Friday, April 29, 2016

Spring Sunshine and Pretty Things

Today, as I was working hard and checking things off my wedding preparation list, I realized something.

I realized that the sun was shining on a beautiful patch of dandelions in the courtyard outside my window. It was such a small, simple thing, and I realized that it had been a long time since I had slowed down to notice things like that.

So I opened up my window, and let the breeze sweep in. It was pleasantly cool, and it tossed the curtain gently on its way in to greet me. In order to fully soak in the sun and view, I climbed up on the counter to sit cross-legged right next to the window. It was glorious.

But then I thought of something else. Why don't I just go outside? Why don't I step out into the full sunlight, and feel the actual grass on my actual toes? Why don't I go and pick dandelions and actually interact with nature? The thought had never occurred to me before!

This idea brought me so much joy, and I leapt up to find a jar to hold my treasures and dashed outside.

As I emerged from the dark stairwell, into the bright spring day, I squinted in the sunlight. Then, before my eyes, were millions of dandelions growing vibrantly in the grass! I was astonished that nature is so much more expansive and impressive up close!

As I was crouched by the path, picking these dandelions, I was startled by a man who came walking casually along. He laughed at my surprise and asked what I was doing. I looked at my little jar of dandelions, suddenly somewhat embarrassed that a grown woman like myself was seen huddles over insignificant dandelions on the path. I laughed to ease the tension I felt and told him I was picking weeds.

He smiled and told me about a day when his young daughter came home clutching a handful of little dandelions. Her grandfather told her, "You know those are weeds, right?"

She replied, in her sweetest voice, "Some people call them weeds, but I call them flowers!"

As the man continued his walk down the path, I looked at the jar in my hands. I wasn't ashamed anymore. These plants may be insignificant weeds, but to me today, they are brilliant flowers. I will never apologize for taking pleasure in the little forgotten things. I will never apologize for fighting for the innocent joy that these simple things bring.

Jesus said, in Matthew 18:3, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." That man's little daughter found such joy in the little things around her, simple and everyday gifts from God. I want to be like that, too. I want my eyes to widen in wonder at all the little gifts God is giving, like rain, oddly shaped clouds, milk moustaches, and ladybugs. I want to be unabashedly "childish" and "easily amused", instead of growing bored and taking those things for granted.

Lord, help me to grow in childlike wonder of you. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Open Eyes

by Brie
Alone, in the night
     I shiver.
Shadows stretch toward
        me from dark corners,
   slowly closing in on
my last glimmer of hope.
I grow smaller, begging
  my covers to envelop
  but they offer no such
"Help..." I force my lips
    to plead. "Save me..."
         Fear grips me.
Then the black collapses
   and I open my
Your face is
      next to mine.
Your body a protective
    shield around me.
           I exhale.
You were always here,
         living in and
     throughout me
Ready to be seen
  if only I would


Quotes for a Thirsty Soul: The Sequel

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post entitled Quotes for a Thristy Soul. I had been in a very busy and hectic time of my life, and hadn't had time for any creative projects, or even time for sitting quietly and reflecting on life and God. It had me feeling drained and disheartened.
This summer has been very exciting and busy! I've been nannying for my aunt's four kids, and which requires a lot of energy and awareness, while preparing for school and going on several weekend trips to visit my boyfriend and various family members.
I am relearning the importance of intentional rest and reflection. These quotes have popped up along the way, and I thought I would share them with you in a magnificent sequel! I hope they are as refreshing and thirst-quenching for you as they were for me.

And one last piece of encouragement... ;)

 Here's to aspiring after depth, never settling for less.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Throw Back the Curtains

by Brie

Throw back the curtains,
Invite playful sunbeams to dance
Across the morning-chilled floor.

Breathe deep and see the world,
Through a rose stained glass Window.

Open the shutters, 
Let the breeze tickle the loose
Strands about your face.

Look no longer to the dimly lit room,
Look no longer to its shy crevices
And dull corners.

Look only to the sky,
Because these eyes were made for more
Than just ordinary life.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Today I am feeling nostalgic. I'm looking through all the photos I took, or have stolen from others, while I've been in Nicaragua. There have been so many great times, and I'm not sure I'm ready to let it go. So I thought, as a last tribute to all things Nicaraguan, I would share with you a few of the gems I found. :)

The boys ditching us part-way to Dona Corina's house, opting to ride the horse-drawn cart instead.

Dona Corina's niece is so precious! She had so much fun showing Lydia and Jason her plastic trees. :)

We had a campfire a couple times, which was obviously a ton of fun. :)

For a while we had no running water in the house, so Lydia and I washed our hair outside. We had a little help from Isaac, and some, uh, moral support from the others. ;)

During our trip to Ometepe, we stopped at a museum, where we took a picture with the ancient goddess of fertility!
A tarantula we found on the computer room door!

One of our many gecko friends! We actually like these guys a lot, because they eat the pesky bugs. :)
Mr. Scorpion kindly paid us a visit before his untimely death.
Some adorable girls we met on this trip!
Rebecca the Explorer, on Mombacho volcano!
On the cathedral roof! You can see more photos of it in this post.

I'm taking credit for this amazing picture of the British boys ;)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Where Have You Been?!

I've had a number of people writing to me, asking for another update. I promise I've been meaning to write one! I haven't forgot about you! It's been a long time since I last posted (ahem, sorry about that), and a lot has happened since then! In advance, I'm sorry the photos are so small! Hopefully you can see enough to get the idea. :)
In May, I got to share my birthday with the lovely Eugenia (on my right). The four of us (the other three in our household were in Costa Rica, unfortunately.) had such an awesome evening together! Love them so much. :)

Near the end of May, grades 3-6 went on a fieldtrip to Leon. The volunteers were all able to tag along and help take care of all the kids. We had such a great time! We got to visit the home of Ruben Dario, a famous Nicaraguan poet. It had been turned into a museum, and we were able to see some of the original furniture, and the original copies of his work. We learned a lot about his life and his history. Then, we visited the cathedral, which was magnificent! We climbed to the very top and walked on the cathedral roof (as shown in the image below). We had to remove our shoes before walking out on the pristine white surface of the roof. It was amazing!
We also got a tour of the inside of the cathedral. It was so beautiful!
Right at the end of May, the school had their Family Day celebration. All the families of the students were invited to see a program put on by the students. Each class did some sort of performance, so we had traditional dancing, acting, singing, everything! It was so cool! This is a photo of the grade one class waiting their turn to present their drama.
This is me with two of the grade one boys. They are so sweet! I've really enjoyed teaching their English class this year. :)
At the beginning of June, our wonderful housekeeper invited us to her house for dinner. She's like our little mother in the house, and we adore her. :)

For the later part of that week, we had a volunteers retreat! We attended the grade 8 graduation of the daughter of the school director on Wednesday, then went to a resort called Montelimar.
Apparently, we were concentrating very hard on the game we were playing on the way to Montelimar. :P
Despite what you may think from my face in this photo, we were not bored at all! It is the nicest resort we've ever seen in Nicaragua! It's more like the resorts we would see at home. We had a ton of fun swimming and boogie boarding and mini golfing and visiting the "zoo" (which was really just some deer and a couple peacocks wandering around, but still quite entertaining! Haha!)
On Monday, we said goodbye to our very dear friends, Jason and Issac. So we had a massive party for them, complete with hilarious party games, heartfelt parting words, and of course, lots of selfies. ;) Here are a couple photos of everyone in the house together.
On their last night here, we decided it would be a great idea to camp out on the deck, under a huge mosquito net. It was so much fun! The cool breeze was really nice, even if some of us were sleeping mostly on concrete all night. We felt like little kids again, hanging out in our blanket fort!
Soon enough all the volunteers will be leaving, so we're trying to make the most of our time together while we can. :) It has been such a blessing getting to know all these wonderful people! We're all from different cultures and backgrounds, so it has been such an eye-opening experience to see the world from different perspectives. I will miss them all so much when I go back to Canada for school. I know God will be looking out for all of them, wherever He takes them next. <3

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Motivational Monday #13

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