I like bullet points

Here is a quick bullet point summary of the last few weeks:

  • Working lots of overtime (which I don’t get paid for because I’m on stinkin’ SALARY)
  • Lamest Easter ever
  • Athol River Rat Race (my friend got 2nd place out of 272 canoes! Also, the linked site is one of the worst designed websites I’ve ever seen…cringe-worthy)
  • Lost 5 more lbs (down 30 since last June!)
  • NeedtoBreathe at the House of Blues in Boston
  • Co-worker had her baby 6 weeks early (5lb 4oz Jaxson Harley is doing great! So is mama)
  • Results of this was even more overtime and more craziness at work to prepare for…
  • …our program in Chicago! (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) – I ate a ridiculously awesome Chicago Deep Dish pizza. Well, I ate two pieces of it.
  • Wedding shower on Saturday
  • Made some Rice Krispie Peanut Butter Balls for housechurch (recipe to come)
  • Slept through housechurch on Sunday

Which brings me to a quick bullet point summary of what’s to come:

  • Seeing a good friend on Thursday whom I haven’t seen in a long while (he is in the Air Force and is in the midst of transferring from Alaska to Hawaii…I know, shock to the system for sure!)
  • Taking the day off Friday to drive down to Maryland to see another friend whom I haven’t seen since his wedding last year
  • During said trip to Maryland, I will be seeing the new Avengers movie (eeeeeeeeek!….or, more like geeeeeeeeeeek!)
  • On the drive back, I have marked off two locations of one of my favorite stores in towns I will be passing straight through. Sounds lame, but I am excited because the closest one to me is over an hour away at Mohegan Sun, and I will finally be able to pick up some stuff I need (and want)

That’s all for now! 🙂

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The reason I cut my apples

I am incredibly self-conscious about eating apples. I am loud, messy and generally very unattractive while attempting to bite something bigger than my fist. I get apple juice dribble down my chin, and if it’s a particularly good apple, all down my arm too, and half the time I take bites that I can’t even completely fit in my mouth, so I chew on the end not hanging out of my mouth until I can shove the rest of it in.

It’s really not pretty.

I don’t look like this: I bet her lipstick will still be perfect when she's finished

I do look like this (only not as cute):

 I have a sweet, crispy fuji apple sitting on my desk next to me, begging to be eaten. But I forgot to bring a knife and I’m loathe to mar my coworkers opinion of me. Do you think scissors will work?

EDIT: Crisis averted!! My good friend reminded me through a snarky picture message that I own a pocketknife!  (I’m an idiot)

My knife! Lunch is saved

Phantom memory?

Disclaimer: I am about to justify all of your suspicions regarding my sanity (or lack thereof). I think I am crazy, and it’s okay that you do too.

I think I have experienced what I have until today referred to as a ‘false memory.’ Today I looked up what a False Memory is, and in what must be one of the shortest Wikipedia pages ever, it said simply “False memory refers to the recollection of an event, or the details of an event, that did not occur.”

But that’s not right, because the memory I have is of an event that actually happened and is historically documented, not something that I fabricated and convinced myself is real (like my brother, who swears to this day that I fell out of a tree and broke my leg as a child…this never happened). I actually think that is more common; it’s really not too difficult to convince your mind that something actually happened. But remembering something that did happen that I can’t possibly remember….because I wasn’t alive yet? Is it more of a Phantom Memory (like phantom limb)? That doesn’t really work either, because that implies something more like recalling memories from a previous life (if you believe in that…I don’t) that you no longer are living. What should I call this phenomena? Is it new? Can I name it after myself??? (Would I even want to?!)

I swear this is true. I distinctly remember the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger n January 28, 1986. I remember watching it on live television, rising into the air only to tragically explode a minute later. I remember feeling the shock and sadness of the tragedy and I remember my Mom’s reaction to it, with her hand over her mouth and the quiet “Oh my God.” I remember it in almost as much detail as I do the 9/11 attacks when I was in high school.

How is this possible, since I wasn’t born for another eight months? Even if I had been a newborn, or even a toddler, I would be skeptical about remembering something like this in such detail when I would have been too young to even know what was really happening. The only somewhat logical explanation I can come up with is that somewhere along to line, I watched a TV program about it or something that stuck with me through the years and my mind somehow transformed that knowledge into a memory-format. Do you know what I mean by that? Knowing some facts about an event just feels different than a real memory does, a memory formed by watching something happen live the day it happens as opposed to hearing the facts later on. I learned in school about Jonestown in Guyana, but I don’t have an actual memory of the event occurring. Yet I feel as though I have a memory of the Challenger tragedy. A real memory brought to the front of my mind whenever I see or hear something relating to it.

So am I crazy? Well, I know I’m crazy. I guess I should ask, should I be worried?

P.S. In case you are wondering what made me think of this today, I came across this list of 31 Great Iconic Photos From History, and the Challenger was on there. And I reacted to that photo differently from most of the others because the others are just things I learned, trivial knowledge and not experiences (yes yes I know, I didn’t actually experience the Challenger, but I think by now you know what I mean. I hope).

R.I.P. to the seven crew members who lost their lives aboard the Challenger

Take the stairs!

I am becoming hyper-aware of my health and fitness. For most of my 25 years I have eaten what I want (mac & cheese, all the time! yumm), used the cheapest cosmetics (I’m mostly talking shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, etc), parked as close as possible to entrances, and almost always opted for the elevator over the stairs. But over the last year in particular, I’ve been realizing just how important my body is, and how disrespectfully I have been treating it. I’ve watched people eat whatever they want, whenever they want, however much they want, simply because the taste of the food in their mouths at that moment is more important to them than any accompanying consequences. Especially of those consequences aren’t immediate! And, if I am being totally honest with myself, this is the way I have always been too.

God gave me this body, the one I am in. Not some supermodel or athlete just this average weight, fairly tall, normal looking female body. And it may have taken me 25 years to realize it, but God gave this soul this body because this is the one that was perfect to his purposes. How cool is that! Yet I have disrespected and abused this body, at times even hated it and complained about it and wished God had done a better job with it.

How ungrateful of me! I have four limbs, five working senses, healthy lungs, an amazing mind (aren’t brains amazing??) and a beating heart! I am not torn down by cancer or disease, I am not crippled in any sense of the word, I am not deaf, mute or blind. So what has been holding me back all this time from accepting this awesome gift from God and striving to take care of it and use it the way that it was intended?

I don’t know what God has planned for my life. But I want to be ready for it. And I think taking care of this body that God calls a temple is at least someplace to start. So from now on, I will do my best to eat my vegetables and take the stairs.

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Prayer for forgiveness

My Pastor used this prayer in a sermon a few weeks ago. Sometimes (often) other peoples words do a better job than my own. I am not sure of the author (can prayers have “authors”?)

Merciful Lord,

Pardon all my sins of this day, week, year,

all the sins of my life,

sins of early, middle, and advanced years,

of omission and commission,

of morose, peevish and angry tempers,

of lip, life and walk,

of hard-heartedness, unbelief, presumption, pride,

of unfaithfulness to the souls of men,

of want of bold decision in the cause of Christ,

of deficiency in outspoken zeal for his glory,

of bringing dishonor upon thy great name,

of deception, injustice, untruthfulness in my dealings with others,

of impurity in thought, word and deed,

of covetousness, which is idolatry,

of substance unduly hoarded, improvidently squandered,

not consecrated to the glory of thee, the great Giver;

sins in private and in the family,

in study and recreation, in the busy haunts of men,

in the study of thy Word and in the neglect of it,

in prayer irreverently offered and coldly withheld,

in time misspent,

in yielding to Satan’s wiles,

in opening my heart to his temptations,

in being unwatchful when I know him nigh,

in quenching the Holy Spirit;

sins against light and knowledge,

against conscience and the restraints of thy Spirit,

against the law of eternal love.

Pardon all my sins, known and unknown,

felt and unfelt,

confessed and not confessed,

remembered or forgotten.

Good Lord, hear; and hearing, forgive.

Amen.

Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?

Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
(Psalm 10:1 ESV)

“The presence of God is the joy of his people, but any suspicion of his absence is distracting beyond measure.” –Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David

This is what I love most about the Psalms; the sheer humanity of it! The Psalmists are bold and honest and so authentic in their prayers to God, in a way that I rarely see anymore. For a few months now I have been seriously and honestly evaluating my relationship with my God in terms of my own authenticity. At some point or another, everyone has doubted God’s presence, that he was near and present. I think they’d be fooling themselves (or perhaps trying to fool God) if they didn’t admit that. I know I have felt like that, many times. Yet I continued to pray as though nothing were different, as though I wasn’t feeling the way that I was feeling.

But look at the Psalmist here! “Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?” When I read this, I can almost feel his uneasiness, his restlessness, even his desperateness over the thought of God being far away and indifferent to his struggles. He’s not being disrespectful. He’s being authentic.

I want to be authentic. I don’t want to gloss over the rough spots of my life. I want to be real and honest with God and in all of my relationships. I want to be real.