Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: September 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is Not

I couldn't sleep last night because I had this song stuck in my head.
Not only is this song incredibly inspirational for me because I would love to write/produce music like this, but it is also such a beautiful encouragement. It puts things in perspective for me. For a lot of things.

I can be so short-sighted sometimes. Because, however you slice it, life here only matters but so much. I typically get angry when I here people say that life here doesn't matter, because it does. We're here for a a huge purpose, and if we use the excuse of an after-life as a reason to slack off we're missing the point. But I can swing too far in the other direction, too, by trying to squeeze so much experience and so much life into the short time I have here, that I lose sight on eternity, and the unbelievable glory I will behold. I cannot comprehend how incomparable it will be...

Lord, help me to lift my eyes off my feet. What happens here is not all that will ever be. And where I'm at now will not be where I'm at forever.

This is not the end
This is not the end of us
We will open our eyes wide, wider.

This is not our last
This is not our last breath
We will open our mouths wide, wider.

This is not the end
This is not the end of us
We will shine like the stars, bright, brighter.

And you know you'll be alright...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


This morning ushers in a day I don't think I could dread more. And the things that typically bring so much color to my morning have suddenly take on the hues of gray, and black, and dim whites.

However, a sunrise in black and white is, nevertheless, a sunrise. And with each sunrise, more grace is lavished upon me, in abundant proportions. With each sunrise, I am given another day to see His beauty in the most unlikely places. With each sunrise, He wakes me with a joyful, "Get up, Darling. It's morning! And I've been waiting for you, longing for you to jump into this day, because I've made sure it's full of opportunities."

Today does bring opportunities. It just depends on what opportunities I see.
The opportunity to mope about things that don't go my way? Or the opportunity to be joyful in all circumstances?
The opportunity to groan about having to answer endless questions about meaningless things? Or the opportunity to smile and love the siblings, and happily help them grow?
The opportunity to question God on all His odd ways of teaching me? Or the opportunity to trust Him, His perfect timing, and His beautiful plan?

"Yet this I call to mind
     and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
    for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for Him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him,
    to the one who seeks Him;
it is good to wait quietly..."
-Lamentations 3:21-26

Maybe one day I'll finally get to the point where I can say, "Lord, I trust You." But this morning, all I can say is "Lord, I will trust You. You are good. You are faithful. You are perfect," over and over and over.

A sunrise without color still ushers in a new morning. And this morning, like every morning, brings a wholesome new serving of His compassion. 

I hope your Wednesday is full of the grace you need to embrace the opportunities God has given you, in the way He wants you to.

Monday, September 24, 2012


"The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.

Those who know Your name will trust in You,
    for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You."
Psalm 9:9-10

Oh God,  those who truly know You trust You, for they know You to be faithful.
I want to know You so well that I never doubt.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nine-Year-Old Me...

For no particularly reason, this morning finds me thinking back nine years ago, to when I was counting down the months until I turned ten. I couldn't wait to turn ten. I couldn't wait to grow up. Because I knew how it was all going to happen, how it was going to turn out, how life was going to look. Oh, how my nine-year-old self would have scrunched her nose at the life eighteen years have found me to be living!

I saw it all played out... After getting my ears pierced at 10, I would aim for a big birthday party at 13. Next, a driver's license at 16. By 18, I would be moved out and living dreams. I didn't care to map out where, or why... probably New York. That's where Mama went.
I would be married by 19. To whom? Probably the country boy who lived across the street; maybe a dashing fellow I would meet in New York. It didn't really matter who. All that mattered, is that he would be handsome, and that it would be before I turned 20 (my mother got married at 19, so naturally, that felt like the magic number).

I never could have foreseen where I am, and where I have been.
I did get my ears pierced at 10. When I turned 13, I did have a huge birthday party. What I didn't see coming was falling in love with Jesus that summer. It became frustrating, not having many people in my life who understood my new-found passion. Nevertheless, I've never been the same.
I did get my driver's license at 16 (almost 17) but I did not have the desire to stay out of the house as much as possible like I thought I would. I had grown to love home, and to see the potential to grow there. And that's why, at 18, I haven't moved out. I did go to New York City, but only for fours days last fall.

It's crazy to look back on all the things I didn't see coming, but I'm so thankful for. I didn't know that I'd be giving up my much-loved jeans and wearing only skirts by the time I was 11. I didn't know I'd be fasting and praying for cultural issues by the time I was 14. I didn't know I would find the voice God gave me and be writing songs at 15 and 16. I didn't know I would fall in love the summer after I turned 17. And I didn't know that at 18, I would be home, and happy at home, and growing, and learning, and living fully, even though I'm nowhere close to being married before I'm 20.

Is my life the way I want it right now? No, not really. There are a few things I would change about my life now. All humans think that if they could just change a few things about their life they'd be completely happy. But if there's something I've learned from looking back on my nine-year-old self, it's that

if my teenager years had gone the way I had planned, I would have missed out on so many challenges, opportunities, experiences, victories, and joys.

Who would have thought that I would have been thankful after my plans had been thoroughly unfulfilled? Surely not nine-year-old me. Yet, here I am, and I wouldn't change a thing.

So, who am I to tell God that His plans are not for me? that they aren't good enough? that I could dream up something better? Because I think it's safe to say that His dreams are far more perfect, far more beautiful, far more amazing, even far more romantic than my most extreme dreaming could ever comprehend.

(Photo credit: Josiah Crumrine, and Bethany Crumrine)

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Attempts Cannot Delay its Approaching

The AC isn't working quite so hard... the marsh isn't looking quite so green... the air doesn't seem quite so thick... and the garage, the laundry room, and the van smell like sweaty socks.

Fall is almost here.
And nothing says fall like soccer!
(all four taken by Hannah Crane)

Besides soccer, fall typically heralds new people, new schedules, new pencils, and fresh challenges. However, now that I have graduated, I find that the new people and new schedules are nearly nonexistent, and my writing utensils mostly take the form of the keyboard on my laptop. Nevertheless the challenges are as fresh as ever. 
And I find myself feeling a bit like Meeko in the mornings:
Which is very much unlike me, these early fall-ish months.
Silly me... and I thought growing up would mean life was easier...
Like fall is known to bring death to all of the life that has sprung over the spring and summer, this fall brings me into a new season of dying to self, and all that I have come to depend on this past year. But it is good. Because just like there are seasons of death, there are always seasons of greater life on the horizon.

Could you imagine what would happen if fall and winter did not cause previous life to die? We would not be able to enjoy the freshness of life that comes in the warmer months. The new life that did come would be hindered by the previous year.
So I feel about this coming year. While God has caused some amazing things to grow in me this past year, He has bigger, greater, and more beautiful ways for me to grow. 

"You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."
-Psalm 16:11

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just. Too. Much.

Hope ya'll's weekend has been great, enjoying this weather! And that it has been as full of CUTEness as mine has.
         Love, C

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feasting on Failures

"Cynicism is the sickness of my culture 
We undress each other with an evil eye 
Concentric circles we look like vultures 
When we feast on the failures of the lives we criticize 
Don't stand alone and cast your stones at her 
Unless you think you're innocent yourself 
The same measure that we use to condemn men 
Will be the same that's poured out upon our heads 

We've all gone astray 
We kick against the pricks so convinced we know the way 
But who can repay 
The love we sacrificed for an empire made of clay 

Self-promotions how we function in this culture 
We fight for the spotlight with a peacock's pride 
And then condescend to all the lesser men 
From thrones we make of payed accolades and a compromise 
There is no power that a man can have 
Unless it's given to him from above 
Our ladders of success descend to hell 
Don't sell your soul and lose your one true love"

This is a song (Cynicism) by one of my favorite artists, Josh Garrells (who is an INCREDIBLE lyricist and music master). It's really powerful.
The second line always gets me: 
"We undress each other with an evil eye..." 
I have become a pro at judging outward appearance. My mother has done her best to teach me how to dress in a way that flatters my body type, how to wear colors that most compliment my complexion, to use make-up as sparingly as possible, and how to modestly change an entire outfit in semi-public areas (she used to be a model;) 
She has pounded in my head (in the most loving way, of course) that how I look represents my family, my Jesus, and my lifestyle. With this priority firmly planted amongst the highest priorities in my life, it is a goal and a challenge of mine to represent well.

This can easily turn into an obsession with looking perfect, though. It can also cause me to have a judgmental eye towards gals who wear colors that make them look pale, or wear empire-waists when their figure demands to be flattered by a drop-waist. It can even become a distraction from a sermon or worship service, because I want so badly to ask the poor girl "what she was thinking when she put that outfit together??"

Striving to be modest can also encourage my high horse by judging girls who are immodest. Sometimes I wonder if these young ladies know anything about the male mind. Sometimes I wonder if they know too well... It can encourage an attitude of hostility towards these girls who probably weren't taught any differently.

The Lord has brought me a long way though. I've done my best to make it a habit that, when I do see something about someone's dress or physical appearance that I deem appalling, or entirely inappropriate, I look for something that is absolutely beautiful about her. Most times, this brings me to her face: her eyes, her complexion, her smile, her countenance, etc. There is something, many things, that make a girl beautiful besides what she chose to wear in public that day. I ask God to show me.

This serves a few purposes: 1) it keeps me from being distracted; 2) it keeps me from judging someone too harshly; 3) allows God to show me the unique beauty that He has crafted in each of our faces; and 4) keeps my vanity in check, or keeps me from thinking I know "so much better than her."

Truth is, 9 out of 10 times, seeing pictures with me in them, I kick myself for thinking I looked great that day. Because in reality, what I thought looked fabulous on me was a big mistake. 

And I am repeatedly coming to Christ, again and again, repentant for judging His Beloved so harshly. I am consistently asking for His eyes, His heart, for His children.

I pray that this is an encouragement for you gals who have these same struggles. It is also a very humbling for me to write.

Grow in His grace, His presence, and His joy, Dear One.

(Picture 1: Norfolk; Pic 2: Hannah Crane, taken by Becca Crumrine; Pic 3: Becca Crumrine; Pic 4: Brooke Sweeney.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Walzac Wedding Preview

Last Saturday I was an assistant photographer to my uncle for a wedding! I only have half my pictures, and I've barely begun to work on them, but here's a sneak peak of the gorgeous I got to work with;)

Turkey +Bacon Wrap

Most days, I totally draw a blank on creative ways to make lunch yummy, so I thought I'd share this "stroke of brilliance" that my brother and I stumbled upon. Just in case there are any other people like me who "draw blanks" on a semi-daily basis;)
Hunter and I had a bacon craving (which shouldn't surprise anyone who knows us... these cravings come pretty regularly;) so we took up the challenge to make something delicious and mostly healthy for lunch.

The result?
Hunter made his with just cream cheese and turkey, but I made mine with avocado, goat cheese, turkey, and corn tortillas. It was sooo good!

Hope your Tuesday is grand; full of victories in the Lord, and full of small things that make you smile!

Monday, September 3, 2012

No Mothers, No Brothers... and No Boyfriends;)

The last weekend of August, my dad pulled together what we like to call a "No Mothers, No Brothers."  In a nutshell: a Daddy-Daughter weekend with no rules, no limits, and no health food. ;)
There were 8 dads, and almost 20 girls in all, and we stayed in a terrific cabin near our crabbing destination: Lake Mattamuskeet.
 It didn't take long for the dads to start relaxing once we got there;)
The cabin was surrounded by beautiful fields.
 All crammed into one corner of the restaurant.

 A beautiful, early morning, and a perfect start to our adventures.

On our way to crabbing.

 The Blue Crabs we caught were amazing! So pretty. (Taken by Bec Crumrine)
 Mr. Williams and one of his daughters, Jamie.
 Mr. Crumrine and Bethany.
 We had a great time with other family members, too;)

 Brooke and Bec. (Don't be deceived... these were two of the Master Crabbers!)
 Daddy Dearest.

 Everyone got the chance to hold one... 
... but some didn't particularly want to;) 
I chased Bethany around with a big one for a few minutes... just cuz I love her;) Her face was worth it, yeah? 
 The road drove right through the middle of Lake Mattamuskeet, and we crabbed on either side.

It was a terrific time altogether. I'm so thankful for a father who takes the time to spend time with us, and love us, and hype us up on sugar treats.
I had a blast, Pops! Thanks again:)