Monday, April 27, 2009


Eyes downcast
To that scar
On my hand
Careful glance
At the clock
The second hand
Screams betrayal
Slipped away
To a land
Time forgot
Reality suspended
Say everything
I wait to hear
One chime
Breaks the spell
Of wishful thinking

Monday, April 20, 2009

she loved.

Why do we like to hurt so much? -Paramore

I wish I knew the answer to that question.

Why is it that the people who hurt us most are often the same people we pursue most fervently? I found myself getting so frustrated when a friend told me how much he cared about a girl who basically used him and hung him out to dry. Far be it from me to ever pass judgment on someone who falls into that trap, though. It is hardly even a temptation to judge him for that. Because I've been there, too.

We are all gluttons for punishment in that respect. And if we are not, it is because we have shut out the world and have hoarded our hearts away where they won't be endangered. On the other end of the spectrum, we leave our hearts on the curb and offer a piece to anyone and everyone who passes by. And when the pieces have been left in the sewer or flattened by traffic, we scramble to salvage them and mold them back together. But we are never really the same after that. Our bandaged hearts still perform the functions necessary to sustain us, but the rhythm is different. We heal, but we are warped.

It is so hard to find a balance. Because we can't love in moderation. It's all or nothing. But either way, we pay a high price. Either we leave this world with nothing to show for it, or we are laid out with scars exposed.

If there is one force of nature that science can never explain away, it is love. Love isn't a machine. It isn't an element on the periodic table. It is the be-all, end-all of our existence. It is the one driving motivation in life that can simultaneously push us to us to insanity...

After I have left this world, there are two words which I hope will be the summation of my life:

"She loved."

Sunday, April 19, 2009


So this is where you are, and this is where I am. Somewhere between unsure and a hundred.

Man, when I go for it, I don't hold back.

I came home in December with very little hope of ever having a social life here. I was dreading these last few months. But I'm too busy now to feel trapped or out of place.

Somewhere inside there is still a part of me that feels incomplete. It started as this tiny puncture, like a needle through fabric, but I feel it stretching ever so slightly with each day that passes. I know God is taking care of it but I get tired of waiting for Him to patch it up. But then I stop myself, because I have felt this same hollow ache before and all my shallow attempts at relieving it have failed miserably.

I still think He should hurry up though. Seriously. Come on. I know I still have some growing to do but could I just take a peek behind door number one?

So this is where you are, and this is where I am/ So this is where you are, and this is where I've been/ Somewhere between unsure and a hundred -The Fray

Friday, April 17, 2009

hearts in hands.

Oh, heart of my heart
At your core
You're still beating
But your walls
Are so thin
The things you pushed out
They are punching holes
In your defenses
Far above is the brain
It's buzzed
Light as spongecake
Deliciously dizzy
And full of dying dreams
And if the eyes are
Windows to the soul
Then I tint them
Squeeze them shut
Behind cheap shades
And expensive eyeliner
Hoping the world won't see
I shed a tear for him today
If my feet are vehicles
To places I've never been
I'll squeeze them into skates
Roll out of this town
And if my hands are caged birds
I'll set them free
To fly
To create
I'll show them all
What it means
Even if I'm just making it up
As I go along

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


My feet are not ready for summer.
My hands are not ready for anything.
I stuff them in my pockets.
Stuff my feet in my shoes.
Stuff my heart full of acoustic melodies.
Pumped full of estrogen.
Hold my head a certain way.
Raise my cup to uncertainty.
Hide my eyes in a magazine.
Wrap myself in punch drunk dreams.
Fabric tears, rip out the seams.
Never the type to play ball with the boys.
Longed for a pony, lost in her toys.
Never made a living with lemonade stands.
Grass-stained feet, Crayola-stained hands.
Indian summer, bare hands and feet.
Kool-aid grins were saccharine sweet.

More later? Maybe?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

six degrees.

Six degrees of separation ... refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.

Or, as they say in Disneyland, it's a small world after all.

Today I went to Coralville with Lauren, a wonderful new friend of mine who moved here from Colorado in December. Her dad pastors a local church.

Our day together was a lot of fun, and to my relief we both managed to leave the mall without doing any major financial damage.

However, things got truly interesting when our shopping excursion was over. Before heading home Lauren and I paid a visit to Coldstone Creamery. We had settled in at a fairly clean-looking little table, Lauren with her cup of cake batter ice cream laced with gummy bears, and I with my less adventuresome treat, listed on the menu as "Cookie Doughn't You Want Some."

It always amazes me how a conversation evolves. When my friends and I are on a roll, we can weave together topics that would seem totally unrelated. I think it started when I mentioned that a friend of mine used to work at a Coldstone. This friend often wears polo shirts with cowboy boots. But otherwise he is fairly capable of putting together an outfit. From there we launched into our gripes with fashion and the average male. But some of them can't be blamed for their style choices, as I pointed out. Like my dad, who is somewhat colorblind. Others...well, they're too busy checking out what the opposite sex is wearing to really care what they put on their own bodies.

Which brought us to the subject of my ex, whom I called out one day in chapel at ORU for wearing navy pants, black shoes and a brown belt with a very tacky shirt -- after he'd criticized my haphazard fashion sense for about the millionth time.

"At least I match," I had retorted.

But let's face it, many men who are as obsessed with hiking as my ex-boyfriend really don't spend too much time perfecting their wardrobes. I added as a side note that this particular ex is from Colorado.

"Where in Colorado?" Lauren asked.

"Brighton," I told her.

I added that he, too, is a pastor's kid as I filled my spoon with more ice cream.

"Wait...what's his last name?" she asked, a note of hysteria in her voice.

I told her. The spoon sank back into the ice cream, forgotten for the moment as I watched Lauren's reaction.

"No way!"

She started to laugh. Then I started to laugh. I laughed even harder as she spewed a mouthful of ice cream down her chin and then rushed from the table to get another napkin. Meanwhile I nearly fell out of my chair, laughing more hysterically. The woman behind the counter shot us several wary glances.

After Lauren had cleaned up her mess and I had regained my equilibrium, I found out that she met my ex's brother, Nathan, at an airport a few years ago when her sister, Kristy, went on a mission trip with him. Lauren and Nathan crossed paths again on PK retreats and still keep in touch.

The giggling never fully subsided during the rest of our time at Coldstone. And on the way home I spilled my guts about the whole ordeal with...well, I've made it through this entire entry without using his name and anyway, it isn't worth mentioning.

Maybe that whole six degrees of separation thing is truly bringing Lauren and me closer together. Or at least I'd like to think so. It gave me a chance to impart some wisdom I gained out of that messy experience. I think we both opened up a lot today.

But if nothing else, at least Lauren got to hear a really funny story involving a bird and a pan of beef stroganoff.

Monday, April 13, 2009

the remedy.

In an attempt to break my writer's block I am blogging. To anyone who would rather have a root canal than write, it may sound like an oxymoron. But it has been known to work for me.

So if I ramble a bit, like I usually do, at least I have an excuse.

When I got home from school in December I started reading again. I mean, reading for my own enjoyment. Textbooks don't count. Recently the bookworm in me has crawled back into the damp earth, because usually by the time I am able to sit down and totally relax I would rather get online and talk with friends, or flip on the TV because I'm too braindead to do anything else.

I was home by myself for a couple of days late last month, and that was when I picked up the last book I read. Whether you like Bill O'Reilly or not, his memoir, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity," is really interesting. I agree with him most of the time, though, so I'm probably just biased.

Things have gotten weird since I finished that book, however, and the next one I'd planned to read is still lying (laying? my grammar is sketchy sometimes) on my bedroom floor, unopened. Family issues, stress over my job situation and some minor concerns in my personal life would normally have me on emotional overload. But I've found that in some ways I have run out of the energy necessary to really care. I mean, I do care to an extent. I care about doing a good job at work. I care about serving God and being with the people I love. But maybe I am taking on too much lately. Maybe that is part of my problem.

Or maybe I'm just disorganized and somewhat irresponsible. And maybe I'm still using that as a crutch for why I never follow through on things.

This would explain why I am sitting in my room, surrounded by small mountains of discarded but clean clothing and other paraphernalia. In my bathroom closet is a laundry basket that is filled to capacity. My Bible is waiting patiently but forlornly upstairs in the TV room.

I guess that next book will just have to wait until I can get my act together.

Friday, April 10, 2009

now hear this.

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" -Isaiah 30:21

I have incredibly sensitive ears. Whether it's the high-pitched drone of a muted TV several rooms away, or "muzak" wafting through the mall corridor, I don't miss a beat. It drives people crazy when I stop whatever I'm doing, cock my head, make a face and say "I hate that song." Or I just start singing along. My music nerdiness has something to do with this, too. (So if you ever see me stocking shelves by myself at Hy-Vee and my lips are moving, I'm not talking to myself. Usually.)

And yes, the whole selective hearing thing...I have a knack for that too.

Lately I've also been hearing things that aren't so audible...things God has to say. For a long time I've wanted those spiritual ears of mine to open up, and boy is He ever speaking.

If ever there was a time when I needed to hear from my heavenly Father, I need it now. I'm at such a crossroads with my career, my family, my relationships that I can't afford to let His counsel fall on deaf ears. And there is just always something about this time of year that makes me feel more...alive.

Could be something to do with the fact that this is Easter weekend. But it goes beyond even that. June 23rd of this year will mark my 10th "re-birthday." At 13 I gave my life to Christ one night at church camp and He has been doing a new thing ever since. It really doesn't seem like it's been a whole decade, having taken one step forward and two steps back quite a few times. I will never really be "there" until the Lord finally calls me home, but that doesn't make me any less excited about the opportunities He's been placing in my life lately. And really, all He desires of me is that I strive more and more each day to be like His Son.

See...He really doesn't require more of us than we can offer Him. It may be challenging in a world that is spinning at a dizzying pace, but all we have to do is listen a bit more carefully above the noise. And prayerfully, that "still, small voice" becomes anything but still or small.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Frustrated. Insatiated. Infatuated. Underrated. Relegated.


If I could name myself after a song, I would henceforth be known as "Chelsea Dagger."

I hate talking on the phone. I think maybe I always have, but I will blame it on Cassidy, who over the past two years has cemented my addiction to texting.

Always, without fail, I must have some anchor of eccentricity in my life. At least one wide-eyed, blog-writing insomniac who says things like "meh" and "bleh" a lot. Such friendships nurture the Emily Dickinson in me. But I think if I am left to my own devices long enough, my worst nightmare (wildest dream?) of becoming a crazy cat lady will be reality.

So the daydreaming types are complemented nicely by the ones who relish the benefits of a full eight hours of sleep, who seem to have their heads a bit more firmly affixed between their shoulders. They may cast a longing glance or two at the uncertain and potentially dangerous, but barely stray from the tightrope.

In my brief life, I have been a little of both.

What is my point?

I don't know. I just felt like writing something. Sometimes it feels good to write and never really make a point. Especially when I go back later and realize I'm not as crazy as I thought I sounded.

Not that crazy is always bad.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

i'm ready.

I like making lists. Correction. I like starting lists. Finishing them is another story.

Kind of like this.

Things I want to do before I die
1. Write a book
2. Get a tattoo

You get the idea.

Facebook has an application that allows you to make mostly useless top five lists of albums, books, movies, etc.

Only five?

Well, it's not like I can do much better at list making.

Anyway, one of the lists I made just couldn't stop with number five. In no particular order, I present "Songs That Saved My Life."

Number one was an obvious choice.

"I'm Ready" by Jack's Mannequin
from Everything In Transit, 2005

I discovered Jack's Mannequin in the spring of 2006, totally by accident.
It was the best accident ever. Their debut album "Everything In Transit" became my soundtrack. With finals looming in the near future, I was slipping further into mediocrity. At first glance, it seemed like I was getting everything I wanted. Sure. And it all kept slipping away as quickly as it had reached my grasp. The things I wanted most were the things I needed the least. If "Everything In Transit" was my soundtrack, "I'm Ready" was my anthem:

I wake up to find it's another
Four aspirin morning, and I dive in
I put on the same clothes I wore yesterday.
When did society decide that we had to change
And wash a tee shirt after every individual use?
If it's not dirty, I'm gonna wear it.
I take the stairs to the car
And there's fog on the windows.
(And I'm finding the words...)
I need caffeine in my blood stream,
I take caffeine in the blood stream.
I grip the wheel and all at once I realize:
(And you're getting away...)
My life has become a boring pop song
And everyone's singing along.

Sophomore year of college was supposed to be a turning point. A life-changing experience. But I'd gone home for Christmas feeling spent and disillusioned. Trying to find fulfillment (yes, there's that word again) in all the wrong places and people. ORU or SCC, the environment made no difference because my perspective on life was the same.

But spring came! And everything was new again. I was given a second chance, or so I thought.

It was "Dark Blue" that I heard in my head in an empty parking lot late one May evening on South Memorial Drive. But long after that night lost its sparkle and the phone stopped ringing, "I'm Ready" was in heavy rotation.

I am aware, I've been misled
I disconnect my heart, my head
Don't wanna recognize when things go bad
The things that you'll accept
Except that I am finding the words...

Oh Andrew McMahon, how well I can relate.

I can't say that I haven't disconnected my heart from my head a few more times since then. But every time I do, this song comes back to haunt me.

Next on the list: "The Scientist" by Coldplay. But that's for another post.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I want it all. I want it now.
But You keep telling me to wait.
I want out. I want to run.
But You tell me it's all for my sake.
How long, O Lord? How long must I wait?
Everything within me is crying out.
You say, "I am sufficient. Find your fulfillment first in Me."

It's all too much, Lord. But it's not enough.

You say, "It seems like too much now. But I promised never to give you more than you can handle."

This is a test. This is only a test.
Will you turn and seek My face, and praise Me for what I am going to do in your life?
Or will you continue to argue and complain?

But I have so many questions, God.

And I will answer them, daughter. But not in your time. For you, time is measured in such short intervals.
My thoughts are higher than your thoughts.
My ways are higher than your ways.

O Lord, how I know it.
I am so broken and flawed. I still don't see it. How can You use such an imperfect vessel as myself?

That is why you need Me so much. I make all things new. Place your life once again in My hands.
It's not a quick fix.
And it may be painful at times.

Oh how I know it.

But trust Me, child.

I do trust You.

Do you, really?

Well...I guess I haven't. But I want to. It's just so difficult.

These things take time, beloved. But I am here for the long haul.
Maybe it's not the open road you need -- not yet, anyway. But this process of trust is a journey in itself.

I don't know if I can make it.

Not on your own. And that's as it should be. In the times when you are weak, then you will see Me work most powerfully -- because I will carry you.

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