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?

Recent Eats {and the Lowdown on Lent}

Hey we didn’t have a snow day this week yet! And it’s Ash Wednesday!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while the past week, you might know that I’m Catholic and incredibly proud of it. Today is the start of Lent, aka 40 days of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. That means yesterday was Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, aka do and eat everything you want to give up for the next 40 days.

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In case you want the lowdown on what we Catholics even do during these 40 days:

We only really need to fast (only one full meal and two smaller snacks that do not add up to one full meal) on the first Wednesday and last Friday of Lent, so it’s nothing crazy. We abstain from meat on every Friday though (meatless Friday instead of meatless Monday!). Also, we are strongly encouraged to give up unnecessary things that we love and/or do something extra as a sacrifice throughout the 40 days. It forces us to remember that there is nothing that can satisfy or fulfill us like God’s love and mercy can.

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^^^Not what Lent is.

Even if you’re not Catholic, it could be a refreshing experience to give up something for a month or so that will help you stay more focused or grateful. It doesn’t have to be food-related at all— it could be trash TV, profanity, petty complaining, gossip, looking at your phone at the table, etc.

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Just for the record, here’s what I’m doing this Lent:

  • Giving up music (I won’t voluntarily play music for myself, even when I work out ahhhhhhhhhh) and spending my quiet time praying instead.
  • Giving up scrolling through Instagram (I might still post photos of my own, but I won’t look through my feed at all.)
  • Reading Scripture every day

So yes, I was listening to music and looking at Instagram all day yesterday.

Some other things I’ve heard people are doing or have done for Lent: only getting one plate of food at the dining hall, giving up complaining, elevators, social media, makeup, meat, cheese, hot water (that means cold showers!)… People can be hard core.

I want to focus on making sacrifices that don’t have to do with food, so I’m not going to make any changes to my eating during Lent. With that said, here are only some of the delicious things I’ve been eating in the past few days!

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whole wheat French toast with banana and pb + scrambled eggs + glass o’ milk

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oatmeal with shredded coconut, pb, banana, and honey + scrambled eggs

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lentil and veggie African stew with sweet potatoes (YASSS) + some saucy-brothy Italian chicken 

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a five pound salad with romaine, carrots, tomatoes, roasted veggies, beets, and blue cheese(!!!)

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chipotle chicken (buried under there) with greens, barley salad, and feta

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roast beef, provolone, hummus, and veggie sandwich on wheat + more veggies and hummus + major veggie food baby 😛

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pork gyoza + scallion pancake + ramen with pork and a soft-boiled egg at Shabu and Mein when my parents came to visit!

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vanilla soft serve with frozen blueberries and granola (like, 10x this amount of granola)

Ahh food is so good. But not nearly as good as God.

Have a blessed day, everyone!

Side note: Fasting can be tricky if you are struggling (or have struggled) with an eating disorder. Fasting should be a challenging sacrifice, but it should also be reasonable and attainable in regards to your individual situation. If you are struggling with an eating disorder (which can be categorized as a mental disorder), you are exempt from fasting [source]. We fast to reiterate that our earthly needs cannot give us anything as valuable as God’s love, not to make ourselves miserable or unhealthy. Take care ♥

So tell me:

If you’re Catholic: Are you giving up anything/doing anything special for Lent?

If you’re not Catholic: What would you give up or do as a sacrifice for 40 days?

Do you like blue cheese?

Do you ever wish you didn’t eat so many vegetables at a meal?

Behind the Scenes #25: Burgers, Fries, and Ice Cream

Thinking-Out-Loud

with one of the coolest Canadians, Amanda

1) I feel like I don’t have much to do these days, yet I still end up filling my days with things. Chores, yoga/walking, seeing friends, making appointments, getting college stuff ready, blogging, reading, watching the World Cup. None of it is really urgent and I never feel busy, but I end the day thinking, “What did I even do today and how is it already 1 AM?!”

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2) If all THAT isn’t thrilling enough, Daliza, my family, and I are kicking it up a notch (or a hundred notches) starting Sunday. We’re going to Florida! My parents have a lovely vacation home down there, so we’ll be chillin’ there for a whopping THREE WEEKS. Daliza’s excited for Disney. I’m excited for Publix— the supermarket of the South. Typical.

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Last year in Florida when I made fish tacos and started the blog. Nostalgia.

3) I’m getting closer to holding my handstand! Right now, I get really excited when I hold it for a solid four seconds. I’m basically Shawn Johnson.

4) There’s nothing quite like a classic burger. Pickles, ketchup, mustard, cheese. Mmm. Lilly, Pam, and I went to Bareburger yesterday, and I had just that. We also shared sweet potato fries, because…sweet potato fries. Self-explanatory.

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The only thing that made this a little non-classic was the fact that it was a turkey burger instead of a beef burger.

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Sweet potato fries with their three sauces— curry ketchup, ranch, and “special sauce.” It was wonderful.

5) The fact that my friends and I are all going to college next month has not hit me AT ALL yet. Lilly is moving back to California tomorrow for college, and it’s just not emotionally occurring to me that she’s going so far away for such a long time. I’m just gonna start bawling out of nowhere in a few weeks when I’m listening to a sad song or something.

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♥ I’ll miss you so much, Lilly!!!

6) The “core four” got together last night at the local creamery for some catch-up conversation and ice cream!  I love hanging out with those girls.

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Apple pie ice cream = heavenly. 

7) I bought coconut flour yesterday just to make Amanda’s banana bread mug cake. I’m dreaming about it already.

8) I haven’t been carrying out my teenage duties of sleeping a lot over the summer. I don’t know why, but my internal clock wakes me up after about 7-8 hours of sleep every morning. That’s a perfect amount of sleep for me, but I can’t help but feel like I should be sleeping in even longer while I have that luxury.

9) As I’ve been doing more yoga recently, I’ve learned that I am so NOT flexible anymore. Well, I am and I’m not. I can still do the splits on each leg, but my shoulders are getting so tight that it’s getting difficult to clasp my hands behind my back. No bueno. If I’m gonna be a physical therapist, I better drink some of my own medicine and stretch more!

10) I hope you all have a fabulous day! I’ll leave you off with words from the coolest book around 😉

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So tell me:

Do you like burgers?

How long does your internal clock let you sleep?