on rightness and trust + some photos around town

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{written last night}

Right now I’m sitting in my little four-person bedroom with bright pink walls, and pink bedspreads, and a couple more pink touches, so basically it’s an unreal amount of pink, with about fifty thousand fresh books tucked on the ground below me, under my bed, wearing a skirt and maybe some slight remnants of bright lipstick, and I’m in a reflecting mood. And Pandora’s killing it, so that’s pretty great too.

This evening, Caroline and I put on nice clothes for once and took a stroll around Edgartown in search of great photo spots, and really every time I step outside I have to pinch myself, but tonight was especially good. I’m living on a gorgeous island, with some amazing people, and that only scratches the surface. Blessings, goodness they’re everywhere! Lately we’ve all been talking a lot about random chains of events – things that seem so inconsequential at first but turn out to be something spectacular. This experience wasn’t anywhere close to my radar a year ago {heck, I didn’t even know that Martha’s Vineyard was a thing thanks to my limited world knowledge from growing up in Idaho}, and now I’m having the most incredible summer adventure I could have imagined with people that I hadn’t even met a year ago either. It’s quite something to see the pieces fit together. And I absolutely love being overwhelmed with a sense of rightness in the world.

And yet, I still find room to complain, which is ridiculous amidst all the blessings. I’ve added “COMPLAIN LESS” to my “Let’s Try to Be a Better Person” list because it’s so easy to let the negative pieces overshadow the breathtaking ones. In a way, I think all the writing I do here is part of that effort to counterbalance the negative. Here in the blog-world I just talk about all the wonderful bits of life – I just wholeheartedly gush about everything mostly out of awe and amazement and I have to let it out somewhere. But every life has rough patches, and sometimes those rough patches are more than patches, and I for 100% sure have plenty of all that. The complaining doesn’t quite make it here, because who wants to read {or write} negativity?! There’s enough negativity in the world as it is, I’m pretty sure. And for me, writing is a pretty decent wake-up call to help me realize the beauty when things get foggy on occasion.

Sometimes life is weird. And crazy confusing. Actually, lately it’s been quite confusing, although I think in the last week or so I’ve stumbled on some peace and clarity that I’ve been in search of for a while, and for that I’m grateful. It’s hard when you want something so bad and you have to learn that it’s just not meant to be, but I’ve been learning a lesson in humility and gratitude and trust in timing for the past year or so. Sometimes I’m still very stubborn, but I hope I’m getting better at giving my complete trust to my Father in Heaven in all things. All things. Because I know for a fact that He has everything under control, and He has a greater plan that is more spectacular than anything I could possibly imagine myself. And I’m finding that complete trust leads to complete peace.

Today I’m grateful for new friends, and old friends, a loving Heavenly Father, and a testimony that keeps me grounded, and this beautiful world that we all get to live in, and for all the tiny, magical details of this crazy life. I’m grateful for dreams of the future, and talks of New York City, and for ice cream every single day. I’m grateful for books, and cozy stores, and lipstick, and Taylor Swift, and sleep, and the ocean, and yogurt. And fruit and frozen lemonade and ice water. And air conditioning. Also, an organized freezer is pretty nice, along with a freshly mopped ice cream parlor floor.

I’ll just be a shameless broken record forever, but life is so beautiful.

And on the less-deep-side of the world, here are some more photos from our excursion around town!

Edgartown park

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And we went on a boat last week, so that was fun! I could do the sailboat life, I think.

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It’s a fun world we live in. Peace out until the next time I find myself in the library again.

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Other places to find me (a.k.a. let’s be friends!):

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler

brokenness in late-night moments

Tonight I’m in the mood for writing words. It’s 11:37 at night, and I have an essay that needs written, but right now my need to write real words is greater than my need to write the cold, lifeless bits of that essay.

Emptiness. Emptiness denotes an absence, and sometimes a lack of fulfillment. Or sometimes the state that comes before the fulfillment. At 11:37 p.m., right now, I’m currently trudging my feet, and my heart, and my soul through a field of emptiness. Through a field full of unfulfilled dreams, and goals, and late-night broken heart-cries.

Efforts. Sometimes I feel like I try so, so hard. So hard. And with all that trying, all that heartache…nothing. I look around me, and think, ‘It shouldn’t be this difficult. There is no way.

And I feel helpless. There is something so heart-wrenching, and leveling, and painful about being faced time and time again with failure. It’s a feeling that stretches right down to the bottom of your soul, something that has dug its way down there over time, until now it is securely lodged and it feels as if nothing in the world could root it out. The future is stretching on and on in front of me, and no matter how hard I desperately search, and move forward, I’m seeing nothing but that failure. It’s a feeling of inadequacy. It’s a feeling of lacking. And it feels so permanent, as if that is all I have ever known, and ever will know – this crawling and enduring sense of failure.

I hate feeling helpless. I despise that feeling above most others. I enjoy being capable, and competent. But there’s this one particular area of my soul where helplessness abounds. I’m usually good at ignoring it, at moving forward in life, with an ever-cheerful spirit and hope for the future. But then every so often, in the quiet moments where it’s just me, and myself, looking at each other in a mirror, I stumble onto that vast field of achy feelings, that realm of helplessness. And then I am broken. The wall of protection I try to build up to keep myself away from that realm turns to rubble around me, and I am left staring at that shadowy field, knowing what is to come. Sometimes I can propel myself past that landmine, but when these moments happen late at night, my propelling abilities weaken and that’s when the tears come out.

Broken. A state of cracks, and holes. That’s what I become in those late-night moments. In those moments, the helplessness, and the circling thoughts, and the emotions pour through the holes in my self-confidence. I pray so, so hard, and I feel the comfort of my Savior as if He were kneeling right next to me, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that He knows me personally, but I still struggle. If it were a matter of belief, or faith, or anything of a more spiritual feel, I would know what to do. I’ve gotten over those types of inadequacies. Not that I’m perfect in those areas at all, but the solutions to those struggles seem more evident in my eyes.

I keep reaching, though. I. know. it. must. get. better. It must, it must, it must. There has to be a turn-around point, a point where all of this work, and all of this endless and seemingly fruitless effort will be worth it. There has to be. I’m working on trust. Trust is that little thread that I cling to in the late-night moments. Trust in my Savior, and the knowledge that He is right there beside me, so it’s going to be okay. I know that He has the infinite power to heal, and to help, and so out of all the things in the world that I can turn to, He is by far the best choice out there.

It’s going to be okay. You are okay. I whisper this to myself in those late-night moments. I will myself to believe it. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Actually, to level with you here, as of late, it hasn’t been quite as foolproof as it used to be. But I’m trying. And trusting. And moving forward. Those late-night moments happen. Maybe, hopefully, there will be a time when that particular field of shadows is dispelled and I will stumble upon it no more. As of right now, 11:37 p.m., that field is still alive and well,

But I have faith that it will get better. It has to get better. I know it will get better.

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After-note: I know that a lot of people that know me in real life read this blog, so just FYI, I am okay. Writing helps get all of my emotions out, and I am doing fine! :)

other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

a hard lesson learned // accepting

Accepting life, and all that it throws at me, and all the different turns it takes me around is hard. I think that this is something that everyone naturally struggles with, since no one really enjoys falling, but I also feel like it’s one thing that is particularly hard for me. I’ve been fairly successful in school, and in many other endeavors in my life, but I almost wish that this wasn’t the case, so I would be better at accepting the times of struggle, and better at opening my heart to receive guidance.

This past fall, I had to learn the lesson to truly trust in my Heavenly Father, and in what He sees for my life, since He has everything figured out so much better than I could ever imagine.

This past fall, I had something in mind that I wanted to badly. It seemed like the perfect direction for me to go in, and I told myself over and over that it was right, and that everything was going to play out perfectly, and that it all made sense.

I had prayed about it, and over-thought every aspect of it about a million times. But what I was missing was keeping my heart open and accepting of whatever God’s path for me was. Through those months of prayer, searching for the right path, searching so hard for a confirmation that the direction I was wanting to take was the right one, my heart wasn’t truly open. When I used the logical part of my brain, the path I was wanting to take made sense in every way. In reality, though, I was tricking myself and not admitting that I wasn’t as accepting of God’s will as I continued to tell myself I was.

As I prayed all those prayers, I told myself that I would be fine the answer I received. I told myself over and over, trying to convince myself, I think, that my heart was open, and the right answer would come, and be crystal-clear. The thing is, I think I received my answer from God early on, at the very beginning of the whole soul-searching process, but since it wasn’t the one I thought I wanted, I made myself ignore it and continue searching for what must be the real right answer.

Eventually I became so confident that it would all work out, that my dreams would be realized, that my brain had it all figured out right. But then it didn’t. It didn’t work out. The opportunity I wanted to badly to take hold of, that I had worked so hard to qualify for crashed down in front of my face.

But when I failed, when that door I so badly wanted to step through closed in front of me, I actually felt deeply at peace. Deep down, the entire time I had been searching for God’s approval for the path I wanted to turn down, approval that my brain was telling me to do the right thing, I knew that He had actually already told me at the beginning that it wasn’t right. I had just continued to choose to ignore that, and move forward, and convince myself that I hadn’t received my answer yet. It was a hard thing to finally come to terms with myself and admit that it took the physical, definitive answer to convince myself that my proposed direction was wrong for me. Where had all of my trust, and my faith gone, if I was at the point where I was ignoring the truth that had been placed right at my feet? All of this caused me to step back and re-evaluate my level of reliance on my Father in Heaven, and my capacity to accept true promptings and move forward.

That day that I received my ‘no,’ I was humbled. I learned the hard, but beautiful lesson that there is something spectacular and grand going on somewhere beyond this world. Through that peace and comfort I felt that day, I received a witness that although disappointment and a dashing of hopes is hard, the magnificent way that everything will work out in the end will be so much better than any future I could possibly imagine.

This experience taught me to put my whole trust in my Heavenly Father’s plan. I learned that if I want to save myself a lot of heartache in the deciding-and-seeking-for-confirmation process, the very best thing to do is to keep my heart completely open for answers, the entire time, and to give myself over to His will from the very beginning. I’ve learned that life works so much better, and peace comes so much more consistently when I remember to trust, and to accept, even (or especially) when my original thoughts don’t match up with the larger picture. 

I learned that trust – complete and infinite and whole – always, always works.

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