Because I can

Welcome everyone, it’s time for my weekly blog post!

Oh wait. I haven’t written in, like, 3 weeks.

Hmmm…

Well, I do have some reasons (like a trip to Georgia) why I haven’t been able to keep up as regularly as I wanted these past couple of weeks. But in the midst of trying to figure out a good explanation to post for why I haven’t been writing, and trying to figure out what to write about in the first place, I came up with this conclusion:

I write because I can. Because I love it. Yes, it would be awesome if I weekly wrote amazing, profound, witty blog posts that tons of people read. But honestly, I probably won’t. I’ll have the weeks (like lately) when I don’t keep up with my goal of writing one post a week. I’ll have the weeks where I have no idea what to write.

But hey, I started a blog because I like writing. And it’s a place for me to write and to be real. So I’m probably not going to write a lot of “perfect” posts. Some of these are probably going to be disjointed and random and may not make much sense. But I’ve decided, I’m just gonna throw all of the expectations out the window, throw myself into the writing, and just use this blog as a place to be REAL. Because I can.

So here’s my random post. It’s not written on my weekly schedule. It probably doesn’t make much sense, and it is definitely all over the place. But guess what? It’s something I got to WRITE. It’s a place I got to be REAL. And writing, and being real, and being me, and discovering myself through blogging…those are kinda priceless. If people enjoy taking that journey with me, that’s great. If you’re one of those, come on and enjoy the ride. Just be warned it may not always be predictable, regular, or expected.

‘Cause I’m not either.

Thank you for reading my random thoughts. Thanks for putting up with this post. I hope you come back for more.

P.S. I dyed my hair auburn today.

Advertisements

I don’t have the words.

I saw this on Twitter:

It is confirmed that @sully_2003 (Alex Sullivan) was killed last night in #Aurora. It was his 27th birthday. He was a husband & beloved son.

— HopeMob (@hope) July 21, 2012

I went to Alex’s Twitter page. This was the last tweet:

#TheDarkKnightRises @Reel_Nerdsoh man one hour till the movie and its going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever

— alex sullivan (@sully_2003) July 20, 2012

I cried. He was my age. I tweeted this:

Just read the last tweet of a 27yr old man killed in Aurora. He was so excited 2 c the movie; said it would be the best birthday ever. I…

— Katy Parks (@katyhelena) July 21, 2012

…can’t tell you how much that makes my heart ache. Praying with tears for his family and all affected by this terrible tragedy.

— Katy Parks (@katyhelena) July 21, 2012

Writing about anything else this week seemed too trivial. Writing about the tragedy itself…well, I found out I don’t have the words.

For more information on the 2012 Aurora shooting, click this link.
For solid ways to help the victims and families, consider donations through HopeMob.org.

“To live a creative life…”

For a while, I forgot I had a Pinterest. Yes I signed up way-back-when when all my girl friends were first getting on it; I pinned a few things and promptly forgot about it. After all, I wasn’t really very good at the DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, crafts, wedding planning, or cooking stuff that all my friends seemed to be so zealous about sharing.

And then I read this post by Jeremy Cowart. When I looked at the type of boards he had, I thought, “Hmm…that looks more like something I could do.”

So I went back to my account on Pinterest. I was planning on writing today, but then I got caught up in this totally different kind of creative expression. I began thinking about the kinds of things I liked. I didn’t have all the “crafts and cooking” boards my friends loved, but I could post about books, music, quotes, dance, cool photos, art, travel, and other interests I had. I even have a board that just shows random things about me. And in the process, I even found myself pinning about home decor, clothes, hair, and other things I never thought I’d be into! (Who knows, maybe I’ll start a crafts or cooking board yet.)

I spent most of the afternoon thinking about my creative interests and how to express them. While I didn’t get around to any of the writing I had planned, I did get a chance to put some thoughts into another creative outlet: Pinterest. And guess what? However you do it, it’s fun to express yourself.

If you were creating a collage of your life, loves, and interests, what would it look like? I challenge you to find new ways to show off your inner self!

Let’s talk: What do you think of Pinterest? What’s your best medium for creative expression? Leave comments, and let us know!

Also, if you’re on Pinterest and want to share your creativity, feel free to leave your profile link in the comments for us to check out!

100th Post – Living a Better Story

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine the other night. He was speaking about his sadness over a person who, as he put it, was “stuck on making rules instead of encouraging people to live a better story.”

Those words reached out and grabbed me.

I was particularly fascinated by the words “encouraging people to live a better story.” I found this tied in quite nicely with To Write Love on Her Arm’s words about “I am living a story,” and “your story matters.” Have we thought about the fact that we are living a story? And if we are, what do we want our story to be? What do we want our story to say?

My friend further elaborated on an idea he’s been pursuing in his own life, of taking the phrase “I want to be the kind of person who _________________,” and using it to build out who he wants to be. He went on to example, “If I want to be the kind of person who volunteers his time generously, then what do I need to do about that?”

It made me stop and ponder my own life. What kind of person do I want to be? If I were writing my story, how would I write out the next few chapters? What will it look like?

I am reading a fabulous book right now (at least, fabulous 6 chapters into it). I love fantasy books, particularly because there are no limits. What if we set ourselves into “fantasy writing mode” and wrote our story with no limits? No I’m not saying we could all design super-powers for ourselves (if we could, I’d have dibs on flying), but what if we took away the boundaries of some of our believed-lies and self-doubt and REALLY LIVED?

I want to find out what my story looks like. I want to find out what it means to live. I hope you do, too.

9/11 – It Is Well With My Soul

I hesitate to write a post on 9/11. Almost every other blog, news station, or tv/radio channel will have some memorial, some commentary. You can find a million other thoughts to read or hear about on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Why add mine to the mix?

I don’t honestly know. But I’m going to.

Every person who remembers 9/11 has “that place.” It’s “that place” where they first heard, first saw, first understood what was happening. For me, it was during AP U.S. History homework in my junior year of high school. I was desperately trying to finish an assignment that was due, all the while unaware that U.S. history was being made. At first when I glanced at the tv my mom was watching, all I saw at first was a building seemingly on fire. It took a while before I realized what building it was and why fire and smoke were streaming out of it. All else faded as I realized the magnitude of what had happened.

It’s now ten years later. It’s almost criminal of me to try to put words to all the pain that happened on that day and the decade to follow. I simply cannot. I cannot offer words to those who lost loved ones one that day and in the days that came. I can only offer something I’ve been thinking of lately.

During this own time of struggling with depression in my own life, I have thought of the song “It Is Well With My Soul.” I’ve often wondered how someone could sing a song like that in the midst of life’s darkest hours. How could one’s soul be “well” with terrible things happening? What I finally realized was this: the song is not about being “ok” in the midst of terrible things. It is about being made right with God. The only way it can be well with my soul is when my soul is made well, right, whole, and holy before God. And it can only be done in one way: through Jesus Christ.

Whatever your pain is, whatever your moment with 9/11 was, I offer you the question: is it truly well with your soul? We don’t have to be “ok” with what happened. We don’t even have to have peace about it. But I pray you have the greatest peace of all–knowing that you believe in Jesus Christ, who died a death for YOU…to make your soul well before God.

Chase your dreams…?

So hard to know…
I’ve been pondering this message a lot lately: “Chase your dreams.” AKA, pursue what you’re passionate about, do what you love, etc. So I get all inspired and ready to run off and pursue something I REALLY love and/or something that sounds amazing…and then I remember. This is real life. There are big picture goals that sometimes mean sacrificing things along the way. There are times you have to think of others instead of simply what you want to do.
So I’m torn between these two. I hear of opportunities that sound like more of what I want to do, or simply sound like amazing things I”ve dreamed about…but is it worth the risk and sacrifice of leaving where I’m at now? It would make changes for my family. It would require some hard decisions about the current degree I’m pursuing. It would mean giving up the security of a job and an education that is paid for. Those are things some people would kill for…could I really just give them up?
Now what do I do? Do I dream? Or do I stay firmly grounded where I’m at?

Touch keyboards and God

I just recently got my very first smartphone. I’ll admit, it took me a while to get used to the on-screen touch keyboard. At first I was convinced that my thumbs/fingers were too big, because I kept hitting the wrong key. Thankfully, although I despaired of it briefly, my accuracy has improved; and most of the time I’ll type what I mean.
Occasionally, however, especially as I was learning, I hit the totally wrong letters on my keyboard. The wonderful thing, I discovered, was that the keyboard was already pre-programmed to recognize likely mis-typings. By that, I mean if I typed “aing,” the keyboard knew it wasn’t quite a word and would suggest that maybe I meant “sing” (especially since A and S are next to each other on keyboards). So even when I typed a word completely wrong, often I would have the correct word automatically inserted. If not, I could choose the closest match I meant from a list.
I started realizing my keyboard was showing me some things about God. Sometimes in my life, I try really hard to live (or for our analogy, “type”) things the right way. But let’s be honest: I’m clumsy, and I often just keep messing it up. It’s amazing, though, how God takes my “mis-spelled” efforts and brings them about to be the “word” I meant all along. Other times, I have to be paying attention to my keyboard and choosing the right “word” to insert it, so it’s not always automatic. But all that to say, the grace of God is so great, that He will often fix my “spelling” for me on life’s efforts. In my clumsy efforts, I’ll mean one thing, “type” it wrong–but God sees my heart and helps turn it out right.
Don’t get me wrong. A lot of times I type a word on my phone so hopelessly misspelled that the right one can’t be inserted. Or sometimes it’s not recognized as a word at all. And this is not a perfect metaphor. But mostly now texting on the phone reminds me that God is so good to take my hopeless, jumbled, mis-spelled efforts and somehow still get the right “word” in there, even despite me.