Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thinking of what Sarah said.

Current soundtrack: Death Cab for Cutie - Marching Bands of Manhattan

Things on my mind today:

Vintage buttons, general craftiness and creativity.


Photographing India.

I suppose I always have tons on my mind, too much, probably. However, I seem to have even more on my mind after emerging from an intense week that gave way to a somewhat less, albeit still intense, weekend.

Things feel so raw.

So real.

SO good.

I can't wait for what's coming...I have already begun to see hints of telling rays on the horizon...

now I await one of the most brilliant sunrises of my life.

In the meantime, I am reminded to embrace the current moment and all it has to offer. I love that waiting on the Lord is never boring, never short of magnificent moments to ponder, to feel, to experience. What a full life we live in Christ.

I even feel happier to be at work today...perhaps it's due to the fact we just got some new lamps for behind my desk...it feels warmer, homier; it brings a new understanding to the term "mood lighting."

I guess I have nothing profound or insightful to say, no witty story or clever anecdote, just a small expression of myself and why I am thankful for the things I have...and those I don't.

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." -Job 1:21

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sing without refrain

Current soundtrack: Elbow - Newborn

It is an absolutely beautiful day outside. A day on which I am thankful to be alive.

I have had a pretty horrendous week but it is approaching its end and I feel my body letting off a deep and physical sigh of relief.

Strangely enough, the day I posted my last entry, I got about 3 times more hits on my blog than I normally receive in a given day. I honestly have no idea why but when I saw that I felt somewhat ashamed that I had spewed so much bitterness and more people than normal saw it. I'm not embarrassed that I have moments of weakness or feel that way at times, I just saw a missed opportunity to spread light, love, and encouragement in a moment of personal darkness.

I don't claim to be even close to perfect and I also don't apologize for being honest, raw, and open about the things in my mind and heart. I do, however, want to strive to always affect others with life rather than death...light rather than darkness.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When the world doesn't make sense.

When the world doesn't make sense,

I want to scream.


Raise my hands in desperation.

Throw a fit worthy of a 2 year old and call it quits.

Question why.

Blame others.

Hurl anger at a God I don't always understand.

Why is our response to losing control...to lose control? Isn't that what we are reacting to in the first place? Yet it feels good to give in to a sense of impulsive, reckless emotion. There are moments in which I want nothing more than to reach a complete and utter disconnect of mind, body, and heart. Let me writhe in the pain of the suffering, let me burn to my depths with self-pity, anger, angst...the pleasure in the darkest places. I know I can't stay there. I know I should be frightened of giving in...but my sin takes hold and at times shackles me to the very pursuits that cause me the greatest anguish.

Sometimes it gets tiring to live above reproach, to do the right things, to listen well, and obey completely. Sometimes I hate it. On a cognitive level I can verbalize a comprehension of why I don't just do whatever the hell I want...but on a heart level, I often grasp at the thin atmosphere of understanding.

I look around me and see people I love dearly suffering through hardships and losing things that truly matter to them. Friends losing best friends, family members losing jobs, young people losing health, mothers losing sons, people in need getting everything taken from them when they seem to need it most...

And I wonder. When does it all begin to make sense? Why does God operate so much beyond the realm of the world he created us to reside in? Why does he always wish to keep us suffering in the dark? I hate to sound...cynical, typical, small-minded, weak-spirited...but I can't escape the questions that I have always allowed to fade under the all-encompassing blanket of "faith."

If I sound bitter, perhaps I am today. Perhaps for once I am sick of trying to maintain what's "right" while feeling so limited, small, weak. I want the power of God in my life, I want to be used for his purposes...but I am here, waiting, in a season of fog and trials.

Haven't I always been here?

Is my skewed perspective to blame? Are the dark and sinful places of my heart overshadowing the seeds of hope desperately reaching for the sun-filled promises of life?

Why am I wilting when I am trying desperately to grow?

Why am I destroying when I am trying desperately to create?

Why am I dying when I am trying desperately to live?

No life to see, but death resides

Within the realm of finite eyes.
Shackled to the darkest stone
Cold of iron, hollow tone.
Break apart the chains that bind
Release the demons, light to find.
Blood flows out to cancel pain
From earth's departure, freedom came.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Swing Wide the Door.

Current soundtrack: Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes

I had a good weekend.

Which makes it that much more lame that it's Monday and I'm back at work again.

I should be preparing invoices rather than blogging...but, hey, why not blog a little...or a lot?

I heard a really good sermon yesterday morning. It was about drawing really interesting comparisons of stories from the Old Testament with the New Testament account of Jesus. It was a fairly simple concept but it was a powerful reminder of how intentional God's story is. I liked it. The guy speaking opened with a story of how he was about to embark on a missions trip with a whole slew of high schoolers to South Africa. He gave a few examples of the suffering of the people there and one in particular struck me. He mentioned a 6 month old baby girl that had already been raped 6 times in her short and innocent life.

Besides the sheer horror I felt at the thought of that, hearing it was like a ton of bricks being dropped on my head.

I so easily get caught up in my life and ask myself nearly every day, "who am I and what is my purpose?" I have spent much of the past month or more trying to plan my life and the silly logistics of it, placing a ton of emphasis, thought, heart, and emotion into things that ultimately are not my purpose.

That tiny, helpless, and completely abused 6 month old...she is my purpose.

Now maybe I'm not meant to make a b-line for South Africa and seek out that specific child, but I suddenly felt the light bulb of realization illuminate the darkest corners of my life. I am a servant of God, a servant of love, and without question my purpose is to serve those who are in need. The fact that I get so stuck on myself really bums me out...where am I going to live, who am I going to date, how can I make more money, how can I be happier? Why spend a second more focusing on the things that I was not created to fulfill or be fulfilled by? Sure, I am full of questions, a need for direction, overwhelming loneliness at times, but what is more important than living out my purpose for being alive? Why do I breathe, why do I have my health, why do I have a heart so full of love it might explode out of my chest?!

Because I was created with a purpose. And I have figured out what that purpose is.

In the meantime, I have decided not to move to Colorado (sorry to those of you only finding out about this via my blog...I wish I had time to call you all and tell you every detail), I feel I am supposed to be here right now. Colorado would have been an escape for me...at a time when I need to face the storm of my life head on.

I am thrilled (and seriously blessed) to report that since I have decided to "bloom" where I'm planted, so to speak, that I have made an amazing connection with a church here and have met more people in the past 2 weekends than I have in the past 2 years! It's amazing how the blessings start to flow when we seek God's best for our lives and quit sheepishly shying away from being obedient.

I am also about to embark on another journey in life that will be incredibly difficult and full of trials, but I feel blessed in my decision to do so. I would like to remain discreet about this situation for the time being...it is sensitive and brings up a whole lot of raw emotion in me. I hope to get to a place in which I can share it with you in hopes of encouraging someone out there who may be in the same boat, but, until then, know that I am feeling the Lord's presence in my life, despite my many mistakes and failures.

Sometimes we expend so much energy, emotion, and time searching intensely for the right thing, when in reality it was right in front of us the entire time.

Open wide my eyes to see
The beauty that's in store for me.
Blind me to the flesh's stare
Endure the trial, unaware.
Encompassing the depth of love,
Cast me forth with gentle shove.
Into the World, no qualm or shame,
From earth's departure, freedom came.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Some days turn out to be unimaginably hard.

Today is one of those days.

"On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand..."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The death of intimacy.

I am at a time in my life in which I am soaking up information like a sponge. Since graduating college I have refined so much about who I am and the things I value and care about, which has led me to be more observant and aware of my surroundings in a different way than I used to be. Sometimes it is beyond exhausting to be so interested in figuring everything out...sometimes I wish my brain didn't work so hard, that I wasn't so analytical, that I didn't care so much. It really takes a lot out of me.

I read something today that I found deeply disheartening. But it also made a lot of sense.


This story from NPR talks about the cultural shift that's taken place within our generation over the last couple of decades regarding casual hook-ups and sex. Besides the fact that I feel casual hook-ups are destructive, what saddens me greatly about the idea of casual sex without relationship, has everything to do with a growing lack of intimacy among young people. I realize I value closeness and intimacy a whole lot, perhaps more than the average mid-twenty-something woman. I truly feel that intimacy on varying levels is the lifeblood of relationships, the lifeblood of so much of my well-being. When it comes to romantic intimacy, it's no big secret that I am a hopeless romantic, often leading me to become impassioned about someone too quickly. I am vocal about and aware of my weaknesses because I know myself well and desire to strengthen the parts of me that don't come out naturally well-adjusted and smoothly functioning. I feel strongly about this issue because I see it getting abused all the time...and I don't believe people are as ok with it as they pretend to be. I am going to make some statements about women that may sound blanket-like but I mean them in the best way possible while still considering there are women who will not fit into what I am saying. Please don't berate me for sounding stereotypical, sexist, or narrow; in reality I am a woman and only know the position in which I come from and therefore from where I see the rest of the world around me.

Women often define themselves by the quality of their relationships. Though men may sometimes do the same, it is vastly different for a woman. Women often recognize relationships as the most important factor in their lives and will feel great when their relationships are going great and crappy when they perceive their relationships as lacking or failing. This is the point at which I feel that casual sex and hook-ups are really damaging for women. Once a woman embarks on several casual encounters with men, I believe it truly begins to affect the way in which she feels about herself and the world around her. We already are bombarded into believing our worth comes from our sexual output, our looks, our ability to get men to desire us...when in reality our self-esteem is shrinking exponentially to dangerously low levels. What can be done about this spreading disease? I realize that my opinion differs being that I am a Christian woman who attempts to live my life with different values than the world...though I often struggle with that and subsequently fail...all the time. What I know is that women are using the vehicle of casual sexual encounters to find the most fleeting moments of satisfaction in that they feel desired, if only for a short time. Naturally, as we all know well, that satisfaction doesn't stick and yet another fix will be soon to follow. Why we as women start to count on men for approval and worth is mind blowing to me yet I also understand the draw. That is nothing new and nothing profound. We know ourselves to be beings of discontent, constantly looking for the next finite experience to give us false hopes of a solid self-worth.

Today probably isn't the best day for me to be writing about these things...or, come to think of it, maybe it IS the best day. I am working hard to overcome a bit of a bleak outlook on life in this moment...we are born, we grow up, we get into debt, we work jobs we don't like, we struggle with our self-worth, our relationships, we try and maintain hope in whatever we can get our hands on, we suffer, we have moments of joy...and we die. I know that is the pessimist's worst perception...but sometimes maybe it's good to be reminded just how hard we have to work for the goodness in life...and that it's worth it to work that hard.

I can't seem to shake this whole Air France plane crash that's all over the news. I read another article about it this morning explaining about the different pieces of the plane they have found and what might have caused things to go awry. 228 people dead. Just like that. They have only recovered 28 bodies. I know it's grim and morbid but it makes me want to scream and cry and ask, WHY?! Innocent people. They had no idea their lives were about to end. I can't stand the fragility of life yet I know within that fragility is the only place we can come to understand God and why we need him.

And I need him. A lot.

Days like today, in which I feel myself unraveling at the seams, remind me just how wonderfully out of control of my life I am. And how I need to let go of things even more than I already have. I feel infantile in my grasping for understanding; I am feeble, weak, and small when I think of my Lord and all the power he holds in just one finger. Ugh. It's overwhelming. Yet so often we live the most underwhelming of existences.

I want more. I need more. Yet part of me feels glued to the floor.

I'm sorry I'm a little bit crazy, a little bit all over the place, a little bit emotional. I just desperately want to live my life, live it well, love the Lord, and share that love with others. Yet I am merely human, merely imperfect, merely trying to find my way just like everyone else.

And I realize out of the ashes of the death of earthly intimacy must rise divine intimacy...or we will never make it.

More of You and less of me.

Ok, God. I'm ready. Here I am. Take me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"And in the end, we'll lie awake and we'll dream of making our escape..."

I can't seem to think straight today. Blame it on the lack of sleep. 3 hours and counting. Sometimes I wonder how my little head contains so much information without exploding. Today has been busy which merely means I am even more tired than I would otherwise be. Before I squeeze in all my daily invoicing, I need to take a mental break from work for a bit.

There has been some planning going on inside my head for quite a while now. I have spoken several times about potentially moving to Colorado only to have it be postponed every time, so this time I have been attempting to make plans without telling many people...I was tired of being the girl who always said she would do something but never did it. I have been considering this move for the better part of 18 months. Having just returned from a trip out there a little over a week ago, everything is completely fresh in my mind and I came back to California with a renewed passion to try and make Colorado become a reality. However, as life loves to remind us, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry..."

I have decided to be public with my decision making because I feel like maybe I need an outside perspective. I am having a difficult time making an unemotional decision and feel more stuck than ever.

While I was in Colorado I felt so much potential for a happy life there...even though most of what I experienced was someone else's happy life as I tagged along on a mini vacation. What I do know about CO is that it's beautiful, cheaper to live, and filled with really awesome people...but the job opportunities out there pay significantly less than they do here. Things sort of seem to strike a balance considering the cost of living...so perhaps that is a moot point. I guess the bleak reality (for lack of a better descriptor) is that I don't have much to hold onto in either place right now, I'm just getting eager for a change, period. One thing that I do know is that I need to leave my current job as soon as is humanly possible. I have started to job search in Colorado...AND locally. Maybe sometimes the best thing to do is energize something in every direction and see what pans out.

Truthfully, though, there are things here I would really miss...and I go back and forth on whether or not I would be able to give them up.

Maybe I am just waiting for that one deciding factor.

But what is it?


I have definitely been learning that places you live are truly defined by your immediate community rather than the immediate amenities of the location itself...so what I am really craving is solid community...of which I have none in either place, here or CO...though I have more here. The last couple of years have proved to offer a difficult transition for me as I watched my solid community up in LA dissipate as people graduated college and moved one by one. Before I knew it I was left with only a couple of friends around me...and a gaping hole on the inside. Moving to Newport has been great for the immediate amenities of the location...but has been a bit slow on the growing of the community side of things...though I can't discount recently making a few new friends who are really great. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough? Maybe I am sabotaging my own satisfaction and contentment by not putting myself out there enough.

Maybe the truth is that I could really be happy anywhere I am if only I work at it and quit focusing on the things I don't have.

I am fearful. I hate to admit it...though most people experience fear a lot of the time. I refuse to live in bondage to it but I am also trying to figure out the best way to step forward. I feel like I want a change of scenery but what's crazy is that I have only been here for 4 months and I already am mentally moving on! That scares me into realizing that maybe if I moved to Colorado the old familiar discontent would creep in and I would find myself just as unsettled as I feel here. It's not the place...it's me.

As I hammer all this out I wonder if maybe I truly need to stay put and let God really change my heart to find the joy and blessings in my current situation. Ack! What do I do? I don't want to spend my life constantly roaming around looking for the perfect situation because I'm pretty sure I will never find it.

And what I want more than anything is to travel the world...so maybe it doesn't so much matter where I live for the time being. I need to focus on paying off debt and saving money if I ever want to see that dream realized.

Colorado is wonderful, beautiful, and seems fresh and new...but I'm seeing that it will still be the same me who moves there.

What's most frustrating is that I have spent a lot of time praying and trying to seek guidance in the best way I know how...and I'm still coming up with a giant question mark.

Or did I just literally answer my own question while writing this...


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It is currently 2:05am.

I have insane insomnia.

But thank the Lord....

because there is a HUGE freak thunder storm right now.

I just saw not one, but TWO transformers explode in a fury of blue light. And now it is pouring rain.


I am so sorry you are all asleep...and subsequently missing out on something so rare around here.

Forget about trying to sleep now...I am extremely wide awake.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

From earth's departure, freedom came.

Current soundtrack: Death Cab - Narrow Stairs

I woke up this morning already running late. I got to work on time (barely) and decided that I didn't have the brain power to start working immediately, so, per my usual morning ritual, I read the news online. There was an article about how they found some of the debris from the plane that disappeared en route from Brazil to France yesterday. Reading about it gave me the weirdest feeling...and once again I was reminded just how feeble life is. I don't like thinking about death but at the same time I think it's a good way to get myself motivated. Is that weird to let death motivate me? Maybe, but I'm not sure how else to understand life in the sense of the bigger picture, how else to appreciate the value of a single moment. And I find myself unhappily sitting here at work wanting to cry because I'm HERE and not somewhere else being more productive or making more of an impact. I feel like I need to refocus and remember that God calls us to be diligent in every situation, especially the crappy ones.

Sorry for the morbid undertones, I think I am just a little left of center this morning and grasping extra hard for the answers to my life's question marks.

In this moment I am loathing the fact that all I blog about is my horrible job. Maybe I need a serious attitude adjustment...I know that I can't just blame external sources for my internal turmoil; I may be a very strong-willed and stubborn woman but I have definitely learned to at least accept responsibility for my own actions and responses.

I think I just need a change of perspective. A long bike ride in the sunshine. A chocolate and rainbow sprinkle-covered frozen banana. A good laugh. A really really good hug. A day to pray and meditate on how glorious it is to actually be alive. An extended vacation abroad with me, myself, and I.

Feel free to embark on this spectacular photographic journey to all the places I want to visit, in roughly the order I want to visit them in. And please, bear with me, I desperately need an escape today.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Rio de Janero, Brazil

Somewhere Wonderful, Chile

Mt. Fuji, Japan

New Zealand. I want to romp in these hills. And pet some sheep.


The Swiss Alps. I would like to don some laderhozen and yodel in these mountains.

Iceland (didn't know it was so awesome, did ya?!)

Halong Bay, Vietnam...some of the world's best climbing is found here.

Thailand. Not the most scenic picture but one that I really like for some reason.

For Cory. Paris...via the lens of my own camera.

There are so many other places I would like to go, it would take me hours to wrangle up all those images. It seems like a terrible tease that the world was created to be so wonderful, beautiful, expansive, and fascinating yet very few people have the means to enjoy it. The irony of all ironies. I guess I should try and work now. I actually do feel a bit better...