Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sick & Tired

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: rejoice!  |  Philippians 4:4

I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired. It seems like the past six weeks I've spent more time in bed recovering from various types of sickness, exhaustion, and anxiety than ever before. Flu season is no joke, and neither is urge to go into deep hibernation during winter months. Summer, hurry back to me.

Normally I would kick the winter blues by burying myself in work and packing my schedule with social events. But since I've been making relaxation a priority lately, those things no longer seem like the best solution.

This year in his annual Christmas letter to me, my dad challenged me to learn how to spend time with the Holy Spirit. I talk to God all the time and rely on Jesus daily—but sitting in the Spirit has always been a tough one for me. I do love a good challenge and knew I needed to try a new way to invigorate my day-to-day, so I made a plan.

Each morning I wake up 15 minutes earlier than needed to read and focus on what the Spirit is saying. Since I have always loved sleeping until the last minute, I've been amazed at how dramatically this new practice has transformed each day. Don't get me wrong—I don't jump out of bed and bounce around the apartment—I'm always tempted to skip a day due to mental and emotional exhaustion. But as I go about my normal routine after quiet time, I can feel my spirits slowing raising to greet the day. By the time I'm walking to work, my mind and heart are refreshed and expectant for what's to come. And when I go to bed, no matter how sick, stressed, anxious, or tired work made me, my day feels complete and I fall into a peaceful sleep. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I doubted something like quiet time could actually transform my day. But it's true and I'm so thankful for the daily refreshment.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Love the New Year, Hate the Winter

Romans 12:2

I'm a summer girl through and through. If it were 80 degrees and sunny all the time I would tan like nobody's business (don't judge) and never complain about a single drop of sweat.

Winter is the worst. December is bearable with the flurry of social gatherings, Christmas, and my birthday. But after New Year, there's not much to look forward to and time creeeeeps alongggg.

So I tend to throw myself into New Year last-hurrah style. From elaborate NYE plans with sparkly outfits to an extensive list of resolutions for January 1st, I'm all about it. This year, a stomach ache kept me from executing my perfectly planned party. But it wasn't the worst. I actually used the downtime to edit my growing list of 2015 goals.

I'm not super strict about sticking to every detail of my resolutions, but I do try to keep them in mind as I make decisions throughout the year. Especially in the realm of health, I love to see how I can push myself harder as each year passes. Last week, my party of one on the couch led to an extra long list.

Zzz...yes, I'm well aware that I have now bored you to sleep. Stay with me! Resolutions aren't just for overachievers.

One of my favorite conversation starters this week has been, "Have you set any interesting New Years resolutions?" 75% of the responses include rolled eyes and a profession of hating NYE. I just don't get it. Why would anyone want to pass up the chance to improve their life? "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." I believe and practice that by reevaluating and setting yearly goals for myself.

Okay okay, I know that January 1st is just one day out of 365. I know that anyone could choose to alter their life at any point of the year. But I also know that humans, organized or disorganized in nature, are creatures of memorial and habit. We could celebrate St. Patrick any old day of the year, but instead we honor him (or green beer) on March 17th. So I see nothing "pointless" about renewing the purpose and direction of my life on the same day, year after year.

Here are some of my goals:

  • blog every-other week (Tuesdays)
  • travel at least three times (Chicago, Nashville, other Landor office, Michigan)
  • read three books (started one last year but I'm still counting it)

  • workout 2x a week (ballet at two different studios)
  • curb sweet tooth (read labels for corn syrup, eat sweets only once a day)
  • eat several fruits and veggies every day
  • drink a glass of water every morning
  • quick sun salutation in the morning and evening
  • begin bedtime routine at 11pm (instead of 12pm)
  • audition for something dance-related

  • learn how to relieve stress and combat anxiety
  • look into essential oils
  • mantra: "You are brave"

  • get up 15 minutes early for quiet time and meditation (instead of doing it before bed)
  • explore Isaiah
  • strengthen prayer rhythms and pray for my friends and family constantly (joined the Crossroads Clifton prayer team)
  • learn how to strengthen my spiritual gifts

  • stick to my budget (less eating out, less impulse buying, more thoughtful purchases)
  • save for a laptop
  • put all under-the-table earnings toward savings (babysitting and freelance)

  • practice hand-lettering
  • take more photos on my camera, not phone
  • learn more braids

  • prioritize others' birthdays
  • share more about myself
  • ask more about others
  • deepen female relationships

It's not too late! I challenge you to renew your mind by setting a resolution or two. Make it concrete and practical. Give yourself grace when you fail. And look back on how it effected your year next NYE. 

If you have any thoughts on the value of resolutions, I'd love to hear them!


Thursday, January 1, 2015


2 Corinthians 5:17

Last night I spent New Years Eve essentially alone on the couch, nursing a stomach ache and thinking about my goals. It was a roller coaster ride of a year if I've ever had one. The highs came in the form of many awesome opportunities and the lows had to do with some emotional wells that began to crack open.

But despite my lack of human company when the clock struck 12, I didn't feel alone. Yes, the kitten was nosing his way around my glass of water and my roommate was coughing in her distant corner of the apartment. But beyond all that, I felt aware. In tune. Alert. I was waiting for the new.

And when 2014 finally rolled over to 2015, I wished the Person who was with me a happy new year. (Super corny, but stay with me.) The past twelve months have done a thorough job of breaking me down, making me vulnerable. I've been getting sick and stressed out so frequently in the past few months.

So I'm looking forward to the year of restoration and fulfilled promises. I know His timing looks different than mine, but last night's serenity gave me a small, sweet taste of the year to come. He tells me we are together in this—that this is our year and the beginning of many more to come. And I believe him. I'm in. We got this.

2014, you caught me off guard. Dear 2015, I'm ready for you.

(I resolved to post every other week so look for much more from me this year! I promise to fill you in on 2014 and keep you up to date in 2015.)

With much hope,