Monday, January 23, 2017

Matcha Tea Mega Power Powder

This is a small post to simply say that I'm starting to really realllly love matcha iced green tea lattes.
I have them at Starbucks a lot but recently I found the powder and bought some of my own to combine with milk and make my own iced green tea latte with it.
Doing research, not only are there a lot of health benefits to it, but it tastes good and it keeps me energized.

When I work at the preschool, I come in during naptime and naptime lasts an hour and a half to two hours long depending on the day.

Naptime includes a dark and cold room with lullaby music going on and sleeping babies.

It makes me want to sleep too.

So, usually I need a cup of coffee during that time of day to keep me awake and even if it keeps me awake, it doesn't really make me feel energized and rested.

Today, I had my green tea latte and I was surprisingly refreshed, energized, and awake the whole day.
I didn't feel tired once.
I surprised myself with how awake and energized I was.

It's my new thing now.

I still love coffee but this is not only good tasting, but it's even better for me than coffee is.
Plus, I already drink a cup of coffee in the morning.

Also, side note, I really love macarons too.
They're this kind of unique French desserts that I don't see or get to have often.
But they're beautiful and tasty and they make me feel kind of fancy.
There are lots of different flavors such as rose, lavender, pistachio, strawberry, chocolate, coffee, and the list could go on.
If you haven't tried these unique and sort of artsy treats, I urge you to find them and try them and experience this magical treat.

Another side note here, Saving Mr.Banks is such a good movie so I will end this post with these quotes from it for they are too beautiful not to share.

Experience life, friends.
Venture out.
Try new things.
Watch movies that inspire.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Am I Making a Difference...?

I think this thought a lot.

I think about it in various parts of my life.

That thought used to dim my light. But that's also because I let it back then. When I was in highschool, I became less ignorant to the world and it's problems. I got to know people and there were a lot of people who were struggling and came to me for help. I didn't realize what I was doing back then, but what I was trying to do was carry their burdens and my burdens. Something no one can do. I should of just left them at the foot of the cross and helped lead my friends to do the same. Instead, I just became discouraged because I couldn't do anything. I didn't seem to be making a difference and their struggles were very real and their paths were going downhill.

I will say that I am certainly thankful that what I tried to do is apart of my past now. I know now where to let my burdens lie and that I don't need to try to carry them. I am free. Sometimes my foolish self will forget and try to carry the load again, but that is a whole lot less frequent than it used to be. I just need to keep my eyes on Christ.

However, sometimes that question still pops into my head.

We are called to go out into the world and proclaim the Word of Christ with our actions and our words.

I'm not the best at it, but I try to do that and I do that because I want them to find the hope and love of Jesus Christ as well.

However, sometimes it doesn't seem like my efforts are making a difference.

I think especially because a lot of the people I work with or talk to are kids.

I know they'll grow up one day and may not even remember me.

I know that a lot of them are being raised in households without Fathers and living in houses where their parent or parents don't teach the Gospel because they also don't know or believe in it.

I know it's harder to reach those people.

Does it mean I should stop trying?

Does it mean God can't use the small things I say or do when I'm with them?

Does it mean I am not making a difference?

Certainly not.

Whether they choose to trust and believe in Jesus Christ is ultimately up to them. Whether they listen to what I say or do is up to them. Even if I don't make a difference, I should keep trying because you never know. It might not be today or tomorrow that I see a difference. I might not even get to see the difference I made in their life. I might not even make a difference in their life. But I won't stop trying.

I know that my God is good and my God is trustworthy and I've seen too many brokenness to simply leave it be without trying to help them fix it by pointing them to the one who can.

I care about these kids too much.

Today, I had an eight year old kid open up to me about his Dad and he said that he's only seen his father four times in his life. Whether that's 100% true or not, it doesn't even matter. He needed someone to talk to about it and he was hurting and I was able to be there for him.

Being there for someone means a lot.
It makes a difference.

I was able to talk to someone who was in the middle of a fight today and I asked her if I could stop and just pray for her and she said she wanted to and I was able to pray for her.
It makes a difference.

These are small things and they may not stop and thank us for it later.
They might not even realize how much they need to be loved and need someone to be there,
but it makes a difference.

I think that even though we don't really remember a lot of our childhood, the people in it and the people who pointed us to Christ are the ones who really shaped our lives.

Of course, we all have had people who encouraged us, befriended us and helped us grow later on in life and that's important too.
That also makes a difference.

But I still think that the people who helped guide us through the early stages of our lives are just as important and I wish I remembered all the people who did help guide me and shape me.

I do know two people that for sure helped me though and that's my Mom and Dad.
I am blessed to have been raised in a Christian home with parents who love and care about me.

I am thankful for them and I know they made a difference in my life and how I grew up.

I guess this all being said, if you were wondering if you make a difference (whether they be preschool age to highschool age to adult age), you do.

You never know who all is listening and you never know what they take to heart.
So, don't be discouraged.
Keep spreading the Gospel and keep spreading Christ's love.

Monday, January 9, 2017

There's a Story

There once was a small town girl with stars in her eyes and ambition in her blood and dreams crawling in her veins.
She traveled to a big city with a cup of coffee in her hand, confidence in her stride and was ready for anything that might come her way.
Dreams don't disappear unless you chase them and turn them into reality.

That, my friends, is what she did.

Okay, so maybe that story isn't true yet.
But it could happen.
And the story fit the picture.

Isn't that interesting?
How pictures tell stories.

That's what I love about photography.
There's more to it than a smile and a good hair day.
There's a story to every picture.

Some people get it.
Some people don't.
Some people get inspiration from photos,
Some people just think of it as an ordinary photo of an ordinary person.

It depends.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Goodbyes are hard to say and even harder to swallow

These last couple of days have been more than rough.
My family and I just found out that our dog Ernie has cancer.
He had surgery to remove the tumor and all that they could but the cancer is too advanced to be removed completely.
We've been informed that we may have only a week or two left with him.

This is all sudden and a complete shock since he's in such good shape and acting completely normal and as if he were completely healthy.

It was one of those knock the wind out of you events that you completely don't see coming.

But I guess that  you never see surprises coming.

Otherwise, it's not a surprise.

The day we heard that he is a walking time bomb was really rough.
And now, it's still really rough.
We don't know what day or moment it will be that takes him away from us.

I know "The Fault in Our Stars" is a book about humans with cancer rather than dogs, but this situation makes me understand what Hazel Grace was feeling a little bit better than I did when reading the story.
I mean I empathized, but I didn't relate as well as I can know.
And, again, I know it'd be even worse if it were a human being I loved so much.
However, when she found out that Augustus was dying, all she could do was love him and be with him and wait.
And we she got that phone call in the early morning, she knew.
But before that, she didn't know what day would be his last.
What moment would be his last.
What words they exchanged would be their last.
What would be their "last good day".

I know he's just a dog, but it's the same type of thing.
Of course, we have no words to exchange.
But right now, he's eating just fine.
Wagging his tail.
Giving us kisses.
Acting normal.

We don't know what moment will be his last and what day will be his "last good day."

I am going to say that dogs are family because they truly are.
They grow up with you and love you and cheer you up when you're down in the dumps.
A lot of times they are more understanding and caring than people are or can be.
Now, he's my Mom's dog so it's not as bad as it could be for me.
I can't imagine what it's going to feel like when my dog that I raised when I was 10 years old dies.
I don't want to.
But even so, Ernie was apart of my family and 10 years just doesn't seem long enough.

That all being said, of course when I reflect upon and think about what's going to happen soon, I get sad.
That's natural.
But, I took a nice and long walk today and it really got me thinking about things.
One of the things I really thought about long and hard was about how in the limited time I have with Ernie, I want to enjoy it.
I don't want to be sad the few days I have left just anticipating and waiting for the future bad thing to happen.
We can't live like that, because that's not really living.

Of course, I'll have sad moments and when he is gone will truly be a time to grieve.

But I don't want to be sad while waiting.
I want to be grateful for him and be happy with him until his last days.

I guess I don't have much else to add except that time is limited and you never know what's around the bend.

I didn't want 2017 to start off with this, but it's happening anyways and I have got to deal with it.
There is still beauty around the corner and if you choose to look for it; it will always be found.
So, my eyes are lifting up instead of drooping and I will find joy in the heartache and I will make the most of the time that is given to me.

Goodbyes are hard to say and even harder to swallow, but the time for me to say goodbye is not quite yet.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Emotions are planting seeds in my brain tonight

So, I've been feeling very emotional as of lately.

This Christmas and New Years was wonderful and I am actually looking forward to this year.

But I've been thinking and the mind is a dangerous weapon, as you most likely know by now.

It's just this week I started back at work and -don't get me wrong- I did miss it.
I missed the children.
Children remind me of the small joys in life that more people should take the time to remember to slow down and enjoy.

A piece of your favorite candy.
Light up shoes.
Drawing a stick figure picture.

Why can't we still enjoy all that?

Or take the time to enjoy your favorite hobby?
I enjoy both but seldom take the time to enjoy it anymore.

Anyways, backing up to my original point of this blog post.

Going back to work, I was reminded of what a breath of fresh air it was to not have to spend an hour listening to coworkers talk trash about other coworkers or talk about how I need to "live" a little and experience the real world or toss around the word; "innocent" and say it like it's bad thing to be. I forget the pressure I feel or anger I feel. I don't want to succumb to that and I know I won't but I get annoyed and frustrated with dealing with that and sometimes I really wish I wasn't in that environment. I wish I was at home with my cup of tea and able to be who I am and love my Jesus without hearing people tear others down.

Then there's these really great kids that I get to see and are excited to see me.
These kids that will grow up into what kind of teenagers?
What kind of adults?
Who knows?
They will grow up and I probably won't get to see who or how they'll turn out to be.
These kids I love so much and these kids who probably won't even remember me.
But I'll remember holding their tiny hands and watching them look up at me with smiles on their faces as we go for walks.
I'll remember holding them and comforting them when they're sick and be able to stop them from crying.
I'll remember putting them on my lap and watch them fall asleep as their tiny hands wrap around my fingers.
I'll remember all this and they won't and I probably won't be able to tell them about it when they're older.

Then there's things in my life that I know will change and I don't want to think about because it hurts to think about it but my mind takes me there anyways and tonight, I listen to twenty-one pilots to calm my emotional soul until the thoughts pass and my aching heart forgets all the sad thoughts and goes back to being excited about 2017 and Disney world and maybe even shoes that light up.

But we'll see.