River of Time part four

Part one

Part two

Part three

More to come


I awoke feeling completely disoriented. For a few scary seconds, the disgustingly outdated wallpaper of the apartment was something completely alien. Then I remembered the time jump and my racing heart stopped pounding in my ears. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and let my gaze trail up to the mirror on the vanity. I looked disheveled and utterly out of place. It was almost eerie to me that every detail in the glass was completely crisp and perfect. After a second of reflection, I got out of bed and opened my closet door. I didn’t want to go see Luca again in the scandalous leggings. Fortunately, I had a few maxi-skirts along for the summer, so I slipped on my favorite lavender skirt with a white v-neck tee. I’d grown a little since I’d last worn these clothes, and the skirt was almost too small, but I ignored it. I was only going to be here for a week; it was Luca’s clothes I needed to worry about. I could easily throw him in another of Dad’s old t-shirts, but pants? Yeah, my skinny jeans would not do him a whole lot of good.
I walked over to the wall mirror and stared at myself for a long time. It felt so different to have my hair down after a couple of years of wearing it in a medieval hairnet. At the same time, this was how I normally wore it here. After another minute of indecision, I wrapped it in a donut bun on the back of my head and went to check on Luca.
He was still fast asleep when I tiptoed into the room. He looked so dang cute when he was sleeping. I considered rummaging around for a sketchbook to draw him, but I figured that’d wake him up. I sat down in the recliner and tucked my feet up under me, just enjoying watching his strong shoulders rise and fall as he slept.
“It appears that a beautiful angel watched over me while I slept.” Luca mumbled, his beautiful green eyes opening a second later.
“Oh,” I gasped, feeling guilty, “I didn’t mean to wake you. I was just considering how perfect a sketch that would have been.”
“This is so strange.” Luca said, a bit of apprehension clouding his face. “I can’t wrap my mind around it. I keep thinking I’ll wake up in my bed in the castello.”
“That’s just how Gabi and I felt when we first arrived.” I said, feeling partly defensive and partly guilty for making him experience the utter confusion that I knew firsthand. “Well,” I said after a short pause, “Should I start some breakfast?”
“Breakfast?” Luca asked.
“Breaking our fast.” I explained, once again feeling a wave of guilt for using a word he didn’t know.
“Ah, yes please.” Luca returned, standing. “I shall help you.” I gave him a knife and a loaf of bread and set him to cutting. I figured I shouldn’t break out cereal yet, but we could maybe try toast. Back home in Boulder, I would have blared music while I fixed my breakfast in an attempt to wake Gabi up. I smiled as I edged around Luca toward my phone.
“Luca, would you like some music to accompany us as we work?” I asked, grinning mischievously.
“Do you plan to bring in a band to break our fast?” He asked, raising a quizzical eyebrow.
“Something like that.” I mumbled. I searched my music library, trying to find something that Luca might appreciate. All the while, I could feel his eyes curiously watching my unfamiliar device. Eventually, I decided on Phillip Phillips’ Home. It seemed appropriate.
I pressed play and Luca’s eyes widened. The guitar chords emanated around the room for a minute before the vocals started in.
“Is there a person in here?” Luca asked, a little loudly.
“It’s coming from here.” I held up the phone. He took it carefully and stared, awestruck, at the screen. “We call it recording.” I said gently, trying not to laugh at his childlike wonder. “The man in the song sang and played his instrument and captured the sound so that we could play it over and over again.” It took me off guard for a second, realizing the complexity of technology for the first time, really. It had always just been a part of my life. I didn’t even bat an eye at the fact that I could poke a piece of glass and make it play music.
“How can you capture sound?” Luca asked, bewildered.
“To be honest, I don’t really know. I’ve always had electronic music, so it doesn’t seem strange to me.” I tried to explain everything as simply as possible without sounding condescending, but it was difficult. I was in my element; Luca was not.
We ate a simple breakfast, Luca in awe of the toaster and the refrigerator, the plastic plates and the paper napkins. Afterwards, I turned on the news, another habit from before that I fell back on.
“…last seen with Dr. Manero yesterday afternoon.” The announcer was saying, “Police have combed the area, but Dr. Betarrini and her daughters, Gabriella and Evangelia, seem to have disappeared into thin air.” Luca’s head snapped toward me from behind the TV, where he’d been examining the tangle of cords.
“Lia? Why is this box talking about your family?” His eyes were wide with concern. I sushed him quickly, staring intently at the screen.
“Dr. Manero intends to search the site for any criminal action, and he suspects that the Betarrinis have indeed compromised this priceless treasure.” The news anchor droned, sounding rather bored.
“That little weasel!” I yelled, knowing full well that this was the most logical outcome of our disappearance. It still stung though, this was Mom’s big breakthrough and Manero was already getting his filthy hands into it.
“What is this about?” Luca asked, slightly impatiently.
“Manero is always blocking Mom. I know it doesn’t matter anymore, but I still wish I could somehow give her credit for it.” I said, frustrated as all get out.
“What if this Manero person comes looking for you here?” Luca asked, focused on the more practical issue.
“Yeah, you’re right.” I said, “We need to get out of here.”

Be Still My Soul

Be still my soul, your God is on your side.

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.

Leave to your God to order and provide;

in every change, he faithful will remain.

Be still my soul.

Your best, your heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

I’ve mentioned before that I love language, and a defining factor in that love of words is the amazing blessing of hymns.  I don’t know how familiar you are with hymns, but I am always finding the most beautiful language saturating this type of music.  I recently sang this hymn in church and it hasn’t quite left my mind since then.  How often do we really stop to be still?  I don’t mean stop moving or take a breather from life; I mean the sort of stillness that comes from having God settled on your heart.  The kind of stillness when you stop shouting commands and complaints at God and simply sit at His feet.  My religion teacher once told me that be still really means to shut up.  God wants us to stop all of the motion and distraction in our souls and simply listen to Him.

Whatever happens, God has you covered.  He is leading you where He wants to place you, and your job is simply to be still.

Be still my soul; your God will undertake

to guide the future as he has the past.

Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake.

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still my soul.

The wind and waves still know his voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

I especially love the last line of that verse.  God calmed the storm at sea with only a few words.  Can you guess what they were?  That’s right: “Be still.” (Mark 4:39)  Storms are not infallible.  God can bring peace and an end to suffering with something so deceivingly simple as His words.  And He hasn’t left us to fend for ourselves either; the wind and waves still know His voice.  There is nothing that can keep Him from you.  What a comfort that is, to know that God is not only the creator and commander of all creation, but he is also desiring to use that immense power to form an intimate bond of peace with you and with me.  Call me a Jesus freak, but I can’t help but be overawed by the power of my God.

Be still my soul, though dearest friends depart

and all is darkened in the veil of tears.

Then you will better know his love, his heart,

who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.

Be still my soul.

Your Jesus can repay from His own fullness all he takes away.

This verse makes me tear up every time I read it.  I have had dearest friends depart, and I know firsthand how dark the veil of tears can be.  And yet, I have a God who knows how to heal.  He has also promised that, one day, we shall be whole and hale again when we live with Him in eternity.  He will not neglect the gaping hole that death tears in the heart, but rather he will lovingly repair it so that it is even more complete than the original.  God tells us that our miseries are not forever.  He has a plan to right this world and to reconcile us to Him and to give us blessings beyond that which we can even imagine.

Be still my soul.  The hour is hastening on

when we shall be forever with the Lord.

When disappointment, fear, and grief are gone,

sorrow forgot, Love’s purest joys restored.

Be still my soul.

When change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

We have hope.  And that hope is a certainty that our God will make good on His promises.  He will bring us out of all suffering, all pain, all troubles at all.  We will be freely, joyfully, perfectly God’s.

Another thing that struck me in that verse was the word “change.”  I’m at the turning point where a whole lot of things are going to change in my life in just a few months.  Right now, I can’t decide if that is super exciting or crazy terrifying.  I am so excited to begin to really be an adult, but I have so much trepidation about the future.  The reassuring thing is that God has promised that He will lead me through these changes.  Without His guidance, I would have no way to navigate the changes that are coming in my life, but I don’t need to worry.

Be still my soul

I pray that my soul may find stillness in Christ, and that yours might too.

Resolving the Silence

That title might be a bit dramatic for the subject matter, but I have no regrets.

As you may have noticed (or not, don’t worry about it if you haven’t) I haven’t posted a single Daily Beautiful post in 2015.  At all.  In fact, I don’t even have a format currently that allows me to post conveniently for 2015. So now the dilemma becomes what to do with it.

I considered being done with it because I did, after all, complete the full year.  However, I’m not so sure I want to do that.  I think I would genuinely miss writing out a little ray of sunshine every day, especially knowing that you guys get to see those rays of sunshine.

I also considered just making another page with more tabs.  That might still be my top pick due to my lack of technological finesse.  I just don’t like the clutter it gives the site when you have to scroll down to reach the December page.

My third option is to make individual posts and simply rearrange them in a way that keeps them organized, but that will take a while to get going, so we’ll see what happens there.

Regardless of what comes of the Daily Beautiful, I wanted to let you know that I expect that it will indeed continue, though it may be some time before it gets started again.  I will let you know how it is going to work as soon as I figure it out myself.

Thanks so much for your support over the last year; you have made me smile on countless occasions simply by your willingness to stick with me.  Thanks again and have a blessed 2015!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

A beautiful thought to begin 2015.

the fabric of grace

This is something that’s been on my heart lately that I feel is especially prevalent here at the start of a new year.

We’ve all been told that life is a beautiful gift, and I’ve said that so many times in previous posts – but life doesn’t always seem that way.

It’s all too often terribly tragic, heartbreaking, and stressful.

It’s full of moments that make us bawl because we’re sad, and tear-up (or bawl once again if you’re like me) because we’re so happy. It’s full of hugs and love that bring us together and trials and conflict that tear us apart.

But life is beautiful.
And if for no other reason, simply because of the One who created it.

You can always take heart in that truth when the world’s tearing you to shreds, when you’ve just about had enough, when you’re exhausted and ready to give up.

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