It Started With Cheese

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(Jared would like to note that his face here is ridiculous and that is not actually his smile.)

 

I often go back to the very beginning, wishing I could relive the first bursts of absolute love all over again. We had been talking for almost a week when I decided enough was enough. Jared reeled me in so easily with his smooth lines and witty conversation. I was eating out of the palm of his hand in no time. During that week, one could find me dashing through my apartment, giggling, dancing, squealing, and screaming. What caused my whole body to erupt in giddiness brought puke to others mouths. I hadn’t even met the boy and I was already in heaven! Our first date lasted 25 hours. We didn’t intend it to, naturally. I certainly didn’t go into it thinking I would sleep with the first man I had been on a first date with in years. Now, don’t go sticking your noses up at me. We didn’t “sleep” together. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Lets go back to 5pm, January 21, 2016. An apartment of 4 giggly girls peeked out of their various windows to catch the first glimpse of a boy sitting in a large, black jeep. How long had he been sitting there? Why wasn’t he getting out? Was he so nervous?  I remember the unstoppable butterflies that had kept me afloat since meeting Jared only grew more jumpy when I finally saw him move to exit his jeep. An eternity later a knock announced his arrival. Breathlessly tugging on my outfit and patting down my hair, I opened the door. He was smaller than I had imagined. And I had worn my favorite boots, which had a bit of a heel. Oh boy…

I was surprised how easily conversation carried on face to face. And when it didn’t, the silence was comfortable. As weird as it sounds, I was happy to watch him eat and memorize the man before me. He was quite handsome. He made me laugh. He told good stories. When the famous Farmhouse roast beef ran out, Jared had drunken ten sweet tea refills,and we had boxed up a large piece of red velvet cake for later, we headed back to his place to watch a movie. We simply couldn’t let the night end there! The sun went down, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World turned into Bridget Jones Diary, which then turned into munching on cake. (Somehow we managed to finish them, even though I was pausing it every 5 minutes for Jared to pee out his refills) During the movies we had forgone the awkward “no touching” stage and grown quite comfortable with each other. This prompted many hours of cuddling and conversations on the couch. We spread our life stories out for each other, feeling none of the usual strangeness present on a first date. The night wore on until we fell asleep in each others arms. It was so easy.

Eventually the first date had to end. I had people waiting for me back home who I knew would be dying for every detail. I’ll never forget how we flocked to the windows again to watch him leave, or how he spotted us from the parking lot and laughed. Just as it had been all week, a smile was ever-present on my face as I described the dream I lived. I rolled the events over and over that night, scarcely believing it could be real. Never in my life had someone matched me so perfectly, right down to our food preferences. He was perfect. But, life had taught me otherwise. I will admit, the moment I met him and realized how perfect he was, I knew the shoe had to drop. Nobody could be like that. But it never did. It still hasn’t. Being with Jared was natural from the very beginning. I’m sure I loved him soon after our first conversation, but wouldn’t admit it until after our date. Even though it was extremely early in the relationship, we were on the exact same page. From then on, we blossomed so quickly with no barriers in our way.

Jared freed me in every way possible over our first year. With his guidance and love I have become the best version of myself. I have grown to understand the world and love more than I ever have. There is never a day where I don’t look at him in awe. I still can’t believe how lucky I am. I wasn’t looking for much, but I found everything. We make each other stronger. We tried to live our own lives in the beginning, but it was just better for us to be together. There was no point in forcing separation when our beings just wanted to be close.

Tonight we went back to the little restaurant that started it all as changed people. Solidified people. We remembered the two awkward, young people who sat a few tables away. The gentle adoration, the innocent laughter, the simple love that glowed between us that night has only brightened over time. It will become more blinding as we face every new challenge together. Every new day I am so excited to earn his love, his precious smile, and my place in his strong arms. Happy Anniversary, my sweet love. This one’s for you!

 

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Lessons on Perspective

News flash: terrorists can enter the United States as refugees, immigrants, and tourists. But here’s the shocker: United States citizens can wake up one day and become terrorists too. And they have.

I’m talking, white as a piece of paper, devout Christian, 5th generation Americans.

So what are we to do? Close our borders, unless we’re waging war on other countries? Allow suspicion of our fellow country men to grow until we encounter more than 1 or 2 shootings a day? (This year, we have had more mass shootings than amount of days we’ve gone through on the calendar. Does that not worry you?)

Americans aren’t saints simply because they’re Americans. Muslims aren’t terrorists simply because they’re Muslim. Middle Easterners aren’t Muslim simply because they’re Middle Easterners. Refugees are none of this, simply because they are refugees. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge based off stereotypes. Don’t judge at all. It seems I’m always spouting common sense lessons we learn when we’re toddlers…you’d think they would stick.

News flash: it is not possible to protect your country from terrorists. They’ll do as they please. 

After 9/11, we smacked the Middle East with horrible casualties for over a decade trying to eradicate the terrorists in charge. In the end we didn’t eradicate Al Queda. They live on to wreak havoc another day. All we did was send millions of troops to ransack villages and bomb Iraq to pieces. Now we have millions of dead men, leaving their families to try to survive without them, millions of veterans we can’t seem to take care of after they sacrificed so much, and countless broken families on the other side. Broken families who mirror us in pain and sorrow, if not more. But we’ve forgotten them. We hate them. We hate them because of where they live. Did you ever stop to think they might hate us for the same reason? They have even more reason to hate us. We tore their lives apart.

Yeah, we got Saddam Hussein. Yay. I’ll admit, the world is a better place without him. But that doesn’t put a stop to the terror, obviously. He’s a player in a larger game than any of us can comprehend. All he did was hold a place that will be taken over and over again, no matter how many secret assassin missions our government sends out.

That anger you feel over 9/11 and the Boston Bombing and Paris and every other tragic act of terrorism? That horrible, tear filled, scream inducing, object throwing, burning rage that builds every time you remember the innocent deaths? That occurs daily in the hearts of citizens across the ocean. All it takes is one man to say “enough” and you have another to take Hussein’s place.

Revenge is empty. Suicide bombers die with their detonations, yet we scream for more blood. More heads on sticks to dance around. We all do, not just Americans. We’ve all lost too many in our efforts to avenge. It’s a never ending circle of death and destruction, and I simply do not understand the point.

Those posters say “Fighting for Freedom”…but honestly, I think you’re about 240 years late. They can bomb us all they want, but they can’t take over our country like they do elsewhere. Our freedom remains. Well….to an extent. That’s politics for another post. Point is; we fought for our freedom. We don’t need to defend it. As long as we are Americans to the truest sense of the word (not the crappy Americans we are today), Freedom will never leave. We’re not defending the people who died…that would be revenge. If we are attacked, as we have been, we should follow France and our previous actions; a swift attack to send a message of strength. A calculated strike to hit the core of the tree of evil. Japan destroyed Pearl Harbor. We dropped 2 bombs on them in a swift, clean, counter attack. They stopped. (let it be known that those bombs had after effects that will run on for many generations. let’s not do that again. But message received!) France ordered a counter strike on ISIS capital to show they will not be beat. Any other tragic events afterwards? no. Did they start a war to “defend their country”? no. Did they continue to welcome refugees afterwards? absolutely. Is America still having trouble grasping the notion of kindness? In the most shameful display of cowardice and everything-phobia.

I’ve already pleaded for us to see the difference between needy and malevolent. We cry out for war, for more strict immigration/refugee laws, for the ability to wear guns every day….all in an effort to protect ourselves…but what we don’t see is that none of these things protect us. We already have some of the most strict laws to filter incoming citizens. (look it up, you’d be surprised.) Our wars only breed more hate filled terrorists and kill our beloved soldiers. Citizens with guns haven’t stopped the 353 mass shootings this year, or the countless murders popping up on social media daily. I’ve actually only head of a handful of situations where armed vigilante efforts derailed a disaster. Now it’s time to plead for a change in perspective.

We all have our families. Most cherish their families.

We all have our homes. We’ve been nurturing said homes for years. We stock our homes with memories and precious keepsakes.

We all try to live our religious/non-religious lives. Each religion is important and valuable to the World Culture. None can and should be discredited, because in the end we’re all talking to an invisible man in the sky somehow, whether it’s through a cross, a green statue, or a tree. Some have more than one invisible man, some broaden him to the Universe, some just see it as fate. We all have our legitimate beliefs.

We’ve all suffered loss, through war, age, tragedy, and sickness.

We’re all humans.

The end of suffering is the beginning of perspective, tolerance, and generosity.

 

 

For You I Would

When I was a child my parents sent me off to a christian camp called T Bar M. It’s THE camp to go to in our church, and even though some families go elsewhere, the camp is usually a household term. Like every camp, it had its own ropes course in the woods. It had everything from the Barn Swing to a zipline, but I never explored those. My focus was the Leap of Faith. It was the one closest to the ground and didn’t require much effort like the tight rope walk to the zipline platform, or the ladder made of junk and wood that led up to the Barn Swing. I eventually came to realize my endeavor to scale that pole every year was more ambitious than I wanted, because Leap of Faith is a more difficult course than the others. Regardless, every year I stood before the telephone pole with enormous staples painting a path for me to climb, and stared at the swing next to it. It’s simple really…climb the pole, stand on the tiny pedestal, leap for the swing, fall. Fall, because this Leap of Faith is nearly impossible.

I never made it to the top. Or I did, but I never stood on the platform and stared down the swing before jumping like my cabin mates. Each year I got closer, each year my hands grew tired of the rusty staples, my heart raced from looking down at the ground so far below, my spirits plummeted with my body as the ropes instructor eased me down. I’ve never been a risk taker.

I live in a bubble of solid ground. I don’t try to hold onto things that slip away. I don’t stand on the edges of cliffs. I don’t climb poles and jump. I stay under shelter where I know I’m safe. Only safe situations. My future is planned every step of the way. Spontaneity has never been my thing.

But suddenly I want to jump off a cliff and crash into the water below. I want to climb that pole and reach for the blue sky with every rung conquered. I want to leap off the platform and grasp the swing. I want these insane things because love lifts me up, and arms will catch me if I fall. I’m light as a feather and the wind against my face is so beautifully cold. I’m a giant in his gaze. I can do anything.

Love makes us do stupid things. Don’t you agree? Or is it not stupid, because we’re in love? What if love makes the risk worth while, because there’s a hand to hold and stronger arms to help you with the burden? There’s a certainty involved with the task. A trust beyond others. It’s what propels us off the ledge every time…..for him I would leap fearlessly, because I am strong in his eyes.


Musical Inspiration: 

Fone Tag – Never Shout Never 

All Mine- Never Shout Never

A Million Reasons Why

He holds my tear stained cheeks and tells me I’m worth more than I receive. While I fall apart, he picks up the pieces and glues them together with words of love and adoration, promising me I’m not what they say. He cried with me when I received news that my best friend was in the ICU, even when he barely knew her at that point. When others seek to tear him down he defends them to me so I won’t tarnish their image in my mind.

He gets excited with me over silly things like taking a floral design class. He doesn’t complain when I take his hand in mine in public, because he knows it brings me happiness. He reads and rereads my pieces and tells me I’m his favorite writer. He sends me sunset pictures because he knows how much I adore them. He cares for my friends and family because I care for them. He indulges my Taco Cabana obsession, even though we both know eating 5 tacos is horrible.

He pushes my comfort zone and waits to catch me if I fail. Every failure is given a dismissive wave and I’m given loving encouragement to press on. When I fall into horrible cases of writers block, he inspires me to keep writing. He tells me often how proud he is that I’m chasing my dreams, even when it means swimming against the current. He inspires me every day to write, do well in school, and be the best person I can be. His smile, His face, His voice is enough to give me strength when it all seems hopeless.

He’s a special work of art. He’s someone I could never truly figure out, even if I spent my whole life trying. He’s smart beyond belief. He sees more than I could fathom. He aches to study and learn and explore, just as I do. He has such a compassion for humanity and helping others.

They ask me why I stay and I just smile, because I know there isn’t another man on Earth I could be more proud to call mine.

If God loves GLBTs, who are we to judge?

This is probably the most ‘reblog worthy’ post I’ve ever found. This is the absolute truth and it needs to be understood! God is mighty, merciful, and full of unconditional love!

Cat in the Cactus

Happy people dancing under a rainbow around Tree of LifeI’m a happily married Christian heterosexual woman, and I’m publicly coming out of the closet.  Not to declare I am gay, but to declare that I am NOT opposed to same-sex-marriage (ssm).  I am even going one step further to say “God Loves GLBT’s”.  And by that, I don’t mean God loves “gourmet lettuce bacon and tomato sandwiches”.  I mean …

GOD LOVES GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE!  And I declare it loudly, proudly and publicly.

I would never win a theological argument on the issue, because the theologians would bamboozle me and confuse me with their intellect; and I would end up looking like a stuttering twit.  So I am going to put my views forward in a simple way.  My way.  The way I think God reflects his love for all people.

In the olden days I may have been…

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My Favorite Definition

30 Topic Challenge: Part 19- A quote you try to live by.


4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. -1 Corinthians 13:4-7

We’ve all heard this bible verse. It’s probably one of the most famous quotes to hang on a wall. I’ve accepted Jesus Christ twice; renewed because I didn’t hold my end of the bargain the first time. That’s a story for another day.

I’ve never been one of those “Bullhorn Christians”. I’d rather show you God through my life than drag you to church to be lectured. This past year I decided I really wanted people to look at me and see God. I wanted to be a light for those in the darkness. That’s where this bible quote comes in! My promise didn’t click until this summer though. I’ve never been so at peace with my life! I have such a love for my fellow humans, and I try my hardest to be accepting and forgiving as an example for those who struggle. I also accept my own faults and know I’m only human, so I’m limited.

I have a defensive nature and enjoy using words as my weapon of choice, which makes being truly loving difficult. I’ll admit I’m easily angered and don’t always take the high road. Even so, I try my best to keep a level head and clear judgement. I’ve never understood humanity’s need for violence. I see modern warfare as a political game instead of the honorable circumstance it once was. I cry with God over how much turmoil our nature has caused. My hippie personality constantly wants to throw flowers at everyone and scream “love each other!!”

During a deep conversation with my birth mother when I was visiting, she pointed to the frame on her table with this quote and said “This is love. Love is a gift from God.” I believe it too. With this quote I have formed a basis for my relationship. The love we hold is fierce and good. It’s full of pure intentions and unselfish actions. I strive to maintain this basis to the best of my ability, with the help of my significant other of course.

Love is beautiful. Love is healing. Love can grow miracles and break down walls. Real love is the most important thing in this world.

Shoutout to the Good Times

I think I’ve spent my entire life searching for the man (boy) I would spend forever with. As soon as I was able to comprehend love and marriage, I set out on my journey. Little did I know, 30 minutes away a little boy was doing the same. Just as the little girl with cork screw curls grew into a hopeless romantic, the dimple cheeked boy grew into her other half.

It kind of just happened. I know I’ve said before that I’ve always wanted the cliche dating experience, but if I had to go back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never simply fallen in love with someone the way I did. The more I dived, the more we talked, I came to realize he was something so special. We both knew we felt something, and we would always hint at it, but never did we come clean about the intensity of the emotions….until one beautiful, typical, peaceful night. All of a sudden little messages popped up on my phone, urgent and full of passion. It had dawned on him that he didn’t want to stay silent anymore. Life is too short, accidents happen, people disappear, technology is fleeting. I love you. From there we had our “aha” moment, where the universe finally made sense. All of those heart breaks, chases gone wrong, the mysteries of life, our very positions in the world…everything seemed to come down to our bond. We learn and grow together through every trial and error. We accept our humanity and cling to our love, because we know it is the most valuable thing we have.

Our 2 year anniversary was overshadowed by my weekend adventure. (still working on that story. I have too many thoughts not even my organization skills can handle) Again, I don’t think I’d have it any other way. It just gives us an excuse to have more fun this week!

You see, we didn’t have an exact date to pin down, so we decided on July 19th as our celebration day. It just so happened that this year the date landed on the Sunday I was flying home. Things don’t always turn out how we think they will, but what I pride myself on is how we make the most of our experiences.

Even with all of this happiness, I’ve been ridiculed, put down, shut down, and chastised by those who would believe me to have a loose grasp on reality. Just today I was told I should tell my boyfriend I don’t want to be exclusive and go date around this fall! What?? This baffles me because I thought people in love were something to celebrate, not stomp into the dirt. So, to everyone out there, let me tell you why I think this is different than any other relationship or man I’ve come across. I just do! I don’t need to validate my love to anyone! Here I am, 19, and going steady with someone I see myself marrying in a few years. I’m so proud, so happy, so loved, and I wouldn’t change my life for anything!

So, this is for you, my love. 2 years down, many many more to go. Here’s to a forever full of fireworks shows, late night tacos, podcasts, nature love, and Sonic splurging.