One Nation

Hi there.

It’s that time of the decade again!

Election time. My first election time, I might add.

And I’ve recently come to accept that this is big deal.

As a first time voter, I have a few things to say about my experience, so here goes:

Voting matters. I used to think that my vote was essentially worthless because of, well I had my reasons. To name a few: the electoral college, I didn’t feel well enough informed, I’m not into politics, and so on.

But really, I decided that to be an American is to have the privilege and freedom to vote for whomever, and that’s an opportunity not many countries afford their citizens.

Another reason I decided it was important is that, even if I don’t love everything one candidate has to offer, if he stands for something I value as important, something that will affect those I love and more importantly those God loves (everyone!), then it’s worth tossing in my two cents. Just kidding; voting is free. But really.

Even so, I do have something negative to say about election time, and more than anything it’s an anti-political statement. I’ve seen so many Facebook statuses and Tweets in which people are called stupid, ignorant, and un-christian among other things, all because they choose to vote for a certain candidate. This is so frustrating to see.

Since when does our country benefit or accomplish anything by name-calling, belittling, insulting, and using derogatory language in reference to fellow citizens? The last time I checked, we are supposed to be one nation under God. Not self-righteous, elitist, better-than-thou-art bullies. At the end of the day, whether we are Republicans or Democrats, we are still one nation that needs to work together to achieve success and enforce unity. 

I realize that, as a whole, our country has somewhat shifted its stance on how Christianity and the State are meant to interact, but no matter what religion you claim (if any), it is our moral obligation as Americans to be conscious about how our free speech affects other people. Instead of wasting our breath on putting others down, we should use our words to encourage and uplift the people who work alongside us in efforts to continually make our country a better place.

Okay, so enough ranting. Overall, election time was a great experience, and I’m thankful for those around me who encouraged me to vote. One last thing to keep in mind:

No matter who wins the election, we should not lose hope in America and in people who work diligently for the sake of our country and its people. God tells us that His thoughts are higher than ours, so who are we to say whether or not the wrong or right person will have been elected?

Thanks for reading. America is still pretty awesome. I’m done.

May all be well.

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For My Truest Friend

I’ve always been pining.

After the love of another person. After their acceptance.

After finding myself somewhere on their friendships list.

I’m always chasing, or seeking something

Like affirmation.

Like let me know you see me trying.

I’m always vying. Or waiting by some old abandoned bus stop.

But you, you’re the street lamp flickering

In a cozy sort of fireplace way.

You’re the warmth of the space between the pillow and my heavy head.

I thought I needed sleep, but it turns out

I wasn’t that kind of tired.

I really wanted rest.

The weightless bit of lilly that’s windkissed

And sunwaded.

I needed to hear that when that sun settles

On my skin in mid-afternoon it’s really

Your breath on a chilled window.

I can see you write our names in the cold.

There’s a heart in between with an

apostrophe s.

I can see your love for me.

And I’ll leave behind the pining.

Have it printed on some bumper sticker

That drives in directions opposite of us.

If fair weather can’t be trusted, I’ll make

You my most safest tree house. And in

Some extra special spot, I’ll carve our names in

The wood. With a heart in between.

And an apostrophe s.

~Original poem by Sarah Elizabeth Runyon

Our Song

Hi there.

Let’s talk lyrics.

Recently I’ve been jamming out to all my favorite fall bands. I know I can’t be the only one who likes to listen to certain songs seasonally. Anyways, I found a few new favorites this month, and it was like Christmas on Halloween. I hope that’s not heresy or something.

Either way, I came across a lyric from a song called “The Moon is Down” by Radical Face. Great song. Give it a listen. The chorus is the best bit in my opinion:

“All my life I’ve watched you dance alone / to music that I can’t hear / I ain’t equipped to hear those songs”

It’s so simple, and yet it bears so much meaning. At first, I looked at the words as if they came from a young man pining after a young lady who, for some reason seemed unattainable to him, almost as if they could never meet on the same page.

After listening to it for a while though, I ended up thinking about it from Jesus’ perspective. We often first think of Him as our Lord and Savior, the King of Kings. And rightly so, for He is those things. But the whole point of His being that for us is to have an intimate relationship with us. He is meant to be the lover of our souls. He patiently waits at our side while we’re off dancing with our latest distraction from Him.

This song really struck something within me. I know oftentimes I can get wrapped up in things, so much so in the past that I allowed another person to interrupt my dance with Jesus. During that time He never left, but longed for me to return to His loving arms. This song sort of showed me that sometimes the words we sing are so filled with sin that we make it impossible for God to sing with us.

Even so His heart breaks for us. He watches us “dance alone” when he wants to lead us in a beautiful waltz, where we stand on his feet and He twirls us around. But He is a gentleman. He will wait for you to take His hand.

But He is calling out to you to join him on the dance floor. He bought a brand new suit and a fancy bow tie and everything.

I don’t mean for these Thursday posts to be preachy, I really don’t. But this was on my heart, and I thought you might like to know that you don’t have to dance alone.

Even if you’re a horrible dancer like me, it’s okay. He delights in your little quirks. He made you to be as you are.

So give it a go. Listen to His lyrics. And it won’t matter so much whether you know all the words. It’s your song.

He just wants to sing with you.

May all be well.

Happy Endings

Hi there.

Let’s chat about films for a bit.

A few weeks ago, my roommate and I rented a movie which some of you might have seen. It’s called Like Crazy. Basically it’s about two people, Jacob and Anna, who fall in love. And for most of us, the story should end there. Because finding that one person with whom you can share a passionate love is the only detail of any love story that really matters, right?

Well, no. To be honest, I was quite disappointed upon first watching the film. I mean, from what the audience can infer, those lovebirds don’t fly off into the sunset to enjoy a happily ever after.

To summarize the story (spoilers), Anna is from England and overstays her visa in order to spend the summer with Jacob. After returning to London, Anna then tries to re-enter the United States, but is refused entry. Even so, the couple tries everything to sustain a romantic relationship; Jacob temporarily moves to England, and they attempt marriage, however uncommitted and unfaithful it is. Still, they are unable to make things work. Something gets lost in all their efforts to force a love that’s not meant to be.

The story ends with Anna’s moving in with Jacob after she is finally allowed to re-enter the U.S. years later. They seem unhappy, their efforts at love contrived. As an audience, we are afforded no closure at the film’s end. Just the feeling of a forsaken love.

I was furious. They were supposed to end up together, happy and as in love as they were at the beginning. But, alas. They do not.

And I got to thinking…that I judged this movie as stupid, pointless, and a waste of time. But why? What are good movies made of anyways? To evoke in us a fleeting happiness, to force-feed us false ideas about love, life, and happy endings? That’s a hollow play*  in my opinion.

I think we’ve allowed society to give us front-row seats in its theater so that we might evade for an hour and a half the difficulties of life, so that we might avoid our problems. And unfortunately, this enables self-pity. We begin to ask ourselves why our lives can’t work out as simply as the characters’ in some film.

After some thought, I’d honestly rather watch a movie where I can relate to the characters and their struggles. I’d like to be reminded that I’m not the only one who’s dealt with heartbreak, defeat, frustration, and the like. It might benefit us to see that we are not alone in facing the hardships of life.

So yeah, Jacob and Anna didn’t get together, and that’s sad. But that’s life. And it goes on. Just because we don’t see what happens next doesn’t mean it isn’t exciting, and scary, and at times wonderfully full of hope about an unknown future.

Watching a film shouldn’t be an a mind-numbing experience from which we emerge unchanged, but rather a tool by which we can gain a better understanding about human nature.

The mess, the madness, and the maybes of a story-line are more like real life than any cheesy chick-flick. Engage with the stories you watch, and see if you don’t learn something about your own life.

And be happy despite the ending, if for no other reason than that your story goes on even after the credits.

May all be well.

*lyric from Arcade Fire’s song “My Body is a Cage”

Breath of Fresh Air

Hi again! And welcome to my first post about words. I’m in the mood for a light discussion today, so I figured we’d chat about theology. No big deal.

Actually, I was in my Intro to Theology class today and was explained something about the trinity that I never really understood before. Thought I’d share with you this awesome little epiphany.

For the sake of this blog post, I’m going to assume you have heard of the divine trinity, which includes God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. This is sort of a three-equals-one type of thing. I thought I had a grasp on the basic principles of this concept, but what I didn’t know was this:

In order to understand that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are of one being, we have to look back to Genesis, where the Bible talks about Adam being given the “breath of life” from God. The Greek word used to describe this is called “pnoe.” We also know that in the Garden of Eden, there was a Tree of Life created by God.

Flash forward to Jesus’ later years, specifically his death. We know that Jesus died on a cross. In the King James Version of the Bible (in Acts) Luke refers to the cross as “tree.” We understand this cross to specifically be a Tree of Death.

Stay with me as I try to connect the dots.

So, after Jesus died and rose again, we know that he ascended to Heaven to be at the right hand of God. We also understand that Jesus promised that during his absence from Earth, he would send a helper/comforter to be with us. In Acts 2: 1-4, the Bible tells us that a wind came from Heaven and was poured out on all the disciples. Not all translations make the connection that the Greek word for wind here is “pnoe,” meaning breath of life.

It’s dot connectin’ time:

So, to look at the trinity from a different angle, let’s put Jesus at the center for a second. We see that Jesus is connected to the Creator because God the Father created Adam (with his breath (“pnoe”)). Also, God created the Tree of Life, which stands opposite of the Tree of Death. When Jesus died on that tree and was resurrected, God breathed again on his people, gifting them with the Holy Spirit. They all work together as one.

How awesomely intentional God was about having this same word be used in both instances. He shows us with his Word that it is his breath that gives us life and also enables us to serve him through the Holy Spirit: his still small whisper.

If that’s not a breath of fresh air, I don’t know what is.

I know this was a little deep for my first topic, but I couldn’t not share. Not all my word posts will pertain to theology, but every once in a while, I think it’s fun-tertaining to discuss the intricacies of our spirituality, and more importantly, the love of our Heavenly Father.

Hope you have a lovely day, and please comment if you have any thoughts about the post!

Endnote: I will regularly be posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I’ve already mentioned. But…I think I’ve decided to throw in random posts here or there (maybe one or two a week). Don’t count on the random ones to be consistent, but be on the lookout.

I like to keep things interesting.

Okay then, thanks for reading!

May all be well.

A Potential Giver of Misinformation?

Hi there! So, I do realize that I said I wouldn’t be posting again until Thursday, but before you form an angry mob and try to burn me at the stake, you should know the lie was unintentional (wonder how many times that’s held up in court?).

Anyways, this is now my first post about life and it’s all about, well, life. Okay. Here goes.

So really, I just thought I owed you some sort of explanation as to why I’ve called this blog Potential Poet. And honestly, it’s sort of complicated, but that’s okay because that’s the point. 

The word potential holds more meaning than just to express what we are or aren’t as human beings. Oftentimes it’s used to say that something or someone has the potential to do something, but hasn’t quite made it there yet. I can’t argue with that, mostly because I had no say in how the word appears in the dictionary. But really potential is all about choice.

It’s sort of an in-between stage of what we are and that which we aspire to be. Much like a teeter-totter, it revolves around balance. It’s a choice that we make to move forward or move back, or possibly even stay so still that the see-saw doesn’t tilt at all.

More than anything, though, potential pertains to how we define ourselves in spite of what we have or don’t have the ability to accomplish. We all have the potential to be many things: a good student, a better boyfriend/girlfriend, a more devoted church-goer, or the all-time high-score on some pinball machine. But the cool thing is, we are so much more than any one of those things can say about us. We have the potential to be anything, but what we are now is beautiful in itself.

So, whether I’m ever a well-known poet or not, I’m still a writer, a beloved child of God, and awesome beyond explanation (too conceited?).

There’s a world of possibilities out there waiting, but be content with who you are. As cliche as it sounds, no one has the potential to be you better.

Hi there

So, welcome to my life (or the bits of it which I’ll document on here). I’ve been putting off creating a blog for some time now, for obvious reasons: fear of rejection, wanting for inspiration, and (my favorite) inherent laziness. But now, I’m ready. Ready to share my thoughts with the world’s population (all three of you who will read this, that is.) I joke. 

On to the point. Basically I plan to post twice a week. Those posts will pertain to two things: life & words. I know, I’m too specific for my own good.

But really, the first post will happen on Tuesdays! Yay! And it will be about my observations. For instance, I might talk about current events, something interesting I learned or (over)heard at my university, or anything really that pertains to life

The second will happen on Thursdays! Again, yay! And it will have to do with writing, mine or someone else’s. I might discuss a quote or an essay, a paper I’m working on, or a poem I’ve written, etc. Thus, words. I am a potential poet, after all. Ha. 

So I’m excited. Hope you are as well. It was nice having this chat, and I look forward to the next one. 

Oh and one more thing: This post will serve as this Tuesday’s blog post. So see you Thursday? 

See you then.