greenandgray’s weblog


mercy

“so it is God who decides to show mercy. we can neither choose it or work for it,” Romans 9:16. I’m not sure what to write here. I just know that mercy is all that saves us. this afternoon, I am prayerful that I can become more and more captivated by His endless mercy in a way that changes me. My many mistakes and doubts push me away from fully receiving this mercy, as i feel seperated from God and angry with myself. But I don’t want that. I want to believe in it’s goodness. And I do. Please Jesus, let me see You and not give up on You.

His grace is an ocean and we are all drowning…

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banana phone

there is a lot of time wasted in worrying about things I can’t change.  there is time wasted living in regret. there is time wasted in being jealous and comparing my life to someone else’s. there is time wasted pretending i know what the best thing to do in a situation is or what might be best for someone. I hereby clarify that I know nothing. I have spent many tears and hours of agony over these things. I woke up this morning feeling somewhat like i had been wasting part of my life away, giving so much energy to these things.

Being in love with someone can be tricky business. It’s fun and easy a lot of times and then there are other times where you find yourself putting demands on them or expectations, excepting them less for who they really are. I am guilty of doing in the past, present, and future. Am i this way maybe because I have unrealistic expectation for myself. Can I not love tiffany just how she is? I would like to think I am trying my best, after all, I am stuck with her.  I put in this words on my blog so as to say, I want to keep trying to let go of this. I want to really love and hurt for people including myself, where they are at.


living in the present.

i have this friend. and he insists on referring to this as the “worst year of his life”. and maybe it is. in no way am i discrediting his feelings. but upon saying that to me, i argue all “matter of factly”, that this has actually been the best year of my life. i’m not sure why i say that. there has been no extraordinary happenings…i think i am just starting to really be comfortable with the person i am and as i get to know her more…i watch her stand up for herself and not cower. i see her making tough decisions and sticking with them. i see her running away less. i see her embracing the good about herself and the stuff she would like to work on.

anyway, i am reading the alchemist for my second time. and ps: this time around so much better. anyway, there is line in the book that reads, “If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present – what comes later will also be better.”

i believe this. so why can’t the present be the best? regardless of what kind of shit life is dealing us. because it’s what we know. the future does not belong to us. we are not guaranteed it. the secrets of life are found in the present…we usually just ignore them cause we are always looking ahead for the next big thing, for the upcoming year to start, for something better to land in our lap.

well, if next year brings any kind of trouble, which it will…then i am screwed. i was banking on it being better. this mentality is robbing so much joy from the present, i think. maybe. i could be all wrong. today felt like the longest day ever. i am taking on extra work at school and while that means a bigger pay check at the end of the day i am drained. like all the energy has been squeezed out of me. i barely have enough to make it to my car to drive home to crawl in the door and go to bed.

but then i lay down and smile cause i love working with my kids. every hug and smile means so much. their genuineness is life giving and refreshes me. they are never anything with me than who they really are. and they are silly and say stupid things and don’t try to hide their dorkiness. i can learn so much from them. they are the ones who live in the present….and their lives are stress free because of it. seriously, tell me one 1st grader who is breaking out and having ulcers because of stress….

“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a big party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we are living right now.” -the alchemist


the sound of inspiration.

“music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” maybe i don’t even need to write anymore. maybe that’s all that needs to be said. i love that life has a soundtrack, that music can be so powerful. the other day i was at McAlister’s satisfying my craving for a big glass of sweet tea and this song came on. (i am refraining from telling you what song exactly because it might be a little embarrassing on my end) anyway, this song…when it came several years ago was around the same time i was gearing up to head to pratt in brooklyn for this summer art program as a junior in highschool. keep in mind, it’s possible i might have been the dorkiest kid ever. Being from a super small conservative town, super small conservative school i was taking what seemed to be at the time (and maybe even now) the adventure of a life time. from that life experience my eyes were opened to a world of people vastly different from myself, from where i came from. their stories became apart of mine as i learned to appreciate the world as the colorful place that it is.

on an unrelated note….there are two things i don’t believe in. probably more but for now, these two serve as a good topic of conversation. 

1. marriage 2. tiffany ever getting married.

that’s right. this is going to turn into one of those journal entries someone might stop reading right here because they are terribly offended by number 1. my hangups on this subject are innumerable. but i really have yet to be convinced that it’s worth all the work. it seems far from appealing. more like a life sentence. to all you married couples out there. more power to ya! i give you all the happiness in my heart and wish you the best. but for this gal, it’s been shown to me as nothing more than an excuse for two people to co-exists for some period of time, not necessarily happily or are they? i just can’t tell from all there bitching about their partner and there to desire to “do it all over again” with someone else or not at all. to have waited longer to have gained more life experience before taking the plunge….

again, i am only 24. i will probably read this as a 30 yr old married woman and wonder what kind of crazy feministic crap i was engrossed in. but in this moment, that isn’t how i feel. i am hurt and sad and disappointed that the idea of marriage to me isn’t beautiful. it’s lonely and isolated feeling. my heart is praying for a different perspective. but i’m terribly stubborn and believe that only God can change my heart on this. am i open to the possibility of him doing that, honestly, no.

my mom was the most beautiful person i never got to know. she had a such a shitty life that she didn’t deserve. wrecked by her parents marriage. her mother’s marriage to an abusive alcoholic. her own first marriage she used as an escape from a broken home. her longing for love and affection she believed could be found in building her own family, marrying the right man….redemption for everything she had not been able to have. but even then, that failed her. her marriage to my dad, another journey with broken promises….

and maybe that’s what this all boils down to. that people are imperfect and terribly flawed and full of broken promises. that scares me. i am not trying to throw my mom’s dirty laundry out for the world to see but i feel her hurt in my heart and carry her disappointments. what would her advice be to me. what would she say about my crazy idea that marriage doesn’t work. she would point to me to God. i know she would and out of her love for me and life and her desire to believe in the good of people always and their potential she would encourage me to not give up hope. to stop looking around at the world and all the fucked up people. 

and i would trust her. because I, like her, can’t give up hope. ever. on people. on situations. on reconciling things….

i am leaving the door open. and in the mean time…i will try to pretend to be less jaded.


weather conditions.

i love the rain most when it stops. it’s enjoyable for a while. maybe even comforting. but sooner rather than later…i’ll need a break.  every drop feels heavy and it seems like it might last forever. rain symbolizes the season of life in which uncertainty and emotions have claimed every waking thought. somedays, it’s a drizzle…a light mist and then other days it’s a downpour. yeah, i like it most when it stops because i feel like the sun has permission to shine again. maybe i’m in a season of rainy weather right now. but only the inside of me would know it. only the inside of me gets to decided when enough is enough. but even then, just because your head wants you to feel a certain way does not mean your heart is ready to do so. sometimes your heart gets carried away with crazy ideas and lets go of all levels of practicality.

i am certain however, that rainy weather allows time to get to know oneself better. people do not do enough reflecting. i am convinced. there are far too few of us who take time to listen and get to know ourselves. i think we’d be real surprised to find the person waiting for us on the other side of silence vs. the person we pretend to know. but it’s easy being this person we feel we need to be, it’s easier than having to say out-loud that we are flawed or…that we just really have no idea who the hell we are.

this season of dreary weather that marks future days of uncertainty and potentially bad decisions…it stops when i find strength where once inside me there was weakness. every situation gives us the opportunity to gain strength and wisdom. every job, every interaction with friends and strangers. these are all defining moments that we glaze over. these situations make up life. they make up our story.  i’ll take a story full of rainy weather if i know that when the sun comes out i feel the richness of life and relationships and truth in a way that sunny weather can’t bring. 

i like metaphors.


lost and found.

when you are feeling lost, close your eyes and think of the time that made you happiest. Not thrilled, but deeply, genuinely happy. i did this today. it took me a minute. cause you want to find the right memory. i thought of my mom and her brushing my hair. that was it. my memory, my happy thought. i stayed there in that moment as long as i could. i wish i could remember more details but time has faded the crispness of those moments with her. 

last night i went to central market with some of my kids from marbridge to listen to music and have ice cream. i love the way their fearless outlook on life allows them to really express how they feel at any given moment. we were the only people dancing. but dancing was very appropriate. had everyone else in that place been able to feel the freedom that my special needs group does, they would have been dancing too. maybe its wearing your emotions on your sleeve? maybe its the uncomplicatedness of their make-up that allows them to enjoy the simple things in life. i have to admit. i do get a little jealous at times. 

i have so many sweet memories with them. i am starting a new job next week, still working with special needs but i will be at an elementary school so my group will be a lot younger. i have treasured this time at Marbridge. yeah, somedays i want to pull my hair out. but i wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. they empower me to love without judging. to naturally assume the best in people. to embrace everyday of life as a gift.


lesson learned.

Sometimes your path is marked in the sky 
Sometimes you’re forced to fit in between the lines 
Sometimes all that you can do is say no 
Darlin’ do not fear what you don’t really know 

-brett dennen

this is clever. and familiar. never would i imagine 5 years ago i’d be where i am now. both physically present and spiritually. i used to be very boxy. when i say that i mean, things needed to look a certain way. they needed to prescribe to my boxy ways of thinking. i believed that being a pine cove counselor was the “end all” in reaching the fullness of of your potential as a christian, the height of intimacy with Jesus. i was calling people out right and left, pointing out faults, compelled by “love” to rescue them with the gospel. i dare not write this to say i have steered from my belief that we are all in need of being rescued by our Savior. but there was a season where i wanted to be the one doing all the rescuing. now, after the pitfalls of life seem to have left me a little wounded, the clarity and the black and whiteness of it all seem to hold little truth. there is a vast grayness. before, in the box, approval meant everything. bad days were for the spiritually weak. months of dry, brokenness, falling into lie after lie…impossible. on the other side, i’m just like everyone else. and i don’t pretend to be anything i’m not. i am still compelled by love, a very passionate person, a seeker who believes that everyday holds meaning and a lesson learned. i am not above the lessons learned. i am somewhere in between the lines. whatever that means.


yesterday morning.

sometimes i can be this ugly person i don’t like. words come out of my mouth before i can even catch them. and thoughts, these thoughts i am stuck with. they spin around in my head and as quickly as i try to force them to leave they just become more numerous! how do i get away from this person? she isn’t always there…but when I least expect it…she’s there again. she attacks at the days slightest inconvenience. she’s moody and irritable when something doesn’t go her way. She lashes out on people that are precious to her. she is terribly insensitive at times. Maybe she is always like this. I am just saved from her winning out every time because of grace. Jesus, rescue me from myself.

That saying, that you are your own worst enemy. it’s true.  

i am embarrassed to write this. i hate making mistakes. i hate feeling like on somedays i could possibly be letting the worst possible version of myself be living out life for me. but i want to be real. can i still be a real person that owns up to her shit and not be judged? again, my human concern for wanting to please everyone all the time and make sure they are happy with what i am doing creeps in. How many times must i submit my mind and heart to God and ask that He align them in a way that keeps me from making choices that leave me feeling guilty? i find myself trying to  justify my hurtful words, my careless gossip, my need for attention, my wrong choices…so i can feel somehow at peace with myself.

Jesus, rescue me from this person. i receive from You all that i cannot do myself.


words.

i consider myself a woman of many words. but there are times. there are people. there are situations in which i find i have nothing to say. or is it that in those moments i have so much to say i am just afraid to. sometimes and in this case…these “people” who we might be afraid to speak up to are the ones closest to us. why is that? are we afraid of losing their love? that they might not understand where we are coming from? that we will immediately regret ever opening our mouths once the words are out? yes. all the above for me. urg. i am working on a journal for this person. where all these words i am unable to say directly to them will one day atleast be read by them. that one day, all the thoughts and the hurts and all the forgiveness and love i have can be extended to this person in a way that at this day in time i am very unable to audibly give them.

i wish i could though. i wish i were brave enough. i think things would be different. but you know, you can’t beat yourself up for not being at a place, possessing a certain mindset that you just don’t. the process of finally getting to that point is hard but sweet.

i am not one for horoscopes but for kicks i read mine today.

CAPRICORN: What was bad becomes good. what was ugly becomes beautiful.

simply put, hope.

I have hope that on the other side, the brokenness of this relationship will be restored. that all the space i feel now standing between me and this individual will be destroyed and we can be close and connected.


this sounds superficial…

yes, it sounds superficial but it’s a realization moment. and I like to share these “ahh-haa” type moments because they are a refresher. They remind me that every single day of my life i learn something. and this is the way it will be until I die. today’s realization may not be as rich as other moments but it is valid nonetheless because it’s a mark of maturity.

All right, in high school there was this amazingly beautiful girl that i was always jealous of.  i thought she had it all…the looks, the boys, the popularity. In high school these “all too important” things consume your thoughts.  I found myself constantly comparing myself to this chick…thinking if only i had a name like hers. but no, here I am stuck with some weirdo “tiffany taff” name. and this red hair of mine, hated it, why couldn’t it be brown? Why did i have to be so different than everyone else? how come my eyeshadow didn’t look like that when I put it on? and my ass..it was definitely not as filled out as I wished it was. I recall friends (thank you laura barbee) asking me from behind, if i had an ass at all. these were my super important, life altering thoughts as a high school female, longing to be “just like everybody else.” My senior year this mindset was a little less prevelant as I started to really embrace all the things that made tiffany, tiffany. (again, thank you laura barbee for wanting to dress like a superhero with me) but still little hints of jealousy would creep in every time I heard this girls name…wondering, why I couldn’t be a little more like her…

this evening/morning looking on facebook (the only rational excuse for a single, 24 yr old to be up at this hour on a weekday…facebook stalking) I found this chick! the one from highschool that I had totally forgotten about…the one I was so jealous of. And i started laughing!! out loud, yes! was this the same girl I pined away wanting so much to be like? looking at her pictures (tiff confesses to more facebook stalking) I could see she still had the same pretty face but her eyes were so empty. At this point in my life, I am so happy with who I am. I feel so confident in my purpose, my love for life and people and myself! All the things I don’t like about myself too…i’ll keep them, just let me be tiffany! I don’t mean to write this and sound all self-absorbed. I write this because i think we can all admit to being that high school kid, who at one point in time, was a little too uncomfortable in their own skin….when the possibility of being someone else sounded very appealing. but as we grow up this mindset of comparison and how we measure up to others, it doesn’t follow us around stealing our joy….that is if we choose to not let it.

and i like not being there anymore. I like knowing wherever I end up, tiffany and her quirky personality, her flaky, yet heart-felt committed disposition, her uncanny ability to go through a million different emotions in one day….she will still be there. i’m stuck with this gal!! and I love it! And I don’t want to be anyone else.