02 December 2013
#PresentDecember And no, that doesn't mean presents as in gifts. It means the gift of being present. I am notoriously bad for the following scenario:
Mom: "Charity, will you remind of x?"
Charity: (on her laptop) "Oh sure, yeah, I will."
Mom (twenty minutes later): "Charity what was it I wanted you to remind me about?"
Charity: "Huh? You never asked me anything..."
Classic example of not being present in everyday life. Which usually ends up in a not-so-happy scenario on my part because I have no recollection of her ever asking me to do anything! All because I wasn't a) present and b) listening.
This December I want to be present. To make my gift to others be my full presence and attention when I'm speaking or interacting with them. It shows. Just before I wrote this blog post I texted someone about something I was selling on Craigslist and he totally missed everything I had said in the first message because they got hung up on the photo...five messages later he got the point. If we're not present at the time of interaction, we miss the crucial connection which relationships and conversations are built on.
The most important relationship we can have is that with Jesus. "The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in His Presence. Our presence in quiet time with Him leads to a true feeling of His Presence. Praying you experience that in this Holiday!
29 November 2013
Grateful November ends today. However, I don't want my grateful spirit to end there. I want it to continue to go forward! I pretty much missed Thanksgiving on the blog this year and didn't end up posting anything in the last week and a half either...but you know what? I was present where it mattered. I'm still learning to balance everything in my life. Presence in reality as well as virtual reality. Gratitude in actions not just in words. "In everything give thanks..." (I Thess 5:18) In. Everything.
December starts in just two days...Present December. I want to be present: to allow my attention be the greatest gift I give to others!
Praying you had a blessed Thanksgiving and the beginning of this holiday season brings you great joy!
26 November 2013
22 November 2013
I blogged awhile back about the end of my 101 in 1001 goal list journey and how all the items I didn't complete I would paying $1 to a charity as my personal forfeit. I have to say that the thought ran through my head of how I could maybe slide by with buying a pair of TOMS or a FEED bag because that helps donate...but I didn't want to take the cheaters way out! So I finally decided on the charity that touches my heart the most: Angel Tree.
Angel Tree is a branch of Prison Fellowship ministries originally started by Chuck Colson after his time in prison due to the Nixon-Watergate scandal. The idea behind Angel Tree is to share the love of God with the innocent children of inmates who go without because of their parents decisions. This is a charity, or ministry that I've known about since I was a very little girl because my mom has always donated and spoke about it to others. It touches my heart so deeply because of all the children I've known, through serving in my church, who have been in this predicament and I know how it affects these children in every way. They need to know they are loved and that people really do care about them.
Angel Tree is great about raising awareness about their cause through various means, having recorded a tape of an inmate's children choir (which is still one of my favorites), sending out Christmas cards with illustrations by these children and the little paper angels to hang on the tree.
I have a few Christmas cards with a little info-card about Angel Tree that I'll be sending out. Are you interested in joining or supporting Angel Tree ministries? If you email your address I'll send you one of the cards to help get you started! Please email me at: isleofviewblog (at) gmail (dot) com.
Speaking of Christmas Music, Paper Angels by Jimmy Wayne is such an amazing song. And goes right along with Angel Tree...
14 November 2013
We're in a new month! November...well, yes, technically, it's partially through now? But still, Thursday things! The above quote was posted as a reply from Ashley and it's my new daily read!
FEELING: Grateful! As I posted yesterday, I’m making a conscious effort to be grateful this month. Therefore, that’s the way I’m feeling because I choose it. Also, I’m feeling happy and cozy and warm with all the fall gorgeousness. Pinecone collecting in the driveway (winter crafts you are amazing), beautiful walks in the Hayward hills and cozy evenings by the fireplace. P E R F E C T.
Sadly, I didn’t accomplish much reading in October, so in an effort to be honest…I’m still reading the same books. However, I did finish “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” today, and it is a MUST READ! As in you MUST READ IT RIGHT NOW. So good, it’s hard to put down (unless you’re exhausted when you finally fall into bed at night like I usually am). It’s so perfect for grateful November because it really puts all our “stuff” in perspective.
I also get Inc., Fast Company, Relevant, Worship Leader Magazine & Sunset which I enjoy perusing monthly. (You can see my whole currently reading list on GoodReads.
Christmas Music! It’s never too early! I’m also liking Michael Buble at the moment, probably because it’s crooner season. While I love some of his takes on the classics, I really have to be in the mood to hear his voice. Though I have to mention if you’re on Instagram it’s worth checking out his profile (@michaelbuble) to see some of the fun backstage dressing room warm-ups (Africa in particular is a crack-up). I love to see celebs being real.
Even If I Fall x Mike Cowart
Better x Jess Ray
Graveyard x Jonathan Thulin (the whole cd is pretty great if you get a chance to check it out)
I mentioned Spotify vs Pandora last month and I’m discovering how much I love Spotify! While I’m still a loyal Pandora listener, Spotify seems to have a more diverse selection of songs that play within each genre. Plus, I love the desktop feature (because I have the free version) where I can replay my favorite songs and playlists over (and over and over-here’s looking at you, “A little bit stronger x Sara Evans-and over).
THANKFUL FOR: Family & Friends. I’m realizing more and more it’s who you know in your life that makes the difference. And I don’t just mean by power or supplying wants, but in general everyday life. The people you surround yourself with are who will influence and shape your life. If they are positive, encouraging, uplifting and loving you have a better chance of succeeding.
THINKING ABOUT: CPA Exam. Enough said. Trying to take one more before the December 6th deadline. People. How I can love them better and give more. A secret project I’m working on with a friend that I absolutely want to devote ALL my time to and would love to allow to take over my life. Isn’t it sad when you can’t let projects take over? But good that something is that exciting too!
EATING: Everything in sight? Haha. Not really. Actually, I’m trying to save my calories in the holiday season for things I realllly want. So I’m not having a lot of bread every day. Lots of protein drinks, protein bars, apples, some peanut butter, popcorn (calorie free crunch, Hallelujah!), and loads of the green leafy things that I really kind of despise. Sweet potatoes are good for you, did you know that? Minus all of the brown sugar and butter that make them so delicious. That’s okay, a bit of cinnamon goes a long way!
LOVING: Fall clothing and fragrances. Hugs. Friends who give hugs while wearing wool, leather and denim. Is that strange? Every time I get a hug lately from someone I just want to snuggle in deeper and have a good cry. I know, emotional here, but sometimes we all need a good cry. As a friend said recently “An ugly cry is good every once in awhile.” And hugs make all of that so much better. Give a hug to someone today!
LOOKING FORWARD TO: Getting our Christmas pictures done with my friend Jennifer! I’m so excited! And then we get to pick out Christmas cards.
What have you been up to? Any special Thursday Thoughts?
06 November 2013
last rose of the season from our front yard with text x madewithover
The last few months Lara Casey has started monthly hashtags on social media in order to have a certain reminder in each month to focus on. It's been amazing to follow not only her journey, but to be intentional in each month in how my thought pattern, goals and life all line up with these words. Intentional August, Savor September, Clear October & finally Grateful November. Of course, everyone usually has some sort of thanksgiving plan on their mind in November, whether its the holiday planning or actual gratitude and thankfulness of heart. In this year, I think November and Thanksgiving will probably mean more to me than ever before.
November actually started off with a phone call that I've been procrastinating on since last November (talk about a problem with procrastination much?). It was amazing. It was beyond amazing. It was the direction that confirmed and affirmed me and the path that I'm on right now. The path the seems unsteady and a little unclear and totally terrifying because it's finally in pursuit of all the dreams that my 8 years of college were for. Like I said: utterly terrifying. But back to the phone call. This mentor gave me a Scripture that she uses quite often and I have read and re-read over the last 5 days over and over and over again. Psalm 37. The entire chapter speaks to me, but mostly the pattern found in verses 3-7. The passage itself says this:
Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass."
Like I said, while the whole passage brought clarity to so many areas of my life (I'm sorry to be vague, but I don't wish to spill my guts out in public at the expense of hurting others) the pattern is what I've been writing down, reading and using in application to my every day life. (That's the most important thing we can do with Scripture. Reading it is great, and so are the warm fuzzies we feel with that, but applying it is what it's actually there for!) What is this pattern?
T R U S T
D E L I G HT
C O M M I T
R E S T
W A I T
good things happen in the waiting room
As a Type A, that entire list is not something that comes easy for me. Trust. No, let me just go ahead and do it on my own. Delight. No thank you, I don't have time, don't you see that problem over there waiting to be solved? Commit. Well, what if something changes tomorrow? Rest. Yeah, worrying is like my middle name. Rest is not. Wait. My name is Charity not patience as I always tell people.
But my personality does not negate the truthfulness or necessity of applying those things in my life. And I am making a conscious effort to do just that. Trust in the Lord. Delight myself in Him and His blessings. Commit to His path, not my own. Rest in His strength and push my worries out of the way. Wait on His timing, not rush into things all on my own. The quote under that passage was the thing that reminded me of why God gives us periods of rest and silence at certain times. We need quiet time. We need rests. As a musician, I am mindful of the need for rests as well as played notes in order to balance out the music for our ears. Life is the same. We, as humans, have a need for silence as well as 'noise.' Our minds, our hearts, our heads and bodies need to have a restful period in which to rejuvenate. My spirit is receiving that now.
Grateful November for me is more than a hashtag, more than a movement and much much more than simply following with women I admire (because I do deeply admire their commitment and ambition). It is a time of rejuvenation and optimism in which my soul finds rest. I am choosing to be grateful when things are falling apart and my world doesn't look so rosy. In the holiday season when I could be depressed because of my life changes in this year, I choose to be grateful for every open door, hug, handshake or smile that comes my way. I am choosing to enjoy the waiting room.
What does Grateful November mean to you?
Will you join me on this endeavor?
24 October 2013
I have a friend who is taking a trip to Ireland and I'm dyyyying with all the images in my head. I've always wanted to visit. All the beautiful green, the history, leprechauns, the Blarney stone. The music! Just everything about it seems so gorgeous. I had to put together a little inspiration board since she left today for her trip.
Irish knit, china, wolfhounds, sheep (of course!), Blarney Castle (definitely have to kiss that Blarney stone if I ever go), a beautiful bouquet including Irish Heather, the sweet little pot for the hearth, bagpipers, irish dancers and of course the gorgeous eternal designs of the Celtic knots and claddagh. These make my soul happy. I used to read books as a kid that were written in the Irish brogue and I loved trying to wrap my tongue around the way they said things. So. Much. Fun!
Can't wait to see the images from her trip, but these will suffice for now.
We could all use a little luck 'o the Irish right?