Sunday, July 19, 2015

You are my God

I can't help myself.

No matter what I feel or do, I cannot deny God. I am in utter despair over my faith right now, without hope, but somehow, I can't stop. I cannot turn away.

I can stop going to church. I can stop reading my bible. I can stop praying. But I can't stop wanting God. Even when I don't want to want him, I still want him. I think that's a part of the despair. I want so badly to not feel deeply. To not question. To not need His presence so badly. But I can't go back. Once you've had a taste of who the true God of all the Earth is, you can't take anything else.

I am absolutely gut wrenched over my disconnect with God. This continued lack of confidence in Him, and in my faith in Him. I know that He is willing and ready to meet with me. I know that all I have to do is come. But how do I keep getting in my own way? It isn't as simple as "come". I have come. I've walked out to meet Him, and have repeatedly felt the emptiness of his presence. I don't believe it is sin that got me in this (I mean, obviously it is sin in the way of we live in a broken world caused by sin), but I am wondering if now that it has gone on, is there sin in my lack of reconciliation with God?

While my despair of faith was not caused by specific sin, is there now some sin keeping me from reaching reconciliation? I don't know. I was on Twitter the other day and saw this tweet:

That's a tough one for me. I inherently "know" the last part, that Christ loves me PERIOD. I could easily see myself saying, "God loves me when I read his word." Could I also just as easily say, "God loves me when I don't read his word."? That one is a little harder. But it is just as equally true. God's love for me is regardless of my actions. He loves me even though I am mad at him, and upset, and lacking faith. He loves me just the same.

And that's why I just can't give up. I don't know where I'm going right now, but I know that it will ultimately lead me to Jesus' feet; either tomorrow if he reveals himself or in 70 years when I enter Heaven.

Until then, I will keep holding on, because it's all I can do.

My Heart is Yours

I give you my life
I give you my trust

You are my God
You are enough

My heart is yours
My heart is yours
Take it all, take it all
My life in your hands

I lay down my life
I take up my cross

You are my God
Whatever the cost
Jesus, whoa Jesus

My heart is yours
My heart is yours
Take it all, take it all
My life in your hands

- B

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Venice Beach Trip Part 2

Ok, so I blogged the first part of my trip here. After that...every thing becomes a brunch filled blur so here are some photos and who knows if they are in order!

On one of the days we were just driving around Malibu, enjoying the scenery, and we decided to try to find somewhere to get some wine and food! Kristi found us Malibu Cafe and it was PERFECT. The restaurant is on a ranch in a valley in Malibu and they actually have like 5 wedding venues on the property as well! It felt like I was in Hawaii or something, you could see the lush mountains all around us and the temperature was perfect! I highly highly recommend going if you are visiting Malibu!

Nothing speaks to me quite like a good meat and cheese plate.

Short rib sandwich with fries AND potato salad. Oh yes.

This place was basically like an outdoor Restoration Hardware, which I guess you can do in California because it never rains... :/

My one thing that I HAD to do while I was there was to see the Barbie Dreamhouse. I don't know why it was so important to me but it was and it totally lived up to the hype! This beach house was designed and lived in by the creator of Barbie and it's perfect. It's located right off the main road by the Santa Monica Pier and is a little tricky to get to but well worth it. We just parallel parked and Brenda stayed with the car while we ran to the house!

One of the mornings we went to a coffee shop off Abbott & Kinney St (which is sort of like South Congress in Austin). I felt SO not cool enough to be at this place. They had steps inside of the shop where you sat and literally every single person there was on their Mac. Kind of hilarious, but a fun vibe too!

At the end of our trip we planned to make a trip into LA to see the Griffith Observatory. Unfortunately it ended up being a super cloudy day but it was still a really fun part of the trip! Several of the hiking trails were closed for driving, but we managed to walk up to one good look out point.

Kristi and I decided to climb essentially, a glorified rock pile to get a better view. It was STEEP once we got up there and we were both sort of terrified.

See that person way down there?? That's Brenda waiting for us! It was a narrow climb up to our peak so she stayed behind.

I had a strong selfie game during this trip and I'm not even ashamed.

Result of above selfie:

One of our friends Caleb had actually just moved from Texas to California the same week we were traveling there so we met up with him for a hike in Santa Monica! The hike was supposed to end at a waterfall but it was HOT and dry...sooo, not really worth it :/

An upside to that hike though was the neighborhood we had to walk through to get there. Mansions errrywhere!

After our hike we decided to go back to Point Dume State Beach since it was a sunnier day and we loved it so much the first time! It was so nice going on a sunny day because the water looked SO much more blue!

We saw more whales while we were there, they were literally RIGHT off the beach, right past the white part of the waves. They were clearly eating a bunch of fish because they were just making circles in that area! It was so cool to watch, I didn't even take pictures.

Our last evening we went to dinner and then walked back along the boardwalk as the sun set, it was GORGEOUS. I love a beach and I love a sunset :)

And there you have it! My Cali trip in a nutshell! Basically if you go to this area and do nothing else, you have to go to Point Dume State Beach!

- B

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Venice Beach Trip Part 1

Now that I am on a little bit of a break from school I thought I'd take this chance to finally write about my most recent travels! Back in May I went with Kristi and Brenda, Levi's sister and mom, to Venice Beach, California! Levi and I have traveled to northern California before, but never LA or anywhere around there! Kristi was attending a hair training seminar thing and so Brenda and I flew to meet her there when it was over. What I didn't realize is that Venice/Santa Monica/Malibu are all basically mashed together. Each city blends into the next and you can get to each one in about 10-15 minutes. It was really nice because every day we would do a little bit in each city. 

Most days we had a big brunch (because brunch is HUGE there) and then an early dinner, with lots of beach hopping in between. We stayed at an Airbnb in Venice but pretty much every day we went to Malibu to do stuff. The week we were there they were experiencing unseasonably cool days so it was only highs in the 60s at first! Towards the end of the week it would warm up to about 80, but compared to Texas the weather was just perfect!

As soon as we arrived we got our key and then walked straight to the beach. Our apartment was literally right on the Venice Boardwalk!

It was sooo windy and COLD when we first got there!

On our first full day we had a huge breakfast at Bru's Wiffle Joint, which was delish. That's a french toast sandwich you are looking at...

At this point, I can't even remember where we were trying to go...but we ended up on a very windy road in the Santa Monica Mountains. Eventually we took a side road to try to get out and this is where we landed:

The road just ended!

And it was beautiful

Our road turned into a walking trail (that seemingly went into nowhere).

After that little detour we wound up at Point Dume State Beach, which was the best ever. You have to pay to park but it's totally worth it. There are lots of trails and look out points where we saw grey whales!!! Also, rock climbing??

WHALES!!!! It was a mom and HER BABY WHALE.

See the baby?!?!?!?

Next up, we drove a little further down to El Matador State Beach. There are lots of rock formations at this one that you can easily walk around!

Boots on a beach just felt wrong!

Part 2 coming soon!

- B