meet people right where they were, but not me because I have heard all the camp talks a hundred times over. I wasn't expecting God to reveal anything to me, and in a way, I was right.

The second night the speaker left the path of basic, expected topics. Instead he talked about us being made to do something, having a purpose. Something that I strongly believe. He talked about a desire to leave a mark, a desire for our lives to mean something. This is a desire, I can definitely say,  that we have. He talked about God wanting to tell us what it was he was calling us to, and asked us to commit to that (whatever it might be) by dipping our hands in paint and leaving our mark on a piece of canvas; creating a work of art together.

I began to get excited, God was finally going to tell me what I'll do! The worship band started playing, and it was obvious that the Holy Spirit was moving. People began to make hand prints, large groups at a time. God wasn't speaking to me. As the first song ended, it felt like everyone had left "their mark" and I began to feel like I wouldn't. Not only that I wouldn't leave a hand print but that desire to mean something would never be fulfilled. Desperate for answer, i practically begged for an answer as I sang the worship song

"I give you all my life, I'm letting it go. A living sacrifice, no longer my own.All I am is yours.All I am is yours. I give you everything, to you I belong. Every beat of my heart, the breath in my lungs. All I am is yours. All I am is yours."

And I finally heard God's voice! But it wasn't an answer I liked. He told me, "If you really want to follow me, to give your whole life to me, your timing isn't important! I'll tell you when the time is right so for now, I want you to wait." At this i became slightly frustrated, but recognized the truth in these words, I walked to the front and left my hand's print on the cloth. I know there are great things to come, things no one can imagine, but for now, I wait. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Who needs water?

I've always tended to save quotes and files in my email drafts so I wont lose or forget them. I was going through and cleaning it out when I found this that I wrote back in 2009.

So much running through your head you cant focus on anything else you know both what you want and what you need, but you cant take the steps to get it, its like your in the desert weak from dehydration, you know you want and need water but your not sure how to get it, and even if you found out your are too weak to get there; so you just sit and wait in the midst of the sand storm all around you.

You block it all out, pretending that since you cant see water there is none. but you know there are people who can help, but you are to tired to reach out. Your afraid if you do your open hands will stay empty and you'll look like a fool. so you sit alone and wait, each minute of each day the thirst growing stronger.

You are so afraid of being rejected, you never try to be accepted. instead you wait by yourself and try to find a way to make your own copy of the real thing. When you know deep down it's impossible; you just keep trying. Every time you fail makes you feel thirstier and more lost and helpless then ever. you still don't reach out, you never do. you continue to grow thirstier and more lost and helpless until you finally die. All because you were too afraid of looking like a fool, and being rejected, to ask for help.