Could I BE any happier?!

Titling a post with a Chandler Bing reference makes it seem pretty cheesy; I am quite content though. This morning I went to spin and Bodycombat at 24. The spin teacher shared his weight loss success, and his motto is “no excuses!” and the energetic BC teacher always says, “stay with the fight!”. They don’t let anything stop them or get them down. It really is all connected! Our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual settings, are all about what you put in and how you use that. Next i got frustrated at Payless, Nordstrom rack, and then TJ maxx. I was trying to find Easter shoes and a hat, and no pale pink or gray(the colors of my dress and now nails:)) could be found, that were comfy and affordable. Finally found a pair for $30, that look and feel great! Considering we are “Eastering at the Hollywood Bowl” with one of my fave speakers, Francis Chan, and DH’s former church Christian Assembly, and picnic branching and lunch after with friends, I had to find comfy and nice:) and a floppy hat even!:) the 5 freeway was jammed, Jon’s grocery was crowded, but I got what I needed!
I did not let the frustrations of shopping get me down. I did come home to my amaryllis dirt allover the floor so i had to clean and replant it:( But hopefully it will reroot! I just had a great lunch, a nice, blissful spa-shower, meditated in the sun, and can see the mountains clear as day.
The reasons for telling you all this?
I’m going through a merger at work, and I have many things I’m working on to improve. Then poor DH is having a hard time at work too. He is actually thinking this isn’t for him, he is down, and really questioning someday moving somewhere cheaper and or even overseas. I’m thinking, “I’m so happy here(I did work hard to relocate here), can we enjoy it while we are here?” I don’t want to belittle his feelings or brush him off, I just don’t want us to stress and be discouraged or downcast. He just agreed with me, that we can hike Griffith more, relax in our lovely home, grill out more, enjoy our church and friends here, and not let stress beat us. Whatever we do we want to glorify God, whether at a secular job/school, or in ministry, whether we live here at my dream home base or have to leave, and when we start a family:)
Could I be any more happy?! Possibly but life does seem good right now:)

Pooped.

The case is over! I just spent a week in jury duty. Now I can talk about it!
But you know what?
I don’t want to talk about it. I…so…tired…We found him to be guilty 🙁
On another note, Facebook has me irritated as well. The left side vs. the right side yet again. Go to YouTube and watch “imagine a world without hate” by ADL. So good. Now can we all just please get along?!
On an even better note, I finished my stack of books and got to see my sister at her other job! I’ve visited her restaurant but not the boutique, til today. I wished I had visited a happy hour since I work during those hours normally, but enjoyed coming home earlier and cooking and walks with my husband.
I did get to enjoy noon mass at the beautiful cathedral downtown yesterday and today, and enjoyed different restaurants, farmers markets, walking through Grand Park, MOCA, but both Wednesday and Friday forgot about yoga in Grand Park!
Thankful it’s over and I can clear my head and get back to work.

Christ Confidence

It is easier said than done to have Christ confidence. What does this mean to you? It doesn’t means we don’t have any self-esteem, it doesn’t mean we believe worm theology or have martyr syndrome. What does it look like for you?
I am trying to learn how to apply this. I don’t want the opposite extreme where I put up this protective shield and never have any voice or feelings and become jaded. I am a caring, kind, compassionate human being! Yet I care a little bit too much. I have learned to take care of some of my own needs, and am learning to say no, but I still apologize, put others needs quite high, and still feel bad anytime a mistake or accident happens(with my husband, at work, or even with friends). I realize I can be myself around my husband or friends where there are safe places to cry or laugh loud or discuss personal things, but I don’t want to behave unprofessional and inappropriately at work. I want to be good and do the right thing!
Ah, there’s the rub. Maybe I am putting too much esteem on others, because I am still worried what they think of me- whether I do right or wrong, or am considered a crazy radical or an emotional freak!- shouldn’t matter so much! I may respect my parents, husband or boss but this does NOT mean I place them too high- it ought to be that Christ’s necessary work on the cross was enough, that He loves me already and THAT’S ENOUGH! I may want their recognition or reassurance or I’d like it if they are happy, but it’s not always my fault if they are displeased, disappointed in a situation. And I don’t need it! I already have Christ’s pleasure. As my grandfather said, “approved unto God,” no one else!
Today is Palm Sunday. Without giving too much thought, they threw their clothes on the ground and used palm branches to make a path- all to worship the Savior without abandon!
I love this time of year. Passover, Holy Passion week, the stations of the cross, are a special reminder off all that He did. We go to mass or service, we attend Seder or Maundy Thursday meals, we reflect on the dark “Good Friday” (stricken, smitten, and afflicted…), we listen to Handel’s Messiah (“Surely, surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows”) we eat special meals of lamb or ham, we have Easter egg hunts, and baskets, all to use as a tool to teach our kids the stories. Whether you’re Jewish or only dye eggs and don’t go to church, it is still really special for me and my Christian family/friends. I feel like my friends who don’t believe the same as me are missing out, but just know that I pray for you. I also know I have Christian friends who hate the pagan Easter stuff and the commercialized holiday(wow there’s a lot of candy with pastel colors) and that’s ok we disagree. It’s all part of His design- that we learn from each other, watch, and learn to not care if we disagree!:)

Love these two genius ideas

Hey you guys,
Today is my day to catch up on reading. I missed my workout class due to a car engine emergency, but my friend picked me up so we could study and read instead. Thankfully my car just needed a tuneup and I love my mechanics. I am reading Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover” and he has all these amazing testimonials. One family’s story of becoming debt free stated that the mom is a physical education assistant and the dad is an “involvement minister.” I thought, “what in the world is that?!” So I googled it. Look it up. It’s what every church needs and every person who goes to church needs. This position from the Church of Christ helps people get involved, get plugged in, and also stay”unbusy”(because we don’t want burnout and none of us want to be overly involved). Genius idea number one!!
Now, Genius idea number two is download the YouVersion Holy Bible app on your smartphone for free. Browse plans. Search “Easter” or Holy Passion week, and it brings up a list of good reading plans for this week. One being “The Artist Bible,” which uses fabulous songs, videos, paintings, poetry, and an insanely good monologue done by an actor, all for 8 days. You can even set up a reminder or notifications so you don’t get too BUSY and forget. This really prepared my heart last year- I love it so I’m going to do it again:)
Now I’m going back to my reading!

Sittin here resting mah bones

I remember a Reading rainbow episode that read aloud to us a book that went: “Bored. Nothing to do.” The narrator sounded utterly bored! That’s how I feel.
I want to tell you about my last two fun weekends. We have been busy and overwhelmed, too much going on, but we needed these get aways. I am still coughing but feel a lot better. So Friday night we left late after dinner and work and got to spend the night with our friends’ room at the quaint Lemon Tree inn, in windy Santa Barbara. We woke early to get the bicyclists a healthy breakfast and stretching, and then registration, for their 50mile Solvang ride! My husband made good time but they all said the wind was pretty rough. I walked around town with my two pals, the three of us not wanting to ride. We had Aebelskivers, Danish chocolate, and treats from the bakeries. It was lots of fun. We bought the riders a sandwich to meet them at the finish line and cheer them on! My friend said she saw Julia Roberts with her kids! Later we picnicked at Hans Christian Andersen park and then went wine tasting and to the hot tub and out to dinner and came home! Whew! A whirlwind weekend! Sun.night we were celebrating a friend’s birthday too, which is always fun.
This past Friday we both left work early and drove to Ventura Harbor for our church’s Marriage retreat. We downed a yummy dinner right before it started and enjoyed the first part. I wanted to go in the hot tub but I think we were tired and had dessert with some of our friends and one of the pastors. Early Saturday I woke and met two friends for a jog around the harbor and then we had breakfast and enjoyed the conference. We learned a lot and I won a gift box! At the end the speakers were so excited to find out who my grandparents are(they quoted my granny in their pamphlet):) The conference fed us lunch and it ended mid afternoon. Ventura was still cold and foggy so we got takeout (I had a coupon for Crowne plaza’s Cstreet grill) and then we ate it on the balcony of the little inn we stayed at for our anniversary! We had a free wine and cheese plate at Zoey’s bar. We walked up Main Street and I got Froyo and then we got an Irish drink at Dirgon’s and met a girl who just got engaged:) Next we went to see “OZ” in 3d! I absolutely loved the magical, colorful, and cheesy-fun world:) I like Michelle Williams, Baz Luhrman, and Danny Elfman. We walked a little more and even though the hot tub was COLD we made a fire in the room and had a little wine before we crashed:) In the am we walked to get coffee and saw the mist over the mission(it looked like Ireland) and came to church then went home. So fun, relaxing, delightful, romantic, godly, refreshing, and enjoyable!

Memorial to a good friend

I just heard, and I want to drop everything and run, go for a far away run.  I’m upset, I’m so sorry I didn’t call you enough or see you enough or take you to our favorite coffee place (Zona Rosa).  You were an inspiration to so many – 

you showed me many a kindness, taught me about womanhood, and by your example, I grew to love your sweet kitty “Frankie” (named for Ol’ Blue Eyes). You were so kind to animals as well as people.  We laughed about movies, cried about our similar pasts of dark depression, and rejoiced together over new beginnings and being spiritual soul sisters.

You were such a hard worker, you were very hospitable and we discussed vegetarian recipes.  We ate California Pizza Kitchen and toasted drinks to each other.  You were so patient and such a good listener.  I’m so touched by your generosity and sweet spirit, and my only comfort is that you are with the angels. I will continue to pray for Logan and your family. I love you and you are sorely missed. 

No judgment here

I AM HEREBY DECLARING THAT I, CHRISTIANA, AM TAKING A BREAK FROM CRITICISM, AND JUST THIS ONCE, AM RESTING IN THE LIGHT OF LOVE.

Just for today. Relax with me, come breathe in the fresh air of a little Sunday r’n’r. This morning after church I got so panicky about criticizing myself that DH took my hand and prayed that we would both learn to rest in God’s love. That we both could learn to take a compliment. That we would learn to be confident in His love and the warmth of each other’s love. That I would stop casting verbal or mental stones at myself or comparing myself to others (good or bad comparisons!) ! That we would learn not to take the personal stress into work but never take work stress home, but to bear one another’s burdens and yet still be responsible just for our own duties.
Yesterday I had a fun day in Solvang and Santa Barbara. But I was constantly internally battling my own war. “Maybe I should be riding 50 mi! Eating more veggies! Not drinking wine! Not eating all this sugar! What did she mean by that? Is she judging me?” Then, “no sit back and enjoy the day! They are your friends and they love your laugh, your support, your kind help. She noticed I’m losing weight! She said I’m pretty!” Ugh enough already!
All week I was fighting a cold, wanting to come into work, needing rest, wanting the gym, wanting to read or socialize, but not having mental space – I judged myself for not doing enough! I was taking Reliv, vitamin c, tea, garlic, and still thought I wasn’t doing enough of the right thing(cooking healthy for my husband, grocery shopping, budgeting, meal planning, and cleaning house).stop!
All week I did this would searching and second guessing after my job’s performance evaluation. I worried what my boss and supervisor thought of me, I constantly beat myself up over a misunderstanding with a coworker, I over thought, over analyzed, and over killed it!
This morning during the good sermon, I fought the temptation to get distracted by my responses and Satan’s negative fiery darts kept coming. “You need to work on this, or that! You should serve more! You ought to help _ more with _” Shut up so I can listen!
I made a light brunch and still sought reassurance and validation:”is this ok did u like it is it enough?” So I read outside in the sun: “taming your gremlin” and “embracing your inner critic.”-2 helpful books! I flipped through Lucky magazine. I just checked Facebook now I will finally take a breath, and enjoy
Quiet!

Int’l women’s day thoughts by a woman, for all!

I canceled my class today because I was coughing so, so badly. Originally I dreaded going into work because I was over analyzing the performance eval I had and had been worried about coming in after soul searching, resting,&watching mindless tv while I was away for 2days. My workout from prevention.com was good (light and low impact) and my smoothie was good. Then the hail got my attention. Next it was the snow on the mountains. Now that I ate my healthy soup(with about 20 veggies!) all the quotes and posts about Int’l Women’s Day woke me up! The Good Lord reminded me of Abeline in “The Help”- “you is kind
You is smart
You is important!” I am who I am because God brought me fabulous women in this life-
Grandmother S
Granny E
A good Mama
4wonderful sisters, 2sisters in law
A boss and supervisor who are here to help, great coworkers too
So many good women who have mentored me, counseled, trained, taught, pastored, ministered to, and prayed with me
Best friends like Sarah, Lyndsey, Annie, Nicolette, Bre, Rae, so many!
Reliv friends like Terry, Adair, so many!
Swing dance friends
Fit friends who show me physical strength
Roomies like Sharie and Chandra, Bible study leaders Audrey and Carol,
And of course my church friends.
So many moms I’ve worked for and watched and helped- someday I want to be like them.
So many who work in and out of the home, who love their husbands or care for their parents or watch their kids
Homeschool tutors who were patient with a gal who was super sensitive!
Drama and theatre/singers and actors who I’ve belted out songs, laughed at movie quotes, taught me choreography!
Those aunts that loved my cousins and loved on me, showed me new ideas.
The list goes on. I am so humbled by their love – so grateful for caring friends who listen and pray or who laugh and show me strength in the midst of unhappy circumstances.
I love and appreciate each of you, and want to keep on growing in strength and dignity! As we compliment each other or our spouse or if we live alone and we only see a Facebook post, lets live life to the hilt (as my Grandfather said)! Lets keep on keeping on!

“Everyone must like me! I need everyone to like me!”-George (from Seinfeld)

Came home early after my evaluation because I’ve caught a cold. What do I do when I’m sick? Wear my snuggle, drink tea&reliv, and watch tv. In watching Seinfeld I realized why those characters can be so annoying- and so funny. If we learn not to take ourselves so seriously, we can laugh because they remind us of ourselves. I saw myself in George, and I didn’t like it! Why do I need my husband to reassure me? Why do I want my boss to praise me? Why do I need my supe and my coworkers to like me?
It goes back to my growing up years. And into college(my second year I fell into depression, although I thought I was happy in theatre; that was my outlet!) also.
I remember hearing things like, “you’re too much!”
You’re too emotional
You’re too loud
You’re too silly
You’re too dramatic
You’re extreme
You’re excessive
Over the top
Overly annoying.
I look up to people and I am kind because I want them to respect me and be kind to me. Sure the golden rule is good, but not if I’ve taken it and misused it. I also crave attention but let’s not dwell on that(I’ll start feeling really guilty, internalize, and read into things).
This year my goal is to not be so critical of myself. Why can’t I be kind to myself like I am kind to others? Does it come from worm theology (what I misconstrued, not my parents’ fault!)
At work I want to stop apologizing and look and sound more professional.
Some people joke that I have ADD or Adult ADHD, or today, I heard the “DayQuil” is keeping me from being all emotional, but really I want to give credit to God and to me. I had a prayer team praying for me, and I worked hard at being a good listener. I want to do the right thing, which is quietly focus on my tasks and listen, not interrupt and not let overly responsible helping get in the way.
Tonight, even though I’m sick, I did the dishes. I am trying to get the energy up to go make the bed with clean sheets. I don’t want to do it just to get praise from my husband, I want to do it to get the job done! I want to be thorough and accurate, not just efficient.
Thanks for reading, but you needn’t like, comment, or send cyber (((hugs))). This is just to keep me sane.:)