Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lessons to Learn


Currently
Reading:
Real Simple The Magazine 
I really need a new book, but I have no idea what I want to read!
Watching: Don't ask why but Mulan
Listening:
"Preserve Me" by Jordan Johnson

This weekend was hard for me. Which was weird because I feel like it shouldn't have been. I mean nothing completely world wrecking happened to me, it was no different then life as I have come to know it... and yet it was. I thought I was going to have another stroke on Friday night. It was awful. Then my coworker lost her dad while we were at work. And that was gut-wrenching to watch. Which caused me to go to bed extremely early and wake up in the middle of the night to a Facebook message that prompted a conversation I was not planning on having. In case you didn't already know, if you can't ask the question when most people are conscious you shouldn't ask it when you should be sleeping. It's just plain and simple.

I think the thing that had me hung up the most is my coworker's dad dying though. I mean after being faced with my own mortality, any time I encounter it now it is earth shattering! Because I feel like I know what they are going through, yet at the same time I haven't the clue. So I let my frustration out to God. "Why?!?! Why would you do this Abba Daddy? Why is death still in the world? When will you come back and save your children from this mess? From the heartache they are in? From the filth they are forced to wallow in?!?!?! Daddy I am so ready to be done with all this brokenness!" Now, don't get me wrong, I know that death was a consequence of sin entering the world; but it just seems to be endless. When will we stop paying for sin? Again, I know the answer, when there is no more sin. But it is just so grotesque to me. I even sought friends who were pastors, asking them for this unforeseeable answer. Knowing that all they could tell me was rhetoric and truth I already knew from being a church brat. So I took to the kitchen, took to my weights, took to music and then crashed into my bed at eight o'clock on a Saturday night. Lamest twenty-three year old ever!!! But it was a fitful sleep and I woke up several times through out the night, at point for three hours.

So this morning, still in my funk, I went searching for something to soothe me, something to calm my aching spirit. What do I find? Biblegateway.com verse of the day: John 16:33 'But take heart! I have overcome the world'. It was such a simple message but one thing rang true for me out of it- I was heard. God knew and understood my frustration, but He would always win out in the end. And I found myself so overwhelmed by this. Because I went searching with arms high and heart abandoned, looking for my answers in Him. I RECEIVED.

I have been learning a lot about giving and receiving lately. Up until a year ago I was awful at both. And then I learned how beautiful it was to give, to give until it hurt. To give until I had given everything I had to offer, until I had given my best. But receiving is still a process lesson. It's hard and uncomfortable. I've seen it being the giver and I am definitely seeing it as people try to give to me. But Receiving 101: Have empty hands and an open heart, even when you want to come with all the baggage. Even when you know receiving is going to humble you. God gives nothing but GOOD gifts to His children, why not put yourself in a position to receive?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Survey

I stole this off another blog I found and thought I would give it a go. However, It's taken me hours to finish because I got interrupted by these two really cute kids. You might know them as Kya and Drew. The loves of my life and my niece and nephew. Oh to be young at Christmas.


1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I am an odd duck in that I only liked egg nog when I was a kid. I hate it now! I love my caramel hot chocolate from Land-O-Lakes!!! With some whip cream and caramel sauce!


2. Does Santa wrap the presents or put them under the tree?
I don't understand this question... under the tree?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
When I was a kid we only used colored lights on our tree. Then they also went blinking. But since we moved and I am now an "adult" we have white lights on the tree with jewel tone ornaments.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No. I think mistletoe is lame! If you love them you shouldn't need mistletoe to tell you to kiss!

5. When do you hang up your decorations?
When I was in junior high my brother lived in CA and he brought his then girlfriend home. So we decided to decorate while they were here. It was Thanksgiving weekend. And it became our tradition. And that girlfriend, she's my sister-in-law and mother of my niece and nephew!


6. What is your favorite Christmas dish (excluding dessert)?
Does jello count as dessert? Because if it doesn't it would be my grandma's jello. I miss her making it, but now my mom makes it for me on the holidays.  If not, I have started this thing where the Christmas meal has to be red, white, and green... So I have been making cheese filled pasta with pesto!!!

 7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child?
When I was four years old, I was forced among many children to sing a song for my Sunday school teacher. I was chosen out of my whole class to sing a solo for one of our songs we (the small ones) would perform. It was my first experience on stage. I didn't have a clue what it would mean then. But it changed my childhood. And in case you were wondering, I sang "Away in a Manger". First song I learned by heart! ;-)

8. What is on your Christmas wish list?
Little things. Tights. Eye liner. A loofah with handle.


9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?
Nope. It's sacreligious!

10. How do you decorate your tree?
With white lights, jeweled tone bobbles, hallmark ornaments, and a star.

11. Snow. Love it or dread it?
LOVED it until this year!!
15392_834923135389_250029433_n
12. Real tree or fake tree?
Real trees!!! Fake ones don't smell the same!!!!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I don't know that I have a favorite gift. My favorite this year was seeing two of my favorite people from Atlanta for a few days a few weeks ago.

14. What is the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Spending it with my family. Sometimes the best we can do is be together virtually, but we always spend an hr or more together!

15. What is your favorite Christmas dessert?
My mom's Oreo cheesecake!

16. What is your favorite Holiday tradition?
When I was a kid, we used to get a specialty ornament every year to commemorate the year. It was fun as we got older to decorate the tree to see how we grew up. I have started the tradition with my niece and nephew. They were so excited for their ornaments even though it was a surprise!

17. What tops your tree?
We switch it up all the time. We always had a star when I was a kid. Then at one point we switched to an angel. Now we are back to a star, but it's much simpler than the light up ones we had as a kid!

18. Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving! It's an opportunity for others to feel loved and known. Also for them to know that you have listened.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Don't know if it's a Christmas song per say, but Handel's Messiah Hallelujah Chorus. It ended all the Christmas Choral shows in my high school since my brother and sister were in choir. I've been singing it all week!

20. Candy Canes.  Yum or Yuck?
I like them. But they are one of those things you have to be in the mood for, because they take some time to eat. I do however like Hershey's Peppermint Kisses!

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
White Christmas! My mother has made me watch it so many times, I have it memorized!
22. What do you leave for Santa?
Um nothing, I stopped believing in Santa the person at 5! But his spirit will always live on!!!


23. Do you have a Christmas Morning Tradition?
Open presents and then eat breakfast?

24. Do you prefer to shop online or at the mall?
I like to shop in store. I am always afraid online shopping will not be what I want or arrive on time!

25. Christmas Letter or Card.
I am a grinch when it comes to this. I would much rather have a letter. Because frankly unless you've got cute kids or you are putting money in it... what am I going to do with the Christmas card after I've opened it?

Well, there you have it. My version of Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone. And thank you Jesus. I still celebrate the day you were born to die.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Daunting

The days coming up make me feel like I am holding my breath...

What's happening? I don't know.

I need the quality time; but right now I need it with someone sitting right next to me who I can reach my hand out and touch. I'm an aching kind of lonely right now. It courses through my whole body.

It's almost Christmas, a Christmas I almost didn't have. And my heart is beating out of my chest for contact.

All I want is music that haunts you since all my loved ones are so far away.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Decisive

 "This day is a journey."
Currently
Reading:
 The Five Love Languages, Singles Edition by Gary Chapman
Watching:
Disney's A Christmas Carol
Listening:
"Home" performed by Michael Buble with Blake Shelton

Another Christmas day will come and go away and I've got so far to go
And I want to go home
Many surrounded by strangers and Christmas lights, shouldn't feel so alone
But I want to go home, God I miss you ya know



I know when Facebook switched to timelines many people did not like them, in fact they griped and complained. I didn't like it at first either, but now I love what it represents. It is a literal picture of your life. Photos of your growth and change and excitement. Things that stirred you enough to share. The what's on your minds cataloged in chronological order and the favorite's highlighted. This week I scrolled through my timeline... and but together a list of dates that will at one point become an epilogue to this journey. Things happen in the blink of an eye... and then they are over.

Here we are just weeks away from the new year, and I find myself reflective on the current one. It's hard to believe all I have faced this year. All that I have overcome! This week I found myself pouring over my goals for the year. I was overwhelmed.

This year alone I have gotten a new STEADY job, with almost double the pay and benefits. I purchased my car outright without going into debt. Maintained most of my weight loss and did my best to stay on a regular workout schedule. I have sought counseling to deal with my past. Had four different doctors appointments in one week.  Had teeth removed. Had blood work, urine analysis, CT scans, and MRI's. Had a "stroke". Was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Had a craniotomy. Was on hiatus for a month. Had to stop working out for four months. Gained up to sixteen pounds post op. And now finally months later, I am back to "normal". Or at least as normal as I'm going to get!

It has been quite the year. And I am glad it is almost over. But I am thankful for the lessons it has taught me, the strength is has given me. I will never be the same after the year I have had. 

It's amazing how much can happen in a year. At how fast a year can go. At how strong you can be when you have no choice. And how much peace He can give when you have run out of places to turn. 
"This very moment an adventure."
Rebecca Pavlenko

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Novice

Currently
Reading:
 The Five Love Languages, Singles Edition by Gary Chapman
Watching:
White Christmas (Mom didn't believe that she's made me watch so much I have almost every word memorized! About 20 minutes in she conceded.)
Listening:
"Hundred More Years"  by Francesca Battistelli

They can laugh
They can cry
The future looks so beautiful and bright
They can dance
Under the moonlight
‘Cause God is smiling down on them tonight
And she wants to stay right here
Make it last for a hundred more years


These past few months have been crazy. I've brought people back into my life that have been gone for a while. People have come into my inner circle that I never would have imagined. And some people have left me, like a person without a coat in winter.

Learning to be pursued. Such a different feeling. You want to know me, you want a relationship with me (of any kind) PURSUE me. I may just pursue you back...

Being KNOWN is such a lovely thing. It's painful at times. It's hard to be transparent. But to know that someone knows me so well...

Do you SPEAK my language? Do you even know what it is? Have you even bothered to try? To have someone who cares enough to communicate  in a way you understand...

I often feel like two different people. The one is brave, fierce, and strong. The other is delicate, gentle, and sensitive. Few people see both.

Over the past few weeks I have been learning that if someone is searching to pursue me, is willing to get to truly know me, and find a way to speak my language means I am LOVED.

This is getting very tricky...  I am feeling like a novice.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nuance

Currently
Reading:
 The Five Love Languages, Singles Edition by Gary Chapman
Watching:
Chicago Fire
Listening:
"22"  by Taylor Swift

It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters
And make fun of our exes, uh uh uh uh
It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight
To fall in love with strangers uh uh uh uh
Yeaaaah
We're happy free confused and lonely at the same time
It's miserable and magical oh yeah
Tonight's the night when we forget about the deadlines, it's time uh uh

I don't know about you but I'm feeling 22
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you
You don't know about me but I bet you want to
Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we're 22, 22

What does a perfect day look like for you? When was the last time you thought about it? When was the last time it changed?
I've found over the past few months the details of it have changed. But the truth is the core of my perfect day hasn't changed. I want to be with people I love and who care about me. I want to encourage and uplift those that I spend time with. Today felt like a pretty perfect day. Today I felt like I mattered again.
I know that may sound strange, saying that I feel like I mattered again. But I have had some people make me feel extremely obsolete since my surgery. Slight newsflash... I didn't die! So when my friend told me she needed someone to talk to, it felt nice. I hate that she was going through so much, hated that she needed someone to lean on. But felt blessed that she trusted me enough to share what she was going through. I sat and shared with my friend. I climbed in the playhouse with her kids. And shared some of my life's distractions with her.
With that said:
Dear God, Thank you for what felt like a pretty normal day. I don't have a lot of those anymore. Dear L, thanks for letting me be your sounding board. Dear IHOP, Thank you for your yummy carrot cake pancakes, you made me happy. Dear Mrs. P and Sweet P, you always make me smile. Especially while we play peek-a-boo. Dear McDonald's Jungle Gym,  Thank you for being one of the first things to not make me feel old!!! Dear Abba Daddy, Thank you for today!!! It means the world to me that I can make a difference!!!
Credit for the inspiration behind 1 sentence letters:
www.todaysletters.com

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Optical Illusion

"Live"
Currently
Reading:
The Root of Rejection by Joyce Meyer
Watching:
Giuliana & Bill
Listening:
"I Have Found"  by Kim Walker


I have found a peace that plows on through the storm.
I have found a joy that jumps over sadness.
I have found a love that lights up every room.
I have found, I've found You!
Hmmmmm, I am still in awe of the fact that I had brain surgery a month and a half ago. It blows my mind. In some ways I am simply amazed at the fact at how little it affected me; a month and a half post op and I've been back to working full time for three weeks. At other times I am blown away by how its affected the little things in my life; I worked out for the first time Thursday evening and spent a majority of Friday in bed because I was having extreme dizziness. I do, however, find that my perspective on life has changed.

per·spec·tive

[per-spek-tiv] 
noun
1. a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface. Compare aerial perspective, linear perspective.
2. a picture employing this technique, especially one in which it is prominent: an architect's perspective of a house.
3. a visible scene, especially one extending to a distance; vista: a perspective on the main axis of an estate.
4. the state of existing in space before the eye: The elevations look all right, but the building's composition is a failure in perspective.
5. the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.
I would have to say that over the past few months, I have gained a different perspective on myself. I definitely believe its from the Lord. It's challenged me to look at my life in a new way. I can honestly say that I have never been so thankful to be alive, but at the same time so sad not to be with Jesus. Not that I wanted to die, but when you spend so much time thinking over all the possibilities, I mean I would have been in heaven. My thoughts were directed toward heaven through the whole situation. I had such incredible peace. But it also reminds me I am here for a reason. It also got me thinking about what I was doing on earth. 
There is a saying that says something like "We all have to face God alone". Lately, I've been thinking though, have I done anything to bring anyone with me. I know I will face God alone, but what have I done to further His kingdom. I have been so heaven minded, but have I been present enough to help man be... Have I lived my life in a way that others desire Christ the way I do?
I've also found some unattractive qualities in myself. I am NEEDY. I know I like to take care of people, but I have found that in this time I want people to take care of me; by just being there, being a presence in my life. I also attach really easily. Which is odd for a person who struggles with feelings of abandonment. You would think that it would be hard for me, but the truth is sometimes people react the opposite way.
Truthfully, my mind has been jumping ahead twenty spaces. I guess realizing that I could have died at twenty-three years old has made me realize the gravity of life. I am not guaranteed tomorrow. I want to make the most of the time I have. But at the same time jumping ahead of myself isn't going to help anything or anyone.
Like always I am living in extremes, and I need to find that middle ground. Right now it's the middle ground of being present, but also heaven minded. I want to LIVE and live right.
"big."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Slaying Self

"Knowing what you want"
Currently
Reading: The Root of Rejection by Joyce Meyer
Watching: Cupcake Wars
Listening: "Hurt" covered by Johnny Cash

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
"is the first step"


Ever have something so simple become something so profound?
I was at Wendy's the other day. I had finished eating and I was waiting for my mom to return to the table. There in front of me sat a man with his three children; two girls and a boy. The father had gone to get the kids frosties and had asked each child what flavor they would like. The boy was the only one who asked for chocolate. But when the Father returned the son was distraught. His was different from his sisters. The father tried to explain to his son, that he had only gotten him what he asked for... but it wasn't enough for the saddened boy. And then I saw something so sweet happen...

How often do we ask for something and then when we get it we want what someone else has? We cry and cry asking for what someone else has when we have such a good gift. I find myself looking back on moments I've had like that before my surgery. I always wanted something more than what I had. But when I was faced with the possibility of death, I realized how grateful I was for all that I had. It's unfortunate that we have to come close to loss in order to be grateful.

So back to my story. I continued to watch it all play out.  No matter how hard the father tried to explain to him, the child was persistent. And so, what appeared to be the eldest child, leaned over to her brother. She said, "Do you want mine? You can have it. We'll trade." And with that the brother dug into her vanilla frosty and instantly stopped crying. I was wowed at the graciousness of this sister. The father didn't really say much to her, but I wanted her to know that someone saw. That someone recognized her generosity, her kindness, her willingness to put her brother before herself. So I dug in my wallet and found something that would be precious to this little girl. And so I gave her fifty cents. It wasn't much but I knew it would be like treasure to this small child. So I walked up to her and placed the change in front of her and said "That was a very nice thing you did. You are a good sister".  The father kept telling me it wasn't necessary. I told him I saw what happened and thought it deserved some positive reinforcement.

It was something so simple as trading what she wanted to make someone else happy. But yet as adults with struggle with this concept. Faith like a child...

"toward getting it." ~Mae West

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sleep

Currently
Reading: Honestly... nothing. Just the blogs I follow!
Watching: Stand Up To Cancer
Listening: "Ronan" by Taylor Swift

I know I was supposed to be back to a regular schedule... but I was exhausted yesterday! For that matter I didn't really have anything to talk about. And I still really don't.

This week has been full of friends. I video chatted with my dear friend and her daughter Sweet P. I also spoke with my other friend and her sister on Skype. I've chatted with some old friends from my prior job. Loving the people who are keeping me company and chatting with me through my recovery. I go back to work a week from tomorrow! Which is kind of exciting because there is only so much internet and television a person can take. Boredom has set in. But at the same time it's... WORK.

I don't know what my deal is the past two days. I feel like I am regressing. I am exhausted. And I have done less then I was doing a few weeks ago.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Slow Down

"Tell me, what is it"
Currently
Reading: "Love Finds You at Sunset Beach" by Robin Jones Gunn
Watching: Julie & Julia
Listening: "Steady My Heart" by Kari Jobe



But You're here
You're real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart [x2]
 "you plan to do with your one"

I'm back! I eluded to the fact in my last post that I was having surgery. Well here I am two and a half weeks post surgery. Alive and well. Recovering. Tired all the time. But the key is ALIVE. It's insane to me that it's been almost two months since I have truly written a post on this, my friend, my blog.
For those of you that don't know,  when I mentioned in this post that I had been to the Emergency Room, I was having stroke like symptoms. At twenty three. I was terrified. And the news didn't get any better. I found out that day that I had a rare cyst on my brain. With in a few weeks of that I found out that I was going to have to have brain surgery. Not something I had planned on in the midst of me trying to go back to school and working full time.
I went in for surgery on a Thursday and was on my way home by Saturday afternoon. For the most part I've been doing well. However, I did past out about a week ago getting the mail and hit my head on the sidewalk. My staples came out on Thursday. My hair is working its way back. I'm getting out a little more. I will be okay.
I thank God for what happened though, because my doctor told me most people don't even know that they have this. They just die. And that blows my mind. I had such incredible peace through out the whole process. And I thank all the awesome people who kept praying peace over me. I felt it. I was ready no matter what the outcome was. The Lord delights in me! The song I posted was the last thing I remember before they put me under. I was singing it in my head, thanking God that He had me in the palm of his hand, and that He would steady my heart even though everything was falling apart... including me. If you haven't personally experienced this yet- Search for it. Because I was blown away. I was ready to live, I was ready to die; I knew where God was taking me.
"wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I've been missing in action for almost three weeks now. And I am here to inform you that the hiatus will most likely be continuing until after surgery. Because I am spending all my time preparing, praying, and pondering. I don't know how quickly I will return. It will depend on my recovery. Until then.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just A Minute

Currently
Reading: "The Root of Rejection" by Joyce Meyer
Watching: One Tree Hill  The last episode ever...
Listening: "Blue Sky" by Patty Griffin

The farther I come the farther I fall
Whatever I knew it was nothing at all
Nothing at all, just making me small
Smaller and smaller
I fall back

Sooner or later with a view from the ground
Chasing the race and the races run you down
Sooner or later with a view from the ground
And a tear in your eye
You say baby why can't we fly
Into the blue sky
High
Into the blue sky

                   "It's Been A Long Day" by Rosi Golan

Its been a long day and all I’ve got to say is make it strong
Its been a long a day and all I’ve got to say is I’ve been wrong
So take a leave of absence, tell me you’ll be gone, I don’t want to see your face.
Its been a long day and I just wanna hide away
Its been a long week and all the lines come down heavy on me
Its been a long week I’m finally feeling like its ok to break
Into a thousand pieces, no one can replace, only I can find my way.
It’s been a long day and I just wanna hide away
It’s been a long year and everyone around me disappeared
It’s been a long year and all this mess around me is finally clear
So can I have a moment? Just to say hello. Can you let your anger go?
It’s been a long year and I’m finally ready to be here.

This week has been extremely wearing. I don't even have words that begin to describe it. There were scary words tossed around. My laptop battery refuses to stay in. We had a freak storm here. Cable, Internet, ... Power lines out. Therefore busy work week. And I ended up in the Emergency Room on Friday.  I'm exhausted and haven't been able to get back to myself. It's eighteen hundred hours and I am still in my pajamas. It's not looking promising. And I've spent half the day trying to think of something clever to write. But I've got nothing. So maybe later this week, you'll see a follow up post. But for now...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Jail

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience,"
Currently:
Reading: "Coming Home" by Karen Kingsbury (Well I actually finished in a day)
Watching: NCIS
Listening: "Safe" by Natalie Grant
I'm not gonna hide
I'm not gonna run away
I'll uncover the scars
And show you every mistake
Your love is mending my blisters
And the bruising shame
Here with you
I am safe

Drowning the tears
Won't make it go away
It's robbing my soul
I'm taking this mask off my face
To discover love
And uncover all
It means to live and breathe

When you uncovered, I discovered
I am not afraid
But when we're hiding
We end up fighting
To be safe
"in which you really stop to look fear in the face..."
Security equals Jail.
Yep, that's what I said. You're not making the connection, are you? Well, it's taken me about a week to make the connection... so just sit back and listen to the story, while you give it a minute to sink in.
When I was a little kid, I used to stay home by myself after school. And if I walked up to my apartment building and saw someone at my door; I turned into instant spy. I would sneak through the pines that stood between the apartments and the house next door (don't worry I knew the kid that lived there, and so the parents weren't concerned) and made my way to the front of he building, where two giant willows stood. And there, under those long limbs, I would stay until the coast was clear. Seemingly invisible. I perfectly safe... and unable to move. In my own little jail...
This week, the idea was brought up that maybe the reason I struggle with peace is because I've never had security. I could think of a thousand reasons why that would be true.  Because the closest thing I've found to security in my life was to disappear into a tree or hide in a windowless room. Waiting for my gut to fall out or the other shoe to drop.
And thus security is a jail. Because you can't budge. You're held up in a tiny space, unable to move for fear of losing that one brief moment when you could breath. False security.
I recently heard someone say, "I don't allow others to rent space in my brain". Because when you allow others to rent space, they sit on your peace.
With the realization that I have spent my entire life searching out security, it saddens me to realize that I've boasted on knowing Christ; but have never trusted His depth enough to remain in his peace. Because I am safe in His arms. But I have to be willing to lay back in them, not waiting for the coast to clear so I can pop out.
So with all my might I am serving eviction notices. And I am settling in on the couch of peace God has given me. Because true security isn't a jail it's the get out of jail free card, but you have to be willing to use it.
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Juggling

"She needs no map to discover where she is going, or how to get there."
Currently:
Reading: Karen Kingsbury book comes out Tuesday!

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
"Her map is written in her heart-"
Once upon a time my art hung on the walls of a gallery. I rode a horse as fast as lightening, I was a famous actress on stage, I taught a class of thirty kids, I was in ministry. Okay, so these are only half truths. The only gallery my art has been in, is the walls of my home. I've rode a horse before, on a guided trail. I used to act on stage; however I was only famous in my small town if you can call it that. I've taught a class of two year old kids, for a year. And I've only been in ministry for a season. But once upon a time I thought I could make a life doing these things. Once upon a time I had dreams that made me tick. Once upon a time...
Usually stories that start with "Once upon a time" usually end with "Happily ever after". Although we were later taught that life doesn't really work that way. And then we grew up. Passions were traded for pensions. Dreaming turned into everyday living, surviving.
I'm sorry if my "stories" as of late have been driving you crazy, but they have been the best way for me to examine and explain my life. I've been in a slump for a while now. And in case you didn't know,
"Slumps are like a soft bed. Easy to get into and hard to get out of." ~Johnny Bench
And if I were honest, I would say I have been struggling to get out of this bed for about three months. Its been a stirring ground for introspection. A decided thought for different days. The winding path of the week. We get so caught up in living everyday life, we have forgotten what it means to dream. We have forgotten that kid who lived inside of us who said nothing could stop us. We forgot what it was like to live my faith, that God was in control of our paths. That they are GOOD and EXCITING things. But that sometimes he requires us to take some action first. But that we also have to be content with the seasons.
This week I've been meditating on the path that lies ahead. Along with the person I want to be. In these thoughts I kept telling myself I had to start with ABC if I ever wanted to get XYZ. I kept telling myself that when I accomplished certain things I would become a different person. That characteristics I wanted to see in myself would just magically appear. Or that I would instantly be chic and stylish. Maybe that I would always be happy. Nevertheless, the truth is, life events will not change who I am. They can shape, guide, and direct me. Even so I have to actually make the change. And I have to be content in the seasons. I have to rejoice in who I am now, knowing that God has ordained this time and He's molding me to the person He called me to be.
"-its roads and rivers are her dreams, her strength, her confidence."
Over the next several weeks I am lining up several appointments. I am setting up a meeting with a school counselor so I can get back in to school, and moving towards my degree. I'm also calling a counselor, because I find I am at my best when I have a sounding board. I'm looking into some gyms, because I love the way I feel when I exert my body to make it strong and I feel like spending the money will ensure I follow through. My fridge is going on a detox, back to being full of fruits and veggies. I'm putting away my debit card, because while I have never let my account empty, I have been way less conscientious on my spending than normal. I really need to find some good thrift stores. In addition to exploring my options for what comes next.Which can only be found by diving into Him. I'm opening myself up, even though that may mean closing doors behind me.
I am a style. I am beauty. I am grace. I am strong. I am confident. I am polite. I am wise. I am true.
I am me.
"The way is not always easy, but when she takes a moment to notice the scenery, she sees that it is always beautiful."
I am her.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Justice

This post has been edited and extended as of June 21at. Changes have been added through out the post, so if you don't want to miss them, you'll have to read the whole thing!
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss,  and have found their way out of the depths."
Currently:
Reading: I have nothing!
Watching: "Let It Shine"
Listening: "Be My Escape" by Relient K
I’m giving up on doing this alone now
Cause I’ve failed and I’m ready to be shown how
He’s told me the way and I’m trying to get there
And this life sentence that I’m serving
I admit that I’m every bit deserving
But the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair

"These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with a compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern."

I often find myself having conversation...with absolutely no one... in my head. The topic this week... grace. Topic stemmed from... conversations about my singleness. I know, if you don't live in my head you just had a connection misfire.

grace

[greys] Show IPA noun, verb, graced, grac·ing.
noun
1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease, lissomeness, fluidity. stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.
2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment: He lacked the manly graces.
3. favor or goodwill. kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension.
4. a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. animosity, enmity, disfavor.
5. mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. lenity, leniency, reprieve. harshness.

Back when I was in MC I did a word study on the word grace, but I focused a lot on the physical description of it. The fluidity, the charm, the kindness. 
But as I sat reflecting on dating, I hashed out this list of things I would and wouldn't accept in a guy. He had to have piercing eyes and a strong jaw. He had to be one who served. Someone who would keep up with me, because I don't sit still long. He'd need to be someone to make me laugh, which takes a rare type of person. My hand had to fit in his. Then I made a list of personal history this guy couldn't have, I got a knot in the pit of my stomach. He couldn't have a history with cigarettes, or drugs, or alcohol. And he certainly had to be a virgin. I didn't want some guy who was going to carry baggage into our relationship. These things were obviously things that he would struggle with over and over. Things that would cause him temptation. And I didn't want to deal with that. My hand couldn't possibly fit in to that. And then there was a "Wow, I'm that girl."
I sat by myself, finding my heart running over and over these thoughts. "So, you basically want someone perfect?" "No, not perfect." "But you just said he can't have things in his life that tempt him." "No, just things that are repetitive struggles." "Or temptations...?" "Oh" "And I would like to point out, you have a re-occurring struggle." "I do?" "You have an issue with food, most men like food... and confidence. Maybe you should have some grace."
That dialogue with myself broke my heart. Because I preach that the beauty of grace, is that it makes like not fair. I've willingly received so much grace in my life, because God loves me so much he freely extends it. I tried to destroy the body God gave me. I struggled with an eating disorder. I still at times struggle with the words that eating disorder left in my head. I myself struggle with lust. It's not just a man's issue. Yet when it came time to think about giving grace to someone I would/should/could? love, I sat there and doled out a list of why I could never give him grace. Isn't love supposed to be unconditional? It made me question how often I am willing to accept grace and talk about grace, but too cold and stingy to give it out. Grace, it's a two way street.
I want to live my life open handed. And that means living a life full of grace... Stand by for some changes to come. God's examining my heart... results in soon.
 "Beautiful people do not just happen."
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Juvenille...

"She still speaks to the little girl who wanted to be an artist, a doctor, a poet, a wing-walker."
Currently:
Watching: Fairly Legal
Listening: "Mirror" by Barlow Girl
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Have I got it?
'Cause Mirror you've always told me who I am
I'm finding it's not easy to be perfect
So sorry you won't define me
Sorry you don't own me

Who are you to tell me
That I'm less than what I should be?
Who are you? Who are you?
I don't need to listen
To the list of things I should do
I won't try, I won't try

"She listens when that little girl talks, when she paints pictures of the clouds, when she draws something huge in sidewalk chalk."

I often find myself talking about this little girl. I tell stories about her. I talk to her. I remember her. And I wonder what happened... to me.
With all the events that have happened this spring, I find myself thinking about her more; because she is getting farther and farther away. And so is her character... 
Because if I were honest I would say this:
I am actually on the shy side. I would rather wait for you to come to me, and am rather embarrassed to share anything about myself at first. The whole reason I started this blog was because I wasn't able to say the things I write on here out loud. I read something earlier today that defined an introvert as someone who feels like they lose energy when spending time with others, as opposed to an extrovert who gains it. I am of the first variety. Shocking I know.  But I have spent so much time on my own over the years it's hard for me to be any other way. Which is why after a year and a half of being home, I have yet to make any friends that I actually hang out with and talk to on a regular basis. Or why the concept of a relationship is at times terrifying. I'm paranoid like crazy. A nervous wreck. I doubt myself all the time. Wonder what is next. Often play what-ifs, shoulda-coulda-wouldas, and why's.


guide to understanding the introverted

And I want that little girl back.
The one that didn't care how many people actually took the time to call me. Who bounced from play to play, to be any character I had the opportunity to play; from Pocahontas to a grandmother. The girl who could say hi and have a friend in an instant. Who was always busy. Bold. Confident. Fearless. The one who didn't have to worry about self-esteem. The one who didn't give a crap about appearance. Or health. Or weight. Or what people thought of me living with my mom. Or what my relationship status was. BUt most importantly I want her faith. Because there was never a doubt in her mind, that God was the beginning and the end of everyday. That God would provide. That God was enough. More than enough. Heaven help me, bring me back to her. Please...

"She makes every day a place for old dreams and new dreams, dreams that tower and dreams that whisper."

I am her.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jump

"Because time itself is like a spiral,"
Currently:
Watching: Jane By Design
Listening: "Never Alone" by Barlow Girl
I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone

And though I cannot see You
And I can't explain why
Such a deep, deep reassurance
You've placed in my life

We cannot separate
'Cause You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen
 
"something special happens on your birthday each year:"
 A year ago today, I started the journey of my twenty second year. I had big plans and high hopes. However, none of them really happened... except for working full time. I didn't start school; they screwed me over. I didn't re-enter the world. Turns out it's kind of hard when you've been gone for so long. I am helping people now, in a way I never knew I would. But my health, and healthy living, has taken a back burner to it. And the perspective has yet to come.

It's been a long year. I have it all in writing. And I don't know what's next. I am not putting any specifics or limitations on what this next year will hold. There is no telling what the future will hold. I am simply putting myself out there. I am in God's hands. As scary as that is. I promise no consistency on here. But I promise you this, I am once again searching, striving to find me...
This is my twenty-third year.

"Who is she?

She is a daughter. She is a best friend. She is a pocketful of light. She is a spark of something good, getting brighter; a dream grown large; the right thing at the right time.

She is a dancer, a singer, a thinker, a truth-teller. A connoisseur of all the things this wide world has to offer. Her spirit is the first thing people notice. Her mind always had a mind of its own. Her heart, though it has sometimes been hurt, bears a strong resemblance to a daffodil: it always flowers again.

So she wakes with anticipation. She finds new hills to climb. And everyone agrees that the very fact of her in the world means there is still so much good to come.

Who is she? She is me. She is you.

I am her.
"The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again."~Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jesus

So tonight I was sitting in the car on the way home, thinking about how I was going to tell my group that I basically quit reading the bible in 90 days. I felt awful about it. But I had a wedding to plan. I had a stomach bug. My house was a mess. I had company in town. I was just way too... busy. Wait... did I just say that? That I am too BUSY for God? I did. Wow. Who am I that I don't have time for God? That I became too important to stop and take notice of my creator? And that was how the conversation with myself went.
But the sad truth is that we often have this conversation with God himself. Yes God, I know you are there, but I have twenty things to get done and I just don't have time for you. You are only the reason I am living, but that isn't important. How ridiculous do we sound? So I am going to do my best to catch up even though I am fearfully behind. Because God is way more important than the twenty things on my to do list that won't even matter tomorrow. I would rather invest in eternity!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Jeune

"A baby is"
Currently:
Reading: Waiting for my new book end of June
Watching: Iron Chef
Listening: "My Girl" by The Temptations
"God's opinion"
Lately, life has felt like a constant game of catching up! I've been a busy bee, and yet I have no life. Last week as I reminisced on my best friend's wedding, I had already had another memory making day. Because I finally got to meet my Sweet P! I came in with arm fulls of gifts for my precious baby girl and had to instantly drop everything and sanitize so I could get that precious baby girl in my arms.

There is something so magical about holding a baby that you have waited on. It's like to the climax to a suspense movie, everything has been leading up to this one moment and the rest is just like a downhill ride.
The second she was in my arms, she captivated me. I stared at her and then closed my eyes quickly to seal in the moment. It was like heaven meets dream meets earth. And I couldn't have loved her anymore. For the rest of the day she was mine. I would like to mention that I am the baby in my family, so in case you didn't know we are very possessive! I held her as she slept, pushed her stroller as we walked, and walked with her as cried. I burped her, changed her, and clothed her. And loved every minute. The thing about moments, is just that, they are moments. I only had a few hours with Samantha after several long months of waiting for her; and like that they were gone until next year.









Last week I compared the day to a flower unfolding; but maybe the reality is it's like a dandelion. It's bright and colorful and rooted and then in a moment in fades away and you are gently spreading it on other parts of your life.

Dandelions
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=22373&picture=dandelions
"that the world should go on." ~Carl Sandburg

Monday, May 28, 2012

Moderate

Hey everyone. It was brought to my attention that readers are having difficulty commenting on my blog posts. Since then I have updated the settings so any non-blogspot members will be able to post anonymously. However I ask that you do post your name in the comment. And it will not be immediately seen, due to the fact that I am moderating comments since it is open to anyone. I apologize if I have prohibited you in the past, and hope this will open communication on my blog; while still protecting you all and myself from negative content and spam.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Matrimony


"She soaked in the light, turned a new corner,"
Currently:
Reading: "I Am Her" by M.H. Clark
Watching: The Descendants

 So with this ring,
May you always know one thing:
What little that I have to give,
I will give it all to you.

You're my one true love.
"and stepped off the sidewalk into bloom."
The past few days have felt endless and yet they seemed to have just slipped away. Yesterday I woke up and spent the morning with my best friend, and the lovely people that surround her, and by the end of the day she had a new last name.
It was one of those days that I will hold in my heart forever…
I always thought when this day would come I would be full of tears. But I wasn’t. I did well up a bit. I remember about halfway through the ceremony I heard something tell me not to blink, because I didn’t want to miss a minute of it. And all day that resounded through my head… Don’t blink because you will never have this day again! I’ll savor the precious moments of sitting on a bed while I ran my fingers through her hair. Laughing at her standing in a towel trying to text to get things done. Sharing stories from our childhood while she got her hair and makeup done. Filing in the car with her dress strewn across my lap as my ever-independent friend drove herself to the wedding. Shielding her from the groom as she made a dash inside to get ready. Having a moment all to myself with her as she was getting ready and praying over the woman that she has become, the marriage she will have. Getting a knock on the door, during said prayer, because the reception area was being crushed by the wind. Pinning boutonni√®res on the groomsmen. Holding the train on her dress. Watching her cry as the whole bridal party surrounded them in prayer; while she clung to her soon to be husband. Turning to her one last time as we prepared to walk out, exclaiming that she was about to get married. Her calm and reassured smile as she said, “Yeah, I am”. Holding the arm of my groomsman as I walked toward a smiling Groom; thinking man I glad I have this arm to hold because he asked me not to cry while walking down the aisle. I remember quickly turning my head to watch the Groom’s face as she approached the end of the aisle; and his smile couldn’t have been any bigger as she walked down the aisle crying.  The communion where they leaned in to each other as he prayed over them. The way her voice wavered in her vows. The kiss that didn’t seem to be stop. And the rest is a blur of conversations while she took picture after picture… until the last few moments; when I wrapped my arms around my best friend and said goodbye for the last time in a long while.
"The branches above her, the shadows at her feet,"
I woke up yesterday and spent my morning with the little girl I grew up with. And then yesterday unfolded like a newly bloomed flower. When I finally said my goodbyes I realized that it was so hard to see her in the beautiful woman that was standing before me. But I still saw, still knew her, still found her… in the depths of my heart that had captured years of memories with her and every moment I saw her through out the day; because I didn’t blink, I didn’t want to miss a minute of it.
"heard her song, and gave it room."