Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Rainy Day

The rainy day came as expected, with rumbling skies and raindrop-splattered window panes. The gritty purr of a vinyl record spinning in the corner was not nearly as beautiful a sound as the soft rain on the rooftop. It was a good day, a grey day, but nevertheless wonderful. I sat quiet inside, typing words and watching the skies foam with tears. Rain, you can stay if you'd like. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Tiny Thought

Then Jesus said to His disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes....Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you -- you of little faith!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Music & Manly Men Mondays {featuring Josiah Leming}

So, I decided that Mondays can get pretty boring if I let them, so why not look forward to this blessed day with three things that are very dear to my heart: music, men, and alliteration. (The last being a joke, but seriously, any chance I get to use alliteration, I will. Oh, yes.)

So begins the maiden voyage of Music & Manly Men Mondays! Today's musical guest is a two-for-one; both a manly man and a musician. His name is Josiah Leming, and he makes the kind of painful piano music (including faux-British accent) that is just melancholy enough to write to. He's kind of like Tom Odell before Tom Odell existed.

He was on American Idol back in the day, but he's a singer songwriter and continues to put out his own passionate piano ballads, despite not having become a huge name. And I kind of like that about him -- he's not some massive celebrity, but he is a true artist.

Not all of his music is worth listening to, but the track I recommend is Over and Over.  Also, he's attractive.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Satisfied Sunday #4

It's not always easy to be thankful. There are always reasons to be thankful, of course; there are great films (like The Amazing Spiderman), and poignant poetry (I'm looking at you, T.S.Eliot) and bowls full of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. But often it's not my first reaction to praise God for all that He has done.

Today, I just want to thank Him for my family, and for my church, and just life in general. This weekend I've been sick with a cold, and lacking in my usual energy, so I'm a little mopey. But I'm so grateful to be alive, and have a wonderful family, and to have the right and freedom to attend church. I have a very blessed life, and I need to be more thankful for it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Character Sketch #4

It started with a simple coincidence. Like most things, it was by chance. Or not by chance. I'm not sure I really believe in accidents anymore.

It happened in the courtyard. He caught my eye, or maybe vice versa. Maybe at the same time.

Either way, we caught each other's eyes and stared, then bashfully averted our eyes. And yet, when I looked back up, his eyes were watching mine again. A smirk, a smile, crossed his face. The same one unfolded upon mine.

Not ten minutes later he sat down to eat his lunch in the place I sat down to eat mine. We never spoke. He never glanced up again.
After a while, he walked away.

He was a boy of fluffy hair and aspirations, I'm sure; a reader of books and an introspector of thoughts. He was passionate, confused. Maybe his friends found him aloof. Maybe he didn't have friends.

Goodbye, boy. Go where you will. Roam, live, dance. And maybe one day, when we least expect it, our eyes will meet again.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Week of All Weeks

**Please excuse the extremely moody and ponderous photograph that is included with this post; I had no greater shot to use but I rather fancy the wildlife in the background.  

This week has been the week of all weeks. I normally wouldn't say that about my first week back at school from Spring Break, but something has changed in me that I just love. It's simple, too. This week I've been trying to be more joyful, more thankful. I start my day with a bowl of oatmeal, a conversation with God, and a passage of Scripture. I try to end it the same way. Well, not with the bowl of oatmeal.

I don't know, man, it's been a good week. Though I suppose it's been somewhat average. But I'm realizing that every day can be my new favorite day. Cheesy, but true. Today doesn't have to just be another Friday; it can be a glorious Friday.

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness". - Lamentations 3:22-23

Each day. Every morning. I'm going to take that literally. Every day that I wake up, every day that my lungs inhale and taste the breath of a fresh morning, I'm going to live. I'm going to live with such zest, such fervor that people are going to look at me and wonder why I'm so crazy excited.

Darn! Now I want a bowl of oatmeal.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring is March-ing On

Today is no ordinary Thursday. Oh, no. Today is March 20, the first day of Spring. Huzzah!! Had you talked to me in December, I would have absolutely rebelled against the entire idea of Spring. I would have clung to my cardigans and squeezed tight to my scarfs. I wouldn't have wanted to give up a moment of that season for another.

Now that it's mid-March, however, I'm ready. My skin is starting to long for the warmth of the sun again. I'm tired of wearing long sleeves. I just want to be down at the beach.

And ya know, I really do love how the earth goes through seasons -- it's kind of magical. Kind of like it's becoming a whole new earth, reinventing itself. I love that God gave us different seasons. Of life. Of nature.

My favorite things about Spring:

Girly fashion. Did I really just say that? The girl eternally laced up in Converse kicks and American Eagle jeans?! Well, yep. When Spring comes, I'm finally ready to surrender my sweaters and pull on some floral shirts. And dresses! Who am I?

The warmth. Where I'm from, I'm not used to an extensive amount of cold, so when the chilly weather finally turns to sunshine skies again, I'm kind of excited.

 The romanticism. Nothing is quite so romantic like spring. Summer is too hot and sticky; fall is all brown and crispy; and winter is cold and sometimes dismal. Aside from the pollen, there's nothing too extreme or off-putting about Spring. It's the perfect time for strolls in the park with gallant , manly men. BE STILL MY FAINT HEART

School's out! Well, almost. In just a little over a month's time I'll be outta here. And what could be better about spending a wonderfully temperate season outside of the stuffy confines of class? Nothing, that's what!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's The End of Spring Break as We Know It

Well, folks. It's that time again. Yes, that tragic moment in March where we have to bid Spring Break adieu. *sniff* My Spring Break has been full of novel writing, book reading, running, sprawling out on the sandy shore with my sister, pie-eating (the Mint Brownie Blast slice from Village Inn is a dream), song singing, thrifting, and movie watching. I did just about everything there is to do on a Spring Break, and it was very exciting. Now I have a little over a month til this semester ends, and then I'll be sailing towards summer camp! Huzzah!!

We Glorify Your Name in All the Earth

Today (Tuesday) resounded with a significant, blessed beauty. Today, I saw life and art and meaning in everything around me. It's like I'm seeing for the first time. I am alive.

My friend came and sat and spoke to me today while I was sitting by the harbor during lunch, while I was watching the bay and munching carrots out of a plastic bag. This girl is so full of life, vibrancy, passion. She is an artist and an observer of small things; someone seeking purpose. Part of the reason I love journalism is because I love to discover what other people are passionate about. It lights me up to see what lights others up!

I looked around me and saw so many different faces, and all the diverse beauty God has made. People are so beautiful, man. Everyone is so gorgeous in their own way. That's what I've been learning this week -- to appreciate the beauty of people, to see them how God would. We are His artwork. Life is bursting today, every day. He has renewed my enthusiasm for life and living. I will spread the glory of Your name to all people.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Anticipatory Feelings of Wonderment

I'm kind of uber-super-gloriously-excitical (so much so that I don't even care how ridiculous that imaginary word just sounded) because I just finished submitting my application to work at my favorite camp this summer!!

Out of context, this photo probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense to anyone, but to me, it represents my fourth and final summer as a camper last year. I also happen to be wearing the World's Largest Shirt, which was promptly cut down to size for glamour and style. *woot woot*

Seriously, my love for this camp is so great. It also happens to be the camp that I will be working at next summer as well, Lord willing - only in a year I will be a counselor there, not a volunteer. A lot of stress? Maybe. But I'm excited. I can't wait to see what God is going to do in my life and heart in the coming year.

For those of you who don't know, I'm leaving secular school after this spring semester finishes up (only two more months, baby!!) and instead, heading to Bible college. The hours I work at camp this summer will go towards my scholarship for school.

Can't. Wait.

Satisfied Sunday #3

In yesterday's post I mentioned that I went to the beach during Spring Break. And boy, did I. For today's installment of  Satisfied Sunday, I would officially like to thank God for creating the ocean. I loved the beach as a kid, but for a while I've been in a phase where I don't like going at high noon. Too hot, ya dig? But now that Spring is coming (March 20th, people), the weather is getting warmer around here, and I'm starting to itch to go the shore.

Although my sister and I went to the beach three times during the afternoon (I'm now completely bronzed as a result), I also woke up early one morning to go run by the sea alone, sans iPod. Something great about the ocean is that you can't feel big while standing beside it. The horizon just goes on forever. I love standing beside the waters and praying, or just staring out at the sky and wondering how it is possible that I only live a five minutes' drive away from the ocean.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Films: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

Guys, I did it. I found another Andrew Garfield movie to watch. And that movie is trippy, my people. That movie is strange. But that movie was also only $8 at Movie Stop, so here we are. 
I haven't yet finished watching the film (but I plan to today), but so far, it's about a bunch of kinda kooky, crazy carnies that are trying to make a living in modern day society. Oh, and it just so happens that it's tough to make a living as a carnie, especially if you're trying to garner a following outside of Walmart. Oh, the woe.

Adding to their problems is the fact that the ancient Dr. Parnassus made a deal with the devil that is seriously cramping his style. There's also that. The premise and set and really everything in this movie is a bit odd, but if you're in the mood for something a little off the wall, and wouldn't mind watching Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Andrew Garfield, and (I think) the dude that plays Dumbledore act silly, then you will enjoy the film. 
But seriously, can we just talk about this gif. 

It's The End of Spring Break as We Know It

Well, folks. It's that time again. Yes, that tragic moment in March where we have to bid Spring Break adieu. *sniff* My Spring Break has been full of novel writing, book reading, running, sprawling out on the sandy shore with my sister, pie-eating (the Mint Brownie Blast slice from Village Inn is a dream), song singing, thrifting, and movie watching. I did just about everything there is to do on a Spring Break, and it was very exciting. Now I have a little over a month til this semester ends, and then I'll be sailing towards summer camp! Huzzah!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Club

First off, we have Looking for Alaska by John Green. I had previously read Green's The Fault in Our Stars, which is simultaneously tragic and hilarious, so I was stoked when my sister bought me Alaska for my birthday. That said, it was nothing like I expected; in fact, it was quite trashy. I didn't find any of the main characters likable, nor was there much of a plot until the (semi-predictable) second half of the book. Disappointment!

Read if: You like wild high school stories, wine, and unlikable protagonists.
Or better yet: Stick with TFIOS, where Green isn't quite so self-indulgent.    
Would you recommend it? I would not.

The book I'm currently reading is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I'm pretty sure this is the book everyone in ninth or tenth grade was assigned to read, but for some reason, I never had to read it. When I found it at a thrift store some months back, I bought it, and I finally cracked it open yesterday. I love it! Something I didn't like about Alaska was all the cursing but this book -- so far -- omits "pervasive language" (haha) by just stating that the characters cussed. I like that. Classy move, S.E. I always knew I liked you. Also, Hinton wrote this book when he(?) was like, 16. Radical.

Read if: You like good writing, and amusing characters with interesting personalities.
Would you recommend it? So far!

Last, but by no means least, is Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot. My friend Gracie let me borrow it, and so far I've only read the foreword, but I'm already super intrigued. Normally, I don't get excited (giddy, even) over reading something that is nonfiction. But, I'm really pumped about how God's going to speak to me through this book, and I can't wait to see how He changes my viewpoints. Plus, Elisabeth Elliot is kind of an amazing lady. So, there's that.

Read if: You want some Christ-centered advice on romantic relationships that will radically transform your heart -- in a good way.
Would you recommend it? HECK YES

Music Musings

I am a music lover. Sometimes, even to my own detriment. I just love music; I simply cannot get enough of it. Although I try and do my best about discerning what's best for me to listen to, sometimes even the cleanest of secular songs can get my eyes off of Christ and onto the world, stuff, and myself.

What I love about God is that even when I'm avoiding Him and not reading my Bible, or specifically going out of my way to be disobedient or distant, He goes after me. Check out 2 Chronicles 24:19. God wants to bring His people back to Him.

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22 I am constantly being brought back to God. I stray so often, it's not even funny. For some reason, this reminds me of that Perks of Being a Wallflower quote:

"Do you ever think, that if people knew how crazy you really were, that no one would talk to you?" 

Because that's where I'm at sometimes. I'm grateful no one but God can see all the wickedness that goes on in my heart and head. But, I'm being purified, thank goodness for that!!

I've struggled for a while with my music choices, and I'm sure I'll continue to grapple with it, but despite my pushing Him away, God spoke to me through some songs last night. Specifically, "Difference Maker" by Needtobreathe, and "After All (Holy)" by David Crowder Band. Music is how I communicate with God, and it's also how He communicates with me. There is power in how I use that medium. I have to be careful to guard my heart, because what I listen to directly affects what I think, and how I act.

I'm looking forward to putting more good Christian tunes in my brain. I love Needtobreathe, Hillsong United, David Crowder Band, Gungor, Switchfoot. What are you listening to? 

Satisfied Sunday #2

I realize that I keep forgetting to post something I'm thankful for on Sundays (what a shame!), so consider this post a Satisfied Sunday, one day late. :)

So, my crazy adventurous sister decided she was going to be sporty and cool and nature-seeking and go out into the woods on the Appalachian Trail for a hike this Spring Break. She's been gone for four days now, and comes back tonight, and I can't wait to see her.

It's funny how sometimes you don't realize you miss someone until you hear their voice. I was sitting in my truck yesterday, about to get out and go inside the house, when I noticed I had a voice mail. Which is rare, because I don't call anyone, and they don't call me. But my sister (she's on the left; the other girl is my sweet cousin; all three of us will, Lord willing, be dorming together at Bible college this year) left me a message she'd recorded from the top of a mountain(!). It made me miss her so badly! It's weird how emotions can just overflow when you hear someone's voice, even if it's only recorded.

So, yep, that's what I'm thankful for this Sunday (Monday, whatever). And, also for reading and music. If you're looking for some stellar reads, check out some cool books on my art blog here.

Have a spectacular day!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Spring Break To-Do List

Today begins the official first day of SPRING BREAK! *all the people sing* And, as we all know, Spring Break is never complete without a Spring Break To-Do List!! Unlike other To-do lists, this one is fun to complete (and to make). Here are the things I most want to do during break, 2014:

1. Take a bike ride. I'm all for getting up early, but I'm even more for getting up early when it involves taking a morning bike ride. Maybe on the beach, maybe to the park? I don't know. But it will be epic, and it will be great, and I will feel like a hipster. Or, at the very least, someone taking advantage of a beautiful day and glorious method of transit.

2. Go to the beach. Even though I live right by the sea, I'm not always the first to take advantage of the glorious sand and surf that is my backyard. (A shame, right?) So this Spring Break I solemnly vow (or at least, kind of vow) to go to the beach in the early morning, with my Bible and a yummy snack. Who knows, maybe I'll bike there?

What plans do you have for Spring Break?

So Many Somethings

A few things of pertinence: 

1. I read this book.
It was not a good book. I don't mind if some people think it is; I personally did not like it. Yet I did something with Looking for Alaska that I rarely do with other books - I finished it. At the end, I felt like I had finished some great race, or closed a chapter of my life. *metaphors, yay* And although it wasn't my favorite read, there was something about finishing it that made me feel melancholy. So props to you, John Green, you little stinker.

2. Over the weekend, I may or may not have become semi-smitten with Harry Styles. I want to say no, because, ew, Harry Styles looks like a spider monkey or something, but then I saw this photo of him in a Rolling Stones T shirt, and I don't even like the Rolling Stones, but for some reason that made him ten times more appealing. Egad. But I seriously don't like Harry Styles. At least I don't think I do. I'm sorry, Andrew Garfield!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Weekend with Mom

To kick off Spring Break, my mom and I spent a couple of days at our tiny cottage, completing crazy difficult crossword puzzles, watchin' movies (see Dan in Real Life for heartwarming comedy; Captain Phillips for pirate-filled suspense), and thrifting galore. It was a simple, but glorious time with my momma!

Oh, and we also saw a massive pink elephant with one glowing orange eyeball. Obviously.

Anyways. We had a ball! We ate at Outback; I ran 8 miles; we drove around the rural countryside; I nommed on Easter candy (why can't this be year round?!). And, we bought things. Oh, did we buy things.

Mom & Erin Thrifting Score 

Mom: Three magazines; two books; depression glass antique bowls and plates; fabric swatches
Erin: Four Cds (Yes, two were old Avril Lavigne albums....but I refuse to be shamed *basking in nostalgia*); one fuzzy puppy dog ring (again, no shame whatsoever); an old photograph from 1941; two magazines

Yeah, we had fun.

We had a really great time. It was brief, but nonetheless enjoyable. Now I'm looking forward to the wonderful wonder that is Spring Break! More about that to come. 

Also: I have so appreciated y'all's sweet comments on my last posts. I don't really blog uber-regularly, but it's super encouraging to know that someone is actually reading this, at least some of the time. So thanks, you!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Films: The Pianist

Last night, I watched The Pianist. 

Oh, what a film. Adrien Brody did a remarkable job of portraying a Jewish pianist on the run during World War 2. It was truly tragic. Very rarely does a film, especially one so stooped in history, touch the deepest part of my soul. What's even more stunning and saddening is that it was a true story!

I would recommend watching this film if you love poignant portrayals of true events and amazing acting. It wasn't the light-hearted, musical movie I expected to see based on the title, but boy was it a home run. It made me feel disgusted, and it made me cry. It was a piece of art unlike any other.

If you have two and a half hours, watch this film. It will impact you.  

God Moments

Hate to say it, but sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I'm just not in the mood to read my Bible. I'm distracted by other, more right-in-front-of-me things; namely, my bowl of oatmeal.
Today, instead of just speeding through some verses (I'm reading multiple books of the Bible right now; Psalms 119; Jeremiah; Hebrews; 1st Samuel....does this happen to anyone else? Ha ha!) I decided to write out a list of "God Moments" I've had thus far.
Since I'm getting really pumped about leaving my secular university for Bible college (see here, and here) I thought I'd examine the cool things God has done in my life during the two years and four semesters I've spent studyin'.

He's put me on the newspaper staff, where I've been able to write opinion pieces about the things I believe in (here and here); He's allowed me to pray for my professors; I was part of a debate about ultimate truth and objectivity in my freshman year; He's let me be a witness to my classmates, and given me opportunities to talk to them about Christ. He also wrapped me in His unshakable peace and pushed me to the front of my Anthropology class to talk about Jesus to 50 of my confused, startled classmates. That's pretty stellar.
If you're ever feeling like your relationship with Christ is getting stale, it helps to look back and appreciate all the things He's done for you. And then look ahead, because he's going to continue to move in you, sister! :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunny Day

Today has been one of the most remarkable Sundays. It wasn't remarkable not because anything super radical happened, but simply because it was a full, fun, worthwhile day.

Case in point(s): The air was just cold enough to make my run (sans iPod) uber-enjoyable. I ate a gloriously oaty bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. I finished homework assignments while soaking up some sun by the pool. I listened to my new vinyl record (Alt-J; which I stumbled upon pretty giddily downtown yesterday). I played guitar and sang for worship this morning, and that was really fun. I'm getting less nervous!

I also got to watch my beautiful and talented friends practice the choreography to the dance (set to one of my own original songs) that they will perform at their recital in a couple of weeks. Speaking of friends, my best friend is in town tonight!! Aaaand my family and I are going to finish watching Jane Eyre, which is also one of the books I'm reading at the moment. Oh, and I finally found time to work on my novel!

Toady was remarkably average, but beautiful. I love those kinds of days!! Now I'm only a week away (well, four days actually) from spring break. Boo to the yes. Also, because I'm feeling kind, here's an Andrew Garfield gif. What the hey.

Happy Sunday, y'all!!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Was

Hey, February, thanks for being 28 days of awesome. You rock for that. 

Here is my Febs in a glance, a remarkably unexciting peek into my vastly average and yet super enjoyable month. I hope I will never be one of those bloggers who tries to dress up their lives, or make it seem like some big, grand accomplishment. This was my February:

 Everything in February was fast, full of Village Inn pie nights, and procrastination, and being independent, and especially lots of music listening, and super introspective pondering. All in all, I'd chalk the past 28 days up to a victory.