Thursday, September 14, 2017

#stay // your light matters


when sweet sweet elissa asked me to write a post on the word "stay" in honor of World Suicide Prevention Week and her dear friend Maddy who passed away on Oct. 4th, it got me thinking of a lot of moments in my life where "stay" was difficult. I remember having to move and loving where we lived, i wanted to stay. i remember my dad holding on to the last of his days, being told i had to let him go, when all i wanted was for him to stay with me. I remember the anxiety and sadness i felt, and not wanting to stay anymore. but most of all, i remember the whisper i heard, telling me to "stay," because i was never alone.

so what does stay mean to you? for me, i see it different ways

i. staying present. it's hard these days to sometimes just keep yourself planted in the now, instead of alway being worried about the future. but staying present, taking note of where you are and respecting that, that's what staying should look like.

ii. staying faithful. this is a hard one sometimes, because it's easy to want to do your own thing and to think you can figure it all out on your own, but stay faithful to the Lord. seek his presence, give him your time, and live your life in step with Christ. stay faithful, fighting the good fight.

iii. staying hopeful. it hurts when people tell you to just be positive, because i get it, that's not always possible, but don't lose hope. one of the many many wonderful things that our Lord gives us, is never-ending, unrelenting, overflowing grace and hope. because of him, we can have hope for the future and say "it is well with my soul."

so honey, i know life is hard, i know there are struggles that no one knows about, that you're ashamed of, that you keep hidden in the darkest corner of your closet. i know, because i've been there, i've hid in that closet, fists held tight, eyes blurred, and silent sobs so no one would hear. it's so lonely, and scary, and small, but you know what dear friends? that small closet is never too small for God. stay, and find refuge in him. stay, because your light matters 

stay-what does that word make you think/

love you all my sweet friends,

Elizabeth


(find out more about Elissa and why she's so passionate about this topic here)


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Walking the Streets of Seattle // SBL 2k17


Hey there,

It's official, August has ended and the beginning stages of fall will soon be upon us. Hasn't this summer gone by quickly? For me, it's been jammed pack. Any free day where I wasn't working or had a bucket load of homework, I tried to squeeze in some adventures. I was actually looking at my August page of my agenda, and realized not one day was left unmarked. With that being said, I'm so thankful for the lovely times I've had this month.

On August 30th, my friend Chloe and I took to the streets of Seattle to explore. Chloe is one my best friends, and she's actually leaving for YWAM in Amsterdam this September on the 17th. I'm so beyond proud of her and I know she'll have an amazing experience, but nonetheless, it's hard to see her go. To have one last adventure together, we visited Seattle like true tourists, and of course, recorded it using Chloe's beautiful camera and photography skills. 





Our first stop (after 30 minutes of driving in circles attempting to find parking) was Pike Place Market. If we were to explore Seattle like a tourist, this was a must. I for one am not a fan of large crowds, but the market is such a classic and has lots of interesting items. I adore all the flower stands, though I've never actually bought any (only because I didn't want to walk around carrying them for the rest of the day). There are also numerous book stores, candy shops, food stands, and more. I tried my first turkish delight (it was amazing) and listened to amazing street music. Would Pike Place be somewhere I longed to visit all the time? No, but it's a nice spot and definitely and important place to visit when exploring Seattle.




Of course, to add to our tourist activities, we took to the waterfront. The waterfront has some more cute shops, lots of seafood, the Seattle Aquarium, and the great ferris wheel. I'd never been on the ferris wheel, mostly because it costs a lot and being stuck in a cage while it goes in circles never appealed to me, but it was actually quite a lovely experience. The views up top were beautiful, you could not only see the city, but look across the water as well while boats were sailing by. Lots of pictures were taken by Chloe (many that are not shown) and it was definitely worth the stop!


After our day of walking and exploring (and find this adorable pink wall), we found a starbucks for the much needed coffee boost, and explored the city by walking and shopping and getting lost. As someone whose grown up in a small little valley, it takes awhile for me to feel comfortable in the city, but as the day came to a close, I was finding myself more and more in love with the bustling of people, towering buildings, and coffee shops on every corner. Maybe I'm not ready to move to a large city yet, but I have a feeling Seattle may be seeing more of me. 

Did you grow up in the city, or more away from the hustle and bustle? Which environment do you prefer? I think both have lots of positives, but I'd have to say I do love the quiet and easy parking that my valley has. Makes for a much less stressed Liz.

Have a wonderful day,

Elizabeth

Saturday, August 26, 2017

feeling stuck in the midst of restlessness


i. i feel sorta stuck, you know? i'm stuck in my hometown, while almost everyone i know who is my age is off to college, or traveling, or interning. i feel like, yes, doing another year of community college and working is the smarter option, but i can't shake the feeling of loneliness when I see everyone else up and go. i've been so restless lately, but i know that in my restlessness, i need to rest in the Lord and trust that He knows best and has a plan for my life. i've been learning over and over and over that life rarely goes according to my plan, because it isn't my plan that God is concerned with, but His own perfect plan. so even though i continue to bear a feeling of looniness, i know that sometimes i have to just feel restless, while resting in my Lord's perfect plan

ii. but the restlessness makes me anxious. sometimes it's hard to sleep, because i continue to wake up from dreams. everything seems so overwhelming. i live in a mess of a room because the thought of picking it up makes me want to lay back in bed and close my eyes. at work, people ask my if i'm okay because i'm "quiet." i didn't realize i was acting like i wasn't okay, but now i feel weird. my finals were hard, and i'm scared i didn't pass them all. i don't have the time or money to retake classes, so my hands have been shaking for hours and my eyes continue to check my phone in search of a grade update. my shoulders ache from tension and my head begins to pound. resting in the Lord is so so hard, because becoming anxious is so easy, and being patient seems so hard

iii. yet, sleep always come, darkness turns to light, and a new day appears. the wave of anxiety and stress continue to ebb and flow, but the steadfastness of the Lord never fails, so i wait in His arms. when i can't sleep, i cry out in prayer. when my body aches, i lean into Him. when my hands shake uncontrollably because the answer is taking too long, i repeat, "He is faithful." and when i can only see the bad, i write out the good. because sometimes it's so much easer to see all the bad in our life, but the reality is, our blessings are so much more. so i thank God for who i am, and where i am, and i know that even in the midst restlessness, God is always good.


muddled up thoughts from a midnight ramble. what has God been teaching you lately? how do you react when faced with restlessness in your life?

love you all lots,

elizabeth

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Exploring the North Cascades // SBL 2k17


Hello dear friends,

It's been awhile, hasn't it? August has been a crazy month, full of work, online school, random adventures with friends, and movie nights with the little bro. I've taken a break from blogging because I needed to spend the extra time surrounded by the people I love and having small summer adventures. If you want to stay updated on what's going on, feel free to follow my Instagram, I've been trying to stay fairly active over there. All that being said though, I've missed this small corner of my life and I'm glad to be sitting down and writing again.

If you read my last post, Camping in the Cascades, you would know my friend Demi and I took to one of Washington's beautiful national parks and attempted our first solo camping trip (I would say we quite succeeded too). Because we were so close to the North Cascades, we took a day to drive over the pass, explore places along the road, have a quick hike, and take lots of pictures. I truly believe the North Cascades are an underrated national park, so if you ever have the chance to come and visit, you must take it! It's absolutely gorgeous up their in the mountains, and it just has a way that makes you feel like you're at home, even if it's your first time visiting.



The pass that goes through the North Cascades is super gorgeous. Even without getting out of the car and putting on your hiking boots, there are so many amazing sights. Demi got a few pictures through the car window, and then we deiced to pull over along the road and check out a small waterfall that was right alongside the road. It was almost 90 degrees, so the mist coming off the water was very welcomed.





The North Cascades has many beautiful hikes to offer, but you can get a marvelous view of the mountains and deep blue water without climbing thousands of feet. Demi and I decided to walk/hike Rainy Lake, a hike of only 2 miles. Of course, us being us, we found another trail that strayed off the original path. Next thing we know it, we're climbing down a mountain side to get to this beautiful spot. It was absolutely gorgeous and we got quite a few pictures, but with the sun baking us and bugs buzzing around everywhere, we were quick to leave. Or at least, after being lost for about 15 minutes and trying to find the "trail," were we quick to leave. It was an adventure for sure.

After our little trek in the mountains, we continued down the pass into Eastern Washington and stopped at a cute little tourist town, Winthrop, for some swimming, shopping, and food. I've been road tripping to Winthrop with my family ever since I was a little girl. I have so many fond memories there, including put put golfing with my brothers, fishing in the creeks with my dad, window shopping with my mom, and the many family camping trips where we were all eaten alive by the bugs. Going again, but this time with Demi, was a lot of fun! We of course had to stop and get some ice-cream, which was quite the treat in the extreme heat. We also found a lake to take a dip in and a bookstore to treat ourselves with. All in all, it was a successful stop.



Finally, after a day full of adventure, we started the 2 hour car ride back to our campsite. Trying to beat the sun set, we only made one stop at this beautiful lookout. Sadly, the lighting was quite harsh and we weren't able to get a lot of good pictures. There were multiple lookouts, ones I didn't even know about, and ones we didn't have time to explore. This spot will definitely be revisited in the future.



What adventures have you been on lately? I know summer is coming to an end, but don't forget to take advantage of the rest of these beautiful days to explore the outdoors. And don't forget to check out my Summer Bucket List to stay informed on what I've been accomplishing (you know, besides just doing homework and cuddling with my dog). Stay tuned too, for there are some more adventure to come in September :D

Have a wonderful rest of your day,

Elizabeth

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Camping in the Cascades // SBL 2k17


Hello friends,

This week I was able to pack up, grab a friend, and relax (as much as you can in 90 degree heat) in the beautiful outdoors. My friend Demetria and I are both working and taking summer classes, but we decided we both needed a little break from it all. For three days, we did minimal school work, hiked, attempted to take instagram-worthy pictures, read, and smelt like smoke and sweat. It was a wonderful trip. 




We reserved a little camping site in Newhalem, a small company town located right before you start the drive up the North Cascades National Park Pass. It's absolutely beautiful up there, definitely an underrated national park. If you ever get the chance to go, take it! We stopped at a few viewpoints and took a hike (more on that in a future post), but there were also quite a few smaller hikes down by our campsite that we explored. A couple years ago, there was a big forest fire, so a ton of the forest was burnt down, but there were wild flowers everywhere and a beautiful creek with huge boulders. In the 95 degree weather, Demi and I welcomed the freezing cold water.                                                                                       




On one of our little hikes, we found a big stump and couldn't help but take a few pictures. Maybe yoga and ballet aren't are specialities, but being photogenic definitely is. ;) 


























Of course, we had to stop for ice cream on our way back home. We visited this adorable little ice-cream stand that sold organic raspberry chocolate chip ice cream, and let me tell you, it was pretty darn yummy. They had a little garden of wild flowers out back too and Demi and I couldn't resist, so we snapped a few photos of our ice cream. Sure, some of it melted in the process, but that's the price we had to pay.


What kind of summer adventures have you been on yet? I feel like camping is a must during this time of year. Anything crossed off you bucket list? Don't forget to check on mine, because I'm getting through my list and it's exciting ;) 

Have a wonderful day,

Elizabeth


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hiking Fragrance Lake // SBL 2k17


Hey there friends,

If you've read my summer bucket list post (which you obvisouly should go do if you haven't), then you'd know my number 1 thing was to hike Fragrance Lake. A couple day ago, my dear friend Chloe and I did just that. After a six mile roundtrip hike full of switchbacks, sweat, and satisfying views, I had completed my first activity on my to do list, and then ate a well deserved burger. Of course, did you really go on a hike if you didn't take photos? Chloe and I say no, so here are a few of my favorites.




After 1000 feet in elevation in a little over 2.5 miles, we made it to the top where there laid a beautiful lake. It was just another mile of a relatively flat path around the lake, which of course had many trails down to the water where we waded and got attacked by the mosquitos. Note to self: bring bug spray next time. As always, Chloe and I were ill prepared, and we didn't bring swimsuits either, but we watched a few people swim and some dogs enjoy the water. But boy let me tell you, how I would have loved to jump in that water and cool down. 1000 feet really killed me.




Lucky for us, the trails were mostly shaded by the tall trees. There's something so unbelievably peaceful about walking in the woods and listening to the sounds of nature. Something so simple always reminds me of just how non-simple and completely breathtaking our Lord is. I think we often forget just how beautiful this world is, and who made it that way. I can't stress enough how important it is to leave your home and explore the world, appreciating the beauty our amazing Lord created that surrounds us. 


For an extra .2 miles, there was an opportunity to walk over to a lookout before continuing to the lake. Obviously I wasn't going to turn down a beautiful view for .2 miles, so Chloe and I both enjoyed the breathtaking site of the water and taking pictures near the edge. I just adore how in Washington, you can be hiking in the woods, exploring hidden lakes, while also seeing beautiful views of the water and mountains. Maybe I'm biased, but I sure do think Washington has it all ;) If you ever need a passionate tour guide, hit me up!


What summer adventures have you been on lately? Where do you find God's peace and appreciate his beauty? Don't forget to use this summer to explore new places, laugh a lot, and catch up with friends, okay? It's already a month into summer, so don't let it go to waste.

Have a beautiful, wonderful rest of your day,

Elizabeth

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My Summer Bucket List


Hello there,

Here we are, almost a month into summer, and I'm just now thinking about my summer bucket list. Sad, right? But despite the constant demand of school and work, I still have some fun plans for this summer and I'm excited! A lot of things are changing next year and some of my good friends are leaving on their own life adventures, so I want to make this summer special and memorable. Below are 30 different things I aspire to finish this summer. If you're curious on my progress, continue to check back! I'll be crossing off each item every time I finish it, and I'll link a blog post or instagram photo that documents the event.

i. hike fragrance lake. i discovered this lake online last year, and ever since i've been super curious. it looks a bit difficult, but it has a really cool viewpoint and then a lake you can walk around and swim in.

ii. jump off the boardwalk. there's an adorable small town near my house that has a board walk people enjoy jumping off of. i've always wanted to try it, so maybe this summer i will.

iii. explore seattle like a tourist. even though i live less than two hours away from seattle, i've never truly discovered it. this summer i'll be grabbing a couple friends and exploring it like a true tourist.

iv. go sunrise hiking. mornings are not my favorite, but sunrises and breakfast dates with a good friend make it worth the early wake up.

v. roadtrip to vancouver. another major city not too far away from me that i haven't explored.

vi. buy a homeless person a meal. there's not a lot of homeless people in my city, but there are a few. hopefully this summer i can find an opportunity to share kindness, warm food, and the love of Jesus.

vii. finish book. i've secretly been writing a book but it's very short and undeveloped. may or may not be about a girl and a boy and may or may not be in verse.

viii. play messy twister. this just looks really fun and full of laughs.

ix. go to a drive-in movie. still haven't experienced this classic summer activity, so maybe this year will be the year.

x. use a polaroid. i won a polaroid last summer and have only used it once. this summer i'd like to use it more and update my bulletin board.

xi. pay for the person behind me in the drive thru. this has happened to me once and i would like to return to favor. 100 percent made my day.

xii. go camping. i love camping, but like fire and tent camping. in the wilderness, with marshmallows, the sounds of nature, and friends that are more like sisters.

xiii. take a road trip once school is out. i'm taking summer courses onlinc, so life right now doesn't permit for road trips. once finals are over though, i'm hopping in that car.

xiv. try paddle boarding. this just looks like such a blast, but honestly i'll probably fall 100x.

xv. go sunset kayaking. on a lake, with a good friend, and deep conversations.

xvi. discover new hikes in the north cascades. i love living close to such a beautiful place and i must take more advantage of it.

xvii. try snow goose produce. a super popular ice cream place just an hour away from my house.

xviii. go to a swing dance. call me a classic homeschooler, but i've been convinced swing dancing is not half bad.

xix. try nature watercoloring. i found the perfect watercoloring book with techniques on how to paint nature. now i must put it into action.

xx. go berry picking. i love berries and i love getting a tan. a win/win situation.

xxi. pick wild flowers and make a crown. because wild flowers are absolutely gorgeous and flower crowns make for the most beautiful pictures.

xxii. buy a hammock and go hammocking. this is a trend i'm totally into now and i kind of really really want to try it out. instagram will probably see it first.

xxiii. bake wild berry muffins. there are so many wild berries around my house and i love muffins, so i think it's really just a match made in heaven.

xxiv. go tubing. it's been awhile since i've done this and i'd really like to do it again.

xxv. play kick the can. such a classic camping game.

xxvi. watch parent trap. this use to be my go-to movie, it just gives me all the summer vibes.

xxvii. have a picnic. complete with turkey sandwiches, lemonade, chips, and cupcakes. and of course i can't forget the checkered blanket.

xxviii. visit the farmer's market. believe it or not, i've actually never been to a farmer's market. i'd like to support my local farmers and businesses though, so this is a must.

xxiv. make homemade popsicles. because more fun and way healthier.

xxx. play putt putt golf. i use to hate putt putt golf as a little kid, but now i find it a lot of fun, especially if there are good friends and ice cream involved.





What about you? What are your ambitions for this summer? Leave me a comment down below and let me know. Hopefully I'll be able to complete at least half of my list, I'd be happy with that ;)

Have a wonderful rest of your day,

Elizabeth


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