Beauty matters

Excertp from Dr. Weber’s blog. Why Beauty Matters for Balance Against Brokenness

We teeter on the edge of freedom and fear.

Dealing only with broken pieces keeps us deprived, holds us back. The beauty is too extravagant. I can’t justify it. It’s unrealistic, unreachable. I can’t enjoy it because it’s overshadowed by the darkness and brokenness.

That’s why Jesus came. His love and beauty set us free.

He brings light into our darkness. He makes beauty from ashes.

And only the Spirit of God can release us, open our eyes and hearts to see all that Christ is, what He provides for us through the Cross. What He promises to do in us, in the new Heaven and the new earth – is goodness and beauty. Images of fresh flowing rivers, life-giving fruitful trees, no more pain and tears – instead peace, love and laughter.

Beauty matters. The beauty of Christ’s transforming life in us matters.

We can’t escape the pain, darkness, brokenness and vandalizing.

But then we open our lives to the Holy Spirit, holding on to our visions of God paying the price, transforming and empowering us now and finally making the whole of creation anew – with love, joy, peace, hope – and beauty.

 

Henri Nouwen reminds us that “every time we show compassion to a suffering person, every time we arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to tame or wild animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our homes and gardens … we are making the vision come true…Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out, right where we are….this beautiful vision gets us involved.”

 

Live out the Beauty.

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Finding Skinny Bitch

collage

The picture to the left is one month before I got pregnant. I was a little shy of 120lbs. I gained 85lbs during pregnancy, way more than the average pregnancy weight gain. Emma and I didn’t have any complications during pregnancy or during labor and had a regular birth with epidural.

Since Emma’s birth, I’ve lost almost 50lbs but been stuck for the last six months now.

My current weight is the average weight of what I’ve always been since my 20’s with the exception of the drastic weight loss due to my vegan diet and working out 4-5x a week for a year after our wedding. I went from a size 6 to a size 2-4, That one year that I maintained my weight was the year I felt my very best and ever since I’ve had Emma, it’s been a struggle getting back to my pre baby weight.

I gave up on my vegan diet during pregnancy so it’s been a challenge for me to eliminate the meat and dairy but this week, I made up my mind I’m going to stick with it.

I re-read a couple of the books that first got me motivated. Books like Eat to Live, and The Skinny Bitch. (BTW the “bitch” in Skinny Bitch” is not the mean bitch you’re thinkig of, the title is picked to grab reader’s attention, says the book) The last few weeks, I committed to going to the gym with my hubby. I had stopped working out during Fall Semester because I just couldn’t do it with full-time work and school and keeping the house together. It was too much.

I jokingly say that maybe my body doesn’t want to lose weight, maybe it wants to get pregnant again.

Even if we choose to go for another baby, I really want to make healthy eating choices during pregnancy and not gain as much.

I really thought all that was going to be water weight and I did have a lot of water but most of it was fat. By the time I got home from the hospital the next day, I was already down 30Lbs. Emma was born close to 10lbs and I guess the 20lbs must have been the water and placenta and the rest, fat. LOL

I tried being intense about it right when we got home from the hosptial. I’d try to eat little but that made me feel sick especially since I was breastfeeding so I couldn’t keep up with it. I just felt so icky during and after.

It’s so annoying and frustrating to see celebrity moms bounce right back in less than 4 months. It seems like every magazine cover features “How she got her body back after baby in just 90 days!”

Maybe I’m a little jealous.

One celebrity I love and can relate to is Jessica Simpson! I loved watching her pregnancy and even after because she reminded me of me! Check out her interview with Jay Leno, she is hilarious, Jessica Simpson interview

oh how I wish, someone would give me a 3 million contract to lose the weight and be their spokesperson 🙂

Emma is almost 20 months and I’m still about 30lbs away from my ideal weight. I dont’ do diets well. Whenever I’m restricted I end up eating more. I like the word lifestyle because that makes me relax and enjoy what I eat knowing that what I’m putting in my body is to fuel it and give it what’s nutritious.

I’m determined to lose it for good by eating healthy and working out and being good to my body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

New International Version (NIV)

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

I will update again.

Please excuse my mess, I’m making memories

I used to drink 3 cups of Armenian coffee a day. Now it’s only one if I get the chance to sit down and drink it hot. Sometimes I get to make it but I don’t get to drink it because there is a little person running around demanding my attention or chocolate. I like my Armenian coffee with chocolate so if she even smells the coffee she is already asking for chocolate. You don’t want to mess with a toddler on sugar high.

Lately, I thought I had it figured out if I make my coffee during her bath time, I can watch her play in the tub while I sit on the toilet and drink my coffee. It worked for a little while until she learned how to splash really hard and throw water at me and pour it all out of the tub. Because that’s exactly what happened last night and never got to drink my hot coffee.

But look at this face…as a mother you will joyfully sacrifice anything and everything for the love of your heart outside of your body…your baby ❤

My sister took this pic on NYE when she wanted to get in her cousin’s baby bath tub and because she is so much bigger she poured all the water out as she sat in it.

Please excuse my mess, I’m making memories,

angel

El

Bedtime stories with my lover

When we got married we vowed that we would continue dating each other and have date nights on a weekly basis. That worked so great for us…at the time. Then came our daughter and we have continued with our date nights weekly and sometimes biweekly depending on how busy we were that week or I should see how much energy we had left.  Lately we still go out just the two of us but now our date nights are mostly made  of staying home instead of going out and it’s been surprisingly really fun.

I’m slowing stripping off all rules because I’ve come to realize anything done out of obligation or for the sake of sucks the life out of it. Parenhood is challenging and when you’ve worked 8 hours a day and come home to take care of chores, cook, take out the trash, you kind of don’t feel like getting dressed up again to go out. yesterday, I slipped in my pjs by 5pm.

We’ve been able to put Emma to bed by 8pm most nights and we stay up until 10 or 11pm catching up, telling work stories, eating, watching movies, laughing, and being silly together or some nights we stay up and clean together.  My favorite part of the day is the last 30 minutes spent whispering and giggling telling funny stories and poking fun at each other in bed.

My husband is my constant friend and companion.

It is when we are doing things together that friendship springs up –
painting, sailing ships, praying, philosophizing,
and fighting shoulder to shoulder.
Friends look in the same direction.
– C.S. Lewis

Xo,

El

30 Days of Thanskgiving Challenge

ok. so what happend was I ended up posting my daily thanksgiving on my personal fb page and now I can’t back track to post them here. It will be too much LOL Hope you have enjoyed some I posted earlier.

Until Next Year, stay thankful and show gratitude. For some people it’s harder to show but don’t use that as an excuse because if you don’t say your I love yous and Thank yous and show it too how would people know? It would be like wrapping a gift and not giving it.

Do Love, Do Thank, Just Do It.

Elle