Tuesday, January 27, 2009

P.S. ~ I Love You

I watched this movie tonight. I was at work and had nothing better to do. Thank Goodness my co-worker was gone for the night because this was a real TEAR-JERKER! I am not kidding, I cried my little heart (and eyes) out. I have waited a long time to rent this one because I was afraid it would be too sad for me and then I would want to go jump out a window. But although it was quite sad, it was also really funny and so I was laughing and crying at the same time. Not a smart thing to do if your nose happens to be running. But anyways, it had sort of a cleansing effect as well. As if everything I ever wanted to cry about (but didn't) just got washed away somehow. I recommend watching this one if you are spending the night alone OR you have some friends who you aren't embarrassed to cry in front of. And it wouldn't hurt to have a big box of chocolate to help you through the grief. And tissue. The synopsis of the movie is below.

Holly Kennedy has just lost her beloved husband, Gerry, to a brain tumor. Inconsolable, Holly finds that Gerry left for her a series of letter to help cope with the grief. As months pass, Holly discovers new messages from Gerry encouraging her to go on living. While Holly's friends fear the letters will mire her in the past, they, in fact, give her the strength for the future.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Car ~

So, on January 17th I traded my car in for a new one. I used to have a Toyota Rav4 that looks like this:

I am really going to miss it because it had a lot room and Tug liked to run to the back window and hold on with his paws while looking out at the people behind us. I'm sure they got a kick out of that :)

But anyways, I traded it in for a Toyota Yaris that looks like this:

The up side is that it is really cute and it gets AWESOME gas mileage. It has an outlet for my ipod and pretty much everything the Rav had except for keyless entry. Oh, and elbow room! However, it lowered my payments by $200 per month! I am working on an internship and, until I get my permanent license, money is tight. So I'm doing everything I can to lower expenses. I am trying to look at things with a long-term perspective ~ if I sacrifice a little now, then it will be worth having my license and being able to do the things I've always dreamed of doing. Like getting to work in the field that I feel I'm supposed to be working in. And having my own house, being a mom, maybe adopting a couple of kids, and another puppy so Tuggles will have someone to play (or fight) with. So I guess for now, I can do with a couple less cup holders and all the extra leg-room for my friends. In all, I'm pretty much happy as a lark.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Do you remember a time when you thought something was one way and then you found out the truth? I remember about 10 years ago, my Uncle Charlie was in a terrible accident. He had fallen to the ground from a piece of machinery that was 2 or 3 stories high in the air. He was care-flighted to the trauma center in Dallas and endured endless hours of surgery. My whole family was there and I had heard every detail of which bones were broken or what body parts were damaged though I had not seen him yet. For some reason, I just didn't believe it was as bad as it really was. My other uncle and my aunts were taking turns visiting him in the ICU and even when I saw the seriousness in their eyes I could not grasp the magnitude of the situation. Finally it was my turn to go in and see him. I remember, just like it was yesterday, that I followed my other uncle and my mother to his bedside. What I saw there stunned me. Not going into the details, I will just say that I would not have known it was Uncle Charlie if someone had not told me so. They urged me to talk to him because they thought he might be able to hear us. However, my mind turned hazy and I needed to run but my legs couldn't figure out which directions to go. My throat closed up and the world turned blurry as I tried to take in what was going on. When my mother realized what was happening she rushed to help me find my way out of the room. We walked quickly to the lavatory where the tears flowed and I sat with my back against the wall until I could gather myself up. There was no use in upsetting the rest of the family further so I stayed there until I was able to recover and breathe properly. Sometimes we never believe the worst until we've seen it for ourselves.

This past weekend I realized, once again, that things are not always what they seem or what we want them to be. For months I've been looking at a situation involving a particular person and thinking that things were much different than they really are. People pointed out things that I couldn't see or didn't want to believe. In my own mind I made excuses as to why this person does certain things and I thought it would get better if I just hung in there long enough. I agonized over decisions that I had made and ones that I would have to make in the near future. I felt pulled between this person and everyone else until the migraines, which I hadn't experienced for months, returned in full force. At that point I prayed hard. I asked God to show me the person's motives and give me a picture of the situation as it really is.

The result was much the same as when I stepped into my uncle's hospital room. I wanted to run and my heart beat so fast that I broke into a cold sweat. I started to panic and then I cried. I laid across my bed and cried for a long time. Then I was so exhausted that I slept for hours and barely managed to pull myself together and go to work. I had asked God to show me the truth and when He did, I fell apart!

My uncle was in ICU for a solid month. Then he was moved to another room. Then he was moved to a rehab. Then he was moved to another rehab. Today he functions well (he walks and rolls and drives) and we even have some funny stories (ask me about eyelashes!) to tell about those days. Not only was it a time of physical healing but also spiritual and otherwise. I'm trusting that since I now know the truth about my own situation, the healing can begin. I think it already has. For a while it has been rough but I feel a fresh start coming on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Self-Esteem vs. Self-Concept

Virginia Satir was a noted American author and psychotherapist, known especially for her approach to family therapy. I highly respect her as a pioneer in her field and I have a feeling that if she were alive today I would enjoy being in her company. However, I ran across this excerpt from her book Self Esteem and could not help but think, "Whoa! Hold on a minute!" Take a look at the following:
My Declaration of Self-Esteem

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically me. Because I alone chose it - I own everything about me My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, Whether they be to others or to myself - I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears - I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me - by so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts - I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know - but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me - However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically Me - If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded - I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me - I own me, and therefore I can engineer me - I am me and
(Found in Virginia Satir, Self Esteem, Celestial Arts: California, 1975).

Virginia Satir was a great advocate of self-esteem and personal growth and her entire work was done under the umbrella of “Becoming More Fully Human.”
Ok, I don't know about you, but most of the time I find that I am already way too human! In psychology, self-esteem reflects a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of her or his own worth. When pondering my own worth, I prefer to use the words "Self-Concept" as opposed to "Self-Esteem." That way, I can choose to see myself the way that God sees me. If you want to know what that is like, just read Psalm 139. My goal is to see myself the way God sees me and to become more like Him. So borrowing from the gist of her excerpt, this is my version of the poem:
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Because I chose Christ ~ He owns everything about me. My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions are uniquely mine, whether they be to others or myself. My fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears ~ all of my triumphs and successes are God's because He owns all of me. All of my failures and mistakes are a reflection of my humanness and proof that I am a work in progress. Because I am made in the image of God, I can become intimately acquainted with me ~ and can still love myself. There are aspects of myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I have God's help, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at any given moment is me in all of my humanness. If some parts of that turns out to be unfitting for a child of God, I will repent and ask for forgiveness. In God, I have what I need to survive, to be close to others, and to be a productive servant of the King. Although I will never be able to make sense of this world, of myself, or the people around me, I can relax in the knowledge that I don't have to make sense of it all. I am God's ~ and,

Skinny Songs

Since I've started exercising and watching what I eat, I've been listening to a line-up of songs that motivate me to keep going. Before you read further, I want to let you know that life is not about being skinny, it is about being healthy. Some people are healthy at heavier weights and the world is full of Big Beautiful Women!! So this list of songs is not to motivate you to look like a star on TV or try to get to a certain size. It's just a list of songs that I found to be fun and motivating for myself and I thought you may be able to relate!

'Skinny Jeans' ~ A song about the favorite pair of jeans we all have hanging in our closet that we are going to get back into one of these days!

'Thin!' ~ Ok, so it's not really about being thin but more about being healthy. But still. This one is about how money can not buy some of the things we really want. Like being thin!

'I'm a Hottie Now' ~ Nobody can make fun of my badonkadonk anymore 'cuz I'm a HOTTIE now!

'Think I'll Go to Saks' ~ Now I can go to Saks and try on all the clothes I couldn't before. Ok, I'm not really gettin' this one, but whatever.

'You da Boss' ~ YOU are the boss, not the food that calls out to you day and night.

'Objects in the Mirror' ~ You've seen that sticker on your side mirror that says "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." This song says, "Objects in the mirror will grow thinner than they now appear."

'Who the H*ll is That?!' ~ Sorry, but that IS the name of the song. Anyways, this one happened to me recently. Ever been excited to get your vacation pictures back and you were shocked at how you looked? Well, my co-worker took some pictures of me and when I saw them I couldn't believe how much weight I had gained. They were very motivating.

'Blowin' You Off at 8' ~ This one is my favorite. The guy dumps the girl because she has gained a few pounds. She loses 4 dress sizes and feels so good about herself that she blows him off when he wants her back. YAY for her!!

If you want to get a copy of these songs, just go to the Skinny Songs website! And remember, it's NOT about being skinny, it's about being healthy and feelin' good about your own body :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Maybe God Feels Like This...

I had a traumatic experience this morning. My dog ran away. That's right. He wasn't ready to go where I wanted him to go so he slipped his little body backwards out of his coat and ran like the wind. Thank goodness I've been training for a 5K because I ran a whole one today ~ with barely any training! I thought, "If I can just keep him in my eyesight, he'll be ok." But guess what? I couldn't keep my eye on him. He went through the rails of the fence and under cars and all kinds of places I couldn't go. Places I didn't want to go either! The most frustrating thing is that he kept looking back over his shoulder, checking to see if I was about to catch him. And then finally, I lost sight of him all together. I felt the tears on the back of my eyes and started to wallow around in self-pity. I thought, "Well, everyone else has always run away, I guess I should have expected this too." I was freezing (it was 28 degrees!), my nose was running, and my legs were almost numb. I stuck my hands in my pocket and started back home.

As I was on my way back home, it struck me. I DO THE SAME THING! I have it so good with my Father. He watches out for me, wants only the best for me ~ and yet I run from Him. Tug (my puppy) has it so good too. He is set with a warm house, a coat, the best food, puppy treats, all kinds of toys and I would do anything to make that little guy feel more at home. He even has a family and grandparents he gets to visit almost every weekend since he was adopted! What more could he want?? And he ran. Just like me.
Don't we all do it? We have it so good, all safe in God's hands. We don't have to worry where our next meal will come from or where we will live. The Bible says that God even takes care of the grass, and how much more are we worth?? Listen to this:

If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take do you take thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them. If God clothes the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you? (Luke 12:26-28)
And yet we still run! It just doesn't make sense! So, I trudged back home and up the stairs and decided I would get my keys and make one quick drive around. When I came back downstairs, Tug was standing there in the grass, sniffing around as if he had been there all the time. I felt relief flood over me, although I knew there was a chance he would run again. And sure enough he did. He knew where his home was and he had come back. But once again he looked over his shoulder and took off. I called for him time after time, but I let him go. I walked to my car and got in. I turned on the engine and drove down the drive, hoping and hoping that he would come running, anxious to join me on the next adventure. Then, all of the sudden, I saw a little black and white figure with 2 huge beady eyes trotting hopefully over to the car. I was so hurt that he would run from me but soooo happy that he came back. I opened the door and he jumped willingly into my lap. He was shivering and his jowls were quivering and puffing out. His ears felt like ice. He was smelly and his feet were dirty ~ apparently he had taken a romp in the fish pond. But I didn't care. All I cared about is that he was back. Of course when we got back home, I was much less gracious than our heavenly Father. I told him he was a "bad dog!" and put him in his "cage" for a while. But even then he had a nice fluffy blanket. Later I gathered him up and gave him a bath and it was as if nothing ever happened.
So I wonder... Does God feel somewhat the same when we run from Him like that?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I just made possibly the best lasagna EVER. This is a vegan recipe but it tastes so good, your non-vegetarian friends and family will eat it all up really fast! Here's the scoop!

1 jar of spaghetti sauce
(mix in 1 can of tomato sauce if you like)
12 lasagna noodles
1/2 pound of carrots
1/2 bag of baby spinach
2 - 4 T. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 c. canned veggie broth
1 pound of medium firm tofu
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
8 oz. vegan cream cheese (I used Toffuti brand)
2 T. lemon juice
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/4 c. nutritional yeast (optional)

Slice carrots and steam, set aside. Add olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add parsley and garlic, saute for 1 minute. Add steamed carrots and veggie broth, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add herbs, tofu, vegan cream cheese, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until cheese starts to melt. Stir in nutmeg. Add nutritional yeast if you desire at this point. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Place 3 lasagna noodles in bottom of 11 X 7 baking dish. Spread carrot mixture over top. Place 3 noodles on top of that and spread spaghetti sauce and spinach over them. Repeat process until noodles are gone and top with spaghetti sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Uncover and bake an additional 20 - 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. If you want, you can put mozzarella soy cheese on top and bake until melted. Take it out and sprinkle it with Parmesan flavored rice cheese and eat. YAY!
This was much quicker than it sounds and it tastes really good. This was only my second vegan dish to make so you know I'm not lyin'!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Buddy ole pal ~

Introducing the great ~ TUG!

Tug with his fluffy bone

Loyal, Cute, Feisty, Playful ~ this little guy has become my best friend!