Friday, September 21, 2018

Five Minute Friday: "Complete"

Colossians 2:10 - ...And ye are complete in him...

You are complete in Him.

Those words are meant to be a comfort from the Holy Spirit.  For they are a constant gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) argument in my heart from the Holy Spirit. 

While I roll my eyes at the picture the author of the prompt used to represent her meaning of "complete," He reminds me:

You are complete in Me.

As I watch coworkers who've told me they only make friends outside of work talk about the friendships they enjoy inside of work, He reminds me:

You are complete in Me.

As I reach out to try to connect with my church family and get shot down over and over again, He reminds me:

You are complete in Me.

As single women over the age of 18 are berated for not doing their "God-given duty" by being a wives an moms while the divorce rate is skyrocketing, He reminds me:

You are complete in Me.

While I fight the belief that I am a broken piece just trying to find somewhere to fit, He reminds me:

You are complete in Me.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dink It and Sink It (Eat Something That Scares You). [My Mythical Year]

For information on My Mythical Year click here.

I'm no stranger to food (my before pictures can attest to that).  What I am a stranger to is enjoying food.

Wait a minute.  How could you not enjoy food? We saw your before pictures

I know.  Shut up.

While The Book of Mythicality encourages the reader to eat something that scares them, my fears don't really revolve around certain foods.  I grew up very poor, so our only two menu choices were "take it" or "leave it."  I've eaten some Good Mythical Moring-worthy items such as pork chitterlings (chitlins), barbequed goat, and stew my dad made out of vegetables from our garden and offal he and mom got cheap from Bannister's Meat Processing.   So no, my struggle isn't with scary food, but fears that food represents itself.

Though I was heavy as a child, my struggle with emotional eating didn't start until high school.  In the process, food became a damaging drug, rather than a pleasant nourishing substance.  As I binged to try to numb my emotions, food was both love and hate simultaneously.  Eating alone at home wasn't that big of a problem.  However, eating out and/or with others was a big problem.

One word:  Embarrassment.

As I talked about here, one of my most painful mental traumas as a young girl revolved around food.  Lunchtime at school wasn't much better.  I hate to be embarrassed over food and try avoid it at all costs.  I try to avoid situations where I don't know what or how to order, or having to tell anyone that a menu is unreadable.  Look, I don't know too many people who can comfortably read a menu posted on the wall behind the counter of an eating establishment.  I sure can't. So, I eat the same thing at the same place (usually alone) so there's no embarrassment.  I'm also afraid to ask too many questions while trying to order.  I feel pushed into ordering quickly by others' impatience.  Plus, I don't like feeling as if I'm in someone else's way.  Wasting money on food I may not like is also a big concern, so I play it safe.

By the way, playing it safe doesn't alleviate fear; it only presses it down temporarily.  Fear pops up again and again until it's dealt with.

So, what did I do to conquer this and earn my Mythical Merit badge?  I decided to eat at five unfamiliar restaurants implementing these rules:
  • If someone is accompanying me at the meal, I can't ask them for help or recommendations.  That's cheating.
  • If the menu is unreadable, I must force myself to ask for a printed menu.  If there isn't one, I am required to ask the server or cashier questions so that I can make an informed choice.
  • Prior internet research is permissible, but I cannot ask someone else what they order at a particular place.  Again, that's cheating.

First Stop:  Smashburger

I really enjoy a good burger and fries, so I thought this would be a good place to start.  It's not like typical fast food places like McDonald's where you can get by with blindly ordering a number one.  No, Smashburger  prides itself on being an atypical burger restaurant.  I ordered their classic cheeseburger, fries, and soft drink.

  • A printed menu was available at the door, eliminating my need to ask for one.
  • Friendly cashier
  • Unreadable wall menu.  Thus the need for the printed menu.
  • I found out later that not all the available choices were on the printed menu. 
  • There were no prices on the printed menu so my order total was a complete shock.  I wasn't too thrilled that I ended up spending $11! 
  • No matter how many times I told the cashier my name, she still didn't get it right when my order was up.  What is this, Starbucks?
  • Though the cashier was friendly, the people preparing the food did NOT look happy.  I don't need sullen, snarly folks working on my food--at least not where I can see them.
What did I learn?
  • The meal was good, but not $11 worth of good.
  • I learned that I should have asked more questions.

Second Stop: Black Eyed Pea

I decided to have a nice Sunday dinner of Denver's version of homestyle cooking.  My order consisted of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, a roll, and an unsweet tea (sorry y'all, but sugar). 

  • I was brave enough to ask my server if they pooled their tips.  I don't like sit down restaurants that pool the server's tips.  It breeds mediocre service and horrible food.  Thankfully, my server said they didn't.
  • My server was more than willing to answer questions and was very attentive.
  • The chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes were excellent.
  • Though my server was excellent, she did complain a bit about her manager not scheduling enough workers for a Sunday crowd.  I can't blame her though; she was right. 
  • The squash casserole wasn't authentic.  It didn't contain any cheese or breaded crust, plus, it hadn't seen a lick of butter or salt.  It was more like sautéed squash and onions.  No.  Just.  No.
What did I learn?
  • I learned a little more bravery in asking pertinent questions.

Third Stop:   TukTuk

I'm a fan of Americanized Asian food. So, I thought I try the Thai grill across the street from work. I ordered the Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables with white rice.

  • A printed menu was available at the door, eliminating my need to ask for one.
  • The cashier was courteous.
  • Another unreadable wall menu (who prints these things?).  Thus the need for the printed menu.
  • Not many vegetables in the dish though the menu said there would be.  That one broccoli floret and cob of baby corn in the picture was it.
  • They charge extra for brown rice. 
What did I learn?
  • A little more bravery.  What to do with you empty dishes was unclear, so I did ask.  Any other time, I would have been afraid to ask for fear of looking stupid.

Fourth Stop:  Tokyo Joes

After the disappointment with Tuk-Tuk, I thought I'd try another Asian restaurant within walking distance of work.  Admittedly, I did eat at Tokyo Joes once, but someone else ordered for me.  I think this makes it unfamiliar enough to count.  I partook of the grilled chicken  and vegetables with brown rice and "Spicy-aki" sauce.  Yeah, I know, I order a lot of chicken.  I'm Southern.  Cut me some slack.  Sorry, the Ear Biscuit mug was not for sale there.  You have to buy that here.

  • Uniquely, they had their menu on a window, so I didn't even have to deal with the wall menu inside.  All I had to do was move some chairs and study the menu as much as I wanted.  After studying it for a while, I confidently walked in and placed my order.
  • I really can't think of anything.
What did I learn?
  • Even more bravery.  The menu on the window was in their outdoor eating area.  It was the lunch hour, so there were many people enjoying an al fresco meal.  I could have chickened out because I didn't want a bunch of strangers looking at me, nor did I want a worker there to tell me I couldn't move their furniture around.  I know, it's weird. 

Fifth Stop: Rubios
(No photo.  My co-worker wouldn't have understood)
I'm going to keep this one short.  I was greeted again to an unreadable menu plus a barricade.  They had no printed menu and the cashier looked at me like I was an idiot for asking.  I think anger overrode fear with this encounter.  I went around the barricade so I could read the stupid menu and ordered.  I had to explain all this to the co-worker with whom I was having lunch.  All in all, the chicken burrito lunch special with a side of chips and salsa was good.

Bonus Round:  Starbucks

OK, I know that technically Starbucks isn't an eating establishment, however fear comes because ordering a drink there can be rather intimidating...and complicated:


I have friends who frequent Starbucks more than I frequent the public library and they can order like nobody's business.  Me?  The few times I've partaken of a Starbucks liquid concoctions, I've either had a gift card, or needed something warm to drink while I finished my cold winter treks home from the bus stop or grocery store.  My friends sound like chemical engineers when they order.  Me?  For fear of sounding like an idiot, I order the same thing every visit; a short chai tea latte.  As a side note:  the only reason I knew about those was due to a friend turning me on to Oregon Chai's tea latte mix. 

Yeah, boring.  But as we've already established, I don't like to be embarrassed over food, so ordering the same thing was very safe.

So, how did I break the cycle of fear and boredom?  I did some research beforehand.  My findings show that the main criteria to set before ordering are:
  • Cravings
  • Size (and thus, price)
  • Liquid base (milk, coffee, etc.)
  • Flavors to add to the liquid base
  • Caffeine content (does it have espresso in it?)
It's was "short," but it
was good.
I was craving coffee, but not an overabundance of caffeine. As far as size goes, I always order a "short" because I'm cheap (plus my gift card only had $5.00 on it).  I didn't want what flavor was "in" at the moment--the Pumpkin Spice Latte (I can't stand the taste of pumpkin spice).  My research brought me to the Caramel Macchiato; a good combination of a little bit of coffee and a little bit of sweetness.  I confidently gave my order to the barista.  I say "confidently" because she didn't look at me like I was crazy. 

I will say that I would have enjoyed my order more if I'd known I needed to stir the drink before partaking.  All the sweetness and flavor were at the bottom.  I'll know better when I get one again...and I will.

So, maybe I can now confidently "dink it and sink it."

(Again, I'll post a pic of my badge when it arrives.  Sorry to complain, but it really shouldn't take so long just to ship something from Texas to Colorado. Good gravy!)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Aluminum Anniversary: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, September 9 , 2018

Outside my window   Fall is definitely in the air. 

I am thinking... 
  • ...about modern Christian/worship music.  After being part of worship teams for more than thirty years, I can safely say that I'll be glad when it goes back to sounding like 80's music.  Yeah, I know I sound like an old fart, but hear me out.  In the 80's (and to a certain extent in the 90's), the majority of Christian/worship music was a celebration of who Jesus is and all that He has done and continues to do in our lives.  We worshipped and praised with reckless abandon.  Now, all the female singers I hear on the airwaves are trying to sound like Adele (depressive tone and all), with every song sounding like God is mad at everybody.  The world beats us down enough; we don't need to add to it.  Can we get back to celebrating?  Please?
  • ...about friendships and how to become more successful at establishing them.
  • ...about home.
  • ...about whether I'm going to do the 31 days of 5 minute free writes challenge this year.  I looked at the list of prompts and nothing has inspired me yet.  Well, I have time.  If nothing strikes my fancy, I'm not going to pressure myself to come up with something.  I'll just bow out this year.

I am thankful...
  • ...for every new day.  Lamentations 3:22-23 - It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
  • ...for finally finding a suitable denim vest for my Mythical merit badges.  Thank you ARC Thrift Store on Colfax.

  • ...for this

July marked my Aluminum anniversary of recovery.  I finally made it to CR to pick up my chip last weekend.  It's hard to fathom that it's been ten years.  It hasn't been easy, but it's been worth it.  Here's to ten more years of doing the next right thing.

From the Workshop... In my last daybook, I mentioned a new charity project opportunity.  Please click here for more information and to get involved.

From Auntie's Test Kitchen

I had a rough go at  Letter L in my A-Z challenge.
I am reading...
  • Knowing God Intimately by Joyce Meyer.
And one for the DNF (did not finish) pile:
  • Matthew Henry's Precise Commentary of the Bible by Matthew Henry.  Please see my comments here.

I am learning...
  • Apparently, I've still not fully acclimated to Colorado's climate.  Unlike Alabama, Colorado doesn't have many bugs to deal with.  Yet every time I try to sit outside, I itch and swat like there's something on me.  It's all psychosomatic...and weird.  I'm homesick, but not for chiggers, ants, and six-foot mosquitoes.
  • I'm learning that if I'm not happy with a piece of art I'm creating, I don't have to keep trying to make it work.  It's the same feeling as attempting to plow  through a book I don't like.  I gave myself permission to have a DNF (did not finish) pile for books I didn't care for.  No, I don't need to create a DNF pile of art, but I can repurpose it--I can paint over a painting I don't like or "frog" a crocheted or knitted piece and create something else out of the yarn.  A painting sat on my table for nearly 3 months because I didn't like it.  Last night, I finally painted over it.  That was more satisfying that letting it sit there unfinished.

Favorite quote(s) of the week

I was in the breakroom at work when a coworker noticed my Ear Biscuits mug (pictured here).  He asked me "What are you doing; drinking mayonnaise?"  I said to him, "No.  I'm Southern, but not quite THAT Southern."

"Unfortunately, I have an Oakland face with an L.A. booty." - Auntie's Musings

Dove Commercial:  "If your skin had a wash tag, what would it say?"
Auntie:  "Ashy: needs lots of lotion."

"In my family, you know, my Dad had a philosophy: 'When something's wrong with the car, you take it to the guy with the mullet.'" - Rhett McLaughlin, Good Morning Chia Lincoln episode 28.

"As Christians, we have a right to be spiritually excited.  We get excited about all kinds of other things, so why shouldn't we be excited about our relationship with God?" - Joyce Meyer, Knowing God Intimately p. 129

I am looking forward to... 
  • Seeing our new church building.  I didn't go to the open house.  Good thing too; over 1000 people showed up for and we haven't built the extra parking yet.  It would have been a stressful nightmare if I'd attempted it. 
  • While I'm not looking forward to the cold winter months, I am looking forward to the holidays.  I honestly don't know why, but I'm feeling hopeful.
And Now For Something Totally Different:

Five Minute Friday word of the week:  Rain