Monday, 27 July 2015

Run & not grow weary

J U L Y 27th 
I'm blogging everyday for the month of July, sharing what I learn about what it means to be a steward of time. Time is so precious. This series is a personal experiment where I hope to get a better look into where I invest my time, and how I can better shape my life to serve God through my actions, words, and priorities. Look up the tag "July series" to view each post. 

Today felt like Christmas. There was no carol singing, tree decorating or turkey dinner, but there was an unmistakable peace. There was peace amidst all the physical pain and discomfort. Peace in the quiet hours of resting and reading, having homemade brownies brought to me, having my brother take an updated picture of my growing dahlia from the garden. 

Let me leave you with a verse that continues to help me as this post-surgery journey continues:

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Thank you for this promise, God. I look forward to running, jumping, walking, and dancing with joy again soon! 

Much love, Vivi  

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Still Valuable

J U L Y 26th
 I'm blogging everyday for the month of July, sharing what I learn about what it means to be a steward of time. Time is so precious. This series is a personal experiment where I hope to get a better look into where I invest my time, and how I can better shape my life to serve God through my actions, words, and priorities. Look up the tag "July series" to view each post. 

Dear day two post surgery, you certainly came with your challenges. You were not easy or anywhere near enjoyable, but that does not mean that you held no value. Each day that I press on through this journey of  healing and recovery is a day worthy of celebration. Each day of healing, as slow and painful as it may feel, is still a valuable day. I choose to celebrate rest, to celebrate downing green smoothies and reading for hours. I choose to celebrate the fact that it's not sweltering hot outside, but that July has blessed us with gentle rains. I choose to celebrate the fact that my family is supporting me so graciously and giving me my every need. 

Physical pain is never fun. No one likes being stuck to the couch for days with doctors orders of no showering for four days. So how do I spend my time honoring God in the midst of great pain? Here's what I've learned:

1. I can get excited for what lies ahead in my future. This pain is only temporary. It will pass. I will run 10k races and go to medical school and take ballroom dancing classes one day. 

2. I can praise God for all the goodness still present in my life. For family, for friends, for tea, for warm blankets, for who He is as my Healer and Provider and Comforter. 

3. I can celebrate every little moment towards full recovery. Feeling a bit better? Not so sore? *High five* body, you're doing awesome.

Let's here it for two days closer to running that 10k! ;) 

Much love, Vivi 

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Green Pastures

J U L Y 25th 
I'm blogging everyday for the month of July, sharing what I learn about what it means to be a steward of time. Time is so precious. This series is a personal experiment where I hope to get a better look into where I invest my time, and how I can better shape my life to serve God through my actions, words, and priorities. Look up the tag "July series" to view each post. 

Hey, friends. Today was day one post-surgery. I was loaded up with pain medication, good books, and my brother took photos of the flowers from outside on my phone for me (can you get any sweeter?!) I've lain here on the couch since 6 am this morning and don't plan on moving any time soon. Here's to rest and recovery and God's amazing healing power! In the midst of this crazy journey, psalm 23 never fails to quiet my heart and bring me peace:

The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

Much love, Vivi 

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Road to Recovery

J U L Y 24th 

Today's post is a little different than the rest of the July series. As I am writing this it is July 22, and by the time you are reading this I will have had surgery and will be resting and starting the road to recovery. I've decided to share some beautiful pictures of the backyard's flowers that I took earlier this week so that I could rest fully the day of the surgery. Please pray that I will have a quick and amazing recovery. God is good and He is the Great Healer! 

Much love, Vivi 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

He Never Leaves Us

J U L Y 23rd
I'm blogging everyday for the month of July, sharing what I learn about what it means to be a steward of time. Time is so precious. This series is a personal experiment where I hope to get a better look into where I invest my time, and how I can better shape my life to serve God through my actions, words, and priorities. Look up the tag "July series" to view each post. 

Productivity:
Writing my second (and last!) Calculus midterm. My brain really felt it at the two hour mark. So thankful that this test is behind me, and that only two more weeks of class are ahead! 
Working on a Physics chapter 
Getting a few things ready for my surgery tomorrow

Rest & Enjoyment:
Watching Insurgent. I'll give it a 7/10.. Haha. I needed something to get my mind off of tomorrow, and an action movie did the job quite nicely.
Putting the espresso machine to good use and enjoying a cashew milk chai latte.  
Journalling goals

Take aways:
Today brought a whole mix of emotions. I had a challenging midterm in the morning that left me quite exhausted. Coming home, I had a big headache and rested for a few hours. Today I felt my faith being stretched. I had a choice, just like yesterday, to choose faith or fear. Faith that God will guide the surgeon and everyone involved in the operation tomorrow. Faith that my recovery will be faster and smoother than anyone could predict. Faith that I will be able to run, go on hikes, do yoga, volunteer, and work without pain. 

This has been an eight month journey. I won't go into too much detail, but I was in so much pain that I could hardly walk, yet I went to class anyways because I didn't want to get behind on the material. I didn't want to be "weak." I saw seven doctors before they figured out what it was, and hearing that surgery was the final option was more of a relief than anything else, a mark in the road of the beginning of the end of a very long journey. 

Let this be a testimony that no matter what we face in life, God is good. He never left my side through all of this. He gave me peace in the hardest time of my life, and I know that He will give me supernatural peace tomorrow and through the weeks of recovery. 

Thank you for your prayers, friends.

Much love, Vivi 


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Take that, Fear.

J U LY 22nd 

I'm blogging everyday for the month of July, sharing what I learn about what it means to be a steward of time. Time is so precious. This series is a personal experiment where I hope to get a better look into where I invest my time, and how I can better shape my life to serve God through my actions, words, and priorities. Look up the tag "July series" to view each post. 

Productivity:
Finishing up my review for my Calculus midterm tomorrow morning! Whew. What a journey. (p.s. those slippers pictured above take studying to the next level). 
Working on the next Physics chapter 


Rest & Enjoyment:
Finishing Never Give Up by Joyce Meyer. I am definitely going to read this book again (and again).
Painting a watercolor piece. I haven't painted in ages. It felt so good to put a podcast on and whip out the peaceful watercolors 
Going to a picnic in the park with my church's young adult group. We hung out in the park by my church, had a bible study, and got into small groups to discuss different questions and pray together.  


Take aways:
Tonight I was faced with a "dilemma." I could stay home and study more for my midterm, or I could go to my church's young adult bible study. The thing is, I knew I had done enough studying already. I also knew that going to a young adult group for the first time by myself and not knowing anyone is kind of... terrifying. 

I was so nervous. Would there be cliques? What if no one talked to me? What if I farted really loud and everyone heard? (Okay that would be really funny, but so embarrassing.) My stomach was a flurry of butterflies as I weighed out my options. Deep down inside of me, I knew that I was supposed to go. The only thing standing in my way was fear. Fear of rejection, fear of the unknown. 

It's funny how fear can cause us to back away from having faith in God. Fear really is the opposite of faith. Fear is having faith that something bad is going to happen. Thankfully, God encouraged me to quit the fear and amp up my faith. And oh, what a good use of my time. Through the nerves and uncertainty, I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do, and that gave me a peace that really does pass understanding. 

There were no cliques. People were friendly and kind, and I made new and wonderful friends. I didn't fart either, I promise. ;) So, take that, fear. You've got nothing on God's faithfulness.

Much love, Vivi 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

To math or not to math

J U LY 21st 
I'm blogging everyday for the month of July, sharing what I learn about what it means to be a steward of time. Time is so precious. This series is a personal experiment where I hope to get a better look into where I invest my time, and how I can better shape my life to serve God through my actions, words, and priorities. Look up the tag "July series" to view each post. 

Productivity:
Going to a review Calculus class this morning 
Copious amounts of math review for Thursday's midterm. That white board gets some serious love. 

Rest & Enjoyment:
Watching an episode of Father Brown with my family. We love our British mystery series. 
Having a delicious dinner of tomato and feta soup with my family and some great conversation. 
Reading Never Give Up by Joyce Meyer 

Take aways: 
If you have been following this series for a few days or weeks now, you may have noticed a very repetitive theme: math, math and more math. Now, let me clarify something. This math-centered lifestyle is not normal for me, haha! I promise, my days are usually filled with activities other than integrals and fancy algebra. When I sat down to write this post I thought to myself, "Do people really want to hear about how I spent most of the day studying?" Well, I promised myself from the beginning of this series to be honest, to be truthful, and to not fabricate activities to try and make myself look good.

This math filled time of my life is not forever. In just a few weeks I will be forever free of having to take another calculus class. I'll be able to paint more, read more, and spend more time with my family and friends. Seasons of life can be challenging, but I want to always remember that they are just that, challenging seasons, and they too shall pass. 

Much love, Vivi