Sunday, February 7

[this week I am most thankful for]

Pushing myself, both physically and mentally. 
Going on a Sunday evening jog throughout my favorite neighborhood in Tulsa (which just so happens to be where our rental is located). Also forcing myself – because I know I love it – to write a blog post, even if I didn’t finish it until after my bed time.

Nesting.
Our house is becoming a home! And the beginnings of acknowledging that it doesn’t have to be [and never will be] perfect. And that’s what makes it good, quirky, and memorable.. or at least that's what I keep telling myself whenever I smell a strong scent of burning brussel sprouts coming from our neighbor below us.

Dinner invitations.
Andrew and I received a dinner invitation from a previous mentor of mine and her husband who I lost touch with recently for annoying life reasons. RSVP: Yes, yes, and YES.

THREE BOOKS IN THE MAIL on Saturday..
courtesy of Amazon.. and my bank account. I’m a non-fiction kinda girl, and I love me some reading + learning. If you're looking for me in the upcoming days and weeks, I will be in the nearest comfy coffee shop.

Loaded Questions: the game. 
Andrew and I stumbled upon this little goody after our impromptu sushi happy hour outing on Wednesday evening. Something about sushi makes me want frozen yogurt.. always. So there we went.. on to get some froyo at the shop across the street from the sushi restaurant (can a girl get an amen on that strategic location?!) where we found the Loaded Questions game. I only like interactive games.. and I just so happen to love loaded questions. And a game that involves both of these things?? Jackpot. Coming soon to a dinner party near you..

Saying "No". 
So let's be honest.. it's hard to say "no", whether it's due to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out for those of you who have not yet experienced this beast), giving in to the inaccurate belief that busyness is some sort of measure of success, or because we don't want to feel like we are letting people down. Each and every one of these reasons is a l-i-e. So if you need some alone time to process things, you've got far too many priorities and no purpose, or you're in one of those seasons where busyness overwhelms you because of everything that's going on in your life, just say no. People will respect your answer. Self-care is absolutely necessary and so very good for you.

Sweet reminders of God’s presence with me always.
Last Sunday night I had this strange urge to write out, You’re okay on some cardstock and then stick it on the wall (hooray for washi tape!) above my dresser whilst experiencing intense mouth pain and pondering life (#dramatic). Monday morning I just so happened to listen to a sermon on encouragement (I never listen to sermons in the morning due to me rolling out of bed at 7AM in order to leave at 7:30AM). 

And this is what I heard in that sermon.

God is faithful.
God knows what you're dealing with.
God sees your life;
He has purposes for you that you know nothing about;
Wherever you go, there God is;
There are other people who feel the way you do;
There are other people struggling with the things you are struggling with;
You are not alone;
The story is better than you think,
No matter what is going on right now and no matter how difficult life is,
How lonely or frustrated you might feel;
The good news in Christ is this:
This is God's world
And you are God's child, 
God's special possession,
And so ultimately, 
You're going to be okay.
--Jacob's Well Church, Kansas City, MO

So maybe you're super excited going into this new week.. maybe Mondays are your thing. And for that.. I give you two thumbs WAY up, for you are the exception. And maybe you reside on the other side of excitement.. you have mixed feelings about the upcoming week due to a stressful work schedule, feelings of busyness or feelings of idleness.. wherever you are, in the good and the bad, guess what?

You're going to be okay.

And I encourage you to write out the things that give you joy this week - because I think you will begin to see that it's all about perspective and that there are many good things to rejoice about. And I think that when you set yourself up to listen, you will hear many good things.

^^one of the ways in which I remember truth: writing


Sunday, January 31

[authenticity + calligraphy]

7.4 billion.


THIS is the estimated world population. Personally, I can't even begin to imagine what a million people looks like, so if you, too, are having issues fathoming this crazy number.. fear not, for I am right there with ya.

What makes this so crazy [besides the fact that it is a ridiculously huge number]? The fact that we each have our own unique fingerprints.. not to mention our own unique likes and dislikes, dreams and aspirations.. you name it.

Take, for example, two of my good friends who are in the medical profession.

a) I literally almost pass out every time I get my blood drawn. Every time. And the worst part about it? This fear has only increased as I've gotten older - pretty sure it's supposed to be the other way around.
b) I am one of those people you read about that transfixes their minds on their illness' [or lack thereof] potential. It sounds like I have a cough, you say? I better camp out on WebMD.com to read about it ASAP. By the time I am done I will have most likely improperly diagnosed myself with a terminal illness.. maybe even 2.

My husband works with the elderly and is phenomenal at it. Personally, my patience would be tested every single day, and I would also probably break out in uncontrollable tears whenever they told me about their health issues or the unfinished items on their bucket list.

Another good friend is a realtor. If I were in her position, I would most likely convince the potential buyers to hold off on their purchase for investment purposes while I secretly go purchase it and nest.

You get the picture. We are uniquely crafted with specific giftings.


So.. may I ask you [and myself] WHY we are so obsessed with trying to be like others? Whether inadvertently or on purpose.. it's a thing.



Lately I've been really into hand-lettering.. basically calligraphy but not quite as in-depth. What I mean by this is that I've started following at least 15 calligraphers and hand-letterers over the past couple of months on Instagram [and created a few pieces of art on my own here and there along the way].

Yes, I believe it is a good thing to be curious and to want to learn more about a hobby. Yes, seeing different calligraphers' and hand-letterers' Instagram posts can be inspiring and trigger new ideas and excitement.

You know what it can also trigger?

Conformity.

It's so easy + tempting for me to find quotes I like and want to write out via other people's Instagram posts. It's also just as easy + tempting to take components of their 'style' instead of just pursuing my own.


"But their work is cool, and they seem to be successful." 


Yes, but no.

If what I said earlier is true - the whole part about us being 1 out of 7.4 billion - yet each of us having unique characteristics.. why would we hide our originality instead of offering it up?


Yes, it's scary to be authentic.

Yes, it's harder to take the road less traveled upon.


But..


YES, your own authenticity brings so much more to this world.


I think you will surprise yourself. And I think you will find that you know exactly what you're doing.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one anotheras good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus ChristTo him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
--1 Peter 4:10-11

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
--Isaiah 64:8

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
--Psalm 139:14



I think that Joss Whedon was spot on in his creativity quote.. so I wrote it down. In all things, 

explore,
nurture &
use 

your gift of God's varied grace.

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Friday, January 22

[the time will come]

For those of us who are just now making our New Year's resolutions simply because we were expecting a little bit of closure before moving on to the next year..

I want you to know that it's okay.

It's okay to be in process, to be dreaming of change, to realize that your present happens to be far from perfect.. to have just crossed the finish line after a long journey full of perseverance [or lack thereof] only to find yourself packing up for another one.

Because the truth is.. we are all in process.

And sometimes this 'process' looks different for you at different stages of your life - comforting yet discomforting, I know. And quite frankly, your process always looks different for you than it does for others.

But don't let it ruin your 'now'. Because just as easily as this 'in-between' came upon you.. it will soon be gone.

You will soon begin to see the ways in which God is leading you - and it might not be in the present tense.. rather, you may only see this leadership in hindsight. But this place has been Designed for you. It is at this time through these circumstances that our good Father has chosen to mold you.

And maybe.. at the root of all of these feelings of uncertainty and imperfection is just that: a yearning to be made into something Glory-filled. 


So fear not, friend. Because while waiting periods can be far from pleasant with their restlessness, you are being made into something beautiful.


We are not broken beyond repair.

We are not marked by our failures.

We are not our past mistakes in present tense.

We are not to be looked down upon for being in process.

B r e a k t h r o u g h is often just around the corner.


And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint.. for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen our courage and faint

--Galatians 6:9


Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. 
--Rainer Maria Rilke