***Last three images stolen from John Carl's facebook.***
Thanksgiving was certainly different this year, but oh how incredibly awesome it was. I think it was our first thanksgiving NOT in our house, and not only that, but the entire family wasn't there either. My dad and brother and uncle were out in Las Vegas for my Aunt Linda (and now Uncle Joe's) wedding. CRAZY! So anyways, even though we were sad that dad and Dave couldn't join us, John, Ally, Laura, and Dar all got to come down to Marco for the holiday! It was no joke the most fun I've had since I've been down here. It was so incredible. I am not even going to try to describe how the weekend went, but I have my memories. I just can't describe how much I love my family, and how much I'm glad to be in this Carl family. I love my siblings, and I love my parents, and I love the times we spend together. The main reason why is because we're living in the days that we talked about growing up. It's insane to think that they've arrived, but the harsh reality is that they're here. Those days when it's a rare occasion to have the whole family in one place. The days where you could go months without seeing a family member. The days when you'd reminisce about the old days. Those days are here. It is scary, but at the same time, it is invigorating and exciting. The only thing ahead is the future and what we make of it. I am ready to make every moment count, seize the day, and lunge into this scary, huge, unknown abyss that we call tomorrow and take it by the horns. I'll tell you what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for my family, who amidst the storms and the quakes are there for me no matter what, supporting everything I do, and above all... love me. I love my family.
p.s. This is a video I made for our church's Wednesday night program called Ignite. It is about the youth's S.W.A.T. music/drama team that has been going on for 8 weeks:
Do you ever experience something that you can't explain, and you never really talk about it to anybody? Don't worry, this isn't another "I want to be a rockstar" entry. In this one, I'm talking about the specific area of music. Music is incredibly powerful and can inject us with feelings we didn't know we could feel. It can stir up idle emotions. It can fuel our actions. It can make us not care at all about our true identity. It can make us want to hide our true identity. It can take us up, and it can bring us down. I'm talking about THOSE feelings. The feeling that you get when you listen to Coldplay's "Fix You." The feeling you get when you listen to Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue." The feeling you get when you listen to Paramore's "Hallelujah." The feeling you get when you listen to Secondhand Serenade's "Now it's Over." The feeling you get when you watch music videos like Boys Like Girl's "The Great Escape." The feeling you get when you listen to FM Static's "Definitely Maybe." The feeling you get when you listen to Sanctus Real's "I'm Not Alright." The feeling you get when you listen to Daniel Bedingfield's "If You're Not the One." The feeling you get when you listen to Hawk Nelson's "Something On My Mind", "California", or "Bring 'Em Out." The feeling you get when you listen to Skillet's "Say Goodbye." The feeling you get when you listen to Falling Up's "Hotel Aquarium." The feelings you get when you listen to soundtracks like Wicked, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, or any other movie/show. We're talking anything from Josh Groban's "When You Say You Love Me" to the music video of Greenday's "Wake Me Up When September Ends." We're talking anything from Superchick's "Stand in the Rain" to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." I could go on forever. Do you know what I'm talking about, though?
Sometimes, it amazes me how I can feel so many emotions at once. I want to be able to understand them. There's a million emotions spiraling inbetween the walls of my mind. I get confused on what to do with them all, how to deal with them. I decide to just try to focus on one, but when I start to focus on one, I start thinking about it from the beginning of that emotion, but then the awesomeness of it overwhelmes me, and it's almost like I mentally give up on trying to understand it, and that kills me, because I want to understand it. It's as if it overloads. My earthly brain can't handle all that the emotion entails. I want to know the meaning of these feelings, but I so often can't even finish thinking about them, much less reacting to them. I feel trapped by the limits of this world: by time, by rules, by order, by space. Trapped behind the walls which I've created in myself. I somehow have to break those barriers. I need to find out how to destroy the very foundation which I've created, because it is stopping me from being the real me. It is stopping me from being a commander of my emotions. When I listen to a song that spawns some unknown, horribly terrifying, sad, yet incredible feeling within me, I want to be able to grasp it and run. Conquer. The rules of this world. The rules of myself. They all need to be crushed. I need the freedom given by God's rules to be the masters of my life. I need that freedom. I am trapped in this world of deceptive life. It's like being stuck inbetween the Matrix and "the real world." Trapped in a white room that can be filled with anything. Not knowing whether I'm standing up side up or up side down. Falling down, but being picked up by false hands, leading us to another edge to walk off. God, break this canvas, and paint within me Your world. Your rules. Wipe away the mixed waters of my mind, that I might start fresh with the clarity of Your reality.
(I'd encourage any readers to possibly listen to those songs I mentioned, really listening to the words, thinking about how the lyrics of the song could apply specifically to you. Then, read my second paragraph again, really carefully. I realize it's kind of vague at the beginning or maybe hard to get. Just please really think about it, because I think this is a huge problem among this generation. There is so much noise in our lives that we don't DEAL with the problem of pushing aside our emotions. We simply shove them aside to deal with later, but the reality is that we are creating walls within ourselves-- creating that as a HABIT. Again, please spend some time thinking about how this could apply to you. I hope all of this made sense.)
I'm so excited. By the time I finish this post, it'll be after midnight, and it'll officially be the day OF my departure for Ohio. I'm stoked. I'm getting ready to pack my bags. I have a pretty full day tomorrow. I have to drive all the way to the mall to pick up my paycheck, go to Publix to cash my check, get to my college classes by 10:00, then after all that, I'm driving to the airport for my flight, and I'll be getting into Dayton, OH around 9:15 I think. WOOOOHOOOOO!
I'll be back on Tuesday. :)