Monday, August 30

21 reflections on 21 years.

in my experience...

1 - it benefits me to speak as little as necessary; mostly when I feel like complaining.
2 - stuff doesn't matter. people matter.
3 - life with the joy of obedience is better than life with the excitement of rebellion.
4 - singing always helps.
5 - beauty is everywhere. in everyone. no matter what.
6 - an embrace goes a very long way.
7 - the night sky, in its slow changing, fading, twinkling, and moving, is the most beautifully decorated canvas i know of.
8 - being alone can be important.
9 - it is too expensive to always be fashionable!!
10 - trusting people is vulnerable and risky business, but generally is extremely worthwhile.
11 - i really don't matter; not as much as i think i do.
12 - to find a passion and pursue it may make you feel more alive than you knew you could.
13 - eating healthy can be fun and tasty if you play your cards right.
14 - if you expect too much of people, you can't like them for who they are. and from my experience, it's tragic what you miss out on when you miss out on who people are.
15 - making cookies is just such a good idea.
16 - if you start to feel dumb, just make it fun. it's better than never being uncomfortable in the first place.
17 - everybody has a different body. rock yours!
18 - travel is worth it. worth the cost, worth the discomfort, worth the time. so worth it!
19 - asking the how questions of life will not get you nearly as far as asking the why questions. the why is what really matters.
20 - reading more books is a really good idea that you won't regret later.
21 - doing what other people think is right will leave you confused and disappointed in your decisions. decide what you believe, and decide what you want. then, do it.

here's to another year; may i learn grace and justice, love and surrender like never, ever before.

Saturday, August 21

thanks, AirTran.

i just have to write it in every capacity, and every venue i have available to me:
i'm on the internet in a plannnne. i can look out my windowseat window, over the air-splitting wing and see clouds beneath me. i hated everything about this airline [tiny plane, weird boarding system, no boarding passes, $65 bag fee, ETC...] until i realized the plane was half empty, i have a windowseat and no seatmate, and they offer me the option, nay- the joy, of wi-fi. since when was this possible??
technology and the world moves forward.
and so does my life!
do you know where i'm going?
i'm going back to Cedarville again! i'm going into my last semester.
it's gonna be pretty hard on me. i can tell. i never planned on getting out of college early. i like college. but the decision to finish up ASAP kind of spiraled me into fast-track mode, and i feel like i'm doing all i can to keep my head up where there's oxygen sometimes.
makes me feel like everything's marching, everything's moving, everyone's changing.
i guess we got to. i guess it's good. i guess there's no stopping it.

otherwise, i'd have no wi-fi on an airplane.

love from 30,000 feet,
Julie; the changeling.

summer 2010:

It’s a summer that’s stolen my heart, returning it full to exploding with joy, hope and promise for the future, and memories of silver-lined clouds, matchless friends, and fantastically diverse places.

I’ve traveled the nations, I’ve loved with abandon. I’ve seen wonders of the world; places shaped by skillful human hands and places shaped by the hand of God. I’ve somehow discovered family in more ways than one. I’ve made it, folks, but I’ve never arrived. How difficult and beautiful together to be always leaving, always going. I have found growth, I have found joy, I have found home – and all within my heart.

the highs wouldn't have been so memorable without the depth of the struggles i have had, but upon reflection, the last three months seem rosy, filled with laughter charged with meaning, and tears displaced by the brevity of great love.

It’s been the summer of a lifetime, and I have a hard time believing that this is not the climax of my life. of course I have more excellent days ahead, but I know I will always remember my twentieth summer;
the summer that stole my heart.

Sunday, August 8

the painted desert.

so, tomorrow, we're off to the grand canyon for our family vacation.
i'm super excited.
i was looking at the route we're taking, and i saw that we drive through the Painted Desert to get where we're going from where we're coming from. It reminded me that when i got back on my Donald Miller kick recently, someone recommended his book "Through Painted Deserts". I thought it would be cool to be reading the book while we were there, so i asked my mom if she and my dad had bought me a birthday present yet -i'mgonnabeTwentyOneinthreeweeks- and hinted that i'd like the book if they needed suggestions. My parents decided to give me some money to get some things for myself, and i needed the book before we leave tomorrow, so i headed out to the bookstore and the mall today.
i love to drive around my familiar places in Texas. i love having my windows down. i love knowing just where i'm going, and enjoying getting there. I picked up the book at barnes&noble, and made my way over to the mall, thoroughly enjoying walking around by myself and getting myself earrings.
when i got back into my car, which was parked in the second closest spot to the mall door - stroke of birthday luck - i looked over, and reached for the book i'd left in the passenger seat.
Through Painted Deserts is an easy read about a road trip which starts in Texas. (ironic?) i looked over to one of the testimonials on the front which reads "A reminder that life was meant to be lived, not just gotten through." shoot, that's exactly how i'm feeling today! it got me excited -
i like this book already!
happy birthday to me!
so, i thought about the positives in my life as i shared my screamsing talents with all the occupants of highway 75 on the way home with my tank top on backwards, sporting my new $5 wal-mart shades and not wearing any makeup. i'm about to go see God's power displayed in His creation, and i get to share it with my family. i'm excited.

i'm livin this life.
[i hear the painted desert is beautiful!]