Friday, April 18, 2014

Don't tell me what to do

I swung my backpack over my shoulder with a sigh.  Classes had seemed extra long today.  My head hurt, my feet hurt, my brain hurt.  All I could think about was getting home and taking a nap before dinner.  Just the thought of having to ride the MAX for half an hour to reach home made me groan inwardly.
I blew a strand of hair from my view as I stepped outside the college.  Other students were milling around, each heading in their own directions.  A couple of them waved to me and I smiled and nodded back.  I hoped no one would want to stop and talk.  I didn’t feel much like chatting.
I glanced at my watch and saw I only had two minutes to get to the train stop.  My steps quickened and I soon left the busy campus behind me.
I turned to see who had called to me.
It was Ryan.
Another inward groan.  Of all people I didn’t want to see or talk to, I definitely didn’t want it to be him.
I kept walking.
‘Hey wait up!’
I heard his jogging footsteps approach and turned to greet him with a bit of a forced smile.  I knew I looked like a wreck as much as I felt like one.  And here was my fellow student - who also happened to be a fellow employee - standing and looking as perfect as a celebrity.  I also happened to have a huge crush on him.  And yes, I was in great denial of this.
‘What’s up?’ I asked him.
‘Geez, that’s all the greeting I get?’ he raised both eyebrows.
I shrug.  ‘I’m in a hurry.’  I start walking again, hoping he’d either take the hint that I didn’t want (or have time to) talk or...
But nope.  He was following me.
‘You working tonight?’ he asked.
‘No.  Boss called me and said I didn’t have to come in if I didn’t want to.  I have a stack of homework to do, so I said I’d take the morning shift instead of tonight.’
‘Oh okay.’
Fifty more steps to the train stop.  I could see the MAX in the near distance.
‘What homework do you have?  From which class?’ he asked, shifting his backpack and accidentally making his coat collar flip up.  
‘Mostly novel writing, and communications,’ I answered.  ‘Hey, don’t you have a car?  Why are you riding the train today?’
It came out a little more rude that I had intended, but I wasn’t really in the mood for caring.  Ryan didn’t seem to notice.  He took it in stride.
‘No, actually, my car is at the shop.  I got in an accident two days ago.’
‘Wait what?’ I suddenly felt ashamed for being engrossed in my own problems and feelings.  ‘I didn’t hear about it!’
‘Maybe cuz I didn’t tell many people,’ he winked, then shrugged.  ‘Didn’t want people making a big deal about it - cuz it wasn’t.  I’m fine.  My car is the only thing that got hurt.’
We boarded the stopped train and wriggled our way through the mass of people.  We found a spot by one of doors and I looped an arm around a pole, even though I didn’t need it for balance.  I was so used to traveling on this thing.
Ryan stood between me and the wall.  I swallowed hard.  Why was I so nervous whenever I was around him?  This was so stupid.  
I looked away and tried to think of something to talk about.
‘I’m sorry about the accident.  I’m glad you’re okay.’
‘Yeah, me too,’ he sighed.  ‘It could’ve been a lot worse.’
A pause.
‘Thanks for being so concerned.’
‘Of course,’ I looked at him.  ‘Why wouldn’t I be?’
‘I don’t know,’ he shrugged.  ‘You seemed to have kinda been avoiding me lately.’
I bit the inside of my cheek.
Avoiding you cuz I’m trying to keep my feelings under control.
‘Uh, sorry,’ was all I could think to say.
‘It’s all good.  I just wanted to make sure that it wasn’t because of anything I did.’
‘No,’ I replied quickly.  ‘No, you’re fine.  It’s fine.  I’m sorry.  I guess I’ve just been really overwhelmed with school and work and stuff.’
‘Well you should forget about all that for a little while.  Have some fun for a change!’  He bumped me with his shoulder.
I smiled a little.  ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’
‘Fine, grouch.’  He leaned his head closer.
I turned away.
Think of something else to talk about.
‘Do you ever wonder what each of these people’s stories is?’ I said, gesturing to the other passengers.  ‘Like, where they work, where they go to school, what they’re studying, who they’re rushing home to meet?’
He stared at me and didn’t answer for a second, then looked away and said, ‘No. I don’t think I ever have.’
‘I do.  Every time I get on the bus.  Take that lady for example.’  I nodded to a woman sitting across from us, a large paper bag of groceries in her arms, her head leaned back against the seat.
‘Which one?’
‘That one.’
‘There are tons of ladies here.’
I gave a little sigh of frustration and raised my hand to point to her.  Then I saw the glint of humor in Ryan’s eye and knew he had just pretended to not know who she was because he knew I didn’t want to point.
‘Really?’ I asked, my exasperation resounding in my voice.
He gave a little chuckle, then tried to straighten his face.  ‘Sorry.  You were saying?’
I gave a little huff and looked away from him.  
‘You were saying?’ he repeated.  ‘Oh c’mon, don’t be a grouch.’  He poked my arm playfully.  And no matter how hard I tried to keep from smiling, it didn’t work.  It never did.
‘Just that...’ I began, and turned to look at the lady again.  ‘I can picture her being a single mother...with two children...working a job in the city, and having to rush home afterwards to make dinner for them.  She’s tired, and worn out.  But happy to be headed home to be with her family.’
Ryan blinked.  ‘You just came up with that?’
I nodded.
He opened his eyes wide.  ‘No wonder you’re taking novel writing.’
I gave a little laugh.
‘That’s something I’ve always liked about you.  You make me think of things I never would’ve thought about if you hadn’t brought it up.’
I felt a little flush on my cheeks and looked down at my shoes.  He was complimenting me.
‘Tell me another one.  How about them?’ Ryan pointed to a young couple sitting in front of me.  They were married, and clearly in love.  They were holding hands, their fingers entwined, yet I could see both their wedding bands.  She was resting her head on his shoulder and his cheek was pressed against her hair.  I saw her lips moving, yet couldn’t hear what she was saying.  Whatever it was, though, it was making him smile.
‘They’re married.  Headed home after a long day at their respective jobs.  They missed each other and are happy to be together again.  She’s a secretary and he’s some sort of businessman, judging by his suit.  He loves listening to her tell him about her day.’  I smiled at the way the wife rested her hand on her stomach.  ‘And she’s pregnant.’ 
My eyes lingered on the beautiful couple for a few more seconds, then remembered Ryan was with me, yet he hadn’t said a word after I had finished talking. 
I looked at him.  His right shoulder was leaning against the wall, and his head was cocked to the side a little.
‘What?’ I asked him, my voice coming out low and soft.  He looked like he was studying me.
‘You have to stop doing that.’
‘Doing what?’
‘Saying things that make me wanna kiss you.’
My heart fluttered weirdly and I seemed to forget how to breathe for a second.
‘Like what?’
‘Just being so thoughtful and caring.  I mean, what college girl takes time out of her day to think about strangers and make up beautiful stories about them?’
‘I don’t know,’ I mumbled.
‘Well I do.’
‘Don’t kiss me,’ I said, holding up a hand firmly.
He seemed unmoved.  ‘Why not?’  
‘Be-because.  I mean, I don’t know.  Just don’t.’
Ryan pushed himself off the wall slowly and leaned towards me.  There were about six inches between us.  His hand somehow found its way to the back of my neck and pulled me closer.
‘Don’t tell me what to do,’ he whispered against my lips.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gertie & Baxter // Item Review & Giveaway

Shop || Facebook || Instagram: gertiebaxter || Twitter

Not only does this shop have a cute name but the lovely items it features only express its cuteness and beauty further.  I was so happy that I got to have one of their lovely headbands for my very own.  One thing I definitely like about it is that I can wear it in so many different ways.  In the photos below, I am modeling it in only one style, but if you visit their shop, you can see the other creative ways to wear this headband.

The fabric that they use is soft, comfortable, and easy to wear.  Jen and Julie are very selective of the materials they use to make their products, and all of them are purchased from Chicago and LA vendors.

Gertie & Baxter started out in one of the owners' apartments, but is now in their very own studio in downtown LA.

This is what Jen and Julie have to say about their shop:

'We started out making pillows and things for the home...and realized we wanted something more fun to energize our creative juices, and different from our day job! so we gave the shop a new name and started a new venture.  So, we began making accessories that we wanted to wear, things we couldn't find in stores. what you see in our store is everything that we have in our closets.'

Material: Stretchy Jersey
All edges have been professionally serged



And here's how you can enter for a chance to win your own Gertie & Baxter headband...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Time Well Spent

I was feeling frustrated.

I’m hired for a job at my friends’ fro-yo shop, but the building isn’t completed so I don’t know when I’ll start work (and the opening day has continued to be pushed out since November...).

I’m currently unemployed with tons of time on my hands, yet I don’t have my own car so I can’t go places, can’t visit friends, am always cooped up at home.

I was having a pity-party for myself one morning.  But before devotions, I asked the LORD to help me regain my focus, regain my sight and direction and to give me a hunger for His Word that would never be quenched.  Then I dove into reading through Romans and Psalms.

What seemed liked a few minutes later, I looked at my phone to check the time, and wow.  I had been having devotions for 3 hours.  Three whole hours spent journaling, praying and reading the Bible!  The time had flown by and yet I still felt that I hadn’t had enough.  

God had answered my prayer.

Amidst my prayer of thanksgiving to my Father for allowing me so much uninterrupted time, I thought to myself: This is why I’m unemployed.  This is why I’m single and uncommitted.  This is why I don’t have a car.  This is why I’m still at home. 

So that I can wholly focus on Him.

One of my dearest friends and a woman I consider to be one of my role models, reminded me to take advantage of having so much free space in my days because in the future, it will most likely be cluttered with family, band stuff, and jobs.  She encouraged me to make the most of it right now and to never sit and wonder what to do with my time because ‘as much time as I could spend with Jesus is time well spent’.

So now it’s my turn to encourage any of my readers who are still at home, still not working, and who still have open schedules to grasp this time and invest in your relationship with the LORD.  Allow Him to romance you in a quiet time.  Never, for once, think that ‘just being at home reading your Bible’ is a portion of your day that you could be doing something else.  Because I guarantee you, there is nothing more important that you can do than grow in your love with Him.


'One thing I have asked from the LORD that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.'
- Psalm 27:4

Monday, April 14, 2014

Miss Priss Clothing // Item Review & Giveaway

When I first saw this hoodie/tunic in Christian's shop, I knew I wanted to have one of my own.

All of her lovely items are handmade.  And she states (in her shop's bio), how she loves comfortable fashion.  Oh yes, peeps.  This is very, very comfy.  The first place I thought of wearing it is at the beach.  It's made of material that is light, yet warm, yet breathable.

She describes it as:

'Soft French terry ladies sweater. This fun tunic sweater can be worn as a dress and/or long top, it wears great with leggings and jeans; it is also a great piece to wear to the beach over a bathing suit on a cool, windy day. The Terry Tunic is a great item for any ladies wardrobe coast to coast.'

I got a size S and the measurements are: 2/4
Material: French Terri, Cotton
Colors available: Hot Pink, Aqua, Crimson Blush, Navy Blue
Retail Price: $20.00



Interested in adding one of these to your closet?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Everyday Blessings // 20

>> 1 1/2 hour long phone call with a friend I met on Twitter
>> starting a new devotional journal
>> going to the beach with friends
>> all-you-can-eat frozen yogurt
>> exploring old forts
>> movie night with my sisters
>> starting to read a new book by John Piper
>> new nicknames
>> writing a new song with my drummer (one of our best ones yet, I think)
>> reading through 'Divergent' with one of my besties
>> being born, raised and currently living in Oregon
>> meeting with an old friend for coffee
>> sending friends birthday packages
>> having a door being held open by an old gentleman
>> getting items to review from Etsy shops


If any of my readers know what those words on my hoodie stand for/are from, you win brownie points.

Oh and keep an eye out for some really, really fantastic giveaways this week!  And don't forget to enter my current ones (just click the 'giveaway' pictures in the sidebars).

Friday, April 11, 2014

EcoShag // Item Review & Giveaway

Shop || Facebook || Instagram: @ecoshag

I was delighted when Tania agreed to let me do an item review on one of her lovely products.

EcoShag has been a favorite Etsy shop of mine for quite some time.  I love the simple beauties of each and every one of Tania’s handmade scarves and other fashion accessories.  All of them boast of feminine yet bold colors.  

As Tania states on her 'About the shop' page:

'I am a mother and wife, a lover of all walks of life, and a woman who is slightly obsessed with all things handmade. EcoShag is my creative outlet, and a true reflection of what I find beautiful.
I absolutely love what I do and have developed some amazing relationships along the way. I feel fortunate to have such loyal customers and to have partnered with such inspiring sellers through the teams here on Etsy. I now work from home on a full time basis and am able to be there for my children on the daily. You can’t put a price on that.
Below the surface of EcoShag, you'll find my own personal movement for change. Whether its helping an individual in need, a grassroots organization, or to support a larger, more well known charity; my goal is to do as much as I can, while I can. The betterment of humanity has always been an integral part of my life, and I truly believe that a humble spirit and a giving heart are key in changing the world as we know it.'

Tania sent me this rich maroon colored marled chunky infinity scarf.  And it has quickly become a favorite of mine.  It is sewn with a double layer and is completely finished.  So easy to just throw on and let it lay in whatever natural look.

Length: approximately 65"
Width: approximately 27"
Material: acrylic knit
Retail price: $36.00



Have I convinced you to get your own EcoShag scarf yet?  

Or maybe you'd like to win one?

You can enter to win an ECOSHAG INFINITY SCARF using the Rafflecopter entry form below OR on my Facebook page (God's Daughter)

a Rafflecopter giveaway