Monday, January 1, 2018

2018

A new year means
new mistakes

A new year means
new achievements,
maybe

A new year means trying to forget why 2017
was so terrible
It means understanding
that the past
really is in the past

A new year means trying my best
to be smart,
think about what I'm doing,
rather than hastily make decisions

A new year means
hoping that silly feelings
and hopeless dreams
get crushed --
go away

A new year means
something new
everything is new
whether I want to believe it or not

A new year means
praying bigger prayers

It means
trusting God has answers
to those prayers

A new year means
God has something new
awaiting my arrival

He isn't keeping it from me
He isn't hiding all of the good

He isn't waiting for perfection
He isn't giving me one
chance, one
opportunity
to be
better

He knows it is hard
He knows I'm
a sinner
I'll always be
But

A new year means
I don't need to live by that

A new year means
I'm no longer
defined by sin

I'm no longer
defined by 2017
and its mistakes

A new year means
new opportunities
to worship God
to serve God
to spend time listening

A new year means
something fresh --
a start,
something I can look forward to,
strive toward
in Christ

They say not to look back
you're not going there

A new year means
actually believing that

A new year means
trusting that I can be
something more than
the person I've made up
inside of my head --

A hopeless
self-centered
unwise
sad
me

A new year means
I am none of those
things

I new year means
I am important
to God

I am His child
His beloved
I belong to Him
in 2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I Can Do This: My Official Refusal To Settle

hello world.

i’ve been thinking so much about what it means to be a writer for me; what it means to be a creative. an artist with my words. an artist, transforming my thoughts into beautifully crafted stories.

i have begun to feel limited by this opportune moment in my existence. i’ve thought long and hard about becoming a part of the Columbia Chronicle. i’ve thought about what that might mean for my personhood; for the individual and aspiring writer that is inside of me.

i’ve thought about what i might feel upon joining the team of reporters at the Chronicle. it feels almost impossible to regain a sense of excitement to be in that environment of nonstop, fast-paced, moving news. the cycle is never-ending, the reporting is a daily feat one must accomplish in order to be "successful."

i’ve thought about this; i’ve reimagined myself living this life. this story. being one who has the ability to go and produce a single story in a day, if not more. but when i think about it, i can’t shake the fear that perhaps this is not for me. perhaps i was made to create more fluid stories, offering more time up for each piece of art that i insist on creating.

i feel as though being in the newspaper business is too fast-paced; i work on a more relaxed schedule, in order that i might put more passion and thought into what i am writing.

art often takes time.

reporting on hard news means giving that up; it means giving up the opportunity to create a story full of honesty, creativity and personality.

i’ve thought about that and its connection to a position at the Chronicle — i am at a loss. i feel that if i join the team, i will be hindered. i will feel overwhelmed and flustered by the need to pitch stories that might not be genuine; stories that aren’t fully in my best interest or that might not be filled with heart in the strongest way. true passion.

i don’t want to give mediocre work to this newspaper; i don’t want to simply give and keep giving so that i can say that i’ve had an experience. because if it is an experience of nonstop anxiety, frustrations and forced — or somewhat unenthusiastic  thoughts or emotions, then it will have been a waste.

i want to do what i love.

i chose this career path and this school to have the opportunity to do the one thing that i truly enjoy and appreciate as a part of my life and my personal journey.

if writing begins to feel as a chore, rather than a privilege, then i am going backward in life. i am erasing what i have wholeheartedly begun — what i have begun to live out for my future. i simply cannot have that.

the future that i envision for myself is something softer; it’s a life filled with kind words, thoughtful compositions and essays filled with the words of people who have lived. people who have stories to share about their art and their passions. i see my future as spending time breathing in the words i have heard from friends and individuals around me who believe they have meaning in this lifetime. i want to live as though everything is beautiful. words are beautiful. words are not just typed out on a page in order to meet a deadline — they are much more important than that.

i think that dwelling on this idea that maybe it’s too difficult to find a job living this idealistic life is what scares me; i fear that maybe this fantasy that i dream about in my head almost every single day doesn’t exist. maybe it’s something that only comes to those of us who are lucky. those of us who are particularly special in some way. i fear that i don’t have that and that because i don’t, i will end up doing something that i don’t completely love.

i did once want that more than anything else. i thought of it as a dream job — something so far off that i needed to work toward it if it were the last thing that i did. now i am here. now the job is at my fingertips. i might make the team. that’s how close i am.

if i was able to work this far — make these decisions, find these opportunities — then i do believe that i have the potential to do so much more with my life. not settle. not take something just because i’m afraid that if i pass up one opportunity that there won’t be a million more to come.

i can do this. i can work for so much more. i can pass up this opportunity if i feel in my heart that there is something more for me.

i will do so. because i have already come so far.

xoxo

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes, forgiveness

Literally nothing that I do matters anymore; every bad thing, poor decision, sin that I commit does not matter.

Every day God clears the slate. Every day He gives me a new start. A new beginning. A fresh page. A new life to live out -- to live out for Him.

It’s really difficult for me to remember that. That is a truth that will never stop being true, and yet, here I am, tonight, spending time in the word, praying the gospel, only to realize its truth. Only to realize, again -- as if it’s not the best thing to happen to me -- that I am free. I am free from those burdens. Those mistakes are no longer on His mind, nor should they be on mine.

They are on mine, though. They are constantly weighing me down. Every night that my head hits the pillow, they threaten me with their consistent nagging; their heaviness presses down on my heart, and I can feel the sorrow of regret and hopelessness.

On those nights, those thoughts of mistakes made remind me that I’m not good enough. It’s true, of course. I never will be. The only issue with that is the fact that His plan of redemption -- His gift of salvation -- is nowhere in sight. Injury without a cure. Wrong without a right. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes.

It weighs a person down. To the point of exhaustion in every way.

Hello, death. My soul feels tender, so weakened by your touch. My choices have been far less than perfect, in fact, I wish every night that I attempt sleep once more that none of it were real. I wish in my heart that I could be better. Be smarter. Think harder before I make decisions. Be stronger; have any sort of ability to say “no” when I’m unsure if what I’m about to agree to is going to lead me closer to Christ.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking a lot. Think a lot about things. Contemplate the good and the bad that might come from the decision you’re about to make. Use your God-given wisdom to choose who needs to be in your life and who doesn’t. It’s not something that you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

Yes, death, you offer me pain daily, as I wallow back into my sadness and reach deeper into my body and mind for scarring memories that promise my demise. I have not yet been able to understand why it’s so easy to do so -- why it’s such a simple task to reminisce what’s most unfathomable. It’s too simple.

And I love it.

I love the pain. I feel trapped inside of it most days. Trapped in the sort of way that allows me to forget my surroundings and circumstances ever mattered. I look to the pain to escape from my emotions.

Those emotions, though, feel very limited these days. Most of the time, I’m gloomy, shaken, confused. Not much happy or excitement, particularly when I’m on my own.

I feel a stronger need to crawl back inside myself and cling to the single emotion I’m most fond of and used to. Sadness knows me very well, too. There’s something comforting about the familiarity. It reeks of regrettable actions, hurtful words and failed attempt to please another body. It’s crippling, but for so long, I haven’t really known any other way.

I’m sure I’ll go to sleep tonight thinking about it once more; feeling distant and unable to let go. Let go of the past.

It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Heartbreak is real.

We do it to God every day that we are alive and breathing.

I’ve felt it.

I hope I’ll never have to feel it again. I can’t wish that upon Him, either. I need to try harder.

I feel His spirit inside of me. I feel the comfort of His word -- of His love. I feel loved. In a new way. I have already been forgiven. I am forgiven today. Every day. Every part of the year of 2017 -- with everything that I’ve done wrong -- has been wiped clean. All of it.

There is nothing that I can do that will make Him love me less. He could never stop loving me. He thinks nothing, anymore, of the wrongs I’ve committed against Him. That is forgiveness.

That’s why I can sleep tonight free of burdens. Free of those burdens that taunt me, chase me, devour me. God is stronger. His power is unfathomable. He is here with me, walking alongside me.

xoxo,
Ed

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

God really Did That

This very last chapter in 2 Corinthians is titled "Final Warnings." This is not a coincidence; this is no "timing" thing. This is God.

Final Warnings, He declares to me -- to my soul and my being tonight. This is the answer. This is what you need to listen to -- what you need to hear. My voice is real, He says; it was real then, and it is real now. This is my voice speaking. These are my words. This is all that you need to know tonight. This is my final warning to you about this matter.

"He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you" (2 Corinthians 13:3).

I am not alone tonight. I was not alone last night. God has not left me to deal with this on my own -- He has not neglected me. He has not grown weary of comforting me and carrying my burdens. He is powerful  -- Christ lives by the power of God, and so do I. Tonight I live with Him by the power of God (verse 4).

But per usual, I'd forgotten that truth (are any of us actually surprised?).

And on cue, Jackie Hill-Perry tweeted something on this Wednesday night that I really needed to hear:

"We won't be here forever."

This life is not all that we have. If I feel sad or let down by something in this lifetime, if I miss someone, feel guilty about anything, if I tell myself that my worth does not compare to others', I can still have hope. I have hope, even in despair, because there is an eternity.

What is the point in worrying about things of this world if this life is not all that there is?

My purpose does not lie in people, relationships, my studies, a career, who I know or who I don't know -- my purpose is in Him. And that is where my comfort lies. I am in Him. I am weak, but He gives me strength. He has given me strength where I am weakest; He has given me strength where I feel most lost, alone, unworthy.

I am glad tonight that I am weak, because only then am I truly able to be strengthened by Him -- only then can I see, in all His glory, the strength He has for me. I am thankful for my weaknesses, because I now see clearly His power and His magnitude.

There is where I'll find restoration. 1 Corinthians 13:9 says, "Your restoration is what we pray for." I prayed, pleaded, asked with all sincerity -- God, grant me comfort.

Tonight I have been restored; tonight I have been renewed. I am a new creation. I feel His comfort -- it is real.

And it was in His word. I knew last night that it could be found there. Tonight His word was opened -- tonight I read His words. I read about His redeeming qualities, His restoration in power, His unfailing love for me. I will not worry about the things I cannot change; the things I know He did for a reason.

And that is why I am writing this to you tonight.

G0d is not able to comfort us and restore our knowledge of Him if we continually neglect Him and His word. He is not able to offer us peace through His power if we refuse to even glance His way. It's not a one-way thing. God will always be there to love us, but we'll not always seek His face.

But we need to. We need to be reminded tonight -- and every night -- that His word is alive. He does speak, some days louder than others, but He speaks. And He always has something to say. We need to trust in His ability to speak to us and reveal Himself in all His beauty; we cannot limit Him. Because He will always offer us the best. Always.

Listen to His voice tonight.

Wait on Him.

Find comfort and peace and restoration in Him.

xoxo

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

to be in October

i watch. to be a child again. simplicity. freedom. enlightenment. games. fun. laughter. education. field trips. to be is not to worry, rather to seek after enjoyment apart from responsibility. to be is to misunderstand that the world is not always easy — it is not always by your side. nevertheless, it is beautiful.

every day there is something new to take in. breathe. become fascinated by. to learn that every year the leaves will change color; every year, the leaves will fall off the trees; every year, the world will grow cold. the crisp air will show kindness on exhaustion and overwhelming schedules. the winter always comes, but not before October.

there is always a lesson to be learned as a child. as a youth. there is bewilderment then estrangement — the phases of growing up. maturing. beginning to forget the fun in games and trips to the local park. there is a further understanding of jealousy, bullying, hatred. wrong doings.

but there is also a deeper knowledge of love.

the seasons change, because they can. people change because they need to. life is ever-revolving and never-ending. to be human is to grow. to be human is to learn. to be a child is to become more — to discover why it is not always autumn. why the crisp air turns to frozen streets and snowflakes. the endearment never ends, though. there is always a painful yet innate need to uncover more truth, find the facts, read between the lines, allow the mind to shift and become its own.

to be a child is not simple, because it only means growing up. it only means change.

but now it is October, so all of that must wait.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sept. 1: Move-In-Day Moments!

Hello friends,

this past Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, I moved into my very first Apartment! -- and yes! I have the address memorized already. Please send letters/come visit/look me up on Google Maps.

I am creating this post in order to document all of the photos that I gathered from said move in day.

here is me posing in front of my apartment just before entering for the first time:

Leslie is my roomie! yay!

here are the post-seeing-the-apartment-and-moving-everything-in photos:

(even though this isn't technically a 'selfie,' it looks like one, and mom somehow always ends up sneaking one in! Classic her!)

mother dear


I have lovely friends. thank you for coming along and supporting!! (and we unintentionally / sort of matched.)

Caleb!
this was actually pre-move in, but i wanted to somehow include Princess Leia, so voila!


Princess

Mom & Annie
this was just after we had finished photographing the After Photos and decided we needed to get some lunch. we ended up choosing Potbelly's, but mostly because Starbucks was right next door.


all along S. Wabash are buildings belonging to Columbia. so here are my I'm An Official CCC Student shots in front of one of those buildings, courtesy of Mom annnnd Annie:

very happy/


very, very happy.



later that day, after everyone left me, i walked over to Target to grab a shower curtain and mayo and you know, basic commodities (not from GFS though, smh), and this is what i saw as i walked back out of the store......just every-day life in the city, i suppose:


then of course, back at my Apartment there's my pink fuzzy lamp. lighting up my space frfr. had to take a pic, you know......plus, i mean, look at the view.


then the realest views.


and that is how i ended my day. so much glory. so much God. so much thanks.

then i was glowing after talking about how beautiful and wonderful it is like knowing Christ and how thankful i am for that via late-night conversations with besties. 


until next time.
byyyyyeeeeee!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Introducing Sarah Ramos' Totally Glam Romantic Comedy 'City Girl'

Written on March 23, 2017

Sarah Ramos, formerly known for her role as Haddie Braverman on NBC's Parenthood, recently stumbled upon a comedy she wrote as a 12-year-old.

After coming across her nearly 14-year-old revolutionary plot and script for a pilot episode, Ramos thought that the unusual, embarrassingly hilarious idea for a television show would actually make a great production. That being said, Ramos, with the help of Super Deluxe, created a three-part pilot and called it City Girl.

Ramos' City Girl is about a 28-year-old named Casey, played by Ramos, of course, who lives like a princess and dresses like a preppy-chic teen from the early 2000s. If you enjoy everything Pretty In Pink, fluffy sleep-masks and shimmery lipgloss, mini skirts, excessive hair clips and all, then City Girl is the show for you. (Even if you don't enjoy those things, this humor is excellent.)

Also starring Arrested Development's Maeby aka Alia Shawkat, Brendan Scannell and Nick Thorburn, this show is a not-so-typical innocent romantic comedy with cheesy lines and character sketches that guarantee a good laugh.

There are several small details within the first episode alone that will lead you in curiousity to keep watching; aspects such as Casey's ideal choice out to eat being a salad with just one tomato slice on top, her best friend being The Girl Who Lives In Her Bubble Bath -- featuring her Hot Pink Lip Phone, of course -- and even how the doctor's office is more or less an actual, professional doctor's office. It's all so glamorous.

Ramos shared a bit about the show during a recent chat with Interview Magazine, explaining that "it's called City Girl, and it is a little silly." She goes on, "it's the adult world through the mind of a 12-year-old. It's bizarrely warped and the logic doesn't make sense, so it's really funny."

Parts one through three of the new series have been posted online at Super Deluxe's twitter, and you can find them here. But I will take the liberty of including each of the short clips below so you don't have to waste any time searching The World Wide Web to find Ramos' genius, 12-year-old-based TV show, when you could be watching it now:

Part One:
https://twitter.com/superdeluxe/status/844949373167452161

Part Two:
https://twitter.com/superdeluxe/status/844963572731981824

Part Three:
https://twitter.com/superdeluxe/status/844980076680654849

There you have it: a significantly odd, definitely-written-by-a-pre-teen, very pink TV show written and co-produced by Sarah Ramos herself. Who wouldn't want to watch that?

Also, according to popdust.com, apparently this City Girl thing is going to be premiering on Netflix soon, so be on the lookout for that; I'm sure Ramos (@sarahramos) and Super Deluxe (@superdeluxe) will be promoting it online on their twitter pages, so go follow them for future updates.

This show is the laugh we've all been needing; it is relaxed and definitely came from the mind and perspective of a 12-year-old, which makes it that much greater.

As for you, Sarah Ramos, aka Glamour Queen: Keep it up, girl -- we need more of this creativity in our lives.