I am a Woman.

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Lately I have done a lot of self-examination.

I think it comes with being in your 20s. Those interesting, yet overwhelming questions like “Who am i?”, or “Where will I go in life?” blah blah…they can haunt us all–but they are definitely making themselves known to me.

One day as I was thinking these crazy amazing things, I asked myself Well what are you now? What are you identifying with at this very momentI came up with some stuff “I am an artist. I am a coffee shop manager. I am some one who likes to read..” These are cool–so many experiences in my life branch off of these things about me, but then BAM!–one really struck a chord with me.

I am a woman. 

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W0W! No surprise there!

And you’re right–I don’t wake up and think “Hey, i’m a woman.”  because it is as natural to me as breathing. I am very thankful for that. Not in an aggressive feminist way, but in a wholesome way. However, I desired to truly know what that identity meant to me.

Not long after the “woman” thoughts my best friend’s mom just happened to give me the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. If you have already read this, then some of this will be familiar. But if not, ladies, I CANNOT STRESS TO YOU HOW MUCH YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. This book has changed my life. I pulled some of my favorite passages from it to convey its message.  Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, please follow along and if anything, just appreciate the sheer beauty that this married couple has put together.


“Call it the Human Mission-to be all and do all God sent us here to do. And notice-the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given both to Adam and to Eve. ‘And God said to them…’ Eve is standing right there when God gives the world over to us. She has a vital role to play; she is a partner in this great adventure. All that human beings were intended to do here on earth-all the creativity and exploration, all the battle and rescue and nurture-we were intended to do together. In fact, not only is Eve needed, but she is desperately needed.When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. ‘It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]’ (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is ‘notoriously difficult to translate.’ The various attempts we have in English are “helper” or “companion” or the notorious “help meet.” Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat…disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing “One day I shall be a help meet?” Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it “sustainer beside him”. The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.”
Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

“A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet center where God dwells that he find her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in him, she is enough.” 

“Because she bears the image of God. She doesn’t have to conjure it, go get it from a salon, have plastic surgery or breast implants. No, beauty is an essence that is given to every woman at her creation.”
John Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

“Jesus said, “Do not throw your pearls to pigs” (Matt. 7:6). By this we don’t think he was calling some people pigs. He was saying, “Look—be careful that you do not give something precious to someone who, at best, cannot recognize its beauty, or at worst, will trample on it.” Consider your feminine heart and beauty your treasure, your pearls.”

I took this book with me everywhere for a week and dove in whenever I had a moment to spare. Every story or description of women was like a revelation to me. I was kicking myself for not reading it sooner, considering it was written nearly ten years ago. Anyways, so Captivating really confirmed the woman identity examination.

So what did I learn about being a woman?

It means we are beautiful.

Women have a beauty that imprints on us as human beings. We are beautiful. And it’s not in vain. When I see a passionate business woman, teacher or athlete it is not only inspiring, but it is beautiful. A woman’s beauty captures our eyes AND our hearts.Men can be passionate, inspiring and strong but that beauty aspect is not as apparent. Sunsets, oceans, canyons, all the seven wonders of the world–still I believe nothing is more pulling than a woman who is freely living in her God-given beauty.  It’s not a physical characteristic, but it is merely our way.  Realizing this is so liberating.

We are precious.

I grew up with three brothers and it was no secret that I was treated differently because I was “the girl”. Sometimes I would pout about things I was not allowed to do, but it was just fine for my brothers to do. If one of them was with me, then that changed everything–I was protected. In this world, we protect precious things. This is not to say that we are frail and incapable.  We are very capable of a lot! But because we are precious, we are treasured. 

We are graceful.

I will never forget one time when I was about 12 years old.  I was eating cookies and milk at the table, just my dad and I. When I finished, I took the back of my hand and wiped my mouth. My dad just looked at me very firmly and reacted, “Girls aren’t supposed to do that.”  I was only twelve. We were not at a fancy dinner outing. It was just an afternoon snack, but how I acted as a girl still mattered.  This example may seem silly. It’s just proper table manners, right?  But it has stuck with me. Why did he make it a point to use the word girl? Why does me being a girl make a difference? Because girls have this certain elegance about them. And sometimes that means mundane things are actually very enamoring.

We are strong.

Mentally, emotionally and even physically–women are graced with a  beautiful strength about them.Because I am a woman, I have the possibility of being a mother. Mothers hold an incredible amount of strength in them. Birthing, nurturing, raising–such demanding, strong, important tasks. As time goes on, God reveals more and more the capacity and strength within women in society and culture. A century ago, my voice as a woman might not have been recognized. Sometimes I find myself day dreaming about simpler times..times with more letters and less text messages. Then I am brought back to a thankful reality where my voice as a woman has more opportunity.  

I know I have much more to discover about my identity. Each day I am learning more about who I am created to be. On my greatest day, I am some one who inspires some one to pursue their passions and loves people to the best of my ability. On my toughest day, I am some one who cannot find a point in their passion at all. But on both of those days, I am still a woman and for that my heart sees reason to keep singing.

xo-

E.C.

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My easy-going Portland

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20 words to describe my Portland adventure:


planes (like 6 total, cheers to jet lag)

coffee

people

gardens

food trucks  (2 words, whoops)

best friend (counts as one 😉 )

photography

rain

breakfast

forests

walking

green

trains

journals

ice cream

books

cafes

buses

prayer

love*

Enjoy these photos xxxxxxxx


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Thank you, Portland!

XO-

E.C.

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The love that changed my life

One year ago today..

I fell in love in the most unexpected way.

No, it wasn’t some dreamy guy that said all the right things. Or some exotic place that I have been itching to adventure to (Hawaii, please!). It was a whole different spectrum of dreamy and adventurous. It was a love that so many people all over the world experience, but one that was new to me. God knew that I needed this love at this time. Something real and something constant.

One year ago today…

My sweet nephew Gil was born! 

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I remember a conversation over the phone with my sister-in-law a few days before Gil was born. I can’t recall the expected due date (sometime in late February), but I remember her saying she had a feeling he was going to be late. Late–that word hung in my head and I didn’t like it. However, who else would have a better instinct than her? I accepted the “late idea” and let other thoughts fill my head.

BUT, that didn’t last long, because three days after that phone call my brother sent out a mass text saying they were heading to the hospital.

It totally did not help that the text was in the middle of the night. The idea of sleep was gone. I kid you not–I DID NOT sleep at all that night. I laid in my bed–delusional and anxious. Also, a tad bit jealous of my mom who left the house soon after hearing and headed to Atlanta.

The next morning at work I checked my phone constantly,

“Is he here?”

“How is Meredith?”

“Is everything okay?”

Waiting….waiting…praying..praying…

And then finally, many hours later, he was born!

Since then, my heart has danced with a different song. When my days are long and hard, I start watching videos my brother has sent me of him. Sometimes I’ll show other people and they laugh or smile with me, but their smile is hazy and vague, while mine is radiant and overflowing–it’s my sense of pride! This little human blows me away with his rapid growth and I can’t believe I get to watch his life unfold!

Gil has given me a new identity–I am now not only a daughter, sister, and friend. I am now also an aunt. It’s new, but it’s going to follow me all the days of my life. I get to be his mentor and friend. The one he might call when he needs a word of advice different from his parents. The one he will come visit in the summer. The one who will always be there.

Sometimes I have to take a double take when I watch my brother with Gil. The brother who used to pick on me for my gap teeth is now a strong father pouring his heart into his kid! It’s another reminder that our greatest experiences on this Earth are tied to our families—that thought comforts me in this dog-eat-dog world.

I am elated to watch my nephew grow. To watch him learn to walk, talk and develop his unique personality. I pray he seeks God, has amazing adventures, and never forgets his value. If I love this little human so much, I can only imagine the love I will one day have for my own child.


iPhone photo reel:

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Gil, your little hands have my heart.

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Xo,

Elizabeth

Alabama

Winter got me feeling all nostalgic with black and white photos.

Enjoy, xo.

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Coffee in the morning with some one I love = one of my favorite things in life.

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Some things I can’t walk by without photographing.

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Colors creepin’ in..

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Hello green eyes and barns and fields…


 

City lights of Birmingham. More coffee.

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Let the building speak for itself. 🙂

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And for whatever reason, I thought these dead trees were cool looking. *snap*

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Then we had to go and get all model-y.

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Who even looks this good close up? My friends, apparently.

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One last thing before leaving–MORE COFFEE!

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A beautiful departure latte. Makes goodbyes a little less hard.

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Until next time, Alabama! You were peaceful and good to me.

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One Word

 

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If you could choose one word to apply to your life for this year, what would it be?


That’s what I’m challenging myself to do for 2016.


One grand night I stayed up late scrolling though devotional plans on my YouVersion and saw one that caught my eye: One Word That Will Change Your Life. It peaked my interest, so I said what the heck, I should try this. The idea is to minimize your focus on the one word to let it teach you, challenge you and  grow you in all aspects of your life. Sharing it with others is key, because you gotta have accountability. And yep, i’ll be taping post-it notes of this word everywhere to keep it on my mind at all times.

After much prayer, God gave me the word

P A S S i O N!

Like the word love, this word can be overused and misunderstood.

I started doing in depth research on the word passion and where it came from. It derives from the Latin word passio and is closely related to suffering. I pulled info from multiple sites and the redemptive death of Jesus was in almost every origin of the word passion. [(neeeeeaaatttt 🙂 ]

When I think about passion, I think about intense love or devotion. If some one says to me,

“Music is my passion.”

“Traveling is my passion.”

or “Science is my passion.”

I’m hearing

“I love music.”

“I love traveling.”

or “I love science.”

I’m not hearing “I’m suffering for music.” But indeed, our passions, when true, require endurance and great sacrifice. This makes passion so inspiring, strong and *sigh* beautiful.

In 2016, I’m praying for a deeper passion for Jesus, the relationships in my life, art and health.

I’m counting on all the amazing people in my life to hold me accountable to this mentality this year. Join me on this word journey, too!

X0-

E.C.

Now, enjoy photos from last night that I actually really like–

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First glance

I used to be really good at words. Sometimes, I would stay up hours into the night writing down poems or stories, whatever, really. I always loved it. I wanted books and words to be my life. And don’t get me wrong, I still melt over a perfect sentence. I’ll always love the power and gift of a well written word. But truth be told, now, I’m actually kind of struggling to even write this tiny blog post that will fall into the black hole infinity of internet blogs. Maybe it’s the whole “first post” thing, sometimes “first” things are awkward.

Even though recently my writing itch has died a little, this new awesome thing has birthed in me. And that is the love of photos.

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It’s been a year so I’m still a novice. A happy novice.


This beautiful home with my people kept yelling at me to capture them.

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Describe yourself in three adjectives:

If I had to choose 3 adjectives, I would say:

  1. Christian. I identify with my faith before anything else. I’ve found that my life and my heart seem to get messy when I don’t put God at the center. Keeping faith has been amazing and challenging, but above all: worth it.
  2. People-lover. I can’t get over people. I can’t get over their stories and their insight. I’m surprised at the things I’m told when I just slow down and really pay attention to everyone around me. I never used to ask people how they were doing. Now, when I go into a store, or a restaurant or walk the beach, I make it a point to ask them how their day is going. Sometimes they open up and tell me amazing things, other times they say “Fine, and you?” Either way, I LOVE THEM LOVE THEM LOVE THEM.
  3. Artist. I love art. I was raised around artists and I’ll forever be grateful for that. I believe creating is medicine for the mind.

I will keep it simple for now, but get lengthy in future posts.

If you took the time to read this, then thank you. I hope to keep this up and share some kind of inspiration.

Xo,

Happy blogging!

-ec.

ps. Here is a low-quality Mac photo of me being completely human, drinking my tea; snapped just seconds before posting this.

Photo on 11-7-15 at 9.17 PM