Food: My Favorites and More

Good food is simple quote

I’ve talked about my favorite foods in bits and pieces throughout this blog. But, my thoughts behind food go deeper than my favorites. For starters, I love food. I view eating food as an experience and source of nourishment. I am a slow eater because of it. The only food I can eat quickly is cereal.

A lot of people are genuinely surprised at how little and how much food I can eat. Some days, only eating half a sandwich is enough for me. Other days, a hamburger and fries are exactly what I need. Nothing more, nothing less.

I tend to be an emotional eater. Yet, still controlled. I am extremely in tune with my body when it comes to knowing my limit. I can instantly feel when my gut says enough is enough.

I am not much of a sweets gal. In fact, I hardly ever eat sweets. I highly prefer carbs. Bread. Pasta. Pizza. Hamburgers. Fries. You name it. I prefer carbs and salty foods.

Mexican food is usually my go-to if I am in dire need of something filling and delicious. My love for chips and salsa is unexplainable. I could live off Carlos O’Kelly’s chips and guacamole. I absolutely love guacamole.

I could also live off pizza, specifically a thin crust pepperoni from Pizza Hut. I don’t typically like Pizza Hut, but they sure do offer the best thin crust I have ever consumed. It could be slightly embarrassing to admit how much I gravitate towards pizza, even if I just had some the previous day…or meal!

I also absolutely love french fries. It is rare that I say no to french fries. I love french fries so much that I have my own top three ranked list of favorites. Number one, hands down, is Freddy’s Frozen Custard fries. Then, Spangles. Then, yes, McDonald’s fries.

Overall, I prefer a shoestring fry over a fat one. I just think they taste better somehow. I can’t explain it. I don’t typically put any sauce on my fries either. That’s how much I love them. The potato alone is more than enough goodness. Nevertheless, I will occasionally make an exception for Freddy’s, only because of their one-of-a-kind sauce.

Not only can I eat fries by their lonesome, I can do the same with bread. In fact, I prefer it. I judge the quality of a bread roll based on my need or lack thereof butter. If I don’t need butter, it is an excellent roll.

Although, I will always make an exception for Cheddar’s croissant rolls. Nothing beats that buttery, flaky goodness. If you have a Cheddar’s near you, go there, and order the croissant rolls. You won’t be disappointed. It has always been worth the wait on a busy Saturday night.

It’s safe to say, I have a special place in my heart and gut for carbs. Nevertheless, I do so in proportions. I eat healthily. I try my best to be active. And I stay hydrated. Simply put, I want people to understand that, even though I love carbs, I am not a fatty person. I may not be an Olympic athlete in tip top shape. But, I do monitor my consumption.

Besides, I am always open to trying new foods. You can guarantee I will probably try a bite of something with far less hesitation than others. Although I may hesitate at first, I do still try it. After all, food is an experience. It’s not simply a blocked-out meal of my day.

My call to you is this: Eat what you love. But, do so wisely. Try new foods. Challenge your taste buds. Most importantly, do not overeat or under-eat. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you are full, even if it means leaving one bite behind.

Blessings,

Renata

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Change: Inevitable and Necessary

Psalm 102-27

I am sure I have said this before, but it is worth mentioning again. I am not a fan of change. Change scares me. It doesn’t scare me because I lose the control, though that could be part of it, depending on the day. Change scares me because it requires putting myself out there, in a way.

Even though I have this blog, I still deeply desire to protect parts of my life. Change does not always allow that. Change also opens me up to one of my biggest fears in life—rejection. It is in these moments of uncertainty I must trust God the most.

Change requires me to introduce myself, present myself, and somewhat convince someone of something. That something could be to give me a job. It could be to befriend me. It could be to simply say hello.

It seems as if I am in a season of life where change is practically inevitable. Just as I get used to one thing or another, it’s time to begin anew with something completely different. Ironically, there is stability in my life right now. And there is chaos. But, I think it’s like this for a reason.

I think if our lives were consistent down to the nitty gritty details, we would depend on only ourselves. I think God purposely orchestrates change to remind us that He is in ultimate control of our lives and this universe. He is reminding us, though our lives may change, He remains the same.

I think God also orchestrates change to remind our often complacent hearts that He is with us every single step in life. He is there reminding us He is walking alongside us in this life journey. 

Most importantly, I think change occurs to remind us there is always something far better for us in life. I am not saying that means we are to be discontent with life. I think it is to show that, even if we think we are in the best position in life, God has far better and bigger plans than we could ever imagine.

Getting to this place of bigger and better is not an easy task. It requires faith and perseverance, whether it happens swiftly overnight or at the speed of molasses.

I simply ask you one thing: Please pray for me. Pray that may find clarity in my chaos. Pray that I may cling to the Cross. Pray that I jump into the unknown with a firm grasp of Christ’s love, guidance, and peace.

My call to you is simple. Take change head on. Don’t live in fear of the unknown, rather cling to the One who knows.

Blessings,

Renata

Life Update: Tough Decision Making

Decisions-Roy-Disney

Sometimes, I love that my blog is autobiographical. Other times, it scares me. Now, do keep in mind, I omit names and personal identifying information whenever necessary. Nevertheless, the content, the substance, the events are all significant portions of my life.

Those significant portions are what motivate me to continue this blog and they can make me unsure of what exactly to say. One week, everything makes sense. The next, I can be all sorts of confused. To say the least, this week has been extremely interesting. Today, I am confused. A little shaken up, yet at peace.

I withdrew from a course this week. The course just started, so I get most of my money refunded, thankfully. Despite that, coming to the decision was not easy. But, I had to make it semi-quickly. The more I lingered, the less money I got back. Even worse, the more I lingered, the more work I would do that would not ultimately lead to completing the course.

The reasons as to why I chose to withdraw from the course are not necessary, at the moment. This blog has taught me I don’t necessarily have to explain why I made a decision, but more importantly, what it taught me. I guess one could say that is part of being an adult.

I haven’t been an adult long. I do more learning in my adulthood now than I do spreading of any sort of knowledge. Nonetheless, I have seen some consistency in said adulthood.

Firstly, making tough decisions won’t get easier. In fact, it seems they only get harder. It seems each decision is uniquely its own, that there is not a one-size fits all solution or result. Situations change. Priorities change. With more life experience comes more wisdom. With more wisdom comes more possible solutions, a greater perspective.

Each difficult decision I have had to make in the last five years or so has shown me that adulthood can seem like a never-ending list of pros and cons. You have to lay out all of your possible options, consider time restraints, and mull over each option. Then, come to a decision.

No problem can fix itself overnight. No decision can be made on its own. We have to be part of that process, as messy and undesirable as it can be sometimes. The decision will always have to be made. Sometimes, the decision itself isn’t hard, rather learning how to manage after can be the most difficult part.

So, yes, I withdrew from a course. I will be able to retake it again and graduate, eventually. No, it is not on “my timeline.” In fact, the majority of my education timeline has been far from what I expected. Expected or unexpected, God is in control. It is in this truth alone I find peace, even in the seemingly most time-sensitive and difficult decisions.

My call to you is simple: Embrace tough decisions. No, they won’t be easy. But, they are necessary, especially as you get older. Truthfully, though, tough decisions don’t just belong in adulthood. Tough decisions are a part of life in general.

Rest assured, if you find yourself in a rut or a muddled pit of uncertainty, you are not alone.

Blessings,

Renata

One of My Daily Sin Battles: Blame

It is much easier to blame others - Dave Ramsey

When I began studying for my bachelor’s in communication, I had no idea I would learn so much. Additionally, I have learned more in an unexpected way. Yes, I have learned a lot academically. But, I am continuously amazed at how much I learn about my own life and habits from my courses. I suppose it makes sense, considering I am studying an always-constant part of life—communication.

Nevertheless, I do not think I was fully prepared for the number of moments while reading or watching a video and saying, “Wow, that’s me. I have this problem or skill. That explains so much!” Sometimes, I find these revelations encouraging. Other times, I find them daunting and overwhelming.

Today, I will divulge on one of those daunting moments. I just finished taking a course called “Critical Listening.” It’s okay if you just raised your eyebrow or cocked your head to the side and said, “What?” I did, too, when I first heard about it. Truthfully, the course was greatly beneficial. It helped me see my strengths and weaknesses as an active, present listener.

During said course, I realized I have a lot of defensive listening tendencies. No, it wasn’t a great realization, but it was necessary. One of those tendencies is to displace my emotions from another person or situation on to another.

I am going to be real with you all. When I read about this, it was quite the slap in the face because it unearthed such an obvious issue. I know I have this issue because I displace my emotions before I realize they are even there in the first place.

For instance, I may have a constant nagging feeling in my head all day and have no clue what could be bothering me. I could relentlessly mull over it and still have no idea. Yet, all it takes is one bad, snarky, inappropriate comment for me to realize the burning issue.

I hate to say I am at this point right now. I usually hurt and blame someone else in the process before fully grasping the root cause of whatever may be bothering me. I know that is not fair. I know I should be better than that. I know I should not linger when I know something is bothering me. I know all these things in my head.

Yet, stubborn, sinful me, has not had enough of these moments to break the cycle. I would love to say it’s because of my past or because of this person or situation but that I displace my emotions. Not only would that be dishonest, but it simply is another form of displacement. You cannot stop or justify displacement with more displacement.

You have to deal with the root cause. While, yes, the root overflow effect may differ, the cause never changes. The cause is always pride. In one way or another, we always convince ourselves we can act this way or that because of someone else. But, really, the only person’s actions we can control are our own.

It is not fair, nor is it right, to take our frustrations from person/situation D onto person/situation A. Person/situation A has nothing to do with Person/situation D, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise. Just because one relationship/situation may be difficult, does not mean another one should be as well.

If you have a difficult relationship with someone, talk with those you do have a good relationship with. Turn to them as a source of encouragement and a listening ear, not a punching bag.

And if you have hindered one good relationship or situation because of another bad one, apologize. Be humble. Seek forgiveness. If your relationship allows it, let that person know this is an area you struggle in, so you can have further accountability.

Thank you for listening. This was a hard topic to bring up, but it is necessary. It is my form of accountability. Even though I am not happy that I have this defensive technique, I am glad I am aware of it now. I want to combat it one conversation and encounter at a time.

Blessings,

Renata

 

My Stubborn Nature: Part of God’s Plan

1-timothy-6-12

I’ve briefly touched on this before, but I believe it is worth addressing in a fuller capacity. I am a stubborn person. That’s right. I always have been and there is a good chance I always will be.

I know I always have been because I wasn’t supposed to live. I was six weeks premature and weighed no more than three pounds. I fit into the palm of my doctor’s hand. Yet, by God’s perfect plan, I lived. I think God’s intention to give me life when I may not have had it in the first place is a constant reminder of where my stubbornness came from.

I am stubborn in other ways. Not only do I fight for causes with every fiber of my being, but I don’t waver in my opinions either. Some may call this close-minded. There are times when it probably is. But, I think it goes a long way to know someone can stand for their convictions, even when everyone else around tries to say otherwise.

I very much believe in a traditional way of thinking and attitudes. I believe in justice. I believe in truth. I believe in structure and having a rhyme or reason behind an action or behavior. I believe in track records. I struggle to believe against time and time again patterns.

I maintain a black and white, all or nothing attitude about many portions of my life. I often see things as they are, and not as society believes they ought to be. I am a realist who harbors the ability to simplify problems down to their basic core.

I can easily make a decision based on the basic principles involved. It’s learning to deal with the feelings that overflow after that can be challenging. In other words, it can be challenging for me to see why others do not have the same black and white, all or nothing attitude that I do. Again, there is the stubbornness in me.

My stubbornness is one of the many aspects of my personality that allows me to be unapologetically me. It allows me to embrace myself for who I am. I know stubbornness isn’t the best “quality” in today’s open-minded, open-arms society.

But, I believe there is something to be said for standing true to values and convictions. I believe there is something to be said for not living life in a gray area. I believe at the end of the day, when the world has come and gone, and we are left to stand in front of God, stubbornness will be rewarded.

No, I do not mean those who are not stubborn will not see the kingdom of God. But, I do mean, God will honor those, stubborn or not, who stood for His truths and law in a world filled with people who want nothing to do with Him.

This may sound harsh, but I don’t intend to shy away from what I know is true. It may not be what the world preaches, but it matters. My heart has been heavy with judgment day a lot lately. There will come a day when Jesus Christ will come again. Where will you be then? Will you be able to call the Kingdom of God home?

I leave with you this: If you aren’t stubborn, that’s okay. Yet, I fully believe, stubborn or not, standing in your convictions matters. Living in a black and white world is okay. If you are stubborn, see it as a gift and blessing. Don’t feel like you have to change or morph into something or someone the world proclaims.

Blessings,

Renata