Monday, December 24, 2007

2007 word of the year: faith

It's always interesting to see how the year panned out and to reflect upon it once it is near completion. When I think of years, being a recent graduate I think in terms of school years.

So this past year I began my final year of my undergraduate career. I tried to work less, but still break even - that my friends is a daunting task. I shared my room and tutored Pre-Calculus/Calculus coupled with the occasional babysitting. I cut back even more on spending and still try to purchase only what is necessary. My goal in working less was to spend more time with my friends before I moved on with my life and make new friends. I believe I accomplished that through Front Porch events and other extra curricular activities such as Nutrition College Bowl 5 and Wildflower Committee.

I went to Guatemala for a Mission Trip through Students International; which was an answer to my prayers. It was a reminder from God that He was calling me to the field of nutrition and that many could be reached through me because food is universal. Just as Jesus is the bread of life - no one can do without.

I wasn't planning on doing a dietetic internship because I want to do sports nutrition and I need to get my master's degree, but I prayed and applied allowing God to open and close doors on my behalf. I was accepted into Virginia State University the same day the VT shootings occurred. My father was against it, even though Blacksburg is actually really far away. I feel safer here in Virginia than at home [there are 3 new bullet holes in the house at home from a drive by]. I went to camp and coordinated STEP and lc'ed high school camp again. I love those kids so much. It is a challenge to be a Christian role model, living your life set apart for Him and still be perceived as “cool” to 14-18 year olds. Luckily, I don’t care about being "cool" and just try to accomplish the first part and oddly enough, the rest follows. I think people respect you more when you have a strong belief or faith and actually know how to defend it, truthfully state that you don't know all the answers, and are willing to apologize and/or admit when you're wrong [which happens a lot because I make tons of mistakes!].

August rolled around and I didn’t know where or who I was going to live with or how I was going to be able to afford housing/food/utilities. I didn't know a single person in the entire state of Virginia.  I didn't know what to expect.   I tried to look for housing in Farmville where most of my rotations are, but Farmville doesn’t really show up [even on google] for housing. So, I posted an add on Craigslist and got tons of replies - some a little more sketch than others. Fortunately for me, God was definitely at work in this area of my life too and provided a family situation which has worked out splendidly. Now I attend KingsWay Community Church with them in Midlothian, Virginia.

A week before I was scheduled to start my road trip I went down to SLO and visited friends there, mentioned my trip to my friend Melissa… who ended up going with me! So, another prayer answered. God was providing for me in every aspect of my life. I was thrilled and everything worked out really well, the trip was amazing (20 states, 8 ball parks, jumping pictures galore), I have a great place to live, a new church family, and a place to stay in Farmville during my rotations there. Even through being sick for 7-8 weeks here, despising hospitals [and working in them 40 hours a week], and having a police officer hit my car, God saw me through it all. I love having a feeling of joy and assurance of knowing I will be taken care of and that someone loves me. It gives me a confidence and light that no one can extinguish.

Every day I've noticed something new that fills me with wonder and amazement. I am so in awe of everything He has made from the leaves turning brilliant firey red, orange, yellow, and brown to the spider on the sill outside my window. The Virginian culture is like being in another country, but luckily God created me with a unique ability to roll with it and fit in where ever He leads me.

I love listening for His voice in the chaos of the world and having a sense of peace as I wade through life, doing my best to follow the plans He has for me. I couldn’t have planned it better, I know that God is providing and I will continue to trust in Him and allow Him to lead me where ever He wants me to go. I know He answers prayers, but I am still astounded and amazed at how He has been answering all of my prayers, even the quick, short ones I mutter under my breath as I run through the trees.

I look forward to 2008 with anticipation. I know that my goals are becoming more in line with God’s and I am trying my hardest to listen to Him and be available for Him to use me in whatever capacity He sees fit. That is how I want to live my life; that is how I want to be remembered – a faithful servant of Christ in all aspects of life. Thank You God for 2007, thank You for my life.

Friday, December 21, 2007

falling in love


We were created passionate creatures, to love and be loved.  It's more than you ever hoped for; better than your wildest dreams; consuming your body, mind, and soul.  Just be sure who or what you fall in love with is worthwhile [everlasting or eternal if you will].

The best advice I can suggest is to keep your eye on the One who has saved us.  With your priorities straight, everything will fall into place as He is our guide; the way, the truth, & the light.  It's true what they say:  I love because He first loved me.

'Delight yourself in the Lord & He will give you the desires of your heart.' - Psalm 37:4

happy Christmas friends.  I miss you.

Live for Him, Live like Jesus.  run for life. ~ JSO

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.

Origin uncertain: formerly attributed to Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1907-1991)
Superior General of the Society of Jesus 1961-1984

Double posts in one day again. This was too good not to, everyday I'm filled with joy and reminded how glad I am that I fell in love.


I don't have any more homework or class due in 2007. Wow, I feel so relieved that I'm done with school for 2 weeks. Praise God for that! It seems like the year has gone by so quickly. I feel as though my life flits by as I try to struggle and keep afloat. All I do is homework, homework, homework, work, work, work without getting paid. I know I need to stop and rest in Your presence more, please help me to do that. I would like to create and invest in relationships here in Virginia, I know You want me to do that too. I have more friends now, but none that are super close. I always feel like everyone already has someone to confide in and they always come off as though they don't need anyone else... then I tend to hang out alone and wonder if I'll ever find people. I know I should just suck it up and put myself out there; I guess I try, but not hard enough.

I wouldn't say that I "like" anyone per se, though there is a particular gentleman I would definately not mind getting to know better. I do feel a little too wise though; maybe that's just my imagination. Of course, glancing through my last post, it seems I will be going for a minimum additional 2-years of single-hood. We'll see, God's plan is my plan - I just roll with His flow. Christmas is so soon, I haven't done any Christmas present stuff yet. I REALLY want to play soccer. I wish I was going home so I could play in the alumni game! I miss those girls. That reminds me, I need to get in shape again. I ran about 3-3.5 in 28 yesterday without breaking a sweat. I'm doing a little better, at least I'm no longer sick. Time to go run.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

two more years?

I really think I would like to join the Peace Corps and do nutrition work out in another country for two years, that means I'll be single for two more years in addition to the near six that I'm at. Eight years. Two more full years. It seems like such a small number, but when you put it into 24 months or 104 weeks, it sounds like so much more. It's the best time of my life to do something of the sort because I am still single and I don't foresee any relationships occuring in the near future. I know that once I do get into a relationship, I will want to spend time with them and since I am hoping that my next relationship will be a lasting one - eventually leading to marriage, I would want to invest in it. I know that you can do distance relationships and I wouldn't mind that if I had to. I currently am planning on coming back to the United States when I am through. I do like my home here in Virginia, the people are so nice... although I really miss California weather and my friends and family back home. My heart is torn in so many directions, literally across the country. Maybe that's why I want to go to another nation and see if I fit there too. Maybe God made me to be a wanderer. I would be okay with that, as I seem to make friends very easily, but I do want to wander with someone if I am called to it [obviously I'm hoping it would be my husband and children].

I had a lot of fun at the dance last night, including the drive to and from. We ended up with 8 people in a 7 person van, that isn't that many, but when it's on the way to a formal event, it seems like a lot more. I actually wore a skirt and heels, big day, I know. I love dancing, it's really been a long time. I am so used to Latin and Hawai'ian dancing though, there isn't much hip action to any of the dances we did [swing, waltz, foxtrot].

Well, I have to make up my presentation for my clinical case study. I'm just hoping that I won't have to redo my paper. 45 minute presentations... seem really long, but I know I can fill up a lot of that time just talking about the patient that I chose. One more day of school until break. I can't wait.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

run more ... eat more

That seems to be my philosophy of life. I am running more... I'm trying to do at least 30 minutes 4-5 times a week plus abs and push ups. I'm still trying. I ran on the treadmill today for 3.02 miles and it took me 29:29. It was really slow, but I'm super paranoid about treadmills, I'm afraid I'm going to fall off and hit my face on it and slide off. I was running about 6mph or ~10 minutes per mile for the first mile, then 9:40 then a little faster for 1/2 ~9:31, then I slowed up for .25 (between 10-12min/mile) and sped up again for the last 200 meters ~8:31. I'm trying to work on my speed and endurance, but mainly endurance. I may need to work on my treadmill endurance because MAN IT'S BORING. I can't handle it, I'm literally dripping sweat and staring at a wall while listening to my iPod. I wish it was more city-esque around here. According to the scale here I've lost 1.4# in ~1.5 weeks. I am trying to do it the healthy way. I need to cut out the ice cream from my diet at lunch for work. I had a cookie ice cream sandwich today that was FIVE HUNDRED Calories alone. Ha! I had half a personal pizza too. I need to remember to get the other half and bring it home for this weekend when I'm all alone.

I'm planning on cleaning the house on Friday unless I go out and then the house will be CLEAN until Monday when everyone gets back, but at least it will be clean for them when they get home from New York/New Jersey. Skylar won't mess things up, she just likes laying around being a bum. I need to get my case study done too... it's now due in less than 9 days! Crazy. I need to get it done tomorrow and Friday. Good thing my room is always clean so I don't have to worry about that. I'm trying to stop wasting time. Less internet searching unless I need to for school and more sleeping and homework getting done. I need to be more efficient! I need to work on living up to my motto!

ps. I got offered a job with Aramark at the hospital I'm doing my psych rotation at. Ha, ha. Silly because I hate clinical settings. Too bad, Aramark is nation-wide so I could potentially work for them and move back home to California and still have a job. They are one of the "big 3" food service companies for hospitals/schools. Morrison is also one of the 3, that's what they have in Farmville.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas party uno & Runs

*Dec 2: I totally forgot to write about the Christmas party I went to last Sunday... probably because I was so tuckered out from it! I went with the family and hung out with the chillins. I was spinning KayleySue around and around and I was getting dizzy so I went out into the main foyer-area and some how got roped into being the other bigger kid's "horsey". Remember those days? You'd climb on each other's backs and they would crawl around on all fours? Yeah, so three kids on your back on hard tile floor HURTS your knees like nobody's business. I bet I had at least 100 pounds on my back. Crazy. So I started running around with them on my back piggy-back style which is much easier... but hard when you have 10 kids chasing you hitting your bottom yelling at you to "mush" or something. In all I guess it was good because I got a workout and the kids had fun, but man, I was tired. Am I getting too old for this?

* Dec 4: On Tuesday I ran down highway 15 in Farmville, also known as Farmville Road. Unfortunately even in Farmville icky people honk at you. I was wearing an In-N-Out Burger t-shirt and shorts which I don't think is super attractive, but I don't know anyone who needs to go that way and I definately wasn't in their way. It was breath taking. I ran out to the golf course and it was about 4:30PM so it was getting closer to sunset. Through the bare tree branches you could see the brillant pinks and purples of the sky. It was amazing. I definately need to run in Farmville more often. I am a big fan of running out to the golf course. I'm hoping it won't get too cold for that.

* Dec 7: I went running yesterday with Skylar, the family's dog. I was running around Sunday Park, the park that is aobut 3 blocks away and I saw an older gentleman walking his two dogs. I noticed he was trying to catch up with his first dog because it didn't have a leash on so I slowed down. He got the leash on and Skylar started barking at his dogs and they pulled him. His feet flew from underneath him and he landed on his back! Luckily he landed in a pile of leaves so I think he wasn't hurt at all, just startled with two dogs pulling on their leashes. I was so scared he was injured and angry with Skylar! Why can't she just get along with other dogs! I didn't take her today when I went running for fear of her knocking more cute little old men onto their backs.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

one down...

This is going to be a bunch of random stuff... Finished my whole clinical rotation. 10 weeks done. Bunch more weeks to go. I was driving home from Farmville and I almost stopped to take a picture of the tractors with lights outlining them. Only in Farmville. I pulled my left gluteous maximous! It hurts really bad! Apparently one of the receptionists at the hospital has planned out how many kids we're going to have... too bad I'm not interested and have told him so [I am brutally honest sometimes]. I am tired but I can't go to sleep. I'm not looking forward to entering data into the computer for hours tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting the research project done. I need to work on that and work on my clinical case study this weekend. I have a lot to do. I am glad I can go to the Johnson's care group Christmas party on Tuesday because I will be in Midlo instead of Farmville until January. I wonder what my psych rotation will be like. I wonder if my weight loss plan is going to work. I pray God will take care of all my worries, hopes and fears. I pray that God will move in the hearts of everyone I know and don't know during this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

the last king of Scotland

Talk about intense. I almost threw up during a specific part of the movie. I always feel so moved during movies such as this. I know that they are based on real stories and that is frightening in and of itself. I know that they are made because people should be called into action but I don't know what I can do to help all of the suffering people in this world. I watched Hotel Rwanda and cried, I watched Schindler's List. I can't hold myself together and I want to do something about it. I don't want to be like the majority of the world who watches these movies and then sits on their butts doing NOTHING. It's not just a good movie. 300,000 Ugandans were killed in only 8 years by their own leader! How man people were killed in Rwanda? How many people are being killed in Iraq? How many people will die tomorrow? I watched some of those movies prior to finishing high school and/or college and I told myself, I have to finish school before I do anything because I will be no good to any one right now. Now that I'm done, I'm forcing myself through this internship I really don't want to do because I felt like God was calling me to it. I have been thinking about the Peace Corps for a while now. I want to see what the best way to help with my skills is though, I don't just want to throw myself willy nilly into the mix and do nothing. People ask me jokingly if I want to change the world. I answer honestly, "yes." I know that God uses people and I know that God is using me and will use me. I know that praying and allowing God to use me will benefit the most people. I just don't want people to hurt unnecessarily. I don't want people to die for no reason. I want them to know that God is there and He is real and watching out for them, that there is something better out there. God please help me to do what You want me to do and help Your people around the world. I want to be available and be willing to do whatever You ask me to. Here I am.


It's snowing in Farmville! I ran around outside for a little bit in the snow fall. It's not "sticking" to the ground as Madonna said, but the mini flakes are like microscopic ice balls... It's not necessarily "fluffy"... its not super cold, it's kind of like really light rain because the flakes melt right when they hit you or the ground. So, I now have seen my first snow fall. Neato.

Monday, December 3, 2007

heart stopper

I was going downstairs to lock the door after letting the dog out for the last time tonight... and I saw a monster spider that rivaled a baby taurantula. It had to be as big as a potato bug (the big ones that look like ants but gianormous)... about the length of my thumb which is 2 inches. I killed it with the dog's bone because that was the closest object that I could crush it with without a chance of touching it. I was barefoot so I couldn't even stomp on it. I felt a bad for half a second before Gerd just grabbed her bone off the ground and carried it around. I don't think she even noticed the giant spider guts on the underside of one of the knots... Then I looked for a broom... but there wasn't one so I used a sponge mop and took 5 minutes to brush it's crumbled body off the carpet out the front door. Wow. I'm glad I'm still young otherwise something like that might give me a heart attack. I definately felt my heart skip a beat! Time to sleep. Two posts in one day! I'm on fire... or just really scared of GIAGANTICAL spiders that are crawling across the front room carpet...


...running in circles. Literally. It sounds ridiculous but I got off at the hospital at 6:30PM and it's pitch black. I don't want to drive anywhere to go run because that's dumb. I don't have a gym membership... and that would require driving somewhere to run, which is dumb. So, what do you do in Farmville when it's 30ish degrees outside and pitch black? I ran in circles around the house... inside the house and then I tried outside but I couldn't see... was too paranoid about spraining my ankle and too lazy to get my headlamp. Then I ran up and down the stairs for ~15 minutes in the middle of my run (I jogged backwards down the stairs to try to save my knees a little bit) and then did cool down circles through the kitchen, living room and front room to conclude the ~30 minute workout. I started out my abs and push up series again. This time I am trying to be more conservative. I started out with 200 crunches (always on the ball) and 40 push ups. I do either sets of 25-5, or 50-10 if I feel up to it. The whole workout... I call it my daily R.A.P. takes about an hour right now, but I'm working on getting faster at the AP part, after 4 weeks I will increase to 300-60 and so on until I hit 1000-200 and I will just have to try to maintain. I am shooting for 6/7 days a week, if I get 7 then that's even better. I don't want to force myself to do too much too soon like I usually do. Oh, RAP = run, abs, push ups. I know, it's dorky... yet REALLY COOL. You wish you thought of it yourself.

I have three more days in Farmville, Virginia this year. It seems like 2007 has flown by so quickly. I am really tired and I need to do homework... but I think I am going to go to sleep so I can wake up early and write down all the other information I may need for my case study that is due in ~2 weeks. I'm so glad clinical is almost done.

I have plans with Kristen tomorrow which should be fun and then yoga on Wednesday. Caught up with some friends via phone calls this weekend and still the entire family has only used 48 minutes/550 for this month and it's already been 10 days (we talk SO much! ha ha). Our cell phone bill will be 10 dollars cheaper each month which will add up after a while. Good times! Happy December! Life is good. Praise the Lord.