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a peek through my lens

You are my love story.

You are my love story.

 

From the beginning until the very end, You will always be my love story. I have spent years searching for the right man to walk in. I thought I had him a couple of times and thought I would lure him in to be another time. I waltzed around with this fantasy in my head of what we would do together and how our love story would unfold. I let my imagination run rampant on most days.

 

Until it hit me tonight. I was reading Your word and as you talked about the position of our hearts mine spoke up.

 

It’s funny that the verses weren’t even talking about this necessarily, but you used it. You used it to show me that as my heart was seeking everything else, You were seeking my heart and to renew it to the purest of forms. So, I allowed my imagination to run but a little differently this time. This time I thought of this…

 

I thought of You laughing at me when I dance and sing terribly in my car. I saw You holding my hand and feeling every single thing I feel when I am crying ironically in a funeral home parking lot. I saw You feel what I was feeling when I realized everything had just flipped in my life, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I saw You sitting with me as I wrote about my wildest dreams, and the smile on Your face as I talked about it. I saw You watching over me as I slept and knew that you cherish me as one of Your precious daughters. You are in the midst of everything. You go with me everywhere.

All of the things I imagined that another human “should” be doing, You are already doing with me.

You are my love story. You understand, feel, know, and love more than anyone or anything in this life. You meet me in my darkest of nights and You always meet me with love.

 

You delight in me, and you meet me with a choice every single day that you grant me on this earth. And that choice is to choose You, to put You first, and to continue writing our love story.

 

I pray I choose You every day for the rest of my life into eternity

In Search of Recognition

The other day I was reading a book that has honestly shaken my life around in many ways, but specifically for this post it made me search out recognition. One of the definitions of recognition is to be noticed or to gain attention. In today’s society, this could come in different capacities such as social media recognition, job recognition, or plainly being seen and approached while out on the town. In some form or another, we all seek to be recognized by other’s.

Now I know, there are some people at times that are just wanting to hide behind any and everything before they are seen, but even those people have this longing to be known by someone. It is a part of who we are as human, we crave interaction and attention. We dress in certain clothes, get tattoos, piercings, change our hair to attract a particular crowd of people or many people in general. Some of us strive to be seen on social media, obsessing over how many followers we have compared to others. We obsess over the pictures we post so it looks just right in the eyes of your followers or potential followers. We, often unconsciously, seek this recognition until we lose a part of who we are trying to become someone people like.

(Side note: I am saying ‘we’ but it is every bit me as well)

In fact I had been noticing a pattern in my life recently, but was unable to really put my finger on what the issue was until now. This idea of being noticed was RULING my mind. I have a desire to be married with kids one day, and it seems that it just gets deeper as time goes on. I say this because I am completely single right now and every time I step outside of my apartment I am on the “lookout”. Ladies, I think you know what I mean.  Where you are constantly looking around to see if maybe he is around the corner, or on the metro with you on the way to work, or you’ll bump into him on the sidewalk. It doesn’t matter how it happens, but the thoughts of it possibly happening are subconsciously taking over. But this isn’t the only way I have found myself striving to be noticed, I am also trying on social media or with the website I am creating.

But the realization that all this type of recognition boils down to is that I am not giving over the control to God. I am in the mode of “searching” because I wasn’t believing that He has things under control with my life. I had fear that I won’t ever get married if I don’t do something about it. I was searching out recognition from people because I wasn’t living out of the identity that Christ has given me. I wasn’t seeing how I am KNOWN and so LOVED by the only One that truly matters.

But I think it is also a reminder to God’s people that as brothers and sisters we need to remind each other of their worth, of who sees them and loves them NO MATTER WHAT. I know that last part is usually hard to grasp, but he loves us through all the dirt and grime we might see on our lives. No one else can give you the identity and recognition that Christ does.

I needed to be reminded.

I have posted before that God has spoken that he has led me into the desert to speak tenderly to me, and this is one of those areas I know he wanted to speak into. I became aware of how much I was hiding in my own life. How I felt ashamed to admit that I had been searching out this recognition for so long. He has shown me that my writing is not only for me to use as an outlet but also to open the door for other’s to openly express themselves.  Let’s be people who aren’t afraid to lift the veil that we have been using to cover our sins, and expose the real humans that we are, and display how God has brought us through it all.  And how he is continuing to use it for His glory.

In the desert but not deserted

On my journey to the middle of the desert, I have stumbled in the darkness. With every step I take without the light, I blindly walk straight into thorn bushes that dig into my flesh.  As I take another step it rips into me deeper and longer, yet I push forward feeling the pain as it cuts. I continue to get further and further entangled until I am left breathless, unable to escape on my own accord. As I kneel down and surrender, a light appears ahead of me revealing a path. The path is not without thorns and doesn’t promise that I will never have a thorn stuck into me again. But it does allow me to see the path and as I take steps forward the light is revealed more and more.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. Hosea 2:14

God is speaking so tenderly to me in this season.

Stay tuned for this journey. . .

Oceanic Therapy

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As I sit beside the ocean breathing deep breaths of salty ocean air, I am taken to a place where words cannot be formed just a place of stillness as the waves crash in and sweep back out. It has the ability to completely calm my being and make time feel like it has stopped in it’s tracks. I could sit there all day listening to the sound of the waves and never get tired of it.

The ocean has a way of restoring me to my core. It has caught my tears and heard my laughter. It has presented some of the most stunning sunrises and sunsets I have ever witnessed. It has taken me to new locations on yet another adventure. I have walked, ran, and, of course, fallen down along it’s edges. I have dug my toes in the sand just to let the water wash it away.

It hosts some of the most beautiful creatures on earth, and some of the unknown at it’s depths. It is constant, ever flowing, yet it knows stillness.  It is vast and mysterious.

I am positive that I was made to live by the ocean somewhere, but for now I will take it all in each time I am reunited.

Until next time…

 

 

Mending My Wounds

 

I’ve been in my head recently having this ongoing battle with myself and how I handle life’s difficult, painful moments: bury it and try to avoid as much pain as possible. It’s come to a head when I caught myself saying the same old excuse I have always used that “it’s just the way I do. I’ve always been this way.”

Last night, I decided to go skate for a little bit because the weather was perfect and the streets were empty. The first fall I took was a dirty one. It hurt like hell because I hit the same knee that I banged up over the weekend. My first instinct was to take my board and walk home. Not skate back because I was afraid I might fall again. Then it hit me, this is so comparable to my life and the way I handle things. The first bit of pain and I duck out, avoid it completely, too afraid that whatever/whoever might hurt me again. As I’ve been walking through this season God has been making it clear he wants me to deal with the pains of the past that I have avoided because if I continue to drag baggage into every relationship I have and unconsciously assume they will be the same then this life will get pretty lonely.  He has used friends to speak truth into my life that if I want to feel great joy that I will also have to feel great pain at times. Being in relationship with people is hard and we unintentionally, or sometimes intentionally, hurt each other. I could bury those pains, keep people at surface level, or avoid relationship altogether or I could learn how to feel the pain and walk through it with God holding onto my hand. I say learn because I am truly still learning how to do this, but after laying these tough areas before God and allowing him to come in and start to heal the deep wounds I am feeling another sense of freedom that only he can grant. I’m realizing more every day that the day I gave my life to Christ, though he saw me as white as snow and gave me access to this freedom, he knew that I would have these life battles. That it does take time and the willingness to not give up. It takes time for me to overcome the struggles in my human mind and body, and it takes time and daily effort for me to look more like Him.

In the end, I put my board back on the ground and skated on. I fell again, but it didn’t hurt as bad the second time and I made the decision before walking into my apartment and giving up I would ride in without falling.

And I did.

Friday Feels & Favorites #5

This week in the life of a teacher, I experienced a child’s sweet love unlike I have before. And for a woman who wants to have children of her own one day, I felt like I had a glimpse into what that was really like and those sweet moments that leave a mark on your heart. The moment I am speaking of is one of the little boys in my class has learned that after afternoon snack Mommy comes to pick him up and he wants to look out the window to see her coming. The window is obviously much higher than his little being can reach to see so he wants me to hold him. The special thing about this day was that he was in the caring mood. He only wanted me to hold him, and as he laid his little head on my shoulder he rested his hand on my heart and rubbed my back with his other. In that moment, I felt how comfortable he was with me, and that he cared for me too. These kids know that I love and care for them because I show it and tell them, but sometimes we don’t see the same response with them all the time. But in this moment, he showed me and my heart almost exploded. These are the moments that make working with children so worth it.

Three Thankfuls:

1. I am thankful for the advancement of technology. While at times, I really dislike technology altogether because it can steal so much of our time. I am thankful for it to not only be able to talk with my family and friends from home, but actually see their faces in realtime!

2. I am thankful for coffee. I know that is a silly one, but it is like life blood to me. I have coffee and I am happier, more productive, and just enjoy the taste of it so much.

3. I am thankful for music. Music really speaks to my soul through the ways of life. No matter if I am having a hard week or a really good week, there is always a song to put with my mood. It can be an outlet for emotions in so many different ways.

Friday Feels & Favorites #4

This week in the life of a teacher, I have experienced the joy of watching a child become comfortable in their surroundings and open up to their true personality. This must have been the week for the kids to do it because it happened with more than one child. One little girl who has never said anything more than “Mama” has started to say other words to us. As well as when she is preparing for nap-time she giggles to herself and says words that are unrecognizable to us at the moment. But she seems so much happier and comfortable which makes a teacher light up inside. Another child has completely come out of his shell altogether. In the beginning he would sit alone and not speak to anyone. Now, it is difficult to get him to stop talking! He is running around playing until the minute his parents pick him up. No matter how much frustration I may have when he won’t be quiet or the rest of them won’t listen and obey rules, the joy that and fulfillment of seeing them grow like this is overwhelming sometimes.

Three Thankfuls

1. I am thankful for friends who are like family to me here. It took a while to find people who I could really be myself around, and feel like I could trust with the messy parts of my life. But now I have been placed in the same home with two sisters who have made me feel like I am just another sister in their family. I am more thankful for them than I could ever express because life in China has been really hard, but with them I feel so much more joy and happiness to be here.

2. I am thankful for quiet time. When you live in the most populated city on earth, true “quietness” can be really hard to find. However, this week I have found some time to unwind and relax in the quietness I was able to find.

3. I am thankful for pizza. Seriously though, like who isn’t?

Friday Feels & Favorites #3

This week in the life of a teacher, I have learned that some things we learn as a child can stay with us forever. One of these was presented to me this week when one of our students had been doing something wrong so my co-teacher had disciplined him. I was busy during this time with some of the other children so I was unaware of his situation. After she had finished talking to him, he came to me with his arms up wanting me to hold him. This child never does this so I knew something was off with him. I realized right after that he was looking for comfort after he got in trouble. It had me thinking of how we handle life as an adult, too. Sometimes when one person in our life is telling us truth to keep us from harm, we turn away from them trying to create separation and run to another who may not know the whole truth of the harmful situation you are in. Hearing hard truths in life is sometimes too much to swallow and we don’t want to realize it. We just want someone to say it is okay and let us be.

Three thankfuls

1. I am thankful for this job as a teacher. I am learning so much about how to raise kids from watching the other teachers as while as learning as I go.

2. I am thankful for my balcony at my new home. It seems silly, but it is so nice to be able to come home and then chill out on my balcony after a long day. Or in the mornings when everything is waking up you are there to watch it come to life.

3. I am thankful for finding western style food that makes me feel like I have a piece of home. I am certainly one of those people who connect food with feelings. One of the biggest things I missed after coming to China was not have real “breakfast food” like we have back in Tennessee. But I have finally found a place that serves Southern biscuits and fried chicken just like it is at home and my heart is full.

Friday Feels & Favorites #2

Teacher life this week hasn’t been exceptionally exciting. There were the normal daily tasks and play with the children moments. This month our theme is cultures so we have had fun introducing them to different food, costumes, and dances. This week in particular, we have had fun dressing them up in cultural costumes. They weren’t the most keen on putting the costumes on, but after they were in them they looked adorable. The things we have kids do that they will probably resent us for when they see their pictures as an adult is sometimes too entertaining.

Three Thankfuls

1. I am super thankful for friends who become prayer partners. Not only do you know someone is lifting up you and your prayer requests, but you are also being that for someone else.

2. I am thankful for a body that is able to run and workout. It is so easy to get lazy and lethargic, but early morning runs are good for the soul and one easy way to clear your head.

3. I am thankful for nights spent with my roommates just chatting about life. The laughs, tears, and wine spilt during these nights won’t be taken for granted or forgotten.

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