Friday, February 28, 2014

Wowza, I'm Blessed

If I'm going to wrap myself in gratefulness, I might as well do it sufficiently. 

Tonight (Thursday, because I write ahead) is one of those nights where gratefulness abounds. It's in the quiet moments that I get caught up in all the little things God has done for me. 

I love that I am the kind of person that marvels at the tiny details, and finds excitement in enjoying little blessings. I'm thankful for that. I think it makes life worthwhile.

Today, I appreciate the blue fleece blanket my grandparents gave me; the pink (pink!) Of Monsters and Men vinyl I finally snagged from the record store (vinyl review coming soon!); finally figuring out how to make those gnifty photo overlays; writing my novel and getting absolutely caught up in my characters; Lorde's music; my truck; a red velvet cupcake candle; the newspaper; a bookshelf full of stories; God's grace; my family; words.

So maybe I'm a little caught up in all the details.
I can only help it will make me a happier person, a better writer.   


Write 1000 words toward book (fiction or Yoga/Pilates/Chakra based). Write and submit/publish at least 3 articles on Yoga and Pilates to online sources. 2-3 new blog posts a week.
A couple days ago, I sat down to blog. You know those days where you just stare at a blank document (or canvas, or wait in silence) and just can't seem to produce words, art, or music? That was me.

There's such a remarkable difference when I'm inspired. Today, I am dripping with inspiration and joy.

I want to do everything - write songs; pen my novel; clean my room; get lost in the mix CD I just made; take photographs in the garden; celebrate life. It's joyous and delightful to enjoy expression - we can create because we were made in the image of our Creator.

Today is going to be grand, I can already feel it. I might have gotten off to a slow start since I woke up late this morning (on account of staying up til three last night, typin' out 15 pages of my novel).

On this glorious Friday, I am celebrating all things purple and floral, my record collection, breathing and being alive. Oh, and music and words. Those, too. Thanks, Lord, for the beauty of inspiration.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


I was randomly scrolling through Facebook, looking at pictures of people, so many people, and it just suddenly occurred to me how much God loves us. I know that sounds remarkably cheesy, especially if you're not interested in God (or don't believe in Him), but to me, it's such a relief.

My word of the week has been "grace." Grace has many meanings for me -- it is the name of one of the central characters in my novel; it's a name I hope to use for my future daughter; and it is what I am under now that Christ has set me free.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. ~ Romans 6:14

I'm under grace. And sometimes I forget that. My sins have been pardoned, my burden is gone. Maybe that doesn't sound especially remarkable to you, but praise God, the Lord has opened my eyes to see grace afresh. I've been struggling with that for weeks now, but now I see God's infinite compassion.

In other news, today was End It Day.

27 million slaves still exist in our world today, and my sister and I joined countless others, from David Crowder to Carrie Underwood, in raising awareness for the End It Movement by marking our hands with red X's. Whiiich my professor asked me about, so there ya go: awareness.

Well, farewell my cozy corner of the Internet, I'm off to go write now. My novel awaits! HUZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Satisfied Sunday #1

So this is what my dinner table looked like yesterday, around noon:

My sister dragged her mahogany record player downstairs and placed it in the kitchen; we then proceeded to play vinyl after vinyl, showing each other new songs and old favorites. It was a sister record day for, well, the record. (Props if you can find the dinosaur!)

So....I'd like to introduce a new feature here on this here bloggy. *woot* I am trying to be more grateful and really enjoy my life, and one way I can do that is to appreciate all I've been given. The little things that go wrong (like having the hot water go out) pale in comparison to what others have to undergo. And I'm so grateful God has given me an amazing family, and sent Christ to make a way for me. I want this joy to color my life and make me a kinder, more gracious person.

Enter Satisfied Sunday. For my these posts, I will be naming something (or perhaps multiple somethings) that I am grateful for. 

one. My sister, Kaylie. We have truly wacky times together. Just this past weekend, we spent more than an hour staring up at the sky and laughing about nothing in particular. She is my musical partner, my secret keeper (sometimes!), and my joy. God knew that I needed a little bald headed child to follow me around when I was younger, and I'm so grateful for her presence in my life today. 

Hey, you! Yeah, you! What are you thankful for? 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Character Sketch #3

Maybe this is a character sketch of someone I know. Maybe this is a character sketch of someone I've haven't met yet.

Music is in his every movement. He walks in 4/4 time; breathes out melodies. There was never a time when music wasn't in his soul; it was always there, even from the beginning. He's passionate, wild but with restraint. He is confident, because he knows himself. His steps are sure, and he walks in the way of the Lord. But the music is still in him, making him powerful, and a little unpredictable.

When he doesn't know what to do, he sings. On the bad days, he pushes the melodies out of his soul without words. Expression is his outlet, how he makes sense of the world. Some might call that weakness. I call that beauty.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Hi, there.
Did you know Spring is coming? Can you feel it in your bones? The world is waking -- we're shedding our sweaters and stretching our tired legs in the sun.

Usually, I am a year-round member of the Let's Wear Sweaters club (even in summer -- honestly). But I'm ready for cutoff shorts. I'm ready for sun dresses. I'm ready to run into the salty sea and stare at the sun until I'm dizzy from drinking in sunshine.

Come, Spring. We welcome you. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Spaghetti & Aussie Jams

This week, my parents have been giving my sister and I a little more independence. My meal choices so far:

Sunday: Tuna; spaghetti
Monday: Tuna; spaghetti
Tuesday: Sandwich; Tuna
Wednesday: Tuna 

Aaaand you can guess what's on the menu for dinner tonight, hehe. (Surprise: sketti. Or chicken, I'm not sure yet, actually.) It's been a pretty decadent meal selection these past few days. I eat so much tuna fish and pasta that it should be illegal. But, hey, score one for diversity because this week, I even made myself a salad. *maturity*

On a note completely unrelated from the prior one, I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this little treasure on the way to school today:

I'm not always Christian music's biggest fan (especially not the blippy pop they put on the radio), but Hillsong United is way different. I'm finding that what I listen to before classes actually ignites me for the day. Sometimes, secular music is great (right now I'm digging old school jams like The Beatles and The Beach Boys), but it's amazing how a morning drive of worship fuels me during the day, and keeps God-centered lyrics bouncing around in my head. Epic!

Hope your Tuesday was gloriously glorious. And when I say Tuesday, I mean Wednesday. My brain has been rattling around in my sorry skull for weeks now. I'm everywhere; all over the place. Oh well! Happy Tuesday/Wednesday. :) 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Character Sketch #2

She is gentle. I didn't always know it, because perhaps I did not dare to truly search and see, but she is gentle. She has a tender heart for people that aches with the weight of their burdens, and rejoices with giddy joy over their triumphs. She is your biggest fan; she will cheer you on.

In her eyes are all the colors of creativity. She delights in the creation of something new, reaching into the deepest part of her soul and wringing it out onto a canvas, a page, a stage. She delights in the innocent; simple things make her smile, and beautiful people fill her with hope. She is a radiant soul with a love of living.

Dance on, dreamer. Dance on.

Introspective, Glorious Monday

Today was my day off, and I'd say it went pretty well.

I'm having one of those days, one of those moments in life right now, where I keep going back and forth between cutting my hair {short! no, long! no, short!}; where homework seems irrelevant; where naps and long, frequent stretches of reading are becoming the norm; where I'm struggling to open up my Bible, and yet getting such glorious insight when I do. Today was a phone conversation with my best friend, and yummy pasta leftovers for dinner, and penning strings of sentences for my novel. It's been a very off-center, odd and gloriously off-beat day.

And maybe I'm feeling nostalgic for a time that I wasn't born in. I look back through old photographs and see my family and the way they smiled back then, and wish I had been a part of it. And time makes things different; all of our bodies change, and our clothes grow old and faded, but inside, we are still the same soul. I don't know what any of this means, but this is what I think, what I feel.

I guess what I'm discovering is that each moment is a gift, filled with people and places and things I don't deserve. I'm so grateful for every tiny detail the story of my life has consisted of thus far, and I'm excited to see where God takes me next.

Yeah. It was a good day off.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What I Know of Love

What I know of love is this:

When it happens, for real, it's not frivolous, it's not fleeting. Instead, it is strong, painful, passionate. This is the love that my grandparents had for each other, the love that my entire family grew out of. The love that created children, and grandchildren. The reason I have so many cousins and a beautiful family.

I read a lot of (frankly, disappointing) blog posts about how love is nothing more than a commitment to someone you respect. Obviously, I believe this. Yeah, love without respect and responsibility isn't really love at all. But a lot of these blogs make me feel sad, because they seem to encourage a boring, stable relationship as the ideal. Yet I knew a couple that found each other wildly attractive and alluring, and built a life on that love. And that's what I want.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Things That Happened Today

Some days are more special than others. Well, this Tuesday took the cake. Today's events included:

>>> Name that Beatle. While talking to a pal in between classes, I mentioned the silly joke one of my professors had slipped in a test question: "Who invented {insert important scientific object here}? A. John Harrison; B. George Harrison; C. Ringo Starr." Unfortunately, my friend didn't understand and I had to explain that the last two answers were actually members of The Beatles. *rock education*

>>> Defending myself from rabid seagulls. To avoid Being Utterly and Completely Stared Down while I eat my peanut butter sandwich, I've learned to {quite stealthily, if I do say so myself} eat my lunch out of my backpack when I sit by the bay. Otherwise I may come upon a scene like the one below. (Truly terrifying.) Here's to hoping they don't get wise to my tactics!!

>>> Shetlands. During my adventures in running today, I saw a man walking not one, but two Shetland ponies on a leash. I guess they have to get their exercise somehow...

>>> Eating more soup than should be humanly possible. I don't know what happens when your mom makes lentil soup, but when mine does, it's a free for all. Get the chips! Grab the hummus!

What was your day like, friend? 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Things I Am Discovering About Myself

Three things that have come to my attention as of late:

>>> one. I love lazy daisy cake. My mom made it for my sister's 19th birthday, and OH WOW, was it good. We're not talking just any kind of cake, here, people -- we're talking glorious, glorious HOMEMADE cake, whipped up from scratch, with the delightfully sugary accommodation of vanilla frosting and coffee flavored ice cream added to "the mix". {Punny, I know.} Anyways, that cake was so moist. It was unreal! I'm probably making you hungry. If so, GO GET SOME LAZY DAISY!

>>> two. Guys in kilts are not altogether unattractive. I know this only because my mom and sister and I went out to eat yesterday at a very English restaurant, where all of the servers had to wear plaid skirts. And let me say, men in kilts are sort of alluring. Especially when they wear them with studded rocker belts. What's up with that? I was diggin' it. lol

 >>> three. Graphic design is extremely enjoyable. I have to take an art history/graphic design class right now, so I'm learning all about typography and fonts and so on and so forth. It's actually really fun! My school schedule is exhausting me, of course, but if I have to be exhausted by something, I'd prefer it to be an intriguing class.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Get Me Outta Here

My feelings regarding the university I currently attend: Eh. It's fun. There's that class I like....everyone's nice. Sometimes, I even have Meaningful Conversation with people and actually learn things.

My feelings regarding the college I'll be going to in the fall: HOLY CRAP AM I EXCITED!!

Reasons to Be Excited:

>>> My sister & my cousin are going with me. Yes, Lord willing, it's going to be my sis and my cuz and I all dorming in one tiny little room for a year. HOW AWESOME IS THAT PEOPLE?! I know we're going to get even closer {read: my family's already super tightknit}, and I couldn't be more pumped about that.
>>> I already know people going. The three of us already went to the on-campus, two-day tour of the college, so we met students studying there. We're going to be hanging with these same students this summer, when we do our scholarship volunteer work. Everyone's super kind, super rad.
>>> IT'S A BIBLE COLLEGE!! I'm getting a little worn down in secular university, where my science professor teachers our class that the world is billions of years old, and where anthropology is less the study of man and people and more about pushing an evolutionary agenda. Not to say that it's not important to be around the world; it is, of course! We can't just run from people not like us, or we'll be running for a long time. {Or, living holed up, all alone in a cabin, with no one but seven cats to keep you company.} I just can't wait to be around people that value the Word of God, and also want to spend a year of their lives digging into it.
>>> I don't have any more reasons, I'm just really pumped. I mean, I'm sure there's more; I know there's more. I'm just GAH! so excited.


Weariness & Random Facts

This past week, I've been extremely exhausted. Tally up four consecutive days of classes, lotsa late nights spent with my church pals, a weekend birthday bonanza for my sister, plus a lot of writing, thinking and depleting my energy by running, and you've got one tuckered-out Erin.

Unfortunately, physical and mental exhaustion often leads me into spiritual exhaustion. I start slacking on reading my Bible, or start feeling less convicted about the music I listen to. I don't spend time with God as often, and it drains me even more!

In hopes of laying aside my burdens and just unwinding, I picked up my acoustic guitar today and sat down to write a song. What happened was beautiful -- God lead me to passage in Isaiah 41 that went along perfectly with the lyrics I was writing. It was all about leaning on God's strength and not my own, which I'm always so tempted to do.

I don't know why I think I can carry anything on my own. It really irritates me, having to learn the same lessons over and over and OVER again. And I know I will have to learn this one many more times in my life. But I'm so grateful that the Word of God is true, and is the ultimate foundation for me to lean on when I'm weary.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~ Isaiah 40:28-31

If you're a music freak like me, check out "Come to Me" by Jamie Grace, or "Marvelous Light" by Charlie Hall. Both of those songs explore the weariness-and-rest topic. :) STELLAR JAMS, YO.

Friday, February 7, 2014


So today's my sister's birthday. 

 Hard to believe she's nineteen already. It was one thing when she turned eighteen -- legally becoming an adult and what not. But now she's nineteen, only one year away from turning twenty. This is her last teen year!

I'm incredibly blessed that God has given me a best friend to grow up with, to irritate, to sing with. There are lots of things I wouldn't have done, or wouldn't have been without Kaylie as my sister, always eager to jump in and try new things. 

Without her, I'd never have gotten my black belt, or tried out for the track team, or listened to twenty one pilots. I'd never have gone to youth group, and I probably wouldn't have gotten my first boyfriend (she was, allegedly, the wing woman), or stopped wearing truly horrific jeans. (Fourth grade, I'm looking at you.) My teen years would have been utterly colorless, because I never would have developed such a passion for songwriting and music. I never would have started collecting vinyl, or digging into the Word of God, or been social enough to talk to people without fear. 

God knew what He was doing when He placed Kaylie in my life. I'm blessed to know her. Happy Birthday, sis!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Songs That Have My Full Attention

If you're like me, then you cycle through CDs weekly, obsess over a new album, and get giddy about finding yet another favorite song. Every now and then, if you're lucky, you will have what I refer to as a Musical Explosion (see also: a Musical Supernova) in which you will discover loads upon loads of music that fits you like an auditory glove. For some inexplicably blessed reason, these past two weeks were just that for me - full of glorious, extraordinary musical finds.They include:

"Spaceman" by the Killers 

If you haven't heard this epic song by Brandon Flowers & Co, go to that newfangled Youtube contraption and give it a listen right away!! It's so catchy, and instantly makes me smile. For more stellar Killers jams, check out "Losing Touch" and "Human" from this same album. They will rock your world. 

"Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles

Why I'd never heard this song up until a couple of weeks ago is beyond me. It's short, but super somber. I could see it as some sort of background track for a film; it is so emotional and poignant. Plus, what kind of wicked awesome name is Eleanor Rigby? If my dream of owning a pug dog ever comes true, I vow to name her Eleanor. Or Mrs. Rigby. Whatever she prefers.

"Dry Bones [Live]" by Gungor

I'm not always super fantastically excited about Christian music, simply because, most of it sounds a) terrible or b) insincere, or an awful combination of the two. But husband & wife duo Gungor really impressed me with this one. (Check out Ezekiel 37 for the Biblical inspiration behind this track.) If you have six minutes and forty four seconds to spare, they would be best spent listening to this wonderful live performance. Warning: this song will be in your head forever. I'm going on four days now, and my brain still has it on repeat.

"Circles" by Switchfoot

I was not a fan of Switchfoot's Oh! Gravity album when it came out in 2006, so I'd never really delved into its contents. (Of course, I loved "Awakening", and its hilarious music video, but that's another story.) I rented this CD from the library this week, a whopping eight years later, to give it a listen. And now I realize that I was unwise in skipping over it. Because "Circles" (and "Amateur Lovers"!) is amazing. Oh, gravity. You good album, you.

What have you been listening to on repeat?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Great Debate

Last night I had the opportunity to watch a man of Christ debate a man of evolution. Ken Ham, an Aussie, defended Christianity and the Bible, while Bill Nye spoke of science.

It was really worthwhile for me to watch this debate. It was odd, in a way, because I remember watching Bill Nye's silly science videos in eighth grade. I grew up watching this man make learning look cool. I laughed at his jokes; I adored his whimsical bow ties. But it was devastating to watch a man of such knowledge simply miss the truth.

This morning I sat down with a bowl of oatmeal and my Bible and read from 1st Timothy chapter six. In it, the apostle Paul writes about false teachers and those who abandon the truth for a love of money. This passage doesn't exactly apply to Bill Nye, because he is not a believer, but he, like those who walk away from the faith, eschews a walk with God and instead fills his need with something else.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, a beloved actor (check out Cold Mountain for his performance as a hilarious, offbeat reverend), died at age 46 this week. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Hoffman "was found dead with a needle in his arm in the bathroom of his Greenwich Village apartment."

Why would this truly gifted actor turn to drugs? Why would anyone turn to drugs? The answer, it seems, is found in the book of 1st Timothy. When we run from God, we're not satisfied. That's why we pursue other ways of feeling good: some people drink, or get into drugs; others turn to sex and relationships to fill the void. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a man in pursuit of fulfillment. He wanted a high that would truly satisfy his soul.

But only God can give that to us, because He made us.

Here's a fun fact: Bill Nye was created. 

My pastor made the great point that if we stumbled upon a watch in a field (or any unfamiliar mechanical device, for that matter), we wouldn't wonder, "Hmmm....I bet this item evolved over time. It probably just grew out of nothing and then slowly became something else." 

Instead, we'd say "I wonder who made this. What does it do? Who created it, and what is its purpose?" We'd assume intelligent design because we see the care and detail of the object. We do the same thing when we look at great art: we marvel at the creation before us, the glorious brushstrokes of Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. We don't imagine that something that well-thought out just happened. It was designed.

Yet Bill Nye, the bow tie man, the humorous educator, the scientist I'd always admired, puts his faith in science, in evolution. Because ultimately, whether we are atheists or Christians or scientists: all of us do put our faith in something -- whether that be ourselves, our possessions, or legalistic, self-centered religion. 

During the debate, Bill Nye didn't have an answer for some questions. He admitted that his own lack of knowledge drove him to continue the search for truth, through scientific investigation. It saddens me that he completely missed that Truth in his search for scientific explanation.

Ken Ham, however, had the answer. He pointed to Christ and creation as the ultimate something that Bill Nye, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and every soul is so desperately searching for. We are here for a reason. We were created. 

Only One being can satisfy us, folks. 
Not drugs, not the search for knowledge. 
Know God, know truth. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


It's a good day for a bowl of chili, and chips.
It's a good day for coffee scented hair.
It's a good day for trading glances with friends.
It's a good day for inhaling the lyrics of a new favorite song.

It's a good day for not being perfect.
It's a good day for a Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate.
It's a good day for black and white, for graphic design, for reading the newspaper.

And it's a good day for being alive, because today I woke up with sight and smell -- and a blueberry yogurt in my fridge. Every moment I'm here, I want to be grateful.

It's a good day.