Saturday, July 16, 2011

my life in a (nutshell of a) blog

I love summer. I love it because it's hot. Really hot. I love the fresh fruit at the produce stands near my house, the catydids and the tree frogs that drown out all other noise when it gets dark, and the weekends that are spent lounging on the lake. It's one of the sweetest times of the year for me, and not just because of all the ice cream I eat.
Last week my mom and I were washing windows (not my favorite summer project), and look what we found!
A tree frog taking a break from the heat on our shutters
And a nest of baby birds waiting for lunch 

This is why I love summer. It's so simple; there's time to notice things like this that you can't during the hustle and bustle at all other times of year. Here's a little splash of color to show you a blip of my summer since I've been home from Paris:
Lots of time spent with Meme. Those are red, white and blue feathers in her hair. Tell me she's not the coolest grandma around! I swear she's still 21 and fabulous.
Taking care of Ellie Bear (my niece). Morgan is the volunteer coordinator for over 3,500 volunteers at the 2011 PGA Championship that will be held in Atlanta this August. Right now, she basically has no life, so we're babysitting Ellie for her until she can breathe again. SO proud of Morgan and so glad I have a snuggle buddy to sleep with :)

I love summer because it's when I finally have time to go to the movies with my mom. I love a good movie, but I don't love the frigid temperatures that theaters keep--so unnecessary. So this past week, my mom and I compensated...with my great-grandmother's hand-stitched quilt we found in the back of the car! We snuggled up, propped up our feet on the empty seats in front us, and enjoyed a good chick flick. Good day!

Something else that comes with summer--and maybe the best thing of all--is more time to be alone, to read a good book and blog and spend with God. It's refreshing, and I find myself feeling more fulfilled and yet lighter all at the same time. That's a feeling that only comes with summertime. 
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: God knew what He was doing when He planted me in the south.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

dry spell

For those of you who write, you'll understand when I tell you that I've been going through a serious blogging dry spell. I don't know why, I don't know how. Usually my fingers are itching to write something, anything; this past week, I could not have written if my life depended on it. I've just felt like I don't have anything important enough to say (not that everything I say is necessarily important, but I usually just say it anyways).
However, I've had a "coming to Jesus" in regard to my writing, if you will. As I was doing my quiet time this morning, I stumbled upon some notes I took the other day:

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that." Galatians 6:4 (The Message)
Exploring and extracting excites you, honors God, and expands His kingdom.

I suddenly realized that I was making light of a passion, a gift that God had given me. The reason I wasn't excited to write was because I wasn't looking at it as an exploration of God's work given to me; I wasn't using it to honor Him; I wasn't sinking myself into what I loved. When I failed to do those things, of course I wasn't going to enjoy writing. Doing something only for yourself is never as satisfying as doing it for God, and I experienced that firsthand.

So I have resolved to return to my passion with passion. There are words on this page right now--that's a start. I never want to disappoint God with the way I use his gifts to me, something that is so easy to do when we fail to recognize how much power we actually have through Him.
I want to love what I do and do it well because I know that it's God's will for me: "God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases Him." Philippians 2:13

I sort of feel like I can breathe writer's block is gone, my dry spell has been soaked, the words are flowing and my fingers are moving. The Dressing Room is back in session!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm back (and so are my blogs)

This comes almost a week late...but hello from U.S. soil! It feels so weird to be able to say that..weird, but good. Paris was wonderful, beautiful, romantic (well..maybe not for me), and altogether delicious to soak in. But it's true, what they always say: there's no place like home. Seeing my parents' faces waiting for me as I made my way through the Atlanta airport made me remember why I was so glad to be home--all thoughts about how much I was going to miss those banana nutella crepes just disappeared.
And upon coming home, I was reminded of everything I had so desperately missed while I was gone. Just a few things I'm even more thankful for now than I was before I left...

Carpet. I missed carpet, a lot. Every time we left for a weekend excursion, my first question was, "Is the hotel going to have carpet?"Looking back, maybe my priorities were a little out of line.

Fruits and vegetables. Oh my gosh, I missed those. Especially after my little health scare, I was given strict orders to avoid these. Do you know how hard that is when there are markets spilling over with fresh berries and veggies on every corner?

Ice in my glass of water, fabric softener, not having to wear shower shoes, almond milk.

People who smile and say hello, fresh air, listening to the crickets and tree frogs while I go to sleep, feeling honest to goodness clean.

All of this being said...this made it completely worth it:

Coming back home followed with a family dinner in Atltanta, a 15-hour snooze, and a long weekend at Lake Burton. And what better time to arrive back to America than July 4th weekend?? I may have loved Paris, but I absolutely love my country more.
Lake Burton was beautiful through rain and shine. The skies were blue and the water choppy for the first part of the weekend. The fireworks, as always, were spectacular; you could feel them in your chest as the sound of each echoed throughout the mountains. On Sunday, the storm rolled in. And as my mom, dad and I sat on the swing under the porch of our boathouse, we watched the rain sweep over one side of the lake to the next.
From here, I get to see all of the faces I've missed for so long. Back to reality!