i'm kenzie.
i'm twenty two.
i want to love well.
Fri Apr 18

i always liked the story of Jesus talking with peter on the beach after he rose from the dead
after peter denied him
peter lied to protect himself
peter denied knowing this man who he had spent years with
years of learning, walking, witnessing the healing and love and grace and power of this man
years of eating meals and sleeping near this man
years of laughing and crying and questioning with this man
years of growth and struggle
years of life-changing experiences 
years of friendship
and in one night, peter denies having ever seen him
and he lies as he watches his friend being taken away
he knows his friend is beaten and tortured and dying
and peter says he never knew him
he runs away, distressed
probably upset more with himself than anyone else
and he goes back to how he had lived before he met Jesus
he goes back fishing
probably trying to forget the unforgettable
trying to cope with knowing his friend was dead & he had done nothing to stop it
in fact, he had done worse than nothing, he had denied his connection to him
so peter’s fishing & Jesus shows up
and they eat fish on the beach
and Jesus asks him “peter, do you love me more than these”
these, this, your old way of life
peter says yes, you know i love you
Jesus asks him two more times with similar responses
i heard it said once that perhaps this was Jesus’ way of showing peter that he forgave him for betraying him on the night he was killed
Jesus asks three times, one for each lie peter told 
Jesus doesn’t lecture peter or mention the lies and denials
Jesus doesn’t hold it against peter or act bitter or angry
Jesus invites him 
Jesus eats with him
Jesus empowers peter & gives him more responsibility 
peter lied about Jesus & Jesus, knowing this, trusts peter
Jesus loves him just the same as he ever did
& that love brings redemption 
it brings healing and reconciliation and hope and grace
& i love this
i love this picture of God’s love for us
so generous & undeserved
so full of joy
& i hope in some way my life can reflect that love more truly, more wholly & be transformed by that love more completely

Thu Mar 27

there’s this large part of me that is inspired by other people
inspired is the nice word to use
dependent would be more accurate
& while it sounds a bit unhealthy that way it’s also true
there’s this quote in a donald miller book that i love
he writes in the beginning “sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. it is as if they are showing you the way.” 
i think i like to be shown the way in most areas of my life
even if i don’t follow it exactly or rebel against it at times, i like to see what other people do & what they like & how they spend their time and similar patterns may emerge in my own life
most of the things i love or enjoy or do are because people i see & surround myself with love & enjoy & do those things
it’s strange because in some ways i’m extremely stubborn, but in others i’m actually easily persuaded or influenced
& a part of me likes it that way
because i see it as a way that i can participate in other people’s lives
learning to like what they like
or appreciate the way they live, the music they listen to, the books they read
sometimes it’s good because it draws out pieces of myself that are present but forgotten or unlearned
but sometimes it means i don’t find my own voice, i just follow whoever is speaking the loudest 
sometimes it overshadows pieces in myself that should be drawn out
rather than inspiring me, it makes me complacent 
& i suppose that’s how i can tell when i should act in response to others actions or see my differences & not be afraid to share them
i haven’t been writing
i know writing is a way for me to express myself, to reflect, to grow
it helps me see more clearly
it softens me & gives me courage
it’s not that i don’t want to write, i just don’t make time
i told myself that part of how i would participate in lent this year is by journaling every day
i think i’ve journaled three times
i read a post my friend wrote today
[ http://futurecitizen.tumblr.com/post/80919523752 ]
& felt inspired again
sometimes i need a push to do the things i want to be doing, need to be doing
his writing reminded me that life is a journey
i don’t need to be worried that i’ll look back someday at the words i write & be embarrassed or ashamed of them
they’re real now, this is my life now
& it matters
i’m living with too many people in a too small apartment
i’m in the longest relationship i’ve been in, which is short in comparison to most
i’m working full time & about to start an internship
i get restless & scared & excited & disappointed & loved
i am growing & learning & someday i’ll write different things that might be a completely different experience than the one i’m living now
but that’s beautiful, not limiting
so i want to write more again
i want to remember
& i want to see how God is working in fresh ways
& grow in confidence in God’s love for me and others
& i hope i’m able to love people & God & myself better through it
i hope i thrive

Thu Jan 23
Sun Jan 19
here’s to a year of reading good bookshopefully including these:looking for alaska by john greenstitches by anne lamottblink by malcolm gladwellthis side of paradise by f scott fitzgeraldfranny and zooey by j d salinger lean in by sheryl sandbergtorn by justin leeon the road by jack karoacthe cloister walk by kathleen norriswhat will it take to make a woman president by marianne schnalltheir eyes were watching God by zora neale hurstonway of the peaceful warrior by dan millmanthe four loves by c s lewisbossy pants by tina feyfeminism is for everybody by bell hooksthe purity myth by jessica valenti the feminine mystique by betty friedanthe kite runner by khaled hosseinithe color purple by alice walker

here’s to a year of reading good books
hopefully including these:
looking for alaska by john green
stitches by anne lamott
blink by malcolm gladwell
this side of paradise by f scott fitzgerald
franny and zooey by j d salinger 
lean in by sheryl sandberg
torn by justin lee
on the road by jack karoac
the cloister walk by kathleen norris
what will it take to make a woman president by marianne schnall
their eyes were watching God by zora neale hurston
way of the peaceful warrior by dan millman
the four loves by c s lewis
bossy pants by tina fey
feminism is for everybody by bell hooks
the purity myth by jessica valenti 
the feminine mystique by betty friedan
the kite runner by khaled hosseini
the color purple by alice walker

(Source: nonconcept, via idontwantrealism)

Sat Jan 18
my dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. this is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. it’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. for God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 1 john 3:18-20
Wed Jan 8

presence is better than perfection

i’d rather be present than perfect
i’d rather be intentional, with all my fears & flaws
than isolate myself as if i’m better than anyone else
i’d rather be engaging, with all my insecurities & weaknesses
than withdrawn out of pride
i’d rather be humble, with my desire for affection
than stubborn about where it comes from & how
i’d rather be caring, with all my mixed emotions
than reserved out of concern for myself
i’d rather be loving, truly loving, in the mess of life
than unattached, waiting for something that exists only in my mind 

Fri Dec 20
we were moving mountains
long before we knew we could
there can be miracles, the prince of egypt
Thu Dec 5

i want to live in gratitude
i’m so grateful for you
for the ways you’re impacting my life
and i want to continue appreciating this time we have together
and trusting that it’s good, that it’s helping us grow
i want to love you well
not enviously, not impatiently, not selfishly
i want my love to free you
by being a reflection of the deeper, stronger love that does free us
i want that to someday make sense to you
i have so much hope for you
i hope you do great things, things you’re proud of 
i hope you learn wisdom and discernment and grace
i hope you’re challenged, challenged in good ways to do better things
i hope you’re inspired to draw out the best in others
i hope you’re grateful, i hope you’re moved, i hope your life is full of meaning and truth and love
true love, fearless
freeing and raw and encouraging and life giving
and i hope i can be a part of your life that moves you toward that
because i really do love you

Sun Oct 20

it’s weird because i just listened to a song that reminds me of you
and then something i just read reminded me of that time you did a shout out to me on the spu music station 
and, well, i still love you
and in a strange way it’s a good reminder that not all loves go the way you expect them to
i thought we’d be close friends like that for much longer
and we’re not and i’ve accepted that and if i were to see you i would run up and hug you
in fact, i hope that happens soon
but even if it doesn’t, i hope that on some level you remember my love for you
because it’s as real right now as it was three years ago

Sun Sep 15

i want to create something beautiful
i’ve always thought it’d be so nice if i could paint
positioning colors, blurring lines on a page
on a piece of cardboard
on the corners of something you’ve always enjoyed
i want to bring inspiration
i want to inspire the creation of something beautiful within
or draw out the beauty that already breathes within you
i want to write poetry
i want poetry to go within you and reach into the place you’ve been ignoring because it hurt too much when your illusion of it failed you
i want to appreciate the lovely things in life and i want to appreciate the things that are painful to me in the way that childbirth is painful in the way that it hurts but it brings life into the world and without the pain perhaps the beauty of the breathing would not be quite as treasured
i want you to live fully
i want to live fully
i want to decorate the pieces of my room that are mine to decorate
and i want to take a picture of you on my disposable camera
and i want you to be laughing 
or maybe reading a poem