November 30, 2010

I can't live . . .

. . . if living is without you, ninja.

my food processor is called the ninja. And it has rocked my world.

November 29, 2010

It's dangerous business walking out your front door

I was talking with some friends recently, who inspired me.

The idea of becoming more bold, and trying things that you were previously gun-shy of.

I realize that my immediate response to something that scares me, intimidates me or presents difficulty is "I hate it/that's stupid/I refuse to do that/I can't do that."

Anything that might make me vulnerable, I shut it down on instinct.

For example . . . I think I'll look silly doing yoga, I'm unfamiliar with it, I think it's not beneficial (without knowing much about it) so that automatically makes it stupid and on the list of things that I will not do.

Well, 1 month later and I'm glad that I tried something new. And who knew that you could get a stronger core and work on your strength training while doing yoga? I'm hooked now.

I can also be very hesitant about taking on new challenges or responsibility at work (or anywhere for that matter) because it's intimidating. But once I do it, I come away having learned something new, expanding my borders, gaining confidence along the way.

I should try more things that scare me more often. There is so much to learn from trying something that you may have shut down before. It's so easy to have preconceived notions or expectations, fears that will all come falling down once you face whatever that thing is.

This process teaches so much about life, about yourself, humbles you and changes you for the better. It's still scary, but I just pray for the courage . . . courage in the face of my fears, however silly they seem.

I don't want to live in a world that is shut in, rigidly enclosed by my walls of self-defense and insecurity.

I'm just thankful that being in your 20's is still relatively young . . . sometimes I look around and wonder how I got here. But I woke up this morning, thankful that each day is a new day . . . maybe it's not too late after all. Kind of like Scrooge when he wakes up at the end of A Christmas Carol, and he hasn't missed Christmas, or a second chance at embracing life.

November 28, 2010

in the dark

I usually hate driving in the dark.

I remember driving from home to college in the dark and hating it . . . mostly because when I made that trip after the sun went down, I felt like I was never going to get there. I guess the absence of seeing trees, landmarks, signs, etc. makes it feel like you're just in a tunnel instead of on the interstate.

I was reminded of that last night. Our church parking lot is not well lit at all. For instance, walking back to my car, I couldn't really see 2 feet in front of my face. It was pitch black.

I could hear my heels clicking on the pavement and I could feel the wind in my face, yet it was reminiscent of driving on I-40 at night . . . it felt like I was again in a tunnel, or maybe worse, as if I were on a treadmill in the dark.

I could feel myself moving, but in that trance-like moment, unable to differentiate between expenditure of energy vs. actually getting closer to my car.

I think that life is like that sometimes. We can feel our muscles flexing, the wind in our face, the days passing by . . . but unable to differentiate between random movement and actual progress forward.

November 18, 2010

Slow down

Sometimes you need to pause and reflect.

I thrive on a packed schedule. I love to be constantly in motion.

Living that way makes it easier for me to forget how God has worked in my life over the past year. It allows me to take things for granted and I'm so busy that I don't have time to stop and think.

It's so easy to look at my life and get stressed about the future. It's also very easy for me to get bored . . . whenever I do have a minute to breathe, I get bored or restless.

I am presumptuous enough to predict my future. As if I really know what's going to happen tomorrow. Yet, I am sure that 25 years from now, things will be exactly the same. I'm just betting on it. Yup, that's it. My circumstances are set in stone. Done.

It's so silly. And prideful.

It is a blessing to live day to day and to enjoy each moment as it comes. Yet how often do I do this? I also realize that I may never get this time back . . . so I should enjoy it. I want to enjoy this "pasture" of sorts and be attentive to what God is teaching me.

If I don't listen to God now, when will I? I assure you when things get busier I will likely be too caught up in my circumstances and life to be still. I might find myself in a whirlwind and wonder - why didn't I spend more time with God when I was more free?

As J.D. has said, God teaches and prepares us when we're in our "pasture." This time is not to be wasted, even though I feel like my pasture is eternal.

How can I enjoy it, learn in it, not waste it?

One way I think I'm being told to slow down is my knees.

You know . . . I am a firm believer that unless I am drenched in sweat and ready to collapse, I didn't get a good workout.

That viewpoint may be changing. My body is rebelling against me. I don't know if it was running, cycling, or lunges & squats that was the initial injury. But . . . even the elliptical can hurt now. I have got to be a little more sensible before I end up with knee replacements at age 40.

This could quickly turn into an exercise rant, so I will try to be concise. I have started doing yoga, and I love it. One of the things yoga teaches is to be patient, respect and listen to your body. (which does wonders to your diet habits as well) I have got to listen to it . . . I need to slow down and not feel like I have to run myself into the ground every time I cross the threshold of the gym.

I will also say . . . if you do power yoga or strengthening yoga, it can be very challenging. I never thought I could get such a workout from doing yoga . . . but it's changing my mind.

So . . . slow down. Take a mental health day. Take time to thank God for what He has blessed you with . . what He is teaching you, and how He is growing you. You have more than you realize! Reflect on what you do have. It is too easy to focus on what we don't have and become discontent.

free to fall

I was jammin out in my car the other day when "fantasy" by Mariah Carey came on.

Can I say how much I love that song?

Songs like that and "Teenage dream" by Katy Perry remind me of falling in love.

Reminds me of how an ideal relationship could work . . . and those moments when you allow yourself to fall in love, let go of your inhibitions, holding nothing back . . .

I realize that's how I want to be with my Savior. I want to let it all go and fall recklessly in love with Him. I don't have to hold anything back from Him - He knows it all anyway. I truly am safe there . . . and I know that He will always be faithful and love me no matter how flawed, human and sinful I am. To rest knowing that He will never leave or abandon me. So I can be free to fall.
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