Some days I decide it's the perfect day to be productive. Today began as one of those days. And then, I slept until 9, ate breakfast, and then thought it would be a good idea to venture to the grocery store since I was living off of oatmeal the past two days.
Well, word on the street is there's a huge snow storm coming in tonight and tomorrow. We might have also forgotten that the SuperBowl is tomorrow. So we get to the first store, where we begin to question our ambitiousness to stock up on groceries. You'd have thought that we are going to be snowed in for three weeks, judging by the amount of people at the store.
We purchased our little box of fruits and veggies, and loaded up to go to Meijer. We should have known when we had to park at the very end of the parking lot that we were going to be in there a while. I set a twenty minute time limit on us because it's kind of my favorite store and I knew that otherwise we'd wander around all day. We grabbed the things we needed pretty quick, but lets just say the time we spent in line outlasted that. It looked like it was Black Friday. The lines were zigzagging every which way. So we stood in line for 25 minutes. I sure hope that food I bought tastes good!
We got through store #3 pretty quick and were finally on our way home after 2 hours of seemingly endless grocery shopping. Lesson of the day: Don't go to the store if it's supposed to snow, and especially not the day before the SuperBowl.
By then, I was starving and tired. I cut up some of my chicken breast and threw it in a spinach wrap, scarfed down a banana and some Greek yogurt. Naturally my stomach is full and ready for a nap. So I attempted to read for one of my classes, and ended up dozing off. 2 o clock rolled around and I hadn't got my reading done that I had planned to do, and it was supposed to begin snowing after 3. So of course, why would I want to read when the gym was calling my name and I knew I wouldn't want to go outside if it was snowing.
I spent an hour and fifteen minutes there. Procrastination at its finest? Sometimes I think the only reason I work out is so I can eat huge meals. Probably because the only thing I think of the entire time at the gym is what I'm going to eat afterwards. Luckily my roommate wanted to make a good dinner for tonight. We whipped up some stuffed peppers- full of quinoa, corn, tomatoes, pinto beans, and red kidney beans. If you haven't tried it, it's really tasty.
We have some serious sweet teeth in our house, so what's a tasty dinner with out desert? Lately I've been slightly addicted to popcorn drizzled in almond bark. Tonight we added some cinnamon, walnuts, coconut, and chex cereal to that. Made a glass of hot cocoa topped with lots of marshmallows and turned on a movie. The snowy coldness of the outside world was forgotten and a lazy Saturday night snuggled under a blanket ensued.
So the day wasn't as productive as I had planned, but I realized that it was worth it. As much as I love to stop and enjoy life and not worry about anything, I don't do that enough. I think of everything I need to do and forget to step back and take a breath. It's usually the spontaneous moments that are the best. So the line at Meijer might not have been ideal, but observing all of the people and listening to them laugh at how crazy it was made up for it.
We have this crazy life, and no matter the situation, it really is beautiful. It doesn't always go as we plan, but that's God's way of showing us that he's pointing us where we're meant to be. As I've heard a lot of people say lately, life's too short to do something that doesn't make you happy. So even if you don't know if it'll make you happy, sometimes it's worth taking a risk and seeing how it turns out.
So as the snow is falling outside, I'm snuggled up watching TV on a Saturday night instead of reading for my classes, but you know what? It's happiness in a nutshell.
I've always liked to write.. There's something about just getting everything inside, out and just forgetting everything around you while you get lost in the words. One of my goals this year is to write more, as it's something that helps me reflect on life and relax, so I figured why not start a blog? The thoughts may be random, they may be insignificant or they may mean something and help you in one way or another. I pray that whatever my words stir in you, that they might help you see the world through a different lens.
Last week I traveled to Colorado for a ski trip/Bible retreat and got lost in the beauty around me. It opened my eyes to a multitude of things, as I realized for the first time in many years that there's a really big world out there and that I've been in the same area for way too long.
We boarded our flight at 5:20 am, onto a little plane that made me feel too claustrophobic. I'm not good with small spaces, I get anxiety quicker than you can bat an eye, and to add to that, I hadn't flown in 15 years. It made for an interesting morning as I got on another connecting flight to Denver. This flight though, was much smoother as we boarded a much bigger and newer plane. There were TV's and a spot in the armrest where I could plug in my head phones. I finally drifted off as I relaxed a little bit, and as I awoke, I could finally see the mountains in the distance.
We drove two hours to Copper Mountain, where we unloaded our van at a beautiful house whose backyard consisted of the ski hill which led us right to the ski lift. There were mountains right outside, not to mention a hot tub where I utterly enjoyed relaxing after a long day of skiing.
I'm a morning person, and with the time change, I was up well before the sun every morning. The first morning there, I ventured up the stairs because I figured I might as well watch the sun come up. Sunrises and sunsets are two of my favorite things, so I was too excited. I looked outside to see a dark sky, the stars still shining brightly. I sat out the window and marveled at the beauty. The stillness, serenity, how fresh everything feels in the morning before people begin the hustle and bustle of the day.
The sun started to peak over the mountain and I was nothing short of amazed at the colors the sky changed. There were pinks, oranges, yellows, and the still dimming light of a third-quarter moon. If I could have frozen that moment, I would have. As I sat there, I realized it's moments like those that make you realize just how amazing the world is. Being in the city for school, I can see the stars at night and the sun come up in the morning, but it's nothing like being out in the open where you can see the bright stars gradually turn into a new day.
From that morning on I couldn't resist taking in every inch of beauty around me. As I skied down the slopes, I couldn't look around enough at the mountains in front of me as I went down the hill. It was my first time skiing in four years, but I knew God was watching over me, and the adrenaline I felt from gliding over that snow was something incredible that I couldn't let fear slow down. We went to a new ski ramp that I hadn't been up on the second day. Boy, that was a trip. It took us quite a while to get down, but from the mountain way up high, the view was something I wouldn't have missed for the world. It was worth the risk, and taking my time to get down the hill didn't even bother me because at least that way, I could see the mountains all around me and truly soak it all in.
On Thursday night, I heard a sermon based off of Mark 10:13. The disciples had rebuked the little children that were being brought to see Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." So what do children have that we should also have? My friend elaborated and broke it down into a few main qualities, one of which is a child's ability to be amazed. This stuck with me and made me think back to that weekend.
Every time I turned my head, I was amazed all over again. Sure, I saw the same mountain four days in a row, saw the sun come up and set over and over, yet every time I couldn't get enough of it. I felt like a child again, being simply amazed at the littlest things.
Shouldn't we live every day like this? Shouldn't we look around and see the leaves changing and falling and growing again, the snow falling, the sun coming up, people passing by, and be simply amazed? Every little thing is so intricate and wonderfully made that we should be.
I try to take it all in, day after day. I want to be amazed, I want to regain that wonder and amazement we felt during our childhood. When did we lose that feeling? Maybe our culture overly exaggerates everything. Pictures can be edited, videos can taken, and society overlooks the realness of it all and covers up every flaw imaginable to make everything seem "perfect." I don't want to get bogged down into that. I want to go out and see the world for the true beauty that it has, unedited, uncaptured, unmoved. I want to see the people who smile and flaunt the wrinkles in their faces, who have imperfect skin yet still naturally glow because they are human. God's given us all the most beautiful gift of his grace and this life, full of happiness and imperfections. It might not always seem perfect, it feels the complete opposite at times, but yet it's all of the perfect and not-so-perfect moments that lead us to the path that God has created us for. If that isn't amazing, then I don't know what is.
I walk to class, I look up and down, I see the snow, and I think of how blessed I am to see even these little things. When you go outside today, just pause for a moment. Take a deep breath, and see the beauty around you. Even if it's raining, even if it's dreary. There's something beautiful in every moment. The rain brings life, and there's always sunshine after the rain. Times get hard, but the nights can't last forever. Though sometimes it feels as if it'll never end, those are times when God is preparing and shaping you for something wonderful.