Monday, June 7, 2010

hummus and sushi

i promise i'm trying to blog. i just can't seem to sit still long enough to do it.

and i am distracted. all i can think about it hummus and sushi.
but not together. just separate, and equally amazing. today it's spicy, brown rice cali roll....and white bean hummus.

tomorrow may be different. i'll let you know.

also, my friend is out of town, and i miss her.

airplane thoughts coming soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

oh just a lil nugget

So I moved this past week. Not houses, but just rooms within our house. I know. Weird. I have now lived in 3 of the 4 bedrooms in our house. I feel accomplished. ;)

One of my goals in moving rooms was that I didn't want to take anything into my new room, that I didn't LOVE. I have been on a mission to simplify my life as far as material things are concerned, and this gave me a major opportunity to chunk the junk. And, I am proud to say, minus a few items (mainly in my closet) that I convinced myself to keep, I genuinely love the space I live in. And that makes me happy.

While cleaning out a rubbermaid storage bin, I found a whole stack of cds that appeared blank. I popped a couple in my computer only to find that they were not blank, but filled with old treasures in the form of dated music and other downloaded items. And then I found a cd labeled "word docs". I assumed it was something with all of my college papers from UNC, but I stuck it in anyways. I found some nuggets and bits from my time in Chapel Hill, but they were not at all the research papers and ridiculous book reports as I had thought. Instead, it was all of my own personal writings I had thrown my emotions into, during my "spare" time ...aka the time you say, "Forget it. I'm sick of this. I don't care if I fail my ancient cities history exam. I'm doing something fun." ...and to me, writing was fun.

I don't have a blog post ready and this was already here's a little nugget from a moment of extra-curricular exam-studying stalling. Like it. Don't like it. It's really all ok, because for the moment I was writing it, all the ancient cities were far far away and not bugging me with their statue replicas and paintings of hillsides that looked just like the ones in my backyard.
Sooooo, I win. (Except for the part where I failed the exam.)

It doesn't have a title, so you can't make one up if you want. Smile.
(And sorry if I'm totally ruining the moment for putting part of it on Facebook. Just pretend we're not friends on there and you've never seen it.)

With just a word the darkness you erased
Like an artist with a muse began to paint
Competitors can imitate- or cast an effort to defeat
But the created can’t contend with what he sees

(Unending are the reasons I adore you
Limitless perfection flows from your every phrase
Remembering each heart with every sunrise
Amazing grace displayed in a thousand shades)

Beauty without boundary or border
In every newborn’s face- intently captured
Each horizon sings a melody of praise
Original in fact, no two the same

(Unending are the reasons I adore you
Limitless perfection flows from your every phrase
Remembering each heart with every sunrise
Amazing grace displayed in a thousand shades)

One image still remains to be desired
A soul that demonstrates a higher power
One who’s given up their own design
For what a sacred artist had in mind

Friday, May 14, 2010


Sunday, May 2, 2010

selfish you, or selfish me

i have absolutely no idea how this is gonna come out. i'm just chewing on stuff and i'm gonna spit it out and hope it looks better in person than on the inside.

i have been on the receiving side of some selfish behavior lately. it has taught me a lot, and not, shockingly, that the owner of the said behavior is a moron. grin. because they are not. this person actually is quite a lovely human being, with a very generous spirit, who just happens to turn inward a little too often for my liking. i will say, the majority of this person's actions have been minimally thought-out, and have occurred at seemingly (by the tone of their voice) frustrating times in their day (at least i pray so for my sanity). nevertheless, the world does not revolve around their comfort and happiness, and it is not my job to ensure that it does. (ps i love the word nevertheless. it's like somebody just got bored and decided to mash 3 words together, crossed their fingers, and somehow it worked.)

before i cause you to become disinterested with my negative and complaining self, i'll enlighten you to my current thoughts on the topic, which are slightly less woe-is-me, and slightly more productive.

recently, i had a new friend enter my life. we'll call her loretta. (grin.) loretta is the most generous, non-judgmental, warm-hearted, and welcoming person i have met in a long, long time. i'm not sure i've ever met someone whom i loved and adored every detail of while, in the same instance, learned her face and name for the first time. she entered my life completely unannounced, and has rendered me speechless on many occasions with her talent, encouragement, and vigor for all things honest. i was dumping a dose of negativity and frustration on her one day, and she said something to me that has been so profound since then in my attempts to find peaceful ground during my unbridled moments of irritation and annoyance:

" know you're not actually frustrated at [selfish acting person] right? you're frustrated at yourself because you are not where you want to be, and in some ways you've chosen to allow yourself to stay there. [person's] behavior hasn't changed as long as you've known [person], so if it didn't bother you before, why would it bother you now? maybe it's good that you're frustrated because you know it means it is time to move on."

dern. loretta got my toes. and my heart. are any of us entitled to act in a way that is demeaning or attempts to be hierarchical over another human being? no. does it happen? yes. this particular person has no idea that i have been offended in any way by things said or done pointing in my general direction. mainly because i'm too chicken to say so. but loretta is on to something. why is it, if this person has always been who they are for the amount of time i've known them, would it just now be bothering me years later? the mere musing of their behavior brings a stirring in my heart over it. and not just an "i'm annoyed" stirring. it's an unsettling feeling. that something isn't right.....inside of ME.

God is calling me to move forward on some things that scare me. things that thrill me, but things that scare me. and that affects every other thought that passes through my heart. i am in an uncomfortable place. but we can be blessed by uncomfortable (wink) if we will allow God to have some space. aka: stepping outside of MY own selfishness, and being concerned with MY wants and perceived needs. my reacting selfishly (whether only done secretly in my thought-life or through gossiping to others about it) does nothing but make me seem hypocritical for being upset about the very behavior that kidnapped my emotions to begin with. are we called to be doormats? no. but we are called to be servants. maybe if i was less concerned with my feelings of how inconvenienced i feel by being treated poorly, and more concerned with keeping the eyes of my heart focused on where God was calling me, i would stop feeling entitled to be angry about their behavior. it's not about figuring out who or what is right in a fleeting moment of poorly weaved emotions. we are all on our own path, and it's what we allow God to do through us while on it that matters.

comic relief: for instance, like the fact that i am trying to be upset that our internet isn't working, when in fact, we cancelled our cable and internet months ago, and just so happen to be close enough to the neighbors to pick up their signal. it's not my fault they gave us the password and permission to use it. it is my fault that i act FIVE about it when it doesn't work.

my mind is i excusing every selfish act done or word spoken by another person towards you or i? no. sometimes people act like morons and you just call a spade a spade. but what i am saying, as is with most things, it is your reaction that determines the effectual product that will be seen in your life because of it.

i've been mulling over lots of things recently...two of them being hypocrisy and pride-what causes them, and how they affect us. so i'll leave you with the last thoughts i had about them today as i was brainstorming and writing in the rain.
i love ya'll..nashville is a mess. hope you're staying dry.

[It’s the height of hypocrisy
This mountain where our sorrow sleeps
Awakened by the mourning of our own mediocrity
We come crashing to the valley on our weakened knees
Searching for pieces of regret among our selfish debris
Grace reassembles gently, our muddled sense of hope
As we all travel on the narrow road home]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

confessions and color strokes

[ok, first let me say, my big face is plastered in my header. i'm aware, and i'm sure it's just a phase. so just go with it.]

i was thinking today about blogging, and immediately had the urge to change my background, bloggy-accessories, etc., and then i started thinking about this pattern i have. i have been a bad blogger. i am the first to admit it. it wasn't always this way, but at least for the last year (ahem, 2 years) i have shamelessly worn the banner of "oh yeah that's abby, she is a blogger, well, sort of". no "awww honey" 's necessary...i know it, and i claim it. grin. (and it's totally fine and in reality i have no bad feelings about not blogging, but it goes with my post so just hush. mmm hmm.)

every time i try to come back, repent of my horrible non-blogging tendencies, recommit myself to the blogging community, and promise to write more often than i wash my hair (which if you know me shouldn't be a hard thing because you know it is not often), i feel the need to re-vamp and give my blog a background makeover. why is that? when most of the time the one i have will suffice for a blogger with mediocrity at the forefront of my online attendance patterns. (wow i worked so hard to used "mediocrity" right in that sentence.)

**i also feel the need to add that i am typing this while listening to Taio Cruz/Ludacris-Break Your Heart. "i'm only gonna break break your break break your heart." how fitting. cracking self up.**

while pondering this tendency of having to make everything new and start over, i realized this same pattern in another area of my life-journaling. again, if you know me, you know i'm a huge journal keeper with a large addiction to buying new ones--a habit that my wallet contents mourn over almost weekly. i am thrilled by the prospect of the thoughts and musings i will one day record on the pages of every new rectangle journey-keeper (that made me think of trapper-keepers, holla). and for the sake of creativity, i will gladly remain poor for the opportunity to discover something new about myself when my pen hits the pages of a freshly cracked paper spine. rarely do i actually finish an entire journal cover to cover because i can't stand the thought of the blankness calling to me from the (at least) 5 blank-ones i have stocked on my shelf in any given moment or season.

so the point. i have this need to "fix" things. i've always been a fixer. i'd call it a curse for the guilt it causes me when i can't fix the highlighted task in front of me (be it mine or for someone else), but it is also often the trait in me that spurs me on to help others when i see something that i know i can help with. so i'll claim it and pray for peace when it's not mine to fix. whenever i start over with a new season, or just a new out-look on something in general, i tend to feel like i have to erase or cover-up the past by re-writing the present. revamping the current, to make up for inconsistencies in my previous stride. i feel like if i completely start over (new journal, new blog page) it's as if the former never existed. the problem with that?

every bit of who i am is a direct correlation of where i've been. the step i was just on. the issue i just dealt with, (or am currently dealing with). it is ALL a part of me. and the fact that the bumps are allowed, helps me perceive that they can be intentional points of learning, possibly moments of changing direction, but mainly exist to strengthen and grow me from my present point into a future purpose or position, hopefully with more depth and meaning than the last.

to erase everything that was, is to discredit the work it took to get you there. and by george, life is hard enough not to give credit where credit is due for the things that we walk through and overcome with God's help. and this is where i insert a quote of awesomeness sent my way by this girl on a day whose timing could not have been more perfectly orchestrated.

[If your life was like a painting,the strokes that are being added to the canvas today may not make much sense when viewed alone. However, God doesn't waste any strokes...for He sees the final picture...You may think the color being used today is too gray...[but] the time will come when you will see that the meaning of the painting would be weakened if the gray strokes were not included in the exact places they appear.] ~anonymous

(and i hope she won't mind that i'm about to steal her words of encouragement to me to also share with you.) gray in one spot on a painting could look like a blob, whereas in a carefully placed spot, it adds depth and sets off something vitally important to the point of the painting. this "gray" is being carefully stroked into the exact place it needs to be, so that it brings your future - the very masterpiece of your life - to light.
(and yes, she is brilliant)

because i'm a nerd and like to say things like "in conclusion" this is where i'll end.
in conclusion, i'm in a gray spot.
and yes i started a new journal.
and yes i changed my blog. again.
but i'm learning to embrace this gray spot for all it's worth, and see the beauty in every tiny curve and bend in it's stroke.

Monday, April 26, 2010

trees and anonymity

there is so much going on in my heart and mind that were i to start typing, i fear you would be sucked into "TMI" oblivion and never return. so i'll refrain, and just talk about trees.

[A century ago, a few fragile seeds fell upon rocky soil. Through drought and flood, they clung tightly to earth, stubbornly stretching toward the heavens. Today, silver maple, post oak, and black walnut trees surround our home like tall, loyal sentinels. Their intricate, mingled root systems support the round below...

...Bursting with shades of green, the leaves dance in the breeze. Winter's reduction is coming, but that does not halt the dance. Trees celebrate the moment, temporary though it is. In the spring, their new growth sings of hope. Their lush green offers peace in the summer. In the fall, their colorful collages inspire creativity. And in their emptiness, trees grace the winter with silent elegance...

...What the plenty of summer hides, the nakedness of winter reveals: infrastructure. Fullness often distracts from foundations. But in the stillness of winter, the trees' true strength is unveiled...A tree's posture is all-open, like arms ready for an embrace. So very vulnerable, yet so very strong. I find the display quieting and full of grace.

In winter, are the trees bare? yes.
In winter, are the trees barren? no.
Life still is.

...In spiritual winters, our fullness is thinned so that, undistracted by our giftings, we can focus upon our character. In the absence of anything to measure, we are left with nothing to stare at except for our foundation. Risking inspection, we begin to examine the motivations that support our deeds, the attitudes that influence our words, the ded wood otherwise hidden beneath our busyness. Then a life-changing transition occurs as we move from resistance through repentance to the place of rest. With gratitude, we simply abide...

In winter are we bare? yes.
In winter are we barren? no.
True life still is.

The Father's work in us does not sleep--though in spiritual winters he retracts all advertisement. And when he does so, he is purifying our faith, strengthening our character, conserving our energy, and preparing us for the future.
The sleep days of winter hide us so that the seductive days of summer will not ruin us.

...Hidden hopes. Hidden dreams. Hidden gifts. All of us are acquainted with chapters in life when our visible fruitfulness is pruned back, our previously praiseworthy strengths become dormant, and our abilities are unnoticed by the watching world. Like a flower whose budding glory is covered up by we leaves, we sense the weight of hiddenness in our hearts and whisper, "I have so much more to give and be."

But there is One who can see the beauty of that covered, smothered flower. And, mysteriously, His delight in that beauty is not diminished by its leafy camouflage. Neither would his pleasure be amplified by the flower's visibility...Obedience to this God who appreciates the visible and invisible equally has led many truly great souls into long seasons of anonymity. Some emerged from obscurity into eminence. Others remained relatively unknown. All agreed that God never wastes anyone's time.

Whether we enter hiddenness deliberately (as in pursuing as education or relocating with a new job) or unwillingly (as in an extended illness or in grief following the loss of a loved one), we can spend years feeling that the greatest part of us is submerged in the unseen, as though others can only see the tip of the ice-berg of who we really are.

Through chattering teeth, arctic scientists inform us that only one-eighth to one-tenth of an iceberg is visible. As much as 90% is submerged in the unseen. Because of their enormous mass, with that proportion, icebergs are virtually indestructible.

The most influential life in all of history reflected the iceberg equation. Ninety percent of his life on earth was spent in obscurity. Ten percent of his earthly life was spent in the public eye. And all of his life was, and still is. absolutely indestructible.]

taken from "Anonymous" by Alicia Britt Chole

Thursday, March 18, 2010

what are you a slave to?

tthoughts about some things coming soon...but for now...

Philippians 2 (The Message)

He Took on the Status of a Slave

1-4If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.


what are you a slave to? if it's anything other than Christ, and His freedom, we have to surrender that bondage over to Him so we can live worthy of the calling we have received. (ephesians 4:1) we can not serve two masters. (matthew 6:24)
no Judas kiss is too much for Christ to handle. He deserves more than our betrayal, and we are worth more than our inconsistencies allow us to be. let's get free, how bout?

back soon :)