Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Those of you who have been with me for a while know about how I have dabbled in music a bit. I sing and I songwrite. I'm currently teaching myself guitar. I've played with the idea of chasing music as more than a little hobby before, but I've never actually really thought about it. Until now.

One of my best friends, Monica, and I have decided to take the leap. We created a musical duo called Burgundy&July.


This is a huge endeavor for us. I for sure have never pursued something like this before. But now here we are with a YouTube channel and everything.

This is our introductory video:

And this is our first cover:

We also have an Instagram account: burgundyandjuly.

So check us out! Follow us! Like, subscribe, favorite! And let us know how we can improve.

Thank you so so so so much!

And have a beautiful Wednesday.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Cha-Cha

I've heard it said that an optimist is someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha-cha.

And just like that, a week that logically should have been absolutely horrible for me, wasn't. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.

I got a cold last Sunday and still have yet to recover, my best friend moved halfway around the world on Thursday, I got sick in my stomach yesterday, nothing is working out for me. But at the same time, it's been good. Unexplainably good, actually. All signs would point to this being one of the most horrible weeks of my life. But if I'm being honest, it may have been one of the best.

Being an optimist is one of those daily choices we have to make, like choosing joy or choosing to believe what is good about ourselves. This one I think is the hardest. Sometimes you need to make up a silver lining to keep from becoming cynical. But when you do manage to push through and make the best out of the worst, you'll notice that your life doesn't suck quite so bad after all.

This week I watched The Court Jester for the first time. I got to spend time with many of my close friends. The average temperature reached over sixty most days. And I got to take a much needed walk with Papa.

"Talk to Me. What's on your mind?"

"Well, I'm still sick. And Dallas is gone now."


"But . . . things are still somehow really good. I get to talk to You, I get to be healthy eventually, I get to see him again someday. And while those victories may be far off . . . I still know that they're coming."

If ever I've had a week that was a cha-cha, this one was it. I'm exhausted, mentally, emotionally, physically, and occasionally I do doubt whether or not this season of lacking good health will ever end. But if there is anything I have learned, it's that I can't let fear win, I can let doubt rob me of optimism, I can't let one, two, three steps back blind me to the fact that there is a finish line and it is glorious. I keep moving forward and I cling to His promise.

It's times like these when hope is the anchor for my ever-wandering soul. Stronger than fear, shining bright through darkness, hope is what keeps joy and optimism alive. I hold on to hope like I hold on to Him, and suddenly, everything seems one heck of a lot brighter.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

We are not merely dreamers, but doers.

I've spent a good long while preparing myself for it. I've known it was coming for months. But I still think it'll take a while to adjust to the difference in speed of the city now.

My best friend moved to China today.

Ah, yes, my noble adventure buddy and the first mate of my pirate ship embarked on a grand expedition and I shall not see him again for at least a year. It's weird. I still don't think I've fully processed it yet.

I remember when he told me that he was planning on leaving. I'd known for months, years even, that it was his plan to one day leave the States behind and discover what life could be like in another corner of the world. But I was still somehow caught off guard when he told me he was beginning to solidify plans to teach English overseas. China of all places. And a whole year? I'd always known his insatiable wanderlust would catch up with him one day but nothing could have really readied me for the announcement he made on my couch one snowy afternoon.

Now, I am all to accustomed to this pattern. Dozens of acquaintances and friends and close friends have shipped out to see the world and find themselves, to taste adventure and chase down thrills. But many of them have never come back. I become close with people very quickly and find it hard to let them go due to rejection issues, abandonment issues, and fear of the unknown. But I couldn't be so selfish as to ask them to stay. I couldn't be so selfish as to ask him to stay, not with what a great opportunity it is for him.

So I spent the past few weeks preparing for the inevitable. I wrote a series of letters for him to open when he encounters particular circumstances. I prayed a lot. I worked with him to set up a last day to hang out together. I prayed a lot. I spent Sunday afternoon with him watching (500) Days of Summer and talking about adventure. I prayed a whole-freaking-lot. In in the midst of all my prayer and preparation, something occurred to me.

I'm afraid.

But I'm not just afraid that he will leave and never return to me or that our relationship will make a permanent, negative shift over this coming year. I'm afraid that he'll get hurt because I was unable to protect him. It sounds stupid right? I'm not his guardian. I should not feel responsible to make sure he's taken care of. But I'm a firstborn. I am ridiculously over-protective of everyone who matters to me. If he's on the other side of the world, he's out of my hands.

God and I dialogued about this yesterday afternoon.

"Charity, what are you so afraid of?"

"I'm afraid he'll get hurt, Daddy. I can't be there for him."

"You know it's not your job to make sure He's okay, right? It's Mine."

"I know that . . ."

"You are not his protector. I am. I will take care of him. I promise you that. He's Mine. He's always been Mine. Let Me handle this."

Something about His voice just makes every care of mine melt.

So, last night, just like every other Wednesday night, I went over to his house to watch an old movie with some of his roommates and a handful of our other dear companions. I sat up in his room with him as he stressed and packed and unpacked every last essential into a suitcase and then into a camping backpack. It wasn't long until the room became crowded with masses of people who adore him and wanted to see him one last time. Come a few minutes before midnight, this Cinderella decided it was time to depart so I pulled him out of the room, presented him with the bundle of letters, and prayed for him before I left for home.

I barely managed to leave his street before I realized that I had forgotten something horribly important and called him on his cell.

"Hey, I didn't get a picture with you! Can I swing by in the morning?"

"It'd have to be pretty early . . . like 4:45 . . ."

"Okay sounds great!"

"Holy crap . . ."

"See you in the morning!"

I hung up the phone as I realized that I would not be sleeping much at all. But I didn't care. He's my best friend. He's my priority. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

I crashed around 1:30, my alarm went off at 4:00, I tried to make myself look decently presentable. And yes, for everyone wondering, I did leave my house at 4:30 this morning to take a selfie with my best friend. Deal.

We ended up taking six. Lighting issues, him being goofy when I was smiling for real and the reverse, you know, just your typical selfie problems. We talked a bit while he put a few last items into his carry-on, he gave me some CDs and a book he was leaving behind, and his mom - being super adorable as is her default - gave me a little packet of tissues just in case I needed them. He straightened his tie and laced up his shoes and the three of us carried all his stuff out to the driveway to load into the Subaru in the dark of 5am. I hugged him goodbye in the freezing cold and he lept into the passenger seat of the car.

I turned to walk back to mine and, as I pulled my gloves back on I looked up at the endless sheet of black velvet freckled with sparkles and took a breath. I only live twelve minutes east of his house, but his view of the night sky is always so much more beautiful than mine. And what should I see spiraling across the sea of ebony?

A shooting star. The brightest, most beautiful one I have ever been so blessed to witness.

I looked back as he leaned out of the car, waved, and shouted his goodbye. I turned around again and kept my eyes glued to that now empty space that had just been filled with so much glory as I crossed the street and climbed into my Cortez. Key in the ignition, radio off, I left his headlights in my rearview mirror, knowing I wouldn't see them again for a long time.

I understood right away that it wasn't a wishing star. It was a promise. A promise that Daddy will take care of him. A promise that we're both going to be just fine. A promise that I get to see him again, and that is more than enough to carry me through this season until I do.

Here I am now, hours later, with a splitting headache and a happy heart and I am so darn proud of him.
 The world does not lack dreamers. We have them in abundance. Limitless is the number of people who imagine beauty in the future, but few are those who take action. A dream is merely a fantasy until you don your running shoes and chase it down, and today, that is exactly what he did.

For so long he dreamed of travel. For so long he longed for adventure, but he didn't stop there. He's chasing that dream halfway around the world, and I think there's a lot we can learn from him.
"To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life."
You go rock China, Kid.

I'll see you soon.
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