Twenty-Twelve in Word & Verse

With this new year coming just around the corner I've been thinking very hard about what my focus needs to be this coming year. I've also been thinking over what my one word and one bible verse should be for myself and for oh, restless bird in the new year. 

That said, I've decided that 2012 will be the year that I will seek to live a more peaceful life. This major worrier and restless soul will strive to live a life that is so greatly filled by my Jehovah-Shalom (God of Peace), and I will continue on my more-than-restless-in-all-the-right-ways-kind-of-a-woman lifestyle that I've discovered in 2011. 

My One Word:  Peace  

My One Bible Verse: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” john 14:27

In 2012 I will...

  • seek to learn what it means to live a life of peace
  • stay focused daily on living a more peace-filled life
  • study every scripture there is on peace
  • strive to keep peace in my relationships/friendships
  • spend as much time as possible with my Jehovah-Shalom
  • make a more conscious effort not to let worry consume me
  • remind myself to be content (at peace), but never complacent

                                                                                                                 ...and now it's your turn!

I'd love to hear what your one word and one Bible verse will be in 2012 if you chosen them already? Because I'm curious...What did you learn in 2011 that was a needed growing experience for you? 

Oh, and may you all have a very blessed and peaceful new year! ;)

daring to be restless

{image via pinterest}
What is this life of daring? 
I believe it's living life as a restless bird. One who's longing to be moreThis year God has been speaking to me over and over again about how I need to be a more daring young woman. Earlier on this year I was the proverbial "restless bird," but not in the right way. You see, I was restless in that I didn't dare to believe in myself and the gifts that God had given me. Instead I chose to let my fears and my worldly worries consume me. These negative restless behaviors were weighing me down, and they kept me from letting go and just flying. After much pruning by The Master Gardener, many whispers to my feathery heart and going through the stretching motions of my comfortable secure, the Lord has made me once again restless. But this time it's in all the right ways.

Over the past few months I've found myself longing to become that restless-daring-more-than kind of young woman. I've become the daring one who longs to do more, to be more, to inspire more, to love more, to minister more, to know Him more and to pen more words than ever before. These are the things that have made this life of mine a daring one...and the restless spirit within me is now starting to take it's hold. 

This kind of daring living requires us to live off of hope, to drink of the living waters constantly and to consume the bread of life, which fills our souls. Daring is found in the letting go, the releasing and living out of sweet dreams, and in the chasing after of everything moreA daring lifestyle will never be found in an overly complacent person, or the one who is too comfortably secure. We've got to realize that it's okay to live life daringly. In fact I'm pretty sure God would endorse it, don't you? We must let our fears perish, and decide to live a life uncaged. 

So, what are you chasing after? 
I'm chasing after my dreams of becoming an author. (Wow. I actually said it!) Though I may sit here in front of a blank computer screen some days, not a word of inspiration to be found within my muddled brain, I dare to write anyway. I chase this daring restless venture, this seeking of more and this release of living out a story not my own, so that I might be a clearer reflection of Christ. I choose to let God be the One to write my story, though He never needed my permission of course, every day. Then I sit down and I write a story all my own and posts for you to read about this heart that wanders hither and yon. It's in this everyday scrambling to chase after my word-filled watercolor dreams that I find myself, desperately daring to be more.

Will you choose to be daring too?
This everyday pursuit of my dreams, and my Jesus, is how I choose to live out this restless life of mine...daringly. I'll admit that the daring life isn't always an easy one. There are those days when it seems like it would be easier to just pull the covers over my head, and be content to only dream about the days I long for, instead of living them out. And I'm learning that anything worth living for will be hard to strive after. But living a daringeucharisteo filled, dreaming-every-second kind of life is one that satiates this hungry soul of mine, and it's the kind that calls this restless bird back home to nest, at the place where peace resides. My nest is found at the feet of Jesus.

So here's to the restless ones, the dreamers and to the worriers...
let's live a life of daring together!

(this post was written for Rachelle Rea's Daring December blog event. please make sure to check out all of the other Daring December posts that are waiting to be read and savored and lived out over at Inspiring Daring!)

c'est noel

Merry Christmas Eve oh, restless bird readers! And now, a quizical tag...


eggnog or hot chocolate?

does santa wrap your presents or just sit them under the tree?
santa does not wrap my presents. my parents do.

colored lights or white lights?
i love sparkleh white lights!

do you hang mistletoe?
um, no.

when do you hang up your holiday decorations?
my family has never had a set time for decorating, but the tree usually gets put up sometime during the first week of december. (this year however we don't have a christmas tree.)

what is your favorite holiday dish?
our dishes change from year to year, but this evening we are having steak. I LOVE steak smothered with bernaise sauce! ooh, i so can't wait for dinner!

what is your favorite holiday memory from childhood?
probably the year i got a talking baby doll for christmas. oh, ho ho boy, and when i found out that it DID indeed talk i remember screaming in petrified horror, crying like crazy and then that poor baby doll sailed across the room, by my own hands. lol!

what is on your christmas wish list?

do you open gifts on christmas eve?
yes. my family and i have always spent christmas eve with my grandparents. we eat a lovely meal, sit by the fireplace (when it's cold enough), eat scrumptious desserts and then we exchange gifts with one another.

how do you decorate your tree?
with white lights and assorted ornaments. i have everything from a gandalf ornament to a corpse bride ornament. oh, and you can't forget the jack skellington ornament!

snow: love it or dread it?
i love snow! it snowed my very first christmas ever and now i am forever in love with christmastime snow. sigh. (it's like 61 degrees here so i am betting we are out of luck on a chance of snow. boo.)

real tree or fake tree?
i love the sight and scent of the  real deal, but my folks like their fake-o one. 

do you remember your favorite gift?
my first kiss. i got my first kiss in december, and that i believe cannot be topped (at least it hasn't been yet! ;)

what's the most important thing about christmas to you?
jesus. family. having a giving spirit. traditions.

what is your favorite holiday dessert?
i am infatuated with my grandma's new york style chocolate pecan cheesecake!

what is your favorite holiday tradition?
getting together with the family on christmas eve

what do you put on top of your tree?
we've always had an angel adorning the crown of our evergreen. :-)

do you prefer giving or receiving?
i love both. my second love language is definitely gifts! ;-)

what is/are your favorite christmas song(s)?
sing we now of christmas, carol of the bells, hallelujah (light has come)sussex carol, greensleeves, bring a torch jeanette, isabella, god rest ye merry gentlemen, petit papa noel

candy canes: yucky or yummy?
i like peppermint just fine, but not candy canes. i know, i'm weird.

favorite christmas movie{s}:
the grinch who stole christmas, elf, a christmas story, the nativity story, christmas with the kranks, christmas with a capital c, thomas kinkade's the christmas cottage, the santa claus, the santa claus 2, the santa claus 3

what do you leave for santa?
nothing now, but when i was a kiddo we left milk and cookies for santa clause and carrots for his reindeer.

do you have a christmas morning tradition?
my sister and i usually check to see what is hiding in our christmas stockings and then we wait for momma and daddy to wake up. then we open presents. then we make and eat either french toast and maple bacon, or fla{c}ky biscuits, eggs and maple bacon. then we watch a ton of christmas movies together. 

do you prefer to shop online or at the mall?
 online most definitely.

christmas letter or christmas card?
christmas letters. i love to hear how God has worked in a person's life over the duration of a year and i like to receive a picture. oh, and i love sappy christmas love letters too! (wink wink)

{all images via pinterest}


( i got the idea for this tag/post off of my bloggy friend annie's blog. i hope you don't mind, girl!?)

a fairytale manifesto

((image via pinterest))

     Fairytale's have always captivated me and held a very special place in my heart. I remember my grandmother, and my parents, reading many fairytales to me over the years as a little girl, and even if I'd heard them a million-and-one times over I always ached to hear them once more. Really I've always been the endless daydreamer, and even now as an adult I'm still a very consistent daydreamer and an Idealist to the extreme, which may account for my deep love for all sorts of fairytales. 

     In the many fairytales that I hold close to my heart I have always found myself searching within them. And along the way I've found hope and love and lessons to be learned, in these sometimes spooky and cold and yet more often than not just plain downright dreamy stories that inspire and set afire many ideas and words within me. It's because of these fairytales, these stories, that have been passed down to me from generation to generation and from weathered page to page before me, that I hope to also one day pen a novel that will inspire others as deeply as I have been. 

     One day when my novel has been fully penned, it will be then that I pray that those words, my fairytales, will become the stories that grandmothers and grandfathers and mothers and fathers will pass down to their children, and them to their children as well.

     Yes, indeed I am in love with stories that inspire and stretch the imagination to grow to new depths...until it tells the whole world! 


     Recently a dear writer friend of mine (Rachelle of Inspiring Daring) and I have been talking a lot about fairytales, so I sent her this really looong list (seen below) of my ever growing list of favourite fairytales. I thought you also might enjoy a chance to read my fairytale favourites, and perhaps you could share some of your favorites with us in the comments section below as well?

My favourite fairy-tale (and fairytale-ish) books

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (of course!)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen
The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen
Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen
anything written by The Brother's Grimm
La Belle et la Bete by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont
At The Back of North Wind by George MacDonald
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The Door Within trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson

My favourite fairy-tale (and fairytale-ish) movies

Hugo Cabret
Beauty & The Beast
La Belle et la Bete
The Phantom of The Opera (Joel Schumacher version)
Alice In Wonderland (Tim Burton version)
The Little Mermaid
Howl's Moving Castle
Spirited Away
My Neighbor Totoro
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Tales From Earthsea (tv version, as well as Miyazaki's version)
Ella Enchanted
Ever After 
The Polar Bear King
The Chronicles of Narnia (original BBC versions)
The Golden Compass
Bridge To Terabithia
The Neverending Story Trilogy
The Lord of The Rings Trilogy
The Princess Bride
Snow White: The Fairest of Them All
The Swan Princess
Quest For Camelot
How To Train Your Dragon
The Frog Prince
A Knight's Tale
The Secret of Roan Inish
A Cinderella Story
The Thief Lord
The Princess & The Goblin
The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising
The Brothers Grimm
A Wrinkle In Time (tv version)
Princess: A Modern Day Fairytale (abc family/tv movie)
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (Tim Burton versions)
Edward Scissorhands

My favourite fairytale (and fairytale-ish) TV shows

Doctor Who
The Legend of the Seeker

*note: all of these films are not flawless and some of them are definitely not intended for younger viewers

isn't he sweet?

(((My love brought me beautiful roses today!!!)))

 "Two years with you, Sixty three million seconds each better than the last
    I am aching for you, for my mistakes in my past
    Memories of laughs, roses and tears
    Not for all riches would I trade these years"

((these are a few lines from a poem my love wrote for me))

meltdowns and anchored souls

i have a confession to make. i had a meltdown yesterday. i feel so much better now that i told you all. yes, i of all people i had a meltdown. and i don't mean the normal it's-that-time-of-the-month meltdown, i mean like a BIG TIME MELTDOWN! i nearly started having a panic attack and then i started crying uncontrollably and i couldn't stop. i literally crumbled under the weight of my own heart-thoughts. i guess having too much down time to think and dwell on your life's stresses can be a horrible thing sometimes.

why did i have a meltdown? well, i finally broke down because life has just been too much for me to handle lately. at least it's been too much for me to handle all on my own (which i found out later. it was through my meltdown that i realized that i can't be an island unto myself any longer.) but yesterday i totally snapped. i slid down to my knees, landing abruptly on the floor under my desk, and i just wept. i was tired of being the strong one. the one who doesn't cry and who doesn't seem like she has any problems to the world around her. i was tired of feeling like i was lying to everyone, myself included, by telling myself over and over again that i was okay and saying that i was when i wasn't to those around me.

honestly, work has been really stressful lately (what with numbers-to-crunch-me and the shortage of hours.) my relationships between my parents and my boyfriend have been a bit rocky and strained recently, and it seems as if adult life is swallowing me whole. right now i don't feel whole. i feel like there's a giant hole that's ripped it's way into my life. that hole, i believe, is having a lack of trust in others. ashamedly i've not gone to God enough with my heart cries, my many questions and my petitions.

i've not trusted God with the deepest parts of me as much as i should. i mean, i pray and read my bible, but really trusting that my God is BIGGER and believing that HE will lead me out of all of this chaos is something i've not done enough of lately. and yesterday was a result of those many stifled and chaotic feelings and lack of trust in HIM and my loved ones. and it all just crumpled together into a giant mess-of-me-meltdown. words and prayer with my king were all that kept me sane after my insane meltdown.

and i'm happy to say that after much prayer time with my king i feel much better. and of course talking to my love on the phone helped too. (poor guy. i think i stressed him out BIG TIME. i'm sorry honey!)  i even talked to my mother this morning about some things that were bothering me, and now that i have i feel so much more at ease! whew. lord, thank you for breakdowns and new morning mercies!

i feel like my breakdown was a beautiful thing after all, albeit chaotic and unneeded in some ways, too. i'm ashamed to say that i even had a mini panic attack and a huge meltdown. i'm afraid to let you see this more flawed part of me. especially when i'm the young woman who prides herself on being the strong one, the one who longs to inspire others and who searches for the answers to her many questions with a passion that is unmatched. and half the time, i admit, that these inspiring words that you read here on my blog are not only for you, they are written for my soul's release and sanity too. these words that i write, painful though they may be at times, are my anchor. they are an anchor that tethers my soul to God.

i'm learning through this meltdown that i had yesterday, and this reflection of jumbled thoughts that i am releasing here right now, for you and i both to ponder and savor.

this was my prayer yesterday to my Jesus; that which calmed and anchored my soul:

Dear Lord, thank you for breakdowns, the releasing of tears and wounds, joys to be found and for my love who listens graciously. Please help me to remember to remain patient, to grow stronger and to listen for your voice resounding amongst the whir of unstable emotions and feelings. Help me to become a woman who lives daringly for you, in the harder times and in easier times. In Jesus' name amen.

with love, 

sarah elizabeth