Monday, February 2, 2015

Goodbye Los Angeles

Los Angeles.

When I moved there ten years ago I knew it would be a place that would make me risk, a city where I would make friendships and test out dreams, a place where I would put down roots for years.  I did not realize it would be a place where I would learn to love.

I thought I knew how to do that already and did it fairly well.  Little did I know that the next ten years would be full of "love lessons," not necessarily the romantic kind, although there was a lot of learning in that area as well, but of the straight up human kind.

LA captivated me, it's a place of beauty, a place of diversity and different cultures, sets of beliefs, ideals and goals that rivaled my own.   I realized I knew nothing about loving others well.  I tended to only love those who i agreed with or understood.  My judgements of others interfered with how I saw them and if I loved them well, or at all. Thankfully as each year stripped away my gross outer layers and the Lord worked in my heart I saw people as people, not as labels, but as humans; eating, breathing, sleeping, hurting, laughing humans, just like you and I.

 It gave me this daily prayer, "That I will love people well."  I now know that LA prepared me for something much bigger than I ever realized.  I was never there for a hit song or a taste of fame but for a life knowing how to love others, to see past the differences and look to the heart.

And to me that is a hundred times better than fame or a hit song any day.

Thank you LA for the last ten years!  You were wonderful!



























Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Guest Author: Liz Young - One Year Later

I'm so excited to share today's guest author with you!  Some of you might have remembered my posts from a year ago about Liz Young, this is the continuation of her story, her healing and the miraculous work the Lord has done in her life in one short year.  It is an honor to call her friend, I'm so excited for you to read her words below.  Let us marvel at the Lord's love and faithfulness!!!
-Victoria

One Year Ago Today!



I can’t believe it’s been a year since the day that changed my life and the lives of everyone in my family forever. I’ve been writing throughout the week to see if something would naturally come together for Victoria to share (THANK YOU for asking, VC! Love you!) but it wasn’t until this morning that the Lord revealed to me what to share with you all. I got a card in the mail yesterday from my mom & saved it to open first thing this morning. It’s Rifle Paper (my fav. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about) & it says “You Make Everything Beautiful.” I instantly started crying. Yes, Lord, You do. You really, really, always do.


Liz today with our friend Danielle


There is so much I want to share, so much to tell. I will one day. I know it. But today, I’m hoping you all with rejoice with me in celebration that the Lord is incredibly good. He is faithful. He is a God of His word whose promises never, ever fail. When I think back over the year, the one story that keeps popping up makes me both laugh & cry at just how magnificent He is. My entire life, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always thought, “28 is going to be a great year.” 

In my humanness & bird’s eye perspective, as I got closer to that age I thought big, but big in the natural world. I thought maybe 28 would be the year I made a breakthrough in LA, maybe that’d be the year I’d start making headway in film, or maybe that’d be the year I’ll meet Mr. Man, maybe get married, or maybe I’d meet the perfect songwriter & start the duo of my dreams. All of these things were how I ‘thought big’ for 28. My birthday is November 20 (if you get anything from this blurb, please let it be this. I will be accepting presents, cards, flowers, donations, puppies…;)), which was just short of a month after my surgery last year. 

For my 28th, I was living at my mom’s house, my arms were still really bruised from so many needles, I had no hair on the top right half of my head, no hair on the back bottom left of my head, full moon face from the intense amount of steroids I was taking, a 4 inch scar on top of my head that was really scabbed over, a beautiful 14 inch scar on the back of my head (seriously, it’s incredibly beautiful to me), and surrounded by a family I can’t even begin to describe my love for. I remember blowing out the candles on my birthday cake & fighting back pools of tears as it occurred to me: 28 is going to be a great year, indeed. Never in a million, trillion years would I have ever, ever been able to guess this is how I would bring in 28, but I would want it absolutely no other way. None. At. All. 

As another birthday is approaching, I am in tears in AWE of the Lord. He wanted to give me so, so, sooo, SO much MORE than anything I could possibly have dreamed up in the natural. He gave me new life. He miraculously healed me. He pushed the ‘Reset’ button & set me FREE. How in the world can it get better than that??????!!!! I have never, ever, EVER had a better year. It was absolutely nothing in the world I could have ever planned for or imagined, but it was His & all for His glory. And it was perfect. It IS perfect. I tell Him nearly every day should He have chosen differently for me, should all of our prayers have been answered in a way not in our favor & should He have allowed my healing to look differently, that doesn’t change His faithfulness, His love for me, His goodness, His all-knowing, His perfectness. I would still choose to say yes & amen.  He Makes Everything Beautiful.

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
-Gungor



One thing I ask from the Lord,
   this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
 all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
   and to seek him in his temple.
 -     Psalm 27:4

-Liz Young

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dreamer of the Unseen



I've been in a bit of a dream state these last few weeks, perhaps more than normal. There is something about the ushering in of fall that makes the air feel full of unspoken promise.  That's the place I've been hibernating in, that sweet, intoxicating, hope filled place....the place of the unseen. 

I'm a huge fan of watching the unseen become visible.  And by watching I mean (leaning in to it, giving it strength and legs through prayer) then sitting back and watching God do his thing.

I decided to be vulnerable and share some of my dreams with you in hopes that it encourages you to dream BIG, to think outside of the box and to be wildly romantic with your imagination.  After all the sky is the limit!

Note: I actually had a playlist going while writing tonight instead of the hum of my air conditioner.  You can find the list at the bottom of the page. 


1. Travel to Europe again (eat. explore. eat. explore. eat. explore. repeat.)

2. Visit Bob Goff's "Lodge" with my sis and brother in law (become friends w/ Bob Goff)

3. Attend a performance at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna

4. Attend a BBQ at President George W. Bush's ranch in Texas (become friends w/ the President)

5. Stay in Giraffe Manor in Kenya (become friends w/ giraffes)

6. Write a song that I love that can support me financially 

7. Have my hand held, by my love, down a tree lined street while simultaneously laughing

8. Find "said" love/husband/laughing partner (become friends)

9. Write a book

10. Collaborate on a fashion line 

11. Have a family with the person in # 8 (cuz kids are cool and stuff)

12. Visit Honduras to love on the She Dances girls

13. Go back to Haiti

14. Never run a marathon

15. Visit the Holy Land

16. Vacation in Greece

17. Learn how to curl the right side of my hair so it keeps it's curl

18. Be less afraid of performing songs

19. Number "8" again

20. Read the bible from start to finish

21. Learn how to knit a sweater 

22. Road trip the south with some of my best girlfriends

23. Go on tour again

24. Watch my friends obtain their wildest dreams

25. Relearn basic math 

 I've now tricked you into continuing to read my blog just to see for yourself if I've become friends with a giraffe or a president or if my hair is keeping it's curl. (all reeeeally important things)

 It's part of my plan actually, to keep you as my friend, to share my life with you. 

What dreams do you have today?
I'd love to read them in the comment section below and be your cheerleader!

xoxo,
Victoria

Playlist 
Fly Me To The Moon - Tony Bennett
A Sunday Kind of Love - Etta James
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack
Two Sleepy People - Seth McFarlane and Norah Jones
Like Someone In Love - Ella Fitzgerald
This is Always - Betty Carter
Embraceable You - Billie Holiday


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Just For Fun



I recently watched "The Hundred Foot Journey" then recounted the movie to a loved one.  

It went like this.....  

ME: "Yeah it was good, you'll probably like it, but all I took away was that I now want to move to France, wear a pretty dress and ride a bike everywhere." 

THEM: "Well that doesn't seem very realistic." 

ME: Silence....then....laughter.  

I suppose it didn't sound very realistic to them but it sounded perfectly normal to me. 

It had never crossed my mind that that sort of dream couldn't be done.  Instead of making me mad it made me love them even more, because it actually encouraged me to dream BIGGER.  

I'm not saying i'm moving to France anytime soon, although what girl doesn't toy with the thought of moving to France? But the spontaneity of adventure is ALWAYS on my mind.  

This is one of my favorite pictures of my father.  He's in Egypt, in front of a pyramid, on top of a camel, in a business suit.  Whose idea was it to suddenly hop on a camel in a business suit?  I'm kinda hoping it was his.
 Spontaneity. Check!  Adventure. Check!  


Treasure hunts were a favorite game of mine growing up, they seemed adventurous and way more fun than checkers. I hated playing checkers because my little sister would always beat me, no joke, always.  It got to the point where i refused to play with her because i knew I would loose in a matter of minutes. She had two qualities that i didn't have to win at checkers, competition and strategy. And she is very good at both. 

That's why I loved treasure hunts, they were more my speed, you were never competing against anyone and you were able to ponder, to seek, to find.  In fact they would still be a favorite game of mine if anyone would ever want to play with me.  When was the last time someone intentionally hid something awesome from you, gave you a lot of clues and then encouraged you to find the surprise at the end?  And I'm not talking about your roommate loosing the tv remote in the couch and tricking you into going on a treasure hunt to find it.  

I mean when was the last time someone took the time to plan something strategically and intentionally for you.. just for fun?  

When was the last time I did that?  A few years ago I did hide all of my sister's birthday presents, and then gleefully watched as she ran around the cold Colorado snow to find them. Subconsciously I must have been paying her back for all those lost checker matches. :)

It's the seeking and finding, the anticipation of something amazing at the other end that gets me excited. And isn't life with Jesus exactly the same way?  It's an adventure where we get to seek and find.   The more we seek and find the more amazing the gifts become. 

 That's why I love Jesus, he's so personal and fun, he always thinks treasure hunts are a good idea. 

So here's to you and a week full of adventure, dreaming bigger and awesome gifts... just for fun! 

xoxo
Victoria

Free tip:  To my future boo, throw that "treasure hunt" game into the mix at some point. 
      Your welcome.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saturday Adventures

So with only a handful of months left in this city I realized I have a bucket list a mile long of places I want to visit before I head east.  So yesterday my friend Laura and I decided to tackle some places downtown.  

The day started at Bottega Louie, then we made our way to the rooftop at the Ace Hotel, strolled around the lake in Echo Park and ended up at Speranza's in Silverlake.  



















It was a day full of adventure, I should make time for more of these.
xoxo
Victoria

Monday, August 18, 2014

Generosity


gen·er·os·i·ty
ˌjenəˈräsitē/
noun
  1. the quality of being kind and generous.

This might be one of my favorite topics ever! I loooove generosity! How can one NOT get excited when you know that you are freely giving something for the benefit of another person!?  Perhaps, part of the reason I love giving is because i'm a "gifts" person, if you know anything about the 5 love languages (words of affirmation, gifts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch) then you know that people have various dispositions to feel loved in different ways.  For me gifts are #2 on my list, so therefore I feel loved when giving and receiving gifts. 

I was raised with generous parents and I grew up in a small town (like realllly small...I graduated high school with 10 other people, yup you heard me 10!)  It was natural to help your neighbor when you saw them in need, it was the neighborly thing to do! My mom would constantly be taking food to the elderly shut ins in the community to see how they were doing.  My dad was known to loan complete strangers a car on occasion when theirs broke down in front of our house. The instructions were always the same, leave it in town with the keys in it and he'd pick it up the next day, and low and behold the car was always there, no one ever tried to steal them!  I also grew up next to a highway in the middle of nowhere, people would run out of gas quite frequently during my childhood.  You would see a person walking up the long dirt road that led to our house and you'd know instantly to run and get dad because they needed gas or help starting their car.  My parents were generous with their time, resources, and talents, they didn't talk to us about being generous they modeled it.

Generosity isn't a mind set it's a way of life and something I get really excited about as an adult.  It can be as simple as being kind to someone or giving them a hand with their groceries, it doesn't always have to be a material or financial item given, although that can be apart of it.  And if you are afraid of not receiving anything in return when you give something away remember you are always blessed when you bless others.

 Do something generous for someone today, step outside of your box and be bold.  Your life will begin to change when you start freely giving, take my word for it!

xoxo,
Victoria

Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Girl: Patrice Patrick

I have a little secret to tell you. I am that friend. The one who discovers something new or reads something great who then proceeds to tells everyone all about it.  I'm that girl who sends massive amounts of emails and group texts to my friends about some new product/book/program that i've discovered.  I realize that this can be a bit annoying from my friends stand point but if you look at it from my point of view then maybe you'll understand. 


 i have a hard time keeping amazing things to myself, I want to share them with everyone! I want everyone around me to partake in the same elating emotion that i'm feeling. So naturally I want the same thing in friendships.  I love it when my friend groups intertwine, when a buddy from college meets up with a rock n roll friend on tour eight states away, I mean it's the best!  The connectedness of it all is fascinating to me, it reminds me that the world really is a small place and why it's so important how we treat one another.  And in case you hadn't figured it out yet KINDNESS ALWAYS WINS.


Soooo because you let me rant about that I thought I'd incorporate a new element to my blog where I introduce you to some of my AMAZING friends, I'm calling it: This Girl-This Guy.


So without further ado meet my gorgeous friend Patrice Patrick!


I know what you are thinking "Wow Victoria I love that you are friends with a supermodel!!!!!" I mean isn't she insanely beautiful!?  Well I'm here to tell you that I've probably never met anyone more beautiful on the inside as well as the outside than this girl.  I think she is the type of lady who is  found only in the bible, and possibly sports illustrated swimsuit edition, let's be real here. She is what I like to refer to as hot and Godly, a heavenly combination.

But looks aside this girl has TALENT.  A phenomenal writer who works incredibly hard in television production, is a youth pastor and documentary filmmaker. She has many qualities that you are hard pressed to find in Los Angeles these days.  Besides her beauty and talent I think the thing I love the most about her is her kindness.  I've never left a coffee date without feeling less than 100% loved.  She has taught me more about the kindness of the Lord for myself and for others in the last eight years than anyone else, and that is life changing.  You leave her presence feeling encouraged, loved, believed in, and championed for, she is a walking love bubble and it's amazing.  Oh yeah she also has a way of cutting away the fluff and getting straight to the point, a quality i deeply respect, I like my friends to have a little sass. ;)

(Working Those Award Shows)





(Being the boss)

(With her youth group)

So if you find yourself on a street corner next to her introduce yourself and give her a hug, your life will most definitely be changed.  If you are interested in reading more about her life and what she loves then visit her blog: Puerility Vol.1 


Simply put This Girl is remarkable!

xoxo,
Victoria