Tuesday, April 12, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Things I will eat in abundance after my braces are removed:

Apples (Biting into them!)
Corn on the cob
The hardest pita chips I can find
Crispy loaves of bread dipped in oil and herbs
Sushi w/o fear of ALL the rice stuck in my braces
Same goes for sandwiches, that bread gets into all the nooks and crannies
Strawberries - I mean, I eat them now but they get stuck everywhere. Same with oreos
Tortilla chips
Steak - I eat it now, but it gets stuck too, and when my teeth are sore, it is a pain in the butt to chew
Milk duds and all other chewy, caramel-y candies

To be continued...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Peace in Small Doses

I went hiking last week up north at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. Turns out the trails there connect to both Lake Ramona and Lake Poway, so a lot of exploring can be done. I hiked along the creek bed and then took a trail that wound around the Lake Poway dam and then went around the lake itself. It connects to a trail to Mt. Woodson, which I'll be returning to do very soon!
It was very pretty. The wildfires are starting to bloom in abundance, and the clouds were a beautiful contrast in the blue sky. That's something that I've noticed about this area, when it is sunny out, the sky is BLUE. No haze of heat to make it seem almost white (although the marine layer does dim it sometimes). Most days, the sky is gorgeous!! The view from above Lake Poway was incredible, and I can only imagine what the view will be like from the top of Mt. Woodson.
Enough about that. While I was hiking, I was doing a lot of personal reflection. The topic of God's purpose in my life, and using God's gifts has come up a lot in conversations at life group lately, and in sermons in church, and it has been difficult for me to clarify these in my life. I've had a hard time coming to terms with/being ok with where I am in life, and knowing that God's plan for my life is what is happening NOW, and not where I will be down the road. I think I received a little peace, though. I did come to realize that all these great things in my life right now would not be if I were anywhere else doing something else. This awesome church family, living with my best friend, getting these braces done, new friends and experiences every day by living in new places...I'm enjoying all these things, and it's ok that I'm serving food at Olive Garden in the meantime. I've met so many people in professions who say "Oh, I did that for years after college before I got to where I am now. It was a great time, and I don't regret it." I don't think I'll regret it either, and it's all part of the plan, so I might as well enjoy it! I'll be back in school soon enough and on to another profession, but while I'm still unsure of what that is, I should be out in the world trying new things and learning what I like and dislike in my life and from others' lives as well.
As for spiritual gifts, I know to a certain extent what some are, but I should be putting more energy into discovering and understanding them so I can use them to their fullest extent. I know I am compassionate, and a good listener/confidant. I know also that I am a patient teacher (although I do not feel patient internally at times). I also have a strong sense of fairness/right vs wrong, and desire to help those causes that cannot help themselves (i.e. conservation, being stewards of the earth, plants and animals) But how to best put these to use? That is where I need to work on stamping out indecisiveness in some parts of my life, so I can say, "Yes, these are my strong points, and I am going to use them in this way" Ready, set, Go!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coffee Shop Days

I love to sit in coffee shops. I could chill in a coffee shop just about all day-every day for the people watching opportunities, smells, and atmosphere. I also actually feel like a get something accomplished when I sit down here. At home I will sit on my computer and end up thirty minutes later wondering what I have been doing on the internet all that time (facebooking and youtubing...). Here I have already read some news, started a new blog post, and looked up some new music. In a place where I should be more distracted, I tend to have more focus. *like*! I'm sitting in OB today because I really need to re-focus my energies on what my plan is for the next few years. When/where am I going back to school, and what program do I want to go back for? I think that it's going to have to do something with biology, conservation, ecology, teaching, invasive species, etc. But how will all these elements combine for my ideal place in life? The sermons in church and discussions in life group lately have had a lot of focus on what God's purpose for my life is, what my "vehicle" to do God's work will be. Well, I am still not certain of my purpose, and it stresses me out to be unsure and indecisive about what I want to do. Is God waiting until the right time to show me what is next, or is my fear keeping me from seeing what He wants me to see? I am not sure. And I also do not know if San Diego was a step in the forward direction, although it was a step, and that is definitely better than nothing. I have met great people here already who have challenged me, and every day brings something new.
Last night I finished The Alchemist, a book about a young man who goes on a quest for his "Personal Legend" and manages to succeed through his own determination and the help of a few particular people. The author brings up the fact that most people go through life ignoring the call of their personal legend or give up too easily and so always feel incomplete or bitter because their goal was not accomplished. Or they believe in the dream that someday they will accomplish that goal, and never actually do anything for fear that life will be less interesting without that dream always in their head. What am I putting on the back burner in my life that I should be doing now? To what am I saying, "oh, I'll have time to do that later." "One day I'll have more money and resources and will do it then." "I've achieved these goals, and so I can wait before I attempt this other goal that might be taxing or end up in failure." The fear of failure is definitely real and crippling. It is much easier to try for something small and succeed, than to try for something bigger/harder where failure is more possible. I want to break past any such fears so I can "go big or go home" in life. :). Why not? Life is short, and I may not be here as long as I'd like. No more excuses from me!