The Reality of Love

True, sacrificial LOVE—it’s almost a redundant phrase in my opinion. By nature, true love is sacrificial, and sacrificial love is inevitably true. This is the kind of love that hopes all things, endures all things…it’s patient, and kind. By default, these attributes create a new kind of love; selfless love—the reciprocal of which is compassion.

In all humility, I need to admit that I’m not half so loving as I should be. The Love that Christ gives us is unconditional…and while I strive to achieve that, my humanity constantly fights it. Inevitably, I love some more than others and even then I don’t love as wholly as I should. However, the event of revelation which shows me that my love is real is found in the moments when I find myself under the darkness of the night sky...pointing out the stars to those in need of the hope they offer. When I can feel the ache in my inner being—the ache to actually do something with that feeling—I know I must act upon that love. Compassion is selfless, selflessness is sacrificial, sacrifice is true love...true love is sacrifice.

Love is the feeling of wishing you could take someone’s pain for them…if it wasn’t so, why would the most poignant and only perfect example of love be found in Perfection taking the sins and shame of our wretchedness onto Himself? In Christ…we will ALWAYS have love! When everything else dies away…when people betray…when hearts are broken…Love is still infinite—in Spirit and in truth. God doesn’t mislead, and through His example, we have HOPE of something bigger and brighter than we could possibly imagine.

We have the most constant form of Love within our grasp at every turn. There are people in the world—forests of people—who are linked to one another in love. Jesus didn’t just come to earth to show us Love. He came to show us how to love. We can’t always love purely, or beautifully, but for us to know that we would die…or live…for the minutest of increases in another’s life; therein lies the divine gift we’ve so ungraciously and undeservingly received.

All I want from life is the opportunity to share that love with as many people as I can possibly touch. I want to reach through the thick brush of chaos, and touch the cold fingertips of those people longing to be cherished. I want to break down the barriers that stand staunch between myself, and those who are longing to be rescued —rescued by anyone who will take the time to search for them and show them the sky’s infinity. I want to soften the fists of the ones who have been in this cold resistance for too long, take their hands…and dance.

Love. Is. Joy.


Here Comes The Epic Cheese!

People have so much to offer the world. We're all unique, and practically brimming with originality. Have you ever wondered what would happen if people embraced their quirks, eccentricities, and interests? In a world where there were no preconceived notions of how people should go about living their lives, stereotypes wouldn't encase the power to be our own, perfectly original selves. Wouldn't that be completely blissful?

I believe we have the ability to create that world.

We may not be able to revolutionize the planet and send all ideals of cultural segregation running for the hills...but I'm charmed by the idea of creating a universe of our own, where these things are simply...observed. Heard of, speculated, and discussed, but with a new vision; one of liberation and beautification!

I don't know which island we'll be running off to, or which direction we'll find ourselves heading, but I know The Epic Cheese is going to take us there!

The beginning of OUR epic adventure is playing at the edges of the earth's horizon...a new dawn of delicious culture. It's brimming mysteriously from the depths beyond our line of sight...but (for dramatic effect), it precedes its unveiling with three solemn words...

"Trees" and "Epic Cheese"

Go to our YouTube channel, and subscribe, so you'll hear news of more videos, coming in the vastly approaching future!

The single, "Trees and Epic Cheese" is now available on iTunes! Go and get yours now, and the sound of its sweet tune seeping through your earbuds might just give you that "incessant flying sensation". Before long, you'll find yourself singing, thinking, and dreaming "Cheese, you were made for me!"

Keep your eyes on the horizon, my friends..The sun's never looked quite like this!


Destiny & Fate

What if we took theories and made them real?
What if reserve went away and we learned how to feel?
What if the future wasn’t supposed to depend
On what way or which our decisions bend?

What if we rode unabashed on the whim
Of each extravagant plan we began?
What if we tried to open our eyes
While Beauty was yearning to show us the skies?

The sky proves the ground…
The rain proves the sea…
The burn proves the flame…
The pain proves the plea…

I long to let go—I ache to ascend
Knowing my life was created to end
I will to surrender before it’s too late
Or forever be caged between destiny and fate

What if we tried once before… but failed?
What if our passion’s greatest enemy prevailed?
What if trust only led us before
To a broken heart… a bolted door?

What if our charge built foreboding tremor?
What if it’s divine, this unshakeable fervor?
What if our courage endured this disgrace?
What if, in the end, there was nothing to face?

Intention reveals fear…
Fear reveals weakness…
Weakness reveals humanity…
Humanity reveals calling...

I long to let go—I ache to ascend
Knowing my soul was made with no end
I will surrender, or fear will create
A reason to be caged between destiny and fate

What if all distractions were gone?
What if He and I simply walked on?
What if I buried my trust in His kingdom?
What if these fears pulled me further from Home?

What if what was once dim became bright?
What if all that was wrong was made right?
What if my visions of purpose became strong?
What if my instincts were right all along?

I long to let go—I ache to ascend
Assuring my soul a life with no end
Surrendering it all, my fears, relate
Freed of this cage between destiny and fate

Abigail Kraft 2010


What’s happening to the Church?

Am I the only one who asks this question on a daily basis? I’m sure not, because let’s face it…nothing’s changed. The same problems that exist now existed 300 years ago, and the same problems that were obvious 5 years ago will still be obvious in 50 years. So, what’s happening to the Church?

The “same as it ever was” mentality is extremely discouraging to me. If things haven’t changed for the better yet, what would make them change in my lifetime? Nothing. Because if you consider what, or rather who, makes up the church of Christ it makes perfect sense that it’s a blasted mess. The church is people. As is the case in most of life, the greatest asset to our translation is also the greatest victimizer to us—in this case, the previous description leads to the utter humanity of the situation. As long as imperfect humans sum up the church, it not only will not, but cannot be, perfect—or even acceptable, if you consider its root calling.

What does this tell us? Well, first and foremost it says how incredibly blessed we are to have the privilege of making up the body of Christ! He could have created a dictatorial state of living for us—after all, He has the right, since He created us. But instead, He let us be the earthly representation of His ears, arms, feet, fingers, and eyelashes. Under that humbling gift, what gives us the right to be self-righteous about our positions?

True, we are separately called to our own purposes—but those partial purposes can’t be fulfilled without the unity of the whole. When did we earn the right to start pointing fingers and pinning labels? What is the sight of the eye without the tear of compassion? What is the hearing of the ear without the heart of absorption? What are the arms without the conscious desire to reach out and touch?

We’re in a state. We always have been, and always will be. Under this fire-laden sun, there will never be a macroscopic unity. But this is no reason to lose hope.

If everyone could see the unity of our calling, there would be no need for faith. If all intentions could be grasped by any mind, there would be no need for sacrifice. If the world could see what we feel there would be no differentiation between love, and Perfect Love. The Body pulls together by nothing other than the moldable and magnetic substance that is the ever-driving, ever-inspiring Spirit of Jesus Christ. The day I implement that concept into my vision is the day that the church becomes real and living for me.

God knows exactly who I am in Him, and in my riddled mind I can’t even completely guess my insignificance without Him—but as often as I keep my heart open, and as often as I am being truly used, there could be no greater joy or honor.


In Everything...

Surprised to see me?

I’m not going to lie…I never expected to come back to blogging. I used to really enjoy blogging, but I found that eventually it became more of a duty and less of something that I really desired doing. Violin became a huge part of my life, and I found myself overwhelmed with the idea of trying to build a blogging community whilst trying to build a life around my passion—the violin.

Well, as you’ve seen, I’ve taken several months away from blogging, and in that time I’ve discovered some wonderful things about life—things that make it twice as beautiful, and liberating in the most indescribable ways. First—and encompassing the rest—life is best when I follow God’s lead in everything. This seems like it should be a no-brainer, and it may be in theory, but the application in my life has been unclear. See, I felt that since God gave me a passion for the violin, He wanted me to make that my life’s pursuit. I’ve discovered…that’s far from accurate.

While I love the violin with a very deep and inherent love, I’m finding that there’s so much more joy in it (in my case) when I let it be a sideline pursuit. It took a lot of thinking, prayer, and deliberate action to make this decision—it’s hard to decide to let something fall to a lesser position on the totem pole of life goals when the passion runs so deeply through my veins. However, when I handed it to God, and let Him speak, He read to me, from my mind, the very thoughts I forgot existed. My life will be spent in pursuit of my two lifelong, most poignant longings: A deeper understanding of and relationship with my Father and Creator, Jesus Christ, and Lord-willing, someday a family of my own that I can cherish with my whole heart for the rest of my life.

While music defines me, possibly in more ways than I can define myself, its importance in my life lies simply in the fact that it enriches my soul so greatly—whether it's through striking the strings of the violin, closing my eyes in the emotional climax of a beautiful orchestral swell, aching in the vulnerable restraint of a great alternative song, or getting lost in the harsh and grating emotion of an album epic…music is important in my life for the further satisfaction of the breach in my heart that has been filled now and forever with an ardency for my God!

And in that discovery, I’ve realized that life holds so much more than just a purpose; it holds the ultimate Purpose—that is the furthering of the Kingdom of God—and all the things that personalize it for me. I’ve found that I love so many more things than I would let myself love before. When I let Christ be my one vision, why should I limit myself on methods of praise? Why should I try and tell myself that I was called to do one thing, when I want to do so many? God gave me my desires! I’m going to use them all for His sake, and to hopefully leave the door open for His working in my life.

One of my loves is writing. Even though I don’t care to have a super successful blog anymore (not to say I don't LOVE having readers--you all make me so happy, and I promise to be better to you this time around, Loves!) I do care about expressing myself through words, so I’m going to purpose to allow myself to do it for the purpose of…writing.

Amidst old loves, I’ve found multiple new ones in these past few months. Cooking, taking walks, watching the sunrise & sunset, waking up early, cuddling with my siblings and ruffling their hair when I’m feeling especially overflowing with affection, and so many more things that I feel like I’ve been missing out on…simply because I’ve let my mind become too self-dependant. Time to be spontaneous…time to listen to God’s little promptings—even when it seems completely bizarre. I’ve seen Him work left and right through things that I never would have suspected to see Him in…but He’s in everything. He’s everywhere in space, time, and happenstance. Now, I’m ready to simply dwell…and see what happens.


Rooftop Evenings

Climbing from the chipping away, white-washed fence to the rooftop corner, a fourteen year old Jared would make his way to the sunbathed shingles for a moment of dare-devilish thrill. This evening, five years later, I asked my brother to revisit these moments from his childhood a moment before dusk. The spirit of adventure still hung in the air, just a melancholy scent of childhood, and a thirst for future adventures of a different sort altogether.


Don't You Agree?

God is magnificent in so many different ways, isn't He? Whenever I start to look at my life, I realize just how incredibly blessed I really am. I have a family that is like the ultimate combination of warmth, comfort, and passion. Most of the times that I don't blog, its because I can't think about anything to say that isn't a long string of mushy goo. But you know what? Tonight, I'm just gonna let it roll.

In my lifetime, I've been given the blessing of passionate parents that will encourage me in any endeavor--and likewise, my siblings, giving our family a web of strong arms and affection. When one of us cries, the rest join in. When one of us is in a fit of laughter, the rest of the family completely obliviously joins in....just for the fun of it!

My family has loved deeply, and lived heartily. I think one of the greatest things that my parents have instilled in us, their children, from day one is the simple belief that dreams and passions are things given to us for the specific goal of joy in worshiping our Heavenly Father! No matter what our goals, dreams, and passions are, they can be used to glorify Christ with the greatest emotion and meaning. The same way He handcrafted our hearts and minds, He molded and shaped our desires and joys.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Because of the Lord, we can rejoice in our joys, dreams, and passions! We have something extra to be motivated by...and I think that's worth working for.

Don't you agree?


Photography With Focus

So, I promised you all a little something interesting regarding my photos. Well, I'm all set to deliver! Introducing...

Remember in January when I froze myself for the sake of a picture? Well, as you might imagine just from browsing through my posts--I love photography! Furthermore, I will go through a lot to get a good shot! Photography With Focus is going to be a weekly post that features pictures that took special creativity or planning, or (if presented by coincidence) are rare occurrences.

For example...

How often do we have the opportunity to get within a few feet of a peacock with its feathers fanned out in all their glory?

Life is full of opportunities for magnificent photos! My goal for Photography With Focus is to seize those opportunities, and hopefully to inspire all of my fellow photographers-in-the-making to get out there and actively search for not just the ordinary, but the extraordinary!

Come back every Thursday for the latest Photography With Focus post!

Spread the photo love!


Boredom 101 - Or Not...

The heat has made me go insane the last few days! Something about the sun beating down makes me feel completely claustrophobic--like it's staring me in the face, but I can't look back. I must admit...summer is not my thing. I've been attempting to do my school this week, but I constantly have the urge to move so I won't feel so claustrophobic under the sun. Of course, I can't constantly be going places or indulging in things. So, I've got a few standard distractions that I've found myself returning to:

  • My Violin
    Of course! I've been practicing more, and it feels really good. I would compare the feeling after the perfect amount of practice to the feeling you get after swimming for a couple of hours--completely satisfied, but oddly in need of protein and hydration. Ha! Whoodathunk?

  • Playing Cards
    Mainly with my little bros, but sometimes with Momma and Cecily too. Jonas has an odd talent for all luck-based games. I know...talent has nothing to do with it--but what else do you call it!?

  • Typing

    Yes, I know this is an odd one. I have to admit, typing is a big hobby of mine. I used the program that I learned on (Typing Tutor) for years after I had finished the lessons. It's just too much fun! This weekend, I found a website where you can find how many words you type per minute. My average is...

    94 words

    Typing Speed Test

    ...but I also tried a test on Cecily's typing program and got up to 102. Oh, do I sound like I'm bragging??? ;)

  • Playing Angry Birds

    Ok, so I should be getting self conscious now, because I sound like such a lazy-head! But anyway...Angry Birds is an app on my iPhone, and--Oh my word--It's about the most addicting thing on planet earth. So fun! If you have an iPhone or iTouch, make sure to check it out. You'll never be able to stop playing and you'll wish you hadn't taken my advice! Well, that didn't come out right...

  • Craving Ice Cream

    I've yet to have it this summer....but I'm dying in anticipation! My taste buds are at least. Not so much the part of me that's begging for some long forgotten yoga and no more sugar. Poor thing. I'm so ignorant.

  • Pacing

So, here's your chance to look way awesomer than me! What do you do when you're bored?

P.S. Sorry for the lack of personal pics. I don't have access to my computer right now, so I'm having to make do with stock photos. I have a fun idea related to my photos that I promise I'll share with you soon though!


What's Changed?

I tried to keep this brief, but I'm afraid I did not succeed. Still, I hope you will take the time to read through it and share your thoughts with me, because these things have been on my mind a lot lately.

Do you ever stop to think what the world will be like a hundred years from now? I don't think about it very much, but I do dwell quite often on the advancements and digressions we've made over the past hundred years. I'll often trail off during a conversation because I picture ornate characters from the past listening to our present conversations. What would people from the turn of the century think if they saw a multitude of people talking to each other on small mobile devices--or writing to each other with instant delivery on those same gadgets? What would they think even if they just overheard a conversation? In every day life, most of our conversation revolves around ideals of the modern day world. I wonder if it would almost be like a language barrier for someone who lived a hundred years ago. Granted, the moment they began to grasp the vast progress we've made in technology, they would be overwhelmed and excited!

Our world is not fizzling out. We still have as much wit, intellect, motivation, and I'd even dare to say wisdom as we've ever had. True, culture has changed. But what does that really have to do with the basics of humanity? Generational differences are based purely off of elements of life that are lost and gained in translation. The greatest digression I see in our world is larger scale than humanity. Because humanity is made up of individuals. Our greatest downfall is forming in the same way water droplets turn into a stream; one man after another, turning into a mass of diseased water. Place a man on the strings where so many have been before, and he'll end up at the same dead end--suddenly at the mercy of the body of crippled examples that he's become one with.

Seeing the movie Wall-e strangely opened my eyes to the digression of human independence. When professional action was taken to save humanity without its earth, men, women, and children became slaves to convenience. In the process of surviving, they ceased to live.

My dad brought something to my attention that really resonated with me. The first action that was ever taken in the earth's existence was work. God created. I would consider this the first real example for mankind. Take work away from the lives of people, and you essentially get drones--all of our latest technology can be uploaded and downloaded from our minds. Take the experience of struggle and success out of the programming of minds, and you have a world consisting of three principle processes: Observe, Adapt, Repeat

It's a sad reality. Our world...our universe has made so many advances. We've taken God's inherent example to create, and used it to create worlds inside of worlds. We've used it to examine and translate the beautiful life that God put on this earth. And all of it....every single beautiful, masterful, product of mankind points back to one Source--the Creator of all.

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
Isaiah 45:18

The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
Psalm 104:31

Every single man is a creation, and we are all designed in the image of the Lord. We were all created to inhabit the earth and take His example of work into our own implementation. "The glory of the Lord shall endure forever!"

So, in a sense, I think our greatest downfall has been that we have taken our great privilege of inhabiting God's great creation, and lost our identity. We've fallen for generic standards such as easily produced food resources, easy forms of communication, fashion trends, cheap moral values, and artificial security. All for the sake of convenience. Because of these assembly line lifestyles, we are taking the advantage of a perfect Creator for granted in so many ways.

Advancements in technology, entertainment, art forms, networking, and so much more are results of the great minds that God gave us. So, instead of shunning the works of man, let's take a stand. Children of the Almighty God can look at things through the eyes of wonder that Jesus has given, and be driven to create even bigger and greater things. Not for the sake of convenience, but for the praise of God's enduring magnificence!

Just think...Our adventures could create the future.


I Didn't Even Know It Was Missing

In the past couple of months, I've digressed in my rate of progress on the violin, I've felt creatively stifled, almost, and I've seen my empty moments turn from my most flavorful to my dullest. I sat down tonight feeling especially uncreative, and yet determined to write a post. I browsed through my pictures, sat with my head up and my eyes closed, crossed my legs one way, then another, and tapped my fingers wildly on the keyboard. However, the screen remained blank. As a last resort, I opened my iTunes library to sink my tired mind into a nice album.

Twenty minutes of pure listening later, I realize.....I haven't listened to music in too long. I've looked up classical pieces I'm playing on my violin to observe, and looked up new ones for future reference. But I've not just listened to beautiful music in what feels like a long and sleepless night.

I feel alive and awake again. The music is pulsing through my veins again--like a sorely increasing deficiency was immediately satisfied. The texture of cellos is massaging my nerves, and the sweet sound of woodwinds is flying through my hair like a blustery wind.

I feel whimsical!

How does music make you feel?

P.S. Speaking of beautiful music...I almost forgot to tell you all that my brother Jared has a special offer on Symphonize this week! For all of you lovelies that read my blog or my momma's--you can get a two minute blog theme ($65 value) for the price of a one minute (a.k.a. $35)! This offer will only last ONE week (ends June 22nd), so hurry up and head over to get your own personalized blog theme!


Rainbows in the Sun

How do you guys like my new look? I know....it's a big leap from the last one! I really wanted to go with this new clean and sleek look that so many bloggers are going with these days. I think it still keeps the simple, colorful whimsy that my last design had.

I like how simplicity can make colors stand out more. I like how a bright turquoise necklace can spruce up a plain black outfit. I like how a big pink peony stands out against a plain green bush. It's like life....I may not be a country girl, but I live in the country--so why not take time to appreciate the empty roads and wide open sky?

I may not be Hilary Hahn or Itzhak Perlman, but I still play my violin--because playing isn't about being the best....playing is about the gratification I get from accomplishing something and giving my Creator the credit. I may not like vanilla ice cream as well as chocolate, but since it's there and chocolate isn't, I might as well enjoy what I've got. Perspective is to life as the sun is to the earth; Without it, the world is an empty slate to the naked eye. With it, all the colors of life are there to be seen and appreciated.

When I can see the beautiful array of colors before me, the fact that they blacken without the sun doesn't mean anything. Because Jesus is the only source of true perspective. With Him....the sun will always rise!

The sun is always just a smile away.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

I can't wait to hear what you all think! :)



Apple has changed my life. My whole life, technology and I have had a steady love/hate relationship. My Dells have lived and died. Each and every one of them. My first portable music gadget was a small portable boom-box. It broke after one usage. My second was a little green "radio" with a headphone jack. I don't think that even lasted long enough to use it once. I have had many wonderful experiences with technology, but all of them eventually left me in a hopeless daze, standing over their broken remains.

And then I got it....my very first Apple product. A brand new 4gb iPod Nano. I named her Vesper. That was when I knew....I'd found the object of my gadget-obsessed affection--Apple.

Since then, I've had many various and beautiful Apple gadgets, including the computer which so lovingly transmits this message to you all today.

And now....iPhone 4. Available for pre-order on June 15--available to me sometime next year. Could there be anything more fantastic? More beautiful?

Thank you Apple. I love you.

P.S. Let me know if you guys like the new comment system! I'm so excited to be able to reply to your comments!


My Silent Birthday

This is probably an infringement of the rules I have been given, but I'm not a very good listener. :P I just needed to say that Hannah put me up to this post, documenting my entire birthday in pictures, but no words. Enjoy!

Day {1}

Day {2}