A few things Francis Chan’s Crazy Love has taught me.

If you know me in real life, there’s not a lot you may know about me currently. I’ve been Facebook and Instagram free for awhile now and it’s felt, well, wonderful. I met a woman yesterday, and we were talking about a homeschool group that’s exclusively on Facebook and she made the quiet comment that she’s not on Facebook, expecting me to give her the “ARE YOU INSANE, LADY???” look but when I said I wasn’t on Facebook either, our eyes locked and it was like we were transferred back in time to a period where people actually took two seconds to truly know each other. It was refreshing. So what have I been doing? Homeschooling my daughter, for one. It’s been an amazing roller coaster ride of perfect moments shuffled in with the imperfect ones (think a Vegas card dealer who doesn’t know what he’s doing). But overall, a great experience and the way she looks at books now is the exact way I look at books. So mission accomplished. I’ve also been writing. I’ve given up on novels, and I’m allowing myself to be okay with that. I know. How dare I. But every time I attempt one, I frustrate myself, and if the end result of me trying to write one is me being angry with the world, then I think I’ll pass. I have, however, been writing poetry. I have, however, grown in my relationship with God and have struggled with the idea that I am a Christian. I’m not a fan of your typical Christian who enjoys their Starbucks lattes, oversized SUVs, and smacking an “I Vote Republican” sticker on the back of their bumper. So you can imagine that having to say those words out loud is a little like biting off my own tongue. But I AM a follower of Christ and have seen how He changes lives, my own included. Thankfully, Fancis Chan is a reasonable, logical Christian and I kind of just love what he has to say in his book Crazy Love:
Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America. Just as the prophets in the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label Christian or beacuse some people persist in calling us a “Christian nation.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love
That noise? I do believe it was the mic dropping. Dude. YES. For the longest time I didn’t want anything to do with Christianity because I thought it meant I had to be like the typical smug American Christian. And maybe that’s not fair, but you have to admit there’s A LOT of them walking around. But you know what’s wrong with my assessment of people like this? They’re not Christians. They may call themselves that. But they’re not. Something else I’m taking from Chan’s book is the fact that I must ALWAYS be running towards God and self-assessing my own life. If I get too fat and happy, I’m doing it wrong. So really, this whole country is doing it wrong. You can’t love Christ and your big screen TV. You have to take up your cross and follow Him. And if you’re not going to do that, then okay. But stop calling yourself a Christian. It’s just getting embarrassing at this point.

I know, no social media, and I get all up in arms about everything. But I promise I’m not cranky. I’m just finally getting IT.

So now, a prayer. That all of us walking this path can find love in Christ. In others. That we stop kidding ourselves, believing the safe path is the best path. If things aren’t confusing, uncomfortable, or the opposite of everything you’ve ever wanted, it’s time to pray. To find out what God truly wants. And to set aside those creature comforts and your need to prove yourself to other people in order to prove yourself to the only One who matters.
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Snake

girl jumping on trampoline

I’ve written
everything
for God
and nothing
for the braided
spine
linking
my past
with this moment.

No. Lies.
Because everything
snakes
from the beginning
to end and
Even when you
cut off the head,
the body still thrives
if only for
a
heartbeat.

Ugly

There’s your face
Cheek to my skin
And nobody even
Knows the shade
Of all the colors
Bleeding into
The hollows of your
Cheeks,
But I feel it goes
Beyond the white
Of my outsides
and the grainy
Hash of my
Innards.

If I had
All the beauty
In the world,
I’d spoil it
By losing my name
and Yours, too.
And as our breath
Mingles,
You taking
Everything
From my reach,
And all I have left
To touch
Are the hollows,
those colors.

Wild Edge

ava jumping 2

Between sex
And death
Cecilia chose
The latter
And that was
Always
the music
That played
At my heels.

Sex or death.
Sinner or saint.
No in between.

But can’t you
See?
It takes a lifetime
Of bad memory
To untangle our
Legs,
Smooth over
The edges,
And no amount
Of “I’m sorrys”
Will kill the story
“You’re forgiven”
has played
On my heart.

Or

girl bowling

 

Here’s what will happen:

You’ll hate me for a lifetime 
Or
A moment.

And I will visit you at the church where you work or in the prison near my house.

And you will love God or learn the world according to Satan.

And maybe you will have children or know the ways of an untrained womb.

And maybe you’ll be happy on your own accord or shear every inch of yourself to wear another woman.

And you will remember all my sins and stack them up against me.

Or you will love me and let memory rot and forget the day I screamed until both our throats ran dry.

Problem

Problem

 

I guess

there are

things I think

about.

Who wouldn’t

with hair

in your mouth

and a whole

world in your throat?

But I don’t deny

the fact

that love

was never

an issue.

Quite the opposite.

And that,

my friend,

is the

problem.                                           -e.c.

Dear Ava,

I’m a horrible mother. And a terrifically good mother. And a no nonsense mother and a spastic, nonsensical type of female who keeps parking crookedly and forgets the word for fork sometimes, and then other times I feed people my brilliance.

I don’t think any of us were meant to be good at this.

But I think that’s okay. I think for the first time ever, there’s no good mother Olympics, no gold to be won.

There are mistakes and bruises and tears and the way she looks at me like she’s known me before she was born and wishes she’d never met my face.

It’s the same way I look into the mirror sometimes.

But there are those other crystal clear moments, a love abundant, a love like Christ’s, where I can feel it all weaving together, broken skin healing and that sound she makes when she breathes.

Step one, we are alive.

Step two, start living,

Step three, write down, paper to pen.

Dear Ava,

I’m sorry.

But dear Ava,

You now know the truth.

Mountain


The scraps

Fall from

Your mouth and I

Mound them

Into my

Little mountain,

Conquer

The peak

Of all

You’ve

Discarded.                          -e.c.

Evolution

IMG_3822

Here’s your
March
Of time
And Evolutionary
Progression
But burning
Your offspring
And tasting
The sharp note
Of blood
When nobody
Loves you
Is like a sweet
Reminder
That your
Death
Is the only
Real truth
You know. 

– e.c.