daniel fast reflections

We recently participated in the Daniel Fast with our church. It is a challenging diet…In times of hunger and naught, you are encouraged to spend that time in prayer and the Bible. It’s basically being vegan without any sweeteners or leaveners.

Let me tell you how this actually went down:

Thinking about food I can eat.

Thinking about food I can’t eat.

Thinking about food I’m going to eat when it’s over.

We spend a lot of time in food, because of the blog, and because I love it. Reading about it, cooking it, eating it. I’ve heard that whatever you spend the most time thinking about is where your heart is. I started to worry that food was becoming an idol. It’s probably the most common thing I think about every day. I still planned what we were going to eat on the fast, but I ceased blogging. At first I had started with blogging the Daniel Fast, as a resource for others. but then I decided against it. I will pick up where I left off and blog about my favorite fast meals, but it was a nice break.

I realized that all the time and effort I was placing into the blog was not worth what I was putting in. I came to a crossroads where I could either abandon the blog altogether or choose to make something of it.

Then this week at church, Alex talked about satisfying work. Although I love my job, I believe an incredible passion lies in food. For this reason, I plan on pursuing the rebranding and monetizing the blog in upcoming months.

It will take more work and time than i ever have spent before, but if I treat it as a job and seek to excel in it, I believe it will be worth the time I put in.

We’ll see.

New Year’s Day 2k15 thoughts…

I haven’t really taken as much time to reflect on the year by myself as I have in the past. Maybe because I now have someone who works as a sounding board and we talk about things constantly.

But this has been a very good year! So many life changes. I’ve met so many new people, even since graduating, that have become a big part of my life. I’m thankful for the year I’ve had, and also can’t wait to make 2015 even better.

I’ll probably still be singing songs from 2006 next year, but some things don’t change.

Goals/Plans for 2015:

-I wrote about it on Sparkle Sisters…but I plan on replacing my work wardrobe gradually. Looking forward to that.

-MOVE. We just need a bigger kitchen. That’s really the one important thing!

-Eat healthier – we are doing a lot of home cooking, and I feed Justin healthy things, but I’m not as good at eating them myself.

-Jesus. Always need more Him.

I’ve been thinking about this all morning. I considered life optimization through the utilization of the things I already have. Mostly technology-wise, using apps and things to their greatest capacity. Like, contacts on my computer/phone hold all sorts of personal data. Saving addresses, where I meet people, email addresses, etc. My fitbit tracks sleep and I haven’t tried it yet. It seems kind of dumb now that I type it out, but if you properly used everything you use on a daily basis, you might be more productive or something.

Being married and young is fun. Exploring life together forever!

These are all my thoughts. haha

guesstimate

I just used the word “guesstimate” over on SkinnyCookProblems and now feel so silly. Mostly because I use that phrase all the time, and it’s about time that I realized that estimation is guessing, and guessing can be estimation…

I don’t want to give up my stupid words yet. #notgrowingup

i can guesstimate I haven’t been here since I got married. Happy 3.5 months to us.

Another day, another dog. :(

This is honestly the saddest thing ever, but I have been realizing it recently.

Right at age 21-23, your childhood pet is most likely going to die. Right in between the 35 engagements and 5 baby announcements on your Facebook wall, will be that inevitable post of the family pet getting old. It’s so sad.

In the past two weeks, I think my personal News Feed has been witness to 4 pet tragedies. I can’t handle this…! Not 35 more engagements could make up for the amount of sadness that goes along with just one of those posts. (But really, PLEASE not 35 more engagements. Facebook will implode.)

RIP to all my friends’ furry friends (and the non-furry, like fish.)!

Sigh.

happy 22nd gotcha day to me!

Today is the first day of the 22nd year I’ve spent in good ‘ol ‘Merica.

22 years ago, I arrived in LAX and put into my parents’ arms.

IMG_2465

Me and my leeetle Mama at the airport!

It’s been a wonderful ride so far, and I can’t wait to see what the years ahead will have in store.

Of course I found this post rejecting the term “Gotcha Day” on the eve of my day:
http://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/whats-wrong-with-gotcha-day/
http://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/about/this-site/

And it made me sad. I understand that everyone who is adopted comes from a different place in livelihoods, situations and adoptive families. But at least for me, I have never experienced feelings of “loss” surrounding my adoption, or other feelings that people often tie to their experience of “relocation.” I don’t invalidate those feelings, though, and my non-feelings should not be invalidated either. But it rips my heart out to think that people neglect the divine intervention of God based on the fact that one party had to suffer to get to where they are, and that miracles don’t exist.

As a Christian, I often forget that people don’t think about the adoption rhetoric in the story of humanity’s redemption. When we were “adopted as sons” (Romans 8:15), Jesus had to do his work here on Earth to allow us to have a relationship with His father. God doesn’t wish bad things onto people, but worldly circumstances render many people hopeless, and the fact that they were rescued from their emptiness, loneliness, depression, and other vices is often the greatest part of the story.

You can’t discount a miracle because someone’s initial life decisions were made for them as a result of policies and social stigmas. That child’s future is still a source or joy and love for both the child and their adoptive family. I might not have had the chance to choose the family I got, but now I’ve “got” ’em, and they’ve “got” me!

I was raised about as normally as possible. And sure, I dealt with the adoption-related issues (family trees, ugh, which we will be discussing this week with my preteens), but I kind of cross those bridges when we got to them. I grew up with my entire family embracing my home culture and supporting me as I explored it in whatever capacity I wished.

Besides the fact of the literal etymology of the word “Gotcha,” I think the right, positive sentiment is still there. It’s the day my parents finally “got” the opportunity to be parents, and I “got” the opportunity to grow up in a loving home. My Gotcha Day never neglects the pains and selfless love of my birthmother, whose birthday is earlier in the month. It is a celebration of the creation of my family, but not without a reminder of her every year. My story would not be complete without mentioning her in the very beginning. I think that it’s less about what you CALL it and more about what you DO for it.

Needless to say, I sent my mama those two links, and she wrote back with this:

I still like a red thread tattoo… it’s a symbol of two very hard situations that hopefully became an answer to prayer for each.  That’s how I look at it.  In the end I’ll always be thankful for the scars…for 6 miscarriages, 2 domestic adoptions that didn’t pan out, because in the end they led me to you.  That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have loved those 8 other babies, or that I’m glad they didn’t get born/placed, but it was life and that’s how it happened.  I’m thankful for the pain looking back, because otherwise, I would never have known such joy and gratefulness.  So I think [that writer] may not understand that yet, but someday probably will.  I know [friend] always said she didn’t believe in destiny, but now, if you ask her, I can guarantee that she believes in it… Maybe it’s not “destiny” but we make it “destiny” because we all live on the broken road in one way or another.  I don’t spend too much time wishing it weren’t broken because it’s turned out to be my favorite one.

Man, do I love her!

We love Gotcha Days in our house so much, that we’ve even assigned days to everyone that isn’t even adopted. For example, my step-brothers’ Gotcha Day is the day my mom and stepdad got married. And my stepbrothers’ wives each have a Gotcha Day that corresponds with the day they got married into the family. We’re just a big, happy family, excited that we “got” who we’ve “got!”