Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I wish you enough.

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more...
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear even bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough love so that you may appreciate the heartbreaks.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye. " -unknown
Mom, this is my wish for the world. This is my wish for my life. That I may live a life that celebrates yours. That I may give those in my life enough love to sustain them in their trials, whatever those may be. That I may find the largest amount of joy in the smallest things. That I may appreciate what I have been given and what has been taken away- for I know that this is all for a purpose.

To those whom I love beyond all bounds, I wish you enough.

Let your love always win. Let your light always shine. Let your heart always be open.
Love always and forever,
                                Britt

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Unseen Beauty.

365 days ago I promised to wear the same ring ever day until the moment you stepped back into our house. Its been 366 days since you were home. I want to tell you I'm still wearing it.
This picture is of your beach on the day we let you go. I'm happy that you are celebrating today and are not in any pain. 365 days ago you were in surgery and now you are in heaven. We love you mom, beyond measure. Enjoy the unseen beauty up there in the sky.
 Love always and forever
Your Daughter,
                   Brittany

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Life that is Lovely

I can't believe it. Fall semester is over.

Even more shocking for me is how sad I am that it is.

Advanced Placement. Those two words alone terrify my soul. I never have believed that I deserve to be in a class with such prestige. I'm not advanced in any manner, I'm just Britt.

Yet, despite my fears I entered Advanced Placement Literature this fall. Still scared of failure, I contemplated whether my writing could support me and whether I would be able to produce work my teacher could be proud of.

Looking back now I realize neither of those things truly matter...sure writing was 70% of my grade, but writing techniques will never be the answer to the question : Am I good enough for "Advanced Placement"?

 What I gained from Ap Literature, what I gained from my teacher, was a mentality that my life is a lovely piece of work. I learned that despite heartache, difficulties focusing, and my momentary defeatist attitude...my life is so lovely.

I learned in Ap Lit who to analyze a piece of literary merit. I learned about syntax, Shakespeare, and open questions...At least that was the learning supported by curriculum.

However, in my mind I learned far beyond what my Bedford reader could provide me with. I learned that I am good enough. I  learned that smarts aren't measured in grades. I was able to shape my own definition of what "smart" is.

People who are smart to me: pour their heart into their work, invest in others, use their tools and strengths to make a difference, and they believe in themselves and the power they hold with their words.

I became smart in Ap Lit. I learned how to put my heart out on paper. I learned how to analyze  piece of work, yes...but I learned how to make that analysis mine. I invested in others success by joining study groups at Starbucks with my Ap Lit family members and aiding them when I could.

 I, through my time in Ap Lit, had a moment of self awakening where I realized that in order for my writing to evoke change, I had to believe in the words that I wrote. I had to believe in what I wrote not only when I composed  letters or blog entries -but every time I that I created a written work. No matter the style: expressive, analytical or expository- I still had to believe in what I said. It was Ap Lit where I learned to become passionate every time my pen hit the paper. I broke down my barriers.

It has always been difficult to find my voice when I write for a class because I become overly absorbed in the grade. I would always imagine my teacher with a red pen checking grammar and tearing my work to shreds.

In Ap Lit that changed. I began to imagine my teacher as a friend, a mentor who wanted to watch me succeed in writing. I imagined my teacher with a cup of coffee and a nice, gentle blue pen to write her feedback with. I  became less absorbed with whether a giant 8/9 was pasted on my paper or a measly 5...what mattered was if I got my point across. What mattered was whether I left a new piece of my heart on the page for all to read. Surprising to me, by owning my new mentality I actually received better scores.

I improved. Yet that wasn't what mattered. What mattered was that I slowly recognized that I gave a piece of my heart to my readers.

I will forever miss my Ap Literature course. I wasn't just a student, I was part of a unique family. I was apart of a  family who could write essays and attack prompts during the day, and then go to a midnight Harry Potter showing together at night.
\
I love my classmates and my teacher... and I love the tools and insights into the world that I have gained by taking this "Advanced Placement"course.

My life is lovely because I love my life. My life is lovely because I am passionate about what I do. My life is lovely because the people in it are lovely.

Live a life that is lovely. Define for yourself who you wish to be and what you wish to share with others... and chase after it, forever.
With Love,
              Brittany

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scrambling to find bliss

Lately I have felt that my life is somewhat boring. I feel as though my life revolves around college applications, school work, clubs, and actual work. Today I feel as though I’ve made the first step in order to go from boring to blissful. (Don’t you just love that word? Blissful, well I do) I went to San Francisco!
Any who, despite the random introduction this post isn’t going to be a rant of my boring and stressful life… nor will it be an entry on the crazy adventures that the three of us girls had today in the wonderful city of San Fran. In fact, I would actually like to open your eyes into what I’ve discovered the past few days.

I somehow stumbled over this blog “Ramblings”. I don’t know the family, nor have any connection with them, yet I am touched. This blog is written by the mom of a 22 year old boy who because of a motor cross accident suffered traumatic brain damage. I feel particularly connected to this story as most of her posts describe her sons struggle through physical therapy and multiple brain surgeries. It's like a blast from the past for me. Watching as she writes about her frustrations with his inability to communicate and be the person she remembers. The greatest difference between our stories is what makes it such a struggle for me to read… her son, is progressing. He has been in therapy and learning to talk using switchboard communication. He has a trach, like my mom did, but is nowhere as far gone as she was. He will return home in 2 months approximately from a hospital in Boston (where the family lives). I am happy for them. From the bottom of my heart I appreciate her sharing his story…I’m not bitter. It hurts me sometimes to hear of his success…and sometimes I sit and wonder Why can he make it?…and MY mom didn’t?

Yet what I also realize is this: Even my mom’s disease had a great prognosis…there were/ are many successful recoveries from Moya Moya and I have to keep trying my best to recognize that. The way I sometimes think about it is like this...when my mom left this world, she become part of the slim statistic that didn’t make a full recovery…however, by becoming a part of that statistic she also made room for more successful stories. 1 in two million people receive the disease that my mother struggled with and by giving her all my mother did everything she could to prevent someone else from becoming a “1 out of” along with her. For that I admire her strength and courage.

Another thing. Reading this blog is painful at points... but its also a reminder of the things I once have forgotten. It reminds me of those little things and that small progress she had that put a smile on my face. “Ramblings” reminds me of how my mom loved taking on and off my dad’s watch, how she felt building a puzzle had become a game of tug of war, and how she was mesmerized with my sisters hair…it reminds me of the small pleasures, those lost in time and hidden under 2 months of heartache without her.

Find Bliss. Remember don't forget. Your life only becomes boring when you fail to find its small pleasures.Finding meaning behind digression and trials is a never ending battle-but one well worth your time and most importantly, your heart.
Love Always and Forever,
Brittany

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gratefulgiving?

Mom,
The word thanksgiving just doesn't seem to fit this year.

I mean really though...

I can't say that I'm thankful that Dad, Shelby, and I will be separated this holiday.

nor can I say that I'm thankful for your illness or your passing

I can say though, that I'm grateful that ...even though Dad will be visiting his parents while Shelby and I stay in town...we as a family still know what is best for each other and aren't letting our circumstances this holiday get in the way of the amount of love we have for each other. We are encouraging each other to make the best personal decision we can.

I can say I'm grateful for what your passing mom has taught me: Just how powerful love can be, how many blessings I have, and just how much of a fighter and a beautiful mom you were.

 Sure, I would have gladly loved to learn these lessons another way...but I'm still being given the opportunity to grow because of them...and for that I am grateful.

Others may say the words grateful and thankful are the same word...I strongly disagree.

In my mind if you're thankful for an event, or a person than you are acknowledging and accepting that what came out of that event or person was positive and beneficial. In other words the outcome aided you in some way.

On the other hand, if you say you're grateful for something then, in my mind, I believe you are acknowledging that what came out of a person or event doesn't have to be positive or beneficial but can be something that although painful or damaging, taught you something. If you are grateful for something I believe that you see the outcome as necessary to what makes you who you are.

The events that have occurred this pass year in my life were necessary in making me who I am today. They make me grateful because without them I wouldn't have realized what a blessing it is right this very moment to be wearing my favorite t-shirt of yours. Without these events I wouldn't have had the opportunity to grow in character...I wouldn't have had the opportunity to be strong, courageous, loving, and bold.

The people that have come and gone in my life this past year have built me into the sort of women I hope to become. They have and are giving me my foundation for which I will grow.

Mom, you gave me my strength...you taught me to fight to the end no matter what. You taught me to love beyond my own bounds.... to remind those who you care, admire, and love just how much you appreciate them, not every so often, but ALL the time.

With all this now spewed on the blank face of my blogger screen I will end with saying that,while I may be saying Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family tomorrow.... in my mind I will be saying "Happy Gratefulgiving Day my friends! "

Be grateful, not only thankful, because everything that has occurred to you is for purpose. Maybe not to make you better according to societies standards but to make you a better version of yourself.

Love always and Forever
Your Daughter,
Brittany

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm not Superwoman... but I will try to be for you

We all are struggling with something. This post is written to my friends who have experienced heartache this week, those three who lost loved ones, and the others, including myself, who fought hard for something and just barely missed the mark. Be proud of your momentary pain my friends...because it is just that: momentary. Be proud of your strength and carry on knowing that you my friends inspire. I love you all. Britt

"It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago." Jim Bishop

Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” Oscar Wilde
"Sometimes I need only to stand, wherever I am, to be blessed."-Mary Oliver
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival - C.S. Lewis

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" -Mary Oliver

"Before someone’s tomorrow has been taken away, cherish those you love,appreciate them today." -Michelle Ustaszeski
"Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable"-Mary Oliver

"What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose for all that we love deeply become apart of us" Helen Keller

I can't stand watching others in pain. I can take pain myself, sure I dislike it too but I'd much rather take the pain myself than watch someone else have to endure it.

Let us stand together. Let us fight the pain together. Let me take some of your burdens. Let me love and support you. After all, that is all I can really give you. I can't take back time or reverse what has been done but I can take the struggles with you. I want to, let me help.

Thank you my friends for fighting for the desires of your heart. Thank you my friends for loving those people you lost this week...whether a grandfather...a boyfriend...or a friend. Thank you my friends for giving me strength by allowing me to watch you grow into the beautiful people that you are.

Thank you for fighting your pain and for helping me to fight my momentary pain also. Let us do this together. Take my hand and I'll take yours. Pain is big and small...but it is concured through the power of many.
Fight your pain together. No matter how big or small. Fight.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

simple thoughts on paper.

I don't say "I love you"  just because it sounds pretty... I say it because I gave you a piece of my heart, a piece of my life, and a permanent spot in my soul. Every utterance of my love shall be a remembrance of the greatness you bring me- greatness that never leaves me.
Whether a friendship or a relationship. Love is all the same. It comes from deep within the soul. It is the spark that ignites every fire in our hearts.
Love...its not a question of whether we deserve it, but rather the question of if we are willing to go after it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Left Side, Strong Side.

I love sister time. Adore it even.

Today Shelby shared her mad rapping skills with me... we belted songs out of pitch to each other...we had a totally unhealthy dinner...and we just spent time with each other. Laughing & enjoying the presence of one another.

We had an amazing friend over at the same time... but it didn't even matter that it wasn't just us. What mattered was we invested in each other. Shelby into I and I into Shelby. We didn't need to be alone, being with friends was so good for the both of us anyways.

 We didn't need to have a sob fest  or some super deep conversation....we just needed to be in the same room together. We just needed to get a little crazy, let loose, and be ourselves again.

How Refreshing it is... to feel connected again. I am so inspired by my sister.

 We have a bond that can never be broken. We know how to read each other...we know each others needs...and we try our best to be there for each other. Shelby has such a genuine spirit. She truly cares about those in her life. She writes what she calls "gratitude letters" to her friends which absolutely inspired this post. I am so grateful that I have a big sister... She's my big and I'm her little :)

She has such a drive in obtaining her goals in life. She is encouraging and always has a positive attitude. She gives her all in school and in the pool. She is such a leader and inspires others on a daily basis :)
I love everything that makes up my lovely sister.

I love how she laughs when she has too much soda. I love how she is so sweet and kind yet somehow has this hidden "gangster-rapper" that comes out on occasion... if you're lucky. I love how she always supports me when I need it most. I love how she knows the inner workings of me. She recognizes the moments when all I really need is for her to blast the radio and for us to sing together as loud as we can. She recognizes when I'm hurt, and always brightens my mood.She knows just when I need a cup of coffee or a funny joke.  She knows my buttons, and while sometimes that can be rather bothersome... I would never have it any other way. She surprises me everyday with the amount of love she has for life and her friends and family.

Thank you Sister. You have taught me the importance of going after your dreams... the importance of giving someone all the love in your heart. Thank you sister, for always being my best friend, my study partner, my big sister, my mind reader, my care taker, and of course my partner in crime.

"Sister, I am seeking your companionship....Forever and Always I will."

Know that you are loved.You are my biggest inspiration. My most sacred relationship.

I hope only to one day repay you all the love, encouragement, and fun times we have had together.

With so much love and gratitude...

Your little sis forever and always,
                                             Britt.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Live Beautifully.

To say I want more time to get all my things done is a lie.
 I want more time to love, more time to encourage, more time in invest others, more time to be free, and more time to enjoy. A lot of school things going on this week... yet all I really want to ask for is not more time on homework assignments, tests postponed, or fun movies in class. I want to ask for time to live beautifully. To live not to complete tasks, but to enjoy what blessings surround me. Sure, I am completely stressed out by the amount of work I have this week... but when it comes down to it I would enjoy time spent in love, in friendship, in peace....A lot more than time spent in textbooks, reading over notes, and completing projects.

Time spent doing what matters is time spent living beautifully. Smile, Laugh,Love and use your time to meditate on good things, your little blessings in your day. Focus on living beautifully and with purpose... rather than thinking of how to complete your to do lists.

Love Britt.

Monday, October 18, 2010

If I sang my melody... (I Love)

I love the crazy emotional roller coaster that has become my today.
From dreading my morning, to being wonderfully surprised by my sister, to experiencing the weirdest confusion of feelings that was my afternoon, to coming into the evening feeling inadequate as a leader and then coming out of it feeling like I matter. WOW! Life you throw me for a loop… part of me feels like jumping in the air and shouting for joy while the other half would rather just hide under a rock.

I love being loved. I love being thought about. I love being encouraged. I love being confused. I love being surprised. I love being sad. I love mourning. I love laughing. I love all these things not because they are always good or enjoyable in the moment (I have to say, mourning and sadness- not exactly fun emotions to experience ) but I love them because they are ME.

 I love them because they are TRUE. REAL. HONEST.

There is hope in pain. There is hope in joy. There is hope, even in an emotional roller coaster.

“Moods that take me and erase me and I’m painted black. Well you have suffered enough and warred with yourself its time that you’ve won!”

“…Falling slowly, sing your melody ...I’ll sing along” -Kris Allen, Falling Slowly
Love Always
 Your Daughter, Brittany

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things that are beautiful to me...

What is beautiful to me?          
                  The unknown…
Less than a day ago, I attempted to put my feelings into words. I failed miserably.

Sure, I talked for an hour but I don’t think I really got to the point of what my heart really wanted to say. I failed, that’s okay.

That is beautiful. My thoughts, my inability to comprehend my world, that’s okay.

Ask me if that was okay yesterday evening…. I would easily say: absolutely not.

I want to find beauty amongst those things I don’t understand. There is a reason behind not understanding our pain. Its what makes us real. Its what makes our emotion real. Its what leads to self discovery.

Right this very moment, I am drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper and listening to Switchfoot’s “Your love is a song” on repeat. That is beautiful. I love being able to acknowledge that I am hurting, to acknowledge that something inside of me is preventing me from feeling what I wish… and yet still being able find strength to live my life and move forward. In due time, whatever it is that is holding me back will disappear. In time I will be able to say: yes, finally my heart is at peace…finally I’m able to let out my thoughts again. Finally, I can speak.

It’s beautiful to me that my heart feels like I can’t talk. I love that feeling, because it’s honest and pure. No barriers…simply the truth. I have talked so much that I no longer feel the pain that lies behind the story I tell. I feel I have abused the privilege of having words. I’m not upset about that. You know why? Because it teaches me that words are precious.

It teaches me that words are beautiful. They can hurt, heal, love, attack, penetrate, acknowledge, inspire... Words can teach us about the world. Words create the framework for stories.

Stories are precious insights into purpose. My mom’s story is precious. There is purpose behind her pain. Her struggle, her story sheds light for me on the importance of loving…of reminding people in your world that they affect you. ..Reminding people that they are beautiful.

Not just physically beautiful, but their life is beautiful. Their hearts are beautiful.

I love finding beauty amongst my pain. I love finding the beauty between the confusion and frustration.

I love finding beauty while sitting on a park bench, wearing sunglasses, when the sun has already set…I love finding beauty in my friend’s hearts…I love finding beauty in my inabilities. My feelings still have no words, no clear descriptions… but they are beautiful. Find what makes your pain beautiful. Live in the beauty that lies within your own discovery.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

S squared B?

Goodbye Beautiful. What am I going to do without my leader Killer B? :) We can no longer truly call ourselves SB squared without you...
                            I Love you…More to come later on.

At least you’re free at last. Free from pain. Free from your sufferings …Free from a body that wasn’t working…

Love Always and Forever
                      Your Daughter,
                                             Brittany

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Remebering the past...my favorites of you :)

 My favorite of you when you were younger..So your smile! :)

 My Favorite of us... My smile says it all, I love you!
 You and your sister, you on the right I believe...at my Great Grandma Inez' house:)
You standing on the right with your cousins and grandpa :)
                                     I love you Mom!!!
                              Love Always and Forever....

                        Your Daughter,
                                                Brittany

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Misunderstood Emotions.

I need Jesus. I need Jesus. I want Jesus.
...I knew this moment would come…where I lose all ability to keep my feelings inside.. but who knew it would be sparked from stress in a midterm? Not me, but God has his ways.

I can’t do this. I need encouragement. This is killing me. How does anyone believe that I can study right now? How does anyone believe that I can pass my midterms? I’m running off of 3 hours of sleep people. …I need at least a B on AP Lit in order to keep my grades up…in order to maintain my grades for my college apps…and in order for me to actually be proud of myself for something. I don’t feel like I’m living. I’m breathing, but I’m not here…It’s like I’m in a trance. My heart hurts so much for you, mom, it’s like I am not here.

I’m almost in tears because of how stressed and tired I am right now. So much work…how can I do it? I have to read two essays and take notes, look up essays on Death of a Salesman answer 25 questions relating Death of a Salesman to Aristotle’s tragic formula so that I can be prepared for an essay tomorrow. I have to chose my essay rewrite, go back and reread that particular Hamlet soliloquy and take notes, write an outline for my rewrite essay, prepare for my essay #2 that I will do after my one on Salesman tomorrow, and somehow find Hamlet evidence and Death of a Salesman evidence WITHOUT rereading the entire book….AHHHHHHH. I’m tired! And yes, the whole point of this blog entry is to complain because I’m tired, and stressed, my mom is slowly dying- and I have to worry about midterms! Insanity! I say it again, Insanity!

I know if I don’t worry about midterms and I do badly then I won’t feel good about myself& be hard on myself, which will do nothing but depress me more. This is a lose-lose situation. Yes, I did make up a new phrase….Sorry for the complaints, I needed to get it out and no one would listen. Please think about me tomorrow as I am dying, tired, and probably so close to bursting out into tears that my teacher will notice….fantastic, not.
Love Always, Brittany

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Music keep me alive....

" Oh your love is a melody...underneath me...running to me. Oh your love is a song"-Switchfoot

"Friend, its getting late-we should be going. We've sat here beneath these flickering neons for hours...I'm cracking thier code, you are deciphering me... Oh can you feel the gravity falling?Calling us home?... Oh did you see the stars coliding? Shining just to show we belong"-Brooke Fraser

"Oh she used to be a pearl...
Yeah she used to rule the world ...
Can't believe she's become a shell of herself....
Cause she used to be a pearl"-Katy Perry


"You stay the same through the ages
your love never changes...
there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning"-Chris Quilala

Love Always and Forever...
                                   Your Daughter,
                                                        Brittany

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Strength comes not from the body, but from the heart: Part 2

Once again I must begin by saying I’ve completely avoided coming back to this. It seems to hurt more and more as minutes pass.

I’ve given myself time to process a little more of what is going on and what you are about to read is a collection of crazy, emotionally charged, unconnected thoughts that have been rushing through my head like a train running off the tracks.

A knife is lodged in my heart…with every second it falls closer to my core…it travels deeper and deeper, becoming almost completely out of reach. It appeared September 23rd and told me it’s not leaving for some time. I try not to acknowledge its presence…I’m diving as deep into my studies as I can get

Lately I’ve even been making up (out of thin air) homework assignments that I can do just so I can keep occupied. Whether it’s pretending that my teacher asked us to read ahead in AP lit or rewriting my notes for Government just because I made one mistake… I have officially convinced myself the reason I am doing all this work is to get better grades and to please my parents…the truth is, I just want to keep myself busy.

I have lost inspiration…I’ve lost my ability to freely express how I feel about what is going on…to be honest this angers me the most. I LOVE TALKING….mom, you know I would talk to a tree if it would listen long enough. Yet now, I can’t put my emotions into words…I stop myself from processing what is going on. I feel like I’m searching for something to talk to you about when I visit-only wanting to bring things back to normal. I’m too afraid of what others will think if I speak my mind and ask: Can you hug me right now?

I thought I was a better person than that… I thought I had the strength to ask for what I need no matter how ridiculous it sounds to others. Obviously not. Yesterday being the most current example: I just wanted a really long hug…a hug where it’s just long enough to make me feel safe but not too long to where I feel guilty about being such a little kid.

Over time, it is said that we grow up. Overtime, it is said that we mature. Become less needy. Less dependent.

Clearly, I’m not there yet.

I have never felt more like a little 5 year old Britty then within the past two weeks. I need people to show love. Some people have…and I am so appreciative for that. I need to be supported, almost protected- from my own negative thoughts.

I have now cried…In front of people. Tuesday…and Friday…. Sure, looking back I find it thoroughly embarrassing but I don’t really mind. At the time all I felt was pain, all that I saw in my mind was you.

I’m too angry with myself &my inability to explain what’s going on to continue typing tonight…maybe I’ll come back later and finish my thoughts. Until then…

Mom- looking back at old photos of you today with dad once again reminds me that your arms were such a warm place to rest when it seems like I can’t make it to the end of the day. I love you …and I thank those who also love you and us during this difficult time.
Love always and forever
Your Daughter,
                 Brittany

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Strength comes not from the body, but from the heart: Part 1

Caution: what you are about to read is pure emotion written on paper. I’ve been trying to avoid doing this on here for a few reasons…
1. My sister reads my blog, at least I think she does, and she says all that I write is very emotional and I don’t know if she likes it
…sorry sis I’m not writing for you, I need to get this out…
2. I’m just plain scared, scared to confront what is right in front of my face.
But I think it needs to be done for my own sanity

Mom,
Everyone knows we don’t have that much time left together…I’m still hopeful but also: I’m scared. I started this blog for you-as a way of staying connected. I wrote it as if one day you would be able to come home and read it… and get a sense of what we’ve done and what you’ve overcome. Its no longer a thought but a reality: you won’t get to read this.

Despite that fact, I will still be writing on here, to you. Because I will resort to being a little kid….a little kid who thinks that this blog somehow gets to you, whether through telekinesis or that it travels from me to God to you some how. I will always be a child in that way. I will always believe that you are reading this, I have to-or else what is my purpose?
My heart hurts…I’m pretending that the small pool collecting on my shirt isn’t from tears, but that it is you splashing water on me from the pool, like you used to when you were exercising.
I want my friends & hugs & a big tub of chunky monkey ice cream to drown my sorrows in.

As I’ve been visiting you these past two days a few things have been on the fore front of my mind

1. I want to run! Run out of the room, down the halls, out of the hospital, and all the way back to November 13th….a few days before your first noticeable stroke, before all this began…

2. I can’t cry…. I don’t want to cry while I’m visiting you, I want to be strong….because just in case you can hear me, or see me ,or feel my presence, I don’t want you to see me cry, I don’t want to frighten you…I want to be strong for dad and Shelb too…but mostly for you. I want you to remember that WE FOUGHT TOGETHER for you.

3. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. Never forget that mom. NEVER. Despite the ups and downs of our relationship I love you more every second of every day. You ARE a fighter, you ARE an inspiration, you ARE my mom and I love you more than I can express

When I visited today with the rest of the family…I really just wanted to climb into bed with you and talk about things: life, school, friends, boys, homecoming, and even puppies…to be honest I don’t care what we talked about, I just wanted to hear your voice. I wanted you to wipe my tears, you to hug me….you to come back to life, to turn back into the mom you are. I hate seeing you like this, just listening to yourself breathe.

I’m so thankful for the time I had you in my arms, I’m so thankful for your advice, your hugs, your laugh, your first-day-of-school brownies, your “Belinda’s Chipotle”, your beautifully creative designs and party ideas, the way you would freak out when my hair wasn’t perfect, and the way you cleaned the house when you were stressed, danced in the car to Black eyed peas, belted out solos to Journey, and were at every one of Shelby’s water polo games. I’m thankful for car rides to the gym, your persistence when it came to my surgery recovery, your addiction to Andies mints, and the way you loved to shop and spend time with us. I’m thankful that you thought ahead…driving Shelby and I to consider college plans way before we got into High School, the way you picked out colors for our future weddings, and even thought about how to decorate our first home.

I’m thankful for every part of you, everything you had to offer, and your amazing character.
More to come in part two…My heart and body can only handle so many tears….

Love your Daughter, Britty

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Obvious Giveaways...

Part of me is saying that I shouldn't post this, simply because those of you who do read it will criticize me, but oh well- here it goes.

When I get uncomfortable or am hurting but don't want to cry, I smile.

I know- go ahead-laugh, question me, whatever you want...but its just my gut reaction, smiling. I don't have control over it sometimes.

I was recently talking to someone and I got to a point where I knew I wanted to cry, but I didn't want to show it... so my body naturally did what it does when I'm uncomfortable: I smiled instead.

I do understand why that would look odd and out of character: I'm saying something that I'm struggling with & I say it's sad, and then I smile?? What's wrong with a person who does that???....they must be insane.

Honestly though, I promise I'm not insane. I just don't know how to respond to something without crying... and I just smile so often... it just comes out.

I really DO care about what I'm talking about...I really DO mean what I say....I just DON'T WANT TO CRY...
I always got in trouble as a kid for crying too much...so my fall back was smiling, and now by doing that- I just look like an inconsiderate jerk. fantastic,not.

So, there you have it. My readers...(all two of you)....  now believe I am insane and worst of all: you know my dead giveaway, smiling when I really want to cry.

please don't judge me, I already judge myself. I'm sorry.

Avoiding what I really have to say

I have so much inside me, but now is not the time to let it out. Later, yes. For now, I will give you a list of all the places/things I haven't done,but really want to, in no particular order.

Picture from Google

1. Eat or watch the sunset underneath the rose (big red tower thing you can see off the freeway) :)
2. Go to Nubbins and have a shake
3. Go to The Fountains and actually see the fountains! Crazy idea,I know.
4. Go to Apple Hill
5. Have a picnic at a park with friends:)
6. Go to Downtown Tuesday in Sac
7. Make pottery
8.paint!
9. walk on the beach barefoot in Santa Cruz
10. Watch Charissa surf :)
11. Go to drive-in movie                     

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am mystery. I am a locked room in a tall tower

Mom,
Okay. So I have no idea this time what I will be writing about. I think I'm internally hoping that as I continue typing that something will spew out of my mess.

Wow. my brain is a pile of laundry. So many different things to think about: Emotions, the lack of my homecoming plans, speech and debate endeavors, friend situations, my uneasy heart... I have no idea what to say.

Some much...yet I feel as if no one is listening.
                                                                       Why do I care?
 This is pathetic, I apologize.

I miss you.

                                        ...but its more than that now... I feel THE VOID.

The void, that everyone thought I had before but didn't,  is now actually present in my heart and mind.

I feel it all around me, in every part of me. Trying to pretend that I get the same joy out of things like I did before...whether its Student Leadership or watching my favorite show "What Not to Wear"... well, I can't keep pretending. It's here and I want/ need to accept it.

I'm trying to keep myself busy, occupied. Trying to delve deeper into Ekklesia, Church, Student Leadership, Homework. Friends...anything to try to gap this whole. Surprisingly- I'm not depressed or upset about it but rather confused and uncertain.

I see myself spending more time with friends to try to find some of the love I find in you..I find myself more frequently stopping by her classroom just to chat, not about anything deep, just normal day to day how are yous...  In hope that I can leave the classroom and tackle my day with an encouraged heart (because of a role model)...I want to leave with an encouragement similar to the one you unknowingly gave to me every morning.

How is it that you inevitably shaped my desires?? I'll be first to admit, I had no clue what a presence, just a body of someone that I loved did to me. I realize that what I miss isn't just the quirks and annoyances that were you... but more so- just the physical presence of you in the room, just your smile, your being. What I would give for that.

On a random tangent, I just want to say I'm not sad today...rather reflective :)

Love always your daughter,
                                       Brittany

P.S. The title of this entry is lyrics from Brooke Fraser's "Deciphering Me" and it just seemed to fit the weird state that my brain is in today

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No words of my own

"All the folly of the past, though I know it is undone

I still feel the guilty one, still trying to make it right
So Iwhisper soft your name, let it roll around my tongue,
knowing you're the only one who knows me,
You know me

When I can't feel you, I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can't hear you, I know you still hear every word I pray
And I want you more than I want to live another day
And as I wait for you, maybe I'm made more faithful"

.......I hope I am made more faithful to you … despite my struggling heart and my feet which are wandering away…may I find you once more in my heart...

"Show me how I should live this
Show me where I should walk
I count this world as lost to me
You are all I want
You are all I want"
-Faithful, Brooke Fraser

Monday, September 13, 2010

One... the loneliest number??

I've been doing a lot of what I do best. Just sitting and thinking about love. If you know me, you will know I do this a lot!


I like to think about the future...what i see myself doing...if I will love it

....i like to think about the ones I love... and what they will be doing...

.........I like to think about the people who I haven't yet met or loved... and where they are right now....

and the one thing that I keep thinking about is the idea of being single.

They say one is the loneliest number.

Do I believe it?

I would say 99.9 percent of the time, no. I feel that being single allows you to discover who you are. what you want. what you're looking for. what you love to do. what your dreams are. Being single allows you to be free. It gives you time to invest in yourself...and while at times I feel selfish doing it, a true leader does not starve themselves. A real leader is NOT a starving baker. I am a true believer in the idea that to pour rightfully into others you must pour into yourself first.


However, as I'm sure you've guessed...this is the .1 percent time. The time where I feel needy, and how horrible I feel to admit it. but here it goes: I don't want to be single at this moment in time.


Of course I'm smart enough to know not to go run after and catch a boyfriend just to have one. That wouldn't be fair to him or myself.
                                                      ...but secretly i wish i could...

I think now about what my life would be like if I had a guy. The perfect one.


A guy who loves God, and We invest into each other

A guy who calls me beautiful... and maybe even gorgeous

A guy who I can be myself around

A guy who respects me

                         A guy who openly communicates
A guy who loves his family...and respects the idea of family time

A guy who knows how to balance "our time" and time with his friends

A guy who plays the guitar...I'm sorry but sadly I love music too much to live without this :)
Maybe...He's around here somewhere...

Maybe...if its in the plan...He'll come around

Because I cant wait to invest in each other...and grow together

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Letters of love

Feeling inspired to write today. Smiles seem to fill my heart. Wow. I have amazing people in my life!

Sister,
This week I was meeting with my college councelor and we were talking about life in general, the crazy things that are happening for us.
She brought to my attention how much of a blessing you are. She was right.
You not only have character, integrity, leadership, and love in your heart- but you also know what they mean and you use them. You are not afraid to take charge, lead the unguided, be a good friend. Sure, we all make mistakes, but you live knowing that you must learn from them. You inspire the shy, although its safe to say you are shy yourself. You know the right moments. You know when its the right time to be a leader and step up;and you know when its time to find support from others.
You are a blessing to me. You have taught me to not let others shape what I do. You have taught me to take everything I'm given and go for it, my dreams should not be limited. You taught me how to laugh. Even in those horrible moments when we are both hurting and instead of talking we would blast the stereo in the bug and sing at the top of our lungs from the pier to its a grind! No one knew we were hurting- but it didn't matter. You were there for me and I'd like to hope I was there for you to.

Mom and Dad,
I'll try to keep this short for readers sake :) You both exude such a strength during hard times which I so admire. It is obvious to others that family is important to you both. I know when I finally get the chance to make one of my own I will follow in your footsteps. This goes without saying-I love having to rely on you, I love being with you, and I love the lessons I've learned from you.

Senior ladies,
My small group rocks, leader included!!:) Our hang out session last night reminded me just how much I value all of you. It's nice to have a place where I can just be silly. A group of girls that understand eachother so much that we can go from talking about boys to bombs on planes and find nothing wrong with it. Each one of you has a special place in my heart. I can't help to grow and love a little more when i'm around you girls. Thank you for loving me, and for being able to do so without words.

Best Friends,
                             and those who I admire most
Words can not express how much I look up to you.You know who you are, I've told you before.  You have shown me such love over the past few years especially that I dont even know how to thank you. I will forever be in debt to you. You are some of the most important people in my life and I truly admire your hearts for others and for God.

My LOVE for each and every one of you GROWS stronger and stronger each day. To you all, be who you are at all times...because you are lovely.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It 's better to be uncomfortable.

It scares me that last night I felt like, despite the insanity, I still had a grip on who I was and what I wanted. I felt I understood what my days were made of, what made me happy, what God was trying to teach me .

Then again like Chels said to me Tuesday: feelings are false indicators of reality, and I’m realizing this is exactly what she meant.


Yesterday I felt comfortable that I knew what was in my agenda. Today, I realize that those feelings were my own and not from God.

I wasn’t giving Him control of my agenda… I was self-centered. Enough so that I felt I could pick what I did with my time.

What was I thinking??

The only person who knows what will happen to me next is God and I was silly to think that I could do what I wanted.


My heart is uneasy tonight, but I know in the long run I will learn something from this pain.

Love always your daughter,

Brittany

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Insanity or Insecurity??

I must be insane?


Mondays: 7 am meetings for Newspaper, school, work, and in a little bit Ekklesia!! (until then NHS induction)

Tuesdays: work, student leadership, until 7, When it starts up Youth Group, home for dinner and homework

Wednesday: NHS morning meeting at 7 am, school, work till 4:30, Speech and Debate practice 5-6

Thursday: meetings with teachers for college apps, school, work, home @5 (dinner and homework) and on tourney weeks Speech and Debate practice 6:30-8

Friday: Ekklesia mtgs. -later on ( this week : Friday Football, dinner, and then Jack’s)

Saturday: Hopefully lunch/sleep/ visit with mom/coffee shop with A ?

Sunday: Childrens during 1st, Church, and this Sunday only Speech and Debate practice 1-3p.m.

On top of that I may be risking everything I have by sharing my testimony in Student Leadership next week...yikes!

I am INSANE.

or is it insecurity because I feel alone..Am I doing all this things because I feel like I've lost myself??


“Father God, I pray to you tonight that amongst all my activities and events I find time to work on myself and my hurting heart. I pray that I find moments of peace and that I am doing things I love and enjoy with You in mind. I pray for sanity. I pray that I may be out of pain. I pray for safety in your arms tonight. For You truly hold every tear and praise. Amen”

Monday, September 6, 2010

Light to Dark...in a matter of hours

 Momma,
I find it difficult to put these feelings into words.

So much to say but the words aren't coming out right

Spending so much time this weekend speaking about you, about us...reminds me once again.

I know that talking eases the pain & memories of you bring light to my days- but it comes at a price.

The evenings are always the hardest.They are times when I seem to remember your absence more.

I need a hug. A long, meaningful love-filled hug. I need a morning and a new sun rise.

Today was perfect, happy and joyfilled, Tonight is somewhat lonely.

I pray that you are enjoying your shows and your restful sleep. May tomorrow bring more joy for both of us.

Love and Miss you with all my heart.

Your Daughter.
Brittany

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Give me a tender heart.

"Tenderness…

is what happens to you when you know you are deeply and sincerely liked by someone. If you communicate to me that you like me, not just love me as a[sister] in Christ, you open up to me the possibility of self-respect, self-esteem,and wholesome self-love. Your acceptance of me banishes my fears. Mydefense mechanisms—sarcasm, aloofness, name‐dropping, self‐righteousness giving the appearance of having it all together—start to fall. I drop my mask and smile at my weaknesses and absurdities. The look in your eyes gives me
permission to make the journey into the interior of myself and make peace with
that part of myself where I could never find peace before. I become more open,sincere, vulnerable, and affectionate…I too grow tender."
-Brennan Manning
What truth this quote holds for me. As I begin to start my third consecutive year on Bayside West’s Student Leadership Team I am striving to build this tenderness within our community of leaders and within myself.

It is extremely important to me that I live a life in which I abandoned my own selfishness so that I may love on others. However, I know that I am but only human and thus have moments which I do not tenderly love on those who need it the most.

This is my challenge for this year. To love tenderly. To communicate to others that I not only desire to love on them but that I am invested in their growth, in their journey.

I want people to see me as someone they can confide in. Someone they can be truthful with, someone they can cry, laugh, sing, and dance with. Someone who they are so content with that they can go beyond their own bounds.
I want people to feel comfortable to open up, to dig deep within themselves and say what is truly on their heart.
I believe that everyone wants to be accepted and wants to be comfortable in their own skin. I feel it necessary to say that I too have this desire and need within my own heart.

As I continue to grow within my own life I realize how much I want to be open.

Ever since I was a kid I have had this fear of opening up to people and truly trusting them. I believe that this feeling of being closed off stems from the fact that as a young kid others picked on me because of my differences.

As I have grown older though, I have learned that not everyone I meet wants to tear down my self concept. There are in fact people who want to support me, watch me grow, and be apart of my life… & the knowledge of that is so freeing!!!

I want to insure this year that I work on myself, so that I may be a support for someone else. I want to have the capacity within my heart to give others the tenderly love they deserve.

I believe that as a student leader it is my obligation to set a high standard for myself. As a leader, it is my duty to portray God’s love. I believe God loved tenderly, I know He did.

This is why I must challenge myself to do so. It will be difficult - I have to be honest. I can’t hide. I must invest in OTHERS-Not myself. I must not judge. I must not gossip. I must not lie.

I MUST put forth all my effort and prayers towards being a light for Jesus. I MUST give myself up for the good of who He is. I MUST break down my own barriers and step out of my own comfort zone.

I MUST challenge myself to greet others I don’t know, be truthful to all I meet, and speak my heart. I MUST challenge myself to be real and to love like the Creator.

It wont be easy- therefore my prayers will be plenty.

Let us be encourager's. Let us be tender to one and another. Let our love for Jesus and for others be like a wildfire that can’t be put out.
Let us grow tender.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Semptember: Surgeries and Silence

Today, A little girl, who I met only once, is just out of surgery. She is in third grade and I had the honor of babysitting her when she was in first grade. Her name is Bree, or as I have always called her:sweet Bree- bear. Bree has had epileptic seizures sich she was just a baby. Today was her second and hopefully last surgery ever!

Going through the day praying for her made me realize just how many people I know that have never had the life-changing, life-altering surgery that both I and now Bree have been through.

Sure I know people have had their appendix removed or their wisdom teeth pulled but, its a much more riveting experience when your doctor says: "This 8 hour procedure will change your life forever, nothing will ever be as you saw it anymore. "

Wow. Can you say Terror like a million times over?

I was 14 when I had my first life altering 8 hour procedure. I was in 8th grade. My group of friends knew not the extent of what would be happening to me, what this would do for me. To be honest, I wish I was as lucky as Bree is today-she is almost 8 and is almost completely free from her troubles. If all goes well within the next few months- No more epileptic episodes!!

Most likely Bree will grow up with only a few slight memories of her procedures and her day to day pain.
I will live with vivid detailed memories of mine. I had my surgeries done later in my life, which to be honest has caused nothing but problems-as far as how many things I can fix in the 4 year limit I was given.

It is going to sound completely crazy but life changing surgery is a great blessing in my life. I honestly believe that it has made me such a stronger person.
Sure, my first surgery was an absolute disaster. I was in major depression mode for 4 months after-so bad that medicine wasn't working and I was readmitted. Sure, at the end of my first surgery the only thing I had to say to my doctors as the tears streamed down my face was: " You choose the wrong person, you should have given this procedure to someone who truly deserves it. One who doesnt complain about this excruciating, daily pain as much as I do. I'm sorry but I believe you made the wrong decision"

I don't feel that way anymore. Obviously. Now I am very thankful that my doctors MADE THAT CHOICE.

Still amongest all the emotions. Even though I am still experiencing excruciating daily pain. Even though my feet hurt everyday. Even though I have days even weeks of frusteration with myself because I am unable to be self suficent. I am still so blessed.
Life-changing surgery. Changes your life! Well duh Brittany, but really though I am such a greatly appreciative, stubborn, deeply determined, and optimistic person because of this.

I have had the opportunity to watch myself publically fail in my trials( falling& crying in pain), not meet peoples expectations,and above all else I have watched myself be criticized and stared at everyday.

But I have also watched myself jump rope for the first time in third grade(after a daily workout routine at recess that I created for myself). I have watched myself stand on one foot for 3 seconds, sit and move myself in a roll-y chair, and stand on rocks in sandals. I have watched myself succeed, going on my first ever hike last summer, finally WALKING disneyland grounds last month, and just this week- am now able to jump on my bed without severe injuries!

Who Am I to say that surgeries are bad? They are painful and terrifying yes, but they have given me some of the happpiest & most encouraging moments. They have allowed me to experience love without boundries through two friends: Taylor and Chelsea who took off two whole days to be with my the day of and after my last surgery in April. How can I not want others to experience this type of life change?

With that I say take everything you've lived for and prove to the world and to yourself that even in the painful moments something great developed.

Praying today for Bree and all those who have experienced life change in the form of horrible smelling sleeping gas and a cold silver scalpule.

Love your Daughter,
Brittany

Monday, August 30, 2010

Winter in this heart.

While I should be reviewing terms for my Literature quiz tomorrow, I wanted to take a moment to explain.

Explain my thoughts.

It feels like winter inside my heart. I just got back(well, 2 hrs ago) from having coffee with a friend and I realized something.

It is winter in my heart. We all go through seasons in our faith and right now mine is winter. I feel the cool breeze that comes off the snow which lies at the depth of my heart. I want so desperately for life to grow here. For tulips to blossom and for the sun to shine, but it is desolate in the winter months. Dark. Cold. Grey.

I want so desperately to make something of my life. I want so desperately to be remembered. I want so despreately to Grow and watch others growing. Teach and be taught. Love and be loved. Inspire and be inspired.

I am hoping that my quick and gut decision about helping in Children's will develop this in me. I hope that I begin to dig deep in Student Leadership this year, make every bit count. I need to grow this year, because the growth I make this year will help guide me through these winter storms and icy waters.
Choosing to take the winter that is currently my heart and turn it into spring this semester. Doing so, will lay the foundation for a Christ-centered life if moments of doubting my faith come in college.

I dont want to be apart of the statistic talking about the percent of Christians who loose their faith when they hit college.

I want to become a heart full of vibrant life, hustle and bustle, and a heart that shines only the summer suns brightest rays. I want to grow and I want to move. I want to succeed and I want to fail. I want to survive the storms and the dark nights. I want to change.

Love always
Your Daughter,
Brittany

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blessings on a cool August day

Mom,
Blessings come in many forms.

Here is a list of mine:

Family,they always love and support me. They know what I am going through and when I am down, they always know how to lift my spirits.

My puppy, Reesey is the best day-brightner a person could have.I mean a dog who smiles at you when you come in the door, what is better than that?!

Music. This one is simple I love to sing, and while my voice IS horrible... it is still fun to belt out some Glee every once in a while

Saturdays. My love for this day is growing. It has many things to offer: sleeping, laziness and shorts! haha

Finally, my favorite blessings are those random smiles I get when I remember fun events or days with friends. Right now, its July 13th Chelsea and I having fun together:)

Be blessed today. It's the weekend. Find joy in those small things: wearing your favorite clothes, cool weather,family visits, and maybe a good book.

Love always
Your Daughter,
Brittany

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Like a beggar on the street corner.

It has come to me. This morning as I was getting ready for school, I figured out just exactly how I feel.

Bare with me. The only way I can explain it is through a simile.

I feel like a beggar on the street corner.

The only way I can explain where I am at with my friends is through the image of a beggar on the street corner.

I am holding a sign written on regular cardboard.It says "Will work for acceptance. Will work for acknowledgment. Will work for friendship."
The board is simple: Just plain words written with a sharpie. The sign is larger than I- to symbolize how big these desires are in my heart.

I feel as though I am standing on the street corner waving my sign. As days pass by, my waving only becomes more frantic, desperate even.

I begin to be creative. Finding things around me like flashing lights and big red arrows, both which I attach to my sign.Neither mechanisms grab anymore attention than before. Still the cars and people, like my friends and peers- pass me by.

Not knowing where else to turn for acknowledgment, I begin to walk up to cars with my sign. The cars are stopped at the light-only momentarily. I have only minutes to catch their attention. No luck. They look at me and turn away. Not wanting to address my concerns.

Feeling more hopeless than ever... by night, I simple find my new home on the cement pathway and take a seat. I wait. Wait for morning to come. Wait for another opportunity to catch their attention.

Maybe tomorrow will be better? Maybe it won't.

This is how I am walking through my life with friends. I'm doing everything to gain their attention. Checking in on them, saying hello, asking them if they need anything,not mentioning my problems but rather asking about theirs.

When still I feel that they are not investing in me- I become desperate. Like the sign waivers on the street I confront them, casually hinting at my difficult day-hoping they realize that I want their friendship. I engage in conversation at the lunch break silently hoping they will recognize my presence in the group.No Luck.

Finally I have come to the end of my desperation. Where I simply give up. Sit and wait. Hope. Hint. Continue to invest in them. Love on them. Acknowledge them. In hopes that some day they will return the favor. Maybe they will ask to grab coffee? Or ask how I'm really doing? Then again, Maybe not.

Please, teach me to acknowledge those in pain... those in need of a friend- not for any specific reason, just because they want one.

Love your Daughter,
Brittany

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Defining Moments.

These are the defining moments. The last year of high school and the beginning years of college. They define us. These are the moments we choose careers, make lasting (or not lasting) friendships, go through the lulls with our faith, move out on our own, make our first paycheck, pay our first bill... no matter what it is we do, these are the moments that we really start to shape our hearts.

Senior year has already proven that to me. I am only a child. Still living at home, just starting my first job, driving all alone in a car, and learning how to make an actual meal, other than macaroni and cheese. Yet, I have ALREADY had so many experiences that others my age haven't.

I have done this all before, I have done all the motherly duties( cleaning, cooking, etc) before, and I have experienced heartbreak like no other.
4 of my friends all between the ages of 10-16 have had some type of cancer, I have ALWAYS dealt with people judging me... being kicked out of three of my normal classes, thrown into special ed, because the teachers assumed I was "too dumb or unable to participate in normal class discussion" all because I have adaptations to my Physical Education requirement.

I have had to mature quick quickly for multiple reasons : my own disability forced me to deal with adversity, my grandma's, great aunts, friends, and now mothers medical issues have forced me to mature and take on responsibilities at home and otherwise that would be considered abnormal for my age. However it's never bothered me. I believe that by being forced to mature and grow up faster I have found friends with varying age levels which help me to grow into a more responsible human being.

While I realize that the decisions made this year will and are shaping my heart, my desires, and who I am, I feel that I have already made these decisions earlier in life. I, unlike my friends, have already shaped my heart when I decided to help my mom with dinner instead of going to a party, taken care of my grandma instead of hanging out with my friends at a football game...I've already shaped my heart. I've already proven to myself that I want to take care of others above myself.

My friends this year are shaping their hearts.

One friend has decided to choose church over her favorite sport.

One believes getting a boyfriend should be the main focus of her school year. ( Not that I agree)

Another friend choose to take the wrong path and wants to party and drink because "its senior year, lets live a little". At least, that's what the majority of teenagers say.

I have decided to use these moments and continue shaping my heart as well.

My biggest fear of growing up and maturing is losing the ones I love and losing myself. I worry I will lose my faith, I fear I will lose my way, I fear I will lose my friends, I fear I will lose my encouragement.

So, I vow to use every moment of this year to find myself. Despite my busy life with work, school, and personal and current medical issues I need to really find ways to lose myself in God. I need to find ways to keep encouraged. I need to find what I love and pursue it... and most importantly, I need to ask others to come and comfort me, surround me, and love on me during these defining moments.
I can't do this alone anymore. I need encouragement. I need love. and I need these defining moments to be the best moments, and ones I cherish.

Love always and forever.

Your Daughter,
Brittany

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clock ticks:Finding myself amoungest a worried heart

I need more time. Time to sing, time to dance, time to shout, time to cry, time to cherish, time to invest, time to love,time with those that matter, time to improve, time to reflect,and time to be ME! The next 35 minutes I'm taking a break from homework, studying, helping others,and stressing about tomorrow... Instead I'm going to open my soul, work through my worried heart, dig deep to find a splash of peace, and I'm going to spend time with my Creator.After all, it is in Him that I will find time to sing, dance, shout, cry, cherish, invest, love, and improve myself!:)

Finally, advice and desire played out. Life is all about give and take anyway.

Love Your Daughter,
Brittany

Friday, August 13, 2010

Choosing my fifth word...

For my Advanced Placement Literature course we were asked to pick an SSR book, one that is commonly used on the exam... so that we can be prepared for the essay portion. While at first I simply thought "Really? I'm a Senior in High School and I'm still required to do SSR, I thought that was 5th grade stuff? This is ridiculous." My thoughts have changed. I choose to read Dante's Divine Comedy and the prologue caught my eye.
It said:
"The true mark of any writer is in the choices he makes. Having written three words, he must choose a fourth. Having written four, he must choose a fifth. Nothing happens into a good poem; everything must be chosen into it.”

With that, this is my fifth word:Desperation.
I feel desperate. Desperate for comfort. Desperate for peace of the heart. Desperate to feel beautiful. Desperate to feel loved. Desperate to be remembered. Desperate to grow in Christ. Desperate for meaning. Desperate for grace. Desperate to be valued. Desperate to be worth something, to someone.

Where is this desperation coming from? Why have I not been able to be myself, why can't I find my piece of happiness?

Being a teenager means a lot of up and down, conflicting emotions. I understand that. However, it makes me sad to think about how many teenage girls have felt or are feeling like myself. Just plain desperate to be loved. Desperate for a solid rock. Desperate for company during a time of trial.

Desperation can lead you to do so many things you will regret. It has been a constant daily struggle to fight those feelings this week. The feelings to adapt who I am in order to fit in. The feelings to just call someone and say: 'I need you to say you love me, so that maybe I wont feel so alone.' The feelings to feel negative, so that maybe someone will notice I need a shoulder to cry on.

I know it's pathetic to admit that I am desperate for love.Especially when Jesus loves me beyond belief. However pathetic it may be, it's still how I feel, and I want to be truthful.

I know that God loves me... but it is at moments like this, moments when I feel no one wants me to belong, that the concept of His love is hard for me to grasp. I beg for Him to use me to love on others. I beg for Him to use me to save others from desperation, so they don't feel like I do. I beg that He uses me to comfort others in their times of need. I beg for Him to speak to my heart.

Mom, I also pray that He uses me to comfort you and to mend our relationship while you are away from me. I beg for Him to mend our hearts and bring us closer together during our times of trial and moments when we are desperate for answers.


"Father move me. Rid me of my desperation. Bring people into my life this next week to love on me. Prove to me Father that I am valued by You. Please, bring me a heart full of love for others, a body strengthened by Your grace, and a mind filled with the knowledge that You choose me and You will save me.All this in Your name, Amen"
Your Daughter,
Brittany

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I want to be more than someone's second best...

Lately, Life has changed and it seems I cant keep up anymore. So much change. I never fully realized how difficult it is for me to accept change, until today.

Its not that I can't cope with it, I can. In fact, I often have been told that I deal with change much better than some. I think the difficult part is more due to the fact that I want to be apart of people’s lives. I don’t want to be second best in someone’s life. I want to be important to them, and not just the person to turn to when others have fled their side

I want to be a friend to lean on. I want to be an encourager. I want to be someone that someone can abide in. I want to be the best for those I love. I want to bring smiles to those who are down. I want to help those whom I may not know. I want to be apart of the lives of those I love.
This summer has been so different for me(and I’m not just saying that because I don’t have my mom to support me at home right now). I’m saying that because things have, well, changed.

I feel so disconnected from my friends at school/church. I feel like the last time I really felt like they were my friends was when we were back in school. That is not because we got in a fight or anything its just simply because my heart hasn’t felt like they’ve invested in me. Is that selfish? I try to invest in them, I truly believe I do. I try to support them in the adventures this summer… when she left for Florida I would send her random messages letting her know I’m thinking and praying for her.
When they left for Santa Cruz I helped them pack. Encouraged them and sent them off with a good ol’ “I’ll miss you, please come back soon”.
I know its probably selfish to say this but I tried to do all I could to let them know I cared. Was it not enough?

I’m afraid when I go back to school it will be awkward…I feel like a scenario like this may happen : “ Hi I used to be your friend, but over summer you seemed to forget, I’m back now… can we get back to the way things were?” things have changed. I need to feel cared about. I need to feel loved. Things have changed with them, and now it doesn’t feel that way. At all.
I want to come be apart of their lives again…but I want them to want me to do that. I don’t want to force myself back in their circle. I want to be invited back. A part of me says its not worth the effort, that I shouldn’t have to fit in… that I should be myself. The way I see it though, if I’m not accepted as myself to my group of Christian friends… where will I be accepted?Now don’t get me wrong not all my friendships have turned into a one way conversation. Jessica and Jackie are still here for me. They have never left. Never let me feel disconnected. I’m so thankful for them both. So why is it that things have changed with my other friends then? I think its harder to become friends again when the disconnect happened not because of a fight or a single event , but rather because paths have separated and time has filled the gap. It's harder to feel the same connection because you can’t just forgive each other and move on… because time still separates your hearts.

The one thing about change that is most difficult for me is that I give my full undivided heart to those I love. When change tries to come in and take those people away from me my heart aches.

High school friendships aren’t the only change I’m experiencing. I don’t feel as though I fit at Bayside West as I did before. Sure, I still consider it home and them family but it’s different. I feel as though no one sees me anymore. They say hi ask the normal: how are you question and move on to the next person. I understand that church isn’t always the right place or time to actually pour out my true heart. I understand that if someone asks How are you? I can’t actually say: “well, to be honest, I’m sad… I want to feel loved. I want to spend time with you and I want you to know me. Truly know me. I want you to know what makes me smile, laugh, dance, feel frightened, and scared. I want you to invest in me. I want to invest in you. And I want a hug”
...if I ever did say that I’m pretty sure no one would ever talk to me again because of the shock I put them through. But sometimes I want people to be honest with me. Maybe I’m the only one, but sometimes I would like to hear their true response to the question: How are you?

The reason I feel this way: I feel like if every time I ask someone that question “How are you?” and I get a generic response then I’m not letting them be their best. I’m telling them that I don’t really care what your response is…because your second best. If I really felt you were the best you could be….if you really were my best… I would let you be honest every time I speak with you.

I would prove that I cared for you by giving you my time. I would let you cry if you need to…dance with you if that is what you wanted... I would hug you if that’s what you need to have happen in order for you to understand you are apart of my life. I would let people see that they are their best, whatever that may be, and that I accept them for who they are and what they truly feel.
So, change, go ahead. I will now officially let you change me.

“Make my path clear oh Lord…Let me shine your light to those I love. Let my heart explode with grace that comes from you. Let my friends and family know that they are their own best and I accept them for who they are and how they feel. As for my desire to feel at peace with Bayside West and with friends from school….I can only pray that my heart becomes clear to them ,and that I find a way to explain that I desire love and acceptance from them…and that I want to be my best for them. Amen”
Love Your Daughter, Brittany

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Worried and Anxious Heart

So I told myself I was going to take a couple day break from blogging to absorb all the new tragedies/issues/concerns/ problems ( whatever you want to call them) that have arrived already this week (specifically last night)...i apparently lied.

My first day at the district office is tomorrow! I have to be there from 9am-4:30. My heart and mind are crazy anxious/worried. I should be resting from my long day and body sores from helping Chels move(which was fantastic!)... but my mind is racing. Don't get me wrong, I am so excited to start working. In all honesty though, I'm terrified.

What if the hours are too long for my body to handle?What if I'm late? what if I don't park in the right spot?What if I don't make friends? What if I get bored? What if I get nervous answering the phone. My biggest fear: What if I end up having too many hours that I can't do things I'm passionate about?!?What if I don't get to go to small groups anymore?Like Makaela's? I fit in. I felt safe while I was there... I will even dare to say I felt loved. Now what? What if working 9-4:30 tomorrow and 7:30-4:30 until Monday... and then every day after that 1-4:30 is too much? I know I need this job. Our family needs this. I need the financial stability. I do want this job. I just am scared that I will have to give up passions like community, coffee-chats, phone calls with friends and speech and debate competitions because I work? What if I'm too lazy to be fit as a worker? Everyone I've speak to says newspaper is practically a job and it is ... but for some reason this is different. In school I work with my peers and now I'll be working with adults...it's a whole other standard.
I'm scared. I am worried. I hope i enjoy it as much as i wish. I hope the day goes by fast so that I can say to myself: I did it. I made it through. I feel alone and scared, but i made it through the first day and i feel good. Now let's get there 2 hours earlier tomorrow!... I hope I say that tomorrow at 4:30 and mean it.

I want this job, i worked hard to find this job, i don't want to mess things up, i want to get there safely and leave safely. I want to be happy and have confidence in myself. I want support from friends and family.

Most importantly I want to not be anxious or worried.

"Father God, I pray for rest for my weary body and tired heart. I pray that you protect me and my vehicle tomorrow, and that I may give You full control of my first real work day. I pray for a peaceful heart and unshakable faith in You. Amen"
Love your daughter, Brittany

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Closing my eyes and opening my heart for you


Mom,
I honestly don't know where to start with things. I can't believe it has really been 7 months and 17 days since I have seen you walk the halls of our house, or cook in our kitchen. My heart is breaking. I woke this morning at 3:17 am in full on tears. I was having a nightmare in which I went to visit you at the nursing home and you were taking your last breath. The screen went flat line, and I woke up in a panic. I feverishly was praying it was only a dream, thankfully it was.

Mom, I just can't find myself anymore.

I have lost every desire to speak my emotions. I want to understand how I'm feeling...I want to be able to explain to those close to me why I feel so hurt, so broken... I really do...So why won't those words come to my lips?

No, instead I write entries on a blog that was created for you,one that you may or may not ever get the chance to read. Instead of speaking to those whom I share my heart, with which is what I want... I type my feelings on these keys, writing them down for an audience that is invisible.

I did a lot of soul searching while I was on my college road trip. Trying to figure out why I feel so unconnected. Not only with God, but with my friends as well.

Last summer was a difficult one as you know...our relationship as mother and daughter was really shaken, but somehow I still look back at last summer as the best so far. I look back to that time and I see the good. I see how close I got to my mentors and friends. I see how happy I was despite the family issues that were secretly going on.

Now, obviously things are different. We no longer have family issues, but rather we have a broken family. Your absence in the house has made a strong impact on all of us. I could say we're adjusting, and we are, but everyone knows the pain is still underneath it all.

My relationship with Jesus is suffering because I can't find my voice to speak to Him. The only prayers that are sent to Him are ones written or said amongst the tears.

Boardfest, I came home on fire. Now I feel as though I'm drowning kicking fiercely in the water, only to get no where. I want Jesus to be my lifeguard and save me again. I am a broken daughter of the King. I'm going to be honest with you mom, I have spent the last 3and a half hours weeping. Not just crying, weeping. Whether the tears are actually falling or not, I know that they are there. I miss you, I miss God. I want to be held. I want to close my eyes and rest in the arms of those I love. Whether it's God, you, or a friend. I want to be hugged until my arms are too weak to hold on any longer.
I want to be reminded of what love feels like.

Despite my current struggles I will continue to pray that my heart gets sorted out. I will pray that people whom I trust come into my life to come love on me. Truly that is what I want to feel the most: love.

"God, I pray for the healing of my heart. I pray that you bring people in my life to love on me. I pray that you take care of my mom while she is in the nursing facility and make her aware that there are people at home who love her. I pray that you stop these tears from falling..." and with that I'm going to grab a tissue.
Love,Britt