Thursday, February 23, 2012


lately i've been thinking a lot about...

... lent and what that looks like. i haven't decided to give up something this year, and i'm clearly running late now, but i've been thinking about it a lot. i don't think giving up chocolate or coffee will make me a better christian. it's not even about that. lent is a time to think about and prepare for easter, to remember what God did when he gave up his son as a sacrifice for our sins, right? so how can i live that out during this time? we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, so how do i do that? anything i could offer would be nothing in comparison to what God has done for me, so where do i even begin? i think it has to be about my heart and how i spend my time. am i living each moment for God's glory? am i giving him praise for each moment that he has blessed me with? am i giving up my time and my money to help others? if someone saw my life from the outside would they even know that i'm a christian, or am i just another nice person pursuing the american dream?

... the glory of god compared to me. my small group has started a study on Crazy Love. have you read it? it's pretty interesting so far. not necessarily new information, but often forgotten information. the first chapter is about God's immense glory and how we approach him. we often forget about how truly holy god is and approach him like he's our buddy. i think there is a place for this natural relationship with god, but really, God IS so holy that it is ONLY through christ's sacrifice that we can approach him. the old testament has multiple stories of people who got too close to God and died. isaiah lived and his response was, "woe is me." solomen said to "let your words be few" when you approach God. instead of approaching God like he's a genie and just listing off what i'd like, i need to remember who i'm approaching, how holy and separate he is from me, how it is only through christ that i can approach him. the beginning of the lord's prayer says it all. it starts off by saying that God is separate from me (in heaven), and his name is holy. then it doesn't say ask god for what you want, but instead, that God's will would be done.

ok, i've been thinking about a lot more than that, but i'm tired and i have to work at 5am!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

mandala workshop

i'm a little late in posting this, but better late than never!

last saturday i attended an art therapy/mandala workshop here in greensboro. i was originally scheduled to work when i heard about the workshop, but i decided to jump on the chance to attend something art therapy related in greensboro. when i arrived i realized most everyone was over 60. many were there just to nourish their inner artist, but there were some more middle aged professionals. of course i ended up at a table with two of the oldest people there - no networking for me, i thought! well, the workshop presenter turned out to be adorable and very knowledgable. she is a jungian-oriented art therapist who has extensively studied and practiced mandalas. you can explore her website here. during the first part of the workshop we had time to create and interpret our own mandalas. here's mine:

of course most everything on my mind that day was job hunting, and i was hoping to get some guidance from the experience. in my mandala i saw that my journey was being supported and literally held in God's hands. i already knew this, but the visual representation was reassuring and comforting. a lady at my table said when she saw mine she immediately thought "wind that will take me wherever i want to go!" how nice! of course you may see something totally different, but that's the joy of art! 

in the second part of the workshop we did a much more complicated (and wordy) mandala exploring an area of conflict or concern, in which you identified what you thought, felt, sensed, and intuitively knew about the topic, and then made several interpretations from there. i won't go into all the details, but i did gain a lot of insight into my stressed state about job hunting. i intuitively know that i am called to be an art therapist and i WILL find a job. but my thoughts/inner dialogue has been primarily discouraging, not hopeful. i think i've been putting too much emphasis on what i've been sensing (in this case hearing): hearing from discouraged classmates about looking for a job for a long time, hearing about a bad economy, hearing about needing a license, etc. yes, maybe these things are true, but they haven't actually been my experience. i've only been a graduate for a few weeks! so why am i discouraged!? things take time, and finding the right job will be no different. i need to trust what i intuitively know instead of what i've been doing, which is freaking out, of course. my challenge is to keep working hard at job hunting and not give up or let the discouragement (coming from my own head or elsewhere) paralyze my efforts! 

in addition to all of this, i was able to network with some professional art therapists in the area too! yippee! at the end of the day, i was so glad i attended this workshop. 

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

keeping it real

i'm feeling inspired to keep things real around here, because i hate when everything gets sugar-coated and pleasantries are exchanged and the real meat of life is ignored. this is my blog and this i how i feel. rational or not. i feel like things are difficult lately. i'm feeling like i'm going through a hard time. i'm frustrated. so here i go:

-my church is ending. the church where we found community in greensboro will have its last service on sunday. i know it's for the best. i know it needs to happen. i know god is growing and changing our community through this. but it's hard. i don't like change.

-i miss my sister like crazy. she is far away and i (selfishly) don't like it. i want her here. i want to be able to call her and talk to her. skype is good but still different. and with a big time change it's very hard.

-i want to be planning a trip to europe right now to go see krystal and brad. like really bad. but this seems impossible right now because of finances. not that going to europe when it's not financially smart is a good thing, but i almost feel like if we don't go now we never will, or it will be much, much harder.

-i want to be buying a house too. or at least just getting out of our apartment. i'm tired of it. i'm tired of always hearing footsteps above my head and hearing a drinking/smoking fest right outside my window when i'm trying to go to sleep. but again... money.

-i'm tired of working at starbucks. i want a therapy job but i don't have a license. i'm frustrated and i've hardly looked because i'm so overwhelmed and (probably prematurely) discouraged. a job i really wanted and applied for never called me. i feel perfect for it. i also feel guilty complaining about not having a job when i'm not doing much to change my circumstances. i find starbucks to be exhausting and i feel like i'm never caught up on sleep. so in the afternoons i want to nap and watch HGTV. and then i feel lame and beat myself up for it.

on the bright side my pants are loose and i'm taking better care of myself. josh and i are going to mexico in just over a month (more about that in another post). i know god is teaching me and working in me during this time. i think part of my complaints are directly related to the fact that i'm feeling impatient. god has everything i'm stressed about figured out, and it's going to happen in HIS timing, not mine.

this is random, but friday i spent over $700 getting an oil change and new tires for my never-ending-money-pit-of-a-car. i was irritated, it's one thing after another. but the car is paid off and the mileage is high so we are stuck with it for now. but anyway, josh's uber-generous grandma had given us $500 for christmas, which we did plan to use for tires. and then yesterday i got a $200 reimbursement check in the mail for art supplies i had purchased during my internship, which i had completely forgotten about. i love it that god is in all things.

Monday, February 6, 2012

super bowl recap

well, the party turned out to be a delight. i was so exhausted by the time it actually started that i was just excited to be able to sit and relax a little. too much cleaning and cooking. i really like to host, but man it's a lot of work. the food was yummy and i think everyone had a nice time. i should have taken more pictures. i did take this one of josh before it started:

he was holding up the foam finger and a mini football he got at his most recent work meeting. he's clearly excited. no, our cable box isn't normally on a T.V. tray in front of the fire place. josh went to great lengths moving around the furniture to maximize seating and T.V. viewing. here's a better angle: 

we brought in the love seat from josh's office and put it where the T.V. normally is, and then moved the T.V. over to block the hideous apartment blinds and the sliding door/balcony. josh likes the new arrangement quite a bit and wants to leave it this way. i'm not so sure. of course we can get a longer cable cord, but do i want to permanently block a sliding door/balcony? i don't know. we do have another balcony off the back through josh's office, but still. i like to open the door and let the light/fresh air in when i can. hmm... i think we're going to try it out for a few days. 

well today i'm feeling completely exhausted. of course i had to work at 5 this morning, so i only got a few hours of sleep. i'm also feeling quite irritated: about the day after the super bowl not being a holiday, about people not tipping this morning, about the ridiculously thick layer of wall paint covering our entire apartment (it seriously makes the doors stick and our food stick to our cabinet shelves, about not losing as much weight as i wanted to this week... woe is me. i know i'm ridiculous. i need a nap. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

super bowl party menu

so here's the menu for tomorrow's super bowl...

veggies and hummus
briana's rice krispy treats
zack's wings & quacamole
black bean salsa (a classic from my mom)
chocolate cupcakes with chocolate glaze
taco dip
broccoli and cheddar potato skins

i hope everything turns out well! i've been doing weight watchers for a couple weeks now and i'm super excited about trying out these recipes, and not having to worry about figuring out points! i keep finding more and more recipes i want to try, but i'm already going to have to clean and make/finish a bunch of food in-between church and the party, so i'm forcing myself to stop. anyway, tonight i've made the salsa, the cupcakes (sans glaze - that will happen tomorrow), and this for snack at church tomorrow. i don't know what i was thinking signing up for snack the same day as the party, but oh well! i made this cinnamon roll cake before and everyone loved it, so i'm feeling pretty confident. last time i made it all sunday morning and this time i'm planning to warm it in the oven and then add the glaze in the morning. hopefully that works out well! anyway, hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!