dance this one out, friends!
...so it just seemed fitting (:
dance this one out, friends!
THINGS TO BE HAPPY ABOUT
looking through pics from the year and taping them on the wall
looking forward to things
friends building their lives together (like nathan & mar, buying a home in minneapolis and making me jay anderson's egg sandwich on an old kitchen table)
new friends at new churches
learning about people for the first time
those yoplait commercials (: lol... my fam is SO annoyed with me these days because i just say "YOPLAIT!" like her all the time (: i love that yoplait girl!
thinking about that day coral & angela & anna & devyn & adam & isaac & lorne were swinging on a swingset together
tacos from a taco truck
silly tlc shows with aunt wendy
thinking about longboarding along the sparkling chippewa with good friends... seriously, the purest joy
a letter from holland, on my wall. holland herself is something to be happy about
...a beautiful piece of art/postcard from ariel yang!
a suburban full of aunts, cousins, uncle, going through the culver's drive-thru and laughing so hard at everything
peace from the Holy Spirit
sidney, working at subway. LOL... eat fresh, huh?! :) freaky fast, freaky good! ...oh wait, that's my shirt! ;)
a phone call, from mckenzie
cassie, having all sorts of beautiful adventures in the mountains. that girl. somethin else.
feeling like i am a part of this inter-state/inter-national family because of the bond i have with so many because of Jesus
coral's new adventure (also, something to be sad about for me, too)
these guys from my new church! making great music in minneapolis!
becca and sam, getting MARRIED, so soon!
what will happen to me in life! who knows!
what things are you happy about?
(inspired by this... okay and maybe the sound of music, too, okay? ;) theeese are a fewww of my faaavooriite thiiiings!)
gets me every time! (:
the sound of music is one of my absolute favorite movies. i just totally adore it. i watched it in bed the other night and thought i might cry because the colors and the people and the singing are so beautiful (you know that old-movie coloring?)... not to mention stunning austria! it's just so good.
except i have this not-so-good habit of getting really invested into movies sometimes. i want the characters to be real and i feel all of the things with them. the whole time i kept thinking.. i want to be like maria & i want to know maria. i mean come on! she brought singing back into the family and the family could never be the same again without her! she loved the children so well and was honorable and had integrity with the captain and she wanted to serve God more than anything and she was noble and brave and kind... just enchanting and lovely, not to mention young and thin and beautiful! but then after i did a google search about julie andrews (wow, this post is getting more & more embarrassing isn't it, ha!) because i wanted to know what she was like in real life, and one of the first quotes that came up was "i don't want to be thought of as wholesome."
i'd be lying if i said my heart didn't sink a little when i read that, because it did. i guess i excpected julie andrews to be just like maria. i know i don't know julie andrews, and i'm sure she's lovely, but she isn't maria. because maria doesn't exist. i was putting this character on a pedestal. one only a character in a movie could fit, not one a real-life, breathing, broken-human-being-like-everybody-else could fit. not that there aren't women and men with characteristics like maria worth admiring (i definitely know many of these women and men! lucky me!) but perfect maria isn't real and when i found out the truth about real-life maria, i was let down. because that's what real people do. they let you down. they aren't all shiny and kind and graceful all the time. and we'll let people down, too. because we all are broken and make mistakes and say things we don't mean and borrow clothes without asking and pick the biggest piece of pizza for ourselves. this might sound so odd & negative & unkind, and i don't intend to be scrooge-y but the fact of the matter is, people will let you down. especially the ones you love the most. i've seen it over and over in my own life because i have the terribly unfair habit of placing people on those pedestals they were never meant to stand on. just think how you'd feel if you were on that pedestal in someone else's eyes... probably some uncomfortable pressure to rise to it and be that person who fits up there, when none of us do. that band you love and that person you follow on instagram and that celebrity with the hot bod (; and the blogger that seems to have a life wrapped with a shiny bow... well, they're people. and they'd let you down, too, if they did the day-to-day sandwich-for-lunch, working-late, pooping-in-the-toilet, losing-the-keys-again, cranky-because-of-a-stomach-ache life with you. that's why i have such an issue with so many chick-flicks. because it seems the only job of those movies is to build up pedestals for real-life men to climb based upon fake men that can climb them easily because, well, they're fake.
i used to fall into building up castles in my head because of those movies, too. & i'm preaching to myself with all of this. recently i've felt conviction about how i fall over and over again into looking at people on instagram and wishing i were her or had that hubby she has or were going on that adventure they are going on, and on and on and on. it's something that'll getchya if you're not careful and we need to use social media in a way that is healthy & good (if that is even possible, i don't know. i'm becoming less and less convinced.) so, i'd charge you to look at your own heart in these matters with me.
you might be thinking, "well, gosh, is there anyone i can count on then? is there anyone who won't let me down?" i've thought that before and find again and again that the answer is YES! there is someone you can count on! and only one someone who is safe to try to be like and you won't be disappointed. and His name is Jesus. (okay, i know this sounds so corny and churchy but it's the truest thing i know!) You can count on Jesus. (this is not to say that He will fit everything you think in your head God should be like, because then you're God, telling Him how He should be) i mean He won't leave you, He won't say something without thinking, or be careless with your heart, or say He's a certain way and then find out that He lied, He won't turn His back, won't steal from you or act in a way that is not in love. He just won't and He's proved Himself trustworthy time and time again. not just in my life, but in the lives of our forefathers and foremothers and their forefathers and foremothers! this is something i am increasingly thankful for, that He can be counted on. because then He takes His fitting and rightful place on the pedestal and people come down from where i put them and stand next to me, allowed to be human with me. the other day i was so mad at myself because i was so nervous to meet someone i only knew from a distance, because how silly! i found this quote a while ago and i've held onto it because i think it's so right... "people are just people, they shouldn't make you nervous."
**p.s. i am very aware that the von trapp family actors from the sound of music portray real people, but from what i've read on that, too, real-maria was still not maria as she was in the sound of music.
(**disclaimer: i am not saying humans are incapable of good or love or selflessness, of course, or that God is stuffy and stays on a pedestal, incapable of understanding our humanness! we of course can love each other really well, and God very much is not a statue up there while we try to be like Him.)
yesterday, my sister, sidney, turned sixteen. she was right in the middle of opening my gift to her in front of our fam and my two sets of grandparents that were over and my dad, who was standing next to me, proceeds to lean over and tell me, "did you know that barbara park died yesterday?!"
first of all, nice timing, dad. haha, what a stinker! but i looked it up today and she actually died in 2013 and i hadn't even known about it! for those of you wondering, barbara park is only the greatest children's author ever... author of the beloved junie b jones series... practically what my whole childhood was centered around! i just adored those books and read them over and over and over. for those of you who have never heard of the series, i'm so sorry. it's quite the tragedy in my mind... those books are SO FUNNY & so wonderful! i remember i did a report on barbara park in like second grade and when i was a teenager convinced i would marry nick jonas (;, i always said i would name my daughter "junie b jonas" LOL (i wasn't really that serious, okay?!) good thing me & nick never panned out (: but really, what a sad thing that she's gone! i will be reading those books to my children one day.
"then they hugged me very happy. and they threw confetti on my head.
only not may.
may threw a small potato.
that was uncalled for, i believe."
i swear it is a holy experience, what happens in me these evenings here. maybe it’s the culmination of lots of things, but after lying on my back on the dock this evening, looking up at the clouds that look like the cotton balls we keep in a jar in my bathroom at home and watching the little birds glide through the air without care, i ran to the house to grab my laptop so i could write. my heart started bubbling over when i breathed in the air deeply. it’s as if for a moment i had new eyes and saw us humans in this earth-bubble like those squishy paperweight half-bubbles you find in offices that i always loved to poke when i was little. this earth-bubble is perfect for sustaining us, exactly. this earth-bubble of hydrosphere and troposphere and stratosphere tucks us in with everything needed to sustain fragile life, with the right oxygen and carbon dioxide to make our lungs expand and contract, the right gravity to allow us to walk but also allow dance parties and jumping up and down and to make it so it’s not painful to lift our legs to run. the trees on the lake shore look different tonight. like dollhouse trees. the water ripples from my toes’ strokes look different tonight. we don’t even know. oh, LORD, we don’t even know! we just don’t even know. all He does to sustain us! to keep our delicate hearts pulsing. our little minds rarely consider how, at any moment, the almighty Creator God could say the word and we would not be. it’s terrifying, it’s humbling… it’s so beautiful. it makes me love Him more. we trust Him to sustain us without even thinking about it or realizing it. it was almost too much to handle for me to realize that i was looking up at the sky from two eyeballs, and i know that sounds silly, but i realized that the very reason i was observing these things was because He put me in it, as a part of the very divine whole of creation. i fit. you fit. that little bird i’m watching has no idea. but i think we have no idea, too. oh, the knowledge the LORD has! oh, the things and systems and processed He sets in motion and holds in His hands that we have no clue about.
last night was one of the worst nights of sleep i’ve had actually. i was alone in this big room in a house i’m house-sitting with no one else an hour away from my family. and also i just really like to sleep with doors open, and blinds open, too, so that when i wake up the room can be full of light… but in my stubbornness i refused to open them last night and instead lay there super still, eyes wide and making every shadow out to be a head or a body, my mind racing to every terrible outcome that all the episodes of law & order: svu i shouldn’t have watched taught me to do. (not smart alexi… i could have made it so much better if i’d just closed that stinkin door.) i actually convinced myself that it was my last night. i felt the terror and stomach drops. the unfamiliar house creaks- it was so real. i don’t usually get that freaked out, and i’m kind of nervous about it again tonight to be honest, so a little prayer of yours goes a long way, if you’d be so kind! (and maybe i’ll close the door tonight!), but my point is i have experienced this very real juxtaposition of the reality of life on planet earth today…
this earth is so very beautiful and created by a Creator who intended perfect shalom from the beginning… right relationships with Himself and with one another, walking through the garden together in the light of the sun, enjoying, working, eating, and singing, i’m sure! …perfect peace. but that’s not how it is, is it? there are glimpses, like the moments most of us can think to point to and say, “i just know that’s how it was meant to be.” but life’s not always this dock, those poofy clouds, that bird gliding through the air. we all know that. and i won’t pretend to know the extent of the damage that human brokenness has caused some. like the girls who think the thoughts that kept me up last night all the time because someone has robbed them in the worst, most horrific way. this rambling of mine does have a point. it’s hope. nothing happened to me last night and yet i still struggled with getting awfully close to screaming “how could You?” to God. i think we all know that accusation well. but the hope is in what i saw so closely today. that we just don’t even know of all the ways God is sustaining our fragile little hearts and our fragile little lungs and legs and hairs and brains. if there’s anything i know from looking around and from reading His Word, He has proven through the ages that He cares for us an awful lot. let’s all cling to Him and be like the one who came back to thank Him for healing when the rest forgot about Him and what He had done. we just don’t even know the things He does or the extent of His goodness. a God who bothers with the exact temperature and oxygen levels necessary to sustain every living being is evidence to me of a God who cares for us greatly, gently, who protects us with multiple spheres and provides our every need. we can trust Him.
my whole being has felt bits of shalom today. i’ve got this beautiful home to myself for a week because i’m dog/house-sitting, and it’s an hour away from home so i feel like i get to step away from everything for a little while. i’m still working on things from out here, but i also can sing at the top of my lungs or eat breakfast for every meal or walk around in my underwear if i want (: and it’s the kind of home that has wood paneling on the walls like a cabin, a small kitchen, a big cozy bed, and the best natural light. a corn field on one side and a lake on the other. tonight, i just feel like myself. i’m in my favorite jimmy john’s bed shirt (everyone who knows me well knows exactly the shirt i’m talking about haha), (: there’s a line of broccoli-trees all growing on top of each other in the distance distinguishing water from sky, the smell of fresh is infiltrating even my stuffed nose (a cold in july again?! i’m so predictable. guhhh..), and i’m laying in a sturdy hammock with a fuzzy blanket by the water, nosy dog peaking her tall snout on top of the hammock’s side every once in a while to make sure i still know she’s there. i can’t believe such a gift! i’m playing this beautiful song and reading shauna niequist and am so inspired to write like i haven’t felt in a long time! her writing is so stunning. it’s so colorful and funny and real and it makes me feel so proud to be human. it’s prompted prayers about life, about if maybe i could ever write like that one day. and when i took a break from reading, i just felt God was prompting me to cry because i can. cry about all the things i want to cry about. cry to just cry and let myself. not because i’m deeply sorrowful or depressed or anything like that, but just because crying is so good sometimes and i think so healing. these little dot-bugs are hovering the grass and a noisy bird is playing around in the tree above me and there's a pontoon gliding the water and i’m thinking about that verse that says the LORD God walked in the garden in the cool of the day, wondering what that could be like and if i’ll ever walk with Him like that. i’m so thankful for this little garden-space. this little sliver of harmony and peace and closeness. we’ve got quite a bit of ground to cover this week, me and God, but this beauty is filling my heart in a way that makes me so thankful.
today, i just liked!
and feel it necessary to take a minute to express the gratitude i feel for the country i call home... what a privilege to live where freedom is so valued. i know the usa is not perfect by any means and our country has a history of just horrific events. but here we are, able to enjoy so many freedoms because of the precious price many have paid. i never want to lose gratitude for things like being able to pray and study God's Word openly on a college campus like i did throughout my college career, or for the ability to vote for presidents and vote on laws that are important, or for the freedom to speak freely and openly, to uphold any opinion i want without fear, to write and put forth the thoughts and musings on this blog, even! i know these things did not come without the highest costs, and i'm truly thankful. glad that this day is set aside. seems to unify us all in some small way.
^^ my day started out with pancakes! whipped up some red, white, and blue ones! (i think bein a mom would be fun... little kids would appreciate those bad boys so much better than my diva dad who comments on how unnecessary the food coloring is for our bodies hah!) but nothing says 'murica like patriotically colored hot cakes, am i right?!
^^ you'd serve yourself well to invest in a hammock. our fam went to my aunt's boo-thang's (; lakehouse for the day, and this hammock was so dreamy!
we're speichs, so a holiday = puttin out all the stops in festive-wear! haha we love it.
hahaha! dad was helpin steve with a fixing project that required them to stand in the lake, so they put on these little get-ups...
^ DIII-VAHHH. haha! i love my dad, goofy guy! my favorite part of the whole day, though, was in the morning after breakfast. i sat at the counter while he worked on making a side dish for the day, and i played a bunch of patriotic oldies from his phone and we both really got into that air guitar and singing like the wayho girl. we were pumpin everything from miley's "party in the usa" to "surfin usa." but our favorite to sing to was definitely tom petty, "american girl." wayhooo!
^ you can't really tell in this picture, but the boats were out, man!
^ aunt wendy. no one else would put up with me as well as she does! haha, i really like to tease her... at every family gathering, she's come to expect that i will hack her instagram account and put the worst-quality picture with THE cheesiest hashtags. haha, we love it! it's become a family joke & today was no exception! (: she's a good sport. (and no one's following her except our fam, okay?! ha) today she called michael buble "michael boob-lah"... mom busted a gut on that one.
addresses sexual sin specifically, but the tips for what to do with that whole sin issue that all of us humans face are incredibly well-put and something to print out and tape to your mirror to remember every day how to practically battle sin. please oh please READ!
"union with the risen Christ meant that everything else was nailed to the cross. i couldn’t get my former life back if i wanted it. at first, this was terrifying, but when i peered deep into the abyss of my terror, i found peace."
"aslan, aslan. dear aslan,” sobbed lucy. “at last.”
B L O G A R C H I V E