I have a million favorites. Most of you caught onto to this quickly. Everything is my favorite and just about anything gets me excited about life. This makes me easy to buy for but hard to keep up with, just ask my poor hubby. There is a book I love that has changed the lives of many including mine. The title is Vessels and Flowers and the book helps you figure out your personality type and how you function. According to this book I am a basket and what this book says about me is true through and through. Along with many other things it points out that I am a promoter and also that I tend to have more ideas than I have money. It states that a basket could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. This has been proven true in my life a hundred thousand times over. The fact that I'm actually promoting the book right now is a testament to this. Today I wanted to share how it was proved true this particular Spring break. I'm not a student so technically I guess I don’t get a spring break, which is why it’s funny I still mark time the way college students do. But I suppose when I hang out with mostly college students why I wouldn’t? I digress. My dear friend Alyssa did not get to leave Denton for SB and so I made it my duty, as I always do, to take her on a few impromptu adventures. See because I am the great promoter, selling refrigerators to Eskimos, I do this thing with people. I didn't realize I did it until last year in Portland; my travel buddy pointed it out. She stated that every time she hung out with me she left feeling like she had homework. At first I panicked what?!! Does that even mean, because homework for me will always have a negative connotation. But then she quickly explained that I'm always promoting something, whether it be a food or restaurant that you have to try before you die, a mascara or lip gloss that you just can’t live without, a book that will change your life, or a movie that is in my top 5 favorites, or perhaps a place that is just so magical that u must visit. After I realized what she meant and we'd had a good laugh at this revelation, we got paper and wrote out her homework and we have been joking about it ever since. Of course, now I can’t hang out with someone and be unaware of this weird quirk of mine but even when putting my best efforts forth I just can’t quit promoting things I love. Alyssa is very aware that I do this; in fact we have had a "homework list” that has been accumulating for about two years. Spring Break really proved to be the best time to check some things off her list. It all began with an impromptu visit to Hobby Lobby on Wednesday. I had seen a project online (while blog stalking) that I wanted to try (more ideas than I have money). So I enlisted Alyssa's help. We bought lanterns and covered them in silk flowers, which actually turned out to be really cool. But we under estimated the amount of flowers needed the first time around so it was our second hobby lobby run that lead us to the shady carnival in the mall parking lot. Of course if you've been following my blog you already know how I feel about these. Alyssa had somehow never ever been to a parking lot carnival, which I was not ok with. We kicked it off with the swing ride, which we took note was propped up on stacks of firewood, very safe. After gliding through the air over the top of traffic on Loop 288 we headed over to the haunted house. One thing about me I hate scary, but it was a kids carnival right? I usually make it a point to ask if there are people inside wearing masks because nothing creeps me out more. But I decided because it wasn’t a walk through haunted house it was ride through, surely it would be made up of silly cardboard ghosts. Well I was wrong. After riding the entire way through the ride with my eyes closed, slumped so far down in the seat I might as well have been on the floor, while screaming to Alyssa "put your arms around me", the ride ended with a creepy guy in a mask with scary teeth and gloves with long fingernails following us out the door. Now that we were 8 tickets down and out of breathe from screaming at the scary children's ride we decided to try our luck on a spinney ride. It was the kind that goes up and down and around and the centripetal force smashes your bodies together and keeps you from moving your head. I love these because your only response can be tear streaming laughter while you experience paralysis. Next up, The Kamikaze and yes we saved one of the best for last. This ride has always been one of my personal favorites. If you make it to a carnival that has an upside down ride you know you're at a good one. Once in my childhood my hair got tangled in one of the cages of this ride it took nearly 10 minutes to get me off the ride safely. We loved it and by this point it was dusk so we used our last 4 tickets to hit up the ferris wheel and enjoy what was left of the setting sun. Riding the rides was a success and we had checked the carnival off her list. Next up caramel apple, too my amazement she had never tried this either. We drove home to finish our lantern projects eating our caramel apples happy as clams. Next on the list, movies. I own a whole lot of movies she's never seen. So after finishing our project and our apples we sit down to cry over Broke Down Palace, one of my favorite movies from college. After confessing that we probably couldn't do what Claire Danes did for her friend for each other, we checked the movie off the list and planned to hang out Friday to continue annihilating her homework. We had caught wind that two of our heroes were coming to South Lake for a book signing on Friday, Francine Rivers and Beth Moore. Of course we decided we were going. Previously I had gotten Alyssa hooked on my favorite author Francine Rivers, her book Redeeming Love practically changed both our lives. And Beth Moore well I'll probably still be promoting her in heaven. So we headed to the shops at South Lake, where Alyssa had never been (check) and stood in line to meet the ladies. It was awesome to say the least. Beth was incredible and in fact I'm pretty sure she's a basket also (refer to Vessels and Flowers), which means she's a promoter too. She confirmed what we always thought true, that she would in fact move onto what we call our street in heaven as long as thats where the coffee is located. She promoted her book, along with the shops at South Lake, oh and my hair. She took a picture of my hair to show her daughter because she liked the highlights. After this I was beaming and Alyssa and I had both checked meeting these women for the first time off our lists. Like I stated earlier my excitement for life and capacity for favorites can sometimes become a problem. Shopping can get the best of me (more ideas than I have money). I just get so dang excited and everything stirs my affections. So in my manic state after meeting Beth, who after all did recommend we go shopping, and Francine, it was probably not a great idea to head to my favorite store, Anthropologie. But I did and I came home with most fabulous purchases. It got a little crazy but I promised authenticity and honesty in my blog so pictures of the madness are shown above. I told Tristan that the tea cups I bought will forever remind me of the day I met Beth. After our fabulous shopping trip we ended up at home checking one last thing off Alyssa's list. She has never had an herb garden. So because I love gardening and herbs we bought kits, planted seeds and checked it off the list as well. All in all, I think she'd agree Spring Break was an impromptu success. We checked six items off her homework list, I purchased two books, four teacups, a pot holder, two drawer pulls, 4 florescent orange bottles of nail polish for $.99 a piece (one bottle for a friend), a poppy plant and pot, and an herb kit, we laughed so hard we cried, we made two lanterns and some incredible memories and we met two of our heroes. If you were looking for a moral at the end of this long post you may have just found you were sorely disappointed or that you just wasted an incredible amount of time reading. But hopefully you were just looking for a good story. I promised my blog would be a glimpse into my life. I have found my life, as a follower of Jesus, to be a careful balancing act on a tight rope. By tight rope I am not referring to rules or regulations or any other common misconceptions that following Christ is anything less than total freedom, but to a tension between the great joy and the great sorrow that living here in this world but knowing its not my home often brings. All to say I often transition from flooding tears to hysterical laughter in a matter of moments. I hope todays story made you laugh. And I certainly hope you didn't judge me on my amount of purchases.
If you asked me what a perfect day in my life would look like, it would ALWAYS include an outdoor music festival or a carnival, preferably the one in some desolate parking lot with the shadiest rides possible. The kind of rides that have been folded up and driven across country so many times that the rides are actually being held together by safety pins. It's only a legit carnival if you get dizzy from the smell of Lysol on the seats rather than the ride itself. My motto for quite sometime has been "If I'm going down today then let be on carnival ride." If you know me well, then you know I'm completely obsessed with parties of any kind. In fact, some people probably would say I'm a little bit irresponsible when it comes to parties. If I'm in charge of throwing the party its go big or go home. Sometimes its too big. sometimes I go a little too far. Anyway this is why music festivals and carnivals rock my world. They are after all just giant parties. There are a million things about these giant parties that inspire me. You can call me a hippie but at a concert the mentality is always "whats yours is mine." Blankets and picnics are shared. My friends become your friends. My favorite songs becomes our favorite songs. Laughter, joy, and even dancing are shared and lets be honest even some not so beneficial things are shared in some peoples circles. This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a ton of great concerts. We started Thursday night and continued through late Saturday night. Over the weekend I made a dozen new friends and sang and danced to my hearts content. The highlight of the entire weekend definitely occurred on Saturday. The Flaming Lips were putting on a free show here in Denton and there was a great turn out. We arrived when the gates opened and spread our blanket along side the masses. It was only a matter of hours and our blanket was deemed useless because of how large our group had gotten. Each friend brought a friend or two and we had quite a crew. As the show began I stood shoulder to shoulder with dear friends and new friends. I looked across the crowd and I saw thousands of people with thousands of differences but millions of similarities all singing in unison, I got "chill bumps", I often do in this type of setting. As the confetti sprayed across the crowd, balloons bounced, and music reverberated in my chest, the Lord whispered to my heart " child, if you think this is a party just wait til your homecoming." This is not the first time I've had this vision but perhaps the only time I've felt I might have captured a glimpse of it with my camera. My small, earthly mind will not ever be able to fathom what a great display the creator of the universe will come up with for our homecoming. The picture I've posted is the best example my naive eyes have yet seen, but I can bet on The Lord with assurance He will throw the greatest party the universe has ever fathomed. He brought to my mind in that moment Saturday night the story of the prodigal son. My favorite part is in Luke 15:20-24, it reads " but while he was still along way off, his Father saw him and had compassion for him; he ran to his son threw his arms around him and kissed him." And then it says, in so many words, he decided to throw a bad ass party to celebrate! Some of you may be offended by my words of choice here but if you are you may know nothing of biblical parties, they were way cooler than what we throw here. I mean they shut it down, literally like whole towns for months. This story is what I love about the gospel. It doesn't matter where you have been or what you have done. It doesn't matter if you've squandered your inheritance and are covered in fifth. Be assured my friends when you head home he will see you coming and he WILL have a party waiting. If I could post a song that could accompany these thoughts it would be "Welcome Home" by Radical face. My favorite verse says:
peel the scars from off my back
I don't need them anymore
you can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars
I've come home
These beautiful words paint the picture of sanctification for me. This life process of trials and tests, hurts and pains will all be worth it one day my friends. We will peel the scars from off our backs, after all Jesus was the first to peel the scars off his back after rising from the dead. He went home to prepare a party for us and it will be like none the world has ever seen :) We will meet him soon. Until then I will attend as many music festivals and carnivals as possible to stir my affections for my creator and to give me just enough of a glimpse of heaven to spur me on to finish the race.
hello again blog world. I have returned. After secretly blog-stalking for a little over a year now, I find myself so inspired by those sharing their journeys. I have found that there is every kind of blog, there are artists selling creations, new mothers telling stories about their children, fellow ragamuffins struggling well through addictions and diseases, and friends swapping recipes. I've heard some say, and I might have even agreed at one time, that blogging could be deemed unnecessary or a waste of precious time. One could even say that it can become an unhealthy addiction or a means of unhealthy escape for those who have trouble communicating how they feel to another human being, especially face to face. I agree that the technological advances of today have definitely caused a deficit of verbal and face to face communication. I do want to be careful that texting, chatting, face booking, and blogging don't ever take the place of intentional conversations, whether its a great cup of coffee with a friend, a fabulous dinner with my family, or a hard phone conversation with someone in need. I'm no expert on the subject, in fact I'm no real expert on any subject, but I would say from my limited experience while keeping these warnings in mind, that the blog world can also be an incredible avenue for stirring ones affections for Christ. I have found that blogging tends to invoke a vulnerability from people that may not otherwise be present. I have come to appreciate this vulnerability in others especially in my fellow believers. I love reading about their joys and sorrows, heartaches and fears. I love being reminded that I am not the only woman who tends to think she's crazy. I am not the only person who struggles and has very debilitating fears, that sometimes hinder forward movement. I am not the only person with such great sorrows on certain days that I can't find words to express. I am not the only ragamuffin. The Lord has been pushing this idea on me for way longer than I have been blog stalking. He has shown me repeatedly I am not the only basket case through beautiful friends and brave acquaintances, through His perfect word and through the overwhelming grace He has extended to me when I have made monumental mistakes. And now He has shown me once again in the writings of my fellow blogging believers. I am so overwhelmingly grateful for what Christ has done in my life and I am so grateful for what he is doing in the lives of other. So here it is my second attempt at blogging, my attempt to join you in sharing that overwhelming gratitude but also in sharing my thoughts on days I may not feel so thankful. Jesus has called me to a crazy adventurous life and I'm about to share it on the web. See you in cyberspace.
I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I am the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out. I am the sorely burdened still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to another. I am the wobbly weak-kneed who doesn't have it all together. I am an inconsistent, unsteady disciples. I am poor, weak, sinful and I have hereditary faults and limited talents. I am an earthen vessel with feet of clay. I am bent and bruised. I am a scalawag. I am a ragamuffin. But I am God's.