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Hello.

Hello, here’s to new beginnings. Summer has just started and I’m so excited to blog about all of our fun adventures.

In case you are curious, a little bit about me:

  • I am currently a sophomore at The University of Alabama.
  • I am majoring in Dance and Telecommunications & Film.
  • I have a family of six (and a cat named Zeus).
  • I am obsessed with music, movies, and dancing.
  • Diet Coke, Owls, Disney, James Arthur, Dream Catchers are all obsessions of mine.
  • Filming, Writing, Graphic Design, Choreography, and Photography are all my mediums of showing my artistic creativity.
  • Lilo and Stitch and Hercules are my favorite Disney movies.
  • My motto in life: You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
  • Love, love, love, love x

 

Until next time,

Sunday x

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Broken Crown

A couple years ago, I had the amazing opportunity of choreographing a solo for my senior year of high school to compete with. As this was my last year with my company and high school dance teams, I wanted to make the piece memorable and something that told a bit of my story. I’m a bit of a storyteller when it comes to creative outlets and so choreography, although still new to me, was a perfect way of expressing myself and the stories I wanted to tell.

After debating for months, I chose the song “Broken Crown” by Mumford & Sons which is in the link at the end of this post. Although I would hope the choreography speaks for itself, I wanted to take time to really break down the heavy message within the lyrics and music of the song and how it personally relates to me.

Even at a first read of the lyrics, you can get a sense of the struggle the singer is going through:

~

Touch my mouth and hold my tongue
I’ll never be your chosen one
I’ll be home safe and tucked away
Well You can’t tempt me if I don’t see the day

The pull on my flesh was just too strong
Stifled the choice and the air in my lungs
Better not to breathe than to breathe a lie
‘Cause when I opened my body I breathe in a lie

I will not speak of your sin
There was a way out for Him
The mirror shows not
Your values are all shot

But oh my heart, was flawed I knew my weakness
So hold my hand consign me not to darkness

So crawl on my belly ’til the sun goes down
I’ll never wear your broken crown

In this twilight, how dare you speak of grace

in this twilight, our choices seal our fate.

~

The general fight in this song is one of letting yourself truly see yourself as you are and not who you pretend to be. People put on this “crown” to symbolize that they are “good” or “perfect” or “worthy” or “enough”. But what they don’t realize is that the crown is broken because everything you are when you wear that crown is a lie. We pretend to be people were are not, so that we can be accepted, in this case, in our religion. And it all comes down to hypocrisy and wanting to appear as if a crown would fit our heads. But what does Christianity mean if we are all worthy enough of wearing that crown? You can never truly appreciate grace without fulling knowing how much we don’t deserve it. It’s because we are so ugly and destroyed that the love we have received is like no other.

The singer has made his choice in the song that he will “Never wear your broken crown”. But he knows that this is no simple decision. In the beginning of the music, it starts slow and he admits that even the pressure from others that “hold his tongue” to try and get him to talk the way they do, he will never be their “chosen one”. The chosen one seems like this wonderful position to be in. But just like a crown seems like a compliment of power, being “a chosen one” would blind him into thinking he is more worthy than what he actually is. Because he knows this, he goes as far as saying that he will live tucked away so that he can’t be tempted. He’s admitting how human he really is and admitting that maybe the only way he can’t fall into temptation is to stay away from it at all costs.

The second phrase goes more into detail on this idea. He describes that the “pull on his flesh was just too strong” and “stifled the choice”. It’s not easy to say no. And he alludes to the bible and the symbol of the “flesh” and it’s sinful tendencies. But he might be better off than most, because most people can’t even see their sinful nature. And the first step to becoming a better person is first realizing how sinful we actually are. Because even though our sin is ugly, our pride is even uglier. He even goes as far as to say that he would rather die than to live a lie (“Better not to breathe, than to breathe a lie”) because when he lets his body make choices, they are bound to make choices that will allow acceptance (by lying) from people and not God (“when I open my body, I breathe a lie”).

After committing to not wearing the broken crown, he addresses the hypocrites that wear the crowns. However, he does it in a way that is understanding. He knows how challenging it can be to live without giving into sin. He promises “not to speak of their sin” and gives them hope of a “way out”. He’s not there to judge or condemn their choice of living this way, but he very clearly points out how horrific they actually look. He tells them that “the mirror shows not” meaning that how they look on the outside is not who they truly are and their “values are shot”. Their values have no meaning when their actions don’t match what they say they believe.  

After his small outrage, he quiets down again and goes back to his story and struggle. In the two statements, I feel like it’s almost like a prayer. “My heart is flawed. Hold my hand, and consign me not to darkness”. That’s all it takes, is admitting to what makes us weak and realizing that we deserve “darkness” (death). But he pleads for God to take his hand and lead him out of the darkness that we are all condemned to. And although we don’t deserve to hold onto his hand and accept that grace, He loves us deeply enough to bring us into life if we admit to our struggles and accept his grace.

The music picks up dramatically as the weight of this settles on his heart and he’s outraged at the people who are still oblivious to the fact that they see themselves as someone that’s worthy enough to wear a crown. He’s not judging them, but almost urging them to see him in his own experience of making that choice. He alludes to the bible and says that he will “crawl on his belly” as the serpent was made to do in Genesis. He would rather be looked down on as sinful and unworthy on earth because he knows that he will be made new when he dies and at least he can admit to the fact that he knows he is sinful. He refers to “the twilight” and yells out to these people “how dare you speak of grace”. I believe that the twilight is symbolizing our lives on earth and the sin we live in now. So all these people wearing broken crowns are praising God and thanking Him for His grace as all “Christians” are taught to do. But he’s furious because how can people who don’t even understand how much they don’t deserve God’s grace be honestly thankful for it. They almost have no right to stand their and thank God emptily because they’re also standing their with this crown they are wearing because they think they are worthy to wear one. He had to become utterly broken and humbled to realize how worthless he was before he was able to understand the weight of God’s grace and love. 

He ends the story with one line: “In this twilight, our choices seal our fate.” It’s a bit haunting. That in our “twilight”, in our sinful lives, the choices we make to believe or not believe, to act or not to act will have the impact on our eternity. And it’s seems almost unfair to have to make this choice to believe and behave in the right way when our judgement is so clouded while we are living with our selfish flesh. But that’s the reality. We are born unworthy of life and we either come to that realization or not. With this chilling statement, he hopes to reach everyone wearing those broken crowns in hope to pierce through the veil they are wearing and make them realize who they really are without God but also who they can be when made new with God.

~

This was my story. I grew up wearing that broken crown. There was always someone to compare to. At least I wasn’t as bad or as sinful as that person next to me. Everyone told me how much of a wonderful Christian I was becoming and I let it get to my head. I didn’t realize that pride was just as much as a sin as lying or cheating or stealing. But then because I was always told I was such a great Christian, there was pressure to keep being a great one. So when I messed up or was judging others or was partaking in sin over the week, I would come back on Sunday and act like I was still “perfect”. I was a hypocrite. I believed I deserved eternal life and God’s love. 

But it wasn’t until my eyes were opened that I realized how unworthy I actually was. God was not holding back. I was being a hypocrite. I was sinning but thinking that it wasn’t as bad as other people. I judged other people for having more public sin than my own. And understanding how undeserving I was in all my sin and the fact that I didn’t even realize it broke me. But I am so thankful that it did because my appreciation for the grace and love I have been given is like I have never experienced before. And now all I want for other people is to experience that as well. I’ve learned that you can know how much value God’s love and grace has but you can never really understand the weight of that until you experience understanding that you do not deserve it. What point is having grace if you don’t need it anyway? And the more separated you are from deserving that grace, the more you appreciate the love that never runs out. And I never again want to wear that crown. I refuse to act like I’m perfect when I’m not. I would rather be seen as sinful and struggling, but saved, than seen as someone who is righteous enough to wear a crown.

Below is the choreography if you would like to listen and watch.

lots of love,

Sunday

13 Reasons Why Challenge

So I recently came across Terrymcnude’s post about a 13resonswhychallenge and was inspired to take part and list #13reasonswhyI’mhappy. This is especially exciting because the producers also just announced a second season coming.

I read the book when I was younger and when the news of the series came out I was obviously very excited. There’s a lot of controversy around the show but I hope the message that is trying to be given through the show will stay the focus. It is such a racy topic and the way they are dealing with it is different (portraying the issues as closer to what actually is reality) and not everyone wants to hear or subject themselves to seeing what is actually going on in people’s lives. But I hope this challenge will help lighten the mood and bring more positivity to the issue!

So here we go 🙂

1.) My Education

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I am a second year student at The University of Alabama and I am studying what I love (Dance and film) and could not be more thankful for the amazing opportunity. It’s been able to equip me with all the knowledge of my craft and allow me to one day find a job that I love.

2.) My family

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I have such an amazing and supportive family and I could not be where I am today without them. I have two younger brothers, a younger sister, and loving parents. We’ve always stuck together and been there for each other and as I get older I start to realize how rare that actually is today.

3.) My friends

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My friends have been so amazing. Leaving them after graduating high school was hard but it’s amazing to know that whenever we come back into town we all pick up where we left off and can still have so much fun. I’ve made a lot of new friends in this past year as well and I am so thankful for them. It’s been wonderful to have people to share this new experience with away from home.

4.) My cat, Zeus

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Zeus is brand new to our family. He’s only been here about a week but it’s been absolutely amazing to have him around. He’s a small, six month old, black cat with a big personality. He likes to talk and unfortunately sleep on my neck but I can’t tell you how much he has helped me smile more already and I look forward to watching him grow up.

5.) Being healthy

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One of my worst fears in getting sick or injured to the point where I am unable to do the things I love to to have to be dependent on help. I think I take being healthy and in shape a little bit for granted. I would like to focus on this a lot more and appreciate the fact that I am able to do what I love because a lot of people out there physically can’t anymore.

6.) Pink hair

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I know this one is a bit smaller than all the rest haha but I think it’s important to note the small things that make you happy too. Every summer for the past four years I have dyed my hair pink and cut it off in the fall for school. Last year I kept it all year because there were no longer rules about it. I’ve let it grow out now but I have really enjoyed the opportunity to do something a little crazy that makes me happy.

7.) Choreography and Dance

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Wow without dance and choreography I don’t know how I’d handle all my emotions. It’s such an outlet for me to not only release emotions but also to create stories and share them with the world. I’m not crazy famous or the best dancer/choreographer out there but I think that anyone’s stories are important and have the ability to touch at least one person who can see it. I want to change the world, even just a little bit, with my work and it’s amazing to hear from people that my work has moved them. I hope continue this and become better each day.

8.) James Arthur

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So I’ve recently found this singer, James Arthur, that I am a little too obsessed with. His new album, Back From the Edge has changed my life. If you have not heard it I recommend it a hundred times. His words are so real and the way he performs is so inspiring. He went through an unimaginable hard time but came out of it fighting despite people telling him he couldn’t.

9.) Meeting Selena Gomez

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So I am also a huge Selena Gomez fan and have been since her first album dropped. I’ve followed her story and have become inspired by her as well. She lives trying her best to live like God wants her to and she works hard to encourage those who are hurting and in need. You can really tell how authentic she is and her music has also helped me through some stuff as well. She is amazingly so sweet.

10.) Set it Off’s concert

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Last October I had the chance to meet my favorite band, Set it Off, and attend their concert. This would be the third artist on my top 13 list but music is super important to me because I am such an artistic person and music is what I live on most of the time haha. Their song “Dream Catcher” pushed me to follow my dreams and prove people wrong. I was able to show that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and I want to share that message with everyone else as well. Meeting them was such an amazing experience. They are so kind with their fans and so down to earth.

11.) My grandmother

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Recently my granddad had passed away and it broke my family’s heart, especially my grandmother’s. Their marriage and relationship was that ‘Happily Ever After’ that everyone wants. I don’t think I know anyone else as loving and caring as these two people and the love they had for each other was heartwarming. I was always close to my grandmother but when this tragedy happened I became even closer to her. She has inspired me so much and made me strive to have character and faith like hers.

12.) Disney!

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This list could not be complete without Disney. My family and I have gone to Disney more than I could possibly count and we are the biggest children ever when it comes to vacationing there. It’s a place of escape and safety for a little while. It’s a piece of paradise that makes me happy. The movies, parks, resorts, characters, and magic are such a wonderful addition to this crazy world.

13.) God

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So here’s the last to the list. There are a lot more things that make me happy but I’m so glad I was able to find 13 reasons that were most important to me. I think it’s super important to take time and realize the things that are good in your life even when you feel like you’re sad or in a rough time. Focusing on the positive is definitely the way to go. God, Jesus, my savior, is the ultimate thing that gives me happiness, or really: joy. Without Him nothing else would fill the void of sadness people inherently have. There are no words to describe how loved I feel and how thankful I am to be loved.

So there is my list. I’m so glad to be able to take some time and remember what makes me happy. I encourage every one that follows me to take the challenge too whether you post it or not. Remember those around you who are having a hard time. I’ve been there and I know how difficult it can be to be positive but I promise you your life isn’t all bad and that there are so many people out there that love you and want to see you happy.

~ Sunday x

Summer 2017 Bucket List

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Hello 🙂 This summer is starting without much of a plan but I hope to make it as memorable as it can be. To help push myself towards having an amazing summer I’ve written out a summer bucket list that with hopefully spark some fun for these next few months before I go back to school in the fall.

If you’re like me and don’t have a clue of what to make of this summer, here’s a short list of some things that I hope to cross off this summer! I may not get to everything off my list but I hope this will give you a good start as it did me. Let me know about your plans for summer or any extra ideas for me to add to my list. I would love to hear from you 🙂

1.) Read at least two good books

2.) Camp out under the stars with friends

3.) Make two short films to submit in a film festival this fall

4.) Cook some new recipes

5.) Write a sentence about each day every night

6.) Stargaze

7.) Go to a music festival

8.) Picnic on the lake

9.) Road trip somewhere I’ve never been

10.) Make a new friend

11.) Get a job

12.) Clean out my stuff to donate and sell

13.) Be crafty and try some DIYs

14.) Drive in movie

15.) Get a new piercing

16.) Pull an all nighter

17.) Write a short story

18.) See a musical

19.) Try vlogging for a week

20.) Watch the sun rise/set

21.) Apply for some scholarships

22.) Take more photos and videos

23.) Learn something new