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lifestyle

how I plan on living more fully

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I plan to take my camera everywhere and take a lot more pictures.

I already have a wild passion for capturing moments and taking photos of people, but I have barely scratched the surface. I want to carry my big camera around more often, instead of simply using my cell phone. I want to capture the beauty in the mundane, and capture clearly the smiles of my loved ones.

I plan to go on more walks with my people.

Especially with the weather cooling off, I have found this fondness for walking. With my husband around our neighborhood, with my mom around our church campus, with my friends around a local park — super fun to catch up and also get our heart rates up.

I plan to journal every day.

Whether it’s two lines or two pages, I want to give myself the space to write and think. Not type, but write. Doodle.

I plan to love my body better.

I inherited dry skin, and it get 5x times dryer in the cooler weather. So I plan to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I also have this bad habit of never taking my makeup off. I don’t wear a ton of it, but it can’t be good for my skin. I also plan on combatting my sluggish feeling of late by saying no to sugar and processed foods for a little while. Here’s an article to back that up.

I plan to stop looking at a screen at least 30 minutes before I go to sleep.

I think it’s a proven fact, but the brightness of a screen cannot help my brain get ready for a good REM cycle, right? It’ll be tough for me, if I’m honest, but I think good for me.

I plan to listen to the Bible more often.

I have only done it occasionally, but the past few times I’ve been driving and listening to it, it took on a different meaning to me somehow. Is that weird? Possibly. Oh well, I’m going to roll with it. Let the stories of Jesus and people like Moses, and the beautiful Truth of the Psalms or a book like Ephesians wash over me like a river of light.

Seems like a lot of things, but they are each changes I can easily make, if I make up my mind.

“What matters is not what I have been, but what God is making of me. When I realized, I began to feel secure in God’s work in my life. I do not know future, but I know God. I know that He will conform me to the image of Christ in particular ways so that Christ will be glorified and my service for Him will be complete.” T.W. Hunt

lately

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This post is a heart and mind spill.

Lately I’ve been praying a lot about a large storm called Matthew. For people who have lost loved ones, for those still in its path. Our God is far bigger than a storm, but it’s still a little scary.

Lately I’ve been learning about Holy Spirit. Who He is, and why He is given to us.

Lately I’ve been catching up on the new show This Is Us. Have you watched this yet? What do you think about it? I think it’s creative writing, definitely different.

Lately I’ve been jamming/watching Bethel’s mountainside worship. You can view it here, it’s pretty beautiful.

Lately I have loved wearing my Raven + Lily jewelry, like you see below. “Raven + Lily is committed to providing beautiful and unique modern minimalist products that are made by hand, follow fair trade standards, and honor our eco-friendly commitment.”

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Lately I’ve been inspired by the words of Jonathan Edwards.

To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.

Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.

Lately I am loving the community I’m blessed to be in. From a church women’s retreat to small group in our home to phone conversations to written letters. People are the coolest. They are the greatest gifts of this temporary life.

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Lately God has touched my afresh. And I’m heart and soul grateful.

Whoever is reading this post, I pray grace and peace and God’s favor on you. Thanks for reading. :)

14 things I don’t do

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“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.” Shauna Niequist

From the minute I read this line in one of Shauna’s books, it stuck with me. As I get older, I realize how important it is to prioritize, to be intentional with my time.

It’s okay to say No, to not do things just because someone else does them. They are living a completely different life than you. Say No and feel okay with it!

Here are some things I don’t do:

  1. I don’t wash my hair everyday. It’s curly, which means it doesn’t get oily, therefore I can go about 2-3 days without washing it and it still look okay. This saves me at least 20-30 minutes some days. Plus I’m good with a ponytail.
  2. I don’t deep clean until things are noticeably dirty. Other than sweeping the kitchen and keeping the sinks/toilets clean, the gap between deep cleanings is large.
  3. I don’t comment about public events on social media. I’m passionate, but I’m not one to air out all my thoughts on the internet.
  4. I don’t purchase gift bags for every present I give. The bag you open is usually recycled from a past birthday or Christmas. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you!
  5. I don’t go to everything I’m invited to. Sometimes it’s because we’re tired or busy, other times it’s because I simply don’t want to. #honestytime
  6. I don’t iron. Ever. I hold shirts and dresses up to my sister and ask “Would I have to iron this?” If the answer is yes, the shirt goes back on the rack.
  7. I don’t Snapchat. I don’t check-in when I arrive somewhere. I don’t play trendy iPhone games. It’s just not me. But no judgment.
  8. I don’t wash my jeans until I’ve worn them for about a week. I don’t even wash workout clothes after each use. Especially if it’s yoga or a walk, I’m re-wearing that tank top and sports bra again.
  9. I don’t watch live tv. We have an antenna, and we watch television via Netflix and Amazon Prime when we want to watch.
  10. I don’t balance my checkbook.
  11. I don’t drink soda. Never have, probably never will. Carbonation is not for me.
  12. I don’t do yard work. That may change if we ever get a garden or flowers that I enjoy, but I’m happy keeping the inside of our home happy and clean. J handles the outside.
  13. I don’t leave the house without a watch. I usually only take it off to shower, and feel disconnected without one.
  14. I don’t go out after 9pm. At a certain point in the evening, I’m not leaving the house. I’ll stay out late if I’m already out, but besides that, you can find me at home.

A handful of Nos which lead to some sweet Yeses: 

Quality time with my husband. Hosting friends and family. A more generous life. Set aside time for reading, prayer, writing, or creating. Making our home a warm and peaceful place. Laughter and grace when things don’t pan out perfectly. Letter writing to friends. Focus on people instead of objects. Margin for rest. Daily exercise.

What do you say No to that makes space for a good yes?

if I’m on the edge, you’ll find me outside

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The last couple of days have been nonstop. From Thursday to Sunday afternoon, nonstop activity. To-do’s, cooking, plans, meals, tasks. Haircut to grocery shopping to watching a friend perform the lead in a play to time with family. All great stuff. It makes me smile to think of my full life.

I learned something about myself.

I can go, go, go, but when I get close to the edge, outside is where you’ll find me.

If my body and mind are tired but I’ve still been going, it takes being outside, in the breeze and sunshine that I finally breathe rest. I usually don’t think about anything, just listen to the animals, look at the trees or cars passing by. Oftentimes I’ll end up talking to God or letting my mind wander to past memories or future travels.

But it is outside where I find comfort, peace, and a moment of stillness.

It is in the midst of creation where I regain inner balance. I feel as though I think and see more clearly there.

Outside is where I feel small, where I can breathe, with enough space to express Thanks to God for life and people and a beautiful moment.

So, if there’s a chance you know I’m stressed or overwhelmed or flustered, there is a good chance you’ll find me our in the heat or cold. Especially if there is a porch swing.

“I need solitude. I need space. I need air. I need the empty fields round me; and my legs pounding along roads; and sleep; and animal existence.” Virginia Woolf

What about you, outside or inside?

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