Currently…

I’ve had on my agenda “brainstorm blog plan” or “write blog post” countless times since my last post in March.  It’s a season, I know.  Busy busy.

But when it comes down to it, I want to do it perfectly.  I don’t want to admit it, but I am a perfectionist and I subscribe to the “go big or go home” mentality.  I want to have a plan, execute it, have perfect connected images and links.

But what I need to do is just show up.

If I want to express myself through writing, I need to hang up the towel of the expectations of others.  Why am I so concerned about what people think of my writing?  What my stats were on each post?

In my current discovery with Krissie, I had some major a-ha’s about my ideas wrapped up around exercise.  I want to “go big or go home” with exercise too.  I want people to think that just because I’m not your “average” sized gal, doesn’t mean I can’t do that too.  Yoga?  Used to go to class as the biggest gal in the room to prove a point. Half-Marathon?  Done.  I was more fit than I am now, but it was just as much the point of being a bigger gal out there as it was checking it off that list.

At the end of the day, I’ve realized a few things.

My action or lack thereof comes down to my motives.

I want to work out to feel strong, to be a good example for my family (current and the family to come) and to have confidence that comes from doing hard things.

I want to write to express my creativity and use words and get part of what’s going on in my head into another format that may or may not give me the feedback that my journal can (and to relieve my beau from hearing it exclusively).

I’ve been loosely following Momastary and her writing for a while now and she had a remarkable post today about this encounter with Donald Miller and then a guest post on his blog.  That is where this is coming from.  I’m showing up.  I don’t need more time.  I don’t need to be perfect.

I just need to show up.  Imperfectly.

I’m showing up here.  Showing up by taking walks at lunch.  Carving out time to journal. Sleeping more on days my body is telling me I need the rest.  Show up.  Show up in your life.

I just need to show up.  Imperfectly.  But not just in the tangibles.

Show up in your relationships.  Don’t wait for the perfect scenario.  I showed up in some emails that needed to be sent earlier this week that I’d been procrastinating on for weeks. Within minutes, there was resolution, clarity and hope in some situations that I’d been challenged on for some time.

Just show up.  Be real.

 

just show up.  imperfectly.  no filter.  no makeup.  just me.  showing up.

just show up. imperfectly. no filter. no makeup. just me. showing up.

 

Sometimes it’s all about the polish

Disclaimer: I said I’d be posting more often.  I didn’t say what the content would be.  No plans, no agenda.  Just what’s on my heart in the moment.  And I’d say with the direction life is taking me, there will be loads about intentionality, life around the table, slowing down and being present.  All things that lend well to my Lenten practice.  Or painting my nails. Whatevs. 

One of my “new years resolutions” was to paint my nails.  Call it silly as you may, I’ve always been very blessed with strong, healthy, pretty nails and have to do very little to them.  They’ve been naked for years with an occasional coat of clear polish and other than trimming, filling or cutting off when one breaks or snags, that’s been my effort toward this gift as some would say of really nice nails.

So I decided that in 2014 I’d be more intentional with this gift and paint those suckers.  And I’m proud to say that there have only been 2 days so far (as much as I can recollect) that I’ve had naked nails.  Trying out new shades, getting to work and borrowing a co-workers stash, going bold, going nude, it’s been a fun 2 months so far.

5 minutes every few days.  Basecoat.  Color.  Rarely a topcoat.  Sometimes in the car drying by the heater vents as I drive in to work.  But it’s intention. A nice addition.  Another aspect of caring for my outward self that can be reflected on the inward self.

My Lenten Practice-2014

It’s a bit after 9pm on this Ash Wednesday and my Lenten practice is getting a bit of a late start so today will be an authentic, fast run of what I felt tugging on my heart the past few days.

It’s been 2 months or so since my last post and leave it to the weather or whatever, I have been sleeping like a hibernating bear and not nearly as disciplined as I’d like to be. I try daily to live into the “grace over perfection” mantra, but man, it’s been hard!

Thinking through the things that will help me get back into the habits and routine that I know make me the best version of myself and also lead to me having better days, it starts with an early, productive, slower morning.

Which means two things: 1) Getting up earlier. 2) Getting to bed earlier.

What is my vice as of late? Connections. Surface connections that is.  Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, fueling some loneliness I’ve been experiencing lately (we all have that from time-to-time. You aren’t alone.)

My Lenten observance this year will be a practice of laying some things down so that I can more intentionally pick some things up.  I’m laying down social media to a degree so that I can pick up quality time with framily (love that new commercial–such a great word that fits my life these days) as well as intentionality in all of my life–one area being that of reflection, observation and community that comes with the creative expression found through my blog.

Now again, I’m not going to blog every day and  my observance of limiting social media will be a struggle.  My goal is to have the phone and iPad down at 8pm, pick up the laptop to blog or hang out with the beau. I’ve deleted facebook and twitter off my phone for the time being so that I’m not tempted to zone out there instead of be in the moment. I will still post my coffee pics on insta with little blurbs of my day. Again–this is about grace, not perfection.

My three quick hits for today…

1. Check out this article by Ben Hulet (#coffeewithben) about tips for starting your morning.  I know there are a lot of these out there and many targeted to women, but minus the shaving tip, this really spoke to me. And this paragraph as a whole describes the person I am, but my actual self is just having trouble putting into play these days:

I have always relied on my morning routine to sort of set the stage for the rest of my day. So much so, that I’ve developed a sort of religious devotion to the order and sanctity of my AM time. It’s not that I absolutely have to do things in a certain way like some kind of OCD driven tick, it’s just that I’ve found that making the time to keep a regular routine has always produced a certain clarity and focus that when disregarded, tends to leave me in a less than optimal state in which to tackle my day.

2. Loving these phone wallpapers by Emily Ley.  She also has a calendar one if you sign up for her newsletter.  I LOVE the intention one.  On my phone currently.

3. Meeting with my students and hearing about their plans to go to Daytona in 2 weeks for spring break is seriously depressing (okay-not really). But I mean, come on–my car got stuck in ice and mud this morning.  For 30 minutes. When I had an important meeting to get to. Thank God for lovely neighbors who knock on your door to see why your car is half in the drive way and half in the street! (And I made my meeting! Yippee!) I’m ready for you spring!

Ciao!

2014: Anchored

Anchored

In doing some soul work, I’ve looked back at all that 2013 held and there was a lot of good. A lot of holistic development–personally, professionally, emotionally and spiritually. A lot of change–a new job, my mom moving from being 6 hours away to 30 minutes away and a very stressful school semester for the beau which in turn impacted me as well. A lot of hanging on by a thread to be completely honest. So in that reflection I’ve been doing, I’ve realized that I no longer want to hang on by a thread.

My photo is one from the amazing vacation that we had right before Christmas in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This exact photo was taken from our balcony one morning as a group of scuba divers was getting ready to leave on their morning adventure. The group was mostly the same folks–the older gentleman we’d see eating at the breakfast buffet alone and then on the scuba boat presumably while his wife slept away, laid by the pool or enjoyed the spa. The 40-somethings man whose wife would walk out with him, kiss him goodbye and the go back to her lounge chair on the beach with her book awaiting the boats return where she’s subsequently walk out to shore and welcome him back with a kiss. The bronzed older lady who loved her bright yellow string bikini. Then there was the older woman. The one in full scuba gear who went out every day to dive into the Caribbean Sea, but held tightly to the rope anchored to the boat that would take her out to sea. Never failed, each morning, she’d step lightly holding tightly to her scuba gear with one hand and even tighter to that rope. No matter the beauty and uncertainty the sea held, she held tight to what she knew.  

I want that.

Hebrews 6:19 says “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” I want to be an anchor. I want to be so secure and grounded in the hope of the promise that 2014 holds and that God holds for me that I will not move. I will not be a thread, but yet a million little threads bound together and held securely into the sea as an anchor is. Sometimes that sea is crystal clear, other times it’s dark and unknown. But I will be secure. If you’ve been around me or this space for any time at all, you know that I love trees. I still love trees. I love their deep roots, what they can weather and how they change for each season. Anchored is different. Anchored is a choice. I’m thankful for my roots and know that they have allowed me to stand strong as I have. But this year I’m choosing even more.

I know that 2014 is not going to be easy, but I want to hold tightly onto the things that I know bring me security–that hope that I have in Christ. I love the entirety of Hebrews 6 and what is says for the church and for me.

I want to be anchored in my priorities for this year. Anchored for the changes our family will see with another job change occurring mid-year. Anchored for growth in my job and my passions. Anchored in relationships. Anchored in wellness. Anchored in simplicity. Anchored in mission. Anchored in what I know to be true.

{miscellany monday}: july 15

Linking up with Carissa at lowercase letters for miscellany monday…excited about a new way to keep writing…it is therapeutic and I miss it. 

  • Filofax.  I mean.  Where to begin.  I saw this post from my girl Kristi on instagram about her faux filofax she snagged at a local supermarket.  After some digging, I realized that there is a whole world (literally, filofax is created in the UK and most of the obsession with it is international) of filofax obsessed folks out there.  It’s like I’ve found this new tribe of people who speak my language.  With all the changes happening in life, I needed something to help managee that so I snagged the same faux filofax at the same supermarket as MommaKristi and bam–we are off.  I’m loving it, the way it works as my wallet and organizer and that I get to decorate the pages each week.  I just need something to keep me happy in the little things during this crazy season!

    filofax love

    filofax love

  • Remember those big changes?  Well, they are here–my sweet Mama has moved to Kentucky!  She’s been here a week and things are going pretty well.  If you’re interested, I’m updating her progress here.

    Mama D

    Mama D

  • There is a Dunkin Doughnuts close to where my mom is in Lexington.  They offer $1 any sized iced drinks from 3-6pm.  Needless to say this has been my reality more than I’d like to admit. Iced Coffee. Cream. SugarFree Caramel. Delish.

    Mmmmm

    Mmmmm

  • In addition to the filofax, I got this awesome little cash wallet from A Time for Everything to help with the budget.  Absolutely love the pattern I was able to pick out and so far it’s really helping keep our cash management in control (while being stylish!)

    a time for everything!

    a time for everything!

  • We spent time in Virginia with family over the 4th before bringing my mom back to Kentucky.  We also visited some of our favorite spots in Roanoke since it’ll likely be a while before we are back to visit.  Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles, the Roanoke Farmer’s Market and a double visit to our latest Favorite, The River and Rail.  Amazing food. Amazing drinks. Amazing company.
    love

    love

    PS-We also had breakfast with Gangee that morning…

    Gangee

    Gangee

{miscellany monday}: july 1

This is my first linkup with Carissa at lowercase letters for miscellany monday…excited about a new way to keep writing…it is therapeutic and I miss it. 

  • I am excited to have found Carissa’s space. I wanted some loose structure to blogging that didn’t necessarily box me in to doing something crazy to create some consistency and encouragement for me to blog. miscellany monday is the perfect way to start my blogging week as I always have a million thoughts that seem too random to somehow string together in a blog post. Many of them are tweets or instagram pics posted throughout the week. Some of them are thoughts or ideas or apps or websites that just don’t fit into any random social media conversation. So now I have Mondays. And getting back on the Five Minute Friday wagon as well to help with actual writing, flow, ideas, etc.

blogging

  • One of my #SuperSummer goals was to listen to more Podcasts on my drive. Spending an hour in the car a day is a great way to open up my mind to some of the great work that is out there. I’ve been a fan of the Moth for quite some time and I love the stories, but just recently have become a huge fan of Michael Hyatt. I mean, if you’ve had a real-life conversation with me in the past 2 weeks, you’ve probably heard me reference him at some point. Some of my favorites include How to Create More Mental FocusHow to Become a Morning Person and So You’re Overcommitted. Now What?. Great great stuff (and you can read-the entire transcription of his podcasts are on the blog if you prefer).
  • I was re-introduced over the weekend to Lift–an amazing app and website that helps count habit streaks. I’ve added about 20 items from my #SuperSummer list-things I want to do daily & weekly. There have been several new features added since I initially started my account a year ago including reminders! This is going to making moving beyond #SuperSummer into real life come September 1 a possibility.

lift

  • We have some big changes coming our way that I’ll be able to talk about more freely in the next week (and no, I’m not pregnant.). I’ve been so reminded of surrendering our plans and desires so that God can work out his plan in our life. I have some surrendering to do. Crazy season we are already in the midst of–summer class for the beau, more healthy choices for us (AKA: more meal prep and achy limbs from body weight workouts-OUCH!), lots of leadership changes at my job, a very fast summer and then a huge personal change that is going to affect all of these things. Two things that have really given me solace: This post by my dear friend Vivian who is also going through her own season of surrender and this verse:

    “Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple. (Luke 14:33 MSG)

  • There are some books that you want to devour, some that are too intense to devour and some that as much as you want to devour them, you know that the longer you read the more of your life that this book can encompass. This is what Bread and Wine has been for me. I am just loving Shawna’s writing, just as I did with Bittersweet (another one I savored). I put the book down and walked into the kitchen and made the blueberry crisp last night with a few tweaks. It was delicious alongside some coconut milk ice cream…YUM! (Update!  See Shawna make her own Blueberry Crisp here thanks to (in)courage!)

07.01.12_berries

{Five-Minute Friday}-In Between

Linking up with Five-Minute Friday where the prompt is to write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. Here goes nothing…

****************************************************************

Smack-dab in the middle of it. That’s what us southern folks might call it. 1 year down. In the midst of the summer class. The change will affect his life much more than mine, but my futuristic mind has trouble allowing this career shift to just affect him.

In the pull and tension of full time work, night class, weekend clinicals–it’s this in between of what was and what is and what will be. What was a career that was unfulfilled. What is one of the craziest seasons of our life. What will be a life that calls for purpose and flexibility and meaning in career as well as opportunities to serve and love and give beyond what we’ve currently know.

But the in between is hard. Waiting. Listening. Being grateful for the tough times. Loving the day and listening to the meaning in it all.

And sometimes that meaning is just sitting with the reality of exhaustion and frustration, knowing that once the in between is over….

There’s always another in between on the horizon.

Summer.

The days of June are slipping between my fingers. Life is taking some drastic, exciting and unknown turns. Summer which started so slowly, so calmly is now like the roaring Ocoee.

Y’all, I’m tired. It’s been a very busy season.

So what’s my resolve? Is your season busy as well? Here is my reality over the past week or so. At first I tried to fight it.  Then, I had an a-ha. And ya know what? I’m settling in to this rhythm and my, oh my…

Taking it down a notch. Watching movies in the evening and sleeping in later than usual. Giving myself grace that I’m not getting in my needed quiet time every morning because my body is screaming for another hour of rest. Snaging a few sets of jumping rope or a few kettlebell swings in between home chores versus a 30 minute walk or run. Making a habit to take a relaxing bath and go to bed with semi-wet hair once a week. No one really cares nearly as much as I do what my hair looks like anyway. Implementing a casual day once a week within company dress code guidelines. One day where you wear a skirt or a maxi dress that honestly feels like you’re wearing pajamas. This, my friends, is summer.

Like I mentioned, life is about to pick up. I know I can’t control it. But I can certainly control sitting in the silence, smelling the aroma of fresh flowers from the market, sipping my iced coffee after work reading a book.

summa summa2

Does this mean I’m lazy? Heck no! I’m being super productive at work, knocking some of my #SuperSummer challenge items each day, tracking my clean eating journey, drinking water and moving. I’m just giving myself grace in that I’m in a season and know that one is coming up that I am going to need the extra rest-fuel I’m saving up. Just like bears go into hibernation in the winter, I feel I’m in a hibernation stage. I’m getting myself into the right frame of mind to attack the next season with continued intention, purpose and focus. All the while watching a movie and sleeping in every once and a while.

xoxo,

Faith

Need some accountability for something like this in your life? Check out my girl Krissie at Committed Coaching.  She’s got an amazing offering in July coming up that might be right up your ally!  

Stories

Have you ever started something and thought–“why am I doing this?”  I mean, how did I get here? What lead me to agree to, listen to, participate in this?  Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? It’s boring. Hard. Frustrating. Draining.

Sure–we’ve all had our fair share of moments when we find ourselves doing something–be it career related, family related, home related, self-improvement related–that we would rather not be doing.

Or maybe we reflect back on something we’ve done and wished so desperately that we could erase that from not just our memory, but our reality. “Why did I make that comment that was so cutting to my spouse this morning?” ” Why did I commit to being apart of ____?” ” Why didn’t I wait an hour to cool down before sending that email to my coworker?”

Whether in the moment or reflecting back, these moments–the ones we don’t necessarily like and aren’t so proud they’re apart of us–are such meaningful pieces to the story our life is writing. It’s just as it is in your favorite book or movie. There’s this climax and you know that it’s so important to the overall message, but sometimes it’s still kind of painful to watch or read. However, you are so committed to knowing how this affects the characters and the plot, you plow through, sometimes not even getting the full scope of the difficulty, struggle or pain.  But in the end, you do recall how you got there. Every ounce of difficulty, struggle and painful moment.

story

Today’s a new day. This moment is more new than the one that just passed. Whatever you are doing, wherever you are in this very moment–take a few seconds to breathe that in. Be present. Think about the effects to your story this very moment is having.  And if you have a desired end to your story, then make sure your plot has the proper twists and turns to get you to that end. After all, we only have one story. One life. One message.

What is the message your story is telling?

#SuperSummer Update 1

So I’m 10 days into #SuperSummer and like anything else, it’s been a roller coaster of sorts. I woke up on Saturday, June 1st around 6am (after my goal of a 5am wake time) to my wake-up light birds chirping and the beau standing across the room turning that alarm off.  Apparently he tried to wake me at 5 saying “alright, who’s ready to earn some points?” and I wasn’t having any of it. Funny thing is, I never even heard him.  Needless to say, May was exhausting.

The rest of that weekend however and even the first few days into the week, I was rocking some points. It was a game–like a live video game (I don’t even like video games) but I was winning this one. Water the flowers? POINTS! Do a 5 minute habit workout while the frittata’s cooking? POINTS! Eat Breakfast (hello, frittata!)?  POINTS! Drive to Lexington or work in silence? POINTS! 5 minute stretch while catching up on all un-read blogs?  DOUBLE POINTS!!  I was loving it.

Then the upswing of all the points came crashing down. It didn’t crash and burn, just a little reality set in. I had a great Google Hangout chat with my accountability pals which was really encouraging (Thanks!)  I need to re-evaluate some of my points. My theory going in was that I wanted to have as many options as possible to earn points. Why not? Why only set 5 goals for each point category when I could set 10. Reflecting on some recent conversations however, I’m reminded that I have a tendency when it comes to goal setting to go big. Like really, really, pseudo-unattainable big. And that’s exactly what happened.

I’m WAY over on the amount of Mind points I should have gotten in a week and right on target (according to the numbers) for Body points.  However, most of my body points came from things that didn’t necessarily make me sweat.

So here’s my plan moving forward in week 2?

  • Think. Take some time to really think about the goals I set and if they match their assigned point value.
  • Adjust.  Change some goals. Cut some out. Simplify. It’s allowed.
  • Balance. Integrate a goal of trying to find balance with Body and Mind points. One should not have be just shy of 1000 Body points in one week yet well over 2000 mind points. Perhaps I’ll give myself bonus points if my body and mind points are within a certain value of one another each day and each week. Any other #SuperSummer folks have thoughts?
  • Sweat.  Sweat daily. I must increase my activity. My body goals are valid pursuits, but I need to move. To sweat. To be sore.
  • Grace.   Give myself grace. This is a 3 month/100 day challenge for a reason.  I’m not going to learn all I’m hoping to, make all the changes I need to in 1 week.

Take care and be well!