Friday, July 25, 2014

People are loud

People are loud.

They want to be heard. They want to stand apart for the sole purpose of being seen. They want you to know that they see the world a certain way. And everyone thinks that their own loud opinion is the right one.

 The reason I say this, is because there are some very huge issues going on in our world that everyone seems to have an opinion on. We could talk for days on controversial issues like gay marriage, immigration or the war in Gaza. On one hand I believe that we should be educated and informed and we should always be grasping onto truth and lining up our worldview with the Word of God.

 But can we please just take a moment to breathe?

I hear things and see people screaming their opinion so loud that they have absolutely no room for the people they are screaming to. So many people are fueled by anger instead of the things that God instructs us to be fueled by. Yes, I have my opinions about what is going on in our country, but I hope I never make my opinion more important than the soul I am talking to. I will speak truth, but I will strive to speak it in love. I may not agree that two men should be sleeping together, but that doesn't mean that those two men are any less of a human than you or I. I don't believe that thousands of children should be flooding our borders in Texas, but if there are children who are starving and in danger of being sold as a sex slave, then I sure as heck will do anything I can to take care of them. 

I've been friends with straight people, with lesbians, with white and Asian people, with conservatives and with liberals. I will give my opinion, and I'm not afraid to express what I believe. But that person standing in front of me is a human being. The people that we disagree with still have souls. And without love, your opinion really means nothing at the end of the day. At the end, I believe truth will stand. But at the end of your life, were you just a loud voice among all the other loud voices, or did you leave an impression on the hearts of people by sharing the truth in love? Do you care more about being right than you do about the lives and the stories and the struggles that each and every one of us face?

I don't think a lot of good comes out of everyone trying to be more right then the next person. I don't think that this loud, giant, rumbling, chaotic mess is very productive. I'm not against getting the truth out there. I work at a tv station that produces news every single day for goodness' sake. But lately I've just noticed so many harsh statements being thrown at one another. You can spread news and spread truth, but let's check our motives. Let's check the tone in our voice. We can be passionate individuals who can passionately spread the truth while passionately loving others. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Facebook Message

Today, I was scrolling through facebok. Pretty normal thing to do in this day and age. I didn't see anything special, or exciting. In fact, everything was pretty normal.

Among the normality, was a post that stuck out to me. It didn't stick out to me because it was something rare or even all that interesting. It was actually the kind of post I see almost every single day.

It was a prayer request.

Some people had commented with "I'm praying for you!" or something very similar. There were even a handful of people that had liked the post. I began to comment as well with something along those same lines. I was about to tell this person that I would take time out of my life to pause, and to pray on her behalf. I was about to subtly give my word in a simple facebook comment, with the words "I'll be praying for you".

But I stopped myself. In just a few seconds, I felt the weight of all the times that I said I would pray for someone. How many times have I said that, and then walked away and forgot just a few minutes later? How many times has someone heard the words "I'll pray for you" and in the back of their mind, didn't actually expect to be prayed for?

I'm not saying that I don't have the good intention of praying for people. I do. But does my good intention actually find itself in my daily to-do list?

I felt this butterfly in my stomach, and knew that I needed to do more than just leave a comment. I knew, that if I was in a situation where I posted something on facebook asking for prayer, that it would mean the world to me to know that someone was actually praying for me.

So, instead, I send her a private message. I told her how I was going to leave a comment, but felt that I should actually just type out my prayer right there and then. So that's what I did. I typed out a prayer, asking God to meet her in her time of need. And then I sent it.

My heart was pounding so hard, but my spirit was dancing. I was so nervous that she would find me weird or strange, because to be entirely honest, I don't even know her that well. I've maybe seen her in person twice. But there was a much bigger part of me that didn't listen to the fear trying to leak into my mind.

Not long after, I actually received a reply from her. The message she sent back, made me tear up. Because I was willing to send her that prayer, it truly blessed her. She couldn't believe I had actually taken the time to do that, even though we barely know each other. We messaged back and forth a few times, and it ended up being the kind of conversation that seriously brightened my whole day.

Not only did it bless her, but it significantly blessed me. It made me feel so secure in listening to that still small butterfly that nudged me to send her a prayer. God doesn't lead us into traps. He doesn't ask us to do things so he can humiliate us or harm us. I can almost bet that when God has you step out of your comfort zone for the need of others, you will find yourself blessed and encouraged in the process.

I didn't write this because I'm so proud of myself for sending her that prayer. I'm writing this to encourage us. I'm writing this because it doesn't matter if you are sitting next to someone and holding their hand, or if you are 500 miles away and sending a facebook message. I want to take the opportunity to pray for people a lot more seriously. A mere 60 seconds out of our day could change the world. Don't ever underestimate the power of your prayers. Don't ever think that a short prayer isn't important. God hears us even if it's typed.

I hear a lot of people talking about how social media is actually allowing us to isolate and distance ourselves. While that is actually true to some degree, I also believe that social media gives us a huge opportunity. It only takes a few minutes out of your day to send a prayer or an encouragement to someone. It takes such a small amount of time to send a simple text that lets someone know that you are thinking of them. You never know how a small encouragement can completely change somebody's day.

I want us all to be more careful. I want us to pay attention every time we say the words "I'll pray for you". Don't just have the good intentions, but actually take the time to pray. It shouldn't matter if it's awkward. It shouldn't matter if we are in the middle of the lobby at the bank, the fast food drive through, or the comfort of our own home. You never know how special those small moments will be to another life.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Thinking can be a beautiful thing. When I sit alone in my car, sometimes my mind takes me to the most fantastic places. It just seems to go deeper and deeper until somehow I just lose myself. I get lost inside myself.

It can be so beautiful, but so horrible sometimes.

As an artist, I can get frustrated because my mind explodes into so many incredible ideas; things to paint, scenes to describe with a pen, and places to bring into life. Yet, I know that my thoughts will never be fully conveyed the way I wish I could express them. I can't ever get another person to see EXACTLY what I see.

I envy movie directors. It seems like a dream to have the kind of resources to bring your own ideas into such a tangible reality.

But isn't that a strange thing? The things I see deep inside... the things I see without my eyes... you'll never really see that. I can do my absolute best to try and bring it to life for you to touch and smell and listen to. But it will only ever be a skewed copy of the original. The splendor of the raw imagination is only something we can have to ourselves.

I hate it sometimes. But then again, I love it. You. Me. The person sitting quietly across the room. We have these breath-taking worlds pulsating within each of our imaginations, yet we are bound by reality to keep them within us. You can leak out bits and pieces and snippets of your dreams, but never the entirety. It's magical, but it's a quandary filled to the brim with woes.

I think we should do our best to share dreams with one another. Although I will never fully know and see what you imagine, there's something so wonderful about getting a taste. It's as though the fullness is too much to handle, so we only get  a drop. Yet that little drop resting on our tongues is the best thing we've ever had.

Share your dreams with one another. Explore your mind, expand your mental reach, and then take someone by the hand and welcome them to taste just a drop. Our own dreams can be amazing... but what would happen if we all began to feed on one another's dreams more? Just one little bit of your dreams can cause a stirring inside someone else to dream even further. To think even deeper. To ponder just a little bit longer.

Don't ever stop exploring your own mind. We need dreamers. In a world so filled with darkness, we could use a few more drops of light here and there.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Here We Go!

I love this.

The rumble of the van beneath by body is comforting as we journey along. Uncountable pines fly past the rain-streaked windows. A dreary, grey sky welcomes us forward. The deepest kind of fog comes and goes now and then. As eager as I become with each glowing green sign that passes by, I'm growing fond of the simple adventure of the present.

Is there a secret to the way I see the world? Is it strange to find a browning field a vast expanse of beauty? Why is it that I linger longer in the rain while others would rather protect their hair? Am I stuck in an unrealistic world...

or have I truly tasted reality?

I'm probably the only one in this bumpy vehicle that's pondering something like this. Oh well. I'll just sit here and smile to myself like a goof.

I don't know what to expect; I've never been where we are heading. A nervousness resides in the depths of my abdomen, edging on the side of nausea. But the thrill of the unknown keeps a bright and cheerful smile playing across my lips.

The idea of being squashed into a van full of 11 other people sounds disastrous. But no, its a little bit wonderful. I'm surrounded by incredible people. These are dear friends who have become family.

We share little snacks and sips of coffee. We play electronic games and borrow one another's books. We express dreams. We discover new ideas. You'd think we would get tired of each other, yet many hugs continue to be given and received. And the longer we ride together, the more my happy levels seem to increase.

4 hours have passed.

3 more to go.

Here we come Seattle, I can't wait to meet you.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Places - Day 5

My grandmother goes to yard sales.

When I was young, oh say about 7 or 8, I would cringe at the sound of "garage sale". I had this terribly bitter taste in my mouth from being dragged all throughout the bleakest city on the face of the earth, while my grandma picked through piles of worthless junk.

She had this room near the back of her house with stacks of bins. Each bin was labeled as to organize all this stuff.

So she bought things I had no interest in, and when we got back to her house, she stored it away for the day that she would use it. The catch is... I don't believe she's used anything she's accumulated in the last 40 years.

But who am I to judge? Some people collect junk, others are addicted to butterfinger candy bars.

As I grew up, a new love was birthed in the belly of my heart. I don't think hearts actually have a belly, but you get what I mean.

I have this weird new way of seeing something for what it could be in the future. There's such joy in finding incredible treasures for less than a dollar. In fact, a lot of my room decor is made up of wonderful things I found at a garage sale or thrift store.

I've had people say things such as "OH MY GOSH WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?"

My reply?

"Oh, just a yard sale. The lady actually just gave it to me for free."

On my journey throughout this week of exploring new places, I stumbled upon something quite grand. I didn't even mean to go there today, it was an accident. It just so happened that when I parked, I was staring into the face of a glorious sign...

The Collector's Market

Oh my.

Once I had finished what I had drove there to do in another store, I made the decision to embark into the unknown world of this market.

When I walked in, I was happily greeted by what I had expected. Tons of treasures. The first little bit that my eyes began to sift through could be summed up by one word. Soft.

Everything was vintage, and white and cream and pastel. Hand knit blankets, antique children's furniture, white lace curtains, 50 year old lamp stands and fluffy pillows galore. The whole place was divided into these little cubicles full of items from a specific vendor. So every time you took another three steps, the scenery changed again and again. And again. But for the better.

Just when I thought I was in the 5th dimension for the yard sale lover, I saw something so exciting.

There was more to this enchanting world. There was a lot more. A BUNCH more.

An entire warehouse full of probably a hundred booths!!!

So there Taylor was. Walking slower than an elderly man with a broken knee. Skimming and digging and taking in all of the wonderful items. She made sure to look at every little thing she possibly could. She would sometimes stand there in total awe of some painting, antique stool and Native American Rug.

She was so careful as not to miss a single thing. Every little button. Each aging telephone. All the different leather shoes and jackets.

Surrounded by the wooden and the worn. Enveloped in antiquated jewels.

Not only was everything so impossibly marvelous, but there were so many things that breathed inspiration into my soul. My bones began to dance within me at the sight of such potential.

As an artist I soak things within me for later use. I have dreams of creating things, and a place like this is more than fuel to a flame.

           It's the dream behind the vision. The vision that sparks reality.

I couldn't help myself. I must have circled through each and every booth at least three times. I didn't want to leave. Nothing inside of me, except the to-do list awaiting my attention, wanted to depart.

So I guess the moment unfortunately came when I had to go. Plus I don't think the owner would really appreciate my spending the night there. That's a bit over the line.

Of all the dazzling things my eyes grabbed hold of today, I only walked away with one item.

I got a lovely gold-colored watch with a woven chain.

              For two dollars.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Places - Day 4

This is such an amazing place.

The whole day has been filled with fog. The ground has been frosty, the bushes frozen in place, and the clouds just won't life higher than the rooftops.

It seems like it's bound to continue in this slow, gloomy way.

I have a half hour or so drive from my home to where I attend college. I find myself griping about this once in a while...maybe often. It's not a fun drive when gas doesn't have a reputation for being easy on the wallet. or easy on the pockets if that's where you prefer to stash your cash.

Oh, but today I actually found myself excited that I live a bit of a distance.

As I drove closer and closer to my home, the fog began to slowly lift. Higher and higher, the clouds danced away. Until...what is that I see? Blue? A blue sky?

It's been so long since I have seen something so gorgeous.

So I have to say, the drive to this distant, far away land I call home put me in a very good mood.

I drove along the sunny roads that run along with the river, until I found exactly what I was looking for.

I pulled in to the gravel - it's not exactly a parking lot - and come to a stop.

And then I was finally there. The old, historic, Butte Creek Mill.

I've literally drove by this place for years and years. I've seen it out the backseat window as my parents zoomed by on our way to the middle school years ago. I've even walked by the old, wooden structure and wondered to myself what it's like inside.

I've heard the stories of those lucky ones who've already dared to enter. I've seen people with items from the Mill Store in their pantries and on their counter tops. I've even attempted to make cookies using their flour!

But now, my friends, the day has officially come. Taylor has visited the Mill all on her own.

Once I am released from my car, I just stand and look up. The roof is so tall, so wooden, and so ancient it seems. The point reached so far into the beautiful, blue winter sky. And right up at the top it reads "Butte Creek Mill". No, ladies and gentlemen, not the BUTT creek.

I could have actually been happy to just observe all the great treasures on the porch. I mean, there were old signs everywhere that kept me intrigued for quite a long time. The rustic, soft blue bench beckoned for a picture to be taken. The large covering gave the perfect amount of shelter from the wintry breeze, while the sun shone down and warmed my body.

I was so intrigued that I almost forgot to go inside.

Just when I seemed to be getting used to the atmosphere, I was blown away again.

The rich smell of aged wood rushed into my lungs. I was sure I walked straight into the 1800s. I was completely surrounded by some of the most gorgeous antiques I have ever seen.

Gas signs, indian statues, rusted mail boxes, post cards, wheat barrels.... and about a thousand other treasures.

There was this little white door with a sign that said "milling room". There was a window imbedded into the door that I soon found my nose pressed against.

What I found literally filled me with wonder. There were men working around like little bees, all wearing masks. They were carrying big bags of flour around and filling bins full of oats.

       They reminded me of oompa loompas.

But that wasnt all there was to see....

To my left there was an even more exciting door to pass through. When I walked through the glorious threshold, I was greeted by a wonderful array of goodies.

Organic flour, oatmeal, cookie mix, corn bread, molasses, loose leaf tea, olive oils, and basically every seasoning ever known to man- women too.

Each and every detail was authentic, inspiring, fresh and on the healthful side of life. There was a huge and incredible wood stove that was heating the little place. There was even a pot of cinnamon on top that painted the air with a delicious aroma.

And oh..OH. There was an ancient refrigerator with some of my most favorite drinks in the whole world. Martinellis, jones soda, and... Henry Weinhard's rootbeer and cream soda. Cream soda!!

So I grabbed myself an ice cold beverage and carried it to the giant counter. There was only one older lady working. She had short, blonde hair drizzled with gray. She wore glasses that I'd expect on a librarian.

It was truly one of the greatest places I have ever been. So historic. So great.

And the greatest part about it... its right down the street from my home.

If im know where to find me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Places - Day 3


Soft, golden tones seem to float around this place.

The lighting is just perfect. The colors drenched upon the walls are inviting and calm. Even the ceiling is painted as the sky. What a wonderful escape from a foggy, bitterly cold winter.

The fresh, soothing smell of roasted coffee surounds my senses and fills me with delight.

When we first walk through the gently open doors, we scan for a place to sit. Tables and chairs? The bench beneath the window? Ah yes, the cozy leather couch near the fire place. Unfortunately the fire wasn't lit, but the view was spectacular- a large, stone centerpiece in the midst of an Italian themed cafe. Just perfect.

We set down our book bags and purses to save such a splendid spot, and eagerly head for the counter.

Typically I'm the kind of person who spends an unnatural amount of time deciding what she wants to order. It doesn't matter where I'm at...the grocery store, the coffee stand or a vending machine.

Hopefully I'm not so bad when the day comes and a man asks me to marry him. Imagine that...the guy on his knee for 20 minutes while I stare off into the distance pondering what to say.


Today was one of those "once in a lifetime" moments. As we approached the counter, there was a HUGE sign that advertised a beautiful cup of steaming hot spicy chai. Oh goodness, I knew exactly what I wanted before I got to the counter.

I liked the girl at the counter. She was kind of short, with straight brown hair and super great glasses. And she had a kind voice.

Both the girls working were strangely familiar. That's always an odd feeling when you can't seem to place where you know someone from.

Well, sadly, the spicy chai was a little...too...spicy. Oh lord, it seriously burned my throat. But! No fear! My darling friend ordered a regular chai (made with chai powder, which is obviously the best in the world) . So I drank off of hers instead.

Not only was the chai delicious as it rolled down into my belly, warmed my insides and made my taste buds sing, but we also ordered a feta spinach croissant! Oh my gosh, it was heaven on earth, angels dancing on our tongues. Literal angels...dancing.

Overall, it was a lovely afternoon. I always adore spending quality time with my sweet friend. The atmosphere was friendly, quiet, and all around spectacular. The decor was beautiful, the staff friendly, and the other customers seemed at ease.

And oh my, the music playlist was right up my alley. So comfortable. I also discovered some fantastic new music artists thanks to my SoundHound app!

I'm so happy we went to Mellelos Coffee Roasters today.

We even saw a young woman laying down, curled in the corner on the bench beneath the window, reading a book.

She wore sneakers.