Affirmation 8/17/17

Be bold. Your voice matters. Your heart matters. Your words matter. Your thoughts matter. Be loud. Be bold.

I’m glad you’re here.

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Affirmation 7/7/17

Friend, words are potent. Words work inside our souls and build up little homes. Good words. Bad words. They are strong and powerful things. This is important. Words are strong and powerful things. You are also strong and powerful. Seek out the homes that good words have built up. Find where they’ve nested. Write them down. Treasure them. Let the echo of good words fill your soul.

I’m glad you’re here.

Affirmation 8/23/16

You’ve seen it every day for almost three months. Maybe it’s lost its potency, so please pay attention. I’m glad you’re here. You are making a difference. You have a voice worthy of being heard. Don’t let people make you feel differently. You have value. Your ideas, words, emotions, thoughts, they’re real and valuable. I’m glad you’re here. There are people in your life who look forward to seeing you, hearing from you. I’m glad you’re here. Your heart and mind matter. I’m glad you’re here. You can do this.

I’m so glad you’re here.

Adventure in Phrasing

A thing about my life is that there are a lot of words I don’t like. And words that I think have gross meanings or make me think of gross things or things I simply don’t like. No, I’m talking about the words out there in the world that I think are gross to hear. Many of you will relate to this when you hear the word “moist.” For me, it’s a lot about the way a word feels when I hear it. The way the letters add up in my head. Alphabetic calculations. Some of the other ones also come from when I say them. How they feel in my mouth as they come across my tongue and exit my lips on their journey to destroy my ears. “Jiggle” is high on this list. I won’t give you more of them. It’s too risky. But everything about “jiggle” feels gross in my head and my mouth and saying and hearing them makes me hate everything. Usually they make me gag. There are over 200 of these words. Over. 200.

That’s a lot of negativity. A lot of reactionary negativity. Soooo here is a very short list of four words or phrases that I keep falling in love with and why I love them. Are you reeeeady? You’re not, is the lie I’m telling myself to make sure I feel good and important.

Fainthearted:
it seems to so often perfectly express my weariness from life. less “all of the sadness in my soul,” and more “all of the fatigue that soul sadness brings.”

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Hebrews 12:3

Tenderhearted:
tenderness is severely under-appreciated and under-acknowledged. when was the last time you noted something tender? when was the last time i did? not quiet and sweet. straight-up tender. a quiet, gentle, tender spirit. that’s what i want. (i don’t have one even a little)

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of god, by who you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,  forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:25-32

in my bones:
our bones are our structure. they hold us up. to feel something so deeply one feels it in one’s bones is to feel it in one’s stability and structure. to feel it in your framing. to feel it within your marrow. your essence.

O LORD, you have deceived me,
and I was deceived;
you overpowered me
and prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all the day;
everyone mocks me.
For whenever I speak, I cry out,
I shout, “Violence and destruction!”
For the word of the LORD has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
Jeremiah 20:7-9

and now for something completely different.

My fellow Americans:
        this phrase, i don’t know who first said it, who first wrote it for a president, but that person was a genius. what a beautiful phrase. it says to the population “i too am one of you. i am in this too. we’re all the same.” i should really research that.

photo (59)

Adventure in beauty parcel

Semi-faithful readers will know that I’ve been working on a Project. I’ve been gathering definitions of Beauty from anyone and everyone I can. I’ve asked nearly everyone I know. Moms, dads, grandmas, aunts, college students, high school students, social workers, teachers, grad students, professors, Americans, Brits, brothers, sisters. Answers trickle in slowly. It’s a tough thing to define, so I wasn’t anticipating an overnight flood of responses. Some weeks I get a few. Some weeks I get none. I don’t know what will come of any of it. I really don’t yet. I’m not even sure how I’m going to go about compiling all of it. Pictures, music, words, videos. I’ve a cornucopia of Beauty on my hands and no such compiling skills.

What has been most encouraging in all of it is the opportunity to hear so many different Hearts. So many wonderful words from so many unique Hearts and Heads. It’s a very humbling experience to be entrusted with all of these thoughts.

Today in the mail I received a true gift. My dear friend Dana sent me a parcel filled with 59 index cards from mostly high school freshmen in Tennessee defining Beauty (and Love), a three page definition of her own, a CD with music that she believes showcases Beauty and an added bonus of encouragement in CD form. I’m so truly blessed.

It’s all so wonderful. I can’t wait to gather it all and share with each of you.

Please, if you’d like to participate, e-mail your definitions to me at Hayley.Liz.Johnson@gmail.com if you’d like to participate in the visual aspect you can also attach a photo of your face, unmade up. Thank you very much for you support. It’s a truly humbling endeavor.