Tuesday, December 31, 2019

End of a Decade

Thought I better get a quick update in before the end of the decade, especially since I have just over a year left to finish the list!

#149 go to the Indianapolis Symphony
Such a fun time at Symphony on the Prairie! We were absolutely melting at this point but once the sun went down it was much more pleasant. We had quite the spread since Miranda is a charcuterie expert. It was Broadway songs and they did a great job, with a nice mix of old classics and newer hits.

#142 go to 10 Indians games (9 done)
This has become an annual event with our church and aside from the madness of being downtown during Gen Con, it was a beautiful, relaxing evening spent with friends.

#82 read Rhythms of Grace by Kerri Weems
"If we are ever to tap into the abundant life that Jesus came to give us, we must stop the overwhelming momentum of the lives we have created for ourselves. We have to learn to listen and move to a different beat."

"When we are leading healthy lifestyles, we are healthy all around. Spiritual health and physical health can go hand in hand when we realize how much God values our bodies and we make valiant efforts to value them too. Valuing ourselves is part of the process of personal wholeness."

"To be spiritually vital means that our condition is one of strength and continual growth. This kind of spiritual life overflows from unbroken fellowship with Christ as we keep pace with Him under the yoke of grace. It's not something we can force or control through spiritual practices."

"Personal wholeness means trusting that God's wonderful grace is just enough for you. His grace releases us from the pressure of perfect performance. When we admit we are not perfect and never can be, we declare that God is perfect and everything about Him- His work, timing, strength, provision- is perfect as well. We don't have to try to be someone we're not and we can be completely honest about our weaknesses. When I am under the yoke of grace, I am content with where I am right here, right now, weakness and all...as long as I am walking close to Jesus."

#79 read The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey
"No one who meets Jesus ever stays the same."

"There is only one way for any of us to resolve the tension between the high ideals of the gospel and the grim reality of ourselves: to accept that we will never measure up, but that we do not have to. We are judged by the righteousness of the Christ who lives within, not our own."

"Grace is for the desperate, the needy, the broken, those who cannot make it on their own. Grace is for all of us."

"In view of Jesus' clear example, how is it that the church has now become a community of respectability, where the down-and-out no longer feel welcome?"

"Again, I find it strangely comforting that when Jesus faced pain he responded much as I do. He did not pray in the garden, 'Oh, Lord, I am so grateful that you have chosen me to suffer on your behalf. I rejoice in the privilege!' No, he experienced sorrow, fear, abandonment, and something approaching even desperation. Still, he endured because he knew that at the center of the universe lived his Father, a God of love he could trust regardless of how things appeared at the time."

#289 do 10 activities that are new or intimidating (4 done)...make doughnuts

We may have gone a little overboard on the dozens of apple cider doughnuts we made, but it was the end of a fun fall day with friends where we conquered a corn maze.

#289 do 10 activities that are new or intimidating (5 done)...get a mammogram
Haha sorry if this is too much information for any guys that may happen to be reading this, but at least I'm not including a picture for this one. : ) First things first, everything is completely fine. I had a lot going on physically (months of PT after a badly sprained ankle and some dental surgery) and then had to wait a couple of months for my annual physical before I could get in, which gave me some time to process things and mentally prepare myself for whatever the outcome would be. I really leaned into God during that time and felt a lot of peace as I prayed that whatever happened, my life would bring him glory.

But eventually I realized that waiting that long was wearing on me and I was just ready to find out whatever the diagnosis was. He reminded me that although it was right that I had come to him and trusted him with it, he had also placed people in my life to help support me and encourage me in the midst of the anxiety of not knowing. So finally sharing with some trusted friends and family, as well as the ladies in my Bible study group, helped me get through the last couple of weeks before I found out that everything was ok.

Side note: it was not nearly as terrible having it done as everyone had made it out to be. Haha apparently I cause much more pain to myself on a regular basis, so this seemed like nothing.

#36 read The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
This was another really interesting book by David McCullough. I have been interested in the Wright brothers since elementary school, when my friend Courtney and I dressed up as them for a school project. I was a pretty stellar Wilbur and if I happen upon that picture at some point, I will add it to a future blog post.

#268 do a different physical activity for 12 straight months (1 done)...Drumstick Dash
These kiddos did a great job again running the Drumstick Dash. Kinsey was ready to walk way too early, but between carrying them and the occasional sprints through the crowd, they powered through. We also had a fun sleepover the night before with tons of food and surprising them with seasons 1 & 2 of Rescue Rangers. I played the theme song for Kinsey once and she still remembered it months later so I decided it was time for them to be properly introduced to the show. These two are pretty stinking awesome.

#268 do a different physical activity for 12 straight months (2 done)...Donut 5K

This is a pretty incredible group of people. My cousin Jillian does Spartan races and we met some of her racing buddies when we did a Sprint (blogged about it a couple of years ago). Since then I've gotten to know even more of them as I've done various races, cheered them on at theirs, attended theater productions with them, and had some of them come rock climbing with me. The Primal Misfits are such a strong, supportive community that really push each other and build each other up. For the Donut 5K, the guys came out to cheer on the ladies and some of the daughters that joined in.

I hope you've all had a wonderful 2019 and are looking forward to this next year. I'm really trying to buckle down and set some goals to keep me focused since I have just over 15 months left to finish my list. As always, let me know if there's an item you want to help me with or if you have any ideas for my 40 things to do in my 40s list. Happy New Year!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

8 Years Down!

Only a short 9 months since my last update! Haha I think I'm really getting the hang of this consistent blogging thing. But I finished a good chunk of activities and I also worked hard at getting caught up on some of my reading. Due to the number of items I'm blogging about, I'm going to probably say very little about the books, but feel free to ask me about any of them that you want to know more about.

#83 read Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore
"Looking back now, I mourn the mutual wounds inflicted in verbal battles with the 'unsaved.' In fact, I have chosen to delete that particular term from my vocabulary as I have learned that even with my $500 European-designer bifocals, I cannot see into a person's heart to know his spiritual condition. All I can do is tell the jagged tale of my own spiritual journey and declare that my life has been the better for having followed Christ."

"...you can't judge people by what they do or what they have. You got to judge them by what they been through. And you ain't gonna know what they been through lessin you cares enough to ask. But, if the truth was to really come out, God don't need no more judges; He's got courthouses full of em. What God does need is servants. I pray you will become one."

#289 do 10 activities that are new or intimidating (1 done)...pie eating contest
Since there wasn't any female representation in the pie eating contest at church, I of course decided I should participate. My chief competitors were the Harris brothers who are more than 15 years younger than me (everyone else was even younger than that) and are over 6 feet tall. I obviously had no chance.

I convinced one of my high school girls, Abi, to do it with me. She was such a good sport since it was way outside of her comfort zone. There were dozens of people crowded around watching us and taking videos so it was kind of intense.
Haha but I love that Ben made a sign to cheer for me instead of his two brothers that were competing against me. What can I say, I'm such a fan favorite! Also, for future reference: I may not be a speed eater, but I could definitely perform well in an endurance challenge.

#24 read Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

#140 go to 10 Pacers games (8 done)

Chris did his fellowship at our office for 9 months so I tried to help him experience some Indiana things while he was here. He's a Wizards fan so we went to watch them play the Pacers. It was an exciting game where we blew a big lead but managed to hold on for the win.

#244 buy a new TV
I finally broke down and did it! I got my console TV for free when I first moved into my apartment in 2004 and then brought it along to the house too. I was a little sad to get rid of it though since it was still working. No, I did not actually keep it to use as a TV stand for the new one even though it was very tempting. A big thanks to my friend Curtis who actually did the research for me and found a good deal for me on my new one!

#289 do 10 activities that are new or intimidating (2 done)...lip sync battle
There is an actual video of this floating around somewhere but I will just let you use your imagination instead. I went to a Christmas party (once again I was about 15 years older than everyone but the parents...I'm beginning to see a pattern here that may be related to the fact that I am much closer to the end of this list than to the start of it) where we played a bunch of games. My "reward" for winning the Christmas logic puzzle game was that my partner and I had to compete against each other in a lip sync battle. I tried to hold my own, but she was definitely much more accustomed to doing dramatic performances. Anything to make people laugh though!

#291 play the piano every week for a year
So my goal was to play half an hour every week and make up any weeks that I missed. I did pretty well overall but had to apologize to my roomie that she would hear me play a lot the last week since I had something like 7-8 hours left. At least I had lots of Christmas songs I could play through at the end of the year.

#107 read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
"We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it's our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand."

#140 go to 10 Pacers games (9 done)
A fun Christmas gift for my friends and a very memorable first Pacers game for the Tindalls. At one point during the game a large man barrel rolled all the way from the top of the section down to the bottom of it. He apparently fell and once the first few rows didn't stop him he just got so much momentum going that he couldn't stop. He went by through our row just a few seats over so it was really freaky. It happened so fast you hardly had time to realize what was happening or to try and stop him. So crazy.

I've determined if that ever happens to me I'm going to just go all spread eagle- getting an arm caught and breaking it would be way less traumatic than falling that far. Luckily, after a couple of minutes he got up and walked away with his friends so hopefully there were just a bunch of bruises for him the next day.

#279 touch a real snake
This is Penelope. She lives in a tank at Climb Time. I actually didn't even know she was real for a long time and it was about a year before I even learned her name. After yelling at me for not knowing her name, Jake (one of the awesome employees there) got her out for me to hold. On a random but fun side note, Jake recently learned his lesson about trying to fight my sister. I warned him that she had a vicious scissors hold if she got him down to the ground, but he had to learn the hard way. And then she accidentally backhanded him in the face later. Haha have I mentioned how much entertainment there is at the climbing gym??

#78 read A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
"The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians- when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. But, though it is just to condemn some Christians for these things, perhaps, after all, it is not just, though very easy, to condemn Christianity itself for them."

#282 get certified in something
I got CPR certified. Please don't make me use my knowledge.

#31 read Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

#44 read Just As I Am by Billy Graham
All I can say is it's ridiculously impressive how much he accomplished at such a young age and how he was able to touch millions of lives all around the world. And yet, when you do so much you realize there's so much more that needs to be done. A good reminder from Billy as he spoke about trying to visit places where they had provided assistance after disasters:

"We know we cannot do everything that needs to be done, but in a world that is never free of turmoil, Christ calls us to do what we can."

#247 don't speak for 24 hours
I guess it's kind of fitting that I don't have any picture for this one. Life had been crazy busy and I decided that I just wanted a mini vacation where I didn't have to be around people, could have a little silent retreat, and could get caught up on some of my reading. My awesome friend Sheri let me stay at her house while she was out of town and it was just what I needed to recharge. I had a whole day of quiet, journaling, and connecting with God.

#23 read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

#241 get a pedicure
This was well overdue since a) I've never had one before and b) climbing is hard on the feet. Our climbing buddy David told us his sister had just opened a salon in Carmel (Be.You.tiful Nails) so we went to support her new business. It was really nice in there and I had a great time hanging out with my sweet climbing girls. They were also kind enough to pick out a color for me since I could not handle the overwhelming number of options. My nails looked great for about 3 weeks and then the climbing shoes took a toll on them.
Me with Cameron, Carolyn, and Christina. Carolyn was such a sweetie to give me my pedicure as a late birthday present!

#289 do 10 activities that are new or intimidating (3 done)...lead climbing
Holly and I decided to learn how to lead climb with Aaron & Carolyn so that we can climb outside at some point. I only really said yes because I like hanging out with them and it would count toward an item on my list. I don't particularly like to learn new things or do things that I'm not good at (hence why I added #289 to the list). I get weirdly nervous and become a chatty student who makes a lot of jokes. Luckily Topher was super chill and made class a lot of fun. Unfortunately for him we suffered schedule issues, job stuff, and my badly sprained ankle. So our 4 or 5 sessions ended up stretching out for 4 months before we finally all officially graduated. I also tried to jack up my good ankle during one lesson. But at least in the end we learned a new skill, made a new friend, and I evened out the ankles so my bad ankle didn't seem as terrible when you compare it to my "good" ankle.

Still smiling four months later!

#27 read Huck Finn by Mark Twain

For those of you keeping score at home, the tally is now 94/120 books and 233/300 total items. So I have to double up on books some months still but I'm not too far off the pace. If I didn't mention it before (who can remember these things when it's been 9 months since the last blog??), I'm also taking suggestions for #298 which was added to the list- create a 40 things to do in my 40s list. This of course is assuming that I survive my 300 list. Thanks for reading and if you've stuck with it through such a long update, you definitely get a good star today!!