Rise …

My chores were done yesterday. I got a good night of sleep. I woke to beautiful blue skies. And EVERYONE here is healthy. If that doesn’t motivate me, nothing will. My mood has lifted. After last week, I feel renewed. Restored. Ready. I am grateful to be worry-free. Well, at least for the moment. This kind of energy feels INCREDIBLE after the despair I felt last week. It was dark. I felt our skies agreed. We had more rain falling than I had seen in years. I honestly felt like I was in a pit deep with fear. When your child is sick you feel so helpless. And that feels horrible. But Reese is fine now. GOD IS SO GOOD. And I have climbed out of that hole. I am back standing in the light. And I am THANKFUL. So, so THANKFUL.

During yoga this morning, I stretched my body taller and reached high into the sky so that I could physically take in as much of this day as I could. I have taken so many deep breathes today. In relief and to absorb this easiness of this day into my soul. I don’t want to waste one moment of how I feel. The weightlessness of this day is a gift and I will treat it as such. I choose to be present. To balance. To enjoy. To serve others. To love. To chase my dreams. And to bravely wear my purpose. To me, THIS is living my best life with all that God has given me. I don’t have to, I want to. I choose embrace this day and to be open to all that it brings me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you rise!!!

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Life changing …

Recently I made some very scary decisions for myself. Trust me when I say that I STRUGGLED making them. I was literally paralyzed with fear. I found that doing nothing differently was WAY less scary than the changes I actually wanted to make. But I did it anyway. Quietly. Privately. Painfully. I took a leap of faith and guess what? IT ALL TURNED OUT EXACTLY AS I HAD HOPED! There is still a lot UNKNOWN for me but I’ve made peace with all of that trusting that I did the right thing. I honestly feel too good and too confident not to have peace!

So what did I do? Strangely, the details of my decisions aren’t that important. They would be laughable to some. Trivial to others. But they are HUGE to me. We all know that our demons haunt us differently. It is our feelings of fear that we can best relate to. So just know that I was REALLY SCARED. I know that we ALL know how that feels! But what is important to know is that I listened to myself. I listened to my gut, my heart, my intuition, my hunch, my WHATEVER you want to call it and I trusted God that everything was going to turn out for the better. And even if it didn’t, I trusted that I would survive. How many times do we IGNORE that part of ourselves that tells us to MOVE, to DO, to ACT? I know I do A LOT. But it’s times like these that I realize that those feelings are VALUABLE and REAL. And that I probably should listen to them more.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you decide something life changing!!!

Authentic …

In 2016 I survived. BARELY. In 2017 I recovered. THANKFULLY. And in 2018 I lived. HAPPILY. I feel like I loved and found peace and contentment in every moment that I was given this year. I felt joy and found happiness even on my toughest days. And for some reason this came easier than it ever has. I let go of A LOT. Sometimes maybe more than I should have. But I make no apologies. It’s what felt right in the moment that I was sitting in. Sure there are things that I wish I could change and things that I wish I had done differently, but for the most part, 2018 was exactly what I needed it to be. It was life, my life, unfolding and evolving in the most normal of ways. I needed a year like this. BIG TIME. And I am grateful that God blessed me with it. As each day passed I tried to cherish each moment as a treasured gift. I think I did a pretty good job of that. I took each situation and circumstance for what they were and stayed in the moment. I was PRESENT feeling my way through and learning what I could. It was not a year full of change or movement or victories, but it certainly was a year that was packed full of wonderful memories. Memories that were made with some incredible souls. There is no doubt that 2018 was a good year for me.

So what then, can I expect from 2019? The last few days of 2018 I spent a lot of time trying to come up with my New Year Mantra. I have done this for so many years now that it should be easy. But it never is. I really put a lot of thought into it because this one word will follow me for the next 365 days. It is a reminder of what I choose to accept and bring into my life. Last year I chose the word “Free” and I can’t tell you how accurate that became. In 2018 I allowed myself to be freely me and I loved it. Even the messy parts. I didn’t push too hard to grow. I didn’t push too hard to succeed. I didn’t cling to or reach for much of anything. I was just grateful to have the moments God felt I needed. I guess years like this come when you overcome some ugly things. Well, at least it did for me. And again, it felt right.

I remember after my mom passed away, I asked God for some time to JUST BE. I didn’t want to grow or change or mature or be anymore than what I was. Basically I asked for a life break! But it wasn’t what I wanted long term. I just wanted enough time to allow what happened to me to sink in so that I could move gracefully into my future. And He graciously let me have it.

I feel like that was what 2018 was for me. A break. A time when I got back to the basics of ME and nurtured the NEW me that I became after being sick again. This me is different for sure. But I wouldn’t necessarily say it came from growth. It is more along the lines of acceptance. In a good way. Like finding peace over things that I cannot or won’t change. Being content with less. Processing more. Seeing situations clearer. Thinking harder. Appreciating more. And loving deeper in every day that passed and in every experience I had. And never wanting more.

So after a year like 2018, what one word could possibly hold the meaning to all I want 2019? I absolutely loved everything about 2018 but I believe that it’s time to feed the passions that God has poured into me. Again. To do this I need to feed my soul with beautiful things and avoid toxicity as much as possible. I need to make sure that the people who I walk through this life with and the people who I choose to expose myself to are genuine, kind and live with good intentions. I want reciprocal and loving connections with humans who are REAL. I truly feel that God has been calling me for more and to accept less from others could hinder my reply to His calling. To deny the fire that He has placed in my heart would be innately wrong. I see it as squandering the days that I have been given and living disingenuously. But this is a tough one for me. Putting myself out there again, taking chances, setting goals, and chasing dreams is especially difficult coming out of the year I just had. I was comfortable and safe. But I cannot deny that God is moving me to live my truth. Oh boy, is He ever! So I guess I just have to trust Him and know that I’m ready for whatever my future holds. I need to believe that I am capable of whatever He places on my heart and I need to live faithfully, genuinely, passionately and bravely in their pursuit.

Well, I hope you all have a YEAR where you live authentically!!!

FEELING all the beautiful memories …

It was a quiet morning here. VERY quiet. And I needed it. No one was up early … but me, of course. I knew that would translate into a lot of rushing later but I didn’t care. My kids needed sleep. MY GOSH THEY NEEDED SLEEP. And I needed my moment of holiday calm. I am thankful that each year between parties and performances and late nights and early mornings, I find some time for myself that doesn’t include running shoes, sweat and swearing. This is time I usually find in front of our Christmas tree, under an overly decorated holiday blanket and sipping a seasonal coffee. ALONE. It’s wonderful. It’s needed. It’s what brings the anticipation of Christmas full circle for me. Somewhere between the first sip of my coffee and sunrise a sense of Christmas peace washes over me. I love it. Some years it comes early in the season. Other years, the opportunity comes later. But I don’t ever force it or schedule it. For some reason, I’ve been blessed to have it always come naturally. God is good. He gives me this time when He knows I need it and when I will appreciate it most. It’s honestly a gift.

But this morning was different than years past. Perhaps it’s my age beginning to squeak it’s way into my little tradition. Usually I lose myself in the “calm before the (holiday) storm”, admiring our tree, enjoying my coffee and thankful for the stillness. I guess I did do all of that, but when I looked at our tree I didn’t see a Christmas tree filled with memories. I FELT a Christmas tree filled with memories. What I saw was far greater than just a “decorated” tree … what I saw was a tree that held my family’s history. Ornaments that represented our journey together. I saw marriages, births, deaths, travel, change, laughter, traditions, joy and love! AND I FELT ALL OF IT. I didn’t just see, I FELT. No, this is not merely a Christmas tree we have sitting in our family room. It is some of my most precious life moments celebrated in one very special place … a tree, placed in our home, celebrating our Savior’s birth, who gracefully and graciously gave us the opportunities to share all of those moments together.

The sun rose and bodies started moving. Doors opened and “Good Morning” greetings were spoken. The silence of my little tradition was broken. It is over until next year. And that is OK. I will greet the opportunity, again, like a long lost friend. But this year I will wonder what changed. How did my heart FEEL more clearly the memories held on our tree? Perhaps I will never know. But I do know that I walked away from this experience differently than I usually do. I am more grateful and I am a whole lot more humble. Life is so precious. THIS I KNOW. And this morning I FEEL IT.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you FEEL all your beautiful memories!!!

Losing ground …

I was frazzled a good portion of the day. I have been staying on top of the holidays and everything they “require”, along with everything LIFE has handed me. Question: Why does LIFE hand me SO MUCH laundry?!?! Anyway, this morning I felt like I was about to lose my grip on all of it. IT WASN’T PLEASANT. I felt my handle on things was slipping away. I pictured myself falling into a spiral of online shopping and a frenzy of midnight wrapping sessions (that may or may not include crying). Somehow I managed to pull it together again and I even managed to squeeze in a manicure and pedicure before I picked Reese up from school. With a little more strategic planning I might even be able to go out tonight WITHOUT having any guilt for leaving things unfinished. Whoa.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t lose ground!!!

Cozy and productive …

It’s raining here today. And it’s the first day that I’ve had to catch my breath in a month. I absolutely refuse to leave the house today for anything more than my children’s needs and a natural disaster. HA! But as much as I’d like to just curl up in bed and nap, I can’t. The Holidays and my life just won’t allow it! So I’ve come up with a nice compromise. I’m currently buried under a Christmas blanket, curled up in my chair sitting at my desk, drinking a warm cup of holiday coffee, handling responsibilities and ordering gifts online. It’s all about balance and comfort and getting it all done … especially when life graciously allows it.

Well, I hope you all have a day that is cozy and productive!!!

Some wonderful people …

I’m not sure if it’s the holidays but I have been thinking a lot about how much life changes … and DOESN’T change. Change is not something I see, day to day, as anything HUGE. It is most visible to me when I look back across time. People age, we move, we get married, we get divorced, we change careers, we have babies and grand children, we get sick, we get well, we have losses and we have moments of joy. Life keeps moving. Things CHANGE over time and that is just a part of life. But what I’ve been thinking about most is what DOESN’T change. And specifically those relationships that have remained a constant in my life. I am SO THANKFUL for them. These are the relationships that have withstood the test of time and have weathered significant trials. These are meaningful connections with good people that have profoundly effected my quality of life. They give me strength, courage and support. These souls make me feel loved and wanted. There are no hidden agendas with them. They are genuine and I am blessed to live life with them. Sharing moments with them all year is a gift, but around the holidays am reminded of how much life changes and how much I appreciate their loyalty and love.

Well, I hope you all have a day that is shared with some wonderful people!!!