Punchinello, a tribute to Max Lucado

If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Punchinello by Max Lucado, I would recommend reading it here!

——

I finally knew how to let the dots fall off.

but.

I have to let go of the stars.

too.

As long as I hold on to my
stars from those around me,
{ my value <– them }
I’m not acknowledging that
it comes from my Maker–
I come from my Maker! When
I need their stars,
I fear.

It is vital.

Let it go.
Look at Him.
Act on your freedom.
Act on the love you’ve received.
Only then will you, will I, be
able to love +
able to live.

—–

originally scrawled (by me, I think??) on the back of the program of the Vega Quartet’s performance at Covenant College – Thursday, November 14, 2019. I’ve edited it a bit + formatted it in this post, but the majority of it came from that almost undecipherable piece of paper I found in my room randomly XD

My Own Scent

I finally have my own scent;
I no longer have to miss yours.

I really like my perfume
Almost as much as I liked your cologne.
I inhale +
Almost forget what it was like to 
Breathe
While clinging around your neck.

You never gave me anything that smelled like you.
Instead, you bought things to smell like me,
Despite feeling like you,
Artificial.

Now that I'm separate from what held me back
I can find what makes me
Smell sweet +
Breathe deep +
Rise like incense.
Instead of you permeating every sense.

I'm learning to like my own scent,
+ I'm hoping God does too.

The sweet smell of holiness
Can't be forged but only be forged
By the Master Heartsmith
May my prayers smell sweeter than
My perfume.

This was inspired by the fact that I got a great deal on a lovely perfume recently and get to regularly wear perfume for the first time, given that my mom has a pretty severe allergy to most scented anything, even natural.
In past relationships, I’ve always enjoyed the cologne/aftershave, especially because I’ve grown up in a fragrance-free household. But, being at college, I’m realizing that I can finally experiment and find olfactory satisfaction without being a relationship, and I think that’s pretty swell ūüôā
However, scent is most definitely a metaphor for confidence and identity too. I’m enjoying finding out who God says I am in Him and in relationship with Him. That’s the most fundamental change and I take it for granted too often.

Giving vs Getting

It always feels good to receive good things, doesn’t it? ¬†Help with some hard things, hugs, money, wise counsel, birthday presents, etc. are all exciting things to get.

But have you ever experienced the joy of giving those things?

Giving someone money isn’t always the easiest thing financially, but seeing their joy when they are able to buy something they need or maybe just want is priceless.

Giving (and receiving) wise counsel bonds you with the person on the other end. ¬†I received some amazing advice this summer from a friend I trusted, and I gave some good (I hope) advice to a couple different campers. ¬†When you have serious talks about serious things that directly relate to someone’s life, you get to learn more about the person’s heart and thought process, bonding you with them in a very unique way.

When I need help, I don’t struggle with letting people help me because I think I’ll look stupid. ¬†Instead, I freely accept their assistance and thank them profusely for their help while smiling hugely because I did need the help! ¬†I often want to become better friends with those who go out of their way to help me, especially if I don’t know them very well.

But giving help is something I’m not very good at, simply because I don’t see the opportunities around me easily. ¬†Some people have a gift of sensitivity to the needs of others around them, but I really have to work at it. ¬†So, usually, by the time I realize someone needed help, someone else has already taken care of it. ¬†But, the few times that I’ve been able to help someone by carrying something for them, opening a door, explaining a math problem to them, etc., it has been extremely rewarding to hear them thank me or see them smile. ¬†Doing or saying something that brightens at least one person’s day a day is a goal I read somewhere that I really try to strive for. ¬†Being the light, you know?

I hope this inspires you to get out of your comfort zone and give something to someone, whether it be your time, effort, money, or kind words. ūüôā

-Sydney

Jealous No More and Other Thoughts

I’m going to be honest.

I used to be jealous of happy couples.  I would almost feel pain when I saw their affectionate interactions.  I wanted that connection, I wanted that companionship, I wanted that love.

But, now, I don’t feel that longing, that overwhelming feeling of solitude. ¬†God finally got it through my thick skull that I have something better. ¬†I still feel that I was specifically created to be a helpmate and wife, but I have peace that I can get by without being in a relationship of that type because my fulfillment comes from serving God, not being someone’s significant other.

Plus, I don’t want someone else’s relationship. ¬†I don’t want a relationship just to be in a relationship. ¬†I want a God-planned, God-centered, God-timed romance-partnership that we call marriage. ¬†When God wants me to enter into that kind of commitment, He’ll make it happen. ¬†Until then, I content my heart in Him.

I need to be truly content, not, “I should be focusing on God, so there. *foot stomp*” ¬†but, instead, “I rejoice in my Lord because He has my heart. ¬†When He wants to give it to someone, that’s His call, not mine. *true smile of inner peace that passes understanding down in my heart*”

I just noticed this culmination of growth in myself last week, so yay for self-evaluations! ūüėÜ


This epiphany leads me to another evaluation, this time of what main points God has been showing me over the past year of my life, ones that I think have led up to this realization. (Milestones often evoke this type of reflection in me, haha).

The 17th year of my life (when I was 16… think about it) (2016-2017) was one of the most painful — but most rewarding — years of my life. I am almost a completely different person than I was because God has taught me SO MUCH. ¬†Unfortunately (?), I had to learn most of the lessons¬†the hard way¬†after I tried to do things my way.

I’ve learned… (NOT a comprehensive list, which should give you an idea of the scale of character growth that went on this year)

  • To cherish relationships, but also to not rush things. ¬†Let God work on His timetable and¬†no one less people get hurt.
  • God has a much better plan for me than whatever I could have dreamed up, even if I don’t see how in the world! it is better for me. ¬†And I don’t mean “better for me” like broccoli is better for me than ice cream, I mean that it’s better for me because I discover that I¬†really¬†like carrots, which are a way better snack than Skittles for my body. ¬†Please tell me that made sense.
  • To let God have His way in me and through me and not to try to do things MY way instead. ¬†Letting Him initiate things has 100% of the time worked better than when I try to push my own agenda.
  • How rewarding putting time into relationships can be, and how amazing it is to have God-centered relationships, whether it be with my parents, friends, or even guys.
  • That God knows. ¬†I was going to make that a longer, more specific sentence, but I think it stands alone. ¬†He knows what it’s like to be in charge of a group of people who can’t follow or listen to instructions without being told 4 times (#rabbilife #counselorlife). ¬†He knows what it’s like to pray because you have no other, no better option. ¬†He knows what it’s like to have people depending on you, and you cannot let them down. ¬†He knows what it’s like to love the outcast. ¬†He knows what it’s like to be the outcast. ¬†Guys, He. Knows.
  • To high-five strangers. ¬†Yup. ¬†So many times…
  • That people don’t really notice you as much as you think they do. ¬†But also that they care much more about you than you could ever imagine. ¬†Weird, but true. ¬†Thus, you can be yourself: When I am bored, I like to wiggle my arms like Henry the Octopus sped up¬†like The Flash doing the arm breakdance thing where you start with your hand and it travels to your shoulder… you get the picture. ¬†So, I do that thing. ¬†At camp, the rest of the staff knew¬†about my dancing problems that I did this, and sometimes one of the other counselors, Desiree, would do it back to me like a secret code for “I acknowledge you and I sympathize.” ¬†Yeaaaahhh. ¬†She didn’t like me less because I was goofy, she just took it in stride. ¬†That’s how you know your true friends. ¬†(They can just smile back too. ūüôā )
  • God doesn’t make mistakes. ¬†Ever. ¬†Everyone I met this summer was put in my life for a purpose. ¬†Even the things that went “wrong” were for a purpose to accomplish good in my life or create great memories. (funny how that happens…)
  • Sometimes hard decisions aren’t so hard if you are willing to follow God’s prompting.

Hopefully you can resonate with at least one of these points, or that one encourages you. ūüôā

-Syd the Squid

 

Screenshot_2017-07-24-14-37-33-1
The amazing (if I do say so myself) summer staff of Camp Gilead 2017, who God used to facilitate a lot of my growth (hence most of this list of points) this summer. ¬†‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

 

Too Good to Be True?

Have you ever met someone who told you they didn’t believe in God because it seemed too good to be true?

My cousin and I were discussing this question because, in her words, “In high school, I overheard this one guy talking to his friends and he said something like, ‘I want to believe in God, but if He existed, I feel like it would make more sense for him to care about world hunger or peace or something. ¬†A God that cares about me? ¬†Why would the God of the universe want to listen to me ask for help with a girl I like?'”

I’ve never heard this argument against a personal God before, but it actually makes a lot¬†of sense in my mind; Christianity¬†does¬†seem too good to be true.

But, here we are!

God not only cares for our everyday problems, but He also cares about world poverty; spiritual and material.  In fact, He cares so much for our spiritual poverty that He sent his Son to die to eliminate the problem.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

The cool thing is, because of the spiritual rags-to-riches stories (called testimonies) of the most spiritually rich and healthy people in the world (called Christians), we can also help alleviate material poverty as we target the spiritual poverty of everyone, even those in first-world countries. ¬†We call people who do this “missionaries” because they are on a mission from God.

Since we are His workers, He takes care of us. ¬†That means that no problem is too big¬†or too small¬†for Him to care about and address. ¬†He cares about¬†every¬†aspect of our lives because¬†we¬†care about those aspects. ¬†We’re His children, His beloved.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the greatest Gospel (Greek for “good news”) you’ll ever hear. ¬†The best part? ¬†It’s¬†not¬†too good to be true.

Sqyd

P.S. I accidentally spelled “Squid” without the vowels but with a “y” instead, and now I’m in love with that spelling. ¬†Soooo I’m going to try signing off like that for a while and see how it goes!

P.P.S. I Googled Sqyd to make sure it wasn’t anything secretly terrible or something, but the only thing that came close was “sq yd” which is shorthand for square yards. ¬†I am absolutely OK with that! ūüėÄ

Cracks in My Soul

I’ve made mistakes

And gotten cracks

In my soul.
You can fix me —

If I let you

Heal me up.
Puzzle pieces

Fit together;

Incomplete
Like a jig-saw,

He and I are

Incomplete.
We can fit well

But never right

Without you.
Originally written on 5-4-17 

Inspired slightly by the song “Make Us Whole” by Out of the Dust and “Concrete” by Britt Nicole.

I know that any relationship that God will lead me into someday will never work perfectly if He isn’t the true glue between us.  Love only goes so far.

The syllable count for each stanza is 4/4/3, which was really fun to write.  ūüôā

Squid

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