Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014 Where Did You Go??

I swear it was just yesterday that I was reflecting on 2013 thinking “How in the world will 2014 live up to this?!”  In 2013, I quit my job, went to grad school, went on multiple trips, and caught up with friends I hadn’t seen in forever.  I loved 2013.  I was scared to see it go and yet now I see how perfectly my 2013 prepared me for my wonderful and completely different 2014.

I’m sitting on my couch curled up next to the Christmas tree (Yes it’s still up!  Don’t judge my choices!), watching “30 Rock” and drinking coffee (Yes at 10pm!  Again, don’t judge me!) and realizing how utterly weird, quirky, surprising, stretching and amazing 2014 has been.  To truly recap all the happenings, I decided to compile this list of 2,014 things that happened in 2014…

JUST KIDDING!!!!

Here is my list of things that are significant from this year, that I want to remember, or that just stick out.

1. I read 20 non-school books.

2. I earned my Master of Arts in Christian Ministries.

3.  I cultivated a deep and unmitigated hatred of sand!  That stuff is the herpes of the sea and I don’t care what you think, I despise the stuff.

4.  I was asked by a random person in Target what kind of lipgloss I was wearing only for me to reply that I had just consumed a hashbrown from McDonald’s. (hashtag classy!)

5.  I conquered several recipes (pad thai, pasta bolognese, pot stickers, butter chicken, naan bread, pasta carbonara, and many others)

6.  I painted exactly 31 coats of paint, in 9 different rooms, while listening to 5 different audiobooks.

7.  We moved to Orlando

8. I became an annual passholder at Disney World!

9.  I learned how to rewire a garbage disposal.

10.  I walked out of my condo, onto the beach, and watched a rocket launch.

11.  I didn’t write a book.

12.  I did write enough grad school papers to equal a book though.

13.  The Chestnut Praline Latte at Starbucks changed my life.

14.  We sold our house by owner in less than 2 weeks.

15.  I watched and fell in love with the first 5 seasons of Doctor Who.  #nerdstatus

16.  The Buffalo Wild Wings spicy garlic mac and cheese was birthed within the depths of my kitchen.

17.  I realized that Brandon and I’s relationship more resembles Michael and Holly’s relationship from “the Office” rather than Jim and Pam.

18. I accepted that #17 was ok.

19.  I met the wonderful, amazing, Rock Star of a team that is the Victory Orlando Dream Team.

20. I discovered the Croque Glace’ at Epcot.  (It’s this thing.  It Changed my Life and my pant size.)

21. I found a love for writing for writing’s sake.

22.  I re-discovered my love for creating systems, and order, and helping people help others.

23.  My grandma went to be with Jesus.  We couldn’t be happier for her!

24.  We learned how to install an entire kitchen on our own.

25.  We decided not to ever install an entire kitchen again.

26.  I discovered Cookie Butter and it changed my life and my pant size.

27.  I learned how to get around most of Orlando without the help of Siri

28.  I got yelled at by Siri a lot (make. a. u-turn. will haunt my dreams for most of 2015)

29.  I saw a baby sea turtle and it was adorable.

30.  I drank 400+ cups of coffee.  Easily.  Possibly more. Because maybe you can measure a year in cups of coffee.

31. We fit all our belongings in a 7x7ft POD.

32.  I was super proud of #31.

33.  I learned that you should make your own opinions of people rather than take on your friends opinions of them.

34.  I developed an obsession with gel stain.

35. I realized that HGTV and Pinterest give you a very false sense of ability.

36.  I made Jabba the Snowman.

37.  I realized that it’s important to fight for who you are rather than let people push you into boxes of who you used to be.

38.  I ate more Thai-style Ramen than I care to fully admit.

39.  #38 will definitely happen in 2015.

40.  I wrote this blog post.

 

You did it.  I did it.  We all did it together.  2014 is nearing it’s end.  With all of it’s triumphs, embarrassments and discoveries we will leave it behind and move on.  I urge you to move on.  Leave the things of 2014 behind you.  Even the good things.  It’s time to focus on what 2015 has for us and not judge it by the measuring stick of 2014.  It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, and I’m feelin’ good. (Buble’ anyone?)

What was your favorite part of 2014?  Did you have similarly embarrassing moments to my #4? Let me know in the comments!

Happy *almost* New Year!

 

 

I Hate Grocery Shopping!

I’m gunna be super real with you guys right now.  I have a profound and slightly unmerited hatred of grocery shopping.  It’s probably deeply rooted in my similar distain for all things inefficient, but that’s another blog for another time.  I have become a champion at putting off grocery shopping until the last possible minute.  In fact, let me be a bit transparent and let you in on the current status of my refrigerator…

Pathetic demonstration of grocery store loathing

Pathetic demonstration of grocery store loathing.

I know!  Pathetic right?  But what’s REALLY pathetic and somewhat of a personal trophy/ challenge/ an excuse to continue to put off grocery shopping is that I can still at this moment think of at least 3 more meals that I can get out of the few ingredients we have left.  Ten if I could convince my husband that salad is a meal.  But he follows closely to the Ron Swanson theory of “You just gave me the food that my food is supposed to eat.”

Now, what was I saying… oh yes, I was pointlessly going to rant about grocery shopping in hopes that I could get an “amen” from the peanut gallery. Or, if nothing else, put off my grocery shopping a smidge longer.

So, my official list of why I find grocery shopping to be the worst thing ever!

1. I ALWAYS get the cart with a bad wheel.

Always.  No exception.  I have even gone so far as to take my cart for a test drive in little circles in the front of the store to make sure that I don’t have to use what little patience I do possess to maneuver what I would liken to pulling a stubborn pack-mule through a grocery store. But alas, it never works and half way through my trip I am wrestling with a wonky cart looking like I stepped out of a Vita-meata-vegamin commercial.  Pass!

2.  Everyone else in the store.

It may come as zero surprise to you that I go to the grocery store armed and ready with a pre-organized list of every ingredient that I need in order to make meals for the next week.  It keeps me from pulling into my driveway post-trip and thinking “Crap, I forgot butter!”  Because believe you me, I will ALWAYS forget the items that are not on my list. But everyone else in the store seems to not be similarly prepared.  They are wondering around aimlessly with similar cart issues to the one stated above and… good gracious I fight my inner desire to gently nudge people out of my way with my incapacitated cart.

3.  There is always at least one item on my list that is completely out of stock.

Sigh.  Next!

4. I always pick the wrong check out line.

How is it possible that it takes me longer to check out than it did to navigate the entire store with my detailed list and a stubborn pack-mule cart?  Like why is this a thing!  And how do I inevitably find the person who doesn’t know the produce code for onions?  Like, do other people not get onions all the time?  Isn’t this something that my cashier puts in a gazillion times a day, but still has to look it up?

Patience is obviously not my forte’ and as much as I am still working on not living with a false sense of rush, there are some things that I just don’t feel doing.  At.  All.  Why?  Because I know it will be an opportunity where I have to make a choice.  I have to choose whether or not I am going to be calm and act like a well-behaved adult (a Christian one at that).  Sometimes the choice is easy, and others I have to choose to swing a holy bat at my flesh and tell it to pipe down.  And for me, grocery shopping as minimal in the grand scheme of life as it may be, is one of those opportunities.

So, tell me.  What are some of your opportunities for overcoming the places where you experience impatience?  Or are you one of those people that is always patient and that your office printer always behaves?  Let me know, I’m looking for heroes here!

Note:  I am fully aware that this is a major first-world problem!  I am so entirely grateful that my hatred of the grocery store does not stem from my inability to afford groceries.  I am just writing to make a point that sometimes the things that seem to be frustrating are not insurmountable when it comes to our patience levels.  Ok.  Carry on.

But I Don’t Like Her…

via @rachelmphotography

via @rachelmphotography

Many moons ago I was working at a Teen Missions organization.  I was in the thoroughs of Spring Break missions planning when one of my friends/mentees asked to go out to coffee.  I gladly welcomed the break.  She was going to be going as a leader on one of the trips and she excitedly shared with me her heart for the kids that would be on her team.  Then she asked me, “Do you think you could make sure me and Jenny* (another leader going on the trip) are on different teams?  We just don’t really get along and I don’t want it to hinder the trip.”  Knowing that Jenny had a personality that came off kind of cold, I didn’t really think anything of it.  I went back to my office and made necessary notes in order to make sure the two were on different teams.  Not because my friend was being rude or using our friendship to get special treatment, but because I was always conscious of making sure that personalities put on the teams gelled in such a way that it wouldn’t create problems on the trip.  I made the notes and moved on.

A couple years later, I was out to lunch with the same friend when she said “By the way, I need to apologize for something.”  Confused, I answered with a hesitant “okaaaay.”  She went on to say “I want to apologize for asking you to put me and Jenny on different teams.  She is actually one of my best friends now!  I realize now that what I thought was her being rude is just her personality with people she doesn’t know very well!”  I was kind of surprised that she had taken remembered her request.  But took the lesson my friend learned and stuck it in my pocket for later.

How many times do we automatically judge whether or not we will like someone based on a one time, short interaction?  Or worse, how many times do we base our opinions of others on our friends opinions of them?  Girls do this ALL. THE.  TIME.  If our best friend doesn’t like you, we won’t like you.  It’s a gross, immature reality that I have been fighting against the last 6 months. (Also, if you have friendships where they expect you to hold their grundges for them, walk… no, run away from those friendships!  But that’s another blog for another time.)  I have been learning to form my own opinions of others and in that, making sure before I form an opinion that I am seeing people for who they really are… and how God sees them.

What does this mean?  I may have an encounter with someone that is less than pleasant.  Human Bekah says “they are a butt-faced miscreant and I don’t want to talk to them ever again.” (Note: Human Bekah isn’t very gracious.)  God’s lens of love says “they just lost their job and are having a hard time knowing their worth.  They need understanding, not to be pushed away.”  I’m not saying this is easy.  I’m not saying I do it 100% of the time.  But I can’t help but think, what if my friend had looked at Jenny through this lens early on?  Would she have realized that Jenny wasn’t cold and rude, but rather just didn’t open up easily to people she didn’t know?  Would their relationship be even stronger now if they had gotten to know each other on a missions team instead of years later?  What relationships am I missing out on by making quick decisions about people without really getting to know them?  I’m always surprised by the relationships that bless me the most.  They are always unexpected and I am always grateful I didn’t judge them on my first impressions.

So, my challenge to you (and mainly myself) is to see people through God’s love.  Make an effort to figure out why someone was rude, bitey or cold to you before you brush them off.  What are they really going through?  What is their real personality like?  I’m not saying it will always end up in a new friendship, but I can tell you that seeing people through God’s love will give you a new perspective on people.

 

*Name changed for the sake of putting things on the internet

 

Champion the Introverts!!!

photo (1)

I have spent a lot of time lately talking about how important people are.  Our Church likes to say “Everyone is a 10 at something” and I totally, wholeheartedly agree with this statement.  I am truly passionate about helping people find their “10.”  Every person is significant.  You are significant.  You have an important piece to bring to your world.  Without you something vital, special and beautiful would be missing.  I hope you read these words contained in this tiny corner of the internet and realize that you are so entirely valuable.

I think it’s easier for some to see their worth more than others.  I, as I have confessed many-a-times here, am an introvert through and through.  I spent way too much time watching others with louder voices and shiny talents and thought that my place was small.  My place in the midst of a busy, loud world was to sit quietly in the corner and mind my own business.  But something always stirred within me that it wasn’t enough.  Wasn’t enough.  So I began to try to mimic those with loud voices and shiny talents, but I became exhausted.  I was trying to be someone I wasn’t.  I wasn’t the loud voice.  I am still not the loud voice.  I’m not the life of a party and the thought kinda sends a shiver up my spine.  But I learned a valuable lesson, I still have a voice and I still have talents.  My voice is not loud, but it is strong and important.  My talents aren’t shiny, but they are valuable and needed.

I learned that the ability to lead is not fully dependent on my ability to command a crowd.  My ability to lead is dependent on my ability to spark initiative in an individual.  I do better when I can pour into people one-on-one and call out the gifts and abilities within them.  I had to learn that, that’s okay.  It’s okay to prefer to be in a group of 5 than a group of 50.  It doesn’t make me weird, it doesn’t make me ineffective.  It makes me, me!

Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think it is harder for us introverts to find our voice.  It’s hard to find our place when those with loud voices and shiny talents are championed over those of us who are powerful in the “behind the scenes” tasks.  Those people are vital, special and necessary too; but they would often be lost if it weren’t for the people who show up in the shadows and do the things no one else thinks to do.  You see, introverts are observant (or at least most of the ones I know are).  We see things others don’t because we spend so much time taking a step back, listening to conversations, and seeing what is left to be done.

It’s easy to desire to be someone else when you don’t fully realize the significance of your place.  So I want to take this moment and tell you that your place is significant.  You are valuable.  Your gifts are enough.  You are enough.  Don’t waste your time trying to be someone who you aren’t because the world so desperately needs someone like you.  If you are an extrovert, be you.  If you are an introvert, be you.  Use who you are to be a gift to others.  Pour your time into the things that make you come alive.  Realize that you are loved, you are valuable, you are enough.