About a week now I went to Charlotte and had a “Holy Spirit Retreat” and boy howdy some stuff really came from God. To make the story incredibly short I felt very much led to go travel this coming year. I was thinking of World Race and then I was thinking of doing the ESL route again-and actually doing it. Both, I believe God is totally okay with me doing. I feel so scared of both though, but I know I want to travel. Student loans or not.
This is going to be my last semester so it’s probably best to figure it out soon. If anyone reads this blog I do ask for prayer on which route I should take, for it to be clear and for my fear to subside and peace to come.
Regardless, I’m sure God wants me to travel. The pics are of my hike in Croft State Park in Spartanburg, SC. If you wanna get close to God, get quiet, and go on a hike.
Feeling this band lately. So good!
Right now, I’m listening to some R&B while I reminisce about the few hours I had at Starbucks today pretending I was in NYC writing my heart away about someone I’ve been thinking about.
I’m reminiscing on one of the best conversations I’ve ever had with someone, the kind that you just open up so unabashedly and listen and just be so genuine that there’s no fear in saying whatever.
I’m also reminiscing over a prayer said at the end of my day. The kind that opens your heart and springs tears out of your eyes.
. . .
Sometimes God just puts stuff into your day that shakes you and scares you yet makes you sense how sturdy your faith is. How grateful, how loved, how hopeful you are. Right now, as I sit and listen to the sounds of my parents tv I can’t help but be so hopeful, loved, and grateful for all He’s given me in life- even if it is just for a few minutesSorry, these pictures are reused. I haven’t had time lately to explore. Sorry!
I’ve never in my life wanted to be so single. Well, maybe except when I was a kid. In the past I wanted to find a good guy, I wanted that ring, I wanted that co-dependence, I wanted what I thought what love looked like. I. Wanted. What. I. Didn’t. Have.
But now, I want nothing but to love myself– to keep loving myself. For once in my life I’m getting really comfortable with this brazen beaut that is my body, my intellect, my creativity. My, me, I… I know this sounds selfish. Confession: I want to be selfish. I’m high tailing it to selfish.
Dang it, it has been a long time coming to feel this way and damn if I can’t relish in it for just a second. I see a nice guy and get the slightest sense that he’s interested and the first thing I want to do is run. Yes, meeting someone is exciting but I don’t want it right now. I use to pray for a man, but now I don’t pray for anything except for me to be better, for the Lord to strengthen my faith, not to strengthen my chances to meet “the one.”
Golly I don’t want the one. Why is it in the Christian community that all of us single ladies have to be married? Why can’t I feel okay with being me and depending on my own self? Confession again: I don’t see myself with a-n-y-o-n-e. I don’t see myself as a married woman with three kids. There was a time when I really wanted that. I wanted babies and a house and a garden to boast. But now I don’t. I’d rather work and contribute to the needs of those around me rather than dote on some guy.
I’m really finding comfort in building my relationship with Jesus. I love challenging myself to be better and turning from my past habits. When I envision all the things I want to do, places I want to go, I never think of anyone by my side and to be frank, I like it that way. I’m feeling good, I’m learning to love me– who He made me to be.
So with all that has been formulating in the news lately I’ve just got to post this one video a friend of mine shared recently. It’s about how all this, all of everything, will just be…vapor, one day. It’ll all be dust and forgotten. I know that sounds depressing but let’s be honest most, if not all, the news reported these days is depressing anyway, but here’s the beauty in all of it:
All the hate, racism, white supremacy– fear, will all be gone. It won’t matter how much anyone believes they deserve or how little they got because it’ll all be taken away. In this video Michael Gungor mentions that when we pull back the camera a little bit what it comes down to is that we’re all human, specks of dust in time. None of us are that different from each other. Being white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, etc, etc, does not differentiate between what we truly are. It does not mean we get different treatment based off of our skin color. All this toil and worry makes us weary and weathered. It breeds hate. All this fear we pent up into ourselves gives us anguish and stress.
But all of that is going to the dust.
A teacher came and taught about all this vapor like this: “come to me all who are weary, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)” God’s oneness brings us all together within this vapor. ONE we are all ONE. Not separated into different groups, not defined by our flesh, but one, wholly and united by the maker of this universe. Set your mind on that.
My favorite line from this video is “life on this planet is a gift.” A GIFT. Why treat it like it’s a game, or with arrogance and bigotry? Racism is hate. Let love prevail and let it walk through the streets. Wave that banner of adulation around and spark that flame. Ignite it into your hearts and live it.
I’ve been in a Simon and Garfunkel kind of mood lately, or Cat Stevens. Watch, tomorrow I’ll be in an Elvis Presley mood. Anyway, lately I’ve been going through some stuff and I won’t get into what it’s about but it has been a struggle. Maybe that’s where Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens fall into play because their music is so melancholy at times– but I love it.
In some round about way the struggles have led me to the thought of how I can’t do this on my own. I told a friend today that it’s like I can’t be a good person with out him. I think of the type of sin I’ve been dealing with and how easy I could fall into it but then what I find in the midst of that thought is the fact that I’ve been redirected to a better path– like I’m walking towards the edge of a cliff and then I see a really cool flower and I stop and I’m like “what was I thinking? I was gonna go over that cliff! Ha! What!” I’ve been diverted. Instead of peering out across a vast landscape full of error or my own misdeed I look to a small flower. Modest in stature but beautiful and inviting and its roots grow deep, and I take ahold.
So I’m glad my heart has been taken over by Jesus. He’s changed me quite a bit. He’s changed me for the better and I’m so thankful. If there was a bigger better word than thankful then I would say it.
Love. Maybe that’s better. Ha, yeah, that’s better.
Today was a hot one, sticky and varnished with humid sweat. It just sits here in the South baffled at the idea of you being upright and productive. It all settled down when it dumped buckets as my parents and I rode down the road from North Carolina on highway 25 and little droplets started plopping down on the windshield. We rode in a minivan that my dad is planning to sell and it just reminded me of all the years I use to sit shot gun in Jodie’s minivan as we all noodled through each lane in the highway and my stomach would drop quickly from us sailing down a hill. I remember Jodie’s long, black, curly hair and her cackle. I remember when I fell down off the side of a concrete wall all from a dog wrapping his leash around my legs, tripping me up and how quickly she pulled me into her van and ripped open the glove compartment shoving brown, old napkins into my bloody hands all while telling me I was okay. I remembered the rain falling on the windshield and how I didn’t think I was ever gonna forget this moment. The rain started to pummel my Dad’s van by the time we got back into town. My Mom decided that since it is basically monsoon season over here that she would go throw around a bag of castor oil mixed with “botanical” ingredients into the lawn because of the moles and/or voles that have been wrecking our garden. They love sunflowers. She grabbed an umbrella and I pulled on my rain jacket. She dug white plastic cups in the bag of ingredients and we ran outside. The rain blew and we were drenched at the end of our battle amongst the voles/moles. I remember looking up at our fig tree toss and dance with itself in the monsoon-ish storm and thinking I wish I could capture this moment. Possibly stay in it. The rain was soaking my dress and naked legs but I could’ve stayed for quite a while.
After my shower I made a plate of hors d’oeuvres, i.e. pimento cheese and crackers and instead of reading like the good student that I am I watched Almost Famous. I watched it and the rain hailed on my window. It blustered and shook its fist and hollered. I wanted to cry watching this film, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t because I was too busy smiling. Here’s what I texted to a friend immediately after finishing the film: It just makes me want to be more honest with myself and others. Like it was such a good movie. There were parts of it (since it was set in the 70’s) that made me oddly nostalgic over my first year at school- like the classes and the feelings I got from watching a really good movie and it just transported me… It was a coming of age flick, and coming of age flicks make me warm and fuzzy anyway.It made me nostalgic over a period of time where I learned a lot about myself. It was a period of time where I learned a lot about humanity. I remember walking into my first class in college and sitting next to Emma, Sam, and… well, I honestly don’t remember the other dude’s name but that doesn’t matter. Emma was my Penny Lane and Sam was my Russell Hammond. Granted, they didn’t sleep together but they were my protagonist and antagonist and I could feel life about to Van Halen high kick it into gear. The rain soon slowed to a plip plop and gave up, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about Harold and Maude and anything Francoise Sagan related and the weird French teacher we had who loved to center his lectures on the idea of La petite mort. College was a trip– and I don’t care what feelings you might have against antagonists- or your friends mom’s- or old friends who you no longer talk to, but they move the story along. They get the real blood moving. They make the odd, fascinating, crappy things that seem to show up in life go forth. They can suck, and I mean they can really suck but if you’re lucky and you get to reminisce about the path you walked down then you see that person and you think life would’ve been a lot more boring had it not been for them.
The rain has stopped now and I’m sitting here listening to the Almost Famous soundtrack thinking that it all comes down to this: I’m super thankful God has given me all the memories I’ve lived through. Frankly, I’m thankful for being able to remember and to imagine and enjoy movies and rain. I’m just thankful for God.
I love telling stories. I don’t do it because I want to enlighten neurons in your brain or to slowly waste my breath that just filters in and out of my lungs but I tell stories because I want to relate. That’s my way of relating to everyone I come into contact with.
“Oh, you went to the beach last Saturday? How was it? Oh great! Yeah, I love the beach, this one time when I went…”
That’s me. I hope it doesn’t sound boastful or like I don’t want to hear your memories and good times but when it comes to me I just randomly spew my knowledge through my experience. I’m a doer, I learn by doing, and if I want to help I try to let you know what I went through to also share in on the same key note of understanding.
That’s why I want to cram my life with weird, adventurous details so I can learn. Life is boring if you’re not learning or putting yourself through the rigors that God sets out for you. I feel like that’s why we can’t escape difficult situations. They shape us, like little rolls of dough– but that’s another tangent for another cloudy day.
Go create stories, share them, and don’t let anyone tell you your stories aren’t worthy for telling.
I wouldn’t mind going camping on the beach sometime. Just building a big fire, watching the sun set as the chill comes on. I want to do a lot of things but other things just keep getting in the way, tripping me up and creating anxiety and fear. Listen, I’m in a constant state of anxiousness and I know that probably means I’m not putting my trust in the Lord but I don’t know how to turn it off. I don’t know how I’m suppose to feel. There have been times when I feel peace, that everything will be/is okay but those moments pale in comparison to the lies I’m probably telling myself. I know they’re lies but it’s almost like I’m trying to look for hope in them. It’s almost like I’ve got my head screwed on wrong and I’m looking in the opposite direction. I maybe walking in the right direction but it’s like my eyes aren’t quite looking to where I need to be looking.
I think I need to learn to be honest and tell myself what I want…
I just want a fun, adventurous, weird life. I want stories to tell my hopeful, one day soon, children. I want to experience life to fill my heart and also understand what it truly means to be love. I think achieving that really means being honest. Either with yourself or with friends, husbands, wives, who ever. That anxiety and fear maybe lies but truth is trust and love, and I know I really need to work on it.