I’m sure you (my four readers) haven’t been holding your breath for my next blog post, but in case you were, you can breathe easy, because here you go.

It’s been a while. I blinked and now it’s March. My Apartment Therapy 8-Week Cure got put on hold for a bit since life has been a bit hectic with the new job starting. Life sure gets busier when 40 hours of your week are accounted for! I was slowly getting on a routine, only to mess it up again, but I’ll get to that later.

Right now, I thought I’d do a bullet point update because that’s all I have energy for (I just got a massage, so I’m feeling a little gelatinous right now).

Here’s my “What I’ve Been …” update:

What I’ve been:

Listening to: Not much actually. If I’m doing a menial task at work, I might put in my headphones, but I’m getting used to silence, and that’s a good thing. I have too much going on in my mind already, I don’t need to muddle it up with so much talk and music. When I do want some sound though, there’s a great iPhone app called White Noise, and it’s all I need to fall asleep, drown out the rowdy peeps on the bus, or just zone out and get my work done. When I’m in the car I do have the new Brandon Heath album playing. It’s an okay album, not his best though. Speaking of Brandon Heath, he and Dave Barnes (one of my faves!) are touring together! Any guess if they’re coming to Seattle?! NOPE. They are not. My heart dropped a little when I saw that.

Reading: As you know, I finished “Bonhoeffer” a while back and raved about it. Well, that there book put me in such a reading slump, that I finally just got out of it. (This slump was so desperate that not even Jane Austen could pull me out of it!! That’s serious, folks.) But, alas, I did find a book that kept my interest and interestingly enough, it’s by the same author as “Bonhoeffer.” I think that’s saying something. This guy has a gift. “Amazing Grace” is about the career-long passion of William Wilburforce to eradicate the slave trade and have abolition in Britain. It’s such a great read and so engaging. The author (Eric Metaxas) expounds on just how vulgar Great Britain was during the 18th century—public executions, animal cruelty, child prostitution, alcoholism, just to name a few and describes how the slave traders rationalized, lied and pretty much did anything to keep their industry thriving (similar to a few of the big industries in the US, but don’t get me started on that). It’s a fascinating read—so I recommend it if you’re looking for a suggestion. (There was a 2008 movie made based on this book, so you may recognize the title, besides the fact that it is also the name of a great hymn.)

Watching: Just as my ears haven’t been listening to much lately, my eyes haven’t been watching much either. The only time I actually have the TV on these days is usually when I’m cooking dinner before I run out the door again for whatever reason, so 20 minutes tops?. I couldn’t tell you what shows are even popular these days. I was following The Biggest Loser (via Hulu) but that started to get a tad too dramatic, so I turned that off too. I do still have NetFlix, so every once in a while I’ll sit down and watch a movie, but even those times are getting fewer and fewer.

Visiting: Unlike my last job where my computer screen was somewhat hidden from common view and I was able to surf the web a bit more, my new desk situation doesn’t afford me that luxury. My screen is pretty much open for all to see. This is kind of annoying, but just makes me work more I guess (right). So my daily web site visits are limited to just a few, well, two actually. BBCNews is my source for world news, but I’m not going to lie – I’m a headline reader. I have a basic understanding about what’s going on in the Middle East, and for now, I’m okay with that. I like BBCNews because I feel like I’m getting the real story rather than the somewhat Americanized version on our news sites. The other one I visit every morning is YoungHouseLove.com. It’s about a young family who’s in the process of redoing their home … their story is cute and their writing is down to earth and funny. Plus they have great style – and they are motivated DIYers.

Eating: I know this is a funny one, but my eating habits are somewhat strange (vegan), so I thought you’d be curious. Right now, I’m trying to fill my belly with more veggies. Strong misconception—all vegans eat are veggies… and soy. Wrong on both counts. I’m not a huge fan of soy products, so those are not a mainstay in my diet and just like everyone else, I need to make sure I get my vegetables. Actually, as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I don’t have anything planned for lunch tomorrow. Hmm. That’s going to be interesting. Eating vegan definitely takes more thought and planning, but I’m feeling good and my body tells me when I’m not eating well.  Anyway, I’m been making it a point to cook at least two meals a week (of course with leftovers that can get me pretty far). I made Sesame Noodles that were super easy (the hardest thing to do was chop the veggies) and really good – and it was perfect for lunch because it’s made to be eaten cold or at room temp. No heating required! My favorite meal of the moment though is so ridiculously easy: cook up some brown rice (it takes a while, I know, but it’s so good—and good for you!), heat up some black beans, stir in some cut up avocado and dowse with some salsa verde and some red salsa (Trader Joe’s Serrano Salsa is my favorite). This simple dish is hearty, and oh, so delicious!

Doing actively: My life unfortunately hasn’t been active these days, but that’s about to change (this is the routine change that I mentioned at the beginning). Today I signed up for the STP … the Seattle to Portland Bike Ride—two hundred miles of rolling rural roads on a bike. Man, is my butt going to be sore. I have four months to train, so I need to get my butt in gear (pardon the pun). I’m really excited for this though as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years. So, here I go! Training starts tomorrow!

Up to: So, after all that, what have I been up to? Well, work, a little play, a few Bible studies, some deep conversations with friends, some fun times with friends (karaoke, anyone?), and pretty much just getting through life. It’s good though.

Most importantly though, I’m learning more and more (on a deeper level) that I am forgiven. And really, you can’t get much better than that. My heart is light. No matter what else “I’ve been up to,” all that matters is that “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

With all the madness of keeping myself busy, I need to just remember that.

P.S. I’m hoping to post pics of my apartment soon! I want to finish the 8-week cure, but it’s going to take a bit longer. My place is getting to be where I want it though. I’m starting to love it, actually. Can’t wait for you to see it!

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