Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Embracing My Inner Herbivore

Today, I want to talk to you about my recent dive into the world of being vegetarian. This will be a bit more of a musing than an actual blog post, but I've been itching to get this out there.

I've always been interested in vegetarianism, but it wasn't until recently that I actually began to entertain the thought of becoming vegetarian myself. I've had multiple good friends that were vegetarian and/or vegan throughout my life, but recently I found out that a new friend of mine was also a vegetarian, and spent some time talking to her about it. After we talked the idea of changing my eating habits was swimming around in my head, and I decided to do some research on how I could incorporate a few vegetarian meals into my regular week.

Bad idea. I would recommend never researching where your food comes from if you ever want to eat meat again. It was awful. Suffice it to say, we live in a bubble of ignorance.

After that, I immediately cut meat out of my diet for an entire week. And I didn't even miss it. I've been eating a primarily vegetarian diet ever since. However since I'm still living at home, I can't eat totally vegetarian like I want to. So my diet is mostly vegetarian, with a bit of fish every once in a while. And a few times, emphasis on the few, I've had to have a bite or two of meat. But that's it. And even then, it's really hard to eat it knowing where it comes from.

So basically what I'm trying to say is I've made the switch, and I don't think I'll ever be going back. But maybe when I'm out on my own I'll purchase meat every once in a blue moon from a local farmer. But I suppose we shall see.

101 Things In 1001 Days

(This post was originally posted on I don't know much but I'm learning, but I'm posting it here as well.)

I have recently decided to create a list of things I need to do, kind of like a bucket list. But I couldn't think of a good way to start one. But I've finally discovered one; 101 things in 1001 days! I doubt that every single one of these will get done, but I am going to try my hardest! よし!がんばります!

Start Date: December 31st, 2012
End Date:  August 26th, 2015

9 left to go.
1.Get an Ipod touch.
2.Don't leave the house without a hat or headpiece for two weeks.
3.Get a firm Tummy (aka Get rid of my flab).
4.Draw 10 portraits of real persons. 10/10
5.Make a daisy chain.
6.Manage at least one pull-up.
7.Buy 10 nice teas for tea parties. 
8.Host a Tea Party.
9.Go outside for one hour a day for at least a month.
10. Gift something handmade.
11.Go to a museum at least 12 times. 5/12
12.Create a herbarium. Abandoned. Created a fairy garden instead
13.Learn a new instrument.
14.Grow a little herb garden on the window sill or a decent one in the garden.
15.Get a job.
16.Write a children’s storybook and illustrate it. Write/Draw
17.Wear a planned outfit at least once a week for a month and draw it.  Abandoned. Not Practical.
18.Buy three pairs of nice tights.
19.Take a sketchbook to a public place and draw.
20.Cook or bake something unknown once a month for 3 months.
21.Visit an antiques & oddities market. 
22.Make candles.
23.Get the tips of my hair cut.
24.Make a to-read classics list and read at least half of it. 15/29
25.Make soapAbandoned. Buying natural soup
26.Learn 15 cool quotes by heart.
27.Buy a hat.
28.Learn to swing dance.
29.Buy a Lolita dress or skirt.
30.Get a proper robe. Abandoned. 
31.Go ice skating.
32.Go to the theatre.
33.Learn to paint with watercolor.
34.Find a pen pal (snail-mail). I have seven Mori Girl pen-pals now!
35.Find 10 nice everyday hair-dos.
36.Go to a festival.
37.Organize my clothes.
38.Search though all my clothing and just keep what I truly love.
39.Have a princess day once a month
40.Eat only self-made sweets for a month. I stretched this out, and ate mostly homemade sweets over a few months instead.
41.Use my typewriter at all possible times for a month. Abandoned. My typewriter is vintage, and the ink replacement would be rather expensive.
42.Learn to flatfoot.
42.Learn to knit.
43.Sew at least two small projects.
44.Climb a tree and take a picture of the view.
45.Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day.
46.Don’t complain about anything for a week.
47.Buy something from a Mori brand (Preferably Wonder Rocket). (Reviewed it here.)
48.Buy something from Etsy/Store envy.
49.Learn to decorate a cake.
50.Go on a picnic.
51.Send anonymous flowers to someone I don't know very well.
52.Write a letter to myself to be opened when the 1001 days are over.
53.Inspire someone else to write a 101 in 1001 list of their own.
54.Go to a drive-in movie theater. Abandoned. I've been to a regular movie theater several times instead, which I don't normally do.
55.Wear Lolita (or something equally as out there) in a busy public place.
56. Lean some kind of calligraphy.
57.Make my own bento.
58.Send 10 handwritten letters to friends and family.
59.Drink eight glasses of water every day for at least one week.
60.Make an address book with contact information for family and friends.
61.Spend a day with each of siblings doing what they want, paid for by me. Abandoned. Took my brother out to an expensive lunch instead. Also, I have no money... So that's a thing...
62.Perfect my Japanese enough to listen to a song/show and sort of understand what they're saying.
63.Throw a surprise party for a friend.
64.Perfect and memorize at least one hard piano piece.
65.Watch all of the New Doctor Who episodes.
66.Succeed in giving up something for lent.
67.Bike or walk somewhere in town.
68.Learn the names of every country, and identify them on a map. Abandoned.
69.Learn how to take decent pictures with my camera.
70.Start using Instagram.
71.Make a list of the 50 songs I could listen to forever.
72.Take a photo of the same place every month for year and then turn it into a calendar for the next year. Abandoned
73.Try Yoga.
74.Attend and/or throw a costume party.
75.Ask friends to name one favourite music album they think I should listen to, and then listen to all the recommendations I get.
76.Ask friends to name one movie they think I need to watch, and then watch all the recommendations I get. Abandoned. I really don't like movies...
77.Eat some real Sushi with crab in it, or just try crab in general. 
78.Try 5 new foods in a month.
79.Say ‘no’ to 5 things I don’t want to do, but would normally agree to in order to keep the peace.
80.Create my own comic (either a few pages, or a series).
81.Read a biography all the way through.
82.Write a short story at least 10,000 words.
83.See Celtic Woman in concert. 
84.Fly a kite.
85.Listen to all country for one day.
86.Attend a church service of a different denomination.
87.Celebrate a foreign holiday of some sort.
88.Leave a note inside of a library book for someone to find.
89.Get a Polaroid camera.
90.Have a list of all of my friends birthdays, and send them happy birthday letters. Abandoned. Instead I write them letters at birthday parties.
91.Take pictures with friends in a photo booth. Abandoned. There are no photo booths in my area.
92.Set my answering machine to something in Japanese. Abandoned. I'm not sure what I was thinking, because no-one would be able to understand it.
93.Sleep out under the stars. (My parents are super against this, but I did go tent camping recently and spent a lot of time out doors in the night so I'm counting that.)
94.Finish my collection of Trixie Belden Books. (I have as many as I have been able to find, excluding a few rare ones that are almost non-existent)
95.Learn, and use, a new word a month for 3 months.
96.Sit and watch 10 movies without doing anything else. 10/10
97.Watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy all the way through.
98.Re-read the Chronicles of Narnia.
99.Go berry picking Abandoned. My grandparents berry bushes had to be removed.
100.Consciously Stop saying ‘yeah’ and ‘like’ for 1 week
101.Write a new list!

I will update every time I finish one. Here's hoping for the best in the coming year and beyond!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Practical Step: Desiring God

Recently, I've been struggling with a lack of something in myself. To be more specific, a lack of desire for God. Now, I can't exactly pinpoint the exact moment when this lack of desire first became apparent to me, but I do know that it's been a major stumbling block in my life for a while now.

You may or may not know, depending on how well you know me, that I often play on my church's worship team. Last week I was on rotation, and we played a song called "Come to the Water" by Kristian Stanfill. The lyrics are pretty standard as far as a praise and worship songs go. But this particular week one line stood out to me from the chorus.

"We believe in the kingdom come
We believe in the risen Son
You bring our hearts to life
Lord we come with our hands up high
We believe You will satisfy
You bring our hearts to life
You bring our hearts to life
We are alive"

"We believe you will satisfy". That's a pretty big statement to make, isn't it? I know in my own life I've often looked at things that I enjoy that I know weren't the best for me, or things that were taking his place in my heart, and I've wondered how God could ever satisfy as much as the things I was holding onto. We hear all the time that God is greater than all of our selfish desires, but I think deep down inside all of us we doubt that it could ever be true. And sometimes, maybe we don't want it to be true.

For me, when this happens, I tend to shy away from God. When I notice that I've not given him the 100% he asks for, or that I don't feel fully satisfied in him, I feel guilty. And I often feel in those times that I shouldn't be praying to him, or learning about him, or really having anything to do with him. Because if I was a "real" Christian I would be totally satisfied in him, right? And because of this tendency, in the times when I need to be drawing closer to God I pull farther away.

Now if you look at this line of the song, "We believe you'll satisfy", you should notice a very specific word. That word is believe. Note that they didn't say "We know he will satisfy" or "He does satisfy" or "He has already satisfied". No they say "We believe he will satisfy". Why, you might ask, is this significant? Because with this one word we create a very deep and meaningful truth that I think many of us don't realize. That truth is this; Just because you don't see the results you're looking for now, doesn't mean that God isn't working in you.

Let me repeat that; Just because you don't see the results you're looking for now, doesn't mean that God isn't working in you.

When I realized this, it was huge for me. You see, I was shying away from interaction with God because I didn't see him working right away. I would say my quick prayer for him to satisfy me in him, and then I wouldn't give him the time to work in my life and make it so. What I needed to be doing was asking him to satisfy, and then drawing close to him believing it would be so.

God may not immediately satisfy you in him, he hasn't yet for me, but he's always working on your heart as I know he is working on mine. It may take years of softening before you begin to feel satisfied in him. And there will always be times when you struggle and feel like God will never be enough. But you should never pull away from God, even when you feel inadequate. God always wants to have a relationship with you, and although he wants your all, that doesn't mean he stops listening when you don't give it. And the moment you pull away, you give footholds to negative things in your life. Because as soon as you stop feeding yourself with God's truth, you create gaps that can be filled by anyone who comes along with a bit of something to fill them with.

So maybe this week, when you feel discouraged and unsatisfied in God, you can take a step out in faith with me and draw nearer to God believing he will satisfy. And maybe together, we can find out what it's like to be truly satisfied in him.