Saturday, January 29, 2011

चाय (Tea)

tea leaves
tea loves
loves tea
lives tea
leaves tea?

~Uniek Swain

Tea is the most artistic drink known to mankind.

Yes, this might be a bit of an objective statement open to a great deal of personal opinion.

But think about it.

Tea is the drink of the thinker. Of the poet. Of the author and the painter.

Thoughts of tea conjure up ideas of leather-bound books, whispered lines of Tennyson and Keats, and pens resting against antique inkwells.

Whisps of steam floating from fresh-poured cups fill winter days with images of fluffy quilts and classic novels, set to the soundtrack of Ingrid Michaelson and Joshua Radin.

The clinking of ice cubes in tall glasses bring to mind idyllic Southern summers, floppy straw hats and soft cotton sun-dresses, and walking down sidewalks hand-in-hand with the one you love.

Tea is the drink of the dreamer. Of the dancer and the wisher. Of the one with her head in the clouds and her heart tied up in pale pink ribbons.

It's the drink of the old soul hiding behind young eyes, thinking back on the past and wishing for change without change.

It's such a simple drink...just leaves soaked in water.

Why does it have such a way of unlocking hearts and whispering secrets, of telling old stories and painting new pictures?

Maybe it's magic. Maybe it's a mystery.

But I am a dreamer. A poet. An artist, a writer.

And I am made of dreams and thoughts and whispers.

I am made of tea.

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~C.S. Lewis

Friday, January 28, 2011

Grâce à la Garde-Robe (Through the Wardrobe)

"I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia." ~The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis

I believe in lampposts... snow-covered forests and the hoof-beats of fauns stomping on the Dancing Lawn... the sparkle of the Eastern Sea and four thrones set in Cair Paravel from the beginning of time, waiting for their destined occupants to arrive.

I believe in wardrobes, in locked greenhouse doors, and paintings that come to life.

I believe in the Lion.

The Son of the Emperor across the sea.

He's not safe, but He is good.

I don't know Him -- I'm not worthy. But He knows me, deeper than I know myself.

In His presence, I am a dragon in need of His claws to strip away my scales back to purity again.

I am afraid to take a drink from the spring He offers, but I know I have no other choice...I know He demands everything in return.

He knows my name.

His breath is healing. His breath gives strength.

He took my place. My curse. My death.

He gave Himself up for me -- from life to death and back again.

He forgives me.

He loves me.

He fought the Deep Magic and caused the Table to crack.

He draws me further up. He calls me further in.

His land is perfect. His land is waiting.

He is waiting.

I believe in Aslan.

I believe in Narnia.

"...He won't say the words you wish that he would / Oh, he don't do the deeds you know that He could / He won't think the thoughts you think He should / But He is good, He is good..." ~Aslan, Kendall Payne


All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

After almost six months of having things the same way, I have finally changed the layout and feel of my blog.

It took me a long time to convince myself that it was a good thing to do.

I liked my old layout. It was deep, dark, and beautiful...and it had been that way almost since the very beginning of this blog.

It took my best friend and a lot of convincing for me to finally accept the concept of changing the blog's look. The color's are lighter, the feel is romantic, and the look is open and fresh.

I love the way it looks now.

It's funny...even the very idea of changing something as simple as a blog layout was almost too much for me to handle. As I've said before, I have somewhat of a hard time with change. I like things to stay familiar -- comfortable, in a way.

I guess I've become stuck in my own rut. Sometimes, it's as simple as the layout on my blog. Other times, it's more intense. More frightening.

Because it requires letting go.

I'll admit, I like holding on to my life. Keeping a firm grip on the steering wheel on my own plans and agenda, not letting anyone else run the show except for me...

...but when I take such strong control of my life, I push the King of Kings off the throne.

I break His heart.

It's not my job to be in charge.

Letting go doesn't make me weak or less of a strong woman. It makes me strong, powered by grace and wisdom from the One who sees better than I do.

So I have to embrace the change.

I have to let go...

...and trust that He will catch me.

Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth. ~C.S. Lewis

Monday, January 10, 2011

الفردية (Individual)

"‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender / Got a couple rips in my jeans / Try to fit the pieces together / But perfection is my enemy / On my own I'm so clumsy / But on Your shoulders I can see / I'm free to be me." ~Free to Be Me, Francesca Battistelli

I'm sick of not being me.

Actually, I'm sick of the entire world not being "themselves." I think we've lost the definition of identity in this day and age.

Being an individual has come to mean, "look and dress like everyone else does, but act like you're something special anyway.

I beg your pardon?! That's not being an individual. That's blending in and doing it proudly.

I'm not okay with that. Not by a long shot.

So, from now on, I'm going to me. I'm not going to be what "they" want me to be...whoever "they" might be.

I'm not going to dress to get attention. I'm going to dress like a strong woman of God, with grace and confidence.

I'm not going to give wishy-washy statements or mumble some strange sort of excuse to escape defending my beliefs. I'm going to speak out, to be a light for Him in this world.

I'm going to stop hiding my smile behind my hand or biting my lip to avoid eye contact. I'm gonna look you in the eye and smile with confidence.

I'm going to laugh. And no one can stop me.

I'm going to cry when my heart is breaking, and no one can tell me it's weak to do so.

I'm going to dance in the rain and sing out-loud to my iPod while driving with the windows rolled down.

I am going to wear my penguin earrings and let my hair hang long over my shoulders.

I am going to start taking pride in being short.

I'm going to stop hiding. I'm going to stop blending in.

I'm going to be me.

After all, He made me as me.

And He doesn't make mistakes.

"You make everything glorious...and I am Yours....what does that make me?" ~Everything Glorious, David Crowder Band

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

{seasons of love} daylights, in sunsets / In midnights In cups of coffee. / In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. / In five hundred twenty-five thousand / Six hundred minutes / How do you measure / A year in the life? / How about love...seasons of love... ~Seasons of Love, RENT

It's a new year. In fact, we're about four days, and things already feel...different.

I think I was more ready for a change than I realized.

For me, I understand why God planned that the new year would start with the ground being frozen and covered in snow.

The snow will melt away before we realize that spring has come. The green of the grass will reappear and the whisper of gentle breezes will carry daisy petals and the notes of a robin's song over the once-frozen land.

The land will be renewed again.

The very thought makes me reminiscent for the land where a Lion's roar melts the snow and causes cherry blossoms to appear again through the barren emptiness of winter.

It's a reminder that so many things can come in my way -- betrayal, mistrust, mistakes both big and small -- and the ground will still thaw.

Restoration will still come.

The seasons change. Love renews.

So how will you measure this year?

Will you let the snow melt on your frozen heart?

Will you let the whispering call of the mighty Lion bring spring again to your soul?

This is the season of love.

"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of His roar, sorrows will be no more,
When He bares His teeth, winter meets its death
And when He shakes his mane, we shall have spring again." ~
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

It is now 2011.


For me, this is almost impossible to believe. I feel as if I blinked and have passed from January to January without hardly a second thought.

Did last year leave me behind?

To be honest, however, 2010 was a year of a lot of changes for me...many of which were beyond fantastic.

I reconnected with an amazing old friend after almost two years of silence, and found myself in a brand-new friendship that picked up as if things had never left off and has radically changed my life.

God answered my prayer for a female best friend, and I have never been more blessed to have her in my life as a sister and warrior on this road together.

I celebrated a landmark -- one year of marriage to my incredible husband, which still continues to blow my mind and delight my soul.

I met amazing people who have loved me and changed me for the better.

I started this blog, which has been a dream of mine, and was a resolution for 2010 that I actually saw through to fruition.

The blessings that have been heaped upon me still blow my mind and draw me to my knees time and time again.

However, this year has also been one of the hardest of my life. I have cried more than I ever thought possible. I lost precious friends for one reason or another -- some because of serious issues, and others over trivialities that I wish I could take back. My heart has broken almost to the point of bleeding -- both for myself and for those I love.

I have made so many mistakes...I look back at certain points over the past year and I weep with the utter shame of it all. In all honesty, there were so many points when I just wanted to give give in to my own insecurities and lack of strength and simply let the world slip through my fingers.

But it takes the bad with the good to give me a reason to step forward.

If this past year had been nothing but good things -- perfect blue skies without a single thunderstorm, how then would I have grown?

It takes fire to refine the dross away from silver; it takes lightning and thunder for crops to grow.

The hands of the clock keep ticking by.

Soon enough, 2012 will be upon us. But that is the future.

2009 is gone.

2010 is gone.

The past is over and buried under the blood of the One who looked from moment to moment and decided that I was worth His ultimate sacrifice.

And so, this year, I begin with only one resolution.

To grow.

To climb further up and further in.

To find my footing in Jesus Christ instead of allow myself to reach out and take His nail-scarred hand... rise and rise again.

So here's to love and loss, to tears and joys, to passions and disappointments.

To growth and to journeys.

To becoming more like Him.

Here's to fresh starts and new beginnings.

Here's to 2011.