Social Insurance

-“Are you having trouble getting along with your peers?
“Do you struggle with constant anger from everyone around you?
“We’ve got the antidote!
“Every time you feel like you might have done something wrong, simply say ‘Sorry!'”
For more information call 888-ImSorry-

-“Sorry.” I say as I squeeze through the crowded subway.
“Oh, sorry.”
“Sorry.”
“Excuse me.”
“Sorry.”-

-“Sorr-ee!” I yell at my brother who’s acting like me taking an extra five minutes on my make up is such a big deal.
“Yeah, right. Now I’ll be late.” He states. He looks down dejected.
“Apologize to your brother.” My mom commands
“I did!” Is my retort.
My mother glares at me.
“Sorry.” I grumble.-

-“I’m so sorry!” I cry, “I honestly didn’t mean to!”
“Like you didn’t know that was my backpack, right there!” My friend shouts. “All my stuff was in there!”
I look down at the soaked backpack floating down the stream.
I try again. “I really didn’t mean to-”
“Whatever.” She says, and walks away.-

-“I’m sorry God.” I pray from my knees, “I’m so sorry for everything I’ve done. I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”-

I’m sorry.
Two words that can mean everything, nothing, or anything in between. We have corrupted a word born from such regal beginnings. They were made to mean so much, but we have made them nothing. We have made them an insurance for our social standing, for relationships, and for convenience. What have we done? I guess the only way to save us is to turn around and say
I’m sorry.

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Please, laugh more

Your laughter is sweet,
like candy,
but for my ears.
When you’re amused
And your eyes are laughing too
I’m glad to be here,
To witness your joy.

You’re focused:
Paying attention to only the loudest
Or most distracting
Thing in the room.
Staring straight ahead
Until something parts your lips
And sets your laughter free.

For anything anyone in the room says
You have an answer.
Or an opinion at least.
You have a voice
And confidence in your words.

You’re comfortable,
Here, now,
With these people surrounding you.
They have the ability to make you laugh.
And I love it.
Your laughing makes me laugh;
It makes me happy.
So, please,
Laugh more.
I love it.

Foolish, Laughable Grief.

I see you.
I’ve looked and wondered what I’d find.
I still don’t know.
There’s so much more to see.

The teacher just yelled at you.
But you’re sitting there.
Like it doesn’t bother you.
You’re trying to conceal it,
But you face gives it away.
It shocked you.
And you almost wish you were dead.
Though it wouldn’t solve anything.
Your face clouded all emotions.
“Fine. If they don’t care,
So be it. Nither do I.”

But I think you did care.
Deep down inside
You wanted to yell back,
You wanted to protect your dignity,
Tell them, they couldn’t hurt you,
No one could.
But you were hurt.
You didn’t want to admit it.
But you felt broken.
As if…
They didn’t care.

The teacher,
They cared,
They regretted it as soon as they did it.
They wished they could take it back.
But it was gone.
Done, and gone.
Maybe they tried to make amends.
I forgot about it once the bell rang.
I hope everyone else did too.
You deserved silence.

All you were doing was teasing me.
I didn’t mind.
Sure I showed a display of “emotions”
All lined up to take their turn
At failingly trying to convince you to stop.
But I didn’t really mind.
I was fine with it.
Maybe even enjoyed it.

But I’m sorry.
Even if it wasn’t intentional.
I’m sorry,
For bringing this upon you
When I could have avoided the clash.
I hope you can forgive me.
I couldn’t imagine a relationship,
Seared because I wanted my whale back.

I think you’ve forgotten though.
I think the teacher has too.
Does that make me the one,
The only one, who remembers?
I guess that makes me the keeper,
Who holds the responsibility of forgiveness.
Forgiveness and memory.
Lost to all but me.
Next time though, remember.
So we can look back and laugh together at our foolishness.

The Debtors game.

Three down,
Presumably dead with dresses sprawled out around them,
Eight to go.
With skirts flapping wildly out around them.
We had casualties too.
Four down,
All of their weapons, thrown dramatically away from them,
Though our doctor was quickly gathering them up and whispering the magic words,
“Get up! I healed you!”
Four up,
Using the advantage of their flexible breeches and dodging like acrobats,
Five if you count me, in my turquoise frock.

“Which side are you on? You better choose quick or I’ll shoot you through the heart!”
I looked towards the boy next to me,
His gun was pointed towards my stomach,
But that didn’t make the threat any less real.
I must not have let the message get to my mind,
Because I had to repeat it to myself.
Eternal shame by my peers?
Or death by Nerf gun?
I chose shame, of course, what choice did he leave me?
I told him that and he handed me a gun,
I took it greedily, wanting to be one of the lucky ones to shoot down two.
I took aim, fired and hit my mark.
I moved on to the next target, calling myself “Sniper.”

I had used my credit card, and gone over the limit.
My imaginary life was spared.
But it was my turn now, to make him bow down.

Finally, I got the chance,
It happened when it was 20-19
This free throw would win the game for me.
The gym was quiet, the invisible crowed silent in the suspense.
I looked at him,
He knew I would make it, but he was ready for the rebound,
Arms out, knees bent, on his toes.
I thought for a moment, then threw the ball,
I didn’t bother disguising my on-purpose-miss,
I sent it far right.
He grabbed the rebound, shot and won the game.
When I congratulated him, he scowled,
Muttering I should have taken the shot.
I just smiled, knowing I had shoved him to the corner of debt.

Since time wouldn’t stop, we grew up.
Reality forcing our situations to turn serious.
At least, trying to.

After school I was ready for the ball game,
School spirit shirt on, my hair filled with our team colors,
But I forgot to ask my parents about the entry fee.
My hair colors would just have to wait.
Unless… No, I couldn’t. But…
Yeah, he had five dollars, and no, he didn’t want the change.
Of course.
I took the money and cheered numbly for my friends,
My thoughts fixed on paying him back, to even the score.
But he had thrust the turn into my hands,
Giving me a challenge to the death,
And I accepted.
But that was needless,
We had come to that agreement when he spared my imaginary life.

He got a girlfriend, I got a boy friend.
I’m sure his girlfriend was jealous.
I’m sure my boyfriend almost gave up on me.

This is the part where humanity couldn’t force us to mature.
On the top step I looked down the pipe at my target,
A marshmallow to the neck would end it.
Instead I hit his arm,
He grabbed  it with a yelp, turning to see the offender.
When he saw me he took quick aim and blew,
I dodged, the marshmallow grazing my braid.
I ran, shooting at him again on my way out.
I barely got away,
But not before replenishing his empty stock of marshmallows.

We continued like this,
Taking turns giving each other “the turn.”
“Humbling” ourselves far enough to give the other an “advantage.”

It became awkward,
People insisted we would be a good couple,
Us halfheartedly agreeing, but still disagreeing enough to refuse.
When he asked, I was shocked.
I thought he had understood that this wasn’t going to happen.
I asked him why, to which he replied “Why not?”
I didn’t know.
Until he followed it up with,
“Wait no, we must discuss this in the Fort of Towering Blankets,
At the triangular table with lady Marshmallow and sir Hoop.”
Then I decided it must be a yes,
Because, as it was evident,
No one else understood the necessity of bringing our problems before lord and lady Nerf.

 

None of this actually happened to me, it would be cool, but it is non-existent beyond this page and my imagination. If this has happened to you, that’s awesome. Enjoy!

To keep my sister from going insane.

In case you didn’t know this about me, I sing all the time. Not necessarily songs, just words that come to my head. Today, it happened to be about quesadillas. I had my tortilla ready, I had some cheese and the skillet was there, but my mom’s bread was in the way. So I – very patiently- waited for her to put it in the oven. By the way, my siblings hate it when I start singing my solos on how I hate washing the dishes, how annoying washing my clothes is and why my mom should do it (all the reasons circle around laziness), and the many other things I do and feel like singing about. They don’t like it when I sing along to real songs either.

Back to the point, I was making a quesadilla and while I was waiting for the cheese to melt, I started singing. My brothers are gone at the moment, they’re watching a softball game in which, some of my awesome classmates are playing. Then I sat down on the couch and started eating it, singing in between bites, while my sister (tried) to play the piano. (she’s actually pretty good.) She got mad and glared at me. That’s when I decided to shut up and write about it instead of sing. This post had no point to it by the way. I just decided to keep my sister from going insane.

My Deepest Desire

Once I used to think the phrase
“Used by God”
Was a little extreme.
You hear people all the time now,
Saying they aren’t going to let anyone use them.
Then, in church people are saying they want God to use them.
It’s all so confusing.
Until God decides to show you why they say that.

Something happened at my school.
I still don’t know what.
But I could tell this one kid wasn’t into it that day.
Something had happened and he was feeling
In
The
Dumps.
Some kids were saying stuff to him,
You could tell he didn’t want to tolerate it.
At least, not today.

So I wrote him a letter.
I didn’t even know if he would care about it.
But I decided I would at least try.

For my eighth grade graduation,
(I won’t spoil too much)
Or, the baccalaureate part at least,
I’m supposed to know what I think one of my gifts is.
I think I’ll pick words.
Because that’s one of the best things God gave me.
The ability to communicate,
And help others.

I gave him the note.
Told him if he didn’t feel like it,
He didn’t have to read it.
It was written to help.
If he thought it wouldn’t help, that was his call.

The next day he said thanks.
He gave me the note back.
I was a little disappointed.
But at the bottom he had written something.

He said:
“Thank you”
He couldn’t have said anything better.
He said thank you.
And at that moment,
I knew why people wanted to be used by God.
Because,
Being a part of the Creator’s plan,
The most complex, majestic, beautiful plan of all,
Is an amazing feeling.
And when, along with it, you brought someone else some joy?
The feeling gets better.
If that’s possible.
And now,
I want it again.

I want to be
Used By God.

Forever Seems Like a Long Time

You said you’d love me forever,
Take care of me and feed me,
You said you wouldn’t leave me,
And I believed you.
I had right to,
You gave me every reason.
You loved me, cared for me, and fed me,
You gave me hope.

But the hard times come in every story,
Where the fairy tale seems to end
And the drama starts,
I get upset, storm off, or try to ignore you.
By now I’ve made up my mind.
I’m done with you and that’s that.

Though somehow, five minutes later,
I’m running back with some exiting news,
You make me smile,
Or I have a crazy plan that might just work,

And you’re forgiven.

Not by words, an apology,
Or carefully displayed feelings.
You’re forgiven,

Because it didn’t take me longer then five minutes
To decide that I needed you for my forever.

I shoved my pride under the bench,
And pulled out humility.

Because really,
It wasn’t you who needed forgiven but me.
And I didn’t come back to forgive you,
I came back because I needed you.

It was then I decided that I’d take our fairy tale,
I’d  take it and keep it forever.

 

Music and God

I was listening to a song (not of my choice) on the radio, a while back, and it kept repeating this line;

“I need your love, I need your love, I need your loooove!”

“I need your love, I need your love, I need your loooove!”

“I need your love, I need your love, I need your loooove!”

I started thinking about how it was so sad that I could just about be 99% sure this guy was talking to/about his girlfriend. Just because it was on the radio. Now read the lines above again but this time think as if they were directed to God. It could so easily be converted to a worship song for God but instead this guy decided to worship his girlfriend. Many use the word love way to often in life. Half the time they won’t even mean it. So many songs that teens listen to now are worshiping something….. usually their girlfriend/boyfriend.  I’m not saying it’s bad to listen to these songs, but I think we need to push just a little more to get God out there. I know we can’t force others to do anything, but what’s going to happen if we only do it in our own little area? Lots of people are doing things for God, teaching, preaching, giving etc. But who doesn’t know about that church down the road? Who, in this country, doesn’t know that people worship God, and “live better because of it?” What we need are people living for God. You can preach and teach while living for God, but it can’t just be at work. Do it at home and with friends too. Next time you’re in Walmart, I challenge you to help as many people as you can and tell me the number. Even if it’s zero (unless there was no one that needed help, which I would doubt). I’ll do it too. Because helping someone do one tiny ity-bity thing could change their whole life. Maybe you’ll preach to the cashier! But do it. Even a sheepish one can do something. One person can do a lot.

Wounds

Some of you know that before school let out I had a collision with a baseball bat. It only broke open my eyebrow and it wasn’t that bad. But it bled. A lot. It freaked my mom out a little (well more than that) but I wasn’t too worried. Then just this week my sister, Avery, cut her foot on some tin. Luckily, the camp nurse was close by and he cleaned her up.  At first we thought she had cut three toes but then it looked like just two (We later figured out it was only one). But it bled. A lot. A very surprising amount for a foot wound. We had to track my mom down but we found her. It was kind of depressing that it took longer for my mom to get to Avery’s wound then mine because Avery’s the youngest and a mommies girl all ’round. At first Avery was fine, but then the realization of what had happened sunk in and she collapsed. She needed her mommy.

Sometimes we’re like my sister, just not physically.  Sometimes it’s on the inside and nothing seems to be able to fix it. And it bleeds. A lot. sometimes we bleed stuff we don’t want to. But it keeps coming. Eventually it will clot over but then pressure gets put on that spot in your life and it breaks open. Then it bleeds more. Until it heals it will always be a a pain, sometimes distant, others not. Some people grow up knowing a cure for this wound, others don’t. I did. It can be really hard to cure. Mostly it depends on our wound. How deep we let it get, if we let it get infected, or whatever our situation is. But really, it’s only a few steps. Let it sink in. Accept that what happened, happened. Soon after that you’re going to need your mommy. I know some people are big kids and don’t need their mom to kiss it and make it better. But your “mommy” doesn’t have to be the woman who raised you. It might be a close friend or a family member, it might be your role model. But those are more like aunts and uncles. Because there’s someone else who’s willing to step in and be that “mommy.” It’s God! For some it’s hard to accept that only “mommy” can kiss it and make it feel better. But really that’s what it is. Only God can take that pain away from you. The most this world can do is hide it under a Band-Aid.

I know this can be really hard, but the sooner you uncover it and let God kiss it, the easier it is. God made you and, just like your mommy, he only wants the best for you.

For Girls

I wrote this for a girl in my class who said I was pretty. I said she was too but like many girls she disagreed with me. I knew there was no use trying to convince her so I wrote this and emailed it to her:

You are pretty. Very pretty. Beautiful! After you complemented me I looked at your face and thought how pretty your face was. I don’t know, it was something about your freckles. AND you’re skinny and fit. My dad asked someone if you could run and he said “Yea she can run, She fly’s!” Just learn to respect that girl you are. She’s Beautiful.

The part I like most is the last part, “Just learn to respect that girl you are. She’s Beautiful.” So many girls need to know this. They want to think they’re pretty, but they’re afraid they’re not good enough for the world. My parents have blessed me. Not only am I pretty, I know I’m pretty. I’m not trying to be vain but when you know you’re pretty and you know God knows you’re pretty, you don’t have to worry about presenting yourself to the world.

After all, the world doesn’t always judge fairly.