Monday, March 26, 2012


Well I should blog.
I need to blog.

But why? What do I have to say that really matters anyhow?
Well this is how I'm feeling today. A little blah. A little uninspired. It is a Monday afterall... Not that that's actually a valid excuse. Sick. I'm kind of tired of "Mondays". Why is it that Monday always equates bad, boring or blah? It's a cop-out. It's pathetic. Mondays are just day two of the week... Yes. Not the first day. That's Sunday.
Oy... I'm totally going off on a rant/tangent. Sorry. Maybe I'll write a post about Mondays on Tuesday...

And yet even though I'm slightly in this funk, slightly drawing a blank, I know I need to write. You see my school's out!
HOORAY! Hooray. hooray?
Yeah. No. Not really...
If I were taking some mundane general-ed course now that would be a cause for celebration. But I wasn't. As was stated in my previous post, the class that just ended was anything but mundane. It was delightful. It was insightful. It was motivational. It was inspirational. It got me writing. Writing a lot. 

So I'm determined to not let all the momentum I gained through that class just fade away. I'm determined to not let this talent, this gift God's given me with words go to waste.
I will use my words. And I hope that they're used to build people up, not tear them down. I hope they encourage. I hope they inspire. I hope they sometimes convict. I hope they a lot of times make you laugh.
And I hope that by sharing some of my struggles, frustrations or just random musings, you, whoever you may be, don't feel so alone. Because lets just be honest... it's easy to feel all alone. And alone is a terrible feeling.

Wow. Well I guess I wrote something.
Words. They're funny things. Letters strung together. Noises combined to form a strange meaningful chorus. And they are. Meaningful. At least they should be. Sticks and stones break bones. But words. Yep. They can hurt. They do hurt. They have power. How do I use them? How do I abuse them?
Well like a lot of gifts God's given me, I think I can waste my words too. I'm not the kind of person who packs a punch. I'm not economical. I'm superfluous. A lot of words to say a little. I've often thought I should strive for brevity. But, well, then that just wouldn't be me. That's just not Jessika. And I am just Jessika.
Lots of words. Hopefully ones that speak love and life into your life.
How do you use your words? Just something to think about this week... It's day two. You've got 5 more to speak with power. To speak with truth. To speak with love. To speak with words.

Friday, March 16, 2012

#100 (for lack of a better title)

Yep. Post 100. Hard to believe. Hard to believe it didn't happen sooner.
I think the saddest part about this post is that I've almost written as much in the past two and a half months for this blog as I did the entire year of 2011. Yeah... That's kind of disgusting. That absolutely cannot happen this year. Cannot. 

This is going to be a bittersweet post. Sorry to anyone who was looking for something sunny and cheery. The weather provided that. It was an absolutely incredible day here in Seattle! Blue sky, sunshine and a gorgeous sunset. And it started out grey and rainy! Thanks Lord for turning the tables around... It was a much welcomed surprise.

So bittersweet. Bittersweet for a number of reasons, but the first being that this is the last thing I have to do (other than click a button submitting my final portfolio) for my Bellevue College English 255 Creative Non-Fiction Writing Class I've been taking this Winter Quarter.
That should be a great thing, right? I'm almost done with the quarter! I'm almost done with my A.A.!!! Who'd ever thought that would happen? Just an AP credit transfer and a Symbolic Reasoning course away from saying goodbye to Bellevue College. Pretty exciting stuff.
But like I said, it's bittersweet because this is the last time I can take this class... this creative non-fiction writing class. To even try and describe what a blessing it's been in my life would be, well, to be honest, quite impossible. There aren't words to express the profound impact it's had on me.
Someday I want to be a writer. The future is not longer this unknown unforeseeable passionless void. The Lord has given me a voice and I'm so excited to see how He's going to use it. And this new passion and desire to write He cultivated through this class. Yep. Wow. No words. Thank you just seems too small.
Lindsi Dec and Lesley Rausch ©Angela Sterling Photography

And yet I don't live in the Future, I live in Today. And today the first passion God gave me, burned brightly within my heart and soul: Ballet. Today I saw my co-workers perform PNB's premier of David Dawson's A Million Kisses to My Skin. And as I watched them literally I felt like my skin was the only thing holding back the deep longing I had to run out on that stage and dance that ballet. In my eight seasons of dancing professionally there have only been two ballets that have had such a profound connection not just with my mind, body and heart, but with my soul. This is one of them.
I found myself saying to the Lord, as tears welled up in my eyes (even now they're returning), "Lord I know that one day I will dance this ballet. Be it here on earth or in Heaven above I will dance this ballet. And I'll dance it for You! Because this ballet is what Heaven feels like."

It reminds me of that famous quote from Chariots of Fire:
I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. 
God made me for a purpose. To bring Him glory and enjoy Him forever. He's made me His own. He's making me a writer, and many other things besides that... But He's also made me a ballerina. And when I dance I feel His pleasure. It's like a million kisses to my skin. His kisses. He's pretty great!

So what has He made you for? What passions has He given you? Do you feel His pleasure? Oh that everyone in the whole world could feel it! It is unlike anything you could dream of or imagine!

And if you want to see what that pleasure looks like danced out on stage, see what Heaven feels like, come and see PNB perform this tremendous piece. But hurry and buy your tickets here. It's only this weekend and next!

Here's a taste of the first movement performed by the Dutch National Ballet. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Searching for Something Unfound

So my dear friend Dawn is getting married in April!
And I have to tell you I'm SO excited because this means two things:

1. Dance. Party.

Dawn is one of the funnest (is that a word?) people I know. She is a riot. She is a party. She is sweet and bubbly, one of my very dear friends, and has been known to burn a whole in many a dance floor. Therefore it's to be expected that her wedding is going to be the party of a century. This it will be... not to mention a very beautiful and elegant event as well.

2. New dress.

I have mentioned it many times before on this blog, but I will say it once again. Each of my friends gets a new wedding dress. Wait. That sounds wrong. What I mean to say is I get a new dress for each of my friends's weddings. There we go. Dawn is no exception. And my closet is getting quite full! Thank goodness there aren't many more of my friends to still venture off into the land of wedded bliss. Then again I do really love having an excuse to buy a new dress, so this might not be as big of a blessing as I'm making it out to be...

At any rate I have the extreme misfortune of knowing exactly what kind of dress I want. I mean I can perfectly picture it in my head. The color. The silhouette. The material. The shoes I'll pair with it. Even my makeup and lipstick color. The trouble is I can't find it. Anywhere. I'm searching for something that's unfound. Quite possibly something that doesn't exist. I'm hoping it does. At the very least something similar.
And in this pursuit of the unfound imagined dress, I've come across many warm-weather springtime inspirations. So since I have yet to find the dress I'll share with you these things I have found.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Post Valentines

So this post has been brewing in me for a while. I meant to write it during February. I meant to write it around that most dreaded of greeting-card holidays, yes, Valentines Day. Well, I've meant to do a lot of things. As usual my timing is always a little late... Ha! How typical of me. How appropriate for me. I feel like that sums my life up pretty well... "a little late." Well what can I say? I guess I'm just a late bloomer. But better late than never, right?

But "blooming" is exactly what this post is about. Nice one Jessika! (This is me patting myself on the back... haha!)

Well recently I just revisited a book that's spoken profound truth into my life. It's called Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge. Basically it's about unveiling the mystery of the female heart. They speak of who God created women to be, how we reveal His beauty in a broken world, but how that beauty is under fierce attack (and boy don't I know it!). They flesh out so many of the lies that so many of us have believed, and most importantly they show us how to find healing and restoration in the Lord. How we can find the love that so many of us desperately long for from Him - the Lover of our soul.

In this little excerpt they write about how He romances you. How He romances me.
"Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God's version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens and fierce devotion."
"This romancing is immensely personal. It will be as if it has been scripted for your heart. He knows what takes your breath away, knows what makes your heart beat faster." 
Well for me it's a lot of things. The way the light comes in sideways in the fall, winter and spring and for a very brief period illuminates the bare tree branches against a stormy grey sky. Or when the wind tickles the leaves on the Katsura trees that stand outside the Phelps Center Studio C windows. Sunsets. Sunsets. I don't think I need to say anything more about that.

But flowers.
I really love flowers. I do. They're truly a gift from the Lord. They make my eyes light up and my heart smile. They're so cheery and are always glad to see you.

Well I don't need a Valentines Day, or a valentine to get me flowers. I can buy them for myself. And I do. Most of the time when I'm having a bad day. And they never fail to brighten my day. The Lord's loving on me. With a beautiful bouquet. Wow. Thank you Lord!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mug Half Full

Well I'm still reeling from this past weekend.
Did that happen?
The Lord just keeps surprising me. In a good way.
Ha! I'm generally not one for surprises, and by that I mean I'm usually not that surprise-able (yes, I did just make up that word, but you get my drift), and I don't particularly care for them. But I will say I've definitely been caught off guard by quite a few things this year. Surprised. And I will say that this Planner (that would be ME) is, dare I say it, starting to like them.

But I feel like I'm getting a little off topic. This post isn't about surprises. It's about mugs.
At the amazing Westminster Chapel women's retreat we had up in Leavenworth this weekend, we did a mug exchange our first night. So in typical Sika-fashion I ran over to Good Will Friday morning before meeting my ride to the retreat. I mean, 49¢ for a mug? How can you beat that?!

And this is one of the amazing mugs I found. This one I kept for myself.

Well my day today was not like this sunny Florida mug, but a lot like our Seattle weather. Grey, cold, cloudy and rainy... There were situations that could have hung over me like a big cloud of disappointment and down-poured despair on my spirits. This could have been my lot today. But I decided to choose a sunnier outlook. I decided to see the glass, or mug as half-full. How optimistic of me?!

The truth is we all could easily come up with long lists of things we wish were different. Things we don't have. Things we wish we had. Grumble lists. The grass is always greener... yada yada yada. Ughhh... I feel depressed even writing about it.

Or we could come up with long lists of the things we're thankful for. All the many gifts and blessings that God's showered down on us. And we can be glad. We can rejoice. We can smile in the rain because there's sunlight in our hearts. The Son's light. Wow... super cheese. Velveeta cheese. But true all the same.
We can see the mug as half-full. That's what the Lord's taught me today. And I'm thankful for that!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Breath and Boredom

"I eat these when I'm bored..."

I used to down these like they were candy as a little kid. Except they weren't the green Spearmint ones pictured above. This was back in the day when Altoids only came in the traditional (and in my opinion strongest) Peppermint flavor. You know... the tin with the red border and the white, tear-inducing chalky dots. Yeah. I used to gobble those suckers up like 3 at a time. Talk about pain tolerance. It was probably good conditioning for life as a ballet dancer.

Now I just eat these guys when I'm bored. Especially backstage at the ballet. And theater week is coming up so I guess my diet will be getting a healthy dose (overdose?) of Altoids. Preferably in either the Cinnamon or Spearmint flavor. (Sandy, our stage manager keeps us perpetually stocked with four different varieties. If only one of those were Liquorice...) 

Well fresh breath never hurt anyone. Guess boredom has it's virtues...

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Well this is gonna be a short one... in fifteen minutes I need to be out the door and on my way to a lovely Sunday dinner, but I absolutely must post something before I head out that door. My grade depends on it. Literally.

It's a gloomy grey March day. Typical.

Yesterday was absolutely glorious! My car at one point said it hit 60˚F! Granted my car often tells me lies, but this one I wanted to believe. I had the windows rolled down as I drove over the 520 bridge listening to Arcade Fire's Haiti. Man that's a great song. Makes me want to head somewhere sunny and park it on the beach with a book and an enormous floppy straw hat. Yeah. That sounds nice.

But I digress...

The point is today is not yesterday. Yesterday I wore my light airy sundress with leggings and ballet flats. Today I had to change out of my Sunday attire into jeans, a big sweater and my rubber Hunter rain boots. You see I'm hoping to go for a walk... yes. In the grey. In the muck. But fresh air and vitamin D (however low in dose) are vitally important. As are the proper shoes. Hunter rain boots. Check.

Well there are some other shoes that have been on my mind lately. They too are vitally important to my success. The first pair I'm thinking of seem to be a kind of cruel torture device inflicted on young girls who dream of floating... Yes, they are pointe shoes. No, they're not made of wood.

I'm notorious at PNB for wearing my shoes the longest - in part because I can just wear dead shoes (I think my feet are crazy strong), and in part because I just don't sew them (I think I'm just crazy lazy) . In fact I have a confession to make. Since Nutcracker I have sewn... wait for it.... ONE pair of pointe shoes. Yes. You heard me. One. Uno. That's it.
Well it's time to sew a new pair... okay maybe two or three pairs of "the boots" as I like to call them.
Friday I hit an all-time low. Literally scrounging for a left shoe and a right shoe that would keep me somewhat supported on pointe I managed to come up with this combo.

Pretty funny. Pretty sad. Well they worked. And man those Peacock shoes last forever. They're magic shoes. I think it's something about the dye. But again, I digress.

But the other pair of shoes I've been thinking about are another kind altogether...
"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." ~ Ephesians 6:14-15
Well I wonder what those shoes look like. Maybe they look like Hunter rain boots. Maybe they look those mismatched ones above... Hmm. The Lord knows.