Summer Series: Do What You Love

It’s been a crazy summer. Politics, vacations, new apartments, and just the Louisiana heat make this summer a bit overwhelming. While in the midst of all of these cultural and personal changes, there is one thing I have been trying to remember this summer… and that is to do what I enjoy.

I enjoy many things, but this summer I have really enjoyed reading. I used to read constantly when I was younger, and I was a binge reader so I could read through books pretty quickly. Once I started college I became a bit burnt out from all the scholarly, mandatory reading I had to do for classes, so reading for fun fell to the side in the off months.

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However, since graduating I have enjoyed picking up any book I find interesting and reading as many as I can. The summer provides the perfect time for this since the summers in the South are pretty brutal, so I spend most of my time inside enjoying all the AC (Thank you, Willis Carrier!) that I can. I know, I know… I should be outside… but it is too muggy and too HOT, so I will take my books and my fan, thankyouverymuch.

All this to say, this summer hasn’t really been what I planned. I expected to be at the pool a lot, writing nonstop for the blog, and hammocking. Instead, I have had more free-time than I expected and really found a joy reading and rereading some great books.

Basically, just do what you want this summer.

Do you want to go to the pool everyday? Do it. Do you want to picnic and go camping? Go for it. Do you want to be huddled in your home with a good book and cool air? YES, DO IT.

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This summer is still your summer, and you should do what you love. If you have the time, do it. If you don’t… make a little time to chill and find a hobby.😉

This summer (which is almost over… NOOOO!) use your spare time to accomplish your goals, even if it is last minute. Do what you love. 

much love. much grace.

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PS. If you want to know what I’m reading this summer, or ever, I am on GoodReads and I love it! I update whenever I can and would love some book suggestions. 

When Facebook Becomes Too Much To Handle

 

First, I want to apologize for a couple of things. I haven’t written/posted in a couple of weeks, and I am sorry for the inconsistency. I also want to apologize for my content. It has been fluffy, and unreal the majority of the time this year, and I am sorry. I’m sorry I haven’t had the guts to discuss things that really matter. I only have one excuse: Fear. I am afraid people will be angry and upset or hateful. Unfortunately, most of the people who will behave in these outbursts are already saturated in these emotions. They are afraid of the future, people different from themselves, and don’t know what to do to protect their current way of life besides act out on social media.

I have been trying to keep away from Instagram and Facebook, but the other day I couldn’t help it and I just had to see what was going on in the Facebook newsfeed. And for the first time in a long time, I felt such an array of confusing emotions. I was exhausted after only 30 minutes of looking at the newsfeed.

Friends, it was the most hateful stream of articles I have seen. We have turned a social media into a hate-fest and fear-mongering place. No longer are pictures of vacations or breakfast foods, now articles about how Muslims are all bad, Black lives don’t matter as much as All lives, and Donald Trump are all I see. Facebook is now a place to hatefully share an opinion and openly share racist comments, all from behind a computer screen. Facebook is not a positive place.

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My heart aches as I see my Facebook friend’s opinions about groups of people who pose no threat to their way of life. My heart hurts because now I know what his/her heart really believes. People who claim to love others, instead are calling for the exclusion of people based on race and religion, or are voting for someone who is. Now I know too much about the hate that is placed in my friend’s hearts. I know they dislike my friends who look different. I know they are scared of my friends of different faiths. I know my friends value their own life over any other person. I know that they are willing to leave the lost, hungry, orphaned, and nationless in a state of instability, or even wish these people would return to the war-torn country from which they came. I know the truth now about people I looked up to as a teenager or had solidarity with as a peer. I know the only interest these people have, is in themselves. And my heart is so so broken.

I am so broken over these actions because these hateful words are what create outsiders. The fear of the people sharing these opinions is what causes the very acts of which they are afraid.If we continue to create a space of dislike for those different than ourselves, how can we expect those people to like us, let alone become a member of our society? We create outsiders who then feel wronged by not only the government or institution, but by actual people in society. People that may have appeared friendly, and then share hateful words minutes later on the internet only to create friction.

How do we share love, when that very love is continually picked-apart by people who claim to believe the same thing? How do we continually forgive after every single racist, hateful post? How do we keep from falling completely apart like the world around us?

I wish I could say that we have the power as people to rise against the hate, to really let love win. I wish I could say we as individuals can come together to love the hate out of people. But we can’t. Not on our own. Everyday is a battle of good against evil. Positivity over negativity. Light over dark. And it’s a battle we cannot do on our own. Christ is the only one who can give us the unconditional love we need to rise above the fear. Christ is the only one who can help us continue to forgive our scared friends, even if they never change their minds. With Christ’s love, I can continue to love my friends who dislike other people in my life based on skin color or religion. I can have hope that maybe one day, they will see His love, and will actually choose this love over fear.

With Christ, love truly wins; every time.

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And to my friends who are feeling the heat of this election or anti-difference articles:

I am so sorry for the hatred directed your way. I am sorry this the way America is choosing to display herself. I am sorry for any ill-will you have received. I love you all so much. You are so very loved and I am so thankful for each of you. I love your skin being the same or different than mine. I love you in spite of religious differences. I love you if you speak English or a different language. I love you if you are a vegetarian, vegan, or meat-lover. You are so loved, even if people try to tell you otherwise.

Much love. Much grace.

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This Summer: Come Home

Home… Such a funny word. For some, this brings memories of family in cozy rooms, yummy food, and welcoming smells. Memories of fights between siblings, traditions for holidays, and getting ready for school. For many people, home is wear they grew up; a town, a house, a school, or a city. To “come home” is what a person does to visit their childhood room and show visitors their teenage haunts around town.

Home [hohm] noun
1.a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.

2.the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.

For me (and many others)… home is different.

In the traditional sense I don’t have a “home”… and I never have. I have never experienced the giddy feeling that one attaches to a building. I moved around several times in my childhood so houses, even towns, don’t really provide me with warm, fuzzy feelings of “being home.”

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The closest I have ever come to feeling at “home” in a place is with climates. I feel at home in cool mountain air or when smelling a cool, salty ocean. Smelling evergreens and feeling cool breezes through my hair are things that feel at home to me. I am not entirely sure why, but places with these things are places where I feel not just relaxed, but a sense of belonging and purpose.

Since I haven’t lived in that type of a climate since I was very young, home to me has since become the people in my life.

Not family as much as the friends who have surrounded me. My family has always been very spread out, so while that family is obviously there and loving, the friends I have made have become family.  Those who have taken the time to know me and love me, even at my worst, these are the people who enable feelings of comfort and “coming home”.

So this summer, take some time to figure out with whom your home lies, and come home. Take time to visit with those who love you and care for your well-being, and be home to those people as well.

Much love. Much grace.

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Marfa, TX: Follow Me to El Cosmico

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mr. Yell and I enjoyed our 1 year anniversary in the desert a few weeks ago, and we loved it! One of our favorite parts of Marfa was where Mr. Yell and I stayed for the last half of our trip: the magical El Cosmico.

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We stayed with an Air BnB for the first couple of days of our trip, but once we moved over to El Cosmico, the Marfa Magic was amplified. El Cosmico has everything including:  tipis and yurts, outdoor hot tubs and showers, and several areas for hammocking around the property.

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El Cosmico caters to really anyone since they offer camping spots to pitch your tent and have a community kitchen if you would rather cook than eat out. While Mr. Yell and I were there we saw couples, families, and friends making road-trip stops; proving that not only is this place for everyone, but that El Cosmico is a must see!

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Going into this experience, I had some very high expectations due to some other places Mr. Yell and I have stayed (similar to El Cosmico) and honestly this place was wonderful. While we were mere “honeymooners”, there have been movie stars who have stayed here to really experience the real Marfa Magic while filming. (Kevin Bacon and Matthew McConaughey were rumored to be in town while we were there…. so you never know who you will see!)

I really just loved the relaxed atmosphere and the community house in the front of the property. The house has free coffee and teas in the morning, records playing constantly, a fun gift shop, and cool drinks for sale.

The only things El Cosmico could improve on would be working on providing more of the “little things” (see Tree House Point for some GREAT examples) and having some of the lights and campfires going during non-festival times. There was a night we would have loved to make s’mores or enjoy the full experience, but there are only two festivals in Marfa a year, and we happened to miss them both… so that meant way less lights and no campfires. So if you want the full experience, be sure to hit up the music festival in March or the film festival in July.

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Other than that, everything was lovely and Mr. Yell and I felt so refreshed after our visit to the desert, and El Cosmico definitely played a part in that.

So if you’re ever in Marfa… head on over to El Cosmico!

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Much love. Much grace.

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