Picking a Theme Word This Year
Here are our words:
Every year I pick a word to be my theme for that year... balance, present. But this year, this one was given to me... SIGHT. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The day God gave me this word I saw this scripture: "Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you've got, be resolute, and love without stopping." (1 Cor 16:13-14 MSG)
If you know my story you know there is a lot of irony in this word. I am going blind, it isn't something I think about daily. It is however the biggest area of my life I have to trust in the Lord. Anyone with any kind of illness knows that fear will eat you alive if you don't fix your gaze on the Lord. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I have been challenging myself lately to see the Lord in the day to day, the mundane, even the miserable. This is something I need to spend a year focusig on. I truly, ultimately don't want to see the world as it is. I want to see it as the Lord sees it, as He loves it.
So this year my main goal above all else will be to see the Lord in my day to day. I challenge you to pick a word, and focus on one big life changing thing.
My first year of teaching was in 2010 at my old high school. I was excited and terrified all at the same time. My co-teachers (same subject, different students) were actually my teachers when I was a student, which was so surreal and so much fun.
One of these teachers in particular was so calm and peacefuI. I was all of 23 years old and trying so hard to be the best I could be that I was making myself a tad crazy. She saw straight through me and pointed me to this verse: “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” Psalm 46:10 NIV
This became my verse for the next two years. I plastered it on my classroom wall the following year to remind myself to BE STILL. What does that mean though?
Flash forward 8, almost 9 years later, and this verse is coming back around to me. I’ve spent the last year and half walking through an autoimmune diagnosis, failing kidneys, pneumonia and viral meningitis. For someone who doesn’t like meds or doc offices, this has been a struggle.
So, how does this all tie in to the word STILL? I feel like I’m back in the place of doing all the things for all the people all the time - like that first year of teaching. I’m emotionally and physically trying to compensate for my sickness by doing, doing, doing - spoiler alert: it’s not sustainable.
Psalm 46:10 is written during a time of turmoil and fighting, so the call to “be still and know” doesn’t necessarily mean chill out and do nothing. Rather it’s a reminder to stop and stand in awe of the power of God - he WILL be exalted.
So that’s what this stillness means to me - not just sit around and relax. This is more of an internal battle in my spirit - I cannot be everything for everyone. I must stop and revere that God is on the throne and I am not. I must “cease striving” to make up for my health over the past year or so.
As 2019 starts, I will work hard to be still, cease striving and stand in awe in the presence of God. I’m praying this will redirect my heart to know that I am not in control in the midst of the storm but that God is on the throne.
Let’s Kick The Resolutions
We are just as excited as the next momma for the holiday season to be coming to a close, and equally as excited for a fresh, new year. This year we want to do new year’s a little different. We want to take the time to reflect and recover from (even celebrate what we accomplished) this previous year. So, we are tabling the whole resolution thing.
We all work so hard to love others well, to be all things to all family members, and to carry the emotions of these little humans we are raising. We are kinda just wondering, what if instead of pushing and striving to change things about ourselves…. If everything else would fall into place if we just took care of ourselves.
Don’t get us wrong we are doers, achievers, and strivers. There is a real part of us that wants to jump on that “new year, new you” train BUT we believe that if we take care of our heart and body that everything else we else we want to change might just work out.
We are doing it. We are recovering… not changing, striving, working, achieving, and testing that self control. We are just going to recover. Want on that train? Three weeks of just working through taking care of ourselves, and hopefully we leave it with a few new habits.
We will start with our nutrition. We are all feeling extra tired, extra full, and that pull to eat more sugar. We will talk through simple ways to cut sugar out of your routine.
Week two will start all things emotional recovery. You can’t make changes in your life until you take care of yourself. Let’s master self care and finding joy in our everyday life.
Lastly, we will focus on our physical body…. How to get it moving, find true rest, and hydrate. Guys, this is going to be a blast and we totally want to do it with you
Okay Break From Sugar
Now, does this sight look familiar to you? Sure does to me. I have some pretty specific foods I don’t eat because they make me sick. However, I was still able to squeeze in plenty of sugar. Like plenty of… flavored coffee creamer, wine, margs, cookies, marshmallows, cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, and did I say cookies.
Sugar is really hard on our bodies…. It really does wreak havoc… on everything from our weight, digestion, hormones, and skin. So annoying because it is so good.
The cool thing, if you stop eating it, all that stuff will resolve itself. So I am going to take some time to cut sugar out of my diet. The easiest way to do this is to just stick to fruits, vegetables, meats, and nuts/seeds. Just stick to the real stuff, and you will avoid the sugar your body doesn’t know what to do with.
Quick tips: Get some good snacks - nuts, carrot sticks, lunch meat, cucumbers, and berries. You will be prepared for the those afternoon sugar cravings. Just drink water, eliminate all the other stuff. Take your coffee with either canned coconut cream or unsweetened nut milk. Breakfast is hard for lots of people - hard boil some eggs or cook up some turkey bacon. Salad dressings have sugar so just use some oil and vinegar. Check out my sheet pan meals for dinner.
If you are a rule follower and you want a ”guideline” to follow I highly recommend the @whole30. I made you a pinterest board full of recipes! A quick google search will get you all you need to know. You totally got this!
Hide your coffee! Is this so not real life? Like the one thing that you really love, that is just for you… your kids are constantly trying to take. SO annoying. As we exit the busiest time of the year you may have a few extra cups in you arsenal. An afternoon pick me up, might just be a must right now.
I was a self proclaimed coffee addict. Was, because I read the research and quickly realized caffeine was not doing me any good. So, today recovery includes one of your most sacred morning rituals.
For our hormones to really recover from the stress of the holidays we need to give them a break from the caffeine up and down. Did you know it has a similar reaction in your body that stress does? How can you recover from stress if you are hyped up on caffeine?
So let’s just be conscience of how much we are drinking. If you added a few extra cups over the holidays, scale back to the one. If you drink a cup every morning try skipping one morning. If you are up to it, switch to decaf. You got this, let your body recover.
Now this is something I could get used to - a weekly (heck, let’s get crazy and twice-a-week) bath. I have some friends who swear by baths, but I’ve avoided them in my current house because the only bathtub is in the girls’ bathroom. Shoving Barbies and small dolls to the side doesn’t always make for ideal bath material.
I’m going to start trying one night per week, cleaning the toys of out the tub, making my favorite bath salt mix that I usually make for my girls and sitting in a bath for at least 10 minutes. No phone, not even a book - just 10 minutes of soaking and not doing.
If you’re interested in a little self-care challenge, whip up these bath salts and get to soaking!
DIY Epsom Soak
1/2 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup baking soda
lavender essential oil (5-7 drops)
Mix all ingredients above and place in a warm bath. Start with half of the mixture in the tub, then save the rest or take a longer bath!
The Epsom salts promote gentle detoxification and the baking soda will make your skin extra soft. You can change the essential oil out super easily or skip the smell completely.
Get Some Sleep This Year
Have y’all heard of blue light and seen all the cute new glasses companies popping up to sell you blue light blocking glasses?
If not, here’s a quick rundown on blue light. Blue light is a shorter wavelength on the light spectrum found emitting from most screens (phones, TVs, tablets, computers). It can mess with your melatonin production if looked at too close to bedtime, which ultimately affects your circadian rhythm.
I’m more than guilty of watching TV or scrolling on my phone while sitting in bed at night right up to when I want to fall asleep. After reading up on blue light and sleep, I’m going to start adjusting my phone time at night time, so I can get the most out of my sleep.
I usually plug my phone in to charge right next to my bed every. single. night. So, I’m playing on my phone in my bed every. single. night. I read several different articles that suggest cutting off blue light screen time 3 HOURS before bedtime so it doesn’t disrupt melatonin production.
Because I have terrible will power, I’m going to start plugging my phone in across the room. This will also make me get out of bed to turn off my alarm in the morning versus hitting snooze 18 million times.
I may also invest in a cheap-ish pair of blue light blocking glasses in case I need to be on my computer or phone close to bedtime. 👓
So, who is with me in making your bed a blue light free zone? Let’s sleep better this year!
Prayer and Journaling
Ah, yes. Such a normal sight at my house: mom with hair done, dressed for the day, sitting in some fab lighting and taking the time to write in a prayer journal.
WRONG. As much as this would be a lovely reality, it’s not my reality. Most mornings I’m throwing clothes on my self and on my kids so we aren’t late to school or dance. Frazzled and crazy is how we are most mornings.
How can we change this and get our minds right as we embark on a new year? How can we pause and PRAY before our day starts to go out of control haywire?
I’m not sure I have the perfect answer for me or for anyone else, but I know I want to try something new to focus my heart and mind for the day...and that is: PRAYER.
My mom told me once long ago to start praying before my feet touch the ground in the morning. So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll send up prayers before I even get out of bed, and if my kiddos wake me up - I’ll invite them to be still with me for just a minute.
No fancy prayer journal yet - that’s next for me. I’m thinking baby steps in this season of recovery.
Time Out to… Read
So, I’ve had this stack of books on my desk for...years? Sometimes, I move one or two to my nightstand, or maybe one ends up in my purse never to be seen again.
Part of my emotional recovery in this new year is to pick one of these beauts, move it to my nightstand and put my phone out of reach when bedtime hits. My phone has some sort of stronghold on me - I think I have to text, have to scroll, have to research...but guess what? I don’t have to do any of those things! What I want to do is dive straight into that stack of books.
Help me get this new book reading bedtime commence - which would read first? Do you have a time when you set aside to read?
Turn on a Podcast
Happy Friday, friends! I’ve been sharing some things this week that I’m planning on doing this new year to get myself on the road to recovery.
Today, Kara and I rounded up all of our favorite podcasts over on the blog. I love tuning in to a good podcast if I’ve got some downtime - it’s a good way for my brain to take a break.
Go check out our list and see if you have any of the same favorites. Let me know yours below! Happy listening! 🎧
Drink Your Water
As we work to recover this year we have to discuss getting in your water because…. Your body can’t recover without it. Half of you are rolling your eyes because you know you need to drink more water. I see you.
In a hugely over simplified explanation your body can’t get rid of the bad stuff without water. Water supports almost every system in your body. One being the system your body has set up to detoxify. Basically without water all the other efforts to eat healthy and workout are not as effective.
So how much water do you need to drink? Basically, take your weight and divide it in half. That is how many ounces you need a day. Figure out how many ounces are in your water bottle, and then decide how many of them you need to drink a day. One thing that helps me a ton is having a straw, I just get more water in. I also love, love my stainless steel straw (it is the little things yall).
If you workout or drink coffee, wine, or tea you are going to have to add in some more ounces…. Sorry Momma. Ultimately, I am just going to help my body by sticking to mostly water during this season of recovery
I sure do wish today’s weather looked like this photo from this summer. It’s gloomy, wet and chilly here today, but I’m here to talk about the importance of getting outside!
We’ve had so many inside days lately. It’s too cold. It’s too wet. It’s too...you name it. Something I really miss is getting outside. I think it’s something we can all do so easily that offers some great self-care benefits.
Vitamin D! We could all use a little more vitamin D, and besides popping supplements, an easy way to get some Vitamin D...go outside! Obviously, you’ll want to practice safe skincare and avoid heading out in the heat of the day. But spending some time outside playing with the kiddos can offer you a nice Vitamin D boost.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and plays a role in your immune system. I can tell even a huge mood difference on days where I’m stuck inside all day versus days where we go to the park or play in the yard.
One of my favorite things to do when we get outside is to take a walk. You get some sun exposure and some light exercise which, hello, endorphins! It can be a slow walk, a short walk - whatever you can make happen with the kiddos around.