tinnitus & hiking

wondering when the tinnitus will go away!

It kinda sounds like a mini fire alarm is going off in both my ears on a low level. That’s what happens when you go to night clubs

lol

Last night I went to a friend’s birthday party and we all met at a spot and DANCED. It was a good time πŸ˜€ I saw many faces I knew and quite a few that I didn’t know. Got to dance with many fun dancers that I see around often, and also danced with some new people which is always a blast!

At one point I saw my most recent dance crush across the room and smiled and waved when he smiled at me. I danced several songs in a row with friends (songs that aren’t partner dances) and then my friend came up to me and expressed his desire to head out soon (we had carpooled). I told him I really wanted to dance with ***** (dance crush).

At that moment, my crush walked across the room through the crowd and asked me to dance salsa. <3 <3 <3

aaaaaaaaaaahhh just wanna take a moment to say how much I love coffee. <3 SO GOOD. In the morning. Sitting by the window. Writing to y’all. Bout to do some bible study as well. Yup, life is good πŸ™‚

So. Back to the dance crush.

He’s a very talented salsero. In fact, he came to this area not too long ago and is very involved with the salsa community teaching classes and leading dance teams. I was hoping to have a really satisfying salsa dancing experience with him but realistically it was too crowded. We ended up dancing sortof…. mini salsa hahah. But it was still fun! And I was flattered that he came across the room and asked me πŸ˜€

~*~

And then there was the physics professor. We danced 2 salsa songs and 1 merengue back-to-back-to-back. I told him I had to go and he asked if he could get my number. I said “depends”. He said “on what?”. I said “if you love Jesus.”

Then we proceeded to have a chat on the dance floor about Jesus and agnosticism (he says he is agnostic) and he was trying to convince me that “science doesn’t line up with the bible” etc. etc. (all this was going on in the middle of the dance floor and then we had to move to the side to hear each other betterΒ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚Β ) . And then he said “I would really love to get coffee and talk about this some more with you. Let me give you my number.” And I said… and I’m still laughing btw “give me your email.”

hahahahaha

But he gave me his name and number in my contacts and told me to google his name and it would pop up since he’s a professor. Turns out he has a PhD in physics. lol

Anyways, I’m going to pray about whether or not I will send him an email (I probably will) and what I’ll send. πŸ™‚ God is funny. Has a sense of humor for sure. But God knows I like to keep life interesting and so if He wants to use me in these small ways by witnessing to salseros on the dance floor, so be it. πŸ˜›

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..

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Anyway, I could sit here and write all day long (and I may write again later) but I gotta go read my bible & do my study and then go to church! And probably lunch with some peeps. Then CHILL at home. Yesterday was insane. I got up at 6am, friends came over at 7am, drove ~3 hours to the mountains… hiked…

went to a local brewery for lunch & got this hoppy pomegranate number πŸ˜›

Drove ~3 hours home, showered, changed, collaborated with friends

Left home at 9:45pm and drove to meet a friend

went to the club at 10:30pm

left club at 1:45am

Got home at 2:45 am

Slept 3-8.

Woke up like a boss (naturally)

Andddd 1 hour later and here we are!

Hahahaa so I imagine I’ll need a slight nap later. And for these ears to stop ringing please.

Happy Sunday everyone. I’ll definitely be typing more later.

xxx

<3

V

yielding

hey everyone.

It’s Friday night around 7:30pm and I’m getting ready to go to work. I just packed for my hiking trip tomorrow. Some friends and I are going to hike in the Virginian mountains.

This is probably the last mountain I hiked. One of of the last few peaks from the Long Trail in Vermont. I started this trail in 2015 and hiked 252 miles of it. Last summer I went back and did the last 20 with my best friend Alexandra. <3

Tomorrow morning I’m setting off with four lovely ladies to do a four-mile loop that is partly on the Appalachian Trail. Should be some great views tomorrow. And the temperature is a high of only 65 degrees! YESSS I’m so excited. πŸ™‚

I’ve missed the mountains

I’ve missed the woods

I’ve missed the sound of twigs breaking under me

of leaves crunchy

of pine needles muffling my steps

I’ve missed the earthy smell of fresh morning dew that covers the rocks, as steam rises from the bright morning sun

and quiet whisper of the leaves in the trees as a gust billows by slowly and softly

the bubbling brook pours over stones of all different colors and a water bug lands on the surface creating small ripples

each ripple cascades towards the edges of the stream where sweaty hikers have taken off their shoes and socks and dipped their feet in the water to cool off

<3

So tomorrow it’ll be nice to go back out there again. Not that I’ve ever beenΒ there orΒ here at all. It’s a first time experience. With a first time group coming together to scale a peak. Five women hiking in God’s beautiful creation. πŸ˜€

I’m bringing my tripod to take some legitimate pictures up top πŸ˜€ Maybe I’ll post some πŸ˜‰

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On another note. I’ve had some decisions to make regarding working and playing and resting/being responsible. I’m working tonight and REALLY wanted to go dancing last night and tonight but it ain’t gonna happen. Last night my plans fell through because my car broke down and I had to put it in the shop. Which was fine… Instead I got to spend time with cousins and friends which was really nice… and drive a fun rental car πŸ˜€ <3

Tonight I have work again and don’t wanna go to bed supah late because I’m hiking tomorrow. I should get up tomorrow at 6:00am because my friends are coming at 7:00am to leave for the trip. Then we’re driving 2.5 hours to get to the spot.

We won’t get home til …. 6pm I’m guessing. Crazy.

So naturally I wanna get home, take a shower, CHILL …. and then my friend has a bday party that I wanna go to.

However.

Someone needs to work tomorrow night for my client. I am praying that someone I will call “P” will do the shift. I am notΒ supposed to. It’s supposed to fall on another lady… but she overbooked herself and made other plans in the evening. Which is crazy, but not my fault!

Anyway. I guess I could do the shift if I did it ….. from 8:30-9:30. It’s just lamesauce cuz the lady we’re helping doesn’t like to go to bed super early… but it isn’t my fault if there’s nobody there to help her and I have other plans?!

Lord, let your will be done.

ANYWAY

Y’all have a WONDERFUL Friday night and weekend. I’ma go head to work.

xxx <3 V

Comparing Ourselves to Others

I’ve done some pretty society-deemed-cool things in my life.

Been to some cool parties. Traveled to a few places. Met some cool folks. Seen a ton of concerts.

Hiked some mountains in California and other places.

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But contrary to what society and the world says, what I have done does not define who I am.

If it were that easy, I should be happy being a mountain-climber or a college graduate or the top of my class.

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But those things will never be enough.

If our identity

is rooted in

what we have seen

or done,

or what we have,

we are easily shaken.

We forget the things we have done and the places we have been and what is most important to us when we compare ourselves to others who society deems more successful or better-off than us.

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We’ve all done it. We’ve all compared ourselves to someone else and felt like we didn’t measure up. In middle school it was with whoever had the best clothes or coolest gadgets.

In high school it was who had the nicest car, cutest boyfriend or girlfriend, or who got the best grades.

In college it was who got invited to the best parties or went on the most interesting trips.

After college it’s who has the most success in finances, employment, or marriage.

———-> As soon as we compare ourselves to others who have more or have done more, what we had before feels like it doesn’t measure up. It’s a human and societal tendency.

I’m here to tell you it’s not fair or right to compare ourselves to people who are just as flawed as we are, and who have walked a completely different walk than us.

How could comparing ourselves to a 100% unique brother or sister do any good? !

How can we expect ourselves to be like somebody else? We are ourselves! We are who we are.

You have probably told yourself that. But you still compare yourself to others.

And that’s because you want to grow. You want to be better. You want to improve. Us humans do that. We desire to be better. To go further. To live bigger.

And that’s cool. That’s great, even. Without a goal in sight, a prize to aim for,Β  a direction to go in, life seems a lot less meaningful.

So lemme tellya a secret.

For the purpose of giving yourself direction, you can compare yourself to somebody.

You can compare yourself to this person for the sake of getting better.

The purpose of this comparison is to become a better person.

So here goes.

There is one and only one person

we should ever compare ourselves to

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Purple Majesty in Yorktown (not the actual name of the flower lol)

and it’s not yourself, so don’t get all excited. You and I both know you have plenty of growing to do. πŸ˜›

 

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Pretty in Pink in Yorktown (I make the names up :D)

First, I’ll tell you what this person didn’t have.

What this person (the one you should compare yourself to) didn’t have:

This person didn’t have the most money.

He didn’t have the latest hiking gear.

He didn’t have the most successful dating relationships.

He was hated by most people.

He was loved at first and then treated like a loser, by some of the people closest to him.

People were nice to him so he could do things for them and get them free stuff but he loved them anyway. Unconditionally.

 

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<3

Now for what he did have.

What he did have:

And while you are reading, be comparing this man to yourself, and see how you measure up. It may take a while.

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A tiny flower by the James River

He had a heart of love, not darkness <3

<3

He was grateful for all he had, knowing each breath is a gift

<3

He trusted that the outcome of a storm would always be a rainbow or provide more growth.

<3

He never dwelt on what he could not change … I love the word dwelt. Isn’t it great??!

<3

He was able to look past people’s facades and images of success and happiness, knowing what every person craved and needed in their heart, and his desire was to help people meet that need: of love.

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York River

joy

His words brought life, joy, and clarity.

He spread joy to others wherever he went.

His joy brought out the best in others.

Instead of tearing people down,

he built people up

always

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York River

He was so incredibly calming.

Whenever somebody needed a shoulder to cry on, a place to take refuge, or a listening ear, he would be that person. He didn’t complain or lash out or shrug people off.

He was always approachable.

In fact, he was magnetic. People were drawn to him wherever he went. And he had the power to fill whoever came to him with incredible peace.

<3 πŸ™‚ <3

He didn’t force anybody to do anything, but gently and lovingly approached all people and situations.

~

~

~

He spoke truth to his brothers and friends when they were in trouble and helped them overcome their struggles.

He never enabled anyone to do something that was harmful to themselves or others. He was never thinking about getting ahead or beating somebody at something. He was seeking love and unity.

He never held onto bitterness or resentment towards people that hurt him, but forgave them fully and immediately. Immediately.

~~~~~~~

<3

~~~~~~~

The only person

we should ever compare ourselves to

is

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Sunset over the York River

J e s u s

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He was the perfect human.

He is the only one who has ever, can ever and will ever set the standard for how we should live our lives.

Lovingly teaching others.

Keeping short accounts of what people have done wrong to us, and forgiving others for their faults, well aware that we are so faulty ourselves.

He wasn’t taken by surprise when people fell short; he loved them anyway.

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If you don’t know Jesus, believe me when I say this:

I’ve been getting to know him for almost two years now, and the truth is, learning about Jesus and trying to become more like him is the most noteworthy thing I have ever done. It’s way cooler than any mountain I’ve climbed, trip I’ve gone on, or experience I’ve experienced.

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Jesus is the ultimate role model

& the more I find out about him, the more I realize how important it is to know him.

The more you know about Jesus,

the more you want to become like him.

Jesus is the only one worth comparing ourselves to. He is perfect. None of y’alls brothers, sisters, bosses, coworkers, friends, girlfriends or boyfriends are perfect. They are all human; AKA heavily flawed. They may go on some cool trips or have some fancy possessions or beautiful significant others, but they are trying to figure out how to navigate this journey of life the same as your are.

Raise your standard.

Raise the bar.

Compare yourself to the Risen King.

If you don’t know about Jesus, I recommend getting to know him.

Love you all!

xoV

<3