Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Timid or playing it safe?

When I wrote my "A Little Road Mapping" post... I found some great images/quotes that talk about risk.

Just a little refresher

But my favorite one probably comes from the movie Hitch

Because that's what people do... they leap and hope to God they can fly!
 Because otherwise, we just drop like a rock... wondering the whole way down...
"why in the hell did I jump?"
But here I am Sarah, falling. And there's only one person that makes me feel like I can fly...
That's you. -Hitch

Now I know all these quotes are talking about love but I believe everything in life worth something comes with risk.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Now in some ways I am all for caution. I mean we are all very cautious with our money, our family, and crossing the street. But I wonder sometimes when we play it too safe? This is still an idea I am working on and thinking through so I am not sure if my sentences will make that much sense (sorry).

I wrote in my post on road mapping and my post "A thought on peace" that I know I have made mistakes and that I am worried that I allow myself to be controlled by my mistakes. That some times leads me into timidity... I am afraid to leap and hope I can fly sometimes because the weight of the mistakes hold me down. It is like a rock tied to my foot that weighs so much I can't leap. But faith is not always an easy walk through the park sometime is it is a big giant leap and not knowing where you are going to land.

While I so wholeheartedly agree with guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23) I think sometimes we get it the idea wrong. I know I used to see this passage as the "okay" on putting a wall around my heart and blocking people out. But I don't think that is what this verse is talking about. It is not saying put up a fort around your heart and let nobody in I think it is saying let God stand in front of your heart and give Him judgement of who to let in and who to keep out. For some weird reason I see God in this role as a Roman solider (I have no idea why).

Once again this is not all about love but sometimes love can be the biggest risk of all. I know I am very conservative in my dating habits. I don't believe in just casual dating I believe you date to see if it could lead to marriage but that doesn't always mean it will lead to marriage. Sometimes you have to risk heart break to see but I think it is worth the risk. You have to put yourself on the line and see if it work because if you don't nothing will ever work. God can do great things in your life if you are willing to let him road map your adventure but how much can he do in your life if you are just sitting around. 

This verse just came to my mind while I was writing that last part... I haven't really made the connection yet.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19 (some of my favorite verses)

While I can talk that I am all about taking risk I still find my life very much on the cautious side. I don't always like putting things on the line because I am afraid of a "no." So I am still trying to come to terms with not living a life of timidity and guarding your heart it feels like tight rope walking.

So here are the quotes I have to remember...

Because sometimes life is worth the leap.

Happy 101... Thanks for reading

I can't believe my blog has more than 100 post on it. 

I started this blog back in 2009 and I wrote a total of 8 post that year. What I wanted to do with this blog was kind of write a novel through my blog like how Charles Dickens used to write his stories for newspapers.

Here is a snippet from my very first post
I am using this summer to read a lot of inspiring novels and maybe write a story of my own. Its just my first draft but I would love to get my stories out there. Especially since a lot of my close friends live out of town I would like them to read my stories."
I didn't write anything in 2010... that is sad. Then in 2011 my first post was about how busy I was in grad school that I couldn't write. But then in March I wrote about how my sister called me out about how I wasn't writing. Then slowly my blog turned from a nothingness to actual writing. I write a lot on my "coffee breaks" as an escapism from moments I just can't handle things.

By August I was a full pledged blogger trying to write every day. Some of my writing wasn't that great but I was a blogger through an through. In my "I'm a Blogger" post I used Jennifer Donnelly (my favorite author) as my inspiration for my blogging.

Try to stand still inside all of that and hear your own voice.
It's yours and only yours, it's unique and worthy of your attention,
and if you cultivate it properly, it might just make you a writer.
-Jennifer Donnelly

I really tried to push myself to write a post everyday  thinking that would increase my blog popularity and I started a Facebook page to share my blog. But by the end of August I realized my writing wasn't that great because I was pushing myself to write and I not always enjoying it. Also had changed their layout so it felt more like a popularity contest. I didn't want my blog to be about popularity I wanted it to be about who I was, though in the back of my mind I thought how cool would it be if my blog was the next big blog (it's not and I'm okay with that) So I kind of had an "identity crisis" for my blog about what I wanted this blog to be. In my "Blog Popularity" post I wrote about how...

I am going to try to go back to my roots for this blog. I want to write about what inspires me or my writing rather it be a picture I found or a quote I like or blog from one of the many bloggers I follow. I want to share my story more from what is going on in my life to what I am writing. I have loved this summer writing about books I was reading to the movies I saw. In a few days I will be in class so I can keep you posted on cataloging and historical research (fun times right?). I just want to get back to why I loved this blog... an oasis not an obligation.

Now I am really trying to think about what I write about.Even last night as I was getting ready for bed I was thinking about this blog and a post I wanted to write about. I told my roommate that if I could figure out away to get my computer water proof I would write my blog in the shower... you can get some great ideas in there. (TMI?) Sometimes my blog is random thoughts and very free flowing. But I am back to loving my blog. It is not an obligation it is always a pleasure to write in this blog.
I have listed some of my favorite post on the side bar as I have been looking forward to my 100th blog post.

100 post here I come... My favorite post so far.
(In alphabetical order)

A little road mapping
A Page from my diary
A Sap at Heart
A Sap at Heart (Part 3)
A Thought for Thursday
Daddy's Girl
From a Hopeful Romantic
I'm a Blogger
Thinking about my Grandma

But if you have any favorites please let me know. I love my reader's comments and input.

I love writing, I always have since I was a little girl. I would fill up notebooks with the stories in my head. I now fill up more notebooks with journal entries but I am still working on writing a novel but it is still a work in progress. Maybe one day I will be a published author. But until then I am glad I have this blog where I can come write and escape from my day to day. I write about lots of things going on in my life I mostly get inspiration from conversations I have or thoughts and struggles I am going through. Sometimes this blog is like my journal. But on lighter notes I write about movies and books and just little pleasantries. My writing really has no rhyme or reason to it. I just love writing.

I am so happy I discovered blogspot 2 years ago and I continue to find excellent blogs that keep me inspired in my writing and dreaming. This place even though virtual is my little oasis. I frequently think about how to "improve" my blog by making it reflect who I am and where I want to escape to. I think if my blog was a comfortable reading chair what would it look like because that is how I want my blog to be some place comfortable I can take my mug of coffee, sit, enjoy, relax and write.

So as I wrap up this reflection of my blog I want to thank you for being my readers.

I love this blog and I enjoy writing in it when I can and I enjoy knowing people read it. I have some very dedicated followers and that makes me very happy that people out there read it continuously. So a special thank you to my lovely and loyal readers. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Friends are blogging

My friend Alicia and I
 My friend Alicia has started writing a blog. I love when ever my friends write blogs... when I learn about them I seek them out and begin following.  My friend Alicia's blog is called "Be Still" and she has a post called "Be still and know that I am God". A phrase that comes from Psalm 46:10 a great passage that gets over looked a lot.

Alicia writes in her post...

"A few years ago I sat in an Easter Service at St. Paul's Cathedral in Boston, and the worship leader chanted this line for a solid ten minutes. Maybe it was longer than ten minutes. Either way, it felt long. My mind wondered to things that needed to get done, bills that needed to be paid, work, what I wanted to eat for dinner, etc. The focus was on my needs in the moment. I wasn't paying attention to the commandment to be still, to give God His time and listen, really listen, to what He needed to say to me in that moment."

How many times does that happen in our lives? For me a lot. I get so wrapped up in my problems or the things I have to do and I forget to remember He is God and He will take care of everything. Reading Psalm 46  really reminds me how much God has been there for us and will be there for us.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging....
Come and see what the LORD has done,

the desolation he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:1-3 & 8-11
Alicia ends her post saying...

"Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am taking care of you.
Be still and know that I am with you.
Be still and know that you are loved unconditionally.
Be still and listen, really listen, to Me.
Be still and chill out. "
I know I personally need to be reminded of that daily.
I really hope lovely readers you will check out Alicia's blog. She is new to the blogging world and I want to wish her the best of luck.

How are you going to change the world?

When you enter college and even when you graduate college you are (or should be) inspired to change the world. No matter if you are going to solve world hunger, run for president, or if you are like me I wanted to change the world by writing great historical novels. Yep I wanted to change the world by making history more accessible and interesting (geeky to the core).

Soon you graduate and realize you can't change the world... or not as quickly as you thought. But you can still change it. My freshman year RA (resident assistant)  is now the state representative for his home town and district. So see you can make a difference you just have to think about what you want to do.
Found at Think Progress
I am not a politician so I am not saying you have to be in government to change the world. I think my sister and all mom's like her change the world by raising children and nurture them to be the best they can be. There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that is called "One heart beat at a time" that says it better than me...
That you, you are changing the world
one little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh you, you may not see it now
but I believe that time will tell
how you, you are changing the world
one little heartbeat at a time

I am not a mom but one day I would like to change the world in such a way. Right now I see my work at my church nursery as helping change the world because I help children know they are loved, they are special and when ever I can I like encouraging their imagination. 

I don't believe your job has to be they way you change the world it could be a hobby, past time or an interest that could make the biggest impact. I write this blog, sometimes hoping that something I say would resonate with people and maybe change the way they think about an issue. I also write it and through writing the post I change my out look on the situation. This may not change the world but I would like to think my life effects the people around me and if I change my out look maybe my opinions can ripple on to some one's life and then it ripples on to another person... and so on and so on. (Maybe I am just too idealistic.)

That was a long tangent to get to here... what I wanted to say. I was talking to a friend last night and he didn't seem that happy about his job. I asked what did he want to do? It seems like a basic question but every one rather they graduated college or not thinks "I would like to do this____(fill in blank)_____ for the rest of my life"  and I think the best thing to do is go out and pursue it. Now obviously I didn't encourage him to quit his job and pursue a dream of becoming a rock and roll star. I told him to maybe look for another job while he is still working. The job he wants would take more education so I told him (maybe bluntly) he should take classes while working, I am doing it. But one doesn't have to go to a fancy university to take classes one can go to a community college, places like University of Phoenix, or even random classes at a community center.

I just think the most important thing is to find something you want to do and do it.

I may not always like school and I get worn out but I love the fact that I am pursuing a dream of mine.

So to bring this post to conclusion I think we all have something in us (a passion or desire) that can help change the world, even if the world you change is your own little corner. We just have to pursue it. So pursue your dreams and that will change the world.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A thought on Peace?

The word in Hebrew is Shalom

My church (Reunion Christian Church) has been going through the book of Luke. This week we read the story of Jesus being anointed by the sinful woman. Luke 7:36-50 it is a great story about a woman who is known in town to be a sinful woman probably a prostitute and if you don't know about the culture context of the day that is like the lowest of the low. She hears that Jesus is having dinner in town with the Pharisees (religious rule almost dictators) and she comes in and uses her tears to wash Jesus' feet and kisses his feet. She realizes how deep her sin is and how much she needs to be forgiven. The pharisees cannot really believe Jesus is interacting with her and when Jesus confronts their gossip he tells them a parable about a two men who are in debt one owes 50 denarii* and the other owes 500 but there debts have been wiped clean and Jesus asks the Pharisees which one do you think would be more grateful. The Pharisees says the one who owed more. Jesus says that he is right. Jesus told the Pharisees that this woman realized how big of burden her sins were and she realized how much she needed to be forgiven. It is a great story but the sentence that struck me the most was verse 50...

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

*-is about a days wage

I write this post about that phrase. Peace is an interesting word it has a lot of connotations. It could mean the absence of war or conflict (internally or externally). It could also mean "being at peace" a phrase common in Yoga classes. But at church (and the way I like to think about it is) Peace=Shalom. Not just the Hebrew hello but Shalom means completeness.

Woman washing Jesu's feet
Found at A White Stone
Can you imagine what it must have been like for her to hear "go in completeness." I kind of see it as go and define yourself no more by your past errors. I admit I might be reading to much into it but I don't think I am. Repeatedly the Bible says when you confess your errors (actions or mindset) it is removed from you meaning you are no longer judged by that error. Jesus didn't just say “your faith has saved you; go in peace” to that one woman he says it to everyone. But if you are like me I hold myself in guilt of those errors, wrong judgements, and bad thoughts. As you can read in my post A little road mapping I am my own worst critic.

To be honest I replay things a lot in my mind, mostly bad things I have done or arguments I have gotten into and they kind of haunt me. In that case I don't feel like I am letting things go and allowing Jesus to come in. I don't feel I am living in the completeness God has to offer. I feel like God is saying to me "go in peace" and I just don't because I can't erase memories. So what am I suppose to do?  I sometimes feel like I am holding myself hostage when God is setting me free.

I know that is a weird picture but sometimes I feel I am the second person still in the mold but trying to squirm free. I wish I could be like the fourth dancing in the sun.

Freedom is a fun word to look up on Pinterest

I wonder how much that woman's life changed after Jesus said that to her. I wonder if she felt complete.
Here is my little reminder to myself.
I think I should write that on my mirror. 

11/29 Update:
Last night during a quiet moment I was reading Proverbs and I on side bar it had men of faithfulness. it pointed to David, a man after God's own heart, and talked about even though he made mistakes he learned from them. I guess if David a man who has his ups and downs through out his faith is still considered a man after God's own heart I too can make mistakes and God will still love me and cherish me.
David in Prayer
for He guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
I know this post was a little more "religious" but I use this blog as a journal and I wanted to let you know what I am going through. Please share your thoughts but please don't be hateful towards my faith.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


Favorite Traditions...
1. Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
It was after Santa came into the square that we could really begin celebrating Christmas.
This year I put my Christmas music on after the parade... it was great.

2.Watching The National Dog Show... I am not sure how we started this tradition but my mom and I have watched it for years. (I guess my step dad watched football some place else.) A lot of people don't know what this is but it comes on right after the parade... how can you miss it.

3. After Thanksgiving sitting around watching White Christmas and eating Pecan Pie.
I know how this tradition as my mom as told me. When my Nana cancer was bad and we couldn't go out to the out door mall in Tulsa, OK to kick off the Christmas season we watched this movie. This year my first Christmas movie was Elf.

Favorite Memories...
One year when my mom and step dad were living in Huntsville, Alabama we went to a Christmas tree farm to chop down our own Christmas tree. Well there was a good group of us and my step dad was chopping down the tree and my sister was holding it up as is coming down, the rest of us were taking pictures. Then she sweetly yelled "can one of you come help me", I ran around and grabbed the top of tree. I don't know if I was much help I was mostly laughing.

Another one is that my mom didn't really like the idea of cooking on Thanksgiving because it was hours of prep for 15 minutes of eating and she wanted to go to a restaurant and my step dad wasn't very happy with that so he decided to make the meal. For weeks he recorded Emeril and other cooking shows to get prepared for the big day. I remember my mom and I sitting on the sofa watching TV and he came into the living room and asked "should I boil the potatoes now?" we asked "have you put the turkey in the oven?" he said "no" we told him to put the turkey in the oven before you do anything else. Now we all kind of do things for the feast.

Now I am happy to have wonderful friends that make Boston feel more and more like home and I get to spend time with them. Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving.

I am also happy to boast that I had another successful year of Pecan Pie making.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Sap at Heart... Part 3 (follow up)

Hello Lovely Readers,

From my post A Sap at Heart Part 3 in which I wrote a poem to my future husband....

I don't know your face,
or the color of your eyes
but I look forward to the day you hold my hand,
and knowing you will be holding it forever.
I look forward to the day
we say those three little words,
that mean so much.

Well one of the bloggers I love Colleen from Soundtrack to I do  recommended this song. Colleen has such a great collection of songs on her blog, and I love reading her blog so when she recommends a song I knew it had to be good. While I love Brooke Fraser I had never really listened to the words of this song. I hope you enjoy.

This is my first video upload I hope it works...

"Love Is Waiting"
In the autumn on the ground,
between the traffic and the ordinary sounds
I am thinking signs and seasons while a north wind blows through
I watch as lovers pass me by
Walking stories - whos and hows and whys
Musing lazily on love
Pondering you
I'll give it time, give it space and be still for a spell
When it's time to walk that way we wanna walk it well

I'll be waiting for you baby
I'll be holding back the darkest night
Love is waiting til we're ready, til it's right
Love is waiting

It's my caution not the cold
there's no other hand that i would rather hold
the climate changes, I'm singing for the strangers about you
don't keep time, slow the pace
Honey hold on if you can
the bets are getting surer now that you're my man


I could write a million songs about the way you say my name
I could live a lifetime with you and then do it all again
and like I can't force the sun to rise or hasten summer's start,
neither should I rush my way into your heart

Thankful for...

Hello lovely readers,

Thanksgiving is upon us, I know one of my traditions at Thanksgiving is to say what we are thankful for. There is usually so much it is hard to come up with a short sweet answer. So I am working on my list here.

1.My family... I know its cheesy to say but no matter how far I roam away from home and no matter how long I am away from them they always welcome me back in and love me.

I have a large mixed family so it is lots of fun.
2. My friends... I have some friends that are as close as family to me. They always encourage me and push me to be the best I can be. They listen to me and all my craziness and when I am tired and worn out they relax with me.
3. My faith...sometimes I don't know where I would be with out it.

4. I always have clean water to drink and a warm place to sleep... and I have the resources to try to help people who don't.

5. And soon I will get to watch Christmas movies and sing Christmas songs...

I had to throw in something for laughs.

But in all seriousness I have lots of things to be thankful that I could not list them all.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and we remember why we celebrate this time of year. We have all been given so much and we should take time to celebrate the blessings. 

As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live them.-JFK

Friday, November 18, 2011

Half way there

Nearly 6 months ago I wrote a post called "Newly 25" in which I discuss what I would like to be doing by the time my 26th birthday... here is my update.

1. I said I would like to be a full time student.... Next semester I am enrolled in my first full time semester as a master's student. I will be taking my last two pre reqs in library science and my first archiving class where I will have an internship. YEAH!!!
2. I would like to give 20 minutes of writing every day... this has varied a lot. I was good over the summer but now with school my brain is finding it hard to be inspiring but I am writing this blog so that's good. Also I keep a very active journal. But I am hoping over winter break to write more of my story.
3. Travel more... I went down to Atlanta over Memorial day for the first time that was really nice. But my big travel I hope is me going down to Central America to dig a well with Living Water but that will be after my next birthday but I am still working on the travelling.

Okay that is my checklist so far.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A little Advocacy

Hello lovely readers,

Last night instead of doing my usual homework routine after work I went to a meeting about Living Water International an organization that builds water wells to people in 3rd world countries to provide them fresh clean healthy water. Did you know?

Sorry the bottom part is blurry it "A Child dies every 15 seconds because of the lack of clean water. It costs us an average of $0.96 to to provide clean, safe water to one person for one year every dollar makes a difference."
I am not meaning to sound like I am on a soap box so please forgive me if I do. I have a heart for children with that statistic was not settling with me so I went to this meeting to find out how I could help and maybe a chance to go on a trip with them to help dig a well. I have actually never been on a trip like this so I am not sure what to expect or how to prepare but right now I am praying that if God wants me to go doors will remain open. But in the mean time I have decided to save my money to donate to this cause... in that I am not going to reduce how much drinks I buy when I go out. Like not buying soda, coffee, or other beverages and put that money aside for this cause.

A Living Water well
First, I will say yes that Living Water is a christian organization but rather you practice that or not we all need to address that the water crisis needs to be resolved. We are so lucky to live in America where we have clean water every where. Think about how much water you use from your shower, brushing your teeth, using the restroom, washing your hands, or making that cup of coffee. I know last summer in Boston our water was contaminated by a leak and it pratically shut down our city but we could still go buy bottled water and we survived the few days. But I can't imagine what it is like for people to go find water every day that was contaminated and knowing you had to do drink it but it was going to get you sick and maybe kill you. Also as a girl I would be the one to take the watering can (the orange bucket in picture) to walk 5 or so miles to get water then walk back with it full weighing 40 lbs, I know I am not that strong and if I had to do that every day I would not have time to be getting the education I have. Water is tied to everything.
I am feel so blessed living in America with so many freedoms and purusing the dreams I want to pursue so I am going to try to find a way to take my blessing and give to others. Right now it is with my money, I hope soon it will be with my time, going to Central America for a week and helping dig a well. Also this Christmas with Advent Conspiracy I am going to try to be more thoughtful with my gifts. Even if your not a Christian your presents can be more focused on presence and helping others. We all need to help this world.

Think about how you can help.

Please if you want more information on this please click on the links in this post.