“sometimes our hearts hurt, we can’t explain it or seem to overcome it. it’s okay, we who feel deeply sometimes hurt deeply. we want to be seen, known, cherished, and loved. sometimes we seek the approval of people who will never notice us, and when they do not see us it wounds us. it may seem silly, but our hearts must grow even in the midst of this silliness. never feel ashamed for that silly heart that loves without boundaries, often times the most desperate of souls are outside the borders and need the big hearts to find them. who knows, maybe your big heart could be the light that guides the lost home. love your heart that hurts, because it could mean the world to someone who hurts as well.”

t.b. laberge // go now

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The Blood Between Us

“God now calls us to be agents of reconciliation in the world around us, and I can’t imagine how we’ve convinced ourselves that we can do so without lamenting fully the darkness of what we’re in. Our reconciliation will only be as deep as our shared lament. If you don’t feel sad, you are too far away. Get close enough to black brothers and sisters to recognize them as real. Close enough to see their tears. To be confused and uncomfortable. Close enough to cry with them and mean it. It may take time. Don’t fake it. Just get closer.”

thank you, cole, for spilling your heart and speaking much needed truths in light of these tragedies.

braided veins

alton-sterling-philando-castile
Alton Sterling
Philando Castile
Black bodies are more than a hashtag. This, for you and unnamed others, in higher hope.
____________________________________________________________

I’ve been hiding. The past 2 days, I’ve been hiding and peeking around corners and turning off the lights and pretending I’m asleep a lot. When I am with people (especially white people), I’m still hiding– half hearted smiles and cantaloupe at a barbecue and passing off tears for sweat.

And then I’m in a parking lot with my white skinned fiancé and his panicked blue eyes and I’m screaming and sobbing as I choke out a string of sentences that I didn’t even know lived in my brain…
You can’t wait to feel something until you have a black son
People deserve your tears all on their own
We’re real people
I can’t be the only black body in your life
They don’t see us as human

And the last one…

View original post 2,069 more words

mirror, mirror


both of these pictures are self-portraits. the first was taken after my cousin spent an hour applying makeup to my usually bare face: foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, mascara, brow shading, even glitter. the whole nine yards. it took some time to get used to, but i felt prettier that day than had i felt in a long time. i glowed.

the second picture was taken a few minutes ago. i had recently emerged from the shower and my hair was only partially dried. i have big pores, acne, eyebrows that should probably be tweezed, and bags around my eyes from not sleeping enough. i’m not smiling, but i promise i’m not as sad as i look. just tired.

the reason i’m posting this is because i’m learning to see both girls as beautiful. i’m learning to see both girls as worthy of love. maybe i’m even learning to appreciate the second girl more than the first, because she’s raw and she’s real and she’s the one that i wake up with every morning.

there is nothing wrong with makeup. there is nothing wrong with doing things that make you feel good when you look in the mirror. there is nothing wrong with covering up the acne and the bags and painting yourself with colors that make your eyes shimmer and your lips pop. makeup is an art form and our faces are a canvas. i envy my cousin’s gift at seeing the potential to enhance someone’s unique, natural beauty.

but that’s just the thing: she enhances it. she doesn’t create the beauty herself because it’s already there. we are not blank canvases, because blank canvases are plain and boring and only really worth something when someone turns them into a piece of art.

we are already works of art. we are the smiles that crinkle the corners our eyes, the tears that travel the plains of our face, the laughter that bursts from our lungs like fireworks. we are the constellations on our cheeks, the oceans coursing through our veins, the roses blooming in our hearts. we are the air he breathed into our nostrils, the rib he stitched into our sides, the stardust he formed our bones from.

we are beautiful because he made us beautiful, and no mirror can ever capture that.

– ktl

I’ll go where you will lead me, Lord.

song of the day/hour/moment:

also song of the day/hour/moment, but for less profound reasons that have to do with our apartment not having A/C and not huge, potentially life (or at least next year)-changing reasons (gotta keep it light, people):

more to come. maybe. or maybe i’ll just leave you all (as in the two people that consistently read this lol) dangling in suspense for the rest of eternity. ♥

-ktl

“artists in medieval times did not sign their work. it never occurred to them to do so… their art was a gift meant to point away from themselves and toward the God who gave it. they were safely hidden in Christ, free from the tyranny of the self. they knew the great truth that they were nothing more and nothing less than children of a great King who had been entrusted with a sacred task: to win praise for their Lord. knowing who we are is the hiddenness of humility. it is believing that the giftedness we may indeed possess is not of our own making, that the purpose of its being given is not that we might gain attention or praise for ourselves, but that we might respond in gratitude with our best creative effort to win praise for the One who first gave the gift.” – michael card, scribbling in the sand

this song is hitting home for me. hard hard hard. in the best of ways.

sometimes God whispers, sometimes he shouts, and sometimes he sings through my spotify discover playlist.

“slow down child, you don’t have to work for love anymore.”

– ktl

amtrak thoughts

life in motion.JPG

i’m on my way back to pittsburgh today! it’s always bittersweet saying see you later to my friends and family back home, but it’s also with a thrill of excitement that i step onto the train platform (and then a thrill of panic when i realize i’m on the wrong side and rush to the other just as the engine comes steaming in. always an adventure, friends.)

within the past couple of years, trains have become my favorite mode of travel. they lack the airport stress and inner ear discomfort of flying, and while the views may not be quite as spectacular as seeing the world sprawled out like a map beneath you, they’re still something to marvel at. i love the hours of peace, solitude and reflection they provide, their gentle invitation to spend time with the thoughts i’ve often been neglecting. they’re an opportunity to let go of the hustle-bustle for a period of time and allow myself to gaze out the window at the mountains and rivers rolling by — without feeling guilty over the fact that there are a hundred more productive things i could be doing instead.

the place i’m currently in is a lot like that. i have a month and a half left of undergrad before i’m tossed into what people call the real world. i’m subletting a room in a house full of gracious and quirky friends until the end of the summer. i’m living and working in the city i’ve come to call home, but my internship and my apartment have a deadline.

after that, i’m back to square one. or maybe more accurately square zero, since this is the first time i’ve ever had not the slightest clue what comes next.

for the longest time, the thought of graduating college and being thrust into actual adulthood filled my stomach with dread. i refused to dwell on it long enough for it to become a reality. i’ve never been a planner, but i also don’t like having an empty schedule. i find comfort in opening up google calendar and seeing the rainbow of little boxes telling me what to expect for the upcoming day or week or month, and knowing that those colorful boxes turn white after august is downright terrifying.

however, recently God has been teaching me how to live this life in the inbetween. he has been showing me what true rest looks like after four years of full schedules and last-minute study sessions, of panicked paper writing and tearful all-nighters. (don’t get me wrong, education is great. procrastination is not. if you know me at all, you’ll know that i am a master of the latter.) he has been opening my eyes to see that i’ve been fumbling around in the dark for the longest time, trying to find the light switch on my own when he’s been holding out a lamp all along.

he’s been teaching me to trust him in the waiting, to put all of my hope in his love for me and and to offer my fear of the future into his hands every single day – moment by moment, breath by breath. he’s been helping me to embrace this time of transition as a gift, not a curse or a failure or something to be ashamed of.

he’s teaching me to enjoy the train ride.

“eternity is not for later. God weaves eternity into our minutes. every day, he is creating minute after minute, and he hands us the grace we need for each one as they come. worry and anxiety show up when we try to rush ahead into the minutes that haven’t been made yet. there is no art in anxiety.” – emily p. freeman, a million little ways

– ktl