Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Interview...

So, a little while ago I was asked to do an interview for Ashley Mays. She's a writer - She used to write for a magazine for Christian girls I used to read called Brio - and now she has a blog. She's quite an amazing person, and it was a lot of fun, and an honor, to be interviewed for her blog. She did an amazing job with this interview, and I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did making it!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Music on a Monday ~ Dark Side

There are no words to describe finding this song today, and finding out it said the words I never could.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I've been trying my hand at poetry. I don't know if I'm very good at it, but I'm finding I love it. I'm writing everywhere, from jotting down notes in my cell phone to sitting at the computer and typing and letting my soul find it's voice once again. So here's something I wrote today

With sunshine in our hair and sunburns gracing our shoulders
With laughter, and jokes made and drinks shared
With hope in our hearts and smiles on our faces
With twinkling eyes and devilish smiles
With a little girl grabbing your skirt and laughing, her eyes dancing as you pull her into your arms
While we scream and laugh at bugs and fish and make jokes about the future
Because we can, you know, because we are still young
We are here, on the brink of becoming something marvelous
For some of us, we are here in these final days of high school, before we set off on a new adventure
For others, we are counting down the days until the school bell rings for the last time and we are set free
With longing in our souls and our eyes set on the horizon
But today, we are together
In this day, our hands are joined and our laughter still mingles together as it echoes out across the park
We are together, separate beings yet part of something bigger then we can hold in our hands
The future is so uncertain and everything in our lives is changing, yet we are still here
As we were the summer before, with our heads held high and our hands united
And as we are on our journey of becoming, as the future holds different things for each and every one of us, we are also here, as a group of people who formed this friendship that can’t be described by mere words
This friendship that has withstood hours squished together on a bus and reaching out and stepping out
This friendship that has been my anchor as the storms of this life pull me, as we have ministered to each other in times of heartbreak and tragedy and in hope
We are more than friends, they are family
And as we stand here on the cusp of becoming, we are together
The future is coming and for every one of us it holds something different
And as we welcome in summer with our heads held high, and hope in our hearts, we are together

Friday, May 25, 2012

Swingset of tears

"Are you crying?"
"Kind of?"
"Why?" he asked
"Cause I'm just - I want to go to Amsterdam and i want him to tell me what happens when the book is over and I just don't want my particular life, and also the sky is depressing me, and there is this old swing set out here..."
"I must see this swingset of tears immediatly," he said, I"ll be over in 20 minutes."

I was reminded of this at supper, as I looked out the window at the neighbor's swingset, and I could feel myself wanting to cry. It's been that kind of day, the kind where I start crying at swingsets.

"We've got to do something about this swingset," He said, "I'm telling you it's ninety percent of the problem."
"Headline?" he asked
"Swing Set needs home," I said
"Desperate lonely swing set needs loving home," He said
"Lonely, vaguely pedophilic swing set seeks the butts of children," I said
In the end, we settled on this:
Desperate lonely swingset needs home
One swing set, well worn but structurally sound seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperatly as I did this afternoon. It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swingset your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely and may also learn the most importent lesson of all; no matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around.

Quotes taken from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Filling the hole ~ Part 2

I'm not sure how to write this post either. But I want to.
I'm filling the hole with music - this hole inside of me caused by word-less-ness- and I'm filling the hole with dancing.
I don't understand a lot of things right now. All these hopeful and heartbreaking things stirring around inside of my heart like tiny birds waking from their sleep and breaking their egg and seeing a whole new world. It's like that, and it's different, and it's confusing, and in this time of pain and discovery God is teaching me.
You remember in the Bible, when David danced before The Lord and his wife got embarrassed and David said, "I'll become even more undignified than this?" I think that's a similar kind of dancing; that raw, unhinged, primal desire just to move. To physically respond to the moment 1
It's like that. In this place where I am, when everything is new and different and confusing and I don't understand and I can't find the words to write and I'm exhausted and hopeful and full of all these conflicting emotions, it is in that place that God is doing something new and wonderful. I like the verse in Hosea 2: 14, where it says "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her."
It's like that. In this wilderness I'm in, He had lead me here. He has lead me to this place where I am stripped of everything, of my health, of my ability to turn words into beautiful things, of my strength, of everything I thought was stable, of people in my life. He has brought me to this wilderness where I have nothing but Him, and it is here that He speaks tenderly to me.
And that kind of beauty, in God getting down on my level and speaking tenderly to me and giving me glimpses of hope and of Himself, that requires a response.

1. Taken from Natalie Lloyd

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Filling the hole...

I've been wanting to write for a while, but not ever finding the right words. Some things are hard to write about, some things I just can't find the words to write about the way I want to. Some things don't even make sense in my own mind, so I have no idea how I'm going to write them down on paper. So I'm filling this hole in my chest - this hole where words used to be- with music. I'm playing music and making music and falling in love with beautiful music. Some of these un-word-able things are hopeful things, little tiny things stirring in my heart and making me smile, or wonder, or happy.
There's hopeful things, and there's heartbreaking things, and there's things I can't even wrap my head around yet to try and figure out how to describe. So, on this rainy Wednesday, I'm learning how to fill this hole in my chest where words used to be. I'm learning how to feel, wordlessly, using music.

Friday, May 18, 2012

7 Quick Takes Volume 6

1. It seems like I haven't written/blogged in a while. Every time I think I should write a post and try to sit down and write one, nothing comes out ~ well nothing coherent anyway. Like Augustus Waters says in The Fault in Our Stars "My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations."
2. On the note of The Fault in Our Stars, I'm reading it for the third time since I got it about a week ago. I literally can't put it down! Everytime I read it, I discover something new to fall in love with, or fall in love with the same thing more and more. I know there are lots of people who've read this book, but it feels like my book. It's my story written in those pages. The thoughts that Hazel voices are my thoughts.
3. I got my hair cut on Monday. And my whole plan was to take a picture today and upload it onto the blog, but I'm too lazy to go dig for my camera and the cord, so I'm just going to describe it. It's short, and I think it kinda looks like Michelle Williams meets Kiera Knightley when she had short hair. But that's just me.
4. Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice season finale's were this week. That kind of made me sad, because... well it just did. They were both really intense finales. And I cried... in both of them. I can't wait to see what will happen next season, but, alas, I will have to wait. That's when I'm thankful for seasons on DVD!
5. I've had a couple of really bad nights, and days. And I kind of hate saying that I had a really bad night/day, but I did. In Campus Church on Wednesday, one of the things the preacher was talking about was God's call on our lives, and He had 5 points. All throughout the time I was listening, I kept hearing "I have you here for a reason." And He does. God has me here, right where I am, for a reason. And, in someway, He is going to use me. In someway I can't even see yet, this trial that is breaking my heart and taking everything so I have nothing left, He's going to use that. He's asking me, "Will I follow, even now? Will I still trust Him?" And the answer is yes, but only by His grace.
6. I am so excited it's the long weekend. I am really in need of a break. I keep thinking "Well, just make it past Tuesday and your busy streak will, hopefully, be done for a bit." But what about today? What about these 4 wonderful days off I've been given? So I'm going to rest
7. Can I tell you a secret? I'm going to be ok. Did you know that? I don't know if I did, and if I did I don't know if I've been clinging to God's promise that He knows the plans He has for me. But I'm going to be ok, no matter what happens. Everything is going to be ok, cause He's got the whole world in His hands. And In His Hands in the best place to be.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lessons from Karma

Today was one of those days when I kinda felt like a loser. It felt like the world kinda decided I needed things to be shaken up a bit and chose to dump some stuff on  me.                                                              There was a moment when all I wanted to do was cry, because seriously, I had no room for any more junk. I was done. I went upstairs, and looked out the window, and there were these adorable puppy eyes looking back at me, begging me to forget the world for a little bit and come out and throw a ball around. So I did, and here's what I learned...
  1. It's ok to take time to be ridiculous. Sometimes it makes things better. As I watched Karma go into this crazy-run-around-the-yard and then she just plops down. She just took those two minutes to be ridiculous. And not only did she get whatever was bugging her out of her system, it made me laugh just to watch her be ridiculous! Sometimes being ridiculous is all it takes
  2. As Karma lay at my feet, she offered up to me her belly, waiting for me to scratch her. She was laying on the ground, all fours up in the air, and she was trusting me to only touch her in love and not to hurt her. She was trusting me, and that kind of felt great. She was offering up to me herself, and she trusted me.
  3. Really, my dog doesn't care if I look like a mess! She doesn't care if I feel like a loser that day. She doesn't make any rude comments about my new haircut (She actually doesn't comment at all!), She doesn't say "Seriously, what were you thinking? That was the stupidest move you could have made, you know better!" She was just happy I was there, loving on her and being with her.
She kind of reminded me of God. He doesn't care if I acted like a total brat today, or made the biggest mistake, or if I did something so loser-ish - and that I did know better. He calls me on my stuff, yes, but He doesn't shake His finger at me or call me names of make me feel like a loser so I'll straighten up. He just says to me, "Oh darlin', that wasn't the best decision you've ever made, but I love you more then life itself. I'll help you through this, just stick with me, my love."
He doesn't care if I'm a total mess up, if I'm disheveled and dirty. He's still offering out his arms, ready to pull me into his arms and rest my head against His heart.
All day there was one line of a song stuck in my head: "If I'm your beloved, help me believe it."
And He did, teaching me about love, through a dog named Karma

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thank you, Mama

Thank you, Mama, for giving me the greatest gift a mother can give.
Thank you for giving me the gift of life, for choosing to give life to and love your baby girl who isn't perfect or 'normal' but who is so grateful you said yes
Thank you for standing by me through all these long days as I wait for answers, for staying with me as nights were spent in hospitals
Thank you for teaching me that life is precious
You continued to say yes to life as we added another person to our family, and another, and another, until we finally were a group of 6
You taught me well. You taught me life is precious, whether healthy or sick, old or young
You could have done many things with your life, and yet you chose to spend your days here, building into my life and the lives of everyone in our family
You gave me a chance when the world said no.

I hope you have a special mother's day, mama. I love you and am so proud of you

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

I'm not going to tell you that you have to go out and read this book. I am going to tell you what this book meant to me.
There was something so bittersweet about reading a book about two teenagers with cancer, at the same time as I am facing life as a patient of the medical world. It was hard and also wonderful for me to read about Hazel, the narrator, and her cancer, because it seemed as if the thoughts she thought in the book were the very same thoughts that had been running through my mind, and the words she said were the ones I only wish I was brave enough to say. I didn't know how to handle the emotions that came with someone so plainly stating the thoughts that had been jumbled up in my head for a while. I didn't know how to handle this book, which left me sitting on my bed crying, because it was so real, because I'd experienced it all, because I knew the pain and the hurt and the thoughts that Hazel knew, and because it was not just a story on a page, but it was my story. One of the things the characters said in this book often (Besides the word "Okay" - and anyone who's read this book will know what I mean) was that the world is not a wish granting factory. I had heard the statement before, but as I read it, something clicked in me and I 'got it.' One of the main things I got out of this book was about living, even if you don't know how long your life will be. It's about drinking champagne that tastes like stars and having picnics in parks and laughing and loving. It's about finding a forever, even though your days are numbered.

"You gave me forever within my numbered days and for that I am grateful."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Shoes

This poem was originally written for women who've lost a baby, but as I read this today I found it resonated with me, as a person with a chronic illness.                                                                                           An Ugly Pair of Shoes
Author Unknown

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable Shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in the world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by
before they think of how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.

Monday, May 7, 2012

He winked at me

"The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less." 2 Corinthians 5:5
After a long, hard night with a migraine headache, nausea, pain and a beeping pump, morning finally decided to come around. After many long days filled with pain and exhaustion, this day decided to show its face.
The day was completely ordinary. Except for the tiny moments of bliss and inspiration and hope and  peace and beauty, except for those tiny moments when God winked at me.
As I sat out on the porch swing, homemade chai tea in hand, the sun shining down on my shoulders and my toes buried in the green grass, I was at peace. I was hopeful.
I liked the part in the verse above about God putting a little of heaven in our hearts. As I read that verse tonight, I kept thinking of today, and of the gift I had recieved in the green grass and the warm sunshine. Is that what a little taste of heaven is like? When the pain is so very real, are days like these to remind my tired heart that this is not my home?
It was a simple moment, but it was one where I sat back and thought "Do I have any reason not to trust God? Do I have a reason to not believe that this is part of His amazing transformation plan? Do I really, truely believe He knows the plans He has for me, and that those plans are good?"
The answer is no. Because every once in a while, in the middle of these trying times of my life, God winks at me.
And it's times like these - when God winks at me- I know He's saying "Just you wait."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Life with a Newborn

Not really. But sort of.
I said once, after a sleepless night due to my medical conditions, that it was like living with a newborn.
It's demanding. It takes everything you've got, all your time, all your focus, all your patience, all your sleep. It takes everything you have so there's nothing left for you. It's crying all the time, maybe not in the literal sense but in the sense that there's something needed or something changes and it's your job to bend and adjust. Even if it kills you, you follow the demands that are given to you, demands made by the doctors and by your own self.
There's good things too. Good things like waking up and feeling the sun on your skin and knowing that no matter what happened yesterday, it didn't kill you. Like the pride you have looking back and seeing what YOU have accomplished, what YOU have done, how far YOU have come. There's the unbridled joy that comes with beating the odds, or getting a good medical report. There's happiness that comes in the little things, the things that give you hope and when you step back and think on it you realize that you wouldn't change that moment for the world.
It's like living with a newborn. All you can do is hope that one day it won't be this crying, demanding baby anymore that sucks the life out of you and can sometimes make you feel like you want to curl up into a ball and die because you have nothing left, but something you can be proud of. Something that, when it's all said and done, you can look back on and say "Look what I did, look what I made it through."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Give me Jesus

"Will you follow me when I'm all you've got?"
Every Wednesday night, after Ministry Team and a busy day, I love to watch Campus Church. It's a campus church from Liberty University, and it's on Wednesday nights on JCTV. Tonight's message was on the verses from Mark 8, verses 34 and 35.  I think the point of this story Jesus told isn't all about dying. Sure, it's great to be able to die for Jesus, but I'm pretty sure not everyone in this world who loves Jesus is going to go die smuggling Bibles into North Korea or spreading the gospel in India. I think it's more about surrender. Every day, giving up yourself to follow Jesus. Giving up your hopes and dreams and desires, yes, but I think it also means giving up whatever is keeping you from serving God completely and totally. It's making Jesus everything.
"Will you follow me when I'm all you've got?"
Even when I'm in pain, and can barely get out of bed in the mornings?
Even when I'm sick and exhausted?
Even when I'm angry and frustrated and desperate for answers?
Even when I am literally broken?
Even when the people I thought I could trust are vanishing because they can't take this anymore?
Even when everything is taken from me and I don't have anything left?

Yes, I want my answer to be yes.  Even when my hope is gone and the fear is strong and the pain is real, when my faith is shaken and my joy is stolen and my heart is broken. Even when there is nothing left of me.
He's asking now, "Alisha, will you follow me? When you have nothing left, are you still choosing to follow? Am I really all you need?" He's asking me now.
Break me, Jesus, so I can find you. I will find you when there is nothing left of me to offer you EXCEPT for brokenness.

I know this is getting to be kind of a long post, but there's one more thing I want to say. As I'm thinking through all of this, I'm remembering the one person who seemed to model this attitude of give me Jesus, of following him when he was all she had left. That person was my Grandma. Even when she was sick, even when every day was a struggle, even when she hurt and was in pain, I always seemed to watch her model that attitude of Give me Jesus. Her life was an inspiration to me of that complete surrender to Jesus.

You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Next day Mac and Cheese

I don't usually share recipes, but I found this one today and kinda fell in love. I would have taken a picture but... I'm kinda already eating it!
I'm the kind of person who hates leftover mac and cheese. Instead of evenly spread cheese I get cheese globs, and that just doesn't work for me. So I found this recipe and thought I'd give it a try. This is for Next day Mac and Cheese, and let me tell you, it's amazing!


  • Leftover macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least a day (I'm pretty sure the stuff I used was in the fridge for longer then that)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 ounces water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying


Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces.
Season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge each piece through the flour and gently tap off excess. Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set. Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for 2 minutes before serving.

This was so good! I've definatly found a new way to have leftover mac and cheese. I just fried mine in a pan with some oil. Also, I didn't use quite as much flour as they said to (I think I used half a cup and that was plenty)
Anyway, if you're looking for a way to have leftover mac and cheese, try this one!
Super quick, super easy and super yummy!
Happy eating!