Life is so good. 63 to go…

So my last post was a little heavy and I wanted to thank everyone for the support in writing my Story and to those who told me just a little piece of theirs. It means the absolute world to me. But this week we’re going to lighten it up a bit!

The sun came out yesterday and it made me so deeply happy. I feel entirely too happy. I got out of my sustainability class an hour early so I went and played the piano for an hour. I saw a beautiful friend and we hugged in the Sunshine. I just sat in my bed, played my ukulele, and soaked up the Sunshine.

Today is just as beautiful and on top of that it’s Friday!! I’ve got a happy song running through my head, I did my hair and it’s cute, I’m falling in love with the world. I know, it’s still winter, but for today I breathe in the Sun and breathe out the worries that have plagued me all season.

Happiness can come in such little things, a touch of sun, a smile, the sound of birds, a phone call, a mug of green tea, wearing a dress, taking a long shower, a hug, a good friends, a good book, a gentle breeze. I’m just trying to soak up as much of the Joy and Beauty in the world as I possibly can. Winter always makes me horribly depressed so I am enjoying this elated feeling while it lasts.

Honestly, this has been the best winter I’ve had in years. College is more work than high school, but there’s so much more time to relax. Time to take a nap, watch Bones, play a happy song, call my parents, cry. I’ve been eating better, exercising more, and sleeping longer than I have previously and I think that makes such an incredible difference.

I’ve also been making new friends who I really, really like. The kind of people who remind me why I love my friends from CORE so much. People who are kind and interesting and deeply rooted and hilarious.

I think it’s good for me to write when I’m feeling this way because it reminds me that the darkness of winter doesn’t last forever. The sun comes out. There is beauty. There is hope.

Things are looking up, looking up
There’s magic everywhere you go
People stop to say hello
So turn it up, turn it up
As loud as you can make it go
Cause love is on the radio

Random Fact of the Day- Bubble wrap was initially designed to be used as wallpaper.

Mission of the Day- Write a poem about how you’re feeling and then recite it in your best operatic voice to a friend.

Question of the Day- What helps you get through the winter?

Love you!!

Abby

Dive in. 69 to go…

I would never consider myself an “artsy” person (mostly because I’m a terrible artist,) but I have a love for making things and and doing new projects.

I’m just a lover of the new and the exciting. I love to experiment and research and create. 

But here’s the thing, I don’t believe in easing myself into things. I believe in diving into projects head first. No room to back out, I don’t always think ahead, I seldom have a plan (just ask my parents about this one.)

So I’m jumping into something this semester. Not an art project or a silly whim, I’m jumping into my Faith. Cru, Bible Study, Church. I’m jumping in. I’m immersing myself. No testing the water. No making excuses. No backing out.

You see, if I’m not 100% committed to doing something then I can talk myself out of it.
I have too much homework.
I need to study.
I’m really tired.
I should clean my room.
There will be other weeks.
It can wait.

It can wait.

But it can’t. I can’t. If this means to me what I say it means to me then it cannot wait. I have to get involved and I have to do it today. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Today.

The friendships that we choose to prioritize in our lives are the ones that thrive and help us develop as people. They are the friendships that come to mean the most to us. This is how I need to approach my Faith. I need to give it the thought, the time, the energy it deserves. The key is to make it a priority.

We always have priorities. We can’t help it. We naturally put things above others.
Family
Friends
Comfort
Desires
Money
School

I look at my priorities from last semester and I know that I was putting myself and what I wanted above everything else. I was so selfish and self absorbed and I didn’t even notice. I felt the distance and the conflict in my Heart, but I couldn’t figure out why. I felt a deep sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction. I don’t know what caused me to realize it, it might have just been the time to rest and be with the people who know me best in the world, but I’m so glad that I did. I was so blessed by my time at home.

I went to CORE a couple of times while I was home and was reminded that I just don’t belong there any more but also that I miss it so much. I miss the laughter, the friendships, the growth. I visited Meesh and went to her Christian Fellowship group at her college. It reminded me so much of the friendships and experiences I had at CORE and gave me an idea of how relationships like that can be made outside of my group of CORE friends. It gives me hope for having friends like that at my college.

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Visiting Meesh

But I’m beginning to feel good. Really good. So good.

Random Fact of the Day- Crows can recognize human faces and hold grudges against humans they don’t like.

So here’s to diving in,

Love you!!

Abby

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Here are a couple of the crazy art projects I’ve tried over the years:IMG_20140122_211405
Wire working

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Painting                                                 Making chalkboard paint

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Melting Crayons with a hot glue gun 

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Homemade eye makeup

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Fabric dying and painting

 

CORE, Growing Up, Poetry, and other Stuff. 70 to go…

I have about a billion things rolling around in my head right now, things that are long enough to write half a paragraph about, but not long enough to elaborate on. So this is going to be one of those stream of consciousness (a word I can never spell right,) kind of posts.

CORE Reaction was this weekend, and this is the first time in five years that I haven’t gone. It’s been incredible to see pictures, blog posts, FaceBook statuses and so much more about it from my friends back home. It seems like it was an incredible weekend and I’m so glad to hear about all the things everyone learned and experienced, at the same time I can’t help but be jealous. CORE was one of the places where I grew the most and made the most incredible friends I’ve ever had. I wish I had been able to be there with everyone.

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Meesh and I from last year’s CORE React. Aren’t we just so cute?

In thinking back to last year’s retreat I reread my post about it from last year (check that out here) and couldn’t help but feel that I’ve been in a similar place recently. A place where I’ve been running away from the big things, the scary things, the hard things. Running from the people who don’t say the easy things, running from hard conversations, running from reality, and running from consequences. I think I’ve been making steps back to where I want to be over the past couple weeks. (These New Semester Resolutions are doing me good.) It’s just a reminder of where I’m coming from and where I’m trying to go.

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Last year’s group from CORE React. I’ve been blessed time and time again to know these people and grow along side of them. 

I did a really scary thing this week. I went to church by myself for the first time in my life. If you know me at all or have been reading for a long time then you know that I’m a pastor’s kid and a missionary’s kid. I’ve pretty comfortable in churches. I’ve spent a lot of time standing up in front of churches speaking, singing, acting, or just watching my parents speak. But it’s totally different when you are by yourself. No parents to follow, no friends to sit with, no acquaintances (another word I can’t ever spell) to smile at. But that’s what I wanted. I wanted to go in by myself so that I would have no distractions. I’ve only visited one church, but I love it there. It’s very similar to my church back home and I think it’s a great fit for me. In the end I’m so glad that I went.

In looking for the two photos I posted above I had to scroll past hundreds and hundreds of pictures from the past year and I was filled with joy and great memories as I scrolled through a visual representation of my life. My birthday party, The Fifth, Roxbury, my last Choir Concert, my first visit to the College I’m now attending, Homeschool Prom, my Last Day of High School, Graduation, Haiti, College adventures, Ever After, Christmas, and so many other random moments in between.

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Graduation with Meesh

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My Music Theory class on  the Last Day of High School

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Homeschool Prom with Erika, Penny, me, Meesh, and Tabitha.

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The Fifth with Kayla, Zach, Josh, me, and Bethany.

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Food after our last Choir Concert.

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Haiti, where I left a piece of my heart. 

It’s occurred to me that I don’t look like these pictures anymore. My hair has slowly changed color with less dye and more Dirty Hippie magic, I’ve gotten new glasses that I like enough to wear all the time, I’ve started wearing homemade makeup (maybe I’ll talk about that later. Email me if you wanna know about this,) my fashion sense (or lack there of,) has changed. It’s also occurred to me that it’s not just that I look different, but that I am different. I’m just not the same person I used to be. I’ve grown, experienced, seen, changed, felt, read, listened, learned.

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Because I don’t believe in attractive selfies, this is the best I could find.
Love these three. Me, Zach, Meesh, and Josh.

I’ve always preferred reading poetry to writing it (“Hazel Grace, you are the only teenager in America who prefers reading poetry to writing it. This tells me so much. You read a lot of capital-G great books, don’t you?“) So I brought back some of my favorite poetry books from home, and I’m just reminded of all the things I love. But now I’ve got all these words floating around in my head. I feel like I need to write something, I just have to get around to it.

Here’s a favorite poem of mine:

As a child I walked
with noisy fingers 

along the hemline
of so many meadows
back home

Green fabric
stretched out
   shy earth
   shock of sky

I’d sit on logs like pulpits
listen to the sermon
of sparrows
and find god in Simplicity
there amongst the dandelion
and thorn

Mission of the Day- Find me a Poem!!

Love you!!!

Abby

So I’m going to Haiti. 110 to go…

I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but I’m going to Haiti. Now. I’m leaving in one hour. Crazy right?

I think that it will be really good for me. I need to get out of here and I need a revival. I need something. I don’t know quite what it is that I need, but I know that I need something. Maybe I need passion. Something to remind me what I’m doing here on this planet. A push towards my Great Perhaps.

I don’t know what this trip holds for me, but I think I’m ready. I have an amazing team going with me and I have a more amazing God by my side.

I won’t be able to blog for the week that I’m gone, but please keep me in mind and in your prayers. It’s going to be hot and tiring and draining, but I need this.

I love you all so much!!!

Abby

I don’t fit in anymore. 116 to go…

During my eighteen years of life, I have lived all over the world. Houses have changed, friends have changed, languages have changed and life has changed. There have been two things that have been consistent throughout my life: my brother Jonathan, and my church. It never mattered where we lived, we were always welcome and accepted at my church. It’s been my second home for years. I don’t fit in there any more.

Over the past five years, CORE has been my safe place. The place where my friends were and where I could really be myself. Graduating from high school has meant no longer being accepted in CORE. We’re being forced into the young adult ministry where I don’t know people and where I don’t want to be. I just don’t fit in there.

It sucks so much to say it, but It’s true.

I think that we sometimes come to a point when we realize that something has to end. A relationship, a friendship, a job, a project, an institution, a habit. But expectations force us to stay where we are and don’t allow us to grow. I’ve come to a point in one of my friendships where I understand that we have learned what we can from each other, but our friendship is kind of over. She doesn’t know that. She will want our friendship to keep going as “smoothly” as she thinks it has been for the past five years. But the truth is that I know It’s over. I’m ready to embrace that.

That’s how I’m feeling about my church and about being at home. It’s time to move on. I need different and new. I feel weird and out of place where I am. I don’t belong anymore. I don’t fit in. I’m ready for college. For the new and the exciting and the challenge and the experience. I hope that those things will help me find my place back in my church and my home. They’ll give me something in common with these people with whom I have no connection.

Can I just go to Haiti and then to college already?

Love you!

Abby

CORE Reaction. 225 to go…

So, I took a week off of blogging because my life was super crazy this week. But, I did survive! Yay!

I want to talk about CORE Reaction. I went on my very last high school winter retreat. Probably my last high school retreat. I have been on a CORE winter/fall retreat for every year that I have gone to my church and this one was my last. It was a truly incredible time. I had long talks, went tubing, made friends and learned. One thing stuck out to me very much from David (my youth pastor)’s sermons: Sometimes we feel like God is really far away, but the truth is that It’s our faults. God is not moving away from us, we are moving away from him. And I realized that I’ve been running.

I run away from the big things. I avoid being at home. I avoid hard conversations. I run away from the scary and the uncertain and the painful. I run and I run and I run and then I wonder why God feels so far away. I wonder why I feel so desperate and lonely and sick and depressed inside. But God didn’t move.

He promises to never leave me. He promises to always draw near, always protect and always love. I’m not drawing from this well because I’m too busy running away.

That’s what I’ve been working on this week. Not running away. Trying to get my life in order and get more rest.

I love you very much!

Abby

Day 346

Sorry that I didn’t warn you, but I was on the mountain side for the past 3 days which is why I didn’t write.

I spent the past couple days at a leadership retreat with some kids from my youth group. I had an absolutely incredible week. On the bus ride there we discussed Hunger Games, YouTubers, Harry Potter, Great Perhaps, John Green and so much more.

Then when we got to the camp, my roommates: Meesh, Anna, Hannah, and Sharon; all built a fort out of three mattresses in our cabin and two sheets. We went on a hike and my friend Monica and I spent a good amount of time discussing what a Great Perhaps is and how one goes about finding it.

As I said in one of my recent posts I believe that we each have a Great Perhaps and that I can’t define it exactly, but a Great Perhaps is that something that gives us purpose and hope and something so much bigger than ourselves. After this exhausting hike (which was not all that exhausting, just a pain) we got to the top and looked out over this amazing view of the river and the trees below us and all I could think was: this must be what a Great Perhaps looks like. Then we discussed what it is you do after you find your Great Perhaps. I don’t know… I don’t know if I’ll even ever find mine, but I’ll keep trying.

We talked about teenage “love” and how we feel about it. I came to the conclusion that it really shapes you (not that I didn’t know that. You know… Guys, Life, Stuff and all,) and that It’s often tragic, but the beauty lies in the tragedy of it. Call me a hopeless Romantic, but that’s what I think.

I was talking to someone about self discovery the other day. And I decided something: you cannot go looking for yourself and find yourself. What happens is you go looking for the view at the top of the mountain and yourself finds you. You can’t look for who you are, you have to run into it or trip over it or get smacked by it. Some of the most beneficial time for me for self discovery was the couple of months when I stopped writing this. I didn’t go looking and I didn’t even realise that that was what had happened until after the fact.

I have so much more that I want to say, but I’m tired.

Random Fact of the Day- the definition for secret is: something that is meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.

Mission of the Day- What are you good at? Like, really truly good at? If you can’t think of anything specific then ask someone who knows you well.

Love you!

Abby