Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I am exhausted, but slowly recovering. This weekend, besides being Valentine's Day and including all of the celebrations of love, was a stressful one. I have begun to come to terms with the homework load and have actually made progress (mostly due to a new approach to my classes this semester). Melanie and I went home Friday and spent the evening watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony as a family. We had a wonderful time sitting in front of our big screen and discussing the science behind such a fantastic production. Saturday was homework day, but Saturday evening was Life by Chocolate - a chocolate buffet and comedy show organized by our church. It featured a huge buffet table covered in in mostly-homemade chocolate desserts! We stuffed ourselves. Sunday featured two wonderful services on marriage (Pastor Danny online, Pastor Tom in person) and a wonderful lunch at home. We exchanged some gifts and Melanie and I came back to Nashville. We saw Valentine's Day, the movie, that evening. It was cute and happy and fun!

On the Menu this week:
Sweet potato with bell peppers and mushrooms
Fruit pizza
Bagels with cream cheese and fruit
Pasta with spinach and mozzarella

It's going to be yummy!

On the schedule:
Setting up meetings with various homeschool leaders for a class project.
Watch the Olympics as much as possible.
Finish Ethics Bowl cases and begin to memorize.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How Christian Were the Founding Fathers?

I will comment on this article later, but for now, feel free to read and enjoy. It's a discussion on the Texan school system and the strong Christian emphasis that has been a part of the Texas educational system for a long while. It also talks about the strong influence that Texas has on the textbook industry.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Motivation Meter: -1

I like to feel busy, feel productive. It absolutely drives me crazy when there is a task to be done and it's not getting done. I love to finish things. In Psychology 1200 last semester, we took lots of personality profile quizzes and at least two of them said that I am the one that "gets the work done" or "the packhorse" that can handle a large load and finish the job. However, sometimes, my more human, lazy side surfaces. Yesterday, despite a great need to work, and plow through projects, I just. didn't. want. to. I tried! Boy, did I try! But the motivation was not there. Eventually, I sort of gave up and sat down to read. That helped some.
Today I feel a lot more motivated, but there is less that needs doing.
In other news, the new fish (Valentino is his name) is doing very well. He and Purl have become buds and they swim back and forth together and eat/spit up bubbles a lot. Typical fish behavior.
Today I am going to make a vegan vegetable tart/pizza with squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, basil. Seriously excited!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lovin' Eldridge this Morning!

God Pursuing Us
What is God like? Is his heart good? We know he is the initiator from first to last. As Simon Tugwell reminds, God is the one pursuing us:

So long as we imagine that it is we who have to lookfor God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about; He is looking for us. And so we can afford to recognize that very often we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from him, in high rebellion against him. And He knows that and has taken it into account. He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape him, we run straight into his arms. So we do not have to erect a false piety for ourselves, to give us the hope of salvation. Our hope is in his determina tion to save us, and he will not give in. (Prayer)

When we feel that life is finally up to us, it becomes suffocating. When we are the main character, the world is so small there’s barely room to move. It frees our souls to have something going on before us that involves us, had us in mind, yet doesn’t depend on us or culminate in us, but invites us up into something larger. And what about the Romance and the Arrows? It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Once upon a time we lived in a garden; we lived in the place for which we were made. There were no Arrows, only beauty. Our relationships weren’t tainted with fear, guardedness, manipulation, quid pro quo. Our work was rewarding; we received more than we gave. There is beauty, and we so long for it to last; we were made for the Garden. But now there is affliction also, and that is because we live East of Eden. The Arrows seem like the truest part of life, but they are not. The heart of the universe is still perfect love.

(The Sacred Romance , 81–82)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Habit 1, Anyone?

The past few days have been wonderful. My family arrived Wednesday and last night we ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory together. They have been very understanding of the switch to vegetarianism. Despite lots of fun events, I have been struggling with my positive attitude a bit this week. I feel tired and busy. I can easily name people who are much busier than I am, but comparing myself to the accomplishments of others will only make me feel like a failure. I seem to be in that difficult space where the number of things to do looms over my head and keeps me up at night, but I still insist on procrastinating. I think that this is a knee-jerk response to feeling out of control. Give me too much to do and make me feel like I have no choice and you're sure to make me feel down! This is the perfect place to insert a Habit 1 reflection.
Being proactive, I will now apply the proper proactive language to the scheduling events that seem to be getting me down.
The truth is, I chose to take an internship this semester. I chose to rush Phi Mu and participate in events. I chose to be on Sisterhood Development Committee and I chose to spend time with my family on Wednesday instead of read or do Ethics Bowl homework. I chose to participate in the Ethics Bowl. I chose to procrastinate in buying my Mom's birthday present until Tuesday afternoon.
Therefore, I am in control, after all. I cannot - and should not - waste time feeling low. I have a wonderful life!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Goals/Weekly Events

I made a list of semester goals this week. Here is what I have so far, and the musings that went along with them:
1. Make a 3.5 or higher GPA.
2. Save at least $300.
3. Bake sugar cookies for classes - Marketing, LEAD, Building Stakeholder Relations
4. Tithe on every penny I earn/am given.
5. Finish reading Mere Christianity.
6. Finish knitting that second mitten.
7. Finish every book assigned in LEAD.
8. Go to/gain 4 convo points.
9. Read the Bible daily, pray daily.

In other news, I bought a new fishtank for Purl. He's quite happy, though still in a bit of shock. I do not think that he likes the new "bowl" atmosphere, yet. It is obvious, now, that there is plenty of room for a second fish in there. A buddy would do him good, since Knit died early last fall. I will add that to my To Do list.

Veggie/veganism is going well, though I discovered last night that Arby's is not a vegetarian-friendly fast-food joint. I had my first french-fry dinner, which becomes a regular event for many vegans. After much research, I will be eating eggs. There are no health problems solidly linked to consuming eggs, so back into the diet they go! Yay! I love eggs.

Also, the parents finally told our extended family about the condo purchase. This was put off for a long while, mostly due to the recession and some of the financial difficulties that members of our family have faced, and it would be inconsiderate to tell a person who is hurting financially that you have finances enough to invest in property. Regardless, after a lot of talking/praying about it, my Dad finally posted pictures of the condo online and my aunts/uncles are fully informed. My parents are also in town this week. The bed for the master bedroom was delivered yesterday and, finally, they have a place to sleep. Robert (little bro) will still be sleeping on a mattress on the floor, but he's young and can handle it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Joy in Small Things

I had the television on while I did some studying tonight. AFV was on - though the TV was muted - and I managed to catch one of my favorite funny videos of all time. Here it is on YouTube:

Cracks me up every time!
Though it provided only a small break from studying, it reminded me to be happy with the little events that God does for us daily, like playing an old video we'd forgotten we loved.

Hope you can continue to take joy in the small things!

Monday, February 1, 2010


It has, obviously, been a long while since I've posted here.
An update on life in 2010:
I am now a vegetarian, semi-vegan. I am still surprised, myself. I have long been an advocate of meat. My diet at home is usually meat and some vegetables, and I know that my body does not like a lot of bread, which I considered a significant portion of a vegetarian diet. I believe in the high-protein, low-carb diet that has kept me skinny and full all these years. However, I now know that vegetarians do not simply replace the meat on their plate with an equal portion of bread; I will continue to avoid excess breads even as a vegetarian. How did all this get started, you ask? I'll tell you.
As usual, our church started the year off with a fast (actually, both my churches did a 21-day fast, in Nashville and Bowling Green). For the first week, I fasted desserts/sweets. I did not feel challenged enough and I really felt like God was encouraging me to do more. So, I switched to not eating meat, bread or dairy, with the exception of half-and-half in my coffee. Basically, for three weeks I ate vegetables, rice, and nuts. I expected to feel terrible. I expected to feel weak, hungry, tired, and irritable. What I discovered, however, is that I had more energy, felt lighter, enjoyed my food more and now I'm hooked!
I broke the fast Saturday, reintroducing bread and desserts into my diet, but I have made the decision to remain a vegetarian and a semi-vegan (at least for a while). I refuse to be overly strict. A true vegan eats no products that come from animals (this includes all dairy and honey, etc.). I will not eat meat at home or restaurants and I will buy soymilk and soy/whey dairy replacements for my everyday consumption, but I'll continue to put real eggs and butter in my baked goods, and when I'm at a friend's house I'll eat what they give me, meat or no. I may even get a steak at a restaurant every once in a while.
The research about vegetarians and health is amazing. The top killers in our country are heart disease and cancer, and vegetarians - on average - have a 50% less chance of contracting one of these killers. Basically, maintaining a diet with more vegetables and less meat/dairy will pay off down the line. Vegetarians also live longer by about 7 years (a whole extra decade of life? I'll take it!).
I have not been hungry, as I thought I would. I have not been lacking protein (my other concern). There are all kinds of vegetables that I've never even tasted before and I love food adventures (I really will eat just about anything). I can eat larger portions of vegetables without worrying about my weight.
I feel so good, I have to keep this up. I am no PETA fan; I do not have lectures about how animals are treated or the intention of boycotting products. I simply like the way this diet has made me feel. I like the health benefits that I'll reap down the road. For my own personal happiness, I might as well stick with it!
It has the added benefit of all kinds of unexplored recipes to keep me entertained for months!

Well, I'm off to have my bowl of broccoli and rice with salt and pepper and a glass of iced tea for lunch! YUM!