what Christmas means to me

yesterday on my art blog i posted a little sketchity sketch i did about what Christmas means to me (when i really think about it).

it was an interesting experience to look inside and remind myself what matters most. a few times, i was a little surprised about what came out of my hand.
among these things were:

the gift of self
stories by candlelight
pure wonder and excitement of children
new hearts
hope for the future 

so i hope your holiday has been lovely.
or whatever you needed it to be.
if not, that's okay.
because really, Christmas is always in season
so you always have the chance to feel its spirit.

what does Christmas mean to you?


two dollars

you know what's awesome?

the sudden wonder and excitement on a little kid's face when you decide to give him a gold dollar instead of the regular 25 cents to buy hot chocolate from his little stand on the side of the street. and the quiet gratitude and appreciation expressed when you give his older brother the same reward.


this year, i feel like i've been waaaaay less affected the commercialization of the holiday (though resulting in a total of zero gifts for close friends and family with the holiday right around the corner), but i also feel like i've participated less in the sacred and special moments as well.

probably because i've been preoccupied with post-graduation decisions and stress with freelance jobs here and there and preparing for a few more art shows (read: preparing=unnecessarily fretting about) as well as riding some emotional rollar coasters. and also being genuinely concerned and heavy-hearted about recent difficult situations in the lives of many people whom i deeply care about.

how do you let the Christmas spirit linger in you? as i write this, i realize that i had the same problem last year. but  then i found some joy.

earlier this month, my mom read me a Christmas story that made me want to do something similar to the opportunity i had last year -- which was one of the most miraculous and joy-felt experiences i've ever had. and what made that opportunity so great? i'm honestly thinking here....

making little kids happy.
working with other people who share the same desires and excitement to serve.
doing something for someone that they could not do for themselves.

all of this put so much joy into my heart. pure joy made out of love. all sorts of love can bring joy: complex, simple, courageous, romantic, platonic, charity-filled....love is love and it can come from and for anyone. and as we remember why the Savior came into the world in the first place, we feel hope. hope, joy, love.

so as Christmas quickly approaches, i'm going to be a little more mindful of the joy, hope and love in my life. i will focus on service and on my Savior. and when i can't figure out why i'm stuck in a rut, i'm going to do something that incorporates an aspect from that handy list up there.

join me, if you'd like. it's Christmas time!

Source: piccsy.com via Kristin on Pinterest


prone to wander

i was just reading this scripture and realized that my online scripture journal thing had a note attached to it from september 14, 2012.

i clicked on it and here's what it said:

we always put our trust somewhere. sometimes we trust in ourselves, and sometimes in others. some days we trust in failure or we trust that disappointment will be the best path. if we instead put our trust in God, he will transform it into support and we will feel his power sustaining us as we walk the long and hard roads.

well-played, past self. i needed that today.

specifically, i needed to believe that applies to not only me, but to all those around me who are struggling.



[starting mid-yesterday]

dear bfa paper: not to make everything else jealous, but you will be the best part about this post.

dear audiobook about the pythagorean theorem: it's been, uh, riveting. quality controlling you. but let's not stay up til 3 am anymore, mmm?

dear nosebleed: that was cute of you to stop by. you know. RIGHT when i was going to bed after saying goodnight to audiobook.

[this morning]

dear nosebleed: oh! hi again. thanks for greeting me this morning; you must've known i was probably gon' feel lonely. but maybe you could send, like, flowers or a cute boy to greet me in the future? so you can, you know, sleep in or take a day off or something.

dear headache: ah. i see you're with nosebleed.

(dear sleep: i thought we had a deal!)

dear only clean contact container: that little ski-jump in the sink and flipping in the air thingy was pretty talented. +10 points for landing directly into the toilet (i couldn'ta made you do that if i tried).

dear today: um, it's 9:36 and it's been great so far but is there maybe like a re-start button or something that i could hit? ya know. just for kicks.

dear audiobook: ......and so. we meet again.


dancing with a little girl heart

i've been perusing my blog's...*cough* 85 drafts. 

i was looking for the one with the words writtten below. i'm publishing it now because i danced a bit this morning (it had been a very long time since i'd done so), and i just accidentally perfectly classified this type of dancing. which is the title of this post. 

monday june 6, 2011. 11:31am -- 

i just realized something.

i spent 3.5 hours writing in my journal this morning because my head was about to explode, and so was my heart.

so after i used my journal as my pensieve, as i so often do, i was completely filled with emotions. tons of them. all mixed.

i put on a song that was stuck in my head yesterday. it was SO VERY appropriate for what i've been feeling and experiencing.

i danced to it.

and i danced HARD.

i realized something and commented to my mom -- i am a pretty alright dancer sometimes. sometimes = when i'm driven by emotion. she said, yeah, you won't let me watch you now, but when i used to watch you dance, you were always so expressive. it was wonderful.

then i realized: i have very little formal technique on which to base my dancing, so emotion is the only driving force behind the way i move my body. which is both empowering and limiting and either way, very honest: when the emotion is gone, so is the dancing.

it's thrilling, being driven and moved by pure emotion.
but also frustrating, to reach the end of your ability.