Wednesday, August 31, 2011

inner peace among outer confusion...

I have more than many things on my heart to blog about. Like, I've never had this many things go on in such a short span of time. But, in time, you'll be about as caught up on my life as I am... which really isn't that much... like, whatever happened to my work out class??? Haha... that was so many life instances ago, that it is miniscule. I'll get to that soon...

My heart lately has been overwhelmed with heaviness and joy, peace and confusion, tears and laughter, exhaustion and energy, thoughts of temporal life and life eternal.

God has honestly turned my world upside down recently. And I keep going back to the passage of Philippians 4. Truthfully one of my favorites... but I find my self lingering at verse seven...

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This verse is PACKED with blessings. Like, even more packed than my "closet" hanging rack that has broken several times this summer... :/
1. The peace of God. Never has there been a more glorious thing. The peace that the Creator of the universe has. His peace.
2. ...which surpasses all understanding. God has really shown me recently that it's not just a peace that is beyond our understanding, but BETTER than our understanding. We can rest in His peace when we have NO UNDERSTANDING. God has not yet shown me why I'm in the situation I'm in and bombarded from every side... but I can rest in Him and know that I have NO NEED for understanding (about my circumstances) when I have His peace. HIS peace. His PEACE.
3. ...will guard your hearts and your minds. We are not just promised a good feeling that keeps us grinning and happy-go-lucky. He promises that His peace will GUARD us. Keep us secure. Ward off doubts. Ward off insecurities. Remind us that we are bought. Remind us that we are sealed. Remind us that when tears flood our eyes and loneliness fills our stomach, He can give us a peace that not only goes beyond our understanding, but even replaces understanding.

Recently I've been working on a list of things I really need, and things that I just want. Talk about convicting...

All I need is "Christ, who is my LIFE."

Talk about reassurance when nothing else remains constant!!! Christ can be and should be my LIFE. Not my religion. Not my Sunday mornings. Not my lonely times. Not my confusing times. But my LIFE.

More to come on the journey that is my life and the lessons that are the grace and peace of my God! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

so much to blog about, so little time? sleep?

For those of you who can keep up with me, you've noticed that I'm living in a different state. I moved. If you didn't know, don't feel left out... I barely knew!!! God has really just laid so many things out in a picnic blanket style. [Now that my classroom theme is picnic in the perk... uhh, park, I can't stop envisioning picnic baskets and such] Anyway, I'm really excited to share how God has honestly just handed me a picnic basket and said "open up... there's a lot of crazy things inside!"

He is in control. He is sovereign. And He is all-wise.

When I get the chance to catch my breath (which honestly might be a few weeks), I'll fill you in on the low-down of how my God knows me better than I know myself. Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lttm: Day 3: Personal Challenge (slight understatement)

I went to workout this morning not really knowing what to expect. My trainer said today was a "challenge day." I thought to myself, "when you haven't worked out in a year, EVERY day is a challenge day." But nevertheless, I went. When I got there, I plopped down next to two of my three "friends" from the class and started some small talk [generally centered around our pity for ourselves and our amazement that one can actually become this sore] and I realized that one of them shared a mutual friend with me! So we built bridges. Then we noticed the whiteboard at the front of the studio. It contained our workout for the day. We looked at it, turned to each other and said (each in our own way), "that's a joke, right!?!"

The board looked something like this:
50 JJ
40 punch
20 Shoulder PU
10 (I don't remember what this one said)
20 Shoulder PU
40 punch
50 JJ

We agreed that the numbers had to stand for seconds. They just had to. So our trainer told us to grab a weight. Monday, the girls' weight options were 20 or 25 lbs. So I grabbed a 20. MY MISTAKE. He said we might want to grab a lighter weight if we doubt that we can handle it, but in the mad rush, all the lighter weights were taken... Then he said that the numbers were reps. I wanted to cry... So here goes...

50 JJ: Hold the weight at your in front of you below your waist. Do 50 jumping jacks, but with every jump, bring the weight up to your chest, elbows out. 50 TIMES.
40 punch: Take the weight at your shoulder and punch up so it is extended across your body over your head. This is when I stole a guy's 15 lb. weight. I'll thank him tomorrow. ;)
30 GUSU: Most painful thing ever. Lay on the ground holding said weight over your shoulders. With legs spread out on the floor, do 30 "get up sit ups." Sit up and raise the weight over your head. 30 TIMES.
20 Shoulder PU: These are what they sound like. Rear in the air, bring your head to the ground by pushing up. Also, extremely painful.
10 ... : Stand with legs apart, weight between them on the floor, even with your heels. Reach down, grab the weight, and raise it against your body to over your head. Set down, and repeat with the other arm.
Work your way back up...

The early morning class took everyone over 25 minutes to complete the rounds. I finished in 18:26. I am officially mediocre. :) And officially okay with that!

Today was tough! But tomorrow is cardio and abs. Another "challenge day" for me! Every muscle I have is sore. And it requires picking up my legs to get up off the couch. And I fell out of the car. And it took both arms to pick up the chocolate milk carton. :/ Oh well. 3 days down!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Years of anticipation were culminated today as I "kickboxed" for the first time. And I realized something... I don't have enough "anger" to naturally be good at it. The thing that kept me on track as I was secretly watching everyone else was three-fold: 1) I'll be able to defend myself on both the East side of Des Moines (where I currently reside) and 2) I'll be able to defend myself on the East side of STL (where I grew up) and 3) Chuck Norris seriously has NOTHIN' on me. I could roundhouse kick him so hard that he wouldn't know what hit him. Seriously.

Today was interesting. But I made my second and third new friends. Look at me. Do I know them really? No. But it's hard to socialize when every muscle is cramping and you're hallucinating about getting the beatdown by Chuck Norris. Maybe tomorrow. ;)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Live to the Max: Day One

Friends, fellow bloggers, other-country-people, lend me your ears... Those of you who know me at all know that 1. I hate healthy food [with the exception of carrots and a few other things] 2. I hate working out and 3. I'm fairly competitive. I have signed up for livingsocial and recently received a 90% off deal for a fitness class. One word in this ad caught my attention... KICKBOXING. I've wanted to try kickboxing for years. This was my chance. I signed up. My class starts at 7:00 a.m. Not terrible, but not glorious either. And it's a little bit of a drive. Anyway, I signed up. Today was day one. I would post those awful pictures like on the ads and biggest loser, but NO ONE wants to see that. NO ONE. But I had the awkward please-wear-only-some-of-your-clothing picture. I had the BMI measurements (Body Mass Index). I had the weigh in. [Praise the Lord I had lost all my muscle from the last 10 years I've played volleyball that weighed me down about 20 pounds! haha] They jotted some things down. I went out to "evaluate" how much work actually has to be done so my heart can handle a walk up the stairs without going into shock! I've been told several times that I have a runner's heart. I've been told I have a runner's calves. But NEVER been told I have a runner's physique. Maybe in 40 days that will change. Too bad I didn't think of this BEFORE swimsuit season! ;)

Today, I did 75 jumping jacks, 75 sit-ups, 80 squats with weights, and 20 push-ups! And my legs turned to jello when I tried to get out of my car this afternoon. ;)

Join me on my adventure. Hopefully this will give me something to blog about since I have yet to finish a DIY project and I'm no longer a personal chef! ;)

I guarantee there will be some funny stories from this "workout challenge" I'm undertaking!!!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Pizza: from scratch.

Last night brought the beginning of a new week. Meaning a new Monday. Meaning a new week to try new recipes. I may or may not have taken a little detour to this AWESOME store called T.J. Maxx. You should go. ;) [insert glorious jingle here.] I found this delightful cookbook entitled Energy Food. The title just SCREAMED my name from the clearance shelf. Only beef with the book... it's published in the UK... so more conversions. Just when I thought I was done with those!!!

I decided to try one of the "dynamic dinners" and see how dynamite it turned out.

my pizza with charbroiled vegetables:

ingredients for dough:
14 oz. (1.75 cups) whole wheat flour, plus extra for kneading
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
250 ml (1 cup) warm water
1 Tbs olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
suggested toppings:
bottled tomato sauce
goat cheese
bell peppers

I decided that the best toppings would be fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, yellow peppers and zucchini. Mainly because those were the available things in the fridge. :)

To make the dough, stir the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, then stir in the warm water and the pol. Stir to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Return the douhg to the rinsed bowl, drizzle with oil, then cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in volume.

Meanwhile, prepare the veggies. A.k.a. heat them in a skillet with (optional) oil. I didn't use any and my veggies turned out fine. The directions in the book are more detailed, but if I can do it without reading it all, you'll be fine too! Remember, the book is British. ;)

Preheat oven to 425 (with baking sheet inside). Not sure why you're supposed to do that, but oh well! It says to split the dough into two balls and make 2 pizzas, but I wanted to just make one, so the dough was thicker and I added a few minutes to the cook time. We'll see if it worked!

Spread dough, roll with rolling pin (which I have yet to locate). Spread with sauce, and top with toppings. I added to mine: authentic Italian sauce, yellow peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh mozzarella. It looks and tastes phenomenal. :)

Bon appetit! ;)