Theological ThinkTank

Books for the Year -2019

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So I don’t know how many of you out there in internet/blog land do this–but its kind of my “quirk” every year to make a book list reading goal. I never complete it. But at least I know I try to focus myself into reading–an important tastk. Let me tell you–watching my son go grab ANY book (let alone “Star Wars: I am a Droid”) and bring it to me to read during a TV shows is a huge parenting win in my book. Especially for a boy who can hardly sit still.

So to recap– this year i set a goal of 20 books. Its a little under 2 books a month. I thought “well, I’ll go to book group and work back towards reading.” HA! Have kid-having hard time keeping up on reading adult books. Realistically i have read probably 20 more bookx than expected. But the actual goal of completed adult books is 6. Reading “Night Night Groot” every night for a good 3 months doesn’t expand my mind or grow my vocabulary (it does my son’s though 🙂 )

So I’m trying to figure out how to take seriously reading. I know I can reflect my love for reading to my son. And trust me–I LOVE THAT! But its tiring. And sometimes he only wants me to read the book. Or sometime my husband. And that’s not healthy reading for an adult.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Should I go for 20 again? Set a goal of 12 (1 book a month) or even less than 6? Any special books you can remmend?

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2019 Start Anew

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Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019.

As the New Year begins–I thought I would “muse” about the to come. I know, it probably will consider better eating, being more present with my child and family and trying to become more focused on my priorities and values.

But I do that every year. Just like everyone else, I try to better myself, to focus on things that more me up the “human later” (if you can say there is one.) I’ve decided that 2019 needs to be different. It needs to take out the expected and pull in the fun, silly, happy go lucky feeling that we all wish upon our children. Or ourselves.

So instead of focusing so hard on a diet that is near impossible without planning and thinking–I am going to work at remembering why i enjoy eating the healthier foods. Trust me–not eating bread and things that way my gut down helps me feel better. Getting a big bag of cooked veggies is tasty and flavorful. And the colors i try to eat, the more excited I get about “eating the tainbow” (as I like to call it.)

So instead of stressing about always being there for my family–I am going to enjoy the moments I do have. Play tent with my son more. Smile with him as he drags me off the couch. Walk hand in ahnd with my husband through Disneyland feeling nastalic and yet parent proud about our son gradually growing up int he imagination we once (and continued) to explore in.

And instaed of worrying what others will say when I or whether or not i’m portraying the right image–I’m just going to worry less about the image and things that don’t exist and put my mental and emotional effort into the things that do exist. To the heart-felt missions I want to stand behind. Remember the blessings from those around me (at church, home or elsewhere) and how each person I know can truly have an impact.

What’s your plans for 2019? Do you have any? Is it worth making more? Let’s try to focus on what matters this year on a deeper level. Instead of living through the fake images that surround us.

Light in the Darkness

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Written before Christmas:

This year has been hard on me. We had so much happen all at once in the last few months that I felt like emotionally it’s just starting to catch up. We haven’t been to church in months despite my deep desires to attend. And of course, in 2 days it’s Christmas. I felt like the twice holiday Christian. It was a little disheartening for someone with a Masters in Theology from a seminary. Especially at Advent and Christmas.

So today, Sunday, I made it to church. Gratefully really. And today the advent candles is that of love. Now- there are several places my christian faith goes when discussing love “coming down” at Christmas. But the main message today was the light coming into the world. And I needed that image today.

Despite all the chaos, the dark, the bad: a child cane into the world to bring light and hope to broken people. Now I don’t get focused on what time of year (while making it winter in the Northern hemisphere does provide an excellent example for contrast) or historical specifics… but the idea of a child with the power of God in Him is something to celebrate.

So from the light, I got back to my favorite Christmas verse: Isaiah 9. Mostly because it is from the little light it all grows into greatness. And is this little child symbolized as a light that holds the glory and strength our world needs. Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. Light!

So I pray as the year closes, This message lasts longer than the dark winter season. For our world needs it much longer than one night of the year.

Staying Warm

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Moving on…this week should provide for an exciting mix of songs. Not only is Chanukah starting this week… but I may start looking at a few more non traditional songs.

For today though, here is the last of good ol’ Christmas songs.

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

I personally like the Nat King Cole version of this song. And occasionally the parody versions are ridiculous and silly. But I think it just gives you that warming feeling of snuggling up with a cup of coco and smelling Christmas from the tree. After all, it’s official name is “The Christmas Song”

The wiki has a ton of information about the many renditions and singers so I’m just going to leave this here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Christmas_Song

…and have a merry Christmas!

Second Sunday in Advent

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This weeks theme is peace. At least the way I remember it growing up.

Sadly enough, there are not enough songs specifically about Peace on earth. Grant it my favorite Disney movie talks about peace in the opening credits it’s a layover for silent night.

So I decided to look at another trans siberian orchestra song.

Prince of Peace.

This is one of their solo peices that adds in Hark the Herald Angels sing. But it’s the story of the nativity from the eyes of a mom. At least that’s how I see it. “A mother lays her newborn”… and it’s the soft beginnings of the one day prince who will bring peace to the world. Here at the lyrics and hopefully on this second Sunday of advent we can remember a little something that we all need.

“The Prince Of Peace”

In the middle of a forest

There’s a clearing by a stream

Where a mother holds her newborn

And the child begins to dream

And he dreams of hopes unspoken

When the tears of man will cease

And his mother holds him closer

For he is the Prince of peace

Let the bells ring out these tidings

Let it echo across the land

That a king is born in Bethlehem

And his kingdom is at hand

Let the world rejoice together

As it looks upon the stars

Knowing every man’s our brother

And that every child is ours

Hark, the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn king

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled

Glory all ye nations rise

Join the triumph of the skies

With the heavenly host proclaim

Christ is born in Bethlehem

Hark, the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn king

In the middle of a forest

There’s a clearing by a stream

Where a mother holds her newborn

And the child begins to dream

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Last full day 1st family vacay

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The last full day on our cruise was another full day of sea. We started practicing our crawl-a-thon that in the end being apart from mommie was more powering than crawling

Thursday we also went swimming. Well-splashing. But Austin had an awesome time playing in the water.

We also met the captain and went shopping-including Austin who picked out his first Disney shirt. And you think I’m lying–I tell you he went back many times to the same shirt, shaking it and giggling.

Disney is always fun and it was great to get back on a cruise near to home!

Till next time!

Day One Keto

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So here we are. Day one of my ketogenic diet. I actually am excited to start this. And that’s why I’m glad I waited until today versus last Wednesday. I was able to cook and bake some items so I am prepared to keep this diet going. It also kicked in my curiosity because several of the recipes have unique flavors and twists on things I know and love. I thought I would give a low-down on what’s going to happen:

My goal: to keep this diet up for 90 days. Or at least until my blood work for my doctor (3 months from now.) my doctor wants to see me keep this diet for 3 months and see how it affects my levels. I know personally I just want to be able to keep it up and get my body working for me Instead of against me.

Here is what my daily schedule is going to look like:

1) Limit WHEN I eat.

So on the Keto diet, it is suggested that one work on a schedule of intermittent fasting. This means you only eat for a restricted amount of hours, at least 3 hours before bed and only consume water or tea otherwise. It has many benefits like boosting your metabolism and keeping away the issue of eating on the couch right before bed. Both of these I have problems with…along with chips (which I’ll get to later.). So I have figured during the week and most Saturdays I can do this then on Sundays I can enjoy a nice breakfast or relax. Also it’s the one day Shawn and I spend as a family so the likelihood of me doing it is low. Better to make attainable small goals, right?

I’ll mostly be eating at noon, 2p, 5p and 8p as that is the time my schedule fits. Let’s see how it sticks.

2) limit WHAT I eat.

Since the 1st–I have been making a conscience effort to be aware of what I eat. On a ketogenic diet you can only have up to 20 net carbs (carbs minus fiber) a day. To give you an idea of how hard this can be, 20 could be one chip or price of candy or even 2 tortillas, small size. So I will not be eating bread (don’t anyways cause I’m gluten free), fries, potatoes in general, corn anything or any fruit. Almost like a dog “grain free” diet. Best news? Whey chocolate protein shakes are on the menu! With my coconut unsweetened milk and seasoning for “Mexican got chocolate.” See what I mean by creative menu items?!

Speaking of which–that is what I had for breakfast. It was tasty and filling all at the same time. For lunch I had pizza egg bits, only equating to maybe 9 carbs total (considering the light spoonful of tomato sauce) adding up to only 11net carbs so far. I have a broccoli cheese snack for later and tonight it’s either chicken and peppers on lettuce or walnut crusted pork chops.

I really don’t see any major down side to this diet…other than having to prepare and cook almost all I eat. It’s a huge change for Shawn and I but at least he’s supporting me on this (HUGE KEY FACTOR) and willing to eat what I eat at home. In fact I made key lime popsicles with key lime cues and he had a few bits.

Well Keto, here goes nothing!(ignore the peppers and such…it’s only high carb veggies :-P)