capture myself in ink and pen.

there are nights

when the words seem everywhere

and nowhere

and i want to write my entire soul out

spill my being onto the page

capture myself in ink and pen

and yet

the words don’t come.

they remain locked inside my soul

and i don’t know what to say

or what to feel

and i am alone

but not alone.

because the breeze wraps itself around me

and the quiet hush of the evening holds my hand

and the storm of words calms inside my heart.

and i know that i have a lifetime of words

a lifetime of sentences and stories to be told

but tonight

they can stay inside.

[august 2013]

It’s that time again, folks. The end of the month. And every time this happens I freak out and go “what do you mean, the month is over??”

You’d think that by now I would realize how time works, but nope.

August has been a whirlwind. I came home from Africa, spent a week working at summer camp (aka The Best Job Ever), moved back to North Carolina to start my senior-but-not-really year of college, and am now two weeks into classes. It’s crazy. Also, Rachel Held Evans posted a blog of mine on her facebook page and I stopped breathing. Talk about crazy.

So now…let’s talk about August.

reading (bookish)

  • All the Summer Girls, Meg Donohue. I loved How to Eat a Cupcake so I decided to give this a try and really enjoyed it. It’s about three friends and the summer their friendship crumbled.
  • Every Day, David Levithan, about a person who wakes up every day in a different person’s life. It’s interesting and fascinating and thought-provoking.
  • Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness, Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia. Yes. Beautiful Creatures. You probably saw a terrible-looking trailer for the movie at some point. There’s a book. It’s surprisingly good as far as supernatural-YA-romance goes (not like I read a lot of that) and is from the viewpoint of a guy, for some fun variety. I’m in the third book now and am enjoying them – quick, entertaining, drama, but maybe four books is a little too much. I found myself hoping that just once the book would end with the special/supernaturally gifted character dying/going bad/living in another world and their normal one-true-love would build a solid relationship with that other normal person that got tangled up in the mess, so apparently that means I’m getting tired of the genre. Not tired enough to stop reading, though.
  • works-in-progress: Beautiful Chaos, Cinderella Ate My Daughter (Peggy Orienstein), The Gifts of Imperfection (Brene Brown)

reading (bloggish)

My blog reader is still overwhelmingly full, thanks to that Africa-induced backup. I’m trying to catch up. Well, kinda trying.

listening 

these songs here have been on repeat. will I ever stop listening to Imagine Dragons on repeat? maybe. maybe not. probably not.

I’ve also started to get my fall music together. aka dancing in the kitchen songs.

watching

  • Dance Academy is back, y’all. DANCE ACADEMY IS BACK. REJOICE WITH ME. But really though, this show is terrible in all the best ways and actually really good and I spent 95% of it cringing on Tara’s behalf because homegirl. is. clueless.
  • Breaking Pointe. because I’m a dancer and therefore MUST watch every show about dance. (except SYTYCD. totally haven’t watched this season at all).
  • Camp. This is terrible in all the terrible ways, and features like 75% of the Dance Academy cast, which is why I started watching it. I don’t even know what Abigail’s character’s name is on this show…she’ll always be Abigail to me.
  • Getting caught-up-ish on Once Upon A Time and remember how much I lovelovelove it. So good.
  • An episode or two of Elementary, which I adore so much but never remember I want to watch. Still in season one, y’all.

eating

guys! guys! guys! I have an apartment now! Not really, as it’s still campus housing but the fact remains that are two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. Feeding myself like a grownup. My roomie’s lactose and gluten-free, and I’m paleo (at least 75% of the time) so it’s all about the real food. Nothing makes me happy like a fridge full of veggies.

  • a half-improvised paleo chicken curry based on five different recipes that ended up in the crockpot-bowl-part in the oven because we don’t have a pot big enough for soup. oops. still: quite good.
  • PaleOMG’s crockpot chicken enchiladas. guys. SO. GOOD. I’m in love and still happily eating leftovers. It’s almost better cold.
  • scrambled eggs. lots of scrambled eggs.

loving

  • having my own room. space is a beautiful thing.
  • being dance in the dance department. I missed my friends and teachers and that beautiful studio that feels like home.
  • being back with my college church family. it’s really family, y’all.
  • hammocking. there’s the perfect tree on campus for my eno. I love watching the freshmen freak out that I’m hanging in a tree.
  • catching up with all the friends I haven’t seen for nine months
  • making new internet friends (that means you, #fmfparty peeps)
  • looking like a different person every day as my hair grows out. the next three weeks are gonna be rough, though.
  • getting to spend a week (and a day) at the Best Job Ever. the camp staff is seriously my family, and I miss them all during the year. at some point, I’m going to have to become a real adult and get a real job and stop working at summer camp. I dread that day.

linking up with Leigh Kramer to talk about what I’ve been into this month! what has your August looked like?

be in the broken parts

it’s hard.

it’s hard leaving the country for 5 months, and then coming home, and then leaving again.

it’s hard returning from a trip to Kenya where everything changed.

it’s hard coming back to school after all that.

it’s hard waking up to an early alarm, and hard being on the go from 8 am to 7 pm.

it’s all hard.

I’m a week into classes, and already this semester is overwhelming me. it’s busy and hectic and crazy and exhausting.

I’m three and a half weeks from Kenya. and I miss it, and I miss my team, and I miss the constant hunger for the Lord that seemed to settle back into its tame little corner of my heart approximately 15 minutes after I stepped off the airplane.

I’m a year and a half away from graduation. it’s my senior year, but it’s not. as much as I tell myself that it’s okay that I’m doing an extra semester, and it is okay, it makes everything feel weird. it means that when my friends are excited about their last first day of classes and thinking about post-grad jobs and plans, I can’t join in.

and it’s all hard. it’s difficult and challenging and frustrating and there’s a lot of flopping on my bed and groaning when my phone starts telling me to wake on up from your slumber because using a song that literally tells you to wake up for my alarm was possibly the worst choice ever and really, plain and simple, it’s just hard.

and I’m busy. and I’m tired. and there are days where I eat nutella from the jar and days where I stay up too late and hypothetically there might be days where I wake up for church and am instantly grumpy and then none of my clothes seem right and I would just curl right up back in bed and ignore it all if I didn’t have to pick up a friend. and maybe I’m singing along to the worship music on the drive to church only because I need to convince myself that God is still good.

just hypothetically. and by hypothetically, I mean this morning.

but God is still good. and I sing your love never fails and into marvelous light i’m running and the words are a prayer. and I will never cease to find incredible, incomprehensible grace in the gifts of God for the people of God, come and eat. and His blood, poured out for you somehow always makes me whole.

and when I whisper, Lord, be in the broken parts of me, He whispers back, I already am.

last | five minute friday

I want to leave something that lasts.

Because one day, I won’t be here. And like it or not, neither will you.

(Unless they figure out how to cryogenically freeze us and resurrect us in 100 years, but, no. I love Star Wars but have no desire to have a live-action experience of Han Solo’s life. I mean, that looked painful.)

But what will I leave behind?

There’s a song by Sara Groves that contains the line, “generations will reap what I sow.”

And I want to sow good. I want to sow and kindness and patience. I want to live heaven-minded, because it’s only by focusing more on Him than on the things of this world that I could ever possibly hope to make a difference, to leave even just the smallest of marks.

When I’m good and gone and jamming on my harp with the angels, I want your memory of me to be a memory of God. I want to leave Him behind me when I exit your presence. I want to speak His words and declare His truth. My life won’t last, but I can promise you this: My God? He is eternal.

He lasts.

———–

It’s Five Minute Friday again, where we gather from behind computer screens all over the place and drop our hearts onto the page. One word, five minutes, go. Linking up with Lisa-Jo as usual over here.

saying yes to saying no.

I’ve never thought of myself as someone who had problems saying no.

You know, just say no and all that (thanks, D.A.R.E. I’ve since forgotten everything I learned in fifth grade about how to resist drug abuse, but I’m sure it was helpful.) I consider myself a strong, independent woman, by which I mean am can be stubborn. Just a bit.

But if you’ve been around these parts for a while, you might know that I’m a bit of a perfectionist and  maybe an overachiever and perhaps control freak wouldn’t be too far off. Throw those together with two time-consuming majors and a slight inferiority complex that is the result of having two genius brothers, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster that results in 22-credit hour semesters. Let’s talk about poor life choices.

I’ve always felt the need to do it all, and to have it together. Or at least, look like I’ve got it together. 4.0 GPA. Involved in church. Always smiling. I’m fine.

College has been a hard and messy and painful and beautiful journey in letting go of control. Letting go of perfection. Learning to trust. And if I may say so myself, I think I’ve grown a lot since my freshman year when I basically laid on a couch and cried to my small group leader about being afraid that I was going to pick the wrong second major and ruin the rest of my life.

(Okay, so maybe I’ve got a bit of a flair for the dramatic, too. Just a bit.)

But I’ve been learning that it’s okay. It’s okay to not have everything together, and it’s okay to let people know that. I’ve been learning that I don’t need to earn people’s approval, or their love, and I certainly don’t need to earn God’s.

He calls me Beloved.

And that is enough.

So this semester, I’m learning to say no. To say no to an outrageous course load. To say no to a student group that I want to join, but don’t quite have time for. To say no to only accepting straight A’s from myself. To say no to expecting perfection.

I’m giving myself permission to say no. Making space for selfcare, because it only took me three years to realize that sometimes, my mental and emotional health is more important than my grade point average. And when I say sometimes, what I really mean is always.

But saying no also means saying yes. I’m saying yes to investing more in relationships. To taking care of my body and my soul. To delving ever deeper into the Word. To believing that my worth is in the Lord and that will never change.

I’m finding freedom. And in that freedom, I’m finding peace.

small | five minute friday

small is not really the priority, here.

big house. big car. big closet.

no one wants the small things. size matters, right?

and no one wants to make a small impact. we talk about products that are life-changing and plans that are world-changing and well, small changes are just that: small. changes.

but i want to believe in the small changes. in the small goals.

because big goals? well, i don’t know if i can say that i have any.

love well. live well. write well. listen well.

those are my big goals.

but i’m not making big progress. if it’s a good day, i’m making little progress.

but i can make small changes. i can do that, i think.

i can love you in small ways. i can do the small things. i can speak up with my small voice.

i can make a small difference. that, that i believe i can do.

i can take the small steps.

and maybe my small steps and my small love and my small voice won’t change the world. but maybe i can change my world. change my heart. change my life for the better. one small step at a time.

because i am small, and this world is just so big, but my God is bigger still. so i’ll walk with Him, hand in hand, one small step at a time, following in His footprints.

————-

round here, we take Fridays (or Thursday nights) to spend five minutes writing. Lisa-Jo Baker gives us a prompt, we drop some words, there’s a twitter party. your heart, unedited.