Thursday, September 26, 2013

When I don't have words...

The late Senator Edward Kennedy, speaking about his brother Robert Kennedy, "Love is not an easy feeling to put into words. Nor is loyalty, or trust or joy. But he was all of these. He loved life completely and lived it intensely."

Robert Kennedy speaking about his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., "What it really all adds up to is love - not love as it is described with such facility in popular magazines, but the kind of love that is affection and respect, order, encouragement and support. Our awareness of this was an incalculable source of strength, and because real love is something unselfish and involves sacrifice and giving, we could not help but profit from it." 

From local photographer, Tara Whitney (on her Instagram feed, accompanied with the quote below), "There are things about my life that make me feel deeply alive, and grateful to be. They fit inside me right next to the things that hurt the most. Acknowledging them both, integrating them and giving them room and breath, has been what finally saved me from years of not living at all. If I can do anything at all with this space of mine, I would like to show that you can live a satisfying and beautiful life, even in the midst of emotional or physical pain." 

From Khalil Gibran, "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." 

Today I am feeling the urge to write, but the words won't come. I've been collecting the quotes above this past week from different things that I've been reading.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hello Fall, Goodbye Summer

Today marks the official end of summer. I love summer (minus the heat) and fall and am glad that my two favourite seasons piggyback each other. There are aspects of each of the four seasons that I love, but these two seasons make me happiest.

This year, a lot of people that I know have been so excited for fall to make it's arrival. While I am excited for this new season, I feel like I am holding onto the last few moments of summer like a small child trying to extend the last few minutes before bed time. It was an incredibly full and fun summer, which is probably why I am not wanting it to end. As I think back on this summer, my heart is full of joy. It was one of the best I can remember in recent years.

Looking back at my to do list for the summer, I realize that I only accomplished about half of the items that I had hoped to and yet I feel no sense of regret for not getting to those activities, rather I have a huge feeling of gratitude as this summer brought about several things that I would have never expected. So, in a way, I am starting to prepare myself for fall. For the new and unexpected surprises that will come that I couldn't even begin to encapsulate on a list. And while I'm at it, I'm going to enjoy my pumpkin chai while listening to my traditional fall playlist... 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Feels Like Home

For the last several years, with the arrival of fall, I always listen to two different albums, The Beatles, "Rubber Soul"  and Norah Jones', "Feels Like Home". As I was thinking of these albums, I started to consider items that remind me of home.

In Christian circles, we like to say that the church is not just the building. The same could be said for home. I have lived in the same area my entire life, in three different houses, but I wouldn't necessarily consider those places home. I love to travel; always have, always will. The older I get, the more I am able to travel. I also love building relationships and with the current means of social media, have developed some incredible relationships with dear friends all over the country, allowing me the opportunity to combine mine love of traveling and building relationships. 

When I think of home, so often I don't think of a building. No matter what city or state I'm in, I always manage to feel like I'm at home. Home is sitting around a table with family and friends, sharing and laughing. Home is getting off an airplane and meeting familiar faces on the other side. Home is being able to determine which direction the ocean is in. Home is flip flops, Tom Kha soup, soft served ice cream cones, my pink and red coffee mug covered with hearts, and my Ikea duvet cover. Home is phone calls, emails, text messages with words of blessing, encouragement and love. Home is discussing theology and politics. Home is discovering new things and finding adventures.

I know that I will live several places throughout the course of my life and irregardless of the location, I will always feel like I'm at home because my life is full of people who make me feel at home. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What does love look like?

Ali and me in Minnesota, July 2013

My friend Ali is currently in Thailand doing mission work and just loving up on the people there. Ali is a seasoned traveler and missionary. When I saw her in July, I was delighted to hear all about her upcoming travels. Every time that Ali sets off for a new location, she blogs, chronicling her journeys and the amazing ways that God shows up. As I was reading her blog today, this question stood out to me:

I know my job in all of this. It's knowing that I am loved and It's knowing how to love. Asking the fabulous questions momma Heidi asked us while in Moz:
"What does love look like?"

I'm in a season of online dating, struggling with being single, and looking forward to eventually being a wife and a Mom. As soon as my eyes hit the words on the screen, I stopped and thought of all the ways I'm being loved during this season. Love looks like:

  • Waking up to a text message from one of my dearest friends in New Jersey that immediately put at a smile on my face.
  • PSL's from McDonalds, a trip to Hobby Lobby, and lots of chats with my second Mom.
  • Taking care of me by spending the afternoon at the beach and reading.
  • Turning my phone off before I go to bed.
  • Skype date with two dear friends where we laugh, love and talk about the tough stuff.
  • Saying no.
  • Laughing so hard over dinner with the family that I almost fell out of the chair. Monty Python impersonations and Indian accents crack me up every single time.
  • Tuesday work days at a nearby Starbucks.
  • Learning how to knit.
  • John Mayer, Mumford and Sons, and Phillip Phillips Pandora stations
  • Going to bed early.
One of my goals this past summer was to be intentional in focusing on being grateful. As I write this list, I realize that a large part of my struggles the last few weeks was caused because I was choosing not to realize how much love there is in my life, no matter how it looks.