Exploding cocoa and overcoming fears

As I look back over the past year, words seem to fail me. And I'm not usually the kind of person who is grasping at words to explain the deeper meanings of her life and yearnings of her soul. So the best I can come up with at this moment is exploding cocoa and overcoming fears. I guess they explain my life this past year fairly accurately.

A few friendships have grown over the year, and a few have fallen to the wayside
friendships don't fit well with me, mainly because it takes forever for me to trust
and several I have grown to trust have let me down, but we're all human and I know that
I forgive and I forget, but not without learning from each experience
and all of them have been worthwhile
losing certain friends this past year has been difficult to say the least
but sometimes there are no other options
I just had to walk away for my sanity
and its crazy bittersweet to think that could have been prevented if I hadn't been so eager to fall
and its just sad that all those possible new friends are nothing more than acquaintances because I couldn't find the time

I've realized it is less and less often that I am truly myself around friends, and maybe that's simply because I'm not sure who I want to be anymore

I just feel so drained of who I am because all I've known for the past 10 months is research and thesis and class. Research, thesis, class (repeat until all you want to do is run as far away as possible) It's been a broken record that won't let me play my own song. So I haven't been dancing through life so much. Trudging is more like it.

But its so difficult to be bitter and fed up and sick of all of it, because its really such a blessing. Not for a moment do I forget that it is a blessing. I'm getting an amazing education and will be graduating without a dime of debt. I'm blessed beyond measure. I should simply stop my whining and be grateful.

This past year has been quite a lonely one. Not because of a lack of people in my life, or even lack of quality people in my life. Nope that's not why. I'm pulling away, or pushing away, or both. It's almost time to say goodbye. Goodbye's are my least favorite thing. Seriously, I have to agree with Charlie Brown when he says there are too many goodbyes in his life (or something of that nature).

With the stresses of school and anticipating goodbyes, my life feels like its about to become an exploding cup of cocoa, which is messy and majestically beautiful all at once.

And that overcoming fears part, I no longer run screaming from spiders. Now if I could just move on to overcoming that fear of growing up...

P.S. My life has kinda felt like a generalization of Grey's Anatomy this season...a big awkward mess


Colors of the Wind

Not only one of my favorite songs from my childhood, but the overall mood of my day. The crisp morning air had that "Fall is finally here" chill in it. The mug with espresso warmed my hands after walking the dog. Ah, espresso. I am honestly thankful for the day I was introduced in Spain to the glorious drink known as espresso. Such lovely memories. God, send my love to Madrid until I can return someday.

As I was walking to my 8 o'clock class this morning, I couldn't erase the child-like grin off my face. I can't really explain why it was there. It just was, smacked right on my face. The first few yellow leaves were twirling about the edges of the sidewalk and I thanked God for Fall.

I'm still attempting to understand this smile that came out of nowhere. I'm guessing it has something to do with submitting independence as my friend Joel said the other day. After a tough spot in my life several months ago, I said I'd take the reigns because dependence left me hurt. I thought I'd try it my way, control what I wanted and give what I wanted still being unsure of His plans after they turned out so differently than mine that day the earth was plowed in preparation for growth. Now it is harvest time my friends, and the lessons learned and experiences gained are in abundance.

I remember this time last year. I was the closest I had ever been to God. I'm not sure why, other than continually seeking Him. I look back on the past year with some regret because I didn't get any closer, and at times I even wandered further away. I love consistency and despise change (or at least I used to). And since God never changes in this equation of a supernatural relationship, I'm the one left counting the coins I made. So I'm horrible at consistency, yet desire it madly. There is no other area of my life that I want consistency than in my relationship with God. It is something I am earnestly working on, and hopefully I'm making some progress. Ask me about it sometime.

The need to depend on God is ever increasing as the future is looming ahead, just mere months until I graduate from college. But I'd rather delay those thought processes as long as possible, so we will just think of how brilliant my favorite season is.

After freezing at the lab, I decided to go to the store and obtain in my cart at the expense of my shallow bank account the following: tortilla chips, processed cheese & salsa dip, Hormel turkey chili, and a butternut squash [among the other fall-themed things that just so happened to jump into my cart ;)]. So for lunch I entertained my senses with chili cheese nachos. Can we say football game??? Later on I decided to get all fancy with that weird looking gourd I bought. Ginger spiced butternut squash soup, all thick and creamy. Cumin, Garlic, Onions, Coriander, Cinnamon, Butter. It was my first attempt at squash converted into soup ever, and I must say it will not be my last. Sadly enough my camera is permanently broken and I couldn't share at least the gorgeous bowl that beckoned the crisp wind to keep twirling the first colored levels that have fallen.


Wildest dreams, reality, synonyms right?

I've recently looked back upon the past few years of my life, only to realize that I'm living an amazing life that I never could have dreamed of. When I think of what I have learned and accomplished, I'm just flabbergasted. When I think of all the opportunities that have been put in my path, I can barely stop to thoughts of gratefulness.

I've been to 3 countries, I'm doing research, I've been on not just one but two mission trips, I have such an amazing family, and some pretty awesome friends if I may say so myself. And that's just the tip of the iceberg really.

I don't believe anybody deserves this kind of happiness in life, but that God has graciously provided me with some very blessed times recently. My life wouldn't be what it is without "Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us"

Family Ties

If anybody knows me at all, they know that my family means the world to me. I’m one of those weird people that actually look forward to family reunions. Family is such a perplexing concept I’ve discovered by observing. Some people spend their whole lives running from their family, the only ones that really provide comfort and support. Some think life is better if family is involved at a bare minimum. I just don’t understand why so many people take their families for granted. Maybe I’m just lucky that I have the family I do, but I believe that I truly enjoy my family because I have chosen to make them an important part of my life. Everyone talks about breaking ties as you grow up, but I am running around attempting to form bonds at every moment possible. There is so much to learn from my almost innumerable family members. I don’t want to run from what I hold so dear, even if that makes people look at me weird or call me “one of those people.”


Dreaming with a Broken Heart

"When you're dreaming with a broken heart, waking up is the hardest part"

I've been through the denial that I'm not hurt. That stage hurt me worse than the actuality of it all. Now I'm healing; I'm in repair. Not so much healing from losing what meant so much to me (and so little to somebody else), but healing from the simple breaking of a porcelain heart I always thought I had toughened to the strength of steel. I've never been the one with the broken heart, but I've always been the one breaking others (not that there are a great deal of those either). My heart hasn't been broken before this because I never let anybody in. I never trusted enough. I never loved enough.

But this time I trusted and I loved, and consequently the porcelain shattered.
Surprisingly it glues back together quite nicely. But memories still chip away at it every once in awhile. Like the same words spoken from a different mouth in the same old house it all began, that hurt way more than I ever thought it would.

I once said I wasn't sure if it was better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I wanted to say it wouldn't be worth it at the time because I didn't want to give anybody the power to break my heart. On the other side of things I do believe its worth it, even if my love was never returned. I was the lucky one because I learned how to let somebody in, I learned how to let my steel barriers down and be open to love. Not everyone is that lucky. Not everyone is that brave.

I've learned a lot. I've gained a lot. Without losing much more than an amazing friend (and maybe I'll find that again one day).

"But when my loneliness is through, I'm gonna find another you..."
and learn from our mistakes in the meantime.


Fighting like mad to dance in the rain.

The rain came pouring down today, but metaphorically speaking its been raining cats and dogs and bad days for quite some time now.

I'm not the kind of person that admits that things in my life are hard or to whine about the things that go wrong. I put on a happy face moreso to keep peoples' questions and "need to help" tendencies to rest more than I do it to convince myself that I'm ok.

I want to deal with the rain myself.
And sometimes that is a bad thing.

I'm caught in this downpour.
Some of it still coming from previous storms and then sometimes it lets up a bit.
Every once in awhile it starts to pick up more.
Sometimes because of life altering things and sometimes its just the trivial crap of life.

There is no sense in trying to run away from the rain or really even to put on a happy face.
I need to look up, get splashed straight in the face with cold, fat raindrops.
Let it hurt.
Stop pretending I'm not drenched.
Soak it in.
I need to realize there is a reason for the rain.
And more importantly trust that the sun will eventually come back out.

So if you ask me how I am, I'm not going to put on a happy face.
I'm not going to deny the rainclouds.
I'm stressed, I'm hurting, I'm worried.
Your prayers won't dry up the rain.

But maybe if I let you join me in the midst of my downpour, it might just get easier to dance in the rain.