Category Archives: Uncategorized

Day 14 Two weeks

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So it’s been 2 weeks. I gained a little weight from yesterday so maybe potatoes aren’t so good. It was just .2 lbs so I remain hopeful that they can be tested again later. Anyway, today was a rest day and I also had it off. I baked bread which smelled amazing, but it made me sad because I can’t have any. Hubby has really been going through the bread lately since he can’t really eat my leftovers (he probably wouldn’t even if he had the opportunity). I’m not sure what to do with the leftover roasted veggies since we aren’t supposed to have roasted veggies very often and theres potato in them. Maybe I’ll just have to suck it up and eat them 😛

I tried making a smoothie in my food processor since I don’t have a blender. It didn’t go well. There was still chewing required.

Blueberry and pear smoothie

For lunch today, I made a massive salad with apple cider vinegar and oil.There were still leftovers so I ate it for dinner too. It seemed silly to make a new salad for dinner when I had a leftover one from lunch. I decided that rice could be my protein with the massive salad and chickpeas. We’ll see how that works out. I also made a stir fry with zucchini, onion, mushrooms and a jalepeno in curry, tumeric, ginger and cumin. It was delicious!

Spicy Vegetarian soup and chop salad with chickpeas

Day 1 Cleanse

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It’s day 1 on the Plan and I am surprised at how good the food was! I don’t eat a lot of processed foods as a rule and because it is cheaper. The cooking wasn’t too bad today especially because I prepared the soup yesterday. I think that dinner seemed a little light, but lunch was very filling and very good!

I started the day making flax granola which was a disaster!

Flax Granola

I would highly recommend parchment paper or two silicone baking mats…or perhaps a baking pan rather than a sheet. The picture above was the pretty pre-baked version, but I dumped half of it into the oven after putting it back in to turn. I did manage to save most of it and I only burned myself a little in the process.

I’m terrible at taking pictures though so I only managed to take a picture of my dinner (about halfway through :D) I had never had beets before so I was a little nervous about whether I would like this dinner, but I was pleasantly surprised. The hubs kept going on about how he never knew what he was missing with beets. To me they kind of tasted like dirt, but it was kind of like eating water (not much flavor). There wasn’t much to taste aside from carrots, which I like.

Day 1 dinner

This morning I weighed in at 168.8 and my BBT was 97.45 which is a bit high for me (incidentally I’ve been taking my BBT for a year and a half to monitor fertility and I just ovulated, hence the high temperature). I have a journal (a notebook I had around the house) that I am keeping my data in. I keep a tally of my glasses so that I don’t have to wonder how much water I’ve drank throughout the day.

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It was a lazy day and I ended up taking a nap, but I’m not sure if that was because of a healing crisis or just because I was up late celebrating the new year. All in all I would say a very successful day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow!

Positivity in the Midst of the Unknown

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For the past year or so, I have been working on keeping a positive perspective. I am a perpetually negative person. I typically see the glass as half-empty and I would like to tell you that I am truly just seeing the glass as it presents itself. I gravitate towards the negative of a situation. Often, I find saying negative things seems more truthful than saying positive ones. This is because I rarely notice the positive in a situation. I sometimes feel it would be lying to state something positive because I cannot look past the negative to see it.

This is certainly not a way to keep friends for very long. People simply do not like to be around a negative Nancy. But I wasn’t being negative to be annoying. I simply did not know how to see a situation as positive. I (by the grace of God, and a few other people) finally realized that all of this negativity stemmed from my perspective, not my circumstances. No matter the situation, I could find something to complain about. I was even able to complain about classes being cancelled because it meant this or that which I wasn’t prepared for. It was my heart that needed to change.

So I began a journey, actively pursuing the positive side of life. I am certainly still on the journey, but I have come to a place I never thought I could be. I am not overly optimistic about things, and I still on occasion complain about things that should be happy or at least good. However, I have had a heart change. I have prayed often for God to show me positive things. I know my tendency to complain goes much deeper than circumstances or even personality. If I cannot see the positive things, I cannot say them. So I work hard to see them. Every time I feel the warm sun against my skin I feel alive. When it’s hot outside, I remind myself Texas is hotter, and winter is colder and I am content with being hot.

My circumstances have changed. My life has been abruptly interrupted by news. The life altering sad kind of news. A year ago, this would have shattered my world. A year ago I would have dwelt on it, obsessing over every known and unknown detail. I would have told everyone I saw.

But I’m not worried. Another thing about positivity is that is infectious. It is a paradigm shift and therefore it shifts everything else. A year ago I would have said that I trust God with this situation, but it wouldn’t have stopped me from worrying. Now I know with my head and my heart that worrying will not help. What will happen, will happen and it will be whatever can best glorify God. And it’s good. That is how people praise God for hard things.

Even in the midst of sorrow, I lift my praises high. Because He is good. Not because I think He will miraculously change my circumstances. Not because I think I deserve this. He is good because He cannot be bad. He is good because His love will never end. He is good because He does not change. He does not cease being good because my circumstances change. He does not cease being loving because I am unlovely.

It’s in these moments–the ones we would not prefer. That sticky messy part of life that no one plans for and always hopes won’t happen, that’s when we feel God’s love best. People gather around us in support. We feel the love and grace of God through their support. We feel it through sermons and scripture readings and notes of encouragement. We feel it through promptings of the Holy Spirit and well timed phone calls. It’s these moments that we would not prefer that the love of God is evidenced strongest. And these are the positive moments that I choose to hold. The suffering is hard. The pain is real. But so is the blessing. Even in the worst moments, the positive is there. And today I choose to see it.

Reviving the old blog

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Well I like to use my blog to document my summer adventures. I suppose this year should be no different.

This year my adventure is in North Dakota. I am in a master’s program for linguistics! It’s fantastic! I won’t bore people with interesting facts, concepts and theories I’ve been learning. I do want to say though, that in my most practical class, Field Methods, I have been studying Chilean Sign Language (LSCh). Because of the nature of signed languages and the awesomeness of our language consultant, we are able to communicate really well. He told us a joke in LSCh and I actually understood most of it!

Other awesome and important things that are happening this summer is that I have finally gotten my interpreter certification for the state of Texas! Praise God! I will have a job when I get back to Dallas! What’s been more amazing is how God has not failed us before. Even without the job, God provided for J and my needs! The job is simply an added bonus! It also feels like a validation that I have certification. My school taught me a lot about how to evaluate my skills, but it feels good that other people have evaluated my skills and found me worthy of interpretation. Not that that should be my focus or value of my worth, but it is certainly a confidence-booster.

God has been teaching me a lot about grace lately as well. It’s a hard thing for me to accept because I want to be able to do it all on my own. I don’t want to be interdependent on people. But the thing is, we need people of all sorts. We were created for interdependency. Most of all we were created for dependency on God. And that as an American especially, is a hard concept to grasp.

I have been exploring a few spiritual topics here, but they all seem to tie in to grace. I have been praying to be more positive  inside. Often, I am not positive because I don’t think positive thoughts. If I don’t think it’s true, I won’t say it. Leading me to say negative things which I think are true. To become more of a positive person, I have to think more positively. I cannot be content to put on a facade of positivity. I must actually believe in the positive things I am saying. And that requires a change of heart. I am very slowly getting better. And it’s that difference that I need to keep going back to (because a person who struggles with giving grace struggles more to receive it). Another question that I have had is whether missionaries actually like the people with whom they are working. That was actually the focus of a recent chapel talk. We as Americans are so focused on feeling good and job satisfaction. It is hard for us to realize that maybe God is calling us to a place where we may be unhappy. A place where we may not actually like all of (or any of) the people we work with. It’s hard to think that in that unhappy situation we are “doing God’s will.” After all He wants us to be happy right?

But that’s not actually true. God wants all people to revere Him. He is calling all peoples towards Himself. As a linguist, I have the opportunity to help Him in that goal with new people groups. Other people have opportunities in their companies or with their recreational soccer teams or with their kids’ friends’ parents. The people group that God may be calling me towards may not be a group I really connect with. I may feel like I cannot connect at all with that group. When learning a new language, I often feel like my entire personality is lost. I cannot express myself the way I can in my native tongue. I don’t understand their thought process or their jokes. It may be an exhausting struggle just to communicate my basic needs. That doesn’t mean that I am outside God’s will. That simply indicates that I need to press even harder into Him. He needs to be my strength. He needs to be my satisfaction. We can’t do it without Him no matter how hard or long we may try.

 

 

Quia amasti me, fecisti me, amabilem.

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Excerpt from my journal:

“You speak to my soul. You whisper, “It will all be alright. You’re safe with me. Trust me honey. I’ll never leave you. I love you. Your imperfections and scars are beautiful.”

You whisper, “I died for you. I demonstrated my love for you and I don’t care that you’re unworthy. I want you.”

You take my hands and kiss them. You take my face and kiss the tears of shame and gently brush them off. You kiss each eyelid and then cup your hand behind my head, holding me close. You remind me that You love me perfectly. There is no fear in perfect love.

And then you set me down. You aren’t leaving me. No You won’t do that. But I have more to accomplish.

Because I was designed to glorify You. My beauty was meant to be shared. My beauty is not my beauty it’s Yours. And its borrowed. The more beauty I can give away the more beauty I can receive. It’s counter intuitive, but the beauty was never meant to be held tightly. Tightly held beauty is hidden beauty. Hidden beauty dies without ever having been appreciated. If  beauty is there with no one ever having sensed it, does it exist at all?

So you see, my beauty–Your beauty– will be multiplied and compounded when given away. When appreciated more often, more beauty will appear.

And so my mission becomes clear. Share Your beauty. To anyone and everyone. Glorify the Son of Man. He must be glorified; He must be shared. That is my purpose. Whatever else I do, I must do that.

 

This basically what I’ve learned at project. Sorry I haven’t updated in a while.

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Oggi era buona ma non esattamente come mi ero aspettato. Ho pensato che molte persone sorde venissero al cena stasera ma non c’era nessuno. Beh. Il mio gruppo ci parliamo e organizziamo per un evento alla due settimane prossime. Dopo cena ho scritto il mio testimonio per post via facebook. Non ho ancora finito ma forse ricorderò domani.

I’ve had a blast these last few days. I’ll get pics up soon, but I dyed my hair purple last night. Not all of it, just a few streaks. I was bored and people were talking about hair dye :). I really like my job. It’s pretty fun and I can have mini-conversations with my co-workers while I’m stocking or tagging items. It’s hard work and pretty tiring, but I actually enjoy it more than I have anything else I’ve ever done.

I went out on the boardwalk the other day to share my faith. I prayed before I went out that God would give me one good conversation cuz I wasn’t feeling very well. The first people Emily and I talked to agreed to talk and we had about a 45 minute conversation about spiritual things and life. It was amazing. The man I talked to was definitely a Christian, but it was still so cool to be able to talk about God to a complete stranger. It was really encouraging since the other few times going out were kind of bummers and awkward. I have definitely learned a lot about practical ways to share my faith.

That’s my blurb for now. Vi voglio bene!

 

Updates

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I now officially have a job at SuperFresh! It’s a grocery store and I stock shelves and put up sales tags. I enjoy it, but it’s certainly hard work. I’ll get used to it though :D. It’s different working at a store because you can basically do whatever needs to be done at that moment. A lot of times it’s customer service, but if you and a coworker are working in the same area, you can certainly have conversations as well. I’ve learned a lot throughout the 20 days (already?!) I’ve been here.

Saturday we went to a free zoo with some members of the Deaf community as part of our outreach. It was so much fun having conversations and teaching signs and seeing the animals. Afterwards we went to dinner and we had a great conversation with our new friends. I had so much fun being there it was like being at RIT again! Hopefully we’ll see them soon at the bbq we’re hosting this Saturday.

My introversion is getting better and I have a greater capacity for being around people, praise God. Tonight we’re going minigolfing and then out for ice cream! Wahoo! I’m pretty excited to just bond with project kids, cuz there are some that I haven’t been with much. It’s good though that I don’t work with the people I live with and my church group is completely different too. It gives me a good chance to get to know so many people! And of course I’m getting to know my coworkers and the students coming to the international café. In speaking of which, one of the international students we met recently became a Christian! Pray that he will grow a lot while we’re here and when he goes back to China he can be a light to his own people! How exciting is that?! Well, I’m excited anyways! Pray that I’ll use the opportunities I have at work and on the boardwalk to talk to people and pray that God will use that to work on their hearts.