speaking.

i have a hard time discovering voice here.

basically because i don't have one standard voice. and that's just how it is, friends.

stupidly insightful with sporadically sprinkled pictures of adorbs baby-folk.

that's just going to be the way it is.


sunday sonetto vol. iii


Racking brains and
Misplaced thoughts.
Empty space,
Wishes and have-nots.

Miles apart
From what it seems-
Distance me
From all my dreams.

sunday sonetto vol. ii

There are places in my heart;
unsearchable, hidden, and few.
Things always kept apart
from what I've shared with you.

Places of fear, filled with unrest,
realities of imperfection.
Times when I didn't pass the test-
All needing my protection.

Evidence of flaws,
frightened to reveal.
Because it might would cause
a loss of my appeal.

If I share this lifetime of weakness -
Would it add to my uniqueness?

fine art fair


my friend emily and i went to the first ever Houston Fine Art Fair this past weekend. 
but on our way there, we saw that discovery green (H-towns own version of Central Park, take that NYC) was hosting a flea market, (!!) so we explored. 






as we were leaving the market we spotted the What's Up Cupcake-mobile. 
(which we couldn't resist)

emily is confused because it began raining. rain is confusing to Texans right now.

we found some protection from the rain, to eat our cupcakery.
 and to take pictures.

and then we made it to the fair.
where photography was limited, but i broke some rules to snap a few shots.
(so sue me)
particularly of the piece made solely out of dollar bills, and georgey w. in his swim trunks. 


em & i were both very inspired by the wall of keyboard scraps.


the fair was spectacular.
over 100 + booths from all over the world packed into the convention center
and completely set up like a museum.

 like my swag bag? 
make art happen. 
inspirational. 
really.

sunday sonetto vol. i

This doorstep seems my biggest fear,
knowing soon you won't be near.
Gentle smiles, pacing stand
and that goodbye that lingers grand.

With sifting feet and cautious tone
and the inevitable made known
'Goodnight, farewell, see you soon'?
Something's here, something's abloom.

It's not your truck or house or land
but simply the hope of holding your hand
that urges, sparks, ignites my soul-
and makes you my sincerest goal.

lifesavers

do you have one of those?

a friend, i mean. you know, that helps save you?

i am lucky enough to have a sweet selection of those jokers. i guess God knew i was going to be a handful (and i mean, a totally legit handful people), and provided a small abudance of them.

[and i feel a lot like this.
 i get it Abram, i totally get it]
as the days pass- i wonder what i have to look forward to with the continuing rise of that pesky sun.

because you know, life just seems daunting at times.

and i feel like i'm constantly fighting the same battles, over and over (and over).  

and that these battles define who i am as a person.

and i start to feel a little bit sorry for myself.
which makes me start to get a little bits depressed.
which makes me want to punch myself in the face.
which makes me feel a little bit sorry for myself.
repeat.
repeat.
repeat.


this is when i approch those life-savers. who give me a firm slap on the back (and sometimes face. not cool.) and it becomes obvious that God is spoon feeding them the exact words that i need to hear (and maybe sometimes He's the one that controls that slapping hand, because seriously--  I sure wouldn't blame Him)

and then His plan continues to be gloriously revealed for the 23,423,342,352,352,350 millionth time.

and I can rest in the truths that my friends helped to reveal

(and they probably begin to plot how to get rid of me)

because we all know- there will be a 23,423,342,352,352,351 millionth time.

and i will be even more thankful for them.

celebrations

Raelynn's 6th birthday brownie surprise!
Sweet baby Eva.
A delightfully blurry image of Abram's most supreme tantrum.
(a focused image would have BURNED YOUR EYES.)
And a forced picture of Blaine adoring Vera.


 



awakening

How do you know when God is speaking to you?

I ask because it typically takes me a while to hear it.

Mostly because I'm not listening.

And so in turn, He has to work to get my attention.

Isn't that terrible? Making God do MORE work? As if all the other things He's done simply out of love haven't been enough.

And these times that He shakes me into a fit of realization; they are hard.

They always have been.

And I- in turn, have to become more like Him and spend time with Him in order to hear Him, to walk with Him, to fellowship with Him.

It wastes a lot of time.

And it can be embarrassing.

That He has to wave his arms around, send me a small taste of His sheer strength in my life and then practically do the robot dance for me to give Him some of myself.

Because can you imagine- what life would be like if I were always listening? If I were always walking with Him?


This is how Blaine likes to chill sometimes and I don't blame him, it's surprisingly comfy. But this should never be a depiction of my faith.



Lord-
Even when I hide myself from you in the creases of the softest quilt you don't give up on me. 
Your persistent pursuit of me endures past every hardship. 
I know that if I'd only devote more of myself to you wholly, there would be no hardships. 
But simply blinders guiding me to see the blessings of eternal grace. 
Help me against my battles of selfishness and pride so I can get there.

How I Found My Bliss: Kels from A Lovely Life

Kels is so fantastic! Here's her guest post about her personal journey of bliss. 

Want to share your story? Email me.
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I feel like I should be showcasing some delicious chocolates, with an opening like that. :) I wish that I could share some trick or ancient ritual that would guarantee a blissful life for each and every one of you, but sadly that just doesn't exist.

For as long as I can remember, my mom would always tell me to "choose to be happy." Of course as a child and young teenager, it was usually falling on deaf ears... especially in those moments when I wasn't getting something I wanted, so being happy just seemed impossible to me. How can I be happy when Samantha has that virtual pet and I do not??! {Remember those? Oh man, those virtual pets were just great.} Nevertheless, after years and years of hearing {or choosing not to hear} that phrase over and over again, it's finally starting to mean something to me.

One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Swindoll:
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."

As human beings, we have a choice. Every day. A choice on how we will live our day. Understandably, some circumstances are totally and completely out of our control, but how we react to them is not. And really let's be honest, life in general is hard. Day-to-day monotony is hard. But when you think about it, what kind of life would it be to sulk and be sad about everything that is out of our control? Not a good one, in my opinion.

So how do we overcome this?

For me, I have to take it one day at a time. I'm very much the kind of person that my morning defines the rest of my day. So how do I have a good morning? Well, getting enough sleep each night is key. But for me, my faith is my foundation. I've found that if I don't spend time reading God's Word in the mornings, it just throws my whole day off. So that's what I do... wake up, do some stretches, make breakfast, spend time with Jesus, listen to music, and head off to work! Now I understand not everyone is or can be a morning person... that's why you need to sit down and figure out what is bliss to you. And then do that. Every day.

I believe that's the key to a happy, blissful life... the every day. I know I got stuck in the trap of "dreaming big", which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But if you're constantly dreaming about what will make your future happy, you will neglect your present. Focus on making today your bliss and then you can deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. :)

-kels

[just a glance at Kels and her blog over at a lovely life will have you captivated. trust me. i know from experience]

overhaul

Please excuse my absence from the past few days.

I flipped my lid over the loss of my sister to higher education





i really love you midgey!

a belated birthday post

[friendships take a lot of work. just like any relationship between two people, friendships require extreme amounts understanding and selfless love. i have been blessed with the opportunity to call some spectacularly terrific people my friends.]


vera and i met on our very first day of college. we sat near each other in a ridiculous math course taught by our campus' resident astronomer and lived a few floors away from each other in the same dorm.

A first she seemed so mild-mannered but then i heard her mutter under her breath something mildly inappropriate during class and i was captivated! she had me at sarcastic. what a character.

we were close friends throughout my years at school. she specifically got to know selfish kelly. ugly kelly. and hateful kelly. the three amigos.

vera was an RA in our dorm too. and she was real good at it. everyone wanted to talk to her about their problems because she was and is such a good listener. she's the best at helping people realize their importance and self-worth. i would even feel confident in saying that she has SAVED PEOPLES LIVES. seriously. i mean it took her hours just to get through room check of one hall wing. that's life-saving.

the first time i told anyone that something wasn't right with me was during one of vera's weekly nights to be on call in the dorm lobby. i don't remember the weepy words that were said, but i distinctly remember that she didn't call me crazy. that was what i needed. because to me, I was crazy. I mean cah-RAY-zee. The conversation that you really don't dream about having is the one that starts with "hey, you don't think maybe i've hurt someone and i just can't remember it do you? don't answer that. and also, i think i might be crazy."

that's a whole new kind of crazy. the scary kind.

but with her, that conversation was okay.

vera came and stayed one night at my parents house a few weeks after i moved back. i cried myself to sleep and she held my hand all night long. you probably didn't even sleep, did you Vera? and i know how much you love your sleep.

she wrote me all the time. tried to give me a little bit of normalcy back. she called often, kept track of all the progress i was making and was even lucky enough to get to take on the task of taking me out of the house- having been been giving my blessing to chaperone.

she believed in me, encouraged me, and didn't abandon me.

she passed every friendship test in existence.

she had the faith that i had yet to discover, and she shared it with me.

and after all that she was even silly enough to become my roommate. assisting me in watching nickelodeon children's shows and joining forces in a measly attempt to overthrow Bowser and his crew in Super Mario. those were some of the greatest times.


vlk,
you're probably the reason i don't have a boyfriend, 
because you've left some pretty big best friend shoes to fill. 
it's probably a daunting thing to ask of someone else.
but still,
thank you for doing so much of the work.
you saved me.
truly.
-kmc

[charleston] the holy city

welcome to charleston, sc


fantastic site, with nearby unobstructed views of fort sumter
(did you know the fort is in the water, built on a sand bar?)
(i didn't) 
(does that make me dumb?)

this is a 1250 foot pier that extends into the harbour. 
the best part is that underneath those awnings are dozens of swings. 
dozens. 
of old, rickety wooden swings. 


this was somehow snapped when the tots weren't galavanting in the fount
check out those oaks in the background
they line the entire park (and well... city) 

 charleston isn't 'the holy city' for nothing. 
there are tons of historic churches with cemeteries gated smack in the middle of the city. 



bruisey


bruiser might be angry, but i'm not! 

it's thursday! which is the day before friday! 
(i learned my days of the week from her, did you?)


Glossy

nothing much has been going on around here.

though, abram sort of discovered dr. pepper lip gloss.

and maybe he discovered that if you bring it to the right person they'll even apply it on you.





the proof is in the pudding picture.

kristen

this is my sister.
she is very beautiful. 
so is her hair.


she is leaving for college in just a few days. 
i'm not happy about it. 
she is my best friend. 
mostly just because of the hair. 
but also because i remember when she was born. 
she was so tiny. 
itty, itty, bitty. 
now she's all grown up. 
*sniff*
I WANT MY MOMMY!!

How I'll Save The World

Why are quinceaneras and weddings always grouped together? I can't think of anything LESS similar. I fully believe there would be an influx in world peace if they were separated properly. 

I should probably tweet about it because I heard President Obama say during last nights budgetary press conference that he's been "reading our tweets and considering our observations". Didn't know you had such a famous following did you? Yeah, me either. 

loving this

it's gotta be that her stockinged feet are tucked perfectly into the crook of his underknees.

the impossible cool

the end of an error

sometimes I feel like my life is an afterthought. that my entire existence was a pure mess up, completely rearranged to try to make at least a little sense. it explains why every part of my life seems so piled together.

I get mad at God. I feel like He took away what should have been mine. He kept a normal college career from me, and because of it I have a hard time relating to others. I think I'll never get married because I didn't go to college (and apparently failed algebra because that mathematical equation doesn't make sense... I know).

I have a hard time creating direction in my life because I expect Him at any moment to change it to what He wants. I guess that's what happens when he's turned your whole life upside down once before.

And now I'm graduating. And its the end of the error, the mess-up I think I was brought into.

I know it isn't true. Wonderful, beautiful, magnificent things came from it all. But like a normal person, instead of focusing on those things and anticipating the goodness He has for the future, I think about what I believe He's withholding from me.

now is the time that i am supposed to come up with an awe-inspiring and thought provoking ending but I don't have one. God does though.

[abram and me at the beach recently]

telling people where to go...

One of my favorite memories, began with heartbreak.
When I came home from school, to permanently stay here and begin a new journey (though that information was still privy to me) I was also in the midst of a bizarre long-distance relationship.

Anyway, when this relationship reached it's breaking point, I was spending the night with family friends- helping them out- and it was late at night. This was during the "Kelly-WILL-NOT-drive" fiasco of '08 (thanks OCD, you're a pal) so I texted my Mom and told her "it's over"

My entire family packed into the car and came to get me. We stopped at Sonic and all got drinks. We came home silently and all laid on my bed blasting Duffy's "delayed devotion" and singing at the tops of our lungs. As the tune comes to a close she sings "hear it in this song, you can gooooooo to hell". 
Do I condone this language, no- not really.

But was it perfect for the moment, sung in harmony by my sweet family of 4? Yes.

And I am confident that were this to happen again, today- my family would choose the same route. Only my Dad might suggest a Black Eyed pea's song- because he's obsessed with them and in his eyes everything in life can somehow relate to will.i.am. 

And so, "my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style" - Maya Angelou

Thanks family, for helping me achieve that humorous stylin'. You guys are rockin' it. 


bleh



Finding this owl animal cracker has literally been the most exciting thing that's occurred since the last post.


real

It's so easy to say and display how much you love Jesus when life is looking great. He's been so good to you. You check in with Him before mealtimes, thank him for the day and the food, and carry on with your life.

It's way harder to be thankful when you're broken, and suffering.

suf·fer·ing 
[suhf-er-ing, suhf-ring]
verb (used with object)
to undergo, be subjected to, or endure pain, distress, injury, loss, or anything unpleasant

Broken and suffering people are the ones who have the most powerful impact on those around them. Those are the people that in their suffering become bright lights for Him.

That is why the Bible is so adamant about being grateful for suffering, because that is when we do the most good for our cause, that is when we glorify Him the most, and when we encourage others to truly see Him. "Look at what he is doing in us! He is our sustainer. We have no hope without Him".

So you see, it is true. That when you are weak, then you are strong. You are probably the strongest you've ever been.

pain

Heart-shattered lives ready for love 
      don't for a moment escape God's notice.
                      Psalm 51:17
God took human form when Jesus Christ was birthed into this world. That means He experienced everything that we do firsthand.

And, He watched as His own innocent son died the cruelest of deaths.

We don’t worship a distant Father.

We worship a God who understands.

God knows pain.

He’s felt it.

And he especially knows your pain. 


This & This are great (and short!) reads if you are hurting. 

faith of a chair

did you know that every time we sit down in a chair, we express the utmost faith in that chair?

we firmly believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that the chair will hold us.

we don't go to it and shake it. or turn it upside down and examine it with a screwdriver and a flashlight.

we just plop right down into it like we are doing that chair some kind of favor.

i have more faith in a chair than i do in my Savior. a chair proves itself to me ONE time, early on in my life, and i firmly trust that chairs, all chairs, will always support me.

i want to feel that way about Christ. i don't want to come face-to-face with a dilemma and have to examine my problem, or worry that i might need to fix something about it. i just want to approach it knowing that He has already proved Himself to be so good, time and time again.

He is much, much stronger and more faithful than a chair.

incognito

i have probably spent a lot of time in my life trying to be something i'm not. trying to do things the way i think they should be done.

normally, these ways are the easier ways. you know, the ones that get you where you want to go faster. the ones that don't consist of tears, and sadness, and depression, and hurt. those are the ones we try to choose for ourselves.

as humans, we often get stuck believing that what we want must be what God wants, right? I love God, and these are the desires of my heart, so this is obviously what He wants (Psalm 37:4).

right now, i want to quit. that is the desire of my heart. and it shouldn't be. just because i'm desiring that right now, sure doesn't make it what He wants for me.

As a matter of fact, He wants the exact opposite. He wants me to fight, so that He can prove that He is the triumphant One. That I can handle this, because He is living in me.

God has promised us great things right now. Not just waiting for us in Heaven.
In Matthew, the Beatitudes tell us that 'blessed are the poor in spirit and the ones who are persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven'.
it's a present tense conjugation in the Greek text. that means we have it right now, the rest of the Beatitudes (verses 4-9) will later be achieved in their fullness, but verses 3 and 10 are right now.

So let's pray for the strength and faith that David had, He didn't doubt God's strength as he met Goliath. I don't want to miss out on this plan God has for me because my own pride and sense of pre-determined defeat get in the way. Even though it means darkness and hard times, I'm going to man-up, for I know that what lies ahead will be so much sweeter because of it.

anew


Christ died for us.

i don't think about that very much, do you?

'me-- who is born again but still so much in need of being born anew' i forget that it happened.

i forget that God took earthly form, and sent a part of Himself here to this wicked place to be sacrificed. He sent 'Jesus the God-man who came to save me from prisons of fear and guilt and depression and sadness,' to be killed.

He came and died to SAVE me from those things.

those things: the sadness, the fear, the guilt... those things that i spend so much of my time pondering, He came to give us relief.

relief that we can have for free. it will cost nothing. not a penny, and certainly not even the price of your own life.

do you have this relief? or better yet, do you accept this relief? all you have to do is call on His name. because His whole purpose was for you.

will you become anew with me today? i sure hope so, everything is simply funner when someone else comes too...

[all quotes were taken from Ann Voskamp's book, which you can find here]

Thorns


"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.


Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

What is your thorn? What has been placed in your life, often times without relief that is there simply to draw you near to Him?

I know what mine is. And I hate it, hate it, hate it. I can't even describe to you the complete loathing I have for it. I have BEGGED to be rid of it. And it's not that He can't heal it, for we know that following a deep spirit of thanksgiving is a miracle-- but this thorn is a tool, this is how Christ is using me as His vessel.

What are you doing with your thorn? Will you become a case of Christ's strength moving in on weakness?

I fervently pray that I will.

mondays

it's monday.

i hate mondays.

but more importantly, i hate hating mondays.

today, i will go to work. rhema will see me coming through the front door and stomp her feet in place with excitement. she will pitter-patter towards me and tap my legs until i pick her up. once i do, she will promptly say 'elmo? elmo? elmo?!' and i will sigh, 'great to see you too kid'.

later, she will climb on top of every piece of furniture imaginable. because she's part monkey. and she will will succeed in getting herself in situations where she's stuck. she can't get down. and then she panics. she starts to whimper. she starts to say "hi! hi! hi" hoping that someone will look at her and come help her. eventually, after she whines and cries and calls out things, she will think to call me. i will hear her saying 'Ya Ya! Ya Ya!" (which is what i am referred to as, not because i chose it, Rhema chose it for me, so i love it. otherwise I wouldn't be a fan.)

Anyway, when she calls me, I will come to her and help her.

Does that remind you of anything?



Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know

Psalm 91:15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him

Psalm 50:15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me

Isaiah 65:24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear



so maybe.. maybe mondays really aren't so horrible.
because He, He is quite good.


Read this book. By her.

01.03.11

i spent most of today whining and complaining
[internally of course because i live alone and that would be strange]

"nothing is the way i want it to be"

do you ever say that? to make myself feel better I've decided you all answered with a
unanimous "YES!"

yet, as i was hauling groceries up the rigorous three flights of stairs, I had time to think... and let me tell you A LOT OF TIME. but I'm not complaining.

today was a perfect day.

i slept in.
watched a movie
ate chicken nuggets and macaroni
took a shower
got some groceries
climbed up the stairs... (i made it all the way up didn't i?)
and am now settling cozy with a new celeb magazine
not to mention the crossword awaiting my annihilation
in a few swift page turns.

To kelly,
please stop complaining. sometimes you're just such an idot. 
Love, kelly