pride.

A wire seems so primitive at first. A line connecting point A to point B. Merely information’s method of transportation. Even when multiple wires come into the picture, and they cross, join, split, fold over each other. Still, connecting point A to point B. I’m no electrical engineer, but I think that’s the basic concept. 

Then there are people. And this time, with human wiring, I feel like we all think we’re special. That we all have our own set of wires that are perfect for our own being. But I think our wires are very much like normal wires: connecting point A to point B. 

And we’re all wired similarly. Wired to have similar emotional responses, physical reactions, etc. But at times, people become.. unwired. Voluntarily. Or involuntarily. But I think it’s like we stop working the same way and feeling the right feelings because our wires crossed paths and currents are flowing all the wrong ways.

We aren’t wired for a cursory glance at life. The slipshod attitude we so often apply to areas of our lives is nothing but a mere act. Our wires are dripping with emotions. Whether we choose to let them seep in or shake off is a reflection of how well our wires are connecting point A to point B. Is the complexity in us beautiful or is it disheveled?

And you should know, I often unsafely assume I’m not alone in my thoughts, hence the use of the first person plural rather than singular.

 

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.

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mad hatter.

“Have I gone mad?”
“I’m afraid so. But let me tell you something: the best people usually are.” 

During my routine Saturday morning baking, I flipped on the TV. It’s a wonder the cookies didn’t turn out awful, because my attention shifted from the oat flour to Wonderland rather quickly. Alice has a lot to teach us, but while watching Disney’s 2010 version of the story, I think I loved most how her realization of reality unfolds. The tale is a progression from dream to actuality. The impossible becomes possible.

“Sometimes I believe in six impossible things before breakfast.

  1. There’s a potion that can make you shrink.
  2. There’s a cake that can make you grow.
  3. Animals can talk.
  4. Cats can disappear.
  5. There’s a place called Wonderland.
  6. I can slay the jabberwocky.”

During most of Alice’s journey through Wonderland, she believes she is simply dreaming, and will return home soon. The Red Queen isn’t an immediate threat and Alice’s duty to slay the jabberwocky isn’t of immediate importance because, of course, she is just dreaming and will return home soon.

But Alice is stagnant.

She hasn’t gone home, isn’t waking up. And she’s made friends. She allowed herself to become so entangled in her dream world because she’s convinced it isn’t real. And when the time comes to defeat the enemy, she isn’t scared. Because if so many impossible things have happened to her already in Wonderland, then why not another?

This is impossible.”
Only if you believe it is.”

What if we lived life a little bit more like Alice? Unafraid of the impossible. I think we would all take a little more risk if we knew we were living in a dream, and would just wake up like nothing ever happened. But why should we reserve the impossible for our dreams and hold on to the possible as our safety net? Alice believed in the impossible, which allowed her to do immeasurably more. What if dreaming the impossible is really just another way of referencing the strength of our faith? Having faith in what is Right, in what is True, so that we are able to turn the abstract and the unattainable into, simply, immeasurably more. And as our faith continuously delivers, it grows. Just like Alice’s.

P.S. Here’s the recipe to the cookies I made this morning. Strongly recommended. Foodie Friday: Elizabeth Rider + Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cookies.

 

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory.

home.

Today, I’ve been reminded of what a home is.

After my internship in St. Louis this summer didn’t conclude in a job offer, I moved back home. Regretfully, begrudgingly, kicking and screaming. My hometown is one of those towns everyone hates in high school, yet no one seems to actually leave. I’ve been determined since about age fourteen to defy the norm. To get out. So what did I do? Moved back. Because I was (a) broke, (b) unemployed and (c) homeless. (Quick shout-out to my parents for their financial, emotional, etc. support.) Let me fill you in on the booming metropolis that is my hometown.

Farmington, MO:

  • “The City of Tradition and Progress” and Oxymoronic Tag Lines
  • Population of about 17,000 with a growth rate of 24% since 2000 (told ya, booming)
  • 88.8% of population is white
  • 291 residents are foreign born
  • 16% of adults have a college degree
  • (Personal) approximation of  7,342 churches
  • Equivalent number of fast food restaurants
  • At least an hour away from a Target, a shopping mall and a Starbucks

Many people here are stuck. They don’t know they are, and I think they’d be rather okay with it if they knew. It’s a nice town; voted number one place to raise your kids in Missouri in 2010. Great school district, two hospitals, plenty of activities for the kiddos.

I just don’t fit here anymore. I knew I had outgrown this town before I could legally buy scratch-offs.  College, my semester studying abroad, living in St. Louis this summer. Those worked. Farmington just doesn’t work anymore. And I’m afraid if I stay here, I’ll be stuck too. I’m not looking to settle or marry or adopt a puppy or have 2.5 kids anytime soon.

But today, I was reminded that this is my home.

I was downtown with my mom, browsing a shop in the process of transitioning from Halloween to Christmas décor.

“I think I’ll want to decorate with stuff like this when I have a home,” I said, pointing to a rustic table/desk thing. “But I don’t have a home.”

My mom stopped me, turned me around, and said, “You’ll always have a home.”

What was intended to be a nonchalant comment about my current lack of permanency meant a little more to my mom.  While I’ve been throwing the greatest self-pity party known to mankind these past three months, I never realized how fortunate I am to have a home. There are too many kids my age who don’t have a home to go back to. And if they do, they often don’t want to. But not for reasons comparable to my “I can’t have Starbucks every day” reasons. Reasons of broken families, destructive environments and unhealthy lifestyles. Reasons I could not possibly understand because I’ve never lived them. I’ve never once experienced what it would be like if I weren’t welcomed back home.

So as I sit in my little café in my little town, I try to wash away the bitterness I have towards this place and fill that space with gratitude. For my family. My Jesus. My home. Because, really, what else is there?

As I complained to a friend recently that I’m suffocated here, living with my parents, she replied, “We come from two completely different families. You’ll find out just how much I’d rather have it like yours very quickly.” And just like that, I’m jolted back to reality.

So thanks, mom and dad, for my home.

 

(Photos courtesy of @discoverfarmington on Instagram.)

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Said browsed shop.

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My little café.

 

Joshua 24:15

fall.

I never used to like fall, for no other reason than it meant busy season (aka school) was in full swing, not letting up anytime soon. I was so focused on the sheer length of my to-do list, never taking time to sit. To sit and appreciate the very thing that had potential to calm me down. I find rejuvenation in beauty: something I’ve learned about myself during this little two month transition period between jobs. “It’s been good getting to know me more.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIrYL9z0R1Y

Eight reasons fall is a beautiful thing:

  1. The pallet of colors in any given glance. No other season makes our eyes this happy.
  2. The crunching sounds the leaves make under our feet.
  3. Pumpkin everything.
  4. The days we’d rather spend outside because the weather is perfect. Legitimately perfect. (Also makes going for a jog a bit more enjoyable.)
  5. Scarves and over-sized sweaters.
  6. Fresh air never smelled this good.
  7. Bonfires.
  8. Drinking coffee outside doesn’t make you sweat.

I think what I like most about fall is its unmatched representation of change. Everything we see is green all summer. Grass, trees, bushes. Flowers bloom, but then die. And all that’s left is green. Then fall is upon us, and everything changes. But nothing really changes together; every part of nature sort of goes its own way. It’s like the trees all made the decision to be themselves. And grow into who they’ve always been. We look at most trees as being the same all year around. Until fall. And that’s when we claim them to be something beautiful.

Kind of like people. We ordinarily say people are beautiful when they stand out to us. But I’ve learned the only real way to stand out is to be ourselves. Yeah. Trees in the fall are a lot like people.

 

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

resolutions.

Today is a day of resolutions. Not the “I vow to lose seventy pounds this week” or “I will do laundry 365 days this year” kind of resolutions. The kind of resolutions in our heads. It’s about making an earnest decision to change things mentally, internally, within. And this blog thing is an attempt to think about/jot down/reflect upon that change.

This is where I’m at:

I’ve accepted a job. I’ve signed on an apartment in a city away from home. I’m growing up. I’m twenty-one, and I’m growing up.

It’s not that I don’t want to grow up, cut the strings, start this self-sustaining thing. Because I do, really. But I feel like I’m missing out on something. (It’s true, I’m a victim of FOMO.) I was completely okay with graduating a year early, until I wasn’t there anymore. I was perfectly fine with the idea of moving back home, until the idea became a reality.

We’ve all got plenty of “workable areas,” we’ll call them. Here are my top three:

  1. I always want to be somewhere I’m not. The best advice I’ve ever gotten is “Be present. Be content, and be present.” That’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever set my mind to.
  2. I fall victim to the problem many of my generation face: unhappiness due to reality not living up to our (ever-so-lofty) expectations. I don’t think I struggle with the entitlement issue as much as I just didn’t realize how difficult it is to get your hands on a rich, juicy opportunity.
  3. My biggest fear has always been, and I daresay, will always be failure. This can be a good thing. We often run from our fears, meaning I will do my best to avoid failure. But realizing I’m going to fail (often), and being okay with that? A mountain I’ve yet to scale.

So, this is my start. Is there a process for officially declaring days? I think I’ll call today Resolution Day. I’ve got big things to do, and a lot of life left to do them. And I’m going to enjoy every step of the way.