Wednesday, July 29, 2009


“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.”
(Author unknown)

Just over a year ago. I made the move to Minnesota from California. It wasn't a simple decision... on the contrary. Do you remember reading this blog post? Before I came to my decision to move, I really faced a lot of internal and external struggles. I was comfortable where I was at. I had great friends, a great job, lived in a great state, and had great family close by. I was just graduating college, so things would change a little but for the most part, life was hunky-dory and I was content.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I decided to apply for a job in Minnesota and ended up getting the position. This, I knew, was going to change me. I didn't know how, but I knew it would. And I was okay with that because I like change. I've made 4 cross-country moves in my short 27 years of life and loved each of them for different reasons. I honestly thing this has been my favorite move though.

To reference the quote above, I truly agree that growth happens with change... and to get this you have to take risks. This move (risk... change...) has caused growth in my life. I feel as though I can be free to let people see my true personality (even if it's not always what some people like). I feel more confident in who I am as a person. I have had to face challenges and risks in my job, too, which has also promoted growth and change.

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” (Arnold Bennett)
Change wasn't easy though. I actually didn't like it here when I first got here. I missed my friends, my old job and even the comfort of knowing my way around town. I honestly think that most of the time, when you want to make a change (like moving across the country), you really need to stick it out and wait for enough time to pass before you make a snap judgement to jump ship. It takes time to get used to a new job and it takes time to learn where you will like to grocery shop, where Target is, and what bank you should now bank at. And it takes courage to put yourself out there and meet people. You will probably meet lots of people before you finally meet those people who you will call friends. And it will take even more time to make close friends.
A year later, those things have finally come for me. Well, they happened several months ago, but honestly, every day gets better and every day I love the area, my friends, and my job more and more! And I love being close to my family! I am 100% certain that moving to Minnesota was the best decision for me. The one that took the most risk, had the most change, and was the biggest challenge. But it was the best.
“Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted.” (Author Unknown)
I just saw this quote and liked it. I think something we all fall into at one time or another (some of us more than others) is complaining about various situations in life. And really, what it comes down to is we need to either a) accept it or b) work to change it.
For those of you who know me well, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people have a problem or a situation that they dislike and there is a totally viable solution to fix it or at least make it a little better, and rather than doing the work to make the change, they continue to complain about it. Now, I realize we all need to vent and get things off our chest... that is not the problem I have with the above scenario. We all need to vent and that is what friends are for! But if the venting continues day after day and there hasn't been a change, then it's time to man up, accept it, and drop it. Because "not changing it" is actually the decision being made. But if you want to make a change, I will be the first person who offers to help you figure out what steps to take to make that change.
"Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.”
(Robert C. Gallagher)
This blog really had no direction when I began writing it other than I wanted to address "change" since it seems to be so prevelant in my life. I realize it's not a profound read or an exciting post... and I am certainly not perfect at handling, pursuing, or dealing with change.
Just for fun... what is your perception of change (unexpected, expected, and/or intentional change)? Is is something that is easy for you to handle? hard for you? Have a story? A quote you love? Do share!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Follow up to "Pizza and Religion"

I started to write this in the comments section of this post. But I wanted to make sure that those who posted comments knew that I truly am grateful for what they wrote.

First of all, I just want to say that I read, word for word, what everyone has written and I truly appreciate your comments. I know that what you all wrote took lots of time and research (as many people quoted books and websites and the bible)- so thank you!

There is a lot to take in and I will try to find time to re-read everyone's comments.

Having said that...

Sometimes, I feel that the simplicity of the Christian faith is a relief. I mean, who wants a works-based salvation? But other times, I feel like it's too simple and I get overwhelmed- feeling like there is still something I need to do- nothing else in life is free. I have been reading a little booklet (Case for Faith) that a dear friend of mine gave to me, and the more I read it, the more conflicting thoughts I have. On one hand, the defenses and reasonings it offers make total sense. But on the other hand, the author does a good job of explaining the "objections" that this book is trying to defend and I find it hard to not ponder the same objections.

Mom, in your comment on the last post you said, "I feel His guidance and His presence and I just KNOW that my soul will continue to love God and to live long after this earthly body of mine has ceased to exist." I have never felt that. This is just me being honest. I am not trying to stir anything up or make anyone freak out. Nor am I trying to say things to cause anyone to stumble or question their own faith.

I know that belief in God, the Bible, and the things I have grown up learning all require faith, but I feel like I need facts, too. Just like Lori's objection, I also wonder how Christians, Muslims, Mormons, etc can all be so certain they are correct when they certainly cannot all be correct.

Just to clarify, I am not turning my back on my upbringing, God, or anything (although I suppose some might wish to debate that). I just feel like I am in a place where I really need to get answers. And I think these questions are totally legitimate because I really want to find the answers. But for now, God feels intangible.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just pick one

If you had to eat the same meal and drink the same beverage every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Let's assume that anything you pick will have all the required nutrients you need every day (so feel free to pick chocolate) and we'll also give you a freebie and assume that everyone can have water, too.

Mine: Homemade bread and butter (as in REAL butter, not margarine); and "Simply Orange" Orange Juice!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pizza and Religion...

The father of a friend of mine from work died last week. The funeral was today. To show our coworker support, our team went to the funeral. This is the first funeral I have ever been to. I guess it was what I expected: sad, reminiscing about the one who passed away, songs, scripture reading, and lots of family and friends coming together to remember the life of some they loved so dearly. Even though I didn't know or ever meet my friends dad, it was very impactful and I felt very sad. It really got me thinking and has left me in this weird, emotional funk all day long. Lots of thoughts about dying and what happens after people die.

Okay, so pizza. There are probably thousands of types of pizza. There are all kinds of crusts, sauces, cheeses, toppings, and sizes. You can buy pizza from a restaurant, the frozen food section from a store, or make it yourself. Some like the thin, New York style and swear it's the best; other like thick, Chicago style pizza and can't fathom a better pizza. And there is everything in between.

But sometime ago, somewhere, someone made the first pizza ever. It was the original. THE pizza. And even though we have lots of different variations of pizza, none of them will probably ever be like the original. Still, there is probably something in every pizza that resembles the original. A thread that links all pizza's that have ever been or ever will be made and eaten. A common denominator, if you will.

Yet, despite the commonality of all pizza's everywhere, we will never know what the very first, original pizza consisted of. We only have remnants of it through what has been passed down from generation to generation. And if you asked pizza lovers everywhere to make a pizza and enter it into a "make the perfect pizza" contest, there would be a common thread, but no two pizza's would turn out the same, despite the fact that all the "perfect" pizza's entered would claim to be "the perfect pizza." But they wouldn't be, because there was only one, "original" and perfect pizza (Round Table Pizza.... hehe j/k well, it's my favorite pizza, I just don't think it's the original and first pizza ever made).

I find "religion" to be the same. Before people freak out, I am not saying that there are many ways (religious paths) to the top of the mountain (God). I think that theory is actually extremely ridiculous. If one religion claims to be the ONLY correct religion and it is, then all the others are wrong, so there goes that theory. If that same religion claims to be the ONLY correct religion and it's wrong, then all paths don't really lead to the top then because now we've found one that is wrong; so again, that theory isn't correct. I digress... anyway, I believe that there is one true religion/faith (an original pizza).

But it seems that no matter which church you go to, no matter what kind of service you attend or speaker you hear about religion (Sunday morning, Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, TV evangelists, politicians), all the messages are pretty much the same: if you believe you will be saved. Yet, this is played out in people's lives in many different ways. And when you have one on one convos w/people, there are many more details that totally conflict amongst the various religions (lots of kinds of pizzas). Yet people build their lives and make huge decisions based on a belief system that they can only ever know only part of the truth because so much is not documented or provable.

What makes you so sure that your belief system is correct?? (btw: that isn't a rhetorical question... I want people to answer that).

Here's the thing though, I want facts. Personal experiences (like seeing the light and feeling stuff and just knowing in your bosom) don't count. Well, they count, just not for the way I want you to answer this question. Obviously a belief system (whether you believe in God or not) requires much faith. I know there is a lot of personal experiences and testimony out there, but for now, I want to just focus on the scientific, factual evidence.

What "facts" and evidence (like science) do you have to support why your belief system is correct? How do you "know" that you are correct about what you believe regarding what happens after death? When you are at a funeral and look at a casket of someone who is no longer physically alive, how can you be so certain that they are in Heaven, Hell, simply don't exist, or whatever else your belief system might lead you to embrace as truth.

I suspect that many people won't answer this question because it will require some research (at least that is what I am assuming). This would be easy to say, "I feel..." or "I just know..." or "the Bible* says..." - but I don't want to know how those sentences end for you right now. I want to know how science supports your beliefs.

I will not be answering this question btw. Just reading your answers.

FYI: I realize the pizza analogy was lame, but I like pizza and I like analogies so it worked for me. lol

*I realize the Bible is one piece of evidence, but for this, I don't want to hear verses unless it also aligns with something outside the Bible, too (ex: Noah and the ark *plus* there is actually physical evidence of a world wide flood and here is the evidence....).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Time to reflect: 10 years ago...?

First, if you haven't noticed this question, take a look at that first, just for fun!

Okay, so think back to where you were in life 10 years ago. Who were you? What were you doing? What were your goals and expectations about your life?

Think about now... how are you different? the same? Did you achieve your goals or did you make new ones? Are things better or worse than expected?

Give examples if you feel comfortable!

As always, I will respond once a few other people do first =)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another discussion topic

What do you think about moms in the workforce versus stay-at-home moms? And naturally this question also has to address kids in daycare if mom (and dad) is working.

Do you think one or the other is "right" or "wrong?" Is it a personal choice? Situational?

I will post my thoughts after the discussion has started and is well under way!

Have fun =)