Today as I write, I find myself being distracted away from my in-comprehensive homework. I strongly dislike school. Its funny, because I used to love school. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being with friends nearby and the freedom that comes with being a university student. However I don’t like school. I love learning. I hate tests, homework and labs are not always the most exciting thing in the world. I like projects and presentations. Everything else gets in the way for me. I have found the some of the times I learned the most was when I was away from school. Like at my first internship and then my internship this last summer and when I went to the UK, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel. Or when I drove with my dad across the united states. And when I went to a political conference and met senators, governors and congress representatives from various states. I learn when I am in uncomfortable situations where I have to step outside my boundaries and reach out to build connections and friendships with those I am around. I have learned by serving the homeless. I’ve learned by reading and writing and painting. I’ve learned in sickness and in health. I’ve learned and continue to learn more about what I believe and stand for and what is important for me. I’ve learned when I am able to run and when I am walking. I learn by doing, thinking and saying. I learn with movement yet I have also learned by being able to stand still. I learn through pain, strength and joy. I am continuing to learn who I am. I am a learner and I hope for my life to be filled with life long learning.
I am grateful to be able to grow, learn and change.
Today I’m grateful for trees. I’ve always had a fascination with the beauty, strength, uniqueness and wisdom hidden within the trees. I think they are such a special part of creation. Over summer while I was in the Midwest and east coast I was in amazement and awe at just how many trees there are. I specifically remember when my dad and I drove through Oklahoma and both sides of the highway were entrapped with thick brush of these large trees that I’d only seen pictures of in magazines and online. It was amazing! I felt so blessed to be surrounded by such beautiful trees. I think trees are cool cause they can be such a vivid part of history. Old trees might not secrets of the past that I may never understand. Trees can have such intriguing shapes and reach out in odd ways. Trees even go with the flow and change with the seasons in such a beautiful way. The best thing about trees is just how grounded they are and when you can see their roots peaking out. Trees are balanced (well at least they should be). Trees have such a foundation and health that they can reach out and grow. I think this is essential to apply in my life and it’s a work in progress. To become so grounded in faith, balanced in life, be able to be apart of outreach again, and to go with the flow and work with the seasons to see and be a part of the beautiful blossoms of spring. I am growing. Changing. Trying to follow the example of the trees around me!
Here I am in the middle of November thinking about the ocean. Thinking about how much I love the beach. Just a few weeks ago, a group of friends and I went down to the beach for some volleyball, bonfire, heads up (like charades) and just taking it easy. Although this summer I spent most of the four months in the middle of the midwest, I found myself at the beach something like 8 times before I left the west coast. That may not seem like a lot, but to me it was. And it was wonderful! I love the beach, there is something special and unique for me to go to ocean and to just breathe in the salty air. I have always felt this wonder when I find myself at the beach. I feel small. I feel like the world is enormous and I also feel like all the troubles of the world could be solved in one day if everyone understood just how big the universe can seem.
Anyway, I think a bigger and better reason why I love and how I feel like I can connect to the ocean. Its that I am like the ocean. I have fears, and when I face my fears its as if I have been carried off the shore and can no longer feel the sand between my toes. Its when my ability to float and tread water come in handy. There I am in the middle of the ocean unsure if I should keep swimming out or if I should just head back to shore. Its an interesting concept that once I get my toes wet and find myself wading deeper in, the further I am willing to go. Why go back to shore? That’d be easy. Plus, its fun and cool out here. I can see the world from a new angle and look at the horizon. My point through this story is not to go physically swimming out to the middle of the ocean, but rather the ocean is the place we are capable of going, its like our potential. The shore we leave is our fears. The shore we arrive at is our faith. The ocean is the opportunity to overcome and let go of our fears and allow ourselves to find faith in G-d and in ourselves. In our abilities, talents, strengths and even in learning of our weakness.
The ocean is an opportunity. The ocean is fear and faith. I can allow it to be fear if I only stay at the shore. Which tends to be my habit. Next time I go to the beach while its warm, I am going to have to push past those fears and allow myself to find and embrace faith. For that reason and for many more, I am grateful for the ocean.
ps. the video is weird but the lyrics are great!
After reading about the horrific freak accident which North Texas Community College’s Softball team went through this weekend, my heart goes out to them. This was my team and I just a few years ago, when we were in an accident. The very accident that claimed the life of 4 people that night. There were 4 softball players also killed in this accident just a few days ago. There are two girls still in the hospital. Back to my accident, there were three of us and then two, my roomate and I, as freshmen. I will definitely keep this community, team, and players in prayer as I know the power which prayer can contain.
If you can, please pray for North Texas Community.
The best words of encouragement for me came from the Bible, this is for all those impacted, Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy G-d will be with thee, withersoever thou goest”.
“I was born on a farm. My strength has nothing to do with political apparatus. I get my strength from nature, from flowers.” -A.S.
May Ariel Sharon be of blessed memory and rest in peace.
This video has been such a strengthening and encouraging song to remind me to keep moving forward and keep going till you’re out of whatever “hell” you are in. Do it “before the devil even knows you’re there”. It is a good encouragement during tough times that everything will be ok.