Monthly Archives: February 2010

belong to yourself

confession: i am a people pleaser. i’ve spent much of my life doing things to satisfy those around me. there’s a disease out there called the “yes virus”, it is the infection of the brain and the mouth in saying “yes” to too many things, without consulting any other part of the body, including the heart and soul. this disease is common, and i’m sure many of you relate… yes to volunteering 4 times a week, yes to coffee dates galore, yes to meetings, yes to Bible Studies, yes to leading different groups, yes to… blah blah blah. you get it, the list goes on and on.

please understand me when I say that all the above activities are good things. there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. but what happens when we are doing these things without any desire to? the answer seems simple: quit doing what you don’t want to do… but we feel this painful pressure from others to do it. our culture has this “all or nothing” mentality and sometimes it’s a lot easier to give in, than to challenge it. i challenge you to think of yourself, your emotional and physical well-being, before you say yes to one more thing. what do you really WANT to do? this subject of caring for yourself can be tough. hear me out- i’m not saying that we should be selfish and only do things that please us. that would be missing the point completely. but a definition of the word “belong”, is to have possession of. i have to ask myself if i have possession of my own life? or do others have possession of it?

overtime, i have learned that i have the power, the right, and the freedom to say no. i am in control of me. i realized that i need to own of my life. and ask God to graciously show me the path to a different way of life. i want to live out the God-give passions of my life and let that be my guide. i need to show up for my own life instead of allowing everyone else to run it. as i ask these questions of myself, i encourage you to do the same: do i ever say “yes” to my own needs? do i say “yes” to the desires of my heart or just the desire of others’? am i proactive in my life? or am i sitting around watching it pass by?

in taking the time to examine my own heart and life, i find that i have to remind myself over and over again that i belong to myself. the only other person i belong to outside of myself, is God. i need to take on freedom and let my heart be my guide. God’s ready for me to live the life i’ve been given- i need to show up.  think about what those words mean in your own life, what does it mean to belong to yourself? the words might mean something completely different to you. and i would absolutely love to hear from you. what i’ve shared is what it means for me right now, in this moment. but in 6 months, these words might take on a whole new meaning… i’ll keep you posted :)

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perfect moments

i love a lot of things in life. but there are three things that i especially love: wine. cooking. and art.

i’m not quite sure where this love for wine came from, maybe it runs in my bishop blood. but there’s something about the rich flavors of a merlot or pinot noir that i just can’t get over. the combination of flavors and that little bite at the end of a sip are simply delicious. it is so relaxing to be able to end a long day with a nice glass of wine. don’t worry mom and dad, this doesn’t happen too often ;). but i’ve been twenty-one for a few months and wanted to make sure that i documented the first bottle of wine i bought. so here it is :)

now on to cooking. this i know for sure– cooking tasty food runs in my blood. my grandma is a wonderful cook, a petite japanese woman who makes the meanest mexican food on the planet. my grandma sally was quite the baker. i hear about all these decadent desserts she used to make and i only dream of her texas sheet cake. and there’s no cookin’ like mom’s home cooking. she makes some of my absolute favorites, something only a mom can do. and my dad. well he’s pretty much a professional chef. he knows just how to spice things up. i think i get my true passion for cooking from him. something therapeutic about cranking up some music, throwing a towel over your shoulder, and cooking up something grand.

and last but definitely not least, there’s art. i think you have started to figure out how much i love art. it’s the idea of creating and expressing (things that i also enjoy about cooking). it’s the involvement of my senses- the sound of ripping paper, seeing the colors and designs of paper, and feeling the textures of the paints. i love looking back through to see just what i’ve created. each page turns out so different than what i expected at the start, but yet somehow it turns into some sort of masterpiece.

i know that my life is far from perfect and i have found it necessary for me to discover what i, alone, enjoy.  i will be, no. i am confident and sure of what i like to do. in how i spend my free time. in what i find enjoyable. there are things in life that i like to do by myself. and that’s okay. i have always been a person that believes i “thrive off others”. don’t get me wrong. i love spending time people, i love learning about others, heck- i just love talking (ask my parents, they’ve got great stories). but i’m also finding joy in spending time alone. this is definitely a new thing for me. but i am learning that being alone is okay. and it’s actually quite refreshing.

learning gives me time to start recognizing and realizing. i have come to realize that while this life and it’s events can be imperfect, perfect moments can be created with what we love. for me, perfect moments are created with red wine, cooking a great meal, and sitting down to do some art. perfect moments can occur with more than just these three things, but spending time alone and doing these things have brought great joy recently. i want to encourage you to find what it is what you enjoy doing by yourself. other people bring refreshment, but how do you refresh your own soul? i hope you take some time and do something that you absolutely love to do. and do it for yourself. for the plain goodness of your soul. create your perfect moment in this crazy, imperfect life and enjoy.


trees

i have this thing for trees. i know right off the bat, it seems a bit strange. but let me explain myself…

it began at a retreat last april. there was a group of women that shared an incredible weekend together- learning, growing, and challenging each other in the patterns of our lives. it was the last day of the retreat when one of the women pointed our attention to an enormous tree in front of us (see below). she began to describe the tree as feminine, full of shape and curves, branches going in different directions, but yet it was just right. the tree was nurturing, warm, and was deeply rooted.

keeping these words in mind, i suddenly began to look at trees differently. i found such comfort in them. a few months after the retreat, i co-lead a team of 7 other college students on a trip to Ghana, West Africa. while we were there, we visited a village with one of the most incredible trees i have seen in my life. when i asked what kind of tree it was, the answer was simple: it’s a shade tree! well shade was not it’s only purpose. the people of that village, with just a few handmade benches and a choir in the making, met for church under that tree. and that tree became our home when we had an opportunity to stay the night there. we hung mosquito nets from the branches and slept underneath the beautiful African sky. that shade tree is a place of rest, a place of hope, and of strength where faithful believers gather to worship the Lord.

church under the tree

the shade tree

we have such a wonderfully creative God. trees are so elegant, strong, masculine and feminine, peaceful, loving… i find many characteristics of God here. we are covered with grace and love and the shade from the abundant leaves remind me of this. the trunk and branches remind me that we have strength and wisdom from God. are you finding the connection? while i can’t go back to these two trees when i need rest, comfort, grace, etc.- i find what i need in God and i have these pictures to help me remember. below is a piece from my journal that was inspired by artwork displayed at one of APU’s chapel programs. i am continuously learning to trust God…

and all i can do is say hallelujah. i thank and praise God for being faithful, for giving grace, for loving, embracing, for guiding, comforting, and strengthening. i know that i can’t do this thing called life on my own and i look to the majesty of a tree to be reminded of the King or Queen that lives in you and in me.

— that rhymed :)


all this beauty

i’ve learned a lot about myself during these college years, one of those things being- i LOVE fresh flowers. i know that some people think they’re a waste of money because they die after a few days, but i cannot get over their beauty and femininity. this morning i had the privilege of going to the LA Flower Market with two of my lovely roommates, see below :) the three of us embarked on a journey to downtown LA, hunting for joy that could be found at the flower market and in each other. not long after our journey began, we entered heaven. or i guess you might describe it as a warehouse full of every type of flower you could imagine. we walked up and down isles, overwhelmed by what we could create.

after spending a few hours walking around, we made our purchases (mums, wax fillers, curly willows, gerbera daisies, orchids, and ranunculus to be exact). we walked back to the car filled with satisfaction- we set aside time to not only spend time together, but to also take care of ourselves by experiencing beauty that captivates our souls.

kaycie's lovely mums

my long awaited ranunculus

i believe that beauty was created for us to enjoy. and what is beauty? great question. i spent a period of my life trying to figure out what it was- what it meant, if it was something that i could posses, if it was fleeting, if it was concrete… and i came to realize that i wasn’t going to find a solid answer. beauty seemed too great for me to understand.

beauty appears in so many forms and means something different to each individual. over time i discovered that i get a flutter in my heart when i find something to be beautiful. this flutter comes when i look at the flowers i just bought, when i see an old man and his wife holding hands, when quality time is spent with the ones i love, when i look to the place where the ocean and the sky meet- i could go on and on. to me, beauty is something i feel in my soul. when beauty is found, i find myself thanking and praising God for His or Her creativity and love.

so now i encourage you to seek beauty in your own life. it is found in the things you love, that make your heart dance. beautiful things in life will inspire you. be surrounded and let beauty sink into the depths of your soul…


expression of affection

times are definitely changing…

i’ve got graduation on the brain and sometimes i can hardly focus. for starters, i started writing this blog an hour before i had to go to class and take a test. i started studying for that test- about 30 minutes before i went to class… yeah, yeah, probably not the best use of time. cut me a break, i’m a pro at this going-to-school-thing! anyways, with graduation comes lots of change, which is why i can’t seem to focus. graduation means moving out of my apartment into a new place, re-structuring my friend group, acclimating to a new routine, and so much more. now don’t get me wrong, these are all exciting things! but it all just seems so strange. if those adjustments aren’t big enough, two of my best friends are getting married this year… talk about serious change! they are both marrying incredible men of God and i can’t wait to stand beside them and support this new chapter in their lives. (shout out to the soon-to-be Morellis and Potters!)

in the midst of all these changes, i have a few options. i can either pout about them and try to pretend that it’s not all happening. or i can embrace the changes with open arms, i can welcome them and accept the new challenges ahead of me. meanwhile, i go back and forth between feeling ready for change and not wanting to budge. and through the excitement and dread, i have found only one word to describe this part of my life- WEIRD. i am in a weird place in my life and that’s okay. i do not have all the answers. i have no idea what life will look like in 6 months and that’s all okay. it’s okay because i have God with me. i have the support of a Creator who already has the next steps of my life laid out for me. that gives me the ability to relax, knowing God’s taking care of me. and now i am able to embrace change, i can look at these next 3-4 months and hold them close with my arms, as an expression of affection.

it’s not easy embracing changes, treating them with affection and holding them close. but what it would look like if we welcomed change? if we were open to things that messed up our daily routine a little? i’m no professional at this, but i sure am trying to live this out. i hesitate when change comes my way, but i’m learning what it’s like to breathe and acknowledge that in most cases i don’t have any power over the situation. i’ve learned that worrying gets me absolutely no where and that no matter what, tomorrow will come. i can’t stop time. i can’t control circumstances. the next day, month, and year will show up whether i ask it to or not. i want to be in a place that is ready to face what comes next. that place is called openness and trust. and it might take me a few tries to get there. but we’ll see what the future holds and i am going to do my best in opening my arms and my heart to the unknown.


sometimes i…

as i look back on pages i have created, i find that my art journals hold many of my dreams. it’s easy to get caught up in this fast-paced life and forget about the things that inspire us to grow and live differently. my journals hold me accountable to those dreams and inspirations. as i read old pages, i am reminded of things i want to do and challenge myself to live them out.

i have heard of people having dream journals and i guess you could say my art journal resembles that. it is a place to paint and write about these dreams, aspirations, and goals without any inhibitions. i did this page a while ago with the prompt “sometimes i…” . sabrina ward harrison is big on prompts and i have used many of them from her book the true and the questions. while pretty self-explanatory, the prompts help me to dig into a different part of my thought process and encourage me to write about something other than “today i went to class, picked my nose, and bought groceries. it was cool”. when someone talks about their journal, i normally imagine it as a place where one jots down their day to day and maybe some emotional feelings behind those events… this gets old to me. my day to day isn’t always very adventurous. so sometimes, i choose prompts to get my mind rolling.

i know my dreams are not always realistic, but there are ways of pursuing them to a certain degree. check it:

#1- while this blog is by no means a professional setting, it is a way of showing my art to “the world”. my lovely roommates and friends have been the spectators of my madness of a journal and have been so encouraging through this process. so even if i’m not publishing my art journals or painting pieces on canvas and selling them (i guess this what i consider professional), i am putting my art on a sort of public domain that is being shared with others.

#2- quitting school to travel the world just months before graduation would be a horrible idea. but i do get an itch to get out the U.S. and dive into another country. i am thankful to have had a number of beautiful opportunities to do so and i can’t wait for the next adventure. i’m thinking greece, japan, italy, india, austrailia… anyone wanna come?! anyone have frequent flier miles?  ; )

#3- well many of you know my secret, or maybe not so secret, obsession with anthropologie. i find inspiration in the fine details of the clothing, dazzling accessories, and in the uniqueness of each store’s layout. if you haven’t had a chance to check out an anthro store- find one or two or three. and go. walk through slowly and admire the beauty of it all. you’ll be amazed. i just know it!

so today, i challenge you to journal about your dreams. no matter how great or how little. little dreams can be made real and great dreams are great motivation. dive into that heart of yours and dig through the desires. paint, write, or make a collage about them and put it in a place where you can see it. let those dreams inspire you to live differently. i need to be reminded of this just as much as anyone. there are times i leave my dreams in the dust. but when i open up my journal to re-read these things, i have hope that one day i can make some of my dreams become my reality.

check out The Weepies for some sweet, reflective art music…