abandoning ship

in the [highly unlikely] event of an emergency, where passengers must abandon ship, life-saving floatation devices will be available to all members on deck.

i'm wondering what the purpose of those life-saving floatation devices would be, or what they would mean to us, if there was no possibility of an emergency, if we were ignorant to that possibility, or, you know, if we built our ships in such a way that we thought they were invincible to that threat


ben harper was onto something...

i just read a great, wonderful thing. &i just can't not share.

"So if the Son sets you free, you'll be free indeed." John 8:36
... sometimes the pain of our past comes calling. many people, particularly women, have an emotional disposition or personality type that lends itself to dwelling on bitter memories. our adversary often misuses this sensitivity to accuse and discourage us. he tempts our thoughts with guilt over past deeds. he calls into question the penalty of our past as if it is somehow unpaid - an outstanding debt he convinces us we must pay ourselves. we respond to his perverse persuasion by feeling as if we don't deserve the love of family or friends, much less God's love. after what you've done? who are you kidding? this is the language of lies-a familiar tongue to anyone who longs to be free from a shameful past.

he tries to slip the chains of guilt back on our shoulders. And sometimes we again pick up those old familiar chains - our guilt feels so comfortable that we revert to it out of habit. but Christ has set us free.
He paid the full penalty for our wrong. every wrong thought, word or action - all paid for.
don't believe the lie. God set you free; the Jesus, the Christ, died that you would be free - but you must choose to live that way.

"His call on our lives is a call to liberty. freedom is the cornerstone of christianity."

[paraphrased from biblegateway.]


her name is sydney gillian macintyre

there is this girl that blesses me.
so much.
sydney gillian macintyre is her name;
it means bona fide, passionate, charming;
it's like the color of the ocean when the sun is at it's best;
it's hearing that relient k song you forgot about but always use to pull you out of a bad mood;
it's the memory of your favorite uncle that could always make you smile;
it's your go-to snack that's always in the cupboard;
she teaches me about dedication to the things that are worth it & appreciation for the small things
when she tells me about the things that make her happy & gives me advice;
her name is sydney gillian macintyre;
which means a lifetime more to me now than it did the day i first heard it.


letting go of the familiar.

I'm super glad that God doesn't turn me into a pillar of salt when, in my processes of transformation, I look back and long for my old ways. He actually did that to someone once upon a time. It was this girl in the bible who was married to a guy named Lot. You can read about it in Genesis 19 if you are interested.
This e-devo came at a pivotal moment for me. It talked about how hard it is to let go of the familiar - to toss away those blankets of comfort because we know what's good for us; we know that we must be disciplined & a little bit uncomfortable in order to grow. We make these decisions all the time, every day. Even if you think that you're living only for the very present moment you're in, you're probably not as much as you think you are. We do it in the seemingly inconsequential decisions of everyday life because it's a part of how we've been taught. If you don't do things you don't want to do, then you don't get to experience other greater things that matter more. You get out of bed when you don't want to sometimes, right? Because you know that the comfort of staying in your bed for another hour, like you want to, isn't as great as getting up when you should and negating the consequences that would take place if you didn't (late for work and get in trouble or late for school and feel like a dummy). You get up and leave the comfort of your bed because it's the head-over-heart choice to make. We're all trained, to some extent, about the importance of doing things even if you don't really feel like it, because of the greater good. This e-devo came the day after my last blog entry and it was just an extension of that entry. Not only do we need to run with endurance towards those long-term and deeper rewards in life, but we need to not look back.
Lot's wife left behind a familiar place... a comfortable place. Even though she knew it was destructive and dark and not a place she should stay or would want to stay, it was still a place that she had come to know as home. In more lament terms, it's the bed that you don't want to get out of but know you need to. Have you ever gotten out of bed in the morning fully intending to start your day and then sadly look back at it wishing you were still in it? Haha. I do that all the time! I've even gotten out of bed, put the coffee on, and then crawl back in desperately for one more cozy minute. How pathetic...
But the point is, it doesn't help me move on and start my day. Yearning to be back in my bed is just distracting me from the tasks of the day that I need to begin.
I don't want to stay the same, guys. I want to grow and I want to move on from those things that are holding me back from doing so. This passage urges us to do that. It's hard to leave the familiar behind but it's so worth it. The devotion said "... we all struggle with the difficulties of letting go of the old in order to grasp the new. Take heart. God understands that letting go of the familiar is hard. Yet he has called us to move on to new life in Jesus Christ by letting go of our old worldly lives, our old habits, our old dreams-to boldly move forward without looking back." Why? Because he has something much better waiting for me.
I want to shed my layers, actualize my potential, and instead of looking back, yearning for the old, & therefore, making it harder on myself, I want to step out in faith & see, as I always do, the reward.


oh, inconsistently crying out for consistency.

i don't wanna jinx it but i have an inkling that maybe, possibly, sorta, kinda i feel like i might actually be getting better at life. okay, don't quote me. i can't handle that kind of accountability. claire is my most trusted partner in crime in my life. why? because she actually has experienced first hand how much of a roller-coaster i am and how much i seem to contradict myself following a real life-lesson.
this is usually how it plays out: i do dumb things, i feel stupid for doing dumb things, i repent, i feel empowered to not do that dumb thing again, spill to claire how i'm really ready to put it behind me and learn from that mistake, & then, well, i repeat. the entire thing.
& claire is the one that has seen me through that process, and still high-fives me when i go to her about how ready i am to be "better at life" (& no one should ever view life as i do like thinking that there is some sort of ultimate goal to reach in perfecting yourself as a human being. there isn't. i don't think we're ever going to get there. i think that's part of my problem.) even though she probably has a sneaking suspicion that i won't actually follow through with it. like my mom says, we try our best to weed out the crap we can, but like a dog goes back to it's vomit, we may forget just how bad the consequences were last time, or we may think we're invincible for some reason, & go back to our shameful ways.
i kinda use the "work-in-progress" line as a cop-out because it's such a forgiving way to explain my stated above state of being. the raw version is: "i'm brutal at learning from my mistakes, doing the right thing, and living for the greater, long-term, & deeper rewards in life." i'm just bad at it. maybe it's because i have a terrible memory or maybe behavior modification doesn't work on me as well as it does on other people.
maybe right now, things are going to get better. maybe i don't know why. maybe because it's my first time genuinely trying to be single. & it's just me, my mistakes, & that guilt... & no one to forgivingly hold me through my messiness. please don't get me wrong: i don't think it's healthy to hold on to guilt so that you avoid your worst habits like the plague. but i do think it's good to use that feeling of guilt as a memory to guide your future choices. although i do enjoy indulging in satisfying my appetite today, i value long-term reward far more. i think it's going to be about keeping that desire in the forefront of my mind that will help me take the next right step each time i'm faced with a choice between the greater good & the right-now-good.


profile-picture perfect.

Today I came home from school to a message from a girl that I once became facebook friends with because we had mutual friends. Back in '07 when facebook was still a relatively new concept in my life, I would accept friend requests from, and send them to, anyone and everyone that seemed like a nice person. Since becoming her facebook friend, I have received lovely little uplifting messages from her every now and again expressing her great interest in [her perception of] my life from what she knew of me based on my facebook profile pictures, status updates, and my blog. It was never creepy whatsoever. It came right from her heart and I knew what she meant because I feel that same way about others in my life!
Today, part of her message read:

so, still your biggest fan...
i love to think i live vicariously through your adventures out west, in the states, really... all around the world! i love reading your blog & learning from it, soaking in advice and adventures....
i just want to let you know how admired you are and i know not just by me but by MANY. it's not hard to tell you are an incredible friend to many many loving people, its not hard to see that you are real, honest & open - it reminds me to check myself for fake and then to be rid of it. your adventures remind me that there is more to life then just going through the motions.
i think more people should have your outgoing and positive additude, because you truly get the most out of this life our creator has so thoughtfully and carefully designed for us.
anyways, just a little random note to let you know even though someone has never met you in person - your character truly shines even via the internet and bloggingggg & your character is wholesome, refreshing and good.
<3 your biggest fan

It gives me warm fuzzies when I hear people saying anything like that to me or to know someone has said something sweet like that about me to someone else. It's nice to think that the person I project myself as is a loveable person if not to everyone than at least to a handful of really special people.

I have to be real though, blog-readers and facebook friends, because I can't read that message and pretend like it's all true - like I really am this wonderful person I often can make myself out to be.
I am so far from the carefully tailored and monitored facebook version of myself. I am thousands of miles away from the scriptural and lyrical captions on my profile pictures and far from what inspirational rambling I may come up with for my blogs and far from the girl with the uplifting and positive attitude.
I mean, I try to be that person. & I think the reason I include all of those types of inspirational-type of things on my cyber-self-portrait is because, in so many ways, it's the person I long to become. But sometimes it's simply motivated by the importance I place on being a loveable person. How's that for honest? Someone in my BEd cohort on Saturday night said "You're just always so happy and nice!" and then the next day after church someone else told me almost the exact same thing. My response was a simple, "but I'm really not though..."
It's interesting to me when people say things like this and I can't help but just tell them the truth because to me, I am not always happy and friendly. Sometimes I'm a fierce, rotten, little bitch. I find myself often apologizing that I haven't made time for the people that matter, and feeling bad that I mentally lost my patience with someone because they did something marginally irritating like interrupted my thoughts. I can be a very self-centered person and often you just won't get to see that person because of my history of being hated and, therefore, incessant need to maintain a perception of myself as a nice and friendship-worthy girl.
I am aware when I meet people who think I'm fake. I can't even be mad at them or blame them for pegging me like that because I can be fake. I'm fake happy sometimes. I'm fake nice sometimes. That's the worst kind of fake there is.
So here is me being not fake. I know it's not going to make up for all the times I ever have been fake towards you. But I would like to apologize for all the times I have... which is countless. I don't want to be that person. And for those of you in my life afraid that I'm being fake with you and don't actually like you, don't worry. The truth is, amidst the fact that I care what people think of me, is a deep and genuine love for people. I actually do love you. If I didn't love slash like you, you would know cause I can't fake that well. I actually do want you in my life. But am I always happy and always friendly? Hell-to-the-no. Please don't put me on that pedestal.
I am just such a work in progress & that's the conclusion I hope to someday reach with a "-& I've been making a lot lately!" tagline. I look at women in my church and long to be where they are in their lives - humble, sacrificial, loving, self-giving, disciplined, and holy. I am not holy although it might come across that way on my honest blog-marathons when I'm just stoked about how awesome God is and how much he loves me. The reason I get so enthralled by his awesome love isn't because I am a great christian with my life pretty much how I want it to be, but rather because I am a total mess behind this profile-picture perfect me and am completely undeserving of it.