Sunday, February 27, 2011


It's kinda cool how things work out.  I have really been doubting running lately and my abilities and purpose and meaning and if it is a purpose of my life or how it plays out.

So this week was the week of big tens and I had no idea what to expect.  I thought I could win.  Or I could get 8th. Or I could last.  I did not feel so sure I would have success as usual.  I felt uneasy, and so I prayed for strength all week.  I went into the race a little nervous, but nothing compared to my normal nervousness.  I was just going to run, and God would provide me with the strength I needed.

And he did.  I ran without fear, I enjoyed the race, and I enjoyed watching other people race.  And I did well. I was happy even though I did not win because it was not my own.  I did nothing.  I have nothing to boast about.  Several weeks ago I ran my slowest time ever on the "fastest track in the world."  I am thankful that God allowed me to feel uncertainty and doubt so I could realize several things.

-Running is just running.  Every other person is nervous and trying their very hardest and the beauty is in watching everyone's desire and ability to compete.  Someone will win, but that really does not matter.
- I will be happy if I try my very hardest.
-I can do nothing on my own.  We are all a vessel made for God, created to glorify him and not make ourselves miserable.
- I can not be in control.  I can try very hard to be and be anal and obsessive and controlling and hate myself and the way I am , but this is because I was not created to know.  God has a purpose for Him and to follow it and reach our potential we have to trust in the Lord.
- I love the people that surround me.
- Running has taught me more about the Lord and my faith than any other experience.  through gaining humility and perseverance and so much else I realize (sorry about corniness) that life is just a very long race.  There are bad ones and good ones.

The Hawks Soar....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chili Yummy Yummy Chili

We were unsure of the name title, and unfortunately still are, but it is between Chili Yummy or Chili Yummy Yummy Chili.  Anyhow, it is a new Chinese restaurant in Iowa city so we decided to give it a try! Why?  It is always more FUN to try new things than to do the same old things over and over again, they advertised bubble tea on the outside, and I heard good things.

We arrive around six thirty with a party of six.  There is one table (for four) so we decide to take it.  The menu has over 100 items including pork blood, black fungus, and we discovered they served ALL parts of the chicken in different forms.  This was going to be an adventure.

After fifteen minutes we finally we able to order our drinks and received miniature water glasses.  They were so cute! After ordering bubble tea, they said they did not have it despite that it was printed out the door as one of the main items served at the restaurant. O well.  We decided to make some orders.  We stayed away from the bloody animal parts and all wrote our orders on the menu.  Then the lady fell and everyone who worked there clamored around as if the sky had fallen.  I actually felt like I WAS IN CHINA.  Chili Yummy was unlike any previous Chinese restaurant I have ever been to.

One by one our orders came out over a forty five minute period.  Each time it would be a new surprise!! For six of us we had six sets of chop sticks and two forks.  Most of us resorted to eating with our hands and sharing the forks.  Whoever looked like they needed it the most got the fork.  The tiny water cups were not cute anymore.  Our mouths were burning with hotness and thankfully Alissa invented an ice cube chap stick to help them cool down. Phew!

Some of the food looked like this:

Pork bun (some special meals were served in the wooden houses)

Nicole's fried twist bread.  It tasted like a funnel cake with no sugar.


Even though the people working at Chili Yummy seemed to have zero experience running a restaurant they were very nice and kept asking us if we liked it.  Then they would get so excited when we said we did! It was a lot of fun and a GREAT EXPERIENCE.

After we all thought of one thing we liked best and we came up with some great reasons! The rice was good, it was a lot of fun, it was a good cultural experience, and we had fun! Yay for Chili yummy

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today I felt sad.
I cried a couple times.
I cried actually many times this week.
But it was GOOD.

I ReaLIZED that I would much rather feel emotions.
FEELING EMOTIONS is much MUCH better than constantly trying to be in control.
Crying is not fun, but it is better than stressful anxiety.
Being EXTRA EXTREMELY ANGRY is not fun either, it is hard and makes me not like myself.
But I am a human, and so I have emotions.

Sometimes I feel like this:

But then it turns into a beautiful day. And the sun comes out, and the people you love are there, and the sun comes out inside of you too.

I'm thankful for emotions.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

the simple things

Things that made me happy today.

When I woke up this morning it was sunny and warm.

I went and read Ecclesiastes and had coffee at the Java House

 "There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
  a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
  a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
  a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
  a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

  What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him."

This was so beautiful for me to read, and I loved it.

I was also happy when all the stop lights turned green in a row.

I was happy to clean when it was sunny and I could take the trash out with no coat on.

I was happy to go on a run in shorts and feel so alive and as if I could just praise the Lord and just accept the wonderfulness that he gave me, even if it were only for a moment.

I was really happy to sing. Even if my voice is not perfect it is something I have to offer.  Singing with others helps me feel connected to to them, and today I loved to sing.

I was happy to paint and listen to explosions in the sky.  It was so in the moment.

And then, now, I am happy to go to bed. I am thankful for this day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dwell in Me.

" Remain in me and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

-John 15-4


8 track (From Megan Ranegar has some great Jesus mixes as well!) Like this one...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Morning time :)

Things that made this morning happy :)

Her Morning elegance by Oren Lavie (a lovely video).


Running in a parking ramp in -25 degree temperatures and turning into the ultimate snow eyelash queen!

home made raisin bran muffins with carrot.

Lots of butter :) I love butter.

Coffee that is cinnamon flavored.

This is actually what it looks like. But this image is from Google images....

And lastly a great verse I should remember this day:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Monday, February 7, 2011


If I ever got a tattoo I would consider this one:

I think it is so elegant and beautiful and I love it. I will contemplate for the next several years.

More birds:

Dear blog, I think I will make a painting of birds this time.  They are so free and alive and wonderful.

The best.

It's funny how the best of life comes when you can never plan it.  This weekend involved so many random surprises that all ended up being wonderful.

When in need of some goodness to do!- Cut a friends hair and style it and donate it to locks of love, give free friend massages, watch tv shows or movies that you have not in so long!

Listen to songs that were so great ten years ago and STILL are!

Like..... Meet Virgina (Train), Wonderful (Everclear), or The Joker (Steve Miller Band).

Go to the theaters to see a matinee! You are not too busy.  JUST DO IT.  I saw Blue Valentine.  It was really GOOD, but also really depressing.  It makes you really see both sides of marriage.

I think my favorite part of the weekend was going to my friend Megan's for a dinner party.  I had no expectations and just got to really laugh more than I have in a while.  I felt at peace. And I know this is not always possible.  It is rarely ever possible. BUT SOMETIMES. Some rare times, we get to feel so alive and free and eat tons of cookies and not feel guilty at all-- just nourished with laughter and sugar :)

Not to mention the unexpected great company from people I did not even know.  Crazy how we are created to live with each other... loving one another and sharing in goodness.

The last part was a good run.  I had not had that good of a run from weeks, months? And it was so Blessed.  Even if I do not again for a while, it was 13 miles of bliss.  Running with the wind at my back with the sun shining and I just felt like an animal striding and running forever.  Isaiah says "What is God?" To God we are as small as grasshoppers.  I felt like a grasshopper just hopping endlessly in celebration of the Father. It was love.

And today it is cold. I had to wake up at six thirty, and I feel human.  But I know that for the times that are bad God will reward us with his goodness if we wait patiently.

The end.