Tuesday, May 31, 2011

To days of inspiration...

To days of inspiration

Playing hooky

Making something out of nothing

The need to express

To communicate

To going against the grain

Going insane

Going mad

To loving tension

No pension

To more than one dimension

To starving for attention

Hating convention

Hating pretension

-La Vie Boheme from Rent

I think I temporarily ran out of creativity. It’s actually been a few weeks. I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like taking pictures. I don’t feel like...doing much of anything.

I’m trudging through my overpacked life right now. I love everything I'm doing and everyone I'm working with. But just because something is enjoyable doesn't make it quick or simple.

Hopefully when VBS and my 3 summer classes are over, I'll have time to let my mind wander into it's whimsical and imaginative world once again. Until then, I'll find joy in running through my overpopulated and somewhat superficial life.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Babies and Butterflies

The past few weeks have been filled with lots of smiles, giggles, and hugs from these two beautiful girls!

Viola playing with her talking book.

Trina and her butterfly!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Want.

I want to sit at Peet’s Coffee & Tea and drink black tea with a warm cinnamon roll while reading an eloquently written novel.

I want to lay on my striped beach towel in the warm sand while listening to the soothing sound of the powerfully crashing waves.

I want to wear a springtime dress and pick whimsical wildflowers from a big open field on a breezy day.

I want to compose beautifully written songs that reflect the ever changing feelings and emotions raging inside of me.

I want to curl up on my bed and mindlessly stare out the window as Chicago drives by five stories below on LaSalle Boulevard.

I want to decorate heart shaped sugar cookies with sweet purple icing and delicate pink sprinkles for a special occasion.

I want to drive for hours on end and admire the wonderful scenery in a state I have yet to explore.

I want to spend a day surfing in the Pacific Ocean waves on a hot clear summer day with my little sister.

I want to go on a long walk hand-in-hand with Robert to gaze at the endless amount of stars God arranged in the mysterious night sky.

I want to value the advice given to me and be humble enough to glean knowledge from the lessons taught by others.

I want to play my guitar and sing on a stage with competent musicians to share with the world of God’s faithfulness and compassion.

I want to read the classic literary works and grasp the meaning as the author intended it to be.

I want to climb an indoor rock wall and victoriously touch the ceiling of the gym just to prove to myself that I still can.

I want to take photographs that capture the ever-fleeting special moments and turn them into lifelong memories.

I want to write accurately and creatively about the continual work of tearing down and rebuilding that God is doing in my life.

I want to eat copious amounts of tortilla chips and mild salsa while sitting around a big table hearing old family stories.

I want to love without holding back or being fearful of what might go wrong.

I want to be content living the wonderful life God has so graciously given me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rockstar Birthday Party

Danny and Trina

6 years old!

Kids and Cake.

Danny and Kendra

Vi and I

Friday, May 13, 2011

Photo #7: Freedom

These are the stairs leading out of Torrey-Gray Auditorium.
The doors open up to LaSalle Boulevard and to the rest of the city.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

And It's Over.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this past semester and have three big things that I learned. The first two are a little more serious than the last one.

Medicine can have emotional side effects. Oh my goodness. Back in December when my appendix was being weird and everything inside of me just wasn’t cooperating, my doctor put me on medicine in a futile attempt to help regulate everything. What she failed to tell me was that the medicine would have emotional side effects as well as some physical ones. “Disaster” is the word that comes to mind. I was sad, grumpy, overwhelmed, and irrational randomly and without a real explanation as to why for the four months I was on it. It felt like I wasn’t entirely in control of how I emotionally reacted to a situation. I knew that I wasn’t responding normally, but I couldn’t get back to being my normal self. And that was frustrating. It also made my already present struggle with anxiety intensified.

That said, it made for a rough semester. I’m no longer on the medicine and am feeling SO much better.

Joy is... I was given the task about a month ago to write my personal “reflections on joy”. After numerous tries, I finally got it written. I love writing, but this was one of the most frustrating things I’d been assigned to compose. (I think the medicine had something to do with it? We’ll say it did.) All semester I’d been tirelessly working on finding and maintaing a positive attitude, but it just wasn’t there. A dark cloud seemed to be constantly looming over me regardless of the circumstance. So, writing about joy was a good challenge for me. Anyways that’s a little background info on it so now you can read it for yourself!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I came to Moody, it’s to search for joy and then cling to it. Let’s be honest, sometimes life is repulsive. It’s miserable and painful and full of dark eerie clouds and dark eerie people. Although these people and situations are temporary in the light of eternity, they have real earthly consequences which cause real pain, leaving real scars. We can’t let these people or situations steal our joy. I believe that joy is one of our most valuable possessions. It’s something easily sparked, yet extinguished just as simply.

Though joy can be found in a person, an object, a relationship, or a feeling, these things are not where it originates from. God is our source of joy and I believe that when a person or a situation is rooted in Him, then we can truly experience it. Even through trials, joy can be found when we’re looking to God. Joy is not found in the despair or the darkness, but in the hope of what God is doing through these challenging times. We can trust that God is always at work in our lives and that He is faithful and good despite a hard circumstance. It’s in that hope and promise that we can find joy.

Little Tomatoes. I just love them. I don’t even want to know how many I’ve eaten between the SDR or the Commons this past semester. It’s an addiction that I have no desire to conquer. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Elijah and I.

I think I’m broken.

As soon as I’ve got everything under control and know what’s going on, everything gets flipped upside down and I have to start figuring things out all over again. The past few years have been a vicious cycle of “I’ve got this!” to “what the heck?”.

But it’s in the chaos that I see God work. It’s in the quiet moments and encouraging conversations intermingled in the mess that God makes His presence known.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Elijah and it comes from 1 Kings 18 and 19. He had a successful day on Mount Carmel proving to the worshippers of Baal that his God was the one true God. But this “life is awesome” high would soon disappear. Jezebel, the evil queen, promised to have Elijah killed for what he had done. In fear, Elijah ran away to the wilderness. After one day of running, he was ready to give up and he asked God to take his life. He then relaxed under a tree and fell asleep. An angel woke him up and had a meal prepared for him to eat. Elijah ate and then went back to sleep. After sleeping for a while longer, the angel woke him up again and had more food ready for him. The rest and food gave him strength to travel for the next forty days and nights. He then reached Horeb, the mountain of God, and spent the night in a cave there.

The Lord spoke to Elijah and asked him why he was there. Elijah’s reply was defensive. He gave the Lord excuses as to why he was running away. The Lord instructed him to go out of the cave and stand on the mountain because He was going to pass by.

Elijah was the witness to a great and powerful wind that tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks. Following the wind was an earthquake and then a fire. The Lord was not found in any of these enormous things, but in the simple thing that followed. A whisper. A gentle whisper. When Elijah heard the whisper, he pulled his cloak over his face and went back to the entrance of the cave.

The Lord again asked Elijah what he was doing. Elijah’s response was the same as before, but this time the Lord’s rebuttal was different. He told Elijah to go back to the Desert of Damascus to anoint a new king over Aram. And Elijah did as he was told without questioning the Lord.

I think Elijah was broken, too. I think he was tired, confused, and frustrated. He was diligently and successfully serving the Lord and working to make His name known. Everything was going great until, without a warning, things dramatically turned on him. He got discouraged and ran away from his opposition.

Even through Elijah’s discouragement and questions, the Lord remained faithful and loving. He came to Elijah and met his needs and then demonstrated His power as well as His gentleness.

I know I’m broken, but I serve the same powerful and present God that Elijah did.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. Psalm 147:3-5

Sunday, May 1, 2011

These are Fun!

Aren't these fun?! When I'm a grown-up and have a house, I want to build one of these things.
I'm SO ready for summer. The sunshine, blue sky, and the slightly warmer weather these past few days has been great!