Un-Weathered Feelings

Within the past year or so I have written several posts regarding the sun, clouds, rain, or weather in general. I’ve found a trend.

This had me wondering: Why?

Why do I write about the weather – of all things? The insipid conversation that usually occurs between two acquaintances, strangers, or during awkward circumstances is not something to blog about…or is it?

It’s more about the unspoken conversation. The overall acceptance of when the weather is rainy and wet, anyone can suddenly transform into a major grump. People complain more, sleep more, and smile less. When winter comes, there’s this excuse to have shorter, less meaningful talks. And once the sun returns everyone chirps up with happiness.

What is this?

Since when did the weather determine our emotions?

Since when is our joy based on the unpredictable – especially in the Midwest – seasons?

Well, I don’t know, but I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. These seasons are ever-changing and our emotions don’t have to sway along with it. If our enjoyment is carved out after we glance out the window, than that’s just sad. We can hope in something greater. We can hope in something constant and never-changing. Our joy can come from a solid rock rather than a rarely correct weatherman.

Nehemiah 8:10 – Do not be saddened for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

“What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him.” A.W. Tozer.


On top of this, can we enjoy the place we are in now? Can we enjoy the blossoming flowers and showers in the spring, the endless sunshine and late nights in the summer, the fading colors in the fall, and the purity of snow in the winter? If not – then what happens when all the leaves fall off the trees and the sun comes earlier? What happens when you feel the chill air deep in your core?

My hope is for me, and all people, to hope in more than the wavering outdoors, but rather to hope in the joy the Lord has provided in the here and now.


And Then I Got a Tattoo…

Probably the riskiest adventure from this past summer: getting a tattoo.

I’ve never been against them, I’ve just been too indecisive to ever follow through with it – until now. My loving father and I did it together. He, of course, went first. And the only thing I’ll mention about the pain: It was comparable to someone carving into your skin with an open staple. Get the picture?

If not, here’s a hint:

photo 1

So, after all these weeks and months contemplating, what did I choose?

Love.

One word.

When most people see it, they mention something about how tiny and dainty it is. People don’t ask me why I chose it. Maybe because it seems like a cliche tattoo, or maybe it’s just obvious. “Oh, love, right.” 
Only two people have ever asked why, one of which was in a business setting at work. Minutes prior to asking, he mentioned that if I were looking for a job at his company, I wouldn’t get hired for the nearly one inch tat on my wrist. Still he wondered enough to question my motives. Luckily, I have thought about it for so long that I was ready with my answer.

And this is what I said:

There’s a time when you begin to realize love is powerful.
Love changes relationships. Love changes friendships. Love changes situations.
And this love is so incredibly unknown, it’s usually accompanied with fear.

But…when you finally give into that fear, love’s scariness soon becomes adventure. Love’s awkwardness becomes comfort.
Love is extremely underrated. Call me naive or inexperienced, but I believe that once we truly recognize love’s power, it can take us places.

I think once we relinquish love from being understood, those strong feelings actually become real. If we give more credit to this electric power that pulls us in, we could make actions not out of routine or what society tells us, but actions out of love.
There’s a time when we realize loves power and strength. There’s a time we come to see that love can change the world.

And when that time comes – where can’t love take us?

photo 2

I, The Pursued

Even in the wreckage and amidst all the ruins,

There’s a hope that surpasses

There’s a truth standing firm.

With my eyes wandering throughout,

Holding fast to this world

He’s in constant pursuit of those who have fallen.

Like a lover stricken with an aching soul,

Is He who still inches nearer.

And I with my dirt, my grime

Have been made clean –

I’ve been forgiven.

And yet the whirlwind moves forth

And the worries continue:

It is my Maker who breathes love, 

It is He who is here.

Gelato, Color, and the Sea

 

Italy.

While I am absolutely head over heels for mountains, I am equally in love with the sea. It’s surreal the bold colors of not only the water, but everything – from the houses to the greenery and even the food.

Italy was my parents and I’s second country visited after Switzerland. From Montreux, we hopped a train into the glorious Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre is like hidden treasure with its five small villages, each with its own identity and culture on Italy’s west coast. As we slowly discovered four of the five villages during our two days, we took time to relax and enjoy the newness.

Since I already had a firm addiction of pesto on my pasta, that was first on my to-do list with the sauce originating in this northern Italy area. We searched out a precious little restaurant for the tasting of true Italian homemade pesto. It was divine. For our other meals we tended to stick towards our favorites with some Italian flare – my dad loves his meat, so he usually went for the meaty or fishy dishes; my mom and I enjoy our pasta, so we tried different variations of raviolis and noodle dishes. Of course gelato and fresh pastries were a must – we certainly indulged ourselves.

Besides eating too many calories, I would consider traveling itself to be a workout. Maybe it’s not easy to see in the pictures, but there are plenty of mysterious hills just waiting to be discovered by fit travelers. For the most part, we tried to follow our lovely guided books by Rick Steves, but one specific trail seemed to be off the grid. We searched for his incredibly detailed trail and instead landed in what seemed like hours of uphill climb. Hundreds after hundreds of stairs later, we discovered a beautiful (accidental) lookout over the Ligurian Sea – completely worth the sweat and adventure.

Italy may be one of my favorite traveled countries even though we didn’t actually see any of the usual-touristed places. There’s something intriguing about their life – so laid back, so at peace. It’s on my list of future travels, for sure.

Also, shout out to my co-travelers: My parents! They not only flew all the way to England to visit me, but let me drag them around Europe, onto trains, into unknown places. What great sports!

Until next time,

xx

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