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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Saying Grace

I have been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  She talks about having an attitude of thanksgiving.  Yesterday I found that I have fallen out of the habit of giving thanks for my food.  I am still thankful for my food, but I havent set aside the time to offer up thanks.  I am thankful that I can go to the store and buy food and that there is the possibility for me to buy seeds and grow my own.  But how often do I acknowledge it?
2 times in the last week I have watched as someone has bowed their head and prayed over their food, prayed over the blessing it is to be thankful for nourishment. 
In my home, as a family we hold hands and take the next few moments to be thankful.  When I am by myself, why don’t I do the same?  When I am in a public place, why don’t I do the same?
I pray throughout the day, especially when I am walking between classes or walking home from the bus.  I take a walk with Jesus.  Why am I not taking the time to be thankful for what is right in front of me?  for what I am consuming?
I was thinking about the phrase “saying grace”.  When I say a prayer of thanksgiving I am acknowledging the fact that I have been given grace.  I am covered in grace when I offer thanksgiving.  How amazing is that?
Today I am thinking about what it means to be truly thankful.  The leaves are about to change and in a couple of months my favorite holiday Thanksgiving will be here.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t need to take time out now to be thankful for the sweet blessings that grace my table and inhabit my kitchen pantry.
Do you ‘say grace’?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Livin' with Purpose

Yesterday I felt like I got nothing done but I ran around like a busy bee.  I can tell you what I was doing at almost every moment of the day…scary
Yesterday I thought about life.  I pondered what I’m holding onto, maybe a little too tightly.  I’m learning to let go.  It’s a beautiful thing.
Yesterday I got to realize that I knew more than my professor on a particular subject. 
Example: Dear Professor, if you are weighing whether I might know what I’m talking about when I say something about the EU, know that I have studied and lived there for a semester.  You on the other hand have presented only limited, and somewhat skewed information on your PowerPoint slide {yes singular slide}. I would say I know what I’m talking about.  Oh and you have that fact wrong… 
{talked about here and here}
Usually I’m not so disrespectful of my teachers or people in my life in general {even if I am talking in my head}. 
I think that it was a good wake up call.  I lived something amazing a year ago.  And it saddens me to know that it has been that long.  It’s been a year.  But I learned so much.  I lived so much.
I want to live like I lived there; with purpose, in the moment.  I knew that that moment may not come back again.  And that’s not to say that I want to be a busy bee all the time.  I want to be intentional and live with purpose.  And I want to learn.
Lessons for today, give your professor the benefit of the doubt…even when you feel like you know more, keep an open mind for future classes, and ask lots of questions to get as much information!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Glory Revealed

I am a future thinker.  I like to know what’s going to happen next.  I like to be prepared.  I like to consult directions when I need help.  I don’t like doing things first.
I am also a woman, which is like code word for worry.  Yep, worrier right here.  I’m working on being better about not being a so worried.  Life will go on; at least that’s what I tell myself.  And while I believe that to be true I don’t always live it.
When you put those two things together you get worrier of the future.  A friend and I were talking about the future today and our worries and fears of what it might hold.  I was telling her how I’m done being ‘bad’, doing things wrong, and generally messing up.  I’m done not loving people well.  It breaks my heart.  And yet I am being refined.  With every ill timed comment, with every mistake, with every hurt I cause; I am being refined and changed.
I was so encouraged when a few hours later I read this verse:
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” Romans 8.18
I don’t have to be so future thinking, because I know what is coming.  Glory will be revealed.  I don’t have to worry, because now is not the end.  Glory will be revealed.  But not now.  Later.  In time, glory will be revealed.  And what a sweet promise that is to hold close.
‘In the end it will all be ok, if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.’ Unknown

Monday, September 24, 2012


I’ve been taking a break…if you haven’t noticed.  Sometimes it is so much more important to live life than to write about it.  I haven’t been taking many pictures, not been on my computer much…just figuring out this new point in life.  Isn’t grace wonderful?!
I have the travel bug.  A friend and I were talking about the trip I took to Africa 4 years ago.  My heart swells with joy and eagerness when I think of that place across the water.  I have many friends that are studying abroad this semester and it has been such a joy to read and see what they are doing.  I’ll be posting some of their links soon.  I have a friend that is working in Uganda at a school and it is so fun to read about her interactions as she enters into a new culture and deals with some language barriers.
The other night I got asked if I could go anywhere, where would I go?  I don’t know.  There are so many places I want to experience.  I want to see them, but I’d rather have the relationships.  I love knowing that I have friends all over the world.  What a gift!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sports Weekend

This was a weekend of sports…and yes another weekend of no camera.  How did that happen?
{The no camera, not the sports.}  I got a little sunburned at the first event.  I knew I should have put more sunscreen on.  I now have a nice red triangle from my v-neck.  Thankfully it doesn’t hurt, but it looks painful!  I was watching my sister’s first soccer game of the season.  Unfortunately, they didn’t win…but that only means they can get better!
After the game we ran into some friends and had fun chatting on the sidelines.  I got some love from a girl I babysit.  It’s so nice to feel loved.
This weekend I also had the opportunity to go to my first professional baseball game.  I grew up an hour south of San Francisco and this was the first time I’d been to a game.  I know it's a little sad.  {It helps when you know someone that has season tickets.}  And boy did I go to a good game!  I know the Giants and Dogers have a rivalry {we joke about it at home…in the safety of our home} but I did not realize that it is the oldest rivalry in the history of baseball.  Thank you Giants for winning, you made it an enjoyable game and ride home!
On the way to the game {an hour or more in the car} we listened to the 49er game.  I didn’t realize that they would show the game on screens at AT&T park before the baseball game.  It never occurred to me that baseball fans might be football fans as well.  Silly me.  It was a great day to be a fan from the Bay, the 49ers beat the Packers.
Even though I wouldn't be considered a loyal sports fan it was fun to celebrate with those that are devoted to their team. 
Who were you rooting for this weekend? 

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Other Name

Olive is my other name.
{Part of my inspiration}

 The name that I named myself this Labor Day weekend.  It’s hard to get accustomed to a new name.  It’s almost a new identity.  It’s odd to think that I am the same person...with a different name. I have very few nicknames.  Some that Ii shy away from...or more like run from. Some that I allow, only because I know the intentions behind them.  And some that I adore.  My sweet friend calls me belle. And I adore it. Or Haleigh belle. Or Haleigh girl {yes, where this web address originates}.
This was different. Sometimes these fake names stick. You have to choose carefully. Sometimes they are just for a season...a few short days.
I think besides naming myself {odd concept}, the worst part was responding.
"Olive, olive, olive!" shouts the little girl. Oh, that's me...brain, respond. That's me; I have to say something back!

Source: via Haleigh on Pinterest
{I just love her!}
But now that I am no longer at camp and with children who only know me as Olive my name hasn't kicked back in. I don't know what to do.
Hi, I'm...oh, that's right. I'm Haleigh.
I got introduced to someone as Haleigh and it almost sounded foreign. Why is that?
It reminds me that I have many names. And some of those names are my identity. They are the ones that count. That matter.
Someday it would be wonderful to be called Olive again, but for now I am so happy about my name.
Hi, my name is Haleigh and my identity is not in that name. I am a child of God, saved by the grace of Christ, and the daughter of a king. It is so nice to meet you!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dirt and Water Makes Mud

It was a dirty weekend.  But something about saying that just sounded wrong...

I was a camp counselor this weekend and it was wonderful but tiring.  I spent time with 1st through 6th graders in the Santa Cruz mountains.  I love the fresh pine smell and the clear air.  I personally could have done with a little less dust.  Whoever said 'a little dirt don't hurt' better be right, because I think I inhaled quite a bit over the course of this weekend!
There are so many fun activities that these kids get to do at what we call Day Camp.  Since it was just a weekend {even a long weekend} the programs were shortened and change a little bit.  I had a group of 3rd and 4th grade girls.  They were a blast!  I got to take them down to the creek {or as we joke 'the creech'}.  Down there they can build a dam, go crawdad hunting, or do rock painting.  There are sand rocks and clay rocks, so with a little water and some rubbing you get "paint."  I got the opportunity to be painted.  I ended up with a dripping necklace, a dotted crown, pictures on my back and some arm and leg art!  Love little imaginations!

I wish I could show you pieces of this weekend, but you will have to use your imaginations.  I decided that I was going to limit the camera use this weekend.  It worked so well that I forgot my camera at home...oops!  Imagine tall redwoods on sloping mountains, laughing children, and ridiculous costumes.  Imagine 130 kids in a pool full of splashes.  Imagine the sweetness of holding hands to cross {suspended} bridges.  Imagine power fish {goldfish} and sitting on stumps in a circle.  Imagine ice cream and late night donut runs {both these without children}.  Imagine making new friends and bonding over silliness.  Imagine {fake} camp names and yelling 'lawn chants' {voice is a little scratchy}.  Imagine late into the night chats with a missed friend and canoeing with new friends.  Those were some of the moments this weekend.

Thanks for using your imagination with me!  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Adventures are a Big Deal {1 year}

One year ago today, I stepped onto a plane.  I was anxious and nervous and tried to look like I had it all under control.  I was excited too, but at that moment the butterflies in my stomach was the only thing on my mind.   It was a long day.   Through the 3 times of loading and unloading my laptop in airport security, the horrid blisters forming at my heels, and lugging around the {probably} overweight carry-ons I gain confidence to be a traveler.  I was no longer a college student with a plane ticket off to another place; I was a woman studying and experiencing Italy.  

I was looking for adventure.

This space was created to chronicle the adventures of that time, but it has become much more.  I see the adventures in life more easily now.  {Besides lifestyle blogging is taking ordinary things and making them a big deal}  Adventures are a big deal!

I am so excited to keep sharing thoughts, ideas, and ordinary turned extraordinary adventures in this space.  
Welcome to the adventure…