Happy New Year

January 1st, 2017.

It’s hard to believe that a new year is already here and ready to be lived. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were bringing in 2016?

Two thousand and sixteen. So much has happened. Good. Bad. Ups and downs.

I flew on an airplane for the first time.
I traveled to another country for the first time.
I went on my first mission trip.
(All of the above were on the same trip too!)
I made new friends and found a new family. (Love you, CR fam!)
I moved away from my hometown for the first time, and came home to family.
I felt the most pain that I have ever felt in my life this past summer, followed by the most joy and peace I’ve ever experienced. Those three days were the hardest days I’ve ever lived.
I grew closer to my best friends, my sister, and my family.
I changed my eating habits and have felt the healthiest I have ever felt in my life.
I started and finished an awesome job. (Thanks, Cato!)
I ached for the loss of a friend and saw him bring together hundreds of people even after his passing. We miss you, Zechariah.
I have been able to witness my best friend find love. ❤

I have been broken and rebuilt.
I have learned more about myself and about this thing we call “life”.
I have grown in so many ways, and yet at the same time I feel as if I haven’t grown at all.

This past year has been life changing. I can honestly say that at this time last year, I never could have imagined what God was going to do in my life or how the upcoming year was going to unfold.

I am ready to see what 2017 has to offer and I look forward to all of the adventures!

Happy New Year! May Yahweh bless you!

Contradictions

 


Oh, to live in my head.

I could spend hours there. I do spend hours there, in the vastness of my consciousness. Alone in the blissful nothingness, the infinite world that is my mind.

There, I see so many possible paths to take, and who and where I might be when the breath of life leaves my physical dwelling. It seems like an unending battle at times, one that no one else is privy to or aware of, raging within the confines of my imagination.

My thoughts race in every direction. Ideas form, not yet completed. Finding patterns where none exist. Pondering life’s mysteries is my past time. Brilliance seems just beyond my grasp. Time slows and time goes forward, all in one instance. Desiring the wonderfulness that is isolation while simultaneously, sometimes unbeknownst to even me, silently crying out for an understanding soul to join me in the quest of life.

It’s my own private sanctuary, and at times my own impenetrable prison.

It is my strength and my downfall.

Contradictions. This is what my consciousness does best. Back and forth. To and fro. Whirlwinds of thoughts and ideas that overtake and overwhelm, causing me to retreat into myself for reprieve. Where the chaos originated is where I run to for solitude. Ironic, isn’t it?

No. I told you, contradictions.


 

Thanksgiving 2016

Today is November 24th, 2016. It’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Today is traditionally a time to spend time with loved ones and, in the South, a time to chow down on some cornbread dressing. (Which I am greatly looking forward to by the way.) It’s a time for laughter, for making new memories, and for remembering that we shouldn’t take anything for granted, but to give Thanksgiving for all of the blessings we have been given.

Truly, we should give Thanksgiving every single day. Yahweh tells us to give thanks in all circumstances and in whatever you set out to do.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.  – Colossians 3:15-17

The past few days I have truly been reflecting on my life and thanking the Father for His goodness to me and my family, as well as my many friends and acquaintances. We, as a people, as a nation, and as a group of believers have so much for which we should be thankful.

Today will most definitely be filled with funny-business and good times, but I do want to take a moment today and seriously consider and give thanks for the blessings in my life:

First and foremost, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and who gave His one and only son so that we might have a chance to spend eternity with Him. Praise Yahweh!

If you live in the United State like I do, we have so many freedoms and rights. We have the freedom and right to serve Yahweh and share His love publicly. We have the freedom of speech. We have the freedom and right to bear arms. We have the freedom to elect leaders, whether they be county/parish, state, or federal. We can rest easy because of the men and women who defend and serve our country in one of the five branches of military; Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard. I, for one, am very thankful for the country I live in and for the principles it was built upon by the founding fathers. God bless the USA.

I have an amazing family. I don’t know what I would do or who I would be today without the support, correction, and encouragement of my parents, Mark and Tracy. My sister, Katy, is quickly becoming one of my best friends now that we are both older and getting past those days of sibling rivalry. (For the most part anyway. Heehee!) I love our talks, random dance moves, and karaoke sessions. My extended family is also such a blessing. I had no idea how blessed I was in the family department until a few years ago. There are so many people who don’t have a family or who do not have a good relationship with their family. I have never known a time in my life where I haven’t had the love or support of my family.

I have a roof over my head, food and water readily available, good health, clothes to wear, shoes for my feet, a car for transportation, and a steady job with a good paycheck, great friends and numerous acquaintances.

I am blessed. Beyond blessed.

I ask of you, my dear readers, to hold your loved ones closer today, for you never know when they may be called home to glory. Remember to send a prayer of thanks before you dig into that aforementioned dressing and before you fall into bed tonight. Please, remember to thank the one who has given us our abundant blessings.

Shalom and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,
Allison

Life Update: I’m Still Here, I Promise

It has been a long time since I’ve written or posted anything. (You know, except for the first three drafts of this post that I have deleted.) Life has been busy. I do want to drop in today, on this beautiful day of rest, and give you an update of sorts on how I’m doing, what’s been going on, and if I’m still doing that crazy plant-based thing.

I began working full time towards the end of September. As of now, I am the acting first assistant at my job. I’m loving it. Yes, I have days where I want to 1) crawl under a clothing rack and curl into the fetal position or 2) run out of the store screaming and crying. Those days aren’t my favorite. Other than a few bad days though, my job is going great. I love helping our customers. I basically get to shop with them all day! I work for a great company. I have fantastic bosses and some pretty snazzy co-workers. It’s crazy to think that I have only been there seven months and I’ve gone from being the newbie (and the baby), to being one of the employees that’s been there the longest and in management (and no longer the baby).

All that to say, I love my job. It can be stressful, but it can also be oh so rewarding.

What else have I been up to you ask? Not much. I work about 40 hours a week and I am still trying to figure out how people who work full time have the time or energy to have families or lives outside of their work. If you have any tips, comment below. Please.

As for the crazy plant-based thing…yep! I’m still happy with my veggies, fruits, grains, legumes, and seeds. It’s amazing, really. By the 21st of this month, I will have been plant-based for four months. I have never felt better. It’s crazy too, because I didn’t realize how much I had slimmed down until last night when I did a side-by-side picture.

The first picture was taken of me in January of this year when I was in Costa Rica. The second picture was taken two days ago when I was trying on clothes after my shift at work. Guys. I have gone from wearing anything from a 6/8 (Small/Medium), to wearing a 2/4 (Extra Small/Small) depending on the item. What?! I am still in shock somewhat because I have never before been this small. It’s surreal.

The benefits of this diet are amazing. If you are eating enough of the right things, your body loves you for it. I would love for everyone to just go plant-based right now, but I also know that a lot of people will not want to give up their meat, or cheese, or whatever it may be that’s holding you back. I totally get that, I didn’t think this would be a permanent thing for me when I started.

However, I highly encourage you to start eating at least one completely meat-free, dairy-free, animal byproduct-free meal a day and see how you feel. You may think that means you’ll be eating nothing but carrots and celery. I’m here to tell you that is simply NOT the case. Yesterday, I had a banana smoothie for breakfast, a delicious sandwich for lunch, and tried out a yummy new pasta recipe for dinner. There are truly so many options! I even got my meat-loving Texan coworker to love several of my recipes! If you want to find some yummy recipes you can check out my Plant-Strong Pinterest Board or you can simply Google plant-based or vegan recipes.

I will be honest with you guys. I have not been doing well with eating since starting my full time position. I have bought a lot of freezer or processed vegan meals that I can just put in the microwave at work. I would much rather be eating more of a whole food diet, but that just isn’t happening right now. I also haven’t been eating often enough. It can be difficult at work to get away for a break when there is so much to do. Food literally doesn’t enter my mind sometimes.

I am working on changing this! I need to make my body a priority and feed it accordingly, as well as making sure I get enough water. (I try for a gallon a day, but that doesn’t always happen.) Anyway, that was my little confession. I felt like I should put that out there.

So…yeah. That’s what’s happening in Alli’s little corner of the world. (Does the world have corners? I mean, it is a sphere…so…)

I hope you have a blessed Shabbat!

Shalom,
Allison

The Struggle is Real

The past few weeks have been full of emotional ups and downs. You truly don’t know how used you are to a particular way of life until you drastically change it. I guess the title “I Made A Major Lifestyle Change That Isn’t So Major” was a little premature. Oh, well. Live and learn.

I need to write about these struggles that I’ve been having because 1) I want to update you on my journey to health and 2) for me personally, writing my thoughts down helps clear my head and relieve stress. Writing is seriously therapeutic.

I suppose since this is my therapy session I should be reclined on a chaise lounge talking about my dreams, huh? Just kidding. Let the therapy session begin. Continue reading