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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

life is what you make it.

 I woke up yesterday in a funk. Okay, it was more than a funk. Not only was I feeling less than inspired, but just downright bummed. Borderlining on sad, dangerously teetering over the edge of depressed. I was feeling down. Like woah. Thinking about many things and needing to make some decisions was not helped by finding out some bad news. It was one of those days when you feel like your dreams aren't going to come true, like you are working hard to no end. When you feel like a hamster on a wheel just going nowhere (am I the only one who feels that way sometimes?) And no amount of the usual "get me inspired" things helped at all. Not watching this... or singing  this. A cup of strawberry tea didn't help. Nor did lighting vanilla candles or spraying on a spritz of my expensive perfume. Mod podging something didn't help. Putting on my big white hooped earrings didn't help. Mid-way through the afternoon, plodding through work and feeling ever more discouraged, one of my go-to cry it out songs came on iTunes (do you have those too? the songs that just turn on the waterworks like that?) and as the tears threatened to flow, I got up from my chair. I threw on a knitted cap and my boots. I grabbed my camera. And I went outside.

A cold front came in with the beginning of this week (a rare occurance in Southern California) and snow was falling all day. Well, rather - drizzly, wet hail was falling all day. A slushy, rainy fall...not real snow, just slush (not helping the mood at all, really.) But, unbenowenst to me, in the last hour - real snowflakes - the big, white frozen kind - began to fall. And the ground was covered in pure, frozen, beautiful whiteness.

So I took a walk in it.


It wasn't a long walk. Because my skinny jeans and Forever 21 coat were feeling pretty thin and soaked-through after about 10 minutes. But I've gotta tell ya - just a jaunt in the crunchy, icy wonderland - and I was smiling.

And I realized - how thankful I was for the whimsical flakes falling from the sky. I realized...the things I need to decide that seemed so ginormous while I sat staring at my computer screen minutes before, were really small in the grand scheme of things. And I realized...I loved stopping and enjoying the perfect flurries covering the ground in a blanket of white. And I realized, I loved the crisp, unbelievable fresh air I was breathing in because it is something us California girls rarely experience.

And I realized a grown-up realization, that as hard and disappointing as life can be, it is still a gift. I am blessed. And it could be oh so much worse. Life may not always be as comfortable or as ideal as we would wish. But if we look at it the right way, through a fresh perspective - it is ever so beautiful.

My mom always says, "Just taking a walk can change your whole persective."
As I saw yesterday, a walk sure can change your point of view. As can looking at the little, ordinary things in life... and seeing the simple things as beautiful.

Things like these simple things that made me smile this last week:


...sweet coffee and fresh strawberries with a little dallop of whipped cream - oh yeah. My breakfast of champions.

...juicy, delicious oranges - and the best part? they're PINK.




...finding my Great-Grandpa's old love letters and notes to my Great-Grandma...from the 1930's.

...going back to the Farmer's Market. And this time, took my b-fri.

... i love how ice cream stands make me smile.


...i love colors. & flavors.

...and dinner with sistah friend. (seriously, can you get any more fabulous than her?!)
yeah, yeah that's the sticker on the sunglasses...just tryin' em on! although i've totally walked around with a sticker left on cheap sunglasses before!


...i love browsing homemade candy stands

  Yesterday, I realized afresh that a perfect, easy life does nothing to grow, change, stretch and shape us into the strongest and best version of ourselves we can be. Staying safely inside our comfort zones does not challenge us. Facing no pain or hardship does not push us to run to God and throw our cares at His feet. Without trials and tough cirucmstances, do we really need to trust the Lord? Without suffering, how would we know His comfort? Without weakness, how would we feel His presence and peace holding us close when we are broken? Knowing exactly what will happen and having all the answers does nothing to grow our faith. Does nothing to make us the strongest, best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be.

So, when life gets hard and crazy. When you can't take it and you wanna cry. Go...take a walk in the snow, or the sunshine. Breathe in crisp air.  And smile.


You might just get a new perspective and be reminded... just how oh so beautiful life can be.



"...the Lord answered her,
'You are worried and upset about many things.
But only One thing is needed...'"
-Luke 10:41-42


***

oh, & we can't forget this (very belated) piece of business...



Friday iPhone Photo Drop


{from instagram, to follow search: erin_sweetnessitself}



XO

Erin

28 comments:

  1. Oh, dearie... I'm so sorry you had such a gloomy day! And no... the (gloomy) weather doesn't help much either! But I'm glad that you cheered up some! :) You deserve only the greatest, that's for sure! Praying you have a wonderful day today!!! And by the way.... i LOVE reading old love letters.... :) They are just way too sweet.

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  2. Thanks for this. I've been feeling in a bit of a funk too recently. I'm hoping this post will inspire me to get up and out for a walk tomorrow morning. Your walking in the snow sounded amazing!

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  3. Also, I have absolutely NO idea how I discovered your blog but there you are on my dashboard this evening. I am very grateful!!

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  4. A walk can do so many wonders. Sometimes I wonder why it can help so much. The only thing I can think of is how the nature inspires us to listen to God's voice more intently. We see what He has done by seeing our surroundings? Ok, I will go with that hah :-)
    You are such a sweet girl. Wished I lived closer to you!
    And snow!! In Cali?! That's too cool!

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  5. Erin! I hope you're having a better day today :)
    You are so NOT alone in feeling that way sometimes...the hamster effect takes its toll on me, too! And I definitely have songs that make me cry on the spot!

    I love your strength. You are a conqueror, girl!

    The snow is gorgeous!
    I seriously need to get out of my Florida bubble
    and go see snow!

    Happy Wednesday, lovely :)
    xo

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  6. This is what I needed to hear today!! Thank you. I am in that funk too often it seems. But you're right, I need to change my perspective and look at the little things, the things around me that do make me smile. I've been praying lately that God would light a fire in me!

    ps- those photos in the snow are amazing!! I can't believe how much you guys got out there!!

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  7. Beautiful post, sweetie! I hear ya on feeling like hamster in a wheel! YES.
    Have you read One Thousand Gifts by Ann VosKamp? If you haven't, you must! It's all about thanksgiving in every moment, even the dull ones and the hard ones. I'm in the middle and it's wonderful.

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  8. I hope you have a better day! I feel bluesy today too! And I have a few songs as well that I can easily cry to. Great post girl!

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  9. Feeling the same lately. Great post, refreshing for me during this time! Thank you for your prayers sweet friend. We must work on the guest post soon!
    XO

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  10. Ahh my dear friend... I had a similar day yesterday. I was so tired of running through the rat race, trying to get things done but forever running into brick walls, and to top it all off, I put a big dent in my car which is totally my baby. Now I have to get it fixed (insurance, hurrah), but being the overly-careful with my car person that I am, it just was awful. I am keeping you in my prayers! :)

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  11. Hey Erin,
    I just wanted you to know I tagged you check it out:
    http://mylifeunmasked.blogspot.com/2012/02/tag-your-it.html

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  12. yes. always be thankful. we are so blessed. :)

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  13. Beautiful pictures and beautiful you. Perspective can be such an eye opening thing. Sometimes you just gotta be by yourself to think and then you realize you have all these people that surround you with love!

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  14. this was my day yesterday!! Sick and gloomy..but i'm so happy you made it through with insight and revelations on life because its all worth it:)) By the way you looked so beautiful in the snow pic!! Thats a keeper that should been in a cute vintage frame:)) God bless you sweetie!


    http://alignabluhm.blogspot.com/

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  15. Hi Erin!

    I love your blog, and I just wanted to say that maybe I can brighten your day (: Why? Because I've given you an award! (:
    Congrats!
    Check it out on my blog!
    -Mollie
    http://goodgolly-missmollie.blogspot.com/2012/02/exciting-news-and-some-awards-too.html

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  16. girl where do you live?1 that's amazing. snowed just for you. that's so amazing. I hate having those days where nothing seems to be working or fitting right. Your pictures did make me smile though :)

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  17. I needed to hear this Erin. Thanks so much!

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  18. stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to leave you a little blog luv! Def enjoyed reading this post!!

    http://infinitelifefitness.com
    http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

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  19. stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to leave you a little blog luv! Def enjoyed reading this post!!

    http://infinitelifefitness.com
    http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

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  20. o my word! it did not snow at your house?!?! I thought we lived in the same general area hahaha how did I just get hail no fair! I hope you have had wonderful days since your little gloomy spell. Your hair looks so pretty in the picture with your drink! I am so jealous of your long hair ha!
    Hope you have a great day!
    -Nichole

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  21. Oh, I know exactly how you feel! I feel exactly the same way- like that hamster on that same, never-ending wheel! I feel like I'm in the same spot and never moving forward; working hard and going nowhere fast. Stalemate. I was feeling particularly down today as well, a matter of fact! We had a snowstorm yesterday-into-today and as I was driving home from work, the snow covering the mountains and trees were so beautiful it totally perked me up a bit! I'm glad your walk helped you! Sometimes all you need is a little bit of God's beauty in creation! :)

    And I live in New England and the snow always makes me happy! (Unlike most....)

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  22. oh my sweet sweet Erin! How my heart was pulled to your words this morning! I have been in a funk for a few weeks, that def. pushed right over to depressed. I praise God for His reminders of my truly blessed life--and it took a jolt to show me as well! I love you sweet girl!

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  23. I saw your picture of the snow on instagram and i thought, "california has snow?! even michigan doesn't have snow right now!" I love your reflections on thankfulness because of snow. It reminds me of Ann Voskamp's book - how thankfulness brings us joy, brings us the abundant life He promised. Life is a gift, no matter what hand we're dealt, because it's ours and He gave it to us and He gave us Him and He's still here, present in our mess, in our triumphs, in our funks. I hope you're feeling better, Erin, and I'm so thankful you've shared this little list of thankfulness with us.

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  24. Booo for gloomy days, but I'm glad you ended up feeling better. :)

    I love the wedges you are wearing in the photo at the candy stall - very cute!

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  25. Life is a gift, so true. What a great memory. :)

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  26. It seems like you did beautifully well about getting out of your funk. I must remember to go out for a walk next time I'm not feeling entirely myself. You look gorgeous and happy in those photos. An inspiring post.

    Looking you up on Instagram - goodness I love it!

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  27. LOVE your blog and this post! You have a very appropriate title too. Sweet is exactly right.

    Thanks for sharing! :)
    --divinedating.org

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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