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Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday thoughts

I normally like to spread my posts out a couple days or so, but I had to share what's been on my heart tonight.

This time of year always seems to be a busy season. The end of the semester, or the end of your school year, moving back home, moving in somewhere else, starting or ending jobs, weddings to attend, whatever your form of busy may be - April and May tend to be busy and full of change. Let me share with you my form of busy and change. Earlier today, my roommate and I were cleaning out our dorm. If you don't know me, I attend TN Tech and I lived in the dorms this semester. Tomorrow is return your loft day. So we were moving our desks to the middle of the room, cleaning out drawers that had stacks of papers in them with little bits of everything, gathering trash and preparing for move out day, which is next week. After about twenty minutes of intense cleaning and focus, I stop and say, "This is probably the last time I will be living in the dorms. I'm gonna take a picture." So I find my camera and take a few snapshots of the extreme clutter. So many thoughts were racing through my mind, but in that moment I couldn't stop to really think deeply about any of them. I quickly came back to the mess and finished my half of the room. After things were somewhat settled, it was just me and the room. I found myself sitting at my desk, looking at the stacks of paper, piles of random nothings, my pencil container filled with what seemed like a lifetime supply of colored pencils, bobby bins and clips, and paintbrushes. I turned on some music and just sat there thinking. I first thought about how badly my body was hurting from my workouts the past few days. In that moment I felt like I had just finished a big run, my run was the entire semester. It was finally over. It seems like just yesterday it was beginning and I was moving in. I took a few deep breaths.

People say, "Life is short and time flies by." It really is true - time does fly by, really really fast. People also say, "Live life to the fullest, live it up!" What is living life to the fullest really? What does that even mean? I pondered this idea earlier tonight. I thought, "Am I living my life to the fullest? What does it mean to live my life to the fullest?". . .

I don't know who you are or what your life looks like. I don't know your story, what you've been through or what you're facing today. But I know who I am, and I know what my life looks like. I know my story. For me, living my life to the fullest means living in the Lord. Seeking Him with my whole heart, and following His will for my life. Above all, it's love. Genuine love. Genuinely loving people. Loving everyone you come in contact with. Short story: I was at a restaurant recently with a friend. We had the sweetest server. He was so kind, and so genuine. He didn't charge us for some of our meal, he was precious. When he gave us our checks I turned to my friend and asked her for a pen. I found a clean napkin and wrote a little note for the server, thanking him again and telling him he was wonderful. We paid and then we left. I walked outside with the biggest smile on my face. I don't know about you, but doing things like that for people, little gestures of love, they make me so happy. Not happy because of me, but because of them, and loving them. It's loving them that makes me happy. I was so full of joy. I don't say that to point out what I did, I tell you that story to point out and remind you that loving people doesn't have to be talking to them for hours, buying them flowers, or giving them a gift. Loving people can be writing a note on a napkin saying "thank you." It can be a smile sent to a person across a room. A friendly wave. A hug. Listening to someone. It can be millions of little things. It's like sand. When you think of the beautiful ocean, you don't think of just one grain of sand, or a huge chuck of sand shaped like a stone. No, you picture millions and millions of grains of sand. Millions.


Walking on sand is refreshing because your tiny toes sink into the cool cushion of endless grains, leaving your footprint behind you. Little gestures of love are refreshing. Without each grain the ocean wouldn't be complete. Without God there wouldn't love. Because God is love. It all goes back to the Creator, the Lord! Which leads me back to the questions I asked myself earlier, "Am I living my life to the fullest? What does it mean to live my life to the fullest?" For me, it's seeking the Creator. The One who created the ocean and every grain of sand. It's loving like He loves me. Wanting to love people genuinely. Knowing that there are endless ways to love someone, so many small things that can make all the difference in someone's moment or day. And it's remembering these little moments. Remembering the grains of love.

I know that was a lot to read. . .

I don't know what you're season looks like right now. Maybe you're in a busy season full of lots of change, or maybe nothing is changing for you. Maybe you're extremely overwhelmed or stressed beyond belief, or maybe you are in complete peace. Maybe you feel in a dull place, like you're not really living your life to the fullest. I don't know what you consider living life to the fullest, everyone is different. Whatever you're facing, know that it's going to be okay. Maybe you could show little gestures of love to people you see today - and try to notice ones in other people. Maybe it's just a smile. Whatever gesture you choose to pour out today, or receive today, I think you'll be surprised by the love you feel in return. I think you yourself will feel joy - and just like walking in the sand is refreshing, I pray the little gestures of love are refreshing for your day. Don't forget them. Remember the grains of love.

It's now time for me to go to bed. Big day tomorrow. Goodnight for now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let yourself feel

Before you begin reading, go to the link below and listen. Listen and read.
http://vimeo.com/6045312
Everyone I'm sure is familiar with the concept of zoning out whether they realize it or not. It's happening to me right now actually. You may find yourself in a crowd full of people - maybe a coffee shop that's somewhat loud, people walking in and out, carrying their own conversations - maybe you're in a classroom and the teacher is lecturing. You see that their talking, but nothing is really going through your ears - maybe your sitting outside on a bench in a park, all you may hear are the trees swaying around you, the birds singing their songs, the occasional runner huffing and puffing, or the little kid overflowing with excited as they play on the playground - or you may be all alone in complete silence. You find yourself in a certain moment and it's as if nothing is around you. You feel like you are on pause and everything around you is on play. Your eyes may be frozen in a certain spot and your mind may be racing in circles or you may not be thinking at all. Maybe you have no words. It's okay to be in this place. It's okay to feel frozen, it's okay to have no words, it's okay.

Maybe you had a zoning out moment earlier today, or you're in one right now. Maybe you're reading this and your eyes are just floating along each word. That's okay too. All you can do is the next right thing. Let yourself feel and take good care of yourself. So often people live their lives so busy worrying about so many things, that they can quickly forget or lose time to take care of themselves. I think everyone should have 'me time.' What do you enjoy doing for your 'me time'? I enjoy many things, here are a few: drinking tea, yoga, taking pictures of beautiful things, hot bubble baths, face masks, making hoot hoots and painting with music. You can never be too busy for 'me time' - 'me time' should be an essential part of your day. Maybe it's shower time, let that be your time. Maybe it's driving, let that be your time. Find time for you, and enjoy it.

Always remember to let yourself feel. And it's okay to feel whatever you're feeling. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and just breathe. If you're outside, let the wind blow across your face and enjoy it. If you're inside, enjoy your comfy chair, or the warm conversation you're having. If you're alone, be thankful that you are alive. Be thankful that you have eyes to read and see beauty.

Enjoy your current moment, whatever it may be, and remember to smile because you are beautiful.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pictures

I don't understand why my photos aren't showing up! I'm so sorry friends. I have been working on it, but they keep going away. It's so sad. I hope I can fix it soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April tulips

I strive to capture the details. The whole flower is beautiful of course, but what stands out to me are the details. Each line resting right next to each other, every curve that creates the petal, the dust, the way the sun hits and creates a shadow, how the colors blend creating hundreds of values, the high contrast...on and on. Enjoy the details!























Search for details in simple things today - you will amazed at the beauty you find!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday

I'm currently at Barnes and Noble in the Starbucks area. My corner is so peaceful.

Have you ever sat in a public place with headphones in? I'm sure you have. You're completely zoned out because of your music - your music changes everything about that moment. Let's say you're sitting by a window. You look out and find cars passing by all headed in different directions, people walking, and trees swaying. The people close by are all in their own little worlds. Some are writing, some are reading, some are in a deep phone conversation, some may look very sad, or others seem to be in a hurry.

I find so much beauty in just being still. Resting in the midst of chaos. Not that this coffee area in this bookstore is chaos, but its not like life is on pause either. I'm just choosing to be still. I have many things to do today, in fact, in ten minutes I have to go to my car and head to my next destination. It's the little pockets of time that are special. It's the little things that make a day wonderful. If you've read my previous posts, you're probably wondering why I talk about the little things so much - the little things are so important to me. I feel like the little things in life go unnoticed most of the time. People, myself included, become unaware of things that are routine, or extremely simple - for example, a cool drink, or the breeze - I love to notice beauty in little things and write them out so readers like you can be reminded of them!

Ok, its been ten minutes. I must close my computer now and walk to my car.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Crushed Ice

I love little joys that end up making my whole day. Like the cherry limeade I drank earlier today. I was sitting in the Panera parking lot, my car was facing the grass. There was a row of crisp green bushes in front of me. My two front windows were rolled down, the breeze was just perfect. It wasn't gusting like a tornado but not completely gone either. It was soft and wispy, and every once in a while my hair would sway and cool me off. I like to drink my sonic drinks with the lid off and no straw. The crushed ice added with the fresh flavor is something so amazing! Definitely a little joy. But I savored it. That whole moment was lovely.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tulips

Today I discovered patches of tulips! Tomorrow morning I plan to wake up bright and early to go take beautiful pictures of them and other lovely things. What a wonderful way to start my day. I can't wait to share the beauty! Be on the lookout for my next post!

Sweet dreams everyone.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Little joys

Here is something that makes my day - It's a very small thing yet so lovely at the same time. I like to find little joys and savor them. Let me share it with you! Every morning I splash cold water on my face several times.


It's the most refreshing feeling in the world! It's definitely a shock to my face on the first splash but it feels so good. Also, right before I go to bed, after washing my face with soap, I splash cold water on it again. It surprisingly makes my face feel tighter and cleaner. The cold water is so crisp and fresh. I used to rinse my face with room temperature water because the straight cold water was too much of a shock - but its so worth it! Try straight cold water for a rinse and let your face feel refreshed.

Tomorrow

So you've had a rough day. Maybe your day has been so busy you haven't had time to breathe. Maybe you feel overwhelmed with decisions. Maybe you're really mad at yourself for a choice you made! Maybe you're mad at yourself for something you did or didn't do. You're just super frustrated and mad at yourself. Like this child, looking very miserable.


There is not one bit of happy written on his face. He seems sad, mad, confused, and just worn out.

Let me tell you this friends, you don't have to dwell in misery. Tomorrow will come soon and tomorrow is a brand new day! New beginnings, new choices. A fresh start. The past is gone completely. So instead of feeling sad, or continuing to beat yourself up about a choice you made, or soaking in frustration - try to smile because tomorrow is a new day.


This facial expression has happy written all over it! Look at the joy, look at the peace. Have peace that tomorrow is new and be thankful that tomorrow is a FRESH START.

Now take four minutes and five seconds and listen to this song! Copy and paste this link to your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8HRCacAQ-4. Move your head to the beat, turn it up loud, and smile.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Car ride

Headed back to Nashville. I-65 N is pretty clear.

I am in the passenger seat and James (my brother) is driving. Something interesting happened about 20 minutues ago. We were cruising down the left lane and all of a sudden this baby blue colored PT Cruiser was on our tail. We slide over in the right lane and gladly let them pass us. As they were passing us, we see a woman in the passenger seat, she looked pregnant and in pain. The man driving seemed very focused. Their hazards were on and they were on a mission. Who knows what they were going through. Maybe she was pregnant...or maybe she had a broken leg. We have no idea what people are going through. People may be headed in the same direction on the same road but their destinations are all different. You never know what people are going through. When in doubt, just love.

Friday, April 2, 2010

You choose

Hello dear friends. Forgive me for not writing recently. My life has felt like that of a kite, swirling in the wind not knowing what's going on. But here I sit, ready to type.

I don't know what kind of day you've had...maybe its the end of the day for you. Wherever you find yourself, pause for a moment and look at the photograph below.


That is me skating. It was taken in Holland. I remember this day so clearly. I remember stepping onto the ice with four other friends. Quickly after I became comfortable with my skates I broke out from the group and began skating on my own. The ice seemed to go on forever and ever. I would search for clear spots to twirl in. The wind was cold against my face, but more refreshing than anything I had felt in a long time. I felt so free. Me and the wind. No fear or worry, only peace. My eyes would water as I would skate faster and faster, pumping my feet and moving my arms back and forth - after a few seconds of gaining momentum I would stretch out my arms side to side and stand straight up. It was a moment full of so much peace.

When I think more about this picture and that day on the ice, the word 'choice' comes to mind. In that moment while I was skating, I chose to break from the group. I chose to search for blank spaces to swirl. I chose to feel the wind and let it embrace me. I chose to speed up fast then stand up tall. I chose to place myself in that particular circumstance. Because of that choice I felt freedom. Fear was gone, and worry was nowhere to be seen.

Everyday you have a series of choices. You are the only one that can control YOU. I encourage you to take a moment and write down different things that bring you peace. You choose each step you take, no one can choose them for you. You choose.

Find peace today, dear friend. Feel the wind.