what are you running away from?


what are you running away from, child?

what are you running away from when you sleep with your windows open no matter the cost of temperature, no matter the ease with which bad men could make their way up those walls, no matter the wings that fly in to lose their life to the light?

what is it about that breeze that keeps your stir crazy self sane, that breeze that makes you tame your mane instead of letting it fall dirty and matted and free around your shoulders, that breeze that makes you breathe with your eyes closed?

aren’t you afraid you might fly away with it?

or perhaps you already have, and you keep those windows open in hopes you will one day return.

I know you’ve spent long days with your head hanging over the edge of the bed, eyes half open, heart fully broken, trying to believe that there are no whispers on the wind telling you to go.

what are you running away from when you sneak out of crowds when the lights go down and the voices are loud so your friends don’t notice your absence the way they notice the trees when they first start to bud?

what are you running away from when you pray to wake up invisible?

and God, how do you answer Him?

He sees you running from miles away and yet He stays, He stays where He knows you will stop when you are ready to talk and He waits with the diligence of a marble Roman statue.

and what is your excuse?

who made it so you cannot even open your mouth to scream “Why?” when He tries to reach out His arms to you, but rather you stand, brimming with boiling waterfalls, shaking your head in distrust as you turn away to start running again.

where is the start of your damage?

what made the first break in your mind?

I’ve found my freedom at the top of mountains too tall for demons to climb, but what goes up must come down, and I always came down.

it seems that now, I’ve stayed.

I was trained far more in cross country than in combat so when the mistakes I have made and the men who have made me mute and the demons who don’t dare stop their destruction finally catch up to me, I look for my open window instead of my weapon. and I run.

I am tired of walking the plank just because my vessel has the potential to turn from ship to shipwreck.

I am tired of calling it quits at the hint of connection.

I am tired of feeling guilt at the thought of resurrection.

but this life seems to spin too fast for my liking sometimes so I run to keep up, or to out last, or to not be left behind.

running away is what I do best

it’s what I do instead of being the lady that doth protest

but I’m tired of keeping my mouth shut and my lungs over capacity, I want to turn my forward motion into forward tenacity

I want to see the roses bloom where I plant them


you can stop running anytime, love, anytime.

the wind still blows even when your window is not open to feel it.

don’t believe what they say about once a goner, always a goner; the Lord will you meet you where your legs stop working and He will carry you to the finish line, stroking your hair all the while.

there is kindness the color of glaciers and hope as important as bees, they will rest upon you once you start growing, so start growing and stop running and know that your feet deserve a rest just as much as your mind does.

stop running and start growing:

you’ll find that your soles know how to take root, and how to take root quickly, you’ll find that your shoulders are mountains in themselves and your waist is small enough to slip through the cracks in their armor.

your hair is South Dakota wheat waving in the wind and your voice is the wind in itself.

your spine cracks like the trees and grows even taller and your ribs have the stars trapped between them.

just stop, take a break, take a rest, take a breather, take enough time to photosynthesize into a reminder that you are more terrifying that the things that chase you.

you’ll find that they might stop dead in their tracks once you do too.

cancelled contract

he is growing inside of me even as you stare and search for new cracks in my surface

even as you watch with a wary eye for the weakening of my worn heart

even as you say your hands are out to catch me when I fall

even when I see your hands are shaking


he is growing and I am growing with him and I will not need your hands anymore


I know you do not know how to love me without needing a toolbox

burn that manual that was stained with my tears and creased beneath your hands before they began to shake

throw away those nails you used to pound into my skin telling me that the blood was painful but necessary, that the healing would come in time

bury those hammers in the back yard

those hammers you would hand out to the team of healers you recruited in my honor

those hammers that blocked the light enough for me to realize there even was light I had been missing

those hammers I tried to throw right back at you

give that wrench to someone else, to someone who is still in pieces, to someone who has yet to become a home for anything other than pain

break in half that staple gun I would press to my own skin just to show you that I felt no pain, just to show you that I was stronger than anyone else, just to show you that I was so empty, just to show you there would be no blood

squeeze out all that glue you used to bathe me in when I came home at the end of night with my own body scattered between my own arms, the glue you said would keep me together long enough for morning to come

burn those tarps you and the team would wrap my body in as I lay shivering on the floor


I am no longer a house for you to reconstruct

I no longer have a demolition wish for myself

I stand on the top of a crane called faith and I have no fear

though the wind blow and tempt me to fall into it’s cradling, lying arms, I stand firmly rooted, a million miles above the collapsed shack I used to be

and I shout “I am no building but the forest they want to chop down for wood!”

and I shout “I am no system of pipes but the rushing river they cannot tame!”

and I shout “I am no mess of wire but the electric shiver the earth feels when the lighting kisses her cheek!”

he is growing and I am growing with him and I have long since surpassed the cage I used to need to stay alive

he is growing and I am growing with him

he is growing and I am growing

he is growing

he is

Standing at the Door of the Future, As Always.

After so many difficult things in our lives we seem to stand in one place and stare at the earth spinning faster and faster away from us and all we can ask is “where do we go from here?”


“what’s the next step?”


“can there be a Future?”


I suppose I’ve been asking those questions with a higher frequency lately. I’ve spent a profound amount of time letting my eyes wander over my own skin at night when I should be sleeping, memorizing the scars I’ve earned as of late, wandering if the scars on my soul will ever heal as well as the ones on my skin have. Those questions are the types of questions that keep me up at night, pacing and pacing, wishing that the number on the thermometer were higher so I could actually cover some ground in my contemplative prowl. I’ve always been a fan of walking fast enough so that my body can keep up with my brain.


Where do I go from here?


These questions plague me and I sit at the altar of God (also known as the drivers seat of my car) and I ask what could have been avoided and how much worse things could have been. Full people tell me that I am free and that I am still beautiful, and I wonder if they knew the details, the details I don’t even tell myself, if they would still be able to say that. I wonder how conditional their forgiveness is. I wonder when or if they will someday hold it over my head.


I remember the first time I ever heard the words “You are absolved of your sins. Your record has been made clean. You are free.” I was at a youth conference up in the Rockies and after a led time of confession and repentance, the speaker verbalized the change that we were supposed to have felt.


And I was floored.


I was left crying and in awe, because for the first time in my life, I actually felt forgiven. They say that forgiveness is something given to you freely by God if you only put your faith in Him, but He had been a concrete wall I stopped trying to scale years ago but this verbal absolving showed me the door that had been in that wall all along. It was unlocked, too, with a sign that said ‘All Are Welcome’. I felt welcome.


Ever since then, I hadn’t been afraid to face God with my sins laid out clear on my forearms. He has never been late to removing that weight from my shoulders. But what I have yet to learn or understand is how any human can give that kind of love like He can.


I remember walking at night when I was younger and thinking that even the fireflies were avoiding me, thinking that I was far better suited to wear nothing on my head than that shimmering crown of flowers all the princesses wore in the books my parents read to me at night. I would ask God why the earth shook under my feet in a way that made people run from me instead of want to shake the earth with me. I saw so many women who were always one predictable shape and who fit neatly into the puzzle but no matter what I did, I could not stop from morphing between ‘uncomfortably too big’ and ‘far too small’.


But now that I am older I have realized and believed in a world that doesn’t need me one size, but that world is lonely and since coming back from South America I have felt like I once more don’t belong in the puzzle box I was placed in. I have felt like I was haphazardly picked up from behind the couch and thrown in with an image that I do not belong to.


God has been Good and Faithful and He has been speaking to me about the future in ways I don’t deserve to know, but I am still too afraid to ask Him questions. I am still too afraid that if I try to engage in conversation with Him versus just listening to Him speak, He will turn into that concrete wall that towered over me for years. He is not that wall. I know that. I have known that. I will continue to know that. But the human spirit is not impermeable to doubt and I have been known to find great success in the ways of being a lost cause.


When I read His Word and see words like “all” and “my people” I still have that little voice inside that says “except you”. I am grown enough to know to challenge it, to tell it to speak only when spoken to, to realize that voice is not someone led by truth but rather by lies, but I can’t help but wonder if anybody else hears it, or just me.


Do you hear it?


Do you hear me?


Why do I still desire to be heard?


There is a new smell on the winds of the days to come, and I greatly look forward to falling headfirst into that storm. I have no doubt it will be positively electrifying. I just know that I am probably more at risk than ever to believing the lies of my past. But perhaps in being aware of my susceptibility, my resistance is fortified. I am still taking things one day at a time, but it’s been month since I even considered giving myself an expiration date and for that I am thankful. Forgiveness will come and I will not run from goodness in this next season of my life and Jesus will continue to be inside of me versus just barely at arms reach. I believe that the voice of Doubt will get softer and I will more and more be opening my own mouth to speak and God will be there listening.

You are Good with a Capital G

I’ve been writing a lot of music lately. I’ve been writing a lot of music and it’s all been sounding like nothing. I’ve been writing a lot of music about mountains and God and girls who don’t eat and nothing I lay beneath my fingers or behind my lungs seems to hold enough talent or depth or whatever you want to call it to be something worth listening to.


That’s been my problem for most of my life; being something worth listening to. Even today as I talk to my new friends and message my old friends, I find that my stories are led with a question and followed with an apology, I find that my mouth falls shut more than it falls open, I find that I lose a lot of words inside my head than out in the open air. And even then, there are very few people I trust enough to sit in silence with, without feeling the need to put something, anything, no matter how pointless into the air between us. There is just air between us.


This time it’s not a language barrier thing; it’s a people barrier thing. It’s my music sounding the same day after day and all the words I write sounding too much like 14 year olds listening to Panic! At The Disco. Is it wrong of me to want to write like a 27 year old listening to Grieg or a 65 year old listening to Radiohead? Don’t get me wrong, P!ATD got us all through a lot of our years, but I’m tired of being blonde and black at the same time and I’m tired of people mistaking my angst for youthfulness. I’m tired of keeping my mouth shut. But when I do open it to scream, I find that most of the time nothing comes out in time for anyone to stay long enough and if something does, it sounds a little too much like Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” to make anyone believe I am serious.


If I come home to find someone has shut my window while I was at school, I am afraid that the good spirits have already left after getting tired of knocking on the glass pane all afternoon long.


Maybe the music thing is that I am living too much here to have time to process what it has meant to be alive, maybe the music thing is my ears are too busy hearing a new continent to want to hear myself, maybe the music thing is I am much more empty than I thought. Or maybe I am enjoying being full for the first time in my life.


All I know is that I’ve heard a lot of laughter here that I want to remain belonging to the atmosphere instead of trying to trap it inside my piano strings. I’ve got notebooks full of scribbles and Word documents full of lines that rhyme, but nothing inside my mind seems fine enough to line up in front of you saying “Listen, this is mine.”


I wonder what it felt like to be David writing the Psalms, I wonder if “Divine Inspiration” leaves room for creative liberty and expression, or if the pen God held to David’s head felt more full of lead than ink. I’d like to think that God wasn’t exactly expecting the profound amount of anguish and sorrow that David put into the Psalms, but when He read them He found favor upon His creation because he saw that David’s sadness was good.

If you’re reading this, I hope you’re sadness is good, too. I hope you understand why the word “death” is feminine in Spanish and I hope that you have periods of time when whatever art you make stops coming to you and you have to take the energy to figure out why. Please don’t become complacent in your goodness, because things change and people change and you will sometimes have to rock yourself to sleep at night. You are good, with a capital G and even zeroes for O’s if you want, G00D. You are good and you deserve to eat ice cream at 10 in the morning and you deserve to know that even though God gave him the pen, David got to choose whether or not he put it to paper and started writing. Please choose to start writing, even if its just scribbles in a notebook or lines on a word document, please choose to start writing. You are something worth reading.