Monday, July 31, 2006

Being sick & alone sux!

I was having a bit of a battle with myself about whether or not I should write this post but I thought I should....

Have you ever been sick and have had no one available to either pamper you or just be there for you? I have. Every year that I was in the boarding house, I'd have to come down with the mandatory illness that would put me out of action for a few days. This landed me in the sick bay, quarantined from school, friends and even 'my own' bed/room. During these times would be when I wanted mom and dad most but that obvioiulsy was never an option as they were a few million kilometers away.

So when I received a call from Melissa on Friday nite sounding not so well and home alone, I was on the road heading towards Paihia Rd without any hesistations. I did this coz I know how much it sucks to be on your own when you are sick. I did this coz I love Melissa. I did it coz I wanted to. Nothing in return expected, even a thank you (not saying I didn't appreciate the thank yous, though).

In saying that, the thank yous were flowing like a river from the time I arrived (from Melissa) til Sunday nite at church (from Jacob & again, Melissa). However, it didn't stop at thank yous...I was presented with an AMAZING bottle of wine as a thank you present! I was, and still am, so incredibly overwhelmed. Above all else, what I appreciated most was the phone call itself. So, from me to the Powell's, THANK YOU! I am very grateful for our friendship.

I've had some time to process the last message from our latest series: Upside Down Religion on sacrifice. For me, leaving Melb-the city I love filled with friends I made and a life I miss dearly, is a sacrifice. When I made that decision to leave, it was hard. Only having just left my home country just 3 yrs before that was what made the decision to leave Melb the hardest. I didn't want to have to start over again. So I made a pack with God, that He surrounded me with friends, true friends.

I'm very glad to say that He has kept His end of the deal. Moving has actually turned out to be a great experience of learning what true friendship is about, learning to trust again, learning who God really is and what He is all about. I often still resent the fact that I had to leave Melb and come here but when I remember the friends I have, their impact on my life thus reminds me that this tiny sacrifice I made is nothing compared to what He has done for me on the cross and the promise He kept.


Here's a little piece of food trivia......

Why is the cut of beef known as sirloin called what is it and just plain ole loin on every other animal?

Well, believe or not, this cut of meat was actually knighted! One nite, over dinner, there was a certain Lord that loved this particular cut of meat so much that, in his drunken state, knighted the cut. Thus we now have a cut of meat known today as SIRloin.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

TV, ain't my cuppa tea

I got the much expected call while at work yesterday evening re the TV gig that I auditioned for a while back. Unfortunately, I didn't get it. They decided to go with someone else. Those were her exact words. Oh well...I'm not too fussed. At least I have one thing less to worry about trying to fit into my crazy work schedule.

Having said that, I start on my new roster next week!!!!! 7am-3.30pm Mon-Thurs. How awesome is that?! I even got the WHOLE weekend off. I'm so stoked. I have all my evenings off and a weekend. Which means, I'm not gonna miss out on weddings (sorry Juanita), leadership training, cell grp, coaching gym, church, a social life etc etc etc. And it'll be much easier for me to plan my week and fit in the many meetings that I attend rather than only being able to plan them on Fridays. YAY!

I had my first comp training the other day and it was good. We didn't cook anything but it was still very productive. We worked on skills that day and I turned 3 beetroots, 3 carrots, chopped 2 shallots & 1 onion. It was good. This may not mean a thing to you but 'turning' vegetables is a skill that is not taught much anymore so it is slowly getting lost. But when in competitions, you wanna be able to do it to show that you have skill. The more skill you have, the more points you're gonna get.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Full time work has been an interesting experience so far. What made it interesting is not the job but more the transition from full time student to full time working woman.

I miss the certainty of a timetable; what my day is going to look like each week for the next 6 months and the rest of my life planned out based on my timetable. I miss the class room environment, where mistakes are not gonna get you in too much trouble-no unexpected clipping of the back of your head when you don't do something right the first time. I miss knowing everyone (maybe not everyone but you get my drift) I pass by in the corridor. I miss the sense of familiarity of a place that has been my second home for the pass 2 yrs.

All these things I miss about the last 2 yrs has made the adjustment a little stressful and overwhelming for me. Having said that, it hasn't all been bad though.

Granted, I don't get my roster for the following week til Friday and I don't have set working days or hours. Yes, that really gets to me especially being one to have my life planned out months in advance. But such is life and I just have to go along with it.

At the moment, the thing that I find extremely draining is the hours I do. They aren't all bad but they aren't all great either. Last week and this week, my hours have been 3-11.30pm, 4 days a week. Yea, I get a sleep in (kinda. I still get up at 9am-ish) but I don't get to sleep til 2am! That is by far the hardest part of the job. I'm surviving but it's not without it's consequences.

When I'm tired, I'm a lot less patient with people. I get really annoyed and sometimes can be very short and cutting. So that's not cool when I'm in a ministry that is very people oriented. My ministry is not just what I do at cession but my everyday life is a ministry too. My main job is not as a chef but is to reflect Christ and it gets tricky when I'm tired & having to be Christ to those that I work with.

In short, I'm coping but not such how much longer for...

I'm hoping that it won't be too much longer. Last nite after I finished up at work, I stayed back for a chat with my Sous chef. He's wanting to change the way the roster works at the moment. This means that there is an opportunity to work set hours and set days! And I've been offered that spot. If it all works out, I'll be working 5 days a week from 7am-3ish pm. No set days as yet but the hours are looking good. I'm no morning person but I much prefer working days than I do nites. It gives me the freedom of a social life.

But with this promotion comes a possible down side-jealousy within the work place. Now see, this new position that I will be taking on is a position where someone that is reliable is needed. Someone with some sense of urgency and common sense. (I'm not blowing my own horn here, just stating fact.) And for my Sous to offer that spot to me (a newbie) and not some of the other chefs who have been around much longer can get a little tricky. They all know that I used to work for my Sous and so there is a possibility that they may see this as favouritism.

I'm trying to not let this get to me but it is at the back of my mind.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A post of many thoughts

The past 3 weeks have been interesting; good but interesting. In those 3 weeks, I was willing to take some risks thus resulting in a few 'first' moments:

  1. It's the first time I was adamant about making sure I took a holiday. Granted I did have some help from across the ditch but many of times, dad and my new boss would give me grief about saying no when I got asked to start work earlier.
  2. It was the first time I said "No" despite constantly badgering.
  3. It was the first time I didn't touch or look or consult my diary about what I was doing. There were many occasions that I was spontaneous about what I was doing.
  4. I took my first trip out of Auckland since moving to NZ.
  5. It was the first time I invited the Dunn's round for dinner. I tend to invite the same people all the time.

I'm sure that there are a few more 'firsts' but I'll move on...

I had a fantastic time with Kath while she was here. It was nice to hang out and spend time with her again after 2 yrs. We didn't get as much done as I would have liked but better than not doing anything at all. It was great for her to finally put names to faces and for everyone here to meet the person I constantly talk about. Kath, they all loved you and enjoyed having you around. Thanx for a great holiday!

There are many occasions where I get really frustrated with people. But the one time that it gets to me most is when I see the same people doing the dirty work over and over again. And though I may not be very vocal about a lot of things, I am when it comes to this particular topic. Many people close to me have had to bare the brunt of my ventings. Sometimes, I psyche myself up and ask others but often I just end up with a big slap and am left wondering why the hell I even bothered asking in the first place.

So where am I going with this? At the most recent leaders' training, we talked about team work and possible bottle necks the we may encounter, both as a team and individually. And for me, I had a rather large list of bottle necks from the list we created as a team. But the one thing I struggle with most is the issue of trust. I do have a past where people have not always been very kind to me, so I am very suspicious/skeptical/non-trusting etc etc of people. For me to even put this out here is scary....I don't make it easy for people to know me. I always put on a front that says, "I'm great!". I never let anyone know I need help.

But I guess, it's true that they say, "If you ever need anything done, ask the person that is already busy coz they will always make time to fit it in". Sad...but true.

I know it's something I need to work on. Not everyone is mean or has bad intentions. Not everyone is out to hurt me on purpose.

A nice flow over from that...During the 3 week break I had, I have a lot to be grateful for. The friends I have made at cession have been very patient in teaching me to learn to trust again. They threw me a celebratory party for finishing uni. I just thought that was so awesome. It's something that I would have wanted to do but would have never asked for it. I had a great time and thanx, again....

Also part of this topic on celebrations is friends. I just feel so blessed to have so many people around me I can call friends. It's been so great to achieve all I have achieved, gone through all I have been through and grown as much as I have with the help of these people around me. Your patience and love has meant a lot to me. I couldn't and wouldn't have done without you. (You know who you are so I'm not gonna name names incase I miss someone and people get annoyed.)

Something else to celebrate is my all-expense-paid-for trip to Wellington in late September! I wasn't even too keen on competing in Regionals anyway and I only did it coz I couldn't say no to my lecturer. Winning is always part of the goals, but I wasn't expecting it in a million years. So to have won Regionals and made it to Nationals just blew me away. I was SO stoked to have got through! I'm away from Sep 20-Sep 24 for this competition.

We started a new series at cession last Sunday called Upside Down Religion. We explored the issue of weakness and what it meant to be weak. Being weak does not mean you have to be a push over. It does not mean that you don't know what you stand for and can be manipulated. Jesus was often seen to be weak but not in the manner that we may think. He was never a push over or was he ever manipulated or not know what he stood for. Being weak means that you are able to humble yourself enough to ask for help when you need it. It means being able to be open and honest about the good, the bad and the ugly when it requires you to do so. It means allowing yourself to be vulnerable and cry like a baby on a shoulder that has been offered to you.

This is something else I struggle with. I guess it goes hand in hand with trust. I worry about what others might think if I am not my usual crazy self. Or if I am not in control of every situation I get myself in. This is nothing new and is definitely an area where I am constantly being challenge.

Here's an attempt at being weak: So I started work this week. I am not gonna lie to you and say that I was totally sweet and went all out and took to the challenge like duck to water. I was petrified, crapping bricks if you like. On Sunday nite, my mind was everywhere-thoughts running through my head at a million miles per hour. Then Monday morning, adrenalin was moving fast and the heart was beating even faster. The drive to work was complete agony and the butterflies in my stomach felt so real that they were flying so hard they could have flown through me! As much as I wanted someone to know, I found it really hard to tell anyone. I wanted to get it off my chest but couldn't. What was I afraid off? Maybe that no one would understand. Maybe I feared rejection. Who knows...

So how did work go? Well, after the initial stressing it went as well as it could have for a first timer/newbie. (I'm trying not to hate myself to much when I make the necessary first timer/newbie mistakes.) As the day progressed, I was overcome by a strange sense of familiarity and peace. Once I was shown how things worked, how each dish is meant to look things just fell into place. The next few weeks will hopefully get easier and better. I am exhausted as the hours aren't very friendly but I did chose this career so I have no one to blame but myself.

There's no real rhyme or reason to this post but for your sake, I hope it makes some sense.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Psalm 139

Currently at cell group we are doing a series on Friendship. A couple of weeks back we were looking at love and the role it plays in friendship.

Of course we discussed the role love played in our social friendships but what about our friendship with God? How often do we think of that relationship as a friendship? Well, one of the exercises we had to do was to rewrite Psalm 139 in our own words. So here's mine:

Psalm 139
You know me inside and out,
Each move, each step,
Each word, each thought,
You know it all.

You are apart of all my life,
Cherishing the good moments,
Learning from the bad.
All of it, part of Your great plan.

Imperfections are part of me too,
Your patience abundant and evident,
As I endeavour to be more like You,
So others may see You.

Created so beautifully in Your image,
How can others not see You?
My daily prayer,
For Your glory to be revealed
In due time.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Cool Kids Cooking

So there is a new cooking program for kids coming to town. When? I don't know...

Today I went for an audition to co-host this cooking program by Top Shelf Productions. The co-host will be working along side Master Chef Marco Kouch teaching kids age 8-12yrs how to cook healthy meals. I'm not quite sure why I agreed to it coz being on tv was never something I saw myself doing. My dreams were and still are to have my own restaurant; maybe have a little cooking school out the back but essentially something to call my own.

But I guess, if I do get the job it would be fantastic exposure. I'm at the stage of my career where if I'm able to be seen, fantastic! Being in an industry where it's not what you know but who you know, every chance I get to be with people that can get me work whether it be directly or indirectly, I have to take that opportunity.

It was interesting to say the least. I won't know for a couple of weeks whether or not I get the job but it was a good experience. This is one of the few things where it really doesn't bother me if I get it or not. It was done for a bit of fun...

We'll see. But I'll let you know when I know!