Life's Sweet Journey: January 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Words for Wednesday: Choosing Him

I have never heard of The Chaos of Stars, I am not sure what kind of book it even is. But these words speak to me. The word chaos itself has always spoken to me, it was such a part of my life for so long. But then, the stillness came. The unmoving, calm of stillness that came in the form of a 5 ft 11 inch man. God knew I needed him. God knew that my lifetime, my wild soul, my wandering spirit needed him. It hasn't been easy; we were two kids (well more so me than him, I don't think he has every really been a kid) trying to navigate life as we morphed into adults while trying to also learn to work as a team. I won't lie, there were times when I asked myself "is this right? is this the place I am supposed to be?" But I know what those questions were, they were my own doubts of being able to make it through the tough stuff. I had always been one who liked to use the easy exit. When life gets tough I tend to revert into a world of my own, to fill my mind with outlandish fantasies in order to pull my head out of reality. I do what needs to get done to keep up the world around me, but inside I am somewhere else. And he is not much of a talker, not one to contemplate over crazy dreams. What he is is sturdy. He's the wall you lean your back against when you would otherwise just fall over. He is exactly the quiet peace I need. 

I am a fire. 
He is the fireplace containing my path of destruction. 
I am the waves, pulled by the unseen force of the moon to the shore. 
He is the shore, steady and unmoving,
Always catching me at my breaking point 
and letting me beat against him when the storms kick in. 

And so this marriage makes no hard and fast exits. It looks for no ramps off the interstate and even if it sees one in its peripheral vision, while driving through a bumpy patch, it keeps its eyes straight ahead. It heads toward the goal of a life long and well lived (God willing) until it can hold one weathered, wrinkled hand in another. It chooses to love life at its best and at it's worst, because that is exactly what marriage is. It is choosing someone not despite their faults, but because of them. It means choosing to love the messy counter tops because someone didn't put away their breakfast cereal (sorry Babe! I try). It means choosing to laugh when ones wife gets miffed that part of the salad ingredients are missing and so she storms out of the house to go get them rather than just eat the salad without them. It is the choice we make to try to be the best version of ourselves all the while knowing that when we fall short we will be loved anyway. He teaches me what choosing means. He teaches me that growing together as one, but also as individuals, can be a beautiful ride. He shows me that choosing to do even the most messy parts of life together is what this world is all about. For that I will always choose him. 

This quote, from Eclipse, hung on the wall at our wedding. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Words for Wednesday: A Winged Soul Favorite RM Drake Quotes

RM Drake Quotes
Today's Words for Wednesday quotes are just some of my favorites (a very small portion really) from R.M. Drake. Though I know he has intended them about someone other than himself, there is something in them that speak to me on a personal level about my own soul. I have always been a head in the clouds, fly-away, dreamer. It is that part of my soul that will always be forever grateful that God chose a man like Babe to be my husband; a man that knew that part of my soul needed to stay wild and so he nurtures it, loves it and lets it fly, because he knows that is the way to keep it flying home...   
RM Drake QuotesRM Drake Quotes

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Words with Friends

Friends, the welcome to adulthood version!
So, after the first week back at school, and back to a realistic schedule, I came home and took to the couch where I then proceeded to not move. For the entirety of the afternoon. Did you know that the all 10 seasons of Friends are now on Netflix? Well, they are. I had planned to simply watch the final three episodes, which I did. I laughed, I clapped, I awwed!! I loved it as much now as I did in 2003 (yup, 2003!) And now I am well into the middle of season 1. So much for just a few episodes, right?

Watching Friends as an adult, you pick up on things you didn't as someone coming of age. You still watch the story, you watch it unfold for characters you fell in love with so many years ago, but somehow the words mean something different now. Or else you just hear parts you chose to ignore before.

5 Things I Reheard (with adult ears) while watching Friends
"Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You're gunna love it."
- Sure 'nuf! As a teen I know exactly what I heard "real world (ie adult world), you're gunna love it!" That whole it sucks part? Went in one ear and out the other. Adulthood was this glorious thing, that I was going to enter into, fully knowing myself, my place in the world and how it was all supposed to fit together. Adults sometimes forget to mention that to children, you know the fact that it doesn't all fit together right. Or did I just fail to hear them? Probably. But I do love it. It sucks. Somedays it sucks real bad. But then there are those days, or even those little moments that shine inside the really sucky days, that make me remember I love it. It's real, it can be real sucky, but I love it.

"When did it all get so complicated?" 
- Somewhere, at some point along the way it got way complicated. But that's ok. It's supposed to be complicated, if it wasn't we wouldn't be here, we would be in Heaven.

"What if we dont get magic beans? What if all we have is beans?"
- There are days where I feel like I have no beans. No beans anywhere. And then somedays? They feel like days full of copious amounts of magic beans. Days where I have beans to share with the world. "You get a magic bean! And you get a magic bean!"

"Do you have a plan? I don't even have a pl."
- I thought for sure I would have this amazingly, wonderful, glorious plan for my life by the time I hit the age of 25 tops and then by the time I hit 28 I would have it nicely tied up, with a beautiful bow sitting atop. Well, I have had many of those said plans. And then reality set in and God said, "that was really sweet, but that's not your life." And now here I am with a job I LOVE and a community of people I am blessed to have in my life. And yet, I would tell you that I just have a pl at this point. I am still trying to figure out what the rest of my life is going to look like when I "grow up" and that's ok. It's all a journey.

"I've got magic beans."
- The scene ends, the episode is winding down and the questions we all ponder as adults have been thrown around. "How do we find the magic in it all?" And the answer is, we really never have to find it. It is always there. It is in the little moments, it's in the friends we hold close to our hearts- you know, the ones that never leave you even especially when life starts to pour- it's in the small blessings that fill each day. We all have a pocket full of magic beans, we just simply have to see them for what they are.

Monday, January 12, 2015

One Little Word: Surrender

Halfway through 2014 I heard about this idea of 'One Word', of choosing a single word to help focus and change you through the year. I have never been good with resolutions. One, because I am a horrible long-term, follow-througher and two, because I feel like if you really want to change something or start something new, why not just do it, why wait? So the idea of one word to help me work with, to fit into my life, instead of a goal to work towards was appealing. I have also felt this yearning for something to help me focus during my devotional time and I think 'One Word' will help do the trick.

But that still left the task of finding the right word. What should I focus on for a year? What should my heart strive to, reflect on, build from?

To be honest I think God has been morphing this into my word for 2015 since I first heard of the idea. He has been planting seeds, watching how I water them and waiting for me to start tending them. Or really to start letting Him tend them for me.

He has been asking me to surrender.

And in typical fashion I tried my hardest to work around that. To keep surrender from being my word for this year. So it is only fitting that in order to choose my word, I had to surrender to it. Surrender to God. To let Him win the battle I had been waging over my idea of the "perfect" word. My original thought: "Surrender? Really? Why not create or joy? I would like a little bit more of either in my life."

Yet, so many times this year I have found myself saying, "Let it go. Let it be..."
After a year of nothing, of numbness and trying to walk through the darkest parts of my story without losing myself, I came to a new understanding of who I was. Of the way I worked around my life, constantly running on an invisible hamster wheel, turning things just so and at just the right speed to keep everything going. As if I had ever had any control. And when it all came crashing down I realized the truth; that there had never been any wheel at all. And so, in trying to figure out where to go without one, how to move forward without spinning wheels that weren't going nowhere, I heard this small little voice persistently calling me to just "surrender, to lay it all down." 

It was as if I could hear God telling me,
"Surrender. Let go and let Me. Surrender to me so that you can embrace more of me, embrace more of what I have for you. Know that it will be good. It may be hard, but it will be good. It will be by My plans, not by yours, but it will still be good. Remember, I work for the good of those who love me. So love me. Love me without plans and control, just let go and love me and it will be good. See where I take it."

And so I shall do just that. This year I will surrender. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Words For Wednesday: The First

I originally intended part of this blog as a space for words. Not my words, the words of others. Words that had touched me in some way. Words from books, movies or any other form of media, spoken or printed, that stuck with me long after I had closed the pages or walked away. I figured it was time I finally started sharing them. And so I am dubbing most Wednesday's from here on out as Words for Wednesday. Some will be just the words; quotes from people who can say what I am feeling, at a certain time, better than I can. And some will be there words and my own. The quotes that spoke so much into my soul and why they did.

Today's words come from one of my favorite books read this year, in all my 28 years really; 
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. 

"He forgets, that he was someone's dream once, himself."

"The finest of pleasures are unexpected ones." 

"It is difficult to see the situation for what it is when you are in the midst of it. It is too familiar. Too comfortable." 

Though written by Oscar Wilde, it is also a favorite and sits as the opening to The Night Circus.

"Love" is fickle and fleeting. It is rarely a solid foundation for decisions to be made upon.

"No you were not destined or chosen. You were in the right place at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that's enough." 

"There is nothing wrong with being a dreamer. But dreams have a way of turning into nightmares." 

And while I know the last one is  a long one, I hope that you have made it this far, because it is one of my absolute favorites: 
"Stories have changed, my dear... There are no more monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my my experience, at least the ones worth something in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are. And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep going on, they overlap and blur, your story is part of your sister's story is part of many other stories, and there is no telling where any of them may lead. Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess or a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story? Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should act? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

5 Things I Have Loved Lately

Because it is Sunday and I would fully like my day of rest I am hiding out in the computer room before church so that I do not have to go help with "Project Never-Ending Shed" as I have so termed it.

5 Things I Have Loved Lately
1.) I watched this through a link someone posted on FB and I loved every minute. I loved Johnny's humble humility. I loved how he didn't even seem to understand why they would want to raise the price of the teepee. I love that he cared about the people he was selling to. I love that he carded for the farmer, the hard working men and women who help keep food on our tables. Worth the watch.
2.) This is outstanding! Working in Children's Ministry, or with kids in any capacity, we sometimes wonder if the kiddos are even listening at all, but they are. They so very much are! Just listen to her tell the story of Jonah. I used to think that God would sound like Morgan Freeman, but now I wonder if He will sound like the voice of this little girl when she is telling Jonah what God has to say. "My love is great, it is greater than my anger and it is for all my creatures."
3.)Walking through The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. It is an advent devotional and yes, advent maybe over, but isn't every moment really a moment of advent. Always leading up, always preparing our hearts for Jesus. I love it for many reasons, but I won't lie in saying that one of the biggest appeals is that is is perfect for a non-morning person like me. I am not an early riser. I fight that morning struggle of "stay-in-bed, hit-snooze-just-one-more-time" vs "get-up, don't-rush, have-some-quiet-God-time." The Greatest Gift has short enough clips though I don't feel like I have to rush through my morning devotion. I can still pour over the words while I eat breakfast, fill my soul and have some quiet moments to reflect on it all.
4.) Writing Day!! These sweet ladies and I have been meeting up every couple weeks for about an hour or so to chat about writing, life and our blogs. This past week we had our first ever, full Writing Day. It was some many bits of wonderful!! Melissa led it for us with schedules, prompts and sweet destinations for a change of scenery. I ended the day feeling refreshed and excited for this happenings on this space for 2015! I can not wait for our next one.
5.) The shed is almost finished!!! Praise the Lord, do a dance and thank the hands that completed it. Because we had done a Thanksgiving cruise as opposed to our New Year's cruise this year Babe thought it would be a great time to fix the shed and replace all the wood that has been water damaged since we bought our house. "Three days," he said! "Won't take too long," he said! Lies! He was mostly lying to himself, but that 3 day project has turned into a 1+ week project! While it has been wonderful having Papa (his dad) here with us and hearing the two of them banter like old men do, I just want to go to Disney! After painting boards the color of sand for two days I think I am entitled to some magic and color in my life!! I just wanted to eat from Holidays Around the World and hear the sweet story of Jesus at the Candlelight Processional. But alas, I will wait until next year and be thankful for pretty new shed walls and hard-working men and a finished product! Though now Babe says the shed looks better than the house. Good thing he thought it so smart to buy enough paint for the house as well. Oh, the joys!

Linking up today with Christina and the lovely ladies from