November 21, 2013

Wild and Precious Life

Summer Day 
by Mary Oliver 

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


What do I plan to do with my one wild and precious life? 
No pressure. That's what has filled my mind recently...what I am I going to do with my life next? I go through anxious spurts where I research a plethora of options - all down to where I will live (like looking for an apartment or roommate, when I don't even have a job or prospects in a certain place). I am crazy. It makes me absolutely crazy for a few days. My most recent crazy spurt was deciding whether I should start a graduate program next year. 
I'm not convinced that I should. I look at the debt I've acquired from UG and I'm not convinced that my next step should be to start a graduate program to acquire more get a 40+ hour/week job that can pay go on life insurance by the time mine runs out at 26...I'm not convinced.
I'm not convinced that an MSW is my next step. If it was - I wouldn't have so much anxiety about it. I would know...and I don't know. I'm content with the idea of moving onto another place and seeking out a job that I will enjoy - no matter what it is. I want my next step to make me happy. 
As I come off of a few days of crazy...I am remembering that it is this moment that I cherish. It is this moment that I live for. I make plans and scheme, but it is ultimately God whose plans will come to fruition. I will continue to seek the things that bring me joy - planning an incredible youth conference, reading about the Appalachian Trail, eating with my housemates, running at the Y, and searching for little joys in each day. 
THIS is my one wild and precious life. 

November 15, 2013

Comfort and Cosby Sweaters

We took our BVS House family Christmas picture this week! While, I won't spoil it by sharing the picture just yet, I will say - it featured us wearing some delightful Christmas sweaters! However, by parading around the office wearing our delightfully, wintery warm sweaters there were quite a few references made to Cosby Sweaters. So, I didn't really know the reference, although I had seen the Cosby show way back in the day. After seeing a clip from High Fidelity, I Googled "Cosby Sweater". Naturally. 
I need that Sprinter sweater in my life! Better yet...a Thrower Sweater!

I wouldn't say I have a "Cosby" Sweater. Although, I did have a cherished hunter green Horse sweater (that I would WEAR if it was in Elgin.) Oddly enough, it looked a lot like this sweater that was on a runway. Weird. 

I love crazy, colorful sweaters. I think they are one of the most fun things about this cold, overcast season. They keep us warm and provide a bit of color in this drab season. 
Today, I found ANOTHER Fun Run! There are too many of these kinds of things. Are they worth it? I have never done a fun run - like the color run or zombie runs (this actually doesn't sound fun, that sounds absolutely horrifying). Anyway, the Ugly Sweater Run is a thing. It's happening this weekend apparently. For $44 you can run through the streets of Chicago in a crazy/ugly Christmas/Cosby sweater and running outfit combination! 

Maybe I'll just go on a run in my Christmas Sweater...and running tights. Oh, how frustrating that these things have to be sectioned off into socially appropriate $44 races. What gives?

All this talk of Sweaters reminds me of the Weasley Sweater I made almost three years ago. What!?
This thing is HUGE. Granted I was huger when I made it, but this thing is definition of "over-sized" sweater. Love this huge, comfy, cozy, crazy thing. 

Do you have a Cosby Sweater? 
If you could display anything on a sweater (combs, sprinters, & horses!?) what would it be? 

November 14, 2013

Joining Bloglovin'

I'm joining the likes of Bloglovin'! 

Are you on Bloglovin'? What do you think? 

November 12, 2013

Scrabble with Scripture: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Scrabble with Scripture
For devotions a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to use my (homemade!) Banangrams set in the devotion. I decided on reading Psalm 139, which is one of my favorites. I invited those gathered to listen to the words and be present to what images, feelings, or phrases jumped out at them. Then I invited them into a space of building a crossword together based off of those images, feelings, or phrases. It was simple and short, but the texts and the words were rich. 
Psalm 139, The Message

1-6 God, investigate my life;
get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!

7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.

17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
all the men and women who belittle you, God,
infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
Your enemies are my enemies!

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

November 8, 2013

This Moment // November

APPRECIATIVE of Kansas sunsets and the skyline silhouetted in the background.

DRINKING coffee again after a summer of feeling like I was perpetually having a heart attack.

EXCITED about the NEW news coming out around NYC 2014 in the next couple of weeks. :)

FEELING melancholy about the changing seasons.

HOMESICK for colorful mountains, beloved people, and the sun setting at 8pm.

LAUGHING from the delirium of 12 hour car rides, inside jokes, and hilarious teenagers.

LISTENING to Branches, Head & the Heart, Rend Collective Experiment, & anything Jacob Crouse writes.

PUMPED that my family will be in Illinois in less than 17 days!

READING everything I can about thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

REALIZING that there are only two more weeks until I see my crazy, incredible family!

WALKING around the block to pick up leaves and admire them as they fall. It's the little things.