Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sugar Fast: Day One

images

DID: squeezed juice from half a grapefruit into a martini glass, then added a few ice cubes and pretended it was a martini.

LEARNED: most alcohols do, in fact, have sugar in them, as part of the fermenting process. Thanks to my brewing-educated husband.

REFUSED: to give up Dave’s Killer Bread. It has organic cane sugar in it. But it is the one thing I eat for breakfast when leftover pizza isn’t available.

LIKE HANNIBAL LECTER: I sniffed at the large bowl of ice cream covered in peanut butter and chocolate, which my husband then gobbled up with the excuse that he “needed to rid the house of all temptations.”

THEN I: grabbed a spoon and the peanutbutter jar. I don’t really know what happened next.

Advertisements

Book Clubs and Fasting

I’ve never been much of a book-clubber. And, I’ve also never gone on a fast. So I’m still a little shocked I’m doing both, and LOVING it.

As a group of friends and I read through the book “7” by Jen Hatmaker (yes you SHOULD read it!), we felt compelled to each give up something food-related for the next four weeks that would alter our life, and make us stop and pray.

So, the next few weeks of posts will be in response to this torture. And hopefully some unbelievably profound thoughts will be scattered throughout as well. 😉

Here I go…

The High Mountains

Just a quick blurb. Our wedding guest book was actually an Ansel Adams photography book titled “Yosemite and the High Sierra.” Its a place I still have never been, but it was my Uncle’s favorite place, and the location my brother and his wife shared some fond memories when they were still just friends.

I have a hard time looking through this book because as beautiful as the photos are, and as wonderful as the notes from all our loved ones are, I end up on this page and start crying.

IMAG0638

My Uncle Bill made it to our wedding, weak and wheelchair-bound, but smiling. Within a year he passed away from cancer after many years of battling it. My Aunt Janet wrote this sweet message right next to this beautiful line from Ansel Adams– a line that prompted a song I wrote for Bill and sang at his memorial (although not successfully, as I broke down halfway through.

The song: “Paradise”

Tomorrow you’ll be here, and I will go before you

Off to a place you don’t know

Waiting for our days, wandering in hours

Searching for light so we can go

To the high mountain

Back to my paradise

To the high mountain

My soul can rest

This journey ahead of me seems bright

I travel to a paradise tonight

It’ll never stop hitting me, every time I open this book. We’ll see how I do when I make it to Yosemite someday. : )

Reading and Comfort. And Sugar. Titles are Lame.

I am currently reading three books. One about acting on the compelling love of Christ (“Love Does” by Bob Goff), one about simplifying life so we can love and reach others (“7” by Jen Hatmaker), and one about rethinking heaven, the resurrection, and our purpose on earth (“Surprised by Hope” by N.T. Wright).

But first to clarify, I am not a reader. At least, not the kind you’d expect. I’m not that lady with bookshelves and tablets filled with popular fiction novels and award-winners. Instead, I’m the one who learned to read at a VERY early age, then skimmed by in school by speed-reading (a.k.a. “skimming”) books all the way through college (just kidding, Mom and Dad). THEN, I took a book sabbatical for like, five years. Not intentionally, but just because I was tired of reading.

I happen to be a decent reader. I also happen to have a REALLY SHORT attention span. This combination leaves me capable, but unmotivated.

This is why I’ve decided, for the sake of the future of my deteriorating brain, I must participate in book clubs the rest of my life. At least, until my lazy eye fails. At which point I’ll have to start a one-eyed book club and invent left-sided braille books for right-eyed people. Of course it makes sense; don’t question me.

So, back to the books currently at hand.

There is a general theme circulating around my community (and perhaps the rest of yours as well?) in regard to reaching out and loving others. It sounds like such a simple concept, but for people seeking to redefine our existence as human beings and followers of Jesus, it is actually a concept that extends to our very core.

I have always had a deep conviction to help others. But I admit, out of issues with self-consciousness and pride as a teenager, I never did much with those feelings. From giving quarters to kids in Tijuana, to serving at a homeless shelter for one of my birthdays, I’ve had many moments of WANTING to sacrifice and give, but not knowing how to really do so.

So far, here’s the conclusion I’ve reached: because I am loved by Christ, and because I follow Him, I have two choices: I can either hold on to my selfishness and maintain a comfortable, ignorant existence, or I can deny my comfort, serve others, and fulfill my purpose as a follower of Christ.

Hmm. What shall I do.

I’m looking forward to pursuing this concept more with both book clubs, but at the same time I’m a bit skeptical. I have seen too many moments of inspiration and passion occur, only to fade as real life washes it all away. Spiritual highs and honeymoon phases are FLEETING. Its the steadiness, the constant plugging away that continues.

Here’s my goal: to approach it with a rational, prayerful heart, and let the inspiration come from the right source. 🙂

Oh, Parenting.

A few weeks ago, I posted a question on Facebook, and a couple handfuls of people answered in response with some really good stuff.

I posed the question, “What about your child or children makes you the most proud?”

Don’t scroll down yet; but the answers you’ll see at the bottom of this blog actually vary quite a bit. Some pinpoint leadership, some focus on kindness, others work ethic, as well as how their kids treat others.

I was inspired to write this after much contemplation over our roles are parents in today’s society. Throughout history, parents have felt the pressure of raising their kids right, operating their home and family life well, and somehow managing to remain sane throughout their existence as a parent (which is often for the rest of their life).

I started my parenting journey without any clue of what I was doing. Plus I dragged my husband right along with me! Poor soul. 🙂 Not only was my pregnancy and delivery quite an adventure, but the years to follow were as well. I continually felt the pressures and comparisons of other moms. I always felt like the inadequate one, the uneducated one (in regard to parenting), and the lonely one. Everything I did seemed wrong. From nursing on a schedule, to the way my kid acted around other kids. And I felt I had no support.

Six years later, gazing back on those first few years, it’s a wonder I didn’t actually go chemically insane. Because now, I don’t really bother addressing the feelings of comparison. I notice when others make different decisions than I do, but I’m not judging which decision is better. (of course, we all have our moments, right?!)

Because you see, each one of our kids is entirely different. And so are we.

From the way they walk, to the words they speak, to the matters of the heart, our kids are all unique. They have their own fingerprints even.

Our parenting styles are just that. We make choices based on how our parents raised us. We make choices based on our own past mistakes. We choose to schedule or not schedule, homeschool or public or private school, cut their hair short or long, feed them GMO’s or grass-fed all-natural organic, spank or not… all because we are unique in who we are, and because our kids are unique as well. We are a complete mash-up of past experiences and mistakes, and current influences. Each combination unique in itself!

I’m sure you parents of older kids have learned this point years ago, but for us younger moms, it is quite a rollercoaster of an adventure that we are on right now. When others so adamantly and surely voice their perspective and opinion, it’s a personal jab when it concerns our kids.

I know, because I made the really lame mistake once of asking a friend, “Do you JUST stay home with the kids?” What I meant, was “Do you spend your entire life, 24/7, managing your kids, your house, your husband, all with the majestic, artistic graces of a stay-at-home-mom?” But what she heard was “You must be a lazy stay-at-home-mom that drinks coffee and shops online all the time.” Obviously a very different outcome than I anticipated. Especially since I was jealous that she didn’t have to manage a job outside of the home out of financial necessity. I’m just glad I apologized and confessed that the way I asked that question was just stupid. 🙂

So, when you read the questions below, pretend you are the person saying it. Where does he or she come from? What has influenced her life? How did his parents give him consequences? Because I promise you, we are all each so different in our parenting and how we make parenting decisions, that we just can’t compare our answer in any sort of systematic way.

Maybe reading these answers will also help each of us in future conversations with other parents too. Perhaps approaching subjects humbly and with an open mind might be a good idea?! 😉

What about your child or children makes you proud?

-their incredible ability to show sacrifice and unconditional love to each other (siblings)

-his sensitivity and compassion.

-the maturity and confidence with which he carries himself

-does justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly with The Lord

-is bursting with life and love and notices and responds when others need a little bit of her over-abundance

-my kids have an amazing work ethic when it comes to physical fitness

-amazing with little children

-how much he loves to worship!

-when she is kind and respectful

-when he talks about Jesus

-my children’s ability to take small insignificant moments to make a connection and show genuine kindness and compassion to others.

-when my children are kind and giving to others

-her creativity, energy, sense of humor, intelligence, talent, all coming together as wife, mom, friend, daughter, & child of God

-when I witness my son showing compassion. He has such a tender heart for anyone crying or hurt

-my daughter already understands that leadership is gender neutral

-loves Jesus independently

-my daughter can make my worst day better with a simple smile and hug and a i love u daddy