God, why did you seem so mean?

pray.

Gosh I feel like I could say so much here. I guess the big thing on my mind yesterday was the Sunday Gospel reading.

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! 
My daughter is tormented by a demon.” 
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. 
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” 
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.” 
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.” 
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith! 
Let it be done for you as you wish.” 
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

Matthew 15:21-28

I’ve heard this reading so many times in my life, but it never fails to make me feel confused and unsettled. Why does Jesus use such harsh and…mean words to this woman who is genuinely asking for help? Jess @thelivingheart.co also had the same questions on her Instagram story.

Before sharing my own reflections, I must share that I found Fr. Mike Schmitz’s homily on this reading to be particularly helpful. He gives good Scriptural context and takes on an interesting perspective that I hadn’t heard before.

As great (and important) as it is to listen to other people’s narratives on Scripture, I needed to pray about it real hard on my own too. Here are some nuggets of what came to my heart while spending time with this Word (please note that I’m not a Scripture scholar):

  1. I notice how, although the disciples ask Jesus to send the Canaanite woman away, Jesus never actually obliges. He does not want her to be sent away.
  2. The Canaanite woman has a faith and humility that I have seldom seen in my life, if ever. It is a faith that I myself would not have if I was faced with those responses from Jesus…so what is it that gave her such conviction to keep asking Him for help (besides maybe desperation for her poor daughter)?
  3. It seems that, in everything Jesus replied to the woman, He knew that she would win over His Heart all along. He knew what her desires were, and He knew He would give them to her in the end. And in a way, the woman also knew, in her “great faith,” that Jesus did in fact care and love her enough to grant her exactly what she asked. Sort of like… He knew that she knew, and she knew that He knew that her daughter would be healed.
  4. So why did Jesus have to do it in such a way? Why did He make is seem like this woman had to be degraded and humiliated just to receive help? What came to my mind were images of Jesus’ Passion and Death, where He Himself was made docile and subservient to mankind, whom He created, for the sake of mankind’s reconciliation with Himself. In those moments of His brutal death, He showed the most powerful love and faith in His Father’s plan, to which He was completely obedient until the very end. Moreover, He allowed the Canaanite woman to demonstrate a similar extraordinary grace of love and faith that endures, even when it truly feels like God has forsaken you (though He never does).

If you are familiar with this Scripture passage, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections on it as well.

eat.

On Friday night I hung out with another high school friend and had my first ever “créme ice” from Ralph’s Famous Italian Ice! Créme ice (aka sherbet on their menu) is essentially like shaved milk (?) instead of shaved ice, which gives it a creamier texture and the ability to add mix-ins without it being weird. It was pretty good, but I definitely don’t prefer it over ice cream.

I got a “Twister,” which is créme ice sandwiched between layers of soft serve, which was the move. I got strawberry cheesecake créme ice. It had a bit of an almond extract flavor to it, which wasn’t bad.

Other eats highlights since I last checked in:

  • yogurt bowl with banana, blueberries, granola, and pb
  • teriyaki salmon with rice and broccoli (such a bro meal)
  • overnight oats in a jar!
  • warm banana muffins with yogurt and pb
  • eggs + avocado over rice with soy sauce, sriracha and rice vinegar
  • SUSHIIIIIII
  • random pandan coconut cupcake that I found in the fridge LOL (it’s the green muffin in the middle bottom row)
  • green overnight oat smoothie bowl! I haven’t had this in forever because I didn’t have a blender back in Boston.

move.

Lots of walking, working on pull-ups, a leg workout… I’ll highlight this “fun” burpee workout yesterday from @trainerkindal:

EMOM (every minute on the minute): do 10 burpees ➔ rest for the remainder of the minute

Repeat x20 #ouch

groove.

This week will be busy but exciting! I am hoping and praying that I can say yes to a job soooooon.

Hope you all have a good-kind-of-full week too!

So tell me:

Have you ever questioned God’s kindness or care for you or others?

Have you ever had a créme ice before? Do you like it? Do you like Italian ice?

What is the best thing you ate this weekend (the sushi was it for me!)?

What’s on your schedule this week?

Sports and Faith

I thought I could consider myself an athlete.

Until I watched the Olympics.

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But then I saw the Ford (?) commercial about how “we are all athletes” and was like, well, fine, if you insist.

In all seriousness, check out Krista’s post about how you know you’re an athlete. Anyone can be an athlete. You don’t have to have 21 gold medals like someone.

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I watched the #PhelpsFace shenanigans live on TV, and it was the most appalling and hilarious thing I’ve seen all year.

Anyway, we all know that Olympic athletes are downright inspirational. I was a little girl who always strived to be athletic in her younger years but never had natural athletic ability. However, I have really taken off in a burst of confidence these past couple of years as I’ve grown to love fitness.

Although I don’t participate in organized sports right now, and I definitely don’t even train like a middle school athlete, I am proud of how far I’ve come just dabbling with new feats at home. In some of my harder workouts and accomplishments, I feel like I’ve finally gotten a minuscule taste of the drive of a great athlete.

I’m sure you agree that it would be SO COOL to be an Olympics athlete (p.s. my blog/fellow BU Terrier pal, Gemma, is running track for Ghana in Rio this year!!! check out her guest post WIAW from last year here). I have glimmers of hope inside me that I could at least be a competitive athlete again if I really wanted to.

But I don’t want to. There are many ways to achieve your purpose in life, and sports are probably not my way. If you asked me, “What is your purpose in life?” I’d say something about doing God’s will and bringing others to Him.

That being said, there are so many parallels in the journey of an elite athlete and the journey of finding your purpose in life, whatever that may be. In my case, I’ve found that I can draw major inspiration from athletes for my own faith journey.

1) It’s difficult to start.

It takes a very special breed to say as a beginner, “I can’t wait to do that workout that will set my lungs and muscles on fire.” Likewise, I never said, “I can’t wait to go to church!” until maybe a year ago (read: 15+ years into being taught about and teaching the Catholic faith).

It’s a choice to start doing what will make you better every day, whether you’re in training or you’re trying to grow closer to God.

2) You have good days and bad days.

Pretty self-explanatory. Athletes get tired, sore, probably hungover every now and then. They don’t break records every day and they don’t get better every single day. But they use those off days to get better overall, and that’s how it is with the faith.

There are days when I am welling up with enthusiasm for prayer and good works. And there are just as many days when I don’t want to think of God or I don’t feel like He’s there.

The only way to get through those bad days is…to get through those bad days, with a constant reminder of the end goal and a reflection of how you can learn from the trial.

3) It’s easier with a community.

CrossFit raves about the community of support all the time, which I think is why it is such a success as a sport and an industry.

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I’ve talked about how my faith has grown leaps and bounds thanks to the incredible community of men and women at BU’s Catholic Center.

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You push others, they push you, everyone falls over, and that’s the end.

This is where I say, “just kidding, you help each other back up and move forward.” 😉

4) It hurts.

There is so much we don’t see elite athletes experience “behind the scenes.” The sacrifice, the pain, the internal turbulence and pressure… But they know that those are necessary experiences in order to become a resilient and freaking amazing athlete.

There is so much we don’t see in people who are faithful, joyful, and unbelievably at peace. Maybe they did have a great life, but maybe they didn’t. There is sacrifice, pain, and internal turbulence behind the most peaceful and joyful people I know. Getting through those trials is what makes them resilient and freaking amazing human beings.

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^^^One of my favorite quotes ever.

5) It’s worth the blood, sweat, and tears.

Watch Aly Raisman’s documentary and see how difficult her training was before London 2012. Now look at this chick—3 Olympic gold medals (and counting?). Seems worth it.final-five-medal-ceremony_ap

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The end goal at the end of this journey called “life” is eternity with our Creator, which I think seems preeeeeeetty worth it. And He told us it would be hard. And it is hard, but…

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In all honesty, publishing this post is hard. I know my audience, and I know this doesn’t cater to everyone, but my slogan up top there is “pray. eat. move. groove.” Pray comes first. Faith comes first. God comes first. And I wouldn’t be sharing this if I didn’t believe in the depths of my heart that you could possibly feel the same about Him, some way, somehow.

Whatever your creed is, I like to believe that people have goodness in their hearts to want to help others and spread joy in their lives, which is never easy. So here’s to using athletes as inspiration!!

(pretty terrible flow of paragraphs at the end there, but guatever, I need to go to sleep.)

So tell me:

How do great athletes to inspire you (if they do)?

What would you say is your purpose in life? Have I asked this before?

Dealing With Irritating People

It took me a few minutes to think of the title for this post.

What I really want to title it is: “What I do to calm myself down when I perceive others to be irritating, but really, I’m just hungry and tired and every little tick makes me slightly rage-y,” but that’s too long.

But first, thank you all for your feedback on my fitness post! I’m glad that it was helpful and that many of you related to my outlook on working out.

Before we get to Five Minute Friday, here are some scenes from the week:

It has been hot but gorgeous (just like you 😉 ) this week, so I’ve taken advantage of the green space at work to picnic outside during my lunch hour.

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utilizing the Sriracha 2 Go keychain that Christina (@foodietunes) gifted me at Christmas ♥︎ 

This was nice until yesterday. I think I sat on an anthill or something, because ants were crawling all over me and almost into my pants.

Overnight breakfasts made my {sleepy} mornings a little more exciting.

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Kylie’s banana pudding for breakfast

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overnight oats in a Nuttzo jar

Madre has been killin’ it with meals this week. I love cooking, but it’s nice to have dinner cooked and ready for you when you get home from work 🙂 Thanks, Madre!

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quinoa with mok fish (salmon and a little bit of egg binding steamed with lemongrass in a banana leaf) and roasted vegetables

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Last night’s dinner was easy, simple, and so satisfying.

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caprese + avocado toast

…followed by Greek yogurt + pb with dried figs.

p.s. my dinners look so puny here, but I promise I eat so many things before I get home for dinner…and then after dinner (I’m just trying to simulate those multiple-course cruise meals I guess).

And lastly, I just noticed that my leg looks painted with bruises. I was trying to “feel the steel” on my squat cleans yesterday, and I think I succeeded. Here was yesterday’s workout (after two lovely days of rest):

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This might mean absolutely nothing to you. Decoded version:

I actually did three squat cleans at 85#, because I was feelin’ good (I had a good amount of rest between sets while changing the weights). Not heavy by any means for avid weightlifters, but I just started squat cleans with an empty bar just 6 weeks ago, so I’m proud of myself! If I went to the actual gym more than once per week, I could speed up the progress, but…eh it’s guatever.

Now for the vlog!

link to video!

Hope you all have a fun weekend! Madre just poured a crap ton of kettle corn right in front of me so imma eat some.

So tell me:

How do you deal with irritating people/situations?

What was the best dinner you ate this week?

Have you eaten al fresco recently? 

Any accomplishments/progress (fitness or non-fitness-related) you’d like to share!

Sometimes I Can’t Stand Humans, But They’re Awesome

I forget that the end of daylight savings time means everything is darker sooner, which makes me a little sad.

But on some bright notes! It was a fun Halloween weekend (“Halloweekend”, whatever), the weather has been beautiful, I’ve {nearly} cried of joy several times this weekend, and God is super good.

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clouds doing cool cloud things on Friday

I didn’t even do anything on Halloween, but I did dance my butt off at a Halloween party hosted by the Catholic Center on Friday! I danced pretty much non-stop all night. I had been craving a dance party since the wedding I attended this summer, and dance parties always remind me why I named this blog daily moves and grooves.

Plus, I dressed up as my favorite thing ever…

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peanut butter!

…along with my best friend, Jelly (aka Rachel). Rachel was the one who suggested this duo costume, and it seemed perfect for several reasons. I probably emit the smell of peanut butter on a daily basis already, so I was halfway there from the get-go.

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Several cookies fueled my dancing for the night, but I didn’t even have any candy this weekend! I wasn’t avoiding it by any means; I just never encountered any candy that I wanted. Cookies, cake, dining hall desserts sounded better. #snobby

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On Saturday morning some of my friends and I from the Boston University Students for Life club participated in the Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness and Prevention Walk. Suicide awareness is something near and dear to many of us in one way or another, so it was a blessing to walk with so many other people (especially college students) in solidarity and support.

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I look really tall in this picture, but that’s an optical illusion

Also, they had free Stonyfield “Oh My Yog!” yogurt at the walk. We all ate it and agreed that it was some next level yogurt. This was the gingered pear flavor. Ooo la la!

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trilayer? whole milk? CREAM TOP!?!?

Saturday night was wild and crazy with lots of studying with Rachel (or at least, a lot of attempting to study on my part). I can let myself get very distracted with social media, and I very much dislike myself every time it happens. But it was Halloween, so I made myself think I was justified.

{As I just come back from 20 minutes on my Instagram feed. HELP.}

Anyway, the other nooks and crannies of this weekend were filled with Mass, choir, eating, some exercise, and best of all, truly awesome people.
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Let me tell you something. I have three types of days when it comes to interacting with people:

  1. Normal day: Happy to see my friends, interact with strangers politely.
  2. Especially negative day: Yo, people are the worst. I want Jesus to be my only friend ever.
  3. Especially positive day: PEOPLE ARE AMAZING. HELLOOOOO, BEAUTIFUL STRANGER, YOU’RE GREAT!

If my especially positive days occurred all the time, I’d probably end up losing friends because of my insanity.

In all seriousness though, more of the negative, mundane, or irking interactions with that I can have with some people (strangers or not) have lately been transformed into meaningful and fruitful interactions. For example, I can learn about virtue, reflect on my faith life, or be urged to evaluate my actions. In addition, regular interactions with friends have been deepened.

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What is the “secret” to this transforming and deepening? I think it’s something I learned yesterday: shared life. 

In other words: sharing your experiences with others and being genuinely interested and excited about others’ experiences, and then learning and growing with one another as a result!

Grab a meal with someone. Ask someone what his idea of a perfect day is. Ask your gal friend how her heart is doing (figuratively, not the actual organ…but you could ask that too). Tell him about your dream job. Describe to her what made you happy or sad this weekend.

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Some people may not care about what you have to say, but that doesn’t mean you can’t care for another person. Humans are awesome, and sometimes they’re just waiting for someone to be interested in them (personally, not romantically…but that could be true too).

By no means is it easy for me to “share life” with others. I think I will always have those especially negative days/moments when I feel like I need to be in a bubble, please and thank you. Nevertheless, in general, by sharing more about myself and by being more interested in other people, I have learned a lot about myself and about other amazing human beings. It’s really cool.

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my girl Fiona shared this with me last night

P.S. That’s what makes blogging really cool!!!

So tell me:

Did you dress up or do anything in particular for Halloween?

Did you eat any sweet treats this weekend?

What made you happy or sad or angry or anxious this weekend?

Recharged

Beautiful people of the earth, how are you?

Yes, I guess you could say I had a freaking-fantastic-wonderful-awesome time on retreat in Maine this weekend! Although we always experience a Jesus “high” during and right after retreat, the point of the retreat was to equip and instruct us on how to go out and proclaim our faith through our daily lives— through the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Our speaker for this retreat, Michael Lavigne (he has a blog!), called it “the art of living.” Dig it.

The weekend was packed with delicious food made by the most amazing kitchen team, lots of laughs, contemplation, community, and of course, deep conversations with Christ through prayer. I cannot put into words how much I enjoy retreat and love Jesus.

That being said, we’re back at school and work awaits. It’s going to be a loooong week, so if I don’t post again this week, please forgive me. Life is rolling faster than I can keep up sometimes!

Here are some scenes from the weekend:

Rachel’s birthday was on Friday, but since we left for retreat on Friday night, we celebrated on Thursday night at a lovely little Mexican restaurant. I ordered a beef taco and fish taco, and my soul was happy.

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FYI— bottom left pic is us trying to imitate the statues behind us. In case you were wondering what we’re doing.

Several wonderful people kept us {more than} well-nourished during retreat. French toast, chili, CHEESE BISCUITS OMG, trifles, pesto pasta, carrot soup… They put the dining halls to utter shame.

Carbs were my best friend this weekend and I am so okay with that.

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P.S. they also had peanut butter ♥ 

Last but not least, the people with whom I spent the weekend are truly a gift from God. My friends here, there, and everywhere (I’m talking to all you readers out there!) are constantly inspiring and humbling me. Thanks so much.

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From far away, it looks like we have mustaches on our shirts. They’re not mustaches.

Not gonna lie, I feel slightly anxious for the week ahead because of all the work and studying that needs to get done, but the retreat has certainly recharged me and prepared me to take on each day the Lord gives us.

Oh! I cannot forget to address the fact that this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week. Gah, now I definitely want to try to put up a post regarding that. Tonight I will actually be speaking at the BU Nutrition Club’s NEDA lecture and discussion, where I will be giving my personal account of my past eating disorder following a lecture by Jennifer Culbert, RD, LDN. Pray for us!

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Hopefully, I will be back later this week to recap my talk that I will be giving tonight, as well as discuss more about eating disorder awareness. It’s something that I am passionate about, and my recovery journey is what led me to create this blog. So stay tuned!

You’re beautiful. Catch ya later, kids.

So tell me:

What are three things that made you smile this weekend?