less than half

Hey y’all!!

I’m not sure if you’ve ever read the About Me page ….. so, I’m going to give you a quick snippet. (It’s relevant I promise!)

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I’m a middle child introvert but Myers-Briggs says I’m an ENFJ… which basically means I’m an “Extrovert” (high energy, easily distracted, likes to do lots of things at one time, acts then thinks kinda gal. read: passionate!), iNtuitive (big picture thinker who notices new things, trust her gut, and likes to figure things out on my own! Read: self-reliant!) , a Feeler (decides based on and is convinced by feelings, values harmony, motivated by appreciation. Read: emotional!), and Judger (likes things settled, very responsible, prefers finished products, serious, rule lover, who finds comfort in schedules. Read: planner! & it’s Dead on!)!!
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That’s me all day. So, I’m tried learning to wing things a bit but that really doesn’t work well for me. Yet, while I like a plan, toooo many details stress me out. Give me a general direction of where we’re heading and we can make semi-planned, spontaneous stops along the way!

Me being who I am, surprise surprise to know that I’ve already begun asking myself and a couple of my close friends where we want to be come Dec. 31 of this year. Professionally, relationally, financially, etc. This convo is pretty exciting and necessary for me because I believe it helps usto make better choices about what we need to do in order to move towards what we really want. Granted things change, but again… I need a plan, general direction & a goal. It’s fun!!! It gives me something to look forward to, something to work towards, and a way to build & have accountability with likeminded people.

Plans are pretty much equivalent to the scent of the air changing as cupcakes are baking in the oven.  

As a teacher, I do this weekly, every 9 weeks, every semester, & every year. My students have to be at a certain place at each of those points in order for us to end the year prepared to achieve on state tests and advance to the next grade. Planning helps me to set a pace as their teacher/leader and also lets me know if I need to speed up, slow to a cruise, or make a U-turn and start all over again. My students’ educational history and ability also have be considered if I want them to go with me. They have to be more important than my goal, or we all lose come May, right? Regular check ins and evaluations are necessary to know exactly where we are and what needs to be adjusted!

The end of calendar years are typically re-sets for many of us. Times to reflect and adjust. I like to do that daily, weekly, or whenever things feel a bit off or things need to change.

“A man plans his ways but the Lord directs his path.”
Proverbs 16:9

As we are officially nearly a month into the second half of the year, how do you handle your plans? Do you go revisit your resolutions or go back to the prayers you set before the Lord at the beginning of the year and compare them to what is happening right now? Are you further ahead or a few steps behind? Maybe right on track?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we have to be intentional about our lives. We can’t just “wing it” and hope it turns out okay. We have to be so focused on what we’re doing and ensuring that each decision is pushing us towards our goals and it holding us back or diverting our attention. Remember, I’m emotional….. not a robot. So this can be pretty hard for me but the planner in me won’t allow me to get too of course. That planner ruling my life also won’t allow me to deal with too many distractions. Too many commitments on my plate fills me with anxiety!!

There’s also nothing more disappointing than to wake up in a new year with the exact same debt, savings account balance, health issue, personal/emotional baggage, & professsional drama that you went to sleep with the year before.

So! If the first half of the year didn’t end too hot, now is the time to adjust a few things and ensure that the year ends before than the first half of the end did!

How can you do that?

1. Dream big & decide what you want! Figure out where you want to be, what you want to accomplish within the next 5 months! Ask the Lord exactly what he wants you to do for the next few months! This question could literally change the direction of your life, but wouldn’t that be amazing?!

2. Make a plan to get there! Work your fanny off to get where you want to be! Start at the end, and work your way backwards! Ask the Lord to show you exactly how he wants you to accomplish what you’re asking him for!! Another life changing question, but one that could yield some pretty incredible results!

3. Discipline yourself! Being able to control ourselves is the only way we will be able to cover ground and continue progressing! Put whatever necessary boundaries and “rules” in place  to make sure you are successful! Whew! Ask the Lord to teach you discipline, to remind you of tasks, and to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind! I promise he will do it!

4. Commit & persist! Commit to your plan, commit to your boundaries. And, recommit every difficult moment and at the start of each new day! Commitment & consistency are the only ways you’re going to end the year better than it started! Ask the Lord to place people around you that will encourage you and support you in going after your dreams! Ask them to hold you accountable!

5. Find an accountability partner! There’s no better way to make sure you’re moving in the right direction than giving someone permission to help you stay on track! Let that person know what your goals are and what you’re struggling with! Then, allow them to walk with you. It’s scary, you’ll have to be vulnerable, but you will also have someone helping you make hard choices and someone to lean on when you need a shoulder. Nothing keeps you moving in the right direction than having to look someone in the eye and answer for moves made that you said you didn’t want to make and that you agreed you wouldn’t! There is no wiggling from underneath that!

6. Celebrate your wins! Big wins deserve big celebrations, but the smaller wins do, too! I mean, without the smaller wins, there wouldn’t be any big ones anyway, right?! Thank the Lord for his guidance, & get ready to start again at number 1 when you smash every single goal that you’ve met!!

I’m so exited about the end of the year and I hope you are, too!! Jotting down my goals and praying deeply for the what, how, &  who!! I don’t know the Lord’s plan, but I do know he’s there already… I know he’s with me now.. and I know everything from now until then will work out for my good and glory!

Today is July 31st……. where will you be on December 31st? Time to revist our goals and adjust our plans to make sure we accomplish those things we dreamed about at the beginning of the year!

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biggest blessing, deepest frustration

I love music. I learn lyrics very quickly and can listen to the same song on repeat for days. Music hits me to my core; not sure if it’s my two years of middle school cello and violin (which I adored), but it stirs my soul.

One of my favorite songs is “Find Rest” by Dara Maclean. It’s a insanely beautiful song (from chords to lyrics) that remind us that in the chaos of life, we are not only capable of fighting (with the Word of God), not only are we protected by our God, but we can also find rest in our God.  One of my favorite lines (I thought) said “…our dreams are yours”, but actually says “the victory is yours”. Anyone else completely destroy lyrics?! lol. Needless to say, we even have victory in Christ. Which actually belongs to him and let me tell it, our dreams (and children) do, too!

When I ‘heard’ our dreams are yours, tears began to fall as I started worshipping in my shower. My very firm belief is that the Lord plants hopes, dreams, goals, and plans in our hearts. We may not fully understand them, we may be afraid of what we are led to do with them, or even mishandle them…but I ultimately believe that those things he gives us are our ‘work’ to do. He gives us a task that will serve others, build up the body, mature our faith, and allow us to encourage one another as we bear each other’s burdens. So for me, when I think of my goals and the things I’d love to accomplish I recognize that they aren’t for me. Reaching those goals and winning those victories would be to the glory of God and the edification, in some way, of his people.

….that sounds great, right? It is. It’s beautiful.

thing is this….. it is so easy for my biggest blessings, joys, and gifts to become my deepest frustrations and sore places! I get so fixated on our goals and plans, the details and ‘need to do’s’, that serving and loving is overshadowed with stress and pride! I forget that the victory is Christ’s, not mine. That when I honor the Lord with my effort, when I work as unto him, and do everything within my power to accomplish what he has given me, all things work together for my good and his glory. YES!!!!! the Lord said he would give us the desires of our hearts (and he will!) and that we are overcomers (we really are!) and that we will receive victory (yeeeesssss!!!) that it’s not actually us who wins! Because of that truth, we can find peace in the Lord and rest in the shadow of his wings. Rest for our broken hearts, for our weary spirits, and new life for our dreams we may have given up on.

We don’t have to be frustrated, worn out, weary, angry, disappointed, envious, or and hopeless because things aren’t going the way we want them to go or people aren’t doing what we want them to do. We forgot that this isn’t our circus. These aren’t our monkeys. This isn’t our plan and our will to be done. We are doing more running than resting. More monitoring that submitting. More dividing than gathering. More complaining than praising because of our perspectives.

We are so consumed with the what than the how
and inn those moments we  are not longer honoring the Lord.

But, it’s so easy, right?!
Becoming frustrated while preparing dinner and attempting to put a decent meal on the table while every single child in your house seems to have completely lost it. for the love, it is easy.
Becoming short tempered and feeling anxious when you’re experiencing complete overwhelm is fathomable when no one seems to appreciate you or even see you.
Acting and speaking in anger when we’ve been hurt deeply. Consistently.

It’s easy and understandable to focus on what is happening, but that’s not where the fight is.

We become irritable, impatient, and so (do you give me permission to  say it?) so self focused that we are missing the Lord working right in front of us, we miss moments how the Lord is putting things together for us. We’re missing moments that are worthy of so much gratitude and praise, we’re missing moments to soften our hearts and really be with our people. We’re missing moments to share the heart and love of Jesus to those who need it most.

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of all of this but I am so thankful that I am forgiven and freed in Christ. That I am called righteous and holy. And, that the Lord continuous to refine me. So grateful for the grace that holds me close, presses me up against him, and urges me to abide so deeply within him. {Blameless by Dara Maclean}

Because I believe that I am a child of God and that his heart is for me, that he cares deeply for every concern that burdens my heart, and that he will provide every single need I have…..

I can rest. I can have peace. I can live joyfully, serve well,
be forgiving, look to the future with hope and joy,
and love all people as Christ loves me.
Because he loves me.

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… create it 

If you follow me on Insta, you may have seen this post already, if you haven’t, here you are…

” I have done a lot of CREATING over the past year. I didn’t waste time “looking” for myself, I didn’t search for happiness in things, people, or activities.

What I did do is CREATE belief in myself, & belief in who I COULD be based on who God FORMED me to be. I set goals goals based on dreams that settled in my heart back when I was a little girl. I created a positive mindset, I created a perspective on all things that said “This event will not define me. I will be more than ‘okay’. I AM AND WILL BE AMAZING, I WILL THRIVE, I WILL ACHIEVE, I WILL BE HAPPY!” in spite of what comes my way!
I’m in charge of how I feel and how I view my circumstances. I make the choice of whether or not I will have a good day, if I will be frustrated or angry, if I will CHOOSE to refill my cup rather than deal with it being half full. If I choose to wallow or stand boldly!
Life is all about choice and creating what you want to see, experience, & how things will go for you.

I’ve been there. In the dark, not knowing if things will ever be okay, but I promise you that it can be….. if you CHOOSE & WORK for it to be! I hope that if you’re struggling with ANYTHING in life, that you BELIEVE that hurt, pain, disappointment, & fear do NOT have to last always. That you can be filled with the hope, bravery, belief, & faith to be and do better!! I believe in you!! #plexusbelieve”

I wrote this at our Plexus convention after taking a pic in front of this banner. Because, it’s perfect.. is it not? #yes 

I’m learning to create what I wish to find… in myself, my relationships, my work, my conversation. I’m learning that being still (sometimes for a while) is a part of the creative process. I’m learning to be who I needed to others. 

The girls have mainly been with their dad for the past few weeks and I’m missing my girls deep. So I’m scrolling through pictures on Insta and in every picture I’m smiling. Even in the pictures I specifically remember having the worst day or previous night, when I felt at my absolute lowest, there was a smile. As my thumb passed over the pictures, pulling up older and older photos, a thought flashed through my mind….. I wonder if I’m the me I needed three years ago……and the only answer I can come up with is that that woman who dealt and endured and fought and cried and pressed and shouted and tried and failed (and succeeded) was exactly who she needed to be then. And, I believe that girl is cheering this one on.  

I’m a believer in creating what you can’t find, creating what you need and want. I’m a believer in counseling and personal growth and becoming so that you are prepared to deal with what comes around the corner – both in and through the moment. I believe in questions and understanding, kindness and love, in second and third chances and yet standing your ground. 

I believe in creating a life you love and choosing who & what will bring you closer to your happy. I believe in making it your own. 

Also, that things truly come in time. But the come faster when your living in peace, joy, love, & harmony. That loves causes all things to grow well. Plants, relationships, kids, self esteem, & self worth……. everything grows better when it’s happy. Food is even tastier & your performance at work is better when you’re happy. 

Sometimes you have to create the happy you’re looking for. Create what you need. Carve out the time to revive your soul, lay down your burdens, get a little salt water in or out of your system (tears, sweat, or the sea) & make yourself happy and overwhelm yourself in joy. 

  1. If the privately broken girl was not drowned in the ‘come hell or high water’ or the ‘come what may’, you can make it, too. Because you’re strong. I believe that if I am happy & better than I’ve ever been, and at peace after complete brokenness, there’s more than the slightest chance you will be, too. The happiness and joy begins when you choose to move on from what happened and grow. You are growing and there’s something so much greater for you to do past this. This doesn’t define you. It’s a part of you, but it’s not who you are. 

Everything won’t always be perfect. There will be days you feel disconnected and nights you cry yourself to sleep. There will be some hard and dark moments, but in those times you have to fight for yourself. Your own voice has to be louder, more calm, more steady, more convicting, & sure than the noise. That voice that tells you that you can, that you’re good enough, that you’re strong enough, ready enough, & committed enough to keep going. 
Because you are. 

{note to self}

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