waiting, patiently waiting

I'm sitting still in my room, leaning over my desk, though the chair beneath my tired frame is swiveled by my anxious legs. The lights are dimly lit and it is utterly silent. I do not mind the silence, because the silence brings forth a time to sort through my thoughts, my heart, my frazzled self.

I am waiting for him, my love. He'll be here tomorrow, you should know, and knowing that sends my heart into blips of excited heart-pounding joy. And I can finally take a deep breath again. No, it's not like I never take a breath when my love and I are apart, but somehow I find that I breathe more deeply, more fully when he is by my side. I hold my breath again when he walks away after our wonderful times spent together - to travel back to his home, that is not I - every single time, and I wonder secretly how much longer it will be until I no longer have to gasp for air, all while the white-knuckle waiting continues on.

I am still the girl who is waiting. No, I am not that waiting single young woman anymore, but I am still waiting, in my own way. I remember those single-nights like they were just yesterday, those nights when I cried myself to sleep as a teenager. Many a tear was shed due to my never-a-plus-one status. I tried my best to honor God by patiently waiting for my Prince Charming, even though it was beyond painful not having a boyfriend. So I waited on Him and His plan for me, through the tears, through the many sleepless nights and through the constant fear that I believed I might just possibly end up living life alone forever.

And then I gave up on love altogether one hot July Summer day in 2009. I swore I didn't want it anymore. That I didn't need it. My heart had been drained and ripped apart once and for all. And then surrender came in the form of a sweet simple prayer. I handed my heart over to the Ultimate Heart-Mender. I asked God to fix the tattered pieces of my heart; the brokenness in me. I asked if He would please take the pain and desire to be married away. And then I finally let go of my own desires, and found myself filled with a stronger-than-ever desire for Him. 

After surrendering my heart to God I met my love, my Jared Thomas, the very same week. Neither Jared or I wanted to be Chaperones at a Christian Camp, and neither one of us knew why God had called us there in the first place. And yet He did, because He knew. To my amazement I had only just told God days ago that I was fine being by myself; that I wanted only to find what He had waiting for me there at that camp. Four months after many e-mails sent back and forth, awkward text messages and a very rainy drive to get Italian food on All Hallow's Eve, Jared and I began our life-long relationship together. We fell into love. And the waiting ended.

Many season's came to pass, and our love began to grow deeper and deeper, as the days went on. I was completely in a state of bliss, and it seemed to me as if I would never have to wait again. Enter the curve ball. Jared was moved by God to the other side of the state back in September of last year and now I find myself waiting once more. I never thought the waiting season would continue once you had found the love of your life, but somehow, in my case anyway, the waiting has continued on. I wait for job news. I wait for an engagement proposal. I wait for more money to flood in. I wait. I wait. I wait . . .

If you are that single woman in the dark, perhaps crying tears of complete frustration, worried about your seemingly-never-ending-waiting-game for Mr. Right to appear, know that you, dear one, are not alone. Love will come for you, when you least expect it to. It will sweep you off your feet, and leave you breathless. A new season will claim you. A new season where the waiting wanes, and the love takes a hold. Just know, and be prepared, that there will surely be more waiting times in your life to come that will claim a hold over you once more. But the waiting is not all bad you know, because you must see, and I must see, that God is preparing a season for us in which love can fully bloom and will continue to grow.

Once again I find myself waiting. Somehow I knew this season would find me again. I am waiting to breathe. Waiting to see my love's face again, to feel his hand in mine. And I wait, until the two shall become one. God is not done penning our love stories just yet, ever really . . . it is continued on, through many new seasons and waiting-times. I know that a new season will be borne soon enough, and that the waiting will surely cease for a while . . . yes, it will like it always does. And when the waiting stops, it will be long enough for us to finally breathe in deep.

// images via pinterest //

currently reading . . .

I've been trying to carve out more time for reading lately since I only have a thousand unread books sitting in my room, because its good for you, riiight? Reading at night before I go to bed has become such an exciting, and yet also relaxing, part of my day. Translation: I'm really glad I've been reading more lately! I've also tried to read more non-fiction books lately too, which has, up until now, been a genre that I normally wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. I've never really had an issue reading fiction books mind you, especially not if it was a Fantasy or Science Fiction story, but when you have the option to either dive into (1) an imaginary world or (2) into the real world you'll usually find me running after the stars.

Anywho. I'm making some decent progress with reading more non-fiction books, in case you were wondering. In fact, I have recently finished reading the following NF books: From The Library of C.S. Lewis by James Stuart Bell, Everything by Mary DeMuth,  I Am Not But I Know I Am by Louie Giglio and Quiet by Susan Cain.

*i enjoyed all of them, strangely enough*

And here's what I'm reading currently (one is fiction and the other non-fiction) . . .

click HERE to read chapter one
visit the website: lifeafterartbook.com
watch the book trailer for life after art below

life after art book review soon to come . . .

click HERE to read chapter one
check out the website for The Scorpio Races
watch the book trailer for The Scorpio Races below

What are you reading right now? Do you prefer reading non-fiction or fiction?

pinspired // wanderlusting

sadly enough, i've been sick since sunday with an energy-zapping cold (courtesy of my dear, dear father), so naturally i turned to sleep and pinterest for healing purposes. and for whatever reason the travel bug had decided to hit me hard, right alongside the little cold bug too. so, needless to say, i spent many hours looking at places that i would love to travel to, places i constantly wander-lust after and some places of which i have been to already and miss greatly. oh boy have i ever been in desperate need of watching a rick steves' europe marathon! alas, rick steves was not on tv when i needed him, and he did not save the boredom filled last couple of days for me, but pinterest did however save the travel bug firing up within me, for now at least, that is. ahem, if you don't know who rick steves is, and you are a fellow wanderluster at heart like myself, then you must simply check out his guidebooks and tv show, because they're truly exquisite!

so, without further ado -- here's a glimpse into my rather random wanderlusting pins. please, do enjoy.

// all images found on pinterest //

if the travel bug has bitten you too, where would you most like to go? 

Quiet by Susan Cain

Genre: Psychology & Psychiatry -- Personality
Release Date: 1/24/12
Number of Pages: 333
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group a division of Random House, Inc. 

Tag Line: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Summary (from Goodreads): At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical mega church, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.

Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert."

This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

What I Loved: In reading Quiet it was reaffirmed for myself, yet again, that yes, I live up to that statistic. I am that 1 in 3 person, but I am not just a statistic. I am an introvert who prefers listening to speaking, and would gladly choose staying at home with a book in hand over of going to a crowded place out in public or to a friend's party. That said, I was really excited to hear that there was a book out there (Enter: Quiet) that doesn't gawk at my naturally quiet nature, or tell me that there's indeed something wrong with me because I am not super outgoing or utterly talkative. 

It was quite interesting to learn about how our country is run on the idealism that everyone should be more extroverted, especially in the work place; and it was also refreshing to read about the lives of different introverts, like Rosa Parks and Steve Wozniak, people similar to myself, who shaped our American (and sometimes non-American: think Ghandi) society/culture by being true to their naturally quiet selves. These soft-powered men and women were the ones who paved the way for us quiet ones. 

I really enjoyed reading through the Introduction and the sections on Collaboration, Soft PowerCommunication and Cultivating Quiet Children.

This book also debunks many myths about how introverts really operate. For example, introverts are not anti-social, they're not all shy and yes, though they sometimes come off as being extroverts they are usually just masquerading their innermost personality traits to make others, like their friends and coworkers, feel more at ease. Chances are there are introverts in your family, your workplace and in your Church. You just have to look hard enough to see them for who they really are: quiet, thoughtful, creatives, writers, scientists, poets, photographers, engineers, etc

This book was definitely not meant to be read by introverts alone. This book is for the extrovert and the extrovert-masquerading introvert who longs to be unleashed into the perfectly acceptable quiet life that they were born for.

What I Didn't Like So Much: The mid-portions of Quiet focused more so on introducing us to the aspects of introversion in business and in the work place, which is great for those of us who are heavily business minded, but it leaves those of us more creative introvert types, like myself, left mind-wandering and wanting. (The earlier portions and latter third of the book totally make up for this slower too-much-business-talk midsection though!)

Also, though I knew that this book was not necessarily a Christian book when I first requested it, some unknowing readers might find it helpful to know that this book discusses sexuality and uses curse words on occasion, though neither subject matter was used in a vulgar manner. 

I'm Recommending This Book . . . If you are an introvert who wants to learn more about yourself and your personality, or if you are a curious extrovert who wonders why your friend Sally would rather stay at home on a Friday night after work and read her book than come to your super-fun friend-filled parties, then this book is for you. You will learn how valuable both introverts and extroverts are; and hopefully you will find your place along the way.

About The Author: Susan Cain's writing has appeared in the New York Times; the Dallas Morning News; O, The Oprah Magazine; Time.com; and PsychologyToday.com, and her TED talk has been viewed more that three million times. She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons.

Click HERE to purchase Quiet from Amazon

You can find out more about  Susan Cain at her Website: The Power of Introverts

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

a welcome to the nest

// artwork © laurel beth //

Hi there! Welcome to Oh, Restless Bird! I've noticed a couple of new lovely faces around here over the last couple of weeks, so I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself (again) before I continue to blog on.

Here are a few things about me that aren't covered on my about me page . . .

( 1 ) 
My heart longs for Scotland and I'm not even Scottish. Nope. I blame my love of Scotland on the Loch Ness Monster and Amy Pond.

( 2 ) 
I tend to contradict myself and my loves/likes a lot with some seriously major contrast, but I'm completely okay with that fact. (Example: I love buying shoes, but I hate wearing them.)

( 3 ) 
I've been in love with the same guy for over 3 years; and supposedly "Operation Engagement" is underway, or so I've been told. *EEP* I cannot wait to marry my best friend!

( 4 ) 
I work at a Christian bookstore, and answer the store phone like I'm involved in an Old
Western Shoot-Out or something every.single.time. My purple apron is my phone-gun holster, I kid you not. My favorite section to stock at the store is (duh!) of course the Fiction section.

( 5 ) 
I thought I was a pretty fast talker, being born a city kid, who later in life moved to the mountains and whatnot, but then I met my blogger friend Meghan. Meg's waaaay faster at talking than me! I guess us Southerner's just talk a bit slower naturally, eh?

( 6 ) 
I'm working on writing a YA Fantasy Novel, which leads me to research crazy things like Herbology and Mythical Sea Creatures

( 7 ) 
I talk with my hands a lot and eat food like an Italian-beast. My favorite restaurants are Olive Garden and Carrabba's. Oh, and I can make some mean homemade Chicken Marsala too! Speaking of Italy . . . I'd so love to go there someday!

( 8 ) 
I love photography, but rarely take photos of myself . . . like, ever. I prefer to take pictures of other people, architecture and nature. 

( 9 ) 
I've been a Christian since I was an itty bitty, though I really didn't claim my faith as my own until I was 16.

( 10 ) 
I love Animated Stop-Motion (Frankenweenieand Hayao Miyazaki (Howl's Moving Castlefilms

( 11 ) 
I'm obsessed with Doctor Who. I mean, its a crazy-handsome man and a flying blue box for crying out loud! Who wouldn't be obsessed with The Doctor!?

( 12 ) 
I'm a BIG TIME movie watcher and usually associate certain foods with certain movies. I associate Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Disney's The Fox & The Hound, and Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans with Twilight. Oh, and I am just as weird when it comes to watching TV too. For instance, I associate Spaghetti with The Walking Dead and Japanese Food with Fringe.

( 13 ) 
My current career goal in life is to become an author/wife/mother. Tall order? I think not.

( 14 ) 
I use elipses way too much in my blog posts . . . See I told ya!?

( 15 ) 
I'm a lover of stories. Fairy Tales have always been my favorite kind.

( 16 ) 
I've picked One-Word to focus on for the past two years. Last year my word was PEACE and this year it's EMBRACE

( 17 ) 
I review books from time to time for Blogging For Books, DJC Communications, Team Novel Teen and the Z-Street Team. I absolutely love reading YA Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Dystopia. 

( 18 ) 
I've been playing piano since I was 6 (ahem, that would be for nearly 18 years.) Woot! 18 for 18.

( 19 ) 
I am here to be an encourager, to document my life and to make Jesus famous.

( 20 )
I am an INFJ. Knowing this fact might just help you to understand me all the better. 

( 21 )
My closet is color-coded, my DVD's are all alphabetized and my bookshelf is organized by book-height. In short, I love cleaning/organization!

( 22 )
I'm in love with all things Phantom and Les Miz.

( 23 ) 
I'm a recovering perfectionist. Like, seriously . . . You don't even want to know how long it took me to come up with the *perfect* 23 unique things to tell ya'll about myself! (Pssst! By the way, I chose 23 things because, well, I *am* 23!)

/ / /

I'd love to get to know you too! So, why not tell me 5 unique things about yourself in the comments section below?

March Date: Jared & Sarah

For those of you who are new followers to the nest I'd thought I might catch you up a little bit on my guy and I . . .

Unlike many other dating couples, Jared and I only have a date once a month. And we only get to see each other a handful of days per month at that (at least, this has been the case for nearly the last 6 months or so.) "But why!?" you might well ask. Well, long story short . . . Jared and I have always been a long distance couple. We met while chaperoning at a Christian Camp in the WNC mountains . . .  and then we e-mailed each other for 4 months and - BOOM! instant couple- have now been together for 3+ years. 

If you'd like you can click HERE and HERE to read more of our love story. 

During the getting-to-know-you phase of our relationship Jared lived about an hour and a half away from me. Then his family was called into a different direction (you should know that Jared's father is a Baptist Pastor) and the family moved right around Valentine's Day in 2011. I still remember crying my eyes out all the way home after I had to say "goodbye for now" to my love in the parking lot of a Wendy's. By this time Jared was now 4.5 hours away from me. Enter a rough patch for Sarah and Jared. We knew something had to change, as neither he or I were strong enough at the time to be apart from each other. So . . . Jared packed up his things and moved to WNC where his grandparents reside. Now, at this point in time Jared was about 1 hour away from me. During this transition period Jared made himself as comfortable as possible. He lived with his grandparents, went to college there, worked delivering water bottles around WNC and found a Church Home. And that lasted for quite some time . . . and our relationship thrived and bloomed, and yes, went through a couple of rough patches, as one might expect. 

Phew! So . . . After all of this God decided to throw Jared and I a monkey-wrench some divine providence and He moved Jared yet again, to the other side of the state, where Jared has found full time employment (Mr. Edwards you are a God-send!) with a wonderful company, he attends Church where his father presides over the congregation as Pastor, and he has become a new stronger-than-ever man.  I am so proud of Jared . . . all of the times he's been moved around and has *still* been faithful to see God's mighty hand at work through it all every day. My guy is totally a keeper!

All of this brings us both to right now. Jared and I are separated by 230 miles and 4.5 hours of travel, on completely opposite ends of our glorious state at this very moment. But we are in love now more than ever. It's crazy how my love for Jared only grows deeper day by day. Currently Jared works for a wonderful company full time and gets every weekend and holiday off. I work for a local Christian Bookstore, mostly nights, and work nearly every holiday and weekend. Yes, It's been a trial to walk through all of this over the last 3 years, but it's so worth it just knowing that Jared and I are indeed working towards building a life together; a marriage together, some time this very year in fact. I can still see that God is mightily at work. We both see that, even on those days when we both feel lonely apart from one another. 

So . . . Now that everyone is caught up, mind letting me tell you a bit about our March Date?

// 2.28.13 // 

I jump in my car, water bottle and iPod at the ready around 11am and prepare to make my way from WNC to ENC. The drive across the state to see my guy always *nearly* kills me, as it seems to take for.ev.er. to get there. Ahem . . . I arrived at Jared's family's home around 3:30ish. Then I had to wait (anxiously!) for my guy to get home from work. That night Jared, Seth (his younger brother) and I all piled in the car and headed to Arby's for dinner. We goofed off, ate loads and then returned home, where Seth proceeded to watch not one, but two basketball games on tv,while Jared and I resigned to just chit chatting and looking through old photos of us on FB together.

// 3.1.13. //
Seth had school, Tricia (J's momma) had work, Robin (J's dad) is in India on a missions trip and Jared has to go into work. So, that leaves me with catching up on e-mail at home, reading and taking the longest hot shower ever. Then I get a text message from J saying that he might be getting home from work early! *squeal* So what do I do? Dun dun duhn. I wait. It's painfully boring due to being at home all by my lonesome . . . and then J calls me and says he's on his way home. Woot! As soon as J got home we raided the freezer and cabinets for lunch. I settled on Totino's Pizza Rolls and a Diet Green Tea. Healthy. I know. And then J and I snuggled up on the couch and watch The Lion King 1 1/2, which was hi.lar.i.ous by the way. After we nommed and laughed our hineys off J and I decided to head to Target (since that was where I was gonna go before he sent the "Could you hold off on leaving just yet. I might be off of work early today" text), Hobby Lobby, Lifeway (I'm such a rebel, what with visiting my competition) and Wal-Mart (won't go to that WM ever again!) After we got out of WM both J and I realized that we were exhausted and introvertedly drained, so we decided to pick up Chick Fil A and head back home, where we nommed again while watching LOTR: The Return of the King on BluRay. 

// 3.2.13. // 
J and I got up, got ready and Googled the address for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and Nature Research Center (which is a newly opened wing of the museum.) Before we left town for the museum though we stopped and got Arby's for an early lunch (yes, again) and had to make a pit stop at the Gas Station. After lunch and the fill up it was smooth sailing on the way to the museum. Once we finally got to the museum J bought 2 tickets for us to go into the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition which was phenomenal, lemme tell ya! They had the bell that was rung on the ship as soon as the ship struck the iceberg, you could touch the *actual* hull of the ship and they had the steering wheel column there too, among many other cool artifacts and photographs and quotes splashed upon the exhibit walls. 

I thought the fact that they gave J and I both a Titanic boarding pass with a real-life passenger's name and info on it to be one of the most interesting parts of the exhibit. Jared *somehow* managed to acquire the boarding pass of the *only* man of color aboard the RMS Titanic. Crazy, right? Yup, my guy's unique alright! Haha! And I managed to get a young 18 year old Irish woman's boarding pass, named Miss Hanora Hegarty. Apparently she was in 3rd class, and on her way to America to join an order of nuns; she was accompanied by her cousin, Mr. Jeremiah Burke. 

After we perused the rest of the museum's many wings, including the new Nature Research Center, we decided it was time to head on back home. Once we got home we ate dinner, and then J and I watched the entirety of Season One of The Walking Dead. Because Zombies are cool.

Now J and I are both *minorly* obsessed with the show.

// 3.3.13. //
Sunday morning we got up, ate breakfast and headed out the door to Sunday School. The service was preached by a Retired Pastor, since Dr. Fisher was on his way home from India still. By the time we got back home from Church J's dad had already made it back home safe and sound. We got to hear all of the India missions trip stories, which were interesting and funny to say the very least. Then it was foreign-gift-exchange time. Dr. Fisher brought me back a lovely purple necklace from India and a mechanical compass/sundial for Jared. After we got done opening our gifts it was time for linner. We had roast and potatoes and caught up on each other's lives, and it was just great, really. 

That afternoon/evening Jared and I watched the entirety of Season Two of The Walking Dead. It's official. We're obsessed. 

And then we prayed together before bed. . . that God would lead our next few months according to His will, and that He would make a way for us to get married sooner, rather than later.

 // 3.4.13. //
Jared woke me up really early and I walked him to the door and kissed him goodbye, not knowing when the next time we'd see each other again would be. It was so hard shutting the door behind him as he walked away. After J left I packed up my things, watched some tv with Tricia for a bit and then hit the road. I then (only after 45 minutes on the road) started to feel carsick WHILE DRIVING! due to the gusty winds that were whipping my car to and fro all over the highway. I nearly hit a person because of the crazy wind . . . had to pull my car over, calm myself down, get some coffee from Mickey D's and then I got back on the highway where I prayed and cried for nearly an hour and a half with my Jesus. 

And now I'm back home. Surviving. And I miss his warm smile, his nerdy banter and the presence of his quiet strength. In all this I know I must be strong. This is my season to bear for a reason. I know Jared and I will get through this far-apart season soon enough. God will make a way.

the bird is on holiday ( well, sort of )

i'm spending the weekend with this handsome guy, and his family. stay tuned for a jarah date update (that sounded totally less silly in my head) and a sort of welcome post to all of you new lovely nesters sometime in the next week or so. 

until then, may your feathers be not ruffled, but rather well rested instead.