pillars and 2×4’s

Today, I have felt so burdened with a craving to read my Bible. Spiritual hangryness is a thing and it strikes hard. So I took all of my musings and thoughts and worries and found relief in these blessed pages. 

One thing that has been on my mind a lot recently, is the verse in Psalms 144:12, “that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style.”

Wow. As a daughter, that is what I should be striving toward. To be a graceful pillar. Sounds odd at first, but when you think about it, the pillars (or corner pillars, as some versions read) are resonsible for holding up the building. And as a visible pillar, we are called to be a beautiful pillar. That is not to limit us to physical beauty, I believe, but to beauty of the heart and spirit. 

What does that mean? To be kind to siblings, to mindfully choose others ahead of ourselves, to watch our attitude and have sweet speech, to look out for others and help hold up and support the household, in whatever way you’re needed, and so forth. 

And man. Lately I’ve been more of a 2×4 than a palace pillar. Conviction stings. 

What I’ve been really realizing lately is how great of an impact one can have (and can only have) as an older sibling.  You really do set the tone for all of the younger kids, and whether they plan to or not, they’re going to take some walks in the footprints you left. You can set the tone of the whole house, you can lift people up or drag them down, you can leave a bad taste and memories in their mouth, or bring about sweet ones and laughter. You can make others stronger and encouraged, or bring them down under your foot and grind them til they feel useless. Which then causes walls to be build and good luck tearing those down. 

So today, let’s start being pillars and strong trees, holding up our families as only we can. 

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justice, the present, and earthen vessels

Today I woke up feeling burdened and off and not knowing why. Later I reasoned that part of it was due to talks the night before, and flashback emotions from other talks beforehand. The other part of me felt like I was mourning something, and I don’t know what or why. I just felt odd for a good portion of the day. I think part of it is just having a bunch of words and thoughts that I need to get out through writing.

Talking helps sometimes, but often I like to see my thoughts, and that helps me sort them out and process them. So what’s been in my mind these past few days? [This is in Gracie rambling thought format, if it doesn’t make sense that’s probably why]

God is Just. Wow. If something needs to be done, He’ll do it. If He makes a promise, He’ll keep it. If He says He’ll bless you, He will. If He says there will be consequences, there will be. If he says anything at all, He will follow up and carry out on what He said. Always. Every time. Being an inconsistent human, this blows my mind. He is so faithful, and knows exactly what is needed in every scenario, taking into consideration future and past implications. Therefore, if/when you sin, He says there will be consequences. You know there will be. The same for blessings. He always does what He says. Garden of Eden, bam, sin entered the world, and the curse came as He said.

We are living in a world that is steps removed from the original, a shadow, in a world that is under a curse, not what it should be, with people made in the image of God whose hearts have black streams of sin running through them. It’s like a fairytale, but it’s reality, not just a fable.

It was made beautiful, whole, He called it good. Perfection made by the master Artist. There were eyebrows and fresh water and purity. Animals with no fear, the total absence of evil, harmony, bodies that worked exactly how they were created to, sunlight streaming through branches and waterfalls to walk under and fresh fruit to bite into with juice running down your chin.


Enter

temptation,

weakness,

the Fall.

Enter death, separation, twisted souls, sickness, cancers and pain and angry tears and alcoholism, perversion of good and holy things, spiritual darkness, these evil, convoluted things that just show that this world is broken, and not as it should be, and there is absolutely no way for us to fix it, or to fix ourselves. Us with our broken, twisted, pleading, snarling hearts. Lost and bewildered, simultaneously wanting to wallow in the dregs of our sins, but also at the same time having that faint flicker that is terrified of what we’re doing and hoping hoping hoping that this isn’t all there is to life. That this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, that this isn’t all there is.

And it’s not.

Enter my Savior.

Taking my pain,

crucifixion,

redemption,

undeserved.

Because He loves me. And He actively want to know me. And me to know Him, and what He’s done for me. The God that made everything, who uses the world as a footstool and created atoms and fish and the Milky Way and galaxies and gasses and air and who knows what fire actually is and put together the Bombardier Beetle and the Okapi and volcanoes and knows the exact number of hairs on every single head of all 7.5 billion people on this Earth, who already knows what I’m thinking before I even think it, wants to hear me say it to Him.   [And you too. Just talk to Him. You don’t have to talk Christianese or grandly to speak to God.]

He doesn’t want to just read my mind, He wants me to talk to Him. To learn from Him, to tell Him whats going on in my life and to ask Him to show me His hand in life, He can do so many things, and I believe that He wants to show us that. We don’t pray big enough.

Do I think He’s too busy to hear me or to listen to me? No. To think that feels like limiting God to me. I’m pretty sure He can handle His creation.

This Love. My mind can’t wrap itself around it. I’m humbled. And grateful. So so grateful. Nothing like trying to comprehend the incomprehensible to put life back into perspective.

 

 

772 words so far, what else is on the brain?

2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Sitting on the rug yesterday I found verses that I haven’t read in a long time,

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Holy smokes guys, sanctification. The struggle isn’t pointless, it’s a lesson. It’s for a moment in the grand scheme, we’re continually being renewed as we’re actively walking with Him, whether we realize it or not, as we can’t see things so far ahead. Refer to Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Also verse 7: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”

This makes sense. Anything “good” that I have ever done, was definitely not this despicable little heart that wants to hide away from people and take take take without giving. I have a very selfish heart. And that has been painfully revealed to me more and more recently…. big families and mothers are very good at revealing areas that need to be sanctified. 😉 By ourselves, we are silly little shells made of dust, who can do nothing. Just that, an earthen vessel. But God works through us… Wow.

 

And what else? Living in the here and now. I like to dream. I like to think ahead and look at the future and where I will be. I also tend to get tunnel vision and so focused on one thing I forget to look at the big picture. But I’m not in Spring 2018, I’m right here in Spring 2017. I’m living at home with my wonderful crazy family, with two great jobs, my person is 25 minutes away from me, with many many many blessings all around me in my life, and many transitions and learning curves. The future can worry about itself- I have to research massage zoning laws and sleep deprivation effects and food budgeting and what my Lord is trying to teach me right now. There’s always something.

You have to really be intentional and rejoice in where you are at each season, living each moment as intentionally as you can, because who knows how many seconds you have left? The moment may be hard, but someday you’ll look back maybe and understand why that had to happen in order to get you where you are today. Also attitude. Happiness is a learned habit. It is a choice, and no one else is responsible for your happiness. If you dump the responsibility of keeping you happy on someone, you will crush them. It’s all on you. Choose the joy. Write down things you’re grateful for. Gratitude is a great mood booster and perspective giver. Notice all of the little things. Make it a game.


Life is a really odd thing. It’s so short.

1,288 words.

That went much longer than I expected it to, and I feel better. If you’re still here, I thank you for your time and attention.

Blessings,

me

How to receive massage

I don’t know about you people, but I remember getting my first massage and kinda freaking out. It felt amazing, don’t get me wrong, but I had no idea how to do this and was self conscious… which sounds odd. It should be so straight forward, right?

But where do you put your arms? How much clothing to keep on? When they lift my arms should I help them by lifting my arms for them? Will my hair bother them? Will leg stubble bother them? Sooooo many questions. And then I became a massage therapist, and I shall try to help you with those questions today. 🙂

  • How does this work? The LMP (licensed massage practitioner) should bring you in to the room, ask you how you’re doing, expectations for the massage (basically where you would like them to massage. Full body, upper body, lower body, etc. If you’d like them to work a specific area, letting them know now is helpful so they can plan it into the allotted time. Then they’ll tell you how to lay on the table, exit the room, and you’ll get ready.
  • What to leave on? Some people take everything off, some people stay in their underwear, both are equally as common as the other. Really whatever you’re comfortable with. The more clothes you have off, the more muscle is exposed, so that makes our job much easier.
  • Where to put my arms? Personally, I like to have my clients put their arms by their sides. That way I can see their alignment better and have the muscles relaxed and not stretched out like they would be if you put your arms off of the table. Also I personally find it more comfortable.
  • Limbs? The LMP may lift your arms/legs when they’re draping. Some people try to help me by lifting their limbs, but honestly that just makes you get in the way. I appreciate the gesture, but I have muscles and have lifted limbs heavier than yours. You just relax.
  • Hair? I can guarantee I can work around that. And I don’t really care if you haven’t shaved in forever, I’ve seen worse and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Just means I gotta use more lotion. 🙂
  • If you want more or less pressure, or if you’re ticklish, please let us know! We’ll go to our default pressure and try to go as hard/light as you’d like, and we can read the muscle to see how deep it’ll let us, but we can’t read minds. If you’re uncomfortable let us know and we’ll fix it. 🙂
  • DRAPING. As awkward as it can feel, we can’t see anything. I remember wondering that during my first massage because the drape wasn’t tight, but the way that we tuck it prevents us from seeing any more than either of us want to. It’s actually illegal to expose your clients, so rest assured. Again, if you feel like the drape isn’t tight enough and it’s bothering you, speak up.
  • It’s ok to fall asleep! It’s actually a compliment to our skills, so snooze away. 😉

I hope this was helpful, just a list of things I’ve noticed people wondering about when I work on them.

Blessings,

me

 

 

 

 

 

 

march monday rambles

     A quiet day. Snuggly nanny baby, cheerful babbles and wobbly steps from her. The weather outside shifts from snow to rain to sunshine to wind and back again, March is copycatting February. 

     I sit and think about blessings. I have ginger tea and a napping baby, two notebooks and a healthy body. Wonderful smart parents and great siblings, I’ve learned so much from all of them. Socks and tulips, cheese from my favorite and the ability to directly talk to my God. Wow. 

I have the sweetest love I could ever ask for, an answer to many prayers I prayed and prayers I didn’t even think to pray, but God chose to bless silly me with him anyways. Life has always looked bright to me, but it’s even brighter now.

     It’s almost spring, my favorite time, the blood is beginning to stir, the trees are thinking about budding, life is coming back, and I am blessed, and I am grateful. 

my valentine 

Cinnamon-coffee eyes, strong safe arms that hold me tight, one of the hardest working people I know, mischievous smirks, so many smarts up in that head, such clever and gentle and strong hands. Not perfect, but perfect human people are a myth and intimidating, and he wouldn’t need me if so. This way I get to watch and help him grow. 
So grateful for my brown eyed love. 

My Person

February 2, 2017. 

Bible study, talking in the car. I loved his rich brown eyes and told him so. A sigh, eye contact, shaking hands. A declaration of love and interest. An answer.

 So. Much. Joy. 

Snowflakes started falling, an arm around me, bliss. 

My childhood friend and crush who I always thought I weirded out, is now my person. And it is the happiest things. 

more free thoughts

reading through journals and old poems and prose, realizing I haven’t written like that in a while, even though I want to. The best way to get back into it, I’ve found, is writing here. 

Writing out what comes to mind, then hitting Publish, the thoughts go official. 

Past words and remembers…

That night i danced alone until I tripped, 

my head, piano, and knee collided somehow,

Blood

curled on the floor for a few minutes holding my hair until the ache left, wondering how I managed to do that. 
Funny how you can miss and yearn for things you’ve never had, craving tastes yet to be savored… part of them earthly, but you can also feel and aches for Heaven. Where no longer we have the cursed version II, we’ll have the fully restored original, and it’ll be so beautiful. To feel you fit. To have your heart full. To talk with the Lord. 

Abba, keep my silly heart next to Yours. 

Honestly, there are words that I want to write, things that I want so much to say, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in this life it’s that the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. So I’ll wait a while longer, and soon I think I’ll speak. 

january things

well, it’s a new year, a new january, new things, and so far they’ve been pretty great.

These first few weeks have been full of new faces, learning new routines, aching wrists, earlyish mornings, yummy foods, adventures, late night talks, long walks, snapchat filters, laughs and after work cuddles, kombucha and kitchen floors, smelling like massage lotion and not being able to open things (thank you to my friends who open my grapefruits for me!), little sisters coming into my bed at 3 in the morning because they wanted to snuggle more, more Bible reading and getting into habits and routines that I’ve been working at.

I started two new jobs; one making use of my massage therapy license at a spa in Everett, and the second is nannying a sweet baby that’s a 90 second walk from my house. 🙂

Those have both been great, it’s been fun to work in massage again, nurturing and relaxing people through touch, watching stressed faces melt into smiles… it’s always funny to me, because halfway through the massage I have people flip from their stomachs onto their back, and I see their faces, and they look like an entirely different person than when they first got on the table… it’s caused quite a few double takes on my part.

also nannying. it feels like playing house, which makes me think of childhood and also the future all at once…

the future has always been a little daunting to me. Exciting, but daunting. I was always the kid that never wanted to grow up (but also wanted to get married, so I’m not sure what I was thinking.), who swore to myself I was too scared of driving to learn (turns out I love driving) and Peter Pan was one of my heroes. Turn out, God knows best and I’ve learned that He stands behind me and holds my hands like I hold a toddlers hands when they learn to walk.

The future could be scary. I could fret about it. I could fret about my future love dying, last hugs. I could dwell on thinking that I’ll be the last to die out of my loved ones. I could fret about being alone. I could fret about my siblings getting hurt. I could worry about everyone’s emotional health. Or, I could pray about it. God is trustworthy and has a plan.

The future could be joyful. I could find my person and raise our family and have pancakes on Sunday mornings and look at the stars and have big tickle fights. I could have many roadtrips and adventures with friends. I could have nights with people I love spent sitting on the kitchen floor with the lights off, talking about life and family and many other random topics. I could have sweet snuggles with little loved ones. There are far too many happy things to look foward to, it’s not even worth fretting about the bad ‘could be’s’.

It’s been a season of happy hearts, and it’s only the beginning of the year.

 

today 

today. I woke up with the dream that someone robbed my room and found $5,000 in it, and I was super confused and jealous cause where was that money hiding and why didn’t I find it first?! 

today. I talked to sweet people at the bakery, my third to last day there, pulled good shots of coffee, happy bakery smells. Took home many bagels, my family visited, and I forgot my bag there. 


today. I wrote letters, got a letter from a new little penpal, wrapped presents, thought about future things, talked to mother and my bestie. was reminded how much I love poetry, so pulled out some of my favorite old books. 

today. Is winter solstice. The shortest day of the year and one of my absolute favorites. It’s hopeful to me. beautiful sunset, shades of blue and foggy stars on the drive home. it’s almost time for December to be gone. 

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.