Friday, September 30, 2011

On Friends.

It's Friday! That means Linking up with TheGypsyMama and the others for five minutes of writing bliss. The topic for today is one of my favorites. I could write and write on this one, but I'll spare you for now:). It's 'On Friends.'

The years keep piling up since I have seen many of my friends, the ones I would spend everyday with in college, and the ones I'd see often enough where I grew up. That happens, people say. It gets harder when you move away. Especially when the home you go back to isn't the one you grew up in anymore and your friends are all scattered.


(me back in 2010... I'm now a Northern/Southern mutt)

We make phone calls. Write letters and cards. With the digital age keeping communication distant, it's pretty amazing: I still feel close. I can hear in their voices how things are going, try to make plans for visits. I want to see them soon, but it's hard with a big family to see when I travel. I'm determined yet to see those new babies, and to see my friends more in real life.

I guess what's important is we've found a way to make it work for now. When you keep at it even though you don't see a person, and have no idea when you will next, it makes it all more beautiful.
***

I'm glad I've had some prep for linking up, because starting tomorrow, I'm writing for the 31 days of change series and linking up with TheNester and crew. Come by and check it out!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

7 Reasons Why Writing For 31 Days Can Be A Good Thing

1) It can jump start and pull your writing in. A two for one special.


Are there visions, creative ideas- new or old- that you'd like to put into words?

Thoughts churning up there that you want to let swirl around into the beauty of the free page? Or do you desire to pull them together concisely, into a structured pattern? You can go both ways.


No, I'm not a bloggy-marketer. I just love the freedom that blogging has offered me. I never thought it would. I was actually sort of against blogging for a long time, in any "traditional" sense of the way it's done. 
This leads me to number two.

2) You have an excuse to write some things out longhand.
Ok, maybe not the whole free world likes to write on notepaper but this has always been my preference. Yesterday, I was at a cafe and one of the workers told me I had "very distinct handwriting" (as she writes furiously...). ha ha. I didn't have my computer and I wanted to get some thoughts down for the series TheNester is hosting starting Oct. 1. I realized how much more strongly words came to me when I hand write them down. Of course, I scratch half the page out and only I can read it. That dates back to my journalism days of interviewing reporters, but perhaps even earlier- it's just how my 'writing' handwriting works.
Is there anything that helps you write more effectively?

3) 31 is an odd number. Odd numbers are fun.


4) You can talk about a topic you particularly like, or want to learn or consider more about, want to be challenged with, etc.

The opportunities are endless! The idea behind the series reminds me of the days in school when you're NOT given a prompt and you're asked to just pick one and write about it. I loved that. I think people either loved it or hated it. I always liked freedom of imagination. I'm not sure if this was a good thing, but sometimes, when there was a prompt like, "One cold night...."  and my mind wandered to the desert, I would probably change it to something like..."One cold night in the desert, we couldn't believe the weather conditions." Silly, I know.

5). You can link up with others. You can grow and learn and have fun along with their fun and growing and learning. This is neat to me; I really enjoy those link ups. The Nester will provide a link to do that on the first day of the 31 days. Writing with others is not only fun, to see what brings them joy and inspiration, but writing is so solitary at times that it is nice to have others, even if just through the internet, to connect with like this and spur each other on.

6). 31 days of writing can be a challenge. "If it's a challenge, why is this a good thing?" Well, I think challenges can be good. I'm a people-person and I need others at times. See above. This type of thing reminds me that even in writing, my 'solitary activity,' I might be called to think differently about that. Why does it have to be so? I guess, just because something is a challenge, it doesn't have to produce sudden difficulty, especially when writing is one of my favorite things to do.

I need to be more prepared than I am usually with blogging, even though many times my writing on here comes from seeing where God leads in the day-to-day and being responsive to that. But some things require more gradual thought and I'm seeing His promptings on that. Also, thinking about how to fashion a series is helpful ahead of time.

7) It's October. This is happening starting October 1 which means it's almost October 1. For some reason, October always seems to go by fast for me. It's the precurser to the holidays coming around the bend. For some reason, as I stop, sit down and write more often, it helps me to savor the moment. I love summer and the holiday season, so October has never really held any major significance for me (in the past I haven't been a big fall person), but this year I'm getting a sense that there is a need to just spend time in the present. I know a lot of you out there LOVE the fall, so this would be a good time to enjoy it. Take some time to write about it or do whatever it is you autumn lovers do in the fall. But, maybe this series will help you with that.

*I'll be talking about love. Lots of things about love. Probably not just the ideas you're coming to the table with. Hopefully, within the 31 days there will be something that grabs you, as this is a topic we hear about so much in culture and life. I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Tunes- Phil Wickham

Stop. Listen. Repeat. It can be easy for me to go about my day and not listen to what God is doing. Over and over I have to be conscious, in order to stay alert to him, to recognize that I can come into his prescence and that nothing can separate me from that.Sarah Young, with her heartfelt devotionals spoken as if from the perspective of Jesus, says in yesterday's words,

"Come to me and listen! Attune yourself to my voice and receive my richest blessings. Marvel at the wonder of communing with the Creator of the universe...when I cried out from the cross, "It is finished!" the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This opened the way for you to meet with Me face to face."


Music helps me with that. Sometimes my mind gets that I am not the center of this life, and that even this life now is not the center of life, but my heart and the rest of me needs reminders of where it's is all headed.
I'm a big story-teller...and to me, music gives way to short, wonderful glimpses of scenes of story in action. The highs and lows, the crescendos, it's all there.

This week (not just this week), I need a little more Phil Wickham music in my life. I was thinking about what brings me to praise and to a focus on what's important in life. I've been focusing a lot on the whole narrative of God's story- from Eden to new heaven and new earth- that God has a purpose and a plan and he is a redeeming God.
I love how Phil Wickham brings together these ideas and the gathering up of story in the songs on his album Heaven & Earth. He actually has a song called "Eden." And a couple about heaven, including "Heaven Song." I can't express how much I love "Heaven Song." I have to stop what I'm doing in thanks for what God has done and is doing, even in times when a glory that "far outweighs them all" seems very far off.

Phil's songs that are amazing are quite numerous...of course, anything to do with heaven is a favorite, so the whole of the album is great, and unique among others in this realm. "Safe and "Cielo" are two I like. In album Cannons, I enjoy "The Light Has Come," "You're Beautiful, and "True Love."

In addition, who doesn't love his song "Divine Romance"? And, if you're one who listens closely for Phil on the radio, you might have heard "At Your Name" being played recently. That's from his new CD which comes out soon!! October 4 to be exact.
(image from amazon.com)

His new album is called Response and it looks to follow suit with the rest of Phil's other work- quality sound, awesome lyrics, great heart behind the work. A culmination of everything he's done so far, demonstrating why "this revelation demands a response." Very exciting. If you are new to his music, you still have a little time to familiarize yourself with some of his other tracks before the new album comes out, but he talks about how you can download Response to your computer on his website even now. Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Night Sky

Because we hear the great story of God as a relational God, even from the very beginning, with the first people he ever made, as it is such with us. God, in his awesomeness, found a way to connect with us even when brokenness entered the world- his Son created the way to him- but sometimes, because of our own fleshly selves and this worldly life we live in, the lifesource that we have when we accept his ways now-living in step with the Spirit, can seem a little static-y at times. Where is that light and power and connection when at times it still seems like darkness surrounds?

The other night I was driving and all at once I was taken back by the sense of awe I had at the night sky. It was gorgeous. It not only had the blunt dark color you often see, it also had lighter shades of blue. It wasn't sunset time, but it was one of those moments when I just had the sense that God was painting a picture with the night, like he was doing something special with it. It was an unusual time of night for something that pretty to give shadow to the trees, and it was amazing.

To me this gave motion to the idea of God moving in dark places. It came overtop and coated what he'd already been teaching me about this. God is involved in times and places that seem to be out of touch from his hand; he knows what he's doing even in the most mundane or repetitious of trials. I believe that God works in ways we don't often expect, but he continues to bring light into our lives- His light, so that it might shine in places we're often unaware, and give color even when we thought it was still night.

This has happened in my own life, over and over again. I believe that he works on me in mysterious ways and shows up so that even in the midst of a hard-fought night, before I know it, it's morning.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Growing

Ivy, oh ivy, I can't believe it.

You've had a long life. Don't go on me now.

Folks, I've had an ivy plant in my house for many years. For as long as I've been on the stomping grounds I affectionately call home. And that's been awhile now. Just ask SheMarksInRed. This has been a great plant for me because it hasn't required that much 'tending to.' I have tried to water it as need be, but it actually preferred not to be watered!! In fact, neglect was its favorite. What a funny 'ole plant. Growth? I am not sure what that really means to my ivy plant, because every so often it would seem like it was dying, and just then, I would nurse it back to life, with just enough water, and there it would go again, thriving. It was as if it liked this survive/take a break/thrive/almost die/survive/take a break/thrive/almost die mentality.

I can't quite understand it. However, something happened, and it's not coming back to life this time. Maybe, just maybe, it has a little spark in it yet, but it's been several weeks, and we're off our game all together. I think I overwatered it this time. Just for kicks, I went to this website, and it was really helpful. Most of it I was already doing, but one tip was really helpful.

There needs to be drainage when you water it a lot (okay, first of all, one probably should not be overwatering a plant who is finicky with water); it needs to have somewhere to go!

It got me thinking though...

*With any type of growth, when good things in our lives are watered, it needs to have somewhere to go. We can't just sit around like sponges not absorbing that water. We will continue to be sopping wet, and not as useful as if we used that water to nurture areas of our lives or other areas that were dry. In the end, it's not lack of water that is killing Ivy, it's not having any use for the water.

 Ivy is still in my kitchen, but she is not photogenic right now.

~This post was inspired by The Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday! Check it out and join in the fun.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

31 Days

Hi Friends,

Yesterday, I discretely spoke of my topic for the 31 Days of October series (hosted by The Nester) amidst my traditional Tuesday Tunes post. I highlighted a couple other themes in there, but they all pretty much connect. This is my first time participating in the 31 Days and I'm excited! There's been a lot of talk by others linking up and sounds like a potluck 31 days of writing/growing/sometimes forgetting this is happening on the internet. :)

So, in case you were wondering, or left in suspense, my topic is going to be LOVE.

That's right, one of the most overused words in the English language. Well, what can I say? Predictable. No, not really. It's actually an urge of the Father in this direction. I probably would have gone in another direction, because, for those of you who don't know me super well, I'm not going to be your strongest candidate when it comes to the 'cookie-cutter', modern-day definition of love. I am not married, never have been. I have not yet truly been in-love. These are things I desire in God's timing, however, I know, by being a new creation in Christ, there is more to that way we see love.

But, don't you think it would be different to get the perspective of love from someone who is single???

I have felt pulled in the direction of writing about love for a lot of reasons...I'll get into that at a later time, but this will be a fun time! Even though I know a lot of us may be in different seasons, there's a lot of ways we do relate on the topic of love, I am sure.

Some of the areas/ideas I want to focus on are.. (Generally, still mapping it out:))

*Love, passions, dreams

*God's Love

*Loving others well &
Being loved by others


* Love and Loss

*Love and Miracles


I am looking forward to this. I have my work cut out for me, but this is a time where planning ahead and staying connected with others who are doing this will be helpful to me.

Are you participating? What's your topic?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Tunes ~ Matt Maher/ Can You Guess the Word For My New Series?

I was singing along to K-Love yesterday and in between songs during the commentary I heard something that stuck out to me, and maybe you as well. A big lie that many believe is that life is going to slow down sometime soon.

Hmm...I doubt it. We definitely have our slow moments, but life doesn't really slow down. You have to keep yourself in check by finding time for what, or who is important.

After they talked about that theme, they played the song, "Turn Around" by Matt Maher.

well, let me say
that love won't take away the pain
but don't be afraid
'cause it will never walk away

Here are some of Matt Maher's songs I like best (other than Turn Around):

From way back:

Your Grace is Enough

Welcome to Life

Set Me As a Seal

More recently:

Hold Us Together

Flesh and Bone

Alive Again:

You called and you shouted
broke through my deafness
now I’m breathing in
and breathing out
I’m alive again!
Matt's new album "the love in between" is available today!! Check it out!
Image from Amazon.com
*"Hidden" in this post is the word I'm going to write about for the 31 days of October- a series The Nester puts on and others link up
 to...it should be a fun time and I have been thinking about this for awhile. As things like this usually go for me, I thought about introducing this word in a fun, discrete way, but as time passed, different aspects of the word popped up for it to 'show itself' so if this game comes too easily for ya'll, then my Take 2 is for you to correctly guess the number of times I use the word in this post :). Ha ha. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Colorful Writing that Moves

While I was tutoring today, my student and I both took a learning styles questionaire. For years, when it came to my own learning style, I would have talked your ear off about the fact that I am an auditory learner (get it?). But, guess what? There was actually a lot more for me to learn from taking this little quiz...

Do you know how you learn best?

-Aural (Auditory, as I referred to above)
-Visual
-Kinesthetic
-Read/Write

Some inventories refer to only 3 learning styles as the way certain senses are primarily integrated in the learning environment, leaving out the read/write mode. The VARK questionaire includes 4 styles as a way to explain the different ways people input and output of information as they learn.

It's really helpful for people of all ages, and especially when working with kids or recognizing needs in development.

An important note on learning styles:

Innate ways of recognizing information are unique for each individual, but preferences for styles can be "masked by our experiences." They can change throughout your life, but there are consistencies.

I can appreciate that. I am very verbal and so equally balanced on Aural and Read/Write but by taking the test I realize that I'm even more Kinesthetic than I once thought. I knew I had some in me because I like doing things hands-on and integrating movement into processes in life, but as it turns out, I scored the highest on this learning domain. Who knew??

Alas, I'm still lowest on the visual indicator. Shapes and patterns and visual diagrams have not been a preference or strength for me. However, I think that I'm GROWING in this capacity by learning to appreciate color and texture and design and different art forms more.

I remember when I was in college and my friends used to tell me to experiment more with color in my wardrobe. I never realized that I used basic colors like brown and black a lot of the time.

We don't all have to be multi-modal, having the most flexibility to jump between learning styles. Even if we were, I'm sure it would look a little different for all of us because we still use our senses in new ways all the time. It's fun to be aware of though- looking to see where I can add a little more color to my life is never a bad thing : ).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Joy

Today I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo - The Gypsy Mama- and am glad for some unedited writing on this Five Minute Friday. I think I'll need it to wrap my mind and heart around a blog post today.

The topic for today is Joy:



This post is dedicated to Sara at Gitzengirl. I didn't know Sara, but I visited her blog, and I could appreciate what she was going through at some points when I came by to read her beautiful and encouraging words. Not in the sense that I had any idea of the drastic measures she had gone through, and how severly sick she has been for a long time, but with working through pain issues, it was helpful to find someone who shared a similar perspective on living. I can't near touch on her understanding of life at these final moments. In some odd way, though, in these last few days when I heard she was not far off from going Home, in that strange mix of joy and sorrow, I just felt close to her. Not close like those who knew her, but close in the sense of putting together the mixture of what you feel for someone like this, tears that fell for her last night were wrapped up in the pain of what is happening, her life that has been so meaningful for so many, and yet, a joy that doesn't depart- the one that she knew all along would be her constant, that strength that comes from the Lord, now and after this life is through.

There's something that I always liked about Sara, and took away from reading her words. Something that I try and live by, but that I believe the world in its 'nowness' tries to keep us from believing is the right way to live. I think she believed that she was blessed, that there was a way to look at things even when they were hard that could reveal how it was all part of a process, the journey of faith-steps, that with Him as the leader, there's no where we can go with which the road is untraveled..so she chose to take that road with joy.

It's so much easier to take the complicated road, the less-than road, anything but face life one day at a time. As one of my favorite authors puts it in her book almost completely thematically woven about joy in the midst of struggle and pain, Susan D. Miller writes, "It would be much easier to forget it and have a barbeque. It's far less complicated to be distracted or entertained. But if we accept that sort of mediocrity, we will miss our adventure."

I appreciate that Sara continually took the higher road.

(This was a little more than 5 minutes- but I think that's ok)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

P is for Praise

It's been a couple days since I wrote on here. While it's been a busy few days, it's also been an encouraging time on several fronts. God has continued to show me guidance as I prayed in reflection over times in my own journey when I wanted to know more about who He truly was.

In the book Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow, the author quotes A.W. Tozer saying, "God has been abridged, reduced, modified, edited, changed, and amended until He is no longer the God whom Isaiah saw, high and lifted up. May we see Him as He is."

When Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord, He declared Him "Holy, Holy, Holy."

With all of the varied experiences I have had in the past, I think I had a hard time coming to a place where I understood God as this most glorious One talked about in the Bible.

I think when I came to see God as real in my life and seeing Him for who He was throughout time, throughout beauty and brokenness, it became more evident in how praise of this Father was an overflow of that understanding.

At the moment, in reading Dillow's book, I get a sense that people are awakened to worship in a new sense when they see God for who He is, even if they are called to worship Him in different ways. The reaction might be different, but the picture of the one they are exalting is the the constant.

Right now, I'm thankful of several things:

-Music still gets my spirit stirring to praise Him, and I'm grateful that remains a stronghold, even when things change in life.

-I was touched that I got to see Audrey Assad play live. These kinds of things tend to be sweeter with company, but He taught me a few things during my worship experience that I think I needed to learn on my own.

-I'm thankful God continues to etch joy into my soul and that His love and faithfulness are everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Coming Together

As we come upon the 10 year anniversary of the events of 9/11 this weekend, we see footage and those memories coming back to us. It causes me to pause and remember my senior year in High School, going into my Journalism room, where at times we had the news on (it was the media room after all), on that day, half-listening to a newscast, not thinking much was going on at first, all of us just froze, right where we were.

I'm thankful for those people who risked their lives for others, and for those who didn't have a chance to do anything because it all happened so fast. I heard a news reporter interviewing a fireman who survived the twin tower's crashing in all around him, as he made a choice to put himself in harm's way for another woman.

The whole event draws me to reflection now. What I think on is just bits of what I have picked up and have considered over the years, but I know it pales in comparison to seeing every day with fresh eyes if you have lived through that, or the perspective you are forced to find when loved ones don't come out of a tragedy like that.

One thing I continue hearing people state is that community was what they remember being present in the aftermath of a tragedy all around them, that they couldn't begin to understand how to put the pieces of their lives back together, and those who lived around the rubble and in other places began to ban together and support each other like never before.

You may have heard this in commentary, but I think it's an important concept. We live such individual lives in this country, and I will be the first to say that I have a back-and-forth fight with that mentality to some degree as well. Individualism seems easy, but it isn't really.

I have been reading about the term Oikos in the book "Gospel in Life" by Tim Keller. It describes how the web of your home structure is important- and not just your home-home, but all of the structures and community interactions around your home- your Oikos in Greek.

It makes me consider: who is in my household?

It's more than just your nuclear family. It's even more than several generations. It's a web of relationships held in common by kinship, geographical affinity, associates, and "just plain friends."

After 9/11, I like how people are drawing more toward this. And, we still have a long way to go. But, with the anniversary upon us, I think we can remember to still talk, to still unite, to still see that this "web," even if different, can still draw us together.

Friday, September 9, 2011

In Real Life...

Linking with Gypsy Mama for another Five Minute Friday of unedited bliss. This week I'm switching it up by letting my friend Sarah of She Marks In Red post below while I will post on her blog. Aren't we daring?! ;-)

Go, Sarah, go:

In make believe I can be a princess, a Naval officer, a mother of 11, or a mermaid. As a little girl I often pretended and I loved to do so! I still like to "play dress-up", which makes my fiance laugh (and cringe a little). My nieces range in age from 9 months to 14 years, and most of them (there are 5) have, do, or will appreciate that about their aunt. The funny thing is that they like to pretend that they are adults. I suppose we all did that when we were younger.

"Let's pretend . . . that I'm the teacher and you are the student." Or: " . . . that I'm the mommy and you are my best friend." Or any number of things. We made believe that we were grown-up and had responsibilities. We wanted to take part of "real life" by pretending it. It sounds silly! I suppose it is. I remember dreaming about growing up to be a mommy and to be in love. BUT, I also enjoyed being whatever age I was. I loved to pretend, but I also embraced my actual real life. I pray that for my nieces: that they will enjoy every minute of make believe, but that they won't wish away the precious moments of real life they have now for the "real life" they're dreaming about.

Stop.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Than Words

I admit, sometimes the songs I listen to, the ones I play on my radio, my cd player, my computer (Pandora) are like journal entries...that I don't write, but that I offer up to God as the stories and prayers inside of me that I can't seem to muster into words on a given moment..those prayers I'm wrestling with, the songs of praise I continue to turn over in my heart, all the stories of who I am that echo inside of me.

There are some songs that I just have to keep playing again and again. And again.

These might be songs made up from composers I've already talked about on here, but that's alright. There's a reason for that. Sometimes the most important parts of me need to hear it over and over, and as the page mirrors that rhythm, so I keep writing.

I have been listening to Audrey Assad's music on repeat again the last few weeks. Every time I get into my car, I hit play on her CD and seem to find new meaning in her songs, those words.

I like her new song, Sparrow, from the album Live From SoHo.

I also love "For Love of You"

"For love of you, I'm a sky on fire. And because of you, I come alive. And it's you're sacret heart within me beating, Your voice within me singing out."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Don't Ask, Don't Know

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

This image gets me every time. Life zipping by.

In my own life, I have had connections with and have opportunities to get to know people who have dealt with various forms of illness, pain, etc. It's odd though, because, I have had some experience with suffering and pain and different elements of dealing with the medical world, and so I know that things have a way of working quickly and how easily it is for changes you thought might be subtle to actually occur more in the blink of an eye. Of course, there are no absolutes, there may sometimes be room for pleasantries when you're sick or in pain, but usually not. Usually, it's hard, and the only thing that moves slowly is the time in waiting for your situation to get better, while the rest of the world moves fast. Life moves quickly, people move quickly, perhaps not even sure why they are moving so fast...yet, you're well aware of the speed of everything.

I saw a lady who lives in my apartment community today. She has been sick for most of the summer, but perhaps even a couple months before; it came on pretty suddenly even though I think she may have had some struggles before. I remember we had some talks about this before she really got sick. I like to see how people are doing, and she was one to chit-chat. Still, I didn't really see her for quite awhile, and I started to get concerned. It would be really easy to just think she was busy with work, because a lot of folks live such independent lives, but I knew there was more. I didn't really know how to get ahold of her though, because I never had her information. I just hoped I would run into her. I really hoped she was okay...it had been a really long time.

Finally, I saw her today, and I rushed to her car. She rolled down the window and admitted she had been so sick, it was a close call. She does have kids around her, but still, I was sad that I hadn't done more. Hadn't found more of a way to get in touch with her. Now, I am glad that I have her phone number. She said she's doing better after a long time in the hospital.

Sigh. It's very easy for us to go through life unchecked. It's still easy for me, even though I've experienced times where I prayed dim nights would turn into brighter, more healed mornings. I guess the best we can do is to ask, to find out, when it's appropriate to do so, because otherwise, we'll never know.

What other ways can you think of to care for those around you - as life rushes by?

~This post is in exchange for my usual Multitudes on Monday post...although I'd like to continue with a gifts/thought I have on the mind. I think it all connects...

-Thankful for the gift of healing that God grants in our bodies at times throughout our lives. It is still a mystery to me sometimes, this not yet-but someday idea that one day our bodies will be transformed- we hold on to that promise when things don't look or feel right. We see it all around us (2 Cor 4:16-18) and feel it inside, yet we remember that His promises are true.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Rest


I think I might try to rest this weekend. Like really rest. I say that a lot, and I guess I use that term loosely many times. I think rest can be found anywhere, at any time, to some degree, but it can also be a difficult concept. I think I have a back-and-forth relationship with the idea of rest.

In theory, for many (me included at times), rest can be kind of like dandelion dust. We might make a wish for things to be different, for more renewal in our lives, but we don't really do anything about it. We let that idea disappear into the air, or we keep running after it...because we think we've got to keep searching, keep moving. Gotta keep the pace.

Sometimes, though, I just know that rest is really more within my grasp than I recognize, and more and more, I need to seize opportunities to really rest all of me-body, mind, and spirit- when they are available. There are a lot of different kinds of rest to me.

There's the feeling that I don't have to wake up for anything special on my to-do list tomorrow kind of rest that sleep offers me when I know that my t's are crossed and i's are dotted: physical. There's more to physical rest than this, but this is kind of my ultimate picture of body rest.

There's the rest that I feel when I'm with a friend almost the whole day long and we can talk about everything or nothing and I leave lighter, my mind more relaxed than when I began the day.

There's the spiritual rest, the kind that is so vital for all of me to fit together properly, the kind of refreshment that stills my heart...the one only He brings me. The one that causes me to remember again and again, all He has brought me through and to in my life. No matter what circumstances, I can find rest in Him.

Inspired by The Gypsy Mama ~ Five Minute Friday

Thursday, September 1, 2011

There's Just No Note For That

I get really thrilled about the idea of words and thoughts being written down. When I was younger, Harriet The Spy was one of my favorite children's book characters. Honest and curious, an aspiring writer, Harriet carried her notebook everywhere, recording her observations and making note of everything she saw around her.

In the same way, I thrive on writing down my thoughts and interpretations of the world around me. I illustrate and keep track of my life, instead of in pictures, in words. Don't get me wrong, I love pictures. I think they are beautiful to look at and I'm especially drawn to visuals when they bring me to further appreciate God's creation. I have just have been drawn to verbal cues, and can get lost in language. My automatic response to everything is to make "note of it."

I'll give you an open-door access to a confession. As I learn about new techo-options (remember, I'm a simple girl with simple delights), I have recently come across Evernote and Pinterest. To be fair, I think I have known about Pinterest for a little while longer, but I just started perusing it.

I'm betting a lot of people who read this know about Pinterest, and maybe even Evernote. I haven't used them enough to give my input yet, and I actually think I will like them both. Evernote is neat because it keeps your files together so you don't lose anything (isn't that what Word documents are for?) but I know there's a lot more to it, like it's accessible anywhere, because you get a username attached to it. Very helpful if you one day lose data. It's a fun site for seeing all your information stored neatly in one place, and their slogan is "remember everything."

I guess that's one of the reasons we attempt to keep notes. I think I do it because it's how I better express myself, than storing it all internally. But, it's really interesting to think about the idea of remembering things better, and really, how did we do it before computers? I'm starting to wonder if my memory wasn't a little better before I had all these other functions helping me.

I think one of my favorite things to think about, especially now that I am looking back on some memories while trying to put together some collective writing, is that memories can leave an imprint, clear like a familar picture, or a story formed more neatly than any well written "note."

When people say memories fade, I can understand what they mean. We do to a certain degree have times and places and memories that with time aren't as sharp to us as they once were. But, there's also certain parts of us that will remain intact no matter how many years go by, no matter if we did or didn't have a pencil and paper, or computer screen in front of us at the time. Those memories are the ones that form us; yes, some have been hard, some may have refined our character, but, hopefully, if we're fortunate, many have been sweet as well.

There's just no note for that.