All Praise

The rain might keep falling

The weather unchanging

but still my soul will keep on singing of your promises to me

 

You Say// you delight in me

that there light green pastures and a bounty of joy everlasting waiting at a table for me.

Surely goodness will follow, even as this rain continues to fall

And so I will keep on singing//

I’ll keep on singing of your goodness, your goodness, your goodness….

Until this rain transforms, these dry bones rise,

I will keep on singing of your goodness to me

5 Habits I Picked Up in 2019

2019 has been a year: My first brand, ATEM, turned 1 year old, our cosmetics R&D startup is going into our 3rd year, and I turned 27.

In this time and despite my work taking most of my attention on my days (excluding Sabbath, Sundays!), I developed some new habits that have supported my betterment.

1. I started exercising regularly: 3 to 5 times a week!

Result: Exponentially increased physical health, increased mental fortitude (ie. focus), and emotional wellbeing

2. I started flossing daily, after setting up my daily habit tracker in July, 2019: I now floss every day without needing a reminder or a checklist to tell me I have to!

Result: Increased self-control: A developed appreciation for discipline and keeping to some “orders” of the day

3. I started regularly writing down things I am grateful for, or allocating a protected time to visually go down the the things I am grateful for.

Result: Increased mental and emotional wellbeing – rewiring the “space” for automatic negative thoughts to come in to a space for positive, gratitude filled thoughts.

4. I started making my bed more regularly: This is a habit to solidify in 2020 as I still do not keep to the habit.

Result: Increased self-control: A developed appreciation for discipline and keeping to some “orders” of the day

5. I started being more careful and controlled about the things I utter about myself or my life: Saying less “I can’t,” or “I’m not,” and more “I hope,” “I can,” and “I believe.” I hope to continue this habit into this year, and applying this principle as I speak of and to others as well.

Result: Increased mental and emotional wellbeing – rewiring the “space” for automatic negative thoughts to come in to a space for positive, gratitude filled thoughts. As Carl Lentz one said, “change your mind, change your life.”

A habit I would like to change completely in 2020 is not letting my moods dictate my actions as much, particularly in the physical with my waking and sleeping times. I had experienced a season of mild depression, and because of this, it was difficult to get out of bed at times I wanted to on a daily basis over a span of 2 some months. I felt like I was chained to my bed, and sometime woke up feeling like 2 tons of cement were lying atop me and I’d go to sleep again because it felt like too much of a struggle to try to fight it.  During this time, what I lost in time/productivity, I made up for, but this was not great for my overall health. This year, for my wellbeing, I would like to commit to regularly sleeping a number of hours per day, and waking up consistently at an earlier hour of the day. I write these down, as writing my intentions down will incentivize me to action.

 

 

 

 

Me Toos, Depression, and Faith

“Tears roll down my cheeks when I hear people say they want to kill themselves, because I’ve been there. Empathy is powerful. It enables us to comfort others and know how to pray for them.

As I was healing from a season of deep depression and anxiety, I got to sit next to a young woman who was in the thick of it. I listened. I offered my story. Tears streamed down her face as she whispered a thousand me-toos. I put my arm around this woman and prayed for the things I, myself, had needed just a few months before.

Ultimately, God will always use us to bring hope to others who are hurting because we’ve been where they are and made it to the other side.” – Mary Keith

 

“It’s not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And chief of all, it’s not a choice. Asking someone to “try” not being depressed is tantamount to asking someone who’s been shot to try and stop bleeding. Such an attitude can dangerously appear in the Church as, “if only you had enough faith.”

Cue the record scratch for any Christian regarding matters of healing. Having faith in God’s ability to heal is hugely important, and personal faith can help ease depression. But to deny medical or psychiatric treatment to someone suffering from mental illness is really no different than denying them to someone with a physical illness. The difference between the two is that the former is invisible.

Speaking of the invisible, some faith traditions are quick to suggest demonic attack as the cause for depression. While I’m convinced that there’s definitely a spiritual element—the enemy will exploit any weakness—medical science holds that major depressive disorder is real and the causes are manifold.” – Brandon W. Peach

 

A Case for Less Burgers: How a Carnivorous Person Like Me Is Living With a More Holistically Conscious Diet

Most of my friends will know how much I love burgers.
A fundamental component of a good burger is a strong, awesomely seasoned and well packed & proportioned patty. I prefer mine thick over thin 🙂 The Spotted Pig over Shake Shack. Beef over lamb.
Over the past 6 months, I experimented with drastically reducing my red meat intake primarily out of two reasons: 1) to take better care of my physical health and 2) to be more environmentally conscious and responsible in my daily living and actions.
As a civilization, I think a recurring weak point of our peoples is that when we are dealt with an increase in choice, we do not respond well [and by well, I really mean intelligently] to it. Instead of accepting the freedom of choice in a way that elevates, it seems that we often take that freedom and power to extremes, which prove to be detrimental to us in the end, and at a dangerous magnitude.
While I admire my colleagues that have taken out meat entirely from their lifestyle [or adopted zero waste lifestyles, or stopped buying anything new], I am self-aware enough to know where I currently stand in my preferences and convictions. The me now cannot eliminate red meat without it making me sad about not being able to eat burgers, or steak, or raw meat. The me now isn’t convicted enough to stop buying new clothes for the rest of my life and only buying second-hand or recycled fabrics (environmental friendliness on the latter is questionable – but more on that on a later note).
But
I no longer want my talk about sustainability and healthier living to be at stark contrast with the day to day choices and decisions of my life.
I settled on a diet of moderation 😃
Instead of eating red meat for most of the week (which I’ve historically always done and I really strong feel I have never once gotten sick of eating too much beef – basically I am completely besot), I now eat and seek it sparingly.
I found this limitation on my lifestyle has not affected me much, beyond the initial and expected feelings resulting from a sudden withdrawal of any regular habit.
I am not devastated. I am still eating a burger or a red meat based meal once a week or biweekly, which satisfies the part in me that screams and demands “BEEF”, and I am concurrently living more closely in accordance with the values I say I stand for. And I found that I am happier.
Anyways, I just thought to write this as I happily take my work break and eat my pescatarian/plant-based lunch from Woorijip 🙂
My question today: What is something you are doing that is preventing you from living a more peaceful, fulfilling, and content life?

love letters to a younger self

9.27.2017.JPG

love letters to a younger self //
if i could travel time,
i’d tell my younger self how much she was loved.
how perfect she is
how everything will be okay
how much she’ll laugh and smile
how she’ll fall in love
over and over again
how she’ll be surrounded by people that make her grin uncontrollably
how everything will look beautiful to her again
how she’ll come to love her body
how she’ll come to love touch
how she’ll come to love her mind
how she’ll come to love others
how she will become love.

Thanks Giving Week(s) 2019

I couldn’t have dreamed of a better holiday weekend for this year.

I am grateful for the close friends and family in my life; I am grateful for all they are and just as they are.

I am grateful for how they keep me– every single day.

They are my angels, “messengers” on this Earth. Angels were messengers of God. I really see the people I am thinking of as I write this currently in my life as those messengers: messengers of joy, of encouragement, or solace, of comfort, of correction and rebuke grounded in love, of entertainment and pleasure when things get rough or dull, of confirmation that sometimes kindred E.T. finger touching like friendships do exist…. my angels.

Is this not something to be unendingly grateful for? To keep and hold fast to.

20191127_18522520191127_19003220191128_11481020191128_12025820191129_183807 (1)20191201_12174520191201_13320820191202_084116

 

Lastly, I am grateful for the healing that’s been observed within my family this past year. It is perhaps what has been most moving in this season of my life. I could not be any less grateful [and lest I forget, this single, answered prayer alone should leave me in a state of permanent gratitude for the remainder of my days].  I am overwhelmed by God’s grace, mercy, and provision in mending broken pieces back together in ways and in an amount of time I could never have hoped for– in ways only he could.

My God is good. I am thankful for the daily reminders he sends to me that his love for me, for my family, for my loved ones is unending– in hardship and in prosperity.

 

IMG-20191201-WA0010IMG-20191201-WA0011

 

“I’ve walked among the shadows You wiped my tears away And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak And I’ve seen the brighter days And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place And I have held the blessings God, you give and take away”