Togetherness with the Right People

This week was one of those times when I felt like all the introverting in the world wasn’t going to be enough to fill me back up. The move, school, work…everything was taking, and I could not find a way to recharge. I ended up crying in my van as I hid from the cold while the gas pump was chugging along. “God, I don’t know what to do. I need You to fill me up. I just feel so empty.”

Life is so amazing right now. Please don’t read this as I am struggling in general. Just feeling perpetually behind. But prayer is always a good idea.

As much as I felt like I needed time alone, God knew that I needed togetherness with the right people. Time spent with family in the last 24 hours has totally recharged my batteries. The right people know how to cut the small talk and get to the heart of things. It’s okay to be straight with people and say, “I’m angry/tired/frustrated/sad…even mean!” Last night I spent some time getting my meanness out, that is, telling my mom the frustrations of the last few weeks. It’s such a relief to give those negatives feelings a voice and then release them.

If you’re not feeling great about life, please open up to someone you trust, and be real. Vulnerability is scary, but you won’t regret it.

Goals for February 2015

I’m a person of many words thought and written, but far fewer spoken. That’s a reflection of the mess inside my brain. I get way overwhelmed when I look at “the big picture,” but I love creating and accomplishing the tiny tidbits that lead to the larger goal.

I made a chart for myself (In Excel, because I’m a lover of spreadsheets #nerdalert). It serves to break down my bigger, ultimate goals (column headers) into more tangible, doable tasks (bullet points). You can download a Printable Goals Chart if you want to try it out. It’s not fancy, but it gets the job done. Maybe I’ll upgrade it someday when I don’t have so much else going on!

Example Goals Chart

I usually print it out and hand write the bullet points, but this way was quicker, so let’s just pretend, okay? 🙂 You can print a new one daily, or do the same one for the whole month. Either way, I think it’s helpful to break it down. Those big goals aren’t so daunting that way!


I did a few posts last year with monthly goals, but they were cumbersome and overworked. I think I’m going to take a stab at something simpler.

February 2015 Goals:

1. Finish reading Acts, and read through Romans

2. Plan and go on a good date night with Mr. Dummel

3. Practice Josiah’s memory verses with him

4. Bring a weekly meal to an elderly couple at our church

5. Look through and organize home decorations, and get rid of anything we don’t intend to use

6. Make fluoride free toothpaste for Josiah (I made this one for myself, and it’s great! I believe the baking soda is what made Josiah turn his nose up. I may just edit that out and see what he thinks)

7. Finish front door monogram for my kindred spirit and sister-in-law, Leah.

Here’s ours nearly completed (I love the creative process and pictures of works in process):

Monogram Unfinished (1)

I loved making the little fabric rosettes. This tutorial was excellent. Here’s one of Leah’s:

Monogram Unfinished (3)

When I asked her the color scheme she wanted and then sent her a picture of the fabric options I already had in my stash to match, I think she got just as excited as I do when I’m crafting:

Monogram Unfinished (2)This picture doesn’t do the colors justice. They are just so pretty.

So what are your goals for February? I’d love to read them!

 

So, I’m Writing A Book…

I’ve spoken about conquering fear on this page before, and I have to admit that it still has a presence in my life at times. I think most people would be lying if they said they were fearless.

Fear stands in the way of the life we want to be living. We fear failure, but I truly believe we also fear success.

I’ve wanted to write a book for years, but I was too afraid.

This is the year of doing the important-to-me things. So, I’m writing a book. I have a title, an outline, and a idea in my heart. I even have the first 1500 words. I know it isn’t much, but I took the first step.

Sharing is scary, because now I won’t be the only one who knows if I chicken out! But I’m praying this work is in God’s will. If it is, I know that He will bless it.

The first thing that writing is teaching me is how much you have to give of yourself to your work. I’ve already cried writing the first few pages, and I’m offering more of me than I expected I would. If you want to write something worth reading, you have to starting writing and keep coming back, even when it’s not the smooth ride you hoped it would be.

As I’ve said before, if you want to live the dream, you have to work hard, and then work harder.

The Quiet Before the Whirlwind

I’m sitting in my favorite chair while Josiah snoozes and the fan runs. It’s so peaceful in this tiny apartment. I should have packed more or gotten to bed earlier, but I’m being like a preschooler and resisting sleep. This week should hold a lot of wonderful things, but I know it’s going to be a whirlwind.

Dustin and I are holding onto our motto: Wait upon the LORD. Apparently, the LORD did not see fit for us to wait long for a new place to live. We are both stunned and overjoyed and thankful.

I thought that saying goodbye to our little apartment on Main St. would be hard, and I’m sure I’ll be nostalgic as we leave, but God’s timing is always perfect, and we know that we have outgrown this place.

As many people in the Bible set up altars to remember God’s faithfulness, I will call this apartment A Place of Refuge. We weathered our greatest life storm to date here, and we will never forget the LORD redeeming us from our brokenness.

Change is challenging in various ways, but we will move forward and continue to grow. I’m thankful for the people and places God gives us to love us, to teach us, and to remind us of who we are in Him.

Father, we praise You, and we thank You. To You be the glory. Amen!

A New Love

Tonight I’m thanking God for second chances. They come in all sorts of packages. Particularly, I’m thankful for another chance to care for my body.

I’ve been slowly learning about yoga, and I have found a new love. As a former “All American” type athlete, yoga is completely different and new and refreshing. It teaches how to love your body more than having a love for competition. It is slow and peaceful and wonderful.

I discovered a teacher I really appreciate this week. She offers foundations of yoga, beginner sequences, and a 30 day challenge (I did Day 1 just now). She says that one of the most important things is to just show up to the mat. I can officially vouch for that. Most of the evening I have felt like screaming. I don’t know why I fell into that emotion, but rather than turning to a bag of something sugary, I showed up to the mat. Within the first ten minutes, the screaming inside me stopped. But the end, I was communing with the LORD and thanking Him for second chances. If you are ready for a second chance of good health, I would encourage you to give yoga a shot.

My Word for 2015

I make resolutions all the time; daily, even hourly sometimes. So although I do make New Years Resolutions, they are usually just extensions of things I’ve been doing the year prior.

2 Reasons for that:

1. I make resolutions constantly because my desire to be my best self goes in direct conflict with my lack of will power.

2. You can’t live like a sloth for 6 months and then get up January 1st and expect to become a fitness expert. So although New Years Day does feel like a fresh canvas for me, ready to be painted, I’m not usually doing something brand new.

December 31, 2014, I sat and contemplated what I would declare as my “2015 New Years’ Resolution”, but nothing jumped out as definitive. I have a whole #30Before30 list that still needs finished, so there’s no shortage of goals. However, that’s not what’s holding me back. Like many other bloggers I follow, what’s defining my outlook on this new year is a word. Wait.

As in, wait upon the LORD.

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Despite all my striving and controlling and pushing and pulling, God has always been in control of the entire universe, my finite life included. If the last year taught me anything, it’s that I have no control over what is to come.

This year I want to own that truth. I want to wait and see what God has planned. Dustin and I will continue to work hard for things we believe are important for our family and the Kingdom, but we are basking in contentedness. This year, we choose gratitude for exactly where we are. And rather than striving to control the future, we are waiting to hear from God what He wants for us.

2015 could bring incredible joy or incredible sorrow, or even both. The last few months, I’ve learned what a gift the unknown can be. I don’t have to carry the weight of the future on my shoulders, because God is holding it in His mighty hands. May I spend no more energy fretting over the future, but resting in the present.

Come what may in 2015, I will wait upon the LORD.

Things 2014 Taught Me

2014 was a year of learning. The best ones always are. Some of the lessons were new, and some were strong reminders. Without further ado and in no particular order, here are the things 2014 taught me…

  • I can survive winter without being completely bummed the whole time. Get out of the house and keep moving, even if it means wearing extra layers and braving time among sick people…it’s worth the risk.

  • Stress over illness can be more harmful than illness itself.

  • Communication is critically important in relationships, and that is not as simple as it sounds. Keep talking to each other, even when it hurts.

  • We can survive far more than we can imagine, but only when we rely on more than ourselves. My own strength, Dustin’s and my strength together, your strength, isn’t enough to brave the trials of this life. And that’s okay.

  • Humility goes a LONG way. It is one of the most important elements in a healthy relationship.

  • Marriage can survive a separation.

  • Not everyone is going to be happy when you succeed. Sometimes your success will hurt another person, because they don’t understand how you have what they don’t. Because of that, you might feel guilty about the happiness in your life.

  • You shouldn’t be ashamed at how far you’ve come or how much the LORD has given you. Walk in humility and gratitude, and recognize that not everyone is where you are in their journey.

  • You should give more grace than you think people deserve. That’s one way to be like Jesus.

  • Not everyone is in the same place in their spiritual walk, but that doesn’t mean they love Jesus any more or less. Everyone is learning.

  • Good girlfriends are precious gems.

  • Life is best lived when you choose to be grateful for the unexpected. And there will always be unexpected things. Don’t hold too tightly to your own plans, because God’s plans are always better.

  • You cannot just show up and expect everything to fall into place. You have to work hard and then work harder. Life will not hand you success.

  • Two tall adults and one little boy can live a very joyful life in a 500-600 square foot second floor apartment…even if those two adults hit their heads on the surprisingly low ceilings and door frames.

  • You don’t need nearly as much as you think you do.

  • Going to school gets harder with age and more responsibility, but you appreciate it more.

  • There is a much greater sense of accomplishment when you pay for things with cash, especially if that means waiting a long time to get them.

  • Sometimes dreams coming true looks a lot more like hard work, sweat, and tears. Also, you rarely feel the way you expect to when things happen, for the good or the bad, but it’s so much better to take chances than to sit back and always wonder what could have been.

  • You don’t have to be a slave to debt. Whether you are just starting out or starting over, you can have freedom. Again, that means working hard and sacrificing.

  • Judging between right and wrong is far different from being judgmental. The first seeks to be right in the eyes of a Holy God. The latter places oneself in the throne of God, and pride certainly leads to a fall. And oh, how far I’ve fallen.

  • Potty-training is rough.

  • Your children will become just like you. Be someone you’d want them to become.

  • If you have a will as strong as an ox, you’d better gear up to raise a strong-willed child. No joke.

  • I married an incredibly patient and loving man.

  • Time alone is good for personal reflection and growth, but should not be a constant in your life.

  • If you seek opportunities, you will find them, especially opportunities to serve others. There is need all around you.

  • Cliches exist for a reason. It really is more blessed to give than to receive.

  • You can allow people to make you feel bad for just about anything, but don’t. Once upon a time, I let someone make me feel like less of a mother because I only have one child instead of many. How silly.

  • You can be miserable doing something you love, and you can be happy doing something you don’t. A lot depends on your attitude and the people around you.

  • Painting murals makes me very happy.

  • You cannot do everything, so ask the LORD to guide you in how you spend your time. And on that note, you can’t go wrong spending time with Him.

  • Prayer is the most powerful tool a person can use. Miracles happen when you hand control over to the LORD. He can heal hearts and repair relationships. He can and will do far more than you could ever ask or imagine.

  • I firmly believe the entire Bible, but sometimes God uses life to highlight verses in our hearts. If I could use a verse to describe this year, I think Ephesians 3:14-21 would be fitting…

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”