Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Goodness

Sometimes, things in life are so yummy, that you cannot wait to eat them up!!! For example, when my wonderful fiancĂ© makes a watermelon milkshake, I don't turn a free sip!  Tonight, he made a chocolate chip cookie skillet over which I drizzled chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream.  It was so good, but unfortunately it did not survive long enough for me to snap a picture!  I think if it had survived, it would have looked a lot like this!

Either way, it was delicious!  That is how I like to describe my day, delicious.  I have loved food since I was a child, but when I started dating Josh, my real love affair with food began.  I couldn't figure out what about that boy made me want to eat.  We would try new restaurants, and I would willingly try whatever he placed on his plate.  I told him he had a "pig syndrome."  If you ever get close enough to hear a pig eat, whatever they are eating sounds utterly delicious!!  Seriously!  We used to feed our pigs vegetables that were so rotten, the smell would burn the inside of your nose!!  But, our piggies would eat it up, and as you listened to them eat, you were almost convinced that their vegetables were bit only edible, but wonderful.  Josh eating has that effect on me, and most times, his food is wonderful.

For a long time, I thought that being happy in a new relationship is what was causing me to eat obsessively.  As our relationship went on though, my affair with food grew, exponentially!!  I finally realized that I had what I thought was a food addiction.  Like Ruby!  I felt like I used food as comfort alone, but as time went on, I realized I used food for so much more!  I was using food to express every feeling I could have, and I began to look at my hunger as more of a sidetrack and less as a problem.  Then, in January, one of my friends, Courtney, posted on her awesomely amazing blog, Shoals Perk, about a book she was reading.  If there is one thing I love more than being inspired, it is reading, so for me, reading about inspiration seemed like a no brainer!  Until I read the description.  "Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table - Shauna expresses that the most sacred moments, moments of her feeling God's presence most profoundly, take place around the table."

I am a Christian, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I feel like Christian novels or books come off more as a self-help category.  I believe that my God is an awesome God, and they He sent His only son to save my little lowly life, and with only a little hesitation, Jesus did it.  He saved me, and you.  But if I wanted to read a story about how great Jesus is, I would read the New Testament.  If I want to hear about the awesome ways in which God works, I would look at my own life, and read the whole Bible.  I honestly did not know what to think about Bread & Wine.  It took me from January to May to consider reading this book, and once I started I was  pleasantly surprised.  I really enjoyed reading it, and Shauna's story.  

Source: DaySpring

I began to find myself sucked into this woman's life, and I compared and contrasted my own life and goals to hers.  She has an amazing book with her incredible story.  The profound statements that she writes in this book will grab at your soul, whether you are a devout, practicing Christian or not.  Like me, Shauna has an appetite for food, and in her book she writes, "My appetite is strong, powerful, precise, but for years and years, I tried to pretend I couldn't hear it screaming in my ears."  When I read that sentence, I felt as though I too have found myself in those shoes.  It isn't right to devour food.  It is not lady-like, but I was so hungry.  That hunger is what makes and breaks us.  That hunger makes us all equal because despite how much we eat in one sitting, there will always be another meal a few hours later.  When commercials come on television about donating to third-world countries, they do not talk about safety.  They do not talk about shelter.  They discuss these peoples' need for food, and we immediately relate.

Food is a powerful thing.  So powerful and meaningful that it is the way Jesus used to relate his sacrifice for hundreds of years to come.  With a simple meal of bread and wine, a meal that is now known as the Last Supper.  Jesus equalized us all by giving us food to tie our bond to Him.  It really is a beautiful thing when you look at it.  Maybe I am feeling more nostalgic because Josh and I took our nephew today to go see "Heaven is For Real."  The movie talks about a young boy's trip to Heaven, and how hard it is for the adults in his life to cope with his journey, and what it could mean.  Really good movie, totally a tear-jerker in places though!  Tonight, Josh and I planned dinner with our nephew and my roommate, and together the four of us gathered around our tiny table and feasted on bits of homemade goodness.  Because that is what life consists of - the bits of goodness that feed your day and your soul.  Those bits of goodness can taste like anything you want them to be.  A movie with loved ones, a crowded dinner around a tiny table, or even a hot, gooey cookie in a cast iron skillet.  Just a few bits of goodness to eat up!  

"We come to the table because our hunger brings us there.  We come with a need, with fragility, with an admission of humanity.  If the home is a body, the table is the heart, the beating center, the sustainer of life and health.  Come to the table." - Shauna Niequist, "Bread & Wine"

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Adventure!

I love taking adventures!  Seriously.  It is interesting because I also love to stay home and enjoy being around people I love.  Adventures are things that can come in any shape and size, and, if you let them, adventures can change the way you view something.  The best way to have an adventure is to find a partner, pack your bags, bring a camera and music, and off you go!  

Josh and I are always having adventures.  I think that is a big part of our lives and our lives together.  We are always doing something, going somewhere, planning something crazy.  Our lives are by no means boring. We are by no means boring. There is never a dull second and while sometimes I wish I had an opportunity to catch my breath, I never take any little adventure for granted.  Then again, I am an old soul. I live life realizing that these moments will one day be memories, and I want these memories to not only be good, but to be great!  When I look back at pictures, I want to know that I really lived.  I experienced every moment that came my way, and I took every chance I could afford.  Josh and I live life by the horns and we travel anytime we have the opportunity.

Joshua and I just got back from our own little adventure.  We went to Florida with my family!!  This is an adventure that cannot be described in a blog post - not really.  We travelled to the zoo in Melbourne, and got to feed giraffes, kayak through exhibits, and feed lorikeets.  Then we travelled to Walt Disney World, where we encountered many different culture and experiences.  I have tons of pictures!  After spending four days at Disney and six in Orlando, we ventured north to St. Augustine, and played in the lighthouse.

Josh and I can be hard to handle.  Not that we are difficult people but that we are very exuberant.  We spend a lot of time and energy being us.  We don't change, and unfortunately for some, we don't tone down our excitement.  The benefit?  We are always on our own adventure, and it is a roller coaster.  We will have times when we are in an opinionated mood, and we debate hard.  We will also have times when we are like little children, and we play hard.  We spent a lot of time in Florida in the latter state of mind.  We played!  From the moment we arrived, we played in the pool, played in the park, and ultimately lived our vacation to its fullest!

All in all, an adventure with us is just that: an adventure!  Life is not dull, and time spent lazily around a house or pool is not without its excitement.  We excite each other, and that is how an adventure starts.  When people set off with the mindset to do something he or she has never encountered and to make it a positive experience.  While I don't think Disney was Josh's first vacation choice, it certainly was a fun one at the end of the week.  We were exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time.  While we fall back into the swing of things, we are excited to know that this wasn't just a blimp on our radar: This was a set of magical memories that will last our lifetime, and, if we tell the stories right, the lifetime of our children and grandchildren.  Adventures don't end, only begin again each time they are retold!

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