How to have a happy relationship (of any kind: friendship, family, significant other)

1. Decide that you are going to be happy and try to make the other person happy.

2.Be kind. Just because you are close with them doesn’t mean you need to be rude to them.

3. Do something nice for them. (make them dinner, bring them a Redbox, send them an e-card)

4. Give them many  unordinary compliments (you know how to cook asparagus perfectly, you are so speedy at Sudoku, you are quick at memorizing song lyrics)

5. Remember daily why they are important to you.


Why you should start your day by eating an apple

Last week Ryan and I watched Dallas Buyers Club.  


The move is gross at the beginning and made me sad and depressed because it portrays sex in a very grotesque selfish manner. Also, Ron, the main character played by Matthew McConaughey, spent a good portion of the movie coughing up his lungs (coughing grosses me out). The movie itself was about about Ron  smuggling and selling alternative drug therapies  to HIV+ patients. These alternatives were more natural and had less negative side effects compared to their FDA approved counterparts. However, because they weren’t approved by the FDA they were illegal, so Ron had to play and trick the system in order to stay in business and help other HIV patients.

It was interesting to see the transformation of Ron. He started out a really sleazy rodeo cowboy, then he is diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live. After a while he runs out of money to pay for the FDA approved drugs. He gets a tip about a naturopathic doctor in Mexico who can help him. The doctor tells him to clean up his diet and take vitamins and some other natural remedies. He does and he lives way longer than the 30 days he was given.

As Ron cleans up his diet and lifestyle (no more crack for him!) you see him transform from being a sordid redneck to being a 80’s power suit wearing business man with terribly parted hair (he still loves the rodeo though, that never changes). He even comes up with business to sell these alternative drug therapies to other HIV+ patients “legally”. Through his business and trying to get around government regulations he makes a lot of positive changes in the health industry for patients with terminal illnesses.

That lifestyle transformation is real. Eating well and caring for your one’s body can cause a lot of other changes in your life. Making positive choices for yourself often influences those around you to make similar positive choices.

I recently gave the advice to a friend to eat five-seven fresh fruits and veggies a day. I took my own advice and am now realizing how much effort it takes to eat something I don’t have to cook. This fresh food decision has made me try to be more thoughtful of my other life choices as well. Putting effort into my relationships afar with my family and friends. And trying to maintain a clean house all week long (this is something harder than I expected).

This fresh food eating, critically thinking, clean house keeping, and relationship investing, is something I want to make a habit of. If I do maybe others will too.


Dreams and other good things

Sometimes I feel like I’m not a good Christian and that I’m just going through the motions and my heart really isn’t there. The last two weeks have changed my opinion on that and I’m glad to say that Jesus is working through me and making me a better person.

Story 1:

I’m about to fly home after a three week long recruiting trip. I’m taking the red eye from San Francisco to Newark. I’m excited to go home. I get to the airport and without going into too much detail about the situation I couldn’t board my flight and I would have to buy a brand new ticket. I was really overwhelmed, but I have promised myself never ever to yell or be rude to someone while traveling. You never know what someone’s situation is at home or why they are traveling and you don’t want to ruin their day (I realize that I should be kind to everyone traveling or not, I’m working on it = ). After being ping-ponged to different ticketing agents and customer service reps I finally leave the United area and decide to call United’s customer service. I get a better deal on a ticket and can at least find a hotel and sleep horizontally instead of on a plane. 

When regaling my sister-in-law with the story she mentioned how my true colors stood out and how I am kind, patient, and loving. The credit goes to Jesus for those characteristics. 

Story 2:

Ryan had a dream the other night that he was trying to share Jesus with a crowd of people and no one was listening to him. I then came and he got really excited because he knew that I loved sharing Jesus and that people would listen to me. 

It’s these small things that help me know that I’m on the right track and not trying to earn my own salvation. Jesus paid the debt, I’ve accepted Him in my life and because of those things he is making me into a new creation. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!



Working out for Wezzie

Last week I had to go to the Apple store to fix my phone. While walking I passed a little kiosk for World Vision and the people stopped and talked with me. Now I know about World Vision, it’s a great organization. For $35 a month you sponsor a child in a developing country. This money not only helps the child, but also their community with things like clean water, health care, and education. Last year at a JJ Heller concert my friend tried to convince me to sponsor a child, but I declined because I didn’t want to have that monthly obligation. I felt a little bad, not too terrible, but it made me think a lot. Why wouldn’t I sponsor a child? After talking to the people at the Kiosk for a quick second I knew it was time.

Her name is Wezzie, she is from Malawi, she is five years old, and I think she is awesome.

Isn't she beautiful?

Wezzie, five years old, Malawi, and she’s mine.

As I was thinking about “where” I’m going to get the money to sponsor her I did a quick budget review. There had to be some frivolous purchase that I could give up. As I did a quick mental budget scan I realized that I don’t have a coffee habit, or the need to buy new clothes for every occasion, but I do have a “pay myself to exercise” habit. That is where the money of Wezzie would come from!

I’m excited about this. I’m excited to put my money to good use. I’m excited that Wezzie’s family and community have a better chance of surviving and thriving. I’m glad I can be part of something bigger.

Wedding Rings

Yesterday was super busy. Not only did I have my normal work to do, I had to pack for a two week trip to Lincoln. I woke up early and started laundry and got ready to go to the gym.

Right as I was pulling out of my driveway I realized that I left my wedding rings in my white shorts which were in the washer. I awkwardly parked my car and ran to the basement, where the washer resides, and started pawing through the washer water to find the white shorts. I found them and there were no rings. I started freaking out. They were lost in the washer and I couldn’t see through the suds to find them.

I decided to go workout anyway because in the least bit it would help with my stress levels. It didn’t.

As I was working out all I could think about was how my rings were eaten by the washer and I wouldn’t have them for my trip to Lincoln. I needed them to be with me. I needed to have that small representation of my love for Ryan with me all the time (cheesy I know).

The stories of the injured soldiers who would rather cut their finger off rather than cut their ring off made sense to me (if you aren’t familiar with those stories stories then read a Reader’s Digest). At that moment in the gym I would do almost anything for my rings to be with me (minus cutting off my finger. I get the soldier’s sentiment, but I like my fingers way too much).

After a panicky workout I went home and found myself at the washer again. I carefully pulled out clothes and checked all pockets and crevices for my rings. Alas! My wedding band was located! In perfect condition.

I kept digging clothes out and still I couldn’t find the engagement ring. Where was it? Was I going to have to take the washer apart? How do you even take a washer apart? Would Ryan come home right away to take the washer apart?

As I pulled the last articles of clothing out I saw a glimmer, there was my engagement ring just as beautiful as the day Ryan proposed to me. A huge surge of relief ran through my body.

It’s weird how much those little circles of silver mean to me. I grew up in a home where jewelry wasn’t worn, not even a wedding band. My parents always argued that there love was was demonstrated through their actions towards each other and not a piece if metal. I agree with them, but that small ring means so much more:

A. The rings both signify the two best days of my life and how perfect our relationship is. Even though there are hard times, I know that our marriage is blessed and sanctified, I can look down at my rings and get the same warm fuzzies that I had on those special days.

B. It represents the commitment I’ve made to Ryan. And that I don’t take lightly.

C. Ryan took time to choose the design of my engagement ring. It reminds me how much he cares for me and puts a lot of thought in how he treats me. He is always doing little sweet things for me 🙂


GftGG: Chapter 1

Answers to the questions from chapter one:

1. Can you identify your brand of good girl? 

The book gave two types of good girls:

  • Type A-the girl who has always been good and is still good and will be the first to volunteer to do good things.
  • Type B-Hasn’t always been good, but now since they have accepted Jesus, they have done everything in their power to make the wrongs right and then some.

I guess I’m the first one since I never did anything wrong, but I don’t feel like that defines me well enough so here is my own definition.

I haven’t done anything that the world would classify as “wrong” and probably will continue on this way in the future because it’s not hard for me to choose the “straight and narrow” path. It’s actually quite easy and by stating this fact I feel like I’ve put myself in the “I’m better than 99% of people out there” category. Which makes me look full of myself and really shows me that I need to understand that I am a prime candidate of God’s grace.

2. In what areas have you been tempted to depend on yourself?

I know how to network and ask people to help me with whatever is on my plate: job, help finding a house, a reference for a good dentist, etc. So really I’ve only relied on my great networking skills and charming smile. (I need to work on being humble)

3. What does life look like you when you are driven by fear? 

I’m not driven by fear. Timon and Pumba’s song, “Hakuna Matata”, from the Lion King really spoke to me as a kid. That phrase means ‘no worries’ and I repeated it to myself and others throughout the years. I also took on the stereotypical California personality and was super chill. My times of anxiety are when I’m on planes and the turbulence is so bad that I just know that we are going to die so I go to sleep (true story). But that’s it. I really have no fears. 

This makes me feel like something is wrong with me. My husband has anxiety and suffers from it everyday. Everyone else has something that they are extremely anxious about. Last night I talked with Ryan about this. He said, “I worry for the both of us.” Which is terrible because I feel like I’m not doing my part, it’s not fair that he is anxious and I am not. I tried to come up with fears last night, but now looking at them I realize that I was trying to make mountains out of mole hills to feel like everyone else.

Fear is a strong word, I am a little nervous about somethings that are normal: will we be able to buy a house, will I ever go to graduate school, will I get to see my family enough even though we live so far away? But these I’m not fearful of, I’m excited for a possible adventure and using Skype more =).

4. What is your sometimes truth that challenges Love’s (God’s) lead in your life?

  • My least favorite parts of the bible are the gospels
  • I’d rather read a plethora of devotionals and “Jesus books” than the actual bible
  • I like to give people the opportunity to know Jesus better, but I rarely take the same opportunity.

5. Do you agree that the best part of hiding is being found?

Here the author is talking about being vulnerable and open with your issues so you can make changes in your life. I’m okay with being open. Actually I’m the type of person who is too open and share too much. But because of that I don’t think that people take me seriously.



Summary-Grace for the Good Girl: Preface

This quarter’s Sabbath School’s lesson is about revival and renewal. A quote from homegirl Ellen really made me reconsider my current spiritual status:

“Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from the spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.”—Ellen G. White, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Feb. 25, 1902.

I need revival and reformation in my life, but when contemplating these things didn’t really feel like that was true. As I dug deeper I had the terrible realization that I didn’t feel the need for grace. Which is a huge warning sign because even if I didn’t believe in God I’d still be an imperfect person needing grace from others for letting them down.

Somehow I’ve become this “self-centered”, “nothing goes wrong in my life”, “I could care less about my actions because at least I’m not a crack addict/manipulator/thief/liar/boring” person and that is unacceptable no matter your world view.

I need revival in my life. Something that will help get the ball rolling is the realization that I’m in big time need of grace. Which brings me to the book “Grace for the Good Girl”. The writer is a good girl who has never done anything “wrong”. She hasn’t been drunk, smoked, committed adultery, or sneaked out of her parents house.

Well guess what? Me either! But I can add that I haven’t pierced my ears, gotten a tattoo, nor have ever disappointed my parents in the slightest bit. I’m not just a good girl, I’m a great girl! Thus I need to explore why Jesus died on the cross and gave not just everyone else, but me the gift of grace.

My desired outcomes in reading this book are to:
1. Renew my relationship with Christ.
2. Be strongly aware of my shortcomings even if by the world’s standards they aren’t that bad.
3. Be desperate for the grace of Jesus.
4. Reform my character so it will be more like Jesus’.

How I’ll be accountable:
1. Write at least one summary per chapter.
2. To have a weekly book club meeting via Skype with Emily C.
3. To be honest with myself about my current spiritual status and convey that honesty to those around me.