Let me say I don't mean harm; Oh, but baby, you'd be charming if you'd come undone. Get back where you started from.

Ah, it's that time of year again. Candy hearts, chocolates and red roses, dinner reservations and angry/sad/lonely singles.

I've honestly never been one of those girls. The "poor me, I'm all alone with no Valentine". And I've never been one to hate the holiday. Mainly because I'm blessed enough to have an amazing dad that has gotten cards and candy for my siblings, mom and I every year and I look forward to the tradition.

But, I've gotta admit. This year, the "poor me" thoughts have tried to creep their way in. Not in a huge way, just little by little, but that's how it all starts. "Man, I wish I could get some roses or go on a date, or even just have someone to talk to." But today helped remind me how truly blessed I am. No, there's no "Mr. Right" on the horizon at the moment, but you know what? That's perfectly okay. Honestly, if he came along right now? I wouldn't be ready for him. At all. Right now I've gotta "do me". And allow God to mold me and help me figure out who that is! Become "Miss Right", for whoever that man may be someday.

And while I might not have a significant other, I'm incredibly blessed with other forms of love. I have an amazing family, and a circle of friends that keeps growing and deepening every day and week. And of course, a Savior who loved me enough to die for my sins and to redeem me.

In a way, I wish we treated every day like Valentine's Day. Minus the commercialism and all the candy, cause that might get dangerous. No, not all that, but the essence of it. Being open and affection with one another, loving each other. God's been convicting me and dealing with me on my being hesitant to allow myself to be open and vulnerable with people. I can't hide myself or my heart away, locking it up so that no one touches me, I touch no one and therefore, "I'm safe." It's no way to live! It's not living at all. I've gotta learn to trust Him, to trust people and to know that it's okay. To be open, to love, to be loved. So that's my mission from here on out -- treat every day like Valentine's. Love like He's loved me. Give more hugs. Use kinder words. Love.

Orange is young, full of daring
But very unsteady for the first go around
My yellow in this case is not so mellow
In fact I'm trying to say it's frightened like me
And all these emotions of mine keep holding me from
Giving my life to a rainbow like you

I'm bold, bold as love
Yeah I'm bold, bold as love


and My own two hands will comfort you tonight, tonight.

Life is a journey, not a sprint. I'm not sure who first spoke those words, but I'm sure they were speaking to a girl with a brain and heart like mine.

I'm an end-game chick, I read books with a vengeance to find out what happens. I love the happily ever afters and I love the time at Christmas when all the gifts have been opened and there are no more secrets.

But life is a mystery, and Rome wasn't built in a day. I have to remind myself of this daily, almost minute to minute, really. My relationship with Him will not develop rapidly overnight and my success and progress in life won't either. It's the little steps that get me where I want to be. And even when I'm "there", wherever "there" may be for me right now, I know I'll be striving for yet another seemingly distant destination of imagined contentment.

Life moves at a quick pace, it never stops for anyone. We're always growing and changing and evolving. And thank goodness! It'd be quite boring if we were the same all the time.

"You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner.

You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every single day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and let the colors fill your mind until there is nothing left to do but explode. There are no wrong answers. Inspiration is everything. Sit back, relax and take it all in.

Now, go out and create something."
-- Jac Vanek


“Love is a gift, not an obligation.”

The peace I’m feeling today is such a overwhelming feeling, yet in a gentle way. Last night was the first night of Great Expectations: A Night Of Worship at Calvary, and it was exactly what my heart and soul needed. I’m experiencing Him like never before. I feel such a call to quiet myself and really listen. That can sometimes be a stretch for me, because I'm a talker. I communicate, I'm expressive, it's what I do and who I am. But He's telling me to listen. Listen to what He has to say — about me, about Himself and His love for me, about His plans for my life — read His Word and not because it’s what I’m “supposed to do” but because I actually want to. And really, isn’t that how He wants us to live?

I know there will be days I don’t feel this way, and I’ll be lazy and not want to read or journal or talk to Him. Lord knows I’ve had many of those days. But I know that He understands. And I know He’s drawing me into a deeper relationship, where it’s not all lip-service and pretty words, but actions and what drives me.

It's a long journey, from who I've been -- what I've been labeled as and in turn what I've believed about myself -- to who He's always seen me as. But no matter how long the journey, they always start with a single step. And another. And then another. And I'm walking, slowly but surely.


The dog days are over, the dog days are done.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way. - Charles Dickens

I'd be hard-pressed to find a quote, whether from literature, song, film or otherwise that so perfectly encapsulates what my 2010 was like. It was a year of growth, of change and that change was extremely painful at times. There's times I'd not like to ever repeat again and there's days, nights, people that I will never, ever forget. This year left its thumbprint on me more than possibly all the ones before it. This year I had to decide whether to do or die, sink or swim, fight or flight.

And He was there. Through every tear and laugh, fear and triumph. That's how I know that 2011 will be the best year yet. Because no matter what happens, I am His and He is mine.



Imagine a hand as small as your thumb

That can hold up the earth and light up the sun.

Imagine a face with tiny blue eyes

That saw angels dance at the birth of the skies.

Imagine plump toes on pudgy soft feet

That have lead mighty armies down heavenly streets.

Imagine a little button-like nose

That gave breath to life and smelt the first rose.

Imagine a mouth that’s gentle and small

Yet uttered the words of creation’s great call

Imagine a baby with gentle soft breath

Who possesses the strength to overcome death.

Imagine a mother who cuddles and sings

And holds in her arms the King of all Kings.

Imagine the Lord of the Heavenly Hosts

Wrapped up in a manger ‘mid cattle and goats.

Imagine a child who may hunger and cry

But yet had the courage to come here to die.

A baby called Jesus, born in the hay

Born long ago, but alive to this day.

He came here and lived in the humblest home

To give us the chance to sit near His throne.

Imagine the day when we’re called home on high

To see Him in glory in the great “by and by”.

Imagine “forever” in the warmth of the love

Of that gentle baby who came from above.  --Mark H.