Getting my bearings..

You know, sometimes when there are a lot of changes going on in your life, it can be easy to get so caught up in the chaos that you not only forget to take the time to rest, but it can also be easy to feel a little dejected. Even if the sudden whirlwind of activity is for the best and you know that good things are coming from it, sometimes it just makes us feel like we’re a little lost.

I myself have been going through a ton of changes all at once. I packed up and moved, got a brand new job and started working practically as soon as I got off of my plane. I’ve been so busy, and while I know in my heart and my mind that the work that I’m doing and the changes that are happening to my life are good things, I’ve been getting so wrapped up in the change itself that I’ve had all sorts of things running through my mind lately, like…

I don’t know how I got here.
Did I decide to come to this place for the right reasons?
Why am I here?
Where do I go from here?
What is the plan for me?
What if I’ve had it all wrong up til now?
Am I truly happy here? And if I am feeling discontented, why is that?

I think it is pretty normal to be feeling things like thist in the midst of all of the things that have been going on. But to keep struggling means that I’m not centered, and that’s not good. It’s just a matter of finding your balance again.
I just recently heard a song for the first time a couple of days ago, and it really spoke to me (don’t you just love it when music does that?). It was just one of those instances when a meaningful song was telling me all of the things that I needed to hear–that I am right where I need to be and that I have a job here that needs to be done, so I need to appreciate that I am a part of a plan, and it is all under control.
Maybe you need to hear those same things today…

“Long before you drew your first breath, a dream was coming true.
God wanted to give a gift to the world, so He wrapped it up in you.
Every step that you’ve taken, every move that you make,
Is part of His plan.
You were meant to be touching the lives that you touch,
And meant to be here, making this world mean so much
More than it would be without you in it.
You were meant to be bringing the gifts that you bring,
And singing the songs you’ve been given to sing.
You are perfectly, wonderfully, beautifully meant to be.
You were meant to be.
Long before you took your first fall,
You stumbled to the ground,
God started telling the story of you to the angels around.
Every failure and victory, everything in between,
It’s all in His hand.
You were meant to be touching the lives that you touch.
And meant to be here, making this world so much more
Than it would be without you in it.
You were meant to be bringing the gifts that you bring,
And singing the songs you’ve been given to sing.
You are perfectly, wonderfully, beautifully meant to be.
You were meant to be.
For every breath that you’re taking,
And every move that you make,
It’s a meaningful life you’ve been given.
Live it well.
You were meant to be touching the lives that you touch.
And meant to be here, making this world so much more
Than it would be without you in it.
You were meant to be bringing the gifts that you bring,
And singing the songs you’ve been given to sing.
You are perfectly, wonderfully, beautifully meant to be.
You are meant to be.”
-Steven Curtis Chapman

 

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I love White Christmas, but I also love the message in this post. It’s like that saying that you may or may not have heard before that says: What if you woke up this morning with all of the things you thanked God for yesterday? We take so much for granted.

Beth Wangler

“If you’re worried and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings” (Bing Crosby, “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)”).

I’m not sure exactly why this song just popped into my head, but I am very glad it did.  I recently realized that I’ve been complaining a lot, and was displeased with that discovery.  No one wants to be a Negative Nellie—or at least, I don’t want to be one.

So I wondered, why?  What has changed inside of me to make me become such a complainer?  If I did not make a decision to start complaining, then it follows that the negativity and ungratefulness pouring out of my mouth is an outpouring of what is inside of me.  As Jesus said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man…

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Just me, my thoughts, and some water…

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“The lakes are something which you are unprepared for;they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges, with here and there a blue mountain, like amethyst jewels set around some jewel of the first water,–so anterior, so superior, to all the changes that are to take place on their shores, even now civil and refined, and fair as they can ever be.”

-Henry David Thoreau

“I am thinking it’s a sign that the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images, and when we kiss
They’re perfectly aligned.
And I have to speculate that God Himself did
Make us into corresponding shapes like
Puzzle pieces from the clay.
And true, it may seem like a stretch but it’s
Thoughts like this that catch my troubled head
When you’re away–when I am missing you to death.
When you are out there on the road for
Several weeks of shows, and when you scan
The radio, I hope this song will guide you home.
They will see us waving from such great heights.
‘Come down now,’ they’ll say.
But everything looks perfect from far away.
‘Come down now,’ but we’ll stay.
I’ve tried my best to leave this all on your machine
But the persistent beat, it sounded thin upon listening.
And that frankly will not fly.
You’ll hear the shrillest highs and lowest lows,
With the windows down, when this is
Guiding you home.
They will see us waving from such great heights.
‘Come down now,’ they’ll say.
But everything looks perfect from far away.
‘Come down now,’ but we’ll stay.”

-Iron & Wine

 

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”-Victor Hugo

Week #2 of sharing my musical interests.

“Let’s take all these stones, build them up tall,
And make it a home.
We’ll lay down our love, and whatever comes,
We’ll make it our own.
When everything’s moving, I want you for always.
I want you to stay.
If others are fading, I want you for always,
To keep it this way.
Keep me.
Come, let’s live like thieves, stealing our time,
As much as we need.
Live, but not like the rest,
Not tied to our desk,
‘Cause that’s the way it should be.
The light of the morning.
The peace in your silence.
The touch of your skin.
The way that you see me, straight through the bones,
Like you’re looking in.
Keep me.
How do I live without?
How do I live without?
Keep me.”

ImageLucy Schwartz.
Clever, creative.
Simple melodies.
Beautiful, diverse lyrics.
2 albums:
Winter in June (2007)
Life in Letters (2010)
Buy them.

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“I know you, with your heart of blue.
You take your troubles and release the sound
Into the open, up from the ground.
These words unspoken, you sing aloud.
Words can be strong, like the beating drum,
Like ten thousand voices that call together.
‘A’ is the ailment, and ‘B’ makes it better.
‘C’ is creating your life in letters.
So take me back, I have lost the path.
I need to recover this life you lead.
Sing when I’m broken, and I sing when I’m free.
Sing for the world and then sing just for me.
We are just stories, so here’s mine to tell.
Give my heart freely, hope you keep it well.
‘A’ is the ailment, and ‘B’ makes it better.
‘C’ is creating your life in letters.
ABC,
Come on, set me free.
Life in letters.”

 

An award, you say..?

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So, I really hadn’t a clue that this sort of thing even existed, but I think it is pretty awesome.
I was nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Prayers and Promises (thank you very much, by the way). I guess this means that people not only read my posts, but that they actually kind of don’t hate them.

Cool!

There are also rules to accepting this award (naturally), and they are as follows:

  • I must provide a link and give thanks to the blogger who nominated me (done!)
  • I must answer 10 questions
  • I must nominate 10 other blogs that I enjoy reading
  • I must provide links to said blogs and inform the authors that I am nominating them
  • I must include the award logo in my post (BOOM!)

10 Thought Provoking Questions:

  1. Your favorite color?–Boy that’s tough. I’m one of those people who enjoys different colors depending on what mood I’m in and what I’m wearing. But if I had to narrow it down, it would be a tie between sapphire blue and sunshine yellow.
  2. Your favorite animal?–Elephant. Hands down. It’s a family thing. You see, my grandfather was one of the greatest role models in my life and he was also my father figure and he collected elephant memorabilia. So I have a soft spot for them in my heart.
  3. Your favorite drink?–Coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee. But I am also a hot tea drinker. I’ll let you know what my favorite alcoholic beverage is when I turn 21 in September.
  4. Facebook or Twitter?–I have and actively use both, but I have to say I prefer Facebook. I was one of those rare creatures who actually loved high school and all of my friends and I have been scattered to the 4 winds since we graduated, so it’s nice to be able to fully keep in touch  and know what they’re up to.
  5. Your favorite pattern?–Pattern? Like knitting pattern? Or just…patterns? I’m confused. But I’m going to go with zebra print. I also like a good paisley. And houndstooth.
  6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents?–The selfish and inherently human side of me automatically says, “Getting. Duh.” Who doesn’t enjoy getting presents? But giving is also wonderful because giving joy to someone else never fails to make you happy in return.
  7. Your favorite number?–Three, but only if I say it in French. It’s fun, what can I say?
  8. Favorite day of the week?–Saturday. Because I can be a lazy sloth and nobody will judge me for it because they are all doing it too.
  9. Favorite flower?–I am at a total loss on this one. I like lilies because I love the way they smell. I also enjoy a good fresh smelling rose. And I love sunflowers because they make me happy, but that’s not usually a type of flower you get in your average bouquet. I like edible bouquets…you know, like the ones made out of fruit. Does that count?
  10. What is your passion?–I have two answers to this one. The passion of my life that I cannot help but gush to others is Jesus Christ, who is my Savior and who is my strength and happiness. My passion, as in my hobby, would be anything vintage, classic, antique, or just plain old.

10 Nominations:

  1. Where My Heart Wants to Go
  2. Lily Laughs
  3. fivepercentchance
  4. Fairy Godsister’s Blog
  5. A Daughter’s Story
  6. katestrawberry
  7. Hearts Unfold
  8. Life as a Leachman
  9. Through the Eyes of a Dreamer
  10. Sam Joines

So…uhhh….I guess that’s it for now. Thank you so much for this nomination! And always remember that we can do all things through Christ and the power of His love 🙂

Healing

I am still sad that I could not participate in the final farewells of my friend Carol, but everything I have heard from all of my friends who were able to attend makes it difficult to feel quite so sad. It makes her loss somewhat easier.

There were hundreds, literally hundreds, of people who showed up to celebrate her radiant life yesterday. The sanctuary was full, the overflow rooms were filled, and people were lining up down the street. She was so much more loved than I think she ever realized. And it has been strikingly evident that, while her family is naturally hurting, they are also at peace. Everyone has said that it really was an uplifting and joyful celebration of her life, and that makes me happy.

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I feel so privileged to have known Carol for so many years and to have gone to school with her every day.

Her death has hit me so hard. It is just such a shocking thing when one of your contemporary friends passes away so young. But her life was full, and most of all it was exemplary. She experienced so much, which is a blessing, but she also has taught so many people so much, both while she was living and through her death.

I know that rings true for myself. When she was alive she taught me to always have a smile on my face and to be kind to others. Through her death she has taught me to appreciate every moment of my life, and to examine my faith in a way that I don’t think I ever have before.

I don’t think we should be sad over her death for the rest of our lives–she wouldn’t want that. But I don’t ever want to forget the impact that her life and passing have had on me.

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“God has blessed me more than I could ever ask for. Perfect husband, amazing family, spot for me in heaven. How do we overlook Him so easily?”
-Carol Michelle Hensley Singletary

“Having a bad day? Hold your hand over your heart…feel that? That beating? It’s called purpose! You’re here for a reason, so make the most out of it.”
-Carol Michelle Hensley Singletary

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“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”
-Sylvia Plath