because i couldn't say it better myself

Thursday, November 29, 2012

{photo credit}

i just read this post on thoughts by natalie, and i had to share with you all. i would botch it up big time if i tried to paraphrase it, so here it is straight from her blog.

. . .

Though for the majority of my life I've been a sunrise kind of girl, lately I've come to appreciate what I like to refer to as the transcendent hour. Every afternoon when I take Maggie out for her second outing of the day, I aim to time it just right so that I catch the miraculous moments when heaven feels just that much closer. The sun seems to be on fire in every shade of red, orange and yellow imaginable. The clouds take on new life, painted with purples and pinks.

In these moments, I feel alive in a way that I've never experienced. In that setting sun, peeking through trees and glistening over the Pacific, and dusting everything it touches with deep golden light, I see beauty deeper than I've ever been able to attain or understand. When I see this breathtaking sight, I feel the way Ann Voskamp describes in these excerpts from "One Thousand Gifts"...

I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep. Isn’t beauty what we yearn to burn with before we die? What else so ignites, hot flame? Beauty is all that is glory and God is Beauty embodied, glory manifested. This is what I crave: I hunger for Beauty. Is that why I must keep up the hunt? When I cease the beauty hunt, is that why I begin to starve, waste away?
Like an addiction, a compulsion that can’t stop its seeking, do I always want to see more beauty—more of the glory of God? Because that is what I am made for—to give Him more glory.

Beauty requires no justification, no explanation; it simply is and transcends. See beauty and we know it in the marrow, even if we have no words for it: Someone is behind it, in it. Beauty Himself completes.

What is this that I feel sitting here, coursing through me relentless, hot, ardent? I have to seek God beauty. Because isn’t my internal circuitry wired to seek out something worthy of worship? Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don’t see God, I’ll bow down before something else.

Is worship why I’ve run for the moon? Not for lunar worship, but for True Beauty worship, worship of Creator Beauty Himself. God is present in all the moments, but I do not deify the wind in the pines, the snow falling on hemlocks, the moon over harvested wheat. Pantheism, seeing the natural world as divine, is a very different thing than seeing divine God present in all things. I know it here kneeling, the twilight so still: nature is not God but God revealing the weight of Himself, all His glory, through the looking glass of nature.

Wow. Writing out her words, I am just hit to the core. When I read them over, again and again as I do, I can't help but think, "YES! I'm with you, sister!" I crave beauty, hunt for it, yearn for it. It literally consumes my mind sometimes—though admittedly not always for good. I can sometimes let my desire for God Beauty be falsely satisfied through my pursuit of self-beauty. It never fulfills the way God's real beauty does—the way that sunset gives me the teensiest glimpse of the beauty I'll see one day when I meet my Maker.

. . . 

anyone else relate? this is my favorite part: 

"Beauty requires no justification, no explanation; it simply is and transcends. See beauty and we know it in the marrow, even if we have no words for it: Someone is behind it, in it. Beauty Himself completes."

God created some things for no practical purpose except to be beautiful, to show off His creativity. i look at the ocean and daybreak and am wowed. i drive down a tree lined street in the autumn season, and the golds and oranges and reds create and covering above me. i walk past a honeysuckle bush, and the sweet scent makes me take a moment to smell in deeply. the beauty stops me to say thank you. 

sometimes i feel silly by my fascination with the beautiful, the pretty. i feel like i should not be so moved by the way sunlight enters through the window and hits the floor like gold. i feel like i should be sitting somewhere with my head in a book reading about religion and society. but that's not really what motivates me to worship. i am moved to worship the Creator when i appreciate his creation. 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

oh, i don't like to be very sentimental if i don't have to be. 
oh, but i think that i just may have glued my hands to yours if you had asked me 
-andrew belle

the aftermath

Saturday, November 24, 2012

{photo credit: me}

the turkey has been demolished, the cranberry sauce is only a few berries left, the mashed potatoes have seen their shining moment come and go, and now my jeans don't want to zip up. what's wrong with you, jeans? i consume 4,000 calories in one day, and you can't manage to work with my new, enlarged waistline? useless.

{photo credit: me and dad}

thanksgiving was a pretty wonderful day for the ostoj clan. i spent time with all of my favorite people (james bond included-go skyfall, go skyfall, go), oohed and ached over my dad's new harley, watched the bad lip synching during the macy's parade, drank lots of black coffee, helped decorate the family christmas tree that was literally put up before all of the thanksgiving dinner dishes were clean and dry, and just enjoyed being safe and warm and cozy at home.

{photo credit: me}

now that thanksgiving is over, it is socially acceptable to listen to christmas music and quote lines from elf, and that excites me. but let's be real. i do these things throughout the year (and so do you?). the next 30 days are some of my most favorite days of the year what with all the cookie baking and christmas parties and general goodwill and cheer. 

but first and foremost, for me christmas celebrates the birth of my Savior. i don't think i can ever give enough thanks for that. i tend to gloss over the details of God's ultimate gift to us and say my thanks without thinking about what a sacrifice it truly was, but i am truly grateful. 

here's to the start of a very merry christmas season and for remembering the meaning behind it all.

thankful does it

Thursday, November 22, 2012

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i have so much to be thankful for. my heart runs over.

today, i am thankful for my family. my brothers are home and already there is noise and mess in every room in the house. 

i am thankful for the Lord's providence. He is my guide through life's winding road. He reminds me of His love when i doubt His presence. 

i am thankful for the macy's thanksgiving day parade. it might be my favorite thanksgiving tradition. well, second only to homemade cranberry sauce. 

i am thankful for my amazing, supportive, lifeline friends. my roommate amy, my good college friends chelsea and sarah, my yankee friend liz, my Bible study leader tierney, my sweet and bubbly friend katie, my hilarious friend lori. i love you all. 

i am thankful for gorgeous weather. it's supposed to be 62 today. hello perfect day.

i'm thankful for new creative opportunities.

i'm thankful for my five senses. that certain tasting sense will be especially handy today.

i'm thankful for jimmy fallon. right now, he is singing "we will rock you" with his band on a sweet float in the macy's day parade. 

i hope you can count your blessings today. 


forever reign

Friday, November 16, 2012

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You are peace, You are peace
when my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that i sing
You are life, You are life,
in You death has lost it's sting.

oh, i'm running to Your arms,
i'm running to Your arms
the riches of Your love
will always be enough
nothing compares to Your embrace
light of the world, forever reign.

-forever reign by hillsong

absolutely love this song. reminds me that, in Christ, i have all i need. also reminds me that even when i have strayed, He always welcomes me back. always. 

little black dress

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

{photo credit: mom}

it's a total cliche, but every girl should own one (or eight). the lbd will never ever go out of style especially in a classic shape like this shift dress.

{photo credit: mom}

not much going on with this outfit, but i love the simplicity. sometimes you don't need a lot of bangles or accessories to make an outfit stand out. sometimes one pair of fuchsia suede shoes does the trick.

{photo credit: mom}

you got dust on your shoe? the camera doesn't stop.

{photo credit: mom}

bonus picture. me holding a cat. 

outfit credits
dress and belt: thrifted
shoes: jessica simpson via marshalls

the lovely list. part twelve.

Monday, November 12, 2012

{photo credit: me}

starbucks coffee and christmas shopping at target with my rooms. it's the start of the most wonderful time of the yeeeear. 

{photo credit: me}

thank you, ace hardware, for this sign. i don't really need any new wrenches or lug nuts, but i will shop at your business because of the awesome sign you have out front.

{photo credit: me}

sexy new target watch paired with my new triangle dress i got from the weekend file's shop my closet sale. (it fits perfectly!)

{photo credit: me}

my roommate went to south korea to visit her boyfriend who is deployed and brought me back some korean candies! my favorite is the black walnut flavor. oh yum.

{photo credit: me}

tons of cards! i have been very crafty over the past week and made a bunch of stock to bring to swank coffee. being crafty feels good in my bones.

{photo credit: me}

mondays are hard. caribou coffee makes getting ready on a monday morning a little easier.

what's lovely, ya'll?

*linking up here and here!*

november mix

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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today i spent my lunch hour walking along franklin street in downtown chapel hill. i started at the chocolate door and got some treats to-go and then continued my walk for a few blocks to grab coffee at caribou. it was such a gorgeous day, and i'm so glad i got to spend time outside during a busy workday. it was refreshing to breathe in the crisp november air and stretch my legs. here's to beautiful fall days and time spent comfortably outdoors before it gets freeeezing (and hopefully snowy).

*november mix*

november: jesse lafser

mountain town : jon and roy

wear and tear : pete yorn and scarlett johansson

crosses : jose gonzalez

we found each other : city and colour

louder than ever : cold war kids

something to believe in : citizen cope

pioneers : the lighthouse and the whaler

where are the arms : gabriel kahane

amsterdam : peter bjorn and john

love is won : lia ices

old friend : sea wolf

good as new : vacationer

shaken by resistance : a minor swoon

what are you guys listening to these days?

color me rad

Monday, November 5, 2012

{photo credit: nice people}

two weekends ago, a group of girlfriends and i got together for a good old fashioned colorful 5k. you know, the kind where you run and get pelted with colored cornstarch along the way. it was a total blast.

{photo credit: me and nice friends}

{photo credit: me and nice friends}

it was such a fun and stress-free race. there were no timing chips. they didn't have an official start time. you just showed up and started running. i didn't see one person with a water belt and no one was eating power gels. if there had been, they would have been laughed off the course by me.

{photo credit: me and nice friends}

{photo credit: me and nice friends}

there was not a clean body in the entire arena. as it should be. 

afterwards, we went to panera and had a lot of people tell us we looked "awesome!" a lot of people also just stared and didn't say anything, but i'm choosing to focus on the former. 

{photo credit: chelsea}

thanks, color me rad for the mostest funnest 5k of my life!

smile like you mean it

Friday, November 2, 2012

{photo credit}

i hope your friday is as great at this pup's toothy grin. 
smile kids, it's the weekend!
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