Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dream w/Two Feet On The Ground

As far back as I can remember, I've always had a love for a good story. I was the dorky kid who would get in trouble for hiding my book under my desk so I could read while the teacher was lecturing (I knew I'd never need to actually know that equation!) & I have good memory of my dad scolding me for bringing my book to the dinner table.  
I LOVE books. (I was actually a bookworm last year for Halloween, dork much?)
I LOVE to write as well.
I used to write poetry and was obsessed with all the great poets by the time I was in the 6th grade. However because of my dorkiness, I often raved madly on and on about things like time travel to places in Eqypt where dinosaurs roamed and ruled the city and men were subject to their authority and dominion.

Though like most of us, as the wages of time and life wore on me, I began to lose sight of the simplicity and satisfaction of good books and a good imaginative story. I lost child-like sight and passion for the very things inside of me (besides God Himself) that make me come alive. When the biggest storm of my life hit in 2009, out of all the things I had lost, I realized one of the biggest things that slowly withered away was the dormant dreams God set in my heart at a young age; My OWN flame, my own gifts and my own desires.
Thankfully, I've rediscovered both of those passions. I'm probably reading 3 books right now(Yes, at the same time). & Clearly, I've sharpened my pencils and dusted off some old journals to begin to discover my love for w o r d s again (Obviously I'm not in the lack of things to say)
With time I've realized its not so much fun to be a dreamer-standstiller-simplistic-imaginative person all by your lonesome.
We need other people to fan some of their flame into us, to nudge us a little closer and deeper to our child-like ambitions/imaginations.
Surround yourself with sillies, if you love to laugh.

With smarties, if you feel you need educating.

With dreamers, if you too "Have a dream.."

but more importantly, with Encouragers,
who do not look at what you are now, but a finished product;
not who you were, but still not yet what you shall be.

Finding MY Flame in the Stars,

Friday, October 7, 2011

You don't KNOW me!! But in case you want to..

This is a guest interview I did over at The Miller's with my lovely friend Jazmin, (give her a shoutout on Sunday, its her birfday!!) Thought I would share it with my faithful followers and anyone who wants to know a lil more about me :o) E N J O Y! & God Bless <3 

Three random facts about Valerie: 
1. I hate walking around barefoot indoors, love it outdoors, but inside I get totally weirded out when I don't have shoes on...Its okay to NOT invite me over bc of 
this lol :)
2. When I eat a regular sandwich, you know, not the sub kind, I have to tear the sandwich in a half WITH MY HANDS. No knife cutting involved.
I know. Its weird.
3. I’m allergic to ricotta cheese, and no other dairy whatsoever. Don’t ask how I knew it was an allergy. 

What are your passions? 
As I get older, and yes 25 is now officially getting older, I really have found myself being passionate about the little things in life; passionate about God opening our eyes to how much better life is and can be enjoyed in simple things like flowers, rainy days and warm cups of coffee, in the silly things my kids say in the UnderTheSea program I help in at church,its in sharing in the suffering of friends or perfect strangers who pass in my line at Trader Joes. The word "Passion" has redefined itself time and time again and recently has become a greater challenge, because it means I cannot back down regardless of what I see, or any excuse, or what other people are doing around me. I think we can be and should be passionate about everything we do in life, because it all has a purpose. I think I'm passionate about passion!! :o)
What are your goals?
I have a few :o). 
1. Eventually start two non-profits: One geared towards the homelessness 
and the second will help families with terminally ill children 
2. Minister to sexually trafficked women overseas
3. Missions
4. Daily goal: Die to myself
5. Life goal: Be like Jesus

Is there anyone that you really look up to as an inspiration?
Christ.  But on earth now I look up to different people 
for different reasons. I look up to my mom for her great faith during trials, I look up to my dad for his tender heart, but I would have to say
I really do look up to my grandma, who passed away a few years ago from cancer. My grandma was the most Godly woman I've ever met.
Her smile could light up in entire room; she never ran out of them. If she was ever having a bad day, you'd never know it because she constantly 
put the need of others before any situation of hers.

What motivates you on a daily basis?   
Bacon. Bacon on eggs, bacon on French toast with peanut butter, BLT’s,  potato/cheddar soup WITH those little bacon bits.
But no, seriously? That it’s not about who I am, but what He’s done. 
What's always in your refrigerator? 
Milk, coffee, eggs, turkey burgers.
Trait you most hope you have in common with Jesus.

Song that best describes your spiritual experiences to date:   
Probably "I am" By Kirk Franklin. It’s a great way to start the day, a nice cup o’joe, and dancing around reminding myself my walk with God is a process.  “I am, so far from perfect. I thought life was worthless until You showed me who I am. I’m on my way to who I am. Not who I was, but still not what I shall be.” I pretty much still cling to this Truth like a new-born baby!  It’s my milk in the morning,….Is that awkward?

uperpower you wish you had:
Flying would be pretty flippin’ sweet!! I would be tempted to creep on people though and fly around my friends houses. 

Best piece of advice you ever got: 
This is ever changing, but more recently by a good brother, "K.I.S.S."= Keep It Simple Stupid LOL :) . For some reason, it speaks to me. 

First word that pops into your head when you hear "christian": 
What is your number one inspiration for your blog, or simply life in general? 
Creating some kind of beautiful unity from my life into yours, hopefully with a little hope and a lot of awkwardness. 
Describe your personality in five words.
Organized or messy? 
God is sanctifying me okay? ....
Vintage or new?
If you know me, its gotta be vintage!!

Mix-matched or matchy? 
Can I be both?
Realistic or ideal? 
I turn my ideal into my reality. Suckas.  
And lastly, what's your favorite accessory? 
a smile :o)  My mom always told me “Smile please. You look so ugly when your face is like that…No, I’m not saying you’re ugly. I’m just saying,  when your face is like THAT, it makes you look ugly.” Thanks mom. Needless to say, I smile A LOT now.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Just another " Have A Nice Day."

I stock grocery shelves for a living. As in, I make my means to pay my bills by slangin your quinoa and bagging your brie and favorite “OMG I LOVE THOSE”  infamous pita crackers. As someone who works in the “service” industry, I’m sure you can imagine what kind of conversations we get to have with people (invited or not). From 
“Excuse me, Do you carry Colon Flusher?”….
“Yes we do.”
“......Have you ever used it before?” 
“Hi this is Valerie, thanks for calling ____, how may I help you?”
“Do you have your Kittys Fave Tuna Snax in?? My kitty really misses them!! She is soo sad!!! She won’t stop asking me for them…
What’s that?? She wants to talk to you!”

……..I couldn’t make that up people. I had a five minute conversation with a cat, and I could be wrong, but the cat actually sounded sad. 
But occasionally we get the “ My husband just died of cancer.” Or “Yeah it’s my day off, I’ve been out of work for a year now.” Or the not so extreme,” I’m okay.” 
When something in her inability to meet your gaze, or the dark circles under his eyes indicate the “okay” may be because of a long night staying up caring for his wife who just returned home after her 4th chemotherapy treatment.. The question is, how could we know
Most of the time, we feel awkward and uncomfortable when we see someone suffering right in front of us. As much as we say we want to do good and help others, the truth is, we kinda  just want the nice happy people to come through and small talk about the rainy weather. Instead of the girl who clearly is about to break down and cry for reasons unknown. The truth is, we aren’t nearly as courageous (or selfless) enough to look into the eyes of another human being and find out how IN THAT MOMENT, you can be a blessing in their lives. You cannot fix them or the problem, but you CAN bless them by not treating them as another $20.11 in Seaweed Snacks, another “Have a nice day” like just another face in the crowd.  We are all “faces in the crowd”, we all feel alone, insignificant.

But we are looking for a reason to have hope in something, it might be, that a perfect stranger would actually look you in the eyes and for one minute step outside their world and REALLY see you and your need and in a beautiful exchange between the human heart, be a reminder that you that you are not alone.  

I have let many divine appointments slip out of my hands because I didn’t take the time, or was too afraid/awkward to ask how their day was really going; but there are and have been times when I stepped out in faith (no matter if I was rejected or awkward) and asked that question a little more deeply a second time. I will tell you, most people don't know it; but we all feel a little more alone than we'd like to believe & I've had amazing stories and moments with strangers I would've missed out on if I'd just said, "Have a nice day." What I have come to realize in life is at the end of the day(&our lives for that matter) all we have to hold onto is HOPE in tomorrow, FAITH for today, and to LOVE until we get there.
I pray every day I dedicate to the top of the list the greatest thing any of us will pursue in life: LOVE 

& you can take that to the bank. 

Not to EXIST, not to LIVE, but to LOVE