Monday, January 29, 2018

Free attitude adjustment with every move, and I'm feeling musical!

I mentioned in previous posts that moving is (almost) an annual event for me. However, let it be known that this event is not always initiated by me. For the most part, I’ve moved to stay with people I like, not because I have some odd obsession with moving. My friends move, I move.  They don’t move, I (usually) don’t move either.

I am moving again in March. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read that correctly. But wait, there’s more! This will be a move unlike any that I have ever done in the past! It is a work move! My company will be shifting to a new building, so I get to keep my job (yay!) and go to a different building.

I shouldn’t be so excited.

The main thing I have learned from moving (and this is why I am excited) is because the God gives a free attitude adjustment with every major life change (moving included). No joke.

At first, any move is a little exciting. I enter the honeymoon phase. Whether I am up-sizing or downsizing, the move is usually something I initiate (even if I were to get kicked out, I initiated moving by choosing to break a rule or failing to pay). If I choose to stay with my peeps, then I must move – cue song/see above.

Then comes the reality of it all. There are too many people and not enough boxes. There is too much stuff, and not enough days to cram the stuff into boxes. There is too much talking, and not enough doing.

Anger is welling up.

I don’t care how much of an optimist you are. Your character will be tested.

Someone scratches my chest of drawers. “No problem!” I say with a grin. “I’m just happy you’re helping me move!”

Then comes the point in the day, week, month of the moving marathon in which everyone involved is tired, hungry, slightly dehydrated, and sore. Work gets really sloppy. Manners go out the window. Furniture continues to get scratched and broken. I just need a 15 minute break to be alone, stretch my back, drink water, and did I mention to be alone? Just 15 minutes.

The answer is no.

That is the point at which Allie has some tough decisions to make. Is integrity just a buzzword I hear at work all the time? Seriously. ALL the TIME! Or is integrity really my insides matching my outsides? What I want to say is, “Burn it all! Just burn it all! Who needs chairs anyway? I don’t need a bed! I’ll just have to move it again next year.” What I am learning to say is…nothing. Just nothing. Complaining is contagious, and I don’t want to start it.

Yes, venting can be helpful at times. Other times, it spirals out of control and sends defeat deep into the hearts of everyone involved in the move.

So in this upcoming move, I am hoping my attitude will pass the test. I’m not the judge of a passing grade, but God gave me a really awesome gift named Holy Spirit to help me stay on the right path. Sometimes, He tells me to hold my tongue, just be still. Other times, He encourages me to speak (usually when I don’t want to speak.)

The whole purpose is to hone my character. God wants my heart. He wants it to be right, so I’m willing to move one more time.

I’m hoping I’ll appreciate heaven more once I get there, knowing I am finally home. HOME. Home. Home. En casa.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Why I Lift Weights

It started out as a joke. “I lift weights to stay in shape for moving,” I’d say. Then giggle. Like an “it’s true, but mostly I’m joking” type of giggle.
I think that was three years ago. Since then, I have moved or helped someone else move about six times. I will be completing move number seven in a couple weeks.
Prior to that, I’ve moved an average of one time per year for the last 17 years. (I used middle-school algebra to figure that out.) Sometimes my greatest mental challenge is remembering my address. I try to play it off by saying something like, “I just moved,” which is true, or, “It’s been a long day!”
Now that I am getting to the age where things don’t heal as quickly as they once did, I’m valuing the gift of good health. And chiropractors. And ice packs. I know that lifting has helped me avoid several injuries, and I’m hoping this preventive effort will continue.
Lifting weights is the one exercise I can do consistently without getting bored. It also gives me the appetite of a teenage boy (slight exaggeration), so my second favorite exercise is grocery shopping.
The end.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Only Five Days Behind - Another Recovery Blog :)

Intentions are silly things. 

I had intended to post this entry last week. 

There is an excellent article regarding Thanksgiving and eating disorder recovery within this very link.  

Thanksgiving can be a very frightening holiday for anyone recovering from an eating disorder. Been there, done that; I lived to tell the tale! :) 
It is no longer frightening, nor abhorred. 

It is still good to keep in mind how much different Thanksgiving present is from Thanksgiving past. 

One example: 

Thanksgiving 1999 - I weighed myself as soon as I got home after the family gathering, and I had lost weight. I can't believe that was already 18 years ago, and I also can't believe that was the source of my satisfaction back then. 
Thanksgiving 2017 - I ate three varieties of meat this year, no guilt involved. I don't even own a scale.

Anyway, enjoy the article!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Top 5, and Working Out

To continue with last week's theme of avoiding internet usage, here are the Top 5* Websites where I like to waste my time find a ton of joy when I do enter the Web. 
*these sites are subject to change at any time, without any notice

5. Lee Wolfe Blum's blog!!! I fell in love with her writing after reading Table in the Darkness. I laughed, I cried, I read some parts out loud. Then I signed my name in the book under the letter she wrote to her eating disorder when she decided to choose recovery.  
When I was on the train out to Oregon last spring, I read Brave and cried through that book as well. I re-read it in October and, you guessed it, cried some more! 
Where do all these tears come from?  They are joy, pain, sadness, and feeling alive all rolled up into special little drops of water. "Catharsis" is what I was told it was called in high school English class. I just call it healing. 

4. The Oregon Duck's Twitter OR Instagram page.  I totally missed the boat on Twitter AND Instagram. I still don't really grasp the purpose of either website (and don't even get me started on LinkedIn). However, scrolling through the Duck's photos on Twitter or Instagram fills me with a joy I can't really describe. He quacks me up. :)

3. Gmail. This one is a shocker, I know. There are still people whom I like to contact via email. 
My favorite part about my Gmail inbox is getting {N}Power rewards from Natural Grocers. There is a special offer that comes every couple months to get $5 off of my purchase.  I pretty much feel like I have won the lottery when I see that email. The offer is only good on a specific day, typically on Fridays, and there are a couple other requirements to meet before it gets loaded to my account. This means my schedule revolves around it for about a week in advance. I also write it down in my planner so that I won't forget. If anyone dared to think I don't live an exciting, edgy lifestyle, they ain't seen what I do on Fridays! 

2. Glory of Zion - What Month Is It? I am working on an art project in which I draw and color small sections of tag board to represent the Hebrew months. I'm only about half-way through the project, so that means I have about 6 months left to go...

I just realized how lame this list is, because if I am going to be truthful, Google would have to hold the Number One honor. Because Gmail is a close relative of Google, I am going to consider it covered, and forego naming it as my number one online love. 

1. YouTube!!! Specifically - Little Viejo!!! If I ever go back to South America or go to Central America, or work in a job where my Spanish language skills are used, I'm going to have to give a lot of credit to my favorite  Salvadoreño. Even if I never leave the US or speak Spanish to anyone ever never ever again, I'll still give a lot of credit to him! Mi querido Ivan, you've brought laughter into some of my darkest days. Te quiero muchísimo, hermanito! 

Note to self: write about working out on your next post. You forgot to do it here. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Life Without Internet

When I moved into my apartment, I decided to forego WiFi. I am going on 11 months without personal access to the internet. 
Side note: I sit at a computer all day as part of my profession, so this isn't as big of a sacrifice as it may initially seem. 

It's kind of like working in a doughnut shop all day, eating doughnuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then saying that I fast from doughnuts on my personal time. The fast only takes place from 5p-7:30a. Big sacrifice. 

Or maybe it is more like working in a clothing store and saying that I don't shop for clothes on my personal time?

Hmmm...not quite sure what the right analogy is in this situation. 

Maybe it is akin to working at a gym, then being lazy on purpose once I leave for the day?

Being a janitor and failing to clean my house?

Moving on. 

Top Ten Things I Enjoy Doing Without Internet in My Home:

10) Ignoring current events
 9) Reading books
 8) Getting a healthy amount of rest each night
 7) Drawing
 6) Cooking
 5) Juicing an insane amount of apples (okay, that is not a regularly-scheduled activity.)
 4) Going to the library (to look at books and CD's, NOT to use their internet)
 3) Wearing snarky socks
 2) Dancing in my kitchen (the floor is made for it)
 1) Playing my guitar! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


I know having favorites is generally frowned upon. However, there is this young girl who is about 13 by now, who completely stole my heart.

Her name is Liezbeth.

She was three when I met her during my stay in Bolivia. Most children are pretty passionate at age three, though their personalities channel that zest in different ways. Liz wore her passion on her sleeve. And all over the room.

Tia Fabiola used to set her up on top of a play house in the classroom so that she would be forced to sit still. She was perched up there like a bird in a cage, knowing she couldn’t escape. But even the caged bird sings.

I remember being SO excited one day when Liz jumped up in my lap, because she was not a cuddly type of girl. I was like, “finally, I think we are connecting a little bit.” Alas, she only wanted my gum. And she proceeded to grab it right out of my mouth while I was trying to ask her what she wanted.

She wanted my gum, not my attention.

I recently got back in touch with Tia Fabiola. She let me know that Liezbeth and her family no longer live in the prison – dad was released about a year ago, so Fabiola has lost touch with them. They live out in the Bolivian countryside somewhere.

There are hopes and dreams I have for Liz: I hope she knows what a gem she is, I hope she lets Jesus heal the parts of her heart that have been broken into pieces during her first 13 years on this earth. I hope I’ll see her in heaven, because I don’t think we’ll see each other again before that day. I dream that she’ll be strong and know that her identity is Christ, not in anything or anyone else.

When I was regaining strength after being in the hospital in Cochabamba, I read Psalm 139 almost every day. The pastor from the church I attended came to visit me once I was home, and he prayed for me. I felt so vulnerable and so safe at the same time. I was far from home, but close to my Father's heart. Life is so fragile.

My prayer today for Liz is Psalm 139:

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.

This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!

How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me.And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

Surely you will slay the wicked, Lord! Away, bloodthirsty men! Begone! They blaspheme your name and stand in arrogance against you—how silly can they be?  O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I be grieved with them? Yes, I hate them, for your enemies are my enemies too.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.