Sunday, March 27, 2011

i'm going through changes

i know the 1.5 people who may still be checking this blog are thinking i'm a huge slacker and a poor excuse for a blogger, but i've been trying a new website and format and so i'm now going to direct you to that site and you can read my posts on there because i've been writing on it lately.  sorry for the late heads up! i may or may not continue to use tumblr but i will for sure write on this in the future...fear not devoted readers!  <--- check it out!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

i'm a believer

i'm currently taking an ethics and morality class at meramec and it's probably the most interesting class i've ever taken.  my professor is this philosophy connoisseur of sorts and is extremely intelligent. maybe too intelligent for his own good, but professor's level of intelligence is not what i want to blog about. tonight in class we talked a lot about the rights of people...what rights mean, what kind of rights there are, what makes a person entitled to said rights.  human rights is a very thought provoking topic so it was hard to just listen to what he had to say and not let my mind wander but i soon became enthralled with what he was talking this time in the conversation, i could tell he was about to move on to abortion because we had read about it for homework and i could feel my body tense up.  "here we go," i thought.  "some liberal, academic view of abortion. this is really going to piss me off."  but as i kept listening, my body loosened up and the tension was this intelligent, rational, person talking about abortion in the most objective way possible. he was going over readings, stating what was wrong with the prolife AND prochoice arguments, and i was listening to him dissect all these arguments. and i realized that i rarely, and i mean rarely, question what i'm hearing...what someone's telling me. isn't that ridiculous and so dumb and ignorant of me!? i mean come on, you can't just go around believing everything you hear is true.  and i began to feel my body tensing up again but not because i was afraid of the heated discussion the topic of abortion could be a catalyst for, but because i realized something about myself...something i don't like. and i guess something i've always been at least somewhat aware of but never has it hit me like it did tonight; i trust way too much sometimes. and one could argue that that's a good thing but i beg to differ...especially thinking about all the times i've had complete trust in the word and deed of others and have been wronged or hurt in some way.

at one point, i stopped thinking about what an annoying and potentially threatening trait i had just discovered about myself, and i heard my professor say something. it was simple, logical, and completely what i needed to hear. "in order for someone to lie successfully, the person being lied to needs to expect the truth." this is exactly right. and this is why people have been able to successfully lie to me so often...i expect the truth, and nothing less than the truth. now i'm not saying that you shouldn't trust people because you definitely should. but only if they've shown they can be trusted.  you can't just let whoever feed whatever crap they want to you and trust that it's true...if you did that, you wouldn't be forming your own opinion about things, and that would be depriving yourself of personal growth. and i guess that's why i was so angry about the realization i had come to about my sloppy trust in others; i had trusted the word of others to the point where i was at risk of stifling my personal growth by believing what others say, simply because they're saying it. as much as i want to, i can't just trust that everything anyone within reason says to me is truth. but, i can take what they say into consideration and develop my own way of finding the truth.

i am a believer. it's part of who i am. but i have to be continuously aware that even though i would love to believe the best in people, i'm not always my best, so i can't expect others to be as well. people lie and make up things and push their opinions on people...i can say (with my tail between my legs) that i've been guilty of doing all of those things.  it's not that i'm now a huge skeptic who's never going to trust in people or believe what people are telling me is truth, but i am going to quit using my trust in people as an excuse not to pursue discovering truth for myself. 

i love classes that make me think, and i have a feeling there's going to be a lot more ranty, annoying posts about this class. sorry i'm not sorry!

Monday, February 14, 2011

do you realize?

i love this song...the flaming lips rock hard so this is a sweet departure from their norm. it came on the radio today while i was driving in the car, with the windows rolled down, and squinting my eyes due to the lovely sunshine. and then...i realized. i realized how much i am loved. i realized how many gifts i had gotten on this "national holiday" we like to call valentine's day. i realized how special i felt at that exact moment. and the funny thing is, i don't have a boyfriend, or significant other, or "special someone" to bring me to these realizations. don't get me wrong, i'm excited for the day where i will, but i don't right now. and i'm okay with that. today, instead of being sad about what i don't have, i completely soaked up what i did. god has given me so much, not only in life, but just in the past 24 hours. i had the best date ever with him all day (i'm saying this, being aware of how cheesy it may sound)...but it's true. i mean, just look at all the things he did for me today:

 -allowed me to sleep in...always a great thing
 -gave me some precious time with him running at forest park on a beautiful, sunny day
 -played one of my favorite love songs on the radio
 -blessed me with time to spend with my sister and one of my best friends
- let me hold a beautiful baby who had just entered the world on this special day when i visited my mom at  work (she works on the mother baby floor of a hospital for those of you who are confused)
- gave me time to relax and reflect

it was a beautiful day and i'm so blessed to have such a thoughtful and loving valentine.

Monday, February 7, 2011

keep it loose, keep it tight

before i take the entire first paragraph to tell you all how much i love this song, i must first start out and tell you that my backspace bar is currently acting up and not letting me delete anything so what you should know about this blog is that it's completely unedited and full of chalk full of intention. this song by amos lee, is simply beautiful. i love songs that don't have a chorus yet still manage to roll off the tongue.  there's some lines in this song that i mull over everytime i listen to this song and i decided, "hey! why don't i blog about this?" blogging is such a relaxing way for me to end my day. i used to journal a lot more but i'm a perfectionist when it comes to my handwriting and well, i'm a hell of a lot faster at typing. 

"well relationships change, oh i think it's kinda strange"
this part of the song has always stuck out to me but more so in the recent months because for the first time in my life, i am feeling the full weight of relationships changing...for better...or for worse. they just do. people change so changes in relationships between people is inevitable.  there's some change that a like such as: getting a haircut (a good haircut), re-doing your room, switching up what you have for lunch or dinner.  and then there's those changes...the inevitable changes. that get me everytime. these changes, such as: growing apart from your best friend, never talking to someone again, distancing yourself from people that don't help you grow and encourage you...those are the tough changes. changes i don't really like if we're being honest. but hindsight's always 20/20 and i realize down the road, that these changes that have occured within some of my most important relationships are necessary. either necessary for both parties to flourish in their own activities and responsibilities. or necessary for someone to move on and realize things about themselves that the relationship was keeping them from realizing. or necessary for someone to love themselves and therefore love again. regardless of the necessity, change is going to happen whether you like it or not. so don't try and fight it or keep it from happening. instead, embrace least, that's what i've decided to advise myself.

"we all need a place we can go, and feel over the rainbow."
this lyric reminds me of the song "everybody's got that something." every person on this earth has, or at least deserves to have, something that brings them joy. a hobby, relationship, career...these little things that bring joy to us are part of our vocation here on earth. because if we're not joyous, truly happy people, then we can't live out our own personal mission.  i've found that for me, if i'm not happy, i can fake loving people pretty well. by that i mean that loving those around me just comes second nature to me so even when i'm unhappy or have lost my joy, i make sure that people at least still think that i'm loving them. but i recognize that i can't truly love others the way i want to, but more importantly the way God wants me to, if i'm not joyous. so whatever it is that makes you joyous, make sure it's as much at your fingertips as it can be at all times. because you don't realize how important your rainbow is until it's not there.

"but sometimes we forget. what we got. who we are. oh and who we are not."
this lyric has really hit home with me lately. i find it quite humorous how easy it is for me to forget all of the above. i constantly forget what i've have because i find myself constantly thinking about things i don't have. it's probably one the most annoying issues i have to me.  i forget to look around me a lot of times and see not only how much i have materially, but how many people love me, how much God has blessed me with emotionally, physically, spiritually. it's good i suppose to always be trying to improve yourself, but i think that it makes it a lot easier to lose sight of all you've been blessed with when you're constantly trying to make things better. i don't usually have a problem with losing sight of who i am but i do find myself having trouble with remembering who i'm not. i forget that i'm different from other people and that things that aren't an issue with them or their personal values, are sometimes issues with me and mine. and while i get frustrated a lot with how "different" i feel from my peers sometimes, it really is a beautiful thing. we're all so different and i think the world would be a much better place if we started to embrace our differences instead of masking them.

"there is so much more in love than black and white"
this one's my personal favorite and kind of ties in to my last post. there is so much grey and inbetween with love that it's hard to ditinguish if something is really love or not. or if you're doing something out of love or not. love makes people do "stupid" things. it makes you come up with excuses for someone you love, despite how much they've hurt you. it makes you remain even the slightest bit hopeful that someone you love with come around or change despite how many times they've proven to you that they won't. it makes you lie awake at night wondering what you did wrong or what you could have done to make the situation better. but that's love. you love sight of yourelf in a situation. and all you can see is that other person. the only problem with that is if that love is one sided. if you're the only one focussing on the other. that's when lines get blurred, black and white becomes grey, and hearts are broken.

but in the end, just remember

"keep it loose child.keep it tight."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

she(he) is love

so lately i've been on this kick of listening to sappy acoustic love songs via the ingrid michaelson pandora radio station. i enjoy music, a lot. and while i love singing along, sometimes i just like to sit and listen. and i have come to the conclusion, that the best love songs (in my expert opinion) are ones where you can substitute the lover or love-e for god.  i know some people may disagree with me or think that's just plain creepy, but one of my favorite things to do is to think of god singing a song to me or me singing a song to him. and this song she is love by parachute (the acoustic version's better) is one of these perfect, interchangable songs. the proof is in the pudding, just look at these lyrics:

"i've been beaten down.
i've been kicked around.
but she takes it all for me.
and i lost my faith, in my darkest days
but she makes me want to believe
they call her love love love love love
she is love and she is all i need
well i had my ways
they were all in vain
but she waited patiently
it was all the same
all my pride and shame
but he put me on my feet
they call her love love love love love
cuz when that world slows down dear,
and when thoe stars burn out here
oh she'll be here, yes she'll be here"

are you serious? this is one of the most beautiful explanations of God in my own life. from the beginning to the end. yeah, bad stuff has happened to me and my heart has been hurt many times, but when i'm hurting, so is He. he carries that burden for me. carries it all the way to the cross and beyond. and there are times when i get so far away from Him, so in the dark, but i realize time after time that He brings me back and gives me passion and fire for my faith. and people who claim they don't know God or don't believe in Him actually do know and believe in Him because he IS love. love. love. love. simply love. love is universal. Christ is universal. He isn't prejudice or selective or private. He is justice and inclusive and open. He is love. and everytime i seem to lose sight of this beautiful truth, He waits. and waits patiently. and it doesn't matter how i come back to Him or how long it takes my stubborn self.  He takes me, just as i am, dusts me off, and puts me back on my feet. guys, He is real. LOVE is real.

this song not only makes me feel incredibly blessed and loved by God but also helps me to reflect on my own life and how i love those around me. if my friends and family could say that just one of these phrases reminds them of the way i love them i would be overwhelmed. but honestly, i don't just want to be a line in a song, i want to be this entire song; for my mom and dad, my sisters and brother, grandparents, my cousins, aunts and uncles, friends, my future spouse and children, even my aqquaintances. i mean isn't that what it's all about? to love and love and love until you feel like you can't and then love some more? even those who you feel might not deserve it? even those who have hurt you? even those you don't know very well or at all even? because He is love, and He is all i need.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

closer to love

there are so many times throughout the day that i am brought closer to love. whether it's at home, work, church. whether i'm happy, sad, grumpy, hyper. whether i'm painting, babysitting, listening to music, running errands with my mom. 

my little sister clare is really into puzzles.  it's one of the few things she could do for hours on end without making a single sound (so naturally, my mom loves buying her puzzles). the one she's been working on lately is a cartoon puzzle of the beatles (early years) on stage, performing.  it's really cool but something that makes it so tricky, aside from being over 500 pieces, is the fact that it's black and white...and a lot of grey.  and as i was hanging out in my living room today, staring at this puzzle and wondering how on god's green earth clare has already put most of the pieces together, my mind started to wander.  i started to compare life, to this puzzle; this black and white beatles 500+ puzzle. i mean you get it in this cute little box, all packaged nice and neat and then you start to root through all the pieces and trying to find ones that fit. and for a while it's a mess. you think this piece goes with that piece but it just looks like it does. once you put it next to the other piece, you realize it's not a right fit. and you do this over and over again until you get a section together...and then you move on to the next section. and slowly but surely, you start to see the end result...this work of art. and you appreciate the picture it's creating so much more than if you were to just see a picture of it because you're the one creating it in a way. you're seeing all the pieces come together to make something beautiful.

my life is a black and white puzzle. it's definitely not as neat and figured out as i originally thought/wanted it to be.  there's some black and white, but there's also a lot of grey. a lot of blurred lines.  i'm very, very slowly but also surely figuring out which pieces go together. and i'm starting to see this beautiful picture unfold. and everytime i complete a section of the puzzle, i'm brought closer to love. i'm realizing more and more that it's not about just the cool, exciting things that happen to me in life that matter or shape me as a person. it's about the little everyday things that count just as much.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

the show goes on

i am so inspired, nay, HYPED right now. i honestly feel spiritually, emotionally, and yes ladies and gents, even physically jacked. i know, a complete 180 from last night but that's the beautiful thing about life. for every bad day, there's a beautiful one to follow. god just brought me back in such a kick ass way tonight.  it was one of my first life nights as a core member (leader) at incarnate word's lifeteen and i'm going to be honest, i kind of went into this particular adventure thinking that i was going to be the one of my time and energy to the teens and therefore giving back to a place that was home to my spiritual food for the last four years. but as we all know, i'm usually wrong in my assumptions. i mean, it's weird how inspired you can be after attending a lifenight as we call it. especially during social justice month. tonight we talked about hunger and poverty (usual topics)...but we also watched a video that i had never seen (which is saying something considering i'm an avid youtuber.) but this video was about a brother and sister in northern uganda named sam and esther.  they were these little, tiny, starving children that had been completely abandoned by their parents.  the only person that attempted to care for them was their 8 year old sister who walked miles to get water in order to bathe them because she knew she couldn't feed them. can you say heartwrenching?

what i'm trying to say is that god completely just took me and said (disclaimer: didn't actually say this to me but a girl can dream, can't she?)  "caitlin.get a grip. look at what needs to be done. remember i have plans for you. awesome plans. don't stress about your career or whether or not you'll meet someone when you think the time is right. i know. i will provide. enjoy and soak up these beautiful outlooks and words from these people that love me.let that inspire you." and boy did it.

i am so blessed. i have so much so that means i must have something to give back. i need to go find it instead of waiting for it to plop into my lap...because it just doesn't work like that. the show goes on, and what a beautiful one it is.