Category Archives: Faith

Seabrook Celebration

I got to spend an whole weekend surrounded by some of the most amazing women I have ever met. 20 of them in total, to be specific.

My good friend Amy invited us all out to Seabrook which is located in Pacific Beach, Washington, to celebrate her birthday!

Meet Amy! Isn’t she beautiful?

_DSC0695

We all rented a house on the coast and one of the first things we did when we got there was sprint out to the ocean in typical Amy/Lana fashion. Pacific waters are cold.

_DSC0702

And of course we took the obligatory “jump in place” photo.

_DSC0719

_DSC0715

Bet you could never guess which feet are mine. Hint: look for the black rotting toenails and the bunions. Sexy.

We spent a lot of time hanging out, talking, and laughing!

_DSC0765

_DSC0761

_DSC0775

A lot of time was spent walking along the beach. Here are several photos to serve as a visual explanation as to why the majority of our time was spent outside…

_DSC0809

_DSC0740

_DSC0687

_DSC0725

_DSC0747

Sunset from the deck of the house…

_DSC0796

_DSC0799

I’m not much of a chit-chat kind of gal, and knowing that there would be 20 women (most of whom I did not know) staying in one house, sort of made me want to shrink inside myself. It is challenging when you encounter women who just want to talk about throw pillows and bargains and make up and celebrity gossip and their husbands’ flaws. Those topics aren’t my forte. BUT this was not the case this weekend! When everyone under one roof knows and loves the Lord, you skip the “getting to know you” phase and get right to the heart of the matter and talk about real life stuff with vulnerability and authenticity because even if you’re not perfect, you know it’s all covered by grace. With that said, I had some great conversations that I will undoubtedly remember for a lifetime because of the wisdom and perspective I gleaned from them.

Here are a few of the members of “the league of extraordinary women” as I like to call them collectively…as I fondly reminisce. 🙂

_DSC0810

I was seriously so humbled to be included in this group of amazing women! I have now forcefully clawed my way into new friendships and will henceforth force every single one of them to hang out with me as often as possible.

Very thankful for this friend right here!
_DSC0717

_DSC0750

What relationships are you thankful for today? 

Have you ever been in the Pacific Ocean?

“Into the Wild” – soo good.

Have you seen this movie?
Into-the-wild

Or better yet, read the book?

Into_the_Wild_(book)_cover

I just finished reading “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer, which is also a movie now directed by Sean Penn. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book I would highly recommend them both to you. It’s a true story about the life of the late Chris McCandless, an outdoor enthusiast who was raised by a wealthy family in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and graduated with honors from Emory. Upon graduating he donated all his savings, burned his cash and IDs, changed his name to Alexander Supertramp, and set out on an expedition to travel the U.S. freely. The book describes his journey as such:

“The trip was to be an odyssey in the fullest sense of the word, an epic journey that would change everything. He had spent the previous four years, as he saw it, preparing to fulfill an absurd and onerous duty: to graduate from college. At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence.” 

After two years of traveling across the U.S. with little to no belongings, he set out for his “Great Alaskan Adventure” where his goal was to spend the summer in the Alaskan outback living off of the land for some time. Unfortunately, to his demise, his unpreparedness and lack of training for such a feat led him to his death after consuming a poisonous plant he had wrongly mistaken for an edible one.

As a response to the book, many alpinists/hikers/climbers have had varying viewpoints and opinions on his life and legacy. Many applaud and admire his determination to set out on an adventure that some of us wish we could accomplish ourselves – an adventure that sacrifices the security and monotony of modern society for a day-to-day existence simply convening with nature and beholding with awestuck eyes of all that it has to offer. Others lambaste him for his foolhardiness and selfishness – to set out so ill-prepared, not having taken into consideration what tragic effect it would have on his family to lose their son/brother in such a way.

Tyrel and I both read this book over a weekend of camping, and were enthralled by it. There is something in the inner core of our beings that made us feel like we could relate to Chris. We, too, are passionate about the outdoors, lovers of adventure, and frequently disillusioned by the false sense of security that secure jobs and stable finances bring. Like Chris, we have everything we could possibly need and most things we really even want, but yet there’s still something so appealing about not having any of it at all.

After reading the book and doing additional research on my own about his life, I gather that Chris simply felt like there was “something more” out there, and being so fed-up with the “world”, he set out to find fulfillment where he thought it would assuredly be.

I’ve personally done the very same thing just not in the exact same way and not to the extreme. I, too, have sought to find ultimate happiness and fulfillment…in performance mostly. Performance in academia and sports. But after years of striving and chasing an illusive goal, I’ve still come up short and unsatisfied. I think the difference between myself and Chris is that I stopped chasing the false promise of contentment that “perfect performance” (for me) and “living unencumbered in nature” (for him), would bring.

Most of you know Tyrel and I really well otherwise you probably wouldn’t take the time to read my blog, so you know that we’re Christians. We’re not “preachy” or “bible-thumping” or “in your face” about it. That’s annoying and embarrassing. We just sincerely love Jesus and, as a result, have corresponding world-views that reflect those core beliefs. So, as a result, our understanding of how our own life experiences tie into the order of things is largely shaped by our faith. With that said, I totally believe we were all created with a void that only God can fill. Most of us go our whole lives trying to “fill” it with success, achievements, substances, or, in Chris McCandless’ case – nature and adventure. But in searching to find happiness for ourselves in our own way we always come up short.

Chris seemed to feel the “tug” for something greater, as we all do. That’s what makes his story so relatable, I think. Being out in the vast expanse of creation is astonishing. But it’s all too easy to worship (“revere” or “adore”) something created rather than the creator of it. So, after reading about Chris’ life and story, Tyrel and I were humbled and reminded that while there are many natural beauties to behold and to explore in our world, they only serve to remind us of the greater purpose behind their existence – to draw us closer to our Creator so that the void in our souls that we all possess can be filled with His magnificence and grace through having a relationship with Jesus. 

[If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, what did you think? Do you feel as though you can relate to Chris’ story? How?]

[“What” or “who” do you revere or adore?]

[Do you have a philosophy or ideology that shapes your worldview? If so, what? I’d love to hear!]

 

Mary’s Bridal Shower

(I'm pretty behind on blog posts! We have been crazy busy these last few weeks and I can't believe how fast time seems to be flying. So, here's what went down at the end of June!…)

My good friend, Mary, got married on July 4th! Her husband, Mark, is also a good friend of Tyrel and I's. They chose July 4th “so there will always be fireworks.” Clever!

So at the end of June, we celebrated Mary today by showering her with gifts for her honeymoon and just having an all-around great time. (Mary is in the turquoise.)

Fancy shmancy stuff.
 
Scones.
Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.

Ham placed in muffin tins and baked with an egg and white cheddar cheese inside. Delicious. I'm telling you…these women are legit.

Someone brought their son. What a good little guy! Just hanging' out! I creepily snapped a photo of him.

The many faces as she opened gifts…

Here was her opening my gift and laughing at some of the goodies inside…

I tried to make her feel as uncomfortable as possible and I can proudly say…I believe I succeeded. 🙂 There's not much that is more unifying at a party, than each attendee laughing hysterically and bashfully at the same time. I love these types of social interactions. And I love my friend Mary even more! Thanks for having thick skin and a great sense of humor!

Congratulations, Mark and Mary!