It was Christmas, a little over a year ago, when I wrote it with my finger on the car window, the frigid air outside providing a temporary canvas. It was a quote that had caught my fancy in the days before. I kept turning it over in my mind, and it still makes me stop and ponder.
Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
- Martin Luther King Jr.
My aunt, who was sitting next to me, remarked teasingly, “Well aren’t you just the window philosopher.”
A few weeks later I decided to start a blog. I honestly don’t remember what made me think of it. But I did.
I think my first post about summed it up:
In any case, I know it won’t really be about one particular thing. Articles, pictures, quotes, music, philosophical musings, etc. that I think people will find interesting, inspiring, or insightful, all these will eventually end up here to be seen by my most likely few, but hopefully dedicated followers.
Sometimes, I just want to voice my opinion. To give my point of view on some subject, a point of view that someone else might like. Of course, who am I to expect people to care about my opinions. It seems rather egotistical. But then again, I’m sure I am not the first to have a blog like this. I like other people’s thoughts on things. They are thoughts I may not have thought of otherwise.
If you have read through to the end of this much too long first post, thank you. I hope you’ll stick around. Maybe I’ll post something you find interesting.
I sincerely hope I’ve fulfilled that goal: to post something interesting. Something unique. Something you might not have thought of otherwise.
One thing is for sure: I never imagined how awesome the people in the rest of the blogosphere would be. How you would support me with their readership and their lovely comments, and how much I would gain from you through your thoughts, musings, rants, poetry, writing, photography, etc. I’m blessed to know y’all.
That I’m posting this today is due to a number of beautiful circumstances. I’ve been here babbling away in my little corner of the universe for a year, as of yesterday. A whole entire year! 525,600 minutes. Craziness. A year is not a long time in the grand scheme of things, and yet it can hold so much beauty, so much pain, so much joy, so much love… so much life. I’m most certainly not who I was one year ago.
But some things don’t change. I still enjoy blogging. I’m stilll a fanboy, a music-aholic, and a Catholic Christian, and I’m still holding on to the skin of this here planet. :D And I still love that MLK quote.
Which brings us to Circumstance Number 2: it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day! They played some snippets from his speeches on NPR today. I feel like I don’t know much about him… history never stuck in my head too well. But I feel like I want to find out more.
Circumstance Number 3 is a mathematical thing. This is my 100th post. *confetti* Yay! 100 is a nice, big, round number. Triple digits. Imagine: nine years from now maybe I’ll have a thousand. :D It might sound egotistical, but I liked them all. I enjoyed writing them. I mean, they’re still there, but no one’s gonna read them again. Oh well. Move along. To the future!
Some might call these circumstances crazy random happenstance, but I stopped believing in coincidence long ago. ‘Tis a fairy tale meant to suck all the magic out of the marvelous occasions when God surprises us.
I don’t know how any of you put up with me, but I am so glad that you do. I love you guys, and I wish you all the best in your blogging endeavors. Stay awesome!
Anniversaries like this are a good time for stepping back and examining the big picture of things, so I might not post much in the next few weeks as I think about how this blog ought to be moving forward and possible future projects. If you have any suggestions or anything you want to see here, let me know in the comments. Thanks!
It is horribly late here in this house, in a small town in Virginia in a very large country on a good-sized planet in the unfashionable end of the west spiral arm of the galaxy, in this universe we call home, the tangible kingdom of Him to whom alone we kneel. So I must get to bed. But I want to leave you with something written by my dear friend Lilly. It is the only blog post she’s ever written; I guess it just wasn’t her thing. But it is a thing of beauty and worth every word, and she has granted permission for it to be reprinted here. Beautiful Circumstance Number 4: she posted it a year ago today.
All I can say to it is… ditto. To the next year of blogging! May God bless you all, may peace reign in your homes and in your hearts, and hey, don’t forget to be awesome. Nighty-night. :)
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when insecurity has you ripping yourself apart
Please don’t tell me you’re not worth anything. It’s a ridiculous lie. I mean, I guess there’s a lot of darkness out there that wants you to believe it, but only because it’s not true. You’re loved, you’re important, you matter, and if you only knew, you would be invincible.
Think about it.
You are separated from every other species because you’re here to live, not just exist; your purpose goes deeper than just reproducing and carrying on your races’ survival. You are an intricate mosaic of God’s majesty and power. His love for you is thrumming inside your heartbeat, the warmth of your skin, the rhythm of your lungs. You are your own artifact of everything you’ve been through. You are the reason that somebody out there smiles. Everyone who knows you has a little piece of their story in you. You’re here to feel the sun on your skin and the breeze through your hair, to get that awe when a baby holds onto your finger instead of your whole hand, to feel small when you stand beside the ocean, to have your breath taken away when you look up at a sunset, to laugh until you’ve forgotten why it’s funny, to cry when you need to, and stand up and go on. You began way before you were born, in the sparkle of your parents’ eyes when they said “I love you”. You’re special and individual. Your handwriting, the things you think are funny, the sound of your voice when you’re talking about something you’re passionate about, the way you write out your grocery list, the songs you identify with, the way you walk, everybody’s favorite thing about you—it’s all unique. You’re a 3D piece of art walking around, just waiting for some artist to capture part of you in a poem or story or song…but they won’t be able to capture all of you, because you’re deeper than words will go. You are an adventure story, still being written.
You are more than what people think of you. More than your history, more than your family. More than your imperfections. You are more than just another number to add to the statistics. You are not defined by your problems. You are not defined by what the media and the culture say you should be. You are everything you aspire to, everything you dream of, all your embarrassing secrets and 11:11 wishes. You are beautiful. Every bit of you. Even the parts you want to change. Even the scars and the mistakes, and the things you’re ashamed of, the things you try to hide…All of it, because it’s all a part of you. And the God of all creation sees behind the masks you put up, the person you try so hard to act out so people will think better of you…and He loves you. So incredibly much. He knows you better than anyone, and yet He loves you more than anyone could even try to—more than everyone’s love combined. He IS love. And here you are, living, breathing proof of His love. You’re here to learn to love Him back with every fiber of your being.
Hey, you know somethin’? Just stop for a second and listen to me:
Don’t you dare give the darkness one more moment of you feeling worthless. Don’t let yourself believe you’re anything less than incredible. You are so loved, you have no idea. Thousands of people every day get struck with tragedy and trauma and loss and death, and today, you aren’t one of them. Tomorrow isn’t promised, so don’t waste today. Here you are, living. There are so many reasons to love being alive.
Soak it up.
Breathe it in, deeply, and then love it out.
Hug tight and sing loud.
Drive with the windows down and the music up.
Dance in the open spaces, and don’t you dare let the fact that you don’t know how to dance stop you.
Don’t ever skip a chance to laugh or make someone else laugh.
Share your happiness, make it contagious. And when you’re hurting, hold on, and let the people you love hold onto you.
Channel your pain into something constructive. Make it beautiful. Get it out of you and onto a page.
Make the world your canvas. Write your name on the hearts of everyone you know, and make it a beautiful autograph. Give them something to remember. Everyone is part of everyone else’s story. Make yours a good part.
Tell people your favorite things about them.
Make sure all the flowers know how pretty they are.
Spend your time making things beautiful, even if nobody thanks you.
Give a damn. Lots of damns. Don’t stop caring. Even if nobody sees it. Even if nobody even cares that you care.
Drop your agenda and go stand in the autumn wind.
Don’t hesitate to go underwater in the swimming pool, even if it’ll mess up your hair, and even when your mascara isn’t waterproof.
Write letters by hand, and call people every now and then, because that means a lot in a world of peeps who only email and text.
Pour yourself into everything you do, and absorb it—make amazing memories, and let your heart be the treasure box to store them in.
Hold onto everything that makes you feel alive. Embrace the feelings, and let them in, even when they hurt, because feeling is living, and the pain makes the beauty worth it.
Dearest, it’s going to be so worth it.