28 February 2016

Week 6 (x3) Equals 18 Years

Hello once again, my friends.

This week was special, because Wednesday was my 18th birthday.

thank you tom, thanks
And it was absolutely wonderful.  I had sewing and screenwriting class, in between which I read Nehemiah (one of my favorite books of the Old Testament because Nehemiah was an awesome guy) and had lunch by myself.  Then I had work until 6, and when I got home, my family threw me a mini party with just us. We had Paleo hotdogs, sweet potato chips, and roasted brussels sprouts for dinner (ah it was amazing - don't judge me please), and then my older sister Alissa, for dessert, arranged a fruit platter like Cap's shield.  It was nothing less than beautiful, and made me very happy, needless to say.

Then I got to open my presentssss (always fun hehehe), one of which was a gorgeous daffodil plant (a tradition for my birthday, because they always bloomed during it when we lived in GA).  My second older sister Crystal gave me the game "Catch Phrase" - Star Wars edition!!  So, it's all words and phrases relating to the Star Wars universe, and the game itself is shaped as the Millennium Falcon.  Yes, it was way too awesome, and I might have fangirled in a very un-adult way when I saw it... ;)  So we played that for quite a while, and it was so much fun.

Then we all settled down and watched Jurassic World, for the first time for everyone in the fam except me.  The second viewing made me realize just how much I really love that movie.  Epic dinosaurs, cool Chris Pratt, dear Blue running to save everyone, the absolute presh ending... ahh it is just such a crazy, stressful, fun experience to watch and makes me so happy.  I just love it.  I really do. #whosaysgirlscantlikeactionfilms

You know, I hate to end this post so soon, but I've got a speech outline to write that's due day after next, and I really need to get crackin'.  Hey, if you think of it, would you mind praying for me?  For that speech, but also for my health - I'm in a flare with my crohn's currently which I just can't seem to get out of, aaaand I think I'm coming down with a cold, to top it all off.  Thank you so much, I so appreciate it.  I've told you before how blessed I feel that you're in my life, right?  Well, if not, I'm saying it now.  I feel so blessed that you're in my life.

In the words of Bilbo, "Alas, [eighteen] years is far too short a time to spend among such excellent and admirable people."

 you all. 

21 February 2016

Finding the Spiritual in 5 TØP Songs

I hope you won't mind that I'm deviating from the uuz of "what happened this week" posts, and that you will enjoy this introspective post concerning twenty one pilots instead...

Last May, twenty one pilots happened (again), and, thanks to Faith, I caught on to their undefinable music and joined the clique. So, today, I'd like to share five (in honor of the fifth week of my 2nd semester of college) of my favorite twenty one pilots songs, and the underlying, spiritual nuances that make these songs mean so much to me.  I hope you're encouraged by the following words as much as I always am.
1. Addict With a Pen.

Ever since the very first time I heard it, I recognized this song had captured the essence of my soul, the very essence of my relationship with my maker. Failure, realization, recommission. Void, craving, fulfillment. Pain, balm, healing. A cycle that can only truly be completed in death, the ending to our life of struggle and the beginning of our life of peace.

I try desperately to run through the sand
As I hold the water
In the palm of my hand
Cause it's all that I have
And it's all that I need and
The waves of the water
Mean nothing to me

But I try my best
And all that I can to
Hold tightly onto
What's left in my hand
But no matter how
How tightly I will strain
The sand will slow me down
And the water will drain

I'm just being dramatic
In fact,
I'm only at it again
As an addict with a pen
Who's addicted to the wind
As it blows me back and forth
Mindless, spineless, and pretend
Of course I'll be here again
See you tomorrow
But it's the end of today
End of my ways
As a walking denial
My trial was filed as a crazy
Suicidal head case

But you specialize in dying
You hear me screaming
And I'm lying here just crying
So wash me with your water.

2. March to the Sea.

It wasn't until more recently that it spoke to me -- in the context of my morning walks to class. As I join the throngs of students, I always imagine myself as falling in line in that march to the sea. But I also remember that I am not an idle marcher. I've heard the voice inside my head, saying, "follow Me instead." I am in my place, but now I am marching for my maker.

Then out of the corner of my eye
I see a spaceship in the sky
And hear a voice inside my head:
Follow me instead

Then the wages of war will start
Inside my head with my counterpart
And the emotionless marchers will chant the phrase:
This line's the only way

And then I start down the sand
My eyes are focused on the end of land
But again the voice inside my head says,
Follow me instead

Take me up, seal the door
I don't want to march here anymore
I realize that this line is dead
So I'll follow You instead

So then You put me back in my place
So I might start another day
And once again I will be
In a march to the sea.

Bonus Meanings:

No one looks up anymore
'Cause you might get a raindrop in your eye
And Heaven forbid they see you cry
As we fall in line.

3. Semi-Automatic.

I was confused by it at first -- until I realized just how telling of me this song really is. I've been diagnosed with soul schizophrenia, 'cause I'm all twisted up inside. How often I do not do what I want to do, but what I hate. But, again, this condition is inescapable. Every human is born with soul schizophrenia, and we must simply do our best to live on, live on, live on.

I'm never what I like,
I'm double sided,
and I just can't hide,
I kind of like it
when I make you cry,
'Cause I'm twisted up,
I'm twisted up inside
I'm semi-automatic,
my prayer's schizophrenic,
But I'll live on;
I'll live on;
I'll live on.

4. Holding On to You.

Meanings, meanings, it is full of, which I didn't discover until I truly studied and pondered the lyrics of this song.  The part I always appreciated was the "bonus meanings" I added at the end of these lyrics, but really, the heart of this song is the following exposition of the struggle between flesh and soul. But further still than that, between soul and Maker...

I'm taking over my body,
Back in control,
no more shotty,
I bet a lot of me was lost,
T's uncrossed and I's undotted,
I fought it a lot
And it seems a lot
Like flesh is all I got,
Not anymore,
Flesh out the door,

I must've forgot,
you can't trust me,
I'm open a moment and close when you show it,
Before you know it,
I'm lost at sea,
And now that I write and think about it,
And the story unfolds,
You should take my life,
You should take my soul

You are surrounding
all my surroundings,
Sounding down the mountain range
of my left-side brain,
You are surrounding
all my surroundings,
Twisting the kaleidoscope
behind both of my eyes

And I'll be holding on to you.

Bonus meanings:

When we gonna stop with it,
Lyrics that mean nothing,
We were gifted with thought
Is it time to move our feet
To an introspective beat,
It ain't the speakers that bump hearts,
It's our hearts that make the beat.

5. Doubt.

It struck a chord within me the second time I listened to this song, when I caught the words, "I'm no good without You" -- because isn't that just the truth.  On and on the lyrics go, laying bare insecurity and uncertainty... but in between, the rambling is punctuated by a call for help, an S.O.S. begging for mercy, for strength, for love.  The daily cry of our hearts.

Scared of my own image,
Scared of my own immaturity,
Scared of my own ceiling,
Scared I'll die of uncertainty,
Fear might be the death of me,
Fear leads to anxiety,
Don't know what's inside of me

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

Temperature is dropping,
Temperature is dropping,
I'm not sure if I can
See this ever stopping,
Shaking hands with the
Dark parts of my thoughts, no,
You are all that I've got, no

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

Gnawing on the bishops,
Claw our way up their system,
Repeating simple phrases,
Someone holy insisted,
I want the markings
Made on my skin,
To mean something to me again,
Hope you haven't left without me
Hope you haven't left without me, please

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

What twenty one pilots song is your favorite/means the most to you??

15 February 2016

4th Week - Deep in Work and Snow

Dear friends,

This week was host to a rather large milestone in my little life: the start of my first job -- my first costuming job. And it has been incredible so far. Not only is the work fun (literally just sewing for hours!!), I get to work with some wonderful people, on super cool projects. We're currently working on the final costume alterations for the production of Brigadoon that the theater department is putting on this coming weekend, which has made for a good intro for me into their workshop -- it's not too overwhelming, so I can get a feel of the workshop without too much pressure at first.

Oh guys, it's just wonderful. I think this job is the perfect introduction for me into the workforce: a fairly simple job position, in a very safe and comfortable environment. I'm so looking forward to my future in this position and the experiences I'll have. :)

Now, I'm sure I'll be telling you plenty more about my position in my university's theater department's costume shop, but, because I'm writing this post late (and I've got no good reason -- shhh), I'm going to keep it short. However, I have some pictures I'd like to share with you of today: another beautiful snow day, enjoyed with new friends, going sledding, snowboarding, and adventuring.

Until next week, my peeps.

P.S. Photo creds of the last two pics go to Russel, who borrowed my camera for a bit. ;)

06 February 2016

A 3rd Week: In and Out of the Comfort Zone

So, to begin, some little happenings of the week within my comfort zone:

Storytelling and sewing seem to be my current lot in life, and I'm so happy for that. What can I say? It's what I love. Speaking of which, I should be working on a synopsis for screenwriting class right now (basically a 250-500 word version of the pitch I mentioned last week)... but writing this post is more fun... ;)

Now, for sewing, I've started the project I mentioned last week! I should have known better than to think that it would be put off, especially when I already have the fabric... ;D But anyway, over the week/weekend, I've begun putting together Simplicity 8014 - and it's been rather difficult, thanks to my gorgeous silky fabric. *cries*

Ahem. So, after cutting out all the pieces (which takes forever, as you know if you've sewn from a pattern before), and applying interfacing to the pieces that require it, I've only been able to get as far as completing some of the bodice (the front pockets created a bit of a roadblock). If they're not gorgeous after all the time I'm spent on them, I will be very sad.

But, all in all, this shirt dress has been an interesting piece to work on, providing me with some use for my free time (because I still haven't been able to start working my costuming job... thanks, official paperwork), as well as a bit of a sewing challenge to improve and expand my skills. Oh, and I'm super excited for the finish product, 'cause I think it'll be adorbs. ;)

Now, to finish, a little story of this week's happening outside of my comfort zone:

I got to meet the author of a wonderful book, Soul Cravings, that I read by chance only a few weeks ago: Erwin McManus. Funny thing is, I didn't know he was speaking until they introduced him. Which leads me to my little story of that experience... ;)

After McManus spoke (and what he talked about was absolutely brilliant), he was at a table set up with his newest book, The Artisan Soul, talking to students and signing books. Now, me, being the slightly shy creature I am, was nervous to go up, and so I stayed in my seat observing the interactions and working up some guts.

Because I knew if I didn't do it, I'd regret it all day.

So, after about fifteen minutes, when the line had subsided quite a bit, the holy Spirit must have given me a push because I found myself traipsing down the steps of the auditorium. Then, when it was my turn, I bought "The Artisan Soul," and then got to speak with Mr Erwin for a moment as he signed my copy. He was so nice, and was appreciative that I had read "Soul Cravings." 

I walked away clutching my new book, jubilant simply because I had "done it."

I sincerely hope I was a little bit of an encouragement to Mr McManus, because he certainly was to me. I haven't started reading "The Artisan Soul" yet because i'm currently reading seven books, but I can't wait until I can - mostly because it sounds amazing, but also because, hey, I've met the author! ;)

Now, in conclusion, friends, I have so much else I would love to share with you all if I had more time to write. So many things I've been learning, so many joyful little happenings, so many times God poured out little blessings... but alas, homework awaits and midnight approaches, so, until next week, I shall bid you all a fond farewell.

his little nose scrunch tho