Monthly Archives: March 2010

gentle reminders

hello blog world… it’s been a while. school was pretty crazy for a while and i’m now home sweet home for spring break.

coming home always brings an array of emotions. joy and comfort of my parents and this bittersweetness of missing life at school, but enjoying the break away from it. then there are the memories that invade me and my room here, pictures and trophies, and just stuff from childhood and on… reminders of how life has changed, how it has grown, and how parts of it even remain the same. i need reminders like these to keep me motivated and encouraged.

i’ve always been a person that needs reminders. growing up my mom had to ask me to do something a number of times before it actually got done (still true), i write things in a planner to remind me of events and other things, i even keep old cards and notes of encouragement just so i can re-read them to be reminded of the love that i am surrounded by. it is so easy to get lost in the busyness of this world, that it’s difficult to remember how much someone loves you, let alone where you were supposed to meet a friend for coffee and the ten things you need to do after that.

reminders come in all different forms: abrupt reminders, reminders that are found after being sought out, and those that are gentle and contemplative. i’m focusing on the last for now… i think there will alway be something sweet about this house i grew up in. there are peaceful, calming, and grace-filled reminders surrounding and comforting me.

is there a place where you feel these things? a place that brings you peace and comfort? what gentle reminders do you need to hear in this moment?

as i am home this week, i am reminded of deep, deep friendships that have grown, changed, and remained over time. friendships that have not been easy, that have seen true tragedy and heartache, and that have seen redemption, grace, and love. i am also reminded of family that loves deeply within and stretches far beyond the walls of this house. this family that has loved and cared for individuals far and near, that brings others into our home and into our hearts, that sits around the dinner table belly-laughing at each others quirks and corny jokes. as i am here, i am reminded that i am blessed. i am loved.

thank you home for these much-needed, gentle, and beautiful reminders.


baby steps

growing up we heard a lot about doing things smaller and slower… for example parents telling kids to take smaller bites at the dinner table and the numerous people (playground yard duty, swim coach, teachers, etc.) saying, “don’t run! walk.” then somewhere along the line we have to start sprinting just to keep up. and we are biting off as much as we can chew. what happened to taking baby steps and starting small? think about a child that’s learning how to walk. the child’s dad or mom is watching them carefully, with his or her arms out to catch the child just in case he or she falls. the child is unstable and looks as if he or she might fall over at any second. but sure enough, the child gets one foot out, then the next, and manages to start walking. it’s a process that may be slow, but mastery in walking allows for skipping, jumping, running, and dancing.

what would it be like if we lived taking baby steps? knowing that we will not always be stable, that it’s not easy, it takes practice, but yet the whole time- God’s arms are out ready to catch our fall with love and grace to help us back to our feet… i truly don’t think that we are supposed to live our lives taking one big leap after another. i believe that taking baby steps, putting one foot in front of the other, allows us to go through each day and each moment with an awareness of what’s going on in our own hearts, minds, and lives. having an awareness of myself and what’s going on in my life challenges me to “belong to myself” and to seek the truth in me. these baby steps and challenges throughout my life has created who i am as an individual.

i am not perfect. i am constantly reminded that life’s not easy, that i will fall, and that i am supported by God and by those close to me. but i also know that taking things slowly is making me think, analyze, and learn about myself. i know that taking the time to do these things will allow me to live a better life. a life that is okay with falling and getting back up with grace and love. a life that is stable and secure in the God that lives in me. and a life that is made up of testimonies that give me the strength to skip, jump, and dance.


words of comfort

i recently came across the first book i ever learned to read.

it’s made up of simple sentences about a cute little pig that likes and possibly even loves herself. this pig knows how to take care of herself by eating right, bathing, exercising, and doing things she loves, like drawing and baking. most importantly, she knows that it’s okay to make mistakes and to try again when things don’t seem to be going right. what a message for a four-year-old! i wish so deeply that  i could have held onto these things during my adolescence. but the world got a hold of my young heart and mind and messages such as the one delivered by my childhood favorite were quickly forgotten.

but not all hope is lost. as i’ve gotten older and started to truly learn about myself, i have found books and words that bring as much joy to my heart as the i like me pig. in a world that is telling me who i should and shouldn’t be, i have discovered authors and songwriters that write and sing words that bring peace to my soul. there is something about words from someone else that help me realize- i am not alone, and that there is at least one other person who gets it, whatever it may be…

i confessed to a few friends recently (and am now confessing to you) that sometimes when the words of a book are just so good, that i can’t help but close the book and hold it to my heart. in those times i have felt peace, joy, relief, and carry that sense that someone else understands. and now, i’ll even admit, i’ve actually taken a nap with a few of my books… scandalous, i know.

the piece that i wrote on this page says, “sometimes, what i read brings so much comfort to my soul, that i hold the book in my arms and close to my heart as if i’m holding a dear friend. and all of a sudden, i remember that i am not alone.” have you been there? has a song, a book, or a verse of Scripture ever so perfectly described where you were at, that it made you sigh in relief? take time to journal those lyrics or passage from the book. reflect upon them and find out just why these words mean so much to you. hold the words close to you and remember: you are not alone. and you are deeply loved by the Creator of all words, continuous comfort, and perfect peace.


today i carry…

in continuation of the last post, i thought i’d share my response to one of the prompts.

today i carry… the things i love.

i love lots of things… you have read and heard about many of them. but i decided to art journal a page of things that i love. just to put it down on paper. i have come to a point in my life where i know there are things that i absolutely enjoy and things that i really just don’t care for. there have been times in my life that i have tried to like something, or even pretended to like something just because others around me did. that phase is over. i don’t have to pretend.

i know what i love and what i like. and i have been given time and space to figure these things out. while it’s easy to wallow in singlehood, i am thankful that i have had time to learn about myself. i have spent time trying things and liking some of them and not liking others. and that’s okay. but i’m grateful for the time to discover things on my own.

and yet, i still have a lot to learn. i know i can only take myself so far, i know that sometimes i need a little encouragement from a friend to try something i wouldn’t normally. but for now, i am satisfied. i take comfort in the things that i love and surround myself with those things. i know that if/when God brings someone else into my life, i have a solid foundation of myself and what i love and a readiness for a new adventure.

so bring it on world! today i carry- me. the things i love. and a desire to keep learning, exploring, and discovering.


prompted

prompt·ed: tran. verb

1. to give rise to; inspire

2. to assist by suggesting or saying the next words of something forgotten or imperfectly learned

in thinking of something to write about today, i decided that i want to talk more about journal prompts. i talked about them in a previous post, but i wanted to take some time to explain a little more and maybe provide a little direction. as i have said before, prompts allow me to engage a different thought process. i could go through an entire day without checking-in with myself. while that idea may seem strange, how could i possibly “belong to myself” (see post below) if i do not know myself and/or do not check-in with my heart and mind?

i have this incredible book by sabrina ward harrison that i’ve mentioned before. the true and the questions is filled with different journal prompts on different areas of life: identity, bravery, ache & loss, love, and home & family. i have never encountered a prompt that wasn’t applicable. even if i’m not feeling any sense of ache or loss, a prompt from this section may still spark my thoughts in a new way. in the past, i have been guided through prompts- meaning someone else has picked them out and has read them aloud to me. but there have been other times that i have done prompts on my own, i open to a random page of the book, pick one of the two or three prompts presented, and start writing.

these prompts challenge my daily thoughts and help me to dig deeper. they give me space to express dreams and desires and sometimes help me discover reality and truth. the different prompts have been a huge part of my processing through life events, situations, and stages or milestones. i want to encourage you to try some prompts this week with me…

prompt writing is nothing fancy at all. all you need is a pen and piece of paper. i tend to use markers or crayons because i use ballpoint pens in classes all day long. and lets make one thing clear: prompts note taking. so create a space for yourself. set the mood- put on some reflective, calming, or inspiring music. light a candle. open the window. sit in the sunshine… whatever it is you need to do to make a safe space for yourself. a space to dive into your heart and discover what’s inside. or maybe just shake off a little dust. allow the prompts to guide you, ultimately to yourself.

strength, beauty, and peace each day

my favorite candle... strength, beauty, and peace each day

i stated earlier that i wanted you to join me in doing prompts this week. i don’t expect you all to go and buy the true and the questions right this second (although it’s completely worth it!), so i’ll provide a few for this week…

– today i carry…

– i am holding back…

– i will give myself…

– oh in love i need…

– i want to create a home that is filled with…

i would love to hear about your interaction with these prompts. take time to sit with them and soak in all that comes from them. allow God to reveal Him or Herself to you. keep your heart open. let love and grace come with each breath you take in.