A Few of My Happy Places

My bed…so many pillows and blankets and things (usually not this neat, but rather covered with books, bags, mittens, random things). it’s one of those places you just sink into, curl up and feel right.

walking on the beach (florida, cape town, anywhere really)

my porch in africa or on one of the mountains and well africa in general

Lindo on my shouldersDriving in a car with big sunglasses on, windows down, music up loud

So, there are a few of my happy places. There are many more…but that’s a start. 🙂

What about you? Where’s your happy place/s? Do you have a favorite place? (I don’t do favorites!).

*Check out other happy places at The Gypsy Mama’s

Running Around

“Authenticity has less to do with what I look like and more to do with what I say and do.” –Sarah

A while back there was thing called “Real Me” running around the “blogosphere.”  I kept intending to participate, but never ended up having a camera after those real me moments. Until tonight…

See, the real me loves to run.  I haven’t always. Back when I played tennis like it was my job, I loathed running.  But then, tennis season ended and I love the feeling of a good workout…

So, on a whim, I picked up running. I hit the pavement searching for cute little neighborhoods and found myself loving the mixture of music, God time, and the feelings afterward (from i hurt to okay I did that!).   Give or take about three years, here I am still running.

Now, as for the picture…I took this little gem right after my 16.1k (or 10 mile) run–sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself…  My legs hurt. I did not smell pretty. I’m pretty sure I had salt on my face. I had just listened to Battlefield on repeat 22 times to remind me to get my armor on (yes…I counted while I ran and I wanted to get my $1.29 worth out of the song I bought in part just for this ridiculously long run and check out Ephesians 6).

I’ve got my cross and heart necklace around my neck (I’ve worn the cross since high school and June gave me the heart last year–yeah…I never take it off…literally).  I have a watch on my right hand (and no, I’m not left handed, I just like that hand better for watches).  I’m wearing flip flops because that’s how I roll even in negative temperatures.

I’m missing my big earrings and sunglasses, but  just imagine they’re there because they normally are.  Oh, and yes, I’m taking a cheesy self-portrait hand out smiling style picture because I like documenting things like this and yes I smile in them…iPhoto has plenty of these stored away.

So, there’s a little glimpse into the real me. I’ll try to share more as these moments pop up, but I’ve written more than enough me…tell me something about the “real you” because I so would love hearing from you!!! (and yes, I use multiple exclamation points or question marks to emphasize that I really do want to know..I do) 🙂

Repeatable

The last week or so, or maybe most of my life, I find a few songs that I keep on hitting that repeat button over and over. Especially because certain bits and pieces of the lyrics hit a chord in my heart and either make me bust out a dance move or throw back my head in worship.  To end off the weekend with a bang and bring a little joy right into next week, here you go, for your viewing and listening pleasure:

“You Won’t Relent” sung by Jesus Culture (Found at 1:50 in this version of the song)


*this is doing a number on my view of God…
*and reminds me of this song that I even bought and which is still on repeat
*and yes, that is a quote in Afrikaans in my journal 🙂

And here is song #2 “Hold Us Together” by Matt Maher


*yes, if you were a fly on the wall you could probably find me dancing around to this upbeat tune, thanks for sharing this gem of a song, Lisa-Jo!

Hear No Evil

You know when you’re zipping along in a book and you come to a funny part?  Do you laugh out loud or do you laugh on the inside? Mostly, I do the latter especially if I’m in public.  Hear No Evil, on the other hand, had me laughing, giggling, and smiling at the GYM! Yikes!  And, apparently, I’ve been in the “church” long enough to catch onto some of the lingo, jokes, and well messiness. Here are a few snippets of the book:

“Good music changes me, shocks me, makes me feel uncomfortable, and drives me to think and hope and believe differently.”

“I was learning that I didn’t know a lot of things. And I think a part of faith is learning how to become okay with that.”

“I can understand why some people don’t use their imaginations. Why is that? Because it gets you in trouble sometimes…People who play it safe rarely accomplish much.”

If you love music, can appreciate some church truth/humor, and want a speedy read with some nuggets to chew on then check out Hear No Evil. If you’re in the area…feel free to ask to borrow my copy though it has been to the gym with me…. 🙂

*This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. You can buy one here 🙂 Oh! and don’t forget to check out his blog here.

I am most myself when…

I loved the idea behind this post and the happy thoughts generated so I thought I’d share with you all here:

I am most myself when I am sitting on my bed watching the sunrise mulling over the Bible and talking with God.

I am most myself outside…running, hiking, sitting, soaking up the sun.

I am most myself when I’m in shorts, a tank top, bare feet, and curled up in my bed with a good book.

I am most myself when I am wearing sunglasses on top of my head.

I am most myself when I bring my laptop in the bathroom/am driving with my ipod and turn the volume up way loud and get lost in a song.

I am most myself surrounded by kiddos.

What about you?!

Full

My heart is full.  Saturday proved to be a perfect, full day.  I woke up thinking and tweeting: “sunny saturday and no plans as of yet. not sure how I feel about that…”

I started out by staying in bed for a bit and then going outside to embrace the sunshine.  I read and got a tan while laying on a combo of a sleeping bag, blanket, towel and three pillows with music playing in the background next to six different books (Wide Awake, Out of the Salt Shaker, Her Name is Woman, Christ In You, The Bible, Inner Healing).  I even had a blank canvas, paints, a journal, pens, and of course sunglasses.  I like to be prepared/going inside and up the stairs to get something is not an ideal interruption.

Somewhere along the way I decided to pile all my stuff on my stairs in case I decided to return to my spot on the porch after I made delicious sweet tea.  Sweet tea makes my heart happy and feel like summer.  Though, I never did make it back to lay on the porch.  Instead, I helped (Josh–a volunteer here for 10 days) make a sweet video in iMovie.  I am so using that to make some fun stuff.

Then I intended to go on a walk (with Jace), which was delayed due to hanging out and chatting.  Eventually, we (Jace, Allen, and I) made our way to the pond where we saw some poor, sad, dead frogs while discussing how dirty the pool looked and how we needed to get gloves before trying to shimmy down the zip line.  After the walk, we (Jace, Allen, Jen, and I) jumped into a game of Settlers, which made my heart happy since we hadn’t played it yet.  Then dinner, hanging out (most/all of the interns plus the volunteers), playing guitar on an adorable little guitar, talking about life, laughing, time for prayer (for Tara’s family–pray for them too!), and then we ended the day with watching Wolverine.  I even stayed awake and got in some discussion about how some characters have some bitter roots!

Thus, the day ended with the thought and tweet: “what an awesome full saturday that is ending with a full heart 🙂 praise God!”  I am so thankful for the people God has put around me during this time to walk with me and build me up during this time of re-learning, un-learning, and learning while embracing who I am in Him!

Shooting Stars

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life…” Philippians 2:14-16

Lately, I crave summer: swim suits, laying on the beach, driving with the music blaring and the windows down, fluffy happy books, shorts and tank tops, flip flops,  going out on the lake, meteor showers, star gazing, looking at the moon, sitting on the deck or dock, and happy summer music.  In response to my craving, I’ve decided that my room is now summer. Basically, I wear shorts and a tank top.  Pretend the heater and the sleeping bag are just for fun and look at the happy summer pictures while listening to happy music.  My heart is extra happy so all of this fits.

Alright, so by now you may be wondering how the verse above fits into all this talk about summer.  Well then, let me tell you a little bit about today.  Today the weather was warm, sunny and perfect.  I wore flip flops, ate delicious pancakes with mixed berries (I love and miss fresh berries like strawberries and blueberries!), walked around outside and read Gone With the Wind.  But the best part consisted of later at night when the stars came out.  Tentative plans to watch a movie were thwarted by other events, which turned into new plans to star gaze by the pond.  To be prepared, I outfitted myself with my sleeping bag, two pairs of pants (one with stars on them of course), lots of layers, a hat, mittens and even socks (I hate socks, but thanks mom for sending me some…though I really don’t need more…I really hate them!).

Needless to say, God blew me away with His creation.  Everything made me smile and soak in the beautiful night.  The moon hid away until the right time when we saw its amazing orangish color and sat astounded at its huge size.  The shooting stars took my breath away and I got sad whenever someone else saw one, but I missed it.  The random conversation took the edge off the rest of the day.  And I’m still pondering which names fit the category of a “cuddly” name.  Yet, through all of this, I return my thoughts to God to thank Him for a wonderful ending to another day.  To ask Him to help me show that kind of beauty and light to everyone around me. To live out the call to shine like stars and take people’s breath away. To glorify His name and live a life full of love in such a way that others see Him.

Because that’s when my heart is happy.

love

33 Things You Could Live Without Knowing

1. First thing you wash in the shower? pass.

2. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? probably not?

3. Do you plan outfits? no. i never know until right when I’m getting ready.

4. What are you craving right now? cinnamon crunch bagel with honey walnut cream cheese from panera.

5. Do you floss? yes. of course!

6. What comes to mind when I say cabbage? how many times are we going to eat cabbage…..i want food from home!

7. Are you emotional? true. “i wear my heart on my sleeve again”

8. Have you ever counted to 1,000? probably? i count to 100 and then count backwards from 100 sometimes when I’m running.

9. Do you like your hair? some days. i wish someone else would just do it and that i wouldn’t have to ever blow dry it.

10. Do you like yourself? most days. sure why not.

11. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? why not. not alone though.

12. What are you listening to right now? nothing, unfortunately. i’m on a “I dont’ know what I want to listen to” music streak and I don’t like it!

13. Are your parents strict? nah, they were fine

14. Would you go sky diving? maybe. as long as someone went with me and totally convinced me and made me go. afterward, I’m sure I would be happy I did it…unless I got really hurt or something 🙂

15. Have you ever met a celebrity? yeah. sports players 🙂 federer was fun to see.

16. How many countries have you visited? the US, Canada, South Africa (woot! I’m living here now)

17. Have you made a prank phone call? maybe? a specific instance doesn’t come to mind, but I’ve called and hung up before they answered haha.

18. Brown or white eggs? i don’t know. i haven’t eaten eggs for a while.

19. Do you have a cell phone? yes and no. I have one that is on “hold” til I get back and then I have one I share with my roomie here.

20. Can you use chop sticks? I wish! I love Chinese food, but I haven’t mastered using chop sticks yet.

21. Are you too forgiving? sometimes, most often.

22. Ever been in love? true story.

23. Last time you cried? few days ago while listening to sad music. gotta love how music changes your mood.

24. What was the last question you asked? um probably something about Hope House planning, not sure what though.

25. Are you sarcastic? sometimes. I go back and forth on whether I should use sarcasm.

26. Do looks matter? to who?

27. Do you like your life right now? most days. Fridays make my heart happy.

28. Can you handle the truth? maybe not always right away, but give me a little bit and I’ll get to work on changing whatever or accepting the truth.

29. How often do you talk on the phone? not often here, which is kinda sad. i miss it sometimes.

30. Where was your profile picture taken at? the one on Facebook=Hope House. The other one that I sometimes use=Thrive Africa out on one of the paths. 

31. Can you hula hoop? not well.

32. Do you have a job? not really. I’m a 24/7 intern though.

33. What was the most recent thing you bought? Nando’s maybe? or maybe a white hot chocolate from the cafe.

ht: Tam

Perfect

Step One: Wake up at 6:52
Step Two: Look out the window and see that it’s not raining!
Step Three: Throw on running clothes
Step Four: Go running in the mountains 🙂
Step Five: Prayer walk for a cool down
Step Six: Eat oatmeal and toast with peanut butter and honey while sitting on the kitchen counter.
Step Seven: Begin the day
Step Eight: Play with adorable little kids and fall a little more in love with them…
Step Nine: Drive home listening to happy girly country music
Step Ten: Eat breakfast for dinner. Pancakes with peanut butter!

Bouy

🙂 Happy day=listening to this live and watching him get super excited about playing music.

“let time forget what you’re crying for. for the sake of your soul”

“write it down. write it in your journal. stamp the date. so you know you were sincere. write it down. immortalize this feeling. because the ache’s already fading. you’ll have lost it in a year. life is hard. why can’t a journal hug you? why can’t a pillow love you? what’s a guy to do?”

“you’re a buoy in an ocean that guides my way”