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I found this little tip yesterday. I don’t really want to say where I found it. It’s embarassing. But it’s a good tip, so I’m sharing. And if you know where I got it from, then we can be embarassed together.

I’ve never really been in love with oatmeal. Unfortunately. I mean, I wish I loved it. It’s so healthy and stuff. But it kinda tastes like mushy grossness to me. Sometimes I eat it and tell myself that I like it, darn it, so enjoy it! But then I can’t stomach the last few bites, and I force myself back to reality.

Anyway, here’s the fabulous, incredible, not-so-icky oatmeal:

img_1047The secret is: apple juice!

This works for quick oats: just replace the water with apple juice when you cook it on the stovetop, and voila – oatmeal that isn’t terribly icky!

I even ate the whole bowlful.

img_1048

It actually tasted pretty good! You’re supposed to top it with stuff like yogurt and fresh fruit, a bit of cinnamon… hmmm… I think I’m gonna try that next time. Yeah that’s right, I said NEXT TIME! Woohoo!

You should try it too! Leave a comment and let me know how you like it!

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If you’ve been reading my blog at all over the last few months, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis. I’ve been changing the name of the blog oh, about a zillion times.

I just can’t settle on a name that I *LOVE*. You know, the Perfect Blog Title.

Even the current one is just mediocre. And mediocrity, my friends, is NOT ok with me. I’m an all or nothing type of person. (Actually, I think it sometimes prevents me from doing things, because I’m afraid I won’t measure up to my own high standards, so I just don’t bother trying). But that’s enough about my weird psychological quirks. The point is…

I can’t think of a blog title!

Arghhh! OK, that’s it… the next time I change it, it will be permanent. Forever and ever until I say otherwise. I have hope – inspiration will strike, I just need to have patience.

Stay tuned for greatness…

I’m sitting here in my living room listening to a really good singer on American Idol. It’s embarassing, but I kind of like that show. It’s entertaining. And my Nana and Grampa love it, they enjoy “seeing the kids’ personalities”.  I don’t mention that as if it’s supposed to prove I’m not as big a dork as you might think, rather I just post it because I think it’s funny.  I might well be the only one, but I guess you’d have to know my family.

I just finished doing the dishes, am about to fold the laundry, and I’m not falling asleep as I type. Oh, and I already made my lunch for tomorrow. Hurray for me.

No stretch marks (yet), no morning sickness, just a few other minor complaints that no one really wants to read about… I can hardly believe how uneventful my pregnancy has been thus far. Let’s pray it stays that way until birth day. The latest amazing thing is feeling the baby’s movements (as of yesterday). It’s incredible, really.

As I sit here, with the TV on for background noise (as I always do when Chris is out), twilight rapidly seeping into my house, and just enjoying a quiet night to myself, I realize that I’m content. And it’s a nice place to be. I’m thanking Jesus for the life he’s given me, and pray that I can be content even in the hard times too.

I’m becoming a closet sci-fi fan. In a small way, let me emphasize. It’s Chris’s fault.  But still, I guess I (grudgingly) enjoy it.  I’m watching Stargate Season 3 right now (last episode), and I have to say, it’s been entertaining.  Not terribly violent, fairly good language and values, and no inappropriate sexual scenes.  Kinda tame by today’s standards.  The first season was terribly cheesy, but they’ve gotten better as we went on.  I *cough* actually kind of like it.  And the best part – fairly often there are significant moral and philosophical issues in episodes, such as personhood, the meaning of life, what is defined as “good”, and the importance of being a learner in culture.

Well, now I’ve admitted it. There’s no going back…

Sunday School taught me that a Christian is a person who has “asked Jesus into their heart”, has done the ABC’s: accept, believe, confess.  I am wondering if this was perhaps an incomplete explanation of being a Christian (By “Christian” I mean one who follows Christ, not necessarily an adherent to the established religion called Christianity).

The Bible says that even the demons believe.  According to my upbringing (and I believe, according to Scripture), we are to accept Jesus as our “personal Lord and Savior”.  I’m definitely not the first one to say it, but I think it’s pretty obvious that many who call themselves Christians embrace the “Savior” part, while the “Lord” part falls by the wayside.  I think Jesus was pretty clear on expressing that he desired for the church (his bride) to be set apart, to be a light in the world, to be different from everyone else.  It looks like that’s where the Lord part comes in.

Being a Christian is not just accepting the potential risk and purchasing fire insurance.  It’s not a “get out of hell free” card that you get and keep for later.  It is obedience. 

Of course we aren’t perfect, and He knows that, and has already allowed for it within the gifts of grace and mercy.  However just because the parent of a 3-year-old knows that their child will not be perfect in obedience does not mean that the parent does not still expect it.  The parent expects obedience, but realizes that their child is not perfect.  If the standard was lowered, then would the child still have something to strive for, something to encourage continual improvement?  If the standard was lowered, then perhaps the behavior would worsen accordingly.

Just throwing a theory out here… perhaps the reason God holds such high standards for His children is to give us something to strive for.  It seems to be human nature to adjust our efforts to the expectations.  If the expectation is a fourth-year university-level paper, then we have a certain level of effort.  If however the expectation is an explanation of why you didn’t enjoy your chicken carbonara on a restaurant customer satisfaction survey, then you likely won’t be pulling an all-nighter surrounded by stacks of reference materials and resources, with your handy reference guide at hand to ensure your citations are correct.

That said, I want to ensure that my efforts in following Christ (which is simply a natural response to the grace that He has given to me) are less and less hampered by sin.  I want to be continually transformed to be more like Him, and for this I must resist the devil.  I must believe the Truth of Jesus Christ over the lies of Satan.  I choose to continually resist my sinful tendencies and allow Christ to mold me and use me, making me into the child He desires me to be.

Perhaps that’s a better definition of a real Christian.  It seems to have less to do with what you believe, and more with how you live.  Don’t get me wrong – I think certain beliefs are necessary for a Christian… but I do not think they are the foundation on which a Christian is judged.  As I mentioned above, even the demons believe.  So what makes us different?  I think it’s the way we live.

My January 11 Resolution (a new year’s resolution in disguise with approximately the same amount of motivation, much more intent, and way better reasoning than “the year just changed”).

I resolve to clean my house.  Realllllly well and regularly.  I’m talking wall-scrubbing, closet-weeding, window-washing, furniture-moving-and-dusting kind of cleaning.

 images.jpg

I know, I know, all of you super-organized clean freaks out there are currently wrinkling your noses in righteous indignation exclaiming to your computer screens, “ewww… I would never allow my cleaning to fall behind”…

But I gotta admit – I am an expert at leading a very busy life and allowing those dedication-requiring cleaning jobs to fall by the wayside.  So I resolve on this day of January 11 to make a cleaning schedule and stick to it.  I like cleaning – it makes me happy – therefore this should be a snap.  Furthermore, I resolve to use less and less chemical cleaners and more and more natural cleaners, eventually ridding my home of toxic cleaning chemicals altogether.

I’ll let you know next January 11 how the resolution goes.

Hence the new look. The black really appealed to me on many levels … but I can only go for so long without having some color in my life. We’ll see how long this one lasts. I’m a free spirit… or so I like to think. I like tradition and repetition in many things, but sometimes I’m a bit of a spaz. I’m always trying new things, and it sometimes backfires on me. Like ordering a new, strange/exciting sounding dish at a restaurant, even though the shrimp pasta is lookin mighty fine, as always. Then, I end up hating what I ordered, or just not enjoying it as much as I think longingly of that shrimp pasta which surely would have tasted better than this sorry excuse for amazing.

I could go back to the old blog theme with a few clicks of the proverbial mouse, with no harm done, no money wasted. Nevertheless, I think I’ll stick with this one for now.

My experience thus far in Kenya (Nairobi, Kijabe, and Mukaa) has been sort of overwhelming. 

This is my fourth time to Africa, but I’m finding that it is the toughest to process so far in terms of “culture shock”.  Not because it’s so different, but rather because of the ways in which it is so similar to Western culture.  Of course there are contrasts- the poor and rural life & the slums… which contrast starkly with the 24-hour shopping malls and coffeehouses which would cause one to think that they had been transported back to North America while they were sleeping.  I am staying at an AIM guesthouse, which is all quite Western (yesterday it was pizza for supper and ice cream for dessert – made all from scratch by Kenyans to suit the multitude of Wazungu).  Today when we were in Mukaa, it was the first time on this trip that I got to have a “real” East African meal! It was really good- I found that I missed it! I came to Africa but had not yet really felt like I was in Africa! Nyama, wali, viazi, ndizi, na chapati… mmm!

A slight change in subject… I’ve been thinking alot lately about the (sometimes) seemingly elusive “will of God for my life”.  How does one KNOW God’s will for them? How do you know you are correct in what you THINK is God’s will for you? What if you are deceived? What if you don’t choose the right path, what if.. what if.. etc.  Well much to my angst these questions have been rolling about in my mind for quite a few years now, and it was only just last night that I was really able to fully realize them and vocalize them.  I was talking with Sam and Bonnie, and they offered alot of wisdom (I absolutely love them.. they are amazing).  Anyway- the good news is that I’ve come to a place of contentment in these things, after many years of vague confusion.  The 2 verses that really stand out in my mind that Bonnie reminded me of are these…

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.  That is not to say that you will get whatever desire (fleshly/worldly or otherwise) you want, but rather it seems to be more of a reciprocity in which your desires are already aligned with God’s will for you because when you are delighting yourself in Him, you are becoming more like Christ, and less like the world.  He gives you the desires of your heart not BECAUSE you are delighting yourself in Him, but THROUGH your very act of delighting yourself in Him.  Delighting one’s self in the Lord is the desire of a righteous (through Christ) heart.  That is all to say that if I am *honestly* delighting myself in Him, and I seek to use wisdom in my decisions, then I can ask myself what the desires of my heart really are, which will guide me to discover God’s will for me.  What am I passionate about? What am I uniquely gifted for?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways ackowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”.  Another good one.. I learned this one by heart in Pioneer Clubs as a kid.  Always a good verse to remember, always easy to forget.  Read it again, and again, and again, until it sinks in!

Anway- it’s late here (we’re 8 hours ahead of Toronto time) and it’s time for bed. Good night!

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito” – African Proverb

There are many a quotation out there on “making a difference”. This one is, I think, one of my favorites by far.

Yikes! Too much pressure. What to say? Introducing… Beth Ricci.

I love Chris, Sushi, and Jesus. Not in that order. Actually I love a lot of things. I am a fiery redhead full of passion and spunk, and am always up for a good debate. I love to talk, write, read, and listen. I’m working at being a great listener. I am fiercely loyal, sometimes insecure, and always learning.

So I’m leaving Tyndale in less than two weeks. A strange feeling because I’ve been there since 2002, as a student, part-time bookstore staff, and most recently as full-time staff in the Admissions Office. It’s been an amazing opportunity, and I have grown so much. Now God is leading me to a brand-new place and job at the AIM Canadian Head Office, here in Toronto. I am so excited and can’t wait to start on August 30!

We’re also getting a new place to live (currently living with my parents in Pickering, just outside of Toronto) for September 1st. We’re renting a townhouse, and we are so excited. It will be so much space compared to what we’ve had in the past in small apartments. We are planning to stay for the next 5-7ish years, until we go on the mission field. Praise God!

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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