Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Resting with Intentionality

I believe in doing everything in life with intentionality.  Even things that seem trivial like rest.  After surviving my first year of teaching (I'm not really ready to talk about it yet) I finally have a good chunk of time to rest.  Now what do I do with myself?

In the past, I have used all my down time to peruse Facebook, and Pinterest, or space out watching TV.  Now, those things are enjoyable and restful in moderation.  However, I think I squeeze the most out of my rest times when I use them in different ways.  As an introvert, to truly rest I also need some think time.  Television and mindless internet surfing are brain-numbing activities--which sometimes, I need!  But if I stick with my default rest mechanisms I think that I will look back on this summer with a tinge of regret.  So I am making a plan for using my rest well.

Here's how I want to rest this summer:

Read!  The irony of being an English teacher is you don't really have time to read for fun during the school year.  You're busy keeping up with the kiddos' reading.  This summer, I vow to read books because I want to read them.  On my list are  Great Gatsby, The Divergent Series, The Fault in Our Stars, I am Malala, and Blue Like Jazz.  Here's hoping I get through at least a couple of these.

Write!  For me, writing is reflective and that is one of the things that I find the most restful.  It helps me to look at my life and see value.  I also am optimistic enough to believe that I have important things to say, and that my writing could potentially benefit someone else.

Create things!  I enjoy making things.  It helps me to feel at peace.  Being creative is a huge part of my personality, so I think I feel like I am in my element when I am creating something.  Plus, this is another thing I had a hard time making time for during the school year.

Be with Jesus!  This is probably the most restful activity, though it might require the most effort.  When I spend time in the word and in prayer I rest on a soul-level.  I am currently going through the devotional "Thirsty," for the second time and it's still so good!  One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to hit a park with some iced chai and spend time with God in the sunshine.

Be outside!  I love the outdoors.  However, there are two pesky barriers that often keep me from venturing outside.  1.  I am always cold.  I hate being cold!  So when it's cold outside (and we're talking Chelsea-Standard of what cold is) all I want to do is hide under a blanket with a warm beverage.  2.  I have a deep fear of bugs.  Seriously.  I don't think they will harm me, I just don't want them to touch me.  They creep me out.  It's so beautiful during the summer, that I am willing to risk the second barrier to enjoy scenery and warm rays.

Be with my husband!  I am an introvert, so I enjoy resting alone, but I also feel so at rest when I am with my husband.  I love to cuddle up on the couch surrounded by snacks and watch a movie with my beloved.  I also enjoy quiet-coffee shop conversation, and slow strolls through the park.  Ahhhh.

Don't worry, I also have some things to get done this summer like chores, finishing a giant research paper, and working at summer school (just three days a week for three weeks), but in the meantime this girl is getting her rest on.

How are you resting this summer?  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Break Wear

Spring is a time for florals and bright colors.  Breezy skirts and long dresses.  Fun prints and whimsical accessories.  This week we were on Spring Break (one of the best teacher perks) and went on a little Vacay to the lake.  I couldn't wait to slip into my springy duds.

Floral Headband:  Forever 21.  Foxy Sweater:  Old Navy.  Fun printed pants:  Gap (anniversary gift from hubs).  Oxfords:  Maurices.

P.S.  I may or may not have spent most of the vacation here.

 If you're going on a boat, you should probably wear nautical stripes, a floppy hat, and some Sperry's.

Floppy Hat & Cardigan:  H&M.  Maxi Dress:  Nordstrom Rack.  Statement Necklace:  a cute shop in Leavenworth last Spring Break.    

We mostly shopped around this day, so I didn't get too many pics, but I had to take one in front of "Whaley's."  My best friend in high school used to call me Whaley.

Shirt, skirt, and scarf:  H&M.  Flats:  Penney's.

Peplum Tank:  Forever21.  Necklace:  online somewhere, I can't remember.  Jeans:  Papaya.  Cardy:  hand-me-down from sister.  Shoes:  Maurices.

At the museum, I considered adding this hat to my ensemble.

Or this one.

I had an amazing week, and am stoked that warmer weather is finally upon us!

What are you wearing this Spring?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Treasure Hidden in a Field

"I see you standing before a field.  You are looking out at it and you see rocks and broken glass and wonder, 'Is there anything good in here?'"  my pastor said.

A couple of weeks ago I did something that I'd never done before:  I became a member of a church.  I've been involved in churches most of my life, but my spiritual foundation is largely rooted in organizations outside of the church such as Ross Point Camp, and Campus Crusade for Christ.  When we settled in Moses Lake, we decided to take a step of faith and get plugged in to a local church.

On new member Sunday they brought Philip and I up, in front of God and everyone, to pray and speak over us.   The pastor described this picture of us standing before a field.  Even though this field didn't look impressive to us, he explained, it was the field to which God had intentionally brought us.  Most importantly, we would find treasure in this field.

It reminded me of another field that Jesus spoke of.  He said "The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."  (Matthew 13:44)

If you were to ask me to sell everything I own in order to buy Moses Lake, I would look at you like you were a crazy person. Because the truth is, this field looks less than impressive.  For one, it is filled with sage brush and cow manure.   It looks nothing like the field I imagine when I think about finding treasure.  I was kind of hoping my field would have more diversity, more excitement, and hopefully Target, Ikea, and Panera Bread, too.

The truth is that the "field" really doesn't matter.  According to Jesus' parable, it is all about the treasure.  Could this field be hiding something?  Something that would fill me with so much joy that I'd run off and give away my books and clothes just to get it?  If my pastor is right and Jesus wants to use my husband and myself to bring the Kingdom of God to Earth than it doesn't really matter where I live.  Jesus alone is what makes life worth living.  His glory is treasure.  I will seek that treasure, no matter where it happens to be hiding.

Which field are you standing in?  Are you willing to give everything to seek God's treasure?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Easiest "DIY" Ever Done

I used to cringe when I heard the words, "arts and crafts."  That phrase alone was enough to make me avoid women's ministry like the plague.  When I thought of crafts I thought of cheesy, ugly knick-knacks that middle-aged women made usually involving their cats.  Those types of projects seemed pointless to me.

Then I found Pinterest.  I realized that I could make legit decorations.  I could use crafting as an inexpensive way to make my home cute, trendy, and personalized.   Since then I've made several crafty things--still I prefer to call them "projects" or "DIYs."

If a DIY is too complicated, though, count me out.  I tend to like projects that are mindless--the kind I can do while watching TV.  I craft to relax.  I can't handle things that require too much precision or skill.

So when my husband unleashed me in Craft Warehouse, I kept these things in mind while looking for a project.  I thought about buying burlap, or a mason jar, or chalkboard paint, or a picture frame but then I saw them:  artificial succulents.

I LOVE the way succulents look.  But, I have not had much luck with planting the real deal.  I had heard they were easy to grow--aren't they native to the desert or something?  So I thought I'd give it a try.  Well, my poor succulent didn't make it longer than a week. Apparently I am less nurturing than a desert.  So why not have a fake one?  Succulents almost look plastic anyways?

This was so easy that I don't even know if you can technically call it a "DIY," but hey, I could have just bought something similar at IKEA so I'm counting it dang it!  My project required only three materials, and less than three steps.

Step one:  Place succulent standing up inside the pot.  Step two:  fill with rocks.  Step three:  admire.

Here it is on a desk in our room.  Oh, hey, that's another craft I've made.  A giant letter "A" with covered in old hymns and modge podge.  Easy-peasy.  

How do you feel about craftiness?  If I can do it, you can do it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Post Valentine's Day Pukefest

*Warning:  It's about to get real up in here.  Those with a weak stomach need not read on.*

I'm awoken by a sound that everyone wants to hear first thing in the morning.  Is it chirping birds?  My husband saying he loves me?  The gentle pitter-patter of rain?  Nope that's my husband blowing chunks into a Walmart sack next to me.  I glance over at my phone.  It's five AM.  Good morning world!

Now, typical Chelsea at five AM would have growled, grumbled, and rolled back over and fallen asleep.  In this case, my mama bear nurturing instincts took over.  I leapt out of bed, ran and got him a bowl and a fresh garbage bag.  Next thing I knew I was tying up Philip's puke-sack and throwing it away.  I proceeded to get a rag and some disinfectant and attacked the area of the incident.  Finally, I sprayed everywhere within a mile of the throw-up with enough Febreeze to suffocate the both of us.

Everyone in my house had taken turns getting sick.  And I mean real sick.  Like can't-stray-too-far-from-the-bathroom sick.  Philip and I thought we had both bypassed the virus.  But alas, it finally got him.  He got the worst of it and I had to take my poor husband to the doctor.  My time was spent holding his hand while he got shots, whispering comforting words in his ear, helping him to mosy around the Dr.'s office.  In fact, my entire day revolved around him.  I waited on him hand-and-foot.  As totally illogical as this is, I felt closer to my husband during these shenanigans than I had on our romantic adventures the day before.

Picture this:  My husband was puking, and moaning in pain, and basically pooping his pants and all I could think about was how much I loved him.  How do you explain that?  I can't, except that perhaps love looks much more like this than the pink and red swirl of chocolates and flowers and fancy dinners of the day before.

I think that love is less about the mushy-gushy googly-eyed stuff, and more about moments like this.  Moments where you get to choose to die to yourself, and put the needs of the one you love first.  Maybe this is true love.  When the other person is at their worst.  When they have nothing to offer you, and in fact they need something from you.  Maybe true love gives.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day, than an opportunity to remind myself how much I truly love my husband.  For better or for worse.
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