Little Hands and Sparkling Eyes Alight

By Beth Winze

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings

Tiny hands reaching for the whipped cream bottle, foam spray splattering everywhere, cookie chunks disintegrating to the floor.  Squeals of amusement resonated through the air as the mess left behind anticipated me.  I wanted to gripe at the preventable untidiness the customer made, but I could not.  As the grandma’s time-worn hands, held the child’s chubby, youthful ones, I could not help but miss being a child.  As the grandmother paid, the endearing child, despite the clutter made, stretched, with sparkly, bright eyes, to grasp her treat.  The child giggled and scampered over to the sofa to indulge her taste buds.  I grinned and recollected back to when I was the young age of six.

No longer do I clutch my grandmother’s hand, or find as much joy in a bowl of frozen yogurt as this child did.  I missed the tranquil joy that comes along with being childlike.  When did I grow up and abandon finding delight in the little things?  It seems like the older I get the more I regret.  You can go ahead and say that I am only eighteen and that outlooks like this should not be happening already for me, but honestly, they are.  Maybe it is because I feel submerged under piles of scholarship essay drafts, and work agendas.  Or maybe it is because young children and their unexplainable ease of elation have been around me more than ordinary.  Either way, I miss my younger years.

I recall being told as a pint-sized girl, to never hope to grow up faster than I have to.  I, of course, did not take their intelligence and only fantasized of the days when cosmetics, driving, shopping, and being employed would become mine.  I coveted growing up faster than I should have.  Pondering on why I did this, I could only come up with one answer.  I never looked deeper behind all the “glam” that comes with age.  I did not see the tension in other’s eyes.  I only looked at what they possessed, and anticipated having that.  In that case, age was what I craved, and I got it.

There is nothing I can do to stop growing up.  But I pine for the days when I would scuttle into mom and dad’s bed on a Saturday morning and snuggle with them until they rolled out of bed.  Or the father/daughter dances every year when my mom would place some blush and eye shadow on me, and my dad would dance with me, making me feel like royalty at a ball.

Now, contemplations of college, and the attempt at trying to grasp the thought of moving out inhabit the majority of my mind.  I cannot crawl into bed with my parents when I get scared of a thunderstorm, or have mom give me a Band-Aid over a boo-boo that I convince her is really there.  I suppose that is what hurts the most about growing up.  Those things I continuously took for granted are not there anymore.  College is fewer than six months away for me.  No more mom tucking me in at night.  This is what makes growing up tough.  Letting go of the fading familiarities of life.

As that grandma was returning her wallet to her purse and turning to go, I simply said “Make sure that she understands how important appreciating her youth is.” And her grandmother turned to me, rested her hand on my own, and sympathetically said with misty eyes, “Are you missing your youth?”  I just nodded and half-smiled back at her as my eyes began to pool tears.  “Do not worry about what you have left behind in your youth,” she responded, “but anticipate what is coming up in your future.” She patted my hand and called her grandchild to her side.  With that, they strolled out the door together, hand in hand, side by side.

I realize the significance of reminiscing.  It does not make it easier to grow up and think about your impending future, but it does not make the upcoming quite as frightening.  I am not ready to be mature enough to be on my own.  But it is essential to move on to my next phases in my life.  As the grandma that associated with me at work said, “Do not worry about what you left behind in your youth, but anticipate what is coming up in your future.”  I do not know what my future holds, but as I draft my scholarship essays and work for paychecks, I am only going to appreciate it for how it will spring-board me into my future.


About Stealing My Heart

By Beth Winze

Dear Future Husband,

Hunny, Babe, Boo, Hubby – I do not know what I am calling you at this point.  I promise it will not be Snickerdoodle.  I do not know you as I pen this, or, maybe I do.  I love you so much already.  I daydream about what your appearance is, how you talk, and any funny little nuances that you have that I will unrelentingly adore.  My mom prays for you as I do, quite frequently.  Let us just say that I cannot wait for you to ask me to be your wife.

But I need to tell you something about stealing my heart.  My heart has already been taken.  By two others.

I was created by a King.  I am a Princess of the definitive His Majesty.  My Creator has my heart resting securely in His affectionate hands.  Through Him, you and I have been fashioned.  I hope that I will not be the first one to capture your heart.  My desire is that I have to draw nearer to God to get closer to your heart- that He embraces in His hands.  This I truly wish.

The other one that has my heart is my Dad.  He has been there to remove my bicycle’s training wheels and give me the unsteady momentum to independence on two wheels.  He drilled my first and last effort at being a part of a soccer team.  He laced up my cleats even when I did not want to go.  God could not have given me a more picture-perfect example of a godly man.

I have kept my standards high.  But you will have to do a few things to get my heart.

First off, you need to get through God and yearn to repose in the palm of His hand, next to my heart.  It is there to stay.

And secondly, you have to tell my Dad what your intentions are with my heart.  He safeguards it and keeps me responsible with what I do with it, and will not let me offer it away to just anybody.

But do not let this alarm you!  I want you to have it as well.  I want you to know it entirely, inside and out.  You are the anticipated pulse it will beat in time with.

So, about stealing my heart, you have to go through some key preliminaries to receive it.  But once you do, know that I will love you with all my control that I have in me.  A love so strong it will be impossible to break.  Only commitment, adoration, comfort, and faithfulness will flourish from it.

This, I believe.


Mrs. Beth (your last name inserted here)

“Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it” – Proverbs 4:23


Which Emotion is Stronger – Love or Hate?

By Beth Winze

Upon scrolling through my Pinterest home feed this morning- a most addictive routine of mine – I staggered across a mind halting phrase.  Which is a stronger emotion – hate or love?  Being the hopeless, starry-eyed romantic I am, I instantly forfeited that love was the strongest emotion. Upon additional brooding, I needed to question my hasty solution.  Is not love just as controlling as hatred?  What is it that pushes a human to relinquish an organ to save another, but also cause another human to pull the trigger and finish someone’s life?  It hinges on on your attitude on life.  If you have a cynical assessment, hate could conceivably feel like the stronger of the two, but if you choose to look through rose-colored lenses, love may be the stronger. I trust that no one is stronger than the other.  They both pull equivalent weight in our souls, it just depends on which one we let lead the way.

Is it not a love and hate that affects a terrorist to crash an aircraft into an American metropolis?  A hate for the country his birthplace hates, but affection for his country to the point of martyrdom.  Not to defend these disturbing occasions at all, but don’t these two go hand in hand?  I have heard stories of how love will make you do irrational things.

“The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.”  – Jiddu Krishnamurti

For example, in the cherished romance of Romeo and Juliet, the story concludes with both characters committing suicide because they could not live without the other.  While this is an extreme example of a unfathomable love, once apprehended, love will take one to places they never would have gone formerly.

“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” – Benjamin Franklin

Hate can be so sufficiently exhibited in many of school shootings.  It is usually a method of vengeance to nurse the pain the shooter was caused at some point by his peers.  Sadly, the shooters hate usually ends to his own demise as well as many others.

These two instances are only one of millions you can discover on love and hate.  It is peculiar to think that these two emotions can control one’s entire life.  Are we going to allow love to rule our hearts, or hatred?  To answer the posed question, I do not think one emotion is superior to the other, I think that it truly depends on which one you convey.

The greatest case can be in the King of the world.  He came down out of love to save us from our sins, but in anger to defeat sin.  He gives us the flawless sample of immeasurable love.  His anger towards sin, and our sinful lives initiated Him to give us a Savior of assurance.  And that’s a love, I will never comprehend.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8 ESV


Twenty-six Letters – A Writer’s Origin of Passion

By Beth Winze

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

How often we take words for granted.  If you want to simplify them to their most embryonic form, it is a simple re-use and re-organization of twenty-six altered letters.  That is it.  But the use and construction of these letters can make an influence of greater inspiration than we can even begin to fathom.  They are like a steaming pot, with a volatile potential to overspill and leak everywhere.  Twenty-six letters that can be used to ignite fires in the hearts of a pastor’s congregation, but also used to tell a fading man about his medical test results.  Resorted to as a mother murmurs words of relief to her child in the pandemonium of a storm, and the husband tells his wife of his un-dying adoration on their wedding day.  It is the authority of the word that stirs in our cores as writers.  It generates an insatiable appetite for more.

I think there is a moment in every writer’s life, right before we truly determine our thirst for these twenty-six letters, in which we are struck by the use of the written word.  Books were my world growing up.  I let them sweep me away on expeditions that were only restricted by the volume of imagination I put forth into them.  This craving for reading, lead to my yearning of writing.  I wanted to be the author someday that could take a body down the rabbit hole and through a tale woven from playing cards, a delirious girl, and a Cheshire cat- all birthed from twenty-six letters.  Imagination takes over our concentrations, and we can’t be told the skies the limit, when man has walked on the moon.  Our ideas are our own, carried to term and birthed from our formed creations.  Our stories, essays, poems, articles, journal entries, and blog posts are our babies.  Nursed, taught and raised under our vigilant eyes.  They become a part of us and we take pride in our accomplishment.

The surface potential of words is enough to drive us mad in pursuit for the unsurpassed way to access our sensations.  When a writer is moved, it’s all that consumes our concentrations.  It can be in a quote from a book, a single word skimmed over in a text, or words articulated to us.  When we find the organization of twenty-six letters alluring and beguiling, we cannot be stopped.  It is seared in our brains until the nearest piece of scrap paper captivates our spirits at that instant.  Until those notes are turned into our pieces, it sojourns with us.  The worst feeling for a writer is having a pot of effervescing ideas, and having to let it boil over because no paper is obtainable.  If we cannot let our notions out, we feel as if we may merely combust.  It is an anomalous emotion, but it can, more times than not, reach the point of a natural high.

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling

Artists paint to express themselves; singers’ pen lyrics packed with sentiment; the musician performs late into the night; and writers arrange twenty-six letters into their exact form anticipated.  The most insightful part about writers is that no one of us is comparable.  Our imaginings vary from dark mysteries to whimsical fantasies.  Not one true writer will duplicate another.  We appreciate the work and exhaustion that is put into our pursuit of passion.  It is a joint community of deference and admiration.  We are the most individual group of artists you will ever meet.

Twenty-six letters fuel a collection of individuals.  Twenty-six letters snatch our lives and flip our passions around by the head.  That is the true origin of a writer’s passion.  Twenty-six letters modest letters.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth