Sunday, May 23, 2010

a good swift kick and some grace

this is what i need.
from you.
or somebody.

i need a good swift kick. i've hit a wall. i'm still exercising every day, and adding good choices to my meals - but i haven't lost anything for a few weeks. i feel stronger, and i even think i look better. but that stubborn scale just won't go any lower.

i know it's not about the scale, in my rational mind ...

but in my tired, sulky, give-uppy mind, i just want to flop down on the couch and ignore my promise to myself that i am going to stick this out. pcos is totally winning.

it's still fun to work out, once i get up and do it. but it was more fun when the scale was celebrating with me.

that's the down side.
on the bright side, i've been enjoying something kind of cool at work.

because no one's talking to me (nothing personal, they don't talk to anyone), i've got 8 hours to listen to my ipod without interruption. i've downloaded some sermons from mars hill church, and i listen to them while i work. it makes the time go by so fast, and gives me something productive to think about while i'm sizing and cinching.

last thursday, i was listening to a sermon on jonah. one of the points the speaker made was that the assyrians (the people in nineveh) received huge grace from God.

[their culture destroyed other civilizations in hundreds of different ways - because racial purity was important to the israelites, the assyrians forced intermarriage on them. the children of these marriages were outcasts: the israelites didn't embrace them into their culture because their parents chose to live with assyrians instead of being killed, and the assyrians didn't embrace them because they were inferior - they were bred as a shame to the israelites.
these children, incidentally, became known as samaritans ... anyway, back to the point]

so the speaker was saying that although we usually judge jonah for not wanting to obey God, jonah kind of had a point. when he said "i knew you'd be merciful, because you're like that, and repent of punishing them like you say you will," he's speaking in socio-cultural context. the israelites want the assyrians to be punished by God. this is only - humanly speaking - fair. the israelites are God's people - so he should punish their enemies.

but God offers a flood of grace to nineveh. and he gets jonah to be the one to cause their repentance, so He can pour grace on them.

same with us.
we're the assyrians.
we don't deserve pity, kindness, mercy.
we judge people, ignore people, ignore God, and forget kindness. we're selfish, unholy, and cruel.

still, God provides grace for us. it cost a lot. His Son had to bear the punishment in order for Him to do it. but it's there for us, because God isn't a god of karma. He doesn't make sure that bad people get bad things. He provides grace for both the evil and the good.

this kind of math doesn't make sense. He's a whole different dimension of love that i can't even understand.

and i get to learn this at work.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

workin' the night shift

last night was my first nightshift at superstore.

patrick warned me that the reason people work nights is because they don't like interacting with people. he was totally right.

i showed up, the manager let me in, and i said "hi, i'm new, working in joe fresh."
he jabs his thumb to the left and says, "joe fresh's over there."

yup.

so i went to my department, found a note that told me what to do, and got to work.

at break time, after 2 and a half hours of sorting, folding, and tidying clothes, i was ready to talk to someone! so i grabbed a smoothie, paid for it at the cash desk, and stood there smiling. i felt like a puppy at the pound, just waiting for someone to pick me, pick me!

the smokers went outside, and everyone else melted away. i was left smiling at thin air ...
i made my way unhappily back to my department, where i sat on the desk alone and drank my smoothie.
i called patrick, and he laughed at me.

the same thing happened at lunch.
by the third break, i didn't even bother. i just kept working.

next time, i'll bring a book.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

turbo jam

my sweet friend carol gave me her turbo jam dvds. i've been rocking out to them for the past ten days, and they are awesome. i have so much fun blasting out a quick workout in the morning (i started out doing them at night, then switched to the morning to try to reduce my caffeine addiction). i feel good about myself all day.

the music and dancing makes it feel like a party.

this morning, i did a quick workout then headed off to pick up patrick at work. i was driving down the road, and saw joggers and walkers out for their exercise. the first three i saw looked so miserable that i almost giggled. they definitely need some turbo jam fun.

i think the fun is why i keep doing it every day. yes, i'm starting to see results, and it's moving me toward my goal, but the truth is, it's really fun. i'm not good at consistently doing something difficult. i'm very externally motivated, and don't have a lot of oomph inside to get up and go. i've tried walking, watching what i eat, and going to the gym. if i don't get some daily, observable benefit, i tend to give up on things really easily. if you see me sticking to something, you know it's because i love it or really really really want it.

as far as turbo jam goes - i love it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

summer rolls

*note, this post is not about my weight loss goals: the title refers to these yummy little wraps we made!
we were inspired by patrick's awesome cousin danielle and aunt pauline, who tried these and posted beautiful pictures on facebook. i hunted down the ingredients that day, and had a blast trying to make them yummy and pretty.

they turned out to be so delicious that the next day we had company for lunch and made them
again! it was impossibly simple:
rice paper, filled with cilantro, celery, basil, carrots, chicken (the next day we also tried spicy sausage, and it was a hit), cold rice noodles, and chives for some prettiness.
the sauce was hoisin, soy, and vinegar. mmmmmm.

(now that i'm not in school, i've got a lot more time to play in the kitchen.)

we wanted to do something special when bekah and justin came for supper, so we decided to eat on the floor ;).
we made nachos using jensen's orchard veggie chips - yum! - and blended up two of our favorite crazy dips: dill hummus and mango-lime guacamole. we ate them african style on the floor with a chitange mat, and used robb & angele's present - gorgeous african napkin holders & napkins.

and i'm trying to use more veggies lately, so i made stuffed peppers for supper one night. mashed potatoes, turkey, celery, and green onion made up the insides, which i stuffed into parboiled peppers without burning my fingers (success!).
after i took this photo, i decided to top them with grated cheese and pop them into the oven until the cheese toasted. less healthy, but more yummy. mmm good!

Monday, May 3, 2010

romans 8:28

lately, i've been overwhelmed with how especially kind God is. this spring, life feels sweet.

last year was particularly tough - we lost our baby bean, and haven't really managed to get back to life as we knew it. everything reminds us - everything would have been different, and isn't. just by being the same, it hurts.

today i saw a little girl curled up in her parents' arms. she was born when the baby bean was due. it felt like a punch in the stomach, to see her. she's beautiful. and that would have been us.

another friend keeps posting pictures of her beautiful babies online. and that's great. i'm totally, completely glad for her. but every picture is a stab in the heart.
a mean little voice whispers in my head, you can't have this! you'll never have this!
and i want to set up a pity party - mull over each aspect of the life we're missing, stare at pictures and long to see myself in them, think about just why my sorrow is so much more piercing than anyone else's.

but God points out - relentlessly, ruthlessly - that this isn't what He has chosen for me this day.

what has He chosen?

patrick is a living, breathing example of God's love to me.
my graduation miracle was a huge gift (i thought i was going to have another semester of school, but i don't - i can graduate this month).
my family loves me like crazy, and takes care of me. every time i see them i feel God's arms around me. i have sisters and friends who love me. i have a crazy wonderful little brother i'd do anything for.

this - this! - is my life: the blessedness of being cherished in the palm of God's hand, the awesomeness of being in the deepest, closest marriage that has ever existed, the sunshine-joy of being an aunt to six adorables, and the definite awareness that He is working His plan for my life.

God is so patient with me. when my heart is torn and sore, He is especially kind to show me His love. when i want to curl up in a pity party, He doesn't let me. instead, He shows me that i am the last person to deserve one.

i'm blessed.

daily, i am more assured that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.