Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow is all around me (Pt 2)

As most of you know (and if you don't know you might be under a rock) the North East was hit with a massive snow storm. I am not brave enough to go out in the middle of a blizzard but I did leave my apartment today and took some pictures.

From yesterday as the snow was coming down
I'm inside looking out 

Darcy enjoying the snow day

Today I had to get out and do some errands.... fortunately the sun was out
Can you see the bike handles? 

Waiting for the T
It is the fence then the road and then snow

After work I walked around the Commons

I thought these people sitting on the bench were funny

I like the snow like this. 

The trees in the middle are usually an island in the middle of a pond

George Washington in all his glory
Walking on Commonwealth Ave through the Back Bay is so pretty

One of my favorite places... Boston Public Library

Across the street from the BPL is Trinity Church.
I love is part of Boston because it show the blend of old architecture and the new
with the John Hancock Tower (the one that's all glass).

Another cool church... plus that pile of snow is awesome.

I am sharing my love of snow now because it is the first real snow we have. Plus now I love it, but I know come March I will miserable. I love Boston and I can't imagine my life anywhere else but I am not going to lie...

this will always be preferred over the cold weather. 

But I like snow days if they give me time to fun write, to read some of my writing click here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow is all around me...

The view outside my window... not that it was
ever great but it is just white outside.
I owe the picture of the ocean to my friend. 
We are having a beautiful day here in Boston... well it beautiful if you don't have to go outside. And since our Governor has told us not to go outside I am going to listen. So here I am inside and I thought it would be a lovely excuse to get some writing in. One thing I have wanted to do now that I am out of grad-school is to back to my own fun writing

I have mentioned a few times that the way I like to creatively write is by writing things by hand and then typing it up. So I have written a lot but I have not kept up on my typing and sharing my story with you my lovely readers. Sorry about that... I will try to be better. 

My last post of my story was just a little snip it. But if you remember Mattie has run off to the back woods and her and Kelby have a bit of a romantic moment.

Well here is more of the story. This part is really to help build Lady Adelaide and Mattie's relationship and give Lady Adelaide some back story. Hope you enjoy...

She could not say what she was feeling, she was only thirteen and all she felt this way before. She had trembled when he touched her cheek but it didn't scare her it felt comforting.

            Mattie was so happy when he took her back in the way through Cranston Court. He informed the butler, Mr. Doyle, the butler that Miss Mathilda was there and that she wished to see Lady Welford. Mr. Doyle looked quite astonished to hear Kelby who was so far beneath him speak so commanding to him. To be honest Mattie was quite astonished herself. Kelby was always the quite brother, he never talked of his dreams or pledge to the fraternity of exploring the world. Most of the time it was hard what was going on behind his chestnut eyes. He was already reading he seemed happier in the world of his books. Though he appeared to enjoy the company of books more people he was never cold or un-thoughtful. He was just reserved and respectful.

            Kelby could not take her beyond the back stairs he for he could not be seen upstairs. So Mr. Doyle showed her through to the salon to the sitting room where Lady Welford was found. Mr. Doyle gave Mattie a stern glare as she waited for her presence to be announce, it was clear he was not happy with her. Mattie tried to adjust her hair and fix her dress but to Mr. Doyle she was only a child, one of no importance or standing. He questioned why she should get such special privilege with Lady Welford. He thought if she was to seen by the lady she should come through the front door with a proper calling, not being lead by a stable hand. And he was right, Mattie was a nobody, a nobody Lady Adelaide should notice but Lady Adelaide had made it quite clear during all their visits that Mattie was most welcome.

            "Oh yes do let her in," Mattie heard Lady Adelaide. "My dearest Mattie, you are soaked through do not tell me you work out in the storm.
            "I was my Lady," Mattie replied properly as Mr. Doyle was still in the room. "But Kelby Gray took me to some shelter, however it was too late by then."
            "Doyle, can you send Mrs. Banks in here, we must get our guest a new dress and some tea."
            "Yes my lady," he then left.
            "Oh my dearest Mattie, when I said to come as often you could, I did not mean anyway."
            "I am sorry Lady Adelaide I am disturbing you."
            "No, no not at all. You are not a disturbance. You will always be welcomed. I just didn't mean—Oh well you are here, and I am so glad you are."
            "I am sorry for my mother's behavior. You are so good and you do not deserve my deserve my mother's cold words."
            "I know I am an oddity amongst other ladies, finding no amusement in society. I know this could be looked as proud or conceited and I do hope I am not those things." Mattie shook head to confirm that Lady Adelaide was not. "You see I used to enjoy those events, I would attend balls till three or four in the morning. I would go to the theater and attend Ascot. Whatever the season demanded of me I did it with great joy."

            It was easy to imagine Lady Adelaide the jewel in any ballroom, she was so beautiful and genteel. She would be sure to have every man yearning for hand, and all the girls red with jealously of the attention she received.

            "Can I tell you a secret?"
            Mattie nodded.

            "You see, as much as I loved the season once my daughter died I just never had the heart for it anymore. I went to the season after the morning period and it crushed me that my little Aurora would never be presented, she would never have her first dance, and she would never find a husband. I could not watch all the festivities thinking how she would never be able to do any of it. It breaks my heart still." Mattie placed her hand on top of Lady Adelaide's. "That is until I met you." Lady Adelaide smiled at her. "You my dearest Mattie. You are so much like her in looks and sweet manners. I know you have your own family, but I want to love and dote on you as quite my own."

            Mattie wanted to hug her, but in Mattie did not want to spoil Lady Adelaide's dress so Mattie just sat there with their hands intertwined. Then when Mrs. Banks walked in Mattie pulled away knowing it was improper.

            "Your ladyship?"
            "Mrs. Banks, will you see to our guest. She needs a dry gown and then please prepare some tea for us."
            "Yes your ladyship,"
            "Oh and Mrs. Banks, send a note to Southerton Greens to let them know where she is and pleas make sure to keep the motor standing by when she is ready to leave. We would not have her walking and potentially getting caught in the rain again."
            "Yes my lady"

            Mattie follows Mrs. Banks storing up all that Lady Adelaide had said to her. To lose a daughter must be the biggest heart ache. Though Mattie was overjoyed to know she had softened the heart ache even if it was just for a little bit.

Lady Adelaide is suppose to be a mother
figure to Mattie
            Mattie thought she would have been taken back to Aurora' room, as she had the first time she came to Cranston. Instead she was taken to another side of the house. The room looked as if it had a brand new coat of paint on the walls as it still carried the scent of new paint. It was a light robin egg blue with little stencil drawing of little daisies around the crown molding. Daisies had always been her favorite flowers and in these details the room felt as if it had been made for her. Then the maid brought out a clean dress, Mattie had the impression that this dress could have come out of her own closet. Lady Adelaide must have ordered a new dress. Had Lady Adelaide done all this so Mattie could call this spot in Cranston all her own?

            "So do you approve?" Mattie hadn't realized that Lady Adelaide was standing in the door way.
            "Very much. How could I not. I feel like everything was done specifically for me."
            "It was my dearest Mattie. I want this to be your special space."
            "Oh thank you," she gave Lady Adelaide a hug.
            "I wanted to show it to you when it wall done, but you came sooner than I expected."
            "Done? But it is perfect now."
            "I haven't quite finished off the pillows or the curtains. I have looked at different samplings but I do not know what would be good."
            "Anything will do."
            "Oh no, not just anything, you deserve the best."
            Mattie gave her another hug.

            How desperately Mattie just wanted to remain in that moment. She felt as life couldn't get any better. Sadly life had to move on, it was just the way of things and within a fortnight Marcus and Parker had to return to school. Marcus always said it was in the changing of the wind that moved life along. So the wind had changed summer was over, and life had to return to its normal pace. 
It is rather odd writing about summer when it is far from summer here
Continue to follow Mattie and the rest of my story through my Grand Days tag 

Friday, January 23, 2015

I am ready for my life to begin

I talk a lot about my faith on this blog, but lately (the last few months) I keep coming back to two questions in my life: 1)What does living in faith mean? 2) What is the purpose of my life? I don't have answers to either of these questions. But I have making some process on these questions and that is what I want to share with you today.

I live my life by pretty much by routine...if you know personally you will not be surprised by this. I like my schedule and knowing whats coming (I do not handle spontaneity well). I get up turn on my coffee pot, have my quiet time while enjoying my first cup of coffee, get ready for work (I put on my moisturizer, then start my makeup, eat breakfast (while moisturizer settles in), take my vitamins, brush teeth, then get dressed (I am paranoid that I will drop toothpaste on my clothes) put on finishing touches, such as perfume, and blush), then I head out for work. Read my book on the T, take the Green Line inbound then switch to the Red line (never really looking up from my book). Usually grab another cup of coffee before sitting down at my desk, talk to my boss about what he would like me to do for the day, then plug my head phones in and listen to NPR. Okay this could go on for a bit, but I think you get my point.., I am a creature of habit and I rather like it (most of the time). Sometimes I wonder if there is something more?

I think this where my original questions come from. Last year I was going through my Bible focusing on verses that I the word "faith" in them (there are a lot).

A couple of years ago with the word "hope" and discovered that hope in God is like a day in Winter knowing that Spring will come and holding on to that. Hope in God is holding onto something we know is coming and keep going forward with that knowledge. (Read more)

There is the classic verse "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1(NIV) and I am not disliking that verse but I am still left wondering what that means for me? How can I live out my faith? What does "living out my faith" even mean? Is it random acts through out my day? Is it a life style change? And if the answer is yes to that then what does that look like like?

I don't think of myself as a visual person but I would like a model for what it means to live out my faith in the 21st century. Does it mean I have to become a missionary? Does it mean I only listen to "Christian" music, and stop watching TV?  I am not sure. This is the part I grapple with. And I feel in my struggle to answer these questions I get stuck.
I am afraid to make a move because what if I make the wrong move. I also afraid if I move without knowing what to do, where will I go next? Not necessarily physically but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. So I let these fears stop me.

On Wednesday night I went to Community Group (Bible study) and we went through the passage Mark 5 about how Jesus heals a man from demon possession. It is one of those stories in Bible, that are great at showing how mighty God and Jesus are, but hard to understand how they apply to our day to day. However, there was one really great question that stuck out... Do we (I) live as if God is in control?

If I am to answer this question honestly, most of the time, No. I mean day by day I know he is in control because he has the power to take my life away, take away everything I think I own, or every person I love. But He doesn't. But most of the time I feel I take advantage of His love, His grace, and all the blessings He has given me. So I in that way I don't feel I live like God is in control because I let myself take over. However, on the flip side of this I know what it is like to not have God in my life. I have had some low moments in my life where I feel I am drowning in an ocean and no one is coming to save me. I have tried to tread what for so long (just to keep my head above the water) but I am tired of that so I stop treading water and sink. Those feeling are very real to me and I know at those moment I need God more than anything.

I have liked "Oceans (where feet may fail)" because of these feelings. 

I still don't have an answer to my original question... but life is not about having an answer. What I do know is that for me faith is living like God is in control. I am still not sure what that looks like but it is a good first step, I think another step I need to take is just to move. I can't keep letting myself be held back, I can't keep making excuses, and I can't keep praying for change without moving. Now where do I go from here? I am not sure but I know God is in control and that is pretty awesome. Because He is the only one who can provide truth, hope, rest, joy, wisdom, strength, and salvation.

About my second question, from the beginning of this blog, I think I will learn as I discover more and more about how to live out my faith. In reading verses on faith I found a great verse "the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love"- Galatians 5:6b (NIV). I think I want this to be more and more true of my life... that I am doing things out love. 

Last night on Parenthood Adam was having a conversation on finding a passion and following that. I know I have passions and I think using those passions to work for God's kingdom is my purpose. I am reading the book A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and in chapter 7 he states "the ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God." Then he writes "Each of us was uniquely designed by God with talents, gifts, skills, and abilities. The way you are "wired" is not an accident." I think what I need to do is think about my passions and my gifts and begin thinking how I can use those to do work for God. One thing I will have to be careful about is making sure these are not just activities added to my day and that become motions. I recognize I need God's guidance to have these thoughts, ideas, actions, pursuits, and motives to really change my life. Rick Warren writes, "real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus." And I am ready for my life to begin...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A bit bookish

I wonder I could do this. 
I already have some books in mind. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

When you don't know what to write

Hello lovely writers,

Yes I am writing specifically to my writing friends (but if you are not a writer you can read too)... minus this blog I am not a published author. And I actually don't care if I ever have a published book (I mean it would be great for my stories to live beyond my own little imagination) but for me writing has always been a tool for escapism. However, this doesn't mean I don't want to nurture or grow in my skills as a writer. Now that I am done with school it is one thing I want to spend more time doing. I have even thought about looking into taking creative writing classes (not for a degree) to really work on this craft.

Anyway, on Wednesday night I attended a writing workshop and it it was great... One thing we did was "the leader" put a few pictures on the table and we had to take one and start writing a story, poem, whatever based on that picture. Then 20ish minutes we had to pick a completely different picture and some how integrate it into what we were writing already. Well I was drawn to the first picture (above) instantly... it looked like a pic from a time period I love.* Then the next picture was of a person holding a cross (looked like a rosary) looking as if he was about to cry and a man shouting in the background (sorry couldn't re-find image). It was a great activity to get the creative thoughts flowing so I just wanted to share it with you all.

Here is what I wrote:

"Move it along Teddy," mama pushed the back of his head.
"But Mama look at those men." 
"Move Edward!" Teddy jumped when mama called him by his formal name.

Edward James Coolson was so stately and sometimes it felt unfitting when he looked down at his dirt covered hands and his apron that had numerous patches.

Mama didn't stop and notice the men on the bicycle, she was too busy selling her flowers. She had up on her best dress, with a lace shawl, and her pillbox hat with trimmings and feathers she had sewn on herself. Mama had wanted to look respectable, "respectability sold flowers," she had often said.

Mama didn't stop and notice the men on the bicycle. But Teddy did. Teddy got in trouble for always gawking at the people they passed on the street. To be fair though these men probably wanted to be noticed. They wore bright checkered jackets both of yellow and crimson. One was standing on the pegs of the bicycle effortlessly balancing his weight on his friend's shoulders. "Perhaps they were on stage," Teddy thought for no one dressed so brightly. Black was the mainstream for this neighborhood it blended well with the coal and soot that filled the air. 

Mama didn't stop and notice the men. She hardly noticed anyone that wasn't a customer. She had observed the finely dressed women a bit a ways and nudged Teddy to them. They were in soft linen dresses, one with purple sash, and both with boater hats. Mama always noticed women's dresses before she married Pa she had worked in a seamstress shop and was always pointing out styles to Teddy. Teddy thought it was almost magic the way she knew by how a woman dress if she would buy flowers or not. She knew these women all dressed up would mean they honorable women and honorable women always had a few pennies to spare to give a child in need. Teddy must look to be in need for mama fiercely shoved him towards the ladies. 

Teddy did as mama told him. He wanted to sale her flowers too. Actually he didn't want Pa to yell at them when they came home. Pa was always yelling. He would yell when it was February and they didn't sale anything because the streets were deserted. He yelled in June because he though they could sale more than they had. Pa hadn't worked in months, he had gotten injured in the factory. Mama said it hurt a man's soul not to work. Pa must be taking his hurt out on mama. 

Teddy did as mama told him. He didn't tell anyone about the nights Mama cried or about the bruises on his arms. Pa was always good to hit in places that could be covered up. Teddy wanted to run away but he couldn't, he couldn't leave Mama. Besides once Pa was working again everything would be fine. Pa wouldn't hit or yell anymore. Teddy reminded himself of the nights when Pa would play his violin after dinner, and how Mama would take Teddy by the hand and teach him to dance. Every night Teddy told himself it would get better, that's why he stayed. **

 I am not sure if I will continue writing this story but I did really enjoy getting some motivation for writing and meeting other writers. I know writing can be a really lonely activity so I am glad to meet people with the same hobby as me. 

*-Little did I know it was from the movie "Harry and Walter go to New York" but I knew that guy in the front looked a lot like Elliot Gould.
**- I did some retouching to writing to make it more clean. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy belated New Years... time to move on.

 Happy New Years!

Sorry I am writing that a bit late... but better late than never right?

That is Benedict Cumberbatch in the background.
I have been on visiting family for Christmas and I have not looked at my computer. I went to Oklahoma to see my Dad's family and for a few days there were 5 children under 5... needles to say it very chaotic and loud at points but also wonderful. Then I went to visit my mom's house (in Southern California) and enjoyed some relaxation and sun. I also got to attend the Palm Springs International Film Gala (and thanks to my step-dad's connections got to stand with the press and see some stars up close)...probably the highlight of 2015. Besides Benedict Cumberbatch, I got to see Allen Leech (Tom Branson from Downton), Eddie Redmayne (Les Mis, Theory of Everything), Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Patrick Stewart, Julianne Moore and many others. It was a great I hope to never forget.
Left to right: Patrick Stewart, Eddie Redmayne, Allen Leech, Reese Witherspoon
Steve Carell. 
But now I am back in cold Boston. I am done with grad school (odd to say and realize) and will have to soon face the reality of looking for a real "adult" job... However, there are some things I would like to accomplish in 2015. In my "looking back thinking ahead" post I wrote I want to:

"1) Invest or re-invest in the friendships I have"... Last semester I was felt very isolated, I mean minus my roommate and cat I really didn't feel to be connected to anyone. I haven't gone to community group (or Bible study) in months and I think that drained me a bit. I tried to keep up with friends but it was an effort and I didn't like the feeling of "scheduling" fun time. But I had too.

Pics from night of celebrating... in December
So happy to celebrate end of thesis
"2)Work on transforming my mind in order to understand God's purpose in my life"... I am not sure how I am going to this. I think going back to Bible study will help, even just to pull me out of thinking only about myself. Also making quiet time a priority... I usually do it first thing in the morning while enjoying a cup of coffee but sometimes I feel it makes little impact on the rest of my day.

At church on Sunday we are going through a series called Fray about about how our lives have been torn because of our separation from God. It also has a little bit of typical New Years Resolution. For example last week they talked about "diets and health" but how we make we can make the strive for dieting and health our idol (I missed that week but I got the gist). This week had been about relationships and how we have gotten distracted from what we really matter. I know I fall pray to this A LOT. Beyond relationships I say I want to write more but after work I come home and I watch mindless television. I keep saying I want to change but I feel stuck a lot of the time... I don't think it has to do with just being done with grad-school.

I have noticed in my life that sometimes when things come along that are challenging instead of taking on the challenge I just give up. I know my mom will read this and remind me that I have written a thesis, moved across country, and other things. And I know those details too but sometimes I feel I give up to easily. I mean I can't ride a bike because it was too hard to ride without training wheels and not that is a huge regret but I feel sometime scared by other moments and other situations I have walked away from because they are just too hard and I sit back and think if I had just tried a little harder would things have been differently? I know lots of people sit back and reflect on their lives and see if there was a point in which things could have changed, especially at this time of the year when we have the whole year in front of us to make changes, to set goals, to feel we can accomplish things we didn't do last year.

One thing my pastor said is a lot of times we tell ourselves "when I do this then I can do this" the example he gave is "when I graduate then I will be able to do ___(fill in blank)___." I have probably said this more than a few times even if not out loud. I have written here that have felt stuck in grad-school waiting for my life to begin. Well now it can begin. Not only is this a new year it is a new time in my life. I don't have to keep putting my life on hold because of school and it feels awesome. I want to do things with my life... I want to begin on making a difference in the world around me. I am not for sure what that looks like, I have though about doing some volunteer work or something. I just know I don't want to be writing a post on Jan. 13, 2016 looking back with regrets wishing I had done something, or wishing I hadn't said that thing I said. I want my 2015 to mean something.

So there you go that is my resolution for 2015, for it to mean something. I will keep you posted on the journey.