What Is in My Name: Renata

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I don’t know about you, guys, but I like to discover information about my name quite a bit. I suppose as an English major, the background of words intrigues me. So, about every three months or so, I like to Google search “Renata” and see what comes up.

Most of the time, I see the same information, such as there is a Swiss battery named Renata and the name can mean reborn. And there are prolific figures with my name in Russia and Latin America. I most recently heard it originated in Kazakhstan.

My varying results and sources make it difficult to pinpoint where exactly my name originated. Nevertheless, they only feed the intrigue.

In my most recent search, I found something new—there is an Italian restaurant named Renata in Portland, Oregon! I will definitely go there someday! Maybe, I can get a free appetizer or something like that, if I prove my name is Renata.

I’ve even been told there is a character named Renata in the popular HBO show Big Little Lies. A small part of me is glad to see my name in such a big part of pop culture.

Another small part of me wants to watch the show just because of that. Or, at least watch a scene to see how they pronounce my name.

I stumbled upon my name in the Twilight trilogy once, too.

However, the most flabbergasting moment happened in college. An employee I knew said, “Hi, Renata!” Little did I know, myself and the one other person in the room would say hi back.

I was floored! I couldn’t believe it! I took so much pride in being the only Renata at my school—only to find out there was another one whom I walked by all the time! At that moment, my name didn’t feel so special.

For, prior to that moment, I had never met another person with my name. It excited me to be the only one.

Regardless, I love my name. Renata is my Russian given name. From what I know, it was popular in Russia around the time I was born.

My parents did not change it when they adopted me, although they did consider it. In fact, they did change some of my siblings’ names. Now, their birth name is their middle name.

I am extremely glad they did not change mine. For, I feel like my Russian heritage is a part of me in that regard. As a result, it is a part of my identity. It’s a great conversation starter, too. Some people have heard it before, but most are surprised and curious. Then, that leads to a discussion about my heritage, which can be fun.

On a side note, I am that person who does not like nicknames or shortened names all that much. Therefore, if your birth name is Jonathan, I will call you Jonathan, not Jon. Or, if your name is Abigail, I won’t call you Abby.

I understand that some people go by their middle names or their first name is obnoxiously long, I do. When it comes down to it, if someone has a preference, I will use that name. But, if he or she doesn’t, I’ll call him or her their full name—not a shortened version of it.

My only exception to the rule is if I have only ever known the person by their shortened name. Then, I will use it. You know how it is: You spend years calling someone this or that only to find out their actual name is completely different.

I am a little weird, I know. My name is Renata after all.

My call to you is this: Google your name. See what you find. Discover its origin if you can. The results might surprise you. Perhaps, you’ll find a restaurant with your namesake, too!

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

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Life Update: We Adopted a Dog

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I have some exciting news!

My husband and I adopted a dog! We got him last week. He is a white Maltese—the pup in the above photograph, to be exact. His name is Noble. He just turned two years old. We got him at a local shelter.

Last year, Barnes and Noble offered a stuffed dog named Noble and a bear named Barnsie. When I saw the stuffed dog in the ad, I just knew we had to get him, so we did. And ever since then, we thought Noble was a great name for a dog. We thought it was fitting to name our Maltese Noble since it was white like the Barnes and Noble plushie.

Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking, “I thought you wanted a Havanese and you were extremely set on it.”

Yes, you are correct. We were extremely set on a male adult Havanese.

However, those of you who have dogs know, when you find the dog, you just know it belongs with you. That’s how it was with Noble. At least for me, anyway.

My husband wasn’t completely sold on him at first because he really did want a Havanese. Granted, so do I. But, we know we want to have two dogs, eventually. So, we figure our second dog can be a Havanese. Therefore, we can spend the extensive time it will take to find a Havanese that fits our needs within our proximity, yet still have a dog.

If you want to know more about the journey we went through trying to find a Havanese, read this post.

Anyway, back to the adoption story.

Before we got Noble, I got alerts on my phone when a dog met certain criteria at our local shelter. While I was at home one day, in the middle of being on hold to speak with a representative, I got an alert about a dog. The alerts aren’t specific. I have to click on the attached link to learn more.

At this point, I was like, “I guess I will look, but I doubt the dog will fit our needs.”

Then, I click on the link to find it was Noble! He was so cute and fluffy. I showed my husband his photo and he told me my phone call can wait. So, I hung up the phone and immediately left a voicemail to request a hold on Noble. I knew if I didn’t do it right then and there, someone else would beat me to it. I mean, just look at how cute he is.

Unfortunately, the shelter wasn’t open yet, so my friend urged me to call them again right when it opened, regardless of my voicemail. Turns out, the receptionist was in the middle of checking her voicemails when I called a second time.

And guess what? I got the hold! By God’s divine power, my voicemail was first. The receptionist told me the voicemail directly after mine was requesting a hold on him, too. Just as I suspected, he was extremely popular.

When we visited, he was quite loving and friendly, almost like he knew he’d be going home with us. So, yes, like I said earlier, my husband was slightly hesitant to get him simply because he really wanted a Havanese. But, I assured him, if it didn’t work out and we had to bring him back, I knew full well someone else would adopt him in no time.

Our first few days with him were a little rough, so much so that we weren’t entirely sure if we were going to keep him. He was so frazzled the first night we had him that I only got three hours of sleep and my husband got two. We feared he had severe separation anxiety, for that is common for a Maltese.

But, I am so glad we took the advice of our friends and gave him some time to settle in.

For, we don’t think he has severe separation anxiety. We simply think he is like any companion dog. He simply wants to be close to his humans.

We haven’t figured out if he is entirely housetrained. So, for the time being, we put a doggie diaper on him and let him roam around the house while we are gone, which he loves to do.

And, we do have plans to take him to obedience training. He knows how to do basic commands. I just don’t think he actually comprehends that is what he is doing. Besides, I want him to behave well around other humans and pups.

We are slowly building a routine for him, which is great for us and him. He hardly ever barks like he did the first night. He’s super chill and quiet. In fact, yesterday, while I did homework, he just slept by me all day.

My dog dreams became a reality!

It has been incredibly fun to watch his personality flourish, even in the mere eight days we have had him. Sometimes, I still can’t believe we have a dog. Other times, it feels like he’s been part of the family all along.

It is in those moments I know it was part of God’s plan all along for us to get him.

Honestly, I could write so much more about him, but I’ll leave it at that. Although, I am certain this is not the only post I will ever write about him.

Just know, I am so excited to finally be a dog owner once again. I can’t wait to continue to watch his personality unfold. I even got emotional one day thinking about all the adventures we are going to go on with him.

Yet again, I am reminded why I love dogs so much in the first place.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

Small Health Update: Still No Answers

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This week’s post is going to be short and to the point. For, this week has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It has been fairly hectic, to say the least.

I’ve been elated. I’ve been distraught. I’ve been confused. I’ve been upset. I’ve been exhausted, tired, and worn.

For those of you who don’t know, I have had health issues the last seven months and counting. They all started with abdominal pain and have reached an undiagnosed state. I don’t know what is wrong with me.

However, this whole time, I have been sure something is wrong with me. I don’t know what, but I do know something is wrong. For, I may not know a lot about human anatomy, but I do know when my body is not its normal self.

This journey has been long and tiring. Some days, I don’t think I have any problems. Other days, I feel so terrible, I don’t know how I will make it through the day.

I’ve come so close to possible answers a couple times. But, they fall short just when I hope for them the most. Or, they only explain part of my issues, not all of them. Then, the question becomes, “Is this issue separate from my major one ailing me, or are they connected?”

I know I will find answers in God’s timing. Nevertheless, it doesn’t always make the wait easier. I simply want to let you all know that I am still trying to find answers.

Although, I am fairly certain, the issues are not gallbladder related. In fact, that is about all I know, to be honest.

I am going to spare you all the details of the journey I have had to go through until I get a complete diagnosis and start to feel better. I’ll leave the daily and/or weekly updates for my closest friends and family.

I just don’t think my blog is the kind of place to have slow, progressive updates.  It is for the whole story.

I suppose this post is my way of telling you all, I’ve been a little frazzled lately. I honestly don’t know if I am on the mend or if I am just at the beginning of an even crazier chapter of this journey.

I’ll keep you posted.

So, no, I do not have my health figured out completely. But, slowly but surely, and in God’s perfect timing and plan, I will find answers one day. It may not be in my timing or end result, but it will be in His.

And that is what helps me not feel as discouraged.

Until then, I am on the rollercoaster ride a little bit longer.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

Music: ‘Golden Hour’ Album

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I don’t know about you, guys, but I tend to have a routine in my various moods of life.

For instance, when I am in a generally good mood I tend to talk a lot and be sarcastic. When I am angry, I tend to run away in the other room just hoping to avoid the issue (which only lasts for a short while). When I am depressed, I tend to curl up in a fetal position in bed and/or eat extremely fatty foods.

However, I’ve added another part of my “when I am depressed” routine that is surprisingly soothing and just what I need.

I listen to the album “Golden Hour” by Kacey Musgraves.

I don’t know what it is about the album, but whenever I am feeling down, that is what I gravitate towards. Perhaps, it is because the album leaves me feeling happy and sad, as one of the songs on the album is titled.

Prior to this album, I heard a couple of Musgraves’s most popular singles such as “Merry Go ‘Round.” But, I am generally not a fan of country music, so I wasn’t making an effort to hear more of her music besides the catchy tunes I heard here and there.

Nevertheless, I chose to listen to her newest album, per the recommendations of one of my favorite artists of all time—John Mayer. The day her album was released, Mayer posted an image of the album cover on his Instagram and said he thought it was her best work yet and that she was one of his favorite artists.

However, what intrigued me the most to actually listen to the album was he also said, “There’s a universal sadness that exists in all things. Not an anguished sadness, but kind of a joyful one. Kacey is so deeply connected to that beautiful sadness.”

Hook, line, and sinker. The writer in me was sold. I knew I had to listen for myself.

For, as the quote in the image above shows, John Mayer must’ve have figured out the whole point of Musgraves’s new album. According to Musgraves, the album “Golden Hour” is about showing all of the individual, yet collective parts that make up who she is and what she has experienced since her last album. Part of that process includes her inspiration to find the sadness in things.

To some, that may be depressing. But, to artists and creative folk alike, it is inspiring. It is intriguing. Because Musgraves is right. There is a beauty in sadness. There is a beauty in all emotion if one is willing to take the time to understand it.

For, all emotion has a purpose—even if those who feel it cannot pinpoint it.

However, it took me awhile to truly see Musgraves’s purpose of the album. For, when I first listened to it, I wasn’t a big fan of it. As I’ve shared before, I am someone who likes albums to tell a story from start to finish. Personally, I did not see one. The album seemed a little gimmicky and undone to me.

Yet, I still chose to listen to it again. For, I was fairly distracted when I first listened to it. Therefore, I challenged myself to just sit and listen to it in its entirety, distraction-free, once more. Deep down, I just knew there was something more I missed the first time.

I am not typically one to give an album another chance, but I felt led to do so. And I am glad I did. Now, it is one of my favorite and go-to albums.

I thoroughly enjoy the different, not fully country route she took with it. There are a handful of songs I deeply resonate with on the album, too, such as “Lonely Weekend,” “Happy and Sad,” and “Love is a Wild Thing.”

Honestly, I could write individual posts about each of those songs. That is how much they resonate with me!

Plus, the writer in me deeply appreciates a lot of the lyrical aspects of the album as well. She has some lines that are so poetic that like John Mayer also said, “Every time she sings I get a lump in my throat. Her voice goes straight to your core.”

This album paints an incredible picture of the power of words. You can feel the rawness and emotion in each song, even in an upbeat tune!

For these reasons and many more, that is why I listen to it when I am depressed or feeling down. Somehow, in the body of a piece of art, Musgraves understands the difficulty of life, yet also provides a picture of hope and empathy.

Instead of denying hardship, growth, and self-reflection, she embraces it with an open heart and outstretched arms.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, my call to you is this: Listen to the album “Golden Hour” in its entirety. Listen to it several times. Listen to it when you are happy and listen to it when you are sad or feeling down. Let the album—its musical compositions and lyrical mastery—transport you into a wonderfully sad, yet hopeful haze.

Please, take a moment to see the beauty in sadness.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).