Updates from September, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • acleveland 8:17 pm on September 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    ode to mine 

    You shower me with butterfly kisses,

    Tapping on me with the rain,

    Pounding my rooftop heart.

    I am swaddled in your love.

    Each breath I spend

    Is from the single breath of life that you




    I discover that laughter is tied with a bow,

    The changing colors of the leaves wrapped up –

    From you, the perfect gift.

    You open  these cloudy blinds,

    You wipe these tearful eyes,

    You remind me that every deepest drink

    From your river flowing of life

    Is the truest blessing.

    New favorite song: Sweet and Low by Augustana

    • Kelli 8:42 pm on October 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      great poem amanda! because everything is a gift. even scary things. like presentations. he made them especially for us. because his love is the best thing of all!

  • acleveland 8:50 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    hey oh bye 

    Dear Change,

    You’re everywhere. You’re all I see. You are in the traffic lights, the leaves falling off the trees, the different number of candles on the birthday cake, the old notebooks, the home videos. I change grades every year, with new teachers, new classmates, new lunch periods, new schedules. You manage to fit your way in to every aspect of my life. Sometimes, I wish you would move out. What ever happened to your friend, Always? How about that great guy, Forever? Go back to them! Always and Forever were cool, I miss seeing them around.

    Change, you’ve broken my heart before. You’ve stolen friends from me, you’ve made me cry. While you’re at work around me, all I can do is sit on the sideline and witness your hurricane of effects. All the tape in the world won’t fix what you’ve done, but guess what? I’ve got something bigger than you. You’re not so tough, Mr. Change. I don’t have to be scared of you at all.

    Okay, okay. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. I’ll cut you some slack. I guess you’re a necessary part of my life. Without you, time would stand still, the clock frozen. Nothing progresses without you. And you’re not ALWAYS the bad guy. Sometimes there is change for the better.

    But please. Somewhere in your bank of the past you’ve got my old best friends, those forgotten family pictures, the thrown away newspapers and birthday cards. You’ve tampered with what I held close to my heart, can you please give me back what’s in the bank? Just this once?


    New favorite song: Undo by Rush of Fools

    • Kelli 8:59 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      this is one of those times where i could just break down in tears. that was so sweet and so true. sometimes change makes me want to throw things and smash things and then break down and have big crocodile tears. but then i think wait a minute. change is good sometimes. we need to change to grow. we just have to change in a good way. giving up on god, not so good. doing great things with god, good. but i want people back. people who gave up, people who quit before they knew what they were playing for. people who didnt try. they didnt want to win the game of life. and yet i dont think change wants to give them back. but god does. god is there with me when i cry and he always knows what to do to calm me down. finally, he supports me. because we have to fight for those people. because change doesnt go back.

    • Liza 11:31 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I HATE CHANGE! but i love amanda cleveland!:)

    • kasey! 8:16 pm on September 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      i’ve defintely had times where I felt like this towards some people but i could never put it in such amazing words like you amanda! I love this, i just read it like three times. you go girl!

  • acleveland 10:01 pm on September 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    we’re all sinking. 

    There’s something peaceful about making bracelets. Tying knots and pulling threads and making something pretty. I like it. I like stars, and the moon, and Friday night football games. I love the upcoming season of Fall, hot chocolate, and starbucks. I have $10 to starbucks, which is burning a hole in my pocket. Fall is such a great time of year. I’ve always kind of liked having to try to get warm, and once you really get into Fall, that’s the way it is. Because when you finally get warm, it feels better than you remembered.

    The other night I was going through my old journal and I found a note that I wrote to my future self. I was basically giving myself advice that I thought I’d need at some point in the future. Everything that I had written down applies to my life right now. It was a crazy experience to be getting advice from myself. Sometimes, I feel like I give other people the right advice, but I’m not able to follow it myself. “Practice what you preach.”… Otherwise, it’s worth nothing – just hollow, carved out words. Hypocritical, isn’t it? To expect people to follow certain guidelines and boundaries while excusing myself from that big picture. It felt good to read my letter to myself. It felt like I was watching out for myself. It’s an awesome way to keep myself in check. That night, I wrote myself another note for my future self. Hopefully, when I really need it, I’ll be flipping through the old, chicken – scratched pages and see:

    Dear Amanda,

    This is you. Hey. How’ve ya been? So, here’s the truth ……and so on.

    Try it. Chances are, you’ll find your letter to yourself at just the right time.

    New favorite song: Big Machine – The Goo Goo Dolls

  • acleveland 9:54 pm on September 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    abc. easy as 123. 

    Love love love. There are bajillions, trillions, and bazillions of movies, songs, books, and anything else you can think of devoted to this short little word. Look at it, and it appears to be a normal word. But it’s not. It’s packed with possibilities. It makes everything worthwhile. I was thinking tonight about how EVERYTHING derives from love. Courage, strength, kindness, patience, wonder, determination, knowledge, self control, generosity – the foundation for it all is love. Without it, nothing else would exist. IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE!!! Nothing can compare to love… Not money, or the newest thing, or where you live, or what you do on the weekends. God IS love. Literally, God is love, and love is God. We are only ABLE to love because He first loved us. Even though it may seem impossible right now, we CAN grasp the concept of Algebra 2. We CAN grasp the concept of Chemistry. But we CAN’T grasp the concept of God’s life changing, overpowering love for us. Love makes the world go around, love gives hope, love gives purpose. Every good act, kind words, and helpful gesture are nothing if love was not factored into it. I’m ready to take in more love than my carrying capacity allows. I’m ready to be a sponge, soaking up love like water and letting it spread all around me. I’m ready to have my cup filled up to the brim, and then to add some more.

    1 Corinthians 13:1-7 – “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysetires, and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that moves mountains, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”

    New favorite song: Yours To Hold – Skillet

  • acleveland 9:55 pm on September 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply  


    Sanctus Real – We Need Eachother: With lyrics like “I’m as eloquent as an elephant”, you’ve gotta love some Sanctus Real! I really like that song “Black Coal”. It talks about being a diamond in the midst of the black coal… standing OUT and sticking UP for Jesus Christ!

    RED – Innocence & Instinct: The new RED album… it’s HARDCORE. Kinda that weird headbanging boom boom boom music. But hey. Everyone’s gotta rock out sometimes, I guess. I like it. Unleash the air guitar?

    Leeland – Love Is On The Move: Leeland!! I love their awesome new sound. Good chillax music. Their CD Opposite Way was also incredible. Check em’ out. They have serious passion.

    Aaron Ivey – Between The Beauty & Chaos: And of course this is going to be on here. “Pieces” is the coolest song I’ve ever heard. Whatta family man, working his kid into the song! He’s going to be the next big guy, I bet.. And he came to my church with spur58! So lucky.

    Miley Cyrus – Party In The U.S.A. : JUST KIDDING. I mean, how do you shake your head “like yeah?” How do you do anything “like yeah”?  Miley/Hannah/whoever you are… (identity crisis?)… you go girl, watch those butterflies fly away. Heartwarming.

    Anything by Hillsong United: Okay, if you haven’t heard Hillsong United’s music that they record live, you need to get to work on doing that. Because they ROCK. At the end of some of their songs, they say these awesome prayers and you can really tell just how devoted and on fire they are.

  • acleveland 10:11 pm on September 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    got health? no… 

    Come on, let school out, please. I’ve got a cough I can’t shake.

    Not gonna lie, I want to inspire someone. At least one person. How, I don’t know. When, I don’t know. Somehow, sometime, somewhere, I wish it would happen. Faith is nothing without works. I want to go deeper and make this all bigger. I don’t know where to start, it’s an empty canvas just waiting to be filled. Take away the credit, that’s fine. I want something more than average to be done through me. Sunday night was very good. Great music, lots of people, weird games that make people decide not to volunteer for the next round. I’ve gotten to be so grateful for Sundays. Every part of it is really good. Even waking up yesterday morning after four hours of sleep, I was excited for the day to worship God. It got me to thinking – every day can be like that. Each day when I wake up I can get pumped about another day, another opportunity, to walk with Christ in a new way, on a new level. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.

    Okay so weird story, I guess? Last night I was practicing piano and I asked my mom to listen to it and tell me how it was sounding. She’s been super sick and she was about to fall asleep. After I finished the song, she said in a really weird voice, “I was…singing along to the picture. You were playing a picture. Of Georgia O’Keefe. You painted it. And she’s in a museum. You played the painting that she did.” I just looked at her and then she said “Am I going crazy?” I reassured my poor mom that no, she’s not going crazy, she just needed to get some sleep. This morning, I asked her about it, and she had no idea what I was talking about. And THAT is why school should be closed…

    New favorite song: Found by Aaron Ivey

    • Kelli 8:42 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Inspire someone? My gosh Amanda you already have! You inspire me every single day!!! You’re right. Faith is nothing without works, but the works will fall into place. I doubt that God has a plan for every single person that involves overseas missions. I think most of his plans are short-term and right at home. Such as that one person who just doesn’t get god. Doesn’t understand. And you have been sent to help that person. So don’t sweat the works because just living the life God wants is you big plan right now. So do it right! There’s always something more you can get out of your relationship with Jesus Christ. I just got this new devotional book called Daily Promises. Everyday there is a new promise. Today it was all about goals. Short term goals that will help you change your character. Such as my goal for today was to be kind and encouraging to every single person I met today in hopes that maybe Jesus would rub off on them. Jesus amazes me every day. Look around and see what amazing thing he has in store for you today!

  • acleveland 9:08 pm on September 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    pure honesty. 

    I’ve been listening to “From The Inside Out” on repeat ever since I got home. Call me crazy, but man! I love that song – especially live by Hillsong United. Today has been a great day, a refreshing end to the tough week.

    I had to ask a few of my closest friends for lots of encouragment this week. They helped me through and provided reassurance. School snapped me back into reality after fall retreat weekend, where walking with Christ is as easy as breathing.During the tough times, the words start to look more like just plain facts on a page – no emotion or meaning strung and weaved into the sentences. Just facts, plain and simple: Know that you are loved, know that you are not alone. It was not penetrating my heart, it was settling on the surface and saying “this is the way it has always been, always will be, the end.”

    Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades, neverending, your glory goes beyond all fame.

    Really, it doesn’t matter much what I write on this blog everyday. What matters is how I’m living my life. How everything is going beneath the surface that nobody else sees. Everyday, as you read this, you catch a glimpse into my thoughts, my days, this crazy walk. All these words aren’t JUST WORDS, and neither is God’s love letter to humanity.

    Things aren’t getting to me as much anymore. It’s not because my heart has turned hard, it’s because I got a grip on what’s important. As I think about all that’s going on in my life right now, without God, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Things would rip apart at the seams again and crash down. I would be left to stare at the remains. It’s all easier to handle. Even if I don’t have it all together, that’s okay. It’s not expected of me. Living, one day at a time.

    New  All time favorite song: FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

  • acleveland 3:11 pm on September 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    sleepy mornings 

    Today has been very uneventful. I slept until late this morning because I didn’t get home until after midnight. The football game was cold and wet, and I was rooting for West rather than Farragut. We won anyway. Today has consisted of memorizing polyatomic ions and hoping I don’t get sick(er).

    past. lies. cry. lies. boys. lies. enemies. heartbreak. secrets. lust. thoughts. music. words. writing.
    pain. dark.broken. renewed. let down. missed. absent. worry. alone. lies. talk. deep. self image.
    don’t. apart. who? call. oh. sighs. sleep.

    + LOVE =

    now. truth. smile. truth. gentlemen. truth. friends. mend. open. love. actions. songs. sentences. paragraphs.
    comfort. light. repaired. for good. raised. with. here. none. never alone. truth. conversation. more. good.
    do. together. you. me. my. breathe. wake up.

    Be my hero, with a flap of the cape
    Rescue me from my next potential chapter.
    Your grace acts as wings
    Lift me up and soar above the rising flood.
    Be my hero, with a leap and a bound
    Rescue me when danger closes in.
    Your truth acts as strength
    Give me directions and lead me to safety.

    New favorite song: From The Inside Out: Hillsong United

    • Rachel 5:06 pm on September 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I like how the words go together.. like how theyre in order.. first one on top goes with the first one on bottom and so on
      Oh and dont forget: “nenenenever ever, boy”

    • Kelli 8:44 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I like how truth is in there four times. Because Jesus is truth. And his truth is all we need. Knowing that he is GOD is all I need to make it through the day.

  • acleveland 5:48 pm on September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply  


    The CRAZY inappropriateness of one of my classes hasn’t stopped amazing me. Seriously, it gets worse every single day, and I feel like I’m the only one in there that has a problem with it. During class is normally the one time I don’t really have to listen to all the crap people say, it’s just me scribbling notes and memorizing formulas. But in third block, I listen as my teacher takes part in it all, basically the ring leader. Lots of “that’s what she said” and cussing and blahblahblah not gonna go into it. I wonder how ANY of what he’s saying is allowed to be said.. Because in my other classes, if a student said any of that, he or she would probably be sent to the office. Whatever.

    Taking the blame for crimes He never committed, the sins of the lost souls. RED, it’s not already over. I promise. I wasn’t ignored, I was embraced. And yes, I do understand, because yes, I do remember. I remember the seperate, puzzle piece shatters of the life I felt like throwing down the drain. It rushes back, it haunts me. Songs, rooms, people, words, papers – all scars on my eyes. They are marked for what seems like an eternity. Not letting the past escape from the shadows and creep back into the present. Nonono. These memories are braided into the streams of happy, joyful moments. It’s hard to tell where the odd one out starts and the path it leads, but it sticks out. I wish it was possible to trace that specific thread and cut it into little fragments.

     Coming down from the mountain is necessary. The hard part is looking up and remembering if you fell… or steadily walked. I’m hoping to walk.

    New favorite song: Someday, Sarah – Dave Barnes

    • Daniel 12:16 am on September 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hahaha…very interesting. 🙂

  • acleveland 7:15 pm on September 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    part 2: the love 

    Along with the craziness of Youth Jam came the time to just stop and reflect on our relationship with Jesus, and about how to growth on the mountain as well as in the valley. This weekend spelled a lot out for me as I have set down roots and am trying to dig deeper with my best friend, my savior, the creator of the universe. On Saturday, the highschool girls all took a walk to the lake that was near the lodge. We walked together and went our seperate ways once we got to the end of the path. For probably around 30 minutes, each of us hung out with God in our own ways, one on one. I sang a song that only He and I could hear, sat on a rock in the middle of a little stream, and just spilled out my heart. It was seriously a great experience. An awesome thing we’ve gotten to do the past 3 years now at Fall Retreat is go up in a helicopter. The view from a helicopter will NEVER get old, and I am inspired every year by the beauty of His creation. Lately, I had been struggling to really feel God’s love and presence. I had been working hard to keep up with Him, doing my devotions daily, but it just seemed like nothing was happening – like He wasn’t right by my side. So for awhile I had been praying that I would feel the presence and crazy love of God. This weekend, that prayer was answered in some new, incredible ways.

    New favorite song: Awake – Secondhand Serenade

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