About Me

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. Shel Silverstein

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Whenever Ethan and I first started dating, Thursday was the only day other than weekends that we were both free and could have some quality time. These Thursdays became known as Thursdates. We had a very wonderful date today and I thought I would share a photo journal of the day instead of a wordy explanation. :)

over and out.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I will say it again: Rejoice!

My past blog entries have generally been focused on things that I have learned through God about how to deal with life. Although life throws A LOT of difficult things at us and God helps us through them, God also gives us incredible blessings as well. Praise, worship, and thanksgiving should be our focus when we relate with God. Of course we should go to Him with our issues and ask Him for guidance and the tools to deal with them but God isn't just our Counselor, He is someone we are in relationship with, our Father, our Provider. I always (try) to come to Him when I need help, but I sometimes (most of the times) fall short of coming to Him with thanksgiving. Here are a few examples of what I am so grateful to have been blessed with.

Answered prayers

In my post from a while back, One Minute Late, I ended with a list of dreams I had for myself to accomplish with God by my side.

1. Take any and every opportunity God puts in front of me
While, I can never be sure if I have taken every opportunity because frankly, sometimes I am just oblivious, I would like to think that I have taken more opportunities than I had before. One example, I have taken the opportunity twice to lead the talk during middle school youth group on Sunday mornings. This is something I normally would be very afraid to do and would have even avoided it, but I didn't let that get in the way and through the process I learned that I really love it!

2. To always be reading and learning
When I made this dream, I was so frustrated with school and was just being plain lazy. I wanted my zeal for life and learning back. I have since picked up multiple books, read newspapers/ magazines, and have fallen in love with reading all over again.

3. Eat healthy
This is something I am very proud of right now. I was an extremely healthy eater for a few years and then somewhere along the road, I stopped caring. Then, this summer I took it one step further and enjoyed the junk food way too much. I have gotten back into the swing of healthy eating and I don't miss the junk food at all! I don't deprive myself if I crave something, but I do limit my portion size of anything unhealthy I decide to eat. I have been taking a multivitamin everyday and honestly since I have changed my eating habits, I have seen an overall increase of happiness and a decrease in exhaustion. Junk food makes you grumpy!

4. Become a runner
Okay, so I didn't accomplish this dream. But sometimes you have to follow one dream to find your actual dream. I learned through trying to run that although I loved the physical exercise, I am simply not motivated to run. I have yet to find the perfect exercise for me, but I am currently looking into yoga or pilates.

5. Keep up with my blog
I feel like I am doing a pretty good job. I would like to get to the point where I am blogging more frequently.

6. Overcome my current struggle/ obstacle
All I have to say about this one is that God answered prayers and worked in my heart BIG time to heal and overcome this, and I couldn't be happier :)

7. Be patient with my education and learn to appreciate it again.
I barely made it through the last few weeks, days, hours, minutes, of my semester. But I made it and am definitely optimistic for next semester.

8. To keep dreaming..
Oh I definitely have some new and developing dreams, but that is best left for another post. (my first cliff hanger :P)

While of course these are only a handful of answered prayers in the last few months, they are great examples and touch on all different aspects of my life from fun things to serious struggles. As long as you reach out and ask with God-filled intentions, He will respond.


I have had mild anxiety my entire life, but it has definitely manifested itself since my junior/senior years of high school. God has without fail, given me peace every time I ask. And, I, have without fail, somehow forgotten that and allowed myself to be anxious when all I had to do was ask for peace.


My family isn't perfect and if your's is, then you aren't paying close enough attention. But despite our shortcomings, I couldn't love them more and I wouldn't trade them for the world. I have a wonderful father who has never been anything less than understanding and loving. Even when I have done something wrong, he corrects me, shows me the lesson, but then is right there by my side while I work through the consequences. My mom is my best friend. She isn't afraid to tell me the honest truth. When I am being stupid, she tells me. I hate it in the moment, but I couldn't be more thankful in hindsight. I wouldn't be the person I am today without her pushing me to be the best that I can be, that she knows and believe I can be. My parents are my biggest fans and I know that I am extremely lucky to have that. My brothers are so unique and awesome in their own ways and are growing up to be great, God loving men. Although we bicker, when it comes down to it, I know I will always have their support and love. They have become my rocks that I can depend on and when I am struggling, they are always there with open hearts and open arms. AND the wisdom that somehow makes its way out of their mouths past the teenage grumps and gripes and their silly and sometimes gross jokes, really, truly amazes me.


This is a blessing, but also still a prayer. I have been blessed with being surrounded by God loving people who have all become very dear to me, but because making friends does not come super easy to me simply because I seem to be very shy when I first meet people, I would love more opportunities to meet and start friendships with more God loving people.


My boyfriend and I have been through a lot in the past two and a half years, especially this past semester. Most of it was wonderful, but some was definitely a struggle. It has not only been a blessing to have him in my life, but a blessing that God used our struggles to bring us, as a couple closer to Him. We have both, since we have known each other, had strong faiths and we would occasionally go to youth group and church together. Although we were individually focused on God, our relationship was God honoring but not God centered. We now pray together; we discuss God together; we use scripture to help us through the tough stuff; we love each other the way God instructs us to instead of the selfish ways we want to; we are involved in ministry together as much as we can; but we also make it important to focus on our individual relationships with God as well. God has taught us the meaning of true forgiveness, patience, and grace and now we are truly stronger because of Him.

Education and Opportunity

Despite my shallow frustrations with school, deep down I am so gracious that I have the ability to study what I want to study and where I want to study. I have so many more opportunities than a majority of the global population and I am so very guilty of not appreciating it the way I should.

Gifts and Passions

God gives every single one of us spiritual gifts whenever we enter into relationship with Him. He uses those gifts along with our passions that He has programmed into us to do His work. I am incredibly blessed and thankful for the gifts and passions that God has placed in me. This is not because I think that I am uniquely or extraordinarily gifted, but instead because God made it (of course He did, He's perfect) so that we are uniquely talented to accomplish the things we are passionate about!

What are you thankful for?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

Over and Out

Monday, December 27, 2010

Stand Up. Sit Down. Turn Around. Fight. Fight. Fight.

I wrote a previous post on letting go, but I have found that sometimes, letting go necessitates conflict. In order to open my hands to the joy God wants to give me, I have to let go of what I am holding on to, but to let go of what I am holding on to, I have to open my hands and reveal it. Keeping my hands closed may allow me to not deal with it, but it also prevents me from letting go and moving on.

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.


“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads."

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Romans 12:17-21

Conflict is such a difficult concept for me to handle. It involves confrontation 99% of the time and because I hate confrontation, 99% of the time I am involved in conflict, the confrontation is directed at me. It makes me anxious because I have no idea how God wants me to act in that moment.

Do I:

Stand up for myself?
Sit down and take it?
Turn around and walk away?
or Fight, fight, fight?

Then, I realized, this isn't about me. What do I do for me? No. It's about God. What do I do to honor God in this situation?

I am to stand up for God.
I am to humble myself.
I am to turn away from evil.
I am to fight with the fruits of the spirit.

But what do these things really mean?

Standing up for God means standing firm in your faith throughout the conflict and always reacting in a way that is pleasing to God, even when it gets tough. God has promised that it will all be well worth it.

When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don't quit. Don't cave in. It is all well worth it in the end.

Matthew 10:22 (The Message)

You'll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed. There's no telling who will hate you because of me. Even so, every detail of your body and soul—even the hairs of your head!—is in my care; nothing of you will be lost. Staying with it—that's what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry; you'll be saved.

Luke 21:16-19 (The Message)

Humbling myself means putting down my pride. Don't make accusations, don't make assumptions. If I do something wrong, I should take responsibility for it, but don't force someone else to take responsibility for what they did wrong. Its not my place to judge and criticize; it is only my place to honor God even if that means setting aside my pride.

Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, or criticize their faults. (The Message)

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (NIV)

Luke 6:37

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.

Matthew 5:38-45

Turning away from evil means refusing to participate in the game of revenge. As long as I am standing up for God and acting only in ways that honor Him, I will have no need to justify my actions. I have to continue to allow my pride to be the sacrifice for peace. My faith has to be strong enough to know that God will stand up for me. I am so thankful to Him, because standing up for myself is the tricky part. The part that leads to more conflict. He gives us the easy job of standing up for Him, the perfect one, and in turn He takes the burden of standing up for me, the imperfect one. I just have to trust Him enough to allow Him to do it.

Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm 34:14, 22

God has provided us with the tools we are to utilize throughout our lives and conflict is definitely no exception. There is no way to avoid conflict and argument. It is a necessary part of life that serves itself as a tool to bettering our relationships with spouses, family, friends, co-workers, etc.. As long as we "fight" using the tools God has provided us, "fighting" can be a great way to grow and find solutions that bring people closer together. The fruits that I need to integrate more into my tool belt when arguing is patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. And, definitely faithfulness that the solution will actually better the relationship instead of my usual pessimistic assumption that it will simply happen again.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

Okay so the conflict has been addressed, discussed, and solved. WHAT NOW?

Now, you can simply let go.

over and out.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just for once, I want my life to be like an 80's movie.

Merry Merry Merry Merry Merry Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Presents:
1) Trip to Seattle to visit with my family :)
2) Franco Sarto dark brown riding boots
3) Camel colored UGGs with the three buttons on the side
4) a BEAUTIFUL crocheted blankey my Grammy made
5) a hanging jewelry display
6) really cozy pajamas
7) "An Education" DVD, What is the What by Dave Eggers and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (the book not the movie)
8) A very sweet looking homeless dog, Goober, got a donation in my name.
9) a University of Washington tee shirt (potential law school!)
10) a REALLY, super adorable head band/ ear muff thing that looks like this except in a golden yellow. It's going to be SUPER perfect to wear with my navy sweater to some of Ethan's (boyfriend) cold lacrosse games this semester!
11) A handy little journal (I love journals)
12) (Insert what my boyfriend got me here) We are doing Christmas on Sunday :)

So I flew to Seattle on Sunday and flew back yesterday. They were both about four hour flights. I must be one of the few people who LOVES flying, especially longer flights. I like to snuggle into my usual tradition of reading the stack of magazines I bought in the airport book store (usually one fashion, one music, one gossip, and one political), and watch a movie on my laptop. I rarely give myself four hours just to be by myself, think, and be completely cut off from outside distractions. I find myself caught up in thoughts and inspirations and I always feel rejuvenated. I watched "Eat, Pray, Love" on the way there and I basically just decided I need to do some traveling.. lots of traveling. And, I watched "Easy A" on the way home, which in all honestly was purely mindless entertainment, but enjoyable nonetheless. I found some really interesting things throughout my magazine reading that I thought I would share!

In NYLON, I realized how much I really love this new Maxi Skirt trend. I have been going back and forth between deciding whether the look was awesome, or a little matronly. But I definitely decided that I love it. Now all I have to do is find the perfect one and work up the courage to rock it! What do you think of maxi skirts?

Also while reading Nylon, I realized I want the Arcade Fire Album "The Suburbs." Enjoy the song "Wasted Hours" from that album here! I also want to see "Blue Valentine" really really badly. It has Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in it and it looks so charming, in a dark romantic kind of way.

Speaking of Ryan Gosling, my favorite actress, Carey Mulligan and he will be staring in the "Great Gatsby" based on one of my very favorite books of all time by one of my most very favorite authors! If you haven't read it yet, or pretended to read it in high school but really didn't, you should!

In LUCKY, I learned of these new AWESOME jeans made by BLEULAB that are reversible! These are definitely on my "Wish I could have but I definitely cannot afford list!"

Also, in LUCKY, I discovered an awesome interior design book by Jonathon Adler called Jonathon Adler on Happy Chic Colors. It takes the colors that make you feel happiest (mine would be: muted tones) and shows you how to combine them in your home decor. SO cool!

I adore perfume, but whenever I used the last of my "Funny" by Moschino, I settled on "Sweet Pea" from Bath and Body Works. Don't get me wrong, I love "Sweet Pea" and am very happy to have that as my perfume, but I think it's about time to find a new one. Right now, I am eyeing this new scent from Chloe called "Love", a mix of orange blossom, pink pepper, hyacinth, talc, and rice powder is described as "super-feminine and totally irresistible." This would be another on my "wish but can't afford list."

Another cool thing that uses your sense of smell are "21 Drops" from www.21drops.com. There are 21 different scents titled as what the scents can do for you. For example, #21 is called "Inspiration."

In "The Economist," I read lots of articles, but a few caught my attention more than others. The article Iran's morality campaign: Watch Out! discusses the rising "morality police" that have tightened their grip since Mahmoud Ahmadinjad became president in 2005. I encourage you to go read the article, but some of the things that took me off guard as I was reading is that the morality police prevent unmarried couples from walking together in public, loud music in cars, and girls from riding bicycles. These social constraints are off putting enough to make citizens of Iran, especially people in my generation, to try to leave to a country that offers more social freedoms. Although I knew prior to reading this article that there are countries out there that severely limit personal freedoms, it made me wonder if I am truly thankful for the freedoms I have, if I utilize them, or do I just take them for granted. Do I fight for the freedoms I don't have? On the flight home, I decided to do everything I could to not be scanned by one of those TSA body scanners, and I managed to avoid it! Although a very small infringement on my 4th amendment rights and a very small fight, quarrel, squabble, to save what little freedom I would have given up by going through the scanner, it still felt nice to know that I didn't absent mindedly and uncaringly given up that little bit of freedom of privacy.

Another article, Air Power on the Cheap fascinated me. Basically, the military has realized that it is more cost efficient and more strategic to use basic prop planes instead of very expensive jet fighters, especially in guerrilla warfare. I won't give you a whole synopsis, if you are interested, you can read the whole article. It isn't very long.

The last article I will share with you is Does it Really Stack Up? It's an article discussing the costs and benefits of "Vertical Farming" which is basically a sky scraping greenhouse. Check it out!

I have never really been in to the whole Skyping thing except when my dad was on a business trip in the Middle East. But even then, we just did the instant messaging part. I learned just how useful and fun the video chatting can be when you are separated from loved ones for a long period of time. I chatted almost every night I was in Seattle with my boyfriend and it was just SO much better than talking on the phone. It almost felt like I wasn't 2,000 miles away! He is going to be mad that I shared this picture but he is just so handsome, I can't help but to be proud of my catch :)

Anyways, one night while we were skyping, I didn't want to say goodbye, so charming boyfriend made me a playlist on his itunes to fall asleep to. It consisted entirely of Iron and Wine (my favorite) and it made me miss listening to them all the time. So I am going to dedicate the music on my page to them for a while! Enjoy!

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:9-11

over and out and MERRY CHRISTMAS

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let Go

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:20 b

God is with you. God is with me. Every moment of every day. How astounding it that? How wonderful is that? No matter how hard you push Him away, no matter the mistakes you make, no matter..anything, He will always be right there by you're side. He doesn't give up on you. God's faith in us is so great because we fail Him time after time, yet He is never stops believing in us and our potential to do His good. He never gives up loving us. Yet somehow, we can't keep our faith in God, the one who never fails us, never makes mistakes. Somehow, we question why bad things happen, why untimely things happen, why things that seem so perfect don't work out. We question what His purpose is for us, we question ourselves, we put ourselves (creations of God) down and tell ourselves we aren't good enough. And through all this, all we ever had to do was reach out and He would grab us. The simplicity of this just blows my mind.

As a side note, I think it is so important to surround ourselves with people who mimic God in this way. People who stand by our side despite everything. Who never give up on us despite situations, mistakes, and hard times. People who no matter how hard we push them away, no matter how many times we fail them, they still and always will believe in us. These are the people who truly love us.

I think the most uncomfortable thing that God is calling me to do currently is to move on so that I can move forward in His will without my baggage.
I need to remember that every time I feel self-conscious or unworthy, that God is right there. All I need to do is reach out to Him.
Every time I feel sad or hurt about something in the past, God is right there, waiting for me to fall into His arms.
Every time I may look backwards and wonder what could have been if I had taken a different path, I just need to turn around look to God and trust with with my whole heart that He will not fail me. Of course He will not fail me.

God wants us so badly to follow Him even when it seems like the most difficult thing in the world. He wants us, He wants me to step out of my comfort zone, stop looking backward, and move forward. It feels like taking that step will lead to nothing but falling flat on my face, but all He wants is me to have enough faith to take that step anyways. Faith that instead of falling, He will carry me the rest of the way.

Its like God has this wonderful surprise for us, and all we have to do is be blindfolded for a little while and trust Him to lead us to our surprise. To close our eyes and open our hands.. but we can't receive what He has to give us until we drop what we are currently grasping way too tightly.

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:18-19

"Don’t be afraid to keep moving on,
For what was before, now has gone,
God wants to accomplish so much more,
But we need to move forward in the Lord."

© By M.S. Lowndes

over and out