Monday, February 28, 2011

28 Days.

1. When I am an emotional wreck, God, your grace motivates me. -Bryndan Lorittis #mbi #foundersweek

2. Let’s hope the groundhog isn’t in wouldn’t be able to get out of the ground to even attempt to see his shadow! Poor little guy.

3. In every trial we face, God will turn it into a story about Himself. Not one of God’s followers is exempt from suffering. #mbi #foundersweek

4. Rainboots might not have been the best shoes to wear to be running around and taking pictures in... Feeling super clumsy :-/

5. Robert’s explaining some super technical sounding thing to me. I’m highly impressed. And confused. I like him :)

6. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Ps 18:11

7. Today is a jeans and sweatshirt kind of a day.

8. My day started without me. Guess I should jump in now...

9. I realize when I go through seasons without conviction... It doesn’t mean I’m doing well, it means I’ve removed myself from growth.

10. It’s at the end of some of my worst days that I learn the most. Lesson for today: it’s not surrendering if you go down with a fight.

11. Study the accuracy of the Bible if you ever think small details don’t matter to God. He sees all and is working within it - even the hard stuff.

12. I’m not thankful for food allergies. But I am thankful for the lessons to be learned through this ongoing trial. God is good! (dairy is not)

13. Pad Thai is my comfort food :)

14. I got my driver’s license 5 years ago today! My car and I have had 5 great years together :)

15. The word ‘pseudepigrapha’ is a funny word to say :)

16. Angry birds Valentine’s version?!? Dude!! Where has this been all my life??

17. Today was a long walk kind of a day. And the weather allowed it! Only two things could have made it better. Robert and my camera. :)

18. The tension from the dark looming cloud overhead was persistent, paralyzing, and scrutinizing. Forfeit your rain and lose your power. Leave.

19. Photography, writing, and acoustic guitar in this musical worship service. All we need is some interpretive dance and we’ve got it! :)

20. “...just so you know, I’m gonna break your heart. just so you know, I’m gonna make a mess...”

21. “...angelic in your syntax, demonic in your motive...” -flyleaf

22. You know the saying “you only live once”? Mine has become “thankful you only live once”. I don’t think I could do this “earth thing” again. #live2die

23. I don’t believe in the reincarnation as an animal thing. But if I did, I would be a good lizard. I like to be warm, I like the sun, and I like to sleep.

24. There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace. -Proverbs 12:20

25. I have my Peet’s Coffee book all picked out! I’m ready for some quality time in my favorite coffee shop. 2 weeks :)

26. It just keeps snowing and snowing and snowing... When will it END?!

27. Dark and stormy nights make me miss Robert. Oh this point EVERYTHING makes me miss Robert. Spring break is when??

28. “It’s hard to fight, but then again it’s hard to do what’s right and I don’t want to give in.” -Vialyne Music

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hipsters and Hippos

I think we all missed our calling... as hipsters.
Heather, Joel, and I.

Hipsters with Hippos!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Photo #5: Compromise

The art of compromise. It's an art form I'm learning that I need to learn.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beggar to a Daughter

I love reading my notes in my Bible from a year ago. I see how much God has changed the way I perceive Him. I used to be a beggar, now I’m a daughter.

Rebecca Barlow (from the band BarlowGirl) tweeted that awhile ago and I came across it again today. It resonates with me because it’s similar to the things I’ve written and underlined in my Bible.

I’ve acknowledged my broken helpless state, but I sometimes forget that I’m also a redeemed daughter of the King. I might be a mess, but I’m a hopeful mess!

The notes I have scribbled in the margins of my Bible show me how much I’ve learned and grown in the past few year... I’ve learned a lot. And I’m still learning.

Two of the most significant things I’ve learned both revolve around identity. God’s identity and mine. First off, I’ve learned that while God is judging, He is also just and loving. His attributes all work together and make Him who He is. And second, I’ve learned that although I am poor and needy, I’m His daughter; and because of that, I have worth that can’t be taken away.

That’s not to say that I don’t sometimes fall back into how it was before. Somedays I need to be reminded that I belong to Him and that my actions should reflect that.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12;16-18 (the Message)

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!

So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's Your Story?

I never realized I was so morbid.

One of the few things Robert and I did together over Christmas break was to take pictures in an old cemetery in Livermore, CA. Artistically, the pictures turned out how I wanted them. However, I got really creeped out in the process when I realized what I was walking around on. I know that the dead bodies are deep under the ground in a sealed box, but, you know...what if one happened to come back to life to kidnap me? Yeah. In all honesty, that was my thinking less than 3 minutes into it.

After a few more minutes I realized that the people wouldn’t come back to life to kidnap me. All the same, I stayed really close to Robert. We looked at the names and dates on many old gravestones. We walked to a large tombstone that looked like it was falling over. It belonged to Emma Larson. She was alive through World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. And at some point she was a military nurse. She was also a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother. She’s someone who I would love to sit and talk with! If she was still alive, aside from being really old, she would have so many stories to share! She’s someone who I could learn a lot from.

There were also younger people buried their. Some infants, children, and teenagers. Those were harder to process. Their lives were so short. I wondered what had happened... Did they make a bad choice? Did someone else make a bad choice? Was it an accident?

Everyone has a story. Lessons learned, trials survived, sorrows had, blessings bestowed.

What lessons have you learned?
What trials have you survived?
What sorrows have you had?
What blessings have been bestowed to you?

What’s your story? Have you thought about it? Cause I’m curious :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Beheld

It's worth the few minutes it'll take to watch this...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All I Need to Be

“Christmas Eve Service” became synonymous with “Disaster” the night of December 21, 2010. Sitting backstage were 3 very distraught, but very capable musicians. Rehearsal ended without much practice time put in and more confusion than we had started with. However, before we left, we were reassured that we had the lead sheets in the right key. And that was true, we did.
Christmas Eve came and we appeared to be ready. With last minute key changes, known only to the pianist and choir, we were onstage with the wrong lead sheets and no idea what the correct key was. I can transpose music on the spot IF I know what key it’s supposed to be in. Practice and a familiarity with chord progressions makes that easy. But no. We had no idea what key the songs were in now.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. We were all competent musicians with many of the right tools, but we were missing an essential one. And it wasn’t our fault! We had worked hard to have the all the music. That said though, we didn’t have what we needed and couldn’t continue without it. With some quick offstage communication, we were able to figure it out and keep going. It wasn’t flawless, but we kept going and it worked out.
My Fiction Writing class is my current “I can’t do this” case. I feel like I don’t have the talent and skills I need to survive this class. I know where my talent lies when it comes to writing; fiction writing isn't included. And that’s why I took this class - for a chance to work on and improve in this genre of writing. The class isn’t set up that way though... We’re learning a lot, but not what I’m struggling with. I'm stuck right now. When you don't know what you're doing, hard work doesn't accomplish much without some guidance.
In Bible Intro this morning we started class with a devotional. Here’s the concise version I sent to Annie:
In Bobby’s class today we talked about being
unequipped for our circumstances/battles.
In 1 Samuel 13 the army had no weapons other than primitive
insufficient ones. But God worked through an unprepared
person who was willing to trust in Him, David.
And he won the battle. God was enough for him.
And God is enough for our needs too.
He makes us all we need to be.
The Christmas Eve service worked out because of some quick thinking. I’m still waiting to see how my Fiction Writing class will turn out. David was victorious in his battle. Although conquering a giant is a little different than writing a story, I know God will work through that as well. He's proven numerous times that He can meet my needs, regardless of what they are. It might not, and typically doesn't, happen on my timing or how I think it should be done, but He always comes through and accomplishes tasks greater than I could ever imagine!
“The things I think I need aren’t here, but I have God and that’s all I really need.”

It comes down to surrendering to God and trusting Him completely.

And I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the class who needed to hear those words this morning... Or maybe I was. It’s my blog so I can pretend it’s all about me :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't Ask. I Won't Tell.

Today is one of those “don’t ask me how I’m doing if you don’t want to know” kind of days. It didn’t start out that way. Well, actually it did.

I stepped on a piece of glass this morning and had to have it excavated from the bottom of my foot. The entire process was painful.

I found out that a friend has cancer.

I loath Fiction Writing. I’ve been working really hard on my story and it’s still not going very well. My rough draft was due today, but I didn’t get it done. I know it wasn’t supposed to be a final copy, but I didn’t even finish the story. It doesn’t have an ending yet. (I’m considering modeling Shakespeare and having a tragic ending where everyone dies.) I brought it to class incomplete for the feed back and ideas of my classmates - that’s how Comm writing classes work. All that said, I couldn’t be in class today without it complete so I was asked to leave. In our short one-on-one meetings with the professor, I sat and cried. I’m one of those people who thrives on accuracy, details, and a plan. Making up a story and keeping it consistent is a challenge for me because there’s nothing to go off of. I love doing research and interviewing people. I have facts and numbers and ways to verify that they are true. But in writing my own story, I decide what’s true and how my characters will react. Needless to say, it’s frustrating for me. Frustrating to the point of tears. And may I just say, that doesn’t happen very often.

Today wasn’t completely miserable though, so since I wrote about 3 negative things, here are 5 positive things of today:

1. I had some time to play guitar

2. I wore my favorite rockstar bracelet today

3. It was warm enough to wear my favorite shoes

4. Ice Cream made from coconut milk is a tasty soy/dairy-free treat

5. God is constant when I’m a disaster. And when I’m not a disaster.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Where Are We Now?

A few days ago I came across a bracelet that Joy Machado gave us girls in the Bible study we had at her house. Rachel, Katie, Tatiana, Alicia, and I. We were a tight knit group and shared many good laughs and cries together. The few years that we were together were absolutely wonderful. The late nights eating popcorn and talking about the Bible will forever be a sweet memory.

Switching gears a little bit...

Alicia, Katie, and Tatiana all ended up going to Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. Rachel and I both did the Community College thing, worked a lot of hours, and did some overseas missions work during all that. And now Rachel is married and is living North Carolina, still working and going to school. Working and going to school. It’s the story of all of our lives :) And Joy, our brave and fearless leader, is living in Texas, being as busy and creative as always! I’ve gone to visit her once and I need to go again!

I happened to check our Rachel’s blog,as I often do because she rocks ( ) and she’s doing a 100 Post Giveaway! What a fun idea! That’s one of the reasons I love looking at her blog - she’s creative and fun. And her blog is cute and it makes me want to learn how to bake and cook and do all those girly homemaking things. I’m glad to have someone like Rachel be a few years ahead of me. As long as she keeps posting things like she has been, in a few years I’ll have a notebook full of recipes and great crafts to go through when I’m married!

Another blog that I follow is Alicia’s. Alicia and I still see each other all the time because, unlike Rachel, nether of us are married and we still call Livermore our home. Her blog is fun’s awkward. And really funny to read, especially if you know her and how her awkwardness makes a strange situation even worse. That said, if you're feeing brave and need a good laugh, check our her blog:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Poison & Wine

by The Civil Wars think your dreams are the same as mine...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lost Art of Forgiveness

The past month or so I’ve been rediscovering forgiveness. I think, for whatever reason, the power of forgiveness has been lost on me. Maybe that’s partly because we get it all the time...a wave when we cut someone off, a warning when we really deserved a speeding ticket. And we give it all the time...someone bumps into you in a crowded hallway, someone arrives a few minutes late for a coffee date. Forgiveness is everywhere, yet seems to be done so mindlessly.

How can that be? How did we misplaced the importance of forgiveness? In my mind, forgiveness and love go together. Forgiveness is a powerful expression of love.

I’ve been thinking about forgiveness a lot and came to a few conclusions. I didn’t figure out anything amazing or new, but all the same, it’s been a good reminder to myself.


You can only forgive the guilty. Simple truth. It means that someone has done something against you and you have every right to hold that against them. Make them pay a penalty maybe, punish them, or have them be punished. They are guilty; they are in the wrong.

And then forgiveness jumps into the picture. It’s pardoning someone when you don’t have to. It’s refusing to press charges when that’s what the person deserves. It’s stopping your hand when you have every right and desire to strike them.

That’s powerful.


Forgiveness can only be extended to us when we are in the wrong. When we are guilty. Me? Guilty? It happens.

When I think of forgiveness in that light, like it’s something I don’t deserve, but got anyway - WOW! When I could have been punished, could have been charged, I was given a “get out of jail free” pass instead. I did nothing to deserve it and nothing to earn it.

Offering forgiveness is another powerful thing that I think has been lost on me. There have been recent situations in my life that have caused me to think long and hard on offering forgiveness. Wrongs have been committed, offenses against me; times when I would have been in the right to be mad, upset, angered... but instead, I had the incredible opportunity to respond in love: with forgiveness.

Confession: Forgiveness felt better than getting mad. It felt a lot better than being offended and allowing that to simmer in my heart. Giving forgiveness when it seemed like I had every reason not to was an extension of love and compassion to the receiver, but it was also a blessing to me.

Crazy, right? I so badly wanted to be angry. I deserved to get angry! At least I thought I did...

But do we really “deserve” to be angry? I know I don’t have any right to those things most of the time, especially when I think back on the countless things I’ve been forgiven for. If there were a list of all the times I’ve needed forgiveness when I deserved to pay the price...well, the list would be long - super long. I don’t have the right to withhold forgiveness in light of that.

It hasn’t been a revolutionary realization, but it’s been a good reminder of those few simple truths. Everyone needs to forgive and everyone needs forgiveness.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchman for the morning, more than watchman for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. -Psalm 130

So next time the words, “I forgive you” are said, think about what that really means. And the power behind it.