I’m usually a laid back person. I love to read. I’m a history nerd. If I could go back in time and meet just one person it would probably be Pope John Paul II. I’m married to my best friend. Fall is my favorite season. The Giant Panda is my favorite animal. I love it when you go somewhere, see something, or even eat something and it bring back memories from your past. I love the smell of rain. Oh, and by the way, I’m Leila (lie-luh).
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
I still remember the rain drops rolling down my car windows as I sat in my boyfriend’s (now husband) driveway when he paused and asked me a very unexpected question. This date had been like many of our previous dates before; we’d grabbed a bite to eat and headed over to the old dollar movie theatre in our hometown to watch a new-oldish film. Our relationship was so innocent then.
It was just another rainy summer day in the south; my hair was frizzy beyond any hopes of repair because of the humidity and Kurtis looked the same as usual. He was wearing his khaki cargo shorts, t-shirt (probably AC/DC), and black Dr. Scholes tennis shoes. I can’t help but smile when I look back and remember those moments. He always looked great to me, old man shoes and all.
I remember nervously wondering what Kurtis wanted to talk about. Many thoughts began racing through my mind, but the most prominent was “he’s going to break up with me isn’t he?” I kept trying to replay every conversation we had leading up to that day, and I couldn’t come up with anything. So, I braced myself for the worst, but he asked for something much sweeter. Kurtis asked for a kiss. His first kiss. I remember being so taken back by that question, but so humbled that he asked for my consent. I never want to forget moments like that. The small moments that become such large corner stones in our lifetime together. The small moments that remind me of how great of a person my husband is. He’s my dearest and most cherished friend.
Every event in life has its purpose. Nothing happens on accident. Every event, every word, every action was carefully crafted by the hands of God.
I often think about that before I go to the monastery. I always seem to go before something important in my life happens. My first visit to the monastery was just before my confirmation. My second trip was right after my husband and I got engaged. I remember, my priest friend would tease me and say, “it’s not too late, I know a convent right down the road.” My third milestone visit to the monastery was right after I had gotten married. Finally, the last time I visited was the summer before I went to the Holy Land. Now that I’ve visited again…I have no idea what to expect…what moment or what healing, but I put whatever it may be in the steady hands of God.
I’d forgotten the peace I find there. The love, the community, the tradition, and the brotherhood. All of our paths have intertwined for a reason…one in which at this time is a mystery to me, but I recognize that it started long before us…long before our grandparents and great grandparents. We’ve all been connected and intertwined by the careful handiwork of God. We’re all part of the redemptive story…all the lives we touch and our daily interactions aid only in the slightest way. It’s all about finding God in the ordinary.
**Quick edit: I have a sneaking suspicion as to what it may be**
I have such a difficult time navigating my feelings around the anniversary of my father’s death and Father’s Day. As time passes, it becomes easier to handle. When I feel as if I’m starting to “get over it” my heart aches for his missing presence in my life. I remember a conversation I had with a friend of mine and he reminded me that when you lose someone very special too you, you never stop grieving because the love for them never goes away. As I reflected on his words, I’ve come to realize it’s true. I’m always going to miss my dad, but that doesn’t mean I have to be sad forever. I can be happy and look forward still on days like Father’s Day.
“This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.” – Lamentations 3:21-25
So, with that being said, this year I decided to do a special project for my father-in-law! I made a really cool matchstick cross with abstract shades of blue and a slight dash of orange and white. It was a lot of fun to make! I asked my best friend to come over and help me burn matchsticks to create the cross.
I was really inspired by a few different images I happened to come across on Pinterest. I knew I wanted to do something a bit different and a combination of these two things (the background and cross) really worked out well for my first time. I just couldnt figure out how to make it feel like the cross was coming out more.
I choose a more abstract background for the cross to create a more dazed and dreamy effect. The color idea is from the first image and I did my own special twist with it. I love the blurred lines that were created. I’m fascinated with the idea of not knowing where lines begin or end, I enjoy the exerpience of just being placed in an unknown part of it. In regards to the cross, I wanted it to feel like it was floating above the abstract piece. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite figure out just how to create that effect. There can always be more work done to it, but overall I’m pretty pleased with it.