Sunday, June 26, 2011

If anyone asks you what you're living of, say love.

     This morning I woke up wondering what on earth is the matter -just one of those blue days.
I've been loving The Avett Brothers this weekend. There is so much truth in their music.
Don't you love that? When you connect to the lyrics in a song and realize that a million other people connect too and that we're really not alone at all? I love that.

      Sometimes, though, it feels like those millions of other people that feel like you do are located everywhere in the world except for right next to you. All the people right next to you (or the people that you hold close to your heart) are in an entirely different place - happy, maybe, or in a fruitful relationship, maybe, or surrounded by new, exciting people that they connect with.

      Maybe that's just me. It's doubtful though. Maybe I am learning to be content with myself and God alone. That is an important lesson, and it's one that I've never really accepted. I always want more. I never feel like waiting. I have my faith, but I want to see it right now... not later... and that's a very impatient kind of faith, isn't it?

      So, this morning I prayed a little and put my iPod on random play with the idea that the first song that came on would be one I needed to hear. This is what came on, and I thought... "hang in there. Remember what you're thinking of, where you're coming from, and what you're living of."

... Try to walk ahead and leave the pain behind. If the days aren't easy and the nights are rough, when they ask you what you're thinking of, say, "love," say for me, "love." ...

... Say, "Yes, we live uncertainty, and disappointments have to be, and every day we might be facing more. And, yes we live in desperate times, with fading words and shaky rhymes. There's only one thing here worth hoping for." 
With Lucifer beneath you, and God above, if either of them asks you what you're living of, say, "love." Say for me, "love."  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Speaking of Adventure

I always find packing for AT hikes with my Dad highly entertaining. So many others would look at these several day excursions as minimalistically (not a word, I know) as possible... but with Dad... every night of camping is an opportunity for a feast. I mean, I'm looking at our food rations thinking where am I going to put my sleeping bag? Haha... oh well. I'm definitely excited to get my feet back on the trail.

One thing I love about backpacking is the realization of how much I can live without, and I see it as no coincidence that this issue keeps coming up for me. With this year ahead of me, this moment of what is next, so many issues are working to influence my decision-making paradigm. Sadly, money is the greatest of these issues. How much money is involved?
Isn't that repulsive?
I understand that money is a necessary evil, but you know, I just keep thinking of things, quotes, scriptures: "Take nothing for the road, no walking stick, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and do not take two shirts a piece (Luke 9:3)." Of course, me being me, I promptly grabbed a Goodwill-bound trash bag and began shoving it with clothing items that I haven't even considered in months, but that's not the point is it?
No, the point is how hard would it be to "sell your possessions and give to the poor" when you really have no possessions yet? When you're just starting your life, just choosing a direction? Why do so many of us choose there will be time to make a difference once I've made my riches?

It's so backwards. I get so backwards sometimes.

Anyway,  here's to having a full backpack and ready feet and 13.7 miles of hungry trail ahead of me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Sometimes I get really frustrated with my quiet self. It's funny, because other times I get frustrated with how obnoxious I am.

I guess I'm just tired of feeling like everyone is talking down to me. Everyone seems to think they have something to say that I need to hear -like I'm void of common sense or something.

In this way, I'm tired of being the girl with these hopes and dreams piling up within. I have ideas on how to achieve them, and sometimes I get frustrated because my ideas are looking a little more hopeless than usual, and I start to let my faith slide and my heart sink.
In these moments, I like to talk to someone, but it seems like all they have are matter-of-fact answers to all of my emotions. I know the matter-of-fact answers. I'm not an idiot. I know that life takes dedication, motivation, etc., but sometimes I'm lonely and tired and dissatisfied. Sometimes I just get out of sorts.

I know that things are going to turn out all right. I know that some days are going to be greater than I ever could have imagined, and that other days are going to be monotonous and depressing, and on those monotonous and depressing days... well, it really sucks for someone to come along and tell you all of the things you could be doing, when really you'd rather just get on a plane to some exotic country and have an instant adventure and all of your dreams come true right this instant. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

And at the most unlikely of times love explodes in the heart

So, I'm floating comfortably and freely in the single life. 
Just like the ocean, there are those moments when there's an area of cold water, probably stirred up by the violent spinning of a boat propeller just a little of shore. Those are the painful moments... the ones that make me question this new adventure, the ones that are caused by harsh words or interference from both well-meaning and malicious outsiders. 
Sometimes, I wish I could just say to them, "please, leave it alone. It's over. We're walking forward. We want to heal, we want to be okay. Enemies, find your entertainment elsewhere. Friends, let's just smile and have a nice time. I'll talk when I need to." 

In reality though, these painful moments have been greatly minimized by the joy that I have found. The love I have discovered for others, and the comfort I have found regarding myself. 
For the first time in a long time, I really feel beautiful. And it's not in a material, appearance-oriented way, it's from the inside out. It's like I finally realize that this heart of mine has something to offer: love, grace, hope...  
And we all have that to offer, but I think we just have to be willing to fight a battle -a battle against negative thoughts and a judgmental attitude... and both of those are so natural for us sometimes, so easy. Sometimes finding something to love is difficult. Sometimes being angry, or hiding in bed, or burying yourself in romantic literature (while all the while scoffing at the unrealistic nature of it all) is so much easier than mustering up the courage to walk outside and look up at the sunshine and into the faces of others. It's so much easier to dwell on yourself than on the hopes and fears and hardships of strangers and loved-ones. 
But until you do this, until you step outside of yourself, your problems, your hurts, and your defeats will not grow smaller. They will only magnify under your keen focus. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm editing the photos from my first wedding as a photographer! I'm actually enjoying it, even though there are parts of the process that are excruciating... like those family photographs taken in the sanctuary which really didn't have enough light... but so far, I'm enjoying myself!