Sunday, October 26, 2014

some things.

it's gloomy outside today, for the first time in a handful of days, and that make me feel like writing.

i SHOULD be doing math homework, but hey...i gotta have priorities;)


since my seizure, it feels like a lot has happened.  i started supplements to help with my anxiety.  i visited my dr. who made me an appointment to see a neurologist in a couple weeks, and who also gave me a list of stretches to help my back which was injured during my seizure.  because of my back, i can't do normal work outs, which is extremely frustrating, so i've been scouring YouTube for any specialty workouts i can do.  in the meantime, i've been working on bringing peace into my life...i'm taking more bubble baths, i bought a fresh skein of pretty mustard-yellow yarn to make myself a scarf, and i've been listening to newly downloaded Hillsong music nonstop.  the past couple weekends, Ethan and i have gone out to coffee dates, been antiquing, cooked meals together, made hot cider with rum, played Sonic the Hedgehog, and talked and laughed and enjoyed each other's company.

i've also been listening to sermons my friend, Aaron, has been sending me, and those have been helping so much.  here are the notes from one of my favorite ones:

-- Each of us have so many decisions available to us, but having so many decisions makes us overwhelmed and afraid…and FEAR PARALYZES US.
 -- We plan too much, and have MORE FAITH/depend too much on the plan than we have faith and depend on God.
-- Other people will have their own "will" for your life, but we need to REST UNDER GOD'S CLOUD: MOVE WHEN HE MOVES, REST WHEN HE RESTS.
-- We are too worried with the specifics of the "plan," instead of letting the life unfold as it should.
-- Following God puts my plans at risk.
-- We don't need to track down God's will...He will reveal himself to us.
-- Be brave<3 it doesn't come naturally.  it will take courage.
***
Back in 2009, i read a devotional that talked about the Israelites in the desert, and God's cloud that hovered over them.  When His cloud moved, they moved, and when the cloud rested, they rested.  That has stuck with me in a deep way ever since because i have such a tendency to want to move and plan on my own terms, instead of resting under God's cloud.  There are so many parts of that story that stand out to me, but as i think about it this morning, i am struck by the thought that the Israelites did not have very much...but they had what they needed because God PROVIDED FOR THEM.  why don't i rest in the knowledge that God is providing for me right here, right now?
talking with my mom this past week made me realize that i am angry and crippled by comparison because i see all these other people around me doing really great things, like starting organizations and writing powerful books and making a difference in the world.  these people have goals and they move toward them in big ways.  it's not that i don't have goals; it's just that i don't have any BIG goals.  i mean, my ultimate goals are to be a counselor and get married and have babies and have lots of animals and a garden on a big piece of land, and live near all our family and friends and have dinner parties and go hiking and drink coffee around the kitchen table and love God and make MEMORIES together.
there IS a part of me that wants to be a missionary or write a book that moves people or starts a world-shaking organization, but at the end of the day, i am just trying to work and get through school and make sure all my relationships are taken care of.  long-distance means that i spend many hours on the phone each week with all of the people i love.  and that's really important to me.  but it makes me feel inadequate because i'm not that driven person.  in all reality, while i want to do something important, the sound of most things exhaust me and don't feel like where i'm supposed to be.  so i'm constantly searching, running my internal hamster wheel, looking for things i "should" be doing, trying to find a place where i fit.  and it just ends up getting me lost and stuck and discouraged.  so, i guess i'm just stuck right now.  waiting under God's cloud.  i have to learn to trust because, at the end of the day, i have no other options.  no matter how much i try to force it, my way DOES. NOT. WORK.  and at the end of the day, i am looking to find my identity in what i do and how people put their approval stamp on my life.  and that will always be a failing endeavor.  to place my identity in anything other than Him means i'm not focusing on what is LASTING and ETERNAL.  last week, i texted a friend about how God is our ROCK -- we have to build our lives on because everything else erodes, everything fades away…but He doesn’t.  He is firm, steady, unchanging, unable to be moved.  even though God gave that to me to give to them, i think He was giving it to me, too.

i've also been listening to sermons my friend, Aaron, has been sending me, and those have been helping so much.  here are the notes from one of my favorite ones:
in this moment, things feel good.  the sky is beautiful outside, there is coffee to my right, along with a pretty, fresh notebook where i am now going to attempt to do math homework. :P relationship with friends and family are sweet.  work and paychecks are steady, food is in the fridge, and God is patient and steady.

and in the meantime, these are my favorite lyrics from my favorite song right now:

Break down our pride,And all the wallsWe've built up inside,Our earthly crownsAnd all our desires,We lay at Your feet.
So let hope rise,And darkness tremble in Your holy light,And every eye will seeJesus, our God,Great and mighty to be praised.
God of all days,Glorious in all of Your ways.Your majesty, the wonder and grace,In the light of Your name.
Our hearts will cryBe glorified,Be lifted high above all.
For You our King,With everything,We will shout forth your praise.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

waking up.

lately, i have been thinking about this scene from Lone Survivor a lot.  the movie is easily one of my favorites of all time, and while i love most of the movie, seconds 1-40 of this scene is my absolute favorite part.  the soundtrack makes it even better, although the quality of this clip is a big muddy and does not do the music justice. [if you want to listen to a better clip of the music, you can go HERE.]


the reason i love the 40 seconds of this clip so much is because, to me, it represents life.  the running, the breathing, the gorgeous sunrise, the music.  it reminds me of simply being ALIVE, and what that means--how simple and hard and beautiful living can be...how small life's moments can seem, but how, sometimes, they end up being bigger and wilder and more wonderful than we ever expected.

"i like living.  i have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all, I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
{--agatha christie}


Saturday, October 18, 2014

things i'm loving...

...about this weekend:



sleeping in.

finally getting back into working out.

meal planning.

time for long showers.

DIY pedicures + The Office reruns.

coffee dates.

playing with new make-up.

feeling pretty in a fresh, choppy haircut.

weather cool enough to wear jeans [even if it is just in the evening:)].

buttered hot cider with rum in mason jars...

...coupled with pumpkin bread filled with shredded carrots and pecans.

Gregory Alan Isakov & Noah Gundersen songs on repeat.

lit candles.

plans to go the antique fair and clean house tomorrow:)

***

weekdays lately have been hard.  

my workdays go by fast, but when i get home, loneliness sets in and i quickly become exhausted.  some days i sleep; other days i sit and watch The Office while i eat chips and ice cream.  i want to get out of this mindset--to make my weekdays feel accomplished.  there's old mail to go through, workouts to do, my guitar to be practiced, math tests to study for.  yet, i find myself with zero motivation--there is only deep, unexplained sadness.

i honestly don't feel "seen" in my day-to-day life by the people immediately around me.  fortunately, i have friends and family who are always up for long hours of phone conversations, and i love those times those much.  it makes me feel like the people i love aren't so far away after all.  maybe one day, i'll be closer to them again, and the thought makes me happy.

i think another part of the sadness is the constant feeling of inadequacy.  in a recent email to my friend, Ryan, i wrote: "inadequacy...is the name of the game.  i feel so little confidence in who i am, what i'm doing, how i look, how i act, everything.  i feel like a non-person, nothing to offer."  and i think nothing could be more true.  i feel like so many other people have their "thing," whether that be their relationship with their husband, their family, photography, crafting, homemaking, music, sports, whatever...i don't feel like i have a niche where i fit in, where i feel purpose and calling.  i have been through seasons like this before, and God has always used them to lead me back to Him, to ask the question, "if i lost everything tomorrow, where would my identity lie?"  i know it has to be in Him, but that feels easier said than done.  it takes me back to my previous blog where i wrote that the simplest things feel worshipful, but i was so quick to lose that mindset.  now, i'm back to my old way of thinking and i hate that.  part of me does feel like i may need to make changes in my life, but i have no idea what those are.  the other part of me wonders if that's just my old nature, wanting to "DO," kicking in, and if i should just rest where i am.  the problem with that is that i'm truly not happy with where i am--there is no joy or feeling of belonging here.  so what do i do with that?  i'm not sure, so i'm trying to leave it in God's hands.  i wish that felt like something, but i doesn't, so i'm trying to remember the song lyric,

But hold on to what you believe in the light
When the darkness has robbed you of all your sight. {--Mumford & Sons}


in the meantime, i am living for these weekends.  for cooler weather and jeans and the taste of hot cider and the moments when i feel like life really is more than just surviving:) that's where i am this weekend, friends, and i'm enjoying it while it lasts because it feels so, SO good<3


love,

charla