Sunday, December 19, 2010

John 3:30

He must increase, but I must decrease.

And that's the main theme of today.

peace, love, and humility.

Monster, pt. 3

The buzzing of my fan ensues,
White noise to block you out;
My eyes glance around the room,
My heart is beating doubt.
A single lamp is flickering,
I clench a pillow to my chest;
My thoughts cannot stop bickering;
Will I ever find rest?
Footsteps resonate from down the hall
And my pulse is gaining speed.
The rhythms sync, then suddenly halt;
I've sunk down to my knees.
Under the door, a shadow lingers.
My hands clasp together,
Finger intertwined with finger,
And I begin to finally remember:
The door is locked and I hold the key;
Sorry, Monster, for you cannot enter.
Because of Him, I am now free.
Of my life, He is the center.

peace, love, and late-night poetry.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Letters from the heart, pt. 2

Dear Beloved,

I know I can always count on you. You've known me for years and years and years, and no matter what I do or how much I irritate you, you love me all the same. There are often times when we get under each other's skin, but there is a love that runs deeper than that. A forgiving love. I remember when I was younger how we used to make blueberry muffins on Saturdays and I would lick the bowl. I remember you helping me with the many times I thought I couldn't do it. I remember falling asleep on your lap in "big church." Don't think you have played your role in my life incorrectly. I couldn't imagine you doing a better job than the one you've already done. You taught me to love music, which has become a big part of who I am, and you taught me to love who I am. You have your downfalls like everyone else, but you are a wonderful example. I love you, Beloved.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Dependence Day

It is important to remember that God will not give you or I anything we can't handle with His strength. This means that alone, we will most likely fail. But when we are relying on God and trusting Him with our lives, which includes our troubles and our joys, we will make it through. God has made a way.

1 Corinthians 10:13.

peace, love, and resonance.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Letters from the heart, pt. 1

Dear Beloved,

You are an amazing human being. Your face is never left without a smile upon it. You are so young, so innocent. I pray that God will one day become a major part of your life. I pray that nothing will hold you back from running to Him and trusting in Him. Child, you are so precious to me and my Father. I will always love you for who you are and who you are becoming. I pray that Darkness will never have a hold on you, that you will be protected from the Evil One. I know you will be great; you already are. I pray that God will use you in a mighty way and that everything in your life will glorify Him. As you move through this world, do not be afraid. Nothing can stop you when God is on your side. Life is difficult, but there is nothing you cannot handle with His strength. I love you, Beloved.

"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."
-1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)


This present darkness

I feel like lately I've been noticing a lot more spiritual warfare in my life than I have in the past. It could be the cause of a number of things, really: My walk with God is solid and I'm positive that that displeases the Enemy; life is going well and Satan might think he needs to shake things up a bit; I have more knowledge on a certain subject than I did before which has caused me to analyze things a lot more.

God is faithful. I know that He will never give me anything I can't handle with His divine strength. Praise God. I trust in my Savior and I am learning new ways to do that every day. Praise God. He is revealing Himself to me more and more each day and I am continuing to learn and grow. Praise God.

I think I'm going to reread This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti. It's a christian fiction novel; I read it my freshman year of high school, and I think it's a really great idea of what spiritual warfare looks like. Might be interesting to read it again.

Yesterday was a good day. I started it off by sleeping in til 10:30am, and moved on to watching television for a bit. Then I got ready and went over to FSCC to practice for a fundraiser and few of us are playing at in January. Practice went really well and the songs are really coming together. After that, I was able to go home and chill out for a bit before going to pick up Chris for a guitar lesson at Panera while we waited for Josh to meet us there. Contrary to what he thinks (because he's too self-critical), Chris is really improving with his guitar skills. The three of us ventured over to Jes's to meet her and Aaron there and watch Ong Bak 2.

I probably should've gone to bed earlier last night, because I'm definitely feeling it now as I wait for my first final of the week to start. I'm nervous, which has caused my acid reflux to act up, which means my chest and throat are burning. It's not the most comfortable feeling in the world. I hope you all are having a wonderful December. I'm going to go read my bible now.

peace, love, and anxiety.
kaeli g. riccardi

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Perfect darkness

A few years back, I went on a tour of a few caves somewhere up north. The guide brought us way far back into the cave, then started to tell us a story of two boys that got lost in that very cave and when their flashlights eventually died they experienced perfect darkness. Perfect darkness is a complete absence of light; they weren’t even able to see their owns hands if they were an inch from their faces. Because of being in perfect darkness for so long, they eventually went blind and were unable to find their way out of the cave. They died there. It was then that the guide turned off his lantern to let us experience perfect darkness, but only for a few short moments.

In perfect darkness, it is impossible to know whether or not you have gone blind because you can’t see anything anyway; unless light is shining, you will never know. So it is for the Lost. People might not even realize how blind they are unless we are the Light to help them see.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

-Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)

Be a light.

peace, love, and light.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Nails in the wall

Today I had probably the most boring day ever. It started off by sleeping in til 11am. Then I decided to watch a movie, which means I was in bed until like 1:30pm. Then I got up, made myself some eggs and toast, and watched TV for a bit. I got back in bed and spent some time on the computer. Then I showered and cleaned my room a little. And right now I'm watching a movie on TV after just eating a sandwich and I might go hang out with Jes shortly if Chris doesn't call back for his guitar lesson.

I have a love/hate relationship with days like this. I like them because it's a nice break from constantly going, but I don't like them because I accomplished nothing today. Nothing worth noting, anyway.

I hung up the crosses from this little collection I started. They are all from different states and countries around the world. I haven't gotten any new ones in about two years, but I'm going to start looking for more. I also hung up the three 7-inches I bought from the thrift store a few weeks ago.

Time to do nothing again.

peace, love, and boredom.

Epic fail'd

Brushing your teeth takes about 150 times longer when you're also typing a blog.

I have sort of fallen short on my personal challenge of blogging every day, but I will try to redeem myself.

There is a guitar pick resting on my windowsill.

I only got four hours of sleep last night, but that is entirely my fault; however, totally worth it.

Praise God for strong friendships.

I started coughing tonight and drank a cup of organic tea (I can't remember exactly what kind off the top of my head) and almost immediately felt better.

My iPod is charged for the first time in twoish months.

The newest episode of The Office is HILARIOUS.

I haven't worn real deodorant in about three months (I use a salt stick) and my pits don't really stink very often.

I am going to start writing a series of letters and posting them on here, maybe even my tumblr.

Good night.

peace, love, and zzzzzzzzzz...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Be a moon

I think the main thing we hit on at bible study tonight is that we, as christians, represent Christ. Everywhere we go, everything we do, we are representing Him in some way.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NASB)
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."

2 Corinthians 5:20 ish (The Message)
"God has given us the task of telling everyone what He is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ Himself now: Become friends with God, He's already a friend with you."

We should be reflecting Christ in everything we say and do because we are always representing Him. He is using us to reach the lost, to plant seeds. Because of that, we should be aware of our attitudes, the things we say, and our actions. Although God can use us in any state, we should be growing with Him daily and keeping Him numero uno in our lives.

peace, love, and just something that was on my heart.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blanket fort

I would've typed this for you guys last night, but honestly, I was beat.

Yesterday morning I woke up and it just felt like it was going to be a great day, and it was. I went to class and had my last big sign language project before our final and ended up with a 98% on it, praise God. My prof even said I should consider interpreting.

Then I went grocery shopping, which is something I've always loved doing. I've been trying to eat more organic lately (and you should too, just trust me on this one), but of course, that adds up. So until I'm raking in the dough, I'll just have to deal with half of my groceries being organic.

After grocery shopping, I went home and made myself some food and relaxed a bit until bible study. I had the chance to meet a really cool guy from the band Abandon Kansas, Jeremy Spring. I watched his acoustic show at Beth and JJ's the night before last. I think the thing that really attracted me to his music is how real the lyrics are. Yeah, the melodies are cool, but it's the lyrics that get you thinking. He isn't afraid to share with you where he is in life or what questions he's asking. He's just honest. All of this to say, he played a show in Tampa last night, but I couldn't make it, which kind of bummed me out. Next time, I suppose.

Bible study ended and a few of us went outside in the cold, mainly because we had guitars and Panera doesn't let us play them inside. I was just thinking a lot as I was sitting out there, about life and music and pretty much everything. I've realized I sometimes don't give myself time to think. I like to be distracted so that I don't have to think because when I start thinking, who knows where it's going to go. I think I'm going to stop distracting myself with mundane things and let my mind explore different thoughts and ideals. Maybe then I'd actually be able to figure out which direction God is directing me.

I've been at Jes's house since after bible study last night. We built a pretty awesome blanket fort in her room and ended up falling asleep to a movie last night. This morning we made ourselves some breakfast. Eggs, toast, and blueberry muffins. Yumtown, USA. I have no idea what we're doing for the rest of the day. Adventures, most likely.

peace, love, and allergies.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Nonconformist" is a conformist's word

I should most definitely be sleeping right now. But, I can't give up on this challenge only eight days in. That'd be pathetic. I'll tell you more about today, tomorrow. For right now, I'm just going to tell you about something we briefly discussed at Journey Groups.

John the Baptist was a bit of an oddball. He was hairy, and he ate locusts dipped in honey. (Sounds... yummy?) But he was an oddball that pointed people to Christ. Something that my mom and I have sort of been battling against lately is my individuality. Normalcy's not my style. It's not a bad thing, it's just not for me. It never has been. I don't fit into the box most people try to put me in and I'm okay with that. I love who I am and who God created me to be. But it's a bit much for my mom to handle sometimes (I'm putting that into nicer words than what's been said).

I get that there is a generation gap between my mom and me, but God created me to be different. And He created you to be different as well. There is nothing wrong with that. Stand out. Be the oddball God created you to be for Him. That's what I learned tonight. Now, I'm not hairy, nor do I eat honey-dipped insects, but I'm not afraid to be who I am and you shouldn't be either. Accept who you are because, honey, that's how God made you and you're awesome.

peace, love, and Romans 12:2
kay lyric hardy

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mind bottling

I know this is a crappy excuse for a blog, but I just had one of the deepest and most revealing talks of my life tonight. I'm still processing everything. Just know that the Enemy has been defeated. We've won. God ultimately has it all under control. Everything happens for a reason. Everything. Never stop trusting, never stop believing, never stop hoping. Words to remember:

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?

peace, love, and shivers.
kaeli riccardi

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hot tea

I'm really thankful that God created us to be relational people because without that, I wouldn't be able to have the amazing friends that I have.

After class today I went over to Jes's house and we watched Charlie St. Cloud. SUCH a good movie; if you haven't seen it yet, go rent it. Now. I'm not kidding. Then we took my fisheye camera and went for a walk around her neighborhood. It was actually really cold today. I was shivering, and I loved it. Gretchen made me an awesome scarf that I've been wearing a lot lately, and it has easily made it into my top two favorites. The other one being the one I got in Sweden.

Jes had to go to work at five, so I went home and ate some dinner and just relaxed a little. Then Chris called and wanted to meet at Panera for a guitar lesson. We sat outside. It was cold. Our hands were numb. (If you've ever played guitar with numb hands, you'll know it is no fun.) There was a little boy probably around eight years old that was watching from inside. He had a wide smile on his face and would knock on the window to get our attention, then applaud for us. It was super cute. He then moved outside to hear us better. Even his parents came out and heard us play a song. After about an hour we went inside to warm up and drink hot tea. Chris and I met a guy that was sitting at the booth behind us who also played guitar. We let him play one of ours and he was very talented. Definitely showed me up.

And that brings me to right now, as I'm laying on my bed typing this. My hands are getting dry from the approaching winter winds, and my cheeks are getting rosy. I've discovered really like blogging every day. It helps me to reflect on everything that happened, and because of that I'm really able to count my blessings. I'm able to see how God is in every little aspect of my life and that just gives me even more reason to praise Him.

peace, love, and warmth.
kaeli riccardi

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Got my list

I'm suuuuper tired right now so I'm not going to type a whole lot. Here is what I did today in list form:

-Woke up
-Got ready and went to Relevant Church
-Called Chris a few times to wake him up (didn't work)
-Met some deaf people
-Worked a few hours
-Booked it to Keswick to make it to praise band practice on time
-Movement Church shenanigans
-Hung out after service
-Gave Jes her glasses back after having them for a few days (sorry)
-Went home and ate leftovers
-Talked on the phone
-Read Batman comics

Things I am about to do today:

-Take contacts out
-Brush teeth
-Spend more time in the Word

Hope you all had as amazing of a day as I did! Love you guys.

peace, love, and rockets.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Homemade cheesy potatoes

Today was a pretty decent day. Started it all off by waking up, then proceeding to use the bathroom because my bladder was pretty full. Then I got ready for flag football, picked Chris up, stopped at Fray's, and went down to Walter Fuller Park.

Unfortunately I only got to play a little over a half an hour because I had to go home and get showered for work. I had the closing shift, but I really enjoyed work today. Not the actual work portion (although the $10 tip was a nice bonus), but the conversations I had with my coworkers. I'm not really a huge fan of that word. Let's call them 'work friends.'

Jason has been talking a lot about discipleship over the past few months and how we need to be pouring ourselves out into other people. I've always liked that picture in my mind - us, as some sort of container, being filled up daily by our personal time with God and various fellowship opportunities, and pouring ourselves out into other people. Then they get filled up and then pour themselves out into other people. And those people get filled up and then pour themselves out into other people. And it just keeps going from there. (JJ also talked about that a lot when he was youth pastor at FSCC, and it's always stuck with me.)

There is a girl I know who I love dearly and she's about 14 and attends the youth group at my old church. What is awesome is I've been able to be there for every key moment in her walk with the Lord. Praise God. And since the beginning I've been trying to pour myself out to her and teach her to do the same.

But something I noticed today is that there is another girl I've been discipling, and I didn't even really realize it until moments ago. One of my work friends, who is an absolute sweetheart and about 17 or 18, started working at Planet Jump probably six months ago. In one of our first conversations she mentioned that she went to church and then I asked what she believes and all these questions about her faith. She revealed that she was kind of a new christian. Since then, we've had some amazing talks.

Today we had another one of those great talks. She was asked to stay an hour later than her shift because we were short one person and she was asking me what she should do about it. She admitted that she really did not want to stay, so I simply asked her if Jesus was in her shoes, would He stay? It was then that she said she really appreciated that and how I always ask her the hard questions. I was able to share with her all that God has been teaching me lately about being a servant and humbling yourself so you can sacrifice your wants and needs for someone else's. I mean, we're called to be like Jesus, right? Didn't He do all those things?

It's just been really awesome to see God reveal Himself in different ways in my life. And how He's been showing me that I'm not wasting my time anywhere. Praise God.

In other news, my mom made homemade cheesy potatoes that I am going to partake in right now. Goodnight, kiddos.

peace, love, and delicious flavor.

Threshing floor

I got to spend some awesome time with one of my best friends today. Jes and I took most of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon being lazy and getting ready for the day. We ended up going thrifting, which is something I love but haven't done in a while. I found some gems: a Harry Potter board game, a Carol Burnett vinyl, and some other random 7"'s that I'm going to hang in my room. To top it all off, I didn't spend more than $5.

Afterwards, we went over to Pathways for the Deaf Church lesson/service. I got to sign with some really awesome deaf people, and I even had a little interpreting experience because Jes didn't know any sign language. Needless to say, I want to do stuff like that all the time. I need more deaf friends =)

Okay, so at bible study tonight, God laid something on my heart. It's something I learned about a few years ago when the Gawlowicz Gang was at FSCC, and for whatever reason, God placed it back in my life.

In our various small groups, we've been talking a little bit here and there about love costing us something. I'm sure most of you have heard the three types of love before, but this particular type of love referred to here is agape. In 2 Samuel 24, we learn that David clearly recognizes he is being judged by God for his sins and needs to repent. Because of him, the Lord put a plague in the land, then took it away. (I'm summarizing here.) Gad told David to raise up an altar to God, more specifically, with the threshing floor that Araunah had, because the angel of the Lord was near it when the Lord stopped the plague in Jerusalem.

David finds Araunah and wants to buy the threshing floor, oxen, etc to make a sacrifice to God. Araunah, recognizing that David is king, offers those things to him for free. But this is David's reply, and the whole point of all of this:

"But the king said to Araunah, 'No, I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.' So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver."
-2 Samuel 24:24 (ESV)

David refused to make a sacrifice that didn't cost him something. In fact, it's not really a sacrifice at all if it doesn't cost you something. Jesus showed His agape love for us when He died on the cross and rose from the grave. True love is sacrificial. What is your sacrifice?

peace, agape, and old bands.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pickles and pumpkins

Okay so don't think I've already given up on this. I haven't had time to blog for today, and because it's so late now, I'm technically blogging "tomorrow." Whatever. I digress.

I actually had a productive day today, which doesn't happen often during the week. After class I decided to finally wash my car and clean out the inside. I haven't done that in... too long. Elvis looks pretty good. Granted, there are still some bug guts that are permanent additions to my car from the many summer trips up to North Carolina and me forgetting to wash them off afterwards, but that's no big deal.

We have these bible study groups at Movement that are called Journey groups. Basically we study a chapter of the bible throughout the week and split off into age groups that meet together on their respective days and then talk about what they learned and what God revealed to them. So that was tonight, and it was pretty good. We started off talking about John 3, then ended up taking a tangent and talking about a bunch of different things, all stuff I'd heard before, but all stuff I needed to hear at that moment in time. Everything mentioned had something to do with what's going on in my life. It's neat.

Then Jes, Aaron, and Chris went back to my house for our weekly movie night. We watched one of the greatest movies ever: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World! They ended up liking it which made me really happy, considering that was a good portion of what I talked about around them.

The boys left and Jes is staying the night, so I'm going to go make a blanket fort with her now.

peace, love, and youth.
kaeli grace

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Remember December

I have decided to issue myself a challenge. A challenge that will hopefully break some portion of my laziness. A challenge that could potentially annoy a good amount of you. I am going to blog every day of the month of December in an attempt to actually use this thing more often.

I can't promise that this will be interesting, intelligent, or inspiring, but it will happen. Even if it's something as boring as updating you on my day, it'll happen. If I have to tear this universe another black hole, it's going to happen. It's GOT TO... MISTER!

Sorry, got a little carried away.

So this is blog numero uno. Here's what I did today:

Woke up at 6am to take Tracey's boys to school. I'm pretty sure this'll be my last week because I can't take getting up that early anymore, plus my whole schedule will be changing after this semester. After I dropped them off at school, I started coughing (believe it or not, I just spelled out the name of the pokemon "Koffing" instead of the actual word before I caught it). I checked my throat and I found a white spot. I hope I'm not getting sick. All measures will be taken.

I was able to take an hour nap before I had to get to class. Comp 1 was okay, but after that I spent my time catching up on my math homework before my math class started. Unfortunately I failed my first test this semester. Yeah. That sucked.

After I got home, I spent some time reading Batman comics and finishing sign language homework. Then I talked with my mom for a bit. But NOW I'm watching my favorite TV show eeevvveeerrrr. Yep, you guessed it: Psych. This whole episode is one big reference to Twin Peaks. Gonna go watch it now...

peace, love, and 90s television.