time to fly.

oh yeah. in the morning we’re hopping a plane to… ireland!

newark international airport. january 2012.

i have three favorite things that i love to do. in a perfect world, i get to do all three at the same time.

  1. write
  2. take pictures
  3. travel

of course there are many more things i love to do… watch movies, visit pubs, ride on a boat, dance, practice yoga, read, etc. but, the things in my life that i cannot live without are the three i listed. they give me purpose, make my life meaningful. of course, i have not mentioned my love,  my family, & my friends. that goes without saying. nothing in the whole world is more important than them. the people in my life are a whole other level.

anyway, this weekend, i get to travel – which also means that i will be partaking in a little photography & writing as well. my love and i are headed to ireland for a long weekend to celebrate the wedding of two amazing friends! we’ll be in dublin for some days on our own, and also at a mansion/plantation-type-place in the irish countryside for the wedding. helloooooo. does it get any better?! we’ve been to dublin before – last fall, actually, to visit the friends who are getting married. a swiss chick & and irish dude. love having international friends. we fell head over heels in love with dublin, and can’t wait to get back to do some shopping, visit some pubs, listen to irish music, and enjoy the jovial, friendly nature of the irish people. then, it’s off to the countryside for a weekend of wedding celebrations. you know i’ll take pics of everything. hehe. if i get a chance, i’ll give you a sneak peek while i’m there, otherwise you’ll have to wait until next week… unless you decide to follow me on instagram (@lizlens) because i’ll be posting pics there throughout the weekend. just sayin’.

and just so you know, i am aware of how blessed and lucky i am to be able to travel to different places. i do not take it for granted. not ever. travel has always been something very important to my & my love… it helps us breathe, it allows us to stretch our minds & encounter different cultures, traditions, thoughts. it teaches peace, it brings people together, it transforms the traveler & the world. to travel is to live. it is to experience life and to live life to the fullest. traveling, for us, is freedom.

well, this post is almost done, i’m all packed, and now ready to get some sleep, so i’m gonna leave y’all here.  don’t forget to check back during the weekend, even if i’m not home… the two chicks & some beer project kicks off tomorrow when we land in dublin! we’ll have some beer tips coming.

here’s to wishing you a fabulous weekend, wherever you are, whatever you doing. and happy labor day to all you americans out there!

it’s time to fly! peace & love.

polar music & patti smith.

it all started with the morning news. i was doing something in the apartment, and just letting the swedish language  in the background keep me company, when i suddenly realized i was hearing english. it usually takes a while before i realize that there is english somewhere around me. i looked at the tv and saw paul simon doing an interview with some swedish person. huh? then i realized that he had been the recipient of some award, the polar music prize, and they were having the award ceremony on tv here in sweden tonight. i had never heard of this award, but got busy on google and i now know that it is an award, begun by a famous swedish musician (someone behind the work of ABBA or something), and it is given to a musician every year to celebrate his or her contribution to the music world. cool. paul simon this year. not my absolute favorite artist, but i do love me some simon and garfunkle. some seriously classic american 60s/70s music.

the interview was over on the morning news, and it was time to move onto something else. i remembered that last night my love told me that patti smith had a new album, so i thought i’d check it out on spotify. and the verdict is, i love it. and then i decided i’d hunt down some images of her on pinterest. well, that led to a whole mess of fun, resulting in me tagging image after image. god, i love her style & her look.

last year, or earlier this year, i read a memoir she had written. just kids. i wrote a blog post about it here. it was amazing to read about her crazy younger years in nyc… broke, sometimes homeless, sometimes unemployed, but always living the journey of an artist. and she is truly an artist of all sorts, taking an interest in photography, poetry, and music; and combining them all in unique ways. she definitely has had her own path, and has followed it for all of her life, listening to her heartbeat & her soul. searching for intellectual, spiritual, and artistic inspiration all over the world. fighting for civil and equal rights. protesting in word & in song. patti smith is an inspiration for me. rough around the edges, punky, tough, and yet vulnerable, drawn to beauty, a lover of nyc, inspired by the world, dramatic, androgynous.

pics from pinterest.

after my little patti smith tour on pinterest, somehow i ended up finding out that patti smith was the recipient of the polar music prize last year. how weird is that? how random? crazy connection! feels like my little patti smith tuesday was meant to be.

so, all day, i’ve just been in a little patti smith world… feeling her desire for art to permeate every breath she takes. and she has inspired me today to always remember what it means to be my own person, to follow my own path, to never give up on that pull that i feel towards living life on my terms… making a difference, discovering my way to give back to the world, but doing it on my terms. and what i mean by that is constantly living with passion.

you know, there is something happening with my love & me in life right now. we’re trying to grab life in ways that we never have before. we’re talking all the time about taking hold of life, being dramatic, and letting what touches us most drive our life. i guess i can describe it that way. well, it’s hard to explain. but, it feel amazing. and to have people who inspire me is even that much better. and hey, after dropping everything & moving to another country, now i believe that i can do anything. i’ve got the power. power to change & live my life from my soul; & power to share life with others, as we work together to create a better world.

do you have someone who inspires you? an artist? a writer? an actor? a person… living or not. tell me about him/her, why you are so inspired by that person? i’d love to find someone to add to my list!

hope you’ve had a great tuesday! peace & love.


i came across this quote today in a touching blog post i read…

without getting into some discussion about creation from a scientific or religious viewpoint (because i can & do believe that religion & science compliment each other), i want to point out that i thought that this quote was beautiful. i have always felt drawn to stars, to the universe, to all of that stuff way out there. in fact, the first tattoo i got is a star. hehe.

some say that they feel so little when they gaze up at the night sky, but i feel completely opposite. i feel like everything (the world, the universe, life, and time) is so vast and infinite; and yet, i feel completely connected. when i gaze at the stars, at the night sky, i feel that one thing that connects all of us. i feel free, open, peace, calm. and i am in awe.

the very first time i had this overwhelmingly connected and spiritual feeling was when i was about 18. i was camping with my parents in the mountains of north carolina, and i decided to take a little walk around the campground by myself. it was about 10pm. completely dark. i was surrounded by trees behind me, on the side of a mountain, and i turned my head skyward. looking up, i was taken over by the beauty and amazingness of the, what seemed like, millions of stars that i saw. some twinkling. some simply shining. at that moment, i felt peace like i’d never felt before. i felt my place in the world. i felt that i mattered, even if i was so small compared to this great universe before me. i felt like i could feel every soul that was living, that had ever lived. it was a beautiful, powerful moment. and i knew that was here for a reason. that my life meant something.

image from pinterest.

when i read this quote today, and i thought about all of us being made of stardust, i felt something beautiful. like life was so simple and so complex at the same time. i imagined the divine, spiritual connection that unites us all as little particles of stardust. and for a moment, i felt something that i cannot describe with words…

star-gazing. that’s not something i have the luxury of doing much in life these days, as i live in the city. but, as soon as i see the stars, every time i see one, or millions, everything feels right in that moment. i feel hope. i feel freedom. i feel peace. i hope you, too, have a chance to gaze up at the beautiful night sky every now & then.

image from pinterest

“if people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, i’ll bet they’d live life differently.” ~ anonymous

make a wish & believe it will come true. sharing light & peace with you all. xx

sunday night stuff.

hey hey! it’s 9pm and completely dark outside. yes, fall is on its way. no more swedish summer sun at 11:30 at night. tonight we’re sitting on the bed, each staring at our computer screens, with a sunday night film glowing from the tv screen in the background. other than the light from 2 computer screens & a tv, the entire apartment is dark. i’m thinking about going to sleep pretty soon because i am completely, utterly exhausted. but in such an amazingly good way.

last night, i went to bed at some ungodly hour in the night/morning  and got up at 7am this morning. not enough sleep. at all. why? well, i was writing my sermon for today. i couldn’t have done it any earlier because a). i didn’t know i’d be preaching until thursday night, and b). i was already completely booked from thursday night until 10pm last night. so, at 10pm i sat down to begin write my sermon. nothing like last minute inspiration. hehe. and hey, i thrive on adrenaline and in chaos.

the sun rose & i headed downtown to the church where i work. i always love walking to work on sunday mornings. ok. it’s a love/hate relationship. (love the walk, hate having to get out of bed). anyway, i love the silent walk downtown. it’s just me, the buildings, the birdies, and the trees. no one else is out. it is so unbelievably peaceful. this morning i had my headphones in, playing bluegrass music into my ears, pepping me for the morning’s activities…

which i survived. yep. i did it. i delivered my second sermon in swedish today! and other than actually switching out a few swedish words for english ones bay accident, i think it went pretty well. i can’t believe that i freaking preach in swedish. that blows my mind. but, it feels so amazing to have a chance to preach again. i must admit, when i get up in front of an audience, when i stand in front of others in public, and i have a chance to offer words of hope & love, i feel like i am home. it feels so natural, so right… so me. ( so, take that UMC. you can make a rule saying that i can’t be ordained, but you can’t stop God from calling me to be who i am. and you can’t stop my life from being used, according to my gifts. yes, i am married to a woman & i am a minister. so what. thanks to the amazing church who has hired me in sweden, i can have my cake & eat it too. but it’s not really about me anyway, is it? nope. it’s about God making a way when there seems to be none. it’s about unconditional, free love being more important human-made rules. it’s about never giving up hope. it’s about following your dreams that are revealed when you are true to yourself. the spirit moves as it will. and life is more about loving & including, rather than excluding. when did jesus ever exclude, by the way?) sorry about the little tangent.

anyway, i received some pretty good feedback today, and i am truly humbled. as i walked this morning, i remember thinking how overwhelmed i am that i live here, that i work here, and  that i get to do the things i love. i thought about how just a few years ago, i was dreaming about moving here, and imagining what it would be like to work here. it all felt so impossible, and so far away. any yet, here i am now. amazing. the risks, fears, and uncertainties are most definitely worth it.

i spoke about freedom today. the freedom that we are given to choose to be ourselves or not; the gift of inspiration, of the spirit, to guide and be with us; and our calling as free people to work for the freedom of all people. i have said that i’ll post my sermon here, and i will… but it may take a day or two. i realized that it’s in swedish, so i must translate it first. hehe.

but, my brain is fried tonight. i am physically, mentally, and emotionally wiped out. so, i’m gonna crawl under the covers now and snuggle down under my covers, drifting off to dreamland. tomorrow a new week begins… a really exciting week! we’re headed to ireland on thursday. but, more about that later on. first i’ve got tons of errands and 3 work days ahead. plus a laundry afternoon. but, i also begin yoga classes again. yeeeeessssss.

before i say goodnight, i just want to remind you (and me) of one thing. we all hear that we should truly follow our dreams; but what we don’t hear is that we should do it now. dreams always feel like something way off there in our future world. but, what if we lived out our dreams daily? like beginning today. right now. we can’t even imagine the possibilities that lay ahead for us.

go on, keep dreamin’ and keep believin’. and if you feel that you are alone, that your dreams are impossible, find someone to pep you up. you can even email, chat, or talk with me. i’ll believe in your dreams with you.

goodnight world. wishing you sweet dreams, the freedom to be who you are, and peace in your soul.

it happened again!

yep. in one of today’s papers one of my pictures showed up again. eeeeeee!!! i am so excited! it’s an entertainment/culture paper (western north carolina people, think “mountain express“), and they wanted to do an article on the band that i photographed two weeks ago. so, when it was time for them to put together the article, i was asked if it was ok to use one of the pictures i took during their gig that night. uhhh…. yeah! so, there’s another one of my pictures now published, and this time my name is there too (under the article’s title). this whole experience makes me so freaking happy. and i’ve learned just how much i am into photography, writing, & traveling. like. big time. like, this is a dream that i’m gonna fight for.

anyway, if you want to see my other picture from last week’s paper, click here. and if you want to see today’s paper online, click here (my photo is on page 51!).

just wanted to share with y’all. thanks for reading. have a super fab weekend!




“I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.”  ~ Dawna Markova

last night i was at a meeting at work. meetings generally are annoying, boring, and people don’t really say what’s on their minds. but, not at the church where i work as a minister. the leaders of the congregation are open, respectful, smart, and most importantly, lead from their hearts. they are honest and true to themselves & their beliefs, even though we may have different perspectives, opinions, & thoughts. i sat in the meeting last night, sharing my own thoughts & opinions, thinking how blessed i am to be able to work among these people.

as the meeting was breaking up, i was called aside by the chairperson & asked if i could preach on sunday because m cannot be there. i was already going to be leading most of the service, so it was just to preach the sermon as well (just! hehe!). of course i said yes, with great excitement! i love to preach. as i said a few days ago, preaching is like writing a blog post (with a bit more research behind it, of course) and delivering it aloud.

by the time i got home, panic set in. 2 days to write a sermon. in swedish. gaaahhh!

but, i can do it. i’m totally up for this challenge.

and i’m completely inspired by the quote above… my theme for sunday is “freedom”, something that i ponder often. what does it mean to be free? who is free? how do we become free? and if we desire/need freedom, then that implies that we are captive? to what are we captive? how are we enslaved? from what do we need to be set free? what are our responsibilities to other people who are not “free”? what does a free life look like? can we choose freedom? and what does faith have to do with freedom?

i do ask one thing of you, my dear readers. if you have any thoughts, ideas, inspirations about freedom & what it means to you, feel “free” (hehe) to share them in a comment. i receive such inspiration from hearing other peoples’ ideas, thoughts, stories, so if you have anything to add on this topic, i’d love to hear it! after sunday, i’ll post my sermon online, so you can read the “blog post” i delivered to the people in my church.

wish me luck, pray for me, send me good vibes, leave me a comment, whatever… a community of support would be greatly appreciated over the next 2 days. here’s to sending you good vibes and wishing you a fabulous friday!

peace to you all.

two chicks & some beer.

my love & i are starting a new project! it involves lots of our favorite things. read all about it below…
the chicks having 2 pints of guinness in dublin, ireland (october 2011).

here are two chicks who love the cozy atmosphere of a pub. and they love the beer you can find there. there’s just something wonderfully relaxing about sitting in a pub, chatting with each other, spending time with old friends, meeting new friends, and sipping on a cold beer. preferably a pint of something they have never tried before. they’ve often talked about how much they love beer, how much they love to try new beer, and how much fun it would be to taste different beer and keep a journal of their favorites. but, they’ve never done anything about it… until now.

one day the two chicks were shopping and happened to pass a book titled “101 öl du måste dricka innan du dör” (“101 beers you must drink before you die”) by örjan westerlund, and they were hooked. immediately the two chicks and some beer project was born.

today, these two chicks are launching their “two chicks & some beer” project: a quest to try 101 different beers and document their journey on their blogs (here and here). they would love for you to follow along, as they sample different tastes, visit different pubs (in cities around the world!), and share their opinions of what they discover. mind you, these two chicks are no beer experts, just beer fans. but, perhaps by the end of this journey, they will be experts on lagers, ales, and pilsners. keep in mind that this project has no time frame… it could inevitably take a few years. so much beer. so little time. hehe. who knows. these chicks are just flying by the seat of their pants, enjoying some beer along the way.

if you have any tips or favorite beer, leave a comment and we’ll be sure to add it to our list.

stay tuned & check back often. you can simply click on the links over in the right column. the first beer of the journey will be shared in one week… from dublin, ireland!


peace out.

photo a day august. week 3, comin’ up!

still lovin’ the photo a day challenge. really lovin’ it. so, without any further a due, i present to you….

this week’s pictures!


“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ― Ansel Adams

peace & love, my friends.