Sunday, November 27, 2011

With Eyes that See

I am thankful now for all I see-- for friends and for family. Where do I belong? Wherever I am. How will I be strong? The Great I am.

This thanksgiving was a huge blessing to be with my eldest brother, his wife and his mother-in-law. I helped cook the turkey, mashed potatoes, green beens and we had a marvelous feast. I felt reminded over and over of the abundance of God's provisions for me. I will never want for anything because God provides for me. The only time I will ever feel lack is when I seek provision from the wrong source. Such as happiness from a wallet or joyfulness from having a friend. Instead when my joy and happiness rest on the Father-- He never disappoints or fails me. Not that life is easy because it isn't. Life hurts sometimes and it is hard, but I learn so much from the hard days and from the pains of life. I realize what I am truly made for isn't all this.

The holidays are always rough when away from family. I remember getting physically sick when I was little when my parents left me at friends for the night. I'd always end up with an earache and fever or something... Now my heart just gets sick.

My strength and hope must be in more than relationships, friends and even family. It must be in the Lord and my hope will be on solid ground.

I am thankful that I have faith that God is mighty enough that even my lack and my failures cannot ruin the destiny and purpose He has for me. :D

Monday, November 14, 2011


Fall Creek Falls

Niki and Rich's Wedding


Mall of America

Music and Molasses Festival

Ellington Agriculture Center

Seasons come and go, but life always has its challenges :) I am so thankful for that.. especially after last weeks emanate message by Chip Judd. He spoke on being passionate for life and not settling into a slump of habit and coasting. I love the idea of how God challenges us and helps us to continue to grow throughout our lives no matter how old we are. I feel like I shouldn't struggle with coasting yet as I am still in a great part of life where there is a lot that is new and exciting... but I often find I still need to give myself a new challenge or step into a new situation or try something new. One of my current goals is to work on self discipline. I often want to be with friends or go out of the house to events, but I still need to keep things at home in order and do first things first :) Another goal is to be more positive about life and about where I am and about the struggles that come with that...

I'm excited about what is to come... The summer is long gone and autumn is ending... What will winter bring?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fly Away

Somedays I repeat one of the last things I remember my grandma saying to me "I just want to fly". I sometimes think I wish for it too... Then I realize I'm not ready for that just yet- at least not in the way she meant it. I have to live out my dreams, chase after the wind to find the sunlight and discover there are too many mysteries in life to ever have all the answers.

This week I was blessed to be able to visit my sister, Cecelia. She shared with me the secret of but to be honest, I still prefer my paper journal-- but now I feel challenged to put something on there each night to earn the badges. What is it with the secret of the amazing amount of motivation we all get from gold stars?

Last night, I went through Celia's house with her... and I discovered several treasures I get to bring home with me :) Yippee! She is so generous, plus she is moving so it's a win win kind of situation anyways. She was able to pack up some of her things to be used at my house so she doesn't have to haul it all in her cross country move in a few months.

Currently her cat, Ninja Kitty, is curling up beside me and purring... Haha. Such a funny cat, I guess she's decided she likes me despite the fact we both ignored each other all yesterday. I'm secretly glad (I guess not such a big secret ;) ) that I only have an avocado plant at home.. and no animals. Pets are expensive! At least for me right now..

I wonder sometimes at how it came to be that I am where I am today. I have been blessed to go many places and I still run off in the chances I get for some sort of exploration. If only I'd been born before so I could be one in the number of those who travelled across the seas from England to give life a try on American soil.. or in the times of the Oregon trail and walked those dusty paths and bumpy roads all the way to the beautiful Northwest. I wasn't born in those times though... I was born in 1987. This is a different kind of world to discover. Amongst the pavement, pruned paths and manicured meadows sometimes it is hard to feel as if there is anything left to discover.

Today, I'm going to go discover the old cemetery at the entrance of Celia's apartments. It has a crazy lure about it.. it looks as if no one ever even thinks about it.. I wonder what I will find?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I just finished reading a book titled The Dream Giver. My honest opinion was that although it had a dash of salt and truth in it-- it was definitely over simplified. However, the message was clearly one that God intended for me to hear. After emanate, a young adult worship night, I was talking to a new friend and right before I left to go home he started spouting off the exact words and key points of the book. He spoke truth of dreaming big and defeating giants in order to succeed. It was all very inspirational.

The only trouble of the whole thing is somehow in the midst of growing up and everything somehow I feel like I'm dreamless. I look back and I see a dreamless girl as well... I remember being encouraged by teachers to write out goals- Which I loved because I loved lists, but I also kind of despised because boxing my dreams into phrases on a list and limiting myself seemed so dreary. Goals and dreams are great. Amazing even. Really limiting yourself can be a major blessing to your direction in life, but for some reason.... I'm still dreamless. Not that I don't have dreams and goals, but as someone once told me "if your dream isn't worth your life, dream bigger." Well, perhaps I'm in a stage of dreaming bigger. I don't know, but nothing really seems worth my life. I feel caught in Ecclesiastes, "everything is meaningless under the sun".

I know my life has purpose however and that I am in a stage of growing and refinement so that I can dream and pursue those dreams, but I feel caught in a desert perhaps where those dreams cannot yet exist until I learn the qualities and character that they will one day require.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


What is love? Is it lust? Desire? Something that makes you happy? A feeling? A fancy?

No. It is so much more. Love is pain. It is hard. It is work. Difficult. Self sacrifice.

If I could choose to make life easy somedays I think I'd have to choose not to love. Love isn't easy. It isn't always pretty. All too often it hurts me without the other person even caring at all.

Even though choosing to not love is easy... Loving is worth it. Love brings a beauty to life. A freshness and variety. The difficult self sacrificial love takes a normal day and makes it extraordinary. Love changes you. Changes your motives and creates a focus that doesn't begin and end with you. Love is different than what it seems at first. Deeper, humbler, life giving.

There are so many "false" loves easily obsessed over and made into Love. But those don't stand the test. Instead of being patient... floves are ready for what is next and in a rush. Love slows down even when the world is rushing by. Floves are unkind. They pretend to be a friend and then give them pain or grief; they steal or kill. Love hugs a sick friend even when love will end up in a sick bed as a result. Envy is floves' best friend, greed is its motivation. Flove always wants more, unsatisfied with what it can get today. Love sees that others have more, but also that some have less and focuses on what we can do to give to the poor. Floves brag about all a flove can do. All the feelings it brings about... the strength it has, the power, the control. Love can be silent and just listen even to floves. Floves are proud. Love is another story.

Tonight, I'd like to make the decision to always choose Love. My life isn't worth any more floves.

(I'm so thankful for the friends who have given me images of Love in action recently. Julia Amend and Betsy Dell are two such friends.. although there are many others. )

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Purposeful Living

You can live each day only once. Even easier you can sleep, eat, work through each and every day. Harder to do something with your day and discover the world around you. Even harder to purposefully do something special each day. To learn something new each day, discover something new or explore a new place-- even to just read a new book. When I was little I had no trouble spending my days exploring and discovering, reading and solving mysteries. Everything was a mystery and the world seemed much more daunting and spectacularly big and mysterious. Now the world still has its mysteries, but it is easy to fall into the pace of living like everyone else. Letting the mysterious pass me by with a simple gesture of I'll do that later or an excuse that there are many more opportunities to explore that will come my way. I have decided my life isn't worth excuses or living each day just to sleep, eat and work. I'm going to do something with my days to make my life different-- to actually live it. To learn, grow and discover.

Today, I will show glimpses of what I have done this year so far.... and hopefully I will be able to become more consistent in actually taking on something new. Or doing something fun.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Goodbye to the Desk...

Goodbye to my room... Goodbye to my beautiful apartment... Hello to two more great roommates :D Bethany and I are happy to be welcoming two new roommates to our apartment and be switching to a three bedroom apartment to accommodate the change! Julia and Deborah will now be living with us and I am excited for what the change will bring- how I will be challenged and how I will grow through the little sacrifices I'll have to make now that I'll be sharing my spaces once again :) I'm really excited about that though! I know I won't have my room to myself anymore and get to hide my messiness in my bedroom, but that will teach me to be more organized and neater with how I keep things. I think it will be a wonderful growing experience and I have always loved sharing my room before... I used to always choose to share a room with Anna whenever I visited the Northwest :)

So because the space will be limited in the new apartment and room I'll be sharing with Bethany-- I decided that my free project should be thrown out. I realized after having it for this week that the smell was not dissipating as I had hoped and all the "treatments" I had given the desk of cleaning to rid the odor had only helped my room smell a bit better... so I'm moving on without the desk and I'm gonna focus my energy on other things such as working and cleaning and packing!

Bethany and Julia both helped me disassemble my desk and carry down the drawers to start the demolition job. Getting the desk into the dumpster was a little more difficult task since it had to be tilted through the small opening on the side of the dumpster. Julia helped by climbing to the top of the dumpster to open the lid so we could angle the desk just right to drop it in :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Free Desk

This weekend I was perusing around on craigslist and found a desk in the free items! I decided to give it a go and try to salvage this desk that looked really beat up. Once I picked it up off the curb and took it into my room I soon began to realize a peculiar odor coming from the desk. I decided some cleaning was in order so I began by wiping down the entire desk with rags and vinegar water. That accomplished getting most of the grime off. Next, Julia went to the store to grab a few more cleaning items so our cleaning frenzy could get some more intense cleaning done. Now, this free desk has gone through clorox wipes, febreeze, baking soda, pledge and several other regimens to restore the desk to a proper smell. Now with all the chemical canvasing I'm pretty sure I still smell something odd. I figure this was a free desk so if all else fails it can be chopped up and thrown into the dumpster-- which at the mention of this Bethany started getting excited and making party plans for all our friends to gather to destroy this antique. I am however up to putting some more work into the desk if anyone has any ideas to help clean the desk.

I'm happy to be back in Nashville and I'm ready for spring! You can see in the top photo of my desk my avocado seed that has rooted and is starting to sprout :)

I really enjoyed my trip to the Northwest seeing family and enjoying many fun activities :) This is a picture taken at the Oregon Zoo with my fellow Tennessean sister :D I love that we both live in this beautiful state-- and hopefully I'll be able to make a road trip to go visit her soon!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year

Happy New Years! It is 2011.. and there are so many things to look back and remember from the last year and so much to look forward to, yet I feel so happy to just relish in the moment of now. My roommate, Bethany, and I have found ourselves without internet at home so we took a short trip to Panera to use their wifi and share a free chocolate pastry with her rewards card. Yummy :)
Memories to relish from this last year must include my Grandma Hodges, a lovely woman who gave her life to help others and contribute up until she was forced to stop. Now she can run and fly in heaven with God like she wished when I last saw her. I miss her, but I feel as if the realization hasn't quite set in yet that when I go in a week to visit the Northwest I won't be able to visit her or hug her like before.
Another dear memory from last year would include living in Togo, West Africa. So many memories from teaching kindergarten and french and walking around Kara to go to the market or the missionaries homes.
Life is so different from what I expected. I suppose I expected life to be different after college, harder in ways it isn't hard and easier in ways it isn't easy. The challenges I have met have made me stronger and more prepared for the next steps on this journey and I look forward to what the new year will bring.
So many dreams and wishes... and this time offers a great chance to write out my desires and goals for this year.