Monday, November 29, 2010


by Sarah Teasdale

They came to tell your faults to me,
They named them over one by one;
I laughed aloud when they were done,
I knew them all so well before,--
Oh, they were blind, too blind to see
Your faults had made me love you more.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The most beautiful sea:
hasn't been crossed yet.
The most beautiful child:
hasn't grown up yet.
Our most beautiful days:
we haven't seen yet.
And the most beautiful words I wanted to tell you
I haven't said yet...

-Nazim Hikmet

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

superbly situated

by robert hershon

you politely ask me not to die and i promise not to
right from the beginning—a relationship based on
good sense and thoughtfulness in little things

i would like to be loved for such simple attainments
as breathing regularly and not falling down too often
or because my eyes are brown or my father left-handed

and to be on the safe side i wouldn’t mind if somehow
i became entangled in your perception of admirable objects
so you might say to yourself: i have recently noticed

how superbly situated the empire state building is
how it looms up suddenly behind cemeteries and rivers
so far away you could touch it—therefore i love you

part of me fears that some moron is already plotting
to tear down the empire state building and replace it
with a block of staten island mother/daughter houses

just as part of me fears that if you love me for my cleanliness
i will grow filthy if you admire my elegant clothes
i’ll start wearing shirts with sailboats on them

but i have decided to become a public beach an opera house
a regularly scheduled flight—something that can’t help being
in the right place at the right time—come take your seat

we’ll raise the curtain fill the house start the engines
fly off into the sunrise, the spire of the empire state
the last sight on the horizon as the earth begins to curve

Monday, July 26, 2010

The lovers know the loveliness
That is not of their bodies only
(Though they be lovely) but is of
Their bodies given up to love.

They find the open-heartedness
Of two desires which both are lonely
Until by dying they have their living,
And gain all they have lost in giving,

Each offering the desired desire.
Beyond what time requires, they are
What they surpass themselves to make;
They give the pleasure that they take.

-Wendell Berry

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fair Exchange

by Berle Chambers

If I share with you my body,
will you share with me your heart?
Will you open up the center
of your secret, tender part?

And let me penetrate you,
with the passion that is mine?
Receive my purest essence?
Admit it as divine?

Would you let my love inside you?
Could you give emotion space?
Will you dare the naked truth,
that only lives in love's embrace?

Can you lower your defenses?
Trust me with an open soul?
Won't you show me all your wounds,
and let my loving make them whole?

Could you once try heart connection?
For it is the only way,
to achieve your life's perfection.
Can you take that chance today?

Do you think you have the courage,
to get out of your head?
Can you risk loss of control,
or the tenderness, you dread.

Can you give up all your masks,
and let me show you your true splendor?
Just your love is all I ask.
Can you let your heart surrender?

The sweetest of communions,
is right here for you to take.
Join me now in holy union,
oh, what Glory we could make!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

21 years ago today...

...a super-human woman by the name of Jessalyn Grace graced the earth with her awesome presence. Shuffle decided to honor this day by introducing me to this gem of a song.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Open Up Your Folding Chair

I've got a perfect body,

but sometimes I forget
I've got a perfect body,
'cause my eyelashes catch my sweat

yes they do, they do

Friday, May 21, 2010

infinite beauty

he's the image of the invisible God
first born over the created world
he reigns thrones and kingdoms all on the earth
the heavens and everything invisible

beautiful, infinite God
have your way with me
consume and rapture my heart
make my eyes to see

oh your beauty, your beauty
your beauty i must see

he's enthroned in heaven
surrounded in light
with angels and elders on every side
proclaiming the glory, the consuming fire
the reign of a king who's invincible.

(Hope College Worship Band "Beautiful, Infinite God")

Saturday, May 15, 2010


We are neither |animals| nor |angels|.

animals- fully physical; indulgent in lust
angels- pure spirit; no lustful desires

We live |in the tension| betwixt the two.
If you have not yet read "SexGod" by Rob Bell we would encourage you to do so.

|Black| Gray |White|

Guess what. When it comes to relationships there's a whole lotta gray. We Christians tend to pendulum between two extremes--both hazardous in their own ways. First, as Christians we believe that we cannot simply go around indulging our fleshes' every desire. Fairly elementary (silver ring thing anybody?). The other extreme we tend to swing toward is a quasi-gnosticism (body=bad; spiritual is above and beyond the physical). However, implications of the incarnation, baby (literally) --> the physical world, our physical bodies, made of matter, matter. Oh the irony that we sometimes think matter doesn't matter.

Relationship application: Relationships cannot substantially exist or be built in simply a physical dimension; Nor can the physical be completely ignored if we are to be of any substance. As of now there hasn't yet been discovered some precise line of universally proper physical boundaries for each stage of a relationship. It is much easier if we go on believing there is...somewhere there lies a clear line between black and white, angels and animals...somewhere over the rainbow. Our relationships, at least all of those I've been in or witnessed, do not have precise formulas, spelled out, or clearly defined ways to grow. Rather there's a whole mess of gray--very messy indeed. But that's all part of the adventure. We don't have a map, we've got a guide and general sense of direction, from there we must use our own discernment and discretion.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Every day
~I see or hear
~~~that more or less

kills me
~with delight
~~that leaves me
~~~like a needle

in the haystack
~of light.
~~It is what I was born for--
~~~to look, to listen,

to lose myself
~inside this soft world--
~~to instruct myself
~~~over and over

in joy,
~and acclamation.
~~Nor am I talking
~~~about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
~the very extravagant--
~~but of the ordinary,
~~~the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
~Oh, good scholar,
~~I say to myself,
~~~how can you help

but grow wise
~with such teachings
~~as these---
~~~the untrimmable light

of the world,
~the ocean's shine,
~~the prayers that are made
~~~out of grass?

by Mary Oliver

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Grace of April
Kissing Tulips

All things seem to be in bloom - but not the rich, pungent ripeness of midsummer abundance. Bushes, trees, daffodils, tulips all shimmer softly in the cool air, relinquishing fresh colors to an ever-brightening sky. The shade of new leaves tentatively spreads across cold pavement and young grass. Colors are pure and radiant in the sun's golden light. All the earth is waking, stretching, sighing, smiling

and all the college students are running around like crazy people.

This is the traditional time in the cycle of semester when all deadlines coming stampeding in and all sanity falls by the wayside. Stress is tangible, so thick you might choke on it. The common refrain, echoing across campus, is simply "IS IT OVER? are we done yet?". (I am well-versed in these feelings, having been dreaming of summer sun since about February. )

The grace of April, however, is perspective. Two things ring true, slipping through the cacophony of academia with the soft, clear tones of spring:

1. I was made by this God
2. I am entirely irrelevant


by Susanna Childress

For those who follow me cozily our the door, for the one
so close in line last night I felt his hard-on, the ones

who say hello, looking at your breasts, how are you,
the puffy-lipped polo shirt wearers who discuss my

classes on days my skirts are thigh-high and my legs
must be making a sound only they can hear.

for those who say God is not even one-quarter She.

for the pokes at ribs and claps on the ass given with
a smile, the knuckles against the neck when I'm pulling

at the doorhandle, the heavy beerish pocket of a mouth,
the pinches while asking what my shirt says, sweet thang

for the white vans whose drviers honk honkhonk,
the doorbells I cannot answer because it could or could not

or could or could not be just Jehovah's Witness men,
the poorly lit parking lots reminding me they found

drops of Trisha's urine behind the swimming pool but
never found Trisha, for the hot damns pelted out rolled-down

windows, the Spanish they don't think I understand one aisle over.

the middle-aged men pushing their children in carts and taking full
bodied looks in frozen food section, the trucker on I-65,

the condom on his fingers pointing at me.

for the dialogue of cottage cheese thighs, the raw popping
laughs when virgins walk by or

butch girls or acned girls or flat girls,
the jokes about bumpy nipples packed-tuna pussy the ugliest

fucks you'd ever seen can't buh
lieve they lettem live that ugly.

for them you do a service, quiet-hearted man, your
fingers on my forehead, your face like rain.

landing anywhere, something clean of your eyes
when you say fair one, when you listen to me,

and for them you oil the humbling of age, you redeem
mankind, you hold out the pearl you found in your chest,

the one each man has, and it speaks to the softest,
scaredest parts of me, the part naked and artless

as a woman's open body, for all of them you
make me think I could unravel into the imperfect,

the sweat, the gingered cadence
of humanity with one of you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

all the birds of this day sing a song, sing a song...

a celebratory haiku:

you are twenty now
two glorious decades old
love, this day is yours

We're the sort of girls that will stoop to kiss a tulip.

We're the kind of people who sit and pray in magnolia trees.

We're the small group leaders that think that spending the hour of 1opm reading scriptures & poetry, drawing with sidewalk chalk, kissing flowers, and hugging trees is feasible (and needed) way to meet.


It is that time in the semester...constantly feeling on edge; on the verge of a complete melt down; panic attacks lurking around every corner. Academia is a beastly monster breathing down our necks. His vile, acidic saliva now slips down our spines. Hence during occasional phases of hysteria, people skills tend to go awol.

Ok, so maybe it's not that bad, but it is pretty close at times. This is just a forewarning, an advanced apology for if we happen to bite your head off in the near future. For the most part, try not take it personally (though this may prove difficult considering it is your head). Instead, take our outbursts/verbal assaults with a grain (or block) of salt and mayhaps we can all try a little more mutual grace this last weeks knowing that this monster can get to even the most resilient of us.

"Don't Let Me Be Understood" -The Animals

Baby, do you understand me now
Sometimes I feel a little mad
But don't you know that no one alive
Can always be an angel
When things go wrong I seem to be bad
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

Baby, sometimes I'm so carefree
With a joy that's hard to hide
And sometimes it seems that all I have do is worry
Then you're bound to see my other side
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

If I seem edgy I want you to know
That I never mean to take it out on you
Life has it's problems and I get my share
And that's one thing I never meant to do
Because I love you
Oh, Oh baby don't you know I'm human
Have thoughts like any other one
Sometimes I find myself long regretting
Some foolish thing some little simple thing I've done
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
Yes, I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
Yes, I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


A product of The Five of Us gathering in the reading room in Van Zoren to do homework:

The Ya-Ya Sisterhood's (+God) List of Male Douche-Baggery
  1. Wine-ing about whether or not...
  2. " " math
  3. Creepers
  4. Cheez-its > boys*
*Kyle=exception; God=exception; Kyle=God?

J's Theological quote of the week: "God is not a douche bag."
So man was created in God's image. The theme this week has sadly been that the majority of "men" (guys, boys, man-babies really) we encounter and/or interact with have been acting like douche-bags (excuse my french). This does not correlate that that is the image of God--cause God is NOT a douche bag, in fact, quite the opposite.

Please note that these are sweeping generalizations. We do have the pleasure of being acquainted with many non-douche bag males. It has just been the sad misfortune that many ladies have been meeting males of the other variety this week.
So if you are one of the non--thank you, please continue to make your presence(s) evident. If you are of the other variety--please, grow up.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


"O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above."
-Come Thou Fount

This fickle heart of mine has a case of extreme A.D.D.. It is distracted by every sparkling, shiny object. The most popular object often being me. Utterly fixated on myself, like some narcissistically preening bird (*sighs and shakes head*). God's goodness is so good, so great. When His light, the true light, shines on me it immediately catches and grabs my attention and focus. When I focus on that, His ultimate goodness and grace, all else fades and pales in comparison. All those earthly things, primarily relationships, that I put my hope and heart into are put into proper perspective.

His goodness is the only good thing; "apart from [Him] I have no good thing" (from my life chapter--Psalm 16). I know this for I have experienced, lived, and reveled in His goodness. Yet, please recall, my heart is a fickle thing and humans are a giddy thing ("Much Ado" and Mumford). I am unbridled and unfettered. I'm learning that all I can do is let go and let God; raise up and surrender this mess that I am; this jumble of a heart's longings, wounded affections, and tangled emotions.

I long to be daily infatuated with Him and His goodness; not me, myself, and all that revolves around me--but enthralled with GOD. "YHWH, take this mess for I don't know what to do with it, with all it's brokenness and preciousness." And gladly He will take what is offered: this precious, beautiful mess of me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So we, being Jessalyn and Jillian, aka the dynamic duo J-Team!, began this blog months ago...but being both overachievers and procrastinators (yes those two go seamlessly hand in hand) have yet to actually introduce it. As I am supposed to be writing a paper for cultural heritage (while resisting the urge to go play in the rain and jump in puddles) I decide, 'HEY, perfect time to blog.' This will not be our originally intended formal introduction, filled with flourishes and fanfare. Instead, this will be more like one of those nice lil' "HELLO my name is:____" stickers which are impossible to adhere to your post-puberty body in a non-awkward fashion. Anywho...

HELLO, this is the Just Friends: J-Team's Hope College Field Guide Blog by Jillian and Jessalyn. Partially inspired by the book "The Spotter's Guide to the Male Species", the future book "Palatable Phelps: Creative Cures for College Cafeteria Chow", the United Flaming Liberals of Right-Winged Hope College Society, future collaborations of books on the topics spanning theology, hygiene&grooming, relationships, knitting, etc., and finally pretty much every conversation that occurs in Phelps 312.

J-team--we've got a lot to say...on pretty much everything. We've got opinions, warranted or otherwise, that we are willing to share. If anything we at least find our selves, our conversations, and our interactions pretty entertaining. If you're not laughing with us you'll
probably end up laughing at us. So hardy-har-har away.

J-Team Skillz
Jillian: Possesses soapboxes galore.
Jessalyn: Possess not only wisdom but also the ability to phrase everything, even nothing, eloquently.

More in-depth bios to come...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

theme song

all who are crazy
all who are hurt
come to the futon
we want to help you out

present your problems
your tears and your fears
with a nice mug of hot tea
we'll figure out your life

bring your roommate
your boy problems too
we'll hear them all
and preach "communicate!"

(to the tune of All Who are Thirsty)