best dressed

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


It was Christmas Eve, and rain poured.

It wasn't snow, not anywhere close. The car thermometer read seventy-three degrees Fahrenheit. She sat on the left side of the car, as she always did, but her legs were crossed in an unusual fashion due to minimal leg room and the dress she wore. 

Her camera sat in her lap, and she held it with both hands, guarding it almost. The way the streetlight made the raindrops glisten fascinated her, and she tried to capture it through the lens. Her friends often laughed at her. You take that thing everywhere. 

They laughed now; she heard them distantly, detached. She clung to her camera, holding it, remembering.

Best dressed.

She had walked into the party with three inch heels. They gave her extra height, extra confidence. A fifty dollar necklace hung around her neck. She hadn't bought it herself; it was a gift, but she didn't tell them that. Her dress came one about an inch from the top of her knee, school dress code, but somehow people still stared. Perhaps it was a good kind of staring -- she hadn't yet learned the difference.

She didn't dance, only hiding behind her lens. It was her solitude, her break from the stares. Were they good stares? Was a stare ever good? She would never know. By the end of the night, she was named best dressed. 

Funny. Best dressed, and she couldn't even manage a smile. She hid behind gray eyeliner and cherry blossom blush. Falsely whitened teeth tried to smile at the people she never had enough guts to talk to. And that was that. 

Best dressed.

Now she sat in her car, her father and mother in the front seat. They talked about her grandparents visiting the next day, Christmas day. A rain-filled, seventy-five degree Christmas day.

Her house wasn't far. She took off her heels before climbing out of the car and into her room. There lie two weeks of dirty laundry, and unfinished thank-you note, and now, her paper plate award: best dressed. She still clung to her camera, flipping through the pictures. Best dressed.

She found a picture someone had taken of her. She was smiling. She didn't remember ever feeling happy. She would post it, she thought, and perhaps the gullible public would fall under the spell they so often did. That her life was perfect, that she never cried, never had a free Friday night, always had seats to the football game.

She looked at her paper plate award once more, holding it up in the mirror and flashing her winner smile. 

Best dressed.

It seemed that, in reality, that was all she ever amounted to. 

-------------------------------------

Hi, all! So, I know this is a little heavy for a season that is supposed to be so joyful, but it's fictional, I promise :)

 I got to thinking about this the other day. Sometimes, I think we look at people on social media or even in person and we think that their lives look so put together. They always look nice, always have perfectly whitened teeth, always seem to top every other girl. I think we forget that no one's life is perfect, and the pictures posted on social media are just the good side. 

It's important for us as high school students to remember that everyone has struggles. No one is perfect, so to compare ourselves to others is ridiculous. The lesson is this: girls, stop comparing yourselves to other girls and be content in the way God made you. We're all unique, all made for a different purpose. 

Psalm 139:13-16 says this: 
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

You know what this communicates to me? That God spent a whole lot of time making you you. To be discontent in the way God made you is to be discontent with His works. Take care of the body God gabe you, and be content with it. I promise that God is using you and your story for His glory right now.

Merry Christmas, y'all! 

A Blanket and a Basket

Wednesday, September 30, 2015



Take what you want, they said. The rest will sell.

A tisket,
a tasket,
a blanket,
& a basket.

Ink black hearts
spilled onto
pages of white.
Glasses,
once filled,
as empty as
the night.

How does one
take what has
already taken
her? A pillar,
a pen, a heart’s
chauffeur?
How does one
take the 
memories
made, or the 
place that made 
her first dream 
of Adelaide?

A tisket,
a tasket,
a blanket,
& a basket.

Ink black hearts
spilled onto
pages of white.
Glasses,
once filled,
as empty as
the night.

All that is
left of a
childhood full,
the rest no
one can pull
from the walls
and the windows
and the feel
of the night.
They’re lost,
all gone,
vanished from
sight. Is that
really right?

A tisket,
a tasket,
a blanket,
& a basket.

Ink black hearts
spilled onto
pages of white.
Glasses,
once filled,
as empty as
the night.

Take what you want,they said. The rest will sell.


m.s. reid 


--
P.S. I would really, really, really appreciate your feedback on this post. Did you like it? Would you like to see more posts like this?




the art of letting go

Tuesday, August 25, 2015



I was determined
not to write him poems,
not to sing him songs,
not to limit him to the boundaries of my pen.


For what would he be
but just a figment of my mind,
a wisp of jumbled words,
a puddle of murky water?

So I learned the art
of letting go.

I released him
to the clear mountain air,
to the early morning sunrises,
to coffee shops and campfire worship.

There he was real,

and there I found him.

m.s. reid

--
p.s. hold on; he's coming soon.


p.p.s. ignore my awkward arm hair in the picture above.

Shalom: A Charge to Students Everywhere

Monday, August 17, 2015




- I actually entered this photo in Glory Haus's Live Original Contest, and I really like the way it turned out, so I'm using it for this post. -
Back to School Part 5

I think all of us can say that we have had a little bit of a bad attitude about school, the dreaded s word. I know I have. (Like, a really bad attitude. Ask the madre.) Half of me dreads walking into the hallways of my high school, and half of me is strangely excited. All of me, though is nervous about how everyone will see me. I've been writing all summer, trying to encourage people with my words. I've been setting a standard for Christian teenage living that I often can't meet, and I'm afraid people will see that. I'm afraid that I'll become so frustrated that I'll break and fail in front of everyone.



Keeping that in mind, I have one last challenge for everyone, including myself:

Let's stop the gossip and lift each other up instead. Let's stop beating around the bush and be truthful and loving at the same time, like Jesus did. Let's stop building up barriers around our cliques and be genuinely nice to everyone. Let's spread shalom wherever we go, creating an atmosphere of peace and acceptance. Let's recognize sinful behavior with a loving attitude without endorsing it, and let's look into our own hearts daily to see if there is any sin we need to confess before we criticize others. Let's be real wherever we go and stop saying, "I'm fine," when we're really not fine. Let's bear each other's burdens and really care about each other.

I'm tired of drama and bullies. Let's make people realize that the greatest joy comes from spreading God's peace, not spreading hate and building up barriers between fellow classmates. Even if we're bound to forget at least a fourth of what we learn, let's really enjoy high school and be ourselves, because you know what? Puzzle pieces don't all look the same, but when they're put together they form a beautiful whole.

My prayer for myself and everyone this year is one of my favorite verses: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14).

Let's be the light, Christians. Let's point to Jesus instead of ourselves and live a life that He would approve of.

Good luck at school, everybody. Let's make this year count.

What a (Jesus) Freak

Sunday, March 22, 2015
            It had been a fairly normal week, I thought, as I stood in the carpool line after school on Friday, talking casually with a few friends. As if on cue, though, a guy walked up and started talking to people around me. As he looked at me, he said, “Mary Shelley, you post a lot of Jesus stuff on Instagram. I mean it’s, like, every post. You must love God a lot.”


            I was a bit baffled, to say the least, and on top of that, I completely passed up an opportunity to share my faith because I didn’t really say anything to him after his comment. I got to thinking about it that day, and I told my mom about it after school.

            She said to me, “You should have said, ‘I do love God a lot. I’m a Jesus Freak.’”

            I laughed and didn’t say anything back, but her comment sparked something inside of me. I realized that I believe what I believe for a reason; yes, I have been raised hearing the gospel my whole life, but it took time for God to soften my stubborn heart, and when He did, I was exposed to wonderful, amazing grace. I used to see God as a crutch, like a pain-killer, but over the past few years, I have begun to realize that what I believe is my whole life.

So yes, I am a Jesus Freak. But, wouldn’t you be, too, if you thought that everything was lost, that you were a hopeless, ugly mess that could not be rescued?  

            I believed for so long that I could somehow save myself. I wanted to be that one rebel in the family who didn’t follow in her parents’ footsteps. I wanted to be different, so I tried; I really tried to be good on my own. I always said “please” and “thank you” and called everyone “ma’am” or “sir,” but those were just little, tiny things, and surely weren’t enough for me to be considered good, so I tried harder. Soon, though, I saw my human nature surfacing more and more. All of a sudden, or maybe not so suddenly,  I was lying to get myself out of things, calling people names, and being generally mean.What had happened to me? I couldn’t fix myself, and I had rejected God’s grace. He surely wouldn’t accept me now, after I had openly defied Him.

            I continued to try, and when I was ready to abandon my effort, it was time for my first year of summer camp at The Wilds of North Carolina. I was excited to be away from my family; there would be less distraction. I would finally feel free, not constantly watched by the withering glances of my parents. It was a Christian camp, and I was exposed to so much there. I remember walking through the beautiful trails there and just really feeling God. I knew He was real, because how could this earth have come to be without Him? There was an evangelist that spoke there. I remember him making us call him “Brother Will,” and thought it was funny that he wanted to be my brother when I was only nine. He had to be a least forty. He spoke about God, the One I knew to be the Creator, with such passion and sincerity. I was scared to come to God, though; I think I thought He would somehow punish me for all bad I had done. Brother Will didn’t speak that way about God, though. God wanted me, he had said. Surely it was too good to be true. I ignored the rapid beating of my heart, like God himself was knocking at the door, waiting to come in.

            One night, although I don’t remember the day, something hit me. The message wasn’t even on salvation. (I think it was about bitterness towards God, or something.) I felt a feeling like a blood vessel had exploded in my heart, and the tears began to flow, first slowly, then like a river, the sobs racking my body. I couldn’t hold it in. To think that I had tried for so long, that I was completely convinced that I could do it on my own, and God still wanted me. He didn’t need me; He wanted me. He wanted to cleanse me; He wanted to dwell in my heart. He knocked patiently, not getting frustrated or annoyed, but with a constant, valiant effort. On that warm, summer night, the God of the universe captured my heart. But he didn’t ride up on a white horse in shining armor; He hung on cross, willingly giving himself up for me.



            So yes, I am a Jesus Freak. What more would want to be? God chooses my weaknesses to show His strength. He loved me at my darkest, and if that isn’t amazing grace, I don’t know what is.