a dream jar in the making

After writing my post on contentment and dreams and drooling over all of the super awesome photos of dream jars on Pinterest lately, I knew I just had to make one of my very own. So I decided to make a jar for my precious dreams on freaky friday (friday the thirteenth) while watching the movie Freaky Friday (love that movie!) I used an old Kerr glass jar, instant decoupage glue, some old aqua blue tissue paper I had lying around my room and a paint brush to create the base for my dream jar.

Surprisingly this was a pretty fun "craft-time" for me, didn't take too long to do and I didn't end up making a huge mess (like I usually do.) After the tissue paper/decoupage glue had dried on the jar I cut out some double sided sticky glitter letters that spelled out d-r-e-a-m to grace one side of my dream jar and I decided to make the top of the jar glittery too. 

(And yes, I'm completely aware that my r and s is backwards. ;)

Then this week I finally got around to filling my dream jar with my wild and crazy and awesome dreams. It was kind of freeing to empty my mind and heart and just let God have my dreams as I dropped them carefully into my newly crafted jar.

If you look closely at the photo above ^ you can spy one of my dreams which is to get a mustang. I love muscle cars...and yes, I'm a girl I swear. If I see a Mustang you can usually bet that I'll be drooling and teary eyed in an instant. It's kind of pathetic, but totally true. Jared can vouch for me on this one.

I'd love to know if you're planning to make a dream jar of your own sometime. Please comment here and let me know if you do!

It was a lot of fun to make my dream jar and then to dream up everything I could possibly ever want, desire or imagine to grace strips of ruled notebook paper with inky letters to fill my plain empty jar and turn it into a sparkling lovely jar of dreams.

Make a dream jar or don't, but please keep on dreaming friend!

Sarah Elizabeth

P.S. - I'll be away for the weekend...again...this time though I'll be helping my grandparents move. So I'll be sure to catch up with ya'll sometime next week. Here's to hoping you have a dream filled and very much so blessed weekend!

second chances on strings

((image via pinterest))

forgiveness is like music.
it is bittersweet and aching.
raw emotions in a tangled collision.

it's the sound of saying you're sorry,
resonating like strumming on strings. 
the notes of breaking down familiar rhythms.

you can breathe in this knowing.
this, the knowing of grace and bridges slowly being rebuilt.
tear by tear and kisses sprinkled over cheeks.
 those hurting walls come tumbling down.

and now it's time to rebuild.

note by note and word by word.
heart by heart and smile by smile.

the symphony of grace pours through our souls.

we learn so much about one another.
that we are similar and both need grace.

yes, there is always a niche for forgiveness.
there's always this need for humbling grace.
for renewal is our new song to sing.

humbled words, frightened spilling out, 
are the reminders that we are but human after all.

it's more than just being the stubborn one.
 or the right or wrong one.
whatever your score.

forgiveness, like music, is this self set free.

it's the giving of a second chance.
it's the giving of new clean slates.
it's the opening up when we fear we cannot.

this forgiveness.
letting go of angry words and staccato tones.
anew a song of grace becomes borne.

we learn our song...this forgiveness...the music
 resounding of HIS grace.

{this poem is for my momma}

((i'm linking up with emily wierenga today))

my not so mundane life

{Jared and Me}

My handsome love and I got to spend our weekend together. Oh, le sigh. Thank goodness too, because nearly two weeks apart from each other always nearly kills me!

You know, I don't do this enough, honestly, telling you about myself and my personal life, but if you don't mind I'd like to tell you about my weekend with my love. Somehow I always convince myself that my normal everyday-life-posts would just be too boring to bother with writing for you all to read, but this will change soon, because God works in the mundane and the micro and I know He wants me to share my heart more willingly about my days here on Earth. I guess every once in a while I could break away from my proseful and nerdy writer filled randomness posts and just let you all have a little peek into my so-called-not-so-mundane-after-all-life. Sound good? (Just so you know letting you hear and glimpse a bit more into the simple days I live really freaks me out!) Here goes...

My Weekend In A (HUGE) Nutshell

I woke up at 6 am. This does not happen often (you may all applaud now.) I ate breakfast, did my Kardio and Yoga workout, packed my bag and hit the road to go visit my love (who lives over an hour away) around 7:50 am. I know, I'm just that awesome (insert laughter here please.)

I drove through mountain fog and curvy roads and then I finally made it. You know, there's nothing quite like not having seen someone whom you desperately love in two weeks and then getting to see them again. I love that rush of excitement when I see his blues eyes flash a smile towards me. It's then I know joy and love and home all over again, and the butterflies start swirling in my tummy. I love my J to the moon and back again!

Anyhow, J and I decided to head out into the rainy day even though we knew our previous plans of walking around the downtown streets was blown. So where does a nerdy bookish writer couple like us head when it's rainy and we don't want to be cooped up at home all day? Barnes & Noble. We perused books for a good long time and then stomachs starting to chime in with "is it lunch time yet?" Momma gave me two $10 gift cards to Applebee's and I bet you can guess where we ate at for lunch, right? I'm really proud of myself because I stuck to my new lifestyle diet. I ordered water to drink and for my main entree I ordered steak and a double veggie medley. (Good girl, Sarah!)

                                                                           Source: images.google.com via sarah on Pinterest

After lunch we drove out to the used bookstore. I had a large box full of books that I wanted to trade in and it was pouring down rain at this point of our date day. I'm smart though and before we left J's grandparents house I asked for a glad bag. So I hauled my black sack of books into the bookstore. The books made it without getting wet, me and J though, well, we weren't as lucky. I was able to trade in all of my books and ended up getting The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling and a copy of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. I used my book trade credit on my books and the store still ended up owing me trade credit. How fab is that? Needless to say I'm always a happy girl after I've been perusing the used bookstore while holding my guy's hand, most of the time.

J and I made it out of the used bookstore without going hog wild on purchasing books. Amazed? Yeah, I was too. Then I started talking non-stop about Sherlock Holmes: A Games of Shadows, as I'd already seen it and J had not. And then my smart boyfriend got the hint and we headed to the movies to see when the show times were. The next showing didn't start for another 45 minutes so we headed back to the mall and ended up in B&N for the second time and I ended up buying a copy of Matched and Divergent, both of which I've been dying to read. Yes, I'm on a Dystopia book kick right now. I dunno why!

You know, back to the hinting... I don't know why I have trouble suggesting things or telling people exactly what I want, but I do, so I usually ended up dropping hints as heavy as nuclear bombs and then everyone around me knows exactly what I so desire. Lame I know, but alas this is me: world's-biggest-hint-dropper. Seriously, you should live with me in April and the first few weeks of May because I'd drive you insane with all of my hints I drop because my day of birth is drawing nearer and nearer. Anywho...I digress.

                                                                           Source: ia.media-imdb.com via sarah on Pinterest

I honestly loved Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows even more than I did the first time I saw it. If you've not seen it yet, please do before it is no longer in theatre's, okay? It's amazing and epic and oh so very clever! It's now in my top five fave movies. "It's so overt. It's covert."

After we got out of the movies I started talking about living a more healthier lifestyle, which drove my guy crrrrazzzzy. I tend to get completely righteous and a bit loud and overbearing when I want you to hear what I have to say. So we both got out of the car at the mall, stubborn pig headed attitudes intact, and I continued to rant and rant and rant on. We finally made it to the food court and got some Chic Fil A for dinner, J's treat. Then we had a short spat at the table...then came a word stab followed by hurt silence...then there came grace and talking things out. J is very good about being full of grace for me and for others, where as I need to work on having grace grace grace pounded into my stubborn self.

                                                                          Source: images.google.com via sarah on Pinterest

After dinner and apologizing we drove back home through the rain. Nothing really exciting to report on the drive back except that I may or may not have been singing obnoxiously. We made it home and then decided to snuggle up under a quilt and watch Scrubs on DVD and then we broke out J's copy of The Thing, which I had never seen before, but found quite gross and awesome all at the same time. A word of advice if you've just recently eaten and or have a really weak stomach don't watch this movie, okay? The Thing was an awesome Sci-Fi flick, and minus some cursing the story would have been monster movie perfection.

After the scary movie it was bed time. I made my way to the guest room and slept soundly to the constant tapping of the rain until morning.

Sunday...was quite a bit more relaxed.

J and I got up and ready for Church. Drove to Church. Had a good time laughing and learning alongside newly made friends in the College Sunday School Class and then listened to Pastor Stan preach a sermon on parenting in today's times. While the message was not intended for J or I right now, we both still took notes and listened intently.

After church came Quizno's subs for the both of us. I'm in love with Quizno's, just so ya'll know! Then we went back to the house and grabbed J's laptop so we could head out to B&N (again for the 3rd time) so J could check on his homework for his online classes. I perused books again while J answered his quiz questions and then we got outta there and J indulged me by doing what I so desperately wanted to do but wouldn't say so (I did drop major hints about it though at B&N!) We went and parked downtown in A-ville and walked and walked and managed to go into a few whimsical-ish stores. We really do enjoy taking long walks, looking at the mountain views from the city streets and listening to the local musician's play on the street corners. Yep, downtown is definitely one of my favorite places ever (the picture above ^ is of the roof of the St. Lawrence Basilica from downtown last year.)

(I've already practically typed a small novella here...yikes!...so I'm going to tell you about the rest of my weekend in a major run-on sentence, okay?)

We got in the car, made it home, I packed my stuff up and put it in my car, then J and I snuggled up again under a quilt, because we were freezing from walking around downtown and watched The Iron Giant and then I left for home and prayed for a good long stretch of the journey because it was so foggy that I couldn't see the road at all, or any of the other many cars on the highway around me.

The End

So there you have it. A peek into my run-on-sentence filled life. How was your weekend?

contented dream jars

a very loving, and thoughtful young man, once spoke words of wisdom. his words stung my heart and expanded my narrowed mind, all at once. he said that life is all about our contentment with it, and not our complacency. i understood what he meant immediately. i lived life as one who was not content, at the time, and also as one who thought that i wasn't complacent, that is until recently when i became even more restless than ever before. i realized that i had dreamed of becoming more than.

more than just a wordsmith: a writer

more than just a girl: a strong woman

more than just a dreamer: a doer

with these thoughts, scales loosened themselves from my eyes and i heard those words of his ringing truer than true in my heart.

i had held myself in places of the complacent domain, when my soul longed to soar. i forgot to be content with where i was at currently, without comparing myself to those other brothers and sisters around me. and instead of being a more than content woman, i found myself distracted by my own version of the comfortably secure life.

this life we live is about daring. it's about being content with what we have. dreaming. loving. leading. hoping. more. there's this immense relaxation that allows us to begin dreaming, that abounds when we calm our spirits, sit before HIM and say here i am. here's my dreams and my life and the things i long to be more than.  and then we are free to be content, because those thoughts, both good and evil, do not harbor residence over our entire soul.

placing dreams into shining jars, that sit on windowsills, they are clouded by shadow at first, or so it seems. but those jars sit there content, filled to the brim with dreams of the coming days, and yet they are satisfied with their station on the sill. they await the sunny days that lie ahead. the ones that will change those dreams within that are scrawled on inky covered notebook paper. those dreams shine in the sun and remember fondly those accepted contented times. and now they are ready to be borne...ready to be become borne anew.

dreams, like our faith should never be complacent. to live more, to dream more, to be more. those should be the things of which we let our minds and hearts entertain when we are in a season of quiet. a season that learns to be content with what we have, and also learns to dream more, but storehouses those dreams in splendid glass jars for a future of daring.

...never complacent, always daring to be content. there in the now, glass jar dreams and HIS immense love, await me, alongside contentment to be found and sought after. so do not be afraid, to breathe dreams in and out and to love where you are at, dear one. be content to dream and to find that place of eucharisteo with Him and with me.

this year i'm turning my wild dreams loose and deciding to live them out to the fullest. i'll be holding other dreams in jars for another season that aren't yet ready to shine. and i will strive to become a restless more-than woman who is striving and running after her place of peace.

i'm still learning what all of this means, but i will proceed into this new year having learned last year that contentment is a beautiful surrender of the now-dreams and it's also the laying down of the someday-jar-dreams, and complacency is an uglified laziness that squelches new dreams from ever forming or becoming this beautiful person filled with daring that is now me.

{linking up with emily and letting go of my dreams while learning to live contentedly}
((all images via pinterest))

a good beginning

i want to pen the most enticing, delectably scrumptious first sentence ever written in a book. (a tall order indeed, right?) but this act of writing such blissful word perfection has been such a hard task for me to accomplish though, i've found. this pouring over word choice ever so carefully and stringing together words just so is not an easy task at all.

as a writer i know that i need to just write. yes, the beginning of any book is a very hard place to start writing. this i do know. that first sentence, the one that tells you where you might go or who you might become or even who you might meet along the way sets the stage in an either ghastly manner or in a brilliant array of beautifully crafted words.

this is my muse and my plight. they are one in the same. to create a beginning is daunting and daring and delightful. and if it must be, then i shall choose to be daring and let the daunting nature i've felt as of late pass me on by, as i pen that first delightful sentence.

 i confess that i've struggled greatly with re-writing the beginning of the novel i'm currently working on. i want it to be perfection. i want it to set the stage and be so vividly memorable to it's one-day readers (fingers crossed) so i've written, and re-written and re-written it again, over and over and over. and now i think i may just be onto the start of something wonderful, enticing even, but i will continue to write and re-write it until i get this novel...this beginning WIP...just right. until that opening sentence satiates my hunger, and tells me a story all it's very own, that pulls me in and drowns me in a very delightfully good beginning.

so, i will write. beginning, middle and end. there and back again. over and under and through the woods. until the sentences are just rightly so. breathtaking, enticing and delectably scrumptious to behold.

yes, i dare pray so. let the writing begin.


i've been wanting to share some of my favorite opening sentences from some of my all time favorite novels with you dear readers for a while now. and these authors knew how to set the stage, i must say.  

"it was a dark and stormy night." 
madeleine l'engle // a wrinkle in time

"she walked through an orchard, fallen apples red and cidery on the ground, crossed a stone wall, and wandered into a small wood." 
madeleine l'engle // an acceptable time

"i have been asked to tell you about the back of the North Wind."
george macdonald // at the back of north wind

"it was a good night to get engaged."
jenny b. jones // save the date

"wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world."
christopher paolini // eragon

"if you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book."
lemony snicket // the bad beginning 

"alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book', thought alice, 'without pictures or conversations?'"
Lewis Carroll // alice's adventures in wonderland and other stories

What are some of your favorite novel-first-sentences?

my god can, in twenty-twelve

{image via pinterest}

A great deal of twenty-eleven was spent wishing I could've had everything that I didn’t have already, but wanted oh so badly. I had so many stressful blue days (self inflicted of course), and even though I had quite a few absolutely blissful dream days (like going to She Speaks for instance, meeting a blogger friend IRL and taking a road trip with the love) thrown into the mix I chose to focus on what I did not have, instead of what God had already graciously given me. Which were a lot blessings, in all honesty!
I confess that I wanted (desperately) to have been engaged by now. I wanted my boyfriend to have found a (really good) job by now (would you please pray alongside me for him on this?) I wanted to have had enough money saved to have moved out of my parents home by now (which was some seriously wishful thinking on my part.) I wanted my daddy’s heart to heal completely (we found out he has aortic bicuspid valve disease last year. Daddy has still had troubles with his blood pressure medications and he has also really been exhausted lately from his heart and from his job [and this really frightens me].) I wanted my mom's lungs to heal from her asthma and for her to be overall a healthier and happier person (she had to go get oxygen recently, and since then we have all started a new lifestyle/diet plan.) I wanted my little sister to decidedly dig deeper into God's Word and for her to talk to me more about herself, her dreams and about HIM (because I'm longing to have a deeper relationship with her and my Lord too.)
And that right there is part of the problem. I wanted a lot of things, but God obviously knew that it wasn't the right season yet. Twenty-Eleven was not the year of my engagement, moving out of my family's home or of complete healing (but that doesn't mean that God can't heal my daddy or momma still.) I believe that God also saw that I was immature, in that I let my stress become bigger than HIM and I also chose stress over peace when life got hairy. This obviously hurt me and my family, what with my serious stress filled mood swings and icky snappish attitudes, but in the long run these days of trials have made me grow in such a deep manner, one that has made me become much wiser. 

I know that I still have much growing to do into the realms of adulthood and in HIM this year. I recognize that I am going to have to fight for my dreams, and for those I love. I am going to have to be the one who actively seeks out my King and prays "Lord, lead me and grant me peace and growth." And I have to know, and accept, that I just cannot fix everything. 

I can't get Jared a job and finish college for him. Only He and God Can. I can't fix my dad's heart. Only God Can. I can't fix my momma's lungs. Only God Can. I can't make my sister crack open her Bible and open herself to me as a dear sister and friend. Only God Can. I can't make my grandparents see that their choices have led them down a path of no return, unless they choose to pick themselves up, ask for help and let go of their facades. Only God Can.

This year those wishes of wanting what I don't yet possess in this season of life will be replaced with living in the moment and striving to live a more peace filled life. Living in peace and striving for a peaceful walk with Christ daily will surely make my walk in life an easier one and I'm sure it will also make it easier for those loved ones around me too (or at least that's my thought on this.)
Now my palms are empty and open handed to what HE has in store for me this year. Last year I didn't trust HIM or anyone else for that matter very much, but this year will be different. I will BETTER MYSELF for myself. I will TRUST in HIM more. I will keep MY EYES STAYED UPON HIM more. I will be at PEACE with the way things are, these newly lived out seasons of dreams come true or dreams awaiting the light of day some day soon. It will be more of a "But God, what do you want for me?" kind of year and honestly I'm okay with this. I'm excited to see what God will do for my family, my love, myself and even YOU who are reading this very post right now!
Let's choose to STOP and see what HE has in store for us 
E V E R Y  S I N G L E  D A Y! 

I know this is not going to be easy, for me or anyone else, to live open-handedly and to RISE UP, but I can already see HIM more clearly now and the path that HE has set before me. 
For THIS is the day the LORD has made! 
(psalm 118:24)