All the Little Things that Break My Heart

A thing that I’ve been really bothered by lately is how cruel people can be to one another.  And I’m not even thinking on a large scale.  I’m thinking, small scale, people you work with, people you’re related to, people you serve or buy coffee from.

It’s like, we all try to see what we can get away with.  We tease, until our teasing turns to cruelty.  We go too far, and refuse to say we’re sorry.  We refuse to admit when we’re wrong.  And the cycle keeps spinning.

And I’m probably guilty of this.  I’ll do my best to accept some of the blame.  But really, what’s the point in making someone’s day miserable?  What’s the point in calling someone dumb, or making them feel dumb, or spreading their little mishaps around?  What’s the point in making someone feel useless?  We are all useful.  Everyone has a purpose, so why do we like to try to take that purpose away?

I’m really bummed out that so many people have excuses for their actions.  They say we’re too sensitive.  Or they ask us to have an open mind, without first having one themselves.  They’ll say it’s their religious duty.  They’ll say their protecting our country.

But this country does not define me.  This religion does not define me.  We were all made with much larger definitions, much larger purposes, much more reason to exist than just… existence.

It sounds too simple to just beg everyone to get along.  But all of this getting under each other’s skin has really gotten under my skin.  Get out of my skin.  You’re breaking my heart.

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Be Kind to Each Other

I work at Starbucks.  No, I’m not an advocate for Starbucks and I don’t worship the siren, but I do think it’s the best company I’ve ever worked for.  They care about their employees and they care about their customers.  But they’re also a fairly liberal company, just like I’m a fairly liberal person.  And you know who likes to give Starbucks shit for no reason other than to have something to complain about or to have something be the enemy?  Overly conservative people.  And most people assume that all Christians are overly conservative.  I’m not.  I don’t.

Last year, people threw a fit saying Starbucks was trying to take Christ out of Christmas.  Because they did minimalist cups.  I never really understood how those correlated.  But, people have been blaming companies for taking Christ out of Christmas for as long as I remember.  And, as someone who works for the company, I’ve realized that Starbucks celebrates Christmas harder than most.  And I used to work in hospitality.

I had heard that people were coming into stores and giving a certain name to be written on their cup.  I wasn’t sure if it was real.  I didn’t care all that much.  I just feel the need to mention why Starbucks likes to have names on their cups.
First off, it makes the coffee experience more personal (their words, not mine).  It also helps to identify drinks, so if ten people order white mochas, you know which one is yours.  Trying to make it political or whatever is pointless.  It just causes problems.  And no one really cares if you want to put a fake name on your cup to be funny.  You’ll still know that it’s your drink.
Anyway, I had heard that people want Starbucks baristas to write “Trump” on their cups.  And they were going to complain if the barista didn’t call out the name.  Last week, I was on bar with another guy I work with, another Christian, and a woman came in and told her friends she was going to see if she could get a rise out of someone.  She said her name was Trump.  My shift, who took the order, came and told us, so we would be aware of the situation.  We weren’t supposed to make a big deal out of it.
So, I ended being the barista who got to make her drink.  And I made a decision.  Most of the people I work with don’t always call out the names on the cups, they just say the drink.  I decided to do that as well.  So, I called out her mocha as a mocha, and called out the next drink as a pumpkin spice latte, because that’s what they were.  Most of the other drinks we were making were for the drive thru.
When she came to pick up her drink, she loudly asked if it was hers.  Both of the baristas making drinks, myself and my coworker, were pretty busy with other drinks.  I told her if she ordered a grande mocha, it might be hers.  She turned to her friends and complained that we called out the drink, but not the name.  Then another of her friends came to ask me, while I was obviously trying to work, if it was her drink.  I politely told him that I wasn’t sure, but that it might be.  I was preoccupied.  Then he left, and when he came back, he asked for my name, then they all left the store.
See, this situation to me sounds like it would be a group of self-righteous teenagers acting up for no reason.  But no, these were adults, most likely in their forties.  I didn’t realize it was so hard to grow up.

It really bums me out that I’m grouped with these people.  Regardless of what you believe about Trump or Starbucks or Christianity, it matters to me that people are kind to each other.  Yes, Trump is our president.  No, he is not kind, so I find it hard to support him.  However, I do believe in praying for our leaders.  As a citizen of this country, Trump is my leader.  And this is a really hard time for people like me.  This is a hard time for feminist Christians.  It’s a time where it’s hard to voice and be okay with what you believe.  But causing division is not the way.
Be conservative, whatever.  But don’t try to make people angry purely because you can.  Purely because they believe more freely than you do.  Purely because they might have a more open mind.  Purely because you disagree.
I’m into loving and accepting people first.  Which means loving and accepting overly conservative people just as much as it means loving and accepting someone who might think I’m close minded simply because I’m a Christian.  All people are equal.  Be kind to each other.

Drive

Long drives on county roads
Tall grass tracing existence
Giving me something to dream on
Noah on the speakers
But it’s God that’s speaking to me
This is church
This is worship
Presence on my mind
Behind me
Before me
At the top of my lungs

I am more myself here
With no one else around
Me, Noah, and God
Truth rings out in this car
Constantly craving authenticity
Believing I am failing at being authentic
Find me here

I have tried to drown myself
In self medication
Living in denial
Waking up to too many empty mornings
I need another drive
I was found there

Aloft

Don’t fall
As you have fallen
Heart aching
Stand your ground

Searching for the one
Finding many
Choosing to stop believing
Though you can’t quite let go

Floating through the air
Anti-gravity
Not needing anything to hold onto
Because arms are holding you

Everything is taken care of
Simply follow that voice
No need to worry
As you’ve made the best choice

Hearts heal
And yours isn’t broken
Mistakes are forgotten
You can feel it

Constantly afraid
Refusing to relax
It’s time to stay put
You were made to rest

Sabbath
For as long as you need it
You’ll know when it’s over
Be still

Find what you live for
It’s right in front of you
Unfolding like a rose
Thorns nonexistent

You’ll never have to fall
Arms held out to catch you
Holding you high
Aloft

Blogging Everyday in July|Last Day

It’s the last day of the month.  I made it.  This is it.

Today, I wrote a poem for someone wonderful that I haven’t known that long.  Marsha asked me to write a poem for her when I said I was gonna write one for her husband.  I’ve been wanting to write it for a while, but I’ve been so drained.  But today, it finally happened.

Mama Duck
Mama duck
With all her ducks in a row
Always having someone to care for
Because she was made to care

She knows her quiet place
She knows that there, she can find rest
Her empty nest is never an empty nest
Her heart is always full

Healed
Redeemed
As someone who brings healing
As someone who carries freedom

Mother, daughter, sister, friend
Both known and unknown
Safe in the mystery
Comfort in the open places

Holy
Loved
She reflects the Father
As she dwells in his gaze

No need to search for something more
More is already given
Overflowing
Find peace beneath her wings
Home.

Blogging Everyday in July|Celebrity Distractions

Have you heard about all the beef going down between Taylor Swift, Kanye, and Kim Kardashian?  I guess they’re in a fight.  Why do we care?  Because they’re famous.  Because it gives us something to focus on.  Because we don’t want to focus on the conflicts in our own lives.  We need a distraction.  We need a distraction from the hate in politics and deaths in the media.  We need a distraction from the war going on on the other side of the world.  We need a distraction from the war going on on our own soil.

A coworker brought up to me that he thinks celebrities and Hollywood and the tabloids are just a ploy to distract us from political issues.  He compares it to the gladiator battles from Roman times.  Those caught public eye, so they didn’t notice that Rome was collapsing.  And I’m not saying that our government is collapsing.  But I’m not saying that it’s not.  I’m not saying that there aren’t issues there to be addressed.  I’m not trying to point out that our voting decision seems to have become a choice between the lesser of two evils.  It’s just easier to get upset about one celebrity calling out another celebrity than it is to take a stand for our brothers and sisters losing their lives and living in fear because they are of a different race, religion,  or sexual orientation.

Yesterday I felt like listening to Macklemore.  Did you know he had a new album?  I’m not good at following artists or anything like that, so I hadn’t noticed.  But it’s fairly amazing.  Same old fighting words, same old spoken word rap feel, same political lyrics mixed with upbeat funny songs.  Really, it’s worth listening to.  Anyway, the song Light Tunnels is a song that I can’t stop thinking about.  It has to do with going to the Grammy’s and winning their award.  It has to do with the falsity and cravings of the commercial public.  We crave controversy.  It’s a distraction from what is real in the world.  Go listen to it.

Do you remember the Hunger Games, the books and the movies?  The Capital?  I like to think it’s a statement on what the world is becoming.  We like to just watch.  We like to make ourselves crazy and beautiful and beautifully crazy.  We like to have something to distract us from the wars and the hardships.  We like to be sheltered from reality.  Give us something to talk about.  Don’t tell us that another airport was bombed.  Don’t tell us that someone ran a bus through a parade.  Don’t tell us that cops are killing innocent people because of the color of their skin.  Don’t tell us that we’re privileged.  Just tell us that Tswift and Kanye are fighting again.  Tell us that Hiddleswift is real.  Tell us that Miley and Liam got back together.  That’s what we want to hear.  We don’t want to be forced to deal with what is actually real. It’s just a distraction.  And pretty soon, an orange man might be our president.  Snow.

Blogging Everyday in July|What Music Does

A few people have asked me to write about a few different aspects of music.  Why it’s important.  How it affects people.  How it changes things.  What it means.  I’ve even been bugged because I haven’t written it yet.  So here are some thoughts.  Apologies now if they’re not all together.

Open your computer.  Go to spotify (assuming that you have it) and pick a playlist that you made a couple years ago.  (This works with iTunes too).  Set it on shuffle and close your eyes.  Do you remember why you made it?  What do you feel?  I have a playlist on my spotify account simply called “Sad.”  I made it my junior year of college, and I remember listening to it on repeat.  I used to spend a lot of my life simply that, simply sad.  Music had a way of speaking into that part of me.
I have playlists that I made because the guy I was hanging out with at the time showed me all these bands.  Those playlists made me feel closer to whoever they were for.
I have playlists from road trips I took with my favorite person, my bestie, my soul sister.  Playlists filled with songs we would belt like ballads, songs that we would fake sob to, and songs that just made us laugh.  I’m a lyric person, she’s a beat person, so when we find the perfect combination, the song is gold.

Often times, people will say something that will remind me of a song lyric and I’ll just quote it, or start singing the song.  It makes me laugh.  It reminds me of a different time.  It gives me something to share.

There are songs that I could almost say have saved my life.  I think God speaks to me through music sometimes.  And he quite possibly uses my music to speak to people sometimes.

Sometimes there are no words to say.  But then a song says it.  Songs say what you can’t say on your own.  They have the depth, tone, and emotion that words on their own don’t.
I know I’ve talked about it before, but the song Jesus, Jesus by Noah Gundersen is one that I keep coming back to.  There’s an honesty there that is hard to find.

Jesus, Jesus, there are those who say they love you, but they have treated me so god damn mean.  And I know you said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” but sometimes I think they do, and I think about you.  If all the heathens burn in hell, do all their children burn as well?  What about the Muslims and the gays and the unwed mothers?  What about me and all my friends; are we all sinners, if we sin?  Does it even matter in the end if we’re unhappy?

That’s not something that you can just say to most people.  Put it in a song?  It says it all.  Songs have soul.  You want to see a glimpse of someone’s soul?  Hope that they’re a musician.  I firmly believe that anyone can find a song, even if they don’t get to play it or sing it more than once, ever.

Imagine a life without music.  Without birds that sing.  Without love songs and breakup songs and songs about Jesus.  A lot less would be said.  A lot more broken people would be unheard.  Music makes us whole again.  Go find your song.