The Great Slump

It's that weird season where nothing seems very genuine.
Where life consists of going through the motions and you recognize it but don't know how to change it. Can you rightfully blame it on your setting, your circumstance, or even yourself? I don't know the answer's to these questions. But I do know that "The Great Slump" is something I have grown to despise. It appears to be inescapable. I know that there is reason in everything, so I know that it serves a purpose. But quite honestly, I can not WAIT until it's over. I am so good at disguising it, even my best friends probably don't notice. I can go to a million church services, read a million verses, pray a million prayers, but I can not seem to feel anything. Real faith is beyond feelings and emotions, so maybe God is teaching me what real faith is. Can I live faithfully for a month and counting in a state of emotionlessness? The question is more or less pointless to even ask. I don't have a choice. I am seeing that I don't live the way I do because I have a list of rules I'm following, its not because my mom says it is the right thing to do, it is not because it makes me feel better about myself. It is because I know, down in the depths of who I am, that there is no way I could live otherwise. "Thank you God for the Great Slump"....doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, But This too shall pass.



There is a small coffee shop on 12th avenue. I don't even know the name of it, but it usually gets passed up and the Frothy Monkey tends to steal its traffic.
I was in this little hole in the wall coffee shop a few nights ago.
It's occupants were few, a mere three customers.
To give you a visual; the walls are stark white and made of cinder blocks. The floor is tiled and dirty. The place lacks color. There is a small table with band advertisements and random flyers announcing various types of media in the area. There is only one worker, who looks tired but kind. She is mumbling about how they used to close at 7 but they pushed it back to 9. Her words seem bitter but her tone begs to differ. She isn't complaining, simply stating. I love this coffee shop.
Apart from the man buying a muffin, and the girl doing research on an old laptop in the corner, one man sits all alone.
He has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. Sad eyes, eyes that tell a thousand stories in one glance. The kind of eyes that make you want to look away because you can almost feel the pain they have seen...but you can't look away, you're trapped. This man has the darkest skin I have seen in a while. As if he just dropped in from a foreign country. And maybe he did, but that is besides the point. He is old.. quite old, tattered and torn in appearance. His clothes, his hair... his eyes. Have you ever looked into torn eyes? Because the experience is something that stays with you. It's one of those things that you don't ever really forget about. He has telling eyes. I would say that I hope my eyes tell a thousand stories.. but I don't think I have a thousand stories to tell. The eyes of the old have a mystery in them, an uneasy tiredness, a strange peace, it's almost as if they know that death is near.. but are somehow comforted by it. I bet it is much like the eyes of a newborn. Eyes full of secrets. You begin you're life not knowing how to speak... so you won't tell you're secrets to the world. You must learn to talk, and in the process you forget the secrets only to get them back when death is at you're door; when you are sitting in a coffee shop on a Saturday night in December at 7:00 PM alone, tired, worn out, and looking into the eyes of each person that passes... silently telling them your secrets.


There is something about Christmas that makes me such a sap...

I really kind of love this poem.

“6:59 AM”
Shane Koyczan

I’ve been told
that people in the army
do more by 7:00 am
than I do
in an entire day

but if I wake
at 6:59 am
and turn to you
to trace the outline of your lips
with mine
I will have done enough
and killed no one
in the process.


Toco el aire a usted no lo toco


Hello Caroline,
This is the end of an era.
"Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
You have an unlimited amount of directions you can choose to go from here; a room full of doors. And each one is different, each one is valuable. Close your mouth and listen. You will hear me say, "This is the way, walk in it."

For now, live each present day as it comes. Do not worry about yesterday or tomorrow.

It is an interesting thing to learn how to not live in the past, but to learn from it. People say, "Live for today!!!" or even "What you do today, effects tomorrow!"
Our culture is very present/future directed. But the past... It is a controlling thing. We are told to forget it... but forgetting it would leave room to repeat it. The human race seemingly has a problem with repeating the past. We drudge up old wounds, have world wars one after the other, pass on prejudices, and continue to believe that if we just have that ONE THING!(whatever it may be for you at this point and time in your life), our lives would be complete... we would finally be happy. The past has a way of lying to us.
I think it helps to document the past, so that we don't forget how it felt. So we don't forget what it cost us in the end. Emotions are fleeting... easily forgotten in time. But what does it look like, to live each day, using the past as a reference of what works and what doesn't? What does it look like to live in such a way that pushes us in the direction of our future but doesn't idolize it? I'm not sure that I know.


and so it seems that I am in fact, not blind.

humiliation: the act of realizing that, in a moment of divine truth, tainted by false pride, you prophesied your own downfall....

Stitch in your knitted brow
and you don't know how
you're gonna get it out
crushed under heavy chest
trying to catch your breath
but it always beats you by a step,

making the best of it
playing the hand you get
you're not alone in this



I have a lot of growing up to do.
I have made many many mistakes...
and learned from most of them. SO maybe they weren't necessarily mistakes.. just, taking the long way around.
I think it is the most frustrating thing in the world to come to a place you have been before and know that you didn't handle it any differently than you did the first time.
I think it takes me a few times to get things right.
I feel foolish, I feel unwise... but mostly I just feel very young.
Having free will is both a blessing and a curse.
The decisions I make today affect others, not just myself.
Even down to the shirt I wear...every tiny thing that seems meaningless has some sort of effect on someone else.
It is so much easier for me to trust the Lord when emotions aren't blinding me.
I recognize more everyday how fallen the human race is.. how fallen and broken and prone to messing up I am.
I can not WAIT to be complete.
Sometimes I feel like I am the most fickle person that has ever existed.
I think I am just really good at deceiving myself. I can seriously convince myself that I feel things. I don't understand it, and I really don't like it.
Why am I scared of how I really feel... well.. mostly because it usually causes problems. I am so passive when it comes to relationships.. so scared of hurting people that I end up hurting them more by lying to myself and dragging things out.
God help me to learn to confront my own feelings immediately when I have them. Help me to learn that burrying them only makes things worse. God I feel like I constantly come to you and ask you to clean up my messes and I trust that you can fix anything. You can repair anything that I damage. But God please, PLEASE, teach me how to walk in a way that addresses things as I go, so that damage repair won't be necessary.


A piece of advice from each year of my life
1. Write down everything because memories begin to fail at an early age.
2. Youth isn't an age, its a mindset. Never grow up.
3. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on. Books contain a never ending amount of foolishness and wisdom.
4. There will always be times that challenge you to your core. In hindsight, they have changed me in far better ways than the easy times have.
5. Music is inspiration. Learn to hear it in everything.
6. "Grown up things are over rated, don't be afraid walk around bare-foot, blow bubbles in your milk, have a food fights, wear tutu's over your clothes, and laugh at inappropriate times whenever you get the chance.
7. Realize that life is far too short to hold grudges over petty things.. actually, over anything.
8. You will always have less than someone else and more than others. Learn to love people more than things.
9. Develop an appreciation of who God made you to be, flaws and all. And most importantly, learn to evaluate yourself on a separate scale than everyone else. You were never intended to be compared.
10. Figure out how to rest amidst the chaos. Learn how to shape the world around you rather than let it shape you.
11. Never sit inside all day.
12. Make a list of things you want to do in your lifetime and do every single one. AND add something every time you accomplish one.
13. Recycle and pick up trash when you see it.
14. Take the time to make people things that they will keep forever.
15. Learn a foreign language.
16. Take naps outside.
17. Realize that faith filled prayer is the most powerful resource you have.
18. Learn to live by your own time, don't be a slave to the clock.
19. Go days without watching tv or using your cell phone.
20. Set aside your prejudices.
21. Stop focusing on rules and performance and learn to live in freedom.


Good gosh this woman is brilliant


Let Me Be A Child

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?"
Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It's all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author's name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, "Shhhh."

Then start again.


You know that time of night.. right around 7 o clock.. when its not quite dark but its not quite light?
When you can still see the sunset but its fading so it looks more like a smeared rainbow.....
I love that time.
I wish it would last longer than the few minutes that it does.
Isn't it strange how the most beautiful things are fleeting.
I guess it makes since. We wouldnt appreciate them if they were constant.
If the sun didnt shine fiercely on a pretty normal basis, I am sure that I would be enamered with it.
I find myself wishing a lot lately.. wishing that I was more aware of the things around me.
I feel like the majority of the world is walking around looking for a savior out on the streets. Someone that can give them the secret to happiness..
the secret to success
a check list on how to make the most money
a guidebook for getting the best looking date
We are walking around in a daze... holding our dirty laundry under our arms trying to hide it and looking, searching, for something that has real meaning.. ANYTHING.
We go to school and get everything broken down for us..
we narrow it all down to a scientific formula ... because until its proven wrong it must be right...
the problem lies in that no one is secure enough to admit that science holds no ultimate truth.
so we walk around blindly, putting band-aids over our hearts and holding our heads high, careful to maintain composure and avoid eye contact with strangers.. because we have enough friends already.

No thank you to that.
I may have dirty laundry, but i will hold it out in front of me.
I may hold my head high.. but its held in that way so that I can meet the eyes of the strangers I pass.. in hopes that maybe just maybe a smile will crack the hard lines of their faces and that smile will break a heart that is hardened from hiding. And maybe just maybe for no apparent reason they will spill their life story to me like I am their best friend. And maybe... hopefully, I can listen with a heart that begs for more. And maybe... just possibly, they will find that security doesnt come with money, it doesnt come with success, it isnt learned from books, or self help clinics...

My God can move mountains.
He can Shatter the false security of the world that I live in.


Voting on a good conscience.

["You're a thief!" the judge said. "Let's see Your hands!" I showed my callused hands in court. My sentence was a thousand years of joy.]


(for some reason I can't get the html to work on that link.. copy and paste it...i promise its worth the read)


Hope for the Homeless

I want to start something.
Something good.
Something that matters.
Something that will change things.
One of the only things I know of (that guarantees change), is prayer.
With the current state of our economy, the homeless population has virtually doubled... maybe even tripled over the span of a few months.
The NUMBER ONE thing that keeps people one the street is a lack of hope.
We can blame drugs, we can blame alcohol, we can blame laziness, we can argue that minimum wage isnt enough, we can fight for more low income housing, more food stamp hand outs, more, more, more.
You can give a man a house.. but you can not give a man a home.

Yes, I am all about social services, they are very much needed and help many people. The people that have just recently become homeless due to the economy are temporarily homeless. They are the ones that need the social services, that need to be made aware of their resources. Those that are chronically homeless need so much more than a handout. We mutter about stupid crack heads and lazy bums under our breath but don't even take a moment to question what started that habit. We scoff at the panhandlers, the thieves, and the prostitutes and NEVER think about their emotional state or lack thereof.
If a person doesn't have enough hope to even look someone in the eye how the hell do we think they will have enough hope to get back on their feet?
So I have a proposition....
If we can restore hope in the smallest of areas, we can start a break through.
I am tired of people shaking their heads at me and telling me it is impossible.. that only 5% of chronically homeless individuals come out on the other side.
If I can give just one person the confidence, the hope, the motivation to be proud about the simplest of accomplishments, then that person can make it.
We need to get on our faces and pray until we cant speak for a dying, no a dead population. Do you not see the condition of their lives? They are not called homeless people because they have no structure to live in, they are called homeless because their soul has no home.

I want to start a prayer movement.. for the homeless.
I want to restore hope in the streets.
I want to help people regain personal value, to realize that their life is of utmost importance, that every breath they take matters!
I don't care if you are a heroin dealer, a meth addict, a prostitute, an ax murderer, a gang member, a money grubber, or a crook... there is no person alive today that can not be redeemed. I believe in a God that has no limits, that holds no standard, that can break down any stronghold and replace it with an abundance of good.
I can't do this alone. I need people who are willing to give time and effort... but more importantly prayers. I need people who are dedicated to building realtionships and keeping them. Who can learn to look at a "hopeless case" and see redemption.

I know this will work because I serve a God who is capable of change. I serve a God who wants to redeem. I serve a God who will walk down the streets of Knoxville with me and pull people up out of the gutters and the ditches and give them more than they or I could ever imagine.
And how will He accomplish this?
I have no idea. But I know that it will start with prayer.