“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
I try not to be that girl who shares EVERY single video/piece of work my husband does, but he’s just so daggum talented that I can’t help it. It’s like he married into a built-in publicity department. This latest video of his might be one of my favorites – ok, is definitely one of my favorites! He’s had the idea for this foreverrrr so it is really cool to see it come to light. And funny story – he was actually planning on publishing a different video but ran into a roadblock, so he put this entire video together in about 4 days – including filming, editing, voiceovers, and even merch (after you watch the video, go get yourself some free Pre-Blessed Food stickers and a Pre-Blessed Food t-shirt!)
Ready for some Monday inspiration my friends? I sure am. Mondays are the hardest day of the week for me to swallow, but today I found this quote on my sister-in-law’s Facebook profile and it’s excellent brain and heart food. If you’re a believer, I think you can agree that it’s so profoundly true, I want to read it everyday for motivation.
“To be a Christian is to live dangerously, honestly, freely — to step in the name of love as if you may land on nothing, yet to keep stepping because the something that sustains you no empire can give you and no empire can take away.”
I need to seriously limit my posts that contain the date in the title. It’s kind of irritating and not very pretty, one after another. So what’s on the agenda this weekend? A little BBQ with friends, finishing LOST once and for all (so we can get back to normal life), trying my hand at baking rolls from scratch, with a lot of errand-running and relaxing in between. Sounds like a plan! We love plans!
Summer in Paris – Ah, I already miss it!! I really hope to go back sometime soon when the weather is warmer. Despite our honeymoon being in mid-May, the weather was cold, cold, cold. And rainy. And cloudy. What’s the point of bringing cute clothes if you’re covering it up with a coat the whole time? These photos make me happy.
Ever stop to look around at your wonderful life and think, “something bad is definitely going to happen soon.” You’re not alone. Jon Acuff wrote this spiritually-driven piece about that belief and why we should stop worrying and simply enjoy the goodness in our lives.
American Migration Patterns – where are people moving to and from these days? These illustrations are awesome, and very interesting. Sidenote: I am jealous of all the people getting out of LA.
Why I Quit A Six Figure Job – don’t get any crazy ideas, I’m not quitting my job. But the pros & cons measured in this quick and to-the-point blog post do a great job at illustrating the benefits and draw backs of working for yourself vs. working for someone else. I want to add an important note here: the reason this guy COULD quit that job? He has two years worth of living expenses saved up. He also seems to live a pretty low-maintenance lifestyle, something most of us could try and imitate a bit more. (Thanks for tweeting this, Chris!)
4 Tips For a Less Stressful Morning – I could definitely take some of this advice! I tried the playing music bit and it really did help! So does taking a few minutes to do something that is totally not “getting ready to head to the office.”
THE LITTER BOX. This isn’t cool and/or pretty, but it’s still worth posting for any cat owners who have ever experienced their kitties boycotting the litter box. Seeing as this is one of the BIGGEST reasons people banish their pets to the animal shelter (or worse), it’s worth taking a look and seeing what you can to to rectify the situation before resorting to extreme measures. HINT: CLEAN THE DARN LITTER BOX MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK. Would YOU want to use a port-o-potty for a week straight? Thx!
Abandoned Hotel photos – before and after. This is so cool! I am obsessed with looking at old, abandoned (and might I add, sometimes hideously designed) buildings in LA and wondering what they looked like back in the 60s, 70s, or 80s (or even before!) when they were hip and happening. Even in a young city like this, there’s still so much history. So curious!
My girlfriend, currently living in Naples and about 17 months pregnant, sent me these PRECIOUS baby photos from a local photographer. If you don’t love babies and cute things, don’t bother looking. If you do, enjoy.
Conventional, Organic, Local, Whatever. Just eat it! Let me summarize this brilliant article for you – the benefits of eating product FAR outweigh any risk of contamination by pesticides. It beats the alternative, which is avoiding fruits & vegetables and snacking on chemically-ridden processed foods. (P.S. Thanks to my sister-in-law Jes for finding this one!)
Jacaranda Trees in LA – one of the little pleasures about living in this region. The bright purple flowers always brighten my day for these few short weeks.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
- Matthew 6:34
As a self-prescribed anxiety-addict, this little bit of wisdom really jumps out at me. I like the way it’s phrased, too – emphasizing the fact that whatever will be, will be, and wasting your precious energy by worrying about things will do absolutely no good. Sometimes you just have to LET GO (and as the popular phrase says… Let God).
For the past couple of months, our church has been working through a series called What & Why – identifying what we believe and why we believe it. While we’ve delved into some particularly juicy and thought-provoking themes, I get the feeling that many of us paid a bit closer attention this past Sunday and walked away feeling like the sermon had been directed towards each of us, individually. The subject matter was something we love to love and hate, wrestle with on a daily basis, and far too often, judge others by. The issue I am speaking of is sin.
Oh what a heavy word! I have to be honest, I was worried about posting this, but I realize that being afraid to share my beliefs or things that touch me personally is a ridiculous fear to have. I am aware that we’ve all got our opinions and preconceived notions about what it means, doesn’t mean, shouldn’t mean, etc. – but I personally wanted to post the scripture we were studying on Sunday because it resonated with me and I feel it could benefit many others.
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
While that passage might read differently to each of you, one of the things I walked away feeling was relief that, despite each of us being born with a sinful nature, God loves us anyway. Hates sin, but loves us. Not a single one of us is perfect and pure – and I think most of us are overcome by pressure to be perfect and guilt from not being able to live up to those standards. It’s in our nature to disobey. It’s by no means an excuse, but as Joseph pointed out on Sunday, sin is not a failure, sin is rebellion. There is no simple solution to break this naughty-behavior cycle for good, but I think it starts with placing your trust and faith in someone other than yourself and your common man (because we do not have the answers), with a little repentance mixed in.
I realize the topic of faith and religion is a touchy one for many. If reading about this angers you, please just look the other way instead of making any inappropriate remarks. While I welcome any and all feedback and commentary on my blog, faith is never up for debate.
Sometimes, you just have crappy days. Despite your best efforts to get enough sleep, dress nice, look pretty, eat well, channel productivity, be kind to others and make your day pleasant, things still don’t go your way. That’s kind of how I felt about today. Unexpected rain storms, thinking about bills, getting bad news, dealing with bad moods and just an overall irritated feeling sucked the joy right out of my day. Not even thinking about going home and zonking on my bed made me feel better.
And then, right when things felt super craptastic, there was a glimmer of hope. Literally. A rainbow.
Lauren called me to the window in our office kitchen to see the most brilliant, bright, thick and vibrant rainbow I have ever seen in my entire life. Almost instantly, my spirits were lifted and my jaw dropped in awe.
It was a full rainbow too, the kind that stretched clear across the sky beyond where the eye can see. The most amazing part, however, was the base, which appeared so close you could reach out and touch it, but was miles and miles away. This was not your average watercolor-esque rainbow, oh no, it looked like a cartoon – it was that bright. I half-expected Rainbow Brite or the Care Bears to come sliding down at any moment.
It’s times like these I wish I had a camera that actually zoomed, not my amateur-status iPhone. Really, these pictures do it no justice.
I ran down the stairs and into the drizzling rain (and nearly broke my neck in my yellow heels) to get a better shot of it, and immediately, it started fading away. By the time I took these photos below, the clouds had already smeared away the top of the rainbow. When I got back inside, the extraordinary colors we are oohing and ahhing over were already starting to bleed back into the dull gray sky.
The rainbow only lasted a couple of minutes, but that’s all we needed. I think we were all meant to see it. There is an important, poetic lesson in here somewhere, but I think for me, it just means to quit griping about all the garbage you think sucks in your life, because life is damn beautiful, just as it is, and even in the worst of situations, there is always something fantastically amazing just waiting for you around the corner.
For too many Americans, Martin Luther King, Jr. day yields not much more than an “Awesome! No work today.” First of all, I’m at work today, and second of all, it frightens me that we can become so numb to the legacy of someone who gave so much of himself, and ultimately his life, to fight for basic human rights.
Paul Raushenbush, religion editor for the Huffington Post, published a great piece today about whether or not the same kind of progress is possible today, and the importance of not ignoring King’s Christian faith when celebrating his great work. And I quote:
“Celebrating MLK day without acknowledging religion is as it is like admiring the exterior of the car without understanding the fuel and engine that makes it go. King was a Christian minister who had faith that God cared not only about the souls of the people but also cared about their bodies and the conditions in which they lived. King said: “The gospel at its best deals with the whole man. Not only his soul but his body, not only his spiritual well being but his material well-being. Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.”"
This is a man who had his heart in the right place, for all the right reasons. Please take some time today to read about his life and honor him by helping someone else.
I don’t know about you, but Christmas is my favorite holiday, hands down. Yet year after year, without fail, I spend more time stressing over what gifts to get who, how I’m going to afford it all, how I’m going to ship it all, and how I can manage to squeeze every last drop of free time out of my vacation days. This year, I’m….
I am SO on the same page as the Advent Conspiracy folks, shifting our focus from gifts, shopping and (down the road) bills and to sloooowing down, spending time with our loved ones, REALLY giving back to those in need around the world and in your community, cherishing the season and really celebrating the TRUE meaning of the holiday.
See what I mean:
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
-Hamilton Wright Mabie
It’s Thursday in most of the world already so I’m going to post this early… because, well, because I feel like it.
This is going to be a quick one, but only because I have to wake up at like insane o’clock tomorrow morning to catch a plane to Las Vegas. I’m going to BlogWorld Expo with my coworker David, who is speaking on a panel about Tools & Tips for Non-Profits in Social Media (hint: SocialVibe is one of them). I’m really looking forward to checking out all the other amazing panels and watching the keynote speakers. Oh yes, and the after hours events… always a fun time with the social media and tech crowd. Last year was pretty fun but this year will be even better, because Julian is coming up on Friday (he has friends in town) and we’re going to see LOVE, The Beatles themed Cirque de Soleil show with his (newly engaged) friends Clint & Katie on Saturday night. Then, we’re going to meet and hang with his other friend Michael at a church in Henderson on Sunday. It’s going to be a whirlwind of a time but I’m super excited…
…except for the waking up at 4am tomorrow morning part. On that note, let’s get started.
Things I Love Thursday:
Bookstores. If I had to choose another profession, I would totally work in a bookstore, or own my own, like the girl in You’ve Got Mail. Not only because of the sick discount (I LOVE reading), but because it would give me a chance to chat with fellow book-lovers and swap recommendations. Seeing all the new titles as they come in wouldn’t be so bad, either. I could browse a bookstore for hours.
RAIN!!!! LA is currently experiencing its first rain of the season. I come from a place where it rains almost year round, and though it can be quite annoying having to run to your car and getting your shoes all wet, there is something extremely calming and cozy about the rain. I really love being in the car while it’s raining… and cuddling in bed while it’s raining. Out here in Southern California, our winters consist of 50 degree weather and rain…. sometimes. Because of the recent wildfires, this downpour is even more welcomed than usual.
I don’t love PLAYBOY, but I do love that the magazine has chosen Marge Simpson as their cover girl for this month. Marge is keeping it somewhat classy in this three-page spread though, not bearing any real skin and keeping her cartoon lingerie on. The Simpsons are forever awesome.
Vegas! BlogWorld! I can’t stand the city for more than a few days at a time, but whenever I am in Sin City, it’s usually a lot of fun. The lights, the people, the sounds, the shopping, the food – there is truly no place on Earth like it. I remember visiting my Grandparents in (very Northern) Scotland a few years back and talking to their elderly friends about time they spent in the US. They said Las Vegas was their favorite. What is it with old people and Vegas?
itmademyday.com. Another meme site, but this one is pretty positive (most of the time) and made me LOL several times today.
Random, cute texts from my boyfriend. Oh, and laughing my face off with him. No one – and I mean NO ONE – makes me laugh as much as he does… that must be why I love him so very much. ♥ Plus he’s SO handsome! And sweet/talented/compassionate/tall/smart/driven, etc! So let’s just make this whole “Thing I Love” Julian as a person.
The smell of chimneys. I LOVE having a wood burning fireplace. All my neighbors are burning fires because it has all the sudden dropped about 10 degrees in temp… I love the smell.
Hiking the really hard side of Runyon Canyon and making it. I seriously thought I might pass out and meet my maker at many a moment on the side of that mountain, but I pushed through thanks to Heather and I felt awesome afterward. Note: this was Saturday morning and my butt is still sore. Good workout, I’d say.
Organic Lavender Chamomile tea, because it tastes like heaven on Earth and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and makes me sleepy without the use of icky drugs. My favorite is drinking it while reading in bed until I fall asleep. Traditional Medicinals is ‘da bomb.’
Learning about the 10 plagues and Moses at church on Sunday. Very fascinating, I had no idea that each of the 10 plagues was directly related to a specific god the Egyptians worshiped at that time (i.e., the frog plague & Heket, the female god of Frogs). I suppose this was God’s way of showing them that there is only one true God.
Potential spring trips to Berlin… fingers crossed!
Patrick Smith Photography – this dude knows how to take a picture. His landscape shots are seriously jaw-dropping and perfect for desktop wallpapers (especially when you work on your laptop all day and can only dream about spending the day at one of these incredible locations)
And on that note we’re going to wrap this up, because I’ve got some lavender tea drinking to do so I can get nice & sleepy …. and then wake up at 4am to drive to the airport! >:O