Tuesday, May 31, 2011

courage, dear heart.

"Sit with God as you might with the ocean. You bring nothing to the ocean, yet it changes you."

I just got back from the beach for a quick day and a half vacation and I am in that lala wonder period after a trip to the shore where all I wanna do is go back....my skin is crispy, my hair salt-water dry and my feet are itching to retrace steps along the sand. I love the smell of the saltwater when I go for a run in the morning. I love outdoor showers where there's sand forever in your hair and the suds run down onto the sidewalk. I love walking into A Whale's Tale in Cape May and having memories hit me full in the face from when I was little and would walk in that shop and it would be sensory overload and I just wanted to live in it. I love describing beach houses in odd terms like, "That house looks like a book!" Or "That house is a honey and peanutbutter sandwich."

I love so many things about the seashore and I can't wait until I live in California but one particular thing that I love, love, love is the ocean. Standing where the water trickles and laps up into your toes. The ocean change you simply by looking at it. When I look out into the ocean, I feel close to God. Closer in a way that makes me think over and over, "You are real, You are real, You are real."

Something I have been struggling with since graduating college and moving back home temporarily is still being on fire for the Lord. Passionate. In love. I moved back home and to a place where, although I love my family more than anything and love the familiarity of it all in this little town, I moved back to a place I practically ran out of. And that light at the end of the tunnel, knowing I'm moving soon, it makes it all a little more bearable. But it's so easy to fall into this mentality of comfort, of just....settling.

I'm not saying being here is me settling. I'm not saying living in Delco is settling AT ALL. I'm just saying that when I'm placed into an environment where I am around people who I know and love and trust, I get into this cozy little bubble of content and I don't think that's where God wants me to be at all. People so often think a life with Jesus Christ is a life of restraint, rules, regulations and a heck of a lot of guilt. I beg to differ. I think a life with Jesus Christ is exciting, wild, dangerous and really freaking scary.

Which is why I keep my little mantra going-- "Courage, dear heart." 

For those of you out there who love CS Lewis as much as I do and who have read the Narnia books, you might recognize this quote from the series. Aslan says to Lucy this very sentence and oh my gosh, it just gives me chills. Resounds within me. I think God is always telling us this and so desperately wants us to listen--courage, dear heart. Courage.

I don't want to live my life in fear. I don't want to live my life in comfort. I want to be displaced. I want to be used by God any which way He wants to. I don't want to be afraid of how He's gonna use me. I want to be



a soldier

I want to have courage.

I want to be moved by the ocean everyday, even when I'm in a little suburban town. I want to be moved by the ocean when I'm at Young Life, when I'm just at home with my sisters, when I'm going on a run. Always, always.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

so many doors

Every so often you find yourself thinking in a fleeting moment, "I am a part of something great." These moments can be rare, overwhelming, awe-inspiring and so surreal you just find yourself laughing and wondering where on Earth did you go right? I love these moments, breathe them in and out, in and out. I can't take them too seriously, either. Life is too funny, ironic, mean and wonderful. I don't like to thrive upon these moments but instead cherish them because they are so fleeting--my life is made up of little moments, not the big ones. The little smiles of a PERFECT chai tea latte, the uncontrollable laughter of sisters, the smile of a stranger in passing, the beauty of worship, the holding of a baby, the silly life embarrassment of falling in front of people. It's not all big and moving and amazing--it's a lot of the small, the silly, the hard and the scary. But I love these big, AH I WANT TO SCREAM AND JUMP AND RUN moments too.

Yesterday at New York University's Tisch Salute I sat next to people I started college with, decked out in our cap and gowns, and I thought, "Yes. I am part of something amazing. Something great."

Have you ever been in a place with 1,347 arts students? It is ROWDY. It is FUN. It is over-the-top, dramatic, artsy and spectacular. Tisch School of the Arts is just one of the 17 schools at New York University. In my opinion, it's the best, but hey I'm a little biased. (-;

I wish I could go into complete detail about the ceremony yesterday. I would talk about the bagpipe procession (I couldn't help but scream out "BAGPIPES!" the minute I heard them)...I would talk about the awesome and old-school academic garb that adorned the faculty and how THAT made me scream out "HOGWARTS!!!" because, let's face it, it looked so much like I was graduating from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I would talk about the moving speeches from the deans, head chairs of departments, and the guest speaker Academy-Award winning producer and business partner/friend of Ron Howard--Brian Grazer. Some of my favorite quotes included, "This [graduation] is just one door closing. And another door...will slam in your face. There are so many doors, just stay away from doors." That was definitely one of my favorite and one of the most hilarious. Another favorite quote from some high up faculty member: "Don't be afraid to experiment and fail. You have the training to get back up." The dean of Tisch's speech was amazing and I can't remember it all but it was all about the IMPORTANCE of art and how having a degree in the arts is not just second-best to a degree in law, medicine or something in the sciences. I loved that. So moving and inspirational.

Brian Grazer's entire speech was amazing too. I think I have overused the word 'amazing' in this post. Overall, I have never felt more passionate about my work than I did in that moment. It made me realize again and again WHY I went into debt for a degree from NYU. A degree in acting. It's not just about moving out to LA, waitressing and hoping to get a big break. It's about creating. Creating something MEANINGFUL, something beautiful. It's about creating, performing, challenging, failing, experimenting--it's about the art.

Yesterday affirmed me that I am NOT crazy. That spending 2.5 hours laboring/writing/editing a screenplay on a Friday night is not ridiculous. That saving every single penny so I can move to L.A. and audition for the rest of my life isn't pathetic or just a dream--it's reality. Because there were 1,346 other students graduating yesterday that are just as passionate about their work as I am. I LOVED that. I also LOVED what the student speaker had to say--he's graduate student in Dramatic Writing and he said that it doesn't matter that no one may see your work for a long time but a youtube video of a cat playing the piano can garner 12 million hits---we must continue to create, to challenge, to experience. LOVED IT. You're awesome student speaker.

And I have to give all the credit to God. Because He moved the heart of the woman who put my application in the 'ACCEPTED' pile. He held me and comforted me when I was tempted to lose who I really was my freshman year of college. He led me to Campus Crusade for Christ where I met my best friend and who would be the reason of so many memories of laughter, craziness, and true fellowship. He gave me my talents and passions.

Lord thank you. Thank you for bringing me to NYU and for leading me to graduate. I love and love and love you.

in front of a Tisch banner before the ceremony.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

a draught -- where is the water?

i think i've officially hit my first blogging draught. i've been so slacking lately & i have to say, it's not because of a lack of things to say. anyone who knows me knows how verbose i am and how the problem isn't getting me to talk, but getting me to stop talking. i choose to think of my talkative nature as "endearing" rather than "annoying" ...mwhahaha. i have avoided asking my friends their opinions.

new york, i love you.
it's been such a crazy time in my life right now. i walk in two graduation ceremonies next week and i have to say, while i'm excited i'm also just anxious. since graduating NYU in december, so much has changed in my life. the other day i got to visit the city again with my little sister so i could pick up my cap & gown, and  it hit me full force how much i've missed New York City. mostly i've missed the diversity, the eclectic nature of walking down the street and it being sensory overload. i miss the west village. i miss running along the west highway, the hudson, along battery park. i miss washington square park. i miss friends i no longer talk to--i miss street vendors, and taking the subway in the morning, and getting my coffee from the cart on 13th by broadway.

i miss so many things about nyc and yet i don't miss anything at all. i would never go back and re-do my college experience. i loved most of it, hated some other things, but overall i look back fondly and think, 'wow. i can't believe i really did it. i went to nyu. i studied acting. i didn't lose sight of myself.' wow.

it's so easy to grow dissatisfied with your life. social media is only making this fact easier. facebook only shows a distorted view of someone's life. have you ever noticed that everyone's life just seems better than yours on facebook? twitter? it's crazy. the more time i spend on facebook or online in general, the more depressed i get. i suddenly want a different color hair, i think of all the ways i can start dressing like her or i think 'i need to have better experiences' or wow, i really wish i could go back to that moment in my life.

these thoughts can be so unhealthy to our minds. i don't like it. lately i've been feeling far from God. i'm not going to lie on the blog and just feed into that whole 'my life is GREAT!!!!!' that seems to be prevalent on blogs/facebook. the truth is for the past 2 weeks i have really struggled with feeling at peace with my life and with overall having joy. i'm not talking happiness, i mean true joy in my heart. but something i have learned and tried to repeat to myself is the idea that God has a unique story for each and every one of us.


no seriously.

think about it.


okay, now think about it in terms of dr. seuss:

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You!!!!

dr. seuss you genius. it's so true! we must rejoice in this fact. literally, God has a story, a SPECIALUNIQUEAMAZINGDIFFERENT story for each and every one of us. i have to remember this fact.

i've been thinking about this a lot as i move forward with my life. so often i feel conflicted in my heart. i think, "should i have gone to a small college? should i go on young life staff? should i only focus on being a writer, should i move down south, should should SHOULD?!" it can be SO overwhelming. but then i think,

just....breathe. be calm.

it's easy to want someone else's life when it looks so shiny and nice through a computer screen. but i have to remember: getting married young, living in a cute little home, going on staff....that was never MY dream. it's a beautiful dream, it's a beautiful life...it's just not my dream. and that's OKAY. i need to know that. understand that.

i didn't have a typical college experience. i didn't live in a house full of Christ-loving girls. i didn't go to themed parties, i didn't have a campus where every building was around each other....i just didn't. and that's okay. that's not the only way to do college.
My sister & I en route to NYC. So thankful she's home.

everyone has their own life, their own story. i am so thankful, amazed, blessed that God is the author of my story. i wouldn't WANT to be the author of my own story. that is scary. but i thank the Lord (literally) that i don't have to worry about it. it moves me everytime i think about it--about life in the sense of living for the Lord. God doesn't promise us a perfect life--He promises to walk with us every day of our life. and that....that just amazes me. mystifies me. wow.

thanks God for being the author of my story. i can't wait to see what chapters you have in store for me!!

nyc modeling. silly.

Monday, May 2, 2011

i will not hold my tongue

open your heart
open your heart

we look for love in so many places. no matter who we are, we all want to be loved--in some way. all this talk of the royal wedding this week has put love on my mind a lot. and not just the romantic type of love, though that too i guess. mostly the kind of love that still completely baffles me--a love that completely surpasses anything i could ever experience on this earth.

God's love.

i talk to so many of my girlfriends who have been hurt by a guy, and i have talked to a lot of my guy friends who are still hung up on girls. my parents are divorced. all signs point toward LOVE meaning HURT.

but that's not true. it's not true with love between a man and a woman, and it's DEFINITELY, completely, 100% not true with the love of God.

it's been so long since i've blogged, so this post is a little messy. i apologize. it has been a very emotional week for me. personally, mentally, spiritually. but it's also been so amazing. it's like a good cry. the build up hurts a lot, but after a good cry you just feel...lighter. freer.

this is a post of questions:

why do i look for love in all the wrong places?

i have a SAVIOR who adores me, who loves me


God, You are constantly calling my name and so often i turn away...so often i fill up my heart with all the wrong things. so often when i'm sad i go for a run, thinking if i was skinnier i'd be happier. when i feel down, i read a book thinking that escaping into another world will make me feel better. i text a friend, depending on them to make me smile.

no, no no!

God is L-O-V-E in all the right places.

i will never harm you.

this song, it just makes me so happy (: Song For You- Tyler & Jenny

sorry for the terrible post. gotta get back into the swing of updating!!