You, Husband

To: My Mister
From: Forever Yours
Note: Forgive My Rambles on You

Do you remember the first time you saw me? An actress of a receptionist, I wondered if you’d see anything worthy in me, but I was so jaded, I decided later I didn’t care. Months later, your eyes were still on me, wanting to see my heart. Even when I didn’t recognize you as marriage material, you didn’t miss it. You came after me. You tell me I’m worthy, and I finally believe it. Mister, you are good at seeing people. I’m so grateful for that.

Do you recall our first huge fight? We were both so full up with emotional energy I wondered if we would ever come down from orbit. You ended up in the living room, I ended up in the master closet. But not for long. Why? Because you came after me. Carefully, gently. Willing to be wrong. Willing to be broken with me. Willing to forgive. Willing to work through it. Babe, even when you are right, and I’m wrong and being stubborn about it, you never get haughty or puffed—you reach out with love and grace. Who taught you that? I will always be grateful for how you come after me emotionally.

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My Husband takes pictures of statues of historical figures at the Bible Museum

Do you know the way you do things—simple things, funny things, serious things—it blesses me, all your quirks. How you are a kid with me: my playmate. How you laugh: nerd laugh! How you eat: my man with steak. How you run your fingers through your hair when your mind is a million miles away figuring out the latest puzzle. The way you hold your guitar. How you throw a sheet across the bed to make it: tucking corners in with a vengeance. How you pump the gas, always concerned with if I’m comfortable while you are attending to it. How you can’t stop talking to me when you are excited about something: I’m your closest confidant. How you pet my arm when I’m talking about something and you need to break in and interrupt, but you don’t want to hurt my feelings. Oh, the way you vacuum, load the dishes, throw the trash, sweep a mess! You might as well melt me like butter on a stove.

A thousand special things create you, the real you that I see every day.

I appreciate them all, but I can never seem to say the right thing to convey it. Imagine that. A writer that struggles to find the right words for the one she loves the most.

Maybe that’s the truth of the mess, the heart of the matter?

You are so perfectly suited to being my husband, my best friend, my playmate, that I’m lost in it all.

You’re a dream to me, Mister.

And I value you far beyond all these dreams.

The Creator gave me you, and I freaking love you.

Happy Birthday. 

Here’s to more years for you and I to explore, laugh, love, cry, grow, see, do, and create together.

endkevianaelliot

 

 

Stove-Top Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

I posted a pic awhile back on my Insta about homemade pumpkin spice latte, and a dear friend asked for the recipe. Figured a post with all the info would be best for sharing and sharing and sharing… Lol!

Ingredients:

4 c Milk
2 c brewed Sprouts Pumpkin Spice Black Tea; strongly brewed (This tea contains: black tea, rooibos, cinnamon, ginger root, lemon peels, cloves, nutmeg…… If I don’t have the tea on hand, I just put in the above without the rooibos tea, because I much prefer black tea by itself)
4 tbsp Canned Pumpkin (add way more for a heartier pumpkin flavor)
3 tbsp White Sugar (I use straight dark brown sugar)
1 tbsp Brown Sugar (Again, straight dark brown sugar)
2 tsp Vanilla
1 Cinnamon Stick (Powdered cinnamon is fine if you don’t have sticks on hand)
6 Cloves
6 Peppercorns (I smash my peppercorns or add more for more of a kick)

Instructions:

After brewing tea, add tea and milk to large pot.
Begin to warm up to medium heat s-l-o-w-l-y.
Add pumpkin (heat pumpkin in microwave some to make it easier to stir), sugars, and spices to the large pot and stir in using a whisk.
Cover and heat, stirring often often OFTEN until combined and really hot.
Remove any large spices, stir one more time and serve.

This won’t stay good over 6-8 hrs, so drink up!
(And watch for the sludge at the bottom of the cup. That’s the only warning I’ll give you. Lol.)

Yummy pictures can tag me on Instagram or Facebook.
Hope you enjoy!

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See Forever

Seeing forever would be either wonderful or dreadful.

The Bible teaches I’m an eternal being, and faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (the Great Creator) means I will see life beyond what a normal life will afford.

I think if this current world was it, sans people, I could be contented with that. It’d be wonderful. The Great Creator has made a beautiful creation, and I love looking deeply at something until delight in it and Him overwhelms me.

But that’s not the loving Creator says will happen: the current earth is going to pass away.

So will the enemy of our souls (yay, good!) and so will the current way things are (yipee!)

That means I’ll have new things to discover in eternity. New things to discover about the Creator. New things to love and delight over in His Kingdom (Nation? World? Dimension? Not sure what word will fit.)

Yep. Wonderful.

Evil from the enemy and evil from people hurts all of Creation. When I snapped the above picture, I felt like everything was perfect in that moment.

Then I lowered the iPhone and turned around and saw all the people. Oh snap.

Not so wonderful.

If I were to live for eternity on a planet with people who are all and each looking out for themselves… That’d be bad. Awful. Dreadful.

God has a plan for that, too, obviously as outlined in the Bible. Love and light will reign through Him, through King Jesus.

Why? Because God loves people. And why shouldn’t He? He created them.

I want to delight in people like I delighted in that sunset moment. To see people as beautiful. To love them like God does.

Maybe if I could see forever now, loving people would be easier…

I’d not see people based on their actions for the span of my memory, but I’d see them as eternal beings.

Then, maybe then, I’d try to love as many of them as I could into His Kingdom. Introduce as many of them as I can to Jesus (Who is such a neat Person!)

Yes, I will see forever one day.

But for now, I’m going to dwell on this, and keep asking Jesus to help me see like He does.

 

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Wanter Poem

My wanter is busted, or maybe it’s fine

But it pushes my feelers to so far behind

My wanter sees problems it desires to fix

Often my soul doesn’t want into that mix

The absurd and the costly, my wanter demands

I cringe at its focus, I drown in these lands

My wanter is busted, surely needs saving

Pushed along by it, my heart is done raving

God, please change my wanter to line up with You

Because it’s stuck with me, and You’re stuck with me, too

When Shattered – Phones and Other Things

Phone – My I.T. Girl opinion? I was stupid. I loved how the iPhone felt outside of its case. So that’s how I carried it around. One day, I have it on the dryer while I’m messing with laundry. Then I bumped it. Down to the tile it crashes. As soon as it hit: glass crackage. Right around the camera on the back. My soul let out a scream. I knew better and yet I shattered my phone. The only thing I could do was put it in an Otter Box to cover the glass splinters.

Strawberry Jam – My grasp on the small strawberry jam jar slipped. It may not seem like a big deal, but I love strawberry jam. And we were about out of its goodness. Almost out. (Like, all the household toast is about to cry.) BANG! The jar hit the tile on the bottom corner and then… Shatter shards allllll over the kitchen floor. At that point, you can’t eat it, even though part of the jar is sticking together thanks to the last bit of jam. No, no, no, it’s gone. Done. Sorry, toast, you’re left with butter alone.

Relationships – My INFJ ways are to let things sit while they are good. Then, once they aren’t, decide what to remedy and what to let fail. Unfortunately, I’ve always done this with people (and to this day fight to freaking. stop. it.) It starts with a friend going silent. Sometimes maybe I caused that. Then something doesn’t feel right, good, or nice about the relationship. Too late, I see the shattering, between them and I. A delayed gut-punch. All that’s left to wonder is, will friendship glue fix it, or am I too late? Usually, yes. I’m too late.

Feelings – Life happens. Someone dies. Hurt flares. Expectations are dashed. Pain of an argument that goes on and on, stretching the heart pain on for longer than a month. Peace is hard to hold within, because the “owie” overrides everything. Shattered insides much? All have been there. You might be reading this pointing at your own shatteredness in solidarity.

I get you.

A shattering can happen with anything, anytime. Job expectations. Kid expectations. Marriage expectations. Life expectations.

No one gets away unscathed.

My question is:

Who do we take our shattered parts to? Who really cares?

Does anyone really care?

I’m going to whisper this next part, because sometimes blog voices can get tart and snappish, and I’m not wanting that.

*whispers* 

I looked for answers. I really did. But I only found one who really cares.

Also is the only one can fix it: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Over and over I take the busted stuff in my life to Him, because I am surrendered to Him being the “fixer” in my life. He stood next to me when it happened, and He isn’t upset or mad.* He just wants to be trusted to help. He wants to be trusted to soothe. And He wants to be trusted as the One who never leaves.

He’s never been unfaithful to me. Because, yeah. Stuff shatters.

 

 

*Theologically, Jesus is in heaven after ascending to the Father and the Holy Spirit replaced Him on the earth, so God can still be lovingly with us, for those that care to invite Him in. Triune God = 3 in 1. If you have questions, first read the Book of John and the Book of Acts. Forgive the people that wear the name “Christian”… we are all busted and need our Savior. But He isn’t human. We mess up this Christian walk. He didn’t fail us. He’s perfect, so yeah. He “stood” next to me by the Holy Spirit within me; the Holy Spirit is my direct line to Jesus and God the Father, so artistic liberties on how I displayed it.

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Orchid Photos

Today a friend and I ate together at a luxury grocer cafe. Catching up proved lovely. Then we moved on to shopping.

We bought Rosemary ham from the deli (thin sandwich slices), ogled the baked goods and homemade marshmallows, browsed exotic honey, and smelled 14 specialty bath bombs. Insert huge thank-you to my similarly-bath-loving friend for purchasing the pink bath bomb for me—I can’t wait to use it!

She found kitchen towels that were on sale. I resisted the urge to buy three orchids. Resisted with all my might.

However, I whipped out my camera and had a few moments in the narrow walkway.

The orchids were gorgeous, and I had to stop and stare.

Please enjoy!

Gratitude Series 04

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

Thoughts have brought me to the starting and ending places I find myself staring at.

I have lived through a lot…

My sisters being born. My Abuela’s death. A college friend taking his life. The aging of respected elders. The death of a writer friend, who left behind books unpublished. Miscarriages, amid a sea friends having children and raising children…

The cycle of life and death never ends. And it shan’t, until the Great Creator deems it will.

But I see it now. I can be grateful and thankful for this cycle.

I express gratitude over life on Earth.

I express gratitude over death portals. (Death portals is just a nice way to say the spirit departing a person, as is the order of things now until the next age.)

I express gratitude that Yeshua* took the keys of Death and Hell in fair exchange.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look ​— ​I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Revelation 1:17-18 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

I express gratitude that Yeshua* is the Path to Life.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.

John 11:25 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

I express gratitude that in these things, I can rest, I can be at peace. One bigger than myself, bigger than all this, handles these things that I can’t control.

And for that, I can smile and say thank you.

 

 

*Yeshua is Christ Jesus’ Hebrew name.

 

Gratitude Series 03

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

This isn’t much of a thing, but I think it needs to be addressed… I am in love with our Keurig.

The fact that I’m able to make a hot cup of water or hot cup of coffee almost instantly has revolutionized my Working Day and my home life.

I am so incredibly grateful for this little invention and I’m so glad that it exists at this day, and at this time, in Year 2019.

That is all.

 

Gratitude Series 02

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

Today, I am reminiscing friends. Realizing how grateful I am for buddies.

To all those who are close to me and see me for who I am and love me just as:
I’m so thankful for each of you. I’m even thankful for how we grate on each other. 🙂

For each of you who have been with me for over two years, extra special thanks for your patience with my apparent inability to listen well: you taught me to shut my mouth and drink you in.

My world is so much better for it.

Thank you.

Friend, I Listen

Friend
Come close
Enter this quiet abode
Kneel on this mat with me
Let me make you green tea

Friend
Breathe deep
Let me hear and let me stir
Dissolve the facade free
Our eyes delicately see

Share
Speak all
Empty your heart so I hear
Cry and sip and swallow
Pain poured out makes us hollow

Here
Right here
I listen to what you say
The galaxy of you
I dare not disturb the view

Time
Like tea
I give because you matter
I shan’t hurry us on
Even if we sit ’til dawn

Breathe
And smile
For tea doesn’t stain hearts
It is okay to spill
Be with me and please be real

Friend
Come close
Enter this quiet abode
Kneel on this mat with me
Let me make you green tea

by Keviana Elliot 3/26/19

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Gratitude Series 01

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

 

Steps plodded into unwavering gratitude start with the realization of a 30,000-ft view.

A flyover.

Stare down into the tiny dots that make up memories and backstory and see what’s there.

If I were a commercial airliner, soaring over my life, what would the terrain be made of?

Black dirt. Green trees. White snow. A little further on, endless blue oceans and island-dots. Then finally, land filled with flowers and endless miles of flowering trees. (I think they’re cherry and plum trees… But it’s hard to tell from up here.)

Let’s divide it up.

black dirt.

The nitty-gritty on my life story.

The pain.
The sorrow.
The hard.
The stuff I wish each flood of rain would wash away.

Can I be truly grateful for all of it? #unsure

green trees.

Life.

The places God was gracious to grow it in me.

Through parenting poured out on me by my Mother and Father, and expounded in me through my Heavenly Pappa.

white snow.

Where I started.

With nothing.

Getting to choose nothing.

My life, placed in the hands of others at my birth, innocent brown eyes taking everything in as I aged into a girl.

endless blue oceans.

Chased by the fathomless, ravishing love of my Creator.
Wooed by His worlds.
Drowned by His goodness.
Wowed by Him. Wowed by Jesus/Yeshua. Wowed by what He shares with me.

island-dots.

Worlds for He and I to uncover, discover, and form.

Working together. This is what’s mine to steward under His supervision.

land of flowers and flowering trees.

Blessings I didn’t work for.

Gifts I don’t deserve.

Delightful beauty that is given to me to watch, touch, play in.

 

This is the overview.
This is where I start.

 

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During Grief: Sharing Chores with My Husband

This is what I wrote on sharing chores with your spouse before the miscarriage.

This is what I’ve learned since the miscarriage.

It’s so different doing life while inside grief… I wish I’d known all this before it hit. I could’ve saved my Husband and I some tearful discussions.

1. Stuff is going to fall

Let it.

When dealing and muddling through grief, the priority is letting out the pain. Don’t hold back a good cry because the kitchen is a mess. Just cry it out beside that sink full. It’s healing a bit of you that’s bleeding inside.

2. Give grace

You and your significant other need some room to be yourself.

You need room to do you.

Whatever your mourning/lamenting style is, whatever your spouse’s mourning/lamenting style is, embrace it and give grace.

He didn’t get the grass cut? Hire a guy to do it and tell your man you love him.
You didn’t get the towels folded? Shove them where they go unfolded and take a relaxing bubble bath while you’re so close to the tub.

Grace.

3. Communicate softly

When speaking to each other, pick the softest time. Maybe not early in the morning before the first, comforting cup of coffee, or late at night when emotions are so near the surface. No one wants to hear about the garbage can before bed when they are sad.

Pick the softest place to communicate. Maybe not over text. Maybe not over the phone.

Pick your soft tone when speaking to your spouse. Be careful with one another while you are both so sensitive.

Pick your words carefully. Be extra soft. You both need it.

Chores don’t go away, but your spouse might leave the room crying if you are harsh. Be sweet. Be kind. Be soft.

4. Give more grace

When you wanted the chore done oh, so badly, and it isn’t done, weigh it in light of the future.

Will this mildewed basket of clothes bother me in a year?

Will this messy car hurt me in a few months?

Sigh and just let it go. (Or shed a tear and walk away.)

5. When you can, ask for help

If you can get a little help with your chores, consider it during the roughest grief period.

A house cleaner, a yard man, a chef service, a drop-off laundry service, etc. are a good decision while you and your spouse are distraught.

A friend or a family member might be willing to pitch in, too.

Ask.

It’s temporary and might ease the burden you both feel so you can focus on you.

6. Understand grieving may take a long time

For our recent miscarriage, one friend said the discombobulation could last 4 months, another friend said years.

My Husband and I determined it varies from person to person, from couple to couple.

If you expect grief to take awhile, it just makes everything… more… okay.

After the first two months, I’m writing this after having another crying spell this afternoon. I have to tell myself to slow down still and not be in such a hurry to “be better.” Guilt is not allowed anymore. Why?

It may take a long time.

And no one can tell me (or you) exactly how much time it will take.

7. It’s temporary

Things will get better. They will not go “back to normal,” but they won’t hurt like death forever…

Just keep saying it: this is temporary.

Feel the feels, sob the pain, cry the anger, lament, grieve, but know it’s not forever.

Take it day-by-day. – Kalla L.

I agree with my friend’s saying so much: take it day-by-day.

For example, on a simple day, no work was needed at my job, just a meeting of a creative writing church group for a few hours. I’d planned all week to go, excited to write with my friends, but, the night before, I cried so hard, I nearly vomited. That morning, I woke up with a stuffy, swollen head, exhausted, my heart as heavy as a rock. My Husband encouraged me to forget it all. Scrub the plans. Scrub the pending chores. He’d go to work, he wanted me to stay in bed or on the couch. He proceeded to check on me every two hours. And I needed it. This was weeks after the miscarriage. Weeks.

Just when I thought I was getting “better,” everything would crash again. Week after week.

When one or both spouses are going through times of “okay” then “not okay,” it’s a scary roller-coaster. All you can do is pray, cry, sing to God, cry, pray, sleep- out of exhaustion, rinse, repeat.

The last thing you need is to be demanding of yourself or your spouse. It just makes the season 400% worse. (Yeah, I know 400% isn’t a thing. I’m married to a data scientist. That’s just how it felt.)

Keep reaching out to good support sources. (You know who they are.)

You’ll get through this.

I’m not even all the way, but I’m seeing some daylight now.

I believe it for both of us. Me and you.

You’ll get through.

Then you and your spouse will toast that sparkly clean toilet. And on that future day, you’ll say it.

I’m going to be okay.

 

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