Archive from August, 2014
Aug 30, 2014 - My Story, travel    2 Comments

You Go

I debated for a while after I heard. The time. The gas money. The weeknight commitment. I vacillated.

My favorite band of all time, Cool Hand Luke, was playing a small show in Tampa last week. I’ve talked about the importance of this band before. I was sharing my internal debate with a friend when she interrupted me and said, “When your favorite band of all time, whom you’ve never seen live, is playing a few hours from here, you go.”

You go.

I went.

driving Kelly

 

milkshake, writing, bible

I drove to Tampa, hung out at a restaurant, read, wrote, drank and milkshake and waited for the show. I got to see Mark Nicks of Cool Hand Luke play some of my favorite songs, sing lyrics that remind me of truth, and croon melodies that stir my soul. I learned that there are things more important than gas money and a few missed hours of sleep. I sat on the front row, toes tapping in joy, soaking in the goodness that is beautiful music and powerful lyrics.

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mark cool hand luke

I am thankful for people who can encourage me to be adventurous. Those who tell me, “You go!” and remind me of the importance of making memories. Even in the midst of adulthood, when I feel pressure to make the right decision, be responsible, save money, and get to sleep on time, it was nice to be reminded that there is still room for the spontaneous kid to play! I drove home, hit traffic, got to sleep late, but had a smile on my face knowing it was worth it. When something you care deeply about is nearby, you go! Life is an adventure.

What adventure have you embarked on lately?

 

Aug 26, 2014 - Writing    No Comments

Words are Powerful

I think on paper.

That’s not just a website; it’s a statement.

Writing is how I process life the best. Sometimes that makes me feel like an alien creature, exploring a new planet with my ever-present Moleskine. I don’t know what I really think about something until I write it down.

But recently, I found my people. There are many others who know this feeling. Who think of words as friends. Who are also exploring daily, pen in hand.

stack of books, gospel coalition

I was invited to the Band of Bloggers workshop at The Gospel Coalition National Women’s Conference and it was delightful. We were welcomed by a stack of free books which publishers graciously provided to encourage potential future authors. Several dozen word-lovers chatted together, exchanging websites, and book recommendations. We also listened to a panel of writers discuss the perilous and arduous journey that is writing and publishing.

The most powerful thing said during this time was stated more of an aside than a main point. Blogger and author, Jen Wilkin, said, “You have to have people reading your writing. Words are powerful. They change opinions and lives. If you aren’t sharing your drafts with people you aren’t accurately realizing the power of your words”

Words are powerful. They’ve changed my life again and again. I want everything I write to be uplifting, honest, and beneficial. I want to think about posts and write well and never be flippant with what I publish. That would be doing myself and my reader a huge disservice and negating the weight that well-crafted words wield. It was a beautiful to be with like minded people and to be reminded of the mightiness of the pen! Moleskine in hand, I continue exploring, because I think on paper.

Words are powerful. How have they changed your life?

Aug 23, 2014 - My Story    8 Comments

Do You Dread Weddings?

It’s a Saturday. People everywhere are being joined in holy matrimony. Pinterest boards aside, do you dread weddings? Do they tend to remind you more of what you lack than you are able to celebrate with the new couple?

I fall into this category.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s wedding. We were tight in high school, but college and grad school took us to different states so I haven’t seen her in years. It was a joy to witness a beautiful wedding, have a mini-high school reunion, and celebrate with my dear friends.

seema cake cutting

seema wedding

 

But inevitably, the bouquet toss approached. I’ve experienced years of awkwardly tromping out into the middle of the dance floor, standing conspicuously, and vying for a cluster of flowers. It’s not my favorite part of weddings. It is the time I am most reminded that I am single, that I don’t have that special someone by my side. I was also asked by a dear, and well-meaning mom, “Kelly, you are the last one! When will you have good news for us?!” Further reminders of my singleness. I know that whenever such questions are asked, that the asker is really saying, “Kelly, you are rad! I can’t wait for the day that a man recognizes your radness!” It is always asked in love, but sometimes it is still a painful reminder. I leave conversations thinking, “Maybe I’ll just adopt several cats on my way home and be the crazy cat lady.”

But just twelve hours later, my singleness was redeemed. I went to church Sunday morning and the mother of a young lady I disciple found me, hugged me and thanked me for using my singleness well. This mother of four knows the importance of motherhood, and the time constraints that accompany such a crucial role. She reminded me that I might not always have such flexibility in my schedule and thanked me, with tears in her eyes, for being intentional during this season of my life.  This short conversation negated all the angst left over from the night before and was a huge boost for my heart.

Each season has constraints and each season has rewards. It matters how I use my singleness. I am determined not to waste it.

Action and Non-Action

Because time is a finite resource, every action involves an infinite amount of non-actions.

Every choice I make. What book to read, what movie to watch, what food to eat, what topic to write about, necessarily involves not reading other books, watching other movies, eating other foods or writing about other topics concurrently. I can only perform one at a time.

As discussed in my last post, I learned this from an unlikely source, A book titled How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read by Pierre Bayard.

how to talk about books you haven't read

I’ve been thinking about this some more, wanting my choices to be the best possible. I am sometimes swamped with possibilities, invites, offers, requests, and commitments. Everything I say “yes” to involves saying “no” to numerous other possibilities. I say this not to heighten the stakes, leaving me indecisive and ineffective, but to remind myself that time is valuable. It should be used well, thought-through, and intentional. I should be living each day on purpose not thrown into it be default. Am I saying “yes” intentionally to the things that are most important in life? Within reason, am I looking at the options I’m saying “no” to and weighing my options before deciding? Does this thought process excite or terrify me?

As I said a few days ago in reference to books and reading, I now exclaim for the rest of life: Every action involves an infinite amount of non-actions.

Therefore, choose wisely!

Does this help you in decision making or make you nervous?

Aug 10, 2014 - Book Review, Writing    No Comments

How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read

Every action involves an infinite amount of non-actions.

That’s deep.

I learned that while reading, somewhat distractedly on a plane and had to turn back and re-read it. A professor wrote a delightful book entitled How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read. 

 

how to talk about books you haven't read

 

In it he began by bemoaning his lot in life as a literary professor who could not possibly read all the books he was expected to. Expected by university and students alike to have a working knowledge of all major works since the dawn of recorded time, no one could live up to such reading proficiency. Bayard discusses the benefits of skimming, familiarity, and thematic resonance possible to broaden his base of books from which he can speak intelligently about — even if he hasn’t actually read them.

Which made me feel a little bit better. I read fairly extensively, but it seems as I work my way through my list of read books, the list of unread and deserving to be read books lengthens exponentially. Thus in every decision to read, I pick up one book, and I at the same down leave thousand of books unread. Because time is a finite resource, this is true in all areas of life. Every action involves an infinite amount of non-actions.

Therefore, choose wisely.

Aug 6, 2014 - Devotional    No Comments

Ceasing, to Worship

I am a grammarphile.

I enjoy the undervalued punctuation marks. I revel in a properly placed em dash. I snicker at how commas can change meanings entirely .

lets eat grandma

There is also a purposefully placed comma in my title.

I am not ceasing to worship. I am ceasing, in order to worship.

My life is full of activity, demands, and both internal and external pressure to do more. Activity and busyness is my default. You can likely relate. Over the past several years, I have been striving to stop. Even if just for a short period of time each week, I want to experience something totally different. I have to purpose to cease. I have to plan to stop. To turn off my guilt-machine and rest. But I’ve realized that ceasing is not just a necessary precursor to allow time for worship. My ceasing is an act of worship itself. In that time of non-activity, I remove my reliance on myself for money, provision, and stability and place it solidly on God. In this sense, with a profound knowledge of my dependence upon the Lord and His provision, my ceasing is worship.

I am ceasing, t0 worship. Commas change everything.

 

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