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Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Devotions, Everyday Life, Reflections | 0 comments

skunk the fear.

I read somewhere that everything you’ve ever wanted in life is on the other side of fear.

So that got me thinking. Why does fear play such a vital role in our loves?

Take my two dachshunds for instance. One evening, I let them both out to go potty before bed time, and not even five minutes later, Lucy came scurrying in. She looked like she had seen a ghost. She kept scrambling up to me, and then back out the door, poking her head around the corner to see if I was following her. Lucy kept the charade up until I followed her outside.

And goodness. What a scene to behold outside. Annie was standing about a foot away from the fence, tail raised, ears back, barking with everything she had. And on the other side of that fence, about the same distance away, was her new friend. A skunk.

All at once, visions of Peppy Le Pew eu de par-fum danced in my sense of smell. And yet there was little I could do in the situation because if I stepped closer, I would more than likely wear the skunk’s revenge as well.

Annie didn’t let up. Peppy Le Pew didn’t let up either. As sixty seconds of Battle fell to the ground, the skunk sprayed the tar out of Annie, and sauntered away. Annie, on the other hand, shook off what she could and came flying in my direction, confused and disoriented with what had just taken place.

I bathed in her tomato juice with baking soda, and it tinted her pink. It was nearly 11:00 on a school night, so we stayed pink until the next afternoon when I bathed her in her oatmeal puppy shampoo that washed out the pink.

The funny thing is, if Annie could have a hashtag after that incident, I swear it would read, #noregrets.

Let’s look at how both of my dachshunds approached the same situation. One could argue that Lucy was smart enough to actually have fear. She knew trouble when she saw it and tried to stop the inevitable. I’m sure she tried to get Annie away but Annie wouldn’t have it. Lucy also knew that her mama needed to intervene.

So then there’s Annie. Sweet, brainless, little Annie, who stood her ground against the enemy, and protected her territory at the expense of her smellalicious state of affairs. She certainly took home the trophy for last man standing, but she also didn’t have the fortitude her sister had in recognizing danger. Even if she had, she figured she could bark it away.

When Jesus was crucified, His disciples stowed away in a house. They refused to come out. In a word or a few, they were terrified that something like that could happen to them. In the coming days, Fear controlled them so deeply that even when Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples three separate occasions, His disciples were clueless. They were Lucy. Skeptical. Fearful. Alertful. Afraid to do what needed to be done in fear of real life consequences to themselves.

I’ve always imagined the scene of the Holy Spirit beckoning to these men, as a warm summer breeze would beckon us out to our porches and our backyards. I imagine a voice so tender, so comforting, so undeniable, that their fear collided with resolution and in that collision, faith was born.

On the other side of fear, Peter became the rock of the church. On the other side of fear, Paul wrote such passionate letters to the church that their relevance has outlasted time. And on the other side of fear, these men kept Jesus alive and sought a will greater than their own.

It’s powerful stuff, no question.

And I think that fear is an okay mechanism to keep at bay, no question. But are we truly obeying and reciprocating and proclaiming if we don’t jump over that line in the sand and take the risk? Are we truly living if we shut ourselves away from all of the skunks and persecutors and modern day Pharisees of the world? Are we?

Seems to me faith can’t exist without fear because faith conquers fear.

Seems to me that fear can’t exist without faith because faith is on the other side of that line.

I pray wholeheartedly that you are able to get past the Lucy in you and tap in to just a smudge of Little Annie’s boldness. Whatever it is, however much the moment weighs, I can tell you this: it is nothing compared to the sheer joy of letting it go.

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Posted by on Nov 25, 2017 in Devotions, Everyday Life | 1 comment

the big fat truth.

Sometimes, it’s a bit embarrassing to be me.

And it has nothing to do with the fact that sometimes, in my own esteemed brilliance, I can do some spectacularly stupid scenarios. In my sleep. With a hand behind my back. Eyes closed. Not even trying.

It might be genetic. Let’s do that.

What it does have to do with is the fact that I, Allison-er-Allison Rose-have had to deal with it. What is it? Well. It is a spectrum of nuances and phrases and experiences wrapped in one big ball of twine. And once it began to unravel, there really wasn’t much to do but get out if its way and see what it wanted.

I, Allison, have had to deal with being fat. Being bullied. Being set aside for a collectible on a shelf. Letting others wear my voice around their necks and take my power as collateral.

And I can’t even really explain how it happened because it happened so slowly yet it happened so fast all at once. It happened the minute someone else believed that they knew better than I did and what did I know? It happened over the years of ridicule from supposed friends, even a couple of teachers. It grew healthy and strong and sucked the life out of me as it sat proud and happy on my shoulders, weighing me down.

It caused me to make sure I wore a tshirt over my bathing suit. It caused me to completely not join in on a pool party. It led me to some really sorry relationships that were detonated before I even got my hands on the trigger.

I did try to fight. I tried to make my body into something it wasn’t. People told me it’d be better that way. That I’d be happier and that I’d be healthier. Poof. It would be alright. So. I tried to conform. Diet after diet after diet took its turn, each and every time the little success I’d have would only backfire in the long run and I’d be worse than where I was to begin with. My closet held sizes all over the spectrum and my body was becoming a very uncomfortable container to conform.

And I wish I could tell you that POOF! A diet changed my life. It became Better and Better ran away into the sunset into tomorrow.


It got worse. No, it got ugly.

It was overpoweringly cynical and It was winning.

Until a therapist told me something.

She told me my version of Better had verdigo. That I had made it so nauseated from the merry go round I had created for shelter.

She told me the way to Better was to get my power back and to force it back. Speak up. Speak the words that would hurt ears but that needed to crack the surface of It in order for Better to be. Quit compartmentalizing my thoughts based on if it would hurt someone’s feelings or not. Speak. Say the words that required saying. The ones so hard to say but weighed more than I could carry anymore.

And boom. Poof if you prefer. I began to speak. Perhaps too loud at times but I spoke. I spoke my mind, I spoke It out loud to take the voice away from It.

Once you realize that the shrapnels you’re so ashamed of are actually keeping you together, Better seems to give you a hand off of the merry go round and for the first time, you are able to sit without dizziness.

I will be the first and the last to admit that I will deal with It and confess It and discover It and become acquainted with It. Instead of fighting against It, I guess you learn to soften Its edges and instead of becoming who everyone else thinks you should be or ought to be, for the first time, you realize that your voice is your own and that you will never, ever, EVER, deal in that currency again.

I don’t know who I would be without It.

I certainly wonder if I would be me.

So I say all of this to explain to you a simple truth: I know what it is like to look into the mirror and not recognize the reflection. I know what it is like to be so uncomfortable in skin you never wanted in the first place and you’d do anything-put yourself through utter hell-to just squash your round peg into a square hole.

These are my rolls, theses are my fat feet, these are the fat fingers that constantly cause me to make texting mistakes and yes, I am proud. Everyone around the Thanksgiving dinner table was trying to decide who my brother looked and acted most like, and I just sat there thinking. I know exactly who I am. I don’t need someone to decide for me. I like to think I take a few trinkets from both of my grandmothers. And I like to think I am still figuring out the rest.

So yeah. I will always comment back to haters who keep smashing body positivity movements with their BS “Fat isn’t Healthy” crap. I will always stick up for the person who fought to be who they are and to take their pronouns and use them proudly. Loving yourself is healthy. Refusing to conform to what others say you should be when you know you’re not is self love. It’s justice. It’s freedom. Who cares if someone understands or not? Our job isn’t to understand everyone or point our crooked fingers at others simply because we refuse to understand we refuse to recognize that yes, EVERYONE deserves compassion.

And I will continue to speak It, whatever that It has been, is being, or will become in the future.


I fail. I falter. I have empty hands to offer.

And with my broken pieces I will find that I’m already whole.

Now how amazing is that.


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Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in Everyday Life, Reflections | 0 comments

The Journey of Empathy

People say I’m loud but my voice was taken and I took it back.

I might be clumsy but that’s probably because of all of the hard steps forward I found the gumption to take.

I have a habit of being so anxious I forget to breathe, but I’ve had to learn to question motives and adjust my turtle shell.

My views definitely take the road less traveled as a result of what I’ve endured through my own version of body positivity discovery. Now it’s take me or leave me because I’m done punishing myself.

I’m told daily I’m stubborn since I’ve learned to take up for myself.

So. I might be different, loud, stubborn, and say too much of what should be kept on a hook on my tongue. But I am who I am because of what I’ve made of my brokenness and that makes me smile.

The world lives in a shallow tupperware container with the lid so tight it can’t expand, grow, or even see the light of day. Those who choose to be in that box, well, I do pray for them everyday to emerge from that box and see a whole new light of day. The world is too small and life is too short strawed to live life unimagined and in a container made for storing leftovers, not your entire existence.

The journey of wearing myself inside out, as if a costume for someone to inspect and to fabricate, is very raw and full of loss-loss of friendships, loss of those that turn their backs, loss of your former ideas of how things should fit and how things should be. The journey however is the only way to come out on the other side realizing that you weren’t all the way outside of the box yet. Outside the box is where the journey begins. Hope reveals itself. Life blooms.

My father and I had a conversation the other day about gay people. He mentioned he felt that they were the best people he knows and that they understand empathy. I would say he’s right. But I’d also say he’s wrong. Respectfully. Anybody who has suffered to be who they are and was judged, ridiculed, and dealt with shame has learned what it is to know empathy. Empathy blooms where struggle is born. Empathy grows best where the scars run deep and open and wide and free. Empathy is learned because of those who have had to suffer to learn it. Once you begin a journey of being ashamed of who you are and wanting to be anybody but, you get it. Once you come out on the other side, the very Bible says that once you know better, you do better. You can’t be who you once were. You move forward.

And I realize not everyone would necessarily agree with me, or understand what I’m trying to say. But chew on this: find your truth, be your truth, and be brave enough to live your truth. My truth has just begun to be, and even though it took me a long time to reconcile with it and live inside of it, at the very least, it’s much more comfortable to be inside out than it is hidden inside of a tupperware container.

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