Is Anyone Loyal to Purpose Anymore?

OH how I love TD Jakes.

My whole frame is shaking as I type these words…why has it been so long?

It seems I only write when my passion MEETS pain. It’s when we choose to overcome intense emotions of passion and pain we begin to experience purpose. 

TD Jakes says, “Great passion and great pain are the wonder twins of purpose. You cannot have great passion without great pain.”

I walk swiftly and purposefully. Every step I take from my heel to my toe screams with energy.

I can’t deny my doubts and fears. Sometimes when I’m running down the stairs in the mornings to catch the train, some strange thought rushes through my mind as I watch them fall behind me one after the other. The thought goes,

Hey, imagine if you slipped right now and shattered your face on the cement? You’re going so fast, one wrong step and you just might ruin everything.

An image of myself falling with my backpack dragging me to the brutal force of the sharp edged steps emerges. I shake my head and think,

Now that would be a disaster.

When I’m almost to the bottom of the steps the thought screams louder,

HEY, REALLY YOU’RE GOING TO BREAK YOUR NECK! 

I roll my eyes,

Come on, don’t be ridiculous. YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE YOURSELF FALL.

Down the steps and I’m nearly running to the heavy door at the end of the hall. I push it open with might and a loud breathe. The sky is brilliant. I take it all in. The sun sneaking up behind the East mountains, preparing the switchboard with anticipation. The clouds’ shadows stretching out freely with static jubilance. The air humming sweet melodies to prepare the tune of a new day.

The air plays the music,

The clouds dance the song,

The sun lights the stage–

We are the audience. 

When I get to the station, the regular eyes of strangers find mine. I wonder if they notice the performance. Sometimes I smile and think a thought to them (if that’s even a real thing),

Do you see it, too? The masterpiece of this new day?

I think they hear me. The responses are mixed,

YES! Aren’t you glad we got here early to watch it begin?

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT? Don’t smile at me.

Sorry, what did you say? I don’t have the time…

I’m too sad to watch another performance. I’m too lonely. it’s just the same dance, the same song, the same stage.

What are we supposed to be watching again?

The train arrives and the passengers crowd inside. Everyone’s staring at the same glass pane, but few look out the window.


Is anyone loyal to purpose anymore?


What was that thing you always wanted to do? The thing that when you did it your thoughts screamed, “Hey slow down you might fall?” The thing that made you uncomfortable, but caused you pain when you didn’t do it?

Keep going and burst through the door! Leave your fears behind you.  My friend, the performance is about to begin and you don’t want to miss it. Who knows, someday you might be the one passing out tickets or saving a front row seat for someone else.

Consider this quote by Marianne Williamson,

“You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

With nothing but Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

Check out TD Jakes Motivational Speech, “Passion & Pain” for more!

 

 

 

 

Legacy

He stared forward and with the focus he emulated from dark serious eyes, I knew I had better listen.

Not to say what he wanted to tell me was important. Not to say my idea of importance meant importance…because no matter where my opinion lied, what he had to tell me was important.

IMPORTANT.

Become a legend and leave a legacy. That’s all that consumed my thoughts at one point in my life. Now the word “HEAL” swirled around my hearts deepest desires. Yet, the first mention of the word “legacy” and my ears immediately turned up a notch.

Would I be prepared to die for my belief, my legacy? The question hung in the air like a bird soaring toward a tumultuous wave of water.

The bird broke through the water, grabbed its prey and soared forward..it won and its victory was one of majesty and grace.

“Yes.” I said slowly with a pounding heart.

His response caught me off guard, “Okay. Good. I’m just making sure you know where you are going.”

I thought for a brief moment.

Not the where…the why. The why is what consumed the where and the moment in time. Decisions rolled from my spirit in to reality with awkwardness these days. I knew where I was going, but the why seemed to be the solution to what would give me the comfort I sought for peace of mind of my direction.

But when speaking in terms of the path to one’s destiny, fate is inevitable. Awkwardness, uncertainty, doubt, fear, mistakes…they make the legacy a reality. Fate cannot be escaped, no matter how unprepared you are…you’re going there and it’s happening.

Embrace the discomfort, I thought.

Embrace it and let go.

Carousel – The Daily Post

I’m convinced it’s the initial take off that excites a carousel rider. You wait patiently for your turn in line, maybe eaves drop on the conversation of the person in front of you, then when they make eye contact you turn away quickly and pretend to be staring off in to the distance. Sometimes you even make faces at the little baby behind you when the mom is looking away. If you’re me, you count the number of times the carousel goes ’round before the worker let’s on the next group. Yet, it seems the anticipation of anticipation is what makes the carousel keep spinning round and round, isn’t that why we choose to wait in line?


One day the line vanished and she walked passed the gate and sat down on the Carousel.

No direction–

No need for anyone to tell her where to go or what to do, except of course the Carousel.

The sun shined bright in the sky and her heart expanded as the Carousel made its first round. The closer to the top, the more she could see, but even the passing highs couldn’t stop the lows from snatching her from the view. She let it carry her on and on, she chose to stay put and not to get off. She started out her ride by counting the rounds, but after a while didn’t pay any mind. She trusted the Carousel, even when her over-sized heart beat at the top with suspense. She smiled at the possibility of the Carousel trapping her and even welcomed the anxiety mixed with fear. The idea made the ride more life-like and the realness of uncertainty made her certain, after all…

She trusted the Carousel.


“The Heavenly Father does not ask for golden vessels. He does not ask for silver vessels. God asks for yielded vessels – those who will submit their will to the will of the Father. And the greatest human attainment in all the world is for a life to be so surrendered to Him that the name of God Almighty will be glorified through that life.” – Kathryn Kuhlman


Yield your vessel, trust the Carousel.

With Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

Amble – The Daily Post

She didn’t seem to really care what the rest were doing. The rest who made shades of color become grey in comparison to her walk down Main. She walked. She sang. She laughed and shook out all the insensible thoughts plaguing her soul. Confidence in the unseen is all it takes to experience the promenade of a new life. Soft “hallelujahs” and “thank yous” escaped between her pink smiling lips without thought or reason. One would’ve seen such a vessel and never thought twice that her life had been nothing less of limitless.

Yet, her amble walk only came as a result of where she had come. She once sunk back in to a shadowed corner of her very own prison cell. Who would’ve thought such a beauty could’ve been in a place like that? But that was yesterday, not today. Today she sang praises glorifying her liberator’s name. And tomorrow she would do the same. Tomorrow she would show up at the prisons of others and whisper the secret of liberation. His love would set them free—as it had her! And like a stone rolling down a hill, gaining momentum as it goes, so would this girl’s testimony. Rolling and rolling…faster and faster…

“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink: thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” – John 4:10

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

 

Untitled

I knew the package came from her and I knew what was inside.

I sat with furniture and suitcases tightly packed around me. The only space being my own little corner where I could easily shift in to gear and steer the wheel to my new home. I wanted to tear open the package. Pour out its contents on to my lap. Read the letter I knew was waiting for me inside. Discover the unpredictable treasures of what I knew would be articles of clothing or trinkets she found at some time of day, in some random place…All manifestations of her thoughts of me. Gifts speak truth to the love harbored by the brokenhearted for the brokenhearted. She loved me unconditionally and I had chosen to let her go.

The way the manila envelope felt in my hands sent my heart in to my throat and the heaviness of nausea and stillness consumed me for a brief moment. My blood felt cold and my heart seemed to be the only part of me still moving forward through time. I listened to it thud loudly against my chest and in an instant the package laid unopened on the floor. Without thought, my limbs did what they needed to bring the car to life.

I was behind the wheel driving the car, but someone else was breathing strength in to my limp body. I had become increasingly familiar with this fresh breathe of air over the past few weeks, each new breathe had grown larger than the one before. Once again, He came to my rescue. Right there in that moment. There He was.

He now steers my wheel.

And with that thought I pushed down on the gas. His peace warmed my blood, the nausea dissipated, and the car moved forward with a smile…

 

“Can You Endure the Silence?

Of walking out your faith before God, who does not always speak to your insecurities? Sometimes God says nothing at moments of tremendous insecurity. He does not talk just to make you feel good. He will speak to you at pivotal moments in your life.” – T.D. Jakes

 

With Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

First Friday – The Daily Post

First Friday of my life.

First Friday to end this lie.

First Friday to let God take the prize.

First Friday without my strength.

First Friday

To know where I came.

 

First Friday of my life.

First Friday unafraid.

First Friday to surrender my disgrace.

First Friday without what I will.

First Friday

To walk while He tells.

 

First Friday of my life.

First Friday, no more pain.

First Friday to kiss His face.

First Friday without broken faith.

First Friday

I’ll take what He gave.

 

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

Hidden Dome: The Soul of Durham

Anticipation leaked under cool blue skies

And feet crunched fallen leaves.

Roads whined sweet tunes of time

And age freed leaning trees.

What to make

Of this place not known;

This hidden dome—

Where nature says, “Move slow.”

 

People passing people with each step

And some stop to chatter.

Arms linking arms to keep warm

And some break for laughter.

Who are they?

These strange strangers?

The souls of this painted picture?

 

Destination reached under darkened skies

And mouths kissed mugs and glasses.

Taxis blurred through city lights

And chips lifted drunken masses.

What to make

Of this place not known;

This hidden dome—

Where evening says, “Let go.”

 

People passing people with each step

And some stop to chatter.

Arms linking arms to keep warm

And some break for laughter.

Who are they?

These strange strangers?

The souls of this painted picture?

————————————————————————–

I wrote the poem above as an ode to Durham, England where I once had the privilege to live. The moments I spent venturing through the city shops or jogging along River Wear made me feel I belonged among the carefully placed paint strokes compromising the scenic landscape. Not only does Durham lend truth to the idea of a tight knit community, but the community itself afforded me with an opportunity to meet English locals and some of the most intelligent people from around the world (some being English locals).

During the day, students of all cultures and backgrounds would intermingle up and down the cobblestone streets. The level of anticipation they shared to take part in lectures, and countless hours spent in the library researching their various topics of study, infected the air and you would find yourself beginning to wonder what you’d been doing with your life! The pure beauty of lush green fields and colorful leaves reflected the glory of autumn in to the winding rivers. The worn stone buildings stood strong with rich ivy leaves curling around the window frames. The bridges carried its travelers from Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle to homes lining the curvy streets. Years and years of rain and wind blackened the bridges’ ledges and green moss peaked through their cement foundations—all to remind you of the first forward thinking minds who crossed the same rivers centuries ago; the first to commit to challenging the known and discovering the unknown.

During the weekend nights, locals grouped together in pubs, dance clubs, and fish & chip shops (to soak up the alcohol of course–which is why I say “chips lifted drunken masses”). Students huddled together on weekend nights to enjoy a couple drinks as well. However, most students were spotted on weekday evenings around Durham’s City Centre. Wednesdays, for example, were considered “sports night.” The institution’s sport’s teams crowded in buses to compete in Badminton, Cricket, Fencing, Lacrosse, Hockey, and other common sports played throughout the U.K. Win or lose, the teams headed straight from their buses, courts, and fields to buy a pint (or five).

Begging the question, “Who are they? These strange strangers? The souls of this painted picture?” represented my quest to connect with strangers of a new country at that time in my life. My curiosity toward the differences marked by the students’ and locals’ upbringings, and how these differences contributed to the painting of Durham, England, posed more weight on the idea of “soul” then it ever had before. “Soul” took on a double ant antra. Like myself, all beings I encountered in Durham contained souls. They were full of life! Yet, all the souls found throughout the city today and once long ago, gave the city its own unforgettable identity. The souls created the soul of Durham City! Despite the beauty of the scenery and the history of the city, without the people there would not be a heart to the body of such a glorious place. Nor a painter, to apply its paint strokes.

Thank you for reading!

With love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

A Little Bit of Love and Wisdom

Desires

Written by Thomas E. McKay:

A philosopher was accustomed to going out into the hills and woods to study the laws of nature. After spending a day in such study, he would return to his village at night, where he would gather his people around him and instruct them in the lessons which he had learned.

One day one of his friends came to him saying, “Will you please bring me a hawthorn twig when you come back, that I can study the lesson you gave last week from that tree?”

“Yes,” the philosopher said, “I will bring you the twig tonight.”

The second one of his friends that morning said, “Will you bring me a rose, that I may study concerning the lecture you gave last evening?”

“Yes, I’ll bring you the rose.”

And just before the philosopher went through the gate of the town that morning, a third friend said, “Will you bring me a lily that I might study the lesson of purity you gave last evening?”

The philosopher promised to bring the lily.

In the evening about sundown when the old philosopher returned to the village, the three friends were waiting at the gate to welcome him.

To the first he gave the hawthorn twig; to the second he gave the rose; and to the third he gave the lily.

Suddenly the man with the hawthorn twig cried, “Here is a dead leaf on the stem of my hawthorn twig!”

The second said, “Here is a thorn on the stem of my rose!”

And the third one cried, “Here is dirt on the roots of my lily!”

“Let me see,” said the philosopher.

From the first he took the hawthorn twig; from the second he took the rose; and from the third he took the lily.

He plucked the dead leaf from the hawthorn twig and gave it to the first friend. He plucked the thorn from the rose and gave it to the second. He took the dirt from the roots of the lily and put it into the hands of the third.

Holding the hawthorn twig, the rose, and the lily, he said: “Now, each of you has what attracted you first. You looked for the dead leaf, and you found it. You looked for the thorn; it was there. You found the dirt of the lily because I left it on the roots. You may keep what attracted you first. I will keep the hawthorn twig, the lily, and the rose, for the beauty I see in them.”

We find in this world just about what we are looking for. If we look for dirt and sordid things, we can find them; or if we look for mistakes in others we can find them also.

If we look for the good and the beautiful, the good and the beautiful will return to us.

–Excerpt from Albert L. Zobell, Jr.’s compilation, “Storyteller’s Scrapbook”

With Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

My Problem with Black Lives Matter

Some call me white girl;

Light skinned; mulatto.

Others aren’t so nice–they tell me,

“I’m wanna be black,

But don’t talk, don’t act.”

 

When I was younger,

My defense would go:

“My skin’s light, but my daddy’s black.

My brother is black.

My grandpa is too.

 

My knees get ashy.

My hair gets frizzy.

Behind me, you’ll find a booty.

And my black daddy

Gots baby mommies.”

 

Why is it these things

Defend my black pride?

Who gets to define true black life?

Black culture is real;

Exclusive; not white.

 

My mixed brother once

Told our white mommy,

“You aren’t my mom because you’re white.

I am full black so

How can I be white?”

 

Why did my brother

Feel white made him lack?

Was it because he’s called white boy;

Light skinned; not full black?

Shame–led his attack?

 

Or was it because

Of all the cracked jokes

Implying we act certain ways

If we wish to be

Part of the black race?

 

We all see the hurt.

We all hear the fear.

But may we recognize that skin

Shouldn’t define life

Or level of pride.

 

Black lives matter!

Indeed, they do.

So why does our

Black life only matter,

When we’re as black as you?

 

Now you see why

“Black Lives Matter”

Is a movement

Challenging to accept–

My black life’s lost; ersatz.

 

Dr. King knew

The solution:

Education

Gives power, acceptance

Shows love–the real answer.

 

Thank you for reading.

With love,

-KelseyWithSomeJo ❤

Watch the video of me reciting my poem here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYWcXzyBTGA&feature=youtu.be

 

Transforming the Past

“The past is the past.” They say, “Bury the past. Don’t look back, look forward.”

Three AM I lay asleep in my bed. I hear someone coming down the stairs and talking in a hushed tone. My stepfather cheating on my mom, talking to his mistress. I choose not to tell my mom. I try to forget it happened.

San Diego, 2005–I am on vacation with my dad and my older brother. My first time seeing the ocean, its vastness makes me feel for once I am not alone. God must be real to create something so large, open, and free. My dad disappears one night with a woman, my brother and I passed out in the back of the Range Rover parked on the beach. When we return home to Utah his girlfriend questions me. I tell the truth. My dad is disappointed. He yells at me. I know he is embarrassed. I ask for forgiveness and we bury the past.

I talk to my grandma about my pain, she tells me I can have enough faith to move a mountain. I believe her. The summer before I start high school she discovers she has one of those incurable diseases…Stage 4 Uterine Cancer. She refuses Chemo and we visit her regularly for the last four months of her life. The last day of her life, we gather together around her bedside. God wanted us there as she took her last breath. I laid next to her and told her I loved her. I witnessed her give her precious spirit willingly to the unseen place where a soul finds rest. She died on June 25th, 2010. On this day, I learn life has purpose, but I resent God for using these terms to teach me. I put the lesson behind me.

I wake my younger brothers up (on my mom’s side) on a weekday morning for school. I help them get dressed, pour their cereal, then the milk, finally sending them out the door at 7:30AM sharp. Successful people are on time, I tell myself, My brothers will be successful, they will break the odds. My brother born after me, my mom’s second oldest, struggles with Tourrets and OCD. At 13-years-old his teacher tells him he will never amount to anything because he is a jerk. That night, we stay up laughing and talking about Grandma and Uncle Jeff (who shortly died after my grandmother due to prescription pill abuse), I tell him not to believe his teacher. We move passed it.

My mom is going through her first divorce. I am in my room when I hear something shatter. I rush upstairs to find a broken bowl–its pieces scattered across the kitchen floor. My mom is crying and refuses anyone’s help cleaning up the glass fragments. She’s now a single mother again and has reverted back to the mentality of survival, showing no weakness, no emotion. Until something breaks, and then she does too. I cry with her, begging God or whoever is in charge to make her suffering go away. I want to provide relief. But just like she refuses to let me rid the shards of glass from the floor, she refuses to let me rid the shards of glass from her heart. I go to my room, consumed by thoughts of how I can be a better daughter, soon I fall asleep. The next day is as if nothing happened. She buries the past.

I sit in Sunday School, a year following my choice to be baptized and confirmed a member of the LDS faith. I am eleven-years-old. Being at church makes me happy. I memorize all the last names of the families who attend every week, families with cohesion, function, normality. The lesson is on repentance. “Everyday,” our leader tells us, “you sin. God remembers all of your unrepented sins, even the ones that seem insignificant, and you will too when you stand before him.” The wheels turn in my mind and I ask if we should write down all of our sins to remember what to repent for at the end of the day. She tells me I am right to keep a record and to do whatever it takes to make it back to God. I keep a list of my sins. I keep a list of my family’s sins. I keep a list of the world’s sins. Later on in life I will look back at this way of living and use it as fuel to fire my desire for true compassion through Christ, Jesus.

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:10

There is darkness in our world and many people see “dwelling” on the past as unhealthy or counter-productive, but I share these experiences to show examples of inconceivable heartache being transformed in to pure grit and strength.

Every single one of us have weak things God is waiting to make strong. We show God our vulnerability by living imperfect lives and making destructive decisions. Sometimes we don’t understand our desire to choose something contrary to the benefit of our lives, decisions directly effecting our loved ones. We’re influenced by others, by our pasts, by false perceptions and lies, by pride and selfishness. Yet, without weakness, we cannot be made strong.

Dig deep to find yourself. Sometimes you might take a risk and the result may appear to not work out in your favor. But risk is always in our favor. When you take risks, the outcome will force you out of your comfort zone and lead you to discover your truest self, to discover your heart’s rawest desires. (Even if it hurts at first, the end result is worth it.)

You cannot love someone if you do not love yourself. You cannot love yourself if you do not accept who you are. You cannot accept who you are until you know who you are.

All the hate we harbor for past decisions, regrets that linger in the back of our minds, resentment towards our trespassers, self-pity…it must be expunged and replaced with love for our past, gratitude in the back of our minds, forgiveness towards our trespassers, self-worth.

We all suffer, we all laugh and rejoice. I believe God gave us families, friends, and communities so we could provide one another with consolation. I am 20-years-old with few answers to infinite amounts of problems. But answers or no answers, until the day God wills my heart to stop beating, I will not stop fighting to console the distress of others or my own.

Let’s not bury our past, let’s bury our hostility and instead, let’s discover new ways to use our past to find resilience–to create a brighter future.

To those out there fighting the battle of coming to terms with distant griefs and unhealed wounds of what used to be, you don’t have to force yourself to let those things go. They are beautiful because they made you who you are, they are beautiful because you lived through them.

New perspectives, more love…

With Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤