Things I Actually Like, 2-22
Well, this week has been the kind that you just have to laugh at. Not the kind that you cry over, but the one where you're just like "Well, that was weird and sort of horrible, I'm just going to try again later."
Okay, maybe I cried some too.
See, I usually have this really balanced life. I like balance and order. I work hard, I sleep well, I make my bed every morning, I keep commitments, I save money, I invest in good relationships, I take care of my body by working out and eating all sorts of healthy, local, organic, low-glycemic-index food. But I don't need a trophy or anything for living my life the way I want.
This is just the way I feel best, the way I work.
Until I don't. Until I miss deadlines, can't sleep, don't even grocery shop let alone cook, have to choose between washing dishes and washing my hair, don't go to the gym, question my writing into pieces, and eat gluten-free brownies for four different meals this week. Me. The "Please sir, may I have some more vegetables?" girl. Brownies. Four meals.
I'll take the Fail Award, please.
But I wouldn't even really consider this week falling apart. It was full of good things and gratefulness. I have awesome coworkers, amazing blog comments, and I got free tickets to a soccer match on Wednesday night. My life is not over because I didn't eat a pound of kale this week, although you can be sure I bought more than that at the grocery store tonight, because real life starts again tomorrow.
Even when things are bad for me, they're pretty great. There are plenty of things worth celebrating, even if I didn't hold up all of the spinning plates this week. There are still a bunch of things I actually like.
And here are a few of them:
Beef & Snow Peas from The Pioneer Woman
I didn't cook this week. But last weekend I did. And the week before. And this is what I made, multiple times, in large batches. Of course, I usually consider recipes more like guidelines, which is why I'm awful at the precision required for baking. But cooking? All over it. I made a few versions of this recipe, like with carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms instead of snow peas, served over cabbage instead of rice, and dousing it in Siracha. But I didn't modify the flank steak part. Nope, not at all.
And I will tell you that the main perk of being single is not having to share your flank steak. Take that one wherever you'd like. You're welcome.
Jesus and Side Hugs by Haley Cloyd
"The point is that something about Jesus pulling us close with both arms hits home."
Have I told you about how much I love my friend Haley? I really do. It's because she's brilliant, of course. She, like, studies Hebrew for fun and is actually good at it. Oh, and she also does Crossfit, no bigs.
This is us on New Year's Eve. Because apparently that's the only time in my life I take photos with friends. We met on Twitter and talked about how we were probably to busy to be
actual friends, but two years later and we've found a way. I love her
because she's kind and true and very different from me and we talk about
following Jesus with our real lives like it matters. I'm not sure if
you've noticed by now, but these conversations and people are rare, so
when you find them? Lock them down. By any means possible. But like, the
legal kind. No locking up people in your basements or anything; that's
mean. I love Haley because she sees the orthodoxy in me even when I'm
being a wild process, blue nail polish kind of theologian, and also
let's me put my butt on her kitchen counters. That sounds weird. I was
wearing pants, I promise. But some people still think that's gross.
Haley, I'm sorry that this paragraph ended up so weird, but I'm too tired to change it. Just read her story about us being weirdos in her kitchen, okay?
Gap Really Skinny Slacks
I feel kind of weird sharing fashion advice since I'm trying to be all Serious Intellectual Progressive Christian Voice here, but I've actually had a personal fashion consulting side gig for about three years now. I work with men and women, helping them get rid of sartorial baggage and feel great in new clothes if they're ready. It's all my design classes from college and creativity life coaching/positive meanness rolled into one job! For a while I was doing a lot of "research" (aka shopping.) And I can tell you right now that these pants are probably one of my greatest finds. I have two pairs of the black and I wear them at least three days a week.
Girls, if you're looking for skinny slacks that are business appropriate but feel like leggings and don't stretch out for under $60? You're welcome. They're kind of Sisterhood of the Traveling Slacks or whatever, too, because I've seen them look great on women with vastly different body types. I believe in these pants, and every time Gap restocks the sizes, I recommend them to people. I should probably get another pair soon, because I think I'll freak out when Gap stops making them. Anyway. I believe in these pants, for real. If you're into pants, check them out.
100 Flirting Tips from Dan Bergstein
I started following Dan when he was blogging his way through the Twilight series as a grown up adult male. Yes, it's as amazing and obnoxious as it sounds, and I still quote Blogging Twilight to my friends. And while I usually roll my eyes or get super shouty at most horrible dating advice, Dan's is the kind I can get behind. Once I get up off the floor from laughing so hard. You'd better believe I'm going to try these flirting tips on my next first date. jk.
This Online Thing by Antonia Terrazas
"So that means it takes a bit of bravery to navigate these waters at times for one reason or another, and I’m not the only one who thinks about giving it up sometimes. But I guess I’ll just say I’m not altogether afraid to get my heart a little too involved with my patience, my prayers, my compass and the stars to guide me.
Because like I said, these things matter, and with the humility, tenderness, care, and whole-hearted truth-seeking I have witnessed in my blogroll, I think these things can matter and manifest in a holy and faithful way, to lead us to the good work that needs to be done."
Quite simply and beautifully, Antonia explains why I'm not quitting the internet, why Twitter matters, and why I started a blog when there are already hundreds of excellent blogs out there. Antonia's is one of them, so I hope you nose around her space like a curious little cat.
Betrothed: A Love Story Documentary
I grew up in the circle that made Modern American Christian Courtship, you guys. So I know all the lingo, read the books, know the authors, and have heard plenty of stories. Some of them are great and some of them a heartbreaking. When the director of this documentary contacted me, I was fascinated. I appreciate the tone she takes with the lives of the people she's working with and I really hope I get to see the rest of this story. This trailer made me cringe, laugh, think, and root for the players. Check it out and consider supporting this one!
Why I Stopped Telling My Story by Abby Norman
"Somewhere along the way I stopped telling those stories, the ones with the perfect punch line, the ones that made everyone gasp, the ones that people responded to by telling me how good I was. Somewhere along the way it occurred to me that those stories weren’t just entertaining, they were damaging. The way I spun those too true tales was disadvantaging my already disadvantaged students. The ones I was working so hard for. So I stopped telling them, even if they were true."
I don't have a lot to say about this piece, because you simply should go read it immediately. Twice. My new Twitter friend Abby challenged the way I think about my work, my stories, and my responsibility. I still don't know what to do, but I will take small steps to do better than this. Teachers, I am praying for you today. What you do matters.
So, how was your week? Did you keep everything balanced or do you want to share my Fail Trophy?
What did you actually like this week, on the internet or off?