Thanksgiving Reflections and a Grocery Challenge

Christmas may be my favorite holiday as a whole (personal + spiritual reasons) but Thanksgiving is the main event of my year. This is because all my relatives gather from afar this one special time a year. One family comes from a neighboring state, a cousin going to med school on the opposite coast flies in, and a cousin in the south east for an awesome job got a ticket to come out just for T-day. On extra special occasions we have both sides of the family together; other times we make two thanksgivings out of it. This might be my favorite year of them all since we have a brand new member of the family joining our festivities: my baby nephew!

It’s also going to be a little bittersweet because this is the first big holiday gathering my Uncle N won’t be at. It’s hard to think that last Christmas is the last holiday we ever had with him and it makes me wish I took a little more time to spend with him one on one that day. I never thought less than two months later we’d be gathered around him in a hospital room as he drew his last breath. I want to remember him on Thursday. We always gather and hold hands and say what we’re thankful for before we pray to bless the meal. This time he will be what I’m thankful for. I want to consciously remember to spend a little more time talking to my aunts and uncles one on one instead of devoting most of my time with my cousins as a life lesson too. God willing, my cousins and I will have many decades more to enjoy each other, but our aging parents, we don’t know how many decades are left. It’s important for me to remember how fleeting life can be and really seek out meaningful times with them.

Here’s how the grocery challenge ties into Thanksgiving: my work generously gifted the office $100 gift cards for the holiday. For people with families of their own, that gift card will be gone in an instant just on the feast. Since I am only helping with a few dishes, I’m going to spend my own money now and save that gift card to stretch me through the holiday season.

My goal is to use up all the pasta, grains, cereals, and canned goods in my little pantry and be more mindful of grocery spending for the rest of 2016. This will help me get back on track with whole foods and make my pantry 100% back on diet plan. This last year with all the crazy I’ve accumulated a lot of boxed pasta, off plan snacks, and didn’t cook nearly as much as I used to so I have canned goods near expiration.  As a renter I’ve been told many times that my pantry isn’t desired in that location so ultimately my goal is to get rid of it and work with them to establish a place for my extra food items and small appliances. I honestly don’t think it looks bad, but I’m bending my will and trying to be compliant.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May you have a blessed time of reflection and gratitude with friends/family and may digestion be on your side for all the goodies at your table!

Test Results are In!

All the results are back.

I do not have a blood clot. 
I do not have liver and kidney issues. 
My ticker is doing just fine. 

This has been a very expensive process, but so worth the peace of mind! I was really stretched in my faith, and I needed that. Learning to lean on God and trust His will is hard. I don’t even want to dare say that I wholly leaned and trusted the whole time. But I got so much closer. I’m humbled, and mindful of how hard it was; on how much I have yet to grow in the area of trust.

I think the height of my surrender was last week, trying to get a last minute appointment to figure out the test results, and crying in the car and giving it all up to him. At that moment, I knew I could handle whatever was happening, big or small. I actually found it easier to trust God with my health, and harder to find that big faith in paying for all the extra expenses of the medical fees coupled with an upcoming car fix. I’m ashamed to admit that, but want to be real. Did God handle it all and help me figure out how to handle it all? Of course.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we remember to give thanks and find gratitude and I know this small trial is actually something I’m thankful for. I’m glad that I was able to go through this to grow my faith in the Lord. Is the issue gone? No. But I don’t have to worry about a horrible underlying cause.

I hope despite some of the excessive worry and financial freaking out, I was able to bring God glory in this. I am so grateful that no matter how the results could have come back, my God is there for me.

Remember Remember To Adult This November

I titled this post before the date clicked. Which made me smile. Kudos if you get it.

So, two steps forward, one step back. That’s usually how life goes right?

I’m super passionate right now. I’m really digging deeper spiritually and creatively, but that has meant less attention paid to organization and weight loss/health.

I really lack a good sense of habit. My days vary A LOT and I’m finding myself tired and worn out from it. It’s something I have a horrible time with. And with few habits comes the sobering truth of too little discipline. When I step back and see all this I scratch my head and truly wonder if I’m failing adulthood. When do I tighten the reigns on bad habits and in maturity take steps to fix them once and for all, or is this two steps forward one step back part of it all? Am I too “in my head”? Either way, I need to up my game.

Since November is the month I reflect on gratitude, I also wish to enforce each point with personal discipline. Dust has settled since moving and it’s time to put more effort into things.

Gratitude #1: My finances are more solid since I moved.
Discipline Follow-up: Stay diligent with tracking expenses so I stay ahead of the game. Focus on financial and spending goals instead of falling into sporadic splurge traps. Also pray for how God wants to use the extra to bless others.

Gratitude #2: I have more time with family and relatives.
Discipline Follow-up: Make them more meaningful by being purposeful. Learn how to politely retire into my room when I need to get things done.

Gratitude #3: I have less housework in general with my smaller space.
Discipline Follow-up: Invest that time into the gym or diet planning and be extra mindful to not let things sit in shared spaces.

Gratitude #4: God is showing me big things this year in His word.
Discipline Follow-up: Make bible study homework and Bible reading the first big habit I plan for daily.

Gratitude #5: I’m learning through KonMari and introspection what my living space needs to be like.
Discipline Follow-up: Stay on top of it and don’t let clutter rule or distract. Keep making goals and defining my style.

Gratitude #6: My creativity is flourishing.
Discipline Follow-up: Keep on top of my schedule to have the time to  do creative things without a bogged down mind.