Thursday, February 16, 2012

beauty from pine straw

recently i've been helping a lady in my church spread pine straw around her yard. it's taken three days, and i'm supposed to go back once more. (she has a big yard)

last time i was there, i was thinking about this poor deprived blog and my poor deprived readers. i started thinking that i really need to write something to you. so, through divine intervention i suppose, a few nice, honest thoughts occurred to me.

as i was spreading pine straw faithfully, i would look up every now and then to check the progress i was making, and would get discouraged. i saw that i had covered a lot of ground, but i still had sooo much left to do. so to make myself feel better, i thought, "i've made it this far, and it looks really good. i'll get there...i'll get there..."

so then i made a somewhat cheesy parallel to life. when you think about yourself as a person, your overall personality, characteristics and attributes -and do it honestly- you may get pretty sad as you think of what you are, and what you want to/should be. at least i do.

i think of all the things i need to change about myself (examples: laziness, procrastination, ahem...shallowness...among other things) and i get really overwhelmed. most of the time, i think i'll never change. i'll never get there. of course i always hope that one day i'll have it all together and be perfect, but we all know that's never gonna happen.

so, what the pine straw taught me was this: you cant see the big picture. your future. only God can. all you can see is the moment in which you're living right now. isnt that comforting? you have to take it a day at a time, and work with what you have. to me, that's refreshing. knowing that i'm not in charge...

now this doesnt mean i just sit back, do nothing, and blame Him when my life starts shredding into pieces like my black cardigan. i still have to physically move towards that goal. the one HE has for me. not the one i made for myself. because i've discovered i'll always be disappointed by that one.

so i was having all of these great thoughts, i got in a groove and pine straw spreading was going great. but then i...hit a little bump in the road, if you will. i uprooted some tulips and ended the life of an earthworm with my finger. (both of these acts were accidents, i promise.) but that got me thinking again...

sometimes you get going in life and everything's smooth, calm, easy and nothing bad ever happens. you start thinking you're made of steel and any evil that even thinks of coming your way will just bounce off of you.

but occasionally, that protective screen surrounding you burns up and a boatload of crap comes flooding in and you're thrown to the ground gasping for air, begging for answers, wanting to feel something because you're completely numb and confused and everything you once believed about someone has been compromised and thrown out the window.

cause it's a fact of life that people will disappoint you. people you really, really love and trust. and believe me when i say, it's the worst feeling you will ever feel in your entire life. it's the most crushing and painful feeling there feel abandoned, not good enough, and just utterly crushed.

and that's when you have to stand back up, know that was all part of the plan, (HIS plan) and keep going.

know the people that love you. stay close to them. pull them to you whether they like it or not.

i've seen recently and think it's kind of amazing and funny actually, that when something terrible happens, everyone's true self comes out. you see who is truly firm in what they believe, who you really love, who really loves you, how close you are to people, how thankful you are for them, and generally how much you cannot live without them.

and so i beg you, that when something awful happens in your life -i mean, it's bound to happen sometime- dont turn on people. open up to them. you'll slowly be killing yourself if you dont.

know that they're there for you. God gave them to you for a reason. He knew that event was going to happen and when, and so He custom made every good person in your life to help you through.

...and hopefully one day you'll be able to return the favor.

so my point is this. the people in your life have a lot of power. a LOT. they can destroy you, or show you that love is the most important thing we can ever feel. it's the glue that holds us together. and sometimes, that's literally all we have to go on.

because you're probably never going to be in a situation where the number of people who hurt you is bigger than the number of those who love you more than anything.

so when that dreadful day comes, dont reject it. let it come. see all of this for yourself. grasp on to the people around you, and more importantly, to God. He designed this thing for YOU. maybe He wants to show you something?

and in the words of the avett brothers,

 "the weight of lies will bring you down and follow you to every town. cause nothing happens here, that doesn’t happen there. so when you run, make sure you run to something and not away from. cause lies don’t need an aeroplane to chase you down."

-weight of lies


  1. Oh, YOU.
    This was beautiful and eloquent and non-shallow and true. Thanks for spreading the pun intended...

  2. Anna, I cried. for real. I love you so much.

  3. Taylor: That was a brilliant comment. :)

    Anna: This is the most beautiful thing you've ever written. I love you, my friend.

  4. All of the above! Love you! :)


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only the shallow know themselves. -oscar wilde