When You’re Lonely

1. Clean something. Anything. Your room, the closet, the bathroom mirror.

2. Do some laundry.

3. Sing your favorite song.

4. Call a friend.

5. Friend’s busy? Call another friend.

6. Write to a loved one. Or text. Or both.

9641122627027f86e7428f8b5c0aa598

7.  Make cookies or cupcakes.

8. Do something artsy- craftsy.

9. Wash the dishes while listening to your favorite band.

10. Do something nice for someone you love.

11. Snuggle with a baby.

12. Read a book.

13. Journal. Write out your thoughts.

14. Watch a movie.

15. Cook dinner.

16. Do some more laundry. (Those blankets haven’t been washed in a while.)

17. Vacuum.

18. Plant something. Or offer to take care of someone’s garden while they’re out of town.

19. Eat those cookies you made earlier.

20. Call your favorite aunt or uncle.

21. Cuddle a puppy.

snapchat-2388796427271141281

22. Pray for someone you love.

23. Tell that person you prayed for them.

24. Color a picture.

25. Watch the Jamie Grace Show.

26. Make a bucket list.

27. Make a grocery list.

28. Make a To Do list.

29. Don’t forget about those things you put in the washing machine and hour ago.

30. Have a backwards dinner. Eat your ice cream before your veggies.

31. Go find and talk to the frogs in your backyard. They might be lonely too. (Apparently one was because he was in my house this morning.)

32. Read Psalm 139.

IMG_20170619_205607

33. Tell God about your loneliness.

34. Go for a walk or a bike ride.

35. Go visit a friend.

36. Cuddle another baby. Or puppy.

37. Take a nap.

38. Organize your sock drawer, your dresses, or your shirts by color.

39. Rearrange your bookshelves

40. Make yourself a cup of tea and have another cookie.

You are not alone.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalms 34:18 NKJV

For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalms 107:9 NKJV

The Best Is Yet To Come

So there was this song I heard a long time ago when I was visiting Jami. We were in her car driving home from The Big White House. Windows were rolled down and the sun was setting. I remember now that we had Pandora’s music on shuffle and this song came up. I never caught the lyrics or even the name of the song, but I really liked the tune.

I found the song yesterday.

It’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” by Sheppard.

The lyric video is here.

This has been floating around in my head for years. I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am that I found this. 😄

Good Gifts

You don’t realize how special your family is. 99% of the time, you take them for granted whether they’re around or not.

20170101_193133

That is until you have special moments like these.

20170101_193815

Becca tho. Why.

When you’re together and you catch up on life.

 

20170101_193853

When you’re laughing so hard your sides hurt and you’re crying. Or you stay up till 2am and literally fall asleep talking to each other.

That was what happened when the cousins came. We haven’t seen them in a couple of years, but they came to visit for New Year’s weekend. It was so so good. I didn’t realize how much I missed them and loved them until they had to go. I cried so hard the day they left. I had taken them for granted.


My uncle flew in from Korea and stayed with us for like ten days or so. Komo came for two days during that time. Oh, and Uncle Joe surprised us and stayed with us too. So we had our family reunion and played games and watched movies. Here are some of my favorite moments.

That time when we watched Inside Out and we all cried together.

All the puzzles we put together. With every piece, Uncle David would say, “This is key.”

When we played games and Uncle David said,”The losers shall eat chocolate because they are sad.”

The fact that Uncle Joe brought more food than clothes with him when he arrived. How does he manage to get everything through security?!?!? #donutsfordays #whitecastle #ilovemyuncle

Sam was baptized the same weekend both uncles were here. (Komo unfortunately had to go back to work.)

With every game we played, Uncle David calculated the probability of the dice or the cards and insisted that we trust the math… Because the math works and math is life.


20170217_204420[1]

We also took a trip down to Texas to see some friends. Man, have I missed these girls!

20170217_205214[1]

An unexpected surprise! We got to see Aunt Laura and Uncle Kerry!

20170218_120344[1]

20170218_173708[1]

Aunt Laura and Uncle AJ renewed their wedding vows for their 25th anniversary.

Hearing parts of their journey together and hearing their new promises to each other with the ocean crashing behind them was such a privilege. Being married to only each other for 25 years is a rarity. It’s one thing to get married, but it’s another thing to stay married. Their marriage and my parents’ marriage are a testimony to the Lord’s goodness and His grace. That’s the kind of marriage I want–one that is firmly anchored to the Lord and to be growing and encouraging each other to be more like Christ.

 

With all the people I got to see these past few months, James 1:17 kept coming to mind. Every soul I got to see, every hug I got to give, and every laugh we shared was a beautiful gift from the Father of lights. I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again. It’s more fun now that we’re older, but it’s also harder to get together because we’re working and there’s college and life happens. But I realize that my family is important. I often take them for granted, but they are a good, good gift from my heavenly Father. I need to make time for them. I may not see my friends on a regular basis, but every text message, every card, and every skype call or lunch date is a good, good gift from my Father. I can’t take that for granted.

sunrise-with-ferris-wheel

“These are the days, these are the days. The days we’ll never get back. These are the days, these are the days. And these days are all we have.”

Winter Is Here

Christmas is upon us.

I can smell it in the air.

Cold.

Biting.

Freezing.

You can see your breath in puffs.

Clouds of warm air evaporating in the chilly atmosphere.

Whispy.

Short-lived.

Poof.

Lights glimmering in the night.

Deer and angels dancing with the shadows.

Rooftops glowing.

Windows sparkling.

It’s magical.

Christmas carols echoing in the distance.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Rejoice!

Hallelujah!

Gloria!

My cup runneth over with hot chocolate.

(Mexican’s my favorite)

Cookies fill the countertops.

Plates are passed around.

There’s warmth.

Joy.

Love.

Eyes are closed and sweets are savoured.

Hearts are full.

Memories are made.

It’s a good life.

It’s a rich life.

It’s a beautiful life.

There’s hope.

Comfort.

Peace.

For unto us a Child is born,

And the government will be upon His shoulder;

And His name will be called

Wonderful,

Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

{Isaiah 9:6}

 

We Rocked the Park

Fury 325 though.

 

I love roller coasters and all, but this one is a bucket-list-one-time-experience-ordeal. I’m never getting on that one again. It’s 325′ tall and has a max speed of 95 mph. I died a little and now I’m terrified to get back on there.

Also, I went to a concert with Dad and E. It was an amazing night.

I was so psyched that my two favorite bands were in one concert! Matt Maher and the Newsboys were bonuses. 🙂

The whole thing was just fantastic. I had a rough week and this concert was something that I was looking forward to. I expected an epic night. I knew I would have a great time because hey, I get to see my two favorite bands plus two more great bands in one night! I had hopes that I would hear my favorite songs played. But I didn’t expect this:

Joel literally walked down the row in front of us! I knew he and Luke would probably walk through the crowd to say hi and whatnot, but never did I imagine that he would walk right in front of me! That was a little exciting.

Love & the Outcome was a fabulous start. I heard old songs as well as new songs. You can bet that I’m going purchase their new album when it’s released this fall. I really like how they’re a husband and wife duo and that they write songs with such solid lyrics that I found myself worshiping Jesus with. I was so encouraged by their songs last night.

20160611_181920[1]

Matt Maher was great.

For King & Country was wonderful.

download_20160612_201351[1]download_20160612_201345[1]20160611_211012_HDR[1]20160611_221321[1]

The Newsboys described themselves as crazy, and I agree. They’re crazy about Jesus and crazy about sharing His love with the world one city at a time.

What amazes me is that hundreds of people came to see these bands and have a great time at the park, but they also heard multiple times throughout the evening that it’s because of Jesus Christ that they’re all standing here today. It’s because of Jesus and His crazy love for us that He left Heaven to die on the cross, take all of our sins, and purchase our salvation. I heard it in the songs, from all of the artists themselves, and I could see it in the men and women who sang and cheered. I was reminded that my life has a purpose and that is to glorify God in all that I say and do. I was reminded of how much hope I have and where it should be placed. I was reminded of Who is truly important. I was reminded that life is short. That roller coaster reminded me of my mortality. Believe me, I was thanking God that I didn’t die during those very long three minutes!

When I was singing and I dropped my self-consciousness and insecurity, I felt so much joy and freedom. Maybe I was just on a spiritual high because I had a rough week and this lifted my spirits. But I believe I worshiped God that night. I believe I glorified Him by raising my hand, by singing every song I knew, and clapping. That’s what matters, right? That I was fixated almost always on Him, not on the artists, and that during the concert, afterwards, and even now, I’m still thanking Him for the reminders that He is God. He is alive. He is with us. He is my help. And it is such an honor that He would give me the privilege to have a personal relationship with Him.

It was an amazing night and one that I’m going to remember for a long time.

Note to Self: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching.

This has been one heck of a week. We’re moving in a matter of days, so the family is busy packing up their belongings. Our school room has turned into a storage room/fort/cave for me. I haven’t helped with any of the packing because I’ve been working all week on a research paper. I’ve been at this thing for nearly two months now, and it’s still not done. So, I spent every second of my day solely working on this and it’s killing me. Note to self: Don’t do that ever again. Prioritize better and pace yourself.

On a lighter note, I wanted to tell you about last weekend. It was filled with music! Last Friday, we went to see our friend play beach, pop, 60’s-70’s classics and rock ‘n roll music with his band. Uncle Jerell and little Olympia met us there and we partied. There was dancing. SO much dancing. Old couples, young couples, children, you name it, they were all dancing and it was great.

Self-conscious me didn’t want to dance among strangers, but I wasn’t the only one who was self-conscious. I’m really glad that Uncle Jerell was there, and that he loved to dance. I don’t think I would have gotten out there if it wasn’t for him. He kept trying to get his lady friends to go and dance with him. It wasn’t until I joined him that they followed. See? I wasn’t the only one who was self-conscious! By nightfall, I was dancing next to Uncle Jerell , his friends, and Olympia was in his arms. She was having a great time playing with my sisters and dancing with her dad. I remember being so close to the stage, our guitarist friend spotted me in the crowd. He was happy to see me dancing and enjoying the music. Note to self: Always move closer to the front of the stage. “That’s where the party’s at!” according to Uncle Jerell.

So, the next time there’s a dance floor, I’m going to dance like nobody’s watching.

The following day, we had a memorial service to attend. I was asked to play my violin with our pianist, Mrs. Becky. I had prayed the entire week that I could play skillfully and touch the hearts of my listeners. I prayed that I could comfort them through my music. So many people were touched by Mrs. Eleanor’s life, including mine. We miss her so much. From the moment I woke up, I was anxious about my performance. So, turning to my Bible for some comfort, I opened it and came to Psalms 46. I stopped at verse 10, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!” That was the exact verse I sewed onto the mug rug I had made for Mrs. Eleanor. When I read it a second time, I could hear her voice reading that first part, “Be still, and know that I am God.” That calmed the flutters in my heart and gave me peace. When I played, I honestly don’t think I’ve played better than that in my entire life. I hit every note and played confidently, another thing that I had been praying for. After the service, I had many people tell me that my music blessed them and that it was beautiful. Another prayer answered. All glory be to God because that was seriously all Him. I was just a vessel.

We spent the rest of the day with Olympia. We stopped by the house to see the progress. It’s so exciting! Just a few more days.

Olympia is a doll. We love her to death and I think she loves us too. 😉 She brings so much joy to our life when she comes to play.

Sunday came. That evening was the church potluck and singing night. My family sang together, E. and I sang with her ukulele, and Mom & Dad sang. Every time we sing as a family, I’m reminded of how much we bless our listeners. People still talk about us singing on Christmas Eve! I remember the peace on Mrs. Eleanor’s face when we sang for her just a week prior to her passing. Now I have another memory of us singing for our church and praising our Jesus.

Note to self: sing out. Sing for Jesus. Don’t bottle it up. Music is meant to be shared.

Twelve Songs That Have Spoken To Me

He Is With Us (Love & The Outcome)

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again (Danny Gokey)

Creed (by Richard Mullins but I like Third Day and Brandon Heath’s collab)

If We’re Honest (Francesca Battistelli)

Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest

Crave (For King & Country)

First (Lauren Daigle)

Thrive (Casting Crowns)

You Are (Colton Dixon)

Prodigal (Sidewalk Prophets)

Wherever you are, whatever you did
It’s a page in your book, but it isn’t the end
Your Father will meet you with arms open wide
This is where your heart belongs
Come running like a prodigal

The Words I would Say (Sidewalk Prophets)

Long Live (For King & Country)

Heart Like You (Love & The Outcome)

 

Also, Anthem Lights. I stumbled upon them this past week and now I’m hooked. You can listen to my favorite here.