Dear Log

I've been keeping a logbook (an idea from Austin Kleon's book, Steal Like an Artist) to document my daily activities or little things I want to remember about a day. It's easier than a diary because it's just a few things jotted down in list-style ~ and I love lists, also doodling.

I've not been so great at my Instagram photo challenge, maybe I'll improve as the year goes on, but for now I'm happy to rely on the log to capture these little glimpses into my day.

What is your medium of choice to capture thoughts or moments?

Book Love: Fluent Forever

I've been wanting to learn other languages for awhile and honestly when I read the fluent in Fluent Forever, I felt giddy with hope. I've struggled with feeling I just didn't have what it takes to learn languages because I took Spanish earlier in life and it didn't come easily nor did I retain much of it. So, reading this book has been super exciting, to say the least.

He has a grasp of how to learn languages to permeate your mind so that by the end, it's second nature. It's sort of simple in concept, but more habitual when it plays out. He uses a system of cards (physical or electronic) and he suggest learning sounds first so that the words come easier later. That's summing it up too simply...there is SO much in this book.

I'm only beginning to learn Spanish in the way he suggests (and it probably helps we're kindred spirits in the way we learn) but I can already see huge progress in how I'm remembering things. If you have a desire to learn another language, I highly recommend this book!

It makes me want to learn ALL THE LANGUAGES! This may be listed in all my monthly goals this year. :)

Have you wanted to learn more languages? Or have you had success in learning other languages? If so, any tips?

Half-fish and a Broken Cage

Dad always said I was half-fish.

Sliding under water always felt to me like sliding into edges of God. I was weightless; I could move with liquid speed and hide in the deep. No one could see my emotions under water. I could sneak a smile or tears; I could search for treasure. The water seemed endless.

I always came out from swimming feeling refreshed and exhausted. I often come out of wrestling with God feeling the same way. I connect with Jacob and his wresting of God. God isn't easy to cage, impossible really, and that unsettles me.

For the first half of my life I drank in what was spoon fed to me about God. I hung onto it like a child grasps their blankie. It felt calming and manageable. I knew what I should and shouldn't do to keep God from getting angry. But I didn't just envision an angry God, my parents were tender with me so I could imagine a tender God albeit a little moody.

One infraction and I might get the silent treatment for awhile before He engaged talking to me again ~ or at least that's how I perceived it. I worked hard at keeping him happy. Ironically, I would've sworn a person isn't saved by their works but by grace; yet I had no belief in it. Keeping the God-mamma happy was my goal.

God couldn't be caged ~ but I walked right into one. 

Oddly I felt at peace with it for a long time. It became a cocoon against the world, a tree-house hidden in the trees. It didn't always make sense but it felt safe and I love safe.

So I plumped pillows and hung posters in my little cage to make it as homey as possible. Then I became determined to get other people into my cage with me, like a clubhouse. If they were in the cage then they were safe too, but outside the cage was a terrifying cavern of darkness. I assumed that if others didn't find their way in, they would be stuck in the wild fighting monsters and tempting God's anger.

I posted club rules on the wall and enforced them on my heart with the weapon of guilt. These rules were sacred. Basic rules like: don't swear, don't wear plunging necklines, don't drink, don't miss church, don't go to bars and don't have sex. I didn't want to mess up these rules. Well, except for the swearing one...

I found how delightful cussing could be during my freshman year of college when my cage was feeling tight and cumbersome. My boyfriend had just broken my heart and I saw him with friends walking on the sidewalk in front of my dorm. In a moment of crazed anger I did something uncharacteristic of me, I spoke out. Not only did I speak, but I yelled. I cussed like bloody hell. I stepped out on the back porch of my evangelical college dorm and let every unsavory word I'd ever held back cross my lips in a throttled pelting like rocks across the lawn.

He and his friends looked up in shock then laughed with surprise and hurried on. It fell on them like one plop on the water, but for me, it sailed across the sea in a record seven skips. Freedom. It washed over me like a six foot wave. I'd said what was in my heart instead of hiding it. This was new. It was against the rules. 

So I picked up the stick of guilt and beat myself silly.

The cage grew cramped but I remained because it was safe. For the first time though, I noticed there were cracks in the bars and rust on the locks. This cage was not going to hold forever and I had an ominous feeling I'd have to face the outside soon. I pushed that thought aside and recommitted myself to the rules, which I interpreted as recommitting myself to God. Blindly I didn't see it was the opposite of grace.

The cage fell apart eventually; as with all good pretenses, it had to come to an end.

I'll tell you more about that in another post.

Photo Project

What I'm learning about my photo project on Instagram:

*It's helping my gratefulness increase. It causes me to stop every day and savor something.

* I apparently like close-ups. That could be an eyesight problem, ha, but it also reveals the way I like to see the world ~ intimate and detailed.

*I'm not sure how to get a focused photo with my phone camera. I'm hoping practice will help me in this.

The point is I'm learning, right? I'm still clumsy about remembering to take a photo every day but I know it'll become a habit soon enough. I also know I'll be grateful at the end of the year for all the ordinary moments I captured (imperfectly or sporadically) because these simple moments fly by so fast. They'll be extraordinary to me soon enough.

What moments have you been savoring this week?

Blogging Thoughts

I've been blogging for awhile now and I love having a little space to call my own on the web to publish thoughts that wouldn't be out in the world otherwise.

My hope is that it's welcoming, a place to share bits of life together and have honest discussions. 

But I find myself getting psyched out sometimes and feeling a little nervous to share more difficult posts or things that I'd love to discuss because I'm not an expert on it.

So I've decided that this year, I'm taking the word expert off the table and I'm embracing the word inquisitive. I'm going to share more things that I'm struggling with or learning about from the mindset of a fellow questioner who doesn't have it all figured out yet.

Because it takes me longer to write these kinds of posts, I'm going to reduce my schedule to two days a week. I'll also still be sharing bits of life, and photos from my photo project. I'm thinking it'll be a Monday/Thursday schedule.

Cutting it down a bit will also help me move forward with other writing goals and make time for both.

To all of you who take the time to read this little blog of mine, I am eternally grateful. It is a privilege to get to be part of your day and I cherish it. Please know I love hearing from you!

If there is anything you'd like to see me talk about in the upcoming year, or questions that you'd like to ask, you may share here in the comments, or on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!