Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recycling Clothes

A few weeks ago, I had a craft day. It consisted of three sewing machines, four girls, an insane amount of unwanted clothing thrown all over the place, random music, ornery scissors, and pasta salad. Needless to say, we trashed my entire dining room/computer room and had a BLAST doing it. Two things you must have if you wish to throw a "Clothing Recycle Day": plentiful amounts of energy replenishment (coffee, chocolate, FOOD) and good background music.

I was so busy slicing up t-shirts and penciling lines on fabric that I didn't pay much attention to the camera...so I've only got a few decent pictures to show you:

Maurissa, my friend on the left, made the light blue shrug from a t-shirt. She cut down the front in a straight line, folded it over and sewed a seam (so that there was a "pocket" for the string to fit into). For the string she used the bottom hem of a gray t-shirt. I'm almost positive that that's all she did to create these awesome-sauce threads:)

I'm the one on the right with the dorky owl hat. I'm in love with all the animal hats/mittens floating around right now, so I decided to make my own version. It didn't turn out exactly how I planned, but it's all good.

The owl is cute. My head...not so much.

To make the hat, I cut off the hood of one of my too-small, Aeropostale hoodies and folded the cut hood into a flat, normal hood shape. Then I sewed it off into a hat shape, created the owl's face with random pieces of fabric laying down, and machine sewed it together. (Note: the small pieces I hand-sewed together with brown embroidery floss for a decorative touch.) The "ears" were little pockets of fabric created from the hood itself; I could have cut them off and sewed them in, but I wanted ears :P

I know I didn't explain things very well but I didn't take any before/during pictures to show you. Next project, I'll be sure to document the process well so I can explain.

My next post will be on collages. See? Once I have a focus for my blog, I make plans! This is so good, for organization's sake, if nothing else.




Post Script ~ I wrote about dreadlocks awhile back...I'm still thinking about them...and I created a "baby" one as a test, hidden in the midst of my other hair. Shhh.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Focus

My blog is now going to have a real focus (in hopes of keeping me on track and attracting more followers). This new focus is "Threads": anything and everything artsy, from writing short stories, coming up with new music, or recycling things into, well, new things.

I'll be posting pics of some things I made (and also how I made them) during a Craft Day I had a few weeks ago.

Anyway, feel free to email me any craft ideas you have and I'd be willing to try them out and blog about them:) [elizabeth.marie.inked@gmail.com] Nothing too extravagant, though; I'm not made of money. I'm particularly interested in ideas for using random things like bottle caps, old cds, scrap paper, etc.

Thanks for being a part of my blog and I hope to be sharing ideas back and forth with you soon!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Connection

CONNECTION - an excerpt

Clouds veil the sky. Wind blows at the lonely cornstalks on the hilltop and rushing down through the valley, chilling the air with its frosty breath.

Winter was on its way.

Hair twisted into an intricate braid, a girl climbs the hill, her hands balled into fists. An expression of distaste coating her otherwise pretty features.

When she crested the hill, she paused and took in the view. With a twist, the world shifted and she was falling - falling through miles of empty space, the ground below her spinning uncontrollably and getting closer every second, the cliff above her falling away just as quickly. Her scream rent the air.

And then she was standing again, the wind brushing her hair off her face, the hill as sturdy and ordinary as ever.

A tear trickled down her cheek. Would it ever stop? This second life tugged at her soul, and she could not escape. Help would never come; who could she turn to? If anyone knew...she shuddered. The thought of being forever an outcast, insane and alone, hurt worse than the suicidal visions that were so clear she seemed to leave the real world entirely.

They were hard to predict, these shifts in her reality. Sometimes they came in the form of dreams, waking her from her sleep. Other times, like today, they just happened, shocking her system uncontrollably. Every time they occurred, they left a blank spot in her memory, as if she'd skipped minutes of her life in real life.

A sheet of rain, carried on the wind, rushed from the east. She didn't try to run. As it hit her, she let the tears roll faster, mixing with the cold raindrops on her skin.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Her dress caught on a patch of briars. Angrily, she tore it free. She was angry a lot lately. Perhaps it was a safe emotion - everyone left her alone then. Something brushed her hair, and she reached back to untangle it.

But her hand brushed something else.

"Oh!" she gasped and spun around.

A man stood there. His eyes were an unusual shade of gray, his dark hair tousled by the wind. He was tall and almost intimidating, but she was not afraid; his face was open but so completely focused. His hand was still frozen in the air from when he'd touched her hair. Nervously, she took a step back. Her hands clutched the basket tighter than before.

They didn't say anything for a while. It was as if they both just needed to look.

"Who are you?" she whispered.

A hint of a smile crept over his lips. "No one."

She shook her head, afraid to return the smile. "This place isn't large enough to hide nobodies. You must be a relative of someone in town."

"You've stayed hidden this long."

She shuddered, as if something had crawled into her mind and seen things she didn't want them to see. What did he mean by that? Everyone in town knew her; she wasn't hidden at all.

"I'm not hiding from anyone." She pushed her chin in the air and turned to walk home.

He matched her strides with his own. "I'm Bryan."

"Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you, too, Marie."

She stopped, trying to hide the shock. "How do you know my name?"

He didn't answer. he only kept walking, the leaves crunching beneath his leather boots. She caught up to him, breathless. "My name. How do you know my name? Have we met before?"

"No." He smiled at her, a crooked, knowing smile. "But I have seen you many times before."

Her heart pounded strangely. He was lying. He had to be. If he didn't live here, than there was no chance he could have seen her before. She'd never left this valley.

And now she was alone with this liar in the woods and darkness was approaching.

This is an extremely random story I just spouted out of nowhere. It might turn into something, but it also might not. I hope you enjoyed it:)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stop and Go

I just realized something.

I don't want to spend the rest of life sitting in a day care center, teaching children about shapes, colors, and words. I don't want to wipe runny noses, chase after little boys, catch spiders in jars because "we don't kill bugs in front of children" (um, yes, I do -_-)...Yeah, being a teacher, maybe. But sitting in a room full of kids 5 to 6 days a week, day after day...I don't know why this excited me at first :P

What I do want to do is WRITE. I want to experiment with different art mediums. I want to travel.

Teaching just doesn't fit that.

So...this quarter is half a waste of my time. I know, it's sad. But there is room for change. For new decisions. The little planner-, wait-on-God-, procrastinator-me is freaking out inside.

I'm reading a book called Just Do Something. Appropriately enough, it's a super small book. It's pointing out to me the fact that "discovering God's will" isn't a treasure hunt that I'm on. I have to step out in faith and make decisions. I have to act on what I believe. There isn't time for me to float in limbo, waiting for God. While I wait to see His plan, I have to be doing.

Um, so this is pretty much Caitlin-ramblings ;) I wouldn't post it, except that I already wrote it and I haven't posted anything in so very long.

Ta ta for now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Boys

Mmmm. It's that little voice in your head that just goes, "yummy," when you see an attractive guy...though that voice should really only be used in situations of chocolate, Starbucks mint mocha frappes, fresh-baked bread, and chicken salad sandwiches.

Lately, I haven't been able to put guys out of my head. I am literally *on the look-out post*, peeking over the edge of a book, glancing out of the corner of my eye, eavesdropping on others' conversations. It's like I think I'm a SPY or something.

I was sitting in a comfy chair, studying away on campus, when I glanced up and saw this guy. He had dark hair (hehe) and my first thought was just a casual, "Hm, nice profile." Then I kept watching him as he walked around the study area. (Very subtly, of course! :P) Then he went back outside, and as he went through, he stopped to hold the door open for a girl.

"A gentleman, too!" I thought. [You see how unfocused I am while doing homework?]

Then the girl came in and she was wearing a rather short skirt and heels, so basically a brunette chick with tan, long legs and I start to fume a little..."Of course he would hold a door open for her; what guy wouldn't?"

Then he walks off into the rain and he doesn't put his hood up or anything. Immediately, I assume that he secretly likes the rain, too, like I do.

Ahem. That's the end of my little Caitlin-with-hot-brunette fairy tale. I'm not exactly proud of the way I watch and analyze people. But it is funny thinking about it now. I'm so, so, SO glad there aren't mind readers out there!

My question is, am I the only one on the planet who does this? I mean, I'm currently heading toward guy-obsession (bad, bad Caitlin), but it's not wrong to think guys are *cough* hot....

....is it?

As a coworker of mine said: "A good piece of eye-candy is healthy every once in a while. It's the only kind of candy that's good for you!"

Heh. That makes me laugh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

sorrowful epiphany...of sorts

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think about how teeny little events can cause so much change. I forgot what I’ve learned many times before – that we’re always changing, that everything in our lives leaves its mark, slowly molding us into who we will be in our futures. Who God wants us to be.

Our perspectives, which determine the way we react to our world, are like windows. Stained glass windows. We start out clear and fresh, open-minded. Everything is new. Then things start to change. Colored pane after colored pane slides over the old ones, each pane a different color: tinted lavender, bright yellow, nostalgic gold. The old ones are still there, but the new ones change the old a little. Our understanding gets deeper the more things we learn, the more experiences we have; it changes with the friends we make, the paths we choose…and the colored glass panes we add to our

Perspective.

Like those glasses from National Treasure. With each color, something new is read on the map.


I got a deep red pane of glass added to my ever-changing window today.
So I got ready to go to school this morning, right? I made myself some hot chocolate for the trip, and hopped in my car. I was thinking about homework, music, warm hoodies, the fact that I needed to get gas…and I think there were some friendship thoughts circling around upstairs. I’d only been driving for about three minutes when, out of absolutely nowhere, there’s a white flash right where my car is going to be in the next second and I don’t have time to react.

Thump-thump.

It’s that heart-wrenching sound that makes you say, “That didn’t just happen.” It makes you hope that you ran over a piece of trash, a cardboard box, even a nail – but you didn’t. You hit something alive.
I hit a small, white, furry dog. He’s dead.
Needless to say, I freaked. First thoughts: “God, tell me there’s a reason for this.”

I was shaking a little and hyperventilating, totally unsure what to do but knowing in my subconscious that I had to get to class. So I keep driving (my eyes combing the sides of the road for any other furry pets that might be out) and as I’m driving I keep praying and almost crying and talking to my car. “Luna,” (that’s the name of my car) “how could you? I thought you loved animals!” *teeny sob* “I know, you didn’t see him either, you’re probably heartbroken, you hit him, I was only driving…”

You don’t want to hear any more. Believe me.

I kept skipping through songs on my iPod, knowing that I couldn’t listen to this crap anymore, but needing desperately the perfect song. “This Man” by Jeremy Camp came on, and I paused.

Jeremy Camp - This Man

I don’t know why, actually. I’ve been in an anti-Jeremy-Camp-and-Third-Day-and-Building429 mood for months now. But it didn’t take me long to realize what part of the reason for me hitting that poor dog was: I needed another level of glass to see through.

Suffering.

Almost immediately after hitting the dog, I could feel tears prickling my eyes. How many times have I cried over Jesus’ death on the cross for me? How many times have I been devastated by the tolls of human lives lost when I hear it on the news?

Why is it that when an innocent animal, or a sitcom love interest (*cough* ninelivesofchloeking *cough*), dies “tragically” (and it is tragic!), we get all heartbroken, but we never worry about the tragedy of human life?

God gave the command, turned His wrath on His Son, and watched as He died. I’ve heard it so many times and it doesn’t hit me. He died. In front of people. With blood trickling down his hands and feet, and out of his side.

So the blood-red perspective I have is a new pane of red glass over my eyes. To see everything in the light of Christ, and Him crucified, and the old me crucified with Him. To realize that God loves every person and creature that dies or will die.

It hurts to realize that most of the time, I just don't care.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

thinking out loud

Pretty much every time I write, I’m putting thoughts into words…thoughts that I never knew existed. I’m thinking through each concept as I type. I don’t state my opinions and leave the page open for someone to read it. I tuck the paper on my lap and hide it from view as I scribble word after word after word…

Just thinking out loud on paper.

And today, while listening to the sermon in church today, I realized that David wrote the Psalms in the same way. Ever noticed how despairing and depressed most of them are – and yet lines of hope and trust in God seem to be almost thrown in? David was thinking through things, realizing God’s point of view as he wrote.

But they weren’t just words. Not inward journaling, not kingly records, not a blog post for the world to see.

They were prayers to God.

David was crying out his pain and anger and frustrations to God in a written prayer and as he did so he began to understand the way God was looking at his problems.

Wow. That really excited me. That’s how things happen to me a lot. That’s how I begin to understand something that seemed much too complicated before. I have something in common with David! The same David who killed Goliath, who kept believing even after he was separated from his best friend, was attacked and chased by King Saul; even after he messed up big-time and murdered Uriah just to have his wife…

Obviously, it’s not the amount or the enormity of our mistakes.

We can still be close to God. We can still rest in the light of His plan for our future, no matter how hopeless it all seems.

So even if no one ever reads this blog…even if it never reaches anyone beyond my little circle of friends…I can live with that. Cause it’s God who’s listening. I’m only thinking out loud, after all.

Waiting for His words to shine through mine. Waiting for the brokenness to come, so that His life can make me whole again.

rain

Raindrops hit my umbrella. Drip, drip. They cascade around me. My feet grow cold and wet. But I love it, this feeling. Cold. Tears. Hopelessness. Why is it that the dark, the gray, the silent, the melancholy beauty – why is it that all of this makes me feel the most happy? The most…free?

The sound of rain is the most beautiful, heartbroken sound in the world.

The sky is crying.

I wish it would cry more often. Maybe then I’d feel okay to join in. A few tears seem to relieve the pressure, the fear, the exhaustion of going on and on without rest. [This isn’t masochistic at all, I promise…]


Rain

Rain
You are beautiful to me
Sunshine
You will never be able to see
The depths of despair

Raindrops
Hitting me cold and true
What happiness have I ever felt
Without first feeling you?

Rain
Don’t go away
Sunshine
You’ve ruined my day
But I love you both

Entwined together, this I see
A braided rope of harmony
Rain and sunlight always know
That together they make a rainbow
We only have to take the time
To live through the painful rhyme
And come out on the other side
Enjoying the quiet joy that hides
In rain.

~ Caitlin


My Sneaking Tears

How heavy fell the rain that day
From burdened clouds of mournful grey.
The torrent forced them stay their height -
Composure swayed by onerous might.

My skin wrung wet with icy chill
As mud embraced that sodden hill.
But mind of mine had elsewhere gone -
'Twas clouds abandoned I was on.

The driving drops advanced their gears
To camouflage my sneaking tears -
Whence now did swell such floods of pain
To see me melt into this rain…

On equal bearing now were we:
This rain; myself, in harmony.

~ Mark R. Slaughter (found on poemhunter.com)

Monday, August 8, 2011

dreads

for some reason, I am veeeeeery fascinated by the idea of having dreadlocks. this is NOT due to me crushing on anyone who has dreadlocks! i just....really want to do something different with my hair.

that would be different.



i know i sound like i'm going over the deep end here, having a break-down, going crazy, getting all rebellious on you...i swear to you, i am not. i'm just wanting to try new things. and seriously, doesn't that look pretty awesome right there??



i have no idea what my parents would say to such an idea. or if my new job would appreciate the hair addition. buuut, what's life without a little craziness? i mean if i legitly want to do this (and i do), then why shouldn't i? i'm not getting a piercing or a tattoo; this can be undone. (eventually...).

i won't know until i try, right?

do you have anything to say for or against?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

how far we've come

The phrase keeps hitting me. It's from this song:



It's like a clock ticking the minutes. An alarm jolting you from peaceful slumber. The big hand tilts forward and you realize that Change is coming again - whether you like it or not.

I really don't prefer change. I like staying in my own little climate-controlled bubble and moving around in a normal routine. God, on the other hand, likes to pop my bubble and toss my routine to the winds. I end up on a roller coaster.

Yesterday I went to Cedar Point with a huge group of my friends and it was {AWESOME} There were lots of not-so-nice parts...Long lines, sweating to death because Ohio decided to be hot and muggy, feeling incomplete, water being too often out of reach, walking in wet clothes, aching feet...you get the idea. But over all, it was really great.

We did the same thing last year.

This year was quite different.

But me, being me, kept flash-backing to last year. It wasn't that I wanted to go back. I was just...very unsatisfied. (It's not a word but I like it.) I always want things to be different than they are. I'm never quite happy to be standing in my own shoes -- or at least not today. I keep forgetting that today is all I have.

Let's see how far we've come.

It's been one intensely crazy ride. I have changed and grown so much! (I feel like that most of the time. Sometimes I wonder if I'm going rather backwards, though ;p)

I don't know where I'm going with this. I think...I think I'm trying to say that change is incredibly good even if it hurts. ESPECIALLY if it hurts. As long as you choose to ride through it to the end. No bailing at the last second. No chickening out while you wait in line. Just jump in the roller coaster, strap on your seat belt, and throw both hands in the hand. And scream.

It's scary. Heck, it's TERRIFYING. So why is it that when it's over we're usually grinning from ear to ear shouting, "Let's do that again!"?

Granted, there are those rides that make us sick to our stomachs, scare us to death, scar us beyond reckoning...That's where God comes in. That's where healing and faith have to do their work. We still can't jump out before we've started. Life won't let us. God won't let us. And today, I'm glad that this is true.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Little Things

Sometimes I live from moment to moment. It's like I can't survive without those little things that make me happy. Because, honestly, there aren't that many HUGE moments. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

The little things drive away the tears and make me smile unconsciously. Before I know it, I'm happy...and I know it's God sending blessings my way.

~ Standing in the pouring rain, basking in the light of a monolithic and victorious bonfire, and watching little orange sparks float in the sky like stars...while my friends laugh and talk around me.

~ Wearing 3D glasses for the first time and feeling adorkable.

~ Texting underneath my pink umbrella while raindrops cascade at my feet.

~ Watching Sense and Sensibility with an enthralled expression as I realized just how amazing Colonel Brandon is.


~ Washing my car at home in the sunshine with an old-fashioned bucket of soapy water and the garden hose.

~ Spraying the hose for a few extra minutes just so I can see the miniature rainbow I've created.

~ Feeling goofily happy about my cork necklace.

I haven't been taking pictures lately, or I'd add some to this post. I...dislike my camera. A lot. But I love photography. What am I going to do about that?

There is one thing, though, that can't quite fit on the little things list for this past week, and that is this: God loves me. He's molding me into just the ceramic mug I'm supposed to be. And if it hurts a bit in the process...

If I feel like I'm a zombie going nowhere...

If I dig deeper into the world of fantasy because I can't stand watching my life play out before me...

Then I'll take that in return for His love. I'll just keep walking. Keep trusting that He has a plan. I give up -- He doesn't. I get lost -- He knows I've never wandered beyond reach.

And He sends me little things that He knows will make me smile :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Day :D

Yesterday was just one of those days. It didn't go as I planned (ha! does it ever?). But so many random little things happened -- it felt like a perfect day :)

I got a cell phone.

Woot!! :D

Touch screen + keyboard + NO data plan = the perfect first phone. And it has a purple case. Need I say more?

I also got a job.
Not just any job either. A job at Panera.

HAHA! WHOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!! *leaps for joy* Best. Day. EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR!


Now, why do I say all this? To boast about Caitlin's grand ol' life? Nope. I'm saying this because I want to remind you (and myself) that these wonderful things are gifts from God.

I need to be thankful.

[I also feel like shouting my happiness to the world, and this is as far as I'm getting :p]

"God, thank you for all that you have given me. I pray that I use it all for Your glory...And that no matter what, You are my most prized possession."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{Braveheart}

I watched Braveheart for the first time last night. I'd seen bits and pieces of it before, but never the whole thing. Never before heard the words that William Wallace spoke resounding in my head. Never before felt the emotions playing across his face...and Murron's...and Isabelle's...and Robert the Bruce's...



This is one of the opening scenes...as far as I'm concerned, it's one of the most powerful. Something about the way neither William or Murron speak. It's just a connection between two children <3

Braveheart is a tale of {LOVE}


















A tale of {WAR}


























But mostly...Braveheart is about {FREEDOM} You see it in Mel Gibson's face, that desire for freedom reflected in his eyes (he plays William Wallace, in case you didn't know).



"They may take our lives - but they will never take our FREEDOM!"

William says many things that cut to the heart.

"Every man dies. Not every man really lives."

"I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men... and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?"

Scottish soldier: Fight? Against that? No! We will run. And we will live.

"Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take...OUR FREEDOM!"

Robert the Bruce: Lands, titles, men, power, nothing.
Robert's Father: Nothing?
Robert the Bruce: I have nothing. Men fight for me because if they do not, I throw them off my land and I starve their wives and their children. Those men who bled the ground red at Falkirk, they fought for William Wallace, and he fights for something that I never had. And I took it from him, when I betrayed him. I saw it in his face on the battlefield and it's tearing me apart.
Robert's Father: All men betray. All lose heart.
Robert the Bruce: I don't want to lose heart!! I want to believe as he does.

A note on Princess Isabelle. I really liked her. She fought for freedom in her own way. And this line was delivered with womanly strength: "The king will be dead in a month and his son is a weakling. Who do you think will rule this kingdom?"

For those of you who have not seen Braveheart, I won't spoil the ending or storyline. I'm a girl and I'm not into gory/bloody battles, but this one was decent; the tale was beautiful and heartrending, uplifting...yada yada yada...But really though, I did love it:) And I would encourage you to watch it.

Oh, wait...there are some cuss words (gahhh). And a few extremely inappropriate scenes (two to be precise). They are easily skipped/fast-forwarded though.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Impossible

Being a follower of Jesus, I've often tried to convince myself that the word "impossible" doesn't exist. [It does, of course, but the boundaries that rule this world don't rule God.] Because of this verse: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13) I "have God" and so I can use His power to do anything, nothing will stop me.

Yes...and no.


I think we've got this a little twisted. Flip the verse around and reapply the meaning, and you come up with something like Matthew 19:26: "But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"

It's not us using God. It always starts with God. Nothing is impossible for God. He shows us this by getting us through things, giving us things...and using us to do impossible things. We don't do them - God does.

Are you feeling any awe here? I am. Standing before God...I can't even imagine it. And sometimes I forget that. I forget who God really is. Just how big and holy he is. Nothing I've ever wanted or dreamed of can compare with Him.

"If you have been in the presence of the Almighty God, everything that once controlled you suddenly has less power." This quote is from a book I'm reading, When People are BIG and God is Small. It's about overcoming "fear of man" - aka insecurity, self-consciousness, peer pressure...etc. The solution? Focusing on who God is instead of on who you are.

It's an interesting concept.

Right now, I'm just enjoying searching the Word to discover God. I want to be in awe of Him and to delight in just being His daughter...His servant...



A light for Him in this world, burning with passion.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Filling the Bucket

A bucket list is a...list...(:P) full of hopes and dreams -- things that you want to fulfil before you proverbially "kick the bucket." Mine is fairly random.

I like to put lots of big things on my list; the small things just stay tucked away in my heart. I'm seriously considering pulling all of them out and stacking them on paper, one by one. We shall see. It's called filling the bucket, doncha know?

I have everything from:

Acquiring a pair of red shoes

to

Going skydiving

to

Starting a whipped cream fight

to

Riding in a hot air balloon


Anyway, my bucket list is here.

Find your own bucket and start filling it. I hope you take some things out now and again and label them as memories. A bucket list is only great fun if you take care to cross things off of it:)

[This post is being entered in a "Bucket List" contest by a fellow blogger.]

Thursday, July 7, 2011

{i wish i could fly}

I've had a lot of thoughts swirling through my head these past few days, and not very much time to write them down. Beautiful words that will never hit the page. So I like to pretend I'm setting them free just by thinking them, tossing them to the corners of the earth, and they fly away on the wings of the wind...



Sometimes, I really wish I could fly.

I have a bit of a confession to make. I've sort of fallen in love with the Harry Potter series.



A couple of friends of mine are excited about the conclusion of the series (Deathly Hallows, Part 2), which is coming out next Friday night, and I'd like to go watch it with them. It's prompted me to catch up. I've read the first four books, then watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire through to Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

One of my favorite characters from the movies is Luna Lovegood. I never met her in the pages of the book, but I love her anyway. She's just so...eccentric:)









I'm planning on dressing up as her. Should be interesting. Her radish earrings and cork necklace are just the type of thing that is so unique I love to copy it...which probably ruins the unique-ness a bit. Oh, well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dynamic Short People

The title was designed to get your attention (yeah, I'm guilty of the salesmanship plot...) and it might be a bit off-track, but this does have to do with small people -- who are either small in stature or small inside.

If you're like me at all (not very probable), you want to understand small people. Those people who seem too small to have made it into the spotlight, too unimportant to have influenced history. When I read a book, sometimes I find myself wondering about those in-between characters. What would happen if I took time to devote an entire novel to a lesser character...say the White Witch's dwarf-servant, or Pippin in Lord of the Rings, or Tinkerbell in Peter Pan?

There's always a deeper level to delve into.

I went to see The Return of the King in theaters last night. I know, it came out years ago, but they were having a special showing of the extended edition for just one night, one time...It was amazing:) LOTR has always held a special place in my heart. And the last one is just so beautiful and sad (*tears up just thinking about it*). I didn't actually cry, though, because SOMEONE kept laughing (*cough* Ruthie *cough* Alex), and consequently I laughed.

J.R.R. Tolkien's story seems to have so many, hm, similarities to our world. It reveals so many lessons and heartfelt truths (C.S. Lewis is also very good at that). But there is one lesson in particular that keeps coming to me over and over and over again.

[Here's where we get to the "short people" ;)]

The small, imperfect, weak, and simple-minded people can sometimes make the greatest changes in the world.

Obviously, I'm referring to the hobbits. Merry, Pippin, Sam, and, last but not even close to least, Frodo. Four hobbits who are half the size of everybody else and yet they choose to keep taking small steps forward and fight for their world - not in pursuit of glory and fame, but just because they believe it's right. The other, "wiser" characters are not dumped in the mud by any means; they still play their large and awesome parts. But it's just the fact that the little people can and do make a difference.

It's the best story in the world.

Probably because I feel like one of the lesser characters in my own story ;)

Which brings me to the connection with our world. I Corinthians 26-29:

"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence."

There you have it. God wants to take our measly little selves and turn us into amazing people for Him! Not that we should stop trying to be better...but that we are content with who God made us. Whether you be Elf, Dwarf, Man, Woman, Hobbit, Orc (preferably not..), or Smeagol.

Never you forget that Smeagol had a part to play in the end! And only once he was cast into the molten lava of Mount Doom (spectacular name, btw) did he finally lose his chance for redemption...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Upside Down

Life has a way of turning things upside down...and making you wonder how you ever managed to live right side up:)

That's my thought tonight. It's like all those stars I was talking about yesterday (see older post) just lit up my sky and I could finally catch a little glimpse of God's plan. Well, not His plan (I never seem to see that part rawr), but just what He's doing with my life right now.

The future remains a mystery.

So I was thinking - last night when I couldn't get to sleep, and today, when I was trying not to think :P - about my life and who I picture myself as. I've always kind of been a Tigger person. Personality-wise, and admiring-wise. But I was wondering...

What if all along I thought I was Tigger, but I've really been Eeyore the whole time?

It was quite an epiphany.

I'm reading the Inkheart trilogy (again) right now, and it's making me think about everything in story terms. Fiction. Books. Making my story. And wondering which character I am in the Story of Life. And it's making me sooo glad to realize that, unlike most fictional stories, I can change roles. I can go from being the bad guy (er, girl) to being on the side of the heroes. I can switch from the shy, low self esteem girl to being bold and courageous.

I can change.

It's making me really happy. It's also making me ask myself a few hard questions: what is it I really want? And if I really want something, what will I do to get it? God should be my greatest treasure. If I want Him above all else, I need to go and get Him.

Anyway, He's turned my life upside down and I'm slightly ruffled and freaked out but isn't that the best part of the roller coaster anyway? Looking back and saying, "Wow, I just about peed my pants...But gee, let's do it again! I know exactly where I'm going now." :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hyper Stars

Heyyyy:) I'm here again! Ta da!!

I AM HYPER!!! :D :D :D

...Why, you may ask? Because I'm about to dive into a bowl of peanut butter cup ice cream AND it's after eight-thirty (nighttime, you know) AND I feel like I'm going to lose it. Thus, hyperness.

Great, huh?

I also have one very good reason to NOT be hyper/happy -- which I am very avidly ignoring. I don't want to be depressed and confused anymore. (Well, the confused part I won't be getting away from anytime soon.) I'm ready to look through the darkness and gaze at the stars.

Enjoy those little moments that sparkle like stars in my night sky. Some of them like shooting stars that I try to hold but they fade anyway...And others that glitter on, tucked away in my mind forever, where I can flip through them and just remember <3

But the best ones are the ones I'm living now. The ones where I'm riding the roller coaster and screaming as I shoot around faster than any shooting star. The ones that make me giggle because everything is funny. When all I can taste is something delicious on my tongue. All I can feel is the peaceful, cool grass on my toes...or the well-worn pages of my favorite book...or the bliss at being me, right where I am, in this world.

Maybe these moments are occurring less and less. But isn't it my fault if the little things are meaning less, and I'm focusing instead on heading for the big ones - the big ones that never come?? Yup. MY fault.

So, here's to enjoying the stars...even when clouds fill my sky with shadows <3

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Defines Me?

What if our lives weren't lived, silently, loudly, apart from the world and yet constantly in it...what if our lives were, instead, written??

What if the things that we say and do were recorded in a book? What if your story was actually a story - would you be the villain, the bully, the controller making things happen? Would you be the one lost in speculation and thought, filling pages with your questions and answers? What character would you be?

Okay, what if your life wasn't a book? Not a story, not really anything...but a life. Yet your life had a room dedicated to you. Just one room. Every person's room was different - some small, others huge, some without any windows. And across the walls, scrawled in different colors of ink and paint, were words. Words that you wrote. Words that just screamed you. Words that you thought in your head.

Words that you thought, but never said.

What if someone could peek into the room, after you were gone, and see you in full force, like a movie character on a screen? It was something to return to, over and over again, and just look and admire and learn...

My reason for creating this idea of a room that equals a person is to try and discover something (haha! my D word!). That something is this: What makes you you? What makes me me?

If you took away all the defining physical characteristics (blond hair, gray-green eyes, skinny arms, fair skin), what would I leave behind that would be me? Is it the way I think? Well, if that's it, then I'm rather put-out; you see, there are some people who think like me. Alright, not exactly like me (ha, I'm sure no one is quite that psychotic), but if you took each of my different trains of thought separately, I'm sure there would be another person to make each one up to.

Okay. Let's hypothetically say that it isn't just our thoughts that make us us. What's left over? Our personalities. A personality is "the visible aspect of one's character as it impresses others."

Wait. Our personalities are defined by how people see us? For some reason that is very disturbing. So then, according to worldly opinions on the matter, WHO WE ARE IS DEFINED BY THE WORLD.

Sometimes, by what we do. Mostly by what we wear, where we work, and who we know. It's all subjective to others ever-shifting opinions. Where do our own opinions come in? In defining others.

What a crazy, silly circle.

Cut out personality and thoughts. And physical features. What's left is fashion, hobbies/talents/skills, paper certificates that are supposed to mean something ("you have graduated from such and such a high school"), your friends, and how much money you have.

Is that really what describes me? Am I Caitlin because I write words all over the place and I am relatively poor? I can't decide what style I like best, so I dress both punk and vintage. Does THAT make me Caitlin?

I've always wanted to be me...plus something else (see the I AM NUMBER FOUR blog entry). But the thing is, I can only ever be me, even if I try to be something else, even if I try to change.

I'm still Caitlin. Still here.

The real answer to all these questions is sitting right in front of my face. I've been staring at it - and not wanting to see it. Because it's too simple. And...I've been seeing things through the world's eyes lately (a very bad habit, I know). I keep reaching for these insignificant things that everyone else is going for and I think I need them.

I don't.

Because I have God.

He defines me. He defines all of us. HE MADE US.

It's annoying, that it's so easy, so dependent upon only Him...and yet it's also a relief. So calming, so perfect, so right. And I guess I needed to hear that. Needed to think through all of this and realize that ME is whoever He wants me to be.

I am His.

That's who Caitlin is.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

D - the letter of the day

I was thinking the other day (rare, I know) about how many “D” words I like. It seems like a great thing to bring up in my blog – vocabulary and all that jazz. Anyway, here are my favorites:

1. Duck = not the animal. I’m quite averse to quacking. I mean the verb, “duck,” as in trying to escape from bullets ;)
2. Dredged = oh, the image of something being dragged or pulled up from somewhere way down, through darkness and deep water…till finally, it’s dredged up to the surface.
3. Dude = okay, I’ll admit it: I love saying dude.
4. Disco = it’s just fun to say! Blaring music, flashing lights, people full of energy…
5. Delve = this is what you do when you’re going deep down to dredge something up :P
6. Dampen = don’t drench (although that is another great word), don’t moisten – just dampen the rag. Like dew drops.
7. Dew. Bahaha ^
8. Dismal/Dreary = makes me think of days of rain without ceasing, or castle dungeons, or going hours without seeing people.
9. Droll = I should really have put this one at the top. It’s the best “D” word ever! Listen to the definition (oh-hoh, it’s soooo awesome): “amusing in an odd way; whimsically humorous; waggish.” Go and look up the “waggish” – I assure you that you will be amused. And I have just decided that I am a wag.
10. Delete = don’t you just love that little button on the keyboard that says DELETE? I wish there was one of those for my brain. And my life. Oh, I don’t want to remember that – delete. I’d like get rid of that annoying person – delete.
11. Departure = something I’d rather participate in than merely “leaving.” If you know what I mean.
12. Disinclined = quite self-explanatory in its awesomeness.
13. Dastardly = meaning cowardly, sneaking…Dastardly deeds are always done in medieval novels. Quite.
14. Dysfunctional = oh, how this word applies to me…At the moment, my computer is making me dysfunctional in anything but cyberspace ;p
15. Discover = my major life pursuit. My life-motto. All of my dreams in a nutshell. My…ooookay, I’m being prolixly again.
16. Discard = throwing away things has its benefits. Especially those books I buy from library booksales that are labeled DISCARD in a most appealing way. Although, I don’t use this word very much because I’m an, ah, packrat *cough*.

Do you have a favorite "D" word?? I'm always willing to expand my vocabulary!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I changed my blog. Again.

Change is so...so...agh. It's late. I just posted something long and thoughtful, so please scroll down and take a look at my inky scrawls:) There are ink blots and wrinkles and spelling mistakes all over the place. (I know you're being nice and pretending not to see them, but they are there, hiding underneath the cyberspace screen. A journal is meant to be full of mistakes anyway. And this one certainly is.)

Bon appetit! That can apply to reading, too, right?
_Caitlin_

I AM NUMBER FOUR

I just got back from watching I AM NUMBER FOUR at the theater. It wasn’t quite what I expected (at first, the whole alien thing upset me – I’m not a big fan of alien-related stories *groans*). But I like surprises. And the characters in this movie were very…eh, enviable to me.

Yeah. Not going to go into that right now.

But one thing that really came across in that movie is the whole feeling of other-worldliness. It’s a prevalent theme in media today. Supernatural, paranormal, inhuman, mythical, alien – all words that describe this feeling inside that we need something outside of our “normal, ordinary lives.”

We all want to be something…more…than what we are. It’s a part of who we are. To remedy this desire, we search for the things in nature that seem to be beyond us – or at least beyond our words – things that are outside of our control. Inversely, we sometimes go the opposite direction and do everything humanly possible to be in control: we up our speed, strength, talents, intelligence, and reflexes till we seem invincible.

But we’re not.

So for those of us who are lazy and don’t know how to achieve this supernatural-ness, we watch great movies and read awesome books that allow us, for a few hours, to become supernatural. We can fly, we can understand our friends completely, we can rise above all obstacles, we can shoot rays of light from our fingers or pull fantastical stunts or see the future or become fireproof. It’s quite the experience.

For me, there’s a slightly deeper desire…beyond the yearning for impossible beauty or strength or intuition…it’s a desire to be my own person. Those characters are so well-crafted that you don’t just see their faces and their clothes; you see their persona. They have a little life that’s completely unique to themselves. And I’ve never really had that.

I’m more of a mixture of things. I don’t stick with the same thing for very long – I like to bounce around and dabble in – well – everything. (cough.) My most defining characteristic is that I laugh easily and loudly. Seriously.

So the girl in I AM NUMBER FOUR was so spectacular to me. She was ordinary (in a way) but she had this image. Her image was a photographer.

Her room was plastered with photos, her decorations were photographs, cameras, and film. She carried a camera everywhere, snapping photos every ten seconds or so. She had a blog/website full of interesting pictures. That camera was what she put her life into.

She did other things besides take pictures, she still paid attention to how she dressed, and she had a family life. But that camera was so her. I loved that.


Anyway, I’m not trying to knock myself, cause I hate it when people do that. (Okay, maybe I was a little, but it’s okay to feel slightly insignificant when you find someone that you think is a role model, okay? :P) I just really want the spectacular right now. I want to be…known for who I am. Sometimes I feel as if I’m not really, entirely, truly myself.

And that sounds completely ridiculous. Sigh.

But that yearning we all have is because of the void of God. He’s the supernatural we all need and want! He’s the defining force that gives us our identity. Fame, money, pleasure, material possessions, fashion, college degree – none of that really defines us. I mean, who are we, but God’s creation? What do we have that He hasn’t given to us?

So right now I’m longing to “create” myself anew and become what I think is a cool person (huh, sounds fun, doesn’t it?). Yet I think to what the Bible says…what we are through Jesus’ death on the cross…we are all new creations. Born again. Washed clean. Ready to start over.

This life that I want so much to create…He’s trying to create it for me. But I keep getting in the way. Buying a camera isn’t going to set the stage for an amazing life. But following Him is.

_Caitlin_

Monday, May 16, 2011

Corn

Let's meditate on corn for a moment, shall we? Corn is a wonderful, tasty thing. It grows from the ground and we pick it and we eat it and we save it and it is YELLOW like sunshine!!

A couple things I'd like to note about corn though.

1. It starts out as a little seed. There could be thousands of them sitting in a bucket, and they'd all look virtually the same. So small...and yet so ready to burst into life.

2. Those little seeds get a whole lot bigger. Knee high by the Fourth of July and all that. Predictable, maybe, but nonetheless wonderful to see corn grow.

3. There's a certain type of corn that is perfect for making popcorn. [And I loooove popcorn! <3] The seeds all start out the same - looking the same, reacting the same - but with the right amount of heat, they start to burst open and reveal their fluffy little insides.

Now, we all known what a kernel of popcorn looks like. It's not that hard to distinguish. But have you ever really looked at those kernels? Each one is different!!!

I don't know, I was eating day-old popcorn today, and I sort of had a "corn-epiphany." {Don't go knocking epiphanies :P} I just thought, hey, we're all like those corn kernels. We're all the same, really - human bodies, faces, arms, legs, the general amount of body parts - but when the heat is applied, when the pressure is on, we just sort of pop...and you see who we really are.

This is not a fool-proof theory or anything. I'm no psychologist. Which reminds me: I was reading about psychology today. Oops. Guess that's where this came from. Isn't that sad? I didn't just randomly decide to start thinking deeply...lol.

And that is the end of my corn meditation. Hope you enjoyed the little journey:) And remember: you can be a big, puffy kernel of popcorn, one that just had to burst open...or you could be one of those kernels that barely opened at all...and those kind don't taster very nice.

Heh heh =]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

{Reality}

I'm not in the mood for much of anything, at the moment. I'm in the mood to watch a movie -- which translates into a non-mood. Because when I'm in a movie-watching mood, it means that I basically don't want to think about things that cause me pain, I don't want to try to solve my problems, I don't want to deal with imperfect things/people, and I would rather be dead then be me. Cuz watching a movie is about as active as being dead. Yet I'm in that mood so often! Kind of disturbing, isn't it? I'm more of a zombie than I thought.

Movies, books, and the internet are my three methods of dipping into an alternate reality. It's like stepping over some invisible line and escaping the red cross hairs trained on my pinhead. Once I've let my mind enter either of these three fairy tales, I cease being myself. I'm just an objective opinion on the fringes of a great story. I'm just following someone else around as they live their life.

Because I don't want to live mine.

This post started out as a sort of journal entry. Whenever I let my mind wander, it seems to come to its own difficult conclusions and hit me smack dab in the place where it hurts the most. But it's a good feeling -- a feeling of realization, truth, reality -- realizing that all these things I've been struggling with (or rather, trying to avoid) are not as complicated as I thought they were.

They're just a result of me being lazy and avoided anything that event remotely involves waking up.

I love sleep. Sleeping physically, and sleeping spiritually. I know who God is (or I pretend to), I know the "deeper meaning" of life, and I'm okay with not doing anything about...about...well, about the state of things in this world. The state of my heart (you poor broken, confused thing) and the state of my mind (let's not go there) and the state of everyone around me.

So many of us know God and yet haven't really experienced Him. And so many others out there DON'T know God. At all.

This whole thing is to basically say that I keep messing up over and over again. I make the exact same mistakes all the time.

I HATE IT.

But what do I do about it?

Nothing.

If you're looking for a happy ending, you're not going to get one. Not yet, at least. If there is one coming for me, it's going to take a very long time. When He takes me home.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Simpatico with Life

I just have to post this wonderfully fun word to say that I got in my inbox today (that...totally rhymes)! You've probably heard the word, but I've never actually known what it means, so it feels new to me :p

simpatico: congenial or like-minded

I was going to endeavor to use it in a sentence, but I rather like leaving it untouched and unmangled by my stilted words. Forgive me. Nothing's coming out poetically today.

The rain usually has me in this wonderful poetic mood, but it's like it hasn't reached me today. I'm just stuck in my own little online world. I think I've been staring at screens too much today. The TV screen (educational videos if you MUST know) and the laptop screen...hours of wasted time...

Not wasted, exactly, just seemingly unprofitable ;)

I'm simultaneously writing this while chatting with a friend, and it has come to me that I still do not have a main focus for this blog. Is that a good thing? I'm not entirely sure. Hm. I just feel bad about the subject being...me.

So allow me to point my little (very little) light back to where it belongs: God. Because after that sad post from Saturday night, this is how He's brought back the dawn.

"She said, 'It's gonna be alright,'
Cause God made a way through the pain
And He opened her eyes..."

No matter what happens or what has happened, He's still there, loving me. And that's all that matters. ["Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up again."]

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hearts

I'm in complete turmoil at the moment. Isn't it odd to have peace and happiness as the same time that your heart is bleeding and hurting? I think so. Apparently, my heart doesn't, though.

I feel the utter need to talk to someone about it all and in the absence of a friend, I'm turning to you, my dear bloggers. My family is around me but having five brothers kind of shuts down any talk about the emotional/heart crap. (Er, I don't mean crap. It's serious business, serious enough to hurt, but I still hate myself for the roller coaster I'm always on.)

God is waiting for me to come and talk with Him, I think. Rrrgh. But I don't want to! Another emotion going on here, I suppose. It's not about what I want. At least, it shouldn't be.

Can you tell I'm tired? Yeah, just a bit.

<3 Au Revoir <3

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Simple

Life isn't simple.

But it's not complicated either.

Life isn't all good -- there's always going to be hard things, bad things that happen, things that we wish we could forget happened.

But we know that "all things work together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28).

I complicate things in my mind, though. I feel surrounded by doubt - because I'm surrounded by the world. I don't dig deeper into God; I dig deeper into the world. But I want to know who He is. I want to love Him with my whole heart!!

What is it that Paul says? He does the things he does not want to do, and the things he doesn't want to do, he does. Every day is a battle against our flesh. Against what we were born into (sin).

Anyway, this is the struggle I have been dealing with. On one side is God (so simple a thought, just that word: God). On the other...is everything else that I want in this world. Dreams, friends, food, money, everything perishable and yet not inherently evil. It's like a clamorous room filled to the brim.

And across the hallway I see an open door. I don't know what lies behind it, really, because I haven't taken the time to look. There's just a wall of white, like fog. Only the fog doesn't seem to be trying to conceal. It wants to reveal God to me. He wants to reveal Himself to me! But I turn and walk away nearly every time.

So I leave you with this one simple verse: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
[Matthew 22:36-40]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Search Me

Psalm 139:23-24 ~
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

This is my prayer today. He knows my heart, my every thought, all of the moments I've slipped in the darkness...and every tear I've cried in secret. I'm quite a secretive person, and while there are times I wish I opened up more to my friends and family, my enigmaticness has made my relationship with God that much more important and profound.

Ah, profound. We all want to be that person who spouts profound sayings just at the right moment. A few stare open-mouthed at you, awed by your obvious wisdom, but most of the others immediately begin contemplating and discussing what you've just said.

Nah. I'll leave that to God. Honestly, the only profound things I've ever said have been words that are His. Sometimes they are direct quotes from the Bible. But other times, they are words that I know He spoke through me...because I couldn't have said it any other way. It's a beautiful thing, His words. So powerful.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before (many, many times), I love to write. Words are constantly filling my head, ready to stream out onto paper. I've filled many journals and notebooks with my thoughts, prayers, and silly fictional fabrications. I think I've lost quite a few scraps of paper to the unknown, as well :P I believe that these words are my talent. The gift God chose to endow me with. I wish I knew how to use them better for His glory.

We all have a talent/gift/skill given to us by God. Sometimes it's not as evident at first, and we have to take time to discover it. Other times we know immediately because it's what we love to do.

What is yours?

How do you plan on using it for a purpose?

Are you excited to see the plan God has in store for your life, and the adventure He wants to take you on with the talents He's given you?

:)
[because smileys can say so much and yet say nothing at all]

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where Priority Lies

Well, God's been speaking to me a lot lately (I call them "revelations" :)). That's a good thing. What's not a good thing is the reason He's been speaking to me. Obviously, I don't know the mind of God and there's no way I can really know what He's thinking. But I can make an educated guess. Based on my horrible little brain.

I've been up and down -- more downs than ups, but that's okay -- and I keep coming back to God after every down. Problem? He has to yank the rug out from under me just to get my attention. It's not that dramatic every time, to be sure, yet I can see a very sad little pattern here. A pattern of me being rebellious and selfish and lethargic and *winces* lukewarm. Then I pause for a moment to reflect and realize how wrong I am, how awesome He is, how much more I have to live for...

And then a few days later, I'm stuck in the gutter again, growling at anyone who dares to lift a finger to try and help me :P

If I'm frustrated with myself, I can only imagine what a thorn I must be to God sometimes. And to everyone else, for that matter. Depressing, yes. Enlightening? Yes, that too. Because I see that I'm wrong. I just don't know how to stop this sickening cycle!

I'm going back to His Word, though, knowing that if I seek, I will find, and if I ask, I will receive. Guess what he showed me today? Luke 10:41-42. Even though it's a rather obvious concept, it takes a nudge from the Holy Spirit for me to actually perceive the meaning in the words. He's done a lot of nudging lately.

Luke 10:41-42 ~
"And Jesus answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.' "

Ah, the two sisters, Mary and Martha. Differing ideas and personalities, different perspectives on life...and what's important. Unfortunately, I have the same tendencies as Martha: worrying about unimportant, material things when right in front of me is the Creator! He's called me, and here I sit, dithering away my time pining after things I do not have. Longing to be different than who I am. But I have God. Do you know how many people there are on earth who don't know Jesus Christ as their Savior?

I don't. I should. But it's like I can't see anything beyond my own little window. There is so much out there, a ripe harvest of souls, and there are not nearly enough people who dare to be God's "hands and feet" and do the work that He's called us to do.

I probably sound preachy. The world tells us that we have to be careful not to tread on others' toes. To be kind, and tolerant, and avoid sounding "too preachy." Did Jesus ever say that? Did He ever warn His disciples to "break the news gently"? No. He said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

Heh. Preaching. I'm horrible at it, in that I really don't have anything to say -- they're God's words and not mine! I'm great at it, in that I do it far too often, probably, and I know I really should take care of the twelve-ton boulder blocking my vision first [that's a twist on the whole "log in your own eye" analogy thing lol].

I just want to encourage you to be in the Word. Even if it feels like you're just reading it to read it...because you know you're supposed to...it can still work. This is God's word we're talking about here! Take some time to dig in and hear what He wants to say to you. Maybe pray before you open up the Bible. Pray that you will be open-minded, pray that He will make you the new creation that He promises <3

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Is Me

This is me writing a blog post when I really don't have anything to say.

This is me getting incredibly excited about something that has a very high potential of making me feel worse in the long run.

This is me having an awesome and otherwise hectic and unexpected day.

Besides the fact that my productivity was interrupted by a throbbing headache in the middle of the day (which has since receded), and then by Facebook, I've gotten quite a few things decided and accomplished. Even so, I've got more to do, so I'm going to throw a few random things out there and make it a short post:)

First of all, lately I've been really going my own way. I do whatever I feel like, I harbor anger, regret, bitterness, and my own form of depression deep inside me, and I try to make everyone see just how "important" I am. It's actually been very annoying -- not fun at all. I realize that I need to give all of these things up to God and stop living like an idiot.

Maybe then I'll stop running just to catch myself. Maybe then I'll find the joy in every moment of just being alive in God's presence (or as close to Him as we can be here on earth). Maybe then I'll quit spazzing out over the way my life is going - I really can't change that anyway.

In fact, these aren't maybes at all. These are truths. I know that when I "let go and let God" I'm going to find a freedom I can't get anywhere else. I've tasted it before, but only in small doses, and I think it's time I return to that.

I started that with a "first of all"...I don't have a second point. Just that I'm really all over the place (happy, not happy; busy, not busy; etc.) and I can't wait for God to use me for His kingdom <3

P.S. regarding my very first statement (the one about not having anything to say)...I guess God gave me something to say. Cuz that was totally not the plan. Don't you love it when He switches things around on you? =)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Springboard of Thought

There is something so very intoxicating about fresh spring air. I know it's only the middle of February, but I swear spring was giving us an early glimpse of herself today. When spring comes I am quite torn inside. One part of me feels that winter was too short (this year I didn't even build a snowman!) and that I'm going to be depressed when Snow Trails closes (I'm going to miss snowboarding so much). The other part of me can't wait to wear flip-flops and t-shirts and have a mud fight with someone.

Today I was reminded of how much I adore springtime. One whiff of that air that smells fresh as rain and cool as mountain snow and I am filled with an excitement that just bubbles up inside me. I suddenly feel as if anything is possible. I feel hope.

Tonight I've kind of lost that dream. It's slipping away like fog through my fingers; I'm unable to grasp it or make it stay, but at the same time it's clouding my vision. Thoughts, emotions, everything is treacherous. Why can't I just live life without over-thinking everything?

I actually have a bunch of "deep" problematic things that I need to think through right now, but I keep putting them off. Instead I obsess over things that don't really matter :P Time is an illusion. What time is there but now?

P.S. I've been neglectful. Sorry. But blogging isn't in my top ten right now...make that top twenty...ugh. To do lists keep getting longer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SHOES

Short Post ;)

Apparently, shoes with any heel are not made with comfortability in mind. Or if they are, they look like something your grandma would wear, and not something that should complete the look of your fancy dress. After a good two hours (I'm guessing here), I finally found some decent shoes! Meaning this: they have less heel than I originally wanted, are less crazy than I was previously leaning towards, are quite plain and *almost* sensible, and a very, very good deal.

But they're for my brother's wedding, and I can't risk spraining my ankle in some ridiculous heels when I'm probably going to be helping out with anything and everything all night ;) Shelling out the cash for them isn't in my budget currently anyway.

Does anybody else have trouble with shoe shopping? Beyond the whole style issue, there's the sizing thing...Yeah. Shoes need to just conform to my feet. And all others, beware -_-

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spills and Dreams

So the other day, I *happened* to be walking in front of my mirror while holding a water bottle (yes, I tend to be attracted to mirrors xD soo vain of me). I thought I saw something on my back so I angled myself so I could see my backside in the mirror, simultaneously lifting the water bottle up so I could take a drink. I somehow missed my mouth - and my face - and managed to dump water all over my the left side of my sweatshirt.

I don't know how these things happen to me. Really, I don't.

I've decided to tell you my dream from last night because it's hilarious. And also because...I can actually remember quite a few details from this particular escapade in dreamland:)

I was in a house (a ranch-style house, in case you were wondering) in Alaska. I don't know how I knew I was in Alaska, because there really weren't any windows and I never went outside; it's so great having all this knowledge in dreams! Anyway, we were having a garage sale...INDOORS. Obviously, since in Alaska there's always snow, right? :P

I went in one of the back rooms to get something, or check something, and came back out (without any...pants...on...ah! no one noticed though, luckily *whew* lol). There were these two Japanese girls there and they wanted to know if we had any winter hats. Apparently, they hadn't brought any winter gear with them to Alaska. Also, just as a side note, we were having a garage sale - not starting a business. If we didn't have any hats out there for sale, then go somewhere else! But whatever.

I say, "Sure," and go into another back room and pull out a box that has my hats in it (I love my hats, by the way) and another, larger box that has all of Lydy's hats and gloves and stuff in it (the Lydy family goes to our church and I'm good friends with them). As I open it up, Joel Lydy (who is younger than me) comes up and is like, "You can't take that one, because it's so-and-so's..." and so we go through all of them and make sure to leave all of the hats that belong to someone in the box. I thank him, profusely, and give him a high-five because it would have been a disaster to sell all of their hats AND their cousins (their cousins live in TN, so I'm not sure why they left their hats with us...in Alaska...hm).

I take out the chosen hats and let the Japanese girls sort through them and pick the ones they want. Then I go off and start helping with other areas of the garage sale. My mom, who is taking care of the money, etc., starts bagging up the Japanese girls' stuff, and I'm suddenly filled with the most urgent fear that she is going to give my hats away FOR FREE instead of making them pay for them! So this whole spiel of how I'm only going to charge them fifty cents or a dollar each for the hats gets thrown down the drain and I'm pretty upset.


I don't know if she ever charged them for the hats or not. That's kind of when my dream morphed into a new one, one I can't really remember...

I'm still sick and suddenly very excited about reading Les Mis (which I have not read yet) because a certain friend of mine keeps talking about it on her blog. I'm also getting more and more enthusiastic about photography, playing piano (so I can have something beautiful to play on the amazing grand piano at a certain ball I'm going to in March...), writing, and snowboarding (which I miss dearly since it's been a week from last time I went, and also because I fear the season is ending soon).

Au revoir!
[reminds herself to go, NOW, and practice her French ;)]

Thursday, February 3, 2011

If Only There Was a Word that Summed Up This Post...

Since other people can get away with writing a blog post about virtually nothing, but at the same time about everything, and still come out with something entertaining, I'm going to attempt to sprawl my random thoughts across the "page" without corralling them into sense:)

[And now I feel like Paul, who has those long-winded sentences that never seem to end. It makes reading aloud very...breathtaking :P]

I actually ENJOYED drinking tea today!! I rarely drink tea and when I do, more often than not it's iced instead of hot. But I'm a bit sick-ish today (meaning I don't have the flu...yet), so I made some tea that's especially for sick-ish people. I really enjoyed sipping away at my mug of hot tea. I felt as if I were being healthy, for once, versus when I drink coffee and think of how many spoonfuls of sugar I dumped into it ;) But this tea-revelation could have been ignited by the fact that I was reading J.R.R. Tolkien, and you have to be drinking tea to appreciate good literature. I am now convinced. haha.

The snow and ice were gorgeously inviting today. Not to mention the sunshine lighting up a pretty blue sky! But I'm currently frustrated with my camera, so it stayed stuffed up in my room, being punished. I felt like I was the one being punished, though. Stupid half-cold forced me to come inside before I was ready.

Now that we're past these trivial trivialities, can I just say that tonight I'm going to WRITE? Well, technically, I'm going to edit, which is an entirely different thing, but there will be some writing involved, trust me. I haven't made any serious progress with any of my novels lately. Poor, neglected adventures!

Tonight it's all about my nano creation, though. Hence the editing. Even though I only wrote it a few months ago, it seems like forever since the idea hit me! The characters also seem very childish (although the plot is not). But I want to like my characters *sniff*.

Yet my author aspirations are lying dormant while I write a blog post. It seemed important. now I've watched the clouds scudding across the sky outside my window, I've watched the sky grow dark as the sun sets, and I realize that time is moving on. It's passing me by. Since time is one thing that can never quite be caught, I'd best hit "publish" and leave it at that. And go write. Right now. Write right now. Hee hee.

Au revoir!
[Which reminds me that I haven't worked on my French much lately. Oops.]

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ice

Isn't it interesting how something can be so harmful and troublesome and yet...so beautiful? When the sun hits the ice just right, you can almost see a rainbow shimmering inside the frozen H2O.

But I hate it because it stops me from going places. It annoys me because then I have to scrape it off of the car and I have to add more layers to my winter attire.

Another side to ice is that it provides another medium for experimentation. I love how, almost immediately, guys start sliding on the ice, trying out tricks and spins (more often than not while driving! lol). They see the adventure in it.

Three different views on ice. Three opinions. And the only difference between them is perspective. Where is your "starting point"? When people look at the world, they see everything with their own eyes. I know that sounds very obvious (like, duh, Caitlin), but it's not. Because if we try to see things from someone else's point of view, we find that our world looks completely different.

Kutless has a great song about this, called "Perspectives." They point out that our problems, our issues with life, could be changed by just a mere switch of perspective. For example, when we get stuck in rush hour traffic on the way to some important event, we get upset. Maybe even irate. But think about people in third-world countries; they'd be happy by just getting a good meal, let alone a car or expensive clothes.

For us Christians, we are called to look at the world through God's eyes. To live our lives doing everything that we do for His glory. This also translates into being people who love others enough to try to see the world through their eyes.

Yesterday I was pretty depressed. I was upset, confused, and frustrated by one thing (I won't go into detail right now) that has been troubling me for some time, and yesterday it just really got to me. I immediately pushed everyone away, even God, and just focused on being, well, depressed. I tried to hide it at the same time in which I was indulging it.

Today I've been able to break free from that and praise God for having life. And it's funny because today, I realize that that "thorn in the flesh" isn't as bad as I think it is. Sure, it hurts, but pain is only momentary and it produces hope and perseverance (Romans 5:3-4). I still have life to live. And I don't want to regret wasting one single moment.

Perspective: a way of regarding situations; the proper/accurate point of view or the ability to see it.

Have you ever had a day like that where things are suddenly turned around because of a change in perspective?

[and, this post really is not about ice, I guess :P]

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Seeking

I just picked up my Bible and read Proverbs 18 (that's where my bookmark was; I'm in the process of reading through the Bible from cover to cover). The first verse really struck home for me, and I had to pause for a second to think on it. When I continued, the second verse hit me hard as well. I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me throughout the chapter.

I encourage you to read this chapter of the Bible and just think about it. Read through Proverbs 18 slowly and reflectively, and pray as you do so that God will open it up to you. The Scriptures are alive with God.

After you've done that, then you can scroll down and see what it is that hit me so hard :)


[ahem. did you read the chapter on your own yet? lol}



[i caught you skipping ahead! oh, you're not? well, then, by all means...]



Verse One: this is me. I seek to isolate myself from others from a fear of being known and judged. I love being around people and getting to know them better but I am always shrinking from putting myself on the line and opening up. Constantly, I blame this on my personality, but that is so very wrong of me. Personality is like an opinion: it is biased, it can be changed, and it is strong-willed. Neither are impossible to overcome.

"It doesn't matter what you've heard/impossible is not a word/it's just a reason/for someone not to try..." (What Faith Can Do by Kutless)

Verse Two: I am someone who wants to be heard. For some odd reason, there's this drive within me to be unique and different and lovable and amazing, someone everyone loves and enjoys being around because I'm just that cool. The problem is, I'm not that cool. I'm a horribly vain and and selfish person. I have flaws and dirty little secrets. My desire should be to hear and understand other people - instead of seeking my own glory.

Verses Ten and Eleven: Which of the two towers described do I run to, God or money? Or perhaps I run to a different type of tower altogether: forgetfulness, music, friendships, fun...'Tis food for thought.

There were other verses that spoke to me, and the whole chapter is full of wisdom, but this is just an example. God is there; never forget that.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." ~ Matthew 7:7-8

Don't stop seeking. Don't stop asking. Don't stop knocking on the door. He is there, waiting for you to come to Him. Sometimes I forget that if we seek we shall find. And what greater joy can be sought after than God's free and irrepressible joy?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Everything!

If some people are inept [and that's not an insulting title - it's NOT], then are others merely "ept" at everything?

I've felt overwhelmed before and I know it's not something singular to me; but what about those times when I'm not? Am I simply "whelmed"? Don't you have to be "whelmed" before you can be overwhelmed?

Ah, I knew I'd get you to see things my way. The English language is flawed. That's all there is to it.

Since my own words seem to be FAILING me, I think I'll just offer up one of the most amazing songs ever by Lifehouse:

Everything

Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light
That's leading me
To the place where I find peace again.

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my purpose...you're everything.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall.
You steal my heart, and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in? Take me deeper now?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Cause you're all I want, You're all I need
You're everything, everything (x3)


And How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?


~ Because we all know in our hearts that God can satisfy all our desires...we just want to do it our way. I'm guilty as charged. I wish I could truly surrender all of me to all of who He is. ~