“Oh I’m full of things that are considered blasphemy in today’s industry. I don’t like dslr’s. I don’t think digital is a good way for most people to learn photography. I don’t think there is any way to archive digital files, at least I’ve never found a single person who actually knows how or has any real plan for the future. I think a lot of photographers, after switching to digital, are not nearly as good as they were during their analog days. I think digital has killed the editing abilities of most photographers. I don’t think seeing an image right after you make it is a good thing. I don’t think having the ability to overshoot every scene actually helps make better images. I think digital has trivialized the idea of photography in the minds of everyday people.I think our industry is now almost entirely centered around technology as opposed to imagery. I’ve never seen an HDR image I like, and the fact I’m starting to see this technique creep into nearly every genre of photography makes me sick.
How is that for starters? I don’t get invited to many parties these days. At the core, digital is a great thing. What we do with it, how we use it…that is another matter.”—Daniel Milnor (via ryanmuirhead)
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (Romans 12:6-8 NLT)
And this righteousness will bring peace.
Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in safety, quietly at home.
They will be at rest. Even if the forest should be destroyed
and the city torn down, the LORD will greatly bless his people.
Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up.
Their cattle and donkeys will graze freely. (Isaiah 32:17-20 NLT)
Today, with the help of a true friend, I came to the realization that someone who I thought was one of my closest friends is far from that. This friend has been manipulative and deceptive. I feel betrayed, angry and hurt. Its going to take a while for me to get over this. I’ve shed a lot of tears and I’m sure there will be more. Praying for strength to let go of what I can not control.
Last night I was so angry with someone. This morning I woke up to the following verse of the day;
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31, 32 NLT)
I am constantly amazed by God’s ability to speak directly to each one of us.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (Romans 3:23, 24 NLT)
We are all hopelessly flawed. We are all perfect luminous beings inside vulnerable hearts and bodies. We are doing our best, sometimes fumbling through near dark trying to make our way. This applies to you too. It’s ok to love yourself anyways.
Love the brilliant light of your heart. Love the dark places. Love what’s cracked and parched. What’s bruised and still bleeding. Take this magnificent whole and be as kind and as gentle with it as you are the sweet souls around you.
Take off your armor. Put down your fists. This is not a war. With grace and humility willingly receive all the love, happiness, kindness, connection, money, travel, opportunity, privilege, praise, and acceptance that this sweet life bestows upon you. Use these incredible gifts to help others.
Keep growing. Keep learning. Keep opening your heart wider. Be sweet. Work hard. But in this moment please remember: You are good. You are enough.
Currently at the airport in Lima, Peru. I will be home in 16 short hours. Honestly, I am really having a hard time coping with retiring to “reality”. Don’t get me wrong, the trip was so incredible. But, rather than “finding myself” like I was hoping, I lost myself. Perhaps my expectations were set too high. I’m feeling more confused than ever. Perhaps, living in a country other than the united states will happen sooner than I had planned.
I’m sitting at the airport waiting to board a plane and take my first trip overseas. I am with one of my best girlfriends and am giddy with excitement. But, of course there is that looming feeling of uneasiness and stress caused by all those questions relating to my clients needing me.
As much as I tried, I couldn’t stop worrying. I said a prayer and handed my worries to God. Shortly after, I received this text from my amazing associate planner, Allie, “Don’t you worry about a thing while you’re away! Nothing will be too earth shattering and we’ll rock this damn baby shower! Haha have a fabulous time :) can’t wait to see pics”.
I love that girl so much.
God, thank you so much for putting such wonderful people in my life. I am thankful that you always have my best interest in mind even in times I am full of doubt. Thank you this amazing opportunity to see another part of the world and admire all you have creates. You are an awesome God.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT)
One simple act changed how I start my day. I deleted email and facebook and twitter from my phone. I didn’t just move it to a different screen where I could still access if I felt so inclined. When I wake up in the morning, I feel free. Free to live my ideal day. Free from the stresses of being needed by clients. Free from the stresses of comparison and judgement. Yes, I understand that I can still access all three from the internet browser, but that takes extra steps and makes me THINK about what I am about to do.
Now, instead of waking up and turning to my phone and seeing 30 new messages and an unlimited number of updates on facebook, I see my calendar, my bible app, and spotify. I am able to start my day by reading my morning devotion and then turning up the music. I don’t have to check my email until I am ready. I don’t have to think about how I’m going to handle 10 demands from one client until I am ready. I am free to live my day.
This verse is exactly what I needed to read today.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
Yesterday changed my life in a way that is far beyond words. I attended a one day intensive called Making Things Happen. More on that later. One of the many powerful takeaways from the day was Actions>Words.
I’m not going to procrastinate or wait for the perfect time to start. I started as soon as I turned my phone back on ( a couple hours after the seminar ended). I rid my life of one its biggest distractions, social media apps and email on my iPhone. Gone. All of them. It’s kind of weird, empty, and empowering all at the same time- not being able to reach for my crutch when I am bored, procrastinating, or fearful. But, I am already being forced to act with intention. The only exception to this app rule is tumblr as I have been and will continue to use it as a journal. It keeps me honest, accountable and reminds me of my journey.
I am currently walking into the expo hall for the Indianapolis mini marathon to pick up my packet and tag for the race I will NOt be running in tomorrow. It was a hard realization (both physically and mentally) that God just does not want me to run this year. First it was my hip injury 10 days ago (that luckily is not a stress fracture). I was advised by my doctor not to run. I heard her, but I really had no intention of listening. I was going to run anyway. But, 5 days ago I got the worst head cold / sinus infection / no idea what’s wrong with me illness. I have not been this sick for longer than I can remember. I am still utterly miserable today. Maybe, even worse than Monday. There is no way that with a congested nose and hacking cough that I will be able to run in that that race tomorrow. So, God, I am listening. I’m getting my tshirt and momentos but am leaving running shoes hanging on the wall. I have to believe that God is protecting from the predicted record heat and humidity tomorrow so I do not get injured and can see all his glory through what he created when I trek to Macchu Picchu in 5 short days!!!! I will be fresh and open to all the beauty instead of sore and exhausted. And, it is all going to be ok. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (Proverbs 3:5 NIV)
One cannot be perfect and vulnerable at the same time. To truly love, to truly nurture and protect ourselves, we need our eyes to open to the people in front of us, real people with varying degrees of talent and ambition and desire. We need to understand that often, close is good enough, and perfect is far too costly.
-Madeline Levine, ph.d
Chasing perfectionism is a good way to have your life pass you by. I was trying to be a “perfect” runner. I pushed and pushed and while I still love running and look forward to my runs, I pushed too far. I am visiting the doctor tomorrow and praying that I do not have a stress fracture in my hip. I am so angry with myself for not listening to my body.
Last night he said “I don’t normally like split pea soup, but I love the stuff you made. It has so many levels of flavor”. Jackpot! It’s the same recipe I have always used. In the book, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge, Colleen does mention that one “side effect” of veganism is a more sensitive palate. Seriously, I could not be happier. I really am a good cook and the most common comment I get is “It tastes like every other (insert food item here) that I have ever had”. I’m hoping that maybe he will start enjoying the food I cook and restaurant food on the same level that I do.
Both hubby and I feel hungry all the time. I don’t know if it is because we don’t feel satisfied, all the fresh, healthy, and yummy food that has been prepared and is now always available in our kitchen, or if we truly lacking calories. For me, it really sucks. It’s that time of the month and I already am moody and suffering from cravings. I can’t seem to stop eating! I need to make a better effort to go for carrots though instead of the nuts or homemade granola bars - especially late at night. I may be holding extra water weight right now, but I also might have actually gained a couple pounds since starting this challenge due to ALWAYS FEELING HUNGRY! I really hope this is just a hump that we have to get over.
The other tough part is that contrary to what my special little book says, eating vegan is expensive! Buying processed prepared food is so much cheaper than buying fresh, whole foods. But, we are eating out less - mainly due to a lack of options. It is helping balance things out, however I still don’t like how much I am spending. Perhaps it will get easier. When I went shopping on Sunday after planning this weeks meal, by bill was $80 just for this week’s food! That doesn’t count the things I had to invest in initially that I will be using as well in this week’s recipes.
We have had some really good recipes and some really not so good recipes over the past couple of days. I made pumpkin bisque - it sucked…to the point that the whole pot was dumped down the drain. I redeemed myself by making the best butternut squash soup my husband and I have ever eaten. I made a tofu breakfast scramble that sucked, which allowed my to confirm the fact that my husband and I both can not stand tofu in any form - extra firm, silken, or in between. We have had it several ways and just can not do it. So, we really could use some awesome hearty breakfast recipes.
What are your favorite vegan recipes for breakfast that are hearty and do not contain tofu?
I also made this “power pasta lunch” - my first time experimenting with nutritional yeast. It was surprisingly good!
Successes: Made more great recipes that were husband approved! I need to start taking photos and posting the recipes. I’ll work on that.
Day 3’s Challenge: Reading Labels. It does continually surprise me how many things have milk and egg products in them. I was about ready to use our bread crumbs for a recipe and luckily checked the ingredients. Of course, it had eggs and milk! So, I put some “safe” crackers in the food processor and used those instead :).
I also love looking for products while shopping that have as few ingredients as possible. They just taste better. Thankful that there is a Trader Joe’s relatively close to our house.
Successes: Made amazing carrot spice muffins that are perfect for breakfast or a snack (recipe to follow.)
While the book says that day 1 is supposed to be the day that you stock your healthful vegan kitchen, I had been working on this for a few days prior. Yesterday, the husband opened opened the refrigerator and said “I love seeing all this fresh produce”. Win! It’s true, though. Even as a vegetarian, I didn’t keep a huge amount of fresh produce around. I relied on frozen meals, spaghetti with canned sauce, and tortillas with cheese for my meals. Now, I am cooking fresh, healthy, and yummy food!
Frustrations: Tried making a Whole Wheat Vegan Bread in the bread machine. Maybe it’s because I left the bread in the machine over night (I started it right before bed), but the bottom of the loaf was soggy. I was afraid it wasn’t done, but when I broke the loaf open, it was completely cooked. So, I tasted it for good measure and I was not impressed. Will not be making it again.
Fears: I have never had a tofu dish that I have actually liked. There is tofu in my refrigerator just waiting for a recipe. It would be awesome to like it…but, we will see.
Day 2’s challenge: Eating Healthfully Affordably. The initial investment of many items used for my upcoming vegan recipes was a little expensive, but they will last for more than one meal. Once we find things we like (ingredient wise) I will look into buying in bulk. I also may an order for some of the more expensive things like nutritional yeast and egg replacement powder at Lucky Vitamin.
(Day 1 was actually yesterday, so this is a reflection post.)
Ugh. Honestly, yesterday sucked. Not because I was craving eggs or cheese or couldn’t figure out what to eat, but because I am so obsessed with making this as easy as possible for my husband. That stupid ingrained perfectionist in me would not let go. There are so many easy solutions for vegan meals like pb & j, but I want to make sure he feels full, satisfied, and like he is not missing out on anything. So, instead of planning meals, I spent about 3 hours between Trader Joe’s and Whole foods (and $150) buying things that I hope will make this next 30 days easier. Veganaise, flax seed, temphe, beans, soy yogurt, soy cheese, etc. etc. But, I didn’t buy any fruit or vegetables.
As far as my food for the day, I did ok. I had some yummy oatmeal for breakfast and then decided to visit a vegan friendly restaurant for lunch. Should have researched their menu better. They were very veggie friendly, but only had one truly vegan lunch item - a salad. This salad sounded really good though - lots of veggies, edamame, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Not only did it cost $11.00, it tasted like they dumped salt on the veggies before the dressing. I should have asked for a new salad, but I ate it. It was not satisfying at all and left me feeling hungry and unhappy. So, I “rewarded” myself with a starbucks soy latte. Dinner was spaghetti and some leftover acorn squash. But, here’s the kicker. I’m definitely an emotional eater and when stressed enough, some of those binging tendencies from my eating disorder days will still come through. Last night was one of those nights. We won’t go into all I ate. I did keep it vegan. :) Today I’m giving myself a clean start. Forgiving myself for last night and planning our weeks meals. I’m ready to not have to obsess about what we are going to eat and this will help.
I was supposed to answer some questions from the book for day 1, but I’m going to do that in a separate post so these aren’t overly long.
One of the perks of my job is that I get to attend a LOT of networking lunches. Fine as a vegetarian. Not so great as a vegan. I ate a sourdough roll without even thinking. Probably not vegan The rest of my meal was a veggie medley- basically the side dish for the entree. Still a little hungry b
PS I am totally missing out in a dessert trio of chocolate mousse, cheese pastry, and cake. I’ll have to treat myself to a soy latte :)
Prior to beginning the 30-Day Challenge, Colleen recommends that you answer some questions.
How do I feel Now?
Physically: Ok. Bloated much of the time lately and would really like to do away with this! Energy levels are for the most part good. I have plenty of energy for my runs and feel good after them. I fall asleep easily and sleep well the majority of the time. Emotionally: This one is hard to answer because right now I’m happy. But I know that I have felt overwhelmed and stressed quite often in the past couple of months. Spiritually: Lacking. Really need to pick it up in this area.
What are my intentions for doing the 30-day vegan challenge? I love trying new things, especially those that can benefit my health. I also secretly hoped that my husband would start to try to develop more of a healthy lifestyle and as I mentioned, he is doing this with me! Therefore, it is also my intention to help him succeed. Finally, I would like to see if giving up the extra animal products that I still consumed as a vegetarian (milk and eggs) makes a difference in my overall health and well being.
What goals do I want to attain by the end of 30 days?
1. Complete the challenge 2. Become comfortable with cooking vegan recipes that both my husband and I enjoy
What am I most afraid of or anxious about? I touched on this in my previous post, but I really really really want to help my husband succeed. Not just succeed by giving up his favorite things, but succeed by finding alternatives to animal products that he truly enjoys and thereby changing his lifestyle habits for the better. I am also afraid of the work involved in creating yummy recipes as well as the trial and error in finding foods that we enjoy together. For example, I have tried tofu on numerous occasions and it is one food that I can just not embrace. Hopefully Tempeh will be better.
What am I anticipating being the most exciting aspects of these 30 days? Trying new things and finding awesome recipes that I would be proud to cook for my extended family when entertaining.