Thursday, November 1, 2018

Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2018

October was a complete whirlwind of work, woodland drives and embracing any and everything pumpkin-related in a desperate attempt to
"make Fall happen."

And, glory be, it was actually cold enough towards the end of the month to break out the sweaters. At least for a few days. I swear, if every day was under 60°, I would feel at least 50% more inspired. There's something about Fall and a brisk breeze that makes me want to pull on a cardigan and write a story.

Even though Halloween wasn't very cold (though this didn't stop me from wearing combat boots), it was still a complete joy.

My family and I sat out on our porch and passed out candy to all the sweet kids in our neighborhood, and that familiar feeling of community and kindness filled my heart with joy.

I may be a Slytherin, but I am also a Certified Sappy Holiday Person, even on Halloween, so bear with me. But it was just so wonderful, sitting there in a rocking chair, handing out Snickers and Baby Ruths to superheroes and princesses and zombies. We even met people from Iceland who were visiting the States and celebrating their very first Halloween! My heart is full.

October Things:

The new twenty one pilots album; peaceful woodland walks; buying books from thrift stores; getting organized; meal prepping; writing by hand; making playlists; reading the Princess Diaries (sorry not sorry); pumpkin iced coffee; early morning runs; sushi; journaling.

What about you?

Tell me about your October! Did you dress up as anything special for Halloween? (I wore my costume above to work.) Leave me a fall song or book recommendation if you like.
I'm getting in the Thanksgiving spirit already!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Meeting God in the Middle

In the morning, when everything in you wants to stay home and drink tea,
but church is what you need, what you crave, you go.

Up the street with your sister and cousin, into the building with faces familiar and new, you go. Sit down, stand up, sing the songs, hear the Word being preached, take a breath. Feel the weight of your problems rattle in your chest, race in your thoughts even as you try to sing. Take another breath. Listen as someone shares their heart.

I wrote recently on my side blog that sometimes it feels like I'm waiting for the next phase of my life, even when I'm supposed to be enjoying this one.

And interestingly enough, today's lesson was about that, that feeling of being in the middle. It's when you're not quite at the beginning of a new season, but not quite at the end of the current one, either. between. And that's how I feel right now. Waiting for the Lord to provide and answer prayer and trying to keep my heart soft to Him and connect even when it feels like He doesn't hear me. Because in my heart of hearts, I know that He does.

"I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago."
- Psalm 77:11

If you're in the middle, too, know that it gets better.
And sometimes, the middle is the best place to be! The pastor today brought up the great point that most of our lives are lived in the middle. In the waiting, in the in between, in the pauses and silences between seasons. And that's okay. That's how we build our faith and cry out to the Lord. And when a new season starts, it's all the more beautiful.

What about you?

Do you ever feel like you're in the middle? Is there anything that you're waiting for God to provide that He hasn't yet? Look back and remember what He has already done. I'm trying to be more grateful and enjoy this current season. Have a great week, friends! 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

What I Learned From Spending Time Offline

Hello, friends. I hope you all had a great weekend!

Lately I've been trying to spend my weekends as offline as possible. (Hence more of a tumbleweed-zone around the blog, my bad, my bad.) I owe this in large part to my lists. I've always loved to write lists - lists about my favorite things, lists about books I want to read, grocery lists, you name it. But I also love to write lists about my goals and how I can improve the quality of my day to day life. A recurring theme? GET OFFLINE.

I don't know about you, but the more time I spend online, the more I turn into a less than desirable version of myself. As in, I start falling into the trap of comparison and end up wasting time and draining myself. #Bleh

As amazing a tool as the Internet can be, for me, it can also be harmful. So I've been trying to unplug as much as possible starting each week after work on Friday. This isn't always easy, but I've been largely attempting to avoid social media and instead spend more time in the real, physical world.

Side-Effects of Living an Offline Life

More coffee shops. The beauty of being online is that you can have community without having to speak, but the same thing can be true of coffee shops. Writing and reading over an iced green tea while listening to good tunes and the sounds of people all around you = instant inspiration and peace.

More Jesus. My prayer life definitely gets stronger when I'm not focusing as much on notifications or comparing myself to people on the 'Gram.

More reading. My number one go-to when I can't be online? Reading books. Take some time to unplug and grab a good book. Depending on the book, it can feel like an instant adventure.

More walks, more tea, more music...More everything, really.

What about you?

What are your thoughts on spending time offline? (You know, this is all very ironic, since I love keeping up this blog and I can't do that without the Internet.) What are your favorite things to do in real life? Any tips for unplugging?

Have a great Monday and start to your week, friends.
You've got this.