I’m afraid this is farewell.

Hello my dear friends.

It’s been so long since I last posted on this blog, and for that I do apologize.

Since I last posted, I graduated from high school, traveled to Europe for two weeks, and I’ve spent the past month as a student at the University of Florida. (: Things have never been better, but I decided that it was time for me to move on to something new in the blogosphere.

I’ll always be an introvert, and I’ll always have things I want to write about, but I won’t always be an introverted teen. So I’ve started writing (pretty regularly) on a new blog, It’s a Story.

This is a blog that I’ll hopefully build on when I begin my freelance career. So if you enjoy what I write or have any thoughts of your own that you would like to share, please feel free to follow me there.

Love,

Jaime

July 24, 2014 By Leave a Comment
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Growing Up.

Just a quick update:

On Friday, I was accepted into the University of Florida. Then on Saturday, one of my best friends and I signed a lease for an apartment.

AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

And as it turns out, my friend and I were accepted for the 2014 summer term, so we’ll be leaving home a month and a half earlier than expected.

I’ll be able to get used to the campus without all of the students, get some credit hours out of the way, take the summer classes required by the State of Florida, and hopefully make some friends before the fall semester begins. The only downside is not getting as much time with my family before I leave.

I’m growing up a whole lot faster than I expected to, but I am SO excited.

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February 18, 2014 By Leave a Comment
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when I just want my Jesus.

Today I am tired.

I’m stuck in a season of “almost but not yet” and it’s wearing me out.

I’m missing my Jesus. I’m missing my Daddy, my Abba.

In the past, whenever my heart feels like it’s in pieces, there has always been an upside. I’ve always been able to snuggle up next to my Daddy while he wraps a blanket around my shoulders, hands me a cup of hot chocolate, and tells me that everything will be alright.

And when I’m happy? It’s then that I feel like a little girl with blonde curls and a big, bright bow running up to him and saying, “Daddy! Daddy! Come look and see what I found! Come look and see what I can do!” And it’s then that he smiles and grabs my tiny hand, saying, “Show me!”

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Every so often I trip and fall on my way to show him my new discovery. He drops to his knees and holds me close. My eyes fill with tears, so he whispers in my ear, “Don’t cry, darling. You were so happy! Remember?” The tears keep coming, so he adds, “Tonight we can drink hot chocolate and read your favorite book together to make you feel better.”

I can see her–I can see me– wiping my eyes and my runny nose and saying, “You promise?”

I can hear him laugh. “I promise.”

Today I’m sad and a little bit lonely. I’ve seen glimpses of what the future might be like and rushed toward them, only to find that I can’t quite get there yet. Almost there, but not yet. Maybe that’s the curse of being 18–feeling a tiny bit trapped.

But lately, all I can think of is how much I’m like that little girl. The one with blonde curls who tripped on the way to show her Daddy something that made her heart happy.

I don’t want songs or quotes or blog posts or inspirational speakers. I don’t want arguments or explanations or religion. Too often those are the answers we shove in people’s faces when we feel like there is a problem to solve. We want there to be a 3-step solution to sadness or confusion.

I wonder what would happen if we stepped back from our quick-fixes and “Oh you’re fine!” speeches. Because in a season of “almost but not yet” and the feeling that I’m stuck in a meaningless phase, (even if I’m really not), there is only one thing that I desperately miss.

I want my Daddy. I want my Abba.

I just want my Jesus.

January 28, 2014 By Leave a Comment
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so when can I rest?

College is fast approaching. I haven’t made my choice yet, (in fact I haven’t even been accepted to my first choice.) I find out if I’ve been accepted at the University of Florida on February 14th. Pretty cruel time to notify us, right?

“Your Valentine’s Day is either going to get a whole lot better, or a whole lot worse.”

I live in a pretty small Christian bubble, and whenever I mention the University of Florida, people start acting weird.

I’ve been told more times than I can count that “my faith will be tested,” like the whole world is out to get me, and that I need to be careful that I don’t “turn.” (I wasn’t aware until recently that I could become a zombie if I attended a secular school.)

I don’t laugh at these words of warning because I think they’re stupid. I laugh them off because they make me nervous. They make me second guess myself. They make me doubt God’s control.

Today I was texting a good friend of mine, and he was encouraging me to be strong in my faith as I head off to college. Then he said something, (whether it was off the cuff or seriously thought out I don’t know), that was very unsettling.

He said, “Basically, don’t ever be satisfied with your place with God.”

Never be satisfied?

Does that mean that I should constantly be pursuing God? That I should never become lazy or static? Because if that’s what he meant, (and it was, we talked some more and he clarified), I’m totally on board with it.

Still, I haven’t been able to get those words out of my mind, because they seem to sum up all the other warnings I’ve been given.

Be cautious. Be unsure. You’re faith could be snatched away at any moment. Always be fighting and working toward God, or else.

How is that healthy? How does that bring life to anyone? Fear chokes out everything that is good. Fear belittles the moment that we are in right now.

I know that once I step into life at a university I’ll be shocked by some of the things and the people that I run into. I’m aware of that, and it makes me nervous. But my faith does not depend on how good my arguments are or how theologically correct I am. (I question things way too often for that to be of any use.)

There have been times when I’ve been furious, depressed, and just wanted to walk away, but he’s always brought me back. As another blogger said, “His love for us is deeper than we can imagine.”

If that love is truly as powerful and as unfailing as we believe, than it’s okay to trust him to take care of us. There’s nothing wrong with feeling safe. There’s nothing wrong with resting in him.

I’ve been afraid for too long. Always because of something new, but the fear has never left. I don’t want to be afraid anymore, and I refuse to feel guilty when I’m not.

I’m grateful for all the words of encouragement and caution, I truly am, but I know that my God will take care of me and my heart just like he always has.

I can rest.

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January 20, 2014 By Leave a Comment
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It’s a story.

I told you all that I was going to create another blog. I titled it: “It’s a story.” Because how else do you describe everyday life? (: It’s just for fun and just ’cause I was bored, but it’s also the blog I’ll be using once I head off to college. So if you’re bored too… here it is.

January 7, 2014 By Leave a Comment
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Hello 2014: the most honest thing I’ve ever written.

stars-218906_640It’s been so long since I last wrote anything meaningful… I’m not sure how to begin. How do I start the post that I may regret the moment I hit “Publish”? But this has to be dealt with. You may not understand, but this is something that I need to put into words. I have to say this and let it go here, now, in 2013.

I like endings that are final. I like endings that I can decide on. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works, and every once and awhile you get blindsided, knocked down, and you have to pick yourself back up again. You see, the things that most people can shrug off leave me with a heart that’s bruised and broken. And then those things that actually do break most people? Well, it’s not pretty. But you know, the fact that I constantly find myself knocked off my feet and forced to stand back up, well, maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe in the long run it will make me more resilient. Maybe it will make me stronger. Maybe it will continue to teach me the one lesson that I’ve learned over and over this year.

No matter what you feel, no matter how numb or broken or scared, you have to keep choosing life.

Choose the joyful moments. Choose to believe in new surprises. Choose to keep your heart open and welcoming.

Keep choosing life. Literally and figuratively.

We are going to get hurt again and again and again. Sometimes it will be other people who hurt us, sometimes we will hurt ourselves through our own thoughts and actions, and sometimes it will be our uncontrollable circumstances. Sometimes, it will be a painful combination of all three. But we must keep choosing life, because there is so much more than all that.

There will be moments that make it all worth it. There will be the kind of laughter that makes our sides ache and tears stream down our faces. There will be healing and forgiveness. There will be that terrifying yet wonderful feeling that comes with new adventures–like going new places or falling in love.

There will be beautiful, stunning, life-changing moments. We just have to be willing to wait for them.

This is my New Year’s Resolution:

This year I will remind myself that I am strong enough to fight the fears that have always held me back. This year I will embrace the beautiful moments as they come, and try to remember that every one I meet has a story to tell. I will try as best as I can to put down my selfish walls and barriers that keep people from seeing how weak I am. This year I will forgive those who have hurt me–and then I will do it again, and again, and again, because I have to. This year I will tell that lying little voice in the back of my mind, the one that reminds me of my insecurities and my failures, to shut the hell up. This year I will not be perfect. This year there will be times when I will cry, I will be lonely, and I will be lost–but I will not feel guilty because of it. This year, I will be stronger, I will be more forgiving, and I will be constantly expecting new surprises just around the corner. This year I will no longer fight and claw my way to affection, attention, or acceptance. I will not simply grab what I think I need from God. I will trust him to give me all that I need and more.

2013  was crucial for me, I’ll grant it that. And it’s true that although I ignore them far too often, there have been many good moments, wonderful ones in fact, scattered throughout. But from January 1st until today, it has been a heart-rending year. It’s a year that I would not like to repeat.

So here’s to 2014. Here’s to a year of new beginnings.

December 28, 2013 By 1 Comment
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Be Beautiful.

I saw a quote today that said: “No girl believes she’s beautiful, until a guy comes along and makes her feel like she is.”

I couldn’t help but cringe as I read it, because I don’t believe beauty is something that anyone else can define for you, no matter how amazing or adoring they are. Being beautiful is something you have to decide for yourself.

Fitting our society’s stereotypical idea of “attractiveness” is just one piece of beauty. Beauty, the way I see it, is so much more than that.

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Beauty is powerful.

Beauty is saying, “I treasure who I am, no matter what anyone else believes.”

Beauty is you accepting you.

Beauty is not something defined by any other person.

Beauty is something that when you see it in someone else, you can’t quite describe it.

Beauty is something you live out.

Don’t depend on someone else to decide whether or not you are beautiful–whether or not you are strong, capable, or worthy. Because if you do, all the compliments in the world won’t be enough to fill up that need. So decide for yourself. And then those compliments when they come, will be welcome and cherished.

So please, be beautiful.

December 6, 2013 By Leave a Comment
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But then there was today.

I’m often overwhelmed with a desire to get out, to leave. A desire to just freaking graduate and move on with my life already. I love my friends and cherish the fun moments, but I’m so done with high school.

I’m done with the drama. I’m done with the shallowness. I’m done with the busy work and the silly rules.

But then there was today.

There was that moment when I found a cardboard box with the Union Jack painted on the top. That moment when I opened this tiny box stuffed with memories I’d recorded, little things that made me smile, old letters from friends, and even, at the very bottom, a crumpled up drawing of a sunflower that I never had the heart to part with.

I’ve been so ready to leave everything behind–and I’m still ready to just graduate and get out of here–but today, just for a moment, I wished that life didn’t have to move so terribly fast.

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Has anyone else ever felt this same pain? Being torn between an exciting future and leaving behind great memories?

December 3, 2013 By Leave a Comment
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Ready, Set, Go.

Everyone keeps telling me that I’m going to miss this. I’m going to miss the here and now–my senior year, the high school life.

8b7bde7cb0d9557a858d5a44e1a21dbdEveryone says that I’ll miss how easy things were and how simple life was. And maybe I will.

But right now, I’m so ready to go. I’m ready to leave. I’m ready to experience something new. Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt that desire deep down to be somewhere else? Like you’re not quite where you’re supposed to be?

I’m a bit idealistic, I’ll admit. But I’m ready for my own tiny apartment or dorm, for college classes, and new friends. I’m ready for the next stage of my life. This stage has gotten very old, very fast.

There are days when I don’t feel ready. Sometimes I worry that I’ll fall apart and struggle once I’m finally out on my own.

But the only way to see how strong you are is to test your limits, right?

November 19, 2013 By Leave a Comment
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Fighting Battles and Writing Honestly.

Maybe the greatest bloggers are always able to pull together something fresh and profound in each blog post. Something, ya know, Facebook share worthy. Maybe the greatest writers can, but I can’t. Because, for the time being, I don’t know how to separate my emotions from my writing. I don’t know how to detach my writing from the every day. That’s a good thing on certain occasions, but in the stormy seasons—the seasons of pain and uncertainty—it makes writing difficult.

This week my creative writing teacher asked us to sit outside and listen. Then she said, “Go through your day and pay attention. Write down the things you should and shouldn’t listen to.”

But how do you know what things to listen to, when it all meshes together until it’s white noise?

whereamIgoing?whatdoesthefuturelooklike?whydoesmyhearthurtthismuch?whyamIsosensitive?whydoesn’tthisyearfeelperfectandwonderfullikeeveryoneclaimshighschoolshouldbe?

If I’ve learned anything in the recent months, it’s that everyone is fighting a battle. Everyone is dealing with something.

But we all say that, and at the heart of it, we really only say it so other people know that we’re fighting a battle. We don’t say it because we’re concerned with the treatment of others. We’re concerned with how people are treating us.

I’m no different. I’m selfish in the way I view “trials.” And there are days when people talk to me in a certain way and I can’t help but wonder what would happen if they knew.

What if they could see me when I’m away from them? What if they could see me curled up and crying on my bedroom floor? What if they could see those angry, broken moments when I can barely breathe?

What if we could see everyone in those fragile, broken moments?

How would we act?

How would I act?

I doubt I’d be as harsh as I am. I think I’d let more hurtful comments and looks slide by without retaliation, because I’d know they were just side effects of a much deeper problem.

I’m writing this more for myself than for anyone else. I need the reminder that it’s not all about me or what I’m going through. Everyone is hurting. Everyone is, or has, walked through a stressful and painful time. Everyone is fighting a battle.

November 17, 2013 By Leave a Comment
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