One of my greatest passions in life is adventure. I love to see and experience new and beautiful things. This past week I was able to go kayaking at Whiskeytown Lake and I was in awe at the majestic beauty of the mountains around me. Often times I would stop paddling and just look around, feeling nothing but peace and happiness that I was getting to experience this.
As I was paddling I saw this large bird swoop down to the water and catch a fish, but then I realized it was a bald eagle. At this point I definitely felt like Pocahontas and like a hummingbird would soon become my companion. The bald eagle looked so regal and he was perched high up in a tree, gracefully looking down at me.
Creation always does this to me, it overwhelms me and causes me to stop in wonder at the gloriousness of nature that I have been blessed to be able to experience. I am thankful for the life and physical health that I have been given so that I can go kayaking, hiking, swimming, and biking and absorb every experience of nature possible. Adventure leads me on and I pray that I get to experience more and more of life’s beauty and wonder.
Well, my first highlight that I am going to write about is that summer has finally arrived for me. The fact that I am able to run outside in bare feet, wear shorts, and go to the lake to work on a tan are a few of my favourite things about summer. I love the freedom that I experience with it, no layers and no being confined to the indoors.
This is no profound highlight that I have ever experienced, but it is most certainly a highlight of mine. There is something so freeing about summer and the weather it brings. I love every moment of it and I love when adventure spurs me on to explore the outdoors, the lakes, and waterfalls. I have come to the conclusion that I was born for summer and to live by the ocean. However, I am relocating to a place called the pairies, where the nearest body of water that you can swim, in besides a pool, is a manmade lake. So, I am savouring every moment and taking advantage of every beautiful, sunny day, and enjoy its freedoms and adventures.
I have decided that since I’ve been feeling a little ”stuck” with my writing and this blog, that I would start a project to help keep my creativity and I going. What better way to inspire myself than to set a goal and have a plan of attack?
So, the project is that once a week I will pick the highlight or the lesson that life taught me of that week and post about it. It’s simple and I hope that I maintain this project! More posts to come…
This year, so far, has been a year of surprises, curveballs, and great growth. Without challenges, growth is limited. I have found that it is through trials and potentially frustrating circumstances that I have discovered the immensity of God’s grace and the encouragement that His Presence offers.
The greatest thing that I have learnt is that God is not limited to circumstances or any amount of disappointment that I face. Since God knows all, He knows my heart and its desires, therefore He knows what is best for me.
No one truly enjoys being told “no” or “not now”, but what if at the end of all the “no’s” there is something much greater awaiting our arrival? Maybe God’s “no” is Him saying “just you wait what I have for you, it’s much better”? When we realize that, we can then grasp onto the fact that God is good and He is always in a good mood.
A God in a good mood must love to give good things to His children right? So, take this as encouragement. Even if it’s something that you desire and want, give it to God and see what He does with it. Often times He’ll change your heart or your situation, but know that it is most certainly for the best, the very best. Don’t get discouraged with the curveballs or the frustrating circumstances. God is bigger than they’ll ever be.
It is quite ironic how at a time where my heart has been shifting, changing, and challenging my mindsets that I can honestly have a smile (a real, authentic one) on my face. The challenges are quite daunting, the changes are not always fun, and the shifting isn’t always wanted. I have the power to look at my life and have complete confidence that I have a God who has preordained my steps and made clear my pathway. How? Well, here’s my secret…if it is a secret:
Hope is the strongest weapon that I have been given for this season. Hope is what gives me joy, to smile at where my life is being led, and to be overwhelmed with thankfulness. Hope is the very thing that allows me to look at tomorrow, however scary or exciting it may seem, and believe that God has the very best for me. Hope says that even through the trials, tears, and fears there is something wonderful on the horizon. Hope declares that the promises that God has spoken to me are true. Hope surprises me. Hope declares that God will always know best and only give me the very best.
Sure, current circumstances can try to defy the truths that hope brings. Yes, life does have the ability to feel like a rollercoaster with all the ups and downs that we are faced with. And it certainly sucks when we sometimes fall and have to be picked back up again. Life is no cake-walk, but it’s definitely made ten times easier and better when all panic, worry, and fear is handed over to the very One who created us all. Trust and hope go hand-in-hand, and they work best when given to our Creator.
I have learnt the difficult lesson of what happens when I attempt to hold onto all my cares and my dreams as tightly as possible and try to control them. Hah! Did I honestly think I could “outdo” God? Well here’s what happened: the stress and fear mounted so high that eventually I came to the realization that I could actually have hope and trust in the God I professed to believe and say to Him: “okay, I trust you!”
I am most likely preaching to the choir (that is if the choir is reading) or perhaps the social-networking world has become prey to thoughts that have been racing around my mind until 3:00am have finally taken form in my writing. To whoever is reading this, be encouraged, be filled with hope, and give everything that you hold in your heart to God (it’s seriously way better that way!)
(ps…if it felt like I was ranting…I probably was…it’s past my bedtime…)
It feels like I’ve been staring at a blank page with my fingers ready to construct sentences but being unable to move. It’s like writer’s block has become a brick wall standing ten feet tall. Writing is what I love and it’s what I want to do but sometimes it feels like the inspiration is lacking.
How do I plan on solving this problem? Well, I have decided to not take writing too seriously, that I will write about whatever my heart pleases whether it is about duck fur or my fears or dreams. The sky is the limit and I will not let the panic of not knowing what to write stop me. In my writing I will simply process, tell stories, or ramble.
I am going to be brave and admit one of the dumbest blonde moments of my life. Not only was it ridiculous, but I had my boyfriend there to witness my stupidity. Lucky for me, he thinks it’s cute and funny. I have also been learning the art of laughing at myself and the things I do because if I hadn’t….I would’ve most certainly died of embarrassment or humiliation.
It all started with a trip to the mall with my brother and my boyfriend. I was immersed in my own little world, crowded with my own little thoughts. Whatever was occupying my mind caused me to look like a total fool in mere seconds.
We walked into Nordstrom’s and begin to glance around at the overpriced merchandise. I really just wanted to beeline it for the stores that I could actually afford but the other two accompanying me wanted to look around.
My little brother interrupted my busy thoughts and called me over and exclaimed “Look, Jana! Duck fur!”. Now, I immediately start thinking of all the crazy people that are a part of PETA and how much they must hate Nordstroms for selling authentic fur coats.
I skip over to where my brother was standing and pointing at the “duck fur coat” and start to feel the coat. Then…it clicked.
Wow, Jana-Marie. Duck fur? Really?
My brain had obviously decided to momentarily cease to do it’s job and there I was looking like a complete idiot. I glanced up into the hysteric and shocked faces of my boyfriend and brother. They were as surprised at my mistake as I was. I did try to recover from that and explain why I reacted the way I did but it was muted out by their laughter.
Ducks have feathers, I know. I knew that before my fatal mistake that caused me embarrassment, humiliation, and the repeated retelling of the story to my family. What made me become so gullible and stupid at that moment was probably the distractions of millions of my genius ideas racing through my brain……haha! Looking back now, all I can do is laugh and shake my head at what I had done.
I ran over to feel a fur coat because my brother told me it was “duck fur”.
Why am I telling this story? Probably because it’s too hilarious to hide and I thought it’d be funny for you all to read of my biggest blonde moment of 2012.
This post is about a boy…a boy that had a nap-attack.
I’ve decided to take a less serious approach to this blog and dedicate a section of my ramblings to an event that I witnessed today. It’s about a little boy that fell asleep on the toilet. It was too hilarious of a moment in my day to not bring it up. I have seen videos of kids falling asleep wherever they may be, but I have never witnessed the sweetest, blond haired kid passed out on the toilet…mid-pee. It did take his mom and I a while to find out what had silenced the little boy. His mom did call out to him once or twice to make sure he was alright, he returned her calls with a mumbled “yes”.
Eventually one of our friends walked in the door and she went to check on the little boy to make sure he was alright. Giggling our friend called out “um…he’s asleep”. Grabbing our iPhones to capture this perfect moment we rushed to the bathroom. There he was passed right out on the toilet, pants still down. Slowly his head would bob to the left and to the right but he still would not wake from his slumber. His mom, in the midst of laughter, quickly cleaned up the pee that was on the floor, while attempting to wake him. Cutest thing ever! He was so groggy he could barely wake up or respond to his mom. Obviously sleep had overtaken him before he could finish going to the bathroom, exhaustion told him there was no time to go somewhere that was much more comfortable and that the hard seat of the toilet was the ideal place to rest.
So there he was, cute as could be, fast asleep on the toilet seat.
What is the moral of this story? I have no idea. Just hope it brought a smile, maybe even a laugh or two to your face.
So this is my blog post for the day. The end.
Yup…far too long since I have last written on this blog, (haha) too many times have I promised myself to not neglect my tumblr account and be a dedicated writer. Obviously I have done just what I promised myself not to do, but I have returned and will be back with a…. vengeance?
So here it goes….
Painting. That’s what this summer has held for me. Exciting right? For over forty hours a week I have been scraped, sanded, climbed ladders (despite my fear of high ladders and heights), smelled toxic chemicals and painted to see to my return to my sweet home, California. The frustration that this job has placed upon my shoulders mounted gradually as the weeks went by…but I survived! I finished what was possibly the most difficult job because of a…number of reasons. Many lessons have I learned and clearly will not forget (I have the calluses to prove it) You proud of me? I sure am!
Now, the happy part!
My family, after eight long months of not being all together, are being reunited, FINALLY! The youngest of the family, Davis, is heading up here for a little while, while my entire family anxiously anticipates the baby that my sister and brother-in-law, Katie-Lee and Josh, should be having this weekend to head out! (no pun intended). Unfortunately only a few days and then I embark on a long road trip from Canada to California. Having my family here makes the departure a little on the bitter side, however the countdown that I have been on helps the arrival home to California, to my incredible friends, and to my boyfriend a whole lot more sweeter!
Life somehow does that to you…gives you some bitter with some sweet. I have loved being able to live with Katie-Lee and Josh, it has been a blessing to be watching the process of my sister’s baby bump grow and grow! I will be a proud auntie for sure. The bitter side of this summer was being uprooted from where my heart is placed, and it is the second summer of this. Throughout the tears and the wonderful moments that I have had here the end of my summer in Canada is reaching it’s finale.
What I have learned, especially from this summer, is be thankful. A thankful heart is a cheerful heart. I will not deny that my heart had many moments where it was far from thankful and I allowed frustration to suffocate my soul. But I now see that the times that I have been most full of joy have been the moments that I choose to say “thanks” to a God that has proven His faithfulness and His provision. No matter the circumstances, no matter what I “feel” my first response towards God should be thankfulness and praise.
Now, I get to be thankful that I am close to home! I am thankful. I am learning, still, learning the value of choosing joy even when I am not necessarily happy. A man I know once said “Happiness can be faked, but joyfulness cannot because joy require authenticity”. I don’t want to allow my circumstances to determine my joy. I must remind myself, “be thankful”, then joy will just be an overflow of my heart and my attitude will just follow suit.
So here’s to my grand adventure, of choosing thankfulness and joyfulness, and driving many miles below the Canadian border. :) Wish me luck!