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"I’ve been convincing myself that I’m worthwhile,
'Cause I'm worth what I'll convince myself to be.”
- Relient K, This Is The End (If You Want It)

Friends,

Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re worth. Sounds pretty cliché, and that’s probably because it is. Most cliché sayings are cliché for a reason.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re worth. I say it again because I mean it again. Whether it’s in the words they say or in the looks they give you.

This mainly serves as a reminder to myself…as are the rest of my posts.

"Remember to make a backup copy; always order a decoy drink; don’t poke an alligator in the eye when you’re trying to cross a river; don’t shit where you eat; when in doubt, peel on out; only boring people get bored; double-check all calculations; one thought-provoking tweet trumps 10 mediocre ones (or is it the other way around?); duct tape is the solution to life’s two-part problems; don’t argue with jitney driver Jess Losa; 46 episodes of [insert name of your favorite TV show here] cannot be watched in three hours; moderation is key; never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what’s right; obey your spidey sense; get started now; all work and no Play makes Jack a dull features editor."

- WIRED 20.07

"I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free."

- Red, The Shawshank Redemption

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Below is an excerpt from my personal journal from earlier in the summer. I took some time today to read over my journal and relived some of these moments and emotions. When journaling, I try to articulate the rawest form of honesty because I spend most of my life lying to myself (even if small, minuscule white lies). Sometimes this results in some pretty disconcerting insight. For some reason, although the strong-willed introvert within me disapproves, I felt the overwhelming need to post some of my journal entries publicly…or for my 8 followers haha. So enjoy, everything you see below is taken out of my journal verbatim, so excuse the grammatical errors and awful informal writing.

May 23, 2012

"He wandered in loneliness, weeping a little for the hardness of the world, and he journeyed up the River, til he came to a stream that flowed down from the mountains, and he went that way. He caught fish in deep pools with invisible fingers and ate them raw. One day it was very hot, and as he was bending over a pool, he felt a burning on the back of his head, and a dazzling light from the water pained his wet eyes. He wondered at it, for he had almost forgotten about the sun. Then for the last time he looked up and shook his fist at her." - J.R.R. Tolkien (Fellowship of the Ring)

It’s funny how often I relate to the villains of stories. I’m starting to sense a pattern.

But maybe it says something about villains. Maybe they are just as lost as the hero, in his/her time of tribulation. Maybe the villain is even more courageous than the hero because he doesn’t romanticize things, he doesn’t pretend. Or maybe it just says something about me…

May 24, 2012

I’m beginning to understand what it means to be lonely. The smallest things remind me of home…and regret. The chapstick ******* got me…I am so encouraged every time I use it. It makes me feel special again. And it also makes me feel so ashamed at how I treated ******* the past few months. I have not been a good friend, and an even worse sister in Christ. And I’m seeing that now.

Maybe this is why I’m here in Seattle. Maybe this is why God wanted me here so badly. Maybe He understood and started seeing what kind of “spoiled Christian” I was becoming. I was using so many people, things, circumstances as props. And they determined my happiness. And God loves me enough to yank me out of that. To remind me that I’m no ordinary human being.

I am a child of God. That should radically change everything about how I live, how I spend my time, how I think.

I’m grateful that God cares about me so much to be constantly and incessantly saving me from myself.

June 1, 2012

ARIEL + job + school + friends + stuff = ARIEL
(who I was at JMU vs. who I am presently)
- job - school - friends - stuff (Subtract from both sides, present Ariel is left in the negative.)

I felt like everything I had built my identity around was being subtracted from me. It left me feeling empty, lonely, isolated, abandoned. There were mornings I woke up and felt worthless. I never felt like that before. Worthless? I know in my head I’m not, but do I know in my heart?

I was bitter, angry, frustrated at myself mostly but I managed to take it out on my sister after she came home from work. She didn’t deserve any of it, but I didn’t care. I was unhappy, so I had to show it. And is that what it boils down to? Without a job, school, friends, stuff, I’m just this nasty person who is constantly unhappy? Mathematically speaking, that means all of my happiness was contingent on whether or not I had friends close to me, whether I was doing well in school. I was tethering my worth to all this stuff. So the second all of it vanished, I questioned my worth, I questioned my sanity, I questioned everything!

God is obviously trying to get my attention through all of this havoc. He is not withholding opportunities from me, He is not being spiteful. But out of LOVE, He wants to reassure me that I am whole, complete in Him and Him alone. Not made whole by stuff, not made whole by others, but by Him and Him alone. And what a beautiful thing! He saw my heart and saw all the bitterness and anger that was hidden under all this “happiness” and wanted me to face it and fight it! And He did what He had to do to keep me from being a slave to myself. And I am so thankful. And in such shock.

"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:12-13

hahaha when you’re friends with middle schoolers on facebook…

hahaha when you’re friends with middle schoolers on facebook…

"A heavy weight was settling steadily on Frodo’s heart, and he regretted now with every step forward that he had ever thought of challenging the menace of the trees. He was, indeed, just about to stop and propose going back (if that was still possible), when things took a new turn."

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J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


Praying for my new turn.

In this video, Greg Boyd elegantly (and sometimes not so elegantly) touches upon some controversies surrounding the Evangelical Church but more importantly emphasizes and re-emphasizes the ONE THING we can be certain of. Jesus needs to be our One and Only Foundation. As Christians we get stuff wrong all the time. We stubbornly cling to shaky apologetic theology and insist we’re “right”. Jesus never got it wrong. In a falling world of uncertainty and chaos, He and only He, has proved himself worthy to be certain of.

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As soon as you begin to live the life of faith in God, fascinating and luxurious prospects will open up before you, and these things are yours by right; but if you are living the life of faith you will exercise your right to waive your rights, and let God choose for you. God sometimes allows you to get into a place of testing where your own welfare would be the right and proper thing to consider if you were not living a life of faith; but if you are, you will joyfully waive your right and leave God to choose for you. This is the discipline by means of which the natural is transformed into the spiritual by obedience to the voice of God.

Whenever right is made the guidance in the life, it will blunt the spiritual insight. The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best.

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- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Just a little something that encouraged me and might encourage you as well?

B.Reith is a really cool guy. Personally I think his rapping is eh, but everything he stands for is pretty amazing.