Monday, January 13, 2014

Something Yellow

January 11th
Three yellow things that strike you as a fresh memory
So, I don't have three things... Honestly, I kind of forgot to look at the joy for this day and therefore wasn't looking for yellow things. But, it's one of my favorite colors (along with purple and orange...though not all shades of orange, just the burnt variety :)) so I naturally flock to it.

BUT I do have a joy for Saturday! I feel re-energized. I tried out a new gym this weekend that I'm super excited about. I've been going to the Y for a while (don't really remember how many years) and after moving this spring, I pretty much changed locations as the previous one is not in my stomping grounds. Through this new location, I found a dance instructor who is downright awesome! She's way better than the previous lady I enjoyed, and has a contagiously cheery and positive attitude. It was an answer to prayer as, when my first zumba instructor quit, I was nervous I wouldn't find another class as the others at that Y were not the best and, to be honest, I didn't have much experience with zumba since she was the first one I'd ever had. Well, Brandi kicks tail. There are some ironic things about this that I don't think I should share here, but makes me question more about my first instructor.

Anyway, Brandi only teaches one day at the new Y and there are only two other days with dance classes that could fit in my schedule. One is 6pm on Mondays which is REALLY hard for me with work. So I'd often just go to Brandi's class and Saturday and, while the Saturday instructor is so sweet and a good dancer herself, I don't connect with the choreography. Brandi mentioned that she teaches at another location that's actually closer to my office and new apartment so I decided to check it out. I went to her class on Saturday and another instructor's class yesterday. It was awesome! They have five dance classes that fit in my schedule (not that I'll go to all five each week, but nice that I have more options if I have to miss one!) and a slew of other great classes. So, I'm going to switch gyms. :) And I feel super energized about this - this will be the year I hit goal weight. I am proclaiming that to myself!

January 12th
1. Something above you
It was a GORGEOUS day yesterday!! I love cold weather, but by January (since I don't love January) I'm 100% okay if it starts to warm up. I primarily like cold in the fall and Christmastime. Yesterday was such a gift and I took Crosby on a big long walk and then left the porch door open as I did my afternoon cleaning. It was lovely. 

2. Something below you
Last night I saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks (the screen was sort of below me...). It was so good! The story is beautiful and honestly, although I know parts are fictionalized, it made me love Mary Poppins even more. Which is saying a lot as that's one of my favorite Disney movies. There is a sadness to it, but there is a beauty and magic in the sadness. I have a lot of thoughts, but I'd highly recommend it. 

3. Something beside you
This fall I joined a new community group and it has been such a joy and gift. There are elements in the girls' stories that match mine and there are stories that don't. With both, there's a level of understanding and connectedness that is a huge blessing. I'm in a really good place right now, too, so am able to encourage others or see the potential for growth and freedom. I'm excited to see how God continues to work. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In Your Heart

January 6th!

Six days done. Time sure does fly. In any case...

1. One thing in your bag
Zyrtec! I know, weird. But I take it pretty much year-round now as I realized often when I'd feel run down it was allergies. I keep thinking, what did people do before antihistamines were invented?!? I actually am interested in checking out possible holistic medicines for allergies since I'm a year-rounder now...

2. One thing in your fridge
My brother gave us some Campbell's samples over the holidays and Sunday I made this one for my lunches this week:

I used chicken, but didn't end up making any sides like rice or couscous, purely because I was being lazy. :) But, even so, it is so good! It has a good spice, was SUPER easy (as in put the chicken with the sauce on it and cook for the designated time). I recommend it!

3. One thing in your heart
This one I can't really explain in this space as it involves other people and I don't believe it would be appropriate. Suffice it to say, I learned last night that someone I care about has been hurting and I wasn't aware (not because of me, from something else entirely). It's extra tricky for reasons that, again, I don't feel are appropriate to share here, but my processing has taught me a few things:
  - Just because someone doesn't share with me doesn't mean I failed in my leadership
  - Even though I wish I had known to be able to pray and care for this person, I know God knows
  - Healing is always possible through Christ

Monday, January 6, 2014

Reading

January 5th

1. Something you're reading
Well, I want to start this one off with a challenge I'm attempting! I've seen various folks discuss book challenges - the empty shelf challenge in which you empty a book shelf and aim to fill it with books you read through the year, the 50 book challenge, etc. I was going to do the empty book challenge, but I already have stacks of books in places since I love books, so opted to do a number of books challenge. But, 50 is a little too aggressive so I'm going for 25. I love reading but have found with solo living that I'm more apt to watch ridiculousness on television in downtime instead of read (well, to be honest, I did that with a roommate, too...we watched a lot of random lifetime movies...).

But, what I'm currently reading is Gone Girl. I don't know exactly how I feel about it yet, but I'm almost halfway through, which is when everyone says the plot twist hook hits and you can't put it down. Not sure what I'll pick next! I have a collection of books at home, but then I've also heard about some others... Though, I probably need to read from my home list, first! :) At least a few.

2. Something you're making
Last year was a year of deciding not to wait on marriage anymore. To do things I wanted to do, experience life, etc. I realized I had mentally put some things aside to "save" until marriage and family. One thing I'd somewhat held was holiday decorating. I know, weird. I'd decorate for Christmas, but never really any other time, though I'd have ideas.

So, no more! I was playing on Pinterest and saw a cute crocheted heart garland that I decided to start for Valentine's. Then, since I already dislike January, I decided to make it more festive and began a snowflake garland. Hopefully I finish before the end of January. :) I have a few other little things I'm going to make. I won't go crazy with these other holidays as Christmas is the big one to me (and I don't have that much storage space), but it's fun to have a bit more festiveness.

3. Something you're seeing
In my Pinterest playing, I discovered a definition to my decor style. Bohemian Vintage. I've always had a picture of what I like, but had difficulty explaining it. I knew it included some Anthropologie style, but also some art deco, lots of color, and then anything French. Well, I realized this is it! Essentially it's a mix of things that seemingly do not go together, but then come together through their organization. That's where the bohemian comes in. Lots of color, lots of patterns, but put together artfully so it is not overwhelming. It includes lots of pieces and items from different places - kind of like little finds that you pepper together.

I discovered a blog through my pinning that is interestingly titled Bohemian Vintage. Now, the author doesn't only focus on this style and I don't necessarily love all of her images (i.e. she seems to like 70s furniture, whereas my preference is a little older), but it is interesting. The fabric and pattern designer Anna Maria Horner also fits in this style. Anytime she blogs about her house, I love most of it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Inside, Outside, On a Plate

January 2nd Joys

1. A gift outside
Crosby really likes to walk through these little shrubs around my apartment. They come-up to his back, so he'll walk through with his head held high, but he also will very slowly and deliberately walk (he has really long legs). Then when he's done exploring, he'll hop like a bunny until he gets out of the shrub. It always makes me laugh! He is such a gift and such a sweet puppy boy.

2. A gift inside
Yesterday I had the pleasure of telling one of my planners she was getting a "promotion" (it's in quotes as we don't technically have promotions since we don't have titles; it's more of an adjusted role on the team). She has been working so hard and doing a fabulous job, so it's well-deserved. Timing-wise, it worked as another member of the team left the agency and both of them couldn't have been promoted on this team. Anyway, it was a gift to give her the news and see her excitement and appreciation flood her face.

4. A gift on a plate
Okay so it wasn't on a plate, it was in a tupperware container, but whatever. :) The planner I mentioned above had her last day on 12/31, but I was on vacation so wasn't here (I said goodbye before she left). She left a sweet note with a container of homemade brownies on my desk when she left. It was an encouraging note, and one I was thankful to receive. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Joy Dare

I have always had a dislike for January. It follows my most favorite four months of the year, which culminate in the best of all, December. As a kid, it meant the return to school and a long time before another celebratory time.

I know not everyone dislikes January and I actually have several family members with January birthdays so would anticipate that they like it. But me? Not so much (though I love all those January folks! :)).

The last two years produced deeper disdain for this month of 31 days as a collection of hard things hit my family. As we progressed through December and I felt the bitterness of January coming-up, I found myself filled with fear, wondering what terror would come this year. A host of thoughts swam through my mind, none that were good!

And then I had a thought. January is not evil. Sure, it's not my favorite month, but it hasn't been proclaimed as an eternal month of hardness and there is nothing to fear. Why should it be condemned in my mind?

I've learned through the past few years that a wonderful way to face fear is not to tell myself to not be afraid, but to remind myself of joy and blessing, and then turn that into thanksgiving. To see the gifts that are before me. So, I decided I'd take this month to focus on those things. To remind myself of truth, not live in fear.

I wasn't entirely sure what this would look like, but knew something would come-up. I was perusing Pinterest while watching randomness on television following our post-holiday drive back home and ran across this. It's from a book I've read (well, I've read most of it) and, although it was dated 2012, it's completely applicable today. I also found it rather interesting since 2012 was the first of the really hard Januarys.

So, I'm taking this January Joy Dare. I may share some of my thoughts in this space, or may not. I don't want to put too many rules and restrictions on myself, as I want to be sure I don't miss the point. And I know days get busy! :)

But, I'll share when I have a moment, if for no other reason than to possibly encourage another.


January 1st
Three things about yourself you are grateful for

Can I start by saying that's hard!! It's hard to say self-positives sometimes. But, here it goes.
1.   I feel deeply. This can be extremely painful at times, but it also allows me to empathize and
      drives me to my knees to pray for others
2.   I have a creative soul and sometimes see the world differently
3.   I am not great at acquaintances as I prefer to go deep with friends. This can often lead to  
      loneliness as I don't have a collection of friends in the rafters, but that loneliness is a blessing,
      too, as it is a natural force, pushing me to Christ to find my identity and comfort