Tuesday, September 29

An Unexpected Gift

I was given a gift yesterday...the gift of 7 more days.

I have been telling people that school starts for me on October 12. I was down to my final two weeks and feeling a little anxious about that. Not anxious because I'm not ready for school to start and not because of the class subject (Strategic Planning-whatever that means) but anxious because my schedule has been so full lately...how will I possible handle everything with school added to my schedule?

When I got to work yesterday, I pulled out my work calendar which also contains a number of personal activities. To my delight, I saw that I had penciled in that school starts not on October 12th but on October 19th. This makes me so happy. Plus in addition to this, one of my main activities over the last couple weeks will be concluding October 11th. Sigh...it's all good...Someone is taking care of me.

Monday, September 28

Puddle of Thoughts

I'm not sure what to write about because there are so many tidbits that are sitting in my brain, that I have been brewing over.

One of my friends can be very unsympathetic to me when I am expressing frustrations. Her unsympathy usually just adds to my frustration, which makes me wonder why I share "concerns" with her at all. But after such an incident this weekend, I pulled back from the situation and started analyzing the friendship. Would I really prefer a friend who only listens compassionately and lets me wallow in my frustrations or am I better for having a friend who won't let me wallow in my problems? You see, despite her unsympathetic comments this weekend, she got me thinking about my expectations and the perspective I was bringing to this particular situation. I realized that I need to be approaching my situation with a different mind-frame from the beginning in order to be productive and to limit my frustrations. So all in all, is my unsympathetic friend just what I need...someone who won't let me get away with pity parties? I decided that ultimately both compassion and bluntness need to work together as to build up individuals instead of creating an environment of discouragement or victim-minded individuals.

I am now working with my church's youth group...have I mentioned it before? In October I will be teaching Sunday School twice, who is going through the Old Testament this school year. The first lesson will be on The Law and The Tabernacle and the second lesson is on the book of Numbers. I am so excited about these lessons, especially the former. I love studying about the Law and Tabernacle and seeing the correlations between them and the New Testament, or between them and our relationship with God. Super cool...God created everything to speak of salvation and love for His people. I think if I ever became a Bible teacher/professor, I would want to only teach on the Old Testament.

I've started a new Bible Study...No Other God by Kelly Minter. It's a study on idols. I think my biggest idol is self-gratification...the thought that I deserve whatever I want, whenever I want it. This mindframe affects my wallet (because I never have enough money), my eating (extra weight from the extra brownie or four), and my relationships (a 'what's in it for me' attitude). So during this study, which will take me into mid-December, I'm going to be focusing on this idol. I don't want to be controlled by my desires but to have my desires controlled by me.

Well, I think that will do it for today. It's a beautiful crisp fall day so I'll celebrate by having another cup of coffee!

Thursday, September 24

Low Maintenance

I'm a pretty low-maintenance girl. My ideal hair style is to wash and go. I blow-dry only because I want volume but I wouldn't if I could get away with it. I rarely wear makeup and when I do, it's usually just mascara and eyeliner. I like to look nice but I also like (and greatly prefer) to be comfortable. I never wear perfume...in fact, I don't even own any.

However, one area I wish to change is my perfume wearing status. But how does go about finding the perfect scent? If I go to a Perfume Shop, I get a headache within minutes because all the fragrances overwhelm me. Then if I go to a department store's perfume counter, I can smell a few but then after awhile, I have a hard time distinguishing between smells and then eventually the headache comes.

I was lamenting all this my sister, who loves her perfume, and she very unsympathetically said, "that's what the coffee beans are for!" Coffee beans? what coffee beans? Evidently unbeknownst to me, for people who get overwhelmed with scents, the department stores provide these little canisters of roasted coffee beans for individuals to sniff to cleanse their sniffers! So, my little sis promptly took me to the closest store and was determined to help me find a scent I liked with the assistance of the counter girl and the beloved coffee beans. Have I mentioned how much I love coffee before?

Anyways, I found a most delicious fragrance:

Euphoria by Calvin Klein

The only problem now is that this scent is a bit out of my current budget. I'm hoping to have this by Christmas but will wait for sale pricing. But I finally have found myself a fragrance...one more step toward high[er] maintenance for Mindy!

Monday, September 21

Am I Morbid or Pathetic?

This past Friday, I dinner with my sister, during which we decided to spontaneously go see a movie afterwards. We saw "Love Happens" with Jennifer Aniston and the beautiful Aaron Eckhart. It was fun to see snippets of Seattle throughout the movie although it evidently was filmed in Vancouver, BC.

So I decided that if I ever lose a spouse, I'm going to drown myself with the following movies and have a good cry:
Love Happens
P.S. I Love You
The Notebook
A Walk to Remember

Nevermind the fact that I'm not married but there's the plan for now. "Love Happens" isn't too sad/sappy of a film but the other four are all very good tear-jerkers. They never fail to activate my tearducts.

Thursday, September 17

Now I Remember

You know that one piece of clothing that hangs in your closest, waiting to be worn?

One day you look into your closest and see it hanging innocently and wonder why you haven't worn it for the longest time. You decide to spice up your wardrobe routine by reintroducing this item. You slip it on and are amazed...it looks nice...why on earth did I stop wearing this?

Half through the day, if even, you've figured out why you stopped wearing it.

It lays weirds, it shifts or bunches, you always have to adjust it on yourself, it really does make your hips look bigger, etc...it doesn't matter what the reason is but you know as soon as you get home, this piece of clothing is coming off.

My problem at this point, is that I hang it back up in my closest for the next round of forgetfulness. Why do I do this?!? Maybe there's a masochistic side to my personality.

Wednesday, September 16

How do they do it?

One of my newer hobbies is to peruse blog sites. The sites that most commonly attract my attention are food blogs and mid-western ranch wives, who are a rare but amusing specimen.

I love food blogs because I tend to look for inspiration. What should I make next? or what looks fun to make? and what should I just read about because my waistline doesn't need me to make anything more?

It's the latter question that frequently runs through my head which leads me to wonder, how do those bloggers do it? They make all the beautiful desserts, appetizers and other such food yum-yums and post daily. Does this mean that they actually make these recipes daily? Do they actually eat everything they make or do they give food away? And how, someone tell me how, do they make all they delicious foods without expanding their waistlines or bottoms?

Okay, I know...everything in moderation and exercise. But seriously, if they do make these recipes daily, as they post them, that means in their homes is a continual conveyor belt of goodness. Maybe they run in place while making the works of art...maybe all food bloggers have a high metabolism (which means I won't be a food blogger any time soon)...or maybe all they do is cook and work out. At any rate, I'll keep drooling over the deliciousness that I read about.

Friday, September 11


The cousin I wrote about yesterday, died last night.

Friend-ly Dreams

On my way to work this morning, I remembered a dream I had this morning before waking. It's the kind of dream that is nice when you're dreaming it but perhaps even more meaningful when you wake up...at least for me.

There's this family that my parents met when they first moved to Washington. So technically, I known them from birth, one could say: a husband, wife and two sons, the older is about two year older and the younger son is my age. Both of those guys are married now and the younger son also has his own babe now.

My dream took place at my parent's home and it was simply a get-together of our two families. As would be in real life, I roamed around my mom's kitchen, helping set out the snacks and tidying up where possible, while most of the people congregated in the living room, catching up. At one point, I left the kitchen and went to sit down in the living but was just listening to the conversations instead of joining in. However, right before this family was to leave, I asked the younger son how his boy and wife were doing (they were on the east coast seeing a doctor--in the dream only). After hearing an update from him, I turned to the wife of the older son and asked about how things were going for them. At this point, everyone was up and heading to the door when the older son turns to me and gently says: "You're really something Mindy. You sit there quietly, not engaging with anyone until the very end. You have so much to offer. You're such a warm caring person but keep that all to yourself. You need to be more open with people. People will love you." (Okay, I can't remember his exact words...I was dreaming after all...but that was the essence.) The way he said it made it feel both like a rebuke but also encouragement.

When recollecting this dream this morning, I once again felt rebuke/encouragement about who I am and how I choose to engage with others. I felt loved and challenged by the message that God spoke to me through this dream.

Because I'm more introverted than extroverted, I tend to listen and watch instead of interacting with others, especially if I don't know the others super well. However, God made me the way I am, not to use it as an excuse to not engage but to develop meaningful relationships with people along the way. It's good to listen and watch but it also good to social. God wants to use me and frankly, I want to be used!

Thursday, September 10

Family Connections

I've always been a bit jealous of people who are surrounded by a large extended family. When I hear of family get-togethers, going down the street to visit grandma, or hanging out with cousins, I become envious.

I'm close to my immediate family...(most of time) we really enjoy being around one another. We still get together every Sunday for lunch...just the six of us. But I am not close to my extended family nor have I ever felt super close to them. The big reason is the fact that my parents moved away from them (two states away) before I was born. I've spent my whole life only seeing relatives once or twice a year at most. Granted, just because I do not share my innermost secrets with any of them, I do love and appreciate them and would like to spend time sharing my heart with them.

I find it amusing that despite my desire/longing for close family connections, I anticipate doing the same thing to my kids, if I ever have any. I plan on being a missionary, living a chunk of my life overseas, separated from my immediate and extended family even more. Is there a way to promote closeness even when apart?

Most of my closest friendships are with people who live hours or countries away...I can be close to people despite distances. Maybe the key is that I have spent time with all my friends whereas my time with my extended family has been limited.

All this to say, my cousin is on my heart today. He is a year old than me, married and has a 4 year daughter. He has been battling cancer for about 5 years now. He is not doing well...on life support and his liver tests are worse each time. Is the end near? I pray for healing and know that God has His hand in this situation. Cancer has been prevalent in my family over the last 5 years...an uncle and aunt both died in the course of four months in 2004 from cancer. Another uncle has battled leukemia. And now my cousin is fighting. I may not feel close to my family but I do love them...my heart hurts for them and their families. Maybe praying for family can be a key link into connectedness...despite any distance.

Friday, September 4

Fun Find

If you like the Christian music group Delirious?, then you should go to their webpage (www.delirious.co.uk) where you can stream their entire music collection. You can choose a favorite CD of theirs and hear the entire thing while going about your day.

I regularly stream their music while at work and I love it! It has been a blessing.

Thursday, September 3

Mexican Meatloaf

You want to know how my culinary mind works? I think of a "normal" recipe and try to think of ways to change it so that you have something different, new, and creative. Hence my mexican-inspired meatloaf.

2/3 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup green peppers
1 lb of ground beef, turkey or pork
1 packet of taco seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1/2 chopped spinach

In a large bowl, mix the oatmeal and milk and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a frying pan, melt a couple Tbsp of butter, saute mushrooms. When partially brown, add in garlic and green pepper and saute for an additional couple minutes. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl, mix remaining ingredients, add sauteed mushrooms and green peppers and mix well. Put it a greased loaf pan. Cook for about 45 minutes in a 350F oven, until the center is 160F or no longer pink. Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!

What should I try next? A Thai meatloaf? An Italian meatloaf? Too many possibilities!

Tuesday, September 1


So just two posts ago, I lamented about being tired of customer service. My work reflection continues...

I've been messing up lately at work. My messing up trend started back in May, I think. The first problem...the customer ordered 320 lbs of product, I ordered 3200 lbs. The second problem...I ordered 8 drums, approx 4000 lbs, of the wrong product, which unfortunately shipped from Florida to Oregon...double whammy! The third problem (which was only partially my fault)...I entered a year old pricing for a customer which was $1.10/lb less than what it should have been. This resulted in the customer being charged $27,000 less than what they should have been charged. Thankfully, the customer willingly agreed to pay the difference without complaint. Today, it was brought to my attention that some product shipped from Florida to Oregon when it should have shipped from northern Oregon to southern Oregon...a $900 freight bill difference. Again, this is not entirely my fault but I obviously overlooked something I should have noticed.

As I was driving home today from work I was reflecting on all this, wondering why I have been messing up so much and praying that the attentive hard-working Mindy would return. Admittedly, I feel like I have become a "slacker" at work over the last year and obviously do need to tighten the reigns a bit more. I have always prided myself in the past as being a good worker, a person of integrity, someone bosses appreciated and valued...but its hard to have pride in myself in light of the last couple months. Anyhow, as I was thinking and praying on my way home, I "realized" that part of my problem lies in the fact that my heart in not in this business. I am not a behind-the-desk, computer-working, paper-filing type of girl. I do better engaging with people on a regular basis...which is actually the one aspect of my job that I do enjoy, despite occasionally being tired of customer service.

Every job, including ministry, is bound to have moments of disenchantment or boredom. The goal is to persevere and to show integrity despite how one feels within one's job. Even when I served in Germany, which was an ideal job for me and my personality, I occasionally wondered if what I was doing was of any value. So I get the fact that slumps happen in all jobs, even in the "perfect" jobs. In light of all this, I know I need to somehow pull myself out of this current work slump and become an employee of integrity once again. I know God has me here for this season of my life and my actions should reflect that.