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

Monday, January 31, 2011


Ethan and I started a journal between each other when we first starting dating in the fall of 2008. We wrote each other letters, poems, bible verses, ideas, and drew pictures. We eventually stopped out of forgetfulness and laziness but just recently decided to continue where we left off. I included a couple of my favorite poems from both of us. Remember that we were both only 17, and were trying to impress each other with our artistic poem- writing abilities. I don't claim any of them to be technically great, but they are beautiful in emotion behind the words.

I'll always be right here for you, up in a tree by your heart. I won't be a verse in the poetic sky; I won't be slang to the ground and the earth. I'll be right in the middle, eclectic. Expanded in perfect harmony, I'll be in a tree. God is the roots, and they keep us grounded. Our faith is the trunk that provides a sturdy base. Our love is the branches that continually grow, towards the poetic sky. The leaves are the shade of green radiating from your eyes, every time I tell you that I love you.

-October 28, 2008

Duck Duck Goose:
A heavy hand falls upon you.
Chase me.
Color outside the lines.
Run outside the circle.
Keep following, we will end up somewhere.
Dizzy due to ring-a-round the rosy,
I am not suited to lead.
Yet you still follow.
We will end up somewhere.
Names whispered in the distance.
We have lost.
The game, not each other.
Hide and seek, neither are It.
We just keep running.
We will end up somewhere.
I trip on a dandelion, you trip on me.
We fall upon each other, for each other,
Our wishes float upon us.
Piggy-back ride.
You are leading now.
We will end up somewhere.

-October 28, 2008

An allusion of you
Alluding to things you've never yet done

But the dawn how it murders
A sky that bleeds autumn
drenched with faint pastels of sun beaten scars
Aura writing guidelines
with stares of endearment
brief intoxication
consumed and it's gone

But yet into the twilight
Dusk how it travels
An effervescent light
Still discerned in pure view
A light eternal
A light of endearment
Shining through the depths of my core

An allusion of you
Alluding to things of angelic prosper

-December 2, 2008

You steal my breath like bubbles floating
Their direction is subjective,
protected by a fragile faith
of detergent, until they reach
your cheek in sweet soft kisses
of raptive rupture.

Alone with my breath, you have taken my words.
I stutter and stumble over my attempts of transforming my heart into script.
Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.
Silence is the proper vocabulary for love.
When you utter words in hopes of description, the danger is that the words will trap you.
Our limited vocabulary is what binds us, what ties us up.

Let the poets struggle to describe our hearts.
Let us gulp down silence; awe.
Awe is what moves us forward.
Awe in the depths of my heart.
it's floor does not exist.
We will keep swimming in silence.

-November 13, 2008

over and out.

Invisible Man

My hair has grown:

If you go back in my blog to "chopped." (or just click the link) then you'll see my post about when I cut my hair SUPER short back in November. Since I see my hair everyday, I don't really notice much of a difference in length, but I happened across a picture of me from right after I cut it and realized that it really has grown a lot in a mere three months!


Friday night, Ethan and our awesome friend Sam went to HopDoddy Burger Bar and had by far the best burger I have ever had in my entire life. MMM! All of their ingredients are fresh, all natural, and local. They make their own bread (which is delicious) and everything is just super flavorful and juicy. Anyways, after dinner we went to see No Strings Attached which was pretty funny but I don't think I'll see it again. Two and a half stars. After the movie, it was still pretty early but the boys had a lacrosse game the next day and I was tired so we decided to call it an early night.

HOWEVER, on the way back to campus, we spotted a homeless man (a usual sight on the intersection of 290 and South Congress) who had a sign that said "NEED ENOUGH MONEY TO EAT AT MCDONALDS OR WENDYS" We all wanted to do something but none of us really had cash, so I suggested we could go to McDonald's and bring him back whatever he wanted. When we asked him what we could get him, he said he would just meet us at McDonald's (it was walking distance). He ordered himself a Ranch Chicken BLT meal, with a Chocolate Shake, and two Apple Pies. He struck up a conversation with us, asking if we went to St. Edward's. When we told him yes, he told us that another St. Ed's student was taking him to church on Sunday which opened up a whole other conversation. We sat with him for literally an hour and a half while he told us A LOT. Here's what I remember:

1. His name is Danny but everyone calls him Preacher
2. He was raised by a family of pentecostal preachers
3. He really doesn't like what he called "fake" pentecostal churches that are what he called "Jesus only churches" (I don't know enough about different denominations to discuss this further, I simply was listening his story).
4. He doesn't believe in the 12-step program, he believes in the "One- step program of stepping, falling to the ground, and reaching his hands to God for help."
5. He was addicted to crack and recovered from his addiction twice.
6. His wife left him in the mid- 80's with his two small kids. He recently was able to reconnect with his kids. Unfortunately, his kids have led really hard lives as well.
7. He keeps his bible in his backpack at all times.
8. He has more scripture memorized than I do, by far.
9. He feels as though God's purpose for him is to be on the streets so He can be the kingdom to the "untouchables" that can't be reached by anyone else. (Drug addicts, prostitutes, alcoholics, etc..)
10. He has some very radical opinions on how to read scripture that I am not sure if I agree with, but I can definitely see how reading and teaching scripture that way can really convict the hearts of the people he teaches.
11. He has a brother name Donny that has an obsession with calling Danny and discussing the book of Revelation.
12. This annoys Danny because he doesn't get free nights and weekends like Donny does, and also Danny really isn't interested in reading Revelation because he doesn't want to prepare people for the apocalypse, but instead to prepare them to be ready to meet Jesus when their time comes.
13. He told us two funny little anecdotes about Heaven and creation that I can't tell half as well as he did.
14. His friend, who recently accepted Jesus, was murdered not too long ago.
15. The woman who murdered him is now camped 300 ft from Danny's camp.

Now, I won't sit here and pretend that I had an incredible time listening to Danny talk for an hour and a half. It was actually quite the opposite. It was awkward, and uncomfortable (especially when he said things I don't agree with), and I was already tired and just wanted to go to bed. I prayed multiple times for patience and that God would teach me something through the process. And God answered. He did give me patience and we stayed until Danny was done talking. And He did teach me through Danny. It made homelessness and all that goes along with it a reality for me. I, of course, knew that it existed and know that they are real people with real stories, but it is a whole other experience to interact with it. I got to witness someone who is doing everything he can to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I think Danny, despite his human flaws of sin and despite some of his interpretations that made me uncomfortable (but who am I to say he's wrong and I am right?), he is the closest to mimicking Jesus as I have ever encountered in another person. Having no material possessions doesn't bother him. He makes his home amongst the untouchables, being untouchable to many people himself. He teaches the Word to prostitutes and drug addicts and alcoholics, and criminals, the sick, the ostracized. He gets spit on and named called and cursed at by those lucky enough to have cars and drive past him. Although a long, awkward, uncomfortable hour and a half, God used every second of it as inspiration for my heart.

I wrote a poem a couple years back and it seems to be relevant to this so I'll share:

Invisible Man

There is an
invisible man
sitting over there
invisible tears
I must have magic glasses on because
Seem to be the only one who sees him

Surrounding him are leftover funds, half- eaten sandwiches, and a scribbled address on a napkin to the shelter down the street
Guilty offerings
from guilty passer byes
to relieve THEIR guilty conscience
But what you do not know is that he is not poor
Not hungry
Not cold
Not tired
He is not looking for your pity or your penitent services
But he forgives you
He even forgives you when you beat your self- condemning words onto him
He forgives your
Your condemnation
At least you notice he is alive

He knows you do not understand
He weeps for your REFUSAL to understand
You refuse to look him in the eye
Refuse to grace him with your opulent smile
Refuse him respect
You refuse to offer him anything at all,
Except your guilty conscience
Oh no, don’t forget about that!

You tell him to get a job
Find a home
Buy some shoes
Provide for yourself and THEN I will respect you
You will thank me later

Oh no, for he is capable of overcoming said obstacles
Where did you ever learn that he couldn’t?
Have you ever thought that perhaps he didn’t want to?
Have you ever thought that perhaps what he really wants
Really needs
Is your love?
But of course,
You wouldn’t understand.

Teresa of Avila said, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours; yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion looks out on the world.” This is so beautiful, because so often I find myself looking to be helped by Jesus, to be served by Jesus, and when I pray for that He always answers. But, the real truth, the hard truth, is as as His follower, it is my duty to be His hands and feet along with other believers to help others, to serve others, to pour out Jesus' love onto others.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:3-16

over and out.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"I am just a human being..."

...and so is everyone else.

"What is the ultimate purpose of life? It's to give."

"Food is one part; Love is the other part."

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor."
—Romans 12:9-10 (King James)

"Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other."
—Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.

over and out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Three Things.

I made dinner:

Garlic pasta with bell peppers, shrimp, and mussels!


is so precious in her little hat..

New Product:

I just received my NutraSonic today and got to use it, and seriously, my face feels 75% cleaner and clearer just five minutes after using it. Definitely a good buy!

over and out



Monday: Work 9:00- 3:00, Homework 4:00- whenever its done
Tuesday: School 8:00- 5:00, Homework until dinner, Lazy time until bed
Wednesday: Work 9:00- 3:00, Homework 4:00-7:00, Bible Study 7:00ish-10:00ish
Thursday: School 8:00- 5:00, Homework until dinner, Lazy time until bed
Friday: Work 9:00- 12:00, Homework 1:00-4:00, Date night with Ethan
Saturday: SLEEP (and some quality blogging), Night out with friends
Sunday: Church 11:00-12:30, Nap, Homework, Blogging, Sleep

My weeks, my days now seem like little marathons, pacing my self to get through the next class so I can get through the next day so I can get through the next week so I can get through... I don't want to live like that, where everything I do is just another step to something else or something I just need to get through. I haven't figured out how to accomplish that just yet, but I am praying about it.

Nevertheless, I can't escape that I am busy. And by the time I get home everyday, I am exhausted. So my blogs will either be really short, photo-blogs, or just nonexistent on the weekdays. I seem to be always tired actually. But, I did add a Biotin supplement to my regular daily multivitamin and have been replacing green tea for my usual choices of coffee and diet coke, and I was nicely surprised by how much energy I had yesterday. Biotin is the B vitamin that metabolizes your food into energy, so instead of relying on caffeine to keep me awake, I was actually getting my energy from the food I was eating, which is the whole purpose of eating to begin with. Biotin also makes your nails, hair, and skin really healthy :)

First Day at School:
The excitement of the first day of school never seems to go away for me. I love getting all organized and buying school supplies. I actually like to do my homework in a timely manner during the first two weeks of school. Why can't I keep that up for the remaining 13 weeks? Give me inspiration and determination or give me summer. My classes are all very.. interesting this semester. I'll post more about them this weekend.

Mini Lesson:

Matthew 11:28-30
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

No matter how tired I get though, Jesus will always provide me with enough strength to do His work. The burden He gives us is light, not because its easy or simple, but because He puts the strength in us to accomplish His will.

Mark 11:22-24
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly[f] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

This isn't a verse telling us to pray that God would give us all our desires, rather a verse about praying for the tools to accomplish what God wants us to whenever we doubt our own abilities. "I can't live my life like Jesus right now because I am broken in my own sin." "I can't live like Jesus because I am so busy and exhausted ALL the time." Pray for the peace, strength, and determination that you need. Pray for it with faith in God and in yourself and pray for it genuinely, and He will provide.

over and out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The blackbird must be flying.

Sorry for the THIRD post of the day. I really need to wait until the end of the day to blog. Anyways... I got all moved back into my apartment, went shopping, and had a nice mini date with Ethan :) Spring semester... here I come (reluctantly).


I used my towel rack as a necklace/ earring organizer..

and my full length mirror as a belt and headband organizer..

and my over the door hooks as a scarf and hat organizer..

Day Six: Part Two: Ten

It warmed up outside and Ethan and I were about the hit the town, so I decided to change :) I am wearing the same jeans as earlier and some blue Urban Outfitters sandals with a white tank top and a Gap vest on top. I wore my new scarf that Caleigh got me for Christmas with the same headband and jewelry as earlier. Ethan told me my outfit was really cute and that I looked really pretty and it made me smile :)

Downtown: Reunited

Ethan and I set up his dorm, well he set up his dorm while I played (poorly) the guitar and made up silly songs. Then, we went to BookPeople and were in HEAVEN. We LOVE BookPeople. Then we walked to Whole foods and on the way, we saw more black birds than I have ever seen in one place at one time and it was actually kind of magical. Then we roamed whole foods and got some dinner. On the way out, we stopped and picked up some unique chocolate truffles to try (and they were delicious)! We got a ginger and wasabi truffle, a Mexican chile truffle, a Guinness truffle (no alcohol in it), a Champagne truffle (also no alcohol), and my personal favorite, a Lavender truffle.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

-Wallace Stevens


Psalm 4:8 (NLT)
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

over and out

Social Experiment: TEN

Be sure to pause the music at the bottom of the page before watching the video!

Social Experiment: Can You Change a Life for $10?

A group of strangers in Portland, Maine are asked to change lives with just ten dollars. See what they did!

Guster- Bad Bad World from Softshell Productions on Vimeo.

This is just so beautiful and such a great idea to apply to my TEN project. I want to do a $10 to change lives project every week. What could you do with $10? Send me ideas, pictures, videos, ect.. to taelorrussell@gmail.com.

over and out

Nuts & Bolts

Day Six: Ten

Okay so I am wearing my light jeans with my Uggs with the fitted white crew neck tee and an aquamarine cardigan. I am wearing gold jewelry (including the same earrings I seem to wear everyday and my favorite necklace from JCrew that Ethan bought me...it has an elephant on it!) and a headband (simply because I didn't feel like doing my hair this morning). I have found that if I pick out my outfit the night before, I don't get as frustrated with having to wear the same thing everyday. It gives me time to think through how I am going to put my outfit together and allows me to not have to think about getting dressed in the morning, which adds to the simplicity of it!

To Do Today:

1. Work
2. Haul all of my stuff up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment
3. Unpack
4. Grocery shop
5. Cook
6. Get organized for school tomorrow

Potential Tattoo:

Well, I know quite a few people who don't want me to get a 2nd tattoo and this isn't a post about a definite 2nd tattoo. Just an idea for what it would be IF I got one. IF.

Its Psalm 119:105 (KJV) "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."


All of my classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays and are the following:
MODERN ART 12:30p-01:45p
AMERICAN DILEMMAS 02:00p- 03:15p
FRENCH II 03:30p-04:45p


Okay, so I picked 4 recipes from the 5-ingredients section of Cooking Light because I figured that would lower the quantity of items I needed to shop for and also would make for some easy recipes. I picked a chicken dish and a risotto dish for myself during the week and a salmon and mashed potatoes dish for when Ethan comes over for dinner (because he likes seafood!). Enjoy these recipes if you'd like and I'll do my best to post them as I make them.

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto

Mushroom-Herb Chicken

Chili-Garlic Glazed Salmon

Mashed Red Potatoes with Chives

Shopping list:
1. Chicken breasts (2)
2. Shallots
3. Fresh mushrooms
4. Dried marjoram
5. Apple Cider
6. Arborio or other medium-grain rice (uncooked)
7. Vegetable Broth
8. Frozen pureed butternut squash
9. Parmesan cheese
10. Salmon filets (2)
11. Chili sauce with garlic
12. Low-sugar orange marmalade
13. Low-sodium soy sauce
14. Red Potato (1)
15. Garlic cloves
16. Reduced fat sour cream
17. fat free milk
18. yogurt based butter spread

Next up:

Finding an exercise program I actually enjoy and can do regularly.

over and out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

Day 5:Ten
I totally forgot to get a picture of my outfit today! I got home from church/ lunch and got straight into leggings and a sweatshirt and took a nap. Anyways, I wore my dark jeans with the fitted crew neck white shirt. I wore an Ann Taylor Loft black cardigan with a black and red houndstooth scarf and some really cute black velvet flats with bows on them that I found at Goodwill! I haven't spent any of my personal money all week, which is awesome but it about to have to change! I am going to have to go both school supply shopping and grocery shopping tomorrow. Since these are both expenses that I need and obviously can't do in under $10, I am going to be as frugal as I possibly can. Today, I was packing everything to move back to my apartment from my parents house and it was nice to not have to pack ALL of my clothes and try to get it all done in one trip like I usually do. I also realized that, I have been living at my parents house for two months and have had plenty, if not an excess, of everything. Everything I could need and more fits easily in my car (not counting my bed), yet I have probably two to three times as much stuff at my apartment that I haven't touched in two months. Why do I have all this stuff that I don't need, or even use? I haven't decided what I am going to do, but I definitely want to do something to rid myself of excess. Simplicity is my word of the year.

Inspiration Sunday:
Okay, so last week I started my first weekly "Inspiration Sunday" and I was going to try to follow the same pattern but that's confining and totally not inspirational! Today I was really inspired by church, in it's entirety from the message, to the worship, to just the general "feel." Also, because I am starting school back and moving back to my apartment this week, I have a few goals for myself this week.

Today was my first day to attend a different church than the one I have been going to for the past 6 years and I was a little nervous because I was stepping out of my comfort zone. I have recently joined Ethan in a college small group that I really love. We both knew the leaders before so transitioning into the group was really easy for me. They invited us to their church and Ethan had been before so I definitely had a safety blanket so I wasn't as nervous as if I was going by myself, not knowing anyone. But despite my anticipation, I felt totally comfortable in the congregation, just the whole feel of the church felt welcoming. It was so so so so nice to be able to attend church with Ethan since our conflicting schedules have prevented us from being able to do that in the past. There were quite a few twists on the way the service went that I wasn't used to but the one I enjoyed the most was that they save their worshiping for after the message. This gave me the chance to hear what God was teaching me through the message and then reflect on it and really spend the worshiping time with God, focusing on what He had revealed to me.

The message today was about baptism, but I got so much more out of it than just that. I won't go through the whole sermon and share everything, but I do want to share what God had my heart focused on.

Psalm 40:6-10 (New Living Translation)

You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand—
you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
Then I said, “Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:
I take joy in doing your will, my God,
for your instructions are written on my heart.”

What I absolutely adore about this scripture is that it was written before Jesus came, before Jesus spoke about what God really wants from us, before He fulfilled the law. Before Jesus came, people did many things to be worthy of God's love and one of these was offering sacrifices to cover their sin. These verses tell us, before Jesus did, that God took no delight in those sacrifices, that He didn't require them, that all we wanted was for us to use our hearts to fulfill His desires. Beautiful!

Matthew 28:19-20

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

We are to be Jesus' disciples and we are to make disciples of all the nations. A disciple isn't someone who is simply saved by Jesus, someone who tries to live without sin and asks for forgiveness when they screw up, someone who uses scripture as a manual of how to live their lives. Although all of these things are great and pleasing to God, it's not being a disciple. A disciple is someone who does everything they can to live their lives as Jesus did. Jesus didn't do the bare minimum, and disciples don't either. Also, what is so beautiful about Jesus is that there is not one thing He asks us to do that He didn't do Himself.

1 Corinthians 12:27 (New Living Translation)

All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

This is something I really focused on today, something I haven't really thought about the way I did today. We, the church, are Jesus' body, His presence on Earth. This means that not only should we as individuals be true disciples, but especially the church as a whole. What can we do as a collective unit of Christ lovers to do what Christ did in His life? Church is a wonderful place for community and furthering one's faith, but the purpose I somehow didn't get until now is that the number one purpose of the Church is to be Jesus' body.

1 Peter 2:21-25 (New Living Translation)

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.

God doesn't call us to just BE good. God calls us, calls me, calls you to DO good.

DO= go, serve, satisfy, function, work, to be enough, answer, assuage, quench, satisfy, to carry through (as a process) to completion, accomplish, achieve, bring off, carry off, carry out, commit, compass, follow through (with), fulfill, make, bring about, effect, effectuate, implement; ace, nail, engage (in), practice, work (at), reduplicate, actualize, attain, realize, complete


Moving back into my apartment means shopping and cooking for myself again. I am so guilty of making something super easy at health's expense, or ordering in food, or going out to eat. I don't remember the last time I shopped and cooked from a recipe. My goal for this week is to find 2 or 3 recipes to make the week from Cooking Light and go buy the ingredients tomorrow, then cook every other night and eat leftovers on the remaining nights. (I am hopeful to post recipes and pictures as I accomplish this goal.)


So, two weeks ago I decided to apply for an internship at LiveSTRONG on a whim, honestly not expecting anything because its LIVESTRONG! But, Friday, I got a phone call from the director of the internships asking me to come in for an interview. WHAT! I literally sat in awe for 20 minutes before I called her back. My interview is on Wednesday and I am super excited. Although it is an unpaid internship and I honestly don't have enough hours available in the week to dedicate to the internship, it can only benefit me to go and sit down in person and discuss any alternatives available (maybe a summer internship!) Here's a description of the specific internship I am interested in:

Advocacy and Engagement interns will help LIVESTRONG as we work to make cancer a national priority through grassroots advocacy and public policy initiatives. Tasks may include researching grassroots advocacy practices, communicating with advocates, preparing analysis reports on grassroots strategies and helping coordinate advocacy outreach communications.


I need to start Never Let Me Go. Still.

over and out

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Day Four:
I don't have much to say about day four since its rainy outside and I am just lounging around the house today. I will say that this week will probably have its own set of difficulties since re-wearing outfits is going to be unavoidable, and its week one of spring semester.

Date Night:
Last night, Ethan and I went to see Blue Valentine and although we were prepared for a heart wrenching story, written, acted, and filmed beautifully, I was still handed more than I expected.

It seemed appropriate to have box seats to view Blue Valentine, a movie promising unexpected emotional reactions. For $40 (reserved online, matinée) you get two tickets and an overstuffed leather La-Z-Boy loveseat/recliner with dual control; they even throw in a bowl of popcorn and an attentive server to check on you every 15 minutes or so. When we arrived to the theater, we were escorted up the elevator, through the projection room, to our perch. The view of the screen is amazing. The whole setup is absolutely soignée.

I am not going to write a full review and analyze the whole movie, because it really is something you have to experience for yourself instead of second hand. Director Derek Cianfrance had been working on the film for 12 years, and actors Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling had been on board for their roles for six and four years respectively. Cianfrance had some very interesting and innovative methods of filming, from method acting to improvisation to shocking the actors into honest emotion, that really made the movie. The movie was filmed from two perspectives, when the couple first met and then in the present, when their marriage is really on the rocks. For the the scenes when they first met, the actors didn't know each other very well and Cianfrance made them improv a lot which provided the natural awkwardness that exists when people first start interacting. Then, prior to filming the married scenes, Cianfrance had the actors live together in a very small humble house with their on screen daughter (Faith Wladyka who is PRECIOUS by the way). They were placed on a budget, worked minimum wage jobs, and even threw their on screen daughter a birthday party. They would be forced to fight all day and then act like everything was okay when they took Faith to an amusement park. This method acting forced Michelle, Ryan, and Faith to really understand their roles, not only individually but in relationship to one another.

Read a wonderful interview with Ryan and Michelle here.

There were many scenes that had me emotionally tied to the story; many were just emotional and some were graphic. Could the meaning of the movie be obtained without the graphic scenes? Yes. But, what they did successfully add to the movie is making the audience feel just as awkward and uncomfortable as the characters were in the scenes. There was some humorous relief during one of those scenes whenever Ethan declared disgusted with a bite of his sandwich in his mouth, "I'm eating" and I burst out in a very loud laugh, during a scene where laughing is VERY inappropriate. I was very thankful for our private seats right about then.

There are lots of very harsh criticisms of this film, but what is beautiful about it is that Cianfrance didn't write it to appease his audience. He wrote it to tell an honest story about falling in and out of love and to emotionally grip his audience, whether positively or negatively. Ryan Gosling answered in an interview, "when we were in Sundance, we were reading bad reviews, and Derek [Cianfrance] was more excited about the bad ones than the good ones. He wanted to make a film that polarized people."

I had thought I had escaped letting the movie really get to me, as I had assumed I could simply appreciate the film without being affected. I was wrong. As we were driving home discussing the movie in depth, I had to suddenly stop talking to prevent myself from crying and then after a few minutes of composure, I was okay again. Ethan and I were torn about what we believed the ending meant. I won't ruin the ending, but I wanted so badly to be optimistic about what would happen, but Ethan pointed out a symbol at the beginning of the movie that foreshadowed otherwise. I am still torn. But, the point, I think, isn't to figure out what happened to the characters of the story, but to really think about what one would do if they were in the same situation. To relate the story to themselves and really decide what is important.

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLV)

"Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit."
1 Corinthians 13:8 (Message)

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love never gives up.

over and out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Come let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks or um-ber-ellas in their mitts: Puttin' on the Ritz

Date Night:
Tonight is Ethan and I's last "fancy" date night before school starts and I am extremely excited about it. We analyzed our love languages the other night and realized that quality time is high on both of our lists. SO, we made a post new-year's resolution to be intentional about spending special quality time together. We are going to see the much anticipated Blue Valentine starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling that I have been writing about in most of my recent blog posts. It's a heart breaking love story written and directed by the extremely talented Derek Cianfrance, and Blue Valentine is only his second film! Both actors are up for Golden Globes and Satellite awards for the film and one of my favorite bands, Grizzly Bear, is very prevalent in the sound track. I am SO excited! Anyways, to add excitement onto excitement, we are going to see it at the Alamo Drafthouse: The Ritz which is on 6th Street downtown. I decided to surprise Ethan by purchasing the only slightly more expensive balcony seats but I couldn't keep it a surprise and told him already. BUT these balcony seats are supposed to be amazing. There are two separate balconies, each with room for two couples. Each couple gets a RECLINING love seat, a private waiter, and the best view of the screen. I will have to blog when I get home about not only the movie, but the balcony!

Day Three: Ten
Last night, I was skyping with one of my good friends Chelsey and I was telling her how I was about ready to give up on this whole "Ten" challenge, at least the clothing part of it. There is some sort of angst inside of me that wants to rebel against something I am being forced to do, apparently even if it is self-inflicted. I am pressing on though, despite my reluctance. Finding this stubbornness and lack of commitment to a challenge, especially so early on, is really disheartening BUT I will not give up! I am slowly learning what this challenge is going to do for me and am anxious to see the ending results. Today, I dressed up a little bit more since it is date night after all. I wore my dark jeans with my over the knee faux-suede black boots. I decided on my over sized white tee, belted with one of my favorite belts from Forever 21 and gold jewelry. Since it is still cold out, I have a black swing style sweater and some grey JCrew gloves.

1 Corinthians 13: 1-3

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but do not have love, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but do not have love, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but do not have love, I would have gained nothing.

over and out

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tattoos and Puppies.

Matthew 14:22-31
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

This passage, one that I have heard over and over again, took on a completely different meaning for me last night (thanks to Rob Bell's Nooma video entitled "Dust"). I feel like the common thought, at least for me, is when Jesus says "You of little faith," that He is accusing Peter of having little faith in Jesus and that is why he began to sink. An interesting take on it is that Jesus had faith that Peter could walk out on the water with Him shown by His invitation to Peter to "come." Maybe the reason why Peter sank was a little faith in himself. He doubted that he could do what his Savior was doing, and that's what caused him to sink. Jesus has faith in us as His disciples. Look at John 14:12 "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." Jesus tells us that we will not only do what Jesus did, but even GREATER things. That is how much Jesus believes in us. It's our doubt in ourselves that hold us back and prevents us from accomplishing those GREATER things.
Back in July, I got my first tattoo, "Faith" on my left wrist facing me. Depending on whatever circumstances life has given me, the meaning behind the tattoo seems to change and I never expected that to happen. Originally it was a physical representation of how my faith grew through going through some difficult things. "Faith through pain." "Faith through (tattooed) pain." It was a reminder of what Jesus has done for me (and still is). Then as I went through a phase in life when I was trying to figure out the directions I was to be taking in life and really struggling with it, it was a reminder to me to not forget that God is faithful. Hebrews 13:5 "because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” But even though faith represents both of those things to me still, and will continue to, both of those reasons are pretty selfish if I do say so myself. It's (pardon my cliche) a "what can my faith do for me," instead of "what can I do for my faith." Now my tattoo serves as an inescapable reminder that Jesus has faith in me to do GREATER things for His kingdom, and that I need to have faith in myself and not let self-doubt hold me back. And as a little side-note, how incredibly awesome is our God that He has faith in us, broken lives filled with sin? He loves us and He believes in us and that just overwhelms my heart with thanksgiving and joy!

Day Two: Ten
So, yesterday I talked about how it was just so easy and fun to already know what the base of my outfit was going to be and how I didn't anticipate a real challenge at least for quite a few days. Well, I was challenged this morning. Not to create a unique outfit, but simply to challenged to stick to my goal. I wanted to badly to put on something other than my simple white shirt (I wear jeans too much to want to not wear jeans already). This struggle about something as silly as clothes made me realize the depths of my materialism. It's frustrating to me that I felt that way, but I am thankful to be challenging it and hopefully ridding myself of it. Anyways, today I am wearing my light jeans, the long sleeve white tee, my UGGs, a cream cardigan from Marshall's, and my very lovely headband/ear muffs thing my mom got me for Christmas from one of the most overwhelming, but awesome stores I have ever been in: Sam Moon. If you ever want any kind of accessory, anything you could ever think of, go there. Plus the one in Austin is right by the Lifeway Christian store... so my money seems to go pretty fast if I go to that shopping center. Speaking of money, I didn't spend $10 yesterday and I don't plan on spending anything today. But, it is a good thing I saved because I am going to see Blue Valentine tomorrow at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown and that will cover my ticket and a snack!


This is the precious little ball of sweetness (and also spunkiness) that I get to love on every morning and snuggle with when I have some down time. She is staying at my parents house because unfortunately with school and everything else, I don't have the adequate time she deserves to train her completely. (Don't get a dog in college, I love her so much and I don't regret it, but I was NOT prepared for the responsibility) Luckily I have incredible parents that have taken her under their wings, despite her more frustrating characteristics. I am moving back to my apartment this weekend due to the spring semester starting and I am going to miss seeing her precious little face everyday.

over and out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day One.

Day One: Ten
All in all I would say day one is a success, at least thus far! Outfit wise, it was so easy. Of course, it being the first day, my creativity has yet to be challenged and probably won't be at least for another couple of days once I go through all my cardigans and scarves once. I wore my fitted crew neck white shirt with my dark jeans and accessorized with a mustard colored JCrew cardigan, Urban Outfitters scarf, my dark brown Franco Sarto riding boots and some gold jewelry. Also, since its especially cold today (for Austin), I wore a long grey sweatshirt material jacket with a long navy coat on top and my usual everyday grey purse. The only thing I've experienced today, different from any other day based solely on this project is the simplicity of it! I was frankly a little afraid of wearing nothing but powder, chapstick, and mascara but I LOVE IT! That on top of not having to go through all of my clothes to find a base outfit and then change my mind multiple times made getting ready so much simpler and quicker. I woke up at 8:00 and was out the door at 8:45 and that included a regular length shower, blow drying my hair/ styling it, and eating breakfast/making a cup of coffee! Can't beat that! Also, I am proud to say that I won't be spending any of my allotted $10 today! I am also trying to come up with new ways to raise money for Not For Sale: other than the measly amount I can afford to give each week. Any suggestions?

Random Thoughts:
I was trying to determine what my taste in music is. All I know is I love acoustic guitar, folk, unique vocal sounds, lyrics with real emotion behind them, and just an overall raw, not-too-cleaned-up sound. I know the sound that I like when I hear it, but I always have trouble describing it! Also, I said I wanted to find some new musicians that I enjoy this week.. I found one! Joshua Radin studied drawing and painting at Northwestern University, following his college years with stints as an art teacher, screenwriter, and art gallery employee. He turned to music when he moved to New York City, bought a guitar, and taught himself to play and write music. His big break was when Zach Braff took particular interest in his song "Winter" and had it incorporated into the soundtrack for Scrubs. His voice kind of reminds me of John Mayer, and I love that! His music isn't particularly "indie" or "hipster", its not grungy or raw, his lyrics aren't especially poetic but something about it is just nice to listen to. Its a little poppy and his vocals are a little too clean for my usual tastes but quite a few of his songs will definitely be downloaded into my music library. I've shared some of my favorite of his songs on my music player, enjoy!

I am obsessed with Romans 12, the entire chapter.

A Living Sacrifice

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

over and out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Okay, so I have recently been really inspired by minimalist projects such as The Uniform Project and the Six Items or Less Challenge and have the urge to do a similar challenge myself! Instead of choosing one of these already formed projects (I almost did), I decide to kind of create my own. My challenge revolves around the number 10. Ten staple items in my wardrobe/ makeup bag. Ten dollars a week to the Not For Sale: End Human Trafficking campaign (more info on them below). Trying to spend as close to ten dollars and under per day (I will allow myself rollover money). Ten items of my own wardrobe donated (this might grow to a larger number, but its a tangible start). I was going to do this challenge for a month, but then I thought, I turn twenty in 60 days (all multiples of 10!) So, I am going to adopt The Uniform Project's idea of a simple basic outfit everyday, made into creative, unique outfits with accessories that I already own. My staple outfit is going to be a white tee and jeans. Because I would like to stay clean, but also not waste excess energy by washing the same tee and jeans everyday so I will have a choice from four different white shirts and two pairs of jeans. On top of that, I have chosen four items of makeup as the only makeup I will wear. I want to challenge my western consumerism, my comfort zone, my shop-o-holic tendencies, my creativity, and make my complicated world just a little more simple.

Not For Sale:
My donations of $10 a week ($40 per month) will go towards their program entitled "Become a Backyard Abolitionist" (click the link to become one yourself!) in which the lowest membership is $28 per month, which leaves me with $12 more dollars per month I would like to use for local and personal giving (ex. a meal to the homeless man or woman on the street corner).

The major obstacle that we face in the fight against modern-day slavery is that the crime is hidden. Individuals that work in the field know that slavery is not part of the current collective consciousness. Initially, it shocks the general public to learn that slavery still exists and is widespread. It is even more shocking for them to realize that it may exist in their own backyards.

As a Backyard Abolitionist, you are at the center of the movement to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking across the world. You are a part of a growing global network of individuals offering their passions, their skills, and their resources to address one of the greatest human rights issues of our day.


1 white form fitting short sleeve tee
1 white lose fitting short sleeve tee
1 white tee shirt (think Hanes)
1 white long sleeve tee
1 pair dark jeans
1 pair light jeans

Accessories only those that I own

Face power (Bare Minerals)
Chapstick (Nivea "Milk & Honey")
Mascara (Voluminous by Loreal)
Nail Polish (varies)

$10 per week to a cause
$10 per day on expenses(expenses do not include money spent on others)

$80 per week (the rest will go into savings)

Matthew 6:28-30 (New Living Translation)
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

over and out

Monday, January 10, 2011

Do you love me?

John 21:15-19
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

This passage has been heavy on my heart for about a week now. I have betrayed Jesus, as we all have, through sin just as Peter betrayed Jesus. I will continue to betray Jesus for the rest of my life through sin, simply because I am human. I have wanted to badly to prove my love to Jesus through praise, prayer, study, and teaching. Although Christ is more than deserving of those things, I still feel a hole in my heart, a space where Jesus isn't close enough, a space where my sin still separates me from Him. I have been so desperate to get closer to Him and I was so blind to not see how clearly He asked us to show our love for Him.

He's asking, "Taelor, do you love me?" and I am answering "Yes, I am reading your word!" and He is saying "that's great, Taelor, but feed my lambs."
But somehow I missed that part.
He's asking again, "Taelor, do you love me?" and I say "Yes, I am praising You with open arms during worship!" and He is saying again, "that's awesome, Taelor, but take care of my sheep."
I missed the point again.
So, He asks again, never giving up on me, "Taelor, do you truly love me?" and this time I am truly hurt because I feel like I am honestly exhausting myself week by week doing things to show my love for Him, and I answer "Of course I love you, Lord, I am devoting so much time to teaching others how to follow you!"
And here comes the kicker... His answer is "Taelor, that's wonderful, but I also want YOU to follow me."

And now I understand.

Am I ready to follow Jesus? To really, truly, honestly follow Him? Frankly, if I think I am ready or not doesn't matter. Jesus is ready, so I have no choice.

"And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[a] you were doing it to me!"
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me."

Matthew 25:40,45

Over and Out

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

I want to start a weekly post of inspirations. What a great way to start the week!


(scroll down to the bottom of my blog and pause the music player before watching the video)

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping
God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

God in my hoping
There in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting
God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing

Be my everything.

"God's there, listening for all who pray,
for all who pray and mean it."

Psalm 145:18 (The Message)

"I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me."

Psalm 16:8 (NLV)

This week, I want to start really focusing on God always being with me. It's a concept I know to be true, but is simply hard to grasp. I want to learn how to always be praying and to feel God with me, instead of feeling the need to seek and find Him.


I have known about The Uniform Project (click the link for more information), for a while now but I found it again today and it really intrigued me. Basically, founder Sheena Matheiken decided to wear the same dress for an entire year, using accessories (and not buying anything new) to make the daily outfits look creatively unique. What a challenge! She created an international online following and used this "fame" of sorts to draw attention to her passion to support the Akanksha Foundation, an organization dedicated to not only providing education to kids that otherwise wouldn't receive it, but to instill a sense of self esteem and values that will enable them to use their education to better their lives as well as the world around them. To date, Sheena has raised $103,374 which equals 287 kids placed in one of the Akanksha schools. What she has done, through an extremely creative and fun process for her cause is so incredibly inspiring. My heart is filled with passion to seek justice for those trapped in the human trafficking system and Sheena's story has inspired me to brainstorm creative and unusual ways to not only spread awareness, but to also make a difference.

A very simple step I made today was to sign a petition on Change.org and emailed Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio to fund shelters for the victims of sex trafficking that will very unfortunately be trafficked to Texas because of the Super Bowl in Dallas. Please join me in this cause by signing the petition here.


I am about to start reading the novel, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It has been adapted into a film of the same title but it has not yet been released. What drew me into this book is the fact that my favorite actress, Carey Mulligan, will be starring in the film adaptation. But, what really excites me about reading the novel is Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times' review provided below.
A Gothic tour de force.... A meditation on morality and lost innocence: a portrait of adolescence as that hinge moment in life when self-knowledge brings intimations of one's destiny, when the shedding of childhood dreams can lead to disillusionment, rebellion, newfound resolve or an ambivalent acceptance to a preordained fate.

If this novel is half as good as it's review, then its going to be a phenomenal read.


I am currently on a little Emily Dickinson obsession: enjoy.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.


I have been dying to see Blue Valentine ever since I saw the very first preview. It stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. I would tell you what it is supposed to be about but I have tried very hard to not read any reviews online since they tend to spoil the movie. All I know is that it has been named one of the best movies of the year (it was released December 29, 2010), and its a beautifully filmed dark and charming story about an unraveling marriage. AH. I have been counting down the days until it opens to theaters in Austin and this Friday at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown is it! Sounds like I have a date this Friday to be looking forward to :)


All I seem to wear are greys, browns, blues, and occasionally olives and muted purples. I want to branch out. Thanks to Chloe's 2010-2011 trends, the color I am being drawn to is red. Red's in accessories. Red shoes, belts, bags, jackets, lipstick, headbands, etc..

I love art that has not only a meaning, but a purpose to it's meaning. I found that in the You Are Beautiful project.

"You Are Beautiful is a simple, powerful statement which is incorporated into the over absorption of mass media and lifestyles that are wrapped in consumer culture.

The intention behind this project is to reach beyond ourselves as individuals to make a difference by creating moments of positive self realization. We're just attempting to make the world a little better.

Intention is the most important aspect of the You Are Beautiful project in its idea of purity. Nothing is sacred. Everything that has a perceived value becomes commodified. We work extremely hard that this message is received as a simple act of kindness, and nothing more.

Advertising elicits a response to buy, where this project elicits a response to do something. The attempt with You Are Beautiful is to create activism instead of consumerism.

You Are Beautiful uses the medium of advertising and commercialization to spread a positive message.
Projects like these make a difference in the world by catching us in the midst of daily life and creating moments of positive self realization."


I am still listening to Iron & Wine and Bon Iver. Band of Horses' most recent album Infinite Arms, and all their previous albums make a close third for me though. My favorite song right now would be Iron & Wine "Swans and the Swimming" which is the first song played on my blog's music player.


My plans for the week include:
1. Reading Never Let Me Go
2. Seeing Blue Valentine
3. Seeking new music inspiration
4. Getting my hair cut. My hair isn't quite that long in the front yet, but the its the bangs I am going for.

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let
God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know
God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

Romans 12:2

Over and Out

Friday, January 7, 2011

What's Next?

For the first time in my entire life, I don't have an answer to that.
One year from today will be January 7, 2012. It will be a Saturday. I will still be in winter break, a week away from starting the spring semester of my junior year. I will probably be at my parents house, since I enjoy spending my breaks there with my family. I will be applying to LSAT prep camps for the summer so I will be prepared to take the LSAT that fall. My tattoo will still be on my wrist. I will still be chasing Jesus with my whole heart.

Here's what I don't know:

1. Where I will be living
2. What my job/ internship will be
3. Relationships I will form, both friends and mentors
4. What ministries I will be involved in
5. God's timing for many things that may or may not happen in 2011

Here's what I will know then, that I don't know now:

1. Where I am living starting this summer
2. If I got accepted into the IJM internship
3. My GPA
4. Where I worked/ interned in 2011
5. If I kept my resolutions
6. God's timing for 2011

But, frankly, I have no idea where God is leading me right now. Through obedience (somewhat reluctant at times), I have found myself in a place of complete and total vulnerability. Although, I have a sense of where I would like God to lead me, I don't really have any idea of where He actually will. When I don't know what's going to happen next, or where I am going, or how it will all work out, that's when my anxiety is at it's worst. But, knowing that is how I should be feeling right now, I don't. I feel peace because I am completely reliant on God and He is so faithful to those who obey Him. I don't feel the need to know what He has in store for me next, in fact not knowing is a burden lifted off my heart. All I have to do is listen and obey, and I have, through this process, learned what it feels like in my heart when God is telling me what I need to do. I also learned that even if I am reluctant to listen, God doesn't just give up, He will eventually make it very, very clear that it is time to obey.

My prayer for today comes straight out of Psalms:
Psalm 119

John 14:15-17 (New Living Translation)
If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (New Living Translation)
Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God...

Romans 6:16-18 (The Message)
Since we're free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you've let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you've started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!

Habakkuk 2:2-3 (The Message)
And then God answered: "Write this.
Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
pointing to what's coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
And it doesn't lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It's on its way. It will come right on time.

Footsteps In The Sand

One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand:
one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him
he looked back, at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life
there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it:
"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:
"My son, My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you,
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

Author unknown

over and out

Thursday, January 6, 2011

words on my heart.

I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

Philippians 3:12-14 (Message)

over and out

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

just a little bit giddy.

Okay, maybe I am more than just a little bit giddy. I am full on EXCITED. This new year, just in these first few days has opened up so many opportunities for me!

The two major ones are:

1) Applying for a summer internship with International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems.

My ultimate dream job would be to become one of the IJM lawyers and the way to do that, other than becoming a lawyer of course, is being involved in their legal internship programs. But, sadly, I must wait until law school to be eligible for that. BUT I am, as of this year, eligible for a non-legal internship. This is not only an awesome opportunity to get my foot in the door but such a blessing to get to be active in a cause that I am so very passionate about. Another thing I love about IJM is that it is a Christian based organization and all employees, interns, and volunteers must know Christ. SO awesome!! The internship I am applying for is called "Education: Student Ministries."
Student Ministry interns assist with various programs designed to further involve youth groups, college campuses and other organizations with IJM’s work. Although tasks vary depending on the nature of the work in progress during the internship, interns can expect their tasks to include:

1. Researching, editing and contributing to the tools and curriculums developed to support the initiatives of the Student Ministries;
2. Editing, updating and contributing to the content on the student website pages;
3. Corresponding with student groups interested in Loose Change to Loosen Chains, The Justice Mission, and Campus Chapters;
4. Supporting IJM Campus Chapters;
5. Assisting in the implementation and follow-up processes of new fundraising initiatives;
6. Corresponding with groups and leaders who are using The Justice Mission curriculum for middle school and high school students;
7. Researching current educational programs and developing new initiatives; and
8. Participating in departmental and general IJM administrative support.

Although this internship wouldn't put me on the front lines of fighting human trafficking, it does utilize my current skills that I have learned from interning for a youth group at my church. And, also I have personally witnessed kids in our own youth group, including myself when I was in high school, really find their hearts immersed in the cause through IJM. I can't imagine a better place for me to start my journey and let God lead me where He wants me to go, whether that is IJM or not. The process for choosing interns from the applicant pool is very selective, but I am not worried about that simply because if God wants me there, He will put me there and if that's not where I am supposed to be, then He won't. What I would love from you is prayers. Prayers specifically that this passion and excitement in my heart won't burn out, prayers that I will keep focused on this as God's will and not my own and allow whatever the outcome is to be God's will and for me to be at peace with it. (So basically pray that I don't get my hopes up)

2) My boss just shared with me and his other interns this incredible set of conferences called Passion Conferences.
From the beginning Passion has been rooted in the confession of Isaiah 26:8: “Yes Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and renown are the desire of our souls.”*

As a result, Passion seeks to gather college and university students across the nation and around the world to seek the face of God, asking Him to ignite in our souls a passionate pursuit of Jesus Christ and a desire to spread His fame to everyone on earth.

We believe God is calling out a generation of college students committed to the glory of His name in all things. God longs to bring awakening to every campus, mobilizing the students of today to finish the task of global evangelization in this generation. God is calling us out for this purpose, in this moment, for His renown.

There just happens to be a conference in April in Ft. Worth, a mere four hour drive from Austin. I HAVE to go. Its not cheap, especially including traveling, hotel, and meal expenses but I have the ability to make it work through discipline with my money. I urge all of you to go to iTunes and look up Passion City Church Podcast and download some of their messages and to go to the 268 Generation Store and look at some of the books they have available. I think I am going to buy I Am Not But I Know I AM by Louie Giglio and Face Down by Matt Redman.

I also recently bought a new bible and devotional to start the new year. The bible I got is the The Case for Christ Study Bible which is an NIV bible with study guides throughout based on Lee Strobel's book The Case for Christ. And the devotional I got, I am very excited about! It's The Message Remix Solo: An Uncommon Devotional By: Eugene H. Peterson. Here is the description from the back of the devotional:
Transform your quiet time. Today's world is all about now - a fast-moving, high-speed, on-demand lifestyle, but has this pace changed the way we study the Bible? Our relationship with God is a journey, a walk where we grow closer to him each day. So it makes sense that reading and understanding Scripture is a continual experience, not just a moment. This innovative devotional is designed to change how you interact with God's Word. "The Message//REMIX: Solo "revolves around lectio divina, or "divine reading," an ancient approach to exploring Scripture updated for today's students. Each devotion delivers a unique, contemplative study that will encourage you to read, think, pray, and live. Uncover biblical wisdom and revelations as you learn to read without the typical limitations that often cut Bible reading short. Immerse yourself in the passage as you place yourself in the story or meditate on words and phrases. Connect with him through listening prayer and praise as you encounter new ways to communicate with God. Rest, reflect, or act as you discover how to take the Word with you throughout the day. Features include an introduction to the lectio divina style of study, numbered devotions so you can start on any day of the year, and a time of rest every seventh day.

So now you're thinking, that's all great and dandy but this is a New Year's post. So... where's my New Year's resolutions?

Unfortunately I was extremely sick with food poisoning all of New Year's Eve (when I have planned to really reflect on the past year and brainstorm about resolutions), so I obviously couldn't carry out that plan. I still have yet to really make a list of sorts but I have some overarching dreams and goals for myself this year, and throughout the years.

1. Chase God with my whole heart, pursue Him, run after Him, abide by, accord, adhere to, adopt, attend, be consistent with, be devoted to, be guided by, be in keeping, be interested in, comply, do like, emulate, follow suit, give allegiance to, harmonize, heed, hold fast, imitate, keep, keep an eye on,mind, mirror, model on, note, obey, observe, pattern oneself upon, reflect, regard, serve, support, take after, take as an example, and watch GOD.

2. Make my quiet time with God more of a priority and really focus on LISTENING to Him instead of just talking talking talking. So many times I have found myself rushing through my devotionals, reading scripture, and seeing what I saw the message as and then being satisfied. I really want to focus on listening to what God wants to show me as the message and listen to how He wants me to apply that message to my life.

3. Get involved in some sort of college ministry/ bible study.

4. Pray for and take as many opportunities that God places in front of me for Him.

5. Not get lazy. I find that when I get discouraged, instead of getting back on the horse, I give up and let my passions get lazy. I lose my excitement to pursue my passions which leads to self-doubt which is a huge distraction from God.

6. Strengthen my prayer life. I don't want to just pray during my quiet time. I want to always (or as much as I can) be in conversation with God.

7. Stay healthy; find a means of exercise that I can fall in love with.

8. Get 4.0's the next two semesters

9. GET THE INTERNSHIP. If I don't get the internship, I don't want to get disappointed. Instead, I want to find where God really wants me this summer.

10. I want to do some sort of mission trip, hopefully internationally, sometime in 2011.

11. Discipline myself in matters of money. The first thing I want to do when I get a paycheck is pay off my credit card (use for gas and only ESSENTIALS) and put the rest into savings. Both opportunities I listed above have costs, and mission trips have costs and it would be irresponsible of me to not be prepared for those costs while I am chasing to achieve them.

12. I need to stop shopping so much. Clothes and looking cute are fun, an even necessary in professional environments. BUT, I have plenty to look presentable, and cute. I don't need more. (This is going to be very difficult for me)

Yes Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and renown are the desire of our souls.

Isaiah 26:8

over and out.