Repost: “Beware of Destination Addiction!” 

After reading this post from Victoria’s Bubble Blog this morning, I had to share it! It’s an absolute must read for those of us who are on the endless journey of finding happiness. 

For this reason, the answer lies in recognising that happiness never comes from the destination. Happiness is a choice we make. It doesn’t come from material possessions, circumstances or achievements. Rather, it comes from an attitude of gratitude. It comes from paying attention and cherishing the relationships and people we have been blessed with today.”

                           Read more! 

XXVII

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A woman’s age is one of her best-kept secrets. It’s a powerful weapon with the ability to be either an ally or an enemy. Revealing this most sacred information can have irreversible effects. It can clothe a woman in wisdom and knowledge just as easily as it can strip her of beauty and youth. It may impress upon people the idea that she doesn’t know what she wants or take her beliefs and dreams for folly.

Stuffing a woman into a box of characteristics based on her age is an archaic adage as simple-minded and ridiculous as the notion currently impeding my celebratory spirit.

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I turned 27 yesterday, which means I’m a year closer to my dreaded 30th. I guess every birthday has put me a little closer to it, but now I can feel it. Like air coated thick with the call of springtime showers, I can smell it, and it’s too close.

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In three years time, 30 years of age will be asking me what I’ve done with my life for the past three decades.

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My fear is that I’ll have no answer. At least none that will live up to the pedestal I’ve placed this stupid number on. I’ve no idea where I developed this ridiculous notion that I have to have all my ish together by 30. I honestly don’t think that we as human beings ever get our crap together completely, but there’s no harm in trying.

Or is there?

I started preparing for 30 after I turned 25. And to an extent, it’s fine that I’m working toward stabilizing myself for the future, but when does it become too much? Because- and I don’t mean to be morbid- but the length of my future could be tomorrow. I’ve had an incredible life so far, not without its highs and lows of course, but a pretty decent life. Yet there’s a lot that I skip out on because I choose to work so that I can be debt free by 30. I’d be really pissed if something happened to me before then and I missed out on that trip to Venice or the experience of skydiving. They key is to balance my responsibilities while still allowing myself to enjoy life.

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My birthday advice to myself would be to take it easy. Enjoy what you have in the moments you have it because nothing is forever. Do for others. Keep smiling. Continue saving. Have patience. Trust God. Enjoy life. Be 27. 30 will come, and when it does, you’ll be ready. And that doesn’t necessarily mean everything will turn out as you imagine. It simply means that it will be okay nonetheless. 

Contagious

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It’s undeniable that Julia Roberts’ has one of the most mesmerizing smiles. Coupled with her high-spirited and infectious laugh, she’s a human dose of endorphins. Her lively personality is like butter on bread. We are (or at least I am) the bread. When I hear her laugh, the sound of joy spreads itself thick on my soul and I become a portrayal of light to pass on to the next person.

Contagious.

We are each responsible for the emotions and spirits we choose to send out into the world. Popular culture has bought into the idea of returning to others exactly what they give to us. But if someone hates you and you decide to reciprocate that hate, who then is responsible for spreading love? Whatever we want out of life is also what we must be willing to put into it. If we want to be accepted, we must learn to accept. If it’s love we crave, we must comprehend the sacrifice of the ultimate love. Our emotions are like boomerangs, what we toss out will always return.

Today, I worked a quick flight from Denver to Chicago with a sweet woman named Lori. We briefly exchanged formalities before commencing the boarding of the completely booked flight. She was kind, but most of my flying partners are, so I thought nothing of it. Once the flight took off and we began our service, I had the opportunity to observe her a bit further. Something about her was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt it. Her demeanor abounded in kindness, sincerity, and humility. Mind you, I picked up on all these characteristics from a woman who was slinging cokes and spicy tomato juice. On my own, I’m a pleasant person, but seeing Lori’s comportment made me want to be even better. I thought,

Wow, that’s the kind of radiance I want my life to exude.

I decided then that once we finished the service, I’d ask her the only question that made sense.

“I knew it!” I beamed after I confirmed that Lori is a Christian. It was God in her that I didn’t initially recognize. She wore his love like a silk dress that clung to her every move, flowing in and through her.

As believers, it’s our responsibility to be a beacon of God’s love. The world is watching us, whether we (or they) realize it. They want to see if having God truly makes a difference in our lives. If we respond to life with anger, fear, cynicism, and negativity, what sets us apart from the world?

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I had no idea what I wanted to write about today until I met Lori. I knew right away that I needed to remind us of the importance of walking in full faith as sons and daughters of Christ. He has called us to be the salt and light of this Earth. 

Julia Roberts, a woman I don’t know and who doesn’t know I exist, makes me happy when she laughs. That’s insane, but the reality is these types of impacts are a huge component of human relation. Everything we say, what we feel, and how we carry ourselves are all contagious. It’s not just those that are closest to us who absorb the remnants of our choices. The stranger in the park or the man behind us in line at Target also have great potential to be influenced by our seemingly common handling of everyday life. 

We should be spreading the love of God in every aspect of our lives. So much so that we would become so full in Him that His love would have no choice but to overflow out of us and into this world. Giving into defeatist attitudes because life doesn’t go our way is not the will of the Lord. Instead, it’s our steadfastness in the face of trials that is going to spread faith in God. We do not answer to the powers of this Earth, but to our heavenly father. People need hope, they need God, and they need us to show them that a joyous life is attainable. For with God, anything is possible.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Alone in the Know

Focusing on the people filing in and out of the box size Pizza Hut is all I can do to keep the tears at bay.It isn’t working though. Defeated, I hang my head to hide the tears that sneak their way past my defenses. I immediately erase the evidence from my cheeks, but behind the shield of my glasses, my eyes remain wet with pain. I know no one will notice; I’m in an airport. Like a train station, there’s no acknowledging here, only coming and going. I’m grateful for the lack of attention. All I want to do is get my personal pan pizza and leave. I wish I could forget this feeling behind in the pizza shop where it can reside completely unnoticed. But as I make my way to the next flight, the aching solitude remains. I try to outsmart it by taking in deep and slow breaths, but that isn’t working either. The emotions return, overwhelming my ability to control them. I suck in a mouth full of oxygen, holding it until my cheeks begin to burn and the need to breathe becomes uncomfortable. Finally, I swallow the air. It rushes down my throat carrying the threat of a breakdown with it. 


There. It’s gone. For now. 



The suffocating dread of loneliness overtakes me at the oddest times. One minute, I’m fine, the next I’m falling apart. Lately, this feeling has been hounding me more than usual. Like a lion stalking its prey, loneliness lies beneath the surface of everything I do on some days. It hides in the corner of my smile or just beyond the soft sparkle people see in my eyes.
Loneliness is an opportunist. It launches its attack when we think we’re safest: amidst people.
As I  walked out of that Pizza Hut in the Denver Airport, I thought back to what had triggered the sudden loneliness.


I remember… 



My flying partner and I were talking about relationships. Typical girl stuff. I told her that I’d never had a boyfriend, and she had the same shocked reaction as everyone else. “What?!” She exclaimed turning to look at me as if I was some sort of enigma. “I’m just surprised. You’re cute and you have a great personality.” I shrugged and smiled, tickled by her confusion. I told her that I thought one reason why I’ve never dated is because I’m too deep and it pushes people away. The conversation then transitioned to the topic of marriage and divorce. I told her that I wanted to be married one day but revealed my concern about the number of marriages resulting in divorce in our culture.

“The scariest part is the uncertainty. If so many people have failed at marriage, how will I succeed?”


“Wow Celestial, you are deep! I’ve never heard a young person talk like that or acknowledge those types of things!” 

“See, I told you!” I laughed. “I don’t mean to be that way, I just am, and I don’t know how to turn it off.” 

“Well, as long as you’re comfortable with yourself, that’s all that matters.”


“I am.” I assured her
.

And I am, but my mindset often makes me feel disconnected from others. I don’t think my ideas are novel. I know they’re different, but I don’t believe they’re difficult to grasp. When I talk to people, it’s like they’re studying me, instead of trying to understand me.

I love connecting, understanding, and seeing life through the eyes of others. However, I don’t feel connected to. There are times when I’m having conversations with people and I realize (after it’s too late) that I’ve gone off on some tangent into the depths of my thoughts. I’m always having to reel myself back in. And while people are generally intrigued by my perspective, they’re not necessarily creating a bond with me.

I’ve always been told that I’m wise for my age. It’s a compliment, yes, but I certainly don’t view myself that way. I know my mindset is different from most, but I hadn’t realized the burden that came with it.

Sometimes, I daydream about my brain having an off button. How wonderful it’d be to think of nothing. Or to have a thought without picking it apart and over analyzing its meaning.

Then, there are days when I just want to be on the same brain wave as everyone else, just so I can feel at home in the world.
But, that’s just it- I’m not made for this world.

God instructs His people to focus on the things of Heaven, not of Earth. Romans 12:2 says

“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.” 

Even in my bouts of loneliness and disconnect, I am ultimately thankful for the way God has molded my perception and protected me from the deceit of this world.

We all know what it’s like to feel alone and misunderstood, but the worst disservice we can do ourselves is abandoning what makes us unique, for conformity and false acceptance. We need to use our individuality to promote God’s love in a world that’s rapidly closing in on itself.
Sometimes, we don’t know how to accept the aspects of ourselves that set us apart. That’s okay. We don’t have to know it all right away, we just have to be willing to embark on the journey to discover the unique gifts God has embedded in each of us.

The reason we often feel alienated by society is because many times, we are. Our thoughts, beliefs, and spirits are not made to connect to the carnal, but when we try to force it, we are met with rejection. Truthfully, none of us are meant for this world. God wants us all to depend on Him regarding every aspect of our lives. But, it’s a free world and God has not made us slaves. Therefore, many of us have created our own ideas and beliefs, and have decided to live our lives in ways we deem appropiate.

When we accept ourselves for who God created us to be and embrace our differences from the world, feeling out of place won’t be such a bad thing. As long as we’re in place in the eyes of God, that’s all that matters. We have to choose who we want to please and who we want to allow control over our lives.

We aren’t doing the world any favors by denying it the beauty of our authentic selves. It’s okay to cry a few tears and feel a little out of place sometimes, because truly, we are.