Friday, June 16, 2017

101 Things I'm Truly Thankful For

Completed for the 101 things in 1001 days challenge.
  1.  Close relationships with my immediate and extended family.
  2.  Loving parents.
  3.  My beautiful state.
  4.  The promises of the Lord.
  5.  The ability and financial means to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.
  6.  Having grown up in a godly household.
  7.  A house with A/C.
  8.  Clean, delicious water and ice available anytime.
  9.  Showers.
  10.  The ability to own a physical and digital copy of the bible, legally.
  11.  And the ability to worship freely whenever and wherever I want.
  12.  Free speech.
  13.  My ability to find the positive in everything.
  14.  Siblings who I actually get along with and love to hang out with.
  15.  The fact that I was actually able to afford a good college education without going into ridiculous amounts of debt.
  16.  Being in relatively good health.
  17.  Being able to control my hypoglycemia without medicine.
  18.  My amazing church family.
  19.  My amazing worship team family.
  20.  Access to the internet.
  21.  Two of the best, godliest, friends on planet earth.
  22.  A car that runs and has A/C for the hot summer days.
  23.  Having just enough financial aid money left over to cover my summer class.
  24.  Finding a career path that actually interests and excites me.
  25.  Living near enough to visit so many beautiful state parks.
  26.  My mom's laughter.
  27.  My dad's hugs.
  28.  When strangers smile or compliment me.
  29.  Making new friends.
  30.  The first day of Spring after a long winter.
  31.  When people go out of their way to make vegetarian meals for me.
  32.  People who pay attention to what makes you happy, and listen when you talk about those things.
  33.  A kitty who always knows when I need a snuggle.
  34.  The amazing feeling that hearing "America the Beautiful" gives me.
  35.  Pulling an earbud out while playing on worship team, and hearing all of the individual voices praising the Lord.
  36.  Being able to teach piano to such amazingly sweet students, and calling it my job.
  37.  Sitting in rays of sunshine.
  38.  Yoga. Because it makes exercising tolerable.
  39.  Local festivals in my state.
  40.  People who respect my choice to stay single.
  41.  That I was able to be homeschooled all through high school.
  42.  Small, local restaurants.
  43.  Pen-pals in other countries.
  44.  People who listen to God's movings, and tell you just the right word from him at the right time.
  45.  When lots of little experiences, good and bad, all fall into place and you can see the bigger picture.
  46.  That I live in a time where I can accomplish anything as a women, and that I am respected and have equal rights and opportunities.
  47.  Inserts that help my feet not be so incredibly flat.
  48.  All of the experiences I've had that have helped me learn who I am.
  49.  The fact that the Lord loves joy and laughter as much as I do.
  50.  Silent summer mornings on the lake.
  51.  Clean, country air.
  52. The thick fog I drove through on the way to my old job in the mornings.
  53.  The smoky mountains.
  54.  Essential Oils.
  55.  Zero-waste, and green options for everyday things.
  56.  Looking up at starry skies while camping.
  57.  My amazing clogging group that has become like a second family.
  58.  A beautiful guitar that sounds amazing and fits my awkward torso.
  59.  Our local farmers market.
  60.  My amazing clogging instructors.
  61. The fact that said amazing instructors let me borrow their banjo so I can learn to play.
  62.  Music streaming services (spotify) for allowing me to enjoy all of my favorite music without breaking my bank.
  63.  Low gas and food prices in my area.
  64.  Rainy days.
  65.  Prayer warriors.
  66.  Libraries.
  67.  Health food stores.
  68.  Being able to take a trip to Disney World with my whole family.
  69.  Having resources to learn Japanese readily available.
  70.  The fact that my dad made me take piano lessons since I was young, and wouldn't let me quit, even when I was bored with it.
  71.  Christmas traditions with my family.
  72.  Finding minimalism.
  73.  Finding Mori Kei.
  74.  Having been able to know both my Great Grandmother, and my Great Grandfather.
  75.  Having both sets of Grandparents in my life.
  76.  The fact that horses exist.
  77.  The fact that I don't have allergies.
  78.  Singing in harmony with my brothers.
  79.  Listening to my brothers record music for their youtube channel, Revolution Harmonics, or practicing music in general. They're all very talented.
  80.  Watching my parents make goo-goo eyes at each other. They're precious.
  81.  Getting conformation from God about things I've prayed for.
  82.  The fact that I've almost completely grown out of my asthma.
  83.  For growing up as a child not attached to technology 24/7, but also being allowed to play video games. That balance is important folks.
  84.  Being able to think things through logically, and not just believing what the popular idea of the moment is.
  85.  My adorable little cousins.
  86.  The fact that said cousins live close enough to visit more than once a year.
  87.  My gift of discernment.
  88.  That I was able to overcome my fear of needles.
  89.  Local parks, museums, and old houses full of history.
  90.  Really any bit of old history that has survived to today.
  91.  The fact that my parents taught me the importance of being smart with your money.
  92.  Asian Markets.
  93.  When friends trust me enough to tell me what's really going on in their lives.
  94.  People who respect the fact that I am not tethered to my phone, and don't bug me about answering texts.
  95.  Toddlers, and their precious honesty.
  96.  The sound of a babbling creek.
  97.  Being able to help strangers.
  98.  Having strangers help me in return.
  99.  The fact that my mom taught me how to make a prayer journal.
  100.  Growing up always having enough to live comfortably. No matter how much we had to pinch pennies.
  101.  Being able to come up with this many things to be thankful for. I'm beyond blessed.

Searching for a Ghost Town

Today I have a bit of a different post for you all. I wanted to share about a recent adventure that I had with my mom. As part of a completion of the 101 things in 1001 days challenge, I wanted to try and visit a ghost town. However, the nearest "wild west" type of ghost town is way too far for me to visit in one day, so I had to settle for the ghost town equivalent in my area.

Most ghost towns anywhere near my area are small towns of a few buildings that were abandoned in the early 1900s for various reasons. But, sadly, most of these towns have had all of their buildings leveled. So when I found out that there was supposedly a ghost town in my state that had a few buildings left, as well as being still officially on the map, I decided I had to visit. So, my mom and I took a road trip to see if we could find the town.

We drove around for about 3 hours, got lost a couple times (and had to backtrack to areas where we had any service to get GPS), but eventually we reached an area in the actual middle of nowhere where the town was supposed to be. Unfortunately it had been leveled at some point, which was disappointing, but we decided to get out and look at the sight where it had been. I'm glad we did, because we were actually able to find outlines of where the buildings had previously stood. And although the area was very overgrown with trees, we were also able to find bits of an elaborate 1920s fence, the remnants of the railroad that had once traveled through the town, and piles debris from where they had knocked down the buildings and left the rubble. There were bits of shingles, old pipes, and other things like that. It was a bit eerie, but also very interesting to see where an entire town had once stood.

The concrete in this picture was the outline of where a building once stood. You could even see some bits of sidewalk left in front of it.

These were the piles of rubble left over. In one pile there were even some bits of cloth and an old toy.

Even though there weren't any buildings left, it made for a fun road trip with some lovely scenery along the way, and it was a bit of a scavenger hunt. It was also great to spend some time with my mom. Besides, it's always fun to try new things, even if they don't work out quite how you planned.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Wedding Dress (Original Poem)

(Another poem. Not much to say about this, just thought I'd post it here.)

my wedding dress is beautiful
it was tailor made
to fit my frame
by my bridegroom

my wedding dress is beautiful
even with the few spots
that have stained the hem
my bridegroom says he never notices them anyways

my wedding dress is beautiful
from where it hangs
on my door
because i don't want to wear it

"it's too tight"
"i've already dirtied it"
"it makes me stand out"
i tell my bridegroom
whenever i have spare time
between work
and sitting in my old rags in the mud

my wedding dress is beautiful
but i hardly ever wear it
because i'd rather wear my old rags
even if they're falling off my shoulders
and see-through in places
and too short for me now
because i outgrew them long ago

but at least they're comfortable
and require no change

and if i have to i'll cover my ears
with my hands
to block out my bridegroom
as he shouts my name
and knocks on my door
hoping that one day
i'll get up
open the door
and put on my wedding dress again

until then
the dress of blessings hangs
and i
i deteriorate
in the filth of my own making