Weekly Roundup-March 9, 2012

**Get ready folks! I’ve got bookooh’s of photos in this post. How in the world do you spell that word anyways…**

Goals:

  • Physical–Ran with Lex Ladies Run on Saturday and that was really great. It was really nice to run with people–even if I was much slower than most of them, just knowing they were out there and catching up with some of them at the end was really awesome. It was also really great to just be out there running part of the Run the Bluegrass Course! It’s absolutely beautiful! Now that the race is just 22 days away (ack!) I’m really getting excited, but also still very nervous. We are both getting back on the Paleo wagon after a few little slips here and there–it seriously makes us both feel so much better.
  • Spiritual–The Depth Group that I lead weekly with some college women has been studying Celebration of Discipline this year, which has always been one of my favorites. We had one of the best discussion of the year (in my opinion) on confession. It was really, really good. Sidenote–I’m always so challenged when talking with college students–being in the classroom for many of them who are studying theology or just in a required bible class gets them thinking in ways that I typically don’t. For instance, one student this week just casually said, “so Faith, what’s your view on predestination?” I had to honestly say, “well, I don’t really think about it that much, so let me think and then get back to you.” I’m the student in these situations. Okay–back to Depth group–really, really loved our discussion on confession. We talked about our salvation and how it is not necessarily an event, but an ongoing process and that we must constantly be in a state of seeking to be better, to grow, to change. We cannot do this on our own. We must constantly pursue Christ. It also brought me back to a quote I read in my devo time this week. From the book The Imitation of Christ, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” Ouch.
  • Creative–Definitely stepped this up but forgot to take photos! ACK! I will update, but I made the prayer sticks and the date night jar as well. Love them both! I’m looking forward to more things that I can do this Sabbath Sunday!
  • Home–Had a busy weekend, so we didn’t get much accomplished, but the week has been accomplished. It’s made us feel very busy–not sitting down for anything other than when we actually eat dinner, but good at the same time. We have been getting in our cleaning plan, which excites me as we are hosting our small group tonight and I don’t have to worry about our house being in disarray! Yay! Looking forward to a weekend of cleaning out and purging. We are such an over-stuffed society with stuff we just don’t need. We also finally got something put on the walls that had just been staring there since…Oh, January or so.

    H.O.M.E.

  • Personal–I’ve had a really great week and a really difficult week all balled into one. See twitter messages from Tuesday and then the two from Wednesday:

Not that I’m proud of my chick-fil-a run, but, it is what it is.

Mom Update: Mom got her back brace and will be able to wear it when she’s walking or going to visit family or on an errand run like she has been today. Still down and struggling a bit, but thankful for some encouraging

Yummy Recipes! Several things to share on this front this week. I made a batch of my pumpkin muffins for a treat last week and finally remember to snag the photos!

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Muffins (GF/Paleo) Ingredients

YUM!

I made some delish stuffed peppers last night that I found from this new favorite food blog. I added some cauliflower rice and it made 6 very stuffed peppers! The best part-another crockpot meal to my lineup! SCORE!

Mexican Pulled Chicken Stuffed Peppers (and the lineup of kitchen tools)

And finally. Green Smoothies. Our new favorite (after we buckled down and scored a new blender). We’ve had one every day. Yum. And I PROMISE you cannot taste the spinach. How awesome is is to have taken in that much spinach before you even get to work! I found the recipe here (finally!) after literally googling “green smoothie dole cup” (click link to see what I mean). One of those times I was kicking myself for NOT pinning something initially seen on pinterest.

GREEN Smoothie

“Pinteresting” Things: If you’re on pinterest, feel free to follow my boards!

This is coming to Ikea in April and I cannot wait!

ikea cart

I wish I had a bunch of fabric scraps–this is so fun! Love St. Patty’s Day!

st. patty's wreath

This is SUCH a cute idea to send to someone who might be under the weather or down in the dumps–I have someone in mind I might send this to!

sunshine

Another reason why I need to learn to sew. Stat.

potholder clutch

And finally chickens. What more can I say?

chickens

Things I’m learning: So much. Where to begin really. Still processing Dark and Light. Rootedness. Slowing down. I think that’s the thing that has hit home the most this week. We had a 1/2 day staff conference at my work and our wellness coordinator was talking about Health Made Simple–3 Do’s and 4 Don’ts. The don’ts included not going through a drive through (uh-oh, Chick-fil-a), not using tobacco, and not drinking pop/soda and especially diet pop/soda. The fourth thing was not to do everything at one time. Our speaker was meaning all three of these things–don’t quit them all at once. But when I saw it on our handout, I immediately just though–don’t do everything in life all at once, Faith. I’m constantly wondering how people do it. Thinking about Brene Brown’s talk about how we are the most stressed, over medicated, overweight, over worked country and yet we just keep doing it. One day it’s going to catch up with us. I”m so ready to slow down a bit. Looking forward to a few days next week to do that.

Interesting quote/Scripture:

“So I run, but not without a clear goal ahead of me.” 1 Corinthians 9:26

And once again from the book The Imitation of Christ, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” Help me Lord to focus on me. No one else.

Hope you’ve had a great week! Happy Weekend!

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Weekly Roundup-March 3, 2012

Goals:

  • Physical–Overall, I have felt so much better this week!  Physically, my runs have been more en pointe, I’ve had more motivation at work and felt really great.  So far this week I’ve ran 11 miles, pulling my first 7 miler before work yesterday.  I’m very thankful to have a flexible work environment that understands my training must be ramped up for the next month and I may be a little late 1-2 days a week.  I’m looking forward to my first run on Saturday with Lex Ladies Run.  I have been so encouraged this week by their online presence and encouragement.  Now that I’m in the homestretch of my training, I really need to pick up the pace and intensity and I’m certain that having a group of ladies to run with will do the trick.  There are several 3K’s and 5K’s they are participating in before our 1/2 Marathon, but even one run with them before the big day will be great!  I’m looking to clock 9 miles, my longest run ever!  Say a little prayer for me!  I’ve also been wanting to get back in the gym and throw some weights around.  Not only will it be great physical training and a way to get some stress relief, but most women I’ve seen who have dropped some serious pounds have spent their time in the gym at some point.  It will be much easier to run those 13 miles in 29 days if I can drop a few more pounds by then.  Now that I’m getting more comfortable with running longer distances during the week, I may pick back up my Cardio Sculpt class twice a week at work.
  • Spiritual–I’m still hearing a lot about the darkness and the light, but this week’s theme has been “Rooted.”  Now, if you know me at all, you know I love trees.  I love the imagery of trees and their deep rootedness, I got a tree pendant for Christmas and even have a Tree Pinterest board.  I love Ephesians 3:17 that says “I pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation.”  That may be my favorite verse.  So anyway, along with the images of dark and light, I’ve been reminded of the importance of having a solid foundation and making your roots sink deep.  Roots were even mentioned in the church service we attended on Sunday when we took a day away to Cincinnati.  I’m also back to reading The Circle Maker and it’s been need to see a type of rootedness he describes when talking about “Hyperlinking” your prayers.  So need how God created us for connection and to have a solid foundation  and we have that ability if we look for it.
  • Creative–I  have several ideas and am making this my accountability statement that I will spend some time this Sunday during our Sabbath to put those ideas into action!
  • Home--Saturday was really productive at our house as we not have our Deep Freeze hooked up in our basement AND lights downstairs with a switch!  Before we just had clamp lamps and it made doing laundry a bit scary.  Laundry is much more enjoyable now!  As I mentioned earlier, we took off on a spur of the moment Cincinnati Trip for the day on Sunday as a bit of a get-a-way.  We enjoyed a service at Crossroads Cincinnati and burger madness at Arthurs,but we also wanted to run some errands at our favorite Cincy Stores, Trader Joes, The Container Store and Ikea.  The Container Store wasn’t open yet when we were on that side of town, but we had a very fruitful visit to TJ’s and Ikea.  We had a budget at Ikea and stayed within it (WOWZA!) even though there were a few extra things not on our list that ended up in our cart.  We have already “implemented” several of our purchases–paper towel holder and a bathroom towel holder, and have several others hoping to be utilized soon.  We scored some curtains for the living room and some really great fabric on sale that I’m going to make (with help of course) some curtains for the window in our stairwell.  At the time, we weren’t sure where they were going to go, but since having them home and doing some clean up and re-organizing furniture around the house, I think it’ll be the perfect fit for the stairwell.  And for $2.99 a yard, how could I pass this up?

    Love a Deal!

  • Personal–Although Sunday was a busy day since we were out of town, it was a great weekend overall.  It’s always nice to take a step back from the norm and do something random and sporadic (and for all you folks who know the planner in me well, yes, I promise this is me still writing!).  I’m learning that sometimes, you just need to pack up and get out of dodge for a bit!  Again, this week overall has been really great–I’ve felt in the groove with my running, productivity at work and home, balanced with rest (we may or may not have been in bed at 8pm last night!)  Looking forward to another similar weekend of balanced productivity on our home and rest (and crafting!  I haven’t forgotten!)

Mom Update: Mom is doing well–she has an appointment with an orthopedic doctor today about a back brace.  She was fitted for one a few weeks ago and should receive it today.  They’ve said they are pretty uncomfortable in the beginning and I’m praying that she’ll be able to endure the pain as I think it will be a great support for her back.  She hasn’t felt the greatest this week between her arthritis flaring up and just feeling a little sick, so I’m hoping a day out with her sister and Mom and good news at the orthopedist will be a good ending to her week.

Yummy Recipes! I had a few new recipes on the docket and some old standby’s . We enjoyed (and still are!) some great Pulled Pork on Monday.  This is SUCH an easy recipe and if you are at home to turn the pork, I’m sure it’d be even better.  Ours turned out a little charred since I was at work, but that’s okay with pulled pork, right?  You want that charred taste.  We had some staples of Pumpkin Chili and Harvest Stew this week as well–I haven’t fixed the harvest stew in a while and while it’s a staple in the fall, we had some sweet potatoes and apples that needed to be used and stew meat was on sale so we were sold!

“Pinteresting” Things:  If you’re on pinterest, feel free to follow my boards!

Absolutely beyond thrilled to try this during the weekend–having a lot of antique furniture, we have some water stains that just make me cringe everytime I see them!

water stain removal

GREAT inspiration for our reading room upstairs from this picture.  I absolutely love all the color even though the walls are very neutral!

Color!

I really want to do this as apart of my crafting on Sunday!  It’s so simple and easy.  Plus I have plenty of Mason Jars and jumbo craft sticks that I bought for another project I want to do–That picture is below also…perhaps I”ll knock them both out on Sunday!

date night in a jar

Prayer Sticks

Things I’m learning: Last week’s things I was learning: Margin.  Balance.  Rest.  This week has been the result of living into some of those things.  I still have to “knock it off” when I feel some perfectionism tendencies kicking in.  “Judge not least ye be judged” also applies to me.  If others I’m living life with–my spouse, friends and even co-workers (since I work at a faith based institution) are living into this scripture, hopefully they will be slow to judge when I integrate margin and balance into my life.   I also read this really great article sent to me from my friend Amanda about being positive towards our spouse, but I also think that can come into play with all relationships in life.  Thanks Amanda for sending that my way!

Interesting quote/Scripture:

I’ve already added many of my favorite quotes from my Book Review Post earlier this week–please check it out if you haven’t done so already! 

This song was played for us at my Huddle Group this week.  We were encouraged to listen to it as if God was singing it to us. (fast forward to 1:35 to miss some banter). And of course, I didn’t mind the artist at all, but it’s been really powerful to hear it in this fashion.

Hope you’ve had a great week!  Happy Weekend!

Book Review #2 of 2012

The Gifts of Imperfection

I had been wanting to read this book after seeing Brené Brown’s TED talk posted on Facebook by a colleague over the Winter Break.  It was on my list, but after reading that Melicious over at The Clothes Make the Girl was having a book club on this very book, I just had to join in sooner than later.

Boy, oh boy, am I ever glad that I did!  The beau wanted to read this book after me, so I tried to keep it clean and not mark it up, but I feel as if I could have underlined  something on each page!

If you can’t tell from the photo, the title is The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.  The tagline also states: Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life.

So that thought excited me, but also wanted to make me crawl under the covers and not come out for days.  Let go of who I think I am?  Embrace who I really am?  How do I even know who that is?  Wholehearted?  What does that mean?

Brené  has an extensive “About Me” on her site, but for the purpose of this review, I’ll share some of the highlights (excerpt from http://www.brenebrown.com/welcome).  She is a writer  and research professor at The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work who has studied vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame for the past 10 years. Brené spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions:

How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?

The book has short introductory piece that is very foundational to her work and then 10 Guideposts which are relatively short looking at difference pieces of wholehearted living.  Brené also includes some wonderful descriptions of definitions that are woven throughout her book.  I’ll highlight each Guidepost and a few short snippets of what I got out of it.  It was difficult for me to just choose a few statements, but I also want you to gain something for yourself if you choose to read it! I highly recommend this book!

  • Guidepost #1: Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think–Being Vulnerable is okay.  Being authentic in vulnerable situations is desired.  There is something sacred about being true to yourself.
  • Guidepost #2: Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfection–Perfectionism is self-destructive and addictive.  It is not the same thing as striving to be your best or self-improvement. Perfectionism in my life must becoming “healthy-striving.” I must exercise Self-Compassion.
  • Guidepost #3: Cultivating Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness–When we numb the dark, we numb the light.  “Hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them and believing in our own abilities.” (p. 66)
  • Guidepost #4: Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of  Scarcity and Fear of the Dark–“We are hungry for joy because we are starving for gratitude.”(p. 83).  Ordinary does not mean meaningless.
  • Guidepost #5: Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty–We question our intuition/gut/faith because we are vulnerable to being wrong. Similarly, faith is a mystery and something that cannot be contained. LOVE the Ann Lamont quote: “The opposite of faith is not doubt,  but certainty. (p. 91–from Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith–another book on my list this year!)
  • Guidepost #6: Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison–When we create, we are cultivating meaning–cook, paint, scrapbook, garden, dance, decorate, sing–CREATE!  Don’t compare your creativity–art is meant to be original!
  • Guidepost #7: Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth–Saying  “No” and creating margin is important to our health.  Ingredients for joy and meaning should be a staple of how you spend your day.  Play helps shape our brain as children–but then we grow into adults, we stop playing. 
  • Guidepost #8: Cultivating Calm and Stillness : Letting Go of  Anxiety as a Lifestyle–Be quiet.  Breathe.  Listen.  Create space for a quiet emotional clearing. Give yourself an anxiety detox. 
  • Guidepost #9: Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”–Meaning is tied to several things that are all important in us finding our own meaningful work.  Don’t brush any of them under the table. Slashed titles should become the norm as we all do many things–I’m working on mine now, but it’ll be something like Educator/Wife/Encourager/Singer/Writer/Renovator/Counselor
  • Guidepost #10: Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting Go of  Being Cool and “Always in Control”–Fun is so important, but yet so often looked over!  Dance in the kitchen.  Sing at the top of your lungs.  Make videos with your family.  And most of all, don’t worry abut what people think!

_______________________________

Overall Grade: A++

Category: Self-Help/Emotional Health (Got this from the back cover!  It really could fit so many categories!)

The Good: Everything.  Seriously.  Everything.  Especially the part on DIGging deep.  And Guidepost 7.  and 8.  Oh–and that part in 9….

The Not So Good: It’s not the easiest book to read when you lay the things she’s saying on top of your own life.  It really sheds light on the dark corners and cobwebs we many times try and avoid.   But as I’m learning, great and beautiful things happen in the light.

Miscellaneous: From a researcher standpoint, I love that Brené breaks down how she’s done her research at the end in the section titled: “Research Notes: For Thrill-Seekers and Methodology Junkies”  Great stuff there too (if you’re into that kind of thing).

Best,

Weekly Roundup-February 24, 2012

Goals:

  • Physical–It’s been a good week.  This week’s running schedule was a little lighter as compared to last week’s 8 miler to cap the week.  Speaking of that 8 miler–I did finish it.  Man—what a feeling of accomplishment and exhaustion all wrapped up into one 1/2 hour of laying on the couch with my legs elevated after it was over.  I know that continuing to lose some pounds will help out with some of the pain I’ve been experiencing in my knees.  I’ve been a little more lax in my eating –still eating “Paleo”, but with more choice meals and items than I know is good for me.  That will definitely be reigned in as I’ve seen such a difference in my energy level, my weight and just overall temperament this week.
  • Spiritual–I’ve put The Circle Maker on a bit of a hold to read a book I ordered so that I could participate in an online book club over at The Clothes Make The Girl for The Gifts of Imperfection.  Man–it is similar to One Thousand Gifts, in that I want to make this a book I read multiple times a year.  The author, Brene Brown, is a researcher at the University of Houston, but there have been so many spiritual “a-ha” moments, its’ just crazy. One thing I think is so neat is just the way that God chooses to echo certain things over and over and over in your life.  Right now, it’s all about the darkness and the light. In the [somewhat] words of Kari Jobe, “I am the light of the world–I am a city on a hill…”  I wasn’t able to go to an Ash Wednesday service this week which made me very sad, but I had some great discussions with some students about it.  Being that I’m giving up one of my major vices, I’ve had to retrain the folks at the local establishments I visit that my ‘”regular” order will be sans my favorite beverage for a while. More on this to come…
  • Creative–Still at a standstill in this area.  But, I did read a great thought on creativity last night in The Gifts of Imperfection that really got me motivated. Brene says “If creativity is seen as a luxury or something we do when we have spare time, it will never be cultivated.”  (p.97). Talk about being convicted for “lack of time” for projects!  I must make this a priority to cultivate my giftedness–whether that is blogging, crafting or letter writing.
  • Home--Things just feel so much “homier”–it’s amazing what real furniture, lamps and some intentional home-care will do.  We still have some projects that need finishing, but I’m hopeful to have some updates on those soon.  And I was reminded that I really need to post some photo updates of our hose on the blog–I can’t believe that hasn’t happened yet!  Perhaps that will be a project I tackle in March–I only have a few days to finish my February project!  This week we began implementing our daily cleaning blitz and so far, I think it’s gonna be really great for us to make sure our home is clean on a consistent basis.  When you live in an older home you are renovating, in the beginning it just NEVER feels clean, but since it’s feeling more like home, it’s just become more obvious how dirty our old home can get. 🙂  We take 15, 20, 30 minutes (really just depends on if we have dinner in the oven and how long that will take) and tackle an area of our home.  We just do this three days a week, but I feel it’s going to make a huge impact.  One day is surfaces, the next day is floors and the last day is bathrooms and just general “picking up” prior to the weekend when we’re more likely to have folks over.
  • Personal–Been a bit of an “off” week for me–very pendulum swinging from super slow to oh-my-gosh-how-did-my-day-become-so-crazy-am-I-gonna-survive?  I’m looking forward to a nice Sabbath rest on Sunday. And some crafting.

Mom Update: Mom was moved to a different room this week and has a roommate now!  I think this will be really great for her–we all can get lonely from time to time and being in a situation like she is, I’m sure it’s only compounded.  There are always adjustments, but we’ll make it work.  If you’d like her new room number (for card sending purposes) let me know!

Yummy Recipes! Again, with the crazy week that was, I don’t even remember the recipes from this week other than they were some old standards.  However, I did make some super yummy Cabbage Soup that was just amazing (even though I used purple cabbage so my leftovers the next day were quite colorful) and the most amazing Banana Carrot muffins.  There was no added honey or maple syrup and these bad boys were delish!  I was very proud that we didn’t devour them by Tuesday!  They were that good.  I forgot to take photos of either (Photo Phail!) but I’m sure they’ll both grace the menu again soon!

“Pinteresting” Things:  If you’re on pinterest, feel free to follow my boards!

Very cute “upcylced” Christmas tins–what a great re-use.  I’ll have to scour the Goodwill for some of these!

Upcycled Tins

This is an awesome bathroom–love the dark walls with the lighter fixtures and vintage accessories:

Dark and Light

Finally, I absolutely LOVE this vintage kids room–what a great idea to furnish a kids room on the {fairly} cheap!

Vintage Kids Room

Things I’m learning: Margin.  Balance.  Rest.  Themes I can’t seem to get away from. I question a lot that doesn’t show up on this blog and spent time in prayer and reflection wondering if my life is having the meaning it is intended to…(okay–so now it’s on the blog).  I want my life to mean something.  I want the business of my life to be for eternal and intentional gains; not personal ones for me or others.  Not quite sure what all this means, just a bit of what floats around in my head…

Interesting quote/Scripture:

“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” p. 82, The Gift of Imperfection, Brene Brown 

“The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.” John 1:5

“You belong to the day and the light not to the night and the dark.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

And now for some Kari Jobe-you were meant for more than this…

Hope you’ve had a great week!  Happy Weekend!