Singing the School-sick Blues

Problem: Despite all of the lovely things that come with being home for summer- like early mornin’ hugs from parents & late night movies with brothers & cuddles from the world’s greatest golden retriever-  I’m really not adjusting well. And its been almost a month and a half.

The years of me growing up under the umbrella of their lives, my parents diligently spent training me how to have my own. College was my first real chance to step out from their umbrella and raise up my own. Under my own “umbrella” [I don’t know where it came from but I’m just going to keep rolling with this metaphor] I could walk whichever way I wanted: traipse through the woods, along the path, down by the creek, wherever. Yes indeed, I did find peace in the Lord’s direction and strove for the destinations He gave, but along my journey I was in control to pause to look around, stay awhile admiring a view, take the path with a few more puddles to splash in- my yellow galoshes creating fireworks from the still water, or maybe sight see a little here and there. Coming back home is like having to close up my umbrella, setting it down to dry, and stepping back under theirs. In some ways it’s a relief to give my arms a rest since I’m no longer the one holding it up, but, my sense of adventure blossomed while I was out on my own, and I’ve found it hard to be obliging to stick to the paths my parents aim. There’s not really an “agree on a destination and everyone meet up there but go your own route” option. Instead of picking my own path I have to follow the one they’d like to go down. Which does have some nice views, but after all the training that gave me & a decently successful pilot test out on my own, it really does feel stifling to move back to a following-happily mentality. But, it’s not my umbrella to take. It’s their life, their house, and their schedules that I’m stepping back into and that isn’t a bad thing. It’s just after having all of those things for myself whilst away, I’m too selfish to not struggle with still wanting them.

See, greatest golden ever ❤

Solution: Well, my coping mechanism before diagnosing this tension and discomfort was redecorating my room, the one place that is all, well mostly, in my control. This has actually been a help; focusing on the things that I have control over and on areas where I can build my own life off of theirs has been helpful. Also lots of prayer. For a family to work properly the members have to be a team and incredibly unselfish. I’m not there yet and that’s an area I’ve been talking with God about and trying to take steps to work on. The other things that’s helpful was taking the time to realize this is why I don’t feel at home in my home; realizing I’ve moved on and I really do have a new home back at the Grove.

Thanks for reading my musings, I hope maybe they illuminated something for you like they did for me!

Song Pairing:

 

Today in Prayer

I thought perhaps I would share my prayerful reflections of this week with y’all in the hope that they might impact you, wherever you are at. My dear friends, I love you very much.

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Lord,

Bless us as we face what feels like defeat; may we find solace in knowing no joy surpasses that of Your will. May we in time come to see how in this moment Your loving, guiding hand is steering us closer to You. May we all rejoice, not just accept but truly rejoice in Your will for us, no matter if it comes packages as we imagined.

Lord,

I praise you for all of the apparent blessings You’ve placed in our lives. Every good and perfect gift comes from You [James 1:7]. Thank You for the times You lift us on top of the mountains. May we relish in those obvious, but breathtaking views of Your glory and Your love for us. In these times may we always remember, as in all times, the sacrifice Jesus made in order for us to have this tremendous joy. And show us how to be sensitive to those in valleys even as we live unabashed in Your pure joy.

Lord,

As we give encouragement, solace, and advice to friends, may it all come from a heart synced with Yours. May all we say be drenched in love and reflect who You are and who You are to us. Help us to not injure anyone, intentionally or unintentionally, but to bless all we brush lives with (intentionally and unintentionally). May all we say be a crystal-clear road map guiding others into Your loving arms.

Lord,

May we search for Your love, Your wisdom, and Your guidance first in all circumstances. Let our initial instinct, our first thoughts, and our safe place all rest on Your capable shoulders. Help us seek out Your face when we wake, as we walk through our days, and even as we brush our teeth. May we lie down at night, our day so full of time spent with You, that Your’s is the only face we see in our dreams.

Lord,

Thank You. I love You.

 

Glory to Whom?

Today I was introduced to a magnificent creation, the Library of Congress. Let me tell you, my friends, I now believe in love at first sight. It is beyond stunning, beyond spectacular: it’s perfectly blithe and delicately charming. Today I found myself awestruck and dumfounded at the talents of man.

 

In the presence of such beauty, one often desires to know who created the splendor, but today I had to remind myself it is crucial to give the glory and praise to the One who gave those gifts to the human artists. All our art is at it’s foundation inspired by the art of the first and only original artist, Jesus. Man can create many splendid things, but it is always crucial remember every good and perfect thing comes from above, and man would be nothing without the gifts bestowed to us from Him.

 

So give praise with the beauty in both the natural and man-made world, just know man-made is code for “tried to copy God.”

Thanks for reading! Please do share your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

 

[Song Pairing: All Glory Be to Christ by Christina Falub]

 

Dappling in Dreams

When you commit to someone for life, when you marry them, you are picking your lifetime ministry partner. You are either committing to their dreams, the dreams you’ve built together, or the dreams you know the Lord will call you both to in His perfect timing. This is an incredible opportunity, it truly is. At the same time, I am realizing that now while I’m single, I also have any incredible opportunity. This stage of my life gives me the freedom to build and chip into the dreams and goals and missions of so many different people.

I do not believe  that when you are married you can’t build up other people within their callings, but with the marriage vow you take before the Lord, you are committing your ministry to the Him as a couple as your top priority.  Right now though, being under obligation to the Lord only, I get to dabble in everyone’s dream. How incredible a chance is that?!

Here at college, I’ve met umpteen individuals with sparks in their eyes for a myriad of causes. Right now, at this time, place, and in the circumstances of my life, I have been blessed with the time to support the missions these dear visionaries have. For every mission that strikes a chord with me, that moves my heart,  I get to delegate my time and resources to contribute however I want!  In my singleness, my time solely belongs to the Lord’s. The only constriction on my resources is making sure they are being used to fulfill His will. For those who are married, it is the Lord’s will is then for you to honor your spouses, and that means they your first priority when it comes to claims on your love, your support, & your time. Of course you are to spread these three items to all, but it is your duty to make sure your spouse’s cup is tended to first. I think this is a beautiful notion, and the holy way God has designed marriage to work, but until the day I am called into that stage of life, I never want my love, my support, and my time to be wasted in wait.

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“I want to lend myself as a truss to help raise up dreams.”

I want to exercise these gifts by using them to help other people in my life as they pursue Christ’s will in their lives. I want to dedicate hours to praying with them about the things they are passionate about. I want to offer my help as they endeavor to execute projects in the Lord’s name. I want to help my friends research their callings, locate where the need for their God-given gifts are the greatest, or simply help them identify those gifts. I want to lend myself as a truss to help raise dreams. I want to pour myself into their lives, their passions, and I want to do my absolute best to help them see the dreams Our Father has placed on their hearts come to maturity.

This is my prayer: Lord, for as long as I am not called specifically to one  ministry, may I contribute in one meaningful way or another to all of the personal ministries that surround me. May I incessantly seize opportunities to encourage Your people and offer a serving hand wherever one could be used. Amen.

Thanks for reading these musings. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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*Insert Friend Group Name*

I have met some people of substantial quality lately and it has me reflecting on true friends. The ones who intensely debate which is the best Austen novel and who ruined the Les Mis movie more- or if it was even ruined at all. People who really value you, your opinions, and your stories, not just people who hang out with you because they’re dating your friends or have nothing else to do.

Here’re some minimal fun facts about some of them: Alisa is a hall-mate and models for my photos. Grace is incredibly sweet and would teach a logic class if she got the chance. Noah sells antiques during the summer and reads news articles non-stop. Graham is involved in 9 different clubs including serving in the freshman worship team. Maverick might join us as an Entrepreneur major and listens to Michael Buble with me. Elise is a sweetheart and a fanatic about swing dancing. Harrison plays piano beautifully and likes, “pretending to be way more homeschooler than [he] actually [is].”  Jayna is studying English and led an acapella group for the Freshman Talent Show. Cassie and I actually had chatted over this summer- she’s quite splendid- and is on debate with some of the others. Jacob listens to Hamilton, watches SNL, and read Where the Wild Things Are to us all while we were at the local ice cream shop. And they’re all highly intelligent and most importantly passionate about Jesus.

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Here’s the one terrible-quality selfie we have of some of us. I shockingly don’t have any other group photos [which I’ll have to remedy].
By the hand of the Lord, no doubt, we all ended up in a movie night together and instead of paying attention to a Knight’s Tale, we all basically chatted the night away. Enveloped in cushion and blankets with leftover Halloween candy and bags of popcorn we laughed SO hard.

All that to say: I found them. Friends of a Class A variety. It might take awhile to find people you really, really click with- but don’t settle, and always seek out new friendships. There are always other relationships to be made, and there’s always the chance they could be cut of an excellent, vibrant cloth.

I also want to say a massive thank you to these new friends. You’re the even better than the kind I prayed for.

God is good, my darling friends, and you are too kind to be reading this.

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The Comforts of Clothes

Being in this strange faraway land called Pennsylvania, I’ve found an odd amount of comfort through the things I wear.

fullsizeoutput_6f86There is a story behind almost every piece of clothing and jewelry I own. The opal earrings my mom gave me that her parents gave to her after a trip someone sent them on to New Zealand. My oversized pink sweater that belonged to, of all people, my father before me. Or another sweater of Italian wool that my grandpa used to preach in. I have a red velvet coat that I only own because my darling friends convinced me to buy it for prom on a day we all went antiquing. The 80s hammer pants my little brother and I share. The studs my older brother bought me on his trip to Idaho. There are memories of people entwined in each article of clothing that attract me to it just as much as the pattern or cut of it does.   The anecdotes in these fabrics make me closer to the people I love and miss dearly, and wearing these garments is like an embrace from those most dear.

Thusly, I’m quite thankful for the comforts of this clothing.

 

Thanks for dedicating a few moments to my ramblings 🙂Liney-ar Journey IMG_2951-0

Song Pairing: To Know You (Jesus Messiah) by Zachary Kale

Reason: It’s a really swell tune. That’s all. It doesn’t really pertain to clothes…

Another Home

Maybe you want to hear about the place that’s kept me too busy  to write?

First things first: I love my family more than ever and I’m excruciatingly thankful for telephones. Skype too, but for one-on-one conversation I think I honestly like telephone best, oddly enough. [three weeks ’til we’re hugging and crying happily at the airport!]

This is an edited version a photo I took of GCC’s Rockwell Hall of Science. Soph & I turned into a tee shirt design for out Tech for the Entrepreneur class.

It feels like home here. Not quite as in the new home, but a new home. Just like different people can be home, I think you can have multiple places that are a home too. The Christmas lights are up and there are dried wildflowers and cards from loved ones scattered about. The roommates God blessed me with are beautiful, supportive, and adjusting to the frequency with which I cry for no particular reason. God-sent is the most accurate term to describe them. Oh, how I adore them!

All us Grovers live on campus, so class doesn’t even feel like school. There’s a homey community that surrounds it all for me so it kinda feels like I’m just studying at home. I quite like it. It’s fun being surrounded by people who love learning and, most importantly, Jesus.

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Mail time is equivalent to a mini Christmas. *Cue the Michael Buble and Kelly Clarkson Christmas albums*

They tell you things are so much more strict in college, but here, although they do expect a lot, grace is extended freely. I had tech troubles and wasn’t able to print out an outline due at the beginning of class. I was panicked thinking, “college profs don’t take excuses,” and, “he’s going to think I’m lying.” Instead the professor gave me his trust and a look of understanding. He told me it was just fine to drop it off to his office later. They aren’t easy profs, but they are kind.

My entrepreneurship professors especially are extraordinarily amazing. Approachable, always willing to help, compassionate, knowledgable, experienced, and dreams come true. They come over to chat with you in student union and let you call them at ten o’clock pm to talk over an elevator pitch. It is so apparent they want us to succeed and as freshman they openly welcomed us into the fam. That’s what my major is, a little ‘ol family.

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Oh! Friends next. In additional to my delightful roomies, I’m close a group of band kids- surprise, surprise! Five of us girls met in line for food the first night of band, and the group has grown to about six girls and six guys. They’re pretty swell. We all went to Disney for band over fall break. It was grand old time!

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You know me & precipitation. We just get along so well!

I do want to be up-front and acknowledge that it isn’t all 100% a fairy land here [only like 95%]. It is hard not knowing anyone truly well. I crave a deep relationship here, but I know it’s something I can’t rush or force. I’m at God’s mercy in this, as in all things. One of my roommates mentors told her that starting college was the loneliest time in her kid’s lives, but that they grew so much closer to God in that time. There is so much wisdom in those words.  I do have someone here who knows me well, far better than I ever will know myself. I’ve found myself leaning on Him to survive. And although loneliness will never be fun, it makes me actually grateful for it. Focusin’ on the positives-  my main way to cope. I am praying that God will bring those relationships into my life, but I know they’ll be the best if on God’s timeline.

That’s it for now, but I made a blogging buddy, so I’ll be back soon! [Her name is Alyce Miller & she’s more than fabulous: see here]

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Song Pairing- actually let’s do two!

One for Sari : All I Ask of You by Josh Groban with Kelly Clarkson [YouTube]

Because Josh Groban + Phantom = YES

One for Soph  : The Girl by City and Colour [YouTube]

We listen to it on repeat, it makes us think of our moms. Slightly different, but strangely similar.

 

Finding the Cure for Indecisiveness

As I was packing to move seventeen-hundred & three miles away, my indecision was majorly stifling my productivity.

Exibit A: “Do I need six pairs of boots? No! But… maybe because these are for rain, these snow, and these every day, and I can’t very well go to the east coast without riding boots, can I? Oh, but I need a pair of short boots too and the Timberlands are waterproof and in great condition for thrift store boots but they’re kind of like the others and I don’t have room for both… ”

[Repeat for every type of clothing and possible college necessity, well maybe non-necessities- but, I do use them kinda frequently so…]

Three days later and I was still stuck on the same issue. The never-ending weighing of options and what-if scenarios have paralyzed me in place. My feet [in one of the too-many-pairs of boots] felt cemented down and I couldn’t move on with my packing over this silly, trivial, insignificant matter. But how am I supposed to move past? I can’t pick one pair over the other! That’s like picking favorites of your children!!

Except, it’s not. Not AT ALL. They’re just shoes, and shoes are great, but they do not need to consume as much time and sanity as they have. Seriously, I spent hours and multiple conversations on this “issue” before it hit that it isn’t an issue. What it is is a distraction that’s keeping me from focusing on Jesus and His people. When it comes down to it, all that matters is Jesus, following His lead, and sharing His love with His people. This conviction made me realized Timberlands or Ariats, I can mull over the option for days, or I decide either way in less than a minute & spend my days and thoughts rejoicing in the God who has blessed me with so many pairs of soles! On option sounds like a trap from the devil and the other like a wonderful way to glorify God.

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My indecisiveness fills me to the brim with fear of making the wrong decisions, doubt in my decision-making capabilities, and inner chaos from weighing out multiple sides. None of these things sound like feelings the Prince of Peace desires me to have.

Psalm 34:14 [ESV]      Turn away from evil and do good. SEEK PEACE and pursue it.

While reading the biography of my Grandfather, I came across this quote of his:

“It may not occur to most people that indecision and the complexity of life are spiritual problems at their root. I has been said that all of our problems are ultimately theological problems.”  – Paul Bubna

So the cure? Simply put, I believe it is remembering the temporariness of this life and that there is only one thing that truly matters: Jesus.

Thanks for listening to my musings!

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Song Pairing: O Come to the Altar by Elevation Worship

Warby Wonder

This is totally late, but….

Before our family trip to New Orleans, I had the beautiful realization that there was a real-life, actual, in-person Warby Parker store. I am a huge fan of Warby frames, and I love the  at home try-on element that lets my test frames out without traveling hours upon hours to a store front, but only being able to pick 5 at a time is hard. The lovely thing about Warbys are they are uber affordable and for every pair bought, they send a pair to those in need!

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My new pair: Percey in Scarlet Turquoise 

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Pair: Laurel in Tea Rose Fade [also Peacock Green are SUPER great]

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Pair: Gellhorn in Blue Heron

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Lil’ bro getting into it!

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Thanks for checking this out!

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