Saturday, May 31, 2014

Moment #7

There are a plethora of unpublished posts in my drafts section currently, all of them detailing just how nostalgic and sad and worried and tense I've been feeling lately. I've been so fearful of going off to work for a scholarship at my Bible college's summer camp, in only eight short days. I've been really gripped with nerves, but God, as He always does, answers my fears with peace and stillness.

Tonight, my sister and I saw a friend that we met two years ago at the same Bible college, and he stopped and prayed with us about our upcoming year, and the peace of the Lord just washed over us! It's like I had forgotten why I was going in the first place, and God just reminded me and refreshed me with His truth. It was an amazing moment, and I needed it immensely.

My mom said that I would have opposition to going to Bible college, even though it was clearly God's plan for me, and she was right. There have been distractions and discouragements, but no matter: God is in this plan for my sister and cousin and I, and no matter what apprehensions I might have, it's going to be amazing. This is going to be the best year of my life, and I can't wait.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ~ Romans 15:13

I hope you've all had a great day. Don't forget that Christ is with you, always. We need to spend so much more time with Him, devote everything we have to Him. I can't wait to see what this next year is going to hold for me. I know I can trust Him, 100%. God answers prayer.

The Times They are A-Changin'

My favorite Bobby has music for you! Click here to listen.

I have sat at my computer trying to type this blog post for virtually thirty minutes. Usually when I'm struggling to write, it's because I'm drained of words, and am just trying to force myself to type. But right now, I have too much to say. I'm accumulating posts upon posts in my drafts section, each one full of emotion and nostalgia because of the inevitable: change.

Everything is changing for me right now: best friends are getting in relationships, others are getting married, or pregnant. I'm leaving to work at my Bible college's summer camp in only eight short days. Life is on the move, and I have no choice but to go with it.

I am the same girl who broke down in tears in the third grade when I came home to discover my mother had switched out my comforters for new bedding. (The nerve!) I can laugh at it now, but I was really upset back then. From an early age, I have regarded "change" as something horrible.

Now, everything is going to change. And I accept it, and think that it's going to be great and wonderful. In fact, I've been praying that I would be bold, excited and downright joyful during this new time of change. After all, life is constantly on the move. I can't avoid that.

Last night, I hung out with my best church friends again, really my best friends anywhere, and it occurred to me that I'm coming to the end of an era, the end of an age. My time with them may not be over forever, but hanging out after church as we've done for the past seven years is. I'm leaving. And that's hard for me to accept.

I thank God that He does not change, and provides places of refuge for me. This morning I ran in the park, and then sat down on the roots of my favorite tree, the one that will still be there when I get back, unmoved. I prayed and asked for wisdom and He led me to Psalm 27.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~ Psalm 27:14

God is my consistent Rock to whom I can always go. I'm grateful that He does not change, even when everything around me is.

This post was a whole lot heavier than it could have been, and I promise I'm finding joy in the little things, despite all that is going to change around me: a breakfast at a bear-themed restaurant; hearing Billy Joel's "Piano Man" in the aisles of Home Depot; a delicious bowl of cereal this morning.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

British Day

Earlier this week, I met my sister and cousin (the same sister and cousin that will be dorming with me, Lord willing, this year at Bible college!) for the most epic of celebrations -- our very own British Day. We made scones, sipped tea, listened to British bands on vinyl, and sat engulfed in quilts galore as we watched the televised glory that is Benedict Cumberbatch. Oh, Sherlock. We finished the first season; can't wait to watch more! It was definitely a day well spent, and we plan to do it all over again next week. Tally ho!

Tom Odell was a favorite! Quite emotional music for scone baking, hehe. We also listened to Mumford & Sons, Queen and Coldplay.

The scones turned out pretty wonderful, and tasty as ever. We ate them with little chocolate tea crackers while watching Sherlock. My sister (below, on the left) printed out a recipe, which was pretty dandy, if I do say so myself. I could eat these all over again!

My sister also was devious and printed out this little Polaroid-type photo of Benedict Cumberbatch, who watched over our proceedings for the entire day, like some disgruntled British angel. Blessed, blessed Benedict. Please smile.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Musical Men Mondays: Bob Dylan

Happy Memorial Day! For today's Musical Men Monday feature, I thought I'd spotlight one of the most iconic American musicians still alive, Bob Dylan. Not only do I find Mr. Dylan's tousled afro and indifferent gazes exceedingly attractive, but he has a haunting (if nasal) voice that makes his folk songs more than just simple little ditties. He is a poet, and stylish, and inspiring.

My first encounter with Bob Dylan was a little over a year ago, when I started scouring a local antique store for old records. There, in the $1 pile, was an old album full of his greatest hits. Back then, I had no idea who he was, and called my dad with a list of old artists I had found in the pile, wondering which ones he thought I would like. He told me to buy the Bob Dylan record, and I did, and it wasn't long before I was jamming out to "Like A Rolling Stone" in my bedroom.

If you're looking for some stellar jams, and fancy these old black and white photos of ol' Bobby, you should jump on the Dylan train and check out these tracks:

** "It Ain't Me, Babe"
** "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"
** "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"
** "Lay Lady Lay"

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Satisfied Sunday: Church Family

Sitting in the pew, singing the Chris Tomlin song that was our anthem during one of the old missions conferences, I can't believe how fast time has flown. In two short weeks, I will be leaving the church family that I know and love for something unfamiliar.

This week, it's been really hard for me be grateful. Some days I wish I could go back in time and just be a kid in youth group again. It's kind of hard for me to believe how old we all are now, what with two of my friends away at college, another getting married, and others graduating or working full time.

It's a tough business, this growing up, but I take comfort in the fact that God has clearly ordained this next year of Bible college for me. It is clearly the next step in His plan for me. Today, I'm thankful for the church friends that have been by my side since seventh grade, some even since elementary school. I may be nervous to leave for the summer, but I can always come back for visits.

I love you guys.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Woven & Worthy

When I forget who I am, and lose a hold of how wonderfully made and fearfully designed I am, and when I forget that You have knit together my inmost being from Your own imagination, and formed my body from the dust of the ground, and when I start skimming through too many fashion magazines or comparing myself to others or getting blue over circumstances that are purely temporary, I will run to the woods and sit on the roots of the tree where I know I can always find You, and I will drink in Your Word, the Living Water.

"You hem me in -- behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me." - Psalm 139:5

You know me, because You made me.
I will rest here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Film Friday #3

Excusing the fact that everyone in this photo is ghostly pale, this is a pretty precious shot. I am second from the left, sporting The Plaid Jumper From Hades. I will be attending Bible college with the two little blondies on the right, my cousin and sister, respectively. And I just went hiking with my cousin on the left.

Thinking about how family-oriented we all are, and how we base our lives around one another, makes me so insanely grateful. I love my family, and just marvel at how tight knit and loving everyone is. Also on my list of things I'm grateful for: photographs like this that remind me that my fashion sense was not all it cracked up to be. I remember wearing tights with tears in them every Sunday morning. The struggle was real.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I'll Go Wherever You Go

This post comes with music! Click here.

 It's funny how excited I was to get back home once I was in the woods. It was cold, and rained every single day -- and even hailed twice! The direct inclines were intimidating and exhaustion-inducing, and on the first night I was so cold that I felt like my ice cube toes were going to fall right off. Yet now, sitting in a room with beige carpeting and four walls and air conditioning, I miss hiking so much. Just about all of it: the lack of "real" restrooms; the mountain chill that caressed my face each morning; wearing the same leggings everyday; my walking stick.

Because I'm having woods withdrawals, yesterday I hightailed it to my favorite spot in the park to be alone with God. I sat and read three chapters of Genesis and felt refreshed. I'm learning about how even God's plans and timing are so vastly different than my own, He is entirely trustworthy. I think I know what I need, but I don't.
I'll wait on You even though this world gives me a heavy heart.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Society Isn't Doing It For Me

There are bad drivers everywhere, and Starbucks on every corner, and people that speak loudly on their phones and sit too close to you. I am walking down the aisles of Target feeling jaded, flashing back to the sights and sounds (and smells!) of the woods. I miss eating granola out of a tent because it's pouring buckets of rain outside; I miss carrying my backpack on my shoulders and gripping my walking stick as I traverse up the slopes. I miss the mountaintop views and my raggedy olive beanie and the morning mist all around me.

Take me hiking. Take me back.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Musical Men Mondays: Bastille's Dan Smith

This week's good lookin', great singin' musician of the male populace is the lead singer of Bastille, otherwise known as Dan Smith. I find him remotely handsome, and an excellent singer, but really I think we have gathered here today to discuss the sheer wonders of his voluminous hair.

I mean, just look at it. That height. That lift! I don't know what kind of product he uses, but it is working for him. His hair is defying gravity.

Besides having achieved the noteworthy accomplishment that is Having Perfectly Tousled Hair, Dan Smith also is the owner of A Seriously Wonderful Singing Voice. I may be in a British phase right now, but I am seriously into that halting (and haunting) English lilt in his voice. I remember downloading "Pompeii" when it was still a free single on iTunes and being absolutely intrigued. Sadly, the song is now overplayed, but it's still a solid track. Check out "Bad Blood" and "Get Home" for other Bastille jams, sure to rock your socks.

Now, my good people, I must go. But I have a plethora of posts for you to come. Have a great Monday! ~~~~~~

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Meet Me in the Woods

So, today is my last day at home before I embark on my first ever backpacking excursion -- a five day hike through the mountains of Georgia with my father, sister, two cousins and uncle. I'm super excited about this, but also a little bit nervous, as I just randomly decided to jump in on the trip a couple of days ago. I find that fear can control me a lot if I let it, but after praying about this trip, Jesus has given me such a peace about it. I can't wait to be walking in the woods with my backpack and family, talking to God and the trees and focusing on what really matters in life. Our world can be so distracting.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Moment #6

Standing in the grocery store, waiting in line. Standing in the grocery store, not expecting anything to happen.  Then, a moment: your brown eyes catch mine; we are glancing, and I am looking away and fiddling with my fingers and not really knowing what to do. Then, as my family and I search for movies at the exit, standing in a place of in-between, a place of limbo, you appear out of nowhere. Suddenly you are beside me, asking me about the band tee I am wearing, as my family watches in a kind of awed rapture. And I can't believe you're actually talking to me; you, a complete stranger, but how refreshing it is to talk to a boy who shares my taste in music and is not afraid.

I think I will always wear band tees to the grocery store now.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Musical Men Mondays: Harry Styles

I know, I know. This post is indulgent. This is a shame. I should not be doing this. Perhaps that is true. But I love music, and I love men, so what could be better than featuring a musical man every Monday? One that dazzles with both physical appearance and musical talent? For the first post of the Musical Men Mondays series (yet another feature; I can't help it, I like routine!), my good people, I give you: Harry Styles.

I will admit that Sir Styles does not have a voice as worthy as other male singers, for sure, but I will also venture to say that none of those other male musicians could so perfectly pull off a teddy bear knit beanie with nubby ears. (Nubby ears!) He's kind of a gangly, bushy haired little creature, but he also has the best voice in One Direction and seems like a whimsical sort of lad, so he is totally justified in being picked for this post.

Track to listen to: "Stand Up" by One Direction.
I quite fancy the bridge, where Harry busts out in jubilant song all on his own. Whatta gem.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Satisfied Sunday: Momma Dear

So, seeing as how today is Mother's Day, and also seeing how my mother is the bomb dot com, I thought it'd be super fitting to give thanks for her on this wonderful, cheery & delightful Satisfied Sunday. I'm blessed in a big way to have a mother that is also my friend, who makes me laugh and doesn't throw me out of the house even when I worry and annoy her with my curmudgeon ways. She has always been there for me, and has been a rock of support in all I do, cheering me on with my music and writing and decisions. It's going to be weird not having her around when I leave home this year, first to work at my favorite summer camp, and then to take classes at Bible college. But I know I'll have one sweet pen pal! I love you, Mom. Thanks for caring so much.

**Also of note: my super bald sister on the left and Barney being crushed in the right hand corner. hehe**

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Singing Spirits

Yesterday, I went to a mini-concert that my friend and his brother put on downtown. It was great! A group of friends that I knew from writing for my school's student newspaper showed up, too, and we sat together and talked and enjoyed the wonderfully whimsical (yet haunting) performance. It was so cool to get to see all of my friends again. And it's really fun to see musicians in their element.

It's finally catching up to me that in one month and one day, I will be leaving to work at my favorite summer camp. I've never lived anywhere other than home, but on June 8th, I will find myself surrounded by crazy Christians (a welcome experience) who also love the Lord and want to follow Him.

I can't wait, but I'm also mildly terrified. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tree Whispers

The day started with a bowl of Cocoa Puffs, and has so far included a trip to the library, an almost-purchasing of a pair of jeans (I'm so indecisive), watching Andrew Garfield on SNL (yipee!), napping and reading my Bible and Emma by Jane Austen in the park. I have this special secret spot that I go that is right by the pond, and there's this massive tree that I sit on and just read. It's wonderful. It's like I'm in the middle of woods, and no one can find me. Time just stops there. I literally stumble out of the forest an hour and a half later, wondering where the time went, but not caring.

Do you have a special place you go to relax?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Satisfied Sunday: Sleepovers

Last night I got three hours of sleep, but I have no regrets. I haven't had a sleepover with my friends in a long time, but I spent all of last evening (and the wee hours of this morning!) with the two chicas on the left. Let's just say it was a night filled with bowls of gelato, a very squeaky guinea pig named Marvin, Benedict Cumberbatch(!!), and macaroni and cheese at 4 in the morning. Ok.

Sometimes it takes a little effort to get me to hang out with people and spend time with others, but I'm trying to get better about it. I had a great time with these two last night, and I'm so grateful God has placed them in my life. Huzzah!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Song of the Day: "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

Y'all seriously need to drop whatever you're doing right now and listen to this Bob Dylan track, alright alright? Click here to have your mind blown.

Learning to Die to Self

It's not about me, it's about Him.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Film Friday #2

This photo was taken of my parents in Michigan, probably around 1994, since it looks like my mom's preggo with my baby sister. I love this photo because it speaks to the very playful nature of my parents. (They actually bought a two-seated bike for the family six or seven years ago!)

On a similar note, today God is teaching me all about selflessness. I'm still reading Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, and He is shaping and refining me through it. I think about the future a lot: marriage and who I'm going to marry, but the Lord is actually preparing me for my husband right now. And there is no room for selfishness in marriage! I'm grateful that God cares about me and wants to continually change my heart. And I'm also grateful for crazy parents that wear sweaters and ride around on bicycles built for two.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day

I love mornings where the first thing I do is talk to God. This morning was one of those. Sitting in bed under an impossibly plush pile of quilts and committing my day to Him, then lazily lolling down the stairs to fix myself a bowl of oats cereal. I love how the morning is so natural; with hair un-brushed and a bare face, I sat in bed and ate my cereal, praying and reading Jeremiah 4.  It hasn't been easy to read my Bible lately. In fact, it's been a struggle. But when I do come to the true Word of Life, my heart is filled with joy. It is my prayer that I would always have joy in my relationship with Jesus.

Today is also the first day of May, which means I have roughly a month left before I leave to work at my favorite youth camp this summer. Let this month, this May, be one of refinement and sanctification. And most of all, mornings filled with joy.

From November to May, It Was a Melody

Novel, I haven't been writing you. Not for lack of desire; I have thought of you every day since the last time I spit forth the words from my soul, poured life into you. I guess I was just waiting for a day like today, a day where the rain drops down at diagonal angles from the sky like a cleansing; a day where I am wearing an old plaid shirt that somebody else wore out, the shirt I got from a church sale. I guess I was waiting for just the right rain to listen to Max Richter's "November", which is slowly becoming the soundtrack to this novel, and is also the time of year in which I began this seventh-odd draft.

Oh, I haven't forgotten you, friend.
No; I am coming for you, novel.
May is your month.