What is real strength? The answer might surprise you.

I am quite the fan of The Walking Dead. A bunch of people who face drama while killing zombies? I’m totally there. I’m TIVOing that shiz. I’m googling the characters. I’m making Rick Grimes the wallpaper on my phone’s lock screen. … Continue reading

The “life” in the quarter-life crisis

Dear Reader, I am 24 years old and have spent the last year wondering what I should do with my life. I thought I’d be fabulous by now. Instead, in 2014, I went into full-on crazy mode.  I moved back home and looked for … Continue reading

It’s my 23rd birthday.

It’s my 23rd birthday which is weird because I’ve always wanted to be 23. Isn’t it so exciting to finally be something you’ve always wanted to be? I think 23 is going to be the start of some great things in my life. I’m no longer in school and actually have to start doing things. Ah!

In celebration of life, here are 23 things I’ve learned in the past 23 years.

1. Life is full of endings and that’s okay. Endings don’t ruin the future because most of the time endings propel us TO the future.

2. If you want to go do something, go do it.

3. Don’t wait for your life to begin.

4. Life is too short to read boring books.

5. You don’t have to fight your battles alone.

6. Writing a book is easy. Rewriting a book is not.

7. God still turns bad things into good things.

8. The friends that stick around in ours lives aren’t usually the ones we’d expect to.

9. Be nice to everyone.

10. You can dress however you want.

11. Being famous solves nothing.

12. Evil still exists because we let it exist.

13. Never make someone out to be anything more than human.

14. There are SO many fish in the sea but only a few of them are catches.

15. It’s okay that not everyone will like you or me.

16. It is good to have our own opinions gained through our own minds, not through other people’s minds.

17. People say “be yourself” but very rarely ever mean it.

18. Sacrifices are necessary for growth.

19. Don’t lead people on.

20. Confrontation is not a bad thing.

21. A lot of people don’t really want to follow God, they just want what God will give them.

22. Comparison is the thief of joy.

23. Just because something feels right doesn’t mean it is.

Hope you all have a lovely day. I’m going to loom over the amazingness that is Breaking Bad.

Faith

Forward

There is one rest stop in the middle of my hour commute from home to work. It is gloomy and right beside a very large and nice gas station, which I’ve always thought was kind of odd. Why would someone go to a dirty rest stop if they could stop at a gas station? Anyways, I see this rest stop every time I drive to work. It is a reminder to me of my own rest stops.

When you arrive at college, you think your life is going to begin, and all the wonderful dreams you had are going to become reality. But really, college is full of rest stops. You are allowed time to think and behave a certain way. There is freedom and many abuse it. You can avoid responsibilities and yet gradually ease into them.

Real life doesn’t have very many rest stops.

Now that I’ve graduated, I find myself with a choice. I can live in the past–the one I swore to burn–and search among the ashes for pieces of my old self. This might mean acting like a frightened college student who is allowed time to think about risks. She is able to make excuses for not stepping out of the box because college is, in a way, a giant box. I can dig myself a pit and stay stuck in there until I decide to come out. This might mean becoming overtly emotional and nostalgic, wondering why things have to change. OR I can take a third route, the one full of darkness and webs. It is not a road I cross often because I do not like walking with a blurred vision. It is a road without clear rest stops, one that begs me to keep on even though I may not know what lies ahead. But what if I need to rest? What if I need to stop? It screams, “You’ve stopped for too long now. You’ve filled up your tank and have worked your legs. It’s time to move forward.”

Forward? That dreaded fate. The truth is, I’ve been waiting all my life to do the things I’ve started to do – write, minister the Gospel, raise awareness about human trafficking, become a somebody in the film industry. And yet, I can feel my heart beating, my breath growing heavy, and my body tempted to turn — no, run — around. I want to go back. I want to stop. But I can’t. The only way out of a rut is up and onwards.

So forward I will go – with shaking knees and blurry eyes – but forward nonetheless.

A Trip to Burbank and Back Again

Note: the events in this post are very much real though they sound fictional because of the strangeness of my life.

There are days when everything goes wrong. You hit your knee on random things, you discover your car is broken, and then to top it off, someone demands you pay back a debt. But, on occasion, there comes a day rarer than Christmas when everything goes spectacularly well. Yesterday was one of those days.

A week ago, my father received a phone call from someone representing a film company asking him if he’d like to watch a movie and perhaps share it with the church. He agreed, and much to the egging on of my mother (thanks, mom!), asked if I could fly to California with him. To my delight, they said “yes.”

So, yesterday at noon, I was on my way to Burbank, California just to watch a movie. BIZARRE.

I just kept thinking about how random my life is. Like, seriously. Who in the heck goes on a three hour flight to Burbank just to watch a 2 hour film? Not only that, but after the film, you immediately get on a plane to fly BACK home. I’ve always wanted to do something of the sort and being able to accomplish my secret dream was pretty awesome, but I mean . . . come on . . . it’s bizarre.

Let me back it up a sec before I get too crazy here.

Yesterday, I was on a plane to Burbank with my father. When we arrived, a lovely girl a couple years older than me picked us up at the airport and drove us to the studio. THE MOVIE STUDIO. One of the “Big 5” movie studios. We parked in a real parking garage where all the movie producers and directors and important movie people park. We got a real pass to walk onto the studio. We went through security. And then we arrived. ONTO A REAL MOVIE STUDIO.

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Did I mention how my life is bizarre?

A bunch of interns/assistants guided us the entire time and even though I didn’t, I really wanted to ask, “So . . . do you think this is as cool as I think it is?” But I didn’t because I didn’t want to sound like a fangirl which I am most of the time. On the internet, I’m a total fangirl, not judged by other social recluses who are also secret fangirls. But in the person, I like to try and keep my cool because I’m a lady, dang it.

We walked onto a sidewalk which had a row of doors with numbers next to them. I’m assuming they are all small theaters. And then my dad, one of the interns, one of the assistants, and I got to watch the movie in one of those private theaters.

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Let me tell you something. Those seats were the most comfortable movie seats of my life. They were so comfortable that I didn’t even put my feet up during the movie because I thought secret security would say, “Hey you! Stop that! This seat costs more than your car!” Which it probably did.

the theater

I wish I could tell you how the movie was but I signed a contract saying I wouldn’t say anything about it so you’re out of luck on that. Also, I felt pretty fancy signing a contract because I was about to watch a movie only a few people had seen.

After the movie, we went straight to the airport. No hugs goodbye or tour or going to the bathroom. We left as soon as we had arrived. The whole time I just kept thinking, “God, what the heck are you doing?” Because this wasn’t just any other day in the book, it was a weird one. It was a day where you wonder what choices got you to where you are.

I’m not even lying when I say this is the fortune I got in a fortune cookie that day.

Goodbye, Burbank.

Most of the time, I think I know where I’m going. I think I know what’s going to happen in my future. Yesterday was a reminder that I literally have no idea what’s going to happen. But if God can do something as random as bring me to a private screening of a movie just for the heck of it, then what else is He going to do? All I can say is “thank you.” I’m so thankful that the Lord does random things like send us on a day trip to California. I love that He is always providing. I am so thankful because I am so sinful and am always running from Him. It always brings tears to my eyes knowing that God loves me, truly loves me. And He sees our secret dreams and knows when maybe we need a day where everything goes right, where we feel as though our hearts could burst at knowing His love. I don’t know how you think about all that, but I think it’s true and I think it’s amazing.

I just hope I never forget it. Not ever.

Faith

The Last Word.

Last words. We’re all going to have them one day. All of us.

And on that depressing thought, I leave you.

Just kidding.

But seriously. 

In movies, they always make a big deal out of last words. It’s usually something awesome or tragic. In Harry Potter, Dumbledore pleads with Snape, “Severus. . . please.” In books, the last sentence is important because it sets the stage as to what the characters will live like after the story ends. In A Farewell to Arms, after the main character’s love interest dies, Hemingway writes, “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.” I hate that ending by the way. Super depressing. I definitely threw the book across the room when I first read it.

We cannot forget one of the all time best last few words in a movie: Casablanca. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Last words.

They are a way of saying . . . “This is what is going to happen after you walk out of this movie theatre or put down this book.”  Sometimes they say, “This is what’s truly important to me.” They can be surprising or hilarious. Sometimes, the character doesn’t even know they are about to die so their last words are something along the lines of “I’m going to the bathroom.” And then they just collapse on the floor melodramatically.

For my last assignment in college, I wrote a story in which one of the characters dies. I spent quite a while struggling with what the character should say in her final moments. It’s important, after all.

The point I’m getting at is sometimes we can think we’re over with. We’re done. We’ve messed up too much and don’t have a book in front of us with our names on it so we can flip through the pages to read the ending. We don’t have a movie showcasing our entire life, so we can’t see the ending. Do we end up happy? Are we poor or rich? Do we follow our dreams? Do we die alone? We don’t know. We can’t.

The other day, I was reading the Bible and came across a passage I didn’t know existed.

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 (NKJV)

It’s hard to imagine a world without sin, without the devil, without destruction. From tornadoes ripping apart elementary schools to friends passing away in car accidents, tragedies are a way of life in our world. We kind of just have to deal with them because we can’t stop them.

But the above verse says that one day the evil one will be destroyed. Destruction itself will be destroyed. And how does God consume the evil one? With the BREATH of his mouth. He doesn’t even have to try. He just BREATHES. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never encountered someone’s breath being so powerful that it literally destroys something . . . except if they have bad breath and it destroys your sense of smell, but that’s a whole other story.

How does the Lord destroy evil, this evil we as human beings have lived with for THOUSANDS OF YEARS? With the BRIGHTNESS of His coming. He doesn’t even bother moving his hand. His presence, His brightness is enough to destroy years of evil.

Basically, God has the last word. And it’s a good one. It’s hopeful and full of joy and goodness.

Even if you feel like your life is over with, even if life doesn’t go perfectly, if you do not lose faith in God, He will have the last word in your ultimate ending, and it’ll be a happy ending, the kind of ending that would make fictional characters jealous.

Riding off into the sunset? How about riding off into One brighter than the Sun? Because in that case, He’s got you covered.

Faith

To all the 20-something graduates.

Hello there. I am a 20-something recent graduate of college and, like you, my fellow 20-something, am FREAKING OUT. Because who are we kidding? We’re all just faking it — faking the confident look on our smug faces, the glitter … Continue reading