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Category Archives: God

Open for Business!

So, as I mentioned in the last post, I have been very busy working on my Etsy shop.  And….it’s now ready and open!  I still have some more pieces to make and list, but I finally have what I think is enough to open.

The name of the shop is Agape Handmade.  For those who are wondering what the crap “Agape” (ah-GAH-peh) means, it is Greek for unconditional love.  I actually have it tattooed on my foot, as a constant reminder of the love Jesus had for us to die on the cross for us.  Anyway, I decided to use that as the name for my shop because I hope to use this shop as a way to share something I love with others and hopefully I can use the earnings in a helpful way, in addition to helping with newlywed expenses.  I also just thought the name sounded cool. ; )

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The pieces in the shop are a mixture of different colors and beads, along with some origami pieces.  I have just recently had a slight infatuation with origami things.  I also find that sitting and focusing on folding the paper into different shapes is strangely calming.

Well I hope you get the chance to check out my shop and find something you love.  It can be found here.

Have a great day!  : )

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He Will Lead the Blind

My fiance recently shared this verse with me: “And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

If any verse could speak to our lives currently, this would be it.  Nate will shortly be coming home and we both face many unknowns.  First, we have to basically learn how to be around each other again.  It’s been almost a year (minus the 2 weeks I was in China) since we’ve even been in the same time zone, let alone near one another.  Also, he has to get used to being home again.  I can tell you from my short time in Beijing, this will probably be difficult.  China and West Virginia are VERY different!

We will both also be looking for jobs.  We have somewhat of an idea of what we’re looking for, but we just need to be able to find it.  We have no idea what kind of hours we will be working, what our income will be, or if we will have benefits.  And on top of that, we’re going to be journeying into marriage!  We definitely don’t have any experience in that area.  Of course we have talked to many of our married friends and we will be going to marriage counseling, but it’s still unknown territory.

With all that being said, this verse serves as a reminder that God is always with us.  When we have no idea what the heck we’re doing, He is there to guide us.  He may not show us the light when we want Him to, but He will not leave us to find our way alone.  I know things will fall into place.  It may not be the way we envision, but God will lead us right where He intends us to be.  Lucky for me, I will have an amazing partner to walk this weary path with.  I am so excited to see what God has in store for us and I will cling to this verse through all the bumps along our way.

It’s a Process

I have to constantly remind myself that life is a process.  I find myself all too often focusing on the end result.  Most recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s going to happen within the next year.  I’m about to finish my internship and get a big girl dietitian job.  I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what I want to do and what I think I will be good at.  I’ve also been thinking a lot about Nate’s and my upcoming marriage.  Where are we going to live, what will we be doing, how long will we stay here before we move out of state, etc.  I want all the answers now.  I forget all the little things that happen along the way to that final destination that I am so desperately trying to figure out.

I remember when I was thinking about the kind of guy I wanted to marry.  I had everything planned out.  What we would be doing, where we would live, and so forth.  I can tell you now that if any of the things I had come up with had really happened, I would not be as happy as I am now.  Yes, I ended up meeting a guy that just so happened to be getting ready to leave for China in a few months.  That wasn’t in my plan.  But neither was going to China to visit him which was one of the best things I’ve done in my life this far.  We have also been able to grow so incredibly close just from talking on Skype which doesn’t even work that great all the time! We haven’t even made it to the place of being a married couple yet, and so many things have already happened to help mold and shape us to be the couple God wants us to be.  I don’t want to get so caught up in what I want us to be, that I miss all the little things that can make our relationship so much deeper.

My point is that when we get so focused on the end results we want, we miss the beauty of the process of getting there.  SO many things happen during that time.  Some thing are wonderful, others not so much, but we can learn during the process.  We can appreciate things so much more,

I am really going to have to make a conscious effort to focus on the process and not the product because that is not my natural tendency.  When it comes to dealing with my disordered eating, my career, my marriage, my family, and whatever else may come my way I hope I can learn to trust and appreciate the process.  God uses these steps to teach us great things.

“Slow down. Calm down. Don’t worry. Don’t hurry. Trust the process.” -Alexandra Stoddard

Learning to Live in the Gray

I’m a perfectionist and often get caught up in black and white thinking.  My mind is typically flooded with “shoulds,” “don’ts,” “musts,” “can’ts,” etc.  For some reason, I set up all these crazy rules for myself that I feel I must follow in order to be successful or to be a good person.  What’s worse is that these rules usually stem from healthy thoughts that are actually good for me that my mind finds a great way to twist and contort into a way that is no longer beneficial.  For example, I am a big believer in compromise and feel that it is a great way to deal with most conflicts, however, I often take that to the extreme and look for the compromise in any situation and ignore what my true feelings are.  Most of the time this seems like a good thing, but when it comes to certain situations, such as relationships, it’s not a good thing to suppress your feelings and just go along with the other person in order to avoid conflict.  Those feelings will usually lie dormant and fester until you can’t hold them in any longer and the situation becomes worse than it could have been.

This “all-or-nothing” thinking is destructive and adds unnecessary anxiety to situations, making them even more difficult to deal with.  When you think this way, you start to live life as if you are running to a finish line.  The only problem is the closer you get, the farther the finish line seems to move away.  There is a constant striving for an end of perfection that will never be achieved.  Living life like this is exhausting and frustrating!

I have been trying to “live life in the gray.  I’m trying to view life as a process and see each stumble as a lesson learned instead of another failure.  I’m trying to embrace the fact that I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be.  The most awesome thing about living this way is that God prefers you this way!  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 He says “…My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Isn’t it freeing to know that when you feel your weakest, God is there to give you all His strength!?

In her song “Control,”  JJ Heller hits the nail on the head when she sings about the problem of perfection.

“Perfection has a price
But I cannot afford to live that life
It always ends the same; a fight I never win”

I hope that if you are reading this and feel the same way, you will learn to see the beauty of living life in the gray.  I’m learning too.

End of the Challenge

So today was the last day of the real food challenge for me. The 10 days definitely lived up to the name. I probably did not choose the best time to partake in the challenge because it was graduation weekend and a celebration week at the hospital where I am interning. Also, it was very difficult being the only one doing it. I would highly recommend a partner if you decide to take the challenge. Everyone was supportive, but it was hard to just plan what I was going to eat differently than everyone else.

Aside from that, I really gained a lot of insight about myself during the challenge. I listened to my body more to know when I was hungry or full and I realized I could go without a lot of the processed foods easily. I also felt a lot better! I did not turn to food as often for comfort as I used to. However, I did see just how much food has a hold on my heart. I found myself still thinking about it a lot and even wanting to eat too much still when I was bored or upset. Granted I didn’t have the junk to turn to, but I still need to grow in turning to God more than food. This is a process and at least I’m starting to see progress!

I definitely recommend trying the 10 day real food challenge!

Halfway There

So I’m halfway through the real food challenge and I’m not gonna lie, it’s been tough. We try as a family to plan out our dinners for the week and we all agreed on meals I would be able to eat. Well….for 2 days in a row, the person who was supposed to cook decided they didn’t want to. So that left me having to figure out something on the fly. Luckily I had some food on hand and it wasn’t that bad, but it made it really easy to just want to give up.

Also, I’m not much of a water drinker and it’s been tough to pretty much only drink that, coffee, and juice. I don’t like to drink juice that much because I don’t need all the sugar, but water just gets so boring for me! So I tried diluting the juice in some water and it helped, but I’d just like to add one of my drink mixes (made with Stevia) to the water!

Even though it has been a little difficult, I really feel great! I haven’t felt as sluggish and I have not been turning to food so much for comfort. I guess it’s because I haven’t been able to turn to the junk foods. For some reason I just don’t feel like I want to eat a whole bag of baby carrots. ; )

I absolutely have to give God the credit for giving me the strength to resist the temptation. At work today we had a chance to get a piece of cake from a banquet and I didn’t take one even though it would have been SO GOOD! I’m also finding myself turning to Him more during the day instead of focusing on food.

On another note, we had our graduate ceremony for the dietetic seniors today! Even though I graduated in December, I was still invited since I was in class with all the other students and they didn’t have a ceremony for my graduation. It was so great to see my classmates! I wish them all so much luck with their internships and job opportunities! Here’s a pic of us all with our professors. My dad couldn’t work the camera very well, but I love the picture of us all!

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Real Food

So I’ve decided to do the 10 day real food challenge from the 100 days of real food website. I decided to do this in an effort to get physically, mentally, and spiritually healthier. The aim of the challenge is focused more on the physical aspect, but for me it will do so much more.

Physically: Since I am well on my way to becoming a registered dietitian (only a few more months to be exact), I am fully aware of the effect food has on our bodies. The patients I see in my internship are suffering from years of putting junk into their bodies. Seeing these effects face-to-face every day has helped me realize I need to make a change. I want to feel better and not feel sluggish from a poor diet.

Mentally: For quite a few years now I have struggled with anxiety and eating issues. When I feel out of whack, I often turn to food for comfort. My food of choice is typically the sweet, delicious, oh-so-choclately junk that fills the aisles of our grocery stores today. And unfortunately, only a few short minutes after the indulgence I feel miserable. Now please don’t read this like I’m saying sweets are bad for you. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, moderation is key. But if you are turning to it for comfort like I have, it is definitely not a good thing. I am MORE than ready to enjoy the mornings in the future where I wake up and don’t feel weighed down and sluggish because my body is trying to recover from what I ate the day before. I look forward to the days to come when I actually have the energy to make it through the day with only one cup of coffee.

Spiritually: This may be the biggest reason why I have decided to take on this challenge. For too long I have let food get all of my attention. I have constantly thought about it, fought with it, loved it, and hated it. I have let it become my idol. I have let it fill the space in my heart and mind that is designated for God. While the food may falsely promise me peace and happiness, it actually provides the exact opposite. I am ready to love God with my whole heart, not just what is left over after a box of cookies.

Now I know this challenge is going to be a huge one indeed. I am the only one in my house attempting this endeavor. There will be plenty of tasty processed junk calling my name every day. But luckily I have a God who makes His strength to fight temptation available to me and friends and family there to support me. Here goes nothin’!

Here are a few pics of some of my real food choices today. They were delicious!

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