Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Stand Amazed!

Anyone that has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I use music lyrics quite often that the Lord uses to speak to my heart.  After eleven plus hours of a non stop flight from JFK to HNL the song "I stand amazed" by GlassByrd started playing through my head phones.  I am pretty sure I have heart it many times before but for whatever reason the words hit a chord in my heart...

I bring you my heart, I bring you my praise, I bring my broken dreams lost along the way.  I lift up my voice.  I lift up my hands.  I lift up the moments of my life that I don't understand.  And I lay it at the cross where I'm surrounded by your grace and I marvel at the wonder of it all.  I stand amazed.  I stand in awe.  I stand forgiven in the midst of it all.  Before you I bow... before you I fall...

 So many times we as "Christians" think that God wants us perfect before we come to Him.  No matter how hard we try we will never meet up to God's perfection.  He desires our everything- wants and all.  Most Sundays we have no problems worshipping with hands lifted high but how many times are our hearts not truly in submision to HIS call.  So many times I have my own dreams and desires set in to stone before I consult with my maker.  Ultimately my dreams end up broken and desires crushed because things didn't work out the way I thought they should.  God reminds me to bring my brokenness to Him.  I am truly amazed that He chooses tto use me despite me.

Through the years, I have learned to trust Him despite my lack of understanding.

It's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas

After a week in New York participating in numerous winter events, we are headed back to Hawaii.  As I looked at my schedule, in a little over two weeks I will be headed this way again to start my official Christmas holiday.  Unfortunately my brain and body feel like it should already be Christmas.  With the snow, decorating the Christmas tree, seeing a Christmas performance, and eating many holiday treats the next two weeks are going to feel like forever.

Yesterday before we left for the city, it was snowing.  By the time we got there it was raining with sporadic snow showers throughout the day.  This morning I awoke to a snow plow and salt truck in the neighborhood.  All the way to JFK the sides of the interstate were covered with snow.  No matter how long that I have lived in Hawaii, I still think it should be cold for the holiday season.  New York has definitely made it feel like the Christmas season is here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dining New York Style

Each area its own local delicacies... here in New York they are known for their pizza.  While wondering around Times Square we found this little hole in the wall place called Patseria.  Kim ordered a slice of tomato basil and I ordered veggie.

The veggie slice had a mountain of olives, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli.  Definitely a two handed pizza experience washed down with a Stewart's Old Fashioned root beer. 

Kickin it with the Rockettes

Day 6: Lady Liberty

The Statue of Libery has stood for decades welcoming weary migrants to a land filled with possibilities. 

Today she was socked in with fog and rain but still she stood strong and tall.  Just weeks after Hurricane Sandy much of Staten Island and the surrounding area are still dealing with clean up... subway lines are being cleaned up... structural damage is being checked. 

Kim and I took the Staten Island Ferry around the harbor despite the weather.  The ferry ride is free and leaves every half hour.  With coastguard escort, it took us by the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Day 6: A moment that changed history

Each generation has that defining moment that they can remember where they were at and what they were doing.  For me and my generation that defining moment happened on September 11th, 2001 when the World Trade Center and Pentagon were hit by planes hijacked by terroriests. 

At that moment, I was living in Hawaii and due to the time difference heard about it when my roommates alarm went off.  She came to my room and told me I had to hear this.  My first reaction was "this can't be happening".  Very surreal!

One cannot look at the New York City skyline and not remember that fateful day that not only left a gap in the skyline but also in every American's heart.  As I walked around the 9-11 memorial today, my heart was saddened and overwhelmed by the immensity of how it has changed the set up of that area of the city.  To stand there looking up imagining what it must have been like to see the first plane hit one of those buildings then the other... to see people jumping out with no other choice, is unfathomable. 

In the freezing cold pouring down rain, we walked around the memorial for the South Tower reading the names... mothers and their unborn children... fathers and sons... husbands and wifes... rescuers... emergency personnel... very somber.  Each name has a story behind it.  A family missing a member that was truly loved.

With tears in my eyes and a heavy heart, I write this as a reminder to be thankful for what God has blessed each of us with... we need to make sure those around us know they are loved and that they freedoms we have are not to be taken for granted.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 5: Eating & Shopping

Eating and shopping our way through the day.  Started off with brunch at Cracker Barrel ... chicken and dumplings... biscuits and gravy... crackling fire place... old fashioned games!!!  Then drove to the outlet mall... shopped til we dropped at stores like Vera Bradley and GAP outlet.  Found some really good deals!  So fun to shop with the girls!

On the way back to the house we stopped by Panera Bread ... oh the restaurants that are missed living in Hawaii.  You kind of forget what you have until you don't have it! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Redeemer... Restorer... Savior

Psalm 103
v4- who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion
v5- who satisfies your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

A perfect reminder of His love for us.  He has not only pulled us out of the pit but also covered us with love and compassion.  For a sinner such as I, it is overwhelming.  He restores!  He is the provider of every good thing despite the fact that we don't deserve it.

Thank you Father God for your redeeming love that despite my past you love me anyway.  You have rescued me out of the pit and instead of giving me what I deserve you bless me with good things.  I am humbled by your live and mercy towards me.  Thank you!

Day 4: Change in Perspective

In years past, when I thought about my future, I never dreamed of going back to the US mainland or the cold weather or finding a church similar to MBC.  The past few days have opened my eyes that this is possible... I could get use to the cold weather. There are other really good churches out there like Valley Christian Church... very down to earth... up beat worship... message from the Word... friendly family.

Ultimately wherever God leads it would be my temporary home.  I am realizing that when you dream big you have no other choice than to do big things.  After today's message, I am at peace with whatever God calls me to do.  I have met some amazing single women that are serving with contentment where God has them.

Enjoyed spending the day worshipping with these lovely ladies and then spending a relaxing afternoon reading before heading to the mall and movies.  Ate fish and chips at Nathan's... famous for their hot dogs.  Got home a little after 9 in time to watch the NY Jets beat the Green Bay Packers.

Psalm 103...
v4. who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
v5. who satisfies your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles

A perfect reminder of His love for us.  He has not only pulled us out of the pit but also covered us with love and compassion.  For a sinner such as  I it is overwhelming.  He restores!!!  He is the provider of every good the fact that we don't deserve it.

Thank you Father God for your redeeming love that despite my past you love me anyway.  You have rescued me out of the pit and instead of giving me what I deserve you bless me with good things.  I am humbled by your love and mercy towards me.  Thank you!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 3: O Christmas Tree... O Christmas Tree

After several Saturdays packed with things to do it was so nice to have a day to sleep in.  Woke up and cruised.  Had french toast and turkey bacon for brunch and then ran to Walmart to see if Kim could get her glasses that got left in Hawaii.  It was going to take a week so it was a no go.

We came back to the house and met up with Judy and Lisa, loaded up the cars and went to a Christmas tree farm.  Had a great time driving, listening to Christmas carols, and talking story.  When we got to the tree farm it was snowing!!!  We were all bundled up... so all six of us women cut down a 7 ft. Concourse fir and hauled it down to the barn to wrap it and tie it down so we didn't have to hold it on the roof the entire ride back.

Lisa, Judy, Kim, and I came back to the house.  Kim made mac nut pesto pasta for dinner.  Had a fun evening eating, decorating the Christmas tree,and watching Christmas movies.  We watched "The Christmas Story" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 2: Wandering 5th Avenue

My body forgets how it feels to travel.  At 7:30 this morning my alarm rang and my head said... "No it is not time to get up!"  I got up anyway knowing we were going into the city to sight see today.  Looking forward to seeing the sights and having some fun today.

Waiting at the train station in New Hamburg

Love the fall leaves!!!

Took the train into Grand Central Station and then walked 5th avenue to Rockefeller Center.  Passed many high dollar stores and lots of shoppers as it is Black Friday.  We didn't join in!  The lines were amazingly long.  In all of our wanderings we passed stores like American Girl and the NY Harley shop.

On almost every street corner there was the Salvation Army Band... not just a bell ringer! 

At Rockefeller, they were still in process of decorating the tree just in time for the lighting of the Christmas tree on the 28th.  It was huge and covered with scaffolding.  Crazy!  Thought about skating there but decided to wait.


Walked to Central Park... the fall leaves were amazing.  Passed the hotel from Home Alone.  Also saw the rocks and tunnels that are on Law and Order. 

In one of the tunnels there was a guy playing christmas carols on an alto sax.  The accoustics were amazing and the sound was so rich and full.  Brought back a flood of memories.  Ended up skating for half an hour at Central Park.  Super fun... checked another item off of my bucket list... and I didn't fall!

Had clam chowder from Luke's at the Plaza... it took 20+ minutes but was well worth the wait.  For dessert we went to Sprinkles Cupcake shop... featured on Food Network.  Bought a box of four cupcakes... red velvet, pumpkin, chocolate marshmellow, and black and white.  We were all amazed as their utensils were wooden. 

Meandered back to Grand Central Station... did some browsing at the market.  Caught the 4:28 back to New Hamburg... it is barely 5pm and the sun has already set.

It has been an absolutely fabulous second day in New York.  Temperatures have been in the upper 40's ... low 50's and absolutely gorgeous.

Deep thoughts from a dreary head

Surprise... Surprise... after going to bed at 6:45pm... it is now 12:20am and I am awake and hungry....  So I am sitting here reading... munching on goldfish and journaling.

I feel like I have been down for hours and just got up from a very restful nap.  Praying that I am going to be able to go back to sleep soon.

In my reading and in the spirit of Thanksgiving... I am reading the verses on being thankful...

Psalm 106 says... "Praise the LORD.  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."  It goes on as a hearts cry of repentance from the Israelites.  In the midst of all that is going on in Israel at the moment this verse reminds me of two things... 1) to pray for the peace of Israel and 2) that God's sovereign hand has and is on His chosen people.  Verse 8 states- "Yet [ despite everything that they have done] he saved them for his names sake to make His mighty power known."

When I look at all the people groups who over time have been wiped out it astounds me that God's chosen people- the Jews- the nation of Israel is still around.  It makes me thankful that we serve a sovereign God that WILL have His plan done no matter what.  We can't "get in the way" or thwart the plans of God.  Very reassuring!  He protects despite our disobedience and stubborness. 

Oh Lord... thank you for your love, protection, and provision.  May I not grumble or run from your plan to seek my own.  Do not let me anger you and when I have please forgive me.  Do not let me rebel and when I have headed the wrong way... away from you... redirect my steps to fall in line with you.  Be my guide... the lover of my soul... my all in all.  As Psalm 106 ends, I pray.... "Save us, O LORD, our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.  Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, "Amen".  Praise the LORD."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Charlie Brown
Kung Fu Panda
 As we are walking down the NYC streets looking for a good place to stand and watch the parade.... Charlie Brown was our first citing of the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade....  we came to the corner of 6th and the America's and even though there were tons of people we had a pretty good view of the balloons.
The "big apple"
Papa Smurf
The subway publicized the parade

Kim showing just how cold it was!

Best seats in the neighborhood... from your own living room window!

Trying to warm up with a peppermint mocha after the parade.


It is 5am New York time... midnight Hawaii time... and we have about an hour and a half before arriving it to JFK.  I have cat napped for the past six or so hours and will be relying on a strong cup of coffee to make it through the morning.

Wednesday started off with waking up at 4am after a restless night.  Finally got up at 5:30 to shower and finish packing.  Got to the airport at 6:30am to check in my bag so that it would go through to NY.  Once that was complete I headed to school to start the day with my little ones.  Made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast then finished the igloo and set up for our thanksgiving lunch.  We let the little ones play outside until lunch which made for some tired babies by the time mommies and daddies came for lunch.  Lunch went great.  First year I got to eat and didn't feel like I was policing.  Everything was cleaned up and children taken home by noon which meant the staff had time to clean the classroom before closing up for a long weekend.

Went to the airport at 2pm... flight left at 2:15 and I was in Oahu and at the gate to catch my next flight at 3.  Met up with Kim at Gordon Birsch before we boarded. 

Very thankful that everything went so smoothly.  Despite lack of sleep, stress level and anxiety is really low and I am not super tired.

A fun adventure awaits!

New York Thanksgiving Dinner

It is 6:45pm on Thanksgiving... my heart (and tummy) are full and my body is tired so I am headed to bed.  Before I drift off to moemoe land I wanted to share the blessing of dinner with strangers. 

Kim's sister Kacy is friends with Diane... Diane is who we are staying with and it is Diane's Puerto Rican Family that came over for thanksgiving.  Quite a lout family gathering but very welcoming and fun.  Also the food was absolutely amazing.  Not what I would expect for thanksgiving but delicious none the less.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"In a New York state of mind"

It seems like when something big is happening in my life, I am more aware of the topic being mentioned around me.  Tonight I was flipping through channels while I was doing stuff in the house and "The Voice" was on.  One of the gals was singing "In a New York state of mind."  It caught my attention.  I am not familiar with the lyrics but it got me thinking of my state of mind.  Even though I leave for NY in less than 48 hours my mind has been a battlefield... the Lord must be about to do something BIG because the enemy is attacking hard. 

Anyway a dear friend called today to just chat.  Candace was such an encouragement and blessing!  Agreeing with me on the recent disappointments but reminding me that my trust and hope needs to be in Christ alone.  A good friend is like iron sharpening iron... both get sharper!!

My mind and hard are focused on Christ and what HE has in store!

Monday, November 12, 2012

100 more things to do...

100 More things to do...

Because I am more than halfway through my first bucket list... I am realizing there are so many more things that are out there to do that need to be included....

This will be a work in progress because I am not sure I can come up with 100 more items but we shall try!!

  1. Live intentionally
  2. Visit Bora Bora
  3. Swim with the dolphins
  4. Go to the tunnel of lights in Japan
  5. Visit Rio, Brazil
  6. Explore Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
  7. Pay for a stranger's tab at a restaurant
  8. Dance with my daddy at my wedding
  9. Visit ground zero
  10. Go on a Disney Cruise
  11. Visit the Sistine Chapel
  12. Take his last name
  13. Make a fruit bouquet

  14. Experience the Christmas holiday season in New York
  15. Travel first class- OAK to SLC 8/19/2013
  16. Have a daughter and name her after my great grandmother
  17. Be a spectator at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
  18. Go on a date to the zoo
  19. Meet an online friend
  20. Eat pizza in Naples, Italy
  21. Send a message in a bottle
  22. Go to Budapest, Hungary
  23. Shop in New York City
  24. Set foot on all 7 continents
  25. Adopt a child
  26. Visit the walk of fame
  27. Drive down Route 66- June 2014
  28. Kiss under mistletoe
  29. Shoot a gun- May 2014
  30. Go zip lining
  31. Attend a new year's party
  32. Get a disney balloon
  33. Have a natural birth
  34. Adopt a dog
  35. and name him Hamlet
  36. Move to a different country- Uganda Sept 2013
  37. Drive an expensive car
  38. Go to China 
  39. Eat a decadent dessert at a bakery
  40. Drink coffee in Seattle
  41. Go for a run walk in central park
  42. Go to Barcelona, Spain
  43. Send an off the wall birthday gift to an unsuspecting friend
  44. Donate my hair
  45. Spend a day at the spa
  46. Attach a lock to a love bridge
  47. Visit Auschwitz
  48. Go on a night picnic
  49. Visit Mall of America
  50. Have my fingernails professionally done
  51. Build a blanket fort with someone I love
  52. Try a new flavor of pizza in New York
  53. Build an exquisite gingerbread house
  54. Buy a pair of white shoes and doodle on them
  55. See a wholphin
  56. Be a stay at home mom
  57. Tie messages to balloons and let them go
  58. Eat belgian waffles in Belgium
  59. Build an animal at Build a Bear
  60. Carve something into a tree together
  61. Visit a vineyard- California 8/2013
  62. Make cake pops
  63. Take a photo everyday for one year
  64. Visit Lanai
  65. Stand under the Hollywood sign
  66. Order dessert first at a restaurant- Ghiridhelli 8/13
  67. Build an igloo
  68. Get through a long distance relationship
  69. Step foot in each ocean
  70. Visit Ikea in Sweden 
  71. and purchase something there... just because!
  72. Live off of $100 for a month
  73. read 50 books in a year... one of the joys of living in the village!
  74. In a difficult situation, act like a Southern lady even when you don't feel like it.
  75. Read through the entire Elsie Dinsmore series
  76. study through the Bible and write a devotional
  77. learn zumba
  78. learn pilates
  79. enjoy a cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire with the one I love
  80. Go on a ride with a sled pulled by dogs
  81. research something I enjoy and get it published
  82. write a book about my adventures
  83. eat the local delicacy- fried grasshoppers in Kampala
  84. learn to stand up paddle board
  85. Dive with the sharks
  86. Encourage someone to do something they have never thought of doing
  87. Buy a fancy dress just because
  88. Try snow sking
  89. Hike diamond head
  90. Go to Polinesian cultural center
  91. Bless a child with a paid for education
  92. teach a child a new game
  93. Live off the grid
  94. See Lion King on stage
  95. See Phantom of the opera on broadway
  96. Get through grad school debt free
  97. Kiss the Sphinx
  98. Sit on the beach in Zanzibar
  99. Visit Mombasa
  100. learn another spoken language fluently
  101. make a woven mat
  102. Plant a garden and eat the fruits of my labor
  103. Have a caricature done
As I am going through other blogs with bucket list items looking for ideas I am finding lots that I have already done so I thought I would start listing those as well...

  1. Go vegan
  2. See a volcano erupt
  3. Visit Amsterdam
  4. Finish a scrapbook
  5. Live in a college dorm
  6. Meet Minnie Mouse
  7. Build a snowman
  8. See a moose in the wild
  9. Swim under a waterfall
  10. Lay in the road in the middle of the night
  11. Catch a jar of lightning bugs
  12. Go to Universal Studios
  13. Go to Hard Rock Cafe- London, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Cairo, Lahaina, Honolulu,
  14. Have a water balloon fight
  15. Go to Sea World
  16. Try fried ice cream
  17. Visit glass beach
  18. Buy my first home
  19. Be confident enough to wear a bikini in summer
  20. Make up a recipe
  21. Learn how to crochet
  22. Learn how to knit
  23. Try Mochi ice cream
  24. Skinny dip in an ocean
  25. Go to Myrtle beach
  26. Swim with a sea turtle
  27. Own a bunch of reptiles (technically I guess they were Jared's)
  28. Receive a dozen red roses from a man
  29. Stand on top of a mountain
  30. Go to Disney with my best friend
  31. Pet a Kangaroo
  32. Learn how to sew
  33. Make a quilt
  34. Eat crepes in Paris
  35. Rescue an animal
  36. Ride in an airplane
  37. Climb a tree
  38. Visit South Korea
  39. Try ketchup chips
  40. Try funnel cake
  41. Eat and not feel guilty
  42. Wear heels to prom
  43. Visit Paris
  44. Visit Tokyo, Japan
  45. See the Eiffel Tower
  46. Try Sushi
  47. Ride an elephant
  48. See the Great Pyramids
  49. Move to Hawaii
  50. Fit into a medium
  51. Eat chocolate at Gheridelli
  52. Eat fish in San Franscisco
  53. Run down curviest street in the world

Dealing with disappointment

Everyone has those days that they "get up on the wrong side of the bed".  Normally other people notice the grouchy behavior and comment.  However when you live by yourself and admit to having a bad day... you know its bad.  Thankfully there was no one else around today to experience my fussyness.  Not sure it is hormones... tiredness... anxiety... or just emotions from being disappointed but I have battled over it all day.  I have prayed... cleaned despite... napped... spent time in the Word... and still can't shake the feelings.  So  I thought I would write it out. 

A couple of days ago, I was requested to send school paperwork to assist in the starting of the school in Uganda.  Basically with the school starting in January, they are looking for someone to administer sooner rather than later.  After sending the info, the peace about going to Uganda and my future plans seemed to shatter leaving behind a lot of unknowns and anxiety.  I leave for NYC in less than 10 days... expectations of meeting up with friends while there is just not happening. 

Ultimately I do know who holds my future.  HE has a great plan for my good and HIS glory.  At this point my brain knows it but there is doubt/unbelief in my heart.

Lord, what I need right now is your peace that no matter what happens or what you're calling me to... that it will be good.  I specifically pray for certain friendships.  I am really struggling with all of the unknowns... the ups and downs... either make this or break this!  As much as I have tried to guard my heart... I am in deep.  If I go much deeper and this is not of you... it is not going to be good.  Protect my heart and help me to trust You fully.  Lord I cast my anxiety and unbelief at your feet.  Show me what you desire of me to do and pursue.  Renew my first love.  May I love with reckless abandon knowing that you hold my heart in your hand.  May you bless this trip to New York... may I be an encouragement and blessing to everyone I meet.  Open new doors... keep me safe, well, and protected... go before me.  Thank you for the opportunities you have allowed and provided.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Packing for NYC

Ten days and counting... decided it was time to pull out the winter clothes.  I have been working to make sure I fit into last years clothes by cutting out sugars and carbs for the past month.  This has worked tremendously well to trim a little so that I "comfortably" fit into my clothes.  However trying on sweaters, jackets, and scarfs when it is 80+ degrees is not comfortable.

Anyway started packing a weeks worth of clothes plus gifts for the hosts.  Normally I could care less what I look like when I travel... in my min comfort counts.  However this is NEW YORK CITY we're talking about.  Can we do cute, stylish, and comfortable???  Oh and maybe warmth is something else to take into consideration....

Well now that the majority of the sweaters are packed... I guess it is time to figure out a carry on...

Hunger for eternity

Last night I really was struggling with anxiety over the future.  Something happened that didn't line up with what I thought should be happening and to be honest it rocked me a bit.  That is until I hit my knees and cried out to the God of the Universe.  I was quickly reminded that there are going to be times of dissatisfaction to make me hunger for the things of eternity.  If I am truly seeking His will for my life than who do I expect Him to do things my way.  Again a chance to trust and obey.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An American freedom

Today is Election Day... the day that decides 4 years of our countries leadership.  For many this is a momentous day when their candidate wins... for others whose candidate loses it can be disheartening but either way the course of history can be changed by one vote. 

This post is not going to be about who you should vote for... your opinion is your opinion... but that you should VOTE!  We are blessed to live in a democratic nation that allows our voices to be heard.  We have the freedom of speech.  If we don't like the way our country is going WE have the right to change it!!

 After traveling to many other countries throughout the years, I have realized that many of the freedoms that I have taken for granted are not FREE for others to experience.  Simple things that even in our country haven't been free for all to do for very long... like women voting.  We have the right to express our opinions... we have the right to worship freely without the fear of persecution... we have the right to education, land ownership, a just judicial system, ... and the list could go on!  This is all because we live in a place called the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and our constitutional rights!

Before anyone starts thinking I am being cocky and taking these freedoms for granted... my heart is heavy for all those men and women that have given their lives so that I may have these freedoms.  For these men and women my heart is filled with gratitude!!  It urks me that there are people out there that won't vote today but want to honor the veterans next week.  Honor your veterans by voting.  A non-voter has no right to complain if they are not letting their voice be heard in the manner that counts.

So on this day... no excuses... JUST GO VOTE!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Living Intentionally

The goal for this year has been to live each day intentionally.  Basically meaning when an opportunity is given by God... to take it and run with it.  So begins this trip...

During fall break, I received an email from Hawaiian Airlines telling of these $465 RT flights to JFK from HNL.  These were too good to pass up, so I posted on facebook to see if anyone else would be interested.  Within minutes, Kim, a friend from grad school replied that she was interested and had a sister that lived an hour outside the city.

So long story short the night before having my wisdom teeth pulled we bought our tickets.  So super excited!!!  Anyone that really knows me knows I am a planner.  Spur of the moment actions rarely happen.  Well mark this down in history as one of my rare spur of the moment actions.