Thursday, August 29, 2013

rest, relationships, routine. a short exploration of themes in my life lately.

(because i haven't had time to reflect on the last two weeks and i have so much going on in my head)

the last couple of weeks have been so full of rest. the spiritual kind of rest came first. hiking with my brother and his brother-in-law in the smokies was the perfect end to the crazy adventure that was this summer. i got to spend time sitting in the quiet, foggy mountains and i reveled in the stillness and the quiet. i listened to the rain while soft praises spilled out of my heart. when i arrived to my apartment, i was still so exhausted. this summer definitely left me feeling drained. it was a good kind of drained, though. the kind of tired that only comes from too much fun and love and singing and laughter. the transition week here was spent watching Gilmore Girls (SO MUCH Gilmore Girls), eating, laughing, and sleeping. jessica and i probably spent 90% of the week in leggings on the couch or in our bunks or complimenting each other. it was a good physical rest.

humans are relational creatures. we need people loving us, challenging us, pushing us. we just need people. God placed that longing for community in us. and it has been a joy to live in that community. having jessica so close all the time is probably too much fun for me to handle. i am living with two stunning individuals who are intelligent and Godly, for sure. i also was able to experience the unique/overwhelming excitement of seeing david again for the first time in years...well months. but still. it was crazy-wonderful. i also have been loving the whole "getting to hang out with david almost all the time" thing. all that to say, it's incredible how good God can be to a girl like me.

i love to try to rebel against routine, but i just can't. it is fact. i am a creature of habit. a schedule looks so appealing right now and it's nice to just kind of find satisfaction in that. the impending doom of projects, jobs, money problems (which are inevitable-i'm a college student, yo), conflicts, and complications can all be written out and organized in my little purple planner. and although there will be variations in those plans (i'm still a pretty spontaneous individual), the waking up and the coffee and the classes will remain steadfast.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

unpacking thoughts while packing up everything else

because i'm moving into an apartment with a few other girls, i had been planning on going through my things pretty thoroughly. then my mom said she wanted to make some changes to the room and asked me if i would pack up all my other stuff. while purging clothes and snippets of fabric and knick-knacks and such, i found tons of my older artwork. it's been kind of weird to look at my work from a few years ago. it's kind of been nice, too.

i started taking art classes at the college level when i was sixteen (at chatt you know). i was so hooked and on fire. my adolescent dreams were definitely of my work being shown in galleries across the world and travel and the busy life that being a (successful) practicing artist would be. my passion was working in the darkroom. today, as i opened a huge box of HUGE prints (oh how wonderfully large those prints are), i realized how much photography consumed me. it kind of sounds ridiculous, but it's true. i wouldn't eat or drink or sleep or hang out with friends or anything because i was in the darkroom. i clearly remember spending 8-12 hours straight in there. just working and working and working. i only came out for air to glance at a test strip or stare at a negative or compare huge (dripping wet) prints. i can still remember always smelling like chemicals and feeling so fulfilled after looking at the filled drying line at the end of the work day.
all that to say, i do miss it. that time (artistically) was my favorite. i miss the passionate, enthusiastic experience of being good at something and being really close to my professor and having lunch in his office and him critiquing me harshly (and truthfully and constructively) and growing so quickly.
i spent all summer thinking about sculpture and how my focus has shifted to that, but i don't think i'm done with the analog photography stage of my life.

just some thoughts.
now i need to put more things in boxes.

(i also looked at my paintings. and laughed a lot. i am an awful painter. someday i might understand how to paint. but as for now, it's a mystery)

Monday, August 5, 2013

summer debriefing project. week eight.

this is the final week of my project. i'm home now. and although life is wonderful and full of nice things to share here, it's strange to blog about being home the same as i do camp/haiti. so i'm stopping after this.

so dramatic.

anyway, the summer at camp ended quietly. nothing too ridiculous happened. so i'm just going to make a list.

this summer was:

the summer of the chant. we chanted everyone's names as much as we could. especially RY-AN, and JAR-RED, and CAT AND KEAGAN.

the summer of power. i was continually surprised at the power of the gospel/Holy Spirit. i know i shouldn't have been, but God was working some crazy things in me that were amazing and encouraging.

the summer of loving others earnestly. i learned SO MUCH about dying to myself and loving others truly and pushing through differences in a healthy way and dealing with conflict and loneliness and isolation and oh my GOSH was it an awesome summer because of that! it didn't matter if it was david or jen or julie or anyone, i just learned how to be a more loving person. and different ways to show that love.

the summer of having astonishing campers. my campers were (for the most part) strong, loving, incredible people that inspired me greatly. i can't stress how many times i underestimated my campers. then i'd have porch talks with them or something and they'd blow me away with their stories of God's work in them.

the summer of music. in haiti and at camp, the worship seemed sweeter and more heartfelt. i was immersed from the beginning of the summer to the end in music.

the summer of praise. praising in my prayers or in my speech or in my life became more of a priority to me this summer. i prayed at church yesterday and jason turned to me and said "that was like, 80% praise." and i just nodded. that's been what i've learning to focus on this year. and it's a cool experience.

the summer hashtagging. as silly as that is, hashtagging RIDICULOUS things with the girls quickly became something that would frequently put a smile on my face.

the summer of snugglebussing. snugglebussing is the best. and i miss it. so much. the end.

the summer of stillness. so much of my summer was full of quiet moments where i got to listen. i listened to the earth singing and God's voice and it was perfect.

basically, this was the best summer of my life to date. and it's not quite over yet. but this year at camp was the sweetest year. not because everything was my "last this" or "last that"...but because i felt so fully present wherever i was and felt so full of Christ. i always come home from camp exhausted (in body and spirit). but this time i came home revived (at least in spirit...) and ready for the fall.

and with that, i conclude my project for this summer. it's been real.

stay sweet.