Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Song of the Day: "Destination" by Nickel Creek


Ok, so I had never heard of Nickel Creek before, but then I listened to this song on Spotify and nearly died. It has been in my head for a solid week now, and I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO IT. To be fair, I went to the library today and picked up the full album to put the song in context -- and what a great album it is. But that didn't stop me from listening to "Destination" six or seven (or eight -- or nine!) times just today. This is my jam, yo. 

Camp Jitters


So I must admit I am getting just a tiny bit nervous about working as a summer employee of sorts for my very favorite summer camp. I will, Lord willing, be joining the staff in June, which is only a sneeze away from this precise moment. I can't believe April is almost over; next will come May, and after May, June, and then I will be leaving home for the first time ever to stay Somewhere Else for an extended period of time. I am not about it. But at the same time, I am very excited. I know God has planned this for my life, and I'm very eager to see what's going to happen in this next chapter.

Something my Ethics teacher told me is that people are often looking forward to the next moment, and not enjoying the one that is right in front of them. So I don't want to be worrying about May or June or after June when right now I am sitting on the carpeted floor of my living room while my dad plays the piano, and my mom washes the dishes, and my sister watches major league baseball beside me.

There is no need to worry.
Ever.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Moment #5



Today was the last day. I stood by the bay and looked out at the water, my feet in flats hanging over the edge. I looked out at the body of water that had been my view, days without number during lunch hour. I breathed in the air of the bay, hair blowing backwards. I am leaving this place, and I won't be back. I won't be back for some time.

Moment #4





Sit for fifteen minutes in the parking lot of a bustling Winn-Dixie, and let me tell you, you will get a glimpse of humanity. My mother had to run into the grocery store the other day to grab various food items, but I stayed back instead, waiting in the car. I hadn't thought to pack a magazine to read while I waited; there was no music for me to listen to. So I just sat and watched.

There were men with bronzed shoulders and tattoos; pairs of women walking and talking; even a dog waiting in a car, like me. And I heard snippets of conversation, soundbites of humanity that made me wonder about where these people had come from, and where they were going. Oh, people.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Music Recommendation: Jake Bugg

If you're looking for some acoustic, folky music to remedy this truly tragic of all weeks (finals, for those of you who are taking classes), I would *highly* recommend Jake Bugg. As this kind of frightening photo suggests, Bugg is kind of old school (and may hit the cigarettes a little too hard). But he has a wonderful voice. I will admit, its whiny pitch used to kind of Bugg me (ha), but the more you listen to his music, the more you will love it. I promise.

Bugg's first self titled CD was released in 2012, but it sounds like it was recorded in the 60's. Despite his maturity, Bugg is still a youngin' (unbelievably, he's the same age as Justin Bieber). He also has a sophomore album out, Shangri La, but I've yet to purchase it. If it's anything like his debut, it will be haunting, thought provoking and pleasingly retro.

Standout Track:
"Someone Told Me"

For Fans of:
The Kooks; Bob Dylan

Obsessions: Bob Dylan's Hair

I'm not sure there's enough words in my vocabulary to explain how fascinated I am with Bob Dylan's hair. Honestly, there is no hair more wonderful than its fluffy fluffiness. Whenever I see someone with this type of hair, it's an immediate attraction. I'm thinking about adding yet another feature on this blog, entitled A Weekly Portrait of Bob Dylan. This blog is becoming incredibly indulgent.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Satisfied Sunday: Grace

I've never really given much thought to this lyric, but the more I think about it, I just love it. It is wonderful, as a musician, to imagine God tuning my heart to sound just right, to help me respond to Him as I ought. I am His instrument, and He will use me to get glory. I've been learning this this week as I study through the book of Jeremiah.

So, this Satisfied Sunday post is kind of a two-for-one deal; today I am grateful not only for God's grace, but my own ability to express joy about that grace. When I get an accurate picture of the grace I have in Christ, I should always respond with joy and thankfulness.

Often, however, this is not the case: Instead, I tend to feel weighted down and worried (check yesterday's post for proof), but the whole purpose of the Gospel was to eliminate this fear and failure in me, and wash me with Christ's blood. If you're in Christ, friend, know that the proper and wonderful response to whatever it is that may be happening in your life is full, unrelenting joy.
We are under grace. Praise God for that.

Satisfied Sunday #4



Music. This past weekend it's been leaking out of my pores, dancing in my soul. I've been listening to some pretty wicked new jams, courtesy of the modern wonder that is Spotfiy, and attempting to play some riffs on my banjo. Every day I am so grateful that God has given me a gift, and passion for, music. I love to sing, write songs, pluck away at the acoustic strings of my guitar, Little Mikey. There's a story behind that guitar that I think is worth telling, someday. Maybe when I'm done with this semester!!

//

So grateful

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Moment #3

Last night, something truly wonderful happened. I was sitting in bed (not the one above; I wish!), trying to pray and talk to God, but I felt a bit burdened. A lot of the time my soul feels like an anchor, weighted down, underwater. It shouldn't be this way; as a born again child of the King, I am bathed in grace. But I'm introspective, and I often feel this way.

A verse came to mind: why is my soul so downcast within me? I love that the Psalmists are poets, and emotional, and grapple with issues like introspection. But I had no idea where the verse was. Not even a second later, the words Psalm 43 came to mind, as if God had stamped them on the very front of my forehead, carved them onto the crannies of my cerebrum.

I turned to Psalm 43, which I'm almost positive I've never read before, and the first thing I saw was this verse:

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." - Psalm 43:5

I love what God can do with the little moments in my life. He's in the details, people. Don't doubt it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Novel Idea #1

One of my deepest dreams, perhaps my deepest, is to be a writer of books. I have wanted this since preschool, when my stories featured none other than my very original (and very pink) main character, Pinky the Dragon. (Patent pending.) This dream, unlike some others (I'm looking at you, skateboarding), has not died. If anything, it's only solidified itself and gotten stronger over my lifetime. I'm grateful to God for putting this passion in me, and can't wait to see what He's going to do through my writing.
My novel is called Grace. At least, tentatively. Who knows what might happen between now and finishing it. It's a double meaning, as grace is a main theme, and a main character.   

Secret Spot

There's a secret spot I sometimes go to in the park. It's best in the early morning, just a quick two miles' bike ride from my house. I've gotten in the habit lately of waking up early -- to visit this special spot, to read my Bible, or to take a walk, to write. I love the morning. There's something so quiet and still and natural about it. When I'm sitting alone under the trees, I can almost see what the Earth was intended to look like, before traffic lanes and smog and McDonald's on every corner.

It's just wilderness.

Moment #2






Libraries are quiet places, not usually settings that inspire bravery. It's funny, you know; the whole building is full of words, words and stories, but we've never spoken. I see you here every now and again, I see you in the place where it's okay to be quiet, and I don't mind the silence. In fact, I welcome it. Eyes can whisper phrases better than lips ever could.

Thoughts


I know I should be studying for exams and writing essays, but instead I am waking up early, and eating bowls of oats cereal, and reading the book of Jeremiah while snuggled up in bed. All I am doing is taking morning runs in the park, and going to yard sales with my mother, and listening to indie folk singers on Spotify that I never knew existed.

And I am thinking of you.
I am thinking of you always.

Film Friday #1



I have a wonderful box full of film photographs underneath my desk, bursting with shots of my family back in the day. Each month, I choose some of my favorites and tack 'em to my bulletin board. I love seeing shots of my fam from before I was born. There's something gloriously nostalgic about it all that I just adore. So, my good people, I bring to you Film Fridays!!

This shot is of my grandfather, in Michigan, I believe. I love his coat! I happen to actually really like the accidental double exposure, too. I love how my grandpa is centered in the shot, still and clear while everyone around him is moving about. This will remain one of my favorite shots of him. It's a great portrait.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Writing Prompts Fistpump #1

So I thought it'd be kind of cool to jump start some writing here on the blog with little writing prompts.

Here's the prompt:

Some mornings she felt like she couldn't even ___________. But this morning, she knew anything was possible. Maybe even _________. 

And what it spurred on:

"Some mornings she felt like she couldn't even hold his hand. It felt wrong, put-on, like somehow pressing the soft peach flesh of her palm to his was a lie. She had spent the past four dozen years of her life by his side. But it was starting to become monotonous. If you do anything long enough, it becomes a pattern, a circle, a groove notched in the ground on the path that you tread daily. But this morning, shining with a silver light through the dusty, shabby windows, she knew anything was possible. Maybe even death."

Wow. That got morbid.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Moment #1

I walked in and almost didn't see you at first.
I headed for the vinyl section, because I have always been obsessive, and a collector, and I love music. Something about the big pictures and the full, spinning sound of a record thrills me. But that's besides the point.

I walked in and almost didn't see you at first.
You with your fluffy hair, and shy demeanor. I am not a believer in coincidence. I am not a believer in chance. And yet still it surprised me. I wished I had craned my neck to see what you were buying.

I walked in and almost didn't see you at first.
You were standing by the door like you were just about to leave, handing over crumpled bills for some musical purchase (Coldplay? Foster the People? The Beatles?) but you retreated back, standing across from me and running your fingers across the vinyls to examine something before leaving.

I walked in.
And I almost didn't see you at first.
But I did.

The View from the Mountaintop of Homework

Hello, you. I realize it has been a while since I last blogged (at least, it feels like a while to me), and I have so much inspiration and ideas for this here bloggy, but at the moment, I am swamped with schoolwork. It's the last week of school before exams, and I still have to complete another test and three essays. This would sound mild, except for I've already had two tests this week and everything's just happening kinda quickly. I'll have my AA by the end of this semester, can you believe it?

I have lots of things I can't wait to share with you, like my favorite new composer, another Character Sketch, a new feature on the blog, Easter stories, an album review and more. And I also can't wait to read y'all's updates. Summer is just around the corner!

See you on the flip side.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Satisfied Sunday #5: Clothes

It should never astound me that the Lord God provides, but sometimes He does it in such a way that reminds me "I'm still here. I'm holding onto you."

Yesterday, my sister and I decided it was time for a girl's day out, and so on our way back from Chili's (y'all really gotta get at those bacon ranch quesadillas) we stopped at a local church sale. Let me just say, there is something consistently right about church sales. You can always find something gnifty. I even saw a picnic basket for sale!! There was also a mountain of clothes, which my sister and I promptly scoured.

I had been praying about clothes and reading over my favorite passage in Luke 12 that talks about how God will clothe you if you seek Him first. And He did that. The two of us got as much clothes as we could stuff in a paper bag for $3. Then we went home and swapped our own clothes for 2 hours.

Oh the benefits of having a sister my size!!

God always provides, in His perfect way, at the perfect time. If this is how He clothes me, how much more will He perfectly provide for the other needs in my life!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Itty Bitty Verses

I found the itty bitty verses this morning. They had always been a favorite, but I hadn't read them in a while. Small as they are, they are strong. If I actually put these commands into practice, perhaps I would be a fuller person.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18

I made a list of all the things that I can do to make myself the best version of myself possible -- obvious things like be kinder, read my Bible more, but also simpler stuff, like take more bike rides, and eat more fruits and veggies. Not surprisingly, these passages made the list. Have joy, always pray, and be thankful no matter what. This is what I am called to do. If I follow through, imagine how my life would look to others.

Let them see You in me.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Streets of St. Augustine

I usually don't do Throwback Thursday posts, but I randomly remembered the trip my family took to St. Augustine a couple of years ago. This city has special meaning for my family, because it's where my parents went on their honeymoon 21 years ago. (Yes...I'm a honeymoon child, hehe.) There's something so wonderfully quaint about the town, and those wonderful streets. Flagler College is not too far away, either, and there are lots of little indie shops where you can find glorious trinkets and clothes.

I'm not one of those girls whose really given tons of thought to my "dream" wedding, or where I want to go on my honeymoon, but maybe one day, my guy and I will visit St. Augustine together. At least for nostalgia's sake.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Melodic

 No, I'd rather not do my homework, thank you. I'd rather spend the last 3 hours of my evening on the carpeted floor of my bedroom, strumming my acoustic guitar and writing songs with my sister. My ethics essay can wait.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Security


Sometimes it's tough to go through my day with confidence and security. When I'm not rooted in the Word of God, I can easily put my eyes on myself, or my perceived problems, when I have such a full, blessed life. One such way I do this is by worrying. I worry a lot, it seems. About school, about my body; even about worrying itself! God brought this verse to mind today and it made me smile:

You hem me in behind and before, and You lay Your hand upon me. ~ Psalm 139: 5

I love the imagery of God weaving our bodies out of the dust of the earth and creating us to be full, beautiful people. He breathed life into us and gives us our vibrancy.

For in Him we live and move and have our being. ~ Acts 17:28a

I find that I compare myself to others so often, and it's not healthy. It's selfish. Instead of focusing on my shortcomings, or feeling strangely triumphant by tearing someone else down in my head, I need to remember that we are all beautifully and wonderfully made, and that God has His hand on me.

I really needed to hear this verse today.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just in Case

I've had this suitcase ever since I was very young. I used to be a Care Bears fanatic back in the day. (My entire plushie collection is still being stored somewhere up in the rafters of my attic as I type this. My parents have been very....caring.) Anyways, I love the saying on this suitcase: "Setting sail for grandma's". I would always take this with me when my parents went on mini-vacations, and I stayed behind with my grandparents.

One time, I even used it to run away. I filled it to the brim with books and other things to read, my partner in crime, and threatened to leave after a really bad fight with my parents. I was like, eight. I never left. I just sat out on a bench outside reading books from the suitcase until it got too dark to see. Nowadays, the case remains under my bed until I go somewhere. But when I do, I break it out and spend an impossibly long amount of time choosing what I want to bring with me -- books, magazines, journals to write in, a print out draft of my novel. I may not be running away, but it's always nice to have something to read.