Thursday, April 30, 2009


In spanish class today we watched this REALLY INTERESTING IT PUT ME TO SLEEP video on South American countries and the animals there. Well, it turns out that one animal they happened to focus on was the anaconda. Now, for those who remember 1997, that beautiful and wonderful year, you might recall the film Anaconda with Ice Cube, Jennifer Lopez, and some other terrific celebrities. I remember quite clearly my father making my sister, mom, and I watch that movie when it came out on VHS. The image of the evil anaconda swallowing J-Lo whole still remains in my memory (if I'm not mistaken). That was my first scary movie experience. Now, though, I see clips of it and see how stupid it is. However, it caused a chain of nightmares for about two years, the same dream over and over.

This dream that was a result of watching Anaconda consisted of my family walking through a desert, all of us frightened about the snake that could appear if you touched this big red button on a yellow notepad. Suddenly, there was a transition of location, and we were all at my house. I was looking down at my feet, pale against the dark green carpet at my old house, and entering the kitchen sensing worry. My uncle and dad were sitting at the table, talking. They showed me the notepad, and for some dumb reason I hit the red button. Their faces looked alert and astonished at my action, and they told me to hide under the table with them. Next thing I know, the anaconda appeared, and I saw my uncle and dad being choked and his face going purple, ending with eyes closing and bodies going limp.

The anaconda disappeared. Quickly I ran through the hallway into my room, where toys were lying around in random, messy order, covering the floor like fallen confetti. It was nighttime so my room was dark with only an amount of lighting equivalent to that of a burning candle. Out of fear, I picked up this keyboard I used to always play on, and just sang and sang and sang so I wouldn't think about what had just happened. But I heard the anaconda slither on the carpet, and his bright skin come into my view. His body was incredibly long, at the time it felt like his length was never ending. The anaconda did not come alone. With their necks wrapped in the tight clench of the snake's thick body was my whole family dead. Tongues sticking out sloppily and backs and legs being dragged slowly. I dropped my keyboard, and then it was me who was gasping for air and could feel my eyeballs almost popping out because the anaconda kept pulling tighter, and tighter, and tighter............

And it ended.

I was six when I had that dream. It seems so weird for such a young kid to dream something that graphic...but that nightmare would play over and over again when I slept. In that same order. That's why I haven't forgotten. My mom told me to pray about it, and ask that I have no more bad dreams. Well, it worked after a couple of weeks. Therefore, it has been many years since I've had countless nightmares in a short time span. Recently, though, I've had too many!

The first dream was about a month ago, and in it someone tried to shoot my best friend. With a black gun and a dark mask over his face, the man shot his gun at Sarah. I ran infront of it and dodged it for her. It scared me so bad I woke up.

Then another, which was by far the worst worst worst worst dream I have EVER had! But, I'd rather not post it on the internet. Don't try to use your imagination and guess, it's not worth your time.

There have been several other ones, but most of them are random. Not funny random either, just...weird and confusing. Like- how did my mind make that up?

Maybe all of these dreams associate with my fears.

GOD is pretty cool.

HMMM....let's see here!

First off: feeling called lately by the Lord to play drums. When I brought home the Core values of PCC sheet that Beth Brawley gave to me, my mom started crying. Out of happiness ofcourse, but I could tell she's proud that I'm involved in something positive that will add to my commitment to Christ, and through what I love most- music. Wow, it really blew me away thinking about it as I fell asleep, realizing how far I have come. From practically atheist beliefs to having passion for discovering God. There used to be bags under my eyes from smoking and drinking and drugs or whatever...and now if I ever have those bags under them, it's usually from getting up early to get ready for church, or having spent a whole night with my best friend watching worship videos and crying because we come to a realization that God has saved us. My heart is so thankful for the friends He's given me, I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for their encouragement. My life now is complete opposite from what it used to be. I can say that with absolute certainty and no exxageration. And I'm proud, I'm amazed. What I'm able to declare with truth is, hey, if I was able to feel the Holy Spirit move in me during a time of tremendous doubt in God's existence, then He MUST be real. You can't deny that crazy, totally awesome, and sometimes ethereal experience of God speaking to you, in which ever form or worship that produces the greatest connection.

But going back to my mom, she even told me that she had been praying a lot more lately and that it's helping her at work, which was a gift from God, since I've been praying to Him to encourage my parents to seek His face in order to deal with their everyday stress, just as I've been working on. And, so, I see in my mom this kind of hope that she will become more interested in coming to...PCC!!! Yes, that would be great. I've been asking her for a while to come to a service with me, but since she is emotional, she feels like it'd be uncomfortable. Although, haha, let's face it, PCC is the most accepting church around when it comes to being moved by Him!! Ahh....the unity we find in Christ is great isn't it?! No, really, IT IS!

And so last night at the band practice I was able to hop on the kit and play a song. I'm not going to lie, I was little nervous since none of them had ever really seen me play before. But it felt like joy beyond comprehension. And the fact that this year my mom has been disappointed with my grades (failing chem!), but I can make her proud of me by worshipping Jesus Christ through music, I can't doubt that it's a calling. It's a sign of something I'm not sure of yet. Then again, what's the fun in knowing all the future holds? That's the excitement in trusting Christ with what we don't know will happen in the future, because everything will work out.

Prayer request: Please pray for my cousin as she prepares for a trial next month. And for the people who are either suffering or not being able to go anywhere because of swine flu.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blabbing about a balloon...and life

How do you take in the world with realistic eyes, but holding onto that child-like awe that keeps the mind and heart amazed by simple sights?

For instance, releasing a balloon and watching it fly up...up...UP into the clouds, its color becoming more and more intense in the sun's spotlight. As a child, you stare with squinted lids until the balloon has finally gone out of sight. At first, its common to become very upset to lose something that caught your attention, being so light and free but its presence obvious and known to a young soul. Yet now, almost reaching the age of legal "adulthood", would I, myself, glue my attention to this balloon...or would I punch my senses to look at something else out of plain boredom?

Walking out of a Ukrop's parking lot when I was little, my mother used to encourage me to keep a firm grip on the ribbon attached to the twisted end of whatever flashing or character-printed birthday balloon she had just purchased. For one reason or another, I always found it to be the most exciting part of celebrating another year of existence. As long as I held onto it, how could the inflated figure literally leave me? The texture of the ribbon as a kid comes back to me now, how the rigid lines on its surface were supposed to aide your determination to simply hold on, even on the most windy of days. But, in reality, why DO they use ribbon? It's not the most trustworthy material!

But behind all this blabbering is a truth- we lose our fascination with the world as we grow. There are some things that I want to hold onto. Like how a field's thousand of grass blades become unified as a breeze tilts and pushes them in a new direction. How bright and vibrant a city street sounds during the day with dozens of people all having someplace to go, and if not, something to do. How music can illustrate visions inside your noggin, and pop goosebumps through your skin. And all this wonder and question? Well, I never want answers as to why these beautiful things happen, but I already know that many curiosities in our lives are the reasons why we are thankful for living.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Break 09

The holy school bell rang at 2:55 last Friday, and within my chest my heart started propelling like a boat motor, ready to head out into the open ocean of Spring Break's freedom. No more long hours in a class room, gazing at the pale whiteboard while all the letters become fuzzy as I zone off through thoughts of "Hm...I wonder if there's any peanut butter left in the pantry...or pancakes in the freezer...", or, "Just fifty-five minutes until class is out...". My butt levitated out of that cold, dark, and hard seat that lingers behind the plastic chemistry class desk once the bell rang with shouting liberation. These eyes that were slowly drooping down and flicking back up (due to boring lectures) sprang to life, searching for the door so my legs and feet could flee from the dreaded classroom environment!

And from there, I went to the beach with my sister and friend Jessie. No matter what's occurring in your life, the beach breeze drizzles over your worries. It really is paradise, laying down on warm sand grains that eventually dominate everything, crawling into the most unknown portions of your clothing and items, such as your t-shirt stitching or the Velcro on your lunch box. At Kill Devil Hills, NC, there appeared to be an atmosphere that if you're not having fun...then you really aren't in the OBX. Which I found to be true, because I don't think there's been any other beach trip of mine where there wasn't a single dispute between the people in your cottage, or where I could ride bikes and not have the danger of being run over by a rushing tourist. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the people, maybe it was our connection with God...

My friend, Jessie, lived across the street from me when I lived in Chesterfield. I've known her since she was born! Ever since then, our families have kept in contact and remained close. She's been very supportive of my recent acceptance of Christ, and all this time I didn't see it, but she has felt called by the Lord to do international mission work as an adult. One day on the beach trip, we took a long walk and discussed our views on self-love, and how all these years we've had a great lack of it. Oddly enough, our lives parallel in one case involving relationships, and the minor abuses, that have shaped our perception on how to act in a relationship. For both of us, it wasn't until our eagerness to seek Jesus that we found just how valuable we are in God's eyes. Jessie and I have separate situations, but at the same time we are discovering that Jesus' death on the cross...that is ultimate love. His love is worth more than any guy could give us, and we don't have to act a certain way in order to receive that attention, because God sees us as gorgeous and worth every minute. Because of the talk with Jessie, I feel more secure about the past, and aware of how God grants us the present time to walk forward, dig up those abuses' effects, and color the recovery as our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

As weeks have passed by, my amount of medication has bumped up. Finally, I've found the right medication. I'm so thankful I don't have to experience waiting to see what a new pill does to my mind, and making the decision as to switch to a new one or not. One thing my mother told me the other day when I came home from school depressed, was that I shouldn't see the days where I suffer as a fallback erasing my progress, but rather that those moments are a pause in progress, and the effort is not erased whatsoever. That really comforted me, seriously.

On Monday I got my prom dress. Three years ago I wouldn't even imagine me in a dress, let alone attending a school dance! All because of my lack of confidence. But thankfully God has granted me great, loving friends who encourage me to show my beauty. Yes, the nerves are are still tingling in my stomach thinking about arriving to the high school on prom night, but my reason for going is to have a fun time with my friends, not to impress anyone!

My grandfather is about to retire from his teaching job at Virginia State University. I love him so much, and he inspires me with each conversation about literature and films. If it wasn't for his influence, I probably wouldn't look into the art of writing or the creativity of film making, especially screenplays. So yesterday, he decided to take my sister and I up to his office to get any books we wanted (wow I'm such a dork)!!!!! On his bookshelves I plucked two boxes worth of books, including Ken Kesey, Robert Frost, James Joyce, Tennessee Williams, Adrienne Rich, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, John Steinbeck, etc. etc. Kelsey looked pretty bored since she doesn't like to read, but she did grab a copy of The Garden of Good and Evil. AND THE BEST THING I'LL BE GETTING is his original movie poster of Rebel Without a Cause. (James Dean= HOT!)

More importantly, I am SOOOO0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o thrilled to MAYBE play drums for PCC. AHH!! I can't wait to worship God through music!!!!!! And the Knoxville mission trip this's so close! Lately I've been focusing way too much on myself, it's time for me to provide something for other people. Honestly! Another idea that I'd like to persue is to adopt a rescue dog. Those animals need a family that can care for and love them!

The new theatre in Midlo is awesome, by the way. I'm sure everyone has been, but I LOVE IT! Sarah, Kelsey, and I went to see a few movies and it was worth the DOLLAR! Twas brilliant.

More and more I'm getting to know my cousin, Sarah. Last night we watched Reality Bites, which is so great because it captures the 90's culture perfectly. Even though she's 30 years old, I feel like the age doesn't matter when it comes to relating on certain things. She's shown me that. And every night when she comes over, before I fall asleep, I thank God that He's given me all these wonderful people that can pour their hearts into me, and mine into theirs. In God, we must belong to a stronger, more invincible love, right?