‘Loves’ Category Archives

5
Jun

Movement

by Birdie in Faith, Inspirations, Life, Loves, Raw, The Past

It has taken all of my courage to write this, and even more to post it here for all to see. It’s long, but it is my heart. It’s time that I share it.

When I first began Suburban Bird and laid the framework for Suburban Bird Studios, I could feel God beginning to move in my life. I wasn’t sure in which direction or to what end, but I could feel Him guiding my path and urging me on in the right direction with those soft nudges like He always does. There were many times that I wanted to write about it, and share it with all of you, but I just couldn’t make myself do it.

When I wrote my first few entries here, and began to consider where I was going to take my business and how this blog was going to fit in with it, I warred with myself on whether or not I would share my faith here. I didn’t want to alienate anyone, or put someone off, or offend people. Quite frankly, I was only thinking of myself and what would be best for me. I wanted to hook and keep as many readers as possible, regardless of creed, and I was afraid to say anything about God or my relationship with Him for fear that I might scare off some of those potential readers.

How absolutely silly of me.

The fact of the matter is, God is as much a part of Suburban Bird as I am. I would not be here were it not for Him, nor would I have embarked on this adventure without His gentle encouragement. He put the desire on my heart to grow in the gifts He gave me, and to do so here where I might find accountability and support that I might not find elsewhere. And in those most formative weeks for this blog, He led me straight to those people who would unknowingly encourage me that it is perfectly appropriate to share one’s faith, and that I need not fear that the readers would not come because of it.

I really must give credit to the women who, simply through their blogs and their wonderful creativity, encouraged me to share what I’m sharing today: Lindsay of Aisle to Aloha; Laura of Along For The Ride; Rebecca of Rebecca Thornberry, Artist; and Jo Annie of Em Jay and Me. I doubt that any of them know that I exist, or that their words and their vulnerability to complete strangers have affected me as much as they have, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that, through some impressive link-hopping that I can no longer retrace, I stumbled upon these blogs and these amazing women who have impressed upon me the importance of being real. Because nobody likes people who are fake.

Which brings me to the point of this entry: I am not okay.

I’m slightly more okay than I was two nights ago (or, rather, three when this entry goes live) when I hit a very low point, and as I write this, I’m slightly more okay than I was even this morning. Things are getting better, little by little, and for that, I have to give credit where credit is due.

I am, by nature, a rather introverted person. I like my space, and I often enjoy my solitude. The problem I have run up against as I’ve gotten older and moved around from place to place is that, when I hit a low point for one reason or another, I’ve gotten far too good at distancing myself from others and pretending that I’m okay. This has left me very alone and very lonely, but I’m so good at faking it that nobody notices. I’ve also shifted away from God and have stopped looking to Him for help and instead looking inside myself for help that I’m not capable of providing. I am inadequate, and I am a disaster. I think I put it best on Twitter the other night: I am a ruin.

And too often, I have blamed God. I have abandoned Him, pushed Him aside, and cursed Him for all the things that have gone wrong in my life. I have raged at Him for the mistakes that I have made, and I have harbored bitterness towards Him for not speaking to my heart what my purpose is. I have been directionless for so long, and as my friends have slowly come into their own and have discovered God’s plans, at least short-term, for their lives, I have hated Him for not giving me the same.

But still He is faithful. When I stray too far, He gently reels me back in and reminds me that, even if I can’t see it or feel it, He knows what He’s doing. And every time I doubt His plan, He uncovers a little bit of what and whom He has purposely placed in my path and in my life. And there is nothing more powerful than that.

Two nights ago, I had one of those moments, and I cannot possibly even begin to communicate the difference it has made in just this little time.

Years ago, I can’t recall exactly how long now, I was wandering Facebook and came across a post on the wall of one of my groups that said something along the lines of, “I really just need someone to talk to, someone who will listen,” and listed an AIM screen name. I didn’t know this girl from Eve, and I didn’t know what I could possibly offer to her other than an understanding ear, so to speak, but I opened up my chat client and sent her a message that was probably something like, “If you still need to talk, I’m here to listen.” And it sounds lame to even type it, but that day, my life really did change forever.

That girl was my Bethie. You can find her over at Flicker of a Flame. We were both so different then, but we connected in a way that I had never really connected with anyone else. Between us, there was never anything hidden. From the very beginning, we bore each other’s scars to ease the pain, and let each other say anything that needed to be said, even if we couldn’t even imagine saying it to anyone else.

Over the years, we’ve both grown and matured, both personally and in our faith. And through that time, we’ve grown closer and closer. There have been times when we haven’t spoken for months at a time, but each conversation, on the phone or online, we’ve always picked back up right where we left off. We drifted apart a year and a half ago, but on May 20th of last year, I got an email from halfway across the world that, for the second time, changed my life forever.

It was unexpected to say the least, to wake up that morning and find an email from Bethie, who was in Mongolia at the time, but when I got to this part, I knew that it was exactly what I needed right at that moment:

I sat down on my bunk this afternoon with a piece of scratch paper and began to list the names of people with whom I would like to be friends forever.  Not of the Michael W. Smith corny persuasion or even the Vitamin C nice-for-graduation-but-actually-means-nothing-and-doesn’t-last persuasion, but the oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-imagine-my-life-without-these-people persuasion.  And, Carly, I thought of you.  I thought of you, and I almost cried.

And that was when I started to cry. The email went on:

Regardless of the time we’ve been out of touch and even the weirdness after Christmas, I feel like we have an intimate connection…and I’m not willing to allow that to float off onto the distant shores of nostalgia.  I want to know you, Carly.  I want you to be a part of my life, because you have already been more of a blessing than I can express.  It’s nothing that you’ve done or said, but everything about who you are and how we relate to one another.

That was so profound to me, to know that I didn’t have to do anything or say anything in particular to be loved, but just by being myself and being who God made me was enough. And even sitting here right now, fighting tears of joy, (my dad is in the other room and I don’t want to worry him) I’m making a connection and understanding a point that God was trying to bring home to me that I just couldn’t comprehend until this particular moment in time: being me is enough for Him, too. There isn’t anything I can do or say that will make Him love me; all I have to do is be me.

God works in such little, intricate ways that lay such strong foundations for the future. Every day, every word, everything that happens has a purpose, and it is so amazing when He peels back the layers and lets me see how He has planned things down to a T so that I end up where He needs me to end up.

But back to my story. After that email, and a whole slew of replies, Bethie and I grew even closer to the point that, even still, we insist that we are the same person. (Even all of the nicknames we have given each other sound similar and start with the same letter: Elphie and Ephie, Quails and Quaillykins, Birdie and Bethie…) And this woman who I have never physically met became my best friend. It just took me a while to realize it.

Two nights ago, I finally did. It was late, and I found myself sunk so deep into a hole of depression that I couldn’t see a way out, but I didn’t think anyone was awake to help me through it. Out of desperation, I sent Bethie a text that said, “Are you there? I need you.” And within the hour, she was there. She listened without judgment to everything I had to say, and said all of the things that I needed to hear but wouldn’t have taken to heart from anyone else. And she wouldn’t let me hide. (Even though I’m far too good at it for my own good.) And I’ve never had to hide with her. She’s the only person I’ve ever really had that with.

As I sit here now, writing this and reflecting on that almost three-hour conversation, God is revealing more and more of Himself to me through her. She loves me unconditionally, and she knows me inside and out. She draws me closer to God every time we talk, and even just one word from her can wipe away all of my loneliness. She is truly God’s hands in my life, and I can see in her a reflection of Him that I have longed to see for so long: that He is the dearest friend I will ever have, He loves me no matter what I do or how far apart we are, and all He requires is that I love Him in return.

I reiterate: there is nothing more profound and more powerful than that revelation.

So, this moment in time, these words that, for the last hour and a half have been pouring from my heart through my fingers, is a culmination of a thousand tiny moments, a hundred words exchanged, and one very, very dear friend. Bethie, there are so many things that I want to thank you for, but I can’t put them into words. But even more than that, I am thanking God that He knew better than I did how much I would need you. You reached out for help, and instead, ended up helping me. Isn’t it amazing how God works?

I may not be entirely okay just yet, but even now I am more okay than I was when I began this entry.

This is exactly why I warred so long and hard with myself over whether or not to be so open about my faith here. And this is exactly why God won that battle. He is moving in my life, and even though I still don’t know in which direction or to what end, I do know that it is a journey that I was always meant to share, and this is the platform I was meant to use.

My adventure is just beginning, and I am finally ready to embrace God’s plan for me and accept that He will always set my feet on the right path. All I have to do is trust that every pothole and unexpected ditch I’ll fall into along the way has a purpose, and He will always send just the right person to pull me out.

4
Jun

Birdie’s Etsy Wish List

by Birdie in Etsy, Loves, Random

I am a firm believer that Etsy should invest in adding an “add to wish list” option below their little “favorite” heart. I add a lot of things to my favorites: things I want to find again; things I would, if I had the money, love to purchase; things that inspire me; things that make me laugh; and things that are just so beautiful that I want to be able to find them to look at them over and over.

But, things get lost in those myriad favorite listings, and there’s no easy way to show people things that I want for birthdays or Christmas or other gift-giving occasions. At the very least, I think that Etsy’s favorite listings should be able to be categorized.

Maybe I’m the only one, or maybe it’s something that Etsy just doesn’t see the value in investing in. Either way, I’m determined to make my own Etsy wish list, as much for my reference as for my friends and family. So, without further ado, check it out. There isn’t a whole lot on it at the moment, but there it is. :)

21
Apr

Name That Fish!

by Birdie in Life, Loves, Off Topic, Random

So, here’s something that you may or may not already know: I love fish. And frogs. And reptiles. Sadly, I’ve only ever been able to own the first two. (Someday, somehow, I will have a bearded dragon and a ball python!) Recently, most of my previous fish have died off after several long years of life, (Khulio, the lone black khuli loach is all that’s left in my six gallon) and I’m in the process of slowly restocking my tanks. I’m not sure yet what I want in my bigger tank, but my three gallon has always been home to a male betta, and I couldn’t resist looking at the selection of bettas at Petsmart when I went earlier to pick up a couple of things for my frog. (He’s so awesome, someday he’ll get a post of his own.) And there, I found this guy.

He’s absolutely gorgeous, and even after I compared him to every single other betta in the store, I knew I had to have him. (Too bad he’s not better at posing for photos, though.)

And here, I find myself in a bit of a dilemma: I can’t possibly think of a fitting name for this guy. He’s black and blue with a splash of red on his ventral fins, and he’s got a lot of spunk. While I was trying to get pictures of him, he kept flitting around trying to keep his eye on the camera. It make it very hard to get any decent shots of what he actually looks like from the side.

And so, dear friends, I turn to you. What should I name this gorgeous guy? He needs a name soon. I can’t just keep calling him The Nameless. So, what are your suggestions? (Bethie, I’m looking forward to your suggestions. XD) Leave them in the comments!

2
Apr

5 Things This Bird is Chirping About This Week

by Birdie in 5 Things, Inspirations, Loves

Each Saturday, I plan to post a list of the five things that I can’t get enough of this week, be it music, art, writing, etc. I would love for you to share your five things in the comments section. :)

Joy Williams – Speaking a Dead Language

I just cannot get enough of this song! It’s just so haunting and beautiful. In fact, I can’t get enough of the two EPs of hers that I have, Songs from This, and Songs from That. (links will open an iTunes preview page.)

My $9 apron from Home Goods

I found this apron at Home Goods for $9, and it just happens to be one of my favorite patterns, and my favorite shade of pink! It was a birthday present from my mom. Thanks, mom!

Cute critters in sunbeams

It’s that time of year when it starts to finally get green outside, and that also means nice, warm rays of sun streaming in through the windows. There’s no shortage of cute critters at my house, and they all love to curl up and bask in the sunbeams.

This fortune

I got this in my fortune cookie on the day that I launched Suburban Bird. It just seemed so fitting. :)

Caribou cups

I have always loved Caribou’s cups. They’re so much fun, and this one just takes the cake. It’s covered in a bunch of their baristas’ favorite things.

So, friends, what are your five things this week? I’d love to hear about them in the comments. :) Happy weekend!