Monday, September 26, 2011

My Favorite Jacket

I have this jacket that I wear all the time and take with me everywhere I go. It's been on the swivel chairs of lecture halls, the padded seating of amphitheaters. . . It's been in more cars then I can count and in more stores then a local mall. It's navy blue, one of my favorite shades, and the inside is gray. But the best thing about this jacket is that it isn't mine.

Nope, this jacket isn't mine, nor was it given to me. I more or less took it from someone when it was left at my house and never gave it back. It smelled like them for the first week. It was a wonderful mixture of redwood musk and sea salt breeze that made me feel warm and protected. And now this jacket smells like me. It's been away from it's owner long enough that it's lost their scent.

Now if you were to smell this jacket you'd say this obviously belongs to JoAnna. I've had it for so long people no longer ask me if that is my jacket or someone else's. But why am I telling you this?

As Christians, we are to treat salvation like this jacket. When we first become Christians, we put on a new coat of salvation that covers our sin and makes us something new. At first it takes some getting used to. The 'salvation jacket' might seem odd for awhile, and people around us will notice that there is something different about us. Old friends may give you a hard time for not continuing to 'hang out' with them. And you might have a hard time getting used to your new scent. But here's the best part...

When we ask God to come into our hearts and forgive us of our sin the Bible says:
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

That means that once you put on the jacket of salvation, you are a new person! You are a saved person who will live in eternity when you die with Christ. The world will notice.

The difference between my jacket and salvation is:
-It was given to you as a free gift
-It's permanent, you can't take it on and off
-You become a new person now that you have it on
-Your scent becomes the smell of the jacket and your old scent goes away

As you wear this jacket, instead of it starting to smell like you, you start to smell like Christ (which believe smells really really good). Then people start to notice and you get the opportunity to share Christ's love and transform other peoples lives! Don't be afraid to wear this jacket with pride! You get to spend forever in heaven with a God who loves and cares about you. Echo Christ's love, so that the whole world may hear!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Emo Writing Prompt short story

So I felt like I needed a creative outlet tonight so I did this prompt.
This is Super EMO of me. But I was feeling like I needed to do some creative writing and I like this Prompt :) I will be blogging about my usual things this weekend.

Prompt: Take the lyrics of your favorite song and combine them to make a story. Every word must be used in either the body or the title. No extra words either.

Lonely Lullaby (Look up the lyrics if you want to understand my short story)

The ring in my ears pours in a scream as the nightmares take me. These gloomy nights wear on and on and I can’t sleep. I’ll never forget the howling wind and rain holding me the nights I turned bitter. I remember the flushed pink fairytale that sparkled above my tired eyes when I loved you. But the scream of my nightmares was fast to dissolve you. And now the lonely lullabies in my ears turn me icy blue and cold.

Remember when the rain froze when I was holding you? You were my treasured dream and I was the symphony of a silver star. Though she was my lily, my dream come true, she can’t hold me when the nightmares take me. Though she was my Princess, my someone to hold, she can’t dream me in before the dawn. Though she was my love, she can’t sooth me these nights.

I remember these nights when I dampen the eyes I love. I'd rather forget, but I can't. I’d rather scream at you the nights you hold me in my darkest dream. I’d rather take my bitter lullabies and dissolve you when I blink. But I can’t. Because I can’t forget you. I’ll never forget you.

I loved you. I love you.

Forget when I scream, when I’d rather be bitter. Forget when I’m holding fast to the gloomy nights and howling in the wind. Forget my overcast, icy blue world. Forget when I dampen our tired lids.

Remember when I was holding you in the rain. Remember when I sang you fast asleep. Remember when you flushed pink and I froze dizzy in love. Remember me because I loved you. Remember me because I love you. Take me, Annmarie.

Emo I know. :) But that's my favorite song at the moment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Key to Love

Thousands of people gathered around the girl standing in the midst of Times Square. With eager faces, they searched her eyes and counted her every breath, waiting for her to speak.

“I’ve found the key to love,” she has said during an interview on Good Morning America last week. She would not disclose this knowledge to the millions of viewers glued to their television sets as she spoke softly into hush of the crowds. “If you want to know,” she had said, “meet me at Times Square on September 13th at 7 o’clock. I will release the key at that time.”

For the next week following the interview, people booked flights and hotel rooms, they drove distances and crossed oceans. No one, not even the greatest of scientist, had been able to decipher the key. To think that this small girl could know what has baffled others years and years. All had failed to find it until this day. This day would change everything.

September 13th had finally arrived. The girl stood in the midst of the masses of hungry eyes, black with anticipation. Her palms sweated, her knees shook from under her. She felt the sun beating down on the part of our hair, tanning her scalp and pealing her skin. She had been standing there all day, anxious to tell the world what it was that she had discovered. The clock struck 7 and she brought the microphone to her lips. A whisper that would change the world.

“I’ve found the key to love,” she said, sliding her fingers into the pocket of her jeans. She pulled out a photograph. It was small, delicate and held the most powerful image the world would ever see. She held it up to the sky and every eye on Earth went moist with tears. Some in the crowd cried out and some cheered. Everyone felt relief, joy and peace. At this moment, everything made sense. The tiny photograph that brought the world to its’ knees. . . was a photograph of you.

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goodbye my Love, Farewell.

The books laid flatly in awkward angles amongst the fingerprinted shelves. Cd's lay strewn across the countertops, packaging hidden between the cases. The walls began to shed their skin as ten years of wooden arms were ripped from their proper placement. The area was a disaster zone and a few brave men and woman were all that was left to tell the tale.

It's a very sad occurrence to lose a bookstore. Especially one that has made such a powerful impact on the community. Patrons from all over would come to peruse the shelves for new releases and settle in the coffee shop with old classics. The smells of pages being turned and drinks being served gave the room a glow much like a home away from home. Everyone was always welcome through its doors. No matter who you were or who you wished you were, you were always welcome here.

The sounds of laughter filled the stock room as pallet after pallet of books came pouring through the gate. Opening each box was like opening Christmas morning, finding new stock to share with favorite customers and friends. Employees would gather in its doors and continue to enjoy each others company long after they had left their shift for the day. Not one person didn't have the other in their phone or connected to them online. Everyone loved each other. If their own families were not accepting or they needed someone in the worst of times, they knew that they would always have a family to go to here.

Now as the countdown began to its final day, the family would have to face the most difficult challenge of their lives. They would be forced to watch their beloved store be mangled, beaten, and tossed aside like a wave in the sea. Together they would endure tongue lashings that made lips curl and pick up the masses of litter left by the vultures who came to pick on the dead body's remains. They would cry many tears and serve as a shoulder too many to cry on.

No one would quite understand how these people felt. In fact, they only had each other in which to relate such a travesty. But to each other they would always remain faithful. To the feel of a hardback book, turning pages with your fingertips and sealing spots with a paper mark, they would remain faithful. To the smiles they shared, the joy of working in such a magical place, and the people they have encountered along the way that shaped their lives, they would remain faithful.

I will miss everything about you.
I will miss the little chime the time card machine made every time I clocked in and even more so when I clocked out for lunch.
I will miss the phones ringing off the hook and customers wanting 20 copies of Heaven is For Real.
I will miss the way the register pops open when a customer actually pays with cash.
I will miss the multiple Borders rewards cards and the really old ones that no longer scan.
I will miss listening to whatever we felt like on the overhead, even if not everyone loves Glee.
I will miss helping customers realize they need to read Harry Potter and then being there with them as they journey through each book.
I will miss running back to the stock room every time I hear the doorbell ring.
I will miss the rotating microwave and the comfy yellow couch I laid on when I was sick, tired or had a dislocated hip.
I will miss my locker right under someone else's locker which was never ever locked.
I will miss my work family. My work mom, my amazing friends, and listening to random people being serenaded by someone tall with shaggy hair.

And I will miss you Independent Reader...Oh how I loved you so. The way your shelves incased me. Like my own little world full of every book I'd ever read. I lined your walls with my favorite things and lured people into your pages so that they too can cry at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows. I babied you, kept you clean and raised you like a child. When they took you from me, I lost a part of my heart.

I love you all so much. I wrote this because I needed to let it all out. And I knew no one would understand but you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

When The Old Man Sees The Sun

The old man sitting on my usual park bench hunched his shoulders downward and lifted his wrinkled eyelids toward the sky. Children laughed and chased each other along the pathway. Joggers bounced weightlessly to the rhythm of the wind swaying through the trees. A vendor under the oak tree let out a bellowing cry as he tuned into the game and prayed effortlessly for God to strike the opposing team dead. Everything was as it should be, except that old man.

Everyday for the past year and a half I've come to this park bench at precisely 4 o'clock to read books by long dead poets and drink terrible coffee from the Whistle Stop. I usually sprawl out my belongings and sit in the middle, as to ward off stragglers searching for a spot to rest their weary legs. But today there he sat.

I walked over to him with a cross look on my face, folding my arms and not attempting to hide my annoyance. He did not look at me, nor did he acknowledge my presence in anyway. He just sat their, saggy eyelids closed tightly, staring at the sky.
I decided to not let this slight distraction completely destroy my daily routine. I sat down next to him on the far left side of the bench and opened my latest copy of Hemingway.

"Isn't it lovely?" said a voice sounding like old age and slow tides. I looked over at the man who sat, eyes closed, face still tilted toward the sky.

"Is what lovely?" I asked, trying my best to not sound rude, but I'm sure it came out as anything but.

"The sun of course," he stated mater-o-factly and carefully lifted his hand towards the sky reaching as far as his arm would allow. At this point I knew this man was more than likely delusional. Old age must have battered his mind making me feel a tad more sympathetic. I decided to give him a few moments attention.

"Everyone knows there is no such thing as the 'sun'," I replied, gently touching his forearm and bringing his hand back down to his hip.

"Young man, can you not feel its warmth?" he asked, starting to truly worry me. I contemplated making a run for it.

"I do feel warm but there is no such thing as the sun. People made up that lie a long time ago, sir," I said, trying to break the news to him gently as I too stared up into the blank white sky.

"My son, do you see its light?" he asked. Looking around I saw light, but that was because it was no longer night. But I began to realize I didn't know where the light came from. Nor did I know why I could feel warmth prickle against the hairs on my skin, sending heat through my blood.

"I do see the light that comes with the day, but sir there is no such thing as a sun," I replied feeling awful for crushing this mans hopes. . . if that is what he was searching for. . .

"My boy, you feel its warmth and you see its light. Its right there in front of you, blazing in the sky. It tans your skin in summer and gives you nutrients you need. But yet you tell me it does not exist."

The old man grunted deep in his chest and slowly began to push himself up off of the park bench. He grabbed a cane, I had not seen previously, and began to stalk away with shuffling feet. Poor old man. Living in a world where he believes in imaginary suns and who knows what else. . . He doesn't know what he's talking about. . . Right?

I stared intently into my palms as they glistened in the light of, what? I looked toward the sky and closed my eyes. I began to focus on the light I could see pouring through my tightly shut eyelids and the warmth that kissed my face and brought life to my skin and bones. Maybe what I've always written off as crazy wasn't so crazy after all. Maybe it all makes sense.

I opened my eyes and for the first time. . . I saw the sun.