Tales of Old

Tales of old so many times told,

You are not alone,

You’re worth more than gold.

To the King.

 Of Sparrows.

Tales of old, so many times told,

He rested on the seventh.

And daughter, someday, you will rise,

and break the bread in Heaven.

So, watch your mouth.

Tales of old, so many times told,

Your skin is made –

The Devil’s mascarade.

Kill it today.

Escape the imps of Hades.

Feasting on your soul.

Tales of old, so many times told,

Soon, you’ll make it home.

Your voice made beautiful.

Tales of old, so many times told,

They start to sound like truth.

We carve them on our graves,

And decompose in soup.

Once, I was a worm.

Tales of old, so many times told,

My Redeemer liveth.

He will come,

Raging Love,

I’ll stand among the millions.

Tale today, I fail today.

Old stories,

Growing cold.

What lies?

Wet eyes.

Fake.

Tale today, I love the way,

Death is the New Heaven.

Escape.

yellow

Yellow ghost haunting up my phone,

Why’d ya’ have to be her favorite color?

No one flinches at your games,

But, I still jump and run for cover.

When she sees green, in the trees,

You know she’ll never think of me.

But sweaters, honey, sunrays in Kentucky,

Wake my heart in dreams.

To Converse shoes and twenty-two.

You bundled to the brim.

Little Golden house built just for you,

And acoustic wedding hymns.

The color yellow sings your name, babe.

And it’s my favorite song.

Ya know,

Love’s the only insanity, no one can talk you out of.

God loved me once, and so did you.

Until the grace fell out.

The moon I gave you burned too blue,

You had to tear it down.

So young, of me to think,

“I could be what you wanted”.

To be your Yellow, babe;

It was all I ever wanted.

But, Lonely, pain, and deep self-hate

Only intensifies.

The ache.

For Converse shoes and twenty-two.

You bundled to the brim.

Little Golden house built just for you,

And acoustic wedding hymns.

The color yellow sings your name, babe.

And it’s my favorite song.

Ya know,

Love’s the only insanity, no one can talk you out of.

Love’s the only insanity, no one can talk you out of.

Happy “Here”

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“Christians should be the happiest people on the face of the earth… we know where we are going!”

How many times have I heard that sentence rattled off by a suit and tie wielding leather-bound pages?

To say I’ve lost count would be an understatement.

“Blessed assurance”… “Certain ends”…. “Comfort in the chaos”.

Whatever you want to call it, Christ’s gift of eternal life is a high-end commodity for our lowly race of beggars.

It is such a commodity in fact, that it makes the entirety of the rest of our lives completely irrelevant.

Because there is no “messy middle” that compares to the glory of an eternity in Heaven with Christ.

Faithful Christians then, always rejoice.

Faithful Christians pull their shit together and sing of God’s goodness no matter what evils befall them.

Faithful Christians are not to fear even death itself.

And boy, did I ever want to be a faithful Christian…

At the age of 16, in reference to being terrified of failing my driver’s ed. test, I wrote:

“I didn’t want to pray a selfish prayer by asking God to help me pass, so I simply asked the LORD to help me handle every failure as a Christian should. Not by crying or by being angry, but by smiling and saying “I’ll just have to try again”.

It seems silly to me now that I thought the great and mighty God of the entire universe had a very vested interest in whether or not I passed my little test and in how I would handle not passing.

But, especially as a teenager, there was something addictive about the idea that every single last minutiae of my life not only mattered to someone, but that those minutiae were also preparing me for my “certain end” in Christ.

Talk about rude awakenings!

Nowadays, people keep asking me how I got “here”.

“Here” meaning “fallen off the straight and narrow” and “given over to my own evil desires” after being such a “light”.

“Here” meaning “spiritual, non-religious, and Agnostic”.

The truth is though, that I’m still asking myself the exact same thing.

Because the story can only be told in many pieces.

Pieces taken from little moments, from little fractures, from little lies, from little truths…

Pieces that sliced my palms and stitched up the wounds.

One of those pieces is called “happiness as faithfulness”.

In my mind, and in the minds of my community at the time, the day my hopelessness stole my joy was the day I betrayed the gift of Christ.

Losing my joy meant that, unlike my drivers’ ed. test, I had failed.

Because Christ is greater than grief.

If you keep your eyes on Christ, then pain should hold no power over your mind, your heart, or your body.

What does it matter how much pain you are in as long as you know your certain end?

How great can your suffering be when Christ’s and His martyrs’ were all the greater?

It is clear to me now the harm in these ideas.

Because no matter what, the blame would always be placed on my shoulders.

If I did not have joy, it was because I was not faithful.

If I did not feel comfort, it was because I did not pray earnestly enough.

If I did not have faith, it was because I didn’t meditate fervently on the scriptures day and night.

Even the fact that I had pain in the first place was my fault because I let something have a greater space in my heart than God.

When you’re a faithful Christian, there is no scenario in which the sinner is not in the wrong.

Because God and all of the ideas that He supposedly endorses, are perfect, righteous, and kind.

If He did not help me, it was because I did not deserve help.

Thanks to all of these extremely useful ideas about the world, I entered therapy nine months ago believing whole-heartedly not only that I was going to Hell, but also that I deserved to go there.

Although! I will say that God’s Hell didn’t scare me quite as much as it used to at that point because I had already been through my own.

I feel so sad for myself that, that was my reality.

Because I most definitely do not deserve to go to Hell.

I am a kind, compassionate, peaceful, and understanding person.

I would do anything for my friends and I have empathy for those people who have hurt me and for those I disagree with.

I am a 24-year-old young woman who loves fitness, writing, music, and nature.

I’m a vegetarian who’s been known to catch and release spiders instead of kill them.

I am funny, I am driven, and I am a good listener.

If there is a God out there who thinks I deserve Hell, then what does that say about Him?

Many of my friends are praying for my soul to this day, pleading with God that I would come back to my faith.

But, I am so much happier “here”.

I’m a better person now.

I’m stronger now.

I don’t want to go back to something that was making me so miserable.

I endured the pressure of it for 9 years of my life and I don’t see why anyone would wish that upon me again.

I may not know where I’m going anymore, but at least I know I’ll be free on my way there.

And that makes me feel whole.

 

There’s No “Right” Way to be Fit

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There’s no right way to be fit!

It’s true!

There are a million ways to be “fit” these days!

No one way to fitness is superior to any of the others.

And that’s because everyone has a unique body and everyone has different goals.

What works for one person, may not work for another.

And that’s honestly a beautiful thing.

Culture has a lot to do with shaping what the most popular way to work out is at any given time.

For example, back in the 80’s it was all about those cheesy Jazzercise videos! XD

Today, culture has us believing that the only way to be fit is to go to the gym and lift weights like a fiend.

But, this message couldn’t be further from the truth.

I learned this the hard way.

As much as I have absolutely despised living with chronic pain from an injury, it has done a lot for my perspective.

There was a period of time on my fitness journey when I had no choice but to stop all but very light activity.

I went from lifting and doing HIIT 6 days a week at the gym along with 4 days a week of practicing two different martial arts, to struggling to walk more than 5 minutes on a treadmill.

It was tough having to give up the things that I loved to do. But, my mindset around these necessary changes made an already upsetting situation, all the more difficult.

Thoughts like “If I’m not lifting, then it’s not really a workout” and “I’m not as fit as I used to be”, became the norm.

Looking back, that’s honestly a self-sabotaging outlook. Because it’s not that I wasn’t taking care of my body, it’s that I was taking care of it differently.

And it’s not that I wasn’t as fit as I used to be, it’s that I was working on a different kind of “fitness”.

The whole point of fitness is to enhance your life by improving your health, increasing your energy levels, and minimizing your pain while maximizing the things you can do.

The moment that your “fitness” begins to take away from your life and your happiness is the moment it stops being “fitness”.

So, if you ever find that you’re killing yourself to maintain a lifestyle and a routine, then it’s probably time to re- evaluate your goals.

Are you working out the way that you are because it’s what works best for YOU as you stand NOW, or are you just doing it because of an outside cultural expectation?

There is more to fitness than brute strength. To give you some ideas, you can work on things like:

-Form

-Explosiveness

-Endurance

-Flexibility

-Mobility

-Stability

-Balance

-Coordination

-Mind-body connection

– Posture

– Correcting Imbalances

The possibilities are completely infinite.

So!

So what if you hate the gym?

So what if you can’t lift as heavy as they can?

So what if you can’t keep up with those complicated looking Instagram workouts?

You can still be working on your fitness.

Whether it’s committing to walk for 30 minutes every day, or squeezing in some yoga on your lunch break, or taking a workout class.

All of your efforts are valid and equal on the journey to maintaining your health and enhancing your life.

Do something that you love, that you can stick with, and that makes you feel good!

Heck, maybe you’re even into some exercise kink like Jazzercise! XD

Or, if you’re NOT and you WANT to be, check out this Jazzercise compilation I found to get your feet wet!

Keep it Kinky y’all! There’s not just one way to work out.

 

So, What’s YOUR Super Power?

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“You are a woman; that is your superpower.” –Unknown

Happy International Women’s Day everyone!

This is honestly the perfect occasion for the re-launching my blog!

This day means so many things to so many different people…

I’m thinking of the women all over the world who are viewed as second-class citizens while still holding all of society squarely on their shoulders.

I’m thinking of any and every woman who has ever been made to feel like she needs to play it small.

Of the women who work so hard to minimize themselves for the sake of a culture that tells them women are to be skinny, quiet, and passive.

I’m thinking of the little girls who have wild, untamable, heart pounding dreams and vision for their communities who may never be given the education or the opportunity to make those dreams happen.

On this day, it is important I think, to reflect on my own privilege.

Being a white woman in North America, I have nearly endless opportunity for the kind of growth, success, and dream chasing that many women simply do not have.

I think on and acknowledge my privilege with the resolve not to waste it by playing small.

I have the unique ability to step fully into my womanhood and to use my feminine powers for the betterment of others.

The same is true for any woman who has access to this blog.

That ability is no small thing.

I have big dreams today.

I want to be a coach.

I want to create.

I want to travel and volunteer.

I want to build a life and a love that is the embodiment of who I am as a person.

I sit here in my settled little suburbia and I wonder, “How will I ever stop living a life I call “ordinary”?

And I know the answer in the very next breath- I will stop living in the ordinary when I begin to show up and live fully as the woman that I am without reserve.

That means taking action.

That means allowing for clumsiness and awkward phases.

That means using failure as a stepping-stone and not as a reason to quit.

I hope each of us will reflect on our dreams and opportunities today and begin to rise to the occasion that they warrant.

This was my first step to unlocking my superpower.

What will yours be?

Tell me about it in the comments!

If you need some inspiration, check out this link I’ve provided featuring 100 Quotes for International Women’s Day!

 

Some Dark November

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Why did you have to break the vow that I made?

Born again they say.

“You must be born again”.

I was.

Twice.

The first for childlike faith.

The second for naïve visions of hands holding hands.

There was a day when I was baptized in the usual way…

With water on a Sunday.

The day I remember most though,

Is some dark November.

In a strange light, and covered in bedbug bites.

Some dark November,

I was born again. Twice.

I sold my soul to the quivers of my body.

To the way I heard someone screaming,

Far away, but embodied in choking chest.

I sold my soul to feverish ache.

To insomniatic rage.

To how carpet tastes like nothing but coarsens the cheeks.

I was baptized in that unusual way.

Wonderment crucified beneath the scathing hot rivers I cried that night.

Raised to walk in newness of life…

And it’s still the newest life, I don’t know how to live.

The newest life I never wanted.

Spitting image of this unfamiliar family…

Singing for the outside our dearest song-

“Never be born again twice”…

“No, never be born again twice”.

Intimacy

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Rush like August comes and goes.
Leaves on trees never stood a chance.
The inherent flaw, he dances with it.
Like, the way one such Pan triumphs with every swing of arrogant dagger.
Like, he knows it makes me want him more.
Hush now August, stay.
Or else, I should call shotgun.
If only the incorporeal could lift the heavy burden of a body…
Then I should know him truly.
I hope that when I die,
I become the essence of Summer’s breath.
To be taken in by the ground.
Giving life to the stolen moments of little flowers.
To be breathed and released again and again by the newborn creatures of steady spring.
By children laughing.
I will be the music of their lungs.
I want to be exhaled by youthful, pounding chests…
Wrapped around the bodies of solstice lovers,
Dancing in the warmth between.
All the while being intertwined with that one spirit of creation,
from which my own body kept me prisoner all the years of my life.
That one whose leaving rushes, and I mind it.
But, he knows I’m one for tragedy.
He knows I’m one for romance.
The tale will spin, until that day I take my last breath of him and my first within him.

Ghost Girl

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Here it comes again.

An emptiness, a heaviness, all at the same time.

My fingers are bloody from the knowing – what’s beneath the surface.

I hold my breath.

I hold it for as long as I can.

Maybe I just won’t take another one… and this won’t have to come.

But it comes, gasping.

And that’s when I know I’ve lost again, that’s when it takes me.

There’s no saving in that moment.

For hours (who knows how many this time), the screams thunder in my throat and echo in my ringing ears.

Somehow, I’m the only one who ever hears.

Who could hear the cries of the dead?

Not one hears the Ghost Girl.

It doesn’t matter how it happened now.

The trigger was just a trigger;

it’s the bullets that tear through flesh.

Here I remember her-

Alive Girl.

And my nails dig deeper into my heaving sides.

She had a life…

Dreams even.

Laughter…

Friends even.

Hope…

Ghosts have a death.

Ghosts have a haunting.

Ghosts are souls without a home.

And all of the Alives,

Live on in apathy towards things dead.

Now begins the shaking, and I choke on aching lungs.

Maybe, I’ll just stop breathing now…

But I remember this story I heard once,

Of a King.

Everyone knows the story.

Of the King they crucified dead.

And laying here, clenched in tomb of sorrows,

I don’t know if I believe it, but I know that it is true-

He didn’t stay dead.

Resurrection!

He didn’t stay dead.

Not His body, not His Ghost.

A Ghost who makes More Alive.

A Ghost with an Awakening.

A Ghost with bountiful dwellings.

How can this be?

I press my fingertips deep into the pulsating of my wrist.
And I feel her-

More Alive Girl.

Because Ghost speaks to ghost.

Ghost breathes for ghost.

And More Alive sounds so much better than Alive ever could.

It’s this moment.

When there’s something about the Resurrection that speaks to the death in me.

 

 

John 11: 25-26- Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 

Tattoo

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Time heals all?

Not of this sort…

 

You.

 

The only eternity that matters anymore.

 

I danced with a needle,

 

You took up a pen.

 

You would choose paper, but I would choose…

 

SKIN.

 

Forever.

“What a fool!” “What a fool!”

 

I cried to the Savior.

“Wash me clean!”

 

But this was no stain like I had at thirteen…

 

Scarred.

 

Needle scraped skin of insides unwritten,

 

How could I not know you’d forsake my “Forgiven”?

 

Oh how I’ve steel-scrubbed my heart-skin,

 

Just striving to wash you away.

 

And turning my face from the canvas,

 

Trying to remember it blank.

 

But on and on you are with me,

 

Long after the needle has scathed,

 

For I would choose skin and you would choose…

 

Paper.

 

On paper you penciled me in.

 

To-do today,

DONE tomorrow.

 

If you etch within margins, you can skip the sorrow.

 

You.

 

Bored like a child.

Blind to the value.

Scared of a pinprick.

Me.

 

Thrilled.

 

Longing to learn.

 

Beholding priceless treasure.

 

Committed to the art,

 

Yes! Even though it burned.

 

And fuck, I regret you.

 

I finally do.

 

My killer, my friend.

 

My eternal tattoo.

To: The First Person Who Broke My Heart

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It’s me again.

I know I keep popping back up like it’s not over… I’m sorry about that. Truly.

Because I don’t want to hurt you any more than I already have. The problem is, I don’t know what hurt you.

I know your favorite numbers are 3, 5, and 8. And I know corn makes you gag even though your favorite color is yellow.

I know you don’t brush your teeth in the shower and that acoustic pop rock is your jam.

I know the names of all your pets.

I know that cookie dough ice cream is your go-to after a rough week.

Your car has a funny, yet accurate name.

I know you think you were born in the way wrong decade.

You love pretty sundresses, but hardly ever actually wear them cuz you work a lot and your style hasn’t changed since high school.

Fall is your favorite season.

I know you have a country voice and that you can’t stand it when people talk around their teeth.

I could go on.

I know a lot.

But I don’t know what hurt you.

I know there were misunderstandings. I know that words I said out of concern for something I wanted to protect were taken the wrong way.

I know we are different.

I also know that we are similar.

But I don’t know what hurt you.

What did I say that hurt you so badly?

Because I never want to say it again.

What did I imply that wrecked your heart?

Because I never want to presume it for the rest of my life.

But I know you don’t believe in second chances anymore.

One was all I got.

And I ruined it without even knowing that I was.

I watched as other people got their second chance, but mine is never coming.

And so I’m forced to wonder what I did that hurt you so badly.

So badly that you don’t want to help me fix it.

I don’t know what hurt you.

But I know what hurt me.

We used to talk about heartbreak a lot.

About yours mostly because my heart had maybe one scratch.

We talked about how the people you dated changed you. About how friends you chose a thousand times over didn’t choose you back.

And somewhere in my ridiculously arrogant, young mind I thought I could prove you wrong about people. I thought I could be the person who refused to give up on you and who would show you that sometimes people stay.

Never once did I imagine that it would be you who proved me wrong.

And I hate that you have to be that person for me. I wish that it could have been someone else. Someone a little less loveable. Someone a little less awesome. But it has to be you because that’s the only way to learn this lesson.

People leave.

No matter how much you love them, no matter how hard you’d fight for them, no matter how loyal you are, people leave.

And now that I know what you know, I understand you so much better.

You were right all along.

People suck.

I lost so much more than you when you left.

I lost my mind. I lost my heart. I lost everything good and hopeful that was left in me.

I lost two people that day.

But I continued to try and prove you wrong.

I never stopped snapping you. I never stopped writing you. I made videos. So many videos. I just never sent them.

I prayed for you until I couldn’t pray anymore.

And I never stopped falling apart.

Bursting into tears in the middle of the day, screaming in my car, getting rug burn on my face from hours spent dry heaving on the floor. Chewing every finger bloody and punching everything I could find, and learning how to swear because I had to.

I had to swear because no other words came close to releasing how I felt.

Everything I believed about the world, about myself, about God, about people, about friendship, about loyalty… it all vanished. And I’ve had to try and build new beliefs to replace them.

It’s been 166 days.

And yet I’m no better than the night of the fight.

Hearts aren’t as fixable as glass I guess.

I’m not the person you knew anymore.

But I’m glad you’ll remember me that way.

The way I used to be.

The heart-wide open girl who wanted to be your friend. The one who wasn’t afraid to invest and love without limit.

I always flashback to the last day we saw each other. My favorite day.

We were walking by the water and you asked me completely jokingly-

“So, if I fell in, would you jump in and rescue me?”

And without hesitation I said-

“Yes! Absolutely!”

And we laughed about it.

I’m sorry I couldn’t rescue you.

A little later I had to leave, but I was so sure I would see you again.

You hugged me pretty hard but I didn’t really squeeze back because I thought I’d see you again soon.

I had no idea it was gonna be the last time. And I always wish I had squeezed harder.

If I thought it would help, I would tell you that the day I sent those messages is my biggest regret. Actually, it’s the only regret I have in life at all.

I’ve done everything I could possibly think of to make it all right again. Because I don’t want to lose you.

But I’m not going to pop back up anymore. Because for whatever reason, losing me made you happy.

This is a pain I didn’t know existed, but if me being in pain is the price to pay for you being happy, and free, and the best you that you can be, then I’m more than happy to pay it.

You’re marked on my life for forever.

Maybe you’re angry with me and maybe you call me crazy Katelyn lol!

But I laugh and smile when I think about you, right before the tears come anyway.

There’s nothing I don’t feel completely, deeply, overwhelmingly.

What seems dramatic to some people is just how I experience the world.

So I’m sorry if it’s all too much.

I’m sorry if anyone actually reads this and isn’t quite fond of some of the things contained therein.

I am honest if I’m nothing else.

And someone once told me that sometimes things just need to be written, even if no one ever sees it. ❤

You showed me so much.

And sometimes I want to be able to wish you away.

I want to be able to boldly say “I wish we had never met!”

But I could never say that because whoever gets out of this life without knowing you really needed to improve upon their bucket list.

I hope that I showed you something too. Even if it’s just one thing. I hope that you’re better for knowing me than if you had never met me.

Goodbye my friend.

I wish you every good thing there is in this life.

From: Katelyn