On Labor Pains

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Disclaimer: No, I am not pregnant. Let’s clear that up.

I’m going to be painfully honest with you all: these last months have been some of the most difficult months for my mind to wrap around. Like, I’m a crier, but crying every week type of deal isn’t that normal, right?

But don’t get worried or anything, this post is suppose to be encouraging! Have you ever heard of the term ‘pregnant with purpose’? Maybe it’s been around or maybe I just made it up, but this is exactly what I’ve been feeling like. Ever since last summer, since leaving Maui, there has been an unsettling in my spirit. I began to outgrow things, to look at the world differently, to crave certain things that did not yet exist. I was spiritually pregnant (yeah, it feels weird to me too).

Jump forward to around nine months later, aka, this June, and the spiritual labor pains began. However, spiritual births seem to last longer than natural human births. What would take the longest a day, has taken me three to four months. My soul has been hurting, screaming, convulsing, frantically latching on to any source of insight around because something powerful was trying to be birthed out of me. While this imagery is slightly repulsive (to me at least), it’s the one that best describes my situation.

So. At this time, the spiritual baby is here: purpose. I can hold it, it’s with me. I see it. Now, the challenge is naming it; figuring out how to raise it so that it will thrive in this world.

I think many of us, especially recent college grads like myself, are finding ourselves holding little purpose babies and not knowing what to do with them. It’s such a sad feeling giving someone a gift, and then noticing that they never use it. If our purpose comes from God, then these spiritual babies are gifts of the best kind. How tragic would it be if we took these good and perfect gifts and stored them in a closet somewhere, only to collect dust? Or worse, slowly stuffing out their life?

If we don’t have purpose, or at least a grasp on some type of purpose, then what are we living for?

If you can’t pinpoint your exact purpose, I encourage you to do so. Maybe you need to birth a purpose baby of your own, or begin to nurture one that you’ve kept hidden away for a while.

happy motherhood (ha),

-Priscilađź’«

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August Currents

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Hey strangers. I’ve missed you all. Things have changed. A lot. Thanks for sticking around with my sporadic mind. Appreciate you.

Here are some currents, just to add some context, haha.

Listening: Something to Tell You by HAIM. Sooo boppy.

Dreaming: Of days when my clothes will be perfectly hung in closets and not crammed in suitcases.

Feeling: Slightly restless. Symptoms include: wild eyes, lack of focus, heavy anticipation.

Following: Tapestry Mag. Intrigued.

Grateful: For the humans that don’t give up on me, even though I’m a hot mess.

Eating: Lots of barbecue protein chips. Yea, it’s a thing.

Hoping: That pieces will start to come together in my mind and life.

Waiting: To move in to my new place on Friday! Hurrah!

Watching: Another random Asian drama on Netflix. What’s new, really.

Reading: Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul. I’ll finish this one, I promise!

Proud: That I turned a ~dream~ (from the October Currents) into a reality and am actually in LA. What is life, yea?

Hang in with me friends, I’m figuring things out!

-Priscilađź’«

 

Lovely Things: Vol.2

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Wowza babes! December already!

I gotta say, this year has been da bomb.com so far, and I have feeling that things are only getting better.

Christmas season is upon us and while I am still stuck in school typing up enormous research papers, in two weeks I’ll be cozied up back home under a warm blanket with hot chocolate watching the Little Drummer Boy on tv and crying like a baby, because, ex-emo kid.

A couple of years ago, I used to get super giddy about Christmas and became a stickler for establishing traditions. However, my family is Brazilian and this whole “dreaming of a white Christmas” thing goes way over their heads. The older I got, the more I began to realize, as silly and Grinch-like as it sounds, that Christmas isn’t about presents and trees and food and snow; it’s about coming together to worship the King of Kings who was supposedly born around this time of year.

Hallmark would love me, yea?

With that in mind, it’s still totally cool to bake every sugary thing in your kitchen and decorate a tree to the nine’s, as long as we don’t lose sight of who we are honoring in this celebration.

So! Volume 2 of Lovely Things is Christmas themed, yaayyyyy!!!!

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1. Wreath Making! Such an easy (I assume) and fun way to decorate your home and make it Christmasy!

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2. Look at those marvelous creatures. I admit, I have a history of burning things, but still. So yum, it’s worth a try.

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3. Before the year ends, I’m hoping to get some exploring/running in the woods near my house. Nothing like being one with nature. Seriously, it may sound gross and like you’re asking to get sick, but it is so worth it. Even putting up with the cold.

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4. The velvet bug has bit me and i’m crushing hard. Get it?

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5. Also, Asos is life-sucking. But this hair clip is so perfect!

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6. Advent bible reading plan to prepare your heart. And they really so have fantastic wallpapers for you phone.

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7. Also, this masterpiece. I’m not Catholic, but some things in that article are spot on.

Also, here is a shameless plug to browse my Pinterest board entitled HBD Jesus!

Happy Holidazeeeee!

-Priscilađź’«

November Currents

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What up fam??

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! If not, take this weekend to feast hard. Feasting is biblical, after all.

Since the month is wrapping up already(!), it is time to reflect on some November goodies:

Listening: Two Vines by Empire of the Sun. Sooo frikinnn goooood.

Dreaming: Of a white Christmas. But for realz tho.

Feeling: Like the little engine that could. This semester has definitely taken its toll.

Following: RVCA. Maui tweaked my dressing habits.

Grateful: For family. There is nothing like celebrating Thanksgiving in community to serve as a friendly reminder that family is everything.

Eating: Allllll the leftovers, praise the Lamb.

Hoping: That everything will work out in the end.

Waiting: For some direction in regards to post-college plans. Big decisions up ahead.

Watching: Jane the Virgin! Why have I just discovered this show this month?!

Reading: About the apocalypse. Ha, theology school is no joke.

Proud: Of myself for only buying a flat white on this lovely Black Friday. Maui has changed me indeed.

Stay sane out there,

-Priscilađź’«

(Photo by: kevc.co.)

Defining Beauty: Vol. 1

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Hey guys!

I’m wicked excited to share with you all this new series! For a couple of years now, I’ve been captivated by the concept of beauty and what it really means to be beautiful. It can’t be just a physical thing and it can’t just mean intelligence either. This summer especially, I dove into this idea of beauty and what someone truly means when he or she calls me beautiful. What does God truly mean when he calls us beautiful?

So I have decided to interview some close friends and maybe together we can get down to the nitty-gritty of what possessing beauty really means!

The first person to kick the series off is one of my close friends, Rebecca Alves. This past summer, Becca and I went on a mission trip to Maui and stayed there for the summer interning at a local church. However, as I came back to the mainland to finish school, she flat out moved there, following God’s will for her life. Since then, God has been showing and speaking amazing things to her, including messages of beauty.

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PS: Before Maui, what did you consider to be beauty/beautiful? 

BA: Beauty is the song our soul sings. It translates itself into the curve of your nose, curls, freckles, the sway of your hips, the tone of your voice, and your deep belly laugh. Beauty is the resounding hum vibrating through creation. It’s the wind whistling through bamboo trees, water rushing over lava rocks and wild guava growing along the banks of waterfalls.

It’s how the sun reflects off the peak of the Chrysler Building. It’s how traffic winds down the highway in a serpentine pattern, a mechanical snake. Beauty is the hush that falls over creation as the first snow falls from dreamy gray dusk. It’s the intertwinement of languages heard at airports. It’s joyous hellos, and guilt stricken goodbyes. Beauty is the twinkle in your eyes and multicolored butterflies living in the pit of your stomach. Beauty is life born in spring, and dead flowers bound by twine that we so lovingly admire.

Beauty is strength to live a life unapologetic. Stay at home moms and childless CEO/business women are both equally beautiful. Quiet confidence is beautiful, as is the outspoken mind. Beauty is a choice. Everything holds beauty, even broken things. It’s how you view it that determines the level of beauty. Things are “made” beautiful by the choices we make.

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PS: How does living in “paradise” change your view of beauty? 

BA: Views are always shifting. They are in constant flow with time, circumstance and perspective. My view on beauty hasn’t changed since moving to Maui. The time I spent in Florida was spent chasing the beauty found in freedom. I’d go for long drives, my bones aching for the freedom and beauty the open road provided. Living on Maui has made that easier. I wake up with a view of West Maui Mountains from my kitchen window. I no longer need to chase “exotic” beauty; I’m fully immersed in it at all times. He’s also gifted me with His perspective on the world. I look at the world through a Heavenly lens, instead of a “Christian” one. Trust me, the two are very different.

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PS: How has God changed your views on beauty?

BA: God hasn’t changed my views on beauty, but He’s made me more sensitive to it. Sometimes it hits me like a truck, it all becoming bit overwhelming. We joke on island (especially during Monday Night Worship) that we’re “too drunk to function.” He’s been teaching me to fully live a life abandoned to Him, in all things. That includes living in a child-like state of constant awe and wonder, discovering everything for the first time. I find myself sitting outside more than ever, laying out on a lawn or a beach, drinking in the starlight for hours on end. He’s teaching me to MAKE the time to stop and admire beauty that I already know is there. It’s one thing to know something, but it’s a whole other thing to acknowledge and interact with it. He’s shown me that He is IN beauty, AROUND beauty, and IS that beauty.

To be honest, since my move to Maui, the Lord has done nothing but show off. Though He hasn’t changed my views, He has shifted my response. I’m more expressive than ever. Before, something would catch my eye and I’d silently appreciate it. Or, I’d look out to the congregation during worship and simply admire their beauty. He doesn’t allow me to do that anymore. If I see a pretty hill, you can be sure I’m rolling or cartwheeling down it. When I see His people during worship, my lungs burn until I sing out what I’m witnessing: their beauty as the Father sees it.

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PS: What did you consider beautiful about yourself before and now? Did some things change or are your views still the same? 

BA: Physically, I’ve always loved my wild lion’s mane of curls and how my eyes are constantly twinkling with mischief. Heart wise, I find my confidence beautiful. I’m blessed to not have struggled with that growing up. But it’s because I’ve always known who I am. That beautiful confidence is rooted in my identity of who I am in Christ. That’s a fiercely beautiful realization that cannot be given or taken by anyone in this world, or the next.

Now, a few months ago I had all of my hair chopped off super short and I must admit, I felt hideous and wanted to die. It took months (and my hair is still short) but the Lord spoke tenderly to me, showing that I was still beautiful, despite my favorite thing about me being gone. I’m finally in love with my curls again, thankfully. But it was a process I don’t wish on anyone. There was plenty of realigning heart and mind—what I felt and what I knew to be Godly truths.

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PS: Do you have any advice for people that may believe that they don’t have beauty?

BA: Oh yeah! Close your eyes, and find your secret place. To do that, imagine you are making your way to go see Father God. Let’s make it clear that your imagination is a GOD-CREATED thing and not “all in your head.” It’s just another way for us to communicate with Holy Spirit, so for the love of God, PLEASE embrace your imagination.

Anyways, are you walking? Running? Cartwheeling towards Jesus? Maybe you’re riding a white unicorn. It’s different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way—this is YOU and God.

Where are you? In a forest? On a beach? On a mountain? On a carousel in Central Park?

Where are you meeting Jesus?

Now that you’re in your secret place, look upon the Father. He’s SO excited to see you. He’s been waiting for you. He literally cannot contain His excitement. He wants to lovingly embrace you, so just allow Him. Now speak to him as you would to a roommate, a parent, your spouse or best friend. Just talk to Him like a normal person.

Ask Him to show you a mirror. As you look into your reflection, ask Him to describe what HE sees and point it out to you as He goes. I promise you, life won’t be the same. Do this anytime you need to be reminded of your beauty, the inside AND the outside kind. Just let Holy Spirit wreck you.

I’ve tasted and seen and I’ll never go back to living like before. Let my wild, wild beautiful life attest to His glory.

**

Thanks so much Becca!

-Priscilađź’«

The Nationwide Hangover

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Today I cried. I almost threw up. I am still baffled.

Politics suck sometimes.

I try not to get too involved in these types of things but yesterday I found myself waking up in the middle of the night in anticipation for the outcome of the election. Being from Massachusetts and being submersed in a liberal culture, my political views tend to lean democratic by default, regardless of my religious beliefs. But last night, as I paced back and forth in my living room, tried to sip tea, frantically checked social media and electoral maps, and tried to make a migraine go away (it didn’t, still have it), I couldn’t help but feel sick to my stomach as this nation came to a decision.

I didn’t stay up to see the final announcement, but I woke up this morning to disheartening news of what the next four years are projected to look like. I’m not here to bash Trump, but like many have stated, this election came down to choosing the lesser of two poisons. Maybe it is because we have had a democratic president in office for 8 years now and we have become familiar with the ways of that party, but waking up to a complete republican sweep, well, that struck fear in my bones.

As much white girl as I may seem, I guess I’m considered a minority in this country. While I consider myself more American than Brazilian, I can’t help but be naturally fearful for those that weren’t born in the U.S. but consider it their home. Many Americans may feel at peace with the outcome of this election, but I can’t say the same. And neither can democrats. Or everyone else who just cannot wrap their heads around a “celebrity” figure taking over the country.

I may not be able to see into the future and predict the exact changes that WILL take place, but it is certain that change is coming.

It is indeed a sobering morning for many in the U.S. and no amount of coffee or tea can make some migraines and heartaches go away. Let us not forget though, that when we are weak, that is when God is strong.

Let’s keep praying fam.

-Priscilađź’«

The Beauty of November

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Sweaters are back in rotation. Boats shoes on my feet. Holiday drink in my hand. Tan line is officially nonexistent. November is here.

Idk about you, but November is one of the most sobering months for me. October always seems to be brimming with events and activities, and along with them, some not so wise decisions. Don’t get me wrong, I live a “no ragrets!” life, but this month I always seem to find myself with more clarity than usual.

Maybe it’s the crisp cool air that clears up some of the pollution in our minds, but whatever the case, we become more in tune with ourselves and with the world around us.

There’s no doubt about it that I’m in a moment of transition. While I’m still in college, graduation is quickly approaching in a couple of months. And as soon May hits, my life will be completely different. At least, it should, right?

Although I’m ridiculously behind in the homework count, the underbelly of senior year is that I’m focusing more on narrowing down a plan for after I graduate. At this point, connecting with a future employee is way more important that getting an A in some class. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advertising that grades don’t matter; what I’m saying is that my priorities have changed. And so have I.

This past Sunday I was listening to TD Jakes and he spoke about the transition the Israelites had to go through in order to be prepared to reach the Promised Land. When a method that used to work for you suddenly stops working, that is when you now it’s time to grow, that a transition is coming.

Ever since I set foot on campus this semester, I started to feel like a foreigner. The culture feels different, it’s more difficult to socialize and relate to people, and even the messages in chapel just don’t resonate with me in the way that they used to. Like a plant with roots that are starting to grow out of the pot, I have officially outgrown this place.

Even though sobering moments aren’t always the easiest to deal with, they are still vital to developing our next steps in life.

So, if you find your head a bit cloudy, take a walk. Get some fresh air. Let November do its thing.

-Priscilađź’«