12.31.2015

Resolutions of 2015 & 2016

Well, it's that time of year again.  Crazy how quickly it has flown by.  Are you ready for 2016?  What are some of your plans to celebrate?  Do you have any resolutions for this next year?

Here was my goal list for 2015:

  • learn Russian
  • try to get published
  • support a ministry outreach monthly
  • work - and hopefully complete - my non-fiction manuscript
  • do a sugar free diet one month
  • keep a consistent Blessings journal
  • read the Bible through in a year

  • And this is my status of the resolutions, as this year draws to a close:

    - I have begun taking Russian classes, but have not fully mastered the language.
    - I was asked to be the co-founder and production manager of Brave Magazine, and was also published on Thought Catalog
    - With the change of jobs (and pay check amounts), I was not able to commit to supporting a ministry outreach every month.  But I did volunteer a few times, and sort of count that as my tithe.
    - Alas, my non-fiction manuscript is still in the works...
    - I did a sugar and chocolate free diet for...ALMOST one month.
    - I was pretty consistent with my Blessings journal.  I plan to do better this coming year, though.
    - I did not read my Bible through in a year.  Instead, I took book by book and read them over and over again for one month each.


    My 2016 resolutions are as follows:

  • become more consistent in daily prayer
  • be brave and actually, legitimately, move somewhere
  • take more spontaneous road trip getaways
  • yoga (my family bought me a purple yoga mat for Christmas so I have NO excuses)
  • finish 'I Cannot Fathom'
  • try getting my poetry published
  • ---

    Happy New Year, peeps!  May this next one be filled with many incredible journeys and memories.


    P.S.  I'm in Peru, as you're reading this... :)

    12.28.2015

    And I'm Off! [Yet Again]


    As you read this, I will either be still sitting (uncomfortable) in a plane...or I will have already landed in Lima, Peru.  For the third time in two years.
    It all depends on what time zone you're in.

    Pretty crazy that I'm actually going back.  It's been exactly one year since I last saw my beautiful home in Peru.  As I write this, I'm still not even sure I fully realize that it's ACTUALLY happening.  This is actually taking place.  Again.  For the third time.  God is allowing me the privilege to get on a plane and fly 5,000 miles away to see my precious Peruvian family again.  Just...wow.

    This year has been full of many trials and errors.  This year has been full of pain and tears.  This year has had many incredible, seemingly impossible occurrences.  This year has been gloriously brutal...
    And I'm ready for God to take me into the next year.  I really am.  I need a fresh start.  I need a fresh start with life.  With Him.  I've gotten too distracted.  I've let other things take precedence when He should always be my main focus.  And I'm just...exhausted.

    While in Peru, this is my prayer.  It's one of my favorite songs by Bethel Music.  And has been extremely life-changing for me the last few months.

    'Spirit of the living God, come fall afresh on me
    Come awake me from my sleep
    Blow through the caverns of my heart
    Pour in me to overflow.'

    Please keep me and my team in your prayers.  Pray specifically for protection, strength, and unity.

    I'll see you all in a couple weeks!

    12.24.2015

    Feliz Navidad To You & Yours


    I am writing this whilst being snuggled up in one of my favorite blankets, sitting cross-legged in Mama's rocking chair.  The beautifully lit Christmas tree is to my left, and one of my little sisters is getting the Charlie Brown Christmas movie up and ready on the family TV to my right.  My Dad is on the phone with my grandparents in Peru.  My brother is on his way to the family's house to spend Christmas Eve night/Christmas Day morning with us.

    I might go to a friend's house later to watch Christmas movies late into the night.  We'll see.
    I bought The Holiday last week.  Still haven't seen the whole thing.  I'd like to though.  Maybe tonight.  Or tomorrow.

    I went to my church's Christmas service tonight.  My Pastor read the Nativity story, we had communion, then everyone in the church stood in a circle around the sanctuary.  We each had a candle and my Pastor began the lighting chain.  He lit his candle, said what he was thankful for this year, and passed the flame to the person's candle to his right.  It went all the way around the room.  When my candle was lit, I said 'I am thankful for God's forgiveness and that His love never fails.'  That was the only thing I could think to say, honestly.  This year just emits those truths.

    And I am so so very thankful for Him.

    Tomorrow morning, we'll all get up early, open gifts, make and eat homemade cinnamon rolls (with cream cheese frosting!), and just spend the day together.  Mama has a delicious clam chowder dinner planned.
    Saturday, I open at work, get off by 12 noon, then head to my aunt's for a huge family reunion/get-together.
    And Sunday...oh my gosh, Sunday, peeps, I'll be headed back to Peru.  For the third time.  I can't even begin to tell you how amazing and in shock and wonderful and exciting it is to know that I get to go back to my home there.  Which reminds me, I need to squeeze 'finish packing' into this weekend.

    Oh and did you see the full moon tonight?!  It's the first one that has happened on Christmas in 40 years.

    Well, I'm going to go make myself a cup of hot cocoa with whipped cream.  And I'll probably grab a piece of pie while I'm at it.

    Merry Christmas, lovelies.  You are wonderful and bless me tons!

    ---

    Comment what you and your family are doing for Christmas!

    12.21.2015

    8 Reasons Why To Date Someone With High Standards AND Low Maintenance


    To start things off, who wants a boyfriend or girlfriend who is constantly nagging you, asking where you're going, who you're with, what you're doing, what you're going to do, why you didn't invite them to the movie, etc.?

    Yeah, nobody.

    BUT...

    Who wants a boyfriend or girlfriend who made you pursue them because their standards were so high because they want to date someone they trust and because they trust you, you won't constantly be receiving nagging texts and phone calls?

    Yeah, me.  For sure.  Right here.

    So basically, individuals with high standards but who require low maintenance are the best people to date.  (Me, for example.  Just kidding.)

    Here are a few more reasons you should date one of us:

    1)  We base our relationship on the passion, not the feelings.
    Feelings can change with the wind.  Passion is life-long.  We don't care about symbols, Facebook relationship statuses, public displays of affection, or how often you say 'I love you' in front of others. We just need to see, sense, and know that the connection we have is real and genuine.

    2)  We care about what matters, and know how to get over what doesn't.
    We won't bicker over who does the dishes or cleans the toilet or vacuums the bedroom (just so long as you're carrying your weight, you know?).  But we won't let important relationship based matters slide by unnoticed.  Besides, little arguments about insignificant things usually mean that there are deeper underlying problems going on.

    3)  We don't need extravagant gifts or elaborate dates.  Just make them thoughtful.
    Honestly, I would rather be told to change into whatever I wanted to wear, be given a single rose, order my favorite take out food, and watch a favorite movie in a fort made of pillows in our living room...than dress up for a fancy dinner downtown.  Sure, there are special occasions for that.  But how much cheaper would it be to just stay home and snuggle?  It's thoughtful too, when the man remembers what I like or prefer and actually DOES it.

    4)  We are best in a relationship when we are most comfortable being around you.
    This goes hand-in-hand with the last point.  It would mean more to us if you told us how hot and gorgeous we look with shower hair, no makeup and oversized clothes, than when we make an effort to actually look attractive and that's the ONLY time you compliment us.  Quality, not quantity.  Genuine, not fake.  Often, not rare.

    5)  We don't nag.  But if we see something wrong, we will be blunt and tell you straight up.  
    If we continue doing this, it isn't considered nagging.  It's considered 'Wake the heck up and see that this is a real issue!'

    6)  We don't expect you to never make us mad, we don't expect you to always do the dirty work, we don't expect perfection.  
    We just ask that you're considerate of our feelings, fair, and act accordingly.

    7)  We are level-headed, think with our brains, know what we deserve
    ...and likewise, what you deserve too.

    8)  We are extremely loyal and trusting.
    If you gain our affection, it means we trust you.  And if we trust you, it means you've reached our high standards.
    Don't screw this up.  We don't have to tell you every single name and background of every single person in group we're going to see a movie with - even if the majority of them are guys.  And girls, he doesn't need to explain to you about the girl who commented 'Hey hottie' on his profile picture.  You're dating an attractive person!!  They are going to get noticed!  This isn't a competition.
    They're with you.
    If you truly trust them, then get over it.
    If you don't, then get out.

    12.19.2015

    Punctuation | a poem


    All sentences end
    Each with a different mark
    A punctuation
    Declaring the kind of sentence it was

    All lives end
    Each in a different way
    Abruptly
    Slowly
    With pain
    With joy
    With or without a word
    But always a type of punctuation

    What sort of punctuation is at the end of my life?

    Will my last breath be one of salvation
    Or of declaration
    Or a question perhaps?
    Will I slip out of this life and into the next
    Not knowing why my first one was lived
    Or if I had lived it well?
    Will it end instead in an exclamation of joy
    Power
    Thankfulness
    Utter ecstasy?
    Will it end with a trail of unspoken thoughts
    Wishing
    Regretting
    That they had never been spoken?

    Will it end in such a way
    That people will look at that end mark and think
    'She lived her life well
    She has nothing to regret...'

    12.18.2015

    Here's The Thing About Being a Writer


    Being a writer isn't as romantic as some people may think it is.

    We're not always perched comfortably on a window seat, in a cute outfit, drinking a cup of coffee and our hair is done perfectly.  That's just not reality.

    Being a writer is about nitty gritty hours of the night, staying up late to finish something you've been working on all day.

    Being a writer is about commitment and sticking to what you've been trying to write even if your brain think tank is on empty and you're frustrated.  And there may be tears too.

    Being a writer entails erasers and the 'delete' button.  We write, we edit, we criticize our thoughts on paper.  It happens.  But don't let the editing be longer than the writing.  And don't always allow yourself to reword things.  Sometimes, the best way to say it is the first time you do.

    Being a writer means you need to accept the fact that you will get rejection and criticism.  And that's okay.  You will NEVER always have fans.  You will have haters too.  And that's actually a good thing.  Why?  Because it means that you're a unique individual with your own way of thinking and your own way of writing and some people just don't like it.  Or as Winston Churchill once said: "You have enemies?  Good.  It means you've stood up for something sometime in your life."  And in this case, it's yourself.  Your thoughts.  Your writing.  And that's a wonderful thing to stand up for.

    The thing about being a writer is that every experience in life affects you and your writer's heart.  You keep everything locked up inside until a time when you feel you need to, you must write about it.
    Every person, circumstance, place, smell, feel, taste, conversation, song... Everything is held in your thought case, your memory jar.  And someday, you'll go back and sift through them all.  And you will write.  Some will be difficult to pen, others will come easily and freely because you need closure, you need to let your voice be heard, you need to get a message across.

    Don't ever apologize for your words.  Think before you speak, ponder before you write.  But when you finally do, never say 'sorry'.  Because why are you apologizing for something your heart wants to say?  Speak and write freely.  Being a writer is about inscribing your heart onto a piece of paper and making something that was only felt in your brain, able to be read and felt by the world.

    So be warned, human souls.  For whenever you come in contact with a wielder of words, you will most likely end up being a victim or a hero in one of their proses.  And if I were you, I would choose the latter.

    12.10.2015

    15 Struggles Every Tall Girl Deals With


    1)  Finding the right pair of jeans
    Something long enough, but that fits our waist well too.

    2)  "Gosh, you're tall."  
    Really?  I didn't notice.

    3)  "Are you gonna get any taller?"
    I just don't really see the reasoning behind this question...

    4)  "Do you like being this tall?"
    Sometimes, yes.  Sometimes, no.

    5)  "Do you play basketball?"
    Just because we're tall doesn't mean we're into sports - most specifically, basketball.

    6)  Cute dresses on other girls are cute shirts on us
    It's true tho.

    7)  Getting yelled at when we wear high heels
    "You're tall enough already.  Why are you wearing heels?"  Because I freaking feel like it.

    8)  Shaving our legs takes longer... (no pun intended)
    For reals.

    9)  Needing to duck, squat, or bend over in photos so your head doesn't get cropped off
    The struggle is real.

    10)  When in public bathrooms, being careful not looking over the sides or the doors because they're usually short enough for us to see over.
    Oh my gosh, some public bathrooms are made for midgets.

    11)  Being taller than 99% of the guys we know.
    And this especially sucks if you've vowed to not date/marry a guy who's shorter than you.

    12)  Having to 'slow down' when walking with our friends
    Cuz, you know, their short legs can't keep up with our long strides.

    13)  Hugs.  Sometimes.
    Enough said.

    14)  Having to crouch in some showers just so we can get under the shower head.
    This sucks #1 - because everyone loves showers, and #2 - because everyone wants to enjoy standing under extremely hot water...but this proves a bit difficult when you're a tall girl.

    15)  Baths.
    Out of the question.

    12.01.2015

    Dance With the Shadow | a poem


    It's okay to think back on those memories
    Just don't let the darkness of the past creep up on you
    And envelop you
    You, like everyone, will have good memories
    And bad memories
    Of the past
    Their shadows will dance before your eyes at the most unexpected moments
    You'll see something
    Hear a song
    Smell a scent
    Walk into a building
    And be flooded with the memories of a time
    Not too long ago
    When you were there
    With that specific someone
    And you won't be able to reach for their hand anymore
    You won't be able to hug them
    Or kiss their lips
    But you'll only have the dark shadow of their ghost
    And you can dance with it
    But only for a moment
    Because they aren't the reality anymore
    The reality is that you did the right thing
    For yourself
    So dance with the shadow
    But don't let it pull you back in
    It's a memory
    Nothing more
    Let it play out
    And let it fade away.