The Likes of Us. 47 to go…

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
– John Green

Have you ever listened to music like this? Music that has the potential to heal souls and fix the world?  I’ll admit that I’m one of those horrible people who discovers music I like and just listens to it over and over again until I know every single world. I can’t think about anything else. I bathe myself in the words and the chords and the rhythm until it feels like a part of my own skin. I can’t bare to listen to anything else for weeks on end.

original-time_traveler_cover_squareYou can download this album for free from Noisetrade.

If you follow me on Tumblr or Twitter, (which you definitely should be) then you know I have been listening to this album on repeat for 10 days straight. According to my iTunes, I’ve listened to this album 36 times through (it’ll be 37 by the time I finish writing this.) Which means I’ve listened to this album between 3 and 4 times a day, which is up to four hours a day. I would listen to it more if there were more hours in the day. I like all of it. From the fun and upbeat songs to the slow and beautiful ones, I just love it.

This album is changing my life and I can’t even explain how or why. It’s like it’s fixing my heart. I don’t know, I can’t even make sense of how it makes me feel.

The song “Indian Summer” is probably my favorite because I just love the words.

I’m looking for the girl with Sunshine in her soul. 

Something about that speaks to me in a way I don’t understand. I want to be described like that. I want someone to look at me and look for the words to describe me and only be able to say “it’s like… it’s like she has Sunshine in her soul. Sunshine with a capital S.” Maybe this has something to do with my love affair with not only physical Sunshine, but also the idea of Sunshine. I think it really does have to do with The Girl I Want To Be, which I’ve written a lot about. I have this idea of who I want to be, and I’m getting closer and closer every day, but this song just embodies this beautiful, Sunshine-y, peaceful kind of girl I want to be. I don’t know. It just speaks to me.

I also love “Hurricane” probably for the same reasons. As a self-proclaimed tree-hugger, the language it uses just speaks to me.

when you grab my hand
I can’t move no I can’t think
you course through my veins
like a flood in the streams
you waken me up
like a bolt of lightning
how can you love me
so fierce and so sweet

And then the chorus is just so strikingly beautiful.

in the drought of my soul
oh i’m losing control
oh how you know how to kiss like the rain
you stole my heart like a hurricane

I could listen to those words over and over again. “Oh how you know how to kiss like the rain.” Isn’t that just stunning? I want someone to talk about my like this. I want it so badly. I want to be a storm, so fierce and so sweet, who moves gracefully while still being a whirlwind. Does that make any sense?

I feel like this album is full of the love songs I wish were written for me (that sounds really sad, but I promise it isn’t.) It just makes me feel happy and loved on the inside. Maybe I’m just filling my desire for summer-lovin’ (had me a blast) with this album, and I think that’s OK. This is not to say that I’m discontent, I’m so very happy and I just feel like this has done nothing but help water the peace and joy that’s planted in my heart. Does that make sense? I don’t know.

Sorry if none of this made sense. I just am loving this right now and it’s making me feel a lot of things (mostly good things) and I wanted to share it with you. I can’t make much sense of how I feel right now, both about this and just about my life in general, but I knew I needed to share this. It’s the sort of thing that haunts me until I share it with everyone. I just have a lot of feelings about a lot of things and this album is helping me to make sense of it all. I don’t know. I just don’t know. I want this to make sense, and I’m not sure it does. Oh well, I’ve made less sense over less important things.

Mission of the Day- Listen to this album the whole way through and then tell me what you think? Does anything speak to you? What’s your favorite song?

Question of the Day- What have you been listening to this summer? Do you have any suggestions for other things for me to listen to?

Love you!

Abby

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One perfect day. 51 to go…

If every day were as beautiful as today was I would die from over exposure to beauty and love.

I went to church with my two dear friends David and Meg. The sun was shining, the breeze smelled like summer, the trees were blooming, the birds were singing. All was beautiful. The worship at church was beautiful and uplifting and encouraging. They showed a beautiful video about mothers for Mother’s Day which made me incredibly homesick, but also deeply thankful for my beautiful and kind and wonderful mother. After church we decided to go to the lilac festival which is happening this week.

We parked at Meg’s house and walked a good ways to the lilac festival. We all held hands and walked in stride and marveled at the beauty of our little corner of the world and laughed together. Walking around the festival there were so many beautiful people in happy little dresses and gorgeous long skirts and Meg and I couldn’t help but point out all of the stunning people we walked past. There was so much to see and so many people so we just explored a little bit before our hungry stomachs got the better of us and we had to stop and eat. We sat down on a grassy hill and listened to this incredible group called Driftwood. The female vocalist had this slow and sultry voice that just drew me in. We listened to them for a while and watched all of the people around us. There were all of these wonderful people in long skirts who were dancing and just thoroughly enjoying the music.

Driftwood finished up and while we were waiting for the next group to come on my mom called me. I’ve been missing her so much and it was so good to just talk even for a little bit and laugh about all of the silly things that have been going on. Good heavens, I love her.

Between the two groups David, Meg, and I just laid in the grass and enjoyed the sun and then David said “just sitting in the sun with two of my best friends. This is great.” I just stopped and looked at both of them and was filled with so much happiness. It’s not every day that someone tells you that you’re one of their best friends, and it’s not every day that you realize that they’re yours. I’ve spent almost the entire weekend with my lovely friend Katie (who took my side bar picture, aint she great?) and David and more and more I’ve been realizing that they’re some of my best friends and that I love them both so much. I’ve been so blessed by Meg and her kind heart and encouraging attitude. Sitting there made me realize that she’s been the big sister I’ve never had and I was so grateful. More and more I’ve just been looking at my friends here and thinking that I don’t know what I’ll do without them for three months. They’ve come to be such big parts of my life over the past couple months. Grace, Kelly, Mike, David, Katie, Meg and so many more. I just love them all so much.

The second group that got up to play was The Adam Ezra Group who were also fantastic. They sang all of these great songs about beautiful women who live in the mountains and don’t wear shoes. My kind of people! Then in the middle of one of the songs the lead vocalist started improvising and I honestly can’t remember all of what he said, but it was beautiful. It was all about the Sunshine and good friends and happy music and love and joy and peace. He said the most beautiful thing: “I don’t know what I did to deserve this perfect day.”  I was overwhelmed with how incredibly happy I felt. I just sat there hugging Meg and thanking God for the friends he’s given me and for the Sunshine he’s placed in my life. I was reminded of all the ways in which God has provided good things for me this semester.

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David, Meg and me at the lilac festival. Not gonna lie, we’re kind of adorable.

Today has been a little vacation from the four week funk I’ve been living in. Maybe I’ll feel horrible tomorrow, but days like today serve to remind me that the sun still shines even if I can’t see it. It gives me hope that this funk will end and things will be good again. For just today, everything was perfect.

Love you!!

Abby

PS- I used the word beauty/beautiful 11 times in this post. There are just no other words for how great everything is and for how much I love my friends. Everything is just so beautiful! (Make that 12)

Big Break. 58 to go…

So I was at Big Break last week for Spring Break. I have no idea how to write this so we’re going to write it Haiti-Post Style.

Part 1: Communication
The school I go to has a large deaf community and the group I went to Big Break with was split almost in half, deaf and hearing. Now I happen to know very little American Sign Language (ASL,) before the trip my signing was limited to “thank you” “sorry” and “prude” and this meant that I essentially couldn’t communicate with half of the group. It was so frustrating, not because I felt like I wasn’t being understood but because I felt like I couldn’t understand. I wanted to be a part of the conversation and I wanted to feel included (this isn’t to say that my deaf friends weren’t trying to include me because they were, but it was a totally different language that just can’t be taught in a day.) However, I was really blessed to be living with my friends Quinny and Tina who were both very patient with me when it came to communicating and taught me a lot. In general, all of my deaf friends were very patient and understanding and I’m so glad that I got to know them. I learned a good bit of ASL but I also learned a lot about God from them all and we had so much fun together. So thank you Quinny, Tina, Jessica, Sam, Brian, Kemoy, and Dakota for being so understanding and teaching me so much. I am so glad that I got to know each and every one of you.

1010138_10152713096494972_763538187_nSome of the wonderful people I went with. Aren’t we all so cute?

Part 2: Pain
I wrote a whole post about this earlier in the week and you can check that out here. I got really bad sun poisoning which made this whole week really difficult. I was in so much pain and felt so sick for so much of the week. It was absolutely miserable.

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This picture doesn’t even begin to capture how terrible it was, but I thought it was funny and pretty fitting that my Golden Key was burnt into my skin. 

Part 3: Depression
I’ve been dealing with a lot of depression this winter. I had to deal with the emotional aftermath of that even in beautiful, Sunshine-y Florida. It was such a roller-coaster of emotions to go from the dark and cold of my college town to the brightness and warmth of Big Break.

Part 4: Homesickness
I was so homesick for so much of the week. I was tired and missing my parents and my siblings and my best friend. I was just wishing that I could be at home. As the week went on I felt more and more at home as I found myself better connecting with the people on the team. It’s been a really hard transition, going from years of going on trips with the same group of people and knowing them all really well and having them know me to doing things and going on trips with people who I barely know. Being new is foreign and scary, but it has been really good. It has stretched me to get out of my comfort zone, to try something new.

Part 5: Worship
I love to sing. I feel most full and right and complete when I sing and it is the easiest way for me to worship because it is such an emotional thing for me. The worship was so incredible at Big Break, so different. Sitting with our deaf friends meant that I got to learn a little of how to sign the songs which is such a beautiful form of worship to me.

This was one of the songs we sang all week and it is one of my favorite songs. I heard it for the first time a couple of months ago and haven’t stopped listening to it yet.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me;
You’ve never failed
And you won’t stop now

These words strike something deep in me.

Part 5B: Prayer
I can’t explain the way prayer moved me during the week, but it was incredible.

Part 6: Sharing My Faith
I am really bad at sharing my faith. I just want to be liked by people and have a terrible fear of rejection and between these two things I find it so terrifying to share my faith with people. Especially the people closest to me. I was really challenged during the week to put aside the things that hold me back from sharing my faith and not be afraid to talk about one of the most important parts of who I am.

Part 7: My Story
I’ve realized that my story has changed so much in the past year. I’ve done a lot of things, some that I’m proud of and some that I’m not. You can never see the path you’re on while you’re on it, but looking back it is all so clear. I wish I hadn’t made some of the mistakes that I did, but as I look back I can see all the ways those decisions have shaped me. As I was sitting on the beach with a couple of friends I could see the contrast between how I’m choosing to live and how I was living and I was suddenly so thankful for the people I was sitting there with and for how far I’d come in just a few short weeks.

All in all I am so glad that I went. It wasn’t easy, but it was so so worth it.

Question of the Day- What did you do with your spring break? If you’re not in college, what have you been up to recently? I want to hear all about it!!

Mission of the Day- Go outside and dance for 47 seconds to celebrate spring!

Love you!

Abby

Why can’t I be Normal?? 60 to go…

I feel like I want to cry and sleep a lot. I really hope that the Sunshine will be good for me, because I need it. I need a reason to smile and I need a reason to believe again. That’s the problem with depression like this. It’s not that I don’t know that life will be good again, because I do, but I almost don’t believe it. For moments I get a glimpse of the sun and the happiness it brings but then that moment passes and it’s as though my mind refuses to believe that it will ever be happy again. Squeezing, squashing, crushing sadness. Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I be happy and functional like everyone else? Why Why Why?

The sadness of winter is almost a deep, physical ache in me. It will hit me in waves and I just have to lay down until it passes because I can’t physically deal with it. I watched a movie recently and there’s a scene with this girl lying on the floor in the fetal position shaking and crying because of her heroin addiction. I just watched that scene and saw myself lying on the floor like that, but I don’t have an excuse. I have no heroin addiction to blame, only the Cold.

I feel so stupid about it sometimes. It’s not like I’m living some crazy, dramatic, tragic life. It’s almost like I have no right to feel the way I do. I feel guilty and silly for hurting as deeply as I do. It’s not always just Winter, but sometimes it only takes an insensitive comment, a weird look, or a sarcastic joke to break me. I don’t want to be this fragile, I just want to be normal.

I’ve been so stressed these past couple of weeks. I’ve had so much school work and my room has been dirty and all of my clothes have been filthy and I have just felt like I can’t keep it together. If I was like most other girls I would just deal with it, but no. The thought of dealing with these stressors just causes me more stress so I just don’t deal with them. Why can’t I just deal with things like a normal human being??

I have a mind-blowing crush on this boy. It’s the kind of thing where I just want to talk about it all the time, but I also want no one to know. I want him to notice me. I want him to like me. I want so many selfish things. But I also just want to get to know him. I want to laugh with him and talk about what he wants to do with his life. I haven’t had a silly little crush like this in so long and it’s so weird to have one now. I don’t know how to act. I’m trying to look like I’ve got it all together but it’s like I can’t be normal around him. Guh! How do I act normal?? 

My spring break started yesterday and I’m in Florida until next Saturday. I’m so glad to get out of the frozen tundra that is my college, but I’m so homesick. All of my best friends were home for break last week and I just wish I could have been there with them. I miss my parents and my brother and my bed. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a good thing that I’m here and that I’m going to love it and learn lots.

I think that I’m just in need of some normalcy in my life.

I want to thank everyone for the kind comments and emails regarding my past couple of posts. Winter is a really hard time for me and I get so depressed and I’m just incredibly thankful that you all care enough to try to cheer me up. I really appreciate it. I hope to be posting more thought provoking and uplifting things this week, since I’m going to have time and will hopefully be in a better state of mind in these coming days.

Love you always!

Abby

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

Sunshine for Monica.167 to go…

I thought that I should share this with you because I believe it is so true. This is in response to a blog post by my beautiful friend Monica.

Oh Monica, I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes the world is bright and beautiful and other days I just want it all to be over. I don’t know much about anything, but I know this: every tunnel has to end. Those periods of darkness can last weeks or even months, but the sun will always come back out. I often find it hard to feel like God is near me and I easily fall into the trap of believing that I am alone. But life has proven to me time and time again that I am never truly alone. I have incredible friends who have stuck with me through every hard moment, I have parents who are supportive and loving, and most importantly I have a God who is my sun. You can’t see the sun in the darkness and it is hard to feel like It’s even still there, but with the morning comes the sun and he reminds me that just because I couldn’t see him didn’t mean that he wasn’t there. He was keeping me warm and keeping me alive through the darkest and loneliest nights. I love you and I am always here when you need a hug or a shoulder to cry on. I know It’s hard, but keep breathing Sunshine, the world is a beautiful place.

Love you!

Abby

What’s wrong with me? 233 to go…

Gosh, the whole universe is freezing cold. I miss summer. I miss the sunlight and the late nights, the music loud and the Windows down. I miss the flowers in our hair and the Romance in the air. I miss the joy of feeling alive and the need to only survive. I miss it all, It’s true. But mostly, I miss you.

Sorry, I may have just accidentally written the chorus to what will someday become and incredible song, but it had to happen and It’s all so true.

I don’t know how to feel right now. I liked a boy, he made it clear he didn’t like me (at all,) he still was giving me funny signals and now he has a girlfriend. I mean, good for him, but I don’t know how to feel about this. I guess that I don’t truly like him anymore and I haven’t for a while, but It’s still kinda weird. Whatever.

I find that I’m living in a pattern. A patter where I decide that I like a boy, think that he likes me back, find out that he doesn’t like me back, get devastated, move on to someone else who gives me attention. What the heck is wrong with me? I need to get out of this cycle before it kills my soul and my belief in love. There is so much more to life than the opinion of some awkward teenage boy.

But it still makes me sad. I find myself asking this question a lot “what is wrong with me?” Why do I seem so incredibly unlikable? I don’t know.

I miss the Sunshine… I miss it a lot.

Love you!

Abby