all things bright and beautiful

life is a maze, and love is a riddle

Boating on Winona Lake at sunset ☀️. I’ll miss this quaint little place when I leave in 2 weeks! #winonalake #100happydays #day50

summertime

typographicverses:

Guide me in truth and teach me - Psalm 25:5. Designed by Chris Ballasiotes.

typographicverses:

Guide me in truth and teach me - Psalm 25:5. Designed by Chris Ballasiotes.

Refocus

Warsaw is a great place to refocus. 75% of my year is spent in Cleveland, 20% in a city that varies year to year depending on what internship I am at over the summer, and 5% caught up in the busyness of home life in New York over winter break. 

This year, I am interning at Zimmer, an orthopedic implant company located in Warsaw, Indiana. When I tell people I work in Warsaw, they always think about it for a moment and tell me that it sounds very, very familiar. No, not Warsaw, Poland (which would be infinitely cooler), but the little town of Warsaw Indiana, population <14,000. Compared to my hometown of Rochester (220,000) and my college-town Cleveland (400,000), this is a tiny place. In fact, my small-to-mid-size private university practically has about that many students.

It’s a funny feeling being here— it certainly has a small-town feel to it where everyone knows one another, but it also feels expansive at times. I’m surrounded by corn fields, lakes, and corn fields. No kidding, there are a TON of corn fields here.

It’s a beautiful place, actually. There are plenty of lakes within just a few miles of one another, Winona Lake being my favorite. Bordering the lake there is a peaceful little neighborhood with darling little houses and quirky boutiques filled with cold-press organic olive oils, hand-made rugs still wrapped on looms, carefully crafted pottery, and all sorts of expensive artsy things. There’s a surf shop that rents paddleboards and kayaks, a bike shop that rents mountain bikes for the expansive trails behind the lake, and a pottery/glass-fusing art shop, among many other outdoorsy and artsy places. It’s a great place to hang out for the afternoon, and I often lug my guitar there and just play and ponder the meaning of life. Just kidding. I ponder and lament my complete lack of motivation to study for the MCAT and listen to my inner voice berate me for playing guitar when I could be studying. Regardless, it is a beautiful place. 

Coming to Warsaw made me realize something: I am not an outdoorsy person. Mosquitoes, poison ivy, wild animals, goose poop, sand in every crevice of my body, spiders, bees, snakes, bears, road kill, carcasses, dirty lake water, aquatic plants, grass stains….not my thing. Interestingly enough, I grew up in a family that was VERY outdoorsy, with all of our family activities involving camping, hiking, boating, biking, fishing, etc. I guess I just prefer activities that involve four walls and a roof over my head— cooking, crafting, sewing, writing and playing music, exercising (indoors with A/C, of course), reading, yoga, baking, and generally practicing total body and mind wellness. Being in Warsaw forces me to be outdoorsy— there’s no way I can appreciate all this beauty from my window, so I do end up going outside. A little begrudgingly at first (just being wary of mosquitoes!), but it has grown on me little by little. Now, I splash around in the creeks along the hiking trails only screaming like five times at the water spiders and consulting my handy iPhone app to identify poison ivy only every couple minutes. Progress, ya know? 

While I’m enjoying the peace, quiet, and nature here, I am looking forward to living the busy life again. I miss the sound of people going about their lives, cars, loud blasting music, the whole package. But for now, I’ll hold onto this little piece of serenity a little longer. 

Peace, love, and nature,

Helen 

Step 325: Know how to find the right apartment

Reblogging for future reference!

adulting:

From the ole inbox: A friend (or two) of mine and I wanna get our own place. Aside from cost (rent is TOO DAMN HIGH), what do we need to look out for or know?

An excellent question! Here we go:

Before you are ready to move: Make sure to keep an updated document of your current and past…

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

—   1 Samuel 16:7 

What Christians Do Wrong

Today’s sermon in church was entitled “What Christians Do Wrong,” and it really resonated with me. The pastor opened up by saying that young adults are being driven away in herds from the church, but not necessarily away from God. And that most people, even non-believers, like Jesus and will admit that He was a great man…but dislike His followers. 

I can totally relate. There have been times in my life when I have felt let down by church-people. I’ve sat in a car with fellow Christians (leaving church, actually…) and listened to them gossip about other Christian friends and the sins that they may be committing. Oooh I heard so-and-so went partying last weekend. And that person just got another piercing. Oh, and she just got tattoos. They’re bad people, they’re sinning, and they’re going to hell. 

I’m totally serious— that is a specific example that has made me view those brothers and sisters differently. In fact, I overheard a group of people in my old fellowship talking about me that way. Needless to say, I was turned off. I left the fellowship (for other reasons as well), but not Christ. 

Good church-going people may have good intentions, but we often go about it the wrong way. The way that the modern day church has dealt with homosexuality, abortion, stem-cell research and most controversial topics has turned away the same people to whom we are trying to spread the good news. It’s counter-productive and doesn’t advance Jesus’ mission in the slightest. Jesus tells us exactly what to do:

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments

We just have to put it into action. If we loved our neighbor like ourselves, we would not be gossiping, judging, and playing moral-police to the world. 

The second thing that was really interesting was when the pastor shared his pastor-ly experiences. Warsaw is a very small town and you often run into people you know. He shared that when he goes to bars and restaurants, he’ll see church friends (our church is HUGE, by the way) and they will immediately try to hide their drinks and act as if they are there by coincidence. Poor pastor— he was just trying to get a casual drink with friends! He also shared that he feels as though sometimes people are tip-toeing around things when he is around. As if he were going to burst out preaching at any moment or judge every action and send people to hell. He challenged us to think about whether or not we make other people nervous— how are you going to reach people if you make them feel uncomfortable? We need to be in the world, not of it or above it. I thought about it, and realized that I feel uncomfortable around some of my own Christian friends! I’ll be walking with my boyfriend around campus, see that some Christian friends are walking my way, and immediately stop holding hands with him and make some distance- even though there’s nothing wrong with holding hand with my wonderful Christian boyfriend! Or if I’m at a restaurant and happened to order a drink, I’ll hide it if a Christian friend I know walks in, even though I’m 21, perfectly legal, and simply having a casual drink. I just feel judged. Have we really become that judgmental? Just some food for thought that I will be meditating on and praying about this week. 

Love, peace, and praying for a more Christ-like church,

h.

From an S to an N

I recently retook the Myer-Briggs personality test, and lo and behold! Apparently I’ve made a change from an ESTJ, “The Guardian” to an ENTJ, “The Executive.”

I’ve been consistently ESTJ since I first took the Myer-Briggs in 8th grade. That’s seven years of consistency…until now. The S in ESTJ stands for sensing, whereas the N in ENTJ stands for intuition. Here’s what the internet has to say about the two: 

Which way of Perceiving or understanding is most “automatic” or natural?

The Sensing (S) side of our brain notices the sights, sounds, smells and all the sensory details of the PRESENT. It categorizes, organizes, records and stores the specifics from the here and now. It is REALITY based, dealing with “what is.” It also provides the specific details of memory & recollections from PAST events.

The Intuitive (N) side of our brain seeks to understand, interpret and form OVERALL patterns of all the information that is collected and records these patterns and relationships. It speculates on POSSIBILITIES, including looking into and forecasting the FUTURE. It is imaginative and conceptual.

While both kinds of perceiving are necessary and used by all people, each of us instinctively tends to favor one over the other.

Fascinating. I’ve always agreed with my previous assessments of ESTJ- I did use to think about the present, take in my surroundings, and look to the past to recall memories or patterns. I can’t say the same anymore! I can’t pinpoint when I changed, but I can say for sure that I identify more strongly with intuition over sensing now. I tend to think about the future constantly and try to predict what may happen next…even 10 years down the road.

I feel like a pendulum…I often exist in extremes. I used to dwell in the past and obsess over things I could have changed to the point where I couldn’t enjoy the present because I was filled with regret. Now, I obsess over what the future might bring and how I might prepare for it…to the point where I still can’t fully enjoy the present! I’m going to have to make a conscious decision to attempt to reside at a happy medium. 

In a couple weeks, I’ll be taking a professional personality test that characterizes what sort of leader you are. Introspective tests and evaluations have always fascinated me, and I can’t wait to see what the results are! 

Peace, love, and Myer-Briggs, 

Helen 

The Obsessive Juicer

I have a bit of an obsession with juice. 

I picked up some blood orange juice at Meijer:

image

…which inspired me to make juice in my juicer! If you recall a previous blog post, I shamefully paid $10 for a cup of juice. I decided to try to make it myself:

Carrots, apples, and lemon:

It tasted exactly like the one that I bought at Breathe! And for much less $$$.

Then I made a green juice with kale, cucumbers, apples, and lemon:

Then, I went full blown health freak and made a super green juice with kale, spinach, cucumber, broccoli stems, granny smith apples, and lemon. I was expecting it to taste like freshly mowed grass, but it actually was quite pleasant! A little earthy though…

 

peace, love, and pursuit of juiciness,

helen

The day I spent $10 on a cup of juice

Today I…

1) Went thrift shopping for a vintage camera bag. I didn’t find one, so the search continues! I can’t justify spending over $50 online for a something new that looks so old….

2) Shopped the plaza. I was good and didn’t get anything but a few cosmetics though! 

3) Spent $10 on a cup of juice. Shameful, I know. I stopped by Breathe which is an upscale yoga studio with ridiculously expensive work out clothes…I mean, who would pay $80 for a pair of itty bitty shorts?! The place itself looks oddly out of place in the shabby little plaza it’s in. I settled on the “Lemon up” juice which consisted of apples, lemons, and a horrific amount of carrots. I despise carrots but went with it anyway because the lady strongly recommended it. It was DELISH. Worth every cent. Now the clothes are probably a different matter…

4) Made dinner! I made garlic-lemon salmon over red wine mushrooms and roasted broccoli. 

peace, love, and carrots,

h