Of Collections:: and A Giveway

I have a theory that the most interesting people in the world are collectors. Not collectors in the sense of acquiring coins or stamps or artifacts, but collecting experiences, stories and moments.

Much-Afraid, in Hinds Feet on High Places, was encouraged by the Shepherd to collect a smooth stone from every beautiful or difficult place she experienced. As her little pile of rocks grew, so did her confidence and her stack of life lessons.

I’ve tried to be intentional about recording both the mundane and the special moments that have made up my life this year. From the trivial to the heartbreaking, things as small as delicious new recipes, interesting media clips, social issues from the world- all have gone into my book. I don’t journal in the traditional sense of filling pages with my thought processes and feelings. However, I did want a place to record everything for the year, and then have to look back on and remember. Here is my collection book for the year:

 

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IMG_9855 I started off with the my mission statement page, where I wrote my life vision. This statement is fluid, meaning it changes from time to time as life changes and develops. Good questions to get you thinking on writing your statement:

Who am I?

What is my life about?

What do I want my life to be about?

How can I get there?

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I have a page for new foods I discover and enjoy and how I learned about them. I also source them for easy reference when I want to make them again.

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My page entitled “The Moving” has to do with current social issues or stories that I run across that are moving, shaking, and life-changing. In looking back on this book, I’ll be able to get a good feel of the local and global landscape of 2016.

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This page is one of my favorites, and it records the moments, both  little and big, that impact my life. In reading through it just recently, I remembered things that I would have otherwise forgotten.

The fun thing about a book like this is that the possibilities are endless, and it can be tweeked and personalized to fit personalities and lifestyles.

I hope to make a new one each year, and store away the old as a collection of the best and worst parts of my life, my favorite music, books, recipes and media.

And it so happens, that I’d like to give one of these away to someone else to enjoy. And since a giveaway is just so fun, I threw in  a few of my other favorite things:

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  • a fun, cute notepad
  • my new favorite scented body lotion
  • a set of starry lights
  • a calendar (for what’s left of 2016)
  • a set of cute pencils
  • and of course the year journal complete with pictures.

Whoever wins the giveaway will be able to customize their book by telling me a bit about what they like and interests they have.

To enter, comment about one of the smooth stones in your bag: a life lesson you’ve learned or something that has shaped you and made you want to be a bigger person.

Giveaway will close August 3.

Thrills of Discovery

I often think about Anne Shirley’s conversation with Matthew Cuthbert on their way home from the train station. Matthew, still reeling from the shock of picking up a girl instead of the boy they ordered, is also being forced to see Things From the Imagination. Cherry trees in bridal veil, rose-leaf complexions, avenues that produced pleasant aches, and all by a girl with bright red braids. At some point, she asks him if things he sees and experiences gives him a thrill, to which he replies, after some thought, that the grubs in his cucumber patch do. She gently remarks that the thrill of a grub and the thrill of a lake of shining waters aren’t exactly the same and the conversation continues.

I think I have bits of Anne in me, and my hunch is, that we all have, to some degree, areas of wonder and delight in our souls. We all thrill to different things, because a creative Creator made us all differently.

I chose the name of my blog because of a little girl who regularly got thrills on the littlest things in life. Her nerves were always quivering with the joy of discovery, and as she experienced each new wonder, she would throw a paper and pen at the nearest person and ask them to “write it down big”.

 

I get it. I try to write down big in my many journals and notebooks the little things that stir and grip me. The collection of both the thrills and the aches of living shape our lives and write our stories.

I hesitate to write about my latest thrill, primarily because like dreams, it probably will be special to only me. And to even put into words, and into cyberspace what I’ve been learning and experiencing seems futile.

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In my quiet times with my God, I keep coming around to the concept of light. It hunts me down and catches me, even when I try to study other things. This morning again, I stumbled across it and as I studied it more, the Thrills came. Goosebumps. The Presence. And then, the shaft of light suddenly streaming in through my bedroom window. These times make you feel so little, yet so big; so humbled, yet so excited, so broken, but so whole.

Light and the connection to Life has been an incredible concept to unpack.

“In Him was Life and that Life was the light of men.”

“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.”
“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”
As I was thrilling to these verses in my bedroom this morning, and thinking about the moments following the crucifixion and the Light of the World dying for humanity, and thinking about the darkness that enveloped the world, a  brilliant shaft of light came through my bedroom window, and I knew my little time was being Noticed by Someone Else.
 
Light- glorious,flickering,  blinding, piercing, shining.
Life- powerful, giving, empowering, changing, sharing.
His life coursing through us, emboldening us, changing and transforming us produces a beautiful light that cannot be denied.
Is it possible that the darkness of our world isn’t so much that the lights have gone out, but that His life isn’t in His followers? When we become His, when He merges our lives, when we are breathing his will and our hearts are beating together, the  Light will come and it will be undeniable and it could change the world.
Life-breathers, light-carriers. My existence and sacred calling.
My latest written-down-big.