Monday, December 21, 2009

It's been a year now...

A year ago I found myself in the midst of a busy week. Parties and events kept me busy long after 7pm each day. The problem: dinner, the solution: fast food. I ate it every night that week, and maybe for lunch once or twice. That Friday, I watched the movie "Supersize Me", and I decided to make a change. No more fast food.
It started as just a month, then two, and then I pushed it to the end of Lent. After that, I just kept pushing it back month by month. I realized that the cravings I had stopped after the first month. I found that what I really liked was the quick, convenient meal. There have been a few times that I've had to eat at a fast food place- on trips. But I opted for the grilled chicken wraps or salads.
Like I said, I really loved the convenience. I was too busy to stop and plan out what to eat...well, truthfully it was just easier not to plan out.
I live in a fast-paced society. One that values productivity, ease, and quick fixes. It seems I hear more commercials pushing the latest energy drink/pill instead of addressing the real problem: lack of rest. Fast food is much the same: an option for an overworked and underthought lifestyle that many have come to know all too well.

Ok. Enough of that. My challenge to you is this: quit or cut down on fast food. Go "cold turkey" or cut in half the fast food you eat per week. Make it a resolution. I promise you'll feel better & notice a difference. You don't have to give up fried food completely, but do try to cut down. Especially on the times you eat on the run. Eating could become enjoyable if you let it. So could sleep. Welcome the pause in productivity.
PS- yes, I do still have cravings. But they are few & usually come when I don't feel I have time for a sit-down meal.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Community Part 3: Return

This is the third part in a series on community, to read part 1 click here, and to read part 2 click here.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35

Last week I had the opportunity to "uphold" (see post 1 of series) some of my fellow classmates. For many of us, the semester was full of doubts, frustrations, realizations, and everything between. Needless to say, it takes its toll on a person. I was glad to have the opportunity to encourage some of my peers and grateful for the chance to return the kindness and support that others have shown me this semester.

The previous two posts in this series have been about the self- how others help us and the importance of letting them do so. But how do we respond? At the risk of being cliche, how do we pay it forward? Do we give more than we recieve?

I don't have solid answers for you, but rather an encouragement to look for opportunities to do so. Look for times when people are struggling- both those you know and those you don't know. Then, be bold and quick to help. I think you'll find that "returning" the support and love you've been shown is incredibly fulfilling.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Community Part 2: Open

This is the second part of a series on community. To read the first part, click here.

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10: 24-25

It's now starting to get cold and stay that way. On top of that, we seem to be getting more rain with this cold weather! This comes right in the middle of the end of the semester crunch time for me. Between the amount of studying I need to do and the weather, it's easy to get "bundled up" in oneself.

Ever notice when you go outside on a cold day that your body seems to instinctively tighten up? Ever turn your back to a cold northern wind? These are ways we try to stay warm, we become focused on ourselves and our own lack of warmth. So we try to conserve our own body heat. Maybe if you're less inclined to your personal space than I am, you might seek out someone else to help keep you warm... but as for me, I like my "bubble" so I'm usually left to fend for my own comfort!

I've always approached exam weeks the same way- all by myself. I hole up in my room or in the library and try my best to keep my nose in a book or in my notes and break my habit of compulsively checking email, twitter, and facebook. The problem is, it becomes all about me. I'm focused on me and my studies. I don't let anyone help or lend a hand.

Sometimes it's necessary to "go it alone," but usually it's nice to have someone along with you. The people we find community with support us, encourage us, and need us. Don't "bundle up" so much during the storm that you can't find help. Open up and let others in. Be in community.