Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The answer is in the journey

In an effort to mend by divorce from reading fiction over the past few years, I recently picked up a copy of The Chronicles of Narnia and started reading this childhood classic. Somehow, I missed out on reading these when I was a kid. I guess I was too into Nancy Drew and solving mysteries, so C.S. Lewis and his vivid characters are very fresh for me. And even though these tales are aimed at children, the truths found in the tale are so powerful for where I am in life, in a season where nothing seems to make sense. Here is one concept that really jumped out to me from the first book.

In The Magician's Nephew, the main character Diggory asks Aslan to heal his mother, who was terminally ill. Instead of doing so, Aslan sends Diggory on a journey to retrieve fruit from the tree of life. Diggory obeys, of course, but does so thinking that his request to Aslan was just going to be ignored. He thinks that Aslan said, "no" to the most important and pressing question on his mind.

But he obeys anyway.

He obeys even though he anticipates that the most important person in his life would be lost--due, in part, to his obedience to Aslan.

While he is on the journey, Jadis (a.k.a. the White Witch) pounces on his doubts and reveals that the fruit he retrieved could, in fact, heal his mother. But (after some internal debate) Diggory still takes the fruit back to Aslan, and he is able to plant the tree that protects Narnia from Jadis for many years.

Now here is where the story gets interesting. The tree immediately takes root, sprouts and produces fruit. And Aslan tells Diggory that he can take some of the fruit to his mother to save her.

I think C.S. Lewis is making a powerful observation about how God answers prayers and how He works in lives. When I ask for something, God is far more likely to give us a mission to complete. Maybe it's large, or maybe it's small, but it is all for the Kingdom. It is out of that mission that I find the answer or the solution or the wisdom that I wanted all along.

The answers I need are rarely handed to me on a silver platter, and they wouldn't do any good even if they were. It's through the experiences of life that I learn the most, and in turn, can share my story with others. The answer is in the journey. And I am okay with that.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


If I had to choose one word to describe 2011 so far, one overarching theme that has weaved its way through all of my circumstances, it would be "unexpected".  I don't mean it in a negative OR a positive way. Just a neutral description of the many crazy turns that my life took in the past 10 months. Professionally, relationally, even spiritually, I have encountered surprising circumstances that I could have never predicted.

Unfortunately, dealing with the unexpected is one of my least favorite aspects of life. Maybe that is true of everyone, but I can only speak from my personal experience. I like to know what I am up against. Being able to think about the future with a plan is comforting, but when those plans don't exist, or I am in uncharted territory, I have the tendency to clam up and hide from reality. Healthy, right?

That must be the reason that this year has consisted of unexpected twists and turns. Or maybe it is the natural progression of moving into an "adult" world after college. Either way, the amount of personal growth I have experienced in 2011 is at least equivalent to the maturity I gained my first year in college. Life is full of unexpected moments, and now that I am in a world where there is no concrete next step (i.e., graduate from high school, then college, and then get a job), I think learning to roll with the punches is the best kind of education I could receive. I'm thankful for that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Song obsessions

Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

The combination of the harmonies and the instruments gives this song such an earthy, bluegrass feel. I love it. Fleet Foxes is my favorite band, especially in the fall. They make me want to go on long walks down a country road, or something.

The Call by Regina Spektor

I've been reading Chronicles of Narnia lately and this song always reminds me of the second movie. 

Stay Young, Go Dancing by Death Cab for Cutie

This song is already sweet, with a great sound and wonderful lyrics. But the video adds even more charm. People who have been in love their whole life + frolicking in fields + outdoor dinner parties + cute children = perfection. 

We Are Young by Fun. feat. Janelle Monae

My friend Deborah shared this song with me as she was passing through Oklahoma City last week. It's just really catchy. 

Christmas Lights by Coldplay

I am a bit ashamed to admit this last one, because it is still October. But this is the only Christmas song I'll allow myself to listen to, I promise! And I figure it doesn't really count because the message is all sad and melancholy at first. It's more about the promise of Christmas than Christmas itself. So I am good, right? RIGHT??

Saturday, October 15, 2011

fictitious couples that have ruined me for romance

1. Cinderella and her Prince Charming
Love at first sight, dancing in the moonlight and a happily ever after. Cinderella is and always will be my favorite fairy tale.

2. Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson
I've read all the original ND books and when I was little I used to think Ned was the perfect boyfriend. 

3. Mia Thermopolis and Michael Moscovitz 
I obsessively read The Princess Diaries when I was a freshman in high school. Love the foot-popping kiss!

4. Pam Beesly and Jim Halpert

PB&J! Everything about their love story makes me smile. Their story reminds me how important timing is.

5. Robin Scherbatsky and Barney Stinson
Granted, HIMYM is a new obsession, but I love the entire show. Robin and Barney = MFEO. For real.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Just made this!

Source: None via Kaylee on Pinterest

I followed the recipe, except I added about a cup of freshly brewed cinnamon hazelnut coffee to the boiling milk mixture. Beat that, Starbucks!

Side note: I also discovered that I don't have a sauce pan, which means I had to make it in a huge stock pot. Worth it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

home sweet home

It's October. 2011 has gone by so fast for me, and it's hard to believe that we have less than 100 days until 2012. It's also hard to believe how much has changed since this time last year. It was October 2010 when I decided I wanted to move to Norman. I really had no good reason for it. No job, not a lot of friends. It seemed foolish, even to me, but I just needed a change of scenery.

Ten months later, and I don't regret it at all. In fact, at this point it's the best decision I've ever made. I loved OC, but I never felt a big connection with Edmond. And outside of my friends, who are all going their own directions post-college, I never had a community. But even on my loneliest day in Norman, I am happier here than I have been in any other place. I don't really understand why, but my heart feels settled here.

I'm so thankful. I'm honored to invest in this town, and to slowly, slowly build a community of people. And I am glad that I can wholeheartedly call this home.