Heroes & The Hard Things

Hello Readers,

My heroes have been many different people over the years. Men and women, fictional and real, famous or unknown, these people have inspired me. They have made me try harder, reach further, dig my feet in when the world tries to pull me off the edge.

I want to surpass my heroes. I want to dig in deeper, fight harder, be smarter. I want to fight like my life is too short to care about what people think of me. I want to sing when I feel a song in my soul, I want to write the words that buzz in my fingers, I want to tell people I love them without reserve or “only when”s.

I want to do all these things, and I try to do them, but the fact remains that I get scared.

This life feels long to me. The songs too awkward, the people too broken, the words too hard.

But the truth is, this life isn’t long. And I can’t do the hard things. But He can, so I don’t need to be strong. I am weak, I know this, but if God is strong, then I can be too.

Somehow, it’s hard to remember this.

It’s hard to sing when you sometimes forget the tune and your voice wavers.

It’s hard to write when the words don’t flow and things don’t make sense, when the plot doesn’t come together and the characters don’t seem genuine.

It’s hard to tell people you love them when you don’t always feel like you do. When they do things that you don’t love and it’s hard to remember to see the person and not the filth they are smearing on themselves.

The things we want to do, need to do, are hard.

But I hope I will do them. Today and tomorrow and the next day. The next week. This year. Next year.

And at the end of my life, I hope I will stand before my Maker, my first and last Hero, and look him in the eyes as my knees shake and tremble because my inspiration, the comforter of my soul, is standing in front of me. I hope that while I stand in front of him, my mouth dry and a grin on my face, that I will force out the words “I did my best with what you gave me.” That I will mean them. That then, the words will tumble and I will tell my Father what I did.

I wrote the words that you put into my soul. I sang the songs that you handed me to sing. I loved the people you put into my life. I followed in your footsteps.

This is what I want to be able to say.

All of my heroes are fighters.

I hope I will be one too.

I want to fight to write the words that He’s given me, to sing the songs that play on repeat in my heart, to love everyone with open arms.

This is my heart, and it is many of yours. So let’s fight for this.

May the grace and strength of God allow us to do so.

~Ruby

Who are your heroes? What do you want to say at the end of your life? 

The Reality of Failing Expectations

Hello Readers,

I have been struggling a lot lately with thinking that I have failed people. Struggling with the fact that I can not always live up to people’s expectations of me. And it’s hard, it really is, to not be all that someone thinks you are.

To not be able to reach that high bar they ask you to jump and touch.

But it’s okay. I have to tell myself this over and over. It is okay to not be able to be all that you think you are or that someone else thinks you are. There is only one expectation in the world that matters.

God’s.

And God promises that he’s not going to expect more of us than we can give. He isn’t going to ask us to jump higher than we can. He knows our limitations and he is not going to be disappointed if we can’t go past them.

I try so hard to be all that people ask of me, and I need to stop worrying about people, and focus on God’s expectations of me. If I reach God’s expectations, that is all that matters.

I don’t need to feel ashamed or guilty for not doing the impossible.

But at the same time, this doesn’t give me a free pass to not try hard, to not try to reach my parent’s expectations or my friends’, but I do need to stop worrying about it as much as I do.

The time that I spend worrying, I could be using much better elsewhere.

I am going to fail people’s expectations. And that’s okay. It really is. As long as I focus on the kingdom of my Heavenly Father and his goals and his purpose for me, that is all that matters. Not the love of men, but the love of God.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ~Mathew 6:33

As much as I would love to always be what people expect, or to be as mature or as spiritual or reaching as much people as they want me to, I know that I can not always match it.

I can’t always jump as high as I’m asked.

And that’s okay. I don’t need to feel guilty or ashamed. You don’t need to feel guilty or ashamed.

My friends and parents have been telling me a lot lately that condemnation is not of God, but of Satan. And as I’m writing this, I feel the love of the Father, not disappointment at not reaching man’s standards. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

I won’t pretend like I understand it all, and that I’m not struggling with this and that I figured it all out, because it still bugs me. It still claws at my heart, trying to jump in and smother me with guilt and shame.

But you know what?

I’m not going to accept it. I refuse the guilt and the shame.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~John 14:27 

I accept the peace of the Father and not the guilt of Satan.

I refuse the feeling of failure, because I have not failed my God, I have not failed my parents, I have not failed the people who love me and know me well. I will not be overcome by failure. I accept the peace of God.

So yes, I may have failed man, but I am loved by God.

When it comes down to it, that’s all that matters.

I just need to remember it. It’s hard to hear the quiet still voice when your mind turns on you like a pack of wild dogs.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~Mathew 11:28

I don’t have to take the yoke of men that is heavy and that I can’t carry, I can accept the light yoke of my Shepherd.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I am going to cast off this guilt and shame and take up the mercy and love of my Father.

~Ruby

Suffocation

Hello Readers,

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile (that is, assuming people actually read these, haha). Just been busy/low on inspiration.

Anyways, I, being a musician, have come to terms with something I like to call ‘suffocation’ (and I didn’t just come up with that on the spot. Definitely not.). Now this isn’t literal suffocation, I just call it that because it seems to fit with the feeling. With the situation I have been experiencing lately.

This ‘suffocation‘ happens when I sit at my keyboard, looking at the keys and thinking, “How on earth could I ever make a song that would be any different or any better than the million already written?” “How could I make anything original? Am I just copying everyone that has come before me? Do I have any talent or am I a parrot?” This feeling, though, is not one that only I get, nor one that only musicians get. It’s a feeling that writers get when they see their blank page and think, “Are there really any good plots left? Is there really a character that’s never been written, or an idea that hasn’t grown into a book?”

This feeling often haunts me when I’m playing my piano, as I’m sure it does many, many other musicians. It’s a feeling that says, “Is there anything left? Can you really play something beautiful? Or even halfway decent?” And let me tell you, it’s hard to shake off. Like smoke that clings to your clothes.

Now, usually when this idea comes, another thought consumes me at the same time. The thought of a thirteenth note. Crazy, maybe, but sometimes I wonder if it’s out there. Somewhere… A sound nobody has heard.

A book idea no one has written.

An equation for a graviton.

A color no one has ever seen.

Or maybe we don’t need these things. Maybe all we need is the twelve keys given to us. Maybe all we need is the creative mind given to us. Maybe all we need is God’s will for us.

Maybe, all we need is a little light to see the sheet music.

-Sam

The Question That Plagues Us

Hello Readers,

There are some very important questions we ask ourselves in life, and one that penetrates almost every season of our life is only three words.

Who am I?

Am I a hero? Am I brave? Am I strong? Am I courageous? Do I have what it takes?

Who am I?

Am I a good friend? Am I a gossip? Am I annoying? Am I good? 

Am I loving? Am I a leader? Am I a follower? Am I worldy? Am I a musician? A writer? A long lost poet? An artist? Am I smart?

Am I a prodigal? Or am I the elder son?

Who am I?

We shout this question into the abyss and all we get is an echo. We try on so many masks, whispering the question into the mirror. We try on different faces, different clothes, trying to figure out which one is us. Trying to find ourselves in a world of people who don’t know who they are. Trying on different jobs, different personalities, different labels, trying to find ourselves in this huge world.

Who am I?

I don’t know all of who I am, I might never know, but I do know this.

I am loved. I am a child of God. I am gifted. I am protected.

I don’t know what I will be twenty years from now. I might be an author, I might be a teacher, a counselor, I might be a math teacher for all I know.

I don’t know who I will be, but I do know this about myself.

I am God’s.

So when I look in the mirror and that question echoes through my head, I know how to answer.

Who are you, Ruby?

I am God’s.

So in a world full of changes, full of catastrophes, full of identity crisis, full of questions, I can say one thing bravely through all of it.

I am a child of the One True King.

~Rubix

 

 

The Power of Writing Stories

Hello Readers,

I think a reason why I love writing so much is that I can showcase the best of humanity. I can show sides of human nature that we don’t see often. I can have characters be self-sacrificing.

I can write what we want to be. Selfless and merciful. I can spin tales that show what we so desperately want to be. A story can change a life.

It can save a person.

Words are very, very powerful.

We read fiction, because inside us all is an ache that there’s something else out there. That there are heroes, that there is still good and we can fight for it. That life can be extraordinary. And exciting. That we can do so much more. That we can change the world. That the small things in life matter most.

We wish for mysteries and magic and a purpose.

While there is no magic wardrobe, no madman with a time traveling box, no Middle-Earth, no Sherlock Holmes, there is a purpose.

We have a purpose. A meaning. 

Out of fiction, people have been drawn to the gospel, because everything, everything good in this world points to it.

Self-sacrificing hero prepared to die for his friends.

How many times do we see this repeated in fiction? And we love it. So, so much. We crave it. This good person that we want to be so badly, but that we know we can never be.

Guess what?

That happened. 

There was a hero. Who gave up everything for his people. Left his home, his throne, his wealth to become like us. And he lived the life we could never live. Was perfect in every way. Was tempted in every way, but he overcame it all.

Then he died.

This amazing, amazing man who was God in the flesh, who came to become one of us. He died. And we, we were the ones who killed him. We laughed and scoffed and shouted and he died praying for us. The rebellious fools who killed their escape from the darkness.

The world despaired. The sun went dark. People wept.

It seemed as if all hope was lost. That Evil had won completely. And Evil laughed at us, us foolish people, for killing our one escape. We were trapped. For three days, we were trapped.

Then the grave opened.

It opened.

Our hero was alive.

This isn’t fiction. This happened. And we take this story, and without knowing entirely why, we convey it everywhere.

We love a good hero.

Has anyone bothered to ask why?

Because somewhere, in the corners of our heart, is a cry for a hero. 

Because we know. We know. We know the story.

And it’s real.

And that brings me back to this purpose I mentioned earlier, that we all crave.

Well, it’s this:

To follow our hero. To be Him to the world. To change the world, to love the world, to stand for what we believe in. And most of all, to glorify Him. Forever. To find people, to tell the news.

There is a reason why Christianity is never stamped out. Why it’s lasted for so, so many centuries.

Because in our darkest moments, in our lightest moments, something in us knows.

We know. We know about our Savior.

We do everything we can to deny it, but it comes out in our art, in our music, in our books and the things we are drawn to.

We ache for a hero. To save us from our ever impending doom.

Guess what?

He loves you. So come home, friends, come home. You know the story. Come Home. Our Savior is waiting for you. 

~Rubix

Lovely Lonely People

Hey Readers,

Now, to ease your worries before we start this blog post, I want to make a couple things clear. No, I am not depressed. No, I am not mentally unstable. I am not desperately lonely with no friends in the world. I am not angry, tired, or upset at my life.

I love my life, I love my friends, I am more emotionally stable than a lot of the population of the world. I am not depressed or anxious. I am quite happy with my life, and I love the Lord.

Alright. Now we may begin.

I’ve been noticing lately, a pattern to movies, TV shows, and books that I’m attracted to. I love stories about lonely people. Here, I’ll give you a brief overview.

The Search for Wondla: A girl tries to find humanity on a planet that turns out to be much different than it seems. She has two friends, an alien and a robot, to aid her. But they aren’t like her. So while she is happy and she loves them, she is really alone on that world. The only remaining human.

BBC’s Sherlock: A genius who no one understands, a brilliant lonely guy who everyone labels as a ‘psychopath’ because they don’t get it. And then he meets this guy, John Watson. John becomes his friend, and he sticks by him through everything. When everyone has given up on Sherlock, John is there standing by him and shouting back at them that they’re wrong, and that his friend is brilliant.

Harry Potter: Harry doesn’t fit in in the human world, as he uses magic, but nor does he fit in the wizardry world, as he is also very, very human. He has two friends who also stick by him through thick and thin. But one’s nearly all human, and the other is all wizard.

See the pattern?

And now for my favorite:

Doctor Who: The last of his kind, a Time Lord, the Doctor travels through space and time, saving people and preventing what happened to him happening to others. He takes his human (or alien) companions along for the ride, showing them the stars.

Oh, I love this story so much. Because while a lot of people would become bitter, the Doctor just dives in and saves people. He never hesitates to sacrifice himself for anyone. And as he’s immortal, as soon as he says hello to someone, he knows, oh how he knows, that he’s going to have to say bye to them.

Does he hole himself up? Never invest in people, never let himself love?

Oh no.

He dives in. He loves people, they love him back. He has best friends, and he falls in love, and he says goodbye. And it hurts. But he does it. Cause he knows it was worth it.

And that has really helped me, I know it sounds weird, to be helped by Doctor Who. But that show has spoke to me, because in some ways, in a lot of ways, I can relate to the Doctor.

The life I lead, I’m always saying hellos, and I’m always saying goodbyes. And I love my life. But it hurts sometimes. You miss people. And you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I travel, not in a blue box, but in airplanes and cars and trains. I’ve never lived somewhere for more than four years.

I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s.

Even though it hurts sometimes. And it can get a little lonely.

Because, like the Doctor, I also have companions. I have friends. And I know them better than they know themselves, sometimes. And I know, deep down, that I’ll have to say bye one day. Because I move all over. That’s what God has called me to do.

And it’s okay. It’s honestly okay to hurt and have it not be fixed. I wouldn’t trade it. It was worth it. People. The right people, that is. Are always worth it.

If you hurt when you say goodbye, that means it meant something. That means it impacted you and changed you and made you better and more whole.

You move on eventually. You miss them, you text them, you talk over the phone, but it won’t be the same. And you know what?

That’s okay.

Because you’ll get a new companion. You’ll get new friends. It is okay to move on. You aren’t betraying someone or dishonoring their memory by moving on. By making new friends. By being happy.

I am a happy person.

I am an optimist.

I love people. I love where I live. I love where I have lived. And I love where I will live one day.

And you know what? If I have a little ache for those places, those people, that means I lived a life worth living.

I was impacted. I felt. I felt pain and anger and love. That’s what I want to be able to say when I die.

When I die, I want to be able to smile and say that over the course of my life, that I really lived. That I felt. That I made my God proud. That I made my parents proud. That I lifted up my siblings, I taught my children. That I loved my husband and my friends were close. I want to be able to say that.

What’s a little hurt compared to that?

I know, just like The Doctor, as soon as I say hi to someone, I’ll also say bye, I hope that I’ll still go forward, that I’ll let myself be open and be their friend, and let them be mine back.

Some of you might be rolling your eyes, because yes, I am talking mostly about a science fiction British show.

But it’s helped me.

Because I travel. Because I say good bye more than most people ever will. Because I am a deep person and if you become my friend, you get in close and deep. Because I miss people. Because I feel everything deeply. Because I’m cheerful.

I want to be able to smile and say hello, even as I know, that a couple years down the road, I’ll be saying goodbye.

That is my goal.

~Rubix

P.S Please read the beginning paragraphs if you feel sorry for me after you read this post. Because I don’t. Don’t feel sorry for me. I love my life. I love what God’s doing in my life, and I love what He’s teaching me.

A Longing

Hello Readers,

I think, for me, as someone who’s never lived somewhere for more that four years of her life, I understand even more clearly what it’s like to not belong.

To stick out.

I’ve been sticking out all my life. In other cultures, I stick out easily. When I come back, I stick out because I’ve been impacted by these cultures, by what I’ve learned, by the way I’ve grown up. I just generally don’t belong in a place, with people.

I don’t have a “group”. I get along easily with people, I can relate to many things. But I feel like, sometimes, just… a little lonely.

Little out of place.

Little homesick.

For a place I’ve never been.

For people I’ve never met.

For noises I’ve never heard and things I’ve never touched.

Christians as a general rule are supposed to feel this. But when you live in the same house all your life, grow up with the same people, marry someone you know inside and out and have for your whole existence on this planet, you kind of forget just who we are.

We are a peculiar people.

We don’t belong here. We’re just visiting, we’re just here for a small while, and then we’re going to go home. See our Father again.

And it’s really easy for people to forget that. Feel comfortable.

But I’ve been living with it my whole life. This constant ebbing for a place, a home, somewhere I’ve never been. Because no place I go ever satisfies me completely, no place is as like home as I remembered it in my mind. But sometimes the ache is quieter, calmer, not as strong. And that’s when I’m with people who I know are going to be going back Home with me. But sometimes I feel…

A heartache for someone I’ve never seen.

A longing for somewhere I’ve never been.

Wanting to feel things I’ve never felt.

This is who I am.

~Rubix

Little Glimpes of Home

     What is home? Is it a place? Is it a person? I personally, think home is a feeling. One that we crave, but one that is almost impossible to reach. Home, what do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of a building?

         For me, home is a tree in my gramma’s back yard, home is watching BBC’S North and South with my cousin, home is Chinese food and inside jokes. Home is walking along roads that I’ve known my whole life, home is setting off into the unknown with those I love. Home is reading a book on a porch.

       Home is not a place, it’s not a person, it’s a feeling of belonging, it’s a feeling of truly knowing where you are. Home is those times when you realize people love you for who you are. Home is when you aren’t scared to do something stupid in front of people for fear they’ll judge you. Home is when you realize how awesome life is.

         I experienced home today. I felt it while I was playing cards with two of my friends. I realized, “Hey. This is what heaven is going to feel like. I’m going to be with good friends, and this feeling will never go away. I’m gonna feel home all the time.” I felt home as I lost miserably to them, but I didn’t care too much. I was happy. I was home. Even if it was just for a little while*.

       Home is the sea. The waves and the wind and the pounding water onto the sand. That’s home. My baby brother turning up his nose at the whole spectacle and staying in my mom’s lap is home. Building sand castles is home. Home is my dad throwing our rottweiler into the water.

      Home is cookies and milk late at night with my mom, talking about some show we are both watching. Home is staying up late to watch Tim Hawkins videos or The Taste. Home is watching in amusement as my family gapes at my newest reading/hiding spot.

     Home is my brother building Legos. Home is my sister shrieking when I try to brush her hair. Home is the scribbling over my really nice notebook and the protests against nap times. Home is my dog curling up on my lap and licking my face.

      What’s home to you?

*Oh and, I lost the entire game miserably… just in case you were wondering 😉