Two, Just Want to be With You

It’s that time for another sappy anniversary posssssttt.

Okay, not sappy at all for me, but perhaps it is for you :p

So here goes!

I can’t believe it’s been two years since I married this incredible young man. We are both blessed beyond belief.

The morning of our anniversary, I made him these cute little guys from an idea I found on Pinterest (Ohhh, Pinterest <3)

fullsizeoutput_1a2bAt night we enjoyed a fantastically delicious dinner at Shojin at Little Toko in DTLA. Incredible. Worth it. And did I mention entirely vegan!? I could have easily eaten another order of the potstickers. And I was pleasantly surprised they had several non-alcoholic and caffeine-free drink/tea options. There was a no cell phone policy, so I didn’t take any photos of the food. Guess you’ll have to try it yourself 😉fullsizeoutput_1a27

Just as in times prior, we waited for winter break in December to take off and spend a few days together up in Oregon.

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Just look at this snow!
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So snowy and beautiful.

We flew from LAX to PDX and indulged in the pho and bánh mì at Bambuza ( it’s in the airport, and we’ve been longing for that vegan pho since last year hehe.)

From Portland we drove to Sisters, which took longer than anticipated because there was so much snow and we SoCal folk had never driven in snow before ( kuddos to my husband for killing it out there.)

We made it just in time to check in at Five Pine, and then drive a half hour to Bend to catch a Journey to Bethlehem production at a local church. It was such a crisp, clear, and beautiful evening. One day I’ll invest in a camera that can actually capture the essence of the moon that was out that night.

After the production we went to grab a bite at Laughing Planet. Plantains in a burrito!? Sounded odd to me, but it was delicious.

We went snowboarding the first year and snow shoeing last year, so we wanted to plan another snow activity this time around.  He started feeling a little sick and we didn’t want to push it, so we were fine driving to and from Bend, shopping at Natural Grocers ( I could live there), and spending a snowed-in night eating pizza ( one of the few places open that night because of the snow!), playing board games ( I won), and watching Shark Tank ( it’s hard to just watch one episode…). We even got to see carol singers at Old Mill District. Magical.

Another wonderful time spent in Sisters, OR. I thank God we are able to take trips like this. Everything was a highlight those few days, and I wasn’t ready to come home. I can go on about the time we spent there, but I’ll leave you all with this clip of our trip instead!

 

 

 

10 Things to Talk About at Your 10 Year Reunion

Without reverting to basic small talk

 

My husband and I graduated the same year from the same high school. My in-laws still live in the same neighborhood, so after leaving there one day we decided to stop by that old campus of ours.

I had visited the campus in past times before, but those visits never quite hit me like this visit did; I didn’t expect to feel the wave of nostalgia that I felt.

Funny, when people have asked me if I would go to my ten year high school reunion, I’d scoff and say,” Yeah right!”

But being on campus, I actually considered changing my mind. And wouldn’t you know it, my ten year high school reunion just happens to be coming up in 2017.

It’s like the reunion planning universe just knew people would feel nostalgic at the ten year mark…

So thinking about a ten year reunion, I’m thinking about what I would ask those old classmates of mine.

Would I be able to avoid the common small talk?

I once asked two people (at different occasions) how they’ve been and what they’ve been up to. Responses: “(Chuckle) Oh you know, just busy with work and school.”

I think they chuckled because they get that same question all the time, and give the same answers all the time. Small talk is cheap. From then I decided to ask better, thought-provoking questions. Questions that will require me to really listen and require them to dig deeper for responses. No more being basic and boring.

But what are those questions? 

I put this into practice the other day when I said to the person, “Okay, don’t talk to me about school or work. What do you like to do for fun?” I think I caught him off guard, but got my desired results nonetheless.

So here are my tips on ten things to ask at your ten year reunion (that don’t directly have to do with work or school).

  1. What do you like to do for fun?
  2. Where have you travelled in the last year/ Where was the last place you travelled?
  3. What does your dream house look like?
  4. What advice would you give to people graduating high school?
  5. What were your thoughts when you got the invitation for the reunion?
  6. Were you listening to anything on the car ride over here? If so, what was it?
  7. Are you still interested in [blank] like you were in high school?
  8. What would I find out about you by looking at your Pinterest boards?
  9. What are you currently reading?
  10. So MySpace was big in our day. What has been your favorite social media platform so far, and why?

This list is by no means exhaustive. I’m just really trying to think of things that may be outside the box in order to keep things interesting.

It makes me a little nervous thinking about a reunion. Since this is a faith-based blog after all, I have to address the idea of a reunion from the eyes of a believer in Christ. I am a lot different than I was then. My husband and I both. Like, night and day different. How would we use this reunion as a way to witness? The neutral side of me would find ways to avoid talking about anything that has to do with “religion” (because I don’t want to be dubbed a weirdo, ya know). And being neutral in this situation can be so easy! Man, even talking about the bad things I did in my past could be so easy, but I know those past things are not things I want to highlight anymore.

But the only thing “neutral” about a Christian lifestyle is avoiding the wrong kind of extremes, and wanting peace and love for everyone.

For those of you who don’t believe in the Christian God, would you immediately tune out at the mere mention of Christianity? If so, why?

So how would I be the witness I need to be without being an overbearing religious weirdo?

How do I be a light in this world, even amongst people who may not want that light?

If I do decide to go to our reunion, let’s just hope the music isn’t blaring because my voice does not carry well in loud places lol.

Until next,

em

 

Challenge Me

Podcasts have become my thing as of late (especially since I’ve been fasting from my music, more on this in a later post).

I listened to one where the host talked about personal growth. She said there isn’t real growth in someone unless that someone perseveres through challenges.

I liked and hated this statement.

I liked it because yes, I’m all about growth and progress.

I hated it because, man…have I really grown that much, then?

I feel as if I want to give up right away when something becomes too stressful or challenging. I’m like a dandelion instead of an oak. Dust instead of stone.

I find comfort in running away from what scares me or from what is difficult.

Already I was thinking of excuses, thinking of instances when not persevering might be appropriate: Well what if _______ is really not for me and that’s why I’m struggling through it so much? That’s a good enough reason to quit, isn’t it?

While I do believe that has truth (e.g., grad school for me) I think there have been some things I shied away from purely because I didn’t want to struggle through them. I hate struggling. I mean, who doesn’t?

So I kind of cringe when things that are supposed to be encouraging and uplifting have the opposite affect on me. (Ughhh I really don’t want to watch this motivational video because I know I’ll feel a direct rebuke to my own drive and motivation.)

I know, what a baby I am right? Everything in life doesn’t come easy. You have to work for things and work through things.

One of the things I have psyched myself out of is parenthood. I’ve written about this one before, see my Panic on the Streets of Parenthood post.

Time after time I’m reminded of why I do not want children. Here are a few reasons:

  • I like sleep.
  • I like freedom to get a taro slush with boba at 8:30 p.m.
  • I like only having to cook for two people.
  • I like not having to worry about supporting another life form aside from my cat.
  • I like the idea of bypassing the teenage phase entirely.
  • I like not having to add an extra person into my love-o-sphere and therefore have to worry about that person all the bloody time.

I can go on.

But that last one is a biggie.

Call me a crazy Christian, but I believe our time here on Earth isn’t going to last much longer. And I also believe that things are going to get a heck of a lot worse than they are. And if I believe that, why the davies would I want to bring another being into this crazy, evil world?

So I could worry about her? So I could dread every waking moment we are apart? So I can deal with a potentially wayward son who after years of our caring and nurturing decides to damn us both to hell?

Like I said, I can think of countless reasons I don’t want to be a parent.

But then God showed me something. He planted a thought. And that was this: “Yes, parenthood is indeed a challenge. But it might be the challenge you need in this life.”

A challenge that I need to persevere through.

If God is leading, He will provide the strength for me to do it.

Wow. What a load of fear removed from my shoulders.

I don’t need to be afraid.

I trust God with my life. I trust God with the life of my children, should it be His will for us to have any. I will trust in Him.

And those challenges just might be what I need.

 

The Bolder Thing to Do

I believe in standing up for what you believe in.

In my case, it’s my faith.

The other day I went door-knocking to pass out literature. You know, that thing I mentioned in this post ?

So while I was walking house to house I thought to myself, What would I do if the next person who opens the door starts yelling, cursing, or threatening me? What if they attacked my beliefs and demanded answers?

I kept telling myself to be bold. Just trust in God. To a certain extent, that’s all I can do. However, there is a responsibility I must play. In order to be bold in my beliefs, I have to know what they are and why I hold them, right?

Now I know I won’t have the answers to everything, and that scares me. Especially when there are so many smarter people out there who can tear me to pieces with their theories. I’m not one to boast in my smartness (or lack-thereof) but there are a lot of things I should be able to answer.

Which leads me to my next thing.

There are certain “holidays” my husband and I have decided not to really acknowledge or celebrate. But since most people celebrate these holidays, people ask if we have plans for them. And of course when we respond, the follow-up question arises: Why not?

I’ve learned it makes conversations easier when I have a solid answer. Why do something if you don’t really know the reason why?

Even still, one response we got was “That’ll change when you have kids.”

That made we wonder. Will it? How bold will I be once we have children? Will my principles go out the window?

I want to say that it wouldn’t, but I really don’t know; I’m not a parent.

I want boldness to define who I am, to define my children, should we have any.

There’s more I can say about this, I’m sure. There are many reasons for boldness.

But is there ever a time when one can be too bold and cross the line?

Would the bolder thing to do be to step down gracefully, or to keep going without end, and even stronger?

Until next post (which will probably be about parenthood again, lol)

em

Seven Days of Blessings: Days 5, 6, and 7

Day 5: Employment

All I can say about this one is thank God I am not sitting at a desk in an office somewhere right now. Kuddos and mad props to all you out there who are doing that, but that kind of job is just not for me. And at this point in my life I have come to accept that THAT IS OKAY. I may be but a nanny, but a nanny I’ll be if that’s what God wants for me. And I love it. It gives me a job, a purpose, a motive, a drive. I gain knowledge and experience and above all, happiness.

Day 6: Generosity

I looked around at all our household items in our place and realized nearly everything was given to us either as a gift or just by fine generosity. I can’t believe how blessed we are. My prayer and goal is for me to be this generous to others, no matter what.

Day 7: Like Minds

Having a group of people as friends and fellow believers is something money can’t buy. I love having conversations with people who just GET IT. No filtering, no explaining, just real and open conversations. It truly is a breath of fresh air.

Seven Days of Blessings: Day 4

Day 4: Encouragement

I listened to a podcast this afternoon that talked about that nasty old thing called rejection, and how to deal with said rejection. It was encouraging to hear that I’m not the only one dealing with these bitter feelings, not the only one bothered at always being that last choice for dodgeball. Okay I don’t play dodgeball, but you get the point.

One of the things the podcaster also mentioned was how God never leaves anyone out, how He is always there.

There are so many biblical texts with God’s promises of encouragement that all I have to do is look them up in a concordance. I’m grateful that those texts are there, that God really is there for me. But even more than just looking them up, I actually have to believe and apply them to my life.

What do these texts mean to me? How can they apply to x, y, z situations?

Something else the podcaster mentioned: Dealing with social rejection might lead to developing new friendships, and friendship is another blessing I want to talk about.

In the last few months, I have really connected with a few young women in ways I haven’t connected with any other females in a long while. I can be myself with them, I am comfortable with them, I am encouraged by them. I am open and honest and I genuinely love their company. I can be 100% me, and I love that.

God has truly blessed me with His promises and with these young women.

Seven Days of Blessings: Day 3

Day 3: Transformation

Today I am grateful for quite a number of things: The honey bee my little charge (the child I nanny) and I examined on our walk today, the fact I can use all of my limbs to exercise, the breakfast and dinner I ate, the health and safety of my husband.

But even deeper than that, I’m grateful for who I am and where I am in my life so far.

Specifically, where God has brought me. I know I have yet to share my full testimony, but it is only through God that I am where I am today.

If I lived my life the way I had been in my teen and early twenty years, I’d probably be in a deep mess right now.

It is only through and with God I am overcoming my struggles.

Struggles I’d give in to if it weren’t for His transforming power in my life.

All I can say is, thank you Lord, thank you.