Sunday, May 25, 2014


Hahaha! So here's how I'm going to start this one... Time to rewind a bit. Okay a lot!

Let's return to those school years. Those elementary school days, or better yet the middle school or junior high ones. Either way I guess this photo is a little too old for my illustration... we were still so young and sweet back then. But wait, weren't we always like that? Haha! Kidding. I was no angel. 
At any rate, elementary school was the only time that we took the bus to school, and that's only if we made it to our stop on time. I remember my mom chasing our bus down to drop us off at the next stop. Sometimes it wasn't the next stop. I think by the end she knew our bus route better than some of the drivers. Sometimes I wonder why she didn't just drive us to school. It was probably the same or less mileage. 
By the time middle school came around she was doing just that. Our bus days were over. She really was (and is!) the best mom. And when school was over she was usually there to pick us up. A little late, but I don't think she ever forgot us... I think... 
Our car conversation on the way home was pretty standard and usually was repeated around the dinner table when my dad got home from work. Let's see if it sounds familiar to you as well...
Mom: So. How was your day today honey?
Me: Fine.
Mom: Oh. Well, what did you do today?
Me: Nothing.
Mom: I'm sure you didn't do "nothing." You were there all day. What did you learn in your classes?
Me: (pause) Nothing.
Sound familiar? My poor mother. I really do feel for her and all parents who try so desperately to engage in their kids' lives through good conversations. They volley over so many questions and probes to get the dialogue started, but all they get back are one word dead ends. And the one word of choice?

Well I'm sure I'll have to revisit this again when my husband Ryan and I have kids of our own. Hopefully, my stealthy question-asking skills can bypass the dead end response. But this post isn't an examination of parenting skills... I kind of wish it were.


Lately I feel like I've been having that same dialogue with myself.
I'll get home at night after a long day of work and I'll take an inventory of the day. Sure I might do a lot of things, but what have I really accomplished? What impact did I have on the people around me? What words did I speak? What attitude did I exude? Was it loving, kind, compassionate, joyful and selfless? Did it bubble over with smiles, bright eyes and blessings, or were my eyes critical, brow furrowed and words full of grumbling, irritation and cynicism? My stomach churns as I acknowledge the truth: that I see the latter far more than the former.
And the truth is that the latter isn't just "nothing," as my car-ride dialogue would suggest. It's actually quite worse than that. This disgusting negative outlook and attitude has a putrid, poisoning affect, on myself, on my poor husband who receives the tail end of it when I come home, and on those around me at my workplace. I've done nothing. Nothing good. But with this attitude that sometimes seems to spread like an air-born illness, I have sown seeds that breed bitterness, resentment, self-pity, anger and, well, death.
This is not who I am.

I will say it again because it's worth saying.

This is not who I am.

Maybe that doesn't make sense because clearly this appears to the behavior I exhibit. But I know myself. I know deep down that this is not who I was created to be. And I know that I've been rescued and redeemed from a life that's enslaved to such blight. He has lifted the veil and enabled me to see and experience His goodness, love and light. And I am made new in Him. But the choice is mine... whether I want to live in that newness, trust in His goodness, walk and speak with joy that comes from a grateful heart humbled by His love or live in darkness with the furrowed brow of bitterness and the heavy coat of resentment and self-pity that make it hard to see, walk, breathe, even live.

No. Summer's coming! I don't want that heavy coat. I'm done with it.
I made the choice to be done with it a long time ago... way back in those elementary school days. But I'm reminded that it's a choice I have to make every day. To choose joy. To choose gratitude. To choose love. To choose to trust. To choose to live.
And I want to live this life well.
I want to be able to look back at my week, my day and see that I haven't done "nothing." I don't even want to settle for something. I want to feel like I've been a blessing to others and not a curse. I want to spread a smile. I want to walk through the door at night and tell my husband with bright eyes that I've had a great day. I want to live in the freedom and newness that I've been given and I want to offer it to others. And above all I want to honor, serve and love the One who offered me this most precious gift. I want to know that I have done the work He has set out for me, and that I've done it well through His power at work in me.

That's the key. I need Him to do this. I can't will myself to have a sunny outlook especially when I live in Seattle. Haha... bad joke. But seriously, I'm not that strong. I need to get back in the habit of asking Him every morning to lift my eyes above my circumstances and keep them fixed on Him.

So that's my Sunday morning confession and my new resolution.
To live this life well. To choose joy. To choose laughter and smiles. Even on the hard days. And to ask for His help, strength and power to do that.
I don't want to leave a legacy of "nothing."
I want to leave the lasting legacy of Christ.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Buried Treasure

How do I want to start this one?

I think I have about three different drafts sitting on my computer - false starts and half written posts that well, for some reason or another fell short of me either finishing or hitting that bright ominous orange button on the top right corner of my screen... the one that reads "Publish."

Scatterbrained. This seems to be my ailment of late. An ailment that is quite uncharacteristic. In general I'm usually never at a loss for words (yikes... should I actually be telling you this? True confessions I guess...). I usually know exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. Or if I don't, it doesn't take me too long to figure it out.
But lately I've been finding it so hard to focus. Could it be the out-of-this-world weather we've been experiencing here in Seattle? Perhaps. Could it be my severe case of "senior-itis" as I count down the days till Ryan and I leave for our Honeymoon to Croatia? Probably. Or could it be the enormous distraction of online shopping for my trousseau, a.k.a. Euro summer wardrobe, that's inhibiting my brain from formulating any sort of organized coherent thought? Well... yeah.

And yet lately something deep within me is crying out. A desire. A dream. It bubbles up at least once a week. And my confession? My embarrassing admission? I've so squashed it down that I hardly recognize it when it struggles to swim to the surface through the busyness of my distracted life.

What is this part of my heart that yearns to be acknowledged? The talent that desires to be unearthed? The thing that I feel most compelled to do, as if my breath, my being depended on it?


Anything. Everything. A babbling of words vomited on the page or screen. Nonsense. Literary garbage. Nothing remotely worth clicking the ominous orange button. But it must be done. I'm compelled to do so however much I fight it. And sometimes I do...

I've been reading this book.
It's one of those books.
You know... the ones that kinda creep you out because no one could know so exactly what's been going on in your mind, heart and life. And yet every single time you pick it up you feel as if that writer had stollen your journal or installed a secret baby-cam in your home. Like I said, this is one of those books.

Freefall to Fly is a beautiful book. I mean the cover?! The Robin's-egg blue. The whimsical font. It looks like it'd fit perfectly on a shelf at Anthropologie. DONE. Sold. I'll read it. Or at least start to read it. Another confession: I'm a serial book starter, but have a hard time making it to the finish line.
But Rebekah Lyon's words are just as, if not more beautiful and enticing than the cover of her book.

Here's a little excerpt that speaks so much to what I've been experiencing the past few weeks:

"What were my earliest joys and natural bents? What were the birthright gifts I'd seen show up over and over again in my timeline of years? No one really knows if these gifts come from our genes or our experiences. We tend to ponder our aptitudes alone or with those we love and who love us, feeling guilty for even suggesting the idea.
Me? Talented? Am I even allowed to think about such things?
But if God has buried in each of us good gifts, doesn't it follow that He desires for us to use them? To ignore these gifts or fail to develop them, it seems, would be to bury our treasure..."
The funny thing is as long as I can remember I've always wanted to be a writer. I wanted a ranch in Montana with a little white farm house, a big porch and that was where I was going to write. It's one of my earliest dreams that I can remember having. And I don't really know where it came from. I have stacks of notebooks full of ramblings, screenplays, ideas, schemes and dreams that no one was allowed to read except myself. If anything comes close to a "birthright gift" I think this is it. And I don't want to bury this treasure anymore. I want to invest it. I want to develop it. I want to use it to bring God glory.

I want to write.

So I guess I should just do it, huh? Even if it's complete garbage. Practice makes perfect right?

What are your birthright gifts? What were you created to do? What desires have you been squashing down with busyness? Don't bury your treasure. Don't be afraid to hope and dream. If you trust the Lord He will make a way for that treasure to flourish and grow.



Friday, May 2, 2014

Summer Preparations

I need to figure out a better system for this.

It’s a glorious day here in Seattle.
It really doesn’t get better: pushing 80˚F, with a slight yet constant breeze that keeps the sweat from pouring out… unless of course you’re sitting in a car, because let be honest, no one has (or knows how to operate) AC in their car here in Seattle. You need it, oh, about five times a year…

So since I have this week off I’ve made a promise to myself that I’ll write. The problem is, the lovely coffee shop just down the street from our apartment is 100% engulfed in shade. Yeah. That’s a no-go. It’s practically a sin to miss out on the golden deliciousness of sunshine and vitamin D that we Seattleites so desperately need.
I grab my coffee and continue down to Cowen Park, one of the many hidden gems we’ve discovered in our neighborhood, to park it on a bench. I find one with surprising ease. I guess it is a weekday.
And then I sit there.
Squinting at my computer screen. Scribbling with my finger on the mouse pad I search in vain for the itty, bitty black arrow that roams invisibly on my screen.
No internet.
The battery icon reads a rapidly declining 34%.

I very nearly throw in the towel and slam the laptop screen shut.
Like I said, I need to figure out a better system for this.

A LOT has happened the past few weeks since I last wrote.
This post would be far too long to include even a summery of those events. Not to promote any further procrastination, but I’ll have to save them for their own perspective blog posts. To bullet point them (as I’m oh so tempted to do), would be an outright injustice.

So you might be wondering what this posts about anyway, now that I’ve rambled on and on and on… honestly, are you surprised? Haha!!!

I’ve decided that I’m gonna keep it light. The suns out, the shades are on, and I’m ready for SUMMER!!! And six weeks from today my hubby and I will be hopping on a plane to finally go on our long awaited honeymoon. And where might that be?

To be more exact, the Dalmatian Coast. For two whole weeks! I feel like a little kid counting the days till Christmas. And I’ve already got my packing list started. Haha… okay it’s more like my adult Santa wish list…
But I guess that’s it for now. Gonna have to wait till I have the interwebs so I can download some pics… My task now? To work on that base tan. Haha! 


You can find most of these items at my the website of my future employer... haha! Or just go to an Anthropologie store. Others were found via the vast wonderfulness of Etsy with some of the lovely shoe options brought to you by Zappos and Amazon. 
I buy my jeans at... wait for it... Sears! Land's End Canvas brand are so outrageously affordable and they fit better than any designer jean I own. And the must-have maxi dress I found at Forever 21. 
Can't you just picture me zipping around the croatian coastline on a little Vespa in these outfits?! AHHHH!!! 
If only... :) 
Doesn't hurt to dream!