Sunday, February 27, 2011

taking big big chances (many a fork in the road)

today i am not going to use punctuation because my fingertips are really cold, which is weird since it is so pretty outside and the sky is so blue but sometimes you just don't feel like using punctuation, ya know?!

i am currently listening to jj heller's, "your hands" . it is amazing. i think it's worth a listen. my sister rebecca first posted a lyric from it on her blog so i was intrigued, youtubed it, and fell in love. jj heller's voice is so sweet and her lyrics are straight from Jesus and i just love it so much. it's the perfect kind of song for lying down in a sunny room, just being alone and feeling...peace. mmm.

do you ever feel like you could see your life literally go in two completely separate directions and you honestly think you would be happy with both, so you get really confused, kinda sad and just want to throw up your hands and say "gahh! i wanna be little again dang it." i don't know if you ever feel like that but lately i really really have. yesterday, on a whim (well more than a whim because i had been debating do it for about 2 months) i sent in my headshots/resume to a casting director. i know, i know. silly. ridiculous. kind of embarrassing. but i just...had to. you know? i literally looked at the envelope, lifted it up to God and just...sent it in the mail. do i expect something to happen? do i wish more than anything i would get a phone call next week from an office in LA? heck yes. i am a dreamer. i figured, what the heck, why not? i think taking big ridiculous chances is good for the mind, you know? it made me feel like a five year old telling my mom i wanted to be an astronaut, and you know what, it feel really good. i pulled away from the mailbox knowing that my envelope could end up lost, in the trash, laughed at, whatever. but we always have to try, right?

i have no idea where i want my life to go. that is really scary. and everytime i go to church i just get so much more confused, but in a good way. i don't know if that makes sense. it's exciting though at the same time. it's like, literally, Jesus could tell me to go anywhere and right now i could. and i have to say i love that idea. which brings me to another point. usually when someone finds out i follow Jesus and they don't agree, they bring up how messed up christianity is or how christians are usually pretty judgemental and hypocritical. i always tell them that God said follow Jesus, not Christians. i love that idea. it always makes me think to myself, okay, do i really, really follow Jesus? am i ready for what that truly means? yes i want to so badly, i want to just free myself from the world and be ready to go anywhere. a lot of times i live my life in fear, or to the world's standards. i am selfish. i am impatient. i can be mean and sarcastic. and yet God still loves me. and Jesus still wants a relationship with me. i hurt God and sometimes i depend on myself instead of Him. and yet He still wants to reach out to me. why wouldn't i want to follow him?

i feel like my blogs are getting repetitive and this one is just a fragment of a bunch of different thoughts. i'm really starting to doubt blogging and if i should continue. but for right now i have these words inside of me and i just want to let them out, i think. anyway. yeah.

Love & fragmented thoughts that come from my heart but are so jumbled up,

Friday, February 25, 2011

I want. (poetry i think)

i want the smell of an air conditioned room and how it reminds me of being eleven and still wet bathing suits in the summer and joe's waterice staining my fingers cherry red

i want shoelace bracelets and frizzy hair, the friend of a book and it's nurturing ink-words that can't hurt, can't condescend but lift up up away when i shut my bedroom door at 5:30pm and drink a warm beverage and calories, they aren't even in my vocabulary.

i want little girls to have the same brain as they grow up so when they are eighteen and contemplating clothes that expose and drinks that leave their head and heart muddled they can say 'no no no thanks' and instead turn to a blue sky and feel satisfaction in that-

i want boys to grow into men who are actual men who love and it's okay and they know they are man enough for anything but  still protect in the way that is beautiful, and when their eyes wander and mind lingers they feel in their heart they know in their heart what is right 

i want jealousy to be, like, this thing i can drop-kick to the ground, slam my fist against it and watch it cower into the little animal i know it is.

i want my heart to never get bitter.

i want my natural hair color to be enough on days when i want to curl my toes and let the wind hit my face in a way that is refreshing.

i want to like my life in a way that lets me look at people's facebook pictures and not wonder, 'is it too late to switch lives with someone?'

i want to believe more than just half of what i say.

i want to know the future so at night when i can literally feel my heart working, pounding, when i can imagine my bloodstream flowing to my ankles, to the tips of my fingers i don't start breathing too fast and i can relax because at night anxiety hits and i think oh gosh oh gosh i could go at any moment, couldn't i?

i want someone to look at me and think 'this is what you have been searching for all along'

i want a man to fall in love with how much i am in love with Jesus.

i want to go back to when i was five and re-live my whole life with my brain right now, as a 21 year old, and i want to not care about that time i got pushed on the playground and cried because i felt like an idiot, and i want to go back to being 14 and tell that boy 'you actually are really great and i was just an idiot and scared of you' and i want to relive being 10 over and over again because that kind of happiness can't be bottled up and i want to remember standing on a Peruvian mountaintop and i want to maybe not go to New York City or maybe go back to that audition room when I was 17 and tell myself 'you are good enough you are good enough you are good enough'

I want to know I am good enough. Gosh, I think I want a lot of things.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


--I'm always very impressed when girls manage to look super foxy at the gym. And I'm not talking about, 'Oh wow, that's a very pretty woman even though her hair is all frizzy and she has pit stains the size of the Atlantic.' I'm talking (and we've all seen them) the women in the gym who have a shiny ponytail that looks more like a hairstyle I would wear out to dinner, a full face of makeup on that doesn't run with their (nonexistent) sweat, and the cutest workout clothes. Now normally, I feel like I would be jealous of these women. My hair always frizzes when I work out, I just can't bring myself to put makeup on if I'm just gonna shower afterward, and why wear cute workout clothes when I have all those old high school T-shirts and faded yoga pants? So, I should be jealous of the Real Young Work Out Ladies of Delaware County, right? But for some reason I'm not jealous, I'm mostly intrigued. So if you are one of these girls and are reading this, do me a favor: message me your secret, eh?

--Sometimes I think it'd be nice to have a boyfriend. You know, to bring me chai tea lattes and stuff. But then I realize maybe what I really need is a house-elf, because all I want right now is someone to bring me chai tea lattes when I don't feel like driving. So actually, what I really want in life is a house-elf. (I guess it's pretty self explanatory that I'm not a supporter of S.P.E.W.)

--How To Train Your Dragon is an excellent movie. Seriously. Even if Dreamworks animated movies aren't your thing, I'm telling you, you'll enjoy it. It's....ah. Good. Your heart will be happy.

--Why do women star in all laundry commercials? I'm not one to go on a rant about feminism and all my womanly powers, but seriously--come on! This is BLATANT sexism. I wanna see a guy doing his own dang laundry on the TV. I'm not gonna ramble on about it now, but legit...this...peeves me. I know a lot of guys who do their laundry. Let's see it happen on TV.

--Another peeve: LeBron James is going to be in a movie. Need I say more? Okay, I'll say more. You don't see doctors walking into a law office and asking to defend someone just because they're 'interested' in it. You don't see a second grade teacher walking into a pediatrician's office and asking if they can give the next patient their check up. LeBron James starring in a movie, even if it's a movie about a basketball player, is demeaning to the art of acting. And yes, I can talk about the art of acting because I spent 3.5 years racking up loans to my neck so I could get a degree in the art of acting. End rant.

--I am in love with rapping and I don't even listen to a lot of rap. There are few things in life that give me as much of an adrenaline rush as getting up on stage in front of a crowd of people and literally, rapping. I love comedic rapping and straight up just...rapping. Don't believe me? Check out THIS and you'll get to see me and Chanelle Tyson rapping some. Like, I don't know. I think it stems from my love of writing and performing mixed all together in just making people laugh and raise their eyebrows. I wouldn't hate it if I could make a living off of simply rapping. More girls need to rap, but I think more white girls do too.

I think that's all for my ramblings tonight.
Love & rambling thoughts that now seem like just complaints but were crowding my brain,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

love where you are right now; love this season of life

One thing I'm really struggling with in this blog is honesty. It's hard to write unfiltered--I always think, am I putting too much of my heart out there? Am I getting way too personal on a blog? Is this getting kind of ridiculous? I think about it and I think of my favorite blogs out there. I love when the writer is completely honest and personal--it's so encouraging and fresh and usually leaves me deeply moved. I'm not saying I'm writing this to "move" people. Even if no one read my blog, and let's face it, it's not like many people do (which is totally fine!) I would still write in it every day. Because through this blog I hope to glorify God with each post...somehow...and even if one person stumbles upon this some day and wonders about God and His never-ending love, then I think it's worth it anyway.

One thing I'm really learning lately is to love myself. Loving yourself is different than feeling good about yourself I think. I think a lot of time our culture teaches us to improve ourselves but never to really love ourselves in whatever season of life we are in. In church today our pastor preached about marriage and divorce. Even though I'm only 21 and am not dating, I was deeply moved by his words and truly saw Christ shining through him. I sat there at the end of the service, listening to him pray for us and I wanted to cry because I was so...happy. For the first time since I've graduated, I was completely at peace with where I am right now. I really felt God telling me, "Love where you are right now Nina! Enjoy this time! Seek me! Focus on me! How many times will you be 21? Enjoy it my child!" I just...loved that so much. And it was funny, because our pastor was preaching about marriage, and I have to say, I really am excited to be married one day. I think marriage is beautiful and I can't wait to meet the man I will marry one day and how God will take us on that journey--but I am soooo happy to be where I am right now! I have NO idea where God is going to take my life and I happy about that! I feel like I could literally go anywhere. God tell me to go anywhere in the world and I really think I would. I am enjoying praying daily and taking life one day at a time, just walking with Jesus.

I think the main thing I took away from church today was encouragement. Just feeling so encouraged with loving where I am in life right now. I pray that everyone can rejoice where they are in life right now. And trust me, I know life is hard. I mean, I am very blessed but it's hard to love life if you don't like where you are right now. But I think that's the beauty of God and seeking the Kingdom. It doesn't matter if certain things are falling a part--every minute spent in the presence of God is treasured--I want all my minutes with Him!

This post isn't making all. I meant to go in one direction and had no idea I'd end up here. I wanted to blog more about my journals but...I just feel this message on my heart. Anyways. Yeah. God is goooooooood yo.

Love & loving life right in this moment even if sometimes I just want to scream-scream or laugh or cry or all three at one time,

Friday, February 18, 2011

laughing at yourself

"You grow up when you have your first real laugh--at yourself."
--Ethel Barrymore

I think when you laugh at yourself it helps you love yourself. Okay, I have these collection of old journals I found a few years ago. Most girls (and maybe guys) can probably relate--when I was anywhere from like, 7 up until around 14 I would half-heartedly keep journals. Now it's a different story because I actually finished my first journal this summer and am 3/4ths through my new one, so I guess heck yeah I'm a serious journaler. But back in the day..oh my goodness--just re-reading through my old journals is hilarious to my family and I. The things I used to say and think. I was a nutball.

I was sick with a fever over the weekend and couldn't really process too much, so as I was lying in bed I decided to drag out those old journals just for kicks. I always love reading them because 1. It's hilarious. 2. I genuinely learn more about the person that I am right now. It's like looking back on a young friend, someone I once knew, and my heart literally feels for that person. Seriously--if you have old journals I encourage you to dig them up, sit back with some coffee and try and smile fondly at yourself.

I decided to start this little mini-series on my blog of taking exerpts out of my old journals. Mainly for fun, mainly because it makes me realize how badly I wish I knew Jesus back then, and because I think it's pretty interesting. I'll start at my youngest journal. It was "A Little Princess Diary." I was eight. There are a lot of hilarious parts of this diary especially this part where I list all the kids I hated and little blurbs about them. It should be noted that I changed the names of the people for...well, privacy reasons ahaha.
Girl 1: "Girl 1" is so mean. She calls me stupid + brat + tells me to shut up but I don't and I say you or make me. I hate her guts. 
Girl 2: "Girl 2" is just like "Girl 1" but she's more mean! She even said, "I want to beat you up" to me. I hate her too.
Girl 3: "Girl 3" is just like "Girl 2" so I don't have to say anything because I would just be repeating everything.
Boy 1: He's a brat. I hate him. So much that--rrrrrr! I can't say it! <3 <3

Oh my GOODNESS! So much anger for a little girl, ahahah. And I literally drew hearts after writing how angry I was at the boy. Talk about a whackjob. Now I know it seems like I hate a lot of people, but who didn't get in fights with kids when they were young? It's funny because I never stood up for myself when I was little....but instead I would come home and just write out my feelings. While looking back it's easy to laugh at how I was, I'm kind of amazed at how I clung to words, even back then. I really think writing is an amazing tool for youngin's. It can be a really healthy way to take out frustration, or sadness, or that horrible and embarrassing teen angst you'll get to see a few journal entries later.

Just so people don't think I was an angry little girl, I also love reading this next part, because it was when I discovered the use of hyphens and when I thought I spoke like I was from 1776:

"Your excited I hope. I mean, your going to Georgia, I decided not to--but--guess who did--want to go--REBECCA!" I said.
"Yes I am but wihtout--" Vanessa started. "I'm afraid of--the flight!"
"I indeed," I said. 

And that's the end of the passage...ahah, okay it makes like no sense and I don't know why I wrote in dialogue form but hey, I was like eight or something. And who says "I Indeed" -- really? I have never said that....oh gosh. Goofy.

And here's my favorite exerpt:

"I'm watching 'Brambly Hedge.' Rebecca just came in. I'm eating hersheys. 'Let me play,' I heard Christina say. My third chocolate. This morning Rebecca woke me up with a tickle on my foot."

Oh my gosh, my sister will probably yell at me for putting this up but I love it! This is how I remember my childhood.
1. Brambly Hedge--such a cozy little movie!! It's about field mice and they live in the coziest country homes and have winter festivals and eat pies. I know, it's ridiculous but it made me so happy.
2. The commentary on Hershey Kisses. When I was little I was chubby and had no idea. I love that. I had big, poofy curly hair and loved to eat and I was just...deliriously happy. I miss that so much. Sometimes I wish I could still have that instead of freaking out the minute I eat a french fry or oreo and being all paranoid about working out. Not that I'm crazy about it now, but back then I was blissfully happy. I was chubby and frizzy and so happy with myself that I didn't care. I never thought I was ugly--the thought never crossed my mind because at that stage I just...loved myself. I love that. I think even though I didn't know Jesus then, God was protecting me in a way. I found books and writing to be the best escape for me and I think that was God protecting me. When girls were mean to me, or through my parent's divorce, I could just cling to words and stories and it was like God knew eventually I would meet Jesus, but for right then he provided me with a little blessing to help along my journey. Just...amazing.
3. My sister tickling my foot. AHAH so embarrassing! I love it though because when I think of my life, I think of my sisters. We're beyond close. Yes we have our issues and fights and whatever, but I can honestly say our bond is unique. Rare. Special. From God. I pray and pray I never take it for granted because I really feel like it's one of a kind. Maybe if you have sisters you know what I'm talking about. I hope you do--it's awesome.

Anyways that's enough for today ahaha. Goodness. I don't even know if anyone will read this but I loved typing it out, it was fun! And it's good to have it on record in a sense, because years later I can come back to this blog and read about where I was right now. I like that. I like remembering stuff. It's like whenever I enter an air conditioned room. The smell of it reminds me of wet bathing suits and being eleven and summer and pool noodles and being with my cousins and little sisters in the sunshine until our parents picked us up. Amazing.

Love & nostalgia,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

dry seasons

I think I've been in a bit of a writer's block when it comes to blogging. I switched to this cute new blog and now I'm like--blegh. Nothing. Nada. I don't know why that is....well, actually I was sick for four days in a row and now I'm feeling much better, but when you're sick you really don't want to do anything but sit there and out. Anyway.
In my devotional today it said: "My love for you is constant and is not to be reckoned by your own happiness or unhappiness." I thought that was pretty remarkable. This past month has been an emotional and spiritual rollercoaster. It's definitely exciting, but also there have been times of not-so-wonderful things.  And reading this in my devotional today made me pause for a moment and really think about what that sentence means. Okay. God loves me--that's easy enough to say a few times and begin to grasp. So how come when I'm feeling super down, or even bored with my life, do I so easily let go of the joy that comes with being a child of God?
It's crazy to think that a love can be so constant. It's kind of like the love I have from my family. I know my mom and sisters and dad will always love me no matter what. There's absolutely not question about it--it's so deeply ingrained inside of me that I never really worry about if they love me or not. So why can't I understand this about God so much?
It's crazy, because in life doesn't everyone just want constant love. Like, isn't that why dating is so freaking scary? Why being in a romantic relationship with someone is such a risk? Because really, there is that chance that one day the other person (or yourself) could wake up and BAM. Done. It's just not there anymore. That's--really scary. But also it's really awesome because loving is a risk. One of my favorite poems was shown to me by a good friend of mine a few months back:

"It is a risk to love.
But what if it doesn't work out?
Ah, but what if it does."
--Peter McWilliams

Beautiful, right? That little poem is awesome and I love that outlook. Love really is a risk--except with God. I don't know if I'm really articulating what I'm trying to say, but what I feel is that God will ALWAYS love us. Always. I think about how my heart aches when someone I love hurts me--imagine the ache of God? He loves every single person on the earth--imagine the pain of his heart when people turn away from him?

I don't knowwhat the point of this post is, I was just drawn to that one sentence in my devotional. I'm also reading 1 John and it says-- (1 John 3:1) "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

That really is great! Every day of my life I should wake up with joy in my heart and ask God excitedly, "What do you have for me today, Lord?! How can I follow your will today?!" That's pretty exciting.

Anyway, in writing this I decided what I want the next post to be about! And now I'm really happy. I guess it's always good to just work through writer's block. Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather. It's the perfect day to listen to some Avett or Mumford, huh? Kinda makes me want to listen to some banjo.

Love & Sunny Skies with a Cool Breeze and a Banjo Playing in the Distance,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

forget diamonds & chocolate--a banjo is the key to a woman's heart

I love chocolate and sparkly things, but oh my goodness….a man with a banjo? Double swoon balls of fire. I think in another life I was a Southern Belle. Part of me always wanted to grow up down in like, Virginia or Alabama or Mississippi or something in a big old farmhouse and sip sweet tea and eat like, pecan pie or some other stereotypical sweet treat, and like, when I come home for college everyone opens their windows and calls out “Nina’s home!” “did ya hear?! Nina’s home, y’all!” and I bake bread and pies and cakes and leave them cooling on my windowsill and I fall in love with the boy next door who doesn’t have a lot of money but has a rich heart—-
Okay…I’m going on a rant. I’m sorry, but seriously. The banjo. A man could offer me food and I’d be delighted. Pretty earrings? Sure! But sit me down on a porch swing and play me a song on the banjo? You have my heart.
This post is absolutely pointless but I just had to express my love of the banjo and just good music in general. Oh nom nom nom. 

Thank you for saying I am worth Your best.

Lord, I am worth waiting for. I am worth Your best, and I will patiently wait for the best You have to offer. While I wait God, I will trust in you. I will believe that Your timing and Your plan is better than mine. My perfect mate is being transformed to compliment me, just as I am being transformed to compliment him.

Would you allow me to see myself as You see me? Would you show me how to bear Your image, how my heart and mind and spirit are a perfect reflection of how good You are.

Let me focus on all the things that You did right and forgive myself and others for all the things that have gone wrong. Lord, release me from being bound to anyone other than You. You have come to restore my heart. Whoever stole it or wounded it no longer has a part of me. You, Lord, have all of me. Thank you for fighting for me, God, for saying that I am worth fighting for. Thank you for bringing comfort and hope into the areas of my heart that only know sorrow and brokenness.

Thank you for never leaving me, for never giving up on me or walking out on me. Thank you for always saying I am enough. You are behind me, ahead of me and beside me, guiding me and loving me. I am not perfectly flawed or perfectly wounded…..I am not my wounds…..I am not the lies of my past or the culmination of broken relationships. I am a perfect reflection of Your image.

I pray for the man you have prepared for me. I ask for purity in his heart and his actions. May his relationship with You be what propels him toward me. Let us trust Your plan and Your timing for when we meet, how we date and our marriage. Mold him into the man that You have created him to be.

Thank you for saying I am worth all of You, God. Thank you for saying I am worth your best.

harry potter & hunger games=young adult superiority

I hate Twilight. Yes, I’ve read all the books. But I only did it because I needed to hate them in detail—you can’t bash something until you’ve tried it. And sure I saw 2 of the movies—at least I could look at Taylor Lautner. But as for the books—seriously, I hate them. I was recently at a small group last week and was talking to a girl and we literally bonded for a good 3 minutes over our shared loathing of Twilight. It’s actually a great ice-breaker in a new setting: discussing what is so wrong with the series. It sparked our conversation and then we ended up talking about a whole lot of other, much more interesting topics and it was great. So I guess that’s one good thing Twilight did for me.
Anyways. About a month ago I finished Suzanne Collins’ series, ‘The Hunger Games.’ I’m always a little skeptical when reading young adult books. There’s a lot of stereotypes that come up when I think of that particular section of Border’s. Most of the books are entitled things like Mortal Love or Forever Eternity or Sparkly Moonlight Evening Vampire Love with a Zombie Heart Ache . Okay, I’m exaggerating here and made those titles up, but seriously. I’m always a little embarrassed when I happen to find my feet taking me to the ‘young adult’ section of a bookstore. Because most of the time it’s for guilty pleasure reading, something on the beach or while traveling or whatever. 
But as I’m applying to graduate schools and really thinking about where my passions can take me career-wise, I’ve definitely decided that if I pursue creative writing I would want to write for young, teen girls. Because there is literally SO MUCH TRASH OUT THERE. It makes me sooooo sad when a young girl knows who Edward Cullen is but has never even heard of Calvin O’Keefe, the adorable red-haired love of my girl Meg Murry in A Wrinkle in Time. In comparing the books that I read when I was 14 to the books girls ready now, I can’t help but cringe. Everything is sooo dark and trashy and just straight up depressing.
That’s why I have to applaude JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins. First of all, there is nothing like the wonder of Harry Potter and I’ve blogged about that many times before so I’m not gonna go into that. But I’ve recently became a HUGE fan of The Hunger Games. It’s as close to Twilight as I’m ever gonna get, but at the same time far superior to the series. Maybe I’m a little biased because the author earned her BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. But I have to say the books are just really, really amazing. Yes they are dark. And super scary and sometimes depressing but they are extremely addictive and provide the reader with something Twilight could never, ever do: a strong, female character. I love Katniss Everdeen because she is so, totallybadass. Yes I started to recoil at certain aspects of the plotline that reminded me of Twilight—two boys are in love with Katniss and she is confused by her feelings. But where Bella Swan is so utterly pathetic and one-dimensional, Katniss Everdeen is a fighter. Two boys love her but at the same time she just..doesn’t give a damn. For most of the books she is so focused on the bigger picture and her love of her little sister, Prim, is what drives her…not the lust of a boy (cough Bella cough).
I loved The Hunger Games sooo much and I encourage anyone to read them. I think sometimes young adult books can have the same reputation as chicklit does—that it is all crap. Well, actually, most of it really is, but every once in awhile there is a gem in there. The Hunger Games is that gem. It’s well-written, complex, creepy, and addictive. I loved every second of it. 
So thank you JK Rowling & Ms. Collins for providing young girls with characters they can look up to and enjoy. I mean, seriously, just think in Harry Potter how many strong women there are! Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Lily Potter, even Mrs. Weasley!!! Amazing! In my opinion, Twilight is a disease that seriously needs to be stopped. And I’m so thankful that there are still amazing writers out there for young girls to enjoy. I hope it continues!!! 

He really is SO into you.

Yeah I know the title is cheesy. But I love cheese, okay?! :) And the pastor at church this morning literally used the sentence ‘He’s so into you’ and it sparked this whole idea of what to blog about this morning. So blame my pastor. Just kidding, he’s the man, don’t blame him. Anyways.
I have a feeling this blog is about to go to a whole other level of personal with this entry, but like I stated before, I think personal is good. Honest blogs are my favorite to read. Anyways. “He’s Just Not That Into You” is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies. I love, love, loveeee it and often reference it in every day life. I don’t agree with everything in the movie and dating is always such a gray area for me. Real life isn’t really like the movies…at all. I was just talking about this to someone the other day—going on dates and stuff is so not normal. Now I know it HAPPENS, but I don’t hear too much about a guy asking for a girl’s number and would she like to have dinner with him? I also know that I have a few really awesome guy friends who DO this and the girls that end up with them will be very lucky because I feel like true gentlemen are few and far between. 
I’m writing from a girl’s perspective and listen, I’m not an expert on…anything, actually. This blog is just a place for my musings and questions and this journey I’m on in life. But I have to say, as a single, young Christian woman….dating is really, really hard. I know people talk about that all the time, but I definitely feel like in Christianity there is a certain pressure to find ‘the one’ or whatever. And I’m 21, I’m not dating anyone and…I’m okay with that. I’m young and I refuse to feel pressured to date. Sure, I want to be pursued and all that stuff, be taken out on dates, but at church this morning the pastor said the sentence ‘He (Jesus) is so into us.’ And that got me thinking and praying a lot.
As a girl, I feel like it’s in my nature to want the attention of men. Let’s be honest, it really does feel good when a guy flirts with me or looks at me or whatever—it’s natural. But God looks at me and sees a treasure—He loves me the way a man never could, so wildly beyond comprehension. He loves ALL of us like this, whether we know Him or not. How incredibly, heart-breakingly amazing is that? How could I not want to surrender every little aspect of my life to God—how could I not want to follow the path God has for me? I want to honor God in everything I do, everything I say….Jesus is the ANSWER, the way, the truth, the LIFE. 
It’s interesting how so many people crave the attention and love from others. I do, of course I do, I think we all do. Why is it so hard for me to believe that I am beautiful and wonderfully made? And I’m not talking in the sense of ‘I wish I was prettier’ I mean, as a true BEAUTIFUL creation, that God created me—it’s soooooo hard! 
I loved hearing that Jesus is so into me. It was an amazing service and the pastor spoke so much truth and I don’t think this was more important than anything else he said, I just wanted to blog about this particular aspect of his sermon. Even though I know Jesus is into me, it was amazing to just hear it out loud-it was a simple sentence but it made me want to cry, want to get on my knees and just bow before the Lord. My heart filled with so much joy and at the same time i felt a sense of shame. Shame in the sense that I still want to be noticed by guys and that it will always be a struggle. But ultimately, knowing I am loved and a daughter to the king—knowing that all women are, that is such a precious, precious gift and worth so much more than whether a guy smiles at me when I’m out. 
I’m not bashing dating or boys or anything—I’m just in awe of the love of Jesus Christ and how every day I think we need to be reminded how special and perfect and LOVED we are by God. Even though we sin, even though we are self-centered and hurt people and constantly run away from God, He still loves us more than we can ever truly know. 
And because Jesus loves so selflessly and I want to every day get closer to Jesus, I need to love selflessly. I pray that I can look through the lens of Jesus: to see people’s hearts, to love them, to be a better friend, to reach out. I cannot be selfish with God’s love. It doesn’t make sense. And because of this it is our duty to go and spread the good news to everyone—to those who don’t know the Lord. So everyone can know how loved they are.

b-b-break down

Tonight I went with my little sister and saw Tangled for the second time. I don’t care if I’m 21 and a college graduate—tonight I definitely reverted back to a six year old little girl. Sometimes a great story, a little love and magical music can absolutely brighten a day. 
Since leaving NYU & NYC my emotions have been on a literal roller-coaster. For one, it’s super weird with Rebecca (my other sister) in South Africa. I can’t text her like I normally would or see her or really anything but sometimes skype and that is sooo hard. I’m very grateful she’s blogging & her walk with the Lord is something that I am so honored to watch. She is like my older sister in so many ways and I can’t believe God blessed me with not only her but another amazing sister AND my mom. Just…wow.
But anyways. It’s been really weird these past few weeks and I feel like my heart is in such a strange and foreign place. Yesterday I went to the gym and ran out my frustration? I don’t know but whenever I feel in a weird funk running is DEFINITELY a good way to let out whatever it is I’m going through, so after running for awhile on the treadmill I came home and just completely felt…broken. Which is strange, because physically I felt amazing since I had just ran for probably a little too long, but then again I really felt God just completely saying to me “Nina, your flesh is WEAK. Your body will not last forever. Turn tome. Don’t turn to a treadmill or a book or friend, turn to me.”
Did you ever know the answer to a question but didn’t want to even face the question in the first place? That’s kind of what I’ve been going through. I didn’t want to turn certain things over to the Lord because that means I’d have to acknowledge them. Sometimes yeah, in the moment, it’s way easier to just ignore aches and pains and shove them away somewhere — but God is bigger. God is GOOD and God doesn’t want us to hide away our pain from him. He wants it. All of it. I am still learning this and I’ve been walking with Jesus for awhile now. 
I’m realizing this blog is getting a little personal and that’s kind of weird for me. But I think about the blogs I like to read the most and what I admire about them is the honesty the writer possesses— it’s refreshing. 
Anyway—I started writing this about Tangled and I started rambling, but hey! Rambling about God is always good. 
What I wanted to say with this blog was that I will always be a little girl inside. Recently I had a situation where someone made me feel less than I am but something I’m learning is to embrace the woman God has created me to be. I think everyone should embrace the person God created them to be because it’s easier to let yourself be loved if you love yourself first. I know that I’m a little girl deep down and that’s okay. I know that I’m the type of girl that cries at Disney movies because they are BEAUTIFUL. I know I’m a hopeless romantic and I don’t even feel ashamed of that.
And I know I have big dreams and I know God put them inside of me. I think that’s why I love writing and reading and watching films so much—I have so many dreams I can’t keep them inside. I don’t know what I’m saying. It’s 11pm on a Sunday night and I’m listening to the Tangled soundtrack and sitting next to my sister and my heart just feels so full. 
I miss Rebecca, too. Lord thank you thank you thank you for blessing me with women around me who are just…beautiful and amazing and strong. Thank you for giving everyone dreams and hopes and Lord, I pray against pessimism in this world. 
Goodness this post was quite sappy! But hey, a little sap here and there never hurt anyone. 
To manage a life of pain, as a believer in Jesus, remember: This is all the hell you will ever bear.

best movie kisses (xoxo)

I’m not an expert on film. My undergraduate degree is in acting, so I feel like yes I’m somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to the performances in a movie, but as for movies themselves on a whole…I think I definitely know a few things about film making and what constitutes as a good movie, but then again I also saw Twilight in the movie theatre….sooooo there you go. 
But anyway. I was watching one of my favorite chickflicks of all time last night, ‘Never Been Kissed’ and gosh, when that last scene comes on when Josie is standing on the mound and the Beach Boys start playing and Mr. Coulson runs to her and gives her her first real kiss……oh my GOODNESS my heart completely melts every time and I realize how much I love…LOVE. 
And kissing! Who doesn’t? Especially when beautiful people, such as actors, kiss on the big screen and everyone in the audience is like “AWWW!!!”
Anyway I decided to list my all time favorite movie kisses. 
8. He’s Just Not That Into You - Justin Long & Ginnifer Goodwin (Alex & Gigi)
Okay okay okay. I know what those 3 of you who actually read this are saying. ‘Really Nina? Really?” But hear me out! First of all, I loveee the character of Gigi. She is adorable to the very brink of being almost annoying, but I have to admire the way she has such a BIG heart and puts herself out there. In terms of love, I think it’s great she never gets bitter with every jerk who treats her like crap. And come on, who isn’t a sucker for the guy realizing it’s been the girl right in front of him all ALONG? I think they have such great chemistry too! I first saw this movie on a plane ride to Peru and I remember literally squealing with delight in my seat when Justin Long goes, “You are my exception.” So corny, so sweet, so GOOD! Nom nom nom. Plus, this movie is just one of those films that come on cable ALL the time and I can never NOT watch it. Delicious.
7. Some Kind of Wonderful - Eric Stoltz & Mary Stuart Masterson (Keith & Watts)
80s movies are like candy. Addictive, sweet and if too many are consumed in too short of time you feel sort of sick. I am a HUGE fan of John Hughes and all of his 80s movies. ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ is definitely one of my favorite, ‘Stay at home drink some tea and fall in love with fictional character’ type of movies. First of all, I am a BIG fan of the best friends fall in love plotline. I know it’s cliche, but what isn’t now a days? And it’s just so sweet and makes SENSE. I think the best couples start out good friends…after all, don’t you want to be married to your best friend? I know I do one day, whenever I meet the man I’m supposed to be with. But anyway…..the scene in the garage where Watts convinces Keith to practice kissing on her (he’s got his sights set on popular girl Amanda Jones) … oh my GOSH. The kiss goes from cute to full of passion and feeling! It’s such a great scene….you can literally SEE Keith falling in love with Watts. And then they both get so flustered and Watts gets embarrassed when Keith tells her she’s blushing and it’s pretty and she goes running out….ooohhh my heart! I loveee this scene so much!
6. Sixteen Candles - Molly Ringwald & that guy who never made another movie again…I mean Michael Schoeffling (Sam & Jake Ryan)
Okay. Out of all the delicious little treats of 80s movies, THIS is my all time favorite. Anybody who’s set foot in my bedroom would know by seeing the huge poster I have over my bed capturing my favorite scene!!! The kiss shared between newly 16 year old Sam and a gorgeous Jake Ryan is shrieking giggle worthy. It’s funny because I think Sam and Jake are in like, 2 scenes together the entire movie. But gosh, that moment at Sam’s sister’s wedding when she steps out of the church and everyone is gone but Jake Ryan is standing there, leaning against his car smiling at her….AHHH!!! Every girl’s dream, right? And then the last scene when they are sitting with her birthday cake between them and he says “Make a wish” and she’s all like “It already came true” and then they kiss——ahhhhhh!!!!! Oh gosh, every single time I melt. I don’t care that realistically the relationship might never work out, they’ve never had a real conversation, and chances are the minute he graduates it’s over, but for that little moment I have all the hope in the world because it is SUCH an 80s fairytale. 
5. Titanic - Kate Winslet & my future husband…I mean Leo Dicaprio (Rose & Jack)
What a classic. I watch this movie probably…once a month, and that kiss at sunset on the deck of the ship—-wowowowowow. What cinematic beauty! Be still my beating heart! First of all, I’m pretty sure that kiss is shared by the two most beautiful people in the WORLD, and THENNNN gosh, just….all the implications! You KNOW Jack’s gonna die. You KNOW it’s crazy and foolish and young and AMAZING. You know it isn’t going to end pretty but in that moment you see such reckless abandon, such LUST! (Because, let’s face it…..I still don’t think they really LOVED each other) but then it’s like…okay okay okay maybe they loved each other a littttleee bit because honestly, if I was Rose and the guy I liked was chained in the basement of a sinking ship and my crazy mom was all like “Get in the boat Rose! Get in!” I’d be like, okay Momma, I hate you but okay!…anyway I’m rambling but yeah…just….do I even need to say more? Beauty.
4. East of Eden - James Dean & Julie Harris (Cal & Abra)
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. As an actress, I am blown away by both James Dean and Julie Harris’ performance. They are stunning in their roles and I can only DREAM to one day be in a movie of this caliber. The kiss they share on the ferris wheel….oh gosh, Julie Harris is like, the LUCKIEST woman in the world. Could James Dean BE any more charming? There is something so innocent in their kiss that can only be attributed to the 50s….no matter how sweet kisses in movies are nowadays, there was just something MAGICAL about that era, especially in film. I love this kiss for so many reasons…one, because Abra is with Cal’s older brother and that makes it all the more scandalous….but they immediately shy away from one another after the kiss and then there really isn’t a happy moment in the rest of the movie—the kiss is like this breath of fresh air…it’s so poignant, so beautiful. Love love love.
3. It’s a Wonderful Life - Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reed (George & Mary)
This is my all-time favorite movie. I could go on and on about the reasons why, but it comes down to the amazing characters. George Bailey is the man of my dreams and Mary is the woman I’d want to be….and their desperate kiss at Mary’s house when she’s on the phone with Sam “Hee-Haw” is just….oh my goodness. The kiss means so many things….it’s like in that desperation George realizes how he’ll never leave town, never get to do all the amazing things he wanted and yet he doesn’t even realize how powerful his life is going to be….the moments leading right up to this kiss are spectacular. When George grabs Mary and is all like “I don’t ever wanna get married! I don’t want kids, I don’t want this or that” and then he’s all like “Oh Mary!” and she’s all like “Oh George!” because she’s loved him her whole life and watching the scene you flashback to when Mary’s little and she whispers in George’s deaf ear, “George Bailey, I’ll love you til the day I die” … WOW. Just…WOW. 
2. Dogfight - River Phoenix & Lili Taylor (Eddie & Rose)
Those closest to me know that for awhile starting in 9th grade I was desperately and hopelessly in love with River Phoenix. It started when I saw ‘Stand By Me’….I was a goner from the minute I was introduced to Chris Chambers. I read River’s biography, watched all his movies, listened to his band, ‘Aleka’s Attic’, mourned his death every Halloween since that’s when he died….seriously, I was obsessed. Within my obsession I came across this gem of a movie, ‘Dogfight.’ They don’t even sell it anywhere, I had to order it online. Gosh, what a little TREASURE! If you’ve never seen it, please, go watch it!!!!! It’s one of my favorites. Eddie and Rose’s first kiss is awkward, fumbling, sweet and passionate. I love it SO much. The entire story is brilliant. Basically, Eddie (River) is a marine and they are spending one night in San Francisco before they are shipped to Vietnam. Eddie and his Marine friends play this horrible game called ‘Dogfight’ where they go out and ask girls out and whoever asks the “ugliest” girl wins money…it’s so horrifying. Well Eddie picks Rose, and she finds out and punches him and he feels bad, goes to find her and they FALL IN LOVE! It is the most precious and subtle love story. Their kiss is amazing because you know it’s Rose’s first kiss and Eddie is so hard and cold but softens up so much with Rose and …. GAH. It’s just the sweetest darn thing I’ve ever seen!
1. Never Been Kissed - Josie Gellar & Sam Coulson (Drew Barrymore & Michael Vartan)
I know I said George Bailey is the man of my dreams, but Mr. Coulson is a close second. Who doesn’t love a man who falls for the uber-nerd, especially a nerd who is an ENGLISH geek? GAHH. This is, in my opinion, Drew Barrymore’s best movie, because let’s face it…actually we won’t, because her movie roles are far too depressing in caliber. Anyway. Gosh, this kiss—the one I described earlier—it’s my absolute favorite. And then when Mr. Coulson pulls back and says “Sorry I’m late. It took forever to get here” and Josie says “I know what you mean” AHHH!!! This movie is so great. It gives us nerds out there (false) hope that there is a gorgeous, tall, sexy & incredibly SMART man out there just waiting for us! Ahahah okay, I’m only kidding, but seriously. I just love those movies out there that have the underdog win. Who doesn’t love that?! Anyway, I won’t go on and on about the kiss because I talked about it earlier, but it’s definitely, hands-down my FAVORITE big screen kiss! MUAH!

mood swings

a new poem I wrote! Excuse the mild language…sometimes there just aren’t synonyms. 
A guy once told me I was too ‘moody.’
He said, you have mood swings and I just..can’t…handle it.
I didn’t say anything, I just looked at this guy I thought I knew, I looked at his
green eyes and the way they flitted to every place in the room that wasn’t me
and I said to him, You obviously don’t know women very well.

I said moody is just a cousin of normalcy, it is natural, my emotions twisted around
my too big heart that no longer has room for little boys who are too afraid to handle
a minute of crying because hell yes, I feel like shit today
or an hour of a glare because hell NO you shouldn’t have called me that name,
and I’m sorry if that constitutes as moody sir
but I think I’m entitled to a little mood now and again because you took the easy way out and I’m a fighter-soldier-I stand my ground and you crawl in the trenches
over and over and over again.

I said moody?
You think you know me well enough to decide if I’m being moody?
I said don’t mistake moodiness for the patterns of life,
Don’t mistake mood swings with being alive,
I said you’ve just severely pissed me off.

I’ve wasted energy on you, man,
I’ve wasted minutes of my days in my months where I’ve let trust intermingle with risk,
Where I thought falling for you was a gift instead of a misstep,
Where I thought you manipulating me into thinking I was the crazy one, I wasn’t made for this role was just a natural thing in a relationship, I thought all men were just kind of a bit of little here and there once in awhile assholes.

I said, I challenge you then
I challenge you to go out in the real world and find a woman who doesn’t go through what you have so condescendingly labeled as ‘mood swings.’
Go out there and find a woman who doesn’t have tear ducts or doesn’t know how to use them,
Go out there and find a woman that never wants to punch a mirror.
That never regrets the second after she ate that oh my gosh it looked so good brownie but now I just feel it sticking to every corner of my ribcage,
Go out there and find a woman who doesn’t have vocal chords,
who doesn’t have a voice and doesn’t know how to use it,
who isn’t sometimes loud sometimes wrong sometimes makes mistakes,
and obviously,
belittling myself to settle for a second-rate version of a guy (because man isn’t a word for you)
is definitely a mistake.