have beautiful days!
today was a very very good day.
^^^ took our breath away! unreal. ^^^
^^down low, where it was warm...and windy.. wind never looked so good! whatta beauty, huh?! ^^
...puts taylor swift's "welcome to new york" to shame.
and i hate to even say anything of taylor's would be put to shame, because you know, but really guys this one's so good.
(discoveries like these make me thankful for spotify, eh!?)
bringing mama a peanut butter sandwich in her bed because she's sick today. (not the part about her being sick, mostly just that i get to take care of her)
the gas station by my house. (i think it might have the lowest gas prices anywhere! the other day, it was at $1.68 a gallon! $1.68, people!!!!)
the fact that as i was falling asleep last night (and my falling asleep at night hasn't been so good lately.. i think i have sleep anxiety.. which is weird for a girl who has fallen asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow since i was a baby.. we're workin on it :)) aaaanyways, as i was falling asleep i kept thinking about davies second floor between classes and how i see all my friends in several different combinations every day and i got so excited for that! i just miss them all and during school i so easily forget the wonder and cherished thing that that is.. us all, bein in the same state, hangin out between classes, livin life every single day!
the fact that sam weaver and becca zimmerman are ENGAGED! they're engaged they're engaged they're engaged!!!
dad, bein home from a weekend work trip to arizona. (but seriously, you woulda thought he had been gone for years.. i was so excited for him to be home!)
airports. i was waaayyy too excited just to be in one when paige and i picked up dad.. they're such cool things!
for syd. for syd a million times.
letters in the mail, thoughtful and handmade with precious words, from cassie.
for my haircut! i usually never like my hair right after i get it cut, even a trim! (bad memories of my sixth grade boy hair, i think) but i actually totally love it this time!
that God made ocean. even though i'm nowhere near it, sometimes i find comfort in the fact that it's out there..
for rachel tiede's boldness
paige crawling into my bed with me to lay there just for a couple minutes
the sunflowers sitting on our counter
the love that draws us every day
and it's >>> http://awarmplacetorest.weebly.com/ <<<
seriously, people, you don't understand what a gift this is to the world! she has the most incredible talent with words and her ability to make and see beauty and make everything meaningful is such a gift that has touched many lives... i love this dear friend.. i am so happy she did this! let's just say the internet just got a whole lot brighter! a lot of good in that heart of hers.
also, my heart may have been more than a little touched by what she wrote about me.. see what i mean, people? unreal kindness.. and it's true, she did drive alll the way to minneapolis from eau claire just to spend time with me! i'm still so floored that people like her actually exist! man... ya kiddin me?
do h-dubs (homework) in our favorite coffee shop and my laptop (which i affectionately call birtha) takes over 3/4ths of our tiny table,
don't find parking in the cities for at least five years ;) and circle around the same block ten times waiting for a spot,
eat really good vietnamese food, and i am reunited with pho, my love,
learn about what our animal year is on a chinese calendar while waiting for our food,
think about what we want to be when we grow up,
quote friends and think about what it would be like if we got to be the one who said "walk" and "wait" at crosswalks instead of the man who does it,
walk into a stained glass window shop and then abruptly walk out because actually it's for people who need a stained glass window, not people who just want to look at them and take cool pics of them (yes, PICS, coral!),
paige gets nervous about my driving and i tell her to settle down,
i find a random blue wall and pull the car over and make paige stand in front of it without her coat because i like her shirt and paige has lots to say about that but kindly cooperates for a few pictures,
we fight over dumb things and get mad at each other for fighting about something so dumb,
we jam to this song really loud because it is so good,
and i think about how very much i love this human being.
You oh God are holy
trees clap their hands for you
oceans they dance for you
You are holy
infinite and holy
a billion suns rise for you
clouds paint the skies for you
mountains stand tall for you
valleys bow down to you
everything rising to
sing all our songs for you
the impossible and holy
kings become fools for you
kingdoms to ruins for you
vapor finds ground in you
music finds sound for you
"here are a few thoughts on being twenty-five-ish, some that i knew, because smart older people gave me good advice, and some that i really wish i had known, that those smart older people probably did tell me, and that i lost track of along the way.
i know that age is, of course, one of the most arbitrary ways of measuring a person. i have friends in their sixties who continually teach me about discovery and possibility, and friends in their young twenties who are as crotchety and set in their ways as archie bunker. age, like numbers on a scale and letters on a report card, tells us very little of who we are. you decide every year exactly how young and how old you want to be.
when you're twenty-five-ish, you're old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. you know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding, and how to make something for dinner. you don't have to think much about skin care, home ownership, or your retirement plan.
your life can look a lot of different ways when you're twenty-five: single, engaged, married. you are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs, and downright horrible jobs. you are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.
now is the time to figure out what kind of work you love to do. what are you good at? what makes you feel alive? what do you dream about? you can go back to school now, switch directions entirely. you can work for almost nothing, or live in another country, or volunteer long hours for something that moves you. there will be a time when finances and schedules make this a little trickier, so do it now. try it, apply for it, get up and do it.
when i was twenty-five, i was in my third job in as many years - all in the same area at a church, but the responsibilities were different each time. i was frustrated at the end of the third year, because i didn't know exactly what i wanted to do next. i didn't feel like i'd found my place yet. i met with my boss, who was in his fifties. i told him how anxious i was about finding the one perfect job for me, and quick. he asked me how old i was, and when i told him i was twenty-five, he told me that i couldn't complain to him about finding the right job until i was thirty-two. in his opinion, it takes about ten years after college to find the right fit, and anyone who finds it earlier than that is just plain lucky.
so use every bit of your ten years: try things, take classes, start over. one of my oldest friends, jenny, got a degree in child psychology from Harvard and has worked for years at a bunch of fancy companies as a client account manager. a few years ago, she finally realized that what she's always loved is helping to heal people through massage. now after work and on weekends, she's the world's best-educated massage therapist, building up her clientele with every passing month, and happier than she's ever been.
my dear friend rachel has been a makeup artist since she was eighteen, and after ten years, she decided that what she really wants to be is a therapist. so she's doing it now, getting her bachelor's degree, making plans for her master's, doing makeup all the while to pay for school. that's what this time is for, to figure those things out.
now is the time to also get serious about relationships. and 'serious' might mean walking away from the ones that don't give you everything you need. some of the most life-shaping decisions you make in this season will be about walking away from good-enough, in search of can't-live-without. one of the only true devastating mistakes you can make in this season is staying with the wrong person even though you know he or she is the wrong person. it's not fair to that person, and it's not fair to you.
twenty-five is also a great time to start counseling, if you haven't already, and it might be a good round two of counseling if it's been awhile. you might have just enough space from your parents to start digging around your childhood a little bit. unravel the knots that keep you from living a healthy whole life, and do it now, before any more time passes.
twenty-five is the perfect time to get involved in a church that you love, no matter how different it is from the one you were a part of growing up. be patient and prayerful, and decide that you're going to be a person who grows, who seeks your own faith, who lives with intention. set your alarm on sunday mornings, no matter how late you were out on saturday night. it will be dreadful at first, and then after a few weeks, you'll find that you like it, that the pattern of it fills up something inside you.
try different kinds of communities, different sizes and denominations and traditions. my friend monica grew up in a community church in northern california, and now she's an elder at a lutheran church in reno because she appreciates the history and structure of this new context. our friends kelly and amy grew up in nondenominational churches, and now have spent a number of years as passionate volunteers at the presbyterian church in their neighborhood.
i know that most people need a season of space, a time to take a step back and evaluate the spiritual context of their youth. i didn't go to church for a long season in college, and that space and freedom was so important for me. it gave me the perspective i needed to find my own faith. but it's very easy for a season of space to turn into several years without any kind of spiritual groundedness. it's easy to wake up several years from now and find yourself unable to locate that precious, faith-filled part of your heart and history, because it slowly disintegrated over months and years. don't do that. do whatever you have to do to connect with God in a way that feels authentic and truthful to you. do it now, so that you don't regret the person you become, little by little, over time, without it.
this is the thing: when you start to hit twenty-eight or thirty, everything starts to divide, and you can see very clearly two kinds of people: on one side, people who have used their twenties to learn and grow, to find God and themselves and their deep dreams, people who know what works and what doesn't, who have pushed through to become real live adults.
and then there's the other kind, who are hanging on to college, or high school even, with all their might. they've stayed in jobs they hate because they're too scared to get another one. they've stayed with men or women who are good but not great because they don't want to be lonely. they mean to find a church, they mean to develop honest, intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. but they don't do those things, so they live in kind of an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than they were when they graduated college.
don't be like that. don't get stuck. move, travel, take a class, take a risk. walk away, try something new. there is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. this season is about becoming. don't lose yourself at happy hour, but don't lose yourself on the corporate ladder either.
stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal. ask yourself some good questions like, am i proud of the life i'm living? what have i tried this month? what have i learned about God this year? what parts of my childhood faith am i leaving behind, and what parts am i choosing to keep with me for this leg of the journey? do the people i'm spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? is there any brokenness in my life that's keeping my from moving forward?
these years will pass much more quickly than you think they will. you will go to lots of weddings, and my advice, of course, is to dance your pants off at every single one. i hope you go to very few funerals. you'll watch TV and run on the treadmill and go on dates, some of them great and some of them terrible. time will pass, and all of a sudden, things will begin to feel a little more serious. you won't be old, of course. but you will want to have some things figured out, and the most important things only get figured out if you dive into them now.
for a while in my early twenties i felt like i woke up a different person every day, and was constantly confused about which one, if any, was the real me. i feel more and more like myself with each passing year, for better and for worse, and you'll find that, too. every year, you will trade a little of your perfect skin and your ability to look great without exercising for wisdom and peace and groundedness, and every year the trade will be worth it. i promise.
now is your time. become, believe, try. walk closely with people you love, and with other people who believe that God is very good and life is a grand adventure. don't get stuck in the past, and don't try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven't yet earned. give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life's path."
shauna niequist, bittersweet, pages 85-90
dear tall rectangle house,
i drove past you on the way to lucas and sophia's every day this summer, so how come i never noticed you even once?
i know you're mad at me.. i hear it every time i start you. i'd be mad at me, too. it's cold out there and i'm sooorry! if it helps, i make the same sounds when i go outside too!
you're a diva and you're the person i laugh hardest with and i just love ya, i guess! wouldn't trade you for the world.
you put up with (*and even slightly enjoy) all of my shenanigans and pranks and i love it! i love that you're my dad!
how the heck had i never watched you before?! you're so good!
you're so wonderful! the most beautiful, pleasant, and lovely thing with no lines and i'm so thankful for you! and i'm really thankful for your giver!
sometimes i feel like a loser because i basically talk to you more than anyone else and you're... well, a dog.. but i don't even care. you follow me everywhere and you're a good little mate!
didjya know you're the coolest?! so thoughtful of you to put a little note in the book that i ordered from the bookstore for my online class! you're really good at making my day.
dear shauna niequist,
i think we would be friends.
you're plastic. i hate that you're plastic but it's come to that. there was no other choice. but hey, you can rest easy this time knowing i can't kill you!
i don't think you understand what your friendship has done to my life. also, i hate that i haven't seen you in like a decade or something.
you've been a real stinker this year, haven'tchya?! the snow falling out my window right now is okay, i guess, though.
you're such a dear friend to me! a most dearest buddy and i'm so glad you're alive!
dear brown fuzzy cardigan,
where ya been all my life, guuurl?! we're gonna make some CUTE (warm) outfits together!
i love bein Your daughter. i love that you're my Father. i'm learning new things this break about You and i keep discovering the most beautiful depths of Your character that were unknown to me before and i can't believe You are who You are... You're incredible!
ya know, God's cool! i love how He surprises me in the day... like i was at starb's the other day journaling and i heard the following lyrics and my ears were caught right away by them! i don't know if they meant to be talking about God, but i think they are.. i mean, woah... who else are they talkin about?
cool vid too, huh?! the band is seven siblings makin music together and i just can't stop listening to it! (sidenote: i think if God ever blessed me with getting to be a mother one day, i'd want a bunch of kids to sing and make worshipful, joyful music together like these siblings).
"up above the static
up above the racket
i hear your voice calling me out of the darkness
up above the static
up above the racket
i hear your voice calling me out of the darkness
you called me out from the dark and brought me into the light"
good day, friends! let's go on adventures!
"aslan, aslan. dear aslan,” sobbed lucy. “at last.”
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