Thursday, 2 July 2015

People over Profiles

J U L Y 2nd 
I'm blogging everyday for the month of July, sharing what I learn about what it means to be a steward of time. Time is so precious. This series is a personal experiment where I hope to get a better look into where I invest my time, and how I can better shape my life to serve God through my actions, words, and priorities. Look up the tag "July series" to view each post. 

Making healthy meals (quinoa salad, oh my taste buds sing). 
Completing a math assignment & doing what I call "computery things" (emails, scanning documents etc.) 
A beautiful drive to school for class 
Reading Texas by James Michener, an absolute beast of a book!

Rest & enjoyment:

Spending time with family outside, watering plants, reading, drinking iced tea
Writing a new song on the guitar. Music is so healing. I usually start by humming a tune, then add words, and finally fit it in chords on the guitar and the rest of the lyrics 

Take aways: 

1) It's difficult to restrict time on social media. I would flip open instagram, and the next thing I knew I was looking through pictures for ten minutes. I never realized how distracting this was before! I love catching up with friends over instagram and vsco cam, but WOW, can it suck me in and time starts to fly. 

2) Talking to someone new is never a waste of time. As I was walking into school this morning, I passed a girl I recognized from my class. I said hello and we started chatting as we walked through the hallways. It turns out she was sitting in the back by herself really struggling with the material. I'm a huge advocate for talking to people in spite of the fear of rejection. Everyone wants to be talked to, but it takes guts to do it first! This was something I learned in my first year of University, and I've never looked back. 

So, July 2nd, thank you for teaching me that you really mean business when it comes to hot weather. But more importantly, thank you for teaching me that social media can never replace face-to-face relationships and that my time should be more invested in people, not their profiles. 

A New Goal...

Do you ever have moments of being completely inspired, fired up with passion about a goal, or strong feelings of motivation all of a sudden? When I have these moments (which often happen after a mug of coffee or tea, so maybe caffeine has to do with it.. ;) I feel creative and it's the time when I have ideas pop into my head. For the month of July I'll be conducting a personal experiment. My goal is to take photos of what I'm doing throughout the day at random times. By doing this, I hope to get a clearer idea of what I spend most of my time on, and ultimately, how I can be a better steward of my time. In the summer I have more spare time, but time is still precious and I never want to waste it. At the end of each day, I will make a collage of the day and post it here. Yes, I will be posting everyday! It's quite the challenge, but I feel inspired and am determined to see this goal to completion! July is a very full month for me. I'm doing math and physics classes, turning 20, volunteering, and having surgery at the end of July. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me, and I trust Him to give me wisdom into what it looks like to be a wise steward of my time. Of course, I won't be able to include everything from each day, but hopefully what I learn throughout this journey will teach me more about spending time wisely, with a healthy balance of productivity (work, chores, required activities), and rest & enjoyment. 

So, without further ado,

J U L Y 1st 

Waking up at 7am (a big deal for me in the summer!)
Baking cookies for a neighbor 
A few hours of Physics homework
Practice MCAT questions (I'm writing it next summer, but I do these for fun... Yes, for fun.) 

Rest & Enjoyment:
Reading a new novel with lunch in the sunshine
Painting my nails & having a few chocolate peanuts 
Having lunch with my family on the deck and discussing the Game Theory. Haha, family conversations in my house and very interesting. 
Having a mini picnic with iced peach tea and more books outside 

Take aways:
1) Waking up at 7 am was amazing. I was able to spend time in my Bible before my day started and begin the day in peace and focus on God's word. The soft light through my blinds was an added bonus. Seriously, waking up early is a new priority in my life! Thank you, July 1st, for teaching me a lesson about spending my time wisely already by starting early and starting right. 

2) I spend a lot of time eating or making food. What resonates in me with this is how important it is to eat well. I'm going to spend time eating anyways, so it may as well be food that makes my organs sing "thank youuuuuu!" 

3) It's okay to rest. Actually, it's WAY more than okay to rest. It's so needed, and so healthy. Reading in the backyard with iced peach tea was rejuvenating. Everyone rests in different ways, but there is one common and uniting theme: resting enables us to be productive when accomplishing our goals, and it gives us strength to do them WELL. 

I have learned more from one day of life than I had expected to, and I'm looking forward to continuing this challenge. Time is a blessing. Time is one of the greatest gifts we have. July 2nd, I'm ready for you.    

Much love, Vivi 

Saturday, 20 June 2015

on being... S T E A D F A S T

This past week was a challenge. Every day little things started to add up that were together forming into a big mountain. My cat threw up five times in my room. On my clothes. I split tea freshly off the boil all over my hand and my leg. I showed up to the wrong shift after cancelling other plans. 
But you know the best part? 
I was okay. I laughed. I got over it. I'm still alive. I'm healthy. 
After having so many little things try to get to me, I realized just how important it is in NOT letting them get to me. Life happens. Cats barf. Tea spills. Schedules get mixed up. In the moment each little thing felt like the end of the world, but looking back I realize just how important it is to remain steadfast in peacefulness, gentleness, and immense gratefulness. 
My goal is this: to continue in being steadfast, refusing to let little things steal my joy or peace.

Much love, Vivi   

Sunday, 24 May 2015

What Would Wendell Berry Say

I love Wendell Berry's writing. I read "Hannah Coulter" last summer and it made me want to buy a large farm and raise some chickens. His writing is very nostalgic, and oh so beautiful. I'm reading a collection of his short stories called "That Distant Land" and I sometimes find myself thinking in what I like to call "Wendell Berry sentences." They go something like this:

Good things right now. Oh, there are many. 
There is the 6 foot magnolia tree in the garden, blooming in its full pre-summer beauty, beckoning for the sun's rays to shine upon it and give it the strength to grow.
There is the ocean. The time to go to the ocean. The kindred spirit friend to join me at the ocean.
There is the word. The word of God, the word of encouragement, the spoken, written, unwritten word.
There is the ticking of the clock. An unwelcome, unsettling sound to many, but an ever-present reminder that as long as you are able to hear that ticking, you have a purpose and a future.
There is the sky with its indecision between rain and shine. The clouds and rain drops adhering to the many moods of the day. 
There is the knowledge, built up by ancient dreamers and creative thinkers, pushing aside traditional thinking and making DISCOVERIES. 
There is the endurance that is only fully recognized for its substance once it has been accomplished. 
And yes, there are the people. Where do I begin with the people? The new, the long-time, the young, the old, the laughers, the planners, the story-tellers, the listeners, the deep-thinkers, the forward thinkers, the contemplative ones. Oh, the people. 
Yes, there are good things right now.

Much Love, Vivi

Friday, 15 May 2015

Sparklers & Celebrations

Sometimes you've just got to bring out the sparklers and put them to good use. Or buy a box of Purdy's. Or spend a good chunk of time walking around the garden, breathing in the scents of the outdoors and the freshness of Spring. My goal right now is to celebrate just that: the right now. I've struggled in the past with living in the moment, where I have tended to plan everything out into something structured and organized (and there is nothing wrong with planning and being organized! Everyday I make an agenda and a list of goals.) But I've come to the realization that God is good RIGHT NOW. No matter what my day looks like, He is good in this very moment, and THAT is something worth celebrating. Tomorrow holds its own good things, challenges, moments to build character, but TODAY holds beautiful things that are worth my time and focus. 

"How many are your works, LordIn wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small." Psalm 104: 24 & 25

" Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1

Much love, Vivi

Monday, 20 April 2015

on being brave and courageous

I've decided to start a new series called "on being..."

And today, it's on being brave and courageous.


More and more I'm seeing that being brave couldn't be less of a cookie cutter action. Bravery is so versatile. You are brave when you study for a challenging class. You are brave when you forgive someone who has hurt you. You are brave when you are kind and compassionate despite opposition.

It's Rosa Parks, a beautiful and bold black woman who decided to sit in the "whites only" section of the bus, taking a stand for equality of all races.
It's the child who stands up for a peer who's being picked on for being "too small" or "too large" or "too anything"
It's the man who lets his tears shed regardless of the voices telling him to be a "man"

For me, it's doing what I know in my heart to be right and true and good.
It's being comfortable in my own skin and being kind to myself.
It's having faith for healing when I'm hurting, restoration in brokenness.


Be brave, friends. Whatever bravery looks like in your life, no matter how small or large the actions, be brave. Bravery is a precious gift, take it by force. Most of all, don't go it alone, trusting in your own strength. Been there, done that, not successful. Go to Jesus. He is the source of all bravery and courage.

Brave. It's in Him.

Much love, Vivi 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Flowers & Easter Treats

Right now I'm studying for a week of exams, but looking back on these photos brings me back to a beautiful Easter weekend. I hope yours was full of love & joy! My goal in the days to come is to keep the fact that He is risen top of mind ALL the time, not just at Easter. Because He lives, we have life, and have it in abundance! What a beautiful truth. 

Much love, Vivi