Fear

(TRIGGER WARNING: This poem encompasses some of my darkest, inner fears, from a formerly depressive and suicidal-thinking young woman. I would never actually physically do this to myself, but I won’t lie and say I’ve never been tempted to do so, to protect myself in a bizarre, harmful fashion. It is entirely possible to guess my primary fear from this poem alone.)

 

***It claws at

Me,

Hungry,

Caged,

Trapped

Inside; a monster

Yearning for

Release.***

 

I peer into the

Depths

Of the mirror; A

Wide set of

Gray, shifting

Eyes, rimmed

With long

Dark

Lashes

Peer back; I

Gently trace my curves

With my knife,

Knowing

What must be

Done.

I make the scarring

Incisions, one by

One, til the

Deed

Is finally

Done.

Scars and bruises,

I am bloodied-up

Refuse;

The natural rouge

Shall be my new

Look, lashes snipped off the

Lids, little jagged lines running

All across

My lips.

Dagger marks around my

Thighs,

With my knife handy, I’ve

Cut down twice my

Size.

Chunks of hair

Ripped, chopped out

Without a

Care

In the entire world.

No longer lovely,

But no longer

In

Harm’s

Way.

 

Beauty can so

Easily become

A target

For men to

Market,

Or to just

To take

And never

Give, but if I

Want to

Live

Not just survive, it

Is not enough

To remain

Only alive.

 

I breathe.

I believe

That

.

.

.

I

Am

Safe

Now.

 

***Author’s note: The first stanza is told from another perspective. Contrary to the belief of some, I do not have a fear of men; I know, just like women, they are a barrel of mixed apples– some good, others bad. I have met both, and often befriended some of the good ones. I have brothers, biological and in Christ. This is not meant to be taken as a feminist rant against those men, as I do not consider myself a feminist by today’s standards, no, especially by today’s standards. This is not a poem against men, rather, it is a poem fearful of a particular sin that men can commit. I do not know why I was called to share these darker thoughts with you, only that I was led to do so. I have many similar thoughts, but again, have never acted on any of them. Love the sinner, despise the sin, and do not let the monster grow within. ***

 

 

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MBTI and Stuff!

Hey guys!

So, I’ve a special treat for some of you. (Key word: Some. Many of you may not even care, or be confused about some of this, but I’ll explain why in a moment) As many of my social media followers know, I’ve currently something of an obsession with MBTI types, that is, Myers-Briggs personality types. I’ve learned about all the common and uncommon ones, why people think or feel the way they do (depending on your particular type, of course– for instance, different types show affection in different ways, different types have different thinking patterns or problem-solving tactics, etc.), how they take in and process information (oh yes! Many different ways of doing this, but for today we’re narrowing it down to two), etc. I found it all very fascinating for me personally, because as an autistic (more on MBTI and autism later), and as someone who struggles greatly in reading people in general, I found the system incredibly helpful– not everything, not my genie, but very, very helpful. Now, there are always minor exceptions, and it isn’t everything when it comes to people, of course, but for the most part it remains very consistent.

So, from now on, at least 1-2 times a week, I will try to do a MBTI  post. It could be a special highlight on a certain type, and how that type functions (as well as fictional characters who are that type, to give some examples 😉 ), it could be highlighting a certain contrast, like Fe vs. Fi, or Sensing vs. Inuition (which I post on quite often on social media, LOL), or cognitive function stack-ups. You never know!

Speaking of said acquaintance, since I’m still pretty new to a LOT of this, I’ll be gathering input and resources from *hopefully* two different people: Steve, who I mentioned before, and one of my author buds, Janeen Ippolito herself (Abba willing!). And, ironically, they are both xNTPs. But they will be helping me with some of the technicalities along the way, so I don’t screw everything up. (Because, let’s face it, I’m about as much an expert at this as a moose is at making goose honks.)

So, today, we’ll kickstart off with mostly what I know for certain– the bare-boned basics of MBTI. So strap down, folks, and enjoy the ride! 😉

  1. Step One–Introversion vs. Extraversion. OK, don’t give me that crud about “ambivert” (thought myself one for a looonnnnggg time, so trust me– I relate). There are introverted extraverts. There are extraverted introverts. But when it boils down to it, there are really only extraverts and introverts. Don’t get me wrong, here– I’ve known some extremely quiet extraverts who are AMAZING listeners. I also know introverts who are terrible at listening, and if they’re with friends, won’t shut the heck up (*looks pointedly at self*). Extraversion and Introversion ultimately boils down to how you GET YOUR ENERGY. HOW YOU RECHARGE. Do you need to be alone for a while after an extensive chat with a teacher, coworkers, friends, family, etc (even if you DO love them)? You’re probably an introvert, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Many introverts actually don’t mind talking, but are kind of awkward when socializing, so *sometimes* may initially appear shy/stand-offish, which is *typically* not the case. Extraverts, on the other hand… Well, if you feel bored when you’re constantly by yourself, and feel energized rather than drained after hanging with friends or fam, then you’re likely more extraverted. These types are *normally* more social, hanging out with friends or family (or texting them) in their free time,  though definitely not always. It does not matter, in the long run, how quiet you are, or how talkative and outgoing you are–it’s all about getting that recharge.
  2. Step Two– Sensors vs. Intuitives. People often hear me yap on social media about this particular set, namely because I refuse to date a Sensor type. Don’t get me wrong; I know plenty of perfectly nice Sensors. But both are very, very different in how they process information they receive. (Sensors also happen to be very common, while Intuitives are a lot more… uncommon) Sensors, for instance, process information through the concrete– things they can sense with their five senses, see, hear, feel, etc. They tend to either live in the moment (often, with some, “YOLO”), or look back and rely on past experiences, to help them out currently. (I’ll explain the further differences between Se and Si in a different post, but for now we’ll stick to just Sensors to make things less complicated 😉 ) They tend to be more traditional-minded; there is great value in this– they are the ones to help us, often, learn from the past so we can apply to the now and the future. Additionally, they are also the ones who often show us how to live in the moment and enjoy life, when necessary. And in theory, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that– they just process that information different than Intuitives. See, Sensors are very detail-oriented. And I kind of admire that. But they sometimes miss the forest for the trees. Intuitives are the BIG-picture thinkers, often theoretical, idealistic, innovative, future-thinking, creative problem-solvers, etc. Intuitives think how all the little details, all the puzzle pieces, could fit together into one big picture. So I guess you could say, in summary, Sensors think about what something IS (i.e., a block of wood), while an Intuitive would be inclined to think of what something COULD BE (i.e., could be made into a boat, chair, etc.). Sensors are OK with mundane work if that’s what it takes to get by– Intuitives, however, are all about meaning; if the work is a means to an end, and doesn’t hold true meaning for them in the long run, they will not be happy. We are often considered “world-changers”. However, Intuitives can be highly perfectionistic, a bit picky and even neurotic (meaning, no. 2, normally, of Google definitions. Not usually no. 1, unless we are talking about a VERY unhealthy, and/or villainous Intuitive, here xD). We tend to rely more on gut feelings and instincts than concrete, equally helpful experiences, which can obviously drive Sensors nuts at times. Nevertheless, we can still be friends– I’m close with a mixed group of both Sensors and Intuitives, but in the end, would probably, ideally, want to date a fellow Intuitive. 🙂
  3. Step Three– Thinking vs. Feeling. Ahhh, how we make decisions– with our heart or with our head. That’s what it boils down to– another biggie. Of course, we all have a bit of both in each of us (more about cognitive stack-ups in a future post), but right now let’s just focus on Thinking and Feeling. Feeler-dominant types tend to be sensitive (both in the positive and negative aspects), sweet, caring, and compassionate (healthy ones, anyways). They are often labelled, “smol cinnamon roll” types, particularly with ISFP, ISFJ, INFP, ENFP and sometimes INFJ or ESFJ, because they seem like sensitive little dearhearts that need protected from the harsh, cruel realities of this corrupt world. Thinker types, on the other hand, make decisions with cold, hard, matter-of-fact logic and objective facts. They can seem outwardly unyielding, insensitive and harsh because of this blunt, cool demeanor, but trust me, that is an exoskeleton– inwardly, when they open up to the ones closest to them, they are kind of marshmallow-y. Kind of. 😉 (They really do care! Let me give an example. Let’s say you’ve had the worst day possible, and want to just bawl your eyes out– depending on your type, may be in front of others, or in private; I prefer private– and you come home from work/school. If your spouse/sibling/parent is a Feeler, they are more likely to comfort you physically, hear you out, offer to do things for you to make you feel better, encourage, etc. Which is very nice, but Thinkers have a different approach. If someone they care about’s down, they’ll more likely than not want to know WHY, what the root of the problem is, the solution to said problem, thus helping to resolve the issue and helping to restore a sense of contentment and happiness to their loved one’s life. They analyze the issue at its core, and map out how they can help/solve it. They also give advice on how to do so, and are often peeved off when it is not taken, and they are only trying to help. Two different styles of approach.) They are often “paired” together to help balance each other out, actually. I am friends with both Feelers and Thinkers. I appreciate thoroughly both the sweet, caring encouragement of Feelers, and the blunt, *usually* honest, intellectual ways of Thinkers, and would say both sides have their cons, as listed above, too.
  4. Step Four– Prospecting vs. Judging. Second to last one– I promise (last one if you don’t really count the next)! This is your work functioning style. Judging isn’t what it sounds, I promise– it means, you’re basically a planner. They like having a goal or timetable, and if anything or anyone else gets in their way when they are trying to achieve it, that person better look out! These people are *usually* organized and value closure, clarity, and a sense of predictability. They’ve been known to be decisive as well, although that isn’t always the case. Prospecting types, on the other hand, are flexible, adaptable people who tend to be more spontaneous, and like to improvise. They can go with a plan, but not having options or the ability to improvise at all can drive them absolutely batty.

So there you have it! The entire MBTI list in a nutshell! Hopefully, you can tell by now why I find it fascinating. 🙂 I’ll be posting a lot more about things like this, and create a new category especially for MBTI junk. (You’d be surprised what you can find!) For now, I’ll sign off with a list of all the types:

Sensors: ESFJ,ESTJ, ESTP, ESFP, ISFP, ISTP, ISFJ, ISTJ

Intuitives: ENFJ, ENTJ, ENTP, ENFP, INFJ, INTP, INFP, INTJ

Story Rhymes, Purification Era Version, Part One

Story Rhymes, Purification Era Version, Part One

(Note: If you don’t know what the Purification Era series is, go back and read my previous post, or you will probably be majorly confused. Key word– “probably”.)

The Itzy Bitzy Itzalin (to the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”)

The itzy bitzy itzalin

Climbed up the tower spout

Down came the arrows

To wash him out;

But then Lord Mas D

Gave orders to refrain,

And the itzy bitzy itzalin

Climbed up the wall again.

 

So Sore Sorek (to the tune of “Baa Baa Black Sheep)

So sore Sorek, have you any snark?

Yes sir, yes sir, bites more than my bark.

One for the rebels,

Several for my wife,

Quite a few for the Hul Lord

Who causes naught but strife;

So sore Sorek, have you any snark?

Yes sir, yes sir, bites more than my bark.

 

Ari Had a Little Mas (To the tune of “Mary had a Little Lamb”)

Ari had a little Mas

Little Mas, little Mas,

Ari had a little Mas,

Hair like a gold halo.

 

And everywhere that Ari went,

Ari went, Ari went,

Everywhere that Ari went,

Mas was certain to go.

 

He follow’d her to the stable one day

Stable one day, stable one day,

He follow’d her to the stable one day,

Because he makes the rules.

 

All this made Hikah sick with envy

Sick with envy, sick with envy,

All this made him sick with envy

To see her with Mr. Cool.

 

Hulcondans Are Falling Down (To the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down”)

Hulcondans are falling down,

Falling down, falling down,

Hulcondans are falling down,

My fair Rabreah.

 

Tearing them down with

The rebellion,

The rebellion,

The rebellion,

Tearing them down with the rebellion,

My fair Rabreah.

 

But are they really

All so bad?

All so bad?

All so bad?

Are they really all so bad,

My fair Rabreah?

 

Work together, Huls and rebs

Huls and rebs,

Huls and rebs,

Work together, Huls and rebs,

My fair Rabreah.

 

POP! Goes the Question (To the tune of “Pop! Goes the Weasel”)

All around the town square

Sir Sorek chased Rabreah;

Sir Sorek thought ’twas all in fun,

POP! Goes the question!

 

This Old Hag (AKA, Rab and Ari’s Mother) (To the tune of, “This Old Man”)

This old hag, she had fun,

While her girls worked out in the sun,

But with a knick-knack, paddy whack,

Give Mas D a throne,

This old hag went –SMACK–into her brand new home.

 

Hey Diddle Diddle (P.E.S. Version)

Hey diddle diddle

Mas and widdle

Ari

Jumped over the moon,

Rabreah raged in seeing such a sight,

But Sorek ran off with her, too.

 

Hickory Dickory Dock (P.E.S. Version)

Hickory dickory dock,

Mas’s schedule raced around the clock,

When the clock chimed one,

Mas was already done.

Hickory dickory dock.

 

Hickory dickory dock,

Mas’s heart paced ’round the clock,

To see at nine

A young lady so divine,

Hickory dickory dock.

 

A Skipping, a Sowing (To the tune of, “A Tisket, a Tasket”)

A skipping, a sowing,

Two sisters all a-growing,

They vowed to be there for each other

All but them never knowing

Never knowing

Never knowing

Their love would become tested and owing.

 

I’ve Been Working on Rebellion (To the tune of, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”)

I’ve been working on rebellion

All the livelong day

I’ve been working on rebellion

Just to make the Huls go away.

 

Can’t you hear the bell clanging?

Rise up so early in the morn,

Can’t you see Sorek’s secret message,

“Ember, don’t pop your corn.”

Don’t pop your corn,

Don’t pop your corn,

Ember, please don’t pop your corn,

Don’t pop your corn,

Don’t pop your corn,

Ember, please don’t pop your corn.

 

Someone’s in the bak’ry with Lion

Someone’s in the bak’ry, I know

Someone’s in the bak’ry with Lion,

Trying to become her beau.

 

_______________________

Image Credit: https://www.amazon.com/Sowing-Purification-Era-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01H1AMBNA

 

 

“The Purification Era” series: A Cleansing of Modern YA

“The Purification Era” series: A Cleansing of Modern YA

Hey, guys!

Yes, I meant it when I said I would start reviewing things more. To make it easier on myself (and probably on you), I’ll review series, or at least, chunks of series, a bit at a time, so less reading for you, less writing (but equal fangirling!) for me, overall, less time-consuming. Sound good? Good.

Lately, I’ve been reading a LOT of really, really good stuff. And when I say, “good stuff,” I don’t mean the popular, “on trend,” super publicized junk. *Some* (though certainly not all) of which gets a lot more attention than the story, world-building, crappy characters, etc, actually deserve.

Which breaks my heart, because I now know at LEAST three (maybe soon to be four!) either indie or self-pubbed authors. We’re not talking your average, run-of-the-mill, throw something, anything, onto CreateSpace and make a few bucks off Amazon. No. We’re talking writers whose word-smithing skills parallel the Suave Sabaa Tahir, the Brilliant Bardugo, the Amazing Amie Kaufman, the Magical Marie Lu. Easily.

Then why, might you be wondering, are these fantastical, equally talented authors often kept hidden in the dark? Simple: They are self-pubbed, or indie-pubbed.

(Keep in mind, again, I do not do this for just any indie-or-self-pubbed. Only the ones who are very professional, and that I deem truly worthy. Not every self-or-indie-pubbed author I know will get advertised and recommended by me. That being said, I’ve extremely high standards, and am very, VERY picky!)

I view this as an incredibly unfair advantage to them, and think they deserve every bit as much love and attention as their more well-known counterparts. A few of these lovely authors include Janeen Ippolito (also head of Uncommon Universes Press), Sarah Delena White, and, more recently, Angie Grigaliunas. Janeen is more well-known in her territory for an interesting mix of supernatural, fantasy, steampunk, some snarky romance, and occasionally shifters (i.e., especially dragonshifters, unicornshifters, and a cat-dragon, who will soon get a major say in another anthology 😉 ); Sarah, while incorporating fantasy and steampunk as well, seems to prefer traditional fae lore, along with traditional (and very chivalrous) romance; lastly, Angie’s style. Angie’s is a nice, heady blend of fantasy, medieval dystopia, and some VERY snarky (but utterly adorable and fangirl-worthy) romance. Her writing is similar to that of Sabaa’s and even Veronica Roth’s, with drops of Bardugo here and there (especially when it comes to the MEN! *whistles*). I just wrapped up reading the first two books in her “Purification Era Series,” and the series was SO GOOD it mounted the top of my Fave YA List (Note: I need to make a post on fave YA series, and why)— beating the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by only a hair breadth. Which is HUGE, because not just ANY author can do that (although Marie Lu, Amie Kaufman, Janeen and Sarah all come dangerously close).

So, I am here to explain why.

And instead of giving a pros and cons like normal, I will just go on a mini-rant of things I liked, loved, and thought could be improved. Fair? Fair.

*MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD– READ AT YOUR OWN RISK*

First off, will say this: I do not recommend any of the YA series I read to anyone younger than 15. Tops. The Illuminae Files and this in particular, I do not recommend to anyone younger than 16 (if they are VERY mentally and emotionally mature– I know, so many teens think they are, but not all are. Trust me. Been there not too long ago, myself.) to 17, bare MINIMUM. (But I’ll get into why in just a bit.) There are just some things I’d rather not have young minds witnessing/picturing, before they reach a state of maturity. (Just as you normally wouldn’t let a five to twelve year old watch a slasher horror flick. Common sense. You don’t want to scar the poor kids for life or anything, right?)

I’m told there are a total of six-eight books, roughly, in this series, and while so far only two have been published, they are. Utterly. And. Jaw-droppingly. Superb. As in, for the most part, I cannot gush over these books enough. Here’s why:

*cue monkey on steroid noises off in the distance*

*clears throat to sound more professional, because that’s what proper reviewers do* Annnnyyywwaaaayyysss, I meant to say that, the world-building skills and character relationship skills in these books are just AMAZING. A. Maz. Ing. You have a complex political system of apparent protectors/oppressors (depends on whose side you view the situation from!), a stirring rebellion, combining some aspects from AEITA, The Giver, and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy alllll rolled into one fabulous package. Here’s what I absolutely adored about the series:

The issues it dealt with. I give her kudos for tackling what she did. Most book series wouldn’t go too in-depth with topics like sisterly love and protection (think similar to Frozen), an abusive parent, or overcoming personal struggles in order to even have a healthy relationship (more on that in a moment). Angie is not interested, for the most part, in fulfilling the character stereotypes. She is not interested in love triangles, or typical “weak to strong female” characters, “100% bad boy characters,” etc. Everyone has depth and meaning, complexity. Layers and layers of COMPLEXITY. I cannot harp enough on allll the YA series I’ve read where certain characters fall short of realism in that department; they may be the average guy or girl next door, but that is legit it. You don’t learn much of their hobbies, habits, fears, dreams for the future, worldviews, what it means to them to truly be human and be ALIVE. Most YA barely scratches this surface, and ends up disappointing me a bit in this area (the main exceptions being The Illuminae Files and The Shadow and Bone Trilogy). I loved how the characters were layered in this series. Different characters saw different sides to each other, brought OUT different sides to each other, challenged one another with questions like that.

And it was utterly terrific. 

The personal romantic struggle and the MEN! PHEW!!! OK, granted, I was warned in advance that Hul men were all super-genius, witty hotties, with secret lil soft sides. And, as we ALL know, THOSE are the kind of guys I end up falling for (in fiction, anyways). Initially, it took me some time for the Huls to grow on me, but I eventually added a certain INTJ Hul to my “NT Type List” (more on that in a different post– MBTI thing), along with the rebel leader, Sorek, who could EASILY give Nikolai Lantsov a run for his money, and have a battle of wits, with all the snark he’s shown us. In fact, if you loved the Nikolai snark in the Grishaverse, you will ADORE Sorek (although, I will guarantee you will hate him at first. But give him PLENTY of time– he grows on you. Like Nik, he tends to persona-shift to suit the needs of the circumstance, and, also like Nik, is also an ENTP!). I was HOWLING at all his playful (and often very flirtatious!) banter with Rabreah 90% of the time. Just splitting at the SEAMS laughing. While the other, more popular YA reads may have given me the occasional fangirly smirk, giggle, or laugh, none have made me outright laugh for AGES on end like Sorek in this series does. And this book’s genre isn’t even comedy! 🙂 The other guy, Masrekah (who ironically reminds me of the Darkling a LOT… read and see why!), isn’t as outright WITTY persay, but has a very dry and sarcastic sense of humor, nontheless. He’s very calm, intelligent, calculated, and SEEMS cold… but you find out, like ALL good INTJs, that underneath that exoskeleton, there’s some well-guarded soft mushiness. (Especially for a particular young lady, whose name I shan’t reveal) This made me squeal in delight as much as Sorek’s interactions with Rab did.

All Imma say is: Quelling. Horseback riding scenes. That is all. xD 😀

And the romantic STRUGGLES. Again, we are not talking the stereotypical, often-used “romance triangle/rectangle/whatever shape is “in” ” nowadays. We’re talking a female MC, Rabreah, who has been sexually threatened, and who has an ardent fear of men (i.e., gets defensive when they get close or look at/touch her, thinks men are the dung of the earth, etc.). She has to physically, emotionally, and mentally JUMP OVER THAT HURDLE if she wants a relationship with So-and-So, a desire that comes into conflict frequently with said fear, so she’s constantly denying her attraction (but we ALL know otherwise 😉 😉 ). As for her little sister, Ariliah, well, Ari’s almost entangled in a deadly and dreaded romance triangle trope. Key word: Almost. Like many YA female protags, she’s a bit confused about who she wants, and initially, who would be best for her (and definitely vice versa). But unlike many, many, MANY female protags who heart-breakingly string guys along, playing both sides of the field, Ari doesn’t look at it that way for longer than maybe a few chapters, and makes her decision of who she wants to be with. I mean, I’ve read other whole books (and a half or more!) that take like half the series or longer to get that stuff all sorted out. It’s very tedious to me, unnecessary “soap opera drama”. Find a guy, a good guy, stick with him, move on. Ari, even as an INFP like Alina Starkov, knows what’s up and has a good bit of common sense with this whole situation. (Which is one of the many reasons I love my sweet lil cinnamon roll! T_T )

Grey “bad” guys. I remember once reading something Leigh Bardugo said, about not everyone being straight-up good and evil, one or the other– we’re all a mix of both. And for a while, as a Christian, I was unsure whether to agree or disagree (more in a future post!). But here, I would definitely say agree, and that it is portrayed in SEVERAL characters VERY realistically. Rab is kind-hearted, smart, and passionate, yet secretly seems to fear her passion for justice will turn her into something like her abusive mother. Sorek has to pretend to be one of his enemies in order to blend in and spy properly– even if that means doing questionable things. Masrekah reads, “grey and mysterious” ALL over, and even little Ari has her moments. This only adds a layer of complexity to Angie’s characters, a layer many characters in many YA novels would not touch.

The world-building. Angie excelled at this, and it was often the little things. The different, foreign lands, how the names and sounds of names were different, country to country. Different cultures. Itzalin and their story, their cultures. Fascinating.

Overall, if there was one or two things I would advise Angie to improve on, I’d say, add more detail and clarification, here and there. I had a tough time initially picturing the itzalin because of this (and for future readers, no, they do NOT resemble werewolves!). Some of the unclarified stuff tripped me up, a smidge. There was also one or two moments of convenience, where things *just happened* to be in play that way, but thankfully, those situations were relatively few and far between.

 

I give this series, so far, a 4.5 out of 5. 🙂 Way to go, Angie! Can’t wait to read the next installments!

Want to check out this fabulous series? Click here for more:

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Image Credit: https://www.amazon.com/Quelling-Young-Dystopian-Fantasy-Purification-ebook/dp/B07CVT9D6S

 

 

The Temple

The Temple

As I

Awaken

As daylight peeks

Through

My curtains, I

Slowly open my

Eyes,

Gazing intently

At

My hands, the

Lineaments and

Ligaments, so carefully

Crafted, the

Bones, the tendons

Come alive and

Move

Without the

Slightest

Conscious

Command.

 

My lids close.

I wonder how it will

Feel

When this form no

Longer

Radiates heat, when

It is cold–

Colder than

Frostbite–

It will no longer

Contain

My essence,

It will no longer

Contain

Me.

I shall not hover,

Not float,

Among the still-living,

But soar

Through the open skies, until

My eyes again open,

And

See Paradise, on the

Other side.

With the One Who

Formed

This Vessel and I,

Awaiting my presence,

My Being,

ME…

On the other side.

 

________________________________

Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/90846117453405927/?lp=true

Humble Thyself in the Side of the Lord: He Will Lift You Up

Humble Thyself in the Side of the Lord: He Will Lift You Up

(Disclaimer: Note– this is NOT a trigger warning. People had allll last month to post trigger warnings on PC posts. Anyways. I do love and respect my pro-choice friends and even fam, but since I love them, I cannot bear to look them in the eye and lie to them, sugarcoating the Truth I know to be absolutely REAL, or worse, completely denying it, outright lying and pretending I agree with them, when the opposite couldn’t be more true… Leaving the inner thoughts and Truth to boil inside of me, like scalding lava, ready to explode out of the volcano. Well, fear not, readers– no explosions today. Just a casual river of lava flowing out of a side opening. 😉 )

Hey, everyone!!

I know, I know, it’s been ages. I initially planned on releasing this yesterday evening, but was so exhausted, I only focused on typing up about the first half, before calling it quits for then– leaving the remainder and the edit for today. (I still have to review the Illuminae Files, Caraval, the Selection Series, Warcross, the Sowing and do some MBTI posts and– GREAT SCOTT LOOK AT THE TIME! Need to get started, here!) I feel like I’ve aged so much since graduating back in early May, but it’s only been a couple months of my whole 23 years of living.

Speaking of past experience… Some of you might recall that from last, around this time or so, I did a poem based on God healing America, not blessing “her”. Today, I still do not retract that statement, but continue to firmly verify it; nay, add to it: I’d like to ask God, my Abba (Hebrew for “Father,” or more specifically, “Daddy”– I’ve taken to calling Him that a lot more lately; it’s my special name for Him 🙂 ) to HUMBLE America. From the President to Hollywood actors and actresses, to activists, we ALL NEED THIS. BADLY.

This is actually a thankfulness post in disguise. See, I’ve noticed a recurring pattern here. Two things often happen when God blesses someone: They either A., take it for granted, lounge in the blessings, disregard God/forgot He gave it and can just as easily take it away, or B., humble themselves and are deeply thankful for everything He’s done, and has been doing for them. Likewise, the two have two different reactions when God takes away the blessings, and bad things start to happen: A often either curses/denies/blatantly ignores God, or, just as bad, promises to recant, etc., then, when things go back to smooth sailing, takes back this promise, and returns to the behavior that probably got them stuck in the pit to begin with (aka, the very yo-yo relationship that God had with the Israelites back in the good ol’ days. Nope, nothing new under the sun– just different century, different packaging, same product here). B, on the other side of the fence, is your typical Job: Either is asking God why, but knowing their place, and never directly blames God, retains righteousness, and comes out of that fiery testing GOLD– aka, blessed even more than before.

Guess which America is? (Hint: It’s not B.)

Now, I’m NOT discounting the people who are continuously resisting and yanking ‘Merica back by its coattails to prevent certain disaster. No, in fact, I applaud such people for their effort. But if America becomes any more blessed at this point, I honestly believe it will go straight to our heads even more than it already has. We have become so blessed that we are often led to believe, solely by our OWN designs, no less, that it is our own actions that have caused the blessings to occur– no God, thank you (Oooo… hurt to write that… ). We pull an Eve, straight out of Genesis, wanting to become our own “gods,” masters of our own fates, captains of our own ships. But it is extremely dangerous to let a captain pilot a ship he has no idea to sail. And it is equally dangerous that we have let God’s blessings (a very good thing) lead to us wanting to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, chests “puffed up” in pride, and neglect entirely the thought of thanking Him or even acknowledging Him (a very bad thing).

And let’s not forget last month’s little theme: #PrideMonth.

So, it is with a very sad, and solemn, heart that I look to Abba and ask Him, no beg Him, to not bless my country. It grieves me to beg this. My own country. My physical inheritance, descendants, and progenitors. I beg Him to humble America. To remind us that we could lose EVERYTHING materially– hobbies, health, objects/trinkets we feel we cannot live without, family, friends, the world, power, wealth– and none of that would matter, so as long as we have Him. If we have Him, we have everything. If we have everything BUT Him, we will have nothing. (And trust me, when I say “nothing,” I mean, “NOTHING”. You can’t take that iPad, that BMW, or that book boyfriend, with you up to Abba. One throne in your heart, for ONE King. God doesn’t do sharing. 😉 For reasons specified in the Old Testament… Israelites had their trinkets they couldn’t let go of, either…) But until we get over ourselves, and turn to the One Who truly deserves our praise, I will not in good conscience ask Him to bless us, as a nation. America likes to play the victim at times, but judging from our past, we’re often very similar to Israel. We all need a serious Reality-God-Check; He’s supposed to be in charge here, in charge of our lives, helping us govern ourselves and our nation. Him, not us. We need to stop backseat driving. And we need to accept that.

But for those who probably wrinkle their noses in disgust at my proclamation, I do not only ask for humility for my nation. No, it is also healing, for we are a very, very broken nation of splintered people. Fractured families of all kinds. Broken hearts, lost souls, floating about aimlessly, searching for something, someone, anyone to fill the void left in their heart. Drugs. Abuse. Perversions of many, many variations (I lost track, and am not bothering to keep track any longer). Deaths of many variations. If that breaks my heart, I can hardly begin to imagine how badly it breaks Abba’s. (Probably comes pretty close to utterly obliterating it due to pure pain, I would wager) We are so lost in ourselves, so lost to sin, it as if we are wandering around in a sea of obscure fog, taking whichever direction the first signpost we spot may point out to us. Even if it is straight off the cliff. Into a sea of ravenous sharks. Straight into the enemy’s waiting jaws.

It is too easy for that vermin to get away with such treachery, and the very thought of it not only makes my skin crawl, but it makes my blood SIMMER. It is just like Lucifer to deliberately calculate and manipulate people’s pains to make them sin more, and drive them away from the One True and Only Permanent Relief– Jesus. We need to fight him. We need to have humility, healing, and a genuine movement of repentance to God and His SON, if we are to make it as a nation, and not fall apart at the seams.

So please… pray with me now…

Abba,

We know we have sinned against You, and against Your Beloved Son, when all You ever wanted was to heal us, to help us, to draw us closer to You and for us to reciprocate Your love for us. Please forgive us of our sins, as we know that does nothing but drive a wider wedge between You and us. We know You want desperately to abolish said wedge, and can do so faster than the bat of an eyelid, but want us to willingly disperse of the wedge. And so, we humbly turn that wedge over to You to destroy, closing that gap. All the sin, all the false idols… We lay them all at Your feet, Abba, and ask You to deal with them as only You see fit. Thank You for blessing us with what we already have, but we know what we really, truly need is You, and only You. Please humble us, and help us to see that. Forgive our pride, show us how to let You take the wheel. Heal us, fix the brokenness, show us the way to go. Be our lighthouse on a hill that we can see clearly through the dense fog, for with You, oh Lord, all things are possible.  

 

“Humble thyself in the Side of the Lord…

Humble thyself in the Side of the Lord…

And He… Shall lift.. You up.

Higher and higher, and He

Shall lift

You up.”

 

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10, NIV

“Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33, NIV (Prvbs. 18:12 says something extremely similar)

 

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Image Credit: https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/american-flag-cross

 

 

To My Future Husband

To My Future Husband

To my Future Husband,

I know that we do not know each other yet, but I want you to know that I know you’re out there, somewhere. I don’t know where, but I know somewhere. And I know this because God told me so.

(Woooowww… That was a LOT of “knows”! Forgive me if I seem arrogant in that sense)

I just wanted to let you know what you’re in for, if you decide to try to pursue me and win my heart. My heart is NOT something easy to get to, at all. I give my whole heart to God, to Jesus, and only chunks of it to animals and people I love, including friends and family. Yet I am a passionate, deeply caring person. I am just not won over easily.

By “not won over easily,” I do not mean, “playing hard to get”. In fact, I don’t trust flirting all that much, or even know HOW to flirt, myself (or recognize it, unless it is outright obvious– I mostly think people are being friendly/polite). By “not won over easily,” I mean you are going to have to make some effort to get to know me, and win my trust. I do not trust all that easily. Being a sensitive person (understatement of the century), I have been hurt emotionally and mentally (and almost physically, once or twice) multiple times. I instinctively have built a strong fortress around my heart, my soul. If you want to get in, you need to be willing to scale some walls. Make some effort. Get to know me on a deeper level. I have no tolerance for manipulation, which loses my trust almost instantaneously, setting you back to square one (if you’re the lucky one). Most of all, I need understanding. Not necessarily sympathy, but understanding.

I want you to understand that I can be moody, and why I’m moody. I want you to understand that I have a weird, emotional, fangirly side, a sweet, caring, counseling side, and a serious, academic, smart side. Often, the last wins out a lot in my life, and I am forced to make hard choices (such as “Do I go visit my dying dog during her last days, knowing I probably won’t see her again, or do I get a jump on periodicals, which are due in a couple weeks?”). I am often forced to neglect personal things, like writing, friend time, me time, etc in favor of homework and other obligations; this typically has a negative effect on me. If I do not have a healthy outlet to express my frustrations, it slowly gnaws away at the core of my being; I feel helpless and depressed– like I just want to curl up into a ball, cry myself to sleep, and not do ANY work. Like at ALL. I am one of those people who has to lie and go to the answering machine response when most people ask how I’m doing (but don’t usually care); note: I hate being inauthentic with my feelings, as I feel it is being untrue to myself. But most people don’t care, or have problems of their own, so for their sake more than mine, I tend to push that all inward, driving me even battier than normal. People often, though not always, take advantage of my seeming stability, my warm openness, and come to me with emotional needs or problems. One or two problems I can help them handle. But the more that flock to me, the more overwhelmed I become, and the more my brain feels like exploding, or my emotions/mouth, snapping– like a twig. (You don’t want to be on the receiving end when that happens, trust me. Although the good news is, it seldom shows outwardly, and it is happening less.)

Additionally, I’m sure you’ve realized by now that I am not a shallow kind of gal (at least, I try not to be). I value the person inside, not the outside. I recognize that these bodies are only God’s temples, shells to temporarily house our true selves, our souls. While physical beauty does have some value, granted, I grow angry when/if people are only drawn to me only because of how I look. It gets to the point where I almost want to (if I could only be so horribly audacious; again, this is GOD’S temple, not mine, and I have no right to desecrate it, just as others have no right to desecrate it) take a knife and scar up the face I was  given, cut chunks of  hair out, and scar or deform the rest of my body, because people place so much value on it over the soul. It makes me want to openly defy them. When will they see or understand? It is not the physical that TRULY matters, in the long haul!

(I apologize for the rant… I’ve been through a lot, as you can see)

I do not go for flings, one night stands, online dating, etc. I want true commitment. Marriage. I bought myself a purity ring when I was 18, and on my finger it shall remain until that special night (which, by the way, I AM looking forward to just as much as you). In return, I will promise you love, loyalty, devotion and commitment as your helpmate in Christ. We can work together in Him for God’s glory, looking forward to heaven as one. I am open to both giving and receiving advice, as long as it is constructive and not critical for the sake of being critical (I’m toughening up a bit in that area). I have been anxious about seeing anyone, though,  due to my many trust issues, and my persistent fear of manipulation, deceit, or, worst of all, being taken advantage of due to my emotional, mental, spiritual, and even physical inexperience. That is why dating/courting is simultaneously one of my greatest desires, but also one of my greatest fears. I do not want to date an unbeliever, most of all. The thought, along with my experience in that department, utterly terrifies me. I want someone who is truly dedicated to Christ, and has a solid, strong relationship with Him. I want to grow together with you, in Him. And if that means I’ll need to wait longer, because we all know God runs on His own time, so be it. I’ll wait for hundreds of years, if it takes that long. I’m willing.

I’ll be praying for you.

Yours,

Olivia

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Image Credit: https://gallery.yopriceville.com/Free-Clipart-Pictures/Valentine-s-Day-PNG/Heart_Print_PNG_Clipart