Day 11-Rest…in it’s practical form (Part 2)

After hitting “publish” yesterday I kept thinking of a few other things that have been helpful throughout this everyday Sabbath journey.  Some of them are actual “to-do’s” but many of them are mindsets that are helpful to transition into.

Check out Part 1 here! 

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  1. Plan your evenings to plan your mornings. This has been really pivotal for me.  When I was working hard to establish an early morning routine, I learned from Hello Mornings the impact of planning your evenings has on the success of your morning routine. I still do my best to have that early morning routine, but what it taught me were some tangible things that you can do in the evenings to make the most of my mornings. Set a bedtime alarm just as you would a wake-up alarm.  This gets you in the habit of going to bed or putting down devices/screens/turning off TV, starting the bedtime routine at a certain time. Being that we live about 30 minutes out from where most of my evening activities might be, I know that generally I need to be leaving an activity by 8:30 pm in order to make my evening alarm a possibility.  And on Tuesday nights when I have the early morning Wednesday meet-up and am leaving my house by 6pm, I do my absolute best to not schedule anything the night before, making it a perfect “Home Night” of the week. And if I am out later and end up in bed later, then I adjust and get up later the next day.
  2. Practice saying “No:. Much of what I’ve mentioned has alluded to some sort of boundary. Sometimes we can think of a boundary as a way to keep something in or keep something out. I’d like us to frame it as a way to protect something. Saying “no” is a boundary of protection. As parents and caregivers we want to protect those we love but often we neglect to protect ourselves from things that are draining, time sucking, life-pulling activities. Saying no is a way to protect yourself from that. And those who love you most will be absolutely thrilled that you’ve said no. They might be disappointed at first, but they’ll get over it eventually and hopefully understand when they see the tangible difference in your life and countenance. Remember, you owe no one an explanation in your No. Only you can control is what you say Yes to, and there’s only time for so many yes’s in one day.
  3. Know you’re gonna miss out on some stuff. When you say no to things, yes, you’re protecting something, but sometimes, practically that means you’re missing out on some things. Good things. But let’s shift our perspective. We are gaining some great things. More time to take in our surroundings. An opportunity spend quality time with your family. Being home to cook more–likely a savings on the budget and our health. Focus on the positive rather than what you may be missing. Also know that everything is a season. Things change. You may be able to say yes to that as seasons change. And that’s more than okay.
  4. Stop the comparison game. This one is tough, I’m not gonna lie. It’s so easy to look at the Jones’ and see all that they are saying yes too. Volunteering in the community. Hosting friends over for dinner in their home. Always looking energized at school pick up. Serving on that school or church committee. But we never ever know what is going on in someone’s heart. Moreover, God created you individually as YOU–no one else can serve the roles that only you can.
    Only you can be the employee, spouse, parent, friend to those people in your life. What are the roles only you can fill–go do that and forget the rest. And yes, I know it’s easier said than done.
  5. What you are giving your own life, soul, family and VIP’s is worth it. Comparison, saying no, missing out, having to go to bed early–it’s all worth it. What are the the priorities in your life? What are those roles only you can fill? No amount of regret or despair or frustration can come from missing out on something big in a family member’s life. Let’s not forget our own life and soul. So often, especially as women, we are always the last on the priority list. I’m learning more and more that I must take care of myself in order to better take care of those I love.

So a few more practical tips on how to make this lifestyle change to one of margin, self-care and space.  All things that I’ll take more of these days!

Check out my other #Write31Days challenge entries here.

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Day 10-Rest…in it’s practical form (Part 1)

So this rhythm of rest that we’ve adopted–what does that look like actually? I thought I’d share just a few things that have helped me change on this journey to being over-busy to being intentional and creating space for physical, mental and emotional rest and health. Yes, we do our best to Sabbath each week, but I’ve found that it’s just as much the day-to-day that makes me feel I’ve experienced rest or not. Sabbath isn’t just something that was intended to be practiced weekly, but daily, in small ways.

Please know I am not an expert and many of these are still a work in progress.  

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  1. Create breathing room-I don’t schedule things back-to-back in one night. A few years ago, my Wednesday nights went from 5pm-10pm with three meetings after being at work all day.  Although the meetings were energizing, I was so physically exhausted I couldn’t follow up on any of the things that I was to do, or process the good work that was happening in these meetings. Even now if I I have more than one thing on the calendar in one evening, I don’t schedule them back to back. I leave space to breathe. To pay attention to the sunset as I drive. To arrive early. To run by the half-price bookstore or Target. To make a phone call. This has been truly monumental and I’d say that it’s been the most long-standing change made.
  2. No more than two activities in an evening-this might seem impossible for you, but just as I learned that the breathing room was important, I’ve learned that the more I pack into my schedule, the less present I am with those things. Even good things. Or seemingly mindless things. For example, I may have a chiropractor appointment, a meeting and need to visit my mom all in one night. To be honest, the thing that probably would get nixed is visiting my mom. Or I would go and be rushed or not fully present. I liken it to a piece of a pie. If I have 4 things to do every day–I can give the best of my attention to those four things. So with the above example, I also add in work and personal/home care and I’ve got a pie 5 things–each slice is a little smaller and my attention is lessened.  If I cut one out, then I’ve got 4 pieces and all is well. Sometimes it’s the small changes that make the biggest impact.
  3. One weeknight with nothing on the calendar– this has been hard.  But probably the most necessary.  This is the night that is open on my calendar other than the note that says “Home night”.  That day (or sometimes the one before), I can decide how I want to spend it. That’s the key–it has to be something I want  to do.  Sometimes, I’m in a state of wanting my house more clean or wanting to have no unfinished laundry hanging over my head. Sometimes the want is a bath. Or Call the Midwife. Or a walk. Or water aerobics. I also try and make this a night that Lew is working.
  4. Balance of productivity and rest on the weekend. When you’re renovating a house and you and your spouse both work full time (one working shift work at night) sometimes you have to take what you can get. I will say that I think balancing out the productive and rest is key.  It can be quite easy to see a fully open weekend and already have a huge list of all that you want to accomplish on whatever project you may be working on. Or perhaps it’s work outside. Or cleaning the house. Or prepping for the school project. Or even good, fun things–going to the orchard, the football game, dinner with friends, birthday party, etc, etc. The list can always go on. And even the good things leave us exhausted. So maybe it’s one day of work on the house and the next of rest, family time, celebrating, etc. Or mornings of productivity and fun evenings.  There has to be balance though or else I come straight back into the work-week flat-lined.
  5. Sabbath-So that Sabbath state. In the traditional Jewish sense, Shabbat was from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. In doing a little refresher research to make sure I had my facts straight, there is even a Sabbath app that will tell you the exact Sabbath times for your location. I’ve read several book on Sabbath over the years (and hope to do a refresh soon) on some of my favorites. One of the books that resonated the most with me was Sabbath in the Suburbs, by Rev. MaryAnn McKibben-Dana. It was practical. And talked about how to observe Sabbath with a family and soccer and church responsibilities and friends and all those fun things we listed above. So how do I even define Sabbath? Her definition has stuck with me:

    Am I making forward progress on something?

    Now, we can over-analyze this to death.  Your knitting or coloring or even playing solitaire is making forward progress, but it’s also relaxing and probably something you don’t do every day.
    So in a nutshell, my definition of Sabbath (traditionally) is from sunset one day until sunset the next (sometimes longer) and includes not making forward progress on anything. I’ll get even more practical about what our Sabbath looks like later today! (And yes, I took yesterday off from forward-progressing this 31 day series for Sabbath).

Books I’ve enjoyed on Sabbath:

I realized I had more to say on this topic so check out part 2 here!

Check out my other #Write31Days challenge entries here.

Day 9-Rest

My journey to find true rest is has been that-a journey. I’ve always been one to have many irons in the fire, even in high school. I was once in a musical in high school, working part time, leading the choir and singing at church and it was just too much. I had to quit something because all things were suffering-including my grades. And of course the musical-which was the most fun-was what had to go. 
So these days I’ve been learning the importance of rest and work and how they go hand in hand. Our work must come from a place of rest. When we take time to observe the sabbath, rest, spend quality time with those we love, lay down our phones, we are truly able to pour ourselves more into our days of work. And sometimes that means saying no to some really good things-things we even enjoy the most.    

 The transition requires patience and persistence. I’ve been trying to lay down my phone on Sundays-be present, engaged but sometimes if I’m honest, I’m lonely, bored and searching for something on the other side of the screen to fill that void. 

So this change takes discipline and that’s not always easy. But I know when I truly engage and be present and lean into the rest, I’m such a better human. 

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!  

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!

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!

Weekly Roundup-February 17, 2012

Goals:

  • Physical–Got a little off schedule on our runs, but at the same time, I don’t want to get so consumed by running that I can’t still manage things in our life that are also important.  We were traveling,  plus I came down with a cold, so there were a few runs that didn’t happen, but I still got out there yesterday and ran 6 and will run 8 tomorrow.  My knees really bothered me after those 6 miles, but it was also raining, so I coated them with IcyHot last night and they feel a million times better today.  One SUPER exciting thing was our annual Health Risk Assessment at work this week.  I was a little nervous about going because it had been a while since I’d had these levels checked and although I KNOW that Paleo works for us and I’ve seen results in the way my clothes are fitting and on the scale, I was anxious to see if my numbers were going to say the same–boy did they ever!  I could not have been more pleased!

Health Risk Screening Results

  • Spiritual–God has really been reminding me the importance of prayer and what a difference that makes in our lives.  From my prayer runs (which still seem all over the place) to getting a copy of The Circle Maker last week when it was on sale for Kindle, I’m very aware of my prayer life right now.
  • Creative–I haven’t done much crafting lately, but have a lot of things on tap that I want to do, thanks to Pinterest!  Perhaps I’ll carve some time out on Sunday Sabbath to do so!
  • Home--Definitely moving forward on a lot of projects!  We acquired some new furniture pieces while helping Mom clear out her apartment so our bedroom is much more bedroom functional with another dresser and actual bedside tables rather than the TV trays that had been flanking our bed for the past 2.5 years of our marriage.  🙂  We also have moved some pieces around downstairs and are liking how that’s all turning out.  My goal is still to have the Nook “finished” by the end of February.  We have a few things at Ikea and the Container store to pick up so those might not quite be in by then, but it WILL be done by then.
  • Personal–It’s really been a great week!  I entered a muffin contest yesterday and won with my Paleo Pumpkin Dark Chocolate muffins (blog post forthcoming soon!).  Work has been good, a little crazy, but good.  I’m so glad that I cleared my schedule to get some rest this week as I had a bit of a cold (more on this below).

Mom Update: Things are going well–I was able to conference call in to a care plan meeting with the folks there last week and I think we are well on our way to getting Mom better!  We had a really productive weekend there and she is well on the way to being out of her apartment by the end of the month.  She had some good time with her sister Donna on Valentine’s Day.

Yummy Recipes! I’ve had some good things on tap recently AND have actually taken photos, but alas, haven’t downloaded them to the computer just yet.  😦  BUT!  I do have a few from past weeks to share and one from our Valentine’s Day dinner!

Meatzza- Definitely fits the bill when you're eating Paleo but craving pizza!

Brussell Sprouts with Avocado and Bacon, Shrimp with Mango Avocado Salsa

Valentine's Day: Steak with Bacon and Bleu Cheese Sauce, Brussell Sprouts with Bacon and Dates and Sweet Potato Rounds with Chipotle Sauce


“Pinteresting” Things: New category here.  I’m loving Pinterest and thought for those of you who might not be on there, I’d share a few of my favorite pins from the week.  If you’re on pinterest, feel free to follow my boards!

Last weekend in Virginia, I walked away with a canister of buttons I knew I’d be able to use for a crafting project only to find this one a few days later!

button hair pins

I have a TON of t-shirts that just need to go–they don’t fit right or I just don’t like the cut, but I really don’t want to really get rid of them–looking forward to a crafting day to try this!

t-shirt tank tutorial

We use coconut oil a lot to cook with and I’ve heard it has a ton of uses, but MY, oh MY!  Super excited to try many of these!

uses for coconut oil

Although I took last week off to “recoup”, I’m hoping something like this will really keep me on track, blog-wise.  I’m probably just going to print out the pages and keep them in my Home Management notebook as to not have one more planner in my life.  🙂

blog planner

Things I’m learning: Once again, rest is so important.  I said “no” to things that were just going to “clutter” my week, one thing being this blog.  As much as I love writing and the sense of creativity this little space allows me, I knew that I needed rest, especially after coming down with a cold.  Although the blog and other things I said no to are all great, sometimes we have to allow ourselves the freedom to just say no. 

Interesting quote/Scripture: “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest” Exodus 33:14  This has been my “theme verse” for this week and it has been so nice to remember that God’s presence is with me and giving me rest.// “He renews my soul.” Psalm 23:3–not sure if I had heard that version (God’s word translation) of that specific verse–love the visual and feeling of my soul being renewed.

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

Weekly Roundup-February 3, 2012

Goals:

  • Physical–Our Whole30 finished this past week and the beau and I were both very pleased with the results!  We have definitely gone past the “let’s do this for 30 days to see how we feel” phase to more of a “I can’t imagine eating any other way.” Everyone has different views on “diets” and healthy eating and I’m not going to harp on what that means, but I’ve had a lot of folks inquire about Paleo, so I’ve compiled a little post of my own about what Paleo has meant to us.  Running is continuing to be great.  We had a slower week last week, and are building back up to a 7 miler tomorrow.  I’m adjusting to the blisters and got some recommendations for great socks that are supposed to help, so I hope to check those out soon.  They don’t hurt, so I’m thankful fro that.  Cardio Sculpt, a class offered through my work, started this week and I’m pumped to get a little more cardio and sculpting going on…and to hang out with work friends in a non-work environment.  Oh..and yoga begins next week.  My energy level is through the roof and I’m so thankful to have found a rhythm and routine that works for us.
  • Spiritual–Continuing to learn what it means to listen to God.  It’s not always easy, but always worth the time spent silencing your heart and mind and just being still.  So thankful my creator loves me and calls me his own.  Also praying about some new opportunities to serve and fulfill God’s calling on my life.  So thankful for little nudges of God’s love through things like this.  Also some great conversations and opportunities with students that are oh, so fulfilling!
  • Creative–Need to get to some crafting…haven’t gotten anything in that arena done yet.
  • Home--Saturday didn’t see as many things done in regards to the nook…or our trim, for that matter.  BUT, we have LIGHT at the bottom of our stairwell, some new electrical outlets and definite progress was made.  We hope to continue some of these during this coming weekend.  We also are on board with our own personal budgeting plan for 2012 (a little slow, I know) and reigning things in so we can finish house projects and do a few fun things throughout the year.
  • Personal–I have the most awesome husband.  I know many of you out there would say the same thing about yours, but I truly am blessed.  I got a new nickname this morning–Cherry Bomb…the beau said “‘Cause you have red hair and your the bomb.  It’s your biker nickname.”  I mean, how can you not smile at that. Seriously though, it’s been a busy week, but such a good week.  We are doing really well and I’m feeling very productive which always makes one feel great.

Mom Update: Mom is adjusting to the new facility after a rough first 24 hours.  She’s in therapy for her back pain daily and is thankful to have family close by to visit.  If you’d like to send her a card to cheer her up, post a comment with your email and I’ll send you her mailing address.

Yummy Recipes! [Photo phail again!  Agh!]  This week was once again a combo of old standards and new concoctions.  Shepherds Pie was on the table, although I didn’t have onion and for some reason thought the recipe included celery.  It wasn’t until after the celery was diced and sauteing that I realized the error of my ways.  It was still tasty though!   I made Pizza Soup in the crock-pot and that was yummy after getting home from cardio sculpt last night.  I will put less water and more meat and veg in next time though!  I’m excited about tonight’s meal–Meatza Pie and our appetizer feast for the Superbowl on Sunday!  Will definitely have to remember to take some pics to post!

Things I’m learning:  Rest is good.  God is good.  Sleep is good.  Working hard all week (even on Saturdays) makes Sunday Sabbath’s even more sacred and important.  And cleaning the house on Saturday night before Sabbath is even better so you aren’t distracted by mess and wanting to keep working.  That happened last week and I just took a nap.

Interesting quote/Scripture:We must wait for God, we must be awake, we must trust in his hidden action within us.” From Merton’s Palace of Nowhere by James Finley, found in my devotional book this week.  “Refuse to waste energy worrying, and you will have strength to spare.” Another one from this devotional that my dear friend is also using.  Much love Viv!

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

No Plan November

Rest Is More

I know–You’ve heard of No Shave November, but I’m proposing something even better. You may have noticed that today is October 27th and my last post was October 5th.  Yes–crazy month October has been.  And if I’m not careful, that craziness will only continue.

However, I’ve been really challenged to take my Sabbath each week and my daily time of peace and reflection.  I have been reminded just how much of an anchor these are for me.  I recently had quite a focus on Sabbath through church and a women’s retreat I helped lead.  One of the quotes that really stood out to me was from Ann Voskamp, whom I am coming to just absolutely love.  Two thoughts of hers:

Rest time is not lost time; rest time is what gives meaning to the rest of time.”

“If we don’t take breaks, we break.

As we are quickly approaching the holiday season and as much as I love the gatherings and celebrations with friends and family whom I love so dearly, sometimes I get a little anxious at how that’s going to impact my day-to-day or week-to-week life.  The past few months I’ve reflected on calendars that have had events every weekend day of each month.  The weeks are jam packed with after hours work activities and time to catch up with friends.  When I think about the holiday season approaching, sometimes I dread it–and that is the absolute opposite of what I should be doing!   I should be preparing my heart and life for the coming of our Savior.

In thinking of how this might pan out and envisioning stressful tear-filled conversations with the Beau, I had the idea of “No Plan November”.  In looking at our family calendar, outside of a work commitment the first Saturday and going out of town for Thanksgiving, we have no plans for the month–None!.  What an amazing opportunity!  Seriously.  Our family challenge and one that I’m extending to you is that we join together to make November a “No Plan November”.  What that means is that our calendars stay clear for us to focus on family, and friends, but in intentional and  meaningful ways. We plan each day as it greets us.  No making plans for next Saturday night…until Next Saturday.  Want to meet up for coffee?  Call someone that day and see if they’re free.  Want to have some friends over for a meal on Saturday evening?  Call them that morning to see if they can do it.  One step further–what if we actually called them instead of emailed them or texted them.  When’s the last time you’ve heard your college friend’s voice on the phone?  Or that friend from church you’ve just not gotten around to chatting with over a cup of coffee?

If more of us have freed up schedules, then it shouldn’t be too problematic to really take each day as it comes and invest in the opportunities for community that await us–day by day.  Now some of us may already have a packed month and that’s totally okay…I’m just wondering if we can do something small–perhaps one weekend day a month with no plans that leaves us open to the community that could await us.
So feel free to think it over, talk with your family and post a comment below if you too are up for such a challenge.

Best,