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goals

I needed a new reason to exercise…

Posted in faith, wellness

… so I asked God for help.

I’m trying to include Him in even my small decisions, instead of just running to Him when I faltering under the weight of something big. So I prayed, “God, please show me why I should exercise, give me a fresh perspective, renewed desire for something I know is beneficial to my well-being.”

If you know me at all, you know that I have been an athlete for many years. Starting in 6th grade, I played many sports, exercised for fun on the weekends, trained competitively in college, and simply like to be active. Getting up in the morning for a run or spin class or ab workout has never been a second thought. It was simply my default, it was what I did.

Until this season of life. I began a new job that I enjoy, gearing up for a busy Fall complete with more responsibilities and commitments — all good things. Also, for the first time in a long time, I am truly, entirely content in my body. I’m eating well and freely, I look in the mirror and feel good, if I’m being candid. A gift from God, especially considering my past battles with body image and perfection. Freedom, beauty, confidence – who I am in Christ.

Praise the Lord, right? Yes, yes, yes. Praise Him.

I then realized something interesting. Up went finding my true, lasting contentment and identity in Jesus, prioritizing Kingdom efforts over my vain work… down went my motivation to exercise.

What used to drive me — up at 6am for a long summertime run, getting home late from an after-work spin class — was my insatiable discontent with my body. I was in the mindset that intense, regular exercise was necessary for me to feel okay with myself, for me to eat certain foods, for me to meet the expectations of those around me. I was fearful of losing momentum, not being I was afraid I’d gain a pound of two, but because my mindset was that how I currently am is not good enough, I need to be different than what I am right now.

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My Mini Binder Set Up

Posted in lifestyle

Last month, upon a recommendation from a friend, I read Anne Ortlund’s book Discplines of a Beautiful Woman. In one of the chapters, she talks about how she stays organized using a mini binder. I’d never thought of this idea, but decided to adventure in. It has been super great! I took a good bit of inspiration from her stories, but I also tweaked it to match my own ‘needs,’ and wanted to share it with you. Today you can spend oodles of money on designer binders and refill paper, which is nice, but I still think Anne’s inexpensive system is simple and helpful.

Being a mini binder, it’s small and easy to slip down in my bag for work, and not obtrusive to take into the doctor’s office or car repair shop (I say from personal experience).

It has been great for keeping all the many open tabs of my brain in one happy place.

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Calendar

I ordered custom mini binder calendar pages from Amazon, and they are fabulous. Sections for notes, a pretty design, all kept in the front of my binder.

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Things To Do When You’re Tempted To Procrastinate In Front Of The Tv

Posted in home

Things To Do When You're Tempted To Procrastinate In Front Of The Tv | heartnatured

Don’t get me wrong, I am a movie-watcher. I am a Netflix-watcher. In college, if I got home from a long day, I wanted to pop in a movie and veg. It’s a stress reliever for me most days, and that’s fine. But I’ve realized having the tv on has become a crutch for me to be productive. If I’m cleaning, Gilmore Girls is usually on. If I’m home along, drawing or folding clothes, I usually put something on. Not saying I’ll never do it again after this moment, because I certainly will.

Even with social media, I will sit on the couch and scroll a feed for a good 20 minutes, before getting up to do something. Not saying it’s a bad thing, sometimes it’s relaxing, but… how many other things that would do my tomorrow a favor could I be doing in that 20 minutes?

I’ve also realized how much more productive and clear-headed I am when I don’t have the television on, or my phone right beside me. It got me thinking about all the small things I could do with time that I’m tempted to procrastinate. When I get home from work, or on a lazy Saturday afternoon…

  1. Paint your nails
  2. Walk around the house thoughtfully: rearrange, throw out, donate
  3. Exercise
  4. Plan recipes for the next week
  5. Sketch out a garden plan
  6. Take 30 minutes and practice your hobby (for me, photography)
  7. Organize your recipe files
  8. Catch up with a friend via phone call, email, or text
  9. Talk a walk around the neighborhood
  10. Put on worship music and sing your heart out
  11. Clean out the ‘catch-all’ drawers (everyone has them)
  12. Take a few minutes and make a list of your blessings
  13. Brainstorming Christmas gift ideas
  14. Write a couple letters to distant friends or family
  15. Create a recycling system for your home
  16. Clean out your pantry
  17. Write a family manifesto for the year
  18. Memorize a Bible verse
  19. Spend some time in dedicated prayer for someone, or a people group
  20. Do something creative (for me it would be probably doodling for a little while)
  21. Create a budget for the upcoming month
  22. Organize your closet, getting rid of clothes you haven’t worn in a year
  23. Play with your hair and figure out a new way to wear it, just for fun
  24. Find an adventurous dessert recipe and make it
  25. Make a list of goals for the month
  26. Deep clean the bathroom (not anyone’s favorite, but marvelously helpful in the end)
  27. Plan a spontaneous evening out for your husband, or your friends

Most of these things range from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, not a huge deal when considered within 24 hours, right? But, it can truly make a great deal of difference in the overall month or year. I find the quote below interesting:

“Most people don’t think in terms of minutes. They waste all the minutes. Nor do they think in terms of their whole life. They operate in the mid-range of hours or days. So they start over again every week, and spend another chunk unrelated to their life-time goals. They are doing a random walk through life, moving without getting anywhere.” Alan Lakein

Small choices today that can help or hurt bigger goals later.

What do you think?