Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Art

Seaweed prints from Canada!
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

These are now hanging in my apartment. I purchased some nice wood frames from Fred Meyer today and decided to replace some of the Monet prints that were hanging in my dining room.

The prints are made from pressed seaweed. I love the colors used and it's fun to see the different types of seaweed. A perfect import from Canada.

In other news...this weekend I will be watching Vampire Weekend at Marymoor Park on the eastside. I'm pretty excited for Sunday.

It's been a good week even though it's been lacking in sleep. :)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Both Sides - Joni Mitchell

Things on My Mind

There are many things on my mind lately. So here goes...

God's Sovreignty - How much does God intervene...when and how. If He intervenes or speaks to us, how do we know it's not our own voices or the devil attempting to fool us?

Unconditional Love - How do I make sure that the people I love and care about always know they're loved. Particularly, my family members. Do I do enough and am I demonstrative enough in my acts, to show them that I love them.

Encouragement - How do I make sure that the words that I say and the things that I do are always building people up, rather than tearing them down. Am I playing nicely and safely (safely pertains to emotions as well as physical safety) with the people that surround me.

Investment of My Time - Have I been investing enough time and energy into the things I care about? That answer is probably no right now. Since that's the case, what are the things that I need to change in my behavior and attitude to make sure that I spend my time wisely.

The Past and the Future - No one's past is perfect. How do I make sure that the past isn't defining me and determing what I do in the future. Thta the future really is something I and my Maker determine.

Personal Growth - Am I growing in the manner and methods that are required of me for following Christ? Have I done the necessary things to always be changing and growing...becomming a better person.

My Talents - Am I using the gifts that were given to me for the Glory of God? If I'm not, then what's wrong with me and why haven't I been more disciplined. It must be laziness on my part. How can I change this

There are even more things on my mind right now, but this is the short list.

Space Needle from Alki

Space Needle from Alki
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I took some pictures in night photography skills may be getting slightly better. Practice makes perfect, right?!

There are a few new pictures that are up on my Flickr account now. Feel free to check them out.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Beginning to Something Beautiful

Wedding Program
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

This weekend was my last wedding for the year. What an exciting year for weddings it has been! I was invited to eight different engagements and was able to attend six of them. I'm very happy for everyone who has found someone to spend the rest of their lives with. It truly is the beginning of something beautiful.

Everytime I go into a wedding I feel strange. Maybe it's that I attend the weddings without dates, but for some reason I feel like I'm missing something. It's probably that special someone and the desire to have that kind of relationship. I know it's not the time for these things to happen and I'm happy to be single. No, I'm not saying that I don't wish for a relationship, but...I am finding that I do like my singleness. I enjoy living by myself. I get to do whatever I want to do without worry that my other half might not enjoy it or doesn't have the time. There's no compromising or conflict. These are not excuses...if you're reading this and thinking this is some poor sap just trying to convince herself that she's happy then you're WRONG and you should go stick your head in the toilet. Who's to say I'm happy or unhappy or fooling myself except for me. What you think doesn't matter when compared with what God thinks and my response to Him.

At this last wedding the pastor made some blatant sexist remarks during his introduction to why we have weddings. I joked about it with my friends but it made me ponder the types of roles the husband and wife have in a marriage. The things that are truly important that cannot be compromised because the other person is hot/sexy or intelligent. The pastor was telling a story about how he wanted to make authentic neopolitan pizza and had wrecked what he considered to be his wife's oven "HER OVEN" to be exact. It wasn't something that was shared between them....there were clearly role distinctions that dictated she was the housewife and he was the man in the story. I'm sure that their relationship isn't actually like that, but it's funny how the little things we say on a whim can have such a huge impact.

I'm not sure what my list of things I cannot be swayed on is just yet. There's a few things that I know for sure, must be present in a man for me to give my heart away. But it's just something on my mind right now. Maybe you have a good list...and this has to be a list that's better than "Good Kisser, Likes to Read, Takes Long Walks on the Beach and Loves to Cuddle" kind of stuff. This is the where do you stand on Morality, Faith, Family and Values list.

I have a few new pictures up from the wedding and other weekend events. Enjoy!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Old Train Tracks

Old Train Tracks
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

Taking a week off from work to spend time with my family made for a wonderful time. I have some great memories from this trip and it was a joy to spend time with my Aunt & Uncle.

This is a view of the Ocean from a small overpass where some old train tracks used to be. This is near the Pacific Beach Naval Resort which is designed to be an R&R place for active and retired Naval members and their families.

The houses were beautiful and kept in very good shape. They were cookie cutter houses in the sense that most of the homes looked alike. Pacific Beach used to be an active base and the houses were for the family members. Pacific Beach is not a very big town, but it's still quite charming.

Enjoy the pictures! There are also some pictures that I took at night of Seattle from different locations.


View from Kerry Park

View from Kerry Park
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

New Pictures from the evening. I am using a borrowed SD card, so I needed to get the pictures off and then I decided to get some up tonight.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Problem of Pain...and Death

I just started reading The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis again. This is problably the 2nd or 3rd time I've started the book and then not finished. Pain is a heavy subject and often with pain comes death. I sigh heavily when I approach this topic because it's not easy.

My life hasn't been easy. I'm not going to go into detail here in this public forum about the difficulties I've had, but know that what I write, I write from the point of view that one only has when they go through the fire. I'm not making speculative remarks when I write this post. This is from my first hand experiences.

I always struggle with this topic. The more I know...knowing that something is bad or knowing that I should respond to things that hurt me never really seems to make the pain or hurt go away. In fact, I've never found solace in someone telling me "it's for the best," "Things will get better," "Pray about it," "God loves you and understands," or most anything else that can sound cliche.

In the end, those statements are true. After time passes, I can look back and see that I have been refined and become a stronger individual. I know that I've been prepared for this journey that I'm on. However, at the time that things fall apart, that's not the case. I just want to be mad and to have someone or something to be mad at. I carried a grudge for a really long time because I though tthat if God was this great and powerful God then why did He let so many bad things happen? He's supposed to be protecting me and keeping me from harm. I know there's no promise that life will be easy and that things won't hurt...but if he wants and desires our happiness and love, then why the pain?

And so I read books like The Problem of Pain. This may never fully answer my questions. There are so many senseless things that happen in this life. Why just the other day in the Seattle Times I read about two young men who were driving at high speeds down I-5, clipped a car and then careened across three lanes to collide head on with an ambulance returning to its base after finishing a call. The two men were pronounced dead at the scene. What a tragedy! I read through the comments that people left and we're an insensitive society. Cynical to the core...most of the comments were about how those two men got what they deserved. One tried to justify what happened. In reality, none of us will know what happened because those two men are gone. If they're in heaven, thank the Lord. If they're in hell, it is a shame. Isn't it a shame that anyone should perish no matter what they've done on this earth? But then there's all the exceptions to that statement, right? What about all the people who've killed millions of people...or are serial killers. It is really a shame when they die or do we feel some sort of sense of justice. That justice has been served when these people die?

I guess this brings up another question for another post...What makes someone Human? Ponder that, because I'll be thinking about that for awhile.

Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. There never seems to be a rhyme or reason for why it happens like that. Maybe it's that without the bad we wouldn't know what is good. Maybe the good is a glimpse into heaven. Maybe the senseless things aren't totally sensless in the end. Maybe the things we value and thing have reason and rhyme are actually senseless in the end.

My world has been turned upside down over and over. There never seems to be a single constant in my life except for God. Even church isn't a constant for me...or small group for that matter. Seems odd to say that, but it's true. I'm grateful for my small group, but I don't really know my small group. It's more of a social hour than it is people baring their souls. I don't really feel like I could tell people in my small group about myself and bare my soul. I guess that hints back to the iceberg analogy from my last post. My small group will only know a small portion about me and I'm okay with that but that the same time, it seems sad doesn't it?

Pain and suffering are things that are always going to be around. There is no escaping the fact that people hurt and die for seemingly senseless reasons. I'm sure that God has a plan and that there is structure, but it's never revealed to us at the time. That would wreck the story, right? ;-) Or as Kurt told me, "and yet without it, life would be dull. Well..really without the opportunity for it.." I often wish the plan would be revealed...but that probably means I'd try to find a way to bypass the difficult situations or painful moments in my life. In the end, I would be refined and I wouldn't become someone who could be loved.

Lewis uses an analogy about a master and his dog to explain. The dog is trained and disciplined in order to become more lovable to his master. It's true right? We train our dogs to do tricks, to go to the bathroom outside and not on our carpet. To not bite others or to not bark and jump on furniture. If we left the dog to its own devices, we would love the dog less. The refinement process allows the dog to become more lovable and enjoyable to be with.

To that I say...I want to be more lovable. God, make me more lovable