Memories: Part One- The assignment

“Choose a specific object that you’ve encountered throughout your life,” I read aloud from the paper that holds my assignment. “Write a brief series of descriptions of moments in which the object has played a role.” My mind begins to race. What is something that is important to me? I do a quick scan of the room, when suddenly, it hits me. My eyes begin to focus as I hone in on the object that has been with me since I was only ten years old: my stuffed bear. Once upon a time, this bear had been all white, fresh and new. However, now he’s beginning to grey with age. He’s wearing a purple draw-string hoodie with the words “LOVE U” right in the center in all caps. The strings that hang from his hoodie are beginning to fray, and his once fluffy fur is now matted and dirty from long nights and playful afternoons spent outside in the dirt. To others, this bear may seem like just another ratty old children’s toy, but to me, he is so much more.

As I slowly and carefully pick up my bear, memories of moments both happy and sad fill my mind. His familiar fur greets my fingers and sends my mind on a memory-filled rollercoaster. His dark round eyes stare back at me, and his face holds a comforting expression of understanding. How many nights have I hugged this bear, tearfully believing that he was the only one who truly understood me? How many times have I carried him along with me on long family vacations and reluctantly left him behind to wait in the hotel room as we went out to dinner? What is it about this bear, this stuffed animal that has brought me so much happiness? As I hold him in my arms as I have done so many times before, my mind begins to replay the day in which I first laid eyes on him.

Baptism

Today is the day of my Baptism. Nine year old me wiggles impatiently as my mother tries desperately to brush the knots out of my thick, tangled hair. I am wearing the shirt that she made me specifically for this occasion. It has a bright red heart painted on it and reads “I gave my heart to Jesus”. My nine year old mind is full of wonder and excitement. 

Me: So, tell me. How this is going to play out again?

Mom: Lindsey, I have already told you what’s going to happen. And besides that, you’ve seen it done many times before!

Me: Just tell me one more time…please? I promise I won’t ask again!

Mom: (Sighs) Okay. You’ll stand in line at the top of the stairs that lead into the tub. Pastor Roy will give his speech about how all of you have chosen to accept Jesus, and then one by one he will ask you to step down into the water with him.

Me: Will it be cold?

Mom: No, it’s warm like bath water. But remember to step in carefully because if you slip, you’ll fall in and it will be embarrassing.

Me: Okay….then what?

Mom: You’ll stand in front of him sideways and he will take your hands. That’s when he’ll announce to everyone that you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior.

I grip my face dramatically in an attempt to impersonate the victims on the late night horror movies I wasn’t supposed watch, and then let out my best and most award-winning gasp of terror.

Me: HE’S GOING TO TAKE MY HANDS?!?

Mom: Lindsey, for the love of God, you know what I mean!!

Me: You said it, not me….So after he gruesomely takes my hands from me, then does he dunk me?

Mom: Lindsey, stop fooling around. This is a serious matter! And no, not yet.

Me: Well then when does he dunk me?

She sighs and continues to yank at the stubborn knots in my thick red hair. 

Mom: Not until after he asks you if you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Me: But wouldn’t he have just said that to everyone? Why would he tell everyone that I already have and then ask me?

Mom: (Clearly beginning to lose her patience) I don’t know, Lindsey! That’s just how it works!

Me: (Pause)…..And then he dunks me?

Mom: (Sighs) No. not yet. Not until you say yes…

Me: (Interrupting) But what if I say no?

She abruptly stops brushing my hair and sternly looks me in the eyes.

Mom: Why on Earth would you say that?!

Me: (Laughing) It sure would shock him! Ha! He wouldn’t see that coming!

Mom: (Angrily) Lindsey!

Me: Okay, geez I’m only kidding!

She stares at me, arms crossed over her chest, looking un-amused. 

Me: Soooo…I’ll say yes…and then he’ll dunk me!

Mom: No. Then he’ll say I now baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…

Me: (Interrupting yet again) And theeeeen he’ll dunk me!

Mom: Not yet! He’ll ask quietly if you want to hold your nose…

Me: Which I’ll say yes….

Mom: And then….

Me: (excitedly) He’ll dunk me!

Earliest Memories

My eyes opened. I was completely and totally shrouded in darkness. Fear struck my heart as I reached out, searching for something, anything, to hold on to. In my mind, the monsters began to form. They growled from beneath my “big girl” bed and snarled from inside my closet. My heart was racing and my palms began to sweat. I could feel the railing that surrounded my bed, protecting me from their reach, but my fear grew stronger and stronger. I felt the sobs rising up through my throat until I released them with a vicious scream! My wailing continued until the light flicked on and the soothing voice I had come to know so well enveloped me in warmth and love.

Writing is Hard

Sometimes writing is hard.

You sit down at your desk, laptop on, Microsoft Word open, and you slowly place your fingers on the keys.

“Okay,” you say to yourself. “Let’s write something good.”

Now if only it were that easy.

The seconds fly by. Seconds turn to minutes, which turn into hours, until you finally shut your computer and stand up with a sad sigh. Another day spent staring at a blank computer screen.

Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the magic? Why can’t words just appear on the page and inspire any and everyone who reads them?

If only writing were that simple.

Sometimes, writing is hard.

But one day, something magical DOES happen.

You sit down at that same desk with your same old laptop, Microsoft word open, and you write. You write and you write and then you write some more! Words turn to sentences which turn to paragraphs that go on to fill pages!

And as the seconds turn into hours, you finally stand up with a satisfied smile and think to yourself, “THIS is what I live for. This is why I write.”

Sometimes all it takes is one day, but sometimes it will take years.

All you need is little time and a whole lot of patience.

Sometimes writing is hard. But that will never mean that it is not worth it.

The “not-so-simple” simple poem

Why can’t poetry sometimes be simple? Why can’t it simply say what it means and mean what it simply says? Why must there always be some hidden meaning behind it that one must discover through deep thought and contemplation?
This is a poem. 
It’s not a hard poem. 

It’s not a message in disguise.

It is simply a poem about a simple poem. 

Poems can have meaning without the use of fancy words that no one understands. 
Poems can give hope and peace and joy without having to be picked apart in a literature class. 

This poem is simple.

So what can be taken from such a simple poem?
Simply this: don’t feel as though you cannot write poetry just because you don’t have a large and confusing vocabulary or can’t write in a style such as Poe or Dickinson. 

Poetry should come from your heart and if what you have to say is simple, then simply say it. No extra words or confusing lines are needed.  

So simply speaking, this is a simple poem about a simple poem, and yet surprisingly, there’s still something not so simple about it.  

Beauty

There is beauty in everything! Don’t you agree?

There is beauty in everything!

Just look and see!

From the sky that is blue,

To the grass that is green;

The world is so beautiful, 

So peaceful and serene. 

There is beauty in everything,
No matter how small. 

There is beauty in everything,

Even things quite tall!

From the mountains so high,

To the valleys down below, 

From the tallest of trees,

To the buds beginning to grow. 

Look all around you! 
And then you soon shall see,

That everything is beautiful,

Including you! and even me. 

A Broken Love

The innocence of love is gone,

Your heart is now in two

For the one in which you loved so dear

Has said that he doesn’t love you.

You feel as if you’ll fall apart,

You wonder what went wrong,

 And all the while your heart cries out

A sad and lonesome song.

You wish for the love

That you knew as a child,

One that was sweet,

Meek, innocent, and mild.

But don’t give up hope

For tomorrow’s a new day.

Your love will come back

Sweeter than a fresh bouquet.

A Childlike Love

A childlike love is like no other.

It’s beautiful and true.

It’s sweet and soft and fresh,

Just like the morning dew.

This love is a gentle one,

Delicate, like a flower.

A love like this is refreshing,

Like a gentle rain shower.

There’s beauty in a love like this.

No hearts will need repair

For when you love with a love like this,

Every heart will be treated with care.

So stay young little ones,

For soon a day shall come

When love will be a scary thing

And something you’ll run from.

Monsters

Sleep. It is a beautiful thing. It’s a necessary part of life. However, sometimes sleep simply isn’t possible. There you are, lying in bed all cozy and warm as your eyes begin to slowly close. Your mind starts to drift off into dream land. Your body relaxes and your breathing steadies to a slow and even pace…but suddenly, it happens. Monsters. There they are, creeping up the edges of your bed. Slipping under your sheets, they slither and slide all the way up to your ears. As your mind begins to fall asleep, the monsters begin to whisper. Doubts. Worries. Fears. All of your anxieties race desperately around head, clouding your thoughts with images of depression, loneliness, and fear. You sit up; panic fills your heart. Are these the monsters from your childhood? The ones that hide in your closet? The ones that you always begged your parents to chase away? No. Sadly, these monsters are worse. Much worse. Why, you may ask? It’s simple, really. It’s because these monsters are real. Worry is the monster who will make you obsess over decisions and the choices you make. Doubt will make you feel as though you aren’t good enough. Fear will stop you from accomplishing your dreams. All of these monsters lead to the biggest monsters of all: depression and anxiety. These monsters will not only haunt you at night. They will hunt you down even when the sun is shining its brightest. These monsters are cruel. They can make even the happiest of days dark and gloomy. They’ll push you to the floor and then kick you while you’re down. But wait! What’s that over there? There’s a light. A light so faint that, at first, you almost miss it. But it’s there. Shining bright even in the midst of all this darkness. Hope. Love. Peace. These things are coming. These things can scare away even the worst of monsters. They get brighter and brighter until you are overwhelmed with sheer joy! The monsters have fled back to the deep, dark depths from wince they came! There is once again a feeling of peace and relief in your heart and soon you begin to drift off to the wonderful world of sleep. So what lessons can be taken from this? Some of life’s scariest monsters are the ones that live in the darkened corners of your mind. While worry, doubt, and fear are all apart of this crazy thing we call life, they should not be the only thing that consumes us. There is hope, there is love, and there is peace to be found. You just have to find that tiny speck of light in the distance. Don’t let your doubts, worries, and fears pull you into the suffocating world known as depression. There is a way out, but it’s up to you to find it. Reach out for it and hold on tight. Never let go of the love, the hope, and the peace, for it will guide you back to the light. Hold on to the promise of a better tomorrow, and never again let those monsters take control over your mind. So when the sun sets on a long day, and your mind slowly slips into a deep sleep, push away those monsters for good and never let them come crawling back again.