You’re already so loved.

Part of my goals for today is spread this beautiful message by Sarah Bessey.

Please do take a moment to read it. Please take a moment to process the words. Please take a moment to consider how loved you are no matter your circumstances.

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Envisioning Vs. Reality and How I finally used up an entire lip gloss.

Something I’ve learned through various relocating in the past 5 years that is still ringing true is that some practical dreams need to planned out in reality. Don’t get me wrong, there should always be some shoot for the stars type dreams in one’s arsenal, but when it deals with home decorating and living space, a true vision and careful thought process is quintessential. “Measure a ten times, cut once” – because measuring twice still hasn’t been enough.

My parents recently bought a sectional after dreaming about a new couch for ages. I helped them sell their old ones, they spoke greatly of the one to come, and then it finally came and was not ideal at all. Did you know there is a way to make microfiber look like synthetic leather? Yeah, I didn’t either. And apparently, neither did my parents. They were thinking a soft to the touch material. They also measured out the entirety of their living room only to find that while the new sectional fit, it swallowed the room whole. My tiny little mother looks like an ant on the behemoth.

Similarly, I get a bit starry eyed and hasty when it comes to home furnishings and organizational items. I’m also a magpie of a person, desiring whatever catches light to my eyes. I plotted out a closet and had it built from scratch only to find the high shelving I added on doesn’t do me much good and my super average height means I must tippy toe to hang things on the closet rods. Did I maximize space? Yes. Was it practical in the long run? Not really…

I’ve contemplated buying a smaller new/used desk to replace my current desk and I’m just a little too sobered by my not-so-successful plans to move forward with it. I also don’t want to be frivolously spending on bigger ticket items just to deal with reselling or moving things out of the way over and over.

I glance around my room and I still own too much. The too much being a weight that could prevent me from my best potential. I recently took a picture of a tinted lip gloss as a memorial to committing something and following all the way through. I used it up last friday, to the last little bit, and it made me feel good. My whole life I’ve very rarely used up my art supplies, makeup, lotions, or nail polishes to the point of them being truly empty. I leave them sitting there and occasionally grab things, sometimes finding in dismay that I’m discarding it due to an expiration date.

Maybe I preoccupy too much time and energy on the idea of newness and adding instead of finishing and fully enjoying. It’s something I’m still trying to figure out about myself as I practice mindfulness.

So in the meantime, that desk in question can wait, and I am freeing myself up from the excessive belongings, because that’s where I need to start. The farther I dig into this literal mess, the more I see how cloudy the inside of me is. I am a lot of ideas in waiting and not a lot of seeing things all the way through. But I’m working on it.

Pokemon Go and Productively Avoiding My Room

I know people may disagree but I find Pokemon Go to be an AWESOME thing and I just joined the bandwagon last week. I’ve caught over 50 pokemon and leveled up to 7 and joined Team Mystic!

I keep reading all these stories about it helping people leave their homes, socialize, and be inclusive of those society may not be as connected with. Things like how the United States alone has walked 2 million miles collectively in their poke-pursuits and stories of children with Autism and Aspergers connecting to others on the playground in ways they hadn’t before. People with depression are finding comfort in gaming, people with no motivation to exercise are moving and walking great lengths. So yeah, I’m pro Go!

In other news, I’ve Konmari’d a good 20% of the house at this point which is me productively avoiding progress in my room. Last week was a bit crazy with the living room remodel coming to a screeching halt with a sectional that is deceivingly “microfiber” but synthetic leather. Basically, there was a mix up in the definition of microfiber and my parents were duped into getting a synthetic leather couch made of microfiber material when they told the furniture people they did not want a leather type couch. Fingers crossed that is resolved today in our favor since the business they bought it from has stringent return policies.

It was an honest mistake but it also shows me my parents are getting older and while they are still very capable people, sales people and others may try to take advantage of them or they may not necessarily rationalize things correctly. To be fair, the average person wouldn’t have been so trusting and would have maybe asked the sales floor guy to do some more explaining. But, in my parent’s minds, microfiber is a soft fabric type material, they didn’t understand that a material can be transformed by heat and embossing to look much different. It’s a mess, and it’s something my brother and I have stepped up to try to help resolve. Their heart and my brother and mine, we all hope for the best and hope our attitudes reflect Christ in all of this, as we do wish to get an exchange worked out, but still wish to explain our situation fairly.

To end on a happier note, I have a theme picked out for my SIL’s baby shower, and hopefully invites will go out tomorrow!

Random Career Thought

In my heart of hearts, I know that I thrive under creative environments where I need to problem solve, bring new light, or add an aesthetic an an idea so that words and pictures cohesively communicate more than what’s there.

There are many days I shake my head and wonder why I’m not where I want to be yet, but then I see that what I do, I truly do love. I just am not ideally compensated for it yet. My career fulfills my basic financial needs AND grows me as a businesswoman, I just need to make my potential and my paycheck soar.

In that vein of thinking, there are two ways to solve this problem ; abandon what intrinsically makes you thrive for what makes you a better living, or keep finding ways to make what thrives you work to a sound income.

I’m aware now that doubting myself does not make for a better outcome in either area. I need to fuel my potential and keep my eyes open to opportunity, that’s all.

I am good enough, and if I’m not there yet, I will get there. I can’t let go of what gives me purpose in search of something else. So, how hard am I going to work to get where I want to be?

One Last Hoorah

I paused for a moment last week and thought about how blessed I am this year. If everything works out, I will see three of my closest friends that live far away.

I got to see B and her family in Arkansas.
I got to see N and her family before their long distance relocating to Connecticut.
I get to see H and our mutual friend A and have fun with them this fall.

And, hopefully, fingers crossed and heart longing, I will get to see M and his family in Massachusetts next year, and maybe make a pit stop in Connecticut to see N again.

My friend, N, just had her second child this April and I was sad that I probably wouldn’t get to meet the newest member of her family before their move from the pacific northwest to east coast. As a military family, they have been stretched so much with this moving process, and I can only imagine the difficulty of traveling across the country with a car loaded to the max, a mischievous cat, a preschooler, and 3 month old baby. They rented out their home, were ready to hit the road, and then her hubby was extended a week at their current location. Her husband never even got time off to help pack up the house, and they had to live in a hotel another week, cutting into their travel time.

Needless to say, when I found out in their crazy move they managed to plan a few days in California, I was ecstatic. I’m grateful that N and her Mom and siblings so graciously shared their limited time and let me come over and hang out with them all.

I love being honorary auntie to N’s kids and it’s so fun watching them grow. Her daughter is counting and picking up simple addition all on her own, and she is a riot to watch imaginative play as she makes the best sound effects and scenarios for her little figures and dolls. I’ve seen her go from forming basic phrases to chattering away. She’s going to be so smart and make friends easily when she gets to be school aged. The little one is the easiest baby ever, and coos more than any baby I’ve ever met. He is all smiles and so alert. He intently stares at intricate things and I think he might be attracted to art later and have an attention to detail like his Momma.

Our last hoorah included many laughs and hugs. “I’m only a couple hours from Boston and New York!,” she teased, “and we have a lot of shopping and exploring to do when you visit!”

Being Still

Life has been pretty quiet as of late, and it’s wonderful. I’ve got some fun things on the horizon (helping my family redecorate the living room, planning a baby shower for my sister in law, working on more KonMari) but nothing particularly stressful.

I live with bouts of high functioning anxiety and before I really paused to identify and address it, I just thought I was busy and that being busy was good. Busy meant I was purposeful. Busy meant I wasn’t lazy. Busy meant I had worth to others because I was helping. I now know that being busy 24/7 is a mess for my body, and that my thyroid issues of the past were in part to lack of sleep and the stress of busying through life. I also know that my worth has NOTHING to do with human opinion. And retrospectively, duh, God patterned a day of rest for us. It is good to rest and be still.

I currently don’t have any real commitments besides church ministry and going to my art lessons on Friday. My schedule is wide open and it’s weird. I won’t have much to do with the non profit until the beginning of next year now that our main event is over. And, for the summer, I’ve decided not to do the optional bible study group.

How am I handling this extra time and less commitment? I don’t know. It’s weird. It’s freeing but also strange. Some days I just listen to music and get the little stuff done and call it a day. Other days I’m a bit more purposeful, but I am being rather ‘lazy’ by Laura standards right now.

How is it translating? 

– I am pushing myself harder at work, really testing my limits and seeing positive results. I’m full speed and recoup at home knowing I’m not rushing to something else.

– I am able to use the quiet less rushed morning to acknowledge God’s goodness and start my day with a thankful and focused heart.

– I have a better vision of what my day, week, and month looks like.

– I am more available to help loved ones even in small ways. Letting my dad use the car, being home when my brother drops by when he’s in town, random skyping sessions with friends to help them through their hard day, etc.

– I feel less trapped in a schedule that is always demanding.

– I am less moody. I have more time to process things, and I’m starting to see how short I become and how easy it is to not own up a bad attitude when life is crazy.

There are things I need to put into practice during this time, but I want them to happen organically. Firstly, I have fallen hard off the home cooking healthy food wagon, mostly taking the convenient road instead. And I need to get back on that wagon. Secondly, I need to add back a devotion filled time with God outside of Bible reading (which I hadn’t been doing all that faithfully outside of my Bible study) and I’d love to see that translate into more Bible art journaling and studying more systematic theology and apologetics. I want to apply the studying tools and techniques from my study into my personal reading since I am guilty of trying to read the Bible like literature if I don’t take the time to reset and pray for discernment.

This has been a ‘mind detox.’ And it’s proving to do a lot of good.