Archive | moving forward

Most Recent Project Part One: The Attic

We recently made a huge transformation to one little area in our home.
Our attic, which is accessed only via my own bedroom, was remodeled into a bedroom for Birdie.
It. Is. Awesome. And. Beautiful.


Here is the man who made it all possible!


Here it is part way through. That’s not cotton candy you see on the walls.
It is something much less pleasant…and itchy.

Here is Birdie…so excited!

More photos soon!

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“To Love and Lose” Part One: Scars


Recently, I’ve been really enjoying reading the articles on Young Ladies Christian Fellowship, two of which provoked this post.
Read “Giving Your Heart Away” here and an interview with Natalie Nyquist here.
It made me think: as young, Christian ladies, we’ve developed a bit of an awry idea of “the right way” to go about dating/courting (whatever you wish to call it) relationships. I am included in this!
In our attempts to avoid any flippancy or silliness, in our attempts to deter any impurities, in our attempts to be virtuous maidens, we have created the perfect guilt trip in our futures that we are bound to take!
Like any sensible person, we want to avoid “scars” from our relationship. Who would want to enter into a relationship knowing that it will end in a broken heart? No one. But the way I see it, there are two different kinds of scars.
There is the kind of scar that is right to avoid. The kind of scar that is a bad memory of a relationship in which you were faulty, which ended on a bad note or should have never began at all. The kind of scar that comes when you’ve given someone your heart too soon and it’s been damaged because of your recklessness. This isn’t good and it is possible to avoid.
But in our attempts to avoid this, we often expect ourselves to be capable of avoiding the other kind of “scar.” The kind that comes from a relationship ending or never beginning or when our hearts are broken and it isn’t our fault. We try a relationship and we feel that it should end. And though we weren’t wrong in trying and we weren’t wrong in deciding against continuing, we leave the scene with remnants of the past. Whether we want to call them “scars” or just “lesson learned” or “memories,” whatever is left on your heart, it is there. But now should you be guilt-stricken because something didn’t work out? Not necessarily, ladies!
On Natalie’s interview, she quoted this excerpt from C. S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves.”:

“Even if it were granted that insurances against heartbreak were our highest wisdom, does God Himself offer them? Apparently not. We draw nearer to God, then, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him. To love at all is to be vulnerable. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it”

And Natalie really put my thoughts to words here:
“Continue to love and be vulnerable in loving, safe relationships:
Probably the greatest challenge for me—one which only seems encouraged by our Christian sub-culture—is to avoid shutting myself off from love to avoid further injury. Sometimes courtship is lauded as an alternative to dating because it protects the participants from heartbreak or “giving away their heart.” My generation of ladies who pioneered the new courtship method will testify that neither courtship nor dating guarantees pain-free relationships, marriage, or your own personal happily-ever-after. Relationships, no matter the term used or safeguards implemented, will bring some pain and risk. Nevertheless, love fully. And when (not if) hurt occurs, love again. Allow the pain to stretch out deeper places in your heart for love to grow and flourish. You do not love and risk solely for the other person in the relationship. Ultimately your love is an offering to God. This is why every sacrifice made on behalf of godly, selfless love is not wasted. Biblical love is never a mistake; God will use it.

So ladies, be careful and cautious (and this is coming from someone inexperienced in every way) but don’t kill yourself when you (quite literally) get an idea and realize that it won’t work.
This is okay and normal, not always a sin. So give yourself a break and think: Was it better that you got out of that relationship even though you’ve had to pitch somethings into your past, or to just stay in that relationship so that you can feel safe in your “pure heart” without any scars? Well you know why you don’t have “scars” if you stay in a relationship which you don’t feel you should be in? Because you’ll just have wounds that won’t heal. When something doesn’t work, it can’t last whether you are the one to end it or not, but that doesn’t put anyone at fault.
To me, there are two different kinds of scars and beating yourself up over them will only make more!

Look forward to:
“To Love and Lose” Part Two: Kindred Spirits

Everly Pleasant

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The Unfaithful

John 8
3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11″No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

We read this passage and are happy that we are not sinful like this woman or caught in the act of some crime. We are glad that Jesus did not welcome the idea of stoning her. But aren’t we all unfaithful? Haven’t we all something that we forsake our first love for? If ever our hearts stray from God we are committing adultery and death is just wat we deserve, but God’s law is the same as it was when he walked on earth and just the same, he catches us in every sinful act and forgives us….never condemning us.

That is something to be grateful for!
Everly
(photo found online)
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Welcome Autumn

Dearest Reader,
I think that I may actually have some inspiration for this entry but I have not yet patched it together so, if you find it choppy and awkward, I beg your pardon.
As we transition into autumn for the two thousand and seventh time, I get this feeling and identify it as negative. I get this feeling every time the seasons change, Winter to Spring, Spring to Summer, Summer to Autumn or Autumn to Winter, yet I still feel like I’ve been pricked every time this feeling occurs. It’s mostly sadness at first that Summer is over and the Summer of 2007 will never come again no matter how long I wait. That it’s not going to be summer anymore, but it’s going to be autumn and then autumn will be over and it will never come again and then winter will arrive and then leave and it’s a natural endless cycle that I can’t and shouldn’t do anything about so why should I even care?
Well, I do care every time! I am hyper-sensitive to change which is something I try to ignore, but it also does have some sane, practical, realistic sadness to it…doesn’t it? I guess when you’re a writer nothing is just practical or realistic and you get funky emotions toward everything because nothing is just a change. You see everything as a book. You think about how big the baby was when the season began. Has she grown?
You think about your friendships changing. For better or for worse?
And you analyze yourself, your age, your own changes. And really, this is pointless. It’s like trying to describe your own eyes when you can’t see them. I’ve found you can’t describe those you know best because you know every side of them, even the side that is rarely ever seen. And who do you know better than yourself? Therefore, you can never really see yourself for who you are. Are you how you should be at this age? What is a fifteen year-old supposed to do? When exactly was it that you gave up barbies? Why? It was always fun. Was it wrong to give it up? Did you do it out of peer pressure?
Then, in thinking these thoughts your tempted to change the cycle and go backwards.
And then you regret growing up. But it wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t any body’s fault. It wasn’t a fault at all. It was normal. It was natural. It was necessary. Anyone and everyone changes. It’s okay. Did I just say that? ;)
But, to be totally honest, I understand. I see the positive things about aging and maturing and I look forward to the changes of my future, but then again, I will miss my young childhood on occasion. That too is natural I suppose. It’s like that song If I could by Jack Johnson. I man dies and a baby is born. Do you cry or celebrate? I little of both. With new things, old things disappear. The keyword of this entry being “natural.”
I made the mistake of watching Peter Pan the night before my thirteenth birthday. Let’s just say that many tears were shed. I am one of those people who panic at change in age as well as everything else and I waited patiently for Peter to arrive and sweep me away to Neverland, when really, I would’ve proffered “Not-yet-land.”
Though I may be the last person on earth to figure this out, good things come with time even if other good things…leave. What pains me is to think of those children who waste their childhoods trying to grow up to soon or who never form a healthy imagination. For me, I feel like shouting at all the windows in every elementary school saying: “Savor it! It’s all wonderful! It’ll end before you know it!” But I know that you can never really appreciate anything until it’s swept out from under your feet like a rug and carried off to the attic. And I guess that I would be the same as those children, wasting their childhood staring at their future, if I were to waste these years of my life staring back.
When the bible said that we shouldn’t waste, I don’t think it was referring only to food and water. I think it was also talking about time and sunshine and beautiful days and company and ages and opportunities. But, you are older than you were when you began reading this article and you will be older when you go to bed and older still when you wake up, and even if you’re 110 years old, that’s okay, and seeing as that may be the last time you wake up, don’t spend it worrying about if that’s true.
Signing out at the last 5:47 of 9/15/2007 ever,
Everly Pleasant
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