Surprises

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One of the most beautiful and frustrating things that I have come across in life is a surprise. The bad kind of surprises can range anywhere from- surprise! a bird pooped on your head, or surprise! you’ve overdrawn your checking account, or surprise! he’s actually not Mr. Right. The good kind of surprises (which are my favorite ever) are things like- surprise! you left $5 in your pocket the last time you wore these pants. Or, surprise! you actually got an A in your Child Development class, or, surprise! a new, interesting person arrives on the scene.

Over the course of the past year, I moved out of the house of my childhood and into a college dorm. I was living with one of my best friends and ended up making two more. Because of these girls I laughed so hard that I nearly peed- on multiple occasions. They were there for me when all I could do was sit on my bed and cry. They were always up for an adventure but they also understood that there are some nights when you just need to put on sweatpants, eat brownie from a mug, and watch a movie with Leo DiCaprio in it. I am infinitely grateful for the time that I was blessed to spend with these beautiful ladies. They are full of wonderful surprises.

I was also surprised by my own strength. I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to be the person that I want to be. My circumstances may not always be favorable but I serve a God that always has my best interest in His favor and with that Truth, I feel unstoppable. If there is anything that I learned this semester is that sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way, but God always provides for our needs and He is always good- even when there is nothing good in us.

I was surprised to find the semester coming to a close. It doesn’t seem possible. Didn’t I just get moved in and settled last week? Time has certainly passed me by at the speed of light but I really can’t complain. Time heals a lot of wounds and brings with that healing the opportunity for new beginnings.

Change is scary and some adventures are daunting. But after seeing what God can do with my brokenness, my craziness, and my stupidity, it makes me really excited for the next chapter of this book.

God knows it will be full of surprises…

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Real talk.

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I sound like a broken record. But I’m that girl. That girl that has to do her own thing and make her own decisions regardless of how questionable they might be. You might say that I don’t have to make shitty choices. But actually, I’m convinced that’s how I learn best. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that learn things the hard way.

And on top of that, I’m a slow learner. Not only does it take one experience to teach me something, but I usually have to repeat it, enlarging the damage that I’m creating until I’ve dug myself a neat little hole that I can’t possibly climb out of without some serious tribulation.

And it is in the climbing out that the learning happens. I look around and I’m confused about how I got into this predicament in the first place.

When I finally get myself into the light again, on solid ground, I take a look at myself and realize that something has changed. Maybe it’s not dramatic but it’s definitely different. You can never come out unscathed.

That’s the sucky part. Learning via experience hurts- yourself and other people that matter to you. So what’s a girl to do when she wants to love people and be loved but doesn’t want to hurt them? From what I’ve learned so far, you just have to do it. You just have to love and make mistakes and learn from them. I read this super awesome quote in a Thought Catalog article the other day and it sums up my conclusions:

 I will keep telling the story of me making mistakes and eventually being real to myself, of me being strong and not afraid to move on, of me being human, being young, being a reckless loser, wanting something I can’t have, realizing I don’t need it, accepting the past, learning to respect myself and believing in something that’s just right for me out there. After all, that’s what life is about, isn’t it?

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 So that’s it. I’ve learned that I’m a doubter. I wish I could take Truth and instantly accept it but instead I have to put myself through trails and put that Truth to the test. Thankfully though, God is faithful and always draws me back in. He meets me where I am with grace and forgiveness and shows me the way back to solid ground. Sometimes I wonder why I was created this way but I’m starting to embrace it because the lessons that I learn are convicting but powerful ones.

And I’m always thankful for a good lesson because that means I’m moving forward. And there’s really no better place to go.

How To Love A Girl Who’s Guarded

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This is so lovely.

Thought Catalog

via Summer via Summer

You won’t know when a girl is guarded, not initially at least.

“Guarded” won’t be the word that comes to mind. You’ll think she’s independent and confident. Driven and seemingly content. She’s never seeking anything from you, never leaning in to the hint or the whisper. She seems as though she lives a big life, and it’s in that paradox that she’s most closed. She’s filled all the little spaces with something, something else.

Once upon a time she fell in love the way thousands and millions of people do every day and hour and in the last three seconds while you were reading this. But it wasn’t the falling in love, or the breaking up that ultimately broke her.

It was that she found the truest seeming, most divinely timed, so evidently fated love, only to learn that conviction is not actually an indication of what will…

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Soggy.

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On a day like today, when the rain is slowly but surely pouring down on my tiny town and I ought to be doing homework, I like to bury myself under the covers in my dark room and stare at the same walls that I have stared at for nearly 20 years. Nearly 2 decades.

I think I find it hard to focus in this place because of all of the thoughts that nudge me to think about them. I wonder about my life and about life in general and I think about how simple it is to be alive and how complex it is to live.

When the sun is shining my soul is awakened and my heart is singing. When the rain is pouring, the need to withdraw into myself trickles in. I’m not depressed, I’m not moody- I’m thinking.

My thoughts turn to things that I have loved and things that I have lost. My list isn’t as long as others and in all honesty I have no right to complain. But today is a pensive, sorry-for-myself day and so there you have it.

I decided to use this Mumford lyric for this post because it speaks to me today. Sometimes I just miss the laughter, the smiles, the touches, the conversations, the sideways glances of days come and gone. I think about them and I just feel so lonely because I put so much of me into those precious moments. The moments that are now only held until my memory fails me. And then who will remember them? Who will remember our lives and the joy that filled them? We are so fleeting.

But like the quote says, what more can be done? We walk around daily pouring out little pieces of ourselves and what more is there? Who can blame us for loving whole-heartedly? Is there any other way to live a fulfilled life?

Once again, my main man C.S. Lewis said it the very best:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Having loved and having lost is something that is a staple of the human life. No one can blame us for being susceptible to vulnerability. Sometimes life smacks us in the face with pain and we wonder if we are at fault. If our pain is a result of having been so unguarded.

I’d just like to say that I hope that this lyric can be a testament to the way that I live. Is it my fault for loving with my whole heart? I’d rather do that than be accused of not loving enough. Some of the best days of my life were spent being 100% open with someone that I loved. Sometimes that causes me pain. But I’d never take it back. Not for one minute would I return to those days and regather my pieces to keep for myself.

Thoughts.

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To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what this blog post is about so if you are confused and don’t see the point that’s because I don’t have a defined end point in mind.

I just know that I saw this quote and thought that it describes me in a nutshell right now. I’m an over-thinker and an over-talker. I can’t always say what I mean and most of the time that’s because I don’t actually know. I’m dazed and confused. Driven by desires, passions, and the will to do good.

Sometimes my passion conflicts with my will to do good and over powers it. And that’s when I find myself laying in bed, saying to God, “show me what to do”, and hoping for clarity. It’s in those moments when it literally does feel like I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole; I can squint up at the light but I can’t see any way of climbing out into it.

I’m afraid that I’m a terribly confused person with very little of life figured out. And I’m afraid that that hurts people that care about me. And I’m afraid that I’m a person that must learn from experiences that are not ideal and I’m afraid that I can’t change that fact about myself.

I know that sometimes I learn lessons the hard way but at least I learn them, right?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though I walk around with my head in the clouds a lot of the time, I really am trying to find my footing here on earth. Just trying to see where I stand in God’s plan for His world.

Sometimes we fall into rabbit holes because our minds have gone for a stroll without giving our feet any clear directions about where they’re supposed to be walking. That’s okay too.

Frands.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendship, a lot more than I ever have before.

In high school, friendship was easy. It’s easy to be friends when you see each other everyday, have the same mutual friends, live in the same town, participate in the same extra curricular events, etc.

In college, you have to really take the time to get to know people. Unfortunately, time is one thing you never seem to have enough of.

At this point, everyone has lived on this earth for 18+ years and are coming from across the country, sometimes even across the world. They’ve already experienced their fair share of ups and downs. Who they’re meant to be is already being molded and they have a pretty good idea of what they do/don’t want. I guess the point I’m trying to get at is that you really have to decide who you’re going to invest your time into.

Sounds kind of harsh, right? But it’s the truth. Friendship is beautiful because it’s light hearted and free. But it is also a gift from God that He expects us to invest in and take seriously. I’m going to quote C.S. Lewis again because he said it best:

“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I don’t know about you, but I have the most beautiful friends. I love meeting new humans and seeing God’s beauty revealed in them. But my friends are also humans which means that I don’t always think that what they do is beautiful. I love this quote because it reminds me that they have been chosen for me. I have been chosen to be blessed by them; how lucky I am!. And for that I have to be grateful and loving.

I sometimes find it hard to let go of friendships. I reminisce on friendships I had in the past and become saddened. Sometimes I even feel guilty. Friends that vowed, “we’ll never lose touch,” did. Friends that said, “I’ll always be there for you,” weren’t. That scares me because at one point or another, I must have been that friend. That friend that promised to write every week and then didn’t, that promised to catch up over coffee every break and then didn’t.

I read a post by a blogger a while back that talked about being ‘friends for a season’. At first I thought it was kind of tragic. I value my friendships and I certainly don’t want to lose touch with my beautiful people. But then as I look back over my life I realize that it’s reality. I am learning that God gives us exactly what we need when we need it. Sometimes that’s a friend that must come and go. That’s okay, that’s beautiful too.

I’ve been thinking about how I want to be willing to pour into friendships while I have the time to do so. Because what if we aren’t meant to be forever friends, what if we’re friends for just a season? And then what if we are forever friends, how deep our friendship will be!

I guess the point that I’m trying to make here is that whether you’re friends for ever or just friends forever until tomorrow, I think it’s pretty wise to give it all you’ve got and ask God what that might be.

Isn’t it comforting to know that we’re always right where we need to be?

Expectations

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I talk a good talk about how I think people ought to conduct themselves. I have firm convictions about what I think is right and wrong. I have expectations for myself and others that I believe should be met…until I have to make a decision.

When it comes right down to it, when people are looking to me for an answer, when I have to decide how I really feel, I falter. All of my principles go out the window. Everything that I use to organize my life crumbles and I’m thrown into the depths of chaos.

I’m weak. I collapse under the weight of my own and others expectations.

And most unfortunately, I pull people into that chaotic place with me. I avoid the hard things. I talk and talk until I can’t anymore and rapidly drive my train of thought right onto the ice where I’m bound to sink.

I want to do the easy thing. I want to do the thing that hurts people, and eventually myself.

Yes, you read that correctly. I’d like to say that I’m not in the business of hurting people that I care about but I am. I do it all the time. And yes I know that being a human means that we mess up. We hurt people. People hurt us. It’s all part of life.

But when it’s your fault that someone else is disappointed, hurt, angry…fill in the blank, it sucks. And it hurts you too.

So what do we do? I’m still trying to figure this one out.

I know I’ve written a blog post similar to this before which just goes to show that I have a lot to work on in this area.

So far all I know is that it’s important to be honest. Honest with yourself about realistic expectations. And honest with other people about whether or not you are going to be able to meet their expectations. This is key to any successful relationship. It can be hard to be honest. Sometimes even honesty can hurt. But in the end I think it’s better to have been the person that confidently declared their thoughts while they still knew them than passively allowing the situation/relationship to progress and allowing confusion to set in for all parties involved.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I wish there wasn’t so much ambiguity in our world. I wish that I wasn’t so scared of my actions and feelings affecting others. I wish I was stronger. I wish I could never hurt another human heart.

I’ve got some work to do. But I have learned this much thus far. Unfortunately, my track record suggests that I may have another post like this in my future. I’ll try to keep working on this and sharing what little wisdom I have.

If anyone has any advice to offer me here, that would be cool.