Saturday, March 31, 2012

send the morning breeze

I'm not a morning person. I'm really, spectacularly, unequivocally not a morning person. I'm so emphatically not a morning person that it's given rise to several family jokes about waking the "bear", mostly from my dad (yeah, thanks dad). The past few days, though, I've been finding myself waking a bit earlier than usual, just as the sun rises. We had daylight savings time, so that might have something to do with it. But, since I'm awake anyway, I've been heading out onto our back deck to do my devotions

And I have to say that I love it. There's something about the early morning that makes the world seem alive. It's just waking up from sleep--the first rays of the sun shining on the dew that's just fallen, a few sleepy birds twittering as they begin their day. Flowers are opening toward the sky, their scent seeming stronger because exhaust fumes haven't yet blown their way into my yard. It makes me realize why David wrote
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory... - Psalm 63:1, 2
For whatever reason, it's easier to focus on God in the half-chill of the morning. Maybe it's because our minds aren't already taken up by all the junk that clutters them in the course of a normal day. We can fully devote everything we are to that one moment, to that one place.

- Kyla Denae

Friday, March 30, 2012

a week of days

Sometimes I venture into the deep depths of my iPhone picture history. Since my camera is currently out of commission (my cord disappeared into some black hole and I've not yet been able to buy another), my iPhone has gathered quite a few pictures over the last few weeks.
Edward loves his daddy. And daddy loves his Edward. Edward also likes being able to see everything.

Nutella to go. Be jealous. Very, very jealous.

A family of pinecones we found while walking about downtown.

- Kyla Denae

Thursday, March 29, 2012

remind me why i'm reading this again?

I dislike not finishing books. In fact, I dislike it so much that I make a point of always finishing books--well, except this one book that had some... well, less-than-desirable content. And also Water Wars. Goodness gracious, that book was so dull.

Which, incidentally, leads me to what is possibly the only reason that I would ever not finish a book. I grew up with the classics. I have fond memories of learning to read curled up with Curious George and Beatrix Potter, then moving on to the original Winnie the Pooh books, The Boxcar Children, and the Swiss Family Robinson. The Little Princess, a hearty dose of Nancy Drew, and when I was ten, Moby Dick and many of Jules Verne's books; that's what I cut my literary teeth on.

So when I read a book, I expect to live up to those books in terms of their believability and characters. The Little Princess is a classic for a reason: it's well written and it also has some of the best characters. I still remember them, and periodically go back to the world of a dreaming Sara, a fascinated Rebecca, and the dastardly deeds of Miss Minchin. I've not picked up a Boxcar Children book in forever, but I lived those adventures, and those characters will always form part of what I think of when I hear the word "detective" (or train). Jules Verne will always be one of my favorite authors, mostly because he managed to create beautiful stories that were long enough for me to not just blow through them, but also because his characters and his fictional scenarios fit each other so well.

And then there are those...other books. The ones that have no character development and whose plot seems to be hanging on nothing but a thread of self-importance. The pacing is off, to the point where the reader alternately feels as if she is slogging through quicksand or being pushed through the pages by a bullet train. These are the books that we cringe through, hoping that somehow, it'll get better at the end (I also try to imagine myself writing something spectacularly wonderful and showing up the author. Or just banishing them for their crimes against literature, but that's another post entirely).

They are books that, rather than describing things, tell you in the most boring voice imaginable, exactly what happened and when and where and what the character's hair and nails and teeth looked like when it happened because we all care a lot about how our Elf princess looked when she killed that fellow. Within these books seem to be the most amazing things possible--a person jumping around a circle of men killing them with nothing but her knees as she jumps from shoulder-to-shoulder, or the established rules of vampire lore suddenly coming undone...even within the book's own universe, or there suddenly being a bomb wielded by terrorists who had never been heard of before, but it's okay, because the book is only fifty pages long so far.

(In case you're wondering, I'm totally going to point fingers and name names. I just talked about the Inheritance Cycle, Twilight, and Water Wars respectively. Though the second is kind of a stretch. Stephenie Meyer tries, at least.)

So, dear future authors and current authors and authors that have been, 
Just remember that listing things is not an acceptable replacement for actual description that brings your characters and your world to life. Making a long list about all the things that would logically mean your five-foot-tall herbalist would lose against your six-foot-tall trained warrior, is not the same as describing to us the things that make it so...especially not when you've just done that. In that vein, repetition doesn't mean I'll get your point better, or suddenly realize that your characters are, indeed, traveling across a desert where there is no water and hasn't been water for the past century. Pointless repetition just makes me want to put your book down. Nor will repetition of the same words make me see your political point. It's already been drummed into my head during the first 800 pages; I don't need 80 more that are nothing but a radio speech to make me realize that you're trying to make a point. 
Also, please kindly remember that gory wounds are not the time nor place to make up for your lack of description elsewhere. No matter what you may think, they will not make your battle scenes any more gripping, nor will they make your whiny characters any more lovable. Gory wounds that are described in stomach-turning detail just make me want to put your book up and go read something less nauseating. If I wanted to read about that, I would have picked up an anatomy text book. 
In closing, dear author,  I would greatly appreciate it if you would get to the point instead of leading me on a wild-goose-chase for some semblance of a plot. 
With much love,
- Kyla Denae

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

i'm sure those people over there can help

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. - James 2:14-17
I have heard this verse taught many times. We're supposed to take care of the poor, those who are unable to take care of themselves, etc. It's taken by the left to mean that we're supposed to steal from people to give their money to other people. It's taken by more conservative members of the Christian community to mean we're supposed to send aid to other countries, to places where people are starving and, maybe--in a pinch--to that homeless shelter down the street. In whatever way this idea manifests itself, there's always one thing that is central to it: we are, in some way, supposed to care for the less fortunate members of our own community.

It is odd, however, that the execution of this idea doesn't seem to extend to those people that are truly our brothers and sisters... that is, those people who sit next to us in the church pew, drift their way through our buildings, and then return to their homes. Many times, we're none the wiser about what our fellow Christians are going through. And, if we are, there's this sort of conversation:
"Sally and her husband are going through some real trouble. Joe's gonna have to have some surgery. They really need prayer."
"They have those three kids, don't they? And a baby on the way?""Yeah. But I heard that there's a new government program; if they apply for it, they can get medical assistance, which should help them feed those kids."
"I'll pray they'll be able to get into that program, then. It would be a shame if they had to sell their house or ended up being homeless!"
I have seriously heard exchanges almost exactly like this one many times in churches, between members of a Christian community. There seems to be this idea in America that, if we fall on hard times, the government will take care of us. After all, what are we paying taxes for? Surely the government can help out!

And so, to all intents and purposes, we look at these brothers and sisters of ours and say, "hey, you know--I heard you were on hard times. I'm going to pray for you. Go on home now, and you stay warm and fed, alright?" And then we mosey on home to our Sunday afternoon dinners and our comfortable lives where, while there might be occasional hiccups in the smooth passage, we don't have to worry about breakfast tomorrow morning.

But aren't we sort of missing the point? Aren't we completely ignoring what James told us to do? Yes, there are many great charity programs that are run by churches. They feed a lot of people, both in America and out. Money is being constantly sent overseas to buy cornmeal, rice, and even meat for small schools and churches in African and Asian countries. Some of those people, yes, are our brothers and sisters in Christ. But we're ignoring the problems right under our noses. We're so busy with feeling spiritual--setting our Facebook status to a really great Bible verse, trying to raise awareness for our newest pet cause in Africa, campaigning to make abortion illegal--that we forget that without our faith manifesting itself into the physical realm, it means absolutely nothing.

There's a saying I once heard. I don't know who originally said it. It's probably as old as Christianity itself. But it's simply this: If you can't be a missionary at home first, you're not going to be an effective missionary elsewhere.

Until you start taking care of things close to home, you can't be an effective crusader for women's rights in Afghanistan. Until you are willing to help out a family in need that goes to your church, you can't be an effective volunteer at a food bank. Until you are actively living out the things you say you believe, it doesn't count for anything. God doesn't care about rhetoric; he cares about action.

Can it be difficult, thinking about making sacrifices for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Of course. Nobody ever said it would be easy. I'm sure that the people who were reading James' letter thought he was crazy. "What? He's saying we should all chip in like those crazy Christians in Antioch and have everything common and help each other? What about the poor people around us? What about them? Surely they can go find help elsewhere--they have families, support systems!"

But they didn't, and they don't. The Church was designed to be a support system. When the author of Acts talked about how the early Christians had "all things common", that's what he meant. He meant that they all chipped in when something was needed. But we've become so focused on our own needs, our wants, the things that are immediately in front of us, that all we can say to Christians who need help is, "Well, that sucks. I'm pretty sure the government runs a fund for losers like you...good luck. Go eat and keep your house warm this winter."
If a brother or sister...
- Kyla Denae

Thursday, March 22, 2012

92 days. $1500.


I once again find myself in the position of needing to raise a lot of money in a very short space of time. Pray for me. Wish me luck. Whatever. Allons-y.

- Kyla Denae

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

a weekend trip, part 2

The Carlsbad Caverns are amazing. They show that God cares just as much about the underside of the earth as he does about the surface, that everything was thought of and formed, that he wanted every bit of his creation to be beautiful and wonderful so he could look down at it and unequivocally say, with a smile on his face and well-earned pride in his heart, "It is good."

Unfortunately, I had no camera with me on this trip, and I've not yet managed to snag my dad's phone so I can filch his, so this shall be sadly picture-free. Someday I'll go back to the caverns with a really awesome camera and shall upload many pictures to make up for it. Instead of taking pictures, I contented myself with thinking up ways I could incorporate what I saw into my stories. Needless to say, by the time I'd walked ten paces down into the opening of the cave, I'd already figured out how my protagonist in Dark Dawn (my fantasy novel) would be getting to the home of the Dwarves. There's going to be a massive cave mouth and a very steep ramp.

Story inspiration aside, I discovered that fairyland exists (it forms a very large portion of the "Big Room", and is situated conveniently by the Temple to the Sun God, which must be the place said fairies worship), and also marveled at the clearness of the water. It's all filtered through tons of rock; it's so clear it looks as if it's not there.

Once we left the caves (after a two-hour wait for the elevators; only two of them were working and there was a huge line. It moved quickly though, with my sister and I playing rock-paper-scissors-with-a-twist all the way), we drove toward Roswell. Where we stayed the night. And counted aliens. In Roswell, New Mexico, there is a McDonald's that has a UFO parked in it. No joke. Their play area is shaped like a UFO. It's pretty awesome.

The next morning, dad had the bright idea to drive toward the mountains, so we could do something that hadn't been specified. Basically, we drove through a bunch of very craggy, very yellow, very windy mountains and stopped in a small town that looked more like a tourist trap than a town. On the edge of this town there was a small visitors center; we stopped and found that it was a tribute to Billy the Kid, a notorious outlaw or something who roamed New Mexico. My brain wasn't quite working by that point; it was very fuzzy from having to process being sick, sore, and tired, not to mention seven younger children who weren't at all happy about their lack of clean clothes.

Anyway. This small visitor's center was staffed by two dogs and an older lady, plus an older man who might have been her husband or just a lazy park ranger who couldn't be bothered to button his shirt. He was lazing back in a chair behind a table that was, in its turn, behind the desk, when we arrived, gray shirt unbuttoned over a white t-shirt. I think he was drinking a cup of tea. The woman and the dogs were quite pleasant, though the man disappeared halfway through our visit. We wandered through the center, admired some scale models of old pueblos, plus a cross-section of a pueblo great-house, picked up a few brochures, and got back on the (very windy) road.

And we stayed on the road.
And stayed.
And stayed.

And stayed a bit more.

It got pretty windy as we reached the plains again; a huge dust-storm had been kicked up, which understandably wasn't quite comfortable. This was compounded by the fact that everyone was a bit cranky from having been in the care.

And the fact that if we hadn't made a detour into the mountains, we would have been home three hours earlier. Not that any of us were bitter. But still.

The dust was having entirely too much fun, swirling 'round us. When we stopped at a little Allsup's in Nowhere-Land, New Mexico, we were told that it was only supposed to get worse. Also, the power blinked out twice. And there was only one stoplight. It was swinging from a wire that had been suspended from two opposite light poles. For a moment, I had a vision of Cars, and sitting next to the light, peering up at it and insisting every third blink was shorter.

I blame my wild imagination.

Eventually, we got a tailwind and rode it all the way home, only stopping once, in Santa Rosa. I now detest McDonalds, and will until the next time we go on a trip--by which time I will have forgotten how much I hate it and will gladly scarf down whatever I can get my hands on. To be honest, I really don't pay much attention to what I shove into my mouth. I should probably work on that.

So, after a whirlwind trip that began at 11 am on Friday and ended at 8 pm on Sunday, we arrived back home, thankful to sleep in our own beds. The end.

- Kyla Denae

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

i will live like moses

Or: How to Avoid a Job In Six Easy Steps.

Step 1- state your intention to be an actual writer
Step 2- make some movement toward that goal
Step 3- realize you're not going to make it
Step 4- state your backup plan of becoming an international hitchhiker
Step 5- stubbornly respond to all concerns with "I will live like Moses"
Step 6- hide in your room and write

- Kyla Denae

a weekend trip

Last Thursday, my dad announced that we were all going to accompany him south, to Midland, Texas, for some business he had to do. We planned to travel thirty minutes on to the sand dunes in the Permian basin. We've been there once before, when I was about eight, so I was excited to be going back. We also were going to go into New Mexico and go to the Carlsbad Caverns.

We did both those things.

We got into Midland and reached our hotel--which was, incidentally, a Hilton, an experience I'd never had before. It was pretty much like any hotel anywhere else, except that they didn't have a complimentary breakfast. It was too fancy shmancy for that. But first we had to think of dinner. We tried walking to some Italian place that Google Maps couldn't locate. It was full, and we had to turn back after smelling the deliciousness of breadsticks and spaghetti. After walking back through downtown Midland (which, to tell the truth, wasn't all that fun; it was windy. There were also two fellows we passed three times on this walk, who were sitting in front of a coffee shop. They were still there when we returned to our hotel at about 9 that night. Apparently, whoever they were, they have no lives), we got in our car and drove to the nearest Olive Garden.

There was an hour wait for a table, so my mom and my sisters and I did the obvious thing. We walked across the parking lot to the Barnes N Noble, leaving my dad with my brothers. Bookstores are dangerous places when you're bored and like to read. After remarking on the size of the Teen Paranormal Romance section (four and a half shelves, in case you were wondering), I strayed into the world history section and promptly found three new books that I wanted to read. Now, some of you know me very well. I dislike leaving unread books just sitting there, calling my name. Because that's what they do. I picked up a couple of them, read a paragraph, and was instantly hit by the overwhelming desire to finish them. But alas, I could not.

Instead, I had to return to the Olive Garden, where we had to sit for twenty more minutes until our buzzer went off. I remember now why my family doesn't go out to eat often. Imagine a herd of elephants all attempting to hold a democratic meeting about what to do for new feeding grounds. That's about what my siblings look like. I hold no bad feelings toward them. I speak only the truth. Once dinner was done, we headed back to the hotel, where (very sick) Kyla tried to go to bed before discovering that her Nook had somehow bought Catching Fire all on its lonesome.

Kyla was not very happy. But it was eleven o' clock at night, so Kyla couldn't really do anything about it. Kyla also starts talking about herself in third person when she gets tired. It's currently eleven o' clock as I write this. I apologize.

The next morning we got up a bit more rested than we'd been before, and headed off for the sand dunes.

The dunes were tiring. I don't know if you've ever tried to slog up steep hills with cold, mushy, fine sand that just grabs at your feet and tries to suck you down like it's some sort of world-crushing demon, as illustrated by this handy-dandy little graphic I drew to show you.

Anyway. Sand-zombies aside, as soon as we left the dunes we headed west, into New Mexico and toward one of the seven wonders of the world. Or is it nine? I always forget. Anyway. It was Carlsbad Caverns we were headed for, which shall be covered in part two of this blog post.

Why will there be a part two, you ask? Well, mostly because I'm tired, but also because this is getting long and I don't want to bore you. Stay tuned.

- Kyla Denae

Monday, March 19, 2012

a most beautiful lie

True love will triumph in the end - which may or may not be a lie, but if it is a lie, it's the most beautiful lie we have.
- John Green
People say that love conquers all. But they don't really believe it. I think they can't bring themselves to really believe it. It makes them think of corny teenage dramas and the inspirational posters that are tacked up anywhere and everywhere that teenagers might frequent, apparently in the hopes that that idea will sink down into our brains and make some sort of impact.

People also say that it's what inside that counts when they know everybody judges a book by its cover, and that beauty is relative even though they know societal perceptions of beauty are shaped by a media that is so hopelessly skewed toward the newest celebrity that it will never escape.

People say a lot of stuff that isn't true. But, for once, I think they may have hit upon something that is beautifully, wonderfully, amazingly true.

Love does conquer all.
True love.
Love that is willing to give itself for its object.
Love that would expend itself merely so that another might live.
Christ's love.

And I suppose, in the end, even if I'm wrong and other people are right, and God's love isn't real despite everything I have faith in...

It'll still be the most beautiful lie we have.

- Kyla Denae

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

this thing we call life

The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.
Sometimes, to soften a vernacular phrase, "crap happens." There's little we can do about it--it simply seems that life enjoys throwing curve balls at us with every ounce of force and gumption it possesses. It sometimes seems that, somewhere, there's this maniacal child in charge of fate, and some days it just wakes up with this itch for mischief. It's sitting there, looking at the smooth, uneventful flow of a human life, and all at once... it gets a sparkle in its eye.

Heh, how can I mess up these people? it asks itself. And bam, suddenly a life is filled with everything awful.

Since becoming involved with people online, I've discovered (at the tender age of twelve, most prominently) that not all people have had a life like mine. Not everybody has grown up in a family that loves them, where they are taken good care of and nothing really vexing or emotionally draining comes along. As I've gotten older, there have been more instances where true hardship has come along, but it's never been anything like some of my friends have faced.

In the past year, I've had two internet friends who have contemplated suicide. I have had friends who have struggled with their sexuality, with peer pressure, with cutting, with abusive situations, with things that boggle my mind. One lesson I've taken from this is that people are strong. Even when they're at the end of their rope, when they're not sure how they'll go on another day...they are strong. Human-kind is so much more amazing than any of us realize. We can do things we never thought possible with the simple release of a simple hormone. We can toil on through hardship and suffering and pain just because some deep, latent impulse tells us we should.

And not only that, but we are able to rise above those things. Yes, it is difficult. It's always difficult. But that's what makes us so amazing. That difficulty only makes us stronger. That difficulty oftentimes makes us want to just try harder. That even though we have no idea where to go next, we go.

I think this is because, deep down, every human knows that Life is out there. That Life, at the bottom of it all, is wonderful. And all of us realize that there are things that make it worth living even in the darkest times.

There's something that wants to hear a baby laugh
and feel tears come as we kiss the one we love
and whirl around in the rain
and stand on top of the largest building in the world and realise that living is amazing
and look down at a waterfall and be amazed
and stare into a bonfire
and do something ridiculously absurd
and just, in the truest sense of the word

So yes

Life is a whole bunch of good things and a whole bunch of bad things, all piled up together. And neither of them necessarily outweigh the other. But the bad things aren't at all more important than the good ones. Because, in the end, the good things are the ones we will always remember with a little glow of exultation.

Because we are alive.

- Kyla Denae

Sunday, March 11, 2012

boy crazy christianity

This post is liable to step on some toes, just like many other things on this blog. You have been warned.

It's something I've come to observe often in the Christian circles around me, especially in the college-hunting crowd (and the college-going crowd, as well). It seems that so much of life for Christian girls is oriented around finding a guy. We're told we should pray for a pastor or missionary to marry. We're told that we need to go to college to find a husband. We're told that we would make wonderful missionary's wives.

Before we get off on the wrong foot, let me just say that I understand the whole helpmeet thing. I understand that women were originally created to work in partnership with man, to form a whole that mimics Christ's interaction with the Church. I understand the desire to get married, even; it's one I share. But I think this focus undermines something very important--that young women can serve God in their own right, not just through their prospective husband. Christian girls are instead pushed toward marriage with a fanatic zeal that I have labeled 'Boy Crazy Christianity'.

During a brief time where I was praying about whether to go to college or not, I looked into my options. Wanting to be a missionary, I examined the different missions programs that various colleges offer. To my surprise and dismay, the vast majority of colleges (or at least, the majority of ones I'd consider going to) offered very little in the way of actually preparing a young woman to be a missionary. Rather, so many of them focused on a narrow swathe of ministry that is specifically designed for her to accompany a man.

When you consider the many women who have formed vital parts of missions work through the years--Gladys Aylward, Mary Slessor, Amy Carmichael, and (in more recent times, and someone I've met personally) Jan Johnson, this seems to me to be a very great flaw in Christian education.

Now, I understand a woman is supposed to be quiet in the church and not take authority from the men (whatever interpretation of that you take). But then again, what if a woman missionary goes somewhere where there is no church? Is she to wait for a man to join her before reaching out to people--even men? (It's interesting to note that 'taking authority over man' is never interpreted to mean that women are not supposed to witness to men.) What about children's ministry or a ministry that focuses specifically on other women? This is, of course, taught in Christian schools. But from what I understand, it is always approached from the perspective of there being a man and some measure of safety involved.

Another aspect of this phenomenon is the fact that, for many young Christian girls, it is expected that their life will be a quest for marriage. Many young women that I know are only going to Bible college to find a husband. In fact, this is such a common reason for going to Bible college that those institutions have come to be nicknamed the "Christian dating services". Whether it be in church or elsewhere, young women are constantly told that their sole function in life is to get married and have babies. Yes, they might work a job--but only if it helps their husbands (a moot point for me as, when I have children, I'll be quitting any job I might have held, unless it is ministerial or home-oriented, in which case my children will learn the value of hard work by my side).

I got to wondering why this idea is so prevalent. I couldn't help wondering why so many young women are chained to the idea that they must get married before they can serve God, even though there are many stories that prove that is untrue, in the Bible and out. So, in the interests of starting conversation, why do you think this is? Or do you simply disagree with my premise? Do tell.

- Kyla Denae

Friday, March 9, 2012

priorities and futures

People say that there are many things that shape us--our family, our churches, society at large, what sort of foods we eat, what books we read, etc. Those things shape us, but I believe it is our priorities that show what sort of shape we've been made into, if that makes sense.

For the past three years, I've been meaning to find lucrative employment of some sort. Being a teenager without a stable source of transportation, I necessarily fell back on the classic job of teenagers everywhere: fast food or bagger at a local grocery store. Of course, I find neither of these options particularly thrilling. Actually, they don't attract me at all. The only real job that actually appeals to me on any level is opening a coffee shop or working at a second-hand bookstore that doesn't see much business, that way I can spend most of my time curled up in a corner reading books I've never seen before. That is my dream job.

Actually, I lied. My actual dream job is somehow earning money by traveling. I wish I could get paid for just going places. I wish a paycheck would materialize in my bank account just because I traveled to the Great Wall or went to see the Tower of London or a Mayan pyramid. I wish spending time with the kids at my Good News Clubs would bring in a paycheck.

Basically, I just wish I could subsist on love itself. I wish that all of those times when I'm so deliriously happy that time could freeze and I wouldn't mind at all could somehow be transformed into everything I need to survive. I wish that God would work a miracle for me and birds would bring me food every morning, wherever I am.

My priorities have never been with making money. Yes, I understand money is important. I know it's necessary. I'm learning that more and more as I get older, as I'm suddenly about to graduate and turn eighteen and leave my family and look for life's purpose. I'm realizing that, someday, I'll get married and there will be kids and a house payment and a car to put gas into and utilities to pay and clothes to buy and animals to feed and doctor bills to be paid and responsibilities and little minds to shape. I'm realizing that life can't ever be like I want it to be.

But I still can't force my mind to really wrap itself around that concept. I still want to just set out one day, and just walk across Europe with a camera and a notebook and just write down everything I see and take pictures of people that are going about their lives and will, at some point, wonder what in the world this crazy ginger woman is doing taking pictures of them. I want to go places and meet new friends and learn new languages and get laughed at when I can't pronounce simple words properly. I want to experience every culture on earth and find true love and see a child find a true home and kiss the face of orphans all over the world and adopt one of them--or ten of them.

I want Christ to be my number one priority. I never want a job and the pursuit of money to mean more to me than that. I want to be able to leave everything at the drop of a hat and simply go somewhere because I feel like I should. I want to be able to go dance in a meadow at completely random times just because life feels so good and it would be a shame to waste it.

I never want to be one of those stuffy people who are so set in their ways that they can't live. That they can't breathe. That they can't see beyond what they themselves have seen. I want the world to be my backyard.

Most of all, I simply want to spend every moment being, and being for a purpose. I want to be for the cause of Christ. That is my priority, and I like to think it always has been and always will be. That is who I am, and what I will be.

- Kyla Denae

Thursday, March 8, 2012

open doors

I hear so many Christians say they're pro-life. That they don't want young women to get abortions. That abortion is the most heinous thing that anyone can do. I would agree, in some aspects. I agree that abortion is terrible. But I have to wonder, just a little, what people actually do to help make the situation better.

Do they think that lobbying the government to make laws against it will stop it?

I predict that outlawing it will do just as much as posting a link about stopping Kony on Facebook.

Do they think that somehow telling the government it should stop will make young women magically have other options?

Yes, and we all eat rainbows and ride unicorns to work every day.

And so, without the government to help us, what is left? Why, simply what has always been here: people. People banded together for a purpose, people who know what they want to effect in the world and who will, come hell or high water, make it happen. People who are willing to look past the outer and see the inner. People who are willing to do what Jesus did and help people no matter their current position.

That is why my door will always be open to anyone who needs help and a listening ear. Who needs more help in our society than young women who have no one else to turn to, and helpless children that bear the brunt of societal pressures because of their origin?

I call for all those who claim the label of pro-life to do the same.

- Kyla Denae