A Step Away from my Reality

media detox

I have been absent for a short while because I spent some time in Kentucky on a mission trip with my church. Internet connection was a luxury and not a normal expectation. I could access Google and Facebook on my phone intermittently but my Hot Spot connection was too weak for my laptop. It was a great detox from the typical technology overload.

We worked…created a landscaped memory garden for a family, orchestrated a Vacation Bible School for families, and organized boxes and boxes of donations. We fellowshipped with praise and worship music as the teens and missionaries played guitars together. We relaxed and refreshed ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We interwove ourselves into the culture that exists there and danced along at a hoedown event. I have not laughed so hard in a long time.

I brought much of my own food. I had concerns…social anxieties over eating…but it was fine. No stomach issues. No sleeping issues. For a few days, I could relax, refresh myself, and reconnect on a deeper level with God and people.

I am home now, back to the normal reality that is my life. Yesterday, I shared my experiences with someone at work, and she commented at how alive I seemed as  I shared this experience with her. It is humbling to serve others. I know I don’t need to travel away from home to serve others. Opportunities exist right in front of me every day. This is the lesson I have chosen to bring home from Kentucky. I hope I can return next summer, but for now, I will be more cognizant of every day opportunities to serve others and to be His hands and feet.

Thoughts on Getting Older

I celebrated my birthday yesterday….36 years…not a milestone decade or anything, but nonetheless, another year older. I spend my days working on a dementia unit in a long term care facility with 80 and 90 year olds so obviously, I know 36 is not that old in age. The reality, though, is that none of us know how many years we are promised in this life. As I watch my children grow older and think of the things I want to accomplish like publish a novel, swim with dolphins, visit the Philippines again, become a nursing home administrator….then 36 starts to feel old.

My birthday itself was a fun day. Since I have been following the guidelines in Lyn-Genet Recitas “The Plan,” I have a better handle on the foods that my body can handle. Despite food intolerances, I was able to indulge in birthday treats with no major repercussions except for a chocolate buzz that delayed my sleep some, but so worth it!

Here are some food pics from my birthday:

A cranberry scone from my favorite gluten free bakery, Organic Bliss, and a latte from Starbucks made with coconut milk…yum!

Birthday Breakfast up close

A “Miracle Tart” chocolate tart made by Hail Merry with virgin coconut oil, Fair Trade cocoa, and maple syrup in an almond flour crust with So Delicious Cashew Milk cappuccino non-dairy ice cream topped with Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter…so, so, so very good.

Birthday treats

Birthday Bliss

The best part of my birthday? Being with family and talking with friends who truly care about me and genuinely wished me a happy birthday. My son made me this unique Lego frame for my birthday. Homemade gifts are the best.

Jay-r Birthday gift

So, thoughts on my birthday?? God has been good. He has blessed me with wonderful family and friends, and He continues to use my current circumstances to prepare me for what is yet to come. Birthdays are a great time to reflect on all that has been accomplished and dream of all that is yet to come.

How about you? How do you view birthdays and getting older?