An Honest Poem

I was born on a chilly October night, 26 years ago.
I’m 5’6, with brown eyes, and black hair and my weight is none of your business.
I’m not a dog person, and I’m allergic to cats.
I’m kind of like a baby jumping spider, cute but creepy.
I’m a good writer, listener, and I can carry somewhat of a tune.
But the thing I’m most talented at is avoiding my problems.
I’m an absolute pro at it.
If there’s a problem, I run in the complete opposite direction.
I run to my books and hide from the world.

In books, things happen for a reason.
The plot is set, the character’s path predestined.
Real life isn’t like that.
I could have never predicted the path that my life has taken.
I barely recognize myself these days.
I’ve abandoned everything that used to define me.
So if I’m no longer the student,
the youth leader,
or the devoted churchgoer.
Then who am I?
That is the million dollar question.
Sometimes I feel like I’m 10 different people from one day to the next.
Which one is the real me?
Or are they all me?

I’m prone to melancholy.
Have been for as long as I can remember.
I’ve daydreamed about wandering into a field during a thunderstorm and being dissipated by a lightning bolt.
Like the end of the movie “Powder”.
My therapist calls this a suicidal fantasy.
I call it what happens when I’m alone too long in my thoughts.

I feel broken.
But I’m a Christian and we’re not supposed to say that.
Isn’t that why God sent his son?
So that I can be whole?
Well me and God aren’t really speaking as much as we used to.
I try not to dwell too long on the state of my faith.
If I do, a pain so deep radiates through me that I can barely breath.
I’ll just sum it up in one word, unraveled.

I attempting to date.
Me, the perpetually single girl.
I was always waiting to be better, more prepared, more successful, more perfect.
I always wondered if anyone could ever truly understand and love me, with all of my chaos.
So far it’s been a huge bust.
I was catfished, but isn’t that a millennial rite of passage?

My name is Tawni.
I love indie rock, Mexican food, and spending time with friends.
Even though I don’t know if I really have anything in common with any of them.
My hobbies include:
fighting my inner demons,
pretending that I’m fine,
and overthinking everything.
Nice to meet you.


A week ago I stumbled across Rudy Francisco’s spoken word piece “My Honest Poem” on Facebook and it moved me. You can watch it here and read it here. I thought to myself, I should do one too! It was definitely harder than I thought it was going to be but at the same time oddly cleansing.

 

Photo by Anders Jildén on Unsplash

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Twelve Days Of Trump America

Twelve days ago our country changed, a new president and vice president were sworn in, and a new administration began. I didn’t watch the inauguration on purpose because I didn’t think I could stomach it. I still could not believe that America let that rat bastard into the highest office in the country.

via Daily Prompt: Resist

Twelve days ago our country changed, a new president and vice president were sworn in, and a new administration began. I didn’t watch the inauguration on purpose because I didn’t think I could stomach it. I still could not believe that America let that rat bastard into the highest office in the country.

I know, I’m a Christian and I’m not supposed to talk that way, but I’m mad, pissed, frustrated, and sad.

Seven days into his administration Mr. Trump followed through on one of his promises made during the election. He signed an immigration order that suspends immigrants from coming into the country from seven majority Muslim countries, those are Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria. The suspension will last 90 days for 6 of the countries, but for Syria it is indefinite. This is exactly what our Muslim neighbors feared would happen.
The order is supposed to protect are country from potential terrorist until vetting procedures can be strengthened. Mr. Trump would have us believe that this isn’t about religion or discrimination, but that’s a crock. It’s written in the order that after the ban is lifted some religions will be prioritized over others in refugee resettlement process, that sounds like discrimination to me.

I get it, I can understand it. In this post 9/11 world we’ve watched our neighbors in Europe and around the world get pounded by unspeakable violence at the hands of Muslim terrorist. We don’t want that to ever happen here again. But we’re punishing the majority for the sins of the minority. Syrians are suffering right now, families have been forced out of their homes, their whole lives have been turned upside down. They need refuge and America is closing the door. Not only is that un-American, it’s not Christ-like. Aren’t you a Christian Mr. Trump?
“Christian,” the word gets slimier every time it’s used it as a reason to mistreat others.

I hope you don’t forget Mr. Trump about the terror right here at home. Where any self-righteous maniac can get a gun and kill innocent people. Don’t forget that Omar Mateen was radicalized right in the homeland before he gunned down 49 people. ISIS doesn’t need to come through our borders, all they need is an internet connection.
Can we strengthen the vetting of carry licenses? Can we suspend the sale of automatic weapons for 90 days? Oh no that would be unconstitutional or daresay un-American!
We love our guns too much for that. We love them so much we go into churches, malls, movie theaters, and elementary schools and show them off.
I could almost laugh at the ludicrousness of it all if I wasn’t so damn depressed.

I’m sorry Mr. Trump but if this is what it means to “make America great again” I want none of it. You can take your white nationalist politics and shove it.
I bet the Republican party is wishing they would have resisted you now. They made a deal with the devil and we’ve got four years to go.

Four years, God help us. The real God, the loving one. Not whatever god Mr. Trump is praying to.

 

It will get worse, as power intoxicates Trump and those around him. It will probably end in calamity — substantial domestic protest and violence, a breakdown of international economic relationships, the collapse of major alliances, or perhaps one or more new wars (even with China) on top of the ones we already have. It will not be surprising in the slightest if his term ends not in four or in eight years, but sooner, with impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment.

David Brooks

Photo by Mikey

10 Thoughts A Perpetually Single Christian Girl Has

There are two types of girls in this world.

 

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*Tawni + Seretha*

There are two types of girls in this world. There’s the girl who is always in a relationship. There are very short time periods in between boyfriends and they seem to meet guys rather easily. Then there’s the girl who is always single. Years go by between relationships and she has a hard time meeting guys. It’s not that she isn’t looking it just isn’t happening.
So me and my dear friend and fellow blogger Seretha  have put together a little list of thoughts all the #supersingle girls out there have. Let the emotional healing begin…

  1. Why God why?!!
    Why me? How come the boys are just knocking others girls doors down without them even trying and I’m just over here in the desert? This is not what I planned. I didn’t make a vow to be single for years. So what’s up?

  2. Am I Ugly?
    Did my Mom and Dad lie when they told I was such a pretty girl? Have I been out here thinking I had it going on and really didn’t? I mean it’s either that or I am invisible to men.

  3. Do I not seem AVAILABLE?
    So many have heard the ‘well you look taken’ excuse that I have taken a magnifying glass to my forehead in hopes of finding whatever is giving off that vibe and scrub it off my body. How is this even possible?? And the men I asked have yet to give me a good answer.

  4. Boys Are Stupid.
    And Insensitive. And annoying. And only think about one thing. Do I sound like a 15 year old? Well that’s because boys may grow up to be men, but inside they’re still boys, especially when it comes to girls. They’re still out here treating us like crap under the guise it’s because they like us.

  5. There are no available men
    Are any guys going to be there?’ is a question I hear a lot with the women I hang out with! We start to weigh the time and preparation is takes to get ready for a night out with the probability of meeting someone interesting. But we can’t deal in absolutes in life–there are men out there…..somewhere….I guess

  6. He doesn’t exist.
    He just isn’t out there. So I can stop daydreaming about him because he isn’t coming. Romantic love is something that only some people get to experience and I am just not one of them.

  7. Desperation spiral
    I find that a lot of my singleness issues are actually in my head…besides not being asked out in forever. The occasional ‘woe is me’ breakdowns that occur usually look something like this.
    a.Self-doubt
    This is where you question everything. Most of the questions are in this post like ‘am I ugly?’ ‘am I supposed to get married?’ and more! I question my wardrobe, the way I talk, my (lack) of girly tendencies, my height, my weight, my body shape, my ability to hear from God, my friends, and anything else my neurotic mind can come up with.
    b.Re-evaluating standards
    Many women have a list (some longer than others) of things they are looking for in a husband. I believe all lists have to be refined by God so that our personal prejudices don’t block an amazing person God has for us–BUT a chronically single Christian woman man think about letting some of the essentials slide as well.
    c.Anger at God
    At this point I am actively airing my grievances to God. Not only asking why He made me this way but why this is so hard! The ugly crying and yelling happens here too. I’m just thankful that God takes my prayers in any way they are delivered.
    d.Reassurance from God
    I am not a disfigured beast of woman unworthy of love. Or at least that’s what God tells me on a very regular basis.
    e.Happy until you see someone else get into a relationship then…..
    I am being honest in that I can only see so many happy couples on my social medias before starting to get bitter. I limit my social media when I get into those kind of moods so that I’m not always somewhere in this circle but the struggle is real. 
  8. I could be single the rest of my life and be happy.
    I think. I’m sure they’re women out there who never had kids or got married who lived fulfilling lives. They can travel, go wherever whenever and not have to answer to anyone. I won’t lie and say that doesn’t sound appealing. It does, it’s the best part of being single. But what about those lonely nights?

  9. Bargaining with God
    This is when you pull out the list of things you have done to ‘earn’ the promotion to wife if not AT LEAST girlfriend! “God I not only read my Bible daily but I serve with the kids AND greet at the front door on Sunday. Why won’t you send me somebody?!?” It may sound funny but it’s actually very dangerous. We can’t as Christians use our works as a way to ‘make’ God give us something. We are living by grace and there’s no way to earn that gift. To try and puff ourselves up enough to fit a combination of acts and righteousness God has in order to be in a relationship ignores the reality of who God is! He craves to be the ultimate relationship and the #1 love in our lives. It’s only after we truly come to that realization that there is a possibility of anything else.

  10. Thinking of going back to your old ways
    This is where bargaining goes full temper tantrum and we threaten our Heavenly Parent saying that we will run away from home if we don’t get our way. I  can laugh because I have done this and God, in His infinite patience, let me get it all out and firmly reminded me that I was acting like a child.

Everyday Inspiration, Day Fourteen: Recreate A Single Day

#PutSomeRespeckOnHisName

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#PutSomeRespeckOnHisName


 

I want to start this by saying that I am Christian, from the bottom to the top my faith is my life. With that said I try to live my life in a way that glorifies the Lord fulfilling the great commission that Jesus gave in Matthew 28.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

I come into contact with non-believers and the “Christian-lite” all the time. And I always try to make the most of the time I have with them. Although sometimes it’s difficult. After all I’m still human with my own set of hangups and personal issues, which can get in the way of talking about God with people.
On this particular day I was having a conversation with an employee of mine whose stance on God I didn’t know yet. The subject of the recent Orlando shootings at a gay club came up, and since he is an openly gay man I’d new he’d have an opinion on it. The conversation started with how Muslim terrorists were misusing the teachings of the Quran to fuel their own violent agenda. Then he proceeded to say that Christians did the same thing. To which I agreed, some Christians use the Bible as an excuse to do all kinds of awful things. But here’s where the conversation went sideways.
He then proceeded to allude that the Bible was an old book that was no longer relevant anymore, and that Jesus Christ was just a man. Then he started to attempt to explain some of the ways Christians misinterpret the Bible. He jumped from topic to topic in the Bible and it became clear to me that he had probably never even read the Bible. I could feel my frustration mounting. I hate when people pretend to know what they’re talking about in general but here he was pretending he understood my God!

He crossed the line when he said that the Bible condoned suicide because Jesus Christ killed himself. I’d had enough. I explained to him along with the support of my coworker that Jesus Christ did not commit suicide, he was God’s perfect son who gave himself for the sins of man. And then I asked him to please stop talking. He could tell he offended me and he apologized.
Thinking back on it later that day I wondered if I’d done the wrong thing by cutting him off. Did I act in a Christ-like manner?

No, I didn’t. I let my emotions get the better of me. I felt very badly about this until a wise friend reminded me that since we work together more opportunities would come along and now I knew what to do next time.

Fellow Christ-followers! Have you ever been in a situation where a non-believer offended or frustrated you? What did you do?

 

*photo by Tim Marshall

 

Everyday Inspiration, Day Eleven: A Cup of Coffee

If we were having coffee right now…

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If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that I plan to learn to how to play an instrument very soon. God’s been telling me that it’s time to stop wishing, wanting and saying someday. The time is now, go for it. He gave me these gifts and these longings for a reason and it wasn’t to put them on a shelf.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that ever since I read Fervent by Priscilla Shirer with my bible study group I have been hearing God more and more. It’s exciting, and a tad unnerving. It’s like “Did I really hear that?”

If we were having coffee right now… I’d ask you when do you say when in your career life? I ask that because my relationship with my job is waning. I’ve been praying through some serious anxiety lately at the thought of my job. Sometimes the night before and sometimes in the car when I get in. I’m realizing now that when your job is making you psychologically ill it’s time to rethink some things.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that the farther I get into adulthood the more I realize how imperfect my childhood was. Well I never really thought it was perfect, but I’m understanding now it was more messed up than I thought. My parents will probably fight me on this one but it’s true. We’re not a “family-oriented” family and it should probably bother me more.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d say that though there are areas in my life where things aren’t great, I’m content. I’m enjoying the journey because I am determined not to waste my youth. I want to see, smell, taste, hear, and touch everything I’ve ever wanted to while I’m still young and able.

 

*photo by Patrick Tomasso

Lies, Sabotage, And The Way Back To Redemption

When we believe a lie so long it becomes apart of who you are, and you unconsciously spend your life reaping the consequences of this lie.

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You’ll always be alone.

That was the lie I believed for most of my life. It drove me to many decisions, mostly bad ones. It drove me to the wrong people, to wrong things, and more pain.
I learned recently that the reason we believe these lies about ourselves is because we interpret wrongly painful events in our lives.
So what was my event?
I couldn’t think of one isolated event, my childhood was the event. I had a hard time with making friends because I was very shy, so in order to avoid the anxiety of talking to new people, I just didn’t. I also had a hard time finding kids who I had things in common with which only furthered the gap between me and others. Throw some bullying from the mean girls in there and there you have it, the event.
I interpreted my social rejection into thinking that I was boring, strange, weird, etc. and came to the conclusion I’d always be alone.

When we believe a lie so long it becomes apart of who you are, and you unconsciously spend your life reaping the consequences of this lie.

To escape the pain of my event I dallied in a few unhealthy things.

  • sexual sin
  • isolating myself from others
  • denial
  • busyness
  • distrust of others

When I gave my life to God I thought I was done with these things, but they lingered. Some I eventually was able to completely be done with by God’s grace and mercy, but some new stuff popped up. I became addicted to affirmation from others, mostly men. Male attention was something I had very little experience with. But I guess as I grew into myself it became a fairly regular thing. It was a rush.
All the things that separated me from others in the past were now appreciated. I didn’t know how to handle it, and I came to crave it.
So whenever I suffered a disappointment, or a rejection I’d seek it out before God.

What if that’s not true?

That was question the pastor asked. What if that lie you believed isn’t true?
A simple question that completely rocked my world.
I won’t always be alone?
As my brain pondered the idea my heart rejected it strongly. It only knew the painful memories of the past and it wasn’t ready to be convinced of anything else.

So what I do? How can I undo all that this lie has done to me?
Well I can’t, the past is done I must look forward to what’s ahead. It’s time to tear down the lie with God’s truth.

Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

What concerns me concerns God. He doesn’t want to see me alone and depressed. He knows the deepest desires of my heart and he will give them to me because He loves me and I delight in Him. I renounce the lie and receive His truth.
Moving forward when I feel alone I will go to God, He is my comforter. He’s the ultimate comforter. The affirmation of others is nothing compared to the love and affirmation of my God.
It will be a process, bad habits die hard, but my faith and fervor for God have been renewed.

What is the lie that has kept you bound? I challenge you to invite God in and let Him reveal to you His truth.

 

*photo by Evan Dennis

I Think I Wanna Marry You

But I came to the conclusion that there experience will not be my experience because I am not my mother and my husband will not be my father. We will be two new people in a new union

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Marriage to me is like what Santa Claus is to an aging child. The world is telling me that I need to let go, but I’m still holding on to the dream.
The concept of marriage has been swept aside as some archaic tradition of the old world. It seems no one has anything positive to say about it. Whenever it comes up around the office it becomes a marriage bashing session. But then there’s me still holding on to hope.
I’m a romantic, and so to me marriage is a declaration of life-long love. You’re promising to love one person until you die, in front of God and all your loved ones. How beautiful is that!?

Marriage hasn’t always been about love in the past and still isn’t in some parts of the world. They were pretty much business transactions between two families, and the actual bride and groom didn’t have much choice. Well, sometimes the groom had choices but for the bride marriage was the only choice. There wasn’t many options for a woman to make an income of her own.
Now in our modern society a woman can support herself without the help of a man. So that means marriage can be whatever we want.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not under the impression that marriage is a cake walk. If it was divorce wouldn’t be so common. I’ve seen first hand what a unhappy, unhealthy marriage looks like. My parents divorced then got remarried and now there in this married but not “together” thing. It’s definitely not the kind of marriage I aspire to have. Despite all of their issues I still believe a happy marriage is possible, though for a moment there I doubted it. But I came to the conclusion that there experience will not be my experience because I am not my mother and my husband will not be my father.We will be two new people in a new union.  I won’t let their unhappiness rob me of my future happiness.
In fact I’ve learned from them how important it is to marry the right person, for the right reasons.

I will always fight for the sacred bond that is marriage. In the meantime I’m still looking for my exception to the rule, someone who wants to prove the naysayers wrong and take that leap with me.

Marrying for love may be a bit risky, but it is so honest that God can’t help but smile on it.

-Josh Billings

 

 

I want to hear from you. Your Mom & Dad’s marriage was nowhere near perfect, so how do you feel about marriage now?

 

Photo credit*
Pretty Pear Brides