Right now

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 minutes15171134674_c49a018484_oSorry, these pictures are reused. I haven’t had time lately to explore. Sorry!

Advertisements

Confession Time…

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.

37674000846_475549d087_o

 

Going to dust

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.

 

Sail on Silver Girl

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.

The second longest post I’ve written.

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. 19497736784_017f80d10e_oThe 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.33398417830_264a2648fb_oIt 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. 33783186895_fe6ffe8784_oCollege 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.

Love equals honesty and truth

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.

34452214121_9a9e6eb13b_o

Hoping for travel

So it seems this year is full of wanderlust for me. My coworkers girlfriend is headed out on trips of a lifetime, hopping from one country to another, plus my coworker is headed to Asia too. My boss is headed to Sweden. Another coworker is in Europe right now and every day I see Instagram blowing up my phone (and mind) with destinations I only dream about going to.33783216735_2512377a32_oRecently I decided to give up on the idea of teaching ESL. Yeah, it would be a sure fire way to travel and getting paid for it but every time I apply to a job it either doesn’t work out or I chicken out. Ever since I was a kid I always found travel fascinating. My Dad use to country hop for jobs before settling down and one of my earliest memories was asking him if he had been to a certain place and if so to tell me what it was like. Travel has always been my goal, but fear and apprehension slips in right when I believe I could actually do it. 33626754622_8e91ce226d_oFear gets in my way a lot. I’ve always wanted to be a person who packs up and jets off spontaneously but when I look at that realistically I don’t truly believe anyone just packs a bag and spends $1,000 on an airplane ticket sporadically. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it. I mean, I’m sure people do just go and figure it out on the way but as I’ve grown I’ve learned I’m not that person- no matter how much I want to be. I like planning. I like researching and siking myself up for what essentially still the unknown, but fear isn’t allowed in those siking up moments. It’s forgotten. I’m to focused on excitement. So why let fear in any time? Why can’t I just pretend I’m siking myself up all the time? You know what that’s really called? Hope. Hope for a better to be. Hope for what is to come. Put your hope in what God can give you, because He can give you a truly awesome trip.

So where’s my next destination? I have no idea. I’d love for it to be England again but who knows. I’m just hoping it’ll be amazing.  32940188514_5f1d53c830_o

Jumping into the storm

So it’s been a while… I’m still alive and I will survive. As of late I feel like I’m on the struggle bus and what does one do when they’re driving the bus? She writes! No, my eyes are not on the road at this very moment but on a computer screen screaming “WHY ME!”

To be honest I knew this season of struggle was on its way. I felt really calm a month ago, like right before a storm hits. You can smell it in the air, the wind is blowing, and on the horizon you see a huge, impending, formidable storm coming for you.

33783218305_9f0059fcba_oSchool is going well, yet it feels unchallenging. Work is extremely slow and I don’t know where I’m going to next. I’ve fallen for the lie that I look like Sloth from the Goonies. I’m constantly worried about my family, and the Lord and I seem to be drifting apart… When Jesus stood on water during the storm He didn’t say “hey, look at that cloud over there! It looks like your life because you failed.” He said “Take courage. I am here. Come and stand out here with me.” And yet, in this moment in my life I keep allowing the storm to get in the way. I’m bending over the side of the boat going “What? I can’t here you. Hey, look at that cloud!”33626778372_1e4a5d5d21_oI wake up every morning believing God is gonna scrub me of this sinful thinking but the truth is is that it’s up to me to get up and decide it’s gonna be a good day. He does get me up, and he pushes me here and there but he allows me to choose. He sent Jesus to let me know He’s got my back, to not forget, and to always keep my eyes on Him- to jump out in that storm. To keep my faith. To hold firmly and never let go.

So I’ve woken up today and I decide that.

He won’t get rid of my struggles like a quick snap of the fingers but He’ll stand by me through them all. Maybe I just need to grab some courage from within my life preserver and jump. I might fall in the water but I know how to swim to Him. He won’t let the sharks get me. 33626740072_6d6ac983b7_o

My longest post. My story.

29270973371_7d59c572ec_oSo I’m taking a break from reading Huckleberry Finn, wellll, uh, really taking a break from doing my homework (#collegeproblems #gettingamasters), and I keep thinking about my Bible study and our weekly challenge. It’s to write out our story and how we came to find Jesus and then share it with someone, and this week has been quite a trying time and well, I haven’t been out very much. I’m not a hermit, trust me on that one, I just haven’t been on the schedule enough. Work is slow (so is this book) and here I am. Here’s my story y’all:

I was raised in the Catholic church. I went to “church class” on Wednesday nights after school, got confirmed and it was all good. I went to church when I could, mostly holidays, but for some reason never quite felt at home, I didn’t feel a connection. (Now, I’m not hating on the Catholic church. Let me be clear on that. I’m just talking about my experience.) I never wanted to be honest about it because I never had another church-y experience to really compare too. I visited other friends churches but never really let myself take it in because it wasn’t my church. I constantly felt guilty about not going but I didn’t really know why.29349549235_559e81137d_oSo, like most young people going into college, I stopped. I halted all belief in anything. I believed there was a possibility of God but I was open to other ways of life too. To be honest, there was always a sense of grief, of guilt even, there was something missing in me. So, I went to school, I got in a doomed relationship, got my heartbroken, nearly got kicked out, and partied and I mean partied (sorry, Mom). I tried what I could to fill a hole. And then I jumped into that hole.

My last year in college I suffered a lot. I remember living alone in a bottom level apartment and not wanting to go home and be alone. Let me repeat that: Alone. I felt scared. I felt darkness surround me, and I had nightmare upon nightmare where I had to fight things off and it freaked me out! I wasn’t happy. I was depressed and nothing helped. Until I thought, “Hm, maybe I should go back to church.” So I found a small Catholic church and went in one Sunday and nearly cried. It’s funny that I went back to place where I felt like I had no connection to begin with. It’s because I had nothing else. I felt like I had hit rock bottom, I hit my lowest low. So I sat there, on a wooden pew and bit my lip. 29061937950_67f50b9359_oIt wasn’t until I graduated and got what I hope will be my worst job ever, and met my friend Sarah, who in retrospect guided me back to what church is really about. Where love stems from, and that’s Jesus. The first time we hung out it was my birthday and she asked me point blank what did I believe in. I was stumped and had no idea really. I just said “a little bit of everything.” A frown set onto her face and she handed me a book called The Story by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. That was my birthday gift. I took her up on her challenge to read it. And well, “duh” is the word, I read it. Flash forward three years and I’m here. I’m in a church I love, and I’m growing in a community, and I feel protected, loved and a part of something. I feel good. But not without countless questions and feelings of doubt and trying, trying times. I still go through difficult periods. But I gave my life to Christ and it’s not easy. 26683117874_0e4580a1e3_oIn a world where we want everything to be easy, this is not. But it is worth it. Trust me on that. God loves you even with all the sin you have in you. He loves you and wants what is good and right, and truthful for you. What is best, like a father would. We’re all bad, we’ve all got sin in us, but it’s up to us-to you, to me, to decide what we want to do, what path we want to take. Do we want to keep feeling empty and jump into holes or do we want to rise above them and become better, more loving, peaceful people? I’ll take the latter.

Frying my fear

16391217591_fedf1f8948_oMy lips keep quivering. It’s like they want to say something but my voice isn’t ready. They’ve been doing this for some time and I’m just lost for words.

*shrug*

Today has made me realize how much I miss the people… My people, whom I hold close to my heart. I had a stunning conversation with my best friend and we came to the conclusion of what I believe is holding me back from a lot of things in life. It’s funny how ideas can just drop into your lap after so many painstaking years it has been of trying to figure yourself out.

29315948046_649a706be0_o

I’m afraid of commitment. There I said it.

I’m in fear of it, and ya know what? It makes me so much more interested to conquer it, now that I can define it. Life gets a little easier once you find out more about yourself. It nice to be able to hatch little eggs of knowledge then fry them up in a pan and eat them for breakfast. It helps me understand what I can handle and what I want to subdue.

Here you go, Lord, here’s my fear. Take it.