Sunday, December 26, 2010

I had the most amazing day! I was able to go to the de young Museum in San Francisco to see the Impressionistic and Post-Impressionistic art exhibit! Which included Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, Rousseau, and so many others! It was beautiful. I spent hours soaking everything in, and took way too long trying to figure out what I wanted at the gift store. We (Nathan, and Caitlin and her family) also stopped beforehand at the Bay Street Mall and had some delicious, healthy, cheap food at ASkew, a dining choice I highly recommend. I had a chicken-lime skewer over baby greens plus a cup of butternut squash soup. Afterward we stopped at a teacake shop and got some sweet treats (I chose the lemon-buttermilk cupcake) as well as, of course, coffee. It was such a wonderful day.

Experiences, I am learning, are everything. There is so much I want to do, so much I want to see. This was only my second time going to a museum, and my first time going to an art museum. I can't believe I was able to see original paintings from all these Impressionist artists! Paintings that are worth unimaginable amounts and paintings that have traveled the world! I couldn't get enough of all of it. The atmosphere added to the whole experience as well. It was really busy today, and thus many people were packed into the showrooms; but it was a silent kind of busy, or at least relatively silent. Everyone just sort of shifts along together, almost like a dance. Some people are discussing the art, others are listening to the history of it through the audio-tours, and others are doing both. These experiences are exactly what I love. The history, the masterpieces, the people, the appreciation. I love day trips like today, especially unexpected ones. I realized today that the last 3 times I've been to the city have been on whimsical, spur of the moment occasions, and all within the last couple months. First, seeing the opera Madama Butterfly, then going to the Brooke Fraser show, and now visiting the de young Museum.

I honestly cannot WAIT for my trip to Seattle. (It'll be another 'first,' and I'm going for New Years!!) Another realm of experiences is going to be opened up, and I just hope it is the small start of many to come. (Flying on a plane for the first time in 4 years, and having the flight be over one hour is an experience in itself...especially in 'snow' weather...especially when I am not friends with flying...) This is obviously something I will have to overcome since I am attempting to see the world in my lifetime.

Goodnight everyone! Hope your Christmases were blessed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Self-absorption is my middle name
it's my worst enemy and my best friend
I hold onto it and it holds onto me
and we wrestle and dance and we can't be free

I'm a clock that's ticking
on a watch that's not mine
but I live for me as if I have all the time
in the world;
but I don't.

Caring is action and words are empty without it
yet I condemn those who are stagnant
while staying motionless myself,
getting wrapped up in I's and me's
getting locked between my own knees
until I fall and someone else trips
because I'm not watching
and now my immobility and mess
has caused them to digress

Living on praise is as natural as breathing
oh I'm so great, you think so too?
Tell me more tell me more
Empty phrases lining the shore
of my life and I welcome them
as though they define me.
Being liked is easy and loved even easier
but if there is no depth behind it
how much does it matter?

I am a floater on the ocean of people's compliments
bobbing up and down
swaying from side to side
until a new wave picks me up
and I ride it to see where it will take me
and what it will give me.
If it leads me off-course
then I'd rather drown
because having to accept a fault
means having to let go of the crown.

It is me, me, me
all the time
every day
and it is gross and defiling
and leads so many astray.

Cause and effect have both action and reaction
I am not the only human living
I am merely a speck in the multitude.
Refocus your focus so you are no longer in view
say goodbye, self-serving Queen,
nasty and mean
cold and unseen
I bid you adieu

Friday, November 26, 2010

There have been few times in my life when I am completely silenced and overcome by the reality of the fleetingness of this world. The first time was when I heard about David; all those countless moments when all I could do was be on my knees in prayer. And then when I knew he had gone to be with our Father, just feeling that overwhelming heaviness of knowing this Earth is not our home.

This same feeling was replicated yesterday, along with shock and an uncontrollable swell of emotion. As we were driving to my aunt's for Thanksgiving, I checked Facebook on my phone only to see several posts from close friends giving their condolences to our brother in Christ at Jessup, Justin Woodard. My heart started beating so fast as my mind tried to figure out what was going on. He was in a fatal car accident the night before Thanksgiving, and that is all I know. I couldn't stop the tears at the point.

I was not one of Justin's closest friends. I did not know Justin's life story in depth. But this is the thing about Justin---you didn't have to know his life story to know his life. Justin had a heart, literally, that radiated the love of Christ. He cared for every person that he was in contact with. I remember when he would come and do rounds in our wing, and each and every time he walked in our door, he would sit on the couch and talk with whomever happened to be in the wing. I had the absolute privilege of sharing a few conversations with him this year, and I am eternally grateful for those. His sincerity was beautiful, and I always left our conversations feeling like we had just talked about something really deep and meaningful, even if we had simply discussing trivial things like open dorm hours (haha!). He was so passionate about being a disciple for God. It is so hard, this life. We cannot understand why 20 and 25 year old people are taken so early to be Home. But we can rest easy knowing that they are indeed Home. David and Justin are together now, and with Jesus, and I really can't help but smile at that. I think they are friends up there, and they are so happy.

I don't think our campus has had a loss like this before. Going back to school is going to be met by a lot of heavy hearts and a huge piece of Jessup missing; Justin. He was actually involved in everything; security, the cafeteria, leadership...all of it. What is so cool, though, is that the Jessup community really is a family. Whether or not we all know each other very well, we just, we are all connected. And this will only bring us all closer. I have never seen so many young people talk about this hard concept of death and handle it with so much peace. We all know that Justin, as I saw one girl put it, "beat us home." We all know that he is where we too will be one day, and that place is where we belong. Justin is with our God! With our Father! Our Savior! That is beautiful. Justin has just reminded a lot of people to be so grateful in every circumstance, because we just don't know what the day brings. Our time here is too short to spend one second of it not being thankful. Justin did His Father proud, so, so proud. :)

To the Woodard family, to his closest friends, to the Jessup community, to all who are feeling this loss; may you find rest and comfort in the Lord, knowing that Justin is right beside Him.

We love you Justin.

I'm gonna miss that oranges Reeses shirt, by the way. Represent up there big man. <3

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

 I have tried to write on my occurrences of nostalgia a few different times, but just now is it finally flowing freely.

I am so thankful. I am thankful for a heart that has been kissed with healing by my Savior. This season was very different for me last year. I was smitten, new to college, on the brink of growth, and so blissfully naive. My memories of this time last year are inevitable. What I am grateful for, though, is that I can sit here, in this moment, and welcome them with a smile. I cannot express how wonderful it feels to feel peace in how everything has played out. It is an absolute blessing to hold no bitterness, hold no anger, hold no resentment. These waves of nostalgia still seem so close; I can still remember so many of my thoughts and feelings, and of course, my heart still feels them too, but they are not being suffocated by hurt, and that is truly something to thank my Almighty Protector for. There is still healing, and there will probably be mini-hurdles to jump in the future, but right now, tonight, I can remember my year, my summer, and just be thankful for it.

Love is weird because it is supposed to be what awakens us and makes us feel alive. It is believed to be the ultimate power that can heal anything. "If you love each other, that's all that matters." But this really isn't the case. At least, not this type of love. True love does drive out fear, but that love only comes from Christ. And this other love, the one we experiment with as we grow older, is conflicting because at the same time that it does awaken us, it also holds us captive. We give our hearts over to so many things that we have no control over, and when that happens, there is potential for hurt. I am open with the fact that I was hurt, but I will be more open with the fact that this hurt has spurred me on to grow into someone I am proud of, not scared or ashamed or insecure of, and I think the same has happened on the other end. Love is going to come and go when it is not the love that God has planned for you. And that is hard, there is no saying that is not hard. The part that matters, though, is what you do when you lose that love---when you lose that one part of your heart you thought you had locked tight but also worried would somehow get broken. I don't know what it looks like individually, but I just know that I am grateful for such a hard year of wrestling with identities when the final product is being where I am now. I will always cherish that first trial of love, and I will always look back with favor and peace, knowing that it was one more part of my life that grew me into the woman Christ is yearning for me to be.

Be healed, be thankful, be open for what is to come. He is holding us still.

Ps. Those are some pictures from Fall Tour :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lord, draw near to me once more. Be my sight and my song, be my only reason for breath. It is You that I care for, and it is You who holds my heart; nothing else and no one else. You are truth and it is You whose promises never fail. Keep your faithfulness and love near so that I may replicate it to others, and prepare this heart for whatever You have planned. I choose You, Savior.

Ps. I am still a double-major. Long story short, my love of music outweighs my fear of a daunting class schedule, and the Lord especially made that clear during choir tour this last weekend. :)

Happy Thanksgiving Break!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This was from my birthday night, which was a lovely celebration with great friends all around, like my dear Gennean here.

I am in a big transition phase of life currently; both in the immediate context as well as the context of the last 6 months or so. The Lord has been so adamant in refining who I am in Him, and that process has been equally rewarding as it has been challenging. In this present time, I have been reevaluating what it is that I am seeking in my future. There has been a big struggle this last week with the decision of whether or not I will remain a double-major in English and Music. It has been so hard to decipher if I am simply getting overwhelmed by the daunting 2 and a half years left of 18 unit semesters, plus two more summers of extra schooling, or if it is truly in my heart that becoming a Music minor will still be able to offer me the investment I thrive off and seek for in my love for music. 

It's true that switching to a minor will not change much of my involvement in the department; I will still get to partake in piano, of course, as well as choir, and I will also still have some music courses to develop my craft. Ultimately, switching to a minor will allow me to register for all the classes I need, open up availability to become a dorm RA next year as well as really seek out a job, and lastly, give me the opportunity to confidently finish college in 4 years without breaking the bank or sacrificing my complete sanity.

At the same time however, I have to be cautious that I am not missing out on the big picture. If there is any single time in my life where I could crank out all my energy to accomplish something that will benefit me for the days to come, it is right now, in college. I definitely am capable of finishing a double-major (and technically a minor, as well) in 4 years. I will take a full class load until I graduate, I will do a couple more summer courses, and I will forego luxuries like only have 2 classes a day or being able to sit for 20 minutes and eat lunch. In the big picture, those are not the worst things to have to miss out on. My worry though, is that it will cause me to sacrifice many other (fruitful) opportunities, when I could still be getting out of music what I love about music--playing piano and singing.

Entering college, I did not want to be a Music major. Actually, I've never wanted to be a Music major. I love music, I adore playing piano, but getting my degree in Music was never something I necessarily desired. This isn't to say I haven't loved being a Music major this last year and a half, because I have. This also isn't to say that getting my degree in Music wouldn't be beneficial for me. It would be ignorant to assume that I can confidently say I will never teach Music, at whatever level, because there is no possible way to know that yet. I do know, though, that Music is my hobby, and it always has been. Being a Music minor would still grow and challenge that hobby, it absolutely would. It is just that bittersweet aftertaste of knowing that I will no longer be a double-major, I won't have as many classes with my beautiful, fellow Music-majors, and then the idea that I might wish I had gotten my Music degree alongside my English degree in 20 years.

So, if you are still with me, (haha) thank you for bearing through my thought-process with me. I just paused to actually talk about it some more with Hanner, and I think deep down I already know my decision, which is to be a minor. How the logistics of this decision will play out, I do not know yet, but I can be confident that God is taking care of and preparing those ahead of me as we speak. I think I will still take 18 units this semester and not officially declare my minor, just as a buffer, in case in another 6 months something huge happens that makes me wish I had still been a major. 

Here is the beginning of that process though...cheer, cheer? Prayers regarding this specific area of my life would always be appreciated, as well! The Lord is continuing to grow me into a Daughter who seeks His face first, and I know that if I continue to discover His will in regards to my future, I will not fail. 

I believe a smile is coming to my lips...I believe that is something called peace, and blessing.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

So, remember this adorable top that I blogged about in July? Well, this last week I received an unexpected package in the mail from my beautiful Aunt Jeanine, who I had the pleasure of seeing a couple weeks ago when I was home, and in this package was THIS shirt plus a very sweet handwritten letter! I believe in one of my very early blog posts I said that I think a letter is one of the most special gifts a person can receive, especially ones that are unanticipated. It made my entire week! It is not often that little packages of love (nor any mail, for that matter) arrive in my mailbox, so this was quite exciting. (And it happened to arrive on the day I had both a Physics test and a history midterm. Talk about perfect timing.)

Currently I am sitting in my wing, enjoying freshly baked pumpkin seeds, and getting ready for yet another week. (Ooo! A week that is also my birthday week!) It has been pouring all weekend. Which has been beautiful. This rainy weekend equaled:

tomato soup
cookie baking
first eggnog purchase of the season
listening to records and dancing
running to wal-mart in the Hustler with friends to buy a pumpkin (that is yet to be painted)
seeing my best fran and getting to catch up over apple crisp and hot cocoa at BJs
going to Amy's house for a girl's night (blueberry pancakes and hot apple cider for dinner!)
wearing my beautiful Rodarte raincoat for the first time
Metro this morning (have I gone into detail yet about how much of a blessing that has been? I love my church)
and oodles more of lovey things

I've entered into such a beautiful season of life. There really is a time for everything, and even though sometimes that season at first seems foggy...boy, when the fog lifts to reveal the glorious sunshine and clear skies, it has the power to knock you over. Jesus is so real, He is so real that it never ceases to make me smile. Going to Metro these last couple months has been more than I could have ever hoped for. Jesus continues to meet with me every single time I walk through those doors, and just in this last month I've really been able to get plugged in. It is an answer to prayer all the way from summer. I've made some beautiful new friends, been on a few adventures, and shared too many laughs to count. It is simply wonderful. Aah! I can't express this joy.

I hope everyone has an uplifting week in the Lord---May we participate with Him in removing our grave clothes, entrusting our hearts within the endless quarters of His own, and understanding that His love for us is too great to even grasp. What hope, what promises.

Happy rain-tea-reading-cozy-pumpkin-OCTOBER-fall weather!

PS. I am now learning three piano pieces. That is three times more than last semester. Twitter moment: #ireallyloveplayingpianosomuch


Friday, October 8, 2010

I have been wanting to blog for so long that it pains me to think how long I have had to wait. Due to extenuating circumstances, cough, an overload of homework and zero time to sit at an actual computer and do things like write and upload pictures, blogging has been put on the back-burner. What a shame--or as we use to dramatically say in high school Spanish class--que laaaaastimaaaa.

This last weekend was my beautiful, wonderful, amazing friend Gennean's 21st birthday party. (She is pictured along with Jenn, another lovely friend of mine). We had a little surprise get-together for her beforehand, and then a large group of us went to the most ideal and dreamlike house I have ever been to for the actual party. Literally, this house was perfect. Wrap around porch, country view, hammock, chickens running free, a pond, a wood-burning furnace, oak paneling for the walls....everything perfect and homey you could imagine--it was there. Gennean is one of my very best friends, and I am so grateful I was there to celebrate another year with her.

As for me, life has taken a busy turn. Busy. I am in a desk from either 8a.m. or 9a.m. to 3p.m. or 4p.m. every day. I have this small (huge?) desire for more hours in a day, but regardless of how much I have to do, the Lord has been faithful in allowing me to get all my tasks done. Of course, this is not to say they haven't been completed without a few less hours of sleep and a missed class or two--but alas, they have been finished! Thank God.

Mid-term break is at present, coming at the perfect time, and I have been able to visit my extended family and grandparents, because Grandpa had quadruple-heart-bypass surgery Tuesday morning. He is 84-years-old and the toughest man I have ever met. And Grandma is the most womanly, Godly woman I have ever met. I hope I can be half the woman she is when I am her age. My goodness, talk about a power couple ;) I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to visit him in the hospital and see some aunts as well. On Sunday night I get to attend Hanner's brother's wedding reception, which Jeremy and Jessie will be home for, so I am greatly looking forward to that. Until then, I am trying to stay motivated in homework and piano practice...(the distraction of endless baking supplies and my large, beautiful bed to sleep and read in all day are almost too much to bear!) But somehow I am managing.

I feel as though I could write a lot more about life...a lot...but I will spare you until next time. Happy fall, happy pumpkin-spice lattes, and happy Friday! Let us reflect our blessings back to the One who has provided them.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oh hello, beautiful-piece-of-art-that-can-hardly-really-be-edible. Van Gogh cake? Heart-attack in one bite? Probably cost a trillion dollars? I'll take it.

Headed back to school now! I welcome you, week 4, to be one of laughter, growth, and blessings. (And if we're lucky, cooler weather and cozy fall sweaters!)

Have a great Monday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Well, I'm randomly home again! My beautiful friend Hanner, (Hannah) who now also goes to Jessup, was coming down to Lodi for the weekend, and since most (basically all) students from school are at our fall retreat... I thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity and come spend some more quality time with those good 'ol parents of mine! It was a great choice.

Since being back, I've already:
had a delicious dinner (that's reason enough to come home)
gone on a super great walk with my mom (another perfect reason)
practiced piano for a substantial amount of time (man, that too)
ate a midnight snack of sliced avacado, swiss cheese, crackers, and an apple (does this count under the dinner reason? let's generalize it to real food)
watched the Gossip Girl premiere (not a good enough reason, but it was nice watching it on my large couch)

So obviously, coming home is the best, no matter what. I never really came home much last year, and I definitely didn't think I'd already have been back two times in one month this year, but I really can't complain. The comfort in having a place of familiarity and rest to go home to for a weekend is always appealing. I really love being at school as well though, so my decision of whether or not I was actually going to come did take some extra thought. (The above reasons pretty much sealed the deal though. That plus I had a free ride plus the campus is pretty barren currently, sad).

Anyway. Here is what the actual post is about. See that super cute flower painting up there? Artist profile here, and I found it via this, which is aka awesomeandsofun. Etsy never ceases to amaze me. Go play, please. It will maybe make you smile, and who doesn't want to smile?

Happy weekend!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I've come to realize that memories, beautiful as they may be, are the hardest part of progressing. Being home this weekend has been so relaxing and enjoyable, but at the same time it has actually been more interesting for my 'moving-on' process than school has. There are many, still vivid and close, memories from summer within these walls, and it is hard to remember them with such clarity and know that they are all over now. Anyway, currently I am listening to Felix Mendelssohn's "Song without Words," which is a beautiful and lovely piano piece that seems stretch into eternity and provide endless delight for my ears. I think I want to learn it for this semester; but that's a digression.

The title of this piece actually very appropriately fits my life right now. The song is a series of different 'movements,' and each one changes completely from the previous. The first one is full of beautiful melodies, slightly slow, and the second has rapid, repetitious notes in the left-hand, making it more urgent and deliberate. The third one falls back into a sense of calm, bringing back the notes of peace and simplicity. As it continues for many more movements, it follows this pattern of calm and more chaotic, calm, more chaotic.

A song without words is quite ironically a song full of words, because it is full of emotion. I feel like I'm sort of living out this title. Or, at least, I seem to identify with it somewhere within me. There is so much I am feeling, so many revelations, joys, hurts, fears--everything--and it is so much inside that there are no words to fully express it. It is still beautiful though, and still there, and some parts are more confusing, more dark, but overall there is this mass of melodies and harmonies that are all working together for a bigger purpose--the whole song--the whole piece--ultimately, my life; the future--God's purpose and plan.

The memories of laughter and love, even up until 2 weeks ago, are the only significant roadblocks in my path right now. I went through the shock, the tears, the anger, the acceptance. Now it's just those memories--especially as we move into a season that started everything a year ago--and looking back on experiences shared, jokes exchanged, firsts, lasts, everything, that will cause that small ache within my heart to ache just a little bit more. I am not broken though, I have not been overcome. My heart is full from the love of my Savior, the presence of guiding parents, and the joy of many friends from a more-than perfect school. Oh yes, blessings are plentiful, and new memories will be made, and I must believe that they will be just as sweet as the old ones.

Forgiveness, acceptance, and peace are truly gifts from above. Without my Father, I do not know where such concepts would come from, nor how I would be able to learn from them, nor how I would even begin to obtain them.

The wheels in this process are steadily moving, and oh God, I am so thankful for that.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as he loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don't weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. That's the way back into Eden. That's the way back into life." --Redeeming Love

So, by the way, here's the finished room! Living in it the last month of summer= bliss. Leaving it to return to a college twin bed= heartbreak. On the bright side though, I'll be going home for Labor Day weekend, meaning that bed of love will again be mine. At least for two days. I really can't wait.

There is a bit of a new [amazing] era at Jessup. Tonight all the on-campus students participated in beginning swing dancing! People dressed up, and I had the privilege of being the permanent male-partner to my dear friend Hannah. (5'11" is not the most desirable female-swing-dancer height it turns out). THEN, this coffee-roasting company came and served us free espresso/chocolate drinks, and they might have been the most delicious coffee drinks I have yet to consume. (I also had a delicious iced vanilla latte earlier this afternoon, yum). THEN, a group of us lovely music majors/random people/people who like to freestyle/rap, all combined our voices/talents/abilities/instruments to create a pretty awesome jam session. I may or may not sound like a hipster music kid right now, which in actuality I am not-- but it was real, and it was fun, and it was real fun.

This year has started out pretty....unexpectedly? I feel as though I've been living in this last week for a year. But I'm excited for what's to come, like really excited.

Jesus is working stuff out, friends are so plentiful, and new memories are already being created. Mm.

p.s. I went the whole day okay with the fact that I didn't wash my hair last night, and it's greasy, and it's gross, and it's time to shower, but I feel great.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

How I already know my American Lit class is going to be amazing: (we read this aloud today)

Meditation 8 (First Series)
John 6:51: 'I am the living bread.'

"I kenning through astronomy divine
The world's bright battlement, wherein I spy
A golden path my pencil cannot line
From that bright throne unto my threshold lie.
And while my puzzled thoughts about it pour,
I find the bread of life in't at my door.

When that this bird of paradise put in
This wicker cage (my corpse) to tweedle praise
Had pecked the fruit forbad, and so did fling
Away its food, and lost its golden days,
It fell into celestial famine sore,
And never could attain a morsel more.

Alas! Alas! Poor bird, what wilt thou do?
The creatures' field no food for souls e'er gave;
And if thou knock at angels' doors, they show
An empty barrel; they no soul bread have.
Alas! Poor bird, the world's white loaf is done,
And cannot yield thee here the smallest crumb.

In this sad state, God's tender bowels run
Out streams of grace; and He to end all strife
The purest wheat in heaven, His dear-dear Son,
Grinds and kneads up into this bread of life,
Which bread of life from heaven down came and stands
Dished on thy table up by angels' hands.

Did God mold up this bread in heaven, and bake,
Which from His table came, and to thine goeth?
Doth He bespeak thee thus, 'This soul bread take;
Come, eat thy fill of this, thy God's white loaf!
It's food too fine for angels, yet come, take
And eat thy fill. It's heaven's sugar cake.'

What grace is this knead in this loaf? This thing
Souls are but petty things it to admire.
Ye angels, help; this fill would to the brim
Heav'ns whelmed-down crystal meal bowl, yea and higher,
This bread of life dropped in my mouth doth cry:
'Eat, eat me, soul, and thou shalt never die.' "

---Edward Taylor, 1642-1729

If you read the whole thing...(which if you didn't, really, go back and read each word), my goodness.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Your love defines strength
and comfort and renewal.
But Jesus Your love also hurts sometimes
for You love us so much
but we just don't fully see it.
We won't ever fully see it.
That's where trust comes in,
that word that is synonymous with
God I know You hear me,
for I feel You with me,
I see You in everything,
You are my portion
which is more than enough.
Today Lord I asked You,
"Don't you feel my hurt too, don't you know?"
Then silence washed over me
as I looked into Your eyes,
which were filling with tears,
because it is me, oh God it is me
who has done the same to You.
I have broken Your heart, and not once or twice
but too many times to count
and I am sorry, so sorry, that You
feel the pain of heartbreak from all Your children
daily, and all I can say is that my God,
I love you. 
My ear will not be deafened to Your voice God,
not in this heartache and not in the joys to come.
Oh God, so I see, it is You, it has always been You,
You are the holder of unconditional Love,
the Maker of it all.
You are holding me still,
and not letting go.
It is You Lord, it is You,
rid me of myself.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rawness. Vulnerability. Brokenness, utter brokenness. Loss.

God brings us strength at times just in order that we can be weak. Confusing, but right.

Peace. Light. Anew. Refreshed, redesigned. Growth. Hope.

I have so many questions for Him, even though deep down He has already given me the answers. The hurt inside tells me to disregard the answers. The hope inside tell me to embrace the answers.

God told me I'm allowed to walk through both. When I laid my anxieties on Him before coming back to school, He told me not to worry about them. And then, in a twisted turn of events, He eliminated them to the point where He wouldn't give me the chance to have to worry about them.

With that comes a new set of pain, but even in the pain I know there is a bigger peace; a peace that transcends all understanding, for He is guarding my heart and my mind in Jesus.

By no means is there complete restoration or healing yet. Everything comes in waves. The loss itself, as each day goes by and the distance gets further, is what hurts the most. The unveiling of truth even contains pain, because having to accept the decision means having to accept the loss.

Thankfully God says He is close to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crushed in spirit. I feel Him wholly. I need and depend on Him wholly. And now, I am truly His and He is mine.

Finding love is magical, losing love is painful; but understanding that love goes beyond the label of 'being in a relationship' is empowering. Through the journey of love I have grown closer to my Father, as has he, so how can I not believe in the success of that relationship? It has caused the betterment of us both, despite the ending that wasn't anticipated. Loving someone isn't just being with them. Sometimes, this time, it is about letting them go because you understand it is what needs to happen for them, and yourself, to grow wholly into who we are without the condition of each other.

There are things I'm working through still. Questions. But I believe that I found love and it changed me positively, and now I've lost love, but it again will change me anew. I'm thankful for a God who invests so richly in my life. I am ready/on the path to being ready to invest my life back into Him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

There is something about this chair that always gives me the desire to write. It's a green Lazyboy recliner (arguably the best all-around-comfort chair), and its capability to gently rock as it supports my neck, arms, and back makes me want to milk it for all it's worth. (Isn't it comical how weird sayings like that always manage to come to surface in writing? I wonder why...) I remember writing about David in this chair, and I also remember writing over Easter break in this chair. Today there is nothing specific I want to express, but still, the longing to write is pretty strong.

I suppose it could be because I am once again transitioning from this current stage of familiarity into something much more unknown. Summer is over, I move back tomorrow, and my natural instinct tells me that a reflection on these last 3 months is necessary. My mind already does this automatically, but actually writing it down is 'supposed, scientifically proven, expected, said to' help those thoughts really stick. So here goes. (I could also just be avoiding the daunting task of continuing to pack...but we'll disregard that half-thought and say that I just really, really, want to be deep right now).

Change has come to me in many forms this last year. I found out 2 weeks before school started that I'd be attending college in the fall, and that undoubtedly has been the catalyst for much, if not all, of the experiences I've had in the last 12 months. I entered as a girl who thought she had everything in control from her faith, to her confidence, to her relationships, and to her overall definition of 'herself.' God slowly shattered each of those facades, and putting the pieces back together since then has been the hardest, most uplifting, 'make-over' I have yet to experience. A main struggle I've had for awhile is the lie in comparing myself to others. Comparing leads to a lack of self-fulfillment, lack of worth, thus getting into insecurities and more. I haven't fully mastered it, I don't know if anyone ever could, but lessening it is definitely attainable. Being here now, I'm smiling, because I can now say with true confidence, (the kind that comes from the Savior Himself) that I am on that path of developing what Jesus wants me to do and who He wants me to be. I've heard it all my life, but truly surrendering to His will is so indescribable. It challenges you and makes you cry while simultaneously encourages you and makes you laugh. When you draw close to Him, surprise, He really will draw close to you. And to think we doubt and put it off for so long...

Going into another school year, I'll be frank. It can be a little scary. Same situations, new situations, same people, new people, same experiences, new experiences....I can't help but wonder where my growth will thrive and where it will be threatened. I talked with God about it this morning. He tells us to cast all our anxieties on Him because he cares for us in 1 Peter. What a great guy. Well I did, I told Him any and all (both pointless and significant) worries I had about going into a new year. The difference between how the conversation went today and how it went a few months back is pretty telling in itself. I can have some worries, fears, anxieties, because I'm a mere human who doesn't have everything figured out nor will I ever, but the cool thing about having them now is that they don't control me. They are not telling me what I can or cannot accomplish, nor are they saying who I am and who I am not. Instead they're pushing me closer to my Father, causing me to depend on Him all the more. I'm not worried about my worries anymore. Rather I'm going to embrace them and know that I'll be taken care of regardless. Why waste the energy on freaking out about them when He's already told me He's holding me in the palm of His hand? Good question. Let's remember the answer.

I'm young. I have a whole life ahead of me that I couldn't possibly sit down and figure out right now, no matter how much I would like to. We just can't. There have been too many reminders this last year that life is short, and so inevitably fleeting, so all I can commit to is one day at a time. I am so blessed, so happy, so excited that I've been given this gift called life, showered in grace, and that each day is an opportunity to give back a little to the God who gave up everything.

Here's to another year!  ...oh...and packing...shoot.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

As most of you know, my brother and I had a wonderful friend named David who passed away this last Christmas. When we went to our family cabin up at Dinkey Creek in July, I was rock-hopping when I came across this fallen log that someone had carved the interlocking words of 'Faith' and 'David'. My mouth dropped open and I was speechless, automatically grabbing the camera. It was the only thing carved into this particular log (usually there are hundreds of messages and names people write). I don't know who wrote it, when, or what David they were referring to, but it was a special moment and reminder that our David, whom we got to spend the whole day with before he went back into the hospital, is with us still and forever will be. God is faithful, no matter what, and we can't wait to see David again. It's like it was written there just for him. <3

From one of my first blog entries in January, when this all was happening:
"David taught me what it means to have faith. That faith takes effort, and strength, but most of all, surrender. Sacrifice. His life and his story reminded me how I should be living, and that truly truly, we are not guaranteed anything, especially tomorrow."

We love you David Allen Kennedy!

Friday, July 23, 2010


This is only a post before the real post. The real post will update you on my life. But this post will merely serve to tell you what is currently on my mind.

I miss having coffee. Even though I drink a cup of it just about every morning, I miss it. No, I'm not an addict. I simply miss having coffee with friends. At school, I can't remember how many countless coffee runs, coffee room dates, and coffee brewing sessions we all shared. Drinking coffee together is like sitting at the dinner table together; it offers a sense of community and familiarity and comfort. And at this moment, I miss it terribly. I'll wake up tomorrow and have my daily cup, but drinking it alone and without conversation takes half the enjoyment out of it for me, I can't lie.

The best coffee moment I've had this summer is when Gennean came to visit. We were alone at our friend's house, who lives in a beautiful town called Grass Valley. In the morning we went in her backyard, which is a wide-open meadow, and we sat there and drank our coffee while simultaneously engaging in wonderful conversation. Maybe it's the caffeine that causes us to get so chatty...but either way, I remember it so clearly, and I felt so refreshed and rejuvenated afterward. (Ps Gennean, I miss you.)

Beside my love coming home in, yes, dare I say, 11 days, (oh my gosh 11 days?!) I cannot WAIT to get back to coffee dates at Jessup.

(I hope mentioning that he comes home soon doesn't interrupt my whole 'post before the real post' thought process.)

p.s. Rachel, I pretty much can't wait to show you how I can drink a full cup of black coffee now. :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Stationary is too much fun. My friend Alissa and I have been writing letters over summer and it has been so exciting to a) actually get something in the mail for once, and b), be able to write on cute notecards like these. Although my cards aren't half as creative as these ones...anyways! I especially liked the first one because today is my eight-months with my lovely boyfriend, and if I could write him, this is the card I would send. You can never get tired of seeing that precious word.

Mom and Dad are gone to enjoy an early anniversary/Fourth of July weekend in Capitola, so the house is all mine for a couple days. Today I had a nice swim in my backyard, and tomorrow I'm already looking forward to baking a delicious banana-creme pie. It has been tempting me all day!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I got lost on Ruche today, which is an online boutique that handpicks all of its items. The prices aren't too ridiculous either. I forget how much I love stumbling across random clothing stories like this, because it reminds me that there is so much out there in terms of finding clothing you like. Don't get me wrong, I love 'ol-faithful-Target (its cheap and can usually get the job done) but you can only do so much with their options. There is this idealized style in my head of how I would dress myself everyday if I had the time and resources (and by resources I mean cash, money, dough, credit, the likes) but then I usually end up at...Target, and I settle. Clothing is so much fun.

I'm happy God made me a girl for this sole-purpose. (Okay there are tons of other reasons too, but this is huge one).

Oh p.s.! I watched the movie Remember Me last night, and I have to say I had my doubts, considering all I've seen Rob Pattinson in is Twilight. But my goodness. That was an amazing, amazing movie. I'm not too sure why I liked it so much. I just did. Definitely recommend it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Here are some sneak previews to the gorgeous bedding my mom and I got today for my room. Have I mentioned we are re-doing it? I'm not sure why, considering I don't exactly live at home anymore, but my mom said something along the lines of, "That room. Is Disgusting." (Emphasis on the capital 'D'.) Alas, it is a summer project for the whole family. Dad has ripped out the carpet in preparation for wood flooring, mom painted the walls, and I...well I helped pick out the lovely details like fabrics and patterns and colors. Equally important job. Of course. Apparently my brother Jeremy will be coming home next week to also partake in the remodel. Fun for all, and it speeds up the process! I'll make sure to put up the complete before and after pictures when it is all finished.

Tomorrow I am picking up my best friend from school, Michelle. It has been way too long since we have talked or laughed together, and a couple days with her is going to do wonders for my heart! I cannot wait.

I also had a lovely chat with Jesus last night. He reminded me that trusting in Him is the best decision I will ever make. And then He had me write down some goals and aspirations. He told me to put make a list of what my passions are and what gifts He's given me. But He also made sure to have me make note of what I need to continue to not only work on, but be challenged in and strive for. It's easy to feel like 'life' is on hold when you are stuck at a desk all day. This has been my home all summer.
And here's an up close shot of my best friend.
All of this being said, God reminded me I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing this summer; because He is working on the most vital aspect of His plan, the part that must be healthy if I'm going to allow Him to use me: my heart. "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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


This makes me want to sleep, stretch, curl up in a mess of down blankets and stay there forever. Artist profile here. These all really caught my eye. She does series of work that simply have to do with the act of sleeping. I love the simplicity and rawness of each painting. The subject matter is so familiar that it brings the viewer straight to a place of comfort. I also enjoy the consistent use of neutral tones. Love love her work. There is such beauty in simplicity.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I haven't blogged in so long! Deepest apologies. I think I got in a blogging funk. Because I felt I didn't really have anything to blog about. But! I am here and back with a vengeance. (In a good way, of course.)

Things around here have been pretty flawless. I got to spend a lovely four days with one of my good friends from school, and together we went to a beautiful wedding for a couple from our school as well. Considering it's summertime and I hardly leave the house, (lounging and relaxing at home are two activities I have become very good at) it was nice to actually get out and get ready. You know, like actually taking a shower and putting on make-up and doing my hair. During the week I simply have no reason to take the time of getting ready since my days (right now) only consist of doing online pre-calculus. Unfortunately and fortunately, pre-calculus is unavailable for the day, so while I can enjoy a day of friends and swimming, it also means I am unable to stay on the strict schedule I have devised in order to finish the class before our family vacation in two weeks. The midterm I took yesterday helped boost my confidence though, so I feel prepared to tackle these last three chapters and then never look back....ever. (I'm a Music and English major; let's not waste any more time on functions and graphs please.)

I may feel a little bad for what I am about to write, simply because it has already been written about so much, but my goodness. I never knew I could miss a person as much as I miss my dear dear love. It's almost been seven weeks, meaning there is five left. To my dismay I realized I miscounted the number of weeks he is gone, so it went from 11 to 12. Sigh. He is busy busy busy, and even three of those still don't quite do it justice. Never again am I going to take for the granted the pleasure of merely being able to ask him how his day was. It's a weird feeling not to know much about the one person who is constantly on your mind.
On a lighter note, I have a free day! Dinner tonight will be black bean burgers made on the grill, and I can try and refrain from taking a picture of them, but we'll have to see if I'm strong enough to resist. (Or just too starving that I would rather devour the food rather than have it model for me.)
Happy summer days!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

for you.

Love is beautiful because of the process it involves. I am so grateful that my heart has been awakened to something so sacred and mysterious and breathtaking.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blessings are plentiful
Sunshine erases all threats of dull.
Love blooms
creates room
in daily tasks of old.
The Sole-Provider is providing
heart is being stretched.
Summer nights resume with flavor
some of the best yet.
Sole part absent,
a radiant soul miles away.
Yet I love him, I love him
increasingly each day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Happy June! I always feel like summer truly begins when it's June. It has been a busy week full of sunshine (and consequently sunburns), family, and my favorite, pre-calculus. Nathan's graduation was long and hot, but it was worth it to see his shining face afterward. Being in the middle of my brothers made me feel right at home as their little sister again, and I love nothing more than that feeling. As we've all grown up, each of us has changed in someway, and our personalities and common blood and genetics all just fit very nicely together now ;). This weekend will be the big graduation party at Lodi Lake for him and his girlfriend, who graduated as well.        
 My mother decided to catch some version of the flu this last week, so I have unofficially taken over. Mostly in the kitchen. Tonight I made this [literally] mouth-watering Greek pasta salad with a creamy vinaigrette, and with the surplus of berries we have been getting, I made a cobbler for dessert. It was my first time baking one, and  it was a lot simpler than I thought. All of this baking and cooking makes me want to live in the apartments on campus even more, but no, I will have to wait one more year. At least the love will have one though...I can mooch off his kitchen facilities and then he can get the grub in return. Sounds like a fair trade to me.