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  • acleveland 9:36 pm on August 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    scattered. 

    Apparently, after bones break, they grow back stronger. Break me, and eventually I’ll be unstoppable. Break me, and let the shattered splinters tumble and disperse. Break me, and watch as apathy fills the cracks. 
    When my strength rises from the ashes, Christ and I can conquer. When I dig the numbing medicine out of my bones, Christ’s compassion will rush into my veins. When I release the ghost that’s haunting my past and present, I can heal. I will mend victorious and stronger.
    I wrestled with myself today, thinking, “Now is not the time. I’m not ready. Not yet. I can wait.” God’s response was probably, “If now is not the time, when is? So, you claim you’re not ready..Well, I am.”
    At church they say, “Wherever you are on the way, you are welcome in this place.” That inspires me. I want to welcome other people’s messes, aches, and struggles. People shouldn’t have to clean themselves up and have a presentable facade, just to disguise the torn edges and ripped holes underneath. As a follower of God, I want to show people that it’s okay to come as you are, even if that means broken and messy. Nobody should feel obligated to hem their feelings and mask their scars. It’s a part of the beautiful mess, and it’s a part of what’s welcomed by Christ.
    We should be available to welcome the mess even when it’s inconvenient. Help is needed somewhere all the time, and it might be inopportune. But picking and choosing when to care and when to ignore isn’t welcoming at all. It’s rejection.

    New favorite song: Wonderful – Gary Go

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  • acleveland 9:02 pm on August 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    six. 

    Tired, weary, burned out, stressed, packed, overwhelmed.
    All weekend I’ve been locked in my room pouring over an Anatomy textbook, PreCal notes, and memorizing Juan Gomez’s lines. Last night, I stormed out of my room and insisted that I was done with junior year. The week was crazy. I had insane amounts of homework every night, after school band practice from 4 to 6 on Thursday, football game from 5:30 to 10:30 Friday night, and various extracurriculars tossed in throughout the week. Tomorrow, I have two tests, one presentation, and a huge review packet due. I’ve crashed every night, lethargic and sinking.
    School is not the only thing eroding my spirit. I’m tired of fighting a continuing battle. I’m weary of searching for energy. I’m overwhelmed with thoughts. I wish I could spill the contents of my heart onto the floor and sort them out piece by piece. I want to run and leave the demons in my wake, tinted with past and gleaming with hope for the future. 
     This weekend I felt carved out and empty. My heart has been stolen by school work, pressure, apathy, surrender, and repeated mistakes.

    New favorite song: Back To You – John Mayer

     
  • acleveland 7:01 pm on August 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    fake it out. 

    Went to Worship in the City last night with Carly. Incredible. It was definitely time to forget homework, school and sleep deprivation.
    I saw a show over the weekend called “If You Really Knew Me”. It’s one of the few redeeming shows on MTV. This team of adults travels to different high schools and interviews kids from various “groups”… typical stereotypes are represented, and they’re in the spotlight.
    But then, the team starts what they call Challenge Day. Everyone in the high school gets in groups and talks, there are different activities and speeches and all that. The point was that everyone has a story, everyone has something to say, and nothing should stand in the way of hearing those people’s stories and thoughts. Everyone should be accepted for who they are, and it helps if you UNDERSTAND who they really are.
    As the teenagers started talking and opening up to their peers about what was going on in their lives, things started to make more sense. Questions were answered, like “Why does he act that way?” or “Why does she never say anything?” Instead of just the surface that is normally shown, it brought out what’s hiding beneath.
    When an iceberg is in the water, we only see the tip. The rest is underneath the surface of the water, hidden from our view. That’s the way people are, too. We see 1% of people, the part that everyone sees. The remaining 99% takes deliberate and intentional searching.
    Basically, you never know what’s going on in people’s lives. Think about that when you’re walking through the hallways. Some people might be carrying more than you would expect…Give everyone a break. They might need it.

    New favorite song: Jump In The Pool – Friendly Fires

     
  • acleveland 8:05 pm on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    oh, plus.. 

    I know I already wrote something today.. But listen to this song. Seriously. Normally when I put songs on here, it’s okay if you pass it up – not this time! It can be playing in the background while you do something else, whatever.. Just do it. Pay attention to the lyrics. This band, this song, is WOW. Give it some time, it starts out with just instrumental stuff.

     
    • Sharon 8:30 pm on August 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I love this song and all the instrumental parts are just FANTASIC! Thank you for always finding the good ones.

  • acleveland 7:43 pm on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    rest? 

    I’ve been hearing it for awhile – “Brace yourself for junior year.”
    Time and energy have been running low ever since school started. In SO MANY ways, I just. need. more. time.  The homework load has been ridiculous. Last night’s homework:
    Spanish 3: Read 4 page story in spanish, answer 4 pages of questions.
    Anatomy/Physiology: Read all chapter 2. Go back to chapter 1 and take notes, definitions, etc. Do two worksheets.
    Pre-Cal: textbook page + packet. Study for quiz.

    I started when I got home at 5:30, and collapsed at 11:30. My brain felt like mush. I saw graphs, the muscular system, and Juan Gomez, el detectivo, when I closed my eyes. I was craving…NEEDING… time to journal, music, read, unwind, spend with my family.
    I know what should be coming first in my life. I wanted to throw the Anatomy book across the room and pick up the Word instead. I needed the comfort and reassurance, not diagrams of the body and explanations of blood vessels. But I trudged through the homework, and by the time I got done, I couldn’t read or write another word. I fell asleep without spending time with God because I was drained.
    There’s no time to bike, run, read, play piano, write, or just be with my family because SCHOOL GETS IN THE WAY. No matter how much a break is needed, I can hardly find time to breathe. This freaking high school pushes excellence and competition and ACT scores and GPA with vigor. It’s supposed to be our focus, our drive, our everything. It all seems pretty pointless and inadequate compared to eternity. Yet, somehow, that still manages to get thrown to the side.
    The good news – this walk is 24/7/365, not just whenever we have time. So even if we’re stressing about school or clutching the spanish dictionary, we can do it all in a way that is mindful of God. Even while we have other things going on, we can be circulating thoughts of Christ through our minds. It’s ALL THE TIME, not just when we’re journaling or reading the Bible…although..that certainly helps.

    New favorite song: Little House – The Fray

     
  • acleveland 9:57 pm on August 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    24 hours isn’t enough 

    Romans 7:15-16“What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.”
    Sometimes, I am oblivious to what is in my best interest. I need serious direction and guidance. It’s easy to become overly confident, thinking, “I know the best way (or maybe just the easiest)!!”
    On my own, I can’t tell right from left in this life. I’ll decide to go right, and when it’s time to turn, I make an impulsive decision and turn sharply left instead. Eventually, a dead-end greets me. It leaves no answers, nowhere to go, no route, and no fulfillment for the future.
    There’s a road map right in front of me. I sit down and highlight the best roads, avoiding traffic and construction. But when it’s time to pack my bags and begin the journey, I second-guess myself and turn the wrong way.
    I repeatedly tell myself that NEXT TIME, I’ll do things right. I will. Me. Myself. AMANDA will go the right way. I will be self sufficient and independent, and take the good path that I planned.
    But when “next time” rolls around, the same mistakes arise. Instead of listening to God’s concrete directions, I listen to my own selfish thoughts.

    The human condition keeps us from making our own decisions concerning our well-being. If it wasn’t for God, I would continually go the wrong way – because without God, I don’t know what’s best for me. I can’t listen to my own advice, because it is misguided and unreliable.
    Fortunately, this scripture reminded me that I have more important rules to follow. We must be obedient to the commands that GOD gives us. If we attempt to choose our own path, we can’t reach God’s gates – only man’s.
    God’s commands will not change, and relying on them can lead us to Him.

    New favorite song: Pieces – Red

     
  • acleveland 2:18 pm on August 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    terminado 

     
  • acleveland 9:06 pm on August 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    music OD 

    Been thinking a lot today. You know what?
    I don’t serve a God who allows the world to determine what is hopeless. He is more powerful than that, and He is in control. I don’t have the authority to try and overpower God’s word. Sometimes, I’ll start deeming causes as pointless or purposeless. Who am I to decide that? If GOD says there is hope, then I have no right to claim otherwise. My opinions are irrelevant to the concrete truth of God. I don’t know more than Him, and it’s not my place to contradict what He has proclaimed.

    I went running today in the humid, disgusting heat. There was not enough water in my system, and too much sun in the sky. I didn’t pace myself, and therefore ran too far, too fast. Thoughts and emotion rampaged as music streamed through my headphones. The more I thought, the faster I ran. The faster I ran, the more frenzied I got. The more frenzied I got, the less I wanted to quit. But, eventually, I had to – because I couldn’t even move. I had gone a couple of miles at almost full speed, and it took too much of a toll on my body. I sat down on the curb and felt dizzy.
    Sometimes, we get too caught up in the whirlwind. We take on too much when we’re not prepared. My blinders were on; I saw nothing except the road ahead of me and what was going through my own head. I didn’t take into account my need for water or air. Sometimes, life is the same way. It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to recover.

    Here’s what I’ve been listening to all day.
    The ALBUM: Conquering the Fear of Flight – Wavorly
    The ALBUM: Crash – Decyfer Down
    The SONG: Secrets and Regrets – Pillar

     
  • acleveland 9:39 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    fear of falling 

    Spanish homework only took about three hours!
    PreCal homework only took about one hour!
    Anatomy/Physiology homework only took about 45 minutes!

    I’m climbing a mountain. After heaving myself forward, I have gained an inch of height. Confidence bursts wide open, ripping insecurity apart at the seams. It was only an inch, but it was a strenuous journey to get this far. I am independent; I can do this by myself. Alone, I can overcome any obstacles that arise, any cracks in the ice, any thundering storms.
    Adrenaline rushes like a fountain as I plan my upcoming trek. Nothing will get in my way. No fear, no reliance, no… I looked down.
    I am too high. It’s hard to breathe here, there is not enough oxygen. I can’t go any further, because each step makes for a harder crash. If I keep climbing, it will hurt worse when I fall. My foot is slipping, and someone offers me their hand. But no – I can’t look weak! I can fix this – I’ll grasp that handhold, and I’ll adjust…
    I tumble, and disappointment topples after me.

     Maybe trying to be independent is the biggest sign of weakness. It seems like an unwillingness and a fear to admit that we alone are smaller than the world. It takes courage to understand that we can’t climb mountains alone, no matter how hard we try. When you look down and see how far you’ve come, don’t assume that a downfall is inevitable. Don’t settle for average just because you’re afraid of missing exceptional. Progress can’t be made when you’re too afraid of falling. We’re going to mess up, but disappointment can’t keep us from trying again.
    Easier said than done, I know. Goodnight, finally. LONG DAY..

    New favorite ALBUM: The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

     
  • acleveland 4:03 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    but the same fight 

     
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