stop this train

You know it's a bad sign when it takes you 9 tries to login into your blogger account because you no longer remember your username and password, long since thrown out of your brain in a desperate attempt to cram in some last financial reviews.

As per usual, I made a one of those sounds-mushy-and-simple-blog promises a while back to stop neglecting this poor fellow and continue with the healthy practice of writing out my life via blog. Right about then, que life. Que the start of another insane semester. Needless to say, this guy hasn't had much lovin the past 6 months. And for that. I am truly sorry. So here's to my second stab at this commitment ordeal.

This semester has been marked by a whirlwind of surrendering to God's phenomenal plans. Most of which spank the pants out of my for-sought goals. But let me let you in on a little secret. I like my plans, personally. I have been knitting them together for quite some time now and just needs God's stamp of approval. Somehow though, the Big Man upstairs has this way of wrecking everything I envisioned for myself. Replacing my tiny papermache projects with blossoming ornate creations. That is the story of my life and no surprise... the story of my semester.

Let's fast forward though and try to jot down where I think I am at currently and the road I have wandered recently. This semester has taught me endurance and reliance on the Savior. My past community from last year fizzled as I found myself smack dab in the same predicament as last year. I learned yet again what it means to put my entire trust in Jesus, relying on Him to provide my needs. A friend and I were recently discussing how wonderful college is. For a mirage of reasons, but especially because you see so vividly the fingerprints of God arranging your life. So many decisions demand complete surrender to His plan, forcing us into His perfect blueprint masterplan. I never want to loose that sense of utter dependence on Him to arrange my job, housing, friendship, internship, time, everything. I think that has been my favorite part of this year no doubt.

As a reminder to myself (kickin it old school and going to the heart of why I began this blog in the first place) some highlights/thoughts/moments of my semester:
- ACL with friends and the ever so dashing Bopants, seeing those rockstars = superb
- getting the most fabulous sos mentee and flic sic on the planet. These two lovely ladies radiate the love of God and challenge me with their ferocity
- living with 3 of the coolest Aggies known to mankind. House with weekly baked delights = good for my soul, dangerous for my waistline
- watching Old Sam and sister Aimee dominate the school systems with their flare
- reconnecting with old friends through the tragic loss of dear friends who are now partying up in Heaven with Jesus
- truly comprehending finance/stockmarket/retirement plans. This class is kickin me in the tail, but I have never found a class so rewarding. Succeeding at something unnatural to me is the best. 
- being introduced into the world of SUV and One Tree Hill
- Rock the Republic with one of bestest and most treasured friends
- watching my college friends thrive within their new communities
- going back home with friends and first hand seeing their roots and rock solid foundations
- working with the most precious kiddos that uplift my heart on any given Sunday
- being apart of The Wells Project, gaining understanding of the water crisis and somewhat grasping how blessed we are as Americans

That's definitely not even the half of it, but that gets me on a goodish start to the new year. Hopefully, dear blog, we will become better acquainted this 2012 new year.

Stop this train, I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in, I know I can't but honestly won't someone stop this train

So scared of getting older, I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find away to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man said help me understand
He said turn 68, you'll renegotiate
Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
Don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train

sweet summertime

geezjollywillikers! I woke up this morning and June has surpassed my bleak lil eyes in a gust of working, catching zzz's, glued to ncis and boy meets world, and grubbing down. Who knew one month of the much anticipated summer would fly by me without me hardly noticing. Lately, I have been so swamped with "life" that I have somehow managed to loose sight of some of the beautiful daily joys. Regardless of how crazytown summer has gone by, I am soakin' up every ray of sunshine and lovin' these summer days.

Jesus has a funny way of breaking me, collapsing me to my knees in front of His majestic thrown. This first month of summer has worn me out. Simply stated. Working 35 hours a week, 15 hours of summer school, volunteering, teaching kids, leadership camp counseling... you get the picture. Throw in friends and family and you have lil ol me, running around like a chicken with my head cut off (shout out Chicken Run), half-hazardly invested in everything. Then, I broke. One of those really proud moments where you are on the brink of loosing it, asking "how did I get here AGAIN? Why do I keep doing this to myself?" Naturally, I turned on Scrubs to drown out my own mental voice. True life. In the episode, Carla tells Elliot for the millionth time to stop being so hard on herself and accept the fact that she is human. Dripping of truth, that statement reigns true in my life. I will forever struggle over and over again with the same silly issues time and time again. How beautiful to accept that there is a Savior holding my hand through the entire ordeal. No matter how many times I return to the same conclusion or sin, Jesus never leaves me. Yes, sometimes He breaks down to teach me where I am at once again. Heck to the yes! He welcomes me home with loving arms every time. I tend to overcomplicate life. Sometimes we just need to embrace our failure and soak up some King's love. That's what I have been learning lately. 

These styles inspire me to buy some flowers for summery hair-dos.

I challenge you to self-evaluate what life stage you are currently hanging out in. If you are where you want to be, celebrate that delightful treasure and don't take one second of your day be taken for granted. If you are not, make your mind up to change some things. It's summer! and you are young! So what I have been learning is to get over myself, accept that only I can change my now, and appreciate how marvelous every drop of Sonic Ocean Waters taste. Forgive somebody. Have those hard and awkward conversations. They can 180 degree flip an entire relationship forever. I can testify to that.

Go get a McDonald's Rollo McFlurry NOW! Just take me up on that one. Don't load up your schedule with a bunch of nothingness. Roll those windows down and bust out some gnarly vocals. That's all folks. 

saying goodbyes

never gets easier.. One of those silly life annoyances that seems to taunt me with the closing of each wonderful life chapter. After changing schools and cities and graduating and funerals, I somehow keep expecting my mind to more gracefully handle goodbyes and become accustom to the strenuous movement from one now to the next. Yet, I am learning the more you love the more you love. As author Shauna Niequist phrases it in her stupendous novel Bittersweet, "the closer you get the closer you get" Seriously, go pick up a copy of either of her books today. Stay up late drinking hot tea and wearing fuzzy socks, digesting each page until the sun rises. You won't regret it. Moving aside from that tangent... Jesus has been showing me how rare true, tangible, treasured community really is in this crazy life we live. This blog is dedicated to all the beautiful souls that threaded together an unforgettable fish year. The purpose of this blog was to document haps from the year for a preoccupied, forgettable D'Ann to relive in future times. I want to memorize and relive all those glorious moments with all you marvelous people. Maybe it was only a 5 minute conversation or a million tiny moments shared in the wee hours of the morning.. regardless I am different because of the community that was shown to me at A&M. The friends I knew "just wouldn't come" and the people that broke my barriers and proved me wrong every step of the way. Thanks and gig 'em. 

The past few months have been full of my cup being poured into more wise more elegant more intelligent people than me. Learning life from others is beautiful. Making best friendships in a matter of days. Figuring out what it's all about. Stuffing ourselves with pounds of junk food. Developing disgusting sleep routines. Those are all just stellar bonuses. Yet, here we are breaking our bonds temporarily to embark upon new adventures. New adventures are often scary... even if they are just traveling back to a hometown. But it's time I took some of this love and life, pouring it into other amazing people. The lessons I have learned, the stories I have heard unfold, the hearts I have seen: these will be passed to others. I am undeserving of all the material blessings and beautiful souls I have witnessed for this season. I have been bathed in John 13, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Happy summer monthing to all you tots! I am working on being wholeheartedly devoted wherever Baby J wants to place me. Trying my best in Christ to put others above my own silly selfish goals. Killing that diva attitude and investing in those placed around me. Feel free to hold me accountable in that! I am constantly in need of heart checks and community accountability. 

Bands: Jenny and Tyler, Nathaniel Rateliff, Jon Foreman, Mat Kearney's new tunes, Jillian Edwards, Matthew Mayfield.
Movies: revisit the oldies. Disney classics. You've Got Mail (because 1. super springtime summer loving film 2. can't go wrong with striking up a romance between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks 3. makes you want to build a teepee inside a corner bookstore).

longer I run..

more I realize how much I just don't know. As I walk through life with the Big Man, He reveals His immense greatness surrounding us in day-to-day life. Constantly pointing out His majestic fingerprints dusting the framework of my life. Throughout the pst 12 days of my fasting with Him, Jesus has uncovered lessons before my eyes and shown me just how little I understand His wonder. Talking to a fellow pillared sister in Christ, we discussed how funny life is. The more we are learning in Christ, the bigger the vastness of His realm seems. How blessed we are to have been reborn into the most beautiful love story ever. Chosen sons and daughters of the King.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." - Ephesians 4:2-3

Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons when the Creator displays His kickin art skills in nature. Don't miss it. We so easily get vortexed into school or work or to-do lists or church or activites.. and next thing we know.. it's over. Don't be afraid of silence. Just breathe in the beauty.

Jesus has been impressing the simple word love into my everything. Re-evaluating our motives is sometimes a much needed heart check we deserve. Loving others seems too simplistic sometimes. We want formulas and over-complication and live-changing moments. Yet, more often than not, loving others is often exactly where the Lord wants us, so that He can work through us. "We love because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:19. 

Some spring music suggestions: Freelance Whales (a little bias.. concert in 5 days!!), JJ Heller, Colbie Caillat, Tristan Prettyman, Matt Redman, Meiko. 

Life suggestions: Drink tea. Go somewhere with white queso (Fuego or Fuzzy's Tacos are my prime picks). Call your parents. Wear fuzzy socks. Write a letter. Purchase and use some coloring books.

we are but wanderers

Due to the recent crazy embarkments encircling life itself, I have slummed into a neglectful blogging habit. Not that anyone is particularly reading this, but I am cheating a promise to myself. I began this blog as a compromise to not journaling consistently, creatively documenting my freshman year and noting my growths and learned lessons in times to come. So I'm holding myself accountable, determined to continue on in my original mission.

God has really been pressing in the concept of fully trusting in Him while wandering along through this life adventure. I can't shake the mental image of a little tiny holding the finger of a fatherly figure, content to follow in a forest of uncertainty. Remaining content in the Lord with my now, still being passionate and intentional with the gospel has been a reoccurring theme in my Jesus time. Abraham breathed a life of faith in the Old Testament. "He went out, not knowing where he was going." - Hebrews 11:8. Knowing that we are here to love others and share Jesus is such a simple and often shadowed over life mission. We are called to go out sharing the love of our super stellar best friend Jesus and soak up every minute given to us and surrender to our selfishness daily and expect nothing in return. Sometimes, I get lost in the shuffle and forgets these constant truths. Or worse yet, begin to believe the enemies lies and expect success in the world justifying my "works". Oswald Chambers expertly says, "A life of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after another, like soaring eagles' wings, but is a life of day and day-out consistency." I am learning to wander through life with my brilliant Creator.

this just embodies a perfect Saturday afternoon

Sticking true to my original bloggin purpose: some quick personal life updates. I work well in confines of lists.
  •  ONCAMPUS flic retreat to Pine Cove was beyond amazing. Blessed with the opportunity to serve as kitchen staff during a Kady church Women's Retreat knitted our family together in service. Living life with my brothers and sisters of Christ and being goofy in nature was hands down awesome.
  • Drinking tea and making cards with the cutest Baylor Bear ever (Bayless!) was the perfect pit stop on my trek home from Spring Break. Common Grounds blows my mind with creativity and who can ask for anything better than two chipper friends uniting at tea time.
  • Spending time with my sister Aimee was savored over the break. We tend to forget what rock stars our kinfolk are. I forever treasure our pillow talks, movie moments, dining adventures and miscellaneous bondings.
  • Seeing cousin Clairebear grow and grow has been such a treat! Tinies are so intriguing during ages 1-5, providing 24/7 entertainment..not to mention awesome fashion with styling bows!
  • GroupMe texting has taken over my phones social life. This app allows multiple people to be in a text conversation sharing one phone number. Basically chatroom texting, having 12 of the coolest people in one conversation at all times.
  • Having ample time with AlanTaylor is such a welcomed rarity! I am so blessed to have the best boyfriend ever!!, but the distance often cramps our style and rushes our time together. This past week was a much needed time of just being and living life in the lazy.
  • I can not express how much the hearts and souls of Lubbockites has molded me into the person I am. Eternally thankful, I love these people more than they'll ever know. Even though the time we catch up is limited, watching friends grow and learning from where they are at just sets my little heart aflutter. Wendy, Camikins, MaddieKay, That'sSoRaven, Austin, Kibble, Randog, WilliamChristopher..the list is never ending. Thanks for that.

[it's 11:11 as I write this.. make a wish!]

"Not all those who wander are lost." - JRR Tolkien

the heart of life is good

This month has passed me by in a whirlwind of goodness. The cool winter wardrobes have been smoothly replaced with shorts, tanks, and flip flops here at the good ol A&M. With the first round of tests over, my mind finally has been beaten into submission, accepting that school itself is back for the long haul. Going home this weekend renewed my energy, uplifted my spirituality, and reminded me of the unending goodness of the Lord. He is just so fantastic to me and I am humbling undeserving of each of every blessing He has showered upon my weary self.

Long story short: baby J has reminded me of His steady hand. Each and everything in my life has been mapped out for His glory, checked off for His greatness. Hardships stretch our inner cores, allowing us to become the studs and studlettes that the Lord intended each of us to become. When my physical body grows exhausted and frustrated with the failures of this world, I am forced to rely on Him alone for comfort. The past few weeks, I have been broken for humility purposes. Once D'Ann Elise finally gives in, then the Lord can wreck shop.
 warning : tumblr tends to take over lives

Welp, that's about all I've got here. This week I encourage you to see out beauty wherever you are. Beauty in the tiny things. Little doodles. Stranger's smiles. Forgotten novels. Whatever little goodies you find. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13 :]

I have decided..

that life just sometimes needs a nifty little pause or slow down or rewind or fast forward button. What a quality investment that would be. Lately, everything has seemed different and somewhat distant. After being back at school for almost a month, my mind still has not comprehended the fact that real studious work needs to go down in the near future. This past month has passed me by, often flashing before my eyes as I stand as a bystander. The Lord has been shaking up all sorts of randomness in the good ol cstat. Classes are majorly course intensive, but will be much more interesting than last semester *fingers crossed*. Friends have been fantastic and refreshingly inspirational.

these chocolates just about made my life

Successes of the month include:
1. getting my trusty little laptop back from the insane world of macland
2. made my first website ever using html for my computer class
3. showed boyfriend the wonderful world of college station and all we have to offer
4. made a new best friend and Arkansas road trip buddy!
5. hung out with my awesome flic sisters and familia
6. extra treasured bonding time with current and future roomies

The Lord has been teaching and molding me in all sorts of ways lately. I won't go in to much detail, but I will relay some life lessons that have been on my heart. 1. Don't be afraid to dig in your past and learn from whatever you maybe running from. 2. Expect past exploring to lead to new awarenesses and thoughts and embrace raw emotion. 3. Let people in, often times they will surprise you and be there for you when you least want to reveal yourself to them. 4. Find community wherever you are. People who truly live life with you and know your hidden nooks and crannies. Friends who aren't scared of the worst and craziest sides of you. If you don't have it yet, be patient AND active. True community takes guts and work and proactive patterns. Granted, nothing I have said or learned is new or mindblowing. Oftentimes I have found, that's how life is though. Repeating stories and lessons that apply over and over again.

"Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” - Psalms 97:10

hydrocodone is a adored treasure

delivered straight from the big man upstairs! I can not begin to accurately describe just how much this goodness has already enhanced my life after just one measly day of tonsil removal and nose somethingrather. This stuff deserves two fist pumps for knockin me out like a baby. As I slowly regained consciousness after the surgery, Old Sam (my dear old dad) was towering over me, camera in hand, just kodak momenting my prime gross state. Luckily, I'm grown accustomed to his insanity and struck a loud and proud aggie pose in the middle of Raiderland. I rep my family on game days, regardless of my consciousness or beautification state.. or more lack thereof.

It has been ages since I have even had the chilled mindset to blogstalk and blog on my own. Half due to the schedule instability of being home and half due to the fact that my mac Oscar is fried from my coffee spilt during an finals allnighter. Finals and random God crazinesses consumed my last few weeks in College Station. My favorite part of the entire week was without a doubt the spontaneous 3am road trip to Austin for the BEST pumpkin pancakes and coffee at Kerbey Lane with the best roommate ever (MadiMae) and coolest theta (VictoriaDarlin)!

Being home has been absolutely amazing! Christmas is hands down without a doubt the best holiday on the planet; not due to the presents or bustle, but the tangible spirit and  heart-made soul food and focus on Baby J stinkin rocks. Being surrounded by my familia and road tripping to see my madre's entire side of the family for Aunt Janna's 50th surprise birthday made this time home treasured and unforgettable. I miss College Station and my "families" there more than words express, but being back with the comforts of familiarity has been a blessing. Sissy Aimee and I have been livin the difficult, but rewarding Gluten Free life. Much easier said than done; lifestyle diet changing is never an simply swallowed pill. However, we now have quite the plethora of hit and miss recipes if you ever decide to join us Gfree-ers!

The Lord has been so faithful and soooo good this semester. He has broken my pride. Destroyed my perception of comfort. Pushed me beyond my limits. Reshaped my future. Lifted me to new heights. Accompanied me in my lowest depths. Growing up is not easy by any means, but knowing that my Redeemer has my back, planning every step in my life, is utterly peaceful. Speaking from experience, if you want to experience God more in your life: let go. Die to everything you know. Paul says it many a time and I have slowly became numb to the meaning. Total completion in the Lord will not only transform your perceptions on life, it will transform you. Never be afraid of change. My Savior is the most stable and ever changing thing I can never comprehend. Happy New Year and be ready for another crazy year with the Maker of the Universe.

"Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be strong. Be courageous. And do everything in love." - 1 Corinthians 16:13

Books to check out:

Current bands of obsession:
Vampire Weekend, Freelance Whales, Bess Rogers, Jillian Edwards, Amy Stroup, The Weepies, School of Seven Bells, Nelo, and the list goes on and on.