Christmas Peace

In my church’s Christmas concert this year, we sang, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

‘Tis a common theme of songs and stories and Scripture quotations at Christmas. After all, the angels sang to the shepherds: “…on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (see Luke 2:14)

Yet Jesus said something very interesting, almost startling, to His disciples.

“Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.

“For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two and two against three.

-Luke 12:51-52 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Matthew 10:34 says, “I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”

At first glance, it doesn’t seem to fit with the Jesus who died to save lives and is not willing that any should perish. But seem is the operative word here.

Jesus didn’t come to set the world at war. Division is an unavoidable side effect of His mission.

He came to redeem people. To free them from sin, Satan, and death. If everyone accepted that redemption, then peace would reign on earth.

But someone has far too much to lose if everyone chooses redemption. Satan would completely lose his power over humans. Oh, sure, he’d still be able to tempt them. But they would be equipped to resist his lures. They’d be armed to withstand him as never before. They would no longer be his slaves.

And he will stop at nothing to prevent his captives from slipping away.

So Satan convinces people that Jesus is the problem. That all who follow Jesus are a threat. To freedom, to pleasure, to life. Anything to get souls frightened and furious at the very thing which could save them.

Clever distraction tactic, is it not?

Unfortunately, this distraction tactic tends to ensnare Jesus’ followers, too. We see all these people attacking us, and we think we have to attack back. (Best defense and all that.) We fall into bickering and bitterness, cruel words and worse. But we miss the real enemy. We think it’s the people charging against us. It’s really the devil who has deceived these people.

It’s such a brilliant plan. It keeps the slaves safely bound, and keeps the redeemed ones wasting their energy on the wrong enemy.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

-Ephesians 6:12 NKJV

That’s why God commands us:

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

-Romans 12:18 NKJV

Christians are not supposed to be quarrelsome, contentious, argumentative, rude, disrespectful, unkind, or violent. We may be hated and despised because we follow Jesus, but we shouldn’t retaliate. In fact, we don’t need to retaliate; it doesn’t do any good. Our job is to live peaceably as much as possible.

But guess what? Sometimes it’s not possible. We may do everything in our power to have amicable relationships with others. We may bend over backwards until our heads touch our heels (figuratively), and still be unable to appease those in our lives who just cannot stand us.

That’s okay. That’s when we step back and pray because the enemy is not the person in front of us. The enemy is the “spiritual hosts of wickedness.” Until Satan’s defeat, begun on the cross, reaches its culmination, there will always be conflict on earth.

See, Jesus didn’t come to give peace. He came to be peace.

The angels’ message was true in the most literal sense possible. Peace had come to earth—because Jesus Himself is the Prince of Peace and He had come to physically dwell on earth. Peace was truly on the earth for the first time.

Now those who believe in Him have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within them. We have peace. Mind-blowing peace, if we choose to embrace it. (see Philippians 4:6-7)

So as we sing this Christmas of peace on earth beginning with us, it is a worthy goal. We should strive to let the peace of God dwell in us and spill over into our relationships with every person who crosses our paths.

And when people dislike you, despise you, or hate you for no apparent reason, take heart. Division is just part of life in this world.

One day, Jesus will come to this earth again. And at His second coming, He will finally establish peace on this earth.

-Miss Darcy

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I Am Thankful, 2018

I am thankful for…

  • All my needs met. I have a middle-class American lifestyle; literally every one of my physical and material needs is met.
  • Books. An endless source of new knowledge, and also entertainment.
  • Church. Sometimes I think the Church in America is so broken. But even in its brokenness, God somehow still uses it to draw me closer to Him. After all, it’s His Church, not mine, and we Christians need one another.
  • Dierk. He’s the main character in my novel, Prince of Sunland, and by saying I’m thankful for him, I mean his whole story. I’m just so grateful that God lets me write stories. They’re not perfect, but they are mine, and I love writing them.
  • Everlasting life. Much as I enjoy this life, it’s good to know there’s something far-and-away better after I die.
  • Family. We weren’t created to do life alone. Hence, family. Far too often, humans twist the gift of family into a curse. But it was meant to be a blessing. And mine is.
  • Good friends. Friends that give encouragement and laughter and even a gentle rebuke or a pointed question when I need it.
  • Home. We associate “home” with a certain place, and I daresay that plays into it. But there are four people who make a place home for me, and we can make home anywhere.
  • Ice cream. Because I believe in being thankful for, and delighting in, little things.
  • Justice. Isn’t it good to know there is such a thing as just and unjust? I mean, can you imagine how the world would function without it? Disaster.
  • Kids. I’m so grateful for the children God brings into my life so I can love on them.
  • Love. From God. From family. From friends. I’m so rich in this blessing.
  • Music. (And the sense of hearing so I can enjoy music.) I think God created music to speak to our souls in ways that words can’t. And when you match powerful music with powerful words… Perfection.
  • New places. Wherever God brings me, He always brings good things and good people into my life. I enjoy it!
  • Order. I’m thankful the sun rises every morning and I can count on it. Can you imagine a world without order?
  • Peace. God’s peace is like a bedrock. You can plant your feet and not be moved.
  • Quiet. We weren’t made for constant noise and busyness. Sometimes we do our best growing in quietness.
  • Righteousness. Through Jesus Christ, I am clothed with spotless righteousness. Is that not an awesome, breath-taking truth?
  • Scripture. We’re lost without it.
  • Truth. In a world where people can’t tell good and bad apart anymore, I’m thankful Truth is something beyond mere human wisdom.
  • United States of America. Despite her flaws, I love this country dearly, and I’m grateful I was born here.
  • Variety. Sameness in people and things would actually be easier. But variety is more fun.
  • Written words. The beauty and power and creativity in written language never cease to fascinate me. Besides, it’s a gift God gave to only one of His creations—mankind.
  • Xmas. That is, CHRISTMAS! My absolute favorite time of the year. I’m so thankful Jesus came to redeem us, and I love celebrating it with music and lights and food and gifts. The season officially begins in our house tonight!
  • Yahweh. The Lord GOD, Creator of the heavens and the earth, who is yet mindful of me. I could never thank Him enough for all His goodness.
  • Zo-ay. (Sorry, had to borrow from Greek here.) Zo-ay is life. I am so grateful for this life God has given me. It’s a little bit crazy, but it’s good.

In view of this extensive list of my blessings, feel free to remind me of it if I get to whining anytime soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Miss Darcy

He’s Already Shown Us

I’m talking about a song today, but, for a change, this is a modern song. Although probably no one would either know or care that I quoted the lyrics here, for copyright reasons, I can’t do that.

So here is the YouTube video.

Aside from the initial ignorance in the first verse, where the songwriter speaks as if he’s able to hide things from an all-knowing God, when I first heard this song, I sort of liked it. But to be perfectly honest, I thought it was a little impertinent. “Show me this, show me that.” As if God is obligated to do what we want in order to secure our favor. I mean, I believe in cultivating a close relationship with God, but does that mean we should go around making demands of Him?

Eventually, I kinda got over myself in that regard. I daresay the Psalms make requests in a tone that could be interpreted as either demanding or pleading. And God does not turn His ear away from our pleas.

With this new viewpoint, I listened to the song some more, and I finally understood why it didn’t ring true for me.

It was the questions themselves.

The songwriter asks the questions almost as if he hopes desperately to receive an answer yet doesn’t really expect one.

But these questions have already been answered.

The songwriter asks God to show him five things:

  1. That a broken life is redeemable.
  2. That God can handle blunt honesty.
  3. That God never lets go.
  4. That God’s love will never leave.
  5. That grace is for people like the songwriter.

That a broken life is redeemable.

Have you read the story of David lately? How he fell into spectacular sin, but when he repented, God redeemed him.

Or the story of Mary Magdalene? She was possessed by seven demons. (If that’s not broken, tell me what is.) Jesus cast them out, and Mary became one of his most devoted followers—and the first to see Him after the resurrection.

Or the story of Paul? The man killed Jesus’ followers, but Jesus redeemed him and the Holy Spirit inspired him to write a large portion of the New Testament.

Those are just a few examples from Scripture. A broken life, be it ever so shattered, is definitely redeemable.

That God can handle blunt honesty.

I’m not sure exactly what the songwriter means by “handle,” but I guess he’s saying he doesn’t want to shock, embarrass, or turn away God by his honesty.

Have you read the book of Leviticus lately? Or Ezekiel? Or some of the other prophets? Some of the laws concerning personal hygiene and physical ailments indicate that God isn’t likely to be embarrassed. And that chapter in Ezekiel about Oholah and Oholibah is pretty shocking if you ask me. (Chapter 23, if you must know.)

I daresay honesty, even the most blunt, isn’t going to be a turn-off for God.

That God never lets go.

Here’s an interesting one because it very innocently hints at a controversial doctrine. I’m going to leave the doctrine alone and peek at few Scriptures.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

-1 John 1:9 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

-1 Peter 4:19 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Ephraim has encircled Me with lies,
And the house of Israel with deceit;
But Judah still walks with God,
Even with the Holy One who is faithful.

-Hosea 11:12 NKJV (emphasis mine)

God is faithful. It’s part of His nature. He’s not going to be the one walking away from you.

That God’s love will never leave.

Let me take you to one of my favorite passages.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Romans 8:38-39 NKJV (emphasis mine)

God’s love doesn’t run out.

That grace is for people like the songwriter.

Based on the first verse where the songwriter mentions scars, weakness, and hidden things, I suppose he thinks of himself as having a broken life to some extent. I refer you back to point one, where we see that a broken life is redeemable.

Most assuredly, grace is for broken lives. And if I may quote the most famous verse in Christendom …

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

-John 3:16 KJV (emphasis mine)

Whosoever. That covers everyone.

“Show me,” the song asks over and over. But He’s already shown us.

I suppose it’s not the questions I have a problem with. Doubt and insecurity come to every heart. The deeper the heart’s wounds, the more susceptible to those doubts.

The problem is the questioner is looking for answers in the wrong place. He wants a voice from heaven or a supernatural experience or something dramatic.

And while those things are lovely, and I believe they sometimes happen, that’s not where we start.

We start with the Truth God has already given us. His Word.

When we have honest questions, it’s okay to ask them. Then we should go to the Bible and find the answers.

-Miss Darcy

P.S. Lest you think I have a vendetta against MIKESCHAIR, here are two of their songs that I love. 🙂

“Let the Waters Rise”

“All to Jesus”

My Life Like a Castle

I read a devotional a while ago that talked about our need to allow God to conform our lives to His blueprint. I sat back and pondered that for a minute, thinking about what God’s blueprints might look like.

Perhaps because I’m mildly fixated on the Middle Ages these days, it came into my mind that God’s blueprint for my life might be a castle.

A castle is a seat of authority.

The castle’s owner rules from there over his domain. The majestic walls, besides being practical, also declare the owner’s power.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

-Matthew 28:18 NKJV

Jesus is supposed to be the owner of our lives, yes? Our lives are supposed to be a seat of His authority. For everyone to see.

The best place to build a castle is on a hill.

It strengthens the defenses, and it also makes the castle visible. If a hill wasn’t readily available, castle builders would often build a hill before they built a castle.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

-Matthew 5:14 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Jesus’ light is supposed to shine brightly in our lives. Like a castle on a hill. Impossible to hide.

A castle is a place of safety.

It is built to withstand attack. It is guarded well. It has watchmen always vigilant. And it offers safety to those under its care.

[that you may be] strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

-Colossians 1:11 NKJV (emphasis mine)

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

-2 Thessalonians 3:3 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

-1 Peter 5:8 NKJV (emphasis mind)

God delights to strengthen us according to His glorious power. He Himself guards us from our enemy. But He requires us to be the vigilant watchman who calls upon Him the moment we see the enemy approaching.

A castle lasts for generations to come.

Granted, they eventually fall into disrepair. But even among the ruins we see traces of their original power. And they don’t deteriorate in a single lifetime.

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.

-Proverbs 20:7 NKJV

When one person’s life is wholly dedicated to Jesus, his or her children will reap benefits. God lets our righteousness carry forward into blessing for our children. If the generations eventually turn from Him, the blessing will cease. But the goodness carries further than we know.

A castle often stored riches.

The lord of the castle delighted to collect the best furnishings he could afford. He cared for them and passed them down to his children. Carved and inlaid furniture, dishes of precious metals, gorgeous tapestries, beautifully wrought weapons.

Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

-Matthew 13:52 NKJV (emphasis mine)

The treasures we fill our castles with are mined from the Word of God. We bring forth things new, such as the words of Jesus, and old, like the truths the prophets preached.

Our treasures are worth so much more than gold. They are the very words of life for the whole world. Truly. Our treasure can save the world if the world would only receive it.

So I went on pondering about the idea of my life as a castle, and I found it appealing. Why would I not want my life to represent God’s power and riches?

And then it hit me.

A castle is a target.

Every single part of a castle is designed for defense, to hold back enemies.

The fact it’s built completely of stone? That’s the toughest material available.

Those glorious towers? Height is a great advantage for hurling stones, melted lead, and flaming pitch on the attackers below you.

Those pretty scallops (called crenels) along the tops of the walls? Archers take refuge behind them, shooting between the crenels.

Those massive, awe-inspiring, twenty-foot-or-more thick walls? Gotta make it hard for a battering ram to puncture it or a team of diggers to undermine it.

And that iron portcullis? It’s needed to protect the gate—the castle’s weakest point.

The castle sits on a hill because it’s harder for attackers to reach it. But its position also announces, “Here is the seat of power. Control this, and you control the surrounding land.” If you’re out to conquer as much ground as you can, you start with the castles.

Also, it’s kinda hard to miss. It’s practically daring someone to take it on.

We Christians have an enemy who walks about as a roaring lion, seeking anyone to devour. A castle is a challenge he’s often very willing to take on.

Because most castles have at least one weakness. The devil is only too happy to find it.

A castle is not comfortable.

They’re beautiful and inspiring from a distance. But they’re not luxurious.

Those beautiful tapestries have a practical purpose. They provide some insulation. Stone is cold and drafty, and the lord of the castle can’t afford enough wood to keep the whole building warm. Winter’s rough.

Because a window is a potential breach-point, a castle can’t have many windows and the few they have are small. Not a lot of light and fresh air inside those stone walls.

Castles are centers of work. Hard work, either mentally or physically. Sure they hold feasts and balls at times—but that’s a lot of work in itself. It isn’t a playhouse for grownups.

And, of course, castles are hard to keep clean and tidy. Considering just the sheer space, and the people coming and going, and the work done in and around the building, and pets, and vermin, no wonder a castle could be a messy place.

Not to mention the structure is a challenge to maintain.

A lot of people think gunpowder brought about the end of the castle era. Actually, before gunpowder had been harnessed enough to blow down a castle, the nobles had started drifting away from the castle life. They preferred more luxurious manor houses with bigger windows and better heating and decadent furnishings. Castles were great for defense but too uncomfortable and too costly to maintain.

Maybe we Christians have that attitude about castles.

Oh, a vibrant Christian life is awesome to see, but it’s just not for me. It’s too much work. The enemy is constantly hounding you if you try to be a front-line, sold-out Christian. We don’t all need to be strong castles, right? It’s too costly. It’s messy. It’s cold. And it makes you stick out like a sore thumb—or like a castle in a suburb of vinyl-sided houses.

Yeah, we’ve got plenty of excuses. Instead, we’ll go for our manor homes. The luxurious mansions, the American dream lifestyle.

But the American dream lifestyle is about us. Our wants. Material things. Things that don’t last.

The castle-life is about Jesus. His will. His kingdom. Eternity.

Aye, it’s hard. Really hard. And it may not look pretty from the inside.

But in the grand scheme of things, don’t you think it’s worth it?

-Miss Darcy

The Cry of Gettysburg Battlefield

I dread each sunrise,
trembling,
sure the rays of the Greater Light
will shine on glistening red.
Red, as far as man’s eye can see,
the dark, bright red of Blood.
I’m grateful for the clouds
when they hide me from the Sun.
But nothing can erase
the pain.

A man of great renown
once called me hallowed.
I know not why, for I will call me
cursed.

A century and a half have passed,
and still
I groan beneath the weight.
I cannot bear the grief
of so much Blood.

Eleven thousand acres by man’s measure.
Oh, how small, how small!
when faced with all the burden of
this Blood.
For here two armies met.
Seven thousand died;
their Blood flowed out upon me;
Life drained out.
Three-and-thirty thousand bled
from wounds
until they saturated me,
until they hid from me the sky,
and still
more Blood flowed over me.

I opened my mouth and received it,
for such is the duty of Earth–
to receive, to cover, to grant rest to
the Blood that is spilled on our face.
I opened my mouth,
and I choked.
It was too much to bear.
Too much, too much,
the Life lost on my ground.

A hundred years of rain
cannot wash away the taste
of salt and iron and Death.

I ache
under the weight of this Curse.
I wonder if they feel it,
these children of men who walk upon me now
to view the site.
Do they feel the crushing burden?
Can they sense the grief,
the agony,
of bearing so much Blood?

I cry out, yes, I groan;
I plead for some relief.
Yet no one hears,
no one–
but God.
I beg of my Creator
that He would set me free.

“The Time has not yet come.”

When will it come,
that Day
when Fire destroys all Earth?
For then will I be free from
this deep pain.
Then will I be created anew,
fresh,
clean,
in a world full of Life.

Where no more Death can touch me,
and no more Blood is spilled.
And surely then
in ecstasy
I will again cry out;
with Joy I’ll shout to Him,
the Lamb,
who, by His Blood,
Redeems all things.

-Miss Darcy

Who’s the Boss? | Tips for Oldest Children, Part 2

Notice to younger siblings: Please do not throw this blog post in your older sibling’s face. Forward them the link, if you like, but don’t tag them in public on social media. Take it easy on them. Some of us “oldests” have trouble finding our role–as I’m sure you know. 😉

Last time I wrote about how oldest children are born to lead, and a great way to do that is to set a good example.

Today I want to talk more about that concept of leadership. There are lots of different ways to go about it, and not all ways are equal.

Oldest children have a reputation for being bossy. Most of the time we’ve earned it. The urge to tell others what to do and how to do it just seems to run in our veins.

But, fellow oldests, your siblings don’t need a third parent.

(Okay, I’m referring to most healthy families here. If a family is so dysfunctional that the oldest child has to step up and be a “parent,” then they’ll need more help than my little blogs posts can provide.)

The parents have the right to issue an order and expect it to be obeyed–no questions asked. The oldest child has no such right.

Even if your parents go on a date and put you “in charge,” I guarantee your younger siblings won’t appreciate your acting like a parent. And they’ll be quick to tell you so.

Does “You’re not Mom!” or “I don’t have to obey you!” sound familiar?

Although your siblings instinctively want to look up to you (even if they don’t realize it), you’re still “one of them.” So why should you boss them around?

As an oldest child, you can’t just be a dictator. You don’t have the authority. It’s not your power.

Your power comes when your younger siblings want to listen to you.

When you can suggest (not command) something, and your siblings figure it must be a good idea because you said it, that’s a position of power.

As I’m sure you know, that is no easy position to reach. But it’s not impossible.

You get there by gaining your siblings’ trust.

You have to be worthy of their trust, and you have to prove your worthiness over and over (and over) before you can expect them to willingly listen to you. It’s a long process to gain and keep trust.

But it’s worth it.

So don’t be bossy like everyone expects you to be.

Oh, it might work for a little while. Your loudness or pushiness might force them to do things your way right now.

But over time, they’ll just think you’re a know-it-all. And who likes a know-it-all?

Instead, give in to what they want to do. (Not always, but often.) You can still say things such as, “I’d like to do this.” But don’t be rigid on the little things.

Let your younger siblings make choices. You’re not the only one who can have a good idea. Let them live without feeling like you’re looking over their shoulder all the time, ready to holler, “Not like that! Don’t do that! Do this!”

Prove to them that you are on their team. Here’s one way to do that:

Don’t Belittle Them

When they’re trying to tell a favorite family story or family joke, don’t interrupt to correct up the details. (Most of the time, those details don’t matter.) Don’t roll your eyes. Don’t make a fool of them or steal their limelight.

When they’re scared of the dark or spiders or thunder or dogs, don’t act like they’re stupid. Talk to them in the darkness; don’t mock their nightlight or make creepy noises. Hunt down the spider and get rid of it. Sit with them while you listen to the thunder. Stand close to them when the scary dog walks by. And don’t cop a superior attitude when you’re being their hero. Act like it’s the most normal thing in the world for you to help them. Because it is.

Don’t act like their accomplishments are nothing. Cheer when they hit the home run. Say, “Great job!” when they’re talking about their good grades. Be impressed when they show you the latest project they worked hard on (even if you think it’s silly).

When they get excited, don’t treat them like idiots. You have things you love. So do they. What’s important to them should be important to you, as well.

Basically, try not to make them feel like a little kid. Maybe they are still little kids. But you know how you don’t like to be treated like someone too young to be important? They don’t enjoy it, either.

Do Brag on Them

Do it when they can hear you. Brag to your parents and grandparents. Even to your friends once in a while. Don’t overdo it so you embarrass them, but mention their accomplishments like you’re proud of them. Act like your siblings are cool. Because they are.

Building trust isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.

Whenever you interact with your siblings, think about what you’re doing. Ask yourself if your behavior will help them trust you.

If the answer is yes, then good for you! You are living your birthright well!

If the answer’s no, then change your behavior. It’s not too late. Everybody messes up. (I still mess up, and I’ve been at this for twenty-one years.) Keep trying. Keep praying. You can do this!

Don’t try to be the boss. Be their partner. Give them every reason in the world to trust you.

Okay, I want to hear from you all! Oldests, what have you done that helps your siblings trust you? How have you messed up from time to time?

Younger siblings, what helps you know you can trust your oldest sibling? Or how do they act that warns you it’s not safe to trust them?

-Miss Darcy

P.S. If you don’t want to comment, head to my “Connect” page and shoot me an email. I love to chat about siblings. 🙂

A Hand Held Out

My desk sits right beside my bedroom window, which overlooks our front yard. Right across from our driveway, another streets T-bones into ours. We have a two-story house, plus we’re at the highest point in our neighborhood, so I have a pretty good view of the goings-on.

Which makes for excellent spying.

Now I don’t really spy with binoculars or anything, but I do love to people-watch. So if I catch a glimpse of movement outside, I’ll pause my work and watch a neighbor unload their groceries or whatever.

(Incidentally, one of my neighbors just pulled into his driveway, and I paused my writing to spy on him.) 🙂

But earlier this week, I spied something that made me very sad.

A couple was walking down the sidewalk on the street across from me. The woman had her cell phone in her hands, texting, from all appearances. Then she stuck the phone in her back pocket. They turned around and walked back up the sidewalk.

As they reached the end of the sidewalk where they step onto the street, the man’s left hand reached out as if he wanted to take the woman’s hand. At that exact moment, her right hand went to her back pocket and pulled out her cell phone again. Soon both hands were busy tapping the screen.

And I wondered what on that phone could be so much more important than the person she was with.

Maybe it was their children who needed them to return home. Maybe.

Or maybe it was just a friend she was texting. A friend who, through the cell phone, became a third wheel on their walk.

I forgot to look for wedding rings, so I don’t know if they’re married or dating. I’m not sure which would be worse.

If they’re dating, love is in its springtime, when everything is fresh and new and special. Yet this woman didn’t want to hold her boyfriend’s hand?

Or if they’ve been married a while, they probably don’t get much time alone together to just walk and talk. Yet this woman didn’t want to hold the hand of the man who has committed his life to her?

It’s a good reminder to me. I don’t have a smartphone, actually. But I have a computer. Writing (and everything that entails) keeps me glued to the screen a lot.

But then there’s social media. I tell myself I’m keeping up with friends I don’t see much. In reality, I end up wasting an exorbitant amount of time looking at mindless stuff I’ll forget within an hour.

I live with my four favorite people in the whole world–my parents and two sisters. The people I love most. The ones who love me most. Honestly, what on this device could possibly be so important that I would rather interact with it than with my family?

I don’t want to be oblivious when those I love hold out their hands–literally or figuratively–because they want to get closer to me.

-Miss Darcy