Monday, September 19, 2011

You Did What?!?!






It's been too long, I know. This time around, it was my conscience that drove me to write.


God, confession time.


Mom, I'm sorry. I figured you would forgive me. In fact, you're the reason I did what I did. Anyway, here's how it all went down:


Last Friday night (no, I didn't start singing the lyrics to Katy Perry's hit song), I served at my classmate's Friday Night Dinner (crazy busy but a total blast, btw :).


Toward the end of the evening, just before dessert was served, I was clearing a woman's plate from the table. She stopped me and pointed at the bracelet I was wearing - not just any bracelet, mind you, but the very first bracelet that my very own mother (that's you, Mom) designed and created for me. Special piece of jewelry. Pearls, 'HOPE', and a cross and heart charm were the bracelet's dominate attributes that I most admired.


Anyway, this woman (gosh darnit, I'm forgetting her name....Sylvia. No...Janet. No. Man, why can't I remember a stinkin' name?!! Dad, your Lumosity Brain exercises are taking their sweet precious time to kick in!! Oh, wait! Fran. That sounds vaguely familiar...regardless if it's the woman's name or not, we're sticking with Fran....) comments on the piece of sterling silver - plus a few pearls and charms - and wants to know where I got it. "My Mom made it. She makes jewelry," was my overly intelligent response. Fran was shocked! She wanted to know how/where she could get one just like mine. How much would it cost. When she could get it. Etc. Um....I had to excuse myself. Had to clear a dish....


Okay God, for some reason, at that moment, I felt like I needed to (or more wanted to, rather) give this Fran woman my bracelet. . . Returning to her table with the jewelry in my hand, I slipped the bracelet into her palm. I had given Fran my very first bracelet that my Mama had given to me. Right as I gave it to her, she noticed the little cross charm. "Oh, but, I'm Jewish...I can't wear a cross..." Badoom shing.... She was Jewish. But, of course. Hence why I felt so compelled to give her my 'Hope' bracelet with a cross. It didn't seem to bother her too much. She said she could 'hide' the cross. I told her she could explain to her Jewish friends that a sweet li'l Christian girl gave her the bracelet :) Anyway...


Mom, so that's how the story goes. I gave my bracelet away. Happy Fran. Sad Ali (not really). But, naked wrist. Okay, okay, before you go on gettin' all mad at me and stuff (using this for story sake onl), everyone knows you would be the last person on planet earth to be upset over such a minuscule thing as this. In fact, you've often initiated such generous acts of kindness :), just think: A Jewish woman (who fell in love with a Jesus bracelet you made) is now wearing it on her wrist. Oh, I forgot to mention that this woman Fran told me that she has copious amounts of jewelry (including many pieces from Tiffany's and an $800 watch), yet she was absolutely googoo gaga over YOUR humble and simple yet elegant and classy bracelet. I thought that was cool :)


Yep, I'm guilty as charged. I gave my bracelet to a Jewish woman....


That's that.


Cheers to life and silly stories  :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All Okay



God, I love Your sign of promise, the rainbow. It's a visual reminder of Your faithful consistency. You're God. Always the same. You never ever change. Yes, Your ways tend to be out of the box, unexpected, a mystery, but they're always consistent with Your character. I love that. I love You.


I, on the other hand, am constantly inconsistent. So unreliable. So up and down, front to back. I change. People change. Circumstances change. Thoughts and emotions change.


But, that's okay....so, I'm learning.


It's okay.


It's okay to feel.


It's okay to be human.


It's okay to not know.


It's okay to not have everything figured out.


It's okay to experience pain.


It's okay to be honest.


It's okay to confront.


It's okay to be vulnerable.


It's okay to love.


It's okay to be loved.


It's okay to know.


It's okay to ache.


It's okay to know something is right, even if it hurts.


It's okay open up.


It's okay to have boundaries.


It's okay to be uncomfortable.


It's okay to feel sad.


It's okay to move on.


It's okay to feel small.


Yet, it's okay to know and rest in a Big God.


It's okay to live.


It's okay to be okay.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpMI8Qu5fsc



It's okay to be okay with being human and weak. 


I serve a Crazy Amazing Unchanging Strong God.


Thank You Jesus :)


I'm okay. Better yet. I'm content to rest in You.


oxo

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Because



Hi Daddy.


No, I didn't write 51 things I love about you on your birthday.


And, no, I didn't sing you a rappin' rhyme for Father's Day.


I'm sorry.


Does this make me a horrible daughter???


You'll get over it I presume :)


So, the reason for this blog post???


Just Because.


Just because I felt like it.


Just because you're pretty darn cool....you like to surf and you don't have gray hair....yet, at least ;)


Just because you're funny....like that time you thought that Andy Warhol statue was a real person.


Just because you're thoughtful....you'll watch "Bachelor" and "So You Think You Can Dance" with Mama.


Just because you have sophisticated tastes....you like bitter dark beers on tap and pink fro yo with sprinkles.


Just because you're mega smart....."The retracting neurochemical heightened responses overstimulated the oral cavity perpendicular to the transmembrane cranial sacrel yada yada yad. Capeesh?!"


Just because you're graceful...like the time you tried to fit all your bulky luggage through the Metro turnstile and...and....and....I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard!! bahhahahahaha!!!


Just because your laugh is contagious.....once you begin, there ain't no stoppin'! vicious cycle!!


Just because you're the world's best dad....this one doesn't need explaining. it's a given :)


Just because you're passionate.....about futbol....like that one time your silly, non-thinker daughter told you the outcome of a big-time soccer game before you had the chance to watch it....which leads me to


Just because you're full of humility....Jesus' grace!


Just because you love Jesus with such a deep, wide intense love....you're one of the only human beings that makes me cry when you say the name Jesus.


Just because you're a gift....from God!


Just because I'm soooooo beyond blessed and grateful to have YOU as my Daddy!


Just because I LOVE YOU!


Just because.


Do I really need a reason???


Dad. Not many people can say that word and truly mean it. I can.


I miss you and love you to San Diego and back!!!


xoxo 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sweet as Pooh



Hi God :) I know I know, it's been waaaay tooo loooooong. But, anyway, here I am, writing more silly occurrences of my grand dramatic life....Ha!.....


K, so it went something like this ~


'Pedro' (name change for privacy reasons ;): "Ali, guess what?! I've been saying 'poop' like you told me to!!" 
He gives me a big ol' grin and a thumbs up.


Me: "You mean in exchange for the f-word?? Aw, Pedro! That's my boy!!"
Big grin and thumbs up in return.


You just never know when your sound, wise advice will rub off on those around you :)
Well, I know 'poop' probably isn't the best word replacement, but it's a start. 
Baby steps.


P.S.
God, I love you! You're pretty great :D

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fairy Tale


Hi God :)


I'm in a story-telling sorta mood. K, so here I go...


Once upon a day, there was this ambitious, silly girl (let's call her Daisy) who lived in New York City. Desiring to set the record straight among her many acquaintances and friends as far as being regarded as 'the sweet girl who was/is kind to everyone and wouldn't hurt a fly,' Daisy set out to do just that (unintentionally) on a particular weekday in the month of May. Oh, to begin with, she thinks flies are gross, wants to kick dirty pigeons, and city squirrels....can't even mention what she thinks of those!! So, if this wasn't enough to dispel that high-pedestal belief, don't worry! We haven't even touched the good part! 


K, as mentioned just a second ago, Daisy had quite the day (or episode, rather) on this sunny Thursday. In the morning, she had training (to be a server) at the Hummus Place on the Upper West Side. It was pretty exciting, learning the ins, outs, ups, downs of serving customers at a restaurant. Daisy likes numbers too, so that's good because this job will require lots of math. While an overall fun time, she did get dizzy...lots of twirling about the tiny hole-in-the-wall of a place. Whatev. That's beside the point...after a delicious meal of homemade hummus and roasted eggplant and cucumber, tomato salad and mint lemonade, Daisy and her full tummy took a lovely stroll through the grand Central Park. Then, continued her journey downward along 6th Ave, made a grocery stop at the over-crowded-but-nice-low-prices Trader Joe's, and eventually to her apartment in the funky cool East Village. The second she made the loooong walk home, she received a courteous text message from her internship boss: 'sure. come on by.' it read. Whew, she was kinda pooped as it was, buuuut what the heck, another 6 hour shift of work (in the kitchen, nonetheless) was calling her name (not really, but she really wanted to knock out interning hours for her culinary program).....Gee this sure does sound like a girl named Ali Wright who also lives in NYC, but I the narrator assure you, not the same girl (for privacy reasons or somethin' like that...). 


Aaaanyway, back the this overly exciting story. K, so Daisy was on a roll with the ol' walking the streets of Manhattan, what's a half hour more of walking?? Onward down to Tribeca to the kitchen where she gets some pretty darn great culinary experience. She had a FABulous time. Tiredness fluttered away. Kitchen packed full of multi-lingual testosterone, delicious smells, and fun times = good night :) Daisy and her boys had a grand time throughout restaurant service, preparing beautiful delicious dishes for the many guests above in the dining room. Ah, night well spent. Leaving the restaurant after 11:30pm, a wave of tiredness kicked in, although a smile rested on that worker bee's face. Being the good little girl that she is (by listening to her mommy and daddy), Daisy was hoping to flag down a taxi to ride home since it was late at night and this is NYC we're talking about. She had to weave in and out of a few streets in SoHo before finally being able to hail a cab. 


(Ok, from here on out, the plot thickens and reaches climaxe and everything happens very quickly, so hold on tight...oh, and p.s. don't judge...the girl I mean. Judge the cab driver all you want. Jk! But, not really! :) Good. Got one (a cab that is)! Hopped in. Taxi driver didn't say a word. No biggy. Whatev. 'East Village, please.' Still no word. Bumpy ride. Takes 4 minutes. Pull in front of Daisy's apt. Needs to pay. Swipes card. Nothing happens. Swipe again. Nothing. 'Um...did it go through??' asked Daisy, in her kind, sweet voice. Thick accent answers, 'No. Receipt didn't print. Did not go through.' Okay. Um...swipe again. Still nothing. Now, according to Daisy and her 'special' brain (aka horrible memory), exact convo leading up to exiting the taxi is not exactly remembered. She tried her best to remember. She tries another credit card. Doesn't go through. 'Sir, I think your machine is broken.' Taxi driver, 'No! It's your card. I drive people all day long and they all work.' Finally, debit card goes through (Thank You Lord!!). Taxi Driver, 'See!! It's your card!' Daisy, 'Okay. But, Sir, you could have been a little nicer about it.' Apparently that was the wrong thing to say. Taxi driver turns to Daisy, 'F**k you, stupid girl!! Eff you, little b***!! D**n you!!' Ohmygoodness!! Daisy, is just a sweet little girl from the suburbs and usually uses words such as 'poop' and 'golly' and 'goodness,' so hearing those vulgar expletives coming out of his mouth and directed at her nonetheless, she got a little rosy around the edges. Actually, she was ruffled, every feather on her body was sticking on end. She was mad. How dare that cab driver say those absolutely horrible things. She even tipped him a nice tip. She jumped out of that cab, looked at the driver and said in a (I'm sorry, this tone wasn't as sweet as normal) firm, frazzled, upset tone, 'Well, well, GOD BLESS YOU!!!' (Slam!) Slammed the door and stormed off. Daisy was SOOO ticked off. It surprised even her! She flew up her five flights of stairs trying to fight back tears. She felt violated. She thought horrible thoughts. She was so mad at that darn old taxi driver. Didn't have one ounce of forgiveness or compassion or love for the guy!!! 


Oh, Jesus, I hate him!! I feel like hitting him!! Why did you allow such a bad thing to happen!! I have never been so mad, I don't think!! Wow! This flesh life of mine is beautiful, isn't it!! I'm not surprised to tell you the truth. Not surprised at all by my reaction. Of course I got offended and am upset and want to hurt something (mostly him!). This is a tough-as-nails city. And, without YOUR holy powerful Life in control and flowing freely through me, my flesh life wins! And, boy is it ugly!!!! Soften my heart...Jesus, I don't like that taxi driver at all!! But, You Jesus, You love Him. Ouch! Father, bless him. Bless him. Bless him. Touch him with Your Love and Your Grace. He desperately needs You. And, apparently, SO DO I!!! Bed time.


See. Daisy, a seemingly sweet kind girl, is just like every other human. Yet, she serves one heck of a God :)


The End.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

51 Candles


Happy 51st Birthday, Dear Mom!!!



Today is my Mommy's Birthday!! Lord Jesus, thank You oh so much for choosing Alisa Wright to be my Mother! I am so grateful and blessed to have such an incredible woman bring me into this world and raise me and love me and teach me lessons that only she could teach me by Your sweet, tender loving grace! She points me to You, Jesus!! 

I love you, Mama, and so much about you!!! 

1.) I love YOU
2.) I love your smile
3.) I love your laugh
4.) I love your positivity
5.) I love your teachable spirit
6.) I love your generosity
7.) I love how hospitable you are
8.) I love your transparency 
9.) I love your kindness
10.) I love selflessness
11.) I love your humility
12.) I love your simplicity
13.) I love your trusting spirit
14.) I love your faith
15.) I love your excitement
16.) I love your passion
17.) I love your silliness
18.) I love your contentment
19.) I love your diligence
20.) I love your joy
21.) I love your desire to grow
22.) I love your attitude
23.) I love your compassion
24.) I love your boldness
25.) I love your quick decision making ability
26.) I love your cooking
27.) I love your wisdom
28.) I love how special you make me and others feel
29.) I love your thoughtfulness
30.) I love your sportiness
31.) I love how quickly you accomplish tasks
33.) I love your cleanliness
34.) I love your nurturing (yet not babying) heart 
35.) I love your ability to listen
36.) I love your gentleness
37.) I love and admire your patience
38.) I love how you parent
39.) I love your zest for life
40.) I love your love for Dad
41.) I love your love and passion for Jesus and to know Him
42.) I love chatting with you
43.) I love traveling with you
44.) I love your outlook and perspective on life
45.) I love your freedom in Christ
46.) I love how you don't dwell in bitterness
47.) I love your perspective on aging and growing older
48.) I love how you love people, family, friends, strangers, all
49.) I love your Security, Identity, Confidence in Jesus
50.) I love your singing voice  and your dance moves :)
51.) I love YOU and the Life of Christ that is SO evident in your daily, moment-to-moment walk in Him. Jesus shines ever so brightly and powerfully in and through you, Mama! I love how He is your Joy and Peace and Love and Hope and Rest and your All. He's your Enough!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Mom and Friend whom I love and adore so very much!!!!! 

P.S. There is so much more I love about you, just want you to know :)

xoxo



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The New Smokin' Fad!



I'm gonna cut right to the chase, God. Been doing some thinking lately, and I've been thinking I should take up a new hobby.....specifically smoking! What d'ya think?!?!


I know I know. It's bad for me. It stinks. It's addictive. Can put a croakin' toad in my throat. And cause cancer.


BUT....


Practically everyone in NYC does it. It's more of a social thing than anything. A majority of people in the restaurant industry smoke. Not to lose weight (I don't think) and not because they'll die if they don't (I don't think, again). Rather, their reasons for poppin a siggy (aka cigarette) are this: a good excuse to take a break from work and get some fresh air (haha! well...outside air, I should say :). Really! Isn't that kinda funny if you think about it?? Hi, my names Ali, and I just started smoking camels because i wanna see 7 minutes of sunshine with my homies....


Oh, paleez! Give me a break!! 


Well, actually, I'm a social butterfly, and I kinda want an excuse to take a breather and mingle with random strangers who all have smoking in common. Hmmm....Should I or shouldn't I take up smoking?? Oh, or perhaps I can become addicted to fat Cuban cigars. Nah, hate the smell. Or, what about pipes?? Gotta love a vanilla scented pipe-a-roo!! 


What it boils down to is this: I want an excuse to take a break that employers won't give me crap about. But, not super crazy about the stickin' a smokey thing in my mouth. Wait! I have an idea! How about I use my small, weak bladder issue as an excuse?!! Genius! I should start drinking even more water than I do! My poor bladder is like that of an 80yr-old's!! Actually, that's more anti-social than anything...unless I were a guy. Or, I could buy myself an inhaler and pretend I have asthma. Hey boss, gotta go take a puff with my fellow employees as they surround me with their cigarettes! Um...not thinkin' that'll fly so well, especially if those with breathing problems are advised to keep their distance from smokers. Oh, I could acquire a bad case of temperamental Spanish turrets. Havin' a no bueno chinga episode!! Need fresh air!! Now not so sure...especially with a majority of fellow employees being Hispanic. (Sigh)...What to do what to do??? 


I guess I'm left with no other creative excuse than to smoke....But, don't worry any of you anti-smokers you!! I'll be sure and whip out my bubble siggies from now on...the ones that taste like bubble gum :)


Happy 4/20 (aka my birthday, not the national smoke pot day part)!!! :)


xoxo


P.S. The photo up top is from my college days....or day rather. A friend of mine and I bought her a vanilla flavored baby cigar the day she turned 18. We went through an entire box of matches...had absolutely NO idea how to light the thing. I advised her to take a puff, find out if the thing just so happened to light. What d'ya know! It had! She inhaled the smoke (into her lungs) and coughed up a storm. . . Now, those are the memories!! Hahaha!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

No Laughing Matter


God, remember that time when we were in church, sitting as a family, all cute and composed??? And, then, I decided (ever so wisely) to draw a big ol' smiley face (one of my obsessions in life) on my brother's hand. . . .

Bad idea.

Gregory, being the silly one that he is, began doing a little dance with his hand - the one with the drawing on it. For some odd reason,  I thought it was absolutely hilarious, and then I was hit incredibly forcefully with a terrible case of the giggles. Not sure why, but I could not help but laugh. At this point, the pastor was doing his thing from the pulpit, and (thank You God that we were sitting in the back) my body was shaking uncontrollably with laughter. I couldn't hold it in much longer. I was about to burst! 

I stood up and practically ran out the back door of the sanctuary! Free at last. The giggles came and I just let 'em rip. Whoo! Close one!



I'm joyfully reminded of another bellyaching, funny incident. One night, Mama made delicious homemade mango margaritas. I tried it - delicious. She tried it...Now, I don't know what happened exactly, but the second she tried it, she had some reflex and spewed the drink all over my face. Ohmygoodness!!! We were crying from laughing so hard!!! HILarious!!


Oh, and I can't forget that time at Bodenseehof, when my friend and I were sitting in the back of class. She (so wisely, I might add) was leaning back in her chair during one of the lectures. And, what d'ya know?! Her chair slipped from under her and she went down....Her head was on the ground, and her feet were dangling in the air. Not quite sure whether to stand there in patient shock....Or, laugh uncontrollable, hysterically....I chose the latter. Good thing my friend had a wonderful sense of humor. We could NOT stop laughing. Even 10 minutes later, I had to dash out of the classroom because of the giggles. I was in the bathroom, still just laughin' like a silly drunk (hope it's okay that I said that....couldn't think of another comparison...).


Lastly (for now:), I have to take a trip down memory lane of the time my family and I were all in the car together driving home from dinner. Can't remember how it all started, but I do remember the point where I (and my family) have never laughed so hard in our lives!!! Mama joined in on the noise-makin' fun and tried making 'farting' (man, I'm inappropriate today!!) noises on her arm. And, I followed. Quite humorous, I might say. Whoo! We all got a killer ab workout.




So, why am I bringing all these laughing incidences up??? Well, just the other day, I had a moment of ponderation. Thinking to myself, When was the last time I had a belly-achin' laugh - the kind of laugh that is uncontrollable and brings tears to my eyes??? I just couldn't remember (Oh, wait! I did laugh in the elevator when Juls and J-Diz were in town....a reason I'm not going to share right now). Now, what's up with that, Lord??? I LOVE laughing!! It's like one of my hobbies! One of my 'favorites' if I had to write it down. Why is it that I (feel, as though) haven't had a really good laugh in awhile?? Is it the city?? Living on my own?? Having too much on my plate?? Being an 'adult,' living in the 'real' world?? Or, could it be that I don't feel comfortable or completely free to be myself?? Ahh! I don't like this!! I don't want to become a hard, cold, non-laughing pale girl with little sense of humor!!! Help!! Come quick and inject me with all the laughing serum You have!! Laugh, smile, giggle through me today, Lord God!! I miss not having to do ab workouts and wearing my 'laugh wrinkle' (joke) cream at night!! 

I ask and pray for at least a couple genuine bellyachin' laughs this week! For, this ain't no laughin' matter!!! Sweet Jesus - Creator of all smiles and laughter itself :) 

i love YOU!!
xoxo

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just A Little Huggin' and Lovin' xoxo



Good Morning, God! Happy Wednesday! I know I have quite a bit of random stories and thoughts to tell You, but that's exactly the point, to share with You anything that's on my heart or mind that I'd like to express via writing :)


So, a few nights ago I attended my first Seder dinner at my church, TGC. SO great! Well, the topic of 'kids' came up and how adorable they are and all. And, how if you're having a tough day or whatever, a little girl or boy's smile can kinda make you forget everything. Just melts your heart :)


I was trying to think of an encounter I had with a cute child, and I was reminded of the day I moved (about a week and a half ago). When I was walking through the lobby of my old apartment building, this absolutely precious boy (probably around 1 and 1/2 years-old or so) comes waddling toward me, giant, contagious grin on his face, and arms open wide. I bend down, and enthusiastically accept his loving embrace!


Ohmygoodness!! My heart was absolutely full at that moment. I just couldn't get over the fact that this innocence baby practically "ran" towards a complete stranger (and with a huge smile, I might add) to give a big ol' generous hug!! 


That one hug (or little boy, rather!) taught me a few things, that's for sure!
A couple thoughts I'd like to share regarding this rare occasion: 


One. I absolutely LOVE hugs! How did he know?!?! :)


Two. Why is it that people seemingly grow less vulnerable as they age, totally unlike my little hugger?? I've noticed (even more so now, after moving to the city) that a majority of humans are generally closed off, not even willing to give a passer by eye contact, let alone a physical embrace!!


Three. I want to be like that precious, innocent, vulnerable, loving baby boy!! I want to be more open, more giving, more accepting, more willing to view others with Your loving eyes, Lord! This world is a rather cold, dark place, especially here in NYC. Yet, Your Love and Light (and hugs :) are bigger and brighter. Yes, with transparency and vulnerability - a wide open heart (this includes giving and receiving) - come risk and the potential to experience failure, hurt, and rejection. Perhaps that is why so many people harden their hearts towards any sort of emotion at all. Yes, I know what it's like to feel pain, hurt. Yet, I also know what it's like to feel nothing at all....I would prefer the former, which is to experience love with a risk of losing than to never love again. And, with that comes the potential to bless others, just like that little guy blessed me :)


And, Lord, this is where YOU come in (well, You're always here, but You know what I mean!).


Jesus, I invite You to love through me today (for I am incapable - my flesh is full of non-genuineness and selfish pride...in other words, I need YOU!!). My mouth is Yours' to smile through. My arms are Yours' to hug through. My heart is Yours' to love through. Now, let's have fun melting the cold hearts of NYC, one smile and one hug at a time :)


xoxoxoxo


P.S. I love You! 

Monday, April 11, 2011

What Comes After Winter and Before Summer???



Music to my ears! Beauty to my eyes! Life to my spirit! What do melodious birds, budding flowers, and sunshine all have in common???


SPRINGTIME!!!! 


Finally, Lord! Spring is finally here! On my walk to class this morning, I heard singing birds and saw the budding trees along the street. I couldn't stop smiling! I LOVE Spring and April and flowers and birds! Spring represents such newness of life to me (physically and spiritually). A new, fresh season is in store :)


K, maybe writing about the wonderful weather changes is cliche and whatnot, or corny, or over-expressed, but whatever! I'm still doin' it!! 
So, in honor of this glorious, beautiful new season that You've created, I found this adorable poem and wanted to share it with You. It pretty much captures my excitement and perspective of your creativity :D


BIRD SONGS
By: Bethany Roberts
(http://www.bethanyroberts.com/BirdPoems.htm)

"Oh, there's music in the forests
And there's music in the glen,
As the birds are warbling greetings
To the spring that's come again.

All their piping is so merry
That the woodlands seem to ring,
With the praises of the birdsongs
For the coming of the spring.

Join the joyous woodland chorus
And raise high your voice in cheer,
Join the birdsongs in thanksgiving
For the springtime of the year!"



Horray!! :-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011



The buildings are shorter
And, the tourists are fewer
(Thank goodness!)

I think I like it here...

The lights aren't as bright
And, trucks ain't a honkin
(Whoohoo!)

I think I like it here...

Lots of quaint li'l shops
And, restaurants galore
(Yum in my tum!)

I think I like it here...

A cute, homey apartment
With a sweet cozy room
(Love it!) 

I think I like it here...

Closer to work and to school
Pleasant place to explore
(Exciting!)

I think I like it here...

Two new dear, lovely roomies
Who love Jesus and life
(Praise the Lord!) 

I think I like it here...

A new home in this city
For a fresh season of life
(God is so good!)

I know I love it here!!

Thank You Lord Jesus for Your constant Love and Provision and Hand in EVERY area and detail of my life and the lives of all Your dear, precious children. I ask Your continual, abundant Blessing (aka His Presence and Life) over my new room, apartment, roommates, neighbor, and city!! 

THANK YOU!! I LOVE YOU!!! :D

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Identity Crisis???



It tends to start with just one little pooh-pooh thought. . .A friend never responded to that sweet text I sent a few days ago. Oh no, what did I do to offend her?? She has finally realized how silly and crazy I am and decided she no longer wants to be my friend. Actually, no one really contacted me yesterday evening...I must have done something wrong or better yet, I am a flat out stinky person. Go ahead! Just do it already and be done! Give my that negative zero score I deserve for being the world's worst human being.....

Okay, okay, I have a tendency to over-exaggerate, but You get the picture. One tiny thought (or lie, rather) can get planted in my head and I claim it as true (which I hate to admit!) and thus begins that oh most terrible downward spiral to empty, dark nothing-ness! 

NO FUN!!

But, it's true - the fact that this has and still occasionally does happen to me. It's incredible the affect our thoughts, the enemy's lies, and the Savior's Truth has on our minds which thus affects our bodies, moods, and spiritual condition. 

My latest experience with this, Lord Jesus, was just this past Sunday morning. I don't know why, but I believed this little annoying booger of a lie that took me for quite the unpleasant emotional and mental roller coaster! You are so good, though! On my walk to class that morning, You spoke Your words of Truth to me through a pastor's sermon on my ipod. Since this spiral has occurred before, Your grace allowed me to recognize the believed lie rather quickly!! I repented (yes, it's a sin to believe anything but Your Truth, crazy!!), and I experienced...

FREEDOOOOOOMMM!!!! (I like to sing it :)

Thank You, Jesus, thank You!!!

That night, at church, my pastor spoke on the temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness. And, something he said stuck out to me:

"The enemy's primary goal is to get you (Child of God) to doubt your identity in Christ!!!"

WOW!!! SO true!!!

Jesus, if my identity/security is in anything other than YOU, I can expect emotional, mental and spiritual chaos! 

Lord Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer, thank You for being my Identity and my Security and my Confidence and my Peace and my Joy and my Strength and Provision and Wisdom!!! 

Thank You, Precious Jesus, for being my LIFE!!! :)

xoxo

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Li'l Etiquette 101


God, let's chat. Since I've moved to NYC, I've seen a little bit of everything (good, bad, normal, not-so-normal, rude and plain crazy). This whole area of etiquette, I feel, is a touchy subject. We humans don't like to be offended and whatnot. Okay, I get that. But, there's a fine line between not offending someone and not letting someone embarrass themselves silly. Maybe they know...Or, perhaps, they've just never been told that an action or habit (or whatever it may be) is just not socially acceptable and could prevent the making (and keeping!) of friends...


What your Mama never told you and wish she had, or perhaps, you just weren't listening:


~ Don't pick your nose in public. It's gross.


~ If you're standing with a group of people in the center of the walkway and a person is walking toward you, obviously wanting to pass, let her through by moving to the side - or at least an inch or two to let her know that you at least acknowledge her existence. 


~ Don't drink more than you can handle.


~ Speaking of drink, if you ask a girl out, at least offer to buy the drink.


~ Clean up after yourself...that includes washing your hands after #2.


~ If you must say the f-word in your vocabulary, try your hardest to limit it to 3 uses per sentence....or better yet, just shut up, especially around the children. (You can always say "poo" instead)


~ Truck drivers. Please show courtesy to those of us who actually like to sleep here in the city by not blaring your horn at 3 in the morning.


~ Don't let your strawberries become unidentifiable...if there're white fuzzy things in a berry container in your fridge, toss it.


~ You can never be too generous. If your friend owes you $1.72, don't let them pay you....And, if you owe $1.72, give him/her 2 whole bucks. (Would you seriously tell your friend they owe you $.50 more???).


~ Try not to tell an acquaintance your potty troubles.


~ Don't complain. It's annoying.


~ If you're a talker, let the person you're talking to say at least 4 words for every 100 of yours.


~ Avoid telling your pleasant customers to leave your Thai restaurant so you can change tables....that is, if you would like their business in the future.


~ Don't cheat. Period. If your excuse is that your boyfriend cheats on you....ask yourself, "Why the heck are we together???"


~ Please stop having a bubble gum blowing contest with yourself during Bible Study.


~ Put that cell phone down! At least when your driving a cab, crossing the street, or texting while walking...Dangerous!


That's all for tonight. Don't want to give you more than you can handle. If you find yourself guilty of one or more of these, tomorrow is a new day! All is forgiven!!! EXCEPT the picking your nose thing :)


xoxo





Friday, March 25, 2011

pooped.



tired.


long day (but rewarding).


busy week (but productive).


crazy life (but oh so good).


When life gets a little chaotic, a little hectic, a little I've-been-going-nonstop-and-I-just-want-some-zzz's....You Jesus have a tendency to remind me in the most gentle of ways....




"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."


Psalm 46:10


:)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For the True Kid at Heart :)


Flying High. Pure Elation. Sheer Delight. Top of the World. Joyous Ecstasy. Abundant Enthusiasm. Perfect Euphoria.....

I was Superman (fine, "Superwoman"). Ready to take on the world. Combat anything. And, at the same time, I could have laughed myself silly. Enough energy to sprint a marathon.

Was it a dream??? Was it a vision??? Could it have been memories of my first life??? Or the desires of my future???

Was I acting??? Or pretending???

Oh, I know!!! Sleep deprivation? Or, wait, no, this sounds more like drugs!

What could produce this kind of super-human, over-the-top emotion, energy, and strength???.....

It's a simple 5-letter word and it comes in all kinds of forms, shapes, and sizes:

S-U-G-A-R

Yep, the above was a more-or-less accurate description of Ali Wright on the sweet stuff. I blame it on culinary school - the never-ending meringues, souflees, custards, ahhh!!!

This is serious business! I don't recommend sugar-overload at home. Well, unless you want to feel...well, read the beginning again. Kinda fun...for a time or two or three :)

And, this is why I don't overdose on sugar everyday....

This post is pointless...but none-the-less, FUN!

To the kid in us all: eat that bite of rich, decadent chocolate ganache. Or, don't and wish you had.

Yours Truly ~

The True Kid At Heart :D
xoxo

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Favorite Color


Ok, Lord, I know I'm a little late in posting my St. Patty's Day adventures, but believe me, a holiday such as this one takes at least a few days to process here in this over-the-top city. So, I knew that you get pinched if you don't wear a little green and that cabbage and corned beef make their proud appearance on dining tables for this Irish holiday. Yet, before this March 17th, never had I known what a true celebration of Saint Patrick's Day was...well, now I know.

Do you want to know my highlight of the day, Jesus???

No, it wasn't the excitement of finally being able to wear my bright kelley green shirt or sitting in Central Park in the warm sunshine with my sweet roomie.

And, it certainly wasn't the overly loud and immature mass of high school and college-age students running around the city for their Spring break.

It could have been the St. Patty's Day parade on 5th Ave with all the tourist onlookers. Or even the adorable Irish men in their skirts, I mean kilts. Or better yet, my highlight could have so easily been listening to the glorious sound of all those beautiful bag pipes.

Well, and let's not forget St. Patty's at nighttime. The beyond many Irish pubs and bars packed full of well-hydrated folk. Cute li'l Stone Street in FiDI so lively like no other day in the year. And, fun friends (new and old) to celebrate this..."fun" holiday with. None of these were my highlight.

Now, why all of these potential highlights (although good and fun) were not THE highlight, I'm not exactly certain. But, I do know that I wasn't touched to the core, in my soul, with any of these like I was with this moment:

On my way back from the parade, I was walking swiftly (as I always am :) through the NYC mass. I was approaching a man standing off to the side of the sidewalk, holding a Bible and a sign that said, "Jesus is Lord." Not gonna lie, when I saw that man, I kinda rolled my eyes (inside, anyway)...I thought he was one of those in-your-face, repent-or-hell, legalistic, bitter men that yell at you as you pass on by. (Reminds me of that one time I was is Livermore, CA with my fam. And, we were driving by a man who was preaching. I yelled out that window, "I love Jesus too," and he looked at me with intense, hard eyes, and then yelled, "OBEY HIM!!" Yeah, I was kinda taken aback...so caught off guard though that I just laughed).

Anyway, I read that sign and immediately, my spirit gave a shout of joy! I love the Name of Jesus! SO powerful. And, then, this man, I noticed, was a sweet older timid man. Right as I walked by, I flashed him a huge smile. He spoke in almost a whisper and said, "And, for the joy set before him..."

At that moment, tears filled my eyes. I was overwhelmed. I think it was the fact that my Dear Savior was being preached on the streets of crazy NYC on the most popular holiday of the year, yet in the most gentle, precious of ways. He was obviously a shy man, yet he loved Jesus enough to put aside his weakness and comfort and tells others about The Good News, Jesus! Oh, what a sweet, faithful man serving his Sweet, Faithful Lord. "Jesus, please bless that man! Bless him today and just love him!"

That moment was my St. Patty's Day highlight. And, it would be fitting to say: like a rare, treasured four-leaf color was that man on the streets of New York City.

Good Night! xoxo


*A great view of St. Patty's Day parade on 5th Ave! :)


For all y'all who didn't know...Green is my favorite color!!!! And, I love bag pipes. And, I'm quite fond of a thick Irish accent. And, I think I'll name my first son, Patrick Athole O'Connor McDougal. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ich Vermisse Dich


I know, Lord, I know, I haven't written you in awhile...I could make up some darn good excuses, but I'm not going to. We all are pretty busy these days with our full schedules and all. Things to do, places to go, people to see. Life happens. Time passes. Pretty quickly, by the way....too quickly, actually, if you ask me.

Speaking of time and its swift passing, I can't believe today marks the one year anniversary of my class's graduation from Bodenseehof Bible School in beautiful Friedrichshafen, Germany!!! Honestly, seriously, how did that happen??? So many great times, beautiful revelations, special moments throughout my six-month-long personal spiritual retreat last year. I could go on and on and recall all the favorite memories, but I'm not going too, at least not tonight...

Sometimes, I just like to sit and be quiet. Kinda like last night. At church, I sat with my dear friend. And, after the service, we were both perfectly content just sitting and not talking. We just sat, eyes forward...Nothing awkward about or wrong with that. It just is what it is. Overwhelming truths, emotional overload, physical fatigue, life contemplation??? Perhaps. Sometimes there just aren't words....

Relation to our Bodenseehof class one year anniversary???

Our remembrance of our time there goes without saying...

Stillness. Quiet. Pondering. Reminiscing. Thanking. A smile, yes. A tear, perhaps. A content sigh from thinking about the beyond-incredible experience last year. An eternal gratefulness to the One who used that experience to change my heart and become my Life...and, hopefully, yours as well, Dear Precious Bodenseehof Friend.

I miss you lots. I love you more :)

xoxo

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lessons From a Wise (and cute, adorable and elderly) Man :)


In Honor of My Mother....Because She's Coming for a Visit Tomorrow!!!! :)

Oh, Lord, I just LOVED reading this email that my Mama forwarded to me the other day! Touched my heart and soul :)

Email Forwarded by my Mom ~

This is something we should all remember.
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.
His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. I love it,' he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.'
'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' he replied.
Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.
Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. 'It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away.. Just for this time in my life.
Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!
Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank. I am still depositing.

*Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Jesus, I want to live a full life like this old man and another person - my mother! I truly believe my mom is one of the few human beings who genuinely  lives free of bitterness and worries, lives with a contagious simplicity, is SO incredibly generous in all aspects, and lives with little expectations, which allows You to work outside of the box that we like to fit You in, Lord!

Thank You for Mama!!! YEA!!! I can't wait to see her tomorrow! SO excited, I just might pee!! :)

Weekend Culinary Highlights!

Happy Monday, Jesus!! :)

Ah, K, so I totally wanted to post on my blog every day this past weekend; however, it was a full weekend. So...today, I decided to highlight my culinary experiences of the past three days!

BON APPETIT!


On Friday, I began an apprenticeship with the head chef of a bar and restaurant called Macao Trading Co, which is in Tribeca (lower Manhattan). I loved it! I worked for six hours in the kitchen. Made a double batch of curry chocolate cake (flowerless!), Portuguese doughnuts, and halved a huge box of raw brussel sprouts. Lots of work, but I enjoyed it quite a bit! I'm excited for this more hands-on culinary experience!

So, after my work, the chef told me I could help myself to anything at the bar...yep, anything on the menu! I was kinda excited!!! Sitting at the bar, I felt like a little kid in a candy shop. No, it was not an endless array of sweets. Rather, I, a total foodie, was given permission to order a cocktail and meal of choice, on the house (well, I did just work six hours for free, but that's beside the point :). Anyway, I was a pretty happy camper when my Bashful Maiden (nice light refreshing cocktail with a mix of gin, some botanical liquor, lemon and melon) was handed to me. And, an even giddier little girl (well, not so little any more. after all, I'm over 21 and drinking occasional big girl drinks :) when I was served my beautiful meal. Simply gourmet deliciousnes: lamb chops with a basil gremolata (similar to an herb pesto), Thai slaw (nice spice kick to it), and crispy yucca garlic fries (sprinkled with fresh parsley). Contentment. Sigh. Smile :)

Heaven!!


SOUTHERN BELLE


My dear friend, Jess, had a Southern Potluck at her apartment on Saturday night. Well, since I'm not from the south and don't possess a deep liking for southern cuisine, I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the theme of this dinner party. Yet, not wanting to miss out on any potential social fun, I pulled up my cute rain boot straps (ha!) and decided to go! I even contributed to the southern-themed potluck with my Southern California dip (roasted corn, halved sweet cherry tomatoes, avocado, garlic, sauteed onion, oregano, salt, pepper, lemon juice, cumin, and lots of love :) with its own southern flare. I actually had a lovely time. Met some great people, tried homemade strawberry jello shots, and ate lots of delicious home cooked southern food (favorite: potato casserole and kale salad)! I was even asked if I was from the south (does so cal count??)...I think/hope that's a compliment :)


SOMETHING'S FISHY


Fin Fish day in culinary school yesterday! Had NO idea what to expect. But, ended up having a complete blast! We learned all about fish, then got to handle our own fish (which included gutting, de-finning, be-heading, and filleting), watched the chef demo, and lastly, created some delicious fish dishes (including salmon lox, seared ahi tuna, pan fried bass and flounder, and a few others - YUM!!!)!! I was actually quite proud of myself, considering I think live fish are rather cute :)

FUN weekend!!!

Thank You, Sweet Jesus, for these fun, exciting, and delicious experiences!!