Friday, February 20, 2015

soul-rest | full beauty

How I wish peonies were in season.  Actually I wish they didn't have a season and grew year round.

I also wish I had remembered to buy and plant some this past Fall.

I have found them to be one of my favorite flowers with their many layers.  Even as a bud that has yet to open they are beautiful.  You see so many of the layers there ready to unfold from one another to stand out but remain connected.

Its difficult to see the beauty of a peony without taking in every petal to make the whole.

Similarly it is impossible to take in the full beauty of a person if we only focus on one thing, looks, personality, character traits, etc...

So often we spend time just looking at one thing to focus on in our own selves, something we are trying to grow in or improve.

I have found in myself a tendency to stay on that one thing neglecting to spend valuable time on looking at the big picture, how that one thing affects everything.  It is easy to lose sight then of the full beauty and get caught up in the flaws.

Learning oneself and what one needs is a beautiful and painful journey that I don't think will ever end.  But I sure don't want to miss the full beauty of it.

One of my favorite bloggers to follow actually wrote a little something in regards to this very subject here.

Enjoy.  Make time for your soul to rest.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

fighting the suffocating to do list in your head

Lately all I have wanted to do is escape from life for a few days.  Like, turn off the phone, skip work and go stay in an unfamiliar place with no laundry to fold or tasks to be done no matter if they are good or bad.

I have felt shame about this desire, repeatedly.

How dare I wish to escape from it all? This is the life I am called to and I should not wish to get away from it.

Deep down inside though, I know it is something my soul needs.  It needs to be able to tune out the list of things to do to truly be present.

In the meantime I bundle up, grab my camera and settle on a chilly walk outside as winter temps have returned to Texas.

Many people go running to relieve stress or get out of their head.  While I love some good physical activity, running just to run has never really brought me joy.  It becomes a fight to finish...and so I walk instead.

In walking slow my body follows suit.  My muscles relax, I breathe in the fresh life in the air.  My eyes begin to see beyond what is in front of me and find the small things you miss when you rush by.

Walking slow reminds me of how much I enjoy being a passenger in the car.  I am often silent when I'm not driving and really absorb everything passing by.  My eyes are no longer distracted by the road and I see things I have never seen but have passed hundreds of times.

Spotted this little guy for the first time.

I am in love with this plant.

I love the depth that comes to an object or person when we take the time to look deeper.  In walking I find myself going deeper with God, not always in understanding him but just doing life with him.  Memories begin to build just as they would with a friend walking right beside me.

When I slow myself I share more with him and see that which he is sharing with me.

And so I refuse to feel the lie of shame in wanting to get away from this world.  That is only an excuse to keep me from seeing glimpses of Heaven.  When I remember to breathe my chest loses all of the weight it once carried and the breaths come in slow, easy rhythm.

It becomes easy to get lost in this fern lake

Breathing cannot help but slow when beholding this beauty captured just before dusk had its way.

I realize as I'm walking I had the same unwavering urge to get outside and experience this same slow exactly one week ago at the exact same hour.  I am thankful he draws me back to him repeatedly, to the slowness that my soul craves.

The to do list can wait and not everything is a number one priority.  Bringing rhythm to breathing brings rhythm back to my life and I find myself again...The self who loves to take things slow and finds no shame in doing what is counter-cultural from the world.

Monday, February 16, 2015

monday motivator | beginning

Allow yourself to dream,
And when you do dream big

Allow yourself to learn
And when you do learn all you can

Allow yourself to laugh
And when you do share your laughter

Allow yourself to set goals
And when you do reward yourself as you move forward

Allow yourself to be determined
And when you do you will find you will succeed

Allow yourself to believe in yourself
And when you do you will find self confidence

Allow yourself to lend a helping hand
And when you do a hand will help you.

Allow yourself relaxation
And when you do you will find new ideas.

Allow yourself love
And when you do you will find love in return

Allow yourself to be happy
And when you do you will influence others around you.

Allow yourself to be positive
And when you do life will get easier. 

Catherine Pulsifer

There is too much good that can come out of new beginnings, let us not allow fear to keep us from the good.

Friday, February 13, 2015

soul-rest | the simplest of things

Because things don't need to be as hard as we make them and beauty is found when we keep our eyes open.  Let's take ourselves out of survival mode and look a bit deeper at our surroundings.  Find the simple.

brothers/daddy & daughter dance - no matter how young or old I don't think girls ever get tired of twirling.  Such a sweet post from one of my favorite bloggers.

this book, a game changer - I had the joy of sitting under Kori de Leon's teaching in the Fall as she was finishing up this book, printing out the chapters as she finished them.  It's not just a book that inspires you to adore God but puts it into action.  I'm so glad I will finally have a bound copy to mark up. You will do some work in your life reading this book, its beautifully unavoidable.

when you need to change it up - you know when you fall in love with a song and listen to it until you hate it?  As with many others, this happened with All About That Bass. I have been reviving it in my life lately with this version.  Check it out and kick it old school.

goodness from Australia - a man at the age of 109 knits sweaters for penguins.  Adorable.

If you enjoy this weekly post and want it sent directly to your email be sure to sign up to follow by email!  Glad you stopped by. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

holy tremors

I was standing in a stadium along with 15,000 other people, all gathered together for one purpose.

Exhaustion was starting to make itself known.

It was only the first night.

I knew that I had to conserve energy to make it to the end.  Being a conference for college students, youth was in the air.

The band began to play a song that caused anyone sitting to rise to their feet.

The chorus brought an irresistible urge to start jumping to the beat.  Irresistible to most everyone but me.

My body could not bear the idea of moving anymore than necessary.

And then I could feel it...this massive cement block of a building was tremoring beneath my feet.

Chill bumps raced all over my body in the way they only do when so many people are united together.

As the ground kept trembling below I couldn't help but think that if 15,000 people could make the ground move then how much of a rumble could we make for the kingdom with our lives?

We are united even when we are a part.

May sin tremble and chains be shaken from their death grip by the way we live out each day united with one love God and make him known.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

starting the Whole30 - I'm glad I waited

Perhaps you are thinking

"Whole30? What's the Whole30?"

Well the husband of the couple who came up with this lifestyle originally just wanted to see if when he removed certain food groups from his eating diet the inflammation in his arm would go away.  Turns out it worked. Bonus, him and his wife found that when they ate whole foods they had more energy.  Through this process they also broke unhealthy emotional eating habits.

"So...why are you doing it?"

Well, you know how I mentioned that I wanted to be more disciplined this year?  Food happens to be one of the things I would like to be more disciplined in.

A little over a year ago I ventured into cleaner (more whole food, less processed food) eating and found that I too had more energy, better skin and less unnecessary body fat.  Before you jump to the conclusion that I'm in this to simply lose weight, stop.  While losing unnecessary weight will be great that is not my focus here.

You see food and I have always had a bit of a toxic relationship.  I tend to be drawn to food when my emotions change.  Meaning I want food (especially processed & sugary) when I am upset and when I'm pretty much 24/7.

You can see how this could be a problem.

I did diet's in high school (remember Atkins anyone? smh) and never found success because the way we see diet now is something to do for a short time until we reach our goal and then jump back into old habits and then are surprised when we gain the weight back.

"Isn't the Whole30 just another diet?"

It could be if you choose to look at it that way.  Here is a snippet from their website that pretty much explains why I chose this journey.

"Your only job during the Whole30 is to focus on making good food choices. You don’t need to weigh or measure, you don’t need to count calories, you don’t need to stress about organic, grass-fed, pastured or free range. Just figure out how to stick to the Whole30 in any setting, around every special circumstance, under any amount of stress… for 30 straight days. Your only job? Eat. Good. Food."

"Yea, but you already said that you started eating cleaner a year ago?"

Yes, indeed I did but I lost track because I didn't take the time to be disciplined when I did it.

I tend to be the all or nothing type.  If I don't go all in now when I am applying discipline to my eating habits I won't hold to them.

Being the type A person I wanted to start this on January 1st...but I'm so glad I didn't.  I realized that my schedule was going to be slammed for a month and lets face it, I didn't need any extra discouragement during this process.

I'm pumped to grow in my cooking skills with spices and vegetables I would never find myself eating if I was still doing the same old thing. I just might be that shameless person posting things about food, pictures of food (just a heads up).

Loving bread and all things dairy, I will be eating those things again after the 30 days are up but in moderation and awareness of why I'm eating it rather than how much I should or shouldn't.

I'm so glad I waited a month.  Rather than jumping in right when I made the decision I have had a month to indulge in the foods I love but won't be able to eat for the next month.  Yea, I know that sounds weird but eating the junk knowing that I am headed to the good stuff makes me realize just how unsatisfying it really is.

The suspense has been built up and the wait is over!

And so the old adage is true, some things really are worth the wait.

Here's to healthy eating habits, literally and figuratively. ;)

This post is in no way supposed to make you feel any guilt or give reasons to change your lifestyle.  This is just share time and nothing else. (Just sayin).

the next big thing | monday motivator 05

Social and news media have something in common, a feed.  This feed shows the latest and greatest (according to those who post it) of what's happening in our world.

Because these feeds reach a multitude of people, with every one of us wants to be known, we can't help but want to make it on that feed.  And then once we get a taste of it we only want more...leaving us in this wearying spiral because there will always be something else that trumps us on that feed.

With the way our culture is always searching for the next big thing its really easy to believe that we should too.

You know when you hear something that's seems off but at that moment you can't pinpoint what the right thing is but you know its not what you just heard?  Then you realize that it was staring you in the face the whole time?

Yea, that's where I was at.

Whether we know what the next step is in our life or not, we can be sure of one thing.  Our unchanging purpose is to bring glory to God as a messenger of his kingdom.  Living and making choices with that knowledge will lead you and I to take the next step unique to our own lives.

Having that foundational piece understood I no longer fear the uncertainty of the next step.

I want that to be what my feed represents.

Knowing that I am not just trying to get a singular message out but working alongside others with one message leaves me a bit awestruck.  There is no longer this temptation to make it to the top of the feed when working in collaboration with others.

When we do this we will find we are no longer driven by our own desires but seek to know the desires of God.

Bringing glory to God with my life feels so much more satisfying than trying to convince others that I have something worthy or giving attention.  Cause you see, we are fickle people who jump from one big thing to another but our God takes great delight in the little things.

For the Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them.
Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.
Psalm 149:4, 5 (NLT) 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

soul-rest | truth, beauty & a giggle

When I think about getting some soul-rest, a mug with a hot liquid of some kind is always present.  A mug without a to-go top insists that I be still enough not to spill.

So grab a mug or whatever it is that reminds you to slow down and take a moment for some soul-rest.

Here is a load of truth about love, lots of beauty and little giggle for your weekend.

The goods that love songs don't offer.  If you need to hear truth about love. period. In a relationship or not, take some time to soak in the lyrical words of Ann Voskamp. Songs on the radio won't hold a candle to this kind of love.

Photos that speak to my soul.  I can only hope one day to take photos that resonate so deeply as these.  They make me feel like I used too when I was young and would get lost for hours in the world of a good book.

Here is a little giggle.  Because laughter extends life and because Jimmy Fallon has a gift for bringing it, give yourself a break and embrace the giggle. He blends some old and adds some new to the Fresh Prince.  I mean who doesn't know that theme song?!

Rest on friends.

Monday, February 2, 2015

the bigger reality | monday motivator 04

This, here and now, is temporary.

Don't let yourself get absorbed in this little world we are in.  Our live are but a mist in time. (James 4:14)

Go deeply into prayer to see the big picture of God.  Even when you only see a tiny it, walk in faith.

We confine ourselves when we obsess on our own lives.

Step into he bigger reality he has for you.  There is freedom there.