Sunday, 24 May 2015

What Would Wendell Berry Say

I love Wendell Berry's writing. I read "Hannah Coulter" last summer and it made me want to buy a large farm and raise some chickens. His writing is very nostalgic, and oh so beautiful. I'm reading a collection of his short stories called "That Distant Land" and I sometimes find myself thinking in what I like to call "Wendell Berry sentences." They go something like this:

Good things right now. Oh, there are many. 
There is the 6 foot magnolia tree in the garden, blooming in its full pre-summer beauty, beckoning for the sun's rays to shine upon it and give it the strength to grow.
There is the ocean. The time to go to the ocean. The kindred spirit friend to join me at the ocean.
There is the word. The word of God, the word of encouragement, the spoken, written, unwritten word.
There is the ticking of the clock. An unwelcome, unsettling sound to many, but an ever-present reminder that as long as you are able to hear that ticking, you have a purpose and a future.
There is the sky with its indecision between rain and shine. The clouds and rain drops adhering to the many moods of the day. 
There is the knowledge, built up by ancient dreamers and creative thinkers, pushing aside traditional thinking and making DISCOVERIES. 
There is the endurance that is only fully recognized for its substance once it has been accomplished. 
And yes, there are the people. Where do I begin with the people? The new, the long-time, the young, the old, the laughers, the planners, the story-tellers, the listeners, the deep-thinkers, the forward thinkers, the contemplative ones. Oh, the people. 
Yes, there are good things right now.

Much Love, Vivi

Friday, 15 May 2015

Sparklers & Celebrations

Sometimes you've just got to bring out the sparklers and put them to good use. Or buy a box of Purdy's. Or spend a good chunk of time walking around the garden, breathing in the scents of the outdoors and the freshness of Spring. My goal right now is to celebrate just that: the right now. I've struggled in the past with living in the moment, where I have tended to plan everything out into something structured and organized (and there is nothing wrong with planning and being organized! Everyday I make an agenda and a list of goals.) But I've come to the realization that God is good RIGHT NOW. No matter what my day looks like, He is good in this very moment, and THAT is something worth celebrating. Tomorrow holds its own good things, challenges, moments to build character, but TODAY holds beautiful things that are worth my time and focus. 

"How many are your works, LordIn wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small." Psalm 104: 24 & 25

" Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1

Much love, Vivi

Monday, 20 April 2015

on being brave and courageous

I've decided to start a new series called "on being..."

And today, it's on being brave and courageous.


More and more I'm seeing that being brave couldn't be less of a cookie cutter action. Bravery is so versatile. You are brave when you study for a challenging class. You are brave when you forgive someone who has hurt you. You are brave when you are kind and compassionate despite opposition.

It's Rosa Parks, a beautiful and bold black woman who decided to sit in the "whites only" section of the bus, taking a stand for equality of all races.
It's the child who stands up for a peer who's being picked on for being "too small" or "too large" or "too anything"
It's the man who lets his tears shed regardless of the voices telling him to be a "man"

For me, it's doing what I know in my heart to be right and true and good.
It's being comfortable in my own skin and being kind to myself.
It's having faith for healing when I'm hurting, restoration in brokenness.


Be brave, friends. Whatever bravery looks like in your life, no matter how small or large the actions, be brave. Bravery is a precious gift, take it by force. Most of all, don't go it alone, trusting in your own strength. Been there, done that, not successful. Go to Jesus. He is the source of all bravery and courage.

Brave. It's in Him.

Much love, Vivi 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Flowers & Easter Treats

Right now I'm studying for a week of exams, but looking back on these photos brings me back to a beautiful Easter weekend. I hope yours was full of love & joy! My goal in the days to come is to keep the fact that He is risen top of mind ALL the time, not just at Easter. Because He lives, we have life, and have it in abundance! What a beautiful truth. 

Much love, Vivi

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Can I tell you a Story?

It goes like this,

Once, there was a girl
She was clothed with strength
and dignity
She laughed without fear of the future
She was confident
Confident in Christ, confident in her destiny
She didn't have it all figured out
She wasn't perfect
Wasn't flawless, but she
was kind,
and gentle,
and patient
and humble
and caring
and passionate

This story. I want it to be my story. I want to leave a legacy of confidence in Christ, that no matter what I'm going through, that I remain confident that HE who began a good work in me WILL continue, developing and bringing it to completion in me. Life has been no easy ride lately. It's been painful and full of tears. But can I tell you another story? God is good. He is faithful. He hasn't left my side, not even for a coffee break. He crowns me with compassion and fills my life with good things. Through the winds and storms of the past few months, He has given me an extra measure of grace to push through. To be strong in Him when all I want to do is fall over. To be kind when I'm in pain, grumpy, tired. To be generous when I feel like I need things more. To be gentle, to be patient, to be humble. THIS, friends, is the story of life. It isn't about stuff or outward beauty or pretty photographs. And those things are pretty wonderful! But He is over and abundantly more. Today I choose to live in the light of this story. To live victoriously with the knowledge that I am a child of God, so loved & so cherished.

Much love, Vivi 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Take a Walk

 Things that make me happy:

crisp air & pink blossoms & a snow white calf & family & funny shaped pine-cones & neighbors with gardening skills 
Much love, Vivi

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Friends & Beaches

In the midst of writing a Cell Biology paper, I remembered that I hadn't posted these photos. So of course, a break was in order and these wonderful photos are at last being shared! This day was full of joy, exploring, walking on a chilly beach during the sunset, and some good good food. :) 

Much love, Vivi