Saturday, April 25, 2015

selfie shame

Yesterday was a great day. Like a really awesome day. I went shopping with mom, bought little fun things from Target, used a coupon for unlimited soup salad and bread sticks at Olive Garden, and then ate cookie cake with the family that night. And the weather was perfect. It was pretty great. 
But I guess good things never last. Brace yourselves for Olivia's daily dose of awkward. Coming up next!
No, but it was pretty bad. So, after all this fun shopping we were stopping by Aldi's. Mom had gone in to pick up the groceries, but she left me outside in the car with the windows down. It was sunny and comfortable and as you can see from the picture below the lighting was fantastic. So, being the teenage girl that I am, embarrassingly enough I began taking a selfie or two. Being the tactful undercover mastermind that I am, I only snapped one when there was no one in the vicinity to observe my indulgence in these ridiculous antics. Being the apparently blind human that I am, I failed to miss something. This is where the real pain starts.

Sitting in the passengers seat of the car right beside me was a person. An older person. I had been taking selfies right there for them to observe. Man. Didn't know I was capable of having a heart attack til then. But I apparently I am. Because I did.
I still don't know if it was a man or woman. That may or may not be a result of my paranoia from that point on until mom got in the car. In that moment I felt that I represented all that this next generation was to that person. It was. Yeah not the best feeling in the world. So there we go.
Moral of the Story: As a general rule, try to avoid taking selfies in the car. It's rarely worth your time. And if you do BE AWARE OF ALL YOUR SURROUNDINGS AT ALL TIMES. Life or death situation people. Oh, and also just as an aside- don't be who I am. Just don't. It never works out. This blog post: exhibit A.


This is basically what any and all of my writing looks like: messy scribbled pencil with notes along the side, sentences scratched out, and layout rearranged. And this is after my initial attempt (on the other side of the paper). 
Anyway, this is something I wrote while outside on our trampoline attempting to read a hopelessly dull book on "Warfare in the Classical World". It may sound mildly interesting, but trust me- if anyone could make a topic uninteresting, that author could. So, the wind was pummeling the trees on a cloudy but comfortable day, and this idea popped into my head. And I couldn't resist. I don't really know what it is. But either way, here it is.

A bright, white expanse stretches far above me, smudged gray and blue. The air tastes like rain and the wind feels like summer. It surges through the treetops. It whispers in my ears. It whips at my hair, playing with tendrils and weaving in between the locks, entangling itself in the murky blond tresses. But then it won't let go. And then neither will I, my hazel eyes shadowed by the stormy white gray.
The invisible force lifts me upward. It has magic the magic of storm, of chaos, of power, of fear, and destruction. 
The wind now feels colder. My lips feel the chap.
I could have the power of that magic, the magic of that power. I could rule the roaring terror of thunder, the whirling howl of wind, the pounding force of rain. 
But then no.
I felt a slight tightening of the air, a clench of the wind, an imperceptible rumble of the air. A tremor of rage shivered through my body. I felt their control and the sway that they held. And I was afraid.
I must free myself from their magic divine. Their power is theirs. It could never be mine. I must run. I must flee. This path in the sky was never for me. They saw the storm in me in the chaos of my eyes but they did not see the fierce storm of my soul that refused to give in. They missed the hazel of my eyes, my heart for the earth and for peace and for passion and sunshine and growth . Because they were too busy finding their reflection in me. They saw I had it in me but now they see what was beneath. Now they sensed my resistance and they knew from my eyes I would not, I could not, would never be ruled. 
And suddenly I knew what their answer would be. The oncoming storm. It was coming for me.
The Lightning blazed. The Thunder crashed. The Rain pounded. The Wind shrieked.
And then the storm struck.

Well, I just read back over this and realized that I really don't like it at all. Not entirely sure why I'm still posting it, but I just can't not post this after I spent the time typing it out. And I like the pictures too. So there it is. It seems forced and it sounds disjointed, but still there it is.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


► the smell of playdough
► comfy sleepy outfits
► waking up to sunlight and a new day
► the prospect of pizza at the end of the day 
► getting a paper done
► wearing lacy headbands
► spearmint gum
► writing friends letters with sharpies 
► cutting your nails
► twinkle lights all year round
► buying college ruled paper after being out for weeks
► freshly-mown grass
► getting out of bed early on a saturday
► new chapstick
► buying lots of little things you don't need
► being late for something because you were busy doing a blogpost when you weren't supposed to
oh wait.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

a world without money

What would your life look like if money had no meaning? Would you work? Where would you live? Who would you spend your time with? What would you do more/less of?

Well, that's a big question. I think that I would be working but not in the way that I would be in the real world. I would like to think that I would be doing more of helping people. Without the worry of working to keep money coming in to support myself, my time would be opened up so much. 

I'm not sure that I would live in one place, either. I'd like to be traveling abroad a lot. And doing missions and giving my time to God through giving it to other people. It's so rewarding to be giving of yourself to others and I'd want to be investing in people all over the world: third world and first world countries a like. 
If I actually did all of these things, I would be spending my time with lots and lots of different people. But I couldn't help but want to spend time at home in NC. I am a bit of a homebody anyway. So, I'd like to spend it visiting family and friends, meeting new friends, keeping in touch with old and new, and strangers. I'd like to spend time with strangers too. There's so much room for growth, living in a world like that. There's so many different people and different minds and hearts and so many different ways that people can be loved, that people need to be loved. I can't imagine living a life like this and not learning so much more about God, and his creation, and his immeasurable love for his creation. We can learn so much about God through other people. We are, after all, made directly in his  image. There's so, so much to learn, about God, ourselves, all these wonderful, broken human beings around us. Sometimes we get so stuck on ourselves, we forget how much there is out there and how small our lives really are. Not in an insignificant or meaningless way (God cares for us and is watching us and keeping us and loving us every split second of everyday. If that doesn't give our lives significance and meaning and worth then I don't know what does), but in a way that we can glorify God in the complexity of the universe, and his creation, how we can serve him in countless ways in this huge, little world we live in. But I have to say, I'm and introvert, and yes- I need plenty of alone time. That's just a lot of who I am. 

here's some waffles from this am

What I'd do more or less of.... hmm well I kind of covered some of that and whoa I am super dizzy right now for no reason whatsoever. whoa okay. That was weird.  I'M FINE THOUGH. STILL ALIVE. Okay, anyway. I covered some of that. Of course, I would want to serve God in anyway I could. But I guess that's kind of a given, whether money is meaningless or not. I would like to spend more time at coffee shops, book shops, tea shops, etc. I would like to spend more time reading and buying books, used and new. I'd like to spend more time doing things for fun. Go on hikes, browse downtown,  write a novel or two or three. Make a difference. Eat a few more bagels at a fresh bakery. Not stress so much, worry so much. Get a few more movies from redbox. Eat healthier, without worrying about cost or anything. Somehow attain real art utensils and maybe take some lessons. Just to be free to paint with good brushes and paint (not crayola watercolors). That would be nice. These all seem pretty insignificant considering the huge implications of a world where money is meaningless. But I don't know. I guess I live a pretty simple life, where no money just means more time for the simple things. OH. OHOHOH. I would also go to Disney World. And I would take my family and our cousins and it would be the best, happiest two weeks of our lives. 
Well. I thought this post was gonna be too short to post.
Great joke, liv.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

week end

So. End of another week. Actually a really great week. I had spring break last week and it was kind of really refreshing even though I still had school to do. 
I went on  a walk in perfect weather everyday down our road. I played outside with the cousins: barefoot zombie tag in the backyard, excursions over the river and through the woods and across a field and more, football games on the trampoline, and failed attempts at starting a campfire. Duke won the NCAA championship. I finished a really good, really suspenseful, little bit scary, but still really deep book (for free reading!!!!!!!!) for the first time in a long time. And I'm almost done with another book that I picked up from the library yesterday. Words are so good for me. I washed my sheets, braided my hair, bought a twix bar just because, got in bed on time, exercised a bit,  and generally felt productive and happy. I reorganized my closet, found a place to store my art utensils and "art work" other than a three year old papa john's delivery box, and switched out my winter clothes for the summer ones. YAY. In addition to all this beauty, it was Easter weekend, and communion Sunday, and I officially became a member of the church. WOW God is way too good.

basically my backyard

This is already getting a little (lot) more long winded than I wanted but I still have stuff to say. And it's kind of embarrassing. Especially after what I just said. Because guess what I was doing Easter Sunday after this wonderful week and one of the best evangelical sermons I've ever heard? I was sitting in the church bathroom stall frustrated, angry, self-pitying, and ungrateful, trying not to cry. It makes me ashamed to think about it (much less share it), but let's face it- that's who I am. God showers down his grace and blessing and I turn around and say no. I'll take your blessings but I don't want you. I get to make the decisions, and I want myself and my sin that leaves me helpless, angry, insecure and dead. literally dead. Yeah, sure I'll take the good weather, and books, and health, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna turn around and thank you for them. 
It's just so ridiculous and so embarrassing and so shameful that I feel like crying now. And that's how I felt in that little bathroom stall at church. 
I was convicted just like that. I'm just like the prodigal son, leaving with all the riches of his father, only to waste them, come back apologetic and sorrowful, his father welcoming him back with grace and love, only I turn around again the next week and do the same thing. Oh man it's so terrible. But that's my cycle all the time. And the amazing thing is, that my Father welcomes me back with all the same love and forgiveness every single time. 
That just kind of broke me, and I prayed really hard that God would kick the Devil out of my heart then, because he was definitely attacking me. My heart was heavy- I literally felt sunken down, but that's nothing for God. And so I cried a little bit, and prayed that I would really believe all Jesus' words and promises and that he died on the cross taking my sins, and that He really, really is alive. He's alive. Jesus Christ, a man who really lived in the history of our world and died in his early thirties, rose from the dead and he is alive and reigning right now. And he knows and hears and cares about every single thought I have, word I say, things I do, and he loves me despite every bad thought, word, or action. He loves me enough that he sweat drops of blood, merely in anticipation of the pain he was about to suffer to save me. 

But he still did it. He could have stopped it- he didn't. He let them beat him, mock him, kiss him in betrayal, spit in his face, whip his back to shreds, taunt him by pressing a crown of inch-long thorns into his head with a sign that read "Hail, King of the Jews!" Guess what the King of the Universe did then? Nothing. He didn't say a word. "When he was reviled he didn't revile in return (retaliate)". Think about what kind of patience that took. Just think about it. They gave him a reed as a scepter, literally kneeling before him in mockery, only to turn around and strip him of his clothes, leading him as the lamb to the slaughter. Then they dug nails in his hands and through his feet, hanging him up on a cross of wood, to die the death of a murderer. 
Then, you know what he said to those people that he created, whose hearts he kept beating, who just spat in his face? He said "forgive them". Forgive them. He asked God to forgive them, for they do not know what they do. Wow. He said forgive them. Now, think about how you forgive. In a situation when you're struggling with forgiveness, don't give yourself an out. Read over this text and ask yourself: what would Jesus really do?
Well, anyway, wow. Way off track, but that's okay. I didn't come out of that women's bathroom feeling light as a feather and as cheery as the next blue bird. But I felt better. And on the way home I simply kept my mouth shut (it's a wonder what that will do) and in an hour I really was feeling happy and content and thankful and, guys, that's what Jesus does. He gives you that. No matter how screwed up you are- it's not about you. It's about Jesus and what he can (and does and always will) do for you.
Jesus really is all you've ever needed.

books are good too, though, so here's a picture of one

Thursday, April 2, 2015

hope of spring

Today I'm thankful for the dirty feet and steady breeze. for the hair in my face and sun in my eyes. For shorts and a t-shirt and walks in the shade. For the green of the field sprawling out to dark green trees the backdrop of a bright blue expanse. The stretching shadows of the great oak trees overtaking the fleeing land. The gray gravel road leading down to the river, the banks lined with pebbles and big rocks and stones, sunk into the muddy brown sand. For the old white truck and a load full of kids, speeding up and down the road in the afternoon sun. Smiling eyes full of sunshine, delight in their smiles, the thrill of the wind on their faces. The sun setting later, the grass turning greener, the earth feeling warmer, and hope growing stronger.
A new day is coming, a new day of warmth, of life, of light, and truth breaking through. The hope of a savior in the hope of a spring. 

music on shuffle

first 10 songs that came on on shuffle (with exceptions because too many howard shore soundtracks #lolwhoops)
distance - christina perri (lovestrong)

dreaming of bag end -  howard shore (the hobbit: an unexpected journey)
mighty to save - hillsong united (the i heart revolution)
eternal flame - audiomachine (epica)
o-o-h child - the five stairsteps (awesome mix vol. 1)
everything has changed - taylor swift  (red)
sometimes - david crowder band (passion: here for you)
broken - lecrae (anomaly)
small bump - ed sheeran (x)
elastic heart - sia ft. the weeknd & diplo (mockingjay pt. 1 soundtrack)
hooked on a feeling - blue swede (awesome mix vol. 1)

and apparently I can't count, so please make that eleven songs. sorry. spring break guys. you know how I party.

sleep /

a blanket of down covering the weary limbs
eyelids closing in welcome of rest
the disconnected scattered wires of the mind
put at ease in the plush of the pillow
muscles sore and feet aching
head too tired from holding itself high
relaxed in a place that welcomes full surrender
where no one can pry with their eyes
fragile body accepting the sweet caress
of silk sheets and thick knit blankets
no eyes watching
in the perfect peace
shielded by the darkness
the comfort of sleep