Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

day 16 – september

In thoughts on things on August 31, 2011 at 10:34 pm


the first few hints of real autumn

classic jeans

farmers markets

fresh tomatoes, pumpkins, spinach, grapes, pomegranates

orchard leaves scent from bath and body works

farewell summer picnics

music with banjo

the descent into my favorite season of them all

welcoming brown boots again

and hot cups of coffee


what does september make you think of?

stay tuned for september lists and goals!


day 15 – trying & failing

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on August 30, 2011 at 11:56 pm

this morning i woke up with just enough time to get dressed, pack my lunch, and head out the door.

it doesn’t sound so bad, but it totally got me off on the wrong foot. on days i go downtown to work, i like to have more than enough time. i like to eat breakfast, park and walk a couple of blocks, get a cup of coffee at the coffee shop and sit down to have a nice time reading or journaling.

on most work days i do this just fine. but today i was trying for more than even that. i wanted to get up super early as a personal challenge for the week.  have time to invest in important things right at the beginning of the day.

so as i was driving to work,  i was irritated.  and got progressively more irritated.  that guy merged into my lane.  i can’t find a parking spot.  this music is annoying.

i prayed despairingly, Lord, quiet my spirit.  help me to accept the things i can’t change.  i just hate being in a mood that is hard as concrete and stubborn to change. i started my walk to the store, embracing the fact that i failed the goal despite my intentions.  and i just listened.

it’s funny how we so easily have this idea of God as being the silent scorekeeper of our lives.  yes, of course he loves us unconditionally, but if i do this or that, he knows it.  and with each thing at which i fail, he makes a little note in the back of his mind and still loves me, but is disappointed.

this is where the enemy gets in and discourages.  oh, how he loves to have us agree with him when he tells us God must be disappointed in us!  the enemy loves our discouragement so much, because in agreeing with him, we disagree with God’s promises.

so i just listened.  i asked God to talk to me about this, this trying and failing, and here’s what he said:

“samantha, do you know how many children try and fail?  i have watched it throughout all of human history! it is the pattern of humankind. my most beloved children stumble as they take their steps to me.  i delight in the willingness of the heart, not your self-made perfection.”

he is so good to make us humble when we try to be perfect for him in our own strength.  He is way more gentle on me than i am on myself, because He loves me with the truest, purest love that is not dependent on what time i wake up in the morning or if i could keep my own goals.  if you’re willing to try, you must be willing to fail.  and when you’re willing to fail, you aren’t so scared of it anymore.  when you’re confident in the reality of the love God has for you personally, failing isn’t really failing.

more thoughts on this another time, i’m sure.

day 14 – femme

In thoughts on me, thoughts on people on August 29, 2011 at 6:08 pm

i am your basic mid-twenties girl.


i like bath and body works, home goods, and whole foods.  i love all things beautiful and want to grow a garden.  i want to be married and have children and make a home.  my love for pinterest is growing and i feel the need to lose approximately 5 pounds.

i was in the shower today thinking about all the things i like, do, or am that make me so like other girls my age.  my hair do, my interests, my ability to look at other ladies in my life and think that i want something that they have that i don’t.

and i realized, this “you have it, i don’t” thinking is never, ever beneficial, but our culture kind of thrives on it.  it’s so funny how the message is “be so different and so beautiful,” but only by being exactly like so-and-so.


i must celebrate that which is different about me, even (and especially) if it’s something i wish was like someone else’s.

this small change in the momentum of my thinking can allow me to honestly enjoy all the ways in which i am different, set apart, and made special in God’s eyes.


my skin’s expertise in producing intermittent moles instead of freckles.

sitting down at the piano, closing my eyes, playing a beautiful song, and knowing i’ll never be able to remember it, record it, and share it.  and that i kind of really like that.

my 135-lb curvy frame that’s good for dresses.

my quiet, quippy sense of humor that sometimes seems really awkward but is actually really funny.

this time in my life that only by comparison seems directionless, but when celebrated, is intentional, trusting, blessing-filled, and preparing me for something i can’t imagine.  i literally can’t imagine.  something to prosper me, to give me a hope and a future.

my classically crowder nose and gigantic lulu brown eyes.

my best intentions made in lists in journals, notecards, stickies, and white boards.  sometimes followed through, and sometimes not.

my secret desire to write rhymes and also be really good at dancing.

the dream in my head of traveling the world, seeing miracles, foreign sunsets, and adventures, maybe for a long time.  and knowing, God willing, that it won’t just stay in my head.


what will you celebrate about you?  because there’s no one else like you!

day 13 – sunday music corner

In thoughts on things on August 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

the first albums i ever owned


The Moffat’s  (on cassette)

Song of choice:  “Caterpillar Crawl” 

i remember listening to this on cassette at Myrtle Beach and thinking the moffatts were just soooo dreamy!  i mean, 4 country lads singing about caterpillar dances?  sign me up!


Amy Grant –  Heart in Motion (on cassette)

Song of choice:  “Galileo”

this album will forever remind me of my childhood, riding in the station wagon, and my grandma Lulu.  amy grant is iconic.  every heartbeat.


Aerosmith – Get A Grip (on cassette)

Song of choice:  “Crazy”

technically, this was my sister’s cassette, but I felt totally bad-a thieving it (along with TLC and Alanis Morisette) and listening to Crazy over and over again.


Spice Girls – Spice (first CD!)

Song of choice: “Wannabe”

i wore this album OUT!  i remember sitting on the bottom bunk in my sisters’ room (because their stereo was the best) and reading along in the album leaf to every single song.  good thing i had no clue what they were singing about.  spice girls forever!!


what were the first albums you ever owned?

day 12 – eating breakfast sitting down

In thoughts on things on August 27, 2011 at 11:50 am

in this installment of ebsd:

fried egg and spinach sandwich on toasted organic whole wheat bread

organic green grapes

black coffee

hurricane watching

Hebrews 12:14

jon foreman

what is your favorite breakfast? 

whether it’s eating in or out?

day 11 – obsession: storms

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me, thoughts on things on August 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm

ever since i was a little girl i’ve loved storms.  

i love them because they’re exciting, stop people from what they’d normally be doing, and they make me feel small.  i love them because they frighten me.  it’s kind of the horror movie effect – it scares you, but you like it.  (now just for the record, i HATE scary movies.  not love/hate, just hate/hate! but i just feel like my love with storms is similarish to a horror movie lover.)  growing up, i would watch Storm Chasers on the weather channel and discovery channel, and would get so scared and emotionally involved, change the channel to regain my surroundings, and turn it right back.

i was always that kid at school that would be so happy to hear that there was a hurricane, storm, or big snow on its way, most obviously because that meant no school.  but it also meant a complete hault for everyone.  everyones schedule changes, and we stop, and prepare.  more, it meant all members of the house being present at the same time.  this was rare growing up.

some of my favorite memories with my family have been during big storms.  it forced all the members of my family to be together. and if the power went out (which i love!), it forced us to entertain each other.  during one ice storm, i remember playing Monopoly and 5 Card Draw for hours with my dad on the floor in front of our wood-burning fireplace.  we put tons of blankets down and just camped out, and he taught me how to say all of the right poker terms when you’re the dealer (“The game is 5 card draw, aces high and deuces wild”), and to always deal yourself last.  during hurricane fran clean-up, neighbors would pop in and out, sharing groceries and helping clean yards.  i remember the hum of chainsaws and generators and just being happy people were together, things were different, and i wasn’t at school.  my sisters and i would all sleep in the same bed, and go to bed early because, when the power is out, it’s dark when it’s dark.   no lights into the night, no tv, no noise, just candlelight and maybe a book, and a warm bed.  during one snow storm, i rode on the back of our 4-wheeler with my brother-in-law 3 miles down the highway, all the way to the gas station, then down to the lake where you could hardly tell the different between the ground and the ice.  things happen during storms that can’t happen any other time.

i’m also that person that unashamedly talks about a storm when it’s on the way, and talks about my experience afterwards.  (ie: that earthquake was awesome! and i totally talked about it, how my desk shook noticeably for a good 15 seconds, how the floors and walls rattled. i called my mom and her response was, because she knows me so well, “well hunny i’m just so glad you got to feel it!”)  it’s all exciting to me.

i love storms because they’re scary in the best way.  they cause me to revere of the power of God.  it’s a great reminder every so often, that while we can try to control so many things now (conception, sleeping patterns, aging skin and bodies), we cannot stop a storm.  we must stop for it.

so come on, irene.  take a turn westward!

day 10 – for the journaler

In thoughts on things on August 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm


for those of you who journal, try to journal, or wish you’d journal – an excerpt from a How To piece on the hobby that I wrote a few years ago. 

it’s encouraging for me today!

“Journal outside the box. Or journal inside the box, if it’s what you prefer. Whether it’s a doodle of the back of the person’s head in front of you or one singular line from a song you heard playing while shopping in Wal*Mart, I have learned that anything goes. Don’t hold yourself up to a standard of what your writing should look like or be about. In my opinion, it doesn’t even matter if what you write or draw was inspired by anything. Even if it is a product of sheer boredom and a blank page, write it, draw it, color it, smudge it, cut it, paste it. It still constitutes as journaling, because those things, however meaningless they could be to you, still say something about you, the writer.

That one doodle of a tree in the lower left-hand corner of the page may mean nothing to you. But you may look back months later and remember that you drew it in your Biology class because you could not possibly listen to the professor drone on anymore. And then you recall you could not wait to get out of your blue jeans and into sweatpants and watch reruns of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman on TV. Then you might remember that it was a Monday and that’s the day you talked to your mom on the phone about your financial problems and ended up arguing and suddenly, that stupid, pencil-doodled tree represents you. It comes to life and has a story just in your rendering of it. So whatever it is, a line from a poem you like or something you heard someone say in passing, a picture you cut out from a magazine or a more conventional list of things you did that day, whether it’s in pen, colored pencil, or is the product of scissors and glue, anything goes.”

day 9 – verse

In poetry on August 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm

light patterns

on book pages

a quiet morning

a quiet refuge

silent room for a mumbling heart

silent street in a foggy cul-de-sac

steam on coffee backlit by

light streams

patterns on book pages

crawling in words like skin between sheets

day 8 – the benefits of remembering

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on August 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm

what about remembering?

if anything, i think of more negative connotations with remembering.  you know, we want to make sure we don’t linger in the past or stay tied to things that are over and done.  we want to make sure we are progressing, growing, and not staying stagnant or falling into old patterns.  so we plan for the future and try to stay present in the present, and those 2 things alone will fill up our days.  so when i’m not constantly making lists and goals for the future, daydreaming about the future, and thinking how x-amount of things about my life could be better (enter: devil trying to lie to me!), i’m trying so hard to be present in the present.  to remember seems like a far-off thing, and i almost never think to do it.  if anything, i try not to.  what about the things i don’t want to remember?

i told katie (one of my roommates) this, and asked what she thought about remembering.  she said, “i think of remembering and regret so differently.  i remember my grandaddy, or senior year in high school, or an intense moment with the Lord. in remembering, i think about how all things can be used for good.  i used to fear grace because i had to live up to what i had done, but now that i accept grace, i can remember fondly.”

my other roommate, annemarie, chimed in, saying “sometimes it’s hard to remember.  but you can reapply those truths about you and your life.  thats why i love telling my story and hearing others’ stories – because there is so much truth in them.”

so i’ve been learning that there are really great things about remembering.  and, like planning for the future, or trying to present in the present, it would benefit us greatly to look back regularly to see all the ways the Lord has been good and faithful in our lives, through blessings and through difficulties.

this kind of remembering cultivates thankfulness, and thankfulness cultivates praise.  a life of praise is a free life.

i thought about this while i was looking through some old journals, looking for blog topics… or shall we say blopics. : ) this morning i was just looking through the pages, further back and further back, and i kept seeing these things that God had told me through scripture, prayer times, or other people.  in the top margin of a random page i have scribbled “from Dustin – writing in Jesus name!”  i had just totally forgotten that, and here i am – totally unrelated to His encouraging proclamation over my life – writing something or another for 100 days in order to practice and get good stuff out.  i kept seeing thoughts about difficult things going on, laced in hope about the trustworthiness of God.  i have in pen and ink significant things God has done, even in the last year.  it is SO good to remember what He’s done, what we’ve gone through, and what He’s promised us.

God always makes good on His promises.

don’t be afraid to remember.  you got here because of God’s goodness, love, and grace for YOU.  look back to see the stepping stones, how far you’ve come, scary land you had to go through, beautiful, high paths he took you on, and all the things you learned along the way.  it helps you appreciate right where you are, right now.



day 7 – sunday music corner

In thoughts on things on August 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm
here are some beautiful worship songs for your sunday, or your any day, really!  they’re free  to download off of bandcamp.  just click on the image and it will take you to the site!
these songs were developed by the Clarity worship band.  they just put melodies to whole chapters in the psalms.  simply putting scripture to music is so refreshing and lovely to me!
(Clarity is the Wednesday night gathering at North Ridge Church in Raleigh)



enjoy and have a restful sunday!