Tuesday, April 22, 2014

So Much Like You (A Poem)

I'm surprised to find myself posting this poem.

I have a friend who is really into poetry, and I've been thinking about writing more poems myself. 

Today, I had a random urge to write a poem....and I came up with this. I haven't written a poem in FOREVER, mainly because I'm really bad at rhythms and rhyming things, and word choices, and iambic pantameter vs. trochaic hexameter,  stressed vs. unstressed syllables, and line lengths, and subtle vs. not-so-subtle symbols, and things like that.

The really cool thing about this poem is that it sort of turned into my own little psalm of praise, and it talks about how awesome it is that we are made in the image of God.

Feedback would be nice, and if you guys would like to see more of this sort of thing, please let me know! :)

So Much Like You

(a poem inspired by Song of Solomon 4:7)
by Hayley Robinson

“All beautiful you are, my darling.
There is no flaw in you.”
Oh, these words are so thrilling,
and how wonderful, that they should come from You.

You, a majestic and perfect God
who loves me for me and never changes.
How often I’ve fought
to never be thought
of as the strangest.
Yet, You have always sought
and have always pursued me.

You, perfectly and amazingly generous and good,
Who knows all things before they occur,
And so often I nod off to sleep,
Falling into a place where all is a blur
And then I forget who I am in You
Until You help me remember.
Without You,
I never could.

All beautiful am I?
Lord, how undeserving of these words am I,
that You of all beings--
You, among all things--
should find me flawless, perfect, and beautiful…
That You should find me
to be

So much like You.

You, who created time and space,
You who put the stars in place,
You who made the world with Your breath and Your word
With Your words and Your breath, O Lord,
You made the entire world!

You of all beings--
You, who are beyond all things--
Created me
So that I could glorify, worship,
and always be

So much like You.

“All beautiful you are my darling.
There is no flaw in you.”
Yes, Lord, I accept it now.
Surely I must be
If my place is to bow
before You.
Surely You created me
to be

So much like You.

And if my place is to be like You,
Then of course, I must be without one flaw,
Even though I’ve broken every one of Your laws.
You’ve so graciously forgiven me.
And each day you give me the chance to be

So much like You.

To breathe,
To act,
To speak,
and to always be

So much like You.

Question for the Reader: Do you like my poem? :) Do you write poetry? Who are your favorite poets? (Any Dr. Seuss, Emily Dickinson, and George Herbert fans out there?)

"And God saw that it was good. Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them." --Genesis 1:25b-28a

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Where is Death's Victory?

I wrote this post last night, and this morning at church we sang this song:
"Oh death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory?...My God is not dead, he's alive! He's alive!"I think this is one of the best messages about Easter.

It's 10:27 pm, the night before Easter, and I've been thinking a lot about some of my secret fears.

One of them, I think I conquered today: for about a year now, I've been working on a piece by Charlie Parker on the alto sax called "Dewey Square." It's very difficult, and for the last few days, I was a little afraid to perform it...what if I messed up and completely ruined it? What if I'm not as good as I thought I was? What if all of that practice goes to waste? What if people think I stink at it? What if I made a mistake choosing to play the piece?

But I knew I had to.

Maybe I'm making this too sentimental, but when I first heard the original recording, I fell completely in love with it. It was fun, it was light, it was quick, and it felt like a song that entirely expressed overwhelming joy...and it's jazz. :)

So I learned it.

And then when the recital was coming up, and it was time for me to pick a tune to play, I couldn't choose any other one but Dewey Square.

Finally, approximately 5 hours ago as I write this, it was time for me to perform. I had never been so nervous leading up to a performance in my entire music career, probably because I've never worked so hard on a piece leading up to a performance before.

Let me introduce you to one of my secret fears: disappointing people. This falls under the same category of  perfectionism and unnecessarily killing myself to make everyone like me, when it will inevitably never happen.

When I walked on the stage for the dress rehearsal, a wave of peace overcame me, and the rehearsal was practically perfect. At the final performance though, I was a little bit more nervous knowing that this was "the real thing." I messed up a couple of times, but hardly anyone noticed. When I watched my dad's videotape of the performance, I could tell where I messed up, but I knew that was only because I was the one on stage.

Afterwards, I felt so happy to have finished it once and for all. I found myself asking, "Why was I ever nervous and afraid in the first place?"

Tonight, I just finished watching "The Book Thief." As some of you know, the story is narrated by death, which for most of the film, absolutely sickened me. It was gross to hear how death would think of a person and his/her life in general. It was quite condescending.

The very last line in death's narration was this: "I am haunted by humans."

Isn't that perfectly excellent? I could not have been more happier about that statement when I heard it.

After all of the revolting language that death had used to describe mankind, the truth comes out: death is afraid of us.

This leads me to my confession of another secret fear: anything related to death, ghosts, horror, or evil that is invisible to me, or surprises me.

It's a funny thing about fear though: fear is something that often comes from something we feel threatened by, or unloved by.

For most of my childhood, I have hated Halloween, especially haunted houses, haunted house rides, ghosts and disgusting, horrifying images on the neighbors' houses, and worst of all: people who would invite me to stare all these things in the face...and enjoy it!

The reason I dislike these things so much is because they are the absolute opposite of who God is. God is life. Those things are death. God is love. Those things are fear. God is amazingly good. Those things are dripping with evil. God looks out for me, and keeps me safe in His arms. Those things want nothing but harm for me...or at least want to laugh at my fear. God says, "I love you, I will keep you safe, and all is well. You are so important." Those things laugh at me and try to make me feel small.

When I heard that death is haunted by humans, I rejoiced to God.

THANK GOODNESS that Jesus has overcome the dead. Praise the Lord that Jesus overcame death, giving us the privilege to be sons and daughters of God: which gives us MUCH more power over death.

And that's why death is afraid of us.

Now I can go to sleep tonight knowing that I need not be afraid of death. In all of my years being afraid of things relating to death, I know now that death is much more afraid of me, taunted by me, and hates me, because through Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection, I am no longer a small, meaningless lie, like death is.

Because of Jesus, we now represent death's greatest conqueror, which we also celebrate in Jesus's resurrection today:


Happy Easter!

"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." --1 Corinthians 15:54-58

Monday, April 14, 2014

Letter to the Readers: Questions, Anyone?

Hi everyone,

So you've probably seen that big ominous box on the blog for the last couple of weeks containing the promise of awesome posts coming soon.

It finally starts today.


One of my favorite ideas on the poll above is to have an interview with me and the readers, but I also liked the vlog post idea.

Here's how this is going to work:

For the next few days, you are all invited to send me any questions you'd like (within the bounds of appropriateness and reason!). It could be anything from "What is your favorite color?" to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" to "Who is your favorite baroque musician and your favorite artist from the 17th century?" (I'd have to do a little historical research to answer that question, but I'm willing!)

All you have to do is send me whatever question(s) you have in the contact form to the left of this post. Make sure that you write your question in the message box in the following format:

"Interview Question: What is your favorite color?
--(Name or "Anonymous" or one letter "Your blog bud" or whatever you like to sign your messages with.)"

That way, I know that the question you're asking is intended for the vlog post, and isn't a private question. Plus, I get more questions for the video and I get to know my readers, which makes me a happy camper. :)

I do not intend to shut down the contact form anytime soon, but I'd like all questions for the interview to be sent in by this Thursday, April 17th. 

Then, I'll go through all of the questions that I receive and make a vlog post about it (hopefully within the month of April).

If you have any questions about this interview in general, feel free to leave a comment on this post.

I hope you all have a marvelous day, and don't forget to send in those questions!

This is going to be so much fun, and I'm really excited!!!!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014


You guys....


As some of my friends would say: "alksdjflsjdfal;jdlfja;lskdjf"

Or if you are more of a visual person...

Roll the clip:

Other reactions include:


Get. Out!!!


I mean, just...for real?


*Squealing like a little girl*



Thanks for walking with me down Happy Reaction Lane, and welcome back to VH.

Why am I so excited you ask?


Roll the clip again:

Sorry, I just really love that clip. :) Haha.

It's called the Liebster Award: 
Isn't it preeetty? :)

The Liebster Award is an award for encouraging readership and followers for new bloggers.

These are the 5 rules for accepting the nomination:
1. Thank the wonderful, awesome, amazing blogger that nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions that the nominator provided.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
4. Post 11 different questions for the nominees to answer.
5. Contact your nominees to let them know that they've been nominated for the award.

Lois, you're the best! Thank you SO much for nominating me for the Liebster Award (as well as the Versatile Blogger Award) and as always, best wishes to you on your blog: You, Me, and a Cup of Tea. It's definitely one of my favorites.

Now here are the answers to your questions:
1. Who's your favorite author?
Oooh, that's a tough one. I really enjoy C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, and John & Stasi Eldredge. I can't really decide between the three. C.S. Lewis writes great fiction as well as nonfiction books that really make me think; Jane Austen writes beautiful stories that are almost like fairytales to me; and John & Stasi Eldredge have written excellent books that have shaped my worldview and spiritual walk.

2. What is your favorite book?
Besides the Bible, I'd have to say that Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is my favorite book, because it's written by one of my favorite authors, and it has really great messages about important lessons in life. Thinking more about why I love this book so much, I should really write a book review in another post, because I don't have enough room to write about it here. To be continued!

3. Why did you start blogging?
A couple of reasons. First, I wanted to have a place where I could share thoughts, opinions, and life updates with friends, family, and classmates online. Secondly, I saw that a lot of my classmates in my online school program had a blog, and it greatly appealed to me. I also knew it could help improve my writing, which I have always enjoyed doing.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
I can't pick just one! My favorites are The Cosby Show (re-runs), I Love Lucy (re-runs), and The Mentalist (not a re-run!). I don't usually watch anything else.

5. What is your favorite movie?
I really like "The Blind Side," "Pride and Prejudice" (Yes, the Keira Knightley version, don't judge me!) and "The Princess Bride." I'm also a sucker for most Disney movies. :)

6. What is your current school status?
Approximately 6 1/2 weeks left until I finish my junior year of high school!!!! Yipee!

7. Peanut butter or nutella?
Nutella. Definitely nutella. Moving on...

8. If you could go on your dream vacation and money was no object, where would you go? 
First I would go on my church's missions trip coming up to Hungary, and then I'd probably explore the rest of Europe, as well as New Zealand.

9. If you could read a book for the first time again, what would it be and why?
I'd probably choose "Epic" by John Eldredge. It was the book that I read before I was baptized (that was 7 years ago yesterday!) and I've grown so much spiritually since then, that I wonder what it would be like to read that book again as if it were the first time.

10. What is your favorite book to movie adaptation?
This took me a while to think about, but one of my favorite book to movie adaptations is "Hoot." The book written by Carl Hiassen won a Newberry Honor, and the movie was directed by Will Shriner, and starred Logan Lerman. It's a great story about a high school teen boy who moves from Montana to Florida and ends up saving a population of endangered owls. I strongly recommend both the book and the movie.

11. Do you like tea?
Of course! My favorite tea is combining Country Peach Passion and Raspberry Zinger (they are both from the Celestial Seasonings brand) and adding stevia. 

(In my best impression for an Academy award winning actor reading off a list) "And the nominees for The Liebster Award are..."
1. Rejoice Always by Sarah Berry
2. The Hill Country by Moriah Robinson
3. Serendipity by Alicia Lewin
4. Emily is Smiling by Emily
5. Country Girl's Daybook by Iris Hanlin
6. Positively Ducky by Karen
(I could list 6 blogs, but not quite 11.)

Here are my questions for you, nominees:
1. Who are your heroes?
2. What is your favorite Bible verse?
3. What is your favorite quote?
4. What is/was your favorite class/subject in school (college courses count!)?
5. What is your favorite part about blogging?
6. Coffee or Tea?
7. On-stage plays or Movies?
8. If you could listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
9. If you were a book character, who would you be?
10. What is the highest-priority item on your bucket list?
11. What is the best blog post you have ever read or written yourself?

I will be sure to contact the people on the nominees list, just in case they missed this post. 

Thank you to all readers who encourage me to keep this blog going, and therefore make it possible for me to have won an award today. :)

Question for the Reader: What has been your favorite post on this blog?

"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." --Psalm 37:5