the tiny little birds

Saturday, March 10th, 2018. 6:55am – Watching the waves come in and the sun rise into the sky. Perfectly content.


It’s always at the beach where I remember it’s okay to write happy poems.

Writers cling to the melancholy, the alternative, the deeply emotional. Our most treasured writers were inspired by war, famine, slavery, and captivity. I appreciate these writers and their motivations. But it’s okay to write happy poems, to embrace the beautiful things in life. Though I have written my fair share of melodramatic poems and posts, I’m inspired even more by the simple beauty of life than the tragedy of it.

If you’ve ever been to the beach, you’ve probably seen those little tiny birds that roam along the shore. Not pelicans or seagulls (maybe these are the same birds) but the tiny little birds that could fit inside your hand. Those little tiny birds inspire me. As I’ve been sitting along the peaceful coast the past few days, I’ve been mesmerized by those little birds. All they do is run along the beach, chasing the waves, looking for pieces of food. They are so in sync, though. The tide comes up, they run up, the tide goes out, they run out. It’s a pattern of nature that is so simple yet captivating.

What I love most about those little tiny birds is that they are content with their purpose in life. All they do, all day long, is roam the beach to find food and to satisfy their needs. It’s incredibly simple – to me, it teaches me something. Life can become so confusing, tiring, and wearing on our hearts and minds. As a college student, I’m constantly around people who are trying to discern their life, figure out their purpose, fulfill a sometimes convoluted role they feel called to step into. I’m a part of this madness of uncertainty sometimes, questioning myself and my plans. I’ve never questioned by abilities, or what I love to do, but I certainly appropriately question the things I’m going to do. To me, questioning is a natural and important part of growing up and finding a career that you’re happy with for the long term.

But, these birds don’t care about careers or growing up. I’m not saying we are birds – but I am saying we could be more like them. This isn’t the first time that God used birds to teach a lesson. I’ve always felt like birds are strong messengers of Christ and have stories of where birds taught me something about myself.

Our purpose in life is not a lucrative, successful career, though I’m not saying that’s a bad or wrong ambition. I think we do find purpose in our work and in a meaningful vocation. The little tiny birds though, they seem to be perfectly content filling their simple, mundane role in the world. And God cares for them. He cares for them as he will care for us.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:26-27

The little tiny birds aren’t saving the world, and they can’t showcase their trophy collection. They roam the skies – or the beaches – and the Father feeds them. I think God recognizes our need for meaningful vocation and for a purposeful life, whatever that may be to each individual person. I believe some people are called into certain areas of life more so than others and that each person is given a beautiful gift from God to use in this world. Whether or not we fulfill those requests of God – to reap and sow what we have been given – is up to us. But constant worry about those things, the type of endless, incessant worrying that I’ve experienced and observed, is not proclaimed by God. He wants us to achieve heavenly treasures, crowns of gold with the Almighty King. That should be our aim. It might be a lot simpler than we ever imagined, like being more like the little tiny birds who run along the beach and who are protected and valued by the Father. We are treasured, valued, loved. It’s as simple as that.

soaked shoes and cancelled plans

Rain blue flowers

Some see rain and they think about how the rain will soak their shoes

and hair

and clothes

and books

Some see rain and they think about how they wish they were still in bed

with a good book

with a cup of coffee

with a day away from school

Some see rain and they think about the drive to work

the walk to class

the time outdoors

the cancelled plans

Some see rain and they hate it

they despise it

they wish for it to cease

But what happens

when a forest fire

is raging and soaring and singing and thriving

And the sky is painted orange, and the ground is painted black

Could you only imagine

what would happen

if we were out there

and faintly in the distance

slowly approaching

we saw the same rain

that we had grown to dislike?

Perhaps we could see the importance,

finally,

of perspective.

illusions

I am thankful that God gave me the ability to experience beauty.
What is beauty? Where is the idea of beauty derived from? What molds our minds to think something is classified as beautiful? I am not talking about exterior, superficial beauty. I am talking about things that are truly beautiful. Truly extravagant and truly awing. This type of beauty leaves me humbled and thankful. It makes me feel small but important. It leaves me confirmed in my faith and sincerely amazed. Have you ever seen an illusionist or magician perform and leave thinking, wow that was incredible. How did that happen? What was the trick or the hidden performance that caused the illusion?
I feel this way about things that are beautiful.
The biological sciences leave me almost daily in a state of appreciation and utter awe. Every day, every second, every single millisecond, our bodies are performing some incredibly complex and intricate processes. The human body blows my mind. My biology professor, Dr. Laura Stephan, was lecturing this morning about a protein found in the mitochondrial matrix (remember from middle school, the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell!) that is so fundamental to our beings that it is a testament to the enormity and intricacy of our God. This protein, ATP synthase, is the sole proprietor for the functional energy created by our cells. This may sound like mumbo jumbo but let me elucidate – this single, microscopic molecule enables our cells to produce energy, which enables our cells to do amazing things like fight disease and fix problems in the body. I am able to write this post and think these thoughts because of a tiny, seemingly insignificant protein. I am able to laugh and enjoy apple cider and watch endless amounts of Netflix because these minuscule mechanisms within my body are functioning – and not just functioning but functioning in a way that is conducive to living and thriving. I’m sorry, maybe it’s just me, but that is beautiful. The way everything fits together so well, the way everything works at the right time and halts at the right time, the way the body has all these crazy complexities that allow me to live and breathe is absolutely awesome, in the true meaning of the word. Beauty to me is seeing how God enables our lives. He put all of those proteins in the perfect places. When I was being created in my mother’s womb, all of my cells came together in a fashion that enabled me. So much is going on in our bodies at a given time that it is almost incomprehensible. I think God works this way. He silently creates these beautiful pieces of our lives and when we are exposed to them, it takes our breath away and leaves us in awe and wonder. God has shown me the beauty that He is capable of uncovering. It makes me hopeful and excited to know that my God can make things so indefinitely beautiful.
Last night I attended a symphony at the University. I love classical music, but this was my first attendance at a true symphony with an orchestra. It was incredible. Hearing sounds created by instruments that came together in a way that seemingly flowed into a single piece caused my thoughts to navigate towards what was actually going on. Individuals on the stage were performing with their instrument, those sounds were combining with other sounds; the sounds danced around each other, and then that music traveled to my ears and I was enabled to experience the combination of it all. During the symphony I just thought to myself Thank you God for allowing these things to enrich my mind and fill my ears. This is just another form of the beauty you allow me to see. Whenever you let God take you to something beautiful, you know it. Last night was one of those moments.
Beauty is all around us. Maybe you have difficulty seeing beauty; if that’s the case, I encourage you to look for the beauty. He has placed it all around us: in the leaves, in conversation, in our bodies, in the mountains, in His merciful grace, and most prominently in ourselves. God has given you a beauty so unique to you that no one else can replicate it. He has given us the ability to recognize this beauty in others and verbally acknowledge it (I think we should utilize this ability more often). God, thank you for the beauty you have shown me. Thank you for the incomprehensible, transcending, munificent, and amazing beauty you have allowed me to see. I pray that you guys see this same beauty around you and within yourself.
Like the magician, we see only what is exposed to us. But instead of living a life of wonder and incessant pondering of unanswered questions about how the magic tricks are working, God is transparent. He lets us know that He is the illusionist behind all things beautiful and all things wonderful.

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.


a post about ANXIETY

I am not afraid of spiders, snakes, or heights. I am not afraid of masks, or strangers, or wasps. You can throw any arachnid or insect at me and I might jump, but I will not experience fear. My most threatening and prevalent fear is the fear of failure. The fear of inadequacy, the fear of mediocrity, the fear of settling. The fear of not reaching my goals, the fear of not being enough. Those fears, to me, are towers and skyscrapers compared to the fear of an insect or an airplane flight. I have big aspirations for myself (I want to be a physician), and with these great demands and expectations from myself comes that great ever-known fiend of anxiety. I think its safe and acceptable to say that everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life. I am blessed to say I do not get entangled in anxiety very often, but when I do, it kills my typically optimistic attitude and really makes me feel just blah. Last night and today was just one of those days. SO, as I battled that internal struggle in my mind, I thought of some ways that I choose to deal with my anxiety and stress. Knowing that so many people experience these inconveniences and struggles, I wanted to share my little tips with you guys 🙂

EIGHT TIPS TO KILL ANXIETY AND CULTIVATE INNER PEACE

  1. breathe. Relax. Inhale in, exhale out. Close your eyes. Breathe. You are alive, breathing, and functioning. Sometimes I spend longggg moments just taking deep, refreshing breaths. This is a great way to remove yourself from the web of anxiety and gain a clearer perspective.
  2. exercise! Get those neurotransmitters functioning and pumping out dopamine! Grab a friend, or a couple, (thanks to those who worked out with me today), and do something that makes you sweat and feel good. If you are overwhelmed, like I often am about feeling insignificant, then performing and completing a strenuous workout will certainly leave you with a sense of accomplishment. When overwhelmed with anxiety, work it out!
  3. put on your favorite pair of pjs, take off your makeup, and wrap yourself in a big soft quilt. This may be a personal favorite, but my favorite part of any day is the time I spend in pjs with an all natural face. There are few things more comforting to me than wearing something soft and casual while being tangled up in my favorite quilt. It’s a great way to just relax and step away from the chaos of life.
  4. draw a bath, light some candles, and play some music. I definitely did this one today. Isolate yourself from your family, light a few candles, turn out the bathroom lights, and listen to some music. My favorite music preferences during rough days are John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, needtobreathe, Kodaline, The Head and the Heart, Jack Johnson, “Calming Christian” radio on Spotify, among many other artists! During this time, I encourage you to put. down. the. phone. (It’s hard for me, too). But this isn’t a time to scroll through twitter, instagram, or facebook. It’s a time to just sit and relax and gather yourself. This is also a great time to breatheeeee!
  5. DON’T eat crappy comfort food. The temptation is sooo real. Grab a carton of ice cream, a box of cookies, or a bag of chips and sit down in front of the TV. I highly discourage eating like this during times of stress or anxiety. First of all, our bodies naturally activate high levels of a stress hormone called cortisol that make huge impacts on our bodies in a negative way when we are in a prolonged state of stress. Eating foods high in sugar and fat will only increase the negative effects on your body. SO resist the temptation and eat something healthy but equally delicious. My favorites are a few strawberries with 1 tsp of all natural maple syrup (I had this tonight! No high fructose corn syrup, additives crap either!), some raspberries & bananas, a chocolate or caramel gluten free rice cake (gluten is a gut irritant and has virtually no health benefits, I have personally found that removing gluten from my diet as much as possible has helped with stomach and digestive problems.) with 1 tbs of all natural peanut butter, or even – dare I say – some Nutella on a rice cake for those extremely stressful days.
  6. watch Netflix. After all that exercise, you’re going to be exhausted. Sit down and watch some Netflix. Just choose something to get your mind off of what’s bothering you. My favorite is Grey’s Anatomy 🙂
  7. think about the good things. Write them down. Almost every day I write down ten things I am thankful for and ten things I love about myself. I don’t do this in a narcissistic way, but as a sincere way to remind myself that I am valuable and that I have SO much to be thankful for, and NOTHING to be anxious for. Self love is a great remedy for anxiety. Try it out!
  8. pray. This is without a doubt the best solution for my anxiety and stress. I am here to offer you true confirmation that God will deal with your problems for you. You just have to take the first step and give them to Him! Even if you don’t believe God is there, just try talking to Him. I promise you that you will feel better after the conversation. If you’re nervous someone will judge or ridicule you, just try it in the shower! Honestly. Give God thanks for what you have and give Him the duty of protecting you from your greatest fears. Talk to Him about what is stressing you out or causing you anxiety.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ” Philippians 4:6-7

I hope this helps you guys, because doing these things honestly help me so much. Have a great evening – I hope it is stress free 🙂

find your happy place!

I frequently write about love. But that’s because love is so, SO important to me. Realizing this has dramatically changed my perspective on various things and people in my life. Loving others only creates a more peaceful inner self for me. Loving my everyday interactions gives me a purpose for all of the tasks I complete within a day. Loving someone else romantically gives me encouragement and constant support. Loving God gives me hope, reason, and understanding. Loving myself gives me confidence and self-success. Loving difficulty gives me triumph over obstacles. Love makes the world go ’round. Love drives people to achieve their dreams and marry their soul mates. Love is what pushes me to be great and never settle for less. Love is what makes me appreciate myself when I feel sluggish, disappointed, and not very beautiful. Love is what goes. Love perseveres. Love is determined to weave its way into my life. Yours, too.

As a teenage girl in high school, there are great implications that it is time to find a boyfriend. Find a boyfriend, even if he doesn’t meet your standards. Even if he isn’t the best person for you. Even if your parents don’t like him. Even if you don’t really like him. Just make sure you aren’t alone. Make sure you aren’t drifting through high school discovering who you are as a person.

Because that would be bad.

Intimate love has a time in our lives. In my opinion, it is AFTER you have established who you are as a person. Run a trial with yourself. If you can’t go 2 weeks without depending on a significant other for affection, attention, and admiration, then it’s time to sculpt and identify who you are as a person. It’s so important! Relationships are essential in our lives, no doubt. But constant confirmation from a guy for your self worth is only harmful and toxic. Not essential.

Become aware. Become aware of the thoughts that invade your mind when you first wake up. Become aware of how you feel when others talk to you. Do you feel happy? Do you feel insecure? Do you feel ashamed of who you are? Do you feel proud? Do you feel embarrassed? Assess. Assess your surroundings. Assess your emotions. Analyze. I am such an over analyzer. Situations, emotions, feelings, reactions. But by analyzing I find the things that drive deep into the root of who I am and flip the switch that makes me happy and makes me feel calm and comforted; I also know what does the opposite. So analyze your day. Analyze what you pick out to wear and why you wear it. Is it for you? Is it for a boy? Is it for impression or is it because YOU like it? Analyze how others treat you. Require respect. If you don’t like the way someone speaks to you or speaks around you, verbalize it. If you don’t like the way you think or speak, change it. You are not bound to your old ways. Everyday is honestly a new page. Write accordingly to how you feel and what makes you happy.

Back to love. By determining why things are happening the way they are and figuring out who is in charge of your life, you will learn to love. You will learn to love the appropriate way. When you straighten your life out and find your identity, you will love who you are. You will learn that you control how others treat you and how they think about you. You will learn that you love who you are. Your quirks. Your interests. Do not hide your interests. I get playfully ridiculed all the time for being “nerdy”. But guess what, I love to learn! It makes me happy. It makes me powerful. I love knowledge and that is not something I am ashamed of. If you love to play video games on the computer, then own that! If you love girly things, then love those things! LOVE WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Love what makes your soul smile.

When you spend all of this time deciding you are worth it and deciding that others can’t inflict pain and disappointment upon you any longer, you will realize you don’t need affection, admiration, or attention from anyone else. Like a wise woman once said, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

The thought that struck me today was that you don’t need someone else to be happy. Find your niche. Find the nooks and crannies of the world that suit your needs and connect with your soul. Find your calling. Find your happy place. Go there, and go there alone. Remain an individual in your relationship. Never lose your identity and never lose your love for yourself.

Random blog post, but I feel very passionately about this subject. Too many young girls are getting caught up in boys and worldy things before they know who they are. You are beautiful, worthy, and important. Never forget that.

Happy Friday!

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