growing slowly

Wisdom and character and trees grow slowly. The tree, after being planted, does not immediately spring up to 40 feet and bear fruit and fulfill its purpose.

IMG_3844

No, it takes time. It goes through every different season; the cold ones, the warm ones, the pruning times, the fertilizing times, and through it all it grows little by little, year by year.

So also I think it is with wisdom. You go slowly and increase gradually. You can’t do everything at the same time in one moment. Change sometimes doesn’t happen immediately, sometimes you won’t even be able to see or measure the growth that’s happening. But it’s there, and someday you may look back at where you were years ago, and realize how much you’ve grown. Keep on keeping on.

conviction

Awhile ago I realized that I didn’t have any huge sin standing out to me in my life.

IMG_2058

Which, at first glance, may appear as a good thing. In reality, personally, it mean that I had become complacent in searching my heart to seeing what I had been doing and cultivating that would cause God grief. There was no growth.

There’s a verse about praying for God to reveal the secret sins one commits, (Psalm 19:12, “Who can know all of his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.” my paraphrase.) that come to mind quite a bit during that period,

so I prayed about that.

And that week had the full extent of what a selfish human being I am shown to me, how unacceptable that is, and how great and undeserved God’s grace is. It’s a beautiful thing. I am so small and He is so B I G and great and wonderful.

I encourage you to ask that question of God, it’s quite eye opening.

roaming thoughts

In my mind, can you find, meaning not meant to hide behind?

sometimes we hide behind words, to hide our thoughts, our feelings, our face.

I have three main faces, I think. My Elisabeth, My Gracie, and My Lizard.

My Elisabeth is the more refined, gentle listener,  thinks before acting, she’s the quiet one who is still and thoughtful on late nights. She is quiet with soft smiles and adults well and plans and organizes and thinks logically but feels deeply.

My Gracie is the child’s heart. She runs and sings and dances and randomly hugs and boops peoples noses and does tickle attacks and jumps right into things and feels bad when she hits two flutterbyes with her car. She has her own words for lots of things, pulls other people into her adventures, and loves the little happy moments in life, or making moments in life happy.

And then there is Lizard. A metaphor. And she is dark. We are not fond of her.

Because, normally Gracie is dominant, with Elisabeth shadowing, (although Elisabeth has been prevalent a lot recently), and there are frequent battles with Lizard.

What are things I have learned to love?

  • core workouts
  • winter
  • the color orange
  • my voice
  • green tea
  • discipline (still in progress, but I recognize and appreciate it)
  • mushrooms
  • abstract art
  • nail polish
  • boundaries
  • hidden lessons

\\ In This Moment //

I am feeling the chair underneath me, the keyboard resistance, the cold on the tips of my fingers and toes, still tasting the cranberry tea. I am hearing mama reading Sarah a story, the boys are gone and christmas duets are playing. Baby It’s Cold Outside is a really creepy song.

I am thinking about future things; I am almost 20, I am writing, I have a job at a spa. I may have a family and house of my own someday. Weird thought, as I’m here with my family here. But I may someday wake up in my own house with little children that I helped make and my Person and we’ll snuggle and make pancakes and drink tea and walk around in pajamas and we’ll teach them the stars and how to whistle with their hands and how to fill up notebooks and make gingersnaps. It’s a happy and crazy kinda thought.

I’m thinking of my Peru friends, what they may be doing right now, all those faces and people I prayed with and pray for, who prayed with and for me. They’re inspiring, I saw a lot of Jesus on that trip, and I miss them. I miss my kids in Tambo. Maybe someday I’ll see them again. I very much hope so.

Funny about traveling, I love it, but I also love home. I love the adventure and seeing new places and going out and about, but I also love having hidey holes and nooks near me that I can retreat to, to walk on my floors and sleep in my bed and be with familiar loved people. I think this is typical, but the thought came jut a second ago so I wrote it down so I can look at it.

these are words that I’m writing down as they come, just to see where my mind wanders when it has a keyboard and blank page to traipse about on, just to see how my thought patterns look on a limited dimension surface, because I need something different than normal right now. Welcome to the mind of an INFP, or what about three pages of one of my journals may look like. I’ll prolly delete it later.

Peru- pt. 2

Along with the VBS’s, we worked on the church of the missionaries we were staying with and that our church supports. We cleaned, painted, swept, mopped, captured a baby tarantula (that we named Andrew. We weren’t allowed to bring him home. Wonder why…), built shelves and desks, reorganized the rooms and helped sort things, tried Peruvian snacks (fresh passionfruit is tasty and nicknamed “snotfruit” down there), did some maintenance work, and built some new bathrooms and did housework for some of the church members.


We prayed in this church, with our team and with the locals. Listening to passionate prayer in a language I don’t speak was a pretty incredible experience. You can feel the gratitude and longing even without understanding the words being said.


We worshiped in this church, learning familiar songs in an unfamiliar language, or singing while we worked.

We played with children in this church, whether during VBS, during church services, to keep the littles entertained while others worked on construction.

We laughed and ate meals and prayed and wept with each other in this church, and I am grateful to have gotten to be a part of it.


It’s funny, as we’d make plans, and then they’d completely change, and everyone would roll with it. You don’t find that in many teams, such flexibility, but we all kept it to some level, and I’m proud of them for it.

Along with the Tambo VBS, we had one in a sport court a few minutes walk from the church. We’d arrive and play music, and slowly children would trickle in, exchanging “buenas dias” with us. We’d do all the regular VBS activities, and play “Chapas” (tag), and some people would play soccer, and some would head over to the swings. They called us Tia or Tio, auntie or uncle, I was Tia Gracia.Still one of my favorites out of everything I’ve ever been called.


One of the kids in particular stuck out to me, Renzo. He was one of the giggliest, most talkative little children I’d ever met. He was one of the reasons I was most sad to not know the language. He look up at me, all aglow, and throw out some long thought, wait for me to nod in acknowledgement of hearing him, smile, and then either keep talking or turn back to listening to the VBS teacher. He would be shy for about 5 seconds at the beginning of each day, and then after that he’d be all about hugs and songs and games and talking. I miss him.

Along with all of our work and ministry things, we did get some exploring time in. We went and walked around Cusco a few times, and that’s a lovely city. Lots of cathedrals, and they are beautiful and hopeless. It’s neat, because the town and country where we were is very brown or tan, but people wear colorful clothing and have colorful textiles and paint and patterns, its a beautiful balance. We drank Peruvian coffee (it’s great, not too sweet)


We also did get to see Machu Picchu on our last day or so of being there! We hiked all around there, up to the Sun Gate (which some of us ran back down) and the Inca Bridge, saw many llamas, beautiful stonework, the Andes are mystic and inspiring.

Takeaways by then?

-The main one recorded in my journal at this time was the thought sparked by our leader’s teaching, that we are not to be quiet or stagnant in our growth or walk as a Christian. We are to share our faith, to spread the light, to be a river and not a reservoir. We have to either pick to live for God, or the world. You can’t be living fully for both, and lukewarm/mixed is not acceptable. Go full out or go home, it is a choice. One to be intentional about.


It’s been something I’ve been pondering lately. I knew when I started this trip that it would either be a one-time-good-experience-thing, or it would lead to more. So far I’m feeling that it may be the latter. But not sure yet. Lots to pray about.

-also, where our focus is to be. We are to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. This verse helps me when I get too wrapped up in my limited perspective. Sure, I feel gross and dirty and my clothes do not match or look aesthetic and I’m worrying about that, but am I showing Christ’s love to others? Which one is going to last longer? Do the kids I’m playing with care? Do they see love through me? Am I really supposed to be worrying about what my peers think of me?  It’s kinda a trivial thing, and not saying that looks aren’t important, but as an example sometimes I get too wrapped up in the little things, verses having an eternal perspective.

weekend wrap up

This is a new thing that I’m trying in an attempt to trick myself into blogging more regularly, 😉 because I’ll procrastinate on blogging, but when I actually sit down and start, I normally end up coming up with a whole bunch of posts, so I just have to make myself sit down and do it. #queenofprocrastination. Who knows if this will actually be interesting or not, I apologize if it bores you, but it’s breaking up my writers block, so hey. Better than nothing. 🙂

this week: My older brother came home on leave for a week! He’s in the army, stationed in Fort Carson, CO, so it’s always happy to have him back . When he got here I was working, so he and mom stopped by the bakery and surprised me. 🙂 That was a happy day. Always surprise people at work, it makes days 1000x’s better. I’ve also been getting tips at the bakery, and as someone who’s never had a job that tips, it’s a beautiful thing! Always tip people. That also makes days 1000x’s better. Apart from work, it was a pretty peaceful week, lots of time either at home or schlepping siblings all over the place. We have two football players playing for two different schools, 5 kids going to two different schools on three different days, plus Awana and church and my Peru prep and shopping… Lots of driving. But I really like driving, so it’s good. Two of my friends are leaving/have left for different states this week for various reasons, stargazing goodbye parties happened…I really really hate goodbyes. I’m grateful for technology, because we can all still stay in touch super easily, but not having the option of just being able to go see them whenever is sad.

 

goals and to do’s: 

  • start and finish packing for Peru
  • keep writing, in my notebooks and on here
  • get the couch moved out of my room
  • get meals cooked for the fam
  • write letters to people
  • going on a seattle adventure with an old friend!
  • go on runs with the sibs

a few favorites:

  • daily mixes on spotify! They now have a feature where they take what you listen to, sort it into genres, and mix your music with other songs that they think you’ll like.
  • The weather has been getting all fallish and moody, lots of late night and early morning rain, and the air is chilly now. Sitting in bed beneath warm blankets listening to the rain, in the dark , with cold air so you have to be all snuggled up, is one of my all time favorite things.

a few facts:

  • I color songs in my head, quite a few of my playlists are organized by what color I feel they fit… Idk if anyone else does that, but sometimes music and moods feel like colors to me.
  • turns out two of my siblings have the same personality type as me, and when they get depressed the best way to fix it is with lots of snuggles.
  • I have a really hard time watching violent movies, always have, but especially after massage school. #1. because I was made as an empathetic little person with a pretty great imagination, so I can almost physically feel the pain I’m “watching” (I know it’s fake, but that really doesn’t change much for me if I’m into the movie). It’s odd and Idk quite how to explain it… It’s like sympathy pain. #2. because massage school taught me so much about the body, it’s art and my job is to fix it, so when I’m watching it get “beat up” it’s painful. Like watching lovely architecture get broken down.

on repeat: ‘ophelia’ by the lumineers, it’s such a perfect fall song.. so happy yet also kind of melancholy, it’s murky purple and deep yellow to me. Working on getting a piano version made, and I got the ukulele chords going.

quote: To make living itself an art, that is the goal -Henry Miller. These words speak to me, make everything art, do it intentionally and to glorify God. It’s convicting and something I’m working on.

And that’s a bit of my life this week! that turned out a lot longer than I expected it to, and this was a quiet week… Huh. That’s happy 🙂 I hope you all have a lovely rest of your saturday. ❤

blessings,

me

upcoming adventures

I have exactly one week until I’m taking one of the largest adventures I’ve ever had.

In one week, at this time, I will be on a plane, on my first international trip, on my first missions trip,  heading to Cusco, Peru!

It all feels pretty surreal…I signed up for this in  February, not sure if I’d make the team or not, and then a few weeks later I got the call that I made the team if I was still interested! That was an exciting day, I walked around the house making disbelieving squeaking happy noises for a good hour or so until it sank in more. 🙂 Eight months later, lots of fundraising and prayers and times seeing God working…It’s almost here. I know this trip is going to be a huge learning experience and I’m super excited for that, it has been already in a lot of ways. We had to raise about $2,200 over the eight months of prep, and the church sending us didn’t want us to pay anything out of pocket if at all possible. So I prayed a lot, and nervously sent out support letters… And was amazed. So many many people started sending in support and sweet letters and prayers, all of the love that I received from people completely blew me away. There were a few times were the numbers weren’t quite as high as they should’ve been at that point, and I’d get nervous, and talk to God about it, and every. single. time. more support would come in a day or so later. So grateful and blessed and just amazed. Also prayers, it’s funny, but you can very definitely feel when people are praying for you and I’m so grateful for people taking their time to talk to God about this trip and myself.

This whole process has been very humbling so far.

About the trip! Myself and 11 other people are flying down to Cusco, Peru, and we’ll be there for 12 days. We’re helping out one of the missionary family the church supports, in whatever way they need help. So far we’re probably looking at a VBS, construction, working with kids… and who knows what else they have for us. It’ll be good.

I love seeing new things. I love Spanish, which is the prevalent language down there. I love working with people to get to know them. I love watching God work . I love working with people and seeing God work together. I’ve never been in a different culture like this and I’m excited. I’m not nervous at all so far, that normally doesn’t happen to me until I’m on the way to places, but I’m not expecting to be nervous as much as just excited.

I’ll let you guys all know how it goes once I get back, 🙂

blessings,

me

 

to ground

I hate falling.
From a cliff.
In my dreams.
At the fair.
Into sin.
To uncertainty.
I love feeling solid structure beneath me, whether a physical or emotional assurance. Grounded. Secure. Why I have such an abhorrence I’m not sure, maybe subconscious remembers reaching for a lying branch, falling far, waking up bruised and hanging by my knees who knows how much later. Or maybe it remembers the dirty feeling of falling morally, of missing the mark. That isn’t a bad fear, per se, I should strive to stay strong. It’s the fear that I have of myself (in a sense) that is wrong.
But such is life as a flawed being, falling (whether physically or otherwise) so what should I do with this fear?
I can either dwell in it, entangling myself until I’m a hyperventilating paralyzed mess, a rabbit with wide eyes afraid to move.
Or, I can find my grounding. I can sink my heels deep into my Savior and know that He’s got this. I can cling to His mane when the fears come running toward me, and know that His net is close below when I fall.
He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own. There is no reason for me to replay these fears.

brought out

So, I’ve actually started quite a few blogs, and I literally just “refound”, if you will, one of the ones I had last year.   I still like it, so you all get to see it today. 🙂

 

Lately I’ve been thinking about beauty. I’ve been seeing posts and tweets and pins about this, and normally I don’t pay much attention to them, but as of late they caught my eye and got me thinking about this subject in more depth. I noticed that much, if not all, of what I saw labeled as beautiful was flawless, photoshopped, artificially enhanced. Altered. Which I’m not saying is bad, I love editing pictures and appreciate perfection and aesthetics.
But it made me think of beauty that normally isn’t recognized; the painful, the small, the overlooked type. The melancholy sort of beauty.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the happy beauty; the perfect symmetry of someone’s face and a flawless smile, a perfectly arranged bouquet, photoshopped eyes that are absolutely breathtaking, a textbook perfect moment, but I also love the other types of beautiful things.

The beauty of holding someone as they cry, seeing their tear stained face, and all of their emotions churning just below the surface of their reddened and moist eyes. The rawness. The realness. When someone trusts you enough to pour out all of the ugly problems and messes in their life, that is also beauty, just a different type. Little flowers growing on top of boulders. Patterns in the mud, an imperfect smile, a homely face but a beautiful soul. Crooked teeth, large noses, lips that are “too big”, different shades of skin, eyes that aren’t symmetrical. People rambling on and on about completely random things, vulnerability, shiny glints in granite, vocal and “clumsy” prayers that are completely honest and open. These are beautiful.

Weakness, there’s just something alluring about it.Watching someone break and realize that they can’t do it alone and that they need to lean on their Savior. Brokenness.
Emotional goodbyes. Sadness. Even though it stinks, it still shows you that you can care and feel, that you’re alive. Abandoned houses, broken windows, peeling paint. Imperfectly sanded objects and ripped jeans from being on your knees. Calloused hands. Graveyards with crumbling memories and strong
emotions. Scars, they show that you’ve overcome. Worn and broken books, specifically Bibles, coffee stains and taped pages. An open manifestation of grief. The moment when you honestly don’t care what people will think and worship and pray with wild abandon. The hard times that shape your story and mold you into who you are.

Missing friends, the heartache that is evidence that you care. Broken down cars by the side of the road with windows smashed in and glass glittering, fallen trees that were once majestic but are now giving back, muddy riverbeds, swamps with all of their secrets, when a fictional character dies and your heart goes through an emotional blender. Piles of leaves gathered up like old memories, chipped teacups, and gruff voices. Finding bones in the woods, cleansing tears, shattered mirrors.

I love those happy, perfect moments and people, but I also love this melancholy beauty. I like imperfection and odd things as much as I do perfection; being different makes you irreplaceable, and so often we’re told to be the same as everyone else. But rawness is intriguing. Such a mystery.  I love it. So wild and imperfect, and yet it is perfect in it’s imperfection, and I’m grateful.

Adventures of the frazzled poet

These past few days have been hard. 

  
Combine disappointment with long work shifts, trying to catch up in a class that I had to miss the first week of, my first college math class (as someone who really struggles with math), rampant emotions due to hormones, homework for three other classes, and you get a very frazzled little poet who’s learning how to adult. 

Last night I got over whelmed, and woke up the same this morning, but then I read my Bible. And I talked to God. It was comforting. 

There are not “bad days”, per se, just hard ones. 

The plus sides of this?

  1. I’ve gotten back into a time management mindset. Time is valuable, I have many things to  do with only so much time to do so. 
  2. It has shocked me into getting back into my bible study and more prayer (haha). 
  3. I understand math a tiny bit more. 
  4. My procrastinating brain has thought up lots of poetry. 

Just my five bits for today. 
Love,

me

delayed apologies…

Dear friends,

I am so sorry for the abrupt break I’ve taken in my postings! My life just got too busy and I was having a hard time with my grades, school, work, family, and blogging, so blogging got dropped for awhile so I can function in these other places.  I don’t anticipate being able to write these Lent postings daily, but I’ll check in once a week at the very least.

Life has been great but busy this past week! I’ve been having great success in praying mindfully and giving up a bad habit, which feels good. I also feel quite more content, have gotten better at massage, can do yoga poses that I wasn’t able to before, or I’ve progressed in them, which is super happy for me. 🙂 I completely cleaned out my room (and got rid of THREE black garbage bags worth of stuff out of there!), went to Pike Place market (I’m planning a post on that), have read books, done homework, done a little bit of creative writing, and have had quite a few good talks with my family or friends.

I’m completely blown away with how many blessings  I’ve been given and resources I have available. So so thankful.

It’s been sinking in what’s happening in my life. I’ll (Lord willing) be a Licensed Massage Practitioner at age 19, working in a paid internship for one of the most knowledgeable LMP’s I know. Hopefully this week I’ll be getting a blog going for all of my massage happenings, I’ll keep all of you updated once I do.

Just filled with happiness and hope and gratefulness tonight.

Love,

me