5 Things

5 Things
  1. We’re having our first snow of the season here in Raleigh! Well, I guess it’s not even Winter yet – how crazy is that? Around here, we don’t usually get any snow until at least mid-late January since it usually doesn’t get cold enough until then. But this pre-Christmas snowstorm brought us 5-7 inches (we never officially measured) but some areas near us got up to 10-11! As a teacher, it’s always a mixture of feelings when it snows. It’s always nice to have a break but having to make up the time can be frustrating. 
  2. I signed up for Emily P. Freeman’s Quiet Collection for Christmas today and I am so excited to start listening! Emily has the most soothing voice and I love listening to her podcast so I knew that this collection of audio devotionals would be just wonderful. There are 14 of them so starting today, I’ll be able to listen to them up through Christmas!
  3. Also, on that note…how is Christmas Eve already two weeks from today?! I always find myself wishing this season could last twice as long – it’s just so cozy and merry and wonderful!
  4. In the past week or so, I feel myself gradually coming out of this “funk” (don’t know exactly what to call it) that I’ve been in for a couple months now. I know a large part of why I’ve been feeling what I have has been due to my relationship with God. While He never leaves us unattended, this has definitely been a season where I’ve retreated inward a bit and definitely didn’t seek Him out and communicate with Him like I should. Like I shared in my post earlier this week, the theme that I feel like has been continually highlighted for me has been Remember God. It’s no coincidence that I read Annie F. Downs’ book by the same name back a couple months when I first slipped into this season and then these words came up again two weeks ago in a super convicting sermon at church.
  5. This past week, with my first published blog post since September, I feel myself being pulled ever so slightly back to the blogging world a bit. Writing and blogging have been so central in my story for more than eight years now and it’s a platform that I truly don’t know that I could ever fully abandon. My audience has ebbed and flowed over the years but I can’t help but feel sometimes like it doesn’t really matter how many people actually look at this space (currently, that would be very few at all) just as long as I’m sharing something. With the New Year just a few weeks away, I always take this time each year to think on the year ahead and intentionally write out my goals with the aid of Lara Casey’s Powersheets (which are wonderful!). I am praying and reflecting on how God would like me to use my voice in this space and what He wants it to look like. 

That’s what’s up around here lately! Here’s to finishing out 2018 strong!

Remember God

We say it every year, but where has the time gone?? Here we are on the downward slope to 2019 and in a lot of ways it feels like 2018 only just got started.

2018 has been a big year for me I guess, which I did kind of expect going into it. I’m in a much different place, literally and figuratively, today than I was a year ago. The beginning of 2018 had me sending off applications to grad school in central Illinois and to child life internships across the Southeast. I prayerfully sent them off, assuming that God would send me off to one of those destinations in Fall 2018. But in the Spring, I realized that this path – even though I thought I had heard the directions from the Lord so clearly – was not going to be coming to fruition. I still felt a change stirring within me and I felt the pull to look for other jobs in other cities. So, in April/May the path aligned so smoothly for me to accept a new teaching position in Raleigh, NC. It all fell into place so well and I found myself spending the summer preparing for a move from Charlotte to Raleigh to live with my sister.

 

Remember God

Summer 2018 held a lot of expectations, I admit. I created this vision of what my new life in Raleigh was going to be like as I basked in the sweetness of feeling like I was so in tune with God’s calling for my future. And I think I was in tune, even though now that I am looking at the end of 2018 and life doesn’t look anything like I thought it was going to back when it started. In hindsight, I don’t think that I necessarily heard Him wrong but I think God, in His infinite wisdom, definitely nudges towards other things that are going to serve us better. Rather than send me to Illinois for grad school – where I know absolutely no one – He sent me to Raleigh to live with my sister, where I already knew a fair amount of people, and to a job where I already knew one of my co-workers from college. I know God provides protection to all, but it feels particularly true about my walk with Him.

I’ve realized in recent weeks, as I’ve come to acknowledge this feeling of being slightly “off-kilter” and something just feeling off, I’ve realized that at some point I mixed up the feeling of being expectant and having expectations. Somewhere along the way, I shifted from being expectant and hopeful of what God was going to do through this change and transition to creating my own expectations of what He would do.

Two very different things.

To me, the state of being expectant is to release control, leave room for vulnerability, and approach life with open hands that are ready to accept whatever comes. In contrast, having expectations means that there is a set outcome that we are envisioning, rather than embracing the mystery that comes with new experiences….

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Welcome Fall

Happy First Day of Fall! (even though folks have been sipping their PSLs for nearly a month now…)

Welcome Fall
Photo by Alex Geerts on Unsplash

As we usher in one of my very favorite seasons, I thought I would share some of the things on my seasonal living list for Fall. Marking time in this way for the past couple of years has truly helped me to savor moments and learn to be present. Scripture reminds us of the importance of this practice by saying, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom (Psalm 90:12, NLT).”

Savor the Season
  • Go Apple Picking
  • Coffee Day – September 29
  • Taco Day – October 4
  • Delight in a Fall Floral Arrangement
  • Go See the Color Change – As if I need an excuse for a roadtrip to the mountains…
  • Visit the Pumpkin Patch
  • Pumpkin Day – October 26
  • Host a Halloween Movie Night – Nothing better than Hocus Pocus!
  • Simmer Mulled Cider
  • Find Joy in Fall Baking – I’m hoping to try some Apple Cider Donuts this season!

How are you going to celebrate Fall?

Favorite Books of 2018 + What I Want to Read

Happy Book Lover’s Day! I love anything that celebrates books and reading. This year has been pretty different for me in that I haven’t really read as much as I normally do. But this year has also held a lot of changes and transitions, so I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. I wanted to share with you some of my favorites that I’ve read already this year, as well as a few titles that are on my “to-read” list!

Book Lover's Day
Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Favorites of 2018

Everybody, Always // Who doesn’t love Bob Goff? I mean, really. This book was everything and I just want to be Bob’s best friend.

Little Book of Hygge // I loved this little book and it definitely made me want to hop and plane bound for Denmark. The concept of hygge – coziness and connection and comfort – is one that I strive for in my life all the time, but it was fun to read about a place and a culture that prioritizes and celebrates this too!

The Sacred Enneagram // Like basically everyone else lately, I absolutely love the Enneagram. I am Type 9, but also tied with Type 6 in my results from quiz at the Enneagram Institute. I absolutely loved this book and how it connected traits from each type to our faith journey and how it can help us grow in our identities as we grow in our relationship with God as well.

Sweet Laurel Cookbook // I’ve been a little cookbook-obsessed this year and this one is not only beautiful, but the recipes are absolutely delicious! My favorites have been the German Chocolate Cake, Baked Churros, and Vegan Caramel. Everything is free of refined sugar, gluten, and dairy and absolutely delicious!

What I Want to Read

The Life-Giving Home

The Life-Giving Table

Come Matter Here

Begin Again

Happy Reading!

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