"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
- 2 Corinthians 12:9
Hello, friendly words! I've missed letting you into my life and its happenings. December has been eventful and filled with creativity mode on full blast. There have been mugs made, drawings printed in large sizes and some photos snapped here and there. I feel like a part of me is alive and kicking again.
I've been in my hometown of eight years for the past two days, and it has been surreal. Even within a year, so much change can happen. On a hill where I used to make pictures, in place of the green and wide acres of land glows the lights of some four houses with small families making a community for themselves. It's funny to think you have touched the earth beneath what is now a home. I've smiled running into families with grown kids and hearing about their lives moving forward. I love it, and I love seeing the people that have molded me into myself. Every corner I turn here holds a familiar face.
I've been bunking up with my look alike sisters, Kathryn and Anna, and their wonderful family. The girls have always made every place feel like home, so naturally their home feels the same way. The smell of homemade bread and lavender oil sends me into a very warm, very safe feeling coma of happiness. We've been binge watching Gilmore Girls in preparation for the four seasons that were released this year (literally - Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter ;)). There have also been football games, searching for Houdini-esque purses, cooking of scrambled eggs and talks about the photo world. This family is close to my heart.
I was blessed enough to see another friend today, Hannah darling. I've already told her this, but she has always watered the places where I needed to grow. She is such a woman of God that her life tells her faith, and each talk we have feels so open and effortless. She told me today that we've been friends for six years, which doesn't surprise me. It feels like it's been many more and that we're old, technologically-challenged grannies sporting DSLR's and laughing about modern art. She has both an old soul and childlike joy. She is my dearest Nederlander (look it up).
We sipped on coffee, visited my favorite place in the world, learned about dance, ate some "gen-u-ine" crepes (to be said in an Arkansan accent but to be eaten in a French way), and all the while caught up on love, callings and our lives so far in college. There is much we don't know, but we both know who we are and that is a great friendship to have.
This has been a month of large, bounding steps of growth. I came home with expectations about how conversations would go and how feelings would be felt, but all of them have been proven wrong. There has been so much love, encouragement and acceptance that I've felt closer to my family than ever. I've broken down when I wasn't expecting it, feeling every pain and heart tug and having to result to doing nothing to even begin to understand it. I've found that when I'm alone with my thoughts, I face my biggest weaknesses. My thoughts hold false assurances and my heart affirms them. There's so much pain that I try to surround myself with people who will tell me the truth: that loneliness is a lie. That I am surrounded by people who want the very best for me, and I have promises stronger than anything I'm facing in this season.
The word "grace" has been weighing on my heart, and I am reminded that it is all I need. God's grace gave us this Christmas season and the story of hope that comes with it. We all have access to limitless hope through the grace that came through Jesus Christ. I don't know the "why" to this season of my life, but trees don't question why their leaves change colors. They are transformed by their Maker and that's all they need to know.
More adventures to come tomorrow, then the trip back home begins on Saturday. I'm buried deep in this state of grace.
Printed versions of some of my drawings, a dream come true, the greatest Christmas ever...whatever you want to call it.
My sister and sister-from-another-bàba FaceTiming our Christmas to China and back.
One of the mugs I made for a friend, inspired by Melanie Martinez' album "Cry Baby". The mug making adventure continues.
A rainy day gift basket for mama.
Miss Hannah admiring the paintings in Crystal Bridges Museum.