Life's Sweet Journey: Words
Showing posts with label Words. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Words. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

30 Great Quotes for Travel Lovers

It's been a long while since I have shared any Words for Wednesday posts! But, being a quote lover, I still keep a running journal of all my favorites. So I figured why not share some quotes that would feed my thirst for wanderlust?! Here are 30 of my favorite travel-inspiring quotes... 

1.) "I believe in looking reality straight in the eye & denying it!" -Garrison Keillor 

2.) "Life is ours to be spent, not saved." - D.H. Lawrence 

3.) "Maybe we could stop time for a few days without falling far behind. Maybe we could jump in the car somewhere beautiful and remote. We'll take of our pain and armor, turn on the music, and explore these places, these towns and these dreams. Yours and mine. We'll just ride it all out for awhile. We'll just drive." - Victoria Erickson

4.) "You aren't always shown the path in life you're supposed to take. Sometimes though, when you're lucky, you meet someone with a map." - From Sarah Addison Allen's The Peach Keeper 

5.) "Meet the world with HOPE in your heart!" - Heather Gudenkauf 

6.) "Make your choice, adventurous stranger, strike the bell and bide the danger, or wonder, til it drives you mad, what would have followed if you had." - C.S. Lewis 

7.) "Sometimes you have to chase the idea of something more." - From Carrie Ryan's The Dead-Tosses Waves 

8.) "She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist' if she dared find it." - Jeanette Winterson 

She must find a boat and sail in it...
9.) "The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." - Eden Phillpots 

10.) "Go out into the world, experience it, and bring back the best and leave the rest." - From Rebecca Wells The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder 

11.) "The river(s) taught me a good bit. It winds, weaves, snakes around. Rarely goes the same way twice. But, in the end, it always ends up in the same place and the gift is never the same." - From Charles Martin's Where the River Ends 

12.) "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." -Oscar Wilde 

13.) "The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste the experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." - Eleanor Roosevelt 

14.) "Most of the time the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you will get everything you wish for or maybe you will get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you; the road is long and in the end the journey is the destination." - One Tree Hill 

15.) "If you always keep your face to the sunshine, you'll never see the shadows." -Helen Keller 

16.) "Faith is the daring of the soul to go further than it can see." -William Newton Clarke

17.) "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." - Henry David Thoreau 

18.) There is not fairy-book half so wonderful as the lovely world all about us, if we only know how to read it! - Morning Glories 

19.) "When God carved this place with His words He lingered." - From Charles Martin's Long Way Gone

20.) "Road trips are the equivalent of human wings. Ask me to go on one anywhere. We’ll stop in every small town and learn the history and stories, feel the ground and capture the spirit. Then we’ll turn it into our own story that will live inside our history to carry with us always. Because stories are more important than things." – Victoria Erickson 

21.) "Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in 10 seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories." - Ray Bradbury 

22.) "She was a beautiful dreamer, the kind of girl who kept her head in the clouds, loved above the stars, and left regret beneath the earth she walked on." - R.M. Drake 

23.) "What if it's the there and not the here that I long for? The wander and not the wait, the magic in the lost feet stumbling down the far away street and the way the moon never hangs quite the same?" - Tyler Knott Gregson 

24.) "Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?" - Walt Whitman

25.) "She'll be here until she runs, some just have to chase the sun..." - Kenny Chesney 
26.) "And above all, watch with glittering eyes, the whole world around you. Because the greatest secrets are hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never see it." - Roald Dahl

27.) "Mountains know the secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough, you will find the strength to rise up." - Tyler Knott Gregson 

28.) "It's a beautiful thing to have lungs that allow you to breathe air and legs that allow you to climb mountains, and it's a shame that sometimes we don't realize that that's enough." - honalie 

29.) "Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in this world." - Gustav Flaubert 

30.) "There are moments I know I will long for even as I live them." - Judith Katzir

Do you have a favorite travel quote?
What inspires you to travel? 

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy Things 2016 Linkup// April Happies

This month's happy things post is short and sweet! I will share more of April's wonders later, as I know there will be much to share with you all. 

I am currently making my way back from Africa. I know there will be so much to process- so many thoughts and feelings working their way through me- which is why I found this quote so fitting for this month. With all the uncertainty at the beginning of the month about the things I would experience in Africa, I know that this month and this time away will be something that I will probably long to remember for the rest of my life. 

Happy last Monday of April friends! I hope this month has been good to you! Looking forward to seeing your Happy Things! Feel free to add your link below! 
Link Up Rules: 
- Share a post (up to 2) about anything happy; it can be 5 happy things, 1 happy thing, really just anything for the month that has made your heart smile! 
- Feel free to share the image above, or link back, so that others can link up their happy things too!
- Leave a happy comment on at least one other post
- I will interact with all posts in some way (comments, pinning to Happy Things 2016 board...)
- Share your happy things on Instagram using #happythings2016
- Come back on the last Monday of each month to share your happy things for that month and start a community of people who are adding a bit of cheer to Mondays! 
- Link up will be run through Friday of the same week

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Words for Wednesday// A Sense of Companionship!

It's Wednesday Y'all!! 
And we are just that much closer to Friday and I am that must closer to Africa! 
8 days and counting! It is all still so crazy to me! 

Babe informed me that this will be our longest time apart in over 10 years, pretty much since we started dating. I hadn't thought about it much to be honest. I have been so focused on the fact that I am leaving, and SOON, and trying to process everything. I am sad that he won't get to experience this trip with me, but there is also a part of me that knows it is so healthy and good for us to take trips separate from one another. My first out of country mission trip to Costa Rica was also sans Babe and I learned so much about myself, about my abilities and about the way God was personally working in my heart and I know this trip will be no different. But it doesn't mean I won't miss him! 

So we are heading out this weekend for a little time away! We are taking Flo out to Highland Hammock State Park for a little hiking and relaxing! One of my favorite things about our time in Flo is the simplicity of it all; it's the slow early mornings, the late night fires and games of rummy, the endless conversations on our long hikes, the nothingness (no outside distractions, no checklists, no phone service) that brings so much life giving goodness into our relationship! I am looking forward to soaking a weekend full of companionship in, before two weekends apart! 

Middle-of-nowhere Florida, here we come!! 
Happy Humpday everyone! We're almost there!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Words for Wednesday: Read your Heart to Me

If you handed me pages from your soul, which would you choose to share? 
We all have our own stories,
tucked closely in and held tight. 
Think about each page of your soul,
which pages are ripped and torn, 
which have dog-eared edges because you've returned so many times?
Do you only share the crisp and pristine pages, 
the ones that shine and glisten and gleam so much
that you barely want to touch them for fear of damaging them? 
Share them all! 
Share the pages so worn by tears it's hard to even read the words. 
Share them for yourself, 
to free your heart of the weight of them, 
but share them for others too. 
Share them, 
because you never know who so desperately needs to hear them. 
Share them,
You never know who is grasping for breath 
and praying they aren't alone. 
Share all the pages and stories that have brought you 
to where you are now, 
because it's in fully opening our hearts 
that we give others the chance to truly love us.
It is in fully opening our hearts, 
that we truly learn to love ourselves. 
I have had the Jonny Ox quote saved for a while and I passed over it again today. Today felt like a good day for processing feelings and getting it all out. After a few days of heart-stuff and a few tears this morning after breakfast with good friends, it just felt like a day for a little bit of release. Share your heart with someone today. Share the things you've felt you have been needing to say. I know it might be scary, and sometimes it might even hurt, share it anyways! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Words for Wednesday: See the Magic

I have always loved this quote by Roald Dahl. There is something so magical in this world, something so unique and wonderful and I pray that I always have eyes (and a heart) that are open to seeing it. There is beauty and magic all around us... It is that beauty that leaves me without a doubt in my mind that we have the most wonderful Creator; there is too much imagination in the colors of a sunset, the immensity of a mountain landscape or the music that is made by the crunch of Fall leaves underfoot for me to ever think otherwise. And I pray I am imparting that onto the next generation. Hearing my niece get so excited about Flo and adventuring and seeing the world makes me think that maybe I am doing my small part! 

Thank You for the beauty. 
Thank You for the wonder.
Thank You for the magic. 
Thank You for adventure! 

Here's to Wednesday and finding wonder. 
Where have you found yourself wandering lately? 
Where have you found magic?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Words for Wednesday: Savannah Wisdom

We have been in Savannah since Monday and while I wasn't planning to post during the trip, I had to get on the computer to sign in to work for a few minutes, so I sent Babe off to explore the train museum (his history loving heart has been very happy in Savannah) while I worked. I finished up quicker than I thought I would and he is still out exploring, so I thought I would share this little wisdom find with you all before we leave Savannah and head to Fort McAllister State Park for the rest of the week! 

We have been loving Savannah, there is so much to see and do and EAT (oh, the food)!! We have done and good bit to walk it off though and, while we were doing just that, I stumbled upon this little token of a sign and had to snap a picture!

"To be able to fly, 
learn to let go of what holds you down."

So very, very true! There is so much that we hold on to that keeps up from truly being able to soar to our fullest! My word for 2015 was 'surrender' and so I had been trying to do just that this year; just let go, let it be and realize that there is not much I have to, or even need to, control. And so for 2016 I don't think I am going to really pick anything up! No huge New Year's resolution to feel the weight of sticking to. Instead I am going to continue to work on letting go of the things that hold me down {worry, doubts, fear...} and really just live. Live in the moment, cherish the day, breath it all in and repeat it again the next day if God grants me the chance to.

What about you? 
Anything you could do with putting down?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Words for Wednesday: Away We Go

Because my thirst for adventure needs to be quenched and I am so excited that this weekend we are finally hitting the road again after being "docked" for a while today's post is some of my favorite travel words of lately!
Or an RV, same concept, so I'm rolling with it (literally)... even if it is only for the weekend! Oh this quote sets my heart a flutter and makes me dream of big, big things! 
...working on it! 

Happy Wednesday Folks!! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

November Currently

It's November people! As if being 6 days in meant you were just in the know. November is looking pretty exciting (and still very hot in Florida) around these parts! Linking up for November Currently with Jenna and Anne and for a little 5 of Friday fun! Join me? 
~COOKING~ Well considering I don't "cook" a whole lot of anything these days, I figured I'd fudge a little and go with something I prepared instead. Mixing cream cheese and mayo can totally count as cooking right?! Sure! Anyways, it was my turn to host a monthly book club I am in and we try to theme our food based off of things in the book. Luckily, I picked an easy one, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. In honor of the main character, Josey, I baked a treats! Cupcakes and brownies, which meant licking clean the batter bowls = YUM! Josey's mom, Margaret, frequented going to tea, hence tea sandwiches. For these I used one 8oz. package of cream cheese (softened), 1/3 cup mayo, a good sprinkle of garlic salt and some fresh dill. I mixed the cream cheese and mayo together and then added the seasoning. I used the lid to the garlic salt to made bread rounds out of a slice of sandwich bread (usually 3 rounds per slice). I then spread the mixture on top of the bread and topped that with tomato or cucumber. Then I cut a little more fresh dill to sprinkle on top. Quick, easy and delicious!!

~PLANNING~ Flo's next adventure!! She hasn't been out of the driveway in a while and she is very sad about it! So because we has been cooped up for so long she has a lot of adventures coming her way in the next few months. We are doing two mini Florida adventures in November, but Flo is most excited about her big out of state adventure right after Christmas!! We are headed to Savannah and couldn't be more excited! I haven't been since I was in 6th grade and Babe and Flo have both been NEVER! Alright Savannah lovers, dish please! What do was have to see and where do we have to dine?!

~SMELLING~ Coffee sitting in the pot, filling the house with it's gloriousness!! 

~APPRECIATING~ Happy mail instead of scary movie moments!! So Babe was out of town and my bestie and I were having one of our "no-more-adulting, lay-on-the-floor" moments. We had literally made it through my front door and sprawled ourselves across the rug right at the entry to the house. We were scrolling through Pinterest, reading each other quotes (come on ladies, you know those moments). It is also noteworthy to mention that it was pitch black dark out... when the doorbell rang!! We both looked at each other like, "say, what?!" Babe was gone, we were together, who in the world could be at the door? So I get up and look at out the peephole. Oh, wait! It's nobody! Nobody is there!! It's two days after Halloween, we've all seen the movies. I love scary movies! So, I know you are all thinking, this girl sure ain't going to be dumb enough to open the door! Oh contraire! I did! However, our entry has a long walkway, with no ability to access the door from the sides, so I figured I would have enough time to peek out and then slam the door shut if necessary. But in fact it was just a little package of happiness, literally happiness, sitting right at my doorstep!! 

That was a long build up to this moment, huh?! Anyways, I got this sweet little package of Instant Happiness dropped right on my doorstep (apparently UPS people deliver packages at 6pm and you think it must be 9 because, well, darkness!). I received the Instant Happy Journal free to review, but all opinions are mine. I love, love, love it!! For a quote lover like myself it is the perfect little book! And it really is a great booster for finding a minute of happiness and joy in everyday. Each page has a place to put the date and then there is either a quote that you can then record your thoughts on, a question asking you to jot down whatever answers come to mind or both. Each page is a great reminder to remember the blessings that make life memorable and moments happy. I mean check these out... 
How would you answer those? And don't those answers just make you want to smile?! Mine did! 
I would definitely recommend grabbing a copy and adding an extra dash of happiness to your days! 

~ANTICIPATING~ Swimming with sea cows!! So, while I am pretty stoked about our big Savannah trip, we actually have an upcoming Florida adventure just around the corner. In two weeks we are Flo bound for Crystal River to swim with manatees! And I can't wait!! Yay!! I will hug them and love them and they will be my friends! 

And that's my November currently! 
What are you up to this month?! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Words for Wednesday: The School for Good and Evil

I just recently finished reading The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani. If you have not heard of this series, you should check it out. I loved it!! It is the perfect series for girls who are trying to figure out that balance between friendship, relationships and being true to who they really are. Really, the same could be said for all of us, because it's also a great book for any woman still trying to figure that all out (12, 17, 25, 31... doesn't matter). If you love a different spin on fairy tales (characters like Lancelot, Cinderella, Peter Pan...) and don't shy a way from a little dark adventure then you really need to read this! I started it after a recommendation from a 10 year old and I couldn't recommend it more (books really can span generations)! It also just so happens that it is being turned into a movie, so you should probably jump on the train before it comes out. 

Anywho, today's Word's for Wednesday post comes from the final book in the series, The School for Good and Evil: The Last Ever After. Here are a few of my favorite quotes... 

"What is it about a name that gives us a story to believe in?" 

"I'd sheltered him from his own weaknesses, and because of it those weaknesses won. I had to let you write your own story..." 

"Stories go wrong when people think that their own happiness is bigger than anyone else's." 
- I don't know what it is for me about the word story, but in my opinion it is such a powerful word. We each have a story, one that is ours alone, but one that can be shared with others. Hundreds upon thousands of stories overlapping each other, each story adding something to another. And it is in the sharing of our stories with others that we grow a bond that transcends time, distance and differences. It's our stories that bring us together in someway or another. 

And one final quote to leave you with, which just may be my favorite from the whole series... 
"Because as long as her story was about her she resisted her fate, as if living for herself was too much responsibility. But the moment she saw her fate was bigger than her, she finally felt free to embrace it." 

What parts of your story do you need to embrace?
What parts of your story, if shared, could help set both you and others free?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Words For Wednesday: Happiness and Light

I took this picture the other night on an evening stroll with Babe and it reminded me of one of Albus Dumbledore's most famous quotes. It may not be the very best of pictures, it may be grainy and dim, but that's kind of how it works isn't it? Happiness doesn't always come wrapped up in the prettiest package or riding a gleaming white horse. It comes in the smallest moments, that build upon each other, until they shine with a brightness, that even the darkest of nights can't snuff out. 

So here's to happiness and Dumbledore and all the hearts that still believe in the magic of a story! Oh, and Harry Potter! Illustrated!! People, have you heard?! There is a new illustrated edition of The Sorcerer's Stone! I don't have it yet, but my friend does and she brought it by for me to see. Y'all, it is glorious and wonderful and one of those little happiness things! We are really working hard to save money this month or it would already be in my hot little hand, but it is on my Christmas list for sure. Dear Santa, hint, hint... 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Words for Wednesday: Feet with Wings// Run for Recovery

Have you ever had one of those moments, where a reality of today sends you spiraling into the reality of the past? A moment that makes you think on what you've learned since you were young. A moment that makes you look at your past in a different way. I've thought about my brother, John Wayne, a lot recently, about his struggle with addiction. Addiction is a monster. People are afraid of monsters. I am afraid of monsters. But what happens when monsters attach themselves to the faces that we love most? What happens when it's hard to separate the two from each other? I had a hard time separating those things when I was younger. Every now and then I still do. But (maybe if only in this instance) I am grateful for the knowledge that comes along with aging. I am thankful for the fact that I had moments, before my brother died, that allowed me to see those things -the monster and the man- as two different beings. I am thankful that I could love my brother while I hated his addiction. And I did. And I do.

I hate addiction, in all forms. Addiction is a thing that takes. It's a thing that sucks life out of people. It's a word I try not to use lightly. I am not addicted to coffee, I am not addicted to TV. If they started sucking the life away from who I was then ok, but I am not addicted to them. They do not make me a shadow of the person I am. They do not control me. So, I can hate addiction. And I hate to use the word hate. But I can love something that comes from addiction. I love recovery. I love the story it writes for people, everyday that they choose to continue living in it. Recovery is not a point on a map. It is not a destination one will reach and say, "I am finished now". Recovery is a road with peripheral vision always in view. Recovery is a choice, made again and again; day after day, hour after hour, minute upon minute. Recovery is what saves lives. Recovery is what saves families.

My dad and the men at Mind, Body and Soul Surfing Co. have devoted their hearts to the fight for life. They have set themselves on the road for those in recovery, to be a face along that road, a sign to reads keep going. And that's why I will be participating in something I don't like, to fight something I really hate, in order to support something I really love. MBS is hosting it's first run for recovery. A run to support those that have met the monster of addiction somewhere along the way. A run to encourage them and help fund their road of recovery. On November 7th, in Orlando (Baldwin Park) Florida, people will be rallying to lace up their shoes and open their hearts to run for and with those who fight the monster that is addiction. Money raised will go to support Turning Point of Central Florida, an organization whose mission has been to work with not only the addict, but their families as well, to set a course for a life lived above addiction.

I am not a runner, in fact I quite dislike it, but I will do it. I will do it for my brother, for his memory, and for the love that he brought into my life. I will run to help my dad continue John Wayne's story. Running is the least I can do.

This race doesn't rewrite our story, it doesn't change what addiction took from us. But it may change the course of someone else's story. Addiction isn't something that is going away. It isn't something to be swept under the rug or whispered about in quiet corners. Addiction is a beast that will slip into the middle of people, slip into the middle of families, and cut them them wide. Talk about it. Encourage those you love to seek help. Encourage them to work the steps they need to. Encourage them to live for themselves and not let addiction live for them. Yes, the addict fights inside alone, but family plays their part. You can support, you can love. You can build up and be that face along the way. Not the face that runs the race for them, but the face that says keep going. The face that says...
"I know it's hard, but you're not through yet. Pound it out. Foot after foot. Breath upon breath. Bear down, fight hard, and finish strong. Worn up and sweaty, but strong." Be the face they see cheering all along the way.

I would love for you to join me. If you would like to sign up to run you can click the image above. If you don't live nearby, but would like to donate to the race you can also do so. Thank you for your support. Addiction really is a fight for life. And each life is worth it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Words for Wednesday: J. Raymond Poetry

J Raymond Poetry
I have found a new quote love. I stumbled across J. Raymond Poetry on Pinterest and I fell instantly. In my opinion you need only read these as to see why- there is just something so open and honest and raw in these words. They are longer though and of course I started looking all of them up right away, but I realized my mind could only wrap itself around so many at a time. So I have decided to take these slowly, just read one or two J Raymond quotes every so often, so that I will still be discovering more for months to come. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 
J Raymond Poetry
J Raymond Poetry

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Words for Wednesday: Me, My Story and the Face I Show the World

I actually fell in love with the following quote a while back, but in running through my thoughts on today's Blogtember prompt (the real you vs. the online you. Are they the same or different?) and if I felt and urge to share on the subject I thought this was a perfectly fitting time to share it... 
While the tone of this quote may not seem all that light and happy there is something about it that resonates so much with me. I think, that for me, blogging is a place to share my thoughts, my heart and my passions. It's also not that I truly believe my story isn't sweet. Many parts of my story are so sweet it makes my heart ache, but there are other parts that make my heart ache because they are in stark contrast to any of the sweeter moments. It's the mix of all of that, the sweeter moments and the salty, darker ones that make stories so intriguing to me. It's the truth and reality of life that really catch me as a reader and so I hope that I can offer the same for whoever comes across this space and decides to dig in for a while. I want to be myself fully. So for me, I think I am pretty much that- fully myself- both on and off of this blog. 

If you met me face-to-face, over coffee or while sitting down to lunch, you would learn quickly that I am a pretty open person. You would learn that I'm spastic and a bit all over the place. This blog has been the same. I think when I first started this space I had plans to gloss over some of the rougher parts, to make the things I shared more uplifting and fun, but life isn't always like that and for me I had to share all sides of my story. The folly, the blunders, the dreams and the accomplishments. 

I know that every blog I read may not be the same. There are niche bloggers, with a style that must fit the personality that were established under. Sometimes I think maybe I should have pick a niche and go with it. But then I realized that just wouldn't be me. I can't stick to one thing in "real life" so why try to keep up with just one path here. 

This space flows pretty much the way the pace of my life off the computer flows. When there isn't much going on I don't write as often. When something happens that makes me passionate enough to share it with others over coffee I usually have to write the feelings out at some point or I can't sleep so I may as well put them here. When I get overly excited my voice will get more high pitched in person and I have realized in blog translation that means I just ramble on and on, use tons of parentheses (because I just can't keep my side notes to myself) or I share the high voice on here anyways with a vlog (yes I am talking about Flo). I share the sadness, the broken moments, the laughter and the joy, tears, fears and every spectrum of emotion. I share them because that's life to me, all of it together in on beautiful mess. 

Are there things I don't share? Sure! There may not be many things, but there are some. They are the things I don't share with just anyone. They are the things I reserve for God or Babe or my best persons. 

But all in all, I think I would say I am the same person in blog land and off. And I am happy about that. To hide part of myself from the world is like hiding part of myself even from me. I want to be open- to be open to all of the stories and all of the truths that make me who I am. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Words for Wednesday: The Silent Pull

I found this gem a few months ago and I loved it the moment I saw it. At that point in time my dream of Flo (our new RV) was just that, a pull that was silently drawing me further. I had never pictured myself ever wanting an RV, but with a new found thirst for adventure mixed with the chance for quiet moments, where we could pull away from the world for a bit, a dream started to grow. It grew slowly at first, silently, and then with more passion and voice. And now that dream has become a reality and Flo is currently sitting in my driveway. I leave her each morning with a smile, thinking about all the places we will go and the moments Babe and I will share together. And then when I come home, especially after a long day, she gives me an afternoon burst of excitement and I remember the dream and the journey to make it real. 

Today my hope for you is that you let yourself take a moment to be pulled by what you really love, by the things that bring you joy and renewal. I pray that that silent draw can grow and that you share it with someone and let it tug you onward and that soon you find yourself dreaming of where that love will take you! 

Our first morning with Flo, waiting for her to be serviced at the dealership. 
So what's pulling you currently? 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Words for Wednesday: Grief and Glory

I have been absent from this space for a few weeks. Life was in that flux of space between grief and joy and I wasn't sure which emotions and feelings I felt like sharing (or really which ones I even felt) and so I didn't write at all. Which, I have realized in turn, is bad for my soul. I discovered a while ago that, even if I never post publicly, I need to share the words that choke up my heart. In writing, just for myself, over coffee, with others, internally, externally and most importantly with Jesus. 

I am not usually one to shy away from openness. I share a lot on here, because I feel that in sharing pain and our own walk with suffering we all help one another. Reading things where people share their hearts helps me realize I am not alone. But on the wake of the second anniversary of my brothers death I felt things that were new, things I wasn't sure how to voice and so I tried to block them out and not think on them. And then a sermon preached this past weekend was the gentle reminder I needed of the Glory that there can be in suffering. 

Zach Van Dyke, of Summit Church, preached on Romans Chapter 5 (verses 1-8). He preached about the desire for  a happy place, he referenced Inside Out, he quoted Chronicles of Narnia, he shared joy and sadness and he shared that Christianity is not stoicism (listen here). As Christians our hearts will be broken a million times over and it doesn't mean that we can't suffer, that we can't feel sadness or pain or that when we do we should hold it all in. The Glory is IN the suffering. It is in the broken moments when our tears roll down our cheeks and mix with Jesus'. It is the understanding that when we suffer we can also know we are not alone. Jesus' truest Glory came through His most ultimate suffering and it was the thing that saved the entire world. 

Suffering and grief are part of the picture of what makes us human. In this world we will suffer. But slowly time heals and suffering and sadness mix with joy and that joy is amplified by the pain that hides underneath. This second anniversary of John Wayne being gone was a strange mix of those feelings. Two days before was my mother's 60th birthday and my sister's 35th and we did the best we could to celebrate that day with joy, but there is a lingering undertone. It is the chance to be together with family and close friends to celebrate, but the reminder of what's missing is forever there and so the laughter and the tears blend together in a mess of BBQ and key lime pie. And that's ok. 

Last year the grief was so fresh. This year it left us each trying hard to go about our daily business, some even working longer hours that day to have less time at home. We didn't meet up again, instead leaving the celebration of birth our time together as a family. We reached out to each other via texts and we responded to each others Facebook messages on my his still active page. Calls were harder, as if the sound of a voice would be the cutting edge we needed to break past the floodgates until we all went under together. I am not sure if that was the best means to get us through the day, but it was what we all seemed to need. An unspoken bond that would carry us into the day after. And sometimes that's all it is when sadness and joy morph into a relationship with one another; an unspoken bond of understanding that, though the two might seem polar opposites, they need one another in way that other emotions don't. The reminder that this isn't all there is. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Words for Wednesday: Beautifully You!

Why do you question yourself?
Always questioning your worth in the world, your beauty.
You are beautiful,
the most stunningly, beautiful, unique thing there ever was.
No one can ever be as beautiful as you,
for you are the only you there will ever be. 

You were formed with purpose 
and loved from before you even took a breath. 
When your strength waivers think on these things. 
And if you can't then turn to me, 
turn to me and I'll remind you. 

Hold tight to who you are, 
clutch your strength tightly, 
through the valleys and the mountains 
and along each journey you take 
through all the 'yous' in your life. 

You are strong!
You are beautiful! 

The quote by Tyler Knott Gregson has always been one that stops me anytime I stumble across it. From time to time we all falter, our strength waivers and we feel alone. We have people in our lives that question their beauty and it breaks our hearts. Or there are days we question our own. If today is a day that you need the reminder of just how beautiful you are, I hope this helps! I hope you remember that there can never be another person more beautiful, more unique, than you! You are the only you that God ever made and that is a beautiful and worthy thing. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Words for Wednesday: A Life Intercepted

While Charles Martin's newest book, A Life Intercepted, was not one of my top reads of his, everything he writes is wonderful. I think if I were more a sport lover then I would have ranked it right up there with all the rest of his books. I would definitely recommend reading it, but if it were me I would prefer to start with one of his others, if I had never read his books. Unwritten and Where the River Ends need to be added to your book list. And if you haven't read anything by him at all, you best get in the car now and go to the bookstore! 

Either way, every time I finish one of his books I walk away with enough quotes to fill at least 5 pages of my quote books. A Life Intercepted was no different. Here are a few of them (all quotes from Charles Martin's A Life Intercepted)... 

"He felt the heaviness, but didn't know how to help her carry it. And she had always been careful not to let him."

"When we're down and the momentum is stacked against us, those are the moments when we find out what we're made of." 

Taken out of context... "People can't stop our soul from cracking in half, but sometimes they come along to help suture it shut." 
While I realize that most of these seem heavy, that is one of the things I love about Charles Martin's writing. His books don't shy away from the heavy. In fact, they hit it square in the face. But his writing also shines light on the redemption of a human soul. It shines light on what it looks like when, against all odds, people come together and work with each other to be supportive and to shine hope in desperate situations. He doesn't romanticize it or dress it up pretty and tie the end off with a pretty bow and a happily ever after. It always sits there on the fringes of hope and grace as the two meet the reality of human pain. It leaves you hopeful for all that will come once you close the pages, the sad and broken moments that make the good ones seem brighter.  

"I had never been in love and wouldn't know what to do with it when I found it, but when she looked at me, my heart melted, slid out of my chest, and landed in her hands." 

"Hatred is a commodity we can't afford... It was too expensive then and it's too expensive now." 
Sadly, this one continues to ring true all the time. Hatred, with its harsh lines and jagged edges, the kind that rip things to shreds, costs way too much. It costs us pain and misery and it holds us captive. Hatred does nothing but hurt. It hurts those around us and it hurts us. It can not bear anything good. When we lay hate down and pick up love and understanding, the kind that says, "I may not agree with you but that doesn't matter; we are different people, with different lives, who can care for one another without seeing eye-to-eye," we give ourselves a gift. And it is a gift with ripple effects. The kind of gift that only love can bring; peace. Because that's what love, real love, does. It calms our soul and frees us.