Mini Vacation is over & I’m back in Washington

Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh

I think I’ve officially recovered from my mini, cross country vacation. I had a really good first time flying experience. Thank God, really, the security gate at 3 in the morning in Seattle is pretty quick. Also, surprisingly, the Security check at O’hare wasn’t bad either. I was standing in a huge long line but they opened a second place to go through & the new line started only a few people ahead of me. So, I was in & out. I also was about 2 hours early for that flight as well. I think the worst part was driving back from Indiana to Chicago in my rental. I’m not entirely sure why they refer to it as the Dan Ryan Expressway, when it’s more like the Dan Ryan Slow as Fuck, took me an hour to go 14 miles-way. But other than that- the weekend was really fun.

I got in Friday evening & went straight to my Dad’s. Again with the rental car, I had an appointment to pick up my car at 11:30 & didn’t get to the check in counter until 1pm – so I was a little later getting back home than I wanted. But, regardless, I made it safely. The first person to greet me was Jake, my dad’s dog. I know that may sound sad but really, he jumped through my car window with excitement. So, it was worth it. The weather was hot & muggy, I kind of forgot about the 150% humidity mixed with 80 degrees with pending rain. I had to change into a tank top, I could have skipped packing make up & hair products (Actually, I did skip hair products & just used my sisters, she has no idea). I had dinner at my mom’s, some good ‘ole Polish sausage.  Then I stayed at my Dad’s, I woke up after about 45 minutes of being asleep in a panic, not knowing where I was.

Saturday I saw my favorite person in the world, my best friend’s mom and her dad & one of her younger brothers. Rosa couldn’t get the weekend off from work, so she wasn’t able to come back to Indiana. But either way, her mom gave me some beers at 11 am & made me breakfast tacos. Then it was lunch at Tjo’s – if there’s any theme to my visit back home it’s something related to food. I had lunch with my BLTMS group of friend – BLTMS stands for : Bacon (Me) Lettuce (Lauren) Tomato (Tjo) Mayo (Marianne) Sourdough Bread (Star).  🙂 Another theme to my weekend is dogs, I got to see Tjo’s dog Duke, who was just a little baby the last time I saw him. Now, he’s a giant & peed everywhere when I walked in. After lunch and some extreme gossiping & more drinks, I went to my dad’s for a cook out with both of my sisters & my grandma & my sister’s boyfriend. And obviously my dad & his girlfriend. Again, we had sausage (brats).

After the cookout, everybody went out to Hacienda. Everybody being Rosa’s mom, dad, brother & his girlfriend, my sisters, my sisters’ bf, my mom & bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo & my friend Kristin. We had margaritas & generally shitty service, Kristin ended up getting her meal for free. Which is pretty common for this specific location & has happened multiple times before but it’s an iconic restaurant in town, so we suffer for the margs. Afterwards we walked over to a new bar in town, the Smokestack. They had a live band & no air conditioning. It was mostly an older crowd but still fun.  We didn’t do much dancing because we were too busy sweating but after an entire day of drinking beers & margaritas & vodka tonics I didn’t mind the sweat. A few of us finished up the night at Rosa’s mom’s house with some homemade Apple Cinnamon whiskey. I went back to my Dad’s, I only tried to moon my sister once & she didn’t even look. Boo.

Sunday was the best day, I got to go to my church – Granger Community Church with Rosa’s Mom, Dad & Tjo showed up as well. I was kind of worried because the first two songs that they sang I didn’t know. But the sermon was really good, educational & worth every second of going with my God given family. After that, I ran over to Kristin’s to meet her new puppy Lucy and chatted with her for a little bit. Then on to another cook out with my mom’s side of family. This time, no sausage but some bomb ass pasta salad. One of the best parts of that cook out was when my autistic cousin, who I haven’t really spent a lot of time around and who probably doesn’t know who I am at all, even though I owe him $10 from the day he was born when I needed to pay for parking at the hospital- told me goodbye & gave me a hug before he left. That was pretty cool. Also awesome, getting to see my little cousins, especially the girlie who is coming of age & was just baptized a couple weeks ago. I got to tell her how proud I am of her. And of course see my the rest of my family, especially my Aunt Doris who cried when I left the first time & this time. I tried to remind her again that she still has my mom but she rolled her eyes at me. >.<

After that, dinner at the best wings restaurant- Wings Etc with my Dad’s side of my family.  Not the entire family but the ones who lived close by. I was happy to see the small percentage of cousin’s who were in town & spend a little extra time after drinking beers with my Aunt Lisa & her husband. Then got some beers & a margarita at Scotty’s Brewhouse.

Monday morning I went on a walk around the riverwalk in Elkhart, waiting on my old boss to show up to work. I really, really tried to look at the riverwalk with new eyes. Hoping to see a glimpse of the beauty here in Washington but they were very small glimpses. Especially when the river is gross & you’ve got some radioactive green slime build up by the trees & these turtles jumping in & out of it. I got a chance to spend a couple hours with my old boss & an old co-worker. I may or may not have had some PTSD like flashbacks when I pulled up to my old job & listened to the other workers complaining about our temp workers & talking about how crazy busy they are. That was a big motivator to feel grateful I was coming back to Washington. Not that I don’t appreciate my struggle but forreal, God Bless the fact that I am no longer that stressed.

Met up with my Mom for lunch at Barnaby’s another historical site in my hometown for delicious food. Then we hit up Goodwill afterwards, then I was off. I started my should have been 1 hour & 45 minute trip back to Chicago that in fact took 3 hours because traffic was so shitty in Chicago. I think my GPS said 14 miles left for about 30 minutes at one point.

As soon as I hit the highway, I started crying. Not because I was sad to be leaving Indiana because I do not think anyone could actually be sad to leave such a boring state but because I want, so much in my heart to find the kind of friends (but not better) & the kind of support I have in Indiana, in Washington. And I was crying & praying & jamming with the windows down & the air conditioner blasting on my feet. (It’s a rental, of course I’m going to abuse that privilege.) The clouds looked so much closer than the clouds here in Tacoma, it was almost unreal & I wanted to remember that forever. I also wanted to remember for at least 6 months before my next trip home the feeling of driving 80 miles per hour on the highway, rather than 60 on I-5.  And then I realized that what I really should be praying for is that I can become that kind of support, that I could give the kind of love I received while I was home to all of the new people I’m meeting in Washington. How great would it be to make people feel the same way I feel when I have such loving, encouraging, nurturing, strong friends & family back home. I prayed that I could give that to everyone in my life new & old. (One is silver & the others’ Gold #girlscouts)

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard some version of – “We may not have talked in a long time but as soon as I’m around here it’s like we hadn’t spent a day apart.” I don’t know how many times I’ve said that same exact thing about my friends. If I had a superpower, I’d want it to be that feeling of comfort. That no matter the distance, the circumstances, the good or the bad – I’ll always be there. I’ll always love you. And we’ll always pick right up where we left off, without holding a grudge. If I had a superpower,  I’d make a home for you, in my heart so that whenever you are near you’ll feel safe.

I’m so grateful for all of the people in my life, it overwhelms my heart to the point where I think it might explode.

🚀 Headed Home for the Weekend

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On on my way back to Indiana this morning! It’s 3:50 am, the plane boards in 40 minutes. I was so nervous, well I still am, this is my first time flying but the security check was a breeze. It took like 3 seconds because it was 3 in the morning. Now I am literally hoping I have to poop before I get on the plane, not during & that I have a normal reaction to take off & landing. I also hope the person next to me has a normal reaction bc if there’s panic in the air idk how I’m going to feel. I’m so tired!

I was driving yesterday & remembered this one time I was taking the Amtrak to Michigan with my grandma . She had to tap me on the shoulder & tell me I was singing out loud to everyone on the train. Haha! I can almost Remember perfectly the tape player & those old janky headphones like they have at school & I was for sure singing Spice Girls- I had forgotten about that for a minute even tho I was telling someone the other day how on that same trip to Michigan I almost drown because I wanted to be cool & go off the water slide like everyone else but  I couldn’t swim. So when I flew off the slide & into the water, my grandma had to grab me bc I was going down. Haha I also have a picture somewhere that shows me sitting on the water slide with my cousins & grandma. ☺️

^ That was a nervous ramble, wish me luck!

A Beautiful Day in Tacoma.

11140333_10153269642290833_1399572956045708510_nSuch a beautiful day in Tacoma. Met up with a friend after work & we walked the Tacoma Narrows Bridge – I was in such a good mood today, I think it just radiated to the outside world. During work, a co-worker & I spent our breaks & lunch walking the Thea Foss Way bridge in Tacoma & we were saying hi to everyone that passed by. Then on my walk across the Narrows Bridge we were saying Hi to every one, we had a couple cars honk & wave at us. Then we went to Boathouse 19 for happy hour & idk man, in the parking lot a little boy waved at me while I drove past him. Then inside, another little toddler was staring at me & giggling. I like when I’m in the extroverted mood that just attracts happiness from everyone else. Sometimes the introvert inside of me tends to keep my eyes towards the ground or avoid eye contact with people. But it’s much more fun when you’re interacting with strangers in a positive way like that. Reminds me of how my soul sister Shrylle is ALL OF THE TIME, that is something I cherish about her & wish I was around more. And hanging out with BP is always a good time.

We ate on the waterfront & walked out on the pier afterwards. It was the perfect way to wrap up my big 1 year anniversary of moving here & starting my new job. It doesn’t even feel like a year, maybe that’s because it didn’t even snow this winter. (WOOH!) So my brain hasn’t fully comprehended that it’s been a full calendar year of all four seasons. I’m much excite for the summer. American Lake is only a mile away from where I live, so I’ll be back on the beach a lot like I was last year. And going on walks is much more pleasurable, especially now when it’s sunny & only 70 degrees ish. BP, Ashlee & I are going hiking this Sunday. I don’t think I’ll manage to keep up with hiking when it gets into the 80s because it’s like 10 degrees hotter in the forest but I’m so happy & so proud of myself for getting out there & exploring all this beautiful nature Washington has to offer. I’ve had so many people tell me that I’ve done more in the past year than they have in the numerous years that they’ve lived in Washington. I love that. I love that I have that kind of flexibility with my work schedule as far as not working weekends. And even though every pay-day I contemplate getting a 2nd part-time job so I’m not so fucking poor, it’s worth it.

May 2nd, 2014- I drove in to Tacoma for the first time. On May 5th, 2014- I started my new job at the corporate headquarters. And on May 7, 2015 … Just a couple of days ago, I took a huge step towards becoming an adult… I made my first payment towards my student loans!

I’m on the up & up from here.

It’s been an entire year since I’ve been home & with Mother’s Day & my mom’s birthday within 10 days of each other, I figured I should make the trip back home. So, next weekend I’ll be in Indiana for a couple days. I’m like all of the emotions packed in to one. I’m nervous to fly for the first time, I’m excited to see all of my friends, I’m sad because last week my best friend’s mom’s best friend passed away but I’m also grateful that I’ll be able to offer some comfort & hopefully some good laughs when I get home to those hurting the most. I’m going to miss my cats 😦 But I’ve very excited to see my familia both i immediate & extended, both biological & my God given family. And see all the things that have changed back home & I’m also nervous to see all of the things I left back home. UGH & I can not wait to see all of my friends, which were definitely the hardest to leave. I don’t understand why they haven’t just moved out here with me, I think I’ve done my job of proving it’s awesome. Ever since I booked my plane ticket I’ve been rolling through all of these emotions. But now, with only 7 more days to go, I’m pumped.

Every one here in Washington always ask me if I ever think I’ll want to move back to Indiana… My answer… Fuck no. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to go home & see 25 years of comfort & friends & family right at your fingertips & have to leave them again. But I’m pretty much rocking this whole Washington thing, so they’ll just have to hide in my luggage or something.

I’m also super excited to go to my church, which is why I made sure I was flying back on a Monday. I think I’ll explode with happiness, no matter what the sermon is about. That’s another huge comfort that I am currently living without, not that I’m not going to church or worshiping God but I haven’t found MY church yet, my church is very much still in Indiana but I know God will show me the way. Maybe I should ask someone there if they have any recommendations for churches in Washington. I was reading a post on the church’s Instagram that our lead pastor had a mild stroke while leading a tour of the early days of the New Testament Church (he was in the Vatican in Italy, of all places). An update now states that all is clear & he’s doing fine, they are just waiting on another test since he is still having issues with seeing double.

In the update on their blog, the Executive Pastor wrote, “Dr. Tom Morton- a GCC founding member who is also with Mark in Italy, has 25 years of vision rehab exactly of this nature. God is good. He’s been watching over Mark every step of this unforeseen journey.”

I’m not the perfect Christian, I certainly haven’t always been this invested in my relationship with God, I honestly haven’t even read the whole bible. But now, when I read things like this, when I see tremendous amounts of hope in the face of tragedy, I get choked up & I know it is the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart. I can’t help but to feel an overwhelming happiness & relief to see the bigger picture in full effect. It’s beautiful & not a coincidence. It’s a great reminder that we are serving a higher purpose and that all of our suffering is pale in comparison to what God has waiting for us.

1 John 5:13: “These things I’ve written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”

God put Dr. Morton on that trip with our pastor so that there would be no doubt, in anyone minds, that God is real, God is good. And being able to see his saving grace in the face of tragedy is true peace & confidence that he is amongst us at all times.

Monday Morning Pep Talk

Avoid the victim mentality by truly understanding that your life is not defined by your circumstances but instead by the choices you make. Think back to every hardship you’ve been through, think of the strength you’ve had to amass to get out of bed some mornings, think of all of the times you’ve been validated by someone’s sympathy for the struggles in your life or your bad luck. Now imagine if you could commit to battling your weaknesses the way you’ve battled your circumstances. Validate yourself with compassion and commit to confronting your weaknesses, the same way you confront hardships in life.  By looking inwards & leaving behind that “Why Me?” victim mentality and replacing it with – Romans 5:3-5 We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, & endurance produces character, & character produces hope, & hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit…”  or try replacing it with, “Fuck yeah its’ me, your worst nightmare, come at me LIFE, I Dare you”, you’ll learn to be proactive, rather than reactive when it comes to life’… ya bitches. :*

To read the article: The Moral Bucket List – David Brooks

To read the bible: Romans 5:3-5 

A Recap on Spring So far

So to focus on some good, I’ve been having a really good spring. I got a chance to take a quick vacation – Tuesday thru Sunday off at the end of March & got some visitors! Rosa & Adam flew in & stayed with me Tuesday thru Friday. Fuck, it was so much fun! First off, the weather was perfect. The first two days were a little wet but we just hung out in Tacoma, got some good food & local beers – saw some nature. I tried to take them to Chambers Bay but it was pretty much shut down for the upcoming U.S. Open Championships, which I am not looking forward too. Chambers Bay is a few minutes from my apartment, which means traffic is going to be insane. That’d be a really great time to rent out my apartment & go on another vacation. 😉 Thursday & Friday thought we spent in Seattle & you couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was 70 degrees & sunshine all day. Thursday was so fun, we stayed in Seattle for 12 hours straight doing a bunch of touristy shit, Friday too although we went up later in the day & got caught in 4 o’clock traffic on our way to the airport.

I think the best part though was getting to hang out with people I’ve known for 10+ year in my new home. Next year marks the 1 year anniversary in Washington & I’ve made plenty of new friends, met new people, experience new things but nothing can beat picking on Adam & getting slap happy with Rosa, laughing until we cry. It made me that much more excited to go home in a month to see all my other friends!

Here’s some picks from our #SpringBreak2015 in Seattle

 

I feel like 4 days was the perfect amount of time to share a 1 bedroom apartment with three people & two cats. But I’d gladly accept them as my new neighbors! I’m so happy & blessed to have friends who are willing to travel across the country to come visit me. ❤

As for friends in town, went to the Tulip Festival Last week with Billie, Matthew & Ashlee – besides having a clogged ear that I couldn’t hear out of, oh & allergies, it was fun. Again, great weather -sunshine & a little bit of chilly wind but definitely worth that trip. At least once. Pictures include 1 shameless seflie.

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Can you tell I just learned how to put slideshows in my posts? Also, it’s been a while, so I feel like I have to catch on everything with a mass upload of things for you to be jealous over. Even though you’re probably already my friend on Facebook & have seen these pics already.

Ok, one last one… Here’s a little update on my Psoriasis, the first two images were taken this week. So, you can see the cream I’m using does work. There has not been any change to the Guttate Psoriasis on the trunk of my body since I stopped light treatments two weeks ago. The psoriasis is no longer on my ankles.

I start slow pitch softball on Monday, I’m mostly excited, partially nervous. It’s been a while since I’ve played. I’m thinking it’s possible I run even slower now than I did years ago when I still played, which some may find hard to believe but I’m going to guarantee it. I guess I have to hit a homerun e’ry time I get up to bat. HA I will make mention that the first team we play is called BALLS TO THE FACE, & our team is called S.W.A.T.  I won’t tell you what that stands for, but you can guess. The more raunchy you get, the closer you’ll be. Haha! >.<

You Can’t Heal a Body You Hate

I haven’t done a very good job of keeping up with this blog but with the realization that I am human, I’m not going to apologize to anyone but myself. And it’s funny because my last post was all about positivity & how a negative mind won’t get you anywhere. It’s as if, as soon as I wrote that -Poof- my ability to see the bright side of the story disappeared.

The week that I wrote my last post, I was sick. Little did I know I would be embarking on 4 months of cycling through bi weekly sicknesses. But November was the worst, I had strep. Since I have had my tonsils removed I didn’t even think it could be strep, so I self treated what I thought was the flu. My lymph nodes were the size of ping pong balls, I had a fever, sweating with the chills, no voice & I’m pretty sure I worked through most of it, sipping on green tea & choking on cough drops. Towards the end of my bought of strep, I finally went to the Care Clinic. Not for my strep though, instead I went for this rash that had broken out on my check & abdomen. I was given some basic steroid cream & made an appointment with a dermatologist.

I was diagnosed with Guttate Psoriasis.

Psoriasis is not contagious but it is genetic, it is incurable, there are several different types of psoriasis, all of them are considered disorders in the immune system & a detrimental blow to your self esteem. As in all cases, it could be worse. Guttate Psoriasis is specific to having strep throat, usually the break out only happens once & goes away within a few weeks or months of the out break – or so the pamphlets say because as of right now, that’s not the case.

The break out was the worst on my chest & probably what I’m the most self conscious about, not that many people are seeing my chest. It was also on my legs, mostly around my ankles, on my back, the trunk of my body, a little on my face & horrifyingly enough, even more embarrassing the the break out on my chest, it was on my scalp. Which of course caused the worst dandruff I’ve ever had in my life, which only got worse when I tried to use T-gel.

I’m currently using steroid cream- Clobestasol Propionate Cream, USP 0.05% on my chest, the doctor told me due to the severity of the psoriasis on my chest, it may not be guttate but instead the forever psoriasis that can only be managed, not cured. The cream does pretty well at managing but if I take the recommended 2 weeks off from the cream, it comes back with a vengeance. I also use a Clobestasol Propoinate solution on my scalp & God Bless, that shit works like a dream. Usually I can do about two or three treatments & won’t have to worry about it for a couple weeks.

For the rest of my body, I was going through UVB light treatments at but after some faulty customer service & a lack of change during the past 3 months of treatment, I’m exploring some new options. Although there has been some significant changes during that time. It’s no longer on my ankles or legs, the trunk of my body is manageable as long as I keep my skin moisturized, Epsom salt baths, sugar scrubs but it’s still there.

When I found out I had psoriasis, I let it get to me. Mentally, emotionally, physically I expressed to the universe that I hated my body, through the shame I felt towards my body. My thoughts were 100% negative, I said some really hateful things towards myself that I would never say to anyone else. I quit working out, I completely let my desire to learn yoga slip right out the door, I was consumed by my lack of energy & enthusiasm. I worked really hard to accept the fact that I’m plus size & suddenly, I found myself comparing not my weight but my skin to other people, like I traded one vice for another.

The thing about having strep throat & psoriasis is my immune system was weakened by the untreated strep throat- this gave the psoriasis an opportunity to attack my immune system. I used my weak immune system to slow down, to sleep in, to revert back to the negative thinking, low self esteem, angry person I’ve spent so much time healing. And I think that’s what I’m the most ashamed of. I’m not ashamed of my body, I’m not ashamed of my psoriasis. I am ashamed that I did exactly what I berate many other people for, I became the victim of my circumstance.

It’s comfortable to give in to your circumstances. It’s comforting to succumb to fear when uncontrollable circumstances are presented to you. It’s comforting to wallow, when the alternative is to recognize that you are an all time consuming project & positivity & your faith, your spirituality requires all your effort, your thoughts, your beliefs. It is the ultimate comfort to let depression wrap you in its warm embrace & hold you right before the line you cross when you decide to push past the unknown. The peaks & valleys of depression give me a chance to reflect on what made the peaks so great & it’s always the choice to love. So, again, I choose to love, to be mindful of my love, for my entire being.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. John 4:18

Another Long Post About Life, you’re welcome.

The first state of important business is that this video exists

I’m just saying. It’s totally being ‘marketed’ as a real abduction video. Also you know, what if Amanda Bynes isn’t really crazy & she’s telling the truth about her parents on Twitter?

Well, after a few weeks of accelerated living, I’m back on that doing nothing grind. After a couple Happy Hour meet ups, a week & a half of dating, 4 friend requests & some Halloween parties it’s Saturday & I’m doing nothing. The extent of my day will be going to Wal-Mart later for some shampoo & a few groceries. And I’m A- OK with that. One because I don’t mind the disconnect from the real world & two because I’m flying home for xmas & my plane ticket is about as much as a month of rent or 3.5 car payments. So, I really am in no position to be spending money.

There is one thing that I do look forward toward to every weekend, my wholesome guilty pleasure – Church.

I’ve always gone to church, whether it was for the basic holidays like Christmas or youth group (where not surprisingly I looked for boyfriends, not Jesus), or every Sunday like I do now. There was a time when I did not go to church, whether it was because I had to work or I felt unique & eccentric for having an opinion against the church, specifically the mega church I went to back home. But for the past two years, church has really been a huge centering & inspiring thing in my life.

That’s probably a loaded intro to this post, a lot of people probably think I’m about to get real religious but really here’s what I found in the church when I started listening to the sermons:

  1. Positivity
  2. Hope
  3. Inspiration
  4. A God-like/ christian-like perspective on life
  5. Family

Positivity

This was such a huge take away from church, we live in a terribly negative world and I was breeding negativity into that world. I had a negative mind, a negative heart & a negative life. But what I realize now, stepping back & looking at my life I was infinitely attracted to positive people. Sure, the pessimist in me was annoyed by their optimism & I much preferred the company of miserable people. But from a distance, I was always watching, observing & trying to learn from positive people. They always looked so much more beautiful to me than the naysayers.negative mind

So through church sermons, I sat and really listened. And most sermons consisted of : here’s the negative in the world, here’s what God has to say about it & here’s how we, as Christians (believers) can reap the benefit of God’s positive outlook on every negative situtation ever by aligning our thoughts & beliefs to him. Really, whether or not you’re a believer, religious, Christian- what have you, I think the Bible offered me all of the answers to questions I was asking. Knowing right from wrong is a pretty basic concept in life but sometimes the world doesn’t offer you the full spectrum of a perspective on any given situation & I really liked the positive outlook in the preaching. I’d relate it to going to a therapist who told you exactly how you should feel about your shitty job; grateful and encouraged to learn from your time spent at that shitty job because it contributes to the bigger picture, with a better job in the future. And just feeling complete relief, like yes, that’s exactly what I needed permission to feel.

Hope

And with positivity came hope, I finally had permission to step outside of the immediate circumstances of my life & look at the big picture. When I was working back home, after a while I was not happy with my job. But now I had permission to look past the difficulty, the anxiety & the resentment I had towards my job and find hope, comfort & assurance. Although things were not what I wanted, they were not as pleasant as I would have liked, I could not be where I am now without the experience I have. So, I started feeling grateful, grateful that I had a job to go to every day that paid my bills. And I started too look for the hope in my job. Working directly with the less fortunate in our town was a struggle but there were the small successes, the constant learning opportunities and the ability to see that with my experiences & my determination I could go somewhere else. And that led to the ultimate hope that what I was doing was going to get me somewhere bigger and it did.

Inspiration

When I first started paying attention in church and taking notes even, it was during a series called Reset. It was the perfect introduction to what I was headed towards, reset yourself, your relationships, your body & reset your mission.

During the Reset your Mission sermon I wrote these notes:

Every human being is going to embrace two ways to save themselves while living a life without God…

-Pursuing a life of good, I did all good, you owe me, give me what I want, his own righteousness.

-The knowledge of Evil, the idea of “once I get enough ‘fruit’ I will be alive.

What’s your fruit?

This is a direct reflection of my life, I was living with the knowledge of evil. I thought that once I had gotten my ‘fruit’ I’d be happy, I could really start living. What was my fruit? Money, weight loss, control, perfection, all of those idols. And living the life of good, was absolutely true as well. With no relationship with God & very little knowledge of his Word, even after years of going to church, I expected that if I did a good deed, I should be rewarded.

At the end of this sermon I also wrote;

You are way more wicked than you dare believe. And more loved and accepted than you ever hoped.

Perspective

With positivity, hope, forgiveness, all that stuff you learn about in church came a new perspective. I started to dig & search high & low for the good in everything. I don’t ever remember a time where I have been so accepting of criticism of my way of thinking from my best friend Shrylle. I definitely remember rejecting her notions of positive thinking, especially in the form of reading materials like The Secret. Which now is a top 10 favorite book of mine. And I don’t ever remember being so eager to hear what people think or hearing people’s opinions on anything and everything with the desired point of learning something new & changing my perspective.

Do you know, I was listening to Dan Savage’s podcast a couple weeks ago and his opinion on cheating completely boggled my mind & changed my heart. In a very loose summary, he stated that cheating should not be the end all in a relationship. And not because everyone cheats or it’s to be expected, but because when you set up your relationship with this expectation that ‘if you cheat on me we’re over’, your partner may be less likely to tell you when they do cheat on you & not only is that hurtful but it also could lead to sexually transmitted diseases.

What? The perspective never would have ever crossed my mind. Let’s say your boy (or girl) sleeps with someone else, is scared shitless you’ll kill/break up with them over it, so they don’t tell you. And let’s say you guys are used to having sex without a condom on & it’d be pretty weird if he started using one, so he goes without the condom. And boom, there’s that STD risk. What are you more mad about, a one night stand or HIV? And from there, my “I will not be held responsible for anything that happens to your living body if I find out you cheat on me” perspective has become a little less terrifying.

A God-like/Christian-like perspective in my life became so much more obvious. Not long after I started going to Sunday service by myself, I started going with my best friend’s mom, which then became my best friend’s whole family. (Sadly, my best friend did not join us because she lives in Ohio.) I suddenly had this church family, that was a real second family to me in real life & we could talk about church & share our thoughts & perspectives together and it really solidified the relationship I had with God that I wanted in my life. It also gave me a chance to talk about God & encouraged me to talk about God with other people I didn’t go to church with. Not to mention, as my relationship grew with my boss at the time, who is very religious I started to feed off of her faith, feeling even more inspired. And then we hired another coworker who was even more religious and it was great to have a sermon preached to me during the week, rather than just on Sundays and I think God knew I needed that strong presence to keep Him in my mind and keep his promises on my lips. Which I subjected my friends to rants of just how fucking amazing life is, even with all the bad shit in i because of God.

Family

Which leads to family. Last weekend I attended the 11:59 am service (God bless the church that understands us late sleepers) at the Life Center Tacoma Church and although it was rough being Halloween weekend & attendance seems to be small when there’s a Seahawks game on, also seems like everyone shows up like 7 minutes late- I had one major take away, written in my notes.

We define family by science rather than spirit. Anyone who does that will of my heaven is my brother & sister & mother.”

When I was of negative mind & heart, isolation was my things. Don’t get me wrong, I got a scientifically provided family, like some weird sisters, a mom, a dad and they’re cool. I mean, they’ll do.. (LOL) And I got a lot of cousins, aunts & uncles and my Grandma is pretty cool and they’ve all been apart of my life, no doubt about it. And I’ve got friends, in fact a lot of my friends have been my friends for like 7, 10 years, even some a little bit longer. And I’ve got new friends here in Washington. But I never understood what it was like to have a God given family until I started going to church. I never knew what it was like to have that family love from people who weren’t my science (project gone wrong) family until I got out of my negative mind set & started to create relationships out of Faith. (An important side note: I have a lot of friends who are not religious/believers/Christians/whatever & those relationships are just as valuable & meaningful to me. Because I love them & they love me & really that’s the only requirement I have.)

happyI used to think that the world was out to get me, that nothing good was going to happen the way I wanted it to. Then I realized no one is against you, they’re just for themselves. And then I saw how many people were for me, everyone at my going away party who gave their little speeches about how awesome I am (we should do that again BTW) and just the endless amount of support I receive from 2 bajillion miles away is nothing short of agape love from God manifesting in my life I’m so grateful & so appreciative of it, I’d be nowhere near as happy as I am now without it. And that’s good & true whether my life works out the way I had planned or not. Because even in a world where negativity is first nature and we’re all focused on ourselves, there’s beauty & inspiration in everyone in my life, my family that feeds into that big picture purpose & our big dinner up in Heaven… #allthepizza