29 May 2010

My Cup Runneth Over

I had a first today.

I made caramel from scratch!

It was fun, nerve-wracking, intellectually-stimulating, and scientific all at once. The process, being brand new, had me looking at a recipe intently (unusual step #1). It also took a l.o.n.g time. As in, 30 minutes+ long (unusual step #2 - baking typically comes quickly/easily to me). But that was ok. I was able to theorize about how this 1c. of sugar was moving towards a completely new and tasty substance. It reminded me of my own process. There are so many times when I feel "cooked down". Refined. Preparing for change. That has most definitely been the prior 6 months. Paul and I were married 27 November 2009. Since that time, there have been numerous refinements. Numerous! Here I find myself "cooking down" caramel and realizing a beautiful analogy to how God is moving and changing me in this new season of life.

I love to bake! I've been doing it since I was knee-high to my amazing mother. She developed a love of the kitchen in me and to this day, when I need to relax and learn to serve in a new way, the kitchen is very often the place that brings me relaxation as well as insight.

I also love to serve others. Hospitality is one of my spiritual gifts. Very recently, I've become more excited about serving in this way again. We found out just yesterday that we will be moving to a new space! What a gift of grace for us - it is nearly twice as big with a fenced backyard for my Tobie and a 4th bedroom so each of the children will have their own space. Of course, this also means I can entertain much more comfortably again. Ahhhh, the possibilities ...

My cup runneth over with gifts today!

25 May 2010

buck up

Good night.

Well, almost.

It's about time to call it a day. But I did want to note the discovery I made about self today. I am selfish.

Now I know that's no Nobel Prize winning discovery. And if you think that's the first time I realized it, you'd be wrong. This I have known for many, many years. Today, I remembered. I remembered it not in a self-condemnation sort-of way. No. I'm past that point in my journey. I remembered it in a healthy way. A way that says, buck up, Teresa. Keep moving. Work hard. Play hard. Laugh loudest. Especially when no one else is. Especially when everyone else is. Especially, always.

"He must become greater. I must become less." John 3:30

Every time: it's a 2X4. Remind me every day if need be, Lord.

Good night.

24 May 2010

The yet-to-be

Today was h.o.t. Correction: it's s.t.i.l.l. hot. I love how MO reminds me I'm still here: cold to hot in nothin' flat. This coming off of a beautiful, non-humidified stay in Breck, CO. How I do love thee, mountainous air and quiet, unexplored parishes of land.

Which leads me to think: if there is still completely unexplored territory in our world like the tributaries of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia or the high ice desert of Greenland, then what are my unexplored tributaries and deserts? What amazing discovery/ies might trusting my strengths lead to in this journey?

Passion. Self-respect. Confidence. Resolve. Faith. All these will lead to my yet-to-be discovered places.

23 May 2010

Strong Moments

"Your strengths are a multiplier." -- Marcus Buckingham, "Find Your Strongest Life"

This is my current read. Oh boy, do I have seed-thoughts growing out of this! I have taken notes on note cards, post-its - even made a binder to track positives and negatives in all areas of my life. Work, marriage, faith, kids - you name it, I'm thinking about it.

So, today I read this quote and I wondered about what exactly I am multiplying. I know I feel best at work when I am advising and consulting. My strong moments with my husband include training/running together, making goals and commitments and keeping each other accountable to them, and dreaming together. My strengths with my children are expanding their vision and playing hard together.

I want my full attention to be on these strong moments. I want to be able to tilt my world so that I am unbalanced: more moments of strength than moments of weakness. Next step: define my weaknesses.

22 May 2010

Bring it on!

Good morning, world! What a gorgeous day!

I finally got enough sleep last night. My body, mind, and soul say, "Thank you!".
On the agenda today - meet with my accountability partner. Go to our CSA farm to pick up our weekly goodness! Check in on my rental and 'rentees' :) Print pics for a friend who just got married. And run at the Parkville levy tonight with my handsome husband!

Let's go!

21 May 2010

live your way into the answer ...

I'm pretty sure I'm about the millionth and a half person who's decided that blogging is for her. And that's ok. My strongest life includes making decisions for myself that others might think are cliche. Or just plain crazy. I'm ok with that too because "crazy" runs through my mind at times when I stop and think about my life. For instance, I plan to run my first marathon, November 2010. I could not have imagined running 1 mile - and feeling good while doing so - six years ago. Or: going to school full-time for my second Master's degree, teaching online for UOP as my second job, and getting married concurrently. These are examples of my craziness. These are also examples of when I feel the strongest. The most 'on my game'. Like I'm adding value to the world around me.

This is me. This is me discovering my strongest life.

"i beg you ... to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them, and the point is, to live everything. live the questions now. perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer ..."

--Ranier Maria Rilke