22 December 2009

berry christmas!

berries + snow = "eye" delight {get it ... "I" delight"!!}

pic pix: berries from the trees around my house - December 22 '09


No other time of year really spotlights the phrase that "humans are creatures of habit". I mean, you take the same boxes out that hold the exact ornaments that you decorated with the year prior. A strange tree is bought and brought to your home to celebrate the holidays with you and your family. The consistent handful of songs are resung, remixed, and replayed each December ... And, it's not just one family, country, or race, it's a myriad of people everywhere, repeating actions over and over and over again!

I first started thinking about the 'why' of traditions the other day when I was driving with Matt and Colten, and none of us could figure out why we put trees in our houses! [see the link below!] I never really thought that I was one that "clung" to traditions, but something as simple as a Christmas tree ... hmmmm .... !!!

As much as I am one for adventure, searching for new ways to conquer the day with unique and daring elements .... familiarity and routine knit together a 'comfy' sweater I cozy up in as I face each new stimulation. When I was a kid, it didn't matter how much I craved to be living in someone else's shoes, in another era [I continually asked God why I wasn't born 200 years earlier as settler/explorer, 400 years earlier as a forest maiden, 1300 years earlier as ... etc!], or AT LEAST with a super power, my Mom & Dad's arms were what comforted me when I cried through such issues. Their warm hugs meant comfort, established and unreserved love. I think that feeling is we expect when we perform traditions and repeat 'what we did last year'. We forget the integral ingredients of relationship, love, peace are that "toastiness" which is trying to be recreated.

'why' a tree?!

pic pix: a tradition that our family holds ... my Dad lifting one of us kids up to put the angel on THE tree!! This year ... MY turn :) December '09

15 December 2009

i love albrrrrrrrrta ... but ...

Was leafing through some older National Geographic Traveller's magazine (and taking pictures too!!) .... ooooo, I'm just itching to get to some place warm, exotic, adventurous ... somebody, get me there!

pic pix: taken a cold winter night ... Calgary, AB

08 December 2009


fore-ground: noun [the part of the view that is nearest to the observer; the most prominent or important position or situation]
fore-ground: verb [make (something) the most prominent or important feature]

Isn't it funny, when something is on your mind, EVERYTHING seems to relate to that thought?! Say if it were someone ... reflections and faces remarkably resemble one of his/her features. If its a feeling or emotion (like being in love) ... you can be guaranteed that every song, photograph, and happy thing makes you want to smile because of its similarity to that which is on your mind.

I thought about this tunnel (there I go relating things again!) when my mind started to wonder and ponder on the thought above. When I am in a tunnel of thought/vision, everything casted beyond that tunnel is shadowed with a foreground of my current "tunnel". This very tunnel in Quito, apart of la Calle Ronda, had lights that would illuminate different colors every few minutes. After the sequence of colors was played, I knew I wanted to photograph the deep indigo blue hues because of the contrast and the 'vibe' that I felt - mysterious warmth.

Daily, I know I do the very same thing. Maybe not with varied colors brightening a tunnel, but with circumstance, emotion, and people we surround ourselves with. Creating a symptom, persay, known as being 'tunnel-visioned'. The dictionary describes "tunnel-vision" as a short-sightedness ... myopia ... focusing only what is immediately in front of you, blurring objects [life] that are farther ahead.

Rather than getting stuck within a concentration of myself (only my woes, joys, prospects, realities), I will change my foreground and REJOICE in ALL that is given to me in view today! I set out and advance with HOPE as my vanguard, pushing aside selfish sights, making "prominent" this beautiful panorama without limits.

pic pix : la Calle Ronda tunnel, Quito, Ecuador - '08

30 November 2009

certain certainties

When you are absolutuley sure about something, you exhibit confidence, you stride with a bold step, you "know what you know"! Sometimes I wonder if I am really CERTAIN of joy, and what it beholds ...
Its not only a word to understand, its a lifestyle. Seen not just through one pane of glass named "JOY", but perceived through a frame that's expanse encompasses the sky above us. Classified as an emotion, known as a state. Its entirety supremely surpasses the extent to which I understand ... do I really KNOW joy?

Of course, I have experienced, seen, and been blessed by joy. For one, those that love me bring me such joy in the thought of it! Receiving the ultimate Gift of Salvation (another attribute of love), and living in a life interpreted within God's promises is also casted with joy. But if I am so confident that I associate and identify with joy as a certainty, why do I allow myself to sometimes be depressed, sad?
I do not doubt that it will be something that each of us will face as we tread our path here on earth. But we need to walk in CERTAINTY, savoring that JOY that is not only sustaining but everlasting. Our days are numbered and unknown, that of which I am also certain(!). Each moment breathed must be authentically concrete ... for we can have real, assured JOY!

... Hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the Light of day ...
{vs 2 - JOYful JOYful, We Adore Thee, Henry J. van Dyke}

Colorfully leap in such certainty ... :)

pic pix: me & boo's "love-joy-peace walk" - Fish Creek Park '08

23 November 2009


I went out with a 'kindred spirit' for a latte last tonight. Though we are exact opposites, I say 'kindred' because regardless of our personalities and character styles (which are on each extreme end of opposites!), we still face the similar struggles, breath the same air, ask paralleled questions. Often, I think that much I go through is a 'person'al battle and no one could have ever encountered that which I have. It's not just 'likely' that we do ... it's reality.

Obviously, we're not identical(!) and the way we dice and knead issues are interpreted on very different spectrums. Like capturing a moment on film ... we can see that my girlfriend is taking a picture of a SFO street and we can assume/guess how it'll turn out. But even if its ever so slight, the image won't be depicted that way you or I saw it or how we would've presented it. Neither are more right than the other, both are true views of what it was ... it's just our interpretation that is different.

Interpretations make each one of us SO unique. All the variances of thoughts, executions, and desires create millions and billions of faces, colors, and ideas. When I'm riding on the C-Train (temporarilily an every-morning experience) I'm intrigued with all the eyes and stories behind them. The SILENCE (which nearly kills me!) and the 'here and there' expression ... almost give away more to what they are thinking. After people watching for a bit, I almost feel allied to their field of vision, despite how unresembling we may be, because I know we feel and see the same things. For example, a very pregnant woman came on the yesterday train and started looking for a seat. All were taken, so I gave her mine. Though there wasn't a long explanation of words before or after she sat down ... I knew she was relieved actually relaxed. Even though it was the simplest of gestures, and probably one of the most apparent 'needs' that was present, I 'briefly' saw the a glimpse of her thoughts with what her physical state exhibited (a very pregnant belly! tired eyes, long sigh). And because of my interpretation, I 'briefly' was connected.

It's a circle of Needing, Seeing, Interpreting, and Giving ... a daily question of "what part of the circle do I SING today?"

pic pix: a 'kindred spirit' illustrating her interpretation in San Francisco - March '09

19 November 2009

what am i created for ... that which i am created of ...

Yes ... my sister will be so proud of me for capturing such a special momento from our evening's viewing of the latest "New Moon"!! We were treated by our dear friend Sara to the "very important people" sneak peak of the film tonight. Grande fun to say the least!

Taking off the bracelet, reading the label "V.I.P.", and pondering for a moment ... I came to thoughts again of how 'very important' it is to be the person I've been blueprinted as. Media, relationships, work, future ... life can all distract us from seeing the development that we've become (if it be a work in progress, just beginning, or almost accomplished). Thats when we fail to realize how purposefully and wonderfully we are designed.

" ... God created man in His own image ..." [Genesis 1:27] Creating drawings on the computer, or even drawing free-hand, when dimensions are off or if your perception and perspective are not uniting to make the subject seem at all proper and proportioned, you don't result in a very worthy result. Man can construct and build some beautiful and incredulous things, but nothing with a spirit, uniqueness, or purpose ... life.

If it be at the airport, or riding on the c-train .... wherever you go, there is always some facet of this intrigue known as the human race. All 'very important people'. One has been created to bring joy to all he meets, another dons grace with just her smile, etc ... peoples' personalities and progresses cannot even begin to compare to the purpose of which they live. Its almost like the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. Where, regardless of his state, will, and circumstance Will Smith's character never lost the purpose and drive to live ... to pursue.

Join me today and be in pursuit ... remembering that you have been called a "V.I.P." by a marvelous Maker (and me!) ... that today's purpose is for you to live fearfully and wonderfully made.

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made ... your works are wonderful, I know that full well - King David, Psalm 139 vs 14

pic pix: my VIP wristband :)- Calgary '09

16 November 2009

colorful skies

Took this shot earlier this evening as I was absolutely stunned with the sky's colors, depths, textures, and 'emotions'. No photoshop here, just God's spectacular handiwork ... [glee!]

pic pix: Calgary, Alberta - Nov '09

11 November 2009


I've gotten SO spoiled, working for an airline, thinking I need to travel every couple months! Looking through photos again this morning, I was longing that I be in France, Chile, Malaysia, Turkey ... just somewhere more colorful and unlike where I am presently.

Different moments in travels, usually while hiking/exploring a country's natural landscape, its dawned on me how beautiful and incredible it is to live where I am, in the Rocky Mountains ... geographically, a wonder of the world. But how often is it that I've said the same about the life that I live?! "How beautiful, how incredible it is to live the life of Sarah?"

Somehow, not just with travel, we associate the "somewhere else" of our current situation [school, work, relationships] with adventure, satisfaction, enjoyment ... and once we get here, to this very day in time, we're still thirsty for tomorrow's change. Its natural to want to move forward, and I don't suggest that we flip the page back to yesterday, but I notice that days go by with me only skimming the page I'm on.

I see the amazing profile of the mountains to the west, the promise of new beginnings to the sun rising on the east ... I'm loved by family and friends, I have my immediate needs taken care of, I am healthy ... I have been given an effervescent life by a Creator who loves me ... So, YES! Life is beautiful and incredible when I actually intake and absorb that vivacity which is leaping off of that leaf of paper I label "Today".

Today, I strive to have a better attitude ... outlook. Actually reading my life goings-on today and knowing that I am fulfilled and blessed.

"Satisfy us each morning with Your unfailing love ... so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives ... "
Psalm 90:14

pic pix: a lively avenue we strolled while in Strasbourg, France - May '09

09 November 2009

indulging in the dulce

Honoring Matt's grandma, family and friends gathered this weekend to celebrate her 85 years of heritage, family, and blessings. During the program that was prepared for her, and after something was shared, she leaned over with the biggest smile and whispered in response, "Sweet!"

I wish that I could remember exactly what it was that she found so delightful ... it was a "glee" moment for me to hear her use such slang. Regardless, it struck me with a smile then and meets me again today digging a little deeper into the reality of "sweet's" scope.

"Sweet" surpasses an expression, slang, and tasteful sensation. Sweetness describes a high degree of 'great' that no one really can otherwise explain. When someone is sweet ... their natural vibes resonate of a cozy-type of nice. When someone is sweet on you ... they look forward to seeing you, like a long anticipated treat! When you hum a sweet lullaby ... a wholesomeness and innocence is assumed. When the hymn "Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus" is sung ... what we're really saying is 'what could be more aromatic and assuring than His presence guiding our day-to-day lives'?!

Another song, from earlier years, that I still love to sing ... "Sweet Wind" (David Ruis). It proclaims how God's presence is sweet like wind blowing, rain pouring, fire burning. How can we compare anything to be GRANDER?! more AMAZING?! SWEETER?! We are privileged, spoiled really, to know and have access to such Creation, Power, and Existence. He avails Himself day & night, exceeding more than just our cravings and desires. And still, despite our shortcomings, we are pandered to points beyond our simple satisfactions.

I've never really had a sweet tooth (except...when it comes to loving chocolate!) and only once in a blue moon do I really have a sweetheart. But today, I take in and indulge ... freedom, refreshedness, love ... because my God is "Sweet!"

pic pix: one of the many(!) decadent desserts I devoured while in Ronda, Spain - Sept '09

04 November 2009


There is always a mystery to what lies behind a closed door. A surprise, tragedy, wake-up call ... the simplicity of an everyday occurrence. All reveal our utter lack of control to what will be disclosed when the knob is turned. Yet ... we all have a choice to walk through the exhibited entrances/exits we front daily.

Sometimes opening a door creates opportunity that we could never have fathomed. Today, I was walking up a wide, ascending sidewalk. A young man in a wheelchair was working with concentrated efforts, making his way forward. My eyes were not looking or anticipating a "door" of any kind as I walked beside him. A man striding a bit ahead of me slowed down to start conversation with the younger man. Within seconds, the younger man asked if he would be willing to push him 20 feet farther to get over the hardest part of the hill. As if on queue, this 'striding' man instinctively helped him forward. Maybe everyone else would've seen such a door presented to open ... I didn't. It caused me to think "how many doors am I blind to?"

I continually ask God to show me these portals, for these types of opportunities. And here is one...this very day! Not to be down on myself that I didn't jump in when I could've, but rather to focus on the reality that God follows through with His promises. He assured us that when we knock, He will open, answer, and create the doors of our needs, our cries, our hearts, our mysteries. That part IS taken care of.

Our part ... we may not have the power to open or make "doors" appear, but we do have the capacity to ask God for direction to them, to knock when we get there, and to take the initial step through them.

pic pix: handle on the door to an old church [Wiesbaden, Germany] that was being restored while I was there June '08 ... I wonder how many non-Purelled hands have turned this nob??!!


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