plastic hands

flower envelope.

I started college this past week, and I already have the addition of so many unique experiences. I have been to an outdoor free concert in downtown Nashville, I have exchanged “hellos” with more people than I thought imaginable, I have made friends that I plan to hold onto, I have ran and explored around my magical campus, I have had moments of homesickness, I have attended interesting lectures, I have attended boring lectures, I have eaten at amazing restaurants, I have heard fantastic musicians, and I have most recently spent quite a bit of time in my dorm reading and writing notes and trying to decipher scientific text into simpler terms for my own understanding. But tonight as I write notes over chemistry concepts, my thoughts keep navigating towards neuroscience…

Plasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt to change and conform to new environments, new demands, and new experiences. It is a rather novel concept but to me it is absolutely awe inspiring. Our mind is the single most complex organism on our planet and remains the most complex system even when we extend to the Milky Way that envelops us in its gravitational embrace. Our minds, the envy of computational and electrical engineers across the world, is able to physically adapt to change. It is living, growing, and becoming more dynamic with every encounter we have and every memory we form. Your neural connections are on fire as you read this very sentence. Your brain is processing every bit and piece of information and deciding instantaneously where it is to be stored. Why does all of this fascinate me? Because I sometimes feel we as humans forget that we too have this plasticity feature. We are not supposed to remain complacent or dormant. We are not encouraged to become comfortable as the character we were cast for the play of Life. If the brain has the unique quality of changing when needed, of becoming better adapted for the role that it is required to fill, then we need to replicate this quality in our everyday lives. Open up your mind, your home, your heart, and your eyes and look for ways you can become an asset to the vast world around you. Find your passion and fall deeply in love with what it takes to pursue it. Be adaptable. Be the moldable human being God designed you to be. Stretch your beliefs, stretch out your hands to others, and stretch yourself vehemently in ways previously unthinkable. It is my belief that when we use our plasticity as humans, and as lovers, and as sons and daughters, and as warriors, and as citizens, that we have moved towards the bright and hopeful road of satisfying the great Creator.

So go out here. Look for the changes you need to make to be a better person, to make better decisions, and to make the world a better place.

I pray you find your ability to change and use it.

“His master replied, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” Matthew 25:23.


muddy water

One of my greatest dislikes in someone’s character is simply mediocrity. I don’t care who you are or what circumstances you are under, you are worth more than being mediocre. Falling short to the undeniably gifted talents God has given you is sad to me.. I am not trying to be harsh. I just think it is so important to realize talent and utilize it. It is my belief that we are all unique in personality and we are each responsible for contributing to the world something great. Whether that be someone who can bake cakes, care for children at a daycare, treat the sick, create music, entertain with athleticism, WHATEVER your talent is, it is useful. Don’t be mediocre. Don’t fall victim to society’s relatively low standards of talent recognition. Don’t do something because it’s “easy” or “acceptable”. Do what you are good at it. And do a lot of it. And grow a passion for it.

Ahhh, yes. Passion.

Passion awakens the soul. Passion makes life bright. Passion lies within every harbored and complex mind. Passion is within all of us. Some will choose to feed it and water it and love it and create something amazing with it. Others will let it die. Don’t be the latter person. Develop a passion for something, someone, anything. Just be passionate. This world is full of muddy, polluted water.

Don’t be dirty water.

Don’t be the leftovers. Or the one that is left behind after everything else has been cleaned. Be the fresh, pioneering person that creates rare paths and casts new light on existing institutions. Be the person that thinks differently, acts differently. I don’t care if you have a passion for trading baseball cards. Just don’t be a mediocre baseball card trader. Don’t be a casually involved grandmother, if being a grandmother is your passion. Make footprints that don’t get washed away. If you love music, create music. If you love singing, sing. Follow your passions. Follow the things that keep you awake at night but are also the things that illustrate your dreams. Passion makes doing things that are difficult or challenging or, shall we even say, impossible doable. Passion is as strong as “You’re not good enough.” Passion is stronger than “You can’t do that.” Passion prevails.

When I was a sophomore in high school, a lofty two years ago, I was heavily concerned with the fact that I felt as if I didn’t have any passions. Truly. What inspired me? What made me want to be a better person? What made me want to move forward and pursue something? I have always loved science. I have always loved painting. I have not always loved reading or writing or recognizing beautiful things in everyday life. I realize now in retrospect that I was so concerned with others, with relationships, with ideologies, that I didn’t take time to explore what motivated me or made me feel happy. This is so important!! Try new things. Take existing passions (art, for example) and adventure into different areas related to that to see if you like new things (writing and reading, for example). Be passionate people. It is such a flattering quality to possess!

So don’t be mediocre. Don’t be like the rest of the world, because they are average. You are not average. You are worth ten thousand times more than your average self. You are rare. You hold something that is creative and ready to blossom within you. Go swing a bat, take an art class, babysit a child, shadow a doctor, help the elderly, write some poems, go for a run. Be proactive. Be intriguing. Be passionate 🙂


some of my everyday mantras:

  • you are worth more than this
  • you are more than a body
  • God has so much planned for you
  • the hardest day still only has 24 hours
  • love like Jesus
  • the future is brighter than the brightest moment of the present
  • you are different, but you are unique

watercolor number one: an ornament of grace

unnamedI have begun a series of watercolor paintings that I am going to display on my Instagram (@lovemarycatherine) and my blog. I have always enjoyed painting, yet I haven’t really fully immersed myself into watercolor painting. SO, don’t be critical of my paintings (they are semi-abstract anyways). I will be dissecting, interpreting, and symbolizing my favorite phrases, quotations, and verses. I hope you enjoy this project as much as I do, and I encourage you to find your form of expression (whether it be writing, singing, painting, dancing, playing an instrument, speaking, ect) and let it grow and cultivate into a vibrant and fun passion!

watercolor painting number one:

Proverbs 1:8-9 reads:

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

The other morning I read this verse, and interpreted it in my own way (which may not be the right way, but I got something out of it). To me, this means, respect and honor your parents. When they give you instruction, discipline, and advice, listen to them. Our parents – even if you’re 16 reading this or 54 reading this – are wise, knowledgeable, and experienced. It is written to us many times to obey and honor our parents. They only hold our best interests in their hearts and would not take the time to guide us if they were trying to lead us astray.

I painted this picture to depict our lives as sons and daughters as the plant. There are brown and greens within the plant that show the various highs and lows of our lives. The red “ornament” around the plant’s head symbolizes the love and concern that our parents show for our minds and our direction in life. Red is a robust color that signifies the passion that a parent holds for his or her children. The ornament is around the head, and that shows that our minds are very delicate and should be guided by someone who has a great love for God, obtains wisdom, and has a sincere interest for the betterment of our future.

The chains around the neck signify that our mothers and fathers are always capable of keeping us grounded to reality. Our parents can see through the things we are blind to. They are the ones that hold us to a standard of what is acceptable, what is proper, and what is appropriate. The chains here don’t represent something that is negative, but rather something that is necessary.

This is how I dissected that simple verse and then expressed it in a picture. I hope you guys enjoyed this; don’t forget to follow the next watercolor paintings that I’ll be sharing. I hope you all have a wonderful, enjoyable Sunday evening!

Thoughts of Thanks

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This morning, I rolled over onto my side and looked at my clock. 7:57. I decided to wake and embrace the quietness before this undeniably busy, beautiful day begins. As I was climbing out of bed, I reached over to turn on my bedside lamp. Warm, saturated, yellow light filled my perfectly messy room. I put on my record player and brewed myself a cup of coffee. The tranquility of these simple tasks evolved into an array of simple, thankful thoughts. There are many misconceptions about the reality of people only being “thankful” on Thanksgiving, but I am inclined to believe that this premise isn’t true. It is very obvious that attention is brought to what we are thankful for on this day marked as “a day of thanks giving”. But I truly believe people are thankful every day, even if in a very small way. I know I have been thankful for something as odd and miniscule as my eyebrows before (for preventing an influx of sweat into my eyes!). I have been thankful for bad situations that have turned into intricately developed lessons learned. I am always thankful for my ever loving parents, sisters, and brother. I am not boasting, however. Because there are times I am stressed beyond my control (or so this is what my mind believes). I have been ungrateful for many things in my life. I will never be able to fully comprehend the merciful grace my God has bestowed upon me. He, after all, is what we should be most thankful for. I have watched my family, friends, and strangers go through unthinkable times and remain thankful. Victims of robbery that have asked for prayer for the robber. Families that have had their children, brothers, and sisters murdered and have asked for mercy on the killer. I pray my heart becomes as tender and compassionate as the hearts these individuals possess. Life, so many times, can make a genuine person shallow and unappreciative. And that is why I am thankful for days like today. Where we are consciously and incessantly reminded to “be thankful”.

Along with my inundation of grateful thoughts this morning, another thought rose to my mind. I am not entirely sure why or what triggered it. The only explanation I can come to is that sometimes God places thoughts on our minds for dwelling and understanding. I thought to myself the repetitive phrase I have heard many times from exposures of marketing techniques and, of course, my parents. “Nothing in life comes free” I thought to myself. Proceeding this thought was that this statement is wholly and utterly false. I started thinking to myself all of the things in life that are free. My family offers love and devotion to me for absolutely no price. The moments I spend with my sisters discussing projects we want to do, the anticipation we share for our little Ezra, the excitement we have for Christmas, and the always present, meaningful support we extend to each other has no price tag. The care, advice, and generosity my brother in law shows towards my education and college decisions are things I couldn’t pay for and am so thankful for. The generous sacrifices of time, money, labor, comfort, energy, and passion my parents undoubtedly and unthinkably show me on a daily basis are things I don’t deserve. Love is eternal and absolutely, positively free. Materialistic things, though I do favor them and get trapped in the worldly perception of them, are not free. My hope for today is that I can shatter my love for “things” and nurture my love for people and emotion. I will keep this thought at the forefront of my mind today as I am enveloped by the love from phenomenal people I am blessed to call my family.

I want to wish everyone who reads this post a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you spend it happily engrossed in conversation and delectable food!

“I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way, in all your speaking and in all your knowledge” 1 Corinthians 1:4-5 NIV

MUSIC FESTIVALS.

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It’s music festival time! I was supposed to be going to Bonnaroo for the first time with my sister and brother-in-law this year, but sadly, we are going to pass up the opportunity (for a trip to California to see my boyfriend!). Not a bad trade I would say. I am sad, though, so I have been pumping the good music into my ears. I cannot lie to you guys – I am not exactly musically informed. I’m getting better though! 2 years ago I attended the Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama and to say it was fun is SUCH an understatement. I wasn’t very familiar with the bands, but I still had an amazing time! I saw GirlTalk and The Black Keys. Both amazing performances! This set off the spark in me though… A light bulb came on and I thought, “I want to learn music and expand beyond my limited knowledge of country music songs!” I was very excited about attending Bonnaroo this year. The whole experience – camping, not having openly available showers, finding food, GREAT music, festival outfits (I will still wear mine), and spending time with people I love and care about – it all had me excited! Anyways. this post isn’t about my disappointment of not going to a music festival. It is to let YOU guys know some of MY favorite songs. I will warn you, there is quite a variety of genres! I encourage all of you to listen to them and let me know which ones you like and dislike, or any suggestions! I am very open to listening to new things – I like pretty much all genres (Yes, even classical!).

Black Flies – Ben Howard
Flowers In Your Hair – The Lumineers
One Thing Remains – Passion
On The Hill – Pak X Emh
Youforia – Mac Miller
I’d Need A Savior – Among the Thirsty
White Blank Page – Mumford & Sons
More Than Life – Whitley
Sunset – Kid Ink


Also thought I’d go ahead and throw in some of my favorite Festival Wear outfit options. You may know, or you will learn, I LOVE flowers. I love wearing them in my hair, on my clothes, planting them, real ones, fake ones, all flowers. They show life and I think they are beautiful. All different and unique in their own ways! I also am a big fan of thrift store clothes. My favorite shirt of choice is a blue and green flannel from Goodwill (I actually have it on right now!). High waisted shorts, cardigans/sweaters, Vans, combat boots, my list of fashion favs is HUGE. Anyways, here are 3 outfit ideas I would wear to a music festival, shopping, to the beach, or just hanging out with my friends and family!

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Flower crowns = Love

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I thought this guy was cute too..”Girls at music festivals”:

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We must start somewhere.

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I love to write. Since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed writing. Back then it was fictional stories written in school about magical places and unusual events. Now I love writing about my life. I love to reflect and I love to encourage. If I could have a dream job, it would be helping people in any way I can. I love people and I truly love life. I have quite a few passions; however, I haven’t always had passion in my life. Just recently I have realized what it means to love something so much and enjoy every minute of it. This has brought new meaning to my everyday life. I am creating my own thoughts and opinions. I am developing MY life the way I want to live it. I am learning to appreciate things the mindless teenage girl in me didn’t appreciate. So what are my passions? I can honestly say I am still finding them out. Currently I love working out and weightlifting, creating delicious meals, crafting antique things, beautiful music, messy fashion, learning, and reading classic novels. On this blog I am hoping to share my thoughts, recipes, workouts, book recommendations and critiques, crafts&DIYs, and so so much more. I will try to post every day that I can. I will leave you guys with this word – start living your life. Not for someone else, not for the world. But for yourself and for your God. Learn to appreciate the bad times, because weakness makes us stronger. Learn to look up from your electronic device and love the world He has created for us. Learn new music, step outside of your boundaries. Listen to classical music, rock music, alternative, indie, Christian contemporary, just listen. Embrace your beauty and embrace what you have been given. Because I promise you – it can be taken from you at any moment. And it just might be…so starting loving, start learning, and start living.

xoxo,

marycatherine