Tag Archives: God

Being Up-Cycled

Garden & HerbsSeptember of 2012 found me working part-time, primarily without a car, and aimlessly searching for some unknown outcome. At times I felt like I was drowning in my marriage and at other moments I was blissfully enjoying my new surroundings. I read with an urgency and made friends with my library card when I struggled to find genuine connections with other individuals. By all accounts, it wasn’t a terribly happy time of life and yet… I don’t look back on it with sadness or remorse. It was a time of growth and perhaps a necessary passage to get to where I am now. Like a teething child who is miserable while his teeth breach the gums, but will take his teeth for granted later in life. Sometimes pain and discomfort and struggles give way to greater endings.

During that season of my life there was a thrift store about a mile from my home – I could walk there – of which I was a frequent wanderer. There were also signs of a fair trade coffee shop that, sadly, had taken its leave before my arrival. I have only ever purchased one thing from this thrift store despite my many visits, but I just enjoyed looking. Seeing. Exploring. And maybe, in retrospect, it was an escape.

You see, this thrift store isn’t really thrifty, it’s more artsy. They sell a lot of up-cycled pieces. So they intend to have items that please the eye and inspire the mind. They do not simply sell second-hand items and that is what I loved about them. They took items that were old and worn and turned them into something worth seeing again. They brought back the beauty lost in a broken table or a dented hubcap or a broken canoe. Where the world saw destruction and waste, they saw a new creation, a piece of art, a new beginning and it’s because of their vision that when I walked into that thrift store, I saw beauty too. I saw innovation and revitalization and a renewal. And, in turn, it renewed me.

Canoe RenewedI was reminded with each newly upholstered chair and each broken record player converted into a side table that there was never going to be a time in my life when God couldn’t work with what I gave him. A truly great chef can make a meal out of anything and a truly great artist can see beauty in the simplest object. And a true visionary, like my God, can literally make something out of nothing.

So, inspired by a thrift store, I threw myself into my faith head first. I spent more time in prayer than ever before. I was diligent with my prayer journal and was fervently seeking the Word. And life got better. Not instantly. Not overnight. It took time. It took patience. It took devotion. It took change – a change in me. The up-cycle artist needed to make a change to the broken canoe to bring out its beauty and likewise my creator needed to make a change in me.

Months later I wrote a post on this very blog absolutely gushing about the degree to which I loved my life. And it hasn’t been the last of its kind. And once I started truly loving my life and feeling joyful from the inside out, life started loving me back. Relationships manifested. Finances improved. Resolutions stuck. And love became this flowing current going and coming in all directions. I still seek him daily for he is my renewal. Because just as the silver needs polished to keep its shine, I too need to be washed to keep my luster.

#DPChallenge

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Loving Life

I love my life.

I have been loving it for a while now. I may be the happiest I have ever been.

Not to say that I haven’t had other points in my life where I was loving living, I have. There were times in both high school and college when I wanted to find a way to capsulate moments and re-live them again and again. And I have had amazing times in my travels. I spent a fairly blissful month in Ecuador and Italy holds some extremely happy momentandthatswhoiam.tumblr.coms in my life.

So, what’s different now? I’ve spent a lot of time wondering. Over-analyzing my own happiness. Why I can’t just live and let live is beyond me. I have had success, however, and this is what I think I have discovered:

My entire life I have felt restless. As a pre-teen I remember waiting for life to start. And then in high school I couldn’t wait to move away and go to college. I studied abroad at nineteen and caught the travel bug. I was not content to be in America unless I was planning my escape abroad. Then I fell in love and spent a year waiting for Immigration Services to let us be together and almost another year waiting for life to lead us somewhere.

I’m not waiting anymore.

The true difference between now and the twenty-six years leading up to this time is I finally feel like I can start living in real life. I don’t have to be somewhere else to live. I can live in my own language, in my own country. High School and college are amazing, but they are also temporary no matter how you slice it. Eventually they’re going to end. And I recommend travel to every soul alive, but at the end of the trip, most people head home.

I don’t live anywhere exotic. Up until a few weeks ago I was barely employed. But I have been so content and satisfied. And in a way I’ve never experienced before. This happiness isn’t something I want to bottle or freeze. I’m not stressing over whether my life will change and that will upset the delicate balance.

I love my life for all of its possibilities to change and evolve and grow. I love that every day can bring something new to create a slightly altered me. And I pray those alterations are for the better. I love that I know things are going to change and are changing every single day and that thought doesn’t alarm or frighten me. It makes me smile. Brings me joy. andthatswhoiam.tumblr.com

In summation, I think this picture says it best. The kind of happiness I feel doesn’t happen by yourself. You can’t will it into being. You can pray it into being though.  And speak it into being.

I am blessed. With a warm place to sleep. Food on my table. Love in my heart that I can give and receive. I can shout and jump and sing and be silly. I can do the crazy legs dance. I can cry tears of joy.

I am incredibly blessed. And I just wanted to share it with you.