Monday, August 14, 2017

Stop Sitting on the Fence

Are you walking in faith and trusting in who God says you are? Do you doubt? Do you run off your feelings? Either way, you should listen to this. Let's be convicted about what we've been born into, Christians - let's be convicted and start living like we are actually called to a royal we are children of the Most High God who has called us.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. {1 Peter 1:13-21, NASB}

Let's stop sitting on the fence.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Days Full of Sunshine

A lot of my mornings start with grey clouds and grumpy frowns. I'm not a morning person if I have to get up and go at the drop of a hat. I much prefer to take them slow, like drinking dark coffee in a cafe kind of slow. I wish I could spend every day lounging for an hour in the early sunshine, letting my skin mediate between me and the world before I run off. I don't always have that luxury and I grouch about it. 

Today was a little different. Saturdays usually are though. I spent my morning hours sipping coffee, eating pecan pralines, and reading If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski. In the sunshine. It was perfect. I was happy and yawning, surrounded by beautiful prose and the heart of a person like me. I felt my eyes well up a few times at the simple beauty of it all.

What if we all stopped a moment to love a little deeper. What if we were honest with each other about our pain and purpose; our questions and our answers. I have so many questions that have never been answered, and I have so many answers that don't fit my questions. I have a heart heavy with pain and awkward joy; somber dark honey - a cloud of hope behind the darkness. Sometimes I prefer the silence and seclusion of my mind to the noisy cacophony of people, but I still crave to be known and loved. I want to spill my mind and heart and be vulnerable and open, but I cringe at the risk of it all. Most of the time I hide behind my smiles, waiting and wondering at the future and the present. Wishing for a moment of laughter that will overcome every fear and paralyzing doubt.

Being alone with myself and being okay with it is a lovely thing. People exhaust me (I exhaust me). But people feel what I feel and want to be loved the way I do - we are connected by our similar struggles and battles. So, part of me wants to reach out and love them through the exhaustion, because they deserve to be loved. They deserve to be reached and understood. I don't want others to feel what I've felt before, to be alone and hurting and shunned by the world because they don't quite understand. 

If you're reading this today and you feel lost and struck by the weight of what you carry, please reach out and talk to someone. We aren't made to go through life alone. We're made for community and compassion; we're built to help carry each other's burdens. I know it doesn't seem that way, that the road seems incredibly dark and silent, but the people around you (even if they aren't in your circumstance and even if they've never experienced what you have) they can relate and support you. 

And if you are someone who doesn't feel that weight, reach out and love someone who does. Touch everyone around you with your joy and hope, set out your care like a salesman and sell it for free. Be persistent - go door to door through the hearts you cross and love them. If only more people loved boldly, perhaps the world would be a softer place. 

Signed with navy blue sparkles, 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Own Face {Reflections of Hate & Love}

Laura William's Photography

I looked in the mirror and saw my own face
And I thought to myself, "What a solemn disgrace,"
What a solemn disgrace - all these social constructs
That demand me to hate me with violent misconduct.
What a pity! because when I look at my shell
I see beauty and wisdom; in my eyes, the seas dwell.
It's the me that's been with me from birth until now
And the me that will be, until death's fulfilled vow.
I see mystery and magic in memories fair,
I see heartache and sadness deep inside my own stare.
Yet despite all that's happened and all that will come, 
I am happy to live here
--- every piece the perfect (sum).

I've been with me for forever and I will be to the end,
It's a marriage of my soul-flesh...some may try to transcend
- they will pour out all their money to confect a pretty mask
So they won't see all their true self - and they'll call it just a task. 
But I don't see such a hardship in the loving of your skin
For it's held you tight together to explore the world, within. 
Think with me, just a moment - child, think with me if you dare -
Can you love your lowly body, can you cherish it with flare? 
Will you promise to protect it from the force inside your mind?
Can you give its only lifetime simple blessings of a kind? 
I think, indeed, if you care.. it will show upon your face
As attributes of kindly years, of happiness and grace.
And when our time has reached an end & we must leave this sphere
We'll look upon our mortal span with joy from tender years.

Signed with wildflowers, 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Out of Control - When Things Are Chaos

I haven't really planned out this post (not that I normally do) - so if it comes across as messy and hard to read, just know that I'm trying only to get my thoughts out on a page so I can free up the space in my mind and reduce how much I'm worrying about everything lately. It is for you to read and maybe learn from, but it's more so for me to just vent and get myself under control.

This week has been crazy - perhaps not everyone would agree, but for me it's been challenging. At the start of the week, the power went off for quite some time. I found myself freaking out about all the little things that are so insignificant. No hot water, no internet, no power to charge the phones, no alarm clock, no heater, no fans. Who cares? I do apparently. It made me panic; I still don't fully understand why disruption to my daily routine bothers me so much, but it does. When things aren't under control, I feel anxious and worried and want to fix it right away. Heavens, I would do terrible back in the 18th century with my beloved Victorian characters from Austen or Bronte, etc.

Happily enough for me, the power came back on a few hours later (not the expected 3 days like we were told by Hydro). I had a few days of ok-ness, and then yesterday I came home from work to find that the flooding in our area had blown out our water main, flooded parts of the driveway, and was threatening to take out our two bridges.

Additionally, our dam that we use for irrigation purposes ... our concrete dam... it blew apart from the water. I literally watched massive chunks of concrete get catapulted down our normally adorable, tiny little creek as if they were angry weapons on their way to destroy the world. The sound was deafening and surreal - this grinding, crunching, terrifying noise coming from somewhere far beneath the turbid, muddy depths. I thought I'd be able to take a dip in the creek to serve as a shower/bath (because the water to the house is gone) but when I saw that I was like, "Nope nope nope nope ALL THE NOPES." I mean, who wants to get flayed alive by a creek? I swear, if someone dips in that water, massive rocks will break their bones. It's insanely dangerous. 

Thankfully, my dad was able to get in touch with a guy who has a big excavator. We were able to remove trees that were swept down the creek and blocking up the flow - and I guess they also dug out a safety area to protect whatever is left of our cistern for water (I haven't heard the update about whether it's salvageable). I also believe they were working on the area where the dam used to be, to try and prevent further damage to the irrigation pipes. 

Anyway, so last night I was freaking out about all of this damage and how we have no water at all in the house (other than what we can bring over from town). A friend of mine was telling me not to freak out because God has it in control - my mom was mad at me for being irrational and so forth - and I was in bed hyperventilating because everything was out of control. I fell asleep praying and hoping things would be better in the morning. 

When I woke up, at first I didn't remember what had happened, but then I felt how sticky and smelly I was from not having a shower the night before (ew - I know, I'm cringing with you too) and I started panicking again, wishing I had never woken up in the first place. Being clean is something very important to me. I can go without pretty much anything at all, so long as I have a guaranteed warm shower every night. If I have everything but that shower, I spiral into an irrational mess. There's something soothing and healing about warm water on skin - it's cleansing to me and it's very important (and I honestly don't really know when this became something necessary for me to function properly but it did... oops - this is why I hate camping so much ... lol).

Anyway, I am doing a bit better now. I'm reminding myself that it isn't going to be like this always and that part of the problem with my freaking out is due to the medication I'm on for a recent flare I've had with rheumatoid arthritis - it puts my emotions out of whack. I need to start thinking of it like an adventure - a rather morbid adventure, but an adventure nonetheless. And our house hasn't flooded and my family are all safe and ok. Plus, we have LOTS of water around us;  hopefully this means we won't have a massive drought again this summer. Apparently the snowpack was 122% this year, and with the ridiculous weather we've been having, it all melted super fast and led to flash flooding. 

We're really blessed to have caught it before it destroyed more than our water main and dam. Others haven't been so lucky - I've seen news reports of people's businesses under a meter of water, basements flooding out, sewage systems backing up, and one town 30min away is under a state of emergency because almost the whole town is under several inches of water. It's ridiculous. It's never been this bad before. 

So, that being said - with so many other people dealing with much worse situations that I am, I can manage. I have so much to be thankful for - it's just my irrational brain bypassing states of logic to jump to conclusions and freak me out. I'm taking the time to focus on being calm, rational, and understanding. Sometimes things get out of control and chaotic - in those moments, the best we can do is quiet our raging emotions and trust in God to provide and take care of what we can't control. I can't control the weather - I can't control the damage water can do to things, but I can trust in God to provide and take care of us. Yes, I have to move outside my comfort zone and recognize that things simply can't be done the way they've always been done because of the changes this situation has made, but things can be done a different way. I just need to be open minded and not so stingy. 

*breathes out* That was a messy rant. I hope you guys understand (if you've bothered to read the whole thing). I don't want to make excuses for the way I feel and think, but (I know - you hate but's, they always mean someone is about to contradict themselves *throws hands in air*).. but I can't help that it is a reality and something I'm just trying to deal with. 

I guess the moral of this story is - yes, sometimes we have feelings that get out of control. Yes, we can do some things to manage those feelings, although it doesn't guarantee they'll go away. In the end, God is in control and we need to trust Him. In the midst of chaos, He is our resting place. 

Signed with a muddy branch, 


Monday, April 17, 2017

A Mind That Cannot Be Stilled

It's been an interesting week - I'm somewhat stuck between several columns of thought and being.
Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina | Dmitry Pichugin

  • Part of me is clearly a scientist. I have this work I have to do and it requires my complete attention, but I don't really want to give it my full attention. The whole let's-all-be-logical-down-to-earth-thinkers-here-and-get-some-good-data is starting to grate on my nerves. I really just want to have it all done, but all the paper work keeps piling up endlessly and that bothers me so much. 
  • Part of me wants to be some chic, artistic, mellow lady who sips tea, reads books, and writes all about my adventures in a thick, expensive journal. I want to sequester myself in a little nook far away at some sea-side villa where no one will ever find me. I want to write, I want to dream, I want to create. I want to walk into an antique store and splurge on silly little nick-nacks that no one cares for, just because. 
  • Part of me wants to never be around people ever again. Turn up the music really loud, paint violently, and scream into my pillow. 
  • And part of me wants to drop everything, go be a missionary in some exotic location, tell people the Gospel, learn a new language, and give up everything I have for the possibility of leading others to Christ. 

I am a whirlwind of the unknown. I am as inconsistent as the lines I try to sketch (and let's be real, I can't sketch worth anything). Sometimes it feels like all this stuff I'm doing now is just to pass the time so I can do what really needs doing later. Like I'm stuck in a waiting room, anxious and tired, but the train will pull up soon enough and I'll get on and be whisked away to some distant, melodious adventure. 

Of course, all this line of thought will disappear tomorrow, when I'm back in the lab quarreling with the software that runs my experiments. But it's always kind of there - rustling in its own little frustrated way beneath the surface. It's probably one of the reasons I get this overwhelming desire to wander at times, and because I have no where to wander I simply devour book after book until part of me is a little bit more okay with my current lot in life. 
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