Monday, January 31, 2011

4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than I like {people}?

Feel free to switch out the words in brackets: You may like TV more than exercise, or bad boys more than nice guys, or burglary more than reading. Whatever the particulars, every woman has something she likes more than the somethings she's supposed to like. But forcing "virtues" -- trying to like people more than cupcakes -- drives us to vices that offer false freedom from oppression. Stop trying to like the things you don't like, and many vices will disappear on their own.

I've been ruminating on this one for days. Ice cream is the first fill in the blank. I suppose doing chores may be the second fill in the blank these days. I don't know about the logic in this one. I can't imaigine if I stop liking chores they'll get done on their own. I'm kind of confused by this. I know exactly why I like ice cream more than chores. Cause ice cream is yummy and happy and chores are tiring and dirty. Even though dirty turns into clean eventually. Ok, I'm going to stop here while I'm ahead. I feel like I'm totally missing the point. Oh well...on to the next question.

Friday, January 28, 2011

3. Why worry?

3. Why worry?

These two words, considered sincerely, can radically reconfigure the landscape of your mind. Worry rarely leads to positive action; it's just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it. Some psychologists say that by focusing on gratitude, we can shut down the part of the brain that worries. It actually works!

This question makes me think of (cliche, I know) Matthew 6:
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So easy to say, so not so easy to think or live out.

I like the idea of replacing gratitude with worry.

Today, I am grateful for the following (in no particular order):

--a currently flexible-while-I'm-at-work job. While I have to be here from around 8 until around 4:30, I can get stuff done on my own terms for the most part. I'm thankful for that.

--Jack. I can't even handle him! He's such a cutie right now. He laughs alot (wonder where he gets that?). He eats like it's his job. He's rolling over both ways. He's starting to sit on his own. He smiles when we come to get him in the morning. Love, love, love him.

--Shawn. I know I gush about him often, but goodness God has blessed me so. He's thoughtful and kind and patience and responsible and wise and follows hard after God.

--the ocean. I love the ocean. Just something about it puts me in my place and reminds me God is in control and His timing is perfect.

I'll keep it at that list of four for now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2. Is this what I want to be doing?

Continuing on with the 20 questions (link to article in title of this post), the next question is posed this way:

2. Is this what I want to be doing?
This very moment is, always, the only moment in which you can make changes. Knowing which changes are best for you comes, always, from assessing what you feel. Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you're doing. If the answer is no, start noticing what you'd prefer. Thus begins the revolution.
So in this exact moment, the answer to that question is 'sure.' Just chatted with a friend and am drinking hot chocolate and eating a bagel (I'm at work). The work part is the part that I DON'T want to be doing.

I know what I want to be doing. I don't know how to get there.

I'd prefer to spend part of my day with Jack. I'd prefer to coach college students (or older) into being the best them they can be. To help them discover their strengths and how they can utilize those strengths in every aspect of their lives.

I'm just waiting for a start up company to actually start. I'm already listed (and trained) as a coach for this company. We just don't have any clients yet.

So I try to fill my days with things that bring meaning and help others. I mentor two women who are in grad school. I plan lunch dates with people I like to be around.

Lists help. I should keep this question in the back of my mind and write down things that come up...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


As the title of this blog is both hope and question, I figured since I'd talked about hope most recently, I'll talk about Question(s) next. Why not? See, there's one now!

I came upon this article about questions that could change my life. I LOVE that it says, 'could.' Not will, but could. So maybe, maybe not. But I figure, why not try? See, there's question #2 before I even get to the 20 in the article.

So here goes. I figure I'll get 20 days of blogging worth out of these 20 questions. If you're lucky.

The first one is (drum roll, please):
1. What questions should I be asking myself?

The thing I find fascinating about this is that they give me 19 other questions that will supposedly could change my life. So why would I come up with ones of my own when I've got 19 others eagerly waiting to help could change my life. I mean, do I look stupid? Maybe that's one of the questions I should be asking myself! Ha! And to answer, most days I don't look stupid. I try and dress fairly smart.

The only other question I can think of at the moment to ask myself is 'what would you do for a klondike bar?' And my answer to that is: spend the money to buy a box and eat two in one sitting.

Can't wait for the next 19...

Monday, January 24, 2011

best year yet

my mom introduced me to a series of worksheets to come up with goals and a new paradigm to have the best year yet. in hopes of achieving these goals, and holding on to my new paradigm, i wanted to share those with whoever out there (still) reads this thing.

My Guidelines for 2011
1. Let go
2. Persevere
3. Trust

My New Paradigm for 2011
I am valuable and valued. Hope does not disappoint.

My Top Ten Goals for 2011 (in no particular order):

1. Try at least 4 new recipes for dinner
2. Read Scripture with Shawn 3 days a week.
3. Read Bible stories with Jack before bedtime 3 nights a week.
4. Sing 250 hymns to Jack.
5. Write four involved e-mails to three long-distance friends.
6. Pray once a week for a specific friend God's put on my heart.
7. Suggest restarting a group at work and spearhead that if allowed.
8. Pray for my supervisor(s) once a week.
9. Share the redemption story of Jesus with at least one non-believer (this may seem like a low goal, but for me it's a really big one).
10. Memorize 4 verses dealing with hope (the verses I've chosen are Psalm 25:5; Psalm 62:5; Isaiah 49:23b; Romans 15:13; and if I get really motivated Romans 5:1-11).

I'll check in once a month to let you know how I'm doing.

This morning I'm meditating on my new paradigm (I'm valuable and valued. Hope does not disappoint and on Psalm 25:5 'Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long) in light of a frustrating turn of events.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a sign and a confession

my coworker and i just cleared our throats at the same exact time. is it a sign?

at church on Sunday Shawn facilitated confession as a way to hope. confession of our cynicism as a sin, specifically. i had to confess another instance of cynicism to Shawn last night: I'm cynical about my Dad. Which has a ripple effect in to other parts of my life, for certain. He didn't call me on my birthday. Some years he forgets. The past few years, he's 'remembered' that my birthday is January 19. so maybe he'll call today? it's not a huge thing, but with him, it's all the little things AND the big things that makes it hard.

we were challenged to not put our hope in people or in circumstances, but in God. For God is faithful. And hoping in Him does not disappoint. May it be so...

in other news, i'm having lunch with someone to get more information about a possible opportunity. praying for wisdom to know what choice to make.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the results

So I thought I'd post how last week turned out. Short answer FABULOUS!

Monday: Auburn won! The game was a little too close, but that's pretty much how the whole season was for me. I'm happy we're National Champs!

Tuesday: dinner with the friend was awesome because he's been under the weather for months now and is seemingly getting way better!

Wednesday: mom made talapia that was so yummy!

Thursday: GIRLS night was so fun. Pizza and crafts (I didn't do the crafts part; just watched).

Friday: Shawn not only took me to dinner, but surprised me by taking me to the Legion of Honor. We walked to the spot where he first told me he loved me (September 16, 2006) and told me he still loved me. Then we went and looked at the general exhibit (when we went in 2006, we went to the Monet exhibit only). Then we got eclaires from a Russian bakery on Geary. Then we headed to the Marina, shopped a bit and then had dinner at Isa. Delish! We did a bit of window shopping and then headed home. Such a great birthday!

Saturday: Chick-fil-a was as yummy as I had been imagining all week. Then spontaneously we saw The King's Speech at the nearby theater. SUCH a good movie. Colin Firth totally melts my butter! I was so impressed with the story, the acting, everything!

Yay for an excellent birthday week...

Monday, January 10, 2011

a big week

so, here's what's on my agenda for this week:

Monday: THE GAME. Auburn plays Oregon for the BCS Championship.

Tuesday: dinner with a dear friend

Wednesday: family dinner

Thursday: GIRLs night (Pam and Katie are going to help make curtains for Jack's room)

Friday: I turn 32. I always take the day off from work. And Shawn is taking me to dinner.

Saturday: I decided I wanted to go to Chick-fil-a with some of my girlfriends to celebrate my birthday. It's a 45 minute drive. Road trip!

All in all, it should be a fabulous week (especially if Auburn wins like I think they're going to do).

Friday, January 07, 2011


Ok, so I've made it through the December posts. I didn't do it exactly how it was planned for, but it's done. And I feel good about it.

I'm thinking of ways to continue blogging in January and beyond that will be purposeful.

I pursued an opportunity this week that didn't turn out. That bummed me out, but I'm thankful for the job I have and how God provides through that.

I've also missed Jack alot this week. Being off for almost two weeks spoiled me.

He's getting so big and he's such a happy baby and I hate that I'm missing that. It makes it bearable only because Shawn and my mom are with him.

I'm gearing up for turning 32. It's going to be low key this year. 32 seems like such a weird age. But it'll be ok.

Here's to another year...

December 31 – Core Story

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

(Author: Molly O’Neill)

Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. He came so that all may live, be free. Redemption and Reconciliation are made possible because of, and through, him.
Sharing it...good question. I haven't done much of that lately. I've been mulling that over lately and asking for opportunities to do so in relevant and meaningful ways.
Hopefully I'll have stories about that throughout 2011...

December 30 – Gift

Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

(Author: Holly Root)

Ok, again, not counting Jack, I would have to go with the eternity ring of my grandmother's that Shawn gave me. I've already shared about it (and the poem he wrote to go along with it).

Also, the two parties I've already mentioned were extremely meaningful gifts to me.

2010 was definitely a blessed year for me...

December 29 – Defining Moment

Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

(Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

At this point, I kind of feel like a broken record, but if you've been reading my December posts, you may guess that my defining moment that affected my life this year (way more than I could have ever imagined) is giving birth to Jack. Whew...still is defining me, really. I'm a mom. That's so surreal.

December 28 – Achieve

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

(Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

This is a hard question for me. I actually have a list in my head that I'm scared to put on paper or tell anyone.

I think the one I feel ok about sharing is patience while driving.

I think I'll feel better about myself and less stressed.

10 things I can do/think to expereince that feeling today:

1. breathe
2. smile
3. get my three must-dos done today at work
4. breathe some more (long, deep, intentional inhales and exhales)
5. not so new thought, but something that will help me get to the feeling: everything is going ot be alright
6. another not so new, but helpful, thought: LET GO
7. drink more water
8. remember Whose I am
9. think about Jack's smile and laughter
10. take a walk

December 27 – Ordinary Joy

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

(Author: Brené Brown)

I'm going to put aside any joy related to Jack because to me that falls under the 'extraordinary' joy category. With that said, major cheese alert for the text ahead.

There were countless times of ordinary joy when I held Shawn's hand as we walked down a sidewalk. If I stop and think about it for any length of time, I am overwhelmed with the ordinary joy of getting to live life with Shawn. Sure he has his flaws, his 'moments,' but I just love him because he's such a great thoughtful, so smart, so funny, so caring. I just can't get enough of him and that fills my heart with joy. That he's mine and I'm his.

Monday, January 03, 2011

December 26 – Soul Food

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

(Author: Elise Marie Collins)

What a good question! I think it was the salmon, followed by les profiteroles with rasberry gelato, at Left Bank. Oh my word was it scrumptious. And it was our first real "date" after Jack was born. It felt almost scandalous going out!

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

(Author: Tracey Clark)

This photo is two weeks after Jack was born. Shannon Cunningham came to our house to shoot newborn photos. I am so very glad we had her come! I was so happy (out of it, really, but happy). I like it because it shows the love I have for Shawn and the joy I have for Jack in our lives.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

(Author: Kate Inglis)

Adjusting to motherhood has not been the easiest thing for me. Adjusting to parenthood has not been the easiest thing for our relationship.

Shawn gave me my grandmother's eternity ring. With it, he wrote this poem:


Love becomes eternal through
renewal and choice
giving strength to sustain
just as your grandmother
received this ring
so now you
continue the legacy
of love in marriage
as we grow through trials
a new stone is added
to the many already
bound in this life
signified by this
eternal ring
remembering the strength
that has brought us here
and much more to add
with no boundary to contain
the joy we have

It meant so much to me to hear those words. His voice and the meaning behind the words told me everything was going to be alright.

I think reading this occasionally and remembering it's a choice is going to help.