30 of 31: Favorite Things

Jolynn Friesen:

Meghan from Presently Thriving has mentioned me as one of here Top 5 blogs to read this past month! Wow! Wow! Please be sure to check her out!

Originally posted on Presently Thriving:

This month has been an adventure!  It has been a great opportunity for me to take a unique look at my house and give it some…intentionality…There are some things I with I would have done differently…better…and some things that I am really proud of!  Both will be highlighted in my post tomorrow…for now…here are some of my favorite things from the past month.

5 Home Favorites

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This is something that moved with me when we bought this house. I love my little wall of community. I keep it up all year around for a couple reasons…One reason is to remind myself that we aren’t alone…we have support…And another reason is to remind me to pray for those people who support us from near and far.

IMG_3288 I just love how this turned out! I also keep this nativity up all year around. I don’t know anyone else who does this but…

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Wrap Up #write31days

Day 31

I did it! I made it!
Wooooo-HOOOOooooo!

My last and finally post for this challenge. I only skipped one day!
To see my directory of daily posts click HERE or on the button.

Intentional 31 days

I linked up with the Nester during this series. You can check out other bloggers HERE or click the button.

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I have been soooooo challenged by this 31 days of blogging this year. I don’t remember that I felt this exhausted 3 years ago when I last did it. My topic was whatever random things I wanted to post about – Dancing Freestyle, (<click to cheek it out). This year I choose a theme and while it did narrow down what I had to write about, it also ended up creating pressure for me to write posts on topics that I felt like I had to attack. So while the writer in me was trying to get out, I was side tracked by my booming stats and comments from new readers and worst, comparing my blog to other blogs. That’s when I began feeling like I should write about certain topics (and stopped listening to that still small voice) You see I was engrossed in reading other blogs that I subtly got sucked into being like them and less like the uniqueness of me

**Mental note for future: When I start telling myself “I think I should write about xyz” that is my warning sign. Then I probably should NOT.

 

Leaving the direction God was leading and trying to be somebody else, I fell. And it wore me out. I got so exhausted last wknd as I took on pressure to write about topics I assumed my readers were expecting me to cover. Monday and Tuesday this week I just rested because my brain felt so fried and my body weighed down. Like gravity was extra forceful those days. Tuesday afternoon I began to feel recharged and back to myself. But, I’ve never felt that worn out before.

 

All because of the pressure I put on myself.

This is my crazy story. I feel like I’m spawning on another chapter in the diary of a wimpy kid. But it’s my story.
Whether I like it or not.
Whether I’m wimpy or not.
Whether telling it makes me look cool or not.

Aside from the negative experiences….

I do feel like I was at a good time in my life to do this challenge. I have a 17 month old. That’s all. If I ever have more children in the immediate future, I don’t think I’ll be able to do this challenge in the next year or two. I wonder if I’ll keep my every 3 years streak going?… Writing takes time and thought and a lot of my attention. Which is what my child also needs and takes.

I liked having a topic to keep me focused and writing in advance helped tremendously! I loved exploring the topic of friendship and how it has impacted me throughout my life.

 

 

The top 5 most commented/popular posts were:

 

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Where do we go from here?
The exciting thing for me was having a topic because it changed the way the blog. I’m looking forward to writing in the future now and you can hopefully expect a different style here. I’m always learning more about writing. This challenge helped develop that skill. My style has definitely changed over the years and especially in the last month. I’m excited to bring my talent to the Lord and add some salt to your day.

I don’t know where all this writing will lead. Will I stay here in my little corner of the world-wide-web? Will this blog peter-out some day? Will I advance my blog eventually? Maybe go premium or buy a domain? Will I venture out and write that book?? Who knows! But for now, here I am.

I am a blogger. A writer.
I am incomplete and unfinished.
I experience intriguing and stretching things.
I write about it here.

See ya next week!

Some Friends. Some God.

Day 30
(Oh my word! One more day to go! Woooo-hoooo!)
Only joining me now?
Click HERE to read each post in this series on Intentional Friendship.

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Today I was rereading my journal from the beginning of the year. I had been contemplating my friendships yet again. It’s no secret I struggled when I moved to Texas 5 years ago. I had no idea then (or 5 years ago) I’d write a 31 day series on Intentional Friendship this fall. The subject of friendships feels vulnerable and unfinished and full of mistakes for me.

Maybe my un-perfect dance with friends resonates with you? Somedays my girlfriends down here seem lacking and just so whatever but then I remember I’m comparing them to what I used to have and that’s not being fair to them. I can’t make these people become those people. I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone pressuring me into being somebody that I’m not.

The truth is, the girls that I’ve gotten to know here are awesome! Yes, they’re not perfect but they are great fun to be with. Most of us have something in common being at the new mommy stage. Which I’ve discovered, children are a connecting point in friendships. It’s when I let my expectations at home, leave with a prayer over the time together and my desire to be freely me, that helps keep my insecurities and fear of not being good enough, fitting in, etc subside. I want Jesus to lead me no matter how hard that is.

See, like you, I have struggled in my friendships.
Maybe not like you, I have moved away from my homeland, 1500 miles. From having a core group to having a core question “What’s wrong with me?” was difficult as I tried to assimilate and make friends.

But, let’s be honest. Who am I kidding. When I lived back home my girlfriends and I had our fair share of issues and things we put up with. Who doesn’t, right? After I moved here, my girlfriends back home seemed next to perfect and I nearly forgot some of our ‘issues’.

There were a couple of friends I made that fell apart. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Some friends became unfriended after unwanted drama. It hurt. Still causes me to wonder some days what was really happening in those relationships. Looking back I wasn’t at a healthy place in my life then. Those friendships died off perhaps because we were both unhealthy and that concoction of issues was destined for failure.

Here are my words from january 2014

Some friends come into our lives and last forever. Bedrock
Some friends are only for a season – just what you need.
Some friends come, seem good, reality hits and the friendship falls apart.
I’ve experienced all of these.

I think it’s good to recognize this and the be grateful for those forever gals because God know we needed them.

To acknowledge the short-term angels sprinkled in along lives rocky road. God knew just what we needed.

And to learn from the friendships that didn’t work out. To look at what you were going through and see what was going on in your own heart.

As I consider my friendships that withered away, I see how I was at an unhealthy place and the growing I needed to do. Those friendships were born with a good motive and then turned bad.

Because the truth is you can not change people. I can’t change you and matter how hard I try. Hindsight is always better than foresight and I didn’t nearly know what I was doing walking into those relationships. Something did click with each of those girls ands we had our share of great memories.

I have grown and changed a lot since then. No, I’m not perfect or arrived! But, I have learned from my experiences. I’m not saying it won’t happen again but hopefully I’ll be more discerning and rely on God’s strength in the difficult times and not my own.


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The only reason I can think of that I went through those difficult relationships was for me to bury deeper in the chest of God. The ache and struggle of what I went through, God only wants to redeem and show me that real, true friendship is found solely in Him. Those seasons in my life didn’t feel good but God is good. I can trust God with my life, my dance, because He is leading me. He is holding my arms up and leading in each step of the dance floor he designed for me.

We ladies are all created with a desire to be known deeply by someone, a best friend. (Watch this video if you missed it on Monday.) Yet, with the longing, is it right to demand that God fills it for us with a friend that we want here right now? “Some God,” we think when the demand goes unanswered. “He doesn’t even care.”

That demand sounds so familiar! I’ve been there. Still go there sometimes. But what does that say about God when He doesn’t answer our prayer? What happens to our relationship with Him? Is God good like the Bible says? Like the preachers preach? Like that the veteran believers testify?

I think it’s good to be honest with God and tell him our desires but to demand He give us what we want? What if we ask for that friend but then be open to how God moves? Being open to how he answers our longing because God is good. He can’t not be good. He doesn’t think like us or we don’t think like him. If we can be open to how He moves, His ways, we might say instead,

“Some God! I never could have dreamed he would move in this way. That he would take my broken pieces and create a story out of my life. A story that is difficult and hard and yet now has a profound beauty all of its own. He is worth trusting in the most difficult, darkest seasons of life. His ways are completely different than mine but when I allow myself to move into His story for me I am invited into life. Not the life I dream of here on earth but abundant life. He is some God”

How about you? Can you see how God is moving in this season of your life or are you busy demanding God move the way you want Him to move? Are you open to God’s invitation to move into the difficult and hard places? Will you own your story and trust Him for He is good? Will you lay aside your dream for God’s dream for your life?

 

Putting Things Away and Pairing Something New

Day 29 – of writing every day for 31 days in October.
Only joining me now? Click HERE to read each post in this series!
My theme – Intentional Friendship with the exception of WIWWednesday (today) and Foodie Friday.
(I have been thinking Foodie Friday isn’t a good way to end this series. So come back tomorrow and the next day to see how this dance ends!)

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First of all, LOVE this pin from Pinterest. You can follow my boards HERE.

 

More than one of my husband’s sisters has suggested we put several of our one-year-old sons toys away. Point being, rotate them out so he doesn’t get board with his toys. Been there? Yup. You could also try having certain toys they play with only on Sunday or whatever day works for you. This was so that he doesn’t get bored with his toys (which was happening) and to help declutter the play area.

I liked the idea.

I put away his little red wagon with maga blocks a couple of months ago which he wasn’t even interested in anyway and it just took up space in our 2×4 house. Until recently I got it out again. At almost a year and a half, he LOVEs it.  When I got the wagon out, I put away this Fisher Price barn. Someday down the road we’ll get it out again and then probably put something else away.

He still has a lot of toys but I’ve noticed that his play area doesn’t seem as cluttered as it used to. Score!

 

I’m getting ready for a yard sale this Saturday and going through my drawers of clothes. I found some shirts stuffed in my bottom drawer that I forgot about. Today it was like, woo-laaa! New clothes! Ok, it was ONE shirt. But if felt like a big deal since I’m going through a clothing fast. I talk more about it here.

For the yard sale, I’ve been pulling things out of my drawers and shelves and off hangers; finally being honest with myself and what I actually wear. I’m at the place where I don’t care how nice or cute it is, I DON’T wear it.

Once I hung all my clothes and my husbands in our closet on hanger turned backwards. Then after several seasons we both began to see what we actually wear by what clothes was hanging on a hanger the correct way. It was an eye opener and we got rid of a lot of stuff.

My selection of clothing is starting to look rather bleak. That’s ok (she says now). I’ve found myself having to get creative by pairing pieces I’ve never paired before. It is a thrill to force myself to put colors together I never thought of matching before. I don’t know how long this phase will last. Like I said, my collection remaining is looking bleak. And, today I feel ok about it but tomorrow could be a whole other situation.

And, honestly I am starting to get a little antsy to shop again. I told Jason, I just want to go to Old Navy and buy stuff on clearance for next summer. Or Target clearance or my recent love, Target Cartwheel. I’m ready to hit Kohl’s. Forever21. GOODWILL!  I don’t think this fast will last much longer. Especially now that it’s finally feeling a bit more like fall around here. Today it’s only supposed to reach a high of 81 degrees. Bring it on! I gonna need fall shirts and sweaters and coats! :)

The other day I saw a few clumps of leaves in our front yard trees changing color. You have no idea how thrilled this Yankee living in the South is. No idea.

So today I’m wearing the shirt I was happily reacquaint with and a skirt I finally chopped the bottom 3 inches off. I wore it long enough tooooo tight and today was the day to just do it. Ship! Someday I might hem it like a good seamstress would.

I am comfy.
I am at home today.
This is how I roll.

 

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I promised a fall outfit for today, I remembered. Don’t get worried. As I was having fun pairing different things that I’ve never paired before, I came up with this.

 

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I love how the scarf pops against the orange.
Someday soon I’ll wear this! I can’t wait.
It feels ‘new’.
It feels ~ oh, so fallish!

I wanna go paint a pumpkin now. . . .

Somethings never change

Day 28

you are here

 

 

Where’s YOUR red dot?

 

 

When we first moved in this house we heard that thump-thump on the roof quite often. Now, almost 4yrs later, we don’t even think about it anymore.

For whatever reason, I was telling someone recently about our squirrel and it’s ‘highway.’ Then yesterday, I distinctly heard him run the span of our roof again. I smiled. Content.

Somethings never change.

I like the quirks of our house. I like that we have a squirrel that repeatedly runs our roof highway. I like that we have a dog that runs and jumps around when we let him out (though most days I wish he were dead) I like that our AC kicks in right about the time I’m putting Gavin down for bed. It’s like our house is humming him to sleep with its sweet, soft hum.

I also like that I have a best friend that has been my friend for 15 years. I like that we can call, visit, e-mail, instagram, face book, text message, private message and what other social media am I missing? Oh, FaceTime! Yes, I like that we can stay connected with each others lives every step of the way. I like that though we both may change our bond hasn’t seemed to alter by it. Sometimes we go through sticky things together. Sometimes there are tears. Neither of us is perfect. Yet, in the end we are for each other. No matter what.

Somethings never change.

I am thankful that my red dot finds me today grateful for my friend. The one that never changes.

 

I wonder as you’re reading this someone comes to mind for you. I’m glad for you if there is that someone in your life. Every girl longs for that one friend. One to share our red dots with (->you are here kinda red dot), change and grow older with and of course, laugh about our funnies with.

I wonder if you are lonely? If you’re reading this and you feel cheated and haven’t every really developed that friendship, I hope for you that one day you will. I hope you someday realize that you do have that friend. I hope that where ever you are right now you are paving the road for that future friend. That one day a sorta friend has transformed into that forever friend.

If you lost your forever friend, I hope for you that God will redeem the dry years. Redeem the tears you cried over your loss and carry you. That God will fill you and complete you. He is more than all you ever may you need. Hold his hand warmed thickly with trust. Perhaps a new friend is being fashioned for you while you weep.

Each of us has a different story. A story all our own and uniquely ours to tell.
Can you say “yes” to where God has you today, your red dot, with your friendships?
Can you lean in hard to His hope for what may come of your troubled friendships?
Can you say “thank you” for what friends you already have?
Can we search deep for that void and longing for true friends that know us and discover that only Jesus can and longs fill us completely?

 

Hello Monday

Day 27 of writing every day for 31 days in October.
Only joining me now? Click HERE to read each post in this series.

Intentional 31 days

 

Hello there! It’s Monday. It’s also my last week in this blogging challenge. And, I am so ready to be done. My husband is so ready for me to be done. I am so ready to just blog when it’s convenient and when I’m not under pressure.

I feel so dried up and ready to suffocate when I think of writing about intentional friendship or even just blogging for that matter. Daily posting is rather draining and I am drained.

Today I’d like to share a video with you. It feels like a bit of a cop-out but for me it’s what I feel I need to do. It’s where I’m at today. I think you guys, my readers need something more than my forced duty to write. I’d be selling y’all short if I forced myself to produce written words right now on intentional friendship. So today I must intentionally take care of myself. :)

This video is Larry Crabb talking about what woman struggle with (our core terror) and how to be fully alive once recognizing the deepest struggle. There’s so much more of an intro that I could write but I’ll let the video clip speak for it’s self. I wish it was longer for some of you who might want more background or information. I once blogged about this a little after reading Fully Alive by Larry Crabb. You can read that post HERE.

Anyway, this might get your mind stirring for the rest of the week.

 

 

A Sunday Wish

Day 26

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May God give you a hope like none other than you’ve been craving.
May He lead you safely in His plan for your future. Safely care and protect you in your hurting places.
May we come to see His will for us as not to harm us while we dance through the hard stuff.
God knows us. He knows what happens next. He knows the end of our story.
May your longing for something more be made aware of what can only fill it. I wish for you that my God will prosper you. Complete you and fulfill you. May you find rest in Him and Him alone.
And, peace. Hopeful peace.

(Jeremiah 29:11)