Month: October 2014

turning thirty…

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I believe that somewhere in the past I was a birthday person, but I’m not very much of a birthday person anymore. I’m not sure if that is something that comes with ‘age’ or maybe its the realization of that you actually only have one ‘day of birth’ and the dates following that are only a reminder of your existence, or something like that. I thought that thirty would feel like some huge milestone. Like, I would be thirty and I’d be able to look back over all my accomplishments while sipping an over-priced latte and say, “all is well”. But that’s not how it turned out.

I’m thirty and I have a list of things to show for my twenties. The years that apart of me feels like I let go to waste waiting for my dreams to come to me as opposed to chasing them. I don’t intend on letting my thirties fall prey to the same condition. I’ll be more intent with the way I spend my time. I already know that my relationship with God is at the top of the list of things that need to be worked on. I haven’t been praying nearly like I should, it’s almost safe to say, I haven’t been praying. God hasn’t been at my center and I’ve been feeling off-balance because of it. I find myself listening to mainstream radio, becoming convicted by the lyric content  and turning on some CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). I find myself telling people I’ll pray for them and I never get around to officially praying for them so I’ll say a quick something in the car on my way to work. I pick up the Bible with the intent of reading but I set it down in another location and begin doing something else of less importance. It almost sounds like complacency but I’m not completely sure what the root of the problem is but I know that it starts with me.

But this post can’t feel completely doom and gloom because some beautiful things have come out of my twenties and I’d be remiss not to mention them. I was still trying to figure out who I was and where I wanted to go in life when I moved to Sevierville, TN to attend culinary school. I was young and ambitious and I knew that I needed to leave Oak Ridge if anything would ever happen for me. I loved living alone and having my own space to explore the details of who I am and what I wanted to be. I made some great friends along the way and I lost some friends along the way. Some people became estranged and that can feel a little overwhelming when I think about it but I try not to think about it.

I met my beautiful wife in my twenties and we’ll just leave the whole fighting cancer thing out for now. But she’s on of the best things that ever happened to me and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel as though I deserve her. I left Sevierville and moved to Knoxville and then moved to Nashville, which I would say is the best thing I’ve ever done. I love Nashville and I love that it’s a city that breathes and inspires creatives of all types. I’m not sure what it is I want still? I’m not sure if I should sit down and make a list of pros and cons or if I should just keep doing what I’m doing until that moment of clairvoyance takes place.

All I think I know is that I want my thirties to be better than my twenties. I want to love people more and I want to be fearless in seeking friendships. I want to have meaningful connections with people beyond good mornings and hellos. I want to find people who will be invested in knowing me the way that I want to know them. I want to find a church home and begin to plan for our future as parents and productive members of our community. We bought a home this year and I want our neighbors to know us and I want them to know Christ if they don’t already. I want to begin leaving a carbon footprint that’s worthy of taking credit for. I desire to be more organized in my thoughts and not feel so overwhelmed when I have multiple tasks. I want to live with less stress and I don’t want to dispute mundane details. I want to take advantage of beautiful weather and go for walks and hikes and explore the beauty of living in Tennessee. I want to live with the intention that I’ll leave a mark of positivity on every one that I come in contact with–a mark that will leave them wanting more out of life as well.

I’m looking forward to my thirties and it is my prayer that God will bless me with the health and ambition to accomplish all these things. And during the process, I’ll continue to strengthen my relationship with Him. Be blessed and have a happy Sunday.

 

the broken parts…

Silence and Chaos, Abandon, Brokenness, Beauty, Tennessee, Christian Bloggers, Christianity,, Life, God, Photography, Moody photographyIf we were going to all agree on something–I think it would be safe to say that we are all human. We are all full of flaws and have things about ourselves that we wish we could fix, that we wish could be different, like someone else. We would agree that there are pieces of us that we don’t want other people to see, our broken parts, our battered and neglected pieces that keep us afraid from letting in the light.

We find comfort in darkness and we take pleasure in people only being able to see the bits and pieces that allow us to appear as though we have it all together. From those dark places we judge and criticize others for not appearing as cool as we’d like to portray ourselves. I’m guilty of this  daily but are you willing to admit that you’re guilty of this too? I’m not here to convict you only to help you become aware of just how human you really are.

I grew up in a Christian family and somewhat Christian environment and I say that with hesitation, because looking back I see that there were so many things taking place that God would never stand for. I’m wiser now and have obtained more knowledge as to what the love of God is–and how he wants us to live for HIM, and what that should look like from day to day. This portrait reminds me of all that brokenness I  harbor inside of me, all of the fragments, torn bits and pieces that I try to hide from you on a weekly basis. Those pieces that I’m trying to reveal through this blog and by taking baby steps in my daily life.

I sit with coffee in my hand, or in silence in my car and sometimes I stare at the ceiling why I lie in bed and think of my life. I think of what it may look like to other people through my words, actions and behaviors and if that portrayal is true. And if I had to be honest, I’d say it probably doesn’t. Sometimes I want to break a plate on the ground, take a photo and post it to Instagram with the caption. “today, was a shitty day and i want a do over.” But I resist because cursing isn’t of my nature and my pastor says that bitter & sweet don’t come from the same place. But that doesn’t change the fact that the broken plate I didn’t photograph is still the way I felt.

I want to talk with God, you know, literally talk to God in a one on one setting. I want to inquire as to why I have so many broken parts? Why can’t I just be the person he wants me to be without the trial and error? How come I can’t refuse the urge to curse, be negative and cynical every time I feel overwhelmed? I want to know why I struggle with addiction? Why can’t my father and I have an authentic relationship? Why does my mother feel the need to lean on me for support when I feel as though I have nothing left to give? Why can’t marriage be like the Hallmark movies? Why are we so hard to satisfy as people? Why is good never good enough?

Maybe, you have some questions for God burning in your heart? I’d love to hear what they are and how are you currently dealing with the broken pieces of you?