Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Declaration

For some reason putting things in writing often makes them more real. And probably the sharing bit, too. So, I'm declaring to myself and the maybe three people who read this that:

I am achieving goal weight in November.

May seem lofty or crazy given Thanksgiving, but I can do it! I've been hovering at 8lbs to go for a while and, to be quite honest, have slacked on the tracking. I've also been a little bummed as some of my gym classes changed around as teachers left so have not been as motivated to go on some days.

BUT! that latter part is changing come November 10th as my favorite instructor is coming back to Saturday zumba! Happy dance!! I've also started some new classes. Just need to figure out Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (or at least two of them, one can be a rest day. I blame swimming that makes me feel the need to work out at least 6 days a week :)).

I've also been considering trying weight lifting again. I'm super fearful about it, but may try class with Julie as she knows my injury and I trust her. We'll see...

Really, though, it's the food part that I need to rein back in. So, I'm declaring this to myself to acknowledge I CAN do this. I'm not even worried about Thanksgiving as we're having it in Dallas so I can still go to the gym. Maybe my mom will come to Saturday zumba with me if they have it....... :)

Here goes nothing!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flash Mobbing New Friends


Two years ago this January, I embarked on a journey. One that was initially all about losing weight and getting into better shape, yet one that has profoundly impacted me and turned my life completely upside down. In a very good way. I may still have a little bit left to go (still…seriously…), but those last few pounds are almost just gravy. And are really more to be toned than anything as I’m generally comfortable with myself these days.

Anyway on to the change…

I could probably write volumes about the change that has occurred, beyond just the number on the scale. Feeling better, more energy, loving foods I previously didn’t and detesting foods I previously craved, fun clothes, multitudes of compliments, better confidence and self-esteem, the importance of balance as opposed to extremism, etc. etc. And know each of those items could most definitely be spread-out into many more words (I mean, especially fun clothes. Because they’re pretty).

One thing, though, that I never dreamed would happen is relationships. When I very first started this journey, I did the boring ole elliptical. Then one day I mustered the strength to mosey into a class. I think I first went to spin, just since I know how to ride a bike. Quickly realized I’m a little too free-spirited and not quite intense enough for spin (I mean seriously, those spinners are INTENSE!).

At some point, I don’t really remember how far down the path, I found myself in a zumba class. I was instantly intrigued. Latin music? Loved. Dancing? Brought back the ole days of ballet and making up countless dances with my friend, Brenda, to any and every song we could find. Always played on my purple boom box. And typically choreographed from the front yard. Yeah, we had no shame blasting Paula and likely looking like crazy kids for the entire neighborhood to view.

Anyway, I initially just went to zumba on Monday nights. It was nice, and I enjoyed it, but my addiction (and I’ve come to grips that it’s a full-on addiction…of the healthy variety) didn’t start until I made my way into Saturday. Ahhhh Saturday zumba with Julie. The very first time, I stood in the very back of the 50-75 people packed room and marveled at how she was able to dance the way she did. I’m pretty sure I looked more like a two-left-footed elephant since I was much heavier and hadn’t danced in, oh, 10 years. And yet, I loved it.

I won’t bore you with more oohing and ahhing of how much I loved it as, if you know me even in the slightest, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it. A lot.

As time went on, though, I felt this surge of confidence. Slowly but surely I moved forward in the room. And even more slowly but surely, I began talking to the women I saw week-in-and-week-out. It was mostly small chit chat, but it was better than silent Sarah. My wings spread and, after a period of time, I looked up and realized I had new friends. And the most fun part? They’re all different ages, lifestages, backgrounds, etc. This has continued with another of Julie’s classes I go to at a different location. We’ve started getting dinners or happy hours occasionally after class and each time I have so much fun! Sadly my original favorite class on Saturdays is no more (or not the same as it still happens) as Julie is no longer teaching it, but thankfully I can still go to one or two of her classes a week in another location. And see my fun friends, there!

 
This past Saturday, a group of us embraced our mutual love of dance and participated in a flash mob! My mom was visiting and she happily joined us, along with my cousin, Libby. It was so.much.fun! A few years ago, I don’t know that I would have done this, being fearful of what others thought. Now, I could really care less. My old love of dance has reemerged and I’ve seen how much joy, stress-relief, and downright fun it brings. We spent a few hours in the afternoon learning the routine with the whole mob, headed to the location, had a pre-dance drink, and then flash mobbed it up! It was for a guy’s 60th birthday. And he’s a longhorn…hook ‘em (we’ll just not talk about the sad longhorn news of Saturday and focus on fun things only). I definitely would love to do another flash mob! So fun.

The next day after class, a group of us went to happy hour. Denise and Cindy were part of the flash mob group (Denise is who introduced us to it!) and then Denise’s sister, Renae (who I’m quickly growing to love as well, particularly since we’re the same age and same lifestage!) and Julie, our instructor, joined. We were introducing Julie to beer-ritas. Quite yum. We were there for a while and just laughed and talked about random things.
I just love my zumba friends. As I think about what it is, I think some is the atmosphere that Julie specifically creates in her classes, but I think, too, it’s the freedom to be completely yourself. No one really judges you (though we occasionally laugh when we’re off-step) and you can be free-spirited and expressive. I, too, have always had dance in my soul, so think some of that childhood, dance-loving Sarah has reemerged after being stifled for so long being “cool” (ha!). I do still struggle at times even in zumba with worrying what people think, but then try to remind myself they like me more when I’m myself so I should be myself. These girls are just downright fun.
Who knew that a decision to become more healthy would bring these awesome girls into my life!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Still you know my heart

There's a song I've been playing quite frequently for the past few months. While I like the whole song, if I'm honest, there's one particular line that is especially impactful. And sometimes I restart the song multiple times, just for this line. It says...

You're the Lord of all Creation, and still you know my heart...

{10 points to anyone who can name the song. Disclaimer: points don't go for anything, except maybe if you so choose to hail yourself as the winner of this challenge because you like to win at things, then that could be good. But only if you don't cheat...}

At least once a week, lately, I've taken time to write-out all of Psalm 139 (if you don't know what it is, I encourage you to look it up). I'm not entirely sure why as I'm not doing a study on this chapter, haven't heard it in a sermon, and am not one of the people who read a Psalm and Proverb every day. One day I just felt like writing it. That day, I'd find myself thinking about it. About who God says I am and how he feels about and sees me. So then a few days later, I'd write it out again. And again find it swirling in my mind throughout the day.

If you really think about it, both this psalm and the line from the song (which is basically taken from the psalm), it's mind boggling. Completely.

The Lord, who made this whoooooole world and all the people in it cares about and knows my heart intimately. Better than me, and better than any person. And not just mine, but every person who has ever and will ever exist.

Sometimes that latter part tempts me to think how ridiculous that notion is. To question why the Lord of everything would care about my heart when surely there are more important people to work in and through. People who have more impact, like great leaders, thinkers, people with huge spheres of influence.

And then I remember what I wrote out. I am made wonderfully. My days are written-out. My sphere of influence may be small in comparison to some people, but it's the sphere he's placed me in. And God tends to use the lowly, the ones who have little influence to do his work. As then he shines.

It really is mind boggling. And so I'll keep on reminding myself to keep the evil one from getting a foothold within an area my mind cannot comprehend. Instead of questioning it's validity or applicability in my life, I'll just let it boggle and deepen trust.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

World's Greatest Compliment EVER!

I'm wearing a dress I made a few weeks ago for the first time. I was feeling a little self-concious and not entirely sure if I loved it or not.

Um, a coworker just told me she liked it and asked IF I GOT MY DRESS AT ANTHROPOLOGIE!!!!!

Officially the world's greatest compliment.

And yes, I know I'm a weirdo. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ya Ha & Hey Hey Friday!

I know I'm obviously biased and have no point of comparison :), but I have the greatest mom.

It's funny as for years I thought my mom and I were soooooooo different. But in reality, we're so very similar. We have the same Myers Briggs personality type and, while she doesn't think she's creative, she is. I mean, she was originally a fashion design major for goodness sake! And makes clothes that look like they stepped out of a store. And is a very creative idea generator which, to me, is the true definition of creativity...not just being artistic.

Anyway, on to my point. Much of how I am was shaped by my mom. Of course my dad, too, but today is about Momma. I've been intentionally building the practice of giving thanks and recognizing when things, big or small, are blessings from the Lord. My parents are big ones. I told someone to have a "Ya Ha and Hey Hey Friday!" earlier and thought about how much my mom has done for me and how eternally thankful I am for her. This trip down memory lane is really for me, and hopefully my mom.

Growing up, my mom was always coming up with ideas to make life a little more magical. Some of my favorites:

Fridays were coined "Ya Ha and Hey Hey Friday!" My parents were big on healthy living and we didn't eat a lot of processed food or sugar. But instead of making that a restriction type thing, my mom turned it around to a special thing that happened on Friday! So that day we got to eat sugar cereal, a Little Debbie in our lunch (though if there were two snacks in the package she still split them up between Adam and me :)), and dinner was "cook your own dinner night" in which A and I would typically create menus of our creations. The grossest I remember was cream cheese on an apple. Yuck. We also got to stay up late and watch TGIF...good ole Full House and Family Matters! This in and of itself was a big deal, too, as we were only allowed to watch an hour of TV (that included Nintendo time) a day, so Fridays we could watch more!

One day it was raining really hard, but no lighting/thunder. My mom told us to go ride our bikes through the puddles! I'm sure some parents would be fearful of pneumonia, but she knew we'd be fine and could quickly warm up. It was so fun.

In the summers, we'd go to the commissary with her (the grocery store on the military base). My mom would always find the weirdest foods in the store, read the ingredients to us, and then A would start a joke fest about it. I remember one time crying with laughter as A made some not-so-nice comments about head cheese and then was reprimanded by an elderly woman. It was hilarious. We also always got a treat if we were good at the commissary. As young kids this was typically the animal crackers in the box with the string. By high school (yep, still got treats then!), it was usually these mini pies they made in the bakery.

My mom was always big on leaving notes of encouragement as a surprise (this is where I get this from!). In our lunches, around the house, on the bathroom mirror, on my car when I was older, in the mail in college, or on every single outfit I had packed when I went on a trip. They weren't necessarily long, but sweet reminders of how we're loved and important.

When I was in middle school, we had a group of friends who we hung out with all.the.time and mostly at our house. During the summer, we had a funny routine. Each day we'd go to swim practice in the morning (me to competitive at 6am...brutal...everyone else to summer league), then after breakfast we'd congregate at our house and start to play games. My mom taught us how to play tripoly and we'd bet with pennies, or we'd play this old school 60s game called Masterpiece. We'd break for lunch and then head to the pool for the afternoon until dinner. After dinner we'd usually go back to the pool for a little while. Once it got darker, we'd head to our house and watch some of Nick at Nite's block party summer! Bewitched be-Wednesdays, Munster Mondays, Jeannie Thursdays...I don't remember Tuesday or Friday... After that, we'd hit the streets and either play this block game we created or kick the can. It was awesome.

There are sooooo many more memories and favorites, I'm pretty sure I could write a volume. At the crux of it, though, I am eternally thankful for my mom, the others-centered and encouragement mindset she has instilled in me, and the creativity and magical view on life she has taught me to live.

Love you Momma!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mr Darcy

This summer in Haiti my girls, Lauren, and I were talking about which fictional guy character in movies or books we'd want to date if they were real (bizarre, I know).

Hands down, Mr Darcy.

I just love Pride and Prejudice! It's also one book in which a movie is equally good (another is Little Women...the version with Wynona Ryder). I prefer the Keira Knightley version of P&P as the scenes are beautiful, the music is captivating, and I love how they cast everyone. And the Mr Darcy? Swoon worthy.

I also love You've Got Mail, the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks take on P&P. Books? Fall? New York? What's not to love?!? I haven't watched that one in a while...maybe I'll buy it as I don't have that one.

P&P is on TV now and I just had to stop for a few minutes. Best line?

You've bewitched me body and soul.

Enter swooning Sarah. :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Swirly

I’m often reading information about how to love and encourage all types of people. Part of this is due to my personality type, in which I whole-heartedly aim to be an encourager, a champion of people, and help them see and know their value (if you have interest, read about ENFJs here…it’s pretty much like reading a page out of my brain). 
 
But also because I’m in a place of leadership. In work and in student ministries. I want to be flexible with the people under my care and know that they all learn differently, and adjust my thinking, strategies, etc. to best care for and lead them. This is true with anyone, really, but particularly those I’m placed in leadership over.  
 
Recently (though it was written a while back), I read an article about right brain thinkers in a left brain world. It was interesting and something I’ve thought about a lot since reading it, particularly for myself as I swing toward the right brain side. I also remember this ad campaign by Mercedes that I think ran last year:
 

I’ve often been told in my life that I’m different. On one hand, being different is good. On the other, sometimes it feels like different = weird, too complicated, a mess.

I resonate a lot with artists, though I wouldn’t call myself one (though I love the arts). I think about the misunderstood souls of Beethoven, Van Gogh, Matisse, Fitzgerald, and even people I know personally who are artists. People appreciate the beauty they create, yet they’re often considered weirdos or crazy. I think perhaps they were just deep in their right-brainedness and creative minds.

In that article I referenced, one particular quote stands out to me: Right brains don't explain what they feel well and are misunderstood. They think of one thing, and say another because their brain has already moved on to another thought. Combine that with this relating to my personality: ENFJs tend to define their life's direction and priorities according to other people's needs, and may not be aware of their own needs. It's natural to their personality type that they will tend to place other people's needs above their own, but they need to stay aware of their own needs so that they don't sacrifice themselves in their drive to help others.

While these elements are generalizations and of course there are intricacies that often arise, I’m beginning to learn something about myself.

First, I am driven by others. I am willing to do anything to encourage, care for, and love others. I think this element of my personality is exacerbated by my heart for the Lord. I take so seriously his urging to love others in Christ and to walk through life in the Acts church. I pray continually for others and implore the Lord’s guidance in how I can love them as he does. My motivations in caring for and loving others are intrinsic, but also driven by my love for Christ. I most certainly do not do this perfectly, so I ask the Lord to help me and to help me know and see when I screw up and to help me humbly ask for forgiveness.

Secondly, I often feel things, but have no idea why or what to do with it. Along with being right brained and ENFJ, I’m also an external processor so truly process best by just talking things out. Unfortunately, this talking typically comes out in a very messy, all-over-the-place manner. I think this is exacerbated by the fact that I often see this world very differently so fear the crazy looks I’ve gotten in my life. I see it through the lens of a creative mind and one through other people.

These two learnings have come to a head recently for me, and I realized this morning when spending time with the Lord that I battle them as I feel this intense pressure to be orderly, neat, tidy, and wrapped-up in a perfectly designed package. I feel if I allowed the stream of consciousness or the swirl of colors and sounds to escape, I’ll probably overwhelm others and end up alone…which is challenging since I’m a people person and loneliness is my least favorite thing (yet one I battle often).

I told the Lord that I’m not entirely sure what to do with this, but that I want to release the pressure. I want to not be afraid to let the mess escape, as that picture above so beautifully depicts. I want to stop relenting to the pressure, be it internal pressure or external, to fit in a box. I want to stop being scared of what others think if I’m not in the box (again, challenging since I want to love people well) and just be the creative, wild, spontaneous, people-loving, musical person that he’s made me to be.

I’m not entirely sure how to do this, though. Prayerful the Lord, the most creative, people-loving, unique being ever, can help guide me.

For whatever reason, the Lord seems to have me on a path lately of learning how to be the person he created me to be. I'm definitely appreciative, but it is kinda weird as I'm not sure who I've been the last 31 years...

Monday, August 20, 2012

I am worthy

If I'm honest, I struggle a lot with wanting to be a person people want to be around. A person people flock to, find so fun, etc.

But, I'm really not. Yes, I have friends and such, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying I'm not that person people flock to or what-have-you.

I've been wondering lately if it's lack of confidence and I'm not showing all of myself or if it's just written into my DNA. I'm not entirely sure.

I had a conversation this evening with a friend about someone we both know (though I don't know well) who is one of these people. There's another person who, as silly as it sounds, I think is fun and have wanted to get to know, but I'm not sure that this person wants to get to know me. And yet the person I want to know finds person A, the one my friend and I were referring to, super fun and it's obvious.

While we were talking, I felt myself getting frustrated. Questioning why I'm never that person and why it so often feels like I have to jump up and down to even be noticed.

I don't necessarily have all of the answers, but I realized that my perspective has shifted. Historically, I would think there was something wrong with me. But I've realized now, I get frustrated and I think that frustration comes because I've learned I AM worthy of being known.

I care deeply for people.
I have so many interests and am well-rounded.
I see the world through a slightly different lens than many which adds flare and color.
I have lots of layers and am not easily "figured out".
I am creative.
I am loyal.
I love experiencing new things and hearing about others' lives.
I am a little crazy, though it takes me a bit to be comfortable showing it.
I am smart.
I'm intentional.
And God says I'm worthy of being known.

I don't say those things to toot my own horn (which, quite frankly, anyone who knows me even in the slightest knows how difficult it is to even write that list out!). I say them to remind myself that I AM worthy. I AM valuable. And I AM someone who can bless others if God so chooses to use me in that way.

Yes, I do long to be the fun and crazy person who everyone notices instead of the one people often forget about. But I'm thankful that the most important One does see me. The One who's opinion matters more than any human's says I have value and He wants to know me intimately. And not because I'm wild or crazy, or even for that list above, but purely because He says I'm His.

So I am going to be honest with where I am and when my heart aches with longing to be noticed. But then I'm going to choose joy and choose to remind myself that I'm worthy of knowing. And that I have much to offer.

And I'll strive, although most certainly not perfectly, in God's strength to see every person I encounter as a treasure and a precious child of God. And I will plead with the Lord to use me to show them how precious they are to Him.

I am worthy of being known. And so are you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Memorization

I read this over lunch and was wildly encouraged and challenged. The author of the blog is my cousin's wife, Kelsey. I resonate so much with what she's saying about scripture memory. I often memorize things by "accident" but struggle with the intentional memorization.

Be encouraged!

Oh and one funny thing, I actually am working through memorizing Romans 6 right now. Love that she referenced that, too.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Meet Marie!

Meet Marie! She will be 8 on September 12th and lives in a village in Haiti and studies at Mission of Hope's school. She's in second grade.
I have the distinct blessing to sponsor her and make school a possibility! And I could not be more excited.

I've sponsored a Compassion child who lives in Rwanda for many years. To be honest, I'm really not good at writing her letters. Part of it is because I never know what to say. I need to get better at that...

Last summer when MOH talked about child sponsorship when they were sharing their vision, my heart was pulled but I knew it wasn't the right time. This year, I had complete assurance that it was the right time! And, ps, hearing the vision this year was so unbelievably sweet! It's HUGE and so exciting. I literally had tears of joy in my eyes. Haitians sing Chris Tomlin's song Our God all the time and it most definitely has a different meaning to me now...more on that later. :)

Anyway, how could you not have your heart strings pulled a little bit when you look at Marie's precious face?!? I mean, cutie and a half! I'm bummed that we never went to her village so I haven't met her in-person, but that's okay.

I'm excited to see how the Lord builds a relationship with her. Mail is tempermental in Haiti so I'm not sure how often we'll be able to exchange letters, but I'm excited as I can write them in French as she'll learn it at school! :)

And, before signing off for today (I promise a real update will come - just lots to process through and my work week is ca-razy!), check out this song. My awesome co-leader, Lauren, found it on youtube and I about died. They played it at dinner and everyone just started dancing (seriously love the dancing-nature of Haitian life!). I kind of love Haitian music...not surprising, though, since I tend to like all worldly music. :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Home from Haiti!

I got home from Haiti late last night! It was a bit of an adventure, including a three hour flight delay in which we spent 4+ hours in the Port-Au-Prince airport. Which is not like American airports and does not have anything to do...and I finished my book already...and only brought one... That experience actually made me start to maybe consider an e-reader if you can store books. We'll see. I like books.

Anyway, I'll write more on the week once I've had time to get back into the swing of things and process. In the meantime, I'm thankful for:

1. My comfy bed that is big, my feet fit on it, and I don't feel the metal bars holding up the 2" mattress!!

2. The ability to flush toilet paper

3. Taking a shower without shoes on and not having to turn the water off or worry about any accidentally getting into your mouth!

4. Brushing my teeth in the sink as opposed to spitting over the edge of the balcony and using my water bottle to clean off the toothbrush!

5. Air conditioning!

6. French coming back and the convos with Haitians in which they understood me and vice versa!!

It was a great week, and I truly am thankful for the above items (and more) as they are luxuries and are gifts from the Lord that I most certainly do not deserve.

Biggest lessons this week: power of prayer and the importance of giving thanks to the Lord for everything as everything is from him alone!

Till I have time (and mental space) to provide a more detailed update...

Au revoir mes amis!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sunday!

I'm so flipping excited about Sunday at 4pm!

Why?

I'm quite surprised...

My brother and cousin Libby are going to zumba with me!!!

Adam said he wanted to check it out and Libby said she wouldn't miss seeing him Latin-dance it up. It is going to be awesome. And hilarious. The only thing better would be if my cousin, Mark, Libby's brother, lived here and went, too.

I kind of feel badly for the other zumba attendees as I'm fairly certain I may laugh the whole time. Just because it'll be fun and Adam is one of the funniest people I know.

Yay for Sunday!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Forgiveness

I really love being able to ask for forgiveness.

What? That probably sounds weird.

But it's true.

This morning I had the opportunity to ask forgiveness from someone. At first I thought I'd blow it off, but then I realized no, I needed to. For my tongue ran rampant last night and, although it may not have impacted this person, it caused division between the Lord and me as I wasn't loving one of his precious people well by letting my tongue run amuck. I don't know how it'll occur, but I'm at thankful I can ask.

Why?

Because I'm forgiven.

Interestingly, after the above morning act, I dove into some Luke. I read a lot, as I've picked-up the chronological bible to finish the New Testament, but one passage hit me. Luke 7:36-50. Go read it.

Have you read it? :)

I was struck by these lines:

I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.

The reason I love asking for forgiveness is I have received the largest forgiveness ever through Jesus. Even so, I know that, while I hope it continues to lessen with the Spirit's help, I will sadly still hurt others, have a careless tongue, respond selfishly, etc. And these acts and thoughts will impact the lives of others and break unity. Asking for forgiveness gives me the ability to humbly acknowledge when I allowed unity to be broken, grow, and learn. Even if the other person chooses not to accept, which I can't control.

Prayerful others will let me know and prayerful the Spirit will convict me when I need to ask for forgiveness. And that I will joyfully and humbly do so, out of grace and thankfulness for the eternal forgiveness I've been given in Jesus.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Stone

I have recently become re-obsessed with this song. Which may not seem like a big thing, but it is as I didn't listen to Dave for YEARS as it always made me think of a negative person in my past. But recently I claimed freedom over that person and, after going to a Dave concert with some friends, have rediscovered my love for his music. Particularly this song, which is one of my most favorites, if not my most favorite.

The very best way to listen to this is ridiculously loud with the sunroof open. Just sayin'. :)

Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Travel List

I've recently been thinking of writing a list of things to do in life. Well, when I sat down to start it, ALL of them were travel related. Ha! Not that there aren't things I want to do in non-travel life, but I suppose they weren't as big to warrant being put on a list.

Anyway, below is a very condensed list...as in I pretty much am game to go almost anywhere if it means the ability to experience something new, learn, and indulge in a new culture. So, here it goes! They're not really in any particular order, mostly.

1.   Go to Paris!
2.   Jump up and down in sheer delight in front of the Eiffel Tower
3.   Sit in a French cafĂ© and listen to people speak French
4.   Speak French IN France!
5.   Walk around Sacre Coeur, tracing the footsteps of the great artists
6.   Go to Normandy and stand on Normandy beach, reflecting on what occurred there for as long as I please
7.   Visit a French vineyard
8.   See Marseilles and pretend I'm like Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief
9.   Basically just travel all over France
10. Visit the Westminster Abbey and say “hands down, best abbey I ever saw”
11. Go to Greece and see everything I possibly can
12. Sail in the Mediterranean
13. Go on the Sound of Music tour in Austria and be ridiculously obnoxious with the singing and dancing..."I am sixteen going on seventeen..."
14. See Anne Frank’s house
15. Visit Auschwitz because it’s important
16. Travel around Israel and see the places Jesus walked, taught, and lived first-hand
17. Go to Poland…I have no idea why, but I want to go
18. See the home of Beethoven
19. Relish in the beauty of the Amalfi Coast
20. Dance around the windmills in Holland
21. Go to Oktoberfest in Germany
22. See the pyramids and sing “walk like an Egyptian”
23. Spend Christmas in Williamsburg again
24. Go on another white water rafting trip (more than a day trip) in honor of my Granddaddy
25. See Hawaii!
26. Visit New England during the fall and become extremely giddy with the colors, smells, season
27. Go to Rhode Island, the only state my great-grandparents didn’t see
28. See Alaska and obnoxiously call it Al-as-ka the whole time
29. Be outdoorsy in Seattle again (well, last time we weren’t so outdoorsy)
30. Hike up to Machu Picchu (do you hike up that?)
31. Go to Gettysburg and Mt. Vernon
32. See the Grand Illumination!
33. Salsa dance in some Latin country, preferably with a ridiculously cute Latin guy named Alejandro or Enrique or Carlos
34. Go on an African safari
35. See the Great Wall of China

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Le Saint-Esprit

I think I've mentioned before that I've been on a path lately of learning about balance. It wasn't something I was looking for, but seems to be hitting me on all sides.

I'm currently camped out in the New Testament (surprised?!?) and this morning was reading through the passages in which the Pharisees are nit-picking everything Jesus does and telling him he's disobeying the law of the Sabbath.

After reading, I spent some time journaling prayers in response to what I read. In doing so, I started thinking about how the Pharisees didn't get balance. They lived on the side of legalism. And then there were other folks who lived on the side of...I'm not sure the word...doing whatever they wanted damning the consequences. As I was basically judging the Pharisees' ridiculousness in my head, I realized I can be a Pharisee just as easily as I can be a loose cannon (that's what we'll call them today :)).

I started to think about pendulums, specifically the ones with magnets at the bottom. At rest, they just hang there in the middle, steady and confident, connected to the stabilizing magnet. When give in to a push, they swing wildly from one side to the other, while still trying to reconnect to the magnet. Eventually they tire and settle back into the middle until they get another push.

I feel like this is me. Something will happen, or a temptation will arise, or I become impatient and allow the push to set me into motion, pulling me away from the Magnet. Sometimes I'll swing to the loose cannon side and decide not to care what the Magnet thinks, and then other times I'll swing to legalism and attempt to control everything with rules and regulations. Regardless, both detach my heart from the Magnet and leave me swinging about wildly.

Obviously this will occur throughout life since I will still sin and struggle, but how do you fight it? How do we live in balance? Balance being the place where we live with grace, love, and forgiveness, but also where we recognize that God's best doesn't always align with loose cannon-flesh side.

Then I realized it. The Holy Spirit. Le Saint-Esprit.

Only through the Spirit can we live in balance as it's not natural. Only through the Spirit will we remain connected to the Magnet as we're prone to swinging. And the only way to live in the Spirit is to know him. To talk to him. To read and write his words on our hearts. To be quick to listen and slow to speak or act. To intentionally pray and patiently wait for answers. And to do all of this daily.

And then I thought, holy cannoli, the FULLNESS of God lives IN me! I mean, I know that, but I just sat there for a minute and let it sit on me. The Spirit that has the power to save souls, raise Jesus from the dead, intercede on my behalf, a part of the trinity...lives in me. Why the world do I so often and so easily discount that? Why do I easily freak out, second guess, or worry?

Literally at this moment, that Chris Tomlin song that says "and if our God is for us, who can be against us" came on and I had to laugh. No joke.

Most of the time I have no idea what to do. Literally this morning I prayed for several people and told God I have absolutely no clue how to best love them through hard things they're walking through or maybe I don't even know what they're going through but feel led to pray for them. I asked for guidance, a loving heart, boldness, and confidence to not second-guess. Now I wait and trust that the Spirit will provide as he loves these people WAY more than I ever could.

The key to balanced living is the Holy Spirit. Don't discount his power. Don't discount that, if you know and walk with Christ, he's there to help you live out what God instructs. What a gift.

Let's walk in the power of Le Saint-Esprit and see what mighty things the Lord can do.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Crazy, Eloise, Germans, Patios, & Dave! Oh my!

I feel like I’m the queen of random these days. Maybe that’s really not so abnormal… J

Random #1
Meet Eloise. My new toy who I love. She’s quite fun and could be a buddy through my first speeding ticket… She prefers to go fast, and I need to get better at wrangling her desires. J


Random #2
Over Memorial Day weekend, I went to Shreveport for a cousin’s graduation. This family is half-German, and several of their German family members were also there. It was a great, relaxing weekend. My favorite times were certainly playing card games with the German family. It was quite hilarious, especially when I’d get stuck with the German cards! It’s interesting how a simple change of J (for Jack) to B and Q (for Queen) to D can throw you off! Made me excited for more family time in July with more cards and Bananagrams. I heart games.

Random #3
Last weekend I had time on a patio Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon! Oh how I love patios!! Yes, Texas summer is ridiculous, but I’m thankful that we have a pretty long patio season with spring and fall. Trying to soak up as much as possible before it gets as hot as Hades…

Random #4 (and last random for today)
I’ve rediscovered my old love for Dave Matthews Band. This is exciting to me for many reasons, but it’s been fun to rediscover old favorites and find that I still like them. Haven’t tried his new stuff; I’m thoroughly enjoying relistening to his first three albums and their live counterparts.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lost and Found

I am quite obsessed with this song. I have been since I bought this album a year ago or so. There's something entrancing about it, and freeing. And I feel like it parallels my story over the last few months/years. I don't know, I just love it. :)

Enjoy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Little Random

I'm beginning to think I'm driving everyone I work with away... Not really, but we've had a mass exodus of people in the media group lately, and I've lost (or will soon lose) someone on every.single.one of my accounts. I'm getting a complex... :)

Last night I had a conversation with someone who was talking about how he wants to move to the country because he's tired of the Dallas city scene. While he was talking, in my head I was singing "moving to the country, gonna eat a lotta peaches..." I'm so not a country person. It sort of sounds like torture to me. As a kid, whenever we drove through rural areas I'd annoy my parents with incessant questions about what those people did for fun. A small beach town? Sure (as long as it was in close proximity to a city). The country? No way. It's just not me. ALL of my most favorite things are city-oriented!

This morning I skipped the gym and am feeling quite badly about it. Not guilty, just bad because I really needed it, but I really needed sleep more. Granted, that extra hour of sleep led to a super scary dream! I won't elaborate...gives me the heebie jeebies (and included some raaaandom people).

I absolutely, positively MUST get back on the WW tracking wagon. I don't know what my deal is, but I have been a major slacker. I thankfully haven't gained since I workout so much. At the same time, I completely screwed up my hope to hit goal by next week... No more excuses. I decided I'm going to try to embrace a more structured clean eating. It's really not far from WW plans, but is about limiting processed foods and alcohol, and about eating more organic. I'm not restricting the non-clean things as I don't want to be extreme (which I can so easily do!), but need, and want, to be more conscious. And hit goal!

A new guy moved into my pod this week. He's from Spain! We told him we want to have daily Spanish lessons. He has such a cool accent. Apparently his wife sometimes teaches Spanish classes. Gosh, I'm thankful I'm American, but it's sorta boring... He told us (after we collectively said that) that really it's the same thing, just in another language. Probably true, but that other language thing is awesome! I love cultures and languages (hence another reason the country and I wouldn't work very well...unless maybe it's the French country!).

Saturday night I'm going to the Dave Matthews concert with some friends. I sorta feel like I've stepped back in time. Hopefully he'll play old stuff. Does he even have new stuff? Hmm...

I haven't seen my roommate in over a week. And we live in the same house! She was gone this weekend and then I've had super late nights with really early mornings (hence the needing of the sleep). Still funny that our paths haven't crossed... Ha!

My favorite zumba teacher, Julie? Yeah, she's my favorite yoga teacher now, too. She's getting her certification updated and needed to have community service hours, which essentially is free yoga. She doesn't teach yoga at the gym by my house, but the past two weeks led a class after zumba to get some hours. It was SO good. Another gym friend and I agreed. I think some of it is because she explains things really well, is patient, but also is a really fun person. Although I was cleared to do yoga months ago, I've been a little uneasy with it. I think personally her class was also good because she knows I have back problems so was able to give me modifications on a few poses. Anyway, maybe someday my schedule will work to where I can go to her yoga classes.

Did you enjoy my random stream of consciousness? Yes, I'm random. :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sophia Grace & Rosie



I love these little girls. They seriously make me laugh! They're like British versions of my niece, McKenzie. I bet she'd be good friends with them. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kicking It...

...into high gear.

So, this week is insane. And of course that occurs on a week when I'm trying to kick it into high gear (explanation to follow momentarily). I think almost every minute of my day is planned with something until maybe Saturday afternoon, or maybe Sunday. These aren't bad things whatsoever, but just busy days! And work is pretty crazy, too.

This morning I was supposed to have a client meeting at 8am, but when I arrived, I found out it was cancelled. An hour back! Yay! :) I jump for joy because so far about 9 of my at-work hours this week have been in meetings. So, for all you mathies out there, I've been in meetings the equivalent of one of my two workdays. Phew. :)

So, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

I've REALLY stunk it up in the healthy living world since about January. It started when I injured my back and has gone downhill since then. Not to the point of no return of course, but my eating hasn't been great nor has my gym-time (well, except for zumba :)).

I decided last week enough was enough and I should be at goal by now. After talking to a few gym friends, I discovered that it only cost an extra $7 a month to convert my Y membership to all Dallas Ys. I looked at several within different areas of Dallas I frequent and discovered that there are fun classes I can go to on days it's hard to go to my gym and/or I'm in that area of town for one reason or another! Including in Frisco for small group days! This is huge as I'm WAY better at motivating myself to go to a class than I am going at it alone. Some classes don't even require an ounce of motivation because I heart them, or the instructor.

Gym = covered.

Now food. Erg.

I have become way too lazy with the food arena. I pick things up at Whole Foods entirely too much which is not only unhealthy (their prepared section is not the healthiest), but also a waste of money! My problem is that I don't really enjoy cooking. Mostly because I don't enjoy eating the same thing for days, and it's kind of annoying that I have to shop, cook, clean, and eat for days on end. Oh the life of a single person. :)

But it's time to get over it. To accept that I don't have a personal chef (though that would be awfully nice!) and quit whining! Though the whining only happens in my head...but still!

So I decided to kick this healthy living thing back into high gear. To reestablish habits that have waned. I decided this on Saturday.

And then crazy week happened.

Darn you crazy! :)

Giving myself grace, but also not letting the crazy be an excuse. This is important to me and my health. Plus, life will always be crazy.

So, here's to kicking it into high gear and hopefully hitting goal weight by swimsuit season. Well, it's kind of almost that, so let's restructure. Here's to hopefully hitting goal weight by Memorial Day weekend!

Happy healthy living folks.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Being Me

Hi, I'm Sarah. And for many, many years, I haven't really been me. Maybe you're one who's seen the real me, or maybe you've just seen a glimpse now and then. I apologize for that. It's come out of a place of insecurity and from listening to ill advice back in college. Through the last few weeks of thinking about why I often feel "off", I've realized that real Sarah sometimes gets squished out for "Sarah that I think everyone wants." I'm working on changing that.

In the meantime, here are a few things about real Sarah that you may or may not know. Some are slightly goofy, but it's me so take it or leave it.

1. Deep down, I'm pretty goofy. Not necessarily funny in the sense that my brother is, but I love to let loose, be silly, and not worry about what others think. This is partially why I love zumba! Among other reasons...

2. I always, ALWAYS have a soundtrack playing in my head. It's sort of like my life is a movie and different parts have different songs. Oh and I seriously, legitimately wish life was a musical. Just once it'd be amazing to have everyone break-out into spontaneous song and dance.

3. I have a WILD imagination that probably would lead to some embarrassment if folks knew. Someday I hope to have the time/discipline to write down my antics. Maybe they could create an actual story as opposed to just entertaining me!

4. Along with imagination, I'm sort of still a kid at heart (probably partially why I love kids!). I hope that one day an owl will deliver an invitation for me to go to Hogwarts and maybe I'll catch a glimpse of a Care Bear on a cloud. I love the wonder, amazement, and magic of childhood dreams. And someday, McKenzie and I will go live on the top of the Eiffel Tower. :)

5. Lately, I've felt like I was living in the middle of a Mexican restaurant. It's due to my obsession with zumba music... Okay, I admit. I have a problem. :)

6. Along with zumba, I have a secret dream to be a dancer (well, it's not so secret considering it's been a dream since I was 4 and started dancing, but whatever). And I also have a deep love for music, whether it's in english or not.

7. Although I'm full of magical dreams and imagination, I also have a ridiculous obsession with correct grammar usage. Well, specifically a few incorrect uses: y'all, your vs. you're, I vs. me, and the incorrect use of adverbs. I blame my family as exhibited in my previous post. :)

8. I'm super, duper spontaneous. My mom always jokes that even as a kid, I was always ready to "go." Be it a simple trip around town or something larger. I love to be plan-free and just go where the wind blows me. Some of my spontaneous times have been the best times! This is partially why I miss the college pace of life...so spontaneous compared to adulthood. :)

9. I absolutely, positively must have eight hours of sleep most nights or I turn into Mr Hyde (or is it Dr Jekel who was evil?). Nonetheless, I'm mean when I'm tired. It's really not intentional!

10. I think deeply AND feel deeply. Phew, sometimes it's exhausting. Oh and I'm an extrovert but not always out-going. Kind of a problem when you need people but aren't always great at reaching-out to people (mostly thinking they don't want to be around me)...working on it. :)

There you have it. Just a few things. Of course there are more as my life can't be summed-up in 10 items, but it's a start.

I've tried really hard to change myself the last few years, namely my personality. I always thought it was flawed since it's very different from many people. But, you know? It's how God made me. And if I'm really going to believe that he can't mess up, than I've got to believe he didn't mess me up. I know this "being me" thing will take time and trust, but I'm going to work on it. And am hopeful something beautiful will be fashioned from the swirly mess that sometimes swims around my head. Only He can do it.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Memories

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my Mammy in Arkansas with my mom. It was the first time I'd been there since Granddaddy passed away, so in some ways it was strange, but it was also a sweet time.

I know I'll always miss Granddaddy. My Mema died almost 14 years ago and I still frequently have times where something will make me think of her or I'll see/smell something that reminds me over her and I wish she were here. I know the same will be with Granddaddy, but I'm thankful that, as with Mema, those times will also make me thankful for the opportunity to know and learn from them.

While at Mammy's, some of my favorite moments was discovering things about Granddaddy that I never knew! My whole life he had an office in their house that I wasn't allowed to go into. I honestly don't remember anyone ever telling me to stay out of it, but I guess it was always understood. I could walk into it and see his wall of pictures (he has a wall with Mammy at the top, then his five children, their spouses, and his grandchildren), but I never ever went behind his desk, into his secretary, or his closet.

Last weekend, we did. Even my mom said she felt like she was intruding as the same rule applied for her. However, it was as if we had discovered a treasure chest! I had no idea that Granddaddy kept journals since at least 1941. While looking for something (I don't even remember what we were searching for), my mom handed me a box that I opened. Insides were a slew of tiny journals filled with bits from Granddaddy's life.

I primarily focused on the ones from the 40s. It was so sweet to see Granddaddy as a young person and learn things I never knew. And to see him as "human." I know that probably sounds weird, but he's always been on a pedestal for me, so it was fun to learn that he wasn't the best driver in the 40s, that he had lots of crushes, and that he was excited about a raise one time to 65 cents per hour.

It was also so sweet to see when he met Mammy and clearly see how much he loved her then, and know his love for her grew more and more throughout his life.

I wish that my other family members could have been there as we read them, though I hope someone will bring the journals this summer to Granddaddy's celebration of life. I know they'd all relish them, and it would be sweet to read together.

I also looked at one from when Granddaddy took Adam and me on a white water rafting trip in Idaho. I loved it. It made me want to dig further to find ones from when we were alive, but I didn't this trip. Maybe another time.

Along with the journals, we found lots of old pictures and an awesome scrapbook of my great-grandmother's (Granddaddy's mom)! I snapped a few pictures with my phone.

Granddaddy is one of the smartest people I've ever known, so this remark in one of his report card's was priceless! And it reminded me of Adam. :)


Mammy and Granddaddy as young kids!! I think Mammy said this is right about when they were engaged.


Who knew Granddaddy was a jokester!?! This made me laugh...a lot.


This one's probably hard to read, but it's a letter Granddaddy wrote to his cousin as a 6th grader. At the bottom, his mom is critiquing his letter structure! She was a teacher. I think the obsession with grammar has been in my family for generations! :)


This is a letter from the 1850s written by a man to some lady I'm related to (can't remember who). It was hilarious because this guy liked the girl, but apologized for writing her without first asking permission. He then proceeded to bear his soul and say how much he loved her. It was so cool. And made me appreciate the art of writing letters.


The next few are from Honey's scrapbook (my great-grandmother). They are advertisements that she kept and they make me laugh, especially considering I work in advertising!



I can't imagine an ad today showing a child being beaten...



Um, kind of racist!


I think this one was for cold medicine. What the world?


This medicine cures everything. Maybe I need it. :) And no idea what the pig has to do with the price of tea in China.


This one just made me laugh. It's all of my cousins on the Buckley side, though we're all so little! I think I'm in 8th grade, Adam in 6th, Mat in 5th, Jon 4th, Bonnie's maybe 6?, Anna looks about 4, and Georgia maybe 2?


Lastly, this is a snapshot of a lap "quilt" I made Mammy. It represents the Proverbs 31 woman, who I believe Mammy represents as she's faithfully cared for Granddaddy and her family and loved the Lord. Thankful for her example and love her dearly.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Heart Attack...

So, the other day I was convinced I was having a heart attack. No joke. I haven't been feeling well, and then on Sunday at one point it felt like my throat was closing up and my chest was hurting. I later told my roommate, who said I don't really have any of the risk factors.

Then, I was convinced I had GERD. Um, yes, because of the internet... Oops.

Katie said she doubted I had that, either, as I didn't really have any of the symptoms.

Yesterday morning, the sensations returned along with a massive headache. I decided to quit self-diagnosing and went into see my favorite doctor.

Apparently I have such bad allergies right now that my throat is closing up and my chest probably hurts from the post nasal drip. The allergies have also created a sinus infection. Joy.

Now I have a gaggle of medicine to hopefully wipe it all out. And maybe this rain will wash it all away, too.

I just think it's funny that I thought I was having a heart attack and it's really tree pollen reeking havoc. Ha. Though it is scary to have your throat close up!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Noel or Ben?

So I recently discovered that the old WB show, Felicity, is on netflix. And I've quickly fallen back in love with the show and maybe sort of feel like I'm back in college watching on the little dorm television.

It's also apparent that I'm still a Ben person. Most of my college friends preferred Noel because he was the sweet, nice guy. For whatever reason, I preferred Ben and apparently still do.

I'm gonna need to wrangle my Felicity watching or it could end up being a ton of wasted hours... Good thing I have a busy schedule already. :)

So, are you Noel or Ben?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thanks

My mom instilled in me the practice of thanking people. While I for sure know I will always have room to grow in this practice, I'm grateful that she taught me how to send thank you notes or give thank you gifts or even just say thanks to others. But she didn't teach it to me as a "thing you do" but instead as an overflow of a thankful heart when someone took time out of their lives to do something, give something, or serve others. So, when I give thanks, it's most definitely genuine and very often pales in comparison to what I'm really feeling.

Anyway, there are people I'm probably not as good with thanking, mostly because I think they probably don't want to hear from me.

So I've been going to my gym consistently for over a year. Through that time, there are several classes that I've been going to week in and week out, and yet the instructors have no earthly idea who I am. I'm not sure why, but I guess I always figured they'd have no interest in knowing my name or what I thought. Probably goes along with my core struggles...

A few weeks ago, a girl I go to class with asked me if I'd be interested in joining her, our instructor, and another girl for dinner. I said sure and, during that time, realized that this instructor, Maggie, had noticed me through the year. She said she's actually a little shy and tends to not introduce herself to members thinking they may just want to workout. But that she always enjoys knowing the people in her class. Since then, it's been so fun to see her at the gym and say hi!

After that encounter, I decided to be brave and tell my favorite instructor, Julie, thanks. She teaches my favorite zumba class and I genuinely credit some of my love for fitness and boldness to try other classes to her class. At the same time, though, I was sure she'd have no interest in knowing who I was since there's 50+ people in that class. Anyway, I ended up emailing her first as I also had a few questions about training and knew I wouldn't be at the next class. She responded appreciatively and asked that I introduce myself.

I happened to see her today and so was brave (yes, I realize I have issues...) and walked up to her. She said she was thankful I took the time to write her as usually the feedback they receive is someone complaining. She then said she had seen me in class and was apparently going to ask me something once recently (I was dancing weird because of my back), but didn't want me to feel called-out in front of that many people.

Anyway, it was a fun lesson for me. Maybe I'm not as invisible as I sometimes feel. Maybe people do notice me and I just need to step outside of my comfort zone and approach them.

Maybe I'll start working on building that practice. And it is fun that, after a year of going, I'm starting to make "gym friends." :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cultivating Joy

Almost a year ago, my sweet roommate and dear friend started what she has coined her “pony journal.” I for the life of me cannot remember how it got that name, but I do remember the content: it’s a journal where she specifically focuses on thanking the Lord. I remember being encouraged when she shared with our community group that she was starting this, thinking how great it was that the Lord had stirred her heart in this way. But for me, it sort of ended there. Not because I thought her idea was bad, but I didn’t really think it was something I needed to consider. Ha.

The bible talks a lot about joy, particularly in the New Testament. Being a words person, I’ll be honest that it’s a tricky one for me. I think to some degree, it’s because it’s lost its luster and power through over or misuse. It’s so often tied to happiness and, while I know in my head they’re not the same thing, I’ve never been able to work out fully in my mind how they differ. I know I want joy more than happiness, as it’s deep seeding, but how does one get that?

Fast forward to this month. A month of hard things and loss in my family, on top of a few years of hard things. I’ll be honest that there have been many times where I’ve literally yelled (okay, maybe just yelled in my head), “Lord, what the world are you doing?” At times the junk feels so heavy, I feel I may be crushed. Last week as I pondered my extreme desire for comfort and ease, I realized that’s a clue to my heart yearning for heaven. A soft reminder that this world is not intended to be home, and it’s good if I feel a little uncomfortable here. And we’ll never be without pain, for sin roams the earth and Satan seeks someone to destroy.

As I thought about this, I realized the best way to defeat this push-pull feeling was to press harder into God’s word, the Spirit’s leading, pray big prayers, and seek eternal change. No, it doesn’t mean I need to quit life and hunker down in a room with my bible alone and be monk-like, but instead to see each moment and each relationship as an opportunity to share love, truth, and serve someone. Engaging intentionally with everyone from the girl standing next to me at zumba to the check-out person at the store to my friends and family; and praying to have the strength and boldness to do so, as it sort of exhausts me to do that on my own (which is good because I couldn’t anyway).

I thought about all of this, and still wondered, though, about that joy thing. Where does that come in? Does joy stem from service? Maybe. Does it stem from sharing the gospel? Sure. But how do you really cultivate a joy that moves mountains and gives peace to your heart in the midst of whatever?

And then I sort of got it.

I’ve been reading a book off-and-on and, in reading on Sunday night realized through the help of the author that joy stems from a thankful heart in all circumstances. I’ve let that idea mull in my mind a bit, and then this morning was reminded of the directive in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Give thanks.

Joy exists above happiness. It’s above circumstances and apart from feelings. And I think that author may be onto something…joy is cultivated when we, regardless of what is going on, take time to acknowledge that God is sovereign and holy and good. And we do that by thanking him. And thanking him, earnestly not giving lip service, submits our hearts his will and reminds us of the Cross, his healing power, and his promise to make ALL things work for the good of those who love him. The world may fall apart, we may be wrecked like Job, but none of those things can steal joy that comes from our bowing down before Christ.

I think this will be a slow learning process for me as it’s most definitely a hard lesson to break-down pride. But I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn, and thankful that the Lord continues to peel back layers and change more and more of my heart.

And, while I know there’s a purpose behind the “pony journal” even though I can’t remember it, I think I’ll opt for a more Sarah-ish name for my intentional practice of cultivating joy: le journal joyeux de coeur. :)