That’s actually pretend.


Real Love

I was going to say that I don’t mean to break this to you, but I really do mean to break it to you. If you haven’t heard this before, or don’t seem to understand what I’m about to tell you, be sure to read it over and over and over again until you do.

Most of the things around you are actually pretend.

“What? You’re crazy.”

No, really.

“Um.”

Really. Let’s observe. What decides what you do? How you do it? WHY you do whatever it is that you do? I’m willing to bet it’s for three main reasons:

1) Because someone told you to.
2) Because you’re afraid someone will think less of you because you don’t.
3) Because it’s what everyone else does.

Even if this isn’t it for you (which I am certain for most of the world, it is.), there is a serious joke being played on us.

How can we have a culture that is anything, if all we exist to do is please one another? Half of what you think in your head, either you made up, or the person next to you made up. The lies, the garbage, the “fulfilling” alcohol that you continue to drink. It’s all a sick illusion – a pretend form of real life.

Real is defined as such: Actually existing as a thing or occuring in fact; not imagined or supposed.

I am willing to say that most of your decisions in life about the kind of person that you are, are based totally on pretend premises. That you do them and if you ask yourself why you do them, it’s not because you, at the core of you, know that it’s the right thing to do.

Instead, it’s because of some other fluffy pretend stuff.

Here’s your job for the day.

1) If you haven’t sat in silence for ONE FULL HOUR of your life with no interruptions, do so. Get to know yourself. And Jesus. Those things are in the quiet places.
2) Pick two things you do because someone else told you to that you know aren’t what you should be doing. And then stop doing them.
3) Write down how you see yourself. Then, reverse all the things that say you’re worth nothing. Write down that you’re worth everything as many times as it takes to believe it.
4) If you hate your job, just quit. Stop wasting your life.
5) Go hug your mom, dad, siblings, friends, and maybe even the homeless man on 55th street.
6) Eat fruit.

7) Stop pretending. Stop letting others pretend. Let life be real and quit being afraid of the beauty that could come to you if you just let life be real.

…because love wins.

 

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In the Hall of Fame.


ImageOften in life, as a leader of many who is also a young adult, I’ve had a lot of lash back. Not that people didn’t like what I was doing, or didn’t want to walk alongside me, but that people often times didn’t (and don’t) believe what I am saying or that why I am acting is genuine.

But the reality is, even in this broken world, some people are still honest. And some people really do still care about you. And they don’t do things half way. They are loyal. They will come in the middle of the night – probably with your favorite tray of cookies.

And they aren’t here to push you under or away.

In the midst of bombings in Boston and explosions in Texas and entire countries unaware of the outside world because of tyrants, be a sparkle. Be a light. Don’t let people who aren’t genuine make you think that you can’t be either.

It’s that kind of thing that gets you in the hall of fame.

…because love wins.

Waiting.


Fifteen years ago today I was in a cold hospital, waiting to start 49 weeks of chemotherapy. If there was one thing that I got good at while sitting in the hospital, clinic, or that year, was waiting. Not that we ever get good at waiting, I suppose, but I did get more accepting of the reality that time moves as it does.

When I have been healthy in my life, time has flown. As soon as it gets hard, I have the flu, or I have a cancer check-up, I wait again. And it’s hard.

But I’ve learned, that the waiting can be a wonderful time to know myself, and to know Jesus. That while I want something I deem good to come, it is already here. If I’m waiting, I’m already running the race for Jesus.

And I’ve learned that chances are, the waiting is time for me to rest. So just like I rested before a battle for my life, I’ve learned to always wait, serve, and live.

I’ve learned we’re never really waiting – what we want, we already have.

His name is Jesus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozjzeQ9oiSM

…because love wins.

Heartbreak.


New ThingsSometimes it seems like everything hard is happening all at the same time. Do you get that? Do you know what that feels like? When you lose someone?

When you lose yourself?

This has been one of those years. Not just a day, or a week. It’s been a brutal year. Loss of people, loss of places, loss of security, loss of knowing. I’ve been way way way down. I’ve cried more than I’ve ever cried. And I’ve learned again the beauty of coming up. I’ve laughed more than I’ve ever laughed.

I feel alive. More than ever.

Last night a friend of mine called me after having a hard week himself. He doesn’t really know it, but his own bright spirit in the midst of a breaking down is enough to remind me that I have climbed up the hill. That I have more muscle, and that while I’m not to the top of the mountain yet, that this climb is beautiful.

Heartache is a mountain.

And your heart is a muscle. I say that a lot, after hearing it performed live in a song with a friend who has also been through great loss, and I learned that it’s true.

Heartbreak isn’t real. Our hearts our muscles, growing stronger as we climb. They don’t ever just…break.

Today marks 15 years since the day I was told I had stage 4 bone cancer. I remember the day like it was this morning. My heart races when I think of it, and I remember how afraid I was. I thought my heart couldn’t possibly beat again.

But here I am, 15 years later, even after a rough year, standing, looking up at the mountain, and smiling as I take one more step.

Just let the light come in. I promise you deeply, friend…this is not the end.

…because love wins.

My leg, for you.


I never met the man to whom I gave my prosthetic leg, but his name is Francisco. He lives in Nicaragua, and because I had rotationplasty, he was able to use one of my old legs to walk – all the way across the world. 

You know, we’re not made for anything but to hold one another up.

Walk strong, Francisco. It served me well – and now it’s yours. 

Image

 

…because love wins.

You are a beautiful thing.


This is one of my favorite songs, forever, and for always. You are a beautiful thing. Because God made you that way. Accept it, and let it be beautiful.

…because love wins.

Your Heart is a Muscle.


“It’s times like this you must be calm. You gotta work it out, make it stronger, try for me, just a little longer. You say love’s a fragile thing, made of glass, but I think your heart is a muscle.”

Our hearts do not just break. They hurt when they stretch, but they get stronger after that. Don’t you give up. You will not break.

Your heart is a muscle.

…because love wins.

How to be happy.


1.      Enjoy simplicity.

2.      Smile as much as possible.

3.      Live for today.

4.      Love each other.

5.      Watch the sunset.

6.      Read hundreds of books.

7.      Listen to great music.

8.      Love yourself.

9.      Learn from your mistakes.

10.  Understand that no one is perfect.

11.  Eat ice cream in summer.

12.  Build a snow fort.

13.  Act like a kid again.

14.  Take nothing for gratnted.

15.  Live up to your expectations.

…because love wins.